BLUES DOWN ARSENAL AT THE DEATH
Birmingham shocked Arsenal with a sensational last minute winner from substitute Obafemi Martins in the Carling Cup final after a Wembley howler from defender Laurent Koscielny and goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Martins later described the goal as ‘The easiest I have ever scored’ after the Arsenal duo went for the same ball and gifted an empty net to the Nigerian striker.
“I think this is the easiest goal I’ve ever scored in my career - and it’s very important,” said Martins.
“I’m glad I scored today and I’m glad we won. I think it was my second touch. I’m very happy.”
Arsenal are still waiting for their first trophy since 2005 but manager Arsene Wenger paid tribute to the Blues afterwards.
“We got what we expected from Birmingham - they are a team who fight very hard and cause a lot of problems from long balls,” said Wenger.
“I wanted to end our wait for a trophy. Both teams gave everything and congratulations to them - they have got their trophy.
“But we have regrets with the way we conceded the goal. What can you say? You have to be positive because he (our ‘keeper Szczesny is a young boy.
“He has to pick himself up from that goal and hopefully he can do that.”
Arsenal’s captain for the day Robin Van Persie picked up a knee injury in the game as he scored the first-half equalizer to.
Wenger added: “We lost Cesc Fabregas during the week and now Robin is not in good shape after this game. It’s a knee problem which we will have to assess.”
DALGLISH DENIES CONTRACT STORIES
Kenny Dalglish has dismissed all reports that Liverpool have offered him a long term contract as manager.
The Anfield legend, whose side were beaten 3-1 at West Ham on Sunday, currently has the job until the end of the season.
Weekend reports claimed that Liverpool’s American owners have seen enough of Dalglish to appoint him boss on a permanent basis.
“There is nothing to this,” insisted Dalglish after the biggest defeat of his new reign.
“If there is any news to be told we’ll tell you. I’m happy to be here, I’ll do what I’ve got to do for the club that means an awful lot to me.
“There’s never been a discussion other than the first ones so I’m not sure where the Sunday newspapers have got that from.”
Scott Parker, Demba Ba and Carlton Cole all scored for West Ham who conceded just one goal to defender Glen Johnson.
Dalglish said: “The players have done fantastic up until here and I suppose there was always going to be some time when we lost a game.
“I think the credit the boys have had has been deserved and I think they’ll stand up and be honest with themselves today and say they probably got what they deserved - and that was nothing.
“There was nothing West Ham did that surprised us because they are fighting for survival. After they scored they got a lot of belief but we never played as well as we’re capable of playing, we never passed it as well as we can pass it and we never took the chances that came our way.”
Reports in Germany say Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson is monitoring Borussia Dortmund centre-back Neven Subotic. United have also been linked with Man City defender Micah Richards.
Arsenal are the latest Premier League club linked with a £20million summer move for Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has joined Championship side Cardiff City on an emergency loan.
Newcastle United midfielder Danny Guthrie is wanted on loan by promotion chasing Nottingham Forest.
Liverpool have told record signing Andy Carroll he needs to lose weight.
Defender Alan Hutton could leave Spurs after a dressing-room bust-up with manager Harry Redknapp.
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed reports that will swap striker Didier Drogba for Real Madrid’s Brazilian ace Kaka.
Celtic boss Neil Lennon has warned Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal off a move for his left-back Emilio Izaguirre or midfielder Beram Kayal.
Manchester City will turn to Ajax defender Gregory van der Wiel if they fail to sign Barcelona star Dani Alves in the summer.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has reportedly threatened to sell-off the ageing John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba in the summer.
Paul Scholes has yet to sign a new Manchester United contract because he wants to play every game and manager Alex Ferguson won’t agree.
West Ham’s New Zealand international defender Winston Reid is to sell-off his World Cup mementoes to raise funds for victims of the Christchurch earthquake.
Police are to investigate newspaper claims that Chelsea defender Ashley Cole accidentally shot a work placement student with an air gun at the club’s training ground.
Samir Nasri’s agent has confirmed talks are ongoing on a new contract for his player with Arsenal but insists no deal has been done.
Wolves boss Mick McCarthy wants to keep midfielder Jamie O’Hara when his loan deal expires in the summer.
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