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  • Mon, 12 Apr 2021 15:57:10 +0000: Scottish Cup Old Firm game moved to avoid clash with Prince Philip’s funeral - Wolverhampton Wanderers | The Guardian
    • Fourth-round Rangers v Celtic tie is pushed back to Sunday
    • Wolves v Sheffield United moved to 8.15pm on Saturday

    The Scottish Cup fourth-round tie between Rangers and Celtic has been pushed back to a Sunday 3pm kick-off, one of several football matches to be rescheduled in order to avoid clashing with the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral this Saturday.

    The Old Firm fixture at Ibrox was originally set for 4pm on Saturday, an hour after the start of the ceremonial royal funeral at Windsor Castle. Saturday’s Premier League match between Wolves and Sheffield United, originally scheduled for 3pm, will kick off at 8.15pm.

    Related: Sports fixtures to be moved to avoid clashing with Prince Philip’s funeral

    Football

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  • Fri, 09 Apr 2021 21:37:27 +0000: Fulham 0-1 Wolves: Premier League – as it happened - Wolverhampton Wanderers | The Guardian

    A late, late dagger to Fulham hearts wielded by Adama Traore settled an otherwise dreary but occasionally controversial spectacle

    Fresh from his adventures at the Emirates Stadium yesterday, Nick Ames was at Craven Cottage to eff and jeff Adama Traore and Wolves to within an inch of their lives, as they forced him to frantically rewrite his Guardian match report intro and ending seconds before deadline for the second night in a row.

    Related: Adama Traoré’s late Wolves winner leaves Fulham in big relegation trouble

    “It was a tough game,” he tells BT Sport. “A very tough game. They were very organised, very intense ... both teams very compact. I’m happy for the boys because they worked very hard. Adama is unique and he played in a dsifferent position tonight. He started on the left, then he moved to striker. He worked very hard and with his speed and his talent he can hurt other teams.”

    “It’s a painful one,” says the Fulham boss. “I’ve been in football for a long time and that’s ... that’s a blow, obviously. The way the game ended up was a real blow and at this moment in time there’s a lot of hurt. You witnessed that at the end with the team and myself, really. It’s a hard one to take but we have to move on. We have to go again now.”

    On the performance: “I have got nothing but full praise for my team; the effort, the fight, the desire they showed tonight was one of a team that cares and are desperate. In football in the Premier League, sometimes you get hurt at certain moments and that’s what’s happened tonight.

    Antonee Robinson speaks: “We’re just devastated,” the Fulham wing-back, who was one of the game’s better players, tells BT Sport. “There’s a feeling amongst the lads that we let something slip there, a chance to win all three points and get out of the bottom three. We haven’t taken it, unfortunately.

    “We’ve battled, everyone’s given everything for 40 minutes, we feel like we’ve played well and then we’ve just let it slip at the end. It’s really devastating. Nobody could have given any more tonight and unfortunately it’s not enough. If we can keep that sdame fighting spirit then, looking forward, we’ve just got to be optimistic and hope we can bounce back.”

    It was dreadful game. Truly awful but it would have been an absolute classic if they’d dispensed with both halves and just played the added time at the end of each instead.

    In additional time at the end of the first half, Willian Jose thought he had broken his 11-match Wolves duck with a mighty header from six yards, only to have his effort chalked off by VAR’s David Coote because his provider Daniel Podence had a shoulder offside in the build-up.

    Adama Traore speaks: “I’m so happy,” he tells BT Sport. “I think not only me, the team has been working hard throughout the game. It was a tough game. We needed the three poinbts and I help but it’s been tough for us. We’ve been working hard through the 90 minutes and we have the final end to win and that is the most important thing, that we keep going.”

    That goal revisited: Hats off to referee Jonathan Moss, who played an advantage to Wolves after a foul on Traore in the build-up. The winger, playing in a more central role in the second half, dashed up the inside right and rifled the ball through a gap between Areola and his near post. He really leathered it, but the goalkeeper should have done better. On the touchline, Scott Parker visibly deflated as the ball rippled the net. Stay tuned for post-match reaction and a report from Craven Cottage.

    Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeep! It’s all over at Craven Cottage, where Wolves have won with a smash-and-grab in injury time goal from Adama Traore. “That’s a dagger in the heart for Fulham and Scottie Parker,” says Joe Cole, who is on punditry duty for BT Sport. On the pitch, Mario Lamina walks off in floods of tears. He is inconsolable.

    90+3 min: Maja miscues a volley in the Wolves penalty area, sending the ball into the turf from where it bounces into Rui Patricio’s hands with the last kick of the game.

    WOW! Adama Traore sprints down the inside right and rifles the ball in at the near post from what looks like an impossibly tight angle.

    90 min: Fulham win a free-kick wide on the right as the fourth official declares three minutes of added time. Needless to say, the free-kick is wasted. On the touchline, Scott Parker looks furious.

    88 min: Fabio Silva wins a corner for Wolves before getting shoved into some advertising hoardings which do him a mischief. He’s got a bang on the ribs but is fit to carry on. Nothing comes from the set piece.

    85 min: Ola Aina made way for Cavaleiro, in case you were wondering.

    83 min: Fulham are finishing the stronger of the two sides. They make another substitution: sending Ivan Cavaleiro, who is carrying a note written on a page from a notebook which he hands to Anguissa. I wonder what it says ...

    81 min: Kenny Tete sends a cross into the Wolves area from the right. It’s too high for Mitrocvic. Wolves fail to clear convincingly and the ball drops for Antonee Robinson just outside their box. With his weaker right foot he brings a smartish save out of Rui Patrico.

    81 min: Josh Maja wins a corner off Ruben Neves. Romain Saiss heads the ensuing inswinger clear.

    79 min: Wolves substitution: Fabio Silva on for the luckless Willian Jose.

    77 min: A Dendoncker header loops on to roof of the Fulham net as he connects with a free-kick from the right. It was a little too high for him and he had no control over his effort.

    74 min: Cordova-Reid slips as he shoots from distance and sends an effort bouncing wide. Fulham substitution: Josh Maja on for Harrison Reed. Wolves substitution: Morgan Gibbs-White on for Daniel Podence.

    73 min: Close but no cigar for Mitrovic, who connects with a ball at the far post but is unable to divert it goalwards.

    71 min: Anguissa tries to dribble across the front of the Wolves penalty area but is relieved of possession. Wolves clear.

    70 min: The ball breaks for Harrison Reed on the left side of the Wolves penalty area and he unleashes a low drive. It fizzes wide of the upright but Patricio had it covered.

    70 min: Corner for Fulham that’s cleared at the near post. Of course it is.

    68 min: Saiss and Neves size it up and the defender attempts to curl the ball into the top corner. It’s a poor effort in keeping with the rest of the game. High and wide.

    67 min: Kongolo is late on Traore just outside the Fulham penalty area. Free-kick for Wolves, on the edge of the D.

    65 min: Patricio dashes off his line to beat Mitrovic to a through ball into the Wolves penalty area.

    64 min: With plenty of runners to aim for, Harrison Reed overhits a pass into the Wolves penalty area and Rui Patricio grabs it gratefully.

    63 min: Fulham substitution: Zambo Anguissa on for the decidedly underwhelming Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

    61 min: Past the hour mark we go and but for the intervention of Willian Jose’s head, Daniel Podence’s shoulder and David Coote’s joie de vivre just before half-time, nothing much of interest continues to happen at great length.

    59 min: Fulham free-kick, wide on the left. Harrison Reed curls the ball into the Wolves penalty area, where Willian Jose heads clear.

    58 min: A brief spell of pressure from Fulham as the ball pings around the Wolves penalty area. It’s eventually hacked clear.

    57 min: Neves tries to play Traore in behind with a weighted ball from deep. He slightly overhits his delivery, which runs out of play. Traore gives him a thumbs-up. A single, not a double - he’s not Paul McCartney.

    55 min: Kongolo dispossesses Adama Traore with an excellent tackle as the big man turned and threatened to sprint into space towards the Fulham penalty area.

    53 min: Conor Coady hacks an Antonee Robinson cross from the left clear. This is grim fare and no mistake. The game is there for the taking for whichever side can be bothered to roll their sleeves up and grab it by the scruff. Wolves are looking the more likely candidates at the moment.

    50 min: Daniel Podence drills a low ball to the edge of the Fulham penalty area from the right flank. Terence Kongolo clears.

    47 min: Kenny Tete swings a cross into the Wolves penalty area, aiming for Mitrovic, who slips. He goes to ground and Leander Dendoncker trips over and lands on top of him. [Note to subs: insert comedy swanee whistle sound effect here.]

    46 min: Wolves kick off and play will continue until David Coote decides a sliver Daniel Podence’s shoulder was fractionally in the wrong place and we need to start the second half again. There are no changes in personnel on either side.

    Crouchy speaks: “I’d be so angry,” says Peter Crouch of the disallowed goal on BT Sport. “If you hadn’t scored for your new club in 11 games and it gets ruled out like that. It’s like a Get Out Of Jail Free card, isn’t it? No-one had any clue there was an offside and nobody was appealing for it. No-one wanted it and ... I dunno, I suppose it’s the letter of the law and that’s what referees have to do: disallow it. But if I’m Willian Jose, it doesn’t make me any less upset.”

    Peep! An otherwise dreary and thoroughly unremarkable half sparked into life in added time when Willian Jose capped a fine Wolves move with a net-busting header. In Stockley Park, David Coote had other ideas, getting his set square and ruler out to find an offside in the build-up.

    It seems Daniel Podence, who had provided the cross to Jose, strayed a whisker offside in the build-up. Football as forensice accountancy - if you were one of those people who called for VAR and couldn’t see this kind of nonsense coming down the pipe, this is on you.

    It’s as you were. Willian Jose will have to wait for his first goal because that one’s been disallowed by the curtain-twitchers and buzzkills in Stockley Park. Daniel Podence was a toenail offside in the build-up and this game remains scoreless..

    Boom! From the edge of the six-yard box, Willian Jose powers a bullet header past Areola to score his first goal for Wolves. Daniel Podence was the provider following a wonderful crossfield ball from Coady.

    43 min: Another good cross from the left from Antonee Robinson. Under pressure from Saiss, Mitrovic is unable to steer his header on target. Another excellent chance goes to waste for a team that really cannot afford this kind of profligacy in front of goal.

    42 min: We’re approaching half-time and I can’t remember either goalkeeper having to make a save. This is not a half that will live long in the memory of anyone involved.

    41 min: The corner is half cleared, then Wolves win a free-kick as Loftus-Cheek is penalised for climbing on an opponent.

    40 min: Corner for Fulham after a Kenny Tete cross goes out off the back of Romain Saiss.

    39 min: Joao Moutinho fouls Aleksandar Mitrovic on the left side of the centre-circle. Quite correctly, his plea of innocence falls on deaf ears.

    37 min: Adama Traore gallops towards the edge of the Fulham penalty area and pulls a truly diabolical left-footed effort well wide of the far post. He looks to the heavens over Craven Cottage in frustration.

    35 min: Kongolo goes down holding his knee after a collision with Adama Traore in full flight. He’s ok.

    32 min: Wolves substituion: Pedro Neto off, Joao Moutinho on. Adama Traore moves to the right, Daniel Podence to the left and the sub takes up a place in the centre of the park.

    30 min: It looks like the jig is up for Pedro Neto, who has signalled to the bench that he needs to be replaced. Moments previously, Conor Coady had reacted quickly to prevent Joachim Andersen from getting a shot off as the ball dropped to him about six yards out from the Wolves goal.

    28 min: Another long diagonal from Andersen to Robinson, who crosses for Ruben Loftus-Cheek. He rises unopposed to try and head the ball into the bottom corner but steers his effort wide. That’s a bad miss from a man who has yet to make a significant contribution to the Fulham cause during his loan spell from Chelsea.

    26 min: Another corner for Fulham. This time Ait Nouri sends the ball straight into the gloves of Alphonse Areola.

    23 min: There’s a break in play as Pedro Neto receives treatment for an injury received in a coming-together with Antonee Robinson.

    22 min: Adama Traore has been quiet so far this evening but perks up enough to win a corner for his side. The ball’s floated to the near post by Rayah Ait Nouri but headed straight back his way and out for a throw-in. That’s an atrocious attempt at a corner kick.

    20 min: Fulham win a free-kick halfway inside the Wolves half. The ball’s lofted towards the penalty, with Kongolo the target. He’s unable to get a touch on it and it sails out of play.

    19 min: Pedro Neto crosses from the right, trying to pick out Jose in the Fulham penalty area. His delivery is a little too high and the ball is shepherded out of play.

    17 min: Another dipping cross from the right from Tete curls towards the far post. It’s a mite too far ahead of Aleksandar Mitrovic, who can’t make up the ground to steer it home. He applauds his team-mate.

    15 min: A diagonal ball from the back from Joachim Andersen finds Kenny Tete on the right flank and he hooks the ball towards to the far post. Bobby Reid leaps in vain, outjumped by a defender.

    13 min: Nelson Semedo is fouled by Antonee Robinson wide on the right, just outside the corner of the Fulham penalty area. Pedro Neto’s delivery to the far post is poor and a decent opportunity goes a begging.

    12 min: Scrappy play from both sides in these early stages with little or nothing in the way of cutting edge on show so far. Wolves look marginally superior but there’s not much in it.

    9 min: Kenny Tete plays a wayward backwards pass deep into his own half. Daniel Podence was ready to pounce about 30 yards from the Fulham goal but Congola sprinted across to beat him to the ball. Good defending.

    8 min: Nelson Semedo curls a low cross into the Wolves penalty area, trying to pick out Willian Jose. Ola Aina intercepts and clears.

    6 min: Fulham are getting a foothold in the game and threaten again as Ruben Loftus-Cheek out-muscles Ruben Neves to win possession on the edge of the final third. Wolves clear their lines.

    5 min: Mario Lamina and Kenny Tete combine down the right for Fulham but are unable to muster a cross between them. Goal kick for Wolves.

    4 min: Rayah Ait Nouri runs the ball out of play as he tries to sprint up the left touchline. A strong start by Wolves, who are dominating possession.

    2 min: From a free-kick wide on the right, Willian Jose skims a header wide of the far post as the ball is curled across the Fulham penalty area. That was a chance!

    1 min: The ball is rolling at Craven Cottage but soon goes out of play after an overhit pass towards Antonee Robinson on the left touchline. Fulham wear their usual home kit of white shirts, black shorts and white socks. Wolves are dressed as Portugal, their players wearing burgundy shirts with green trim, burgundy shorts and green socks.

    Nuno speaks: “Between all the squad, we have to decide,” he says, when asked if he considered picking Fabio Silva ahead of Willian Jose, who has yet to score in 11 appearances for Wolves. “Our decision was to start with the same team.”

    On playing a back four instead of a back five: “Things have not changed,” he says. “We still have the same issues with the players so it’s about finding the right balance between the two systems that we can use during the competition.”

    Scott Parker speaks: “I just wanted to freshen up a little bit,” he says of Kongolo’s inclusion at the expense of Tosin in an interview with BT Sport. “The team I’ve picked tonight is one I think can get us a result. Obviously Ademola hasn’t made it fitness wise but I always try to pick a team that I feel is best suited and capable of getting a result.”

    On picking his team up after their defeat at the hands of Villa: “It’s been fine, as it has been all year,” he says. “We’ve had some dips throughout this season but we’ve got a very honest group here. At the top of the week I spoke about our performance and how I felt we lacked a little bit at a certain moment against Villa. I’m sure the lads have listened in and hopefully learned from it. Tonight’s is a game we want to come and try and put our authority on.”

    Pre-match niceties: There will be two-minute silence ahead of all this weekend’s Premier League and EFL games as a mark of respect for Prince Philip, whose death was announced earlier today. Players will also wear black armbands.

    Those teams: It’s an unchanged team from Wolves, who struggled in the face of West Ham’s counter-attacks on Monday and come up against a side whose strengths also lie in breakaways. Joao Moutinho starts on the bench.

    The in-form Aleksandar Mitrovic keeps his place up front for Fulham, but there’s no place for the hamstrung Ademola Lookman in Scott Parker’s matchday squad and Tosin Aderabayo drops to the bench. Terence Kongolo and Antonee Robinson come into the side.

    Fulham: Areola, Tete, Andersen, Kongolo, Aina, Lemina, Reed, De Cordova Reid, Loftus-Cheek, Robinson, Mitrovic.

    Subs: Fabri, Hector, Ream, Adarabioyo, Cavaleiro, Bryan, Onomah, Maja, Anguissa.

    Fulham are without Marek Rodak and Tom Cairney, who remain sidelined with a hand and knee injury respectively, while Admola Lookman is a doubt for tonight. On loan from RB Leipzig, the 23-year-old suffered a hamstring injury in his side’s game against Aston Villa last weekend, but returned to training late this week after receiving intensive treatment.

    Wolves are without several key personnel. As mentioned previously, Jonny faces a long spell out, while central defender Willy Boly remains in self-isolation following a positive test for Covid. Raul Jimenez and Fernando Marcal are also unavailable. Joao Moutinho is expected to return tonight after missing Wolves’ defeat at the hands of West Ham through a groin injury he suffered on international duty with Portugal.

    For all the pretty football they’ve been playing since putting their hideously bad start to the Premier League campaign, Fulham remain in the relegation zone and are running out of opportunities to extricate themselves from trouble. Three points behind Newcastle having played one game more, their reliance on the ineptitude of other teams to save them will only reap dividends if they start picking up points.

    They have an excellent opportunity to do exactly that tonight and following three consecutive defeats, a win tonight would move them ahead of Newcastle on goal difference and ramp up the pressure on Steve Bruce’s side ahead of their lunchtime appointment with Burnley on Sunday.

    Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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  • Fri, 09 Apr 2021 21:10:56 +0000: Adama Traoré’s late Wolves winner leaves Fulham in big relegation trouble - Wolverhampton Wanderers | The Guardian

    Fulham are running out of lives. This was a devastating defeat, inflicted at the very end of a game in which they never quite did enough. The number of chances to escape relegation are dwindling rapidly and, having hauled their way back into contention earlier in the spring, they have picked the worst possible time to offset much of that good work by equalling their worst losing run of the season.

    A fourth consecutive reverse was guaranteed in thrilling fashion by Adama Traoré in the second minute of added time. If the goal was unexpected for its timing then its quality of conception and execution were both startling, too, given the drudgery of what had previously passed. Wolves did not stand out here but felt they had their just deserts: Willian José had seen what looked a legitimate opener ruled out shortly before half-time by a ludicrous application of VAR and until those final seconds it seemed their sense of injustice would rankle all the way home.

    Related: Fulham v Wolves: Premier League – live!

    Related: In-form Barça and Real Madrid up for clásico that could decide La Liga

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  • Fri, 09 Apr 2021 00:27:04 +0000: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend - Wolverhampton Wanderers | The Guardian

    Tottenham and Everton both need a result while Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa may serve up another feast of football

    When the dust settles on José Mourinho’s Tottenham tenure - and that could be one day soon - 4 October’s 6-1 win at Manchester United will probably be a high watermark. It happened on a day when the Premier League took on a demented quality. That Sunday also featured Liverpool’s 7-2 loss to Aston Villa. Six months on, Spurs announcing themselves as title contenders feels like a dim, surreal memory. United have since regrouped and victory in north London would further frank their passport into next season’s Champions League. Meanwhile, Spurs continue to scrap on the peripheries of the top four with their manager running his playbook of running battles with his own players. “Same coach, different players,” was his explanation at Newcastle for yet another concession of a late goal, also suggesting his team “create instability to ourselves”. Back in October at Old Trafford, he was “very happy with the squad that I have”. JB

    Tottenham v Manchester United (Sunday, 4.30 pm, all times BST)

    Related: FA wants 45,000 fans at Wembley for Euro 2020 semi-finals and final

    Manchester City v Leeds (Saturday, 12.30pm)

    West Ham v Leicester (Sunday, 2.05pm)

    Fulham v Wolves (Friday, 8pm)

    Related: Rangers join Swansea’s social media boycott over online abuse

    Liverpool v Aston Villa (Saturday, 3pm)

    Sheffield United v Arsenal (Sunday, 7pm)

    Related: A bigger, more diverse European super league can help enrich football | Philipp Lahm

    Crystal Palace v Chelsea (Saturday, 5.30pm)

    Burnley v Newcastle (Sunday, 12pm)

    West Brom v Southampton (Monday, 6pm)

    Brighton v Everton (Monday, 8.15pm)

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  • Mon, 05 Apr 2021 21:18:23 +0000: West Ham hold off Wolves to go fourth after Jesse Lingard inspires win - Wolverhampton Wanderers | The Guardian

    What started as an ambition too ludicrous to mention is becoming increasingly realistic for West Ham, who moved closer to Champions League qualification thanks to another inspirational performance by Jesse Lingard. The Manchester United loanee scored for the sixth time in his eighth appearance for David Moyes’s side before creating another two goals as West Ham won a rollicking match and climbed to fourth in the table. In other words, the man who is proving to be one of the signings of the season is guiding his team towards one of the exploits of the season.

    Related: Wolves 2-3 West Ham: Premier League – as it happened

    Related: Declan Rice's hopes of playing at Euro 2020 in doubt due to knee injury

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