Tag Archives: crewe

West Ham captain Kevin Nolan presented with cake to celebrate 100th goal

Icing on the cake! Nolan celebrates 100th goal with treat baked by kit man's sister

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:10 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Kevin Nolan notched up his 100th career goal last Saturday – and what better way for the West Ham captain to celebrate than tucking into some cake.

The 30-year-old midfielder scored in the hammers' 2-0 victory over Wigan at Upton Park to hit the century mark.

Landmark: Nolan was presented with a cake to celebrate scoring his 100th career goal

Landmark: Nolan was presented with a cake to celebrate scoring his 100th career goal

And yesterday he was presented with a cake baked by the sister of kit man James Saban to mark his achievement.

Nolan's 100th goal came almost 12 and a half years after his first for Bolton Wanderers in a 4-1 win over Crewe Alexandra in December 2000.

Let's celebrate: Nolan hit the century mark with his goal in West Ham's 2-0 win over Wigan last Saturday

Let's celebrate: Nolan hit the century mark with his goal in West Ham's 2-0 win over Wigan last Saturday

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend"s fixtures

FA Cup fourth round: The ultimate guide to all of this weekend's fixtures

PUBLISHED:

10:32 GMT, 25 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 25 January 2013

With a huge 758 clubs entering the FA Cup this season, there are just 32 left as we head into the fourth round of the competition.

Here Sportsmail has teamed up with statistic giants Opta to bring you all the latest facts and team news ahead of ALL this weekend's fixtures.

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Destination Wembley: Sixteen teams will make it through to round five

Millwall v Aston Villa

Aston Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood and striker Jordan Bowery will return to the squad for Friday evening's FA Cup fourth round clash at Millwall.

Westwood and Bowery were cup-tied for the midweek Capital One Cup semi-final setback against Bradford at Villa Park after playing in the competition for Crewe and Chesterfield respectively.

But defender Nathan Baker is again ruled out with a hamstring injury and it is too soon for centre-back Richard Dunne to be considered after recovering from his groin injury.

Millwall are short of options in attack with on-loan Derby forward Nathan Tyson injured, while Darius Henderson joined Nottingham Forest on Thursday.

Martyn Woolford is cup-tied, Shane Lowry is suspended and Scott Malone is still sidelined with a back injury but Liam Feeney is fit again.

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Available: Ashley Westwood (right) was cup tied midweek for the aggregate defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup semi-final

Millwall and Aston Villa have met five
times previously in the FA Cup, with Millwall progressing twice (both
after replays) and Villa going through on three occasions.

They were last drawn together in the fourth round in 1986, with Millwall progressing after a replay following a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

The Lions have only lost two of their last 17 FA Cup games on home soil (W10 D5).

Villa were eliminated in the fourth round last year, when they faced Arsenal at the Emirates losing 3-2.

Millwall have only won two of their last seven games (L3 D2), with both victories coming at the New Den.

Aston Villa have now progressed through each of their last 10 FA Cup ties against lower ranked sides. Darren Bent has scored in four of his last five matches in the FA Cup.

Aston Villa provisional squad: Guzan, Given,
Marshall, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Lichaj, Stevens, Bennett, Ireland,
Westwood, N'Zogbia, Bannan, Delph, Holman, Benteke, Agbonlahor, Bent,
Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams, Carruthers.

Stoke v Man City

Stoke defender Andy Wilkinson's back problem is likely to keep him out of Saturday's FA Cup fourth round tie at home to Manchester City.

The full-back sustained the problem in their third round replay last week and while Ryan Shotton played 45 minutes in a midweek friendly after a hamstring injury he may not be risked.

Thomas Sorensen is set to replace Asmir Begovic in goal, as has been the policy for cup matches this season.

Stoke and Man City have been drawn together seven time before in the FA Cup, with the Citizens progressing (or winning the final) four times and the Potters progressing on three occasions.

The most memorable of these meetings was the 2011 final, where Man City secured the trophy with a 1-0 win, courtesy of a Yaya Toure goal.
When drawn at the Britannia, the Potters are unbeaten in nine FA Cup games, winning seven and drawing two.

The last time City travelled to the Britannia in the FA Cup, they were eliminated, losing 3-1 in a replay back in February 2010.

The Citizens are enjoying a five game winning streak, netting 14 goals and shipping just three in the process.

City have won just two of their last eight on the road in the FA Cup, drawing three and losing three.

Man City are unbeaten in seven against the Potters in all competitions (three home wins, one neutral win and three away 1-1 draws).

Stoke provisional squad: Sorensen, Cameron,
Shawcross, Huth, Upson, Whelan, Nzonzi, Walters, Kightly, Etherington,
Jones, Sorensen, Whitehead, Crouch, Jerome, Adam, Palacios, Owen,
Shotton, Begovic.

Bolton v Everton
Bolton have not lost to Everton in the FA Cup since 1908, winning all three ties since then including in the semi-final back in 1953.

Overall, these North West rivals have been drawn together six times before, with Bolton progressing four times and Everton twice, both following a replay.

The Toffees are unbeaten in their last six away games in the FA Cup (W4 D2).

Everton have only kept three clean sheets in their last 14 FA Cup games, and only one on the road since 2009.

The Trotters are unbeaten in four games now (1W 3D), their second-longest run without defeat this season (six games in November).

Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard netted on the last occasion these sides met, though Bolton still won 2-1 at Goodison Park.

There have been three red cards in the last five clashes between the Trotters and the Toffees in all competitions.

Brighton v Arsenal

Arsenal will be without captain Thomas Vermaelen (ankle) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brighton.

Midfielders Abou Diaby (thigh) and Tomas Rosicky (calf) are set to be available again, but Mikel Arteta (calf), Francis Coquelin (hamstring) remain out.

Forward Gervinho is away at the African Nations Cup and goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski (foot) is not yet in contention.

This will be only the fourth time the clubs have met in the FA Cup and the third time in the fourth round. Arsenal have won all three previous ties without needing a replay.

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Setback: Tomas Rosicky (left) has played only four times for Arsenal this term

Their last meeting came in the fourth round in 1988, with The Gunners claiming a 2-1 victory.

Brighton have won their last two home FA Cup ties against Premier League opposition.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 33 games against lower ranked sides in the FA Cup, not losing since a 0-1 defeat at Sheffield United in 1996.

The Gunners have won none of their last three games on the road, losing one (v Chelsea) and drawing two (v Swansea in the FA Cup and v Southampton).

Brighton and Hove Albion defeated Newcastle United in the third round of the 1983 competition as they did earlier this campaign; they went on to reach the final 30 years ago.

The Gunners have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last seven away FA Cup games, shipping 12 in total in this away run.

Arsenal provisional squad:
Szczesny, Gibbs, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Cazorla,
Walcott, Ramsey, Wilshere, Giroud, Mannone, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santos,
Arshavin, Jenkinson, Diaby, Rosicky.

Derby v Blackburn
The two sides have been played each on 10 previous occasions in the FA Cup, with both sides progressing five times apiece.

The last meeting between these Championship rivals came back in 2001 at this stage, when Blackburn won 5-2 away in a replay after a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park.

Blackburn have lost their last four away games in the FA Cup.

The Rams have won five and lost none of their last six home FA Cup matches against teams from the same division.

Overall, the Rams have suffered just one defeat in their last five games, winning two and drawing two.

Blackburn have won two and lost just one of their last four trips to the home of the Rams, drawing the other 1-1 earlier this season.

Huddersfield v Leicester
Huddersfield and Leicester have never met in the FA Cup.
The Terriers have won four out of their last five home games in the cup (1L).

The Foxes have struggled of late on the road in the FA Cup, winning only once in nine games (D1 L7).

Jermaine Beckford has scored seven goals in his last five FA Cup appearances and 16 in 19 overall.

Simon Grayson’s Huddersfield side have won just one of their last 13 games (1-0 v Charlton in FA Cup), losing six and drawing six.

Leicester have won each of their last five games, netting 14 goals and conceding just one goal in the process, with that goal against coming in their 6-1 thrashing of Huddersfield on January 1st.

Hull v Barnsley
The two sides met in the third round in 1958, with the tie going to a replay after finishing 1-1. The Tigers eventually progressed to the fourth round after securing a 2-0 victory.

The Tigers have reached the fourth round 23 times, progressing 12 times, including in three of their last four at this stage.

The Tykes have won just one of their last eight fourth round games on the road outright; though they have drawn five of these and gone on to win the replay on each occasion.

Barnsley are enjoying a three game unbeaten streak (W2 D1), their longest run without defeat this season.
On home soil, Hull have enjoyed just one win in their last four games, drawing two and losing one.

The last four clashes between these Championship rivals have all ended in home wins, while only one of the last eight has been won by the away side.

Macclesfield v Wigan

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez looks set to make several changes for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie against Macclesfield.

Roger Espinoza and Angelo Henriquez are likely to start after making their Wigan debuts in the third-round win over Bournemouth, while Callum McManaman and Fraser Fyvie could also make rare appearances for the Latics.

Arouna Kone is unavailable as he is on African Nations Cup duty with Ivory Coast while Antolin Alcaraz (groin), Ivan Ramis (knee), Adrian Lopez (hamstring), midfielders Ben Watson (broken leg) and Albert Crusat (knee) and striker Ryo Miyaichi (ankle) are still unavailable.

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

Cup shock: Macclesfield players celebrate after eliminating Cardiff in round three

This is the first time in Macclesfield’s history that they’ve reached the fourth round.

The Latics and the Silkmen have never met in the FA Cup before.
Wigan haven’t advanced through the fourth round since 1987, where they claimed a 1-0 victory against Norwich City.

The Silkmen have never defeated top flight opposition in the FA Cup.

Despite enduring another difficult season, Wigan are unbeaten in their last three games on the road, winning two and drawing one.

Matthew Barnes-Homer has scored six goals in his last five appearances in all competitions for the Silkmen.

Wigan have won both previous competitive meetings with Macclesfield, beating them 1-0 away and 2-0 at home in the 1998/99 division two.

Wigan provisional squad: Al
Habsi, Pollitt, Boyce, Caldwell, Ramis, Figueroa, Beausejour, Jones,
Maloney, Espinoza, McCarthy, McArthur, Stam, McManaman, Di Santo,
Henriquez, Boselli, Fyvie, Redmond, Mustoe, Orsula, Morris.

Middlesbrough v Aldershot
Boro and Aldershot will meet for the first time in the competition in this clash.

The Shots have scored eight goals in three FA Cup games so far this season, though they are yet to face a team from a higher division.

Aldershot have not won away from home against a side from a higher division since 1983, when they won 3-1 at Portsmouth.

‘Boro have won 11 of their last 15 home FA Cup ties against sides from lower divisions than them (D3 L1).

At the Riverside, ‘Boro have lost just one of their last six games, winning the other five.

Aldershot’s Danny Hylton has only scored one league goal in 19 games all season, but has netted seven times in three FA Cup appearances for the Shots.

Aldershot Town have made the fourth round of the FA Cup for the first time since 1987, when they lost to Barnsley.

Norwich v Luton

Norwich manager Chris Hughton will again rotate his squad for Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Blue Square Premier side Luton at Carrow Road.

Declan Rudd will come into goal, while the likes of fit-again midfielder Andrew Surman, playmaker David Fox and winger Elliott Bennett are likely to get a chance to impress.

Full-back Steven Whittaker (hip) has resumed full training this week, so could come back into contention, but centre-half Sebastien Bassong (calf) may be rested again while striker Steve Morison (thigh) and England goalkeeper John Ruddy (thigh) remain sidelined.

This will be the fourth meeting between the Canaries and the Hatters in the FA Cup; the Hatters the first two, including the1959 semi, before Norwich won the most recent clash.

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

Cupset: Non-league Luton knocked out Wolves in the third round

The last clash between these sides in the cup also came in the fourth round and Norwich won 2-0 (1976).

It’s the first time since 2007 that Luton have made it to the fourth round. That year, they were eliminated by Blackburn Rovers.

Luton haven’t beaten a Premier League side since 1993/94, when they defeated West Ham 3-2 in sixth round replay.

Chris Hughton’s Canaries have managed just one win in their last seven games (3-0 v Peterborough in the FA Cup), losing five and drawing one.
The Canaries have won their last three against Luton in all competitions, winning both meetings in 2006/07 3-2.

Norwich provisional squad:
Rudd, Barnett, Martin, R Bennett, Tierney, Fox, Surman, Snodgrass,
Johnson, E Bennett, Jackson, Steer, Garrido, Tettey, Pilkington, Kane,
Holt, Whittaker, Hoolahan.

QPR v MK Dons
The R’s and the Dons met for the first time in any competition in the FA Cup last season, where they drew the original fixture 1-1 before QPR won 1-0 at Loftus Road, courtesy of a Danny Gabbidon strike.

The R’s have not won an FA Cup tie without the use of a replay since January 1997, when they beat Barnsley 3-2 at this stage in 1997.

MK Dons have scored 10 goals in their last four FA Cup games and they have never helped them reach the fourth round for the first time.

The Hoops have been improving under Harry Redknapp and remain unbeaten in 2013, winning two, drawing three, scoring four and shipping just two in the process.

The Dons have won two and drawn two of their last four games, shipping a total of just two goals in those four fixtures.

Milton Keynes eliminated a higher ranked side for the first time in their history in the third round of this season, beating Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 in a replay.

Reading v Sheffield United

Reading are without striker Jason Roberts (hip) for Saturday's FA Cup fourth round clash against Sheffield United.

Midfielder Jem Karacan suffered an unspecified knock in training but should be fit, while goalkeeper Alex McCarthy (shoulder) and midfielder Hope Akpan (cup-tied) are unavailable.

Striker Adam Le Fondre could start after scoring two vital goals as a substitute in the Royals' 2-1 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle last weekend.

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Royal no show: Jason Roberts (left) has been ruled out for Reading

Reading’s only previous encounter against the Blades was back in 1998 and ended in a 1-0 home victory for the Sheffield side.

Reading have kept only two clean sheets in 15 home cup ties.
The Blades have only won once in their last 18 away FA Cup games to higher level opposition, drawing three and losing 14.

The Royals have won their last three games in a row, the first time they’ve managed consecutive wins this season, with Adam Le Fondre netting five goals in total in those games.

Reading have won five of their last six FA Cup games against sides from lower leagues, though they did lose their last one at home (0-1 v Stevenage last season).

The Blades are unbeaten in five against Reading in all competitions, winning four.

United have also won their last three at the Madejski Stadium, not tasting defeat there since the 2006/07 Premier League.

Reading provisional squad:
Federici, Ugwu, Taylor, Gunter, Kelly, Cummings, Pearce, Morrison,
Mariappa, Shorey, Harte, McAnuff, Carrico, Tabb, Karacan, Kebe,
McCleary, Robson-Kanu, Leigertwood, Le Fondre, Hunt, Pogrebnyak.

Manchester United v Fulham

Ashley Young and Jonny Evans will remain on the sidelines for Manchester United's FA Cup fourth round tie with Fulham at Old Trafford.

England winger Young suffered a knee injury against Liverpool a fortnight ago, whilst Evans (hamstring) has not featured since the FA Cup draw at West Ham three weeks ago.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson must decide whether to stick with David De Gea in goal or recall Anders Lindegaard, who took over for the replay win against the Hammers.

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Old Trafford return: Dimitar Berbatov left Manchester United to join Fulham last summer

Fulham midfielder Kieran Richardson will miss the chance to take on former club Manchester United.

The 28-year-old suffered a calf injury in last weekend's defeat at Manchester City and will not be fit in time for the game at Old Trafford, although he is likely to return to training next week.

Mahamadou Diarra (knee) is not likely to play again for a month whilst Kerim Frei (pelvis) is also absent.

The two clubs have met nine times before in the FA Cup, with United progressing through the last seven after elimination in the first two (1905 and 1908).

The last time they played each other in the fourth round was in 1979, when the Red Devils won 1-0 in a home replay after drawing 1-1 in London.

United have only lost twice in their last 18 FA Cup games at home, winning 14.

Fulham have won 10 out of their last 11 FA Cup fourth round ties, though they were eliminated at this stage last season (to Everton).

Robin Van Persie has scored in each of his last six games for United (seven goals in total) and has bagged 11 in his last 11 appearances.

Martin Jol’s Whites have registered just two wins in their last nine games, losing four and drawing three.

The Red Devils have won their last 10 at home to Fulham in all competitions, not even sharing the spoils with the Whites since a 1-3 defeat in October 2003.

Manchester United provisional squad:
Lindegaard, De Gea, Amos, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Buttner, Evra,
Cleverley, Giggs, Anderson, Scholes, Carrick, Kagawa, Nani, Hernandez,
Rooney, Welbeck, Van Persie.

Fulham provisional squad:
Schwarzer, Somogyi, Etheridge, Riether, Hangeland, Hughes, Senderos,
Riise, Briggs, Dejagah, Baird, Sidwell, Karagounis, Kacaniklic, Duff,
Kasami, Ruiz, Rodallega, Berbatov, Petric, Davies.

Brentford v Chelsea
The only time the West London clubs have met in the FA Cup was in 1950, where Chelsea won 1-0 at Griffin Park.

The Blues have won 15 of their last 16 FA Cup fourth round ties, losing the other on penalties to Everton.

Chelsea have only lost one of their last 35 FA Cup games outright; 0-1 v Barnsley in March 2008 (W29 D5 L1).

The Blues have shipped just nine goals in their last 13 away FA Cup games combined, and never more than once in single match in this run.

The Bees have won just one of their last 13 FA Cup games against

Premier League sides; beating Sunderland at this stage in 2006 (W1 D3 L9).

Juan Mata has now scored four goals and assisted five in just eight FA Cup appearances for Chelsea.

Frank Lampard has been involved in 10 goals in his last nine FA Cup appearances; scoring six and assisted four.

Leeds v Tottenham
The two clubs have faced each other five times in the FA Cup before, with Leeds winning just one tie (sixth round in 1972).

The most recent meeting came back in 2010, in the fourth round, when the original tie ended 2-2. The replay saw Spurs win 3-1 at Elland Road, courtesy of a Jermain Defoe hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

AVB’s Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three.

After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

Oldham v Liverpool
The two clubs met last year in the third round, in a one-sided match dominated by Liverpool who won 5-1.

Oldham have lost all four matches against Liverpool in the FA Cup.
The Reds have won five and lost just two of their last nine away games in the FA Cup (D2).

Oldham have won two of their last four FA Cup games against Premier League sides, including a win against Merseysiders Everton in 2008.

The Latics have lost each of their last four games at Boundary Park, conceding exactly two goals in each of those defeats.

Brendan Rodgers’ Reds are enjoying a good run of form, winning four of their last five (losing the other one), with Luis Suarez netting six goals in total in those games.

The Reds have won their last three against Oldham in all competitions, but did lose 2-3 at Boundary Park in the Premier League back in May 1993.

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth

FA Cup shocks continue as Dorchester beat Plymouth and Altrincham hold Burton

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UPDATED:

19:44 GMT, 4 November 2012

Jake Gosling's second-half strike helped non-league Dorchester produce another FA Cup upset this weekend as they reached the second round with a 1-0 win over npower League Two side Plymouth.

The Pilgrims got off to the worst possible start when Conor Hourihane picked up two yellow cards inside the opening 10 minutes.

Exeter loanee Gosling, released by Plymouth aged 16, converted from close range after a left-wing cross had been flicked on by long-serving defender Mark Jermyn to book the Blue Square Bet South side a second round clash at fellow non-league outfits Luton or Nuneaton.

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Happy days: Dorchester Town celebrate their shock win over Plymouth

Only a late strike from Calvin Zola prevented another surprise result as Burton snatched a 3-3 draw at home to Blue Square Bet North side Altrincham.

Albion are play-off contenders in League Two and although Altrincham striker Damian Reeves saw his fourth-minute spot-kick saved, they still took a 2-0 half-time lead thanks to Carl Rodgers' strike and Nathan Stanton's own goal.

Zander Diamond halved the deficit and Robbie Weir missed a penalty before Jacques Maghoma levelled proceedings.

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Lucky escape: Zander Diamond scores Burton's second goal against Altrincham

Burton still looked to be heading out when defender Damien McCrory put through his own net in the 86th minute but Zola spared their blushes to ensure a replay, with Crewe awaiting the winners.

Gloucester City and Leyton Orient's clash as well as Braintree's encounter with League One leaders Tranmere both fell foul of the weather, with Alfreton and Chesterfield awaiting the respective winners.

New dates for the rearranged games are yet to be announced.

Nick Powell cannot wait to play in Champions League

Bring it on! United starlet Powell can't wait to make Champions League debut

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UPDATED:

10:03 GMT, 19 September 2012

Teenage midfielder Nick Powell has admitted it would be a dream come true to feature for Manchester United in the Champions League.

Powell, who joined United from Crewe for 4million in the summer, caught the eye on his United debut against Wigan on Sunday, scoring the final goal in a 4-0 rout.

The 18-year-old has revealed he grew up watching United play in the Champions League, and he is hoping to be involved when they welcome Galatasaray on Wednesday night.

Star of the future: Powell (centre) scored on his Man United debut

Star of the future: Powell (centre) scored on his Man United debut

'Growing up I always watched a lot of United in the competition and I can’t wait to be involved – it’s one of the biggest competitions around,' Powell told ManUtd.com.

'Obviously everyone wants to win the Premier League, but being the best in Europe would be a great thing.

'The team want to improve after what happened last season and we’ll all be pushing hard to do well.

'It’s a competition I’ve dreamed of playing in. When you watch the likes of United, Real Madrid and Barcelona, you want to play against them because they’re the best in the world,' he added.

'I’m just looking forward to experiencing the whole atmosphere of the games. You can get a lot of lively atmospheres in Europe – I’ve heard all about the Galatasaray fans and how much noise they make. Hopefully it will be a good game on Wednesday.'

Nick Powell says he won"t get carried away by Manchester United debut goal

I won't get carried away – my dad won't let me! United new-boy Powell keen to build on debut goal

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UPDATED:

09:38 GMT, 17 September 2012

Nick Powell says his dad will make sure he does not get too big for his boots after he scored on his Manchester United debut.

The 18-year-old midfielder scored United’s fourth goal in the 4-1 win over Wigan on Saturday and says he is keen to build on his dream debut – but insists he won’t get carried away with his good start.

Powell moved to Old Trafford in the summer from Crewe for 4million and is hoping to bring attacking menace to United’s midfield.

Dream start: Nick Powell celebrates with Robin van Persie after scoring on his debut

Dream start: Nick Powell celebrates with Robin van Persie after scoring on his debut

He told MUTV: ‘It was great to make my debut. To then cap it off with a goal is what I’ve been working for.

‘Dario (Gradi, Crewe’s director of football) used to say my game isn’t just attacking and defending, it’s about goals as well and I proved that last season and hopefully I can do that for United.

Pick that one out: Powell fires his shot from the edge of the area

Pick that one out: Powell fires his shot from the edge of the area

Despite his impressive cameo, however, Powell says he will keep his feet on the ground and continue learning from his elder peers. 'My dad will keep me in touch, I’ll tell you that

‘I’m just going to go home, have this great feeling and I’ll keep myself on the ground.

Experience: Ryan Giggs

Landmark: Paul Scholes

Learning game: Powell says hopes to improve after training with the likes of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes

'When I first came on it scared me a little bit, to be fair, because I’m only used to 5,000 people now and then, but it’s a great atmosphere – the fans are great. It wasn’t the hardest game because they made it easier for me but I’m happy to be on the pitch getting minutes.

'I learn every day, especially from the midfielders – Scholes, Carrick, Giggsy – they’re all great, they’ve all been through it and won trophies. That’s what I want to do, so I hope to learn off them every day.'

Nick Powell proves there is life after Paul Scholes at Manchester United

United new boy Powell proves there's life after Scholes with stunning strike in Wigan rout

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 16 September 2012

Paul Scholes remains an irrepressible force at the heart of Manchester United's midfield. Happily for Sir Alex Ferguson, he is no longer irreplaceable.

The United manager was beginning to fear he might be but is convinced he has, at last, found a solution in the form of Nick Powell, a 6million summer signing from Crewe.

On target: Powell scored in the thrashing of Wigan at Old Trafford

On target: Powell scored in the thrashing of Wigan at Old Trafford

Still six months short of his 19th birthday, Powell might have expected to be loaned out to gain experience elsewhere, but Ferguson turned down all requests in the belief that Powell has the talent and temperament to make an immediate impact at Old Trafford. Not for the first time, his judgement seems beyond reproach.

Perfect start: Powell scored his first goal for United since his 6m move from Crewe

Perfect start: Powell scored his first goal for United since his 6m move from Crewe

On the Paul: Scholes scored on his 700th appearance for the Old Trafford club

On the Paul: Scholes scored on his 700th appearance for the Old Trafford club

MATCH FACTS

Manchester United (4-4-2): Lindegaard 6; Rafael 6, Vidic 7 (Evans 77min), Ferdinand 6, Buttner 7; Nani 7, Carrick 7, Scholes 8 (Van Persie 71, 6), Giggs 6 (Powell 71, 7); Welbeck 7, Hernandez 6.
Subs not used: De Gea, Valencia, Cleverley, Kagawa.
Booked: Buttner, Welbeck.
Scorers: Scholes 51, Hernandez 63, Buttner 66, Powell 82.

Wigan (3-5-2): Al-Habsi 6; Ramis 6, Caldwell 7, Figueroa 7; Boyce 7, McArthur 6, McCarthy 7, Maloney 7 (Gomez 58, 6), Beausejour 6 (Jones 69, 6); Di Santo 7, Kone 6.
Subs not used: Pollitt, Crusat, Watson, Boselli, Miyaichi. Booked: Boyce, McArthur.
Referee: Michael Oliver 5.
Man of the match: Paul Scholes.
Attendance: 75,142.

It was like a changing of the guard when
on 71 minutes Scholes, who marked his 700th appearance with a goal,
just as he did his 100th, 200th, 300th, 400th, and 500th, was replaced
by Powell, who completed the scoring with a Scholes-like 20-yard shot
into the top corner.

'The boy is going to be a really good player, who we hope is going to fill Paul Scholes's boots,' said Ferguson.

'He's got terrific vision, a good temperament, two great feet, he's quick and is a great striker of the ball.'

Ferguson was also pleased with the performance of left back Alexander Buttner, who also marked his debut with a goal.

'Some of his play was good but I think he was a little bit rash at times,' he said.

'He has a great engine and enthusiasm but is raw, with a lot of rough edges.'

Christian Benteke signs for Aston Villa

Villa finally get their man as 7m striker Benteke pens four-year deal

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 31 August 2012

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Belgium international striker Christian Benteke in a 7million move from Genk.

The 21-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year contract after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical.

Villa had two initial bids rejected for Benteke but finally agreed a fee before the player flew into Birmingham on Friday.

Done deal: Christian Benteke has signed for Aston Villa

Done deal: Christian Benteke has signed for Aston Villa

Benteke is Villa's eighth signing of the summer and takes their spending during that period to just under 25 million.

He has been a major target in recent weeks for Villa manager Paul Lambert, who has watched the player in action on several occasions and feels he is the ideal kind of forward to supplement penalty-box predator Darren Bent and the speedy Gabriel Agbonlahor.

Benteke has netted three times in
five games this season after being on target 18 times during the 2011-12
campaign in all competitions.

He was also scored for his country for the first time in the 4-2 win over Holland earlier this month in what was his fifth cap.

Benteke
joins striker Jordan Bowery (Chesterfield) and midfielder Ashley
Westwood (Crewe) in moving to Villa on transfer deadline day.

'I am still young and I have realised my dream. My dream was to come here and I am very happy.' Benteke told Sky Sports News.

New boy: Ashley Westwood

New boy: Ashley Westwood

'I hope I will be a success. I am motivated.

'It was difficult and I say thank you to Genk and everyone there. I will go forward for a new challenge.

'I think every player wants to come to the Premier League and I am very happy.'

Benteke also admits he has taken his inspiration from fellow Belgian internationals Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Eden Hazard who all play in England.

He said: 'It was motivation for me when I went to join up with the national team and saw all the players from the Premier League – Kompany, Vermaelen and Hazard. It made me want to play here.

'But the manager also convinced me this was the perfect move.

'Aston Villa is a very historic football club and my colleagues on international duty have said good things about the football here in England.

'I am looking forward to getting my career started in the Premier League. I am a striker and I can play with my back to the goal. I can also play behind the striker and I am good in the air.

'I know Darren Bent is a great striker and I want to play with him and work hard for the team.'

Lambert added: 'Christian is only 21 years of age but already he's an established Belgian international and he's had a terrific time at Genk.

'He's something very different to what we have here and that added dimension will enhance the football club.

'A young lad he may be, but he's definitely a handful. He's tall, powerful, he has pace and we'll be stronger with him in the side.

'We're stronger now as a unit and we're trying to build step by step. This is an important step. I believe in the players I have here that they can go and perform.'

Meanwhile, Nathan Delfounso has joined Blackpool on loan.

Capital One Cup: Football League clubs forced to play strong sides

Anger at Cup ruling after Football League clubs forced to play strong teams

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 27 August 2012

Football League clubs are under strict orders not to play weakened teams in the League Cup this season — but Premier League teams can do as they please.

The new rule has been introduced into the newly named Capital One Cup, in an effort to ensure supporters get value for money, but has provoked anger at Football League clubs.

Aston Villa's Scottish manager Paul Lambert

Leeds manager Neil Warnock

Rules: Paul Lambert (left) can field a weakened team but Neil Warnock must not

Aggrieved managers feel the principle of different rules for teams in the same competition is unfair and raised the issue at a recent LMA meeting.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert can rotate his squad and rest players against Tranmere on Tuesday, as can West Ham against Crewe, but Leeds, who play Oxford, are among those clubs who must field a strong team.

West Ham spend most on agents fees

Hammers pay out the most as more than 21m is spent on agents fees in Football League

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UPDATED:

10:20 GMT, 9 August 2012

West Ham spent the most money on agents fees in the Football League last season, with more than 21 million in total shelled out.

The Hammers, who were promoted to the Premier League via the play-offs, paid out more than 4m.

The Football League has revealed in its annual report that 21.7m was spent, up on the previous season (16,658,976), although clubs engaged in more player transactions between the period July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012 were down – 3,144 compared to 2,910 the year before.

Championship clubs accounted for 18.7million of this total, with League One and League Two clubs spending 1.8million and 0.9million respectively.

Biggest spenders: West Ham won the Championship play-off final last season

Biggest spenders: West Ham won the Championship play-off final last season

Clubs committed to pay agents in 702 (22 per cent) of the 3,144 player transactions that took place. In the previous year it was 570 (20 per cent) of 2,910 transactions.

Five clubs (Hartlepool, Accrington, AFC Wimbledon, Barnet and Crewe) did not spend any money on agents' fees during 2011/12 while a further 22 clubs spent less than 25,000.

In announcing the figures Football League chairman Greg Clarke said: 'While 21m is a lot of money leaving the game, it should also be noted that a considerable amount of this total has been spent by a small number of clubs.

'In fact, almost a fifth of the overall figure was spent by one club alone.

Chairman: Greg Clarke

Chairman: Greg Clarke

'Where such spending forms part of a sustainable business plan it shouldn't be of great concern and supporters should be encouraged to see our clubs committing themselves to the new Financial Fair Play regulations that will take effect across all three divisions in the new season.

'In time, these rules will require clubs
to be more circumspect with regard to their spending and may help
reduce the costs incurred in this area.'

Of the 18,704,976 spent on agents'
fees by Championship clubs, West Ham (4,314,270) accounted for more
than a quarter of the spending as they made a successful return to the
Premier League at the first attempt.
Championship
title winners Reading (1,662,163), Leicester (1,812,371) and Crystal
Palace (1,170,950) were the only other clubs to spend seven-figure sums
on fees. Those four clubs accounted for almost half (8,959,754) of the
total spend in the division.

Champions Charlton (265,170) and runners-up Sheffield Wednesday (332,620) were the biggest spenders on agents' fees in League One.
Huddersfield (213,343), who were also promoted via the play-offs, had the fourth highest total in the division.

Hartlepool did not commit any money in agents' fees and for the second year running were the only club in League One to do so.

League Two champions Swindon spent 448,506, accounting for 43 per cent of the 1,036,198 spent on agents' fees for that division.

The only other club in League Two to break into six-figures for fees was Crawley (136,800), who were promoted along with the Robins.

Crewe managed to go up via the play-offs without committing any money in agents' fees, while Accrington, AFC Wimbledon and Barnet joined the Alex in not spending a penny on fees.

Rio Ferdinand prepares Manchester United signings for world tour

You'll feel like The Beatles! Ferdinand prepares new signings for United's world tour

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 16 July 2012

Rio Ferdinand has told new signings Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell that going on tour with Manchester United will make them feel 'like The Beatles'.

Kagawa and Powell, who cost United a combined 16million from Borussia Dortmund and Crewe, are expected to make their first appearances for United on the current trip to South Africa and China.

It kicks off with a game against AmaZulu FC in Durban on Wednesday, with Ferdinand captaining a United squad that flew into South Africa on Monday missing a number of top players involved in Euro 2012 and the Olympic Games.

Mobbed: Javier Hernandez signs autographs after Man United touch down in Durban

Mobbed: Javier Hernandez signs autographs after Man United touch down in Durban

That is likely to give Kagawa and Powell an early chance to shine, and Ferdinand knows from experience how shocked they will be at United's popularity abroad.

'When I signed it was just before a tour,' he said. 'You just think to yourself “how can it be this big on the other side of the planet”, but that's the club it is and it's great to be a part of that.

'I remember talking to Nicky Butt about how big United are over in Malaysia. When we went anywhere, it was like The Beatles coming into town.

'With United it's crazy in Asia. You can't leave the hotel in downtime or leisure time because there are just so many fans there. You'd be ushered back in or need security to go out.

'It's so much easier when you live with people on tour, you get to understand them better. It's vital for a new signing, being on the training ground with the rest of the squad.

'As a senior player, you have a
responsibility to help the younger players. It's important how you
conduct yourself around the hotel and how you apply yourself in
training.

New boys: Kagawa (above) and Powell (below, centre)

New boys: Kagawa (above) and Powell (below, centre)

New boys: Kagawa (above) and Powell (below, centre)

'That's the biggest thing I noticed when I joined. The application of players and intensity of training was so much different to anywhere I'd been before.

'We've signed Nick Powell, who's going to be a promising young player, and Shinji Kagawa, and it's going to be cool having him in the team.

'He's trained with the lads and looks really sharp. I've seen him play a couple of times for Dortmund, and in the German Cup Final as well, and he's always impressed me.

'He's got a fair understanding of the English language, which will make his life easier. He probably already speaks more English than Anderson, so he's doing well!

'Nick Powell scored a ridiculous goal in the play-off finals, so he looks a really good player as well.'

After Durban, United face Ajax Cape Town on Saturday before flying on to China where they play Shanghai Shenhua next week.

Ferdinand added: 'It's important we
don't lose a game in pre-season because we're playing for Manchester
United. You can't pretend it doesn't mean anything. It doesn't work like
that. At this club, each individual player wants to do well for himself
and prove to the manager that he's capable.

New era: Kagawa and Powell will hope to impress Ferguson on tour

New era: Kagawa and Powell will hope to impress Ferguson on tour

'The games in pre-season are where you find your match sharpness. You just want to get out there are play, even just putting on the new kit, simple things like that, how it looks and feels. It's good we're going to places like South Africa and China, where we have lots of fans. They can see the new signings as well.

'It's nice to be back. When you see the fixtures you can start planning the season. You start working things out in your head; chomping at the bit to get back into it, then the games start coming thick and fast. The way the season ended, the sooner we get back into it the better.'

As United continue to be linked with Sao Paulo playmaker Lucas Moura and Everton defender Leighton Baines, Ferdinand admitted that the players are just as much in the dark as supporters over Sir Alex Ferguson's transfer plans.

'We're excited by the new signings, just like fans,' he added. 'You walk down the street and people ask who we're signing but we want to know as well. I'm always asking the management about their plans.

'The manager has got all the answers in his back pocket but he won't tell us. We're like fans in that respect and we just wait for the next person to come through the door.'

Meanwhile, United have retained their title as the world's most valuable sports team, according to an annual top 50 list published by Forbes.

The club were valued at 1.42billion, well ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.