Tag Archives: lennon

Alan Pardew trains Newcastle players at Stadium of Light

Hang on a minute! What is Newcastle boss Pardew doing at the Stadium of Light

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:27 GMT, 3 April 2013

I thought Paolo Di Canio was the new Sunderland manager! So why was it Newcastle boss Alan Pardew who was on the pitch at the Stadium of Light this afternoon

So too were his Newcastle players as they prepared for their Europa League quarter-final clash against Portuguese giants Benfica tomorrow night.

But fear not, Sunderland fans. It wasn't the Wearside Stadium of Light, but Benfica's fortress, named – in Portuguese, of course – the Estadio da Luz.

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Preparations: Newcastle manager was on the pitch at Benfica's Estadio da Luz this afternoon

Pardew and Co are hoping to set themselves on course to a semi-final berth to add some gloss to an otherwise hapless season.

Despite being 15th in the Premier
League and by no means safe from relegation, Pardew says his side will
not let up in the European competition.

Pardew has even tapped up Celtic counterpart Neil Lennon for advice on how to get past the Portuguese side.

Speaking in Lisbon, Pardew said: 'We
have good contacts regarding this team. I know this city quite well and I
have some contacts here who know Benfica well.

'There is also Neil Lennon who we have been in contact with. I think it is important to get as much information as you can – as I'm sure Benfica have done with us.'

James Perch (L) Jonas Gutierrez (R) and Mike Williamson

Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (R)

Game for a laugh: Yohan Cabaye and Gael Bigirimana (far right) share a joke, so too does James Perch (left)

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night

Big ask: Mike Williamson is gearing up to keep the stars of Benfica at bay tomorrow night

Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1 – match report: Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon score for Spurs, Per Mertesacker heads in consolation for Gunners

Tottenham 2 Arsenal 1: Bale and Lennon pounce on shoddy defending to win north London derby and send Spurs into third

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 3 March 2013

Tottenham pulled clear of their north London rivals Arsenal in the race to secure Champions League football with a 2-1 win in a pulsating derby at White Hart Lane.

Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon capitalised on some poor defending from the visitors to give Spurs a commanding 2-0 lead at half-time.

Per Mertesacker hit back for Arsenal with a header early in the second half but Arsene Wenger's side couldn't force an equaliser.

Spurs moved seven points clear of their neighbours and leapfrogged Chelsea into third place in the Premier League.

Delight: Tottenham celebrate their 2-1 win over Arsenal which moved them into third in the Premier League

Delight: Tottenham celebrate their 2-1 win over Arsenal which moved them into third in the Premier League

MATCH FACTS

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Dembele (Livermore 87), Parker, Lennon (Gallas 90), Bale, Sigurdsson, Adebayor (Defoe 66).

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Holtby, Carroll.

Goals: Bale 37, Lennon 39.

Booked: Vertonghen, Adebayor.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson (Rosicky 60), Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Ramsey, Arteta (Podolski 77), Walcott, Wilshere, Cazorla, Giroud.

Subs not used: Mannone, Koscielny, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Gervinho.

Goals: Mertesacker 51.

Booked: Ramsey.

Attendance: 36,170.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

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

More to follow

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Opener: Gareth Bale beat Arsenal's offside trap to score the first goal at White Hart Lane

Pounce: Aaron Lennon took advantage of some poor Arsenal defending to double Spurs' lead

Pounce: Aaron Lennon took advantage of some poor Arsenal defending to double Spurs' lead

Open goal: Lennon took the ball round Wojciech Szczesny before rolling it into an empty net

Open goal: Lennon took the ball round Wojciech Szczesny before rolling it into an empty net

Back in it: Per Mertesacker celebrates after heading home for Arsenal to reduce their deficit

Back in it: Per Mertesacker celebrates after heading home for Arsenal to reduce their deficit

West Ham 2 Tottenham 3: match report – Gareth Bale scores winner

West Ham 2 Tottenham 3: Brilliant Bale hits last-gasp stunner to hand Spurs all three points

PUBLISHED:

21:54 GMT, 25 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 25 February 2013

Gareth Bale scored another stunning goal to ensure Tottenham left Upton Park with all three points.

Jussi Jaaskelainen appeared to have kept the Hammers on terms after some remarkable second-half saves, but the Welshman carried the ball to the edge of the box in the 90th minute before letting fly with an unstoppable curling shot, notching up his ninth goal in seven games for club and country.

Bale had opened the scoring before Andy Carroll equalised from the spot. Joe Cole put the hosts ahead, but Gylfi Sigurdsson put Andre Villas-Boas' side back in the game, making things 2-2 with his close-range effort 14 minutes from time.

Unbelievable: Gareth Bale rushes to the bench after scoring his stunning match-winning goal

Unbelievable: Gareth Bale rushes to the bench after scoring his stunning match-winning goal

Unstoppable: Gareth Bale lets fly late in the day to clinch the match for Tottenham

Unstoppable: Gareth Bale lets fly late in the day to clinch the match for Tottenham


No chance: Bale's strike flew over West Ham's defenders before hitting the back of the net

No chance: Bale's strike flew over West Ham's defenders before hitting the back of the net

Too much space Hammers defenders stood off the Welshman, allowing him to aim his killer blow

Too much space Hammers defenders stood off the Welshman, allowing him to aim his killer blow

MATCH FACTS

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Reid, O'Brien, Collins, Demel (Pogatetz 72), Nolan (Taylor 35), Jarvis, Diame, J Cole, O'Neil, Carroll

Subs not used: Spiegel, Collison, Taylor, C Cole, Vaz Te, Chamakh

Goals: Carroll 25 (pen), J Cole 58

Booked: Diame, J Cole, O'Neill, Collins

Tottenham: Lloris, Vertonghen, Dawson, Walker, Caulker, Lennon, Parker (Livermore 88), Bale, Holtby (Sigurdsson 56), Adebayor, Dembele (Carroll 75)

Subs not used: Friedel, Gallas, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Sigurdsson

Goal: Bale 13, 90 Sigurdsson 76

Booked: Dembele

Referee: Howard Webb

Attendance: 35,005

More to follow…

Come here you! Bale hugged his manager Andre Villas-Boas (right) after scoring his second goal

Come here you! Bale hugged his manager Andre Villas-Boas (right) after scoring his second goal

.

Carnage: Gylfi Sigurdsson popped up in the box to score Tottenham's equaliser against West Ham

Carnage: Gylfi Sigurdsson popped up in the box to score Tottenham's equaliser against West Ham

Main man: Gareth Bale scored Tottenham's first goal after just 13 minutes

Main man: Gareth Bale scored Tottenham's first goal after just 13 minutes

In front: Joe Cole put West Ham in the lead after latching on to a long ball

In front: Joe Cole put West Ham in the lead after latching on to a long ball

Just about: Cole hit his shot into the floor as Hugo Lloris (right) was wrong-footed

Just about: Cole hit his shot into the floor as Hugo Lloris (right) was wrong-footed

.

In it goes: Gareth Bale opened the scoring for the visitors

In it goes: Gareth Bale opened the scoring for the visitors

No mistake: Andy Carroll fired his shot home from the spot to equalise

No mistake: Andy Carroll fired his shot home from the spot to equalise

.

Putting the boot in: Carroll was brought down by Scott Parker (left)

Putting the boot in: Carroll was brought down by Scott Parker (left)

On fire: Jussi Jaaskelainen (centre) made a number of saves to keep West Ham in the game

On fire: Jussi Jaaskelainen (centre) made a number of saves to keep West Ham in the game

.

Nice try: Bale tries a bicycle kick, to no avail

Nice try: Bale tries a bicycle kick, to no avail

Game for a laugh: Sam Allardyce (left) and Andre Villas-Boas embrace before the match

Game for a laugh: Sam Allardyce (left) and Andre Villas-Boas embrace before the match

.

Tussle: Aaron Lennon (right) tries to resist the challenge of Matt Jarvis

Tussle: Aaron Lennon (right) tries to resist the challenge of Matt Jarvis

Flying the flag: Moore's Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) led the two teams out

Flying the flag: Moore's Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) led the two teams out

.

Appreciation: The players gathered round the centre circle to mark the 20th anniversary of Bobby Moore's death

Appreciation: The players gathered round the centre circle to mark the 20th anniversary of Bobby Moore's death

Icon: Fans held up posters to make a mosaic which read: MOORE 6

Icon: Fans held up posters to make a mosaic which read: MOORE 6

In memory: Posters were stuck to fans' seats for supporters to lift to pay their respects

In memory: Posters were stuck to fans' seats for supporters to lift to pay their respects

Respect: Tributes to West Ham legend Moore were pinned to the gate outside Upton Park

Respect: Tributes to West Ham legend Moore were pinned to the gate outside Upton Park

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.

Celtic 0 Juventus 3 – Match report

Celtic 0 Juventus 3: Old Lady dish out painful lesson to Lennon's naive Bhoys

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 12 February 2013

Celtic face a near impossible task to make the quarter-finals of the Champions League after Juventus scored in both halves to take the advantage at Parkhead.

Neil Lennon's side got off to the worse possible start as they went behind inside the first five minutes.

Alessandro Matri poked the ball through Fraser Forster's legs and got the ball over the line despite the best efforts of Kevin Wilson who tried to clear, but Claudio Marchisio clattered home the rebound to make sure.

The second came in the final 15 minutes when Matri played the ball into the path of Claudio Marchisio, the midfielder cut inside a tired Scott Brown challenge before smashing past Forster at his near post.

And the game was wrapped up when Juventus added a third when Efe Ambrose was caught horribly in possession by Claudio Marchisio who played in Mirko Vucinic and he finished well to beat Forster.

More to follow…

Early lead: Claudio Marchisio and Alessandro Matri combined to open the scoring for the Italians

Early lead: Claudio Marchisio and Alessandro Matri combined to open the scoring for the Italians

Match Facts

Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Wilson, Ambrose, Izaguirre, Forrest, Brown, Wanyama, Mulgrew, Commons, Hooper.

Subs: Zaluska, Matthews, Miku, Nouioui, Ledley, Watt, Kayal.

Juventus: Buffon, Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres, Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso, Matri, Vucinic.

Subs: Storari, Pogba, Giovinco, Anelka, Padoin, Quagliarella, Marrone.

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain)

XXXX

Desperate dive: Kelvin Wilson tries to prevent the ball from crossing the line

Desperate dive: Kelvin Wilson tries to prevent the ball from crossing the line

Making sure: Marchisio smashes the ball over the line

Making sure: Marchisio smashes the ball over the line

Rod Stewart

Billy Connolly

Faces in the crowd: Singer Rod Stewart and comedian Billy Connolly watch Celtic

Tussle: Celtic striker Gary Hooper tangles with Stephan Lichsteiner

Tussle: Celtic striker Gary Hooper tangles with Stephan Lichsteiner

Fight for the ball: Wilson vies for the ball with Alessandro Matri

Fight for the ball: Wilson vies for the ball with Alessandro Matri

Strong challenge: Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre is brought down by Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci

Strong challenge: Celtic's Emilio Izaguirre is brought down by Juventus' Leonardo Bonucci

Looking on: Celtic keeper Fraser Forster looks dejected at the end of the game

Looking on: Celtic keeper Fraser Forster looks dejected at the end of the game

Neil Lennon answers journalist"s phone in Celtic press conference

Dial-a-manager! Celtic boss Lennon stops his press conference to answer reporter's phone… but the wife hangs up (TWICE!)

By
Declan Warrington

PUBLISHED:

12:44 GMT, 22 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:10 GMT, 22 January 2013

For all of the pressure football managers are thought to be under, Celtic boss Neil Lennon has shown some of them are happy not to take themselves too seriously.

During his press conference following his side's 4-1 Scottish Premier League victory over Hearts, one of the reporters' phones being used as a recording device began to ring.

And how did the manager react By answering the call, from the reporter's wife it turned out, and attempting to engage the woman, whose initials are SW, in front of a packed room.

Scroll down to watch video of the hilarious exchange at Celtic

Focus: Neil Lennon was speaking at his Celtic press conference

Focus: Neil Lennon was speaking at his Celtic press conference

Who's this Lennon picks up the phone after being interrupted

Who's this Lennon picks up the phone after being interrupted

After first ignoring the ring and vibration on the desk, Lennon cut short his answer to a question and took the call. 'She's not happy,' he said, as the call was hung up.

Normal service was resumed but, undeterred, the women, now identified as Sharon, the wife of Michael Grant, the chief football correspondent for the Herald newspaper, called back.

Question and answer: Lennon tries to speak to the reporter's wife

Question and answer: Lennon tries to speak to the reporter's wife

Snub! Lennon chuckles after the woman hung up on him

Snub! Lennon chuckles after the woman hung up on him

'Are you going to stop interrupting my press conference please,' Lennon said as he answered. 'This is Neil Lennon.'

He then laughed as the call was cut again, before turning to the man whose phone it was, adding: 'You're not going out tonight, Michael.'

VIDEO Lennon picks up the phone in press conference

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv35093','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_news&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv35093”,
'videoPlayer' : “2110529413001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/index.html”

});

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0 match report: Gary Hooper"s 18th of the season extends Bhoys" lead

Celtic 1 Motherwell 0: Hooper's 18th of the season extends Bhoys' lead at the summit

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 2 January 2013

Gary Hooper's late strike gave Celtic victory over Motherwell in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League encounter at Parkhead.

Hoops keeper Fraser Forster made a brilliant save from Tom Hateley's penalty, awarded for Kelvin Wilson's challenge on Jamie Murphy, just before the Englishman converted a Georgios Samaras cross from close range with 11 minutes remaining.

Not for the first time this season at home, though, the champions ended up struggling to get three points from a match that should have been over by the interval.

Well keeper Darren Randolph kept Celtic at bay with a series of saves although there were some glaring misses too before Hooper pounced to take Neil Lennon's side into the winter break nine points clear of Inverness at the top of the table.

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

It's that man again: Gary Hooper slots past Motherwell keeper Darren Randolph

Match facts

Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Ambrose (Rogne 84), Wilson, Izaguirre, Commons (McGeouch 82), Kayal (Watt 72), Wanyama, Mulgrew, Samaras, Hooper. Subs not used: Zaluska, Nouioui, McCourt, Chalmers.

Booked: Mulgrew, Kayal, Wanyama, Forster.

Goal: Hooper 79.

Motherwell: Randolph, Hateley, Kerr, Ramsden, Hammell, Humphrey, Law, Lasley, Francis-Angol (Daley 86), Ojamaa (McHugh 86), Murphy. Subs not used: Hollis, Higdon, Carswell, Hetherington, Cummins.

Booked: Ojamaa, Lasley.

Referee: Steven McLean.

Latest SPL table, fixtures and results

However, Motherwell manager Stuart
McCall, set to lose forward Murphy to Sheffield United this week, will
wonder how different it might have been had Hateley scored from the
spot.

Lennon made four changes and returned
to a back four after admitting three at the back did not work in the
1-0 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on Saturday.

In came Adam Matthews, Beram Kayal,
Kris Commons and Charlie Mulgrew with skipper Scott Brown, Mikael
Lustig, Lassad Nouioui and Thomas Rogne dropping out, the latter two on
the bench.

Motherwell showed two changes with
Fraser Kerr and Zaine Francis-Angol in for Shaun Hutchinson and Michael
Higdon, the big striker consigned to the bench where he watched the home
side's whirlwind start suggest a demolition job.

Samaras had the ball in the net from Commons' cross in the second minute but was flagged offside.
Commons then flashed a shot from the edge of the box just wide after
being set up by Hooper, who then turned and drove wide after taking a
Kayal pass with his back to goal.

In the seventh minute Randolph made a
fine save from Hooper's stab from close range after more good work on
the left from Samaras, before tipping stand-in skipper Mulgrew's curling
free-kick over the bar for a corner.

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

Hands on: Fraser Forster saves Tom Hateley's penalty

There was no let-up in the pressure
on the Motherwell goal and moments later Randolph flew to his left to
pluck a goal-bound Commons shot out of the air.

The Hoops support groaned once more
when Victor Wanyama then missed Mulgrew's corner altogether from eight
yards, allowing Well to clear their lines.

Murphy, skipper for the day, should
have put the visitors ahead following a break in the 20th minute when he
was played in by Keith Lasley but he lashed the ball over the bar.

Defender Efe Ambrose guided Mulgrew's whipped-in free-kick past the near post from six yards out.
Motherwell slowly grew in confidence as the first half wore on.

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

Mixed emotions: Neil Lennon applauds Hooper's winner

In the 37th minute Murphy tested
Forster with a drive from the edge of the box and moments later curled a
shot from 14 yards past the far post after working his way past Kayal
and into a good shooting position.

Samaras had a low drive from 20 yards saved by Randolph.

With seconds remaining Ambrose missed
the chance of the half when Randolph dropped Wanyama's header from a
Mulgrew corner, the Parkhead defender hooking the ball over the bar from
barely two yards.

Celtic had an unconvincing start to
the second period but with six minutes gone Randolph tipped a deflected
shot from Wanyama over the bar.

Celtic dropped the tempo which
allowed Well to breath slightly easier but Randolph was still seeing
plenty of the ball, making another decent save from Commons'
right-footed drive from 25 yards in the 67th minute.

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Watching brief: Norwich boss Chris Hughton was running the rule over potential targets at Parkhead

Both sides were taking turns to
attack but Motherwell were handed a great chance to take the lead when
referee Steven McLean adjudged Wilson to have tripped Murphy in the box.

There was some concern as to whether
Hateley had the ball on the spot or not – and Forster was booked for
pointing this out – but when the Motherwell player blasted his shot to
his left the Celtic flew across to make a great save.

The incident seemed to energise
Celtic and they were soon in the lead when Hooper played the ball to
Samaras and ran into the box to collect the return pass and slip the
ball under Randolph from six yards.

There were some nervy moments before the final whistle as Motherwell went for broke but in the end Celtic deserved their win.

Celtic move closer to move for Standard Liege defender Rami Gershon

A green light: Celtic's Rami move given the all-clear by Standard

|

UPDATED:

23:16 GMT, 30 December 2012

Israeli international Rami Gershon could be a Celtic player by next week after the player’s agent confirmed he is free to leave Standard Liege.

The Parkhead side have launched a bid to secure the left sided central defender on loan with a view to an 800,000 permanent deal in the summer.

Along with former Celtic strike target Marvin Ogunjimi Gershon is one of four Standard players omitted from the winter training camp in Turkey after being made surplus to requirements by coach Mircea Rednic.

Heading to Glasgow: Rami Gershon is close to a move to Celtic

Heading to Glasgow: Rami Gershon is close to a move to Celtic

Sportsmail understands the SPL champions face stiff competition from Juniper League side Royal Antwerp, however, with the lure of a Champions League tie with Juventus Celtic’s bargaining tool.

Under contract until the summer of 2014 Gershon spent a spell on loan at KV Kortrijk and will leave Standard once again in the coming week.

'I can neither confirm or deny the reports regarding Celtic’s interest.' Said agent Dudu Dahan – the man who also took Beram Kayal and Efe Ambrose to Glasgow.

'Rami will not be returning to Israel but he has had attractive offers from leading European clubs. We will know where he is going within the next week.'

Missing out: Celtic defender Kelvin Wilson faces a two match ban after being sent off

Missing out: Celtic defender Kelvin Wilson faces a two match ban after being sent off

Neil Lennon is facing a personnel shortage in central defence as Kelvin Wilson faces up a two match suspension after the winter break.

Efe Ambrose is also set to travel to the African Cup of Nations in South Africa with Nigeria – a tournament which could see him return to Glasgow just days before the first leg of Celtuc’s Champions League last 16 clash with Juventus.

English clubs Newcastle United and Millwall have both refused to let players join up with Nigeria.

But Ambrose, who has 16 caps for the senior team, wants to make the trip if Celtic give him the green light.

'If the club says I can’t go, then I can’t go,' said the defender. 'It all depends on what they say.

'I believe the manager has his own opinion. If they say I can’t go, I don’t have any option. But I believe they will come to the right choice for me.

Looking to add: Neil Lennon wants to strengthen in the transfer window

Looking to add: Neil Lennon wants to strengthen in the transfer window

'You know, I started out with my country. They made me what I am today. If it wasn’t for the national teams, I would not be here today.

'So I’m giving back some of what they’ve given to me. That is really important to me. Playing for my country is so important, every opportunity to do that makes me very happy.

'I played right through from the under-17s, the under-20s, the under-23s and then the senior team. That is how I got my move first to Israel and now here – playing on the international stage put me in the spotlight. That is why I have to give something back to my country.’

Ambrose, who played in central defence and midfield in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Hibs at Easter Road, is aware that his place in the team could be put at risk by spending weeks away with the Super Eagles.

But he insisted: ‘This is football. You have to fight for your place, you have to meet every challenge. For me, it’s OK, because I believe that, as a team, we are one. It doesn’t matter who sits on the bench or who starts – we all have the same objective.

'I won’t be worried about losing my place. If that is the challenge I have to face when I come back, I will face it. I will just have to fight my way back into the team. That will give me more edge and more drive to play my way back in.

'I am leaving the club in a good position, although the Hibs game was difficult for me, because I always want us to win. But we’re still a long way clear of the rest. We may lose a game every now and then – this is football.’

Hibs 1 Celtic 0: match report

Hibs 1 Celtic 0: Griffiths halts Hoops' title charge as champions suffer shock defeat

|

UPDATED:

17:52 GMT, 29 December 2012

Leigh Griffiths' 14th goal of the season gave Hibernian victory over Celtic in their Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at Easter Road.

The on-loan Wolves striker struck in the eighth minute when he rounded Hoops keeper Fraser Forster and squeezed the ball in from an acute angle.

The visitors dominated almost totally thereafter but huffed and puffed when not being denied by Hibees keeper Ben Williams, who had a fine afternoon.

Winner: Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game

Winner: Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring the only goal of the game

Match facts

Hibernian: Williams, Clancy (Maybury 58), McPake, Hanlon, Stevenson, Deegan, Taiwo (Handling 87), Claros, Cairney, Doyle, Griffiths (Wotherspoon 72).

Subs Not Used: Murdoch, Caldwell, Kuqi, Donaldson.

Booked: Deegan, Clancy, Taiwo.

Goals: Griffiths 9.

Celtic: Forster, Lustig, Wilson, Rogne (Kayal 70), Izaguirre, Ambrose (McGeouch 87), Brown, Wanyama, Nouioui (McCourt 66),
Samaras, Hooper.

Subs Not Used: Zaluska, Watt, Chalmers, Kidd.

Booked: Ambrose.

Att: 16,805

Ref: Craig Thomson

Although Eoin Doyle had two good chances before the break to double the home side's lead with Gary Deegan missing another in the second-half, these three points belonged to the Leith side's resolute rearguard who could have seldom withstood such a battering.

Celtic travelled to Glasgow having built up a head of steam with six successive wins but manager Neil Lennon made three changes to his starting XI with defenders Thomas Rogne and Mikael Lustig and striker Lassad Nouioui in for Charlie Mulgrew, Beram Kayal and Tony Watt with the latter two dropping to the bench.

Hibs showed two changes to the side which began the 1-0 home defeat to Ross County on Boxing Day.

Pat Fenlon drafted in defender Lewis Stevenson and midfielder Jorge Claros for David Wotherspoon and Ryan McGivern, the former starting as substitute.

The visitors, playing in all black, had Efe Ambrose, Rogne and Kelvin Wilson as their back three in a 3-5-2 formation which looked ropey in the early stages, even before Hibs took the lead.

Two minutes after Lustig's free-kick from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Williams, the home side were ahead as the Celtic defence again hesitated.

Griffiths raced on to Paul Hanlon's long ball chased by Rogne and when Forster raced out to meet him, the Hibs striker took the ball wide of the keeper before sliding it with great composure into the net from almost on the bye-line.

Missed chance: Celtic's Efe Ambrose (in air) puts the ball over the crossbar

Missed chance: Celtic's Efe Ambrose (in air) puts the ball over the crossbar

That goal was not in the Celtic script but in the 12th minute Hibs should have been two ahead when Doyle met a long Griffiths free-kick with his head six yards out his limp effort went straight to Forster.

The champions fought back and Gary Hooper hit the post from a Georgios Samaras pass but the flag was up for offside and as the game swung from end to end, Griffiths was also flagged as Doyle's cross-cum-shot evaded him at the back post.

In the 24th minute, with the Parkhead side beginning to turn the screw, Rogne headed a Lustig corner over the bar.

Celtic had changed to 4-4-2 with Ambrose moving into midfield and it was his mazy run towards the Hibs box where he was fouled by Gary Deegan, which earned the Leith midfielder a booking, which brought the next chance for the visitors.

However, Lassad's curling free-kick from 25 yards went high over the bar.

Hibs, increasingly ragged and occasionally desperate, could hardly get out of their own half as Celtic pressed hard for the leveller.

However, four minutes from the interval Doyle missed another great chance he blazed over the bar from 12 yards with only Forster to beat, after getting the break of the ball.

Dejected: Fraser Forster leaves the field following Celtic's surprise defeat to Hibs

Dejected: Fraser Forster leaves the field following Celtic's surprise defeat to Hibs

There was no let up from the Parkhead men when the second half started and in the opening minutes the ball flew in and around the Hibs box, without finding any takers.

The home side could find no respite yet in the 55th they had another good chance when Griffiths took a Doyle pass and laid it off to Deegan but he seemed to stub his two in his attempted shot from 10 yards and the ball trundled through to Forster.

Moments later, there was an appeal for a penalty when Doyle was challenged by Emilio Izaguirre in the Celtic box but referee Craig Thomson pointed for a goal kick.

It seemed a matter of time before the champions and SPL leaders would draw level.

In the 77th minute midfielder Victor Wanyama's 30-yard drive screamed just over the bar, before Williams made a decent save from Paddy McCourt, who had replaced Lassad, with skipper Scott Brown knocking the rebound over.

Moments later, after Ambrose had scooped the ball over from close range, Williams made a great save from Hooper, clawing his shot away from 14 yards for a corner which the Hibs' rearguard again defended.

There was time for Williams to make another save, this time from Kayal, who had earlier come on for Rogne, and somehow the final whistle sounded with Hibs having held out for three points.

Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2 – match report

Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2: Stunning second half start helps Spurs sink Black Cats

|

UPDATED:

15:26 GMT, 29 December 2012

Aaron Lennon kept Tottenham's Champions League challenge alive as his side came from behind to win at Sunderland.

Spurs trailed at the break to John O'Shea's first goal for the Black Cats despite having enjoyed the better of a first half during which strike Emmanuel Adebayor hit the bar from just two yards.

However, Carlos Cuellar's own goal three minutes after the restart gave the visitors a foothold, and they took full advantage with 51 minutes gone when Lennon sped through to beat keeper Simon Mignolet.

Hot Spurs: Tottenham came from behind to beat Sunderland and move third in the Premier League

Hot Spurs: Tottenham came from behind to beat Sunderland and move third in the Premier League

MATCH FACTS

SUNDERLAND: Mignolet; Gardner, Kilgallon (Campbell 61), O'Shea (Bramble 67), Cuellar; Larsson (Wickham 80), Colback, Johnson, McClean; Sessegnon, Fletcher. Subs not used: McFadden, Vaughan, Dong-won, Westwood

Goals: O'Shea 40

TOTTENHAM: Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Caulker, Naughton; Lennon (Parker 82), Sandro, Dembele, Bale (Sigurdsson 89); Adebayor, Defoe (Dempsey 75). Subs not used: Vertonghen, Huddlestone, Livermore, Friedel

Goals: Cuellar (own goal) 47, Lennon 51

Booked: Dawson, Dembele, Bale

Referee: Martin Atkinson

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

Had it not been for the Belgian's
excellence, Jermain Defoe would have wrapped up the points on the hour
with a shot from point-blank range which looked odds-on to end up in the
back of the net, and he also kept out Adebayor's late effort.

Martin O'Neill's side battled
manfully for a way back into the game, but Spurs held out with little
difficulty to claim a second successive Barclays Premier League win on
the road.

Sunderland could hardly have headed
into the game with any more confidence having dispensed with champions
Manchester City on Boxing Day to claim a third victory in four league
outings.

On paper at least, today's fixture
looked perhaps the more winnable of the two, but O'Neill was under no
illusions as to how difficult a contest it would prove to be having seen
Spurs dismantle former club Aston Villa in their last outing.

In the event, two sides with a
reputations for hitting teams hard and fast on the counter started
relatively cautiously and genuine chances were few and far between
during the opening 45 minutes.

Wing wizard: Aaron Lennon grabbed the winner applying a finishing touch to a swift passing move

Wing wizard: Aaron Lennon grabbed the winner applying a finishing touch to a swift passing move

Wing wizard: Aaron Lennon grabbed the winner applying a finishing touch to a swift passing move

Adebayor failed to make the most of
Gareth Bale's enterprising fourth-minute run and pull-back, and Spurs
keeper Hugo Lloris was able to collect Craig Gardner's deflected
free-kick with little difficulty seconds later.

As the half wore on, the Black Cats,
who had hurt City in wide areas on Wednesday, worked their way into
several promising positions, but Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean
were able to pick out only Lloris with their final balls.

Tottenham began to shade the game in terms of possession and they created a series of openings.

Sandro could not extend Mignolet with
a bouncing 21st-minute shot from distance, and Bale was similarly
wasteful when presented with a headed chance by Lennon, who was giving
makeshift left-back Matt Kilgallon a tough time.

In the meantime, Mignolet had rushed
from his line to block Adebayor's flick after the strike had been played
in by Sandro, but the Togo international should have put the visitors
ahead on the half-hour.

Been a while: Sunderland took the lead through John O'Shea's first goal in more than three years

Been a while: Sunderland took the lead through John O'Shea's first goal in more than three years

Been a while: Sunderland took the lead through John O'Shea's first goal in more than three years

Been a while: Sunderland took the lead through John O'Shea's first goal in more than three years

Cuellar failed to cut out Jermain
Defoe's curling shot, although he took the pace off it to allow Adebayor
to get to the loose ball before Mignolet.

However, the strike somehow managed to hit the bar from just two yards and Sunderland were able to breathe again.

The home side created their first
effort of note seven minutes before the break when Cuellar looped a
header over from Adam Johnson's free-kick, and it was they who took the
lead two minutes later.

Neither Stephen Fletcher nor O'Shea
could make meaningful contact with Sebastian Larsson's free-kick as it
sped towards goal, but after the Scot had seen his follow-up blocked by
Lloris, the Republic of Ireland international, back in the starting
line-up after illness, gleefully swept the ball into the unguarded net.

Miss: Emmanuel Adebayor wasted several chances, most notably when he hit the bar from two yards

Miss: Emmanuel Adebayor wasted several chances, most notably when he hit the bar from two yards

Miss: Emmanuel Adebayor wasted several chances, most notably when he hit the bar from two yards

O'Neill's men returned in determined
mood and the way Johnson went past Bale before seeing his cross hacked
clear by Sandro might have proved inspirational.

However, their lead and optimism evaporated within six disastrous minutes.

There was an element of fortune about
Spurs' equaliser when Cuellar headed a 48th-minute corner into his own
net, but things went from bad to worse for the home side just three
minutes later.

Lennon attempted to lay the ball off,
but saw it hit O'Shea and bounce back to his feet, and he raced in on
goal to beat Mignolet despite Kilgallon's best efforts to apprehend him.

Thorn: Gareth Bale caused plenty of problems, but was later booked for diving, his fifth caution this season

Thorn: Gareth Bale caused plenty of problems, but was later booked for diving, his fifth caution this season

Thorn: Gareth Bale caused plenty of problems, but was later booked for diving, his fifth caution this season

Thorn: Gareth Bale caused plenty of problems, but was later booked for diving, his fifth caution this season

Spurs should really have ended the
game as contest on the hour when, with the Black Cats in disarray, Bale,
who was later booked for diving, sprinted from halfway before picking
out Defoe in front of goal.

The England striker had time to
control before shooting, but as the entire stadium waited for the net to
bulge, Mignolet pulled off a breathtaking save he had no right to make
to keep his side's hopes alive.

Sunderland poured forward in the
search for an equaliser, in the process leaving themselves vulnerable at
the back, but neither side could increase their tally with Mignolet
keeping out Adebayor eight minutes from time, and that proved more than
satisfactory for the visitors.