Month: January 2014

Samir Nasri out for 8 weeks

Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri has been ruled out for eight weeks with a medial knee ligament injury suffered against Newcastle.

Nasri was carried off on a stretcher after a tackle by Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in City’s 2-0 Premier League win at St James’ Park on Sunday.

It was feared he could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“I suppose it’s kind of good news that I will be out around eight weeks,” Nasri said on Twitter. 

“Thank you everyone for your kind words and overwhelming support.”

It means he is scheduled to miss at least 11 games, including matches against Tottenham, Chelsea, Barcelona and Manchester United. His first game back could be the second leg of the Champions League tie with Barca on 12 March.

Play media

Newcastle 0-2 Manchester City: Pellegrini on Pardew row

France international Nasri was replaced by James Milner in the 79th minute and required several minutes of treatment before leaving in tears on a stretcher with his left leg in a brace.

Yanga-Mbiwa was booked by referee Mike Jones, but City boss Manuel Pellegrini claimed the challenge warranted a sending-off.

“It should have been a red card,” said Pellegrini. “But I think it’s very difficult for the referee to handle a game when every time he gave a decision against Newcastle there were complaints from the manager.”

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew defended Yanga-Mbiwa’s tackle. “He wouldn’t have wanted to hurt Nasri. He is not like that and I hope Nasri is OK,” he said.

Pellegrini confirmed Edin Dzeko, scorer of the opening goal, sustained a calf injury in the victory, which took City to the top of the Premier League.

Alvaro Negredo was also on the scoresheet, sealing victory over a Magpies side that saw Cheick Tiote’s first-half goal ruled out for offside. Image

Advertisements

Cristiano Ronaldo grabs his second Ballon d’Or

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo has beaten Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Franck Ribery of Bayern Munich to win the 2013 Fifa Ballon d’Or.

 

The Portugal captain, 28, was named as the world player of the year for the first time since 2008 by national coaches, captains and journalists.

 

Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer won the women’s world player of the year.

 

Former Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes picked up the coach of the year accolade.

 

Ronaldo claimed the award with a total of 1,365 points, ahead of Messi (1,205) and Ribery (1,127), with the votes cast by 184 coaches, 184 national captains and 173 members of the global media.

 

Messi, 26, had won the award for the last four years, however Ronaldo had been viewed as the front-runner this time after scoring 66 goals in 56 games in 2013 for club and country.

 

They included a sensational hat-trick for Portugal against Sweden in their World Cup qualifying play-off second leg, which sealed a place in the finals in Brazil.

 

“First of all, I have to say a great thanks to all of my team-mates with the club and the national team,” Ronaldo said as he cried during his speech. “Without all of their efforts this would not have been possible. I am very happy, it is very difficult to win this award.

 

“Everybody that has been involved with me on a personal level, I have to thank. My wife, my friends, my son. It is a tremendously emotional moment. All I can say is thank you to everybody that has been involved.”

 

Women’s player of the year Angerer, 35, saved two penalties in Germany’s 1-0 win over Norway in the 2013 European Championship final and was named player of the match.

 

Play media

Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer
 

Women’s player of the year’s two stunning penalty saves

 

“I have to say that I’m a little surprised, but very thankful,” the Brisbane Roar goalkeeper said. “You never get a success like this on your own. I have to thank my team-mates and my goalkeeping coach who raised me to a level that I never thought I’d get to.”

 

German national manager Silvia Neid won the women’s coach award, while Heynckes, who retired at the end of the last season after guiding Bayern Munich to a historic treble , said: “Maybe 10 years ago, I wouldn’t even have dreamt of this. I am humbled and happy to be standing here.”

 

The Ballon d’Or Prix d’Honneur was awarded to Brazil legend and three-time World Cup winner Pele . “I promised to my family that I would not cry but I am emotional,” he said.

 

“I got so many trophies and prizes but I was jealous of all of those guys who got the Ballon d’Or, which I couldn’t get because I didn’t play in Europe. Now I thank God that I can complete my trophies at home.”

 

The Puskas Award for goal of the year went to Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his 30-yard overhead strike for Sweden, his fourth goal of the game, against England in November 2012.

 

Former president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge won the Fifa presidential award, while the Afghanistan Football Federation won the fair play accolade for the strides they have made advancing the game in the war-torn country.

 

It emerged afterwards that neither Ronaldo or Messi voted for the other in their top three. 

 

The Portuguese selected Radamel Falcao for first place, followed by Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil, while the the Argentine opted for Barcelona team-mates Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Neymar.

 

England manager Roy Hodgson chose Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic and Robin van Persie as his top three, while captain Steven Gerrard picked Ronaldo, Messi and Liverpool team-mate Luis Suarez.

 

Fifa world team of the year

 

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

 

Dani Alves (Barcelona)

 

Thiago Silva (PSG)

 

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

 

Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)

 

Andres Iniesta (Barcelona)

 

Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)

 

Xavi (Barcelona)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG)

 

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Arsenal wins at Villa park to return to the top of the BPL log.

Arsenal leapfrogged Manchester City and Chelsea to return to the top of the Premier League with victory at Aston Villa.

It was a win that was, for the most part, comfortable in the extreme as goals from Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud inside a minute in the first half gave Arsene Wenger’s team the lead their superiority fully deserved.

Villa had spent much of the game chasing shadows and being outclassed but finally managed to give the visitors some anxious moments when Christian Benteke scored his first goal since 14 September with a diving header 14 minutes from time.

The Gunners held on for what was a vital, and deserved, win as they extended an unbeaten record at Villa Park to 15 matches stretching back to December 1998.

And there was further good news, especially with Theo Walcott ruled out for the rest of the season, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain returned for the first time since the opening day as a late substitute after recovering from a knee problem.

Oxlade-Chamberlain came on for another substitute, Tomas Rosicky, who suffered a nose injury in a challenge with Gabriel Agbonlahor.

If Wenger had any complaints on a night when the Gunners went a point clear at the top of the table, it will be that they did not turn their dominance into more goals and somehow allowed Villa the chance of an unlikely point in an uncomfortable spell near the end.

The hosts, meanwhile, only came to life when it was too late and manager Paul Lambert must somehow find a way of injecting confidence into a side desperately needing the menacing figure of Benteke to regain last season’s form.

It was all a far cry from the opening day of season when Villa left The Emirates full of optimism after beating Arsenal 3-1.

There could not have been a sharper contrast in form between the two sides. Arsenal had won a north London derby FA Cup third round tie against Spurs while Villa had suffered the embarrassment of a home defeat by League One strugglers Sheffield United.

And how it showed in the early phases as Arsenal tormented Villa in possession, Giroud coming closest with a glancing header from one of several testing crosses from Bacary Sagna.

Lambert was forced into a reshuffle when defender Nathan Baker was struck full in the face by Serge Gnabry’s powerful shot. He was treated for around eight minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. It looked a real concern but Villa were relieved to report he had only suffered mild concussion.

Leandro Bacuna came on and for a very brief spell Villa actually caused Arsenal concern, Karim El Ahmadi wasting their best chance when he sent a sidefoot finish over the top from 12 yards.

The only irritation for Wenger was whether Arsenal would provide the final flourish to all their fine approach play – and that was banished with two superbly constructed goals within the space of seconds.

Wilshere made the breakthrough after 34 minutes, sliding home from inside the area but so much credit must go to that graceful creator Mesut Ozil, whose pass in behind Matt Lowton enabled Nacho Monreal to set up the England midfielder.

And the game had barely restarted when Giroud added a fine second, Wilshere making the goal with a pass that let the striker score emphatically past Villa keeper Brad Guzan.Image

Benteke had cut a frustrated figure but he demonstrated his threat with an athletic volley that was narrowly off target before giving Villa hope with a stooping far-post header from Lowton’s brilliant cross.

It gave a very subdued Villa Park brief hope that they might rescue a point but Arsenal held on for another important away win.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:

“Nathan Baker was concussed. He took a blow to the side of his head. That was dangerous and it rocked us a bit – we had worked all week on the system – but thankfully he’s a lot better. He throws himself into things, that’s what he does.

“In the second half we were excellent, we looked great and a real threat. We were lifted by the goal. It’s not easy playing Arsenal – they are title contenders but everybody can see we gave them a game.

“You have to give us credit. We came into it but we might have snuck a draw.”

Ac Milan sacks Coach Massimiliano Allegri.

AC Milan have sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri, a day after a 4-3 league defeat by minnows Sassuolo.

The 18-time Italian champions are 11th in Serie A, 30 points behind leaders Juventus.

Allegri, 46, who was due to leave the San Siro when his contract expired at the end of the season, departs along with his backroom team.

Assistant coach Mauro Tassotti, a former Milan player, has been put in temporary charge of the side.

A club statement read: “Massimiliano Allegri and his staff have been relieved of their duties.

“AC Milan would like to thank Mr Allegri and his staff for their time with the club and wishes them the best for the future.”

Former Cagliari boss Allegri led Milan to the Serie A title  in his first season in charge after replacing Leonardo in June 2010.

They finished as runners-up to Juventus the following year but ended last season 15 points behind Juventus, who won the title again.

Following Sunday’s defeat to Serie A newcomers Sassuolo, club director Barbara Berlusconi – the daughter of owner Silvio Berlusconi – said it was “a disappointing evening, like others, which confirms that a change is both necessary and urgent with the contribution of everyone concerned.

“It’s no longer tolerable that our fans participate in performances like these.”

Tassotti, 53, spent 17 years as a player at the San Siro and has been on the coaching staff since he retired from playing in 1997.

A second Serie A club dispensed with their manager’s services on Monday as Livorno sacked Davide Nicola with the side in 19th place.