Sport Soccer

Saturday 10 December 2016

Long nets late to rescue point

Published 04/12/2011 | 05:00

QPR manager Neil Warnock praised his players despite their frustrating 1-1 draw with West Brom.

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Shane Long's late goal helped the Baggies rescue a point from a match the Rs were left wondering how they failed to win. QPR looked set to propel themselves into the top half when Heidar Helguson netted for the fourth successive Premier League match. However, they missed numerous clear-cut chances and conceded nine minutes from time much to Warnock's annoyance.

"I would be more concerned if we weren't playing brilliantly," said Warnock. Elsewhere, Blackburn boss Steve Kean found it "hard to fathom" the protests which marred Ayegbeni Yakubu's four-goal solo show in the 4-2 win over Swansea. Yakubu's heroics lifted Rovers off the foot of the table but the home support chanted for Kean's removal throughout. "I can't fathom why, when we're leading a game," said Kean.

Top two suffer shock defeats

The top two slipped up in the Championship yesterday, with Southampton and West Ham both falling to unexpected defeats.

Billy Sharp's goal on the hour inflicted a second successive defeat on leaders Southampton, lifting Doncaster off the foot of the table at the same time.

West Ham led Burnley at Upton Park thanks to Kevin Nolan's 52nd-minute goal, but Chris McCann headed an equaliser five minutes later and substitute Sam Vokes gave the Clarets their third successive win when he nodded in 15 minutes from time to make it 2-1. However, the pair still have an eight point advantage over Cardiff -- who play Birmingham today -- and Leeds. Ireland's Keith Andrews scored for Ipswich but couldn't prevent them going down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Watford, while in the evening game Middlesbrough won 1-0 away to Bristol City thanks to a Malaury Martin goal.

Emotional day at Elland Road

There were emotional scenes inside and outside Elland Road yesterday as thousands of fans remembered Leeds favourite Gary Speed. Yesterday's clash with Millwall, was the first home match at Leeds since Speed's death last weekend -- which they won 2-0.

Outside the main stand hundreds of fans ringed the shrine, which has built up in the last seven days in memory of the midfielder. Thousands of shirts, scarves and other memorabilia have been draped around the statute of Leeds legend Billy Bremner. Many were in tears as they massed in a circle around the statue in silence.

Inside the packed stadium teams stood for a minute's applause which was punctuated with chants of Speed's name. Speed's widow, Louise, and their two sons watched from the stands, as Gordon Strachan, Gary McAllister and David Batty laid wreaths on the pitch.

Brown agrees Celtic contract

Scott Brown ended speculation about his future at Celtic by signing an extended contract until the summer of 2015.

Brown had agreed the deal in principle weeks ago but talks had reached an impasse with the fee demanded by Brown's representatives reported to be the stumbling block. Celtic make the trip to Dundee United today, while league leaders Rangers won 2-1 at home to Dunfermline yesterday.

Capello eyeing up Dublin trip

Fabio Capello has set the Club England management the task of arranging two friendlies, one at home, the other away, as preparation for Euro 2012 -- with Ireland mentioned as potential opponents.

However, a first England trip to Dublin since the abandoned match at Lansdowne Road in 1995 is by no means certain. The major obstacle is UEFA, who have informed all 16 competing nations that they should not play against each other within 30 days of the tournament's opening game.

Although representations from the FAI will be made, the English FA are staying out of the debate and would have no hesitation in arranging an alternative fixture should the matter drag on.

Chelsea pair look to depart

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas says former France striker Nicolas Anelka and Brazil defender Alex have had transfer requests accepted by the Premier League club and will be free to leave in January.

"Their professionalism and integrity is never in question but on recent results and form... we have decided to assign different training times for them," said Villas-Boas yesterday. Anelka and Alex have become increasingly marginalized figures since the arrival of Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge.

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