01/12/2017 Issue 36

Celtic were awarded two penalties in a week and everyone went aff their nut!! Celtic will face Motherwell for the third time this week on Saturday at Celtic Park. The first in their trio of fixtures against the Steelmen came in the League Cup final at Hampden on Sunday. The Hoops went on to lift the cup with a 2-0 victory, their second coming from a Moussa Dembele penalty. Motherwell supporters, pundits and players all contested the justification of the penalty til they were blue in the face. So when the second fixture came around on Wednesday evening, and Celtic were awarded their second penalty of the week against the same opposition there was an uproar! Motherwell looked set to end Celtic’s run of 65 unbeaten domestic matches, the men in claret were leading by a goal up until the 88th minute when referee Willie Collum awarded Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor for what looks like a dive in the box. The game finished 1-1, and the Hoops march on to 66 undefeated domestic games. Should they draw or win on Saturday afternoon against the Well, they will have reached 67 undefeated domestic games. Should they be awarded another penalty, we may see folk emigrating to Canada (seriously the situation caused that much shock – drastic measures must be taken).

Gareth Bale is injured again! After returning for one game following his 2-month long injury, he’s been called back to the physio room for some repair work. The lads made of chocolate! The Welshman pulled his calf muscle during a 2-2 draw with Fuenlabrada. Ultimately he’s kept his team in the Copa del Rey; assisting the two goals which salvaged some pride at home against the team sitting top of the Segunda Division B.

Great credit goes to Fuenlabrada, who could definitely have bagged a couple more goals and perhaps have knocked out the great Real Madrid in the process. The first goal came from Luis Milla, and it was a cracker. His manager, looked on in shock and utter delight as the Indonesian player opened the scoring for the third division side at the Santiago Bernabeu. There was a bit of luck involved in the ball getting over the line, but he took the chance and put his side ahead. The second was scored from a counter attack, a move which picked Real Madrid apart all game. It was scored by Alvaro Portilla Suarez who won the ball in the midfield, passed it onto his winger, continue his run and finished with his second chance at the shot. The determination he showed will no doubt be remembered by every Fuenlabrada supporter for years to come.

Wayne Rooney scores a wonder goal at Goodison! In Everton’s 4-0 win over West Ham, Wazza scored a hat-trick and his third was quite simply a thing of beauty. A peach of a goal from the half way line, taken first time, graciously sailing over two West Ham heads and goalkeeper Joe Hart. Sublime!

Sam Allardyce has been handed the job at Everton.

Alan Pardew is the new manager of West Brom. Replacing Tony Pulis previously in charge of the Baggies for three season.

Carlos Pena was back on the Rangers score sheet with a 3-0 victory over Aberdeen at Ibrox. James Tavernier scored a brace and took his side into third place, closing the gap on the Dons to three points.

Hibernian Ladies lifted the Scottish Cup; the result means that they have now won the last four major cup finals. They beat Glasgow City Ladies 3-0 at Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium. The highlight of the match goes to Siobhan Hunters who scored an absolute screamer in the second half to double the Hibees lead.

England draw Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in the 2018 World Cup draw. I’ve never owned a Panama tap?

ONES TO WATCH

Motherwell 1 v 1 Celtic: https://youtu.be/dMjWF4RUqfo

Real Madrid 2 v 2 Fuenlabrada: https://youtu.be/VvQdHV6IPf0

Wayne Rooney: https://youtu.be/aHxHIPQJFNU

Rangers 3 v 0 Aberdeen: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/42075928

Hibernian Ladies 3 v 0 Glasgow City: http://scotwomensfootball.com/sse-sw-cup-final-city-v-hibs/

 

10/03/2017 Issue 9

Torino wonderkid, Andrea Belotti scored a 7-minute hat-trick against Palermo last Sunday. Torino were trailing for most of the game, until Belotti scored the equalizer on the 73rd minute. He scored again three minutes later then grabbed his hat-trick on the 81st minute.  Norbert Belogh was dealt a red card in the 78th minute as Palermo lost their lead. The win lifted Torino to 9th place in the Seria A league table, as Palermo remain in 18th place, 3-points from the drop.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings have been charged with violent conduct by the FA this week. The Manchester United striker and Bournemouth defender clashed during the 1-1 draw between their sides last Saturday. Mings landed on Zlatan’s head and moments later the Swede caught Mings in the face with his elbow. It was something of a royal rumble, shame the score-line lacked a bit of bite! Mings will serve a five-game ban while Ibrahimovic has accepted a three-match ban for violent conduct and will miss the FA Cup QF against Chelsea on Monday.

Tayfun Korkut has been named as the new Bayern Leverkusen boss after the sacking of Roger Schmidt. Schimdt was given the boot after a 6-2 loss at the hands of Borussia Dortmund, this is Leverkusen’s fourth defeat in six matches. The German side are still in contention of a Champions League spot, they trail Atletico Madrid 4-2 in their Champions League tie.

Kylian Mbappe has scored his 15th goal of the season. Monaco cruised to a 4-0 win over Nantes last Sunday to go three points clear at the top of Ligue 1. The U19 French International scored a brace and looked rather disappointed to be taken off 20 minutes from time.

The Bundesliga was on FIRE last weekend, offering three games with six or more goals!! Dortmund made light work of Bayern Leverkusen with a 6-2 thumping, Hoffenheim beat Ingolstadt 5-2 and Borussia Mochengladbach won 4-2 over Schalke. It was all square last Friday evening, as Augsburg played out a 2-2 draw with title challengers RB Leipzig. Unsurprisingly, Bayern Munich put three past FC Koln as they march towards a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title.

BT Sport has all but ended inclusion. Their new Champions League deal worth 1.2bn will change kick off times, guarantee places for the top four in Europe’s top four leagues and it has cruelly ended the weekly highlights available on free-to-air television on ITV. This is something I myself relied on because I refuse to pay for BT or Sky. Frankly, I would rather go to the pub to converse and have a drink, all the while watching the fitba’. Even if your one of the lucky few whose team makes it to the competition, good luck trying to get to a 6pm kick off when you finish work at 5pm. This plan is made to benefit the elite, not the working-class fan. Frankly, I’m disgusted. We’ve been priced out of stadiums, now soon we shall be priced out of football all together.

Now if you thought Ranieri’s sacking was harsh, look away now! Olympiakos have parted ways with Portugal’s Paulo Bento despite being top of the Greek Super League. Under-20s coach, Vasilis Vouzas will take charge after their third straight league defeat (the last time this happened was 1996). What has football become?

There was a referee scandal in the English Premier League this week, and in the Scottish Premiership (although the later wasn’t reported, nor will it ever be reported). A stag do in Marbella seemed to be the root cause of the English referee scandal. Sun reporter Phil Cadden tweeted early Saturday morning alerting football fans to Anthony Taylors stag in the Greek island. Taylor was the referee for Swansea v Burnley and was criticized far and wide for a somewhat bizarre penalty decision. Richard Keys and Gary Lineker took to Twitter to vent their disappointment and it didn’t end there, even Burnley manager Sean Dyche had something to say about it (tweets below!). Taylor’s pal, Kevin Friend was also under scrutiny following the wrestling match between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Tyrone Mings. The incident unraveled as follows: man stamps on man’s head; man elbows man in face; man dives after little/no shove. Who’s to blame? The referee.

Rangers made light work of Hamilton Academicals in their sixth-round Scottish Cup tie with a little help from the ref. There were some rather dreadful and inexcusable decisions made over the 90 minutes. The first was made early in the first half, when Rangers keeper Wes Foderingham handled the ball outside of the penalty area. Even former manager Walter Smith, who was part of the match day commentary team, was of the opinion that the keeper should have been sent off. It was nothing each at this point in the match, and with rangers down to ten men it may have been a different outcome. The second incident came from a controversial penalty decision. Accies disputed the penalty when Rangers John Toral tripped over his own feet but they had no such luck over ruling the decision. Waghorn converted the penalty and Rangers took the lead. The tip of the iceberg though was an incident in the second half. After scoring Rangers second goal Joe Garner should have seen red after he ASSAULTED Dougie Imrie. Referee, John Beaton opted for a yellow card. Garner went on to score a hat-trick and Hamilton lost the game 6-0. A shocking refereeing display, had the game been called correctly it may have been Hamilton playing in a semi-final at Hampden.

Celtic have been handed a semi-final tie against Rangers, while Hibernian have been drawn against Aberdeen. Celtic cruised past St Mirren with a 4-1 win a Parkhead, after a shakey start. The Championship side went ahead in the first half forcing Celtic to turn on the style in the second half, and that they did! Goals from Mikel Lustig, Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths well and truly cancelled out Harry Davis’s opener. A 1-0 win was enough to see Aberdeen through, they knocked out Premiership competition in Partick Thistle. Holders, Hibernian fought off 10-man Ayr United to win 3-1 at Easter Road. The Edinburgh side have set their sights on League promotion back to the top flight, but are also keen to retain the Scottish Cup. Not ready to let it go just yet they put in a wholehearted performance against a tough Ayr side. The win meant Hibs are competing in the SF for the third consecutive year (their fifth SF in six seasons – nae bad!).

A Russian MP has a solution to all our concerns over violence at the 2018 World Cup – turn it into a national sport! Liberal Democrat Igor Lebedev has shared some rules and regulations to construct his idea. So, “Fans arrive, and start picking fights….on each side of 20 people, without arms.” This numpty is a member of the Russian Football Union’s executive committee and defende the clash between Russian and England supporters at last summers Euro’s, insisting the mass brawl was “normal” and that he doesn’t (and I quote) “see anything wrong with the fans fighting.” 2018 is set to be a Royal Rumble paper view event – Zlatan had better come out of retirement, it appears this is his kind of sport!

MLS soccer was back with a bang! (Or a shot ton of paint, would be more accurate) It was tifo’s galore in Portland as they hosted Minnesota United. They’re colourful, exhuberant display inspired a 5-1 home victory and the Timbers Army have found a whole new fan base of their own. Atlanta United made a huge statement in their MLS debut with a 55,297-sell-out attendance but just fell short of a victory following a 2-1 defeat at the hands of New York Red Bulls. The first goal in Atlanta United’s history was scored by Argentinian Yamil Asad. Orlando City began their league campaign with a clean-sheet and a win in their new stadium. 25,527 fans came out to cheer the lions as they enjoyed a 1-0 win over expansion rivals New York City FC. Cyle Larin will be remembered as the man who scored the first goal in Orlando’s new home. What a way to break in the new accommodation, best house warming EVER!!

Tweet of the week goes to Bolton Wanders who responded positively I the face of homophobic bile drudged up by Manchester united supporters. On Tuesday afternoon Manchester United announced the news that they would be partnering with LGBT equality charity, Stonewall UK. Some reds fans weren’t too impressed and took to twitter to vent their idiocrasy. One such “fan” under the Twitter handle @Fortunefilmzng tweeted “@ManUtd @stonewalluk I’d rather support Bolton Wanderers than a club that endorses the immortality without considering the fans”. Bolton Wanderers rightly responded with “We’d rather you didn’t. TeamStonewall”, and mic drop! Fair play to both Manchester United, for being the first British team to partner with an LGBT charity, and Bolton Wanderers for standing up to bigotry.

Xabi Alonso has confirmed he will retire when his contract expires this summer. The Spaniard took to Twitter to announce the news, alongside a picture of him waving goodbye he wrote: Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game.” Throughout his career, Alonso won a World Cup title, two European Championships, two Champions League trophies, two Bundesliga titles, one La Liga title, one FA Cup, two Copa del Rey and one German Cup. A class act, thank you Xavi.

 

ONES TO WATCH

ANDREW BELOTTI

7-minute hat-trick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bf4EV-5KPc

 

REFEREE

Phil Cadden tweet: https://twitter.com/pjcadden/status/837950037762142208

Gary Lineker tweet: https://twitter.com/GaryLineker/status/838060266726260736

Richard Keys tweet: https://twitter.com/richardajkeys/status/838020566552563712

BBC piece on ref scandal: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39173379

 

SCOTTISH CUP

Celtic 4 – 1 St Mirren: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39093857

Aberdeen 1 – 0 Partick Thistle: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39175372

Hibernian 3 – 1 Ayr United: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39170168

Rangers 6 – 0 Hamilton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39086738

 

MLS

Portland tifo: https://twitter.com/MLS/status/837861411980095488

Atlanta United FC: https://twitter.com/ATLUTD/status/838602687067324417

Orlando City, ‘a gift from the gods’ tifo: https://twitter.com/OrlandoCitySC/status/838834963654979584

 

TWEET OF THE WEEK

Team Stonewall: https://twitter.com/OfficialBWFC/status/839170870480351242

Man Utd partnership: https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/839143685728129026

 

XAVI ALONSO

Top 10 goals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7ECDeG0Yk

Maestro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Q8PkPEznw

24/02/2017 Issue 7

The magic of the FA Cup strikes again! Joey Barton showed us his vanishing act as Lincoln City knocked Premier League Burnley out of the competition, the shoe was on the other foot as the Lions caged the Champions and Wayne Shaw made a pie disappear!

Yes, non-league side Lincoln City progressed to the quarter-final after their 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor. The Imps have made history becoming the first non-league side in 103 years to reach the FA Cup QF with a dramatic last-minute winner scored by Sean Raggett. The centre back sent Lincoln’s 3,210 travelling support into delirium as they celebrated their club reaching the quarter-finals for the first time in their 133-year history. The ever-popular, Joey Barton was left on the floor after he stamped on the foot of Matt Rhead, figure that one out? The two locked horns throughout the 90-minutes and it made for a rather entertaining battle. The former-Rangers player also sparked a rammy in the box after he caught Hawkridge in the face on the 70th minute. It wasn’t the first-time Joey Barton experienced Twitter posts being dredged up from the past (see link below). Lincoln had the last laugh however, and it is the Imps who will go on to face Arsenal in the QF.

Arsenal made it to the competition beating other non-league side, Sutton United. Arsenal travelled to Gander Green Lane and avoided another red-face defeat with a hard-fought victory against a spirited Sutton. Goals from Perez and Walcott proved to be too much for Sutton, who had a couple of chances throughout the match that may have made for a more interesting tie had the burst the net. Sutton can proudly hold their heads high. This was a history day for the city and the tournament, and will forever live in the memory of fans, staff and players alike. The biggest laugh of the day, and week I guess, comes from reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw. The big man made many contributions throughout the day despite never making an appearance in the 90 minutes. Pre-match he hoovered the dug-out, at half-time he was in the stadium pub entertaining the masses and during the second half, knowing full well all the subs had been made, he was caught wrapping his gums around a pasty! Comedy gold, if you haven’t seen it there is a link below. It was all fun and game until Shaw was forced to leave the club following criticism which has prompted investigations by the Gambling Commission and the Football Association.

Oxford United gave Premier League Middlesbrough a scare in their fifth-round tie. It was Middlesbrough who took the lead through a Leadbitter penalty. Oxford came up with a quick reply, but the goal was disallowed for a push on centre back Bernarndo. Rudy Gestede turned up the heat with his magnificent over-head kick goal, his first goal for the Boro, which put the Premier League club two goals ahead but Oxford fought back in the second half. A Chris Maguire free-kick sailed past Boro keeper, Guzan. Oxford’s tails were well and truly up, and their relentless attack was awarded when Tony Martinez burst the net to pull Oxford United level with two goals in 2-minutes. However, it was Boro who nicked the winner. Christian Stuani saved Middlesbrough’s blushes, when he tapped the ball in 4-minutes from time. Middlesbrough will face Huddersfield or Manchester City in the quarter-final.

Huddersfield and Manchester City will play a replay after their fifth-round tie finished in a 0-0 draw. Don’t be fooled by the score line, this was a very entertaining 90-minutes of football. Both goal keeper’s were in fine form, record crowd in attendance at the John Smith’s stadium, there was a Huddersfield goal ruled out for off-side and there was an effort cleared off the line. This will be a good one to watch come the replay. 

The Lions knocked the Champions out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at The Den. Their victory was made even sweeter by the fact they were down to 10-man for the final 40-minutes after defender Jake Cooper received his second yellow of the day.  Ten-men Millwall progressed to the QF through Shaun Cumming’s dramatic last minute winner. He struck low past Zieler, to set up a QF tie with city rivals Tottenham Hotspurs.

Spurs breezed past Fulham on Saturday afternoon, to progress to the next round. Harry Kane scored a hat-trick, and was supported well be team mates Erikson, Son, Alli, Trippier, Winks and co. Spurs appeared to put the disappointment of Gent behind them, and looked to put a spring in their step before the return Europa League leg on Thursday.

Chelsea were made to work for it against Wolves at Mollineux. The first half performance from the struggling Championship side was positive and rather testing for Conte’s side. It wasn’t until the second half that the Londoners went through the gears and upped the ante to produce the 2-0 win. Chelsea will face Manchester United in the QF, this fixture produced the big WOW moment in the studio during the FA Cup draw – its sure to be a tasty old tie!

Manchester United struggled to reach the QF as Blackburn Rovers out them through their paces. Zlatan Ibrahimovic made the difference on the day when he was subbed on in the 62nd minute for Anthony Martial to secure the victory for United. It was his goal in the 75th minute which ended Rovers cup win.

There was a new development for Blackburn Rovers this week, as it was announced that Tony Mowbray would be their new manager. He replaces Owen Coyle who left the club by mutual consent. It will be a tough job for the former Middlesbrough, Celtic, West Brom and Hibernian manager as Rovers continue to struggle at the bottom of the Championship battling against relegation. Rovers currently sit in 23rd place, three points from safety. As a Celtic fan, I am here to publicly warn the Rovers faithful that relegation may be imminent. See the link below.

Around the English Football League in 189 days! Ed Wood, has done something that many die-hards would struggle to muster. The Derby County fan has broken a Guinness World Record by travelling 22,000 miles over 189 days to visit every ground in the English Football League. He completed the mighty feet at Rochdale’s Crown Oil Arena. To keep things exciting his friends gave him challenges, such as get a selfie with a chairman and get yourself into the dressing room. He didn’t manage everyone, but he has completed the biggest challenge of them all – completing the 93.

Chan Yuen-Ting made history this week becoming the first female to manage a men’s football team in a continental competition. The head coach of Hong Kong’s Eastern Sport’s Club lead her team out against Guangzhou Evergreen in the Asian Champions League, if you can find a score I’ll be very impressed.

Former Newcastle United striker, Alan Shearer will present a BBC One documentary about the link between football and dementia. The programme titles, ‘Dementia: Football’s silent shame?’ will be aired in a bid to find out if footballers are at a greater risk than the general population. The match of the day regular will meet suffering footballers and their families before participating in various medical testing to discover more about the disease.

Hibernian knocked city rivals, Hearts out of the Scottish Cup at Easter Road to set up a quarter-final tie against Ayr United. Hibs ran Hearts ragged all over the park and thoroughly deserved their win. Jason Cummings and Grant Holt put the Hibees in the hot seat, Andrew Shinnie added the third before Goncalves grabbed a consolation goal for the travelling Jambos. The Hibs fans treated us to a rendition of their famous anthem, link in the list below.

On Sunday after noon the big question was answered, namely “Why did fat Ronaldo get that nasty haircut back in 2002?”. Well the Brazilian legend revealed that he was haunted by the media who were solely focused on his injured groin, so the striker plotted his own refuge from the media’s relentless gage on the negative and he went to the barbers to ask for “the worse one you’ve got in your locker” and as we all know the barber did not disappoint. Alas, the media moved away from the injured muscle and instead focused on the apparent injury to his hair. Go on Fat Ronnie!

Dundee recorded their first home league win over Rangers since 1992. The Dee’s pilled the misery on the Rangers supporters, who have suffered managerial confusion over the past weeks’, by winning 2 – 1 at Dens Park. O’Hara opened the scoring in the 13th minute after a rather Barcelona-esque build-up play from Dundee. Kevin Holt scored the second with his free-kick from the corner of the 18-yard box. Joe Gardner grabbed the consolation for Rangers. Interim manager Graeme Murty entertained us all by demonstrating his acrobatic moves on the touchline (link in list below – have a giggle).

Youth player Jordi Mboula put his name in the hat for Youth Goal of the Season in this year’s UEFA Youth League. The 17-year-old Spaniard scored a breathtaking solo effort against German opposition, Borussia Dortmund. Barcelona won the game 4 – 1. Have a look at the goal in the link in the list below.

Now we come to the worst news of the week. Claudio Ranieri has been sacked by Leicester City. I’m going to say this now, I hope you get relegated – it’s what you deserve and certainly what Ranieri did not. He lead the Foxes to an unprecedented Premier League title. Last year when they won, they were favourites to be relegated and now they have ripped the soul from the game. It was a classless decision and one which will haunt football for some time to come. #fearless #souless

Dear Claudio,

Thanks for the memories, you took the impossible and turned it into a Premier League winning season; you deserved better.

Thanks,

Football.

 

 

ONES TO WATCH

 

FA CUP RESULTS

Burnley 0 – 1 Lincoln: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39016439

Sutton 0 – 2 Sutton: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39033559

Middlebrough 2 – 3 Oxford: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017203

Hudderfield 0 – 0 Man City: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017199

Millwall 1 – 0 Leicester: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017207

Fulham 0 – 3 Tottenham: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39018304

Wolves 0 – 2 Chelsea: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39017228

Blackburn 1 – 2 Man Utd: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39023089

 

JOEY BARTON

Fight breaks out in the FA Cup: https://youtu.be/OWbz_fd8Pz8

Be careful what you out on social media: https://twitter.com/Joey7Barton/status/298193429186371584

 

WAYNE SHAW

Who ate aww the pies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrN-ZhjNfTM

 

LINCOLN CITY

Scenes: https://twitter.com/winstano/status/832961380689047553

 

TONY MOWBRAY

Celtic’s embarrassment at the hands of the Buddies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=memlFN-DY_I

 

SCOTTISH CUP REPLAY

Hibs 3 – 1 Hearts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39066751

Sunshine on Leith: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39066748                               

 

25 YEAR WAIT IS OVER

Dundee 2 – 1 Rangers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/39023197

Gymnastics? At the fitbaw? Yes Jimmy: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39034853

 

BARCELONA’S TEENAGE TALENT

Remember the name, Jordi Mboula: http://www.uefa.com/uefayouthleague/video/videoid=2444032.html?autoplay=true

 

DILLY DING DILLY DONG

That press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPNzhJQbzJ8

That moment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQQGiLWB-Zs

That journey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LFzq-0csDY

That player: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ml3r21bJZfw

 

17/02/2017 Issue 6

LOADS, LOADS AND LOADS MORE TO FIT IN THIS WEEK!! We have fitbaw’ news from all over the world to share with you.

Four Scottish Premier League sides made it through to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup this week. Aberdeen, Celtic, Partick Thistle and Rangers all won in their fifth-round ties to make it to the next stage of the domestic competition. Aberdeen left it late against Ross County; Shay Logan’s 87th minute winner sealed the victory for the Dons. Staggies keeper Scott Fox had a terrific day between the sticks to keep Aberdeen at bay, but relentless pressure from the Dons would finally pay off in the closing minutes. Partick Thistle also picked up an away win against St Johnstone in Perth. Unlike Aberdeen their goal came very early in the game; on the 7th minute, midfielder Adam Barton side-footed the ball past goalkeeper Zander Clark. This was Barton’s second goal of the season. Celtic continued their impressive form with a 6-0 demolition of Inverness Caley Thistle. Frenchman, Moussa Dembele, scored his second hat-trick in two consecutive games taking his total to 26 goals scored in all competitions. It was Swedish international, Mikael Lustig, who opened the scoring at Parkhead. Club captain, Scott Brown, was also on the scoresheet; as was fan favourite Kieran Tierney who netted a header in the second half. Joining Celtic in the quarters is Championship side, St Mirren. The Buddies booked a place in the quarters knocking out East Fife with a 3-2 victory away from home. Ayr United and Hamilton have progressed to the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup after winning their respective replay ties in, and after, extra-time. Ayr United progressed by beating Clyde 2-1 away. Michael Wardrope’s header in the 117th minute booked them a place in the QF against either Hibernian or Hearts (who will play their replay next Tuesday 21 Feb). Dunfermline proved to be a tough cookie to crack, they took Premier League side Hamilton to penalty’s which the Accies eventually won 3-0. Hamilton will play Rangers at Ibrox in the QF.

Rudderless Rangers still live in dysfunctional and embarrassing times. Many Rangers supporters would have believed that they had left the Charles Green, Craig Whyte and EBT shambles behind and entered a new era of positive leadership but it seems the club have other ideas. On Friday evening the news broke that former manager Mark Warburton, assistant manager David Weir and Head of Recruitment Frank MacParland had resigned from the club. However, less than an hour later Warburton claimed that he never stood down and that he was unaware of the official club statement. The former manager is now consulting his legal team over the recent events. Warburton’s departure had been coming for some time; the relationship between himself and the board had been strained from the beginning. Warburton himself has claimed that he hasn’t had a face-to-face meeting with club owner, David King, in months. King has also showed his concern over Warburton and MacParland’s summer signings. It was a relationship that wasn’t built to last. Whether this decision was made by the Rangers board or by the individual’s themselves we may never know but it is yet another humiliating issue Rangers could do without. There was a light at the end of the tunnel for Rangers who booked a place in the Scottish Cup quarter final by beating Greenock Morton 2-1 last Sunday. Caretaker manager, and Rangers U-20 coach, Graeme Murty will be happy to have steered a home victory after what has been another turbulent week at Ibrox. Rangers will face Hamilton in the quarter finals. A strong leader, with a clear direction is what Rangers are in dire need of. Who will it be?

Onto the Bundesliga which offered some cracking results over the weekend. Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the Bundesliga to seven, with late goals coming from Arturo Vidal and Arjen Robben. The German champions were heading to a 0-0 away draw with FC Ingolstadt until Vidal struck on the 89th minute. Robben sealed the deal 3 minutes into extra time, and Bayern got a lucky escape. Their closest challengers, RB Leipzig, provided one of the biggest upset of the weekend; they lost 3-0 at home to 15th place, Hamburg. This is Leipzig’ fourth defeat in seven Bundesliga matches. Hamburg’s victory over the title contenders brought them out of the relegation zone, and pushed Werder Bremen into the pit after their 1-0 defeat courtesy of Borussia Monchengladbach. The biggest upset of the day though came from SV Darmstadt 98 who bet Borussia Dortmund 2-1 at home. Darmstadt, who currently sit bottom of the table, have won only one point from their previous 11 league matches.

Ligue 1 is heating up! Monaco and Paris St-Germain are having a good auld battle at the top of the French League. Last Friday evening PSG put on a show in Bordeaux to move level on points with fellow title contenders, Monaco. Edinson Cavani netted twice and Angel di Maria provided the third goal to bring their team level. However, it was Monaco’s chance to turn on the style on Saturday evening, and turn on the style they did. Remember the name folks! 18-year-old, French teenager by the name of Kylian Mbappe-Lottin scored his first Ligue 1 hat-trick in a 5-0 thrashing of 15th placed, Metz. Radamel Falcoa provided the other two goals and the win restored Monaco’s three – point lead at the top of Ligue 1. It’ll be exciting to watch this one develop!

Joel Veltman won’t be winning any awards for fair play anytime soon. The Ajax defender demonstrated the most unsportmanlike behaviour against Sparta Rotterdam last Sunday afternoon. Veltman was carrying the ball down the wing when fellow team mate, Bertrand Traore, fell to the ground. As Sparta defender, Ivan Calero, approached Veltman he signaled to him to stop so that his injured team mate could be treated. However, the signal was simply a ruse and Veltman continued with play by whipping a cross into the opposition box. It was a filthy tactic, but one which Veltman insists was ‘clever’. Ajax currently sit 2nd in the Eredivisie, 14 points behind leaders Feyenoord.

Burnley may have saved the Premier League title race after their 1-1 draw with Chelsea last weekend. The Clarets salvaged a point at home against Conte’s super side which appeared to be destroying everyone in their path to title domination. However, a Robbie Brady free-kick knocked them off their tracks, and put some fire back into the title race. The real hero though stood on the stands at Turf Moor; a Clarets fan saved a child from being struck on the face with Ashley Barnes misplaced effort (see the video in the list below). Arsenal and Liverpool kept up their title bids this weekend. Arsenal produced a comfortable 2-0 win at home to Hull on Saturday and Liverpool rallied after their recent dismal form to trounce fellow title contenders Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0 at Anfield. Manchester City put 2 goals past Bournemouth on Monday night to go second, strengthening their title challenge. They are now 8 points adrift of leaders, Chelsea.

Only a few weeks ago, Jose Mourinho, insisted that he was treated differently from all other Premier League managers but today he was proven wrong. West Ham manager, Slaven Bilic, has been charged with improper conduct by the English FA after throwing a television microphone in protest of Gareth McAuley’s injury time equalizer. Bilic was sent to the stand following the incident and his assistant, Nikola Jercevic, has also been charged with misconduct following another protest early in the first half. The pair have been fined £8,000 each having accepted the charges.

THAT IS SENSATIONAL!! Fernando Torres throws his name in the hat for goal of the season. He scored an absolute cracker of an overhead kick against Celta Vigo at the Calderon. The home side managed to seal a 3-2 win, completing an epic comeback in the process. Vigo went ahead in the first 5 minutes when Cabral slotted home, then Torres equalized with his stunning overhead effort. John Guidetti scored to put Celta a goal ahead, before Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann spoiled the party on the 86th and 88th minute. The win put Atletico in 4th place, seven points shy of leaders Real Madrid.

The Scottish Challenge Cup is expanding, yet again, to feature two teams from the League of Ireland. Sligo Rovers and Bray Rovers will both feature in next season’s competition. The tournament expanded last season to include Welsh sides, The New Saints and Bala Town, and Northern Irish sides, Crusaders and Linfield. In fact, the New Saints have a semi-final tie against St Mirren to look forward to this Sunday. The League of Ireland teams were chosen based on finishing in the highest league positions of the sides playing out with European competition.

FC St Pauli, the Bundesliga – 2 team known best for its left-wing politics, has condemned kit suppliers Under Armour after company CEO, Kevin Plank, praised Trump’s business acumen. Plank later stated that Donald Trump was “a real asset for the country” and now many his Under Armour athletes and team have begun to distance themselves from the CEO’s very public support. Plank’s opinion sparked trending Twitter hashtag #BoycottUnderArmour, as consumers and public alike showed their dislike over the CEO’s show of support for President Trump. Gottlich, FC St Pauli’s chief executive, came out with his own statement last Friday, he said that he hoped Mr Plank will “reconsider his statement, precisely in the view of the company’s many employees of migrant background, who bring many assets to his company”. Well said that man!

Mark Clattenburg is quitting his role as a Premier League official to become the new Head of Referee’s in Saudi Arabia. Clattenburg took charge of the World Cup final, Champions League final and the FA Cup final last year, and is considered one of the best referee’s in the world. He will replace fellow official Howard Webb who resigned 12 days ago.

Goal line technology could be introduced to the Championship next season. The club agreed ‘in principle’ to include the new technology, that has been used in the English Premier League since 2013. The idea will be brought to the table at the EFL AGM in June.

Borussia Dortmund has Hollywood actor, Tom Hanks, and Bayern Munich have tennis legend, Boris Becker but Darmstadt have the former leader of the free world. The Lillies are the only club in Europe followed by Barack Obama on Twitter. A local radio station in Hesse, Germany made the discovery and Darmstadt were quick to react. Darmstadt’s official Twitter account posted a video of their German-born US international striker Terrence Boyd, who scored in the shock win over Dortmund, inviting Obama to a game at their Bollenfalltor Stadium.  The 44th President of the United States is yet to respond, perhaps he’s looking for the best fixture.

How do you blag free entry to a big European game? Pretend you’re a scout of course! Twitter groups @scoutsinattendance, tweeted on Wednesday afternoon to tell us that “a random punter” had managed to gain free entry to Benfica v Dortmund by posing as a scout for Wigan Athletic. And if you read the comments below, it would seem many “random punters” have pulled the same trick! I must try this some time.

  

ONES TO WATCH

SCOTTISH CUP

Ross County 0 v 1 Aberdeen highlights: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38865418

St Johnstone 0 v 1 Partick Thistle highlights: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38865417

Celtic 6 v 0 Inverness highlights – Moussa Dembele Hat-trick Hero: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38865333

 

RUDDERLESS RANGERS

Rangers 2 v 1 Morton highlights: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38871566

More insight: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38939432

Official club statement: https://rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/club-statement-74/

 

BUNDESLIGA

FC Ingolstadt 0 – 2 Bayern Munich highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/germany/bundesliga/2017-02-11-ingolstadt-04-bayern-munich.html

RB Leipzig 0 – 3 Hamburg highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/germany/bundesliga/2017-02-11-rb-leipzig-hamburg.html

Darmstadt 2 – 1 Borussia Dortmund highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/germany/bundesliga/2017-02-11-darmstadt-borussia-dortmund.html

 

LIGUE 1

Bordeoux 0 – 2 Paris Saint Germain highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/france/ligue-1/2017-02-10-bordeaux-paris-saint-germain.html

Monaco 5 – 0 Metz highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/france/ligue-1/2017-02-11-monaco-metz.html

 

JOEL VELTMAN: FAIR GAME OR UNSPORTING?

The Ajax centre back fools us all: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/football/2017/02/12/ajax-defender-joel-veltman-produces-unsportsmanlike-move-time/

Veltman’s deceit: https://youtu.be/1v9D7hpiDSQ

 

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE

Burnley fan saves the day: https://twitter.com/BigSportGB/status/830790288696287233

Burnley 1 – 1 Chelsea highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/england/premier-league/2017-02-12-burnley-chelsea.html

West Ham 2 – 2 West Brom highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/england/premier-league/2017-02-11-west-ham-west-bromwich.html

Liverpool 2 – 0 Tottenham highlights: http://football-highlight.com/en/england/premier-league/2017-02-11-liverpool-tottenham.html

Bournemouth 0 – 2 Manchester City reaction: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38876924

 

GOAL OF THE SEASON CONTENDER

Fernando Torres with yet another spectacular finish: https://whatahowler.com/fernando-torres-gives-us-the-gift-of-hope-e13d25554246#.ma361khwz

 

FC ST PAULI

#BoycottUnderArmour and Trump!: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2017/02/10/the-backlash-against-under-armour-ceos-trump-comments-has-gone-global/?utm_term=.6080db09aeb2

 

BARACK OBAMA

Darmstadt Twitter video: https://twitter.com/sv98/status/831880733492912129

 

THE OLDEST TRICK IN THE BOOK

Faux Wigan Scout: https://twitter.com/scoutsattending/status/831883046181859329

03/02/2017 Issue 4

A lot has happened in a week. This is less of a wee 1-2, and more of a one on one with the keeper, keeper fouls, ref blows the whistle, penalty given, goalkeeper saves it, crowd goes wild, penalty taker gets subbed off, replacement runs through on goal, plays the 1-2 and…..GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAALLLL!!!

The point I’m trying to make is that there was a hell of a lot of stories this week, but they were all worth a write up. So, there’s a bit of extra reading but it’s all worth it in the end. Promise!

So, in the last issue (issue 3) we told you that Celtic had equaled a record set by Jock Stein’s Lisbon Lions. Well this week, after a 4-0 thrashing of Hearts, Celtic have broken that 50-year-old record. A Callum McGregor opener, Scott Sinclair brace and Paddy Roberts finish dispatched a some-what underachieving Hearts side to take their unbeaten run to 27 games (28 including their Aberdeen win mid-week). Brendan Rodgers side have only dropped 2 points in the entire league campaign, so far, and have fans wondering if they will ever be beaten. The 18th September 2016 was the last time Celtic dropped points; drawing 2-2 with Inverness Caley Thistle. Since then, Celtic have won 17 on the bounce. In fact, make that 18 on the bounce after their 1-0 win against Aberdeen on Wednesday night. Dedryck Boyata came up with the goods yet again, a header in the 57th minute. Celtic now sit at the top of the Scottish Premier League with 67 points, 25 points ahead of their closest challengers Rangers. (The same points difference between 2nd place and last) UNBELIEVABLE. UNDEFEATED.

Hearts handed out their own drubbing of Rangers Football Club on Wednesday night. The Jambo’s demolished the Ibrox side 4-1 at Tynecastle. Aberdeen are now only two points adrift of second place, Rangers, and the Dons have a game in hand. Ian Cathro’s side sit 4th in the league table, 6 points behind Aberdeen and 8 points behind Rangers. Aberdeen meet Rangers on 9th April at Pittodrie.

In other Scottish football news, Kilmarnock striker Kris Boyd also broke a record by scoring the fastest Premiership goal. The striker took only 10.4 seconds to break the deadlock against Ross County at Rugby Park. The SPL’s highest goal scorer admits that he doesn’t remember much about the incident, and was sure he was offside.  His side recorded a 3-2 home win against Ross County. Make sure you check out the highlights below – cracking game of fitbaw!

Also for your amusement, there is a rather hilarious video circling the YouTube of former Celtic player and all round good guy, Chris Sutton, attempting to re-create Kris Boyd’s historical goal. Fellow pundit, Terry Butcher, is having none of it and absolutely cements Sutton who charges in on goal. Great watch!

The FA Cup draw has set up a mammoth David v Goliath tie in the fifth-round. Sutton United will face Premier League top 4 regulars, Arsenal, at home. The 12-time winners are in for a bit of a shock at the Gander Green Lane stadium. Sutton’s home ground host’s a 5,000-capacity crowd, a changing room you could barely swing a cat in and a 45-year-old reserve goalkeeper. Arsenal are, of course, the favorites to win the tie but Sutton have knocked out superior competition before. The question is, can David strike again? Bearing in mind Goliath packs a pretty good punch in Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott, Petr Cech, Per Mertesacker, the Ox, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and even manager, Arsene Wenger, packs a good punch *coughs* push himself. Apart from that, I reckon David’s got a very decent chance. C’mon United! (The game will be shown live on the BBC on Monday 20th February, kick off at 7:55pm)

Football returned to Aleppo for the first time in 5 years. After many years of conflict Aleppo experienced a degree of normality during a 90-minute game of football between local rivals, Al Ittihad and Horiyah. The game was played in an actual bomb-site, in the Ri’ayat al-Shabab stadium. Football in Aleppo has been disbanded over the past 5 years, as the city became a battleground between rebel forces, pro-government forces, Russian airstrikes, and British airstrikes. Al-Ittihad won the game 2-1, in front of a packed stadium. More than 30,000 people have been killed in the Battle for Aleppo, perhaps the return of football will come to signify unity, strength, safety and peace in the region. It will hopefully work to gain some level of normality in the Syrian people’s lives.

Barcelona took one step closer to the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night, after beating rivals Atletico Madrid 2-1 at the Vicente Calderon. Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored before the half, but French international Antoine Griezmann clinched an important goal before the end, giving his side some hope for the second leg to be played next Tuesday 7th February at the Nou Camp.

The other semi-final tie ended in a 0-0 draw between Celta Vigo and Alaves. The second leg will be played at the Mendizorrotza next Wednesday (kick off 8pm).  

Last week it was Arsene, this week it’s his old pal Jose.

Yes, the Special One has lost it! He hates EVERYONE! Referees, fourth officials, journalists, and the BBC. After a 0-0 draw with Hull City on Wednesday night, Mr. Mourinho stormed out of an interview with the BBC. The Special One ended the conversation telling interviewer, Martin Fisher:

“If you don’t know football, you shouldn’t have a microphone.”

The Manchester United manager also raged over the vast difference in treatment he receives from the match officials. Mourinho has been keen to point out an incident between fourth official, Neil Swarbrick, and Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, during Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Tuesday evening. An angry Klopp apologized to Swarbrick who received an ear-full from the German during the second half. Swarbrick response sparked Mourinho’s outrage. The fourth official replied, “No problem, I like your passion.” The Special One isn’t happy, and insists, that for him – everything is different. A big tough titty to you!

Peter Crouch scored his 100th Premier League goal, as Stoke drew 1-1 with Everton. He pulled out ye old Robot celebration, made famous at the 2006 World Cup.

The transfer window has come to an end, and there isn’t much to report really. Payet left, and some West Ham fans were seething, but he has Thierry Henry’s backing so it’s all Va Va Voom. Berahinho made a move away from West Brom, and Stoke City signed a neat little striker for a rather decent £12million fee. Manchester City brought in Gabriel Jesus, who has already made a great impression on the City faithful. West Ham brought in Snoddy and Fonte, which looks like a tasty wee deal, and may take some of the sting from Payet’s departure. You can check out your team’s signing in the link below (JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW – England, how did your club do?).

In Scotland, Stephen Pearson returns to Motherwell for his third spell. Kilmarnock have brought in former striker Conor Sammon on loan and former Celtic player, Kristoffer Ajer, who has made a big impression on the Killie fans already. Ryan Christie has moved to Aberdeen on loan until the end of the season. Celtic have brought in midfielder Eboue Kouassi (leave some vowels for the rest of us big man). Henrik Ojamaa is back in Scotland, and will feature in Paul Hartley’s Dundee side. Niall Keown, son of Martin, has signed a loan deal with Partick Thistle. You can check out your team’s signing in the link below (JANUARY TRANSFER WINDOW – Scotland, how did your club do?)

Ex-Chelsea, West Ham, Manchester City, England and New York City player Frank Lampard has retired. On Thursday morning, he broke the news bringing an end to a football career spanning 21 years. Lampard won many honors in this time; lifting the English Premier League title on three occasions (Chelsea 2004-05, 2005-06, 2009-10); 4 FA Cups; 2 League Cups; 2 FA Community Shields; 1 Champions League trophy (2012) and 1 Europa League trophy (2013). Frank Lampard was awarded 106 caps for England, and appeared at his first major international tournament at the European Champions in 2004. Lampard represented his country at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cup Finals. He scored 29 goals for his country and is 1 of only 8 players to have earned 100 England caps.

Egypt will meet Cameroon in the final of the African Cup of Nations this Sunday 5th February (kick off 7pm).

And there you have it; your weekly round-up!  

 

 ONES TO WATCH

RECORD BREAKERS

Celtic 4 – 0 Hearts: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38709176

Archie MacPherson comments: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38774708  

 

HEARTS DEMOLISH RANGERS

Match highlights: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38740392

 

KRIS BOYD BREAKS ANOTHER GOAL SCORING RECORD

Fastest goal in Premiership history: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/38791562

Kilmarnock 3 – 2 Ross County: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/38784067

 

THE BATTLE FOR ALEPPO

The first football game in five years: https://www.rt.com/sport/375682-aleppo-first-football-match/

 

MOURINHO HATES EVERYONE

That BBC interview (or lack of): http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38835923

 

CENTENARY BOY

Peter Crouch gets his 100th PL goal: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38836342

The Robot: https://youtu.be/Htmj309y4sw

 

JANUARY TRANFER WINDOW

England, how did your club do?: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/01/transfer-window-premier-league-club-by-club

Scotland, how did your club do?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/38799105

 

FRANK LAMPARD

Stats and juicy tit bits: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/37985587

A look back at his career: https://youtu.be/NX6Z6PtCh3s

Disallowed goal v Germany at 2010 World Cup: https://youtu.be/o5QlBHF6ib8

Chelsea Tribute: https://youtu.be/6xhUslfEL3Q