Tag Archives: controversial

Arsene Wenger hails Gervinho after Arsenal beat Reading

Wenger hails Gervinho as Arsenal stay in the hunt for Champions League place

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the confident display of Gervinho after the Ivory Coast forward set the Gunners on the way to a 4-1 win over relegation-battlers Reading which kept them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Gervinho has often cut a controversial figure among supporters following a string of frustrating displays following an 11million move from Lille in July 2011.

However, the 25-year-old was on the money this afternoon, opening the scoring on 11 minutes and having a hand in everything positive as Arsenal eventually broke the Royals stubborn resistance again at the start of the second half when Santi Cazorla sweeping home. Olivier Giroud added a third following a quick break by Gervinho.

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation for Nigel Adkins' men, but there was to be no recovery to mark their new manager's first match in charge as Mikel Arteta's penalty made sure Arsenal closed up on Chelsea in the race for fourth-spot and also remained within striking distance of Tottenham, on whom they hold a match in hand.

'Gervinho's performance was very strong. He was always dangerous, always looked like he could score, gave assists and scored himself,' Wenger said.

'I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

'He was always taking the ball and going forward, and provoking. When you lose confidence, that is a very dangerous game then.

'When he has found the confidence back, he's a very dangerous player.

'At the African Nations Cup, for me he was the best striker there. He is the type of player who is difficult to find, because they always go at people.'

Wenger was pleased with the final result for his side, who have now won six of their last eight league games and also won 2-0 away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, although still bowing out of Europe.

'I enjoyed our technical side, our creative side, our spirit and how disciplined and focused we were,' said Wenger.

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

'The regret you have is that there were more goals in this game than the number of goals we scored.

'Overall, it's a good basis to finish the season well. Let's just keep that spirit, that attitude and play the football we want to play.'

Wenger called for his side to keep their performances high over the run-in, with little margin for error if they are to gatecrash the top four once again.

'What we do is we look at the table and we are still behind Chelsea and Tottenham. We are not in a calculation mode,' he said.

'We can just win our next game and continue to do what we do at the moment.

'We are on a run so let's take care of the quality of our game and that run. After, we'll see where we stand.

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

'It (Champions League qualification) will be less predictable than it was predicted. We have a word to say in that and we want to give our best to do it.'

For Reading, meanwhile, the outlook is not so positive as the defeat sent them bottom of the table on goal difference, some seven points adrift of safety.

However, with a home clash against former club Southampton, Adkins is not about to throw in the towel just yet.

He said: 'We have had a bit of a fragmented week with the change, and players away on international duty, trying to get to grips with where we want to go and what to do is going to be challenging.

'We wanted to get something here, but didn't. Arsenal kept the ball very well.

'We will analyse it now, debrief back with the players, take the lessons from it and work very hard on the training ground for the next one.

'You can't change everything straight away, but we will all work hard together to give us a chance in the next game.'

Adkins added: 'The spirit is there in the group, and all we can do is take it one match at a time – there here and now is putting this one to bed, working hard over the course of the week for the next one.'

Jesse Ryder in critical condition after being beaten up outside Christchurch bar

New Zealand's Ryder in critical condition after being attacked outside Christchurch bar

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

20:41 GMT, 27 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 27 March 2013

New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder has been admitted to Christchurch Hospital after being attacked at a bar, police have confirmed.

According to reports in New Zealand, the 28-year-old all-rounder is in a critical condition in intensive care after suffering a fractured skull and a collapsed lung.

It is understood that three men attacked the controversial cricketer from behind.

Critical condition: Jesse Ryder

Support: Ryder

Critical condition: Jesse Ryder is in hospital in Christchurch after suffering serious head injuries

A statement on the New Zealand Police website read: 'Police are investigating an incident at a bar in Merivale in the early hours of this morning.

Cricket tweets support for Ryder

Michael Vaughan (former England captain) – Devastating news regarding Jesse Ryder… Just hope he can pull through… Thoughts are with him and his family…

Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire and former Ireland seamer) – Get well soon Jesse Ryder!

Ross Taylor (New Zealand batsman, former captain) – Thinking of you mate @DijaRyder

Black Caps (Official New Zealand cricket Twitter account) – The whole NZC team's thoughts are with @DijaRyder this morning.

Luke Wright (England limited overs all-rounder) – Hope your ok @DijaRyder. Get well soon buddy.

Martin Guptill (New Zealand batsman) – Thoughts are with @DijaRyder this morning. Get well soon bro.

'Police can confirm the incident did involve Jesse Ryder and that he is currently in Christchurch Hospital.'

St John Ambulance confirmed to TVNZ that two ambulances responded to an alleged assault at 12.34am in the morning.

'We transported to Christchurch Hospital ED under lights and sirens one patient, a male, aged in his 20s, with very serious head injuries,' St John Ambulance said.

Ryder, a controversial figure whose career has been plagued by off-field incidents, is on an indefinite break from international cricket and has not played for New Zealand since February last year.

Ryder has played 18 Tests and 39 one-day internationals for the Black Caps, his last appearance an ODI against South Africa.

He played yesterday for the Wellington Firebirds in the major preliminary final against Canterbury Wizards at Hagley Oval and was due to fly out to India this week to compete for the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.

New Zealand Cricket revealed its chief executive David White, Peter Clinton from Cricket Wellington, Heath Mills from the New Zealand Cricket Players' Association and Ryder's manager Aaron Klee were flying to Christchurch.

'We are all shocked by what has occurred and extremely concerned for Jesse. New Zealand Cricket's thoughts are with him and his family,' White said.

New Zealand Cricket said the four would likely hold a press conference once they had ascertained the facts surrounding Ryder's injuries and his current condition.

Derby 1 Chelsea 2: Alex Kiwomya"s late strike sends holders into FA Youth Cup semi-final

Derby 1 Chelsea 2: Kiwomya's late strike sends holders into FA Youth Cup semi-finals

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

02:06 GMT, 9 March 2013

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UPDATED:

02:08 GMT, 9 March 2013

Chelsea's defence of the FA Youth Cup remains alive after they negotiated a tricky quarter-final assignment at Derby County thanks to Alex Kiwomya's late strike.

The Blues were matched all the way by a talented Derby side but eventually prevailed when Kiwomya, nephew of former Arsenal player Chris, found the bottom corner with a sweet drive on 82 minutes.

Extra time looked likely as Derby, who claimed a Premier League scalp in Manchester City in the last round, sniffed another when the excellent Mason Bennett equalised Lewis Baker's 16th minute penalty.

Traget man: Chelsea's Jeremie Boga has an effort on goal

Traget man: Chelsea's Jeremie Boga has an effort on goal

But when Kiwomya received a through ball from substitute Charlie Colkett, he spun and fired beyond Rams goalkeeper Ross Etheridge to kill their hopes.

The win means Chelsea will face either Hull City or Liverpool in the last four as they seek to emulate last year's success.

Chelsea took the lead in controversial circumstances just after the quarter-hour – Reece Mitchell burst through the heart of the Derby defence and was clattered by Etheridge inside the box.

The keeper was fortunate not to be sent off for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, referee Chris Sarginson showing mercy with just a yellow card.

Lewis Baker wasn't so sympathetic, however, finding the bottom corner with a textbook penalty while Mitchell hobbled off.

The Premier League side should have added to their lead as they controlled the first half, and Alex Kiwomya was guilty of missing two golden opportunities within a minute of each other.

Goal-den boy: Alex Kiwomya celebrates his strike

Goal-den boy: Alex Kiwomya celebrates his strike

First, neat interplay between Baker and Jeremie Boga on the edge of the box teed Kiwomya up 12 yards out, but he somehow missed the target.

On Chelsea's next break, the front man was presented with an even easier chance by Baker, but his powerful shot directly in front of goal was blocked by Etheridge.

And there was nearly a sting in the tale when Bennett rose above Alex Davey to head an Andrew Dales cross against the post in the second minute of stoppage time.

It was their best effort of a first half in which they struggled to keep the ball for any length of time.

Jamie Hanson, goalscoring hero in the victories over Ipswich Town and Manchester City in the last two rounds, curled a vicious free-kick over the bar, but other sights of goal had been few and far between.

The hosts were energised by the half-time break and 16-year-old Bennett, the club's youngest first team debutant and goalscorer, and an England Under 17 starlet, began to show his class.

He warmed the hands of Mitchell Beeney with a hit from 30 yards and then scored the equaliser on 55 minutes – although whether he meant it only he knows.

Blues brothers: Chelsea are through to semi-finals

Blues brothers: Chelsea are through to semi-finals

Tearing down the left side after robbing Fankaty Dabo of the ball, Bennett cut inside and surely intended to pick out a teammate in the centre with a low ball. It took a deflection off a Chelsea foot, however, and left Beeney helpless.

With his next touch of the ball, Bennett crossed for Andrew Dales inside the box. The midfielder unleashed a powerful effort which cannoned back off the crossbar.

But when Kiwomya struck it was a decisive blow, Derby unable to respond despite the encouragement of a 4,000-strong crowd.

In fact, Chelsea could have added to their lead in stoppage time when Jeremie Boga's lopping shot struck the top of the crossbar.

With the last kick of the game, Hanson was nearly Derby's hero again but his free-kick on the left clipped the top of the bar.

Blues brothers: Chelsea are through to semi-finals

Darren Wassall, Derby youth team coach, said: 'On the balance of the second half chances and play, then certainly we could have taken it to extra time.

'We said to the lads at half time you've seen how the crowd have got up in the last five minutes of the half and that's without scoring. So if you do score, this 4,000 crowd will be right behind you.

'When we equalised and when Mason went through, we had a real lively 20 minutes after the break. We had hit the bar and had a couple of chances we easily could have scored from. That's when we were in the ascendancy and that's when we should have taken advantage of that situation.

'Chelsea have got unlimited resources and they've got a lot of qualities – they played some great stuff, but so did we. We gave them a real fight. We competed against them for 95 minutes and I'm very proud of all the players.'

Wassall singled out Bennett for special praise: 'He was almost unplayable tonight for 20 minutes early in that second half. He scored the goal and caused havoc. It's all about progression into the first team and we're delighted with his performance tonight.'

Thomas Stalker will make his boxing debut next month

EXCLUSIVE: Stalker to make professional debut against journeyman Laight

, will make his debut at London's York Hall on February 23rd” class=”blkBorder” />

Professional bow: Former Olympian Thomas Stalker (pictured) who fought at London 2012, will make his debut at London's York Hall on February 23rd

Stalker, 28, will also fight on the undercard of Tony Bellew’s WBC world title eliminator against Isaac Chilemba at Liverpool’s Echo Arena on March 30.

The Sportsmail columist was controversially beaten in the quarter-finals at the London Games last year but previously won European and Commonwealth gold medals.

On turning professional, Stalker said: ‘I feel I am going to be exciting to watch as a professional boxer. I felt it was time for me to turn professional now and see how far I can go. I have done everything I could possibly do as an amateur, bar winning an Olympic medal.

Robbed: Stalker lost a controversial points decision to Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia at the Games

Robbed: Stalker lost a controversial points decision to Munkh-Erdene Uranchimeg of Mongolia at the Games

‘Even though I didn’t medal myself, as a team I have captained the most successful amateur boxing team we have ever had and that was a big thing for me.

‘Since the Olympics I haven’t had a goal and I have been a bit depressed, especially seeing the other lads doing all sorts of stuff but now I have that hunger back and to get in that ring and fight is going to be amazing.

‘The one for me is going to be March, boxing a homecoming in Liverpool. It is going to be amazing for me to be boxing in front of all my friends and family in Liverpool and that is when I will really feel like a professional.’

Pedigree: He is, however, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championships bronze medalist

Pedigree: He is, however, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist and World Championships bronze medalist

Ashley Cole to sign new Chelsea contract

Cole's feeling the Blues with England ace set to sign new one-year Chelsea deal

By
Joe Bernstein

PUBLISHED:

18:09 GMT, 19 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 19 January 2013

Roman Abramovich has offered an olive
branch to hostile Chelsea fans by handing England defender Ashley Cole a
new contract to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond the summer.

Abramovich, shaken by demonstrations
against interim manager Rafa Benitez and the decision to let Frank
Lampard leave at the end of the season, has awarded Cole a one-year deal
worth 8million with an option to stay at Stamford Bridge beyond that.

Snow more talk: Ashley Cole is set to sign a deal prolonging his Chelsea career

Snow more talk: Ashley Cole is set to sign a deal prolonging his Chelsea career

Cole, 32, will sign the contract
this week and his decision to remain rather than accept the advances of
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, will delight Chelsea fans, who
feared the old guard was being dismantled by the Russian owner.

Cole has won every major trophy at
Chelsea, including the Premier League and Champions League, after
joining the club in controversial circumstances from Arsenal in 2006
under Jose Mourinho.

He has been courted by some of
Europe's top clubs, who recognised that the left-back capped 99 times by
his country would have been one of the best Bosmans of the summer.

Cole has said in the past he does not
see himself playing on to his mid-thirties so this contract could see
him end his career at Stamford Bridge.

Blue is his colour: Cole has been at Chelsea since his split from Arsenal in 2006

Blue is his colour: Cole has been at Chelsea since his split from Arsenal in 2006

But his signing will give Chelsea a much-needed feelgood factor ahead of their Premier League clash with Arsenal at lunchtime today.

There has been widespread abuse aimed towards Benitez since he replaced Roberto Di Matteo earlier this season.

Wembley set to be renamed in EE deal

Wembley could be RENAMED as FA consider shock 8m rights deal for the home of football

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

07:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

The Football Association are considering renaming Wembley Stadium in a controversial move that will outrage fans.

In a deal worth a reported 8million-a-year, the historic ground will be known as 'Wembley Stadium in association with EE' in a tie in with the mobile phone operator.

The FA agreed a similar deal for the FA Cup, which is officially known as the FA Cup Sponsored By Budweiser.

Rebrand: Wembley Stadium supported by EE looks set to be the new name of the famous London ground

Rebrand: Wembley Stadium supported by EE looks set to be the new name of the famous London ground

Wembley

According to the Daily Telegraph, the FA insisted that naming rights, in the way Arsenal's stadium is known as the Emirates, were not up for grabs and that 'Wembley' had to remain in place.

Wembley has a number of current commercial deals including a deal with Carlsberg as the 'Official Beer of Wembley Stadium'. EE was formed when Orange and T-Mobile merged in 2010.

The FA has been seeking a lead sponsor for the stadium since it was opened in 2007 and the original stadium, built in 1923, was known as the Empire Exhibition Stadium.

With a capacity of 90,000, Wembley is the second biggest stadium and Europe and cost 757million to build.

The stadium also hosts major rugby league games, including the Challenge Cup and International Rugby League. The stadium has also played host to the NFL.

Huddersfield 0 Sheffield Wednesday 0 – Match report

Huddersfield 0 Sheff Wed 0: Controversy in Yorkshire derby as Helan stays on after being booked twice

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

Sheffield Wednesday extended their unbeaten run in the npower Championship to four matches but were given a helping hand by referee Mick Russell in a fiercely-contested Yorkshire derby.

Wednesday, who have climbed out of the relegation zone after three straight wins over the Christmas period, should have been reduced to 10 men midway through the first half when key player Jeremy Helan was shown a second yellow card.

But Russell did not realise he had already booked the on-loan Manchester City midfielder and amid furious protestations from Huddersfield players and management, the Herefordshire official allowed Helan to play on.

Controversial moment: Wednesday's Jeremy Helan appears to receive a second yellow card from referee Mick Russell, but he was not sent off

Controversial moment: Wednesday's Jeremy Helan appears to receive a second yellow card from referee Mick Russell, but he was not sent off

Flashpoint: Referee Mick Russell and his assistants are harangued by Huddersfield players at half-time

Flashpoint: Referee Mick Russell and his assistants are harangued by Huddersfield players at half-time

MATCH FACTS

Huddersfield: Smithies, Gerrard, Wallace, Hunt (Dixon 70), Lynch, Clayton, Hammill, Southern, Atkinson (Scannell 62), Church (Vaughan 62), Beckford

Subs not used: Bennett, P Clarke, Norwood, Novak

Booked: Hunt, Dixon, Hammill

Sheffield Wednesday: Kirkland, Buxton, R Johnson, Gardner, Llera, Antonio (J Johnson 88), McCabe, Lee, Helan, Prutton, Madine (Sidibe 65)

Subs not used: /12/29/article-2254589-16AEDFC8000005DC-979_634x419.jpg” width=”634″ height=”419″ alt=”Battle: Sean Scannell of Huddersfield (left) fights for the ball with Rhys McCabe of Sheffield Wednesday” class=”blkBorder” />

Battle: Sean Scannell of Huddersfield (left) fights for the ball with Rhys McCabe of Sheffield Wednesday

Physical: Adam Hammill of Huddersfield (left) collides with Wednesday's Reda Johnson

Physical: Adam Hammill of Huddersfield (left) collides with Wednesday's Reda Johnson

Amid chants of 'you don't know what you're doing' the referee's gaffe was also pointed out by Grayson to fourth official Duncan Street and assistant referee Wayne Grunnill, but under the laws of the game, once Russell had restarted play following the foul, he was unable to retrospectively correct his mistake.

Town carved out their only clear-cut chance of the opening half a minute before the interval.

Church's low shot following Adam Clayton's cross was brilliantly saved by Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and the score remained goalless at half-time.

Wednesday winger Michail Antonio almost cashed in on Wallace's slip on the edge of the area a minute into the second period, but dragged his shot wide, and soon after crossed tantalisingly to the far post, inches away from the outstretched boot of Madine.

Snap shit: Huddersfield's James Vaughan fires in a shot during the 0-0 draw at the John Smith's Stadium

Snap shit: Huddersfield's James Vaughan fires in a shot during the 0-0 draw at the John Smith's Stadium

Toe-to-toe: Kieran Lee and Murray Wallace slide in

Toe-to-toe: Kieran Lee and Murray Wallace slide in

Huddersfield responded in the 59th minute, but Clayton headed tamely at Kirkland following Hammill's pinpoint cross before Grayson sent on Sean Scannell and Vaughan for Atkinson and Church respectively.

Wednesday substitute Sidibe replaced Madine in the 65th minute and Huddersfield swapped injured right-back Jack Hunt with Paul Dixon five minutes later.

Dixon was booked soon after for bringing Antonio's marauding run crashing to an end.

Sidibe lashed a 25-yard shot high and wide in the 84th minute before Sidibe's header from Rhys McCabe's corner was superbly tipped away by Smithies and Vaughan's volley shaved the post at the other end.

Fulham 1 Swansea 2 – match report

Fulham 1 Swansea 2: Stockdale horror helps Swans prove they can cope without Michu

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UPDATED:

17:07 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Stockdale endured a nightmare recall in goal for Fulham today as he gifted Swansea victory at Craven Cottage and sucked his own side ever closer to the Barclays Premier League drop zone.

Stockdale, making his first top-flight appearance for 11 months in place of the injured Mark Schwarzer, handed late Christmas presents to Danny Graham and Jonathan de Guzman in a shocking all-round display in front of England boss Roy Hodgson.

Fulham pulled a goal back in controversial fashion in a wet and windy rally when Bryan Ruiz's shot went in off an offside Sascha Riether but it was not enough to stop them slipping a defeat which leaves them four points above the drop zone.

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

Swimming upstream: Swansea City's Danny Graham helped his side record another win on the road

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Stockdale; Hangeland, Briggs, Hughes, Riether; Sidwell, Karagounis, Frei (Senderos 84), Berbatov, Ruiz, Dejagah (Rodallega 76) Subs not used: Etheridge, Kelly, Riise, Baird, Richardson

SWANSEA: Tremmel, Williams, Monk, Tiendalli, Rangel, Pablo (Davies 66), Dyer, Routledge (Ki 46), De Guzman, Agustien (Britton 82), Graham Subs not used: Vorm, Bartley, Britton, Shechter, Moore

Referee: Andre Marriner

Attendance: 25,700

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

Swansea stayed 10 clear of danger, with Graham and De Guzman's goals proving there was life beyond injured top scorer Michu.

The punishing festive schedule seemed
to be behind both managers' decisions to ring the changes today, Fulham
making six and Swansea seven.

Each were without their first-choice keepers, with Swansea resting Michel Vorm and recalling Gerhard Tremmel.

And while they were also missing
Michu, Fulham were able to call upon the fit-again Ruiz, something that
would have been more of a relief to Dimitar Berbatov than anyone.

Berbatov may have been poking fun when exposing his 'Keep calm and pass me the ball' T-shirt in the Boxing Day draw with Southampton.

But he clearly missed the only other
player in the squad to hold a candle to him and it did not take the pair
long to rekindle their understanding today.

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Frustrations: Dimitar Berbatov wasn't able to have a big enough impact from the outset

Indeed, Berbatov probably should have
scored in the 10th minute when he outmuscled his marker six yards out
only to volley Ruiz's corner into the ground and over the bar.

Otherwise, both teams looked like
sides on a poor run of form, Fulham having won just one in 11 and
Swansea without a victory in four league games.

So it was no surprise to see the opening goal come from a mistake in the 19th minute.

Nathan Dyer scuffed a deflected cross
from the right towards the corner of Stockdale's goal which should have
been easily pushed wide by the keeper, who was last week recalled from
his loan at Hull.

Instead, he slapped the ball straight back into danger, Graham doing well to readjust and hook the ball back into the net.

See something you like England manager Roy Hodgson was back on his old stomping ground

See something you like England manager Roy Hodgson was back on his old stomping ground

Berbatov tried to inspire an
equaliser but Kerim Frei blasted his lay-off wide from a tight angle
before Ruiz fired a free-kick just off target and volleyed another
Berbatov knockdown over the bar.

Giorgos Karagounis was booked for an ugly sliding leg sweep on Dyer that could even have drawn worse punishment.

Tremmel palmed a Ruiz curler to safety before the interval, during which Swansea sent on Ki Sung-Yueng for Wayne Routledge.

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Good timing: Graham finished in style on 19 minutes to hand Swansea a surprise lead

Ruiz almost got the better of the motionless Swans keeper when his latest free-kick curled inches wide.

But Stockdale produced another howler
in the 52nd minute when he cleared the ball straight against Brede
Hangeland and it rebounded for Pablo Hernandez to square for De Guzman
to sidefoot home.

Tremmel showed Stockdale the way
three minutes with a decent stop from Ruiz's powerful half-volley but he
was finally beaten a minute later in controversial fashion.

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Jonny on the spot: Jonathan de Guzman doubled Swansea's lead shortly after half-time

Berbatov headed Frei's cross against
the bar and his follow-up was blocked straight to Ruiz, whose
point-blank finish was going in but hit an offside Riether on the way.

Tremmel's appeals fell on deaf ears and suddenly it was all Fulham.

The visitors sent on Ben Davies for Hernandez in what was now driving rain at Craven Cottage.

The wet surface helped Karagounis
force a spill from Tremmel straight to Berbatov but this time the
offside flag was rightly raised as he slotted home.

Too far: Bryan Ruiz tried his luck from distance, but couldn't find a way through...

Too far: Bryan Ruiz tried his luck from distance, but couldn't find a way through…

... but just before the hour, the Costa Rican handed his side some hope with a finish from close range

… but just before the hour, the Costa Rican handed his side some hope with a finish from close range

Fulham finally made a change of their own with just under 15 minutes remaining, Hugo Rodallega replacing Ashkan Dejagah.

Graham forced another uncomfortable save from Stockdale on the break and Kemy Agustien was booked for upending Rodallega.

Agustien was immediately withdrawn for Leon Britton, with Fulham sending on Philippe Senderos for Frei.

The home side's misery was duly complete when Berbatov sent a stoppage-time header off target.

Treviso 13 Leicester 14: Tigers" Heineken Cup hopes back on track after last gasp penalty try

Treviso 13 Leicester 14: Tigers' Heineken Cup hopes back on track after last gasp penalty try

PUBLISHED:

16:49 GMT, 15 December 2012

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UPDATED:

21:35 GMT, 15 December 2012

Richard Cockerill was left seething after a controversial penalty try almost derailed his team's Heineken Cup hopes.

But it was a second penalty try two minutes from time – this time for Leicester – that got the Tigers out of jail and took them top of Pool Two.

Victory salute: Leicester Tigers players salute their fans after winning in Italy

Touching down: Thompstone of Leicester tucked away a try after 14 minutes

That was only after Irish referee
Alain Rolland frustrated Leicester with his award of a first-half
penalty try, even though Treviso's pack were still 20 yards from the
line.

Leicester coach Cockerill said: 'I
have never seen anything like it in the 30 years that I have been
involved with rugby. If that had been awarded for us I would have sat in
my chair in embarrassment.'

Trailing 13-7 with the final whistle
looming and Treviso eyeing a famous win, Cockerill's men ground out the
winning score as their power in the scrum finally told.

George Ford held his nerve to convert and send Leicester ahead of Toulouse in the standings.

Cockerill said: 'We're obviously
very relieved. Treviso made us work exceptionally hard but you have to
congratulate our players for sticking in there.'

Ben Youngs set up Adam Johnstone on 14 minutes but Alberto Di Bernardo kicked Treviso ahead before the drama.

Richard Cockerill, Leicester Tigers Head Coach

Back on track: Richard Cockerill's men have lived to fight another day

Pool Two now looks like a three-way
fight, with Ospreys beating Toulouse in the other fixture. The Tigers'
final day fixture against the French side is likely to decide their
destiny.

For Treviso,
progression from the group has never really been a realistic goal, but
there was much pride to play for having perfumed so well in the reverse
fixture, only to come away with nothing.

Once again they deserved so much better after an heroic effort.

Alberto Di Bernardo kicked everything that came his way for Franco Smith's men.

Pepe backheels Celta Vigo player in crotch

Madrid defender Pepe up to his old tricks with sneaky groin-level backheel

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UPDATED:

11:28 GMT, 13 December 2012

Turning the backheel – a beautiful piece of skill – into a way of kicking an opponent in the crotch is devious.

And if you were asked to guess which Real Madrid player managed to do this, the name Pepe would probably be your first answer.

Scroll down for video

In the wars: Pepe was involved in yet another controversial incident

In the wars: Pepe was involved in yet another controversial incident

Sensitive spot: Pepe's boot ends up somewhere Soto Roberto Lago would rather it didn't

Sensitive spot: Pepe's boot ends up somewhere Soto Roberto Lago would rather it didn't

It would also be a correct one, as last night in Madrid's Copa del Rey first leg against Celta Vigo Soto Roberto Lago felt the full force of the Portuguese centre-back's boot.

Pepe was frustrated as his side were losing 1-0 and looking fairly toothless – they ended up losing 2-1.

It's difficult to know whether he meant this deliberately or not – if, say, David Silva or Juan Mata were responsible it would go down as an unfortunate accident.

The referee was unsure himself and didn't produce a yellow card.

But Pepe has a history of being involved in similar incidents.

Remember that one time he repeatedly kicked Getafe captain Francisco Casquero after he took a tumble

Or the occasion he 'stepped' on Barcelona rival Lionel Messi's hand

Earlier thui year Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney labelled Pepe an 'idiot' after seeing the Messi incident.

Jack Wilshere also chipped in by tweeting 'Poor from Pepe!'.

After you pass judgement on whether he meant to kick Soto or not, watch this video (below) which 'celebrates' some of his more controversial moments.