Issue 17, 03th April 1996: SPORTING ROUNDUP
By Charles Hirst.
[Computing, Law, Science and Technology, SciFi, Sport, The Unexplained, UPicons]
Liverpool Sink Newcastle in Title Thriller<04/04/96)
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3
What a match. This was the game of the season and if you missed it, then unlucky because you may have to wait years to see another one as good. It was pulsating, attacking, one touch football at supersonic speeds, that mesmorized, hypnotized and intoxified all viewers, whatever loyalty, creed or clan. This game transcended all allegiances in a rare moment of all purveying sporting magnificance, that was broadcasted world wide. There could not have been a better advert for English football than what was on display last night.
It started as it finished, with a goal, and in the intervening 90 minutes 5 others were scored in a rollercoasting ride of football heaven that eclipsed even the moon's eclipse. Robbie Fowler, currently the hottest property in the Premier League, started the proceedings with Liverpool's opener in the 2nd minute.
Jamie Redknapp, in for Michael Thomas, swept a forty yard cross field pass out to Rob Jones. Jones controlled well and sent Collymore racing towawrds the byline, stretching the play to the limit. Collymore checked his ballance at speed and swept over a cross to the poaching Fowler, who pounced to crash home his header at the back post.
This was a test for Newcastle if ever there was one. A goal behind after two minutes from Liverpool's first attack, it was now that they needed to find something special in order to cling to their title dreams. Asprilla answered the call. His trickery on the edge of the Liverpool area beat Mark Wright which allowed him to flick a cross through to Ferdinand. The PFA player of the year still had his work cut out, but ignoring any attention from the oncoming Liverpool defence, he calmly trapped the ball, swivelled and slammed it high past David James from 5 yards.
Newcastle's responce was complete when Ferdinand sent a crisp pass through to Ginola, who had begun to terrorize Jason McAteer. Ginola managed to hold off McAteer at full pace and lashed the ball past the oncoming keeper to put Newcastle ahead. Not fifteen minutes past and both sides had been ahead. But now it was the turn of the Toon army to get into full cry.
Countless efforts were made before the break from both teams to alter the score, but they remained locked at 2-1 until the 54th minute when Liverpool equalised. McMannaman, later to be named man of the match, squared to Fowler whohit the ball first time with the outside of his left boot from 20 yards. It rocketed into the net leaving the Newcastle defence gapping.
Again Newcastle's responce was instant. Lee sent Asprilla through, beating the offside trap and the Colombian ace curled the ball past the isolated David James. Liverpool were determined not to accept defeat and the last twenty minutes of the game saw them dominate the proceedings although Newcastle always looked leathal on the break.
McAteer made one of his many dangerous runs and crossed the ball for Collymore to steer home from close range. The game looked destined to end on a 3-3 draw. However Collymore had other ideas and late in injury time produced the winner, slamming the ball home from a tight angle after receiving another sweet pass from McManaman.
There is no question now that Liverpool are right in there with a chance at the title, in what looks to be one the most thrilling run ins for years. A three horse race, with two still in with a genuine chance of the double.
United Clinch Third FA Final in a Row(01/04/96)
Man Utd 2 Chelsea 1
Manchester United equalled Arsenal's record of the 1970's and Everton's of the 1980's by reaching their third FA Cup Final in a row. They overcame Chelsea, having been a goal behind in a superb contest which saw the tide of fortune sway until it eventually rested with the reds.
From the outset both teams looked intent in playing open, expansive football rather than the traditional tight game seen at FA Cup semi finals. Ultimately the result was affected more by injuries than any tactical superiority. Chelsea started without Petrescu through suspension, and then lost Steve Clarke halfway through the first half.
Worse was to come for the blues, who had emerged from the break a goal up, but were to see it overturned in four minutes of United pressure. Phelan pulled up with a thigh strain chasing a ball down the left, and it looked certain that the full back was going to be replaced. However Hoddle allowed him to continue, and his tentative attempts to cover were exploited by United.
Neville advanced down the left flank, beat John Spencer with a neat trick and sent in a delightful cross for Cantona to connect with. The advancing frenchman did just that, powering his header back across the goal, where Cole tapped in, in a predatory fashion to level the scores.
Phelan was again undone, when Craig Burley made an horrific error trying to backpass to his keeper under pressure. Burley sliced his intended pass, which fell for Beckham and Phelan to chase. The talented young Beckham eased past the ailing Phelan, and beat the oncoming keeper, placing the ball purposely in the net.
Prior to these desperate four minutes for Chelsea, they had had a good game, giving as good as they got and attacking with adventure. It was not unexpected that Mark Hughes, for so long an integral part of the United team, would have a major role in putting Chelsea ahead. He did what he does best, in chesting the ball down outside the area, holding it up and forcing his way through the defence. United might have had a case for a foul as Hughes brushed off Beckham, but he went on to deliver a sweet cross from the byline which Gullit met at the back post to nod home.
The game continued in it's end to end vein with United hitting the post twice through Beckham and Cantona and Chelsea once through Duberry. But it wasn't Chelsea's day, and the result sets up a dream final between Men Utd and Liverpool.
FA Carling Premiership
Friday 6th April
Middlesbrough v Sheef Wed
Middlesbrough v Sheef Wed
Arsenal v Leeds
Chelsea v Aston Villa
Coventry v Liverpool
Everton v Bolton
Man City v Man Utd
Middlesbrough v Sheff Utd
Newcastle v QPR
Notts Forest v Tottenham
Southampton v Blackburn
West Ham v Wimbledon
Wednesday 3rd April
Leeds 1 Southampton 0
Liverpool 4 Newcastle 3
Saturday 30th March
Blackburn 0 Everton 3
Bolton 1 Man City 1
Leeds 0 Middlesbrough 1
QPR 3 Southampton 0
Tottenham 3 Coventry 1
Wimbledon 1 Notts Forest 0
Monday 25th March
Southamton 1 Coventry 0
Sunday 24th March
Man Utd 1 Tottenham0
Saturday 23rd March
Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0
Bolton 2 Sheff Wed 1
Chelsea 1 QPR 1
Everton 2 Wimbledon 4
Notts Forest 1 Liverpool 0
West Ham 4 Man City 2
Wednesday 20th March
Man Utd 1 Arsenal 0
Bolton 2 Tottenham 3
Southampton 0 Sheff Wed 1
Tuesday 19th March
Aston Villa 0 Middlesbrough 0
Monday 18th March
Newcastle 3 West Ham 0
Saturday 16th March
Coventry 0 Bolton 2
Liverpool 2 Chelsea 0
Man City 2 Southampton 1
Middlesbrough 1 Notts Forest 1
QPR 1 Man Utd 1
Sheff Wed 2 Aston Villa 0
Tottenham 2 Blackburn 3
Wimbledon 0 Arsenal 3
FA Carling Premiership League Table
P W D L F A W D L F A Pts Man Utd 32 12 4 0 29 9 8 3 5 30 21 67 Newcastle 31 14 0 1 33 7 6 4 5 25 25 64 Liverpool 32 12 4 1 43 13 6 4 5 21 17 62 Aston Villa 32 10 4 2 28 13 6 4 6 18 17 56 Arsenal 32 8 5 2 26 14 7 4 6 18 14 54 Tottenham 32 9 3 5 24 17 6 6 3 19 15 54 Everton 33 8 4 4 30 18 6 5 6 23 20 51 Blackburn 32 12 1 3 38 15 2 5 9 9 24 48 Nottm Forest 31 9 4 1 22 10 3 7 7 18 31 47 Chelsea 32 6 7 3 23 16 5 5 6 14 19 45 West Ham 32 8 3 5 22 19 5 3 8 17 25 45 Leeds 31 8 3 5 19 14 4 3 8 17 29 42 Middlesbrough 33 7 3 6 23 21 3 6 8 7 21 39 Sheff Wed 32 6 4 6 27 26 3 4 9 16 25 35 Wimbledon 32 4 6 7 24 31 4 3 8 23 32 33 Man City 33 6 6 4 16 14 1 4 12 11 36 30 Southampton 31 5 6 5 17 17 1 4 10 12 29 28 QPR 33 4 5 8 19 25 3 1 12 12 25 27 Coventry 32 4 6 6 19 23 1 6 9 19 36 27 Bolton 33 4 4 9 14 29 3 1 12 22 34 26Return to contents
FA Carling Premiership Leading GoalscorersL F C E O T Shearer (Blackburn) 28 0 5 1 0 34 Fowler (Liverpool) 27 5 2 0 0 34 Ferdinand (Newcastle) 23 1 3 0 0 27 Sheringham (Tottenham) 16 5 3 0 0 24 Yorke (Aston Villa) 15 2 6 0 0 23 Wright (Arsenal) 12 1 7 0 0 20 Yeboah (Leeds) 12 1 3 3 0 19 Armstrong (Tottenham) 11 4 3 0 0 18 Collymore (Liverpool) 12 5 0 0 0 17 Dublin (Coventry) 14 2 0 0 0 16 Holdsworth (Wimbledon) 10 2 4 0 0 16 Cantona (Man Utd) 11 4 0 0 0 15 Bergkamp (Arsenal) 10 0 5 0 0 15 Stuart (Everton) 9 3 1 1 0 14 Hirst (Sheff Wed) 11 0 1 0 0 12 L=League, F=FA Cup, C=Coca Cola Cup, E=European, O=Other, T=Total.
Robson Close to Signing Third Brazilian(04/04/96)
Brian Robson is close to clinching a transfer deal to bring a third Brazilian into the Middlesbrough team. Robson has been eyeing Beto a striker from Botafogo, who has recently played alongside Juninho in the Brazilian national side and helped them qualify for the olympics in Atlanta.
Boro are reported to have agreed on a fee of GBP2.5 million. Beto has widely been tipped to take over from Romario in the senior squad sometime in the near future. With another Brazilian star alongside Juninho and Branco, Robson will be hoping that the trio will merge to form a useful partnership for next season.
Southgate Out For the Rest of Season
Gareth Southgate, the Villa center back, as well as the latest of Venables new young recruits, has ben forced out of the rest of the season due to a ligament injury in his knee.
Southgate will now struggle to make the deadline of recovery before the Euro "96 championship. Hovever he is hoping to be back in time for the May 18th fixture against Hungary.
Darren Anderson, the Tottenham winger who recently began his comeback, having been out for most of the season, has suffered another set back in training that will see him sidelined for at least another few weeks.
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Super League Kicks Off With French Flair (28/03/96)
The European Super League kicks off in Paris tonight, to mark a new era of Rugby League. This is Murdoch's era, controled by airtime and finance the sport faces new challenges to capture the heartsand minds of the nation during the summer calender. Wigan remain the favorites, and the inclusion of Paris St Germain brings a new edge to the competition, although they will probably not seriosly challenge the english champions this season.
The result of Murdoch's money being poured into the game may eventually enable another team to seriosly challenge Wigan, who may suffer from a slightly weaker squad this season. The London Bronco's coach, Tony Currie is hoping for a top six place at the end of their seson, while Ledds are not discounting their chances either. The main challenge however is likely to come from Sheffield and St Helens.
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Gooch and Botham Both in the Running for Test Selector Role
Graham Gooch and Ian Botham are going head to head for a role as a test selector. With only one place available it will be a close contest, with eight nominations in the hat the vote may turn into a farce. Other contenders include Fred Titmus, Brian Bolus, John Edrich, Peter Willey, David Graveney and Kim Barnet.
Botham has shown willingness to sacrafice personal comforts in his quest to be come a selector, with the long term ambition of taking over as manager. He has quit his tax haven in the Channel Islands, and may be forced to give up his media work with Sky TV and various newspapers in order to accomodate the 100 matches a season the selector would be required to watch.
David Lloyd Given England Coaching Role
In the fall out of England's dismall World Cup adventure and South Africa tour, supremo Ray Illingworth has been forced out of his managerial role with England. David Lloyd the Lancashire coach will fill his shoes, although his contract will last only up to the end of the summer.
Illingworth who was to face a challenge from Graveney for his role of Chairman of Selectors, will keep hold of that position as he did not face a challenger to it. Lloyd was effectively second choice after John Emburey was offered the position but turned it down, pledging his future to Northamptonshire.
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Hill Confident in run up to South American Double
Damon Hill has set a target of two wins in the next ten days, as the Grand Prix circuit will tour an intrigueing South American double in Brazil and Argentina. If Hill does come away from the latino races twenty points better off, then he will have propelled homself into an excellent lead to start the season off with. Although the chances are slim, with so much riding on luck, Hill probably has as good as chance as any to pull off a memorable double.
Meanwhile Eddy Irvine suffered a high speed crash in the first warm up laps in Brazil, but is likely to compete in the rest of the weekends activities.
Hill Takes First Race in Australia
Damon Hill took the first Grand Prix of the season, but only after a dramatic early crash from Martin Brundell and a cat and mouse race with team partner Jacques Villneuve.
Brundell was sent flying in his Jordan car, catipulted high over the top of Coulthard's McClaren on the third corner of the first lap. It looked like a devastating crash, but as the dust settled, Brundle scramled out of his wrecked car and appeared completely unscathed. To prove the point he ran back down the pit lan to retrieve his back up car in order to make the restart.
Hill would have been grateful for the restart, as he had already fallen behind to the two Ferrari's by the time the Brundle incident had happened. However he got away well at the restart, chasing Villneuve ahead of him and these two began to open up a gap on the followers. On lap 9 Alesi and Irvine collided, which later forced Alesi out of the race.
Villneuve pitted first out of the two Williams cars and took a terrible 17.6 seconds, Hill managed even worse, taking 18.5 seconds. This is an area that Williams have lacked consistent performance in for sometime, and will have to be improved on to stay ahead of the pack. It was however a one stop stratergy from the Williams, and as Hill exited, he emerged just infront of the charging Villneuve. The Canadian rookie, closed in on Hill and streamed past while Hill's tyres were still warming to the battle.
From here on in it was Villneuve leading the charge with Hill buzzing around in his mirrors. Shmacher had break trouble and after a lengthly pit stop to repair the damage, he retired. The Ferrari had looked far more competitive than had been suggested by Shumacher before the race and certainly by midseason, should be right up there challenging.
In the meantime the battle up front was ongoing. Hill kept constant pressure on Villneuve who at one point left the track briefly, but managed to regain control before Hill past him. As the race went on it became apparent that Hill's car was discoloured. The squeky clean car of Villneuve contrasted with Hill's which was turning distinctly yellow. There was an oil leak springing from the Canadian's car, spraying Hill's who was in his slipsteam. Soon smoke appeared to be fuming from Villneave's car and it was not long after this that an agitated Williams team ordered the rookie to slow down to preserve his car. In doing so Hill sped past his fallen partner with 5 laps to go and went on to win his second Australian Grand Prix in a row.
Benn to Make a Quick return to the Ring(28/03/96)
Nigel Benn the former WBC middleweight boxing champion, announced his return to the ring just weeks after retiring. Benn snapped up the offer to fight against WBO champion Steve Collins.
Benn announced his retirement last month after losing his WBC title toSouth African Sugar Boy Malinga. Benn still feels he has something to offer in the ring and refuses to leave the sport a loser. A potential challenger for the WBC belt from Malinga could be Benns old adversary Chris Eubank, with the possibility of a unification fight in the summer, the two could still yet meet for a third time.
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, Febuary 12, March 13 14