Sunday 22 October 2017

Soccer in brief: Rooney out of Swans clash

Manchester United Manager David Moyes
Manchester United Manager David Moyes

Manchester United manager David Moyes has confirmed that Wayne Rooney will miss today's FA Cup third-round tie against Swansea.

Rooney has been nursing a groin problem and sat out the trip to Norwich on December 28. The 28-year-old returned for the New Year's Day home defeat by Tottenham, but was pictured on Friday leaving a private hospital in Manchester having had further scans to establish the extent of the injury. United have given no update on Rooney's fitness.

The United boss has also ruled Robin van Persie out of the Swansea game as the Dutchman is still recovering from a thigh problem.

LENNON CALLS FOR MORE ZEST

Neil Lennon wants his Celtic side to perform with "a little more zest" against St Mirren in Paisley today as the Hoops look to extend their unbeaten Scottish Premiership run to 20 games.

However, Celtic's last three matches have been won by a single goal and the Parkhead boss noticed a flatness in the second half against Partick Thistle on Wednesday.

"I just want us to play with a little more zest," said Lennon. "We have had a heavy schedule of games but we have had an extra day (over St Mirren) to recover from the Thistle game."

The champions are 11 points clear of Motherwell with a game in hand but Lennon does not believe ninth-placed St Mirren will be the expected pushover.

"They like to play football but they will play with a bit of intensity, so I expect it to be a harum scarum type of game," he said.

COVENTRY RALLY PAST BARNSLEY

Second-half goals from Franck Moussa and Leon Clarke saw Coventry City come from behind to win 2-1 at Barnsley.

Meanwhile, a first-half strike from Andrew Crofts proved enough to see Brighton through 1-0 over Reading.

Aswad Thomas' last-gasp own goal denied non-league Grimsby a replay at Huddersfield, who came back late to beat the Mariners 3-2 after Ross Hannah and Craig Disley had given the hosts the lead, sandwiched by Oliver Norwood's goal.

Former Grimsby striker Martin Paterson then equalised on 85 minutes before Thomas's late intervention spared Huddersfield's blushes.

DAVIES EARNS PRESTON REPLAY

Kevin Davies earned Preston an FA Cup replay after they came from behind to draw 1-1 with in-form Ipswich.

Steve Williams's second-half effort earned non-league Macclesfield a replay with a 1-1 draw against Sheffield Wednesday, while Stoke reached the fourth round after withstanding a Leicester fightback to win 2-1, with goals from Kenwyne Jones and Charlie Adam proving decisive.

MESSI ON BRINK OF COMEBACK

Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino says Lionel Messi has returned from his injury lay-off with the "eyes of a killer," although he has left his star forward out of the squad for today's league clash with Elche.

"From what I see (Messi) is excited to play, he is fit, with the eyes of a killer, but he still lacks playing time," said Martino. Messi trained with his team-mates this week for the first time since tearing his left hamstring in November.

KOKE SENDS ATLETICO TOP

Atletico Madrid needed a second-half goal from midfielder Jorge 'Koke' Resurreccion to eke out a 1-0 win at Malaga yesterday, putting them in pole position in La Liga.

Diego Costa delivered the key pass to unlock the hosts' stingy defence in the 70th minute as Atletico moved eight points clear of third-placed rivals Real Madrid, who host Celta Vigo tomorrow.

Elsewhere, Real Betis remained bottom of the table after a drab 0-0 draw at Valladolid. It was Betis's second point away from home this season.

LEWANDOWSKI TO JOIN BAYERN

Bayern Munich have ended much speculation after confirming Robert Lewandowski will join them from Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Lewandowski had announced his intention to quit the Westfalenstadion once his contract expires at the end of the season, and has been continually linked with domestic and European champions Bayern.

The Bavarian giants confirmed they had reached an agreement with the Poland international, who has put pen to paper on a five-year deal from July 1.

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "We are very pleased that this transfer is successful. Lewandowski is one of the world's best strikers, he will strengthen the squad and give us a boost."

LAZIO BOSS PETKOVIC AXED

Vladimir Petkovic has been sacked as coach of Lazio and replaced by his predecessor Edoardo Reja.

Reja, 68, had taken charge of training sessions this week even though Petkovic had said that he been told nothing in writing by Lazio and still considered himself to be their coach. Petkovic, who took over at the start of last season, signed a deal just before Christmas to take charge of the Swiss national side from next season.

Irish Independent

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