Tag Archives: striker

Mario Balotelli, Stephan El Shaarawy and Mamadou Niang sleep in a luggage rack on train

First-class ticket, please: Balotelli and Milan team-mates sleep in a luggage rack on train

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

19:23 GMT, 31 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:30 GMT, 1 April 2013

Mario Balotelli was famed for his erratic behaviour during his time at Manchester City and he clearly hasn't lost touch with his enigmatic side since his return to Italy.

The volatile forward found an unusual place to put his head down as he was pictured sleeping on a luggage shelf in a train along with team-mates M'Baye Niang and Stephan El Shaarawy.

20-year-old El Shaarawy, who is nicknamed 'The Pharaoh', posted this picture on Twitter of him and his Milan colleagues.

Unorthodox: Mario Balotelli (left), M'Baye Niang (right) and Stephan El Shaarawy sleep in a luggage rack

Unorthodox: Mario Balotelli (left), M'Baye Niang (right) and Stephan El Shaarawy sleep in a luggage rack

MILAN BEAT CHIEVO

Read the match report from AC Milan's 1-0 victory against Chievo on Saturday HERE

Balotelli joined Milan in January after two-and-a-half seasons in Manchester and he has been prolific since returning to his homeland.

The striker scored twice on debut against Udinese and has found the target five times in six Serie A matches since then.

He also scored both goals for Italy last week in their 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta before helping Milan to a 1-0 win at Chievo on Saturday to boost their Champions League qualification ambitions.

Star: Balotelli helped Milan beat Chievo 1-0 in a Serie A encounter on Saturday

Star: Balotelli helped Milan beat Chievo 1-0 in a Serie A encounter on Saturday

Finding the target: The forward has been prolific since returning to his homeland

Finding the target: The forward has been prolific since returning to his homeland

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Representing the nation: Balotelli scored both goals in Italy's 2-0 win against Malta last week

Luis Suarez punches Gonzalo Jara in the face

VIDEO: Suarez strikes again! Uruguay hitman jabs Jara in the face

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

00:51 GMT, 27 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:09 GMT, 27 March 2013

Luis Suarez jabbed Chile defender Gonzalo Jara in the face while playing for Uruguay during the World Cup Qualifier on Tuesday night.

The striker was being held by the West Brom player at a corner and got fed up of the defender's pressure, swinging his right arm round to catch his opponent.

Jara did not make a meal of the incident and the pair continued their ill tempered exchange with words instead of actions.

Take that: Luis Suarez hits Gonzalo Jara while the pair tussle at a corner

Take that: Luis Suarez hits Gonzalo Jara while the pair tussle at a corner

VIDEO: Suarez jabs Jara in the face

South American results

Bolivia 1-1 Argentina

Venezuela 1-0 Colombia

Chile 2-0 Uruguay

Ecuador 4-1 Paraguay

Chile were leading 1-0 at the time, through a scrappy goal from Esteban Paredes.They went on to win 2-0, with Eduardo Vargas doubling the lead towards the end.

This result meant Chile leapfrogged their opponents in to fourth place. Four teams from the region qualify for the competition, along with Brazil as hosts, and the fifth side faces a play off.

South American qualifying table for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil

South American qualifying table for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Pain game: Suarez is usually targeted by opposition defenders

Pain game: Suarez is usually targeted by opposition defenders

Argentina are leading the way and are virtually assured of qualification barring a major collapse.

They did draw 1-1 with lowly Boliva though, with Lionel Messi suffering at high altitude in La Paz.

Although they did not repeat their catastrophic 6-1 defeat from 2009, it was not a great Argentina performance.

Scroll down for video of Messi's miss

Hard to breathe: Lionel Messi and Co found it tough going in La Paz

Hard to breathe: Lionel Messi and Co found it tough going in La Paz

Messi

Marcelo Martins gave the hosts the lead but Ever Banega nodded home just before the break and it proved to be the final goal.

Uncharacteristically Messi even missed a
one-on-one, which could have won his side the game, despite having plenty of time and being well placed to work
his usual magic.

VIDEO: Messi fluffs his lines one-on one

France v Spain preview – Giants prepare to meet in crunch clash in bid to reach World Cup

Le Crunch: All eyes on Paris as France host stuttering Spain in World Cup clash that could send champions tumbling towards play-offs

quarter-final in Donetsk” class=”blkBorder” />

Killer blow: Xabi Alonso opens the scoring for Spain against France in the Euro 2012 quarter-final in Donetsk

All-time Record

Played 32
Spain wins 11
France wins 14
Drawn 7

Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane could win his second cap by virtue of his more intricate knowledge of the Spanish forwards.

The Spanish – as is their way – will take nothing less than three points to recover the initiative in Group I with three matches remaining.

'The only thing that changes is that a draw with France now isn't enough,' Cesc Fabregas said. 'But the idea was always to go to France aiming for a victory.

'We will be highly motivated and we will have to bring out the best in ourselves.'

Draw is not enough: Cesc Fabregas, in action here in the return fixture in Gijon, says Spain will be going all out for the win

Draw is not enough: Cesc Fabregas, in action here in the return fixture in Gijon, says Spain will be going all out for the win

European World Cup qualifying Group I

Turning possession into goals is Spain's priority and the country's all-time leading scorer David Villa, who netted on their last visit to Paris in a 2-0 friendly victory in 2010, was confident of success.

'We were going there for a win anyway and now we do so with a stronger motive,' the Barcelona striker said after the Finland game.

'Our way of playing is always the same. Even if we had beaten Finland we would have played the same in Saint-Denis. We aren't thinking of the playoffs, or anything else beyond getting a win against France on Tuesday.'

When Spain beat Italy to win their third straight major title at last year's European Championship, it was unthinkable they could be absent from the Rio football carnival.

Following a run of 24 consecutive qualifying wins, they have slumped to back-to-back draws with France and Finland, having beaten Georgia and Belarus earlier in the campaign.

For once, Spain appear to be there for the taking, though much will depend on striker Benzema, who has scored just three times in his last 23 outings for France.

Certain sections of the French media have called for him to be dropped as a result, but Deschamps has no such intention.

'I believe in Karim,' he said unequivocally.

Thankfully for Deschamps, other sectors of the French attack are in full flow, with winger Franck Ribery and attacking midfielder Mathieu Valbuena in excellent form – particularly Valbuena, who scored a great goal against Georgia and created the other two.

'We ask attacking players to be decisive, and Valbuena is just that,' Deschamps said. 'He's full of confidence and it shows.'

Jubilation: Mathieu Valbuena and Franck Ribery celebrate after the former scores against Georgia

Jubilation: Mathieu Valbuena and Franck Ribery celebrate after the former scores against Georgia

Dropped points: Cazorla and teammates at the end of Spain's 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday evening

Dropped points: Cazorla and teammates at the end of Spain's 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday evening

Deschamps has high praise for Giroud, too, but suggested he could be more useful using his aerial threat against a tiring defence.

'He has that ability, and that's a weapon I can obviously use at any time,' Deschamps said.

Spain's Santi Cazorla knows all about Giroud, playing alongside him for Arsenal, and considers him to be an equal threat to Benzema.

'They are very different. Olivier has killer instincts, a penalty box player,' Cazorla said. 'Karim is a playmaker, he enters in open play more. They are two great players.'

Probable teams:

France: Hugo Lloris; Christophe Jallet, Mamadou Sakho, Raphael Varane, Patrice Evra; Moussa Sissoko, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye, Mathieu Valbuena, Franck Ribery; Karim Benzema

Spain: Victor Valdes; Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Gerard Pique, Nacho Monreal; Xabi Alonso, Sergio Busquets, Xavi, Andres Iniesta; Cesc Fabregas, David Villa

Rickie Lambert agrees new deal with Southampton until 2016

Lambert 'over the moon' after agreeing new two-year deal with Southampton

By
Simon Peach, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

18:40 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 21 March 2013

Southampton striker Rickie Lambert has extended his stay at the club until 2016.

The 31-year-old has established himself as a firm fans' favourite at St Mary's since joining from Bristol Rovers in August 2009.

Lambert has scored 101 goals for Southampton and his 13-goal haul this season makes him the top English scorer in the Barclays Premier League.

Delight: Rickie Lambert was 'over the moon' to agree a fresh deal with Southampton

Delight: Rickie Lambert was 'over the moon' to agree a fresh deal with Southampton

The striker's contract had been due to expire at the end of next season but has now been extended by a further two years.

'I'm over the moon to sign with Southampton for another three years,' Lambert told the club's official website.

'I am already enjoying myself massively at this club and the aim now is to stay on for another three years and help push the club on further than where it already is.

'There is a lot of ambition in this club for the next few years and that is one of the main reasons that I have signed the contract – and that is why I want to end my career here.

'The core of players who have been together for two or three years are going to be here for another three or four years and that is a really good feeling.

'We all have the same ambition and [executive chairman] Nicola Cortese's ambition for this club drives us all on as well, so it really helps the club with where we are now and it will help with where we want to go.'

Lambert's contract extension follows recent new deals handed to Morgan Schneiderlin, Jason Puncheon and Kelvin Davis – others to have played a key part in Southampton's rise from npower League One to the top flight.

'Rickie Lambert is a very special player for Southampton Football Club,' Saints manager Mauricio Pochettino said.

Goal scorer: Lambert's strike against Liverpool on Saturday was his 13th in the Premier League this season

Goal scorer: Lambert's strike against Liverpool on Saturday was his 13th in the Premier League this season

Lambert

He added: 'To have scored over 100 goals is a remarkable achievement, and one which he has made possible thanks to hard work and dedication.

'In my time at the club I have been impressed by his mentality and commitment to improving himself in training – attributes that have allowed him to adapt to the Premier League so well.

'I am delighted that Rickie has committed himself to the club for a further three years, and have no doubts that he will continue to deliver for Southampton as we look to push on to the next level.'

Premier League players continue to choose the MLS over mid-ranking European careers

Beckham sprinkled his stardust and more players are crossing the pond – so is the MLS booming or is the US just a place Premier League careers go to die

season – more than regularly pack in to watch Chelsea and not
far off the number who turn up at Anfield – you begin to
understand his excitement.

MLS crowds generally were up last
season. An average attendance of 18,807 made for the seventh-most
popular football league in the world in terms of bums on seats.

Biggest star in the Galaxy: Beckham moved to Los Angeles amid a blaze of publicity in 2007

Biggest star in the Galaxy: Beckham moved to Los Angeles amid a blaze of publicity in 2007

David Beckham

Hollywood ending: Beckham and his sons celebrate the MLS Cup win in his final game

Hollywood ending: Beckham and his sons celebrate the MLS Cup win in his final game

Paltry television viewing figures for MLS in the US remain a
cause for concern, however, as evidenced by a drop in the number who
watched the 2012 MLS Cup from the previous season’s final. Not even
David Beckham’s walk off into the sunset could save that one.

No talk of MLS progress is complete without referencing Beckham’s legacy of course. Having arrived at LA Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007, the world’s most bankable footballer played a defining role in building the profile of the league.

Even when things weren’t going right on the pitch, Beckham was still selling the Galaxy brand and putting MLS in places it had never before been able to reach.

Beckham made everything to come possible. Seven new MLS franchises launched during his five years in LA, and the increased profile he generated for the league has helped lure the likes of Thierry Henry, Robbie Keane, Carlo Cudicini and Alessandro Nesta to bring their considerable reputations in his wake.

Keane to raise the profile: The Ireland striker (left) has followed Beckham to America

Keane to raise the profile: The Ireland striker (left) has followed Beckham to America

Republic of Ireland striker Keane has
won two MLS Cups in two seasons at LA Galaxy and was named in the
league's best XI for 2012.

Among the other ex-Premier League players to
be found in the US include former West Brom midfielder Giles Barnes, now
plying his trade at Houston Dynamo, and Wales striker Robert
Earnshaw, who arrived at Toronto FC this season.

Former Arsenal and Manchester United full back Mikael Silvestre is another recent arrival. The Frenchman signed for Portland Timbers this season, whose goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts will also be a familiar name to those who follow the lower reaches of the English game. And then there's Tim Cahill, the Australian who left Everton to join Henry at New York Red Bulls in 2012.

New York Red Bulls team-mates: Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, respectively once of Arsenal and Everton

New York Red Bulls team-mates: Thierry Henry and Tim Cahill, respectively once of Arsenal and Everton

Tim Cahill

Tim Cahill

It’s not just the quality of players
arriving in the MLS that we should be looking as testament to progress.
There’s also the evidence supplied by MLS graduates able to adjust to
supposedly superior leagues when they leave.

Carlos Bocanegra, Clint
Dempsey and Michael Bradley are shining examples. Brek Shea is early in
his career at Stoke but already being talked about as a potential
Premier League game-changer. Meanwhile, American goalkeepers are
everywhere.

Could the
Premier League one day have enough faith in the MLS to use it as a
feeder league It may be a natural next step, especially when you
consider the desire of English clubs to market themselves aggressively
in the US market.

Premier League exports: Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Mikael Silvestre

Premier League exports: Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and Mikael Silvestre

Everywhere you look there are signs the MLS is building slowly on its foundation — one laid on the back of the US hosting the 1994 World Cup.

We shouldn’t expect a league to compare with the best in Europe any time soon, but well-planned growth is pointing towards a product that will only get better in time.

Perhaps the biggest achievement of Beckham’s time in American will be seen if the MLS continues to grow without him.

Robert Earnshaw

Giles Barnes

In a land far, far away: Robert Earnshaw and Giles Barnes are both plying their trade in MLS

Napoli offer Edinson Cavani to Manchester City for 60m

City can have Cavani for 60m… but would they be 'nutty' enough to pay it

By
Richard Sharpe

PUBLISHED:

15:42 GMT, 18 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 18 March 2013

Napoli have told Manchester City they can have Edinson Cavani for 60m.

And the club president has bizarrely claimed that City would be ‘nutters’ to pay it.

City made a bold 40m move for the Uruguay striker in January but were quickly told the fee would not be enough.

Lift off: Napoli say Manchester City are very welcome to buy Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani... but they'll have to stump up 60m

Lift off: Napoli say Manchester City are very welcome to buy Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani… but they'll have to stump up 60m

They have maintained dialogue with Napoli with the asking price – and the player’s buy-out clause – understood to be around 53m.

However, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says he wants that figure AFTER TAX which puts another 8m on his desired price.

De Laurentiis said: ‘We included a very high buy-out clause in his contract because we want him to stay at Napoli. The clause exists, though, and if some nutter is willing to pay €70m [60m] for him, which would mean a net fee of €63m [53m] for Napoli, we are ready to listen to the offer.

At the double: Cavani scored twice as Napoli beat Atalanta 3-2 in Serie A at the weekend

At the double: Cavani scored twice as Napoli beat Atalanta 3-2 in Serie A at the weekend

‘However, let it be clear that the final decision lies with Edinson.

‘He knows that he’s respected here and that the people love him. Not just for his goals, but also because he’s a serious and polite person.’

Real Madrid and Chelsea have also shown interest in 26-year-old Cavani as have Paris St Germain who have increasing doubts over Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future.

Arsenal suffer a blow as their target David Villa is offered a new Barcelona contract

Arsenal blow as target Villa will be offered new Barcelona deal

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

13:42 GMT, 17 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:06 GMT, 18 March 2013

Arsenal could miss out on signing David Villa after Barcelona have offered him a new contract.

The striker is due to be a free agent in 14 months time, with several English clubs sniffing around to see if they can get him for a reduced price.

However, Barcelona feel he still has a very important role at the club and staying in Spain may be his best chance of competing for a place in the national side.

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Natural: David Villa scored in Barcelona's 4-0 win against AC Milan

Arsenal's striking problems have been well documented of late, with Arsene Wenger allowing Theo Walcott some time up front before switching back to Olivier Giroud for the most recent games.

Forward Marouane Chamakh is currently on-loan at West Ham after failing to convince his manager that he has much of a future at the club.

As for Villa, Spain's record goalscorer has been out of favour at the Nou Campafter returning at the start of the season from eight months out with a broken leg.

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

Rival: Alexis Sanchez is Villa's biggest competition in the team

The 31-year-old joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2010 for a fee of 35million, and is reportedly on a deal worth 7m a year.

If first-team football is what Villa wants, then he may wait until the summer and consider his future before signing any new contract.

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Record: Villa is Spain's top goalscorer with 53 goals in 86 games

Manchester City"s Edin Dzeko plays around in the club"s boot room

What is Dzeko doing fooling around in the Manchester City boot room

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

11:26 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 16 March 2013

On the face of it, Edin Dzeko seems to have taken his eye off the ball.

Following on from the club's attempt at a Harlem Shake, Dzeko has embarked on a solo career in the world of wacky internet posts and is taking time out from City's attempt to gurn, sorry turn, around their season.

The Bosnia striker, who has just racked up his 100th appearance for City, put up a photo of himself messing around with back-room staff in front of rows a of extravagantly coloured designer boots.

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

Cross-eyed: Edin Dzeko pulls a pose with his Manchester City back-room staff

It is not known if Dzeko is claiming every pair in the room as he looks to find a way to kick-start City's title charge.

With Sergio Aguero still out injured, Dzeko is likely to feature against Everton at Goodison Park in the Saturday lunchtime game.

Here's hoping he picks the right pair of shoes for the occasion.

Wilfried Zaha will have FA hearing after he and Ian Holloway admit charges

Zaha set for FA showdown while Holloway hit with 2k fine after both admit charges

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:40 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 15 March 2013

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway and attacker Wilfried Zaha have both admitted FA charges for improper conduct.

Zaha, who is on loan from Manchester United after signing for them in January, gave Leeds fans the middle finger during their clash on March 9.

He has requested a personal hearing, while Holloway is hit with a 2,000 fine because of his misconduct towards match officials during the same game.

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Response: Wilfried Zaha had a message for the Leeds fans giving him stick

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Rambunctious: Ian Holloway was not amused during Palace's clash with Leeds

Zaha, who had been suffering abuse
from Leeds fans before the incident, was ticked off by Man United for
his behaviour during the 2-2 draw.

He admitted on Twitter that he should have behaved better, telling his followers 'it was very unprofessional of me'.

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was
given a one-match ban, fined 20,000 and warned as to his future conduct
after a similar gesture aimed at Fulham fans back in December.

Ashley Barnes charged by FA

Brighton's Barnes could see four-match ban extended after being charged for trip on referee

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

16:47 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:07 GMT, 13 March 2013

.

Brighton's Ashley Barnes has been charged by the Football Association for the apparent trip on referee Nigel Miller on March 9 at the Reebok Stadium.

Barnes appeared to make contact with Miller in the closing seconds of his side's 1-0 defeat by Bolton, an offence for which he was shown a red card.

His punishment was a four-game ban, one more than the standard three due to it being the striker's second dismissal of the season.

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 already and his protests (below) fell on deaf ears

But, having considered the evidence, the FA have opened proceedings which could lead to an enhanced punishment.

The FA have ruled that the incident displayed 'truly exceptional circumstances' and as such it has been referred to an independent three-man commission who can recommend a further ban if they feel it necessary.

A statement today read: 'The FA has
charged Brighton and Hove Albion's Ashley Barnes following his side's
game against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 9 March 2013.

'It is alleged that Barnes's
behaviour in relation to the match official, for which the player was
dismissed for violent conduct towards the end of the game, constituted
an offence whereby the standard punishment that would otherwise apply
was clearly insufficient.'

Close quarters: Miller and Barnes are just yards away from each other as Bolton clear

Close quarters: Miller and Barnes are just yards away from each other as Bolton clear

Trip: Barnes sticks out a boot as Miller sets off on a run

Trip: Barnes sticks out a boot as Miller sets off on a run

Whistle: Miller sticks up his hand as he stops the game

Whistle: Miller sticks up his hand as he stops the game

Barnes has been given until 6pm on Thursday to respond.

Speaking immediately after the match –
and before reviewing video evidence – Brighton manager Gus Poyet said:
'I would like to see it.

'Before I talk to him I'm going to have a look because if he's done something to the referee…let's wait and see.

'My way of managing this is I prefer
the player to calm down because if you go to the dressing room and you
ask them straight away then they will put their excuse in there and
blame somebody else.'

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

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

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv2216231331001','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'title' : “Final moments of Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Brighton & Hove Albion”,
'videoId' : 1001886,
'adsEnabled' : true,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv2216231331001”,
'videoPlayer' : “2216231331001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2292789/Ashley-Barnes-charged-FA.html”

});