Tag Archives: impressive

Exclusive: Liverpool take Dulwich Hamlet striker Daniel Carr on trial

EXCLUSIVE: Liverpool take goal-a-game non-League striker Carr on trial

By
Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

22:28 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:05 GMT, 6 March 2013

Liverpool are set to invite non-League sensation Daniel Carr for a week-long trial.

The 18-year-old, who plays for south London side Dulwich Hamlet, has scored 23 goals in 23 games for his club this season.

He has been monitored by a string of Premier League and Championship clubs, and the Anfield side have made their move to secure the services of the promising teenager.

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO

Daniel Carr

Luis Suarez

New partner Daniel Carr could potentially line up alongside Luis Suarez next season

Having impressed Liverpool spies during his impressive campaign, the top-flight club now want to take a closer look at Carr.

It will be a major jump in class for the youngster, who plys his trade eight leagues below Liverpool.

Speaking earlier this season, Hamlet boss Gavin Rose said: 'We'd like to hold onto our boys to give us the best chance of competing in the league, which is so tight.

Champion Hill stadium: Where Carr plays for Dulwich Hamlet

Champion Hill stadium: Where Carr plays for Dulwich Hamlet

Anfield: Where Carr could yet play in future

Anfield: Where Carr could yet play in future

'If someone comes in for them at the end of the season then we would give them our blessing as a club.

'It's the normal attention from clubs but we're trying not to focus on that and concentrate instead on the boy progressing.'

HOW THE TWO TEAMS ARE DOING

FA Premier League

1. Manchester United Pld 28 Pts 71

2. Manchester City Pld 28 Pts 59

3. Tottenham Hotspur Pld 28 Pts 54

4. Chelsea Pld 28 Pts 52

5. Arsenal Pld 28 Pts 47

6. Everton Pld 28 Pts 45

7. Liverpool Pld 28 Pts 42

Ryman League – South Division

1. Maidstone United Pld 32 Pts 66

2. Faversham Town Pld 33 Pts 61

3. Dulwich Hamlet Pld 29 Pts 60

4. Leatherhead Pld 30 Pts 53

5. Sittingbourne Pld 33 Pts 51

6. Crawley Down Gatwick Pld 31 Pts 50

7. Hythe Town Pld 30 Pts 50

VIDEO: DANIEL CARR – RISING STAR ON YOUNG PRETENDER

Daniel Carr scores for Dulwich Hamlet against Herne Bay

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London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Danny Cipriani edges out Gavin Henson in relegation battle

London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Cipriani comes edges out Henson in relegation battle

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 17 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Gavin versus Danny proved to be an evenly-fought sideshow at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday in a raw relegation battle.

Sale edged the tussle thanks to tries either side of half-time which helped them to only their fourth Premiership win of the season.

If their careers had gone to plan Gavin Henson and Danny Cipriani would have been preparing for Six Nations games rather than being rival club fly halves as they attempt to rebuild careers.

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow relegation strugglers

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow strugglers

Both enjoyed impressive games. Henson
took the London Welsh sponsor’s man-of-the-match award, but it was
Cipriani’s Sale who emerged victorious in a fraught, penalty–strewn
game.

‘Relief, that’s the best word,’ said
Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby. ‘But we are still bottom and
have Harlequins and Leicester to come in the next two weeks so we are
not out of the mire.’

Yet Sale are daring to hope at the
bottom of the 12-team competition. This was a second successive win,
following a similar triumph over Exeter, and four points here put them a
point behind 11th-placed London Irish and three off Welsh.

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

And there is
no doubting that in Cipriani they have an attacking No 10 who could yet
lead them to safety.

He helped make a crucial try for
scrum-half Will Cliff just before half-time, producing the acceleration
and distribution, alongside wing Charlie Amesbury, which gained him
England recognition.

He also kicked 13 points before being
replaced by Nick Macleod who is considered to be more dependable and a
better defender for such tense finales.

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Henson, playing his first full game in
three months due to injury, also produced play that brought back
memories of his best days for Wales. He landed one long-distance penalty
attempt and set up wing Phil Mackenzie for his team’s only try in the
48th minute.

It was a beautifully-timed pass by
Henson whose conversion put Welsh 22-20 ahead. He then banged over a
second penalty to increase the lead to 25-20 only for Cipriani to reply
in the 60th minute.

It was Cipriani’s last contribution,
Macleod kicking the penalty nine minutes from time which put his team a
decisive 26-25 ahead.

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Welsh’s head coach Lyn Jones said: ‘We
just did not take our chances when we had them.’ After Cipriani put
Sale ahead in the ninth minute, Welsh fed off Sale’s poor discipline
for Alex Davies to kick three penalty goals followed by Henson’s
long-distance toe-bunger.

But it was a series of rash Welsh errors which allowed Sale back.

Cipriani kicked another penalty and then escaped down the right, with Amesbury, to make Cliff’s try

Sale continued on the attack after the
break and Dan Braid, an impressive arrival from New Zealand, scampered
in for the second try.

Welsh regained the lead when Henson made Mackenzie’s try but Sale held their nerve.

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Six Nations 2013: England name team to play Ireland

Twelvetrees, Barritt, Haskell and Youngs all start for England in Ireland… (as Sportsmail predicted)

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:15 GMT, 8 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:19 GMT, 8 February 2013

We called it first…

Sportsmail's Chris Foy once again predicted England's line up correctly earlier this week

England confirmed this morning James Haskell will make his first in the Six Nations for two years when Stuart Lancaster’s team face Ireland, on Sunday, in Dublin.

The 27-year-old, who took himself off to play in Japan and New Zealand following England’s disastrous 2011 Rugby World Cup, starts at blindside flanker following the injury to Ben Morgan in last Saturday’s win over Scotland.

Tom Wood moves across to cover for Morgan at No 8 in a starting team which is otherwise unchanged from the one which beat Scotland 38-18.

Starting role: Haskell is given the nod at blindside with Wood moving to No 8

Starting role: Haskell is given the nod at blindside with Wood moving to No 8

ENGLAND (v Ireland, Dublin, Sunday, kick off 3pm):

Goode (Saracens);
Ashton (Saracens), Barritt (Saracens), Twelvetrees (Gloucester), Brown
(Harlequins); Farrell (Saracens), Ben Youngs (Leicester); Marler
(Harlequins), Tom Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester), Launchbury
(Wasps), Parling (Leicester), Haskell (Wasps), Robshaw (Harlequins,
capt), Wood (Northampton).

Subs: Hartley (Northampton), Wilson (Bath), M Vunipola (Saracens), Lawes
(Northampton); Waldrom (Leicester), Care (Harlequins), Flood
(Leicester), Tuilagi (Leicester).

Haskell’s place on the bench from last week goes to Leicester’s Thomas Waldrom. Another new face among the reserves is centre Manu Tuilagi who takes over from David Strettle.

For head coach Lancaster, the biggest selection decision this week was whether to opt for fit-again Tuilagi over Billy Twelvetrees who had an impressive debut against Scotland.

But as predicted in Sportsmail this week he has opted to stay with the Gloucester player and Saracens’ Brad Barritt, leaving Tuilagi as an impact man to come off the bench. Lancaster has also decided to keep Tom Youngs at hooker ahead of Dylan Hartley.

For Haskell, who will be winning his 47th cap, it is vindication for his decision to return to England last spring and to rejoin his old club of Wasps.

Centre of attention: Barritt retains his place alongside Twelvetrees

Centre of attention: Barritt retains his place alongside Twelvetrees

His last start for England in the Six Nations came two years ago in the same game when Martin Johnson's team went to Dublin in search of a Grand Slam and lost.

Haskell, however, believes his world trip has made him a more ‘enriched person’ and spoke this week about a new mood in the England camp.

He said: ‘Running out to play for England is just as exciting as it ever was. I’ll keep playing for as long as they want me.’

Come in No 2: Tom Youngs starts ahead of Dylan Hartley at hooker

Come in No 2: Tom Youngs starts ahead of Dylan Hartley at hooker

Lancaster said he had made some difficult decisions. He explained: ‘With Manu coming back into the equation it gave us some selection decisions. But with the centres playing well last week and Manu still returning to match fitness, having not played for the last four weeks, he and others will give us great options from the bench in what I am sure will be a physical encounter.'

England also announced that they would be taking 24 players to Ireland for Sunday’s match as Sale’s uncapped prop Henry Thomas will act as travelling reserve.

Six Nations 2013: venue guide

Six Nations venue guide: A look at the stadiums playing host to this year's Championship

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:57 GMT, 1 February 2013

The Six Nations kicks off in February and ahead of the annual feast of rugby Sportsmail runs through the venues that will host this year's games.

TWICKENHAM – LONDON

A capacity of 82,000 identifies the home of England as the world's largest rugby-dedicated venue and the nation's second-largest stadium behind Wembley. When England are winning there are few more rousing places to be – witness the atmosphere against New Zealand last autumn for example – but long spells of quiet can often dampen the occasion. Travelling there can be hellish as the roads become gridlocked while the all-too-infrequent rail service can see trains become horribly overcrowded.

HQ: England's Twickenham Stadium in Surrey

STADE DE FRANCE – PARIS

Just pipped by Twickenham in capacity terms, the 81,338 seater Stade de France was built for the 1998 football World Cup and remains an impressive sight within the unwelcoming district of Saint-Denis, where it is inadvisable to linger after dark. Seasoned Les Bleus supporters still yearn for the more gladiatorial Parc des Princes, the previous home of French rugby, not least because of some poor results at the Stade de France.

General view of the Stade de France in St Denis,Paris.  Mandatory Credit: David Rogers /Allsport Z0111169

AVIVA STADIUM – DUBLIN

Ever since returning to their revamped home, Ireland have spoken of the need to turn Aviva Stadium into a fortress but it has proved an uncomfortable relationship so far after losing seven of their 13 games there. A superb, modern venue, the 51,700 ground is among the finest rugby stadia in the world and access is relatively painless partly thanks to the battalions of available taxis. The atmosphere can be eerily silent, however, and contrast markedly with the noise generated at Irish provincial games.

Aviva Stadium

STADIO OLIMPICO – ROME

Italian rugby has a new home while work continues on the Stadio Flaminio, with the 82,000 capacity Stadio Olimpico proving a superb addition to the list of Six Nations stadia. More traditionally known as the home of Lazio and Roma football clubs, it is one of Italy's most cherished sporting venues and was home to the 1960 Rome Olympics. A running track surrounds the pitch and this affects the atmosphere.

Stadio Olimpico

MURRAYFIELD – EDINBURGH

The declining fortunes of Scottish rugby are evident at Murrayfield, where a dwindling number of spectators turn out to watch a team that has suffered like no other amid the transition to professionalism. Located in the west of the Scottish capital, the superb 67,130 stadium is capable of generating some rousing atmospheres – if only those attending were given something to celebrate on a regular basis once again.

Murrayfield

MILLENNIUM STADIUM – CARDIFF

The finest rugby stadium in the world An argument could certainly be made for what many regard as the jewel in the Six Nations' crown. Brilliantly designed and situated in the heart of Cardiff, it is a spectacular centre-piece for Welsh rugby that can take noise levels to a new dimension. When Wales are firing, it becomes an inspiring venue. The only negative is the difficulty getting out of the city – by car or train – after a match.

Millennium Stadium

Froch versus Kessler II set for O2 Arena on May 25… hours after Wembley"s Champions League final

Froch versus Kessler II set for O2 Arena on May 25… hours after Wembley's Champions League final

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

16:08 GMT, 1 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 1 February 2013

Carl Froch's rematch with Mikkel Kessler will be held at London's O2 Arena on May 25, just hours after the Champions League final at Wembley.

The Nottingham super middleweight will attempt to add Kessler's WBA title to his own IBF belt, and exact revenge for his 2010 defeat to the Dane.

The blockbuster is also set to herald Sky Sports' return to pay-per-view after a self-enforced two-year absence with Froch and Kessler expected to share a 4million purse.

Toe-to-toe: Froch's first fight with Kessler was a close thriller

Toe-to-toe: Froch's first fight with Kessler was a close thriller

The fight was announced last month following protracted negotiations and the 17,000 capacity O2 has seen off competition from the Manchester Arena to host the most eagerly-awaited fight in British boxing.

The first clash between the two, in the Super Six tournament, lives long in the memory as an epic 12-round war awarded to Kessler by unanimous decision.

Prime: The battle-hardened Froch is peaking as a fighter

Prime: The battle-hardened Froch is peaking as a fighter

Since then, the Dane has added a fifth world title to his impressive collection by beating Brian Magee in Denmark last December while Froch was devastatingly brilliant in his brutal demolition of previously unbeaten Lucian Bute in Nottingham last May to become a three-time world champion.

Luka Modric linked to Manchester United, City and Chelsea

Man City, United and Chelsea consider move for 33m Madrid flop Modric

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

08:17 GMT, 6 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:24 GMT, 6 January 2013

Real Madrid flop Luka Modric is reportedly considering a swift switch back to England after failing to light up La Liga.

The former Tottenham midfielder was voted the worst Spanish signing of the season last month having scored just once since his 33million summer move.

And the Premier League’s top clubs are on red alert should he decide to cut his stay in the Spanish capital short, reports the Sunday Mirror.

Flop: Luka Modric has failed to live up to his billing since moving to Real Madrid

Flop: Luka Modric has failed to live up to his billing since moving to Real Madrid

Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are all thought to be monitoring the 27-year-old’s situation with the European champions eyeing him as a replacement for Frank Lampard.

The England midfielder looks set to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of the season.

City boss Roberto Mancini has previously expressed his admiration for Modric and while the Croatian is unlikely to move in the January transfer window, he could leave the Bernabeu in summer.

Ahead of Madrid’s clash with Real Sociedad tonight, he has started just eight games for Jose Mourinho’s side.

Big fan: Roberto Mancini has spoken of his admiration for midfielder Modric

Big fan: Roberto Mancini has spoken of his admiration for midfielder Modric

Waiting: Sir Alex Ferguson has also been an admirer of Modric since the midfielder's time at Spurs

Waiting: Sir Alex Ferguson has also been an admirer of Modric since the midfielder's time at Spurs

Mourinho would be loath to give up on Modric, who Real had tracked for months before finally making the big money swoop.

But the Croatia playmaker has struggled to force his way into the Portuguese manager's plans after an impressive debut. The likes of Xabi Alonso and Mesut Ozil have kept the Croatian out in the cold.

Along with former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, who moved to Barcelona in the summer, Modric was voted the worst signing of the season by readers of Spanish daily newspaper Marca.

Modric managed to gain 32.2. per cent of the vote, having scored just one goal in 19 games for Real.

Disappointed Jose Mourinho signed Modric from Tottenham last summer

Disappointed Jose Mourinho signed Modric from Tottenham last summer

In the cold: Modric has struggled to compete with superstars such as Xabi Alonso (right)

In the cold: Modric has struggled to compete with superstars such as Xabi Alonso (right)

Speaking to Sportske.net, Modric said: 'This is Real Madrid, I know the huge media pressure on transfers.

'I'm not looking for an alibi, I'm not that guy, but it's very demanding to adjust to a huge club like Real Madrid.

'I have had a number of solid performances, I failed in some but overall I proved I can offer something.'

Replacement Modric may be lined up at Stamford Bridge if Frank Lampard were to leave

Replacement Modric may be lined up at Stamford Bridge if Frank Lampard were to leave

Raymond Van Barneveld is through after one of the great performances

Breath-taking: Barney puts on one of the great performances

|

UPDATED:

00:47 GMT, 17 December 2012

Raymond Van Barneveld made a breath-taking start to his quest for a sixth world championship as he despatched Michael Smith 3-0 on Sunday night at Ally Pally.

The Dutchman returned to form when he won the 2012 Grand Slam of Darts and he produced a scintillating performance as he averaged 108.31, the sixth highest in tournament history, and hit eight 180s on his way to booking a place in the last 32.

Scintillating: Raymond Van Barneveld averaged a score of 108.31, the sixth highest in tournament history, as he beat Michael Smith

Scintillating: Raymond Van Barneveld averaged a score of 108.31, the sixth highest in tournament history, as he beat Michael Smith in the first round

It was a clinical start from Barney, who lost in the first round last year, as he took the first set 3-1 with an average of 103.85 and 75% checkout success. The Dutchman hit an 11-dart leg and a 13-dart leg along with three 180s in a dominant opening set.

But Van Barneveld took it to another level in the second set with a stunning average of 125.3 to push his match average beyond 116. After a 121 checkout in the first leg, Barney secured the break in the second before coming close to a nine-dart finish in the next leg as he won the set 3-0.

And there was no stopping the five-time world champion as he won the third set 3-0 as well, sealing victory with a 111 checkout as he hit nine out of 12 doubles.

Clinical: The Dutchman didn't give his opponent a sniff in a brilliant 3-0 victory

Clinical: The Dutchman didn't give his opponent a sniff in a brilliant 3-0 victory

After his impressive performance, Barney told Sky Sports: ‘Last year I was in shock when lost to James Richardson. I was thinking “this isn’t right I have to play more games”. I was so devastated last year and I said I was going to work hard and play every single tournament.

‘I came here and I was so happy I could feel the adrenaline in my whole body. I was thinking “I’m back”.

‘I won the Grand Slam of Darts and when I lifted the trophy one month ago I was thinking “if I can win this trophy I can win them all”. I want to play good games and if I feel well I can play at this level every single round.’

Outclassed: Englishman Michael Smith (pictured) was no match for an imperious Barney

Outclassed: Englishman Michael Smith (pictured) was no match for an imperious Barney

Van Barneveld suffered a shock first-round loss 12 months ago at Alexandra Palace but his conqueror on that occasion Richardson couldn’t repeat his giant-killing exploits this year as he lost 3-1 to Andy Hamilton.

Richardson got off to the perfect start, though, as he hit a 65 checkout in the opening leg to break Hamilton’s throw. The early struggles continued for The Hammer as he missed all seven shots at doubles in the opening two legs to trail 2-0.

And despite a 100 checkout on his own throw by Hamilton to pull back to 2-1, Richardson sealed the opening set with double top to get off to a flying start.

But The Hammer responded in style as he broke Richardson’s throw with a 54 checkout in the first leg of the second set before going on to take the next two legs to draw level at one set apiece.

And Hamilton followed up by hitting double two to win a nervy, pivotal deciding leg in set three to move 2-1 ahead.

The fourth set was just as tight but The Hammer looked to have taken a decisive step towards victory when, with the score at 1-1, he hit two 180s in leg three on his way to breaking the Richardson throw.

But Richardson didn’t give up, though, as he checked out 100 to level the set at 2-2 before Hamilton eventually hit the double 16 he needed to win the deciding leg and seal a hard-fought victory.

Andy Hamilton (left) embraces James Richardson after beating him in a closely fought contest

Andy Hamilton (left) embraces James Richardson after beating him in a closely fought contest

In the last match of the evening, 2011 Premier League champion Gary Anderson beat impressive Finnish qualifier Jani Haavisto 3-1 in an entertaining contest.

The Flying Scot, who squeezed through his first-round match against Jyhan Artut last year, played well and averaged 98.82 but he was pushed all the way by the Finn, who averaged 90.39.

In Sunday’s other match, Brendan Dolan eased to a 3-0 win over Mark Jones to set up a second-round clash with Van Barneveld on Saturday afternoon.

Victory: Gary Anderson celebrates his win over the Fin, Jani Haavisto

Victory: Gary Anderson celebrates his win over the Fin, Jani Haavisto

Day four will see James Wade start his quest for a maiden World Championship after he squandered a big lead against Adrian Lewis in the semi-final last year.

Former BDO world champion Mark Webster is also on the bill on Monday night at Alexandra Palace.

Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3: match report

Newcastle 1 Manchester City 3: Mancini's men bounce back from derby defeat with comfortable win on Tyneside

|

UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 15 December 2012

Yaya Toure helped Manchester City stay in touch with Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United by sealing a hard-fought win at Newcastle.

The reigning champions looked to be coasting to victory at St James' Park after Sergio Aguero and Garcia gave them a 2-0 lead before the break.

However, the Magpies launched a concerted fightback after Demba Ba dragged them back into the game with a 51st-minute header, his 11th goal of the season.

Another one: Yaya Toure scored City's third to seal the victory

Another one: Yaya Toure scored City's third to seal the victory

Bouncing back: City players showed their resilience with an impressive performance on Tyneside

Bouncing back: City players showed their resilience with an impressive performance on Tyneside

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

Pulling it back: Demba Ba brought Newcastle into the game again

MATCH FACTS

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson (Ferguson 83), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (Marveaux 75), Anita, Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79), Ba.

Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier.

Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Perch

Goal: Ba 51

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, K Toure, Clichy, Silva, Javi Garcia, Y Toure, Nasri (Kolarov 37 (Dzeko 72)), Aguero, Tevez (Lescott 79).

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: K Toure, Aguero

Goals: Aguero 10, Garcia 39

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Attendance: 49,579

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

Papiss Cisse came agonisingly close
to rescuing a point in front of a raucous crowd of 49,579, but the
visitors – who did not have striker Mario Balotelli among their ranks
after manager Roberto Mancini left him out of the 18 – eased over the
line when Toure restored their two-goal advantage 12 minutes from time.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was left
to reflect upon a sixth defeat in seven league matches, but buoyed by a
performance of real character against a team which at times threatened
to rip them apart.

Deprived of the threat of mercurial
Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa, Pardew beefed up his midfield by introducing
the more defensively-minded James Perch.

The Magpies enjoyed the better of the
possession in the first 10 minutes and might have been ahead had Joe
Hart not got down smartly to turn away Cisse's early half-volley from
Cheick Tiote's cross.

However, roused from their slumbers,
City responded to assume the appearance of a team assembled on a budget
of hundreds of millions of pounds playing against another assembled on a
budget.

Opening up: Sergio Aguero scored the first goal of the match early on

Opening up: Sergio Aguero scored the first goal of the match early on

The pace and movement of Samir Nasri,
David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Aguero, coupled with the vision of the
imperious Toure, was simply too much for Newcastle to handle at times
and had it not been for the efforts of goalkeeper Tim Krul and some less
than effective finishing, the game could have been out of their reach
long before the half-time whistle sounded.

City took the lead in breathtakingly
simple, but magnificently constructed style with 10 minutes gone when a
Toure pass split the home defence and Nasri unselfishly squared for
Aguero to slide the ball into the empty net.

In an instant, the flow of the game had changed and Pardew's men found themselves chasing shadows.

Tevez was denied a second three
minutes later by Krul's point-blank save and Nasri fired against the
foot of the post after 20 minutes before Mike Williamson blocked
Aguero's follow-up on the line.

Doubled: Javi Garcia headed home for the second of the game

Doubled: Javi Garcia headed home for the second of the game

Sea of blue: City fans lit a flare

Sea of blue: City fans lit a flare

Newcastle rallied with Williamson
forcing another good save from Hart with a left-foot volley after
central defensive partner Fabricio Coloccini had headed upfield, before
Cisse fired over from long range 13 minutes before the break.

City doubled their lead with six
minutes of the half remaining. This time, City adopted a far more
prosaic approach as Javi Garcia met Silva's left-wing corner with a
header which full-back Davide Santon perhaps should have cleared at the
far post, but could only hack into his own net.

To their credit, Newcastle returned
determined not to capitulate, and went close twice within four minutes
of the restart with Ba heading over at the far post and Santon drilling a
low drive into the side-netting.

They got their reward with 51 minutes
gone when, after Vurnon Anita's corner had been half-cleared, Coloccini
hooked the ball back into the penalty area where Ba beat the offside
trap to head firmly past Hart.

Audacious: Carlos Tevez tried an ambitious overhead kick in the second half

Audacious: Carlos Tevez tried an ambitious overhead kick in the second half

Too easy: Sergio Aguero knocked home a sumptuous ball from Samir Nasri

Too easy: Sergio Aguero knocked home a sumptuous ball from Samir Nasri

The Magpies came within inches of
levelling two minutes later when Cisse span on Anita's pass and fired
inches over, but it took another crucial save by Krul to keep their
hopes alive after Tevez had been played in over the top with 57 minutes
gone.

Ba stabbed the ball into the
side-netting from the last of a series of right-wing Anita corners with
City's composure eluding them for once, and then prompted Hart to make a
solid save with a rasping drive from distance.

However, City made sure 12 minutes from time when Pablo Zabaleta got in down the left and crossed for Toure to make it 3-1.

Aguero might have extended City's
lead considerably as time ran down, curling a shot just wide and then
chipping harmlessly across goal after racing from halfway, but the
damage had already been done.

Sent tumbling: Aleksandar Kolarov is bundled over by Danny Simpson

Sent tumbling: Aleksandar Kolarov is bundled over by Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson

Supportive: X Factor Tulisa Contostavlos was in the stands to cheer on boyfriend Danny Simpson

James Anderson praises Alastair Cook"s leadership skills

Anderson praises captain Cook for leading by example with the bat to put England on brink of series win

|

UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 9 December 2012

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

England paceman James Anderson praised the leadership skills of captain Alastair Cook after leading the side to a seven-wicket win over India in the third Test in Kolkata.

Cook's 190 in the first innings helped set the tourists on their way at Eden Gardens before the bowlers took over to dismiss India for 247 on their second turn at the crease.

That left England with a victory target of 41 runs and, despite a last-minute wobble, Ian Bell and Nick Compton settled nerves to move the team 2-1 ahead in the series with one match to play.

It followed an impressive performance in the second Test in Mumbai last week, and Anderson admits they could not have done it without captain Cook.

'The first Test we saw how it was going to be tough for us,' he told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

'We bounced back last week but to come here and put in an equally good performance was something special.

'Cook has been brilliant. The amount of runs he's got in the last three games have been incredible and he's crucial to the team. His first-innings score was a huge factor in us winning the game.

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

'He's the sort of guy who likes to lead from the front, lead by example, and he just wants to go out there and show what he can do and hopes everyone follows him. And we're certainly doing that.'

Anderson finished with six wickets in the match, but thinks spinners Graeme Swann (three wickets) and Monty Panesar (five) also deserve credit for the part they played.
'(Swann and Panesar) have been fantastic in the last two games,” said Anderson.

'Monty especially, having not played much international cricket over the last 12 months.
'He's settled back in brilliantly and got us crucial wickets at crucial times, and he's done that throughout the game.

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

'With Swanny, we know what we're going to get with him. As in this game, getting the crucial wicket of (Virender) Sehwag which started off that run for us in that session yesterday.'

Anderson is already turning his attention to the fourth Test in Nagpur next week, where England have the chance to secure a 3-1 series win.

But the paceman sounded a note of caution, saying: “We've got a lot of improving to do.

'We're really pleased with the last two wins, but going into the fourth Test we want to win the series outright and put in a really good performance to finish with.

'We really want to focus on the last game and if we can win that and win the series outright we can celebrate after that.'

Chelsea and Fernando Torres have turned corner – Rafa Benitez

Chelsea AND Torres have turned corner, insists Benitez despite holders crashing out

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UPDATED:

09:29 GMT, 6 December 2012

Rafa Benitez hopes Fernando Torres and Chelsea have turned the corner after Wednesday night's impressive Champions League performance against Nordsjaelland.

The Blues collected their first win since Benitez's appointment in style, with Torres netting twice in a comprehensive 6-1 victory at Stamford Bridge.

Despite the impressive display, the result proved futile as Juventus' win at Shakhtar Donetsk saw Chelsea become the first Champions League holders to exit at the group stage.

At the double: Torres scored a brace in Chelsea's Champions League win

At the double: Torres scored a brace in Chelsea's Champions League win

At the double: Torres scored a brace in Chelsea's Champions League win

As well as the overall team performance, which included goals from David Luiz – who opened the scoring from the spot – Gary Cahill, Juan Mata and Oscar, Benitez was buoyed by Torres' showing.

The 50million striker has failed to capture the form that propelled him to fame since arriving at Stamford Bridge, but there were glimpses of the past yesterday.

Centre of attention: Benitez believes Chelsea can use last night's win as a springboard

Centre of attention: Benitez believes Chelsea can use last night's win as a springboard

Previous winners of Champions League

1993 Marseille
Banned after match-fixing scandal

1994 AC Milan
Defeated finalists

1995 Ajax
Defeated finalists

1996 Juventus
Defeated finalists

1997 Borussia Dortmund
Defeated semi-finalists

1998 Real Madrid
Defeated quarter-finalists

1999 Man United
Defeated quarter-finalists

2000 Real Madrid
Defeated semi-finalists

2001 Bayern Munich
Defeated quarter-finalists

2002 Real Madrid
Defeated semi-finalists

2003 AC Milan
Defeated quarter-finalists

2004 Porto
Defeated in round of 16

2005 Liverpool
Defeated in round of 16

2006 Barcelona
Defeated in round of 16

2007 AC Milan
Defeated in round of 16

2008 Man United
Defeated finalists

2009 Barcelona
Defeated semi-finalists

2010 Inter Milan
Defeated quarter-finalists

2011 Barcelona
Defeated semi-finalists

2012 Chelsea
Knocked out in group stage

'I hope [it is a springboard for him],' Benitez said. 'He's shown his desire and quality at the same time.

'If we can play at this level, then I think he can score more goals.'

Chelsea's embarrassing display overall in
Europe compounds the poor domestic form that has seen them go seven
league games without a win, although Benitez believes last night's win
can kick-start their campaign.

'I'm sure that, playing at this level, we
can do whatever we want, but we have to start that in the next game,'
he said, looking ahead to the trip to Sunderland.

'My idea is one game
at a time, but if you remember the four games we've already played there
was only 45 minutes we did not play at the right level. “Manchester
City was a difficult game but we performed more or less against one of,
if not the, best teams in the Premier League.

'Against Fulham we could
have won and had a lot of chances, too. The first half against West Ham
was good so everything I am seeing from the players is good, is
positive.

'They are progressing, they are improving and they are
adjusting to my ideas – the little things we are trying to change – so I
think I have to be pleased.'