Tag Archives: volley

Matt Le Tissier makes Guernsey debut but he can"t stop them losing 4-2

Le Tissier makes Guernsey debut as legend returns to playing days… but 44-year-old can't can't stop them losing 4-2

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

22:52 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:05 GMT, 25 April 2013

Matt Le Tissier made a return to his playing days by turning out for Guernsey, but was unable to stop his side losing 4-2 at Colliers Wood.

The Southampton legend, 44, came off the bench in the second half after signing playing forms at the club where he is honorary president, to help with their incredible fixture list which sees the club in the middle of 20 games in 36 days.

Matt Le Tissier

Fit for purpose: Matt Le Tissier

Fit for purpose: Matt Le Tissier was unable to prevent Guernsey FC losing at Colliers Wood on his debut

Still got it: Le Tissier was back in action at the tender age of 44 years old

Still got it: Le Tissier was back in action at the tender age of 44 years old

Still got it: Le Tissier

Still got it: Le Tissier

Rusty Le Tissier tries a trademark volley after chesting the ball down

It's the first time Le Tissier has played in an official game since 2002, when he retired after playing his entire career for the Saints.

Le Tissier made over 500 appearances in all competitions for the south-coast club, and won eight England caps.

Many fans feel he should have represented his country more times, having watched his incredible skills, passing and long-range screamers in the 1990s.

He is currently juggling turning out for Guernsey with being a pundit and co-commentator for Sky Sports.

Different class: Le Tissier wowed fans with his technique for Southampton throughout his 14 years at the club

Different class: Le Tissier wowed fans with his technique for Southampton throughout his 14 years at the club

Le Tissier

VIDEO Matt Le Tissier's finest Southampton moments

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

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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.

NextGen Series: Arsenal and Chelsea on course to meet in semi-finals, while Aston Villa play Sporting Lisbon

Arsenal and Chelsea on collision course in NextGen semi-finals as Villa face Sporting

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

16:06 GMT, 21 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 21 March 2013

Arsenal and Chelsea are on a collision course in the semi-finals of the NextGen Series.

If the young Gunners side can beat CSKA Moscow at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night, they will face their London rivals in the last four.

Aston Villa, who beat Olympiakos 1-0 last night to progress, will play Sporting Lisbon, who beat Tottenham 5-3, in the other semi-final.

London Derby: Chelsea, who beat Juventus 4-1 in the quarter-finals, could face Arsenal in the last four of the NextGen Series

London Derby: Chelsea, who beat Juventus 4-1 in the quarter-finals, could face Arsenal in the last four of the NextGen Series

NextGen Series

QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS

(click for match report)

Chelsea 4 Juventus 1
Aston Villa 1 Olympiakos 0
Tottenham Hotspur 3 Sporting Lisbon 5 (aet)

REMAINING QUARTER-FINAL
Arsenal v CSKA Moscow – Monday March 25, 7pm (Emirates Stadium)

SEMI-FINAL DRAW
Chelsea v Arsenal/CSKA Moscow – Friday March 29, 3pm local time

Aston Villa v Sporting Lisbon – Friday March 29, 8pm local time

Both at Stadio G. Sinigaglia, Como, Italy

Both semis, as well as the final and third place play-off, will be played at Como FC in Italy over the Easter weekend.

Chelsea booked their place in the last four with a 4-1 win over Juventus last Sunday, thanks to goals from Lewis Baker, Alex Kiwomya and Islam Feruz.

Villa got through last night thanks to a first half strike from Graham Burke.

Sporting beat Spurs in a rollercoaster
match played at Leyton Orient – trailing 3-1 with minutes to spare,
they forced extra time thanks to a Laste Dombaxe penalty and Roman
Michael-Percil's last gasp equaliser.

However,
the Portuguese side proved stronger in extra time, with further strikes
from Alexandre Guedes and a 45-yard volley by defender Atud Fokobo
ending hopes of an all-English final four.

Arsenal will hope to join Chelsea and Villa when they host CSKA on Monday evening.

Winner: Graham Burke (centre) scored the winner as Aston Villa beat Olympiakos 1-0

Winner: Graham Burke (centre) scored the winner as Aston Villa beat Olympiakos 1-0

Dramatic game: Sporting's Ruben Semedo celebrates the penalty that restored his team's lead in extra time against Tottenham

Dramatic game: Sporting's Ruben Semedo celebrates the penalty that restored his team's lead in extra time against Tottenham

Former Liverpool defender Djimi Traore of comic own goal fame hits wonder strike

Djimi Traore once scored a comedy Liverpool own goal, but now he's struck a superb effort (and it went in at the right end!)

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 13 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:25 GMT, 13 March 2013

He doesn't score many great goals, or many goals for that matter, but Djimi Traore yesterday hit one of the strikes of the year to help his Seattle Sounders side reach the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.

Best remembered for his comical own goal for Liverpool against Burnley in the FA Cup third round in 2005, this time Traore hit a rocket from 30 yards to put Seattle 2-1 up in the tie against Mexican side Tigres.

Scroll down for videos…

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Better times: Traore (above left) in action Seattle Sounders yesterday, but his own goal against Burnley (below) is what he will be remembered for

Liverpool's Djimi Traore looks back as he knocks the ball into his own net

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

Better times: Traore celebrating with Luis Garcia during his time at Liverpool

The spaghetti-legged defender, who played for Liverpool, Charlton,
Portsmouth and Birmingham City fans during his time in England, saw the
ball bounce perfectly for him on the half volley, before hitting an
unstoppable shot past Jorge Diaz de Leon, and in off the crossbar for
good measure.

Seattle went on to win the match 3-1 (3-2 on aggregate), making history in the process by becoming the first MLS team to beat a Mexican club since the launch of the CONCACAF Champions League in 2008.

The Mali defender is also remembered for being one of the most average players to win a Champions League medal, starting for Liverpool against AC Milan in the 2005 final in Istanbul.

Just four months after his mistake at Turf Moor, he gave away a free-kick in the first minute of the famous final, from which Milan scored through Paolo Maldini.

But he later atoned for his error with a crucial goal-line clearance, and picked up a winners medal after Liverpool's heroic comeback.

In his seven years at Anfield, the 33-year-old also won the FA Cup in 2006 and the League Cup in 2003.

His wonder strike for Seattle is only his fourth ever senior goal.

Traore has also appeared in European competition 35 times throughout his career.

And to think Matt Le Tissier, who scored goals like this for fun, didn't make a single appearance on the continent…

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

What was he thinking With no player surrounding him, Traore rolled the ball into his own net with a Zidane-esque spin then got tangled up in the net, just for good measure

Djimi Traore of Liverpool

VIDEO: Traore's wonder strike for Seattle

Traore wonder goal

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VIDEO: Traore's less than wonderful own goal for Liverpool

Aston Villa v West Ham live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Aston Villa v West Ham – as it happens from Villa Park

for their last triumph on the road.

Villa will be desperate for three points in their bid to escape the clutches of the bottom three but they will also be keen to avoid a repeat of their clash with the east London side from earlier in the season when Sam Allardyce's side recorded a 1-0 win at Upton Park to start the 2012/13 campaign.

Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

Half-time: Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham

45+2min: Carroll has lacked service so far, despite West Ham winning a number of free-kicks, and his frustration in the first 45 minutes is summed up by one wild left foot swing from 25 yards that flies well off target.

45+1min: There will be four minutes added on.

44min: The first booking of the afternoon goes to West Ham's Emmanuel Pogatetz after the defender chops down Charles N'Zogbia to bring an immediate half to an Aston Villa counter attack.

42min: After a spell of West Ham pressure, Villa are once more looking the more likely to score. But as we approach half-time, all the goalmouth action has taken place inside the first 120 seconds.

39min: I thought it would be West Ham who would be closer to scoring from set-pieces but Villa nearly score from one of their own. A corner to the near post finds Ron Vlaar, whose half-volley on to the greasy surface bounces a yard over the bar.

37min: Terrific defending from Clark. West Ham do well to find Demel in space on the right, and his low cross is destined for an unmarked Joe Cole in the centre before the Villa defender gets a vital touch on the slide to intercept and allow Guzan to gather.

35min: The last five minutes have seen West Ham come back into this game, but despite winning a couple of free-kicks, the Villa defence has coped comfortably with Guzan keen to come off his line to punch clear any aerial bombardment.

32min: Another sign of the threat Carroll possesses as the striker wins a header inside the Villa box from a cross. The striker is off balance though and his effort loops comfortably into Guzan's arms.

30min: A rare charge forward from West Ham, and it comes form a neat passing exchange on the ground too as Matty Taylor releases Mohamed Diame down the left wing into the penalty box.

From there though it very quickly falls apart as the midfielder blasts a low cross into the near post side netting. Huge waste.

27min: Villa are starting to gain more control in this game but every time they get near the West Ham box there are a wall of bodies denying them a shot on goal. The Hammers are struggling to get out of their own half.

24min: With O'Brien's day done, Guy Demel has come on for the Hammers.

23min: This is turning into a war of attrition. Joey O'Brien has limped off the pitch for West Ham while Tomkins takes an accidental boot to the face from Delph after making a superb sliding tackle on the touchline. The West Ham medical team are making sure he still has all of his teeth after that one.

20min: The game has stopped momentarily as Baker receives more attention as blood starts to seep out of his Vaseline covered head following that earlier clash with Carroll.

Meanwhile the home fans as usual applaud in unison in the 19th minute to observe club captain, Stiliyan Petrov's battle against illness.

18min: Good footwork from Fabian Delph sees him dodge a couple of challenges in the West Ham half before he wins a free-kick 35 yards out. The ball is swung towards the back post but Benteke heads the difficult chance wide.

16min: It's been a nervous affair so far. West Ham remain content with a more direct playing style while Villa for all their effort just lack quality trying to pierce the West Ham backline.

13min: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham United have scored three opening goals in their away PL matches this season, together with Wigan, Norwich and Fulham least of all clubs. Villa have scored the opener in four of their home matches this PL season, only QPR (2) have less.

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

Miss of the season Andreas Weimann reacts after missing a golden opportunity to open the scoring for Villa

10min: James Tomkins produces a neat sliding tackle to deny Weimann a chance to cross from inside the box and Villa win their first corner.

It's cleared but shortly after winning a second corner, Nathan Baker and Carroll clash heads trying to head the ball and play has stopped for a minute or two while they receive treatment. Both look like they will be okay to continue once they stop seeing stars.

8min: Villa are showing the more attacking purpose so far but apart from that horror miss from Weimann ( I wonder what Darren Bent made of that on the sub's bench) we haven't seen any more chances.

5min: Otherwise it's a bright start from Villa who have controlled possession, but they do concede a free-kick in the centre-circle and you know what comes next.

West Ham pump a long high ball into the box for Andy Carroll, who wins a flick on and pounces on a loose ball to loop a shot just over Brad Guzan's crossbar.

2min: Miss of the season, there I said it! It's a horrible moment all round as Christian Benteke's low shot towards the near post from 20 yards is ludicrously fumbled by West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, only for Andreas Weimann to somehow place the rebound wide of the post with an open goal staring him in the face.

1min: From OptaJoe:

1 – West Ham have taken one point from the last 21 available on the road, scoring just five in their last nine PL away games. Travels.

Kick-off: Villa get us going.

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

Greetings: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce (left) and his opposite Aston Villa number, Paul Lambert shake hands before kick-off

13.27: Out come the players and speaking of claret and blue there are many empty seats inside Villa Park.

13.24: The players are in the tunnel with Aston Villa standing in claret and blue opposite West Ham…who are also in claret and blue.

The Hammers are in their more blue based away kit but this could hurt my eyes.

13.19: From InfostradaLive:

West Ham have failed to win in their last five PL visits to Villa Park, failing to score on four occasions. Their only victory in the last 14 visits was in January 2006 (2-1) when Bobby Zamora and Marlon Harewood (penalty) scored. Lee Hendrie netted for Villa.

13.14: We know about Villa's troubles this term but what happened the last time they went down Sadly the team of 1987 share many similarities with Paul Lambert's strugglers from this season as I found out here.

13.09: Gabriel Agbonlahor is ruled out through illness by the way. Still though it says much about Paul Lambert's faith in Darren Bent that he picks a forward who cost 23.4m less in his starting XI over him. At least Villa have some sort of firepower on the bench though.

Team news

Team news

13.06: Full line-ups from Villa Park:

Aston Villa v West Ham
Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Weimann, Westwood, Delph, Bowery, N'Zogbia, Benteke. Subs: Given, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Dawkins, Bannan, Bennett.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, Taylor, Joe Cole, Carroll. Subs: Spiegel, Jarvis, Carlton Cole, Vaz Te, Demel, Chamakh, O'Neil.

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

13.03: Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert hands a first Barclays Premier League start to striker Jordan Bowery, a 600,000 summer signing from Chesterfield, against West Ham at Villa Park.

Midfielder Fabian Delph, who has recovered from an ankle injury, and left-back Nathan Baker are recalled as Villa looked to end a run of eight league games without a win.

On-loan Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz is given a first start by Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, with Joe Cole also brought back into the starting line-up.

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

Main threat: West Ham will rely on their on-loan striker Andy Carroll in attack

13.00: From OptaJoe:

2 – Aston Villa have scored just two goals in their last seven Premier League matches at Villa Park. Shy.

12.57: If there is one avenue we can see West Ham scoring from today, it is through set-pieces. Judging by Aston Villa's poor record at defending them it seems a West Ham corner + Andy Carroll's headers = goals.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar claims though that he and his teammates are aware of their set-piece struggles and targeting to put things right.

12.54: Sadly of course the big talking point this morning is not about the football but about Paul Gascoigne who has been rushed into intensive care in the USA.

The former England international is said to be out of immediate danger but let's continue to hope Gazza can make a full recovery.

12.51: The Villa Park pitch looks very tidy this afternoon but the less said about the weather, the better. It's wet, cold and overcast in the West Midlands but I guess we shouldn't be too surprised – it is February folks.

12.48: Speaking of Manchester United they will attempt to go a dozen points clear at the top of the table when they take on Everton at 4pm. You can follow live coverage of that match from around 3.30pm with myself straight after the action here at Villa Park.

12.45: Yesterday's results have given Villa a big incentive to take three points today as it would see them climb out of the bottom three into 17th.

West Ham may reside in mid-table but on 30 points they are not quite out of the relegation fight. A win today though and they would be 12 points clear of the bottom three. If a gap like that would be good enough for Manchester United, then I think Sam Allardyce's team would be content too.

Jaaskelainen, O'Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Pogatetz, Noble, Diame, Nolan, J.Cole, Taylor, Carroll.

12.35: Aston Villa starting XI:

Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Bowery, Weimann, Benteke.

12.30: Apart from Manchester United (and we will get to them in a minute) one of the big winners from yesterday were Aston Villa, who saw the majority of their rivals battling relegation fail to pick up any points.

That's not quite job done for Paul Lambert's side this weekend though. Sitting one place off the bottom of the table they need to start winning points of their own. Today they host West Ham – a side suspect on their travels this term. Team news coming up.

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Sunday's opener: Aston Villa will hope to ease relegation fears when they host West Ham at Villa Park

Mario Balotelli scores on debut for Milan

Super Mario scores TWICE on debut for Milan to seal win as sickening chants elsewhere in Italy tarnish Balotelli's return

By
Nick Pisa

PUBLISHED:

21:16 GMT, 3 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:44 GMT, 3 February 2013

Mario Balotelli marked his Milan debut with a goal in each half to secure a 2-1 victory for his new club.

The controversial striker started up front for the club he supported as a child as they welcomed Udinese in the Serie A clash.

The 22-year-old, who completed a 19.5million move away from Manchester City on deadline day, peeled off his man as Stephan El Shaarawy jinked his way down the left.

In the goals: Mario Balotelli scored the opener for Milan as they pulled ahead of Udinese

In the goals: Mario Balotelli scored the opener for Milan as they pulled ahead of Udinese

After the cross deflected into his path, Balotelli hooked in a volley from close range to give the hosts the lead.

After Giampiero Pinzi levelled up the match, it looked as though Balotelli and his team-mates would have to settle for a home draw. That was until El Shaarawy was awarded a soft penalty decision.

The Milan forward surged into the box in the third minute of stoppage time before hitting the deck under what appeared to be a fair tackle.

Balotelli kept up his 100 per cent record from the spot – after performing a few kick-ups before setting the ball down – and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Daniele Padelli the wrong way.

But the Italy international's arrival was met with derision elsewhere in the country, as fans in the Chievo-Juventus clash earlier in the day sang sickening songs which joked about the striker's death.

The travelling Juventus supporters chanted 'If we jump Balotelli will die' several times throughout that match, which the Turin side won 2-1 to go top of Serie A.

In the thick of it: Danilo tries to get to grips with the new Milan striker

In the thick of it: Danilo tries to get to grips with the new Milan striker

Making friends: Balotelli thanked his international team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, who set up his goal

Making friends: Balotelli thanked his international team-mate Stephan El Shaarawy, who set up his goal

It was not the first time that Balotelli has been targeted by opposition fans – in January 2010 authorities ordered Juventus to close a section of their Olympic stadium for one match after racist chants were aimed at the former Manchester City striker.

Racism is still widespread in Italian football and the incident was one of the main reasons that Balotelli quit Serie A and headed to the Premier League where the problem has been largely eradicated – even though he scored on his debut he will still be a target for bigoted fans something he didn't experience in Britain.

Iconic: Balotelli wears the No 45, as he did for Manchester City

Iconic: Balotelli wears the No 45, as he did for Manchester City

Marred: Elsewhere, supporters at the Juventus v Chievo clash chanted sickening songs about Balotelli

Marred: Elsewhere, supporters at the Juventus v Chievo clash chanted sickening songs about Balotelli

Another familiar face: Nicolas Anelka was on the bench for Juventus

Another familiar face: Nicolas Anelka was on the bench for Juventus

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Siyabonga Sangweni and Lehlohonolo Majoro on target for hosts

South Africa 2 Angola 0: Hosts off the mark as Sangweni and Majoro settle nerves

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

16:59 GMT, 23 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:35 GMT, 23 January 2013

South Africa found their rhythm in the Africa Cup of Nations as they eased past Angola to the top of Group A.

After a goalless draw against Cape Verde on Saturday, the hosts burst into life in Durban.

Siyabonga Sangweni smashed home a volley after half an hour and Bafana Bafana were in cruise control when Lehlohonolo Majoro scored early in the second half.

Full report to follow….

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Settling the nerves: Siyabonga Sangweni (2nd left) is congratulated after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

Crowd pleaser: Sangweni celebrates with the fans in Durban after scoring for South Africa

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

He's behind you: Angola's Dany Massunguna is challenged by Siphiwe Tshabalala

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Doubling up: South African Tokelo Rantie tries to hold off Angola pair Fabricio (left) and Dede

Zambia 1 Ethiopia 1: Africa Cup of Nations match report

Zambia 1 Ethiopia 1: Champions stall in opener as they throw away half-time lead

winners after he raced onto a through ball, beating the defence and fired his half-volley into the bottom corner, but it was all-square when Ethiopia's captain Adane Girma found the net at the near post.

Bizarrely, Tassew saw red while being taken off on a stretcher, after haring out to the ball and flattening Zambia's Chisamba Lungu a full 40 yards from his goal.

Zambia's Collins Mbesuma (green) fires past Ethiopia keeper Zerihun Tadelle for the opener

Belter: Zambia's Collins Mbesuma (green) fires past Ethiopia keeper Zerihun Tadelle for the opener

Zambia's keeper Kennedy Mweene dives to save a penalty kick from Ethiopia's Saladin Said

Crucial: Zambia's keeper Kennedy Mweene dives to save a penalty kick from Ethiopia's Saladin Said

Match Facts

Zambia: Mweene,
Nkausa, Himoonda, Sunzu, Musonda (Jacob Mulenga), Sinkala, Lungu,
Chansa (Mukuka Mulenga), Kalaba, Mbesuma, Christopher Katongo (Mayuka).

Goal: Mbesuma 45

Ethiopia: Tassew, Bune, Elias, Hailu, Tesfaye, Bekele (Tadele), Megersa, Adane Girma, Teshome, Kebede (Hintsa), Said.

Goal: Girma 65

Red Card: Tassew 37

Tassew's sending off caused an
11-minute delay as the Group C match descended into near chaos with
angry Ethiopian fans throwing bottles and vuvuzelas on to the pitch.

They were already upset after their
key player Saladin Seid missed a penalty in the 25th minute having
already been deprived of an earlier goal when the ball bounced over an
open goal on the hard surface.

Ethiopia made a bright start to their
first game in the finals for 31 years and midfielder Minyahile Teshone
should have put them ahead after four minutes but somehow hooked a great
chance over the crossbar.

In the 17th minute Zambia keeper
Kennedy Mweene was caught out and the ball fell to Seid who found
himself with an open goal but his hooked shot towards the gaping net
bizarrely bounced over the bar.

Ethiopian came in their numbers to the Mbombela Stadium
What a following! Ethiopian came in their numbers to the Mbombela Stadium

Seid had another chance to score eight
minutes later when Gabon referee Otogo Castane awarded Ethipoia a
penalty after Lungu fouled Seid, but Mweene easily saved his poor kick.

The game then took an unedifying turn
after 32 minutes when Tassew raced out of his goal and poleaxed Chisamba
Lungu with a reckless tackle which evoked memories of the infamous foul
West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher performed on France's Patrick
Battiston in the 1982 World Cup semi-final.

Ethiopia's keeper Jemal Tassew is carried off after receiving a red card for his outrageous foul

Off: Ethiopia's keeper Jemal Tassew is carried off after receiving a red card for his outrageous foul

After an 11-minute stoppage allowing
treatment to the goalkeeper, the referee waited until Tassew was on the
stretcher before showing him a red card – provoking the Ethiopian fans
to throw missiles on the pitch and an official to run on the field and
remonstrate with the referee.

Just to add to the mayhem a jet fighter buzzed the stadium before order was finally restored.

Apart from Tassew's rash attack, and
some panicky moments in defence, Ethiopia played some neat football
against the champions who paid for not taking their chances.

Ethiopia's Adane Girma celebrates his equalising goal

Important: Ethiopia's Adane Girma celebrates his equalising goal

Zambia's Chisamba Lungu is challenged by Ethiopia's captain Adane Girma

Playing the ball: Zambia's Chisamba Lungu is challenged by Ethiopia's captain Adane Girma

Bolton 3 Birmingham 1 – match report

Bolton 3 Birmingham 1: Trotters come from behind to record first win in three

PUBLISHED:

17:25 GMT, 29 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

17:46 GMT, 29 December 2012

Bolton put the disappointment of back-to-back defeats behind them with a come-from-behind victory over struggling Birmingham.

Dougie Freedman's side suffered losses to lowly Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday over the festive period and fell behind after just 11 minutes on Saturday.

Nikola Zigic headed his fifth of the season but the hosts hit back to lead by half-time with goals from Marcos Alonso and Chung-Yong Lee.

Comeback: Lee (second left) put Bolton in front

Comeback: Lee (second left) put Bolton in front

Match facts

Bolton: Bogdan; Mears, Ream, Knight, Alonso; Lee, Pratley, Spearing (Butterfield 89), Andrews, Eagles (Afobe 90); K Davies.

Subs not used: Lonergan, Ricketts, Riley, Petrov, Sordell.

Booked: Lee.

Goals: Alonso 27, Lee 33, Andrews (pen) 79.

Birmingham: Butland; Hancox, Caldwell, Davies, Robinson; Burke (Redmond 72), Spector (Elliott 59), Mullins, Reilly (Jervis 79), Hall; Zigic.

Subs not used: Doyle, Pablo, Gordon, Delfouneso.

Booked: Mullins, Caldwell, Zigic. Sent off: Zigic.

Goal: Zigic 11.

Referee: Simon Hooper.

Attendance: 17,068.

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A second-half penalty from Keith Andrews
settled the matter and Zigic saw red as Birmingham's three-match
unbeaten run came to an end.

The hosts started much the brighter, Chris Eagles cutting in from the
right and trying his luck with an early long-range strike but Jack
Butland was equal to the challenge.

The Trotters threatened again moments later as Jay Spearing hit a superb
looping volley from 30 yards which just dropped wide of the post.

But it was Lee Clark's side who seized the advantage. Chris Burke's
right-wing corner hung in the air and Zigic came through a crowded scene
to nod home from six yards.

Bolton's frustration continued to build when Eagles flashed a shot across goal after being played in by Kevin Davies' backheel.

They did not have to wait much longer for the goal their dominance
deserved after Tyrone Mears burst down the right and delivered a teasing
ball for Alonso to provide the headed finish, outmuscling Curtis Davies
to do so, in the 27th minute.

Spot on: Andrews slots home Bolton's third

Spot on: Andrews slots home Bolton's third

It got even better for Freedman's side just past the half-hour mark, Lee
skipping past two defenders, rounding Butland and squeezing the ball in
from a tight angle.

The impressive Spearing linked well with Davies and the veteran striker
forced a smart stop from Butland as Bolton finished the half on top.

Clark turned to his bench for inspiration early in the second half, bringing on Wade Elliott for Jonathan Spector.

The veteran winger was soon involved, feeding Burke down the flank but his cross cleared everyone in a packed penalty area.

Burke tried to atone but his 20-yard strike was well held by Adam Bogdan as the visitors began to grow into the game.

But after Steven Caldwell handled in the box, Andrews stepped up to calmly steer the spot-kick past Butland in the 79th minute.

Zigic was given his marching orders late on after picking up two
bookings in little over a minute as the Serb went from hero to zero.

Cardiff 2 Crystal Palace 1 match report

Cardiff 2 Crystal Palace 1: Bluebirds go five clear after top of the table victory

|

UPDATED:

18:29 GMT, 26 December 2012

Substitute Aron Gunnarsson nodded home the winning goal to complete a Cardiff turnaround which extends their lead at the top of the npower Championship.

An action-packed first half was book-ended by two goals 40 minutes apart, Mike Jedinak stunning the sell-out crowd with an early opener before Craig Noone's equalised a minute before the interval.

Cardiff's goal led a charmed life with Wilfried Zaha's splendid effort hitting the bar and chances aplenty for Palace but half-time substitute

Gunnarsson helped turn the tide for the Bluebirds before scoring his sixth of the season from close range.

Cushion: Aron Gunnarsson's second half goal gave Cardiff victory in their top of the table clash against Crystal Palace. The Bluebirds are now 5 points clear at the top

Cushion: Aron Gunnarsson's second half goal gave Cardiff victory in their top of the table clash against Crystal Palace. The Bluebirds are now 5 points clear at the top

MATCH FACTS

Cardiff: Marshall, McNaughton, Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Conway, Noone (Mason 76), Mutch (Gunnarsson 46), Bellamy,
Helguson (Gestede 57).

Subs Not Used: Lewis, Cowie, Kim, Lappin.

Booked: Hudson, Noone, Mason

Goals: Noone 44, Gunnarsson 73.

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Parr (Easter 87), Moxey, Ramage, Gabbidon, Dikgacoi, Garvan, Jedinak, Zaha, Murray, Bolasie (Moritz 74).

Subs Not Used: Price, Martin, Williams, O'Keefe, Appiah.

Booked: Zaha, Bolasie, Parr, Dikgacoi.

Goals: Jedinak 4.

Attendance: 26,098

Referee: P Gibbs (West Midlands)

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The Eagles came into this match having scored in all-but one of their League games this season so it was perhaps no surprise when captain Jedinak nodded home after just 180 seconds.

But Cardiff's reaction was laboured to say the least and it took until the 16th minute for the Bluebirds to really set their sights on Julian Speroni's goal, Craig Bellamy's ambitious half-volley sparking cries of 'top of the league, you're having a laugh' from the buoyant travelling support.

And the 1,190 behind Speroni's goal had every right to be boisterous given their team's start which they came incredibly close to extending in two first-half minutes.

First Glenn Murray's touch let him down as he raced clear on Marshall's goal after being found by Jonathan Parr. And then Zaha's trickery bamboozled Kevin McNaughton down the Palace left and, after cutting inside, the England international's right-footed curler crashed off the crossbar with the Scottish keeper just a spectator.

When the ball bounced back to Yannick Bolasie his deflected drive forced Marshall into a fingertip save.

A minute later Palace were threatening yet again, Owen Garvan's free-kick forcing Marshall into a low-save.

Mile Jedinak (hidden) scored for Palace after just four minutes but Cardiff fought back

Mile Jedinak (hidden) scored for Palace after just four minutes but Cardiff fought back

At the other end only the combination of Peter Ramage and his keeper Speroni kept out Bellamy after the Welshman tried a cute lob after racing clear with what was comfortably the home side's best chance of a forgettable opening 44 minutes for the table-toppers.

Just when it looked like the Bluebirds would go into the interval behind for the second successive home game they drew level. Bellamy's pace helped him get the better of Parr down the Cardiff left and his pull-back into the box was perfect for Noone to hammer a first-time effort into the top of the Palace net.

After an off-colour first-half display Malky Mackay shuffled his midfield at the break with Jordon Mutch being replaced by Gunnarsson.

And his change seemed to work a treat, with the Iceland midfielder helping to stop the constant stream of Palace chances.

Equaliser: Craig Noone (left) celebrates his first half leveller

Equaliser: Craig Noone (left) celebrates his first half leveller

And in fact it took 12 minutes of the second period for the next chance, Garvan's drive flying just inches wide of Marshall's near post.

Bellamy was Cardiff's biggest threat and the 33-year-old tested Speroni with a low drive from an angle from Gunnarsson's clever pass as the game reached the hour mark. And Cardiff were beginning to engineer more chances with Gunnarsson and Whittingham both having opportunities.

And that pressure paid off 27 minutes into the second half when Gunnarsson rose to head in Bellamy's right-footed corner via the underside of the bar.

Only the reactions of Speroni stopped the home side extending their hard-fought lead, the keeper diving right to flick Whittingham's free-kick onto the bar.