Tag Archives: felix

Sale Sharks media chief slams fans on Facebook for complaining after 62-0 defeat

You f*******! Sale media chief slams fans on Facebook and Cipriani loses place in squad

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UPDATED:

14:22 GMT, 21 December 2012

The woman in charge of Sale's social media operation appears to have lambasted the club's moaning fans as 'f*******' on Facebook in the wake of the club's crushing 62-0 Heineken Cup thrashing to Toulon.

Fans reacted with outrage after Holleh Nowrouz appeared to slam fans who complained the club should spend more time on training than on blogs and social media sites.

Humiliation: Sale were hammered by Toulon in the Heineken Cup

Humiliation: Sale were hammered by Toulon in the Heineken Cup

Sharks supporters hit back on blogs and
forums, one angry fan wrote: 'Well thats just about typical from this
franchise. Utter shambles, kick anybody out who cares about Sale / the
fans, replace them with utter F*******, who have no idea…brilliant.'

Paying the price: Cipriani has been dropped by Sale

Paying the price: Cipriani has been dropped by Sale

The reversal was the club's heaviest Heineken
Cup defeat as the French outfit showed their title credentials with a
crushing victory at Stade Felix Mayol.

Meanwhile, Danny Cipriani's future at Sale has been thrown into doubt after Director of Rugby John Mitchell sensationally axed him from the 23-man playing squad that is set to be announced.

The news comes as a massive blow to Cipriani who had hoped to resurrect his career in England after he cut short his spell at Melbourne Rebels.

The 25-year-old fly-half has paid the price following Sale's humiliation at the hands of Toulon.

He returned home early from a spell in Australia where controversy stemmed from late-night antics including a broken curfew and a suspension instigated by his team-mates.

After some patchy form Down Under, with particular concerns about defensive vulnerability, Cipriani's fresh start in English rugby had been seen an opportunity for him to revitalise his career and his reputation.

Vintage era for Sheri: Monster prop is blossoming after move to wine country

Vintage era for Sheri: Monster prop is blossoming after move to wine country

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UPDATED:

19:40 GMT, 14 December 2012

There has been an unforeseen, comic complication for Andrew Sheridan since his transfer to Toulon in the summer, caused by the familiar abbreviation of his name.

'To have “Sheri” as my nickname is not ideal over here, because it means “darling”,' said Toulon's former England and Lions prop. 'OK, the spelling is different, but the pronunciation is similar, so I've had some funny looks when I've been called that since moving to France.'

Full-bloodied: the switch across the Channel to Toulon fits Sheridan

Full-bloodied: the switch across the Channel to Toulon fits Sheridan

Yet, if locals are bemused to hear the giant 33-year-old from Bromley – who has also been known as 'Big Ted' in his time – addressed in such a way, he insists they haven't come up with an alternative Gallic nickname so far.

But there is no doubt that the club's fervent fans have taken to him. Sheridan has been a colossal presence in the first half of his first season in the Top 14 league, to make himself truly a darling of the title-chasing team, the city and the region.

He certainly won't talk himself up, though. As he prepared for the second of back-to-back Heineken Cup fixtures against his former club Sale at Stade Felix Mayol tomorrow, the destructive loosehead was as understated as ever in his pronouncements. Hyperbole doesn't get a look-in. Sheridan is an engaging character but in an interview, he is far happier asking the questions than answering them.

First, he wants to know the 'inside story' about the Lions coaching announcement. Then, he veers off on a tangent to suggest, with typically dry humour, that hairstyle fashion is now catching up with his cropped, military look. He is amused at the notion of being a trend-setter.

Even when he is dragged back to more orthodox subject matter, there is a light-hearted undercurrent.

Galactico gang: Jonny Wilkinson is Sheridan's team-mate

Galactico gang: Jonny Wilkinson is Sheridan's team-mate

'I've settled in here and I'm really enjoying it,' he said. 'I'm slowly picking up the language – it's a gradual process but we have French lessons every week. I've been picking up the rugby vocab – “le maul”, “le ruck”, “le pick-and-go” – honestly, that's what they say!'

What has been striking about Sheridan's season to date (and let's hope this is not a curse) is his constant state of good health. After so many campaigns blighted by serious injury, he has been able to stay fit. It has been a welcome change.

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'I've played in all 17 matches so far,' he said. 'I've had the odd little niggle, but I'm getting old so that is inevitable!

'It's been great to get a run of games week after week, because I spent a lot of time in the previous three years on the operating table. That led to long periods of rehab, which were frustrating, so hopefully this period of playing consistently can continue. I can't say for sure why my luck has changed, but the climate helps. It's starting to get cold now though – I've had to cover up the pool and I haven't been able to go in the sea for a while!'

Sheridan has also relished being surrounded by an array of international-class talent at Toulon. The galacticos include Jonny Wilkinson and Carl Hayman, Matt Giteau, Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe and Frederic Michalak. His preconceptions have been significantly altered in the case of one new team-mate with whom he had previously locked horns – a fearsome Springbok lock.

'Bakkies Botha is an incredibly tough rugby player and competitor, but he's also an amusing guy, it turns out,' he said. 'I must admit, I didn't expect him to be so funny – he's always coming out with little one-liners.'

Sheridan surely gives as good as he gets on that score, in his own softly spoken way. Asked how he has enjoyed the cultural benefits of being in France, the wine enthusiast – who hopes to find work in that trade when his rugby career is over – said he has already enjoyed trips to vineyards, but he mocked the suggestion that he might have tried his hand at surfing.

'There's no surfing here – it's the Med,' he said. 'The Med is dead! It's a flat sea and I'm no surfing expert, but the conditions here don't appear conducive! It's not for me anyway. I like paddling, going for walks along the beach and sitting in the sun.'

While Sheridan is at the forefront of Toulon's compelling double quest for the Top 14 title and Heineken Cup, he was an interested observer of England's autumn Tests. Having seen clips of the games against Fiji, Australia and South Africa, he watched the series finale against the All Blacks in full and was highly impressed.

'I thought it was a very complete performance by England,' he said. 'They played well in all areas, for the full 80 minutes. That was a very good win to have in their minds.

'There are bound to be tough matches in the Six Nations but whenever they are struggling, the players will be able to think back to beating the world champions, and that should lift them.'

Having been forced home from last year's World Cup by injury after the first pool match, Sheridan hasn't played for his country since.

He has not retired from Test rugby, but he does not expect to add to a tally of 42 caps, including two for the Lions. He was able to watch England beat the All Blacks without a trace of regret about the cross-Channel move that took him out of selection contention.

'I'm not an envious person and I don't get bitter,' he said. 'I'm a proud Englishman so I want England to do well. I knew the situation when I signed for Toulon. I know it is unlikely that they would pick people who are playing overseas. Even if I had stayed in England, Stuart Lancaster has looked to pick a younger side.

'My chances of playing for England again are remote. They've got a good batch of young props already performing well at that level. They would have to have quite a few injuries and find themselves really scraping the bottom of the barrel to get to me again! If I was asked, I wouldn't say no, but that is very unlikely.

'As for the Lions, I won't be involved in international rugby and there are good props all over Britain and Ireland, so that is highly unlikely, too.'

He says it all matter-of-factly. Sheridan is a realist, but in many ways, he is living the dream on the Cote d'Azur. 'I've got to go,' he said. 'It's time to open a bottle of wine!'

The new darling of Toulon has undoubtedly earned a glass or two.

London 2012 Olympics: USA smash 27-year-old world record in sprint relay

American sprinters smash 27-year-old world record to win 4x100m relay

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UPDATED:

20:58 GMT, 10 August 2012

The United States showed Britain's sprinters how it is done to win the women's 4x100m relay in a world record of 40.82 seconds.

The team of Tianna Madison, Allyson Felix, Bianca Knight and Carmelita Jeter raced away from their closest challengers Jamaica to take gold.

The Jamaicans ran a national record of 41.41, but still finished well adrift, while Ukraine took the bronze.

Victory roar: Carmelita Jeter celebrates as she crosses the line in the 4x100m relay...

Victory roar: Carmelita Jeter celebrates as she crosses the line in the 4x100m relay…

...and points at the clock which displays a new world record

…and points at the clock which displays a new world record

Time to celebrate: Tianna Madison, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight and Allyson Felix with the new record

Time to celebrate: Tianna Madison, Carmelita Jeter, Bianca Knight and Allyson Felix with the new record

Mind the gap: Carmelita Jeter leads home Jamaica's Kerron Stewart

Mind the gap: Carmelita Jeter leads home Jamaica's Kerron Stewart

London 2012 Olympics: Dai Greene fourth in 400m hurdles as Felix Sanchez wins

No medal for Greene as veteran Sanchez storms to hurdles gold

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UPDATED:

06:36 GMT, 7 August 2012

Olympics 2012

After a valiant but belated charge, Dai Greene was slumped on the stadium floor, leaning on his hands, surveying his broken dream.

He had come fourth, beaten by men who for 300 metres of the 400m hurdles final were simply in another race.

The title went to the Dominican Republic’s Felix Sanchez, the 2004 gold medallist, with a season’s best 47.63sec. That is faster than Greene has ever run.

Sinking feeling: Greene (left) could not win a medal

Sinking feeling: Greene (left) could not win a medal

This was a dose of harsh reality after
the euphoria of the glory that had gone before. Nobody could think that
Super Saturday with its three track and field gold medals could be
repeated. That was a one-off. People spend whole lifetimes waiting for
that.

But, still, Greene’s defeat was a blow for the British contingent
because he is a talisman: champion of Europe, champion of the world and
champion of the Commonwealth. He is also the team captain, a defiant
figure who prides himself on leading from the front.

Intermittently this season he had said he was fresh and always believed
himself to be the strongest finisher. Yet America’s Michael Tinsley was
second with Puerto Rico’s Javier Culson, who was previously unbeaten all
year, third. Greene had to dip for the line to pip Angelo Taylor to the
first non-medal place.

On the line: Sanchez (third left) celebrates as he crosses the line

On the line: Sanchez (third left) celebrates as he finishes

‘I’m just bitterly disappointed,’ said Greene. ‘I missed a lot of
training at the start of the year because of injury. I’ve run a personal
best this year but I guess when it comes to dealing with qualification
rounds in a championship it can be tough and that’s when it finds you
out. It may have cost me the two-10ths of a second I needed to get a
medal.

‘But I’m happy with the way the last few months have gone. I couldn’t have done any more. I gave 110 per cent tonight.

‘The crowd was fantastic. All my family were here somewhere. I hope, in
my role as captain, that everyone saw I gave 110 per cent. It’s been a
brilliant Olympics and I am proud to be part of it.’

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

Not to be: Greene reflects on a missed opportunity

The shaven-headed Greene has been described by Lord Coe as looking as if
he has just come out of solitary confinement when he steps on to the
track. He would not have been distracted by the myriad flashbulbs that
recorded Usain Bolt’s medal ceremony as the seconds ticked by to his
race.

He prowled along his lane, hands on hips. He was announced to the crowd.
He normally waves to them but this time he just swigged water and
stared ahead. It was business time. But, as he later admitted, he had
felt ‘tired in the warm-up area’.

The grey cloudy sky was turning black, the white triangles of the
stadium lights piercing ever stronger, as Greene settled into his blocks
in lane three. He was sandwiched by Americans – double world champion
Kerron Clement inside him and Taylor outside. The tall Culson, with that
languid stride, was in lane five.

Greene was slow starting – he is never the fastest – and was lying last
as they went round the bend. He surely had too much to do to get on
terms.

Second coming: Sanchez won the title in Athens in 2004

Second coming: Sanchez won the title in Athens in 2004

In truth, we knew he would struggle after watching him finish fourth in
his semi-final on Saturday night. He scraped through as one of the
fastest losers but his dejected state told of his deep fears about a
serious absence of winning form.

After that, how could we have expected more than he delivered last
night Disappointingly, he ran slower in the final, 48.24sec, than in
the semi, 48.18sec. He could not match Sanchez, who at 34 – yes, 34 –
ran the same time that won him the Olympic title eight years ago, before
breaking down in floods of tears on the podium.

Really, the road ran out for Greene long ago, except that he rightly
refused to accept the fact. He had surgery on his left knee last
December, though news of it remained a secret for months because he did
not want his rivals to know about his problems.

Because we worked together on his Sportsmail column, he told me on the
condition that I did not breathe a word. I did not. Nor did he. Malcolm
Arnold, his legendary coach, finally let the secret out. ‘I’m pleased in
a way,’ said Greene of Arnold’s revelation. ‘Malcolm would only have
said that in the press if he thought I was doing well.’ Up to a point,
it seems.

Tall order: Greene left himself with a lot to do in the final 200m

Tall order: Greene left himself with a lot to do in the final 200m

Arnold’s admiration for Greene is shared by his head coach. Charles van
Commenee said, when he made him captain: ‘Dai is everything you want. He
is a brilliant athlete, has a cast-iron mindset and a good sense of
humour.’

The laughter was in short supply last night but he is still a fierce competitor.

Greene, 26, immediately turned his attention to the future. ‘I’m not
ready to retire,’ he said emphatically. ‘It’s my first Olympics.

‘Four years ago, when I was watching Usain Bolt win in Beijing, I was
running 49.5sec. Look at the ages of the guys who have beaten me
tonight. I will go on to Brazil, definitely. I will come back stronger
from this.’

So on to Rio 2016 and redemption.

Teofilo Stevenson dies

Three-time Cuban Olympic gold medal winning boxer Stevenson dies at 60

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UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 12 June 2012

Cuban boxer Teofilo Stevenson, the three-time Olympic heavyweight champion with a devastating right hand and a gentlemanly demeanor, has died at the age of 60 from heart disease.

A statement on Cuban news read: 'The Cuban sporting family was moved today by the passing of one of the greatest of all time.'

Considered by some to be the most
accomplished amateur boxer in history, Stevenson first won gold in 1972
in Munich and followed that up in 1976 at Montreal.

Big names: Muhammad Ali (left) with Teofilo Stevenson

Big names: Muhammad Ali (left) with Teofilo Stevenson

'The Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal are the fondest memories I have from my life, the best stage of my career,' he said earlier this year.

In 1980, he won his third Olympic title in Moscow, becoming the second boxer to win gold at three separate games after Hungarian Lazlo Papp. Felix Savon, Stevenson's countryman, accomplished the feat in 2000.

Known affectionately on the island by the nickname 'Pirolo', Stevenson was famous for his punishing right, polished technique, deft hand and footwork, and his sportsmanship.

Stevenson was born March 29, 1952, to a family of modest means, in Las Tunas province in eastern Cuba. He fought in his first match at the age of 14, and two years later won his first international title in the Central American and Caribbean championship.

As his accomplishments grew, boxing fans began salivating over the prospect of a 'fight of the century' pitting him against Muhammad Ali. But Cuba insisted that he would not lose his amateur status, and the bout never took place.

Champ: Stevenson won gold at three separate Games

Champ: Stevenson won gold at three separate Games

After Stevenson won his first world title in 1974, Sports Illustrated ran the headline: 'He'd Rather Be Red Than Rich.'

Stevenson won world amateur titles again in 1978 and 1986, and was forced to pass up a shot at a fourth Olympic gold when Cuba did not attend the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He retired in 1988 after Cuba decided to skip the Seoul Olympics as well.

Stevenson passed up millions by not leaving Communist-run Cuba to turn pro, but expressed no remorse.

'I prefer the affection of 8 million Cubans,' he once said.

In January, Stevenson spent 15 days in intensive care after doctors detected a clot in an artery near his heart. He was released in early February and was surprised at the outpouring of media reports that his condition was grave.

'People called me from all over Cuba, from other parts of the world, even from Miami,' Stevenson said.

In his later years, Stevenson served as vice president of Cuba's boxing federation and at the island's national sports institute. He had two children.

APOEL 0 Real Madrid 3: Kaka and Benzema on target

APOEL 0 Real Madrid 3: Kaka's the key as super sub helps break down minnows

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 27 March 2012

Substitute Kaka sparkled and Karim Benzema scored twice as Real Madrid finally broke down Cypriot underdogs APOEL in Nicosia.

The Brazil international was introduced in the 63rd minute and set up Benzema for a 74th-minute opener before tucking away fellow sub Marcelo's excellent cutback eight minutes later.

France striker Benzema's second gave the scoreline an emphatic look despite a mighty defensive effort by APOEL, whose giant-killing run has accounted for Lyon, Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk but who were outclassed here.

Samba magic: Kaka swung the game in Real Madrid's favour as they overcame APOEL

Samba magic: Kaka swung the game in Real Madrid's favour as they overcame APOEL

APOEL lost key defender Marcelo Oliveira to injury inside 10 minutes after his standing leg twisted under him as he overcommitted in a tackle.

Mesut Ozil tested goalkeeper Dionisis Chiotis, with the hosts still down to 10 men before replacement centre-half Kaka – the namesake and compatriot of Real's in-form schemer – could be introduced.

Fabio Coentrao shot well wide and a frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo was beckoned to his feet by referee Felix Brych after tumbling over Savvas Poursaitidis.

Head boy: Karim Benzema was on target twice as the Spaniards but themselves on the brink of the last four

Head boy: Karim Benzema was on target twice as the Spaniards but themselves on the brink of the last four

Head boy: Karim Benzema was on target twice as the Spaniards but themselves on the brink of the last four

Benzema was guilty of a shocking miss
in the 33rd minute when he hung a foot out at Ronaldo's low cross but
stubbed the ball into the ground and it bounced over the bar.

Ronaldo sliced wide when picked out by Ozil as Real were held at bay until the interval.

Benzema lashed over from the edge of the box early in the second half and Ronaldo was similarly inaccurate before another Benzema effort was blocked.

Fiery atmosphere: Despite the defeat, the home fans, continued to drum up a ferocious atmosphere

Fiery atmosphere: Despite the defeat, the home fans, continued to drum up a ferocious atmosphere

Fiery atmosphere: Despite the defeat, the home fans, continued to drum up a ferocious atmosphere

Ailton lifted the home crowd with a
wonderful solo run down the left before being fouled by Sergio Ramos,
but the free-kick came to nothing.

Jose
Mourinho was driven to a double change in an attempt to lift Real,
introducing his own Kaka and Marcelo for Higuain – injured a few minutes
previously – and Coentrao.

Esteban Solari, the brother of former Real stalwart Santiago, stepped off the APOEL bench – but soon found his side trailing as the better-known Kaka crossed deliciously from the left and Benzema dived to head past Chiotis.

Major blow: APOEL's Marcelo Oliveira was forced off inside the first 10 minutes

Major blow: APOEL's Marcelo Oliveira was forced off inside the first 10 minutes

The keeper saved Ronaldo's drive with his legs and then fumbled Kaka's effort as Real sought a killer second goal.

And it duly arrived as Marcelo was caught in the box by Paulo Jorge but kept his balance and cut the ball back for Kaka to slot home.

Benzema tucked away Ozil's inviting low pass in the last minute as Real put the tie to bed ahead of April 4's return leg.

Not all about you: Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating evening in front of goal

Not all about you: Cristiano Ronaldo endured a frustrating evening in front of goal

Sergio Martinez knocks out Matthew Macklin in New York

Superman is just too speedy for brave Brit Macklin as Martinez proves his class again

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UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 18 March 2012

There is no shame in losing to a great boxer. No need to apologise for being outclassed by a master of the noble art.

So when you go down fighting to a world champion who is being credited with the powers of a comic-book hero, all that really remains is to accept the commiserations and then let the medical specialists check that none of the damage is permanent.

That is what happened to Matthew Macklin and no-one – certainly none of the 5,000 Irish who sold out the Theater at Madison Square Garden on St Patrick's Day – will think any the worse of him.

Toe to toe: Macklin and Martinez square up

Toe to toe: Macklin and Martinez square up

Superman, it turns out, is alive, well, and the toast of Gotham City following his latest feat, that of repulsing the dead-of-night invasion led here by a Birmingham-born son of Irish parents. Unusually, he is cloaked currently in the blue and white flag of Argentina and working on adding English as a second language to his native Spanish. Clark Kent now goes by the name of Sergio Martinez.

Superman That is what his promoter Lou DiBella called him after Martinez had switched on the after-burners and hammered Macklin into submission at the end of the 11th round.

Macklin believed he had come armed with kryptonite, in the form of the eight-year age difference between himself and the 37-year-old middleweight champion of the world.

But Superman doesn't grow old. Martinez is as phenomenal an athlete as ever and, most critically of all, still fights at the speed of light. Macklin is not the first highly capable man to be slain by punches from Martinez which are faster than the eye can see.

On the attack: Macklin fails to breach Martinez's defence

On the attack: Macklin fails to breach Martinez's defence

The first time Macklin fought for a world title he was robbed by a blatant home town decision in favour of Germany's Felix Sturm. This second time the hard old game did its best to compensate for that injustice, handing him a knock-down which looked more like a push and appointing one judge who couldn't see the Martinez punches, either.

To no avail. Macklin, bless him, reasoned later that he had the better of the middle rounds and that the momentum thus gained had been accelerated when his pressure compelled Martinez to touch down on the canvass with one glove.

As it happened, the referee's decision to award that phantom knock down in the seventh was the worst thing that could have happened for him. Martinez responded magnificently, stepping up his game to dominate every round thereafter.

Scything through: Martinez connects with a right jab

Scything through: Martinez connects with a right jab

In the 11th – and what transpired to be the last – he floored Macklin twice. Each time it was his wicked southpaw left hand which inflicted the pain, just as that weapon had sent Macklin staggering three times earlier during the softening up process.

But it was the way he used his right – to deliberately knock his opponent's own right hand out of the way to open the path for his left – which made a masterpiece of the final knock down.

Macklin rose gallantly for the second time and the bell had already sounded as the standing count reached eight. But, despite his protestations. his new American trainer Buddy McGirt refused to let him go out for a final round in which he would assuredly have been KO'd and probably badly hurt.

Floored: Macklin was knocked down in the 11th round

Floored: Macklin was knocked down in the 11th round

That merciful decision spared not only Macklin but the judge who had them level when it ended. Bad officiating is a blight on boxing at the moment. Martinez was four points ahead on the two other scorecards which would have mattered while both Jim Watt, Sky's ex-world champion commentator, and myself had him six in front.

It is one thing for the man up there taking the punches to convince himself, as Macklin put it, that he was in the driving seat. Another altogether for a judge to misread the fight so badly.

One misfortune for Macklin was that Martinez had whipped himself into far better shape than he did prior to labouring a little before knocking out another English challenger, Darren Barker, last autumn.

In Saturday night's condition and form, Superman ranks with Floyd Mayweather Jnr and Manny Pacquaio as one of the three best pound-for-pound boxers in the world. As a natural light-middleweight, he keeps knocking out bigger men.

Delight: Martinez retained his middleweight crown

Delight: Martinez retained his middleweight crown

Even though he is the lineal middleweight champion – and has the Ring world title to prove it – it is a scandal that the holders of the other alphabelts are allowed to keep ducking him.

DiBella is finding it harder to fix a unification fight for Martinez with WBC champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jnr – who prefers a voluntary defence against another Brit, Martin Murray – than he expects it will be to bring Macklin back into the loop.

Of Macklin's decision to move to New York, DiBella says: 'Matthew has found a home here, along with many new fans. Nor will he have to take on Superman every time he fights.'

And that, citizens, is a relief.

Chelsea 4 Napoli 1 AET (agg 5-4): Blues qualify for Champions League quarter-finals

Chelsea 4 Napoli 1 AET (agg 5-4): Ivanovic winner sends Blues into last eight

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 14 March 2012

Branislav Ivanovic scored an extra-time winner to send Chelsea through to the Champions League quarter-finals after a pulsating tie at Stamford Bridge.

Napoli took a two-goal lead into the second leg but goals from Didier Drogba and John Terry put Chelsea ahead on away goals.

The visitors hit back through Gokhan Inler only for Frank Lampard to level from the spot to take the tie into extra time.

As half time approached, defender Ivanovic slammed the ball home to send the Chelsea fans into raptures and their side into the last eight.

More to follow…

Winner: Branislav Ivanovic slams the ball home to send Chelsea into the Champions League quarter-finals

Winner: Branislav Ivanovic slams the ball home to send Chelsea into the Champions League quarter-finals

MATCH FACTS

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry (Bosingwa 98), Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Mata (Malouda 95), Sturridge (Torres 63), Drogba.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Mikel, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou, Cahill.

Goals: Drogba 29, Terry 47, Lampard 75 pen, Ivanovic 105

Booked: Lampard

Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica (Vargas 110), Maggio (Dossena 37), Inler, Gargano, Zuniga, Hamsik (Pandev 106), Cavani, Lavezzi.

Subs not used: Rosati, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Britos.

Booked: Cannavaro, Dossena, Inler, Campagnaro

Goals: Inler 55.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

Att: 37,784

Off and running: Didier Drogba scores the opening goal for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Off and running: Didier Drogba scores the opening goal for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge

Pure delight: Drogba (right) celebrates after scoring Chelsea's first goal against Napoli

Pure delight: Drogba (right) celebrates after scoring Chelsea's first goal against Napoli

Double trouble: John Terry (centre) heads Chelsea into a two-goal lead against Napoli

Double trouble: John Terry (centre) heads Chelsea into a two-goal lead against Napoli

Putting our heads together: Terry (right) celebrates his goal with centre-back partner David Luiz

Putting our heads together: Terry (right) celebrates his goal with centre-back partner David Luiz

Back in it: Gokhan Inler (right) fired Napoli ahead on aggregate at Stamford Bridge

Back in it: Gokhan Inler (right) fired Napoli ahead on aggregate at Stamford Bridge

Get in! Inler celebrates his goal for Napoli with his delighted team-mates

Get in! Inler celebrates his goal for Napoli with his delighted team-mates

Level pegging: Frank Lampard fires home a penalty in the second half to equalise on aggregate

Level pegging: Frank Lampard fires home a penalty in the second half to equalise on aggregate

More to come: Lampard celebrates after his goal took the tie into extra time

More to come: Lampard celebrates after his goal took the tie into extra time

Chelsea v Napoli live

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Chelsea v Napoli – the action from Stamford Bridge as it happens

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 14 March 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Champions League as Chelsea host Napoli in the second leg of their last 16 clash at Stamford Bridge. After losing 3-1 in Naples the Blues face a tough task to reach the quarter-finals but confidence is high after successive wins under Roberto Di Matteo. Email me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Chelsea 0-0 Napoli (7.45pm)
Aggregate: 1-3

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry,
Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Mata, Sturridge, Drogba.
Subs:
Turnbull, Torres, Mikel, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou, Cahill.

Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro,
Cannavaro, Aronica, Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Zuniga, Hamsik, Cavani,
Lavezzi.
Subs: Rosati, Dossena, Vargas, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev,
Britos.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

All the latest from the Champions League

21min: Chelsea have gone three minutes without conceding a shot which is progress in itself.

The Blues are having very little attacking influence so far and to think they need two goals…

18min: Napoli are just queuing up for chances here. Juan Zuniga the latest to try his luck from 20 yards, but his shot is way over the bar. The home fans have become very quiet – they need to get behind their team who are struggling.

15min: The world's most dangerous team on the counter A Chelsea corner is punched clear by De Sanctis and seconds later Lavezzi is through on goal down the right.

Ashley Cole manages to prevent him from making a favourable angle to the target by cutting inside, but his shot still forces Cech to punch behind at his near post.

Moments later Hamsik forces the keeper into another smart save at his bottom right corner.

13min: Liquid football from Napoli. They counter by playing Christian Maggio through on the right and his superb low ball towards the back post is begging for someone to tap it in.

Chelsea fans expect the worse when Edinson Cavani pops up, but he can only fire into the side-netting. The Uruguayan punches an advertising hoarding in frustration, he should score – and he knows it.

10min: But that's the best chance so far and it's come for Napoli.

Ezequiel Lavezzi plays a short pass to Marek Hamsik on the edge of the box, and his effort is well cleared by Petr Cech who had to adjust for a deflection by saving with his foot.

8min: Encouraging start if you are a Chelsea fan. The Blues are playing all the football and Napoli don't seem at the races yet.

5min: Great link-up play there. Drogba chests a throw in into the path of Daniel Sturridge and the striker's shot is well palmed behind by Morgan De Sanctis at his near post.

3min: Free-kick for Chelsea, but Juan Mata's delivery is headed way off target by John Terry from the edge of the box as it sails into the Shed End.

Kick-off: Away we go.

19.42: Out come the players then.

19.39: Well they have scarves on, which by the Newcastle rulebook is prohibited attire – close enough though.

19.36: And a mixed bunch at the away end. Some are your stereotypical well dressed and groomed Italians.

The others look like Newcastle fans in disguise – shirtless basically.

19.33: Stamford Bridge is looking fantastic by the way. Plenty of blue and white flags are flying everywhere – the fans are certainly up for it.

19.30: Let's get one thing sorted before we get wrapped up in the action. The only way this game can go to extra-time tonight is if Chelsea win 3-1.

Chelsea will need to win by a three goal margin should they concede but let's keep it simple for now.

A 2-0 victory will get the job done for Di Matteo's team.

19.27: Speaking of cracking reads by the way, do check out Martin Samuel's piece on Chelsea and the question marks surrounding how they will eventually replace Frank Lampard.

Leading the line: Didier Drogba spearheads Chelsea's attack against Napoli

Leading the line: Didier Drogba spearheads Chelsea's attack against Napoli

19.23: The streets around Stamford Bridge have been invaded by hundreds of ticketless Napoli fans.

Police and stadium security staff are attempting to disperse the crowds in a bid to allow the 2,700 genuine away ticket holders access to the ground.

There are reports of Napoli fans being turned away after getting their hands on tickets in areas reserved for home supporters.

Scary stuff on the face of it – I hope nothing escalates from this.

19.19: There is one other game in the Champions League this evening, with Real Madrid v CSKA Moscow on a knife edge after the first leg finished 1-1 in Russia.

One man on the bench for the Russian side, who are really up against it at Madrid, is Aleksandrs Cauna.

The midfielder is on his way back from a metatarsal injury (it's that time of year again I see) and Ashley Gray spoke to the 24-year-old who has gone from Watford to the Bernabeu in just three years.

19.16: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo recalls four players for tonight's crucial return leg of their Champions League last 16 encounter with Napoli.

Michael Essien, Daniel Sturridge and David Luiz return after the 1-0 win over Stoke, while Juan Mata – who scored the Blues' solitary goal in their 3-1 defeat in Italy – also comes back in.

Napoli rested players of their own after Friday's 6-3 thrashing of Cagliari, with star striker Edinson Cavani and Christian Maggio brought into the side.

19.11: Full line-ups from Stamford Bridge:

Chelsea v Napoli
Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Essien, Lampard, Mata, Sturridge, Drogba. Subs: Turnbull, Torres, Mikel, Malouda, Bosingwa, Kalou, Cahill.

Napoli: De Sanctis, Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica, Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Zuniga, Hamsik, Cavani, Lavezzi. Subs: Rosati, Dossena, Vargas, Dzemaili, Fernandez, Pandev, Britos.

Referee: Felix Brych (Germany)

19.06: Napoli starting XI:

De Sanctis, Aronica, Cannavaro, Campagaro, Maggio, Zuniga, Inler, Gargano, Lavezzi, Cavani, Hamsik.

Down and out: Alan Shearer looks on after Blackburn crash out of the Champions League group stage in 1995 after finishing bottom of Group B

Down and out: Alan Shearer looks on after Blackburn crash out of the Champions League group stage in 1995 after finishing bottom of Group B

19.01: It's not just their own Champions League lives Chelsea are fighting for. English football will take a big dent in its pride if they go out tonight.

Not since 1996 has there been no Premier League side in the quarter-finals of Europe's elite, and that was when we had to rely on Blackburn, and Blackburn only, to lead the charge on the continent.

Having four sides to all fall before that stage seemed unthinkable at the start of the season.

18.56: From OptaJoe:

5 – Chelsea have won none of their last five matches at home in the KO stages of the Champions League (D3 L2). Fragile

18.53: And Napoli look like they are unchanged.

18.50: Chelsea starting XI:

Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Cole, Essien, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Sturridge, Drogba.

18.45: And then there was one. Just Chelsea fly the flag for the Premier League sides in the Champions League now – and that may only be for the next hour or so.

You see, the Blues find themselves trailing Napoli by two goals and are up against reaching the quarter-finals.

But while there is hope there is a chance and Arsenal have already proven how easy it is to race into a two goal lead against an Italian side so all i snot lost just yet. Team news on the way.

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Jump into action: Chelsea need to overturn a two-goal deficit to reach the quarter-finals

Jump into action: Chelsea need to overturn a two-goal deficit to reach the quarter-finals

Kevin Mitchell wants Ricky Burns after beating Felix Lora

Watch out Burns! Mitchell promises to end Scotsman's reign after Lora win

Kevin Mitchell has vowed to dethrone world champion Ricky Burns after returning to the ring with a points victory over Felix Lora.

The 27-year-old thrilled a packed York Hall in London with a solid, if unspectacular victory over 10 rounds.

And the Dagenham fighter has his eye on a summer showdown with Scotsman Burns.

Click here to read Sportsmail's full report from York Hall

Blow: Kevin Mitchell (left) beat Felix Lora on points at London's York Hall

Blow: Kevin Mitchell (left) beat Felix Lora on points at London's York Hall

'I'll be world champion in the summer, I promise you,' Mitchell told Sportsmail. 'Ricky Burns is a lovely lad but I'm going to have to beat him.

'I'll have a fight in March, hopefully I'll get on the Wembley bill [George Groves v Kenny Anderson on March 16] and
get another 10 rounds and we’ll fight Burns in the summer.'

Mitchell had predicted he would face a tough test against Barcelona-based Lora and he was pleased with his nights work.

'I knew it would be a tough,' he added. 'I looked at his record and realised he hasn’t been stopped by many fighters and if he has been stopped, it was by a welterweight.

Down, but not out: Lora was sent to the canvas but survived the 10 rounds

Down, but not out: Lora was sent to the canvas but survived the 10 rounds

'I could have knocked him out in the 10th but I let him off. I could have done it earlier if I wanted to but I wanted to hit nice and clean, slip shots, show my class and get the 10 rounds in.

'Boxing wise, it was an easy fight. If I'd got into a scrap I could have knocked him out but I would have been hit myself. I boxed round him and I know the crowd wanted me to do what I normally do but sometimes it's best to do the unexpected.

'It felt nice to be back in front of my home crowd, I gave them a few spells.

In his sights: Mitchell plans to challenge WBO champion Ricky Burns

In his sights: Mitchell plans to challenge WBO champion Ricky Burns

'His legs were wobbly but he was a tough kid. I landed a left hook then winked at Jimmy [Tibbs, his trainer] to show him I could do it but I didn’t want to leave myself in any trouble.'

Tibbs meanwhile was delighted with his charge's performance.

'Obviously I’m very pleased with the ten rounds, he
boxed to orders, he got him down in the second round… he let him back in the
fight just because he wanted to. That’s Kevin,' he said.