Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 Strasbourg: Mbappe penalty seals late win despite Neymar seeing red

By Sports Desk December 28, 2022

Kylian Mbappe rescued a late victory for Paris Saint-Germain on their return to Ligue 1 action as his injury-time penalty seized a 2-1 win against Strasbourg on Wednesday.

The league leaders had looked destined for a draw at Parc des Princes after captain Marquinhos had cancelled out his opener with an own goal and Neymar had been sent off for consecutive bookings.

But a 96th-minute spot-kick for the France international, just under a fortnight on from his hat-trick in defeat for France in the World Cup final, ensured his side avoided dropping points for the third time this season.

It marked a major reprieve for Christophe Galtier's side, who were without Qatar 2022 winner Lionel Messi in the French capital, and struggled to convert their early dominance into a more comfortable result.

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    Liverpool beat Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday with a side containing a number of inexperienced youngsters due to a host of injuries to senior players. Here, the PA news agency looks at the fresh faces who took the chance to shine at Wembley.

    Conor Bradley (starter)

    A relatively familiar name among the group having been given an opportunity in the second half of the campaign in the absence of Trent Alexander-Arnold. The Northern Irish right-back, 20, who spent last season on loan at Bolton, has shown promise for his attacking and defensive qualities.

    Bobby Clark (substitute)

    Another to have been given a handful of opportunities in recent weeks, the 19-year-old is an attacking midfielder or forward. The son of former Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark, he joined the club from the Magpies in 2021 and signed a long-term contract last December.

    James McConnell (substitute)

    Also 19, the midfielder has featured a handful of times off the bench after making his debut against Toulouse in the Europa League in October. Joined Liverpool as an Under-15s player after catching the eye at Sunderland.

    Jayden Danns (substitute)

    An 18-year-old forward who only made his first-team debut as an 89th-minute substitute in the 4-1 win over Luton last Wednesday. Has been with the club since the age of eight and is the son of the much-travelled former Colchester, Crystal Palace and Bolton midfielder Neil Danns.

    Jarell Quansah (substitute)

    Warrington-born defender who has established himself in the first-team squad this season. The 21-year-old, who had a loan spell with Bristol Rovers last season, is a ball-playing centre-half who has come through the ranks at Liverpool after joining them at the age of five.

  • Former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl dies at age of 77 Former Aston Villa and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl dies at age of 77

    Former Southampton and Northern Ireland defender Chris Nicholl, who captained Aston Villa to League Cup glory, has died at the age of 77.

    Nicholl, who also managed Southampton before taking charge of Walsall, had been living with dementia, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which he attributed to brain damage caused by repeatedly heading balls over his lengthy career.

    The former central defender’s death was confirmed in a family statement on his daughter Cathy’s Facebook account.

    It said: “It is with a heavy heart that we write this. Chris Nicholl (our dad) sadly passed away peacefully on Saturday evening in hospital.

    “He fought a very long battle with CTE, caused by his dedication to football. Words can’t describe how much we’ll miss him.”

    Wilmslow-born Nicholl, who was capped 51 times by Northern Ireland and represented them at the 1982 World Cup finals in Spain, began his career at Burnley, but made more than 200 appearances for both Villa and the Saints.

    A dependable defender, he famously scored with a 40-yard piledriver as Villa lifted the 1977 League Cup with a 3-2 second replay victory over Everton which went to extra time at Old Trafford.

    In a series of posts on the club’s official X – formerly Twitter – account, Villa said: “Aston Villa is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former player Chris Nicholl, who has died at the age of 77.

    “The thoughts of everyone at the club are with Chris’ family and friends at this difficult time.

    “A two-time promotion and League Cup winner, Chris Nicholl’s achievements in claret and blue will never be forgotten.

    “He was a dominant figure at the heart of the Aston Villa defence for over five seasons, making 252 appearances and scoring 20 goals.

    “Rest in peace, Chris.”

    After hanging up his boots, Nicholl moved into management at the Dell when he was appointed as Lawrie McMenemy’s replacement during the summer of 1985, and it was he who promoted the emerging talents of Alan Shearer, Matt Le Tissier and Rod Wallace to the Southampton first team.

    Shearer said on X: “RIP Chris Nicholl. You believed in me and gave me my chance. Thank you.”

    Le Tissier added: “The thoughts and prayers of my family go out to the family of my first manager Chris Nicholl, who has sadly passed away.

    “I’ll always be eternally grateful to Chris for having the faith in me as a 17 year old boy to give me my opportunity to prove I was good enough to be a professional footballer. Gone, but never forgotten #RIPChris.”

    Nicholl parted company with the Saints in May 1991 and spent three years out of the game before taking the hotseat at Walsall.

    The Saddlers said on X: “We are devastated to learn that former manager Chris Nicholl has passed away.

    “Chris led the Saddlers from 1994 to 1997 and won promotion to Division Two in what was a memorable 1994-95 campaign.

    “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly sad time.”

    Nicholl was reunited with McMenemy during his spell in charge of Northern Ireland, serving as his assistant manager.

    A statement on the Irish FA’s X account said: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Chris Nicholl. He played 51 times for us, including the 1982 World Cup in Spain.

    “Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time”

    In 2017, Nicholl told Shearer as part of a BBC documentary of his fears over the damage he had suffered during his playing career.

    He said: “I am brain-damaged from heading footballs. My memory is in trouble.

    “Everyone forgets regular things, where your keys are. But when you forget where you live, that’s different.

    “I’ve had that for the last four or five years, it is definitely getting worse. It bothers me.”

  • Jurgen Klopp savours ‘most special trophy’ after Liverpool win Carabao Cup Jurgen Klopp savours ‘most special trophy’ after Liverpool win Carabao Cup

    Liverpool’s Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea was manager Jurgen Klopp’s “most special trophy” after they overcame more injury adversity to win 1-0 at Wembley after extra time.

    Already without 11 first-team players, they lost Ryan Gravenberch to an ankle problem after half-an-hour and finished the match with four academy players on the pitch but the youngsters held out long enough for captain Virgil van Dijk to head the 118th-minute winner.

    “In more than 20 years it is easily the most special trophy I have ever won. It is absolutely exceptional,” said Klopp, who is leaving the club at the end of the season and looked emotional on the pitch at the final whistle.

    “Sometimes people ask me if I’m proud of things and it’s really tricky, I wish I could feel pride more often but tonight is an overwhelming feeling.

    “I was proud of everyone involved in everything here: I was proud of our people (fans) for the way they pushed us, I was proud of the staff for creating this kind of atmosphere surrounding where these boys can just do what they are best at.

    “I was proud of our academy, I was proud of my coaches, I was proud of so many things. It was completely overwhelming.

    “It was nothing to do with it being maybe my last game at Wembley.

    “Can you create in football stories which definitely nobody will ever forget? It’s so difficult because ‘this’ happened before, ‘this’ happened before: this tonight, if you find the same story with academy players coming on against a top side and still winning it, I’ve never heard of it.

    “I loved it. What we see here today is so exceptional. We might never see again. Not because I’m on the sidelines but because these things don’t happen in football.

    “I got told there’s an English phrase ‘you don’t win trophies with kids’. I didn’t know that.”

    Victory extended Liverpool’s own record to 10 League Cups and was the seventh major trophy he has won since arriving at the club in 2015.

    His side are top of the Premier League and are one of the favourites for both the FA Cup and Europa League but Klopp has no interest in the sentimentality of his final few months.

    “I couldn’t care less about my legacy, I am not here to create one,” he added.

    “Nothing we’ve done in the last eight or nine years is replaceable, we couldn’t have done the same at another club. It was exactly made for this combination. It is fantastic.

    “We learned so much in that time, the people (fans) learned so much. That’s the one thing – it’s not a problem if a manager leaves, if these people would leave, our supporters, that would be a problem.

    “As long as they are the way they are, Liverpool Football Club will be fine and that’s the most important thing.

    “From time to time you need something to really celebrate. This was so special, you saw the game and saw the circumstances, they become bigger.

    “We had a ref (Chris Kavanagh) who was not up to the level of the game, that didn’t help one team or the other. There was no common sense again.

    “Then getting through all things. You see tired players. I have no clue who can play on Wednesday (against Southampton in the FA Cup) because we have players on the pitch until the end of the game who had problems.”

    Klopp reserved special praise for his captain, who put in a real leader’s performance to lift his first trophy since taking over from Jordan Henderson.

    “From the first day coming into the club (Van Dijk) was absolutely outstanding. Thank God he is in form, top shape. I think he learned an important lesson for himself: you always can win the game,” he said.

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