Category Archives: POMSPORT

POMSPORT WEEKLY 22/01/09

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.

Who said the Carling Cup doesn’t matter? This week it has created so much drama and column inches…  A crazy 9 goal thriller between Villa and Blackburn, a pitch invasion, Manchester City beat United, and Gary Neville was offending people without making it off the subs bench. The Tevez – Neville story is a cracker and one that will create extra spice for next weeks second leg at Old Trafford. Below is an extract from the Guardian’s excellent Fiver email (21/1/10), they tell the story well!
 
WE REALLY WANT TO SEE THOSE FINGERS

 When little Carlito Tevez Mighty Moused the penalty Manchester City shouldn’t have got into the roof of the net in Manchester City’s Secondary Cup semi-final first-leg win over their noisy neighbours last night, he was understandably delighted. So delighted, in fact, that he sprinted to the sideline, angrily cupped his hands behind his ears and then made a yapping gesture at Gary Neville, who had left his basket at Sir Alex Ferguson’s feet and was stretching on the sideline. Tevez was responding to Neville’s recently-aired view that His Master was right to let the Argentinian peasant woman leave Old Trafford last summer. Neville responded to Tevez’s response by giving him the finger.

Gary Neville is 34.

Today the FA confirmed it is “looking into” the one-fingered salute given by His Master’s Voice, a player who is now so over-the-hill that he has to limber up for several minutes just to be able to hoist a digit at a former team-mate. Presumably the implausibly hot, wise-cracking scientists in the open lab coats and tight T-shirts at CSI: Wembley will use their fancy equipment to zoom in on the photograph of the erect finger, crop a picture of its tip, zoom in on that and run it through their computer to see if it’s a match with that of the Manchester United full-back.

If it is, Neville can expect to feel the full force of the FA’s disciplinary committee, a merciless body of men who are unlikely to think twice about handing out a very sternly-worded warning or, if they’re feeling particularly vindictive, possibly even a small fine.

Coincidentally, Neville’s last sternly-worded warning from the FA came on the back of United’s 4-3 win over City in September, when he charged down the touchline to taunt City fans in the wake of Michael Owen’s injury-time winner, before realising the error of his ways mid-gallop and pretending he was only on a warm-up jog instead. As ruses go it was comically transparent, like somebody running for a bus, failing to catch the bus, slowing to a jog in order to save face by pretending they never actually wanted to catch the bus, then realising they’re unwittingly re-enacting one of Michael McIntyre terrible comedy routines.

Like we said, Gary Neville is 34, which is bad news for City fans, because it means he doesn’t get a game very often these days. If he can embarrass himself that badly on the sideline when City are the opposition, think of what he could achieve if only he was let on to the pitch.

Is Torres a bit of a Twitter?

I have written about footballers Tweets before but never came across this one from Torres http://twitter.com/it9. It’s a cracker. He has over 10,000 followers, no idea if its really him (its not a ‘verified’ account) but it’s pretty crazy stuff…

My favourite of his recent Tweets is this:

 8:44 PM Jan 12th from web – We’re virtually the same team that finished second in the EPL last season and we’re going to do everything we can to improve our situation.

Then after loosing at home 2-1 to Reading in the FA Cup…

8:07 PM Jan 15th from web – If we want to compete with United and Chelsea we need a much, much more complete squad.

Classic!

POMSPORT ON AUS TV

All FA Cup this weekend (plus a Manchester United are playing Hull on Sat).

All times below are for Setanta Sports.

Saturday 23rd January

Preston vs Chelsea 11:45pm (LIVE)

 Sunday 24th January

Everton vs Birmingham 2am (LIVE)

Tottenham vs Leeds 4:15am (LIVE)

Reading vs Burnley 6:30am

Accrington Stanley vs Fulham 8:15am

Notts County vs Wigan 10:45pm

Monday 25th January

Stoke vs Arsenal 0:30am (LIVE)

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POMSPORT WEEKLY 13/01/2010

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.

By William Thompson

The biggest fixture of the weekend was the weather, with the country crippled by sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow falls. Sporting fixtures the length and breadth of the country were postponed with only nine games, including three Premier League matches, taking place over the weekend and Monday night.

England frustrated South Africa in the cricket, hanging on to draw the 3rd test in Cape Town and maintaining their 1-0 lead in the series going into the 4th and final test next week. And finally, Angola’s current tourism campaign took a nose dive last week when the Togo team bus was attacked by rebels with machine guns, killing the bus driver, a member of the coaching staff and a press officer, as they travelled to play their first game in The Africa Cup of Nations.

Premier League Highlights Arsenal and Manchester United missed the opportunity to close the gap on Chelsea, both settling for a point in their respective games. However, Manchester City did take advantage, beating Blackburn 4-1 at home, moving them up into 4th spot. Everton travelled to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday to face Arsenal and were very unlucky not leave with all 3 points. Arsenal never really got going and Everton looked the hungrier of the two teams, closing Arsenal down at every opportunity and stopping them from playing their usual, patient, passing game. Played out in what can only be described as a blizzard Everton twice took the lead, through Osman and Pienaar, only for Arsenal to strike back with two deflected goals, with Rosicky’s second half equaliser coming deep into stoppage time and denying David Moyes’ side a well-earned victory. Birmingham City continued their impressive run, holding current champions Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at St Andrews. Birmingham took the lead just before half time, albeit against the run of play, with Jerome striking home from close range. Manchester United equalised through Birmingham’s Scott Dann, who put the ball into his own net after Evra smashed the ball back across the goal. Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher was sent off late in the second half for a second yellow card and, despite 6 minutes of injury time, Birmingham held on comfortably for a thoroughly deserved point.

A Carlos Tevez hat trick propelled Manchester City into 4th spot after they defeated Blackburn 4-1 at Eastland’s and kept Mancini’s 100% record in tact, although the Italian was frustrated that his side conceded a goal. This result puts Manchester City right back in the title race, 7 points behind league leaders Chelsea and 6 points off 2nd place neighbours Manchester United, who have also played a game more game than City.

Click here for video highlights from SBS World Game 

 Other sporting news over the past seven days England, for the second time in their 4 test series against South Africa, clung on for a draw, going down to their final two wickets and frustrating the hosts, who were in a great position going into the final day, to level the series. Graham Onions and Graham Swann fended off the final 17 balls to maintain England’s 1-0 lead going into the 4th and final test in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Togo have been officially disqualified and will not compete and the African Cup of Nations after their team bus was attacked en route to their first game in Cabinda. The players initially didn’t want to compete after the attack, which claimed three lives and left two of their players injured, but later changed their mind. Togo’s Government ordered the players home and, despite reports of the players wanting to return to honour those killed and injured, the Togolese Government insisted their country wouldn’t be taking part. Togo failed to show for their first game against Ghana on Monday evening, resulting in official disqualification.

Both first legs of the Carling Cup semi-finals fell foul of the weather and were postponed last week, with Blackburn due to face Villa at Ewood Park and Manchester City due to host Manchester United at Eastlands. Hosts Angola squandered a four goal lead against Mali in the opening game of the African Cup of Nations, with Mali coming from 4 goals down, with eleven minutes left on the clock, to tie the game 4-4.

Phil the power house Taylor picked up his 15th world darts title, beating Australian Simon Whitlock 7-3 in the final.

Davydenko has been upsetting the tennis hierarchy again, defeating Nadal in the Qatar Open Final in Doha, saving two match points on the way to victory.

Coming Up England commence their fourth and final test against South Africa in Johannesburg on Thursday with the worst possible outcome now being a draw for the tourists, given they lead the series 1-0. South Africa will throw everything they have at England to salvage the series, however England will be looking to seal a famous test series victory against the team ranked currently number three in the world.

In the FA Cup Liverpool take on Reading in their 3rd round replay up at Anfield. Birmingham, Portsmouth and Newcastle are also in action, vying for a place in the 4th round. In the Carling Cup Blackburn will attempt to play Aston Villa again at Ewood Park in the semi-final first leg after last week’s game was postponed. The pick of the weekend’s Premier League action (weather permitting) sees Chelsea host Sunderland at the Bridge, Everton face Manchester City at Goodison, Arsenal travel up to the Reebok to take on Bolton and Manchester United host Burnley at Old Trafford.

 

PomSport on Australian TV this week

4th Test – South Africa v England TV Schedule

Thursday January 14 International Test Cricket, Day 1 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3.30am) Fox Sports 3 Friday January 15 International Test Cricket, Day 2 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3.30am) Fox Sports 3 Saturday January 16 International Test Cricket, Day 3 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3.30am) Fox Sports 3 Sunday January 17 International Test Cricket, Day 4 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3.30am) Fox Sports 3 Monday January 18 International Test Cricket, Day 5 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3.30am) Fox Sports 3

Thursday January 14

Liverpool v Reading – FA Cup 3rd Round Replay (6.30am – 9am) Setanta

Friday January 15

Blackburn Rovers v Aston Villa – Carling Cup Semi Final 1st Leg (6.30am – 9.15am) Fox Sports 2

Saturday January 16

Stoke v Liverpool (11pm – 1.55am) Fox Sports 1

Sunday January 17

Chelsea v Sunderland (1.55am – 4.25am) Fox Sports 1 Everton v Manchester City (4.25am – 6.30am) Fox Sports 1

Monday January 18

Aston Villa v West Ham (12.25am – 2.30am) Fox Sports 2 Bolton Wanderers v Arsenal (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 2 Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1

POMSPORT Classic Goal of the Week

Alan Shearer nearly broke the net with this absolute belter against Everton at St James Park.

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POMSPORT WEEKLY 08/01/2010

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.

By William Thompson

The festive season didn’t disappoint, with a bumper packed Premiership schedule which had Liverpool rediscovering their backbone, Arsenal stepping up a gear and Mancini’s Manchester City recording back to back wins.  It’s still tight at the top with Just 10 points separating Chelsea in top spot to Villa in 6th.  The pick of the 3rd Round FA Cup action was at Old Trafford with Leeds United, now of League One, winning 1-0 against bitter rivals Manchester United.  This result proved not only to be the biggest upset of the weekend but one of the biggest 3rd Round shocks in recent years.  In the cricket England thumped South Africa in the second test, winning by an innings, and taking a 1-0 lead in the series after drawing the first test in Centurion.

Pick of the Festive Action     

The pick of the Boxing Day action saw Birmingham hold league leaders Chelsea to a 0-0 draw at St Andrews.  At the foot of the table West Ham beat fellow strugglers Portsmouth 2-0 at Upton Park.  Arsenal thumped Villa 3-0 at the Emirates with Fabregas fulfilling his super-sub roll, coming on midway through the second half and netting two goals.  Diaby sealed the win in injury time with a well taken 3rd goal.  Hull put up an impressive fight against Manchester United at the KC Stadium and, after going 1-0 down just before the break, leveled via the penalty spot early on in the second half.  Manchester United responded well and left the KC 3-1 winners.

The second round of fixtures saw Chelsea get back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Fulham at the Bridge.  Tottenham beat West Ham 2-0 at the Lane whilst Fernando Torres left it very late to sink Villa 1-0, scoring in the 93rd minute to end with Liverpool taking all 3 points at Villa Park (view video highlights here).  Birmingham kept up their impressive form with a 1-0 win away at Stoke whilst Hull fought back from two goals down to come away with a point at Bolton.  Arsenal cruised past Portsmouth at Fratton Park, winning 4-1, with the final game seeing Manchester United rout Wigan 5-0 at old Trafford.

The Premier League at the close of 2009 has Chelsea top on 45 points, 2 points clear of Manchester United in second.  Arsenal’s recent good form sees them put some daylight between them and Spurs, who sit in 4th. Arsenal also have a game in hand which could see them leapfrog Manchester United into second spot, should they defeat Bolton at the Emirates this week.  Villa’s poor Christmas performance sees them drop to 6th place whilst Manchester City move up to 5th spot, level with Villa on 35 points.  Liverpool made up some ground with 2 wins over the festive period and remain in 7th place, 4 points off Spurs. Birmingham are in 8th place with 32 points.  At the bottom, Portsmouth, Hull and Bolton all occupy the relegation spots, although, like the top end of the table, it’s tight with 3 points separating Hull in 18th place to Stoke in 12th.  

In other news Gary Megson was relieved of his duties as Bolton Wanderers manager after two and a half years in charge with Bolton eyeing up Burnley’s Owen Coyle as a potential replacement.     

The FA Cup 3rd Round took place over the weekend with the big shock of the round seeing League One Leeds United knocking out Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford.  Leeds took the lead on 19 minutes with Beckford scoring the winner.  Leeds played extremely well and could have doubled their lead, if not for the wood work intervening after a well struck free kick in the second half.  Leeds dug in and left Old Trafford with their first victory since 1981. View video highlights here.

Other 3rd round results saw Arsenal come from a goal behind to beat West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park,  holders Chelsea spanked Watford 5-0, Aston Villa beat Premier League rivals Blackburn 3-1, Manchester City beat Middlesbrough 1-0 up at the Riverside, Reading held Liverpool in a 1-1 draw at the Majestic Stadium (view video highlights here), Tottenham brushed aside Peterborough 4-0, Wigan defeated Hull 4-1 at the JJB and Birmingham played out a 0-0 draw with midland rivals Nottingham Forest.  

The 4th round of the FA Cup was also drawn over the weekend with the pick fixtures seeing Tottenham taking on giant killers Leeds United at White Hart Lane, Brighton travel up to Villa Park, and Preston host cup holders Chelsea.    

In the cricket, England spanked South Africa in the second test in Durban, wrapping up victory on day 5 winning by an innings and 98 runs.  Graeme Swann was the star of the show taking 5 wickets for 54 runs.  England lead the series 1-0 with two tests to play, with the 3rd test currently taking place in Cape Town.  

Coming Up

The Carling Cup semi final first legs take place this week with Aston Villa travelling to Ewood Park to take on Blackburn, whilst Manchester United face Manchester City at Eastlands.  In the Premier League Stoke play Fulham whilst Arsenal take on Bolton at the Emirates – a win for Arsenal would take them into second spot, one point behind leaders Chelsea.  The pick of the weekend action sees Manchester United take on in form Birmingham City at St Andrews, Chelsea travel to Hull, Arsenal host Everton, and Tottenham travel up to Anfield to to take on Liverpool.  

PomSport on Australian TV this week  

 

Thursday January 7

Arsenal v Bolton (6.40am – 9am) Fox Sports 1

Manchester City v Manchester United (6.40am – 9am) Fox Sports 2

Saturday January 9

Hull v Chelsea (11am – 1.55am) Fox Sports 1

Sunday January 10

Arsenal v Everton (1.55am – 4.30am) Fox Sports 1

Birmingham City v Manchester United (4.30am – 6.30am) Fox Sports 1

Monday January 11

West Ham v Wolves (12.25am – 2.30am) Fox Sports 1

Liverpool v Tottenham (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 1

Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1

Tuesday January 12

Manchester City v Blackburn (6.55am – 9am) Fox Sports 1

POMSPORT Classic Goal of the Week 

This weeks POMSPORT classic goal comes courtesy of Mr Paul Gascoigne, who back in Euro 96 scored a cracking goal against Scotland in the group stages. Gazza’s infamous dentist chair goal celebration followed, which is also up there amongst the best all time goal celebrations!

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POMSPORT WEEKLY 24/12/09

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.

By William Thompson

There’s been plenty of action over the past seven days with the Premier League once again churning out some cracking games and unpredictable results. The UEFA Champions League first knock out stage was drawn on Friday, which results in Beckham returning to Old Trafford with AC Milan and Jose Mourinho returning to Chelsea with Inter Milan.  Fulham and Everton both progressed to the knock out stages of the Europa League, with Liverpool joining them as one of the “best losers” from the Champions League.  Mark Hughes got the chop at Manchester City with Mancini being named instantly as his replacement.  And finally, England salvaged a draw in their first test match against South Africa in Centurion.

Pick of the week: Fulham 3 Manchester United 0

Fulham destroyed Manchester United 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, with the current champions fielding a severely weakened team due to mass injury problems.  Nevertheless, Manchester United still had plenty of experience on the field with the likes of Carrick, Scholes, Rooney and Owen all in action.  Fulham played extremely well and limited United to only a handful of chances.  Berbatov came on midway through the second half and gave United a glimmer of hope, to no avail.  Bobby Zamora was Fulham’s stand out man, scoring Fulham’s second just after the break and setting up Duff brilliantly for a well taken third goal.  Zamora, who made it 10 goals for the season, was given a standing ovation by the Fulham fans as he departed the field after being substituted in injury time.  He’s taken some stick on PomSport over the past couple of weeks but if he keeps this form up he may well be in with a shout for England.  The confidence is there and he’s definitely answering his critics (for which I’m one) the best way possible!

View highlights here

Premier League Highlights

With Manchester United losing, Chelsea failed to take advantage drawing 1-1 with West Ham at Upton Park. The Hammers took the lead just before half time after Ashley Cole gave away a reckless penalty by fouling Collison.  Chelsea levelled the score just after the hour, also via the penalty spot, after Upson brought down Sturridge, although replays showed he won the ball.  Frank Lampard showed great composure to net his penalty three times, after it was disallowed twice for players infringing the penalty area prior to him striking the ball. View highlights here.

Arsenal, Villa and Spurs all took advantage of the top two’s inability to secure three points, with Arsenal beating Hull 3-0 at the Emirates in a fiery affair, Villa beating Stoke 1-0 at Villa Park, making it four league wins on the trot, and Spurs building on their 3-0 home win against Manchester City mid-week winning 2-0 away at Blackburn.  Elsewhere, Liverpool continued their downward spiral losing 2-0 away at Portsmouth, ending the game with 10 men after Mascherano was sent off.  Mark Hughes ended his reign at Manchester City on a high in a thrilling 4-3 win over Sunderland. Having lead 2-0 after 12 minutes it seemed City were in for an afternoon cruise, however Sunderland fought back and levelled the game on 24 minutes. City took the lead again before Sunderland equalised for a second time, with City finally wrapping up all three points when Santa Cruz scored the winner on 69 minutes.  Although speculation surrounding Mark Hughes future at Eastlands was rife, he waved to the City fans for the last time as he exited the field, not knowing it would be his last game in charge.  He was sacked just hours later.  Wolves continued their good form with a 2-0 win at home to Burnley, taking 9 points out of their last 12 on offer.  Mick McCarthy took a lot of stick mid-week for fielding a weakened side in their 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford, however Mick will feel vindicated with his team’s recent victory after some tough fixtures, which sees Wolves move up to 12th place in the Premier League. Finally, Everton played out a 1-1 draw at home to Birmingham. At the top of the table Chelsea still lead by 4 points with United in second place, Arsenal sit in third with Villa sitting in fourth on equal points.  Both Arsenal and Villa trail Chelsea by six points, with Arsenal carrying a game in hand.  Portsmouth remain bottom despite their victory over Liverpool, with West Ham in 19th and Bolton in 18th.  Only 5 points separates Portsmouth and Wolves, who sit 12th spot.

Other Sporting Highlights over the past seven days

England salvaged a draw in their first test match against South Africa in Centurion, but they made hard work of it.  England looked odds on for the draw going into tea on the final day, only to collapse in spectacular fashion, losing 5 wickets for 13 runs.  Collingwood steered England home with some great batting, whilst shielding Graham Onions, who also played well under extreme pressure coming in at the end.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been named FIFA World Footballer of the Year, adding to the Ballon d’Or prize he won recently, becoming the first Argentine player to win the award.

The Champions League draw for the first knock out stage was made on Friday and has thrown up some mouth watering fixtures for the three English Clubs still involved.  Manchester United take on AC Milan, with Beckham returning for the first time since he departed United, Chelsea face Mourinho’s Inter Milan, and Arsenal take on FC Porto.  The first legs are scheduled to take place on February 16th, 17th and 24th.

The Europa League knock out stage draw sees Everton take on Sporting, Fulham face Shakhtar Donetsk whilst Liverpool take on European giants Unirea Urziceni, who sound more like an STD than a football team.

England are set to play a friendly against reigning African Cup of Nations champions, Egypt, in March.  This will be a handy warm up game for Capello’s England team in preparation for next summer’s World Cup, given they face Algeria in the group stages who play a similar style of football.

Coming Up

There’s plenty of footie action taking place over the festive season with the pick of the action seeing 3rd place Arsenal taking on 4th place Aston Villa at The Emirates, on Sunday.  Tottenham travel to in-form Fulham, whilst Hull host champions Manchester United.  There’s two Lancashire derbys, with Burnley taking on Bolton and Wigan facing Blackburn.  Two days on and the second round of festive fixtures has Tottenham hosting West Ham, Fulham taking on Chelsea at The Cottage, whilst Villa face Liverpool.  I’m fairly sure by the end of it all we’ll be none the wiser as to which direction the second half of the season is heading, given the ups and downs of the first half!  England begin their second test against South Africa in Durban on Boxing Day and will be looking to improve on their average first test performance.

POMSPORT on Australian TV this week


2nd Test – South Africa v England TV Schedule

Saturday December 26

International Test Cricket, Day 1 – South Africa v England (7pm – 2.30am) Fox Sports 3

Sunday December 27

International Test Cricket, Day 2 – South Africa v England (7pm – 2.30am) Fox Sports 3

Monday December 28

International Test Cricket, Day 3 – South Africa v England (7pm – 2.30am) Fox Sports 3

Tuesday December 29

International Test Cricket, Day 4 – South Africa v England (7pm – 2.30am) Fox Sports 3

Wednesday December 30

International Test Cricket, Day 5 – South Africa v England (7pm – 2.30am) Fox Sports 3

Saturday December 26
Birmingham v Chelsea (11.40pm – 1.55am) Fox Sports 2
Fulham v Tottenham (11.55pm – 2am) Fox Sports 1

Sunday December 27
Manchester City v Stoke (1.55am – 4.25am) Fox Sports 2
Liverpool v Wolves (4.25am – 6.30am) Fox Sports 2
Leicester v Sheffield United (4.30am – 7.30am) Fox Sports 1

Monday December 28
Arsenal v Aston Villa (12.25am – 2.30am) Fox Sports 2
Hull City v Manchester United (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 2
Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1
Tottenham v West Ham (11.30pm – 1.55am) Fox Sports 1

Tuesday December 29
Chelsea v Fulham (1.55am – 4am) Fox Sports 1
Newcastle v Derby County (4am- 6.40am) Fox Sports 1
Wolves v Manchester City (6.40am – 9am) Fox Sports 1

POMSPORT Classic Goal of the Week
Joe Cole scored England’s best goal by far at the last World Cup in Germany.  If we’re to stand any chance at next year’s tournament we’ll definitely need Cole’s services! Let’s hope he gets back to full fitness and stays that way.

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POMSPORT 17/12/09

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.
By William Thompson
It was all about the Premiership this weekend with the title race once again being blown wide open.  Everton came away from The Bridge with a point, whilst Villa picked up their first win at Old Trafford for 26 years.  The season so far has been the strongest for many years, and the so called top four are really being put to the test.  We’re almost at the halfway stage and only 10 points separates Chelsea at the top of the table to Tottenham in 5th place.  Furthermore, only seven points separates Arsenal in 4th spot to Sunderland in 10th, making this season’s fight for those lucrative Champions League spots an interesting proposition going into the second half of the season. Ryan Giggs was also crowned sports personality of the year on Sunday and became the first footballer to pick up the award since David Beckham in 2001.
 
Pick of the Week:  Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 1    
 
Manchester United failed to capitalise on Chelsea’s misfortunes as a well organised Aston Villa outfit picked up their first win at Old Trafford since 1983.  Gabriel Agbonlahor headed Villa ahead after 21 minutes from an Ashley Young Cross and never looked back.  Manchester United piled on the pressure in the second half but lacked any real creativity in the final third, with Brad Friedel having to make only a few saves.  The win takes Villa up to third place, eight points behind leaders Chelsea and five points behind second place Manchester United.  Martin O’Neil’s men have now seen off Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United this season and they’ll be hoping to make it four out of four when they face Arsenal at home later on this month.
 
Premier League Highlights 
 
Arsenal took advantage of the weekend’s results with a 2-1 win away at Liverpool.  Only two weeks ago they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at home by Chelsea and trailed the blues by eleven points.  Fast forward 14 days and they now trail Chelsea by 6 points with a game in hand.  Arshavin netted the winning goal with a superbly struck shot from just inside the area, which had Reina well beaten.  Liverpool dominated the first half and could have led 2-0 at the break, but it was all Arsenal in the second half and, once again, Rafa was left scratching his head at full time with the pressure mounting.  View Liverpool v Arsenal highlights here.
Chelsea again showed their defensive frailties in a 3-3 draw at home to Everton. Chelsea led twice, however Everton came back both times, equalising from set pieces.  Chelsea have now conceded 10 goals in their last four games and, worryingly for Ancelotti, all have come from set pieces. View Chelsea v Everton highlights here.
 Tottenham suffered a setback at home to Wolves, with the visitors grabbing an early goal and holding on for all 3 points.  Kevin Doyle’s glancing header gave Wolves their first successive top flight victories for the first time in 26 years.  With Defoe missing a penalty in the last game against Everton, dropping all 3 points in the dying minutes, and this home defeat to Wolves, it hasn’t been a good week for the Spurs.  Manchester City got back to their drawing ways with an entertaining 3-3 draw away at Bolton.  City came from behind three times and had Craig Bellamy sent off for two yellow cards, with the second card being handed out for diving.  Replays suggest this was a little harsh and that some contact was made.  Tevez kept up his scoring record with two goals, whilst Bolton’s Gary Cahill scored a beautiful, if uncharacteristic, curler from outside the box just before the break.  Birmingham made it four wins out of four with a 1-0 win over West Ham at St Andrews. This win moves them above Fulham up into 8th spot.  Burnley came from 1-0 down at home to Fulham to rescue a point in 1-1 draw at Turf More.  Bobby Zamora scored his second goal in two games with a well taken finish, leading to more speculation in the press of a potential England call up, should he be able to maintain his form.  To his credit he is having a good season, bagging a few goals and also creating a fair few.  Still, it would be a low point for English football.  Hull played out a goalless draw with Blackburn at the KC Stadium, whilst Portsmouth nabbed a point away at Sunderland, equalising in the 94th minute in a 1-1 draw.  Unfortunately for Portsmouth goal scorer Kaboul, he earned his second yellow card of the game for his goal celebration, and was dismissed. 
And finally, Wigan’s Maynor Figueroa scored one of the goals of the season with an audacious effort from just inside the halfway line, which had Stoke’s Thomas Sorensen well beaten.  The game finished 2-2, with Sorensen making up for his error with a late penalty save from Hugo Rodallega, although the penalty was a tame effort to say the least.  Portsmouth still remain at the foot of the table despite their last gasp point away at Sunderland, with Wolves now sitting in 17th, five points clear of Pompey.  West Ham drop into 18th and Bolton remain in 19th position.  
 
Other sporting highlights over the past seven days:  
  
Ryan Giggs was crowned sports personality of the year on Sunday and became the first footballer to pick up the award since David Beckham in 2001. Michael Owen, Paul Gascoigne and Bobby Moore are the only other football players to win the prestigious award.  Jenson Button picked up second spot whilst Jessica Ennis secured third place – she’s our heptathlon champion, if your wondering.  
 
Tiger Woods has received his first major sponsorship blow, with corporate giants Accenture ending their relationship with him, stating he’s no longer the right representative for the company.  This could be the first of many withdrawals with Gillette cutting back his role as their main face, however Nike have vowed to stick by the troubled star.
 
Coming Up
 
England take on South Africa in their first test match in Centurion on Wednesday.  England should go into this series with confidence having won their ODI series just recently against the Saffers.  This is the first of four test matches England will play against South Africa, with the second test starting on Boxing Day.  
As we enter the busy Christmas period, where the football comes thick and fast, the pick of this weekend’s action sees West Ham take on Chelsea in what will be a hotly contested London derby. Manchester United travel to West London to take on Fulham, Liverpool travel down to Portsmouth, and Hull, away against Arsenal at Emirates, will be looking to repeat their famous victory from last season when they beat the Gunners 2-1. Everton, Fulham and Celtic are all in action this week as the UEFA Cup returns with Fulham needing a win away at Basle if their to progress to the knock out stage. 
 
POMSPORT on Australian TV this week   
 
1st Test – South Africa v England TV Schedule
Wednesday December 16
International Test Cricket, Day 1 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3am) Fox Sports 1
Thursday December 17
International Test Cricket, Day 2 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3am) Fox Sports 1
Friday December 18
International Test Cricket, Day 3 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3am) Fox Sports 1
Saturday December 19
International Test Cricket, Day 4 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3am) Fox Sports 1
Sunday December 20
International Test Cricket, Day 5 – South Africa v England (7.30pm – 3am) Fox Sports 1
 
Thursday December 17
Chelsea v Portsmouth (6.40am – 9am) Fox Sports 3
Basel v Fulham (4.55am – 7am) ESPN
 
Friday December 18
Everton v Bate (7am – 9am) ESPN
 
Saturday December 19
Portsmouth v Liverpool (11.40am – 1.55am) – Fox Sports 2
 
Sunday December 20
Fulham v Manchester United (1.55am – 4.25am) – Fox Sports 2
Arsenal v Hull City (4.25am – 6.30am) – Fox Sports 2
 
Monday December 21
Wolves v Burnley (12.25am – 2.30am) Fox Sports 2
West Ham v Chelsea (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 2
Newcastle v Middlesbrough (5am – 7am) Fox Sports 2
Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1
 
Tuesday December 22
Wigan v Bolton (6.55am – 9am) Fox Sports 1
 
POMSPORT Classic Goal of the Week
 
This wonder goal from John Barnes against Brazil back in 1984 surely has to be up there amongst England’s greatest goals of all time!

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POMSPORT WEEKLY 09/12/09

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.
By William Thompson

The past seven days have been very eventful with the main sporting news being the 2010 FIFA World Cup draw, that saw the football gods shining on England with a group stage draw that, given the opportunity Capello would have been close to hand picking.  We won the ODI cricket series, even if the heavens did open up, resulting in the final ODI being called off, but hey, a win’s a win! And once again the Premiership threw up some great games, which included 4 squandered penalties, two of which proved costly for Chlesea and Spurs.  And finally, Manchester City won a game, after 7 consecutive draws, in the money bags derby against Chelsea.
 
Pick of the Week: 2010 World Cup Draw
 
The 2010 FIFA World Cup draw took place on Friday with England drawing Algeria, Slovenia and the USA in Group C.  All but drawing New Zealand makes this one of the best possible outcomes for England, with their opening fixture against the States proving the sternest test.  However, there’s no room for complacency, and with Capello at the helm we can be sure of this.  If you’re not heading back to England or heading over to South Africa for the World Cup, England’s group stage matches aren’t on at favourable hours, given the time difference, however the first two games are on over the weekend, with the final group game against Slovenia on at midnight on a Wednesday.  Either way, there will be some sleep depravation involved if you’re going to follow England on this journey.
 
ENGLAND FIXTURES – GROUP C (Australia EST)
England v USA (Sunday 13th June, 4.30am)
England v Algeria (Saturday 19th June, 430am)
England v Slovenia (Thursday 24th June, 12am)
       
 
Some of the tougher groups see Australia up against Germany, Ghana and Serbia, whilst Brazil face the Ivory Coast, North Korea and Portugal. 

If England win their group, which they really should if they’re to stand any chance of lifting the World Cup, they could potentially face the Socceroos in the first knock-out stage if they finish second in their group, setting up a tense match for every English expat in Australia.  The thought of this happening worries me a little given they released a DVD of their 3-1 victory over England at Upton Park back in 2003, which was, for most England fans, a fairly meaningless friendly.  For the Aussies this game sits up there with some of their finest sporting achievements; it wasn’t a friendly, they’ll tell you – it was a test. Australia doesn’t play friendlies, hence the DVD, and which is why if we do play them and lose I’m moving to Mongolia.  However, putting the ghost of 2003 to bed would be nice and provide every English football fan down under with a little peace and quiet – and that’s one DVD I would definitely buy, although somehow I don’t think the Aussies would be rushing to stock the shelves.    
 
 
Premier League Highlights
 
Manchester City ended their run of seven consecutive draws, with a win over Chelsea at Eastland’s. Frank Lampard had his late spot-kick saved by Given, to deny Chelsea a point. Watch City v Chelease highlights here. Manchester United scored four away on the road for the second week running, beating West Ham 4-0, and now trail leaders Chelsea by only two points.  Arsenal ended their 3 game losing streak with a 2-0 win over Stoke at the Emirates, although they made hard work of it, missing numerous chances, including a penalty miss by Cesc Fabregas.  Tottenham could have leaped-frogged Arsenal into third had Jermain Defoe not missed a last minute penalty with the score poised at two a piece.  In an action packed second half  Spurs took a 2-0 lead, only for Tim Cahill to equalise 4 minutes from time. Watch Spurs v Everton highlights here.  Liverpool got back to their point-dropping ways with a 0-0 draw away at Blackburn, in a mostly drab affair.  Villa sent Hull packing with a 3-0 home win – Jimmy Bullard, who was last week’s hero, not only for his goal but celebration, was stretchered off in the first half with a knee injury. James Milner scored a superb if cheeky goal for Villa:

Birmingham notched up an impressive 3-2 away win at the JJB against Wigan, who from week to week seem to turn up a completely different side to that of the week before.  Wolves beat relegation rivals Bolton 2-1, with Milijas scoring a second half pearler for the home side.  Fulham beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Cottage, with Steve Bruce’s men failing once again to recapture their home form on the road.  And finally, Avram Grant picked up his first win as Portsmouth manager with a 2-0 win at home over Burnley.  Dindam, who missed a first half penalty, made up for his error with a goal six minutes from time, sealing a much needed win for Pompey and their beleaguered fans.  This result sees Pompey still a the foot of the table 4 points off West Ham, who sit in 17th.               
 
Other sporting highlights over the past seven days:
 
England won their five day international series against South Africa 2-1, with the final match in Durban being called off due to heavy rain.  This will hopefully give England a boost going into their first of four test matches against South Africa, next Wednesday in Centurion.
 
Roy Hodgson came out this week and said that he believes Bobby Zamora may be worthy of an England World Cup spot! Either Roy has an Algerian passport or has a tasty bet on at Ladbrokes as to who will miss the most sitters in South Africa next summer.  Emile, I take it all back! 
 
Silverstone has agreed a 17 year deal to host the British Grand Prix starting from 2010, and will undergo major modernisation starting early next year.  This ensures the oldest race on the F1 calendar will retain its place.
 
Newcastle United have opened up a 4 point lead over closest rivals West Brom in the Championship after a 2-0 home win against Watford.

Coming Up

The Champions League returns this week with Chelsea at home to Apoel Nicosia, Manchester United travel to Wolfsburg, needing just a point to secure top spot in their group.  Liverpool, whose hopes of qualifying for the next stage were slashed in the last round of games, face Fiorentina at Anfield, and Arsenal travel to Olympiakos and, like Chelsea, already have top spot in the bag.  Rangers, who sit at the bottom of Group G, travel to Sevilla.  There’s plenty of Premiership action taking place over the next seven days with the pick of the weekend fixtures seeing Manchester United taking on Aston Villa at Old Trafford, whilst Liverpool face Arsenal at Anfield.  Next week’s big mid-week clash sees Tottenham up against Manchester City at White Heart Lane, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Villa also in action. 

POMSPORT on Australian TV this week

Thursday December 10
Olympiacos v Arsenal (8.45am – 11am) ESPN 
Stoke v Wigan (11.30pm – 1.55am) Fox Sports 2

Saturday December 12

Sunday December 13
Chelsea v Everton (1.55am – 4.30am) Fox Sports 2
Manchester Utd v Aston Villa (4.30am – 6.30am) Fox Sports 2

Monday December 14
Middlesbrough v Cardiff (12am – 2.30am) Fox Sports 2
Liverpool v Arsenal (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 2
Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1
POMSPORT Classic Goal of the week

This week’s PomSport classic goal comes from Trevor Sinclair, back in 1997 during his QPR days, in an FA Cup tie against Burnley.  Quite possibly one of the best bicycle kicks ever scored!

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POMSPORT WEEKLY 02/12/09

Highlights from last week and a look ahead to sport on Aus TV nextweek.
By William Thompson

The Premiership threw up some great games this weekend with Chelsea severely denting Arsenal’s title ambitions with a 3-0 win at the Emirates.  Rooney bagged a hat-trick for United away at Portsmouth with Avram Grant at the helm in his first game in charge for Pompey.  Liverpool rose to the occasion to see off Everton at Goodison in the Merseyside Derby, and Hull produced one of the best goal celebrations of the season so far in their 1-1 draw with, you guessed it, Manchester City.  In the Cricket England now lead 2-1 against South Africa with one match to play, which means there’s no chance of losing this series! Tiger Woods’ driving isn’t all it’s cracked up to be with the golf ace being taken to hospital with minor face injuries after an “incident” near his home in Orlando, Florida.  It’s all a bit sketchy at the moment but it’s comforting to know that even the richest sportsman on the planet is prone to the odd domestic! 

Pick of the week: Arsenal 0 Chelsea 3 (Sunday November 29)
 
Arsenal now trail Premier League leaders Chelsea by 11 points after the blues comfortably beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.  Didier Drogba opened the scoring with a lovely cushioned volley into the top right-hand corner from a well placed Ashley Cole cross.  The game was all but over four minues later when Thomas Vermaelen turned another Ashley Cole cross into his own net. Drogba sealed it 4 minutes from time with a superbly struck free kick.  Arsenal were unlucky not to get back into it after the break when Andrey Asharvin’s goal was disallowed for a foul by Eduardo on Petr Cech, although replays showed very little contact was made.  Wenger remains adamant his young guns are still in the title race – Arsenal do have a game in hand, however it will be a tall order for the Gunners with Chelsea going from strength to strength at the moment.
 
Premier League Highlights 
  
Manchester United remain hot on Chelsea’s heels after a convincing 4-1 away win at Portsmouth.  There was an air of expectation around Fratton Park with Avram Grant taking over as Pompey’s new manager after Paul Heart was sacked last week.  Unfortunately it wasn’t to be a debut to remember in a game that saw 3 penalties and Ryan Giggs notching up his 100th Premier League goal for United.
Liverpool got back to winning ways in the Merseyside derby with a less than convincing win away at bitter rivals Everton. At Villa park is was literally a game of two halves with Spurs hitting back late in the second half to snatch a point after Villa had dominated earlier in the game in an entertaining 1-1 draw.  Hull produced the goal celebration of the season after Jimmy Bullard levelled the score late on in their 1-1 draw away at Manchester City.  After Bullard converted his spot kick the players mocked Phil Brown’s infamous half-time telling off that occured in last season’s clash at Eastlands, when he kept his players on the pitch after a dismal first half performance and grilled them in front of their own travelling support.  Great Stuff Jimmy! 
 
Phil Brown didn’t seem to mind after the game but I’m sure that has more to do with his team taking 4 points from their last two games.  West Ham beat Burnley 5-3 having lead 5-0 at one stage – this season’s throw away specialist held on to take all 3 points on this occasion.  Wigan showed great character after last week’s 9-1 mauling at Spurs to come back and beat Sunderland 1-0 at the JJB.  Blackburn and Stoke played out a 0-0 draw at Ewood Park.  Lee Bowyer scored a cracker for Birmingham City as they saw off Midlands rivals Wolves at Molineux.  And finally, Fulham came back from 1-0 down to grab a point at home to Bolton.    
 
South Africa v England (3rd & 4th ODI)
 
England now lead the series 2-1 but it’s been up and down to say the least.  After an impressive victory last weekend to take a 1-0 lead South Africa crushed England in Cape Town on Friday by 112 runs, having racked up 354 runs during their 50 overs.  This ended England’s run of 6 successive 50-over wins against South Africa.  However, on Sunday it was again a completely different story as England romped to victory in Port Elizabeth by seven wickets, with Jimmy Anderson the star of the show taking out his first five-wicket haul.  The poor old Saffers were all out for a measly 119 runs!  England can now seal victory in the 5th and final ODI on Friday in Durban, with the worst possible outcome for the visitors being a draw.  However, the way this series has gone so far I wouldn’t say England have this in the bag just yet.                      
 
 
Other sporting highlights over the past seven days: 
 
Barcelona beat their fierce rivals Real Madrid 1-0 in the El Clasico to leapfrog them back to the top of La Liga.
 
The Republic of Ireland have asked FIFA for an extra spot at next year’s World Cup in South Africa, following Henry’s hand ball incident during their world cup play-off match.
 
Benitez has said Liverpool’s win against Everton is a turning point……that is until they lose to Blackburn next weekend.
 
The third round of the FA Cup has been drawn with the pick of the fixtures seeing Manchester United potentially playing Leeds, should they win their 2nd round replay against Kettering (how the mighty have fallen).  Six Premier League sides will face each other with West Ham taking on Arsenal, Villa playing Blackburn and Hull taking on Wigan.  Cup holders Chelsea meet Watford at Vicarage Road.   
 
In the Rugby Union, Ireland beat South Africa 15-10, the Aussies beat the Welsh 33-12 and Scotland went down 9-6 against Argentina.
 
In the Tennis, some Russian bloke called Davydenko (sounds like a Telly Tubbie) won the ATP World Tour Finals.  After knocking out Federer in the semi-finals he went on to beat Juan Martin Del Potro in the final to lift the biggest title of his career.  
 
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi has been named European footballer of the year, winning the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.
 
Coming Up 
 
There’s UEFA Cup action this week with Celtic, Fulham and Everton all in action.  The Carling Cup quarter finals sees both Arsenal and Spurs visiting Manchester with Spurs taking on United and Arsenal facing City.  In the other two quarter finals, Blackburn take on Chelsea whilst Portsmouth host Villa.  
The 2010 World Cup draw takes place this Friday, December 4 (Saturday 9am Australian time) with England in amongst the seeded teams.  England play out their final ODI against South Africa in Durban and will be hoping to finish the series as 3-1 winners. 
The pick of the weekend’s Premiership action see the big spenders, Manchester City, take on Chelsea at Eastlands.  Manchester United travel to Upton Park whilst Liverpool will be looking to build on their recent derby win away at Blackburn.    
 
POMSPORT on Australian TV this week
  
Thursday December 3
Athens v Everton (4.55am – 7am) ESPN
Celtic v Tel Aviv (7am – 9am) ESPN
Manchester City v Arsenal (6am – 9am) Fox Sports 2
 
Friday December 4
5th ODI Cricket South Africa v England (11.30pm – 7.30am) Fox Sports 3
 
Saturday December 5
2010 World Cup Draw (9am – 10am) Fox Sports News
Portsmouth v Burnley (11pm – 1.55am) Fox Sports 2
 
Sunday December 6
West Ham v Manchester Utd (1.55am – 4.25am) Fox Sports 2 
Manchester City v Chelsea (4.25am – 6.30am) Fox Sports 2 
 
Monday December 7
Fulham v Sunderland (1.55am – 4am) Fox Sports 1
Everton v Tottenham (2.55am – 5am) Fox Sports 2
Football EPL Highlights (6pm – 7pm) Fox Sports 1
 
As the World Cup draw is taking place this Friday I thought it fitting that this week’s POMSPORT classic goal should get us into the World Cup spirit!  A young Michael Owen did just that for a moment back in France 1998.
 

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