Ligue 1: Montpellier 1 : Toulouse 1

10 August 2012 23:30

Reigning champions Montpellier have held on for a 1-1 draw with Toulouse on the opening day of Ligue 1 in a match with three red cards.

Souleymane Camara put Montpellier in front in the first half, just five minutes before his team-mate Jamel Saihi was sent off with a straight red card.

Wissam Ben Yedder equalised for the visitors midway through the second half before two Toulouse players were also sent off, however, Montpellier were unable to find a winning goal on Friday.

In the first game of the new Ligue 1 season, Montpellier went ahead in the 34th minute when John Utaka volleyed the ball over the top of Toulouse’s defence to Camara and the Senagalese winger burst into the penalty area before chipping Ali Ahamada in the visitors’ goal.

The home crowd were silenced just five minutes later, however, when Saihi was sent off for a high foot on Pantxi Sirieix of Toulouse.

Montpellier held onto their 1-0 lead until the 72nd minute when Serge Aurier’s deep cross from the right wing was headed home by Ben Yedder.

The momentum shifted immediately, however, when Toulouse substitute Adrien Regattin was sent off in the 73rd minute and then 11 minutes later Aurier was also shown a straight red card.

But Montpellier could not find a winning goal in front of their home crowd with Utaka going closest in injury time.

Eredivisie: Willem II 1 : NAC Breda 1

10 August 2012 23:04

Newly promoted Willem II have been denied an opening round victory in the Eredivisie with NAC Breda scoring a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.

In the opening game of the new Eredivisie season, Willem II were on track for victory in their first game in the top-tier since 2010-11 before Anthony Lurling hit the back of the net in the 87th minute.

After a scoreless first half, substitute Jens Podevijn gave Willem II the lead in front of their home crowd in the 79th minute, finishing off Virgil Misidjan’s good lead-up work.

But with three minutes to play, Breda’s Sepp de Roover burst into the right-hand side of the penalty area before cutting the ball back to Lurling, who struck the ball into the roof of the net to salvage a draw.

Liverpool sign midfielder Allen

10 August 2012 21:15

Liverpool have completed the signing of Swansea City midfielder Joe Allen.

The 22-year-old has signed a long-term contract after completing a medical at the club’s Melwood training ground.

Goal.com understands that Allen has trebled is salary to 45,000 pounds-a-week wages, along with a two million pounds signing-on fee, after completing the 15m pounds move.

Allen, who impressed under Brendan Rodgers at Swansea City last season, becomes Liverpool’s second summer signing after Fabio Borini arrived from Roma last month.

“I feel incredible. Everyone knows the history of this club, it’s a massive club, and I’m delighted to have joined,” Allen said.

“The passion that people here have for football is something I share and I want to be part of that.

“I’m looking forward to being part of some great years ahead for Liverpool.”

Allen has spent the previous three weeks for the Great Britain men football squad on Olympic duty.

And Rodgers is thrilled to have obtained the services of the Welshman as he continues to instil his tried-and-tested philosophy at Anfield.

Rodgers added: “I’m absolutely delighted that Joe has made the decision to come with us on this journey.

“Joe is a player whose profile will fit perfectly with the ideas of this group. His ability to control and dominate the ball is an important ingredient in our attempt to gain success on the field.

“Joe has had a fantastic education at Swansea City and will now begin the next chapter in his exciting career, and I wish him all the very best in what I’m sure will be a long and distinguished career here at Liverpool.”

Milan form concerns Ambrosini

10 August 2012 21:03

Massimo Ambrosini said his Milan team-mates are feeling the strains of a turbulent summer as the new Serie A season approaches.

Milan lost key men Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to Paris Saint-Germain in July, and were thrashed 5-1 by Real Madrid in a pre-season friendly on Wednesday.

Club CEO Adriano Galliani was highly critical of coach Massimiliano Allegri after the loss to the Liga champions, and Ambrosini concedes that losing so heavily has created a feeling of doubt.

“We are sad because it gave a bad impression of us, so it is normal to feel nervous after a defeat like that,” he told Milannews.it.

“It must be said that we played a team who are far stronger than us, that we played a far better team. This season, teams like Real Madrid are not at the same level as Milan.

“We are aware that we’re a couple of steps behind these big clubs. At the moment, it’s important for us to find the right spirit that the team will have all season.”

The former Italy international went on to urge Kaka to return to San Siro, but stated that he had no idea what his club were planning in the transfer market.

“I don’t know what the club are planning next in the market, but they are right to focus on creating the right atmosphere.

“Kaka? I hope he did not change his mind after what he saw! Seriously, Ricardo would be more than welcome. He is a good player who can help out, but we’ll see.”