Tag Archives: returning

Shane Warne"s return: Sportsmail looks at others who came back

The Roaring Forties! As Warne targets return, Sportsmail looks at others who couldn't stay away

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UPDATED:

22:31 GMT, 4 December 2012

Australian cricketer Shane Warne has opened the door to a return to international cricket in time for the Ashes this summer.

Here, Sportsmail takes a look back at sportsmen who simply couldn't stay away…

Michael Schumacher

The seven-time Formula One world champion announced his return at 41, driving in the 2010 season for Mercedes.

He finished his first season ninth in the drivers' championship with 72 points and his second in eighth.

After his final race last month in Brazil, he finished 13th in the drivers' championship.

Returning hero: Michael Schumacher went back to Formula 1 after retiring

Returning hero: Michael Schumacher went back to Formula 1 after retiring

Thomas Muster

The winner of the 1995 French Open announced his return to tennis in June 2010 at the age of 43.

Muster played in a Challenger tournament in Germany, but lost in the first round and in his next three tournaments.

His first win came in his fifth Challenger tournament and he finally retired after losing at the Erste Bank Open in October 2010.

Evander Holyfield

The four-time world boxing champion came back in August 2006 aged 42. He defeated Jeremy Bates before losing to Sultan Ibragimov in October 2007 in a WBO heavyweight title fight.

Holyfield was beaten again in December 2008 by Nikolai Valuev and won his last fight against Brian Nielsen in May 2011 by a technical knockout.

Back between the ropes: Evander Holyfield

Back between the ropes: Evander Holyfield

Fred Titmus

IN 1975, the 42-year-old off-spinner made a return to the England team, playing in the fourth Ashes Test, taking seven wickets and scoring 61.

He played in two one-day internationals against New Zealand, taking 3-53 in the second before playing his last full year in 1976 in England. He made his last appearance for Middlesex in 1982, aged 50.

Lester Piggott

The legendary jockey retired in 1985 but in 1987 was convicted of tax fraud and jailed for three years.

After serving 366 days and being stripped of his OBE, Piggott resumed racing in 1990, aged 45.

He won the Breeders' Cup Mile on Royal Academy and the 2000 Guineas on Rodrigo de Triano in 1992.

Piggott rode his last winner in October 1994.

Remember me Lester Piggott, champion flat race jockey, couldn't stay away

Remember me Lester Piggott, champion flat race jockey, couldn't stay away

Mark Spitz

Spitz retired immediately after winning seven swimming golds at the 1972 Munich Olympics, aged 22.

But at 41 he returned to the pool in 1992 to try for a place on the USA swimming team for the Barcelona Olympics.

He finished two seconds outside the qualifying time at the Olympic trials and retired again.

Ricky Hatton comeback receives British baton after Carl Froch glory – Jeff Powell boxing column

Over to you, Ricky: Froch hands over British baton to returning hero Hatton

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 20 November 2012

Carl Froch continues his climb towards the top five of the world pound-for-pound rankings.
Ricky Hatton will try to join him on the ladder on Saturday when he starts a comeback in which he is aiming to regain world titles.

Amir Khan will attempt to reignite his championship career with a fight in America on December 15th.
One month later Kell Brook gets his first world title shot, against Devon Alexander in the US.

British boxing is back on the offensive, launched by the performance of Froch in destroying Yusaf Mack at the weekend which ridiculed the argument that the Nottingham Cobra is not a star in the firmament of the ring.

Mack attack: Carl Froch retained his world title with an explosive third round victory in Nottingham on Saturday

Mack attack: Carl Froch retained his world title with an explosive third round victory in Nottingham on Saturday

Sitting pretty: IBF super-middleweight king Froch celebrates his defence with his partner Rachel Cordingley

Sitting pretty: IBF super-middleweight king Froch celebrates his defence with his partner Rachel Cordingley

More from Jeff Powell…

Jeff Powell: Cannon fodder will help Brits catch the big fish in the end
12/11/12

Jeff Powell: Fury on the campaign trail for a world title if Klitschko's political move disappoints Haye
05/11/12

Jeff Powell: Steward is gone but Hearns will fight for The Kronk to live on
29/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: So long, Ricky Fatton! Returning Hitman vows to quit boozing between bouts
22/10/12

Jeff Powell: Retired and broke, Holyfield still has hope… but it's help he really needs
15/10/12

Jeff Powell: Tyson takes time to show Hatton and Haye the way back to the top
08/10/12

Jeff Powell: Sold out arena, tough opponent… all Hatton needs now is a TV station
01/10/12

Jeff Powell boxing column: Boxers are brave but none more so than Big Corrie
24/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Our world super-middleweight champion is actually improving at 35 and former world light-heavyweight title holder Glenn McCrory, now a Sky Sports commentator, went so far as to compare him with the legendary likes of Stanley Ketchell.

Hatton, a year younger, returns to the ring more than three years after being flattened by Manny Pacquiao proclaiming that the fire still burns in his belly. His ferocity in training lends weight to that conviction and he has deliberately chosen a tough opponent to provide the litmus test.

Vyacheslav Senchenko, an immediate past world welterweight champion, has lost only once in 33 fights and Hatton says: ‘If I feel good against this guy I will know everything is back in working order.'

A valid Hatton comeback followed by a win for Khan and a successful world title venture to the US by Brook against Devon Alexander on January 19 would revive Britain’s share of the trans-Atlantic bragging rights.

Brook has the tougher task but victory over the technically clever but less physical Alexander is not impossible.

Whatever happens in the coming months, Froch is carrying the flag with a flourish as well as great pride.

Welcome back, Ricky: Hatton relaunches his career in the ring in Manchester this weekend

Welcome back, Ricky: Hatton relaunches his career in the ring in Manchester this weekend

VIDEO: Watch Hatton prepare for his ring return

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Pacquiao success over Marquez prompts Nevada change

The long-running controversy over the decisions given to Manny Pacquiao in his three fights with Juan Manuel Marquez thus far is reported to have co-erced the Nevada State Athletic Commission into a change of long-standing policy.

The Commission has always maintained the right to appoint all fight officials from within their own state jurisdiction.

It seems they are ready to make an exception for Pacquiao-Marquez IV. The referee is expected to be a Nevadan, and one of the judges. But the second and third scorers at ringside are likely to be an Englishman and a judge from New Jersey.

It's war... again: Pacquaio and Marquez will face off for a fourth time next month

It's war… again: Pacquaio and Marquez will face off for a fourth time next month

The assumption is that the pressure for this change has come from the Marquez camp but it may work against him.

A full house of Nevada officials in the MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 8 would have known that the eyes of the world were upon them and may have felt the heat to give the Mexican the benefit of any doubt, following two close wins and a draw for the PacMan.

The outsiders will view proceedings with fresh eyes and no past baggage.

Thierry Henry at Emirates ahead of Arsenal v Tottenham

Need a hand Arsenal legend Henry rocks up at Emirates to cheer on former club in north London derby with Tottenham

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UPDATED:

15:25 GMT, 17 November 2012

A true Arsenal great was at the Emirates stadium today to see them crush their north London derby opponents Tottenham 5-2.

Thierry Henry was pictured with his old manager Arsene Wenger before the bitter rivals came face to face.

The Frenchman nestled in to watch the pulsating clash alongside former Tottenham and Arsenal centre back Sol Campbell.

Legend: Thierry Henry (right) was at the Emirates with Arsene Wenger before Arsenal took on Tottenham

Legend: Thierry Henry (right) was at the Emirates with Arsene Wenger before Arsenal took on Tottenham

In good company: Sol Campbell (left) joined Henry to watch the game

In good company: Sol Campbell (left) joined Henry to watch the game

Wenger did not need the former France
international leading the line against Tottenham with his strikers
Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Theo Walcott all on the scoresheet.

Arsenal's No 14, Theo Walcott, who
inherited the number from Thierry, began on the right in the bid to
topple Andre Villas-Boas' visitors.

Henry, Arsenal's all-time record goalscorer, bagged 226 goals for the club during his two spells at the Gunners.

The 35-year-old currently plies his trade in the MLS for the New York Red Bulls, but returned to Arsenal last season during the American league's off-season.

Great: Henry is Arsenal's all-time record scorer

Great: Henry is Arsenal's all-time record scorer

The MLS season draws to a close at the
end of the month, and Henry will be looking for somewhere to train, or
perhaps even play, during his months off. Although unlikely, Wenger
would surely have to consider a third stint at Arsenal for the legendary
striker he signed from Juventus in 1999.

During
his two-month return at Arsenal, the returning hero managed to score
when he came off the bench against Leeds United in the FA Cup third
round.

He also scored a
stoppage time winner against Sunderland in his final league game for the
club before returning to the Red Bulls in February.

Across the pond: Henry currently plays for the New York Red Bulls

Across the pond: Henry currently plays for the New York Red Bulls

Lukas Podolski wants to get Arsenal tattoo

Podolski ready to make his mark at Arsenal… by getting a club tattoo on his arm

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UPDATED:

08:39 GMT, 21 September 2012

Lukas Podolski admits he could be tempted to have another tattoo if things continue to go well at Arsenal.

Podolski has the crest of home-town club Cologne inked on the inside of his right arm as a mark of respect for the team he joined at the age of 10, and left for the second time this summer in an 11million deal.

And the German striker, who endured a difficult three-season stint at Bayern Munich before returning home in 2009, is hopeful of making a similarly lasting success of his time at the Emirates Stadium.

Body art: Arsenal's Lukas Podolski has a tattoo of former club Cologne on the inside of his right arm

Body art: Arsenal's Lukas Podolski has a tattoo of former club Cologne on the inside of his right arm

'Cologne meant so much to me because I was there for a long time, maybe I will do the same with Arsenal because I like this club,' Podolski said.

'It is a big club and maybe we can do a tattoo. We can speak about this in the next three or four years.'

Podolski netted his third goal in as many games when the Gunners came from behind to beat Montpellier away in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

And along with fellow summer signing Santi Cazorla, the 27-year-old has integrated quickly into an Arsenal side reshaped following the 24million sale of captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United.

He added: 'When I came on the first day to the club everyone made it easy for me.

Talking to the boss: Podolski and Brazilian defender Andre Santos talk to Arsene Wenger during training

Talking to the boss: Podolski and Brazilian defender Andre Santos talk to Arsene Wenger during training

For club and country: German defender Per Mertesacker with Podolski

For club and country: German defender Per Mertesacker with Podolski

'Not only the team around the team, the coaches, the physios, the president and all the staff make it easy for me.

'We have only played four or five matches and I have three goals and I am very happy about the good start for me and for the team.

'We must keep fit and well – it is a long, long season.'

Cool as you like: Podolski scores against Montpellier

Cool as you like: Podolski scores against Montpellier

Arsenal have conceded just a single goal in the Barclays Premier League so far, and that following a mistake by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny in the 6-1 thrashing of Southampton.

Going forward the Gunners have looked almost irresistible, with the only thing missing being Olivier Giroud finding the net for the first time.

Podolski admits Arsenal's passing style very much suits his game, whether playing wide on the left or down the centre.

However, he warned against getting swept away in the hype as Arsenal prepare for Sunday's trip to champions Manchester City.

'The team and [manager] Arsene [Wenger] make it easy. Last week we played very well. This is the style of football that I like, we play with one or two touches,' he said.

'We play straight to the front, but we have only played four matches and we are not ready to speak about the title or the Champions League.

'We must carry on playing like the last few matches and we must keep on fighting.'

Jack Wilshere returned to training with the squad this week after missing the whole of last season with an ankle problem, but the England midfielder will not be rushed back into action.

Szczesny, meanwhile, missed the midweek trip to France because of a rib problem, so Vito Mannone could again deputise at City.

Brighton 0 Cardiff 0 – match report

Brighton 0 Cardiff 0: Kuszczak saves Seagulls a point with stunning stops

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UPDATED:

21:15 GMT, 21 August 2012

Goalkeepers Tomasz Kuszczak and David Marshall ensured an entertaining game ended goalless with a series of top-class saves as Brighton registered their first point in the npower Championship this season.

Brighton goalkeeper Kuszczak, a free summer signing from Manchester United, and opposite number Marshall were both in imperious form as their respective sides created a hatful of chances in either half.

The pick of Kuszczak's efforts was a double save in the 77th minute to deny Cardiff substitutes Joe Mason and Etien Velikonja, while Marshall kept out goalbound efforts from Brighton pair Craig Mackail-Smith and Saltor Bruno among others.

Stalemate: Brighton and Cardiff could not be separated at the Amex

Stalemate: Brighton and Cardiff could not be separated at the Amex

MATCH FACTS:

Brighton: Kuszczak, Bruno, Greer, El-Abd, Bridge, Crofts, Dicker (Harley 82), Bridcutt, Barnes (LuaLua 63), Noone (Vicente 82), Mackail-Smith.

Subs Not Used: Ankergren, Dunk, Calderon, Agdestein.

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Cowie, Gunnarsson, Mutch (Mason 46), Helguson (Velikonja 77), Bellamy (Conway 73).

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Kiss, Earnshaw, Blake.

Booked: Mutch.

Attendance: 25,518

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Check out all the latest, stats, facts and table from the Championship

Both managers named unchanged sides
at the Amex Stadium, Gus Poyet fielding the same Brighton XI that
started in Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Hull and Malky Mackay keeping faith
with those that had earned a 1-0 win over Huddersfield last Friday.

Bluebirds defender Ben Turner saw his
goalbound header from Peter Whittingham's seventh-minute corner blocked
by Brighton striker Mackail-Smith, while returning hero Craig Bellamy
crashed a 30-yard shot straight into the hands of home goalkeeper
Kuszczak.

Brighton took a little longer to get
going, but Marshall was forced to hold Ashley Barnes' angled drive in
the 12th minute before the visitors threatened again.

Cardiff defender Andrew Taylor swung
over a decent cross, but Bellamy's strike partner Heidar Helguson
steered the ball tamely over the bar.

Mackail-Smith went close to giving
the Seagulls the lead in the 22nd minute. His first shot was deflected
for a corner and when the ball was played back in the Brighton forward
was quickest to react, only to see Marshall parry the ball to safety at
full stretch.

Marshall then kept out Craig Noone's
angled effort from inside the penalty area before the action shifted to
the other end, where Whittingham's excellent free-kick from 25 yards –
after he was fouled by Brighton defender Gary Dicker – brought the best
out of Kuszczak.

Cardiff midfielder Jordon Mutch was
forced out through injury at half-time and replaced by Mason, but it had
little effect on the visitors, who threatened first after the break
through Whittingham's curling effort that flew just wide.

At the other end Brighton went closer
to breaking the deadlock, first through winger Andrew Crofts – whose
shot was blocked by Turner – and then Spanish defender Bruno, whose
effort from the subsequent corner was superbly saved by Marshall.

Brighton boss Poyet sent on Kazenga
LuaLua for Barnes in the 63rd minute and, after midfield team-mate Craig
Noone had fired a shot straight at Marshall, opposite number Mackay
responded by withdrawing Bellamy and sending on Craig Conway.

Conway's midfield partner Don Cowie
let fly from 30 yards, but was thwarted by Kuszczak as both sides went
in search of the winner.

Kuszczak came to Brighton's rescue
again with a fine double save to deny Mason and substitute striker
Velikonja, who had replaced Helguson moments earlier, in quick
succession with 15 minutes left.

The goalmouth action dried up in the
closing stages as both sides settled for a point at the end of a
thoroughly entertaining goalless draw.

Ireland hope to banish ghosts "91 Poznan loss

Chance to do new Poznan as Ireland hope to banish ghosts '91 loss

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UPDATED:

00:45 GMT, 9 June 2012

The defining nine days of Giovanni Trapattoni's reign as Republic of Ireland manager begin on Sunday in an ancient Polish city associated with a wacky goal celebration and a costly Irish collapse in 1991.

Before 'doing a Poznan' went global, 'doing a Poznan' among Irish fans referred to a grim implosion by the Irish side in the final 20 minutes of a European qualifier.

Still working: (l-r) Richard Dunne and Paul McShane are edged out by Keiren Westwood in training

Still working: (l-r) Richard Dunne and Paul McShane are edged out by Keiren Westwood in training

Blowing a 3-1 lead cost the team qualification for the finals of the 1992 European Championship and sparked off a succession of horror stories about trying to make the Euro finals – the Irish fell agonisingly short in 1996 and 2000.

Euro 2012

Returning to the scene of the crime, where Croatia await in the Municipal Stadium (7.45), gives the class of 2012 the opportunity to exorcise the demons of Poznan past and point the way towards extending their Euro adventure beyond the group stage.

Trapattoni says it is 'silly' to think Ireland can win the tournament as 'too many situations must go in our favour', but escaping from a group containing the last two World Cup winners would represent success for a team of Ireland's status.

Trapattoni said he feels forever young but he has shaped the team in the image of old Italian sides – difficult to beat and difficult to love.

Talking tactics: Giovanni Trapattoni chats with Richard Dunne

Talking tactics: Giovanni Trapattoni chats with Richard Dunne

After four years of 'drill, drill, drill' as Richard Dunne observed, every Irish player 'knows his jobs' as Trapattoni quaintly puts it.

Watch on Sunday.

Shay Given won't roll the ball once to his fullbacks; the full-backs will only cross the half-way line with written permission; one of the central midfielders will stay behind the ball; Dunne won't go up for every corner.

This is the team that Trapattoni has built, a pragmatic platoon, obedient to a fault to their Little General's commands.

Not everyone likes the way we play but Trapattoni's philosophy and strategy have taken Ireland further than many believed possible and he won't change now, despite his philosophising that 'it's an old man who isn't curious about the next news'.

At 73, some 30 years older than Croatia coach Slaven Bilic, Trapattoni remains besotted by the game that has consumed his life for more than 50 years.

His teenage kicks have lasted longer than The Undertones.

Talking down chances: Trapattoni knows the pain of an early exit

Talking down chances: Trapattoni knows the pain of an early exit

Yet, for all his achievements, the dapper Italian has a little devil on his shoulder which he can't shake off.

Twice, he took highly-rated Italian squads to the major finals; twice he failed to leave an imprint – even if he was hard done by in 2002.

Those early exits still sting and Trapattoni can only banish the baby Beelzebub on his clavicle by leading his squad of blue-collar workers out of Group C.

Can it be done

Yes, but it will require a lot of cards to fall Ireland's way.

Trapattoni can't afford injuries or red cards to the cornerstones of his team – Given, Dunne, and Robbie Keane.

The leg-wary looseness we saw in Hungary can't be repeated either and Ireland must be as tight as a miser's fist from the off on Sunday night.

In with a shout: Shay Given had his first full training session on Friday

In with a shout: Shay Given had his first full training session on Friday

The longer it stays scoreless, the more likely Croatia will become frustrated.

Staying behind a bolted door all night won't be enough from the Irish who must look to win the game, ideally with a late goal, as it would give them bargaining power for the other games to come.

In all of Ireland's previous opening games in major finals, they have never lost; that trend must continue on Sunday.

Despite their ranking of eighth in the world, there is no reason the Irish should feel inferior to the Croats – especially not after going 14 games unbeaten.

In six previous meetings, the Irish had two wins and three draws, the most recent being a tame 0-0 affair in Dublin last August.

The only loss came after a goal deep into stoppage time against a weakened Irish side in a Zagreb Euro qualifier in '99.

It's not just history that is on Ireland's side. Croatia may have a fancy ranking, but they didn't create fireworks in the qualifiers.

Standing in Ireland's way: Croatia head coach Slaven Bilic (right) and Luca Modric (left)

Standing in Ireland's way: Croatia head coach Slaven Bilic (right) and Luca Modric (left)

Standing in Ireland's way: Croatia head coach Slaven Bilic (right) and Luca Modric (left)

In a weak group, they managed no goals and only one point against a Greek side which should have been buried without trace by Poland by half-time in Warsaw on Friday night.

True, they are superior technicians than the Irish but most teams are, and they have Luka Modric to pull the strings.

Modric is a class act but is no stranger to Glenn Whelan and Keith Andrews, who will look to close him down and deny him space to tee up powerful spearhead, Nikica Jelavic.

A big plus for the Irish has been the preparations which have run far smoother than before.

Ten years ago, Irish heads were spinning over the fallout to the Roy Keane affair and the focus only returned when the team fell behind against Cameroon in the opening game.

The unity in this squad is as strong as any at a major final before and that sense of togetherness cannot be underestimated as the players would run through a brick wall for each other.

It's a massive bonus too that all of Trapattoni's prayers have been answered and his front-line players will strip fit for battle.

In contrast, Croatia are without experienced striker Ivica Olic.

The most eagerly-awaited international since Ireland went toe to toe with Spain in a sweat box in Suwon is almost upon us and a nation turns its lonely eyes to the little man from Milan and the players he has placed his trust in.

From Budapest to the Baltic Sea, thunderstorms have followed Ireland all week – Friday night's tempest was a right belter.

It's time to stir up a squall on the field of play, or risk being becalmed when the Spanish galleons drop anchor off Gdansk on Thursday night.

Old Trafford match zone: Sir Alex Ferguson takes Europa rap

Old Trafford match zone: Ferguson takes Europa rap

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UPDATED:

21:59 GMT, 26 March 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson used his programme notes for the first home game since United’s Europa League exit in Bilbao to hold up his hands for their poor form in Europe.

'I took too many chances giving young players a run-out in an attempt to speed up their development,’ Ferguson wrote. ‘We let the fans down and I won’t take as many chances next season.’

Noted: Sir Alex Ferguson used his programme note to apologise for the European form

Noted: Sir Alex Ferguson used his programme note to apologise for the European form

Booked Giggs blots record
An uncharacteristic lunge by Ryan Giggs on Moussa Dembele earned the Welsh veteran a deserved booking. However, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side still have the best disciplinary record in the Premier League this season with 36 yellow cards and just one red.

In the book: Ryan Giggs picked up a yellow card

In the book: Ryan Giggs picked up a yellow card

Fletcher’s focus on a comeback
Darren Fletcher is confident he can overcome a debilitating bowel condition and return to action for Manchester United next season.

Fletcher has assumed some of Paul Scholes’s responsibilities coaching the club’s reserve team while he takes a break from the game. But the 28-year-old is determined to make a comeback, saying: ‘The challenge and the focus is to be ready for next season.

Returning hero: Darren Fletcher aims to comeback next season

Returning hero: Darren Fletcher aims to comeback next season

‘It’s an unpredictable illness and you don’t know what lies ahead of you. But I’ve got to keep staying strong and believing.’

Fulham and a history of losing
Monday's result means Fulham have still only managed to avoid defeat at Old Trafford once in the past 49 years — a 3-1 Premier League win back in 2003.

Worryingly for Martin Jol’s Cottagers, they had let in 15 goals in their previous five away games against United and had failed to score in the last four. Tellingly, the last player to find the net for them at United’s ground was Rio Ferdinand with an own goal in 2006.

Only win: Junichi Inamoto scored for Fulham the one and only time they have won at Old Trafford, 3-1 in October 2003

Only win: Junichi Inamoto scored for Fulham the one and only time they have won at Old Trafford, 3-1 in October 2003

Fulham’s previous encounter with United this season hardly gave travelling supporters cause for optimism — a 5-0 hammering at Craven Cottage before Christmas.

In Focus

Pavel Pogrebnyak
United knew all about the Russian’s threat. He scored against them when Zenit St Petersburg won the 2008 European Super Cup.

From Russia with love: Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored against United in the past

From Russia with love: Pavel Pogrebnyak has scored against United in the past

Patrice Evra
It was hardly surprising that United’s captain missed with an acrobatic bicycle kick in the first half. He has scored two League goals in six years.

Close but not close enough: Patrice Evra had an effort but has only scored two league goals in six years

Close but not close enough: Patrice Evra had an effort but has only scored two league goals in six years

Stephen Kelly
The defender was perhaps fortunate not to concede a first-half penalty when Ashley Young’s cross hit his right hand.

Lucky: Stephen Kelly was fortunate not to concede a penalty with the ball hit his hand after a cross from Ashley Young

Lucky: Stephen Kelly was fortunate not to concede a penalty with the ball hit his hand after a cross from Ashley Young

Mario Balotelli happy at Manchester City

Mad for it! Balotelli happy with Manchester City and Mancini

Mario Balotelli insists he is finally happy at Manchester City and has no intention of returning home to join AC Milan.

The Italy international has been a reported target of the Italian champions since moving to City in 2010 from Inter Milan.

Never a dull moment: Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

Never a dull moment: Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli

Balotelli told Italian radio station Radio Radio: 'The newspapers are saying that I want to get away from Manchester but I’ve never spoken to them.

'They can say what they want, but I’m in Manchester, I am under contract with City and until the right time, will not talk about a new contract.'

The 21-year-old striker is tied to City until June 2015 and has no intention of leaving the club in the near future.

'The Premier League has been a new experience, even if at first it was difficult,' he said.

Different: Balotelli flicks the ball in off his shoulder against Norwich

Different: Balotelli flicks the ball in off his shoulder against Norwich

'But if I have to tell the whole truth now, it’s that I’m really happy here.'

When asked about his relationship with City coach Roberto Mancini, Balotelli described it as 'great'.