Tag Archives: refereeing

Mark Clattenburg criticised by both managers on return

Welcome back! Ref Clattenburg slammed by Adkins and Hughton on return

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 28 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg came under fire on his return to Premier League refereeing at St Mary's on Wednesday night.

The 37-year-old official took charge of his first game since being wrongly accused of racially abusing John Obi Mikel on October 28 in the 1-1 draw between Southampton and Norwich.

But Clattenburg ended up being criticised by BOTH managers after the final whistle

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

Back: Referee Mark Clattenburg returned to duty on Wednesday night

The Tyne and Wear official missed a Rickie Lambert's handball in the lead up to the striker putting Southampton ahead in the 32nd minute.

And Norwich boss Chris Hughton said: 'I have seen it again and the first impression of the players there were to appeal for handball.

'I spoke to a couple of players that were very close to the incident and they both said it was handball.

'Nothing has changed my mind since seeing it. I think it is a difficult one as there were a lot of bodies there but certainly it was a handball.

'But we showed enough character to get back in and we've done that. We have had two tough away games and we have done well.'

The decisions surrounding both goals may have left the managers frustrated but both were pleased to see Clattenburg refereeing again.

'He is an excellent referee,' Hughton
said. 'I think probably more than the actual performance itself, I
think I speak for most when I say we were absolutely delighted to see
him back.

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

Under fire: Clattenburg was criticised by both managers after the game

'He has a real passion for what he does and he is very, very good at what he does.

'We need as many good referees and them performing week in, week out.'

Saints manager Nigel Adkins was not overly complimentary about Clattenburg on his return to the game.

The Liverpudlian was aggrieved that the referee awarded Norwich the free-kick that led to their goal, and said: 'I didn't think it was a free kick at the time and I still don't after seeing it again.

'I've spoken to [Nathaniel] Clyne who says he touched the ball. We are disappointed it has been given and he made some other interesting calls during the course of the night.

But Adkins also said: 'Of course I am pleased to see him back.

'It was an unfortunate situation that arose and meant he was out for a month, but he is a fine referee and has a great career in front of him.'

Mark Clattenburg returns as fourth official at Tottenham

Clattenburg backed to take charge at Chelsea as return passes without incident

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UPDATED:

00:09 GMT, 26 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg made his return to football on Sunday as the boss of his referees’ union said he hoped it would not be ‘too long’ before the 37-year-old took charge of a Chelsea game.

Clattenburg was the fourth official at White Hart Lane, the first time he had worked since being accused of making a racist remark to John Mikel Obi on October 28.

After being cleared by the FA, it was a straightforward way to get back into the action, with little to do other than hold up the board for substitutions.

Quiet chat: Mark Clattenburg with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

Quiet chat: Mark Clattenburg with West Ham boss Sam Allardyce

He occasionally needed to remind the rival managers and coaching staff to desist from encroaching out of their technical areas but his only real intervention was when Jermain Defoe fouled James Tomkins midway through the second half.

Sam Allardyce wanted a booking for the Spurs striker which would have seen him sent off but he calmed down and put an arm around Clattenburg while making his point.

Afterwards, Allardyce said: ‘I just said that I’m glad to see him back and get on with your refereeing. I’m sure he’s itching and ready to be back in the middle.’

Welcome back: Clattenburg officiated for the first time since his race case

Welcome back: Clattenburg officiated for the first time since his race case

Meanwhile Alan Leighton, national secretary of Prospect, the referees’ union, believes Clattenburg is still able to officiate a match involving Chelsea despite the incident.

‘I think if there was too long a delay in refereeing Chelsea then the issue gets dragged out again,’ he said.

‘The key issue for Mark is getting back to refereeing and getting back to normal, and that means refereeing Chelsea as soon as he possibly can.’

Graham Poll: Emmanuel Adebayor had to go, but so too did Luis Suarez

Adebayor had to go, but 'Jekyll and Hyde' Suarez should also have seen red

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UPDATED:

00:03 GMT, 19 November 2012

Three – that’s the magic number!

This weekend’s refereeing in the Premier League was about three red cards and three penalties.

It began with the clear cut dismissal of Emmanuel Adebayor in the north London derby.

It was interesting to see how refereeing technique has changed with the possibility of verbal communication with assistant referees.

Off you go: Emmanuel Adebayor was red-carded against Arsenal after opening the scoring

Off you go: Emmanuel Adebayor was red-carded against Arsenal after opening the scoring

Five years ago a tackle like Adebayor’s would have illicited a quick red card as we were expected to make an instant decision in such cases to avoid retaliation, particularly in a derby atmosphere.

On Saturday we saw Howard Webb take his time and consider the challenge as well as consult with the assistant with the best view.

Up at Anfield Luis Suarez again showed his ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ nature with a superb display of finishing and then a studs showing stamp down on Wigan’s David Jones.

It was a clear red card challenge which went unpunished and as it was in clear view of the match officials it will not be reviewed.

I would rather have all such incidents and decisions reviewed after the game, to get them right in a consistent manner.

You too: Brede Hangeland saw red for a lunge against Sunderland

You too: Brede Hangeland saw red for a lunge against Sunderland

HANGELAND'S SET TO END

Brede Hangeland has not missed a league match for Fulham since April 2011 and if he appeals his red card he might extend that run.

The dismissal looked fair at full speed as he appeared to dive in studs first but when slowed down the decision looks harsh.

Hangeland is in control of his left leg and drops it down before he reaches Lee Cattermole.

His right leg stays low and in fact makes contact with his own leg.

Suarez is a wonderfully gifted player
who needs to learn not to make such challenges and a three match
retrospective ban would be a good start.

It would be interesting to see what such a panel would make of the red card for Fulham’s Brede Hangeland.

His
30th-minute dismissal looked fair at full speed as he appeared to dive
in studs first but when slowed down the decision looks harsh.

The Norwegian centre half was in control of his left leg and drops it down before he reaches Lee Cattermole and his right leg stays low and in fact makes contact with his own leg.

Of course the referee, Lee Probert did not have sight of replays; if he had I think he would have been content with a yellow card.

However, if Fulham appeal I would think that Probert will stand by his decision as it is not ‘an obvious error’ but for consistency I would think that missing Hangeland for final hour of the match would be sufficient punishment rather than missing another three games.

So, the three serious foul play tackles saw one correctly dismissed, one missed and one harshly dealt with and the penalties reviewed were not dissimilar.

Off the hook: Luis Suarez scored two against Wigan, but might have been sent off for a challenge

Off the hook: Luis Suarez scored two against Wigan, but might have been sent off for a challenge

Michael Oliver missed a penalty for Chelsea for a clear illegal charge which will do nothing to dispel Chelsea fan’s belief that referees will give them nothing following the Mark Clattenburg incident – which must surely be brought to a conclusion in the next day or two.

At Reading, Everton manager, David Moyes was at his diplomatic best after Martin Atkinson waved away another clear penalty after a hand ball blocked Nikica Jelavic’ goal bound shot.

Finally, a contender for the strangest penalty of the season as assistant referee Adrian Holmes indicated a handball from a corner and left referee Jon Moss with no alternative but to award Manchester City a spot kick to settle the Champions nerves at the Etihad.

To be fair to Holmes, Villa defender Andreas Weimann did lift his arm towards the ball but pulled it away well before any contact.

Good week for………

Anthony Taylor, who I highlighted in my Friday preview.

Any referee who can oversee a defeat for Manchester United and not incur the wrath of Sir Alex Ferguson is clearly having a very good season. Interesting that the Manchester based referee is happy to referee both teams from his home City.

Fine form: Anthony Taylor controlled the match between Manchester United and Norwich brilliantly

Fine form: Anthony Taylor controlled the match between Manchester United and Norwich brilliantly

Bad week for ………

Mark Clattenburg who is still waiting to see if he will be charged following Chelsea FC’s complaints over his comments three weeks ago.

He is now watching World Cup 2014 rival Howard Webb re-establish his world class teamwork with assistants Darren Cann and Mike Mullarkey, brilliant at the Emirates on Saturday, whilst not able to repair his damaged reputation.

Mark Clattenburg racism row: Official wants to carry on refereeing during FA probe and Scott Ledger precedent allows it

Clattenburg wants to carry on refereeing during FA probe… And linesman precedent allows it

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UPDATED:

10:39 GMT, 2 November 2012

Mark Clattenburg intends to continue refereeing throughout the FA and police investigation into allegations he directed a racist comment at John Mikel Obi – and a precedent exists that will allow him to do so.

The under-fire official could cite the case of Scott Ledger, the linesman investigated last season over alleged homophobic remarks, in order to continue refereeing.

Sportsmail has learnt that Clattenburg is keen to take the field again as soon as possible and has confided as much to friends.

Eye of the storm: John Obi Mikel (R) of Chelsea talks to referee Mark Clattenburg as team-mate Juan Mata looks on during last Sunday's clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge

Eye of the storm: John Obi Mikel (R) of Chelsea talks to referee Mark Clattenburg as team-mate Juan Mata looks on during last Sunday's clash between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea have formally accused the
official of racially abusing Mikel during Sunday’s 3-2 defeat
by Manchester United, but the Arsenal boss said he would prefer to see
such matters dealt with internally. Clattenburg is also facing a police
investigation after a formal complaint was made by the Society of Black
Lawyers.

Despite being omitted from the list of officials on duty for this weekend’s fixtures, the 37-year-old has not been suspended by the Professional Game Match Officials Ltd (PGMOL).

There are fears about the spotlight that would accompany Clattenburg’s next refereeing appointment, but no decision has yet been made as to whether the Clattenburg will be considered for duty next weekend.

Official complaint: Chelsea have accused Clattenburg (above) of using racist language during Sunday's match

Official complaint: Chelsea have accused Clattenburg (above) of using racist language during Sunday's match

Enlarge

Fans' banter: United fans hoist a banner at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Chelsea fans have a famous banner which reads: John Terry: Captain. Leader. Legend

Fans' banter: United fans hoist a banner at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. Chelsea fans have a famous banner which reads: John Terry: Captain. Leader. Legend

However, the PGMOL’s decision to allow Ledger to continue in his role as assistant referee while under investigation last season offers a potential precedent.

Ledger continued to be selected for top flight fixtures after being reported by an official in the Barnsley Referees’ Association, for allegedly making homophobic comments during a game involving teenage boys. Ledger was found to have no case to answer.

CASE STUDY: SCOTT LEDGER

Linesman Scott Ledger

Ledger was accused in March of making homophobic remarks during a game involving teenage boys.

He was reported to the Sheffield and Hallamshire Football Association by
an official in the Barnsley Referees’ Association following alleged
comments made during and after a fixture between Barnsley and Rotherham
Referees’ Association in February.

The five-a-side game is understood to have involved 15 and 16-year-old
boys and the allegation is that homophobic remarks were directed at
those participants.

Ledger (right) was investigated by the FA and found to have no case to answer.
He was not suspended and continued to officiate throught the
investigation

South Yorkshire official Ledger, who has risen to Premier League level
following a career in the Army, was appointed to the Football League
list of assistant referees in June 2007.

He has since progressed to the elite group of officials and was
appointed as assistant referee for the Community Shield clash between
Manchester United and Manchester City at Wembley in August 2011.

Cristiano Ronaldo won"t be man-marked by Northern Ireland

Man-marking Ronaldo is too risky, says Northern Ireland boss O'Neill

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 15 October 2012

Michael O'Neill did his best to sound optimistic, but the reasons for not man-marking Cristiano Ronaldo only underlined the mammoth task facing Northern Ireland in Porto on Tuesday night.

The Northern Ireland manager gave some consideration to shadowing Portugal’s Real Madrid forward but swiftly discounted it, for fear of being reduced to 10 men in the opening minutes.

‘To be honest, having watched a lot of games Ronaldo has played for club and country, and what happens with the refereeing, it is very difficult to man-mark him,’ he said.

Dangerman: Portugal captain Ronaldo

Dangerman: Portugal captain Ronaldo

‘The player you designate runs a real risk of a yellow card in the first 10 or 15 minutes and is walking a tightrope after that.

‘You can’t very well then ask someone else to take over, because your whole tactical approach becomes a lottery. Anyway, he plays with so much freedom, and attacks from so many different angles, it would only distort the balance of the team.

‘We know what we are up against. We can hope against hope that his 100th cap turns into a huge letdown for him and his country, but the reality is he’s a goal machine, as well as being brilliantly creative.

Tough ask: O'Neill oversees training in Porto on Monday

Tough ask: O'Neill oversees training in Porto on Monday

Northern Ireland team:

Carroll; Cathcart, Hughes, J Evans, McGivern; McGinn, C Evans, Davis, Baird, Norwood; Lafferty.

‘I have seen him miss chances and prove he is human, but we don’t need reminding what he can do from set-pieces or in the air. But can we get men round him to make life difficult for him Can we reduce the amount of possession he gets by working hard in other areas Of course, on both counts.

‘We did well for long periods in Russia, without any reward, but this is going to be even tougher. All the expectation is lumped on Portugal, though. That’s not always easy to deal with, and we intend making it all the harder for them.’

Former World Cup referee Jack Taylor dies age 82

Former World Cup final referee Taylor dies at home aged 82

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UPDATED:

16:34 GMT, 27 July 2012

The Football League have paid tribute to former referee Jack Taylor OBE, who has died at his Shropshire home at the age of 82.

Described by the Football League as 'perhaps the finest English referee of all time', Taylor officiated in more than 1,000 matches during a career than lasted more than 30 years.

He also took charge of more than 100 international fixtures, including the 1974 World Cup final between West Germany and Holland in Munich, where he made history by awarding the first-ever penalty in a World Cup final.

Final man: Jack Taylor the 1974 World Cup final

Final man: Jack Taylor the 1974 World Cup final

Taylor was also inducted into FIFA's Hall of Fame before working with the Football League following his retirement from refereeing, which included serving on The League's Referees Committee.

Football League chairman Greg Clarke said: “Jack Taylor set the benchmark for refereeing, not just in this country but across the world, and in later life he applied the same levels of integrity, commitment and sheer love of the game to his other roles in football.

'Very few people in football can match the contribution made by Jack Taylor and fewer still have managed to do it whilst retaining the respect and admiration of absolutely everyone they have come into contact with.

'He will be greatly missed by everybody at The Football League and its clubs and our thoughts are with his family and friends.'

World Cup ref: Jack Taylor took charge of over 1000 games

World Cup ref: Jack Taylor took charge of over 1000 games

Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore added: 'Jack was one of English football's finest ambassadors who reached the pinnacle of refereeing and, until his very last days, continued to help the development of young referees. The game has lost a great servant and a true friend.'

Mike Riley, general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials, echoed those thoughts, saying: “This is a terribly sad moment for English officiating and we send our condolences to his family and many friends.

'Every referee of our generation looked up to Jack Taylor because he set the standard. His performances at the 1974 FIFA World Cup inspired a whole generation of referees in this country.

'I was fortunate to travel to the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Jack for him to watch Howard Webb. He was incredibly proud that another Englishman had taken charge of the biggest game in world football.

'But then that was Jack, he was not only very well respected throughout the game by players and managers, he was also an extremely nice man and wonderful fun to be around.

'And he never stopped inspiring match officials. Over the last five years he has played an important role for PGMOL passing on his many years of experience to tomorrow's referees. We will miss him greatly.'

Wolves also paid tribute to Taylor, who was born in Wolverhampton and had a spell as commercial manager at Molineux in the 1980s following his retirement, as well as being involved in matchday television work in recent years.

Wolves announced their players will wear black armbands during tomorrow's friendly at Walsall and flags at Molineux will be lowered to half-mast.

A statement on www.wolves.co.uk read: 'The club offers its sincere condolences to Jack's wife Sue and the rest of the Taylor family, and his many friends both inside the game and out.'

Amir Khan must KO Jerry Garcia in Las Vegas says Freddie Roach

Go for a KO against Garcia, trainer Roach tells Khan as he fears Wild Card jealousy

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 10 July 2012

Amir Khan has been urged to go for the knockout here on Saturday night if he wants to be certain of becoming a world champion again.

Freddie Roach, his newly inducted Hall of Fame trainer, is so concerned by the spate of controversial decisions that he has warned Khan to make sure he takes out WBC light-welterweight champion Danny Garcia inside the scheduled 12 rounds.

Khan was robbed of his WBA and IBF belts on a night of bizarre refereeing and hometown judging in Washington last December, after which Lamont Peterson was found to have a steroids pellet implanted in his hip. He then failed a drugs test. Roach is concerned ‘there may be jealousy of our success at my Wild Card gym (in Hollywood)’.

Keeping his cool: Roach (right) has told Khan to stay level-headed

Keeping his cool: Roach (right) has told Khan to stay level-headed

That suspicion grew when his pound-for-pound superstar Manny Pacquiao was scandalously judged the loser against Tim Bradley here last month.

Roach said: ‘Increasingly our boxers are not being given the reward by the officials when they are clearly winning fights.

‘We are confident of beating Garcia but I’ve told Amir that he had better get him out of there at some point, just to be certain nothing like this happens again.’

Going the extra mile: Khan in training

Going the extra mile: Khan in training

Roach has also told Khan to ignore insults from the father of his unbeaten American opponent.

At a media conference Angel Garcia started jumping up and down in a supposed imitation of the Briton, then made remarks about no Pakistanis being good boxers.

Roach added: ‘Thankfully Amir is better educated than this guy. He’s just trying to get under our skin.’

Graham Poll: Italy have taken full advantage of weak refereeing

Italy have taken full advantage of weak refereeing

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UPDATED:

22:04 GMT, 22 June 2012

Italy's players seem to be enjoying
the new, lighter approach from referees at this tournament. They appear
to be using it to their advantage.

Andy Townsend was right in Friday's Sportsmail to highlight the 'dark arts' tactics employed by
the Azzurri, especially noticeable at set-pieces when they hold
opponents and block runs.

Foul play: Italy's Federico Balzaretti, left, with a uncoventional tackle on Ireland's Aiden McGeady

Foul play: Italy's Federico Balzaretti, left, with a uncoventional tackle on Ireland's Aiden McGeady

I refereed Italy v Croatia at a major tournament – just like Howard Webb did in Poznan on June 14. Mine was a 2002 World Cup match, which Croatia won 2-1.

So much went on that my assistant was confused as to what was a foul and what was not. He disallowed an Italian goal for holding – replays later showed the offence was the other way round!

Incredibly there has only been one penalty and only three red cards in the first 25 games in Ukraine and Poland, despite plenty of offences usually worthy of punishment.

Teams will be well aware of this as the players seek any advantage they can to progress. Weak refereeing, while popular with spectators in the short term, does lead to issues throughout the game over the longer term.

Don't be surprised if we see some controversial incidents in the latter stages.

Euro 2012: Sepp Blatter demands goal-line technology after Ukraine v England

Goal-line technology is a 'necessity', demands Blatter after Ukraine's cruel blow against England

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 20 June 2012

Football's most powerful man Sepp Blatter has demanded goal-line technology is introduced after Ukraine's heartache against England.

The co-hosts were denied an equaliser in Tuesday's crunch Group D decider that ultimately saw them crash out of Euro 2012.

John Terry hooked clear a shot from Marko Devic in the 62nd minute but replays showed the ball was clearly over the line.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter: 'After last night’s match #GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity.'

Ghost goal: John Terry's defending was magnificent, but the ball crossed the line in Donetsk

Ghost goal: John Terry's defending was magnificent, but Marko Devic's shot crossed the line in Donetsk

Ghost goal: John Terry's defending was magnificent, but the ball crossed the line in Donetsk

Ghost goal: John Terry's defending was magnificent, but the ball crossed the line in Donetsk

We all saw it: TV pictures show the ball crossing the line

We all saw it: TV pictures show the ball crossing the line

Goalline technology: A computer-generated image shows the ball over the line

Goalline technology: A computer-generated image shows the ball over the line

Blatter hopes to convince the game's
rule-makers – the International Football Association Board – to give
technology the green light.

Blatter became a convert to goal-line technology after Frank Lampard was denied a legitimate goal in England's 2010 World Cup defeat to Germany.

That failed to convince UEFA president Michel Platini – the favourite to succeed Blatter as the most powerful man in world football – who remained wedded to his belief additional assistant referees behind each goal was the best way forward.

That left Platini red-faced after he made bold claims on the eve of the game about the effectiveness of five officials.

He said: 'With five, officials see everything. They don't take decisions without being fully aware. There's also a uniformity of refereeing. For example, they don't call unintentional handballs. That uniformity has led to more flowing football.'

Job done: Roy Hodgson congratulates Wayne Rooney as England top Group D

Job done: Roy Hodgson congratulates Wayne Rooney as England top Group D thanks to the striker's goal (below)

Goal: Rooney

Platini also attempted to justify his opposition to goal-line technology.

'Goal-line technology isn't a
problem,' he said. The problem is the arrival of technology because,
after, you'll need technology for deciding handballs and then for
offside decisions and so on. It'll be like that forever and ever. It'll
never stop. That's the problem I have.'

Ukraine boss Oleg Blokhin was fuming
over the incident and took his rage into the press conference where he
offered a Ukrainian reporter to step outside for a ‘man conversation’.

‘The ball crossed the line by over a
metre,’ said the Ukraine manager. ‘There are five refs on the pitch and
the ball was over the line. Why do we need five refs then’

Devic said: ‘If I’m honest, I didn’t
see it at the time. But it was a big game, and it’s very sad. I think
everyone in the stadium would like to have seen what would’ve happened
if it had been 1-1 with not long to go.’

England boss Roy Hodgson said: ‘The important thing was John Terry
did so well to hook the ball off the line. People can’t be 100 per cent
certain. We’ve suffered bad luck in those areas before.’

Captain Steven Gerrard added: ‘To be
successful in these tournaments, with the quality of teams you have, you
need a bit of luck along the way. Two years ago with Frank Lampard’s
goal it didn’t go our way. If you keep fighting and stick at it you earn
that bit of luck.’

Frustrated: Oleg Blokhin complains about the goal that never was

Frustrated: Oleg Blokhin complains about the goal that never was

Pressure: England rode their luck at times but took all three points

Pressure: England rode their luck at times but took all three points

There was fortune too in England’s
goal. Gerrard crossed low from the right and defender Yevhen Khacheridi,
stretching to intercept, only succeeded in diverting it past his own
goalkeeper to Rooney, who applied the finish from a yard.

It was his first goal in a major
tournament for eight years and, after scoring, he celebrated by
pretending to spray his hair, which is growing after a transplant.

‘I’d used Andy Carroll’s hair
products and before the game he asked me to do it if I scored and so I
did it,’ said Rooney. ‘Hopefully I’ll end up with hair like him.’

Comeback: Rooney made a welcome return to football following his ban

Comeback: Rooney made a welcome return to football following his ban

In the TV studio, Jamie Carragher said: ‘A boy from Croxteth should not use hair product!’

Italy await in Kiev on Sunday and
Rooney believes the change of luck could help England beyond the
quarter-finals for the first time since 1996. He said: ‘It’s a difficult
game and will be quite evenly matched but we’re feeling confident.
We’re difficult to beat and we’ve got players in the team who can score
goals. It’s going to be a tight game but hopefully we can come out
winners.

‘It’s always a great feeling to
score. My overall game could’ve been a bit better but it was difficult
because it was my first game for a while. Towards the end I felt a
little bit tired. That’s natural and I’ll benefit from that time on the
pitch.’

Gerrard was superb and Rooney added:
‘He’s a world-class player and I thought he was brilliant. He drove us
on at times. His delivery has been exceptional. We’re lucky to have a
player like that in the team.’

Passion: Steven Gerrard says his side are peaking at just the right time

Passion: Steven Gerrard says his side are peaking at just the right time

Heart on his sleeve: Gerrard

Heart on his sleeve: Gerrard

England have not beaten Italy since
1997 but Cesare Prandelli will be without key defender Giorgio Chiellini
who has a thigh injury. Ashley Young will be a doubt too after limping
out of the Donbass Arena last night with a sore ankle.

‘I haven’t given Italy much thought,’
said Hodgson. ‘Most people didn’t think we’d get out of the group.
Luckily we’ve proved that wrong. I’m pleased about that.’

VIDEO: England fans react to the win

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Catalan Dragons 14 Wigan 36: Warriors maintain top spot courtesy of curious refereeing

Catalan Dragons 14 Wigan 36: Warriors maintain top spot courtesy of curious refereeing

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 9 June 2012

Wigan maintained their lead at the top of the Stobart Super League with a 36-14 win against a rugged Catalan side.

However, the result was much closer than the scoreline suggests as time and time again the home side were on the wrong end of some baffling refereeing decisions.

The main contentious decision came just before half-time when Josh Charnley appeared to score a try despite his elbow being in touch. Despite a video referee being available to James Child, the referee opted to give the try without the assistance.

After last weekend's defeat at Salford, this was a much better Catalan performance and they took the lead early through a Scott Dureau penalty.

There are still signs that the home side are not at their best however, when – with Gil Dudson in the sin-bin for a late challenge on Dureau – Wigan managed to score two tries. Charnley converted one of them to give the Warriors a 10-2 lead.

The video referee was needed in the 18th minute when he awarded a penalty try to the Catalans after Michael McIlorum tackled Clint Greenshields just before the tryline without the ball as the full-back chased Setaimata Sa's kick through. Dureau added the conversion to reduce the arrears to 10-8

Just before the break Louis Anderson left the field with a shoulder injury, and down the right hand edge that he had been defending in Sam Tomkins set Charnley free to dive over for his controversial effort. Charnley failed to convert his effort as the half time hooter went.

Six minutes after the turnaround, Charnley did extend the Warriors lead with a penalty from in front of the posts, given for the markers not being square at the play the ball.

Wigan extended their lead further four minutes later with a superb try that involved Sean O'Loughlin, Jeff Lima, McIlorum and Brett Finch before the ball found its way to George Carmont to score his first of the afternoon. Again Charnley failed with the conversion.

On the hour the ball was sent to the Wigan left and Jack Hughes managed to offload to the supporting Carmont to score to the left of the posts. Charnley again missed the conversion attempt.

Dureau narrowed the deficit with a quick tap penalty that caught the Wigan defence napping as he raced in from 60 metres out to score under the posts. He quickly converted his own try to narrow the gap further to 10 points with 10 minutes remaining.

However, Wigan finished the stronger and late tries from Tomkins and Hughes extended their advantage. Tomkins took over the kicking duties from Charnley and converted both efforts.