Tag Archives: competitions

Basle v Chelsea – live Europa League

EUROPA LEAGUE LIVE: Basle v Chelsea – follow the semi-final as it happens from St Jakob-Park

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

03:00 GMT, 25 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 25 April 2013

Live scores

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Basle v Chelsea

Fenerbahce v Benfica

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Europa League as Chelsea visit Basle in the first leg of their semi-final at St Jakob-Park.

The Blues remain on course to win a European trophy in successive years following last season's Champions League triumph, but face a tough test when they travel to the Swiss league leaders.

Basle have already proven their pedigree against Premier League opposition having eliminated Tottenham in a penalty shootout in the quarter-finals.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or via Twitter @Ripinho.

*This page will auto refresh every two minutes*

18.16: From Sportsmail's Neil Ashton:

Interesting Chelsea team in training last night. Luiz defensive midfield, Ramires right, Moses left, Hazard in behind Nando, but no Mata.

18.13: If that's not good enough for you though, if the Europa League ends up at Stamford Bridge this season, Chelsea will become only the fourth side to win all three of UEFA's major club competitions.

They would join Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich (good company) in having won the Europa League, the Champions League and the European Cup-Winners' Cup.

Chelsea won the latter in 1970/71 and 1997/98 and it's still a competition I miss after being scrapped in 1999 (bring it back UEFA!)

The Italian job: Chelsea's Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli lift the 1998 European Cup-Winners' Cup

The Italian job: Chelsea's Gianfranco Zola and Gianluca Vialli lift the 1998 European Cup-Winners' Cup

18.10: For a club often accused of lacking history compared to its current stature, you sure can't fault Chelsea's recent record at trying to make up for lost time.

After becoming the first London club to be crowned European champions last year, the Blues are now attempting to become the first team to win the Europa League a year after becoming champions of Europe.

It's not quite the desired order to achieve the double – but it's uncharted territory nonetheless.

18.05: Kick-off is not for another two hours but we have plenty to keep us going between now and then, including the team news which should be with us in around an hour's time – possibly quicker.

18.00:
At many times this season, the Chelsea ship has taken a number of
hammer blows and has looked anything but stable, but for all the
turbulence we have seen at Stamford Bridge, the Blues are
just one step away from yet another European final.

Rafael Benitez may not be a manager
remembered fondly by the majority of the west London club's fans, but the Spaniard is on the brink of leading Chelsea into the record books

Good evening folks, welcome to Sportsmail's live coverage of the Europa League semi-finals.

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On the charge: Chelsea remain on course to lift the Europa League trophy

On the charge: Chelsea remain on course to lift the Europa League trophy

Matt Le Tissier makes Guernsey debut but he can"t stop them losing 4-2

Le Tissier makes Guernsey debut as legend returns to playing days… but 44-year-old can't can't stop them losing 4-2

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

22:52 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 25 April 2013

Matt Le Tissier made a return to his playing days by turning out for Guernsey, but was unable to stop his side losing 4-2 at Colliers Wood.

The Southampton legend, 44, came off the bench in the second half after signing playing forms at the club where he is honorary president, to help with their incredible fixture list which sees the club in the middle of 20 games in 36 days.

Matt Le Tissier

Fit for purpose: Matt Le Tissier

Fit for purpose: Matt Le Tissier was unable to prevent Guernsey FC losing at Colliers Wood on his debut

Still got it: Le Tissier was back in action at the tender age of 44 years old

Still got it: Le Tissier was back in action at the tender age of 44 years old

Still got it: Le Tissier

Still got it: Le Tissier

Rusty Le Tissier tries a trademark volley after chesting the ball down

It's the first time Le Tissier has played in an official game since 2002, when he retired after playing his entire career for the Saints.

Le Tissier made over 500 appearances in all competitions for the south-coast club, and won eight England caps.

Many fans feel he should have represented his country more times, having watched his incredible skills, passing and long-range screamers in the 1990s.

He is currently juggling turning out for Guernsey with being a pundit and co-commentator for Sky Sports.

Different class: Le Tissier wowed fans with his technique for Southampton throughout his 14 years at the club

Different class: Le Tissier wowed fans with his technique for Southampton throughout his 14 years at the club

Le Tissier

VIDEO Matt Le Tissier's finest Southampton moments

Gareth Bale says Tottenham team spirit will help Premier League and Europa League campaigns

Spurs' spirit will see us bid for glory on two fronts until the end of the season, says Bale

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 1 April 2013

Gareth Bale has said Tottenham can keep fighting on two fronts until the end of the season, claiming Champions League football for next season and challenging for the Europa League.

Spurs sit in third in the Premier League, five points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth, but have played a game more than the Gunners.

They also host Basel in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, but talisman Bale believes the togetherness in the squad will see them through.

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Bale

'We are a very close group as a team. At some places there's little groups here and little groups there but we have got a great team spirit and we want to take that into the rest of the season,' Bale told Eurosport.

'The main thing for us is that we don’t get carried away. We're comfortably able to finish fourth in the league and competing for third – we've got to take it game by game.

'We can push on in the Europa League as well against Basle. Our away form has been very good – we showed that against Lyon. We want to do as well as we can in both competitions.'

Bale's stunning strike against Swansea in Spurs' 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was his 22nd for Spurs in all competitions this season, prompting some to brand him as one of the best in the world.

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

But for the man himself, two giants of the Spanish League are still the ones to beat.

'Ronaldo and Messi have set the standard as the best players in the world, and everyone wants to play like them' said Bale.

'Year by year I'm improving and I can still improve.'

Lionel Messi breaks another record by completing stunning scoring circle against every La Liga team

Messi breaks another record by completing stunning scoring circle against every La Liga team

By
Pete Jenson

PUBLISHED:

19:16 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 30 March 2013

Lionel Messi extended his five-month
scoring run to 19 games to became the first player ever to score in
consecutive matches against every other team in the division.

The Argentine scored in Barcelona's
2-2 draw with Celta Vigo to take his La Liga tally to 43 for this season
with nine games left of the campaign.

Messi has now scored 30 goals in the last 19 matches.

Scroll down for his full scoring record

Record breaker: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Celta Vigo

Record breaker: Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Celta Vigo

Hot shot: Messi extended his scoring run to 19 league games

Hot shot: Messi extended his scoring run to 19 league games

In the equivalent of an entire half-season, he has delivered match after match, scoring against all opponents.

It was on November 3 last year that
he last failed to score – at home to Celta Vigo – a game played less
than 24 hours after his partner, Antonella Ruccuzzo, had given birth to
their son, Thiago.

Messi played 90 minutes in the 3-1
victory that night, but there was to be no special goal dedicated to the
new born. He has made up for it since.

On eight occasions he has scored
twice and in a 5-1 win over Osasuna at the end of January he scored
four. With this latest strike, he is now on course to shatter the
half-century of league goals he clocked up last season.

With 10 games left last season he had
scored 33 goals – with nine games left now he is already on 43 and
homing in on last season's record-breaking 91 in all competitions in a
calendar year.

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura
said: 'The fact that no one has ever done this before shows just how
difficult it is. Only with the passing of time will we realise just how
incredible his achievements have been.'

A belter: Barca's Cristian Tello beats Celta Vigo keeper Javi Varas

A belter: Barca's Cristian Tello beats Celta Vigo keeper Javi Varas

In control: Messi takes on Natxo Insa

In control: Messi takes on Natxo Insa

Messi, 25, started as captain, despite being sick on the pitch in Argentina's midweek draw against Bolivia in the high-altitude conditions of La Paz.

But with both Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez rested ahead of Barcelona's trip to Paris in the Champions League on Tuesday, Messi was starved of service.

He went down under a challenge from Vadim Demidov but referee Mateu Lahoz waved away penalty appeals.

Barcelona struggled in defence, with on-loan Arsenal striker Park Chu-Young causing problems for young centre-back Marc Bartra and only a fine double save from Jose Pinto kept out the home side after a mistake by Gerard Pique.

messi scoring circle updated

On 39 minutes, Barcelona fell behind when Fabian Orellana crossed for Natxo Insa to score. Messi saw a free-kick saved by Javi Varas, but two minutes before the break he turned provider for Cristian Tello to net.

It was Messi's 10th assist of the season – only Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil has managed more – but it was a goal he needed for the record and it came on 73 minutes.

In front of the penalty area, he fizzed the ball out wide to Tello and when the youngster played it back to him first time, Messi finished past Varas.

A late equaliser from Borja Oubina two minutes from time prevented Barcelona from taking all three points but Messi at least had his incredible record.

Boss Tito Vilanova is expected to travel with the squad after his return from New York, where he was having cancer treatment. 'It's a massive boost,' said Roura.

Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first stage on the road I hope to take to the 2016 Games

Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first of many stages before the 2016 Olympic Games

team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua” class=”blkBorder” />

Close friend London 2012 team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua

I loved watching the BBC Superstars programme a few months ago and it really inspired me – I’d absolutely love to do something like that and try out the different sports. I was watching it and wishing I could be on it, but I’d like to think I could have given Anthony Joshua a run for his money. He won it so easily!

I haven’t even tried some of the sports they did but I think I’d be alright at some of them. I’d like to think I’d be okay at the swimming and now I’m used to a bit of running so that would be okay, but I’ve never sat in a kayak so that might be a bit tough!

I’ve got some more competitions coming up so am busy preparing for those now. I’ve had the A category World Cup event in France last weekend and then the British Championships in Liverpool at the end of the month. That’s a trial for the European Championships which take place in April in Moscow, so that’s the next big competition to aim for.

Gary Lineker and Arsenal fans fury at Arsene Wenger dropping players

It's a disgrace! Fans join Lineker in condemning Wenger's decision to rest key players for crunch Munich clash

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

11:14 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:17 GMT, 13 March 2013

Gary Lineker has slammed Arsene Wenger’s decision to rest several key players for tonight’s Champions League last-16 second leg tie at Bayern Munich.

With the Gunners 3-1 down after the first leg at the Emirates and needing at least three goals in the Allianz Arena to progress to the quarter-finals the Arsenal boss has left first-team regulars Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott, Wojciech Szczesny and Per Mertesacker in England.

With Jack Wilshere, Bacary Sagna and Lukas Podolski already missing through injury Wenger has effectively thrown in the towel, despite the club being out of the FA Cup and 24 points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the Premier League.

Scroll down for video of Arsene Wenger's press conference

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger has left several players in London

Under pressure: Arsene Wenger has left several players in London

Arsenal players warm-up during a training session

Arsene Wenger talks ahead of Champions League clash with Bayern…

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The Match of the Day presenter and former England striker tweeted: ‘They have no other cup competitions to worry about, why on earth would he feel the need to rest players’

One argument is that Arsenal need to rest players as they push for fourth place and Champions League qualification for next season, but Lineker dismissed that.

He tweeted: ‘Who he plays tonight will have no baring on where they finish in the league. Rotation is a myth.’

Left behind: Santi Cazorla (above) and Theo Walcott are missing in Munich

Left behind: Santi Cazorla (above) and Theo Walcott are missing in Munich

Theo Walcott

Another tweet read: ‘If they are injured, that’s a different matter. Top players rarely need a rest.’

Many Arsenal fans are furious with Wenger’s decision after they had already paid for the trip to Munich and tickets to the game.

One disrgruntled Gunner, Ken Barkway, tweeted: ‘Its a disgrace really. It is the final proof that the club is little more than a cash cow. Glory clearly no place in the agenda.’

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Brian McDermott sacked by Reading

McDermott SACKED by Reading with strugglers four points adrift of Premier League safety

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

17:32 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:50 GMT, 11 March 2013

Brian McDermott has been sacked as Reading fight to avoid relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

The Royals suffered a demoralising 2-1 home defeat against drop rivals Aston Villa on Saturday to push them deeper into trouble.

And McDermott has paid the price as they bid to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.

Roberto Di Matteo and Paolo Di Canio are among the early frontrunners to take the post.

*Scroll down to watch highlights of McDermott's final match in charge

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

The bottom six of the Premier League

The bottom six of the Premier League

A statement from Reading read: 'Reading Football Club has announced today the departure of Manager Brian McDermott.

'Owner Anton Zingarevich wishes to place on record his thanks to Brian who had achieved great success with the club since taking over as Manager in December 2009.

'Brian gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League last year for only the second time in the club’s history thanks to a remarkable run at the end of last season. However, in our current situation, owner Anton Zingarevich felt that a change was necessary.

Struggling: Reading have lost five games in a row in all competitions

Struggling: Reading have lost five games in a row in all competitions

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

'The search for a successor will start immediately and it is hoped that a new Manager will be in place as soon as possible to lead the fight against potential relegation.'

Reading are four points from safety with nine matches remaining to secure their top-flight status.

McDermott took Reading up last season as champions but they have struggled to make an impact in the Premier League.

Russian owner Anton Zingarevich has
now acted to save their season – with the new manager set to start with
an away match against title favourites Manchester United on Saturday.

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Tattooed Leeds fan still sad even though his team beat Spurs

Afraid Spurs will nick a draw Tattooed Leeds fan is a picture of nerves in dying stages of FA Cup shock

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

This Leeds fan looks as if he is used to a bit of needle but his pained expression shows his nerves in the final stages of the win over Tottenham at Elland Road.

The heavily tattooed supporter, who has a Leeds badge inked on the top right of his forehead, looked as if he expected Spurs to come back and grab a 2-2 draw.

Fortunately, this man did not have to face up to that as the hosts did manage to hold on and inked their name in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

A bit of needle: This tattooed Leeds fans watches the final stages of their win over Tottenham

A bit of needle: This tattooed Leeds fans watches the final stages of their win over Tottenham

DO YOU KNOW THIS FAN

We would like to get in touch with this Leeds fan before the next round against Manchester City. Is it you Do you know him Get in touch with us at: [email protected]

Maybe we'll be seeing this expression again as an away tie with the champions of England, Manchester City, awaits in the
next round.

But after knocking three Premier League sides out of cup competitions this season, he might be going to the Etihad full of optimism.

And if Leeds do win there, tat would be amazing.

Into the fifth round: Leeds will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City

Into the fifth round: Leeds will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City

Eden Hazard charged by FA for kicking Swansea ball boy Charlie Morgan

Hazard charged! Chelsea forward faces lengthy ban as FA take action over clash with ball boy

PUBLISHED:

15:49 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:05 GMT, 25 January 2013

Eden Hazard has been charged by the Football Association for violent conduct following his clash with a ball boy during Wednesday night's Capital One clash at Swansea.

Hazard was shown a straight red card after kicking out at ball boy Charlie Morgan in the 78th minute of the semi-final second leg.

Hazard would have served a three-match ban, but now faces a longer stint on the sidelines following today's development.

A commission with no representatives from the FA or Chelsea will decide on the length of Hazard's ban next week. Hazard has until Tuesday to appeal the charge.

Scroll down for the video

Flashpoint: Chelsea's Eden Hazard clashed with the teenage ballboy who is lying on the ball

Flashpoint: Chelsea's Eden Hazard clashed with the teenage ball boy

Seeing red: Hazard is sent off by referee Chris Foy on Wednesday night

Seeing red: Hazard was given his marching orders by referee Chris Foy

'The FA have charged Chelsea’s Eden
Hazard following his side’s League Cup semi-final at Swansea City on 23
January 2013,' read an FA statement.

'It is alleged that Hazard’s
behaviour in relation to a Swansea City ball boy, for which the player
was dismissed in the 78th minute, constituted violent conduct whereby
the standard punishment that would otherwise apply was clearly
insufficient.

'The player has until 6pm on Tuesday 29 January 2013 to respond to the charge.

'The FA will remind all clubs of
their responsibilities in ensuring ball boys and other personnel around
the pitch act in an appropriate manner at all times and will liaise with
competitions accordingly.'

Chelsea are yet to respond to the FA statement.

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Gloucester 12 London Irish 18: Skivington double gives Exiles important win

Gloucester 12 London Irish 18: Skivington double gives Exiles important win

By
Andrew Baldock, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:22 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:22 GMT, 5 January 2013

Relegation candidates London Irish ripped up the Aviva Premiership form book by stunning title play-off contenders Gloucester at Kingsholm.

Irish had already lost three times to their hosts in domestic and European competitions this season, but two first-half tries from lock George Skivington helped the Exiles exact revenge.

Centre Steven Shingler added a penalty and conversion, while England international Freddie Burns booted four Gloucester penalties, yet Irish deserved a first Premiership away victory this season at the seventh attempt, and t was sealed by full-back Tom Homer's late penalty.

George Skivington scores the winning try for London Irish

Reaching for the line: George Skivington scores the winning try for London Irish

It took them five points above bottom club Sale Sharks, who tackle Saracens tomorrow, and sent them into a five-week league break with renewed optimism of avoiding the drop.

In contrast, a losing bonus point was scant consolation for Gloucester after a four-month unbeaten home record disappeared.

They were architects of their own downfall in many ways, taking wrong options, lacking the patience to break Irish down and losing composure when clear attacking opportunities presented themselves.

While the west country club remain firmly in the play-off picture, they could have few complaints about a defeat that underlined the Premiership's tight, intense nature this term.

Former England skipper Mike Tindall captained Gloucester in the absence of finger injury victim Jim Hamilton. Tom Savage filled Hamilton's second-row berth, while loosehead prop Dan Murphy took over from Nick Wood and Rob Cook returned at full-back.

Skivington was the difference between the two sides at Kingsholm

Scramble: Skivington was the difference between the two sides at Kingsholm

Irish included England centre Jonathan Joseph on the wing – Sailosi Tagicakibau and Shingler were rugby director Brian Smith's preferred midfield partnership – but England prop Alex Corbisiero failed a late fitness test and was replaced by Max Lahiff.

Burns booted Gloucester into a second-minute lead, yet Irish were not daunted by the size of their task, and after Shingler landed an equalising penalty they deservedly went ahead.

Gloucester were guilty of trying to run before they could walk, throwing out ambitious passes that were invariably spilled, with Burns guilty inside his own 22 by lobbing an ill-conceived ball to wing Charlie Sharples that Irish almost capitalised upon.

The visitors' opening try, though, arrived after 23 minutes when a spell of concerted pressure near Gloucester's line resulted in Skivington powering over. It was Irish's first touchdown for almost five hours of Premiership rugby.

Shingler missed the conversion, but Irish continued to grow in confidence and they capitalised on another Gloucester blunder after Burns had kicked his second penalty.

England's Ben Morgan batters the Irish line

Powerhouse: England's Ben Morgan batters the Irish line

Gloucester wing Shane Monahan was the guilty party, making a hash of trying to gather the ball just inside the home 22, and Irish scrum-half Pat Phibbs scrambled possession to Skivington, who touched down unopposed.

Shingler landed the conversion, and Gloucester could have few complaints about a 15-6 interval deficit as Irish threatened a first Premiership away win since they triumphed at Worcester last April.

The only blot on Irish's landscape was an injury to England squad hooker David Paice, who limped off on the stroke of half-time and was replaced by former Gloucester forward Scott Lawson.

Irish's Sailosi Tagicakibau evades a Gloucester tackle

Raw pace: Irish's Sailosi Tagicakibau evades a Gloucester tackle

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies made a triple substitution just 10 minutes into the second period, taking off Murphy, scrum-half Jimmy Cowan and flanker Akapusi Qera, but there was no immediate sign of his team showing an improvement.

Irish were content to keep their defensive shape and absorb Gloucester's heavy-duty runners, although Burns gave the home side hope when he completed his penalty hat-trick after 58 minutes and then slotted a fourth penalty three minutes later.

Shingler, having missed four of his six shots at goal, was replaced by Homer, and his 73rd-minute penalty from 40 metres meant Gloucester were sunk.

And they finished the game with 14 players when lock Will James was sin-binned by referee David Rose following a melee that spilled over the touchline in front of the main grandstand.

Tom Homer manages to get the ball away

Releasing: Tom Homer manages to get the ball away