“I deal with a good performance the same as a poor performance – you have to accept it and move on,” he told Press Association Sport after Liverpool ended a three-match losing run in the league. “What I did after the (Ludogorets) game was look forward to the next game and that is what I will do again today. “It is always pleasing as a goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet but the most important thing is to get back to winning ways and hopefully we can build a bit of momentum now. “If you play at home you want to win games and we did the job and that is all that counts. “There is another game on Tuesday (against bottom side Leicester) and we will look forward to that one.” After an instantly forgettable first half which saw Liverpool lack any semblance of cutting edge or even an idea of how they were to break down Stoke they improved after the break. However, Jordan Henderson, standing in for the rested Steven Gerrard as captain, Raheem Sterling, Lucas Leiva and Rickie Lambert all had decent chances to score, but it was only after the visitors had hit the post through Bojan Krkic and Mignolet had produced a brilliant close-range block to deny Mame Biram Diouf that the winner came – from the most unlikely of sources. Henderson swung in a cross for Lambert to head over goalkeeper Asmir Begovic and back off the crossbar and right-back Glen Johnson was quickest to react with a low diving header to bundle the ball over the line with five minutes remaining. Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has shrugged off criticism aimed at him and insists he does not dwell on individual performances whether they are good or bad. Liverpool survived a nervous seven minutes of stoppage time to record only their third clean sheet of the season in a defence which saw one change from the midweek Champions League draw with Jose Enrique in at left-back, allowing Johnson to switch to his preferred right with Javier Manquillo the one to miss out. That meant a first league start since February 12 for Kolo Toure, who had impressed at centre-back in the last two European matches. “He has got the experience. He has played throughout the years and he knows what he is capable of doing,” Mignolet said of the 33-year-old Ivorian. “He can help the team and organise them so we know what to expect from him and he works his socks off every day in training and is always ready when the gaffer needs him.” Despite playing behind another changed back four Mignolet said it made no difference to him. “We are professional football players so we have to deal with that,” he added. “You train with all the lads in training every single day so you know what they can do and you know what their capabilities are.” Stoke manager Mark Hughes felt his side deserved a point with summer signing Krkic impressing. “I thought the outstanding player was Bojan. He was unfortunate to hit the post and had an outstanding volley at the end,” said the Potters boss. “Everyone saw the quality he has. He is getting stronger in every game. “He is enjoying the Premier League, enjoying playing for us. We need to give him the ball more often because he has the ability to produce.” The Belgium international came under even more scrutiny after an error in the midweek Champions League tie but responded with only his third clean sheet in 25 appearances in the scrappy 1-0 win over Stoke. Former Liverpool goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar this week blamed him for the club’s poor start to the campaign, criticising his inability to deal with crosses or command his area, but it has not even registered with Mignolet. Press Association
Press Association Ian Keatley knocked over his third successful penalty but Munster were unable to cross the whitewash on a frustrating night for the two-time European Cup winners. Foley admitted afterwards: “It was a very poor start (from us). That allowed Clermont to get belief and obviously gave them five points (with Lee’s try). “From there, they grew into the game and we didn’t get as physically into the game as we would have liked and some of that is turning over ball and not making good use of the ball, putting pressure on them. We soaked up a lot of pressure and ended up giving out points to them.” “We came into the game very confident to get a physical job done on them. We are not looking for excuses. Clermont were the better team here and we need to rectify that for next week. We need to be able to go over there and get one back.” Foley insists they are still very much in with a chance of quarter-final qualification, sitting second in the pool table just a point behind Clermont. Next weekend’s trip to the Stade Marcel Michelin is hugely significant and Foley explained: ” I don’t think we’re going to throw in any towel and we’ll give it our best shot. We’ll make sure that we stay fighting. “We’ve got to stay true to the badge that we’re wearing and turn up next week. It’s not a great feeling at the moment in the Munster camp so we need to rectify that,” he added. “We just need to turn up and play. We didn’t do that today. We made too many errors. We allowed them a good foothold in the game and they are good players. “We have good players but you can’t give those players front foot ball, an opportunity or a half-break. They make hay.” Meanwhile, Clermont boss Franck Azema was pleased with his side’s defensive effort which gave them the platform for the club’s second ever win on Irish spoil – they also beat Leinster at the Aviva Stadium in a December 2012 pool game. He said: “(I’m) happy, but we are only halfway. The first part is finished and the second part starts next week but it’s a good position to be in. “We know in both games it is important to take maximum points but we are in a good position tonight – but when you see the last five minutes (when Munster came hard at us) and the score, we may be wary (of) next week. “We were in a comfortable position to win the game (at half-time) but the last five minutes showed that it was not finished. Certainly next week we have a big game. “Our defence was good, was strong. In the last five minutes we were able to control this and I’m very proud of the players because they give it their all in the last five minutes.” Clermont became the first French team to beat Munster at their Limerick fortress, ending a 23-match winning streak in such fixtures for the Irish province. The Reds’ only previous European home defeats came against Leicester Tigers (2007) and Ulster (2012). Man-of-the-match Fritz Lee and Wesley Fofana both touched down in the opening quarter, with Camille Lopez’s penalty and drop goal making it 16-6 to the French giants. Munster head coach Anthony Foley bemoaned his side’s ‘very poor start’ as Clermont Auvergne’s 16-9 victory at Thomond Park moved them to the top of European Champions Cup Pool 1One.
Academy graduate Lloyd Isgrove has signed a two-year contract extension at Southampton. Having joined Saints aged nine, the midfielder has this season gone onto make four first-team appearances for the club. Isgrove, now 22, has seen such progress rewarded by a contract extension until 2017, having previously penned successive one-year deals at St Mary’s. “It’s a bit of security,” the Welsh midfielder told Southampton’s official YouTube channel. “I’m 22 now so obviously this takes me to 24. “It won’t stop me working hard and pushing in training. That’s a good age to be playing at a high level. “It shows that they believe in my abilities. They want me on a two-year instead of doing the one-years that I’ve previously done before, which is only positive for me. “It’s probably the biggest two years of my career so far. If I can get a run of games and stuff, I can really push on and really establish myself as a professional player.” Press Association
Press Association “She’s very well. She’s going in as an underdog but deserves to take her chance. She’s only had the two runs and is a winner and a black-type filly already,” said O’Callaghan. “She was entitled to get tired on her first run and did get tired but still finished third. “The mile on better ground will suit her more and we’re hoping for a big run.” Mick Channon’s Malabar, fourth in the Guineas at Newmarket, leads the British raiders, while James Given runs both Pastoral Girl and Russian Punch. In Jack Naylor and Bocca Baciata, Harrington must surely not have had a better chance of landing her first Group One on the Flat since Pathfork won the National Stakes five years ago. Jack Naylor achieved far more at two, beating subsequent Newmarket Guineas winner Legatissimo on her final start, but she will be having her first outing for 231 days. While Jessica Harrington is better known as the trainer of the likes of former champion hurdler Jezki and legendary chaser Moscow Flyer, she is no stranger to saddling big winners on the level and has two fine chances in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh. Bocca Baciata was slower to come to hand, but was not beaten far by tomorrow’s favourite, Found, on her debut in August and looked very good in beating Jim Bolger’s Pleascach, subsequently a Group Three winner and whom she meets again, in the Salsabil Stakes on her return. Alan Cooper, racing manager to Bocca Baciata’s owners, Flaxman Stables, said: “The filly is very well and her form lines look very good. “She won on yielding ground on her first run of the year and I think that suits her very well, but I don’t think better ground would be a problem, either. “She’s coming back to a mile, which shouldn’t be a problem. We’ll see what happens.” As well as Found, Aidan O’Brien runs Kissed By Angels, who was an impressive winner of a trial two weeks ago where she beat Willie McCreery’s Devonshire, but her connections want another crack at the winner. She was supplemented by Godolphin on Monday. “I’m very happy with her, she has been working well and I believe running her in the Irish 1,000 Guineas is the right thing to do,” McCreery told www.godolphin.com. Michael O’Callaghan is in search of the biggest win of his career with Military Angel, who has only had two runs.
Press Association Police are to clamp down on known troublemakers in a bid to head off problems at England’s friendly clash with the Republic of Ireland in Dublin next month. The two nations meet in the city on June 7, the first time they have done so since rioting England supporters forced the abandonment of a friendly in February 1995. Acquaintances were renewed in May 2013 when Ireland travelled to Wembley for a 1-1 friendly draw, a game which passed without incident. However, after witnessing a deterioration in behaviour among travelling supporters at England’s last four away games, police are to enforce football banning orders for the game at the Aviva Stadium. Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead on football policing, said: “It has been a point of pride in recent years that England fans’ behaviour has completely moved on from the dark days of the 1980s. “We have been able to tell overseas police colleagues that they will not encounter the sort of problems that used to be associated with England fans. “While the majority of fans continue to behave themselves, in the last four England away fixtures, we have seen a significant amount of drunken anti-social behaviour, unpleasant chanting aimed at provoking home supporters, and a small number of people who seem to take every opportunity to create distress for others. “Regrettably, that means we have to increase our enforcement activity using tactics that proved successful in addressing these problems in the past.” Fans subject to banning orders are already have to surrender their passports and for the first time in four years, will also be required to attend nominated police stations and confirm attendance with a signature. Those who fail to comply will be rounded up by police in a national operation. ACC Roberts said: “Given the deterioration in fan behaviour and the proximity of Dublin, I have reintroduced the requirement to sign on at a police station as well as to surrender passports. “We will be running a national operation to round up those who fail to comply before and immediately after the fixture. “To make triply sure of compliance, these measures will be supplemented with all official England Supporters Travelling Club members being required to collect their tickets in person in Dublin with photo ID. “I am in regular contact with the FA and other partners in the football community and, while there is no specific intelligence as yet to suggest planned disorder, there is sufficient concern to take proactive action to ensure that fans are clear that bad behaviour is not acceptable and will face serious sanctions. “Football policing ‘spotters’ from England will also be present in Dublin and the Aviva Stadium to gather evidence of any bad behaviour and ensure anyone who offends faces the consequences of their actions. We are working closely with An Garda Siochana to support their operation.”
Chelsea boss Mourinho has accused Arsenal of trying to buy their way to the Premier League title, claiming totting up the Gunners’ spending over the last two years leads to a “surprise”. Wenger attempted to downplay the pair’s simmering feud ahead of Sunday’s meeting, but conceded the contest is bound to carry a level of spice. “You know, it will not be a friendly, because it is just like that – and it is good like that,” said Wenger. “That’s part of our game now – you have to accept that every game is judged as though it’s definite. “But you know in real life it is not like that. “The tribunal is out there and we’ll draw conclusions from Sunday, but no matter if it’s positive or negative we have to continue on our way and focus on ourselves.” Asked if his winless personal record against Mourinho was any concern, Wenger replied: “No, not at all.” Wenger then moved quickly to shoot down the line of inquiry, laughing off suggestions his relationship with Mourinho is far colder than his previous rivalry with ex-Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson. Press Association Wenger accepted there would be few pleasantries when Arsenal face Chelsea in Sunday’s Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday. The Gunners’ French manager is prepared for the “tribunal” of public scrutiny he believes follows every big clash in English football, vowing not to alter his Premier League plans win or lose this weekend. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists he remains unfazed by his inability to register a single victory over Jose Mourinho in 13 attempts. “I’ll leave your love story with him to continue without interfering,” joked Wenger, light-heartedly suggesting the media favour Mourinho. “I wouldn’t like to interfere in that.” When challenged that Mourinho believes it is Arsenal who receive preferential treatment, Wenger replied: “So it’s all about love.” Returning to the weight carried by Sunday’s Community Shield, Wenger continued: “It’s a game that is important, but it’s still preparation. “We want to win it but overall I think we can just give that little bit more confidence before we go into the season if we do well.” New recruit Petr Cech is expected to start in goal on Sunday in a quick-fire showdown with former club Chelsea. Wenger backed the 33-year-old for a lengthy stint at the Emirates. “He has an intimidating presence, that is for sure,” said Wenger. “In goal, he makes the goal look smaller, and that’s the kind of charisma he has. “But he has big size as well. “He has a good combination between quality, agility and size, and he has always looked built for English football. “And he’s a very bright boy as well. “I think his move is a bit like Van der Saar at that age, moving from Fulham to Manchester United and he still had five or six years with United. “So I don’t see why Petr should not have a few years. “He’s very serious, trains well, so there’s no big problem.”
Newcastle goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman is leaving St James’ Park to join former Magpies manager Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. “It is sad to be leaving, but I am also very proud that my son Freddie remains part of the club and I am sure he has a bright future playing for Newcastle.” Freddie Woodman, 18, this week joined Crawley on loan. Newcastle also said they had been given permission by Anderlecht to field Chancel Mbemba in Saturday’s home friendly against Borussia Monchengladbach. Defender Mbemba is joining Newcastle from Belgian side Anderlecht, but needs to obtain a visa before he can play in a competitive game and the transfer, agreed by all parties, can be finalised. Newcastle hope Mbemba will be free to face Southampton in their league opener on Sunday, August 9. The club said in a statement: “The club would like to thank Anderlecht for their co-operation in this matter. “The player has an appointment overseas midweek to make his formal visa application, which we expect to be issued in order that he can be available for selection for the club’s first game of the Premier League season.” The move was announced by Newcastle on Friday, the club stating Woodman would go immediately and a successor would be sought. Former Oxford and Northampton goalkeeper Woodman, 43, said: “It’s been particularly pleasing during my time here to have worked with Tim Krul and played a part in him rising through the ranks to become the club’s first choice goalkeeper and a regular international. Press Association
One of those defeats came against Tony Pulis, whose West Brom side beat the Blues 3-0 at the Hawthorns in May. Pulis had also got the better of Jose Mourinho’s men while in charge of Crystal Palace in March 2014 so on Sunday he will be aiming for a third win in a row over Chelsea. Ahead of Sunday’s clash with Tony Pulis’ West Brom, here Press Association Sport looks at Jose Mourinho’s troubles with Ps. Alan PARDEW December 6, 2014: Newcastle 2 Chelsea 1 Papiss Cisse’s goal inflicted Chelsea’s third successive league defeat at Newcastle and left Mourinho still awaiting his first win in the competition at St James’ Park. Mauricio POCHETTINO January 1, 2015: Tottenham 5 Chelsea 3 The Blues conceded at least four goals in one match for the first time under Mourinho as Spurs troubled the Blues with pace and panache to help Manchester City draw level at the top of the table. Phil PARKINSON January 24, 2015: Chelsea 2 Bradford 4 All Chelsea’s league and cup defeats since the start of their 2014-15 title-winning season have come against managers whose surnames begin with the letter P. Mourinho branded the FA Cup fourth-round exit to Bradford “unacceptable” and a “disgrace” as the League One side came from 2-0 down to win at Stamford Bridge. Tony PULIS May 18, 2015: West Brom 3 Chelsea 0 A side managed by former Crystal Palace boss Pulis got the better of Mourinho’s Chelsea for a second successive season as Saido Berahino scored twice and Cesc Fabregas received a bizarre red card. Manuel PELLEGRINI August 16, 2015: Manchester City 3 Chelsea 0 Mourinho called the result “completely fake” after Sergio Aguero’s double in City’s win. He substituted John Terry for the first time in 177 Premier League games. Another one taking the P was… Gus POYET April 19, 2014: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2 Former Blues midfielder Poyet’s relegation-threatened Sunderland inflicted Mourinho’s first Premier League home loss in the 78th match. The Portuguese bemoaned the officials afterwards. It remains his only loss at Stamford Bridge in the league. Not wishing to alarm you Jose, but…. The Hawthorns has been a bit of a graveyard for Chelsea managers. Two of the previous three incumbents left Chelsea within days of defeats suffered there – Andre Villas-Boas in March 2012 and Roberto Di Matteo eight months later. Press Association
Manchester City have made an “astonishing” salary offer to Kevin de Bruyne, Wolfsburg’s director of sport Klaus Allofs has revealed. He said: “He’s had an astonishing, astonishing offer from City and we can’t compete with that. We had to take it seriously and that is the way we react with our players and finally we decided to start negotiations with City. “During the day we have gone on with negotiations and we’ve got closer to each other. But the deal is not already done. So hopefully we will find an end tonight or tomorrow morning. “I would prefer to keep him, not to get the money. But the money now is really the issue because Kevin was qualified with Wolfsburg for the Champions League and he was a key player and took the next step. “At Chelsea he was not that good and I know the story because I took him to Werder Bremen two years before and then to Wolfsburg. It will be very difficult – apart from Bayern Munich – to compete with the Premier League in the future. “It is a big blow if he is leaving Wolfsburg but, you know, it’s a difficult situation. Have a look at the statistics. Kevin did I don’t know how many assists and he scored 10 goals so he was, he still is, a key player for Wolfsburg. It’s really a situation that nobody was thinking about when he started with us.” Allofs said the Premier League’s television money posed a huge challenge for all of German football. He added: “Even the last team in the Premier League has much more money than Bayern Munich in TV money so this is already the situation. It’s a big task for our football league to get more money out of TV rights and we have to compete with that and hopefully we can.” Allofs, speaking in Monaco after the Champions League draw, said negotiations with City over a move had come closer to an agreement – there have been reports the Bundesliga want £54million as a transfer fee for the Belgium international creative midfielder. The Wolfsburg director admitted his side could not compete with the financial muscle of the Premier League in general – and City in particular after their salary offer to the 24-year-old. Press Association
Stoke duo Marko Arnautovic and Xherdan Shaqiri tore Manchester City to shreds in a brilliant first-half display which made Manuel Pellegrini’s side look anything but Premier League leaders. They were beaten by a Stoke side unrecognisable from last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at struggling Sunderland as they oozed confidence – with no greater example set than by centre-back Philipp Wollscheid’s Cruyff turn on Kevin de Bruyne on the edge of his own penalty area in the first half. Playing five in midfield largely negated City’s chief threats of David Silva, Raheem Sterling and De Bruyne by denying them service. But it was not a defensive tactic as it allowed the hosts to establish an early dominance with Shaqiri dropping deep and Arnautovic roaming forward from a left-sided position. The pair linked up for both goals and the same combination could easily have contributed a couple more before the interval. City’s left side was an avenue of weakness Stoke exploited with regularity as Shaqiri showed as early as the seventh minute when he skipped past Fernando, easily beat Aleksandar Kolarov and crossed for Arnautovic to nip in front of Bacary Sagna and side-foot home. De Bruyne was denied by a good low save from Jack Butland, who also deflected a Kolarov effort onto the post late in the half. just moments before Shaqiri embarrassed the hapless Fernando with a turn of such brilliance the City midfielder was halfway towards his own bench before he realised what had happened. Fernando may as well have continued his run and taken a seat alongside Pellegrini so poor was his performance – although the same could not be said of Shaqiri who immediately laid on the perfect assist for Arnautovic’s second. City’s central defensive pairing of Nicolas Otamendi and Martin Demichelis, in for the suspended Eliaquim Mangala, were at sixes and sevens and that could easily have been the half-time scoreline as Arnautovic headed narrowly wide and hit the post after slipping as he shot from another pass from Shaqiri. While Mark Hughes may have added considerable style to what used to be a substantial Stoke team they have not lost any of their commitment – evidenced by the diminutive Bojan Krkic racing back to intercept a City counter-attack from Stoke’s corner on the edge of his own box. Stoke’s approach did not change with the strong wind at their backs in the second half as Hart saved from Bojan and Arnautovic clipped the rebound into the side-netting, before the Austrian attempted to return the earlier favours from Shaqiri with a pass across goal which required the slightest of touches to score only for the Swiss to get his feet in a tangle and fail to connect. City’s miserable afternoon continued when, 10 minutes after making their third substitution, Fernando went off with a hamstring injury leaving them one short for the final 15 minutes. TWEET OF THE MATCH “A warning to Stoke: if you carry on like this you might not be last on MOTD tonight. Ease up!” – Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has a cheeky message for Stoke. Jack Butland: 7 Glen Johnson: 7 Ryan Shawcross: 7 Philipp Wollscheid: 7 Erik Pieters: 7 Geoff Cameron: 7 Glenn Whelan: 7 Xherdan Shaqiri: 9 Ibrahim Afellay: 6 Marko Arnautovic: 9 Bojan Krkic: 8 Substitutes Joselu: 6 Marco van Ginkel: 6 Jonathan Walters: 6 Manchester City Joe Hart: 6 Bacary Sagna: 5 Nicolas Otamendi: 5 Martin Demichelis: 5 Aleksandar Kolarov: 6 Fernando: 4 Fernandinho: 5 Kevin De Bruyne: 5 David Silva: 5 Raheem Sterling: 5 Wilfried Bony: 4 Substitutes Fabian Delph: 6 Kelechi Iheanacho: 6 Jesus Navas: 6 STAR PLAYER Marko Arnautovic. A toss up between him and Shaqiri but the enigmatic Austrian’s double sees him shade it. Arnautovic can look disinterested at times but he was certainly up for this encounter as only the woodwork denied him a first-half hat-trick. MOMENT OF THE MATCH Shaqiri created both of the goals and his brilliance to create the second caught the eye. The ex-Bayern Munich man shrugged Fernando off with ease on the half-turn before piercing the visitors’ defence with a pinpoint pass to Arnautovic. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Manuel Pellegrini must solve the riddle of why City cannot appear to function when their captain Vincent Kompany is missing through injury or their title challenge will unravel. Hughes, meanwhile, has built an exciting, creative team that can take the next step in this division if Shaqiri settles and Arnautovic finds consistency. MOAN OF THE MATCH Any hopes of a grandstand finish being ruined by Fernando’s injury after City had already used all three substitutes. WHO’S UP NEXT? West Ham v Stoke (Barclays Premier League, Saturday, December 12) Manchester City v Borussia Monchengladbach (Champions League, Tuesday, December, 8) After last week’s defeat at Sunderland, Stoke boss Mark Hughes lauded his team’s effort and energy. He told BT Sport: “It was a great performance by the guys, in fairness you can talk about formations and what we were looking to do in the game but first and foremost you’ve got to go out and do actually do it, and that’s what they did. “Each and every one of them put in a high quality performance and a consequence of that was winning a Premier League match against the top of the pile Man City.” Despite the return of creative midfielder David Silva to City’s line-up, the home side worked tirelessly to shut down the space and nullify the visitors’ threat. When asked if his side went into the game with the intent to crowd out Silva, Hughes said: “We just wanted that energy. Jeff (Cameron) gives us that, EP (Erik Pieters) gives us that as well. Glenn (Whelan) has that calming influence, he tells everyone where to go and understands that role completely.” The Potters showed plenty of glimpses of the fluent football Hughes has implemented since becoming manager. The former City boss fielded a new-look front three and felt they made the difference. “We went with something different today, pushing Bojan up front. We haven’t played that formation (4-3-3) before but there was a feeling in the back of my mind about today,” he added. “I’ve been close to doing it but today it worked perfect for us. We were up against a good team but we still needed to retain possession and with the three up top, we certainly had that. “We had pace and creativity. So I’m pleased with everyone’s performance but the front three and the midfield three were exceptional today.” The leaders had an afternoon to forget as City looked shaky at the back but manager Manuel Pellegrini lamented the fact that his side have been struck by injuries. He said: “The concern is that we are playing in all competitions with just 13 players. The players didn’t have the reaction of a fresh squad. “Today our legs weren’t there. We couldn’t attack or defend. I am so worried about the two goals we conceded and the lack of chances we created.” Press Association Austria international Arnautovic scored both goals – teed up by the drive and vision of man of the match Shaqiri – and could easily have finished the match with five to himself as the visitors were comprehensively outplayed in the Potters’ 2-0 victory. City, who finished the match with 10 men after midfielder Fernando limped off following his side’s third substitution, began the day top of the table on goal difference but a fourth away game without a win – and the third in a row without a goal – conceded the initiative to the chasing pack.