Tag Archives: fixtures

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Premier League match report – David Luiz and John Terry strike to give Blues victory

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Luiz rocket and Terry double give Benitez's boys derby day spoils and Champions League advantage

PUBLISHED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

David Luiz scored one of the goals of the season and captain John Terry added a further two to give Chelsea a convincing victory and the advantage in the race for the Champions League.

Rafa Benitez's team climb to third ahead of rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and are strongest placed of the three to seal third place.

More to follow…

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Riise (Rodallega, 67), Senderos, Hangeland, Riether, Karagounis (Frimpong, 76), Emanuelson, Enoh, Berbatov, Petric (Frei, 82), Ruiz

Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Manolev

Booked: Senderos, Ruiz

CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Ramires (Mikel, 75), Lampard, Mata (Ba, 80), Moses, Hazard (Oscar, 69), Torres

Subs not used: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Benayoun, Ake

Goals: Luiz 30, Terry 43, 71

Booked: Ivanovic

Att: 25,002

Referee: Mike Dean

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES, TABLE AND RESULTS

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Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

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Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

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

Big freeze hits sport again

Big freeze hits sport again as football fixtures loses more matches and Cheltenham waits on Saturday's show

By
Marcus Townend

PUBLISHED:

12:25 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

10:07 GMT, 26 January 2013

Cheltenham’s big Saturday meeting featuring key Festival trials has passed its Friday inspection but is still subject to a 7am check tomorrow as the track continue to hedge their bets.

No problems are anticipated but the possibility of switching the meeting to Sunday has been retained should unexpected weather hit the track.

A number of football fixtures have also fallen victim to the frozen weather (see below).

Snow joke: The Cheltenham Trials meeting is under threat

Snow joke: The Cheltenham Trials meeting is under threat

Snow joke: The Cheltenham Trials meeting is under threat
Postponed football matches

npower League 1
Tranmere v Swindon

npower League 2
Bradford v Wycombe

Blue Square Bet Premier
Alfreton Town v Tamworth
Hyde v Ebbsfleet United

Kidderminster Harriers v Woking

Scottish Second Division
Albion v Stenhousemuir
Brechin v Queen of South

Scottish Third Division
Annan Athletic v Peterhead
East Stirling v Clyde
Elgin v Queen's Park

The circuit has been cleared of snow but some is expected to hit the course this afternoon being followed by rain.

Cheltenham communications manager Andy Clifton said: 'The course is fit to race and we will be taking the covers off this afternoon, but we have called a precautionary check for 7am.

'The situation is that we are forecast a little bit of snow around teatime today which is then due to be followed by a band of rain.

'Given the more severe weather which is forecast across the country later today, we felt it prudent to call a precautionary inspection just in case our local forecasts are wrong.

'If the forecast is right, which they
have largely been this week, I think we might be able to give the
meeting the go-ahead before 7am tomorrow. If the forecast is right, we
would be extremely confident of racing tomorrow.

Trainers will be required to declare their horses for Saturday and then declare them again for Sunday.

Inspection: Officials will look at the track at 7am on Saturday

Inspection: Officials will look at the track at 7am on Saturday

Clifton added: 'The whole point of us
having that ghost card, even though we are confident of racing, was to
give us the option of Sunday. If there is some unexpected problem
overnight, we have the option to wait until Sunday.'

Cheltenham’s
card features a Gold Cup trial in the Argento Chase and the Victor
Chandler Chase in which unbeaten chaser Sprinter Sacre runs.

Inspection: Officials will look at the track at 7am on Saturday

Hard at work: Groundstaff clear snow off the track on Friday

Hard at work: Groundstaff clear snow off the track on Friday

Hard at work: Groundstaff clear snow off the track on Friday

A few football matches have been postponed because of the freezing conditions.

In League One, the match at Prenton Park between Tranmere Rovers and Swindon Town has been called off, as has the League Two game between Bradford City and Wycombe.

In the Conference, the matches at Alfreton, Hyde and Kidderminster are off, while only one match in Conference North – Worcester City v Histon – has survived.

In the Conference South, the games at Billericay Town, Boreham Wood and Maidenhead United have been postponed.

Five games in Scotland are off as things stand – in the second division at Albion Rovers and Brechin, and in the third division at Annan, East Stirling and Elgin City.

Football matches postponed due to snow

Big freeze wipes out football fixtures as snow wreaks havoc with schedule

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

11:02 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:07 GMT, 18 January 2013

Football fixtures up and down the country are being called off as the adverse weather conditions wreak havoc with the schedule.

But Chelsea players John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic didn't seem overly concerned with the cold weather, as they took their tops off and signed them for fans who were waiting at Chelsea's training ground, Cobham.

Five nPower League One and two nPower League Two matches have already suffered with more expected to be called off as snow blankets the UK.

One Premier League game is also at risk with Southampton reported to have suffered burst pipes to their undersoil heating.

But with heavy snow affecting all parts of the UK, many more games are expected to fall foul of the weather.

At Harlington, QPR's training ground, a lone groundsman had the sorry job of clearing the pitch, while Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini did not look to happy as he arrived at a snow covered Carrington.

Meanwhile, horse racing meetings have also been affected. Today's meetings at Chepstow, Liungfield, and Wolverhampton have all been called off.

Also gone are Saturday's cards at Taunton and Haydock with the one remaining jump meeting, Ascot, also under threat.

Sportsmail will continue to keep up to date with all the latest news as games get cancelled throughout the day.

Scroll down for a full list of the football games called off

Bit cold, boys: Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Branislav Ivanovic (right) donate their shirts to waiting fans in the snow at Cobham training ground

Bit cold, boys: Chelsea's John Terry (left) and Branislav Ivanovic (right) donate their shirts to waiting fans in the snow at Cobham training ground

Tackling the weather: A lone QPR groundsman attempts to clear the snow at the training ground

Tackling the weather: A lone QPR groundsman attempts to clear the snow at their training ground, Harlington

Cold welcome: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (pictured) arrives at Carrington

Cold welcome: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini (pictured) arrives at Carrington

Cancellations: Newcastle United's Fabricio Coliccini (left) and Jonas Gutierrez (right) train in the snow earlier this week

Cancellations: Newcastle United's Fabricio Coliccini (left) and Jonas Gutierrez (right) train in the snow earlier this week

Adverse: Chelsea cancelled a match a couple of years ago because of dangerous conditions around the ground

Adverse: Chelsea cancelled a match a couple of years ago because of dangerous conditions around the ground

Matches off so far:

NPOWER LEAGUE ONE

Scunthorpe v Portsmouth

Crawley Town v Carlisle

Bury v Stevenage

Southend v Plymouth

Hartlepool v Colchester

NPOWER LEAGUE TWO

Accrington Stanley v AFC Wimbledon

Rochdale v Gillingham

More to follow…

Wayne Rooney injury latest: Manchester United striker to miss Liverpool

Rooney out for two more weeks and will miss Liverpool clash

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

09:59 GMT, 4 January 2013

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UPDATED:

10:14 GMT, 4 January 2013

Blow: Rooney is set to be out for another two weeks after a training ground injury

Blow: Rooney is set to be out for another two weeks after a training ground injury

Wayne Rooney is set for two more weeks on the sidelines and will miss Manchester United's clash with Liverpool on January 13.

The England striker missed his team's 4-3 Boxing Day win over Newcastle, after he tore a ligament in the back of his knee on the training ground on Christmas Day, before sitting out United's next two festive-period fixtures against West Brom and Wigan.

The 27-year-old will now miss the Old Trafford battle with arch-rivals Liverpool as well as the FA Cup third-round tie with West Ham this weekend.

Ferguson said at a press conference on Friday: ‘Wayne Rooney is still injured. It’s a bit of a surprise because it’s longer than we thought. We expected him to be back in training but he’s not.

‘It’s nothing serious but it looks as though he’s going to be out for another two weeks or so. He won’t be set for Liverpool.

‘It’s nothing serious, he just got clipped behind his knee. We sent him for a scan and nothing really showed but he’s still feeling it.

‘So hopefully two weeks will sort it but nonetheless it’s a loss. Although we’re in great form you always want your best players available for games that are coming up.

‘We’ve got West Ham tomorrow, Liverpool next week and then Tottenham the week after that. And the FA Cup again hopefully after that.'

Out: Rooney will miss United's match against Liverpool on January 13

Out: Rooney will miss United's match against Liverpool on January 13

He added: ‘It’s a tough period and you always want your best squad available.

‘He’s not had a full season anyway so it’s not as though we can’t cope without him.’

Rooney is also struggling to be fit to face Tottenham on January 20 at White Hart Lane.

The former Everton man has scored
seven goals this season and played second fiddle to new-signing and
Premier League top-scorer Robin van Persie.

United are currently seven points clear of city rivals and defending champions Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Sam Allardyce wants West Ham to start 2013 with a win over Norwich

'We need to bounce back': Allardyce wants Hammers to ring in the New Year by ending run of poor form against Norwich

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UPDATED:

16:25 GMT, 31 December 2012

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce wants a positive reaction from his players when they welcome Norwich to Upton Park on New Year's Day.

The Hammers slipped to a 1-0 defeat against fellow promoted side Reading on Saturday and have now won just one of their last eight Barclays Premier League fixtures.

Norwich, who had previously been on a 10-match unbeaten run, have lost their last three and Allardyce is hoping his players can end the congested festive period on a high.

Testing times: Sam Allardyce has seen West Ham win just once in their last eight Premier League matches and has called for an instant improvement in 2013

Testing times: Sam Allardyce has seen West Ham win just once in their last eight Premier League matches and has called for an instant improvement in 2013

'We need to bounce back,' he said.

'We've got to make sure we become better at creating and taking our chances, otherwise it's going to be tough.

'The balls into the box haven't been given enough quality to open up a defence as everybody starts tightening up at this stage of the season.'

Allardyce has had to deal with a host of injuries in the past couple of months with key players such as Andy Carroll and Mohamed Diame still sidelined.

The 58-year-old believes the number of players unavailable to him of late has led to a slip in form that leaves the Hammers six points clear of the bottom three.

He said: 'We haven't had our best team out for ages and since we beat Chelsea, our points total has diminished rather than kicked on from there.

'Normally when you get a result as big as that one you kick on and get more and more results as the euphoria keeps you going.

Nightmare: 2012 ended in poor fashion for West Ham after James Collins (left) gifted Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak the winning goal with a tame back pass

Nightmare: 2012 ended in poor fashion for West Ham after James Collins (left) gifted Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak the winning goal with a tame back pass

'The injuries have unfortunately kicked in and we've not been able to pick up the results we wanted to.

'It's about getting the players back fit and then keeping them fit, and then we'll be OK but that's got to happen very quickly now.'

The recently recovered trio of Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison and Alou Diarra were all in the matchday squad for the defeat at Reading with only the latter not making it onto the pitch at some stage.

But, despite welcoming a few players back from injury, Allardyce must now cope without the suspended duo of captain Kevin Nolan and defender James Collins for the match with Norwich.

Suspended: Captain Kevin Nolan will miss the New Year's Day match with Norwich after collecting a fifth yellow card of the season

Suspended: Captain Kevin Nolan will miss the New Year's Day match with Norwich after collecting a fifth yellow card of the season

'Losing the game (at Reading) was hard enough, but to lose two key players in the last game of the suspension period makes it even worse,' he said.

'If they had got booked on Tuesday, there's no suspension, but they go and get booked at Reading and now we have to make do without them.'

Collins was at fault for the goal at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday as his under-hit backpass was collected by Royals' striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, who then converted coolly past Jussi Jaaskelainen and the Wales international must now wait to make amends.

'James has to get over the mistake,' said Allardyce.

'But unfortunately he can't on Tuesday as he's suspended. The rest of the team have to get over it and start getting a few more points.'

Nuisance: Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak, seen here challenging Winston Reid, proved a real handful on Saturday

Nuisance: Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak, seen here challenging Winston Reid, proved a real handful on Saturday

With the Hammers on a run of poor form Allardyce is expecting a tense atmosphere at Upton Park for the visit of the Canaries.

'I think it is going to be a big test for our nerve for the first time this season,' he said.

'Norwich have been very good defensively, particularly away from home and I think that they make life very difficult for you to break them down and play very well on the counter-attack if you leave too many spaces.'

Allardyce said he was not surprised to see Norwich string together an impressive run of form once their manager Chris Hughton became comfortable in his new surroundings at Carrow Road.

'They did so well last year, there was a little disruption with a change of manager that the club didn't expect,' he said.

'A new manager gets his feet under the
table and doesn't quite know his players and the players don't know him
and once they get to do that and he gets to show he is a good manager
and can replace Paul Lambert they start playing for him the way they
are.

'It is no mean feat to
go 10 games in the Premier League without defeat, that is a great,
great run any of the top six sides would be pleased with that one never
mind someone that is just competing in the Premier League for the second
season running.'

Stalemate: The two sides drew 0-0 at Carrow Road back in September, despite the best efforts of Jonny Howson and Matt Jarvis

Stalemate: The two sides drew 0-0 at Carrow Road back in September, despite the best efforts of Jonny Howson and Matt Jarvis

Mario Balotelli tribunal off as striker agrees to pay 340k fine

Balotelli backs down over 340k fine! Tribunal called off as striker agrees to pay Manchester City

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UPDATED:

12:39 GMT, 19 December 2012

Mario Balotelli has shown signs of maturity for the first time in months as he decided not to face Manchester City at a Premier League tribunal.

City were due to meet with their errant striker at a Premier League showdown today (Wednesday) after he contested a fine of two weeks' wages – 340,000 – imposed for accumulating too many red and yellow cards last season.

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

Absent: Mario Balotelli missed Manchester City training on Tuesday with a virus

However, after talks between Balotelli’s lawyers and the league champions late last night and this morning, the 22-year-old agreed to drop the action and pay the fine.

A City statement – released just after midday – said: 'After amicable talks between the parties, as a sign of respect for Roberto Mancini, the supporters and the club, Mario Balotelli has chosen to accept a two-week fine levied upon him by the club and withdraw his disciplinary appeal, which was due to be heard by a Premier League panel today.

Why always him Balotelli landed in trouble over his poor discipline last season

Why always him Balotelli landed in trouble over his poor discipline last season

'Mario remains available for selection for all forthcoming fixtures.'

City imposed the fine at the end of last season after working out that Balotelli had missed 20 per cent of his team’s games through suspension.

However, Balotelli was informed by his legal team that there is no provision in guidelines drawn up by the Premier League and the PFA Players’ Union for that kind of fine.

He originally appealed to an internal panel at City and, after losing that, chose to take his case to the Premier League.

Balotelli missed training on Tuesday after being sent home with a virus. He will not be involved when City face Reading at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday as manager Mancini does not think he is fit enough.

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

Rocky relations: Roberto Mancini left Balotelli out of the squad that travelled to Newcastle on Saturday and made him take on extra training at the club's base

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.

weekend guide

'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.

Wigan 0 Manchester City 2 – match report: Mario Balotelli inspires champions

Wigan 0 Manchester City 2: Balotelli and Milner keep unbeaten champions rolling

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mario Balotelli and James Milner struck in the second half as champions Manchester City edged out spirited Wigan on a freezing night at the DW Stadium.

City took time to warm up and Wigan had several chances before Balotelli, moments after a bad miss, changed the game 21 minutes from time with his first Barclays Premier League goal since March.

Milner, having not long been on the field, then doubled the lead with a superb strike before being forced off injured.

Team spirit: Mario Balotelli (left) celebrates his goal with benched team-mate Carlos Tevez (right)

Team spirit: Mario Balotelli (left) celebrates his goal with benched team-mate Carlos Tevez (right)

All too easy: City striker Mario Balotelli (centre) beats Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi for the opening goal

All too easy: City striker Mario Balotelli (centre) beats Wigan keeper Ali Al-Habsi for the opening goal

Matchwinner: City midfielder James Milner (second left) celebrates with Maicon (left)

Matchwinner: City midfielder James Milner (second left) celebrates with Maicon (left)

Pick that out: Milner hammers his brilliant shot into the top corner of Wigan's net

Pick that out: Milner hammers his brilliant shot into the top corner of Wigan's net

Match facts

Wigan: Al Habsi, Stam (McManaman 90), Boyce, Lopez, Figueroa, McCarthy, Jones (McArthur 74), Gomez, Kone, Beausejour, Di Santo.

Subs not used: Pollitt, Boselli, Fyvie, Golobart, Redmond.

Booked: Gomez

Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Nastasic, Zabaleta, Javi Garcia (Milner 59 (K Toure 81)), Y Toure, Silva, Barry, Aguero (Kolarov 68), Balotelli.

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Tevez, Dzeko.

Goals: Balotelli 69, Milner 72

Booked: Barry

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Attendance:

The latest Premier League fixtures, tables and results

The result extended City's unbeaten Premier League run to 20 matches and kept them within a point of leaders Manchester United.

Balotelli was making his first start
in six matches and, after a mostly frustrating night, eventually
justified Roberto Mancini's selection of him ahead of Edin Dzeko.

City were the first to go close when Maicon charged down the right and fired narrowly over from a tight angle.

Wigan threatened on the counter-attack
after a City move broke down and Franco di Santo released Arouna Kone,
whose long-range shot was grabbed by Joe Hart at the second attempt.

City had another chance as David Silva played in Sergio Aguero, but the Argentinian could only shoot into the side-netting.

Another good City move led to Pablo
Zabaleta, starting on the left rather than the right, break into the
area but he lost control and Ali Al Habsi claimed.

Maicon looked in some discomfort after
a Di Santo cross struck him in the throat, but the Brazilian was able
to continue after a stoppage for treatment.

Going nowhere: City midfielder Gareth Barry is tackled by Wigan's David Jones (right)

Going nowhere: City midfielder Gareth Barry is tackled by Wigan's David Jones (right)

Agony: City defender Maicon clutches at his neck as he lies injured on the pitch at the DW Stadium

Agony: City defender Maicon clutches at his neck as he lies injured on the pitch at the DW Stadium

Wigan continued to play their
confident brand of football and Jean Beausejour created a chance by
cutting inside Maicon, but his desire to shoot with his left foot gave
Vincent Kompany time to block.

The Latics had a scare when a high
bounce caught out Maynor Figueroa and Aguero broke clear, but Adrian
Lopez came across to tackle.

Wigan's Ronnie Stam beat Zabaleta with
a superb run down the right and crossed from the byline. Kone beat Hart
in the air, but his header dropped on to the roof of the net, much to
the relief of the goalkeeper who felt, incorrectly, the ball had gone
out before Stam crossed.

Hart was then pleased to see a Jordi Gomez free-kick flash over after the Spaniard was fouled by Aguero outside the area.

Gomez, high on confidence after a
match-winning hat-trick against Reading, appealed for a penalty after
Zabaleta wrapped his arm around his body, but referee Mark Halsey deemed
his fall too theatrical.

Predator: City striker Sergio Aguero (right) gets in a shot on goal against the home side

Predator: City striker Sergio Aguero (right) gets in a shot on goal against the home side

Bundle: Al-Habsi (top right) attempts to clear a City corner through a crowd of players

Bundle: Al-Habsi (top right) attempts to clear a City corner through a crowd of players

After being shaded in the first half, City upped the tempo and looked a much stronger proposition after the break.

Balotelli sent a free-kick over and
Gareth Barry felt he was impeded by Stam after getting into the area in
the hope of getting on the end of a cross.

Yaya Toure then blazed over before
Balotelli was guilty of a glaring miss when he headed wide from close
range at the far post from an inch-perfect Maicon cross.

City then had a let-off as an unmarked Kone headed wide from a James McCarthy cross and Gomez also missed the target.

The champions needed to respond again and this time they did so decisively.
Thumbs up: City goalkeeper Joe Hart celebrates another victory at the final whistle

Thumbs up: City goalkeeper Joe Hart celebrates another victory at the final whistle

Al Habsi was unable to hold Barry's low strike from the edge of the area in the 69th minute and Balotelli was quick to react.

The Italian's first effort was
blocked, but he made no mistake with the second chance and he
emphatically tucked away his third goal of the season in all
competitions.

There was a slight delay to play
restarting as Balotelli ran off to celebrate with substitute Carlos
Tevez, who was warming up on the touchline.

It could have been so different: Unmarked Wigan striker Arouna Kone heads wide with the match scoreless

It could have been so different: Unmarked Wigan striker Arouna Kone heads wide with the match scoreless

City put the result beyond doubt just
three minutes later as substitute Milner, brought on for the ineffective
Javi Garcia, found the top corner with a stunning long-range strike.

Maicon should have added a third after
being presented the ball by a poor Emmerson Boyce clearance but
side-footed wide with Al Habsi beaten.

Milner's night ended prematurely when
he limped off 10 minutes from time, but it had been quite an impressive
21-minute cameo from the England international.

The scoreline was harsh on Wigan, whose spirit did not drop, but City had done what was required.

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Marouane Fellaini earns a point after Theo Walcott"s lightning fast start

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Fellaini a hit but it's a sore point for Moyes

|

UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 28 November 2012

This has been a season that has hinted at great promise for Everton but it is also bringing David Moyes great frustration.

While Moyes should feel content with how his side are performing and the way his players blend, the rewards are simply not coming.

Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park last night merely added another chapter to an increasingly familiar story.

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Oviedo 61), Gibson (Hitzlsperger 72), Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios

Goal: Fellaini 28

Booked: Gibson, Oviedo

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Gibbs 4), Vermaelen, Walcott, Ramsey (Gervinho 79), Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 90), Giroud

Subs not used: Mannone, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson

Goal: Walcott 1

Booked: Gibbs

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Attendance: 37,141

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Despite falling behind to a goal from
Theo Walcott after 52 seconds — the quickest strike of the campaign
until Robin van Persie popped up at Old Trafford in the later kick-off —
Everton dominated Arsene Wenger’s side but all they had to show for
their efforts was Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser.

They deserved so much more.

There is no better venue in the
country for football to be played under floodlights than this
atmospheric old stadium and, given the encouraging start Everton have
made to the campaign, the sense of anticipation before kick-off was
tangible.

The expectation, though, was checked
within just 52 seconds. Everton’s shape and concentration was lacking as
the game got under way and that allowed Walcott to power through the
middle, trading passes with Aaron Ramsey before finishing smartly via a
deflection off Tony Hibbert.

After the frustrations his side
experienced against Aston Villa at the weekend, this was the kind of
start Wenger had dreamed about.

It was also an opportunity for —Walcott to show why Arsenal should do all they can to agree new terms.

This was Walcott’s 10th goal in his
last 18 appearances. The ratio might not be as prolific as the now
departed Robin van Persie, but it is still an impressive return and not
the type that could be easily — or cheaply — replaced if he was to
leave.

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds - the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds – the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

CROWD WATCH

There were no controversial chants and just a great atmosphere under the Goodison Park floodlights.

This hard-fought match was played in an environment that you would hope for and expect at most Premier League stadiums.

He was involved in everything
encouraging Arsenal did in the opening exchanges and the assured,
elegant way the visitors moved the ball around after that goal may have
caused Moyes to worry that a defeat similar to the 6-1 drubbing Arsenal
administered here in August 2009 was on the cards.

This Everton team, however, is made of
much sterner character and, crucially, it is imbued with more quality.
Roared on by the partisan crowd, they carried the fight to Arsenal,
asserting their physical presence and energy.

Central to the plot was the imposing presence of Fellaini.

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

He is always guaranteed to stand out
from the crowd because of his unique hairstyle and huge frame, but he is
also a superb footballer.

Arsenal were just the latest team to discover how difficult it is to contain him.

It came as no surprise, then, that
Fellaini was the man who restored parity. There did not appear much on
when he latched onto a loose ball which Bacary Sagna had failed to
control but, showing great poise, he swept a left-footed curling shot
past Wojciech Szczesny from 25 yards.

That came at the end of a spell of
Everton pressure and gave the hosts even more confidence. They set about
trying to poke their noses in front and should have done so on 39
minutes when Nikica Jelavic crafted a wonderful chance.

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

His chest control and subsequent
turning of Per Mertesacker was exemplary but, unfortunately for the
Croatian, he blazed his shot over the bar.

It was a strike symptomatic of a striker who has only scored twice since the end of September.

Moyes may have been frustrated that
Everton could not get the second goal their play merited but half-time
did not check their momentum. They came out after the break with the
same drive and determination and, as a result, Arsenal’s ambitions were
limited to simply withstanding the intense pressure.

With Moyes never leaving his technical area, constantly urging his players forward, Everton tried to turning the screw.

First Steven Naismith went close, then
Sylvain Distin headed straight at Szczesny from point blank range when
picked out by Leighton Baines.

Baines and Steven Pienaar’s
combination play was a particular nuisance for Arsenal and Pienaar
should have had a penalty in the 64th minute when he surged into
Arsenal’s box but referee Michael Oliver felt Mikel Arteta’s challenge
on the South African was legitimate and awarded a corner.

The way Moyes reacted, flinging his arms out and shaking his head, told its own story.

Frustration. Plain and simple.