In Brief: Magpies eager to halt slump
Published 02/12/2012 | 05:00
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is hoping skipper Fabricio Coloccini can help spark a Toon revival.
The 30-year-old Argentina international returned to action at Stoke on Wednesday evening after a three-match domestic ban and there was a significant improvement in Newcastle's defence.
Coloccini was sent off for a late challenge on Liverpool's Luis Suarez during the 1-1 draw at Anfield in November, and Pardew believes the defeats the Magpies suffered at the hands of West Ham, Swansea – both at St James' Park – and Southampton in his absence were no coincidence.
As a result, Pardew's men head into tomorrow night's home clash with Wigan desperately needing a win if they are to stave off a relegation scrap, which was not even on their horizon as they kicked off the campaign.
The Magpies have not lost four consecutive Premier League games since the 2008-09 campaign.
Becchio magic lifts Leeds
Leeds manager Neil Warnock is hoping Luciano Becchio's current form continues after the Argentinian struck twice in a 4-2 win at West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield.
Huddersfield midfielder Chris Atkinson gave his side an early lead but Michael Tonge equalised thanks to home goalkeeper Alex Smithies' mistake.
Becchio put the visitors ahead with a fine finish in the 37th minute. Town midfielder Adam Clayton levelled from the penalty spot after Becchio's pull on Peter Clarke in the area just before half time, but Leeds were superior after the break and scored twice more through David Norris and Becchio, who headed home his 14th goal of the season in the 86th minute to seal a 4-2 win.
Leeds are now firmly back in play-off contention after three straight wins.
McShane grabs winner for Hull
Paul McShane netted the winner as Hull City maintained their Championship promotion push with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.
It was a tale of two penalties in the first half of a drab encounter as Robert Koren put Hull in front before Billy Sharp levelled with his spot kick in the 43rd minute. Ireland defender McShane won it for the Tigers with a close-range header after 69 minutes.
Doyle's brace buoys Wolves
Wolves recorded an emphatic away win at Bristol City to ease the pressure on manager Stale Solbakken.
His struggling side came into this match without a win in nine games, their worst sequence at this level for 21 years, but they blew away City in a fantastic first half thanks to goals from Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Bjorn Sigurdarson and a Kevin Doyle double.
Ireland striker Doyle had only scored three times in 19 appearances this season. His first goal saw the former Reading striker pick the ball up in his own half and run unchallenged before impressively slotting home.
Doyle came very close to his hat-trick after the break. Neil Danns's classy goal in the 85th minute gave the City fans something to cheer about, but it ended 4-1 to the visitors.
Celtic stunned by Doris leveller
Steven Doris'S dramatic late free-kick means Celtic will have to replay their Scottish Cup fourth-round tie against third-tier side Arbroath.
The hosts nevertheless went ahead in the 35th minute when Stewart Malcolm hammered a clearance from the byline off the back of fellow Red Lichties defender Alex Keddie and into the net.
The SPL champions created and missed a host of chances while also being foiled by Arbroath goalkeeper Scott Morrison. With four minutes remaining, Doris shocked the home side when his deflected drive beat Lukasz Zaluska in the Celtic goal.
Garvan caps off Palace victory
Glenn Murray scored twice and Irishman Owen Garvan once to clinch a memorable derby victory which sent Crystal Palace to the top of the Championship.
An early Garvan free-kick hit the crossbar but Murray later headed home a corner to take the lead. Later, Murray stepped up to fire home his 17th goal of the season from the spot. In the 71st minute, Garvan also converted a penalty to seal a 3-0 win.
Meanwhile, Leicester wrapped up an eighth home win of the campaign with a 4-1 success over Derby County, with substitute David Nugent bagging a brace.
Bayern maintain eight-point lead
Leaders Bayern Munich and champions Borussia Dortmund drew their much-hyped Bundesliga clash 1-1 to leave the Bavarians eight points clear at the top.
Bayern took the lead against the run of play with a fine 67th-minute shot from Toni Kroos but seven minutes later Mario Goetze slotted in the equaliser for the visitors from a Marco Reus corner.
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