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Brighton 6 Blackpool 1 – match report: Ashley Barnes scores twice on return

Brighton 6 Blackpool 1: Barnes bags brace as high-flying Seagulls dominate

PUBLISHED:

16:46 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:14 GMT, 20 April 2013

Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from a seven-match suspension as Brighton thumped Blackpool to extended their unbeaten run to seven matches.

Will Buckley put his side ahead in the ninth minute before Matt Upson scored his first goal in a Brighton shirt from six yards out 14 minutes later.

Andrea Orlandi made it 3-0 in the 45th minute before David Lopez scored straight after the half-time break. Dean Hammond's own goal made it 4-1 before Barnes added two late goals on his return.

Back with a bang: Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from suspension in Brighton's 6-1 win

Back with a bang: Ashley Barnes scored twice on his return from suspension in Brighton's 6-1 win

MATCH FACTS

Brighton: Kuszczak (Ankergren 64), Calderon, Greer, Upson, Bridge (Saltor 66), Bridcutt, Hammond, Lopez, Barnes, Orlandi, Buckley (LuaLua 72).

Subs Not Used: El-Abd, Crofts, Vicente, Ulloa.

Booked: Greer.

Goals: Buckley 9, Upson 23, Orlandi 45, Lopez 46, Barnes 76, 90.

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Baptiste, Basham (Taylor-Fletcher 46), Broadfoot, Sylvestre, Ferguson, MacKenzie, Phillips (Eccleston 89), Ince, Delfouneso, Taylor-Fletcher (Derbyshire 71).

Subs Not Used: Halstead, Eardley, Cathcart, Martinez.

Booked: Ince.

Goals: Hammond 53 og.

Att: 28,499

Ref: Tony Bates (Staffordshire).

Latest Championship table and results

The hosts were boosted by the return
of striker Barnes who came back from a seven-match ban he picked up for
appearing to trip referee Nigel Miller in his side's 1-0 defeat to
Bolton in March.

Winger Buckley came in following his
recovery from a hamstring injury, with Leonardo Ulloa and Andrew Crofts
making way for the duo. Blackpool boss Paul Ince made no changes to the
side who played out a goalless draw with Sheffield Wednesday in
mid-week.

The Seagulls were quickest out of the
blocks with Buckley causing Blackpool's defenders all sorts of problems
in the early stages. The former Rochdale man tried his luck from range
in the opening minute but his effort was gobbled up by Tangerines
stopper Matt Gilks.

Brighton defender Gordon Greer picked
up a booking in the seventh minute when he felled Nathan Delfouneso to
halt the visitors' counter-attack. Gus Poyet's men continued to dominate
and it came as no surprise when they broke deadlock in the ninth
minute.

Brighton poured forward in numbers
and Barnes played the ball forward to Buckley, who cut inside before
curling the ball high into the corner of the net from 20 yards out,
leaving Gilks stranded.

Further misery was piled onto
Blackpool in the 23rd minute when Orlandi's fantastic cross was headed
back across goal by Inigo Calderon and Upson bundled the ball home from
close range to make it 2-0.

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory

Join the party: Matthew Upson was among the scorers for Brighton in their massive victory

CHAMPIONSHIP – AS IT STANDS

Championship

Brighton continued to attack, with
Barnes having three good opportunities to extend his side's lead in the
space of six first-half minutes. Albion made it 3-0 on the brink of
half-time when Orlandi played a wonderful one-two with Lopez before
finding the bottom corner of Gilks' net with a neat finish with the
outside of his foot.

Brighton began the second half as
they ended the first and Lopez made it four within two minutes of the
re-start. Barnes flicked the ball on to Lopez on the edge of the box and
his deflected effort went into the roof of the net.

Tom Ince had a couple of
opportunities to get on the scoresheet in the early stages of the second
half but it was Matt Phillips who set up his side's goal. The former
Wycombe winger launched the ball into the area in the 53rd minute and
his cross was turned into his own net by Hammond.

Kuszczak was replaced by Casper
Ankergren in the 64th minute after the Polish goalkeeper clashed heads
with Blackpool substitute Gary Taylor-Fletcher.

Brighton made two further
substitutions with Kazenga LuaLua and Bruno Saltor replacing Buckley and
Wayne Bridge respectively. LuaLua made an instant impact four minutes
after coming on when he crossed for Barnes to tap in from close range to
make it 5-1.

Barnes made it six in the 90th minute when he stroked the ball home from Orlandi's cross.

Well beaten: Blackpool's Kirk Broadfoot and Matt Phillips look glum during their thrashing

Well beaten: Blackpool's Kirk Broadfoot and Matt Phillips look glum during their thrashing

Mukhtar Mohammed wins bronze medal in 800m at European Indoor Championships

Mohammed made to fight for bronze medal in feisty 800m final

By
Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

11:16 GMT, 3 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:29 GMT, 3 March 2013

Mukhtar Mohammed won a battling bronze in a feisty men's 800-metre final at the European Indoor Championships.

The 22-year-old, who was born in Somalia and moved to the UK in 2002, fought hard to edge his way past Anis Ananenka from Belarus, who appeared to try to push Mohammed wide with his elbows as they grappled for the line.

Mohammed, a former defensive midfielder for Sheffield Wednesday, won Great Britain's fifth medal of these championships following golds for Holly Bleasdale (pole vault) and Perri Shakes-Drayton (400m) and silver medals for James Dasaolu (60m) and Eilidh Child (400m).

Mukhtar Mohammed

Battling performance: Mukhtar Mohammed won a bronze medal in the 800m

Battling performance: Mukhtar Mohammed won a bronze medal in the 800m

Mohammed said: 'It was a tough race between me and the guy from Belarus (Anis Ananenka). He gave me a hard time on the last lap, and I lost the first two positions because of him.

'I had to fight to get a medal but I was really enjoying it as I did with the heat and the semi-final and I didn’t want to mess up in the final.

Flying the flag: Mohammed celebrates his third place

Flying the flag: Mohammed celebrates his third place

Proud moment: Mohammed shows off his bronze medal after finishing behind Poland's Adam Kszczot and Spain's Kevin Lopez

Proud moment: Mohammed shows off his bronze medal after finishing behind Poland's Adam Kszczot and Spain's Kevin Lopez

'At the end of the day it’s the cleverest and bravest guys that win championships and Adam Kszczot did very well to win the race. This is a learning experience for me and hopefully it’ll get even better for the next championships.

'I am very pleased just to get a medal. Gold was going to be good for me but I’ve got to be happy with a medal.'

Brighton 2 Derby 1: Brighton remain undefeated in 2013

Brighton 2 Derby 1: Barnes and Orlandi see Seagulls continue fine run

PUBLISHED:

17:51 GMT, 12 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:52 GMT, 12 January 2013

Brighton maintained their 100 per cent start to 2013 with a 2-1 npower Championship victory over Derby.

Inigo Calderon made an impressive return from injury with a hand in both of Albion's goals, which were scored by Ashley Barnes in the second minute and Andrea Orlandi after 25.

The Spaniard might have got on the scoresheet himself at the start of the second half but his glancing header went wide.

Derby manager Nigel Clough, who this week celebrated four years in the job, saw his side create very little as the Rams slipped to an eighth away league loss of the season.

Jeff Hendrick did pull a goal back midway through the second half but the Rams never really looked like rescuing anything from the game.

Undefeated so far: Brighton have to lose in 2013

Undefeated so far: Brighton have to lose in 2013

MATCH FACTS

Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Orlandi (Dicker 76), Hammond, Bridcutt, Buckley (LuaLua 76), David Lopez (Crofts 88), Barnes.

Subs: Ankergren, Dunk, Hoskins, Vicente.

Booked: Orlandi, Bridge

Goals: Barnes 2, Orlandi 25

Derby: Legzdins, Brayford, Keogh, Roberts, Coutts, Davies, Hendrick, O'Brien (Robinson 87), Hughes (Ward 45), Sammon, Freeman (Jacobs 62).

Subs: Fielding, Tyson, O'Connor, Bennett.

Booked: Freeman, Davies, O'Brien, Jacobs.

Goals: Hendrick 70

Referee: Iain Williamson

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Brighton boss Gus Poyet made three changes to the side that started the FA Cup win over Newcastle last weekend.

Tomasz Kuszczak replaced Casper
Ankergren in goal while Calderon returned at right-back following a knee
problem, so David Lopez moved back into midfield with Gary Dicker
dropping to the bench.

Leading scorer Craig Mackail-Smith missed out due to a hamstring injury but Will Buckley was fit to return to the side.

Vicente was in the Albion squad for the first time since the opening week of the season following a persistent thigh problem.

Kieron Freeman started for Derby in the only change made by Clough.

Freeman made only his second start – and
a first in his preferred position of right-back – as John Brayford was
moved into a five-man midfield. The switch saw Michael Jacobs miss out.

Jacobs was joined on the bench by forward Jamie Ward, who has struggled with a hamstring problem for the past three months.

Less than 80 seconds were on the clock when Brighton took the lead with a beautifully crafted goal.

Calderon spotted Lopez breaking into the
right-hand side of the penalty area and Lopez picked out a low pass
which set up Barnes to tap in from very close range.

Soon afterwards, the hosts extended their lead with a goal made in Spain.

Lopez teed up Calderon who whipped in a
cross from the right and Orlandi got in front of his marker to thump a
header into the roof of the net, leaving Rams goalkeeper Adam Legzdins
with no chance.

The roles were almost reversed three
minutes after the break when Orlandi's cross was headed wide by
Calderon, who failed to make proper contact with the ball.

Ward, introduced in first-half injury
time after Derby's highly-rated teenager Will Hughes hobbled off, sent a
20-yard shot narrowly over the crossbar in the 52nd minute.

Brighton almost went 3-0 ahead after 63 minutes, hitting the visitors on the counter-attack.

Lopez, on the right, released Buckley with a perfectly-timed diagonal pass but his shot was blocked by Legzdins.

The Albion striker was denied by
Legzdins again soon afterwards, this time from point-blank range, before
the rebound was scrambled off the line by a defender.

What had looked like a stroll in the
rain suddenly turned into a nervous finale for Poyet's side when
Hendrick got a touch to Ward's driven free-kick to divert the ball past
Kuszczak.

Derby piled players forward in search of an equaliser without really threatening Kuszczak's goal.

Brighton saw out the game and potential
new Albion signing Leonardo Ulloa, watching from the directors' box,
would have been impressed by just about every aspect of the afternoon –
except perhaps the weather.

Theo Walcott is proving he is a centre forward

He's been saying it for years and now Walcott's proving that he really is a middle man

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UPDATED:

23:37 GMT, 30 December 2012

If Theo Walcott needs reminding of what being Arsenal's No 1 centre forward entails, he will get it at training this morning.

Thierry Henry will be there. The way Walcott opened his body up before sliding the ball past Tim Krul for the first of his three goals in Saturday's 7-3 demolition of Newcastle had Henry's influence written all over it.

However, it also displayed the hallmarks of a clinical Premier League striker, something Walcott wants to become so desperately.

Expertly done: Theo Walcott showed his ability to play in the middle for Arsenal

Expertly done: Theo Walcott showed his ability to play in the middle for Arsenal

Sign him up: Arsene Wenger is hoping Walcott will commit his future to Arsenal

Sign him up: Arsene Wenger is hoping Walcott will commit his future to Arsenal

Having the luxury of working with
Henry each day will only enhance the 23-year-old's efforts to complete
the transition from pacy winger to world-class centre forward.

Who better to learn from than
arguably the best goalscorer the club have ever had Saturday's
brilliant display against Newcastle will help convince his doubters that
he can develop into an out-and-out centre forward.

But, truth be told, the man he
really needs to convince still needs persuading. Wenger has put a centre
forward at the top of his shopping list.

David Villa, Adrian Lopez and Edin
Dzeko are targets. Should any of that trio arrive at the Emirates next
month, then Walcott could be shifted back out wide.

'I've always said I'm a striker and the manager is giving me the opportunity to play up front,' said Walcott.

'I'm not saying I'll play up front all the time, but it's just nice to have a different option.

'Olivier (Giroud) came off the bench
and showed great qualities. I switched to the right so it can work. We
are scoring goals from every position. I believe I am a striker.'

Walcott is finally adding substance to those claims, a fact underlined by Saturday's breathtaking performance.

His first against Alan Pardew's side
displayed all the precision of a top-class goalscorer as he expertly
side-footed his effort past Krul.

The England man's second demonstrated
all the instinctiveness of a quality finisher, ramming home from 12
yards under pressure from Gael Bigirimana.

Main man: Walcott was in exceptional form against Newcastle

Main man: Walcott was in exceptional form against Newcastle

It must be love: The Arsenal manager was impressed with Walcott's performance against Newcastle

It must be love: The Arsenal manager was impressed with Walcott's performance against Newcastle

10 GAMES, 10 GOALS

Theo Walcott's recent form means Arsene Wenger must be seriously considering handing him the main striker's role on a permanent basis.

In his last 10 matches, Walcott has scored hat-tricks against Reading and Newcastle and goals against Schalke, Tottenham, Everton and Reading.

When Walcott has scored this season, Arsenal have not lost.

And his third showed the
single-mindedness of a seasoned centre forward, picking himself up off
the floor to curl a shot past Krul to complete his hat-trick.

Walcott is silencing his doubters;
those who have questioned his credentials as a central striker are being
forced into a rethink.

Yes, he has to do it on a regular
basis, but 14 goals from 11 starts this season provides a clear
indication that his long-term future can be as a bona fide middle man.

Whether that is at Arsenal remains to
be seen, but it is to Walcott's credit he has managed that exceptional
goal ratio with uncertainty looming large.

'Even with the speculation going on,
he's stuck to his task. He's been a great professional ,' said
team-mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

'He's a good lad in the dressing room
and we need him to keep doing that for the rest of the season. We've
all been giving him a bit of banter (about his future) but that's for
Theo's people to sort out.'

Saturday's hammering of Newcastle was
Walcott's third successive outing in his preferred position, a period
in which he has scored four times.

Duel: Walcott got the better of Tim Krul on a number of occasions

Duel: Walcott got the better of Tim Krul on a number of occasions

Options: Wenger also likes to pick Olivier Giroud (right) through the middle

Options: Wenger also likes to pick Olivier Giroud (right) through the middle

However, his contribution has not
stopped at goals. Walcott set up both of Giroud's strikes against
Newcastle and won the decisive penalty in the 1-0 victory over Wigan
last week. Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Swansea is likely to see
Walcott given another chance to nail down the role.

'He bangs them in for fun in
training,' added Oxlade-Chamberlain. 'Someone with pace is a nightmare
to defend against. When he gets the service, he can punish teams. In
training, he's no different.

'When Theo first came, he was
training with players like Thierry, (Dennis) Bergkamp and (Robert)
Pires. He's learned from the best, he's getting better and better, and
there's no one better to learn from.

'From the player that I first
started watching to the man he is now, he is only getting better and
better and he's still only 23.

'He's got such a mature head on his
shoulders. He's great on and off the pitch so he's so important for us.
He was great for me when I first arrived. He took me under his wing,
helped me. 'When he came along, it must have been even more daunting
because I think Ashley Cole was the only English player around at the
time.

'They had experienced players like
Henry and Bergkamp. It must have been daunting so he realised it must
have been hard for me coming in. So he helped me through that.

'He was the first person to really
help me. 'I sit next to him in the dressing room and he's been really
good for me.' Walcott is really good for Arsenal at the moment, too.

How Theo got his third

Crystal Palace 3 Brighton 0 match report: Glenn Murray and Owen Garvan on target

Crystal Palace 3 Brighton 0: Murray hits two against former club as Eagles reach summit

PUBLISHED:

17:27 GMT, 1 December 2012

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UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 1 December 2012

Glenn Murray scored twice against former club Brighton to clinch a memorable derby victory which sent Crystal Palace to the top of the npower Championship.

The game-changing moment came after just eight minutes at Selhurst Park as Seagulls defender Lewis Dunk lost possession and saw red for bringing down the impressive Yannick Bolasie.

Owen Garvan hit the resulting free-kick against the crossbar but it was only a matter of time before the dominant Eagles broke the deadlock as Murray, who switched between the fierce rivals 18 months ago, headed home Bolasie's corner.

Coming back to haunt his former club: Glenn Murray hit two goals to down Brighton

Coming back to haunt his former club: Glenn Murray hit two goals to down Brighton

Match facts

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ward (Moritz 54), Ramage, Delaney, Parr, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Jedinak (Moxey 85), Zaha, Murray (Wilbraham 74), Bolasie. Subs not used: Price, Easter, O'Keefe, Gabbidon.
Booked: Dikgacoi.

Goals: Murray 38, 54 (pen), Garvan 71 (pen).

Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer, Dunk, Calderon, Buckley (Dicker 77), Hammond, Bridcutt, Orlandi (Crofts 45), Barnes, Mackail-Smith.
Subs not used: Brezovan, Hoskins, Dobbie, Harley, David Lopez.

Sent off: Dunk (8).

Booked: Orlandi, Kuszczak, Bridcutt, Hammond.

Att: 20,114.

Ref: Mick Russell.

The latest Championship table, results and fixtures

Craig Mackail-Smith should have
levelled matters immediately after half-time but could only hit a post
when clean through, and the miss proved crucial as Tomasz Kuszczak
brought down Murray in the penalty area and the striker stepped up to
fire home his 17th goal of the season from the spot.

Matters went from bad to worse for
the Seagulls in the 71st minute as Gordon Greer fouled Murray in the
area, and with the Palace striker having previously missed two penalties
this season when looking for a hat-trick, it was Garvan who converted
from 12 yards.

Close to 50 miles may separate the
two sides, who had only met six times in the past 10 years before today,
but that will not ease the pain of defeat for Brighton, who have also
seen their seven-match unbeaten run come to an end.

Impressive Palace, meanwhile, have
now lost only one of their last 17 and are unbeaten on home soil since
the opening day, with Eagles fans able to enjoy top spot for at least 24
hours until second-placed Cardiff host Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow.

There can be no doubt the early dismissal played a huge part in the game.
The visitors dallied with the ball at the back and paid the price as
Bolasie nicked in to grab possession, with Dunk sent off for
subsequently bringing down the Palace forward when clean through.

Garvan almost doubled Brighton's punishment but his resulting free-kick hit the top off the crossbar.

As you would expect, Palace were
doing all of the pressing and Bolasie and Garvan both tried their luck
from distance before Kagisho Dikgacoi fired straight at Kuszczak.

In on the joke: Ian Holloway and Gus Poyet share a moment at Selhurst Park

In on the joke: Ian Holloway and Gus Poyet share a moment at Selhurst Park

Palace's pressure finally paid off in the 38th minute.

Bolasie's inswinging corner was met
by the head of an unmarked Murray, back from a one-match suspension, and
he made no mistake from close range.

Julian Speroni had had next to nothing to do all half but he reacted superbly to keep out Ashley Barnes' flicked header.

Brighton's best chance came with just
62 second-half seconds on the clock as Wilfried Zaha, for all his
impressive trickery, lost the ball in the middle of the park and
Mackail-Smith was sent clear but could only find the outside of a post.

And the miss proved crucial as Palace doubled their advantage after 54 minutes.

Kuszczak brought down Murray in the penalty area and the striker picked himself up to score from the spot.

Murray headed narrowly over with a
hat-trick at his mercy but it was soon three-nil as Greer inexcusably
hauled down Murray, leaving Garvan to fire home the resulting penalty
from 12 yards.

Novak Djokovic beats Roger Federer in ATP World Tour Final at O2 Arena

Djokovic proves he is simply the best with thrilling victory over Federer at the O2

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UPDATED:

01:03 GMT, 13 November 2012

ATP World Tour highlights

Click here to watch highlights of Djokovic v Federer on our brilliant player

With one last lunge of 2012, Novak Djokovic sent an astonishing backhand pass down the line, over the highest point of the net, to leave Roger Federer flailing despairingly in defeat.

If there is a signature for the current golden era of men’s tennis it is the 25-year-old Serb’s extraordinary ability to cover the court and deliver winners from anywhere, and this is the image that will linger as the sport heads into its brief off-season.

That parting shot sealed a 7-6, 7-5 victory over the indoor master himself, who brought his best game to the court and his Barmy Army to the O2 Arena but still found it was not enough to win the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.

Simply the best: Novak Djokovic holds the ATP World Tour Finals trophy after beating Roger Federer

Simply the best: Novak Djokovic holds the ATP World Tour Finals trophy after beating Roger Federer

Novak's roar: Djokovic went wild after clinching victory in the season-ending showpiece

Novak's roar: Djokovic went wild after clinching victory in the season-ending showpiece

Spain reign in the doubles

Spanish duo Marcel Granollers and Marc Lopez will go into next weekend's Davis Cup final on a high after winning the doubles title at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.

Granollers and Lopez beat Britain's Jonny Marray and Dane Freddie Nielsen in the semi-finals and they followed it up with a 7-5 3-6 10-3 victory over Indians Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna.

There was guaranteed to be two new champions and it was the sixth-seeded debutants who prevailed, handing Bhupathi a fifth final defeat at the end-of-season tournament.

Granollers and Lopez will now head to Prague where they will aim to help Spain win a fourth Davis Cup final in five years.

No amount of support can insulate
against the kind of surge that Djokovic fashioned at the end to deny the
Swiss a seventh triumph at the season-end championships.

At times like this, after two hours and 14 minutes of fruitless toil, Federer could be excused for feeling all his 31 years.

Djokovic said the recent health
problems affecting his father, who is recovering from a severe
respiratory illness, had spurred him on. ‘Having my father fight his own
fight, that motivated me, so this title is for him,’ he said.

Djokovic, who faced two set points at
5-4 down in the second set, began the season by winning the Australian
Open in the searing heat of Melbourne and has finished it with a triumph
under the huge dome in the cold of London, collecting another
1.1million in prize money.

There have been disappointments in
between and although the major spoils have been shared among the Big
Four, his consistency has seen him emerge way ahead of the pack, as the
rankings will confirm on Tuesday morning.

Second best: Federer was edged out after two sets of the highest quality tennis

Second best: Federer was edged out after treating the fans to two sets of the highest quality tennis

Power games: Djokovic blasts a forehand against Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals in London

Power games: Djokovic blasts a forehand against Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals in London

Try as Federer did with his sweetly-struck drives and rushes to the net, Djokovic was too often there to meet them.

As Federer said: ‘A lot of guys move
well but even in defence Novak stays on the offensive and takes time
away from you. I don’t think I could have played much better.’

Appropriately, the last match of the
season featured the world’s top two players. This pair have proved
themselves better and more durable than the rest over a sustained period
and only Andy Murray and a fit Rafael Nadal belong in the same bracket.

Rough and tumble: Djokovic was all action as he jumped around the court fighting for every point

Rough and tumble: Djokovic was all action as he jumped around the court fighting for every point

Ouch: The Serb needed treatment to his elbow after one flying leap caused a cut

Ouch: The Serb needed treatment to his elbow after one flying leap caused a cut

Federer took the opening nine points
in the course of going 3-0 up to the mass approval of the arena, which
has played host to a record 263,000 fans over the past eight days.

The Djokovic fightback was not long in coming — it rarely is.

Covering the back of the court with
his amazing flexibility, he broke back and served for the set at 5-4,
only to be broken himself. The tiebreak was a mini classic, with Federer
saving set point at 5-6 with a forehand played almost from behind his
body and speared cross court. Then two sloppy errors from the defending
champion saw Djokovic prevail 8-6.

Serb and volley: Federer (bottom) serves to Djokovic during the final at the O2 Arena on Monday

Serb and volley: Federer (bottom) serves to Djokovic during the final at the O2 Arena on Monday

Federer’s unforced error count of 23
was the price paid for his adventure and you half expected his morale to
sag, but that was to underestimate him.

He fought back and looked good for the
second set at 5-4 before Djokovic, his freakish movement to the fore,
broke back to put himself on the brink of the title.

Tennis fan: Pippa Middleton (bottom row, second right) shows her appreciation for the players

Tennis fan: Pippa Middleton (bottom row, second right) shows her appreciation for the players

Spotted: Former Arsenal star Robert Pires and wife Jessica Lemarie in the crowd

Spotted: Former Arsenal star Robert Pires and wife Jessica Lemarie in the crowd

Wolves 3 Brighton 3: match report

Wolves 3 Brighton 3: Johnson rescues home side late in the day after Henry sees red

|

UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 10 November 2012

Roger Johnson scored a dramatic late equaliser for Wolves to deny Brighton in a six-goal thriller which saw the hosts play with 10 men for the entire second half.

Bakary Sako opened the scoring for Stale Solbakken's men when he fired the ball past Tomasz Kuszczak after some superb build-up play.

Craig Mackail-Smith pulled Brighton level on 43 minutes, before Karl Henry was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Liam Bridcutt on the stroke of half-time.

On our way: Bakary Sako (right) celebrated striking Wolves' first goal at Molineux

On our way: Bakary Sako (right) celebrated striking Wolves' first goal at Molineux

MATCH FACTS

Wolverhampton: Ikeme, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward,
Pennant (Sigurdarson 58), Edwards (Davis 82), Henry, Sako, Doyle, Ebanks-Blake (Doumbia 46).

Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Batth, Forde.

Sent Off: Henry (45).

Goals: Sako 22, Doumbia 61, Johnson 90.

Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer, Dunk, Bridge (Calderon 34),
Crofts (Buckley 65), Bridcutt, Dobbie, Orlandi, David Lopez (Barnes 64), Mackail-Smith.

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Hammond, Hoskins, Dicker.

Goals: Mackail-Smith 43, Buckley 72, Dobbie 89 pen.

Attendance: 21,203

Referee: Scott Mathieson (Cheshire).

Click here for latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Wolves were back in front against the
run of play on 61 minutes with a 25-yard strike from substitute Tongo
Doumbia, but a 12-yard drive from Will Buckley levelled things again.

Brighton took the lead for the first
time with a Stephen Dobbie penalty in the 89th minute, but Johnson had
the final say when he headed the ball in from a Sako free-kick just a
minute later.

The Seagulls enjoyed lengthy spells
of possession in the opening 15 minutes, but Wolves fought their way
back into the match and, after 22 minutes, it was the hosts who opened
the scoring. Sako received the ball from Kevin Doyle at the end of a
superb passing move and slotted it past Kuszczak from 12 yards.

After withstanding considerable pressure from the home side, Mackail-Smith pulled the Seagulls level in the 43rd minute.

The frontman received the ball from
Bruno Saltor in the penalty area, before firing into the top-left corner
of the net from 12 yards.

The goal prompted Solbakken to punch a
hole in the roof of the home dugout, but he probably should have saved
his outburst for a couple of minutes later as things were about to get
much worse for the Wolves boss – Henry receiving a straight red card for
a poor challenge on Liam Bridcutt.

Off: Karl Henry was red-carded, leaving his team-mates to play the entire second half with just 10 men

Off: Karl Henry was red-carded, leaving his team-mates to play the entire second half with just 10 men

Brighton started the second half
brightly as they tried to make their one-man advantage count, and twice
went close with efforts from David Lopez and Dobbie.

The latter continued to challenge Carl Ikeme in the Wolves goal as the half continued, but was unable sneak an effort past him.

Ten-man Wolves then regained the lead
against the run of play in the 61st minute – substitute Doumbia making
the most of an advantage played by referee Scott Mathieson to fire in a
superb 25-yard effort.

Brighton pushed to pull themselves level again and, on 72 minutes, they succeeded with a low 12-yard drive from Buckley.

However, there was more drama to
follow when Christophe Berra was controversially judged to have handled
the ball in the penalty area on 89 minutes, giving Dobbie the
opportunity to fire the ball past Ikeme from the penalty spot.

Johnson then rose superbly to meet a
Sako free-kick and head the ball into the back of the Brighton net to
earn his side a hard-fought point and score his first goal for Wolves.

Brighton 2 Leeds 2: match report

Brighton 2 Leeds 2: Mackail-Smith strikes twice then misses a penalty in thrilling clash

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

21:40 GMT, 2 November 2012

|

UPDATED:

22:01 GMT, 2 November 2012

Craig Mackail-Smith continued his impressive record of scoring every time he has played Leeds in senior football but missed a second-half penalty to complete his hat-trick as Brighton were held to a 2-2 draw in the npower Championship.

With the game deadlocked at 2-2 after 75 minutes, the former Peterborough striker failed to beat Paddy Kenny time from 12 yards.

The 28-year-old had opened the scoring by slamming in a first-half spot-kick and put his side ahead in the 48th minute, either side of in-form El-Hadji Diouf equalising with his second goal in as many matches from 12 yards out after Luke Varney, keeping top scorer Luciano Becchio on the bench, was brought down in the area.

Foiled: Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith struck twice then missed a penalty

Foiled: Brighton's Craig Mackail-Smith struck twice then missed a penalty

Spot on: El Hadji Diouf equalised to make it 1-1

Spot on: El Hadji Diouf equalised to make it 1-1

Match facts

Brighton: Kuszczak, Saltor, Greer, El-Abd,Bridge, Hammond (Crofts 78), Orlandi (Dicker 78), Bridcutt, Barnes (Dobbie 82), Mackail-Smith, Buckley.

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Calderon, David Lopez.

Booked: Buckley, Bridcutt, Crofts.

Goals: Mackail-Smith 16 pen, 48.

Leeds: Kenny, Byram, Lees (Pugh 41), Pearce, Peltier, White, Brown, Austin, Tonge, Diouf (Norris 80), Varney (Becchio 65).

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Green, Gray, Hall.

Booked: Brown, Pugh.

Goals: Diouf 37 pen, Becchio 66.

Att: 26,402

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

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Leeds levelled in the 66th minute as
substitute Becchio made an impact with his first touch, seeing the ball
deflect off his knee and into the net from Michael Brown's curling
effort.

Mackail-Smith's failed attempt from 12
yards left the Seagulls without a win in seven attempts, while the
Whites have failed to secure a triumph in their last four league
outings.

The Seagulls made their early
dominance count in the 16th minute when Mackail-Smith emphatically
converted from the penalty spot following Lee Peltier's clumsy tackle on
the lively Will Buckley.

Mackail-Smith almost netted a second
three minutes later, only to see his shot from the edge of the area
deflected on to the upright.

Andrea Orlandi wasted an opportunity
to register his first Brighton goal when he hit Bruno Saltor's sublime
delivery into the ground and over the bar when unmarked at the back
post.

Leeds started to settle and got their
reward after 37 minutes. Bruno needlessly fouled Varney in the area and
after referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot again, Diouf slammed in his
fifth goal of the campaign.

Down the middle: Mackail-Smith fired home the first penalty

Down the middle: Mackail-Smith fired home the first penalty

Mackail-Smith celebrates

Delight: Brighton celebrate

Nice start: Mackail-Smith celebrates (left) and is congratulated by his team-mates (right)

Deflected: Michael Brown celebrates what proved to be Luciano Becchio's goal

Deflected: Michael Brown celebrates what proved to be Luciano Becchio's goal

Mackail-Smith was close to putting his side ahead, but his shot on the turn was deflected just wide.

However, the lively marksman got his
second two minutes after half-time when he fired in from Buckley's pull
back and almost completed a treble 14 minutes later, although Kenny was
equal to his 18-yard drive.

Battle: Brighton's Adam El-Abd (centre) is challenged by Leeds United's Luke Varney (bottom)

Battle: Brighton's Adam El-Abd (centre) is challenged by Leeds United's Luke Varney (bottom)

Lunge: Gordon Greer challenges Luke Varney

Lunge: Gordon Greer challenges Luke Varney

Leeds levelled when Brown's curling
effort found the bottom corner via a deflection off Becchio, who had
just come on for Varney.

Mackail-Smith wasted the chance for a
hat-trick 15 minutes from time when he missed from the spot after he was
fouled by Sam Byram, with Kenny holding on diving to his right.

Both sides looked for a winner late
on. Byram fired straight at Tomasz Kuszczak and Michael Tonge curled a
free-kick over, while Kenny pushed away a late Andrew Crofts effort and
Buckley failed to hit the target from 25 yards.

Brighton 1 Ipswich 1

Brighton 1 Ipswich 1: Seagulls knocked off perch despite Buckley's late leveller

|

UPDATED:

21:04 GMT, 2 October 2012

Will Buckley climbed off the bench to grab a point for Brighton and deny Ipswich a much-needed victory.

But the Seagulls still slipped off the top of the npower Championship while Town avoided tumbling to the bottom.

Daryl Murphy fired the lowly Tractor Boys into the lead in the first half, but they were denied a first win in eight games, and some breathing space for under-pressure boss Paul Jewell, when Buckley struck from close range with 10 minutes to go.

Level: Will Buckley rescues a point for Brighton at home to Ipswich

Level: Will Buckley rescues a point for Brighton at home to Ipswich

Match facts

Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Hammond (Dicker 63), Bridcutt, Orlandi (David Lopez 76), Barnes, Dobbie, LuaLua (Buckley 62).

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Harley, Painter.

Booked: Hammond, Bridcutt, El-Abd.

Goal: Buckley 80.

Ipswich: Loach, Edwards, Chambers, Higginbotham, Cresswell, Drury, N'Daw, Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas (Carson 84), Chopra (Scotland 64),
Murphy.

Subs Not Used: Lee-Barrett, Luongo, Ellington, Smith, Ainsley.

Goal: Murphy 27.

Att: 24,736

Ref: Fred Graham (Essex)

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Brighton could have gone ahead after just 30 seconds when some neat play from Ashley Barnes and Stephen Dobbie teed up Kazenga LuaLua but the former Newcastle winger scuffed his shot wide.

Barnes then played in Dobbie, still looking for his first goal since joining from Swansea, but his low shot was saved by Scott Loach.

Ipswich were looking dangerous as well, though, and Tomasz Kuszczak kept out a drive from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas before Murphy headed a Carlos Edwards cross wide.

And in the 27th minute it was the visitors who took a shock lead when another deep Edwards deep cross to the far post again found Murphy, who this time stooped to plant his header past Kuszczak.

Brighton almost pulled one back before the interval but Wayne Bridge's shot was deflected narrowly wide.

Yet just after the break Ipswich were agonisingly close to doubling their advantage, again through Murphy.

Michael Chopra's cross fizzed across the Brighton goal and Murphy's shot was kept out by the legs of the diving Kuszczak.

But the Seagulls bossed the majority of the second half and Dobbie's deflected shot looped over, LuaLua was denied by Loach and a smart turn and shot from Barnes flew inches wide.

Boss Gus Poyet threw on Buckley and Gary Dicker just after the hour mark, and the substitution paid dividends 18 minutes later.

They finally drew level after Inigo Calderon's persistence down the right was rewarded when his cross-shot ricocheted to Buckley, who was in the right place to tap the ball in from a yard out.

Ipswich had a chance to go back into the lead moments later when Jason Scotland curled the ball towards goal and although Kuszczak fumbled the shot, Brighton cleared the danger.

Brighton went for the win during five minutes of stoppage time, with Buckley the driving force, but his curling cross was just too far in front of Barnes as the hosts had to settle for a point.

Brighton 0 Birmingham 1: Chris Burke scores winner

Brighton 0 Birmingham 1: Blues stun leaders to bounce back from Barnsley drubbing

|

UPDATED:

19:11 GMT, 29 September 2012

A wonderstrike from Chris Burke ensured Birmingham bounced back from the humiliation of last weekend with an away win over Brighton in the npower Championship.

Burke put the Blues ahead on 27 minutes and his side were able to withstand considerable pressure from the hosts to hold on for the win.

Birmingham fell to a 5-0 home defeat at the hands of Barnsley a week ago, but their defence, bolstered by the addition of new signing Paul Robinson, managed to keep the Seagulls out at the Amex.

Great Scot: Burke (second right) is mobbed after his goal

Great Scot: Burke (second right) is mobbed after his goal

MATCH FACTS

Brighton: Kuszczak, Calderon, Greer, El-Abd (David Lopez 61), Bridge, Hammond, Dicker, Bridcutt, Barnes, Dobbie, Buckley (LuaLua 72).

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Harley, Painter, Agdestein.

Booked: Greer.

Birmingham: Butland, Spector, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson, Burke, Packwood (Mullins 81), Elliott, Fahey, Lovenkrands (Redmond 69), Lita (King 88).

Subs Not Used: Doyle, Ambrose, Zigic, Hancox.

Booked: Elliott.

Goals: Burke 27.

Attendance: 26,121

Referee: Oliver Langford

Latest Championship results, fixtures and table

Brighton will feel they should have got
something from the match after dominating for much of the second half,
but were unable to unlock the visitors' defence and were denied their
sixth straight league win.

Both teams struggled to get a foothold in the match in the early stages,
but a 20-yard left-footed volley from debutant Stephen Dobbie gave the
encounter a much-needed injection of life after 23 minutes – his effort
drifting wide of the mark.

However, it was Burke who broke the deadlock for Birmingham in the 27th
minute with a superb 25-yard volley into the top-left corner of the
goal.

Leroy Lita could have doubled the Blues' lead almost instantly, but the
striker, on loan from Swansea, scuffed his shot and goalkeeper Tomasz
Kuszczak collected.

Brighton continued to look bright for the remainder of the half, despite
going behind, and a dangerous Buckley ball across the six-yard box in
the 36th minute was unable to find a team-mate.

Buckley looked a threat throughout the first half, but will have been
ruing his judgement of Birmingham's defensive line as he was punished
for being offside on four occasions in the first 45 minutes.

Eyes on the ball: Wayne Bridge (right) is challenged by Will Packwood

Eyes on the ball: Wayne Bridge (right) is challenged by Will Packwood

The Amex Stadium descended into darkness at half-time as a power cut
forced the players to return to the changing rooms after emerging for
the start of the second half.

Normal service was resumed after a 25-minute delay and it was Brighton
who carved out the early chances following the extended break.

Dobbie went close with a headed effort from a Wayne Bridge cross on 51
minutes, before the Scot had a 25-yard strike saved by Blues goalkeeper
Jack Butland.

At the other end, Kuszczak had little to do for much of the second half
as the hosts subjected Birmingham to lengthy spells of sustained
pressure.

Wade Elliott became the first player to enter the referee's book in the
66th minute after a foul on Bridge, while Gordon Greer earned Brighton's
only booking for dissent seven minutes from time.

Brighton kept pressing for an equaliser, but the visitors' defence held
firm to keep the Seagulls at bay and come away with a much-needed
victory.