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Wolves show teeth, Beckham shows heart

Published: Friday 11 February 2011, 9.47CET
Bottom beat top in England on a day when a record 41 Premier League goals were scored, while David Beckham did a good deed and David Trezeguet lost the shirt off his back.
by Paul Saffer
Wolves show teeth, Beckham shows heart
Wolves goalscorer George Elokobi celebrates at full time against Manchester United ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 11 February 2011, 9.47CET

Wolves show teeth, Beckham shows heart

Bottom beat top in England on a day when a record 41 Premier League goals were scored, while David Beckham did a good deed and David Trezeguet lost the shirt off his back.

Team: Wolverhampton Wanderers FC
That Manchester United FC would eventually lose a Premier League game this season was not unexpected, but the odds were against their nemeses being Wolves, who went into their meeting last Saturday at the foot of the table. United's 25-match unbeaten run came to an end despite Nani putting them ahead within three minutes of kick-off. George Elokobi swiftly equalised and Kevin Doyle's goal before the break secured a 2-1 win over the leaders. Wolves had already beaten Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC this term, but as manager Mick McCarthy said: "We are in this position because whilst we have beaten some of the top teams, we have been bobbins against those around us."

Player: Justin Haber (Malta)
Among the eye-catching friendly results on Wednesday was Malta's impressive 0-0 draw with Switzerland. Goalkeeper Haber was the hero with two penalty saves for the hosts, denying Alexander Frei and Gökhan Inler. Haber, of Hungarian club Ferencvárosi TC, became the first keeper to achieve such a feat for Malta and told UEFA.com: "The two saves were the icing on the cake on a night I won't forget in a hurry."

Goal: Cheick Tioté (Newcastle United FC) & Number: 41
Wolves's defeat of United was not the only big story in England on Saturday as the eight Premier League fixtures produced 41 goals, the most in a day since the top flight's relaunch in 1992. At St James' Park, Arsenal FC raced into a 4-0 half-time lead only for Newcastle to come back for a draw (a Premier League record comeback), with the equaliser a stunner as Joey Barton's 87th-minute free-kick was cleared as far as Tioté, who produced a brilliant long-range volley for the Ivorian's first goal in England.

Quote:
"Eventually I saw a car pull over in the distance and a man in a hoodie got out. He pulled the hood down and as he got nearer to the car I realised it was David Beckham."
The former England captain, currently training with Tottenham Hotspur FC, took another step towards footballing sainthood when he stopped to assist a motorist whose car had broken down near a roundabout in Hertfordshire. The lucky Paul Long said: "My instinctive reaction was to say: 'You're David Beckham.' He asked if we were OK and I said we'd broken down and could he push us to the side. When we'd pushed the car to safety – and I have to say another man stopped to help by this point – he asked if we were OK and I said: 'David Beckham, I love you, mate.'"

Failed delivery I: Switzerland's boots
We have been pondering Switzerland's result in Malta ever since mentioning it a couple of items ago and news has reached us of a pre-game trauma. The squad arrived on the island at the start of the week but their boots did not, having been diverted to Frankfurt. On Monday normal training was cancelled and Ottmar Hitzfeld's charges had a gymnastics session, yet although the errant footwear pitched up the following day, perhaps a cancelled spot-kick session came back to haunt the visitors.

Failed delivery II: David Trezeguet's shirt (France)
French collector Oliver Demolis pulled off a coup recently with the €7,350 purchase of Trezeguet's jersey from the 1998 FIFA World Cup final and was eagerly awaiting its arrival from Brazil when disaster struck. A French customs officer mistook the top for a fake and destroyed it. "It was the final missing piece in my collection," Demolis said. "I was prepared to pay so much because those French shirts from '98 are very hard to come by. There are only six in circulation: a Zidane, a Trezeguet, a Desailly, a Boghossian and two Guivarc'hes. When I went to get it they told me the shirt had been destroyed by customs because it was counterfeit. I went mad."

Hair growth (real): Jeanvion Yulu-Mutondo (PFC Levski Sofia)
Having completed a €200,000 move to Bulgaria from Roda JC, the 25-year-old Belgian winger is keen to repay his new club with a goal – and has even made a pledge not to shave until he scores. "Let's hope his beard does not end up reaching his bellybutton," joked Levski sporting director Georgi Ivanov.

Hair growth (fake): Cris (Olympique Lyonnais)
Something of a local hero in Lyon, the Brazilian defender hatched a novel scheme to allow him to walk the city streets undisturbed: the 33-year-old defender covers his distinctive bald pate with a brown wig. "If I go out without my hair, people recognise me," he said, as he blew his cover on French television. "But if I put the wig on I can go out with my family in peace. It's very useful."

Unexpected loan: Martin Kavdanski, Kiki Dani & Dragi Kocev (FC Zenit St Petersburg)
Zenit were in Spain this week for the Marbella Cup friendly tournament but had a problem ahead of their third-place play-off with AC Sparta Praha on Tuesday because most of the squad had jetted off on international duty. So it was that Martin Kavdanski, Dani Kiki and Dragi Kocev, who were representing fellow contenders PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 1936 from Bulgaria, became Zenit players for the day – featuring in a 2-1 defeat. Midfielder Sergei Semak said: "Naturally, it is difficult to call this match official, especially given that the lads we brought in did not play in their natural positions. It was a big surprise for them to be taking part in the game, but that's how it was."

Last updated: 15/02/11 19.21CET

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