Section: Premiership

Premiership: Hull 2-3 Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois was indebted to Loic Remy after his late winner extended Chelsea’s Premier League lead over Manchester City to six points.

The visitors went two goals ahead after Eden Hazard fired in and Diego Costa curled in his 20th of the season.

But Hull replied with two goals in 74 seconds as Ahmed Elmohamady slid in before Abel Hernandez took advantage of an error by goalkeeper Courtois.

Substitute Remy then beat Allan McGregor to score with his first touch.

The goal, which sneaked through McGregor’s legs, papered over an inconsistent display from Jose Mourinho’s side, who went from awesome to awful in the space of 28 first-half minutes.

Courtois will be mightily relieved at Remy’s strike after the Belgium goalkeeper failed to control Branislav Ivanovic’s back pass, inadvertently gifting the ball to the onrushing Hernandez for the equaliser.

And the French striker could become an important figure in the title run-in after he replaced the injured Costa, who had a hamstring problem.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Liverpool 1-2 Man Utd

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was sent off 38 seconds after coming on as a half-time substitute as Manchester United retained their grip on a top-four place with a vital win at Anfield.

Gerrard was introduced for Adam Lallana at the start of the second half with United deservedly leading through Juan Mata’s early goal – but was gone almost as quickly after following up a thunderous tackle on the goalscorer with a reckless reaction to a challenge with a clear stamp on Ander Herrera.

It was inexcusable behaviour from a player of Gerrard’s experience, having just been handed the responsibility by manager Brendan Rodgers of getting an underperforming Liverpool side back into the game.

Mata emphasised the folly of Gerrard’s red card when he added a second with a sensational volley just before the hour to confirm United’s superiority in a game that confirmed the impression that manager Louis van Gaal is now getting the sort of performances and results he demands.

Daniel Sturridge pulled a goal back to give Liverpool hope of an unlikely comeback but the visitors were never seriously threatened again and could even afford the luxury of Wayne Rooney seeing an injury-time penalty saved by Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet.

United built on last Sunday’s impressive 3-0 win against Tottenham to extend their lead to five points over Liverpool, who are a place behind in fifth.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Spurs 4-3 Leicester

Harry Kane’s first Premier League hat-trick got Tottenham’s challenge for a top-four spot back on track with a hard-fought win over Leicester.

After Hugo Lloris was carried off, Kane slotted home and scored with a deflected shot as Spurs went 2-0 up.

Jamie Vardy steered in an effort before Wes Morgan headed Leicester level.

Kane converted a penalty and Foxes defender Jeff Schlupp scored an own goal as Spurs, despite Nugent’s late second strike, held on for victory.

Leicester remain bottom of the table but will feel aggrieved at a controversial penalty decision going against them as referee Mike Dean adjudged Nugent had fouled Danny Rose when the pair collided with the game poised at 2-2.

The Foxes again came away with nothing from a valiant display as they lost an 18th league game out of 29 this season.

Tottenham’s credentials had been questioned following the way they wilted at Manchester United last Sunday and, even though they secured three points, they remain unconvincing with their vulnerable defence having let in 14 goals in their last six league games.

Nevertheless, the White Hart Lane side are three points off fourth-placed Manchester United, who play fifth-placed Liverpool on Sunday, and have Kane to thank for keeping their rivals within reach.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Aston Villa 0-1 Swansea

Aston Villa remain in relegation trouble as Bafetimbi Gomis’s late goal gave Swansea a dramatic victory.

The French striker had earlier had two shots saved by home goalkeeper Brad Guzan, while team-mate Wayne Routledge had a shot cleared off the goalline.

Gomis then scored with only three minutes left when he held off Ciaran Clark to convert from 12 yards after Jefferson Montero’s flicked pass.

Aston Villa remain in relegation trouble as Bafetimbi Gomis’s late goal gave Swansea a dramatic victory.

The French striker had earlier had two shots saved by home goalkeeper Brad Guzan, while team-mate Wayne Routledge had a shot cleared off the goalline.

Gomis then scored with only three minutes left when he held off Ciaran Clark to convert from 12 yards after Jefferson Montero’s flicked pass.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Man City 3-0 West Brom

Wilfried Bony’s first goal for Manchester City helped his side on their way to a much-needed victory after Gareth McAuley was controversially sent off for West Brom.

Fernando and David Silva added further goals as City cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to three points, at least until Jose Mourinho’s side play their two games in hand.

But the game turned on McAuley’s dismissal after just 89 seconds – the fastest in the Premier League this season – when it was unclear whether referee Neil Swarbrick had shown the red card to the wrong man.

Another Baggies defender, Craig Dawson, had committed the initial foul on Bony, who got up before running into McAuley inside the area.

Swarbrick, however, awarded City a free-kick before calling McAuley over, and proceeded to send him off despite his pleas of innocence and protests from his team-mates.

It was the second case of apparent mistaken identity in the Premier League in less than a month, following Wes Brown’s red card at Old Trafford for a foul by his Sunderland team-mate John O’Shea.

On this occasion it was debatable whether it was a sending-off at all but City, reeling from their Champions League exit against Barcelona and desperately short of domestic form, were not complaining.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Dynamo Kiev 5-2 Everton

England’s last remaining team exited European competition as Everton were soundly beaten in their last-16 Europa League tie against Dynamo Kiev.

In a week where Manchester City and Arsenal exited the Champions League, poor defending cost Everton in Ukraine, as they lost 6-4 on aggregate.

Romelu Lukaku’s strike cancelled out Andriy Yarmolenko’s wonderful opener.

But Lukasz Teodorczyk, Miguel Veloso, Oleg Gusev and Antunes scored, before Phil Jagielka’s headed consolation.

Everton’s resounding defeat ends a dismal month for English sides in Europe, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham also knocked out.

The collective failings mean the country does not have a side in the last eight of the Europa League or Champions League for the first time since 1995.

It will pose further questions on the strength of the domestic game and Martinez will likely be quizzed about his team’s defensive generosity as they surrendered a 2-1 first-leg lead in their first European away loss of the season.

Though they can look at two Ross Barkley efforts which hit the post as unfortunate, indecision littered their work at the back as hopes of a first European trophy since 1985 were ended.

Read more at BBC Sport

Football: Harry Kane gets first England call but Young misses out

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has received his first call-up to the England squad ahead of this month’s games against Lithuania and Italy.

Kane, who has scored 16 goals in the Premier League this season, is joined in the squad by Spurs teammates Andros Townsend and Kyle Walker but there is no place for left-back Danny Rose or midfielder Ryan Mason.

Asked if he was excited by the emergence of Kane, Hodgson told a news conference: “Yes, I think the whole country is really.

“His rise has been fantastic since he broke into the Tottenham team. We’re delighted to welcome him into the fold and try to help him to establish himself.

“What he can do on a football field is clear for all to see because he’s been doing it week in and week out for Tottenham and he deserves his chance.”

England face Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday March 27 before heading to Turin to take on Italy in a friendly on Tuesday March 31.

Kane, 21, is part of attacking quartet for those games along with captain Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Danny Welbeck, with QPR striker Charlie Austin and Burnley’s Danny Ings failing to make the cut.

Liverpool striker Sturridge has been building up his fitness after a lengthy absence but Hodgson said: “His form’s getting better and better. In the last game, against Swansea, there were very good signs his sharpness was coming back.”

Manchester United’s Ashley Young misses out despite his recent good form, but Michael Carrick is included in a midfield selection that also features Everton’s Ross Barkley.

England face Lithuania in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday March 27 before heading to Turin to take on Italy in a friendly on Tuesday March 31.

England sit six points clear at the top of Euro 2016 qualification Group E, having won all four of their matches to date.

England squad:

Goalkeepers:  Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City)

Defenders:  Leighton Baines (Everton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil Jones (Manchester United), Luke Shaw (Manchester United), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur)

Midfielders:  Ross Barkley (Everton), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Manchester City), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Tottenham Hotspur), Theo Walcott (Arsenal)

Forwards:  Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny Welbeck (Arsenal)
Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Barcelona 1-0 Man City

Barcelona ease past Man City as Sergio Aguero misses penalty

Lionel Messi and Barcelona turned on the style to dump Manchester City and their inspired goalkeeper Joe Hart out of the Champions League.

It was thanks to Hart’s heroics that Barcelona could manage only a 1-0 win at the Nou Camp.

Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal of another one-sided encounter between the two sides, completing a 3-1 aggregate win to secure the Catalan giants’ place in the quarterfinals.

City did show some spirit in the second half, and could have pulled one back when Sergio Aguero had a penalty saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen — but in truth the scoreline flattered them.

Barcelona were in a different league to the English champions, and Messi was simply outstanding.

One of the enduring images from the game will be his first-half nutmeg on James Milner, who was bamboozled and left on the turf by the Argentinian’s brilliance.

It said much for City’s night that their man of the match was comfortably Hart, who made a strong of brilliant saves in the second half to limit the damage.

The loss will leave City manager Manuel Pellegrini fighting for his future, but most coaches would have struggled against Barcelona in this mood.

City’s defeat meant the end of English involvement in the Champions League, after Arsenal and Chelsea’s defeats at this stage and Liverpool’s elimination in the group round.

Pellegrini changed tactics, deploying Aguero as a lone striker, but it was to little avail.

After being well beaten in the first leg, it always seemed likely City would follow their Premier League rivals out of the competition.

And so it proved as Barcelona set about them from the outset, looking in ominous form as Dani Alves forced a Vincent Kompany error and Neymar rolled a shot against the inside of a post.

Barcelona were relentless, with Messi at his ingenious best, continually wrong-footing City with masterful control and movement.

Messi combined brilliantly with Andres Iniesta in the box, but Hart came to the visitors’ rescue with a low save from the Argentinian.

City could not keep pace with the Spanish league leaders and four of their players — Fernandinho, Aleksandar Kolarov, David Silva and Samir Nasri — were booked inside the first 36 minutes. Nasri was lucky not to see red for hacking at the ankles of Neymar.

But by then City were already a goal down after Messi picked out Rakitic in space in the box with a brilliant cross. Rakitic controlled superbly on his chest and reacted quickly to lob the advancing Hart.

City’s torture continued as Messi, who had earlier been crudely hacked down on the touchline by Kolarov, reacted with great dexterity as Milner attempted to close him down out wide.

Messi simply flicked the ball back inside, nutmegging the England international and dumping him on the turf. Former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola, watching in the stands, put his head in his hands in disbelief.

Barcelona almost had a second goal before the break as Luis Suarez, scorer of two in the first leg, broke clear and beat the advancing Hart only for his shot to bounce off the far post.

The one-way traffic continued as Hart saved from Iniesta, Rakitic and Jordi Alba in the opening minutes of the second half.

Pellegrini attempted to change his side’s shape, with Jesus Navas having replaced the ineffective Nasri at the interval. He pushed Toure forward, but Barcelona were not greatly troubled despite an increase in City possession.

One good opportunity did open up when Navas got to the byline, but there was no-one on hand to turn in his cross.

Barcelona had the menace to be able to kill the game at any moment, and Suarez lashed a shot into the side netting before Messi skipped past a challenge on a lightning counter-attack but was forced wide.

Alba thought he had scored a second when he snapped up a rebound after Hart blocked a Neymar shot, but offside was given.

Hart denied Neymar again on the hour and City were given a potential lifeline moments later as they broke up to the other end and Aguero fell as Gerard Pique challenged.

A penalty was awarded, but Aguero could not take advantage as Ter Stegen saved to his right.

It was not going to be City’s night, but Hart could still hold his head high, saving again from Suarez before the former Liverpool star hit the bar.

Hart saved brilliantly again from Messi in the last minute and Neymar was also frustrated by him in injury time.
 Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (Monaco win on away goals)

Arsenal beat Monaco but crash out of Champions League on away goals

Arsenal won 2-0 in Monaco in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash but couldn’t recover from defeat at the Emirates three weeks ago, going out on away goals after drawing 3-3 on aggregate.

Olivier Giroud put the Gunners in front in the 36th minute but they struggled to create clear-cut openings before Aaron Ramsey doubled their advantage 11 minutes from time.

Arsene Wenger’s side piled on the pressure as the clock ticked down but couldn’t force a third goal which would have taken them through against the odds.

After a slow start, Giroud headed a half-chance wide after 13 minutes. Arsenal were lacking a spark as Monaco, who had not conceded a single goal in their three home Champions League group stage games earlier this season, happily took the tempo out of the match.

Giroud, who had missed several chances in the first leg, grabbed a lifeline for the visitors with a well-taken finish nine minutes before half-time.

Monaco continued to ride their luck as Arsenal pressed, with Mesut Ozil’s free-kick tipped over at the start of the second half.

The game then opened up as Arsenal committed men forwards, and finally reduced the arrears further through substitute Ramsey after 79 minutes.

 

There was, though, to be no miracle of Monte Carlo as Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic denied a late header from Sanchez to end Arsenal’s European dreams at the last-16 stage once again — and leave Arsene Wenger’s men counting the cost of conceding a stoppage-time third goal at the Emirates Stadium.

England forward Danny Welbeck started in support of Sanchez and main striker Giroud, with Theo Walcott again on the bench as manager Wenger named an attacking side on his return to the club he led to the French league championship in 1988.

Despite Arsenal’s positive intentions, they remained vulnerable on the counter-attack, with Joao Moutinho curling an early 20-yard effort over following a quick break by the home side.

Officially only around 1,500 Arsenal fans had made the journey to the French Riviera, but given tickets were put on general sale, there were more than double that around the Stade Louis II.

Arsenal, though, struggled to find any sort of early flow as Monaco slowed the tempo, which suited the game of veteran former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

As the quarter-hour mark approached, Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin got away down the right and whipped the ball into the six-yard box, from which Giroud glanced just wide.

Arsenal centre-half Laurent Koscielny cannoned the ball up against the crossbar from close range after a deep free-kick into the Monaco penalty area, but the offside flag was raised.

Arsenal continued to look for an opening, but were frustrated by some solid defending from the hosts as the game.

The breakthrough finally came after 36 minutes. After left-back Nacho Monreal had done well to keep the ball in on the far side, Danny Welbeck darted into the penalty area.

The loose ball fell for Giroud, and his shot was saved but cannoned up against his face, with the French striker alert to sweep in the rebound.

Arsenal almost grabbed a quickfire second when Welbeck’s fierce, low shot hit Aymen Abdennour on the inside of his leg as the defender was sprawled on the ground.

Sanchez was shown a yellow card by Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen for tumbling in the penalty area as Nabil Dirar touched him on the back.

In first-half stoppage-time, Welbeck’s low cross from the right flicked up off Giroud’s knee and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Subasic.

The Croatian was in the right place again at the start of the second half to acrobatically tip over a curling 20-yard free-kick from Ozil.

Although Monaco did not need to score, they still carried a threat on the counter as Arsenal pressed a high line.

Wenger made a positive change after 63 minutes as Ramsey replaced holding midfielder Francis Coquelin.

Ozil flashed a low drive wide as Arsenal again created a good opening which lacked a telling finish.

With 20 minutes left and two goals still needed, Welbeck was replaced by Walcott.

Arsenal’s pressure finally told when Ramsey made it 2-0 with 11 minutes left. Monreal darted into the left side of the Monaco penalty area, before cutting the ball back to Walcott, whose low shot came back off the base of the post.

Layvin Kurzawa should have cleared but stabbed the ball to Ramsey, who cracked it into the bottom left corner to set up a grandstand finale.

Subasic clawed Sanchez’s close-range header off the line, but despite pouring forward during five minutes of stoppage-time, Arsenal were again left to reflect on what might have been.

The Monaco bench celebrated wildly as the principality club reached a first Champions League quarter-final since 2003-04.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Sunderland appoint Dick Advocaat as Black Cats boss

Sunderland have appointed Dick Advocaat as their new manager until the end of the season.

The former Netherlands coach takes over a day after the sacking of Gus Poyet with the Black Cats one point above the Premier League relegation zone.

“We have one aim only now – to climb the table – and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us,” said Sunderland chairman Ellis Short.

Advocaat, 67, said: “I can’t wait to get started.”

Poyet was sacked after a run of just one victory in 12 league games, which left Sunderland 17th in the Premier League and one point above the relegation zone.

They were thrashed 4-0 at home by relegation rivals Aston Villa in Poyet’s last match and Advocaat’s reign will get under way with a game at West Ham on Saturday.

“Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead,” said the Dutchman, who becomes the oldest manager currently in the top flight.

“We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority.”

Zeljko Petrovic will be Advocaat’s first-team coach, while former Swansea and England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker will be part of his backroom staff.

Sunderland academy coach Paul Bracewell will also support the head coach and his backroom team for the final nine games of the season.

Read more at BBC Sport