Tag Archives: magic

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: David Luiz strikes winner after shocking penalty decision

Basle 1 Chelsea 2: Luiz strikes with last kick of the game after Swiss side level with questionable penalty… but the Brazilian shouldn't have been on the pitch

PUBLISHED:

20:58 GMT, 25 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 25 April 2013

David Luiz scored a free-kick at the death to earn a crucial Europa League away win against Basle in the first-leg semi-final.

Moments earlier he had committed a late, high lunge, which should have seen him red carded.

It followed a shocking decision by referee Pavel Kralovec, when he adjudged Cesar Azpilicueta to have committed a foul in the area when it was clear he had not.

Fabian Schar struck from the spot to cancel out Victor Moses' first half header and seemingly earn Basle a draw.

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Last gasp: David Luiz struck with what proved to be the final kick of the game

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Pure delight: Luiz celebrates wildly after scoring with a low free-kick

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Tucked away: Fabian Schar converted after a penalty was awarded for very little at all

Match facts

Basle: Sommer, Philipp Degen, Schar, Dragovic, Park, Fabian Frei, Salah, El-Nenny, Die, Stocker, Streller.

Subs: Vailati, David Degen, Diaz, Cabral, Sauro, Steinhofer, Zoua.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Luiz, Hazard, Ramires, Lampard, Moses, Torres.

Subs: Turnbull, Mata, Oscar, Mikel, Cahill, Benayoun, Bertrand.

Ref: Pavel Kralovec (Czech Republic)

More to follow.

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Away goal: Victor Moses' (right) header opened the scoring for Chelsea

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style

Topsy-turvy: The Nigerian winger celebrated in style with some of his trademark acrobatics

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Aiming high: Rafa Benitez wants to take Chelsea to Europa League glory this season

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Magic man: Until he was substituted, Eden Hazard was the star of the show

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

Frustration: Marco Streller reacts after missing a good opportunity as Chelsea sat back

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Match report

Aston Villa 2 Bradford 1 (agg 3-4): Hanson header kills off Villans as Bantams secure historic Wembley date

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 22 January 2013

James Hanson was the hero for Bradford City who secured a place in the Capital One Cup final despite defeat on the night, courtesy of an aggregate victory over Aston Villa.

The hosts flew out of the traps and seemed to be overwhelming the npower League Two side in the early stages of the first half and took a deserved lead through Christian Benteke in the 24th minute.

The Bantams held on and Hanson's header in the 55th minute sent the masses from South Yorkshire wild, the first team from the fourth tier in 51 years to reach a major final.

Andreas Weimann scored a late goal, but it was a mere consolation for Villa who now only have a relegation battle to face this season.

Phil Parkinson's side will face either Chelsea or Swansea in the final on February 24.

More to follow…

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

We're going to Wembley! Hanson's header put daylight between the two teams

Match facts

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett (Weimann 70), Ireland, Delph, Bannan (Bent 62), N'Zogbia, Benteke, Agbonlahor.

Subs not used: Guzan, Holman, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Booked: Clark, N'Zogbia, Delph.

Goals: Benteke 24, Weimann 89.

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McHugh, McArdle, Good, Hines (Thompson 71), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Hanson, Wells (Turgott 87).

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Connell, Nelson.

Goals: Hanson 55.

Aggregate: (3-4)

Attendance: 40,193

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Magic moment: Hanson slams home the header to send Bradford through to the final

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Too little: Benteke's strike gave Villa hope, but it wasn't built upon

Twitter reaction

Shaun Teale: I'm embarrassed that these players will walk off the pitch and go home while the fans will be distraught . To many players not good enough

Michael Owen: Villa devoid of ideas. Resorting to knocking it long. No width at all. Bradford fully deserve to be heading to Wembley.

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Plenty to ponder: Lambert must now steel his team for a relegation battle

Dynamo entertains Bradford City fans as they queue for Capital One Cup semi-final tickets

Dynamo adds to the magic of Capital One Cup, as Bradford fans line up for tickets

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 27 December 2012

Dynamo might have expected his ability to walk on water to come in handy today as he entertained queuing Bradford City fans.

Bantams fans turned out to get their ticket for Bradford’s upcoming Capital One Cup semi-final against Aston Villa on January 8, and were joined by Dynamo the Magician.

Luckily, the rain held off and the illusionist didn’t need to put his gravity-defying stunt to the test.

Dynamo joined Bradford fans as they queued for tickets to the Capital One Cup semi-final

Mysterious: The illusionist's stunts have included walking across the Thames and predicting the manner in which Spain would win Euro 2012

Capital One made sure that the hopeful ticket buyers were catered for in the queue, handing out bacon sandwiches and cups of tea while Dynamo, himself a loyal Bradford fan, wowed them with his mind-boggling magic tricks.

‘I’m definitely feeling the magic of Bradford City’s Capital One Cup run and it was great to come down and entertain the fans,’ said Dynamo.

‘They’ve have been out in force today to get their hands on tickets and it’s great that Capital One recognises this commitment.’

Capital One provide Bradford fans with bacon sandwiches as they queue for Capital One Cup semi-final tickets

Hungry: The fans were treated to free bacon butties and cups of tea as they queued, thanks to Capital One

Dynamo entertained fans as they queued for tickets for the the Capital One semi-final clash between Bradford and Aston Villa

Hopeful: Dynamo said he's 'feeling the magic' around Bradford's Capital One Cup run of success

Hundreds of fans made their way Valley Parade from the early hours of the morning to try and buy tickets for the historic match.

It’s Bradford’s first appearance in the semi-final stage of the League Cup, and they’ve had to overcome Premiership sides Arsenal and Wigan on their way.

If they make it past Aston Villa they will face the winner of the clash between Chelsea and Swansea in the final.

Michael Woodburn, Chief Marketing Officer at Capital One, said: ‘Fans do a lot to support their club and we wanted to reward those loyal fans who have stood for hours in freezing conditions to queue for their tickets.

'What better way to stay warm than a visit from a surprise guest and a bacon sarnie and a cuppa’

Adel Taarabt goal was excellent, but Matthew Le Tissier scored goals like that regularly

Why the fuss over Taarabt Le Tissier performed magic like that week in, week out for Saints

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UPDATED:

16:19 GMT, 17 December 2012

There is a lot about Adel Taarabt which brings back memories of the heyday of Matt Le Tissier.

He's languid, a touch lazy, and must be incredibly frustrating for teammates to play with – that is until he produces moments of audacious genius such as his finish on Saturday.

It began with a burst of energy as he brought the ball under control, a sublime dummy and then that instinctive perfectly placed finish.

Scroll down for video…

Magic moment: Taarabt scored a stunner for QPR in their first win of the season

Magic moment: Taarabt scored a stunner for QPR in their first win of the season

*Click here to watch Taarabt's stunning goal against Fulham

Yes, it was all very Le Tissier. But to
truly bare comparisons to the South Coast legend Taarabt is going to
have to repeat his wonder goal time and again for a series of seasons.

For that is what Le Tiss did – practically single-handedly keeping Saints in the top flight for a decade – and he dominated the goal of the season charts, particularly in 1993 and 1994.

I can’t hear the song Life of Riley by the Lightening Seeds (which was Match of the Day's goal of the month music in the mid-nineties) without remembering Le Tiss's flick up and volley from a free kick against Wimbledon, the loop over two players heads and then a delicate finish against Newcastle, a swerving strike against Forest, and, my favourite, the 35 yard belter against Blackburn.

And there were many more, most notably a volley against Arsenal in the final game at The Dell.

On top of that he had a remarkable record from the penalty spot – only failing to score once in 48 attempts.

Master: Le Tissier regularly scored cracking goals for Southampton

Master: Le Tissier regularly scored cracking goals for Southampton

He seemed to have a hand in almost every goal Saints scored. There were times his talent drove fans to despair. For someone who could see and supply passes only a handful of others could match, he hung on to the ball for an eternity.

Some would call his never-ending flicks, tricks and dummies mesmerising, others would sigh at why he didn’t just play the simple pass.

When his inspiration went missing and Saints fell behind, his sloth-like demeanour was frustrating.

But Le Tissier scored 210 goals for Southampton – all of them in the top flight, and for a club which rarely finished in the upper half of the table.
Only when Taarabt can match this, will his talents ever truly match the man Saints fans call Le God.

VIDEO: Le Tiss stars in Goal of the Season competition

Lionel Messi"s record-breaking 2012 – month by month, game by game

Month by month, goal by goal… The diary of Messi's extraordinary record-breaking year

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UPDATED:

21:27 GMT, 9 December 2012

He's done it! Lionel Messi needed just 25 minutes of Barcelona's match at Real Betis to surpass Gerd Muller's long-standing record for goalscoring in a calendar year.

The Argentine magician needed to reach the magic number of 86 strikes for club and country and he wasted little time in achieving it.

In this Sportsmail special, we take a look back at a wonderful year for the little wizard.

Record breaker! Messi celebrates scoring against Real Betis, on the night he beat Gerd Muller's 40-year-old goalscoring record

Record breaker! Messi celebrates scoring against Real Betis, on the night he beat Gerd Muller's 40-year-old goalscoring record

JANUARY

Goals for Barcelona – 7

With 27 club goals already under his belt in the first half of the season, Ballon D’Or winner Messi entered 2012 in irresistible form and officially the best player in the world. And he wasted little time in finding the net in the New Year, with a double against Osasuna in the Copa Del Rey.

Barcelona weren't exactly struggling to make an impact in the tie, but Messi was introduced for Pedro on the hour. The tempo was cranked up and up after his introduction and he scored first with a header after ghosting into the six yard box and then with a left-foot curler from just inside the box.

He scored five times in La Liga during the month as Barca kept snapping at the heels of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but didn’t manage to net in the two-legged Cup Clasico.

ACCOLADE! Messi collected the Ballon D'Or for the third consecutive year at the start of the year.

Officially the best: Lionel Messi started 2012 on a high after being voted the FIFA Ballon D'Or winner for the third consecutive year. Here, he parades the trophy before the Copa Del Rey match with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp

Officially the best: Lionel Messi started 2012 on a high after being voted the FIFA Ballon D'Or winner for the third consecutive year. Here, he parades the trophy before the Copa Del Rey match with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp

JANUARY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

4th – Two goals vs. Osasuna in Copa Del Rey (4-0)

8th – vs. Espanyol (1-1)

12th – vs. Osasuna in Copa Del Rey (2-1)

15th – Two goals vs. Real Betis (4-2)

18th – vs. Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey (2-1)

22nd – Three goals vs. Malaga (4-1)

25th – vs. Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey (2-2)

28th – vs. Villarreal (0-0)

FEBRUARY

Goals for Barcelona – 7 Goals for Argentina – 3 Running total – 17

Another prolific month, which saw ten goals for club and country. The highlights included a four-goal haul in a 5-1 win over Valencia and a hat-trick for Argentina in a friendly match against Switzerland.

His quartet against Valencia was masterful – first, he squeezed the ball in from a seemingly impossible angle to bring Barca level, then a couple of poacher's finishes delivered him a hat-trick. The best, however, was saved until last with a burst clear and delicious chip.

LANDMARK! The 5-1 win over Valencia was Messi's 200th La Liga appearance.

The match against Switzerland showed that Messi is equally adept in front of goal for his country as for his club. He created and finished his first goal, running diagonally towards the penalty area, exchanging passes, and then finding the bottom corner.

The second saw Messi drive at the heart of the Swiss defence, work a shooting position and chip in off the crossbar, with the third a perfect penalty.

Four-some! Messi celebrates one of his quartet of goals in the La Liga match against Valencia

Four-some! Messi celebrates one of his quartet of goals in the La Liga match against Valencia

FEBRUARY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

1st – vs. Valencia in Copa Del Rey (1-1)

4th – One goal vs. Real Sociedad (2-1)

8th – vs. Valencia in Copa Del Rey (2-0)

11th – vs. Osasuna (2-3)

14th – One goal vs. Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League second round, first leg (3-1)

19th – Four goals vs. Valencia (5-1)

26th – One goal vs. Atletico Madrid (2-1)

29th – Three goals vs. Switzerland (3-1)

MARCH

Goals for Barcelona – 13 Running total – 30

Messi started March in magnificent style, scoring five goals in the second leg of Barcelona’s Champions League second round match with Bayer Leverkusen as part of a 7-1 rout.

Two of his goals were sumptuous chips which left the Bayer goalkeeper red-faced, while the last of his five was a great blast into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

RECORD! The feat meant he was the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match since the tournament’s re-branding in 1992.

Five stars: Messi destroyed Bayer Leverkusen with five goals in the second leg of their Champions League meeting in March

Five stars: Messi destroyed Bayer Leverkusen with five goals in the second leg of their Champions League meeting in March

It was a phenomenally prolific month in La Liga too, as Barcelona tries to keep pace with Real – he scored eight goals in just five matches and the only time he failed to hit the target was in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final in Milan.

MARCH GOALS AND APPEARANCES

7th – Five goals vs. Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League second round, second leg (7-1)

11th – Two goals vs. Racing Santander (2-0)

17th – One goal vs. Seville (2-0)

20th – Three goals vs. Granada (5-3)

24th – One goal vs. Real Mallorca (2-0)

28th – vs. AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg (0-0)

31st – One goal vs. Athletic Bilbao (2-0)


APRIL

Goals for Barcelona – 9 Running total – 39

He made amends for the blank in the first leg by scoring a double at the Nou Camp as Barcelona reached the last four 3-1 on aggregate.

His first was a testament to perseverance, initially stealing the ball to sprint clear on goal and then turning sharply to win a penalty, which he converted. The reasons for the second spot-kick were less clear but again Messi made no mistake.

RECORD! This took his Champions League tally to 14 goals in the season, enough to make him the competition’s top goalscorer for a fourth consecutive season.

Low point: Barcelona's hopes of retaining the Champions League ended in April when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Chelsea

Low point: Barcelona's hopes of retaining the Champions League ended in April when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Chelsea

He didn’t, however, score in either leg against Chelsea, who dumped Barcelona out 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final with Bayern Munich.

As the league season reached crunch time, Messi netted seven goals but, importantly, he didn’t convert any chances in the 2-1 home defeat by Real which practically handed Jose Mourinho’s side the title on April 21.

APRIL GOALS AND APPEARANCES

3rd – Two goals vs. AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-final, second leg (3-1)

7th – Two goals vs. Real Zaragoza (4-1)

10th – One goal vs. Getafe (4-0)

14th – Two goals vs. Levante (2-1)

18th – vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, first leg (0-1)

21st – vs. Real Madrid (1-2)

24th – vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, second leg (2-2)

29th – Two goals vs. Rayo Vallecano (7-0)

MAY

Goals for Barcelona – 8 Running total – 47

The last month of the 2011-2012 saw another sackful of goals and records, but just one trophy to add to the 13 he already had in the Pep Guardiola era – the Copa Del Rey. Barcelona didn't do enough however to prevent Real Madrid winning the La Liga title.

RECORD! His hat-trick against Malaga on May 2
meant Messi surpassed Gerd Muller’s single season goalscoring record
from 1972-1973 with three matches left to play.

Muller scored 67 in that campaign for Bayern Munich, while Messi now had 68. In doing so, he became the highest goalscorer in a European season in history.

End of an era: Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in May, having won 14 honours in four years at the club

End of an era: Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in May, having won 14 honours in four years at the club

RECORD! This then became a world best when a remarkable four goals in the Catalan derby with Espanyol took his tally to 72 and leapfrogged Archie Stark, who scored 70 for Bethlehem Steel in the 1924-1925 American Soccer League.

He showed his set-piece prowess in this one, converting two penalties and a 25-yard free-kick.

TROPHY! His goal in the 3-0 Copa Del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao helped deliver Barcelona the Cup for the 26th time.

TOTAL! In the 2011-2012 season, Messi managed 73 goals and 29 assists in all competitions. This included 50 goals in La Liga, making him the Golden Boot winner. He was also the league's second highest provider of assists with 16, one shy of Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil.

MAY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – Three goals vs. Malaga (4-1)

5th – Four goals vs. Espanyol (4-0)

12th – vs. Real Betis (2-2)

25th – One goal vs. Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final (3-0)

JUNE

Goals for Argentina – 4 Running total – 51

The club season may have finished but Messi was still in the goalscoring groove for Argentina – and June also brought great personal news.

BABY! When he scored in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador, his 23 rd goal for Argentina, he celebrated by placing the ball up his shirt, suggesting his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo was pregnant.

She later confirmed the news on Twitter.

International class: June was a month in which Messi showed his class for Argentina

International class: June was a month in which Messi showed his class for Argentina

A week later, Messi's season ended in trademark superlative style with a hat-trick in a friendly thriller with Brazil, capped with an outstanding curling shot into the top corner.

JUNE GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – One goal vs. Ecuador in World Cup qualifier (4-0)

9th – Three goals vs. Brazil (4-3)

AUGUST

Goals for Barcelona – 6 Goals for Argentina – 1 Running total – 58

If anyone thought Messi's predatory instincts had been dulled by a couple of months off, they were very much mistaken.

He started the 2012-2013 season in the same red hot form as before, scoring two against Real Sociedad on the opening weekend, two at Osasuna in the second game and another two across the legs of the Super Cup contest with Real Madrid.

Against Sociedad, he wasted little time getting started afresh, scoring on 11 and 16 minutes, but against Osasuna, he was required to score twice late on to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Barca brothers: Messi celebrates with Alexis Sanchez after scoring against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, first leg at the Nou Camp

Barca brothers: Messi celebrates with Alexis Sanchez after scoring against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, first leg at the Nou Camp

RECORD! Messi's goal in a losing cause in the Super Cup second leg with Real made him Barcelona's all-time top scorer in Clasico matches. In the overall contest, he is behind only Alfredo Di Stefano.

AUGUST GOALS AND APPEARANCES

15th – One goal vs. Germany (3-1)

19th – Two goals vs. Real Sociedad (5-1)

23rd – One goal vs. Real Madrid in the Super Cup (3-2)

26th – Two goals vs. Osasuna (2-1)

29th – One goal vs. Real Madrid in the Super Cup (1-2)

SEPTEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 4 Goals for Argentina – 1 Running total – 63

/12/04/article-2242647-1622780F000005DC-428_634x499.jpg” width=”634″ height=”499″ alt=”From Russia with Love: Messi scored twice against Spartak Moscow on matchday one of the Champions league group stage” class=”blkBorder” />

From Russia with Love: Messi scored twice against Spartak Moscow on matchday one of the Champions league group stage

SEPTEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – vs. Valencia (1-0)

8th – One goal vs. Paraguay in World Cup qualifier (3-1)

12th – vs. Peru in World Cup qualifier (1-1)

15th – Two goals vs. Getafe (4-1)

19th – Two goals vs. Spartak Moscow in the Champions League (3-2)

22nd – vs. Granada (2-0)

29th – vs. Seville (3-2)

OCTOBER

Goals for Barcelona – 7 Goals for Argentina – 3 Running total – 73

October was a barnstorming month for Messi, who scored seven goals for his club and three for his country, and was the crucial difference in some thrilling games.

On the 7th, the sixth Clasico of the year, ended in a personal duel between Messi and his nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo. Honours finished even, with both superstars scoring twice in a 2-2 draw.

Nemesis: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been engaged in a personal duel to be the best player in the world all year

Nemesis: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been engaged in a personal duel to be the best player in the world all year

Biggest stage: Messi scored twice in the sixth El Clasico of the year, as Barcelona and Real drew 2-2 in La Liga at the Nou Camp

Biggest stage: Messi scored twice in the sixth El Clasico of the year, as Barcelona and Real drew 2-2 in La Liga at the Nou Camp

Then, after his three strikes against Uruguay and Chile helped Argentina a little further along the path to Brazil 2014, he shrugged off the jetlag to bag a hat-trick in a 5-4 rollercoaster with Deportivo.

Barcelona were 3-0 and cruising at the Riazor, but Deportivo fought back to within one goal. Messi then took control, his goals negating the dismissal of Javier Mascherano and ultimately proving the difference.

OCTOBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – vs. Benfica in the Champions League group stage (2-0)

7th – Two goals vs. Real Madrid (2-2)

13th – Two goals vs. Uruguay in World Cup qualifier (3-0)

17th – One goal vs. Chile in World Cup qualifier (2-1)

20th – Three goals vs. Deportivo La Coruna (5-4)

23rd – vs. Celtic in the Champions League group stage (2-1)

27th – Two goals vs. Rayo Vallecano (5-0)

NOVEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 9 Running total – 82

BABY! The month started with another moment of joy for Messi, presumably far greater than any of his goals, as his girlfriend gave birth to baby Thiago on November 2.

And Leo clearly wasn't suffering from too much lost sleep as he continued to bang in the goals at a rate of knots.

RECORD! On the 11th, his double against Real Mallorca took him past Pele's long-standing benchmark of 75 goals in a calendar year set in 1958.

The goals came two-by-two for the rest of the month as he closed in on Muller's world record of 85 goals within 12 months.

NOVEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

3rd – vs. Celta Vigo (3-1)

7th – One goal vs. Celtic in the Champions League (1-2)

11th – Two goals vs. Real Mallorca (4-2)

14th – vs. Saudi Arabia (0-0)

17th – Two goals vs. Real Zaragoza (3-1)

20th – Two goals vs. Spartak Moscow in the Champions League (3-0)

25th – Two goals vs. Levante (4-0)

DECEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 4 Running total – 86

So, with 82 goals in the calendar year and Muller's record tantalisingly close, Messi made the perfect start to December with another double in the 5-1 home win over Bilbao on Saturday.

RECORD! His two goals also drew Messi level with Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona's all-time leading league goalscorer.

Closer and closer: Messi moved to within one of Gerd Muller's record with two goals in the 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend

Closer and closer: Messi moved to within one of Gerd Muller's record with two goals in the 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend

STAT ATTACK! Messi has 21 La Liga goals already this season, which would have been enough to give him the Golden Boot in 2001/2002 (Tristan, 21), 1990/1991 (Butragueno, 19) and 1984/1985 (Hugo Sanchez, 19). It also means he has personally outscored 16 of the 19 La Liga teams this season.

RECORDS! His goals against Real Betis on December 9 meant Messi surpassed Gerd Muller's record for goals in a calendar year and he also became Barcelona's leading all-time goalscorer in La Liga, moving ahead of Cesar Rodriguez.

DECEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

1st – Two goals vs. Athletic Bilbao (5-1)

9th – Two goals vs. Real Betis

THE MAN MESSI HAS BEATEN

Gerd Muller scored 85 goals in 60 matches for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972 – a record for the highest number of goals scored in a calendar year that has stood for 40 years.

This is how Muller's record breaks down:

BAYERN MUNICH

Bundesliga: 42 in 34 games

European Cup: 10 in 4

Cup Winners Cup: 1 in 2

DfB Pokal: 7 in 6

DfB Ligapokal: 12 in 5

GERMANY

Euro 72: 5 in 4

Friendlies: 8 in 3

Best scoring run: 16 in 8

Longest drought: 3 games


Swarmed: West Germany's Gerd Muller trying to find a way through the Holland defence during the 1974 World Cup final

Swarmed: West Germany's Gerd Muller trying to find a way through the Holland defence during the 1974 World Cup final

Charlton 2 Peterborough 0 – match report:

Charlton 2 Peterborough 0: Majestic Fuller helps hosts ensure unbeaten run continues

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UPDATED:

22:26 GMT, 27 November 2012

Ricardo Fuller's moment of magic helped Charlton extend their unbeaten run to five matches at the expense of bottom-place Peterborough this evening.

The Addicks came into the match buoyed by a return of 10 points from their past four matches, which had propelled them up to 15th in the npower Championship.

Chris Powell's men impressed in the first half at The Valley but failed to take their chances, with Bradley Pritchard then hitting the post moments after the restart.

Magical moment: Ricardo Fuller ensured Charlotn's unbeaten run stretched to five games

Magical moment: Ricardo Fuller ensured Charlotn's unbeaten run stretched to five games

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Cort, Morrison, Seaborne, Pritchard, Frimpong (Green 74), Jackson, Kerkar, Fuller (Hulse 78), Kermorgant (Jonsson 90).

Subs Not Used: Button,Stephens,Wright-Phillips, Dervite.

Booked: Morrison, Frimpong.

Goals: Fuller 77,Kermorgant 85.

Peterborough: Olejnik,Little,Knight-Percival, Brisley (Swanson 84), Bostwick, Newell, McCann, Boyd, Thorne, Gayle, Tomlin.

Subs Not Used: Day, Alcock, Zakuani, Ferdinand, Clarke-Harris, Carthey.

Booked: Bostwick.

Attendance: 17,377

Referee: Iain Williamson (Berkshire).

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That header jolted Peterborough into
life and they looked more likely to win until taking a sucker punch 13
minutes from time when Fuller fired in a fine effort from 25 yards.

Unfortunately the Jamaican had to be
brought off immediately afterwards due to injury, but Charlton fans were
soon cheering again as Yann Kermorgant tapped home a late second goal.

It was the Frenchman's first start
since mid September and he quickly made his mark in south London,
testing Bobby Olejnik inside the opening two minutes.

The former Aston Villa goalkeeper
denied Kermorgant's snapshot and then saw a Emmanuel Frimpong effort
deflect just over his crossbar.

After Leon Cort did excellently to
turn away an effort from on-loan Dwight Gayle at the other end,
Arsenal's Frimpong again came close from distance as Charlton continued
to press for an early opener.

Johnnie Jackson should have done
better with a close-range header in the 17th minute, before Addicks
goalkeeper Ben Hamer stopped a fizzing Michael Bostwick strike.

Pritchard was denied when Charlton
returned to the attack, before Michael Morrison was booked, ruling him
out of Saturday's derby clash at Millwall.

It epitomised the home side's
increasing frustration as they struggled to break down Peterborough's
resolute defence, with Fuller thwarted by Olejnik's legs when he did
eventually find space.

Peterborough ended the half on top
and, after Gayle headed over a chance to mark his full debut with a
goal, Hamer had to flick over a George Boyd strike.

Kermorgant sent a diving header wide
shortly when the sides returned for the second half, before Pritchard's
close-range header rattled the post.

Those efforts seemed to spur Darren Ferguson's side into life, with Hamer forced into action to stop a low Lee Tomlin hit.

George Thorne put wide and then Gayle
was denied as Posh continued to threaten, before Boyd's shot deflected
off Tomlin onto the post.

Peterborough rained in shots as they controlled the play, with Tomlin denied a 72nd-minute penalty.
The 518 visiting fans were in good voice and looked set to leave with a
point or better until Fuller lashed home from distance five minutes
later.

While the summer signing had to
hobble off immediately, Powell's side were celebrating again five
minutes from time when Kermorgant turned in substitute Danny Green's
right-wing cross.

Tottenham and Chelsea target Mauro Icardi

Tottenham and Chelsea tracking Sampdoria's 19-year-old striker Icardi

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 23 November 2012

Tottenham are tracking Sampdoria striker Mauro Icardi. Club scouts have watched the 19-year-old on three occasions, including when he scored in the 3-1 derby win over Genoa.

Argentina-born Icardi joined Sampdoria last year from Barcelona after scoring 13 goals in 19 games during a loan spell.

Wanted man: Icardi is being tracked by Spurs and Chelsea

Wanted man: Icardi is being tracked by Spurs and Chelsea

He has an Italian passport and would cost 2m. Chelsea have also watched him.

Meanwhile, Fulham are the latest club to show interest in Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin, 31, who is also wanted by Reading and Zenit St Petersburg.

Magic number: Icardi scored in the recent victory over Genoa

Magic number: Icardi scored in the recent victory over Genoa

Newcastle 1 Bruges 0 – match report

Newcastle 1 Bruges 0: The SAS hit the mark to lift Pardew

PUBLISHED:

20:56 GMT, 25 October 2012

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UPDATED:

21:01 GMT, 25 October 2012

Sammy Ameobi eclipsed his brother Shola with a moment of magic to help Newcastle maintain their impressive start in group D.

Toon boss Alan Pardew resisted the temptation to start the brothers for the first time against the Belgian league leaders.

But Shola was brought on at half-time and three minutes later Newcastle grabbed the winner when Sammy weaved his way through the defence and released Obertan to fire his drive into the corner.

More to follow

Hot shot: Newcastle's Gabriel Obertan scores

Hot shot: Newcastle's Gabriel Obertan scores

Match facts

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Gareth Bale hails Wales comeback against Scotland

We needed that! Bale delight after keeping Welsh World Cup dream alive

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 12 October 2012

Gareth Bale believes Wales' 2-1 win against Scotland on Friday night can kickstart them in their 2014 World Cup qualification campaign.

A double from Bale secured all three points and a first victory in Group A for Wales despite Scotland having taken the lead through James Morrison in the first half.

But star man Bale had the final say in the clash in Cardiff when he won and converted a second half penalty, before grabbing a stunning long-range winner with a minute to go.

Matchwinner: Bale scored two late goals as Wales came from behind

Matchwinner: Bale scored two late goals as Wales came from behind

Bale told Sky Sports 1: 'We needed it, it's a kickstart to our campaign, hopefully it can inspire us now for the matches ahead.

'We all knew coming in it was a massive game for us.

'We let ourselves down as well as the nation last time out.

'We went a goal down but we fought back like men and it was a great result.'

As for the winning goal he said: 'There was a bit of space in front of me, I drove into it and no one closed me down.

'Some go in and some don't.'

Slow start: Bale and Wales manager Chris Coleman (centre) react to a refereeing decision

Slow start: Bale and Wales manager Chris Coleman (centre) react to a refereeing decision

It was Chris Coleman's first win as Wales manager since succeeding Gary Speed and he admitted it was a relief.

The former Fulham boss said: 'Overall, the performance over 90 minutes – if we had come away with nothing it would have been a travesty.

'Scotland scored against the run of play.

'Two great times to score, two great goals and a great player.'

Of Bale he said: 'When you've got that threat in the team then you always have a chance.

'We showed great belief, great character and great strength and got what we deserved.'

Magic moment: Bale is mobbed by team-mates after netting the winner

Magic moment: Bale is mobbed by team-mates after netting the winner

Magic moment: Bale is mobbed by team-mates after netting the winner

He had some sympathy for opposite number Craig Levein when it appeared the officials had wrongly disallowed a Steven Fletcher goal which would have made it 2-0.

However, he added: 'Over the course of 90 minutes there is always going to be a bit of controversy.'

Levein described the decision not to allow what he believed was a good goal as a 'body blow'.

He said: 'I haven't seen the incident but I believe the officials got it wrong.

'As the game panned out that second goal was absolutely crucial and not getting it was a real body blow.

Baffling decision: Fletcher (left) sees his goal wrongfully ruled out

Baffling decision: Fletcher (left) sees his goal wrongfully ruled out

'(When Wales equalised) we didn't feel we were under enormous pressure at all.

'I'm amazed we have come in and lost. I didn't feel we were under any threat.'

Of Bale, Levein added: “We know how good a player he is. Once he gets into his flow he is very difficult to stop.

'From my point of view I am absolutely devastated. It is really difficult to take.'

Rachael Latham"s six magic moments from the London Paralympics

Rachael Latham's six magic moments from the Paralympics

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UPDATED:

21:23 GMT, 9 September 2012

Louise Watkin (swimming)

With one leg to go in the 4x100m medley relay (34 points), Britain were fifth, trailing Russia by 25m. But Louise Watkin swam the race of her life to win silver, 0.03sec behind Australia. Afterwards she was distraught, but her time would have won gold in the 100m freestyle individual event.

Jonnie Peacock (t44 100m)

Jonnie Peacock owned the whole stadium the night he won gold. There were 80,000 people chanting his name before the start and it was magical. But he got them to be quiet by holding his finger to his lips. Then, despite huge pressure at just 19, he delivered a brilliant race in Paralympic record time to destroy a world-class field.

Golden boy: Jonnie Peacock wins the Men's 100m - T44 final

Golden boy: Jonnie Peacock wins the Men's 100m – T44 final

David Weir (t54 800m)

Not only has he won four golds but he has done so across an array of events and against highly competitive racers. The T54 wheelchair category is probably the strongest at the Games. The night he won the 800m was my favourite – he produced a calculated game-plan then pure strength to cross first.

Will Bayley (table tennis)

Will won silver in the table tennis class 7 event after losing to Germany’s Jochen Wollmert in the final but I’ve picked it because of the way he reacted. He showed the professionalism of the Paralympics by breaking down and apologising as if he had let the country down. Silver is no shame but he had planned for gold.

Simply the best: Sarah Storey

Simply the best: Sarah Storey

Sarah Storey (road race)

Sarah has been magnificent. To win four golds in such a commanding fashion, to add to seven others from two sports, makes her our greatest Paralympian. The C4-5 road race which she won by more than seven minutes was a breathtaking illustration of her talent.

Aaron Phipps (rugby)

The wheelchair rugby guys are some of the most disabled athletes at the Games but they love competition and their sport is great to watch. The best moment came when American player Will Groulx was wheeling towards the scoring zone, only to be upended by Great Britain's Aaron Phipps at full pelt.