Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let them all run wild! Simon Cowell risks new X Factor outcry by giving finalists licence to behave badly


Courting controversy? Simon Cowell, pictured on location with Sinitta, wants contestants to 'do what the like'

Simon Cowell is encouraging bad behaviour from the X Factor hopefuls - despite tales of prostitution, drug-taking and wild parties blighting the show.

The music mogul said he wanted the final 12 contestants to 'be their age and do what they like' rather than 'sitting in the library until three in the morning'.

The finalists have already been picked and millions of fans will find out who they are this weekend, ahead of the first live show on October 9.

Go wild! Simon with his group category, who are said to have trashed the rented villa in Spain during their stay

As the Daily Mail revealed this week, they have been moved into a £3.5million mansion in North London, leaving the millionaire neighbours fearful of rowdy behaviour.

And the mood of the locals is unlikely to have improved after Cowell's latest comments.

He said: 'You have got to have some sort of control in there, but at the end of the day you want to have the personalities through so it's fun.

'They are entering the music business for all the right reasons, and that is not to sit in the library till three in the morning. I am just trying to encourage them this year to be their age and do what they like if they have a career as a pop star, and for everyone to be a bit more relaxed about it.'

Behind the scenes: Simon and his crew watch back footage between takes

He added: 'These kids who come here, they are young guys and they should be making noise, having fun and going out.

'And I can't tell people when they can and can't have sex.'

Cowell, 50, had angered fans of the ITV talent show by refusing to disqualify prostitute Chloe Mafia.

The singer, whose real name is Chloe Heald, made it to the boot camp auditions despite being caught selling sex and pictured allegedly taking cocaine.

This year's contestants have already proved themselves a nuisance after going on a drunken rampage at their hotel during the boot camp stage and stripping in front of guests.

Hairy moment: Simon bares his chest as he chats to host Dermot O'Leary

Cowell himself was left appalled after hopefuls ruined his luxury rented villa in Marbella, Spain, last month.

They caused thousands of pounds of damage to the property - which cost £15,000 a day to rent - as well as drinking the star's vintage champagne and imported beer.

Nevertheless, he is keen to ensure that this year's contestants are treated to an experience equal to that of working in the music industry.

He has already axed vocal coach Yvie Burnett and hired a 'glam squad' led by stylist Grace Woodward to help revamp the hopefuls.

He also admitted that he is fed up listening to 'pathetic sob stories' and watching as acts are voted through on the basis of their popularity rather than their talent.
He said: 'I banned the word journey because that was a key part of it all.

'We got too much of this "I'm doing it for my mum who broke her ankle" nonsense.
'I never bought a David Bowie album when I was 17 because Bowie was talking on Top of the Pops about going on a journey.

'I don't want this to be a popularity competition. I think it is important that it remains a talent competition.'

Meanwhile, Cowell is threatening legal action after the names of the final 12 contestants were leaked online.

He is said to be furious that the information has been posted on more than one website days before the list is revealed on the show.

Girl power: Cowell is mentoring the group Husstle among others

The acts must all sign confidentiality agreements regarding what happens on the show, as must anyone who works on it.

A source said: 'Simon is very, very disappointed. He is a complete perfectionist.
Everything is stage managed to within an inch of its life so this will not be looked on favourably.'

After it first appeared on the Digital Spy website a week ago, the list was seen on the Radio Times website - which was promptly forced to take it down.

This is not the first time the names have been leaked. In 2008 another website was forced to take down a similar list of finalists.

source :dailymail

Strictly business.... or is Kara Tointon falling for her handsome Russian dance partner?


Hands on: Kara Tointon and Artem Chigvintsev looked very close as they took a break between training

Strictly Come Dancing is as famous for romances as it is for its rumbas and it seems love is on the cards again this season.

Kara Tointon, 27, is rumoured to be 'smitten' with her Russian dance partner Artem Chigvintsev, whom she has been training with ahead of tomorrow night's show.

The pair certainly seemed close as they visited a shopping centre during a break from training this week.

Artem, 28, was spotted tenderly stroking the former EastEnders star's shoulders as they made their way down an escalator.

Budding romance? The former EastEnders star is said to be 'smitten' with her dance partner

Proving himself to be quite the gentleman, he was even carrying her handbag on the outing.

He has even been seen visiting the actress at her North London flat after hours, according to reports.

'It was obvious to everyone from the first rehearsal there was a huge spark between them,' a source is quoted as telling the Mirror.

Kara split from her former EastEnders co-star Joe Swash in June after a two year romance.

Ready to rumba: The pair will compete together for the first time on tomorrow's show

Artem, who got his break as a contestant on the US TV show So You Think You Can Dance in 2005, has also appeared as a professional on America's Dancing With The Stars.

He dated one of the show's judges Carrie Ann Inaba, who is 15 years his senior, however their romance ended in 2008.

A spokesperson for Kara says: 'Of course Kara and Artem are spending lots of time together. They are training every day. But they are just good friends.'

Kara and Artem will join Gavin Henson and Kataya Kirshilas, who were also spotted in London today, on Strictly Come Dancing tomorrow night on BBC at 9pm.

Gavin Henson and Kataya Kirshilas

source :dailymail

The wish list of a dying mother: Cancer sufferer leaves husband the 100 things he must do with their two young sons... and tells him to 'find another


Devoted mother: Kate Greene with her sons Reef and Finn on holiday

Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Kate Greene had to come to terms with the fact that she would not see her young sons grow up.

But, determined to be an ongoing presence in their lives, she drew up a ‘mummy’s manual’ of more than 100 instructions, hopes and ambitions for her two boys to read after her death.

Mrs Greene, who died at the age of 37 following a two-year battle with breast cancer, wanted Finn, four, and Reef, six, to visit a Welsh beach where she holidayed as a child, attend an international rugby match and go to Switzerland, where her husband St John proposed to her.

St John and Kate with their sons Reef and Finn on a trip to Disney World, Florida. Kate's 'to'do' list requests that her husband takes the boys there again

She outlines basic principles she wants Mr Greene, 44, to instil in the boys, such as to be always on time, to treat girlfriends with respect and to make up after a row.

She also makes it clear that they should never smoke, ride motorbikes or join the Armed Forces.

Other instructions are heartbreakingly simple. She asks her sons to find their own four-leaf clover, learn to play a musical instrument and grow sunflowers.

St John Greene with his sons Finn (left) and Reef on the beach in Clevedon - a favourite spot of their mother Kate

She also notes things she liked, such as walks on the river bank and learning butterfly and bird names.Selflessly, she even urges her husband to find another woman so the boys have a female influence.

Mr Greene plans to tick off all the wishes, and has already fulfilled some, including buying a dining table for the family to eat round and building a playroom extension for their home in Clevedon, Somerset.

The ex-paramedic, who now runs an outdoor pursuits company, met his future wife, an insurance underwriter and part-time scuba diving teacher, in 1984.
Tragedy first struck in December 2005, when Mrs Greene was pregnant with Finn. Doctors found a tumour in Reef’s abdomen.

Given a 6 per cent chance of survival, he had intensive chemotherapy then surgery to remove the tumour, which damaged nerves in his legs.

StJohn and Kate on their wedding day in 1996. The devoted mother left a touching 'to do' list of over 100 instructions for raising their two young sons

Doctors warned that he might never walk again but, incredibly, he recovered and the cancer went into remission.

Then in April 2008, Mrs Greene found a lump in her left breast. She underwent 18 months of chemotherapy, but doctors told her the disease had spread too far and her treatment was stopped.

Her condition deteriorated and two months later she needed oxygen tanks at home to survive. She died in January this year.

Croke Park Stadium in Dublin: Kate told her husband he must take their sons there to see Ireland play England in the Six Nations rugby

Mr Greene said: ‘I think towards the end we both knew Kate’s time was up. We’ve known each other since we were children and didn’t need to say the words. We just knew.

‘Then one night she became really frightened she wouldn’t make it through the night, we stayed up chatting and at about 4am we drew up the wish list of things I had to do with the boys. Before I knew it, there were over three sides of A4.’

The family fulfilled a number of Mrs Greene’s final wishes before she died, such as visiting Santa in Lapland, going to Disney World in Florida and seeing a pantomime.

Mr Greene, who said each item on the list helped him remember his ‘soulmate’, said yesterday: ‘Losing Kate was more devastating than words can describe but by carrying out all the wishes on the list we still have an emotional tie.’

source :dailymail

What a difference four years makes for ex Mrs Woods...but nothing changes for Tiger


Pale and gaunt: Elin Nordegren visiting her doctor near her Florida home

Immaculately turned out, she beamed proudly as her man took centre stage in the Ryder Cup four years ago.

Yesterday Elin Nordegren cut a much less glamorous figure while her ex-husband Tiger Woods was preparing for the golfing clash between the U.S.A. and Europe in Wales.

The 30-year-old Swedish ex-model, appeared gaunt but relaxed as she visited her doctor in Florida.

She won a divorce payout of at least £60million from Woods, 34, after it emerged that he had had a string of affairs.

Under the deal, Woods, who is worth around £630million, is allowed to share parenting of their children – daughter Sam, three, and 19-month-old son Charlie.

Woods’ roving eye was back in play again yesterday when he was spotted closely examining the performance of Katherine Jenkins while she sang at the opening ceremony at Celtic Manor.

Smart: Miss Nordegren, circled, and the U.S.A. team wives at the 2006 Ryder Cup in Ireland

The Ryder Cup, which takes place every two years, begins this morning after two days of build-up.

Events included a dinner with Prince Charles and a concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

It is the first time the cup has been held in Wales.

Song: Tiger Woods watches Katherine Jenkins

source :dailymail

Watch out Katherine, there's a Tiger on your tail: Golfer Woods caught ogling Miss Jenkins at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony


Sneaky peek: Tiger Woods can't help looking at Katherine Jenkins's derriere as she performs at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony

You'd have thought that Tiger Woods would be on his best behaviour at the Ryder Cup this week, especially after the headlines he made this year.

But it would seem that the golfer just can't keep that roving eye still in his head, as this picture taken at the Ryder Cup opening ceremony proves.

Woods, 34, was caught staring at Katherine Jenkins's bottom as she performed at the opening ceremony of the tournament, which is taking place in her native Wales for the very first time.

Thankfully, the singer, who was wearing a Victoria Beckham creation, seemed completely oblivous to his cheeky gaze as she walked past the U.S Ryder Cup team at the event at at Celtic Manor in Newport today.

It was day two of the tournament, but as yet, no clubs have been swung and not one ball has been holed.

Admiring glances: Tiger wasn't the only one watching Katherine as she sang to the crowd at Celtic Manor in Newport

Instead, the pomp and pageantry surrounding the world's biggest golf tournament continued with a flourish, and - apart from Woods's - all eyes were on the glamorous wives and girlfriends of the European and American competitors.

One in particular stood head-and-shoulders above the rest - quite literally - as Angie Watson, wife of US Ryder Cup plater Bubba, joined her fellow WAGs at today's opening ceremony.

Flying the flag: Angie Watson (third from front in red) towers above her fellow Ryder Cup WAGs as they step out at today's opening ceremony

United: Flashing beaming smiles, the golfers' other halves enter the opening ceremony

The former basketball player, who stands at 6ft 4ins, towered over the ladies as they walked out side by side.

Leading the American ladies, who were dressed in black trousers and stylish red macs, was Lisa Pavin, wife of U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey, and was closely followed by former cheerleader Kandi Harris, Hunter Mahan's fiancee, and then Watson.

The girls are all white: The European team WAGs smile and wave their Flags of Europe as they go to take their seats

Standing tall: Angie Watson has the best view in the house as she and the other US team WAGs watch the opening

Next to them were the European birdies, who were all dresed in white, some with royal blue scarves round their next, and some waving the Flag of Europe.

The ladies have been the centre of attention since the all jetted into Wales on Monday for the tournament, which takes place every two years.

Here come the boys: Captain Corey Pavin leads out his US team

This is the first time that it has been played on these green lands, although not a single game has been started yet.

Today was all about greeting the teams to the course, with Jenkins, wh performed at the Millennium Stadium last night, kicking off proceedings with a rousing rendition of the Welsh national anthem.

Corey Pavin then gave a speech in which he paid tribute to European team member Colin Montgomerie.

Ready for the off: The pairings for tomorrow's opening day are announced

The US teams then stood for the American national anthem, Star Spangled Banner, while the European team got out their seats for the Anthem of Europe.

The opening pairings were then announced for tomorrow morning as the tournament finally tees off after two days of build-up which has included a formal dinner with Prince Charles and a Welcome To Wales concert at the Millennium Stadium.

How green is my valley? The luscious course of the Celtic Manor Resort

source :dailymail

RYDER CUP 2010: Colin Montgomerie insists Europe are one up already after US captain Corey Pavin's incredible gaffes

By DEREK LAWRENSON Golf Correspondent

Up for grabs: Colin Montgomerie and Corey Pavin (R) hold the Ryder Cup trophy on Thursday

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie believes Europe are already one-up after his opposite number Corey Pavin made an incredible gaffe at the opening ceremony.

When reading out the names of his team, Pavin forgot to mention last year's Open champion Stewart Cink until it was pointed out to him as he made his way back to his seat.

It was all food and drink to Monty, who places great store in the impression the two captains make at their big showpiece on the eve of the contest.

'I remember coming away from Sam Torrance's brilliant speech at the opening ceremony in 2002 feeling Europe were one up, and again in 2004 with Bernhard Langer, and I hope my team feel that way now,' said Monty. 'It certainly felt very similar to me.'
On both those occasions, Europe came flying out of the blocks the next morning and went on to win by large margins.

Monty has been buoyed by a text message sent to him by Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and no wonder, since he clearly shares the latter's fondness for mind games.

'He pointed out to me that we're both Scots, we're both very competitive, and he wished the team well,' said Monty. 'It meant a lot.'

Tiger Woods covered his eyes with his hand as Pavin tried to recover his composure after a gaffe that rivalled Hal Sutton's effort in 2004, when he managed to forget how many kids he had.

Oh dear: Tiger Woods reacts after captain Corey Pavin forgets to announce former Open champion Stewart Cink (R) in the USA team

But Pavin did come up with a good self-deprecatory line afterwards. 'I only screwed up once - and I only forgot one player. It might have been two,' he said.
Nevertheless, Monty wiped the floor with his US counterpart.

While one delivered his speech in a flat monotone, Monty was passion personified. He didn't need to say it was the proudest moment of his career - everyone could see it in his eyes.

The first pairings didn't bring the match-up Woods wanted against Rory McIlroy but he will play English pair Ross Fisher and Ian Poulter instead in a game that will electrify the 40,000 sell-out crowd.

Poulter could hardly contain his excitement.

Fired up: Ian Poulter cannot wait to get started at Celtic Manor

'It's going to be noisy and it needs to be,' he said.

'It's up to me and Ross to give the crowd what they want.'

Lee Westwood will lead off for Europe with Martin Kaymer after pursuading the captain to go against his hunch of handing the task to McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.
'The first match is always going to be difficult but we are quietly confident,' said Westwood.

source :dailymail

RYDER CUP 2010: Europe's big beasts lead the charge... Sportsmail's guide to Friday's fourballs and the teams at Celtic Manor

By DEREK LAWRENSON Golf Correspondent at Celtic Manor

Those with a taste for blood and gore wanted this Ryder Cup to begin with Tiger against Rory. The European captain wanted it to begin with Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell.

But for the past six weeks Lee Westwood has nursed his ailing body with one purpose in mind, and that was to stand on the first tee and lead off Europe's quest to regain Samuel Ryder's gold cup.

Such is the esteem in which the finest English golfer since Nick Faldo is held by his captain, there was no way Colin Montgomerie was going to deny him.

And so this 38th edition will begin not with a grudge match or the flags of Northern Ireland flying high, but with a gesture of profound respect for Europe's No 1 and Europe's most recent major champion, as Westwood (below) and Martin Kaymer are charged with the honour and responsibility of setting the tone for getting the trophy back.

Waiting for them will be the formidable American pairing of Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson. Talk about meeting firepower with firepower.

Do sports fans with satellite television need any more incentive to set the alarm clock early? Do those privileged enough to have a ticket need any more excuse to pack their waterproofs and their singing voices?

There's plenty more following the announcement of an opening series that left Europe feeling supremely confident and Americans shaking their heads in puzzlement.

Europe's four pairings were exactly those predicted in Sportsmail a week ago, but who could have guessed America's line-up?

Keeping dry in the clubhouse on the first morning will be the man who has just won $11million at the FedEx Cup and another who went five matches unbeaten at the last Ryder Cup. In place of Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan will be rookies in Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton. Who could have predicted that?

Certainly not the opposition captain.

'It's safe to say Padraig Harrington and Luke Donald did not expect to play two rookies in the anchor match,' said Montgomerie.

'Any scenario you think of piles a lot of pressure on two inexperienced players. We could be trying to make it 2-2 or go 3-1 ahead. Giving that task to Bubba and Jeff is, well, a bit strange really.'

While one captain is playing a blinder the other really ought to be hauled off the pitch. After all that military nonsense from Corey Pavin on Wednesday, how unfortunate that he should look around the stage at the opening ceremony and find one of his team had gone missing in action.

'An Open champion, too!' chortled Montgomerie.

Honestly, when you're charged with the task of announcing your team, how can you forget to mention one of them? Stewart Cink could have been forgiven for feeling neglected when he won The Open last year and all the plaudits went to Tom Watson, but this was something else again. Just as well for Pavin that Cink is one of life's good guys. If it had happened to Tiger, he would have probably caught the next flight out of town.

Here's more strangeness from Pavin. This will be the first Ryder Cup Tiger Woods has played in since 1999 in which he will not be the lead hitter on the opening morning.

Did Pavin go looking for Rory in putting Tiger off in the third match? Well, you wouldn't expect him to answer that one, would you? Anyway, instead of Rory, Tiger and Steve Stricker have found Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher instead.

Poulter was the European star of the last Ryder Cup and what a chance he and Fisher now have to be the stars of the opening series. No-one will expect them to win, not against an American pairing who went unbeaten in four matches at the last Presidents Cup. Well, no-one bar Montgomerie, the thousands who will follow their every shot and, most importantly, the two players themselves.

Fisher might not make the same headlines as Poulter but he doesn't fall short when it comes to self-belief.

'Tonight we will have a few inspired speeches, get a good night's kip and then go out there and give it to them,' he said. Poulter added: 'It's going to be just incredible, isn't it?'

Splitting the top match and this one will the fulfillment for McIlroy and McDowell of a dream they have cherished from the moment the former left the amateur world and joined the paid ranks three years ago. They will play Matt Kuchar and, er, what's his name again - oh yes, Stewart Cink.

This couldn't have worked out better for the home pair, for while Kuchar has had a wonderful year, he looked exhausted at the Tour Championship last week.

Europe, therefore, will be bitterly disappointed if they don't come out of the opening series with at least a one-point lead. It might not sound anything with 24 points still to play for and it isn't in real terms. But past experience has shown the team leading after round one have a massive psychological advantage.

Indeed, in the 15 Ryder Cups to have been staged since the continentals were invited to the party in 1979, only twice has the team that lost the opening series come back to win.

No wonder Westwood wanted to bat first, then. Anybody else and it would have been a difficult decision for Montgomerie. He was fully aware how good McDowell and McIlroy were when playing first at the Seve Trophy last year.

But, in a team as good from top to bottom as Europe's, Westwood is still Montgomerie's main man. It took guts to ask to play first, 11 weeks since he last played competitively, safe in the knowledge that a star pair would provide the opposition. A lesser man would have wanted to hide. But Westwood is desperate to get rid of the sour taste from last time, when Sir Nick Faldo took all the wind from his sails. Now he has a captain who will believe in him to the end, and by his side will be the brilliant German who Montgomerie believes is a future world No 1.

No-one from Europe will be too unhappy that the weather is predicted to be bad at the start. It certainly won't dampen the spirits of those who will gather at first light for what is truly among the best this sport has to offer - the opening shots on the opening day of the Ryder Cup.

Europe begin with the captain resplendent and the opposition worrying whether in Pavin they have another Faldo, a cold fish who tries to reinvent the wheel with his strange selections.

Pavin could do with Tiger motivated and Mickelson and Johnson at their best. He could do with a couple of rookies turning convention on its head.

Anything else, and the knives will be out. Win this opening series, and one-up for Europe will start to feel more like one hand on the trophy.

source : dailymail

Manchester City 1 Juventus 1: Moneybags City get no change from the Old Lady


Thundebolt: Juventus' Vincenzo Iaquinta fired his side ahead in stunning fashion

A week ago, a place in a rather weak Carling Cup side at West Brom concentrated the mind of Manchester City winger Adam Johnson. Last night, a crucial goal against one of the most respected club sides in Europe did the job.

Now young Johnson must decide which way he wishes his season to go. A player with enormous talent and a gift for scoring crucial goals that some players never acquire, Johnson has much to learn in terms of application and concentration in the eyes of City manager Roberto Mancini.

Johnson’s place in the Carling Cup team that lost at West Brom was no accident. It was Mancini’s way of reminding the 23-year-old England international just how quickly players can be removed from their pedestal. Pleasingly, it would appear that the winger took the hint.

Having been told - along with City’s other creative players - that goals are his responsibility this season, he scored what could yet prove to be a decisive one in the context of City’s Europa League season.

Johnson was not City’s most impressive player. The Belgian central defender Vincent Kompany filled that category. However, his goal was not only important but also had quality written right through it.

To the untrained eye, it looked simple enough as he ran on to a neat pass from Yaya Toure to control the ball and prod it beneath poorly positioned Juventus goalkeeper Alex Manninger.

However, the beauty was in the anticipation of Toure’s pass and the timing and direction of the diagonal run from the right side that left two Juventus defenders on their heels. It is this kind of intuitive quality that tends to stand out in English football.

Certainly Mancini will be pleased, particularly as he clearly felt Johnson was partly to blame for the Juventus goal that rocked City in only the 10th minute.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart will not look back on Vincenzo Iaquinta’s goal with any pride. The shot from distance was sweetly struck but England’s goalkeeper really should have saved it.

A-dam good timing: Adam Johnson levelled matters before the break

Mancini, though, had spotted something else that irked him in the build-up, exchanging words and gestures with Johnson from the touchline as the Italians celebrated.

Afterwards, Mancini said: ‘Adam is a good player and he is trying to improve always. It was a good goal today and he has done something good. But he can still improve.’
Struggling a little to juggle the demands of their European and domestic commitments, City fielded a strong team and it was just as well, given the manner in which they were required to scrap for what they achieved.

It was a rather close call as Juventus captain Alessandro del Piero came within inches of winning the game in the last five minutes. City conceded rather too many free-kicks all night and Del Piero almost took advantage when he thumped a dead ball against the underside of the crossbar and down on to the goal-line.

No way through: Emmanuel Adebayor wasted several good chances for City

The Italian’s shot was well struck and swerved a little. Nevertheless, Hart will wonder how he didn’t manage to turn it over the bar, given that the ball passed directly above his head. Overall, this was not a great evening for the City goalkeeper and his disgruntled understudy Shay Given will certainly have looked on with interest from the substitutes’ bench.

Mancini added: ‘We hoped to control the game but after they scored the goal the game changed. It was a blow. We had to recover from that and in the second half particularly we did that.’

As their season progresses, City continue to seek some consistency. Last night’s performance, for example, did not match the defeat of Chelsea in the Premier League at the weekend.

Legend: Alessandro Del Piero twice went close with trademark free-kicks

Mancini will have been heartened by Johnson’s contribution, delighted at the manner in which Kompany’s central defensive partnership with Kolo Toure is developing and impressed with the contribution of German full back Jerome Boateng, who played on both sides after injury to Pablo Zabaleta.

There were disappointments, though, and none worse than the failure of Emmanuel Adebayor to make an impact on the game. Mancini declared himself happy with Adebayor’s contribution but it was interesting to see Carlos Tevez still covering the yards late on.

It was surely not what Mancini would have wanted ahead of Sunday’s game but at the moment Tevez is his only reliable forward. The sooner Adebayor discovers his form or Mario Balotelli his fitness the better.

Juventus were dangerous when shooting from distance. City, for their part, struck the post through Gareth Barry shortly before Johnson’s goal and Barry also volleyed a Patrick Vieira cross over the bar.

source: dailymail

Utrecht 0 Liverpool 0: Roy's Reds' woe continues with drab Europa draw


Losing battle: Fernando Torres looked sharp at times, but too often cut a frustrated figure up front

Liverpool carved out a hard-fought point, but it hardly counted as a night to compare with their best in Europe. Not for Liverpool, and certainly not for Fernando Torres.

Roy Hodgson arrived in this historic Dutch city intent on adding to his tally of five straight Europa League wins as Liverpool manager but just as eager to see Torres end an uncharacteristically lean spell that has yielded just one goal so far this season.

He may well have been content with the outcome of the first objective but not the second, after a misfiring Torres spurned three clear opportunities and, barely able to conceal his frustration, headed straight down the tunnel.

While his team-mates acknowledged travelling supporters, and Utrecht’s players pointedly milked the crowd’s applause as if they had won the Champions League, Liverpool’s £21million record signing made the swiftest of exits from the scene of his anguish.

The plan to nurture Torres back to his lethal best appeared to have backfired, but Hodgson was unrepentant as he reflected on his decision to include the Spain frontrunner between the Barclays Premier League games against Sunderland and Blackpool.

Torres appeared to consult Liverpool’s physio as he headed off, but Hodgson said: ‘My interest is in Liverpool Football Club and watching 11 players and seven substitutes. I’m afraid I can’t spend every waking moment keeping an eye on Torres, so I can’t tell you if he saw the physio or not.

‘What I can say is that he worked hard and combined well with Dirk Kuyt. He is still seeking that elusive goal after a couple of late chances he might have put away, but he will feel it was a good 90-minute workout and a step in the right direction.’

There was an early reminder of the quicksilver finishing skills that have brought Ricky van Wolfswinkel six goals in this competition already this season, as he steered an instinctive shot narrowly wide in only the fifth minute.

Joe-where to go: Cole struggled, along with the rest of Liverpool's midfield, to create many chances

That apart, it was Liverpool calling the shots, as they set about establishing control in midfield and began to fashion shooting opportunities near the edge of the area. If only they had finished with the same sure touch that marked some of their passing moves.

Raul Meireles undid all his impressive approach work with a weak shot straight at keeper Michel Vorm in the 10th minute and Joe Cole miscued in similarly frustrating fashion after working an opening five minutes later.

Rallying call: Pepe Reina was at his resolute best between the posts

As Liverpool have found to their cost on previous European excursions, it only takes one near miss to ignite the home crowd and add extra momentum to their team’s endeavours.

Utrecht had two, after being reprieved by Meireles’ failure to despatch an unmarked header in the 23rd minute, as Liverpool inexplicably surrendered the initiative and found themselves suddenly on the back foot.

The first, in the 25th minute, looked, for one heart-stopping moment, like being more than just a close shave, as Jan Wuytens lashed a loose ball into the roof of the net, only for Jacob Mulenga to be penalised for a push on Martin Kelly for the header that set up the opening.

Little had been seen of Kuyt on his return to his first club, but he was the centre of attention in the 39th minute, following an inexcusable lapse of concentration inside his own area.

Mulenga again demonstrated his aerial prowess by heading a Mertens corner back across goal, but it should have been a routine clearance for Kuyt.

Instead, the Liverpool midfielder dithered and allowed Mertens to nip in and drill a low near-post shot that Pepe Reina turned away with his legs.

The first of Torres’ chances came in the 53rd minute, after a half-clearance from Glen Johnson’s cross fell invitingly for him but was volleyed yards over.

Reina was found wanting three minutes later, after reaching for a Mertens corner and flailing at thin air. Michael Silberbauer’s free header at the far post was looping towards goal, until Meireles saved his keeper by heading clear from under the bar.

Liverpool might have preferred a more measured pattern to the game, but chances were at least coming their way, as well as Utrecht’s, as the pace hotted up.

The most glaring fell to Torres in the 57th minute, after a cutback from Kuyt left him with just Vorm to beat on the edge of the six-yard area. It should have been the simplest of tasks, but he was left holding his head, initially, after being denied by Vorm, then howling his protests to Gomes after the official failed to spot the save and gave a goal-kick instead.

The final straw arrived in the 66th minute, after Torres latched on to a back pass from Mircea Nesu and nicked the ball past Vorm.

He chose to hurdle the keeper’s challenge, rather than go to ground in search of a penalty, as the ball ran away from him and out of play.

Credit to him for adopting such a sporting approach, but there must have been a sigh of relief from Nesu, not to mention Vorm, at seeing his ill-timed dive at the striker’s feet go unpunished.

Liverpool finished the night top of the group, but it was hardly a cause for celebration.

source :dailymail

No denying it now! Joe Jonas and Ashley Greene finally go public with their romance


Out in public: Joe Jonas and Ashley Greene went public with their romance as they strolled around Beverly Hills arm in arm yesterday

Joe Jonas and Ashley Greene are finally going public with their love.

The couple, who have been quietly dating for several months have always maintained that they are 'just friends'.

But yesterday they were spotted out and about in Beverly Hills walking with their arms wrapped around each other, and later holding hands.

And it seems that Joe knows exactly how to treat a girl to a perfect day out.
The two first went for some lunch before hitting the shops for a few hours of retail therapy.

Ever the gentleman, the 21-year-old singer was later seen carrying their many purchases to his waiting Porsche.

The couple then headed off to celebrate Joe's little brother Frankie's 10th birthday.
Rumours started about the couple dating after they were spotted together enjoying a romantic dinner at The Ivy in London back in July.

Give us a smile! Despite the perfect daytime combination of lunch and then shopping Greene looked decidedly glum

Ashley, 23, was in town to attend the premiere of Twilight, in which she starred as Alice Cullen, and Joe was there to support his brother Nick in his stage debut, appearing in Les Miserables.

Jonas had been dating teen sensation Demi Lovato whom he split from in May.
Hopefully they split on good terms though, as Lovato is currently touring with the Jonas Brothers.

Meanwhile, it seems things are starting to get serious between the Ashley and Joe.
E! News reports that Greene recently took Jonas home to meet her parents in Jacksonville, Florida.

Shop till you drop: The couple certainly know how to give their plastic a good workout as they were laden down with bags

And then there's the matter of the purity ring that Joe and his two brothers, Nick and Kevin vowed to wear as a symbol of chastity until they married.

U.S. magazine Life & Style reports that Joe has ditched his ring since hooking up with Greene.

They go on to quote a friend of the couple, who claims: 'When they're not travelling they are basically living together.'

Designer duds: Jonas was spotted carrying bags from Dolce & Gabbana and Mulberry

Sweet ride: Jonas and Greene headed off in his Porsche to celebrate the 10th birthday of Jonas' little brother Frankie

source :dailymail