More stories

  • in

    Tottenham 1 Aston Villa 2: Son Heung-min has hat-trick of goals disallowed as Villans leapfrog Spurs into fourth

    HOW El Tel would have loved this thriller – if not the result.This was breathless, bonkers, barn-storming football fit to please any crowd.
    Watkins’ goal saw Villa leapfrog above Spurs in the tableCredit: Getty
    The in-form England man hit his seventh of the seasonCredit: Reuters

    And an appropriate tribute to the man who delivered us England 4 Netherlands 1 at Euro 96 with some of the most entertaining attacking play our nation has ever produced.
    Tottenham, the club most associated to the late, great Terry Venables, conjured up most of the thrilling fare, at least in a relentless first half.
    Ange Postecoglou had gone full Ange with his team selection after the disappointing defeat at Wolves before the international break.
    With the handbrake off, his Spurs side scored one but should have had four. They conceded two, yet it could have been five.
    Playmaker Giovani Lo Celso, making his first league start in more than two years, got the ball rolling with a deflected blast.
    But his former Villarreal team-mate Pau Torres headed home in the seventh minute of first-half stoppage time.
    It sent Villa boss Unai Emery, who managed them both at the Yellow Submarine, potty in celebration.
    Emery’s half-time tactical tweaks then came up trumps as Ollie Watkins hit a second-half winner.
    Most read in Football
    Pau Torres’ header levelled the score going into the breakCredit: Getty
    He headed home well from a brilliant Douglas Luiz free kickCredit: Reuters


    It pushed Villa into fourth, just two points off top, and saw them leapfrog Spurs, who for all their exciting play have now lost three on the bounce with Manchester City away to come next week.
    Tottenham were 1-0 up at Wolves a fortnight ago heading into injury time, but somehow lost it 2-1. 
    Postecoglou admitted this week he did not like his team’s performance at Molineux nor how his side ‘looked’.
    The Aussie has not been afraid to make bold calls in his brief tenure so far and did so again here, despite injury and suspension robbing his team of several key men.
    He benched the more conservative Eric Dier and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, played a back four full of full-backs, moved Dejan Kulusevski to No10 and brought in the wiry Bryan Gil.
    The brave approach saw his side make an electric start, playing the kind of football Venables, who passed away yesterday (SUN) at 80, would have appreciated.
    El Tel spent four great years at Spurs between 1987-91, presiding over an FA Cup-winning side blessed with Gary Lineker’s goals and Paul Gascoigne’s genius.
    The home crowd gave the much-loved Venables, who also played more than 100 times for the club, a heartfelt send-off by chanting his name and applauding his memory for a minute before kick-off.
    The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium paid respects to Terry VenablesCredit: PA
    With both sets of players leading the minute-long applauseCredit: Reuters
    Then began the madness as Spurs’ players, wearing black armbands in honour of their former manager, made a blistering start that threatened to overwhelm Villa.
    Destiny Udogie, back from a ban, should have scored inside three minutes when played through by fellow full-back Pedro Porro but blazed over.
    Seconds later, Kulusevski cracked the post, Brennan Johnson saw a rebound deflected and Villa eventually, just about cleared, albeit the ball appeared to bounce on Ezri Konsa’s arm in the process.
    Yet Villa missed a sitter to go ahead two minutes later as Torres rose to meet a Lucas Digne free-kick but somehow planted his header wide.
    Midway through the first half we finally had a goal thanks to Lo Celso smacking the ball in off Diego Carlos after Pedro Porro’s corner had fallen to the Argentine on the edge of the area.
    Lo Celso punched the air in celebration, as did his manager, and you were left wondering if this might be the moment at long last for his Spurs career to take off.
    Signed for a whopping £55million back in 2020, the 27-year-old has had an underwhelming stint in North London – and at one point was bombed out by Antonio Conte.
    But his talent on the ball is obvious and with Postecoglou’s style of play, it could be a winning match, particularly in the injured James Maddison’s absence.
    It was a frustrating day for Son, who had the ball in the net three timesCredit: The Sun
    Giovani Lo Celso looks to have breathed life back into his Spurs careerCredit: Reuters

    Watkins thought he had levelled 23 seconds later as he headed in Digne’s cross, but a forensic VAR check eventually adjudged him offside.
    Rodrigo Bentancur was making his first Spurs start since damaging his anterior cruciate ligament in February.
    So there was understandable anger from the home players when the Uruguayan was crunched by Matty Cash’s naughty tackle.
    It took its toll as on 32 minutes, Bentancur hobbled off and was replaced by Hojbjerg.
    Son Heung-min thought he had doubled the lead just before half-time with a peach of a strike, but again he had strayed offside.
    Torres then made up for his earlier wastefulness with a thumping header from Douglas Luiz’ free-kick with virtually the last touch of the half.
    Emery hauled off the booked Cash and the ineffective Moussa Diaby at the break, bringing on Youri Tielemans and Leon Bailey who both had a quick impact.
    Bailey struck the woodwork when his shot was spilled by Vicario, who then kissed the loose ball as he gratefully scooped it up.
    Bentancur’s injury hell looks set to continue after being on the wrong end of a tackle by Matty CashCredit: Reuters
    The story of the game as Villa leapfrogged SpursCredit: The Sun
    While Tielemans played a smart one-two with Watkins just after the hour, allowing the England striker to fire past Vicario and put Villa back ahead.
    Villa came close to another as Digne’s dangerous free-kick was tipped away and Watkins then flicked agonisingly wide.
    Yet Postecoglou’s men pressed on just as he wants them to, no matter the scoreline, and Emi Martinez had to be at his best to deny Johnson and then Hojbjerg from range. 
    Spurs had the ball in the net again with five minutes to go but once more it was ruled out for offside Son, who had turned home the rebound after Porro hit the post.
    It was not to be for the hosts who are now going through a rough patch of results after such a fine start to the campaign – even if the entertaining football keeps on coming in N17. More

  • in

    My dad won FA Cup, played in Premier League and was face of FIFA 95… now I’m making my own way in football

    KRISTIAN THORSTVEDT may be trying to emulate his father’s achievements in football.But it would take something sensational for him to outdo Erik… in the game.
    Thorstvedt earned 97 caps for his countryCredit: Alamy
    Thorstvedt in action for the Norwegian national teamCredit: Kenny Ramsay
    Erik Thorstvedt is best known for spending the final eight years of his career between the sticks for Tottenham.
    The Norwegian played for Viking and Eik-Tonsberg in his homeland before a two-year stint at Borussia Monchengladbach in the mid-1980s.
    A season at Goteborg followed before he was snapped up by Spurs in 1988 – four years after they initially tried to sign him but he was denied a work permit. 
    The 6ft 4in goalkeeper – nicknamed The Viking – joined as the replacement for Ray Clemence but had a nightmare start when he allowed a weak Nigel Clough shot to squirm through him as Spurs lost 2-1 against Nottingham Forest. 
    But he put the blunder behind him to become a popular figure at White Hart Lane, racking up 51 clean sheets in 195 appearances.
    His greatest day for the club came in May 1991 at Wembley as he got his personal redemption against Forest in the FA Cup final.
    Tottenham, led by superstars Gary Lineker and Paul Gascoigne, ran out 2-1 victors against Brian Clough’s side that featured a young Roy Keane in midfield. 
    Thorstvedt became the first Norwegian to win the FA Cup – with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, John Arne Riise and Erling Haaland among those to follow suit – and the following year was the second to appear in the newly-formed Premier League.
    Most read in Football
    The 97-cap international stopper featured for his country and the 1994 World Cup but retired in 1996 after a series of back injuries and ‘Jumpers Knee’ condition that required 13 operations as Ian Walker took over as Spurs’ No1.
    But before hanging up his gloves and stepping into a post-playing career in coaching, administration and punditry, Thorstvedt etched his name and face into football folklore.
    The goalkeeper was selected as the poster-boy for EA Sports’ FIFA 95 game – with an image of Thorstvedt diving to make a save the front cover for that year’s edition.
    Thorstvedt was succeeded by the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldinho, Wayne Rooney, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Kylian Mbappe on the beloved video game before the major rebrand this year. 
    And with that incredible list of world-beating talent to grace the EA Sports’ covers, Erik’s son Kristian knows he has his work cut out to make it to the same dizzying heights.
    The goalkeeper helped Tottenham win the FA Cup in 1991Credit: Getty – Contributor
    The goalkeeper graced the front cover of FIFA 95Credit: EA Sports
    The 24-year-old, born in Norway following Erik’s retirement, has also made the grade as a professional footballer after breaking through at Viking. 
    But unlike his father, Thorstvedt Jr is shining as a midfielder and helped the Norwegian club to promotion in 2018 as the young player of the year.
    He joined Genk in January 2020, winning the Belgian Cup in his first full season.
    But in 2022, the senior Norway international was on the move again when he signed a five-year deal at Sassuolo in Italy.
    Thorstvedt missed out on Euro 2024 qualification alongside Haaland and Martin Odegaard.
    But that does mean he will have the summer off to brush up on his golf skills, relax with his glamorous girlfriend Mille and spend time with his family – including dad Erik and his four siblings with sister Charlotte who is a model and former MTV presenter. 
    Kristian is dating girlfriend MilleCredit: Instagram @kristianthorstvedt
    Kristian Thorstvedt joined Sassuolo on a five-year deal in 2022Credit: EPA
    Thorstvedt is now international team-mates with Erling HaalandCredit: EPA More

  • in

    I was a right-back but Neil Warnock played me up front after his wife had a dream… I scored a hat-trick in 6 minutes

    NEIL WARNOCK once decided to play a right-back as a striker after his wife had a dream.During his time as manager of Crystal Palace, Warnock was told by his wife that if he played Danny Butterfield as a striker then he would net the winning goal in an FA Cup fourth-round tie against Wolves.
    Danny Butterfield scored a hat-trick for Crystal Palace against WolvesCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Neil Warnock played Butterfield up front after a dream from his wife SharonCredit: PA

    Wife Sharon had a vivid dream that the defender would settle the tie against the West Midlands outfit.
    Warnock as the trusting husband listened to his wife and opted to use the second choice right back up front.
    The experiment was a great success as Butterfield went on to score a perfect hat-trick for the Eagles.
    He said: “We were selling Victor [Moses] so there was a space free up top, which I was never going to fill.
    “But in a training session with Neil Warnock I played up top and Neil being Neil went ‘we will go with that tomorrow’.
    “There were rumours that I would be up top in the dressing room and then we turn up to the game and he has written it up on the wall.”
    “It was a free hit for me to do something when no one expected it, it was a funny one and I should have had a fourth.”
    The hat-trick is the current record for the fastest scored by a Crystal Palace player.
    Most read in Football
    Butterfield added: “To be a part of the history of Palace with the hat-trick is a real bonus.
    “I am sure it will be beaten one day.”
    Team-mate Darren Ambrose has also revealed that the decision to play Butterfield up top was not solely down to his performances in training.
    During an appearance on talkSPORT, he admitted that Warnock was influenced as his wife Sharon dreamt that Butterfield would send Palace into the next round.
    He said: “We got a draw away and we’re playing them at home.
    “So we’ve come in and we’ve all sat down and he said, ‘Right, my wife Sharon, she had a dream last night’.
    “And no one really laughed because that was what he was like. And he said, ‘She dreamt that my right-back scores the winning goal today’.
    “And we were like, ‘Okay.’ ‘So Danny Butterfield, you’re playing up front.’
    “And he wasn’t even the [first-choice] right-back at the time, he was a fringe player because Clyney was playing right back at the time – Nathaniel Clyne.
    “We all just started laughing then and he was like, ‘No, I’m being serious.’
    “And I was taking centre with him, and even then I was looking over to the bench like going, ‘Gaffa, is this a joke? Put him back to right-back’.
    “And I think about 12 minutes later, he had a perfect hat-trick – Danny Butterfield. And we won the game 3-1.”
    It is not the only time Warnock trusted his wife’s premonitions as he once dropped Paul Ifill for Sheffield United as a result of them. More

  • in

    Former FA Cup winners THROWN OUT of competition as non-league club opponents are handed big away tie

    BARNSLEY have been booted out the FA Cup.The League One side fielded an ineligible player in their first round tie against Horsham.
    Barnsley have been kicked out the competitionCredit: PA
    Rules were broken as Aiden Marsh (right) played in the replay between Barnsley and HorshamCredit: Getty
    In the first meeting between the two, the non-league club forced a replay with the game ending 3-3.
    Barnsley then won the next match 3-0.
    Aiden Marsh was on loan at York City when the first game took place before he was recalled three days later to start in the replay.
    The Tykes have therefore been kicked out the tournament as punishment.
    Horsham will now play League Two side Sutton United in the second round.
    Barnsley, who won the FA Cup back in 1912, released a statement following the news.
    It read: “An administrative error was brought to our attention regarding the eligibility of a player who played in last Tuesday’s game with Horsham FC.
    “The club has fully cooperated with the investigation and has accepted the FA’s decision.
    Most read in Football
    “We have been in contact with Horsham FC and would like to thank the club and Chairman for their understanding and cooperation throughout this process.
    “We would like to apologise to our fans, players and staff for this regrettable error.
    “This mistake – although unintentional – falls way below the high standards we set at this club and is simply not what you deserve.
    “We have already conducted a full internal investigation and have subsequently put safeguards in place to ensure this will never happen again.”
    The FA said in a statement that the player “was not correctly registered” and that Barnsley’s mistake “constitutes a breach of FA Cup Rule 103”.
    Horsham will travel to Sutton for the second round tie to be played on December 2. More

  • in

    I won the FA Cup during eight years at my beloved Arsenal but needed time to become a fan again after difficult exit

    CARL JENKINSON’S heart belonged to Arsenal, but he needed time to become a fan again after a difficult exit from the club in 2019.Injuries and hard times on loan forced the 2014 FA Cup winner to depart the team of his dreams.
    Carl Jenkinson said he ‘needed time to become a fan again’Credit: Getty – Contributor
    Jenkinson, 31, is always keen to talk about his love for Arsenal and boyhood trips to North London to watch the Gunners.
    But after he left the club permanently in 2019 the right-back found it difficult to become a fan of the club again.
    He told the Athletic: “It was difficult. I was so sad that it had come to an end.
    “I needed a bit of time to get over the fact that I wasn’t a player anymore.
    “I think I just needed a little bit of time to become a fan again. It took a while but now I’m safely back in that bracket. And I love it.
    “It’s nice. I’m at a point now where I’m enjoying being a fan again.”
    After shining in League One with Charlton, Jenkinson joined his dream club in 2011 when Arsene Wenger saw potential in the then-19-year-old.
    The Essex-born star’s time at Arsenal took off when he replaced Bacary Sagna who faced a second broken leg of the year at the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
    Most read in Football
    Jenkinson thrived at the Gunners for the next two terms earning his first England call-up and securing the FA Cup.
    In 2014 he moved across the capital to join West Ham on loan to further his development which went well enough to extend his contract for another season.
    However, things took a turn for the worse as his time at the Hammers quickly came to an end due to an ACL injury.
    The ex-England star then failed to regain his form and a shoulder injury cut short his loan stint at Birmingham City, ending his Arsenal career entirely.
    As a lifelong Arsenal fan, leaving the club was a heartbreaking decision that filled him with grief.
    Jenkinson added: “It was hard to leave Arsenal in the end, and I never really wanted to.
    “I know my dad would have loved for it to have gone on forever but it doesn’t always work like that.
    “I think I realised in myself that I wasn’t at that level anymore to play for a club like Arsenal after I busted my knee.”
    The former Gunner went on to play for Nottingham Forest until 2022 before joining his current team Newcastle Jets down under in Australia. More

  • in

    Premier League cult hero can’t watch as his son scores against old team live on BBC with him as pundit

    PREMIER LEAGUE cult hero Kevin Lisbie had to look away when his son stepped up to take a penalty in the FA Cup.The former striker was working for the BBC as a pundit for non-league Cray Valley Paper Mills’ FA Cup clash with his old club Charlton.
    Kyrell Lisbie scored his penalty for Cray Valley PM against Charlton in the FA CupCredit: Getty
    His dad Kevin Lisbie had to turn his back while he was taking the spot kick as he couldn’t watchCredit:
    Kevin Lisbie celebrated once the crowd had cheered for the goalCredit:
    He was over the moon with the goal going in
    And it was a special night for the 45-year-old who wasn’t just there in support of his former employers, but also his son.
    Kyrell Lisbie was on the pitch for Cray Valley PM with the teen signing for the semi-pro side this summer.
    And in the 44th minute he had a chance to level the scores from 12 yards after eighth tier side were awarded a penalty.
    But although it was a HUGE moment for Lisbie Jr and his side, his dad Kevin couldn’t watch on.
    The former Addicks attacker was too nervous and turned away as the 19-year-old stepped up for his penalty.
    But to his relief, Kyrell calmly dispatched his spot kick past Sam Walker to tie the game up.
    However things went down hill from there with League One Charlton going on to dominate the second half and ruin the non-league fairytale.
    The match ended in a 6-1 loss for Cray Valley after they had miraculously defied the odds by forcing a replay with a 1-1 draw earlier in November.
    Most read in Football
    But the 116 league places and five divisions that separated the two sides ultimately proved too high of a mountain to climb.
    It will have still been a night to remember for the Lisbie family with Kyrell scoring against his dad’s old side.
    Kevin made 113 Premier League appearances for Charlton scoring 14 goals and providing three assists in the process.
    Kyrell celebrated scoring his goalCredit: Getty
    Kevin Lisbie played for Charlton in the Premier LeagueCredit: AP:Associated Press
    The family pair have both followed their dreams of being footballersCredit: Jamie McPhilimey More

  • in

    I’m a former Premier League star – now I pull pints at my local pub… I haven’t called time on my football career yet

    A FORGOTTEN Premier League ace pulls pints in his local boozer – but hasn’t called time on his football career.Defender Ryan Shotton, 35, scored in Europe and landed an FA Cup runner’s up medal during his top-flight career with Stoke City.
    Ryan Shotton was a stalwart in Tony Pulis’ iconic Stoke City sideCredit: Getty Images – Getty
    Shotton co-owns the Black Lion pub with his father-in-law
    The ex-Prem star is still playing
    He was a regular starter for the Potters under their iconic boss Tony Pulis and racked up more than 300 appearances across England’s top two divisions.
    Now aged 35, the former star is still plying his trade with non-league minnows Hanley Town – which he couples with running a village pub.
    Shotton is currently player-manager of the Staffordshire-based club who compete in the Northern Premier League West, English football’s eighth tier.
    He scored in The Blues’ 2-0 home win over Clitheroe on Saturday in front of just 111 fans – 12 years after netting in Stoke’s 3-0 Europe League win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv.
    Posting a picture of Shotton celebrating his goal, Hanley Town wrote on X: “Played at the highest level of football in the Premier League.
    “Scored in the Europa League.
    “Look at what scoring for little Hanley Town means.
    “We building.”
    Most read in Football
    Shotton, who clocked up 48 Premier League appearances for Stoke, has plenty to keep him occupied off the pitch.
    He is the co-owner of the Black Lion pub near his home in the Staffordshire village of Cheddleton.
    Shotton teamed up with his dad-in-law Dave Goodwin to buy the boozer in 2017, while playing for Middlesbrough under former Stoke boss Tony Pulis.
    Speaking in 2018, Shotton said: “Deliveries come in at half six and I’m up then
    “Lads drop the barrels off and one will have a Carling, because he does’t need to drive, and the other will have a coffee.
    “Carling at half 6 in the morning!? I was like, ‘Nah, I’ll just stick to my cup of tea’. I’ve always seen myself as grounded as possible. My mum made sure of that when I was growing up.
    “I just think getting back into reality, the people in the pub care you’re doing well but really, I’m just seen as a normal person, which I love.
    “The father-in-law used to go there from when he was 18, he was a big fan and it got refurbished. A guy bought it and said to us, ‘I can’t manage it, I’ll sell it to you two (me and David) and I said, ‘Why not?’ It’s a brilliant little boozer, proper little country pub, two fires, brilliant.”
    Shotton is not the only ex-Premier League star gracing the Northern Premier League West, whose clubs include City of Liverpool, Runcorn Linnets and Kidsgrove Athletic.
    Read More on The Sun
    We revealed this month how former Burney stalwart Matt Lowton, 34, has signed for lowly Witton Albion.
    The Cheshire club are managed ex-Republic of Ireland international Jon Macken, who played for the likes of Manchester City, Crystal Palace and Derby.
    Shotton is player-manager at Hanley TownCredit: X @HanleyTown66 More

  • in

    Stunned fans say ‘I wish I’d got a ticket’ as Laura Woods rocks up at non-league club for FA Cup clash

    FANS have been left in awe of Laura Woods as she stunned on ITV’s FA Cup coverage. The superstar sports presenter was part of the broadcaster’s coverage of non-league Horsham’s clash against Barnsley.
    Laura Woods has left fans in awe as they watch on from homeCredit: Rex
    Laura stunned as she presented ITV’s coverage of Horsham vs BarnsleyCredit: Rex
    She wore an elegant long black overcoatCredit: Rex
    Laura was joined on the coverage by Aaron McLean and Jobi McAnuffCredit: ITV
    Laura looked classy as she kept herself protected from the elements in a long black overcoat.
    She was joined by ex pro footballers Jobi McAnuff and Aaron McLean pitchside for the Round One replay.
    And despite the magic of the FA Cup normally catching viewers eyes it was Woods that was sending fans wild online.
    Many took to social media to shower her with compliments with some wishing they’d got a ticket to the game just to see her in person.
    One fan wrote: “Nahhh Laura woods is there I’m even more annoyed I didn’t get a ticket!”
    While another added: “Christ, I love Laura Woods. Is that acceptable as a Spurs fan?!”
    Laura is a regular on football fans’ television screens as she heads up coverage of some of the sport’s biggest games.
    Earlier this year she landed herself a new role as a presenter on TNT Sports where she can be seen hosting coverage of the Premier League and Champions League.
    Most read in Football
    And it’s nothing new for her to drive fans wild with her match day outfits with those watching on often impressed.
    The 36-year-old has also amassed an astounding 750,000 followers on Instagram alongside her work on TV.
    She regularly updates her fans with her glamourous lifestyle online.
    Inside Laura Woods’ glamorous life as football, boxing and NFL presenter…
    Laura is the new face of TNT Sports’ Champions League coverage
    Laura regularly hosts DAZN’s boxing coverage as wellCredit: Instagram @laurawoodsy
    She has gathered a huge social media following in recent yearsCredit: Instagram @laurawoodsy
    She also covers the boxing with DAZNCredit: Rex
    Laura doesn’t stop there as she hosts the Lionesses coverage too on ITVCredit: Getty
    And she has also done some presenting for the NFLCredit: Instagram
    Laura previously hosted the talkSPORT Breakfast alongside great pal Ally McCoistCredit: Instagram More