BY DAN KARELL
English Premier League sides combined to spend £120 million in the 2013 January transfer window, twice as much as last season, but a far cry from the record set in 2011 of £225 million spent.
Yesterday alone, teams spent £35 million making last minute upgrades to their teams, hoping the players could keep them from relegation, or help them into a lucrative Champions League position. Queens Park Rangers signed defender Christopher Samba, and midfielders Jermaine Jenas and loanee Andros Townsend as day wore into evening, while Arsenal surprised critics snapping up Malaga left back Ignacio Monreal.
Much of Thursday’s news also focused on the signings that didn’t happen, from Norwich’s failed bids for Gary Hooper, to Tottenham’s denials of Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao. And of course, the leading headlines will note West Bromwich Albion forward Peter Odemwingie, who drove all the way to Loftus Road last night, trying to force a move to the club, despite being denied.
Here are some other stories to get your Friday started:
DE LA TORRE CALLS UP FIVE PLAYERS FOR JAMAICA MATCH
Following the 1-1 draw on Wednesday evening against Denmark, Mexico National Team coach Jose Manuel de la Torre called in five four European based players, as well as one goalkeeper, to add to the squad that will face Jamaica next Wednesday in Mexico City.
Javier Hernandez, Andres Guardado, Hector Morena, and Giovani Dos Santos were all called in to the squad, with Mexican based stopped Alfredo Tavalera also being added to the squad.
The announcement came with news that three players had been dropped to make room for the new arrivals. Hiram Mier, Edgar Andrade, and Raul Jimenez have all returned to their club sides and are available for this weekend’s Liga MX matches.
ATLETICO MADRID WINS WILD MATCH AGAINST SEVILLA
It was never going to live up to the “Copa Clasico” on Wednesday evening, but Thursday’s Copa Del Rey semi finals first leg match between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla had plenty of fireworks, and saw Madrid get the win by a score of 2-1.
The match was marked by three handballs, three red cards, and three goals total. After a scoreless first half, the match opened up when Sevilla defender Emir Spahic was given a second yellow card and sent off in the 49th minute for a handball in the penalty box, giving Atletico a chance to take the lead from the spot. Brazilian midfielder Diego Costa made no mistake, sending Sevilla ‘keeper Beto the wrong way, and giving his side the lead.
Sevilla got one back when forward Alvaro Negredo, free on goal, sent a chip over the keeper that struck the back of Atletico defender Diego Godin’s arm, giving Sevilla a penalty and leading to referee Miguel Ayza Gamez to send off Godin with a straight red. Negredo finished home the penalty, tying the match at one in the 56th minute.
With both squads playing with 10 men, Sevilla once again were in trouble as yet another defender, Fernando Navarro, fell in the box and made contact with the ball on his way down, leading to his a yellow card, and another penalty kick for Atletico in the 70th minute. Diego Costa once more finished into the lower right corner, giving his side a 2-1 advantage the wouldn’t relinquish.
Sevilla were dropped to nine men when Navarro was given a straight red card in the 85th minute for a strong tackle, meaning that despite the Andalusian side’s away goal scored, they’ll be without two of their starting defenders for the return match.
OLIMPIA AND DEPORTES TOLIMA WRAP UP PLACES IN SECOND STAGE
The first stage of the 2013 Copa Libertadores has come to an end, as two more teams booked their place in the second, and main stage of the competition.
Olimpia of Paraguay defeated neighboring rival Defensor Sporting of Uruguay 2-0 in Asuncion on Thursday evening, a game that was marked by this goal, from Eduardo Aranda in the 59th minute.
The goal, the second of the game, gave the Paraguayan side plenty of breathing room to finish the match with the win, and move on in the competition. Olimpia will join Group 7 and face Deportivo Lara of Venezuela, Universidad de Chile of Chile, and Newell’s Old Boys of Argentina.
In the other match on Thursday evening, Deportes Tolima of Colombia tied Universidad Cesar Vallejo of Peru 1-1 in Trujillo, giving the former side a place in the second stage on aggregate.
Universidad attacked with gusto throughout, and finally got on the board just before halftime, with a close range finish from Ronald Quinteros, leveling the tie on aggregate. Universidad had plenty of chances in the second half as well, but Tolima goalkeeper Antony Silva made a few world class saves to keep his side alive.
Tolima scored the all important game tying goal in the 85th minute, off a beautiful passing sequence that led to a short range goal from substitute Charles Monsalvo, putting Tolima on top in aggregate, and giving them a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Deportes Tolima now moves on to Group 6 and will face Colombian rival Santa Fe, Cerro Porteño of Paraguay, and Real Garcilaso of Peru.
Fulham midfielder Pajtim Kasami’s deal to Pescara of Serie A was never completed, because his agent lost WiFi connection in his hotel room. (REPORT)
Former El Tri coach Ricardo La Volpe, who two days ago resigned as boss of Atlante due to a heart issue, was just released from the hospital following surgery. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Did you think more Premier League teams would buy in the final day of the transfer window? Was there any moves that surprised you? Do you like de la Torre’s callups to El Tri?
Share your thoughts below.