TECHNOLOGY TALK CAN’T HIDE TOTTENHAM TORMENT
Two highly entertaining FA Cup semi-finals produced a Liverpool v Chelsea final next month with Andy Carroll scoring a late winner as Everton saw their early lead turned around by their Merseyside rivals.
That was a mere starter to yesterday’s main course as Chelsea added to England manager-in-waiting Harry Redknapp’s recent woes with the 5-1 hammering of Tottenham Hotspur.
The talk afterwards was again of goal-line technology as Chelsea’s second – Juan Mata’s effort appearing not to cross the line – was adjudged a goal by referee Martin Atkinson. The sense of injustice spurred on Spurs and they were back in the game through Gareth Bale, again a contentious decision with Petr Cech bringing down Emmanuel Adebayor just before the goal – a clear foul, penalty and sending-off for the Chelsea goalkeeper if Bale hadn’t converted.
Redknapp decided to replace Rafael van der Vaart with Jermain Defoe with the result that Chelsea scored three more, including a superb 30-yard free kick from Frank Lampard which vied for goal of the game with Didier Drogba’s opener.
It’s three wins from 13 games now for Spurs since Fabio Capello quit as national team boss, and if they fail to win at QPR next Saturday they could find themselves in sixth place in the Premier League come Saturday night. More a case of ‘Redknapp out’ than ‘Harry for England’.
WE’RE STILL HERE, SAYS FA
For those who thought the Football Association had decided not to bother appointing an England manager for this summer’s Euro finals, FA chief executive Alex Horne has said it will not be long before the organisation moves to bring in a new boss.
The four-man panel who have been scouring world football – sorry north London and a little sandy bit of Dorset – to find Fabio Capello’s replacement are apparently determined not to upset one of England’s leading clubs – sorry Daniel Levy.
However, with Spurs now out of the FA Cup and seemingly on course to drop out of the Champions League places, an approach now at White Hart Lane would be as welcome as visit from Martin Atkinson.
“We’re waiting until the tail end of the season,” Horne said. “We are not far away.”
The FA may have got their timing wrong on this one.
BLUES EYE CECH REPLACEMENT
He may have been lucky to stay on the Wembley pitch yesterday – still can’t understand how he wasn’t at least retrospectively booked for bringing down Emmanuel Adebayor – but Petr Cech’s days as Chelsea’s No.1 could be numbered.
Newcastle United’s highly impressive season will result in several of their star players being courted by other clubs, with goalkeeper Tim Krul wanted in west London, according to the Daily Mirror.
A fee of £15million and £90,000-a-week in wages are apparently on offer - sums both Newcastle and the player would find difficult to turn down.
UNITED READY TO STRENGTHEN
They could well win the title at neighbours Manchester City in two week’s time, but Sir Alex Ferguson is already planning his next victory over the club’s city rivals by landing Benfica’s Nicolas Gaitan.
The midfielder has been courted by both Manchester clubs but United have apparently agreed a £20million fee for the Argentinean with United duo Fabio de Silva and Federico Macheda also part of the deal.
Fabio will head to the Estadio da Luz on an initial season-long loan, while Macheda’s move to the Portuguese capital will be permanent. He is currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers where he failed to impress before an ankle injury ended his season.
United have monitored Gaitan, 24, ever since his impressive displays against them in this season’s Champions League.
ON THE CONTINENT
Italians have expressed shock and sadness at the death of Livorno footballer Piermario Morosini, 25, who collapsed during a game on Saturday.
Brazilian wonderkid Neymar, 19, has ended talk of a move to Real Madrid by extending his contract with Santos for a further two years to 2014.
Juventus striker Alessandro Del Piero has admitted that this will be his final season in Italian football, with United Arab Emirates clubs in the race to sign the 37-year-old.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has suggested that decisions he believes went against his side in their 2-1 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Hearts were “personal”.
El Hadji Diouf, current on loan at Doncaster Rovers, was among six men arrested after a nightclub brawl in Manchester which left a man seriously hurt.
Fleetwood reached the Football League for the first time on Saturday after closest rivals Wrexham could only draw 2-2 with Grimsby.
Tags: Andy Carroll, Benfica, Chelsea, Everton, FA Cup, Harry Redknapp, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Martin Atkinson, Newcastle United, Neymar, Nicolas Gaitan, Real Madrid, Tim Krul, Tottenham Hotspur