Thursday, December 31, 2009

Manchester Utd 0-1 Leeds United

Man Utd   0 - 1   Leeds United

Jermaine Beckford stuns the Old Trafford crowd in the 19th minute
Beckford stuns the Old Trafford crowd in the 19th minute

By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport at Old Trafford

Jermaine Beckford's winner gave League One leaders Leeds a famous FA Cup victory over their fierce rivals Manchester United in a thrilling tie at Old Trafford.

Forty-two league places separate the two clubs following the Yorkshire club's dramatic fall from grace during the last decade but Simon Grayson's side showed the rate of their recent revival with a memorable triumph.

Man Utd had never before lost in the third round of the Cup - or been knocked out of it by a lower-division side - during Sir Alex Ferguson's 23-year reign as manager, but they began 2010 on the wrong end of their biggest upset in this competition since they were dumped out by Bournemouth in 1984.

Simon Grayson congratulates goal scorer Jermaine Beckford
Simon Grayson congratulates goal scorer Jermaine Beckford

It was a fully-deserved win for Leeds too, who were full of endeavour coming forward before Beckford outpaced the Man Utd defence to score and, just as importantly, defended as if their lives depended on it afterwards.

Grayson's men came into the game unbeaten in 15 games and having lost only twice all season but they were still expected to be brushed aside by the Premier League champions, who themselves have found form since their defensive injury crisis abated.

True, Ferguson made seven changes to the side that thumped Wigan earlier in the week, but he kept Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney together up front and Man Utd should have had far too much fire-power for the visitors to handle.

Instead, roared on by 9,000 fanatical supporters, Leeds set about by first frustrating the hosts and then taking the game to them.

Man Utd had most of the early possession but Leeds were not panicking when they did get the ball, and stunned the home crowd when they took the lead after 19 minutes.


Beckford escaped Wes Brown to latch onto Johnny Howson's superb lofted pass and, although his first touch was poor, he recovered to coolly slide the ball past Tomas Kuszczak and into the bottom corner of the net.

It was the kind of finish which showed why Beckford is one of the most sought-after strikers outside the top-flight and might mean Newcastle have to spend a little more than they hoped if they are to prise him away from Elland Road in the transfer window.

It almost got even better for Leeds two minutes later when the impressive Howson broke forward down the right and sent over an inviting cross that Luciano Becchio headed wide.

Only then did Man Utd come forward with intent and they came agonisingly close to levelling when Berbatov released Rooney down the right. The England striker made for goal and clipped his shot over keeper Casper Ankergren but Jason Crowe got back superbly to hack the ball off the line.

Rooney and Danny Welbeck both tried their luck with curling shots from the edge of the box that were both just off target and Jonny Evans headed wide after Ankergren flapped at a corner but otherwise the home side were unable to break down Leeds' determined defence.

Berbatov and Rooney trudge off after the defeat
Berbatov and Rooney trudge off after the defeat

The game continued in the same vein after the break, with Man Utd pressing but struggling to create clear-cut chances and Ankergren proving a reliable last line of defence when the home side did get a sight of goal.

He saved brilliantly from Welbeck but otherwise they failed to really threaten an equaliser until the final half-hour.

By then, Antonio Valencia and Ryan Giggs were off the bench - soon to be joined by Michael Owen - and at last Man Utd looked dangerous, only to be thwarted by some dreadful finishing.

Owen miscued with the goal gaping after Valencia teed him up and Rooney was also wildly off target when the ball fell to him in the box.

Leeds were not just defending either, and could have extended their lead before the end when Beckford fired wide after running through and substitute Robert Snodgrass smashed a rasping free-kick against the bar.

There was still time for a couple of desperate goal-mouth scrambles as Man Utd poured forward but in the end one goal was enough to send Leeds through to round four - their first victory at Old Trafford since 1981 - and show why Grayson is rated one the most promising young managers in the game.

Live text and stats


Sunday, 3 January 2010

The FA Cup

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Man Utd 0-1 Leeds United R
(HT 0-1)
    • Beckford 19

    Man Utd


    Leeds United

    • 01 Ankergren
    • 02 Crowe
    • 03 Kisnorbo
    • 06 Naylor yellow card
    • 04 Doyle
    • 08 Kilkenny
    • 14 Howson (Snodgrass 77)
    • 16 Johnson yellow card
    • 22 Hughes (White 90+2)
    • 09 Beckford
    • 10 Becchio (Michalik 88)


    • 36 Martin,
    • 17 Michalik,
    • 30 Capaldi,
    • 32 White,
    • 07 Prutton,
    • 13 Grella,
    • 23 Snodgrass
    Ref: FoyAtt: 74,526


    • Man Utd 46%
    • Leeds United 54%

    Attempts on target

    • Man Utd 5
    • Leeds United 4

    Attempts off target

    • Man Utd 13
    • Leeds United 6


    • Man Utd 8
    • Leeds United 3


    • Man Utd 11
    • Leeds United 10
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+5:44 The referee blows for the end of the match.
    • 90:00+5:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Antonio Valencia on Bradley Johnson. Direct free kick taken by Bradley Johnson.
    • 90:00+3:58 Antonio Valencia takes the outswinging corner, Wayne Rooney has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 90:00+3:41 Darron Gibson takes a shot. Patrick Kisnorbo makes a clearance.
    • 90:00+3:28 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save by Casper Ankergren.
    • 90:00+1:53 Substitution Aidan White replaces Andy Hughes.
    • 90:00+1:35 Header by Michael Owen from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the goal.
    • 88:28 Gary Neville takes the free kick.
    • 88:28 Booking Bradley Johnson goes into the referee's book.
    • 88:24 Free kick awarded for a foul by Bradley Johnson on Antonio Valencia.
    • 87:41 Substitution Lubomir Michalik joins the action as a substitute, replacing Luciano Becchio.
    • 83:35 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Crowe on Michael Owen. Wes Brown restarts play with the free kick.
    • 82:53 Robert Snodgrass decides to take the corner short.
    • 81:26 Shot from outside the box by Darron Gibson misses to the left of the target.
    • 81:10 Antonio Valencia decides to take a short corner.
    • 80:41 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Fabio Da Silva by Robert Snodgrass. Darron Gibson takes the direct free kick.
    • Correction - 78:47 Jonathan Evans concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermaine Beckford. Robert Snodgrass fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick,
    • 78:47 Jonathan Evans concedes a free kick for a foul on Jermaine Beckford. Strike comes in from Robert Snodgrass from the free kick,
    • 78:10 The ball is swung over by Bradley Johnson, save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 77:28 Jermaine Beckford has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the target.
    • 76:26 Substitution Jonathan Howson leaves the field to be replaced by Robert Snodgrass.
    • 76:15 Shot from deep inside the area by Wayne Rooney goes over the bar.
    • 74:21 Fabio Da Silva delivers the ball, save by Casper Ankergren.
    • 73:12 Jermaine Beckford concedes a free kick for a foul on Jonathan Evans. Tomasz Kuszczak takes the direct free kick.
    • 72:22 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Save made by Casper Ankergren.
    • 70:23 Shot from deep inside the area by Wayne Rooney goes over the bar.
    • 68:17 Substitution Michael Owen joins the action as a substitute, replacing Oliveira Anderson.
    • 67:10 The offside flag is raised against Dimitar Berbatov. Patrick Kisnorbo restarts play with the free kick.
    • 66:20 The ball is delivered by Antonio Valencia, Patrick Kisnorbo manages to make a clearance.
    • 64:55 Wes Brown challenges Jermaine Beckford unfairly and gives away a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Bradley Johnson from the free kick, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 63:53 Effort on goal by Fabio Da Silva from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 62:21 Corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line played to the near post.
    • 61:46 Shot from long range by Bradley Johnson misses to the right of the target.
    • 61:33 Bradley Johnson takes a shot. Save made by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 57:59 Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs to the near post, Richard Naylor manages to make a clearance.
    • 56:46 Substitution Ryan Giggs replaces Gabriel Obertan.
    • 56:46 Substitution Antonio Valencia on for Danny Welbeck.
    • 54:51 Bradley Johnson takes the outswinging corner, clearance by Wes Brown.
    • 54:09 Jermaine Beckford fouled by Wes Brown, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Patrick Kisnorbo.
    • 53:11 Darron Gibson takes the free kick.
    • 53:11 Booking Richard Naylor receives a caution.
    • 53:01 Richard Naylor challenges Wayne Rooney unfairly and gives away a free kick.
    • 52:19 Andy Hughes restarts play with the free kick.
    • 52:19 Booking Darron Gibson receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 52:10 Bradley Johnson fouled by Darron Gibson, the ref awards a free kick.
    • 49:36 Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Save by Casper Ankergren. Corner taken short by Darron Gibson.
    • 46:21 Wayne Rooney produces a cross, Andy Hughes manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken by Oliveira Anderson from the right by-line.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+2:09 The match has reached half-time.
    • 45:00+0:20 Foul by Jermaine Beckford on Wes Brown, free kick awarded. Wes Brown restarts play with the free kick.
    • 40:37 Luciano Becchio sends in a cross, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 38:57 Foul by Jason Crowe on Danny Welbeck, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Darron Gibson, Richard Naylor manages to make a clearance. Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Oliveira Anderson, Headed effort from close range by Jonathan Evans goes wide left of the target.
    • 38:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Richard Naylor on Wayne Rooney. Direct free kick taken by Fabio Da Silva.
    • 35:22 Patrick Kisnorbo takes the free kick.
    • 35:22 Booking Wes Brown goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
    • 35:15 Wes Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Luciano Becchio.
    • 33:00 Effort from the edge of the area by Danny Welbeck goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 31:51 Foul by Luciano Becchio on Wes Brown, free kick awarded. Tomasz Kuszczak takes the free kick.
    • 31:05 Free kick awarded for a foul by Dimitar Berbatov on Patrick Kisnorbo. Free kick taken by Casper Ankergren.
    • 29:15 Wayne Rooney produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 28:46 Oliveira Anderson takes the inswinging corner, save made by Casper Ankergren.
    • 27:13 Long range effort by Oliveira Anderson goes wide right of the target.
    • 25:24 The ball is swung over by Jason Crowe, Close range header by Bradley Johnson goes over the crossbar.
    • 24:20 Unfair challenge on Casper Ankergren by Wayne Rooney results in a free kick. Casper Ankergren restarts play with the free kick.
    • 23:58 Wayne Rooney takes a shot. Clearance made by Jason Crowe.
    • 22:46 Dimitar Berbatov gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Richard Naylor. Direct free kick taken by Casper Ankergren.
    • 21:58 Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Howson on Oliveira Anderson. Free kick taken by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 20:25 A cross is delivered by Neil Kilkenny, Luciano Becchio produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
    • 18:29 The assist for the goal came from Neil Kilkenny.
    • 18:29 GOAL - Jermaine BeckfordMan Utd 0 - 1 Leeds United Jermaine Beckford gets on the score sheet with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 0-1 Leeds.
    • 15:50 Shot from long distance by Oliveira Anderson goes wide of the left-hand post.
    • 14:41 Wayne Rooney produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the target.
    • 14:22 Fabio Da Silva sends in a cross, clearance made by Patrick Kisnorbo.
    • 13:40 A cross is delivered by Gabriel Obertan, save by Casper Ankergren.
    • 12:02 Wayne Rooney concedes a free kick for a foul on Patrick Kisnorbo. Casper Ankergren takes the free kick.
    • 11:30 Jermaine Beckford takes a shot. Tomasz Kuszczak makes a save.
    • 9:24 The ball is crossed by Danny Welbeck.
    • 7:33 Bradley Johnson fouled by Oliveira Anderson, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Andy Hughes.
    • 6:37 Effort on goal by Jermaine Beckford from just inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.
    • 5:33 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Neil Kilkenny, save by Tomasz Kuszczak.
    • 4:24 Wayne Rooney crosses the ball, Casper Ankergren makes a save.
    • 1:48 Effort from long distance by Darron Gibson goes wide right of the target.
    • 0:00 The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

    Live text and data provided by The Press Association.

    Stoke v York

    Stoke    v    York

      FA Cup third round
      Venue:Brittania Stadium Date: Saturday, 2 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT
      Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score


      Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross is suspended while Andy Wilkinson is a doubt with a muscle injury.

      Michael Tonge and David Kitson are back from loans at Preston and Middlesbrough and could feature.

      York manager Martin Foyle has no new injury or suspension problems and thus has virtually a full-strength squad.

      Alan O'Hare is back in training after a long-term ankle injury, while Djoumin Sangare will be involved in the squad after missing the last 11 games.


      The tie in context

      • The romance of the club is wrapped up in this tie; one of two pitting a Premier League club against a non-league representative.

      • York City are one of four clubs from the Blue Square Premier to have fought their way through to the third round.

      Gulf in class

      • Stoke are 83 places superior in the pecking order. (?)


      FA Cup records and best performances

      • York have never beaten Stoke. They have drawn two and lost three of their five competitive meetings.

      • Their only clash in the FA Cup was in the third round in January 1969, when the visiting Potters won 2-0. At the time Stoke were a top-flight club, and York in the old Fourth Division.

      The clubs


      Current form

      • The Potters have not won in six Premier League games, and have lost the last three without scoring.

      FA Cup form

      • Stoke last won an FA Cup tie in 2007, against Millwall. They went out in the third round to League One strugglers Hartlepool last season.

      • They last had their interest in the competition ended by a Conference club in the 2000/01 season, when Nuneaton Borough eliminated them after a first round replay.


      Current form

      • Undefeated in 11 in all competitions (W10, D1).

      • The Minstermen have not been beaten since 31 October, since succumbing 3-1, away to Crawley in the Blue Square Premier.

      FA Cup form

      • This is York's first appearance in the third round since the 2001/02 season. Premier League Fulham ended that run with a 2-0 win at Bootham Crescent in the fourth round.

      • York will be looking for a another giant-killing, like the one they mounted on 26 January 1985 when a Keith Houchen penalty proved sufficient for knock out the mighty Arsenal in the fourth round in North Yorkshire.

      Replay date

      Tuesday, 12 January (Kick off: 1945)

      Match officials

      Referee: Michael Jones (Cheshire)

      Assistant referees: Bob Pollock & Nigel Bannister

      Fourth official: Scott Mathieson

      Sunderland v Barrow

      Sunderland    v    Barrow

        FA Cup third round
        Venue: Stadium of Light Date: Saturday, 2 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT
        Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score

        TEAM NEWS

        Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is expected to name the same side that drew with Blackburn in the Premier League.

        Bruce still has a host of players out through injury, while Michael Turner is suspended and Steed Malbranque is a doubt with a thigh strain.

        Barrow are unbeaten since late November but have only played twice since 8 December, the latest being the 3-3 draw with Gateshead on Boxing Day.

        They have a full squad available as they look to pull off a cup shock.


        The tie in context

        • This David versus Goliath contest is one of two pitting a Premier League giant with a non-league minnow.

        • Barrow are one of four clubs ensuring a presence from the Blue Square Premier in the third round.

        Gulf in class

        • Sunderland are 98 places higher than Barrow in the pecking order; it is the widest gulf in class in the third round.


        FA Cup records and best performances

        • These clubs are meeting in a competitive game for the first time.

        The clubs


        Current form

        • Not won in seven (D3, L4 - all Premier League games).

        • The 1-0 home triumph over Arsenal on 21 November is their only victory in 12 league and cup outings.

        FA Cup form

        • Sunderland have failed to progress beyond the third round in two of the last seven attempts.

        • The 1937 and 1973 winners were last knocked out by a non-league club in 1949. Southern League Yeovil won a fourth round tie 2-1 after extra time, on their famous sloping Huish pitch.


        Current form

        • Undefeated in seven (W3, D4).

        FA Cup form

        • Barrow have qualified for the third round for the second year running. Twelve months ago they faced Premier League Middlesbrough at the Riverside, and lost 2-1.

        • They have never knocked out a top-flight club.

        Replay date

        Tuesday, 12 January (Kick off: 1945)

        Match officials

        Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire)

        Assistant referees: Dave Bryan & Dean Mohareb

        Fourth official: Jock Waugh

        Middlesbrough v Man City

        Middlesbrough    v    Man City

          FA Cup third round
          Venue: Riverside Stadium Date: Saturday, 2 January Kick-off: 1500 GMT
          Coverage: BBC Sport website, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC local radio, Final Score

          TEAM NEWS

          Middlesbrough have striker problems, with Dave Kitson returning to Stoke, Leroy Lita suspended and Jeremie Aliadiere a doubt with an ankle injury.

          Isaiah Osbourne is ineligible and David Wheater (ankle and knee) and Emanuel Pogatetz (hamstring) are both doubts.

          Winger Shaun Wright-Phillips is Manchester City's major concern with his ankle problem and they have Stephen Ireland (hamstring) unavailable.

          Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor are at the African Cup of Nations.


          The tie in context

          • This is one of half a dozen Premier League against Championship ties in the third round.

          Gulf in class

          • At fifth in the top-flight, Manchester City are 26 places better off than Middlesbrough.


          FA Cup records and best performances

          • On the last four occasions these clubs have met, the one playing at home has won (all Premier League games).

          • That includes Middlebrough's 8-1 victory at the close of the 2007/08 season.

          • This is the fifth time these clubs have been drawn against each other in the FA Cup, and the Teessiders are looking to knock their opulent visitors out for the fourth successive time.

          • 'Boro's most recent FA Cup triumph was 1-0, away from home in the fifth round in February 1997, when Juninho scored, and Bryan Robson's side went on to lose to Chelsea in the final. It was Middlesbrough's second losing trip to Wembley that season, when they were also relegated.

          The clubs


          Current form

          • Lost four of the last five; the exception being a 3-0 home win over Scunthorpe on Boxing Day (all Championship games).

          FA Cup form

          • Semi-finalists in 2006, and quarter-finals in each of the three seasons subsequent to that.

          • The club knocking out Middlesbrough has gone to lose in the final in each of the last five seasons.


          Current form

          • Roberto Mancini has made a perfect start as Manchester City manager; two matches, two wins, two clean sheets.

          • City are chasing a fourth successive victory, and have lost once in 17 league and cup games, eight of which were drawn.

          FA Cup form

          • Now won the cup since 1969.

          • Eliminated in the third round by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest last season.

          Replay date

          Wednesday, 13 January (Kick off: 1945)

          Match officials

          Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)

          Assistant referees: Phil Sharp & Jeremy Simpson

          Fourth official: David Webb

          Friday's gossip column

          Transfers Other gossip And finally


          Chelsea are set to smash the British transfer record with a £40m swoop for Valencia striker David Villa.
          Full story: Daily Express

          Manchester City are plotting a January swoop for Barcelona striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Inter Milan defender Maicon.
          Full story: Daily Mirror

          City boss Roberto Mancini is close to making Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordoba his first signing at Eastlands.
          Full story: Daily Telegraph

          Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez will embark on a spending spree now the transfer window is open, with Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy and Tottenham forward Roman Pavlyuchenko his two top targets.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          606: DEBATE

          Liverpool could move for Olympiakos right-back Vasilis Torosidis as a replacement for their injured defender Glen Johnson.
          Full story: Daily Mirror

          Benitez wants to take Argentina winger Maxi Rodriguez on loan from Atletico Madrid, while out-of-favour Reds forward Ryan Babel is set to reject moves to Fiorentina and Besiktas.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Liverpool face stiff competition from Boca Juniors for Rodriguez, who is out of contract in the summer.
          Full story: The Times

          Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has made a £3.5m swoop for Fluminese's Brazilian wonder-kid Wellington Silva, who impressed on a recent trial at the Emirates, but he will not be able to join the Gunners until he turns 18 in January 2011.
          Full story: Daily Mirror

          Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who has signed 19 players in the last five January transfer windows, says the mid-season transfer window is "a nightmare" and claims the chances of him bringing anybody to Spurs this month are "very, very, very, very slim".
          Full story: The Guardian

          Birmingham have failed in their bid to sign on-loan Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart on a permanent basis and also look likely to miss out on Rangers striker Kris Boyd.
          Full story: The Sun

          Birmingham boss Alex McLeish does not plan to spend all of the £40m he has been given to enhance his squad during the transfer window, and hopes to sign two or three players with "character" rather than make any marquee signings.
          Full story: Daily Telegraph

          Sunderland are ready to make a £4m bid for Tottenham's Scotland right-back Alan Hutton and are still on the trail of Wigan defender Maynor Figueroa and Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          The Black Cats also want Coventry goalkeeper Kieran Westwood.
          Full story: Daily Mirror

          Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is exploring the possibility of signing Roma striker Stefano Okaka on loan.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is considering making a £2.5m bid for Stoke striker James Beattie but hopes to keep hold of Emile Heskey despite interest in the England striker from Liverpool, Fulham, Wigan and Chelsea.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Leeds have rejected Newcastle's £1.25m bid for Jermaine Beckford and hope to keep the striker at Elland Road for the rest of the season.
          Full story: Daily Mirror

          The Magpies will move for QPR's Iceland forward Heidar Helguson, who is currently on loan at Watford, after having their bid for Beckford turned down.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Or, Newcastle will secure the signing of Beckford - as soon as Leeds find a replacement.
          Full story: The Sun

          Manchester City are the latest club to show an interest in teenage Crystal Palace star Victor Moses but will refuse to meet the Eagles' £5m asking price.
          Full story: Daily Star

          Peterborough have been told to double their £400,000 offer for in-form Bournemouth striker Brett Pitman.
          Full story: The Sun

          OTHER GOSSIP

          Bolton are yet to make a formal approach to Stoke for their assistant boss Peter Reid, who is the leading candidate to succeed Gary Megson as Wanderers manager, and are also considering the possibility of employing Alan Shearer and Gary Speed as manager and assistant.
          Full story: The Guardian

          Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock and former West Ham boss Alan Curbishley are on Bolton's shortlist to become their next manager, with Wanderers set to move for their first choice as Megson's replacement - Burnley boss Owen Coyle - early next week.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Curbishley will be interviewed for the Bolton job on Tuesday, although Wanderers have not ruled out a move for former Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson.
          Full story: Daily Telegraph

          Coyle, former Manchester City boss Mark Hughes and Hull City manager Phil Brown have all ruled themselves out of the running to be Bolton's new boss.
          Full story: The Sun

          The future ownership of West Ham United could be decided next week after the Hammers' owners asked Rothschild Bank to sift through potential investors who either want to buy the club out-right or take a stake.
          Full story: Daily Telegraph

          Former Oldham, Crystal Palace and Coventry City boss Iain Dowie is set to be named Reading's new manager.
          Full story: The Sun

          Lens want Portsmouth to be shut down if they do not honour their debts, with Pompey still owing the French club fees for Aruna Dindane and Nadir Belhadj.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Dundee United are set to open talks with Raith boss John McGlynn about taking over from new Scotland manager Craig Levein in the Tannadice hot-seat.
          Full story: Daily Record

          AND FINALLY

          West Ham have sent out an email begging their fans to attend their third-round FA Cup tie against Arsenal after struggling to sell tickets for Sunday's game.
          Full story: Daily Mail

          Taylor charged after bar scuffle

          Jerome Taylor in action for the West Indies
          Taylor returned home injured from the recent tour of Australia

          West Indies bowler Jerome Taylor has been charged with improper conduct and assaulting a police officer following a bar scuffle in Jamaica.

          Police sergeant Clifford Evans says Taylor became abusive after the proprietor was told to close the bar because it was past an 11pm cut-off.

          Evans said Taylor assaulted him when he tried to place the 25-year-old in handcuffs shortly after midnight.

          He was also charged with using indecent language and resisting arrest.

          Taylor was released and scheduled to appear in court on 12 January.

          Taylor has taken 82 wickets in 29 Tests since his debut for the West Indies against Sri Lanka in 2003, and played in 62 one-day internationals.

          He is also a capable lower-order batsman with a highest score of 106 against New Zealand.

          Taylor was forced to return home from the recent tour of Australia because of injuries to his left hip and back.

          Tiger Woods loses AT&T as sponsor

          World number one Tiger Woods
          Tiger Woods' sponsors continue to drop him

          AT&T says it will no longer sponsor top golfer Tiger Woods, who announced earlier this month that he would take an indefinite break from the sport.

          The company joins Accenture and Gillette in dropping support for the golfer after he admitted to "infidelity" to his wife.

          AT&T's logo appeared on the golfer's bag. The company did not comment on its reasons for dropping Woods.

          AT&T said it would continue to sponsor the AT&T National PGA event in July.

          In a terse statement, AT&T said: "We are ending our sponsorship agreement with Tiger Woods and wish him well in the future."

          The deal had been billed as a "multi-year" agreement when it was announced at the beginning of 2009.

          Severed ties

          The golfer became the first sportsman to earn more than $1bn from sponsorship deals and endorsements.

          But a whole list of them have now loosened or severed their ties with him.

          Apart from consulting firm Accenture and razor maker Gillette, the watchmaker Tag Heuer has scaled down its use of the star, while drinks manufacturer Gatorade discontinued a line of Tiger Woods-branded energy drinks.

          It is not clear how much these deals separately brought in. AT&T also has not said how much its contract was worth.

          A recent University of California study suggested the total economic damage of the Tiger Woods affair to all involved parties could amount to as much as $12bn.

          Soul searching

          Tiger Woods announced in December that he would take a break from his sport, after allegations from a string of women that they had sexual relations with him.

          He said at the time: "After much soul searching, I have decided to take an indefinite break from professional golf. I need to focus my attention on being a better husband, father, and person."

          Woods is married with two children.

          Scarlets secure win over Dragons

          Dragons (9) 9
          Pens: Connor (2) DG: Connor
          Scarlets (8) 14
          Try: Priestland Pens: S Jones (2), Priestland

          Man-of-the-match Rhys Priestland leads the Scarlets' celebrations afte the 9-14 win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade
          Man-of-the-match Rhys Priestland leads the Scarlets' celebrations after the win

          The Scarlets weathered a remarkable late Dragons assault to end the home side's 100% Rodney Parade record.

          Jon Davies set up a fine try for Rhys Priestland, but Shaun Connor's boot edged Dragons to a 9-8 half-time lead.

          Stephen Jones kicked Scarlets ahead before going off with a shoulder injury that will worry Wales.

          Priestland kicked a goal, but his late error gave Dragons six final minutes on Scarlets' line, the visitors' defence holding through 32 phases of play.

          The victory was the Scarlets' first on the road in the Magners League this season, but they remain the bottom Welsh region and in danger of missing out on Heineken Cup qualification.

          Jones reveals shoulder injury

          Nigel Davies' under-fire side were scrappy in the opening exchanges, teenage scrum-half Gareth Davies looking nervous on his first start as his poor pass put the visitors under pressure.

          Jon Davies got the Llanelli-based region moving, though, freeing Andy Fenby who crossed the line but was denied a try when a superb Matthew Watkins tackle knocked the ball from his grasp.

          Connor opened the scoring with a drop-goal, the fly-half starting ahead of James Arlidge because of his superior kicking.

          The Scarlets began to move the ball confidently, and the impressive Davies scythed the defence apart from halfway, cutting between Watkins and Tom Riley.

          The Wales centre off-loaded to Priestland who cantered to the try line, Stephen Jones failing to convert.

          Priestland hails Scarlets defence

          Connor edged the home side back in front with a penalty, and exchanged three-pointers with Jones to leave the Dragons ahead at the break.

          Jones edged his side back in front with a penalty, but missed a simple chance to extend the lead before leaving the field with a troubling shoulder injury he had picked up in the first half.

          The tense exchanges continued, Connor failing with a difficult penalty attempt as the game entered the final 15 minutes, then Ali McKenzie knocking on to end a promising attack started by a superb Aled Brew kick and catch.

          Priestland landed a superb pressure penalty from the touchline to stretch the lead to five points with nine minutes left.

          The youngster, who had moved from full-back to fly-half when Jones left the field, was named as man-of-the-match.

          But almost immediately he made a hash of a clearance kick from his 22, gifting the Dragons a five-metre line-out as the game entered its final play.

          Turner rues Dragons errors

          Paul Turner's men won the ball and barreled up to the Scarlets line, where they encamped for the next six minutes.

          But they displayed the lack of vision and inventiveness that had blighted their game, and when the Scarlets at last held up the attack over the line the final whistle was blown.

          The defeat followed on from three heavy losses - twice against Biarritz and once against the Blues - giving the Rodney Parade faithful an uncomfortable end to 2009 in a season that started so promisingly.

          Dragons coach Paul Turner:
          "It was very disappointing that we didn't score, but we just made too many errors.

          Davies praises Scarlets discipline

          "I thought that we should have had a couple more penalties.

          "When they took Stephen Jones off they shut up shop.

          "I can't fault the effort, but at the top level you have to cut down the errors. You have to win your home games."

          Scarlets coach Nigel Davies:
          "We were desperate for the win and that was phenomenal defence, the boys were very focused.

          "We showed our determination and as a group we will take a lot out of that for the rest of the season.

          "It was important that we showed we can go away from home and win."

          Dragons: Tovey, Brew, Riley, Watkins, Fussell, Connor, Lee, Gustafson, Willis, Palmer, Sidoli, Charteris, MacDonald, L. Evans, G. Thomas.
          Replacements: M. Thomas for Tovey (65), Williams for Lee (40), S. Jones for Willis (56), McKenzie for L. Evans (62). Not Used: A. Jones, Webb, Harries.

          Scarlets: Priestlend, L. Williams, Lamont, J. Davies, Fenby, S. Jones, G. Davies, John, Owen, Manu, Reed, Day, McCusker, Lyons, Edwards.
          Replacements: Evans for S. Jones (53), Pugh for Edwards (60). Not Used: Corsi, Phillips, Welch, Maule, Higgitt.

          Att: 6,429

          Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)