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Atletico sets up all-Madrid cup final
Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao was delighted with his side's effort as it set up a Spanish Cup final with Real Madrid after a 2-2 draw away at Sevilla saw it progress 4-3 on aggregate.
"To be in the final is very important for Atletico. We are happy and proud," he said.
"I am very happy for the work and effort shown by the whole team."
Goals from Diego Costa and Falcao (pictured) in the opening half-hour all but killed the tie off as a contest and the Colombian said they knew the host, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, would leave space into which it could counterattack.
"We knew how to handle the game very well," he said. "We knew they would come out to try and look for the goal and that would generate spaces and chances for us which we knew we could take advantage of."
Towards the end of the game, Sevilla's Geoffrey Kondogbia joined teammate Gary Medel in being sent off as he stamped on Costa.
It was an unseemly way for Sevilla to end the game in which it had offered plenty despite going behind to Costa's well-placed effort after just six minutes.
Arsenal reveals plans for Bergkamp statue
Arsenal revealed on Wednesday it plans to honor former striker Dennis Bergkamp by erecting a statue of the Dutchman outside the Emirates Stadium.
Bergkamp follows in the footsteps of former teammates Thierry Henry and Tony Adams and legendary Arsenal manager Herbert Chapman, who have already been commemorated in bronze statues outside the club's north London home.
Arsenal was forced to confirm plans for the tribute after an image of a cast for the statue appeared online.
"First of all, I am honored that this is going to happen," Bergkamp said. "It makes me very proud. Everyone knows that I love Arsenal and that I had a fantastic time at the club.
"For me and my family it was an important period in our lives. Next to that, the people were great, the team was amazing and we had a lot of success over the years.
"I will do everything I can to be there when it will be unveiled. It will definitely be a special moment for me, which I don't want to miss."
Bergkamp scored 120 goals for Arsenal and won three league titles and four FA Cups during his 11-year tenure at the club.
In Nyon, Switzerland
Drogba gets Euro clearance, Lazio fined
Didier Drogba (pictured) will be allowed to play in Galatasaray's Champions League clash against Schalke after the German club had its objections over his eligibility thrown out by UEFA on Wednesday.
Schalke, which came away from Istanbul with a 1-1 draw in the first leg of its last-16 clash, believed the transfer of the former Chelsea striker from Shanghai Shenhua to the Turkish side was completed after the registration deadline.
But the European governing body said the deal was completed according to the rules.
"Having examined all the documents of the case, the Control and Disciplinary Body decided to reject the protest lodged by Schalke," said a UEFA statement.
The second leg of the tie takes place in Germany on March 12.
Lazio was fined 40,000 euros ($52,000) and ordered to play its next two home games in Europe behind closed doors after its fans were accused of throwing fireworks and displaying racist behavior in their Europa League against Borussia Moenchengladbach on Feb 21.
The Italians will play Stuttgart on March 14 behind closed doors as well as their next home tie.
Peruvian club eyes Viagra for on-field boost
Leading Peruvian soccer club Alianza Lima is considering the possibility of giving its players Viagra during matches played at altitude in the local championships.
In a country where some Peruvian league matches take place in towns between 2,700 and 3,300 meters, Alianza players could be looking at reaping the benefits from the erectile dysfunction drug.
"When we were in Spain during preseason, we talked with the club doctor and he explained to us that Viagra could help improve the physical conditioning of players at altitude," coach Wilmar Valencia said.
If results showed that the male potency pill enhanced on-field performances, "the club would use it", Valencia vowed.
Alianza club doctor Dr Blacido said Viagra helps the heart pump more blood, thus allowing better oxygenization, without it falling foul of anti-doping measures.
According to Dr Blacido, clubs like Brazil's Gremio already use Viagra for matches played at altitude.
AFP - Reuters
(China Daily 03/01/2013 page22)