Archive | December 20, 2015

Bale scores four as Real Madrid demolish Rayo….

Gareth Bale

Gareth Bale scored four goals as Real Madrid hit nine-man Rayo Vallecano for double figures in a remarkable game. Real trailed before Tito’s red card – Danilo putting the hosts ahead before headers from Antonio Amaya and Jozabed. Bale levelled with a header before Raul Baena was sent off in conceding a penalty which Cristiano Ronaldo scored. As the game opened up, Bale added three more, Ronaldo scored a second and Karim Benzema netted a hat-trick – including number 10. Real boss Rafael Benitez has been under pressure after losing three of their last five La Liga games. But it remains to be seen if the farcical circumstances of their win over neighbours Rayo will ease much of that, as they were playing poorly before the sendings off. It was the first time they hit double figures in a La Liga match since 1960, when they beat Elche 11-2. Real remain two points off leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, who both have a game in hand.

Ighalo shines as Watford beat Liverpool….

Adam Bogdan

Watford profited from Liverpool’s calamitous opening at Vicarage Road to continue their remarkable rise with a fourth consecutive Premier League win. Adam Bogdan dropped a corner with the very first touch of his league debut, allowing Nathan Ake to stab the home side ahead after just three minutes. Odion Ighalo doubled the lead, firing in off the post from a tight angle. And the Nigerian sealed a deserved victory with his 12th of the season, nodding in from Valon Behrami’s cross. The Hornets, promoted from the Championship last term, move to within a point of the Champions League places. Defeat for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are now without a win in their last three league games, leaves them ninth – four points behind Quique Flores’ side in seventh.

English Premier League results….

Chelsea

Saturday 19 Decemeber 2015:

Chelsea 3 – 1 Sunderland

Everton 2 – 3 Leicester

Man Utd 1 – 2 Norwich

Southampton 0 – 2 Tottenham

Stoke 1 – 2 Crystal Palace

West Brom 1 – 2 Bournemouth

Newcastle 1 – 1 Aston Villa

 

Barcelona win FIFA World Club Cup….

Barcelona celebrate

Barcelona won their fifth trophy of 2015 after clinching the FIFA Club World Cup for a third time with a comprehensive victory over River Plate of Argentina. River could not cope with Barca’s Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar. Messi scored the opener after returning from a kidney problem when he controlled Neymar’s pass to finish. Suarez latched onto Sergio Busquets’ brilliant ball over the top to double their lead and then added his second with a header from Neymar’s cross. Uruguay striker Suarez finished the tournament with five goals in two games after scoring a hat-trick in the 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande. Less than a year ago Luis Enrique was reported to be on the verge of being sacked, but the club’s board stuck by him and since then they have won five of the six possible trophies 2015 had to offer. Only a Spanish Super Cup defeat by Athletic Bilbao denied them the chance to match the 2009 sextuple under Pep Guardiola. They are top of La Liga for now [on goal difference from Atletico Madrid, who play later on Sunday], and in the last 16 of the Copa del Rey and Champions League – as they bid to do it all again in 2016.

 

Clinton N’jie has surgery on his knee….

Clinton N'jie of Spurs and Cameroon

Tottenham have confirmed that their Cameroon international, Clinton N’jie, has undergone knee surgery. The forward suffered a ligament injury during Spurs’ 4-1 Europa League victory against Monaco earlier this month. Tottenham have not said how long N’jie will be out for. A club statement read: ” Our medical staff will monitor Clinton’s progress during his rehabilitation  to determine when he will be ready to return to training.” Njie, who signed from Lyon on a five-year deal this summer, has made 13 appearances, but is yet to start in the English Premier League for Spurs this season and is also yet to score.

Bayern Munich: Guardiola leaves, Ancelotti steps in….

Pep Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season to be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti

Pep Guardiola is to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season and will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti. Guardiola, 44, has been linked with Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. The former Barcelona coach has won two league titles and the German Cup since joining Bayern in summer 2013. Ex-Chelsea boss Ancelotti, 56, has been on a break since being sacked by Real Madrid in May 2015 and has signed a three-year deal with Bayern. The German champions are eight points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and will play Italian club Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League. “We are grateful to Pep Guardiola for everything he has given our club since 2013,” said Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “I am convinced that Pep and our team will now work even more intensively towards achieving our major sporting goals – especially as it is now confirmed that Pep is to leave FC Bayern.” Ancelotti has won the Champions League three times, twice with AC Milan and once at Real Madrid, and guided Chelsea to the Premier League title and FA Cup in 2010. He recently suggested a preference to return to the English top flight but has instead decided to join Bayern. “Carlo is a calm, balanced expert, who knows how to deal with stars and favours a multifaceted style of play – we were looking for this, and we have found it,” added Rummenigge. “We are looking forward to working with him.” If Ancelotti wins the Bundesliga with Bayern next season, he will become the second coach to have won league titles in four of Europe’s top six leagues.

 

Chelsea appoint Hiddink….

Guus Hiddink (left), Didier Drogba (centre) and Roman Abramovich

Former Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink has been appointed interim Chelsea manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho. The 69-year-old also managed the Blues on a temporary basis for the final three months of the 2008-09 campaign. “I am excited to return,” said the Dutchman. “Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment. “However, I am sure we can all turn this season around.” Mourinho was sacked on Thursday with champions Chelsea 16th in the Premier League table, one point above the relegation zone. Hiddink watched Saturday’s visit of Sunderland from the stands, sat next to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and former Blues striker Didier Drogba. Coaches Steve Holland and Eddie Newton were in charge of the team for the game against the Black Cats. “It’s a fantastic appointment. I’m very happy about it. This club needs an experienced manager at the helm and Guus Hiddink is clearly that,” said Holland.