Tag Archives: point

Charlton 2 Wolves 1 – match report: Jonathan Obika scores late winner

Charlton 2 Wolves 1: Last-gasp Obika sends Saunders' side back into drop zone

PUBLISHED:

16:36 GMT, 20 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 April 2013

Wolves dropped back into the npower Championship relegation places after substitute Jonathan Obika's late winner snatched in-form Charlton a 2-1 home victory.

Karl Henry struck the bar with a long-range effort in a cagey first half before the game burst into life thanks to Dorian Dervite's opener.

Kevin Doyle equalised for the visitors just three minutes later with his 11th goal of the campaign but Dean Saunders' men were unable to hold on to a crucial point with Obika having the final say.

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

Late but great: Jonathan Obika scored an injury-time winner to earn three points for Charlton against Wolves

MATCH FACTS

Charlton: Hamer, Solly, Wiggins, Morrison, Dervite, Pritchard, Harriott, Hughes (Gower 12), Jackson (Green 61), Kermorgant, Fuller (Obika 81). Subs Not Used: Button, Taylor, Kerkar, Wilson.

Goals: Dervite 63, Obika 90.

Wolves: De Vries, Doherty, Gorkss, Johnson,
Ward (Batth 90), Henry, Robinson, Doumbia, Hunt (Hammill 86), Doyle, Sigurdarson. Subs Not Used: McCarey, Dicko, Foley, Cassidy, McAlinden.

Booked: Gorkss, Doherty, Sigurdarson, Hunt.

Goals: Doyle 66.

Att: 19,023.

Ref: Roger East (Wiltshire).

Latest Championship table and results

No Championship team had taken more
points from their last eight matches than the two sides ahead of the
game meaning neither manager felt the need to make changes to their
starting line-ups.

The hosts were presented with the
first clear-cut opportunity of the afternoon in the 10th minute after
good work from Callum Harriott but Ricardo Fuller saw his drilled effort
on the turn parried away by Dorus De Vries.

The Addicks were forced into a change
just two minutes later with Mark Gower replacing the injured Andy
Hughes and lost some of their early fluency against their hard-working
visitors.

Saunders' side almost earned reward
for their efforts in the 25th minute when Henry let fly from distance.

The midfielder's speculative effort had Ben Hamer backpedalling and hit
the bar before Hamer managed to prevent the ball crossing the line.

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

Challenge: Charlton's Ricardo Fuller (left) and Wolves' Matt Doherty (right) compete for the ball

CHAMPIONSHIP – AS IT STANDS

Championship

The away side emerged for the second
half with added purpose and had an early sight of goal when Stephen Hunt
fired a cross-shot wide of the left-hand post. Chris Powell's men then
suffered a set back when they were forced into their second change of
the afternoon with captain Johnnie Jackson limping off.

Jackson's replacement Danny Green
made an immediate impact when his rasping drive was deflected wide. From
Green's subsequent corner, Wolves failed to clear and Dervite got the
decisive touch on a goalline scramble to poke home the opener.

The hosts' advantage did not last
long however as Doyle flicked in Jack Robinson's left-hand cross to set
up a breathless final quarter of the game.

With the encounter perfectly poised,
the visitors needed an important save from De Vries to keep the scores
level as Yann Kermorgant saw his effort from an acute angle tipped over
the bar.

The home side were not to be denied
as Green's deflected shot feel to Obika who struck in the 90th minute to
leave Saunders' side shellshocked.

Charlton were able to see the game
out to secure a fourth consecutive home win which keeps their distant
play-off hopes alive but Wolves now have just two games remaining to
ensure they do not fall into the third tier of English football.

Rennes 0 PSG 2: David Beckham denied first Ligue 1 goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Rennes 0 PSG 2: Ibrahimovic steals Beckham's thunder… but they're still smiles ahead in title race

PUBLISHED:

20:20 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

22:53 GMT, 6 April 2013

Paris Saint-Germain won 2-0 at Rennes to maintain their march to the French league title and help eradicate memories of one of the lowest points of the season.

Jeremy Menez scored a stunning solo goal in the 56th minute as PSG re-established its seven-point lead in the standings.

Cool head: David Beckham lifts the ball over the on-rushing Benoit Costil

Cool head: David Beckham lifts the ball over the on-rushing Benoit Costil

PSG's David Beckham celebrates after the opening goal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed the result in stoppage time as PSG recorded its first win at Rennes since 2002. PSG maintained its lead over Marseille, which beat Bordeaux 1-0 on Friday.

Rennes has won only one of its past 10 matches.

PSG manager Carlo Ancelotti rested more than half of his team ahead of Wednesday's return leg at Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.

Only four of the starting 11 which helped PSG to a 2-2 draw in the first leg were on the pitch at kickoff against Rennes. Back in November, Ancelotti admitted his team was in crisis after it lost 2-1 at home to Rennes, which played most of the second half with nine men.

PSG almost got off to a poor start but goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu did well to turn Sadio Diallo's shot round his left post.

Ibrahimovic came close to giving PSG
the lead in the 21st with a free kick from just outside the area which
flew past the left upright.

The striker should have done better three minutes from halftime when he
seemed certain to score after spinning to collect a through ball from
Menez and racing into the area. However, his left-footed effort lacked
power and was straight at Rennes goalkeeper Benoit Costil.

All smiles: Beckham shares a joke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker had opened the scoring

All smiles: Beckham shares a joke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the striker had opened the scoring

Head in hands: Beckham clearly can't believe the referee's decision

Head in hands: Beckham clearly can't believe the referee's decision

PSG finally scored 11 minutes after the break, as Clement Chantome found Menez, who beat almost the entire Rennes defense before firing past Costil.

PSG doubled its lead at the death. David Beckham appeared to be close to scoring his first Ligue 1 goal but Ibrahimovic made sure, heading in from practically on the goal line for his 26th league goal of the season.

PSG centre back Thiago Silv did not play in the match and is a doubt for Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg at Barcelona due to a knee problem, said coach Carlo Ancelotti.

'Thiago Silva suffered a knock on his knee against Barcelona on Tuesday,' Ancelotti said. 'Will he be ready for Wednesday I don't know, we'll see.'

Ancelotti also said PSG's Italy midfielder Thiago Motta, who has been suffering with a thigh injury, would face a last-minute fitness test.

PSG will already be without suspended holding midfielder Blaise Matuidi for the return leg at the Nou Camp.

Wasps 24 Northampton 26: Christian Day scores late winner

Wasps 24 Northampton 26: Day breaks hosts' hearts with last-gasp winner

By
Ian Stafford

PUBLISHED:

17:54 GMT, 23 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:11 GMT, 23 March 2013

Northampton 's pack dominated their Wasps counterparts to such an extent in this battle for the play-offs that three Wasps forwards were sent to the sin bin.

But it took Christian Day's finalplay try to steal victory. Stephen Myler still needed to land the simple conversion to confirm the win but Day's score – assisted by returning England star Dylan Hartley, who shoved his team-mate over the line – also earned a bonus point that could prove crucial.

Wasps, seconds away from a remarkable win considering they played with one man down for nearly half an hour and were crushed up front, now find themselves seven points adrift of fourth-placed Northampton.

Lee 'n' easy: Lee Dickinson scores the Saints' second try

Lee 'n' easy: Lee Dickinson scores the Saints' second try

Day's final score summed up a
physical clash between two teams featuring a host of players who either
lost for England last week in Cardiff or who are pushing hard for a
place in the June tour to Argentina.

Day's try resulted from a driving maul as the Wasps forwards spent much of the game going backwards and conceding penalties.

Saints would have been kicking themselves if they had lost, which they nearly did thanks to a second-half comeback from Wasps.

Losing director of rugby Dai Young
said: 'Fair play to Northampton, they had a real weapon in their maul
and they used it. It's hard to play against them with 15 men and even
harder with 14 for much of the game, especially when you don't get the
field position or the ball.

Heading for glory: Elliot Daly (right) of London Wasps scores his team's second try

Heading for glory: Elliot Daly (right) of London Wasps scores his team's second try

'That said, having got our noses in
front, I take issue with the last three penalties awarded to them,
although I'm not saying Saints didn't deserve to win. The bottom line is
that if you can't stop a driving line out you'll struggle.'

Northampton director of rugby Jim
Mallinder was more relieved than happy, saying: 'If you have a weapon
like that, then you use it. We controlled the game but Wasps can score
points quickly.

'We gave away some penalties and almost threw it away. But we got a bonus point win and are now in a good position.'

Snow stopping me: George Pisi evades Daly's tackle

Snow stopping me: George Pisi evades Daly's tackle

The portents were clear from as early
as the eighth minute, when referee David Rose awarded Saints a penalty
try and sent Thomas Rhys Thomas to the bin.

Eight minutes later, Lee Dickson
flopped over after another powerful maul. Wasps hit back through a
long-range Elliott Daly penalty and then a classic Tom Varndell try,
sprinting in from 50 yards to score his 12th of the season and his 72nd
Premiership try in total. Varndell is now only four behind record scorer
Mark Cueto.

Snow joke: Daly lefty dejected after Saints stole the win at the death

Snow joke: Daly lefty dejected after Saints stole the win at the death

A conversion and two penalties from
Stephen Jones meant the home side were only three points down at the
break, despite a Hartley try from yet another destructive maul.

This built into a five-point
advantage after another Jones penalty and a stunning finish from Daly in
the corner which will surely not go unnoticed by the England selectors.

But after Ashley Johnson received his
team's third yellow card, Day ended a period of sustained Northampton
pressure by snatching the game at the death.

LIVE: Manchester United v Norwich, Chelsea v West Brom, Everton v Reading, Southampton v QPR, Stoke v West Ham, Swansea v Newcastle, Sunderland v…

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Follow the action from around the grounds as it happens

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 2 March 2013

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UPDATED:

14:18 GMT, 2 March 2013

Live scores (3pm)

Click here for the live goals as they go in

Chelsea v West Brom

Everton v Reading

Manchester United v Norwich

Southampton v QPR

Stoke v West Ham

Sunderland v Fulham

Swansea v Newcastle

Click here for the live Premier League table

All the latest from the Championship

All the latest from League One

All the latest from League Two

All the latest from the SPL

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Manchester United host Norwich in one of seven games kicking off at 3pm. The league leaders will hope to avenge their defeat at Carrow Road from earlier this season when Chris Hughton's side recorded a 1-0 win.

Elsewhere Chelsea know a win against West Brom at Stamford Bridge will take them back up into third place while Everton will hope to keep up their chances of qualifying for the Champions League at Goodison Park against Reading.

Down near the bottom of the table, Southampton can build a 13-point gap over rock bottom QPR at St Mary's and Newcastle will look to build on recent good form when they visit Capital One Cup winners Swansea.

Trying to avoid getting sucked into a relegation fight, West Ham will hope to improve on a poor away record when they visit Stoke and Sunderland host Fulham with the Cottagers in with a chance of moving into the top 10.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or via Twitter @Ripinho.

14.10: It's not every weekend we have a double serving of games at 3pm, but as a little bonus click here to follow live coverage of Real Madrid v Barcelona from the Bernabeu in La Liga.

14.05: Well that's a bad start to the weekend – Ryan Giggs is not even in the Manchester United squad!

With that in mind, let's take a huge contrast and focus on West Brom's Izzy Brown. The midfielder (who is still at school) could become the youngest Premier League player this afternoon at 16 years and 54 days old (he is in the Baggies squad at least.)

14.00: We are set to see a few extraordinary things this weekend. As ever the north London derby will be one of them but arguably the most impressive is set to be Ryan Giggs' 1000th senior game.

Team news is coming up for all seven matches, let's hope the Welshman make an appearance at some point.

Milestone man: Manchester United's Ryan Giggs is poised to make his 1000th senior appearance

Milestone man: Manchester United's Ryan Giggs is poised to make his 1000th senior appearance

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini dismisses sack rumours and says Premier League title race with Manchester United not over

Mancini rubbishes sack rumours as he claims United are not out of sight in title race

By
Chris Wheeler

PUBLISHED:

13:39 GMT, 15 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 15 February 2013

Roberto Mancini has dismissed fresh speculation over his job, claiming that every Premier League manager should be in fear of the axe if Manchester City decide to sack him.

Ex-City defender Danny Mills predicted yesterday that Mancini will lose his job if the champions go out of the FA Cup at home to Leeds on Sunday.

When told that former players were claiming his position is under threat, Mancini hit back saying: ‘Probably the players that won a lot of trophies in the club’s history!

Cup preparation: Roberto Mancini heads out on to the training ground ahead of Manchester City's FA Cup fifth round tie with Leeds United this weekend

Cup preparation: Roberto Mancini heads out on to the training ground ahead of Manchester City's FA Cup fifth round tie with Leeds United this weekend

‘We started our project three years
ago. In three years we are always on the top, we fight for the title, we
won three trophies, we have the chance to win more this year. All the
people who talk about this don’t understand football.

‘If Manchester City should sack me, the other 20 teams in the Premier League should be without a manager.’

Mancini is under pressure again after
last weekend’s tame surrender at Southampton left City 12 points adrift
of Manchester United.

But after overturning an eight-point
deficit with six games to go last season, the Italian warned Sir Alex
Ferguson’s team that this year’s title race is not over yet.

‘I don’t think like this, never,’ he said. ‘I have another mentality. always think we can win everything.

Welcome break: Mancini will welcome the distraction of the FA Cup having slipped 12 points behind Man United in the Premier League title race

Welcome break: Mancini will welcome the distraction of the FA Cup having slipped 12 points behind Man United in the Premier League title race

Spring in the step: Carlos Tevez goes for the ball in training yesterday

Spring in the step: Carlos Tevez goes for the ball in training yesterday

‘We have 12 games. We need to do our
best, not look at the table because it is not important now. We are a
good team. We did some mistakes and lost some stupid points. We don’t
deserve to stay 12 points behind but United deserve to stay on top at
this moment but at the moment we will see what happens.

‘I think that is a difficult moment
because we lost seven points in three games but in football sometimes it
is strange. When you think it is finished, three or four games can
change everything. While we have the points available to win, we should
believe in ourselves.’

Mancini confirmed that captain Vincent
Kompany will not be fit in time to face Leeds on Sunday as he recovers
from a calf strain, with Gareth Barry also expected to miss the game
through injury.

Australian Open 2013: Li Na beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 6-3

No problems for Li as she ends Radwanska's winning run to secure semi-final spot

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

02:24 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

03:03 GMT, 22 January 2013

Li Na made it through to her third Australian Open semi-final today after halting Agnieszka Radwanska's blistering start to 2013.

Radwanska came into the match having won 13 straight matches, a run which included title wins in Auckland and Sydney, but she had no answer to Li's all-or-nothing game.

The Chinese won 7-5 6-3 despite making 40 unforced errors to advance to a last-four clash with either Maria Sharapova or Ekaterina Makarova.

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Into the semis: China's Li Na celebrates after defeating Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska in their quarter-final

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

Centre of attention: Radwanska and Li play out their quarter-final match on the Rod Laver Arena

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

End of the road: Agnieszka Radwanska could not continue her winning run at the start of 2013

In a game of contrasting styles, Radwanska started well with her consistency gaining her the upper hand.

She made Li come through a 12-minute opening game to hold but serving was to prove a disadvantage as there were four consecutive breaks before Li finally stood firm to lead 4-3.

Radwanska edged ahead once more after winning a 26-point rally on break point to move 5-4 up.
She could not consolidate it though as Li promptly hit before claiming a 6-5 lead.

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Determined: Li returns a shot to Radwanska during her win over the Pole

Li Na

Agnieszka Radwanska

Mixed emotions: Li celebrates as Radwanska looks dejected

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

Not enough: Radwanska lost in straight sets as she could find no answers to Li

And the sixth seed, the runner-up here two years ago, took the opening set after the best point of the match, both players moving their opponent around the court before Radwanska was pushed into a corner and failed to return a Li smash.

Radwanska, who has now failed to get past the last eight in Melbourne having reached this stage four times, looked like she was mounting a comeback when she established a 2-0 lead in the second.
But Li simply ramped up her game, going for even more from the baseline.

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

Respect: Li and Radwanska shake hands after the match

And having it got back on serve, she seized the initiative further by going on a nine-point run which helped her to take a 5-2 lead – despite one serve bizarrely flying over Radwanska's head on the full and straight into the stand.

Radwanska held to make Li serve it out and, despite a few wobbles, she came through in one hour and 42 minutes.

Aviva Premiership: London Welsh 26 Harlequins 31

London Welsh 26 Harlequins 31: O'Shea slams error-strewn referee despite returning to Aviva Premiership summit

By
Gary Baker

PUBLISHED:

18:43 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 6 January 2013

Harlequins director of rugby Conor O’Shea launched a furious attack on the referee after his side returned to the top of the Aviva Premiership with this bonus-point win.

O’Shea accused official Llyr ApGeraint Roberts of a catalogue of errors, saying: ‘I’m unbelievably frustrated. You’d have to go a long way to see worse.

‘Everything was wrong – it was incredible. The offside line was irrelevant, trailing runners coming back was irrelevant, backing into the maul, not releasing in the tackle – all irrelevant.'

First blood: In-form Danny Care scored Quins' first try

First blood: In-form Danny Care scored Quins' first try

He added: ‘We were 21-6 up at
half-time but bafflingly, the penalty count was against us. How can that
be We have a feedback process for the referees but it’s not actioned
upon and it’s very difficult at times.’

It is the second time in a week,
following equally frustrated comments by Leicester’s Richard Cockerill
when giving his verdict on Andrew Small’s decisions in the Tigers’ 17-12
win over Gloucester, that a major club figure has questioned
officialdom.

O’Shea added: ‘This is just a bit of
moral support as well for Cockers last week. I am just mightily
frustrated. I have vented in the dressing room to the players.'

Reliable: Nick Evans' consistency with the boot was again vital to Quins

Reliable: Nick Evans' consistency with the boot wasReliable: Nick Evans' consistency with the boot was again vital to Quins again vital to Quins

He continued: ‘Something has to be done. Not all of
these guys (refs) are full time. Let’s be fair – our jobs are on the
line every week and it is a strange position to say, “Well, they are not
full time but that’s fine”.’

Quins were great in the first half as
London Welsh seemed on course for a crushing defeat, and O’Shea was
happy with his players’ performance.

‘We played some magnificent running
in the first 45 minutes and that’s what we should be talking about – our
full back, Ollie Lindsay-Hague, dazzled people with his footwork,’
O’Shea said.

Leading by example: Robshaw added another try

Leading by example: Robshaw added another try

ENGLAND WATCH

Captain Chris Robshaw was firing on all cylinders.

He battered his way over for a try and was lucky not to find himself in the sin bin when he came in from the side at a ruck.

But he had a good game and came through unscathed.

Danny Care started brilliantly and darted through the smallest of gaps to score.

But he faded and was replaced by Karl Dickson.

England scrum-half Danny Care and
national skipper Chris Robshaw, plus centre George Lowe, got Quins
first-half tries, and the bonus point came after Nick Evans added a
fourth touchdown.

Wing Nick Scott and the boot of
stand-off Gordon Ross brought Welsh back from the dead and an Ed Jackson
intercept-try threatened a real shock.

But Quins hit back in the closing moments and nearly got another at the end, only a defiant defence halting them.

Welsh head coach Lyn Jones praised his team’s efforts, saying: ‘At half-time, we were staring down the barrel,’ he said,

‘We started the second half well, we
were still in there and we needed to get the first score, which we did.
We had a chance to win but their class and ability shone through in the
end.

‘They are a very good side and it’s a
pity more sides don’t play like them. We are showing determination and
spirit and are good enough to stay in this league.’

Fighting back: The Exiles battle to reduce the deficit

Fighting back: The Exiles battle to reduce the deficit

Calf-injury victim Gavin Henson was
absent from the Welsh line-up, but Jones is optimistic that he will be
able to call upon his services soon.

‘I saw him last Saturday and he was due to train on Wednesday, but his leg wasn’t good enough,’ Jones said.

‘Hopefully, he will play as soon as possible, but it’s a calf injury and I don’t want my players to rush back.’

London Welsh 15 Wasps 34

London Welsh 15 Wasps 34: Super Simpson gets his side in contention for top four spot

PUBLISHED:

18:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

18:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

A brilliant try from scrum-half Joe Simpson was the highlight of London Wasps' bonus point victory as they did the Aviva Premiership double over London Welsh this season.

Simpson had an outstanding game as Wasps came from behind with tries from wing Elliot Daly, replacement prop Will Taylor and, right at the end, a fourth try for wing Tom Varndell.

Welsh fly-half Gordon Ross kicked all his side's points with five penalties, while Wasps fly-half Nicky Robinson landed three penalties, Daly booted one and replacement stand-off Stephen Jones kicked the only conversion of the match.

Crunch: Hugo Southwell of Wasps is tackled by Franck Montanella

Crunch: Hugo Southwell of Wasps is tackled by Franck Montanella

Wasps were looking for to repeat their win over the Exiles at Adams Park, Wycombe, back in October.

Welsh, meanwhile, needed to bounce back from a 13-6 loss at Worcester.

Although not in any immediate danger at the wrong end of the table after basement side Sale Sharks beat Worcester on Friday night, revenge on their near neighbours would be welcome for head coach Lyn Jones if only to steer them further away from the dogfight below them.

The first half-hour was dominated by the boot, both with positional kicks and shots at goal, as first Welsh took a six-point advantage and then saw it clawed back by their visitors.

There was not a great deal to choose between them up front but the most obvious mistake made by the field kickers, Welsh full-back Tom Arscott a particular offender – was booting the ball straight into touch and losing the territory that would have gained.

Wasps could have led handsomely at the interval had they taken the majority of their goal kicks. Daly missed a long-range effort for the visitors before an excellent scrum from the Exiles and an offside decision given their way saw Ross secure two successes.

On the move: Elliot Daly of Wasps (left) gets going as his side did the double over London Welsh

On the move: Elliot Daly of Wasps (left) gets going as his side did the double over London Welsh

But the lead did not last long as ex-Wales international Robinson levelled matters with two penalties but then sent two more penalties wide of the uprights from similar distances of 25 metres.

Ross, on the other hand, was deadly accurate at that short range. As Welsh frustrated their opponents and the front row of Franck Montanella, Neil Briggs and James Tideswell caused havoc for opponents Zak Taulafo, Rhys Thomas and Phil Swainston, Ross secured another two goals to take his side into a 12-6 interval lead.

But, even though the ball may have been greasy from the earlier rain, there was little excuse for a poor first-half with hardly any invention in attack towards either try-line.

Robinson reduced the arrears after the break to three points with his third penalty before a piece of individual magic took the match up a gear.

In what will surely be one of the contenders for try of the season, Simpson took the ball from a line-out thirty metres from the Welsh line, went through a gap at the back and embarked on a diagonal sprint across the pitch.

Rough and tumble: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled by Joe Launchbury (right)

Rough and tumble: Ed Jackson of London Welsh is tackled by Joe Launchbury (right)

He looked to be going nowhere but somehow found a gap towards the line. The scrum-half ran through three tackles and got past desperate defence on the line to touch down and leave everyone in the crowd amazed.

Robinson failed with the conversion but that put Wasps two points to the good and, when Daly kicked a thumping penalty from fully 53 metres, it was the turning point of the contest.

Wasps were on top and they threatened to leave Welsh with nothing to show for their efforts when Daly sprinted down the right wing to just get in for the second try of the game .

Welsh would not lay down, and Ross' fifth penalty put them within sight of Wasps. But a final killer converted try from replacement Will Taylor saw Wasps home and dry.

Vardnell went over on 83 minutes to get the bonus point and put Wasps challenging for a top four place on Saturday night.

David Silva calls upon Manchester City players to close gap on Manchester United

Angry Silva calls upon Man City players to close gap on United by end of February

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 29 December 2012

David Silva says his Manchester City team-mates were angry after their Boxing Day defeat at Sunderland, and has called upon the champions to close the seven-point gap on rivals United by the end of February.

City found themselves seven points off the pace to defend their Premier League title after being beaten 1-0 at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday, as Sir Alex Ferguson’s men came from behind three times to beat Newcastle 4-3 in a thrilling encounter.

But Silva believes City, who were dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages for the second year running, still have the quality to make up the ground over their bitter rivals, starting with a win today against Norwich at Carrow Road.

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

Battle cry: David Silva is determined to catch Manchester United at the top of the Premier League

He told The Sun: ‘The defeat in Sunderland was a hard blow for us. But as we know that the Premier League is very open and if you give away chances you can be beaten.

‘Even so, there was a lot of anger in the dressing room — and not only from the coach. Those three points were so important because in our situation they could make the difference between us winning and losing the title.

‘And really, if we do not win at places like Sunderland, it is nearly impossible to fight for the success in this league.

‘Perhaps being knocked out of Europe had an influence but now we need to react and to demonstrate that City are the English champions.

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

Plotting success: Sergio Aguero (right) and Joleon Lescott (left) in training yesterday

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

All smiled: Pablo Zabaleta (left), Carlos Tevez (centre) and Javi Garcia (right) wrap up at Carrington

‘There is a long way to go — but we cannot allow United any more advantage at the top of the table. The future is in our own hands but we have already shown how powerful we can be during our worst moments during the past year.

‘Our goal this season was the Champions League — but now that chance has gone we want to win the Premier League and dedicate the achievement to our fans.’

United ran out victors in the first Manchester derby of the season after a last-gasp Robin van Persie free-kick at the Etihad.

Silva and Co know that taking three points will be vital when they seek revenge at Old Trafford on April 6 for what promises to be a thrilling second instalment.

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Larking about: Mario Balotelli (centre) has a joke in the gym during training

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

Star man: Silva (left) is hoping for a win this afternoon at Norwich

England"s ruthless streak turned India series around – Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain: England's new ruthless streak turned series around

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 17 December 2012

The first Test in Ahmedabad may have seen England beaten heavily but the second innings there proved a turning point both in this series and in the future of this team. Without it things could look very different now.

Just look at what had gone on before then. The high of going to No 1 in the Test world last year was followed by a 5-0 one-day thrashing in India, then a 3-0 Test hammering by Pakistan in the UAE followed by a convincing Test series defeat by South Africa last summer and then a very poor performance in spinning conditions in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

All the good vibes about the England cricket team were starting to be questioned.

Ruthless: Stuart Broad was gone from the side after two poor tests

Ruthless: Stuart Broad was gone from the side after two poor tests

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But when Alastair Cook scored a big hundred in a losing cause in Ahmedabad in that second innings things changed. It was the moment the captain said to his team: ‘Hang on, there are no demons here. The ball is not spinning both ways. If we show some character, application and belief we can do this.’ And since then the transformation has been astonishing.

Everything England have done since then has been right. And their business has been conducted in a quite ruthless manner. There has been no dilly-dallying, no worrying about reputations. This has been anything but a closed shop.

Tim Bresnan has been a very good cricketer for England but as soon as Cook and Andy Flower realised they had made a mistake in not picking Monty Panesar for the first Test the Yorkshireman was gone.

Stuart Broad was England’s vice-captain and one of the leading wicket-takers in world cricket in 2012 but when he had two poor Tests and England knew they had to get a fit-again Steven Finn in the side, Broad was also gone.

Samit Patel had not done too much wrong but once it became clear that his bowling was not going to be required with Panesar in the team England took one look at him and said: ‘He’s not one of our best six batsmen.’

And then they overlooked Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan to make another ruthless, and what turned out to be a thoroughly astute, call in picking Joe Root.

England basically had to nail everything to win this series after going one down and they did it. Look at Kevin Pietersen. He was a frenetic wreck in the first Test and only had a couple of days to come up with a defensive technique against his old nemesis, left-arm spin. What happened He went out and smashed 186 in Mumbai.

Good call: Joe Root was brought in for business and it proved a wise decision

Good call: Joe Root was brought in for business and it proved a wise decision

Consider also that this effectively became a three-match series when you look at how poor the wicket in Nagpur was.

Nobody
was going to get a result on that so England had to win in both Mumbai
and Kolkata, which they did in spectacular fashion. Two players stand
out — Cook and Jimmy Anderson. The way the new captain went about his
work was hugely impressive. He is a run machine. Cook would always start
again after a big innings as if he still had everything to prove.

Tour by numbers

Tour by numbers

He was never out straight after an interval or after drinks, as many were in this series, and he always made sure he kicked on after reaching a hundred.

And Anderson was world-class. The deliveries and spells he produced. The hold he had over Sachin Tendulkar. He led the attack with great energy and gusto, and he was not even as grumpy as he can be. Jimmy set the tone and he enjoyed what he did.

India are not the side they were. If I was putting together a composite side from the two teams I would start by picking the whole England attack. England, for once, had better spinners than India in Indian conditions. The tourists were fitter, both physically and mentally, and hungrier for Test cricket. India would not have been able to take four wickets late in a day, after two sessions without a wicket, as England did on Saturday.

India went one up and just thought they could prepare a turning pitch and England would crumble. They showed too much bravado.

And England made them pay very heavily indeed for that.

Picture dispute: We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

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