Tag: BBC Sport

Premiership: Southampton 2-0 Hull

Striker Graziano Pelle claimed his first Premier League goal in 15 matches to help lift Southampton up to fifth place in the table and add to Hull’s relegation worries.

Substitute James Ward-Prowse opened the scoring from the penalty spot after former Hull striker Shane Long had been fouled by Tigers defender Alex Bruce.

James Chester almost equalised but his header was cleared off the line.

Pelle then drove home his 13th goal of the season as Hull stayed in 17th spot.

Ronald Koeman’s side have now matched their Premier League record of 56 points which they achieved last season when finishing eighth under Maurico Pochettino.

They have won their last three home games, while Hull’s losing run now stretches to three matches and they remain only two points above the relegation places.

Hull face a tough run-in with games to come away to Crystal Palace, home to Liverpool, Arsenal and Burnley, away to Tottenham and then at home to Manchester United on the final day.

Southampton, also chasing a highest top-flight finish since they came fifth in 1985, have been short of goals in recent weeks with just five in their last nine games.

But a return to form for Pelle, whose last goal came in the FA Cup in January, was another bonus on a positive afternoon for the Saints, who rested England international Nathaniel Clyne.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Swansea 1-1 Everton

A second-half penalty from Jonjo Shelvey earned Swansea a point as Everton’s three-game winning run in the Premier League came to an end.

Shelvey, who had a spectacular first-half effort disallowed following a foul in the build-up, slotted home after Seamus Coleman had carelessly handled.

On-loan winger Aaron Lennon had fired Everton ahead from a James McCarthy cross four minutes before the break.

Swansea equalled their record Premier League points tally of 47.

Everton, who had lost 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium in the League Cup earlier this season, are still the only side Swansea have never beaten in the league.

Having won their previous three league games, the Toffees’ manager Roberto Martinez kept faith with the team which beat Southampton in their last game.

Everton top-scorer Romelu Lukaku was still missing through injury and Swansea were soon without their leading striker too, as Bafetimbi Gomis was taken off after just 16 minutes clutching his hamstring.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Brighton 0-2 Bournemouth

Bournemouth edged closer to promotion to the Premier League after second-half goals from Yann Kermorgant and Callum Wilson sealed victory over Brighton.

The Cherries moved four points clear with four games left, but Norwich and Watford can close the gap on Saturday.

In a match of few chances Leon Best had Brighton’s best effort with his tame effort straight at Artur Boruc.

However, Kermorgant’s stunning 25-yard free-kick and Wilson’s cool finish from close range secured the points.

With five points covering the top four, the promotion race threatens to go to the last game of the season but Bournemouth will reach the top flight if they win their remaining fixtures.

Brighton remain 19th and are still nine points above the relegation zone, although Millwall in 23rd place have two games in hand.

Read more at BBC Sport

Conference: Alfreton 0-2 Grimsby

Grimsby kept pace in the hunt for automatic promotion with victory at struggling Alfreton Town.

Grimsby debutant Josh Gowling broke the deadlock midway through the second half, firing Jack Mackreth’s cross into the bottom corner.

Mackreth then hit a post with an angled shot from the edge of the area and Alfreton striker Karl Hawley steered a close-range effort onto the crossbar.

Lenell John-Lewis headed home Craig Clay’s cross to secure the points.

The Mariners remain three points behind league leaders Barnet while Alfreton stay in 20th, six points above the bottom four.

Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside:

“I felt we started the game right and then it slowed a bit, but that was the problem.

“I think the lads felt like they were in control, but it was too slow.

“The longer it went on I did feel that our fitness and fresh legs would come through and again I think that showed.”

Read more at BBC Sport

League 2: Hartlepool 0-1 Southend

Southend United boosted their chances of League Two automatic promotion with victory against in-form Hartlepool.

The visitors almost took the lead early on when Barry Corr broke through on goal but sent his effort just wide.

Southend took the lead just after the restart when Will Atkinson fired past home goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

Pools pressured for a late equaliser and were unlucky not to take a point when Dan Jones’s volley was diverted onto the underside of the bar.

The result was Hartlepool’s first loss in six matches but they sit precariously just one point and one place off the League Two relegation places.

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Novak Djokovic beats Andy Murray to win fifth title

Novak Djokovic extended his winning streak against Britain’s Andy Murray to seven matches with victory in a gruelling Miami Open final.

The world number one prevailed 7-6 (7-3) 4-6 6-0 in hot and humid conditions to win his fifth Miami title.

Djokovic, 27, takes his record against Murray to 18-8, and the Serb will tie Rafael Nadal’s total of 141 weeks at the top of the rankings on Monday.

Murray, who gets married next Saturday, will move up from fourth to third.

The Scot, 27, twice led by a break in the first set and looked to have the momentum heading into the decider, but ultimately came up short once again.

“It has been a good start to the year for me so far,” he told the crowd. “I’m not quite there where Novak is at, but I feel I am getting there. I just need to keep working hard.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Serena Williams beats Carla Suarez Navarro to win

World number one Serena Williams thrashed Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro to win her eighth Miami Open title.

The 33-year-old raced to a 6-2 6-0 victory in 56 minutes to secure her third straight title at Crandon Park.

The American won the final 10 games as she outclassed Suarez Navarro, who will make her top-10 debut next week.

Williams said: “It feels really good to have eight under my belt. I’d like to believe the older I get, the better I get.”

Suarez Navarro, 26, went into the biggest final of her career having won just 10 games in four previous meetings with the younger Williams sister, and the 12th seed could add only two more.

Read more at BBC Sport

Miami Open: Andy Murray beats Tomas Berdych in semi-finals

Britain’s Andy Murray reached his fourth Miami Open final with a convincing straight-sets win over Czech eighth seed Tomas Berdych.

Third seed Murray won 6-4 6-4 and will play world number one Novak Djokovic or 22nd seed John Isner on Sunday.

The Scot, 27, broke Berdych’s serve four times as he took his career record against the Czech to 6-6.

Murray, who won the Miami title in 2009 and 2013, is set to return to third in the world rankings next week.

Friday’s first semi-final was a repeat of the Australian Open clash in January, which Murray won in four tense sets as he went up against Berdych and former coach Dani Vallverdu.

There was another familiar face in the Berdych box in Miami after fitness coach Jez Green recently began working with the Czech, having left Murray’s team along with Vallverdu last November.

In contrast to Melbourne, Murray made the sharper start this time around, breaking the Berdych serve either side of dropping his own as he took charge early on.

Berdych looked unsettled, complaining about the balls at one stage and then a line call as Murray saw out the set by making an impressive 77% of first serves.

Things got worse for the Czech at the start of the second as a confident Murray broke to love, but the Briton handed him a lifeline as two double faults gave the advantage straight back.

Both men were stepping in and attacking returns at every opportunity, and Murray’s strength in that area proved the difference when he broke the Czech for a fourth time as the pattern of the first set was repeated.

Murray almost clinched victory with a fifth break and had to recover from 0-30 when trying to serve it out, but a rasping forehand sealed victory and he let out a scream of delight.

Read more at BBC Sport

Championship: Ipswich 1-1 Bournemouth

Substitute Kenwyne Jones struck on his Bournemouth debut to salvage a point away to Ipswich Town.

The striker, on loan from Cardiff, had been on for just over three minutes when he headed in from a corner.

Freddie Sears had put the home side ahead early on, and goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski had preserved their lead with several important saves.

The Cherries pressed for a late winner with Bialkowski saving deep into added time but had to settle for a point.

Trinidad and Tobago international Jones had admitted to being “surprised” by his move from south Wales to the south coast having scored 13 times.

But his deft header could prove to be vital in Bournemouth’s bid to be promoted to the Premier League for the first time.

They had been replaced as Championship leaders by Middlesbrough earlier in the day, and the draw at Portman Road kept them in second place before Derby’s evening meeting with Watford.

Ipswich’s point put them into the play-off places ahead of Derby v Watford, and they were ahead after just six minutes when Sears found the top corner for his fifth goal since joining from Colchester in January.

Bialkowski helped keep Ipswich ahead with some fine saves, twice denying long-range efforts from Ryan Fraser.

Matt Ritchie also tested Ipswich’s Polish keeper from distance, with Fraser scuffing his follow-up shot wide.

Bournemouth’s Artur Boruc used his legs to thwart Luke Varney, and the on-loan Pole’s save proved vital when Jones equalised shortly afterwards.

The ex-Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke striker cleverly guided Ritchie’s corner past Bialkowski, who prevented Bournemouth enjoying a dramatic win with a brilliant save to deny Yann Kermorgant in injury time.

Read more at BBC Sport

League 2: Southend 2-0 Mansfield

Barry Corr’s eighth goal in nine games helped Southend United beat Mansfield and kept alive their slim League Two automatic promotion hopes.

Michael Timlin’s pass allowed Corr to lift the ball past Lenny Pidgeley before Will Atkinson tucked in a rebound for the second.

Vadaine Oliver’s header against the bar was as good as it got for Mansfield, who are six points above the drop zone.

Southend are eight points off third-placed Wycombe, with a game in hand.

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham:

“We gave everything we could, but we came up against a side that were better than us in certain areas.

“We matched them for large parts, but we got punished for little errors like we have done for the majority of the season.”

Read more at BBC Sport