Tue, Oct 04, 2011 - Page 18 News List

SPORTS BRIEFS

Agencies

RUSSIA

Zenit stay top after draw

Champions Zenit St Petersburg remained top of the Premier League on Sunday after a 2-2 draw at 10-man Spartak Moscow in a match overshadowed by violence, which saw a bus stoned and visiting fans attacked with bats. The match at the 60,000-capacity Luzhniki Stadium, featuring fans known for their mutual hatred, had started amidst tension when a number of Zenit supporters were attacked by Spartak fans on their way to the ground. Spartak took the lead in the 21st minute when Zenit defender Alexander Anyukov diverted the ball into his own net as he tried to clear Demy de Zeeuw’s pass to Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike. Zenit leveled in the 38th minute through Portuguese midfielder Miguel Danny, who sent the ball home past Spartak goalkeeper Andrei Dykan with a close-range shot from Alexander Kerzhakov’s pass. Spartak’s Argentine fullback Nicolas Pareja was sent off three minutes before halftime for a dangerous foul. Kerzhakov made it 2-1 for Zenit just 30 seconds after the interval, scoring from Roman Shirokov’s cross from the right edge of the box. Spartak rescued a point when Brazilian striker Welliton scored from Aiden McGeady’s cross.

NETHERLANDS

Alkmaar cruise past VVV

AZ Alkmaar cruised to a 3-1 win at VVV Venlo to extend their lead on Sunday, as AFC Ajax and Twente dropped points. Swede Rasmus Elm put Alkmaar ahead after 32 minutes when he curled a free-kick around the wall and then set up Adam Maher on the hour to double the lead. Simon Poulsen sealed the win, before Robert Cullen scored a consolation goal for VVV in stoppage-time after Ahmed Musa missed a penalty. Alkmaar are top with 21 points after eight matches, four more than PSV Eindhoven, who moved into second following a 2-0 win at NEC Nijmegen with late goals from Zakaria Labyad and Tim Matavz. Twente slipped to third as Luuk de Jong salvaged a 2-2 draw with a last-minute header at home to winless bottom side Excelsior Rotterdam, who clinched their second point. Ola John put Twente ahead after 34 minutes, but Excelsior substitute Darren Maatsen turned the match around with goals in the 85th and 86th minutes.

ENGLAND

Ferdinand, Gerrard left out

England coach Fabio Capello has decided against gambling on the fitness of Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard after leaving the duo out of his squad for Friday’s crucial Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro. Capello’s side need a draw in Podgorica to book their place at next year’s finals in Ukraine and Poland, and the Italian was not willing to risk Gerrard or Ferdinand breaking down after the pair’s long battles against injury. Tottenham Hotspur forward Jermain Defoe and Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott have lost their places, with Fulham striker Bobby Zamora and goalkeeper Scott Carson recalled to the 24-man squad.

ENGLAND

Steve McClaren quits Forest

Former England coach Steve McClaren has resigned as Nottingham Forest manager after just 10 games in charge of the struggling Championship side, the former European champions confirmed on Sunday. McClaren walked out just hours after Forest fans called for him to quit following Birmingham City’s 3-1 win at the City Ground. McClaren, the former VfL Wolfsburg, Twente and Middlesbrough boss, was already under pressure following Forest’s woeful start to the season and he leaves with the team languishing just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

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