Tag Archives: rescue

Glen Johnson hails Luis Suarez after rescuing Liverpool

All hail King Luis! Johnson lauds free-scoring Suarez after rescue job for Liverpool… again

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UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 12 November 2012

Glen Johnson has hailed the free-scoring antics of striker Luis Suarez and believes weaker teams would have rolled over to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Uruguayan has been prolific for the Reds this season. So much so that without his goals the Anfield club would currently occupy bottom spot in the Barclays Premier League.

Suarez's second-half strike cancelled out John Terry's opener but Johnson concedes his team-mates were happy to leave west London with a point.

Smacker! Suarez scored the goal which earned Liverpool a point

Smacker! Suarez scored the goal which earned Liverpool a point

He said: 'If we had been offered a point before the game we probably would have taken it.

'Luis is a great player and he doing a fantastic job for us,' he said. 'He’s scoring goals for fun at the moment and the longer he does that the happier we will be.'

'Playing away at Stamford Bridge, it was always going to be difficult. Chelsea are very strong at home and we were expecting a tough game.

'We didn’t start well, they got the goal and usually when Chelsea go in front here they win.

'A lot of teams would have rolled over and ended up getting destroyed by four or five.

'But we have a great spirit in the dressing room and a lot of heart. We always fight to the death. We did that and got our reward.

'They had a tough game in Europe in the week and I think that showed in the last 15 minutes as Chelsea tired a little bit.

Yellow peril: Johnson was booked during the clash at Stamford Bridge

Yellow peril: Johnson was booked during the clash at Stamford Bridge

'We were strong and in the closing
stages we really drove at them. We could have got all three points in
the end but overall I think we’ve got to be happy with the draw.'

Johnson added: 'Of course we want to be winning games but it was a good point for us.

'Everyone can see we are starting to improve and if we keep playing well I'm sure the results will come our way.'

Kevin Nolan: How I rescued Andy Carroll

Nolan: How I rescued Carroll and put him on the right path

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 10 November 2012

Andy Carroll's chief concern is to score his first goal for West Ham but his team-mate, Kevin Nolan, remembers a time when such on-field problems were mere trivialities.

A time when, as a star in the making with Sunday's opponents Newcastle, he needed saving from himself and from the paradox that is Geordie adulation.

Old boys: Former Newcastle duo Andrew Carroll (right) and Kevin Nolan set to return with West Ham

Old boys: Former Newcastle duo Andrew Carroll (right) and Kevin Nolan set to return with West Ham

The 21-year-old home-town hero was self-destructing and it was at then Newcastle skipper Nolan's door – literally – that the problem was dumped in October 2010.

Carroll was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend and to secure bail he needed a place of residence instead of living in a hotel awaiting a house purchase. Nolan answered the SOS.

A combination of Carroll's cooking, Nolan's guidance and the unlikeliest of calming figures – Joey Barton – got the tyro back on the right path.

While happy to laugh off his saviour status, Nolan knows only too well the deadly serious role he played in the rescue mission.

'You can write that if you want, “Nolan saves him!” ' he said. 'I just said to him, and he knew himself, that he had got to keep out of them situations.

'At Newcastle when something goes on, it gets exploded 10 times over and with Andy up there it was magnified a thousand times. It was just because it was him, he's a 6ft 5in lad who's got long hair and stands out.

'He'd been brilliant for Newcastle for 15 months, he was the local boy, everything he did was magnified. You'd have to ask Andy if I'd had an influence on it. Of course I'm going to say yes. As a group we had a committee-type of experienced pros with myself, Joey, Alan Smith, Steve Harper, all different backgrounds, voices and opinions.

Hard going: Carroll is still searching for his first West Ham goal

Hard going: Carroll is still searching for his first West Ham goal

'The togetherness of the squad and what we were all like at that time helped Andy dramatically. He bought into it massively and he excelled and he's gone on since and I think he'll just even get better and do better things.'

The recipe for turning a boy into a man was all cooked up in Nolan's kitchen.

'I said he could stay, I cleared it with the missus, of course, first,' added Nolan. 'She was down in Liverpool a lot of the time so we were like room-mates. He was a pretty good cook. Pasta with tomatoes, chicken, things like that.

'Since then he has learned so much. There is a different lad standing in that dressing room now. There is a man who can look after himself and does the right things on a daily basis.'

Carroll, 23, will need the thickest of skins to emerge unscathed from what is a fixture laced with potential animosity. West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has always felt harshly done to regarding his rapid dismissal after eight months in charge of Newcastle.

Carroll is yet to score for West Ham but his last trip back to St James' Park, with parent club Liverpool, ended with the frontman being booked for diving before storming off after being substituted.

Nolan said: 'I am hoping I'll get quite a good reception, I'm sure Andy will get the worst one. I've got a lot of good friends there and I'm looking forward to going back and saying goodbyes to people I didn't have the chance to.

'Once one goes in for Andy, hopefully on Sunday, I am sure they will come. It would be a great time to score in front of the club he has loved since he was a kid.'

Carroll's goal-shy start to life in east London is in stark contrast to Nolan, who has picked up where he left off in the Premier League by scoring four times in 10 games.

And the West Ham midfielder, 30, admits he is angered about never having secured an England cap, especially in a week which saw 31-year-old Leon Osman get a call-up.

'Obviously, when you see Leon Osman, who I'm delighted for, getting a call-up it does tell you not to give up hope but I don't know how much more I could do,' he said. 'It does hurt that I haven't got one. I think I have deserved at least a call-up and a chance to prove myself at that level whether it be at Bolton, Newcastle and even now.

'A former England manager said if he knew everything I was about before he was England manager, he definitely would have called me up, which was nice to hear. But then I sort of wanted to strangle him!'

Bruges 2 Newcastle 2: match report

Bruges 2 Newcastle 2: Ameobi rescue mission keeps Toon on course in Europe

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UPDATED:

00:40 GMT, 9 November 2012

One more win and Newcastle United will have completed their first European mission under Alan Pardew.

Pardew’s fully stretched squad now
know a home victory over Group D strugglers Maritimo in a fortnight will
guarantee them passage to the knock-out stage after they came back from
two goals down to deny FC Bruges victory in Belgium.

Cracker: Vurnon Anita scores his first goal for Newcastle

Cracker: Vurnon Anita scores his first goal for Newcastle

Match facts

Bruges: Jorgacevic, Hogli, Hoefkens, Almeback, Jordi,Donk, Odjija Ofoe (Lagrou 81), Lestienne, Jorgensen, Trickovski (Tchite 46), Bacca. Subs Not Used: Kujovic, Vleminckx, Buysse, Engels, Verstraete.

Booked: Almeback, Hoefkens.

Goals: Trickovski 14,Jorgensen 19.

Newcastle: Krul, Anita, Williamson (Steven Taylor 58),Coloccini, Tavernier, Tiote, Sammy Ameobi (Amalfitano 83), Marveaux, Bigirimana (Cabaye 72), Obertan, Shola Ameobi. Subs Not Used: Elliot, Santon, Cisse, Ferguson.

Booked: Tiote,Cabaye.

Goals: Anita 41, Shola Ameobi 43.

Att: 18,000

Ref: Luca Banti (Italy).

It was the Ameobi brothers, Shola and Sammy, who conjured the equaliser to keep Bruges at arm’s length in the group and deliver a killer blow just before half-time.

Pardew said: ‘We had Ameobi to Ameobi, which sounds like a song, for the second goal, which was nice.

‘I thought they were both good. Sammy has this way of getting out of corners I have not seen in many players and he wriggles out of situations.

‘He still needs to tighten up on the tactical and intelligence side of the game but he will learn.’

The visitors had done their best to gift Bruges a goal in the opening 10 minutes but somehow managed to come away from errors by Tim Krul, Gael Bigirimana and Fabricio Coloccini unscathed.

Bruges’s 14th-minute opener was almost an exact replica of the Luis Suarez equaliser from the weekend which had denied Newcastle their first win at Liverpool in 18 years.

The long ball came from Bruges midfielder Ryan Donk and captain Coloccini was deceived by the pace of striker Trickovski. He moved cleverly inside the Argentina centre back and beat Krul with a low shot from the edge of the area.

Six minutes later, Newcastle were two down and in total disarray as their 2,300 fans inside the Jan Breydel Stadium fell silent.

Dutch of class: Vurnon Anita celebrates his strike

Dutch of class: Vurnon Anita celebrates his strike

Nifty footwork: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Nifty footwork: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

The goal was created by livewire winger
Maxime Lestienne, who curled in a cross which James Tavernier nodded out
to the edge of the area. Jesper Jorgensen gathered the ball and beat
Krul with another low shot, which the Dutch keeper seemed to see late.

Pardew claimed Newcastle had started well, but it took the two-goal
deficit to wake them up. Recalled Sylvain Marveaux squandered a great
chance in front of goal with an air shot and Bojan Jorgacevic got the
vital touch to a Shola Ameobi header.

The first Newcastle goal was worth the wait, however.

Former Ajax player Vurnon Anita has taken his time to warm to English
football but the first-time volley which flew over Jorgacevic was a real
sign of his intent and ability. ‘It was a great strike,’ said Pardew.
‘He showed he is a class act and that was his best game for us.’

He's tricky: Ivan Trickovski, left, scores the opening goal

He's tricky: Ivan Trickovski, left, scores the opening goal

Ivan Trickovski (L) scores the first goal for Bruges

Ivan Trickovski (L) scores the first goal for Bruges

The Ameobis then combined, as they had in the first game for Gabriel
Obertan’s winner. Sammy turned quickly midway inside the Bruges half,
spotted his older brother Shola and played a perfect pass which was
prodded past Jorgacevic.

Newcastle’s best chance then fell to Shola Ameobi, who headed narrowly
over before drawing a smart save from Jorgacevic. Yohan Cabaye’s first
touch as substitute was a powerful shot against the bar.

Bruges top scorer Carlos Bacca will be mystified by his inability to add
to his 14 goals this season. He missed two clear-cut chances and was
denied by Krul twice, as the Dutch keeper more than made amends for the
second goal from the home side.

If looks could Krul: Trickovski, left, celebrates

If looks could Krul: Trickovski, left, celebrates

Trickle treat: Jesper Jorgensen doubled their lead

Trickle treat: Jesper Jorgensen doubled their lead

He also saved superbly at his near post to deny Everton target Vadis Odjidja.

Bacca’s dramatic fall when Steven Taylor grabbed his shirt two minutes
from time probably made Italian referee Luca Banti’s mind up that it
was not a foul.

‘I thought it was a terrific game,’ said Pardew. ‘It was a good night of football and I hope you enjoyed it.

‘/11/08/article-0-15EC2542000005DC-271_634x470.jpg” width=”634″ height=”470″ alt=”Heady stuff: Goalscorer Vurnon Anita (right) celebrates with Fabricio Coloccini and James Tavernier” class=”blkBorder” />

Heady stuff: Goalscorer Vurnon Anita (right) celebrates with Fabricio Coloccini and James Tavernier

Cool finish: Shola Ameobi, left, scores Newcastle's second goal

Cool finish: Shola Ameobi, left, scores Newcastle's second goal

Surrounded: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi

Surrounded: Newcastle's Sammy Ameobi

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds 1: Match Report

Sheffield Wednesday 1 Leeds 1: Tonge strike denies Owls win in fierce derby

By
Sportsmail Reporter

PUBLISHED:

21:07 GMT, 19 October 2012

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 19 October 2012

Former Sheffield United midfielder Michael Tonge rescued a point for Leeds to deny Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday in a derby clash marred by crowd trouble.

Tonge, who spent a large chunk of his career under former Sheffield United boss Neil Warnock, fired home a swerving 25-yard shot in the 76th minute to cancel out Jay Bothroyd's first-half header and deny Wednesday a first win in eight league matches.

But despite rescuing a point with a much-improved second-half display, Leeds are sure to find themselves in serious trouble from the game's authorities after the mindless antics of one fan in particular, who celebrated Tonge's fine equaliser by running on to the pitch and hitting Wednesday goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the face with two hands.

Going ahead: Sheffield Wednesday's Jay Bothroyd puts his side ahead

Going ahead: Sheffield Wednesday's Jay Bothroyd puts his side ahead

Match facts:

Sheff Wed: Kirkland, Buxton, Gardner, Llera, Jones, Antonio, Semedo, Barkley, Corry (Mayor 83), O'Grady (Madine 83), Bothroyd.

Subs Not Used: Bywater, Taylor, Jermaine Johnson, Rodri,Pecnik.

Booked: Jones, Gardner.

Goals: Bothroyd 44.

Leeds: Kenny, Peltier (Varney 67), Lees, Pearce, White, Byram, Austin (Norris 46), Brown, Tonge, Becchio, Diouf.

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Drury, Green, Gray, Hall.

Booked: Brown.

Goals: Tonge 77.

Attendance: 28,582

Referee: Eddie Ilderton

Riot police had earlier filtered out to try and diffuse ugly scenes in the away end prior to Tonge's strike, with bottles thrown between baying sets of home and away supporters.

Leeds boss Warnock, returning to his home city for the first time since former club Crystal Palace triumphed over the Owls at Hillsborough in an FA Cup tie in 2010, will have been grateful for Tonge's rescue act after his side stretched their unbeaten run to five matches despite being outplayed for long periods.

Wednesday have now failed to win any of their last eight league games, collecting only two points in the process and the pressure is mounting on manager Dave Jones.

Irish midfielder Paul Corry made his league debut for the Owls and defender Daniel Jones returned to the starting line-up, while Leeds were unchanged from the side that beat Barnsley last time out.

Wednesday made the more promising start. Chris O'Grady headed straight at Paddy Kenny in the sixth minute and the former Sheffield United goalkeeper let Bothroyd's fierce 20-yard drive slip through his hands and on to the crossbar soon after, with the ball bouncing down a yard from his goalline.

Wednesday skipper Anthony Gardner then spurned a gilt-edged chance when he headed Bothroyd's free-kick over the crossbar with only Kenny to beat as Leeds rode the early storm.

Leeds responded with a fine free-kick from another former Sheffield United player, Michael Tonge, whose curling effort from 25 yards following Gardner's foul on El-Hadji Diouf had Owls keeper Chris Kirkland scrambling to palm clear at full stretch.

Leeds were given a real let-off in the 23rd minute by referee Eddie Ilderton, who somehow failed to see Leeds forward Luciano Becchio handle the ball when diving in his own penalty area to head clear Bothroyd's 23rd-minute corner.

But Wednesday, belying their lowly status, secured the lead they deserved two minutes before the break.

Fierce derby: Sam Byram of Leeds United and Ross Barkley of Sheffield Wednesday fight for the ball

Fierce derby: Sam Byram of Leeds United and Ross Barkley of Sheffield Wednesday fight for the ball

Long-throw specialist Michail Antonio launched a missile into the Leeds box from the left and Bothroyd rose highest to head home unopposed, low into Kenny's right-hand corner.

Leeds midfielder Rodolph Austin, who arrived back in Leeds this morning following international duty with Jamaica, made way for David Norris at half-time.

Leeds were more purposeful after the restart and went close to an equaliser through another free-kick from Tongue after Gardner had been booked for his high tackle on Diouf.

But although the visitors spent longer periods in Wednesday's half, they failed to create any clear-cut chances and had it not been for Leeds skipper Lee Peltier's excellent block, Bothroyd's shot from Antonio's cutback would have found its target.

Peltier was replaced by forward Luke Varney, who spent three spells on loan at Hillsborough, in the 66th minute, but it was the home side who threatened again when Antonio's shot following a defensive mix-up was deflected for a corner.

The atmosphere turned ugly at the Leeds end with 20 minutes to go, with extra police required to quell an angry exchange between both sets of fans intent on throwing bottles.

Tonge's brilliant equaliser in the 76th minute following Aidy White's lay-off then prompted some Leeds fans to pour through fencing, with one supporter run round in front of Kirkland's goal before pole-axing the Wednesday keeper by pushing both hands into his face.

Kirkland required treatment before the game could resume and although Owls substitute Danny Mayor went close with a shot blocked by Jason Pearce in the closing stages, the home side had to settle for a point.

World Twenty20 2012: Stuart Broad: England will keep Eoin Morgan up our sleeve

We'll keep trump card Morgan up our sleeve, insists Broad despite England batting slump

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UPDATED:

20:17 GMT, 28 September 2012

If England are to overcome the odds and reach the World Twenty20 semi-finals they will need Eoin Morgan at the crease for as long as possible. Yet their trump card will again be held back in the must-win game against New Zealand.

Morgan was back to his brilliant best in Thursday's defeat by West Indies after a lean year but only had half of England's innings to attempt an improbable rescue act which fell tantalisingly short of a famous victory.

Now, with England all but out if they lose again, they will stick to the same policy of keeping Morgan up their sleeves even if they again lose early wickets against a New Zealand team who also lost their Super Eights opener.

In vain: Eoin Morgan starred against West Indies but England still lost

In vain: Eoin Morgan starred against West Indies but England still lost

The problem, England insist, lies more with the fact that either Alex Hales or Craig Kieswetter has fallen too early in their last two games rather than not giving the Irishman enough time to weave his magic.

'Morgs has this amazing ability to find the boundaries when fielders are back which not everyone has,' said England captain Stuart Broad. 'He's not especially suited to piercing the infield when everyone is in. So the risk-reward for someone so valuable to our team might be too high for him to try to do that.

'Certainly if you lose him in those first six – and you're three down – you're in big trouble. So it was decided his skills would be best used in the middle overs. He showed how dangerous he can be but we just didn't quite set it up for him.'

It was Jonny Bairstow who came in ahead of Morgan against West Indies after Kieswetter and Luke Wright had fallen in the first over and it would be unfair to criticise a batsman who had to rebuild from nought for two.

But his innings of 18 from 29 balls, ended by a brilliant catch from Kieron Pollard when Bairstow looked as though he had struck his first six, left England with too much to do in their pursuit of 180 to win. Morgan was duly left high and dry on 71 from 36 balls with England 15 short of their target but if he had come in just one over earlier there is every chance England would have won.

Plenty to ponder: England captain Stuart Broad must re-energise his batsmen

Plenty to ponder: England captain Stuart Broad must re-energise his batsmen

The problem will not occur, according to
Broad, if England's openers do their job against a far from fearsome
New Zealand attack. 'Whoever takes the responsibility of going out there
and facing that new ball it's important they get through the first
over,' said Broad. 'It's about the realisation of players accepting we
can't lose wickets that early.

'Last night we watched the best striker of the ball in the world in Chris Gayle and he never goes from ball one, does he He has a little look, assesses the wicket, then explodes. I think we haven't got that quite right yet but it's important we do get that right against New Zealand.'

Kieswetter may have been England's man of the series against South Africa just ahead of their arrival here but clearly he is under some pressure to get it right now. He still seems to either block or go for bust with big shots and must find a 'get off the strike' option, as Broad put it earlier in this tournament. The way he got out to his second ball on Thursday with a wild slog was criminal.

The Kiwis may have taken Sri Lanka to a 'super over' after their tie at Pallekele in the first match in England's group but they really should not hold too much fear for England even if, in Brendon McCullum, they have one of the most successful and explosive batsmen in international Twenty20 cricket.

Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram have seen better days while even Dan Vettori, who has been a thorn in England's side since 1997, is not quite the force of old. There is no mystery about New Zealand and England simply must ensure they do not slip up against them otherwise they will need a near miracle to progress and this defence of their World Twenty20 crown will go down as another setback in a year that has had too many of them.

David Moyes frustrated by slow start

Moyes rues missed opportunity as Everton boss says 'terrible' start cost Toffees

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UPDATED:

23:28 GMT, 25 September 2012

A poor start and not a much-changed side cost Everton the chance of progression in the Capital One Cup at Leeds on Tuesday, according to manager David Moyes.

The Premier League's third-placed side arrived in West Yorkshire as one of the favourites to lift the trophy, but left a rain-sodden Elland Road with a 2-1 third-round defeat after having their noses bloodied by the Championship battlers.

Moyes made six alterations to the team which won convincingly at Swansea on Saturday, giving breathers to the likes of Leighton Baines, Tim Howard and Phil Jagielka, but his starting line-up still featured the likes of Sylvain Distin, Marouane Fellaini and Steven Naismith.

Frustrating: David Moyes was unhappy with the way his side started the game

Frustrating: David Moyes was unhappy with the way his side started the game

But the Toffees, be it before or after Nikica Jelavic, Phil Neville and Steven Pienaar were thrown on as part of an unsuccessful rescue mission, were never able to settle on the ball as Aidy White gave Leeds a fourth-minute lead and the excellent Rodolph Austin doubled it with 20 minutes left.

Distin would reduce the deficit with a header but Everton had left themselves with too big a mountain to climb, something Moyes was quick to acknowledge.

'We were not very good in the first half, but we got better in the second, but not as good as we've been playing,' he said.

'We started terribly, gave them the initiative and lost the game in the opening 20 minutes due to the way we started.

'We gave away a really poor first goal and left ourselves trying to get back into the game.'

On whether or not his decision to rest some players was key, he added: 'These boys are in the squad and have to be able to show they can come in and play.

'If you don't use them, what's the point in having them The players want to play and be involved.'

Moyes' assistant Steve Round spoke before the game of the club's desire to eventually lift this competition which, despite their Premier League form, is widely viewed as their best chance of silverware.

That has now passed for another season at least, leaving Moyes to rue a missed opportunity.

'It's a chance if you get good draws and you play well,' he said.

Flare up: Everton players were unable to get into the game after going down early on

Flare up: Everton players were unable to get into the game after going down early on

'If you get difficult draws it makes it harder and so does not playing well. We had a combination of that.'

While Moyes headed back to Merseyside to plan for a pick-me-up meeting with Southampton, opposite number Neil Warnock showered in what he called his 'best-ever cup win'.

Such praise was rich from a man who took an unfancied Sheffield United side to the semi-finals of both domestic competitions a decade ago, but he claims that owing to the injury crisis that is currently sweeping his already-thin squad, this victory was sweeter.

'I think that's as good a performance as I've ever had in the cup, because of of the circumstances,' he said.

'They had a strong team, they're nearly top of the Premier League and they wanted to win. But we were better on the night.

'We deserved the win. They did have a few chances and we did too.

'It was like going back in time tonight, with the weather chucking it down, the fans singing, the officials were great, everything was.'

Tough break: Victor Anichebe could not turn his impressive Premier League form to the Capital One Cup

Tough break: Victor Anichebe could not turn his impressive Premier League form to the Capital One Cup

Like Moyes, Warnock also tinkered with his line-up, throwing in transfer-listed Danny Pugh and the sparsely-used Jamie Ashdown and Michael Brown on a night when he needed all his players to be at the top of their game.

'It had everything, Warnock added.

'We had our centre-halves in bandage and covered in blood and we had the likes of Browny, Pugh and Ashdown.

'They've hardly played but they fitted in lovely. I'm pleased for them all. There was no weakness because if there had have been, we wouldn't have won.'

Wimbledon 2012: It"s not all white for Radek Stepanek

Court report: It's not all white for rebel Stepanek

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UPDATED:

21:59 GMT, 29 June 2012

Wimbledon. Famous for strawberries, Pimm's and wearing white. Which made Radek Stepanek's decision to wear red and blue trainers all the more confusing. The Czech didn't get away with it though.

Seeing red: Radek Stepanek changes his trainers

Seeing red: Radek Stepanek changes his trainers

Umpire Kerrilyn Cramer was on the case and ordered Stepanek to change his trainers. The oddest thing was that Stepanek had a white set of trainers in his bag ready to put on.

SEPARATED AT BIRTH

Slightly miffed to have received a string of congratulatory messages late on Thursday night and most of yesterday for knocking Rafael Nadal out of Wimbledon. It seems people think I am a spitting image for world No 100 Lukas Rosol. I'd argue I (the one on the left of the picture) have nicer eyes but he probably edges me out on the cheekbones. You can make your own minds up.

TIM SAVES THE DAY

You'd think being the British No 1 for three years and bursting into tears when she won her first-round match would mean people at the All England club recognise Elena Baltacha.

Rescue act: Tim Henman (left)

Rescue act: Tim Henman (left)

Not one clueless security guard, who stopped Baltacha and her agent from going up on to the roof of the broadcast centre to do an interview. Luckily committee member Tim Henman swooped to the rescue, escorting the ladies to their appointment.

MAD ABOUT ROGER

There is liking Roger Federer and then there is this. Penny Day from Kent queues up overnight every time the Swiss master plays so she doesn't miss a match. What is more, she does it with dyed red hair, Federer earrings, a signed Federer dress, a signed Federer jumper and a signed Federer bag. She has met the 16-time Grand Slam winner on more than 30 occasions and has followed him to Basle, Rome and the O2.

NO JOY FOR JAMIE

Jamie Murray has enjoyed plenty of success down the years in mixed doubles – he won the title here with Jelena Jankovic in 2007.

Going out: Eric Butorac (left) and Jamie Murray

Going out: Eric Butorac (left) and Jamie Murray

But reaching those same heights in the men's competition has proved difficult for the Scot. And Andy's older brother fell short again as he and American partner Eric Butorac were defeated in straight sets in the second round by French veterans Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement.

DISMAY FOR THE DUTCH

So, what of Arantxa Rus, the blonde Dutch girl who knocked out world No 5 Sam Stosur of Australia on Wednesday The 21-year-old was back in action yesterday, taking on China's No 30 seed Shuai Peng out on Court 12. Unfortunately for Rus – and for her recently enlisted army of male supporters – she could not produce another upset, instead going down rather tamely in a 6-1, 6-2 defeat. Peng is in round four for the second year in a row.

Birmingham boss Chris Hughes fears fire-sale after play-off setback

Birmingham boss Hughes fears fire-sale after play-off setback

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UPDATED:

23:20 GMT, 10 May 2012

Chris Hughton is seeking an urgent
meeting with Birmingham City's acting chairman Peter Pannu over rumours
that another fire-sale of his players is about to start.

The St Andrew's chief is advising
against the loss of any more of his first-team squad if he is to be
asked to mount a promotion bid next term.

Concerns: Birmingham boss Chris Hughton

Concerns: Birmingham boss Chris Hughton

Birmingham's cash crisis mean that on-loan West Brom keeper Ben Foster's move to the Hawthorns should get the go-ahead once the season is finished.

But stories are already circulating that Hughton has been informed that he needs to generate more cash to keep the club in the black.

And that is likely to mean the club's young players, including keeper Jack Butland, along with winger Nathan Redmond and England Under-21 international Jordon Mutch will all be sacrificed.

That news will infuriate supporters who will see this as a shameless cash-grab ahead of a bail-out.

One analyst said: “Pannu believes he has a buyer for the club. For anyone out there it won't be a purchase, it will be more like a rescue mission.”

Setback: Birmingham crashed out to Blackpool in the play-offs

Setback: Birmingham crashed out to Blackpool in the play-offs

Hughton hinted after the play-off defeat by Blackpool that he would find it hard to operate next term on the same basis that he has this time around.

And, with West Brom waiting-in-the-wings to pounce on the former Newcastle United boss at the first sign of any hint of unrest, it is going to take a lot of sweet-talking to keep the Blues' chief in situ.

Hughton said: 'It will be harder next season. Charlton and Sheffield Wednesday are coming into the Championship – two established clubs – along with those relegated from the Premier League. For us, this season has lifted expectations.

'And I know Peter Pannu has tried to inform everyone what's going on in his programme notes.

'I will be speaking to him. I don't see wholesale changes. We lost a lot of players this season. Right at this moment, I don't anticipate another exodus. I don't want to see players going out the door. But I need to sit down with him and see where we are.'

England record caps holder Peter Shilton has urged Ben Foster to come back from his self-imposed international exile and step up the competition.

Manchester City stopper Joe Hart, 25, is the man currently in possession of the England gloves, having impressed during the European Championship qualifying campaign under Fabio Capello.

Calling: Peter Shilton wants Ben Foster to return to England fold

Calling: Peter Shilton wants Ben Foster to return to England fold

It remains to be seen what will be the
make-up of the squad for the finals when new boss Roy Hodgson unveils
his selection, as Bursaspor's Scott Carson and West Ham keeper Robert
Green are expected to offer back-up to Hart for Poland and the Ukraine.

However, Shilton – who won 125 caps between 1970 and 1990 – would love to see West Brom's on-loan stopper Foster make himself available for England duties again, the 29-year-old having taken a break from international action in May 2011 which could now be ended when Hodgson steps up to the national team.

'Joe Hart could win a lot of caps for England. You need a bit of luck through injuries, but he is in at an early age and there is not a lot pushing him at the moment. Unless Foster comes back, you never can tell, certainly he could be there for a while,' said Shilton, who took part in the filming of Carlsberg's new England Fan Academy television commercial.

'Hart has done really well to get there, and I still think Rob Green deserves to be part of the set-up because he obviously had the one big misfortune [in the World Cup against USA], but you can't judge him on one game.

'I would like to see Foster come back in and put some pressure on, and after that there is a few with potential.”

John Terry and Frank Lampard plan to lift Champions League together if Chelsea win

Now let's lift Champions League! JT and Lampard want to share honour in Munich

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UPDATED:

13:30 GMT, 6 May 2012

John Terry revealed he and Frank Lampard plan to lift the Champions League together after sharing the honour of raising the FA Cup at Wembley yet again.

Terry and Lampard each held one handle of the cup as it was hoisted aloft after the Blues' historic 2-1 victory over Liverpool last night, their fourth triumph in the last six finals.

The win also saw Terry become the first man to captain the same club to FA Cup glory four times.

Hands on: John Terry wants to lift the Champions League with Frank Lampard next

Hands on: John Terry wants to lift the Champions League with Frank Lampard next

But if Chelsea beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League final on May 19, the honour of being the first player to skipper them to the ultimate prize will go to Lampard, with Terry suspended for the Allianz Arena showpiece.

UEFA have confirmed Terry would be allowed to lift the European Cup and asked if Saturday's routine would be repeated a fortnight later, Terry said: 'Let's hope so.

'We did it when we did the double (in 2010).

'I said to Frank: “Moments like that go down in history”, and it's important myself and Frank were there when we did the double.'

Terry hailed the result as the 'perfect' boost ahead of Chelsea's showdown with Bayern and the ideal response to the critics who wrote them off before caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo's remarkable rescue act began two months ago.

Terry said: 'People wrote us off midway through the season as well, questioning the togetherness and questioning people's form within the squad.

Blue is the colour: Terry and Lampard celebrate Chelsea's win over Liverpool at Wembley with Salomon Kalou, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole

Blue is the colour: Terry and Lampard celebrate Chelsea's win over Liverpool at Wembley with Salomon Kalou, Gary Cahill and Ashley Cole

'Especially when the backs have been against the wall, it's been really good.'

No club has dominated the FA Cup in the modern era like Chelsea, with only Blackburn and Wanderers' records in the competition's infancy bearing comparison.

Terry said: 'In the modern era, it's virtually untouchable, really.

'The hunger in that dressing room as well to have that feeling, the memories and photos and videos from after the game, is what spurs us on year after year.

'People can question all they like but the hunger in this squad is incredible and that's what keeps us going.'

Terry also appeared to suggest his own record-breaking exploits had justified his decision to stay at Stamford Bridge when Manchester City tried to break the bank to sign him three years ago.

'Incredible achievement, and my loyalty to Chelsea has now paid dividends, as always,' he said.

'I'm very privileged to be at a club like Chelsea, and to have the armband as well for many years, and to lift these great trophies that I dreamed of as a boy.'

Italian job: Terry hopes Chelsea victory will help Roberto Di Matteo in his quest to become the club's permanent boss

Italian job: Terry hopes Chelsea victory will help Roberto Di Matteo in his quest to become the club's permanent boss

That Terry was able to do that on Saturday owed everything to another Wembley goal from Didier Drogba and
one of the great FA Cup final saves from Petr Cech.

Terry
said of Drogba's record-breaking fourth cup final goal: 'You look at
big players like him and Lamps, when it's on the big occasions, they
always step up to the mark and he's done it once again.'

Terry
was also confident the right decision would be made over whether Di
Matteo would be appointed Blues boss on a permanent basis.

Terry, who said on Friday he hoped an FA Cup win would help the Italian land the role, added: 'With this result – and we're going into the Champions League final as well – it can do him no harm at all.

'On behalf of myself and the other players, he's been excellent.'

Di Matteo's ecstatic celebrations yesterday were on a par with those after Chelsea's incredible Champions League comeback against Napoli as the 41-year-old joined the select list of those to win the cup as both a player and manager.

Terry said: 'He's obviously had some great memories himself in this competition as well, scoring goals and lifting trophies.

'He sat back and the lads were dancing about and he said: `Take it in', and that's what we did.'

England v Sri Lanka, first Test, day one, Galle

LIVE: England v Sri Lanka – follow all the action on day one of the first Test

Stay up to date with all the action on
day one of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at the Galle International Stadium while our brilliant team of
writers will update with their insights from the ground. Email your thoughts to [email protected] or tweet to @joeridge87

England v Sri Lanka: Essentials

England: Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wkt), Samit Patel, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Monty Panesar

Sri Lanka: Lahiru Thirimanne, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene (c), Thilan Samaraweera, Dinesh Chandimal, Prasanna Jayawardene (wkt), Suraj Randiv, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Chanaka Welegedera.

Umpires: Asad Rauf (Pakistan), Rod Tucker (Australia). TV: Bruce Oxenford (Australia). Referee: Javagal Srinath (India).

Click here for a full scorecard

4th over: Sri Lanka 15-3 (M Jayawardene 0, Samaraweera 0)

Thilan Samaraweera the new man in and Sri Lanka need a rescue job from their experienced middle order pair here. Four from the over.

WICKET! Dilshan c Strauss b Broad 11

Got him! The end of an ugly little innings from the enigmatic opener and Sri Lanka are falling apart here.

4th over: Sri Lanka 15-2 (Dilshan 11, M Jayawardene 0)

Dilshan is winging from the hip as if he's playing Twenty20… and he thick edges over the slips again for four. Lucky or plucky I'll let you be the judge, but it doesn't look pretty…

3rd over: Sri Lanka 11-2 (Dilshan 7, M Jayawardene 0)

Jayawardene survives the hat-trick ball… what brilliant bowling from Anderson, who once again proves he can swing it anywhere in the world. Double wicket maiden.

WICKET! Sangakkara c Prior b Anderson 0

Anderson on a hat-trick! A carbon copy as Sangakkara has a flirt outside off. What a start!

WICKET! Thirimanne c Swann b Anderson 3

Anderson continues his fine start by catching Thirimanne's edge. He's bowling a perfect length and Thirimanne had been struggling to read the swing… Swann takes a simple catch at second slip.

2nd over: Sri Lanka 11-0 (Thirimanne 3, Dilshan 7)

Dilshan gets Sri Lanka off the mark by pushing Broad through midwicket for three. Thirimanne flicks behind square for two more. Broad then oversteps and Thirimanne flicks him for one more… Close! Dilshan edges an ugly slash over where third slip would have been. Expensive start this for Broad, 10 from the over.

Sportsmail's Paul Newman in Galle: 'England waste a review in first over. Unlike them. Strauss normally urges caution but Anderson and Prior were sure. Good decision, Tucker.'

1st over: Sri Lanka 0-0 (Thirimanne 0, Dilshan 0)

Anderson to open the bowling for England, the left-handed Thirimanne on strike. Some early swing for Anderson but the pitch is very slow… Appeal! They're reviewing it… It looked pretty good in full speed but the replay shows it pitched just outside leg, it might have been going over the top as well. Dramatic start! Maiden.

Assessing the conditions: Monty Panesar takes a look at the Galle pitch

Assessing the conditions: Monty Panesar takes a look at the Galle pitch

5.29am: The players are out in the middle… here we go.

5.18am: Here's some reading for you with just over 10 minutes until the start of play… Paul Newman previews the day's action here. Nasser Hussain reminds us of the challenging conditions in Sri Lanka here. And Lawrence Booth takes a look at the hosts' attack here.

5.08am: It'll be interesting to see whether Prior or Patel come in at No 6 but he won't have to worry about that for a while. England have three genuine spin options with Patel's inclusion.

5.05am: Strauss confirms Patel starts in place of the dropped Eoin Morgan and ahead of Ravi Bopara, otherwise England are unchanged from the last Test against Pakistan.

5.00am: BREAKING: Sri Lanka win the toss and elect to bat.

4.57am: BREAKING: Samit Patel looks set to start ahead of Ravi Bopara for England as he is handed his first cap. I'll have the full team news for you just as soon as it's confirmed.

4.45am: Good morning everyone and welcome to Sportmail's live coverage of the first Test between England and Sri Lanka in Galle. This is only a two-Test series, so with a maximum of 10 days cricket to be played over the next couple of weeks, it's vital England get off to a strong start of they are to banish those memories of the whitewash in Pakistan.

Here we go: The captains Andrew Strauss (left) and Mahela Jayawardene pose with the trophy ahead of the two-match series

Here we go: The captains Andrew Strauss (left) and Mahela Jayawardene pose with the trophy ahead of the two-match series