Tag Archives: stoppage

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL DRAW: Bayern Munich v Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Wembley Clasico on the cards after Barca draw Bayern and Real Madrid to take on Dortmund in Champions League semi-final

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:33 GMT, 12 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 12 April 2013

There is the chance of a Clasico in the Wembley final of the Champions League as Real Madrid and Barcelona were kept apart in this morning's semi-final draw.

Jose Mourinho's Real were drawn against Borussia Dortmund whereas Barcelona are set to take on Bayern Munich, meaning if both teams dispatch their German opponents they will meet in the final at Wembley on May 25.

Dortmund are the only unbeaten team remaining in the competition, and will be pitted against Real for the second time in this season's tournament. The Bundesliga holders won a tough group which included Real, Manchester City and Ajax.

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

On course: Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid could take the Champions League crown at Wembley

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Bayern Munich v Barcelona

Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid

Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayern
Munich are in sensational form in the competition, having beaten
Juventus in the quarter-finals.

Dortmund scraped their way into the semi-finals, after two stoppage-time goals against Malaga at the Westfalenstadion.

Pep Guardiola's loyalties will be split when Barca take on Bayern with both sides hoping to win their fifth European Cup.

He led the Catalan giants to two Champions League trophies during his remarkably successful tenure in Barcelona.

But he will be hoping for future glories with Bayern Munich, who he will take charge of next season when Jupp Heynckes leaves his post.

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Veterans: Bayern Munich beat Juventus over two legs to reach the semi-final

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Overjoyed: Borussia Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller (left) celebrates after a dramatic win over Malaga

Like Guardiola, Mourinho has a taste
for success in the Champions League and could become the first ever
manager to win the competition with three different clubs.

Having won the tournament with Porto and Inter Milan, he is looking to guide Real to the trophy for the first time since 2002.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy drew the teams in Nyon, and was glad of the outcome.

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

History boy: Jose Mourinho wants to become the only manager to win the Champions League with three clubs

On the Dortmund and Real Madrid tie,
the Dutchman told Sky Sports : 'I think over two games [with] the
quality of Real Madrid they should beat Borussia Dortmund. But this is
football and anything can happen… you can never trust these things.'

When asked to compare his former
team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, he added: 'Messi, you
can't knock him but at this moment in time Cristiano has just got the
edge.'

The
first legs of the semi-finals will be played on April 23 and April 24,
with the second legs taking place on April 30 and May 1.

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Top of the charts: Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice against Galatasaray in the second leg

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

Just about: Lionel Messi came off the bench to help Barcelona progress on away goals over PSG

Mirko Vucinic scores and takes off his shots as Juventus close in on title after 2-1 win over Pescara

That's pants! Vucinic takes his shorts off in celebration as Juve close in on the title

PUBLISHED:

22:47 GMT, 6 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:54 GMT, 6 April 2013

Enlarge

Juve

Juventus continued their march towards back-to-back Serie A titles with a 2-1 win over Pescara in Turin.

The Bianconeri were made to wait for their latest success, which moves them 12 points clear of second-placed Napoli, with Mirko Vucinic firing in a 72nd-minute penalty after Giuseppe Rizzo saw red.

Vucinic added the second moments later and was promptly substituted by boss Antonio Conte ahead of the midweek Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich.

Unique celebration: Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic waves his shorts as he celebrates after scoring against Pescara

Unique celebration: Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic waves his shorts as he celebrates after scoring against Pescara

Mirko Vucinic

Mirko Vucinic

Off they come: Vucinic takes his shorts off after scoring and waves them over his head

Spot on: Vucinic scores his penalty

Spot on: Vucinic scores his penalty

But Juve were made to sweat as Emmanuel Cascione curled in a stunning effort – Pescara's first shot on target – with seven minutes left.

Rolando Bianchi's stoppage-time equaliser grabbed a 2-2 draw for Torino at Bologna.

Nearly there: Juventus' players celebrate winning against Pescara and closing in on the title

Nearly there: Juventus' players celebrate winning against Pescara and closing in on the title

Paulo Vitor Barreto sent Torino ahead on 25 minutes but Bologna looked like they had grabbed the game away after the break.

Panagiotis Kone levelled on 65 minutes before substitute Tiberio Guarente seemingly won it with four minutes left. But Bianchi popped up late to share the points.

League One round-up: Oldham beat Hartlepool 3-0 in Lee Johnson"s first game in charge but Gary Johnson"s Yeovil lose 2-0 to Swindon

League One round-up: Johnson's Oldham era starts on a high… but his dad's promotion tilt with Yeovil suffers a blow

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

22:20 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 19 March 2013

LEAGUE ONE RESULTS

Bury 2-0 Stevenage

Crewe 2-1 MK Dons

Oldham 3-0 Hartlepool

Yeovil 0-2 Swindon

New Oldham boss Lee Johnson marked the first match of his managerial career by taking the Latics out of the npower League One relegation zone with a 3-0 win at home to fellow strugglers Hartlepool on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old, the son of Yeovil boss Gary Johnson, is the youngest manager in the Football League following his appointment on Monday.

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

On the rise: Swindon beat Yeovil 2-0 to move into third place in the League One table

LEAGUE ONE TABLE

League One

And he saw his new side go in front
after 17 minutes through Robbie Simpson's header, with Jean Yves Mvoto
nodding home a second shortly before the half hour.

Jose Baxter finished the visitors off in the 69th minute. The win took Oldham a point above the drop zone.

Gary Johnson could not match his son's success, though, as his Yeovil side slipped to a 2-0 defeat at home to fellow promotion hopefuls Swindon.

Adam Rooney's 77th-minute penalty opened the scoring and James Collins made it two deep into stoppage time as the Robins moved to within a point of the top two, three ahead of their opponents.

Bury moved off the foot of the table, and sent Portsmouth bottom, as two late goals earned them a 2-0 win at home to Stevenage.

Steven Schumacher missed a 20th-minute penalty and it looked like that might be costly until Craig Jones broke the deadlock in the 82nd minute and Jonson Clarke-Harris made the points safe in the last minute.

Mathias Pogba scored twice as Crewe came from behind to beat MK Dons 2-1.

Patrick Bamford headed the Dons into a 31st-minute lead, but Pogba levelled nine minutes later and got the winner six minutes from time.

The Dons finished the match with 10 men thanks to Antony Kay's 86th-minute sending-off.

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

Home defeat: Gary Johnson's Yeovil were undone by second-half goals from Adam Rooney and James Collins

Ashley Barnes referee trip red card

VIDEO: Brighton's Barnes faces long ban after straight red card for tripping referee during defeat to Bolton

By
Joe Ridge

PUBLISHED:

11:11 GMT, 10 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 10 March 2013

Brighton forward Ashley Barnes is facing a lengthy ban after being sent off for appearing to deliberately trip referee Nigel Miller at Bolton's Reebok Stadium on Saturday.

With his side trailing the npower Championship clash 1-0 deep into stoppage time, Barnes left a foot dangling in front of Miller as the official ran past him.

The trip did not send Miller to the floor, but it was enough to break the referee's stride. He then immediately stopped the game, turned to Barnes and gave him a straight red card.

Scroll down to watch footage of the incident…

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Marching orders: Barnes is dismissed by referee Nigel Miller

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

Lengthy ban: Barnes has been sent off twice this season

The forward's face was a picture of disbelief as he was pointed to the tunnel, but despite the cameras not capturing the incident, this video evidence recorded by a fan in the stands is pretty damning.

VIDEO: Watch Barnes's trip on referee Miller from 50 seconds in

Final moments of Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion

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Miller did not address the media after the game, but The Argus report that a Bolton official who spoke to the referee said: 'It was for misconduct, trying to trip the ref.'

Seagulls boss Gus Poyet felt Barnes deserved his red card, though he sympathised with the 23-year-old.

Poyet told Sky Sports: 'In football sometimes you do things that regret after, but (I have) nothing to complain about.

Unhappy trip: Brighton were beaten thanks to a goal from Marcos Alonso (left)

Unhappy trip: Brighton were beaten thanks to a goal from Marcos Alonso (left)

'I think you would normally probably say you're not happy with him (Barnes).

'Angry It's difficult to say because I played football, I know when you're on the pitch you do things which sometimes you regret after but I was one of those players so I'm not going to say anything to Ashley Barnes – I hope it doesn't happen too much.

'He knows what he's done and I'm not going to kill him, you try to make sure he controls himself better the next time.'

The red was Barnes's second dismissal of the season. He was sent off only last month for violent conduct as he kicked out at Sheffield Wednesday's Kieran Lee during a 3-1 loss at Hillsborough.

Sympathy: But Poyet (left) felt that Barnes deserved his red

Sympathy: But Poyet (left) felt that Barnes deserved his red

As a result, the former Plymouth player will miss the next four games of Brighton's run-in, starting with Tuesday night's trip to Barnsley.

Barnes' absence leaves Poyet facing a striker crisis. Craig Mackail-Smith has been ruled out for the season with an achilles injury picked up during last week's 0-0 draw at Bristol City, leaving Leonardo Ulloa as Brighton's only fit frontman.

Marcos Alonso's winner for Bolton on Saturday saw Brighton slip out of the Championship play-off places. They now sit one place and point adrift of Nottingham Forest in sixth, but they do have a game in hand on Billy Davies's side.

Huddersfield 2 Middlesbrough 1 – match report: Danny Ward scores late winner to complete comeback

Huddersfield 2 Middlesbrough 1: Ward's late show completes dramatic comeback

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

23:04 GMT, 5 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:12 GMT, 6 March 2013

Mark Robins could hardly have done more to engineer his first home win as Huddersfield manager after two of his second-half substitutes inspired a dramatic late turnaround at a mist-shrouded John Smith’s Stadium last night.

Middlesbrough looked primed to add a desperately needed three points to their faltering promotion campaign when Scott McDonald slid home a Sammy Ameobi cross at the far post just 12 minutes from time.

But Alan Lee equalised with his first touch, just seconds after going on in the 86th minute, and fellow substitute Danny Ward crowned a stunning fightback with a brilliant winner in stoppage time.

Hero: Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies celebrates with Danny Ward, who scored the winning goal

Hero: Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies celebrates with Danny Ward, who scored the winning goal

MATCH FACTS

Huddersfield: Smithies, Hunt, Peter Clarke, Gerrard (Wallace 66), Dixon, Clayton, Gobern, Norwood (Lee 84), Danns, Novak, Robinson (Ward 78).

Subs Not Used: Bennett, Arfield, Atkinson, Lynch.

Goals: Lee 86, Ward 90.

Middlesbrough: Steele, Smallwood (Rhys Williams 59), McManus, Hines, Friend, Leadbitter, Bailey, McEachran (Ledesma 58), McDonald, Ameobi, Miller (Main 68).

Subs Not Used: Leutwiler, Carayol, Haroun, Emnes.

Booked: Smallwood, Ledesma.

Goals: McDonald 78.

Att: 12,705

Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

SEE THE LIVE CHAMPIONSHIP TABLE HERE

‘I was proud of my players, and it is more pleasing than ever when substitutions come off,’ said Robins.

‘Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it showed how the lads on the bench have been champing at the bit to get on.

‘That was the best we’ve played in my time here, and it has to give the players confidence to know they can pass the ball on what was a cabbage patch of a pitch.’

After squandering several clear chances, and being denied a penalty when Middlesbrough striker Ameobi poleaxed Theo Robinson with a kick in the face as he tried to clear, Huddersfield looked like paying the price when McDonald scored.

In retaliation, Robins sent on Lee and his big front-runner promptly pounced on a Peter Clarke header, from a right-wing corner, and toe-ended it past Boro keeper Jason Steele from point-blank range.

There was nothing scrappy about Ward’s winner as, just 12 minutes after going on, he gained possession on the right and cut inside before hammering a left-foot drive beyond Steele.

On course: Scott McDonald gave Middlesbrough the lead in the 78th minute

On course: Scott McDonald gave Middlesbrough the lead in the 78th minute

Reflecting on his side’s eighth
defeat in 11 games, Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray said: ‘When you
go in front late on, in a drab game low on quality, you hope you are
going to see it out.

‘The equaliser was particularly
disappointing because you expect your big players to get the first
contact when a corner comes in.

‘They made changes near the end to try to get back into it, but you have to adapt and cope with that.’

Adverse weather: The match was played under heavy fog at the John Smith's Stadium

Adverse weather: The match was played under heavy fog at the John Smith's Stadium

Fog

Oldham 2 Everton 2 – match report: Matt Smith scores equaliser

Oldham 2 Everton 2: Substitute Smith strikes again to force replay against Toffees

PUBLISHED:

19:55 GMT, 16 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

Matt Smith scored late in the day to secure a replay at Goodison Park against Everton.

The 6ft 6in substitute nodded home from a corner in the fifth minute of stoppage time to tie things up.

The Latics had looked as though they were heading out after Victor Anichebe and Phil Jagielka had scored after Oldham's Jordan Obita had opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Raucous: Matt Smith sent in the leveller to force a replay against Premier League opposition

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

Rising above it: Matt Smith heads home the last-gasp equaliser

MATCH FACTS

Oldham: Bouzanis, Brown, Grounds, Mvoto, Wesolowski (Furman 66), Tarkowski, Croft, Obita (Simpson 77), Iwelumo (Smith 61), Barnard, Baxter

Subs not used: Cisak, Byrne, Winchester, Millar

Goal: Obita 13, Smith 90

Everton: Howard, Baines, Jagielka, Distin, Neville, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar (Oviedo 79), Fellaini, Jelavic (Duffy 90), Anichebe (Mirallas 46)

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Booked: Neville

Goals: Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48

Referee: Phil Dowd

More to follow…

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

Flying: Phil Jagielka is mobbed after scoring Everton's second goal

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

In the lead: Jagielka (centre) nods home from a Kevin Mirallas corner to put Everton a goal up

.

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Leveller: Victor Anichebe (centre) celebrates with his team-mates after bringing Everton back on terms

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

Joy: Jordan Obita celebrates after putting the home side in the lead early in the match

.

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

50-50: Lee Barnard (right) goes head-to-head with Everton's midfielder Marouane Fellaini

.

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Coming together: Chris Iwelumo (left) competes for the ball with Jagielka (right)

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

Salute: Former Oldham manager Paul Dickov waves to fans of his old club from the press box

.

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Close one: Leon Osman tries to hold off the challenge of Oldham's James Wesolowski

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Looking on: Both Everton and Oldham staff watch the match from the edge of the pitch at Boundary Park

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

Shame: Cash-strapped Oldham told player not to swap shirts at the end of the match

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

Barcelona lose to Real Sociedad after Gerard Pique red card

Barcelona stunned as Liga leaders unbeaten record unravels in Sociedad after Pique sees red

By
William Griffiths

PUBLISHED:

23:50 GMT, 19 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:17 GMT, 20 January 2013

Real Sociedad hit back from two goals down to end Barcelona's unbeaten Primera Division record in stunning fashion at the Anoeta this evening.

All looked to be going to plan for Tito Vilanova's visitors when Lionel Messi and Pedro Rodriguez put them 2-0 up within 25 minutes.

Not used to this: Barcelona kick-off during their 3-2 defeat to Real Sociedad

Not used to this: Barcelona kick-off during their 3-2 defeat to Real Sociedad

No you don't: Sociedad's goalkeeper takes the ball away from Lionel Messi

No you don't: Sociedad's goalkeeper takes the ball away from Lionel Messi

Get off the pitch: Gerard Pique (background) was dismissed by the referee

Get off the pitch: Gerard Pique (background) was dismissed by the referee

But Gonzalo Castro's brilliant strike gave Sociedad hope before half-time and then, after Barca had lost centre-back Gerard Pique to a red card, Castro's curling effort was deflected into his own net by Barca substitute Javier Mascherano.

That sent the home fans wild, but it got even better in stoppage time when Imanol Agirretxe poked Carlos Martinez's cross from the right past Victor Valdes to clinch a dramatic 3-2 win.

Best in the world Sociedad didn't care about Messi's reputation as they turned over the favourites

Best in the world Sociedad didn't care about Messi's reputation as they turned over the favourites

It started off so well: Barcelona went 2-0 up with goals from Messi and Pedro

It started off so well: Barcelona went 2-0 up with goals from Messi and Pedro

Barca had headed to San Sebastian having dropped only two points in La Liga this season – in October's 2-2 Clasico draw with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp.

Second-placed Atletico Madrid could move within eight points of the leaders if they beat Levante on Sunday, while third-spotted champions Real Madrid can get within 15 points if they overcome Valencia at the Mestalla.

Eyes on the ball: Tito Vilanova could do nothing as his side lost their unbeaten record

Eyes on the ball: Tito Vilanova could do nothing as his side lost their unbeaten record

Phew! Relief for Lambert after ending three game losing streak with "huge point" at Swansea despite conceding late equaliser

Phew! Relief for Lambert after ending three game losing streak with 'huge point' at Swansea despite conceding late equaliser

By
Andrew Gwilym, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:26 GMT, 1 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

00:39 GMT, 2 January 2013

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert described his side's 2-2 draw at Swansea as a huge point, despite seeing them denied all three by Danny Graham's injury-time equaliser.

The Villans had conceded 15 and scored none in their previous three games and Wayne Routledge added to their woes as he fired the hosts ahead in the ninth minute.

But relegation-threatened Villa had looked set to take the points when Andreas Weimann levelled just before the interval and Christian Benteke scored from the spot when Nathan Dyer conceded an 84th-minute penalty for a foul on Weimann.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert needs to improve things on the pitch

Under pressure: Lambert's side are just one point off the relegation zone after Swansea's stoppage time goal

However, Graham fired home a rebound in a late goalmouth scramble, to leave Lambert with his head in his hands.

A point at least ends Villa's miserable run of defeats and, despite the crushing disappointment, Lambert feels he can take great heart from a gutsy effort by a side with an average age of just 23 years and 119 days – making it the youngest the club had ever fielded in a Premier League fixture.

Villa players react as they concede an equalizer

Gutted: Villa players were left dejected after conceding in the 94th minute

He said: 'It is a huge point although we should have seen it through. But it's a massive point and we were very good and threatening in the second half.

'In the first half they were coming at us from all angles and we had to weather that storm and we needed a couple of good saves from Brad and they also hit the woodwork.

'But to get the goal before half-time certainly helped us and it had a galvanising effect, it gives you something to get going and in the second half we were very good.

'We have been beaten heavily in the last three games so this is a huge point for the future of the club.

'The young lads in the side have been excellent and when you get beaten heavily you learn a lot about people and today showed they are mentally strong.'

Looking up: Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the second goal for Aston Villa from the penalty spot

Looking up: Christian Benteke celebrates after scoring the second goal for Villa from the penalty spot

Injury-hit Villa, already without the likes of Darren Bent, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Charles N'Zogbia, Ron Vlaar, Nathan Baker and Richard Dunne, also lost Ashley Westwood to an ankle problem after he was felled from behind by Michu's clumsy tackle.

And Lambert will wait before assessing how severe the problem is.

He said: 'He is hobbling at the minute but we will see how he feels. We think it is his ankle.'

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, was left scratching his head as to how his side had not won a game in which they had almost 70 per cent possession and had threatened to run away with during an opening half-hour when Villa were all at sea.

Michu, Graham and Routledge were among those to miss gilt-edged chances, and the Dane said: 'We did not win because we only scored one goal from seven chances with that first-half performance.

Danny Graham celebrates after scoring the late equalizer for Swansea

All Smiles: Graham wheels away after scoring the last minute goal

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'It was a great performance – it could have been 4-0 after 12 minutes – but we know how it is when you don't take chances.

'It means one mistake, one free-kick, one corner or whatever it is and the game is back level, and that is what happened at the end of the first half.

'They had only been near our goal two or three times in the first 45 minutes and we gave Villa belief they could come from behind and get something out of the game.

'If we had got a second or third we would maybe be sitting here talking about a 5-0 win.'

Laudrup was also disappointed his side were not awarded a penalty just before the hour mark.

Joe Bennett was penalised for handball on the left-side of his own area as he blocked Angel Rangel.

But referee Mark Halsey only awarded Swansea a free-kick on the edge of the box when the ball had appeared to strike Bennett just inside.

When asked if he thought it was a penalty, Laudrup said: 'Yeah of course, both of his feet are on the line and the hand is inside, I think the line is still part of the box so there was no doubt about it.

'It was a clear penalty but it was not given and that's that, we have to go on.'

League Two round-up: Port Vale top after 3-2 win at Dagenham and Redbridge

League Two round-up: Port Vale hit summit after 3-2 win over the Daggers

PUBLISHED:

20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

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UPDATED:

20:16 GMT, 29 December 2012

Port Vale won 3-2 at Dagenham & Redbridge to move to the top of npower League Two.

With Gillingham's fixture against Northampton falling foul of the weather, Vale took full advantage thanks to goals from Tom Pope, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Louis Dodds. A Sam Williams penalty and Scott Doe found the net for the hosts.

Southend missed out on the chance to move into the top three as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at Burton.

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Top dogs: Tom Pope celebrates scoring the opening goal for Port Vale

Goals from Calvin Zola and Lee Bell gave Albion, who had Nathan Stanton sent off, a win which moves them into the play-off spots.

Oxford United claimed a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom side Wimbledon thanks to goals from Sean Rigg, Alfie Potter and Tom Craddock, although they also had James Constable sent off late on.

Rochdale claimed a 4-2 win at Bradford with all the goals coming in the first half.

Terry Gornell put Dale ahead but Alan Connell struck from the spot to equalise.

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Missed out: Southend could've moved into the top three but they lost at Burton

Andrew Tutte put the visitors back ahead and Ashley Grimes extended their advantage, before Connell's second penalty made it 3-2. But Gornell netted his second to complete the scoring.

Conor Townsend scored his first goal for Chesterfield but was later sent off in their 1-1 draw with Morecambe.

Christopher McCready put Morecambe ahead but Townsend levelled before being dismissed for using his elbow.

Andy Iro struck in the eighth minute of stoppage time to rescue a point for Barnet as they drew 2-2 at Exeter in Edgar Davids' first game in sole charge.

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Gaffer: Barnet drew 2-2 in Edgar Davids's first game in sole charge

Danny Coles and Scot Bennett looked to have set Exeter on their way to the three points, but Jonathan Nurse pulled one back before Iro's dramatic leveller.

Matt McClure got the only goal as Wycombe won 1-0 at Plymouth, while Fleetwood and York played out a goalless draw.

Rotherham beat Accrington 4-1 thanks to a brace from substitute Daniel Nardiello.

Tom Eckersley's own goal put the Millers a goal to the good, only for Craig Lindfield to level.

But Nardiello's double and a Michael O'Connor strike sealed Rotherham's victory,

The fixtures between Cheltenham and Bristol Rovers and Aldershot and Torquay were also postponed due to waterlogged pitches.