Saturday 16 December 2017

Tired Bhoys lose at home

Billy McKay's second-half goal gave Inverness a shock win over lacklustre Celtic in their Premier League clash at Parkhead.

Following their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Benfica in Lisbon in midweek, Hoops boss Neil Lennon had claimed fatigue was impacting on his squad and it looked that way as they never got going against the neat and tidy visitors.

Kris Commons and Mikael Lustig missed good chances for the home side in an otherwise dull first half and there was no second-half surge from the champions.

Caley's goal came through a swift counter; Roberts took a pass from Doran inside the Celtic box, turned inside Adam Matthews and Charlie Mulgrew, and fired the ball across for McKay to guide past Forster, with the home fans claiming offside.

The visitors were made to defend for the rest of the match but held on for the win, as Celtic Park echoed to the sound of boos at the final whistle.

"Our play in the final third wasn't good enough," Lennon said. "The home form is becoming a concern, it is one point out of nine and that is simply not good enough."

Menezes axed from Brazil job

One of the senior figures in the Brazilian Football Confederation has criticised the decision to sack national coach Mano Menezes, claiming it was ill-timed less than two years out from the World Cup.

Andres Sanchez, general manager of the national squads, revealed it was the confederation president's decision to remove Menezes, saying Jose Maria Marin wanted a new approach ahead of the 2014 tournament in Brazil.

Sanchez, who was the one to announce Menezes' sacking, said: "I think this was not the time to make this call, it's giving up on the work done. But I understand the criteria. It's the president's decision and he wants different methods for the next year."

Sanchez revealed a new boss would be announced at the start of January and there were at least seven candidates in contention, with Pep Guardiola and Luiz Felipe Scolari among the names mentioned.

Leeds 'restart' with victory

Leeds manager Neil Warnock delivered on his promise that the season started yesterday as his side kicked off their new era by ending Crystal Palace's 14-game unbeaten run.

And, although the goals scored by Luciano Becchio and Paul Green do not mask the fact Leeds had gone seven without a win prior to yesterday, leaving them far from Premier League material, this was as good a start as they and new owners GFH could have wished for.

Equally, a first defeat since their Capital One Cup defeat to Preston on August 28 does not spell disaster for Palace, although Cardiff's win means top spot is no longer theirs.

Tractor Boys in dull draw

Ipswich and Peterborough are the bottom two in the Championship after the two played out an easily forgettable encounter at Portman Road.

The travelling 500 or so Posh fans will have been happy at half-time after watching Lee Tomlin's sixth goal of the season hand them an eighth-minute lead. But it was not enough to claim all three points as Tomlin turned villain on the hour as he brought down Lee Martin in the penalty area, leaving on-loan QPR striker DJ Campbell to equalise from the spot.

Meanwhile, at Pride Park substitute Nathan Tyson bagged the winner six minutes from time as Derby bounced back from successive defeats with a 3-2 win over Birmingham in the Championship. Tyson put the Rams ahead for a third time after Conor Sammon's two goals were cancelled out by Marlon King's penalty and a Peter Lovenkrands header.

Forest extend unbeaten run

Adlene Guedioura marked his return to Molineux with the winning goal against his former club Wolves as Nottingham Forest earned a 2-1 victory to extend their unbeaten run to four Championship games.

Guedioura's 57th-minute rocket from long range settled the game in the visiting side's favour after Billy Sharp had cancelled out Bjorn Sigurdarson's early opener. Wolves went fortuitously ahead after five minutes. Jermaine Pennant's attempted pass to Kevin Doyle deflected off a Forest defender and into the path of Sigurdarson who finished emphatically from just inside the box.

Forest were back on level terms after 16 minutes. Sharp brilliantly brought down Lansbury's long, diagonal pass and the striker kept his composure to slide a shot beneath Carl Ikeme with his next touch. Wolves started the second half sluggishly and never improved.

Cox shot straight at Ikeme before Guedioura's 25-yard thunderbolt saw the visitors take the lead, which they never relinquished.

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