Sports

Rangers 2-3 Hibernian

 Posted by at 12:01 AM
May 222016
 

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Goals – Rangers 2-3 Hibernian

A late David Gray header saw Hibernian beat Rangers to end a tortuous 114-year wait to lift the Scottish Cup.

Anthony Stokes scored twice for Hibs, either side of goals from Kenny Miller and Andy Halliday.

Then Gray headed in the winner before Hibs celebrated a timeless triumph.

Hibs fans spilled onto the pitch in their thousands after the final whistle, with some running towards the Rangers end, where pockets of supporters broke to confront them.

Players and match officials were caught up in the pitch invasion, which eventually saw mounted police enter the pitch.

Both sides had to leave the field, with Rangers given their medals in the dressing room and Hibs waiting for the pitch to be cleared before they could emerge to collect the trophy.

Police formed a cordon on the pitch

The Hibs players had began as though the manager’s instructions were constantly ringing in their ears. The strategy was that the three centre-backs would stifle the corridors of space that Rangers look to exploit in attack, while heavy pressing would disrupt the rhythm of Mark Warburton’s side.

The planning would have been meticulous, but an immediate advantage would not have been anticipated. There was a committed intent that enthused Hibs’ play. It was evident in the way that Stokes clattered into Jason Holt in the first minute, but also in the way the striker drove into the Rangers penalty area before expertly placing a shot beyond Wes Foderingham.

Rangers’ players were immediately subdued, although some might have been feeling an element of culpability. Halliday and James Tavernier had failed to win the ball from John McGinn, while Rob Kiernan allowed Stokes the time and space to measure his options.

Stokes naturally tends to drift out to the left, but the instinct would have been encouraged by Stubbs since the space between Tavernier and Kiernan is the most vulnerable area of the Rangers defence. Cummings and Stokes both made inroads, but the extent of Rangers’ unease could be measured by the raggedness of their play.

David Gray (second right) heads a stoppage-time winner for Hibs

Passes went astray and possession was cheaply discarded, which would have infuriated Warburton when his entire philosophy is based on taking care of the ball. Resourcefulness can be prized, though, and it was a departure from their short passing game that brought Rangers level.

Foderingham’s kick up field was won by Miller, allowing Barrie McKay to gather possession and carry the ball across the field. When he found Tavernier, the full-back immediately swept a cross into the box from deep, and Miller leapt ahead of the Hibs defender Darren McGregor to plant a header past Conrad Logan.

Flaws made the game exhilarating. The defending was so inept at times that opportunities were inevitable. Stokes sent an effort bouncing off the post, then Miller won another header inside the Hibs penalty area and his effort cannoned off the crossbar.

Stokes was irrepressible at times, at least when faced with Tavernier, who had little answer to the forward’s runs. Stokes cut inside the full-back early in the second half, but his effort was pushed away by Foderingham. That was a feature of the rest of the game, but it was Rangers who dredged up the guile to take the lead.

Halliday was allowed the room to shape to shoot, around 25 yards out, but his effort was fierce, true and flew past Logan into the far side of the net. The onus, then, was on Hibs to respond, and the players found the means to regather themselves.

The introduction of Liam Henderson made an impact, not least because of his set-piece deliveries. From one, Stokes muscled Tavernier aside to head in at the near post. It was from another corner kick, again from Henderson, that Gray scored his historic, momentous goal, before surging off towards the fans to celebrate.

Live Text

Match ends, Rangers 2, Hibernian 3.

Second Half ends, Rangers 2, Hibernian 3.

Foul by Dean Shiels (Rangers).

Dylan McGeouch (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Goal! Rangers 2, Hibernian 3. David Gray (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Liam Henderson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Wes Foderingham.

Attempt saved. Anthony Stokes (Hibernian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Corner, Rangers. Conceded by Niklas Gunnarsson.

Substitution, Hibernian. Niklas Gunnarsson replaces Paul Hanlon.

Goal! Rangers 2, Hibernian 2. Anthony Stokes (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Liam Henderson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Danny Wilson.

Jason Holt (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Liam Henderson (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Substitution, Rangers. Nicky Clark replaces Martyn Waghorn.

Foul by Dean Shiels (Rangers).

Paul Hanlon (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Dylan McGeouch (Hibernian).

Substitution, Hibernian. Liam Henderson replaces Liam Fontaine.

Lee Wallace (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by James Keatings (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Hibernian) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Hibernian) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

Jason Holt (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis Stevenson (Hibernian).

Substitution, Hibernian. James Keatings replaces Jason Cummings.

Goal! Rangers 2, Hibernian 1. Andy Halliday (Rangers) left footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Barrie McKay.

Lee Wallace (Rangers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Anthony Stokes (Hibernian).

Substitution, Rangers. Dean Shiels replaces Gedion Zelalem.

Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Gedion Zelalem (Rangers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian).

Andy Halliday (Rangers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Anthony Stokes (Hibernian).

Attempt missed. Martyn Waghorn (Rangers) header from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

Attempt missed. Liam Fontaine (Hibernian) header from the centre of the box misses to the right following a set piece situation.

James Tavernier (Rangers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by James Tavernier (Rangers).

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Watford name Mazzarri as new boss

 Posted by at 4:15 PM
May 212016
 
Walter Mazzarri was sacked by Inter in November 2014

Watford have announced that former Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri will become head coach from 1 July after the departure of Quique Sanchez Flores.

The 54-year-old Italian, who has also managed Sampdoria and Napoli, has signed a three-year contract at Vicarage Road.

Spaniard Flores left after less than a year with the Premier League side.

Watford finished 13th in a season where they also lost in the FA Cup semi-finals to Crystal Palace.

Mazzarri is the Hornets’ eighth manager in the past four years.

Watford’s chief executive Scott Duxbury told the club’s official website: “Walter has been the target of a number of approaches for his services, so we’re delighted to secure him as head coach here at Watford.

“We’re thoroughly looking forward to working with such a highly regarded coach, with the progress and development of the club always remaining the highest priority.”

Who is Walter Mazzarri?

After the departure of 51-year-old Flores, it soon became clear that Mazzari was the preferred choice of the Pozzo family, who took over at Watford in 2012.

Mazzarri won the Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2012 and took the club to second in Serie A the following season.

He joined Inter on a two-year contract in May 2013 and the club were fifth in his first season.

But he has been out of work since leaving the San Siro in November 2014, having been sacked with the club ninth in the table, 12 points off the top.

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May 212016
 
Lee Gregory’s goal against Bradford was his 27th in 52 appearances this season

Millwall drew at home to Bradford to seal a 4-2 aggregate win and reach the League One play-off final at Wembley.

The Lions, who won the semi-final first leg 3-1, looked to have put the tie to bed when Lee Gregory slotted home.

But Jamie Proctor’s strike just before half-time, after Jordan Archer blocked his first effort, gave City hope.

Proctor then wasted a further chance moments later, and it proved costly as Millwall held on to set up a showdown with Barnsley on 29 May.

Neil Harris’ side were rarely troubled after Proctor twice turned down the opportunity to shoot when excellently placed – and, if anything, they looked the more likely to score again after the break.

Centre-half Byron Webster came closest, sending a header narrowly wide of Ben Williams’ post, as the second leg petered out in front of a raucous crowd at The Den.

The first leg holds the key

Millwall fans invaded the pitch after their semi-final victory against Bradford

Millwall’s success against Bradford means that, across this season’s Football League play-offs, all five teams who won the first leg of their semi-final went on to reach Wembley.

The majority of the damage was done even before half-time at Valley Parade, where goals from Gregory, Steve Morison and Joe Martin had put the Lions in full command against Bradford.

The Bantams have twice previously come back from a first-leg deficit to progress to the final and win promotion, but Gregory’s calm, side-footed finish ensured there would be no repeat in south-east London.

Millwall must now beat Barnsley, who thumped Walsall 6-1 over two legs in the other semi-final, if they are to secure an instant return to the Championship.

Millwall manager Neil Harris:

“I’m delighted for the players, They deserved it over the two legs.

“We really had to battle, both tonight and last Sunday. It was tough but we’ve earned our place at Wembley.

“Barnsley will be really tough opponents. They’ve done brilliantly all season and especially against Walsall.”

Live Text

Match ends, Millwall 1, Bradford City 1.

Second Half ends, Millwall 1, Bradford City 1.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match (Bradford City).

Foul by Rory McArdle (Bradford City).

Steve Morison (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Millwall. Tony Craig replaces Byron Webster because of an injury.

Corner, Bradford City. Conceded by Steve Morison.

Corner, Bradford City. Conceded by Shaun Williams.

Substitution, Millwall. Shaun Williams replaces Lee Gregory.

Kyel Reid (Bradford City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Kyel Reid (Bradford City).

Ben Thompson (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Shane Ferguson (Millwall) is shown the yellow card.

Lee Evans (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Shane Ferguson (Millwall).

Attempt blocked. Lee Evans (Bradford City) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is blocked.

Chris Taylor (Millwall) is shown the yellow card.

Billy Clarke (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ben Thompson (Millwall).

Rory McArdle (Bradford City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Rory McArdle (Bradford City).

Steve Morison (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Lee Evans (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lee Gregory (Millwall).

Corner, Bradford City. Conceded by Shane Ferguson.

Paul Anderson (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Joe Martin (Millwall).

Lee Evans (Bradford City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Lee Evans (Bradford City).

Ben Thompson (Millwall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Chris Taylor (Millwall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Millwall. Conceded by Rory McArdle.

Foul by Rory McArdle (Bradford City).

Lee Gregory (Millwall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution, Bradford City. Steve Davies replaces Nathan Clarke.

Tom Thorpe (Bradford City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steve Morison (Millwall).

Substitution, Bradford City. Paul Anderson replaces Tony McMahon.

Offside, Millwall. Chris Taylor tries a through ball, but Lee Gregory is caught offside.

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