Sunday 22 April 2018

In brief: Lennon blasts Celtic errors

Neil Lennon told his players he does not have the time to keep watching them learn harsh lessons after Dundee United defender Sean Dillon's last-gasp equaliser at Parkhead left Celtic trailing Rangers by three points.

Gary Hooper's 23rd-minute opener looked to be enough to keep the Hoops right on the tails of the champions. But in the last seconds of three minutes' added time, Dillon headed in a dramatic equaliser to stun the home support and the Celtic boss.

"You have to recognise important moments in the game and when you are 1-0 up deep in to injury-time, you have to see it out," Lennon said.

"I can't keep saying it's a learning experience because I haven't got time to keep saying that. But the players need to learn from this. There is a mentality you have to have and you need to see games out. We didn't do that."

Miller treble lifts Rangers

Kenny Miller claimed a hat-trick against 10-man Kilmarnock as Rangers fought back from behind to claim a 3-2 victory at Rugby Park and go three points clear at the top of the SPL table as rivals Celtic slipped up at home to Dundee United.

The striker converted twice from the penalty spot before grabbing the winner, with Connor Sammon netting a brace for an impressive Kilmarnock side, who had Mohamadou Sissoko sent-off for conceding both spot-kicks.

Keane's Town slip up again

Robert Koren provided the game's only moment of quality as his superb finish handed Hull a 1-0 victory over Ipswich Town in an otherwise dour Championship clash at the KC Stadium.

The affair looked to be petering out into a 0-0 draw, but Koren's fine 77th-minute strike into the bottom corner ensured the Tigers recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

After watching his team slip to a third defeat in a row, Ipswich boss Roy Keane said he's looking ahead to the next match at Norwich.

"We know what the Norwich game means to our supporters and it is a good game for us to bounce back," he said. "The effort was fine and I have no complaints about the commitment of the players."

QPR pile woe on Ferguson

Two trademark strikes from Adel Taarabt fired QPR back to the top of the Championship -- and left Preston marooned on the bottom to put more pressure on their manager Darren Ferguson, son of Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson.

QPR stretched their unbeaten start to the season to 18 games, and leapfrogged Cardiff into the bargain, courtesy of Rob Hulse's early goal and Taarabt's superb second-half double.

Preston, by contrast, were condemned to a fourth defeat in five games despite a late own-goal from Matt Connolly.

Not even a helping hand from his dad, Alex, who this week loaned him young Manchester United full-back Ritchie De Laet, could lift the gloom for the embattled North End boss.

Munich star could be sold

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has advised his own club to sell Bastian Schweinsteiger next summer.

The Germany international still has 18 months left to run on his contract and has yet to commit himself to a new deal, despite his club's attempts to convince him his future lies with them.

Many of Europe's top clubs are following developments and will have been happy to hear Van Gaal practically put the player onto the market.

"I think that Bayern Munich is a business and if it is true that €30m have been offered for him, then you cannot just ignore that kind of money," he said.

Bayern are still hoping to convince Schweinsteiger, 26, to commit to a new contract but Van Gaal feels there is no point. Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Manchester United have already been linked with Germany's vice-captain.

Pires ready to play until 40

Robert Pires has not ruled out playing until he is 40 after returning to the Premier League with Aston Villa after a four-year absence.

The former Arsenal player has signed an initial six-month contract with the midlands side at the age of 37. Pires will go straight into contention for today's Premier League clash at Blackburn Rovers after training with the Gunners for the past two months.

"If I have the mentality, I will go to six months or why not more?" he said. "Can I play until 40? I think so, yes.

"Every day, every morning, it is difficult. If you are younger, it is easy. But, if you have the mentality, it is not a problem."

Pires will be one of the senior figures in contrast to the likes of Barry Bannan, Marc Albrighton and Ciaran Clark who have just broken into the first team under Gerard Houllier.

Blackburn v Aston Villa

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