Friday 23 March 2018

In Brief: Lennon hails Celtic's desire

NEIL LENNON claims his players proved doubters wrong with their desire to fight back to beat Aberdeen 4-3 in a thrilling encounter at Parkhead.

An injury-time strike from substitute Georgios Samaras took the champions back 15 points clear of Motherwell at the top of the table.

Kris Commons fired the home side into the lead with just 12 seconds gone. Scott Vernon levelled with a minute of the first half to go and Josh Magennis grabbed a double after the break. However, Charlie Mulgrew reduced the deficit before Gary Hooper equalised with three minutes to go. That left the stage set for Samaras to hook in the winner.

"People were criticising the players for complacency and not showing enough desire, but when the fourth goal went in you could see what it meant to them," said Lennon.

Elding brace boosts Sligo

Anthony Elding bagged a brace at the Showgrounds as Airtricity League champions Sligo Rovers beat Bray Wanderers 3-0.

A 2,684 crowd witnessed Sligo eke out another victory against a well organised Bray, who had frustrated the Bit O'Red. Sligo eventually took the lead in the 39th minute when Lee Lynch's splendid cross was headed home by the bustling Elding.

After the restart, Gary Rogers twice had to be alert to make saves to deny Bray veteran Gary Dempsey before Elding (87) and sub Kieran Djilali (90) sealed the deal with late goals.

Doyle winner lifts Wolves

TWO goals in four second-half minutes against Bristol City earned struggling Wolves their first win at Molineux under Dean Saunders. David Davis scored a freak own goal to give the rock-bottom visitors a first-half lead.

But Sylvan Ebanks-Blake and Kevin Doyle converted two Stephen Hunt crosses to earn just their second victory in 2013 and end a seven-game winless run at home.

McGuigan hits Hull hopes

NOTTINGHAM Forest extended their winning run under Billy Davies to six and dented Hull's Championship automatic promotion hopes with a thrilling 2-1 victory at the KC Stadium.

Substitute Lewis McGugan slotted home a late winner, to cement the visitors' place in the play-off positions. George Boyd had given the home side the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Darius Henderson equalised after the restart.

'Fatal defeat' for Leeds

LEEDS manager Neil Warnock has already spoken to the club's owners about his possible successor after watching his side's play-off hopes dealt a huge blow by Huddersfield.

Terriers midfielder Neil Danns volleyed home his first goal for the club in the 54th minute and although Leeds substitute Aidy White headed home with his first touch soon after, James Vaughan held his nerve to slide home an 86th-minute winner for the visitors, who triumphed 2-1. Warnock admitted yesterday's loss felt "like a fatal defeat".

McKay puts Caley third

Billy McKay's controversial penalty secured Inverness a 2-1 home win against Highland rivals Ross County, lifting them above the Staggies into third place in the SPL.

The Northern Ireland striker's 24th goal of the campaign ended County's 11-game unbeaten run.

McKay netted the winner in the 59th minute from the penalty spot. It came after Andrew Shinnie's close-range opener in five minutes for Caley was cancelled out by a Paul Lawson strike.

Real recover after setbacks

REAL Madrid woke from their slumber with a three-goal blast at the start of the second half as they came back to beat lowly Real Mallorca 5-2 in La Liga.

Third from bottom Mallorca twice went in front with headers against Madrid at the Bernabeu before the hosts rallied after the break.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain, with his second of the game, netted in a six-minute spell and substitute Karim Benzema notched a fifth goal at the end to leave Jose Mourinho's side in second place.

Sahin brace for Dortmund

BORUSSIA DORTMUND came from behind to rout Freiburg 5-1 and consolidate second place in the Bundesliga.

Jonathan Schmid put the visitors ahead, but a brace each from Robert Lewandowski and Nuri Sahin put Dortmund in control before before Leonardo Bittencourt wrapped up the scoring.

Irish Independent

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