Tag Archives: group

Laura Robson draws GB level in Argentina

Robson draws GB level in Argentina after Konta loses opener

By
Mark Staniforth, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:05 GMT, 20 April 2013

Laura Robson kept Great Britain's hopes of returning to the Fed Cup World Group alive with an emphatic victory over Florencia Molinero in Buenos Aires today.

The world number 38 brushed aside her inexperienced opponent 6-1 6-1 to pull Great Britain level at 1-1 against Argentina after Johanna Konta lost the opening rubber to Paula Ormaechea.

Robson will be strongly fancied to defeat Ormaechea in the reverse singles tomorrow, with Konta due to face Molinero and a potentially decisive doubles rubber also to come.

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Roar: Laura Robson clenches her fist in delight during her win over Florencia Molinero

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Coach well pleased: Judy Murray expresses her happiness over Robson's performance

Robson had plenty of pressure on her shoulders heading into the tie at Parque Roca, with Great Britain banking on her to lead them back into World Group II after an absence of 20 years.

But the 19-year-old showed few signs of nerves as she raced through the first set and went 5-0 ahead in the second.

Despite being broken when she served for the match, she recovered to close it out on Molinero's serve in the next game and kept plenty in reserve.

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Whipping it away: With Heather Watson out of the tie, Robson was under pressure to perform

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Quick and easy: She completed a straight forward 6-1 6-1 win over her opponent from Argentina

Earlier world number 146 Konta had found the going tough against Ormachea and fell to a 6-3 6-2 defeat.

Konta, selected in the absence of Heather Watson due to illness, never recovered from a bad start as she fell 4-0 behind to a player ranked 21 places higher at 143 in the world.

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Going behind: Johanna Konta had a harder day at the office losing to Paula Ormaechea

Konta made a stronger start to the second set but was broken in the fourth game and when she was broken for a second time in her next service game, she was consigned to defeat.

After the two reverse singles, Robson will team up with veteran Anne Keothavong for the doubles, should they be required, against Maria Irigoyen and Mailen Auroux.

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

Team effort: Murray tries to impart some of her wisdom to get Konta back on track

Sepp Blatter blasts UEFA on Euro 2020 that will lack "heart and soul"

Euro 2020 will lack heart and soul… we may as well not call it the Euros! Blatter blasts Platini over plan to host finals in 13 different countries

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

11:41 GMT, 14 March 2013

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 14 March 2013

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has denounced Michel Platini’s plans to stage the 2020 European Championship across the entire continent and called on UEFA to change the name of the tournament.

Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent with the semi-finals and final being played in the same stadium, UEFA announced in January.

But Blatter isn’t impressed with the plans and believes one host country is the best way to deliver
the event.

Wrong: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has criticised Michel Platini's plans to use more than one country for the 2020 European Championship

Wrong: FIFA president Sepp Blatter has criticised Michel Platini's plans to use more than one country for the 2020 European Championship

Euro 2020 details so far

12 cities will host three group stage matches and one knockout round

One stadium will host the semi-finals and final

There will only be one venue per country

In the frame to host the final are Wembley, the Olympic Stadium in Istanbul and the Allianz Arena

He told Kicker magazine: ‘A tournament should be played in one country. That is how you create identity and euphoria.

‘They have fragmented the 2020 tournament. So it is not a European Championship any more. It has to have a different name.’

‘I do not know what name. Such a Euro lacks heart and soul.’

UEFA said that 12 cities would be
awarded a package of three group games plus one knockout-stage game,
either from the round-of-16 or quarter-finals.

A
special 13th package would be awarded, consisting of the two
semi-finals and final with UEFA eager to split the costs for the bigger
tournament and celebrate its 60th anniversary across Europe.

The Swiss sports administrator also said
he planned to end his stint at the top of the world soccer’s governing
body in 2015 if FIFA was strong and stable.

Coming home: Wembley is one of the favourites to host the final after the FA said they would bid

Coming home: Wembley is one of the favourites to host the final after the FA said they would bid

First class: The Allianz Arena in Munich hosted the Champions League final last season

First class: The Allianz Arena in Munich hosted the Champions League final last season

Close contest: The Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul is also thought to be in with a chance

Close contest: The Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul is also thought to be in with a chance

Blatter, who took over the FIFA presidency in 1998, added: ‘I want to push through the FIFA reforms at our congress in Mauritius in May, then we go to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014 and after that everything is open.

‘When it is secured that FIFA will
continue to be led like that, that it will remain global and the pyramid
will not collapse then I will gladly hand over the sceptre to a new
president.'

UEFA chief Michel Platini is seen as a possible successor to Blatter.

‘I do not know if he wants to,’ said Blatter. ‘He has an idea about the future of FIFA which he has to explain to the continents at some point. But he has not decided yet.’

On the rocks: Blatter and Michel Platini have usually had an amicable relationship

On the rocks: Blatter and Michel Platini have usually had an amicable relationship

Brian McDermott sacked by Reading – players informed by text message – Roberto Di Matteo emerges as favourite

Reading callously sack McDermott…and send the players a group text message to let them know with Di Matteo emerging as the firm favourite to replace him

By
Sami Mokbel and Sam Cunningham

PUBLISHED:

22:47 GMT, 11 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:57 GMT, 11 March 2013

Reading's shocked players learned boss Brian McDermott had been sacked yesterday when they all received a round-robin text message from the club.

A core group of senior players were said to be baffled and angered by the treatment of the manager who led them into the Premier League just 10 months ago, as last night former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio emerged as an early contender to replace McDermott.

Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has emerged as the leading candidate for the vacant position with large stakes placed on the Italian returning to English football at the Madejski Stadium.

*Scroll down to watch highlights of McDermott's final match in charge

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

Sacked: McDermott guided Reading to the npower Championship title last season

The bottom six of the Premier League

The bottom six of the Premier League

Striker Jason Roberts said: ‘He’s a
football man and a good man and I just think at this moment in time we
take stock of what he has achieved and place on record our thanks.’

McDermott, 51, had been at the club
for nearly 13 years, first as Under 19 and reserve manager, then chief
scout before taking charge of the first team, and sent texts to friends
saying he was ‘devastated’ by the decision.

The Royals’ billionaire owner,
Russian Anton Zingarevich, took the decision after Saturday’s 2-1 home
defeat by Aston Villa, which left the club off the foot of the table on
goal difference.

Leading contender: Former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio was spotted at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and is the bookies favourite for the job

Leading contender: Former Swindon manager Paolo Di Canio was spotted at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday and is the bookies favourite for the job

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

Ruthless: Zingarevich (left) showed no quarter in sacking McDermott

The sacking was confirmed by a club
statement put out just minutes after the players all received the text —
which also ordered them not to speak to the media and said any comments
on Twitter should be pre-approved by club officials.

That didn’t stop Roberts talking,
while Noel Hunt tweeted: ‘Want to say thanks to Brian for everything he
did for me especially. He’s been a great manager, man and friend to me
and will be missed!’

Famous night: Shane Long scores for Reading against Liverpool at Anfield in 2010

Famous night: Shane Long scores for Reading against Liverpool at Anfield in 2010

Taking the applause: Shane Long salutes the Reading fans after the win

Taking the applause: Shane Long salutes the Reading fans after the win

Di Canio was installed as the
bookies’ favourite for the job after he was spotted at the Madejski
watching Saturday’s game (above) but Di Matteo could be offered the job tomorrow.

Former Russia boss Dick Advocaat,
currently in charge of PSV in Holland, is also believed to be on the
wishlist as Zingarevich aims to name a replacement before Saturday’s
trip to Manchester United.

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Chelsea"s Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel will not play in the Europa League

Petr checks in for a Prague return as part of strong Chelsea squad for Europa League tie

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

12:21 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:08 GMT, 13 February 2013

Petr Cech looks ready for a return to his native Czech Republic as Chelsea jetted off for their Europa League tie against Sparta Prague.

In an Instagram picture posted by Juan
Mata, the Chelsea goalkeeper seems relaxed and gives the thumbs
up as he is photographed next to Mata.

Forgotten man Yossi Benayoun was also part of the travelling party, posting a picture of himself sitting next to Ryan Bertrand.

Jet-set: Juan Mata and Petr Cech on the plane, the latter returning to his home country

Jet-set: Juan Mata and Petr Cech on the plane, the latter returning to his home country

RElaxed: Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Bertrand, enjoying the flight to the Czech capital

Relaxed: Yossi Benayoun and Ryan Bertrand, enjoying the flight to the Czech capital

But John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses, who
both starred in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory over Burkino
Faso, have been left at home as Rafael Benitez tries to avoid making the
same mistake as Neil Lennon, who played Efe Ambrose against Juventus
two days after the final in South Africa.

Demba Ba is cup-tied after appearing for
Newcastle in the earlier stages and David Luiz is suspended. John
Terry travelled despite missing the win over Wigan on Saturday with a knee injury.

Chelsea have not played in Europe's second-tier competition since the 2002-03 season when they lost 5-4 to Norwegian side Viking FK in the first round.

Their bid to retain the Champions League failed at the group stages, but the Blues' season has become no less hectic with trips around the continent in the Europa League.

Defeated: Chelsea drew and lost against Juventus, results which contributed to their failure

Defeated: Chelsea drew and lost against Juventus, results which contributed to their failure

The absence of Ba will mean another probable start for Fernando Torres up front at the Generali Arena.

Three
yellow cards in the group stage of the Champions League mean Luiz will
not be featuring in Prague, with Gary Cahill likely to be partnered with
Branislav Ivanovic.

Chelsea were knocked out of the Champions League losing their away matches to Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus.

Willian the conqueror: Shakhtar's Brazilian (right) was a thorn in Chelsea's side over their two matches

Willian the conqueror: Shakhtar's Brazilian (right) was a thorn in Chelsea's side over their two matches

Title: Victor Moses was instrumental in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory

Title: Victor Moses was instrumental in Nigeria's Africa Cup of Nations victory

Trophy: Neither Moses or John Mikel Obi are being risked in the Europa League

Trophy: Neither Moses or John Mikel Obi are being risked in the Europa League

They may have thrashed Nordsjlland 6-1 at home but because results did not go their way they were left floundering in third place.

Benitez will undoubtedly see this as a competition worth winning as his
tenure at Stamford Bridge looks likely to be very short.

With
the league now out of the question as Manchester United move further
and further clear, Chelsea will put out a strong side in the hope of
achieving silverware this season.

Fed Cup team will fight Argentina for promotion in World Group II play-offs

Fed Cup to fight Argentina for promotion in World Group II play-offs

By
Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

10:51 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:14 GMT, 13 February 2013

The Fed Cup team's next opponent has been announced and the British squad will take on Argentina on April 20-21.

The team reached the World Group II play-offs after beating Bosnia, Portugal, Hungary and Bulgaria in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I.

It's the second consecutive year that the team has reached this stage in the competition, having lost to Sweden in the play-offs last year. This time they are determined not to let a promotion to the second tier of the competition slip through their fingers.

The Fed Cup team celebrated on court following their win over Bulgaria

Victorious: The Fed Cup team celebrated on court after making it to the World Group II play-offs

Unfortunately for the British team they won't have the home advantage, as Argentina were drawn as the hosts.

However, they will travel there with two players who have recently been pushing for a top 40 spot, while Argentina's top player, Paula Ormaechea, is currently ranked 195th, and may not even be available for the tie after picking up an injury against Sweden.

Britain's No 1 and No 2, Heather Watson and Laura Robson, both proved their mettle in last week's group tie's, with only one loss between them.

Team captain Judy Murray seemed enthusiastic about the draw, tweeting: 'Buenos dias Buenos Aires. Vamos @HeatherWatson92 @laurarobson5 @JoKonta91 @annekeothavong @ElenaBaltacha xxxxx #GBFedCup'

Anne Keothavong also seemed happy with the draw, tweeting: 'Argentina. Away. April. Bring it on! #GBFedCup.'

Wellington Paulista goal: New boy scores for West Ham youth team

Paulista on target for Hammers as new boy makes first appearance

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

19:36 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:37 GMT, 28 January 2013


Hard worker: Wellington Paulista scored for the Development Squad

Hard worker: Wellington Paulista scored for the Development Squad

Wellington Paulista scored his first goal in a West Ham shirt as the club's Development Squad beat Arsenal 2-0 at London Colney.

The 29-year-old Brazilian, who scored 28 in 40 appearances last year at Cruzeiro, signed on a six-month loan deal and worked hard up front.

His header opened the scoring before Matthias Fanimo grabbed the second as Nick Haycock's youngsters helped the site start their U21 Premier League Elite Group Stage campaign with a bang.

Haycock was pleased with Paulista's efforts and praised him after the game for his work rate and determination.

'He's a good lad first and foremost. I've picked that up in training,' said Haycock.

'He wants to do extra, he wants to work, he wants to get fit, he's hungry. I thought he showed that in his performance today.

'You sometimes get players who are used to playing at a higher level in their own minds, and they come down to this level and don't put the performance in, but I couldn't question Wellington.'

Helping hand Paulista will boost Sam Allardyce's striking options

Helping hand Paulista will boost Sam Allardyce's striking options

Paulista is confident he will be able to make a strong impact at Upton Park and will not succumb to any pressures.

He said: 'The pressure will not be a problem for me because I am used to it from my time in Brazil, where the fans were really addicted to the club.

'The manager also put pressure on the players too, so it will be the same playing here.

'What I am interested in is the passion of the supporters for their team, the way they keep going with the club and the way they make the players perform better.'

He continued: 'I am strong, I am a fighter and I can score with both feet. I run a lot on the pitch and I can play as either a first or second striker.

'I think I can do my best here and I am coming to England to prove to everyone that I am one of the best strikers in Brazil and to get better and better.'

Australian Open 2013: Andy Murray beats Robin Hasse

Murray ignites grand slam challenge with straight-sets victory over hapless Hasse

PUBLISHED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

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UPDATED:

01:50 GMT, 15 January 2013

Andy Murray wasted no time in reaching the second round of the Australian Open with a facile straight-sets victory over Robin Hasse.

The Brit was rarely out of first gear as he sauntered into a two-set lead and the writing was on the wall after an early break in the third.

And Murray closed out the match with minimal fuss to record a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over the Dutchman.

More to follow…

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Game, set, match: Andy Murray cruised through to the second round with victory over Robin Hasse

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Easy does it: Murray was always in control as he races to a straight-sets victory

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Support group: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears (above) and his fan club (below) were in attendance

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Supporters of Britain's Andy Murray

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Cooling off: Murray barely broke sweat as he began his Australian Open challenge in style

Alex Ferguson to send Davide Petrucci and Scott Wootton to Peterborough

Ferguson to send Petrucci and Wootton to Posh (to help his son avoid relegation)

season, and has
also had temporary spells at Tranmere Rovers and Nottingham Forest.

Wootton has made four first-team
appearances at Old Trafford this season – in the Capital One Cup matches
against Newcastle United and Chelsea, and the two Champions League
group stage games with Cluj.

Wootton was also wanted by Bristol
City, Birmingham and Blackburn, according to reports. He is also
reportedly in talks over a new two-year contract at United.

Time to help my son: Ferguson will send Petrucci and Wootton to Peterborough

Time to help my son: Ferguson will send Petrucci and Wootton to Peterborough

Cheers dad: Peterborough are 21st in the Championship and in danger of relegation to the third tier

Cheers dad: Peterborough are 21st in the Championship and in danger of relegation to the third tier

Italian-born Petrucci, 21, was acquired from Roma in July 2008 but the midfielder saw his first-team breakthrough delayed by a succession of injuries.

He is currently the captain of United's reserves and would gain from first team experience at Peterborough as he pushes for a senior debut at old Trafford next season.

Currently, he is best known for being punched by Nani in a bust-up at United's Carrington training ground.

Meanwhile, young United winger Robbie Brady has joined Hull City.

Manchester United showing interest in Fernando Muslera

United showing interest in Muslera (to replace De Gea)

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:34 GMT, 7 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 7 January 2013

Manchester United are showing interest in Galatasaray goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.

Reports in Turkey claim a 14million offer has been made but it is understood no bid has gone in yet.

Sportsmail revealed last month that United want Stoke City’s Asmir Begovic while Liverpool’s Pepe Reina had also been discussed.

Target: Muslera could be Old Trafford bound

Target: Muslera could be Old Trafford bound

Muslera, 26, is a Uruguay international. He impressed during his side’s 1-0 win over United in the Champions League group stage.

United’s David de Gea could yet be sold to Real Madrid in the summer.

Mansfield to pay tribute to Hillsborough victims against Liverpool

Mansfield pay tribute to Hillsborough victims by placing 96 names on empty seats

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:09 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

Mansfield will pay tribute to the 96 Hillsborough victims this afternoon by placing their names on the empty seats which segregate the home and away fans.

The Blue Square Premier side host Liverpool in the FA Cup in one of the most eagerly-awaited ties of the third round.

'We wanted to do something in light of what has happened this year in terms of Hillsborough and as it's been so long since the two sides met,' explained operations director, Paul Broughton.

Tribute: Mansfield will place the cards on 96 empty seats in the north stand

Tribute: Mansfield will place the cards on 96 empty seats in the north stand

'One of our fans suggested we place a name on each of the empty seats in the segregation section of the stadium. The idea sent shivers down my spine. It was an amazing idea.'

Margaret Aspinall, chairwoman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said: 'I felt moved when I heard that Mansfield had planned this tribute.

Remembering: MK Dons fans paid tribute at Hillsborough on Saturday

Remembering: MK Dons fans paid tribute at Hillsborough on Saturday

'To me, it sums up where we are at, in terms of how everyone around the country is starting to realise what we’ve known for a long time about Hillsborough.

'It will be a lovely gesture and I think it's entirely appropriate for us going forward in our fight for justice. It means a great deal and I would like to thank Mansfield on behalf of the HFSG for what will be a beautiful gesture.'