EARLY goals in each half from Luke Murphy and Max Clayton were enough for Crewe to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and claim Wembley glory for the second successive season.
Steve Davis’ men triumphed by the same scoreline in last term’s npower League Two play-off final against Cheltenham and they overcame a Southend side who battled gamely for revenge having been Crewe’s semi-final victims 11 months ago.
A superb strike from Railwaymen captain Murphy opened the scoring after six minutes and the League One side threatened to run riot in a rampant opening quarter of an hour.
Crewe gained breathing space courtesy of some slack Blues defending and Clayton’s close-range finish in the 49th minute.
Bilel Mohsni claimed he was fouled by Murphy in the build-up to the goal and the enigmatic midfielder almost reduced the arrears shortly afterwards, but the Shrimpers ended up being the bridesmaids in this competition once again, as in the 2004 and 2005 finals.
Messi back in training ahead of PSG clash
BARCELONA forward Lionel Messi had physiotherapy and did some fitness work yesterday as the World Player of the Year tried to shake off a hamstring strain before Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg at home to Paris St Germain.
Messi suffered the injury in last week’s first leg in Paris, which ended 2-2, and he had to be substituted at half-time.
The Argentine missed Saturday’s 5-0 La Liga win against Real Mallorca at the Nou Camp, when his replacement in the roving forward role, Cesc Fabregas, netted a hat-trick.
“Messi did physiotherapy and recuperation followed by some fitness work on the pitch,” Barca said in a statement on their website (www.fcbarcelona.es), without specifying whether he would be available to face PSG.
Forward Pedro and defender Adriano had a more intense workout and are likely to be fit for the Champions League match.