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Goal of the day: Dimitar Berbatov (Monaco) vs Nice

A wonderfully impudent finish from Dimitar Berbatov was enough to earn AS Monaco a 1-0 victory over Nice and a spot in next year's Champions League.

In a magnificent derby atmosphere at the Stade Louis II, the match began with a moment of inspiration.

With five minutes gone, João Moutinho found Berbatov on the left, inside the Nice penalty box.

The former Manchester United striker controlled the ball with his first touch, let the ball bounce then produced a majestic outside of the right foot chip to lob the ball over David Ospina.

It was Berbatov's third goal since arriving in the principality on loan from Fulham last January.

Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri told a press conference: "It was solid gold. I believe he intended to score."

"That goal is in my top three, after the goal against Liverpool with Manchester United and another one against Roma," Berbatov told L'Équipe.


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Real Betis player asks to be replaced after two errors in first few minutes

Real Betis defender Paulão asked to be subbed off just half an hour into into Sunday's 3-1 loss at Rayo Vallecano and left the pitch in tears following his two errors that led to his opponents' first two goals.

Real Betis player Paulão reacts after scoring an own goal against Rayo Vallecano
Real Betis player Paulão reacts after scoring an own goal against Rayo Vallecano

Photo: MARCA

The Brazilian's horror show on Sunday was one of the main talking points of the weekend's La Liga action.

First, Paulão's horrendous back-pass allowed Rubén Rochina to nip in ahead of the stranded Antonio Adán to open the scoring on 14 minutes.

And things got even worse for the 31-year-old when he turned Anaitz Arbilla's cross into his own net shortly after the half-hour mark.

Paulão was so embarrassed with his mistakes that he immediately gestured to be substituted, and a few minutes later his wish was granted, with Álvaro Vadillo coming on instead.

"As you saw, he requested the substitution because he felt morally responsible for both goals and it's difficult for any player to suffer that kind of set-back," Betis coach Gabriel Calderón said in his post-match press conference.


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Mikel Arteta loses tooth after clash with Hull player

Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta faces a trip the dentist after having one of his front teeth knocked out during his side's 3-0 win at Hull City on Sunday.

The Spaniard collided with Hull City forward Shane Long in the first half, with cameras caught Arteta's tooth flying into the air.

Arsenal teammate Aaron Ramsey and physio Colin Lewin attempted to help Arteta look for the stray tooth while he was down injured, but to no avail.

"No, today we lost one tooth and he hasn't found it back," Gunners boss Arsène Wenger confirmed after the game.


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David Moyes haunted by 'Grim Reaper' on Everton return

Under-fire Manchester United manager David Moyes found the "Grim Reaper" was following him during the Scot's return to Everton on Sunday.


One fan dressed in a black cloak complete with an inflatable scythe and a wicked sense of humour turned up to haunt Moyes at Goodison Park.


And things got no better for Moyes as the game wore on, with a Leighton Baines penalty and a Kevin Mirallas goal giving the Toffees a 2-0 half-time lead.

Sadly, the "Grim Reaper" was escorted off the premises by the Everton stewards midway through the first half.


It later turned out that it was a publicity stunt by bookmakers Paddy Power.

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Advertising boards invade Hull vs Arsenal match

A Premier League match between Hull City and Arsenal was halted on Sunday when a number of advertising boards were blown onto the pitch.

There were four minutes on the clock at the KC Stadium when the strong wind which was whistling around the ground dislodged a number of the hoardings and scattered them on the pitch.

Referee Jonathan Moss immediately halted play and some of the players helped to remove the boards from the pitch and carry them away, after which the match resumed.




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Female reporter hit by stray ball on head live on TV

TWC Sportsnet reporter Kelli Tennant was hit by a stray ball while on the sidelines of a match warm-up between Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday.

Despite the shock and pain, though, she managed to smile through the whole ordeal and complete her sentence on live TV.


After the incident, she took to her Instagram account to joke about her misfortune.



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Goal of the day: Anthony Stokes (Celtic) vs Motherwell

Anthony Stokes scored a magnificent chip to pull Glasgow Celtic back into the match during an enthralling 3-3 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.

Goals from John Sutton and Zaine Francis-Angol either side of a Kris Commons penalty miss gave the home side a two-goal lead.

But just seconds before the break, Stokes provided Celtic with a glimmer hope with an excellent individual effort.

The Irishman played a one-two with Scott Brown inside the area and, with Fraser Kerr failing to close him down, hooked the ball home from a tight angle beyond Gunnar Nielsen.

Celtic looked have completed the turnaround when Georgios Samaras and substitute Leigh Griffiths put them 3-2 up with two minutes remaining, only for Sutton stole in to snatch the equaliser deep into stoppage time.


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Chelsea already make plans for Premier League & Champions League victory parades

Chelsea have already made plans for a victory parade should they win the Premier League and/or Champions League next month.

55,000 letters were sent out by Hammersmith and Fulham Council last week warning of street closures on the afternoon of Sunday, May 25 if the Blues end their season by winning at least one of the trophies.


The letter reads: "We are writing to give you very early warning of a possible Chelsea FC victory parade if the club are successful as they pursue Premier League and Champions League titles next month.

"While the club and our three councils understand that success is far from certain, we believe that the responsible thing to do is give you as much notice of the date as possible."

"The need for us to plan for a parade follows police advice. They are concerned that a spontaneous celebration, should Chelsea be victorious, would be difficult to control and more disruptive for residents.

"Hence we have agreed to work with all parties to ensure that any parade happens peacefully and with the minimum of inconvenience to residents."

The forward planning comes despite the fact that Chelsea trail Premier League leaders Liverpool or have yet to play a minute of football in the Champions League semi-finals.

The note concludes: "I hope you appreciate that this letter is only intended to give you advance warning about the possibility of a parade, as we have learned the lessons from previous parades where you told us that you wanted as much notice as possible.

"While we wish Chelsea every success, we also realise that there are several twists and turns left this season and we promise to share our proposed plans as soon as we can."

Such advance planning can sometimes backfire as Islington Council gave warning of an Arsenal victory parade ahead of their 2006 Champions League final with Barcelona, only for them to lose 2-1.

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Thunderbastard! Oliver Sorg (Freiburg) vs Borussia M'gladbach

A goal of the season contender from Oliver Sorg inspired Freiburg to a 4-2 come-from-behind victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach at MAGE-Solar Stadion.

The hosts trailed to a Patrick Herrmann goal but they regrouped at the break and levelled just five minutes into the second half through Admir Mehmedi.

Then a moment of magic from Sorg in the 70th minute sent Freiburg ahead for the first time in the game.

The 23-year-old defender picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and smashed an unstoppable strike into the top corner for his first goal for the club.

Gladbach chased the game but they were undone twice more by Vladimír Darida and then Mehmedi, before they grabbed a late consolation through Håvard Nordtveit.


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Ouch! Referee substituted after his face getting hit by blocked shot

Referee Chris Foy was the victim of a freak accident on Saturday as he was struck by a blocked shot in the first minute of Newcastle United's game with Swansea City.

Referee Chris Foy is laid on the pitch after being struck by a ball to the face
Referee Chris Foy is laid on the pitch after being struck by a ball to the face

Photo: AP

The match at St. James' Park wasn't even a minute old when the referee fell to the floor in need of medical attention.

Foy was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Fabricio Coloccini blocked a shot from Jonjo Shelvey.

The ball flew straight in Foy's direction and hit him square in the face, causing the official fell straight backwards onto the floor.

The referee was left motionless on the floor for several seconds before being treated by Newcastle medical staff.

Foy managed to get back on his feet to officiate the match for another 30 minutes or so, but eventually had to be replaced by the fourth official Anthony Taylor.


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Siena player's father gets stadium ban for punching trolling fan

The father of Siena goalkeeper Eugenio Lamanna has been banned from stadiums after punching a fan who insulted his son.


According to Football Italia, the bizarre incident occurred in the stands at the end of Thursday's Serie B game, which saw Spezia beat Siena 1-0.

Lamanna's parents were cheering on their son, but a Spezia supporter named Alessandro Botti started to criticise the 24-year-old's performance.

This irritated his mother and infuriated the father, who after a brief argument punched Botti in the face.

Cosma Lamanna has been given a Daspo - the Italian version of an ASBO - banning him from attending any sporting events.

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Best female freestyle skills compilation

This video shows skills from some of the best female freestylers on the Internet, featuring the likes of Indi Cowie, Lucia Kevicka, and Alice Fougerey.


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Didier Drogba to launch underwear range for charity

Former Chelsea ace Didier Drogba has teamed up with French male clothing brand HOM to launch his own personal underwear range, Drogba & Co.

Didier Drogba to launch underwear range for charity
Photo: @BritishGQ

Drogba, who joins the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the underwear label market, made the announcement via his Instagram page on Wednesday.

The 18-piece capsule collection was designed by Ivory Coast couturier Elie Kuame and Marseille-based designers HOM.

It will go on sale at the start of next month and will feature men's intimate apparels in a variety of colours.

The project will also create a social impact as a percentage of every sale will go to the Didier Drogba Foundation.

"In collaboration with the brand HOM, I have just launched an underwear and swimwear collection designed by Côte d'Ivoire couturier Elie Kuame: Drogba & Co," Drogba said in a statement on his official website.

"One euro of every product sold will go to the Didier Drogba Foundation, whose main aim is to provide healthcare and education in Côte d'Ivoire.

"By producing my own line of underwear I'm able to achieve two goals; to design a fashionable men's underwear range, and to create a product that will directly support my charitable foundation - to aid in healthcare and education in the Ivory Coast."

Since it launched in 2007, the Didier Drogba Foundation has been able to provide financial and material support in health and education in Ivory Coast.

Regine Weimar, Managing Director of HOM, added: "We are thrilled to be able to partner with Didier Drogba, to create not only an exceptionally creative product, but also create a product that will have a positive social impact."

For more information on this exclusive collection, please visit www.hom.com/didier-drogba


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RIP! West Ham youngster loses battle against cancer

West Ham have announced the tragic news that forward Dylan Tombides has passed away at the age of 20 following his brave battle with cancer.

West Ham youngster Dylan Tombides loses battle against cancer
Photo: EMPICS

The Australian was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011 after a random drugs test at the U-17 World Cup had uncovered a tumour.

After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, Tombides was able to return to action and made his first team debut for the Hammers in September 2012 during a League Cup tie against Wigan Athletic.

However, his illness then returned and Tombides passed away on Friday afternoon, surrounded by his family.

A statement on West Ham's official website read: "Dylan passed away on Friday morning with his family by his side having courageously fought the disease for three years after initially being diagnosed with testicular cancer in summer 2011.

"Dylan was respected by everyone who knew him for his intelligent views on the game and his larger life than life character.

"He was a loving son, amazing brother and well-respected member of the West Ham squad.

"He will be hugely missed by everyone who had the honour of knowing him."

"The thoughts of everyone associated with the club are with his parents Tracylee and Jim, brother Taylor, his family and friends at this sad time.

"The club request that their privacy is now respected and they are allowed to grieve their much loved son and brother in peace."

Tombides represented West Ham at youth level as well as playing for Australia at U-17 and U-22 level, and was being regarded as a very exciting talent

"On behalf of the Australian football community, we offer our deepest condolences to Dylan's family, team mates and friends during this extremely sad time," David Gallop, the Football Federation of Australia's CEO, said in a statement.

"The Tombides family has lost a fine young man and Australian football has lost one of its most promising football players.

"He will be remembered for the courage he showed in his personal battle as much as the prodigious talent he displayed on the football field."

Many from the world of football have tweeted their condolences and messages of support to Tombides and his family.








Tombides' passing will be remembered with a minute's silence prior to West Ham's Premier League game against Crystal Palace on Saturday.


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André-Pierre Gignac reportedly threatens lawsuit after being trolled by Burger King

France and Olympique Marseille striker André-Pierre Gignac is ready for a legal battle with fast food giants Burger King over a newspaper ad poking fun at his weight.

The 28-year-old is often mocked by opposing fans for his sturdy physique with the chant "A Big Mac for Gignac".

That theme was taken up by Burger King, who include Gignac's name to promote their new campaign to sell Whoppers by changing the lyrics to "A Whopper for Gignac".

The company then flooded the Marseille press by buying a ton of advertising space as they prepare to launch their new outlet in the city.

However, the light-hearted stunt has not gone down well with the player, with reports in France claiming he is now set to sue Burger King for unauthorized use and denigration of his name.

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Blackpool assistant sent off for attacking his own player

Blackpool lost 1-0 to Burnley on Friday but their biggest embarrassment occurred on the sidelines as assistant manager Bob Malcolm was sent off after an altercation with substitute Stephen Dobbie.

Malcolm brought the club to a new low when he was captured by television cameras attacking Dobbie during a heated argument in the 70th minute.

The coach decided Dobbie was taking too long to warm up and shoved the substitute in the face.

Dobbie still came on despite the altercation, while the coach was sent to the stands by the match official.


"There is no problem," Blackpool player manager Barry Ferguson said after the full-time whistle.

"Tensions are a bit high, I have no problem with that. They are both passionate guys."

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Jürgen Klopp leaves press conference to use bathroom

Eccentric Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp was answering questions from the media during a press conference on Friday afternoon when he made a dash to the bathroom.


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Top 10 Goals of Week #3 April 2014

Here are the best goals from week #3 April 2014, courtesy of TVGOLO.com

Goal#1Alessio Cerci (Torino)vs Genoa
Goal#2Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)vs FC Dallas
Goal#3Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona U-19)vs Benfica U-19
Goal#4Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)vs Manchester City
Goal#5Eero Markkanen (AIK)vs Djurgården
Goal#6André Gomes (Benfica)vs FC Porto
Goal#7Dries Mertens (Napoli)vs Lazio
Goal#8Daryl Janmaat (Feyenoord Rotterdam)vs PSV Eindhoven
Goal#9Jakob Ahlmann Nielsen (Aalborg)vs Viborg
Goal#10Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)vs Barcelona



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Gareth Bale covered 59.1m in 7.04 seconds before scoring Copa del Rey winner

Gareth Bale's explosive Copa del Rey winner for Real Madrid against Barcelona has been analysed by Spanish Television programme Deportes Cuatro.

The Welsh winger picked up the ball on the halfway line in the 84th minute, stroked the ball past Marc Bartra before breaking into a stride worthy of an Olympic sprinter.

Despite Bartra's shove that sent him on a detour to the dugouts, Bale continued his sprint around on the outside of the pitch.

Bale threw himself forward in front of the young defender, broke into the box and nutmegged José Manuel Pinto in the Barça goal to seal a 2-1 win for Los Blancos.

And Cuatro's sports team got their stopwatches out to time Bale's incredible sprint, which included a section of Barcelona's technical area.

The 24-year-old covered 59.1 metres in just 7.04 seconds as he streaked down the left wing - an average of 8.39 metres per second.

With just 30 strides and six touches, including his strike past Pinto, Bale resolved the match with an extraordinary winner worthy of any cup final.

In his post-match interview with the club's website, Bale said: "I had to sprint, Bartra pushed me and tried to block my path but wasn't able to. I had to go around him.

"It was great to score the goal but even better to win the match and pick up a title for Real Madrid."


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