Tag Archives: hosts

She"s in safe hands! Fabregas posts photo of newborn daughter after making another Champions League semi-final

She's in safe hands! Fabregas posts photo of newborn daughter after making yet another Champions League semi-final

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 11 April 2013

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UPDATED:

19:09 GMT, 11 April 2013

Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas admitted yesterday was the happiest day of his life.

No, it wasn't just the fact he had made it through to an incredible fourth Champions League semi-final, but more the fact his girlfriend Daniella Semaan had given birth to their first child.

Newborn: Fabregas posted this picture of his daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan grasping his finger

Newborn: Fabregas posted this picture of his daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan grasping his finger

Fabregas played 62 minutes last night as his side reached the last four of the Champions League after a 1-1 draw with Paris Saint-Germain at the Nou Camp saw them go through on away goals.

And it was the former Arsenal midfielder who made way for Lionel Messi with PSG leading 1-0, with the Argentinian changing the game for the hosts.

Game changer: Fabregas made way for Messi in the 62nd minute, ultimately changing the game

Game changer: Fabregas made way for Messi in the 62nd minute, ultimately changing the game

But even better news was around the corner, and he tweeted: 'Yesterday it was the happiest day of my life, our daugther Lia Fabregas Semaan was born. Both her and Daniella are doing very well.'

The 25-year-old then posted a picture of his newborn daugther grasping his finger, and he'll want to get his hands on his own prize at the end of May, having won just one of the four semi-finals he has been involved in with Arsenal and Barcelona.

Fabregas and his Barcelona teammates will discover who stands in their way of another Champions League final tomorrow, with the draw for the semi-finals taking place in Nyon at 11am BST.

Champion: If Fabregas plays in the last four, it will be his fourth Champions League semi-final appearance

Champion: If Fabregas plays in the last four, it will be his fourth Champions League semi-final appearance

Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas

England are Ashes favourites for good reason, admits Jason Gillespie

England deserve to be Ashes favourites, admits Aussie great Gillespie

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

10:30 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:45 GMT, 2 February 2013

Yorkshire coach and former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie believes England will deservedly start as favourites for their defence of the Ashes later this year.

England retained the famous urn with an emphatic 3-1 win in the five-match Test series on Australian soil in 2010/11, and have been tipped to dictate terms again when the famous rivalry resumes in July.

Gillespie, having been installed as Yorkshire's first-team coach in 2011, has been able to assess the hosts' preparations first hand, and believes English optimism is well-placed.

Jason Gillespie thinks England's Ashes victories give them the advantage

Odds on: Jason Gillespie thinks England's will be full of confidence

Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

Pedigree: Gillespie took 65 wickets in 18 matches against England

'They are incredibly confident over here but they deserve to start favourites, England, no doubt about it,' Gillespie told The Australian newspaper.

'I think potentially they could underestimate our bowling. I've been speaking about it quite regularly over here and saying, ''Don't underestimate the strength of Australia's pace bowling attack''.

'But England won't underestimate Australia. They're too clever for that and I know the England management has already been doing a lot of research.

'They've been planning and researching for a long time. I've got no doubt they'll be wary.'

Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour to England

Lethal: Gillespie took 7/37 at Headingley on his first Ashes tour

Gillespie, who claimed 259 wickets in 71 Tests for Australia between 1996 and 2006, expects England's well-established bowling attack to trouble a relatively inexperienced Australian batting line-up.

'England's bowling is very good at the moment,' he said.

'Coming up against the Australian batting order, they will rightly feel they're in the game. They feel they can put Australia under pressure and can have Michael Clarke coming in consistently very early, at two or three down for not very many.

James Anderson could prove to be the difference

Match-winner: James Anderson could prove to be the difference

'James Anderson is one of the best going around. He'll lead the attack, (Steven) Finn is a very good bowler, (Tim) Bresnan is a very good bowler, (Stuart) Broad has had a bit of an up-and-down time but he's also a very good bowler.

'Graeme Swann is one of the best spin bowlers in the world, if not the number one. Their batting is strong and they've got the best wicketkeeper-batsman in the world (Matt Prior) so they're in a good place.'

WHO ARE THE LIKELY BOWLERS IN THE MIX

England: James Anderson, Steven Finn, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar, Graeme Onions

Australia: Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Xavier Doherty, Jackson Bird, Steven Smith

South Africa 2 Morocco 2

South Africa 2 Morocco 2: Hosts secure top spot after snatching last-gasp leveller

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:29 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

19:47 GMT, 27 January 2013

South Africa grabbed a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Morocco on Sunday and take top spot in the final Group A table at the African Nations Cup.

Morocco, eliminated after drawing all three matches, were four minutes away from beating the hosts before defender Siyabonga Sangweni levelled.

Issam El Adoua opened the scoring for Morocco in the 10th minute at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Top of the group: South Africa's May Mahlangu celebrates his goal against Morocco

Top of the group: South Africa's May Mahlangu celebrates his goal against Morocco

South Africa players celebrate

May Mahlangu pulled South Africa level with a curling shot in the 71st minute only for substitute Abdelilah Hafid to restore Morocco's lead with a breakaway goal 11 minutes later.

South Africa will stay in Durban for their quarter-final against the runners-up in Group B who will be determined on Monday.

Close: Morocco came within minutes of earning their first win of the competition

Close: Morocco came within minutes of earning their first win of the competition

Close: Morocco came within minutes of earning their first win of the competition

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro on target for hosts

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Hosts off the mark as Sangweni and Majoro settle nerves

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:59 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 23 January 2013

South Africa found their rhythm in the Africa Cup of Nations as they eased past Angola to the top of Group A.

After a goalless draw against Cape Verde on Saturday, the hosts burst into life in Durban.

Siyabonga Sangweni smashed home a volley after half an hour and Bafana Bafana were in cruise control when Lehlohonolo Majoro scored early in the second half.

Full report to follow….

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Joe Allen believes Liverpool can improve in the Premier League if they can replicate QPR masterclass

Allen believes Liverpool can bring back success to Anfield if they can replicate QPR masterclass

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UPDATED:

16:11 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joe Allen believes there are 'exciting times ahead' for Liverpool if they can start producing performances like yesterday's at QPR on a regular basis.

The Reds dominated at Loftus Road, impressing from start to finish as they romped to a 3-0 victory despite manager Brendan Rodgers' enforced absence.

Luis Suarez struck twice in the opening 16 minutes, before Daniel Agger netted in a first half in which Liverpool completely outplayed the hosts.

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

Engine: Allen was instrumental in Liverpool comfortable victory at Loftus road

They tapered off after the break but their level of speed and skill in the opening 45 minutes is something summer signing Allen believes bodes well for the Anfield club.

'That is what we're aiming to do in every game.'

'If we can get that level of performance as consistently as possible then we have some exciting times ahead.

'I am extremely pleased. We had a disappointing result, as everyone knows, away to Stoke so it is always important to bounce back first and foremost with a good performance.

'To score three goals and keep a clean sheet is a massive bonus.

'It was a good team performance but when you've got a player like Luis Suarez that can create and score goals out of nothing, it is a pretty big help.'

As impressive as Liverpool were, there is no doubt QPR let themselves down yesterday.

That, though, is not something Allen is keen to focus on, instead pointing to the performance he and his team-mates produced.

'We like to focus on ourselves,' he said.

'When you come away and get a victory like this, it is obviously a massive boost to our confidence.

'I think we like to take credit maybe for the way we played and making it hard for them.'

The victory was made all the more impressive by the fact they did it without manager Rodgers.

The Reds boss was sent home from London ill, so assistant manager Colin Pascoe and coach Mike Marsh were on the sidelines instead.

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

Talisman: Suarez tore QPR apart in the first-half on Sunday

'I think when things like this happen it is a bit of a shock,' Allen added.

'It sets you back a little bit but we've got great staff here and people that can step in.

'They can obviously do a great job and as players we are professional enough to get on with things.'

The win moved Liverpool up to ninth in the standings, while QPR's predicament gets worse by the game.

The bottom-place side have now won just one of their 20 Premier League outings this season, leaving them eight points adrift of safety.

Redknapp was quick to talk up QPR's chances of survival after the game, but admits he had to bring on defensive midfielder Shaun Derry for Djibril Cisse at half-time in a bid to protect his side's goal difference.

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

Subsitute: Colin Pascoe took charge of the team after Brendan Rodgers was sidelined through illness

'In the second half it became a case of damage limitation,' he said.

'You can't be stupid about it.

'What can you do Open up and say you're going to score four goals in the second half against a side like that

'Sometimes you've got to be realistic. No one wants to attack more than I do but when you're up against a team that can cut through you like we were, you have to be realistic.

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

Reinforcements: Redknapp is targeting new players in the January transfer window including West Ham's Mohamed Diame

'I thought we had some good movement in the second half and created a couple of good opportunities, played some decent stuff, but it's not easy.'

It is clear that QPR need fresh faces if they are to beat the drop, with Redknapp recently admitting an interest in bringing former Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka back to west London.

Reports have also suggested the Rs boss wants to be reunited with Joe Cole, a player he managed at West Ham, although last week he insisted there had been no contact with the Liverpool player.

Today has also seen QPR linked to West Ham's Mohamed Diame, Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila and Marseille's Loic Remy, although persuading them to join the league's bottom-place side may prove a tough task.

NextGen series: Arsenal through to last 16

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

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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.

Under 21s European Championships draw: England handed dream group

Pearce demands focus after England U21s handed dream draw for Euros in Israel

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UPDATED:

18:33 GMT, 28 November 2012

England’s hopes of winning next summer’s Under-21 European Championship have been given a massive boost after they were handed the dream draw.

Stuart Pearce’s side will contest Group A in Israel with the host nation, Norway and Italy. Group B contains the countries Pearce would have been hoping to avoid – Spain, Germany, Holland and Russia.

England became the first nation to qualify for four successive tournaments when they saw off Serbia in their play-off last month and the have been rewarded with the easiest of all the possible assignments they could have faced.

Easy Stuart Pearce hopes that his players will not get copmplacent after being handed a dream group at the Euros

Easy Stuart Pearce hopes that his players will not get copmplacent after being handed a dream group at the Euros

Though the venues and dates of games have yet to be confirmed, it is most likely England will begin the tournament against Israel in Tel Aviv on June 5 and, with that in mind, Pearce was quick to stress that qualification from Group A will be no foregone conclusion.

‘I thought the draw would only serve to underline what we already knew – that we will have to be at it from the off to beat the very best young teams in Europe if we are to succeed in this tournament,’ said Pearce.

‘We are in with the hosts and they'll be backed by some great home support. Norway we know all about and there was very little between us in qualifying. Italy are technically very difficult to break down and we have experience of them in the past.

‘On paper it might look easy, but it never works that way. We are excited by it.’

Pearce may point out that the task is not straightforward but privately he will be delighted. England beat Norway twice during qualification – 2-1 in Drammen last October and 1-0 in Chesterfield this September – while they hammered Israel 4-1 in a friendly at Barnsley 14 months ago.

Between the sticks: Jack Butland is likely to deputise in goals

Between the sticks: Jack Butland is likely to deputise in goals

GROUP A

Israel

England

Norway

Italy

GROUP B

Spain

Holland

Russia

Germany

Though they were beaten 1-0 by Italy in a friendly in Empoli the last time the two countries met in February 2011, England will be odds-on to qualify for the knockout stages and improve on the anti-climax they endured in the last tournament in Denmark when falling at the first hurdle.

‘We shouldn't forget that, as much as we're looking around at other teams and talking about their qualities, they'll be looking at us and probably talking in the same terms about our qualities,’ said Pearce, whose side were runners-up to Germany in Sweden in 2009.

‘After all, we are a team that has just gone through a calendar year unbeaten and without conceding a goal – few can boast a record as solid as that. That is credit to the players.

'This will be our fourth tournament, and we'll bring great experience with us in the summer, especially within my staff.

'That doesn't guarantee success of course and we'll need a strong squad, who are fit and in form. We are coming to Israel to win it.'

Cambridge City 0 MK Dons 0: Dominant Dons unable to make chances count

Cambridge City 0 MK Dons 0: Dominant Dons unable to make chances count

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UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 2 November 2012

MK Dons were unable to make the most of their dominance as their FA Cup tie at Cambridge City finished goalless.

Stephen Gleeson headed against the post from Adam Chicksen's cross before the frame of the goal came to the hosts' rescue again with seven minutes left as Luke Chadwick's terrific strike crashed back of the upright.

On the ball: MK Dons' Dean Lewington in action with Cambridge City's Luke Allen

On the ball: MK Dons' Dean Lewington in action with Cambridge City's Luke Allen

The visitors were left frustrated by their Southern League opponents, for whom Zac Barrett was heroic in goal.

The two sides now face a replay at stadium:mk.

Twickenham for sale! The home of rugby could carry a sponsor"s name

EXCLUSIVE: Twickenham for sale! The home of rugby could carry a sponsor's name

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 27 October 2012

The Rugby Football Union are considering the radical possibility of selling the naming rights to Twickenham.

A partner for the stadium, the home
of English rugby since 1910 and the venue for the 2015 World Cup final,
would raise millions of pounds. An RFU spokesman said: 'There are no
immediate plans to sell the naming rights, but the option is considered a
possibility.'

Money matters; Renaming Twickenham would earn millions for RFU

Money matters; Renaming Twickenham would earn millions for RFU

A naming rights deal for Twickenham would help pay for the 70million stadium upgrade planned ahead of the World Cup.

The makeover includes the recently-installed 'Desso' pitch, which uses plastic fibres combined with real grass. An RFU spokesman added: 'Twickenham hosts over 60 matches a year, so it is important to have the best and most durable playing surface. We also intend to give the best possible experience for fans that we can. Plans for stadium improvements also include ticketless entry, WiFi and concourse TV screens.'

Grand designs: 70m is being spent on refurbishing Twickenham for 2015 World Cup

Grand designs: 70m is being spent on refurbishing Twickenham for 2015 World Cup

If a deal were to be struck, the name would have to revert to 'Twickenham' during the 2015 World Cup, as strict IRB regulations dictate unions must deliver 'clean' venues free from rival sponsors and advertisers.

Any additional revenue raised would allow the RFU to offset the increase in funding it will continue to make in the second tier of English rugby.

Republic of Ireland 1 Germany 6: Humiliation for the Irish as Germans canter to victory

Republic of Ireland 1 Germany 6: Humiliation for the Irish as Germans canter to victory

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UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 12 October 2012

Ireland suffered an embarrassing night in Dublin as Germany trashed Giovanni Trapattoni's men 6-1.

The hosts were quite simply hapless as the Germans showed they mean business in World Cup qualifying.

More details and pictures to follow

Happy days: German players after Miroslav Klose scored their fourth goal

Happy days: German players after Miroslav Klose scored their fourth goal

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Eye for goal: Marco Reus scores Germany's opener

Eye for goal: Marco Reus scores Germany's opener

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At the double: Reus makes it 2-0 for Germany in Dublin

At the double: Reus makes it 2-0 for Germany in Dublin