Saturday 27 May 2017

Keane treble boosts Bhoys

Robbie Keane's second-half hat-trick ensured Celtic beat Kilmarnock 3-0 in their Scottish Cup quarter-final clash at Rugby Park.

The home side had the best of the first period with striker Allan Russell clipping the bar with a shot. However, the tide turned in the 63rd minute when Keane opened the scoring from Edson Braafheid's long ball and two goals within a minute secured the visitors a place in tomorrow's semi-final draw.

Like last week's win at Falkirk, where Keane helped himself to a brace, the Republic of Ireland international showed why he is worth his £65,000 per week wages with his eighth goal in eight games since arriving from Tottenham in January.

And having dropped 13 points behind Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Rangers, Hoops' boss Tony Mowbray will be glad that his side recovered from an indifferent first half in which a cup exit looked possible.

Keane played down his role in the win. "The most important thing is getting the win and getting into the next round," he said.

"The first half we didn't play well and the manager said a few things and we were better in the second half. I believe in my own ability -- that if I get chances I'll score goals."

Guardiola fury over card 'lies'

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has accused officials of lying in their match report following his sending off during last weekend's 2-2 draw at Almeria in La Liga.

Guardiola will have to watch today's game at home to third-placed Valencia from the stands after the club's appeal against his dismissal for protesting a decision was rejected by the Spanish football federation. "I have seen the footage and I am not very proud," he said. "Seeing it I can understand the sending off and I don't like seeing myself like that. But when someone lies you have to appeal. They (the officials) lied in the match report and put things in there that I did not say."

Referee Carlos Clos Gomez wrote in his match report that he had sent Guardiola to the stands in the 27th minute for leaving his technical area and putting his face close to that of the assistant referee and waving his arms.

He quoted Guardiola as saying: "Your decisions are the wrong way around" and "You don't understand anything".

Tevez wants Bridge repeat

Carlos Tevez believes it is imperative Manchester City maintain the level of performance which saw Chelsea demolished if a top-four place is to be achieved.

The Argentina striker scored a brace in the 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge to take his tally for the season to 21. Next up are Sunderland today and Tevez is anxious to get going again.

"We've been playing very well and we've had some great results against the top sides," he said.

"But with the so-called weaker teams we have not done so well, not necessarily because we have not played so well, but because the result has not gone our way. The thing now is for us to make sure we keep calling on the spirit that we showed at Chelsea and continue to play the way we are doing."

Hiddink turns down Drogba

Guus Hiddink has turned down repeated appeals from Didier Drogba to manage the Ivory Coast at this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The Dutchman, who managed Elephants striker Drogba at Chelsea, is currently contracted to Russia but will move to take charge of Turkey when his deal expires. Both nations have failed to make this summer's finals and Drogba lobbied Hiddink to request he would lead the Ivory Coast's Group G campaign against Brazil, North Korea and Portugal.

But the 63-year-old turned down an offer following talks with Ivory Coast football federation president Jacques Anouma.

"Although I had a great conversation with the federal president and chief executive Jacques Anouma, I myself had already decided not to go," he said.

"It was a decision taken to avoid unnecessary confusion. Though I must admit that with the Ivory Coast it has not been easy."

Cretaro books Bohs semi date

Bohemians topped Setanta Sports Cup Group 2 following an entertaining 1-1 draw with Glentoran at Dalymount Park.

Gary Hamilton headed the visitors into the lead on 51 minutes but Raffaele Cretaro's fine drive put Bohs level 10 minutes later. Glentoran couldn't find the second goal that would have secured their passage to the last four.

Despite losing to Linfield in Belfast, St Pat's better goal difference in Group 3 ensures they take the last semi-final. Peter Thompson earned Linfield a 1-0 win.

Sunday Independent

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