Tag Archives: mates

PSG 3-0 Nice – match report and video highlights

VIDEO: PSG on the brink of first title since 1994 as Beckham watches from the bench

PUBLISHED:

00:15 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:09 GMT, 22 April 2013

Paris Saint-Germain closed in on the French league title with a 3-0 victory over Nice that restored their nine point lead over Marseille.

David Beckham was an unused substitute in the match and with just five matches left, the big-spenders look set to win their first league crown since 1994.

Scroll down for video highlights

Not needed: David Beckham was an unused substitute in PSG's 3-0 win over Nice

Not needed: David Beckham was an unused substitute in PSG's 3-0 win over Nice

On the scoresheet: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (second right) celebrates with team-mates

On the scoresheet: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (second right) celebrates with team-mates

Jeremy Menez gave PSG the lead from close range in just the third minute, with striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic doubled the lead by converting a penalty in the 65th.

Substitute Clement Chantome then rounded off the win in the 88th, leaving PSG on 70 points after 33 games.

Marseille have 61, while Lyon are another two points behind in third.

Earlier on Sunday, Lille kept pace in the race for a Champions League spot by defeating Bastia 2-1 on Sunday to stay three points behind Lyon.

Ligue 1 - The latest standings

Ligue 1 – The latest standings

Opener: Jeremy Menez scores the first goal

Opener: Jeremy Menez scores the first goal

Handbags: Referee Tony Chapron separates Renato Civelli of Nice and Ibrahimovic

Handbags: Referee Tony Chapron separates Renato Civelli of Nice and Ibrahimovic

VIDEO: Watch highlights from PSG's 3-0 win against Nice

Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mamadou Niang sleep in a luggage rack on train

First-class ticket, please: Balotelli and Milan team-mates sleep in a luggage rack on train

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:23 GMT, 31 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 1 April 2013

Mario Balotelli was famed for his erratic behaviour during his time at Manchester City and he clearly hasn't lost touch with his enigmatic side since his return to Italy.

The volatile forward found an unusual place to put his head down as he was pictured sleeping on a luggage shelf in a train along with team-mates M'Baye Niang and Stephan El Shaarawy.

20-year-old El Shaarawy, who is nicknamed 'The Pharaoh', posted this picture on Twitter of him and his Milan colleagues.

Unorthodox: Mario Balotelli (left), M'Baye Niang (right) and Stephan El Shaarawy sleep in a luggage rack

Unorthodox: Mario Balotelli (left), M'Baye Niang (right) and Stephan El Shaarawy sleep in a luggage rack

MILAN BEAT CHIEVO

Read the match report from AC Milan's 1-0 victory against Chievo on Saturday HERE

Balotelli joined Milan in January after two-and-a-half seasons in Manchester and he has been prolific since returning to his homeland.

The striker scored twice on debut against Udinese and has found the target five times in six Serie A matches since then.

He also scored both goals for Italy last week in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta before helping Milan to a 1-0 win at Chievo on Saturday to boost their Champions League qualification ambitions.

Star: Balotelli helped Milan beat Chievo 1-0 in a Serie A encounter on Saturday

Star: Balotelli helped Milan beat Chievo 1-0 in a Serie A encounter on Saturday

Finding the target: The forward has been prolific since returning to his homeland

Finding the target: The forward has been prolific since returning to his homeland

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Robin Van Persie hails Manchester United"s team of winners

Van Persie hails United's team of winners as they edge closer to title

PUBLISHED:

15:35 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 30 March 2013

Manchester United moved another step closer to the Barclays Premier League title as they won 1-0 at Sunderland, and striker Robin van Persie was quick to praise the attitude of his team-mates.

United are 18 points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City as a result and it would take a collapse of dramatic proportions for them to throw the title away.

Van Persie claimed the only goal today, although replays suggested his shot was not going in until Titus Bramble put it into his own net, but the striker was not too concerned.

Almost there: Robin Van Persie celebrates United's win

Almost there: Robin Van Persie celebrates United's win

Get in there: Robin Van Persie celebrates with team-mates

Get in there: Robin Van Persie celebrates with team-mates

'We got the three points, we knew it would be tough because Sunderland work hard and we had to dig in, but we deserved it,' he told Sky Sports 2.

'It didn't matter who scored today, it was all about the three points.

'This team is full of winners, everyone knows what they have to do and it was never in doubt for me. I was confident we would win.'

A title coronation seems inevitable in
the next couple of weeks and midfielder Michael Carrick is anticipating
winning another medal.

'We played some good football today, even if we didn't get as many goalscoring opportunities as we'd have liked,' he added.

'It was all about coming here and winning. We're getting closer and it's one game less. We have to keep going.'

Keeping an eye on it: Van Persie sees his goal go in off Bramble

Keeping an eye on it: Van Persie sees his goal go in off Bramble

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland captain John O' Shea tackles Manchester United's Van Persie

Eyes on the ball: Sunderland captain John O' Shea tackles Manchester United's Van Persie

United next face Chelsea in the FA Cup replay on Monday and Van Persie has warned fans not to expect a classic.

It is the kind of scheduling that has England's European counterparts scratching their heads in bewilderment.

And Van Persie points out it is difficult for the players to reach a high level of performance twice in such a short period of time.

'It is not ideal,' he told MUTV.

'Normally on the second day your muscles are quite bad but now we have to play at this certain time.

'It is a shame but we can't do anything about it because there are Champions League games in midweek and Chelsea are still in the Europa League.

'We just have to deal with it.

'People have to realise they can't expect a great game of football because it is not possible.

'If it happens I am glad, but don't expect it because these games are just too close to each other.'

Hectic schedule: Jonny Evans admits United are heading into the unknown during their packed Easter period

Hectic schedule: Jonny Evans admits United are heading into the unknown during their packed Easter period

Van Persie was speaking after
United's 1-0 win at Sunderland, which maintains their 15-point advantage
over Manchester City with just eight games remaining.

City will be the opponents for
Monday's victors at Stamford Bridge, with Van Persie eager to get his
hands on a trophy he won with Arsenal but United have not lifted since
2004.

'It has been a while,' he said.

'It has been nine years since we last won it and we want to win the double.

'We made a big step today but we want to go for both. We have a chance to reach the semi-final against City.'

Jonny Evans admitted Manchester
United will head into the unknown as they attempt to book an FA Cup
semi-final place just 48 hours after strengthening their grip on the
Barclays Premier League title.

Evans said: 'I have never really been in that situation before, so it will be new to probably most of us.

'It's
just all about tonight. We will probably go back and get a good
recovery session in and make sure we have done everything we can
physically to make sure we are right for the game on Monday.'

Evans
will make the trip to Stamford Bridge hoping for a start after getting
his chance on Wearside as a first-half substitute when full-back Rafael
da Silva limped off.

Chris
Smalling moved from central defence to right-back to accommodate the
25-year-old as aUnited defence which had been criticised earlier in the
campaign recorded its sixth successive league clean sheet.

Diving in: Alex Buttner slides in on Sunderland's Simon Mignolet

Diving in: Alex Buttner slides in on Sunderland's Simon Mignolet

Asked about the difficulty of
competing with Ferdinand and Vidic for a place in the heart of the back
four, he said: 'You are always competing.

'Even if one of those two isn't fit,
you have got Chris Smalling, who started at centre-back today. I'm sure
he was disappointed to get moved to right-back, it's not his favourite
position, but for the sake of the team, he did that.

'Phil
Jones is another one. The competition is all over the pitch. You look
at the players who didn't start today or have been left behind – it's
some team, really.'

Monday
night's game represents an opportunity to keep hopes of yet another
Double alive with United marching inexorably towards the league title.

Their
recent surge – they have now lost only once in 22 games in all
competitions, and that in controversial circumstances to Real Madrid in
the Champions League – has been based on defensive resilience rather
than attacking flair, and Evans admits it is a pleasant change for the
men at the back to receive the plaudits normally reserved for their
attacking colleagues.

He said with a smile: “You have probably noticed we haven't scored as many goals. It's getting that fine balance.

'We will take it the way we are at the minute. Especially as a defender, it's better to keep clean sheets than having the forwards getting all the glory, I suppose, so we are just happy.

'Clean sheets, that's what we want as defenders, so we are delighted with that.'

Sir Alex Ferguson used the depth of his squad at the Stadium of Light with Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney not even making the 18.

Da Silva must be a doubt after being unable to continue against Sunderland, while Vidic was left clutching his back after a rugged challenge with striker Danny Graham, although he made it through to the final whistle.

Sergio Ramos to make 100th Spain cap in World Cup qualifier against Finland

There's a lot of love in the Spanish camp as Ramos prepares for 100th cap against Finland

), World Cup (2010)

Caps: 99

Goals: 8

Debut:Spain 3-0 China, 26 March 2005

In another photo tweeted by Arsenal's
Santi Cazorla, Ramos is shown to be particularly affectionate to
Chelsea's Juan Mata in rubbing his knee.

The reality could well be, however, that the defender is simply trying to ensure his team-mates are relaxed and happy so that they can secure victory on such a big personal occasion.

'I feel great pride and responsibility as it is difficult to achieve at my age but I made my debut when I was very young and have had coaches who have trusted in me,' Ramos told AS earlier this week.

'It's a record that I am proud of. I am 26 and am happy to have achieved so much so young.'

Pucker up: Ramos showed where his heart lies

Pucker up: Ramos showed where his heart lies

Close control: Ramos shows why he is so valued by the national team

Close control: Ramos shows why he is so valued by the national team

Kissing again Ramos really is a warm chap

Kissing again Ramos really is a warm chap

Competitive streak: The defender pursues the talented David Silva in training

Competitive streak: The defender pursues the talented David Silva in training

Oldham 2 Everton 2 – match report: Matt Smith scores equaliser

Oldham 2 Everton 2: Substitute Smith strikes again to force replay against Toffees

PUBLISHED:

19:55 GMT, 16 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

Matt Smith scored late in the day to secure a replay at Goodison Park against Everton.

The 6ft 6in substitute nodded home from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to tie things up.

The Latics had looked as though they were heading out after Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka had scored after Oldham's Jordan Obita had opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

MATCH FACTS

Oldham: Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Mvoto, Wesolowski (Furman 66), Tarkowski, Croft, Obita (Simpson 77), Iwelumo (Smith 61), Barnard, Baxter

Subs not used: Cisak, Byrne, Winchester, Millar

Goal: Obita 13, Smith 90

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar (Oviedo 79), Fellaini, Jelavic (Duffy 90), Anichebe (Mirallas 46)

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Booked: Neville

Goals: Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48

Referee: Phil Dowd

More to follow…

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

.

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

.

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

.

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

.

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Chelsea"s David Luiz a summer target for Barcelona

Barcelona keen to sign Luiz but face battle as Chelsea want to keep their boy from Brazil

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 13 February 2013

Barcelona are keen to revive interest in Chelsea defender David Luiz in the summer.

The Brazil international has struggled for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

And Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova is keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp.

Wanted man: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

Wanted man: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

Vilanova met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Juli in New York this week where a number of targets were discussed.

Fellow Brazilian Neymar was also on his list, which would allow David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Boy from Brazil: Luiz captained the Samba boys against England last week

Boy from Brazil: Luiz captained the Samba boys against England last week

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Spurs, and Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

SIX NATIONS 2013: Chris Robshaw hails England preparation after Ireland win

England preparation key to not choking in Ireland, claims skipper Robshaw after win

PUBLISHED:

15:55 GMT, 11 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 11 February 2013

England captain Chris Robshaw believes that the way his side nullified the effect of Ireland's 'choke' tackling was key to Sunday's vital win in Dublin.

Irish defenders looked to double up on the ball carrier and swarm their upper body in the tackle, preventing the offload and trying to force a turnover.

It was a tactic that worked brilliantly in their win over Wales last weekend but Robshaw revealed in the Daily Telegraph that England worked hard on countering the threat.

Winners: Captain Chris Robshaw celebrates England's win over Ireland on Sunday

Winners: Captain Chris Robshaw celebrates England's win over Ireland on Sunday

'We had worked hard last week on combating their choke tackle and for the majority of the time we negated it,' he said.

'It is a real strength of theirs, it gets their crowd and their team going and to nullify that gave us a significant edge.

'The key was in running a little bit lower because if you run upright they are very good at holding you up there. You also have to look after your mates.'

The 12-6 win, which has put England well and truly on course to win this year's Six Nations, looked in the balance when Red Rose flanker James Haskell was sin-binned on 57 minutes for not rolling.

Hitting the target: Owen Farrell scored all of England's points in the win at the Aviva Stadium

Hitting the target: Owen Farrell scored all of England's points in the win at the Aviva Stadium

Ronan O'Gara slotted the penalty to level the scores at 6-6 and momentum looked to be swinging Ireland's way.

England were heroic with 14 men though, not only holding out but stretching into a six-point lead before Haskell returned.

Robshaw revealed that, again, head coach Stuart Lancaster's meticulous preparation for such events helped England over the line.

'The big test came for us when James Haskell was sent to the sin bin in the second half,' Robshaw added.

'Their crowd had started to get up, their players started to get up and we had to take the sting out of the situation. That is what we did.'

Jamie Carragher can stand alongside Tony Adams and John Terry – Jamie Redknapp

I wasn't sure about Carra at first. In training, we all wanted to face him… but he's turned into a great player and can stand alongside Adams and Terry as a defensive giant

– it will almost certainly be his last domestic trophy” class=”blkBorder” />

Silver lining: Jamie Carragher lifted the League Cup in 2012 – it will almost certainly be his last domestic trophy

Warrior: A brave defender, Carragher would put his body on the line for Liverpool

Warrior: A brave defender, Carragher would always put his body on the line for Liverpool

Of all of my team-mates, nobody has worked harder than Carra to become the player he is. He deserves everything he has achieved in an age when young players are too quick to leave the training ground and shy away from the work required to master their art.

When he first came into the Liverpool squad, I wasn't sure. In training, Gerard Houllier would set us up one-on-ones – attack versus defence – and we all wanted to face Carra.

Passion: Carragher in action against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Passion: Carragher in action against Manchester United's Wayne Rooney

Strength: Carragher was a regular for England during his earlier years

Strength: Carragher was a regular for England during his peak

But after one summer, he came back with a
different approach – and began to stop everyone who tried to go past
him. He was fitter, faster, stronger. Since then, he has enjoyed a
wonderful career and can stand alongside Tony Adams and John Terry as a
defensive giant.

I would advise any young defender to travel to Liverpool and watch him play while you still can. The way he leads, the way he reads the game, the way he defends.

In quieter moments at a packed Anfield, you can hear his voice as he organises and manages on the pitch. In a time when players move from club to club like mercenaries chasing the money, Carragher has stayed loyal to one club.

Tony Adams

John Terry

Leaders: Carragher can claim to be among defensive greats such as Tony Adams (left) and John Terry

He could have finished in America or China, but it means more to him to be a one-club man for Liverpool than it does to grab a few more quid from the game.

He's a funny man, a magnificent defender and a great friend.

Mario Balotelli scores on debut for Milan

Super Mario scores TWICE on debut for Milan to seal win as sickening chants elsewhere in Italy tarnish Balotelli's return

By
Nick Pisa

PUBLISHED:

21:16 GMT, 3 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 3 February 2013

Mario Balotelli marked his Milan debut with a goal in each half to secure a 2-1 victory for his new club.

The controversial striker started up front for the club he supported as a child as they welcomed Udinese in the Serie A clash.

The 22-year-old, who completed a 19.5million move away from Manchester City on deadline day, peeled off his man as Stephan El Shaarawy jinked his way down the left.

In the goals: Mario Balotelli scored the opener for Milan as they pulled ahead of Udinese

In the goals: Mario Balotelli scored the opener for Milan as they pulled ahead of Udinese

After the cross deflected into his path, Balotelli hooked in a volley from close range to give the hosts the lead.

After Giampiero Pinzi levelled up the match, it looked as though Balotelli and his team-mates would have to settle for a home draw. That was until El Shaarawy was awarded a soft penalty decision.

The Milan forward surged into the box in the third minute of stoppage time before hitting the deck under what appeared to be a fair tackle.

Balotelli kept up his 100 per cent record from the spot – after performing a few kick-ups before setting the ball down – and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Daniele Padelli the wrong way.

But the Italy international's arrival was met with derision elsewhere in the country, as fans in the Chievo-Juventus clash earlier in the day sang sickening songs which joked about the striker's death.

The travelling Juventus supporters chanted 'If we jump Balotelli will die' several times throughout that match, which the Turin side won 2-1 to go top of Serie A.

In the thick of it: Danilo tries to get to grips with the new Milan striker

In the thick of it: Danilo tries to get to grips with the new Milan striker

Making friends: Balotelli thanked his international team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, who set up his goal

Making friends: Balotelli thanked his international team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, who set up his goal

It was not the first time that Balotelli has been targeted by opposition fans – in January 2010 authorities ordered Juventus to close a section of their Olympic stadium for one match after racist chants were aimed at the former Manchester City striker.

Racism is still widespread in Italian football and the incident was one of the main reasons that Balotelli quit Serie A and headed to the Premier League where the problem has been largely eradicated – even though he scored on his debut he will still be a target for bigoted fans something he didn't experience in Britain.

Iconic: Balotelli wears the No 45, as he did for Manchester City

Iconic: Balotelli wears the No 45, as he did for Manchester City

Marred: Elsewhere, supporters at the Juventus v Chievo clash chanted sickening songs about Balotelli

Marred: Elsewhere, supporters at the Juventus v Chievo clash chanted sickening songs about Balotelli

Another familiar face: Nicolas Anelka was on the bench for Juventus

Another familiar face: Nicolas Anelka was on the bench for Juventus

Mario Balotelli on his way out of Manchester City after fee agreed with AC Milan

Goodbye and good riddance: City agree 17m deal with Milan to sell 'Super' Mario

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

15:32 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 29 January 2013

Mario Balotelli will become an AC Milan player after Manchester City agreed terms with the Italian club this afternoon.

Juventus were also in contention to take the controversial striker back to Italy, but City have accepted an offer from Milan understood to be in the region of 17million plus 2.5m in add-ons. He is scheduled to have a medical tomorrow and sign a four-and-a-half year deal.

Balotelli has also helped the deal to go through by agreeing a pay-cut of nearly 1m so he could join his boyhood club on a 3m-a-year deal. He is now set to pull out of the City squad for tonight’s game at QPR and fly to Milan to complete the move.

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

New name: AC Milan's official website was quick to offer fans the chance to buy a Balotelli shirt

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

Thanks for the memories: Mario Balotelli (pictured in training on Monday) is on his way to Milan

On Monday, Balotelli was seen carrying some belongings from the club's HQ before he joined his team-mates in London for Tuesday's game against QPR at Loftus Road.

Earlier, coach Brian Kidd asked the striker for an autograph after training, which some interpreted as a sign the Italian's time in Manchester was coming to an end.

Samir Nasri also stopped and talked to Balotelli through the window of his camouflaged Bentley as he left the Carrington complex.

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

And he's off: Balotelli seemed to say his goodbyes at City's Carrington training base on Monday

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Happy to be leaving This old image of Balotelli just about summed up his time in England

Sportsmail revealled the City striker’s personal lawyer Vittorio Rigo, who works closely with his agent Mino Raiola, flew into Manchester over the weekend in readiness to try and negotiate a deal.

In a bid to help force the move through, Balotelli has taken a drop in wages from 4.3m per year, to 3.4m.

Only yesterday, first-team coach David Platt played down speculation about the striker's future.

'I saw that speculation yesterday but I've not heard anything,' he said. 'As far as we are concerned I think he is still a Manchester City player. I don't think there is anything is going to happen.

Balotelli moved to the Etihad in 2010, following boss Roberto Mancini from Inter Milan.