Tag Archives: return

Inter Milan fined 38,000 by UEFA after fans racially abuse Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor

Inter fined 38,000 after racial abuse of Spurs' Adebayor during Europa League tie

PUBLISHED:

16:17 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:18 GMT, 26 April 2013

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Inter Milan have been fined 45,000 euros (around 37,900) for 'the improper conduct of their fans' during the Europa League tie against Tottenham on March 14 in which striker Emmanuel Adebayor was racially abused.

Adebayor, who scored in the second leg tie in the San Siro as Tottenham progressed on away goals, and his team-mates were the victims of abuse by Inter fans waving an inflatable banana.

Manager Andre Villas-Boas implored UEFA to act after the match, which Spurs lost 4-1, pointing out Inter's black record for such incidents.

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Abuse: Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor was the victim of racist chants during the Europa League match with Inter Milan, a game in which he scored the decisive goal (below)

Emmanuel Adebayor scores for Tottenham against Inter Milan

Inter were fined only 43,000 by Serie A officials after former Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused during February's Milan derby and Villas-Boas pleaded with UEFA to hand out a more severe punishment this time.

Earlier in the season Lazio were also fined for racist chanting in their Group J tie at White Hart Lane in September and were reprimanded again for racist behaviour in November's return game.

More to follow..

Australia announce Ashes squad: Brad Haddin recalled as Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus miss out

Veteran Haddin recalled as Australia announce 16-man squad heading to England in bid to win back the Ashes

PUBLISHED:

02:22 GMT, 24 April 2013

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UPDATED:

02:30 GMT, 24 April 2013

Wicketkeeper Brad Haddin has been named as Australia vice-captain for the upcoming Ashes series in England.

The 35-year-old replaces Shane Watson, who stepped down as Michael Clarke's deputy after the troubled tour on India but remains part of the 16-man squad.

National selector John Inverarity said: 'We feel it's important to have a senior, seasoned player support Michael at this time.

Return the Urn: Michael Clarke (centre), Steve Waugh (left) and Mark Taylor before today's squad unveiling

Return the Urn: Michael Clarke (centre), Steve Waugh (left) and Mark Taylor before today's squad unveiling

Key dates

June 26-29: v Somerset

July 2-5: v Worcs

July 10-14: 1st Test, Trent Bridge

July 18-22: 2nd Test, Lord's

July 26-28: v Sussex

August 1-5: 3rd Test, Old Trafford

August 9-13: 4th Test, Durham

August 16-17: v Northants

August 21-25: 5th Test, The Oval

'When Shane Watson advised of his
decision to stand down, the NSP (national selection panel) viewed Brad
as the exceptional candidate to step into this leadership void.'

Matthew Wade, who has been Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper of late, will also travel to England.

'Matthew Wade is a very good cricketer and remains central to our plans for the future,' Inverarity added.

Left-arm seamer James Faulkner is the only uncapped player to be named, with Mitchell Johnson missing out.

Chris Rogers, the 35-year-old batsman
who has just one Test cap to his name, also makes the squad and seamer
Ryan Harris returns.

'Chris Rogers is a hardened
first-class cricketer and has been given a deserved opportunity on the
back of sustained run-scoring in both Australia and England over many
seasons,' said Inverarity.

Eyes on the prize: Brad Haddin has been recalled to the Australia squad to tour England this summer

Eyes on the prize: Brad Haddin has been recalled to the Australia squad to tour England this summer

'James Faulkner has also been given
an opportunity after impressing in recent months as an all-rounder. His
performance in last month's Bupa Sheffield Shield final was compelling
and he has now produced three consistently good seasons with the ball at
Shield level for Tasmania.

'He is a player who is seldom out of the game for long. He takes wickets, forms partnerships and makes valuable runs.

'Ryan Harris has regained fitness and
it is great to have such a very highly regarded and well-performed pace
bowler back in the mix.'

Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born
leg-spinner who has not yet received his Australian passport, has not
been included, leaving Nathan Lyon as the only spinner in the 16.

Ahmed also misses out on the 14-man
Australia A squad to tour the British Isles ahead of the Ashes, which
contains a number of players from the senior squad including Haddin, who
will captain the side, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Harris, Jackson
Bird and Nathan Lyon.

Steven Smith, who misses out on a
place in the Ashes squad despite some creditable performances in India,
is vice-captain of the A side.

Smith is one of five men to drop out
from the India squad – along with Johnson, Moises Henriques, Xavier
Doherty and Glenn Maxwell – which slipped to a 4-0 series defeat amid
high-profile problems with discipline.

Revenge: England were convincing 3-1 series winners in the 2010-11 series

Revenge: England were convincing 3-1 series winners in the 2010-11 series

Inverarity added: 'The tour to India was very demanding and a learning experience for all.

'The result was unacceptable and the
players, coaches, support staff and NSP are smarting from those
performances and are galvanised to ensure that we play tough,
competitive cricket throughout the Ashes.'

The first Ashes Test begins at Trent
Bridge on July 10, with two tour matches before that, while Australia A
will take on Scotland, Ireland and Gloucestershire, with the first match
getting under way in Edinburgh on June 7.

Lawrence Booth, Sportsmail cricket writer and editor of Wisden, gives a run down on the Australian squad heading to England for the Ashes series this summer

Michael Clarke

MICHAEL CLARKE (c)
AGE: 32
CAPS: 92
VERDICT: World cricket's in-form batsman in 2012, the captain will need to score three hundreds to give Australia a chance.

Brad Haddin

BRAD HADDIN (vc)
AGE: 35
CAPS: 44
VERDICT: Ousted by Wade behind the stumps, he's a spiky character who England would rather not have to deal with.

JACKSON BIRD

JACKSON BIRD
AGE: 26
CAPS: 2
VERDICT: Seam bowler who is not particularly fast but his ability to swing the ball both ways has proven very successful in domestic cricket.

Ed Cowan

ED COWAN
AGE: 30
CAPS: 17
VERDICT: Steady, cerebral left-handed opener, but unlikely to frighten the England attack.

Phillip Hughes

PHILLIP HUGHES
AGE: 24
CAPS: 24
VERDICT: England have exploited his vulnerability outside off stump in the past – expect more of the same, plus a peppering of short stuff.

David Warner

DAVID WARNER
AGE: 26
CAPS: 19
VERDICT: Another left-handed opener, he has the potential to destroy the opposition, but inconsistent at Test level. Jimmy Anderson will fancy swinging the ball into him.

Urn the victory: Former England captain Andrew Strauss led Eng;and to victory in the last series

Urn the victory: Former England captain Andrew Strauss led Eng;and to victory in the last series

James Faulkner

JAMES FAULKNER
AGE: 22
CAPS: 0
VERDICT: A left-arm seamer and hard-hitting batsman, the 22-year-old Faulkner is an outsider for a Test spot – but look out for him in the shorter stuff.

USMAN

USMAN KHAWAJA
AGE: 26
CAPS: 6
VERDICT: Left-handed top order batsman who was one of the four players dropped ahead of the third Test in India following a breach of discipline.

Shane Watson

SHANE WATSON
AGE: 31
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: Averaging only 25 since the start of 2011, he needs a big series to prove he was right to quit the vice-captaincy. Could do with bowling too.

Matthew Wade

MATTHEW WADE
AGE: 25
CAPS: 12
VERDICT: His batting can be punchy, but his glovework is shaky. And he's a place too high at No 6.

Nathan Lyon

NATHAN LYON
AGE: 25
CAPS: 22
VERDICT: Australia's first-choice spinner is tidy but unthreatening, and his confidence was knocked recently when he was dropped in India.

Ryan Harris

RYAN HARRIS
AGE: 33
CAPS: 12
VERDICT: Fast and hostile, as he showed when England lost at Perth in 2010-11. Only trouble is, he's rarely fit.

Home of cricket: The first Test in the five match series will take place at Lord's in north London

Home of cricket: The first Test in the five match series will take place at Lord's in north London

cHRIS rOGERS

CHRIS ROGERS
AGE: 35
CAPS: 1
VERDICT: Another left handed top order batsman whose one and only cap came against India in 2008. Played country cricket so is used to English conditions.

James Pattinson

JAMES PATTINSON
AGE: 22
CAPS: 10
VERDICT: Young, hungry, angry and highly talented. He will be the bowler England's batsmen fear most.

Rain on their parade: The Aussies will be hoping they have their own reasons to celebrate on English soil

Rain on their parade: The Aussies will be hoping they have their own Sprinkler Dance on English soil

Peter Siddle

PETER SIDDLE
AGE: 28
CAPS: 41
VERDICT: The workhorse of Australia's seam attack, he has improved hugely over the last year. But will he be bowled into the ground

Mitchell Starc

MITCHELL STARC
AGE: 23
CAPS: 9
VERDICT: Tall left-arm seamer who could be Australia's best chance of keeping Alastair Cook quiet. Can bat a bit too.

Jose Mourinho wants Chelsea job

Mourinho issues come-and-get-me plea to Chelsea ahead of potential Bridge return

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

07:03 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:03 GMT, 7 April 2013

Jose Mourinho has urged Chelsea to confirm his dramatic return to Stamford Bridge or risk missing out.

The Real Madrid boss is expected to take over from Rafa Benitez in the summer for a second stint in the Premier League.

But Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan are also reportedly waiting in the wings to pounce.

Time running out: Jose Mourinho has set his sights on a return to Chelsea at the end of the season

Time running out: Jose Mourinho has set his sights on a return to Chelsea at the end of the season

'Jose wants to go back to Chelsea. It’s where he wants to be,' a source told The Sun.

'Every time Chelsea fans sing his name it makes him want to go back even more.

'He’ll sign for the same money he’s on at Real, even though he’s sure he could earn more elsewhere — like City or PSG.

Easy street: Real Madrid cruised past Levante on Sunday night but remain well behind leaders Barcelona

Easy street: Real Madrid cruised past Levante on Sunday night but remain well behind leaders Barcelona

'Jose could even remain at Madrid but he is clear about where he’d like to go — it’s now down to if Roman Abramovich wants the same.'

Mourinho won six trophies in three seasons with Chelsea but was unable to lift the Champions League.

He hopes to do that at Wembley on May 25 with his Real Madrid side who are all but guaranteed a place in the last four after a 3-0 win over Galatasaray last week.

Moving on: Rafa Benitez is expected to quit his role as interim manager following the end of the season

Moving on: Rafa Benitez is expected to quit his role as interim manager following the end of the season

Benitez has never been accepted by the Chelsea faithful after taking over as interim manager following the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo.

The Spaniard had admitted he will leave at the end of the season but could yet clinch Europa League and FA Cup glory before his time is up.

Barcelona: Cesc Fabregas hat-trick Eric Abidal returns after transplant

Fabregas scores hat-trick but Abidal gets Nou Camp ovation on emotional return

By
Lee Bryan

PUBLISHED:

21:59 GMT, 6 April 2013

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UPDATED:

08:45 GMT, 7 April 2013

Cesc Fabregas scored the first hat-trick of his career as Barcelona moved closer to the Primera Division title with a 5-0 victory over Real Mallorca, but the main story was the return to action of Eric Abidal after a year out following liver surgery.

The home side were also inspired by
head coach Tito Vilanova, who was on the Nou Camp touchline for the
first time since January after undergoing treatment for cancer.

Abidal's appearance brought the crowd
to their feet, with the Frenchman given a standing ovation when he
replaced Gerard Pique in the 70th minute.

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Barcelona's Eric Abidal received a rousing reception

Happy return: Eric Abidal

The 33-year-old former France
defender, who was passed fit to return to training with his team mates
last month, is a huge favourite with the Barca fans.

In a pitch-side television interview with Spanish broadcaster Canal Plus, Abidal thanked the cousin who provided part of his liver for the procedure.

'It was a very special moment for me after a year out,' said Abidal, wearing a shirt with 'Merci mon cousin' on the front.

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

Tribute: Abidal shows a shirt to thank his cousin who donated his liver

'I want to thank my cousin as without him I would not be here today. It is a unique moment,' he added.

Abidal's return is well timed as Barca centre backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano and full back Adriano are all out injured at a critical stage of the season.

In the game itself, it was Fabregas who commanded the spotlight. In the injury-enforced absence of Lionel Messi, he scored three and
set up two for Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona romped home.

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Main man: Cesc Fabregas scored his first competitive hat-trick as the league leaders romped to victory

Mallorca held their own but it was no surprise when Barcelona made the breakthrough with two goals in two minutes.

Fabregas carried the ball from midfield and played a one-two with Alexis before steadying himself and coolly slotting the ball home across goalkeeper Dudu Aouate.

Mallorca's heads went down and in the 22nd minute they found themselves 2-0 adrift. This time Fabregas cut inside on the left of the area before unleashing a shot which Aouate pushed away from goal only for Alexis to follow up and fire home.

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

On the scoresheet: Alexis Sanchez was also on target in Barcelona's facile victory

In the 37th minute an intricate passing move ended with Fabregas laying a first-time ball off to Alexis on the right of the area which he reciprocated for Fabregas to drill home.

The former Arsenal captain was involved everywhere and a minute later he provided a superb pass over the top for Alexis, who had got between two defenders, controlling the ball with his right before slotting home with his left.

Fabregas wrapped up his hat-trick seconds after the restart when he collected Iniesta's threaded ball and checked inside the defender before slotting home from close range.

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.

Paris Saint-Germain 1 Valencia 1 (aggregate 3-2): Ezequiel Lavezzi scores

PSG 1 Valencia 1 (agg 3-2): Beckham celebrates from the bench as Lavezzi secures progression to the last eight

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 6 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:18 GMT, 7 March 2013

David Beckham led the celebrations as Paris Saint-Germain slugged rather than sashayed their way through to the Champions League quarter-finals after drawing with Valencia at the Parc des Princes.

It took the jolt of a fine Valencia goal from Jonas early in the second half to rouse the home side, and Ezequiel Lavezzi's equaliser secured a draw on the night and a narrow aggregate win.

It was Lavezzi's second goal of the tie after he and Javier Pastore scored in Spain three weeks ago. PSG were in full control at the Mestalla until a dramatic injury-time period saw Adil Rami pull a goal back and Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off, making tonight's second leg increasingly complicated on two counts.

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Just about: Ezequiel Lavezzi bundled home the equaliser before receiving a yellow card for removing his shirt

Nice tats: Lavezzi showed off his tattoos, including Jesus and compatriot Diego Maradona

Nice tats: Lavezzi showed off his tattoos, including Jesus and compatriot Diego Maradona

MATCH FACTS

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu, Thiago Silva, Alex, Maxwell, Matuidi, Chantome, Jallet (Van der Wiel 27), Motta (Gameiro 58), Lucas (Sakho 83) Moura, Lavezzi, Pastore

Subs not used: Douchez, Camara, Armand, Beckham

Goal: Lavezzi 66

Booked: Lavezzi

Valencia: Guaita, Cissokho, Barragan, Ruiz, Mathieu, Albelda (Banega 46), Feghouli (Piatti 63), Parejo, Facundo Costa, Jonas (Valdez 76), Soldado

Subs not used: Diego Alves, Joao Pereira, Guardado, Canales

Booked: Ruiz, Albelda, Soldado, Parejo

Goal: Jonas 55

Referee: Milorad Mazic

Ibrahimovic was given a two-match ban
by UEFA, and the Sweden striker was certainly missed on the field for
this return leg as he watched from the stands. Without him, the home
side were toothless in the first half.

They certainly did not appear a side capable of reaching the Wembley final on May 25, but on they go.

Those looking for romance forged at
home in the story of Parisian resurgence might prefer to overlook the
fact it has been funded by overseas money, since the 2011 takeover by
the Qatar Investment Authority.

Their budget is more Champions League
than Ligue 1, and the personnel brought to the Parc des Princes over
the last two years reflects it.

The sudden wealth means tangible
success in Europe is a requisite, so winning in Spain three weeks ago
was not the achievement it might have been considered before the
takeover and more another step in the plan for growth.

PSG are unbeaten in
their last 23 European home matches now but they were clinging on at
the end as Valencia sought the goal that would have forced extra-time.

Overjoyed: David Beckham celebrates Lavezzi's equaliser from the sidelines

Overjoyed: David Beckham celebrates Lavezzi's equaliser from the sidelines

Pick that one out: Jonas rifled Valencia into the lead in the second half

Pick that one out: Jonas rifled Valencia into the lead in the second half

Game on: Jonas celebrates his stunning goal after half-time to bring Valencia back into the tie

Game on: Jonas celebrates his stunning goal after half-time to bring Valencia back into the tie

Twisting: Lucas (left) turns away from his marker Jeremy Mathieu

Twisting: Lucas (left) turns away from his marker Jeremy Mathieu

With Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti
suspended, and winger Jeremy Menez injured, manager Carlo Ancelotti –
who won the Champions League in 2003 and 2007 with AC Milan – had a
weakened hand before kick-off.

Lucas started alongside Lavezzi in attack.

There was no room in the starting XI
for Beckham, squeezed out of central midfield by Thiago Motta and
Blaise Matuidi. The former England captain was primed on the bench but
stayed there.

PSG fans might have been wary that
their expensively-assembled team are prone to aberrations, such as their
league defeat to Reims at the weekend.

Jonas almost got in behind the home defence in the eighth minute but a foot in by Christophe Jallet denied him.

Valencia had a further chance when
Jonas linked up with strike partner Roberto Soldado. Salvatore Sirigu
smothered his low 15-yard shot.

Ouch: Blaise Matuidi lies on the turf after taking a hefty challenge

Ouch: Blaise Matuidi lies on the turf after taking a hefty challenge

Putting the boot in: Lucas Moura (right) swings in a cross

Putting the boot in: Lucas Moura (right) swings in a cross

Jonas sent a 20-yard shot bobbling wide, and Tino Costa cracked an ambitious effort several yards off target.

Sirigu palmed away a stinging 20-yard drive from Jonas just before the break, but it was a ball he might have caught.

From the corner that followed, Costa
struck the ball so sweetly it was missed by everyone in blue and red,
and also his team-mates as it swerved wide of the far post.

Limbering up: Beckham stretches ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's match

Limbering up: Beckham stretches ahead of Paris Saint-Germain's match

Eyes on the prize: The former England captain performs some kick-ups ahead of the game

Eyes on the prize: The former England captain performs some kick-ups ahead of the game

Waiting in the wings: Beckham warms up ahead of the clash with Valencia

Waiting in the wings: Beckham warms up ahead of the clash with Valencia

Benched: Beckham started the match on the sidelines

Benched: Beckham started the match on the sidelines

Ever Banega stepped out in place of Albelda for the second half, an attacking move by Valencia.
Jonas made the breakthrough in the 55th minute with a crashing 25-yard drive inside the left post.

Valencia had more zip about their
game, but PSG were level 11 minutes later though and it was Lavezzi who
woke the home crowd from an understandable stupor. Kevin Gameiro, on in
place of Thiago Motta, bustled through a couple of challenges before the
ball rolled kindly for his team-mate.

Vicente Guaita repelled Lavezzi's
15-yard blast but could then do nothing to prevent him tucking the ball
over the line with his knee.

Clement Chantome's 25-yard swipe drew a solid save from Guaita, with PSG on top for perhaps the first time in the match.

Valencia poured pressure on the Paris
goal in the closing minutes but they struggled to get in behind as their
campaign reached its end.

Steven Gerrard Coronation Street visit pictured

PICTURED: Gerrard in top-secret meeting in Manchester… in tour of Coronation Street!

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

15:19 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:40 GMT, 18 February 2013

What's this Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in a top-secret Manchester meeting It can only mean one thing, of course… he's on a guided tour of Coronation Street!

The England international entertained his daughters on their half-term school break by taking them for a walk down the famous cobbles of Weatherfield on a special tour with Liverpool-supporting actress, Sue Johnston.

Set play: Steven Gerrard takes a tour of Coronation Street with actress Sue Johnston

Set play: Steven Gerrard takes a tour of Coronation Street with actress Sue Johnston

Johnston, who plays battleaxe gran Gloria Price in the ITV1 soap, greeted Gerrard on the set before showing him around.

After losing to West Brom and Zenit St Petersburg, Liverpool ended a miserable week on a high in Sunday's emphatic 5-0 win over Swansea at Anfield.

Meet and greet: Gerrard thanks fellow Scouser Johnston after treating him to a special tour of Weatherfield

Thanks for the memories: Gerrard hugs friend Johnston after the tour

Meet and greet: Gerrard thanks fellow Scouser Johnston after treating him to a special tour of Weatherfield

Gerrard, 32, was on the scoresheet with a 34th minute penalty to ensure everything went according to script for the hosts.

Indeed, his manager Brendan Rodgers might have deemed it enough to reward the goalscoring star with a treat.

However, there were no signs of Gerrard popping into the Rovers Return for a well-earned pint. But he probably did visit in the 'Korner' Kabin…

Happy days: Gerrard scored from the spot in Liverpool's 5-0 win over Swansea

Rovers return: Sue Johnston plays the character of Gloria Price in Coronation Street

Rovers return: Gerrard, who scored against Swansea, visited actress Johnston (who plays Gloria Price, right)

VIDEO: STEVIE G SCORES AGAINST SWANSEA

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VIDEO: SUE JOHNSTON AS GLORIA PRICE IN CORONATION STREET

Valencia 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore score before Zlatan Ibrahimovic is sent off

Valencia 1 PSG 2: Lavezzi and Pastore give visitors upper hand before Zlatan sees red

PUBLISHED:

21:37 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:07 GMT, 12 February 2013

Adil Rami popped up with a crucial stoppage-time strike to hand Valencia a lifeline in their Champions League last-16 tie against Paris St Germain at the Mestalla tonight.

PSG looked on course for a dream result as first-half goals by Argentinian duo Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore put Carlo Ancelotti's men firmly in the driving seat, but their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals suffered a setback in the space of two wild minutes at the end of the contest.

First Rami stole in behind the defence to reduce the arrears for Los Che before PSG's talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for aiming a stamp at Andres Guardado.

Doubling up: Javier Pastore (right) scored Paris Saint-Germain's second of the evening

Doubling up: Javier Pastore (right) scored Paris Saint-Germain's second of the evening

Excellent start: Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) is hoisted up by Zlatan Ibrahimovic after opening the scoring for PSG

Excellent start: Ezequiel Lavezzi (right) is hoisted up by Zlatan Ibrahimovic after opening the scoring for PSG

Needless: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was red-carded for a lunge by referee Paolo Tagliavento

Needless: Zlatan Ibrahimovic was red-carded for a lunge by referee Paolo Tagliavento

MATCH FACTS

Valencia: Guaita, Rami, Joao Pereira, Guardado, Costa, Oliveira (Valdez 46), Feghouli (Viera 83), Banega (Canales 46), Parejo, Facundo, Costa, Soldado

Subs not used: Diego Alves, Ruiz, Albelda, Piatti

Booked: Joao Pereira

Goal: Rami 90

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu, Sakho, Alex, Maxwell, Jallet, Matuidi, Verratti, Pastore (Armand 88), Lucas Moura (Chantome 53), Lavezzi (Menez 76), Ibrahimovic

Subs not used: Douchez, Camara, Van Der Wiel, Gameiro

Booked: Verratti

Sent off: Ibrahimovic 90

Goals: Lavezzi 10, Pastore 43

Referee: Paolo Tagliavento (Italy)

Attendance: 55,000

The red card means Ibrahimovic is
suspended for the return leg along with defensive midfielder Marco
Verratti, who picked up his third booking of the campaign.

PSG's late implosion took the shine off an otherwise impressive performance by Ancelotti's troops.

Certainly the watching David Beckham,
who recently joined PSG on a five-month deal but was not in the squad
today due to a lack of match fitness, will have been encouraged by what
he saw.

However, that Lucas Moura played such
an influential role for the Parisians will not have been lost on the
37-year-old, with the Brazilian's pace and trickery down the right
channel not something the set-piece maestro can realistically expect to
replicate.

Lucas was a thorn in Valencia's side
in the opening period and had the first chance on nine minutes when he
latched on to the ball after Ibrahimovic's run was halted and crashed an
effort against the post.

PSG did not have long to dwell on that miss, however, as they took the lead 60 seconds later.

Marching order: Ibrahimovic will miss the next leg of the tie

Marching order: Ibrahimovic will miss the next leg of the tie

Consolation: Adil Rami gave Valencia hope of progressing after cutting PSG's advantage in half late on

Consolation: Adil Rami gave Valencia hope of progressing after cutting PSG's advantage in half late on

Colossus: Ibrahimovic holds off the challenge of Tino Costa

Colossus: Ibrahimovic holds off the challenge of Tino Costa

Making a mark: Salvatore Sirigu (centre) catches the ball to halt a Valencia attack

Making a mark: Salvatore Sirigu (centre) catches the ball to halt a Valencia attack

Lavezzi started and finished the
move, exchanging passes with Pastore on the edge of the area and
advancing beyond the lunging challenge of Ricardo Costa before crashing a
powerful finish beyond Vicente Guaita, who should perhaps have done
better.

Guardado flashed an effort over the
bar as Valencia went in search of the leveller, but it was PSG who
looked most likely to add to the scoring, with Lucas and Lavezzi
bringing saves from Guaita.

PSG's second goal arrived two minutes before the break, but again the Valencia goalkeeper will feel he should have done better.

Lucas, having impressed with a couple
of surging runs from his own half, gave a demonstration of what he can
deliver in the final third as he beat two men on the byline before
running into the area and pulling the ball back for Pastore, whose
first-time finish went through the legs of Guaita.

Aerial battle: Christophe Jallet (left) is unable to compete with Ever Banega in the air

Aerial battle: Christophe Jallet (left) is unable to compete with Ever Banega in the air

Anguish: David Beckham and Leonardo (right) watch the tie

Anguish: David Beckham and Leonardo (right) watch the tie

Valencia coach Ernesto Valverde
shuffled his back at the interval, with striker Nelson Valdez and
attacking midfielder Sergio Canales entering the action for Ever Banega
and Jonas.

Valdez almost made an immediate
impression when his back header from a corner was tipped over by
Salvatore Sirigu under pressure from Roberto Soldado.

Lucas' impressive outing was ended on
53 minutes as Ancelotti sacrificed the attacking flair of the Brazilian
for the more defensive midfield option of Clement Chantome.

Chantome's added midfield bite was
unable to prevent Soldado getting in behind the visiting defence on 61
minutes, the striker running on to Tino Costa's lofted pass only to see
the chance come to nothing as his heavy touch took the ball away from
goal.

On 72 minutes PSG were denied a third
when Chantome turned the ball home after a good move following a
free-kick, the substitute rightly ruled to have been coming back from an
offside position.

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Making an appearance: David Beckham (centre) was inside the stadium to support his new team-mates

Valdez passed up a glorious chance to
get Valencia back into the contest when he stole in ahead of Alex to
reach another lofted pass by Costa, but the striker shanked his
left-footed finish into the side-netting.

Costa's powerful free-kick drew a
good parry from Sirigu in the 87th minute, but the PSG goalkeeper was
culpable for Valencia's late reply, which gives Valverde's men huge hope
ahead of the return.

No chance: Blaise Matuidi (right) snatches the ball away from Daniel Parejo (left) of Valencia

No chance: Blaise Matuidi (right) snatches the ball away from Daniel Parejo (left) of Valencia

Flare up: Visiting Paris Saint-Germain fans set off a flare in the stands

Flare up: Visiting Paris Saint-Germain fans set off a flare in the stands

Costa created the chance with a
chipped free-kick over the top of the Valencia defence, although as the
ball floated into the six-yard box the goalkeeper should have come to
claim.

Instead, Sirigu stayed rooted to his line, leaving Rami unchallenged as he cleverly steered the ball into the net.

And with almost the very last action
of the night PSG's efforts were further diluted when Ibrahimovic allowed
himself to become riled as he challenged with two Valencia players and
went over the ball in a challenge with Guardado, prompting the referee
to brandish the red card.

Star man: Lavezzi (left) was in exceptional form and looked a constant threat

Star man: Lavezzi (left) was in exceptional form and looked a constant threat

Tussle: Matuidi and Banega (right) battle away in the middle of the park

Tussle: Matuidi and Banega (right) battle away in the middle of the park

Sean O"Driscoll is the frontrunner for the Blackpool job

EXCLUSIVE: O'Driscoll the shock name for Blackpool job

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

21:31 GMT, 11 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:33 GMT, 11 January 2013

Sean O’Driscoll has emerged as a shock frontrunner for the Blackpool job and could be confirmed as Michael Appleton’s successor in the next 24 hours.

After agreeing a compensation package with Blackburn for the loss of Appleton, who watched his new team from the stands against Wolves at Molineux, Blackpool were expected to move for Bradford boss Phil Parkinson.

Heir apparent: Sean O'Driscoll is being lined up for the Blackpool job. He was sacked from Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day after beating Leeds 4-2

Heir apparent: Sean O'Driscoll is being lined up for the Blackpool job. He was sacked from Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day after beating Leeds 4-2

But Sportsmail understands they have turned their attention to former Nottingham Forest manager O’Driscoll and are close to striking an agreement to install him as their new manager.

After being controversially sacked by Forest, despite taking them to the fringes of the play-off places, O’Driscoll turned down an approach from Barnsley, after speaking to Oakwell officials but deciding the job was not for him.

Taking the reins at Blackpool is viewed as a different proposition, though, and he looks to be on the verge of a swift return to Championship management, with Parkinson waiting in the wings, should the deal hit a last-minute hitch.

Enlarge

Quick exit: Michael Appleton (pictured) has left to join Blackburn - he was only in charge at Bloomfield Road for just two months

Quick exit: Michael Appleton (pictured) has left to join Blackburn – he was only in charge at Bloomfield Road for just two months

Cristiano Ronaldo linked with Manchester United return after rejecting Real Madrid deal

Manchester United on red alert as Ronaldo snubs fresh contract at Real Madrid

|

UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 28 December 2012

Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to sign a new deal with Real Madrid and could be targeted for a dramatic return to Manchester United.

The Portuguese striker has indicated he will snub Real’s offer on the table, and plans on seeing out the final two years on his contract. In doing so, the Galacticos could stand to lose their 80million star for free, in 2015.

The likelihood of anyone matching what Real snapped him up from Old Trafford for in 2009 is slim, which could force a cut-price sale.

Moving on Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to sign a new contract at Real Madrid

Moving on Cristiano Ronaldo has refused to sign a new contract at Real Madrid

Paris Saint-Germain and their seemingly limitless transfer funds are leading the race to sign the 27-year old, believed to be willing to part with up to 90m. It would break transfer world records if it went through, although there are few indications this will happen.

The Ballon d’Or finalist has been offered a contract extension until 2018, increasing his salary by 50 per cent to a whopping 15m a year, but reports of his increasing dissatisfaction in Madrid suggest he will be ready to leave as soon as the end of the season.

Interestingly, despite scoring 23 goals in all competitions for the La Liga champions, his image in Spain has taken a few dents.

He blamed those within the clubs for him feeling ‘sad’ in the capital, claiming they have not provided enough support for him.

Thumbs up: Ronaldo is still a firm favourite with fans at Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson recently revealed he would love to re-sign Ronaldo for Manchester United

Thumbs up: Sir Alex Ferguson recently revealed he would love to re-sign Ronaldo for Manchester United

United meanwhile, will certainly keep close tabs on his touted movements. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has confessed he would ‘love’ to bring Ronaldo back one day, but talk is already circulating of him returning along with Madrid coach Jose Mourinho to succeed Fergie, in the coup of the decade.

Ronaldo is still good friends with with former United team-mate Patrice Evra, who said: “He’s done amazing things in Madrid, but has not received the respect he deserves.”

Real defender Raul Albiol, however, hopes it is nothing but speculation, before referring to lingering unrest at the Bernabeu.

‘I don’t know if he’s going to renew his contract or not,’ he told reporters.

‘But Cristiano Ronaldo is the best in the world and we want him by our side as long as possible.’

Albiol has appealed for the club to move on from the controversy caused by Mourinho’s decision to drop stalwart goalkeeper Iker Casillas for deputy Antonio Adan.

‘After 10 years as a starter, the day that Casillas was a substitute surprised everybody. But I think the controversy was too much. Even Iker said that.

‘We must forget these things that happen outside the club and do our best to win things in 2013. Mourinho took the decision and that’s that.

‘We will continue training to be at our best level. We must be united. We all want the best for Real Madrid.’