Robben targets more trophies

13 August 2012 00:53

Arjen Robben is hoping that Bayern Munich can add to their success in the German Super Cup this season after two frustrating campaigns.

The Bavarians had endured two barren years after their domestic double success in 2010, and had lost to arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund in five consecutive meetings.

However, they claimed the first silverware of 2012-13 with a 2-1 win over Juergen Klopp’s side, and the Dutchman is determined to claim further trophies.

“Hopefully, this will help us get more trophies this season,” the former Chelsea winger told ZDF after the match.

“It was important for us to set an example today. We are on the right track as a team.”

Meanwhile, Philipp Lahm was delighted with the performance his side put in against an opponent as strong as the German champions.

“I was happy. The first half was especially good because, as we have all seen, Dortmund can really play football,” he said.

Bayern get their Bundesliga campaign under way on August 25 against newly-promoted Bavarian rivals Greuther Furth.

Warnock defends Diouf signing

13 August 2012 00:20

Leeds United manager Neil Warnock has moved to explain his reasoning behind bringing El-Hadji Diouf to Elland Road.

Despite labelling the player a ‘sewer rat’ 18 months ago, Warnock signed the Senegal international on a non-contract basis, with Diouf making his debut for the Championship side in their League Cup 4-0 win over Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

The 63-year-old believes that, despite having disagreements with Diouf in the past, the winger has a lot to offer both on and off the football pitch.

“I met him about six or seven weeks ago,” Warnock told Yorkshire Radio.

“It wasn’t a planned meeting, but we ended up having an hour-and-a-half chat and I told him what I disliked about him and he talked to me about the things that he’s done in football.

“It opened my eyes in what I thought about him and nobody has said worse things about him than I have. It would have been easy for me not to bring him to the club but I’ve never been one to shirk a situation.

“A friend of mine, Micky Walker, who was at Doncaster Rovers, couldn’t speak highly enough of him. He said he’s good in the dressing room, he’s excellent with the youngsters, and is a bit of a likeable rogue. And he told me his weaknesses.”

Warnock also admitted that the fact Diouf was available as a free agent meant the club had nothing to lose.

“We’re also short on the right-hand side,” he said.

“There’s a not a lot of money without moving players out – there’s a couple of Premiership lads I’ve looked at, but they’re on a lot of money – so I thought we’d have a look.”

Kompany dismisses City favourites tag

13 August 2012 00:12

Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is predicting another roller-coaster Premier League season.

Roberto Mancini’s team claimed the 2011-12 championship in dramatic style and begin their title defence next Sunday when they kick-off at home to newly-promoted Southampton.

City made a statement to their league rivals on Sunday by coming from behind to record a 3-2 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield, but Kompany has denied suggestions that his team are favourites to claim this season’s title.

“It’s going to be a very interesting season again,” Kompany told the FA’s official website.

“I wouldn’t say we are favourites but it doesn’t matter; if we can improve on last season then I’ll be very happy.”

Yaya Toure, Carlos Tevez and Samir Nasri scored to hand City victory at Villa Park, with Fernando Torres and Ryan Bertrand notching goals either side of the three-goal flurry for the European champions.

Kompany refused to get carried away with the result despite dealing an early blow to their rivals, and recognised that the London club will be a threat to City’s hopes of retaining their Premier League crown.

“We deserved to win, but it’s going to be a tough league because you can see Chelsea have got qualities as well,” he said.

Ligue 1: Stade de Reims 0 Marseille 1

12 August 2012 23:50

Marseille have had to wait for a stunning strike from Benoit Cheyrou to claim a 1-0 victory away to Reims in their first game of the season.

In his first match in charge of Marseille, new head coach Elie Baup will have been relieved to see Cheyrou’s strike hit the back of the net as he tries to lift the south coast club after their disappointing 10th-placed finish in Ligue 1 last season.

In the 77th minute of Sunday’s game, Charles Kabore floated a deep cross from the right wing expertly over a group of players to Cheyrou at the back post and the 31-year-old midfielder powerfully volleyed the ball home.

In a match that had 31 shots, it was somewhat surprising it took so long for a goal to be scored but a combination of inaccuracy and good goalkeeping kept the game tight.

Reims’ Kossi Agassa made five saves for the match, including a fine stop to deny Mathieu Valbuena’s free-kick in the first half, while the visitors’ Steve Mandanda pulled off three saves.

Marseille have joined six other clubs on three points after the opening weekend of Ligue 1 with the entire group on plus one goal difference.

Belgian First Division wrap: Mbokani hat-trick sends Anderlecht top

12 August 2012 23:18

Dieumerci Mbokani sent Anderlecht top of the Belgian First Division, scoring a hat-trick in his side’s 3-0 win over Cercle Brugge.

The 26-year-old striker from the Democratic Republic of Congo scored twice in the first half before wrapping up his hat-trick and the win with a delightful chip with 15 minutes to play.

Sunday’s victory has sent Anderlecht to the summit of the table, just ahead of Club Brugge and Zulte-Waregem on goal difference.

Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Waregem are all on seven points after three games with the leaders on plus-four goal difference and the other two clubs one goal behind.

In Sunday’s game in Brugge, Anderlecht hit the home side hard early with Mbokani scoring his first goal in the fifth minute, tapping in Dennis Odoi’s cross at the back post.

The Anderlecht striker doubled his side’s lead 19 minutes later when he scored from a tight angle and Mbokani finished off an impressive performance in the 75th minute, collecting Guillaume Gillet’s pass, before he lifted the ball over Cercle’s goalkeeper from the edge of the area for a brilliant third goal.

Genk leapfrogged Lokeren into fifth in the Belgian First Division with a 1-0 triumph on Sunday.

Thomas Buffel scored the in the 87th minute to secure victory for the home side over Lokeren.

Genk have moved to five points, just one ahead of Lokeren and three other clubs.

In Sunday’s other result, Gent drew 1-1 with OH Leuven.