Tag Archives: moscow

Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first stage on the road I hope to take to the 2016 Games

Max Whitlock: European Championships in April is the first of many stages before the 2016 Olympic Games

team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua” class=”blkBorder” />

Close friend London 2012 team-mate and boxer Anthony Joshua

I loved watching the BBC Superstars programme a few months ago and it really inspired me – I’d absolutely love to do something like that and try out the different sports. I was watching it and wishing I could be on it, but I’d like to think I could have given Anthony Joshua a run for his money. He won it so easily!

I haven’t even tried some of the sports they did but I think I’d be alright at some of them. I’d like to think I’d be okay at the swimming and now I’m used to a bit of running so that would be okay, but I’ve never sat in a kayak so that might be a bit tough!

I’ve got some more competitions coming up so am busy preparing for those now. I’ve had the A category World Cup event in France last weekend and then the British Championships in Liverpool at the end of the month. That’s a trial for the European Championships which take place in April in Moscow, so that’s the next big competition to aim for.

Mo Farah will run at the Birmingham indoor Grand Prix in February

Farah to run indoor 3,000m in Birmingham to thank British fans who flocked to see Olympics

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

20:10 GMT, 17 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:10 GMT, 17 January 2013

Mo Farah will run the 3,000 metres at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 16, his only indoor race in 2013.

The Olympic 5,000m and 10,000m champion finished fourth in the 3,000m at the World Indoor Championships last March and has twice won European indoor championship gold over the distance.

‘I always love running in Birmingham and have fond memories of celebrating my Olympic success with the British fans at Alexander Stadium last August,’ Farah said.

Mo Farah is now one of Britain's all-time leading long-distance runners

Class act: Mo Farah is now one of Britain's all-time leading long-distance runners

‘I always run well at the National Indoor Arena. I won this meet in 2007, 2009 and 2011 and that’s what I’ll be aiming to do for next month.’

Looking ahead to the defence of his world outdoor 5,000m title in Moscow August, Farah believes that competing in Birmingham is an important part of his preparations.

‘The big focus this year is the world championships. I’ve had a good winter training block and the British Athletics Grand Prix will be the first time that I compete this year, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the track in front of a home crowd.’

Farah has not forgotten all his British fans

World famous: Farah has not forgotten all his British fans

Michel Platini says Celtic are going out of the Champions League

The Bhoys are going out! Platini says Celtic have no chance of beating Juventus to progress in Champions League

|

UPDATED:

14:50 GMT, 29 December 2012

Michel Platini has written off any chances Celtic may have of Champions League progress.

The UEFA president told delegates at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai that Neil Lennon’s next opposition – Serie A leaders Juventus – are guaranteed to be in the quarter-finals.

‘If we look at the Champions League draw, it’s clear that Juventus are already through to the quarter finals,’ the Frenchman said.

You're out! Michel Platini believes Celtic have no chance in the Champions League

You're out! Michel Platini believes Celtic have no chance in the Champions League

The Hoops have had a sensational run in the European competition so far, miraculously giant-killing both Barcelona and Spartak Moscow to earn a place in the last 16.

The Turin side, meanwhile, will be without defender Giorgio Chiellini for the double header.

Platini won six titles as an attacking midfielder, including the European Cup in 1985 and two Scuddetti.

All smiles: Tony Watt scored the second goal against Barcelona at Parkhead

All smiles: Tony Watt scored the second goal against Barcelona at Parkhead

The son of Italian ancestry, Platini’s father was an immigrant from Agrate Conturbia in the province of Novara, and the football chief has long-standing affection for Italian football.

‘Of course, Juve has always been and will always be the team of my heart, where among other things, I won everything at club level.

‘I have been very fortunate in football. I played in the strongest teams for both Nancy and Saint-Etienne, and finally in Juventus, which is the strongest team in the world.’

Celtic manager Neil Lennon says he was inspired by meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson

Tea and pancakes with Sir Alex inspired us! Celtic boss Lennon reveals reason behind Euro run

|

UPDATED:

15:21 GMT, 21 December 2012

Neil Lennon has revealed that drinking tea and eating pancakes with Sir
Alex Ferguson was the secret to Celtic’s magical run to the knockout
stages of the Champions League.

The Scottish champions beat Barcelona on a famous night at Celtic Park – and reduced Rod Stewart to tears – and have drawn Juventus in the first knockout stage of the tournament.

But it was a visit from Manchester United and former Rangers manager Sir Alex Ferguson that inspired Celtic’s success in the group stages.

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Cheers boss: Neil Lennon says a meeting with Sir Alex Ferguson inspired Celtic

Lennon told the Guardian: ‘He gave us two hours of his time, which he didn’t have to do, and I thought it was a brilliant gesture. It was in the privacy of a room at the training ground, just myself and my backroom staff, some tea and pancakes.

‘He was in great form. He has given us little tit bits along the way for the Champions League games. I’m not saying that has got us over the line, but every little bit helps.

‘He was one of the only managers to write me a letter when we won the championship in May and I’ll be eternally grateful to him for that, as well.'

The away win over Spartak Moscow in Group G, along with the narrow defeat by Barcelona in Catalonia, were seen as proof of Celtic’s ability to hurt teams on the break.

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

Hooping mad: Celtic will play Juventus in the Champions League last 16

With Juve going to Glasgow on February 12 before the return leg in Turin on March 6, Lennon feels his team have a chance to cause another shock.

Lennon also revealed that winning the league with Celtic has finally made him feel settled at the club, after having to endure all the criticism that comes with the role.

‘Old managers make mistakes; Wenger makes mistakes, Ferguson makes mistakes, Mourinho makes mistakes. So what do people call them

‘Before winning the league, I felt like I was on probation. It has been a massive year for me, personally.’

Neil Lennon believes Celtic can beat Juventus in Champions League

Lennon plans to add to Barcelona heroics with Turin takeaway after drawing Juve

|

UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 20 December 2012

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is dreaming of more Champions League glory after drawing Juventus in the last-16 of Europe’s elite club tournament.

Lennon admits that Juventus will privately be pleased to have drawn their Scottish counterparts. But he believes that his Celtic team have the potential to go even further.

Asked if he’d thought about a run to the quarter-finals, Lennon said: 'Of course. This is the furthest we have progressed as a club in this format and it is a huge incentive for the players to eclipse that. This is their time.

Waiting patiently: Neil Lennon (right) watches intently the Champions League draw intensely

Waiting patiently: Neil Lennon (right) watches intently the Champions League draw intensely

Keep your feet on the ground for now: Celtic train before their SPL clash with Ross County

Keep your feet on the ground for now: Celtic train before their SPL clash with Ross County

'They can’t do it after the event. We know they are going to be two monumentally difficult games. But why not

‘They have taken their opportunities up to this point. We have two more games to grasp the nettle.

‘I think Juventus will be really respectful of us but, behind closed doors, they will fancy it. Do we fancy it

‘Over two games, anything can happen. The first game here will be pivotal in terms of getting any sort of result. But what I do feel is that we are capable of scoring away from home; we have proved that. So 0-0 at home, would that be a good result

Tinsel TV: Lennon (left) believes Celtic can cause a shock against Juventus

Tinsel TV: Lennon (left) believes Celtic can cause a shock against Juventus

‘The way we are playing away from home I don’t see why not. If we can match what we did in Moscow and the Nou Camp, then we should be OK.’

The away win over Spartak Moscow in Group G, along with the narrow defeat by Barcelona in Catalonia, were seen as proof of Celtic’s ability to hurt teams on the break.

With Juve going to Glasgow on February 12 before the return leg in Turin on March 6, Lennon feels his team have a chance to cause another shock.

Christopher Samba attacks Zenit St Petersburg fans who called for non-white and gay players to be ditched

No good racists! Samba attacks Zenit fans who called for non-white and gay players to be ditched

|

UPDATED:

14:21 GMT, 19 December 2012

Former Blackburn defender Christopher Samba has described supporters of Russian club Zenit St Petersburg as racists who live in another century.

A group of Zenit fans want non-white and gay players excluded from playing in Russia's national team, but Samba says he is not surprised by the latest issue of racism to blight Russian football.

The Anzhi Makhachkala defender told BBC Radio 5 live: ‘I’m not surprised. Everybody knows Zenit supporters are no good and racist.

‘They are living in another century. It’s a sad day for Russian football.'

Racist: Samba described the Zenit fans who called for black and gay players to be excluded as 'living in another century'

Racist: Samba described the Zenit fans who called for black and gay players to be excluded as 'living in another century'

He added: ‘Black players should fight for the good ones – not the idiots.

‘In this time we have different communities and countries that constitute teams. If they can’t accept that then they are never going to progress.’

Earlier this week Landscrona, the Russian champions’ largest fans’ group, said black players are ‘forced down Zenit’s throat’.

Zenit were the only top-flight team in the country without a black player until they signed Brazil striker Hulk and Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel over the summer.

Consequences: The argument could impact on Russia's staging of the 2018 World Cup

Consequences: The argument could impact on Russia's staging of the 2018 World Cup

The club have previously been fined by the Russian Football Union after one of their fans offered a banana to Anzhi Makhachkala left-back Roberto Carlos before a match between the two sides in March 2011.

Black players in the Russian league have been the target of monkey chants and Samba also had a banana thrown at him by a Lokomotiv Moscow fan shortly after his move from Blackburn Rovers.

It is feared that racist fans could cause significant problems and embarrassment for the country as Russia prepare to host the 2018 World Cup.

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

|

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.

Premier League"s worst divers – according to Vinnie Jones

Diving has been happening for 20 years… it is up to captains and managers to stamp it out, says hardman Vinnie Jones

|

UPDATED:

13:44 GMT, 11 December 2012

Vinnie Jones is explaining how he keeps up to date with events in the Barclays Premier League when the tone of his voice deepens considerably.

The thorny issue of diving has arisen in our conversation and Jones makes no attempt to conceal his disgust. Jones may now live in Hollywood and have a portfolio of 60 movies but, to a certain generation, he was the quintessential football hard man.

As one of the founder members of Wimbledon’s ‘Crazy Gang’, Jones took no prisoners and relished trying to take the big clubs down a peg or two. He was always rough and tough but never did this midfield enforcer rely on the dark arts of trying to hoodwink referees.

No contact: Santi Cazorla wins a penalty for Arsenal despite there being debate as to whether Steven Reid made contact

No contact: Santi Cazorla wins a penalty for Arsenal despite there being debate as to whether Steven Reid made contact

Going down: Cazorla goes over close to Reid and wins a penalty

Going down: Cazorla goes over close to Reid and wins a penalty

So when he is asked for his views about the theatrical antics that have become commonplace each weekend – the latest being Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla’s risible tumble against West Brom – Jones, typically, does not hold back.

'I was filming in New York last week for an episode of Elementary and I was in my trailer watching Celtic in the Champions League, in between scenes,’ said Jones, who also played for Chelsea, Sheffield United, Queens Park Rangers and Leeds before ending up in Tinsel Town.

'Anyway this geezer from Spartak Moscow gets tackled but goes down as if he had been shot in the calf with a 12 bore shotgun. He was only doing it to get the Celtic lad booked. He goes off the field after a bit of treatment then he’s running around with no problem.

Theatrical: Luis Suarez goes down while under pressure from Vincent Kompany

Theatrical: Luis Suarez goes down while under pressure from Vincent Kompany

Taking a tumble: Suarez goes down against Arsenal

Taking a tumble: Suarez goes down against Arsenal

FIVE WHO WOULDN’T GO DOWN

‘There were so many good lads playing in my day you were always guaranteed a battle. If I had to pick the hardest out I’d go for Bryan Robson, Steve McMahon, Terry Hurlock, Roy Keane and Carlton Palmer. Why Carlton He was so big, he’d run away from you and you’d never catch him!’

'Well, in my view, the referee should have booked him when he got up. All this is starting to creep up on clubs. You hear this talk of Gareth Bale but he’s not doing anything that David Ginola wasn’t doing. He was 6ft 4ins and you’d see him rolling all over the place.

'It’s terrible. It’s out and out cheating. This debate keeps rearing its ugly head every three or four years but nothing seems to happen.

'Everyone says it is down to the referees to sort it out but that isn’t fair. Referees are under such pressure now. Why are they getting stick from managers Managers and captains should be setting the example and other players should follow their lead to stamp it out.

'I’ll tell you a story: when I was at Wimbledon, one of our players – who shall remain nameless – went down with a dive in the area. I walked over, picked him up by his hair on the back of his neck and told him “we don’t do that here, son. Got it” I promise you he never did it again.’

No contact: Gareth Bale has been accused of being a serial diver

No contact: Gareth Bale has been accused of being a serial diver

Unbelievable: Bale has been booked for simulation four times this season

Unbelievable: Bale has been booked for simulation four times this season

Jones is in full flow now. From recounting how Wimbledon defied the odds in 1988 to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup final to speaking of his pride that Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch – his first acting roles – remains in the top five British movies of all time, the chat is never dull.

His is a quite remarkable story – the one time hod-carrier who joined the a Hollywood A-list – but even though his career has changed dramatically, his passion for football burns as intensely as it did when he was going toe-to-toe with the best around.

Fittingly, Jones has just become an ambassador for Warrior Football – the manufactures of Liverpool’s kit – and he describes England captain Steven Gerrard as befitting the image of the brand; a player who would never give up.

No nonsense: Vinnie Jones was known as a tough tackling midfielder

No nonsense: Vinnie Jones was known as a tough tackling midfielder

Unfortunately, though, he feels there are too few characters in the modern game.

'I said this would happen 20 years ago,’ he continues. ‘All this diving around isn’t new. I said the Premier League would get flooded with foreign players but people at the time said we needed them. I always felt it would be to the detriment of the national team.

'I feel sorry for Roy Hodgson. Harry Houdini couldn’t get England to win a tournament now. But I still watch the Premier League religiously. We probably see more games in America live than you do at home. We just need to see more of these honest players going in blood and thunder.’

Screen stars: Vinnie Jones and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini (below) star in the new Warrior Sport advert

Screen stars: Vinnie Jones and Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini (below) star in the new Warrior Sport advert

Marouane Fellaini

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32071','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32071”,
'videoPlayer' : “2027369296001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2246358/Premier-Leagues-worst-divers–according-Vinnie-Jones.html”

});

Vinnie Jones is an Ambassador for Warrior Football

The secret of Celtic glory? Smells like team spirit

The secret of Celtic glory Smells like team spirit

|

UPDATED:

01:15 GMT, 7 December 2012

It is easy to get carried away with
Celtic. The history, the colour, the noise, the spectacle, all of this
acts like a magnetic force on our attention, on major European nights in
particular. Celtic Park can be an inspiration and it was once again
uplifting on Wednesday.

But at the core of the celebrated
club must always be a football team and if that seems a very basic
requirement, what Neil Lennon has assembled at Celtic is a proper team.

Get in: Neil Lennon punches the air after Celtic progressed to the next round of the Champions League

Get in: Neil Lennon punches the air after Celtic progressed to the next round of the Champions League

One definition of a real manager and a real team is that the collective is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Less is made more.

Celtic have done this, they have become a coherent unit one year on from being 3-0 down at Kilmarnock with Lennon fretting about his future. He did not look like the coming man he appears to be today. But the 41-year-old has grown; his team have grown.

In terms of maturity there is a comparison to be made with Borussia Dortmund, who finished bottom of their group a year ago with four points. At the same time Celtic were third in their Europa League group. Both are young teams.

Rocket: Kris Commons drills home the spot-kick that sent the Hoops through

Rocket: Kris Commons drills home the spot-kick that sent the Hoops through

Hard work and a team ethic sounds too
simple an explanation for progress, but there is genius in simplicity.
So when the question is asked: how did Celtic make it out of a tough
Champions League group when clubs of superior resources, such as
Manchester City and Chelsea, did not, a significant slice of the answer
is that Celtic are a team in a way that City and Chelsea have not been.

It is understandable to dwell on the wealth gap. Celtic’s most costly
player in their starting XI on Wednesday against Spartak Moscow was
Scott Brown, who cost 4.4million from Hibs five years ago.
Alongside him were scorers Gary Hooper (Scunthorpe, 1.6m) and Kris
Commons (Derby, 300,000).

Celtic’s starting XI against Spartak cost 13m, which amounts to a couple of annual salaries at Chelsea and City.

Another comparison that flatters Lennon and his club was the sight of
Aiden McGeady entering the pitch as a Spartak substitute. Celtic sold
McGeady to Moscow for 10m — which is 4m more than Celtic have ever
spent on a player.

And McGeady was by no means Spartak’s only recent recruit. Emmanuel
Emenike, who set up Spartak’s equaliser, cost 9m. The wages in Moscow
far exceed those in Scotland.

Anything can happen: Lennon believes his Celtic boys can go deep in the competition

Anything can happen: Lennon believes his Celtic boys can go deep in the competition

Another comparison is the TV money which clubs receive. Celtic’s cut
last year was around 2m, whereas Wolves, bottom of the Premier League
and relegated, received 39m.

Man City got 60.6m from the televising of the Premier League, Chelsea
54.4m, and it was felt that those two clubs capturing respectively the
League title and European Cup marked the utter triumph of vast wealth.

It has not turned out that way, which is a warning to Celtic. A year
from now, things could be different. But Celtic are not complacent. A
measure of their daily economic reality was seen and heard in the Jock
Stein Lounge on Tuesday. There Lennon talked about the financial rewards
gained before Wednesday’s victory as saving jobs at the stadium.

‘To
have this revenue when a lot of people at this club were worried about
their jobs is great,’ he said. ‘Everyone in Scotland is downsizing and
we are no different.’

Lennon was pressed on the January window and talked about getting
players such as Victor Wanyama and Hooper on to better contracts.

And buying players ‘Possibly. But I don’t want to change it too much. I
don’t want to spend mega-money on one player because that will only
disrupt the spirit here.’

Lennon did not overplay the spirit line. He was restrained. But he knows
this is over-achieving and he knows it is being noticed. ‘I think this
might change the opinion or the view of Scottish teams,’ he added,
‘particularly Celtic.’

Contract trouble: Gary Hooper might not sign a new deal

Contract trouble: Gary Hooper might not sign a new deal

Kris Commons wants Celtic to face Manchester United in Champions League

Bring on the Battle of Britain! Commons hoping Celtic draw Man United in Europe

|

UPDATED:

18:18 GMT, 6 December 2012

Kris Commons believes Celtic are a match for anyone in the last 16 of the Champions League but would prefer a tie against boyhood heroes Manchester United.

The Hoops midfielder slammed in a dramatic late penalty in the Group G decider against Spartak Moscow at Parkhead last night to seal the 2-1 win and a place in the knockout stages of the competition along with section winners Barcelona.

Neil Lennon’s men could face United, Malaga, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke or Paris St Germain when the draw is made on December 20.

Battle of Britain: Celtic's Kris Commons (left) wants to draw Man United in the next round

Battle of Britain: Celtic's Kris Commons (left) wants to draw Man United in the next round

Celtic beat Barcelona 2-1 at Parkhead on their way to reaching 10 points and it is that victory which Commons holds up as evidence of the Scottish champions’ confidence.

However, the Mansfield-born Scotland international, who played for Stoke, Derby and Nottingham Forest before his move to Celtic in 2011, would like another trip to Old Trafford.

'I think we can beat anyone on our day, we have proved that, not only in the SPL but in Europe, we can beat top, top sides,' he said.

'With our fans and the way we set out to win games, I don’t think anyone will fancy coming to play us.

'So it’s going to be a tough draw for whoever it is. There are a few really tough sides but being a boy from down south, I would like to play Man United.

'I’ve played them before a couple of times but I was a Man United fan as a kid so for me, to get the chance to play against that club and play at that stadium again would be a dream come true again.'

The 29-year-old was speaking at Lennoxtown as he nursed a dead leg which saw him taken off on a stretcher five minutes from time following a challenge from Kim Kallstrom which earned the Spartak midfielder a second yellow card.

The Scottish champions went into the match knowing they would qualify for the knockout stages only if they got a better result against Spartak, consigned to the bottom of the table, than Benfica got in the Nou Camp.

In the 81st minute with the game tied at 1-1 after Gary Hooper’s opener had been cancelled out by Ari, a roar swept around the stadium which suggested that Barca had scored.

Bring it on: Commons wants to try his luck against players like Wayne Rooney (centre)

Bring it on: Commons wants to try his luck against players like Wayne Rooney (centre)

However, it was an erroneous call, the game in the Nou Camp finished goalless and had Commons not scored with the spot-kick that Lennon could not bring himself to watch, then it would have been Benfica and not Celtic who would have gone through.

Commons said: 'I thought Barcelona were winning anyway so I just thought, “I will smash this in, we have done our part but Benfica are losing anyway”.

'We got the feeling from the crowd that Barcelona had scored. We didn’t really feel that we needed to press and force the issue to get a goal.

'I could then sense the fans were anxious and with the manager willing us to get a goal and also bringing on Lassad.

Rocket: Commons drills home the spot-kick that sent the Hoops through

Rocket: Commons drills home the spot-kick that sent the Hoops through

'I would have thought someone from the sideline would have said, “listen, we need a goal because at this point in time we are going out”.

'So taking the penalty I had no idea what the consequence was – or I would have probably given it to Lassad.

'He was a big goalkeeper and the only worry was that his feet were still going to be in the middle as he dived.

'I wanted to go as high as possible without ballooning it over the bar and lucky enough for me it hit the underside of the bar and went in after the bounce and then into the roof of the net.

'My heart sank for a millisecond and then I was able to celebrate.'