Tag Archives: mcgeady

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

Wigan agree 5m fee with Spartak Moscow for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

07:34 GMT, 31 January 2013

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UPDATED:

08:18 GMT, 31 January 2013

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Back to Britain: McGeady is set to return

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is hoping to push through a late 5million move for Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady.

Sportsmail revealed last week that the Latics were looking to bring in McGeady on loan from Spartak Moscow, but now the Daily Mirror are reporting that the two clubs have agreed a fee for a permanent deal.

McGeady will have to take a pay cut from the 70,000-a-week wage he earns in the Russian capital, but the former Celtic man is thought to be keen on a move back to Britain.

The 26-year-old has 18 months left on his contract at Spartak and the
club are ready to cash in on the man they paid for 9.5m for back in August 2010.

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

High hopes: McGeady cost Spartak 9.5m back in August 2010

McGeady, who has 57 caps for his country, is wanted by Martinez to help Wigan's survival bid and it is thought the Spaniard has beaten Sunderland to his signature.

Lennon: I will not be bullied by Manchester United or Liverpool to sell Victor Wanyama or Gary Hooper

Lennon: I will not be bullied by Man United or Liverpool to sell Wanyama or Hooper

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UPDATED:

01:08 GMT, 14 December 2012

Neil Lennon expects to have the final
say on any bids for his players next month and insists Celtic will not
be bullied by wealthy English predators.

The Parkhead boss is well aware that
his side's achievements in the Champions League have attracted the
interest of some leading Premiership clubs. Liverpool and Southampton
have been linked with moves for Gary Hooper, while Victor Wanyama
continues to feature high on Manchester United's wanted list.

Impressive: Victor Wanyama

Impressive: Victor Wanyama

Lennon, though, remains adamant it would take an 'astronomical' offer for Celtic to part with one of their prize assets during the January transfer window while they chase success in four competitions.

And the manager believes it should be down to him – rather than the board – to make the decisive call about whether any cash put forward is acceptable.

'As I have said before, everyone has their price and I think I will have a say in the decision if a huge bid comes in for any of the players,' said Lennon.

'But I don't want them to go. I want them to see this season out anyway and make a real fist of the competitions. There are not many teams still going on four fronts – including the Champions League – with half the season gone.

'Will I have the final say I'd like to think so, yeah.

'At the time when Aiden McGeady was going (to Spartak Moscow for 9.5million in 2010), I felt it was good business.

Warning: Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Warning: Celtic manager Neil Lennon

'It was a good offer and something where we could use the money on the team. We are now in a totally different scenario. We don't need to sell.

'It could be the case that I don't want to stand in the way of a player going to one of the bigger clubs. But I hope I don't have to face that scenario.'

Lennon is confident Celtic are close to agreeing a new contract with Hooper, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2014, while talks also remain on-going with Wanyama's agent.

If there is no conclusion to those discussions in the coming weeks, it could persuade English suitors to test Celtic's resolve with take-it-or-leave-it bids just as the January window is about to close.

Lennon, though, is adamant that tactic would not work as it would leave little time for the club to invest the money recouped.

'If it's the last day of the window, then it's too late,' added Lennon.

'I wouldn't have time (to replace the players) and you've all month to put a bid in. It does happen, but it will not happen here – not to any of our major players anyway.' Lennon would be comfortable to see out the season with his current squad but is in the market for left-sided reinforcements next month.

He also confirmed Celtic are keen on pursuing a deal for US international striker Juan Agudelo, who impressed during a recent training period with the champions.

The 19-year-old, who became his country's youngest-ever goalscorer aged 17, is currently with MLS side Chivas USA.

Celtic 2 Spartak Moscow 1: match report

Celtic 2 Spartak Moscow 1: Commons touch sees Hoops through… but nervous Lennon can't watch winning penalty

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UPDATED:

09:19 GMT, 6 December 2012

It just gets better and better at Celtic Park.

On the final whistle strains of London Calling were booming across a delirious stadium, manager Neil Lennon was on the pitch punching the air and his players were cavorting in front of fans going mad with green happiness.

Celtic, fourth seeds in Group G and written off by so many when the draw was made, are into the last 16. The achievement is enormous and the rewards in terms of finance and recognition are deserved.

Main man: Kris Commons (left) celebrates scoring Celtic's winner

Main man: Kris Commons (left) celebrates scoring Celtic's winner

You can look now: Neil Lennon (left) and coach Garry Parker couldn't watch Commons' penalty

You can look now: Neil Lennon (left) and coach Garry Parker couldn't watch Commons' penalty

Match facts

Celtic: Forster, Lustig (Matthews 71), Wilson, Ambrose, Izaguirre, Mulgrew, Brown (Ledley 84), Kayal (Nouioui 73), Commons, Samaras,
Hooper.

Subs Not Used: Zaluska, Miku, Rogne, Watt.

Booked: Kayal, Lustig.

Goals: Hooper 21, Commons 82 pen.

Spartak Moscow: Pesiakov, Kirill, Kombarov, Insaurralde, Suchy, Dmitri Kombarov, Rafael Carioca, Kallstrom, Jurado, Dzjuba,
Ari (McGeady 61), Emenike.

Subs Not Used: Dykan, Bryzgalov, Pareja, Yakovlev, De Zeeuw, Kozlov.

Sent Off: Kallstrom (88).

Booked: Kallstrom,Dmitri Kombarov,McGeady.

Goals: Ari 39.

Att: 60,000

Ref: Felix Brych (Germany)

The latest Champions League tables, results and fixtures

They had luck, but they
also had bottle. Needing to beat what Benfica did in Barcelona, Celtic
were only matching the draw in Catalonia with eight minutes left. Then
Georgios Samaras went down in the Spartak Moscow box having been barged
by Marek Suchy. A penalty was claimed, but you have seen these not
given.

Referee Felix Brych saw enough in Suchy’s challenge, however, to consider it a foul.

Celtic Park erupted with glee, but that soon subsided when Kris Commons lined up the penalty. Lennon had spoken on Tuesday of the night being Celtic’s ‘moment’ and here it was. Twelve yards and a potential winner and the manager couldn't watch.

Commons has a sweet left foot; he went for power and the ball cannoned in off the bar and behind the Spartak keeper Sergei Pesyakov. For a split second it seemed the ball might ricochet out. But Commons had shown bottle.

There were still eight minutes to go and five added on for good measure. Over in Barcelona, meanwhile, there were six minutes added on. It was an occasion when the mind was in two places.

There was time for Spartak’s midfielder Kim Kallstrom to be sent off but Celtic’s defence held firm and, when in possession, Samaras in particular showed his nous. Celtic saw the game out and the news from Catalonia was perfect. This was their moment.

In front: Gary Hooper opened the scoring for Celtic in the first half

In front: Gary Hooper opened the scoring for Celtic in the first half

‘The players performed a miracle,’ Lennon said. ‘No-one gave us a prayer. It means the world to me to qualify with 10 points.’

Lennon was unable to watch Commons’ strike. It was a night of excruciating tension inside the stadium and Lennon called it ‘absolutely horrible’.

He added: ‘You’re trying to stay calm but inside your stomach is churning. I didn’t watch the penalty, I turned my back. I just wanted to hear if the roar went up. Kris showed great mental strength and that epitomised his night. He was fantastic.’

On their way: Hooper celebrates putting Celtic in front against Spartak Moscow

On their way: Hooper celebrates putting Celtic in front against Spartak Moscow

Of the draw on the 20th, Lennon said:
‘We’re in there, we’re going to enjoy it and who knows where it can
take us The players have grown as the campaign has gone on and some of
them have got recognition. But as a collective there is great belief.

‘It’s very exciting times and the players have justified the beating of Barcelona by qualifying. I didn’t want them to be known just as the team who beat Barcelona.’

They won’t be, not now. To get 10 points in a group with Barcelona, Benfica — who were quarter-finalists last season — and Spartak Moscow, who demonstrated here that they are far from mugs, shows a degree of ability, organisation and determination that goes way beyond good fortune. Lennon, in his first job, is a prospect.

Level: Spartak Moscow's Ari looked to have spoiled the party after scoring an equaliser

Level: Spartak Moscow's Ari looked to have spoiled the party after scoring an equaliser

Pure delight: Spartak Moscow's Ari celebrates his goal which threatened to ruin Celtic's night

Pure delight: Spartak Moscow's Ari celebrates his goal which threatened to ruin Celtic's night

Main man: Celtic's Kris Commons (right) scores his side's winning goal from the penalty spot

Main man: Celtic's Kris Commons (right) scores his side's winning goal from the penalty spot

Main man: Celtic's Kris Commons (right) scores his side's winning goal from the penalty spot

He felt his side had not played well in the first half, and he had a point.

It was a night when the East End of Glasgow had a heightened awareness of events in Catalonia. The first news was not awful, but nor was it great. It was known Barcelona were resting players but the expectation was that Lionel Messi would not be one of them. But Messi was on the bench.

Yet Celtic could do only their job, not two.

Off: Spartak Moscow's Kim Kallstrom (centre) receives a red card for a challenge on Kris Commons

Off: Spartak Moscow's Kim Kallstrom (centre) receives a red card for a challenge on Kris Commons

There was the customary explosion of noise as the Champions League anthem was played, but by eight o’clock there was edginess. There was a report of a Benfica missed sitter in the Nou Camp just before Kallstrom shaved a post here. With nothing to lose, Spartak were playing with freedom.

But then Argentine centre-half Juan Insaurralde produced a clanger and by five past eight Celtic were 1-0 up.

When the lively Samaras fired a 40-yard pass at Gary Hooper, Insaurralde was found instead. A straightforward interception was anticipated but Insaurralde fluffed it. The ball ran to Hooper who, from 20 yards, spanked a shot past Pesyakov.

Party time: Neil Lennon celebrates Celtic's win over Spartak Moscow

Party time: Neil Lennon celebrates Celtic's win over Spartak Moscow

Considering the occasion, Hooper’s finish was impressively cool. Celtic were in the last 16 at that moment but six minutes before half-time they were out again. Emmanuel Emenike was giving the Celtic back four problems and now he bundled past another couple of challenges and slid a pass to the Brazilian called simply Ari. Unmarked, Ari chipped Fraser Forster and though Kelvin Wilson tried to keep the ball out, the net rippled. And Parkhead shivered.

There was an outbreak of celebration at the start of the second half when some thought Barca had scored. Messi was now on but it was still 0-0 there and Benfica sounded on top. The score was relayed to Lennon to make his nerves suffer just that bit more.

But Celtic persevered, Samaras went down, Commons stepped up and Celtic pushed on through. London Calling might be a bit much — the final is at Wembley — but then Celtic’s campaign has been a dream.

Faroe Islands 1 Republic of Ireland 4 match report: Giovanni Trapattoni clings on

Faroe Islands 1 Republic of Ireland 4: Trap clings on after uninspiring display

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UPDATED:

20:17 GMT, 16 October 2012

Giovanni Trapattoni left the Faroe Islands clinging on to his job after the Republic of Ireland handed him three World Cup points just when he needed them most.

The 73-year-old Italian sent his players into battle in Torshavn amid speculation that his fate had already been decided, but saw them respond just as he had hoped they might to their humiliation by Germany to rekindle their hopes of qualification.

Marc Wilson's first senior international goal gave the visitors the lead seconds after half-time, and when Jon Walters struck with 53 minutes gone, the points looked safe.

Off the Marc: Wilson celebrates scoring the opening goal

Off the Marc: Wilson celebrates scoring the opening goal

Match facts

Faroe Islands: Nielsen, Naes, Justinussen, Faeroe (Jacobsen 61), Baldvinsson, Hansson, Benjaminsen, Samuelsen, Udsen (Hansen 61), Holst, Edmundsson (Elttor 79). Subs not used: Rene Joensen, Holm, Mikkelsen, Hansen, Ellinsgaard, Karl Lokin, Bartalsstovu, Sorensen, Klaemint Olsen, Kristian Joensen.

Booked: Hansen.

Scorer: Hansen 68.

Rep of Ireland: Westwood, Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Wilson, Brady (Cox 45), Andrews (Meyler 90), McCarthy, McGeady, Keane (Long 80), Walters. Subs not used: Forde, Ward, Clark, McShane, Kelly, Fahey, Clifford, Randolph.

Scorers: Wilson 46, Walters 53, Justinessen (og) 63, O'Dea 88.

Ref: Lorenc Jemini (Albania).

Att: 4,400.

There was a brief flurry after Faroes
substitute Arnbjorn Hansen reduced the deficit with a 68th-minute
header, but Pol Justinussen's own goal and an 88th-minute Darren O'Dea
header dashed home hopes.

It had been a tumultuous few days for
Trapattoni and there was another twist even before kick-off when it was
confirmed that the post-match de-brief he usually holds with the media a
day after a game, and which had been planned for Wednesday evening in
Dublin, had been cancelled with the manager due to fly straight back to
Milan.

Football Association of Ireland chief
executive John Delaney refused to discuss the matter as he sat
stony-faced in the crowd before kick-off and as he left after the final
whistle having applauded the team off the pitch.

The Republic ran out knowing the 90
minutes ahead might prove crucial in more than one way with their hopes
of World Cup qualification facing significant damage if they did not
emerge with three points, and Trapattoni's future hanging in the
balance.

Having ordered his players to forget
the horrors of Friday evening, Trapattoni handed 20-year-old Manchester
United winger Robbie Brady the task of improving the supply lines to
returning skipper Robbie Keane and his strike-partner Walters.

Doubling up: Jonathan Walters is grabbed after making it 2-0

Doubling up: Jonathan Walters is grabbed after making it 2-0

Brady certainly added some vigour
down the right and might have unlocked the Faroese defence on several
occasions during the early exchanges.

Having picked out O'Dea with an early
corner the defender could not direct at goal, the midfielder cut inside
to curl a left-foot shot just wide of the far post, and he was also
involved in the move which should have led to Ireland taking a
13th-minute lead.

Brady played a corner short to Aiden
McGeady, who clipped it in to Keith Andrews, who had lost Rogvi
Baldvinsson at the near post, but failed to hit the target with the goal
at his mercy.

The Bolton midfielder clasped his
head in his hands, knowing a glorious opportunity had come and gone and
although several more arrived before the break, none was better than the
one which had just gone begging.

High risers: Aiden McGeady tussles with Simun Samuelsen

High risers: Aiden McGeady tussles with Simun Samuelsen

Walters headed over from McGeady's
22nd-minute cross and then forced a save from keeper Gunnar Nielsen six
minutes later after Andrews had flicked on Keane's cross.

However, as the half wore on without the deadlock being broken, the home side grew in confidence and exerted genuine pressure.

Keeper Keiren Westwood had already
had to claw away Daniel Udsen's cross as it threatened to drop over him
and under the crossbar when he saw O'Dea throw himself into the path of
Joan Edmundsson's 38th-minute shot after Christian Holst had opened up
the Irish defence.

Trapattoni withdrew Brady at
half-time and replaced him with striker Simon Cox, and although the
opening goal arrived just 43 seconds after the restart, it did so from
an unexpected source.

Back to winning ways: Robbie Keane celebrates

Back to winning ways: Robbie Keane celebrates

Wilson picked up possession wide on
the left and cut inside before unleashing a 30-yard effort which flicked
the head of full-back Jonas Naes and flew past the helpless Nielsen and
into the top corner.

In an instant, the tension lifted and
Ireland began to play with the confidence of knowing their qualifying
campaign was back on track, and they increased their lead within seven
minutes.

On this occasion, Wilson turned provider, crossing from the left for
Walters to head firmly towards goal, where Keane did enough to put off
Nielsen, but not enough to justify his claims that he had got the final
touch.

The LA Galaxy striker might have added his name to list of scorers with
56 minutes gone, but dragged his left-foot effort just wide of the far
post with the Faroes buckling.

Getting the point across: Ireland fans spell it out to Giovanni Trapattoni

Getting the point across: Ireland fans spell it out to Giovanni Trapattoni

But just as it looked as though the Republic had the points wrapped up,
they allowed Naes to make ground down the right and cross for Hansen to
climb above John O'Shea and head firmly past Westwood.

However, hopes of a fightback were dashed within five minutes when, with
the Faroes pushing for an equaliser, Walters broke into space down the
left and sent in a cross which McGeady could not reach, but Justinussen
turned into his own net.

O'Dea's 88th-minute header capped a comprehensive victory and perhaps –
but only perhaps – gave Trapattoni a little breathing space.

Spartak Moscow 2 Celtic 3

Spartak Moscow 2 Celtic 3: Samaras heads winner to earn Hoops first away triumph

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UPDATED:

18:49 GMT, 2 October 2012

Georgios Samaras' last-gasp header gave Celtic a dramatic Champions League Group G victory over 10-man Spartak Moscow in the Luzhniki Stadium.

Neil Lennon's men recorded a first away win in the group stages of the Champions League for the Parkhead club.

Celtic striker Gary Hooper gave visitors the lead in the 12th minute before Emmanuel Emenike netted twice for the Russian club, once either side of the break.

Main man: Celtic star Georgios Samaras (right) celebrates with team-mate Kris Commons after scoring the winner

Main man: Celtic star Georgios Samaras (right) celebrates with team-mate Kris Commons after scoring the winner

Match facts

Spartak Moscow: Pesiakov, Makeev, Insaurralde, Pareja, Dmitri Kombarov, Ari (Kozlov 87), Kallstrom, Rafael Carioca, De Zeeuw (Bryzgalov 75), McGeady (Dzjuba 76), Emenike.

Subs not used: Rebrov, Kirill Kombarov, Yakovlev, Bilyaletdinov.

Goals: Emenike 41, 48

Sent off: Insaurralde

Celtic: Forster, Ambrose, Wilson, Wanyama (Forrest 70), Izaguirre, Lustig, Brown, Commons, Mulgrew (Ledley 80), Samaras, Hooper.

Subs not used: Zaluska, Miku, Rogne, Watt, Kayal

Goals: Hooper 13, Kombarov 71 (og), Samaras 90

Booked: Mulgrew, Wanyama

Referee: Tony Chapron (France)

Spartak defender Juan Insaurralde was sent off just after the hour mark for preventing Hooper going clean through on goal.

Celtic levelled in the 72nd minute after a drive from substitute James Forrest, who had replaced Victor Wanyama, deflected in off Spartak captain Dmitri Kombarov and to cap a remarkable night for the visitors Samaras headed in an Emilio Izaguirre cross seconds after the regulation 90 minutes.

Celtic face a double-header against section favourites Barcelona and must go into both games with confidence.

The Parkhead men had drawn 1-1 with Spartak on their artificial turf in a Champions League play-off game in 2007 but this time they went one better and it was Samaras who came up with the goods.

There was little surprise when the Greece striker returned to the Celtic starting XI, with Forrest starting on the bench.

The Hoops striker, a favourite of Lennon, made a substitute appearance in the 2-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League win over Motherwell on Saturday after recovering from an elbow injury.

Early strike: Celtic striker Gary Hooper slots home the opening goal of the game

Early strike: Celtic striker Gary Hooper slots home the opening goal of the game

Former Hoops wide-man Aiden McGeady returned to the Spartak midfield after being rested for the 3-1 league win over Amkar.

The home side forced three corners in the first three minutes, a spell of pressure ending when midfielder Kim Kallstrom barged his way into the Celtic box before firing high over the bar.

Spartak had lost the services of keeper Andriy Dykan to injury, his place taken by Sergei Pesyakov.

Breakthrough: Celtic celebrate Hooper's goal against Spartak Moscow

Breakthrough: Celtic celebrate Hooper's goal against Spartak Moscow

The No 2 keeper, though, had little chance with Hooper's well-taken goal, which stemmed from Kallstrom's reticence in a 50-50 tackle with Wanyama.

The powerful Hoops midfielder played the ball wide to right-back Mikael Lustig to deliver low for the former Scunthorpe striker to clip the ball in from around six yards.

The Scottish champions retained a threat going forward and in the 24th minute Hooper had the ball in the Spartak net again, this time with a header from a Samaras cross, only to see the flag up for offside.

Level pegging: Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike slots home his side's equalising goal

Level pegging: Spartak Moscow striker Emmanuel Emenike slots home his side's equalising goal

In the 34th minute Emenike got on the end of a Evgeni Makeev cross but headed high over the bar from 10 yards.

Moments later, Samaras had a decent chance when Kris Commons flighted a free-kick on to his head but the big Greek failed to make good contact and Pesyakov gathered.

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster had his first real save to make, and a decent one at that, from defender Nicolas Pareja's curling free-kick from 25 yards.

Pure delight: Emenike celebrates after scoring for Spartak against Celtic in Russia

Pure delight: Emenike celebrates after scoring for Spartak against Celtic in Russia

It looked like Lennon's side would take a lead into the interval but four minutes from the break Emenike knocked the ball past Forster from close range after being set up by Ari, who had latched on to a delightful long ball by Kallstrom.

Emenike grabbed his second goal three minutes into the second period.

Forster looked slow going down to deal with Ari's drive from long distance and when he spilled it, Demy de Zeeuw pounced to play the ball across goal for the Nigeria striker to tap in.

In front: Emenike scores his side's second of the game to edge Spartak in front (above) before celebrating

In front: Emenike scores his side's second of the game to edge Spartak in front (above) before celebrating

Emmanuel Emenike of Spartak celebrates his goal against Celtic

It looked a difficult task for Celtic but they had a chance to level in the 58th minute when Charlie Mulgrew's free-kick from the right found the head of stopper Efe Ambrose but he missed the target.

There was some needless controversy surrounding Insaurralde's dismissal.

The Spartak defender hauled Hooper back as he raced through on goal from Mulgrew's pass but at first French referee Tony Chapron played on, then, after presumably taking some instruction from one of his officials, he showed the Argentinian the red card.

Marching orders: Spartak Moscow's Juan Insaurralde is shown the red card by referee Tony Chapron

Marching orders: Spartak Moscow's Juan Insaurralde is shown the red card by referee Tony Chapron

Mulgrew's free-kick, when it was eventually taken, was punched away by Pesyakov, who dealt comfortably with Emilio Izaguirre's volley from the rebound.

But there was more drama to come in the 72nd minute when Forrest's angled shot from 12 yards, after good work from Samaras and Hooper, was saved by Pesyakov before going in off Kombarov.

All square: Dmitri Kombarov put through his own net to gift Celtic an equaliser

All square: Dmitri Kombarov put through his own net to gift Celtic an equaliser

Pesyakov made a good fingertip save from Joe Ledley, who had replaced Mulgrew, and the keeper saved again from Hooper.

But with the game in added time Samaras rose to head Izaguirre's cross into the far corner of the net.

Winner: Celtic star Georgios Samaras (right) rises high to head home his side's winning goal

Winner: Celtic star Georgios Samaras (right) rises high to head home his side's winning goal

Kazakhstan 1 Republic of Ireland 2

Kazakhstan 1 Republic of Ireland 2: Keane and Doyle leave it late to rescue Trapattoni's men from embarrassing defeat

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UPDATED:

18:20 GMT, 7 September 2012

Last-gasp goals from Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle saved the Republic of Ireland's blushes as they came from behind to edge to a dramatic victory over Kazakhstan.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men looked set for an embarrassing defeat when Kairat Nurdauletov glanced home after an insipid performance from the visitors.

Kazakhstan, ranked 116 places below the Republic, controlled almost all the second half until Keane scored from the penalty spot after 87 minutes and Doyle blasted home in the dying seconds to hand Trapattoni a much-needed three points.

To the rescue: Robbie Keane's late penalty drew the Republic of Ireland level

To the rescue: Robbie Keane's late penalty drew the Republic of Ireland level

Just enough: Gil Vermouth (left) and his Ireland side escaped an opening defeat in their World Cup qualifying campaign

Just enough: Gil Vermouth (left) and his Ireland side escaped an opening defeat in their World Cup qualifying campaign

Match facts

Kazakhstan: Sidelnikov, Kirov, Kislitcin, Mukhtarov, Nurdauletov, Rozhkov, Konysbayev (Gridin 84min), Schmidtgal, Bogdanov, Ostapenko, Nusrbayev (Dzholchiyev 68min)

Subs not used: Mokin, Tsirin, Gurman, Shomko, Dmitrenko, Shakmetov, Islamkhan, Shabalin,

Goals: Nurdauletov 38

Republic of Ireland: Westwood, Ward, O'Shea, St Ledger, O'Dea, Whelan, McGeady, McCarthy, Keane, Walters (Long 70min), Cox (Doyle 57min)

Subs not used: Forde, Randolph, Kelly, Wilson, Coleman, O'Brien, McShane, McClean, Keogh

Goals: Keane 89min, Doyle 90

Referee: Ionut Avram (Romania)

Attendance: 9,500

Friday's match against the minnows
was the perfect chance to consign the Republic's dreadful performance at
Euro 2012, where they lost all three matches and scored just one goal,
to history.

The team had travelled 3,000 miles
and crossed five different time zones to make it to the former Soviet
republic, but luckily for Trapattoni and his men, there was no
intimidating atmosphere inside the almost-empty 30,000-capacity Astana
Arena.

James McCarthy almost got the Republic off
to the perfect start when he curled a low shot towards goal but Andrey
Sidelnikov tipped the midfielder's shot wide with an athletic save.

John O'Shea's header from the
resulting corner would have gone in had it not been for a deflection as
the Republic dominated proceedings early on after adapting well to the
Astroturf pitch inside the arena.

The Kazakhs then started to settle
into their rhythm and threatened through Tanat Nusserbayev, the FC
Astana forward who once claimed he was as fast as Theo Walcott.

Ireland managed to grab a late victory over Kazakhstan

Ireland managed to grab a late victory over Kazakhstan

Struggle: Ireland looked out of sorts for the duration of the match but bagged a late winner

Struggle: Ireland looked out of sorts for the duration of the match but bagged a late winner

Nusserbayev was in the thick of the
action moments later when he drove at the Republic defence, but his
threaded pass to Alexandr Kirov went to waste after the full-back
mistimed his run.

Panic spread across the Republic
defence when a cross trickled through to the back post where Ulan
Konysbayev was lurking but Keiren Westwood moved sharply off his line to
snatch the ball from the midfielder's feet.

A neat interchange from Walters and
Simon Cox gave the Nottingham Forest man an opportunity at the other end
but he hit the side-netting.

Robbie Keane, who had been having a
quiet game, slipped in to the box on the half hour mark and tried to
reach an Aiden McGeady cross but he was impeded by Mikhail Rozkhov. The
Los Angeles Galaxy man appealed for a penalty but the referee played on.

The Romanian official produced his first yellow card of the game soon after when Nusserbayev slid in dangerously on O'Shea.

Sean St Ledger headed weakly at Sidelnikov but the Republic were failing to produce any real threat to the Kazakh goal.

The largely quiet home crowd erupted
with nine minutes to go before half-time when Genrikh Shmidtgal swung in
a wicked corner and Nurdauletov glanced home from 10 yards.

It was almost 2-0 moments later.
Konysbayev beat the offside trap and shot at goal. Westwood's parry fell
straight in to the path of Nusserbayev but he struck a post while the
Sunderland keeper lay stricken on the turf.

Like a rash: Kazakhstan gave the Ireland players little time to settle

Like a rash: Kazakhstan gave the Ireland players little time to settle

Sunderland watching Jermain Defoe at Tottenham

Ambitious O'Neill eyeing triple move for Defoe, Fletcher and McGeady

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 10 August 2012

Sunderland are monitoring developments with Jermain Defoe at Tottenham.

Manager Martin O'Neill, who is trying to finalise a 15million deal with Wolves for Steven Fletcher, also wants Spartak Moscow's Aiden McGeady and has expressed an interest in Blackburn defender Scott Dann who has a 6.5m release clause.

Wanted: Jermain Defoe (second right) is attracting interest from Sunderland

Wanted: Jermain Defoe (second right) is attracting interest from Sunderland

Defoe will only be allowed to leave once Tottenham sign two more strikers with talks ongoing with Emmanuel Adebayor and Manchester City.

Fiorentina are interested Tottenham's Giovani dos Santos. The 21-year-old is wanted as cover for Stevan Jovetic who is injured.

Euro 2012 results Ireland 0 Spain 4 Fernando Torres and La Furia Roja run amok to send Trapattoni"s men home

Ireland 0 Spain 4: Torres and La Furia Roja run amok to send Trap's men packing

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 14 June 2012

Fernando Torres dumped the Republic of Ireland out of Euro 2012 as defending champions Spain eased into top gear.

The 28-year-old striker, left out of the starting line-up for the Group C opener against Italy, returned with a vengeance to spearhead an impressive display by the Spaniards.

Torres fired them ahead after just four minutes and then, after David Silva had mesmerised the Irish defence to make it 2-0 four minutes after the restart, helped himself to a second to complete a good night's work.

It proved a chastening experience for the Republic, who conceded a fourth late on when substitute Cesc Fabregas collected his second goal of the tournament, as their worst fears were realised.

On the charge: Fernando Torres outpaces Richard Dunne before slotting past Shay Given to make it 3-0

On the charge: Fernando Torres outpaces Richard Dunne before slotting past Shay Given to make it 3-0

MATCH FACTS

Spain: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso (Javi Martinez 65), Silva, Torres (Fabregas 74), Iniesta (Santi Cazorla 79). Subs not used: Valdes, Albiol, Juanfran, Pedro, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Booked: Alonso, Javi Martinez.

Scorers: Torres 4, 70, Silva 49, Fabregas 83.

Rep of Ireland: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff (McClean 76), Andrews, Whelan (Green 80), McGeady, Cox (Walters 46), Keane. Subs not used: Westwood, Doyle, Kelly, McShane, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Forde.

Booked: Keane, Whelan, St Ledger.

Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal).

Attendance: 36,572.

Spain will head into Monday night's
showdown with Croatia with top spot in the group at stake, while
Giovanni Trapattoni's men will have only pride to play for when they
face Italy, who need to win to progress, in Poznan.

Ireland had gone four games unbeaten
before they arrived in Poland, but have tasted comprehensive defeat in
both the fixtures they have played in their first trip to major finals
in a decade.

The sound of Europe's The Final
Countdown thundering from the stadium's PA system 15 minutes before
kick-off seemed prophetic at the time, and as Portuguese referee Pedro
Proenca brought an end to the opening 45 minutes, the Republic's hopes
of extending their stay in Poland and Ukraine were hanging by a thread.

They ran out knowing they needed to
avoid defeat to have any chance of reaching the last eight, and that an
unlikely win would give them a real chance with Italy and Croatia having
drawn earlier.

However, just as they had done against
the Croatians in Poznan on Sunday evening, Trapattoni's men found
themselves behind barely before they had broken sweat, and the source of
the damage was entirely predictable.

Power play: Fernando Torres got the ball rolling with a blistering opening goal

Power play: Fernando Torres got the ball rolling with a blistering opening goal

The return of El Nino: Fernando Torres smashes his shot beyond Shay Given

The return of El Nino: Fernando Torres smashes his shot beyond Shay Given

Taking the plaudits: Fernando Torres opened his account at Euro 2012 after four minutes

Taking the plaudits: Fernando Torres opened his account at Euro 2012 after four minutes

Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque had outraged his critics by lining up against the Italians without a recognised striker.

Trapattoni had predicted he would not
do the same tonight and would restore Torres to the starting line-up,
and the Chelsea frontman needed just four minutes to make his mark.

Silva's fleet-footed burst into the
penalty area prompted Richard Dunne to make a desperate and successful
sliding challenge, but the ball dropped nicely for Torres to round
full-back Stephen Ward and smash a right-foot shot from a tight angle
high past goalkeeper Shay Given and into the roof of the net.

It was the last thing Ireland needed,
although it came after Simon Cox, preferred to Kevin Doyle in a 4-5-1
formation, had tested Iker Casillas with a second-minute drive from
distance.

Outnumbered: David Silva runs the Ireland defence a merry dance

Outnumbered: David Silva runs the Ireland defence a merry dance

No stopping him: David Silva fires his shot past Stephen Ward, Sean St Ledger and Richard Dunne

No stopping him: David Silva fires his shot past Stephen Ward, Sean St Ledger and Richard Dunne

They think it's all over: There was no way back for Ireland after David Silva made it 2-0

They think it's all over: There was no way back for Ireland after David Silva made it 2-0

But Irish forays into enemy territory
were to prove a rare occurrence as Spain, not unsurprisingly, dominated
the middle of the field to lay siege to Given's goal.

The Aston Villa keeper was peppered
from distance as Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso and Xavi laid the
foundation for Silva, Andres Iniesta and Torres to go about their
business.

Given, who had already got down well
to claim an effort from Silva, had to beat away a piledriver from
Iniesta and in a flurry as the half-time whistle approached, blocked
full-back Alvaro Arbeloa's skidding attempt with his legs and tipped
another stinging strike from Iniesta over his bar.

/06/14/article-2159492-139D1630000005DC-594_634x366.jpg” width=”634″ height=”366″ alt=”Clinical: Fernando Torres had a field day against the Irish” class=”blkBorder” />

Clinical: Fernando Torres had a field day against the Irish

Whether Trapattoni felt his decision
to use Cox had worked or not, he abandoned the experiment at the break
to send on the more physical Jon Walters.

But the game was effectively over
within four costly minutes as Spain once again flexed their muscles at
the start of the second half.

Given had already repelled another
effort from Arbeloa – he and fellow full-back Jordi Alba were
effectively playing as wingers – when the keeper's attempt to keep out
Iniesta's powerfully-struck shot dropped to the feet of Silva.

The Manchester City midfielder still
had plenty to do, but he tip-toed his way through the wreckage of the
Irish defence before slotting the ball calmly into the bottom corner.

4-0: Cesc Fabregas completes the scoring

4-0: Cesc Fabregas completes the scoring

Given produced a stunning one-handed
save to deny Xavi with 55 minutes gone, but would have been picking the
ball out of his net once again seven minutes later had Busquets managed
to bend his shot only marginally more.

But further damage was inflicted with
20 minutes remaining when Torres once again ran clear of a static
defence to fire expertly past Given and finally kill off hopes of a
fightback.

Torres departed to rapturous applause
from his compatriots with 18 minutes remaining as Fabregas took his
place with Spain already looking towards Monday night.

There was an equally warm welcome for
James McClean when he was handed a second cap and a first competitive
appearance as 76th-minute substitute, but Ireland's woes increased seven
minutes from time when Fabregas blasted home a fourth as Trapattoni's
men slept at a corner.

Down and out: Stephen Ward, Shay Given and Richard Dunne reflect on defeat

Down and out: Stephen Ward, Shay Given and Richard Dunne reflect on defeat

Spain v Republic of Ireland – Euro 2012 live

EURO 2012 LIVE: Spain v Republic of Ireland – the action from Gdansk as it happens

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UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 14 June 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of Euro 2012 as Republic of Ireland aim to get their campaign back on track when they face Spain in Gdansk. Giovanni Trapattoni's side will be the first side eliminated from the tournament if they lose and face a huge task in taking on the reigning world and European champions.

You can let me know your thoughts on the game by emailing me direct, or following me on Twitter. I get plenty of abuse on there, so don't hold back….

SPAIN 1 IRELAND 0

SPAIN: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pique, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Alonso, Silva, Torres, Iniesta. Subs not used: Valdes, Albiol, Javi Martinez, Juanfran, Pedro, Fabregas, Negredo, Mata, Llorente, Santi Cazorla, Jesus Navas, Reina.

Goals: Torres 4

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND: Given, O'Shea, St. Ledger, Dunne, Ward, Duff, Andrews, Whelan, McGeady, Cox, Keane. Subs not used: Westwood, Doyle, Kelly, McShane, Walters, Gibson, Hunt, O'Dea, Long, Green, McClean, Forde.

Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal)

21mins Andrews should be careful here and ensure frustrations don't get the better of him. Buzzing about and making tackles is one thing, flying in to everything is quite another, and he will only leave his team in a bigger mess.

18mins Long diagonals the order of the day for the Irish rearguard. Every time Dunne, St Ledger or John O'Shea are allowed a second or two to advance with the ball from the back, Keane peels onto either full-back and tries to dart in behind. Success rate so far Zero per cent.

15mins At the risk of sounding patronising, there is, of course, no shortage of heart from the men in green, best summed up by the workmanlike Andrews.

12mins What is most concerning is that Ireland are offering Spain a way in with practically every attack through a combination of ill-discipline and indecision.

In one such incident a heavy Glenn Whelan touch, followed by an inexcusably missed handball, tees up Silva who's sumptuous dinked pass deserved better than to find Torres in an offside position.

9mins Signs of life as Keith Andrews forces a corner which Richard Dunne, at fault for the goal, heads just wide. It goes without saying that set-pieces are going to be Ireland's only hope.

7mins In the three minutes since the goal, David Silva has drawn a smart stop out of Given and Torres has poked a low cross wide when perhaps he should have done better. Ireland are dazed and confused.

4mins GOAL! SPAIN 1 IRELAND 0 (Torres)

This really could get ugly. As soon as Spain had hold of the ball there were ominous signs for the Irish as they edged with ease towards the box. On the first occasion they gave the ball way, but on the second sweep forward, Torres shuffles between the lines, touches the ball around Stephen Ward and smashes a humdinger above Shay Given.

4mins Oh

3mins Do you know what, this is going to happen. And do you know how I know Because Xavi just gave the ball away. The unbelievable just got believable…

2mins Ireland all over Spain. The holders are on the rocks. Well, Simon Cox has had the first shot, anyway, forcing Casillas to beat it away from the bottom corner.

1min And, after the now customary countdown (which, by the way, is my guilty pleasure), we are underway….

19.45 So, who's in the mood for miracle

19.35 To keep the mind ticking over while we wait for kick-off, here's a bit of history. And the most recent encounter doesn't make too dispiriting reading for the underdogs.

These two sides last met in 2002, at the World Cup in South Korea and Japan, when, after Robbie Keane struck a stoppage time equaliser, it took penalties for Spain to edge home.

Four of those on show tonight where among those to feature that day. For Ireland, Shay Given, Damien Duff and Robbie Keane, while Richard Dunne was an unused substitute, and for Spain Iker Casillas starred. He has gone on to become his country's most capped player and captain, leading them to the top of the world two years ago.

Oh, and one more thing. Trapattoni failed to qualify from the group stage last time he managed at the Euros, in 2004 with Italy.

19.25 TEAM NEWS The 'surprise' is Fernando Torres has been handed a start, showing a switch in strategy from Vincente del Bosque who against Italy played without a recognised striker. Cesc Fabregas, who played in the most advanced role of the six midfielders and scored his side's only goal, is the man to make way.

Giovanni Trapattoni makes one change to the team whose limp surrender against Croatia was the disappointment of the opening round for me. In comes Simon Cox, the West Brom striker, and out goes Kevin Doyle of Wolves.

19.20 After a quick chomp on a jacket potato piled high with cheese and baked beans, with a sprinkling of Tabasco sauce, I am ready for the world champions. The question is, though, are the Republic of Ireland

The simple facts are these. Lose, and trap's men are the first team eliminated from Euro 2012. Win, and they might as well go home anyway because things don't get any better than that.

You'd be a brave man to bet against anything other than a 'home' win in Gdansk because despite dropping points in their opener against Italy, Spain look every bit the holders, just perhaps lacking the sharpness that is understandably lost when you've been there, done that, as they have.

On the brink: Robbie Keane (centre) and the Republic of Ireland will be out of Euro 2012 if they lose to Spain

On the brink: Robbie Keane (centre) and the Republic of Ireland will be out of Euro 2012 if they lose to Spain

Euro 2012: Robbie Keane begs to play

Keane pleads to play! Skipper will lead line as Trap considers Cox call

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 13 June 2012

Robbie Keane will lead the line against world champions Spain on Thursday night after pleading with Giovanni Trapattoni not to drop him.

The Republic of Ireland manager is ready to ditch his rigid 4-4-2 system in Gdansk to counter the Spanish threat following Ireland’s opening defeat to Croatia and he may spring a surprise by starting Simon Cox as the fifth midfielder.

Trapattoni’s decision to break with routine and not name his team ahead of time suggested indecision and following his ineffective contribution in the 3-1 defeat in Poznan, the Italian was contemplating ditching Ireland’s record goalscorer.

Pleaded: Robbie Keane asked his manager if he could start

Pleaded: Robbie Keane asked his manager if he could start

Euro 2012 email button

But captain Keane convinced Trapattoni at a team meeting that he, rather than willing runners Jonathan Walters or Kevin Doyle, is the man to lead the line and the 31-year-old will wear the armband as Ireland look to keep their faint Euro 2012 hopes alive.

Keane says he will play his part in a bid to counter a Spanish side also looking to improve after drawing 1-1 with Italy.

It is understood Trapattoni was mulling over playing Keane, Walters or Cox in the hole and may spring the shock of his reign by plumping for West Brom reserve Cox.

If the 25-year-old plays there, Ireland will forgo the strength of Doyle or Walters or the pace of Shane Long that would be needed to hit a suspect Spanish defence on the break to make the best of little possession.

Ready: Simon Cox is likely to play

Ready: Simon Cox is likely to play

But Trapattoni is understood to have called another team meeting at their base in the shipyard town on Wednesday night and made just one change from Sunday, with Cox coming in for Doyle.

Keane and Cox will both be asked to switch the midfield and lone striker roles and Aiden McGeady has been playing nearer the middle in training. Trapattoni has also asked Paul Green and Darron Gibson to be ready to play a part tonight.

If Ireland lose it will be the first time they have exited a finals after two games but Keane implored fans not to lose hope.

‘Everyone has written the script that Spain are going to beat us. But there’s certainly nobody in that Irish dressing room [who will] go into a game believing that there’s no question of winning,’ he said.

‘I never go into a game believing that I’m going to get beaten by anybody, whether they’re superior or not.’