Football: Eleven Asides

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The Independent Online
Sharp shooters: The fastest goal in England yesterday was scored, after 1min and 3sec, by Portsmouth's Jean-Francois Peron in their 4-2 win at Tranmere. In the Premiership, Tony Cottee of Leicester gave Martin O'Neill a quick boost by netting after two minutes. The Foxes drew 2-2 with Liverpool.

Room for one more? 203 delirious fans watched Caersws beat Haverfordwest in the League of Wales yesterday. Disappointed? Not at all. It was an improvement on the 172 people who saw their 3-0 win over Cefn Druids two weeks ago.

They come in twos: Leicester's Frank Sinclair has not started the season well. Own goals in the first two games and dismissal for two yellow cards against Liverpool yesterday.

Hey big scorer: Dumbarton's Chris Templeman scored the quickest hat-trick of the day in their 3-1 away win at East Stirling. Kevin Phillips' was slightly slower but lifted Sunderland to fourth after their 5-0 demolition of Derby.

There's only one Owen: Not quite. While one Michael Owen was helping himself to a brace of goals in Liverpool's match, the one and only Val Owen secured Northwich's 1-1 draw with Dover.

Can anybody help? "We just need goals, goals are a problem for us," said the Bradford City manager, Paul Jewell, after the 1-0 defeat by Villa. "If you can give me Ronaldo for about pounds 100,000 I might be interested." And at pounds 200,000?

Wakey wakey: "Our coach Mick Wadsworth was missing today. If he comes back to work on Monday, great. But if I see him on television with Newcastle, we wish him all the best." Shouldn't someone tell the Crystal Palace manager, Steve Coppell, that Wadsworth has already taken the job?

Welcome back: "It's not all about Champions' League and maybe we forgot how hard it is to come to places like Watford and play for Premier League points." Chelsea's manager, Gianluca Vialli, after their 1-0 defeat at Vicarage Road.

Don't just say it, do it: "I don't want to talk about the referee," said the QPR manager, Gerry Francis, after his side's 1-0 defeat at Fulham. How refreshing. "But I was disappointed by his first-half performance." Oh.

All too much: Midweek exertions seem to disagree with Champions' League teams. By last night, 22 of the 32 sides involved had played their weekend domestic league matches, with only 10 winning but six losing.

Bald facts: A pearl of wisdom from Derby's Jim Smith. "We defended very badly," he said after the 5-0 defeat by Sunderland. Really?

Alex Hayes

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