Livingston promoted; Thistle relegated

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Livingston completed back to back promotions after beating Partick Thistle 1-0 in the second leg of their playoff tie today. David Hopkin’s side, who had won League One in 2016/17, won the two legged tie 3-1 on aggregate and will thus return to the Scottish Premiership after a gap of twelve years. The result saw Thistle relegated, a disappointing result for a club that had finished in the top six last season.

Livi

Livi, who had taken a 2-1 lead from the first leg, secured the win thanks to Keaghan Jacobs’ goal. The midfielder, who had also scored in the first leg, netted shortly after the interval. Connor Sammon had a chance to equalise from the spot for the Jags, but Neil Alexander was on hand to save the penalty.

Celtic 2-0 Motherwell | Rodgers’ men complete Treble

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Celtic became the first Scottish side to do a domestic treble in successive seasons as they beat Motherwell 2-0 at Hampden to win the Scottish Cup. Both Jock Stein’s Celtic (1970) and Walter Smith’s Rangers side (1994) had come within one game of doing the Double Treble, but there was no stopping Rodgers’ men, with first half goals from Callum McGregor and Olivier Ntcham sealing a comfortable victory for the Hoops.

Cel Well

It was a disappointing day for Motherwell, who were hoping for their first piece of silverware since their 1991 Cup win, and also means that Hibs, who finished fourth in the Scottish Prem, will go into the Europa League qualifiers next season.

Craig Gordon was relatively untroubled in the Celtic goal, with Curtis Main’s effort and Gael Bigirimana’s free kick the closest Well would come to scoring in this game.

Mario Balotelli named in Mancini’s first Italian squad

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Nice striker Mario Balotelli was named in new Italy manager Roberto Mancini’s first ever squad as the former Man City gaffer took charge of the Azzurri after leaving his post at Russian outfit Zenit St.Petersburg. Mancini succeeds Gian Paolo Ventura, who was shown the door after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup following a playoff defeat to Sweden.

Balotelli last played for Italy in the 2014 WC, but has been in sparkling form for Nice in Ligue 1 this season, prompting Mancini to recall him. However there is no place for Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti.

The squad named is for the friendlies against Saudi Arabia, France and the Netherlands. Emerson Palmieri and Davide Zappacosta are the only two Premier League based players in the squad.

Mancini Squad

Bolton’s great escape- Wanderers stay in Championship after beating Forest

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At 85 minutes, it was looking pretty glum for Bolton Wanderers fans at the Macron Stadium, with the club losing 2-1 to Nottingham Forest and seemingly on the verge of relegation to League One. Hope Akpan’s stunner at Deepdale had put Burton Albion on level terms against Preston, with the Brewers set to stay in the Championship.

Then, in the course of two minutes, it all changed. Bolton somehow found a way to score twice- first through David Wheater, and then through Aaron Wilbraham, who had copped a fair bit of flak from the fans but ended up scoring what will go down as one of the most important goals in the history of the club.

Bolton were safe- we’ll now have Preston, Bolton, Blackburn and Wigan in the SAME league next season, and brave Burton were relegated to the third tier.

Check all the action from that dramatic game below!

Bolton Survive Continue reading

Brighton 1-0 Manchester United | Gross goal guides Albion to safety

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Brighton and Hove Albion assured themselves of a spot in the 2018/19 Premier League season after Pascal Gross’ second half goal gave them victory over Manchester United at the American Express Stadium.

Gross has been as integral to Brighton this season as Mo Salah has been to Liverpool’s and it was his header, awarded despite the best efforts of Marcos Rojo on the line, that separated the two teams at the final whistle. It was also Brighton’s first win in seven games at home and confirmed their top flight status for another season.

For United it was a disappointing performances with the likes of Rashford and Martial well below par despite starting this game. It didn’t feel like they were playing for the right to be in a Cup final side- there was one fantastic chance in the first half when all Rashford had to do was to square it to the unmarked Martial, but the youngster chose to go for glory himself and Albion were able to shut him down. David de Gea also made a fantastic save from a speculative Glen Murray effort.

Gross Continue reading