Football: Merson admits to drink relapse

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The Independent Online
Paul Merson, a confessed alcoholic, has admitted to having had a relapse in his battle against drink. "I have relapsed big time and I am struggling," the Aston Villa player told the News of the World.

"I can see it all slipping away." Merson confessed to drinking one and a half bottles of vodka during an eight-hour session in London. "After four and a half years without a drink I decided I needed one," he said. "I had been arguing with my wife Lorraine and felt lonely, so I went out and got sloshed." Merson said his wife had asked for a separation three weeks before the incident. Meanwhile, France's Thierry Henry scored twice as Italian league leaders Lazio lost 3-1 to champions Juventus. After losing their 17-match unbeaten run to Roma last Sunday, Lazio are still four points clear at the top of Serie A, but second-placed Milan have a game in hand. Juventus, who rested Zinedine Zidane and Paolo Montero ahead of Wednesday's European Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester United, did not have a shot on target until the 34th minute, when the Lazio goalkeeper, Luca Marchegiani, thought Henry's speculative long-range shot was going wide and watched in horror as the ball rolled into the back of his net.