Football

Winston Reid signs new six-and-a-half-year contract at West Ham United

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:09
• New Zealand centre-back had been linked with Spurs and Arsenal
• Reid follows Mark Noble and James Tomkins in signing new deals

Winston Reid has signed a new long-term contract with West Ham, the Premier League side have announced.

The New Zealand international, who had been linked with a move away from Upton Park in recent months, has put pen to paper on a six-and-a-half-year deal, which commits him to the Hammers until the summer of 2021. Reid’s contract had been due to expire at the end of the season, but he joins Mark Noble and James Tomkins in signing new deals.

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Football transfer rumours: Alexandre Lacazette to Tottenham Hotspur?

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 09:00

Today’s tittle-tattle is demob happy

The Mill assumes that Tottenham’s special team of data geeks must be responsible for today’s first bit of flim-flam. Because it’s a little eerie. You see it looks like someone, somewhere at White Hart Lane has run some numbers through a laptop and worked out that the player Spurs need to push them on to the next level is, erm, Harry Kane. Except they already have him. So instead they’ll try to nab the French Harry Kane, Alexandre Lacazette, from Lyon. He’s the swashbuckling young local lad who has plundered the same amount of goals, 24, as the English Harry Kane and who is knocking on the door of the national team’s starting XI. Analytics are fine and all that, but a little creativity in the market wouldn’t go amiss. What about a centre-back? They’ll have to stump up £28m for his services, mind. And we all remember how it worked out the last time Spurs paid that kind of money for a striker?

Which reminds the Mill that Tottenham will have to try and find some poor sap to take footballing Polyfilla Roberto Soldado off their hands. And Emmanuel Adebayor. Good look with that one Mauricio!

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the midweek action

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 08:46
Cesc Fàbregas is struggling, Emre Can may be the man to take over from Steven Gerrard and Roberto Martínez must get serious about the threat of relegation

This has been a funny-looking Chelsea team at times recently. The last four days have brought a first domestic trophy in five years and the kind of victory at West Ham that title-winning seasons are made of. Both of which have been the work of a team that seems to be doing without a midfield right now. At West Ham, Kurt Zouma continued his convincing take on an eager, intelligent, well-meaning centre half pretending to be a defensive midfielder. The real concern though is the player alongside him, Cesc Fàbregas, who right now looks an alarmingly depleted force.

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Jonny Evans v Papiss Cissé spitting row: John Carver to look at footage

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 08:46
• Newcastle manager says guys on TV made him aware of allegations
• Football Association almost certain to take action against pair
Match report: Newcastle 0-1 Manchester United

John Carver says he will look at the footage of Papiss Cissé’s clash with Jonny Evans before deciding what action to take.

The Newcastle manager admitted after his side’s 1-0 home defeat to Manchester United that he was aware of the spitting allegations but would need to study television replays of the incident.

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MLS reaches deal with players to avert strike in competition's 20th season

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 04:29
  • MLS chief Don Garber confirms deal between league and players
  • 2015 season to start Friday as planned
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Swansea’s Bafétimbi Gomis collapses on the field against Tottenham

Guardian Football News - Thu, 03/05/2015 - 00:21
• French striker faints because of a drop in blood pressure
• Gomis tweets he is ‘feeling well’ after Muamba-style scare
• Match report: Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 Swansea City

Bafétimbi Gomis collapsed on the field at White Hart Lane on Wednesday night to briefly spark nightmarish memories of the Fabrice Muamba drama from almost three years ago at this same stadium.

The Swansea City striker has a history of fainting because of sudden drops in blood pressure and he lay prone for five minutes in the early stages of his team’s 3-2 defeat against Tottenham Hotspur, as medics attended to him and supplied him with oxygen. Gomis tweeted late on Wednesday night: “I wanted to reassure you concerning my health, it actually looks much more scary than physically dangerous and I am feeling well now.

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Asian Champions League: Roar win in Japan, Wanderers go down at home

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 23:56
  • Urawa Red Diamonds 0-1 Brisbane Roar
  • Western Sydney Wanderers 2-3 Guangzhou Evergrande

Brisbane Roar’s AFC Champions League campaign is back on track after an impressive 1-0 victory over J-League powerhouse Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan.

The Roar made a dream start at Saitama Stadium, scoring the decisive goal in just the second minute through young forward Brandon Borrello.

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John Terry feels his age but remains Chelsea’s driving force on title road

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 23:37
Captain had shaky match against West Ham’s marauding attackers without protection offered by Nemanja Matic but it is hard to overstate his influence
Match report: West Ham 0-1 Chelsea
Mourinho proud of Chelsea’s ‘great victory’ over West Ham

At the end of this fevered, streaky oddly inevitable 1-0 victory at Upton Park John Terry could be seen limping around, holding his lower back and finally clearing the ball as West Ham launched another attempt to break through the apparently unbreachable blue membrane around Chelsea’s goal. Meanwhile, at the other end, Didier Drogba scrapped and fought and spoiled, a one-man time-wasting device. Looking up you half-expected to see Jiri Jarosik coming on, Paulo Fereirra covering at right-back, Sylvester Stallone abseiling down off the corrugated roof. Somehow in the last two months of a title campaign launched in a flush of youthful attacking football The Unbeatables have become something closer to The Expendables.

Chelsea kept on rolling along at Upton Park. The only goal of a thrilling match was scored by Eden Hazard in the first half while West Ham were unlucky, Diafra Sakho missing a stream of chances. At the end of which it was a victory chiselled out of that champion resilience that runs though this team, given a familiar kind of ballast by Chelsea’s’s freshly re-contracted captain, a leader from the back whose presence continues to drive a relatively callow team on towards what would be a first league title for the rump of this Mourinho Mk2 Chelsea.

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Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini defends decision to drop Vincent Kompany

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:58

• Pellegrini: ‘It was important to refresh the team mentally and physically’
Match report: Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City
Jamie Jackson: Kompany pays price but drastic action yields little

Manuel Pellegrini attempted to play down dropping Vincent Kompany for Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Leicester City at the Etihad Stadium but the manager refused to confirm he will be reinstated for the champions’ next game, at Burnley on Saturday week.

Kompany was one of five players left out from the XI that lost 2-1 at Liverpool on Sunday. While Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and Edin Dzeko were also not in the team that gave City a first win in three matches, Pellegrini stated all of the changes were to freshen his side up after also losing 2-1 to Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 opening leg last week.

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St Johnstone’s Danny Swanson claims shock winner against Celtic

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:44

St Johnstone’s Danny Swanson inflicted a first domestic defeat of 2015 on the league leaders Celtic with a memorable goal.

The on-loan Coventry midfielder marked his first Scottish Premiership start for Saints with a glorious first-time effort in the 54th minute to claim victory.

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Kim Bo-kyung boosts Wigan’s survival hopes with winner at Norwich City

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:37

Norwich City’s bid for a seventh successive Championship win was thwarted by a determined Wigan side, who came away with a surprise 1-0 victory to boost their chances of avoiding the drop.

An early goal from the South Korean midfielder Kim Bo-kyung proved to be enough to settle a poor game in which an in-form home side failed to create a decent chance.

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Championship roundup: Ipswich lose more ground with defeat at Leeds

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:33
• Birmingham edge out Lee Clark and Blackpool
• Blackburn earn welcome win at Sheffield Wednesday

The Leeds United goalkeeper Marco Silvestri redeemed himself in the most dramatic of fashions as his side beat Ipswich Town 2-1 at Elland Road.

The Italian fumbled a Freddie Sears shot into his own goal to cancel out Alex Mowatt’s fine opener, and then breathed a sigh of relief when Billy Sharp’s stunning volley put Leeds back in front. Silvestri’s ultimate redemption came in the 84th minute, though, when he flung himself to his right to push a Daryl Murphy penalty on to the post and earn Leeds a win that keeps Ipswich out of the play-off places.

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Premier League clockwatch – as it happened

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:15

Chelsea earned a narrow win over West Ham to keep their lead as Man City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs all won, while Everton’s troubles deepened as they lost 2-0 to Stoke

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Vincent Kompany pays price but Pellegrini’s drastic action yields little

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:08
Chilean manager shows ruthless side to stop the rot but revamped Manchester City team still struggle in win over bottom-placed Leicester City
Match report: Manchester City 2-0 Leicester City
Pellegrini defends decision to drop captain Kompany

These are curious times at Manchester City. The manager’s job is under serious threat and still Manuel Pellegrini struggled to extract a tune from the 11 players he decided should be capable of winning a first match in three outings by beating bottom-placed Leicester City.

With Chelsea able to stretch their lead to eight points if they win their game in hand, Pellegrini went down the route marked “drastic action” when choosing his team to play a Foxes side who arrived at the Etihad with only 18 points and four victories all season in the league.

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Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez finally find touch to down QPR

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 22:03

“It’s hot up there,” said Arsène Wenger as he surveyed the scene at the top end of the Premier League, with everyone winning their midweek outings. There is currently no margin for error and after an uninspired opening Arsenal duly pulled themselves together to collect another three points with unerring finishes from Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sánchez.

In a game littered with chances, the difference boiled down to finishing – and Arsenal were ruthless enough to secure the points needed to keep them ahead of the pack in the hunt for Champions League requalification.

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Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge fire Liverpool past Burnley

Guardian Football News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 21:59

Brendan Rodgers denies it is a foregone conclusion that Jordan Henderson will be promoted from vice- to club captain when Steven Gerrard heads for Los Angeles this summer. Liverpool’s deputy, however, is compiling a strong case while the Anfield judge considers his options.

Henderson followed his sublime opener against Manchester City on Sunday with another fine 20-yard goal to puncture a determined display by Burnley at Anfield. Not even Philippe Coutinho could eclipse the midfielder on this occasion and the 25-year-old embellished his night’s work by creating the second goal for Daniel Sturridge. Scored one, made one; and Liverpool required a captain’s performance from Henderson, with Sean Dyche’s men proving predictably obstinate opponents. Burnley have the character to fight for Premier League survival. Liverpool have the class and confidence of Champions League place contenders.

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