De Futbol


Flamengo may have saved their silly assed season with a 2-0 win over Internacional at Maracanã. Boo Mengao is in eleventh place with forty points. Nine points are the difference between Rubro-Negro and 17th place Vitoria. There are seven matches left in the season.


O Dia Destaque da vitória do Flamengo sobre o Internacional, ao marcar os dois gols do triunfo por 2 a 0, no Maracanã, na última quarta-feira, pela 30ª rodada do Brasileirão, Gabriel recebeu elogios de Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Para o técnico rubro-negro, o jogador não teme partir para cima do adversário e é importante para impor velocidade nos contra-ataques.


O Gabriel é rápido, insinuante, com drible. O futebol tem que ter drible. Ele está bem, está feliz. É preciso ter um jogador com velocidade e mudança de direção. Não podemos esquecer que é um peladeiro, que começou velho no futebol. Agora que está encorpando, estamos ensinando como bater na bola. Vive um momento bom e vai acontecer coisa boa na carreira”, comentou o treinador.

Não foi apenas Gabriel que foi exaltado por Luxa. O comandante do Flamengo também falou bem do goleiro Paulo Victor. Para o técnico, o camisa 48 também está com a sorte ao seu lado. 


“Ele está vivendo um momento muito bom. Gosto muito dele, desde a vez passada que estive aqui. Quando as coisas estão boas, é assim. A bola bate na bunda dele e sai. Daqui a pouco vira, e bate na bunda dele e entra. Espero que não mude. Temos que dar os parabéns ao preparador de goleiros (Wagner Miranda), que trabalha bastante, e ao César, que é outro excelente goleiro”, finalizou.






De Futebol


My guys from Arsenal were down right pathetic. It was worse than bad. My Gunners fell behind in the 71st minute to Anderlecht 1-0 when Andy Najar tickled the twines to but us behind the eight ball. It sure looked like were about to get the shock of our lives. Not so fast bucko Wenger made three key changes in the final twenty five minutes of the match. In the 75th minute Wenger made a double switch Alex Oxlade Chamberlain for Mathieu Flamini and Joe Campbell for Danny Welbeck, Lucas Podolski for Jack Wilshere in the 84th minute.

These switches result in our two goals. Kieran Gibbs 89th minute and the match winner Podolski 90th minute plus one lifted the guys to the 2-1 win over Anderlecht to give us a key road win in Group D.


My Gunners are second place with six points. We should advance outta Group D to the next stage. Borussia Dortmund took apart Galatasaray 4-0 to remain atop the leader board with nine points.

We were downright piss poor in this match. My Gunners were fortunate to pull a win outta their collective asses.

Jeremy Wilson The Telegraph – “The party took fully 88 minutes to get started but it can be safely assumed that Arsène Wenger has never experienced a birthday surprise quite like this.


Forget ‘Happy Birthday’, a rendition of ‘Boring Boring Arsenal’ would have been more appropriate for most of what had been a terrible performance from Wenger’s team but two goals in three minutes secured the most improbable of wins. It is also likely to have again assured their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, with Arsenal still behind Borussia Dortmund but fully five points clear of both Anderlecht and Galatasaray. Anderlecht had missed several clear chances to put the game beyond Arsenal but goals in the 89th and then 91st minutes from Kieran Gibbs and then Lukas Podolski represented the best possible 65th birthday present for the manager.


Besnik Hasi, the Anderlecht coach, had noted Arsenal’s current lack of confidence before the game and his team were clearly organised to exploit what everybody now knows is their usual vulnerability to the counter-attack.

It meant that, although Arsenal did take an immediate hold of possession, Anderlecht were totally content to sit back and rely on their two holding midfielders, Steve Defour and Youri Tielemans, to restrict space. It put the onus on Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to pick holes in the Anderlecht defence but Arsenal’s passing and movement was initially pedestrian.”


David Hytner The Guardian- “Arsene Wenger had wanted something to warm his cockles on the occasion of his 65th birthday and after plenty of suffering, he got it. When Andy Najar exposed Arsenal’s worrying habit of switching off at the back to ignite this occasion, it had looked as if Wenger was set to add another worry line to his brow.


Make no mistake, Arsenal’s Champions League future was in peril. But the response was stunning. Kieran Gibbs does not score many and he may never score a better one than the late first-time volley from Calum Chambers’ cross. The connection was a thing of beauty.

But there was more. To Anderlecht’s fury, the referee ruled that there was no foul from Arsenal in the build-up to the decisive moment and, after a scramble, Alexis Sánchez crossed low and hard from the right.

The ball ricocheted inside the six-yard box before it fell to Lukas Podolski, the substitute, who had only been on the field for a matter of minutes. The German showed no sign of any rust, and he fired what amounted to virtually his first touch past the despairing Silvio Proto.

It was quite the dramatic intervention and it sparked delirious celebrations and, to a large, extent, it allowed the general torpor of what had gone before, particularly in the first-half, to be forgotten. Arsenal have a much-needed tonic.


Wenger’s birthday had provided a nice line for the occasion, with scribes duty-bound to report that he can now pick up his bus pass and the travelling supporters given more reason to chant about how he was having a party. They have a couple of suggestions about what to bring to it.

Arsenal knew that they needed to bring their A-game, which is something that has not happened with any great frequency so far this season. They arrived in Brussels having fired only in fits and starts, and to a backdrop of much soul-searching which, of course, is the standard setting of the football fan.

Anderlecht had been scarred by their previous Group D tie, at home to Borussia Dortmund, when the swell of pre-match optimism had proved misplaced.

The Germans won 3-0 and Anderlecht were left to lament a reality check and, also, the perils of over-confidence.


They were more cautious here, more measured at the outset and they settled into a first-half groove, with their speed in wide areas and up front causing problems. It was not only Ibrahima Conte on the left but the full-back Frank Acheampong – who is a defender in name only – who were asking the questions.”

If guys want to get outta of being stuck in fourth place and settling for losing in the first round of the knockout stage then keep the course. If not then changes need to be made in the attack and back line.

Mediocrity grows on ya until becomes the accepted norm.




De Futebol


Chelsea kept their march to the Champions League crown in tack with a 6-0 thrashing of NK Maribor. The Blues are the main man in Group G with seven points. Second place sits Schalke 04 five points. Didier Drogba scored his first goal for the Blues in this whitewash. Eden Hazard led the attack with the daily double 77th minute PK and the 90th minute.

The Guardian Amy Lawrence- “Chelsea feel like a team of the present, yet here was a match infused with a hint of nostalgia. The crowd were able to lap up goals from Didier Drogba and John Terry. The last time this pair were on the scoresheet together occurred on a seminal Champions League night when Napoli were overturned in the spring run towards the trophy in 2012.


Mourinho is reunited with some of those he used to call untouchable. They are still fantastically reliable. Drogba came on after Loíc Rémy pulled up early on and thoroughly enjoyed an evening of throwback ease. Chelsea in cruise control look so commanding and cohesive, they certainly had the quality to emulate some of the madder scorelines in Europe on the night. They made do with just the six.


Maribor, having played six qualification games to get to this point, were undefeated in eight matches in the Champions League. They arrived a creditable second in Group G but confronted a whole new level of power mixed with classy and composed technique to what they had experienced thus far. The Premier League pace-setters took little time to find their uber-confident stride. It took half an hour to build a comfortable three-goal lead.

The visitors did forge the first chance of the game, as Damjan Bohar scooped his effort on to the roof of Petr Cech’s net. Slovenian hope was fleeting, however.


A mere 10 minutes in Mourinho sent Drogba out to warm up. The reaction was typically effusive, but the earliness of the sighting suggested a possible problem up front. That turned out to be the case as Rémy was substituted in the 16th minute. But he left the pitch with a parting gift for Chelsea. His final action was to smoothly give his team the lead.

Terry produced a Fàbregas-esque pass for the Frenchman, who worked himself the room to drive the ball sweetly into the far corner. He immediately winced and felt his groin, which signalled the premature end to his evening. The Diego Costa situation is clearly more delicate with an injury to Rémy, but in these parts the sight of Drogba coming on creates an inevitable buzz.


Fàbregas drifted around from his midfield base, safe in the knowledge that Nemanja Matic offered all the protection he could wish for. Prompting and cajoling, the Spaniard unpicked Maribor relentlessly. One cross for Eden Hazard came close to providing a second. Another touch fed Willian, who danced into the box. Ales Mertelj’s hand was low – oddly close to the ground – and when the ball made contact the referee awarded a disappointing penalty from the Slovenians’ point of view.

Hazard, the club’s designated penalty-taker, ceded responsibility given the credentials and emotional punch carried by the man who had just come on. Chelsea’s third-choice striker duly took the ball, looked up at the luminous orange ‘Drogba Legend’ billboard, calmly set the ball and finished with the alacrity they had seen so consistently in these parts.

That old-times feeling was extended when Terry galavanted upfield to poach the third. Credit where it’s due to a 33-year-old centre-half to burst the length of the pitch – the move originated from a Maribor corner, and within seconds Hazard was buzzing forwards, Fàbregas appeared on the right to deliver with customary accuracy, and Terry slid the ball in. Unfortunately for Maribor he was offside, but the Dutch referee awarded the goal anyway.


Chelsea continued creating chances. Kurt Zouma went close. A superb reverse ball from Drogba fed Hazard but the Belgian put his head in his hands when his touch let him down in a one-on-one. Hazard had a hand in the fourth, turned in by Mitja Viler.

Maribor had a chance for a consolation when Matic bundled over Agim Ibraimi, whose penalty struck a post. Back in the usual direction, Oscar’s effort whooshed fractionally wide and Willian’s audacious effort thumped against the frame of the goal. The game was under such control Mourinho was able to bring on a couple of teenage prospects to give them a flavour of a Champions League debut. Nathan Aké, 19, slotted into midfield, while the 17-year-old Dominic Solanke took up a position on the right side of attack.

There was more for Chelsea when Branislav Ivanovic ended up on the floor and it was time for another penalty. This time Hazard took and was unerring. The Belgian scored again with virtuoso style, twisting into position to finish after Aké’s beautiful assist.


Having suggested before the match that he will not rest players, Mourinho did make three changes to his defence for this stroll. But really, such was Chelsea’s overbearing dominance they could have played Peter Bonetti and Chopper Harris, and more or less been OK.

Away to Manchester United on Sunday, they remain in fine fettle.






De Futebol


In a wild one between Man U and West Brom at the Hawthorns. Albion should have won 2-1 but Man U escaped with the two all draw. Daly Blind hit the equalizer in the 87th minute for the two all draw.

Henry Winter, The Telegraph “Daley Blind rescued Manchester United with an equaliser three minutes form the end of a frenetic game here. It was the Dutchman’s first goal for the club and a vital one as they faced deep embarrassment here.


Victory would not have flattered West Bromwich Albion, who were terrific, brimming with pace on the counter leading to goals for Stephane Sessegnon and Saido Berahino. United had first been rescued by the unlikely figure of Marouane Fellaini, also opening his account for the club with the visitors’ first equaliser.


For all their eventual relief, United were a shambles at times, particularly Rafael and Marcos Rojo in defence while Robin van Persie was far too quiet. And this was supposed to be a winnable game, the chance to collect important points with the daunting matches against Chelsea and Manchester City looming.

Until Fellaini arrived at the break, Albion had been largely in control, and leading through Sessegnon’s fine strike. For 45 minutes they were as organised as United were disheveled. In the Sky studio, Gary Neville was going apopletic at his old club’s defending, criticising them for being too respectful of Albion; how they could have done with somebody of his defiance.

The three most recent playings of this fixture at The Hawthorns has now involved six managers, Steve Clarke versus Sir Alex Ferguson, Pepe Mel versus David Moyes, and now Irvine versus van Gaal, all in the space of 17 months. The first two had generated 13 goals, and another was not long in coming.


West Brom had settled quickly, resisted a brief United flourish, before scoring from a superb counter-attack after eight minutes. United were caught out of position, leaving a huge space between Angel di Maria and Luke Shaw on the visitors’ left. Andre Wisdom, the 21-year-old right-back on loan from Liverpool, stormed down the flank, crossing in for Sessegnon to thunder the ball past David de Gea.


Albion fans gleefully launched into their ironic chant of “Alan f****** Irvine”, revelling in the quality of the goal against such celebrated opposition. They were loving the football on offer, the dummy from Craig Dawson to wrong-foot Robin van Persie, the crisp passing and quick moving, and the occasional long ball launched at a slightly uncertain Marcos Rojo. Saido Berahino’s pace also alarmed United’s defence.


Van Gaal’s side were struggling to break down Albion’s 4-4-1-1 system. Sessegnon was dropping off Berahino, giving West Brom extra strength in midfield. Irvine’s full-backs, the excellent Wisdom and Sebastien Pocognoli, often pushed up, further squeezing midfield. James Morrison and Craig Gardner were tigerish in the centre, as well as measured in transferring the ball upfield. Irvine’s wide players, Graham Dorrans and Chris Brunt, closed down Shaw and Rafael, and also tucked inside, further strengthening Albion in the centre. For 45 minutes, Van Gaal was being out-thought by Irvine.


Although given little to sing about, United’s fans rarely stopped singing. Their attacks petered out or were blotted out. Joleon Lescott cleared a cross from Di Maria. Daley Blind did lift a long ball through which was controlled elegantly by Di Maria, who eluded Dawson but shot straight at Boaz Myhill, the Albion keeper. Myhill was deputising for Ben Foster, who had injured his calf, bringing Luke Daniels, the former United trainee, on to the bench.


Myhill made another save on the half-hour. Rafael advanced before passing to Van Persie, who turned the ball on left to Di Maria. The Argentine drove his shot in powerfully but Myhill was right behind it and punched clear. United still pressed, Adnan Januzaj finding Di Maria but again Lescott was well-placed to clear.

This was becoming an exercise in frustration for United. Van Gaal had lined them up in 4-2-3-1 formation with Juan Mata in the hole behind Van Persie and Di Maria and Januzaj wide. Ander Herrera, returning after a rib injury but lasting only 45 minutes, started alongside Blind but pushed on before being replaced by Fellaini at the break. Van Persie managed to wriggle out of a tight corner and drill in a shot but insufficient to trouble Myhill.


The half concluded with a couple of free-kicks. After 38 minutes, Morrison upended Herrera but Mata’s free-kick flew harmlessly over. Then Brunt curled in a dead-ball from the left but Lescott headed over.


Fellaini warmed up at the break, running around near the centre-circle. There was a fate-tempting tweet from West Brom’s official feed, saying “Fellaini has now taken his tracksuit off, fortunately he has a Man Utd strip on underneath”. It had 6,000 retweets within 15 minutes, spiking like the Shard after he scored within three minutes.


Controlling Di Maria’s cross, Fellaini eased Lescott out of the way, created some space, and powered the ball right-footed past Myhill. As the Belgian celebrated his first goal in his 24th appearance for the club, United fans claimed their turn to launch into the “der, der, der” chant, lauding Fellaini, a song they can rarely have expected to sing during the Belgian’s travails at their club.

Albion simply demonstrated their resilience and their threat on the counter. After 66 minutes, they ripped through United’s defence again. Brunt played a brilliant pass, angled through the middle to deceive the visitors’ defence. The timing and pace of Berahino’s run was too much for poor Rafael. On Berahino sprinted, ignoring Rafael’s fading presence and his shouts. On Berahino continued before coolly placing his shot past De Gea.


With 19 minutes remaining, and facing embarrassment, Van Gaal sent on Falcao, withdrawing the subdued Mata. Van Persie awoke from a slumber of Van Winkle length and stroked a shot against the post. There was then the worrying sight of Di Maria appearing to feel a problem in his groin and departing, being replaced by Ashley Young.

The incoming player’s Aston Villa connections were never going to guarantee him a warm welcome and his arrival was greeted with “he’s going to dive in a minute” and “you’re just a s*** Tom Daley”. Berahino and Sessegnon continued to trouble United on the counter. One of Sessegnon’s little breaks through the middle was cynically curtailed by Blind, who was deservedly cautioned by Mike Dean.


With five minutes left, Irvine removed Sessegnon for Youssouf Mulumbu to stiffen midfield. Albion continued to impress defensively, Lescott making clearances while Wisdom was similarly good but United managed to find a way through with three minutes left. From Rafael’s cross, the ball found its way via Falcao to Blind, whose low left-footed shot flew past Myhill.

Man U is in sixth place with 12 points. West Brom sits in 14th place nine points. Up next for Man U is hated rival Chelsea this Sunday at Old Trafford





De Futebol


Flamengo lost to Atletico-PR 2-1. Mengao scored first in the eighth minute off strike by Eduardo for the quick one nil lead. Then all hell broke loose as Furacao’s Ciero scored two first half goals in the 17th minute and a PK in the 45th minute plus one to beat boo- Mengao two one. Another one bites the dust as Flamengo was pinned with another road loss in Curitiba. Boo Mengao has eight road losses. The guys are in eleventh place 37 points. We are only seven points outta the voce vai zone. Bahia is in 17th place 30 points. Whew baby this is close with only nine matches left in the season.

O Dia- O Flamengo encarou o Atlético-PR de igual para igual na Arena da Baixada, neste domingo. Saiu na frente do placar em um gol polêmico – mas legal – de Eduardo da Silva. No entanto, ainda no primeiro tempo, sofreu a virada, com dois gols de Cléo e não teve forças para buscar a reação. Luxemburgo até tentou criar alternativas para vencer o duelo, fazendo três modificações de uma só vez no time, na segunda etapa, mas não funcionou. Nem o abafa no final do duelo surtiu efeito. O Rubro-Negro carioca sucumbiu à força do Furacão dentro de casa e voltará para o Rio sem nenhum ponto na bagagem.


Agora, o clube da Gávea recebe o Internacional, no Maracanã, na quarta-feira, às 19h30. O time paranaense, por sua vez, viaja até Santa Catarina para encarar o Criciúma, no mesmo dia e horário.

O duelo começou cercado de polêmica com a arbitragem. Canteros cruzou rasteiro, Everton chutou para o gol, a bola bateu na mão (que estava junto ao corpo) de Eduardo da Silva – em posição legal – e entrou: 1 a 0 Flamengo. Revoltados, os jogadores do Atlético-PR reclamaram muito alegando posição irregular do atacante. O juiz chegou a conversar com um dos assistentes antes de confirmar o tento. O Furacão não demorou para reagir. Dellatorre foi enfiado na grande área, limpou a marcação e bateu. A zaga salvou na linha, mas no rebote Cléo só teve o trabalho de empurrar para o fundo da rede: 1 a 1.


O jogo era aberto. As duas equipes se lançavam à frente a todo momento. Everton quase fez belo gol. O meia arrancou, driblou dois adversários e arriscou arremate de fora da área. O arqueiro do time paranaense fez boa defesa. O Furacão respondeu em cabeçada perigosa de Dellatorre. Bady também assustou em chute colocado de média distância. Antes do fim do primeiro tempo, Marcelo, zagueiro do Fla, fez pênalti no seu xará, centroavante do Furacão. Cléo não desperdiçou a cobrança: 2 a 1.

Atrás no placar, o Rubro-Negro carioca precisou correr atrás do prejuízo na segunda etapa. Ocupava o ataque, mas não obrigava Weverton a trabalhar. O Atlético-PR explorava os espaço cedidos e saia em velocidade no contragolpe. Insatisfeito com o time, Vanderlei Luxemburgo, aos 14 minutos, decidiu fazer três mudanças de um só vez. Sacou Eduardo da Silva, Anderson Pico e Cáceres para as entradas de Nixon, João Paulo e Muralha, respectivamente.


No entanto, quem chegou primeiro foi o Atlético-PR. Paulo Victor evitou o terceiro após chute de Natanael à queima roupa. Bady foi outro a perder ótima chance depois de cruzamento de Suelinton. O clube da Gávea brigava, buscava a pressão, mas abusava das bolas levantadas na área e não penetrava na área do Furacão. A equipe paranaense assustava nos contra-ataques, porém, pecava no último passe. Nos últimos 10 minutos, o Flamengo partiu para o abafa, o Furacão ficou retraído e conseguiu segurar a vitória na Arena da Baixada.




De Futebol



Stoke City defeated Swansea City 2-1. The win propelled the Potters into the top half of the table tenth place with eleven points. The loss dropped the Swans out of the top five into eighth place eleven points.

John Percy, The Telegraph “Jonathan Walters put the finishing touches to a memorable week to complete another dismal experience in the Potteries for Swansea City.

Walters was part of the Ireland team which stunned Germany in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday and his first league goal of the season was enough to extend Stoke’s hoodoo over Swansea.


Garry Monk’s stirring start to the season, which earned him the manager of the month for August, must now seem a long time ago after a fifth game without a win.


Trips to the Britannia Stadium have always proved forgettable for Swansea and despite taking an early lead through Wilfried Bony’s penalty, they are yet to win here since securing their return to the top flight.

Stoke’s victory enabled them to recover from their chastening afternoon at Sunderland before the international break and lifted them into the top half of the table.

Swansea’s passaholics, who won their first three games, made another exhilarating start but were like assassins without bullets.


Wayne Routledge’s clever pass released Gylfi Sigurdsson in the box but the Iceland international – who scored twice in his country’s win over the Netherlands – lost his footing after rounding Asmir Begovic.

Stoke then required Begovic to produce a fine save after another sublime counter-attack, with Ki denied at close range.

The home team did respond, with Peter Crouch having one of those afternoons where the ball seems to stick to him like industrial strength glue, but Stoke’s failure to test Lucas Fabianski was a source of frustration among the home supporters.

And after Bony was wrestled to the ground by Ryan Shawcross, a decision which appeared to be the tipping point for referee Michael Oliver, Swansea were finally ahead. It was the seventh spot kick Shawcross had conceded in six years and Bony never looked like squandering the chance to score his second goal of the season.

But just when Swansea appeared comfortable, they were left to rue a poor refereeing decision from Oliver three minutes before half-time. Angel Rangel’s pull on Victor Moses’s shirt was minimal at best but there had been enough contact for Oliver to award a second penalty.


Charlie Adam only added to Swansea’s sense of injustice by levelling from 12 yards. Oliver left the field at half-time in the novel position of being booed by both sets of supporters.

The second half was scrappier than the first, Crouch somehow missing a header from close range in the 65th minute after Swansea failed to clear a Moses corner.

Ki had two chances to convert from four yards following a nervy moment in the Stoke area but his final shot was smothered by Begovic.

Both managers made substitutions in a bid to gain an advantage and it was Hughes’s changes which proved pivotal 14 minutes from time.


Oussama Assaidi, on for the injured Moses, was given too much space to bend in a cross and an unmarked Walters powered his header into the corner.

That manager of the month curse is proving difficult to shift for Monk.






De Futebol


My guys from Arsenal are showing why we are mediocre to horrible club at best. Sides we should beat with ease we are not. My Gunners were fortunate to escape with a two all draw against Hull City at our house Emirates.

This sucks. We are watching our season slowly slip away fast. Alexis Sanchez tickle the twines in the 12th minute for quick on nil lead. The Tigers nailed the equalizer in the 17th minute. Mohamed Diame let it rip to make one all. Hull City took the lead in the 46th minute. Abel Hernández header found its mark for the 2-1 lead.


We were saved when Danny Welbeck finally found his scoring touch in the 90th minute plus one to save our silly asses for the two all draw.

Look folks we are in a world of hurt. Yes Mesut Ozil is out. Yet with him playing we still couldn’t find the board side of a barn with a machine gun.

We are now in sixth place with eleven points. This is exactly half of the total points Chelsea has in the bank.


The Telegraph Jonathan Liew summed it up perfectly- The relief scrawled all over the faces of Arsenal fans as Danny Welbeck scored his injury-time equaliser was short-lived: soon to be replaced by a simmering resentment. Frustration that it had come to this. They had not come to celebrate a 2-2 draw at home to Hull City.

Five words: Nacho Monreal at centre-back. This is what was always likely to happen, Arsenal fans, when Arsène Wenger named a team with a second-choice left-back in the middle of defence. Monreal was not, by some distance, the only thing wrong with Arsenal here. But somehow, he epitomised everything.


Injuries have scythed at Arsenal for all season; for some years, in fact. But Hull, a team with injury woes of their own, who lost both their goalkeeper and striker before half-time, nevertheless did everything demanded of them and more. Could Arsenal ‘s back four, Arsenal’s manager, Arsenal’s board, say the same?


In the week of Arsenal’s AGM, at which Arsenal’s owners were again forced to deny the existence of a large pile of unused cash under the Emirates centre circle, this was Another General Mess from Arsenal, who took the lead so effortlessly through Alexis Sanchez before proceeding just as effortlessly to throw it all away.


Amy Lawrence The Guardian added this- It shouldn’t really be a glass half full or half empty kind of debate, considering Arsenal have won a mere two games out of eight in the Premier League this season. But considering they were trailing in a fractious game as the clock ticked into stoppage time, the consolation of a draw salvaged by a late combination between Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck certainly reduces the heat that was beginning to boil up inside the Emirates.


With the season young enough for the crowd to enjoy the Autumn warmth in their T-shirts, Arsenal found themselves dealing with a defensive crisis that was waiting to happen. They didn’t deal with it particularly well, as an enterprising Hull helped themselves to two preventable goals.


It was an odd, jerking, see-saw of a contest. Hull began in such casual mood Arsenal could have been in charge early on as they created a string of chances. Steve Harper, the veteran goalkeeper, excelled to beat down a drive from Welbeck and then tip over Santi Cazorla’s pearl of a curling shot. The initial sluggishness from the visitors was punished in virtuoso style by Sánchez in the 13th minute. A salsa run down the right propelled him into the box, and he struck early – low and lethal – to give Arsenal the lead.”




De Futebol


My guys from Arsenal are back at it later today against Hull City. This is a huge match for us as we head back to action in the EPL. I found this little diddy in The Telegraph you might find interesting. “After masterminding a 2-0 victory over Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie in February, Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola began planning how to kill off the London club in the second leg at the Allianz Arena.

It’s noon in Munich and the team have done their morning training and listened to the second-last team talk. This is the one that strips down their opponents’ strategy, followed by a quick run through how to attack and defend corners and wide free-kicks. But Pep is still thinking about his line-up.


He is not sure which is the better strategy: attack or control. At training the day before the match there are no clues as to the starting line-up. Pep still hasn’t decided whether they’re going out to get goals or settling for ball domination. The session doesn’t focus on either. Instead they rehearse how to defend the way that Arsenal begin their attacks from the keeper. They go over the co-ordinated movement the back line must make when the ball is being put long from the Arsenal goalkeeper.


“We know that [Lukasz] Fabianski almost always sends the ball to his right,” Carles Planchart, one of Guardiola’s scouts and tactical analysts, says. “If it reaches Olivier Giroud it’s so that he can chest it down and hold it up. If he puts it to Bacary Sagna it’s to make our full-back push up towards him and Sagna will try to head the ball onwards and into the space behind our full-back.”

And on Monday evening they go over and over the way to defend against these Arsenal goal-kicks, with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in the role of Fabianski. For 20 minutes, Dante and Bastian Schweinsteiger are busy marking Claudio Pizarro, who acts as Giroud, and David Alaba tries to perfect the way to close down Sagna, whose role is taken by Rafinha

Next, Pep explains in detail how Mikel Arteta tries to draw in the opposing pivote in order to create a space in the middle of midfield into which Mesut Özil will try to appear. Pep walks through Arteta’s movements whilst emphasising to his players, who are spread out in front of him: “Özil is the dangerous one – he’s the one we really need to keep the closest eye on. Arteta draws you in, Özil pops up in that zone with Santi] Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain around him and that’s the way that they achieve superiority in a key area. We can’t afford that to happen.”


They test out the way to defend against this Arteta-Özil movement. The idea is that Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry squeeze infield and that Javi Martínez, in his central-defensive role, pushes into the empty space which Arteta has created. In turn, Rafinha’s task will be to fill the space which the Spaniard has had to leave open in the middle of the back four.

They go through a series of different actions, moving constantly. Pep keeps shouting out the names of Arsenal players – Arteta, Özil, Cazorla, Mertesacker – and these echo round Säbener Strasse whilst the Bayern players push themselves to a degree unheard of for a training session the day before a game. In fairness, they don’t go on for long. Just 20 minutes. It’s the rhythm and speed they’re working at that is so unusual.

Something is changing. The players perform brilliantly and there is a growing sense of pride and total security so that it seems absolutely impossible for them not to win. Everyone is sweating at the end. Pep explains his thinking. “You play at the rhythm you train at. If you train badly, you play badly. If you work like a beast in training, you play the same way. And these guys, they train like beasts.”


Guardiola chooses control over aggression and picks Schweinsteiger instead of Toni Kroos. By the time the bus is leaving the training ground for the Dolce Hotel, where they will spend the intervening six hours, the coach is feeling positive. “I’ve gone for control. Control and more control.”





De Futebol


What in the Sam Hill is going on with reigning World Chumps I mean Champs Germany? Ireland pulled a one all tie outta their hat. Germany looked like they would win. A late goal by John O’Shea in the 90th minute earn the Irish the draw. Ireland is in second place with seven points. Poland is top dog with seven points tambem. The Poles are a plus nine while the Irish are a plus eight. Germany is parked in fourth place four points however Scotland, four points, is ahead of the Germans on goal difference. The Scots are a plus minus of zero. Germany is a minus one.

Go figure.


The Daily Mail- “John O’Shea now has one hundred caps and three goals for the Republic of Ireland.

As Martin O’Neill and his team edge forwards towards an unlikely shot at qualification for the European Championship finals, that second statistic is currently somewhat more important than the first.


Only seconds remained in added time in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday night as Ireland seemed to be heading to a rather expected and routine defeat against a German team unimpressive but still markedly superior.

Toni Kroos had scored his team’s goal with 20 minutes to go and, for Ireland, there seemed to be no coming back.

O’Shea, however, had been a Trojan at centre-half all night and, when it mattered, he appeared just an inch or two ahead of Germany’s Mats Hummels to prod an unlikely equaliser past Manuel Neuer after a deep cross from substitute Wes Hoolahan had been hooked back across goal deep in the 94th minute.


It really was a most incredible finish. O’Shea’s last goal for his country had come against Kazakhstan. Suffice to say, this one may transpire to be much more important.

Having not lost back-to-back competitive games since the European Championship finals hosted by Holland and Belgium 14 years ago, Germany were clearly intent making amends for their setback across the Polish border at the weekend.


For much of the first half, their football was purposeful and aggressive. For long periods, though, there was not much to show for it once play reached the environs of the Irish penalty area.

Indeed, Irish goalkeeper Forde was worked only twice in an opening 45 minutes that saw O’Neill’s team hold the Germans at bay with relative comfort.

Certainly Ireland were organised and not lacking in energy themselves. O’Shea and Marc Wilson were particularly impressive immediately in front of Forde even if the Irish largely failed to hold on to the ball whenever they did manage to venture in to the German half.


A team unrecognisable in part to the one that lifted the World Cup in Rio back in early July, Germany nevertheless bristled with attacking menace at the outset.

Indeed, only five minutes had elapsed when left-back Erik Durm advanced to smack a superb right foot volley in to the top of the crossbar from 25 yards.

For a while this effort seemed to set the tone as the German midfield eased the Irish defence so far towards their own goal that, at times, as many as six green shirts retreated to form some kind of shield in front of Forde.


There were other early chances, too, as full-back Antonio Rudiger headed a good chance wide after a training ground set piece between Kroos and Thomas Muller provided him with an opportunity.

Then Julian Draxler made an intelligent run inside David Meyler to receive possession and pull the ball back to Kroos. The shot, though, was dragged wide.

Irish forays in to German territory were rare but, as time passed, so were genuine threats on their goal.

Mistakes from Wilson and then Forde gave Germany an apparent route to goal but O’Shea cleared with a huge swing of the right boot that said everything about the urgency of the situation.


Before the interval there was still time for Ginter to head a corner over while Kroos also whistled another long range effort over the frame of the goal.

Germany, though, reached half-time with much to think about and made a change for the second period as Arsenal’s Lukas Podolski replaced Ginter for the second period.

At the start of the second-half, Ireland briefly threatened as James McClean crossed low to the near post forcing German goalkeeper Neuer to be sure of his handling as Robbie Keane looked to profit from any uncertainty six yards from goal.

Before long, however, Germany were back on top and Forde was at his best to touch over a long-range shot from Kroos before Hummels almost turned in the resulting corner from close range.


Just before the hour, meanwhile, came a moment of apparent controversy as Podolski appeared to be fouled in the penalty area by Wilson after Muller had superbly cushioned a header in to the substitute’s path.

However, replays showed that the referee was correct to wave away penalty appeals as there had been no contact and Podolski had in fact fallen over rather easily.

By now, with less than half an hour left, Ireland were beginning to look rather ragged. They just couldn’t keep the ball and, as such, were beginning to look increasingly vulnerable. Germany, though, were still looking less than convincing.


Having had a more realistic penalty appeal rejected when O’Shea seemed to grapple Gotze to the ground, Germany finally broke through in the 70th minute.

Kroos had already had a few sighters when he lined up another from 25 yards and this time his low right foot shot fizzed past Forde and found the corner via the foot of the goalkeeper’s right-hand post.


Right at the death, Ireland almost scored when McClean crossed low from the left for Hoolahan, only for Durm somehow to throw himself in the way of the ball and block the threat. Then up stepped O’Shea to write his own story.

‘I remember all my international goals because there aren’t many,’ said the former Manchester United player. ‘This one overtakes the other two. I’m not one for hanging shirts up but this one may be heading for the mantelpiece in my mum and dad’s house.’


The result leaves Ireland with seven points from three games in Group D, with the hardest away trip out of the way for O’Neill and assistant Roy Keane.


De Futebol


Brasil took apart Japan 4-0 in a friendly. Neymar led the way with trifecta. He has now scored 40 goals in 58 matches for Brasileiros national team.

This a good sign for the guys. We are playing a ton better. The attack is good. Yes Martha this is only a friendly and it means bupkis. In the end this will rebuild a system and a team that is broken.


Dunga has brought in some old and familiar faces Robinho and Kaka. These two cats will bring experience and playmaking ability. This will open up the attack and give Neymar more space to operate. Instead of having fight through three or four guys Neymar can concentrate on scoring instead of dribbling through traffic.

The Guardian- “Dunga, in his second spell in charge after Luiz Felipe Scolari resigned in July following the World Cup, brought on the ageing Robinho and Kaká to get among the scoring fun.


Kaká almost obliged with his first touch, but his 77th-minute header was pushed on to the bar by Kawashima.

Kaká, back playing for São Paulo before he moves to Orlando City, then turned provider as he swung over a cross from the left that Neymar leapt highest to head home in the 81st minute.”


The results are evident a 4 nil thrashing of Japan and two nil win over Argentina.

UOL- Se existe um adversário que Neymar se dá muito bem é a seleção do Japão. Nesta terça-feira, em Cingapura, o atacante melhorou sua marca diante do time nipônico. Neymar marcou quatro gols e foi o principal nome na goleada do Brasil por 4 a 0 do Brasil no amistoso.

O atacante soma quatro vitórias em quatro jogos contra o Japão. Mais: são oito gols marcados pelo atacante diante da equipe asiática.

O repertório de Neymar nesta terça foi vasto: gol driblando o goleiro, gol em velocidade, com a perna esquerda e de cabeça.


A seleção fecha turnê asiática com 100% de aproveitamento nos jogos contra Japão e Argentina. O triunfo em Cingapura realça o bom começo de Dunga neste retorno à seleção.

O treinador venceu os quatro jogos no comando do time (Equador, Colômbia, Argentina e Japão), sem nenhum gol sofrido.


As fases de jogo – A seleção brasileira foi pouco ameaçada no 1º tempo. Ao contrário da Argentina, o Japão apresentou baixo rendimento técnico.

As principais chances de gol surgiram dos pés de Neymar. No primeiro lance de perigo, aos 16min, o atacante finalizou na trave.

Um minuto depois, Neymar colocou o Brasil à frente no placar. Ele recebeu belo passe de Tardelli e ficou na frente do goleiro Kawashima. Neymar superou o goleiro antes de finalizar.


A jogada do segundo gol do Brasil parecia replay do primeiro feito por Neymar. O camisa 10 surgiu livre, recebendo passe preciso de Coutinho. Desta vez, Neymar preferiu chutar na saída do goleiro.

Ele quase marca o seu terceiro na partida após passe de Everton Ribeiro. O chute, porém, tocou a rede pelo lado de fora.


Com o jogo nas mãos, Dunga promoveu várias alterações. Kaká entrou e já participou do gol de Neymar, o terceiro do jogo. Minutos depois novamente Kaká acionou Neymar, que de cabeça fez o seu quarto gol na partida.


O melhor: Neymar– Brilhou em campo com 4 gols. Além disso, deu passes açucarados para Robinho.

O pior: Kawashima. Goleiro do Japão não fez nenhuma defesa boa. Quando o Japão era ameaçado, ou a trave salvou ou o Brasil fez o gol.

A chave do jogo. O Brasil soube explorar o fato de a zaga japonesa marcar em zona, e não individualmente. Com passes em infiltração, os atletas da seleção chegavam sem marcação à área adversária.


Toque do técnico: Dunga promoveu uma substituição em relação ao time que enfrentou a Argentina: Gil na vaga de David Luiz, vetado pelo departamento médico. O posicionamento foi o mesmo. Neymar e Tardelli se movimentaram em velocidade, confundindo o rival.


De Futebol


Wanna talk about upset city special. A funny thing happed on the way to Poland. The Poles defeated World Champs Germany for the first time 2-0. A stunner baby a total stunner.

Poland followed up this puppy with a two all draw against Scotland yesterday.

The Daily Mail Poland stunned World Cup winners Germany 2-0 on Saturday to earn their first ever victory over their neighbours and take control of Euro 2016 qualifying Group D.


Arkadiusz Milik put them ahead with a well-timed header in the 51st minute and Sebastian Mila added another late in the game to hand the hosts a memorable victory against bitter rivals Germany after 18 previous failed attempts.

Poland, who had scored once in their previous six competitive meetings and had lost 12 of 18 games against either Germany or West Germany, now go top of Group D on six points, as many as Ireland. Germany are third on three after two games.


Wearing the black and red striped tops they had last worn during their 7-1 demolition of Brazil in the World Cup semi-final in July, Germany had none of their usual sharpness.


The Germans, playing in the stadium where they lost 2-1 to Italy in the Euro 2012 semi-final, were made to work hard against a solid Polish backline in front of a fiery 57,000 crowd.

Towering central defenders Kamil Glik and Lukasz Szukala also made sure to eliminate any aerial threat from Mats Hummels, playing his first game for Germany since the World Cup final.


The visitors, missing half a dozen starters including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marco Reus, had their best chance in the 38th minute when Mario Goetze floated a cross to the far post but winger Karim Bellarabi, on his debut, fired wired.


With Poland tiring towards halftime, the Germans carved out several more good chances but neither Thomas Mueller twice nor Bellarabi could find the back of the net.

But the hosts stunned Germany five minutes after the restart with Milik heading in a pinpoint Lukasz Piszczek cross.

As expected it turned out to be a one-sided second half with Germany attacking and the Poles waiting to hit back on the break.


Germany substitute Lukas Podolski shook the crossbar with his first touch of the ball before Mila sealed Poland’s win when he tapped in from a Robert Lewandowski assist in the 88th minute.

The result leaves the world champions fourth in their group behind Poland and the Republic of Ireland – and level on points with Scotland.



De Futebol


Flamengo picked up a huge win 3-0 over Cruzeiro. The win keeps Mengao safe for now tenth place 37 points. Only eight points separate voce vai bound 17th place 29 points Botafogo. This win was huge for Boo Mengao defeated top dogs Raposa.

With only ten matches left wins are of utmost importance from this day forward. An own goal triggered off the onslaught by Cruzeiros Dede in the 15th minute. Hector Canteros 57th minute made two nil Rubro-negro. Gabriel tickled the twines in the 62nd minute for the final score of 3-0.


O Dia- Jogando em casa, o Flamengo fez valer o fator casa e também aproveitou as falhas da zaga do Cruzeiro para vencer com tranquilidade o líder do Brasileirão por 3 a 0, no Maracanã. Com gols Dedé (contra), Canteros e Gabriel, o time Rubro-Negro se afasta da zona de rebaixamento e encaixa a segunda vitória seguida na competição.

Com o resultado posivito, o Flamengo agora tem 37 pontos e é o 10º colocado na tabela. No próxima domingo, o Fla visita o Atlético-PR, às 16h, na Arena da Baixada. Já o líder Cruzeiro perdeu a segunda seguida, vê os seus rivais na briga pelo título enconstarem, mas continua no topo com 56 pontos. Também no domingo, a Raposa visita o Vitória, no Barradão, às 18h30.


Aproveitando o Maracanã lotado e o fator casa, o Flamengo começou o jogo se lançando ao ataque pressionando o Cruzeiro. Sempre apostando na velocidade de Everton, as melhores chegadas ao ataque eram do Fla e aos 10 veio a primeira chance. Após boa jogada, o camisa 22 passou para Alecsandro que serviu Canteros mas o argentino finalizou mal por cima do gol. Mas o gol do Rubro-Negro não tardou a sair.


Aos 13, Márcio Araújo desarmou Nilton na saída de bola e serviu Alecsandro na direita. O atacante do Fla cruzou para área e o zagueiro Dedé foi tentar afastar e colocou contra a própria meta. 1 a 0 Flamengo e festa no Maracanã. Atrás no placar, o Cruzeiro começou a sair para o jogo e aos 18 teve ótima chance para empatar. Marquinhos cobrou falta na área e Nilton desviou a bola que passou tirando tinta da trave. Após o lance, o líder do brasileiro começou a pressionar o Fla.

Em duas oportunidades seguidas, Marcelo Moreno teve boa chance de empatar o jogo mas parou em Paulo Victor. Aos 28, o estreante do dia, o lateral esquerdo Anderson Pico, chutou com perigo apóes cobrança de falta ensaiada ao lado do gol defendido por Fábio. Aos 30, Egidío desviou de cabeça para o meio da área para Marcelo Moreno mas o atacante cruzeirense perdeu a chance de empatar sozinho e colocou para fora.


Aos 34, o clima esquentou em campo. Marquinhos discutiu asperamente com Anderson Pico e depois com Cáceres que se envolveu na confusão e acabou levando a pior e foi punido com o cartão amarelo. No lance seguinte, Nilton se estranhou com a zaga rubro-negra e também foi advertido com o cartão.O Fla continuava explorando a velocidade de Everton pelo lado esquerdo e a última jogada de perigo foi justamento com o camisa 22. Ele arrancou pela lateral, cruzou rasteiro para o meio da área e o zagueiro Dedé afastou.


No segundo tempo, o Cruzeiro continou tentando pressionar o Flamengo e logo no primeiro minuto, Dedé cabeceou com perigo por cima do gol do Fla. Apesar da posse de bola, o time mineiro não conseguia finalizar e transformar o domínio em gol. Já o Rubro-Negro que apostava nos contra-ataque continuou contando com a ajuda da zaga azul. Em nova falha da defesa, desta vez de Manoel e Fábio, Canteros se antecipou aos dois, roubou a bola e apenas empurrou para o gol vazio: 2 a 0.


O Cruzeiro acusou o golpe e se atordou em campo. Aos 17, mais um erro do setor defensivo do líder. Após chutão de Paulo Victor, Manoel se atrapalhou e deixou Alecsandro entrar livre pela direita. O atacante cruzou com precisão para Gabriel que tirou com categoria de Fábio e ampliou para o Fla: 3 a 0. O terceiro gol foi a senha pro Fla se fechar de vez na defesa e segurar o placar. Perdido em campo, o Cruzeiro tinha a posse de bola, avançou no campo mas não conseguia criar chances para diminuir. Já o Rubro-Negro apostava nos contra-ataques e nos espaços deixados pelos mineiros.


Sem conseguir criar grandes chances de gol, o Cruzeiro continuou pressionando mas sem perigo enquanto Flamengo apenas administrava a vitória e esperava pelo apito final do juíz que sacramentou mais uma vitória do Rubro-Negro no Campeonato Brasileiro.


De Futebol


Brasil got the better of Argentina on this day in China a 2-0 win. This win means nothing. The battle between the two super stars Lionel Messi and Neymar was pretty much even Steven. Brasileiros won but the key to the match was the missed PK by Messi that could have changed the complexion of the match.

The Daily Mail- “More than any other teams in world football, Brazil and Argentina have come to be defined, in recent years, by their No 10s.

In Barcelona duo Lionel Messi and Neymar, the South American giants have arguably the best two players in the world in that position, and both teams are built around their respective superstars.

But how did the pair compare when they met in Beijing on Saturday?



It might not be right to describe Brazil vs Argentina as simply Neymar vs Messi – but both teams rely so heavily on their star man that if either goes missing, the whole side can lose their way.

Brazil, as the World Cup showed, are only as good as their No 10, while Messi, on his day, can carry Argentina almost single-handedly.

It’s not enough to be good, these two have to dominate the whole game to earn praise.

In the first half hour, there is no doubt who was winning this battle. Messi was involved in everything good that Argentina did, getting on the ball in deep areas, committing defenders and feeding his team-mates.

Not only did he beat defenders himself, but his very presence drew men away from his fellow forwards. Angel di Maria and Sergio Aguero had more space than they would normally be afforded by virtue of playing alongside Messi.

Neymar, meanwhile, was left isolated for much of the first half, lurking on the lonely left wing while Brazil struggled to get a foothold.


It was clear, whenever Dunga’s side won the ball, that they were looking to their talisman for a lift, but possession was so rare (less than 35 per cent in the first half) that he was a peripheral figure.

In fact, Brazil’s No 10 made just 10 passes in the entire first 45 minutes, less than a third of Messi’s tally – and three of those 10 failed to find a team-mate.

But, after Diego Tardelli’s opener, the 22-year-old came to life. Dazzling dribbles, incisive passes, and very nearly a superb solo goal.

Suddenly Neymar, without having too much of the ball, was the most exciting player on the pitch. Every time he got the ball he looked to have the beating of a desperately slow Argentina defence.

His pace and threat brought fouls and cards, and by the end of the game there was little doubt who the most threatening player on the pitch was.



Both players are absolutely vital to their side’s chance creation. Despite Chelsea duo Oscar and Willian alongside him, Neymar is the only genuine creative focal point in the Brazil side.

Argentina have a few more options, with Angel di Maria in particular diverting some of the pressure off Messi’s shoulders, but the diminutive genuis is still the key man.

Neither of the two were particularly wonderful in a first half which lacked many clear-cut chances, but Messi offered slightly more, creating two chances for Sergio Aguero.

First he slid Pablo Zabaleta in behind before the full back’s cross was mishit by Aguero, then he put the Manchester City striker in down the right hand channel, only for the forward to blaze over the bar.

Neymar, on the other hand, created only for himself in the opening 45, although this was enough to strike fear into the Argentinian defence.


He rectified that soon after half time, a perfectly weighted pass playing in Felipe Luis, who should really have made it 2-0, and then releasing Willian inside the box, who again was wasteful.


While Brazil’s new counter-attacking system relies on Neymar to do it all himself, Argentina’s tactical set-up lets Messi drift in and out, before attacking from deeper areas.

Both systems are designed to get the best out of their major star, and both seemed to work fairly well in that respect.

Messi repeatedly picked up the ball from the right hand side and drove at the Brazilian defence, who usually responded by fouling him.

Mostly the Argentine beat at least one man, before spreading the play wide or winning a free kick in a dangerous area. The levels of excitement were certainly raised around the stadium when he got on the ball, but there were hints, rather than devastating examples, of what he can do on the ball.


As the need to take the game by the scruff of the neck increased with Brazil’s two goals, Messi came further inside and began to run with the ball more.

Two shots soon after the hour mark tested Jefferson, though neither really threatened to find the back of the net.

Neymar, on the other hand, clearly had the upper hand in this particular duel. Out of the game for such long periods, the Brazil captain showed several times what he could do when given time and space.

Soon after the half hour Neymar went on three devastating dribbles in five short minutes, slicing through the Argentina defence with ease and very nearly taking the game away from his opponents single-handedly.


For all their tricks and flicks, runs and rabonas, the pair will always be judged on their final touch.


In the first half, both were found seriously wanting. Messi, usually so deadly, fired two free kicks against the wall and failed to manufacture any shooting opportunities from open play.

Even when presented with the perfect opportunity from 12 yards the former World Player of the Year could only fire his spot-kick tamely at Jefferson.

The second half saw three decent efforts from the edge of the box, all of which brought saves from Jefferson, but only an 80th minute free-kick looked close to beating the Brazil keeper.

Neymar was little better. His best run, during which he ran from half-way, beating two men before drawing the keeper, ended with something of a whimper, a scuffed shot that trickled wide.


Then, early in the second half, the pacey Brazilian eased past the defence only to cut the ball back to no-one.

Even when put through one-on-one by Luis Gustavo against a goalkeeper stuck in no-mans-land, the young forward could only chip over the bar.

De Futebol


Brasil and Argentina were supposed to meet in the World Cup finals. This what was supposed to happen. The fix was in but Germany didn’t copulate and thus these two mighty futebol powers had to wait to play in a friendly in China.

Brasil took care of business defeating Argentina 2-0. The daily double by Diego Tardelli 27thand 64th minutes led Brasileiros to the win over hated rival Argentina.


O Dia No centésimo clássico da história, os brasileiros defendiam sua superioridade no gramado do Ninho do Pássaro, na China. Em 39 oportunidades, o time verde e amarelo levou a melhor, contra 36 dos rivais argentinos. Diego Tardelli colocou mais uma vitória na conta da Seleção. O atacante do Atlético-MG mostrou faro de gol e marcou dois, no jogo deste sábado, contra os vice-campeões mundiais. Outro que brilhou na partida, foi o goleiro Jefferson. O camisa 1 defendeu uma cobrança de pênalti, batida por Lionel Messi, ainda no primeiro tempo.

Com Kaká começando no banco, o técnico Dunga optou por um quarteto ofensivo com Oscar, Willian, Neymar e Diego Tardelli. Nesse esquema, o time brasileiro entrou mais rápido para explorar o contra-ataque.


A Argentina dominou o começo do primeiro tempo e o Brasil teve trabalho para conter os ataques dos Hermanos. O gol de Diego Tardelli, aos 27 minutos, deu mais confiança ao time do técnico Dunga que, no fim da primeira etapa, viu o goleiro Jefferson defender uma cobrança de pênalti cobrada por Lionel Messi.

No segundo tempo, o Brasil voltou mais atento e equilibrou o domínio da posse de bola. Sendo caçado em campo, Neymar era parado com falta constantemente pela defesa argentina. Diego Tardelli, na condição de homem-gol, mostrou oportunismo mais uma vez e marcou o segundo dele no jogo.

O próximo compromisso da seleção brasileira é na terça-feira, contra o Japão, às 7h45 (Horário de Brasília), em Singapura.


O torcedor brasileiro levou um susto logo no início da partida. Aos 17 segundos do primeiro tempo, Agüero recebeu um longo lançamento e ficou de frente para o goleiro Jefferson. David Luiz chegou na marcação e o atacante acabou batendo para fora.

Com o domínio da posse de bola, a Argentina chegou mais uma vez com perigo com Di María. O atacante do Manchester United arriscou de fora da área, assustando o goleiro Jefferson.


O Brasil tentava encaixar um contra-ataque e levava perigo nas bolas altas. Em uma delas, Oscar levantou na área e a zaga argentina afastou mal de cabeça e Diego Tardelli pegou o rebote no bico da pequena área e concluiu de primeira, sem deixar a bola cair, para abrir o placar, aos 27 minutos, no Ninho do Pássaro.

Cinco minutos depois o Brasil poderia ter ampliado. Neymar começou a crescer na partida. O atacante fez jogada individual, driblou dois, e ficou cara a cara com Romero. Na finalização, o brasileiro tentou tirar do goleiro, mas bateu fraco e sem direção.

O árbitro Fan Qi fazia uma atuação contestável. O Juiz deixou de marcar um pênalti para a Argentina no início da partida, mas na segunda oportunidade polêmica ele marcou.


Aos 39 minutos, Danilo chegou junto de Di María e de carrinho fez o corte derrubando o jogador argentino em seguida. O árbitro marcou o pênalti. Na cobrança, Messi cobrou no canto direito do goleiro Jefferson que voou para evitar o gol dos Hermanos.

Na volta do segundo tempo, o Brasil foi quem chegou assustando. Neymar dominou na entrada da área e tocou bem para Filipe Luís. O lateral apareceu como elemento surpresa e bateu por cima do travessão.


No vacilo de Miranda a Argentina quase empata. O zagueiro recebeu bola recuada de David Luiz e na hora de mandar a bola para o ataque, o defensor carimbou Di María que ficou com a sobra. O atacante disparou, mas antes de finalizar Miranda já havia se recuperado no lance e atrapalhado o chute.

Com boas oportunidades para os dois lados, coube ao atacante do Atlético-MG o dever de balançar as redes mais uma vez. Depois de cobrança de escanteio de Oscar, David Luiz raspou a cabeça na bola e o desvio deixou Diego Tardelli na boa para marcar o segundo dele no jogo. Depois da cabeçada, o goleiro Romero ainda tocou na bola, mas não conseguiu evitar o gol.


A Argentina tentou sustentar uma pressão dos 22 aos 30 minutos, mas as tentativas de ataque eram paradas pela defesa brasileira e pelo goleiro Jefferson. Quando não dava, os zagueiros paravam Messi e cia, na falta. Em uma delas, o camisa 10 hermano obrigou o goleiro do Botafogo a se esticar e evitar o gol no canto esquerdo.

A resposta brasileira veio com Neymar. O volante Luiz Gustavo toca em profundidade para o atacante que parte em velocidade, deixando a defesa adversária para trás. O atacante do Barcelona tentou encobrir o goleiro Romero, mas a bola subiu e saiu por cima do gol.

Dez minutos para o fim, o jogo caiu um pouco de ritmo. Kaká entrou no jogo e foi ovacionado pela torcida chinesa. Já sentindo o sabor da derrota, o time argentino pouco assustou o goleiro Jefferson. Nos acréscimos, Robinho também teve sua chance de entrar em campo, na vaga de Neymar, exausto.


De Futebol


England was in a damned if you and damned if you don’t situation against an under mined San Marino side. San Marino has only one professional futeboler on their squad. Three Lions won in a whitewash 5-0. The Rooney man led the charge with a PK goal in the 43rd minute to make it two nil. Phil Jagielka 24th minute, Danny Welbeck 49th minute, an own goal by Alessandro Della Valle 77th minute and Andros Townsend 72nd minute ended the hopes and dreams of the clothes salesman, the factory worker and the bar owner from San Marino.


However the big surprise of the day was Spain lost to Slovakia. As Gomer Pyle would say” Surprise, surprise, surprise, it’s me Sergeant Carter.”

You can’t take a thing from this win. Sure England beat Switzerland in match one 1-0 in Group E. The tests are down the road.

This goal gave Wayne Rooney 42 international goals. He is seven short of the all-time record held by Sir Bobby Charlton.


Henry Winter The Telegraph- “There are no easy games in international except home, and away, games against San Marino, who make minnows look like Jaws.

San Marino were so poor, so unadventurous that England fans decided to mock the occasion and voted for Joe Hart, who touched the ball four or five times, as the official sponsors’ man of the match with 53 per cent of the vote. The FA was so embarrassed that it announced Jack Wilshere had won it.

What was beyond dispute was that a remarkable number of fans turned up, almost 56,000, and that England won comfortably, looking better in the second half with more width.


The removal of two Liverpool players, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson, at the break seemed a respectful nod from Hodgson towards Brendan Rodgers after the controversy over how Daniel Sturridge fell lame at England training. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana came on, followed by Andros Townsend (for Danny Welbeck), and there was more width, more movement, although the situation was eased further by San Marino tiring.


Wilshere played well, dropping back in the second half. Rooney was good, although failed to take a hatfull of chances after the break. Townsend looked lively after a difficult spell in his career. Hart could easily have brought a book with so much of the action down the other end.”


Dominic Fifield The Guardian- “Roy Hodgson looked satisfied enough at the final whistle, offering commiserations and a handshake to his opposite number, Piermangelo Manzaroli, but there were times when even inflicting a thrashing had felt humdrum. The latest advertisement for smaller nations to pre-qualify for qualification campaigns had followed a predictable course. San Marino had been stubborn for a while, outclassed throughout and overwhelmed long before the end.


This was almost the most uncompetitive of competitive fixtures conceivable and, consequently, hardly a source of much satisfaction. England did what they needed to do professionally enough, moving the ball more smoothly after the interval and making in-roads as a result, but they will have treated this as a warm-up for a slightly more awkward occasion against Estonia on Sunday. Or, if that contest follows similar lines, even Slovenia next month.

Those on the home bench had stopped celebrating the goals before the end and there had been ironic cheers whenever the lonely Joe Hart swept up a Sammarinese punt forward or, shock horror, was even charged with mustering a clearance. He could afford to doze off. The last time San Marino scored away from home in a competitive game was back in 2001. They never threatened to break that duck here.


This had the feeling of a training drill from the outset, both teams crammed into the Sammarinese half for the majority of a mismatch and largely played out to a polite, murmuring hubbub in the stands more normally associated with Lord’s further down the Jubilee Line. “



De Futebol


Flamengo took a one nil lead only to have Figueirense tie it up. It sure looked like Mengao would wind up tied. Low and behold a goal by Rubro Negro’s Nixon in the 90th minute plus two to save our silly butts. Flamengo wins 2-1.

The wins keeps Mengao ahead of Figueira. Mengao is in eleventh place 34 points. Figueirense dropped to 12th place 32 points. Only six points separate tenth place Goias 34 points and 17th place Chapecoense 28 points.


O Dia- O Flamengo soube sofrer para chegar à vitória, algo recorrente no discurso de Luxemburgo. Um triunfo importante para se distanciar da confusão, outro termo utilizado pelo técnico. Nesta quarta-feira, o Rubro-Negro bateu o Figueirense por 2 a 1, no Orlando Scarpelli. Nixon saiu do banco para ser o herói. Ele marcou aos 47 minutos do segundo tempo.

Até então, Eduardo da Silva era protagonista, no desempenho de herói e com traços de vilão. Ele fez o primeiro gol do Flamengo, teve a chance de fazer o segundo, errou e viu na sequência o Figueirense empatar. Porém, na raça, o Rubro-Negro foi buscar o triunfo.


O Flamengo quebra uma série de cinco jogos sem vencer no Brasileiro. E ganha fôlego na briga contra a confusão. Agora, com 34 pontos, na 11ª colocação, o Fla abre seis pontos para a zona do rebaixamento. Na próxima rodada, o Rubro-Negro recebe o líder Cruzeiro, domingo, às 16h, no Maracanã. O Figueirense, com 32 pontos, volta a campo também no domingo, às 18h30, para enfrentar o Atlético-PR na Arena da Baixada.

O duelo começou a todo vapor e logo com polêmica. Léo Moura desceu pela direita e cruzou. A bola bateu no braço de França. A arbitragem ignorou pênalti. O Flamengo não diminuiu o ritmo e abriu o placar. João Paulo avançou pela esquerda e cruzou para Eduardo da Silva cabecear para o fundo da rede: 1 a 0. Uma cena repetida para o Rubro-Negro.


O Flamengo era superior e buscava as jogadas aéreas. Alecsandro levou vantagem pelo alto e assustou Volpi. Depois, o goleiro salvou em falta cobrada por Canteros. No rebote, Luiz Antonio chutou para fora. O Figueirense finalmente respondeu. O arremate de Marco Antônio foi para fora. Em seguida, o cruzamento de Marco Antônio levou perigo.


O clube carioca sofria na bola área. Marcão ganhou pelo alto, mas desviou para fora. O centroavante, depois, teve mais uma oportunidade. Mais novamente não acertou o alvo. O Figueirense fez a primeira alteração ainda na primeira etapa. Argel colocou Mazola no lugar de França, que já tinha cartão amarelo.

O Flamengo teve a chance de ampliar no começo da etapa final. Marcelo surgiu na frente e ficou cara a cara com Volpi, mas chutou em cima do goleiro. O Figueirense voltou a ameaçar no jogo áereo, desta vez com Thiago Heleno. A resposta do Fla foi com Eduardo da Silva. O atacante foi lançado e ficou livre. Ele dominou e tentou fazer um gol de calcanhar, talvez por achar que estava impedido. Porém, a posição era legal. O castigo não demorou. No ataque seguinte do Figueira, Marcão tocou para Mazola chutar com categoria e fazer 1 a 1 no Orlando Scarpelli.


A virada quase aconteceu com Marcão. Lançado, ele ficou cara a cara com Paulo Victor e tentou encobrir o goleiro. Com um toque, Paulo Victor impediu a virada. Com o Flamengo mal em campo, Luxemburgo fez duas mudanças. Muralha e Gabriel entraram. Luiz Antonio e Alecsandro saíram. O clube carioca equilibrou o jogo e teve outra chance de marcar. Canteros surgiu na frente, mas o chute foi desviado por Thiago Heleno. Luxa colocou Nixon na vaga de Eduardo da Silva.


O Flamengo ensaiou uma pressão. Everton chutou cruzado e obrigou Volpi a espalmar. Na sequência, Canteros ficou com a bola após cruzamento e carimbou a trave. No abafa, o clube carioca chegou ao gol da vitória. Após cobrança de escanteio, Chicão parou em Volpi, mas ficou com rebote e achou Nixon. A cabeçada do atacante morreu no fundo da rede: 2 a 1 e vitória rubro-negra.





De Futebol


Former Southampton coach Mauricio Pochettino guided his new club Tottenham to a hard fought 1-0 win at Spurs house White Hart Lane. Christian Eriksen nailed the match winner in the 40th minute to seal the deal for Spurs.

The win puts Tottenham in sixth place with eleven points.


David Hytner The Guardian wrote- “When Christian Eriksen’s beautifully threaded low shot hit the back of the Southampton net, Mauricio Pochettino turned on his heels and walked purposefully back towards his seat on the bench. Hands plunged deep into his pockets, the Tottenham Hotspur manager did not betray a flicker of emotion.

Pochettino had said that he would not celebrate against his old club, the one he had left at the end of last season for the new challenge at White Hart Lane, because he had too much respect for the people there. It was evident at full-time, as he hugged many of his former players and members of the back-room staff. The warmth was clear.


But the passions swirled inside him. Pochettino needed this. Tottenham needed this. After four Premier League matches without a win, the grumbling had started. This was better, particularly the first-half performance, and if Tottenham rode their luck towards the end, when Southampton’s pacey forward, Sadio Mané, missed a glorious chance with the goal at his mercy, the home team were just about value for the victory.

The travelling fans, the hordes in red and white who once adored Pochettino, made it clear that he was now a fallen idol. They asked him where his translator had gone, along with other, more choice chants and they were rebuked by Ronald Koeman, who has made such an impressive fist of succeeding Pochettino at St Mary’s.

“I don’t agree [with the fans],” Koeman said. “Everybody deserves respect. I respect Mauricio very much and he did a great job at Southampton.”


Pochettino could rise above it all, and praise his players for their “big show”. His affection for Southampton will endure. “It was an emotional game for me,” he added. “It was a tough decision to leave but I still love Southampton. I can understand [the chants]. This is football. It doesn’t change my feelings.”

Pochettino said he had “no regrets” about the decision to, although a defeat here would have made for an uncomfortable situation. Southampton had arrived in north London five points better off in the table than Pochettino’s new team.


But Tottenham pressed hard in the first half, they went close on a clutch of occasions and they fashioned the vital moment when Emmanuel Adebayor, who drifted wide a little too much for the home crowd’s liking, played the ball inside from the left for Eriksen. The midfielder’s precision swat from 20 yards fizzed into the bottom corner.

Jan Vertonghen had seen an early looping header cleared off the line by Ryan Bertrand and both Erik Lamela and Eriksen had worked Fraser Forster while, in the 43rd minute, Nacer Chadli surged clean through only to rattle the far post.


Southampton had arrived on the back of six straight wins (four of them in the league) and there were flashes from them, including a first-half purple patch in which Mané was prominent. He saw one shot blocked by Kyle Naughton and a dangerous cross from the right similarly repelled by the Tottenham full-back.

Later Mané’s centre from the left almost allowed Morgan Schneiderlin to bundle home. Having tried and failed to force a summer transfer to White Hart Lane, that would have been quite the moment for Schneiderlin.


There was controversy when Bertrand clattered into Naughton and the Tottenham player was forced off; he left the stadium on crutches and with his right ankle in a protective boot. It was unfortunate as he has been playing, arguably, his best football for the club.


Then came the flashpoint early in the second half when Mané sprinted towards the Tottenham goal and was met, shoulder-to-shoulder, by Younès Kaboul, who was the last defender.

Mané went down and when the referee, Mike Jones, blew for the foul, it looked as though he would have to dismiss the Tottenham captain. He opted for yellow, which was a relief to the home team. “If you make a whistle as the referee, you have to think but I think a yellow card was OK,” Koeman said.


Southampton stuck to their principles in the second half and were agonisingly close to an equaliser. After Kaboul’s miscued clearance, Victor Wanyama looked likely to score from just inside the area only for Hugo Lloris to save while, in the 84th minute, Bertrand’s devilish cross from the left was made to measure for Mané. From six yards out, he failed to apply the decisive touch.


De Futebol


Leeds United’s Darko Milanic is still looking for his first win as the headman. Giuseppe Bellusci scored in the 79th minute to get a one all tie against Sheffield Wednesday. The Whites are hanging in there in the English Championship 14th place 15 points.

Liz Byrnes The Guardian wrote “Darko Milanic is still searching for his first win as Leeds head coach after his side drew 1-1 with Sheffield Wednesday in a tetchy Yorkshire derby at Elland Road.


The Slovenian has now seen his west Yorkshire team draw two and lose one since taking over. It could have been worse, though, Leeds having to come from a goal down to equalise through Giuseppe Bellusci 11 minutes from time after Chris Maguire had given the Owls the lead in the 52nd minute.


Leeds would have been kicking themselves if they had not got anything out of the game given the number of goalscoring opportunities they created with Kieren Westwood kept busy in the Owls goal.

Mirco Antenucci was prominent while the muscular Souleymane Doukara was at times an immovable object, the pair linking up well as the Owls struggled with the speed of Leeds’ breaks.

Leeds had a great chance to go ahead in the 13th minute when Tomasso Bianchi’s pass found Alex Mowatt unmarked on the left of the area but Westwood raced off his line to block the shot.

Doukara fired across goal before Rodolph Austin came within inches of putting Leeds ahead, a fierce shot from distance forcing Westwood to tip over.


The Owls had a great chance when Maguire’s cross found Stevie May in the six-yard box but his low header drifted agonisingly wide.

Leeds started the second half where they had left off. Antenucci ran on to a Doukara through ball but his low shot was diverted by Westwood’s left leg.

After all Leeds’ attacking play, it was the Owls who went ahead seven minutes after the break, Maguire firing home a low shot from the right of the area across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

There was almost an instant response from Leeds but again Westwood stood firm, tipping Antenucci’s curling shot over.


May was inches wide after making space for himself in the Leeds area but the game had become feisty, intensity and tempers rising on and off the pitch.

There was little fluency but Leeds were rewarded for their attacking play when they levelled in the 79th minute, Bellusci slotting home Mowatt’s free-kick from the right.


De Futebol


Flamengo has now dropped two straight. Boo Mengao lost to Santos 1-0 at our house Maracanã. Rubro-negro is in danger of getting the heave-hoe. We are parked in 13th place 31 points. Only four separate Mengao from 17th place Vitoria with 27 points.

Flamengo has not won since September 14th a 1-0 win over Corinthians.


O Dia wrote A festa no Maracanã se transfomou em decepção. Robinho foi o estraga-prazer no dia em que Léo Moura completou 500 jogos pelo Flamengo. O lateral-direito recebeu homenagens, mas não teve o que comemorar. O Peixe venceu por 1 a 0, neste sábado, frustrou 43 mil pessoas no estádio e deixou o clube carioca perto da confusão. O Flamengo não vence há cinco jogos (três empates e duas derrotas) e vê a zona de rebaixamento se aproximar


O Flamengo abusou dos erros nos cruzamentos e irritou a torcida. A falta de criatividade é evidente no time de Luxemburgo. O time ainda vacilou na defesa (a torcida não perdoou o erro de João Paulo) e não se livra da confusão.

Agora, o Flamengo, com 31 pontos, tem quatro de vantagem sobre o Vitória, primeiro clube na zona do rebaixamento. O Rubro-Negro está na 12ª colocação. O Santos pulou para 39 pontos. Na oitava colocação, o Peixe mantém vivo o sonho de alcançar o G-4.


Na próxima rodada, nesta quarta-feira, às 22h, o Flamengo encara o Figueirense no Orlando Scarpelli. O Santos volta a campo na quinta-feira e recebe o Bahia, às 19h30, na Vila Belmiro.

Antes de a bola rolar, Léo Moura recebeu homenagens pelos 500 jogos com a camisa do Flamengo. O lateral-direito recebeu uma placa comemorativa de Leandro, um dos maiores jogadores do clube na posição, e uma camisa das mãos do presidente Eduardo Bandeira de Mello.


Com mais posse de bola, o Flamengo dominou o início do duelo e buscava as jogadas pelas laterais. Faltava, porém, acertar o cruzamento. O clube carioca conseguia envolver o Santos, mas não acertava o último passe. O Peixe conseguiu se segurar e respondeu na mesma moeda: pelo flanco. Geuvânio passou com facilidade por João Paulo e serviu Robinho. O atacante chutou de primeira e abriu o placar. A torcida rubro-negra não perdoou a falha de João Paulo e passou a vaiar o lateral-esquerdo

O Flamengo sentiu o gol e se desarticulou. O Santos ameaçou em duas oportunidades. O Rubro-Negro foi para o vestiário em desvantagem. O Fla voltou para o segundo sem mudanças. A única alteração do Peixe foi no uniforme. O clube paulista voltou de branco.


Assim como na primeira etapa, o Flamengo buscava as laterais. Léo Moura achou Gabriel, mas o meia-atacante cabeceou para fora. Luxa precisou fazer a primeira alteração. Cáceres sentiu um problema muscular e deu lugar a Luiz Antonio. Depois, Eduardo da Silva entrou na vaga de Gabriel. O Fla ensaiou uma pressão. Em cobrança de falta, Chicão obrigou Vladimir a espalmar. Após o escanteio, João Paulo ficou com rebote e emendou. A bola tocou no travessão e foi para fora.


Luxa foi para o tudo ou nada e colocou o atacante Elton na vaga de Canteros. De nada adiantou. O Flamengo insistiu nos cruzamentos. E mostrou toda a sua fragilidade ofensiva. A derrota deixa o Rubro-Negro mais perto da confusão.


De Futebol


How many Gunners does it take to show up at blow out? The entire team. Chelsea took apart my guys 2-0. The win keeps the Blues atop the leader board with 19 big ones. Man Shitty is in second place with 14 points. The Saints lost to Tottenham 1-0 so Southampton stays in third with 13 points.

My Gunners are stuck in reverse eighth place ten points. Liverpool is ninth ten points tambem. My Gunners are a plus two compared with the Reds a plus minus of zero.


The only intensity we shown all match was the exchange of pleasantries between hated foes Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho. No wonder we lost. The fire to fight is extinguished.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard led it off with a goal in the 27th minute for one nil lead. Diego Costa put this puppy to bed in the 78th for the final score of two one.


The difference Chelsea was too fast, too strong, and too good. Henry Winter The Telegraph “Their defence was mobile and robust, far too strong for Danny Welbeck while Mesut Ozil was subdued. Wenger suggested that Arsenal had not been interested in bringing Fabregas back to Arsenal because they had bought Ozil; Fabregas looked better business on this evidence.”

Winter summarized the match this way-“The only time Arsenal really got to grips with Chelsea, their serial nemesis, was when Arsène Wenger lost his temper and pushed Jose Mourinho midway through the first half. Apart from the ding-dong in the dug-out, Chelsea were again heavyweights against middleweights, again totally in control, again triumphant.”


Tim Jenkins the Guardian was even more cynical- “There was a point of this match when Arsène Wenger seemed to have gone into Begbie-from-Trainspotting mode and was squaring up to José Mourinho by the side of the pitch, as if someone had spilled his pint one time too many. Wenger had already shoved his bete noire in the chest and when he went back to prolong the argument the Arsenal manager briefly pushed his face towards his old adversary so they were almost nose to nose. Those were the lingering images of a sometimes wild game when, once again, Mourinho came out on top and everyone could see exactly how far he has got under Wenger’s skin.


Mourinho’s superiority over Wenger has stretched now to 12 games unbeaten and the man he branded a “specialist in failure” will be fortunate to escape further action from the Football Association. Chelsea have won seven matches during that sequence and once we had waded through all the varying subplots and controversies the bottom line is the Premier League leaders have re-established a five-point advantage ahead of Manchester City – and gone nine clear of Arsenal – courtesy of Eden Hazard’s expertly taken penalty and the latest demonstration of Diego Costa’s penalty-box prowess.

That list of side-issues is fairly considerable, though, even ignoring for one moment the first-half spat between Wenger and Mourinho, with the older man very much the aggressor, that brought no apology from the Arsenal manager, but a wry offer to the journalists in his presence that it was only a “little shove” and he could show us a real one if requested.”


The Daily Mail- “A one-man team? Chelsea are so much more than that this season. Those who believe the title race rests on the hamstrings of Diego Costa may have to reconsider after this.

For a good 75 minutes, Arsenal snuffed out Costa’s threat. It did not matter. Chelsea were still on course for victory, through the quite brilliant Eden Hazard.


Just when Arsenal began imagining they might get a point from the game, a perfect long pass by Cesc Fabregas killed them. “

Outstanding at the back, tireless through midfield, this Chelsea team is the real deal. They are five points clear of their nearest rival, Manchester City, after seven games going into the October international break and if that margin is repeated through the season the title comes to Stamford Bridge before the first blossoms of spring.


As the Premier League does not get won by gaps of 25 points that it unlikely to happen, but finding a way of stopping Chelsea in this form is easier said than done.

Not least because when Thibaut Courtois, arguably the best goalkeeper in the league, gets injured, his replacement is Petr Cech, arguably the second best goalkeeper in the league.

Chelsea’s strength in depth sets them apart. Jose Mourinho has built a powerful squad, full of options and nuance.

This was not the 6-0 monstering of Arsenal from a year ago, but it was impressive nonetheless.


Aside from a Jack Wilshere shot that struck Fabregas’s hand, inspiring a penalty shout, Arsenal did not really threaten.

They had good possession, minus the cutting edge and Danny Welbeck was made to work too hard to have an impact.


He ran and ran, but barely got a touch in an area that mattered. Chelsea cut to the heart of the matter at least twice. Once, when Hazard burst into the penalty area, again when Fabregas set up Costa for his ninth goal in seven Premier League games.


This was a defining moment of the season at this point in time. We are at best a mid-table club at best. Chelsea exposed for the pretenders that we are and have been for the past eight years.




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