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Victories and coaching firsts

Published: Friday 5 March 2010, 16.26CET
Three international coaches made winning starts, Manchester City FC had an eye-catching result at the home of the Premier League leaders, while Domenico Di Carlo made the news in Italy.
Victories and coaching firsts
Carlos Tevéz (centre) scored twice in Manchester City's win at Stamford Bridge ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 5 March 2010, 16.26CET

Victories and coaching firsts

Three international coaches made winning starts, Manchester City FC had an eye-catching result at the home of the Premier League leaders, while Domenico Di Carlo made the news in Italy.

Notable wins for Manchester City FC and England, the continuation of Djibril Cissé's red-hot run of form and an unusual piece of history in Serie A feature in's highlight reel of the last seven days in football.

Team: Manchester City FC
City arrived in west London to play Premier League leaders Chelsea FC having failed to score in their previous seven visits to Stamford Bridge, while the hosts had only conceded eight goals in 13 home league games all season. So, when Frank Lampard put Chelsea ahead three minutes before the break, the prospect of Roberto Mancini's charges becoming the first team to defeat the Blues on their own patch since November 2008 seemed far removed. However, Carlos Tevéz's trickling effort soon restored parity and by the time Lampard struck his second late on, Chelsea were two men down, trailing 4-2, and facing up to a first home loss in 37 matches.

Player: Djibril Cissé (Panathinaikos FC)
Three days after scoring twice in the Greens' 3-2 UEFA Europa League win at AS Roma, Cissé was at it again, hitting both goals as Panathinaikos triumphed 2-0 at Panionios GSS. The double, which took his tally to eight in six matches and 20 for the campaign in the Super League, swayed France coach Raymond Domenech into calling up the striker for the midweek friendly against Spain. "I'm lucky to be here [in the squad]," said Cissé, whose appearance in the 2-0 loss was his first for Les Bleus since May 2008. "To be here means my choice [Panathinaikos] was the right one."

Number: 500
A 3-1 victory against Egypt, the African champions, at Wembley on Wednesday was the 500th win in England's history. In their final match before Fabio Capello names his provisional squad for the FIFA World Cup finals, Peter Crouch pressed his case for inclusion with a match-winning performance, his two second-half goals taking his international tally to an impressive 20 in 37 games.

New dawns: Safet Sušić (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Temuri Ketsbaia (Georgia), Craig Levein (Scotland)
The trio began permanent reigns as international coaches with narrow friendly victories. Sušić's Bosnia and Herzegovina came from behind to beat Ghana 2-1, while David Siradze's last-minute header earned Georgia a 2-1 win against ten-man Estonia. Perhaps the most significant result of the three, however, was Scotland defeating the Czech Republic 1-0 at Hampden Park, their first friendly victory at the national stadium since beating Australia in March 1996.

Deed: Asamoah Gyan (Stade Rennais FC)
The Ghanaian striker had just been dismissed in added time of Rennes' 3-1 loss at Ligue 1 high-flyers Montpellier Hérault SC when he came face to face with Louis Nicollin, the hosts' president. Nicollin is rumoured to possess a collection of some 2,000 football shirts and, with an opportunity to extend it further, duly made his move, standing in front of Gyan as he made his way to the dressing room. Rather nervously, and clearly aware of Nicollin's penchant for footballing apparel, Gyan removed his jersey without hesitation. "This one is the most incredible," said the Montpellier president. "I have a lot of respect for what he did."

Telephone exchange: Quique Sánchez Flores
Instead of watching on from the stands as most coaches might when serving a touchline ban, Club Atlético de Madrid's Quique Flores instead plumped for a somewhat different approach. The 45-year-old viewed his team's Liga encounter with former club Valencia CF on TV in the dressing room at the Vicente Calderón, communicating via mobile phone with goalkeeping coach Emilio Álvarez. Álvarez later said the coach made a staggering 86 calls during the match, 34 in the first half and 52 in the second. One of them was to replace Sergio Agüero, who was carrying a knock. The message was delayed and the Argentinian subsequently scored his team's second in a 4-1 win. "I asked him again after the goal if he still wanted him substituted," said Álvarez. "He said: 'Get him off now'."

Eventful evening: Jelle Van Damme (RSC Anderlecht)
Anderlecht's 2-1 victory at lowly KSV Roeselare will be one midfielder-cum defender Van Damme remembers for some time – he has the scars to prove it. Having lost possession in the build up to the hosts' opener, the 26-year-old more than made amends by setting up both his team's goals as well as preserving Les Mauves et Blancs' lead with two clearances off the line. What set the match apart for Van Damme, however, was his collision with an advertising hoarding in the second half which left the Belgian international with a cut in a rather embarrassing area. "My buttock has been stitched," Van Damme explained. "I slid into the advertising boards and felt a searing pain. I thought it was a muscle but there was also blood. I went to the bench to have it disinfected but our doctor said it had to be stitched. They anaesthetised it with a needle. It will become a sexy scar."

First: Domenico Di Carlo
The AC Chievo Verona coach made history in the second half of his side's 2-1 defeat of Cagliari Calcio on Sunday, albeit perhaps not for reasons he will care to remember. Di Carlo was ordered from the touchline for proffering "a blasphemous expression" which made the 45-year-old the first victim of Italian football's zero-tolerance policy on taking God's name in vain. The outburst earned Di Carlo a one-match ban, forcing him to sit out Chievo's game at AS Bari this weekend.

Last updated: 06/03/10 18.43CET

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