Tag Archives: verge

Andre Santos signs for Gremio on loan from Arsenal

I came to be a champion! Santos thinking positive as Arsenal confirm Gremio switch

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

06:27 GMT, 11 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 11 February 2013

Andre Santos has joined Gremio on loan until the end of the season.

Santos moved to Arsenal from Fenerbahce in August 2011, but has failed to hold down a regular place in Arsene Wenger's first team.

Close: Andre Santos is on the verge of leaving Arsenal and returning to Brazil

Close: Andre Santos is on the verge of leaving Arsenal and returning to Brazil

New boy: Arsene Wenger brought in left back Nacho Monreal in January

New boy: Arsene Wenger brought in left back Nacho Monreal in January

The form of Kieran Gibbs and the
arrival of Nacho Monreal means the Brazilian left-back has made only six
starts for the Londoners this season and he has now been given a chance
to play regular football back in his homeland.

'I came to be a champion with the club,' 29-year-old Santos told Gremio's official website.

Arsenal signed Santos from Fenerbahce for 6.8million in August 2011.

A picture of Santos arriving in his
homeland, where he last played for Corinthians in 2008-2009, greeted by
cheering fans was posted on Twitter.

Meanwhile, Arsenal forward Lukas
Podolski put a post on his official Twitter account which read:
“@Andre-santos27 We will miss you man, I wish u all the very best
Gunner God bless you”.

Santos made 26 appearances for Arsenal, scoring four goals.

Manchester United went "extra mile" in Robin van Persie pursuit, says Sir Alex Ferguson

United landed Van Persie because they went the 'extra mile', claims Ferguson

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

10:32 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 11 January 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson believes Manchester United went the 'extra mile' in their pursuit of Robin van Persie.

The Manchester United boss will once again look to striker Van Persie for inspiration in Sunday's crunch clash with Liverpool, and he admitted today the Holland international has proved even more valuable than he thought when he bought him from Arsenal in the summer.

'I don't think we appreciated the full value of Robin but we are seeing that now,' said Ferguson on Friday. 'We realise the type of player he is and he has become really important for us.'

Star man: Van Persie has been one of the signings of the season after arriving from Arsenal in a 24m deal

Star man: Van Persie has been one of the signings of the season after arriving from Arsenal in a 24m deal

City manager Roberto Mancini continues to rue the fact that his club didn't go the extra yard in their own pursuit of Van Persie in the summer.

Ferguson said: 'You either want players or you don't. 'You have to pay the price the selling club is holding out for.

'We wanted him badly so we were prepared to go the extra mile for him. 'That's the way the game is these days.

'Negotiations tend to end with both clubs satisfied and neither happy. That's the way it works.'

Comeback: Rooney is on the verge of returning from injury for Manchester United

Comeback: Rooney is on the verge of returning from injury for Manchester United

In his morning press conference, Ferguson also revealed that Wayne Rooney is on the verge of a comeback for United.

Ferguson said that Rooney will not be
ready for the visit of Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League but is
back in training and may make the FA Cup replay with West Ham next week.

Ferguson said: 'Wayne will train today but Sunday will be too early. He could play next week against West Ham.'

United face Liverpool with a seven
point lead over City in the league. With United playing before City's
game at Arsenal later in the day, the lead could be ten points.

Bradford 3 Aston Villa 1 match report

Bradford 3 Aston Villa 1: Inspired Bantams on the verge of Wembley after sinking Villa

PUBLISHED:

21:38 GMT, 8 January 2013

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UPDATED:

21:38 GMT, 8 January 2013

An inspired performance from Bradford moved them closer to a trip to Wembley as they beat Aston Villa 3-1 in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg.

Nahki Wells opened the scoring in the 19th minute when he latched onto Zavon Hines’s deflected shot before Rory McArdle’s second-half header had the League Two side dreaming.

Andreas Weimann scored a late away goal for the Premier League side but Carl McHugh's header soon after gave the League Two side a two-goal lead going into the second leg at Villa Park on January 22.

More to follow

Opener: Wells gave Bradford the lead in the 19th minute

Opener: Wells gave Bradford the lead in the 19th minute

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

Shirty: The Bermudan striker celebrated by revealing a message

MATCH FACTS

Bradford: Duke, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Good, Hines (Turgott 66), Gary Jones, Doyle, Atkinson, Wells, Hanson.

Subs not used: McLaughlin, Ravenhill, Reid, Ritchie Jones, Hannah, Connell.

Goals: Wells 19, McArdle 77, McHugh 88.

Booked: McHugh

Aston Villa: Given, Lowton, Clark, Baker, Bennett, Agbonlahor (Bent 57, Burke 85), Delph, Bannan, N'Zogbia, Benteke, Weimann.

Subs not used: Guzan, Ireland, Stevens, Lichaj, Carruthers.

Goal: Weimann 82.

Booked: N'Zogbia, Delph.

Att:

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Demba Ba agrees Chelsea move from Newcastle

Ba set to join Chelsea as striker agrees three-and-a-half year deal at the Bridge

By
Neil Ashton and Sami Mokbel

PUBLISHED:

00:57 GMT, 3 January 2013

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UPDATED:

12:02 GMT, 3 January 2013

Demba Ba is on the verge of joining Chelsea from Newcastle after agreeing a three-and-a-half year contract.

The Senegal striker, left out of the Newcastle squad for the game against Everton ahead of his proposed 7million switch, underwent a medical on Wednesday.

Ba could be handed an instant role in the weekend FA Cup clash against Southampton.

Away: Demba Ba looks set to join Chelsea after being given permission to speak to the Stamford Bridge club

Away: Demba Ba looks set to join Chelsea after being given permission to speak to the Stamford Bridge club

Chelsea interim manager Rafael
Benitez said after the club's shock 1-0 defeat at home to QPR: ‘Fernando
Torres is one of the players we need to rest, he has been playing too
many games. I don’t have any official information about the situation.

'Officially he (Ba) is not our player. The club are working on it and we
can talk about him when it’s official.

‘If we can do the business then, hopefully, he can be available for the weekend.’

Newcastle confirmed Chelsea had triggered the striker’s 7m release
clause and that he had been left out of Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat to
hold talks with Chelsea officials.

The Stamford Bridge club saw off late interest from Arsenal in Ba, who,
it is understood, will earn around 70,000 a week at his new club — a
significant improvement on his terms in the North East.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports: ‘It’s done, he’ll go to Chelsea with our blessing.

Main man: Ba has been in fine form for Newcastle, scoring 13 goals in a struggling side this season

Main man: Ba has been in fine form for Newcastle, scoring 13 goals in a struggling side this season

‘For us, it’s not a bad thing because all the uncertainty over whether
he was going to stay, it’s now done. We are bigger than any player so in
some respects I’m pleased.’

Chelsea’s bid looked in the balance on Sunday after talks between Ba’s
representatives and club officials broke down over his wage demands.

Sportsmail understands Ba’s advisors initially rejected Chelsea’s
attempts to hold further talks on Monday, saying they wanted to speak
with other interested parties.

But, after a significant breakthrough, Chelsea moved quickly on Wednesday.

Get shirty: An image quickly circulated on Twitter of a Chelsea shirt being printed with 'Ba'

Get shirty: An image quickly circulated on Twitter of a Chelsea shirt being printed with 'Ba'

The Senegal striker, 27, joined Newcastle in 2011 from West Ham and has
scored 29 goals in 54 league games for them. But he has been
consistently linked with a move away from the club because of the
release clause in his contract.

Newcastle have tried several times to persuade the striker to sign a
new, improved deal in a bid to get rid of the clause but Ba has always
refused.

Benitez had put a new striker at the top of his January shopping list
after Liverpool’s 12m capture of Daniel Sturridge, which was confirmed
on Wednesday, left Torres as his only recognised striker.

Owner Roman Abramovich remains interested in Atletico Madrid’s Radamel
Falcao but it is looking increasingly likely the Russian will have to
wait until the summer to land him.

Wave goodbye: Ba looks set to bid farewell to Tyneside and move south to London

Wave goodbye: Ba looks set to bid farewell to Tyneside and move south to London

Newcastle will step up their pursuit of Marseille striker Loic Remy after Ba’s departure.

The 26-year-old France striker, who has scored 82 goals in six years in
the French league, was identified as Newcastle’s top target even before
Ba left.

Newcastle are hoping to see off late interest from QPR and West Ham to land Remy. They have also shown an interest in Ajax’s Holland youth forward Jody Lukoki.

Premier League Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham set to bid for Derby"s Will Hughes

Spurs, Chelsea and Fulham set to bid for Derby's 10m teenager Hughes

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UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 24 December 2012

Derby face a struggle to keep hold of Will Hughes after a series of fine performances caught the attention of Premier League Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham.

The teenage midfielder is set to attract bids as soon as the January transfer window opens and with a fee of 10m thought to be enough to persuade Derby's American owners to sell – 6m plus add-ons would also be considered – the greatest question could surround whether he is to remain in the Championship until the season's end.

As Tottenham have done in the past, their interest surrounds buying a promising individual while their value remains competitive but it should not be overlooked that central midfield is an area in which they are already heavily stocked.

Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham target Will Hughes

Vultures circling: The talented Hughes is interesting Tottenham, Chelsea and Fulham

Chelsea also have a high competition for places which means that any potential move to those two would most likely result in him being loaned back to Derby for the rest of the season. Fulham, however, already consider him ready to challenge for a first-team place but are ultimately at risk of being outbid by their London rivals.

The January transfer window could come to define Derby's season. Manager Nigel Clough has led them to play-off contention but with right-back John Brayford attracting the interest of both Cardiff and West Ham, and the former on the verge of agreeing a fee with the Rams, his exit also appears likely.

Pulling his weight: Hughes is thought of as one of the Championship's greatest players

Pulling his weight: Hughes is thought of as one of the Championship's greatest talents

David Moyes hails Tim Howard on eve of his 200th consecutive Everton appearance

Moyes hails history man Howard set to become second player to make 200 consecutive appearances

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 14 December 2012

David Moyes has paid a glowing tribute to Tim Howard as the Everton goalkeeper prepares to add his name to the Barclays Premier League history books.

Howard will become only the second man in the Premier League era to make 200 consecutive appearances when he takes to the field at Stoke this afternoon – the only other player to achieve the feat is his compatriot Brad Friedel.

There have been questions raised about Howard’s form this season, particularly after he was culpable for goals against Newcastle, Southampton and Norwich, but Moyes has been quick to defend a player he took from Manchester United in 2006 to replace Nigel Martyn.

Up for it: Tim Howard is on the verge of becoming the second ever player to hit 200 consecutive games

Up for it: Tim Howard is on the verge of becoming the second ever player to hit 200 consecutive games

There will come a time in the future when Moyes knows Howard needs replacing and Everton’s manager is already on the lookout for a potential successor – he enquired about England Under-21 international Jack Butland in the summer.

Moyes, though, is adamant that the day when he is no longer Everton’s No 1 is a long way off and has hailed the talent and durability which has made him one of the best in the league.

‘Tim has not had many instances in his time here where he would warrant criticism,’ said Moyes.

‘Before him, Nigel was reliable, consistent and a great man to work with. To try and find another keeper like that, who you think most weeks you can trust, was not easy – But Tim has been that.

Superb: Moyes gave Howard a glowing review and said he was a pleasure to work with

Superb: Moyes gave Howard a glowing review and said he was a pleasure to work with

Current consecutive appearance standings

Date achieved

Goalkeeper

Consecutive apps

29/09/2012

Friedel, Brad

310

Current

Howard, Tim

199

01/04/2012

Reina, Pepe

183

20/04/2008

James, David

166

26/12/2005

Lampard, Frank

164

23/02/1998

James, David

159

11/12/2010

Green, Robert

143

31/10/2004

Given, Shay

140

02/03/2008

Jaaskelainen, Jussi

121

14/08/2004

Holland, Matt

115

‘He has to be kept on his toes like everyone else and there are standards we feel, like everyone, he has to get to. But he has been fantastic for us, he really has. Since we took him from Manchester United, he has been an excellent goalkeeper and a great guy to work with.

‘I think he is very conscientious about his work and how he goes about it. He has helped us in so many games and he is a big part of what we do. He is a big voice in the dressing room as well.

'Tim has competition and in the main his play has been very good. We are really comfortable with him.’

Moyes will work closely with his goalkeeping coach Chris Woods when recruiting another goalkeeper and Birmingham keeper Butland, who has also been watched by Liverpool, is a player who would fit the bill.

Onwards: David Moyes says despite Howard's excellence he will still be considering the club's future keeper

Onwards: David Moyes says despite Howard's excellence he will still be considering the club's future keeper

‘You are always planning for who is the next Nigel Martyn Who is the next Tim Howard We are always looking to see who that next one would be,’ said Moyes.

‘You have to do that. We have enquired a couple of times about Butland, but not recently.’

Everton jumped into the top four last week with a dramatic win against Tottenham and the progress they have made over the last 12 months is significant as on this weekend last year, they were 15th with 17 points.

They must do without influential forward Kevin Mirallas, though, at Stoke.

The Belgian has suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem and Moyes, who has revealed that Tony Hibbert requires surgery to repair a calf injury, said: ‘It is a worry because we are missing a really good player and someone who gives us a different attacking dimension.’

England on verge of winning third Test in India

England on verge of victory but Ashwin frustrates tourists as India dig in

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UPDATED:

11:35 GMT, 8 December 2012

England inflicted a telling collapse on India to put themselves on the verge of victory, and an unassailable 2-1 series lead, after day four of the third Test at Eden Gardens.

The tourists took six wickets for 36 runs this afternoon but, with an innings win almost within their grasp in the final session, Ravichandran Ashwin (83 not out) prevented them finishing the job.

Number eight Ashwin even took India into a 32-run credit by stumps on 239 for nine, and forced England to take a second new ball under floodlights, as the contest somehow limped into a final day.

There was no way past Ashwin and Ishant Sharma for more than an hour in a ninth-wicket stand of 38.

Ashwin escaped a stumping chance on 22, and Sharma was dropped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior on nought – both off Monty Panesar.

Then even after Panesar at last got the number 10, toppling over to be bowled, Ashwin stayed to complete his 111-ball 50 with successive fours off Graeme Swann which also ensured England must bat again.

England just did not have the leeway they needed as Ashwin stood firm, in company with last man Pragyan Ojha.

After dominating the first three days thanks to Alastair Cook's batting and James Anderson and Panesar's bowling, the tourists first had to overcome a chastening morning before India's collapse.

England's own last four wickets could muster only 14 on the way to 523 all out and then they were unable to take any of India's before lunch.

But after Graeme Swann kickstarted the hosts' troubles by bowling Virender Sehwag with the first ball of the afternoon, the rest of the frontline batting simply folded.

Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir sowed some doubts in an opening stand of 86 in just 28 overs, during which England had a half-chance to see off each of the openers.

But Sehwag escaped on seven when Swann could not hang on to a low one-handed catch to his left at second slip off Anderson, then Gambhir pushed Panesar off the face of the bat to short-leg, where Ian Bell could not quite react in time.

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

Ball rolling: Graeme Swann took the first wicket of India's second innings

The most worrying aspect for the tourists was the increasing ease with which Sehwag in particular was playing their spinners.

But they need not have been concerned because Swann produced the perfect off-break to draw the drive, beat the bat and hit the outside of off-stump straight after the break.

Gambhir had accepted the blame in the first innings for Sehwag's run-out, and perhaps will need to do likewise for his part in a faulty single which saw off Cheteshwar Pujara thanks to Bell's direct hit from midwicket.

Transient controversy followed when Gambhir escaped on 36, umpire Rod Tucker apparently initially satisfied he had edged to slip but unsure whether the ball had carried to a diving Jonathan Trott.

It had, but third umpire Vineet Kulkarni also seemed to convey the fact Gambhir had not got bat on ball after all.

The right decision had been reached via a grey area in the established process for series not involving DRS.

But the fact that Gambhir followed some reverse-swing from Finn (three for 37) to edge behind just four runs later relegated the discussion, and it was less relevant still when Sachin Tendulkar was next out, edging a Swann arm ball to slip.

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Flying Finn: England's bowlers all chipped in to dismantle India

Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli's attempt to stop the rot did not last long before the left-hander was bowled by one from Anderson that snaked in from round the wicket and kept low, and India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni edged the same bowler low to his opposite number Cook at slip.

Kohli edged behind flailing at some more outswing from Finn after tea, and it seemed certain England were on the home straight – until Ashwin got set.

England had arrived this morning in the hope of maximising the pressure and an hour's profitable batting would have been their first wish.

Instead, their innings was finished in under five overs.

Prior and Swann could add only a single between them to their existing seventh-wicket stand of 56.

Prior drove the first ball of the day for a single, only for Swann to then immediately become Ojha's fourth victim – edging another attempted drive to slip.

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Tail end: Monty Panesar took the final wicket of the day

Then Prior went to cut Zaheer Khan at the other end and edged behind – England's second departure in the space of seven balls.

Finn and Anderson managed a boundary each but the introduction of Ashwin for Ojha (four for 142) brought two wickets in two balls to conclude the innings.

Ashwin had previously conceded 183 runs for his one success but, after Anderson edged to slip and Monty Panesar went lbw first ball, despite an apparent inside-edge, the off-spinner had two more at no further cost.

It seemed the mid-match momentum had perhaps switched, all the more so when Sehwag and Gambhir tried to seize the initiative too.

But it was a short-lived illusion.

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organisations.

The BCCI
has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty
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Fernando Torres can"t stop scoring (in training) – says Rafa Benitez

Torres can't stop scoring… but it's only in training as Benitez defends under-fire star

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UPDATED:

09:44 GMT, 5 December 2012

Rafa Benitez has launched a bizarre defence of Fernando Torres as Chelsea stand on the verge of an embarrassing Champions League exit on Wednesday night.

The interim Chelsea coach claims the 50million striker's biggest contribution is defending set-pieces for the European champions and says there is no need to worry about his goal drought because he is scoring goals for fun in training.

Chelsea need Torres, who has not scored since November 7, to find the net in a proper match against Nordsjaelland if they are to progress from Group E.

Lurking in the shadows: Benitez is confident Torres will rediscover his goalscoring touch

Lurking in the shadows: Benitez is confident Torres will rediscover his goalscoring touch

Benitez reacted after ex-Manchester United defender and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville said Chelsea players have lost confidence in Torres.

Benitez said: 'The main thing is what you can see as a manager on the pitch and in training – and Fernando is doing a great job. In training he scores a lot of goals, but it's not just about that. I don't know if Gary Neville had the opportunity to analyse the corners against us, but Fernando is amazing.

Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres

Knees up: Fernando Torres in training yesterday with Juan Mata (left) and Ashley Cole

Time for a new position, Fernando

91 — Despite playing as a striker, Torres has won 91 per cent of his tackles this season.

11 — Of Chelsea’s attacking players, only Oscar has made more clearances (13) this season than Torres.

'He has cleared the ball two or three times and afterwards he goes man to man because he's good in the air. He's a striker but he helps the team.

'I didn't watch the analysis, but Fernando is a great player and his team-mates know he's a great player.

'If he's in the right position, they will play with him. If he's in the wrong position, maybe not but I can make the analysis 200 times watching the telly and I'll be right. I can find clips you can use in one way or the other way.'

Stomach for the fight: Torres listens to Benitez ahead of Chelsea's clash with Nordsjaelland

Stomach for the fight: Torres listens to Benitez ahead of Chelsea's clash with Nordsjaelland

What can happen…

Chelsea need to beat Nordsjaelland at Stamford Bridge — and hope Shakhtar defeat Juventus in Donetsk — to go through to the knockout stage.

If Juve draw they are through regardless, since they have a better head-to-head record against Chelsea.

Chelsea need to overcome Nordsjaelland and then hope Group E leaders Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juventus at home to avoid a humiliating Champions League exit.

Benitez added: 'It's part of my job to push on and try to keep them (the players) in the competition.'

Benitez also admitted Eden Hazard is struggling to cope with the demands of playing for one of Europe's biggest clubs after his 32m move from Lille.

Hazard was singled out by team-mates after the 3-2 home win over Shakhtar for his lack of work-rate.

Benitez said: 'He has to adapt to the tempo of the Premier League. It's not the same as France where he was the main man. 'Here in the Premier League you have to be at your best all the time or you will not be able to make the difference in matches. He's doing well, but he could do better.'

Chelsea v Nordsjaelland: Fernando Torres can"t stop scoring (in training) – Rafa Benitez

Torres can't stop scoring… but it's only in training as Benitez defends under-fire star

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 4 December 2012

Rafa Benitez has launched a bizarre defence of Fernando Torres as Chelsea stand on the verge of an embarrassing Champions League exit on Wednesday night.

The interim Chelsea coach claims the 50million striker's biggest contribution is defending set-pieces for the European champions and says there is no need to worry about his goal drought because he is scoring goals for fun in training.

Chelsea need Torres, who has not scored since November 7, to find the net in a proper match against Nordsjaelland if they are to progress from Group E.

Lurking in the shadows: Benitez is confident Torres will rediscover his goalscoring touch

Lurking in the shadows: Benitez is confident Torres will rediscover his goalscoring touch

Benitez reacted after ex-Manchester United defender and Sky Sports analyst Gary Neville said Chelsea players have lost confidence in Torres.

Benitez said: 'The main thing is what you can see as a manager on the pitch and in training – and Fernando is doing a great job. In training he scores a lot of goals, but it's not just about that. I don't know if Gary Neville had the opportunity to analyse the corners against us, but Fernando is amazing.

Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres

Knees up: Fernando Torres in training yesterday with Juan Mata (left) and Ashley Cole

Time for a new position, Fernando

91 — Despite playing as a striker, Torres has won 91 per cent of his tackles this season.

11 — Of Chelsea’s attacking players, only Oscar has made more clearances (13) this season than Torres.

'He has cleared the ball two or three times and afterwards he goes man to man because he's good in the air. He's a striker but he helps the team.

'I didn't watch the analysis, but Fernando is a great player and his team-mates know he's a great player.

'If he's in the right position, they will play with him. If he's in the wrong position, maybe not but I can make the analysis 200 times watching the telly and I'll be right. I can find clips you can use in one way or the other way.'

Stomach for the fight: Torres listens to Benitez ahead of Chelsea's clash with Nordsjaelland

Stomach for the fight: Torres listens to Benitez ahead of Chelsea's clash with Nordsjaelland

What can happen…

Chelsea need to beat Nordsjaelland at Stamford Bridge — and hope Shakhtar defeat Juventus in Donetsk — to go through to the knockout stage.

If Juve draw they are through regardless, since they have a better head-to-head record against Chelsea.

Chelsea need to overcome Nordsjaelland and then hope Group E leaders Shakhtar Donetsk beat Juventus at home to avoid a humiliating Champions League exit.

Benitez added: 'It's part of my job to push on and try to keep them (the players) in the competition.'

Benitez also admitted Eden Hazard is struggling to cope with the demands of playing for one of Europe's biggest clubs after his 32m move from Lille.

Hazard was singled out by team-mates after the 3-2 home win over Shakhtar for his lack of work-rate.

Benitez said: 'He has to adapt to the tempo of the Premier League. It's not the same as France where he was the main man. 'Here in the Premier League you have to be at your best all the time or you will not be able to make the difference in matches. He's doing well, but he could do better.'

Steven Gerrard emulates Bobby Moore photo with schoolkids in Liverpool – EXCLUSIVE

EXCLUSIVE: On the eve of his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard shares special moment with pupils at his former school — emulating the famous picture of England's iconic captain Bobby Moore

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UPDATED:

22:58 GMT, 12 November 2012

Steven Gerrard was standing in the middle of a tiny school hall when the magnitude of what he was about to achieve struck home.

As he looked around, the memories came flooding back. Gerrard is on the verge of winning his 100th England cap but the morning he spent at Huyton-with-Roby Church of England Primary School put the journey to the top of his profession firmly into context.

This was where it had all began. There could have been no more fitting place, then, for him to mark the achievement of becoming England's sixth footballing centurion than by returning to his first school and recreating the iconic image of Bobby Moore in 1973, surrounded by 99 children, each wearing one of his international caps.

Stevie's a class act: Gerrard poses for this exclusive photograph for the Daily Mail with 99 children from his former school

Stevie's a class act: Gerrard poses for this exclusive photograph for the Daily Mail with children from his former school on the eve of his 100th England cap

Gerrard looked overwhelmed as the photoshoot began, even if the youngest members of the assembled children were blissfully unaware of who he was.

Others were so excited they chirruped the song the Liverpool supporters sing to him, minus the colourful language, of course.

'It was brilliant to go back,' said the England current skipper. 'When I was walking around and getting ready for the picture, it put my whole career into perspective.

If the caps fit: Bobby Moore poses in his England kit with 99 boys from the school opposite West Ham's Upton Park ground on the eve of his 100th game for his country in 1973

If the caps fit: Moore poses in his England kit with 99 boys from the school opposite West Ham's Upton Park ground on the eve of his 100th game for his country in 1973

'I went there when I was only four years of age and I couldn't help but think where I was then and where I have got to now, on the verge of 100 caps.

'It put everything into perspective. I couldn't help thinking how well things have gone and how lucky I have been. I had so many happy memories of being in school and it was just nice to go back and see what it was like again. It was really poignant.

Enlarge

Hats off: The England and Liverpool captain poses a number of exclusive snaps taken by Daily Mail Chief Sports Photographer Andy Hooper

Hats off: The England and Liverpool captain poses for a number of exclusive snaps taken by Daily Mail Chief Sports Photographer Andy Hooper

Enlarge

To cap it all: Gerrard with 99 pupils from his old school in Huyton

'I haven't been back for about seven or eight years, so part of the reason for wanting to have the picture taken there was to share it with the teachers and the children.

'That was the first place where I kicked a ball. None of my family would have thought then that I'd go on to play for England.'

Huyton-with-Roby was known as St Michael's Church of England Primary School when Gerrard attended. It has changed since he left in 1991, but Gerrard's impact since has been profound and in one hall there is 'an aspiration corner', where one of Gerrard's Liverpool shirts hangs.

Stricken: Steven Gerrard will have a scan on his knee after picking up an injury against Chelsea

Scare: Gerrard was given the all-clear to face Sweden after sustaining a knee injury in the draw at Chelsea on Sunday

Its aim is to inspire future generations and, judging by the reception he received, his inspirational qualities are not in question. The 30 minutes the 99 children spent with Gerrard, as the cameras clicked to get the perfect image before the heavens opened, will not be forgotten either – by him or the staff of his old school.

'I'm not keen on having my picture taken, but this was special,' said Gerrard. 'I had memories of being on the playground, playing football in the little halls or being stood outside the headmaster's office if I'd been naughty.

Back where it all began: Former England boss presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

Back where it all began: Former England manager Kevin Keegan presents Gerrard with his first cap in 2000

'I remember making the walk to school from the Bluebell Estate where I grew up and it would be nice to think that maybe some of the kids who do the same walk now could achieve something themselves in the future.

'If you believe in yourself, you can do it. 'I had not seen the original picture of Bobby Moore until I was asked to do this. I went online and as soon as I saw it, I was both flattered and delighted to have the opportunity. Bobby Moore is an England legend and an iconic figure, so to be asked to emulate that was overwhelming.

'As I said, I'm not the biggest fan of having my picture taken, but this was different. In years to come, it will be fantastic to look back on with my own family and children.'