Monday, February 28, 2011

Carling Cup - Birmingham stun Arsenal to win Cup!!!


Obafemi Martins score a dramatic late winner to win the Carling Cup for Birmingham City by sealing a 2-1 win over Arsenal at Wembley!!!

The Nigerian came off the bench with seven minutes of normal time remaining, and in the 89th minute capitalised on a calamitous mix-up in the Arsenal penalty area to tap in the goal which lands the Blues only their second ever major trophy.
Nikola Zigic had headed the Blues in front near the half-hour mark to send fans of the underdogs into raptures, only for Robin van Persie to equalise with a stunning volley 10 minutes later.
Alex McLeish's side spent much of the second half repelling attack after attack from the Gunners - with goalkeeper Ben Foster making a string of vital saves - before Martins was in the right place at the right time to pounce as Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny conspired to let the ball loose inside the box.
The Blues held on to win their second League Cup to add to their victory in the competition in 1963, and go some way to overcoming the heartache of their penalty shootout defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the final in Cardiff a decade ago.
For Arsenal, their six-year wait for a major trophy continues, and their attention must now turn to Wednesday's FA Cup fifth round replay against Leyton Orient on Wednesday and then a Champions League trip to Barcelona the following week.
Arsenal dominated the possession for large parts of the match, although they were fortunate not to be a goal and a man down inside the first three minutes. Lee Bowyer was played through one-on-one with Szczesny, who brought the midfielder down inside the box. The referee's assistant had already raised his flag for offside against Bowyer, even though he had been played onside by Gael Clichy.
After that, Arsenal began to get into their stride, with the absences of Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott not hindering their trademark passing play on the wide Wembley pitch. Samir Nasri came closest to opening the scoring when he had his shot saved by the legs of Foster.
Six of Birmingham's last eight league goals against Arsenal have come from set pieces, but it was still a surprise when they opened the scoring against the run of play via that method.
Roger Johnson headed the ball goalward from the edge of the box and Zigic got in front of Szczesny to glance it past the Polish keeper for his fourth goal in his last five games.
The big Serb striker could have doubled Birmingham's lead five minutes later when Craig Gardner was tripped on the edge of the box and the ball fell at his feet, only for Szczesny to make the vital block.
Arsenal levelled soon afterwards with a sweeping counter-attack. Jack Wilshere fired a strike off the crossbar but Andrei Arshavin kept the move alive. The Russian got to the byline and cut the ball back for Van Persie to lash in a crisp volley. It was the 13th goal since the turn of the year for Arsenal's captain for the day.
The second half so Arsenal became even more dominant in possession and chances. Tomas Rosicky struck a half-volley just wide of the target before Foster made several crucial stops in quick succession.
Foster - who was the hero of Manchester United's shootout victory over Tottenham in the 2009 final - kept out efforts from Rosicky, Nasri and substitute Nicklas Bendtner.
Keith Fahey rattled the Arsenal post with a low drive, but it was the Gunners who looked odds on to score, particularly with Birmingham's key defender struggling with an injury.
But, six minutes after replacing Fahey, Martins secured his place in Birmingham City history when Zigic's flick-on caused confusion between Koscielny and Szczesny. The French defender went to hack the ball clear as the keeper came for it, and it bounced out of his grasp and into the path of Martins, who tapped into the empty net.
With a place in Europe next season secured and an FA Cup quarter-final coming up, the future looks bright for Birmingham. However, they must quickly focus on their present, as they host relegation rivals West Bromwich Albion next Saturday with just two points separating them from the bottom three.


Tony Mabert / Eurosport

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Checa at the double on Phillip Island!!!


Carlos Checa came away from the opening round of the 2011 World Superbike Championship with a maximum haul of 50 points after completing his second win of the day at Phillip Island!!!

Having cruised to a dominant victory in race one, Checa was similarly commanding in race two, making a definitive pass for the lead on lap three before stretching away to win.
A perfect start to his and Althea Ducati’s season, it marks the Spaniard’s sixth and seventh wins in World Superbikes, as well as his third weekend double.
Though he was beaten into the first corner once again, this time by Leon Haslam, Checa found himself in front by the end of the opening lap with an aggressive pass at MG. Superior straight line speed would see the BMW back in front at the start of lap two, but Checa would simply bide his time before easing back in front on lap three.
Quickly pulling away from the chasing pack, although his 1.1secs advantage at the finish looks fairly meagre on paper, there was never a doubt as to whom would emerge victorious.
With Checa holding station at the front, it was the fight for second between former MotoGP rivals Max Biaggi and Marco Melandri that did the job of enthralling spectators.
Having enjoyed a fairly lonely run to second in race one, Biaggi had plenty of company during race two as a poor start necessitated a determined fight back from seventh.
Battling past the BMWs of Haslam and Troy Corser, Biaggi would take Melandri with him, the pair swiftly breaking away to form their own podium battle. What followed was an entertaining exchange that evoked memories of their time in MotoGP, the Italians swapping positions continuously over the second-half of the race.
While Melandri seemingly had the measure of Biaggi through the bends, he would repeatedly see his efforts undone by his rival’s ability to simply draft pass on the home straight.
It was the advantage Biaggi needed to stay ahead at the chequered flag, the reigning champion completing his second podium appearance of the day to notch up a total of 40 points.
Despite losing out to Biaggi, Melandri’s can still be satisfied with a mightily impressive WSBK debut, one that suggests he will be amongst those to make a successful transition from MotoGP to Superbike racing.
Further back, Jonathan Rea bounced back from his race one disappointment to take a deserved fourth position, the Castrol Honda rider catching and passing Haslam on the final lap.
Having run at the front of the field early on, it was a frustrating race for BMW, with Haslam fading to fifth eventually, while Corser ruined his chances of a good result by running off the circuit whilst disputing second.
The same can be said for Eugene Laverty, who was up with Melandri in fifth place when he ran wide at MG and was forced to take a trip across the grass. He would recover to 15th to claim a single point.
An astonishing ride by Leon Camier would see him defy illness to finish in sixth position, the Aprilia rider even making up two places on the final lap at the expense of Michel Fabrizio and Noriyuki Haga.
Tom Sykes completed a second top ten finish of the day in ninth, but his Kawasaki team-mate Joan Lascorz comes away with a double DNF following a technical issue.
Having finished outside the points in race one, Ruben Xaus sneaked into the top ten aboard the second Castrol Honda, ahead of Jakub Smrz, Roberto Rolfo and Josh Waters, while James Toseland slipped to an eventual 14th having run as high as tenth initially.

Race results (1) - Phillip Island
1. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 34mins 16.503s
2. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +4.365s
3. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad S1000RR +10.719s
4. Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +11.266s
5. Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +11.293s
6. Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +12.039s
7. Jakub Smrz CZE Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +20.294s
8. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R +20.742s
9. Noriyuki Haga JPN PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +22.421s
10. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +25.822s
11. Roberto Rolfo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +29.270s
12. Jonathan Rea GBR Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +31.059s
13. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +31.721s
14. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR +36.389s
15. Bryan Staring AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +36.470s
16. Ruben Xaus ESP Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +41.928s
17. James Toseland GBR BMW Italia S1000RR +55.239s
18. Josh Waters AUS Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 +1min 00.312s
19. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +1min 00.316s
20. Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Ducati 1098R +1min 30.125s
Not Classified
21. Joan Lascorz ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 13 laps completed
22. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R 6 laps completed

Race results (2) - Phillip Island
1. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 34mins 15.041s
2. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +1.188s
3. Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +1.406s
4. Jonathan Rea GBR Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +10.563s
5. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad S1000RR +10.885s
6. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 +16.914s
7. Noriyuki Haga JPN PATA Aprilia RSV-4 +17.558s
8. Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 +17.679s
9. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R +18.070s
10. Ruben Xaus ESP Castrol Honda CBR1000RR +19.053s
11. Jakub Smrz CZE Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R +19.060s
12. Roberto Rolfo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +23.771s
13. Josh Waters AUS Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 +23.956s
14. James Toseland GBR BMW Italia S1000RR +28.713s
15. Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 +32.673s
16. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +33.226s
17. Bryan Staring AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R +42.598s
18. Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Ducati 1098R +51.819s
19. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR +55.738s
Not Classified
20. Joan Lascorz ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 14 laps completed
21. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR 0 laps completed
Did Not Start
Sylvain Guintoli FRA Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R

Crash.net / Eurosport

What do you do if you win the Daytona 500???



What do you do if you win the Daytona 500? Well, if you’re Trevor Bayne you...

… get marriage proposals.

… take a call from the White House.

… get a police escort through San Francisco.

… do the ‘Ellen’ show, and while you’re waiting to go on stage get another call from Washington, D.C., this time from Vice President Joe Biden.

… get invited to the White House; told to bring whoever you want.

… talk to Tim Tebow about faith.

… chat with Pam Anderson about how you remind her of her son.

… are a guest on ‘Lopez Tonight.’

… give your phone number to singer Bobby Valentino, who wants it in case he decides to come to a race.

And none of these is the coolest thing. That comes in the form of a text message you get from your ex-girlfriend who’s doing mission work in India. In the text is a photo of her and some kids from the slums. They’re holding a banner that reads, “Good job, Trevor. We’re proud.”

They’re proud of you, in freaking India!

You’re just two races into your Cup career. You win the second of those. Who comes to congratulate you in victory lane? If you’re Trevor Bayne, it’s Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch and newly-elected Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett, just to name a few.

“He’s one of a group of young guys who’s come in and they just treat people right and they earn that respect off of the race track,” Edwards explains. “They earn that respect off of the race track, so that when they do something good, people are happy for them. It says a lot more about them as people than it does about them as race car drivers.”

Because of all the notoriety, you’re given the opportunity to amend your decision to race for the championship in the Sprint Cup Series instead of the Triple-A Nationwide Series. Do you jump at the opportunity?

It’s enticing, but if you’re Trevor Bayne, you understand that NASCAR is trying to build up the sport by highlighting up-and-coming talent. You recognize that you’re part of that effort, so to shun the Nationwide title for the big-time opportunity in Cup isn’t what NASCAR needs right now.

You just turned 20 years old. The next day you win $1.5 million. What would be your first big purchase? If you’re Trevor Bayne, nothing.

“I tried to talk him into buying something expensive with his prize money,” Danica Patrick said of a conversation she had with Bayne at a charity event Thursday in the Phoenix area. “He said he didn’t want anything. Apparently I have a lot to learn from a 20-year-old.”

For winning the Daytona 500, you’re given one of those gaudy championship rings that screams bling. Do you take it off? If you’re Trevor Bayne, only when you take a shower.

“The first couple of nights I was scared I’d wake up and it would be a dream,” you explain, “so I wanted to keep it on so I could wake up and look down and make sure it’s still there.”

Five days after besting three future Hall of Famers – Tony Stewart, Bobby Labonte and Mark Martin – heads up to win the biggest race in your sport, you’re asked how you will stay grounded. What do you say?

If you’re Trevor Bayne, you talk about all the people who got you where you are today – family, friends, fellow drivers, owners, crew chiefs, God – and about how if you didn’t mention them it “would be a complete lie.”

Then you go out and slam the wall in your first lap behind the wheel since taking the checkered flag in the Daytona 500.

Checa holds off Biaggi to claim pole!!!


Carlos Checa claimed the first Superpole of the 2011 World Superbike season, albeit by just 0.013secs from Max Biaggi, at Phillip Island!!!

The Spaniard has utterly dominated the Australian curtain raiser thus far, but came remarkably close to being toppled by a charging Biaggi, the Italian getting nearest to his former MotoGP rival than any other rider so far.
Indeed, while Checa was comfortably quickest during SP1 and SP2, it was Biaggi that laid down the gauntlet in the deciding session with a lap record breaking 1min 30.895secs.
With Checa aborting his first fast lap, there looked to be the distinct possibility that the reigning champion would cause an ‘upset’. However, despite being down on his rival during the early sectors, Checa hauled it back to nose ahead by less than two hundredths of a second.
Though it was markedly slower than the 1min 30.578secs he managed during testing earlier in the week, Checa Superpole effort of 1min 30.882secs was still sufficient to slice two tenths off Regis Laconi’s two year-old record.
Almost four tenths back, Effenbert-Liberty Ducati scored a front row start for its WSBK debut thanks to Sylvain Guintoli, the Frenchman maintaining his strong form so far this weekend to put himself in a strong position to record an elusive maiden WSBK podium.
Having suffered with set-up issues in testing, BMW put on a show of strength in Superpole as both Leon Haslam and Troy Corser defied expectations to reach SP3. Haslam would go on to secure a front row start on his BMW debut in fourth position, while local favourite Corser – who holds the race record around Phillip Island – is seventh.
There were also smiles in the Yamaha camp as Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri quickly adapted to the ‘alien’ Superpole format to claim fifth and eighth respectively. An excellent result for Laverty ahead of his WSBK debut, Melandri’s performance was also noteworthy having very nearly been bundled out during SP1.
Jakub Smrz will join the pair on row two in sixth position, the Czech rider doing a mighty job to even make it into SP3 just minutes earlier in SP2.
There was less luck for Jonathan Rea however, whose bruising week continued in the same vein during Superpole. The Castrol Honda rider fell at the final bend during SP2, badly damaging his number one bike.
Though he did rush back to the pit lane in time to jump on the spare machine, Rea one-shot lap at the death wasn’t enough to lift him any higher than 12th position.
He will be joined on the third row by Michel Fabrizio in ninth position, Tom Sykes in tenth, the Kawasaki man unable to repeat his run to third during Q2, and Josh Waters in 11th on the wild-card Yoshimura Suzuki.
Earlier on in the session, there was further disappointment for Kawasaki as Joan Lascorz’s first Superpole appearance proved a disappointing experience when he was bumped out of contention during SP1, leaving him 13th on the grid for his WSBK debut.
He was joined in the drop zone by Noriyuki Haga, James Toseland and Ruben Xaus, who will start Sunday’s two races in 14th, 15th and 16th respectively.

Full Qualifying Result!!!

1. Carlos Checa ESP Althea Ducati 1098R 1min 30.882s
2. Max Biaggi ITA Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 1min 30.895s
3. Sylvain Guintoli FRA Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R 1min 31.293s
4. Leon Haslam GBR BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 31.429s
5. Eugene Laverty IRL Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 1min 31.858s
6. Jakub Smrz CZE Effenbert Liberty Ducati 1098R 1min 31.980s
7. Troy Corser AUS BMW Motorrad S1000RR 1min 32.182s
8. Marco Melandri ITA Yamaha WSBK YZF R1 1min 32.662s
9. Michel Fabrizio ITA Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000 1min 32.153s
10. Tom Sykes GBR Kawasaki RTS ZX-10R 1min 32.204s
11. Josh Waters AUS Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 1min 32.240s
12. Jonathan Rea GBR Castrol Honda CBR1000RR 1min 32.708s
13. Joan Lascorz ESP Kawasaki Racing ZX-10R 1min 32.346s
14. Noriyuki Haga JPN PATA Aprilia RSV-4 1min 32.391s
15. James Toseland GBR BMW Italia S1000RR 1min 32.547s
16. Ruben Xaus ESP Castrol Honda CBR1000RR 1min 32.788s
Grid positions determined by Q2 times
17. Leon Camier GBR Aprilia Alitalia Racing RSV-4 1min 32.847s
18. Bryan Staring AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 32.883s
19. Maxime Berger FRA Supersonic Ducati 1098R 1min 33.079s
20. Ayrton Badovini ITA BMW Italia S1000RR 1min 33.161s
21. Roberto Rolfo ITA Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 33.286s
22. Mark Aitchison AUS Pedercini Kawasaki ZX-10R 1min 33.413s
Phillip Island official WSBK lap records
Best lap: Regis Laconi FRA DFX Ducati 1m 31.050s (2009)
Race lap record: Troy Corser AUS Yamaha Italia 1m 31.826s (2007)

Crash.net / Eurosport

Premier League - Two for Hernandez as United beat Wigan!!!


Premier League leaders Manchester United extended their 100 per cent record over Wigan Athletic with a 4-0 win at the DW Stadium!!!

Javier Hernandez took just 17 minutes to justify his selection ahead of Dimitar Berbatov in the attack by scoring the opener before adding a second 15 minutes from time.
Wayne Rooney and Fabio da Silva then struck in the closing stages to put the gloss on the win that opens up a four-point gap between United and Arsenal at the top of the table.
United have now won all 13 matches they have played against Wigan in all competitions, scoring 41 goals and conceding just four in the process. Rooney, who has featured in every one of those matches, has a personal haul of 10 against the Latics.
Rooney deserved his goal to cap off an influential performance, and he helped get the ball rolling for the opening goal. The England striker combined with Nani down the left wing and the Portuguese picked out Hernandez with a low ball to the near post that the Mexican turned past Ali Al-Habsi.
It was the eighth league goal of the season for the Mexican, known as 'Chicharito' - United have never lost when he has scored. Nani's assist was his 12th of the season, more than anyone else in the league this term.
Regardless of their lowly league position and their abject record against United, Wigan played the better football for much of the first half.
In particular, Victor Moses caused the league leaders plenty of trouble, first intercepting Paul Scholes's pass and forcing Edwin van der Sar into action at the near post before his square pass found James McCarthy at the far post via Charles N'Zogbia's backheel, and once more Van der Sar spread himself well to make the stop.
In the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling once again put in an assured performance at centre-back for alongside the ever-dependable Nemanja Vidic, giving plenty of hope to United and England fans alike. Each and every one of Wigan's seven first-half corners (to United's none) were cleared in authoritative manner.
When United did break forward Rooney was always involved, and his canny give-and-go with Darren Fletcher set up Nani, only for the in-form winger to see his strike crash off the near post and across the face of goal.
After the break Nani stepped his performance up a gear and had several chances to add his name to the scoresheet.
He had one deflected effort saved by Al-Habsi at the near post before firing into the side netting. Once more he was denied by the Oman keeper, who spilled the shot from the edge of the box to the feet of Rooney. The England striker laid the ball off for Fletcher to strike, but again the effort as saved and Gary Caldwell completed the clearance.
At one down Wigan were not completely out of the picture, as Maynor Figueroa tested Van der Sar's alertness from range and Moses fired high and wide from inside the box, but United were soon out of sight.
Hernandez claimed his second when he headed down to Rooney in the centre circle and his strike partner slipped through a weighted pass for him to meet and go one-on-one with Al-Habsi before dispatching clinically into the bottom corner.
Rooney then scored his fourth goal in as many league games when Michael Carrick's long clearance released substitute Berbatov down the left. With Caldwell the only defender, the Bulgarian squared to Rooney for the simplest of tap-ins.
Fabio completed the rout just moments after replacing Nani with a neat finish at the far post from Fletcher's cross.
With Wolves securing a vital win over Blackpool, a win over Liverpool for West Ham on Sunday will see Wigan end the weekend bottom of the table.


Tony Mabert / Eurosport

Premier League - Bolton hold Newcastle to draw!!!


Daniel Sturridge scored his fourth goal in four games for Bolton Wanderers to earn a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at St James' Park in the Premier League!!!

The hosts had taken an early lead when Kevin Nolan nodded them ahead after thirteen minutes in an entertaining first-half.
Sturridge levelled before the interval, becoming the first Bolton player in the Premier League era to score in all four of his first four games for the club.
Ryan Taylor was sent off for a two-footed tackle in the second half which arrested Newcastle's momentum, and neither side managed to conjure a winner.
The draw ends Bolton's run of six consecutive defeats on the road in the Premier League, and lifts them a place in the table to seventh, while Newcastle stay ninth.
Newcastle's ailing forward line was given a boost by Peter Lovenkrands recovering from a thigh injury in time to take a place in the starting line-up, while Bolton were buoyed by being able to bring Sturridge back into the team after his absence from their FA Cup games.
The game started openly, with both sides prepared to attack.
Leon Best flashed wide for Newcastle, while a strong block from Mike Williamson denied Stuart Holden a shot for the Trotters.
The Magpies created the better chances, and went ahead after 13 minutes when Nolan headed in his 11th goal of the season.
Taylor's corner had evaded everyone in the penalty area, but Cheik Tiote mopped up on the left-hand side and whipped a cross in which Nolan turned in expertly beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Bolton remained a threat - with the combination of Johan Elmander and Sturridge looking particularly effective - but as the half continued Newcastle looked more likely to score the next.
Nolan's through ball to Best looked to have drawn a penalty as the striker was felled, only for play to be pulled back for a marginal offside.
Jose Enrique was superb down the left, making a couple of coruscating runs, including one which he completed with a cross which Jaaskelainen could not deal with, and David Wheater had to make a superb block to prevent Best scoring.
But the second goal didn't come, and Bolton pounced to equalise.
Elmander was the architect, intercepting the ball in a dangerous position and poking the perfect pass through to Sturridge, who took one touch before stroking a shot past Steve Harper from the edge of the box.
Newcastle came out with renewed purpose in the second half, probing down the left hand side particularly.
Jose Enrique skipped through two tackles before cutting on to his weaker right foot and forcing a save from Jaaskelainen just three minutes after the restart.
But Newcastle's efforts were undermined when Taylor saw red for a poor tackle shortly before the hour mark.
Going in two-footed on Elmander, he left referee Chris Foy with little choice but to send him off.
The Trotters appeared to sense a chance to win the game, but they struggled to fashion meaningful opportunities to score.
Kevin Davies failed to make a good contact with a pinpoint Marco Alonso cross from the left, while Martin Petrov forced a corner when Sturridge stood up a cross from the right-hand side of the area with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Newcastle were persistent too, with substitute Nile Ranger making his presence felt and drawing fouls in key areas.
And the best chances fell to the home side in the final stages.
Best's teasing cross required Robinson and Jaaskelainen to be at their most alert as the defender nodded back from close range to his keeper.
And there was drama in stoppage time when Ranger had the ball in the back of the net for the Magpies after another superb cross from Enrique - only for the goal to be chalked off for offside.

Mark Patterson / Eurosport

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nascar ~ Daytona 500(Amarican Greatest Race)





Bayne becomes youngest Daytona 500 winner!!!
Twenty-year-old, in throwback paint scheme, returns Woods to Victory Lane...

The planets aligned. Heck, the heavens stood still. And Trevor Bayne recaptured the magic of David Pearson in the Wood Brothers throwback No. 21 Ford, winning Sunday's 53rd running of the Daytona 500.

On the second attempt at a green-white-checkered-flag finish at Daytona International Speedway, Bayne crossed the finish line .118 seconds ahead of Carl Edwards, returning the Wood Brothers to Victory Lane for the first time since 2001.

Bayne became the first driver to win the Daytona 500 in his first attempt since Lee Petty won the inaugural event in 1959. By winning in his second start in the Sprint Cup Series, Bayne tied Jamie McMurray for quickest victory at the start of a career.

In a war of attrition that set track records for lead changes (74), number of different leaders (22) and number of cautions (16), David Gilliland finished third after pushing Edwards toward the front on the final two laps. Bobby Labonte was fourth in his first race for JTG/Daugherty Racing, and Kurt Busch, last Saturday's Budweiser Shootout winner, ran fifth.

With three-time Cup champion Pearson in attendance for the start of the race as a member of the 2011 NASCAR Hall of Fame class, Bayne gave Wood Brothers its 98th victory and first at Daytona since Buddy Baker in the 1983 Firecracker 400. It was the Wood Brothers' fifth Daytona 500 victory, the last by Pearson in 1976.

"I keep thinking I'm dreaming," Bayne said in Victory Lane. "Our first 500 -- are you kidding me? To win our first one in our second-ever Cup race, I mean this is just incredible. Wow, this is unbelievable. How cool is it to see the Wood Brothers back in Victory Lane?

"It's crazy to get my first win before a Nationwide win -- I didn't know how to get to Victory Lane."

Bayne's accomplishment was doubly remarkable, given that his car was wrecked in the final few hundred yards of Thursday's second Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying race. He missed both practice sessions Friday as crew chief Donnie Wingo and the Wood Brothers team repaired the car.

Edwards said the runner-up finish would haunt him for days, but he didn't begrudge Bayne the victory.

"Look, right now this is going to be a long night for me," Edwards said. "I'm going to go back to the motor home, I'm going to watch the replay, think about a hundred things I could have done, think about, 'Man, what would it have been like to [win] the race?'

"You know, as a competitor, in a way it really doesn't matter who beats you. But as a person, as a friend of Trevor's, it's amazing to watch him have that success. I've only known him for a short time, but he's what seems to be truly a good guy. I think a lot of people in the sport see that. Hopefully, a lot of the fans see that. So that's good for the sport.

"I still would have liked to beat him -- that's for sure."

Every time Daytona is paved, something out of the ordinary happens. In 1959, a year after the speedway was built, Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 in a three-way photo finish. Daytona was repaved in 1978 before the first live flag-to-flag TV coverage of the Great American Race in 1979.

That event ended with Cale Yarborough and Donnie Allison wrecking each other in Turn 3 on the last lap, and with Yarborough and Bobby Allison fighting on the infield grass while Richard Petty came from nowhere to win the race.

Small wonder there was an electric buzz in the air when the field came to the green on Sunday. But who would have guessed this year's 500 would get its youngest winner ever? Bayne turned 20 the day before the race.

Jeff Gordon had been the youngest driver to win the 500. He was 25 years, 6 months and 12 days in 1997. The oldest driver to win the 500 is Bobby Allison, who was two months past his 50th birthday in 1988.

The event was not quite 29 laps old when a wild melee in Turn 3, triggered by contact between the Toyotas of Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann, trashed a dozen cars and set the tone for the entire race.

On this day, however, even if all the contenders had been running at the finish, Bayne had a good enough car to beat them all.

Polesitter Dale Earnhardt Jr. led three times for nine laps but was involved in a wreck during the first green-white-checkered finish and finished 24th.

Five-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson was collected in a 17-car pileup on Lap 29. He returned to the race and finished 27th, 19 laps back.

This was the first race under NASCAR's new points system. Because Bayne is racing the for the Nationwide Series points championship, he did not earn any Cup points for the victory. Edwards is now the points leader with 42 points.

Result!!!

FIN ST CAR DRIVER MAKE SPONSOR PTS/BNS LAPS STATUS
1 32 21 Trevor Bayne Ford Motorcraft / Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center 0 208 Running
2 22 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac 42/0 208 Running
3 39 34 David Gilliland Ford Taco Bell 41/0 208 Running
4 31 47 Bobby Labonte Toyota Kroger / USO 41/1 208 Running
5 3 22 Kurt Busch Dodge Shell / Pennzoil 40/1 208 Running
6 13 42 Juan Montoya Chevrolet Target 39/1 208 Running
7 5 78 Regan Smith Chevrolet Furniture Row Companies 38/1 208 Running
8 10 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M's 37/1 208 Running
9 19 27 Paul Menard Chevrolet Peak / Menards 36/1 208 Running
10 17 5 Mark Martin Chevrolet GoDaddy.com 34/0 208 Running
11 15 43 A.J. Allmendinger Ford Best Buy 34/1 208 Running
12 29 09 Bill Elliott Chevrolet Security Bene
fit / Rydex / Billboard.com 32/0 208 Running
13 25 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Office Depot / Mobil 1 31/0 208 Running
14 34 6 David Ragan Ford UPS "We Love Logistics" 31/1 208 Running
15 43 32 Terry Labonte Ford U.S. Chrome 30/1 208 Running
16 30 7 Robby Gordon Dodge Speed Energy 29/1 208 Running
17 6 33 Clint Bowyer Chevrolet Cheerios / Hamburger Helper 28/1 208 Running
18 14 1 Jamie McMurray Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops / Tracker 27/1 208 Running
19 20 56 Martin Truex Jr. Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 26/1 208 Running
20 36 77 Steve Wallace Toyota 5-Hour Energy 0 208 Running
21 18 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express 24/1 207 Running
22 21 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet U.S. Army 24/2 206 Running
23 38 20 Joey Logano Toyota The Home Depot 21/0 206 Running
24 1 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chevrolet Amp Energy / National Guard 21/1 202 Accident
25 11 4 Kasey Kahne Toyota Red Bull 19/0 199 Running
26 42 36 Dave Blaney Chevrolet Golden Corral 19/1 198 Accident
27 23 48 Jimmie Johnson Chevrolet Lowe's / Kobalt Tools 17/0 189 Running
28 2 24 Jeff Gordon Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger 17/1 173 Running
29 16 2 Brad Keselowski Dodge Miller Lite 16/1 166 Accident
30 24 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron's Dream Machine 14/0 164 Running
31 27 83 Brian Vickers Toyota Red Bull 13/0 160 Running
32 40 38 Travis Kvapil Ford Long John Silver's 0 153 Accident
33 37 71 Andy Lally * Chevrolet Super Eco-Fuel Saver 11/0 149 Running
34 9 17 Matt Kenseth Ford Crown Royal Black 10/0 133 Accident
35 26 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M 9/0 126 Accident
36 4 31 Jeff Burton Chevrolet Caterpillar 9/1 92 Engine
37 35 9 Marcos Ambrose Ford Stanley 7/0 82 Running
38 28 37 Robert Richardson Jr. Ford North Texas Pipe 0 45 Accident
39 41 87 Joe Nemechek Toyota AM FM Energy 0 29 Accident
40 8 115 Michael Waltrip Toyota NAPA Auto Parts 4/0 28 Accident
41 12 192 Brian Keselowski* Dodge K-Automotive Motorsports 3/0 28 Accident
42 7 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser 3/1 22 Engine
43 33 46 J.J. Yeley Chevrolet Red Line Oil 1/0 10 Engine

Nascar.com

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sanctum 3D!!!





Baru tengok filem ni semalam kat GSC Alamanda!!!

Filem ni memang best. 3D effect filem ni memang terbaek... Teknologi 3D semakin hebat bendanding filem2 3D sebelum ni... Kalo korang nak tengok movie dan x tau nak tengok movie apa, so aku cadangkan korang tengok la movie ni... memang berbaloi....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Premier League - Rooney magic wins Manchester derby!!!



Wayne Rooney's stunning overhead kick sealed a 2-1 derby victory for Premier League leaders Manchester United over Manchester City at Old Trafford!!!

Nani opened the scoring in the run-up to the end of an even first half, in which City showed more attacking intent than any point during the drab goalless reverse fixture at Eastlands back in November.
David Silva drew the visitors level on 65 minutes with a fortunate deflected goal he knew little about, but it was no less than City deserved.
However, with 12 minutes of the match remaining Rooney produced a magical winner to send United eight points above their title-chasing local rivals.
Rooney's recent progress back towards his blistering form of a year ago has been slow and uneven since the turn of the year, but this acrobatic moment of pure genius cannot help but raise hopes that he will rediscover his glorious best sooner rather than later.
Both sides were unable to field entirely first-choice line-ups. Chris Smalling made his first appearance in a Manchester derby in defence with Rio Ferdinand and Jonny Evans both unavailable, while Alex Ferguson again elected to drop league top scorer Dimitar Berbatov to the bench for a big game.
Roberto Mancini also named his own big-money striker, Edin Dzeko, as a substitute and moved full-back Aleksandar Kolarov up the pitch to bolster a midfield missing the injured Nigel de Jong.
Although United began in confident fashion, City had plenty of moments, mainly orchestrated by Silva. The diminutive Spaniard should have had City ahead after four minutes when Carlos Tevez slipped a cute through ball into his path inside the box, but he fired wide of the far post from an angle.
United's own instrumental Iberian, Nani, looked determined to grab his first derby goal, fizzing strikes over the bar and firing right at keeper Joe Hart from range throughout the half.
Ryan Giggs, playing in his 34th derby for United, was equally influential for the home side, bending in an inviting cross which Darren Fletcher could only head down at Hart's feet.
The veteran winger's precision came to the fore for the opening goal which allowed Nani to cap off a classic Route One goal on 41 minutes. Edwin van der Sar's long boot up the pitch was flicked on by Rooney, who had been for the most part shackled by Vincent Kompany. The header fell to Giggs, who clipped the ball through for Nani to meet and finish his surge into the box with a clinical low shot past Hart.
Mancini had stated before the match that he was aiming to win, and he made positive switches after the break, firstly introducing Shaun Wright-Phillips for Kolarov before Dzeko made his arrival on the hour-mark.
As Kompany continued to frustrate Rooney at one end, including one exceptional sliding block after Fletcher had played an inviting ball into the box for the England man to hit on the turn, Dzeko had a hand in the equaliser at the other.
Technically it could go down as an assist for Silva's goal, although it was nothing of the sort. The Bosnia striker miscued his shot from Wright-Phillips's low cross after a good move down the left initiated by Tevez, and the effort rebounded off Silva and into the net before anyone, including Van der Sar, knew what had happened.
The goal made the final quart of the game an open, end-to-end encounter, although clear chances were at a premium. That was until the 78th minute, when Nani's speculative cross from the right was met by Rooney leaping into the air and firing his crisply struck bicycle kick right into the top corner. Any strike that beats this one to be goal of the season will be a very special strike indeed.
From then on, City never looked like pulling themselves back on terms for a second time, and United did what they have done countless times before at Old Trafford by frustrating their increasingly frantic opponents and securing a victory which takes them one step closer to the title.


Tony Mabert / Eurosport

EPL ~ NEXT FIXTURES!!!


Next Fixtures!!!

Saturday February 12

12:45 Manchester United v Manchester City
15:00 West Bromwich Albion v West Ham United
15:00 Liverpool v Wigan Athletic
15:00 Blackpool v Aston Villa
15:00 Birmingham City v Stoke City
15:00 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle United
15:00 Arsenal v Wolverhampton Wanderers
17:30 Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur

Sunday February 13

16:00 Bolton Wanderers v Everton

Monday February 14

20:00 Fulham v Chelsea

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How does getting rewarded through sharing sounds like to you? Join #ChurpChurp today and bring more friends to the community!

How does getting rewarded through sharing sounds like to you? Join #ChurpChurp today and bring more friends to the community!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

ChurpChurp | Social Share » Are YOU the 'Most Wanted?' (Preview)

Rajin2 la click link di bawah ni yer... TQ..ChurpChurp | Social Share » Are YOU the 'Most Wanted?' (Preview)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Premier League - Arsenal blow four-goal lead at Newcastle!!!


Newcastle produced the story of the season so far as they came from four goals down at half-time to draw 4-4 with Arsenal in the Premier League at St James' Park!!!


A rampant Arsenal destroyed Newcastle inside the opening 45 minutes: they were in front after only 42 seconds thanks to Theo Walcott, while before three minutes were up Johan Djourou had made it two. Robin van Persie added further strikes in the 10th and 26th minutes.
In the second period Abou Diaby was sent off following an incident with Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan and the game was less open after that with the Gunners seemingly content to hold on to their four-goal cushion.
However they were unable to do so, Barton sticking away a pair of penalty kicks either side of a Leon Best finish - and Cheik Tiote dramatically sealed the comeback with a stonking volley from almost 30 yards with three minutes of normal time to play.
The result means Manchester United can move seven points clear of the Gunners should they win early this evening against Wolves - and Arsene Wenger's side will not have a game in hand at the end of the day.
From the kick-off Arsenal looked for short, precise passes despite facing a congested Newcastle midfield. They were rewarded almost immediately as Diaby's pass inside to Andrei Arshavin took a deflection to put Walcott through on goal, and he slipped a casual finish into the bottom corner past Steve Harper.
With only 2:45 on the clock it was two. Russian playmaker Arshavin, by his own admission suffering from a crisis of confidence on the field of play, bent a lovely free-kick into the penalty area for Swiss centre-half Djourou to head in off the crossbar.
The Toon showed signs of coming back into the match, with captain Nolan unlucky to see a low cross cleared by Diaby, but conceded a sucker-punch third only 10 minutes in.
Walcott - who caused mayhem down the right flank throughout the opening half - pulled back low for Netherlands striker van Persie, eight yards out, to sweep home halfway up the goal with his right foot.
The waves of attacks kept coming, with Spain star Cesc Fabregas - the orchestrator of so much of Arsenal's best play - forcing a near-post block from Harper after controlling Jack Wilshere's flicked ball inside.
Two minutes later they had their fourth, Bacary Sagna delivering a pin-point cross from close to the right-hand corner flag for Van Persie to nod emphatically inside the near post.
Walcott's damaging runs should have produced further goals, but the home defence managed to keep him at bay despite seeming all at sea. By contrast the away back four looked at ease even when stretching to clear in the box.
Van Persie shot over when a raking Fabregas ball put him through on the left and the Dutchman could have made it five in the dying seconds of the half, Harper turning his effort behind following good work by Wilshere.
To the second act.
In the dressing room Newcastle boss Alan Pardew must surely have pointed to the need to stay tight in the opening moments, and his side did just that. However without the sending off, it would surely have been a case of damage limitation.
An injured Djourou was withdrawn early on for Sebastien Squillaci and moments later came Diaby's moment of madness.
He was caught late by Barton after getting rid of the ball; it was a hard tackle, but did not necessitate the Frenchman's reaction: he got hold of the back of the midfielder's neck and pushed him to the ground before also pushing a furious Nolan in the back. Phil Dowd did not hesitate in brandishing the red card.
The fans - some of whom seemed to exit the ground after the fourth goal went in, although that cannot be said for certain - were galvanised and their side responded.
Best almost hooked home from a few yards out then Danny Simpson raced clear only to see Poland keeper Wojciech Szczesny - so solid in the first half - pull off a reaction save.
Wenger seemed to be having kittens on the touchline: it was almost as if he knew what was coming. However no one in their right mind would have put money on anything but an Arsenal win at 4-0 up with 22 minutes left.
The first penalty was given away by Koscielny, who challenged Best from behind while near the corner of the six-yard box. It looked harsh, but he did try to get to the ball through the striker's legs. Barton stepped up and placed his kick low into the bottom corner.
Szczesny was unfortunate to be booked for holding on to the ball as Nolan and Barton sought to knock it away from him, but far worse was to follow.
Having saved brilliantly from Mike Williamson in the 73rd minute, he was shortly after unable to stop Best firing home on the turn; he was flagged offside despite substitute Tomas Rosicky clearly playing him on from left-back.
The former Coventry striker was not to be denied a minute later, getting a second bite at a Jose Enrique cross and finishing low past the keeper.
Nile Ranger had come on for Peter Lovenkrands and Newcastle, clearly missing Liverpool signing Andy Carroll and the injured Shola Ameobi in an impotent first half, suddenly looked world beaters.
Szczesny saved from Ranger as he drove in from the left and also nicked a ball off his feet as he got in behind again, while Best should have done better than head over while free 10 yards out.
The second penalty arrived with seven minutes left, Rosicky pushing over Williamson as a Barton free-kick arrowed to the far post. The playmaker, brilliant at times and the most instrumental player to their comeback, hit a poor penalty down the middle - Szczesny's trailing foot caught the ball but it found the top of the goal.
Barton was denied a clear free-kick on the right but won one a minute later when Rosicki bundled him over. The Czech hardly covered himself in glory during his 21 minutes on the pitch, especially seeing as they coincided with the start of the home comeback.
The Barton set-piece was headed clear but the danger was not over: Tiote lurked 30 yards out and met the ball on the volley with such force that Szczesny was left floundering as it flew into the corner.
St James' went nuts and was almost treated to a sensational winner when Nolan hit a first-time shot just wide from a Ranger nod back in the first minute of five added on.
There could have been a final twist when Van Persie hit a deflected strike in off the bar in the 94th minute; he was denied by the offside flag despite appearing level when pulling away from the defender.
The most memorable Premier League game for years ended to jubilation in the stands - many of those present will have thought back to those 4-3 clashes with Liverpool in the Nineties and been glad to this time see their team come out of the experience with something to show for it.


Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

Premier League - Wolves condemn United to first defeat!!!


Manchester United suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season in a shock 2-1 loss at bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers!!!

In a top versus bottom clash that all but the most optimistic Wolves fan assumed would be a United walkover, two goals from George Elokobi - although Kevin Doyle will try to claim the second - overcame Nani’s opener as the champions struggled to create opportunities against their stubborn hosts.
Defender Elokobi had never scored in the Premier League before but it was United who were bereft of ideas as they lost their first league game at the 25th time of asking.
Despite the result Sir Alex Ferguson’s side are four points clear of second-placed Arsenal after the Gunners threw away a four-goal lead at Newcastle, while Wolves stay at the bottom following Wigan’s win, behind West Ham only on goals scored.
United had a fabulous start when, on three minutes, Nani scored a trademark goal, cutting inside from the right and - with everyone expecting the cross - firing a wicked drive inside Wayne Hennessey’s exposed near post.
Wayne Rooney should have made it 2-0 soon afterwards but fired straight at Hennessey after excellent hold-up play from Dimitar Berbatov. After that, though, United’s performance was nothing short of abject as they barely created a meaningful opportunity.
Wolves levelled on 10 minutes as United fell asleep at a quick corner routine, Elokobi flicking an excellent header into the bottom right with the visiting defence all over the place.
Down the other end Christophe Berra was granted a reprieve by 25-year-old referee Michael Oliver when he appeared to block Nemanja Vidic as he arrived to meet a corner.
That was on the quarter hour and, for the rest of the half, it was all Wolves, with Jamie O’Hara testing Edwin van der Sar at the near post and a superb Nenad Milijas free-kick deflected just wide with the soon-to-retire Dutch keeper stranded.
The cultured left boot of Serbia midfielder Milijas had a huge say in Wolves’ second goal five minutes before the break, which came about from his wonderful inswinging free-kick from the right, flat and almost impossible to defend as both Elokobi and Doyle claimed the goal.
Doyle stooped into a header but it appeared to strike the shoulder of the Cameroonian full-back: it was impossible to tell but Elokobi mock harassed the Irishman into letting him have the goal.
Nani headed one over just before the break, although with his lack of aerial ability it was generous to afford it half-chance status, and United were sent out early for the second half as Ferguson opted for the low-level humiliation that worked at Blackpool.
There was no such joy this time though as United, for all their possession, never really tested Hennessey in the second 45 minutes.
Just before the hour mark half-time substitute Paul Scholes slid a Rafael cross well wide, while Berra blocked Rooney’s effort after his keeper failed to claim a routine cross.
Late on Patrice Evra had a penalty shout correctly rejected when he fired a cross against the arm of Ronald Zubar from point-blank range as United huffed and puffed through the latter stages, which included a generous five minutes of injury time awarded by Oliver.
To say Wolves held out would be flattering - they merely had to remain solid - as United’s poor away record threw the title race back open.


Reda Maher / Eurosport

Dramatic Night of EPL-Wolves end Man Utd run, Newcastle stun Arsenal!!!

* Man United's 29-match unbeaten run ended by Wolves
* Newcastle recover to draw 4-4 with Arsenal
* Record 41 goals scored in a single day
An intoxicating day of Premier League action on Saturday ended with leaders Manchester United beaten for the first time this season, title rivals Arsenal blowing a 4-0 lead and a record 41 goals across eight fixtures.
United's 29-match unbeaten league was halted by bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers who claimed a deserved 2-1 victory at Molineux, although the damage was minimised by Arsenal's astonishing capitulation in a 4-4 draw at Newcastle United.
When Nani gave United a third-minute lead at Molineux in the evening match it appeared Alex Ferguson's side were set to extend their unbeaten league run to a club-record 30 matches stretching back to last April's home defeat by Chelsea.
However, a day of hat-tricks, penalties, late goals and the general mayhem that makes the Premier League such a hit worldwide provided one final twist in the shape of George Elokobi and Kevin Doyle who each scored before halftime to seal a famous three points for the struggling Midlands club.
"We are disappointed, particularly after going in front so early in the game," manager Alex Ferguson told MUTV. "The result was caused by bad play at set-pieces. That is the nuts and bolts of it and we don't dispute that."
Arsenal's players on the way home from the North East would have breathed a sigh of relief at the scoreline.
The surprise result meant United's hopes of emulating Arsenal's 2003-04 Invincibles team, who went through the whole season unbeaten, had been thwarted.
It would also have lightened the mood after they conceded four goals in the last 22 minutes at St James' Park after Abou Diaby's sending off sparked a second-half meltdown which culminated in Cheik Tiote's late screamer for Newcastle.
ARSENAL PANIC
"At 4-1 we panicked a bit," Wenger told Sky Sports, saying the match careered out of his side's control after Diaby's controversial sending off for a shove on Joey Barton following a robust tackle by the Newcastle midfielder.
"I think Diaby was too nervous in his reaction but Barton should have been sent off too for the tackle."
United are top with 54 points from 25 games above Arsenal who have 50 while Manchester City, for whom the ever-reliable Carlos Tevez bagged a hat-trick on his 27th birthday in a 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion, are on 49 from 26. Chelsea, set to give 50 million pounds ($80.61 million) signing Fernando Torres his debut on Sunday against his former club Liverpool, are fourth with 44 from 24 games.
Fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur also have 44 after substitute Niko Kranjcar's last-gasp winner in a 2-1 home victory over Bolton Wanderers.
The goal glut began at lunchtime with Stoke City's 3-2 win against Sunderland and continued unrestrained throughout the day with Louis Saha scoring four times in Everton's 5-3 home win against Blackpool, Wigan Athletic beating Blackburn Rovers 4-3 and Fulham and Aston Villa drawing 2-2 at Villa Park.
The previous record tally of goals in a single Premier League day was 36 on Nov. 27 last year.
Nani gave United a third-minute lead after a mesmerising run from the right ended with him blasting a shot past Wayne Hennessey but United were strangely fragile.
Elokobi headed his first league goal in English football to level soon after and Doyle touched in from close-range five minutes before halftime for what proved the winner.
Arsenal's failure to hold a lead was on another scale entirely. Theo Walcott fired them ahead in the first minute at Newcastle and Johan Djourou headed a second soon after before Van Persie's double had some disenchanted home fans heading towards the exits with barely half-an-hour on the clock.
DIABY DISMISSAL
They could hardly be blamed. A 4-0 halftime deficit against free-flowing Arsenal, and with no recognised striker after Andy Carroll's 35 million pounds move to Liverpool, hardly looked like an enticing prospect for the most optimistic Geordie.
However, Diaby's 50th minute sending off for pushing Barton and Newcastle captain Kevin Nolan turned the tide against the visitors who fell apart spectacularly after Barton's 68th-minute penalty gave Newcastle a glimmer of hope.
Leon Best halved Arsenal's lead with a low shot past Wojciech Szczesny and when the Polish goalkeeper fouled Mike Williamson, Barton stepped up to convert his second penalty.
Newcastle laid siege to Arsenal's goal and Tiote unleashed a stunning 20 metre volley with three minutes of normal time remaining to spark wild celebrations from Newcastle's fans.
"We have had an unbelievable, unbelievable day," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew told Sky Sports. "What followed after halftime was pure character.
"We played like lions in the second half."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

GLOBAL MARKETS - Egypt overshadows economic recovery, oil rises!!!


(Reuters) - World shares struggled to eke out more gains on Wednesday as wariness over escalating violence in Egypt and rising oil prices muted optimism over the latest signs of a sustained global economic recovery!!!

The price of copper, a key industrial metal, hit a record high on expectations of strong global demand.

Brent crude earlier topped more than $102 a barrel, a 28-month high, on worries that the flare-ups in Egypt could spread across the Middle East and North Africa, source of more than a third of the world's oil.

Prices of U.S. crude futures had slipped after data showed that U.S. stockpiles rose for a third straight week, but finished moderately higher. U.S. light sweet crude oil rose 9 cents to settle at $90.86 per barrel.

"While the oil market wants to move lower on the bearish (inventory) data, it can't break away from worries about Egypt," said Phil Flynn, analyst at PFGBest Research in Chicago.

"The latest pictures of Egyptian demonstrations becoming violent have added to those worries," Flynn said.

The dollar, a traditional safe-haven currency, rose against the euro on the unrest in Egypt and on signs of dissent over a euro zone rescue plan.

MSCI's all-country world stock index, one of the broadest gauges of global equities, rose 0.22 percent after earlier hitting levels last seen in August 2008.

"Just like everyone else, we are monitoring Egypt very, very closely in the event we need to make adjustments," said Dan Fuss, vice chairman of Loomis Sayles, which has more than $150 billion in assets under management.

Emerging market shares led gains, rising 0.4 percent. They are down more than 1 percent in 2011, however, reflecting a shift by investors to developed markets such as the United States, where key indexes on Tuesday hit their highest closing levels in about 2-1/2 years.

Equities were bolstered by a report by ADP Employer Services on Wednesday that U.S. private employers added 187,000 jobs in January, more than forecast. On Tuesday, strong factory data worldwide prodded U.S. benchmark stock indexes higher.

But the civil unrest in Egypt remained a top concern as violent clashes erupted between opponents and supporters of President Hosni Mubarak in central Cairo.

U.S. indexes ended little changed after a day of see-saw trade. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 1.81 points, or 0.02 percent, to 12,041.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 3.56 points to 1,304.03 and the Nasdaq Composite Index fell 1.03 points to 2,750.16.

Appliance maker Whirlpool Corp fell 2.1 percent to $82.77 after its profit missed expectations.

Time Warner Inc rose 8.6 percent to $35.10 after its profit topped estimates on a 21 percent jump in advertising sales at its cable networks. Mattel Inc rose almost 1 percent to $24.37 after its profit beat expectations.

Reuters

Damien: another bad omen...?



Fulham 1 ~ 0 Newcastle !!!

010/11: Lost 0-1
2008/09: Lost 1-2 Ameobi
2007/08: Won 1-0 Barton (pen)
2006/07: Lost 1-2 Martins
2005/06: Lost 0-1
2004/05: Won 3-1 Ambrose, Kluivert, Ameobi
2003/04: Won 3-2 Robert, Shearer 2*
2002/03: Lost 1-2 Shearer*
2001/02: Lost 1-3 Speed
1983/84: Drew 2-2 Beardsley, Keegan
1982/83: Drew 2-2 McDermott, Varadi
1981/82: Lost 0-2 (LC)
1979/80: Lost 0-1
1978/79: Won 3-1 Connolly, Withe, Shoulder
1967/68: Lost 0-2
1966/67: Lost 1-5 B.Robson
1965/66: Lost 0-2
1960/61: Lost 3-4 Allchurch, Hughes, Woods
1959/60: Lost 3-4 Eastham, Hale 2
1955/56: Won 5-4 (FA) Casey, Keeble 2, Milburn, Stokoe
1951/52: Drew 1-1 G.Robledo
1950/51: Drew 1-1 Walker
1949/50: Lost 1-2 Milburn
1947/48: Lost 0-3
1946/47: Won 3-0 Bentley, Wayman


The last time Damien Duff scored against Newcastle in a 1-0 defeat it sent them down to the Championship, when he deflected a shot past his team mate Steve Harper at Villa Park.

Once again, he was wearing black and white but this time it was in Fulham's colours and when Duff tucked the ball past Harper in the 67th minute he was turning the screw on a team seemingly in mourning.

This was the most gutless, clueless and ultimately pointless performance since that fateful day in Birmingham in May 2009 when the threat of relegation became reality.

Andy Carroll may have been an irrelevance, given that he wouldn't have been fit to play in this fixture, but the team spirit that has papered over some gaping cracks had clearly disappeared.

And, of course, not only did we have the predictable ex-Mag scoring the crucial goal but we also inevitably lost another striker through injury as Shola Ameobi left the field with a fractured cheekbone.

That left Leon Best and Nile Ranger as our main attacking twosome with Peter Lovenkrands coming off the bench. But beyond those three - with just eight Premier League goals between them - our next fit striker is probably Shola's brother, Sammy.

Three half-chances were all that United could create in this desperate display, with a weak Danny Simpson shot and a half-hit effort on the turn from Ranger almost sneaking past Mark Schwarzer.

But the best chance fell appropriately to our number 20 but Leon's header sailed over the bar, followed by thousands of mutterings that you-know-who would have buried it....

Cheick Tiote was another conspicuous absentee and perhaps his return to the side against Arsenal on Saturday might help keep the score down but suddenly it's difficult to see where our next Premier League point will come from.

United are still in the top half of the table after this defeat but West Ham's win at Blackpool now means we are just six points clear of relegation.

If our owner is gambling that 30 points is already enough, he may need to check his hand again, although sadly it's now too late to twist.

Full match report to follow.

Team: Harper, Simpson, Williamson, Coloccini, Jose Enrique, Barton, Nolan, Guthrie, Gutierrez, Best (Lovenkrands 72), Ameobi (Ranger 13).
Subs n/u: Krul, Campbell, Perch, Ferguson, Richardson.

Booked: Simpson, Guthrie, Nolan.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hughes, Hangeland, Baird, Dempsey, Sidwell, Murphy (Gera 87), Duff (Davies 88), Andrew Johnson (Kakuta 71), Dembele.
Subs n/u: Stockdale, Salcido, Kamara, Greening.

Goal: Duff 67.

Referee: Mike Jones - third Newcastle game of the season for the Chester-based official who took charge of the home defeats by Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers. September 2009 saw Jones preside over our 4-0 success at Ipswich Town, while his first-ever senior Magpies game was a 1-2 reverse at Manchester City in January 2009.

Carroll forced out of Newcastle???


Andy Carroll has insisted he was forced to hand in a tranfer request and sign for Liverpool and was happy at Newcastle United!!!

Andy Carroll had become a Magpies hero over the past 18 months
• Carroll completes £35m Liverpool move
• Ireland signs for Magpies

News broke of Carroll's anger on Monday evening wen the Editor of Newcastle United fanzine Toon Talk, Steve Wraith, published a text message conversation with Carroll with the striker clearly saying he did not want to leave the club.

Magpies manager Alan Pardew then refuted those claims, insisting that no one was sold against their will, but Carroll will not back down.

Carroll told the Newcastle Evening Chronicle on Tuesday: "[Managing director] Derek [Llambias] asked me to hand in a transfer request, so I was pushed into a corner and had no choice. I wasn't wanted by them and they made it clear they wanted the money.

"Then I flew down in (owner Mike Ashley's) helicopter. I didn't want to leave. I'm gutted that I wasn't wanted at my home team after everything I have done and the progress I have made. I didn't want to leave at all. Make sure they know I didn't want to leave. The players, staff and fans were fantastic.''

At 2.37pm GMT on Monday, Carroll told Wraith he was "not going anywhere", but by 5pm Carroll had said: "They have kind of said we don't want u but want me to say I wanna go. And I said I don't want to go."

Newcastle claimed that they accepted Liverpool's £35 million offer after the striker handed in a transfer request, but Carroll said: "No I didn't that's what I mean that's what they wanted me to do and I said no. They said they wanted to accept it."

Asked if he had no choice but to move to Anfield, he replied: "Looks like it."

Wraith then asked Carroll if he had "any message you want put across to the fans?" Carroll replied: "They said they wanted the money. Gutted to be leaving Newcastle but I was kind of pushed out the door. Gutted to be leaving my home club but I was practically told to go. Didn't want to leave that's why i signed a five-year deal."

Pardew broke his silence on Tuesday morning, and painted a very different picture to that of the player himself and indicated he thought Carroll had moved for the money.

Pardew told the Shields Gazette: "What can I say? We didn't force anybody to leave. I disagree with that point. He had a contract here for five years, and at some point it would get renewed, but for him to sign in October and it get renewed in January - where would it stop?

"Personally, I'm disappointed. He's a lovely lad, and I really like him, but it was his decision, and you can't change that. Was this about football? That's what you have to ask. I don't think it was.

"We were having a discussion about what we were going to do with that offer when Andy requested to see me. I went to see Andy, and face to face we had a conversation about him wanting a new contract, even though he signed on in October, and (he said) if he didn't get that contract, he wanted go.

"I asked him what he wanted, and I went to the board. We had a discussion about what the ramifications would be for the whole club. We took the view, with him signing a contract in October, that this would cause us all sorts of problems. We decided that we needed the conversation confirmed, and he put in a transfer request, which he did.

"He spoke to his agent, and between them they put the request in. We decided with the size of the offer, and what it meant to us, that we would accept.

"We weren't expecting him to go, so we weren't in a position to replace him. One thing I can guarantee, having spoke to Mike Ashley, is that every penny will go back into the club. Mike's assured me he won't take a penny out of the transfer."

Alan Shearer, meanwhile, said he finds it "staggering'' that Newcastle allowed Carroll to leave for Liverpool without bringing in anyone as a replacement.

He told BBC Five Live: "I am surprised at how quickly it came along and it's an astonishing amount for a young guy with huge potential. It's all right selling your best player, but not getting anyone in to replace him is staggering.

"People are saying that Liverpool have sold Torres, but they have got two guys in for over £50 million to replace him. I just hope Newcastle invest some of the £35 million in new players at the end of the season. I am disappointed as he is Newcastle's best player and their best hope of being successful this season and getting a Europe League place.

"They would have just been happy to avoid relegation at the start of the season but, mainly because of him, they had a chance of a Europa spot.''

Liverpool’s signing of £35m Carroll is statement of intent!!!


His price tag was hugely inflated but move shows commitment from owners, writes Michael Owen!!!

“When we spend a dollar it has to be wisely,” Liverpool owner John Henry said following Fenway Sports Group’s takeover of the Merseyside outfit in October.

So quite what Henry and his partners at FSG were thinking when they sanctioned the £35m signing of Newcastle United’s Andy Carroll is unclear, given their clear focus on value when taking the reigns at Anfield.

Carroll is a very good player – the Newcastle supporters’ dismayed reaction to his departure is testament to that.

He has scored 11 league goals so far this season despite having been sidelined for a month and only Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tévez—who both commanded similarly extravagant fees—have found the net more times this term.
But his Premier League experience is limited and for such a fee supporters may have expected someone with a considerably larger amount of both games and goals under his belt at the highest level.

The Gateshead native also has a reputation as somewhat of a party animal. Over the course of the last two years Carroll has graced the front pages of local newspapers nearly as often as he has featured on the back.
His love for Newcastle’s nightlife and his disputes with a former partner have ensured that, at the age of 22, he has been involved in as many controversies as other professionals may face in their whole career.
But Carroll is only 22. At Liverpool he will have the support of Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher – all of whom will steer the striker in the right direction, putting an end to his boozy reputation and schooling him in the Liverpool way of doing things originally set out by Bill Shankly – a man who demanded professionalism.

FSG has shown a statement of intent by spending so much on someone so young. But in youth they see value and should Carroll continue to improve with Premier League experience—and that’s a big if—then the £35m gamble will have paid off.
It is impossible to argue that Carroll’s transfer fee wasn’t incredibly inflated, something not helped by Liverpool’s need for a striker and the time restrictions of the transfer window.
But going into the rest of the season with just Luis Suárez, who was signed for just under £23m, could affected Liverpool’s bid for European football – not to mention their ability to attract quality players in the summer.

By signing Carroll and Suárez John Henry and the rest of FSG have shown just how committed they are to making Liverpool Football Club successful again.
And after three-and-a-half years under the debt ridden reign of Tom Hicks and George Gillett that is exactly what was required of the Boston-based businessmen.
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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PM umum kerajaan bawa balik semua pelajar dari Mesir guna kapal TLDM, MAS dan AirAsia!!!



PM umum kerajaan bawa balik semua pelajar dari Mesir guna kapal TLDM, MAS dan AirAsia...

Ketegangan yang berterusan di Mesir menyebabkan kerajaan pada Selasa malam memutuskan untuk membawa keluar pelajar-pelajar Malaysia dari republik itu menerusi laut dan udara.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dalam kenyataannya berkata keputusan itu dibuat setelah mendapat laporan daripada delegasi Malaysia ke sana yang diketuai Timbalan Menteri Luar A. Kohilan Pillay dan turut disertai Setiausaha Politik Perdana Menteri Datuk Sahlan Ismail.

"Beberapa langkah segera akan diambil untuk membawa keluar pelajar-pelajar kita dari Mesir," katanya.

Keadaan di Mesir tegang berikutan lebih 2 juta rakyat negara itu keluar ke jalan raya mendesak Presiden Hosni Mubarak melatak jawatan.

Kekacauan menyebabkan bekalan makanan terjejas dan berlaku jenayah kerana sistem keselamatan di republik yang mempunyai 80 juta penduduk itu lumpuh sama sekali.

Najib memberitahu rakyat Malaysia di Mesir akan dipindahkan dengan meminta kapal Bunga Mas 5, iaitu sebuah kapal serbaguna yang dikawal oleh Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia yang bertugas di Teluk Aden, untuk belayar ke Pelabuhan Adabiyah yang terletak kira-kira dua jam setengah perjalanan dari selatan Kaherah, bagi membawa keluar pelajar-pelajar berkenaan.

"Kapal itu dijangka tiba di Pelabuhan Adabiah pada 5 Februari. Ia dapat memuatkan kira-kira 500 pelajar kita," katanya.

Najib juga berkata bahawa beliau sudah berunding dengan Menteri Luar Datuk Seri Anifah Aman untuk meminta syarikat penerbangan Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia (MAS) dan AirAsia untuk melakukan penerbangan khas ke Kaherah untuk membawa keluar pelajar-pelajar Malaysia.

"Mereka (MAS dan AirAsia) akan memaklumkan kepada saya Rabu mengenai kemungkinan menggunakan pesawat mereka untuk tugas ini," katanya.

Beliau berkata kerajaan juga akan berusaha membawa pelajar-pelajar Malaysia ke Jeddah untuk ditempatkan sementara di pusat Tabung Haji di sana sehingga ada penerbangan pulang ke Malaysia.

Bagaimanapun menurutnya ada beberapa perkara yang perlu diselesaikan terlebih dahulu termasuk urusan visa pelajar berkenaan.

"Kerajaan sedang berurusan dengan kerajaan Arab Saudi untuk mendapatkan kebenaran khas membawa para pelajar kita ke Jeddah," kata Najib.

Perdana Menteri berkata kerajaan akan memberi maklumat lanjut mengenai perkara itu kepada pelajar dan ibu bapa pada Rabu.

Sementara itu Kohilan yang berada di Kaherah ketika dihubungi Bernama berkata pesawat C-130 Charlie Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) juga akan digunakan bagi membawa keluar pelajar Malaysia di Mesir secara berperingkat ke negara jiran terdekat.

Katanya Dewan Malaysia Abbasiyah, Rumah-Rumah Negeri di Kaherah, dan Rumah MARA di Iskandariah menjadi kawasan perlindungan selamat kepada pelajar-pelajar dan rakyat Malaysia di Mesir.

"Bagi memastikan keselamatan di sana (rumah perlindungan) serta keperluan harian mencukupi, kerajaan akan meningkatkan kawalan keselamatan serta menyalurkan dengan segera bekalan makanan serta keperluan yang lain," katanya.

Terdahulu beliau dan Sahlan Ismail yang mengadakan perjumpaan dengan pegawai-pegawai Rumah Negeri dan wakil-wakil pelajar di Mesir, mendapati rata-rata pelajar Malaysia berada dalam keadaan terkawal dengan moral mereka tinggi.

Sementara itu, Sahlan berkata pegawai kedutaan ditempatkan dengan segera di Lapangan Terbang Antarabangsa Kaherah untuk membantu pelajar dan warganegara Malaysia yang terkandas.

"Kami hadapi masalah untuk berikan bantuan makanan dan minuman ekoran laluan di bandar dan lorong dikawal oleh penduduk Mesir yang berdemonstrasi, jadi tugas pegawai kedutaan adalah untuk menyediakan makanan, dan minuman di samping membantu dalam urusan tempahan tiket," katanya.

Beliau berkata sehingga ini 150 pelajar dan rakyat Malaysia yang terkandas sejak Sabtu lepas berjaya pulang ke tanah air dengan pembiayaan sendiri menerusi Oman, Abu Dhabi dan Amsterdam.

"Kami jumpa mereka di lapangan terbang dan beri kata-kata semangat sebelum mereka pulang, kami juga akan usahakan untuk (bawa pulang) yang lain," katanya.

Sahlan berkata dalam masa yang sama rakyat Malaysia atau ibu bapa khususnya dinasihatkan agar menangguhkan perjalanan yang tidak perlu ke Mesir memandangkan amat sukar untuk mendapatkan penerbangan pulang, di samping kesesakan lapangan terbang dan perintah berkurung yang dikuatkuasakan.

Beliau berkata kerajaan dan pejabat kedutaan akan terus menyalurkan maklumat mengenai perkembangan semasa kepada semua pelajar dan pegawai-pegawai Malaysia di Mesir serta kepada rakyat Malaysia.-1/2/2011
BERITA SEBELUM INI

Kapal TLDM pindah pelajar Mesir...tak praktikal guna C-130 Hercules TUDM

Perdana Menteri Datuk seri Najib Tun Razak berkata adalah tidak praktikal kerajaan mengunakan pesawat pengangkut C-130 Hercules Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) untuk operasi memindahkan lebih 10,000 pelajar Malaysia di Mesir.

Katanya selain pesawat TUDM itu hanya mampu mengangkut 40 orang sekali penerbangan soal kakitangan yang bertugas di lapangan terbang di Mesir tidak dapat dipastikan dalam keadaan sekarang ini.

Beliau memberitahu kerajaan memahami kebimbangan keluarga pelajar berkenaan tetapi kerajaan tidak boleh bertindak terburu-buru.

Bercakap dalam sidang akhbar selepas melawat mangsa banjir di Dewan Kampung Ayer Panas di Labis petang Selasa,Najib berkata kerajaan sedang menimbang menggunakan kapal serba guna Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) yang sedang bertugas di Teluk Aden, Asia Barat untuk operasi pemindahan pelajar-pelajar Malaysia yang kini berada di Mesir.

Menurutnya kapal itu akan diguna untuk memindahkan pelajar Malaysia di Mesir ke Jeddah, Arab Saudi, bagi membolehkan mereka menaiki penerbangan pulang ke Malaysia.

"Kita mempunyai pelan untuk menggunakan aset Angkatan Tentera Malaysia termasuk kapal TLDM yang sedang meronda di Teluk Aden, untuk membawa mereka keluar daripada Mesir," katanya.

Najib berkata demikian ketika ditanya mengenai kebimbangan keluarga pelajar dan rakyat Malaysia yang kini berada di Mesir, berikutan keadaan yang semakin meruncing di negara Timur Tengah itu berikutan demonstrasi yang diadakan oleh rakyatnya bagi mendesak Presiden Hosni Mubarak berundur.

Kapal serbaguna TLDM terbabit, KD Bunga Mas kini terlibat di dalam operasi anti-lanun di Teluk Aden.

Perdana Menteri berkata, kerajaan telahpun menghantar rombongan pegawai kanan ke Mesir untuk meninjau keadaan terkini di negara terbabit dan memastikan rakyat Malaysia selamat.-1/2/2011

News From:
http://www.agendadaily.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Revolusi Jasmin!!!




Mohamad-Bouazizi
Mohamad-Bouazizi terbakar
Mohamad-Bouazizi nazak
Kisahnya bermula dengan seorang pemuda bernama Mohamad Bouazizi. Pemuda yang menjadi pencetus kebangkitan rakyat Tunisia.

Bagi kebanyakan warga Tunisia, berhijrah keluar negara khususnya ke seberang Laut Mediterranean, iaitu ke negara Eropah adalah satu kemestian jika inginkan kehidupan yang lebih baik. Di sana di samping peluang pekerjaannya yang banyak, ia jug dapat membebaskan diri mereka dari belenggu kezaliman rejim yang berkuasa di tanah air mereka.

Namun bagi Bouazizi, berhijrah keluar negara bukan impiannya. Beliau tidak ingin menyerah kalah begitu sahaja. Justeru, bagi membaiki kehidupan dirinya serta keluarga, tanpa rasa malu dan takut beliau telah menyorong gerainya di pinggir jalan bagi menjual apa sahaja barang, itulah sahaja yang mampu dilakukannya.

Niat suci Bouazizi untuk mendapat sesuap roti menghadapi jalan sukar. Rejim Ben Ali yang zalim telah merampas gerainya dengan alasan tidak mempunyai kebenaran berniaga.

Bukan sahaja gerainya dirampas, malah Bouazizi telah dimalukan di hadapan khalayak.

Beliau yang begitu kecewa dengan tindakan rejim korup itu telah nekad, membakar diri di hadapan pejabat pihak berkuasa tempatan di kota kelahirannya Sidi Bousaid.

Aksi nekad Bouazizi itu dilakukan setelah selesai solat Jumaat, 17 Desember 2010 itu telah membakar semangat rakyat Tunisia, lantas demonstrasi besar-besaran meletus di kota Sidi Bousaid.

Bara dalam sekam yang selama ini terpendam di hati warga Tunisia selama ini meledak membakar. Lautan manusia yang berdemostrasi merebak ke seluruh kota-kota besar Tunisia seperti ibu kota Tunis, Sfak, Cartagho, Qairawan dan lain-lain.

Seluruh lapisan masyarakat turun bermonstrasi. Bukan sahaja para penganggur…yang sememangnya sangat ramai…malah turut disertai para intelek, profesional, politikus, dan berbagai elemen masyarakat.

Negara menjadi lumpuh. Kekerasan dan keganasan tidak dapat lagi dibendung. Pejabat-pejabat kerajaan dan swasta serta gedung-gedung membeli belah telah dijarah dan ditawan. Tentera dan polis mula bertindak balas. Akibatnya puluhan nyawa melayang. Manakala ribuan yang lain telah tercedera.

Peristiwa kemarahan yang bermula dengan sebatang mancis yang membakar Bouazizi kini mula merebak dan membakar seluruh Tunisia sehinggakan rejim yang terkenal zalim dan korup pimpinan Presiden Ben Ali tiada lagi pilihan lain kecuali lari menyelamatkan diri dan keluarganya…pada mulanya ke Peranchis, namun setelah pemintaannya ditolak, pelarian politik tersebut menuju ke Arab Saudi…sungguh memalukan!

Akhirnya, kemenangan berpihak kepada RAKYAT Tunisia. Rejim korup lagi zalim tersungkur jatuh menyembah bumi, negara dalam keadaan darurat. Bagi mengisi kekosongan kuasa Perdana Menteri telah memangku jawatani Presiden. Namun tindakan tersebut mendapat kritikan para pakar perundangan dan bahkan bertentangan dengan perlembagaan negara itu sendiri.

Perdana Menteri Mohamad Gannouchi yang merupakan sekutu Presiden yang digulingkan, menyerahkan jawatan kepada Speaker Parlimen Tunisia Fuad Almabzieg pada 15 Januari 2011 sebagai pemangku Presiden. Seterusnya parti pembangkang telah dijemput bagi menyertai kerajaan sementara. Pilihanraya umum yang adil dan bebas juga dijanjikanknya dalam tempoh enam bulan.

Dalam catatan terakhirnya di facebook, Bouaziz, dengan nada yang sangat memilukan menulis,

“Musafir (pergi) wahai ibuku. Maafkan aku. Tiada gunanya. Semuanya hilang di jalan apa yang kumiliki (dirampas polis). Maafkan aku wahai ibu, jika aku tidak menuruti ucapanmu. Makilah zaman (waktu atau situasi). Jangan maki aku. Pergi tidak kembali lagi”.

Allah lebih menyayangi Bouazizi. Ahirnya beliau yang melecur teruk akibat terbakar pergi buat selama-lamanya. Besar sungguh pengorbanannya.

Tindakannya itu bagaikan lilin yang membakar diri…berkorban…buat menerangi insan-insan yang lain. Ia menjadi obor yang kemudiannya menerangi kegelapan bukan sahaja Tunisia bahkan seluruh rantau Arab.

Sebuah revolusi telah tercipta…tumbangnya rejim yang zalim. Semangat revolusi tersebut pastinya akan terus merebak…justeru amaran buat penguasa yang korup dan zalim lagi menindas.

Semoga Allah mengampuni dosa-dosanya dan semoga rohnya ditempatkan bersama-sama dengan para syuhada dan solihin. Selamat jalan Pahlawan Revolusi Jasmin, Tunisia.

Kebimbangan Negara Arab Lain

Kebangkitan rakyat Tunisia yang dicetuskan oleh Bouazizi sehingga menggulingkan rejim Ben Ali telah menimbulkan kebimbangan yang bukan sedikit kepada jiran-jirannya dan seluruh rantau Arab.

Ini jelas digambarkan melalui ucapan Setiausaha Agung Liga Arab, Amir Moussa, yang mengingatkan para pemimpin negara Arab bahawa mereka juga berisiko menghadapi kebangkitan rakyat yang sama seperti yang berlaku di Tunisia.

Beliau mengatakan bahawa kemarahan rakyat di Timur Tengah sudah mencapai ke puncaknya.

“Hati dan jiwa Arab sudah hancur oleh kemiskinan, pengangguran dan resesi,”

Demikian katanya dalam ucaptamanya semasa membuka Konferensi Peringkat Tertinggi Liga Arab di Sharm El-Sheikh, Mesir, pada hari Rabu 19 Januari 2011.

Seterusnya beliau mengingatkan bahawa;

“Revolusi Tunisia tidak jauh dari kita,”

Dalam ucapannya yang dipetik oleh BBC, Amir Moussa menyeru kepada para peserta persidangan berkenaan, agar reformasi politik dan ekonomi berjalan seiring.

Perubahan politik di Tunisia yang berlaku ekoran kebangkitan rakyat sudah pastinya telah mencetuskan harapan kepada seluruh warga Arab untuk melihat hal yang sama berlaku di negara mereka.

Situasi sosio-politik dan ekonomi yang hampir sama seperti Tunisia di kebanyakan negara Arab pastinya akan mengobarkan semangat mereka untuk melakukan perkara yang serupa sepertimana yang telah dilakukan oleh saudara mereka di sana.

Paling utama, selepas Tunisia, antara negara lain yang mempunyai potensi ke arah kebangkitan rakyat ialah jirannya iaitu Algeria dan Mesir. Protes secara besar-besaran bukanlah perkara asing di sana. Namun kerajaan tidak menunjukkan minat untuk berubah…bahkan mereka dihalang dengan kekerasan.

Walaupun disekat dengan pelbagai cara, manakala pemimpin-pemimpin yang memperjuangkan hak rakyat ditangkap, potensi untuk meletusnya protes baru dan seterusnya revolusi bagi menolak rejim lama pasti ada…kesan daripada semangat Bouazizi.

Tunisia

Tunisia adalah sebuah Negara Islam Afrika Utara yg menghadap bahagian tengah Laut Mediterranean dan bersempadan dengan Libya. 40% daripada bentuk muka buminya adalah Gurun Sahara. 99% daripada penduduknya adalah beragama Islam.

Revolusi Jasmin dan Kebangkitan Sinar Islam

Umumnya ramai yang tidak mengetahui bahawa di sebalik Revolusi Jasmin sebenarnya terdapat peranan gerakan-gerakan Islam.

Setelah Ben Ali melarikan diri, sinar Islam mula memancarkan sinarnya. Sekurang-kurangnya selama 50 tahun Islam ditekan dan penganutnya ditindas di bumi Tunisia.

Pada hari Jumaat 21 Januari yang lalu, buat pertama kalinya semenjak larangan mengerjakan solat Jumaat dikuatkuasanya oleh Rejim Ben Ali, warga muslim Tunisia telah dapat kembali mengerjakan solat Jumaat.

Dalam laporan akhbar Al Quds berkata, “inilah solat Jumaat pertama setelah 50 berlalu kerana kekejaman diktator itu yang melarang melakukannya”. Fenomena ini disambut dengan gembira oleh oleh seluruh muslimin.

Selain itu buat pertama kalinya juga suara azan telah berkumandang di telivisyen dan masjid-masjid di Tunisia. Langkah yang selama ini dilarang di Tunisia berdasarkan alasan bahawa ucapan azan mengakibatkan pencemaran bunyi di Tunisia.

Tunisia di bawah pimpinan Presiden Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali dan Presiden sebelumnya mendapat sokongan kuat dari kuasa-kuasa Barat.

Selain korup, zalim dan menyekat kebasan rakyat, mereka juga terkenal dengan tindakan bagi menyekat dan menekan gerakan Islam di negara mereka.

Kuasa-kuasa Barat ini seringkali menutup mata terhadap pelbagai pencabulan dan jenayah yang dilakukan oleh boneka mereka untuk menghalang perubahan berlaku, yang sudah pastinya akan menggugat kepentingan mereka di negara-negara terbabit.

Hal ini bukan sahaja berlaku di Tunisia, malah turut berlaku di Mesir dan Algeria. Gerakan-gerakan Islam seperti Ikhwan al-Muslimin, al-Nahdah dan FIS seringkali menjadi musuh politik utama bagi rejim-rejim yang menguasai negara-negara tersebut.

Gerakan-gerakan Islam ditekan sehingga mendorong pemimpinnya meninggalkan negara dan tinggal di negara-negara Eropah.

Walaupun perubahan telah berlaku di Tunisia, namun ianya masih kelihatan belum selesai. Kerajaan sementara yang baharu telah menunjukkan usaha memisahkan diri daripada rejim lama.

Perdana menteri Mohammed Ghannouchi dan Fouad Mebazaa, Speaker Parlimen dan Presiden sementara telah meninggalkan parti Ben Ali untuk memisahkan diri dan membina kredibiliti kerajaan perpaduan yang baharu ditubuhkan.

Di sebalik jaminan untuk melakukan perubahan, kebimbangan terhadap kebangkitan kumpulan-kumpulan Islam mula kelihatan. Kumpulan-kumpulan berhaluan kanan di negara itu mula memberi amaran supaya gerakan Islam tidak dibenarkan mengambil kesempatan daripada perkembangan itu.

Dalam laporan-laporan media Barat tentang Tunisia, penglibatan parti Islam al-Nahdah dalam politik selepas revolusi masih disertai dengan kebimbangan terhadap “politik Islam” di Tunisia, yang terdedah kepada persepsi dikaitkan dengan terorisme dan unsur negatif lain.

Penglibatan al-Nahdah dalam politik negara itu disebut sebagai mencetuskan kebimbangan terhadap pelaksanaan Islam yang didakwa menyekat kebebasan.

Paling membimbangkan adalah ura-ura kepulangan tokoh al-Nahdah iaitu Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi (Rashid al-Ghannushi). Kehadirannya bakal menjadi tonggak terbentuknya pemerintahan Islam di Tunisia.