Sunday 17 December 2017

In brief: Bendtner still keeping faith

Nicklas Bendtner maintains Arsenal must dig deep to find the "DNA of champions" if they are to get their Premier League title bid back on track with victory at Blackpool today.

The Gunners head to Bloomfield Road in search of a first league win since February 23 and coming off a six-week spell which threatens to derail their title ambitions.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepted his team were "flat" in last weekend's frustrating goalless draw against 10-man Blackburn which left them seven points behind leaders Manchester United, albeit with a match in hand and the teams still to meet on May 1.

Bendtner, however, has every faith his team-mates can show the needed character over the remaining eight matches to secure a dream end to the season.

"We just have to pick ourselves up and get going. There will still be more twists and turns in this championship. We are still in with a chance," he said. "I firmly believe if we win all of our last eight games we will be champions, but we have to give it absolutely everything.

Blackpool v Arsenal,

Sky Sports 1, 1.30

Houllier wants Villa to battle

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier is relishing the club's fight for survival and believes the midlands club need 10 more points to ensure safety.

Villa face a difficult match against Newcastle United at Villa Park today, but the former Liverpool boss has faith in his team to get a positive result and avoid the drop.

"We know that our destiny is in our own hands. We have a league of seven games, four at home and three away, and we don't want to be in a position to blame others, to blame decisions and so on," he said.

"We just want to go ahead and be strong enough just to do the job. We've got to be strong enough to stand up to the challenge and take it on."

Aston Villa v Newcastle Utd,

Sky Sports 1, 4.0

Kirby brace guides Sligo

A brilliant second-half brace from Alan Kirby saw Sligo Rovers pull level with Shamrock Rovers at the top of the Airtricity League Premier Division last night after a 2-0 win over St Pat's at the Showgrounds.

Kirby got his first goal for the club with a superb strike on 64 minutes, and doubled his contribution nine minutes later.

Sligo: Clarke, Doyle, Foran, McGuinness, Davoren, Greene, Ryan, Kirby, Russell (Ndo 74), Dillon (Horgan 62), Blinkhorn (Cretaro 82).

St Pat's: Rogers, Pender, McMillan, Shortall, Bermingham, Kavanagh (Murphy 81), Bradley (Flood 74), Mulcahy, McFaul, McMillan, Daly (North 74).

Referee: P Sutton (Clare).

Celtic extend lead at the top

Celtic extended their lead at the top of the SPL to five points after a second-half strike from Kris Commons gave the Hoops a 1-0 win over St Mirren.

After the Hoops had largely served up a drab affair at Parkhead, Commons was thrown into the action in place of Freddie Ljungberg with 20 minutes to go and his introduction had the desired effect.

Shaun Maloney was the provider with the pass that was collected by Commons 12 yards out before he lashed the ball past the grasp of Paul Gallacher with 79 minutes on the clock.

QPR suffer shock defeat

Championship leaders QPR were stunned by rock-bottom Scunthorpe as the hosts came from behind to win 4-1 at Glanford Park.

Neil Warnock's men opened the scoring through Rob Hulse but Joe Garner equalised in the 28th minute and put the Iron ahead three minutes after the break.

Midfielder Michael O'Connor crashed home a superb third in the 58th minute and Mark Duffy added a late fourth goal for the home side.

Elsewhere, third-placed Cardiff put in a spirited display to win 3-1 at Doncaster as Jason Koumas came off the bench to score twice at the death.

Nottingham Forest's Championship play-off hopes were dealt another blow after being edged out 4-3 by Reading in a thrilling contest at the City Ground, while second-placed Norwich were beaten 3-0 away to Swansea.

Kaka double boosts Madrid

Kaka scored twice from the penalty spot to lead a weakened Real Madrid to a 3-0 win at Athletic Bilbao that kept their title hopes alive.

The Brazilian midfielder netted early in each half after Angel di Maria was twice brought down in the area, and Cristiano Ronaldo came off the bench to seal victory in the 70th minute.

Barcelona saw off Almeria 3-1 at the Nou Camp. Lionel Messi cancelled out Corona's 50th-minute opener. Thiago Alcamatra and Messi from the penalty spot sealed the win.

Sunday Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport