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Lewis Hamilton is fastest in both practice sessions at Sepang

Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian GP

23 March 2012Last updated at 08:03 GMT

 courtesy of BBC

Lewis Hamilton is fastest in both practice sessions at Sepang

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was in impressive form in Friday practice at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

The 2008 world champion was fastest in both sessions, heading Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull in the first and Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher in the second.

Hamilton’s team-mate Jenson Button was third fastest in the second session.

The two McLaren drivers had locked out the front row of the grid in Melbourne after Hamilton took pole ahead of Button.

Red Bull appeared to be struggling to keep up, just as they were in Australia.

Vettel complained over the team radio that his car was “undriveable” in the afternoon, when he was 10th fastest and team-mate Mark Webber seventh.

Hamilton’s time in the morning session – when he was 0.514secs quicker than second-placed Vettel – was the fastest of the day.

Hamilton was 0.361 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher in the second session.

The track was slower in the second 90-minute session, but Hamilton eventually got down to within 0.051secs of his morning time – despite complaining that he had been held up by slower cars on his fastest lap.

“It does look like the McLaren and Mercedes will be in the mix at the front of the grid”

Gary AndersonBBC F1’s technical analyst

Mercedes again looked impressive – Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were third and fourth fastest in the morning session, and second and fourth in the afternoon.

 

Ferrari looked uncompetitive in the morning session, with Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso 13th and 15th fastest.

But Alonso improved his pace in the second session, when he was running a new front wing design, to take sixth place behind the Toro Rosso of Australian Daniel Ricciardo.

BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson said: “It does look like the McLaren and Mercedes will be in the mix at the front of the grid.

“The McLaren tyres look pretty good – the Mercedes tyres are a bit more suspect.

“Ferrari had bad pick-up problems on the tyres in the morning, but watching Alonso come back in after his long run in the afternoon, they were the best I’ve seen. Maybe we are seeing a bit of a revival from Ferrari.

“Mark Webber came in after a fairly long run and the inside shoulder of the rear tyres looked fairly tatty.

“Red Bull have changed the front and rear torsion bars and the rear ride-height on his car. That’s more than I’ve seen Red Bull change their car mechanically than over the last two years.”

Liverpool Lose Again

QPR – 3
LIVERPOOL – 2
 
 
Jamie Mackie

21 March 2012Last updated at 22:49 GMT

courtesy of BBC

By Mandeep SangheraBBC Sport

Jamie Mackie got the winner as QPR came from two goals down with 13 minutes left to beat Liverpool and move out of the relegation zone.

Sebastian Coates scored a spectacular volley and Dirk Kuyt prodded in a second to put the Reds ahead.

Shaun Derry gave QPR hope with a header before Reds old boy Djibril Cisse also nodded in to haul the home side level.

A Jose Enrique error left Mackie clear to slide in an injury-time shot under keeper Pepe Reina for the QPR winner.

QPR’s REMAINING FIXTURES

  • Sunderland (a)
  • Arsenal (h)
  • Man Utd (a)
  • Swansea (h)
  • West Brom (a)
  • Tottenham (h)
  • Chelsea (a)
  • Stoke (h)
  • Man City (a)

The victory was as vital for the home side as it was unlikely and helped move them two points clear of the drop zone, although third-from-bottom Bolton have a game in hand.

The loss left Liverpool’s already faint hopes of a top-four finish in tatters, with the Reds a massive 12 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham after a fourth league defeat in five games.

The latest setback for the Reds was much of their own making in a turnaround which was as spectacular as the opener from centre-back Coates.

QPR seemed to be feeling the pressure of their precarious position early on, particularly after relegation rivals Blackburn had won on Tuesday.

 

QPR gave Liverpool too much respect – Hughes

The home side constantly gave the ball away and Liverpool had plenty of chances to take advantage as they swarmed all over their hosts.

Suarez left Nedum Onuoha trailing to burst clear on goal only to have his shot fended away by keeper Paddy Kenny before Derry blocked a Stewart Downing strike when the Reds winger seemed set to have a free shot on goal.

Kuyt had a great chance when he latched on to a Steven Gerrard corner to the far post but he was denied by another save from the overworked Kenny.

Liverpool’s profligacy has been a hallmark of their season and, while it appeared to drain their belief, QPR took plenty of encouragement from weathering the early storm.

The home side eventually managed to get a view of the visitors’ goal and Reds keeper Reina was a relieved figure when former Liverpool striker Cisse’s 22-yard shot went just wide.

 

No explanation for defeat – Dalglish

QPR began to look comfortable but it proved a false sense of security. A Stewart Downing shot was cleared off the line by Bobby Zamora and, as the ball fell in the QPR box, Coates produced an acrobatic scissor kick to finally reward Liverpool’s domination.

A Luis Suarez shot hit the post and Kenny saved from Downing before Kuyt stole in to pounce on the rebound and extend Liverpool’s lead on his 200th Premier League outing.

There was little sign of things to come until Derry pulled one back with a 77th minute header from a corner to galvanise the home side.

Cisse nodded in another after 86 minutes and, when Reds left-back Enrique missed a clearance in added time, Mackie took full advantage to seal QPR’s remarkable comeback.

LINEUP, BOOKINGS (0) & SUBSTITUTIONS (6)

Queens Park Rangers

  • 01 Kenny
  • 13 Traore (Taiwo – 46′ )
  • 18 Young
  • 35 Ferdinand
  • 42 Onuoha
  • 02 Diakite
  • 04 Derry
  • 07 Taarabt
  • 17 Barton (Mackie – 62′ )
  • 23 Cisse (Buzsaky – 88′ )
  • 52 Zamora

Substitutes

  • 24 Cerny
  • 06 Gabbidon
  • 34 Taiwo
  • 14 Buzsaky
  • 32 Wright-Phillips
  • 10 Bothroyd
  • 12 Mackie

Liverpool

  • 25 Reina
  • 03 Jose Enrique
  • 23 Carragher
  • 34 Kelly (Coates – 34′ )
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 19 Downing
  • 20 Spearing
  • 26 Adam (Henderson – 46′ )
  • 07 Suarez (Carroll – 82′ )
  • 18 Kuyt

Substitutes

  • 32 Doni
  • 06 Aurelio
  • 16 Coates
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 14 Henderson
  • 33 Shelvey
  • 09 Carroll
Ref: H Webb
Att: 18,033

Man City V Chelsea

 

Team news from Man City v Chelsea, Spurs v Stoke, QPR v Liverpool, and Everton v Arsenal

Updated: Wednesday, 21 Mar 2012 07:13

courtesy of RTE

After a six-month absence - Tevez is set to return from the cold
After a six-month absence – Tevez is set to return from the cold

 

Manchester City v Chelsea, 7.45

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez could be named on the bench for the crucial clash against Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium.

The Argentinian has not played since September due to his infamous dispute with the club but has now been back in training for five weeks.

City have central defensive problems with Joleon Lescott (groin) out and Vincent Kompany (calf) very doubtful but right-back Pablo Zabaleta (hamstring) and midfielder Gareth Barry (back) are fit.

John Terry will miss the game at Eastlands.

Blues captain Terry has been feeling the strain of playing twice in four days following his remarkable recovery from knee surgery.

Caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo is confident the defender will be fit for Saturday’s game with Tottenham.

Manchester City squad: Kenny, Cerny, Murphy, Young, Gabbidon, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Traore, Hall, Hill, Derry, Diakite, Barton, Buzsaky, Taarabt, Smith, Mackie, Wright-Phillips, Hulse, Bothroyd, Zamora, Cisse.

Chelsea squad: Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Essien, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull

Tottenham v Stoke City, 7.45

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has stressed anyone “not in the right frame of mind to play” following Fabrice Muamba’s cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane on Saturday will be allowed to sit out the visit of Stoke City.

Striker Emmanuel Adebayor is again a doubt (hamstring) and defender Ledley King (knee) will be assessed.

Winger Aaron Lennon remains sidelined with a hamstring problem while William Gallas is fit again following a calf injury.

Defender Michael Dawson (ankle), goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (knee), and midfielder Tom Huddlestone (ankle) are out.

Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic is set to return to the Stoke team. Begovic has regained his spot as first-choice keeper for league fixtures and should come back in to replace Thomas Sorensen, who played in the 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

Striker Ricardo Fuller misses out again through suspension following his sending off against Chelsea.

Tottenham squad: Friedel, King, Assou-Ekotto, Kaboul, Walker, Parker, Livermore, Bale, Modric, Sandro, van der Vaart, Adebayor, Saha, Defoe, Gallas, Cudicini, Nelsen, Rose, Kranjcar.

Stoke squad: Begovic, Sorensen, Huth, Upson, Shotton, Shawcross, Wilkinson, Wilson, Woodgate, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington, Diao, Pennant, Delap, Palacios, Jones, Jerome, Crouch, Walters.

Everton v Arsenal, 8.00

Everton are likely to be without Darron Gibson, Jack Rodwell and Seamus Coleman for the visit of Arsenal to Goodison Park.

Gibson is still struggling with a knee problem, while fellow midfielder Rodwell has suffered a slight recurrence of a hamstring injury and winger Coleman picked up a knock in the FA Cup draw with Sunderland on Saturday.

But playmaker Steven Pienaar is back available to Toffees boss David Moyes after being cup-tied for the Black Cats clash.

Everton squad: Howard, Mucha, Neville, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Heitinga, Duffy, Baines, Cahill, Drenthe, Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Barkley, Gueye, Jelavic, Stracqualursi, Anichebe, Vellios.

QPR v Liverpool, 8.00

Adel Taarabt is back in contention for QPR’s home tie against Liverpool.

Playmaker Taarabt missed Rangers’ controversial defeat at Bolton 10 days ago with a hamstring strain but has had plenty of time to recover.

Injury-plagued striker DJ Campbell is back in training and could return early next month, as could top scorer Heidar Helguson (groin).

Liverpool’s Glen Johnson and forward Craig Bellamy are both likely to miss the trip to London.

The former has not played since the Carling Cup final victory over Cardiff last month while Bellamy has sat out the last two matches.
Centre-back Daniel Agger is still recovering from a broken rib.

QPR squad: Kenny, Cerny, Murphy, Young, Gabbidon, Onuoha, Ferdinand, Taiwo, Traore, Hall, Hill, Derry, Diakite, Barton, Buzsaky, Taarabt, Smith, Mackie, Wright-Phillips, Hulse, Bothroyd, Zamora, Cisse.

Liverpool squad: Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Enrique, Spearing, Gerrard, Henderson, Downing, Carroll, Suarez, Doni, Flanagan, Coates, Adam, Shelvey, Rodriguez, Kuyt.

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