Issue 14, 28th Febuary 1996: SPORTING ROUNDUP
By Charles Hirst.
18th: Computing, Law, Science&Tech, SciFi, Unexplained.
FA Cup 5th Round Replay
Port Vale 1 Leeds 2
Gary McAllister lead Leeds into the quarter finals of the FA Cup to continue their successful cup runs in both domestic competitions. Leeds have been 23 years without a Wembley appearance, may now be on their way twice in the same season, having already secured a place in the Coca Cola Cup final against Aston Villa.
McAllister struck twice to bring Leeds back from behind against a spritely Port Vale team, who belied their uncomfortable league position at the bottom of the 1st Division. Leeds are to play the winner of tonight's 5th round clash betwwen Liverpool and Charlton.
Port Vale went ahead in the 37th minute, having put Leeds under constant pressure and looking the neater of the two teams. John McCarthy found Tony Naylor stretching into the box and just managed to get a foot in to direct the ball through Lukic's legs. The pressure might have brought Port Vale more reward, but several good chances were wasted.
At half time Malinga was replaced by Thomas Brolin, Leeds' record signing, who preceeded to inspire the Yorkshire team forward. Brolin escaped the close attention of Port Vale's defence and managed to release a perfect cross for Gary McAllister to score a rare header from.
Brolin made an incisive run through the middle of the park, ending on the edge of the box where he exchanged passes with Yeboah. The one-two released him into the box, but his powerful shot was directed straight at the Port Vale keeper, Pual Musselwhite.
In the 88th minute Carlton Palmer was brought down 25 yards out and McAllister confidently stepped up to rifle an angled shot past the despairing Musselwhite. Leeds are still in the hat for a Cup double and good luck to them.
Bolton Buried by United
Bolton 0 Man Utd 6
Manchester United showed Newcastle that their intentions on the title race had not slacked in the slightest, as they traveled away to Burnden Park, home of bottom club Bolton Wanderers, and hit their unfortunate opposition for six.
As Newcastle stumbled to a 3-3 draw at Manchester City, Man Utd showed emphatic form to close the gap at the top of the table to just 4 points. Newcastle have a game in hand and are yet to face Man Utd at home, but their run in is potentially the harder of the two. Liverpool will be waiting in the wings to pounce on any mistakes as they continue their chase of the top two, having beaten Blackburn at Ewood Park, 3-2.
Goal difference may be a potential deciding factor for the Championship, and the six goals scored by Man Utd, reduced the deficit to just one goal in Newcastle's favour.
Bolton showed glimpses of good football, but little did they know how comprehensively they were about to be swamped. Sasa Curcic forced an excellent save from Peter Shmeichel but shortly afterwards Bolton fell behind when David Beckham tapped in after Giggs had hit the crossbar.
Steve Bruce followed up in the 16th minute, heading in unchallenged from a corner kick. With the lead consolodated to two, Ferguson elected to rest Giggs and Cantona, both of whom had been doubtful before the game. Paul Scholes who came on for Cantona wasted no time in exhibiting his goal scoring talent. His first came six minutes after coming on after Cole's pass had put him through, the other he deflected in from a Brian McClair effort.
Cole had scored the third in the 70th minute, rounding the Bolton keeper, Simon Coleman, before firing in off the underside of the bar. Cole also created the last for Nicky Butt, who again excelled in midfield. Butt hammered home the close range effort in the last seconds to put the final nail in the coffin for Bolton.
FA Carling Premiership
Saturday March 2nd
Coventry v West Ham
Leeds Utd v Bolton
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Blackburn
Middlesbrough v Everton
Newcastle v Man Utd
QPR v Arsenal
Sheff Wed v Notts Forest
Tottenham v Southampton
Wimbledon v Chelsea
FA Cup Fifth Round
Tuesday 27th Febuary
Port Vale 1 Leeds 2
FA Carling Premiership
Sunday 25th Febuary
Bolton 0 Man Utd 6
Saturday 24th Febuary
Blackburn 2 Liverpool 3
Coventry 0 Middlesbrough 0
Everton 3 Notts Forest 0
Man City 3 Newcastle 3
Southampton 2 Chelsea 3
Tottenham 1 Sheff Wed 0
West Ham 0 Arsenal 1
Wimbledon 3 Aston Villa 3
FA Carling Premiership League Table
P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Newcastle 27 13 0 0 30 6 6 4 4 22 19 61 Man Utd 28 10 4 0 27 9 7 2 5 28 20 57 Liverpool 27 9 3 1 32 8 6 4 4 21 16 52 Aston Villa 26 7 3 2 19 9 4 4 4 18 12 46 Tottenham 27 7 3 4 18 13 5 6 2 16 12 45 Arsenal 27 6 5 2 21 13 6 3 5 14 12 44 Everton 28 8 3 3 26 12 4 4 6 18 16 43 Chelsea 28 6 5 3 21 14 5 4 5 13 16 42 Blackburn 27 11 1 2 37 12 1 4 8 5 19 41 Nottm Forest 27 8 4 1 21 10 2 6 6 14 28 40 West Ham 28 6 3 5 16 17 5 2 7 15 20 38 Leeds 25 7 2 3 16 10 3 3 7 15 27 35 Middlesbrough 28 7 2 5 22 18 2 5 7 6 19 34 Sheff Wed 27 5 4 5 24 23 2 4 7 12 20 29 Southampton 26 4 6 4 16 16 1 4 7 11 23 25 Wimbledon 27 3 5 6 22 27 3 2 8 17 28 25 Coventry 27 4 5 5 17 19 1 5 7 16 30 25 Man City 27 5 5 4 13 12 1 2 10 6 27 25 QPR 27 3 3 7 13 21 3 0 11 9 20 21 Bolton 28 3 3 8 9 24 1 1 12 19 34 16Return to contents
FA Carling Premiership Leading GoalscorersL F C E O T Shearer (Blackburn) 24 0 5 1 0 30 Fowler (Liverpool) 22 2 2 0 0 26 Ferdinand (Newcastle) 21 1 3 0 0 25 Sheringham (Tottenham) 14 4 3 0 0 21 Yorke (Aston Villa) 13 2 5 0 0 20 Wright (Arsenal) 11 1 7 0 0 19 Yeboah (Leeds) 10 1 3 3 0 17 Dublin (Coventry) 13 2 0 0 0 15 Armstrong (Tottenham) 9 2 3 0 0 14 Collymore (Liverpool) 9 4 0 0 0 13 Scholes (Man Utd) 9 1 2 1 0 13 Bergkamp (Arsenal) 8 0 5 0 0 13 Holdsworth (Wimbledon) 8 1 4 0 0 13 Stuart (Everton) 8 3 1 1 0 13 Hirst (Sheff Wed) 11 0 1 0 0 12 L=League, F=FA Cup, C=Coca Cola Cup, E=European, O=Other, T=Total.
Rush to Step Down at End of Season(28/02/96)
Ian Rush will single the end of an era when he steps down from Liverpool at the end of the season. The announcement made yesteray that Rush will be released for a free transfer is sure to have clubs clammering for his signature. Rush, who has scored 345 times in 649 games is struggling to maintain his position in the team with the excellent recent form fo Robbie Fowler and Stan Collymore.
Rush picks up his MBE next month from the Queen and has had a legendry career with Liverpool since his GBP300,000 move from Chester in 1980. Both Middlesbrough and Celtic have recently made enquiries into the 34 year olds availlability so it is unlikely that he will be short of options once released.
Asprilla Facing FA Enquiry(28/02/96)
Faustino Asprilla, Newcastle United's fiery Colombian striker is being charged by the FA after TV evidence was used to highlight alledged elbowing and headbutting incidents, both against Keith Curle in last Saturdays game against Manchester City.
Keith Curle the Man City captain has been charged on one account, but the club is appealing. Both incidents were missed during the game, the elbowing being particularly savage, landing a corker on Curle's nose. Asprilla is likely to attract extreme scrutiny from both the press and fans alike. This all comes in a period where Newcastle are beginning to show the strains of heading the Premiership challenge.
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Deano holds the Key to Ruin the Scots Party(28/02/96)
Scotland will be looking for an unlikely Grand Slam victory over England on Saturday (02/03/96), but England will be desperate to ruin the party. All the hype is that our man Deano (Dean Richards), can single handedly silence the Scots. His supreme experience and knowledge in and around the forwards can be effective enough to move mountains.
With Scotland in the form that they are, it will need the calibre of Deano to bring them into line. His effect and control of forward movements will galvanise the younger members of the squad, giving them something to play off. It is this kind of platform that Deano can provide, that has been lacking in the English game so far this season.
Previous games have seen poor distribution and retention of the ball, with static forwards and flat backs, but with Deano pulling all the strings up front the rest of the team can expect a better service all round. This is the effect that Deano can provide, he is a rock on which England will hope will break the Scottish storm.
Grayson will need to use the possesion more fruitfully, once the platform is established, it is from here that we can rely on effective means to penetrate the Scottish defence. Murrayfield is never an easy place to go away and win, with the passion of Flower of Scotland" and so much at stake. The last Grand Slam decider in 1990 went Scotlands way. Let's hope for a reversal, in fact , let's hope for a trouncing!
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Atherton and Illingworth at Odds Over Selection(28/02/96)
England's captain, Mike Atherton is at odds with the team manager, Ray Illingworth, over the selection for the final group match to be played this Sunday against Pakistan.
Atherton favors the retention of Alec Stewart at the number two spot, while dropping Jack Russell. Stewart would then fill the Wicket keepers role, as well as opening the batting alongside Atherton. To replace Russell, Atherton wants to bring in either Smith at number three, to give the batting extra depth, or the other option being to bring in Dermont Reeve to generally give the whole team more shape with his contributions with both bat and ball, and wily experience.
Illingworth on the other hand, is keen to keep Russell on, who has kept wicket impeccably, as well as contributing well with the bat. He would then remove Stewart, replacing him with Robin Smith to open. Both arguements have there attributes, but with recent collapses in the batting order, any attempt to strengthen the batting has got to be applauded. Therefore to drop Stewart, for a straight swap with Smith holds little merit. It would be shaking up the shape of the team in an awkward position. But to remove Russell, have Stweart keep wicket, and then insert Smith lower down the order, would give England the required backbone from which they could build on.
Essentially it goes back to the old arguement of whether or not there is room in the team for a specialised wicket keeper. Russell, who has been on the wrong end of many experiments with his position, can not be faulted for his personal performances. However, with the top order batsmen not excelling, the luxury of a speacialised keeper has to be reviewed. It is only because of Atherton and Co's poor form, that Russell's position has to be questioned. At this stage of the competition, with England playing by far the worst cricket of the recognised nations, reform is needed, and poor Jack Russell will again be the man to go, for reasons out of his control.
The dispute over the shape of the team, comes just days after Atherton made yet another diplomatic blunder, calling a Pakistani journalist a "baffoon". Apologies have been lodged, but it is yet another example of Atherton's crass leadership qualities, bringing unneccessary pressure on both himself and the team. The leadership question is so entrenched however, that any reform would probably see Illingworth go as well. Therefore, neither captain nor manager are in a position to step down (nor do they want to), or move against the other , without causing damage to themselves.
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Schumacher Conceeds World Championship Already(27/02/96)
In a move to cover any expectations of himself in the oncoming season Michael Schumacher, the reigning World Champion at Formula 1 level, has declared that his Ferrari team would not be challenging for the Championship this season. With just two weeks to go until the start of the season, Ferrari have not managed to run in their new F310 car, which has had problems with it's new V10 engine and gearbox.
Schumacher was left high and dry at a recent practice session at Estoril, Portugal, while others were storming round the circuit, the German could only look on. His car was not even on site, instead being corrected in Italy. Ferrari have not won a drivers championship since 1979, and Schumacher was intent in getting his excuses in early before the start of the new season.
The German tips Hill for the championship, insisting that he has no problems with his arch rival, merely that Hill needs an enemy to focus on in order to motivate himself. It is according to Schumacher, Hill's problem, not his.
Meanwhile the Finnish driver, Mikka Hakkinen, has bounced back well from the accident at the Australian circuit last season that left him in a comma. The Fin put in the fastest lap, in his Mercedes McLaren, out pacing the other 13 drivers involved in the practice session.
Frank Bruno and Mike Tyson came face to face for the first time before their scheduled fight on March 16th. The meeting immediately sparked a war of words between the two heavyweights, with Bruno insisting "I rocked Tyson in 1988, this time I will rock him to sleep!"
Don King joined in the fracas, snatching the WBC belt from Bruno, which is the prize for the fight in Las Vegas. Bruno dressed in a track suit looked fit and determined, while Tyson looked smart in his suit, but there was no hiding his desire.
There is controversy surrounding the fight however, with Sky TV making an 11th hour statement to their viewers that they're going to have to pay extra on top of their subscription charges in order to see the fight. Not only this, but Sky have also put a news blackout on the fight, disallowing the BBC or ITV to show even still shots of the fight for at least 24hrs after the contest. This has caused outrage amongst viewers who feel betrayed by the extra charges. There has been a call for a boycott on watching the fight, in an attempt to hit back at Murdoch and his money extraction antics.
CarlingNet- the official FA Carling
Soccer Virtual Library: has links to every football page on the web.
Coopers & Lybrand Ratings of Test Cricketers
Formula One Grand Prix Page
1996 Olympics Home Page
WWW Rugby Server
The Electronic Telegraph
1995 November: 1, 2, 3, 4. December: 5, 6, 7. 1996 January: 8,9,10,11,12