Parlour: RVP is a huge loss

16 August 2012 08:50

Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour believes the departure of captain Robin van Persie to Manchester United is a ‘big blow’ for the London club.

It was announced on Wednesday that the Premier League rivals had reached an agreement over the fee for the striker, with Van Persie set to travel to Manchester on Thursday to complete a medical.

The transfer will see Arsenal lose their captain for the fourth time in seven years, joining the likes of Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas out the door, and Parlour believes the latest departure is a hammer blow for his former side.

“It’s been years since Arsenal sold a player to Manchester United. I think (the last) was Frank Stapleton (in 1981),” Parlour told talkSPORT.

“They were always our massive rivals and I know we sold a lot of players to Manchester City but Manchester United were always our rivals and we didn’t want to help them.

“It’s a big blow for Arsenal but I’m just hoping with the money they receive from the transfer that Arsene Wenger has got a replacement in mind.”

Wenger has already been busy in the transfer market ahead of this latest development, bringing in strike duo Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud from Cologne and Montpellier respectively.

MLS wrap: Portland deny Toronto much-needed win

16 August 2012 06:36

Darlington Nagbe scored an equaliser in the 82nd minute to give Portland Timbers a 2-2 draw away to Toronto in the MLS.

After Toronto had taken a 2-1 lead with two goals early in the second half they looked to be on track for a much-needed victory.

But with just eight minutes left in regular time, the Timbers pulled the home side’s defence apart with a flowing move and Scottish full-back Steven Smith placed his cross perfectly for Nagbe to head home.

Portland took a first-half lead when Toronto’s defence failed to deal with David Horst’s header from a corner and Sal Zizzo was on the spot to poke the ball into the net.

But Toronto recovered after the break with French striker Eric Hassli tapping home his first goal for the Canadian side in the 57th minute to make the score 1-1.

Luis Silva put the home side in front six minutes later when he got a toe to Hassli’s flick-on to score, however, Nagbe’s late goal ensured both teams ended with a point.

The result leaves both sides bottom of their respective conferences in the MLS.

In Vancouver, Dallas scored two second-half goals to win their second game in a row, knocking off the Whitecaps 2-0.

Fabian Castillo put the visitors 1-0 ahead in the 60th minute when the Colombian striker held off two defenders before striking the ball into the net while almost lying on the ground.

Dallas wrapped up the win in the 70th minute with a counter-attack goal from Jonathan Top.

In the third MLS match on Wednesday, Robbie Keane scored to ensure Los Angeles Galaxy avoided their third defeat in four games in a 1-1 draw with Columbus Crew.

After a goalless first half, Columbus started the second half brilliantly with Jairo Arrieta cutting in from the right wing before slotting the ball in the bottom corner in the third minute after the break.

But Galaxy, who sit third in the MLS’ Western Conference, ensured they did not drop to fifth thanks to a classic striker’s finish from Keane in the 64th minute.

After Galaxy full-back Sean Franklin expertly beat his opponent on the right wing, Keane made his run in behind a Columbus defender and had no trouble tapping Franklin’s pass into the net from less than a metre out.

Copa Sudamericana wrap: Renato treble muffles Monagas

16 August 2012 06:05

A hat-trick from Fabio Renato has put LDU Loja into the Copa Sudamericana second round with a 6-2 aggregate victory over Monagas.

Loja started Wednesday’s first-round second leg already 2-0 up after beating Monagas on their home turf two weeks ago and Renato made it 3-0 on aggregate after just six minutes.

The 32-year-old Brazilian striker converted a penalty before the visitors from Venezuela hit back five minutes from half-time through Fernando Cabezas.

But Monagas’ hopes of pulling off a stunning comeback in Ecuador were destroyed in a 25-minute period of the second half.

Carlos Feraud scored Loja’s second of the match in the 52nd minute before setting up Renato nine minutes later.

When Renato wrapped up his hat-trick in the 77th minute, the two-legged tie was effectively over, although there was still enough time for Victor Renteria to score a consolation for Monagas.

Colombia’s Envigado joined Loja in the second round, after they defeated Union Comercio 2-0.

After a goalless first leg at Comercio’s home ground in Peru a fortnight ago, Envigado’s win on Wednesday was enough for the Colombian club to advance.

Jarrison Palacios put Envigado ahead after just six minutes before Andres Orozco made it 2-0 in the 28th minute.

Brazil Serie A wrap: Bahia break winless streak, Mineiro held

16 August 2012 05:42

Bahia have claimed their first victory in Brazil’s Serie A in six matches with Souza starring in a 2-0 triumph away to Ponte Preta.

Souza set up his striking partner Gabriel for Bahia’s first goal of the game on Wednesday in the 11th minute.

The 30-year-old, who scored 11 goals in 21 games for Bahia last season, wrapped up his side’s win over Ponte Preta when he struck in the final minute of the match.

Bahia have moved out of the relegation zone to 16th on the back of Wednesday’s victory, one point clear of Coritiba who have a game in hand.

League leaders Atletico Mineiro were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Goianiense, while Fluminense moved into second position after the same result away to Cruzeiro.

Mineiro fell behind on Wednesday when Goianiense’s Ernandes scored in the 10th minute to send the home crowd crazy.

But the league-leading visitors hit back before half-time with Bernard taking Leandro Donizete’s pass to score the equaliser in the 28th minute.

A goalless second half ensured both sides ended the game with a point.

In Belo Horizonte, Cruzeiro got off to a great start at home with Wellington Paulista scoring after just two minutes but a 43rd-minute equaliser from Fred ensured Fluminense escaped with a draw.

Mineiro lead Brazil’s Serie A with 39 points and Fluminense are just three points behind, although they have played one more game than the leaders.

Former Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf scored his first goal since joining Botafogo as the Rio de Janeiro-based club defeated Sport Recife 2-0.

Botafogo moved up to sixth thanks to that result with Elkeson scoring in the 67th minute and Seedorf adding a second 10 minutes later.

In other results on Wednesday, Nautico thumped Sao Paulo 3-0, Palmeiras overcame Flamengo 1-0 and Portuguesa held on for a 2-1 win against Gremio.

Deschamps pleased with draw

16 August 2012 04:56

France coach Didier Deschamps was impressed with his side in his first international match in charge, as they drew 0-0 with Uruguay.

Karim Benzema came closest to breaking the deadlock in a tight encounter at Stade Oceane in Le Havre, as the Real Madrid striker hit the post after the half-time interval.

The result was the fourth consecutive goalless draw between the two sides, but Deschamps took the positives moving forward after his first game in charge of Les Bleus.

“We lacked only the goal,” the former Marseille boss told TF1.

“I think we had the best opportunities while we were facing a team with more experience and a team that defended well.

“It’s a shame because winning would have offered us more confidence. That was an instructive game. The players had playtime and it was intresting to see them in action.

“To build experience, you have to play. I saw some good things”