Evening Report: February 1

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Football News


Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has denied they are a one-man team and insisted they had more than enough quality to compensate for when Juan Mata is not playing.

Mata has been in terrific form for some time now and many have claimed the Blues struggle to perform when he is not playing – a notion his compatriot obviously does not prescribe to.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he is worried about the state of the Old Trafford pitch.

The surface was poor in the recent win over Southampton and Ferguson claimed it had “collapsed” over winter, leaving him hoping for better weather until it can be replaced in the summer.

Arsene Wenger has defended under fire left-back Andre Santos and said he could have a key role to play in the Champions League last 16 clash with Bayern Munich.

The Arsenal manager felt people were being unfairly critical of the Brazilian and insisted he will still be important despite new signing, Spain left-back Nacho Monreal, arriving from Malaga on transfer deadline day.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was “sorry” to see controversial striker Mario Balotelli leave the club in the January transfer window.

The Italy international finalised his £19million move to San Siro on deadline day and Mancini expressed his regret at being unable to coax the best out of the 22-year-old.

Tottenham pulled out of a deal taking Tom Huddlestone to Fulham at the very last minute, according to manager Martin Jol.

The Dutchman claimed Fulham were very close to completing the transfer of the midfielder but Spurs had a late change of heart.

Real Madrid midfielder Jose Callejon has criticised Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi for his altercation with los Blancos’ assistant Aitor Karanka.

Messi was reported to have waited over an hour in the car park after the El Clasico 1-1 draw on Wednesday night, before rowing with members of the Real squad in front of their wives.


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