Tag Archives: crown

Mario Balotelli scores again for AC Milan, his fourth goal in three league games, with a curling free-kick against Parma

Milan falls deeper in love with Mario (and so does his girlfriend) after Balotelli grabs his FOURTH goal in three games back home

-13 season for Manchester City.

The volatile Italian forward has made an instant impact on his return to Milan and he scored yet again with a 78th-minute free-kick at the San Siro in a 2-1 win over Parma.

His girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha, a Belgian model, was in the stands to see his curling free-kick and she caught the eye as she made heart shapes with her hands… presumably aimed at Balotelli.

You beauty: Mario Balotelli curls in a 78th-minute free-kick against Parma

You beauty: Mario Balotelli curls in a 78th-minute free-kick against Parma

Flying start! The Italian scored his fourth goal in three league games for Milan

Flying start! The Italian scored his fourth goal in three league games for Milan

Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli

Why always me Balotelli celebrates his goal at the San Siro

Embrace: Balotelli celebrates his goal with team-mate Riccardo Montolivo

Embrace: Balotelli celebrates his goal with team-mate Riccardo Montolivo

Since Balotelli left the Etihad in January, not a lot has gone right for Manchester City as draws against QPR and Liverpool as well as defeat at Southampton have all but ended their chances of retaining the Premier League crown they won on a dramatic final day last year.

But the controversial striker has made a flying start to his Milan career, which began with fireworks on the day of his arrival.

In the stands: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

In the stands: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

Guest: Balotelli's girlfriend Fanny Robert Neguesha makes a heart shape with her hands

Chelsea fan accused of "monkey" taunt at Danny Welbeck will face no further action

Chelsea fan accused of aiming 'monkey' taunt at Welbeck will face no further action as CPS claim there is 'insufficient evidence'

|

UPDATED:

16:04 GMT, 13 December 2012

No further action will be taken against a man who was arrested on suspicion of racist behaviour following Chelsea's League Cup win over Manchester United, Scotland Yard said.

Pictures taken during the October 31 fourth-round tie at Stamford Bridge appeared to show a fan making a 'monkey' gesture.

A 28-year-old man was arrested over alleged racist behaviour. United striker Danny Welbeck appeared to be the target of the alleged abuse.

A CPS London spokesperson said: 'We have thoroughly reviewed the evidence in this case in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

No action: The Chelsea supporter will face no further charges after appearing to make a racist gesture

No action: The Chelsea supporter will face no further charges after appearing to make a racist gesture

Taunt: Chelsea supporter Gavin Kirkham will face no further charges after appearing to make a racist gesture

'To bring a charge for a racially
aggravated public order offence we need to be able to prove in a court
either that an individual’s gestures demonstrate hostility towards the
victim based on the victim's membership (or presumed membership) of a
racial group, or that the offence is motivated (wholly or partly) by
hostility towards members of a racial group based on their membership of
that group.

'It is our decision that, having
looked closely at video footage, an image of the incident and witness
statements, the evidence does not demonstrate this to the standard
required for a prosecution. There is therefore insufficient evidence for
a realistic prospect of conviction and we are therefore not bringing a
charge against this individual.'

Other fans in the crowd were
interviewed and CCTV footage has been examined but 'a decision was taken
with the Crown Prosecution Service to proceed with no further action,'
the Scotland Yard spokesman said.

He
said: 'The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) takes any allegation of
racist chanting and/or behaviour very seriously and if any matters are
brought to our attention they will of course be thoroughly investigated.

'The MPS routinely
work very closely with football clubs and partner agencies to monitor
behaviour to ensure public confidence and safety.'

Peter Herbert, chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, told Sportsmail: 'We are surprised and very disappointed with this decision. We will be taking this matter up with the CPS and also the Metropolitan Police in due course. This decision is not in the public interest and they need to be held to account for it.'

Earlier
this year, Chelsea imposed a lifetime ban on a supporter who admitted
racially abusing former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba.

Tony Bellew fights through the blood to step closer to world shot

Bellew fights through the blood to step closer to world shot

|

UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 17 November 2012

Tony Bellew survived a nasty cut to
jump a step closer to a world title shot with a unanimous decision win
over Argentina's Roberto Bolonti in Nottingham.

The fiery Liverpudlian was seeking
to build on his recent win over Edison Miranda as he looks to earn a
second bid for world honours.

Bellew had shown his world title
credentials in a premature and unsuccessful shot at Nathan Cleverly's
WBO light-heavyweight title last year and has been rebuilding towards
another crack since then.

Stepping stone: Tony Bellew celebrates his victory over Roberto Bolonti

Stepping stone: Tony Bellew celebrates his victory over Roberto Bolonti

He continued that progress at the Capital FM Arena with a solid win over Bolonti despite suffering a nasty third-round cut above the right eye which had initially looked potentially catastrophic to his hopes.

Tonight's scrap with Bolonti was essentially an eliminator of sorts for the WBC crown, with the body's inconsequential 'silver' belt on the line.

Evertonian Bellew, 29, had a record of 18-1 (12KO wins) heading into the bout while 33-year-old Bolonti (30-1, 19KO wins) was boxing outside Argentina for the first time.

Bellew provided the early pressure and landed a left which wobbled Bolonti mid-round.

Through the gate: Tony Bellew throws a punch

Through the gate: Tony Bellew throws a punch

A right to the top of the head then put Bolonti down, though the South American may have lost his footing.

He beat Victor Loughlin's count and survived the round as Bellew failed to capitalise, despite landing a big right.

The second round was all Bellew until a cheeky right from Bolonti gave him food for thought.

A left hook put Bolonti down in the third but again he rose quickly with a clear head.

He was certainly more wary as a result but things threatened to turn when Bellew suffered a bad cut over the right eye, thought to be from a Bolonti left hook.

Down and out: Tony Bellew knocks Roberto Bolonti down

Down and out: Tony Bellew knocks Roberto Bolonti down

The wound was far from superficial as blood flowed into the Englishman's right eye but Bellew at least had Mick Williamson, a renowned cutsman, in his corner.

A left hook to the body by Bellew punctuated a quieter fifth round with the Briton remaining patient safe in the knowledge Williamson had worked his magic on the cut.

Bellew landed a left uppercut in the ninth which was the best shot of the middle rounds while a left hook to the mid-section was correctly adjudged to have been too low.

A right uppercut seemed to hurt Bolonti and Bellew piled in, landing combinations for the first time in several rounds.

Tough test: Roberto Bolonti gets a shot in against Tony Bellew

Tough test: Roberto Bolonti gets a shot in against Tony Bellew

While the pace was slow and the action fractured, Bellew was winning the rounds with relative ease.

Another uppercut in the 10th led to another aggressive flurry but again Bolonti held it together.

At the final bell the fighters embraced, with both men claiming to have won. But the victory was clearly Bellew's, with scores of 120-106, 119-107 and 120-106.

Kolo Toure wants transfer to French club

Toure admits to French fancy as outcast defender eyes Man City exit

|

UPDATED:

12:46 GMT, 1 November 2012

Out of favour: Toure (right) could leave in January

Out of favour: Toure (right) could leave in January

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure has revealed that he is tempted by the prospect of a move to France to play in their fast-improving Ligue 1.

The money pumped into Paris Saint-Germain by their oil-rich Qatari owners has helped them to attract stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and has swiftly improved the quality of France's top flight.

Toure has fallen well down the pecking order at Manchester City since he was suspended for a failed drugs test in March 2011 and he made just 13 appearances as City won their maiden Premier League crown last season.

'Why not France' said the 31-year-old when quizzed on his City future. 'There is PSG, Lille and the league is getting stronger.'

With Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Matija Nastasic all being favoured to the Ivorian this season he could be on the move in January.

Toure joined City from Arsenal in a 16million deal in 2009 and plays alongside his brother and international team-mate Yaya at the Etihad Stadium.

Nile Ranger convicted of assault on two police officers

Newcastle striker Ranger convicted of assault on two police officers after night out

|

UPDATED:

13:09 GMT, 15 October 2012

Conviction: Nile Ranger

Conviction: Nile Ranger

Newcastle striker Nile Ranger has been convicted of two counts of assault by beating against two police officers.

But he was cleared of two counts of actual bodily harm on two members of the public.

Ranger, 21, was on a night out in Newcastle city centre with his cousin on August 27 last year.

At about 2am he was approached by a group of white males and a confrontation ensued which resulted in Ranger punching two of them.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard that the footballer had been the victim of racial taunts and that his actions were in self-defence.

He fled the scene but, when police tried to detain him, he twice pushed them away, causing minor injuries.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay 750 to each officer.

Kolo Toure: Defence crisis could cost Manchester City title

Defence crisis could cost Man City Premier League crown, concedes Toure

|

UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 26 September 2012

Defender Kolo Toure admits Manchester City have to find an answer to their defensive problems if they want to remain in the hunt for trophies.

A much-changed team slipped to a surprise 4-2 defeat at home to Aston Villa in the third round of the Capital One Cup having twice taken the lead.

Roberto Mancini's side have conceded 14 goals in seven matches – 16 in eight matches if the Community Shield is counted – and have yet to keep a clean sheet.

Below par: Man City have made a stuttering start to the season

Below par: Man City have made a stuttering start to the season

Conceding two late goals in the Bernabeu cost them a famous victory against Real Madrid last week and now one of the four competitions they would have expected to challenge in has slipped through their grasp.

Defensive errors certainly cost them against Villa and Toure accepts it is a concern.

'It was a disappointing night,' he said. 'The team didn't play well. We conceded four goals, which is not good, and we gave some cheap goals to Villa as well.

'It concerns us because a team like Man City cannot expect to concede four goals at home.

'Since the season started we have not had a clean sheet and that is very important when you want to be a top club, you have to defend better as a team.

'As a defender and as a group we have to work on it because mistakes were done by a few players and when you win it is every body so when you lose it is everybody.'

After the defeat Mancini accepted his side had been poor and that defensively they needed to tighten up.

'This is a problem. We need to work with our defenders because they don't work well at this moment,' said the Italian.

'When the situation is like this we have to understand our mistake and do our best for the future.'

Toure's foreseeable future seems destined to be on the bench as, after just one start and a substitute appearance prior to last night, he was hoping a good cup run would give him more pitch time.

Villa thriller: City were dumped out of the League Cup on Tuesday night

Villa thriller: City were dumped out of the League Cup on Tuesday night

But now that avenue has been closed off to him and several others the focus has to be on ensuring he is still able to do a job for the first team should he be called upon.

'It is disappointing to go out,' he told CityTV. 'For us we don't have a lot of games to play in and this was a chance to have a few games but we've wasted that.

'I think it is going to be hard maybe to play now but we will work hard to try to get a chance to play in the Premier League.'

City are still awaiting an update on midfielder Jack Rodwell's groin injury after he pulled out of the starting line-up having been injured in the warm-up.

Camelot fails to win St Leger and Triple Crown

Camelot denied historic Triple Crown as 25/1 outsider Encke wins St Leger

|

UPDATED:

14:59 GMT, 15 September 2012

Camelot failed in his bid to become the first Triple Crown winner since Nijinsky in 1970 as Encke claimed the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster.

Camelot, trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Joseph O'Brien, raced towards the rear through the early stages but made smooth progress at the half-mile pole.

All seemed to be going well as he was eased out to make his challenge two furlongs from home but Mickael Barzalona appeared to steal a slight march on Mahmood Al Zarooni's 25-1 chance Encke, who went clear.

Denied: Camelot, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, failed to win the St Leger

Denied: Camelot, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, failed to win the St Leger

Camelot (2-5 favourite) gave chase but never looked like he would quite get there, finishing three-quarters of a length in arrears.

Andy Murray appointing Ivan Lendl was a masterstroke

The Midas touch: Murray's bold move to bring in Lendl as coach has proved a masterstroke

|

UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 11 September 2012

To the non-surprise of anyone who knows him, Ivan Lendl was not among those in Andy Murray's camp scarcely containing their glee and drinking champagne from plastic cups in the Arthur Ashe Stadium's entry hall here late on Monday night.

About as starry as it got for old stoneface was a quick hug from Sir Sean Connery.

While Lendl was happily flinging around a few of his verbal custard pies there was no obvious emotion in him as he lingered on the edge of the festivities.

Mentor: Ivan Lendl (left) has helped Andy Murray (right) become one of the world's best tennis players

Mentor: Ivan Lendl (left) has helped Andy Murray (right) become one of the world's best tennis players

Make it public: Andy Murray has made a number of appearances since winning the US Open, including with Matthew Perry (right) on the NBC Today Show

Make it public: Andy Murray has made a number of appearances since winning the US Open, including with Matthew Perry (right) on the NBC Today Show

'Smiling, it's overrated,' he said,
only half in jest. 'I like jokes, but I don't like smiling too much. I
didn't come here to have a good time, I came here to help Andy win and
he did, so it's job done.'

Never a man to dwell long on success,
rather like Sir Alex Ferguson, who had been seated two rows behind him,
it partly looked like he could not wait to get back to his family, his
dogs and his golf.

Indeed, Lendl did not even attend the
late night celebrations in a Manhattan Japanese restaurant because he
had a 7am tee time the next morning.

But he is a man of considerable depth
and will doubtless reflect on the remarkable symmetry that now exists
between his playing career and that of his charge.

Murray has also won a Grand Slam
final at his fifth attempt, but even in the joyous wake of it the
52-year-old Czech had a stern warning.

Winning mentality: Under Lendl, Murray has taken Olympic gold and the US Open crown

Winning mentality: Under Lendl, Murray has taken Olympic gold and the US Open crown

'What I don't want to happen now is
what happened to me,' he said. 'Remember I went on to 1-6 in Slam finals
after that before I started winning a lot. Andy is now 1-4 in finals,
and I don't want him going 1-6 like me.'

The effect he has had means that
there is ample cause for self-congratulation, but so much credit should
go to Murray for hiring him in the first place: it was always bold and
has turned out to be a masterstroke.

Lendl thought back to the early
January afternoon at Melbourne's August Kooyong Tennis Club and talked
of how he admired the Scot's decision to bring him in because it 'ups
the ante' and would bring a pressure of its own.

'I admired him just for that and I
quickly knew that it was going to work out,' said Lendl. 'You can't do
it in one week or one month and Andy and I were saying let's give it six
to nine months before we really start to see results. Now you do the
maths.'

The Scot has reached new heights in his abilities since taking Lendl on

The Scot has reached new heights in his abilities since taking Lendl on

Watchful eyes: Lendl (left) has seen Murray move from a contender to a champion

Watchful eyes: Lendl (left) has seen Murray move from a contender to a champion

Two weeks af ter Kooyong hi s client
nearly defeated Novak Djokovic in a semi-final epic similar to their
final at Flushing Meadows.

'That Australian Open match was the
most important because, like tonight, it was a war and it gave him the
belief that he could hang in with these top few guys. It showed him what
it takes to beat them, so when the situation arose this time it didn't
take him by surprise.'

Even at that early stage these two
unlikely bedfellows were getting on better than many expected in the
intense player-coach relationship.

What had surprised Lendl about the
young man who had gingerly rung him up in December to see if he was
interested in coming back to big-time tennis

'That his sense of humour is maybe as sick as mine,' said Lendl, again only half in jest.

'It helps because you don't have to tiptoe around. If you tell a bad joke nobody gets offended and you move on.'

Until the Olympics, more discerning
judges were sceptical about talk of tennis' Big Four, assessing it more
as the Big 3.5. Not now.

It is a proper quartet and a strong finish to the year could even see Murray end it as world No 1. Lendl felt the significance of the Games might be underestimated.

'If he had lost that final against
Federer people would say he was 0-5 in big finals without saying he won a
major when he actually won it.

'For me the most important thing was
that in his career he is realistically going to get only two shots at
winning the Olympics and he got it first time.

'Andy has been maturing very nicely
as a player, as a competitor and as a person. As you mature you become
more comfortable in situations like tonight.'

Flaunting it: Murray showed the cup off with girlfriend Kim Sears (right)

Flaunting it: Murray showed the cup off with girlfriend Kim Sears (right)

Beaten man: Novak Djokovic lost to Murray in an epic US Open final at Flushing Meadows

Beaten man: Novak Djokovic lost to Murray in an epic US Open final at Flushing Meadows

Lendl is aware reactions to events
like Murray's triumph can be extreme: 'When I won my first (by beating
John McEnroe from two sets down at the 1984 French Open) I went from the
guy who could never come back to the guy who never gives up, but I knew
I didn't deserve either of those descriptions.'

Murray is four months past his 25th birthday, which leads Lendl to think 'hopefully he is nowhere near what he can get to'.

Having waited this long to win his first Grand Slam, the British No 1 cannot afford to waste time.

Realistically, there is probably a
four to five-year window – about 20 Slams and one Olympics – in which he
will be at his peak.

One Slam a year in that time would
amount to an incredible career. Murray's next event is in Asia, where
last year he reeled off wins in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai.

This year he is restricting himself
to Tokyo at the end of the month, followed by China, before returning to
Europe for the Paris Masters and the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at
the O2 Arena that conclude the season.

Expect also to see him show more of
the warm and humorous personality that only those familiar with him
hitherto will have seen. Liberation through victory comes in many forms.

Enlarge

Perry v Murray

Perry v Murray

London 2012 Paralympics: David Weir wins 800m gold

Three and easy for Weir in the 800m as Paralympic star gets another gold

|

UPDATED:

22:05 GMT, 6 September 2012

David Weir continued his relentless pursuit of quadruple gold in London by making it three out of three with yet another masterful ride on Thursday night.

The wheelchair racer has established himself as the hero of the Olympic Stadium in the same way Mo Farah did at the Olympics, with confident, stylish and tactically-superb racing.

And the 'Weirwolf' was at his imperious best as he devoured a world-class field to deafening roars from the enthralled capacity crown, adding the 800m crown to his 1500m and 5,000m titles.

Hat-trick hero: David Weir takes in the applause he deserved for his accomplishment, and celebrates his victory (below)

Hat-trick hero: David Weir takes in the applause he deserved for his accomplishment, and celebrates his victory (below)

The hat-trick: David Weir celebrates winning the 800m

The 33-year-old, the defending champion, tracked China's Zhang Lixin for the first lap before attacking with 250m to go.

Urged on by the whole stadium, he moved level with Zhang on the home straight before racing past to win in one minute 37.63 seconds.

Champs: Weir (right) with Jonnie Peacock

Champs: Weir (right) with Jonnie Peacock

Weir, who has the marathon left to come on Sunday, now even has his own battle cry thanks to the werewolf howls his team-mates have developed, adapted from the rock song Werewolves Of London by Warren Zevon.

And the 1970s track was played in the stadium ahead of the race.

Victory took his total haul of Paralympic golds to five, having won Great Britain's only two in Beijing four years ago.

Home straight: Weir on the way to winning

Home straight: Weir on the way to winning

'I had to dig deep tonight, it did hurt,' said Weir, whose suit came undone on the first lap.

'They're all special. I've defended my title in both the distances I've won and now I've got a gold in the 5,000; I only got bronze in Beijing.

'I've really enjoyed the last six months of training. I've got the hunger back, which I thought I lost last year. I feel like I'm on top of the world at the moment.

'I dreamt about it and wished I'd come away with three gold medals, with maybe another one on the way, but you just dream of things like that. I won't believe it until I'm at home and can relax – then it might sink in a little bit more.'

A fourth gold of London 2012 is now the target for Weir.

Can he make it four Weir has one more event

Can he make it four Weir has one more event

'The marathon is going to be tough, because you can't train for these emotions, going up and down,” he added.

'I've done the mileage to cover all these distances, but you can't match these emotions in training. It's impossible.

'We'll see how it goes on Sunday. I've got two days left. I might train, I might not. I'm seeing my family tomorrow and that will do me good.

'It's 26.2 miles. It's not just two laps or 12 laps of the track. We'll see what happens on the day. I'll give it my best shot.'

Cheered on: The crowd love David Weir

Cheered on: The crowd love David Weir

Lester Piggott says Camelot can win Triple Crown

Better than Nijinsky! Piggott sure Camelot can win first Triple Crown since 1970

|

UPDATED:

14:40 GMT, 6 September 2012

Lester Piggott believes unbeaten Camelot is better equipped to become a Triple Crown winner than Nijinsky ever was.

The legendary jockey was on board when Nijinsky became the last colt to achieve the landmark in 1970, adding the mile and three-quarter St Leger to previous wins in the 1,000 Guineas over a mile at Newmarket and the mile and a half Derby at Epsom.

Nijinsky was trained in Ireland by Vincent O’Brien at his Ballydoyle base in Co Tipperary, when he completed his clean sweep of colts’ Classics.

Going for glory: Camelot, ridden here by Joseph O'Brien in the Derby

Going for glory: Camelot, ridden here by Joseph O'Brien in the Derby

From the same stable, his namesake Aidan is preparing Camelot for the Ladbrokes St Leger on September 15.

Camelot, who has looked the outstanding colt of his crop, is 1-3 favourite for the Leger and Piggott does not envisage him being beaten.

He said: 'Nijinsky was bred for much more speed than Camelot and we were never sure whether he would get a mile and a half, never mind the St Leger trip.

'There was always that doubt because he was by Northern Dancer and that was all speed. Camelot is bred differently – he’s bred to stay a St Leger trip.

'It should be quite straightforward really, there aren’t many runners in the race and he has the finishing speed. He should kill them over the last furlong and a half. I’d love to see Camelot win just to show how good he is.'

Recalling the day Nijinsky made history, Piggott remembers more drama before the race than during it.

Eased near the finish, he finished half a length in front of Meadowville; with Politico half a length further back in third.

Legend: Nijinsky, ridden by Lester Piggott, won the Triple Crown in 1970

Legend: Nijinsky, ridden by Lester Piggott, won the Triple Crown in 1970

Piggott added: 'What I remember about the St Leger is that I had a ride in the first race that day and coming out of the stalls the horse suddenly swerved to the right and I came off.

'The Police had a message to say I’d been shot at so there was big security in place when Nijinsky came out of the stables to be saddled. We were being watched all of the time – I didn’t know anything about it but that’s what they told me afterwards.

'I tried to save him as much as possible because he was going to run in the Arc de Triomphe afterwards so I didn’t want to win by 10 lengths – so I only let him do enough.

'It was just a nice race really. They didn’t’ go too fast and it was a nice even pace all the way and he came there very easily so it was only a matter of just riding for a couple of hundred yards.'