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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Goalless draw

SOUTHAMPTON, England - Mauricio Pochettino's first match as manager of English Premier League club Southampton ended in a goalless draw at home to Everton yesterday. The result moved Southampton four points clear of the bottom three in the Premier League and left Everton three points adrift of the top four and a place in next season's Champions League. "I just want to thank the players, they've been very good to me in the three days I have been working with them," Pochettino said.

Robshaw to lead

LONDON - Chris Robshaw was re-appointed as England captain yesterday for the upcoming Six Nations Championship. The Harlequins skipper was widely expected to retain the role after leading England to second place in last season's tournament and then, during the end of year internationals, captaining the side in their record-breaking 38-21 win over world champions New Zealand at Twickenham in December. Now the 26-year-old openside flanker is set to lead England out in their Six Nations opener at home to old rivals Scotland on February 2.

Fergie in trouble

LONDON - Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is facing disciplinary action by the Football Association (FA) after criticising a linesman for denying his side a penalty in Monday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham. An FA statement yesterday said the governing body had "contacted Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to ask him for his observations in relation to comments he made in the media following Manchester United's draw against Tottenham yesterday (Sunday)."

Zambia held

NELSPRUIT, South Africa - Ethiopia, back at the Africa Cup of Nations after a three-decade absence, overcame a red card to hold champions Zambia to a 1-1 draw in an explosive Group C encounter yesterday. Ethiopia, one of the founding fathers of African football who had fallen on hard times before enjoying a recent revival, had keeper Jemal Tassew sent-off in the first-half of a game that also featured a missed penalty and disgruntled vuvuzela-throwing fans.

England record

LONDON - England captain Steven Gerrard is aiming to break David Beckham's international appearance record and believes winning the World Cup in Brazil next year could yet be possible for Roy Hodgson's men. Gerrard, honoured by a Football Writers' Association tribute dinner on Monday, won his 100th cap against Sweden in November while England are currently second in World Cup qualifying Group H, two points behind Montenegro ahead of the March double header which sees trips to makeweights San Marino and then the leaders in Podgorica.

Sneijder leaves

MILAN - Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder said yesterday he was "very happy" to put his protracted departure from Inter Milan behind him as he left Serie A for Turkish giants Galatasaray. Sneijder, who helped Inter to the treble including the Champions League title in 2010, had been frozen out by the Nerazzurri since the start of the season after refusing to agree to a drastic cut in salary. Galatasaray were one of several big clubs interested in the playmaker's services.

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