Sunday 8 December 2019

Palace outgun timid Foxes

Leicester were given a reality check at Selhurst Park as Crystal Palace made sure a memorable week for the Foxes ended in defeat. Fraizer Campbell and Mile Jedinak settled an encounter which inherently lacked the quality both sides showed in causing upsets last Sunday.

Leicester capitalised on some wayward defending to seal their headline-making win over United last weekend but today found themselves wanting at the back.

Following a timid first half it was Palace also started the second half brighter and were ahead moments later as Jason Puncheon's deep corner was headed towards goal by Scott Dann, with Campbell scrambling it past Schemiechel. The Foxes were left bewildered from the very next Puncheon set-piece as Palace skipper Jedinak this time powered home a free-kick from the left-hand side of the box to double the hosts' advantage.

Saints pile on agony for QPR

Graziano Pelle's acrobatic volley ensured an unhappy south coast return for Harry Redknapp as Southampton saw off QPR 2-1 at St Mary's. On-loan defender Ryan Bertrand opened his Saints account to hand the hosts the lead before Charlie Austin blasted home on the turn. Pelle trumped Austin's smart finish with a showman's goal to secure Saints' fourth win in six Premier League ties.

Southampton's victory kept them second in the table, continuing new boss Ronald Koeman's fine premier league start.

Brave Swans take a point

Connor Wickham passed up a glorious opportunity to claim a first Barclays Premier League win of the season for Sunderland over 10-man Swansea.

The unmarked striker was picked out by Sebastian Larsson six yards from goal with 16 minutes of a tight contest remaining, but sent his header wastefully over the bar to let the Swans off the hook as the Black Cats had to settle for their fifth draw in six league outings.

But apart from Wickham's chance goalmouth action was at a premium and Swansea, who had Angel Rangel sent off for a second bookable offence nine minutes from time, banked a point on a day when they were far from at their best.

Guidetti seals deal for Hoops

John Guidetti's second-half strike gave Celtic a deserved 2-1 Premiership win over St Mirren in Paisley. A tangle between Guidetti, St Mirren goalkeeper Marian Kello and Jim Goodwin ended up with the ball crossing the line for Celtic's opening goal, Guidetti claiming and credited with it.

Buddies midfielder Kenny McLean levelled four minutes after the break but Celtic stormed back and their second goal arrived in the 63rd minute when Guidetti fired past Kello.

Modric strikes in Real victory

First-half goals from Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo helped Real Madrid continue their La Liga resurgence with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Villarreal. The hosts had more shots on goal and more corners but were wasteful near the goal.

Meanwhile, Barcelona's impressive start to the La Liga season continued as Neymar's hat-trick helped them to demolish a poor Granada side 6-0 at the Nou Camp.

Japan coach plays hardball

Japan coach Javier Aguirre has warned his players to shelve their egos and bring their game-face to training or risk being dumped from the team as they build for their Asian Cup title defence. The former Mexico and Espanyol coach is chasing his first win with the Blue Samurai after a loss and a draw.

"You have to feel pride when you are with the national team. I don't need players who look like they are bored. It doesn't matter how famous you are, if you are showing the attitude of a loser and not cooperating with the team, I won't need you. The team has to come before individuals," Aguirre said.

FA chairman blasts FIFA

Greg Dyke angrily hit out at FIFA over a lack of transparency and accused world football's governing body of viewing the Football Association as its "enemy". In a frank interview, Dyke branded the decision to award Qatar the 2022 World Cup a "disaster".

The FA chairman also called on the FIFA executive committee to reverse its decision to not publish the Garcia report into the bidding process behind tournament, and the 2018 World Cup, which England bid for. Dyke said the committee, including its head Sepp Blatter, would have the suspicion of foul play hanging over them regarding Qatar until the report was published.

"The board of the FA met and we took the view that it's essential the report is published," Dyke said.

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