Castro pens new Glory deal

Captain Diego Castro has signed a new two-year deal with newly-crowned minor premiers Perth Glory.

The Spaniard, whose current two-season contract was due to expire next month, has opted to extend his spell in the West until the end of 2020/21.

His decision to stay has been greeted by Perth's football director Jacob Burns, who said the former Johnny Warren Medal winner was one of the greatest players ever to represent the Glory.

"His legacy is already assured but we all hope that he can further embellish that legacy by helping the club complete the championship-premiership double this season and secure more silverware in the seasons to come," said Burns.

"This signing is another clear indication of the club's ambition to achieve sustained success and a testament to the owner's continued support in pursuit of that goal."

Castro has scored 34 goals in his 84 appearances for the club since arriving in 2015.

"I have had a fantastic emotional relationship with the members and fans since the first day I arrived here and I want to keep that love story with the fans going," said the 36-year-old former Sporting Gijon and Getafe player.

"Now I want to help the club add another trophy to the Premiers' Plate. With Tony Popovic here, the future of the club is in the best hands possible and I'm so grateful for all the help that he has provided me with this year."

Perth have clinched their first A-League Premiers' Plate this season under Popovic after missing out on the Finals Series last term when Kenny Lowe was coach.

Perth are 13/10 to win the Grand Final and 4/7 to win their next game against Wellington Phoenix, who are 9/2 with the draw 16/5.

Hasenhuttl demands perfection

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has called for a more aggressive attitude from his players when they take on Watford on Tuesday.

Saints are still not safe from relegation after losing 3-1 at Newcastle United on Saturday although they are five points clear of the bottom three before the trip to Vicarage Road.

Hasenhuttl knows it will not be easy to beat a Hornets side that have an FA Cup final against Manchester City to look forward to next month.

"The message must be that a little bit of playing football is not enough for us, so we have to be aggressive again," said the Austrian.

"We have to work harder than we did on Saturday in the first half because otherwise against Watford, a very strong team, it is again a big problem to take something. I think we have the quality to win there or to take a point, but we need a really, really clinical and perfect performance.

"As always, we know that we are flexible and can change the shape sometimes. We showed that again, that we can immediately change the shape and get more comfortable. But preparing for this game, we will have a look at what this opponent demands from us, and then we will decide."

Southampton are 12/5 to win Tuesday's match and 12/1 to beat the Hornets 2-1.

Liverpool hold nerve at Cardiff

A goalless first 45 minutes could have increased the nerves for Liverpool but two goals duly came in the second half as they beat Cardiff 2-0 to return to the top of the Premier League.

After Manchester City went top after beating Tottenham on Saturday, Jurgen Klopp's side needed victory in Wales to go back above them and missed a number of first half chances.

However, they held their nerve to dominate the second period and win the game to go back top.

Liverpool should have taken the lead midway through the first half, Mo Salah and Sadio Mane combining to set up Roberto Firmino who was clear on goal but fired over when he should have hit the target.

On half an hour Trent Alexander-Arnold produced an excellent cross which Mane was able to reach but he couldn't direct his shot which went over the bar.

Soon after, when Liverpool did get a shot in, from Salah, Cardiff keeper Neil Etheridge was on hand to make a good save.

Most of the pressure was one-way but Cardiff did have an opportunity before the break, Oumar Niasse getting a shot in from a corner but Alisson saved well in the Liverpool goal.

Half-time came with the score goalless but Liverpool were soon on the attack after the restart, Georginio Wijnaldum finding Mane whose shot clipped the top of the net before going over.

Wijnaldum was again involved minutes later, giving the visitors the lead, Alexander-Arnold sending over a corner and the Dutchman found space in the area to fire home from close range to the joy and relief of the away fans at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Neil Warnock's side should have quickly equalised when Sean Morrison was gifted the ball from a corner after Alisson fumbled the ball but the defender, presented with a free header, failed to connect properly and the danger was alleviated.
 
Morrison was to pay for his miss soon after when he was adjudged to have fouled Salah in the box and Liverpool were awarded a penalty with James Milner making no mistake to double the visitors lead and they held on comfortably for another win that takes them onto 88 points.

Liverpool are two points clear at the top but Manchester City still have a game in hand and that takes place on Wednesday night at Old Trafford.

Manchester United, who lost to Everton on Sunday, are 5/1 to bounce back and puncture City's title bid while Pep Guardiola's side are 4/9 to win with the draw priced at 15/4.

City are 8/13 to retain the Premier League title with Liverpool available to be backed at 13/10.

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Arsenal pay for defensive errors

Arsenal missed the chance to leapfrog Tottenham and go third in the Premier League after suffering defeat at home to Crystal Palace.

Roy Hodgson's side won 3-2 at the Emirates with all three of their goals contributed to by poor Arsenal defending.

Christian Benteke's last goal came almost exactly a year ago but he fired the Eagles in front, poor Arsenal marking allowing him a header which beat Bernd Leno.

Arsenal saw appeals for a penalty waved away towards the end of the first half when a cross appeared to be blocked by the hand of Aaron Wan-Bissaka but the referee wasn't convinced.

Unai Emery rang the changes at half-time, bringing on Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi and it paid dividends almost immediately, Iwobi getting involved, finding space and passing to Alexandre Lacazette who fed Mesut Ozil, the German beating Vicente Guaita at the near post.

That looked to be the goal to launch another three points for the home side but to the disbelief of the fans inside the Emirates it was Palace who struck back for a second just after the hour mark.

Again poor Arsenal defending was a contributory factor, Palace getting a free kick which was nodded on by Benteke, it should have been dealt with by Shkodran Mustafi but he left it for his keeper and in the confusion Wilfried Zaha nipped in to get the ball past Leno and into the net.

Palace increased their lead on 69 minutes and it was another set-piece which caused problems in the Gunners box, Luka Milivojevic sending in a free-kick which was nodded on by Scott Dann and James McArthur headed in from close range.

The Gunners did reduce the deficit, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang going past two defenders, Joel Ward tried to clear but the ball fell back to the striker and he found the corner of the net.

However, Arsenal couldn't find an equaliser and therefore miss the chance to put distance between themselves and rivals in the race for a top four finish.

The Gunners stay fourth but they are ahead of Chelsea only on goal difference with Manchester United two points behind in sixth.

Emery's side are back in action on Wednesday night when they travel to Wolves and are 6/4 for the win with the home side 7/4 and the draw 23/10.

Arsenal are 10/11 to secure a place in the top four with Manchester United 5/1.

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Solskjaer: United way off

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that his side are now outsiders for a top four finish and are "way off" where he wants the team to be.

Solskjaer was speaking after watching his side lose 4-0 away at Everton, United as poor as the Toffees were excellent.

Everton opened the scoring on 13 minutes, Richarlison, who had earlier forced David de Gea into a good save, made no mistake with an overhead kick after a flick-on from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

It was a deserved lead for the Toffees and it was doubled just before the half-hour mark, with an excellent strike from Gylfi Sigurdsson from about 25 yards out.

Solskjaer made two changes at half-time to try and improve, Ashley Young and Scott McTominay replacing Phil Jones and Fred but the home side made the game safe 10 minutes into the second period, Lucas Digne scoring with a half-volley into the bottom corner.

Everton made it four midway through the half, substitute Theo Walcott getting into the action, getting a ball from Sigurdsson and slotting past De Gea.

United, in response, forced a little pressure on Jordan Pickford's goal, but they failed to get even a consolation with Solskjaer's honeymoon period well and truly over.

It was their fifth successive away defeat in all competitions which includes their loss to Barcelona in midweek. a result that saw them knocked out of the Champions League and they are in fight to qualify for the tournament next season.

Their defeat at Goodison Park keeps them sixth in the Premier League with four games remaining in the race to finish in the top four.

Solskjaer offered no excuses after another damaging defeat, telling Sky Sports: "We're way off where we want to be. When you lose in the league like we did here, everyone sees that we have a big job to do.

"This club has been down before, we've just got to pick ourselves up. It might not happen overnight, but it's going to happen."

Everton are up to seventh in the table and that would be good enough for Europa League football next season if Manchester City beat Watford in next month's FA Cup final.

United attempt to bounce back with a Manchester derby on Wednesday night, seeking to hurt City's title hopes in the process. United are 5/1 to win at Old Trafford with City 4/9 and the draw 15/4.

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Jets hand Brisbane heaviest home loss

Newcastle Jets ran riot against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, handing the home side a 6-1 hammering.

Roy O'Donovan and Joey Champness both scored twice in the penultimate round clash between two sides who have failed to make the A-League Finals Series.

It was Brisbane's record home defeat and confirmed that the Roar will finish next to bottom in the table.

The Jets, who made it five consecutive wins over Brisbane, took control with two goals in a four-minute period midway through the first half.

Winger Champness sliced open the right side of the Roar's defence before cutting inside firing a shot that was deflected into the corner of the net.

The youngster then went around the outside of Daniel Leck to tee up O'Donovan's instinctive finish.

Jamie Young made a good save from Angus Thurgate to keep Newcastle from adding to their tally before the interval.

Darren Davies' team pulled a goal back four minutes into the second half when 18-year-old Jack Duncan followed up to net after keeper Lewis Italiano had failed to hold a fierce Dylan Wenzel-Halls strike.

Six minutes later O'Donovan had his second of the night when he headed home Ivan Vujica's cross, and the visitors scored twice more in a three-minute spell.

Kaine Sheppard's left-footed strike deflected in off the head of Dimitri Petratos to make it 4-1 and Champness tapped in to complete his double.

Substitute Kwabena Appiah-Kubi rounded off the scoring in added time, tucking away a one-on-one.

It was a particularly disappointing night for the Roar given that they hoped to send captain Matt McKay off into retirement on a positive note.

McKay will make his final appearance in the final round clash at home to Adelaide United.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 13/10 to win the Grand Final. Sydney FC are priced at 2/1 with Melbourne Victory 5/1.

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Simon double earns Mariners third win

Central Coast are already certain of finishing bottom of the A-League, but they gave their fans something to cheer when they beat Western Sydney 3-1.

The Mariners won for just the third time this season in their final home game of the campaign.

Skipper Matt Simon scored twice, including one from the penalty spot, as the Gosford club ended Wanderers' five-game winning streak at Central Coast Stadium.

Western Sydney, coming off a 1-1 derby draw with Sydney, fell behind 11 minutes before the break when they conceded a free-kick just outside the box.

Simon took a long run up to the ball and smashed it through the wall beyond teenage keeper Jack Greenwood.

The Mariners doubled their lead seven minutes into the second half when Greenwood struck Jordan Murray in the face when trying to punch clear a high ball.

Murray did his best to keep out Simon's powerful penalty, but despite getting a hand to the shot he couldn't keep it out.

The keeper made a full stretch save to deny Aiden O'Neill four minutes later, but defender Kye Rowles scored his first A-League goal with a header off the ensuing corner kick from Jack Clisby.

Mark Bridge came off the bench for his 250th A-League appearance and within seconds got onto the scoresheet when he smashed home a penalty after Jacob Melling pushed Rashid Mahazi over inside the box.

Wanderers had an extra man for the final four minutes, after Rowles was shown a straight red card for a dangerous, lunging challenge on Alexander Baumjohann.

The visitors had two late chances to reduce the deficit but Mariners keeper Adam Pearce made a diving save to deny Bruce Kamau and Abraham Majok blasted over the crossbar five minutes into added time.

Meanwhile, minor premiers Perth Glory are 13/10 to win the Grand Final while Sydney FC are 2/1 and Melbourne Victory 5/1.

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Farke is lost for words

Daniel Farke hailed his Norwich City side's superb attitude as they remained on track for promotion by drawing 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday on Friday.

The Canaries took the lead at Hillsborough thanks to Marco Stiepermann's goal in the 20th minute but Fernando Forestieri drew the Owls level and Farke's side appeared to be heading to defeat when Steven Fletcher made it 2-1 to the home team.

However, Mario Vrancic snatched a dramatic equaliser when he scored with a free-kick seven minutes into stoppage time.

Farke said afterwards: "I have no words for these lads because their spirit and their will to fight against all the odds is outstanding. There were so many things against us so I just can't praise the lads enough.

"With this attitude, this mentality, spirit and togetherness you can reach some extraordinary things. We get the feeling at the moment that someone doesn't want us to be in this position, but we go further on and we fight against all setbacks and all decisions. It was a brilliant point under these circumstances.

"We never know when we have lost a game. It felt like all the crucial decisions went against us and, when you have to handle this situation, it's really difficult not to be killed in the head, but again these lads are outstanding and it's great to be allowed to work with them."

Norwich are 19/20 to win their next game against Stoke City on Monday.

Bowyer: It’s tough to take

Bradford City manager Gary Bowyer admitted that the club's relegation to League Two, which was confirmed on Friday, has been tough to take.

The Bantams lost 2-0 to play-off chasing Coventry City and will be playing in the fourth tier of English football next season.

It has been a terrible campaign for Bradford City who appointed Michael Collins as their manager last summer after parting company with Simon Grayson.

Collins was sacked in September and succeeded by David Hopkin, who resigned five months later. Former Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool boss Bowyer was appointed manager at Valley Parade in March but he was unable to halt the club's slide to relegation.

Bowyer said: "It is obviously very tough to take for everyone connected to the club. We started the game well and had good chances early on but Coventry scored from their first real attack.

"It was poor defending from us and we weren't clinical enough in front of goal. Those instances pretty much sum up our season. We haven't been good enough in either penalty box and we are where we are.

"It is not nice for the supporters, who are so proud of their club, but we have to conduct ourselves in a professional manner until the end of the season. After that we have a big task on our hands, which is already being prepared for."

Bradford City can be backed at 8/5 to win their next game against Gillingham on Monday.

Blackwood header sees off Victory

George Blackwood's header 10 minutes from time gave Adelaide United a potentially crucial 1-0 home win over Melbourne Victory.

The Reds made it three wins in their last four games to put themselves in pole position to secure fourth spot in the A-League and a home final.

Defending champions Victory will now have to settle for a third-place finish behind Perth Glory and Sydney FC.

It was a game lacking in fluency, with few clear-cut chances in the first half.

Blackwood headed wide twice, before Terry Antonis and Ola Toivonen went close in the final five minutes of the half.

Swedish striker Toivonen was off target twice just after the break, first with a header then with a shot.

Victory keeper Matt Acton, who retained his place in the side despite Lawrence Thomas returning to fitness, had little to do.

The visitors had the ball in the back of the net when central defender James Donachie headed home Keisuke Honda's corner with 12 minutes to go, but the effort was ruled out for an infringement.

Honda avoided being sent off for a second bookable offence when his studs made contact with Ryan Kitto's knee.

Adelaide won it when Blackwood squeezed past two defenders to power a header past Acton from Isaias' cross.

United coach Marco Kurz said: "It was an important result and a fantastic game from our side. Defensively very, very good; very strong and the boys believed until the end of the game.

"It was a very intensive game from both sides. Tactically both teams were very strong and very good against the ball and in the end we were the lucky winner."

Melbourne Victory are 5/1 to win the Grand Final while Kosta Barbarouses is 6/1 to be the A-League's top goalscorer.