Tag Archives: tussles

Montrose 0 Rangers 0 – match report: Ally McCoist"s men crowned Irn-Bru Scottish Third Division champions

Montrose 0 Rangers 0: McCoist's men crowned champions despite goalless draw

By
Lisa Gray, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:00 GMT, 31 March 2013

Rangers clinched the Irn-Bru Third Division title on Saturday to complete stage one of their journey back to the top of Scottish Football.

The Light Blues were held to a goalless draw at Montrose in a noon kick-off but were confirmed as champions three hours later when a Stuart Leslie penalty secured victory for Elgin over Queen's Park.

The result at Hampden means nearest rivals Queen's cannot catch the Ibrox outfit in the title race, as Ally McCoist secured his first piece of silverware as Rangers manager.

Get the party started: Rangers players pose after winning the Third Division

Get the party started: Rangers players pose after winning the Third Division

Goaless: Rangers' Kane Hemmings tussles for the ball with Cammy MacDonald

Goaless: Rangers' Kane Hemmings tussles for the ball with Cammy MacDonald

His side have looked unconvincing at
times this term but have done enough to force themselves over the
finishing line with several games to spare, following their demotion to
the bottom tier of Scottish football after being consigned to
liquidation in the summer and losing their top-flight status.

Rangers made two changes following last week's drab stalemate against Stirling at Ibrox for the clash at Montrose.

David Templeton and Ian Black returned
from injury and suspension respectively to start, with Barrie McKay and
Fraser Aird dropping to the bench.

Rangers were handed a tough match the last time they visited Links Park in December, leaving with a hard-fought 4-2 win.

Chalked off: Montrose's Martin Boyle has finds the net only to have his goal ruled out

Chalked off: Montrose's Martin Boyle finds the net only to have his goal ruled out

This time around, they started sharply
with efforts from Robbie Crawford and Lee McCulloch blocked in quick
succession, before Kyle Hutton eventually rifled wide.

Templeton tested the goalkeeper when
he collected a Kane Hemmings header before unleashing an impressive half
volley that stung the palms of John Gibson.

The winger was threatening again when
he cut inside from the left before having another crack at goal but
Stephen McNally blocked for a corner.

Templeton then turned provider for Lee
Wallace and his effort was touched onto the bar by the keeper, as
Rangers kept up the pressure.

At the other end, a Paul Watson strike from distance took a massive deflection and spun just past the upright.

Champions elect Ally McCoist side could still become champions if Queens Park slip up against Elgin City

A matter of time: Ally McCoist side could still become champions if Queens Park slip up against Elgin City

Bolstered by the chance, the home side carved out another couple of decent opportunities.

David Gray – who has netted home and
away against Gers this season – forced a save from Neil Alexander,
before Alan Campbell glanced a header inches wide.

Montrose should have taken the lead
through Martin Boyle but his back post header was off target when he
should have had the net bulging.

The home side picked up where they
left off in the second half when Gray pounced on a poor clearance from
Emilson Cribari and lashed narrowly over the crossbar a minute after the
restart.

Crunch: Ian Black takes a tough challenge from Montrose's Terry Masson

Crunch: Ian Black takes a tough challenge from Montrose's Terry Masson

Rangers had a good chance of their own when Wallace's cut-back found Hemmings and his shot forced a decent save from Gibson.

Montrose thought they had taken the lead when they had the ball in the net after 65 minutes.

Alexander fumbled an awkward cross
that fell for Terry Masson. His shot was saved but the keeper could not
hold that ball, which was turned into the empty net by Boyle.

But the goal was disallowed by referee Kevin Clancy for a foul on Alexander.

It looked to be a controversial
decision and a let off for Rangers, whose celebrations came later in the
day as they made the trip back to Ibrox and took a major step in their
road to recovery.

Barcelona"s New York transfer summit – Chelsea"s David Luiz top summer target

Revealed: Barcelona's New York transfer summit – Spanish giants want Chelsea's Luiz and Wembley flop Neymar (and that means Villa would be free to join Arsenal)

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

22:31 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 14 February 2013

Top Barcelona officials met in New York this week to thrash out the club's transfer strategy and one of their top targets is Chelsea defender David Luiz.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova, who is currently on sick leave, met with sporting director
Andoni Zubizarreta, technical secretary Albert Valentn and football co-ordinator Narcis Julia in the United States.

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Rough and tumble: Brazil defender David Luiz (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney during England's 2-1 win at Wembley last week

Tito Vilanova

Another target: Neymar is wanted by Barca

New York summit: Tito Vilanova (left) flew to America where plans were drawn up to sign Neymar (right)

Vilanova is
keen to strengthen his defence, despite club captain Carles Puyol only
recent signing a new deal at the Nou Camp and 25-year-old Luiz is seen as a long-term replacement, despite the Brazil centre half struggling for consistency at Stamford Bridge this season.

Luiz's fellow Brazilian Neymar, who was widely criticised for his insipid performance at Wembley against England, was also on his list, which would allow Arsenal target David Villa to leave.

If he does make the move in the summer
then Luiz could team up with a couple of former Premier League players
in Alex Song and Cesc Fabregas.

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Arsenal hope: Barcelona's David Villa, could be on his way out of Barca, who hope Luiz (below) will come in

Blues brother: Barcelona are keen to sign David Luiz in the summer

According to Portuguese paper A Bola, Chelsea would be reluctant to sell one of their assets to their European rivals.

But they also suggest that if they were to let him go to Spain, then they would want to recoup a sizeable amount of the 21m transfer fee they forked out for him in 2011.

Chelsea are third in the Premier League and Luiz and his team-mates face a battle to secure Champions League football next season as they are only one point ahead of fellow London rivals Tottenham, with Arsenal an additional four points behind them.

Adam Jones looks forward to Leicester, Wales… and maybe the Lions

Tigers test for Lionheart Adam: Jones looks ahead to Leicester, Wales… and maybe a trip to Australia

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 19 October 2012

Adam Jones chuckles when asked about his yellow card for trading blows with a Treviso forward last week.

‘I’m not a fighter, I don’t know what happened there,’ he said. The man affectionately known as ‘Bomb’ is normally explosive in an entirely legitimate sense.

The 31-year-old prop has become renowned as a formidable scrummager and on his day is arguably the leading tighthead in the world.

Hair we go: Ospreys tighthead Adam Jones has 85 Wales caps

Hair we go: Ospreys tighthead Adam Jones has 85 Wales caps

All his set-piece clout will be
required by the Ospreys on Sunday as they square up to familiar foes,
Leicester, at Welford Road in the Heineken Cup. The Tigers have a
staggering array of front-row muscle at their disposal and their answer
to Jones is the man who is likely to emerge as his leading Lions rival
next summer, Dan Cole.

While not quite a head-to-head
contest, it promises to be an intriguing match-up nonetheless, and the
Welsh veteran of three Grand Slam triumphs is well aware of the threat
posed by the younger Englishman.

‘Dan Cole is a very good prop,’ he
said. ‘I first played against him in 2010. He did pretty well in the
scrums, then they took him off and Paul (James) had a good go at
Castrogiovanni after that. To be as dominant as he is in the scrum, at
his age, is impressive. He’s a lot wiser than most props in their
mid-20s. I guess he is a Lions rival. Potentially, both of us could get
picked for the tour.’

There is a lot of ‘previous’ between
the Ospreys and Leicester – plenty of tight tussles and a dash of
controversy too, when the Welsh region found themselves in hot water for
briefly fielding 16 men against the Tigers. Jones always relishes this
fixture, such is the onus on the confrontation up front.

‘Leicester always have a strong
pack,’ he said. ‘They have this whole mentality about forward play that
is instilled in them. They are brought up on it. And they’ve got so many
international-class props. It is a bit worrying that they can bring
someone like Castro on for the last 20 minutes.

‘The first time we played Leicester
was the first time I really encountered any of the 'dark arts' – pulling
players back off the ball and stuff like that. I remember Harry Ellis
went through and they were pulling our defenders out of position. We
thought, “Right, this is what you have to do to compete”.

'Another time, we played them at the
Gnoll and they brought Lewis Moody and Josh Kronfeld on for the last
three minutes. The depth they had was ridiculous.’

Making a big impression: Adam Jones in action for the Lions in South Africa in 2009

Making a big impression: Adam Jones in action for the Lions in South Africa in 2009

Jones has been with the Ospreys from
the advent of regional rugby in 2003. He likes the direction the
Swansea-based side have taken – away from the ‘Galactico’ era and
towards a greater emphasis on youth. He understands the financial
factors behind the exodus of Welsh players to France and may even
consider a cross-Channel move himself when his current contract expires
at the end of next season. Yet, when offers were on the table a year
ago, the timing wasn’t right to up-root his young family, so he stayed.

The Grand Slam triumphs adorn a Test
career which currently amounts to 85 caps. Jones has been a cornerstone
of the Wales pack for several years, but his real breakthrough came with
the Lions in 2009. Then, famously, he replaced Phil Vickery during the
first Test in Durban and managed to turn the tables on Tendai ‘The
Beast’ Mtawarira, the Springbok loosehead who had been wreaking havoc on
the tourists’ scrum.

He will never forget that South
Africa tour and it has left him craving a place on the 2013 crusade to
Australia. ‘If any player says they aren’t thinking about the Lions
tour, they are lying,’ he said. ‘I’m definitely thinking about it.

‘What fascinated me was how much
interest there was in the Lions. I was picked to start against Natal
Sharks and when I did interviews, there were probably three journalists
there. When I was picked for the second Test, I couldn’t believe how
many people were there. In the space of about three weeks it was as if
the whole world had turned up! You don’t realise how big the Lions is
until you are involved in it.

Adam Jones

Enlarge

Getting ready: Jones' Ospreys team face up to Leicester this weekend

Lionheart: Jones on the 2009 tour of South Africa (left) and in training this week (right)

‘It was a real highlight of my career
and I did quite well out in South Africa. In Durban, the scrum hadn’t
been going too well and I was told to warm up, ready to come on. I’d
never been so nervous about playing – my heart was beating like crazy –
but as we’d been struggling, I thought if we just have a couple of
steady scrums, that would settle me down a bit.’

He steadied the ship and so much
more, but Jones felt sympathy for Vickery, who had to endure the
indignity of being hauled off early. After all, the Welshman had spent a
large swathe of his early Test career being used in the highly unusual
role of impact starter – taken off after half-an-hour. He looks back on
it as a grim personal ordeal.

‘I got on well with Vicks and I
remember when I was being brought after 30 minutes with Wales, so I
wouldn’t wish that on anyone,’ he said.

‘I struggled with it at the time. I
didn’t know how to deal with it. I just went into my shell and bottled
up all my emotions. These days we can use sports psychologists but back
then it wasn’t really an option. I wish I’d asked Steve (Hansen,
the-then Wales coach) at the time why he was doing it. That might have
helped me deal with it. I just wanted to know why it was happening.’

Since then, so much top-level
experience and so much dedication to improved fitness mean Jones has
fulfilled so much personal ambition. What remains to be fulfilled is
being part of European success with the Ospreys, to match their league
achievements. Three times they have reached the quarter-finals of the
Heineken Cup, but that is as far as they have gone.

This season, they are in a pool with
Leicester, Treviso and Toulouse. It is a mighty challenge, but with such
a mighty tighthead in their ranks, there is cause for hope.

Cristiano Ronaldo"s 100th Portugal shirt goes to Oliver Norwood – thanks to Rio Ferdinand

Ronaldo's landmark 100th Portugal shirt goes to rookie Norwood… thanks to Rio

|

UPDATED:

07:28 GMT, 18 October 2012

It was a night no Northern Ireland player will forget in a hurry, but Rio Ferdinand helped make it even more memorable for one star-struck member of Michael O’Neill’s side at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt came second only to World Cup qualifying points as the night’s most prized possession, and the final whistle sparked a stampede towards Portugal’s Real Madrid winger.

Each request was politely declined, as Ronaldo explained the ultimate souvenir from a stirring Northern Ireland performance had already been earmarked for an unlikely recipient.

Dream come true: Ronaldo tussles with Oliver Norwood before swapping shirts with the Huddersfield man

Dream come true: Ronaldo tussles with Oliver Norwood before swapping shirts with the Huddersfield man

It was going to little-known Huddersfield midfielder Oliver Norwood, on the orders of Ferdinand.

The 21-year old former Manchester United junior, snapped up by Huddersfield last summer after failing to break through to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team, described how he enlisted Ferdinand’s help to make him the envy of his Northern Ireland team-mates.

‘Rio and I have the same agent, and I knew he had kept in touch with Ronaldo from their days together at United,’ he said, after Northern Ireland’s 1-1 draw. ‘So I phoned him last week and asked if he could put a word in for me. I just explained how much it would mean to have Ronaldo’s shirt, and could he possibly see what the chances were.

Oh, what a night: Norwood celebrates Niall McGinn's opener in Porto

Oh, what a night: Norwood celebrates Niall McGinn's opener in Porto

‘I was hoping that might do the trick, but I wanted to make sure, so I went up to Ronaldo before the game and introduced myself. He just said: “Yeah, Rio spoke to me. Don’t worry – the shirt’s yours.”

‘A few of the lads went up to him at the end, but he was as good as his word. He wasn’t happy about the way the game had gone and wasn’t exactly in the best of moods, but he actually came over to me, shook hands and said: “I haven’t forgotten. You can have the shirt.”

‘That just rounded off a great night for me. I couldn’t have wished for a better keepsake from such a fantastic occasion. Of all the memorabilia I have picked up during my career, this is far and away the best.

Mixing it: Nani and Norwood battle

Mixing it: Nani and Norwood battle

‘I will frame it, as soon as I get it home, and keep it. It will have pride of place among all my football possessions. I will show it my kids and grandkids in years to come and tell them that’s the shirt Ronaldo wore in his 100th international appearance. I was on the pitch with him, and there’s the evidence. I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and I owe Rio for setting it up for me. It was so good of him, and I am really grateful.’

As a further boost for Northern Ireland, record goalscorer David Healy hopes to be back to full match fitness by the time they face Azerbaijan in their next qualifier, at Windsor Park on November 14.

Oliver Norwood gets Cristiano Ronaldo"s Portugal shirt after 100th cap… all thanks to Rio Ferdinand

Norwood ends up with Ronaldo's Portugal shirt after 100th cap… all thanks to Rio

|

UPDATED:

22:42 GMT, 17 October 2012

It was a night no Northern Ireland player will forget in a hurry, but Rio Ferdinand helped make it even more memorable for one star-struck member of Michael O’Neill’s side at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s shirt came second only to World Cup qualifying points as the night’s most prized possession, and the final whistle sparked a stampede towards Portugal’s Real Madrid winger.

Each request was politely declined, as Ronaldo explained the ultimate souvenir from a stirring Northern Ireland performance had already been earmarked for an unlikely recipient.

Dream come true: Ronaldo tussles with Oliver Norwood before swapping shirts with the Huddersfield man

Dream come true: Ronaldo tussles with Oliver Norwood before swapping shirts with the Huddersfield man

It was going to little-known Huddersfield midfielder Oliver Norwood, on the orders of Ferdinand.

The 21-year old former Manchester United junior, snapped up by Huddersfield last summer after failing to break through to Sir Alex Ferguson’s first team, described how he enlisted Ferdinand’s help to make him the envy of his Northern Ireland team-mates.

‘Rio and I have the same agent, and I knew he had kept in touch with Ronaldo from their days together at United,’ he said, after Northern Ireland’s 1-1 draw. ‘So I phoned him last week and asked if he could put a word in for me. I just explained how much it would mean to have Ronaldo’s shirt, and could he possibly see what the chances were.

Oh, what a night: Norwood celebrates Niall McGinn's opener in Porto

Oh, what a night: Norwood celebrates Niall McGinn's opener in Porto

‘I was hoping that might do the trick, but I wanted to make sure, so I went up to Ronaldo before the game and introduced myself. He just said: “Yeah, Rio spoke to me. Don’t worry – the shirt’s yours.”

‘A few of the lads went up to him at the end, but he was as good as his word. He wasn’t happy about the way the game had gone and wasn’t exactly in the best of moods, but he actually came over to me, shook hands and said: “I haven’t forgotten. You can have the shirt.”

‘That just rounded off a great night for me. I couldn’t have wished for a better keepsake from such a fantastic occasion. Of all the memorabilia I have picked up during my career, this is far and away the best.

Mixing it: Nani and Norwood battle

Mixing it: Nani and Norwood battle

‘I will frame it, as soon as I get it home, and keep it. It will have pride of place among all my football possessions. I will show it my kids and grandkids in years to come and tell them that’s the shirt Ronaldo wore in his 100th international appearance. I was on the pitch with him, and there’s the evidence. I’m absolutely thrilled with it, and I owe Rio for setting it up for me. It was so good of him, and I am really grateful.’

As a further boost for Northern Ireland, record goalscorer David Healy hopes to be back to full match fitness by the time they face Azerbaijan in their next qualifier, at Windsor Park on November 14.

Southampton 0 Wigan 2: Di Santo and Kone punish sloppy Saints

Southampton 0 Wigan 2: Di Santo and Kone punish sloppy Saints

|

UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 25 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

New-boys Southampton were left searching for their first points in the Barclays Premier League after Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone got Wigan's season up and running at St Mary's.

The Saints and Wigan had never met before in a league match and were both looking to bounce back after opening day defeats.

Southampton went close through Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte before Wigan broke the deadlock when Shaun Maloney's cross found Di Santo eight yards out and he fired his effort into the net in the 51st minute

Kone sealed victory with an 89th-minute strike.

More to follow…

In front: Franco Di Santo (left) put Wigan ahead against Southampton

In front: Franco Di Santo (left) put Wigan ahead against Southampton

MATCH FACTS

.

James McCarthy of Wigan tussles with Adam Lallana of Southampton

James McCarthy of Wigan tussles with Adam Lallana of Southampton

.

Wigan's Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa (L) jumps over with Southampton's Brazilian striker Guly (R)

Wigan's Honduran defender Maynor Figueroa (L) jumps over with Southampton's Brazilian striker Guly (R)

.

Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin (left) challenges Wigan's Gary Caldwell

Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin (left) challenges Wigan's Gary Caldwell

.

James McCarthy of Wigan turns away from Adam Lallana

James McCarthy of Wigan turns away from Adam Lallana

.

Wigan's Scottish midfielder James McCarthy (R) takes on Steven Davies

Wigan's Scottish midfielder James McCarthy (R) takes on Steven Davies

.

Gary Caldwell (R) challenges Guly

Gary Caldwell (R) challenges Guly

.

Wigan's Arouna Kone on the ball

Wigan's Arouna Kone on the ball

.

.

Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake dodge duel at Lausanne Diamond League

Sprint titans Bolt and Blake dodge a duel in Lausanne as showdown proves too costly

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 22 August 2012

Following the euphoria of London 2012, Olympians from across the globe are competing again on Thursday night in a Diamond League meet in Switzerland.

Sprint sensation Usain Bolt will race in the 200 metres in Lausanne — but has avoided fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake who will run in the 100m.

The pair contested Olympian tussles that more than matched the occasion over the 100m and 200m — Bolt wining both — before combining to help break the 4x100m world record.

Raring to go: Usain Bolt is set to race again for the first time since his remarkable Olympics

Raring to go: Usain Bolt is set to race again for the first time since his remarkable Olympics

But the value of a race involving the two has soared since the Games and not even the Diamond League — the most lucrative meet in athletics — can afford it.

Blake said: ‘I love to race against Usain but I leave that to my manager. He has chosen some great races for me and he knows what he is doing.’

The pair are also scheduled to avoid each other at Diamond League meets in Zurich and Brussels before they finish their season.

Blake’s manager Cubie Seegobin said: ‘Maybe if there is some rich guy who wants to put the money up for this race it can happen.’

Signature: Bolt strikes his famous pose during a conference at IMD Business School in Lausanne

Signature: Bolt strikes his famous pose during a conference at IMD Business School in Lausanne

Blake will face Tyson Gay in the 100m who came fourth in the Olympics with a time of 9.80sec, only five hundredths of a second behind Blake.

Gay is still the second fastest man of all time — a record set when he ran 9.69 in 2009 — and his form has improved steadily in the past year.

The Beast: Yohan Blake in Lausanne

The Beast: Yohan Blake in Lausanne

Away from the track, Great Britain’s
Robbie Grabarz, who won bronze in the high jump, will get the chance to
test himself against gold medal winner Ivan Ukhov from Russia.

It was Grabarz’s bronze that took Great Britain’s medal total to 48, surpassing Beijing four years previously and making London 2012 the biggest medal haul in 104 years.

The former European gold medal winner jumped 2.29 metres but he has some way to go to beat Ukhov whose winning jump of 2.38 was the second highest jump in Olympic history.

Fellow Brit Lawrence Okoye has not given up on discus after coming last in the final at the Games. The 20-year-old giant, who is 6ft 6in and weighs 20st, has an offer to read law at Oxford University and was considering returning to play professional rugby.

Martyn Rooney and Conrad Williams run in the 400m against Kirani James who became the first person to win an Olympic medal for Grenada when he took gold. And Steve Lewis, competing in the pole vault, completes the Brits taking part.

The women who won gold, silver and bronze in the 100m will face each other again. Jamaican Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won her second consecutive Olympic gold — the third woman to retain the 100m title.

She races Carmelita Jeter from USA, who won Olympic silver, and Jamaica’s Veronica Campbell-Brown, who won bronze.

London 2012 Olympics: Torch forced to change route after protests in Londonderry

Torch relay route forced to change after protesters scuffle with police in Derry

|

UPDATED:

19:07 GMT, 4 June 2012

The Olympic torch had to be rerouted 100 yards on Monday because of protests in Northern Ireland.

Minor scuffles with a group of people demonstrating against police raids on homes in Londonderry prompted the switch near the city's Guildhall, SDLP MLA Mark Durkan said.

It followed a day of dramatic scenery and cheering crowds as the flame made its way around the region.

Unrest: A protester tussles with PSNI officers near the Peace Bridge in Derry City

Unrest: A protester tussles with PSNI officers near the Peace Bridge in Derry City

Tension: Protesters are watched by Police Service of Northern Ireland officers in Londonderry

Tension: Protesters are watched by Police Service of Northern Ireland officers in Londonderry

Mr Durkan said: 'We support anyone's right to protest but that has been abused here today in Derry.

'People are just absolutely disgusted that there will be negative headlines for the city coming out of a great afternoon.'

Change of plan: The Olympic Torch is rerouted in Guildhall Street, Londonderry

Change of plan: The Olympic Torch is rerouted in Guildhall Street, Londonderry

Overshadowed: The protests forced the rerouting of the Olympic Torch relay

Overshadowed: The protests forced the rerouting of the Olympic Torch relay

He added: 'It was not a massive detour, it had been coming down Custom House Street and then had to turn and go back around the Guildhall so you are talking 100 yards but it was not what was planned and that is pretty embarrassing.'

Peak: Torchbearer Peter Jack holds the Olympic Flame aloft on the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim

Peak: Torchbearer Peter Jack holds the Olympic Flame aloft on the Giant's Causeway, County Antrim


Torch tour: Bearers Clare Leahy (left) and Denis Broderick carry the torch over the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge in Ballintoy

Torch tour: Bearers Clare Leahy (left) and Denis Broderick carry the torch over the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge in Ballintoy


Spectacular views: The Olympic Torch was treated to some fine scenery

Spectacular views: The Olympic Torch was treated to some fine scenery

Handover: Lee Hamill passes the Flame to Jean Jones in front of Dunluce Castle

Handover: Lee Hamill passes the Flame to Jean Jones in front of Dunluce Castle

View from the bridge: Northern Ireland provided some incredible sights

View from the bridge: Northern Ireland provided some incredible sights

Fabrice Muamba guest at Real Madrid v Manchester United veterans match

Muamba guests at Man United and Real Madrid legends charity match

|

UPDATED:

23:06 GMT, 3 June 2012

Fabrice Muamba was a guest at Sunday night's charity Corazon Classic Match between Real Madrid and Manchester United veterans teams at the Bernabeu.

The Bolton midfielder, who suffered a cardiac arrest in an FA Cup tie at Tottenham in March, was given an ovation by both star-studded sides and spectators as he carried the match ball out for the kick-off.

Zidane and Muamba

Carlos, Muamba and Hierro

Stars: Fabrice Muamba with Zinedine Zidane (left), Roberto Carlos and Fernando Hierro

The third edition of the Corazon Classic Match, from which the proceeds will go to Real's Foundation academies in Africa, saw Madrid beat their United counterparts 3-2 in front of a crowd of around 60,000.

Recognise these guys Manchester United veteran Dwight Yorke with Fernando Redondo (left), Zidane (2nd right) and Luis Figo (right)

Recognise these guys Manchester United veteran Dwight Yorke with Fernando Redondo (left), Zidane (2nd right) and Luis Figo (right)

Oi, ref! Figo, Zidane and Redondo talk amicably to the referee

Oi, ref! Figo, Zidane and Redondo talk amicably to the referee

Madrid's goals came from Fernando Morientes, Luis Figo and Fernando Redondo, with United's scorers being Lee Sharpe and Teddy Sheringham.

Also involved in the match were the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Roberto Carlos, Emilio Butragueno, Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Edwin van der Sar.

Still got it: Zidane acrobatically controls the ball

Still got it: Zidane acrobatically controls the ball

Hurdy gurdy: Aitor Karanka (left) tussles with Manchester United's Jesper Blomqvist

Hurdy gurdy: Aitor Karanka (left) tussles with Manchester United's Jesper Blomqvist

Titus Bramble says woman he is accused of sexually assaulting was "touchy feely and flirty"

Bramble tells court that woman he is accused of sexually assaulting was 'touchy feely and flirty'

|

UPDATED:

14:35 GMT, 30 May 2012

Sunderland defender Titus Bramble said a woman who accused him of sexual assault was 'touchy feely and flirty' and kissed him 'passionately' as they shared a taxi from a nightclub.

The Sunderland centre-back told a court she put her hand on his crotch during the journey and at no point did she tell him to stop.

On trial: Titus Bramble (left) arrives at Teeside Crown Court on Wednesday

On trial: Titus Bramble (left) arrives at Teeside Crown Court on Wednesday

Bramble, 30, is on trial accused of grabbing a woman's bottom in the Cross Keys nightclub in Yarm, Teesside, then repeatedly sexually assaulting another woman in a taxi home.

He denies all four charges.

Giving evidence at Teesside Crown Court, Bramble said of the second alleged assault in the cab: “We were kissing. We kissed a couple of times passionately.

'She was touching me and putting my hand on her leg.'

He said the woman, who he had met before, also touched his crotch.

Bramble said her mood then changed, adding: 'She then said that she wanted to go to an address and that she wasn't happy.'

The taxi driver believed something was wrong and drove the pair to a police station, jurors have been told.

In action: Sunderland player Bramble (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney

In action: Sunderland player Bramble (right) tussles with Wayne Rooney

The court has already heard evidence from both complainants.

The first, who was in the Cross Keys, said she felt someone grope her bottom and turned to see Bramble “smirking”, which made her “very uncomfortable”.

Bramble denies it was him.

She reported the incident after the other woman claimed she was assaulted in a taxi by the Sunderland star, which they caught in Yarm on the same night – September 28 last year.

During the journey, he put his hand up her dress without her consent and twice forced her hand on to his groin, which made her “really scared”, she told the jury.

Taxi driver Abid Hussain yesterday said he felt the woman 'needed help' so he diverted to Stockton police station.

The alleged victim locked herself in a toilet and Bramble, of Wynyard near Middlesbrough, was arrested.

The footballer, who has played for Ipswich, Newcastle and Wigan Athletic, made no comment during police interviews, except to deny the charges.
The trial, scheduled to end on Friday, continues.