Tag Archives: teams

McLaren apologise to Red Bull for ruining Mark Webber"s start after ECU problem at Australian Grand Prix

McLaren apologise to Red Bull after ruining Webber's start in Melbourne

By
Simon Cass

PUBLISHED:

20:06 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

20:06 GMT, 19 March 2013

McLaren have been forced to apologise to their Red Bull rivals for wrecking Mark Webber’s start to his home grand prix in Australia.

A software problem with the engine control unit (ECU) – the electronic brain supplied to all Formula One teams by McLaren which controls the powertrain, drag reduction system and acts as a car's primary data system – meant Webber’s system had to be rebooted during the formation lap.

That lack of vital information caused Webber to tumble through the order from second on the grid before eventually finishing sixth.

Compromised: Mark Webber suffered an ECU problem on the formation lap and lost ground at the start

Compromised: Mark Webber suffered an ECU problem on the formation lap and lost ground at the start

It's their fault: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed McLaren for Webber's awful start in Melbourne

It's their fault: Red Bull team principal Christian Horner blamed McLaren for Webber's awful start in Melbourne

Home grand prix: Webber finished sixth on Sunday

Home grand prix: Webber finished sixth on Sunday

Red Bull team principal, Christian Horner, leapt to the defence of his driver post-race after he faced criticism for what appeared to be yet another poor start.

‘You need to go and ask McLaren why the ECU didn't work,’ said Horner. ‘That totally messed up his preparation.

‘By the time we'd reset the system, he'd lost the start and lost early ground.

'It's something they need to get on top of because there have been a lot of issues in early-season testing.’

After performing their own investigation, McLaren have issued a statement accepting they were at fault.

It read: ‘Mark and the team have our apology. We are working together with them to prevent any recurrence.’

The ECU is a new design for the 2013 season and has been introduced in preparation for the switch from V8’s to turbo-charged V6 engines next season.

NBA Christmas Day 2012 jerseys: Barclays Premier League won"t follow suit

NBA stock up with special Christmas Day kits (but don't worry, our Premier League clubs won't follow suit…)

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UPDATED:

17:36 GMT, 30 November 2012

NBA teams will wear limited edition Christmas Day kits this year. But panicked parents in England must fear not – it isn't an idea ready to be embraced in the Barclays Premier League.

The NBA are certain to cash-in on the lucrative limited edition designs, which will be worn by all the major basketball teams on December 25.

However, Sportsmail understands it has never been on the agenda at Premier League HQ and such an idea for Boxing Day-only kits would have to be recommended and agreed to by the clubs.

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms (below)

Different ball game: NBA stars will wear special Christmas Day-only uniforms

Premier League sides have their usual three kits approved in pre-season while officials granted special dispensation for them to wear the recent charitable Poppy kits (which clubs donated to raise funds for the Royal British Legion).

The NBA have explored the addition of one-off uniforms several times with previous themes including 'Latin Night', 'St Patrick's Day' and they will wear special training shirts for World Aids Day.

'The Christmas jerseys are fun,' said NBA commissioner David Stern, speaking exclusively to Sportsmail in New York.

'We're always doing throwback nights. We have Hispanic nights where the players' shirts will have 'Los Bulls' or 'Los Spurs' and sometimes we do a special uniform for some period of games. And so the idea for the Christmas Day jerseys came up and I was like, well let’s do it.

Standing firm: There are no plans to have Boxing Day-only kits in the Premier League

Standing firm: There are no plans to have Boxing Day-only kits in the Premier League

'The festive commercial we did, the cow of the bells isn't played actually because it is played by basketballs.

'These guys are bouncing basketballs and the idea was, let's do a limited number of Christmas Day uniforms (available at the NBA Europe store) and once they're sold out they are gone.

'It was like a kick of excitement. The commercial has over 5 million views within a week. That's crazy. I really do get a kick out of it.

'I wasn't really a big fan of all these changed uniforms. I came of age at a time when you looked at the TV set and you knew the Bulls were in red, the Celtics were in green, the Knicks were in blue, the Phoenix Suns had some orange configuration and the Lakers were the only ones who didn't wear white at home, they wore yellow.

Big seller: Miami Heat forward LeBron James is the most-purchased shirt by NBA fans

Big seller: Miami Heat forward LeBron James is the most-purchased shirt by NBA fans

'Then, all of a sudden New Orleans started wearing yellow in their home uniform and it was like, “Oh my God, everything's changing. Take me back to the good old days!”

'But you know what now – like with the Christmas uniforms – I think it's great. If you try it and you fail, you might look stupid but if you succeed then great.

'You've just got to let it go and don't take yourself too seriously.'

Miami Heat star LeBron James, meanwhile, was revealed as the biggest-selling shirt seller earlier this week.

'It's an honour to be No 1,' said James, who last had the league's best-selling jersey in April 2011.

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St Louis Rams England Patriots Wembley: Bill Belichick comes late to London"s NFL party

Gruff Belichick comes late to NFL party as Brady and the Patriots chase Rams victory

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 27 October 2012

For the second time in franchise history, Bill Belichick is bringing the New England Patriots to London. But – in stark contrast to the St Louis Rams – the controversial head coach is in no mood to spread the transatlantic NFL love-in.

While the Rams have been in England since Tuesday, spreading the gospel of Roger Goodell, enjoying Arsenal's training facilities and hosting events at Nike Town, the Patriots have joined the party late.

Hours after landing, a jet-lagged Belicheck addressed reporters on Friday sounding distinctly underwhelmed to be here.

'It’s good to be in London… Excited to be here. We’re looking forward to the game and facing the Rams — and London. It’s always nice to be in London,' he said.

Stony faced: Bill Belichick faces the media after the Patriots' late arrival in London

Stony faced: Bill Belichick faces the media after the Patriots' late arrival in London

One could argue excitement would
prompt an earlier arrival, but Belicheck continued his terse mood,
swatting away questions about the potential of an NFL franchise in
London.

'I’m not really sure. I haven’t
really thought about it. I’m just trying to coach the team I’m on, and I
don’t know about all the rest of it,' he replied with typical vim and
vigour.

After all, he has a game to focus on. The Patriots are one of three AFC teams with a winning record and after stumbling to 4-3, they top a surprisingly competitive AFC East. The Rams, meanwhile, are 3-4 and prop up the fierce NFC West.

Both teams know a win could kick-start their season, and the Wembley crowd could be in for a treat.

After all, there is some history between the two franchises.

Cast your mind back to a decade ago when the unheralded Patriots beat the mighty St Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI to herald the beginning of a dynasty.

Belichick was in his second season as Patriots head coach, one year removed from a 5-11 record.

His
quarterback was a young Tom Brady, an unheralded sixth-round draft
pick, thrust into the team when Drew Bledsoe burst a blood vessel in the
second week of the season as the team were sinking to 0-2.

Wild scenes: Patriots players grab the Vince Lombardi trophy to win the first Super Bowl - two more would follow in 2003 and 2004 - in franchise history

Wild scenes: Patriots players grab the Vince Lombardi trophy to win the first Super Bowl – two more would follow in 2003 and 2004 – in franchise history

To reach the Super Bowl was unlikely enough. Nobody was giving them a chance against a Rams team dubbed 'The Greatest Show on Turf'.

But a new age dawned as the Patriots won 20-17. Power shifted, and the last decade has passed very differently in St Louis and New England.

The Patriots won two more Super Bowls as Belichick and Brady built a perpetual contender that has reached the playoffs in eight of the past 10 seasons.

The Rams snuck into the play-offs twice more before everything unravelled, but never again has their team carried the same aura.

The two teams meet at Wembley for the third time since that famous night in New Orleans, as evenly matched as they have been since 2002.

This season, the Patriots have stumbled to a 4-3 record while the Rams see cause for hope in their 3-4 mark.

It is exactly the kind of match-up the Wembley series needs in its sixth year.

The novelty value is gone, and fans need something more to keep them engaged.

At ease: Tom Brady addresses the media in London

At ease: Tom Brady addresses the media in London

From next year, they will have annual visits from the Jacksonville Jaguars to look forward to – not the most stylish of teams, but at least a common element for fans to hang their hat on and watch develop.

That role was supposed to belong to the Rams, owned by Arsenal chairman Stan Kroenke, but they withdrew from the deal to focus on stadium redevelopment.

One visit will have to do, but it is well-timed as they begin their re-birth.

'This is an opportunity for us to spread the word,' said coach Jeff Fisher. 'As I like to say, the Rams are back.'

The Patriots do not need a revival. They are just trying to see how long they can keep this going.

At 35, Brady's best days might be behind him, but he remains as driven as ever.

'He continues to improve,' Belichick said. 'As a player each week is a different challenge for him. There are always new things to get a read on. He's very diligent, always looking for the little things that may prove an edge.'

The Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years starting in New Orleans, but have lost twice in the big game since – including last season – something that keeps Brady hungry.

Strong arm: Brady and back-up QB Ryan Mallett are in jovial mood in Foxborough earlier this week

Strong arm: Brady and back-up QB Ryan Mallett are in jovial mood in Foxborough earlier this week

'Sometimes you have to experience difficulties and challenges in order to move forward and be better at what you're doing,' he said.

'I don't think you ever get over really important losses. They stick in your mind, but at the same time you don't let them affect what you're doing.'

For Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, 11 years Brady's junior, Brady remains a role model.

'He's one of if not the best quarterback in the league,' Bradford said. 'He's been playing at a high level for a long time and any time you turn on the tape and watch him, it's very evident he's in total control.'

If Brady's work ethic is admirable, it pales in comparison to that of his coach.

Belichick borders on the obsessive, even though he has occasionally crossed the line – 2007's 'Spygate' scandal involving Patriots assistants illegally taping practice sessions of other teams will remain a stain on his legacy.

Coaching keeps him young and he shows no sign of slowing now he is in his 60s.

'I enjoy what I'm doing, I love the game of football,' he said. 'I love every aspect of coaching.'

Getting acclimatised: The Rams' Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis and Sam Bradford get used to the English elements

Getting acclimatised: The Rams' Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis and Sam Bradford get used to the English elements

Belichick's total commitment rubs off on his players.

'He's the only coach I've ever played for and the only coach I ever want to play for,' Brady said.

'Nobody works harder at this job than coach Belichick and what he brings in terms of preparation every single week, his commitment to the team, is exceptional.'

The rewards have been an exceptional record of success and a surefire place in the Hall of Fame one day. But nothing lasts forever, certainly not in the NFL.

The Rams have not beaten the Patriots since Super Bowl XXXVI.

If they can change that at Wembley, perhaps this will come to be seen as a game where power changed hands once more.

New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady looks ahead to NFL London showdown with St Louis Rams

Patriots return to London with new look as the Rams get down to some serious training before Sunday's NFL Wembley showdown

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UPDATED:

12:37 GMT, 26 October 2012

It is only three years since the New England Patriots last played at Wembley but there will only be a handful of familiar faces back for Sunday's match-up against the St Louis Rams.

Any advantage the Patriots might be hoping to get out of their experience of beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 35-7 in London in 2009 is dented by the turnover in their roster.

Only 13 of the 53-man roster of three years ago are still with the Pats, testament to ever-changing nature of NFL teams.

Star man: The Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady is one of just a handful of survivors from the team's last match at Wembley in 2009

Star man: The Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady is one of just a handful of survivors from the team's last match at Wembley in 2009

Coach Bill Belichick is still the man in charge, but he acknowledged this weekend's experience would be new to the vast majority of his players.

'I'm not sure how many of our players now were on that trip but I would say not a whole lot,' he said. 'There's been a decent amount of turnover since then. But you know, the experience for those of us that went, you have some idea what to expect. There's something to be said for that.'

Belichick has at least been able to use that experience when planning how to prepare his players – with the Patriots choosing to stay at home in Foxboro for most of the week while the Rams headed to London early.

Chemistry: Brady said longer trips like this one are invaluable team bonding exercises

Chemistry: Brady said longer trips like this one are invaluable team bonding exercises

And he also knows that most of the players who are still around from that trip are his team leaders, best placed to pass on what they know.

Chief among them is quarterback Tom Brady.

'Coach Belichick does a good job preparing us for stuff like this,' Brady said. 'But it's really a road game. We're leaving a few days early and it's going the opposite direction, so I think it's going to be important to get there and kind of get used to the environment a little bit.'

Still in charge: Patriots coach Bill Belichick was at the helm on their last visit in 2009

Still in charge: Patriots coach Bill Belichick was at the helm on their last visit in 2009

Brady also believes trips like this can help with team chemistry because, even with the late departure, they still involve more time away than a standard road game.

'I think there's definitely an element of that, yeah,' he said. 'I think you're together for extended periods of time, which is always fun. People are away from all their other commitments, certainly.

'At a home game, there are a lot of commitments that different players have, so when you go away, sometimes it's really nice for the players to get some rest, to get some extra preparation, that extra time with your coaches.

'On this particular trip, we have more time.'

Meanwhile, the Rams finish the week with a training session

Firm grip: St Louis Rams players Brit Miller (left) and Terrance Ganaway during the team's training session at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire on Friday

Firm grip: St Louis Rams players Brit Miller (left) and Terrance Ganaway during the team's training session at the Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire on Friday

Charge! The St Louis Rams squad is put through its paces ahead of Sunday's NFL Wembley showdown with the New England Patriots

Charge! The St Louis Rams squad is put through its paces ahead of Sunday's NFL Wembley showdown with the New England Patriots

Vision: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford tests his arm

Vision: Rams quarterback Sam Bradford tests his arm

Whoops: Guard Chris Williams fumbles a catch during practice

Whoops: Guard Chris Williams fumbles a catch during practice

Gainline: Danny Care shines for Harlequins

Euro Gainline: Exceptional Care shines while Imhoff adds spark to gloomy Racing defeat

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 21 October 2012

Player of the weekend: Danny Care

Player of the weekend: Danny Care

PLAYER OF THE WEEKEND

Danny Care. The scrum-half's two tries for Harlequins averted the threat of another shock defeat by Connacht. Conor O'Shea, Quins' director of rugby, said: 'Danny's in an exceptional run of form and it will be hard for England not to pick him.'

RICHIE'S ROUGHED UP

Wallabies flanker Scott Higginbotham has been charged with foul play for allegedly head-butting and kneeing New Zealand captain Richie McCaw after the All Blacks' hopes of setting a new world record of 17 consecutive Test wins were ruined by an 18-18 draw with Australia in Brisbane.

POST MODERNISM

Around 2,000 Saracens fans travelled to Brussels to see their side beat Racing Metro 30-13 in front of a ‘home’ crowd of 18,212.

It emerged that the ambitious club offered to use a hologram of goalposts in a bid to relocate a Heineken Cup fixture against Munster on December 15 to New York’s MetLife Stadium — home of the Giants and Jets.

Their bid was blocked by the NFL teams, who did not want Saracens to make two holes on the goal-line to fix the posts. Chief executive Edward Griffiths suggested using a hologram, but the idea was knocked back.

FARCE OF THE WEEK

Biarritz's 38-17 win over Italians Zebre was played out in a monsoon. The surface resembled a swimming pool and Takudzwa Ngwenya’s try was laughable. The ball stopped in a puddle, wrong-footing a defender, allowing the wing to score unopposed.

Slippery when wet: Biarritz's match with Zebre was played in a monsoon

Slippery when wet: Biarritz's match with Zebre was played in a monsoon

EXETER OVERPOWERED

Exeter established a 12-10 half-time lead over mighty Clermont Auvergne but were overwhelmed after the break, eventually losing 46-12.

Clermont’s power was summed up by the sight of their wing, Napolioni Nalaga, driving through a cluster of home forwards to score from close range.

TRY OF THE WEEK

Saracens had long since taken control but Racing Metro’s Juan Imhoff scoring with an audacious counter-attack was the highlight.

After a neat exchange of passes, Juan Martin Hernandez sent an American football-style overhead pass in-field for Imhoff to surge away to the posts.

Maicon warns Manchester City team-mates they must improve

Improve or lose the title! New boy Maicon fires warning to Man City team-mates

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UPDATED:

22:13 GMT, 26 September 2012

Manchester City’s new Brazilian full-back Maicon has warned his team-mates that any more slip ups will see them slide out of contention at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Maicon only joined City from Inter Milan on the last day of the transfer window but has already seen his team lose to Real Madrid in the Champions League and Aston Villa in the Carling Cup while league games at Stoke and at home to Arsenal have ended in draws.

Warning: Maicon knows Man City cannot afford any more bad results

Warning: Maicon knows Man City cannot afford any more bad results

City are yet to keep a clean sheet in
any competition and Maicon revealed on Wednesday that coach Roberto
Mancini has already introduced specific training sessions to try and put
that right.

Maicon said: ‘I know that Roberto is very focused on this. He wants to improve and we have to improve quickly because we can’t afford to have any more distance between us and the teams at the top of the league.

‘The manager doesn’t like conceding goals and he’s very passionate about that and he’s already working on that.

‘We will do even more work and our focus is on improving that and improving the team’s results as soon as possible.’

Maicon hopes the heel injury that he picked up in Madrid last week will heal in time for him to join the squad for the Premier League game at Fulham on Saturday.

On Tuesday he was in the stands at the Etihad Stadium as City lost to Villa and Mancini seemed to lose his cool with opposition number Paul Lambert.

Maicon admitted that it was a side of his coach he didn’t see when the two men worked together in Italy.

‘In Italy I haven’t seen this,’ added the South American. ‘He can get passionate but generally speaking he likes to keep quiet and keep the atmosphere around the team calm.

History: Maicon knew boss Roberto Mancini from life in Italy

History: Maicon knew boss Roberto Mancini from life in Italy

On the ball: Maicon says Mancini is very passionate

On the ball: Maicon says Mancini is very passionate

‘The players appreciate the fact when
the manager speaks up for the team and the players, especially because
he puts the pressure on him rather than giving it to the players.

‘It is important. That is the way he should be, a passionate coach who demands high standards.

‘If he gets angry he just reminds everybody of the standards required.

‘There is a minimum requirement that is always there. The players know they have to perform at that level.

‘All winning coaches are the same I think. If Sir Alex Ferguson has what they call the hairdryer, Roberto has the same passion.

‘All winning mangers are the same and they show this passion to the players because they really want to win and the players can feel that.

‘Roberto is no different. He’s a winning manager like the other ones.’

Maicon admitted that Mancini’s presence at City was the main motivating factor in him leaving Serie A.

He also revealed that he spoke to another Brazilian, former City forward Robinho, about the switch.

‘I spoke to Robinho and he warned me about the weather,’ he smiled. ‘But he told me that the people are very nice and that the city itself is nice and I agree with everything he said.

I’m setting in quite well and I enjoy being in Manchester.’

Maicon was speaking at the launch of City in the Community’s latest Connell Award with Manchester Futsal Club

Ryder Cup 2012: Ian Poulter won"t make predictions at Medinah

No more predictions, I guarantee it! Poulter keeping his cards close to his chest at Medinah

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 25 September 2012

There will be no bold predictions this time. No staring into the camera and telling the millions watching that a point in the singles is guaranteed.

'I think you will find that was a one hit wonder,' said Ian Poulter, referring to his breathtaking moment of fate-tempting at Celtic Manor two years ago.

'Do that on a regular basis at the Ryder Cup and you're guaranteed to fall flat on your backside and have everyone laugh at you.'

The future's bright: But Poulter won't be making any predictions this year

The future's bright: But Poulter won't be making any predictions this year

The Ryder Cup is far too important to Poulter to have it threatened by ridicule.

The fact a man who played off a five handicap at 17 could end up winning tournaments on five different continents is one of the great sagas of modern golf.

But it pales for Poulter alongside the achievement of playing in four Ryder Cup teams, with the magnificent record to date of eight wins and three losses in 11 matches.

Sign here, please: Poulter is competing in his fourth Ryder Cup

Sign here, please: Poulter is competing in his fourth Ryder Cup

'Everyone knows I'm proud of my tour victories but to make four Ryder Cups is a bigger achievement for me,' he said.

'There's nothing in golf that gets close to the Ryder Cup. Imagine pumping your fist after holing a putt on the first hole of a strokeplay event Everyone would think you an idiot. The emotion you're feeling is such that every holed putt at the Ryder Cup is like one you hole on the back nine at a major.'

Back home in Florida, no visitor to his enormous new house is allowed to leave without seeing his Ryder Cup trophy cabinet.

'Everything's in there. I've got the crystal. I've got flags signed, golf bags signed, shoes signed, menus signed. What can I say It is a very important part of my life, and I want to share it with the people who come to my house.'

Young Boys 3 Liverpool 5: Jonjo Shelvey wins Europa League opener for Brendan Rodgers

Young Boys 3 Liverpool 5: Shelvey wins eight-goal thriller for Rodgers' second string

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UPDATED:

19:04 GMT, 20 September 2012

Liverpool escaped with their 41-year unbeaten record against Swiss teams intact but a sloppy defensive performance almost cost them in their Europa League Group A encounter against Young Boys.

That Brendan Rodgers' second-string side, which included a trio of debutants – two of whom were teenagers – scored five times was something of a surprise considering the struggles of the first-team this season.

They were given an early helping hand thanks to a comical own goal from Juhani Ojala and 19-year-old Andre Wisdom scored on his debut after Raphael Nuzzolo had equalised following a Jose Enrique error.

20/20 vision: Jonjo Shelvey sealed the tie with two late goals

20/20 vision: Jonjo Shelvey sealed the tie with two late goals

Match facts

Young Boys: Wolfli, Sutter, Veskovac, Ojala, Raimondi, Zverotic (Frey 81), Spycher, Zarate (Gonzalez 65), Farnerud, Nuzzolo (Schneuwly 69), Bobadilla.

Subs not used: Benito, Vitkieviez, Costanzo, Lecjaks.

Booked: Raimondi, Veskovac, Bobadilla.

Goal: Nuzzolo 38, Ojala 52, Zarate 63.

Liverpool: Jones, Wisdom, Carragher, Coates, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Sahin, Fernandez Saez, Assaidi (Shelvey 66), Downing (Sterling 77), Pacheco (Borini.

Subs not used: Gulacsi, Wilson, Yesil, Robinson.

Booked: Borini

Goals: Ojala (og) 4, Wisdom 40, Coates 67, Shelvey 76, 88.

Referee: Michail Koukoulakis (Greece).

Latest Europa League results, fixtures and table

But Ojala then headed in at the right
end and Gonzalo Zarate made it 3-2 before the match turned around again
when Sebastian Coates headed in and then Jonjo Shelvey scored twice.

It was the first time Liverpool had
scored more than once in eight European away matches and their first in
any group stage game away from home since beating PSV in December 2008.

Rodgers wanted to give his younger
players a chance to prove they were good enough and while they may not
have convinced him he will not have to make 11 changes for Sunday's
visit of Manchester United – having left the likes of Steven Gerrard and
Luis Suarez at home – they at least displayed the character he was
looking for.

Despite concerns about the
inexperience of the squad, having left eight senior players at home, the
average age of the starting line-up was 24 – although that was pushed
up slightly by 34-year-old Jamie Carragher.

Their veteran centre-back was the
only player on the field who played in Liverpool's last away win in
European competition – excluding qualifiers – when the Reds beat
Romanians Unirea in February 2010.

Celebration time: Andre Wisdom (left) is hailed by Jordan Henderson and Jesus Fernandez Saez

Celebration time: Andre Wisdom (left) is hailed by Jordan Henderson and Jesus Fernandez Saez

On target: Andre Wisdom put Liverpool 2-1 up with this header

On target: Andre Wisdom put Liverpool 2-1 up with this header

The comedy started in the fourth minute when the Young Boys' defence got themselves in a tangle for no discernible reason.

Stewart Downing's right-wing cross
did not look to be threatening but Dusan Veskovac headed the ball back
across goal and his central defensive partner Ojala headed in.

That was only the beginning as
Wisdom's inexperience at this level caught him out when he went to fetch
the ball thinking he had a throw-in.

While he was off the pitch a ballboy
tossed another to Young Boys, who quickly restarted, leaving Wisdom –
more accustomed to the reserve team where you fetch your own ball –
running back on still carrying the ball he had chased.

But if that error was down to
inexperience, Jose Enrique's decision to dribble away from the hands of
Brad Jones in the 38th minute was bad judgement as he passed straight to
Nuzzolo – who drilled in a first-time shot before Jones had time to
recover properly.

Wisdom, however, came to his
defensive colleague's rescue two minutes later when he produced a huge
leap to head home Nuri Sahin's corner.

Zero to hero: Juhani Ojada scored for both sides

Zero to hero: Juhani Ojada scored for both sides

The goal was Liverpool's 200th in this competition since they first took part in 1967-68.

Wisdom was also the first Reds
defender to score on his club debut since Gabriel Paletta in October
2006 – which is where the England Under-19 international will want the
comparison to end.

Just before the break Alexander
Farnerud, who had earlier failed in trying to claim a penalty for
Carragher's challenge, hit a low shot against Jones' right-hand post.

The second half was less than 10
minutes old when Raul Bobadilla was given far too much room on the right
to pick out the run of Ojala to head in at the far post.

When Bobadilla outmuscled both
Carragher and Suso, another debutant, to send Zarate down right the
Argentinian neatly dinked over Jones.

Liverpool needed a quick response and
it came within four minutes as Coates' looping header crept in at the
far post with substitute Fabio Borini claiming a touch which was barely –
if at all – there.

Borini had a more decisive influence
on the winner as he picked out Jordan Henderson's run and the midfielder
cut the ball back for Shelvey to fire home – and the same player added a
similar second late on.

Rodgers' maiden Europa League
campaign is up and running in the most unlikely way – and the Northern
Irishman will be pleased his selection gamble did not backfire on him.

Ryan Giggs vows to claim title back from rivals Manchester City

United veteran Giggs vows to claim title back from rivals City

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UPDATED:

08:40 GMT, 14 September 2012

Ryan Giggs has underlined how determined Manchester United are to win the Premier League title back.

United lost out in agonising fashion to Manchester City last term and, with injuries depriving Sir Alex Ferguson of so many key members of his squad, the hangover has lingered.

After losing their opening match at Everton, the Old Trafford outfit looked set to suffer another defeat at Southampton immediately before the international break until Robin van Persie turned the game on its head.

Life of Ryan: Giggs is determined to win back the Premier League title

Life of Ryan: Giggs is determined to win back the Premier League title

It was the kind of result that can kick-start a season, and with Wigan the visitors tomorrow, Giggs is eager for United to find their feet.

'The lads can't wait to produce some of the football that we did last year,' the veteran Welshman told Key103.

'What happened last season was tough for everyone but you just have to come back in the right manner, which is what we hope to do.

Three and easy: Van Persie netted a hat-trick against Southampton

Three and easy: Van Persie netted a hat-trick against Southampton

'It is going to be tough because there are a lot of quality teams out there but you are always determined. We want to get it back.'

The availability of Van Persie and fellow new-boy Shinji Kagawa would help. However, along with Patrice Evra, all three are major doubts after picking up injuries on international duty in midweek.

Holland manager Louis van Gaal took Van Persie off with a thigh injury, while Kagawa has a back injury that forced him to miss Japan's encounter with Iraq.

With Wayne Rooney already out with his gashed thigh, United would be in trouble if they were forced to operate without two more players who have made such a positive impact at the club already.

'You hope the big players that you sign fit in straight away,' said the 38-year-old Giggs, who will be making his 600th Premier League appearance if he plays some part against the Latics.

'Sometimes it doesn't happen. With Shinji and Robin it has happened straight away, which is great.

'It gives everyone a lift in the squad. Training is a lot sharper and we are all fighting for places, which is what you want.

'It just ups the performance level.'

Nike replace Umbro for England kits

FA announce deal with Nike to kit out England as American giants replace Umbro

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UPDATED:

10:47 GMT, 3 September 2012

American sportswear giant Nike will be the new official kit provider for the England football team.

As revealed by Sportsmail, Nike will launch a new England strip as next spring as the Football Association marks its 150th anniversary.

The new kit will be released just a year after the current version went on sale, which in turn replaced one used for just eight games.

Change strip: How the England kit may look with the Nike swoosh

Change strip: How the England kit may look with the Nike swoosh

WHAT THE DEAL INCLUDES
Supplying kit and match-balls to all of Club England’s 24 football teams at every level, including the men’s national teams, women’s, Futsal, disability and amateurSponsorship and support of St. George’s Park, the home of the National Football Centre in Burton-upon-Trent, which in addition to hosting the England Senior team will train and develop a generation of coaches, referees and medical staff every yearSupporting partner of Wembley Stadium, the home of English footballSupporting partner for The FA Cup, supplying match balls for every round of the world’s most famous cup competitionSupply of product to County FAs

Fans will be reluctant to splash out on yet another replica which commands a price tag of around 50.

The strip could make its debut in the Auld Enemy clash with Scotland at Wembley on August 14.

The contract runs until 31 July 2018 and replaces the deal with Umbro, who Nike bought in 2007 but decided to sell this summer.

And rather than stick with the Manchester-based brand who have supplied England's kit for most of the last 60 years, the FA opted to transfer their allegiance to the parent company before the sale went through.

The FA refused to confirm the value of the deal but it is understood to be at least the same value as the contract signed with Umbro.

It also includes sponsorship rights at the new National Football Centre and Wembley and the supply of match balls for the FA Cup.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: 'I am delighted that the FA has secured this new wide-ranging and comprehensive partnership with Nike.

'It is an extremely exciting time for both parties with the opening of St George's Park this year and The FA's 150th anniversary in 2013.

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

New order: Rooney and Co are set to be kitted in strips by Nike instead of Umbro

'I would also like to place on record
our gratitude to Umbro and their significant contribution to the game,
the FA and England teams, over a 60-year period.'

Nike Brand president Charlie Denson
added: 'The pride and passion of England fans is renowned throughout the
football world and we are delighted to partner with the FA.

'We look forward to supporting England
teams at every level with innovative product technology and playing our
part to help develop the future of English football through our support
of St George's Park.'