Sport Soccer

Friday 21 July 2017

In brief: Gijon put stop to Barca run

Barcelona's record La Liga run of 16 straight victories fizzled to a frustrating end when the league leaders had to fight back from a goal down to rescue a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon last night.

Poor defending from Gerard Pique and Gabriel Milito let Gijon striker David Barral in to score in the 16th minute before David Villa equalised against his former club with an exquisite chip 10 minutes from time.

The draw gives Real Madrid a chance to cut Barca's lead to five points with a win at Espanyol tonight.

Earlier, Atletico Madrid's chances of qualifying for Europe receded when Diego Forlan fluffed a penalty and former Spain winger Joaquin struck twice to give Valencia a 2-1 comeback win.

Coyle sings Moyes' praises

Owen Coyle will today pit his wits against a man he believes could manage any team in the world when Bolton host Everton.

The Toffees have certainly not had one of their best seasons since David Moyes took over the hotseat nearly nine years ago and head into today's s Premier League clash three points worse off than Wanderers.

Bolton boss Coyle, though, has nothing but praise for his fellow Scot, particularly given the financial constraints he has had to work within at Goodison Park.

"David is an outstanding manager,'' said Coyle. "When you look at the job he's done and the heights he's taken Everton to with limited resources, for me he's capable of managing anybody in world football.

"And if he did (move to a bigger club), I've got no doubt that major honours would come on the back of it."

The visitors will at least go into the meeting on the back of a victory after last weekend's 5-3 win over Blackpool, although the four-goal star of that performance -- Louis Saha -- has been sidelined by injury.

Coyle will assess the condition of his international contingent before deciding whether to make changes.

New faces a hit for Gers

January signings Kyle Bartley and David Healy made impressive debuts in Rangers' 6-0 romp over Motherwell in the SPL

Arsenal defender Bartley, who was on loan at Sheffield United before sealing a similar move to the Scottish champions, made his first appearance when he started in the holding midfield role usually occupied by the injured Lee McCulloch.

Healy also had a maiden bow to remember when he completed the rout at Ibrox following Steven Naismith's opener, a hat-trick from Nikica Jelavic and an own goal by Shaun Hutchinson.

Elliott double boosts Hearts

A Stephen Elliott double gave Hearts a comfortable win over SPL bottom side Hamilton at New Douglas Park.

The visitors dominated from the first whistle and there was no surprise when the Irishman headed the Gorgie side into the lead in the 22nd minute from a Lee Wallace cross.

Then a minute after the break Elliott deflected in a Marius Zaliukas header from a Rudi Skacel corner.

Clough denies Derby exit

Nigel Clough denied rumours he had either resigned or been sacked after his Derby side's poor form continued with a 2-0 home defeat against Leicester.

The Rams have now lost five of their last six games in all competitions and are just seven points above the relegation zone after this latest setback.

Goals from Ayegbeni Yakubu and Andy King continued Leicester's impressive form and left Clough to answer questions about his future.

Norwich steal it at the death

Captain Grant Holt netted a stoppage-time winner as Norwich produced yet another late show to see off Reading 2-1 at Carrow Road .

Norwich took the lead in the 16th minute when Henri Lansbury, on loan from Arsenal, netted for the second successive home game but Reading levelled 10 minutes later through Republic of Ireland striker Shane Long with his 14th goal of the season.

Leeds now go five unbeaten

Leeds UNITED extended their unbeaten run in the npower Championship to five matches with a 2-0 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate.

Robert Snodgrass put United ahead with a superb solo effort after 17 minutes before Max Gradel made the points safe with a clinical finish five minutes into the second half.

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