Sunday, 3 February 2013

Rafael Benitez says Chelsea deserved penalty against Newcastle

Picture of Demba Ba
Rafael Benitez believes Chelsea should have been given a penalty and Fabricio Coloccini deserved a red card after Demba Ba was left with a broken nose in the defeat to Newcastle.
A first-half incident in the Blues' 3-2 loss at St James' Park saw Coloccini's boot make contact with Ba's face as he went to head a rebounded shot in the box, but referee Howard Webb did not take action.
The Senegal international, returning to his former club Newcastlefor the first time since joining Chelsea, received lengthy treatment on the touchline and returned to action briefly with a bandaged face before he was substituted for Fernando Torres.
Ahead of that swap, Newcastle scored the opening goal in the 41st minute as Jonas Gutierrez nodded home Davide Santos' cross.
Benitez confirmed the striker has a broken nose and believes the referee should have issued a sending off and a penalty for the incident.
He said: "We couldn't change the situation of Demba Ba. That was a penalty and a red card for me. It changed the game. We lost one player with a broken nose and used one substitution.
"After watching the replay it's very clear. A player with his nose broken and bleeding for five minutes is good evidence.
"I have a lot of respect for them (referees) but it is just the decision that is wrong.
"I want to remind you that that happened because sometimes you don't remember these things."
Asked how long Ba is likely to be sidelined, Benitez added: "I don't know. We'll have wait."
Chelsea came from behind in the second half through two superb goals from Frank Lampard and Juan Mata but were pegged back by Newcastle's new signing Moussa Sissoko, who added a stoppage-time strike to seal the win.
Benitez hailed the response of his side after the break, adding: "The reaction of the team in the second half was fantastic.
"We scored great goals, we had more chances and we made the mistake of allowing them to play counter-attack, which is something we will have to improve on.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Moussa Sissoko scores last-minute winner as Newcastle beat Chelsea 3-2

Moussa Sissoko marked his home debut with a last-minute winner as Newcastle United came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-2 in a thrilling game at St James' Park.
Jonas Gutierrez's header had given Newcastle a half-time lead, but Chelsea hit back to go in front through two excellent finishes from Frank Lampard and Juan Mata.
However, Chelsea's recent fallibility when in front came back to haunt them again as Sissoko equalised midway through the second half before the January signing drilled home from the edge of the box to give Newcastle back-to-back wins.
Newcastle made the brighter start at St James' Park, with new signing Yoan Gouffran combining well with Davide Santon down the left in the early minutes. The former saw the first shot in the opening 60 seconds but his tame effort barely troubled goalkeeper Petr Cech.
Sissoko hinted at the afternoon he was about to have when he set up Papiss Cisse for a shot but John Terry was there with the crucial block. Seconds later, Gouffran fed Santon, who cut inside to prompt a comfortable low save from Cech.
Chelsea also saw chances, notably when Lampard blasted high over from Ashley Cole's 15th-minute pull-back, but suffered a blow when Demba Ba, on his return to St James' Park after his move to Stamford Bridge, took a boot to the face from Fabricio Coloccini after bravely heading his rebounded shot wide and had to retire for treatment.

Everton 3 Aston Villa 3

Marouane Fellaini struck twice late on as Everton fought back to hold Aston Villa to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling Premier League clash at Goodison Park.
Christian Benteke's early opener was cancelled out by Victor Anichebe, only for Gabriel Agbonlahor to put Villa back in front in a thrilling first half.
Benteke grabbed his second of the game to give Villa a 3-1 lead, but his fellow Belgian Fellaini had the last laugh with two goals, his second three minutes into injury time, to salvage a point for David Moyes' men.
Aston Villa dropped into the relegation zone following a midweek loss to Newcastle but there were positives in their second-half performance and Paul Lambert's side made the perfect start at Goodison Park as Benteke latched on to a Charles N'Zogbia pass and shrugged off the challenge of John Heitinga to open the scoring with a neat finish after just two minutes.
Fellaini missed a chance to equalise moments later as he curled a shot narrowly wide from the edge of the area, while Darron Gibson had an effort deflected off target and Leighton Baines blazed over with an ambitious free-kick from 30 yards as Everton continued to press.
Their efforts were rewarded in the 21st minute as Anichebe showed good strength to spin Ciaran Clark after collecting a ball from Kevin Mirallas, before firing low past Brad Guzan.
Villa restored their advantage almost immediately thanks to a firm header by Agbonlahor from Ashley Westwood's right-wing cross, but were then pinned back inside their own half for the remainder of the first half as Everton again tried to hit back.
Mirallas was brought down by Joe Bennett inches outside the area, while Leon Osman went close with a shot that flew just outside of Guzan's post via a deflection.
Everton kept up the intensity at the start of the second period but it was Villa who carved out an early chance as Andreas Weimann beat the offside trap to run on to a pass from Agbonlahor. However, he lacked composure with a wild shot high into the stands.
Benteke made no such mistake just after the hour mark as Matthew Lowton delivered an inviting cross from the right and the powerful striker again got the better of Heitinga to head home.
Fellaini reduced Everton's arrears in the 69th minute when he poked the ball into the bottom corner following a clever lay-off by Anichebe, setting up an exciting climax.
It looked like Aston Villa would hold on for an important victory to boost their survival hopes, but Fellaini struck again in the dying seconds as he headed home a Baines corner to lift Everton level with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the arrival of David Beckham

Carlo Ancelotti: Hails Beckham's experience
PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has hailed the arrival of David Beckham, claiming the midfielder can match the longevity of Paolo Maldini.
The 37-year-old was unveiled as a PSG player on Thursday on a five-month contract, having turned down numerous lucrative offers after playing his last game for the Los Angeles Galaxy at the start of December.
Speaking after the 4-0 league win at Toulouse, Ancelotti told beIN Sport, according to "I know David Beckham very well. Everyone talks about his image, but I want to emphasise his professionalism and quality on the pitch.
"It is true that he is not young, but he has experience. (Paolo) Maldini won the Champions League at the age of 39, so Beckham still has lots of time ahead of him.
"He must train as he has returned from vacation, but he can play every position in midfield - defensive, with his passing ability, or on the right even if he does not have the speed of Lucas.
"He can help the team have a great season. I am very happy with his arrival. I had the opportunity to coach him for six months at Milan. It was an exceptional experience.

Mario Balotelli: I loved Manchester City but not the rest of England

Mario Balotelli has reiterated his love for Manchester City after his move back to Milan but underlined his indifference to the rest of English culture.
The Italy striker was paraded by his new club on Friday after completing his £17m switch back to Serie A after three years away.
"I have to say thanks to all the City fans because they've been very nice to me and they always supported me in the good and in the bad moments," he said.
"And I have to thank my team-mates and the manager. Everything else, I'm happy that I left England.
"Good things - only when I get to Carrington to train. So my team-mates and manager. And the bad things? Everything else.
"The press, first. The weather. The food. The way you drive. That's it.
"To be honest the Premier League is an amazing league and I think it is the best. The crowd and the pitch ... it's an amazing league.
"I don't know in the future if I could come back. For the moment I'm here.
"To be a player for Milan has always been my dream so I'm very happy.
Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani presented Balotelli with his number 45 shirt before thanking the Premier League champions for their co-operation in allowing the deal to go ahead.
He said: "As a club we are happy to bring back our Italian player after long negotiations and have to thank Manchester City in helping this transfer to go through. It was the most complicated in my career.
"We are happy that Balotelli has joined the team he supported as a boy and it has been a dream of mine for a long to bring the player to the club.
"I always said it was 99.9 per cent that it would not happen. I was just being realistic, but now it has happened."

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Wenger FINALLY buys as Arsenal manager lands £8.5m Malaga defender Monreal

Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Nacho Monreal from Malaga.
The left-back is in London putting the final touches on his move which will mark Arsene Wenger's first signing of the transfer window, and will set the Gunners back £8.5million. 
Done deal: Arsenal are set to complete the signing of Nacho MonrealThe transfer was forced through following the thigh injury sustained by Kieran Gibbs in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Wednesday night

Monreal, 26, is a former Malaga team-mate of Arsenal star Santi Cazorla and has been capped by Spain on nine occasions. 
He could be thrust into Arsenal's starting XI for the visit of Stoke on Saturday with Wenger having little faith in the error-prone Andre Santos. 
Earlier, Arsenal were dealt a blow with the news that top target David Villa won't be joining the north London club this month. 
Wenger had made the 31-year-old striker his top priority, but he was seen shopping in Barcelona this afternoon.

It was reported earlier that Arsenal were keen to sign Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Amorebieta, but the defender has told the Gunners he wants to stay in La Liga until at least the summer.
Monreal, who is cup-tied for the Champions League, arrives at Arsenal in good form after scoring his first goal for Malaga in their 3-2 win over Real Mallorca on Sunday.
The Spain defender signed for Malaga in a £6million deal in the summer of 2011 after coming through the ranks at Osasuna where he made over 100 appearances.

Reading grab late draw against Chelsea after Adam Le Fondre double

Chelsea missed the chance to close the gap on second-placed Manchester City after being held to a 2-2 draw by relegation-threatened Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
The Blues were in firm control of the match with 66 minutes played courtesy of goals from Juan Mata and Frank Lampard.
Mata stuck on the stroke of half-time to open the scoring with Lampard's well-placed header seemingly wrapping up the points.
However, the introduction of Adam Le Fondre changed the game. He pulled one back with three minutes to go before snatching a point with virtually the last kick of the game.
Chelsea were in control in the first half, however, they were unable to convert their domination of possession and territory into clear-cut chances.
They made the breakthrough just before half-time when Fernando Torres dinked a lovely through-ball in for Mata who lashed home a left-footed shot - the first attempt on target in the half.
The Blues carried their dominance into the second half and the game looked dead and buried in the 66th minute when Mata's corner was met by Lampard who finished with aplomb into the top corner.
Reading manager Brian McDermott made changes late on as the Royals attempted to get back into the game, but it seemed more likely Chelsea would add a third rather than concede.
Blues substitute Yossi Benayoun found Brazilian Oscar, but Adam Federici came out quickly to close down the midfielder and make the block.
Out of the blue the Royals pulled one back. Two substitutes combined as Hope Akpan played in super-sub Le Fondre who lashed home a first-time effort past Ross Turnbull.
And their comeback was completed with virtually the last kick of the game as Reading lumped the ball forward from a free-kick. Jimmy Kebe nodded the ball on for Akpan who kept things alive and it fell nicely for Le Fondre to guide the ball home and level the match.