Tag Archives: crucial

Charlton 2 Wolves 1 – match report: Jonathan Obika scores late winner

Charlton 2 Wolves 1: Last-gasp Obika sends Saunders' side back into drop zone

PUBLISHED:

16:36 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 April 2013

Wolves dropped back into the npower Championship relegation places after substitute Jonathan Obika's late winner snatched in-form Charlton a 2-1 home victory.

Karl Henry struck the bar with a long-range effort in a cagey first half before the game burst into life thanks to Dorian Dervite's opener.

Kevin Doyle equalised for the visitors just three minutes later with his 11th goal of the campaign but Dean Saunders' men were unable to hold on to a crucial point with Obika having the final say.

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite, Pritchard, Harriott, Hughes (Gower 12), Jackson (Green 61), Kermorgant, Fuller (Obika 81). Subs Not Used: Button, Taylor, Kerkar, Wilson.

Goals: Dervite 63, Obika 90.

Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Gorkss, Johnson,
Ward (Batth 90), Henry, Robinson, Doumbia, Hunt (Hammill 86), Doyle, Sigurdarson. Subs Not Used: McCarey, Dicko, Foley, Cassidy, McAlinden.

Booked: Gorkss, Doherty, Sigurdarson, Hunt.

Goals: Doyle 66.

Att: 19,023.

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Latest Championship table and results

No Championship team had taken more
points from their last eight matches than the two sides ahead of the
game meaning neither manager felt the need to make changes to their
starting line-ups.

The hosts were presented with the
first clear-cut opportunity of the afternoon in the 10th minute after
good work from Callum Harriott but Ricardo Fuller saw his drilled effort
on the turn parried away by Dorus De Vries.

The Addicks were forced into a change
just two minutes later with Mark Gower replacing the injured Andy
Hughes and lost some of their early fluency against their hard-working
visitors.

Saunders' side almost earned reward
for their efforts in the 25th minute when Henry let fly from distance.

The midfielder's speculative effort had Ben Hamer backpedalling and hit
the bar before Hamer managed to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

CHAMPIONSHIP – AS IT STANDS

Championship

The away side emerged for the second
half with added purpose and had an early sight of goal when Stephen Hunt
fired a cross-shot wide of the left-hand post. Chris Powell's men then
suffered a set back when they were forced into their second change of
the afternoon with captain Johnnie Jackson limping off.

Jackson's replacement Danny Green
made an immediate impact when his rasping drive was deflected wide. From
Green's subsequent corner, Wolves failed to clear and Dervite got the
decisive touch on a goalline scramble to poke home the opener.

The hosts' advantage did not last
long however as Doyle flicked in Jack Robinson's left-hand cross to set
up a breathless final quarter of the game.

With the encounter perfectly poised,
the visitors needed an important save from De Vries to keep the scores
level as Yann Kermorgant saw his effort from an acute angle tipped over
the bar.

The home side were not to be denied
as Green's deflected shot feel to Obika who struck in the 90th minute to
leave Saunders' side shellshocked.

Charlton were able to see the game
out to secure a fourth consecutive home win which keeps their distant
play-off hopes alive but Wolves now have just two games remaining to
ensure they do not fall into the third tier of English football.

QPR 1 Wigan 1 – match report

QPR 1 Wigan 1: Dramatic Maloney strike denies 10-man hosts after Remy's wonder goal

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 7 April 2013

Shaun Maloney's stunning late free-kick earned Wigan a dramatic draw against 10-man QPR as Harry Redkannp's men were denied a crucial three points in their bid to beat the drop.

The home side were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Bobby Zamora was sent off for a high kick on Jordi Gomez but French striker Loic Remy looked to have won the game for QPR when he produced produced a sublime finish at the end of an 85th-minute counter-attack.

But Maloney's free-kick in injury time rescued a point for Roberto Martinez's men.

More to follow

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

MATCH FACTS

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore (Onuoha 46), Townsend, Jenas, Mbia, Hoilett (Taarabt 56), Remy (Mackie 88), Zamora.

Subs Not Used: Green, Park, Granero, Ben Haim.

Sent Off: Zamora (21).

Booked: Remy, Samba.

Goals: Remy 85.

Wigan: Robles, Alcaraz, Scharner, Figueroa (Espinoza 88), Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Beausejour (McArthur 61), McManaman (Di Santo 67), Kone, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Henriquez, Stam.

Booked: McCarthy, Alcaraz, Figueroa.

Goals: Maloney 90.

Att: 16,658

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez


Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge

Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge


Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off

Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off


Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up

Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up


Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Remaining Premier League fixtures

QPR

Apr 13 Everton (A), 3pm
Apr 20 Stoke (H), 3pm
Apr 28 Reading (A), 1.30pm
May 4 Arsenal (H), 3pm
May 12 Newcastle (3pm)
May 19 Liverpool (A), 4pm

WIGAN

Apr 17 Man City (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 West Ham (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Tottenham (H), 3pm
May 4 West Brom (A), 3pm
May 7 Swansea (H), 7.45pm
May 12 Arsenal (A), 3pm
May 19 Aston Villa (H), 4pm

Peter Herbert is getting it wrong with Spurs warning over "Y word"

Shut up, Peter! Herbert's getting it all wrong with warning to Spurs fans over 'Y word'

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UPDATED:

11:55 GMT, 8 November 2012

So Peter Herbert has the misguided arrogance to tell Tottenham fans we 'just don't get it' when it comes to racist chanting

Here is a chant you might be more comfortable with, Peter: sit down, shut up.

When Herbert, the chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, threatened to report Tottenham to the police if they didn't report anti-Semitic chanting, it was assumed he meant the hissing of rival fans.

A 'Yid Army' Spurs flag

Tottenham Hotspur fans celebrate in the stands

Traditional support: A flag at Wembley during 2008's Carling Cup victory and a fan cheers on Spurs

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When it emerged that this included home fans chanting the 'Y-word' (as we are now ridiculously calling it), the club released a concise and rational retort.

'Our guiding principle,' the club statement read, 'is based on the point of law itself, ie if it is used with the deliberate intention to cause offence.'

End of argument Apparently not.

Herbert's reply went as far as to tell Tottenham they 'just don't get it', and that 'even if it comes from Tottenham supporters, it remains casual racism'.

No, it absolutely doesn't. Being part of the Yid Army is a badge of honour at White Hart Lane. It is chanted with a raging pride.

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Euro test: Spurs are preparing for Thursday's night's clash with Maribor

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

Enough is enough: Peter Herbert

The best chants make every fan at the
club feel as one and the crucial point is this is one of them,
regardless of race, colour, creed or favoured formation.

In the context of White Hart Lane, Spurs fans own the word.

Within that stadium the word refers to a footballing identity, not a religion or race.

Yes, the chant has its roots in the Jewish heritage of North London and the word, of course, has historical baggage – but not for 90 minutes on a Saturday it doesn't.

Although I fully admire Herbert's grand ambition to rid football of racism, the way he is going about it is deluded, misguided, self-promoting and so damaging to the very cause he is trying to promote. They've got this one badly wrong.

Incidentally, he was also the man who lodged the police complaint over referee Mark Clattenburg's alleged abuse of John Mikel Obi, only I've checked the footage and he wasn't there.

I will do everything I can to help his fight against racism, but insulting the Yid Army has marginalised his loudest supporters.

Which isn't bad for a day's work.

ATP World Tour Finals 2012: Tomas Berdych sees off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Berdych sees off Tsonga to set up nerve-wracking finish to Murray's Group A

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UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 7 November 2012

Tomas Berdych broke his London hoodoo with victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London to ensure Group A will go down to the wire.

The Czech world number six had lost all three of his matches in the capital this year, going out in the first round at Wimbledon and the Olympics and losing his opener to Andy Murray at the O2 Arena on Monday.

Three-way tie: Tomas Berdych's victory will mean either he, Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will progress

Three-way tie: Tomas Berdych's victory will mean either he, Andy Murray or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will progress

But he recovered impressively from dropping the second set to race through the decider and secure a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory.

A Tsonga win would have sent Novak Djokovic, a three-set winner over Murray earlier, through to the semi-finals and eliminated Berdych, but this result means nothing has yet been decided.

Zut alors! Tsonga looks disconsolate during his defeat at the O2

Zut alors! Tsonga looks disconsolate during his defeat at the O2

This was Berdych and Tsonga's third meeting in a month after clashes in Shanghai and Stockholm, both of which were won by the Czech.

He looked like he may have blown his chance in the first set when he missed a simple volley on break point in the seventh game, but made amends in the 11th game and served it out.

Czech her out: Model Ester Satorova hails her boyfriend's victory

Czech her out: Model Ester Satorova hails her boyfriend's victory

Tsonga, who lost to Roger Federer in last year's final, was staring at the exit door as a straight-sets defeat would have seen him eliminated tonight but he hit back and broke for a 3-1 lead in the fourth game of the second set.

The popular Frenchman then saved a break point on his way to serving out the set, and had two chances to break Berdych in the opening game of the decider but it was the Czech's turn to dig in.

That proved to be a crucial moment as Berdych broke in the fourth game and polished off victory in an hour and 52 minutes with his fifth game in a row.

David Silva out of Ajax clash, in Spain undergoing physiotherapy

Silva OUT of Ajax clash as City star jets to Spain for treatment on hamstring

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 22 October 2012

Manchester City star David Silva has flown home for a week of intense physiotherapy in Spain as he tries to recover from a hamstring injury in time for crucial games in the weeks to come.

City coach Brian Kidd rather bizarrely claimed that Silva may be able to face Ajax in Wednesday night's Champions League tie in Amsterdam.

However it can be revealed that the mercurial winger is actually back in Spain working with his favourite physio and is not expected to return to England until the weekend.

Rehabilitation: Silva is back in Spain receiving physiotherapy treatment

Rehabilitation: Silva is back in Spain receiving physiotherapy treatment

As such, Silva is certainly out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at home to Swansea and in all likelihood the following weekend's fixture at West Ham United.

Indeed, as revealed by Sportsmail Online last week, Silva's main target is to try and get fit for the return game with Ajax that could be crucial to City’s Champions League prospects on November 6.

Silva injured his hamstring early in Spain’s international with France last week.

City, meanwhile, will also fly out to Holland on Tuesday morning without midfielder Javi Garcia and defender Maicon, who are also injured.

Captain Vincent Kompany is continuing to play despite not having fully recovered from a calf niggle that has bothered him for some time.

City have only one point from their opening two Champions League matches, having lost 3-2 at Real Madrid and drawn rather fortuitously at home to German champions Borussia Dortmund.

Down and out: Silva will miss a number of key clashes for his club

Down and out: Silva will miss a number of key clashes for his club

Premier League consider fifth referee introduction

Oi, ref… no, not you the other one! Premier League ponder FIFTH official

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UPDATED:

16:48 GMT, 31 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

The Premier League will consider having five referees at matches if evidence from UEFA's tests proves the system raises the standard of officiating.

The league's referees chiefs are waiting for the detailed analysis from trials in around 1,000 matches in Europe, but UEFA president Michel Platini has warned that countries who introduce the system will be given priority when it came to choosing officials for their competitions.

The system of having an extra official next to each goal has already been introduced into Italy's Serie A and will continue in the Champions League and Europa League this season.

Plans: Premier League chiefs could introduce a fifth official

Plans: Premier League chiefs could introduce a fifth official

A Premier League spokesman said: 'We have not had the most recent set of analysis and clearly we would want to study that, but generally where developments are proven to improve the standard of officiating it's always something the English game would look at.'

UEFA say the extra officials made crucial decisions at Euro 2012, allowed assistants to concentrate on offside calls, and acted as a deterrent to foul play at set-pieces.

Platini is adamant UEFA will not implement goal-line technology in European competitions and that the five-referee system is a better alternative.

He said: 'We have decided that we should suggest that additional assistant referees is the system that we want and we are trying to show the national associations that it is a good idea.

Support: UEFA President Michel Platini

Support: UEFA President Michel Platini

'Serie A in Italy has started and they are rather happy with it. Some associations will take longer than others.

'But if they want to have referees in big European competitions we will give priority to those coming from associations who are implementing the system so that there is understanding among the team of five referees.'

Platini insisted he was not threatening FAs and understood that some of the smaller associations could not afford to introduce the system.

He added: 'It is not a threat but we can give advice.'

Premiership to trial concussion bin and extend powers for TMO"s during live matches

Premiership to trial 'concussion bin' and extend powers for TV refs during live matches

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UPDATED:

10:34 GMT, 20 August 2012

The Aviva Premiership will trial the use of a so-called 'concussion bin' and extended powers for the television match official in the forthcoming season.

Players will be required to leave the field for five minutes to undergo cognitive tests if the team doctor or referee suspects they may have suffered concussion.

If that initial suspicion is confirmed in a pitch-side assessment, the concussed player will not be allowed to return and the temporary substitution will be made a permanent one.

Back in action: The Premiership returns on September 1

Back in action: The Premiership returns on September 1

The Premiership have also volunteered to trial a greater use of video technology, which extends the TMO's input to more than just the grounding of the ball.

In matches broadcast live on television this season, the referee can ask the TMO to rule on any incident in the lead-up to a try being scored, dating back to the last stoppage in play.

The TMO will also have the power to alert the referee on matters of foul play he may have missed. The trials have been developed by the International Rugby Board.

'We volunteered to be involved in both trials,' said Phil Winstanley, rugby director at Premiership Rugby.

'The TMO trial in live televised games allows us to maintain the integrity of our competition by ensuring that the match officials are given the utmost support in getting crucial decisions right.

'We are extremely mindful about ensuring that we achieve a balance between protecting the integrity of the game and impacting on the dynamic nature of our sport by creating too many stoppages in play.

'This will be closely managed, with a thorough research programme undertaken by Premiership Rugby and the RFU.

Extra input: The TMO's will have a larger remit when during live games

Extra input: The TMO's will have a larger remit when during live games

'The pitch-side concussion assessment trial allows medical teams more time and a better environment to assess head injuries and to make player-centred decisions.

'We have a reputation for innovation and this is another example of how both Premiership Rugby and the RFU is the forefront of the game's development.'

The concussion protocol was developed by an IRB working group, who were tasked with enhancing player safety without undermining the fabric of the game.

Rugby already operates a 'blood bin' system, allowing players to be temporarily replaced to have a cut dealt with.

But following the fake blood saga at Harlequins, the IRB wanted to ensure the concussion system was 'not open to tactical manipulation by coaches'.

Dr Simon Kemp, the RFU's head of sports medicine, said: 'Being able to temporarily remove the player from the field will allow medical practitioners to perform a more sophisticated assessment than presently and better decisions to be made.'

The TMO's extended powers will first come into force in the London double-header at Twickenham on Saturday September 1, with both games being broadcast live on ESPN.

Safeguards: The IRB wabnts to ensure that the concussion bin cannot be manipulate like the bood bin system was

Safeguards: The IRB wabnts to ensure that the concussion bin cannot be manipulate like the bood bin system was

The referee can ask the TMO, in addition to his previous powers, to adjudicate on any incident between the last restart and the scoring of a try.

Ed Morrison, the RFU's head of professional referee development, said: 'The modern game is fast-paced and action-packed and it is important that our officials are equipped with the best tools to ensure that sometimes critical incidents are observed and acted upon.

'The referee is in charge of the game but to be able to draw on the TMO in such circumstances will help us maintain the high standards of officiating that we have in the Aviva Premiership.'

The IRB have made five law amendments for this season, the most notable being the introduction of a five-second rule intended to force teams to play the ball quickly from the base of rucks.

There is also a new shortened scrum engagement process. The referee will now instruct the two packs to 'crouch, touch, set' – instead of 'crouch, touch, pause, engage'.

Nemanja Vidic returns to Manchester United training

Vidic boost for Man United as key defender returns to training

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 6 July 2012

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic is training with the first team for the first time since he injured his knee last December and hopes to be fit for the start of the new season.

Vidic damaged cruciate knee ligaments in the Champions League clash with Basel in December – an injury which ruled him out for the remainder of the season.

Crucial moment: Nemanja Vidic injures his leg

Crucial moment: Nemanja Vidic injures his leg

Losing the skipper was a massive blow to Sir Alex Ferguson's title ambitions last term as United watched rivals City crowned champions for the first time in 44 years.

The Serbian centre-back's return will be a massive boost as United attempt to wrestle the title back.

Euro 2012: England fan flashes during penalty shootout

Worth a try! Cheeky England fan used his last-ditch tackle to put off Diamanti in penalty shootout defeat to Italy

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UPDATED:

18:22 GMT, 25 June 2012

England players had practiced, Joe Hart had researched the history of those expected to take penalties for Italy, and the rest of the nation watched and hoped for the bit of luck that's needed i these situations.

And then a fan went one step further in his bid to give England the edge in their shootout with the Azzurri, dropping his pants in a desperate attempt to put off Alessandro Diamanti as he stepped up to convert the decisive spot kick.

Scroll down for video

Cheeky: An England fan drops his trousers as he tries to put Alessandro Diamanti as he takes the final penalty during last night's shootout

Cheeky: An England fan drops his trousers in an attempt to put Alessandro Diamanti off as he takes the final penalty during Sunday's shootout. Do you know who the England fan is Email [email protected]

The supporter stood with his trousers
down and arms crossed in an attempt to catch the eye of the former West
Ham man at the crucial moment.

Alas, it did not work, and Diamanti gave Italy a 4-2 win in the Olympic Stadium, Kiev, sending them through to the semi-finals of Euro 2012.

The cheeky fan, whose identity is not known, was wearing a bright green England goalkeeper's kit and a red and white wig. The supporter next to him appeared to also be dropping his trousers.

Rude: The England fan reveals his belly - and a bit more - during the shootout last night

Rude: The England fan reveals his belly – and a bit more – during the shootout last night

On Monday the England team flew home after their dramatic defeat.
David Cameron said the players had made 'the country proud' with their
performances at the tournament. The Prime Minister said he watched the game but joked that as it wore on there was a feeling that it would probably end on penalties.

Ashley Young and Ashley Cole missed the crucial spotkicks as England bowed out of the competition. Italy will play Germany in the semi-finals.

Mr Cameron said Roy Hodgson’s men had put on a 'great display' by going through the group stages.

He said: 'I watched the match and I thought England showed a lot of heart, and a lot of spirit and a lot of dogged determination, as you’d expect.

'There were some brilliant individual performances and a real team effort but sadly, as has happened before, you sort of felt as you were watching that it will probably end on penalties and you knew how penalties may probably end.'

The Italian Job: Alessandro Diamanti holds his nerve and scores the penalty - despite the best efforts of the England fan to put him off

The Italian Job: Alessandro Diamanti holds his nerve and scores the penalty – despite the best efforts of the England fan to put him off

Going home: Steven Gerrard stands at the top of the stairs as the English travelling party board the plane back to England

Going home: Steven Gerrard stands at the top of the stairs as the English travelling party board the plane back to England

Footballers going home: Manager Roy Hodgson waves as the England team, including captain Steven Gerrard, left, leave their hotel and head back to Britain

Footballers going home: Manager Roy Hodgson waves as the England team, including captain Steven Gerrard, left, leave their hotel and head back to Britain

Beaten: John Terry, right, consoles Ashley Young while Wayne Rooney holds his shirt over his head after England were beaten on penalties

Beaten: John Terry, right, consoles Ashley Young while Wayne Rooney holds his shirt over his head after England were beaten on penalties

Eliminated: We might have guessed that England's match with Italy was always going to come down to penalties

Eliminated: We might have guessed that England's match with Italy was always going to come down to penalties

It's a knockout: Ashley Cole has his crucial spotkick saved - leaving the Italians the task of scoring their final penalty to secure a semi-final spot

It's a knockout: Ashley Cole has his crucial spotkick saved – leaving the Italians the task of scoring their final penalty to secure a semi-final spot

Victory for Italy: Alessandro Diamanti celebrates after scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out last night to take the Italians through to the semi-finals where they will play Germany

Victory for Italy: Alessandro Diamanti celebrates after scoring the winning penalty in the shoot-out last night to take the Italians through to the semi-finals where they will play Germany

Mr Cameron said he was not convinced by Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon’s claim that he prepared for the game by watching movies instead of studying England’s penalty-takers.

'I think he was concentrating a bit harder than that,' he said. 'But I would like to congratulate the team and the manager and all who worked so hard with them and for them to put on a great display. They made the country proud to go through the group stage in the way that they did.'

England captain Steven Gerrard last night vowed to lead the country to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after the penalty shootout heartbreak.

'We have given a good account of ourselves,' he said. 'We haven't blown people away but we stuck together, fought hard and gave every inch of effort.

'However, at times we have found it difficult to keep the ball. The possession stats speak for themselves. It tells you that moving forward as a nation, we do need to try and improve with the ball.'

Disaster: England are out after being beaten 4-2 on penalties. Here four fans watch the match in a bar in Leicester Square, London

Disaster: England are out after being beaten 4-2 on penalties. Here four fans watch the match in a bar in Leicester Square, London

Beaten: England fans react during last night's 2012 match in the fan zone in Warsaw, Poland

Beaten: England fans react during last night's 2012 match in the fan zone in Warsaw, Poland

The shootout last night was watched by more than 23 million people – the highest peak TV audience for eight years.

Overnight viewing figures showed the BBC1 coverage of the Euro 2012 quarter-final hit its height at 10.20pm with 23.2 million watching the deciding shoot-out.

An average audience of 17.4 million watched the coverage, with its extra-time and penalty climax – the highest audience of the tournament so far.

The match, which saw England packed off home, drew three-quarters of all TV viewers during England’s penalty agony.

It is the highest peak on any UK channel for eight years, since Euro 2004’s England v Portugal match – a game which similarly saw hopes dashed on penalties.

England’s previous match in Euro 2012 – a 1-0 victory over Ukraine last week – drew a 16.1 million average audience.

Defeat: Wayne Rooney arrives back at the team hotel in Krakow

Goalkeeper Joe Hart arrives back at the team hotel

Defeated: Wayne Rooney, left, and goalkeeper Joe Hart arrive back at the
England hotel in Krakow last night after being beaten by the Italians

VIDEO: Reaction from England fans after the match

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Poland 1 Russia 1 match report: Jakub Blaszczykowski and Alan Dzagoev score

Poland 1 Russia 1: Blaszczykowski blasts back to grab lifeline for co-hosts

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UPDATED:

20:52 GMT, 12 June 2012

Jakub Blaszczykowski's 58th-minute equaliser salvaged a crucial point for co-hosts Poland and scuppered Russia's hopes of becoming the first team to book their place in the Euro 2012 knockout stages.

Alan Dzagoev had fired the Russians in front in the 38th minute as they looked to build on their superb opening win over the Czech Republic by making mathematically certain of reaching the last eight.

Floored genius: Jakub Blaszczykowski is mobbed by team-mates and staff following his wonder strike

Floored genius: Jakub Blaszczykowski is mobbed by team-mates and staff following his wonder strike

MATCH FACTS:

Poland: Tyton, Piszczek, Wasilewski, Perquis, Boenisch, Dudka, Polanski, Blaszczykowski, Murawski, Obraniak, Lewandowski. Subs not used: Sandomierski, Wojtkowiak, Kaminski, Matuszczyk, Rybus, Wawrzyniak, Sobiech, Mierzejewski, Wolski, Grosicki, Brozek.

Booked: Lewandowski.

Scorer: Blaszczykowski.

Russia: Malafeev, Aniukov, Berezutsky, Ignashevich, Zhirkov, Shirokov, Denisov, Zyryanov, Dzagoev, Kerzhakov, Arshavin. Subs not used: Akinfeev, Sharonov, Izmailov, Pavlyuchenko, Kombarov, Kokorin,
Granat, Pogrebnyak, Nababkin, Glushakov, Semshov, Shunin.

Scorer: Dzagoev.

Booked: Denisov, Dzagoev.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany)

But roared on by a predominantly Polish
crowd in Warsaw's National Stadium, the Poles boosted their own hopes of
progression from Group A when captain Blaszczykowski blazed his
leveller past Vyacheslav Malafeev from 20 yards.

It was a richly-deserved point for
the Poles, who were frustrated in their opening draw with Greece, but
set a stunning pace in the first period and repelled the majority of the
impressive Russian advances.

Franciszek Smuda's side almost
grabbed a seventh-minute lead when a glancing header from Sebastian
Boenisch was superbly saved by Russian keeper Malafeev, who was kept
busy throughout the night.

Boenisch rose highest again from the
resulting corner but this time could only direct his header into the
arms of a relieved Malafeev.

With the Russians struggling to make
any kind of impact, Poland continued to press and Robert Lewandowski
almost conjured an opener out of nothing when he hooked a volley just
over the bar in the 12th minute.

Poland had the ball in the net in the
19th minute when Lewandowski played in Eugen Polanski who drilled a low
shot beyond Malafeev but was correctly pulled up for straying offside.

Letting fly: Jakub Blaszczykowski unleashes an unstoppable drive, leaving Russia keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with no chance

Letting fly: Jakub Blaszczykowski unleashes an unstoppable drive, leaving Russia keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with no chance

Letting fly: Jakub Blaszczykowski unleashes an unstoppable drive, leaving Russia keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev with no chance

Playing an exciting brand of fluent
passing football, the Poles were dominant and Russian defender Sergei
Ignashevich had to get in with a fine intervention to deny Lewandowski
another chance in the box.

Russia finally started to get to
grips with the game as it approached the half-hour mark, with first
Andrei Arshavin bursting down the right and crossing for Alexander
Kerzhakov, who headed high and wide.

The little man makes it count: Alan Dzagoev nods Andrey Arshavin's free-kick past Przemyslaw Tyton

The little man makes it count: Alan Dzagoev nods Andrey Arshavin's free-kick past Przemyslaw Tyton

The little man makes it count: Alan Dzagoev nods Andrey Arshavin's free-kick past Przemyslaw Tyton

And in the 28th minute the roles were
reversed as Kerzhakov turned provider from the right, sending in a low
cross which just eluded the stretching Arshavin in front of goal.

Russia's best spell of the match
resulted in the opening goal in the 38th minute as Arshavin delivered a
superb free-kick from the left flank and Dzagoev flashed home a header
past Przemyslaw Tyton.

Eyes on the ball: Robert Lewandowski attempts to clear a corner

Eyes on the ball: Robert Lewandowski attempts to clear a corner

Poland almost responded immediately,
with Blaszczykowski's powerful drive beaten away by Malafeev, but the
Russians were beginning to play with the same kind of confident swagger
evident in their opening group win.

But Russia ended the half well on
top, with Dzagoev and Zhirkov both having close-range chances and the
goalscorer unlucky not to earn a penalty in first-half injury-time after
being pushed over in the box.

Lying down on the job: Marcin Wasilewski takes advange of Aleksandr Kerzhakov's slip

Lying down on the job: Marcin Wasilewski takes advange of Aleksandr Kerzhakov's slip

Poland started the second half in the
same manner they approached the third, and came close within two
minutes of the restart when Polanski's brilliant through-ball found
Lewandowski but he was pushed wide and out of play by the advancing
Malafeev.

It was all Poland again with Ludovic
Obraniak and Damien Perquis both coming close before the Russians
threatened with a swift counter in the 50th minute, Kerzhakov's
dangerous run eventually intercepted by Dariusz Dudka.

Going it alone: Robert Lewandowski takes on Vyacheslav Malafeev

Going it alone: Robert Lewandowski takes on Vyacheslav Malafeev

Blaszczykowski sparked jubilation in
the 58th minute when he got on the end of a Polish breakaway down the
right and cut inside to sent a superb left-foot drive beyond Malafeev
and into the corner of the net.

As the game sprang into life, Dzagoev
scuffed a shot straight at Tyton after being flicked through by
Kerzhakov, and almost immediately at the other end Blaszczykowski made
ground down the left before blazing high and wide.

Hands up: Poland fans get behind their team

Hands up: Poland fans get behind their team

Spelling it out: Russian fans make their point

Spelling it out: Russian fans make their point