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Monday, 23 February 2015

Manager Sacked Due To Bad Performance

Scotsman Steven Pressley
had been in charge of
Coventry City since arriving
from Falkirk in March 2013
Coventry City have sacked manager Steven Pressley after
almost two years in charge of the Sky Blues.
Pressley's assistant Neil MacFarlane and professional
development coach Dave Hockaday, who arrived only three
weeks ago, have been put in temporary charge.
Coventry have slipped into the League One relegation zone,
having failed to win any of their last seven matches.
"It was very difficult from a personal and professional point of
view," said chief executive Steve Waggott.

"But results over recent weeks and months, and our
precarious position in the league table, means that a change
of direction at first team level is needed."
A century and out for Pressley
Coventry City won 32, drew 30 and lost 38 of Steven
Pressley's 100 games in charge of the Sky Blues. He
previously spent a season as a player at Highfield Road in
1994-95, having been signed for £630,000 by Phil Neal in
1994, scoring one goal in his 19 appearances - against
Manchester United.
He began his playing career with Rangers, moved back
north of the border to Dundee United in 1995, then in 1998
to Hearts, where he also had a short spell as caretaker
manager. Joined Celtic in 2006 then had a spell in Denmark
before ending his playing days at Falkirk, where he was
assistant manager to Eddie May before being appointed
boss in February 2010.

The final game of 41-year-old Pressley's 100 in charge came
at Bramall Lane on Saturday when, despite playing against 10
men for most of the game, City allowed Sheffield United to
score twice in the final 11 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw.
The former Rangers, Dundee United, Hearts, Celtic and
Scotland centre-half left Falkirk to take over at City in March
2013 following the resignation of Sky Blues predecessor Mark
Robins to join Huddersfield.
Pressley was contractually tied to the Sky Blues until 2018,
having signed an initial three-and-a-half-year deal before
having that extended to a new four-year agreement in
September 2014.
The new contract was signed in a mood of euphoria that
followed City's return to the Ricoh Arena, but that mood has
changed in recent months - and home gates have fallen to
below 7,000.
For the majority of his time in charge, Pressley was generally
viewed by fans as a popular, engagingly frank character, who
motivated his team well in adversity, but had to contend with
the distracting backdrop of the club's off-field woes.
Coventry City chief executive Steve Waggott
"While clubs are sometimes labelled as being 'trigger happy'
when it comes to letting managers go, that's not the way I
operate. But the performances and the results of the first
team are always under scrutiny. So, while you always want
to look long term, you have to take a view of the shorter
term too and, with no league win at home since October, a
slide into the bottom four in League One and what happened
in the FA Cup, we came to the very difficult decision that it
was time for a change. I know the question will be raised
about the 'backing' he has had but our budget (money
spent on players' wages) is up there in the top six for this
division".

As well as twice being docked 10 points as a result of the
club's owners Sisu, now rebranded as Otium, going into
administration, while fighting against their landlords at the
Ricoh Arena, City even underwent an entire season in exile at
Northampton.
And they have been made to play second fiddle at their own
stadium following confirmation, then the harsh economic
reality, of their new landlords Wasps' well-marketed move to
the Ricoh Arena.

Since the news broke of rugby union's arrival at the stadium,
Coventry have won just four times in 24 League One games,
as well as suffering the embarrassment of losing at home to
non-league Worcester City in the FA Cup.
With 15 games of the season to go, City lie 21st, in danger of
being relegated to the fourth tier of English football for the
first time since 1959.

Three of their next four matches at home, starting with
Saturday's visit of second-placed MK Dons, but the state of
the Ricoh pitch since Coventry's new landlords came in does
not necessarily make that an advantage.

Player Dropped Due To Lateness - Koeman

Sadio Mane joined
Southampton from Red Bull
Salzburg for £10m in
September
Southampton midfielder Sadio Mane was dropped from the
starting line-up against Liverpool on Sunday for turning up
late, manager Ronald Koeman said.
The Senegal international appeared as a second-half
substitute as Liverpool won the Premier League match 2-0.
On-loan Benfica midfielder Filip Djuricic made his first
Southampton start in place of Mane, 22.

"He was supposed to play from the beginning. We have rules
we have to respect," Koeman told BBC Radio Solent.
"I had a problem because Sadio was too late at the stadium."
Mane had started Southampton's previous two matches,
having returned to the club at the end of January after playing
at the Africa Cup of Nations for Senegal, who were eliminated
at the group stage in Equatorial Guinea.
Koeman, meanwhile, is confident his side can secure a top-
four finish and a Champions League place - despite dropping
to fifth after picking up four points from their last four
matches.

Liverpool's victory was secured by a spectacular 25-yard
curler from Philippe Coutinho and a second-half Raheem
Sterling goal, with Southampton unable to score despite
applying plenty of pressure, particularly in the first half.
Koeman said: "It's frustrating because we don't have the
results we need and expect.
"Everything is about scoring goals and we have struggled
there in recent weeks. I enjoyed watching Southampton today,
but I was disappointed with the result.
"I have confidence that we can finish in the top four because
we showed we are a very good team.
"You can't do anything about Coutinho's goal. I can't say
Liverpool were the better team. Maybe they were cleverer,
because they scored two goals and we didn't."

Rio Ferdinand - You Really Need To Tackle Racism

Ferdinand says Uefa and
Fifa need to do more to
combat racism
QPR defender Rio Ferdinand says the incident in which
Chelsea fans stopped a black man boarding a Paris train
shows football cannot be complacent about tackling racism.
Chelsea have banned five fans over the incident before their
Champions League game at Paris St-Germain.
"We've started to think 'football has cured it' and put the
whole issue on the back-burner," the former England captain
told The Sun on Sunday.
"It is a rude awakening for the game."
The former West Ham, Leeds United and Manchester United
defender, 36, admitted that he had "been guilty of
complacency" himself.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he was "ashamed" by
the conduct of the club's fans in the French capital.
Amateur video showed a man being pushed from a train at the
Metro station while a group chants, "we're racist, we're racist
and that's the way we like it".
"It is a rude awakening for the whole game and now it's
essential that there has to be a continual effort," said
Ferdinand, who is a member of FA chairman Greg Dyke's
commission looking at how to improve English football.

Chelsea supporters at the
home game with Burnley
show their support against
racism
European football's governing body, Uefa, and Fifa, the
sport's world governing body, have initiatives set up to tackle
racism but Ferdinand believes they should do more.
"To be fair to the FA, they have done more than most to try
to eradicate racism from the stands," he said. "But the game
as a whole has to take a zero-tolerance approach.
"For years it's been clear that Fifa and Uefa have shied away
from doing what they needed to do.
"They have let football down, time and time again."
Professional Footballers' Association trustee Brendon Batson
has called for assault charges to be brought against the
Chelsea fans involved in the incident in Paris.
"This guy on the Paris Metro was assaulted, he was pushed
violently a couple of times, and I think if there are any criminal
laws to be enforced then that should be done as well," Batson
told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"I was very shocked when I saw the pictures and extremely
upset, not just for the individual concerned but for football in
general because I thought those days were long gone.
"Within stadiums, they just don't have a voice, these people -
I wouldn't even call them supporters - but it manifests itself
in what we saw in those pictures from Paris.
"I think there's a totally different behaviour [when fans go
abroad] because they know they can't get away with it over
here, that's for sure."

My Goal Isn't Enough To Save My Team - Totti

Francesco Totti has now
scored five goals in Serie A
this season
Veteran forward Francesco Totti scored for Roma but his side
were held to a draw at Hellas Verona and lost vital ground on
Serie A leaders Juventus.

The 38-year-old's fifth league goal of the season put the
visitors ahead as he shot in low from the edge of the area.
But Bosko Jankovic's deflected header from a corner for
Verona cancelled out the former Italy international's goal.
The result left second-placed Roma nine points adrift of
Juventus, who were 2-1 winners over Atalanta on Friday.
Elsewhere, Lazio fought back from a goal down to beat mid-
table Palermo 2-1 at the Stadio Olimpico to keep alive their
hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League.
Paulo Dybala put Palermo ahead but Stefano Mauri equalised
before Antonio Candreva's winner, which left Lazio two points
behind third-placed Napoli, who host Sassuolo on Monday.
Former Middlesbrough striker Massimo Maccarone scored
twice as Empoli boosted their survival hopes with a 3-0 home
victory over fellow strugglers Chievo. Daniele Rugani was also
on target for Empoli.

A goal from Giacomo Bonaventura and Giampaolo Pazzini's
penalty gave Milan a 2-0 win over second-bottom side
Cesena at San Siro.
In Sunday's late kick-off, Fiorentina and Torino played out a
1-1 draw in Florence after Mohamed Salah's goal was
cancelled out by a strike from Giuseppe Vives.

Lyon Regain Top Spot In Ligue 1

Nabil Fekir made his debut
in Ligue 1 for Lyon in
August 2013 against Evian
Lyon regained top spot in Ligue 1 after a narrow home victory
over Nantes thanks to a goal from Nabil Fekir.

The France Under-21 midfielder found the net after Alexandre
Lacazette and Yoann Gourcuff combined to set him up.
Lyon were also awarded a late penalty at the Stade Gerland
when Nantes goalkeeper Remy Riou fouled Fekir, but Maxime
Gonalons missed the spot-kick.
They hold a two-point advantage over defending champions
PSG with 12 games of the season remaining.
Lyon's hopes of a first Ligue 1 title since 2007-08 were also
boosted by third-placed Marseille dropping two points in a
2-2 draw at St Etienne.

Fifth-placed St Etienne took the lead through ex-Leeds United
winger Max Gradel, before Marseille substitute Michy
Batshuayi scored twice within five minutes of coming on as a
62nd-minute substitute.
However, the home side earned a draw through Mevlut
Erding's late equaliser to stop Marseille moving level with
PSG.

Cristiano Ronaldo moved up to third on Real Madrid's all- time top scorers

Cristiano Ronaldo has
scored 52 goals in 118
international appearances
for Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo moved up to third on Real Madrid's all-
time top scorers list after he found the net in a comfortable
away victory over Elche in La Liga.
The Portugal forward scored the 290th goal of his Madrid
career to climb above Carlos Santillana and is now 33 goals
behind Raul's record of 323.
Karim Benzema had put Real ahead with a scrappy opening
goal before Ronaldo powerfully headed in a second.
Real's advantage over Barcelona at the top of La Liga is now
four points.

Real Madrid had claimed on their website that Ronaldo
reached the 290-goal milestone in their Champions League
last-16 tie against Schalke on 18 February.
However, La Liga officially awarded a goal that the club had
credited to Ronaldo in a game against Real Sociedad in
September 2010, to Portuguese compatriot Pepe.
Coming into the game against Elche, Carlo Ancelotti's Real
side were seeking to capitalise on Barca's 1-0 home loss to
Malaga on Saturday, in the Italian's 100th game in charge.

Benzema thought he had put the European champions ahead
in the first half with a brilliant overhead kick that went into the
bottom corner, but the referee whistled for an infringement.
The France striker scored with an altogether less spectacular
effort that did count 11 minutes into the second half.
Ronaldo's cross from the left flank was deflected off Elche
defender David Lomban on to goalkeeper Przemysław Tyton
and into the path of Benzema, who tapped into a vacant net.

Ronaldo then made the points safe when he got on the end of
Isco's left-wing cross to send a powerful header past Tyton.
Elsewhere, David Moyes's Real Sociedad moved up to 10th in
the table after a 4-3 win over Sevilla at the Anoeta Stadium,
Villarreal beat Eibar 1-0while Athletic Bilbao completed a
narrow 1-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Harry Kane's Injury Goal Secure Spurs a 2-2 draw with West Ham

Harry Kane missed an injury-time penalty but converted the
rebound as Tottenham snatched a dramatic 2-2 draw against
West Ham at White Hart Lane.
West Ham had held a two-goal lead through Cheikhou
Kouyate and Diafra Sakho with 10 minutes remaining but
Danny Rose's scuffed shot set up a grandstand finish and
then Kane - brought down by Alex Song - struck at the
second attempt, six minutes into time added on.

Tottenham, who have earned 16 points from losing positions
this season, remain three points off the top four in seventh,
while the visitors sit a place back after being denied what
would have been a first victory in four Premier League games.
Kane - now with 24 goals to his name this season - was
recalled alongside Moussa Dembele and Ryan Mason after
starting the midweek draw against Fiorentina on the bench,
boss Mauricio Pochettino keen to keep legs fresh for a
gruelling schedule that includes next weekend's Capital One
Cup final.

The home side started the game brightly with Nabil Bentaleb
recording the first shot on target in the eighth minute, Adrian
pushing the ball around his right-hand post.
Kane followed that up moments later when he tried to cheekily
chip the West Ham keeper but failed to get a proper strike on
the ball.
Kouyate gave Sam Allardyce’s men the lead against the run of
play in the 22nd minute. A good run down the left saw Aaron
Cresswell deliver a pinpoint cross into the box and the
midfielder outjumped Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen to head
home.

Cresswell was causing problems again six minutes later but
this time Spurs were alert to the danger and cleared the ball.
Spurs struggled to create any real chances in the first-half and
their passing looked disjointed as time went on.
Enner Valencia should have doubled the visitors' lead just
before the hour when he beat Kyle Walker for pace before
unleashing a shot from just outside the box, but Dier and
Vertonghen were there to block it with their bodies and keep
the score at 1-0.
West Ham finally increased their lead two minutes after the
hour as Sakho got his first away goal since October 18. The
forward started the move when his cross-shot bounced across
the box and Mark Noble - on hand to pick up the loose ball -
allowed Sakho to knock it past Hugo Lloris at the near post.

That appeared to the belated impetus that Spurs needed as
Kane had a goal ruled out for offside, before Adrian saved low
to his left from substitute Christian Eriksen’s dipping free-kick.
Nine minutes from time the assured Adrian made his first
mistake of the game as he punched Erik Lamela’s shot away
but mistimed his jump, allowing Rose’s effort to sneak in.
Allardyce fumed at lengthy stoppage-time as Spurs continued
to attack and with seconds left, Kane - running into the box -
was caught by Alex Song.
The referee pointed to the spot and when Adrian parried his
spot-kick, the in-form striker was alert enough to send the
rebound home.