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Haroon Khan wins his debut fight

Younger Khan follows in Amir's footsteps by winning debut fight on points over Fidoe

By
Martin Domin

PUBLISHED:

21:10 GMT, 27 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 28 April 2013

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Haroon Khan's bid to follow in the footsteps of big brother Amir began seamlessly on Saturday night with a points victory over Brett Fidoe in Sheffield.

The 21-year-old made his professional debut just hours before his elder sibling's clash with Julio Diaz and never looked in serious trouble at the Motorpoint Arena.

Boxing at super flyweight, Khan was however too eager to impress at times – an accusation levelled at his brother throughout his career – but came through unscathed.

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Beating: Haroon Khan, left, throws a left hook against Brett Fidoe

Representing Pakistan, Khan won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and is now working under Salford-based trainer Oliver Harrison who guided Amir to a 17-fight undefeated professional career before their sudden split in 2008.

Fidoe, meanwhile, began his career with successive defeats at the tail end of last year before halting the slide with his sole victory to date in February.

Such was the ease with which he was expected to be deposed, the 22-year-old already had his next assignment lined up – against an unbeaten prospect in Manchester in just 13 days time.

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Eyeing him up: Although Fidoe boxed well in the last round, Khan was a runaway winner

Making his debut six months after turning professional, Khan was afforded a warm welcome by the simmering crowd and he looked determined to give them something to cheer about from the first bell.

Abandoning his jab, he repeatedly attempted to land the overhand right, only for Fidoe to slip it with ease.

The few punches that did land came from Khan however and that pattern continued into the second session.

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

Intent: Khan throws a punch but Fidoe manages to duck in time

At the start of the third stanza, Khan threw an eye-catching three-punch combination and although the first two missed the target, the third, a left, landed flush.

He had further success when he switched downstairs to the body and had by this time built up a commanding lead.

To Fidoe's credit, he came out swinging for the final three minutes and deserved the consolation of winning the round only to be forced to share the spoils as the referee awarded Khan victory by 40 points to 37.

Hull City 0 Bristol City 0: Nervy Tigers must wait for the big time after stalemate

Hull City 0 Bristol City 0: Nervy Tigers must wait for the big time

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

20:37 GMT, 19 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:57 GMT, 19 April 2013

If Hull City are going to go back to the Barclays Premier League, they are determined to do it the hard way.

Just three days after losing at Wolves, Steve Bruce's side, who remain
second behind promoted Cardiff City, blew their chance to virtually
guarantee their return to the top flight with a victory over
bottom-placed Bristol City, who were relegated earlier in the week.

Hull's Matt Fryatt tussles with Liam Kelly of Bristol City

Running man: Hull's Matt Fryatt tussles with Liam Kelly of Bristol City

Match facts

Hull: Stockdale, Chester (Rosenior 86), Faye, Hobbs, Elmohamady, Boyd, Meyler, Quinn, Brady, Gedo (Simpson 67), Fryatt (Proschwitz 67). Subs Not Used: Jakupovic, Cairney, McShane, Fathi.

Bristol City: Heaton, Foster, Nyatanga, Moloney, Cunningham, Adomah (Anderson 86), Kilkenny, Kelly, Bates,Baldock (Howard 90), Davies (Burns 90). Subs Not Used: Gerken, Mark Wilson, Louis Carey, Ajala.

Att: 18,595

Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

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The drab goalless draw at the KC Stadium has offered a lifeline to closest rivals Watford, who face Blackburn Rovers at Vicarage Road on Saturday and can now overtake Hull with three wins out of three. Bizarrely however, if Gianfranco Zola's side lose, Hull will be promoted.

That, of course, is the Championship but Hull never really looked like a team on the verge of leaving the division in the right direction in front of their anxious and frustrated supporters. Bristol City certainly looked like a team who are relegated.

They were the opponents five years ago when Dean Windass's dramatic late goal sealed Hull's promotion to the big time for the first time. There was no local hero to break the deadlock last night, or offer evidence that Hull will be able to avoid a return visit to Wembley to clinch promotion next month.

Hold up: Fryatt is blocked off by with Brendan Moloney

Hold up: Fryatt is blocked off by with Brendan Moloney

Pressure point: Hull boss Steve Bruce

Pressure point: Hull boss Steve Bruce

For all that their three-man defence had little to do, the home side
rarely troubled visiting keeper Tom Heaton. He didn't have a save to
make in the first half, which was down to the Tigers' nervy and
unconvincing approach play.

championship

And when rare chances did fall their way in the penalty area, they were
wasted. Irish pair Robbie Brady and Stephen Quinn both benefitted from
the tireless endeavours of their fellow countryman David Meyler but
Brady found the sidenetting and Quinn could only reach the 98 travelling
supporters who made the long journey north.

Hull, who travel to Barnsley next week, fared little better after the
break as Bruce tried to calm nerves among his players and the home
crowd. Even strong penalty appeals for a foul on Quinn 10 minutes from
time failed to convince referee Michael Oliver.

In fact, apart from a weak Brady free-kick, the only shot on target came
from Bristol's Sam Baldock who barely warmed David Stockdale's hands
with his drive.

Heaton did not have a meaningful save to make until the first minute
of added time when he denied Meyler with a superb two-handed stop from
12 yards after the home side finally penetrated the Bristol back line.

Reading 1 West Ham 0 – match report

Reading 1 West Ham 0: Pogrebnyak's early strike is enough as Royals earn three crucial points in relegation battle

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UPDATED:

17:04 GMT, 29 December 2012

Pavel Pogrebnyak struck his third league goal for Reading to give Brian McDermott's side their second Barclays Premier League win of the season at the expense of West Ham.

The Royals had halted a run of seven defeats with a draw at home to Swansea on Boxing Day and went one better against a poor Hammers side, moving three points clear of bottom club QPR in the process.

McDermott had said before the game that his players would do whatever they had to do to start picking up victories.

Celebration time: Pavel Pogrebnyak marks his goal after five minutes which gave Reading the lead at the Madejski Stadium

Celebration time: Pavel Pogrebnyak marks his goal after five minutes which gave Reading the lead at the Madejski Stadium

MATCH FACTS

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Pearce, Mariappa, Harte, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Kebe (Robson-Kanu 74), Guthrie (Hunt 64), Pogrebnyak

Subs not used: Taylor, Morrison, Cummings, Tabb, Le Fondre

Goal: Pogrebnyak 5

Bookings: Pogrebnyak, Pearce, Harte

West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Reid, Tomkins, O'Brien, Collins, Nolan, Jarvis, Taylor (Collison 53), Noble (Maiga 78), O'Neil (Vaz Te 66), Cole

Subs not used: Spiegel, Demel, Spence, Diarra

Bookings: Collins, Noble, Nolan, Tomkins

Referee: Michael Oliver

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As it turns out they had to do almost
nothing to beat a lacklustre West Ham as James Collins presented
Pogrebnyak with a late Christmas gift.

The Hammers defender looked to play a
simple ball back to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and Pogrebnyak stole
in to slot past the Finn and put Reading ahead with just five minutes on
the clock.

Royals' winger Jimmy Kebe was causing
problems down the right flank early on and a 14th minute cut-back almost
found Pogrebnyak but was well cleared.

Two minutes later the same duo combined well on the edge of the area but Kebe's final ball drifted behind for a goal-kick.

West Ham struggled to make an
impression in attack but skipper Kevin Nolan released Matt Taylor just
before the half-hour mark, but his cross was collected by Reading
goalkeeper Adam Federici.

A few tough tackles started flying in
as the first half progressed with Pogrebnyak joining West Ham's Mark
Noble in referee Michael Oliver's notebook for a foul on Winston Reid.

The hosts then gifted West Ham a
half-chance in the final seconds of the first half as they dallied on
the ball outside their own penalty area.

Nolan pounced and found Gary O'Neil, but he appeared to be caught in two minds and his final ball was neither a shot or a cross.

Cool finish: Pavel Pogrebnyak opens the scoring for Reading following a poor back pass by West Ham's James Collins

Cool finish: Pavel Pogrebnyak opens the scoring for Reading following a poor back pass by West Ham's James Collins

Dejection: West Ham defender James Collins after his weak backpass gifted Reading's Pogrebnyak the opening goal on five minutes

Dejection: West Ham defender James Collins after his weak backpass gifted Reading's Pogrebnyak the opening goal on five minutes

Pogrebnyak had the ball in the back of
the net again five minutes after the restart but was flagged offside
after latching onto a through ball from Mikele Leigertwood.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce introduced
Jack Collison in place of the ineffectual Taylor with 54 minutes gone
with the Wales international making only his second appearance since
returning from a career-threatening knee injury.

The 24-year-old almost drew the
visitors level 10 minutes later but his low shot was parried by Federici
with no West Ham player able to tap home the rebound.

Although the Hammers were starting to
finally find their feet in the game they almost fell further behind when
Jem Karacan's thunderous effort was tipped onto the bar by Jaaskelainen
with Kebe firing the rebound into the crowd.

Scrap: West Ham's Winston Reid (left) and Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak battle for the ball

Scrap: West Ham's Winston Reid (left) and Reading's Pavel Pogrebnyak battle for the ball

Eyes on the ball: Gary O'Neill (right) and Danny Guthrie keep a close watch

Eyes on the ball: Gary O'Neill (right) and Danny Guthrie keep a close watch

Ricardo Vaz Te was the next player to
be thrown on by Allardyce with the Portuguese returning to first-team
action for the first time since dislocating a shoulder in early October.

The winger had impressed earlier in
the campaign and flashed a cross in with 10 minutes remaining that was
hacked clear by Chris Gunter in front of the sliding Modibo Maiga.

Vaz Te was involved again moments
later as he missed West Ham's best opening of the game, inexplicably
heading Matt Jarvis' cross wide of the goal from four yards out.

How did he miss West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te (bottom left) reacts with incredulity after missing an easy header

How did he miss West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te (bottom left) reacts with incredulity after missing an easy header

Firm grip: Winston Reid with his arm around Reading's Jimmy Kebe

Firm grip: Winston Reid with his arm around Reading's Jimmy Kebe

Touchline battle: Sam Allardyce implores his West Ham players on, while Brian McDermott keeps a close check on proceedings

Touchline battle: Sam Allardyce implores his West Ham players on, while Brian McDermott keeps a close check on proceedings

Reading managed to see out the closing
stages to claim what could be a vital three points while West Ham's
lack of away goals again proved their undoing.

The Hammers have only scored five
goals on their travels in the league so far this season and the defeat
leaves them only six points off the bottom three.

Robin van Persie kick: Ashley Williams will not be charged by the FA

What will Sir Alex say Swansea skipper Williams will NOT be charged over RVP kickFA won't take any action against WilliamsFergie fumed Van Persie 'could have been killed'Man United boss will not face disrepute charge over his comments

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UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 24 December 2012

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The FA have confirmed they will NOT be charging Swansea City defender Ashley Williams for his ugly clash with Robin van Persie at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.

Sir Alex Ferguson called for Williams to be handed a lengthy suspension for slamming the ball into the back of Van Persie’s head from point-blank range when the United striker was lying on the floor after a 74th-minute foul.

Ferguson, speaking after United were held 1-1, went on to claim the incident ‘could have killed’ Van Persie, but the FA confirmed to Sportsmail that no action will be taken against Williams as he was booked at the time by referee Michael Oliver.

Pain in the neck: Van Persie feels the force of Ashley Williams' kick

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Lashing out: Floored Manchester United striker Robin van Persie feels the force of Ashley Willaims' kick

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

It is the policy of the FA not to ‘re-referee’ incidents that have been seen by the match officials.

The FA also said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that Ferguson will be handed a disrepute charge for his comments on the matter.

The United manager had said: ‘The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed.

‘The FA has got to look into it
regardless that he has been given a yellow card. He should be banned for
a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I’ve seen on a
football field for many years.

Seeing red: Van Persie leaps up to retaliate with Williams after the incident

Seeing red: Van Persie leaps up to retaliate with Williams after the incident

Head-to-head: A furious Van Persie leaps up to vent his rage to Williams after the incident

Head-to-head: A furious Van Persie leaps up to vent his rage to Williams after the incident

Pulled apart: The pair had to be separated by their team-mates

Pulled apart: The pair had to be separated by their team-mates

So, was RVP at risk

GRAHAM POLL
Former Premier League referee

Sir Alex Ferguson’s reaction to Ashley Williams kicking the ball that hit Robin van Persie in the 76th minute sounded a little over the top, but Williams could well have been sent off rather than cautioned by referee Michael Oliver.

If, in the opinion of the referee, the ball was deliberately kicked at an opponent and used like a weapon, then he should have been sent off for violent conduct. As it was reasonable for Williams’s actions to be seen as natural in clearing a loose ball from his own penalty area, it was almost impossible for Oliver to determine with any degree of certainty what his intentions were – and so a caution was the sensible decision.

MARK LEATHER
Former Premier League physio

It's unlikely that being hit by the ball could have killed Van Persie. But being struck that hard from such a short distance could have knocked him out. I’ve seen players knocked out by free-kicks struck from 10 yards away.

If you are unconscious, there is then a risk of trauma to the brain. A blow that fierce is like being hit in boxing – the damage is unpredictable. It can lead to internal bleeding and permanent damage, or there can be just an aching head.

‘It was absolutely deliberate. The
whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in
front of the referee – he could have killed the lad.

‘It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should banned for a long time.’

Williams played down the incident,
saying: ‘I tried to clear the ball, (but) it hit him on the head. I was
trying to clear the ball. He was obviously a bit angry about that.

‘It was a much ado about nothing.’

He added: ‘I tried to apologise but
there wasn't much time. I didn't see him afterwards. Obviously I would
shake his hand but it is no big deal.

'I just lashed at the ball and I
understand why he is angry but it is not like I am going to shoot and
hit him square on the head.’

The ugly scenes detracted from a thrilling draw. Patrice Evra had put
United ahead after 16 minutes but Michu hit back for Swansea with his
13th Barclays Premier League strike 13 minutes later. United twice hit
the frame of the goal as they tried and failed to restore their
six-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the table.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, meanwhile, says Ashley Williams is 'not a nasty footballer'.

He said: 'You see the incident and it is a very, very dangerous situation'.

'If you see one of your players with a bang on the back of the head it is really dangerous and it can have bad consequences. You can understand that.

In the book: Referee Michael Oliver booked Williams but Ferguson is calling for the defender to be banned

Yellow peril: Van Persie was also booked by Oliver for his part in the bust-up

In the book: Referee Michael Oliver booked Williams but Ferguson is calling for the defender to be banned, while Van Persie also received a yellow card for his part in the bust-up

'I signed Ashley Williams for Swansea
and I know his character inside out. I can guarantee you without even
looking at the incident that he is not a nasty footballer.

'He is a winner and fully committed, a
leader and a captain, and I don't for one second doubt that he did not
do that on purpose.

'It is an action of the game. He can
show frustration – it is an emotional game and it is very unfortunate
that it hits Van Persie in a part of the body where he could have been
hurt heavily, and you don't want to see that.

'But from my point of view, I know
Ashley Williams really well – when you sign a player you find out about a
player and I can guarantee you he is not the type of footballer who
would do that on purpose.'

QPR boss Harry Redknapp, speaking ahead of his side's Boxing Day clash with West Bromwich Albion, said of the Williams incident: 'I don't see how he was going to be killed.

'He kicked the ball at him. I have seen worse things on a football pitch.'

Swansea 1 Manchester United 1 – Match report

Swansea 1 Manchester United 1: Reds frustrated as Michu's goal gives Swans share of the points

|

UPDATED:

16:13 GMT, 23 December 2012

Manchester United missed the chance to extend their lead in the title race to six points as Michu came out on top in the battle of the Barclays Premier League's top scorers at the Liberty Stadium.

Patrice Evra had given United the lead in the 16th minute as he headed home from a Robin van Persie corner.

But Swansea continued their good record against the top-flight big guns as Michu finished from close range to move clear of Van Persie with his 13th league goal of the season.

Flat out: Michu makes it 1-1 as goalkeeper David de Gea lies on the ground

Flat out: Michu makes it 1-1 as goalkeeper David de Gea lies on the ground

Match facts:

Swansea: Vorm, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton (Ki 62), Agustien (Shechter 88), De Guzman (Moore 71), Routledge, Michu.

Subs not used: Tremmel, Graham, Monk, Richards.

Goal: Michu 29

Booked: De Guzman, Williams

Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Evans, Vidic, Evra, Valencia (Hernandez 62), Carrick, Cleverley (Scholes 86), Young, Rooney (Giggs 78), van Persie.

Subs not used: Lindegaard, Welbeck, Fletcher, Buttner.

Goal: Evra 16

Booked: Jones, Rooney, Van Persie, Scholes

Referee: Michael Oliver

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United will hold a four-point lead over Manchester City at Christmas but will be left to rue a series of missed chances during the final half hour when they piled the pressure on their hosts.

Swansea felt they had shown United too much respect during this fixture last season but, after a slow start, they showed little sign of being overawed as they took the game to the visitors.

Dwight Tiendalli flashed a threatening ball across the six-yard box before Kemy Agustien freed Michu with a superb long ball, but the Spaniard sliced high and wide.
David De Gea easily saved weak efforts from Wayne Routledge and Michu, but United halted the hosts' building momentum as they took the lead.

Wayne Rooney had already warmed Michel Vorm's hands with a stinging drive before Evra put the visitors ahead, arriving to glance a header in off the far post from a Van Persie corner.

But Swansea recovered well from the blow and Jonathan de Guzman had the ball in the net two minutes later, but the effort was ruled out for Michu blocking off Jonny Evans as the midfielder advanced.

All square: Michu scores the equiliser for Swansea

All square: Michu scores the equiliser for Swansea

Levelling up: Michu celebrates making it 1-1 just before the half hour mark

Levelling up: Michu celebrates making it 1-1 just before the half hour mark

The Liberty Stadium faithful were further angered when Phil Jones was given only a yellow card for a clumsy lunge on Ben Davies, although replays suggested referee Michael Oliver had got the decision right.

But it was United who felt they had been victims of an injustice as Michu levelled on the half hour mark.
Evra was caught out by De Guzman's clever run and when De Gea could only parry the Dutchman's angled shot, Michu was on hand to tap in.

Not going to plan: Wayne Rooney , Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick look on after Swansea level the scores

Not going to plan: Wayne Rooney , Robin van Persie and Michael Carrick look on after Swansea level the scores

Sir Alex Ferguson was visibly angered that Van Persie was not awarded a free-kick after he and Chico Flores went to ground following the Spaniard's challenge seconds before the equaliser, and the United boss made his feelings known to referee Oliver at the break.

The goal added an extra bite to Swansea's play and they had the better of the remainder of the opening half.
De Guzman and Routledge were becoming increasingly influential for the hosts and the former should have done better after working his way into the United box on the byline, only to shoot straight at De Gea with several team-mates well placed.

High riser: Patrice Evra heads United into the lead

High riser: Patrice Evra heads United into the lead

Head boy: Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net

Head boy: Patrice Evra watches his header go in the back of the net

Goal rush: Evra celebrates scoring his third goal of the season

Goal rush: Evra celebrates scoring his third goal of the season

But United offered a remainder of their quality in first half stoppage time when Evra easily got past Nathan Dyer and intelligently pulled the ball back to Rooney, but the England forward fired directly at Vorm.

The second half started at a furious pace and there were chances for both sides.

Michu again headed over and De Gea had to stand firm to repel Routledge's close-range strike.

Body on the line: Ashley Williams gets across to block Wayne Rooney's shot

Body on the line: Ashley Williams gets across to block Wayne Rooney's shot

At the other end Ashley Williams made two superb blocks to stop goalbound efforts from Rooney and Ashley Young after Swansea twice surrendered possession cheaply.

United were finally exerting some authority and Van Persie came close to putting them back in front as he cleverly diverted a Rooney cross goalwards, only to see his effort cannon away off the bar.

Substitute Javier Hernandez wasted another presentable chance as he failed to control Van Persie's astute pass and Vorm gratefully held the Mexican's deflected strike.

Looking for his man: Ashley Young prepares to cross the ball

Looking for his man: Ashley Young prepares to cross the ball

Off target: Williams again gets in the way, this time to stop Van Persie

Off target: Williams again gets in the way, this time to stop Van Persie

Protecting the ball: Nathan Dyer fends off the challenge of Evra

Protecting the ball: Nathan Dyer fends off the challenge of Evra

Worse was to follow for United when Rooney dispossessed Chico Flores but allowed the defender to get back and intercept a slack pass which should have given Hernandez an easy finish, much to the fury of his manager.

Tempers flared as United frustrations grew. Van Persie was struck on the head by a Williams clearance after being brought down on the edge of the box leading to some pushing and shoving and a booking apiece for the central protagonists.

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Pulled apart: Williams and Van Persie had to be separated by their team-mates

Pulled apart: Williams and Van Persie had to be separated by their team-mates

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Swansea were by now under incessant pressure.

Vorm tipped a Carrick header against the bar while Van Persie and Young were denied by blocks from Williams and Davies, although there was a suspicion of handball about the latter, as Swansea held out.

Liverpool 1 Southampton 0 match report: Daniel Agger heads winner at Anfield

Liverpool 1 Southampton 0: Agger header has Reds looking up the table

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UPDATED:

17:11 GMT, 1 December 2012

Defender Daniel Agger's first goal of the season ensured Liverpool returned to winning ways at home to Southampton but they made hard work of the victory.

The Denmark international powered home a header just before half-time, only his fifth in 133 Premier League appearances, after a host of chances had gone begging.

In doing so he helped the Reds to only their third home win of the season and back-to-back league wins at Anfield for the first time since September 2011.

On target: Daniel Agger secured a vital victory for Liverpool

On target: Daniel Agger secured a vital victory for Liverpool

Match facts

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen (Henderson 69), Shelvey, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez. Subs not used: Jones, Sahin, Downing, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.

Booked: Suarez.

Goal: Agger 43.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon (Rodriguez 78), Cork (Steven Davis 70), Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert. Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Reeves.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 44,525.

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But in truth it should have been far
more comfortable than it actually was, which is a familiar story where
Liverpool have been concerned recently.

They had 14 shots in a totally
one-sided first half although Southampton could easily have had a goal
of their own with Rickie Lambert's long-range shooting threatening to
catch out Jose Reina.

The Southampton striker sent an early
swerving effort just wide before, in added time, his 35-yard drive had
Reina scrambling back to turn ball around the post.

But those two chances book-ended what was a procession of missed opportunities for the dominant hosts.

The restoration of Lucas Leiva to the
side as defensive midfield linchpin after a three-month absence with a
thigh injury transformed the dynamic almost immediately.

With both Steven Gerrard and Joe
Allen freed to play higher up the pitch in a 4-1-4-1 formation most of
the action was concentrated in their final third.

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross to spark celebration from the Liverpool players (below)

Winning moment: Daniel Agger rises highest to meet Glen Johnson's cross to spark celebration from the Liverpool players (below)

Mixed emotions: Southampton and Liverpool react after Agger's goal

Mixed emotions: Southampton and Liverpool react after Agger's goal

Jonjo Shelvey, also back in the side,
bobbled straight at goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, Glen Johnson flicked
Luis Suarez's pass across the face of goal, Steven Gerrard had a shot
charged down and then fired wide after a quickly-taken free-kick to
Suarez.

Gazzaniga denied both Shelvey and
Suarez, who made justifiable claims he had been pulled back by Jack
Cork, before the Uruguay international latched onto Reina's long kick
and beat the goalkeeper only for Maya Yoshida to clear the ball for a
corner.

When Shelvey smashed an angled shot
past the goalkeeper but back off the inside of the far post it appeared
luck was not on their side.

A marked man: Jason Puncheon gputs pressure on Raheem Sterling

A marked man: Jason Puncheon gputs pressure on Raheem Sterling

However, it took a double-dose of Uruguayan intervention to eventually help break the deadlock two minutes before the break.

Saints' South American summer signing
Gaston Ramirez flattened international team-mate Suarez on the edge of
the penalty area and although the Reds striker crashed his free-kick
onto the crossbar it rebounded to Johnson.

His cross into the penalty area was met by Agger who planted a header into the top corner from 10 yards.

Acrobatics: Daniel Agger clears from Gaston Ramirez

Acrobatics: Daniel Agger clears from Gaston Ramirez

Southampton, having undertaken damage
limitation in the first half, came out positively after the break and
Liverpool struggled to reassert their dominance.

After the first-half deluge it took until midway through the second period to carve out a good opportunity.

Jose Enrique, marauding from
left-back having been restored to his preferred position, exchanged
passes with Suarez on the edge of the area but his toe-poke at goal was
deflected wide by Luke Shaw.

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

Combative: Luis Suarez eases away from Maya Yoshida (above) as Lucas tackles Gaston Ramirez (below)

The Spaniard also saw his drilled half-volley from the left of the area batted away by Gazzaniga.
Such was Liverpool's desperation to score the second and give themselves
some breathing space Suarez tried to punch in Gerrard's cross.

It proved costly as his subsequent
booking ruled the side's leading scorer out of next Sunday's trip to
West Ham, who beat third-placed Chelsea earlier in the day.

Close attention: Jose Enrique fends off Gaston Ramirez

Close attention: Jose Enrique fends off Gaston Ramirez

Suarez flashed a left-footed shot
just wide in added time but in the end Agger's goal proved just enough
to ensure they crept closer to the top four, which manager Brendan
Rodgers insists remains a possibility.

It will only do so, however, if they
first find more support for Suarez in the January transfer window and
start converting more of their chances.

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Marouane Fellaini earns a point after Theo Walcott"s lightning fast start

Everton 1 Arsenal 1: Fellaini a hit but it's a sore point for Moyes

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UPDATED:

22:12 GMT, 28 November 2012

This has been a season that has hinted at great promise for Everton but it is also bringing David Moyes great frustration.

While Moyes should feel content with how his side are performing and the way his players blend, the rewards are simply not coming.

Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park last night merely added another chapter to an increasingly familiar story.

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Hair-raising: Marouane Fellaini drew Everton level after 27 minutes with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

Celebration time: Everton's players mob Fellaini after he scores their leveller

MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Oviedo 61), Gibson (Hitzlsperger 72), Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios

Goal: Fellaini 28

Booked: Gibson, Oviedo

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny (Gibbs 4), Vermaelen, Walcott, Ramsey (Gervinho 79), Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 90), Giroud

Subs not used: Mannone, Rosicky, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jenkinson

Goal: Walcott 1

Booked: Gibbs

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Attendance: 37,141

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Despite falling behind to a goal from
Theo Walcott after 52 seconds — the quickest strike of the campaign
until Robin van Persie popped up at Old Trafford in the later kick-off —
Everton dominated Arsene Wenger’s side but all they had to show for
their efforts was Marouane Fellaini’s equaliser.

They deserved so much more.

There is no better venue in the
country for football to be played under floodlights than this
atmospheric old stadium and, given the encouraging start Everton have
made to the campaign, the sense of anticipation before kick-off was
tangible.

The expectation, though, was checked
within just 52 seconds. Everton’s shape and concentration was lacking as
the game got under way and that allowed Walcott to power through the
middle, trading passes with Aaron Ramsey before finishing smartly via a
deflection off Tony Hibbert.

After the frustrations his side
experienced against Aston Villa at the weekend, this was the kind of
start Wenger had dreamed about.

It was also an opportunity for —Walcott to show why Arsenal should do all they can to agree new terms.

This was Walcott’s 10th goal in his
last 18 appearances. The ratio might not be as prolific as the now
departed Robin van Persie, but it is still an impressive return and not
the type that could be easily — or cheaply — replaced if he was to
leave.

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds - the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Lightning start: Theo Walcott (centre) fired Arsenal into the lead after just 52 seconds – the quickest Premier League goal of the season until Robin Van Persie scored after 31 for Man United

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Down low: Tim Howard makes a save as Tony Hibbert and Theo Walcott watch on

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Tough tackling: Everton's Steven Pienaar gets stuck in to Bacary Sagna

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

Fully committed: Sagna gets a foot in to steal the ball away from Nikica Jelavic

CROWD WATCH

There were no controversial chants and just a great atmosphere under the Goodison Park floodlights.

This hard-fought match was played in an environment that you would hope for and expect at most Premier League stadiums.

He was involved in everything
encouraging Arsenal did in the opening exchanges and the assured,
elegant way the visitors moved the ball around after that goal may have
caused Moyes to worry that a defeat similar to the 6-1 drubbing Arsenal
administered here in August 2009 was on the cards.

This Everton team, however, is made of
much sterner character and, crucially, it is imbued with more quality.
Roared on by the partisan crowd, they carried the fight to Arsenal,
asserting their physical presence and energy.

Central to the plot was the imposing presence of Fellaini.

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Reflexes: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny keeps out an attempt by Everton's Sylvain Distin

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Breaking clear: Pienaar tries to shake off the attentions of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

Letting rip: Pienaar gets past former Evertonian Mikel Arteta to get in a strike at goal

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

On the run: Pienaar takes on the Arsenal defence

He is always guaranteed to stand out
from the crowd because of his unique hairstyle and huge frame, but he is
also a superb footballer.

Arsenal were just the latest team to discover how difficult it is to contain him.

It came as no surprise, then, that
Fellaini was the man who restored parity. There did not appear much on
when he latched onto a loose ball which Bacary Sagna had failed to
control but, showing great poise, he swept a left-footed curling shot
past Wojciech Szczesny from 25 yards.

That came at the end of a spell of
Everton pressure and gave the hosts even more confidence. They set about
trying to poke their noses in front and should have done so on 39
minutes when Nikica Jelavic crafted a wonderful chance.

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

High flyers: Mikel Arteta tries to reach the ball as Marouane Fellaini ushers it along with his chest

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Sandwich: Aaron Ramsey (left) and Mikel Arteta close in on Everton's Leighton Baines

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

Tangle: Theo Walcott tries to break free of Leon Osman (left) and Tony Hibbert

His chest control and subsequent
turning of Per Mertesacker was exemplary but, unfortunately for the
Croatian, he blazed his shot over the bar.

It was a strike symptomatic of a striker who has only scored twice since the end of September.

Moyes may have been frustrated that
Everton could not get the second goal their play merited but half-time
did not check their momentum. They came out after the break with the
same drive and determination and, as a result, Arsenal’s ambitions were
limited to simply withstanding the intense pressure.

With Moyes never leaving his technical area, constantly urging his players forward, Everton tried to turning the screw.

First Steven Naismith went close, then
Sylvain Distin headed straight at Szczesny from point blank range when
picked out by Leighton Baines.

Baines and Steven Pienaar’s
combination play was a particular nuisance for Arsenal and Pienaar
should have had a penalty in the 64th minute when he surged into
Arsenal’s box but referee Michael Oliver felt Mikel Arteta’s challenge
on the South African was legitimate and awarded a corner.

The way Moyes reacted, flinging his arms out and shaking his head, told its own story.

Frustration. Plain and simple.

Manchester City 2 Tottenham 1: Match report

Manchester City 2 Tottenham 1: Aguero and Dzeko strikes spares Hart's blushes after howler

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UPDATED:

15:51 GMT, 11 November 2012

Edin Dzeko lived up to his super-sub billing by firing Manchester City to victory against Tottenham.

Dzeko struck three minutes from time to complete a defiant second-half comeback from the unbeaten Blues, who closed the gap on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United to two points.

It was the Bosnian's seventh goal of the season, six of which have come from the bench, after Sergio Aguero had cancelled out Steven Caulker's first-half header. It also extended City's unbeaten home Premier League record to an incredible 35, and their present unbeaten league run to 16, adding weight to manager Roberto Mancini's pre-match dismissal of any sense of crisis at the Etihad Stadium.

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

Edin in the right direction: Dzeko came off the bench to score the winner for City

MATCH FACTS

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic (Maicon 56), Clichy, Toure, Barry, Silva, Tevez (Dzeko 73), Kolarov, Aguero.

Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Dzeko, Sinclair, Javi Garcia, Toure, Razak.

Booked: Zabaleta

Goals: Aguero 65, Dzeko 88.

Tottenham: Friedel, Walker (Dawson 78), Gallas, Caulker, Vertonghen, Sandro, Huddlestone, Lennon (Naughton 87), Bale, Dempsey, Adebayor (Defoe 80).

Subs: Lloris, Naughton, Defoe, Dawson, Sigurdsson, Livermore, Carroll.

Booked: Walker, Adebayor.

Goal: Caulker 21.

Attendance:

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

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Arriving at the ground, it was hard to escape the feeling of agitation at City, no matter what soothing words are spoken.

In his programme notes, Mancini
accentuated the positives. That long, unbeaten home run, a 10-game total
of 22 points exceeded only once by the Blues during the Premier League
era – last season – and the opportunity to equal the club's unbeaten
record in this particular competition.

“None of this evidence points to us being as badly out of form as some people would have the world believe,” the Italian said.

There is another view though – that City are now conceding goals that would have been unimaginable 12 months ago.

Two against Ajax in this stadium on
Tuesday leave City knowing even a defeat of the mighty Real Madrid will
probably not save their Champions League skins and midway through the
first half today came another calamity.

A straightforward free-kick delivered
from the touchline by Tom Huddlestone found Caulker, who had been given
too much room to make his run. The header should still have been
stopped. This time, goalkeeper Joe Hart, so often City's saviour, only
managed to shovel it in.

Mancini, seeming to make a conscious effort to curb his trigger-happy temperament, could only watch on in disbelief.

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

Level terms: Aguero slotted home the equaliser in the 65th minute

This might not have been so bad if
City had been awarded at least one of the two penalties they were
adamant should have come their way before the break.

William Gallas was the first
offender. And whilst he did block Aguero's flick at close quarters, his
arm was extended in a manner that, in the modern game, tends to result
in an infringement.

On the second occasion, Pablo
Zabaleta was bulldozed over by Huddlestone. That referee Michael Oliver
declined both merely intensified City ire against the official, with
Zabaleta and the returning David Silva among the more demonstrative home
players.

Back after five matches out with a hamstring strain, Silva had started brightly without finding a killer pass.

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

Howler: Hart allowed Caulker's header to slip through his grasp

For the visitors, Emmanuel Adebayor,
starting his first game of the season against his old club, was an
irritation more than anything, luring Zabaleta into a tackle he dived
over to get his one-time colleague a booking.

The introduction of Maicon for his
belated home debut offered an extra twist given it put him up against
Gareth Bale, who famously terrorised the Brazilian during his Inter
Milan days.

It also triggered a return to the much-derided three-man defence.

Yet Mancini's rejig worked.

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

Salvation: City were made to labour for their equaliser

On a day when little seemed to be
going right for the hosts, they profited from a couple of fortunate
bounces, allowing Yaya Toure to get on the end of Silva's pass, then
Aguero to collect possession inside the Spurs box.

Caulker got a quick lesson in how
swiftly the Argentinian can turn as he found himself heading in
completely the wrong direction as Aguero dispatched his precise shot
into the bottom corner.

From that moment on, there only seemed likely to be one winner.

With Aguero scheming, Andre Villas-Boas was forced into his own reshuffle.

Taking a tumble: Adebayor returned to his former club but failed to get on the scoresheet

Taking a tumble: Adebayor returned to his former club but failed to get on the scoresheet

Silva was denied by Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel's flying feet-first save before the veteran American denied Aguero.

Tottenham were creaking though. And
when Silva found Dzeko in the box three minutes from time, the Bosnian
kept his nerve to complete another memorable comeback.

Burnley v Blackpool – match report

Burnley 1 Blackpool 0: Austin's early goal enough to see off Tangerines at Turf Moor

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UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 20 October 2012

Charlie Austin continued his hot goalscoring streak by hitting the winner in Terry Pashley's first game in temporary charge of Burnley.

Austin has now scored eight goals in the last five npower Championship games and it was enough to beat an under performing Blackpool side.

The Clarets had the first sight of goal after Junior Stanislas surged into the box early on, but Stephen Crainey blocked the shot.

Come here: Isaiah Osbourne (right) is hauled back by Dean Marney

Come here: Isaiah Osbourne (right) is hauled back by Dean Marney

MATCH FACTS

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, McCann, Wallace, Marney, Stanislas (Paterson 75min), Stock (Bartley 69min), Austin (Vokes 86min)

Subs not used: Jensen, Edgar, Mills, Stewart

Goals: Austin 19

Blackpool: Gilks, Crainey, Eardley, Evatt, Baptiste, M Phillips (Bruna 80min), Osbourne, Angel, Ince (Dicko 79min), Taylor-Fletcher, Delfouneso (Sylvestre 58min),

Subs not used: Halstead, Gomes, Eccleston

Attendance: 12,925

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

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Stanislas turned provider after 10
minutes when the League's top scorer, Austin, sprung the offside trap to
get on to the pass.

He controlled and volleyed towards the far corner
but Matt Gilks palmed the ball to safety.

The hosts made their dominance pay
eight minutes later, when Ross Wallace produced a wonderful inswinging
cross from the right and Austin headed into the roof of the net from
close range.

Ian Holloway's men had lost three of
their previous four games and struggled to make any inroads with only a
wayward shot from Tom Ince to show for their first half efforts, and it
was Burnley who continued to threaten.

With three minutes of the first half
remaining Gilks was called upon again after Austin's neat flick played
in Stanislas – but the Blackpool goalkeeper stood firm to parry for a
corner.

Wallace almost capped a lively half with a goal in stoppage-time but could only find the sidenetting with his free-kick.

The Clarets picked up where they left off in the second half, with Gilks needed to save from Austin to keep the deficit at one.

It took almost 10 minutes for Blackpool to register their first attempt of the half and it was Ince who had the opening.

Slipped in on the right, he elected to shoot at the near post but only found the sidenetting.

For the first time, Lee Grant was called upon and he produced a remarkable double save on the hour mark.

First, Crainey crossed for Alex
Baptiste to power a header towards goal and Grant flung himself to the
right to tip the ball onto the post.

The rebound fell to Gary Taylor-Fletcher with the goal at his mercy but Grant sprung to his feet to parry the ball to safety.

Despite being under more pressure,
Burnley always posed a threat and Austin was once again at the heart of
it with 15 minutes remaining.

He got himself between the two
centre-backs and powered a header towards goal from a Kieran Trippier
cross – but Gilks was equal to it.

Substitute Sam Vokes almost grabbed a
second for the Clarets in injury-time. Gilks thwarted them again but
the one goal was enough.

David Moyes points finger at Roberto Martinez

Moyes points the finger at opposite number Martinez after Everton are held at Wigan

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UPDATED:

21:14 GMT, 7 October 2012

David Moyes has accused Roberto Martinez of trying to influence referees by drawing attention to controversial calls made against Wigan this season.

Leighton Baines’ late penalty earned Everton a 2-2 draw at the DW Stadium, but until then Moyes felt aggrieved that other decisions made by official Kevin Friend had gone against his side.

The Everton boss suspects the officials may have been swayed by Martinez, who was fined 10,000 by the FA last week after criticising Michael Oliver’s performance when Wigan lost at Manchester United last month.

Frustration: Phil Neville (centre) and Setevn Pienaar (right) complain to referee Kevin Friend

Frustration: Phil Neville (centre) and Setevn Pienaar (right) complain to referee Kevin Friend

That was one of a number of incidents to concern Martinez this season and in his programme notes he again referred to ‘a few bad calls coming our way from referees in recent weeks’.

Moyes said: ‘I think Roberto has done a good job over the last few days of making sure that the referees gave them what was required.

‘We found it really hard to play against Wigan and then we also found it hard the way the decisions went.

‘Yes, we can approach (referees’ chief) Mike Riley and I’m sure other clubs do, but he has to look at the people who are working for him and whether they are doing well enough.’

Moyes was furious when assistant referee Mark Scholes failed to spot that Arouna Kone was half a yard offside as he headed Wigan in front and that Everton had two more penalty appeals rejected for challenges on Nikica Jelavic.

Controversy: Moyes felt that Kone (left) should have been flagged offside

Controversy: Moyes felt that Kone (left) should have been flagged offside

He was also unhappy over what he felt were Wigan’s attempts to impede Marouane Fellaini at corners and turn the Belgian’s yellow card into a red when he caught Maynor Figueroa in the face with a trailing hand.

Moyes, who described Baines’ booking for a tackle on James McCarthy as ‘a joke’, added: ‘I think Fellaini needs more protection (from referees). He was two foot above Figueroa and anyone who has played the game knows you need to use your arms to get elevation.

‘I can’t understand when we have a corner kick what Fellaini would be doing to the Wigan players in their own penalty box Why would he be trying to foul They are standing on his toes.’

Moyes hailed Baines as ‘unstoppable’ after the England left back’s surging runs drove Everton back into the game before he maintained his 100 per cent penalty record in the Premier League – nine in nine for Everton and Wigan.

Spot on: Baines (left) was impressive once again for Everton

Spot on: Baines (left) was impressive once again for Everton

Ashley Cole’s Twitter controversy means Baines could start for England against San Marino on Friday, but Wigan skipper Gary Caldwell believes the Everton defender has earned his place on merit.

‘Without a doubt, he’s the best left back in the league,’ said Caldwell. ‘He’s back in the England team, he played the last game with Ashley Cole being out and he’s pushing for that place again. He’s the one player in Everton’s team you would target. When their left back is their most attacking player, that shows you he must be doing something right.’

Baines revealed he is starting to feel more at home in the England set-up now.

‘Yeah, definitely,’ he said. ‘I’ve felt that way for a while. I’ve started the last few games as well, which helps. I feel comfortable within the squad.’