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Rickie Lambert agrees new deal with Southampton until 2016

Lambert 'over the moon' after agreeing new two-year deal with Southampton

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:40 GMT, 21 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 21 March 2013

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has extended his stay at the club until 2016.

The 31-year-old has established himself as a firm fans' favourite at St Mary's since joining from Bristol Rovers in August 2009.

Lambert has scored 101 goals for Southampton and his 13-goal haul this season makes him the top English scorer in the Barclays Premier League.

Delight: Rickie Lambert was 'over the moon' to agree a fresh deal with Southampton

Delight: Rickie Lambert was 'over the moon' to agree a fresh deal with Southampton

The striker's contract had been due to expire at the end of next season but has now been extended by a further two years.

'I'm over the moon to sign with Southampton for another three years,' Lambert told the club's official website.

'I am already enjoying myself massively at this club and the aim now is to stay on for another three years and help push the club on further than where it already is.

'There is a lot of ambition in this club for the next few years and that is one of the main reasons that I have signed the contract – and that is why I want to end my career here.

'The core of players who have been together for two or three years are going to be here for another three or four years and that is a really good feeling.

'We all have the same ambition and [executive chairman] Nicola Cortese's ambition for this club drives us all on as well, so it really helps the club with where we are now and it will help with where we want to go.'

Lambert's contract extension follows recent new deals handed to Morgan Schneiderlin, Jason Puncheon and Kelvin Davis – others to have played a key part in Southampton's rise from npower League One to the top flight.

'Rickie Lambert is a very special player for Southampton Football Club,' Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

Goal scorer: Lambert's strike against Liverpool on Saturday was his 13th in the Premier League this season

Goal scorer: Lambert's strike against Liverpool on Saturday was his 13th in the Premier League this season

Lambert

He added: 'To have scored over 100 goals is a remarkable achievement, and one which he has made possible thanks to hard work and dedication.

'In my time at the club I have been impressed by his mentality and commitment to improving himself in training – attributes that have allowed him to adapt to the Premier League so well.

'I am delighted that Rickie has committed himself to the club for a further three years, and have no doubts that he will continue to deliver for Southampton as we look to push on to the next level.'

London 2012 Olympics: Brazil 3 Belarus 1

Brazil 3 Belarus 1: Neymar and Oscar turn on the style to sink spirited Belarusians

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UPDATED:

17:37 GMT, 29 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

As Brazil came from behind to beat Belarus 3-1, Chelsea new boy Oscar showed his potential by bagging a late goal. But it was compatriot Neymar who stole the show – proving he is the finished article.

This week Barcelona made it clear they want Neymar to join them after the Olympics and it is easy to see why.

His dazzling skills wowed all 66,212 spectators at Old Trafford throughout this Group C match, with the crowning glory coming in the 65th minute when the 20-year-old bent a peach of a set-piece over the wall and past the sprawling Aleksandr Gutor.

The dynamic duo: Neymar (right) and Chelsea's Oscar lit up Old Trafford as Brazil beat Belarus

The dynamic duo: Neymar (right) and Chelsea's Oscar lit up Old Trafford as Brazil beat Belarus

Brazil have now qualified for the last eight with one match to spare, but they were given a stern test by Belarus, who opened the scoring through Renan Bardini Bressan.

Neymar crossed for Alexandre Pato to equalise and also set up Oscar for Brazil's third after his brilliant effort had put them ahead.

After the drab 1-1 draw between Egypt and New Zealand that preceded this game, the flamboyant crowd inside Old Trafford were looking for some top-class entertainment from Brazil and they got it in abundance early on.

Not a bad start: Chelsea's new signing, Oscar, capped a solid performance with a neat finish

Not a bad start: Chelsea's new signing, Oscar, capped a solid performance with a neat finish

A class above: Neymar stole the show at Old Trafford with a beauty of a freekick

A class above: Neymar stole the show at Old Trafford with a beauty of a freekick

The Selecao started confidently, with Rafael, Hulk and Pato sending over teasing crosses, but the carnival atmosphere was punctured after seven minutes when Belarus scored.

Aleksei Kozlov of Torpedo Zhodzin raced down the right flank and found Bardini Bressan at the back post where the midfielder directed a downward header past Neto.

Brazil soon had their equaliser. Neymar came in from the left flank and curled a wonderful cross to the back post where the AC Milan man out-jumped his marker to head past Gutor.

Brazil dominated possession, but Belarus still looked dangerous. Bardini Bressan went close with a fierce drive and Neto had to frantically back-pedal to tip over the midfielder's free-kick shortly afterwards.

Come here lads: Thiago Silva hugs the two star men as he congratulates them

Come here lads: Thiago Silva hugs the two star men as he congratulates them

Not a bad lineup: Alexandre Pato also got in on the act as Brazil dismantled their opposition

Not a bad lineup: Alexandre Pato also got in on the act as Brazil dismantled their opposition

After the break Gutor pulled off an athletic save to palm away a drive from Marcelo and Sergi Politevich threw himself in front of Oscar just before the new Chelsea man could pull the trigger.

Bardini Bressan's cross-shot almost slipped past Neto at the back post during a rare Belarus attack, and the Europeans were looking good value for a draw until Neymar's moment of brilliance.

Stanislav Dragun tripped the Santos forward 20 yards out and Neymar took the free-kick himself, curling his shot over the wall and into the far corner.

Neymar was desperate for a second but was denied by a forceful challenge after beating three Belarus defenders to break in to the box.

Another moment of Neymar brilliance sealed the win in injury time. The forward drifted in from the left flank and skipped past two defenders before backheeling in to Oscar's path and he made no mistake from close range.

Medal contenders Brazil look likely to get a place on the podium

Medal contenders Brazil look likely to get a place on the podium

Brazil have won five World Cups, but have never claimed gold at the Olympics.

Neymar was cautious when asked about his team's chances of going all the way at London 2012, but was happy with their performance on Sunday.

'It was a perfect game, not for me, but for the whole team,' he said.

'I scored and made two assists so for me it was perfect, but I don't know if we can win the competition.

'It is a difficult tournament with so many good teams in it, but we will try our best to win it.'

Sea of stars: Brazil's squad boasts players from some of the world's top teams including Real Madrid, Chelsea, Porto, Santos and Milan

Sea of stars: Brazil's squad boasts players from some of the world's top teams including Real Madrid, Chelsea, Porto, Santos and Milan

Brazil head coach Mano Menezes was reluctant to single out Neymar for praise but was still happy to see his team come from behind to win.

'I was happy with all the players' performances,' he said. 'The most important thing was that we won and that we qualified from this group with one match to spare.

'The (CBF) president Jose Maris Marin has already received a call from the ex-president Lula congratulating the team on qualifying.

'Our supporters are also happy and we have taken an important step in these Olympics today.'

Roberto Martinez says Wigan are starting to get what they deserve

Martinez believes Wigan are getting their just desserts after sweet win over Stoke

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UPDATED:

20:34 GMT, 31 March 2012

Roberto Martinez feels Wigan are finally starting to get what they deserve after they made it back-to-back Barclays Premier League wins for the first time this season with a 2-0 victory over Stoke.

It was also the first time they have picked up three points at the DW Stadium since beating QPR in August, although victories for Rangers and Bolton prevented the Latics climbing out of the relegation zone.

A week after their shock 2-1 win over Liverpool at Anfield, second-half goals from Antolin Alcaraz and Victor Moses capped a convincing display against an out-of-sorts Stoke.

Better late than never: Wigan are getting points on the board

Better late than never: Wigan are getting points on the board

Boss Martinez said: 'We've had seven draws at home when I felt we were as dominant as today. It's a real sign of maturity within the squad, a sign that we're learning with every game.

'That's very important, it's going to help our confidence. But I do feel this is the best season of the three that I've had with Wigan. We've started to get the results now and this group of players deserve that.'

Wigan should have gone ahead in the fifth
minute when Franco Di Santo took advantage of hesitation from Andy
Wilkinson but he could not beat Asmir Begovic.

Stoke offered little in attack but the Latics continued to spurn opportunities, none better than the opening that Jean Beausejour had just before half-time when a Moses cross found him six yards out in front of an open goal but somehow he contrived to miss.

The winger made amends nine minutes after half-time with a peach of a cross that Alcaraz headed firmly into the bottom corner, and, after Beausejour had missed another glorious chance, Moses made sure of the points in injury time, running through to beat Begovic after another Wilkinson error.

Wigan have paid for wastefulness on a number of occasions this season but Martinez was keen to focus on his side's solidity in defence.

He said: 'Unfortunately we have learned to cope with that feeling (of missing chances) because we've had that time after time at home. We've created really good chances, and today it was exactly the same.

'I was really pleased with the manner that we defended. Probably today the focus was to try to keep a clean sheet because you know Stoke, with the threat they've got up front, with the confidence they've been playing with and the good work they do at dead-ball situations, you have to be 100% and defensively, as a team, we were outstanding.

Satisfied: Roberto Martinez says his team are reaping their deserved rewards

Satisfied: Roberto Martinez says his team are reaping their deserved rewards

'We kept Stoke really quiet. It was probably the easiest game Ali Al Habsi has had all season and that's credit to the players.

'Going forward we created chances, we looked lively, we missed some really good opportunities but that didn't affect us to keep going forward, and then the first goal is an outstanding bit of football.

'It was a very complete performance and magnifies how important the win at Anfield was. It was a historic day at Liverpool but if you don't win at home after that the points mean nothing.'

It was Stoke's 49th game of a gruelling season but boss Tony Pulis refused to blame tiredness for their display and also did not complain about Emmerson Boyce's tackle on Matthew Etherington, the effects of which forced the winger off just after half-time.

'I'm more upset with the way we played,' said Pulis, who was disappointed his team had not managed to build on draws with Tottenham and Manchester City.

'I thought Wigan were the better team, they played better on the day. It's very difficult for me to be critical of the team and the players because we've done so well lately and we've had a real tough run of games.

'There's incidents in every game you can pick out but it doesn't take away from the fact Wigan deserved the three points.'