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Bayern Munich v Barcelona – live Champions League

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Bayern Munich v Barcelona – as it happens from the Allianz Arena

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25min: GOAL! BAYERN MUNICH 1-0 Barcelona

It's been coming and finally the German side's pressure pays off. A corner eventually finds Dante inside the area and his headed effort back across goal is powerfully nodded home by Thomas Muller.

22min: Bayern are slightly fortunate to win a corner as Jordi Alba was adjudged to have failed in keeping the ball in play, but Robben's set-piece is punched clear by Valdes before the visitors win a free-kick for an infringement inside the box.

19min: The home side continue to look dangerous as they go forward but whether it's by handball or other means, the Barcelona back-four isn't struggling too much to cope with the German side. Going forward though it's a different story as Lionel Messi and Co have yet to get into the game.

Clash of the titans: Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery fight for the ball

Clash of the titans: Barcelona's Lionel Messi and Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery fight for the ball

16min: A strong penalty claim from Bayern Munich, as Philipp Lahm's shot is clearly blocked from a raised Pique arm. It's very subtle from the defender but he is very fortunate to get away with that.

14min: From InfostradaLive:

Bayern have never lost a CL semifinal match at home (5W – 1D). Their only draw was in April 1995: 0-0 against Ajax.

11min: A very even opening to a game which neither side has yet to take control of. Barcelona's passing looks better at this stage but it's Valdes who has had to make the only save of the match so far.

Aiming low: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben sees a shot saved by Barcelona's Victor Valdes

Aiming low: Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben sees a shot saved by Barcelona's Victor Valdes

8min: In fact one or two players are slipping on other areas of the watered pitch as Barcelona win their first corner, which is headed wide by Gerard Pique.

5min: The home side have settled now but we have the bizarre case of a waterlogged pitch.

There's been no rain in Munich today but the centre-circle is holding standing water from what is most likely from the sprinklers that watered the pitch before the game.

2min: It takes nearly 80 seconds for Bayern to touch the ball but they carve out the first opportunity. Arjen Robben's through pass feeds in Javi Martinez, and after the forward returns the favour with a cut-back, the winger's low shot is well blocked by Victor Valdes.

Ready to go: The players arrive on the pitch at the Allianz Arena

Ready to go: The players arrive on the pitch at the Allianz Arena

Kick-off: Away we go at the Allianz Arena as Barcelona possession is immediately jeered by the home crowd.

19.41: Both sets of teams are on the field, as the home fans raise red and white cards to represent Bayern Munich's colours.

19.36: From InfostradaLive:

Bayern are the first German team to play two consecutive Champions League semifinals since 1998/1999, 1999/2000 and 2000/2001, when they themselves achieved this feat.

Preparing: Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer saves a shot warming up

Preparing: Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer saves a shot warming up

19.31: Viktor Kassai is in charge of tonight's game – with the Hungarian a lucky charm of some sort for Barcelona.

He oversaw their 4-0 win over AC Milan at the Nou Camp earlier this year and was also in charge of the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley where the Spanish side defeated Manchester United 3-1.

Bayern Munich last had the official in their 2-1 defeat at Real Madrid in last year's semi-final.

19.26: They may be stars everyone wants to see but Barcelona were greeted by jeers from the home fans as they took to the pitch for their warm-up.

19.23: Whatever you think of this current Bayern Munich team there is no denying how impressive their current form is. They have won 19 of their last 20 matches in all competitions – with that one blemish being the second-leg defeat against Arsenal in the last 16.

Jupp Heynckes' team have won all 13 Bundesliga games this year and are on course for the treble having reached the final of the German cup following a 6-1 semi-final win over Wolfsburg.

Club legend: Bayern president Uli Hoeness arrives at the Allianz Arena

Club legend: Bayern president Uli Hoeness arrives at the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

Flying the flag: Bayern Munich and Barcelona fans gathered outside of the Allianz Arena

19.18: From InfostradaLive:

Victor Valdes plays his 48th CL KO match, overtaking Ryan Giggs (47) as player with most CL KO appearances.

19.13: Full line-ups from the Allianz Arena:

Bayern Munich v Barcelona
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez. Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Shaqiri, Rafinha, Pizarro, Gustavo, Tymoschuk.

Barcelona: Valdes, Dani Alves, Pique, Bartra, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Sanchez, Messi, Pedro. Subs: Pinto, Fabregas, Villa, Thiago, Montoya, Abidal, Song.

Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)

19.08: From OptaPaolo:

25 – Bayern have always scored at home in the Champions League against Spanish opposition (13 games), scoring 25 goals in total. Assurance.

Way back when: Bayern Munich's Stefan Effenberg (right) tracks Barcelona's Sonny Anderson

Way back when: Bayern Munich's Stefan Effenberg (right) tracks Barcelona's Sonny Anderson

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

Revenge: First leg goals from Lionel Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry helped Barcelona thump Bayern Munich 5-1 on aggregate in the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals

19.05: Bayern Munich won two Champions League group stage meetings in 1998, but Barcelona finally triumphed over the German side when they strolled to a 5-1 aggregate victory in the Champions League quarter-finals four years ago.

In fact they effectively won the tie by half-time of the first leg at the Nou Camp, following a brace from Lionel Messi and strikes from Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o.

19.00: Despite their regular participation in Europe's top competition – these sides have only clashed in three previous seasons.

The first was in the 1996 UEFA Cup semi-final when Bayern edged through 4-3 on aggregate – a tie where in the clash at the Nou Camp, Sergio Busquets' (who starts tonight) father Carles featured – as did Pep Guardiola.

18.55: Mario Mandzukic is suspended for Bayern, so therefore Mario Gomez plays up top. The more agile Jerome Boateng starts in front of Daniel van Buyten.

French following: A fan holds a France flag with Bayern's Franck Ribery on the front

French following: A fan holds a France flag with Bayern's Franck Ribery on the front

18.50: So Messi returns for Barcleona and will lead an attack along with Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez. Marc Bartra starts in defence in place of injured pair Javier Mascherano, Carlos Puyol and the suspended Adriano.

18.45: Barcelona starting XI:

Valdes, Alves, Bartra, Pique, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Alexis.

18.40: Bayern Munich starting XI:

Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Schweinsteiger, Martinez, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez.

On the move: Mario Gotze (centre) will join Bayern Munich this summer

On the move: Mario Gotze (centre) will join Bayern Munich this summer

18.35: Bayern Munich have already been making headlines today, after it emerged Mario Gotze will join the club from Borussia Dortmund for 32m in what will be Pep Guardiola's first signing when he takes over at Munich this summer.

A huge statement of intent that, with the 20-year-old midfielder one of Europe's most highly sought after players.

18.30: From OptaJean:

1 – Barcelona have only won one of their 6 competitive encounters with Bayern Munich (D2, L3). Stress.

18.25: The fact that Barcelona are not huge favourites (if they are favourites at all) to win tonight shows just how far Bayern Munich have come this season.

They continue to shine in Europe of course but their domestic form has been nothing short of devastating – it should be quite a contest.

Back in business: Lionel Messi is poised to return for Barcelona

Back in business: Lionel Messi is poised to return for Barcelona

18.20: It's been a lovely sunny St. George's Day in the UK, and the weather is looking good in Munich too ahead of tonight's game. It's 16 degrees at the Allianz Arena where fans are already arriving.

18.15: No full team news yet but it seems Lionel Messi is fully fit for Barcelona, having not featured since coming off the bench in the quarter-final win against Paris Saint-Germain in the last round. That's a big boost for Barca who have stuttered at times on their travels around the continent this term.

18.10: There may be no English teams left but what a final four we have in this season's Champions League!

As it turns out it will be a double dose of Spain v Germany, and while Real Madrid are favourites to edge past Borussia Dortmund, it appears much closer between Bayern Munich and Barcelona – the latter of course, the main event this evening.

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On the ball: Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger trains in preperation for the semi-final

On the ball: Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger trains in preperation for the semi-final

Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Premier League match report

Tottenham 2 Everton 2: Sigurdsson rescues stuttering Spurs from disastrous defeat as top-four race hots up

PUBLISHED:

14:59 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:15 GMT, 7 April 2013

A late equaliser from Gylfi Sigurdsson rescued Tottenham from a crucial defeat but the pressure to reach the top four regardless continues to grow.

Emmanuel Adebayor had given the home side a first-minute lead from close range before through Phil Jagielka's equaliser and Kevin Mirallas' excellent finish rivals Everton had taken a second-half lead.

With the crowd getting anxious and time running out, Sigurdsson popped up with the all-important equaliser though Tottenham may still view it as two points dropped.

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Early opener: Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the opening minute

Match facts

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Parker, Dembele (Huddlestone, 45), Sigurdsson, Holtby, Dempsey, Adebayor

Subs not used: Friedel, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Ceballas, Carroll

Goals: Adebayor 1, Sigurdsson 87

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Mirallas, Osman, Gibson, Heitinga, Barkley (Jelavic, 52), Anichebe

Subs not used: Mucha, Stones, Duffy, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Goals: Jagielka 15, Mirallas 53

Ref: Andre Marriner

Att: 36,192

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

More to follow…

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

The equaliser: Phil Jagielka equalised for Everton in the 15th minute

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Three points: Thanks to Kevin Mirallas, Everton were only minutes from an important victory

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Battle: Spurs' Michael Dawson and Everton's Victor Anichebe were competing throughout

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Famous guests: Paul Gascoigne and Gary Mabbutt were present at White Hart Lane

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Classy: Moussa Dembele has been one of Tottenham's best players this season

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Pivotal: Sigurdsson's equaliser could yet be the difference in the Champions League race

Remaining Premier League fixtures

TOTTENHAM

Apr 21 Man City (H), 1.30pm
Apr 27 Wigan (A), 3pm
May 4 Southampton (H), 3pm
May 12 Stoke (A), 3pm
May 19 Sunderland (H), 4pm
TBC Chelsea (A)

EVERTON

Apr 13 QPR (H), 3pm
Apr 16 Arsenal (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 Sunderland (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Fulham (H), 3pm
May 4 Liverpool (A), 3pm
May 12 West Ham (H), 3pm
May 19 Chelsea (A), 4pm

VIDEO: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina stars as Roman soldier in new film

VIDEO: All hail Reina as Liverpool keeper stars as Roman soldier in new film

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

13:15 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:35 GMT, 19 March 2013

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina took time out from preparing for crucial World Cup qualifiers to show off his acting skills.

The Spaniard, who is in line to make a rare appearance for the Roja after first choice Iker Casillas was ruled out of the upcoming matches against Finland and France, donned classic Roman garb to star as a soldier in a new short-film called 'Invictus, el correo del Cesar.'

Scroll down for video

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

The film is directed by Javier Fesser, who has won three Baftas including Best Director and Best Original
Screenplay for 'The Way' in 2008 and Best Live Action Short Film for
'That ritmillo' in 1995.

The film's premiere was held in Madrid on Monday and Spanish stars David Villa, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Jordi Alba were among the audience.

The film is being bankrolled by insurance company Plus Ultra Seguros, who also use Reina to front their advertising campaigns.

Reina also used his trip to Spain to reiterate his commitment to Liverpool after being linked as a potential replacement for wantaway Victor Valdes.

'[A move to Barcelona] is not in my hands and the rumour mongering is part of that,' Reina told Spanish newspaper AS. 'They're such a great club, but I'm happy at Liverpool.'

Video: Reina the actor

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina dons Roman gear for advert

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

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

PUBLISHED:

19:55 GMT, 16 February 2013

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UPDATED:

20:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MATCH FACTS

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

Subs not used: Cisak, Byrne, Winchester, Millar

Goal: Obita 13, Smith 90

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

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Hitzlsperger, Naismith

Booked: Neville

Goals: Anichebe 24, Jagielka 48

Referee: Phil Dowd

More to follow…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Victor Valdes is refusing to sign a new contract at Barcelona

Valdes refusing to sign new contract fuelling rumours he will join Guardiola at Bayern

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

23:21 GMT, 17 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 18 January 2013

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes is planning to leave the Spanish giants after he had turned down the chance to sign a new deal.

Valdes, who has spent his entire professional career at the Nou Camp, is contracted to Barcelona until the end of the 2013/14 season.

His representatives – Gines Carvajal is his principal agent – confirmed in a statement to Spanish national news agency Efe that Valdes intends to depart.

Victor Valdes will always be a favourite of Barcelona fans

Solid: Victor Valdes will always be a favourite of Barcelona fans

The statement read: 'The agents of Victor Valdes have communicated to Barcelona in a meeting held this afternoon the irrevocable decision of the player to not renew his contract.'

The 30-year-old has recently suggested he would consider a move to another league. With former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola heading to Bayern Munich next season, Valdes may become an early target of his old boss.

Valdes has been Barcelona's number one throughout the last decade, winning a host of trophies and earning recognition with Spain, however Real Madrid's Iker Casillas has remained the regular international goalkeeper.

Valdes has had to play second fiddle for Spain behind Iker Casillas

Too much quality: Valdes has played second fiddle for Spain behind Iker Casillas

Everton 2 Wigan 1: Match report

Everton 2 Wigan 1: Osman and Jagielka keep Toffees on track as captain Neville reaches 500 not out

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UPDATED:

17:17 GMT, 26 December 2012

Leon Osman and Phil Jagielka made sure Everton captain Phil Neville enjoyed his 500th Premier League game.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, Osman fired home, with the help of a deflection, early in the second half and Jagielka looked to have put the result beyond doubt with a header after being set up by Neville.

Arouna Kone set up a frantic finish when he cut the deficit in half but the hosts held on to stay in fourth place in the table – for a few hours at least.

Breakthrough: Leon Osman punches the air in celebration after scoring for Everton against Wigan (below)

Breakthrough: Leon Osman punches the air in celebration after scoring for Everton against Wigan (below)

It's there: Osman's opener for the Toffees at Goodison Park
MATCH FACTS

Everton: Howard, Neville, Jagielka, Distin (Heitinga 70), Baines, Osman, Hitzlsperger, Gibson (Naismith) 46), Pienaar, Jelavic, Anichebe (Oviedo 70).

Subs not used: Mucha, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Goals: Osman 52, Jagielka 77

Booked: Jelavic

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Caldwell, Figueroa, Stam (Gomez 79), McCarthy, Jones (Di Santo 72), McArthur, Beausejour, Maloney, Kone.

Subs not used: Pollitt, McManaman, Boselli, Ramis, Golobart.

Goal: Kone 82

Booked: Beausejour, Figueroa, Caldwell

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)

Latest Premier League table and results

A large group of Wigan fans came in banana costume, in keeping with their town's Boxing Day tradition of fancy dress.

But the party will be limited to town centre revellers after a sixth game for the Latics passed without a win.

The visitors thought they should have had a penalty when Shaun Maloney went down in a challenge from Osman but referee Lee Mason was not convinced.

Everton, who will now hope to push on and mount a strong top-four challenge, also had some good chances, not least when Thomas Hitzlsperger hit the bar. Everton almost made the perfect start as Nikica Jelavic laid off a Darron Gibson cross and Victor Anichebe flashed a shot wide with just 13 seconds on the clock.

Wigan also wanted to attack and a good Jean Beausejour cross aimed at Kone was clutched by Tim Howard at the second attempt.

The influential James McCarthy also had a powerful effort from outside the area blocked.

Leighton Baines created a chance for Everton when he skipped over a challenge from Ronnie Stam to supply Steven Pienaar and Ali Al Habsi did well to turn his shot around the post.

Heads up: Phil Jagielka (right) is congratulated after scoring Everton's second

Heads up: Phil Jagielka (right) is congratulated after scoring Everton's second

Stretch too far: Wigan keeper Al Habsi fails to stop Jagielka's header as Steven Naismith watches the ball go in

Stretch too far: Wigan keeper Al Habsi fails to stop Jagielka's header as Steven Naismith watches the ball go in

Anichebe headed wide from a Hitzlsperger cross but Wigan began to assert themselves in the game more as McCarthy and James McArthur drove forward.

Kone and Maloney linked up well outside the area but attempted one pass too many and a promising attack broke down.

Maloney tried his luck from a free-kick after McCarthy was tripped by Gibson – who was free to play after appealing against his red card at West Ham last weekend – but Howard parried and then gathered.

Howard was in action again as Stam struck a low shot from 20 yards but saved comfortably.

500 not out: Everton captain Phil Neville (right) in action against Wigan on Boxing Day

500 not out: Everton captain Phil Neville (right) in action against Wigan on Boxing Day

Everton applied some pressure by winning a series of corners in quick succession and felt they should have had penalties at two of them.

Anichebe first claimed he was being held back by Beausejour and then there was an appeal for handball against Maloney but referee Mason gave nothing.

The first half came to a tame end but Everton returned with renewed vigour after the break and were soon rewarded.

Lifeline: Arouna Kone (right) scored late on as Wigan pressed

Lifeline: Arouna Kone (right) scored late on as Wigan pressed

Wigan were given a warning when Hitzlsperger struck a thunderous long-range effort against the bar and then Osman dribbled his way through the area only to fail to test Al Habsi.

Osman got lucky when he next aimed for goal after 52 minutes, his shot from just outside the area striking Caldwell's arm and wrong-footing the unfortunate Al Habsi.

There was controversy as Wigan tried to respond as Maloney went to ground in the area in a challenge from Osman.

Too little, too late: Kone was keen to get on with things after his goal but Wigan couldn't find a second

Too little, too late: Kone was keen to get on with things after his goal but Wigan couldn't find a second

Latics were incensed not to be awarded a penalty and Beausejour was booked for his protest but replays suggested Maloney may have already been going down before the contact.

Kone had a good opportunity from six yards after Maloney whipped in a good ball from the right but Neville made a vital block at point-blank range.

It was a miss the visitors were to rue as Everton grabbed a decisive second 13 minutes from time.

Ground force: Ronnie Stam slides in to challenge Everton full-back Leighton Baines

Ground force: Ronnie Stam slides in to challenge Everton full-back Leighton Baines

Neville was on hand to receive a short corner from substitute Bryan Oviedo and marked his landmark appearance by sending in an inch-perfect cross for Jagielka, who powered in a header off the bar.

But Wigan, as ever, fought on and gave themselves late hope when Kone bundled the ball in at close range after Jagielka and Baines failed to clear from a Maloney shot.

The visitors applied more pressure as time ran out but were unable to find a way through stubborn Everton defending.

Getting to grips: Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar tries to get away from Emmerson Boyce

Getting to grips: Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar tries to get away from Emmerson Boyce

Tussle: Everton's Victor Anichebe (left) and Wigan star Maynor Figueroa battle for the ball

Tussle: Everton's Victor Anichebe (left) and Wigan star Maynor Figueroa battle for the ball

Sam Allardyce calls for instant replays

Big Sam calls for instant replays after referee blunders mar Everton clash

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Seeing red: Allardyce

Seeing red: Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has called for technology allowing managers to appeal decisions instantly during matches to be introduced and blasted senior figures in football for their ‘antiquated’ approach to the game.

West Ham and Everton will on Monday appeal against the straight red cards given to Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson by referee Anthony Taylor for similar challenges on Saturday.

Both players were sent off for raised feet but neither Allardyce nor David Moyes agreed with the decisions.

The referee’s actions were considered so poor even the home fans booed when Gibson was shown the second red card in injury time.

But it had a much greater impact on West
Ham who went ahead through Cole’s early strike but lost him in the 67th
minute. Three minutes previously Victor Anichebe had headed Everton
level and the numerical advantage helped the away side nick the game
through Steven Pienaar’s scrappy winner.

When asked if he would like a system similar to cricket or tennis where they can appeal decisions instantly and have replays looked at and decisions overturned, Allardyce replied: ‘Yes – the technology today means it’s done in less than two minutes at the absolute most. We used to have two TVs in the dugout. It used to be a big help with referee decisions.

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

‘The only way to make it better for us all is to bring technology into it. I’ve always said two or three challenges would be in our favour if we were allowed it. Forget about Platinis who are antiquated. I know they’re in strong positions and they affect the game, but they’re not doing us any favours by not allowing technology into the game. They affect the result. There’s 65million coming next year [if we stay in the Premier League].’

Allardyce spoke to Taylor after the match, an official he complained about to Premier League referee chiefs in 2010 when he was managing Blackburn Rovers in a match against Fulham. The Hammers boss watched replays of the incidents on a laptop straight after the match but Taylor could not review his decisions.

And Allardyce said: ‘Unfortunately [the referee] hasn’t got that privilege so it’s hard for him. He can only go from what he can remember from a split decision. It’s very difficult for him to explain why he did it and what he saw.

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

‘The referee’s should have their own laptop in their room. Then he could have a better discussion about decisions. And then move. But at the end of the day you can go and see him and it’s not going to make any difference.’

West Ham were already short of options in attack before the match and Allardyce is now relieved their Boxing Day fixture against Arsenal is postponed due to a planned Tube strike.

The 58-year-old added: ‘I haven’t got a team to play Arsenal, so it’s worked out all right in the end. We’ll count up the bodies [today], do no training and see how packed the medical room is. Losing Cole him for three games would be a severe blow which we can’t cope with.’

THE APPEALS PROCESS

HOW IT WORKS IN TENNIS…

Players can make three unsuccessful
appeals per set and get an extra one if it goes into a tie-breaker. They
have to appeal straight away to the umpire and Hawk-Eye replays
accurately a virtual version of what happened. If an appeal is
successful, it does not use up their quota. Out of the four major
tournaments only the French Open does not adopt the system because the
ball leaves marks in the clay.

HOW IT WORKS IN CRICKET…

The umpire Decision Review System was
first introduced in 2009 and allows both teams to make two unsuccessful
reviews of incidents per innings. A third umpire then watches video
replays and has access to technology, including Hawk-Eye, to make a
decision. Regardless of appeals the umpire can also refer to the third
umpire at any time for assistance.

HOW IT COULD WORK IN FOOTBALL…

Each manager could be allowed three
unsuccessful appeals per match, with an added appeal if a game goes into
extra time. A manager would have to appeal the decision straight after
it happened and the referee – who is already connected to the other
officials in the match with microphones and headsets – could refer to
another official with access to video replays and technology.

Lionel Messi scores two as Barcelona beat Levante 4-0

Levante 0 Barcelona 4: Messi hits another double as inspired Iniesta steals the show

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UPDATED:

10:29 GMT, 26 November 2012

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi tore Levante apart to regain their three-point lead at the top of La Liga, and increased the gap to 11 points over current champions Real Madrid.

Iniesta scored one fantastic goal and created three more as Barcelona gradually wore down the hosts to win 4-0.

Messi was the recipient of two of his Spanish team-mate’s accurate passes as he netted the first two goals for Barca just after half-time.

Genius: Lionel Messi scored another two goals

Genius: Lionel Messi scored another two goals

Iniesta then blasted a shot in off the crossbar to kill the game off, before laying on former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas who rounded the goalkeeper and slid the ball home.

Carlos Puyol almost blemished Barcelona’s perfect performance after he gave away a penalty late in the match.

The decision was a tad harsh, and Jose Barkero put his shot within reach of Victor Valdes, who parried the weak penalty away before making a tremendous second save.

Barcelona’s victory was even more significant because title rivals Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday.

Inspired: Andres Iniesta scored one and set up three

Inspired: Andres Iniesta scored one and set up three

Me too: Cesc Fabregas scored Barcelona's fourth

Me too: Cesc Fabregas scored Barcelona's fourth

Atletico Madrid remain in second place after winning 4-0 against nine-man Sevilla on Sunday evening, but will already be focusing on a tricky trip to cross-city rivals Real next week.

Chelsea and Manchester City target Radamel Falcao opened the scoring for Atletico from the penalty spot before Emir Spahic turned the ball into his own net and goals from Koke and Joao Miranda put the result beyond doubt.

‘The way forward is to keep earning points and doing things well,’ Iniesta said after Barcelona’s win. ‘We have to continue believing and growing as a team.’

Messi scored his 81st and 82nd goal of the calendar year against Levante, moving within three goals of Gerd Muller’s record 85.

You again: Radamel Falcao (right) scored from the spot to keep Atletico within reach

You again: Radamel Falcao (right) scored from the spot to keep Atletico within reach

Levante 0 Barcelona 4: Messi hits another double as inspired Iniesta steals the show

Levante 0 Barcelona 4: Messi hits another double as inspired Iniesta steals the show

|

UPDATED:

01:14 GMT, 26 November 2012

Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi tore Levante apart to regain their three-point lead at the top of La Liga, and increased the gap to 11 points over current champions Real Madrid.

Iniesta scored one fantastic goal and created three more as Barcelona gradually wore down the hosts to win 4-0.

Messi was the recipient of two of his Spanish team-mate’s accurate passes as he netted the first two goals for Barca just after half-time.

Genius: Lionel Messi scored another two goals

Genius: Lionel Messi scored another two goals

Iniesta then blasted a shot in off the crossbar to kill the game off, before laying on former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas who rounded the goalkeeper and slid the ball home.

Carlos Puyol almost blemished Barcelona’s perfect performance after he gave away a penalty late in the match.

The decision was a tad harsh, and Jose Barkero put his shot within reach of Victor Valdes, who parried the weak penalty away before making a tremendous second save.

Barcelona’s victory was even more significant because title rivals Real Madrid lost 1-0 at Real Betis on Saturday.

Inspired: Andres Iniesta scored one and set up three

Inspired: Andres Iniesta scored one and set up three

Me too: Cesc Fabregas scored Barcelona's fourth

Me too: Cesc Fabregas scored Barcelona's fourth

Atletico Madrid remain in second place after winning 4-0 against nine-man Sevilla on Sunday evening, but will already be focusing on a tricky trip to cross-city rivals Real next week.

Chelsea and Manchester City target Radamel Falcao opened the scoring for Atletico from the penalty spot before Emir Spahic turned the ball into his own net and goals from Koke and Joao Miranda put the result beyond doubt.

‘The way forward is to keep earning points and doing things well,’ Iniesta said after Barcelona’s win. ‘We have to continue believing and growing as a team.’

Messi scored his 81st and 82nd goal of the calendar year against Levante, moving within three goals of Gerd Muller’s record 85.

You again: Radamel Falcao (right) scored from the spot to keep Atletico within reach

You again: Radamel Falcao (right) scored from the spot to keep Atletico within reach

Fraser Forster and Tony Watt in disbelief after Celtic sink Barcelona

Words can't describe it! Forster and Watt in disbelief after Celtic defeat Barcelona

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UPDATED:

23:13 GMT, 7 November 2012

Celtic heroes Fraser Forster and Tony Watt were in disbelief after their side completed a memorable Champions League win over Barcelona.

Forster reprised his stunning display from the narrow 2-1 defeat to the same opposition two weeks ago, making a string of excellent saves and even claiming the assist as substitute Watt grabbed a route-one second goal to add to Victor Wanyama's header.

Lionel Messi pulled a goal back in injury time but Celtic clung on to avenge their Nou Camp heartbreak and keep themselves in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages.

Incredible: Fraser Forster (right) was in disbelief after the final whistle in Glasgow

Incredible: Fraser Forster (right) was in disbelief after the final whistle in Glasgow

'It's tremendous, I don't think words can describe it,' Forster told Sky Sports 2.

'We put in so much effort at the Nou Camp and couldn't see it through, and tonight we've seen it through.

'We had a good look two weeks ago and we knew what we wanted to do. Everyone was tremendous, everyone played their part tonight.

'We defended really well and Tony came on and scored a great goal; his goals-to-games ratio is incredible.'

Eighteen-year-old Watt said: 'It'll take a couple of hours to sink in. I just saw (Victor) Valdes, I thought to put it to the side of him and it might go in.

'It's probably the best moment of my life, I'll look back at it when I'm older and think 'We've just beaten Barcelona in the Champions League' – there's nothing better.'

Shall not pass: Forster was in exceptional form at Parkhead

Shall not pass: Forster was in exceptional form at Parkhead

Sensation: Tony Watt came off the bench to score Celtic's second goal

Sensation: Tony Watt came off the bench to score Celtic's second goal

Lennon praised the inexperienced Watt who is fast becoming a favourite of the Celtic fans.

He said: 'It is a memorable thing he has done so early in his career.

'I said before the game I had no hesitation in playing him, I just thought his lack of experience would have been too much to put him in the starting line-up but everything we asked him to do, he did.

'He scored a brilliant goal and should have had a penalty and a sending-off when he got on Mascherano's wrong side.

'He is learning, he wrote himself into the history books of the club but he is 11 games into his career.

'I hope he has a fruitful career but tonight will take some topping.'

As they did when they came back from a goal behind in the Nou Camp last month to win 2-1 against Celtic, Barcelona dominated possession.

However, this time their superiority was confined to everything but the most important part of the game – goals.

Jubilant: Neil Lennon ran onto the pitch after the full-time whistle to celebrate the historic win

Jubilant: Neil Lennon ran onto the pitch after the full-time whistle to celebrate the historic win

Barca coach Tito Vilanova said: 'First of all I would like to congratulate Celtic, the fans were amazing tonight.

'Before we played I knew they were good at set-pieces and we didn't want to concede too many and we didn't give them too many chances.

'But I can't be satisfied because we want to win the game.

'It is a really difficult stadium but we were like the home team and we locked them in the box.
“But you are never happy when you don't win.

'If we had scored first it might have been a different game.

'But they scored first which allowed them to defend and their goalkeeper was brilliant tonight.

'It is not the first time we have lost a game like this and it won't be the last.'