Tag Archives: heading

Wilfried Zaha transfer news: Tottenham make 10m move for Crystal Palace starlet

Spurs spark January transfer battle for Zaha with 10m move for Palace starlet

By
Bob Cass

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:25 GMT, 6 January 2013

Tottenham will open negotiations this week for the 10million signing of Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha.

In spite of intense competition for
the 20-yearold Ivory Coast-born England international, Spurs have leapt
ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea because they are ready to do the
deal in the January transfer window and will comply with Palace's
condition that the player is loaned back to them until the end of the
season.

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

But neither United nor Chelsea are ready to concede defeat.

'Spurs may think they've jumped the gun, but the deal is a long way from being completed,' said a source close to the situation.

'This could turn out to be the hottest transfer battle of the season and it could boil down to a question of which club does Zaha want to join.'

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Spurs spark January battle for Wilfred Zaha with 10m move for Crystal Palace starlet

Spurs spark January transfer battle for Zaha with 10m move for Palace starlet

By
Bob Cass

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 5 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:55 GMT, 5 January 2013

Tottenham will open negotiations this week for the 10million signing of Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha.

In spite of intense competition for
the 20-yearold Ivory Coast-born England international, Spurs have leapt
ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea because they are ready to do the
deal in the January transfer window and will comply with Palace's
condition that the player is loaned back to them until the end of the
season.

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

Chase hots up: Spurs open talks with Crystal Palace for Wilfred Zaha

But neither United nor Chelsea are ready to concede defeat.

'Spurs may think they've jumped the gun, but the deal is a long way from being completed,' said a source close to the situation.

'This could turn out to be the hottest transfer battle of the season and it could boil down to a question of which club does Zaha want to join.'

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Heading north Zaha could be crossing the river

Frank Lampard will leave Chelsea at end of season

Lampard is leaving Chelsea in the summer, reveals England star's agent

By
Joe Ridge

PUBLISHED:

22:01 GMT, 3 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 3 January 2013

Frank Lampard will leave Chelsea at the end of the season with Italy his most likely destination, his agent has revealed.

The 34-year-old England midfielder will not be offered a new deal by Chelsea and has recently been linked with a move to Serie A sides Inter and Lazio.

Come and get me: Lampard's agent says he is definitely leaving Chelsea in the summer

Come and get me: Lampard's agent says he is definitely leaving Chelsea in the summer

Chelsea diehards are adamant he has much more to give to the club even though he has turned 34

Fans' favourite: Chelsea diehards are adamant he has more to give to the club even though he has turned 34

And when his agent Steve Kutner was
quizzed by the Italian media on the possibility of Lampard heading to the country in the summer, he admitted that the ex-West Ham man will definitely be leaving
Stamford Bridge when his contract expires and talked up the possibility of a move
to Italy.

'At this moment, Lampard is
exclusively thinking about the present, in other words Chelsea,' Kutner
told Cittaceleste.it. 'As for the future, the only certainty is that he
will change team at the end of the season. Frank wants to pay for a
great side, capable of challenging for important targets and where he
could win more trophies.

Lampard has admitted what he wants more than anything is to add to his cabinet of trophies

Silverware: Lampard has admitted what he wants more than anything is to add to his cabinet of trophies

'We won’t rule anything out. The only thing that counts is that the player is happy and can continue playing at a high level.

'A champion of Lampard’s calibre
deserves the biggest stage. Serie A Why not Only time will tell if
Lazio could be the ideal destination.'

Rafael Benitez is happy Chelsea overcame Norwich 1-0 even if it lacked the style of their Norwich thrashing

Benitez satisfied with another clean sheet even though their 1-0 Norwich win lacked the style of Villa trouncing

|

UPDATED:

11:37 GMT, 27 December 2012

Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez acknowledged yesterday's 1-0 win at Norwich was just as important as their weekend thrashing of Aston Villa.

The Blues needed a special first-half strike from Juan Mata to beat a determined Canaries team, just three days after they had hammered Villa 8-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Although the Boxing Day victory over Norwich will not have drawn as many plaudits as the demolition job on Sunday, Benitez was equally as delighted by Chelsea's display.

Benitez admits that a 1-0 win against in-form Norwich is no mean feat

Mightily relieved: Benitez admits that a 1-0 win against in-form Norwich is no mean feat

'I think it is important to see the team working hard and defending well,' he said.

'We have another clean sheet after Villa, where we were playing really offensive football.

'We could manage and we could control against a good team. They were well organised and pushed and were quite dangerous on the counter-attack, but we were doing our job in defence and that is something we have improved and can keep on improving.

'This kind of game – 1-0 – a
free-kick, corner or counter-attack can make a difference so until the
end they were pushing so we did well.'

Heading into the fixture, the Canaries had lost just once since going down 4-1 at Stamford Bridge on October 6.

This was their 2-1 loss away to West Brom last Saturday, which ended an unbeaten run stretching back 10 league matches.

A different approach was required at Carrow Road, and Benitez promised there was more to come from his players.

'We can manage different kinds of games and still get results,' he said.

'There
are not a lot of teams who can play football like we did the other day
and also show that we can defend and work hard in difficult conditions
(at Norwich) with the rain at the end.

'We are in a good position but can
still improve.'

Anxious wait: Benitez used Lampard to strengthen the midfield with speculation still rife over his future

Anxious wait: Benitez used Lampard to strengthen the midfield with speculation still rife over his future

Benitez finds a smile as he greets Hughton before the game

Mutual respect: Benitez finds a smile as he greets Hughton before the game

Norwich boss Chris Hughton was
pleased with the endeavour shown by his side to limit a talented Chelsea
team to only a few chances.

'I
thought we dealt with them for really big periods of the game,' he
said. 'The chances they had I thought were fairly minimal. We restricted
them.

'As the game opened
up in the second half I think we broke very well and showed good energy
and might have got a draw in the end.'

Hughton's Norwich have punched well above their weight since he took over

A picture of concentration: Hughton's Norwich have punched well above their weight since he took over

But Hughton was unhappy with the wastefulness of his players when they were in possession.

Mata's goal came after Norwich had gifted the ball to Chelsea, and he had missed another chance minutes earlier after David Luiz nicked the ball from Wes Hoolahan.

'The area I was disappointed in during the first half was that we have been good on the ball but we were a little bit loose and it allowed them to have three or four good counter-attacks,' Hughton said.

'We dealt with them eventually very well but it was a ball that was given away (that led to the goal). They broke very well and we got bodies around the ball, but I think you have to admire the strike.'

Andrey Arshavin wanted by Reading

Arshavin heading to Reading as Royals' Russian owner looks to bolster survival bid

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 26 December 2012

Frozen out: Arshavin

Frozen out: Arshavin

Arsenal outcast Andrey Arshavin is close to sealing a January move to relegation-threatened Reading.

The Gunners signed him for 15million in 2009 but he has held talks over a switch to the Madejski Stadium, where billionaire Russian owner Anton Zingarevich wants the 31-year-old – a superstar in their homeland – to bolster his struggling squad.

Arsenal are listening to offers for Arshavin, out of contract at the end of the season, as they try to shift his 85,000-a-week contract off the wage bill.

Arsenal, who are willing to take a hefty loss on the forward, could offload him for as little as 2m. Sources close to Arshavin insist he is taking the offer seriously, given his frustration at Arsenal and the chance to link up with compatriot Zingarevich.

Reading have made an informal offer for Arshavin, who has been told he can leave if he can find the right deal for him and Arsenal straight away. His old club Zenit St Petersburg are keen, as are Fulham.

Marouane Chamakh, on 60,000 a week, is the other big earner Arsenal will try to off-load in January. West Ham and Norwich are keen.

Liverpool set to sign Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea

Liverpool set to sign 12m Sturridge after agent cash row is resolved

|

UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 22 December 2012

Liverpool believe they have resolved the cash wrangle over Daniel Sturridge’s proposed move to Anfield and expect to confirm that a deal has been agreed in the next 48 hours.

The 12million-plus transfer was in danger of collapsing after Liverpool took exception to agents’ demands over sell-on fees and threatened to pull out.

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

But Sportsmail understands agreement has been reached over the terms of the 23-year old Chelsea frontrunner’s departure from Stamford Bridge to reinforce a depleted Liverpool strike force.

Sportsmail first revealed Liverpool’s pursuit of Sturridge at the end of August.

Jonny Bairstow has flown home for family reasons

Bairstow flies home from England's T20 tour of India for family reasons

|

UPDATED:

06:23 GMT, 21 December 2012

Jonny Bairstow has returned home early from England's tour of India, for family reasons.

Bairstow, left out of last night's first Twenty20 International in Pune when England preferred Jos Buttler to keep wicket, subsequently discovered during that match that he was needed at home.

The Yorkshireman will be unavailable for tomorrow's tour-ending final Twenty20 in Mumbai, having flown to England this morning.

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

Heading home: Jonny Bairstow will not feature in England's final T20 game after flying home for family reasons

Bradford captain Gary Jones taunts Arsene Wenger after Capital One Cup disaster that Torquay are tougher than Arsenal

Torquay are tougher than you! Bradford skipper Jones taunts Wenger after cup disaster

|

UPDATED:

23:53 GMT, 12 December 2012

Oh dear: Arsene Wenger is under pressure as the Gunners are well off the pace this season

Oh dear: Arsene Wenger is under pressure as the Gunners are well off the pace this season

Arsene Wenger was subjected to more humiliation yesterday when Bradford captain Gary Jones insisted Torquay had proved more difficult to beat than Arsenal.

Jones delivered a scathing assessment of the Gunners’ shortcomings that will only intensify the pressure on their under-fire manager.

While Wenger claimed his players had no cause for embarrassment, former Rochdale midfielder Jones argued they should hang their heads in shame after putting up less fight than Torquay in a League Two fixture three days earlier.

Mid-table Torquay kept Bradford at bay until bowing to an 85th-minute goal from one of Tuesday’s substitutes, Alan Connell, and Jones was in no doubt about who had inconvenienced them more.

‘I think it’s safe to say Torquay gave us a tougher game,’ said the 35-year old, whose previous claim to fame was making a record number of appearances for Rochdale.

‘It was like a role reversal, because Torquay defended really well against us, whereas it was us defending really well against Arsenal.

‘When you look at what the two teams cost (Bradford 7,500, Arsenal over 65million), it is an incredible result. Without a shadow of a doubt, if I was an Arsenal player heading home after that, I would be embarrassed.'

You beauty: Jones celebrates with goalkeeper and penalty hero Matt Duke

You beauty: Jones celebrates with goalkeeper and penalty hero Matt Duke

He added: 'No disrespect to us and our lads, but they should be beating Bradford City.

‘Team spirit and all that means a lot, though, and can take a side a long way.

'We have a massive team spirit and that is what happened. The lads were unbelievable. It was one of those nights where you just had to be there to witness it.

'I thought promotion with Rochdale would take some beating as the best moment of my career, but to knock out a full-strength Arsenal in a cup quarter-final is what dreams are made of. It is what you play football for.

‘Did it surprise me how badly Arsenal played I think it did, yes. We were surprised at how comfortable we were at times. They didn’t really have too many shots on goal.'

Night to forget: Chamakh, Mertesacker and Gervinho look on as Arsenal were embarrassed by Bradford

Night to forget: Chamakh, Mertesacker and Gervinho look on as Arsenal were embarrassed by Bradford

Night to remember: Bradford celebrate their famous victory over the Premier League giants

Night to remember: Bradford celebrate their famous victory over the Premier League giants

Jones continued: ‘They tried to play too much football at times, especially down the middle. We defended really well, and our organisation and discipline were really good, which put us in good stead for going through.

‘I thought we’d be up against a lot of youth players, with a bit of experience thrown in, but it was nothing like that.

'When we saw their team sheet, we couldn’t believe it. Steve Parkin (assistant manager) wrote their line-up on a piece of paper, then put on the bottom 'poor team' with an exclamation mark.’

Sunderland 1 Chelsea 3: Match report – Fernando Torres at the double

Sunderland 1 Chelsea 3: Smiling Torres at the double as Benitez wins first league game

|

UPDATED:

17:04 GMT, 8 December 2012

Fernando Torres handed Rafael Benitez a first Barclays Premier League victory as Chelsea manager as he ended his personal drought in style at Sunderland.

The Spaniard capped a powerful start for the Blues by firing them into an 11th-minute lead – scoring his first league goal since October 6 – and he made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time by converting a penalty awarded for Sebastian Larsson's trip on Ramires.

Only the woodwork prevented him from completing a hat-trick inside 49 minutes, but Juan Mata rifled in the loose ball to end the game as a contest.

Smiling: Fernando Torres' delight was evident as he struck for the first time in the top flight since October

Smiling: Fernando Torres' delight was evident as he struck for the first time in the top flight since October

MATCH FACTS

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley (Colback 66), Cuellar, O'Shea, Rose, Johnson, Gardner, Larsson (Saha 81), McClean, Sessegnon, Wickham.

Subs not used: Westwood, Campbell, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Bramble.

Booked: Gardner.

Goal: Johnson 66.

Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Romeu (Oscar 20), Mata, Moses (Bertrand 61), Hazard (Lampard 79), Torres.

Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Marin, Azpilicueta.

Booked: Ivanovic, Ramires, Mata.

Goals: Torres 11, 45, Mata 49.

Att: 39,272.

Ref: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

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

Sunderland responded and England
international Adam Johnson embarrassed keeper Petr Cech with a
66th-minute shot he really should have repelled, with Craig Gardner
hitting the bar at the death.

However, as a crowd of 39,273 left the
Stadium of Light, it was those heading south who were wearing the
smiles, leaving those closer to home to contemplate a run which now
extends to just two Premier League victories in 23 attempts.

Chelsea will now turn their attention
to Japan and the FIFA Club World Cup, while Black Cats boss Martin
O'Neill will attempt to take the positives from another difficult
afternoon as he attempts to quell a growing tide of pessimism on
Wearside.

In truth, the visitors could have had
the game won inside the opening 11 minutes as they hit Sunderland with a
whirlwind to spark mass panic.

Referee Mark Halsey proved a central
character and had he seen what television replays later revealed, he
might have endeared himself even less to the locals.

There were just two minutes on the
clock when Eden Hazard ran on to Mata's stunning pass but just as he
prepared to shoot, he had his arm tugged by the covering Larsson.

It was enough to throw the striker off
balance and keeper Simon Mignolet took advantage to smother the ball
with Halsey allowing play to continue and sparing Larsson an inevitable
red card, much to the annoyance of the Belgian.

Hazard returned the favour two minutes
later to allow Mata to fire across the six-yard box, where Torres only
just failed to connect, and Mignolet had to be at his best to deny the
Spain international with six minutes gone when skipper John O'Shea
headed a clearance straight at team-mate Carlos Cuellar and saw the ball
ricochet straight to the striker.

Emphatic: Torres sees his early volley fly in

Emphatic: Torres sees his early volley fly in

How's that Torres fizzes in the first goal

How's that Torres fizzes in the first goal

But having ridden their luck during
the early stages, the Black Cats finally succumbed with 11 minutes
played when, after Cuellar had rashly attempted to nick the ball ahead
of Torres on the halfway line and failed, the visitors broke at pace.

Victor Moses raced away before picking
out Hazard wide on the left, and when he crossed to the near post,
Torres arrived right on cue to turn it into the net.

Defender David Luiz sent a long-range
16th-minute free-kick just over the bar, but as Chelsea relaxed,
Sunderland re-grouped and started to force their way back into the game.

Cuellar saw a 23rd-minute shot blocked
after the Blues had failed to deal properly with Larsson's corner, and
Cech was called upon for the first time five minutes later to beat away
Stephane Sessegnon's well-struck effort after Connor Wickham, deputising
for the injured Steven Fletcher, had held off Luiz to flick on.

Spot on: Torres fires home a penalty to double Chelsea's lead

Spot on: Torres fires home a penalty to double Chelsea's lead

Thump: Seb Larsson brings down Ramires clumsily to concede the penalty

Thump: Seb Larsson brings down Ramires clumsily to concede the penalty

With Gardner and Johnson starting to
make an impression, the Blues were forced on to the back foot at times
and although they tried to hit their hosts on the counter, O'Neill's men
were starting to dominate.

However, disaster struck deep into
injury time when Sweden international Larsson decided not to shepherd
Brazilian into touch, instead needlessly going to ground and taking the
Chelsea man with him.

Halsey pointed straight to the spot, guaranteeing himself a chorus of boos at the break, and Torres obliged from 12 yards.

Three and easy: Juan Mata follows up a Torres effort which hit the bar to bag the third

Three and easy: Juan Mata follows up a Torres effort which hit the bar to bag the third

Off form: Adam Johnson scored but otherwise had a quiet day

Off form: Adam Johnson scored but otherwise had a quiet day

Any hopes of a fightback were dashed
within four minutes of the restart when Phil Bardsley miscontrolled a
cross and the ball ran to Torres, who was denied a hat-trick by the
crossbar.

Sadly for Sunderland, the rebound
dropped invitingly for Mata to make it 3-0 and wrap up the victory with
41 minutes still to play.

It could have been four three minutes
later when Mata rolled the ball into the path of Moses, who drilled a
right-foot effort wide of the far post.

Pressure: Martin O'Neill is enduring a tough time at Sunderland this season

Pressure: Martin O'Neill is enduring a tough time at Sunderland this season

Party time: Chelsea players celebrate as they secured what proved to be a comfortable win

Party time: Chelsea players celebrate as they secured what proved to be a comfortable win

Chelsea eased into cruise control with
the points in the bag, although Johnson gave Sunderland hope with a
rasping 66th-minute strike which keeper Cech appeared to leave, only to
see it scream inside the far post.

Cech was much more accomplished in
dealing with Johnson's goal-bound free-kick 10 minutes later and had to
dive full-length to turn away Wickham's injury-time effort, but he
needed the help off the crossbar to keep out Gardner's free-kick at the
death.

Back in business: Rafael Benitez enjoyed his first win in the top flight as Chelsea boss

Back in business: Rafael Benitez enjoyed his first win in the top flight as Chelsea boss

Happy times: Victor Moses celebrates with Torres who played with more conviction than of late

Happy times: Victor Moses celebrates with Torres who played with more conviction than of late

Fire in his belly: Torres contesting for the rights to take the spot kick with defender Luiz - who scored one in midweek

Fire in his belly: Torres contesting for the rights to take the spot kick with defender Luiz – who scored one in midweek

NextGen series: Arsenal through to last 16

Arsenal progress through to NextGen last 16 after winning six goal thriller against Bilbao

|

UPDATED:

00:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Arsenal's youngsters put on a sublime display to win 4-2 against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday evening and advance through to the last 16 of the NextGen series.

In a must-win game for the hosts, the Gunners got off to the perfect start with Jon Toral heading home from close range to make it 1-0 after seven minutes. Athletic struck back almost immediately from the penalty spot through Ager Aqueche, who calmly slotted into the bottom corner.

Opener: Jon Toral (left) celebrates his first-half strike

Opener: Jon Toral (left) celebrates his first-half strike

NEXTGEN SERIES

Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham are also taking part in the competition. For a full review of the groups click here

Quickfire second-half goals from Zak
Ansah, Isaac Hayden and John Toral put Arsenal into a commanding lead
before Athletic grabbed a consolation goal late on.

Bilbao remain in second place in Group
6 with a game left to play against Olympiacos next week. Should they
avoid defeat against the Greeks they will advance through to the last 16
of the tournament as group winners.