La Liga

Sociedad frustrated by Osasuna

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Fri, 23 Nov 2012 23:07:00

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew heads back to Southampton on Sunday for the first time since being sacked by the club in August 2010.

Pardew was at St Mary's for just over a year and he admits it was "a relief to be sacked" by the south coast club.

He returns there in the Premier League this weekend and says that his relationship with the then chairman of Southampton, Nicola Cortese, had been a difficult one.

Pardew told the Northern Echo: "If I'm honest, I was quite happy about it.

"I thought I'd done a good job but it was proving to be very very difficult to work with the owner.

"I wouldn't have jumped before I was pushed, but it was a difficult period working with Mr Cortese.

"We just didn't see eye to eye. There was no nastiness in there, he just didn't want me as his manager and I think that was obviously coming through to me.

"I had a great relationship with the fans though and our performances were strong bearing in mind we had minus ten points and didn't really have a starting XI when I arrived."

Neither of the England internationals have agreed extensions to their contracts with the Champions League winners and their futures have been the subject of some debate.

And, according to Benitez, who replaced Roberto Di Matteo at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday but does not expect to have a big influence on comings and goings after the season, stories linking them with a move are not far wide of the mark.

Asked if he thought the pair would be moving on in the summer, he said: "I think so. I don't have all the information and it's not fair to tell me I'm only here for seven months and then expect me to have an influence at the club over the next two or three years, but I think that's the case at the moment."

If Benitez's assumption is a correct one it would mark the end of two distinguished Chelsea careers.

Lampard, 34, joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2001 and has gone on to become the club's third all-time leading goalscorer with 189 goals. He has won three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and a perhaps most famously a Champions League with the Blues. He has linked with a move to the MLS in America.

Cole, 31, is a also a title, FA Cup and Champions League winner, having joined the club from Arsenal in 2006.

Sociedad came into the game targeting a third straight win, but had to settle for just a point, despite edging a disappointing match.

Philippe Montanier's side, 2-1 victors over Malaga a fortnight ago and 4-0 winners against Rayo Vallecano on Monday, could have gone sixth with victory, but they drew a blank against the league's second-bottom side.

As it was they remained ninth, while their opponents moved to within a point of safety.

The hosts, as expected, started the stronger and Antoine Griezmann should have done better than shoot wide from well inside the area.

At the other end Nano met an Emiliano Armenteros delivery, but his header was punched clear by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Sociedad were showing few signs of the form that had lifted them into the top half, although Diego Ifran sent a header over the top.

And the hosts continued to struggle to get into their stride after the break.

Carlos Vela saw a shot from close range tipped over the top by Andres Fernandez 10 minutes into the second half before Ifran fired wide.

The Uruguayan striker was becoming increasingly involved but still could not find his range, heading wide from six yards with his next attempt.

He sent another shot over the top before Osasuna had two late chances to stun the hosts.

Roland Lamah got a shot in well inside the area and Bravo had to be alert to block it.

Bravo then was in the right place to hold a David Timor header as the match ended goalless.

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