Tuesday 19 November 2019

Vine revels in sinking Hoops

Rowan Vine admits his first goal for St Johnstone which gave Saints a shock 2-1 Scottish Premier League win over Celtic at McDiarmid Park was made more special by his affinity with Rangers.

Kris Commons drove the champions into the lead in the third minute but Gregory Tade levelled in the 18th minute with a drive from the edge of the box.

The champions were lacklustre all day and in the 80th minute they paid dearly when former QPR striker Vine curled the ball past Fraser Forster to hand the Perth club their first win of the season.

Vine was linked with a move to Rangers in the summer although interest did not go as far as talks, but that did not diminish his joy.

"I'm not a huge fan but I do like Rangers and it was nice to score against Celtic," he said. "There was interest [from Rangers] but I didn't really take it anywhere, I wanted to be here. To score against Celtic, it was unbelievable."

Irish swept away in France

A FIRST-half onslaught by France in Guingamp last night condemned Ireland's women to a fourth successive UEFA qualifying defeat, as they fell to a 4-0 loss.

Needing victory to be sure of topping the group, France sped into an eighth-minute lead through Élodie Thomis before Eugénie Le Sommer of Olympique Lyon notched a brace with strikes on 13 minutes and 43 minutes.

Ireland, guaranteed now to finish second bottom ahead of Israel who they conclude their campaign against on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, were outclassed and Julie Morel added a fourth in the 86th minute.

Real foiled by plucky Sevilla

Piotr Trochowski's second-minte goal condemned Real Madrid to a shock defeat at Sevilla. Poor marking from Madrid allowed rochowski to sweep home on the volley from the penalty spot, after Ivan Rakitic had curled the ball in from the right-hand side.

The hosts defended doggedly and held out for a memorable win, as Jose Mourinho's men continued their stuttering start to the season.

Barcelona's 4-1 away to Getafe was soured by an injury to Carles Puyol. The captain faces four to six weeks on the sidelines after falling awkwardly and twisting ligaments in his left knee.

"Puyol is very important for us and we hope he recovers soon," Barca coach Tito Vilanova told a post-match news

Lee laments Blues collapse

Birmingham boss Lee Clark was left to lament the loss of two goals and two points in the last 17 minutes as Nottingham Forest bounced back to earn a 2-2 draw.

The Blues struck with goals from Hayden Mullins and Marlon King. But Forest were given hope with a wonder goal by Simon Cox and grabbed a point thanks to fellow substitute Dan Harding.

"A point away from home is a good result, particularly against a side of Forest's ability," Clark said. "But when you are 2-0 up with little over 15 minutes left to play it is very disappointing to have to settle for a point."

Mackay rant lifts Bluebirds

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay believes a few harsh words at half-time turned the game in their favour following the 2-1 Championship home win over Leeds.

Mackay was unhappy with the Bluebirds' tempo in the opening period at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Yet a half-time dressing down for his players saw a much-improved performance and the reward of goals from Craig Bellamy and Peter Whittingham.

Rodolph Austin's free-kick for Leeds halved the deficit to set up a tense finish in the Welsh capital, but Cardiff hung on to jump into fifth place in the table.

"We spoke at half-time, upped the tempo and attacked them in different areas in the second half," Mackay said. "We had 19 chances at goal and Paddy Kenny made three or four magnificent saves. On another day we could have scored four or five."

Bruce reins in rampant Hull

Steve Bruce warned his Hull side not to let their standards slip after playing their best football of the season so far in a 4-1 win over Millwall.

The Tigers cruised to a 4-0 half-time lead with the help of three goals in eight minutes.

Jay Simpson, Abdoulaye Faye and Sone Aluko struck in the closing stages of the half to put the game beyond the visitors after Robert Koren had fired the Tigers ahead in the 14th minute.

But Bruce was unhappy his side took their feet off the gas after the break.

Striker Darius Henderson grabbed a consolation goal for Millwall midway through the second half.

"The first half was terrific, we played some really good football," Bruce said. "I think most teams would have struggled to play against us when we perform like that.

"But the human brain is a funny thing when something gets too easy and that's what we saw in the second half.

"If I'm going to be critical, the second half was exactly the opposite of what we wanted but, overall, I'm delighted with the win."

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