Glory for Martin

first_img Nairo Quintana came fourth 45 seconds off he pace, while Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins finished fifth, 54 seconds behind Martin. Rodriguez made his move for the title on the final ascent of Montjuic, but the Irishman was more than a match for the Spaniard and followed suit finishing alongside him in the second group. Sean Kelly won the event in 1984 and 1986. Belgium’s Thomas de Gendt of Vacansoleil won the final stage – eight laps around the Alt de Montjuic in Barcelona – with Team Sky’s David Lopez finishing second. De Gendt outsprinted Lopez, Robert Kiserlovski and Michele Scarponi to claim the final stage, with the Italian’s efforts seeing him finish third, 34 seconds behind Martin. Press Associationcenter_img Team Garmin rider Dan Martin became only the second Irishman to win the Volta a Catalunya after holding off the challenge of Joaquim Rodríguez in the final stage to win by 17 seconds.last_img read more

Jol desperate to retain Schwarzer

first_img Press Association He added: “So maybe we will put him on loan. Stockdale is already on loan; so I have a problem. We need one or two goalkeepers. Hopefully we can get competition for places because that’s the ideal.” Fulham’s priority, however, is to sign up Schwarzer on a new contract which Jol hopes will extend beyond the 2014 World Cup. Talks are currently in process and Jol said: “He (Schwarzer) can go on for the next one or two years but it’s not like he is 22 and has another 10 years left in him. But how old are goalkeepers? If you look for evidence of them being 44-45, I can’t see it. So 40 is quite remarkable. “They (Australia) will go to the World Cup and he wants to be there. He will be 42 and then he will come back to us hopefully.” Meanwhile, Jol has been boosted by captain Brede Hangeland signing a new two-year contract. The Norwegian central defender will have the task of nullifying the threat of former Fulham and England striker Bobby Zamora, who has been passed fit to face his old team-mates. Zamora left Craven Cottage for Loftus Road in January 2012 but Jol has few regrets at losing a player with a dubious fitness record. “Bobby wanted to move,” said Jol. “He felt he could help QPR. Hopefully, after our game, he will help them. If he is fit he can help any team because he is a good striker.” The form of the Australian veteran, who is set to go to Rio de Janeiro for the World Cup with his country next year, is the reason David Stockdale is on loan at npower Championship side Hull and Jol accepts that he might have to let the 27-year-old go permanently. “David wants to be a number one,” said Jol, whose side take on relegation-threatened QPR on Monday night in a west London derby which has huge significance, in particular, for Harry Redknapp’s side. “I’m always looking for a good goalkeeper. I’ve got another good goalkeeper who’s 23, Neil Etheridge, and he’s very talented but he needs to play.” center_img Fulham manager Martin Jol insists goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer can keep going for at least another two years in the Barclays Premier League.last_img read more

Mourinho wants competition in squad

first_img The Blues completed a three-match tour of Asia with an 8-1 win over BNI Indonesia All-Stars in Jakarta and Romelu Lukaku scored twice to take his tour tally to four. Mourinho is happy with his squad and his sole remaining transfer target is Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney – a bid was rejected last week – in a move which would cast doubt on Torres’ future. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has told Fernando Torres and the rest of his squad to see the competition for places as a challenge. Andre Schurrle missed Thursday night’s game with a knock and Kevin de Bruyne returned to London following last Sunday’s Malaysia match due to a knee problem, but both will train with the squad next week, too. Mourinho said: “There is nothing big. They should all be training with the team plus the six guys who will arrive.” Captain John Terry struggled for full fitness for periods of last season, but started all three games in Asia. Mourinho added: “He played well and trained very well and never missed one minute of any training session. “That is very important because he is a very important player for us. I am very happy with him.” The World Cup-winning Spain forward missed the Asia tour after being granted a break following the Confederations Cup, but along with Juan Mata, Cesar Azpilicueta, John Obi Mikel, David Luiz and Oscar, will join up with the Chelsea squad on Monday ahead of four matches in the United States as preparations for the new season continue in earnest. “I think Fernando should be happy because we have competition in the team and I think that is good for everybody in every position,” Mourinho said. “Fernando I think will be pleased because during his time at Chelsea he was basically the only striker and then after that there was the arrival of (Demba) Ba in January. “Now the team has three strikers and I think that is good.” A fourth could follow if a deal can be agreed for Rooney, but there have been no developments, Mourinho said. The Portuguese added: “At this moment we have made what you know; that bid which was public and official and after that nothing else. “But we are calm as we told you that we are calm because we are happy with what we have.” Midfielder Frank Lampard will resume training next week, having toured Asia without kicking a ball against hostile opposition due to an Achilles problem. Press Associationlast_img read more

Rodwell on road to recovery

first_img Press Association The 22-year-old has been plagued by injuries over the past few seasons, that have become particularly troublesome since his £12million move from Everton to Manchester City at the start of last season. Rodwell has been restricted to just 16 appearances for City, and only one this term, against Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on September 14. Jack Rodwell is ready to hit the comeback trail once more.center_img He was immediately ruled out after that by a hamstring problem. However, Rodwell now reports he is feeling good again. And whilst he is obviously short of match practice, the England midfielder is available when City resume their quest for silverware on the domestic and continental fronts immediately after the international break. “I’m fit and I am back training,” Rodwell told the Manchester Evening News. “Basically I am fit for the next game. I won’t be match-fit but I am fit for selection.” Whether coach Manuel Pellegrini will be happy to stick Rodwell in for the trip to West Ham on October 19 is open to question. Immediately after that City visit CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, whilst later in the month they take on Newcastle at St James’ Park in the fourth round of the Capital One Cup. last_img read more

Irvine handed jail term over brawl

first_img Irvine, 48, from Northern Ireland, is not thought likely to have to serve any time in prison because sentences do not usually come into effect until the appeals process has been exhausted and they are usually suspended with such short terms, the Italian news agency Ansa reported. Gabriele Moratti, 35, son of former Milan mayor Letizia Moratti, was also given six months over their altercation, which happened in December 2008. The pair are said to have come to blows in the Hollywood disco over a text message allegedly sent by Irvine to a woman who had just ended a relationship with Moratti. They subsequently reported each other to the authorities, which led to a trial for injury in a case which lasted nearly three years. The BBC reported that the pair were found guilty of “mutual injury”. Irvine raced for Italian team Ferrari in Formula One from 1996 to 1999, and also had spells at Jordan and Jaguar. The pair reportedly blamed each other for the dispute that took place in the VIP section of the club. Both accused the other of using a glass during the incident. Former Formula One racing driver Eddie Irvine has been sentenced to six months in jail in Italy over a brawl in a nightclub in Milan.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Hughton interested in Gutierrez

first_img The 30-year-old Argentinian midfielder effectively took his leave of the Magpies over the weekend when he posted a series of messages on Twitter, and Press Association Sport understands his future may be resolved within the next 24 hours. Hughton confirmed at Monday’s press conference ahead of the FA Cup third-round replay at Fulham that the Norfolk club were looking at bringing him to Carrow Road. Press Association “There is an interest in Jonas Gutierrez but there’s nothing to confirm at this moment. If that changes, we will let you know,” Hughton said on the club’s official Twitter account. Norwich are in need of reinforcements as they look to pull clear of the relegation zone, with the Canaries in 15th place but only two points ahead of 18th-placed Cardiff. Gutierrez was a key player for Hughton, who was in charge at St James’ Park between June 2009 and December 2010, as he led the Magpies out of the Championship and back into the top flight. The Argentinian joined Newcastle from Real Mallorca during the summer of 2008, when he signed a five-year contract. He has made 195 appearances for the club and scored 11 goals, although he has figured only twice this season, starting the 4-0 defeat by Manchester City on the opening weekend of the campaign and then coming on as a substitute in the 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Cardiff on October 5. Gutierrez tweeted: “It was an honour and a pleasure to play with the Newcastle shirt and to have the support of the Geordie.” After receiving a deluge of replies, he added: “Thanks for the messages. I enjoy my 5 years at the club, I hope the club finish the highest this season and the best to my team mates.” center_img Norwich manager Chris Hughton has declared an interest in signing midfielder Jonas Gutierrez from Newcastle, but played down suggestions a deal was close.last_img read more

Accused Donachie quits Magpies

first_img Press Association Donachie spent more than four years at Newcastle, joining in December 2009 as an academy assistant director, moving to the role of development coach and, for the past two years, taking charges of the reserves. Confirmation of his departure came as Newcastle attempted to regroup after an eventful fortnight which has seen midfielder Yohan Cabaye and director of football Joe Kinnear leave the club in vastly different circumstances either side of a 3-0 derby defeat to Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League. Manager Alan Pardew found himself in the firing line as Cabaye’s departure, together with Kinnear’s failure to replace him and the capitulation against Sunderland, provided fresh ammunition for disgruntled fans. In the short term, Pardew will prepare a team further torn apart by injury and suspension for Saturday’s tough trip to Chelsea knowing there is work to be done during the summer. Pardew said: “I am very focused. We have a great group of scouts, led by (chief scout) Graham Carr, who have always been working in the background. “We have got a list, as we did in the last window, and we will work towards that list. “Obviously, we have got a lot of work to do because actually this summer, we have got a few changes to make. “We have got a few players out of contract, we have got one or two areas that we really need to strengthen, so I don’t think we are under any illusions that we have got a bit of work to do this summer.” Willie Donachie has resigned as Newcastle’s reserve team manager after the club launched an investigation into claims he hit a teenage player. Kinnear’s exit on Monday night followed a second successive transfer window during which he managed to make only one loan signing, and it remains to be seen whether owner Mike Ashley opts to appoint a replacement. Pardew admits he does not know how the club’s transfer plans will be implemented from now on, but has no doubt over the message he will deliver to Ashley when they finally do meet. He said: “My message is always the same, it’s about taking the club forward. We can’t stand still, we have to go forward, so it gives us an opportunity to do that.” Newcastle will head for Stamford Bridge without midfielder Cheick Tiote who is set to miss at least two games with a hamstring injury. Fabricio Coloccini, Yoan Gouffran and Papiss Cisse remain out, while Loic Remy serves the second phase of his three-match ban. The 62-year-old stood down on Thursday night amid an allegation he was involved in an incident with 19-year-old defender Remie Streete after the Newcastle Under-21 team lost 2-0 at Sunderland on Monday night. A club statement said: “Newcastle United can confirm that Willie Donachie has resigned from his position as reserve team manager with immediate effect. The club will be making no further comment.” last_img read more

Matic wants to take back control

first_img Chelsea can expect contact from the Football Association on Tuesday over Ramires’ apparent elbow in the face of Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson that went unpunished, and assistant coach Rui Faria’s sending off for confronting fourth official Phil Dowd. Matic said Chelsea can ill afford to bemoan their Black Cats defeat if they want to salvage their silverware dreams. “I can say that we gave our best, I saw after the game that every player was sad because of the result,” the 25-year-old told Chelsea TV. “We tried, we fought until the end for the result, until the last minute, and we were unlucky not to win. “Everybody knew how important it was for us, this game, but that’s football. “Now we can’t do anything, we have to look forward, get focused on the Champions League, because as you know the Premier League title is going to be difficult to win.” Jose Mourinho suffered his first home Premier League defeat in 78 games on Saturday, and Chelsea are yet to face leaders Liverpool at Anfield on April 27. Chelsea will hope goalkeeper Petr Cech will recover from the virus that ruled him out of the Sunderland defeat in time for Tuesday’s Atletico trip. The Blues will also sweat on the fitness of midfielder Eden Hazard, who will need to train on Monday to have any chance of making Mourinho’s match squad for the Madrid battle. Brazilian midfielder Ramires could well have played his last Chelsea game this season too, after appearing to strike Sunderland’s Larsson in the face. Ramires’ strike was missed by referee Mike Dean, and the fact the official took no action leaves the door open for the FA to impose a charge. With his two prior red cards for the season, Ramires could be facing a five-match ban, and that would end his campaign prematurely. Chelsea assistant coach Faria can also expect FA censure after being sent off for overzealous criticism of fourth official Dowd. Blues manager Mourinho had to restrain Faria as he lost his cool, even grabbing his assistant by the hair. Chelsea must wrestle back control of their season in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid, according to Nemanja Matic. Midfielder Matic admitted Chelsea surrendered all the power in the Barclays Premier League title race with Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Sunderland. Loan star Fabio Borini’s penalty sealed Sunderland’s Stamford Bridge victory on Saturday, handing the striker’s parent club Liverpool the upper hand in the title battle. Press Associationlast_img read more

Taylor: We’ll prove doubters wrong

first_img And the 32-year-old feels Burnley have all the ingredients to prove the doom-mongers wrong. “I remember coming up into the Premier League with Portsmouth 11 or 12 years ago and it’s a fantastic feeling,” said Taylor. “As a club there’s not really any pressure on us. We’re going to be underdogs going into most games, everybody’s going to have written us off before we’ve kicked a ball, but I know from personal experience that counts for nothing. “We can go out and implement our passing style and our game on teams and I don’t see why we’re going to have a problem this season. “Obviously I’m under no illusions that it’s going to be extremely difficult but I think we might surprise a few people.” Taylor is one of six new signings hoping to make their debuts in Monday’s season opener against Chelsea at Turf Moor. Steven Reid and Michael Kightly also have Premier League experience, while striker Lukas Jutkiewicz has scored six goals in pre-season since moving from Middlesbrough. Much has been made of the togetherness within the squad fostered by manager Sean Dyche but Taylor thinks they also deserve to be recognised for their quality. M att Taylor has backed Burnley to be the surprise package of the Barclays Premier League season. The Clarets upset the odds to secure promotion from the Championship and go into only their second top-flight campaign in 38 years as big outsiders. Taylor is one of the few players in the squad with a lot of Premier League experience, having joined the club from West Ham last month. He said: “There’s a great camaraderie but we’ve also got some really good footballers and I think sometimes that gets overlooked slightly – it’s little old Burnley and they’ve got a great work ethic but they don’t really have any ability. “Well what we have got is really good footballers, and if we can couple that together with a fantastic energy and a togetherness, like the lads did last season, there’s no reason why we can’t have a successful year.” Taylor played down his off-field role but did have one piece of advice for his younger colleagues – enjoy it. “A lot of the younger guys here have played at international level and they know what it’s about,” he said. “I don’t think it will be a huge difference. It might be slightly louder at Turf Moor. “It’s just a fantastic experience and what you don’t want to do is let it all pass you by. You want to succeed during the experience and play well but hopefully create some wonderful memories along the way.” Leading out the team in front of the TV cameras on Monday night will be captain Jason Shackell, who previously played in the Premier League with Norwich. The defender said: ” We know it’s a big challenge but it’s one we’re excited about. “It’s gone pretty quick. It only feels like yesterday we were celebrating getting up, and now we’re a couple of days from getting going. “It’s been fun. We’ve given ourselves the opportunity of playing against some of the best players in the world so, although we know it’s going to be tough, it’s something we’re really looking forward to.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Di Maria says adios to Madrid

first_img Press Association Angel di Maria has bid farewell to his Real Madrid team-mates as a possible move to Manchester United moves closer. Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, who revealed earlier this week that Di Maria had told the club he wanted to leave and rejected the offer of a new contract, said the Argentina winger had not taken part in training on Sunday but had instead “come to say goodbye”. United have not made any official comment on reports that they are ready to sign Di Maria. It has been reported that the fee for the 26-year-old would eclipse the British record set by Fernando Torres’ £50million move from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011. center_img Ancelotti said: “He has come and has not practised. It’s not official yet, but he came to say goodbye. “We gave thanks for what he has done for this club and wish him luck for the future. It is not official, but it is solved.” The Italian coach added: “I have personally had a good relationship with him and he did a fantastic job here. “It was his decision to leave because the club did everything possible for him to stay by offering everything to him to stay.” Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has already signed Di Maria’s international team-mate Marcos Rojo this summer, while the club have also brought in another defender in England’s Luke Shaw and Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera. last_img read more