UEFA Super Cup: Chelsea 1 Atletico Madrid 4

Radamel Falcao’s hat-trick helped Atletico Madrid demolish Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup on Friday.

Colombia striker Falcao took his tally to six goals in the last two games as Atletico won the trophy for the second time in three years, with Miranda adding a fourth goal in the second half before Gary Cahill claimed a late consolation for Chelsea.

It was Falcao who looked the most dangerous from kick-off as Atletico came flying out of the blocks in Monaco.

He crashed an effort off the bar from a Felipe Luis’ cross just moments into the match as Chelsea’s defence struggled to deal with his pace and power.

Atletico maintained their high-temp opening and, with just six minutes on the clock, that man Falcao broke the deadlock.

Played in behind the Chelsea back-line, he dinked the ball over an on-rushing Petr Cech, with David Luiz unable to hook the ball off the line before it nestled into the net.

Chelsea tried to respond and Eden Hazard rifled a shot just over the bar, but Falcao doubled Atletico’s advantage in fine style on 19 minutes, cutting inside Ashley Cole before curling a left-foot shot into the top corner past the despairing grasp of Cech.

Chelsea were rocked by the Europa League winners’ strong start and tried to gain a degree of control on the ball, but their play lacked any real cutting edge.

They were fortunate not to be 3-0 down on the half-hour mark when Adrian Lopez somehow contrived to scuff Arda Turan’s cut-back before Falcao headed the rebound off the post.

The La Liga side continued to frustrate the Champions League holders, denying the likes of Mata and Hazard any space to dictate play.

Shortly before the break, Falcao completed his sensational hat-trick from another slick counter-attack.

The lively Turan held up the ball on the edge of the Chelsea box before sliding it through into the path of Falcao, who took a touch to control before firing low through the legs of Cech.

Atletico continued to look dangerous early in the second half and with an hour gone they had a fourth.

Chelsea failed to deal with a simple free kick into the box and the ball bounced off Falcao to Miranda, who poked beyond Cech at the near post.

Substitute Oscar went close for Chelsea a few minutes later with a low drive from distance, but Atletico were playing with supreme confidence, and Cech soon had to react smartly to keep out a Koke free-kick.

Their Champions League triumph in Munich may have felt like a distant memory for Chelsea fans but they did have something to cheer in the 75th minute, when Gary Cahill netted from close range after Atletico failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Chelsea were almost embarrassed further in the closing stages, as Cech saved smartly from Felipe Luis before Luiz turned a Turan cross onto his own post.

The star of the show, Falcao, received a well-deserved standing ovation when he was substituted with three minutes remaining.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Eredivisie: ADO Den Haag 0 Groningen 1

Groningen bagged their first win of the Eredivisie season with a 1-0 win victory at ADO Den Haag on Friday.

Mitchell Schet set up Finland midfielder Tim Sparv to score the only goal of the game in the 34th minute at the Kyocera Stadion.

Groningen now have one win and one draw, along with two defeats, from their first four matches of the 2012/13 season.

They sit 10th on the table, a point behind eighth-placed ADO.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Bundesliga: Mainz 0 Greuther Fuerth 1

Greuther Fuerth bounced back from their opening day drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich, with a 1-0 win away at Mainz 05 in Bundesliga.

Midfielder Felix Klaus struck the game’s only goal at the Coface Arena, finding the target in the 66th minute after being teed up by fellow midfielder Ilir Azemi.

It was Greuther Fuerth’s first-ever goal in the Bundesliga, and it helped the Bavarian club earn their first points in their promotion season in the German top flight, after Bayern thrashed them 3-0 in their season opener last week.

For Mainz, they are now winless through two matches, but have one point to their name after drawing away to Freiburg in their opener.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Cavani pens new deal with Napoli

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has ended speculation surrounding his future after signing a new contract with the Serie A club.

The Uruguay international has long been the subject of transfer speculation, with Italian champions Juventus linked with a move for the player along with Premier League giants Manchester City and Chelsea.

However, he has now committed his future to Napoli after putting pen to paper on an improved deal which will keep him at the San Paolo until 2017.

Speaking to reporters shortly after confirmation of his new contract, Cavani revealed his decision to extend his stay with Napoli was based on both his love for the city, and belief that the side can challenge on all fronts.

“Staying in Naples is not a choice of money, although it is definitely important because (playing football) is a job, but this is also a choice of the heart,” he said.

“This is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the warmth of the club’s support is unique and makes you feel special.

“We took all of these factors, along with my family and my agents, into account, and collectively we decided to stay in this beautiful city.

“I always go on the pitch to win, to get the most out of every match. Since my arrival in Naples, I always tried to win a trophy.

“I think the Coppa Italia is the first step towards more important objectives. I cannot say that we will win the Scudetto, but I can say that we have a great team that will fight on all fronts.”

Cavani scored in Napoli’s 3-0 opening-day Serie A victory over Palermo last weekend, and will now be looking to further his account for the new season against Fiorentina on Sunday.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Oviedo crosses over to Everton

Everton have clinched the signing of defender Bryan Oviedo from Danish side FC Copenhagen on a four-year deal.

The versatile Costa Rican has been linked with a variety of clubs over the off-season, but has agreed to move to Goodision Park for a fee believed to be in the region of five million pounds.

Oviedo can play on at left back and on the left side of midfield, and his signing will give David Moyes’ side added depth as they look to build on last season’s impressive seventh placed finish.

The 22-year-old has earned 13 international caps for Costa Rica, and has appeared in the Champions League in addition to winning a Danish league title and two Danish Cups during his time in Scandinavia.

However, despite enjoying much success in the Danish captial, Oviedo admitted he is eager to enhance his career in the Premier League.

He told Everton’s official website: “I am so very happy. This is a very good opportunity for me.

“I know a lot about Everton. I watch Everton games and Premier League games on the TV and it is a very good league.

“The last two or three days have been very stressful and tiring but I am so happy now. I am feeling good and right now everything is positive.”

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Ambrose signs with Celtic

Celtic have snapped up Nigeria international Efe Ambrose from Israeli side Ashdod.

Ambrose flew in to Glasgow on Friday and, following a medical at Ross Hall, has joined the Bhoys on a three-year deal.

The 23-year-old, who can play at centre-back or in midfield, will boost Neil Lennon’s options after they sealed a place in the Champions League group stages following a 4-0 aggregate win over Helsingborgs on Wednesday.

“Today is one of the happiest days of my life, signing for one of the biggest clubs in the world – a club I have known about since I was young,” Ambrose told the club’s official website.

“I just can’t wait to get started – to play in front of the fans and call this place home.

“I would like to thank God for everything and to thank the manager and directors here at Celtic – who have placed their trust and confidence in me.

“I am the kind of player who plays where it is of benefit to the team. If the manager trusts me to play in midfield or defence, then I trust him and I am the kind of player who will give 100 per cent, whatever the coach asks of me.”

Ambrose enjoyed three years with FC Ashdod, and thanked his former side for giving him the chance to progress his career.

He added: “The move to Israel really opened the door for me and gave me my opportunity. I had been to other clubs, but they were the ones who gave me my chance.

“For that I would like to thank the coaches and directors at FC Ashdod, my agent Dudu Dahan and also my colleagues and the fans – who all helped develop me as a player.”

Following Celtic’s impressive qualification for Europe’s top club competition, Ambrose is looking forward to the challenge of a tough group.

“I have come here to find we are in the same group as Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow,” he said.

“It’s a lovely group, you might call it the group of death and it will be hard, but hard work always pays.

“I am just looking forward to meeting my team mates now, there is no better place for me than Scotland.”

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Southampton secure Uruguay´s Ramirez

Southampton have competed the signing of Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez from Bologna.

The left-footer has played both on the wing and in a central attacking position, and arrives on a four-year contract from the Italian side for a club-record fee thought to be in the region of 12 million pounds.

“A lot of hard work has gone in from the football club with a lot of negotiations behind the scenes to get this deal done,” manager Nigel Adkins said.

“Great credit to everyone because we have a young, exciting talent joining us who is one of the best around.

“The chairman has gone and backed this deal big-time with the financial outlay, and what we have got is one of the most exciting prospects in world football coming to St Mary’s.

“There is a lot of ambition at the football club and we are all delighted that Gaston is going to come and join us.”

Ramirez scored 10 goals in 35 appearances for Bologna last season, and earlier this summer featured at the London Olympics with Uruguay, for whom he has won 11 international caps.

The Saints have added considerable attacking firepower over the summer to complement Rickie Lambert, signing forward Jay Rodriguez for a then-record seven million pounds from Burnley, and this week adding Zambia international striker Emmanuel Mayuka from Swiss side Young Boys.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Boateng´s Fulham move canned

Dnipro midfielder Derek Boateng has revealed that his proposed move to Fulham is off.

The 29-year-old had been linked with a move to the west London side throughout the summer, with West Bromwich Albion also rumoured to be interested in his services.

Reports had initially suggested that Martin Jol had failed with a bid for the Ghana international, but the Cottagers did eventually agree a deal earlier on deadline day.

However, Boateng, who is keen to leave Dnipro after manager Juande Ramos revealed he is no longer part of his plans, has indicated that the move has broken down.

He wrote on his Twitter account: “Deal with @fulhamfc is off.”

Boateng, who can play as a defensive midfielder or at centre-back, could have helped to fill the void left by the likes of Dickson Etuhu, Moussa Dembele and Danny Murphy, who have all departed Jol’s side.

Fulham have already been busy in this transfer window, adding Dimitar Berbatov, Hugo Rodallega, Mladen Petric, Sascha Riether and Kieran Richardson to their ranks.

However the club have seen one of their stars from last year leave – Dembele – who completed a move to Tottenham, while Clint Dempsey is also seeking a move away from the club but rejected an offer from Aston Villa.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Bendtner completes Juve move; Maicon joins Man City

Out-of-favour Arsenal forward Nicklas Bendtner has joined Serie A champions Juventus on a season-long loan, Sky Sports understands.

The Turin giants have the option to make the deal permanent following the 2012-13 season.

Bendtner, who rejected interest from A.C. Siena prior to completing his move to Juve, spent last season on loan at Sunderland after falling out of Arsene Wenger’s pecking order at Arsenal.

According to Siena sports director Stefano Antonelli, Bendtner was on the verge of completing his move to the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

“It was almost an impossible deal,” Antonelli told Sky Sports Italia. “We had an agreement for all, both with the player and Arsenal.

“But when the player understood of Juventus’ interest, he phoned us to say he was going there. He always acted correctly.”

The Denmark international bagged eight goals and five assists in 28 league appearances (25 starts) for the Black Cats last term, while netting five times in nine international caps for Denmark.

Since joining the Gunners from FC Copenhagen in the summer of 2004, the Danish striker has bagged 43 goals in 156 appearances.

With that said, do not expect Bendtner to make his 157th appearance for the Gunners, ever.

“I can now finally say I am a Juventus player. Very proud and can’t wait to wear the stripes,” Bendtner said via Twitter.

“I hope we will have great times together. I want to fulfil my potential here and show the fans my absolute best as that is yet to come. I am sure I will.”

Maicon joins Man City

English Premier League title holders Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Brazilian right-back Maicon from Inter Milan, Sky Sports reports.

The 31-year-old Brazilian will compete with fellow South American Pablo Zabaleta and City vice-captain Micah Richards for a place in Roberto Mancini’s starting XI.

In other news, City have also completed the signing of Swansea City winger Scott Sinclair, formerly of Chelsea FC, for an undisclosed fee, according to ESPN FC.

Sinclair found the back of the net is his only appearance for Swansea this season after coming on as a substitute in the Swans’ 5-0 opening day rout of Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road.

Now then, Roberto Mancini is also eyeing Benfica defensive midfielder Javi Garcia and Fiorentina centre-back Matija Nastasic.

Garcia, a product of Real Madrid’s youth system, is reportedly valued at £24 million by the Portuguese giants, while Nastasic, who has been dubbed ‘The Next Nemanja Vidić’, will cost the Premier League champions £9 million, with Serbian defender Stefan Savic heading to Fiorentina in the rumoured deal.

That’s all for now.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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Shechter available for Sunderland clash

Swansea City’s new midfielder Itay Shechter is available for selection to face Sunderland after the move was approved by the FA.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Premier League outfit on loan from German side Kaiserslautern, received international and FA clearance to make his debut as the Welsh team look to make it three wins in a row in the league.

The Israeli international turned out for the Swans in a friendly against Stuttgart this off-season, and has also obtained a work permit ahead of his competitive bow at the Liberty Stadium.

Shechter made 23 appearances in the Bundesliga last season, scoring three goals, and can now link up with fellow new arrival Pablo Hernandez, who completed his 5.55-million-pound deal from Valencia.

Fri 31 August, 2012
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