Tag Archives: dressing

Rio Ferdinand looks ripped after Manchester United win Premier League title

Ripped Rio! United defender Ferdinand can't play twice a week… but it hasn't stopped him bulking up in the gym

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

08:44 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:07 GMT, 23 April 2013

The body might not be able to manage two games a week anymore but Manchester United’s title-celebrating tweeter Rio Ferdinand looks in pretty good nick to us.

Ferdinand posted pictures of his team-mates celebrating the club’s 20th title from the Old Trafford dressing room following their 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

But it was the photographs taken by the professionals as the United squad cracked open bottles of sponsors’ Barclays’ bubbly which really caught the eye.

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Rio Ferdinand

Ripped: Rio Ferdinand celebrates after Manchester United clinched the Premier League title at Old Trafford

Ferdinand looked particularly ripped and muscly as he sprayed the champers.

It’s not just the torso which looks impressive in the images, but Ferdinand’s bulging biceps.

Ferdinand has played 24 games in his club’s latest title success and he looks certain to be around for another few years to add to his personal tally.

And looking like this. Why not

Great shape: Ferdinand (right) has had his problems with injury but he clearly spends plenty of time in the gym

Great shape: Ferdinand (right) has had his problems with injury but he clearly spends plenty of time in the gym

Rio Ferdinand with Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney

Rio Ferdinand with Rafael

At least now we know what he was up to behind the scenes last month when he turned down his England recall.

Ferdinand may have flown over to the Far East for his television commitments. And he may have fulfilled his obligations to meet and coach youngsters in Dubai before appearing on Al Jazeera.

But quite clearly the 34-year-old defender spent the rest of his spare time in the hotel gym pumping those weights.

Main men: Ferdinand celebrates with Michael Carrick after United's 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford

Main men: Ferdinand celebrates with Michael Carrick after United's 3-0 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford

John Terry does not know where he stands in Chelsea pecking order

I don't know where I stand any more, admits bit-part Chelsea skipper Terry

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

14:33 GMT, 18 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 18 April 2013

John Terry insists he is fully fit and able to play up to three games a week – but he admits he does not know where he stands in the Chelsea pecking order any more.

A regular fixture for the Blues for over a decade, the former England captain has been in and out of the side since injuring his knee against Liverpool in November with David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill all often being preferred in the centre of defence.

Interim manager Rafa Benitez left the
club captain on the bench for the entirety of the FA Cup semi-final
defeat by Manchester City on Sunday, but Terry says he has not and will
not complain if he is dropped.

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Benched: John Terry (left) sat out the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

Double salvo: Terry netted twice against Fulham on Wednesday night

The 32-year-old told the Evening Standard: 'With Gary coming back, I don’t know where that puts me in the pecking order. All I can do is train hard and, when I get a chance, play well.

'There are no complaints. If the manager is straight with me and tells me, that’s fine. I accept the rotation system. I can definitely play twice a week, three games a week if need be. I don’t know where that (doubt) arose from.

'I’m fit, I’m training every day and have been for the last three months, so I just want to set the record straight.

'I’m
available but, at the same time, if the manager chooses not to pick me,
there is not a problem because I’m Chelsea through and through and I
want nothing more than to get Champions League football.

'If
that means me playing, great, if not, I will be the biggest supporter
in the dressing room. It’s down to me to work hard and maybe prove him
(Benitez) wrong.'

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Committed to the cause: Terry says he will not complain about sitting on the bench

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Back of the net: Terry's headed brace at Craven Cottage took his goal tally for the season to six

Competition: David Luiz

Competition: David Luiz

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Consistent: Gary Cahill

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

Solid: Branislav Ivanovic

JOHN TERRY UNDER RAFA BENITEZ

John Terry

Matches played: 13

Won: 7

Drawn: 2

Lost: 4

Goals: 5

Bookings: 1

Games not featured: 26

Kevin Miralles squirts Jack Wilshere with water at half-time of Arsenal v Everton

You squirt! Mirallas sprays Wilshere with water at half-time of Arsenal v Everton

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

20:16 GMT, 16 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 16 April 2013

Arsenal and Everton were involved in a furious half-time tunnel brawl after Kevin Mirallas nonsensically squirted water in Jack Wilshere's face.

Both sets of players piled in after the Everton forward sprayed liquid from his water bottle straight at the Gunners talisman.

It is understood the tunnel fracas saw a livid Wilshere throw a punch at Mirallas before players from both teams were separated before making their way back to their respective dressing rooms.

1) Get the drink

1) Get the drink

2) Open the drink

2) Open the drink

3) Squirt the drink

3) Squirt the drink

Gunning for you: Jack Wilshere was understandably furious with Kevin Mirallas as they left the pitch

Gunning for you: Jack Wilshere was understandably furious with Kevin Mirallas as they left the pitch

Handbags: The spat spilled over into the tunnel with a handful of other players weighing in on both sides

Handbags: The spat spilled over into the tunnel with a handful of other players weighing in on both sides

Tunnel of shove: Wilshere and Mirallas are separated as they head into the heart of the Emirates

Tunnel of shove: Wilshere and Mirallas are separated as they head into the heart of the Emirates

Tensions were already running high after a high octane opening 45 minutes of the Champions League qualification crunch clash.

The Gunners felt David Moyes' side
should have been down to 10 men after Toffees midfielder Darron Gibson
escaped a second yellow card for a clumsy challenge on Theo Walcott.

And the animosity spilled into the tunnel area as Mirallas took the cocky step of splashing the England midfielder in the face.

The angry exchange was not the first time Arsenal have been involved in a heated tunnel altercation.

In October 2004, after Manchester
United ended Arsenal's 49 game unbeaten streak in the league at Old
Trafford, the Gunners did not react too kindly.

Angered at the manner of United's 2-0
victory, Arsene Wenger allegedly called Ruud Van Nistelrooy a cheat as
he passed him in the tunnel, provoking the fury of Sir Alex Ferguson.

As the United boss remonstrated with
Wenger, somebody from within the Arsenal dressing room threw a pizza
slice at the United boss.

And then in February 2005, infuriated
by Patrick Vieira's attempts to bully Gary Neville prior to the return
game at Highbury, Roy Keane reacted furiously, jabbing his finger at the
Frenchman before telling his midfield rival: 'I'll see you out there'.

SJA awards: Lawrence Booth wins scoop of the year for Kevin Pietersen texts

Sportsmail's Booth wins scoop of the year at SJA awards for revealing Pietersen texts

PUBLISHED:

22:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:10 GMT, 26 March 2013

Sportsmail's Lawrence Booth picked up a prestigious gong at this year's Sports Journalists' Association awards.

Our cricket reporter – who is also the editor of Wisden – led the way with his brilliant story about Kevin Pietersen's text-message scandal last summer.

This was recognised as the scoop of the year at the awards night in London on Monday night.

LAWRENCE BOOTH

Neil Ashton

Recognition: Sportsmail cricket writer Lawrence Booth (left) won the scoop of the year and Neil Ashton (right), Jeff Powell (bottom left) and Jonathan McEvoy (bottom right) were highly commended in their categories

JEFF POWELL

Jonathan McEvoy

Pietersen was revealed to have sent text
messages to members of the South African dressing room about his then
captain Andrew Strauss – later described by Pietersen himself as
'provocative' – which caused an almighty schism in the team's dressing
room.

The scandal led to England's star
batsman being exiled from the squad for the rest of the Test series
defeat against the Proteas. It was also the final straw for Strauss, who
resigned the England captaincy soon after and retired from all cricket.

Meanwhile, Sportsmail's football news correspondent Neil Ashton was highly commended in the specialist correspondent category at the awards, while Jonathan McEvoy was highly commended as a sports news reporter. Boxing correspondent Jeff Powell was highly commended in the feature writer award.

The Mail on Sunday also picked up two prestigious awards, with Patrick Collins named as the columnist of year, while Martha Kelner won the young sports writer award.

Read Lawrence Booth's scoop of the year and his latest Top Spin column
EXCLUSIVE: KP text alert! Pietersen sent messages to opposition during Test

CLICK HERE to read the full award-winning story

The Top Spin: It's the end of an era as throwback Blackwell calls it a day (and ensures he will be a permanent one-cap wonder)

CLICK HERE to read the full column

And don't forget to read Lawrence Booth's latest Top Spin column on Tuesday morning at www.dailymail.co.uk/sport

Sir Clive Woodward: England must use intimidation as inspiration

England must use intimidation as inspiration in the cauldron of the Millennium Stadium

PUBLISHED:

22:49 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 16 March 2013

The Millennium Stadium is a unique
ground. Sitting bang in the middle of the city of Cardiff, the stadium
feels like the beating heart of Wales on match days.

There are few venues around the world
where supporters can finish their pints with five minutes to spare,
pour out of the pubs and take their seats in time for kick-off.

As a coach, when you have said your
final few words to the team in the relative peace of the dressing room
and walk out to hear the crowd singing under that roof, it can feel like
you are emerging into the Colosseum in Rome.

Not intimidated: Chris Ashton dives over to score at the Millennium Stadium in 2011 when England beat Wales 26-19

Not intimidated: Chris Ashton dives over to score at the Millennium Stadium in 2011 when England beat Wales 26-19

More from Sir Clive Woodward…

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: It's time to pile on the pressure and use Cardiff cauldron to test mettle of England's players
14/03/13

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: 2013 v 2003 – how my Grand Slam heroes compare to today’s side gunning for Six Nations glory
14/03/13

EXCLUSIVE: Sir Clive Woodward talks Grand Slams with George North… Training has been brutal and we're ready to do battle
13/03/13

Sir Clive Woodward: This is the last England game for six months with everyone available and Ashton has a point to prove
11/03/13

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: It's time for England to wake up and smell the roses
10/03/13

Sir Clive Woodward: England must fear the Italians if they are to prevent the biggest Six Nations shock ever
08/03/13

Sir Clive Woodward: Just like no-nonsense Johnno, Robshaw is a natural born leader
07/03/13

Sir Clive Woodward: Ranting Rafa He's far too shrewd for that
28/02/13

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Stuart Lancaster and his players will
sense that fever with a welcome like no other. Despite the fierce
rivalry, you get better looked after in Wales than anywhere else – they
want to thrash you, but they want it to be a fair fight.

There are no silly games – nobody rushes you off the pitch or limits the number of balls you have for the warm-up.

Hostility is manifest in the passionate support, not stupid mind games.

In 2001, when I took England to
Wales for our first ever match at the Millennium Stadium, I decided we
should stay in Cardiff Bay because I wanted to be near town and a part
of the build-up, not stuck on the outskirts and excluded from the buzz.

You want to be in the thick of it so you're not overwhelmed when you come in on match day, particularly for a 5pm kick-off.

From the Monday morning of the build-up to that Test almost every press conference question was about the stadium.

'Intimidation' was clearly the theme but I made it clear that we were playing the Welsh team, not the stadium. I held a meeting that night and told the players to turn the word 'intimidation' into 'inspiration'.

Players prepare in different ways. Hooker Steve Thompson, for example, braced himself for the Cardiff cacophony by practising his lineout throwing with white noise blasting through his headphones. It paid off as on the day his set-piece was as accurate as ever.

The players had never been inside the ground until we were given a tour of the stadium the day before the game.

Time to shine: Ben Youngs goes through the motions under the Millennium Stadium roof

Time to shine: Ben Youngs goes through the motions under the Millennium Stadium roof

Ready for battle: Manu Tuilagi passes the ball during the England captain's run at the Millennium Stadium

Ready for battle: Manu Tuilagi passes the ball during the England captain's run at the Millennium Stadium

One game from glory: Stuart Lancaster hopes England can win their final game of the Six Nations and secure the Grand Slam

One game from glory: Stuart Lancaster hopes England can win their final game of the Six Nations and secure the Grand Slam

RBS 6 NATIONS TITLE – PERMUTATIONS

England's victory over Italy means a win against Wales in Cardiff would seal a first Grand Slam in a decade.

However, Wales have everything to play for because a victory for them could be enough to retain the RBS 6 Nations title and leave England empty-handed.

England are currently two points ahead of Wales in the table and with a points-difference advantage of 14.

Under tournament rules, if the points and points difference end level then the championship would be decided on tries scored.

Wales hold the advantage 7-5 going into the final round. If tries scored is also level, the title is shared.

Here, we examine the permutations:

ENGLAND WIN GRAND SLAM

An England victory by any margin would secure a first Grand Slam triumph in a decade.

ENGLAND WIN TITLE

An England defeat by six points or fewer would still be enough to seal the title.

If England lose by seven points but outscore Wales by three tries or more then Stuart Lancaster's men would win the title.

WALES WIN TITLE

A Wales victory by seven points, providing they stay ahead of England on tournament tries, would see Rob Howley's men retain the title.

TITLE SHARED

If Wales win by seven points but England score two more tries then the title would be shared.

I wanted my team, particularly the back three, to get used to catching high balls under the lights and watching the flight of balls against the closed roof.

We walked into the away dressing room to find giant cardboard cutouts of the entire Welsh team – bigger than life size.

You've never heard such laughter in your life. It turned out they were there for tourists as part of the stadium tour, but the stadium officials had genuinely forgotten to move them.

The facilities in the stadium are second to none.

The away dressing room is big and spacious, unlike at Murrayfield where there is a giant pillar in the middle.

When we arrived on match day, I walked on to the pitch with Martin Johnson and we were booed by the supporters.

Johnno walked into the centre of the pitch and held his hands in the air – making it very clear this was exactly where he wanted to be.

The home and away dressing rooms are about 50 metres apart in a long corridor, so you are kept well away from your opponents.

While football players tend to hang out in the tunnel before coming out together that doesn't happen in rugby.

You come out separately – England to subdued cheers, Wales to pyrotechnics, blasting music and booming choirs.

The first time you see your opponents is when you line up for the anthems. It is all part of the magic.

One of the few things I miss from my coaching days is the dressing-room atmosphere on days like today.

It is the most electric place in the world with 20 minutes to go before
kickoff – a mix of adrenaline, fear and anticipation.

Ten players in
Lancaster's starting XV have never experienced that atmosphere and I
hope they are inspired, not intimidated.

Real champions thrive in enemy
territory. The dressing room against Wales was always noisier than at
home. Guys such as Lawrence Dallaglio, Will Greenwood and Matt Dawson
would come into their own.

All white on the night: Steve Thompson prepared by blasting white noise into his headphones

All white on the night: Steve Thompson prepared by blasting white noise into his headphones

Glorying in the rivalry: Martin Johnston was never one to be intimidated

Glorying in the rivalry: Martin Johnston was never one to be intimidated

Glorying in the rivalry: Martin Johnston was never one to be intimidated

I expect Brad Barritt, Owen Farrell, Tom
Youngs and Geoff Parling to do the same, supporting captain Chris
Robshaw to deliver the final key messages and get everybody focused on
kick-off.

We won comfortably on that first trip – but that doesn't mean it wasn't a dramatic day.

After
the game we returned to the hotel to change for the post-match dinner
but travelling back to the stadium was a nightmare.

A
lot of supporters had been drinking all day and we were stuck in a sea
of red shirts, crawling through the crowds at three or four mph with a
giant red rose on the side of the coach.

Man alive: Lawrence Dallaglio came into his own in the dressing room

Man alive: Lawrence Dallaglio came into his own in the dressing room

I had a superstition and would sit front left in the coach. A man in the crowds caught my eye because he had obviously had a big day out but was running straight towards us as if he was planning to tackle the coach.

At the last minute, he sidestepped to his right in Gerald Davies-style but was promptly knocked out cold by the large wing mirror.

I stopped the coach and got out, followed by a few players and our doctor, who rushed to help while we radioed for the police.

Suddenly I realised there was me and most of the England team in the middle of a crowd of drunk fans standing over a prostrate Welshman. It looked like we had run him over!

People started pointing fingers and it all got a little tense.

Then a crowd of equally well-oiled England fans pushed their way to the front and it really started to get a bit tasty. The police arrived just in time and sense prevailed.

That was more than 10 years ago, when England had a far stronger team than Wales.

Since then, Wales have become something of a nation of experts in this tournament – to win three Grand Slams in the last eight years is an amazing achievement.

I had a great team and we only did it once. But Lancaster's team are winners and I believe they will be inspired by playing in Cardiff.

They have only ever been beaten by single figures so this game will be close.

If England keep their cool in the Cardiff cauldron, they are good enough to win.

I truly hope they do. It is time a new generation of Englishmen stepped up to the plate and won the Grand Slam.

MY SIX KEY BATTLE AREAS…

1. KEEP COOL IN THE CAULDRON

Show respect: Referee Steve Walsh (left) has a chat with France captain Thierry Dusautoir

Show respect: Referee Steve Walsh (left) has a chat with France captain Thierry Dusautoir

This England team have an abundance of testosterone flowing through them and Wales will target the players who have a history of reacting.

Joe Marler, Owen Farrell, Chris Ashton and Mike Brown have had their moments and this can be a good thing – the 2003 team were at their best when there was a bit of sulphur in the air.

But you have to tread the line between never taking a step backwards and not getting distracted or involved in anything that puts you or your team-mates off their game.

England have recieved two yellow cards in this tournament, another today could cost them the Grand Slam. Let the score do the talking and silence the crowd.

The message from Stuart Lancaster must be about finding the crucial balance – you have to compete for the ball at the breakdown, but needless penalties will kill your team.

Referee Steve Walsh was extremely strict at the contact zone in Dublin last weekend.

Listen to him, repeat his calls, react and adapt to how he is marshalling that breakdown.

If he starts penalising the tackler for not rolling away, then make a show of releasing the player early and doing what he asks.

Be smart – get the wrong side of Walsh and you're in trouble.

2. GO FORWARD BEFORE YOU GO WIDE

England have not scored a try against Wales for 196 minutes but it will be almost impossible for them to win without doing so in a game as tight as this, so they must sort out their attacking strategies.

The ambition was there against Italy, the failure was in execution.

There is no point passing the ball out wide if the opposition have more defenders in the line than you have attackers, as was often the case against Italy.

Please release me: Ben Youngs will be key to getting the ball out wide

Please release me: Ben Youngs will be key to getting the ball out wide

Use the early phases to charge directly forward and suck more defenders into the ruck and the narrow channels.

Then, when there is space out wide, release the ball.

Ben Youngs has to lead this, ordering the forwards to use their firepower and go 'route one' very early in the game.

3. OPTIONS ARE KEY TO ATTACK

Talisman Owen Farrell returns and England will take confidence in having their best half-back pairing in the spine of the side, but full back Alex Goode is key to offering a second option in attack.

The clash of the centres will be monstrous in midfield but I hope Brad Barritt and Manu Tuilagi have the confidence not just to run into contact but to pass the ball before contact.

Use Tuilagi as a decoy and out-think the Welsh. This is where Goode is key.

Goode idea: Alex Goode can be used to out-think Wales

Goode idea: Alex Goode can be used to out-think Wales

He has gone quiet in games, so he needs to come into the attack as a second receiver to create plays and get the side playing more expansively.

Barritt and Tuilagi can become a great pairing but they need Goode to give Farrell more options in the inside centre role.

4. IT'S A MISTAKE TO FOCUS ONLY ON THE DANGERMEN

Alex Cuthbert and George North are giant dangers on the wing – I couldn't believe just how big George was when I met him!

He is such an intelligent player, too, so Chris Ashton has his work cut out. Both wingers come looking for crash balls either inside or outside the fly-half.

But Wales' back line have the footballing ability to miss the winger out and if England focus on one player they can get caught out.

England just need to keep their defensive shape. If the big guys come at you hard it is about technique – hit them hard and low.

North star: Wales winger George North could cause all sorts of problems for England

North star: Wales winger George North could cause all sorts of problems for England

If your technique is sloppy – and England have been guilty of going in too high recently – then you will look stupid.

I expect a big step up in England's tackling today, Ashton included.

Both defensive coaches, Andy Farrell and Shaun Edwards, have brought huge rugby league influences into these sides.

League is fundamentally a simpler game with a bigger emphasis on defence, especially the blitz defence where players rush up and 'get in the face' of attackers.

Wales have gone 277 minutes without conceding a try (they could beat my team's tournament record of 319 minutes).

The challenge is keeping your shape when your lungs are burning and your brain is starved of oxygen.

This game will be won in the last 10 minutes and that is when the fitness of these two teams will be tested.

Power play: Stopping Sam Warburton in his tracks will be one of England's big challenges

Power play: Stopping Sam Warburton
in his tracks will be one of England's big
challenges

5. TARGET WARBURTON

It is less than 100 days to the first Lions Test and the backrow battle will be fascinating – but the turnover contest is not a question of Chris Robshaw v Sam Warburton.

Whichever England player arrives at the breakdown first has to target Warburton. Against a player of his strength, you have to decide – attack the ball or attack him.

You need to try to get him off the ball before he sets up in that 'crouched jackal' position over it.

Once he is set up, you won't be able to move him, so hit him as early as you can within the laws of the game.

6. GET THE BALL IN AND OUT OF THE SCRUM

The bigger the game, the bigger the basics. Basics are the scrum, the lineout and the restart.

For all the attacking flair in these teams out wide, if you do not nail those three foundations then you cannot create real momentum.

In the front row, Joe Marler and Dan Cole must deal with Adam Jones and Gethin Jenkins, who have been the cornerstone of Wales' three Grand Slams, so England have to be clever.

The stadium turf has a tendency to cut up so you want to get the ball in, out and away.

Win the engagement and use the scrum as a platform to restart your attack quickly.

If you leave the ball in and the scrum collapses you give the referee an opportunity to penalise you.

At restarts, England must be aware of the aerial threat of North and Cuthbert, who can out-jump forwards. Do not let them get to the ball first.

Sir Alex Ferguson too "distraught" to speak after Manchester United"s defeat to Real Madrid

'Distraught' Ferguson in 'no fit state' to speak as Nani is shown a red card, Ferdinand erupts in fury and Ronaldo sends his old team crashing out of Europe

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

22:45 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:24 GMT, 5 March 2013

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson was too 'distraught' to speak to the media in the aftermath of his side's 2-1 defeat at home to Real Madrid.

The United manager was incensed at the red card for Nani which ultimately proved crucial in their elimination from the Champions League and with his side perhaps the better team despite the result, was said not to be 'in any fit state' to discuss the outcome.

'I don't think the manager is in any fit state to talk to the referee about the decision,' said Phelan, who explained he had never felt a greater sense of injustice. 'It speaks volumes that he is not sat here speaking to you.

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'Distraught': Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was not available for comment tonight

'We're extremely disappointed. We have a distraught dressing room and a distraught manager.

'We are all witnesses to a decision that seemed very harsh, and incredible at that moment in the game.

'To say we are disappointed is an understatement. We felt as though we had got things right tactically and were reasonably comfortable.

'That amazing decision changed things totally.

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Bemused: Ferguson unsurprisingly did not agree with the decision to dismiss Nani

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

Sarcastic: Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear to the referee, Cuneyt Cakir

'Referees are there to make decisions in big games.

'There is an element of doing the right thing at the right moment.

'All you guys and TV audience will have a decision. It is a disappointing one. It spoiled the game.'

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Incandescent: Ferguson was furious about Nani's red card, which significantly changed the game

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

Controversial: Many observers felt Nani's red card swung the game in Real's favour

If Ferguson and Phelan felt they
could justify their frustration – a sentiment largely encapsulated by
Rio Ferdinand sarcastically applauding referee Cuneyt Cakir after the
final whistle –
Jose Mourinho was uncharacteristically in agreement with them,
insisting United had deserved the victory given to Real by Cristiano
Ronaldo's winning goal and that he had expected his side to produce
more.

'Independent of the decision, the best team lost,' the Real manager told ITV. 'We didn't play well, we didn't deserve to win, but football is like this.

'I am not sure about the decision, but independent of that, the best team lost.

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Wrong call The decision to send Nani off seemed harsh on Manchester United

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

Unimpressed: Jose Mourinho was unconvinced by his Real Madrid side's performance

'I am happy that we are through but I expected more from my team,' he added to Spanish television channel TVE.

'When your goalkeeper is the best player on the pitch and you are playing against 10 men then that shows you are not controlling the match as you should.

'But you have to know how to suffer and how to win under those circumstances.'

Swansea players celebrate Capital One Cup victory with party

Let's get the party started! Swansea players hit the town to celebrate cup final victory

By
Riath Al-samarrai

PUBLISHED:

12:01 GMT, 25 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 25 February 2013

Swansea City's Capital One Cup stars descended on one of central London's most exclusive drinking spots last night after crushing Bradford at Wembley.

Michael Laudrup's side celebrated their 5-0 win into the early hours, with most of the squad heading to their Hilton hotel base at Wembley for a post-match meal with wives, girlfriends and family before a smaller group headed to West End club Whisky Mist at 11.30pm.

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

Out on the town: Swansea players party in London after their Capital One Cup victory over Bradford

Swansea players partying

Swansea players partying at Whisky Mist

The group, which included captain Ashley Williams, Garry Monk, Wayne Routledge, two-goal hero Jonathan De Guzman, Leon Britton, Ben Davies, Kemy Agustien, Roland Lamah and Kyle Bartley, stayed in the Mafair club's VIP room until after 3am.

A source close to the club said: 'It was all very good natured and low key. No trouble.

'The lads had a great time after a great day. Leon Britton kept his medal on the whole time he was out.'

Swansea celebrate

Swansea

Backstage pass: Swansea stars pose with the Capita One Cup in the Wembley dressing room

Get the party started: Swansea celebrate in the dressing room at Wembley

Get the party started: Swansea celebrate in the dressing room at Wembley

swansea

Sir Alex Ferguson hails David de Gea after Champions League draw against Real Madrid

The Real Hero! Fergie hails saviour De Gea as Welbeck gives United edge

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

02:21 GMT, 14 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:23 GMT, 14 February 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson hailed David de Gea's Champions League heroics in the Bernabeu.

The under-fire Spanish goalkeeper was outstanding as Manchester United, who took the lead through Danny Welbeck, escaped with a draw after Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning equaliser.

Ferguson said: ‘De Gea has been improving all season and he even got a touch on the shot from Coentrao in the first half when he put it on to the post.

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

Anything will do: David de Gea flung himself at everything to keep Real Madrid largely at bay

'He was excellent and made three or
four top saves. He was coming back to Madrid after his career with
Atletico, so to perform like that against Real …’

Real had 28 attempts on De Gea’s goal
in the first leg of this last-16 tie but they were unable to convert
their chances on a frustrating night for Jose Mourinho’s team.

Ferguson added: ‘The tie is 50-50 and
I would say whoever scores first in three weeks’ time will have a good
chance of going through. We made chances and hopefully we won’t regret
missing them.

‘Real are a fantastic
counter-attacking team, but we will be more positive in terms of
selection. We have goals in our team, don’t forget that.’

Re-United: Sir Alex Ferguson embraces his former protegee at the final whistle

Re-United: Sir Alex Ferguson embraces his former protegee at the final whistle

United took the lead when Welbeck scored only his second goal of the season before Ronaldo hit back with a stunning header.

Ferguson added: ‘It reminded me of
his goal against Roma in the quarter-final in 2009 because that also had
unbelievable spring and power.

‘No player can do that – not even
Messi. Cristiano’s a special talent and it’s nice that he came into the
dressing-room after the game to see his old team-mates.’

Ronaldo, who has scored seven times
in the Champions League this season, added: ‘I did not want to celebrate
the goal out of respect, as I played there for six years. I grew up
there. They welcomed me when I was a child and it’s very special to play
against them.’

On target: Danny Welbeck gives United something take back to Old Trafford

On target: Danny Welbeck gives United something take back to Old Trafford

He will see them again on March 5 when United host Real in the second leg at Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who hugged United legend
Paddy Crerand at the end of the post-match press conference, said: ‘They
came here to defend and not to concede goals or space. They didn’t play
to win.

'We have players of great potential
and we can score goals. I don’t feel pressure. At Old Trafford we have
the perfect conditions to win.’

VIDEO He was excellent, some top saves. Fergie hails De Gea

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Manchester United"s title charge held up by floodlight failure at Fulham

Man United's title charge held up briefly by floodlight failure… and then they make dash across London to get train home

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

19:18 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 2 February 2013

Fulham suffered a floodlight failure just before half-time in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with leaders Manchester United at Craven Cottage.

The match was goalless when the ground was plunged into darkness in the 43rd minute of the contest.

Line up: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) walks off the pitch with his players

Line up: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) walks off the pitch with his players

Manchester United player Wayne Rooney (C) walks off the pitch with team mates and Fulham players

The players remained on the pitch briefly before referee Kevin Friend led them off towards the dressing rooms.

Around five minutes after the lights had gone out, the power returned and the players returned to the pitch to play out the remainder of the game.

Manchester United held their nerve to claim a 1-0 victory thanks to Wayne Rooney's fine effort in the 79th minute.

The Premier League leaders, who moved 10 points clear of Man City, then had to dash across London to make their 9pm train back to Manchester.

The floodlights fail at Craven Cottage

Hold up: The lights go out at Craven Cottage

The floodlights fail at Craven Cottage

The floodlights fail at Craven Cottage

Gary Neville backed by Sky and FA after Richard Keys attack

FA and Sky back Neville after former host Keys accuses pundit of having an agenda

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England expects: Neville is part of Roy Hodgson's staff, and was at Euro 2012

He faced criticism yesterday from England goalkeeping legend Gordon Banks, who said: 'I was very upset to hear Gary Neville talking about how the players were disgusted with him (De Gea), how they were looking at him after he hadn't punched the ball quite clear. I thought, “Hang on a minute, everybody makes mistakes in matches”.

'I found it a bit strange that he (Neville) was saying they'd go back in the dressing room and give De Gea a telling-off.'