Toivonen happy to stay at PSV

19 August 2012 16:47

PSV Eindhoven forward Ola Toivonen has cooled rumours of an impending transfer away from the Dutch giants.

The Swede has previously been linked to the likes of Rubin Kazan and Liverpool, with coach Dick Advocaat wanting 14 million euros for the forward.

But Toivonen, speaking after scoring in his team’s 5-0 win over Roda JC in Eredivisie, said a move was not on the cards.

“It’s quiet. The situation is that I have a contract for another two years with PSV and there is no interest,” he said on Saturday.

The 26-year old has publicly expressed his desire to make the next step in his career, but insists he is not looking to force himself out of the Eindhoven side.

“I’m very happy here at PSV. I want to make a good step, when and to where I don’t know. Anything can happen,” Toivonen said.

PSV will continue their campaign when they travel to Groningen on August 26.

Premier League: Wigan 0 Chelsea 2

19 August 2012 16:41

Chelsea got their Premier League campaign under way with a comfortable 2-0 win over Wigan at DW Stadium.

Goals within the first seven minutes from Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard secured the victory for Roberto Di Matteo’s side.

Di Matteo handed a Premier League debut to Eden Hazard, and the new signing from Lille was the catalyst as the visitors took the lead after just two minutes.

In what was a swift counter-attacking move, Hazard eased past Ivan Ramis in the middle of the pitch before releasing Ivanovic and the Serbian made no mistake, blasting past Ali Al-Habsi.

The hosts were soon two behind as Hazard again wreaked havoc on the Wigan defence, the Belgian escaping a challenge from Maynor Figueroa before Ramis, enduring a nightmare start to his Premier League career, came across and bundled the 21-year-old forward over for a penalty.

Lampard made no mistake from the spot, drilling the ball low underneath Al-Habsi’s arms to put the Champions League holders two goals ahead.

Wigan fashioned their first chance after 18 minutes when Emerson Boyce crossed to Franco Di Santo and although the former Chelsea man did well to climb between David Luiz and Ivanovic he could only direct his header onto the top of the net.

Roberto Martinez’s side asserted themselves on to the contest as the half wore on and Victor Moses came close to pulling a goal back, flashing an effort across goal that Petr Cech diverted away for a corner.

Chelsea were struggling to hit top gear in spite of their pulsating start and Di Santo could have halved the deficit in first-half stoppage time but failed to beat Cech when through one-on-one.

Wigan continued to push forward in search of a way back in to the match with Di Santo and Moses both shooting wide shortly after the break but Fernando Torres then had the chance to put the game beyond the hosts with his first real sight of goal.

The Spaniard snuck in behind the Wigan defence after Ryan Bertrand had headed on but despite touching the ball past Al-Habsi, Ramis successfully chased back to clear off the line.

Brazilian newcomer Oscar was then introduced just after the hour mark for his Chelsea debut and he came close to extending the lead but his low shot across goal drifted inches wide of the post.

Martinez’s men refused to lie down and were looking the most likely as new signing Arouna Kone headed wide following a corner before Jordi Gomez acrobatically fired over the bar.

Luiz then came close to adding a third for the visitors but his header was comfortably claimed by Al-Habsi as the Blues, despite struggling to build on their impressive start to the game, saw out the final minutes to pick up the three points.

Borini: Balotelli helped me join Liverpool

19 August 2012 16:40

Liverpool striker Fabio Borini has revealed Manchester City forward Mario Balotelli played a role in his decision to move to Anfield.

The Italian left Roma for Liverpool earlier this year and says the controversial City forward helped him decide to make the move.

“The fans played a big part (in me joining Liverpool),” Borini told FourFourTwo.

“When I was with Italy at Euro 2012, I was talking to Balotelli about England, and he told me that Liverpool had the most exciting fans to play in front of.

“He described it as a beautiful experience.

“I became aware that (manager) Brendan Rodgers wanted me, and once I got the official request I knew what to do. I spoke with Roma to discuss it and we came to an agreement.”

Borini also said that, despite preferring to play as a centre forward, he would be happy to feature in a variety of positions for his new team.

“I am a striker but I played right and left at Roma. I think I have the attributes to fill the manager’s approach,” the 21-year-old said.

“I like to work hard for the team, which is what his tiki taka style demands.

“I just try to be available and always offer an option. I love scoring goals and hope to get many more wearing the red of Liverpool.”

McEachran set for loan move

19 August 2012 16:25

Promising Chelsea teenager Josh McEachran looks set to go out on loan in order to gain first-team experience.

With increased competition at Stamford Bridge from new signings such as Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin, as well as the resurgence of Frank Lampard, the 19-year-old midfielder appears set to be given few opportunities this season.

As a result, McEachran is being allowed to leave on a six-month deal and several Championship sides are already interested in the Englishman.

“For my career, it’s important to play regularly and pick up as much experience as possible — and that’s what I’m looking to do,” he told The Sun.

“There are a few Championship and Premier League teams interested and it’s just about picking the right club.

“I’ll go for six months and then we’ll review it again and see what happens next.”

The Sun reports that Bolton, Blackburn and Middlesbrough have all expressed an interest in McEachran.

Manager Roberto Di Matteo will be hoping McEachran gets more game time than he did at Swansea, where he spent most of his time on the bench while the likes of Joe Allen shone.

Hart hungry for more success

19 August 2012 16:18

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart says that unless his side win at least one trophy every year they will be considered failures.

Roberto Mancini’s men won the FA Cup in 2011 and last season’s English Premier League, and the England international feels his team are getting used to collecting silverware.

“We need at least one every year now – otherwise it’s a failure. Having won something for the last two years it would feel weird now not to win anything. We have to keep it going,” he told The Sun.

“We’ve got two trophies and you do start to get a taste for it.

“We want to retain the title, of course, but there are the cups as well. We didn’t do so well in Europe last season or the domestic competitions, so that’s an area where we can improve.”

However, after winning last term’s title on goal difference ahead of city rivals Manchester United, Hart is expecting a response from Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in this campaign.

“They generally react well – of course they’ll be a threat to us,” Hart said.

“They’re a great side, great players – a great club. But there’s a mutual respect despite the rivalry.”

City’s thrilling title win came courtesy of a late Sergio Aguero goal and Hart admitted he had feared the worst before the strike.

“It’s all a bit of a blur. I’ve watched the goals back but not the whole game,” he said.

“It was a bit of a depressing blur to be honest until the very end. For about 15 minutes during the game – and it felt like three or four hours – I was thinking what effect it would have on the club if we didn’t win the title.

“I was thinking I was going to be a horrible person to be around, and what a waste of time the whole year would have been.

“It would have been a horrendous summer, but we got there. It was chaos after Aguero’s goal, but now we are just looking forward to getting it on again.

“For a while we felt like we were the most important people in the world but things move on.”