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                                | pdf edition | Wednesday April 25 2012                                                                             Sport
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Stuart Pearce set to name England Euro
2012 squad before end of season
Pearce plans to name the 23-man Euro 2012 squad on 10 May • Uefa’s cut-off point for submitting squad is not until end of May   Page 2




David Ngog gives Bolton hope of staying
up with winner at Aston Villa
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+Wanderers+%7C+Premier+League+match+report%3AArticle%3A1735943&ch=Football&c3=Guardian&c4=Premier+League+2011-12%2CAston+Villa+%

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eague&c6=Stuart+James&c7=12-Apr-24&c8=1735943&c9=Article&c10=Match+report&c11=Football&c13=&c25=&c30=content&c42=Sport&h2=GU%2FSp




Victor Matfield considering return to
captain South Africa
The South Africa coach made the request to the forward • Matfield would play in three-Test series against England   Page 3




Mark Allen issues                                   Mark Ramprakash                                      British bobsleigher                        Spanish press hail
apology after                                       hit with three-points                                faces two-year ban                         Pep’s ‘three darkest
criticising Chinese                                 under ECB disciplinary                               after positive drug test                   days’ after Barcelona
players Page 3                                      code Page 4                                          Page 5                                     defeat Page 5

Nine other players                                  Chelsea’s John Terry                                 Gary Neville goes viral                    Chelsea goalscorer
who have missed                                     could face extended                                  after Fernando Torres                      Fernando Torres
major finals due to two                             ban after Barcelona                                  ‘goalgasm’ celebration                     thrilled with ‘dream
bookings Page 4                                     red card Page 4                                      Page 5                                     come true’ Page 6




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Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: Number 1 Scott Place, Manchester M3 3GG
Page 2 G24 Sport                                                                   Wednesday April 25 2012               12:06 GMT


Stuart Pearce set to name England Euro                               David Ngog gives Bolton hope of staying
2012 squad before end of season                                      up with winner at Aston Villa

• Pearce plans to name the 23-man Euro                               Stuart James at Villa Park

2012 squad on 10 May • Uefa’s cut-off point                          On a night of high drama in the Midlands, Bolton Wanderers
for submitting squad is not until end of May                         [http://tinyurl.com/4yhy8q] scored twice in the space of 50
                                                                     seconds to complete a stirring comeback. This 2‑1 victory has
Owen Gibson
                                                                     given their survival hopes a shot in the arm and leaves Aston
England [http://tinyurl.com/4v7v9n]’s Euro 2012 [http://             Villa [http://tinyurl.com/d7dtzk] in serious relegation trouble,
tinyurl.com/3f2fqs] preparations have been thrown into further       prompting calls for Alex McLeish to be dismissed. “Sack
confusion after the caretaker manager, Stuart Pearce [http://        McLeish” reverberated around Villa Park in the closing minutes
tinyurl.com/pc8v55], insisted he planned to name a squad for         as home supporters vented their anger towards the manager in
the tournament before the end of the Premier League season.          front of the chairman, Randy Lerner.
    In the absence of a full‑time manager or captain, Pearce said        The boos at the final whistle were deafening as vitriol rained
he planned to name the 23‑man Euro 2012 squad on 10 May,             down on the Scot as he made his way towards the tunnel. Villa
three days before the final round of Premier League fixtures.        have not been relegated from the top flight since 1987 but
He will then aim to name the full Team GB Olympic squad, of 18       slipping out of the Premier League [http://tinyurl.com/6yneax]
players plus four reserves, the following week.                      is now a distinct possibility for a team so desperately short of
    Uefa’s cut‑off date for the European Championship is the         confidence.
end of next month and the final squads for the Olympics do               They will make the short trip to West Bromwich Albion on
not need to be submitted to Fifa until 6 July. Pearce, however,      Saturday only three points clear of the relegation zone and on
said he was committed to the timetable to give certainty to the      the back of a desperate run of form that has seen them win only
players. “I’ve no idea whether I’ll be selecting it but whether it   one of their past 13 league matches. After that fixture McLeish’s
is me or the next man it will be around that sort of time because    beleaguered side face Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park, where
the season ends on the 13th and the players need to know,” he        they have won only four league games this season and are
said. “That date has to be before the end of the Premier League      guaranteed to finish the campaign with the poorest home
season for all concerned.”                                           record in their history, before travelling to Norwich City on the
    Harry Redknapp remains the favourite for the post of             final day.
England manager but the process has been clouded by                      McLeish spoke with Paul Faulkner, the Villa chief executive,
Tottenham Hotspur’s slump in form, with the battle for               and Lerner after the game. “They are supportive,” he said.
Champions League places likely to run until the final day of         “They said you’ve got to keep your head up. Everybody has to
the season. Football Association executives have spoken of           stay together and battle together and see it through.”
the appointment being a “back end of the season” decision                Asked whether he had experienced a similar reaction from
and have said they will endeavour not to disrupt any club’s          his own fans before, McLeish replied: “No, it’s a first. But it
campaign.                                                            was understandable because we had the three points within our
    It is understood that if a new manager is appointed before       grasp and we lose the game.
the end of the season, or is in place to be unveiled shortly after       “We’re in a relegation fight but I’m not somebody that shirks
the final round of games, then the 10 May date set by Pearce         a challenge. I’ll keep fighting for this team to get the points
is subject to change. But his insistence on working to the           that can make us safe.
accelerated timetable will further cloud the issues around the           “I can understand the fans’ reaction. They were frustrated
England team.                                                        just as I was with the second half, especially after going into the
    Pearce, who plans to travel to Seattle to watch David            lead which was well deserved. To see it turning like that was
Beckham play for LA Galaxy and will also go to France to watch       horrible and a kick in the guts.
Joe Cole before deciding on the three over‑age berths in the             “But we’ve got to rally the troops. I believe in the players and
Olympic squad, said he was able to juggle his three jobs with        I believe they will still be in the division next year.”
ease.                                                                    Bolton remain in the drop zone but are only one point
    “The Under‑21s don’t play until September so that’s not          behind Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers with a game
acute at this moment in time,” he said. “The Olympics and            in hand. Villa, three points above them having played a game
European Championship are all part of the job. I’m employed          more, are also in their sights. “It’s a massive three points,
full‑time here and it’s no problem at all. All the planning is in    there’s no doubt about it,” Owen Coyle, the Bolton manager,
place, the back‑up is fantastic. Everything is going smoothly, all   said.
the planning is in place.”                                               “There’s still a lot of work to be done but we have four games
    Equally, he said he would not have a problem standing aside      left and we believe there are points in every one but we’ve got
and reverting to his twin roles with the British Olympic team        to perform like we did in the second half.”
and the England Under‑21s if a new manager was appointed.                Coyle admitted that he was “livid” with his players at
    The former England left‑back insisted he would have had          half‑time, after Villa had dominated the opening 45 minutes,
no issue as a player if a new manager was “parachuted in” just       creating a number of decent chances and hitting the crossbar
weeks before a major tournament. “I don’t think it would have        through Stephen Warnock, but the Bolton manager’s decision
made a difference.”                                                  to introduce Kevin Davies at the start of the second half
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday April 25 2012               12:06 GMT

transformed the visitors.                                           colleagues Brad Barritt and Mike Brown, while the Gloucester
   Although Villa took the lead when Warnock swept home             prop Nick Wood, the Leicester flanker Julian Salvi and the
Charles N’Zogbia’s centre, Petrov equalised two minutes later,      Exeter back‑row forward James Scaysbrook are the others in
after Carlos Cuéllar brought down Mark Davies. Villa were still     contention.
coming to terms with that setback when Chris Eagles picked             “The panel has come up with an incredibly impressive
out David Ngog, who slipped a low shot past Shay Given to the       shortlist, which reflects the strength of Aviva Premiership
delight of the travelling supporters.                               Rugby,” said the Premiership Rugby chief executive, Mark
                                                                    McCafferty. “It’s great to see players who have emerged from
                                                                    our academies in what is undoubtedly a world‑class list of
Victor Matfield considering return to                               players. It will be a tough job picking the winner, as clearly all
captain South Africa                                                six would be a worthy Aviva Premiership Rugby player of the
                                                                    season.”
                                                                       Exeter’s Rob Baxter is on the shortlist for the coach of the
• The South Africa coach made the request                           year award along with the Harlequins director of rugby, Conor
to the forward • Matfield would play in                             O’Shea, and the Leicester director of rugby, Richard Cockerill.
three-Test series against England
Paul Rees
                                                                    Mark Allen issues apology after
Victor Matfield is considering coming out of international          criticising Chinese players
retirement to lead the Springboks in the three‑Test series
against England this summer after an appeal from the new
South Africa coach, Heyneke Meyer.                                  • Allen beaten by Chinese qualifier in World
    The 34‑year old Matfield won the last of his 110 caps against   Championship • ‘I would like to formally
Australia in the World Cup quarter‑final last October and           apologise to anyone who was offended’
announced afterwards that he was retiring. He has not played
                                                                    Press Association
since, this year working as a consultant for the Bulls and as a
television analyst.                                                 Mark Allen has vowed to smarten up his act after Barry Hearn,
    Meyer needs to find a new captain, with John Smit joining       the chairman of World Snooker [http://tinyurl.com/6pwg7p],
Saracens after the World Cup. The lead contender, Schalk            said his criticism of Chinese players was “unacceptable”.
Burger, is injured and may not be fit by the start of the               Allen apologised in a statement on Tuesday for the remarks
England series and his fellow back rower Juan Smith, who has        he made on Sunday after losing in the first round of the World
considerable leadership experience with the Cheetahs, has not       Championship to the 21‑year‑old Chinese qualifier Cao Yupeng.
played for a year.                                                      The 26‑year‑old Northern Irishman said on the night he was
    Meyer also has a problem in the second row, with Bakkies        “disgusted” Cao did not call a foul against himself at a key stage
Botha and Danie Rossouw moving overseas after the World Cup         in the match. Allen, who lost 10‑6 to the Crucible debutant,
and Andries Bekker struggling with a back injury. The coach         also said that “blatant cheating” might be “a bit of a trait for the
was in charge of the Bulls when they won their first Super 15       Chinese players”.
title in 2007 and Matfield was his captain.                             Hearn called the comments “unacceptable”, and Allen’s
    “If it were not Heyneke asking me, I would not even             apology may not be a great help to his cause ahead of a
consider it,” said Matfield. The former South Africa coach Jake     disciplinary case, given it took 48 hours to materialise.
White believes the return of the veteran second row would be            Allen has already been fined four times this season, at a cost
expedient: “A bit of stability is probably the right course for     to him of more than £2,500.
Heyneke now and it worked wonders when I brought back Os                In a statement through his management, On Q Promotions,
du Randt and Percy Montgomery in 2004.”                             Allen said: “It is fair to say that this season has been one of
    Meyer said he would not name his captain until five days        ups and downs. The highs of winning my first ranking title
before the first Test against England, which is on 9 June. The      and finishing runner‑up in the UK Championships have been
England head coach, Stuart Lancaster, will name his squad,          overshadowed by some ill‑judged comments from myself.
which may contain 40 players, on 10 May.                                “I realise that I need to ensure that my off‑table behaviour
    The former England outside‑half Shane Geraghty has signed       matches the standard and level of professionalism I set for my
a two‑year contract with London Irish, the club he left in 2009.    on‑table etiquette. I will return for the 2012‑13 season with an
The 25‑year old spent two seasons with Northampton before           improved approach to giving my opinions publicly.”
joining Brive last summer and will link up with the Ireland             His statement made direct reference to Cao, as Allen said: “I
scrum‑half Tomas O’Leary in Reading.                                would like to formally apologise to anyone who may have been
    “Shane is an exceptional player with a great deal of skill      offended.
and we are a team that wants to attack,” said Brian Smith, the          “Having taken some time to reflect on my comments I can
London Irish director of rugby. “He’s a game‑breaking ball          appreciate that I overstepped the line at a time when I was
player and he’s matured as a game controller. His contribution      heavily influenced by the emotions of a disappointing defeat.
during his first spell with London Irish was massive and we’re          “I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Cao
looking forward to welcoming him back into the fold.”               Yupeng if he felt that my comments were insinuating he were a
    The England captain, Chris Robshaw, is one of six players on    cheat.”
the shortlist for the Premiership [http://tinyurl.com/4c7kcz]           Allen had claimed Cao, who was leading 5‑4 at the time,
player of the year award. He is joined by his international         committed a push shot early in the 10th frame. Television
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                  Wednesday April 25 2012             12:06 GMT

replays of the incident did not clearly show a foul.                     At the end of his first, hugely‑successful season with
    Cao was stunned to learn of the accusation against him, and      Barcelona, the right‑back was forced to watch his side beat
Marco Fu was baffled to have been named by Allen, saying he          Manchester United 2‑0 in the Rome final after picking up his
would discuss the issue with a player he knows well.                 second yellow card of the tournament for a foul on Ashley Cole
    Allen had caused offence in China before his weekend             in the semi‑final win over Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/5ybu55]
comments, when branding the island of Hainan, which staged
the world open, as “horrendous” and its people as “ignorant”.
    Allen’s statement continued: “I stand by my opinion that         Mark Ramprakash hit with three-points
the shot in question was a foul, but I also stand by my previous     under ECB disciplinary code
comments in the press conference that Cao was the better
player and fully deserved to win. I genuinely wish him the best
of luck for the rest of the tournament.
                                                                     • Ramprakash made ‘obscene, offensive or
    “I would also like to apologise to World Snooker. I appreciate   insulting language’ • Breach made during
the hard work by many people to grow our sport and I am truly        Surrey’s game against Worcestershire
horrified to think that my actions could be perceived to be
                                                                     Press Association
detrimental to this.”
                                                                     The Surrey batsman Mark Ramprakash has been hit with a
                                                                     three‑point penalty under the England and Wales Cricket
Nine other players who have missed                                   Board’s disciplinary code.
major finals due to two bookings                                        The former England international was reported by the
                                                                     umpires during last week’s County Championship match
                                                                     against Worcestershire for a level one breach relating to
Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires and Raul                                 “obscene, offensive or insulting” language.
Meireles joined an esteemed group during                                Ramprakash now has six penalty points to his name, with
Chelsea’s epic win over Barcelona                                    the accumulation of nine in any two‑year period leading to a
                                                                     suspension.
Sachin Nakrani

Having scored Argentina’s equaliser in their semi‑final with
Italy, the striker was booked for a deliberate handball which,       Chelsea’s John Terry could face
added to the one he collected in the group match against USSR,       extended ban after Barcelona red card
put him out of the final, in which Argentina lost 1‑0 to Germany
    A misjudged sliding tackle on Alain Roche in the semi‑final,
second‑leg tie with Paris Saint‑Germain saw the striker pick
                                                                     • Uefa will consider extending automatic
up his second booking of the tournament. Arsenal won 2‑1 on          one-match ban • Four Chelsea players
aggregate and went on to beat Parma 1‑0 in the final                 suspended for Champions League final
    The Milan defender endured a frustrating 1994, after missing
                                                                     Associated Press
both his club’s 4‑0 victory over Barcelona in the European Cup
final in Athens and Italy’s World Cup final defeat to Brazil in      Uefa [http://tinyurl.com/4wy3gh]’s disciplinary panel will
California due to suspension                                         decide whether to extend the Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/
    The midfielder is remembered for his haughty celebration         5ybu55] captain John Terry [http://tinyurl.com/5k8wjn]’s
after scoring Germany’s winning penalty in their semi‑final          punishment after his red card for violent conduct against
shoot‑out with England, but it is often forgotten that he picked     Barcelona [http://tinyurl.com/3qtgm9] in the Champions
up a booking in the same game which put him out of the final,        League [http://tinyurl.com/4859on] semi‑final.
in which Germany beat the Czech Republic 2‑1                            Terry receives a mandatory one‑match ban and will miss the
    The Manchester United captain led his side’s fightback in        final on 19 May in Munich, but Uefa rules allow its disciplinary
their semi‑final second leg tie with Juventus having received        body to extend the sanction, which would apply next season in
a booking which put him out of the final, in which United            European matches. The panel is scheduled to meet on 31 May.
beat Bayern Munich 2‑1. “It was the most emphatic display of            Four Chelsea players are suspended for the final. Branislav
selflessness I have seen,” said Sir Alex Ferguson.                   Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires each received one‑match
    Keane’s midfield partner also missed the ‘99 final after         bans for their third bookings in the competition.
picking up his second yellow card of the tournament in Turin.           The Champions League does not have the same yellow‑card
Scholes had come on as a substitute in the match after Ferguson      amnesty after the quarter‑final stage which Uefa applies in the
opted for Nicky Butt in his starting line‑up                         European Championship.
    A inspirational member of the Germany team that reached             Fifa [http://tinyurl.com/llumn6] introduced an amnesty rule
the final, in which Rudi Voller’s side lost 2‑0 to Brazil, the       two years ago to ensure that players shown a yellow card in the
midfielder missed the game after receiving his second booking        World Cup semi‑finals do not miss the final.
of the tournament for a tactical foul in the semi‑final win             Uefa said on Wednesday that a similar rule could be
against South Korea                                                  proposed by its Club Competitions Committee, and later
    The Czech midfielder was an inspiration for Juventus as          approved by the executive committee chaired by Uefa’s
they reached the final, but he missed the defeat to Milan at Old     President Michel Platini. The panel includes the Barcelona
Trafford after being booked for a foul on Steve Mcmanaman in         president Sandro Rosell, one of his predecessors, Joan Gaspart,
the Italian side’s semi‑final win against Real Madrid                and the Manchester United chief executive David Gill.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                     guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                    Wednesday April 25 2012              12:06 GMT

                                                                       com/cnzfos2]!”

British bobsleigher faces two-year ban
after positive drug test                                               Spanish press hail Pep’s ‘three darkest
                                                                       days’ after Barcelona defeat
• UK Anti-doping imposed provisional
suspension • Bobsleigher will not be                                   • Madrid papers revel in Champions
named until a verdict is delivered                                     League defeat by Chelsea • ‘Barça crash
Staff and agencies                                                     against Chelsea wall on fateful night for
A British bobsleigher has tested positive for a banned                 Messi’
substance, the sport’s governing body has confirmed. UK Anti‑          Press Association
Doping informed the athlete on 28 February and imposed a
provisional suspension, pending a hearing.                             The Spanish press were on Wednesday reflecting on Barcelona
   “This gives a very clear message to athletes that you will          [http://tinyurl.com/3qtgm9]’s unexpected exit from the
be regularly tested to ensure a clean and fair sport,” the GB          Champions League [http://tinyurl.com/4859on] against Chelsea
bobsleigh performance director, Gary Anderson, told BBC                [], pointing out the Catalans’ bad luck and the “three darkest
Sport.                                                                 days” of coach Pep Guardiola []’s four‑year reign.
   A guilty verdict ordinarily carries a two‑year ban from                 The Madrid‑based Marca revelled in Barcelona’s failure,
competition.                                                           declaring: “Nightmare at the Camp Nou”. Its editorial
   The athlete will not be named until the case has been               elaborated with: “Champion eliminated by 10 men of Chelsea”
assessed by UK Anti‑Doping and a verdict delivered.                    and “Barcelona out of La Liga and the Champions League after
   “The athlete now has the opportunity to respond to the              the three darkest days of the Guardiola era.”
charge, including the right to a full hearing and testing of their B       Real Madrid’s 2‑1 victory at the home of their arch rivals on
sample,” Anderson said in a statement to the GB squad.                 Saturday night moved José Mourinho’s side seven points clear
   “British Bobsleigh will not be making any further comment           at the top of la Liga with four games remaining.
on the issue until after the full process of investigation has been        El Mundo labelled Tuesday’s result a “mortal blow at the
completed.”                                                            Camp Nou” and asked: “Is this the end of the victorious cycle?”
                                                                           The Barcelona‑based Sport took a more sympathetic view,
                                                                       headlining: “Football punishes Barça”.
Gary Neville goes viral after Fernando                                     It read: “Unjust, cruel, horrible, unmerited. Any adjective
                                                                       is not enough to define the incredible elimination of Barça
Torres ‘goalgasm’ celebration                                          at the hands of Chelsea. Few times has a team done so much
                                                                       to deserve to reach the Champions League final as that of
• Neville blames reaction to Torres goal on                            Guardiola’s. And rarely has a rival, with so little, gained that
his sore throat • Chelsea beat Barcelona to                            very prize. The fact is that the Blues scored three goals from
reach Champions League final                                           three chances in 180 minutes. And they advanced to Munich.”
                                                                           AS read simply: “Adiós Barcelona”. It continued: “An ultra‑
Guardian staff                                                         defensive Chelsea eliminated Barcelona to reach the final in
Among the defining moments of Chelsea [http://tinyurl.                 Munich. The English team played with 10 men for 52 minutes.
com/5ybu55]’s dramatic aggregate win over Barcelona [http://           Fernando Torres made it 2‑2 on the night. Messi missed a
tinyurl.com/3qtgm9], Gary Neville’s reaction to Fernando               penalty and struck the post.”
Torres’s goal [http://tinyurl.com/bldrppw] made one of the                 The Madrid‑based daily also pondered the future of
biggest impacts on Twitter.                                            Guardiola, who has guided the club to 13 trophies since taking
    When Torres broke clear in added time and scored Chelsea’s         charge in the summer of 2008 but has not yet committed
second, Sky’s co‑commentator let rip with a howl described             himself beyond the end of the campaign as he prefers one‑year
variously as a “goalgasm”, as a Meg Ryan tribute – “when Gary          contracts.
met Sally”, and as what he would sound like “if he fell down a             “Pep to speak with the president about the future,” it said,
well”.                                                                 before quoting the 41‑year‑old’s post‑match thoughts: “We did
    Neville later explained the noise by blaming his sore throat       not score at the opportune times and we have paid for that.
– tweeting a photo of some Strepsils.                                  Now, we’re thinking about next year. I looked at what we have
    Neville’s Alan Patridge [http://tinyurl.com/2gjl9j]moment          done wrong to tell the players and cannot find anything.”
is set to win him a place on future lists of the greatest                  Barcelona have won two of the past three Champions League
spontaneous moments in football commentary – alongside                 crowns, but El Mundo Deportivo looked back on their other
the likes of Barry Davies (“Interesting. Very interesting! Look        unexpected defeats.
at his face! Just look at his face [http://tinyurl.com/yuauyt]!”),         “FC Barcelona lose to Chelsea, as in Bern [1961 final against
and Jack van Gelder – who marked a Dennis Bergkamp goal for            Benfica] and against Inter [2010 semi‑final],” it read.
Holland against Argentina in 1998 with the classic:                        “Historical Barça has fallen in the semi‑final against Chelsea
    “Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp!                in a game full of bad luck, in which Messi missed a penalty and
Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Dennis              hit the post while the English team took advantage of their two
Bergkamp! Dennis Bergkamp! Uh‑e‑uh‑e‑uh [http://tinyurl.               chances.”

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page 6 G24 Sport                                                                    Wednesday April 25 2012               12:06 GMT

   It also spoke of Guardiola’s contract situation alongside a            Chelsea will find out their opponents for the 19 May final
pained‑looking image of the coach on the touchline, saying:           on Wednesday evening when Real Madrid and Bayern Munich
“Now turn to take a decision.” It added: “Pep Guardiola, who          meet for their semi‑final second leg. Torres says Chelsea are
lamented the bad luck throughout the tie, has assured that in         ready to face either.
the coming hours the president will deal with his and [assistant]         “It doesn’t matter. They have to play one more game and
Tito Vilanova’s renewals.”                                            Bayern Munich are another great team. We are waiting for one
   Madrid’s El Pais went with the headline: “The most tragic          of them in the final but the main thing is Chelsea’s there and we
monologue of Barcelona”, and followed up with “Barça crash            have a chance to win it.
against the Chelsea wall on a fateful night for Messi.”                   “If we play with this unity, we can beat anyone. To not lose
                                                                      against Barcelona in two games is quite difficult. Everyone at
                                                                      the club and the supporters have to be very proud.”
Chelsea goalscorer Fernando Torres
thrilled with ‘dream come true’
                                                                      Pep Guardiola defends Barcelona’s
• Torres goal rounded-off stunning Chelsea                            Lionel Messi over vital penalty miss
win at Barcelona • Striker surprised by
chance: ‘I was playing almost at left-back’                           • Coach backs Messi after miss helped
                                                                      Chelsea through • Guardiola: ‘My
Press Association
                                                                      admiration for him knows no limits’
Fernando Torres [] has spoken of his delight after scoring the
                                                                      Staff and agencies
dramatic goal against Barcelona [] that secured Chelsea’s place
in the Champions League final [http://tinyurl.com/clmyk95],           Pep Guardiola [http://tinyurl.com/449ty34] has defended
and admitted he never imagined such an opportunity would              Lionel Messi [http://tinyurl.com/yaxmt7n] after his penalty
crop up.                                                              miss as good as cost Barcelona [http://tinyurl.com/3qtgm9] a
    The Spain international has an impressive record against          place in the Champions League [http://tinyurl.com/4859on]
Barcelona, scoring seven goals in 10 league appearances               final.
for Atlético Madrid, but said he expected to spend his time               Messi has enjoyed an extraordinary run of form in the
defending when he came on as a substitute on Tuesday night.           past four seasons, scoring 63 goals in all competitions this
    “I was not expecting to have any chances,” Torres said. “I        season alone. However, he failed to find the net in either leg of
was playing almost as a left‑back. The only chance we could           Barcelona’s semi‑final against Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/
have was on the counter‑attack like this.                             5ybu55] – and crashed his second‑half penalty off the bar during
    “One more goal against Barcelona. I have nice memories in         their 3‑2 aggregate defeat [http://tinyurl.com/clmyk95].
this stadium, nice memories against them. But this one’s more             He also finished without a goal on Saturday when Barça
special than any one before because it helped us to go the final. I   slipped to a 2‑1 La Liga defeat at home to Real Madrid, which
am very happy to be part of the game, to score the goal.              effectively ended their bid for a fourth straight title.
    “To be in the Champions League [http://tinyurl.com/                   Guardiola said: “We have got this far thanks to this kid. More
4859on] final, obviously, is a dream come true for all the            than ever I want to thank him for what he’s done.
Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/5ybu55] players, for all the Chelsea          “My admiration for him knows no limits. He is an example
supporters who come here and everyone watching the game at            for all of us, his competitiveness inspires us. He’s daring, he’s
home.                                                                 brave and he plays fantastically well in all kinds of different
    “It’s the second Champions League final for Chelsea.              conditions.
Everyone knows what happened in the past with the penalty                 “I don’t doubt he will have a few bad hours now but
shoot‑out. So, I think Chelsea deserved a second chance and we        sometimes you smile and sometimes you are sad and it’s our
have the chance now.”                                                 turn to be sad. Someone else is going to the final in Munich and
    Chelsea went into Tuesday night’s match boasting a 1‑0            we have to come back next year.”
first‑leg lead but went behind to goals from Sergio Busquets and          Guardiola was left wondering whether luck was simply
Andrés Iniesta, either side of Terry’s sending off for inexplicably   against the club following a spectacular run of success that has
kneeing Alexis Sánchez from behind.                                   brought 13 trophies since he took over in 2008.
    But, while he scored the equalising goal, Torres was quick to         “I have a feeling that sometimes football is like this. To be
highlight Ramires’s goal in first‑half stoppage time as the game‑     honest, I just think that this year was not our turn. This year, it
changing moment.                                                      seems like we couldn’t do it and that’s it.
    “It was frustrating to be on the bench watching the game,”            “I am sorry if I am not very clear but I have a lot of emotions
he said. “It’s a difficult moment when you cannot help your           inside right now. Maybe in time I will see things more clearly. I
team‑mates. We are happy now but, to win the game, there              don’t even know how I feel really. I don’t know what to tell the
were a lot of ups and downs.                                          players about why they are not in the final. Yes we are sad but
    “When JT was sent off, when they scored the second one,           it’s not our saddest night.”
it looked like everything was lost. And after Ramires scored to           The 41‑year‑old coach, who has yet to extend his contract
make it 2‑1, at half‑time we started believing that we could do it.   beyond the end of this season, said he may have tactical lessons
That goal made us believe. That was the key for us.                   to learn, but he would not change his team’s playing style.
    “After the 2‑2 and getting to the final, there are a lot of           “Probably we did something wrong, so we need to see what
different emotions during the game, a day to remember.”               that was and try to correct it in the future. Maybe this is a lesson
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                         guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Wednesday April 25 2012             12:06 GMT

I should learn, that we should hold back and not be so offensive.         Earlier Wade had made 106 and Shane Shillingford finished
    “[But] we are not a team that can play in different ways. We      with six wickets as Australia were all out shortly before lunch.
have a peculiar way of playing and the opposition adjusts to              Shillingford finished with six for 119 but the West Indies
that and that’s it. We did everything we could and we got to a        bowlers will be disappointed they allowed Australia to make
semi‑final but no matter what we did it hasn’t been enough.”          a respectable total given the tourists were 169 for seven when
    Guardiola said he would discuss his future with the               Wade came to the crease.
club’s president, Sandro Rosell, in the coming days, and                  Australia resumed on Tuesday morning on 212 for seven and
admitted that the positive reaction from the fans despite their       had added just 14 when Mitchell Starc was run out. He failed to
disappointment might help persuade him to stay.                       ground his bat when attempting a second run off Kemar Roach.
    “I imagine so, yes. In the next few days I’ll talk to the         Starc’s patient knock of 35 came off 55 deliveries and included
president and we’ll take a relaxed decision on what is the best       one boundary as he shared a vital 57‑run stand with Wade.
thing for the club.”                                                      Narsingh Deonarine was lofted over long‑on by Wade for
    Barcelona, meanwhile, have confirmed that their defender          six before he hit Shillingford for two consecutive sixes as he
Gerard Piqué has been given the all‑clear after he was taken to       enjoyed success at deep mid‑wicket.
hospital as a precaution following a collision with team‑mate             Wade then reached his century off Roach, driving wide
Victor Valdes.                                                        through cover to move to 103, his hundred coming off 143
    “Gerard Piqué underwent various tests which ruled out             deliveries and including 10 boundaries and three sixes.
any injury,” the club said. “The player will remain under             However, the 24‑year‑old’s joy was cut short moments
observation until Wednesday.”                                         later when, after adding three more, he was out for 106 off
                                                                      Shillingford.
                                                                          Again Wade had slogged the ball but it failed to carry and
Football transfer rumours: Alberto                                    reached Dwayne Bravo who caught it, threw it up in the air
Aquilani back to Liverpool?                                           before going outside the boundary, jumping back in and taking
                                                                      the catch. His time at the crease saw him put together a vital
                                                                      stand of 102 with Ben Hilfenhaus who was out for 19 without
Today’s gossip would like to reference Barry                          further score.
Davies. Look at his face! Just look at his face!                          Australia then made an ideal start to their attack when they
You know exactly who we’re talking about                              removed Kraigg Brathwaite for a duck, Harris taking a fumbled
                                                                      catch at first slip.
Scott Murray
                                                                          After such an awful start for the hosts, a steady hand was
A kwik kwiz for this brilliant blue morning. Which of the             called for and Adrian Barath and Kieran Powell made cautious
following statements is categorically true?                           starts. The pair had moved on to 62 when Barath was out,
   1. Milan loan star Alberto Aquilani will be back at Liverpool      caught by Ed Cowan off the bowling of Nathan Lyon. His 29
next season.                                                          came from 76 deliveries and included four boundaries.
   2. Newcastle United are going to purchase PSV Eindhoven                Just 11 more runs had been added and West Indies lost
defender Erik Pieters.                                                another wicket when Bravo was out for 10 after getting a big
   3. Dirk Kuyt is off back to Feyenoord.                             inside edge on to the pads from David Warner’s delivery and
   4.Nigel de Jong de Manchester City will join Internazionale        Cowan was given time to catch it.
in an £8m deal.                                                           After returning from tea at 75 for three there was a big blow
   5. Inter will land Tottenham Hotspur starlet Kyle Walker.          for the hosts when they lost the wicket of Powell, making it 85
   6. Tiki‑taka is an absurd sham propagated by journalists           for four. Lyon bowled Powell for 40, including two boundaries,
trying to be a wee bit too clever for their own good if Barcelona’s   and West Indies were rocking when Deonarine was lbw to Harris
poor man’s Etherington‑to‑Crouch‑out‑to‑Pennant‑back‑to‑              with just 11 more on the board.
Walters tribute act is anything to go by. Greatest team in history,       Carlton Baugh (five) became Lyon’s third victim making it
the Mill’s blaugrana hole.                                            103 for six and things went from bad to worse when Darren
   7. Besiktas are going to sign Salomon Kalou.                       Sammy (10) and Shillingford (nought) were out on 120.
   ANSWER!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t know. Possibly all, maybe some,            Ravi Rampaul made a speedy 24 not out, with Shivnarine
perchance none. Were you expecting a payoff?                          Chanderpaul a patient 34 not out from 110 deliveries as the
                                                                      hosts reached stumps on 165 for eight.

Matthew Wade century puts Australia
in driving seat against West Indies

• Australia 328, West Indies 165-8 • Shane
Shillingford takes six for 119
Press Association
                                                                        *
                                                                        The Guardian digital edition
                                                                        Read the Guardian on the web exactly the
Australia had the upper hand at the end of the second day of the        way it was printed.
third Test against West Indies after a Matthew Wade century
                                                                        With award-winning Guardian
was followed by three wickets from Nathan Lyon as the hosts
finished on 165 for eight in Dominica.
                                                                        photography accessible from anywhere in
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                       guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Wednesday April 25 2012               12:06 GMT

                                                                     ensuring the visitors somehow survived a second‑half barrage
                                                                     from the hosts, with a ninth Chelsea goal from Fernando Torres,
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott gets all-clear to                             plundered in stoppage time, ensuring improbable progress.
play for England at Euro 2012                                        “I’m just delighted for the players, who deserve this moment,”
                                                                     said Di Matteo, whose brief period as interim first‑team coach
• Forward injured hamstring in draw                                  has yielded Champions League and FA Cup final appearances.
against Chelsea • Injury will keep him out                           “They put so much effort in out there and they deserve to be in
                                                                     the final.
for only three weeks
                                                                         “We were playing the best team in the world – they’re
David Hytner                                                         amazing – and we were up against all the difficulties you could
                                                                     imagine in any football match. We seemed always to find some
Theo Walcott [http://tinyurl.com/56g3ol] will be fit to play for
                                                                     reserves from somewhere, playing against the odds. The way
England at Euro 2012 [http://tinyurl.com/3f2fqs] after scans
                                                                     we played and defended … we just showed a lot of desire to
confirmed that the damage to his left hamstring will keep him
                                                                     reach the final and go through. We had a little bit of luck as well,
out for only three weeks.
                                                                     which we needed. But to win the trophy, you need that. We’ve
   The winger will not feature in Arsenal [http://tinyurl.com/
                                                                     had a difficult season but we seem to always get something
3fh47r]’s final three matches of the Premier League season, as
                                                                     special out when we need to. I think that’s part of the DNA of
they chase Champions League qualification, but he will have
                                                                     these players. It’s quite incredible.”
time to recover his fitness before the summer tournament in
                                                                         Terry will be denied an opportunity to make amends for his
Poland and Ukraine.
                                                                     penalty miss in the 2008 final in Moscow following his red card
    Walcott injured the hamstring in the 0‑0 draw against
                                                                     for the off‑the‑ball incident. “I’ve seen the replay and it does
Chelsea on Saturday, feeling the muscle tighten in the 57th
                                                                     look bad,” said the centre‑half. “I’m not that type of player to
minute but playing on after treatment. Shortly afterwards, he
                                                                     intentionally hurt anyone. I’ve raised my knee, which I maybe
felt the hamstring tear and he was forced off. Arsène Wenger,
                                                                     shouldn’t have done in hindsight. But hopefully people who
the Arsenal manager, described it as a “serious” problem.
                                                                     know me as a person, as a player, [know] I’m not that type of
   “He had a small injury and then made it worse,” Wenger
                                                                     player.
said. “We assessed the hamstring but he wanted to stay on the
                                                                         “I’m disappointed but delighted for the lads. To come here
pitch. I think he should have come off straight away because the
                                                                     and play the way they did and get the result they did with
second time, it was a real hamstring.”
                                                                     10 men … I feel I’ve let them down. I’ve apologised to them
   Walcott is determined to make an impression at the
                                                                     and I want to apologise to the fans as well. At the time I was
European Championship after being cut at the very last
                                                                     bewildered because I was trying to protect myself a little bit,
from England’s 2010 World Cup squad by the then manager,
                                                                     but looking at it on the replay I’ve no complaints. I’ve let the
Fabio Capello. He had been a shock inclusion in Sven‑Goran
                                                                     lads down. They’ve performed brilliantly, so hopefully this
Eriksson’s 2006 World Cup squad as a 17‑year‑old, without
                                                                     doesn’t take it away from the players. This is what this football
Premier League experience, only not to feature.
                                                                     club deserves. We deserve to be in the Champions League final.
                                                                     The boys were excellent and I hope the incident doesn’t take
                                                                     away from how hard they worked.”
Di Matteo hails ‘incredible’ Chelsea for
                                                                         There was sympathy from his manager – “We’re all human
defying odds at Barcelona                                            beings and everybody can make a mistake,” said Di Matteo
                                                                     – over a first red card in two years but the captain’s team‑mates
• ‘We were up against all the difficulties you                       rallied to resist Barça’s second‑half assault with relish.
could imagine’ • John Terry apologises to                                Lionel Messi missed a penalty with the score still 2‑1 to the
                                                                     hosts and later saw the outstanding Petr Cech turn an attempt
fans and team-mates for red card
                                                                     on to a post, with Chelsea’s players jubilant on the final whistle.
Dominic Fifield at Camp Nou                                              “It’s one of the finest moments in a Chelsea shirt,” said
                                                                     Frank Lampard. “I know people want to see beautiful football
Roberto Di Matteo praised his players for summoning a truly
                                                                     but to play for 50‑odd minutes with 10 men and to be 2‑0 down
“incredible” fightback to eject the holders, Barcelona [http://
                                                                     here, and yet perform like that, with that spirit … well, it was
tinyurl.com/3qtgm9], from the Champions League [] and
                                                                     unbelievable. That clock wasn’t half slow in that second half but
force passage into next month’s final in Munich despite the
                                                                     there was a determination about us. You get what you deserve
first‑half dismissal of their captain, John Terry [http://tinyurl.
                                                                     and we were all in it together today. What a fantastic result.”
com/5k8wjn].
                                                                         The 3‑2 aggregate success was secured when Torres ran alone
    Chelsea [http://tinyurl.com/5ybu55] trailed Barcelona by
                                                                     from inside his own half to round Victor Valdés and convert the
two goals as half‑time approached here as they struggled to
                                                                     visitors’ second.
reorganise following the fifth sending‑off of Terry’s club career
                                                                         “Football is like that: the best team doesn’t always win,”
for a petulant knee in the back of Alexis Sánchez. The centre‑
                                                                     said Torres. “We knew that this was the way we had to play
half issued an apology for his rush of blood but Ramires, who
                                                                     against Barcelona although, at times, it is not the most beautiful
recovered one of the goals in what time remained before the
                                                                     thing. We used our weapons and it came off well for us in both
break, Raul Meireles and Branislav Ivanovic will also miss the
                                                                     matches. They had their chances but they didn’t score and
final on 19 May through suspension after picking up their third
                                                                     Ramires’s goal gave us life when all seemed lost.
yellow cards of the tournament on Tuesday night.
                                                                         “We have great respect for Barcelona because we know
    Yet they and Chelsea’s rejigged rearguard excelled in
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                        guardian.co.uk
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Wednesday April 25 2012               12:06 GMT

they are the best in the world but, for those players who lost      Isaac Cuenca
[to Barça in the semi‑final] three years ago, it is a sure way to     A surprise inclusion, operating wide right, and lost
get even. For those of us who weren’t there it is the last step     possession early on before he supplied ball for Busquets’s finish
towards a Champions League final. We have had a bad season in       6
the Premier League but it can still end up a memorable year. We
                                                                    Lionel Messi
have to believe we will triumph.”
                                                                       World’s best player crashed a penalty against the bar that
   The Barca defender Gerard Piqué was taken to hospital
                                                                    would have placed a foot in the final for Barça. Off peak in each
with concussion after being clattered by Valdes early on, with
                                                                    leg 5
Pep Guardiola supportive of Messi and gracious despite his
side’s elimination. For Di Matteo, who was out of work a year
                                                                    Substitutes
                                                                      Dani Alves (for Piqué, 26); Tello (for Cuenca, 68); Keita (for
ago following his dismissal as manager of West Bromwich
                                                                    Fábregas, 74). Not used Pinto, Thiago, Pedro, Adriano.
Albion, this side’s transformation over eight weeks has been
breathtaking. “Four months ago no one thought we had a              Petr Cech
chance,” added Ashley Cole. “We lost a few games in the                Fine save from Messi on 19 minutes with legs was bettered
Premier League but we always believed and knew we were good         by spaghetti‑legged act to put off Messi for Argentinian’s
enough to be here. You can’t beat that desire and fight that you    penalty 8/10
saw out there.”                                                     Branislav Ivanovic
                                                                       Forced into centre‑back following John Terry’s and Gary
                                                                    Cahill’s departures. Put in a valiant shift and might have scored
Barcelona v Chelsea: player ratings                                 with header 7
                                                                    John Terry
Lionel Messi disappointed for Barça but                                Only he knows why he kneed Sánchez in the back for the red
Peter Cech, Ashley Cole and Ramires                                 card that made sure he will miss the final 3
produced magnificent displays for Chelsea                           Gary Cahill
                                                                       Went down early when challenging Sánchez and pulled
Jamie Jackson
                                                                    hamstring after eight minutes. Bitter disappointment on a big
Victor Valdés                                                       night 5
His first action was a run‑and‑punch on 15 minutes as Didier        Ashley Cole
Drogba advanced and he will be disappointed with Ramires’s             Can be proud of defiance once Terry received marching
goal 5/10                                                           orders. Made one fine break in the opening moments 7
Gerard Piqué                                                        Mikel John Obi
   Was in centre of Barcelona’s back three and often prompted           Difficult for him to settle into any rhythm but on an evening
the attack but was taken out by Valdés and had to be replaced 5     of stubborn Blues heroics he continued to try to close down
Javier Mascherano                                                   space 7
   Kept his place ahead of Dani Alves on right of rearguard and     Frank Lampard
looked to link attack but was questionable when defending 5            Lost Busquets for Barça’s first goal. As staunch in defence
Carles Puyol                                                        as his colleagues, the veteran produced a class pass to play in
   Mr Barça marshaled his rearguard well and with a simple          Ramires 7
defensive header set up Lionel Messi to play in Andrés Iniesta 6    Juan Mata
Cesc Fábregas                                                          Had to wait 14 minutes for his first touch – a cross aimed at
   Drifted into space behind Messi and produced a backheel to       Drogba from the right – as the Spaniard had scant chance to
play in his partner before he and Frank Lampard squared up 5        show skills 7
Sergio Busquets                                                     Ramires
  The holding player in the Barça side was shadowed by                  Produced a sand‑wedge of a finish over Valdés to give
Drogba when linking forward. Unmarked when equalising 7             Chelsea hope of progressing despite booking that ruled him out
                                                                    of final 8
Xavi
   Chipped an early ball in Alexis Sánchez’s direction but by       Raul Meireles
resorting to shots showed how his side were being frustrated 6         Spent his evening helping to pile up the Chelsea barricade by
                                                                    patrolling first line of contact with advancing Barça wave 6
Andrés Iniesta
   Starting position in the play was often on the left, from        Didier Drogba
where he pickpocketed José Bosingwa and then scored his                Gave away penalty and was lucky to see Messi miss but the
team’s second 7                                                     forward was a vital presence whenever Chelsea broke 6
Alexis Sánchez                                                      Substitutes
   Was often involved in the carousel passing in and around the       Bosingwa (for Cahill, 12); Kalou (for Mata, 58); Torres (for
visitors’ area – but was starved of consistent chances 5            Drogba, 80). Not used Turnbull, Essien, Malouda, Sturridge.
                                                                      Referee Cuneyt Cakir




guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2007                                                                      guardian.co.uk

				
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