De Futebol

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Leicester United clinched the Championship crown with a 1-0 win over Bolton. The Foxes have earned one of the automatic berths to the EPL next season.

The Daily Mail- “Leicester clinched the Sky Bet Championship title at the Reebok Stadium with Lloyd Dyer coming off the bench to net a fabulous winner in a 1-0 victory over Bolton.

The Foxes, who have maintained their position at the division’s summit since before Christmas, were promoted earlier this month and, despite a heavy loss to Brighton, they immediately set their sights on securing silverware.

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Second-placed Burnley’s win on Easter Monday, which saw the Clarets grab the other automatic promotion spot, meant Nigel Pearson’s men needed three points against Wanderers to wrap up the title.

And after dominating large spells of the contest against a team with little to play for, Dyer arrived from the bench to rifle home a fine strike just after the hour.

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With Bolton safely tucked in the middle of the division’s pack, it gave boss Dougie Freedman a perfect opportunity to experiment with his team.

Teenage defender Hayden White was given a full debut in a five-man defence while the bench was largely filled with players yet to feature for Wanderers’ first team. White, 19, was certainly given a tough examination early on as Foxes winger Riyad Mahrez enjoyed oceans of space on the left flank.

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Andy King had a shot deflected off target while Anthony Knockaert also fired wide after a one-two sent Mahrez to the byline. The Frenchman then drifted inside and unleashed a swerving shot which Bolton goalkeeper Adam Bodgan just about shovelled wide.

At the other end a wonderful reverse pass from captain Jay Spearing gave Lukas Jutkiewicz the chance to shoot, yet the on-loan forward elected to pull the trigger when off balance and made a mess of the attempt.

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For the remainder of the half it continued to be one-way traffic down Leicester’s left with David Nugent unable to get great purchase on Mahrez’s cross before the visitors’ dangerman twice cut inside and skewed efforts off target.

It had seemed a matter of when, rather than if, the league leaders would score and they very nearly got a helping hand when Zat Knight, under no duress, headed inches over his own crossbar.

Freedman had seen enough of Mahrez’s marauding runs as he hauled White off for ex-Leicester striker Jermaine Beckford at the break and reverted to a more accustomed back four.

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That did not stop the wave of Foxes attacks, though, as Knockaert’s rasping drive was pushed behind by Bogdan. Nigel Pearson brought Mahrez off 10 minutes after the interval while Andy King was also sacrificed in a double switch for Dyer and Chris Wood.

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Bolton were now built to counter and the energetic Lee Chung-yong scampered away down the left before picking out Jutkiewicz to steer wide of the mark. The 25-year-old would come closer still after running half the length of the pitch and clipping a shot just beyond Kasper Schmeichel’s far post.

It would prove to be a particularly costly miss as, just 36 seconds later, Leicester went ahead. Dyer cut in from the left flank and smashed a right-footed drive which soared into the top corner.

The hosts looked to hit back immediately and ex-Leicester striker Beckford had more time than he realised when lashing a half volley into the crowd. On that occasion the ball had fallen kindly for the Wanderers substitute and Jutkiewicz too benefited from some fortune with Schmeichel able to claw his low poke away.

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Still Freedman’s side looked to strike on the break with Beckford sauntering through only to prod a tame effort at Leicester’s Danish stopper. Freedman introduced debutants Andrew Kellett and Chris Lester to proceedings and aside from a

Wood strike which Bogdan kept out, the contest would peter out before the final whistle blew and the champions banners were brought out.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2610656/Bolton-0-1-Leicester-Foxes-clinch-title-Lloyd-Dyers-wonder-strike-sinks-Trotters.html#ixzz2zeeBGGNB

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This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.
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De Futebol

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The guys I like to follow Yeovil Town are on the verge of getting the heave hoe after a crushing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Huddersfield. The Glovers chances of staying in the English Championship are slim and none. With only two matches left too many things have to break right for Yeovil Town from getting sent back to League One.

Will this happen? Not in this lifetime.

The Daily Mail “Yeovil’s Sky Bet Championship survival bid was left in tatters after Huddersfield snatched a late 2-1 win at Huish Park.

Nahki Wells had put the Terriers ahead before Tom Lawrence grabbed an equaliser but Adam Clayton lashed in a late winner for the visitors to leave the Glovers six points from safety and rooted to the bottom of the table with two matches remaining.

Yeovil now require an improbable set of results and a considerable swing in goal difference to maintain their second-tier status.

The hosts came close to notching an opener inside three minutes when James Hayter headed Kevin Dawson’s drilled cross over the bar.

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Huddersfield, who made the 250-mile trip south without a win in their last 10 league matches, started slowly and should have conceded moments later when Hayter’s header beat Alex Smithies but rattled the crossbar.

The visitors awoke from their slumber soon after when Oliver Norwood teed up Adam Hammill, but his tame effort trickled into the arms of goalkeeper Marek Stech to sum up a half in which both sides lacked conviction and composure in the final third.

Welsh winger Lawrence looked the most likely to break the deadlock for the Glovers and he forced Smithies into a good save when his fizzing free-kick appeared to be spiralling towards the top corner.

Moments later the 20-year-old spurned a glorious opportunity as he galloped through on goal following a defensive mix-up between Anthony Gerrard and Murray Wallace. However, his decision to try and take the ball around Smithies backfired as the giant stopper got down quickly and plucked the ball from the youngster’s feet.

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Following an injury to winger Danny Ward early in the second half, Huddersfield substitute Sean Scannell almost made an instant impact. Twisting and turning away from Byron Webster, he laid the ball back to Jonathan Hogg at the edge of the box but the midfielder drilled his shot wide of the target.

Yeovil, who themselves came into the match short of form with only one win in their last 10 matches, continued to labour in front of goal and were left cursing referee Stuart Attwell shortly before the hour mark when Lawrence appeared to be tripped inside the box, but his claims were waved away.

The visitors snatched the lead following a swift 69th-minute counter attack when Hammill darted down the right flank from inside his own half before superbly guiding the ball to the back post for Wells to bundle home from close range.

But three minutes later Yeovil’s survival hopes were resurrected when Lawrence’s fierce free-kick dissected the Huddersfield wall and flew past Smithies.

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Gary Johnson’s side pushed for a late winner in eight minutes of added time following Ward’s lengthy treatment, but midfielder Clayton stunned Huish Park by drilling a late decider with seconds remaining to leave Yeovil’s relegation to League One all but mathematically confirmed.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2609591/Yeovil-1-2-Huddersfield-match-report-Adam-Claytons-late-winner-shatters-Glovers-Championship-survival-hopes.html#ixzz2zYrTZsBf

This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

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De Futebol

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David Moyes was given the heave hoe today. Yes Martha this should have been done months ago but in the end the real truth is that Moyes should have never been hired in the first place. The Glazers and the entire board of directors at Man U made a deadly and fatal mistake by hiring this guy. This blunder cost the Red Devils millions of dollars so the blame rests squarely on the Glazers and their stupid management team to bring in a fool to run the club.

Sir Alex was a great manager but listening to him was nuts and insane. Sir Alex is a great futebol mind but to let him hand-pick his successor is irrational.

The Daily Mail- “David Moyes has been sacked by Manchester United with immediate effect.

Chief executive Ed Woodward arrived at Carrington at 8am on Tuesday morning to inform the Scot face-to-face of the news.

Moyes had already been informed of his fate and thanked club staff at the training complex in anticipation of his departure. The players were not present at the time, with the former boss leaving the training base at 12.55pm.

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A tweet on the club’s official Twitter account read: ‘BREAKING: Manchester United announces that David Moyes has left the club. The club would like to place on record its thanks for the hard work, honesty and integrity he brought to the role.’

Ryan Giggs will take temporary charge for the rest of the season as interim manager, while Phil Neville has kept his job within the club’s backroom staff.

Coaches Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden have been relieved of their duties.

It emerged on Monday that United’s owners, the Glazer family, had lost patience with Moyes after a dismal season that has seen the reigning Barclays Premier League champions slump to seventh in the table.

The final straw was Sunday’s 2-0 defeat at Everton, their 11th in the Barclays Premier League this season, and a result that left the title holders 13 points off the Champions League places.

United are confident of landing Holland coach Louis van Gaal as his replacement once they have tied up details of the manager’s severance package.

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The Barclays Premier League champions have already made contact with the Dutchman and he wants to join United after the World Cup.

Moyes has been sacked having not even completed one year of a six-year contract and will receive a hefty compensation package.

The Scot, on a day off on Monday, is understood to have been hurt and angry after learning of his fate on newspaper websites.

Despite the expensive signings of Marouane Fellaini last summer and Juan Mata in January, United have failed to keep pace with their rivals and mount any kind of title challenge.

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Moyes, who moved from Everton last summer to replace Sir Alex Ferguson, has also overseen failure in the cup competitions.

United were eliminated by Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup, by Sunderland in the semi-finals of the Capital One Cup and by Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Taking all competitions into account, United have won 27 of 51 matches during the Moyes tenure, drawing nine and losing 15.

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Moyes’s verdict raised eyebrows in the Sky Sports studio.

‘That’s the worst I’ve seen from them over 90 minutes,’ said pundit and Sportsmail columnist Jamie Carragher.

‘Nobody seems to know what’s going on, on the pitch or in the dugout. You can’t see what the plan is. When I played it was total dominance from Manchester United. I’m looking at this team and wondering why they didn’t play like that when I was playing.’

Moyes was even criticised on the club’s in-house TV channel when pundit David May said he was ‘out of his depth’ before being hushed up by the presenter.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2609490/David-Moyes-sacked-Manchester-United-manager-gone-immediate-effect-Glazer-family-lose-patience.html#ixzz2zcRzVSET

This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zon

De Futebol

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Flamengo opened up the Brasileiros Campeonato with a nil-nil draw against Goias.

UOL- A dificuldade do Flamengo em fazer uma boa 1ª rodada na era dos pontos corridos do Campeonato Brasileiro foi evidenciada mais uma vez neste domingo. O Rubro-negro até que tentou, mas esbarrou na boa atuação do goleiro Renan e apenas empatou com o Goiás por 0 a 0, no estádio Mané Garrincha, em Brasília. Desde 2003, os cariocas venceram apenas duas vezes em estreias na principal competição nacional do país.

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Na próxima rodada, o Flamengo enfrenta o Corinthians, domingo, às 16h, no Pacaembu, com o objetivo de se recuperar na tabela. Já o Esmeraldino recebe o Criciúma, às 18h30, no estádio Serra Dourada.

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O Rubro-negro iniciou o confronto com dificuldades para furar o sistema defensivo do Goiás. A equipe visitante mostrou-se mais organizada nos primeiros minutos e com o objetivo de surpreender através da velocidade nos contra-ataques.

Aos poucos, o Flamengo adiantou o posicionamento e explorou as jogadas pelas laterais. O primeiro lance construído foi aos 18min. Após cruzamento na área, Wallace cabeceou e a bola raspou o travessão de Renan.

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Aos 23min, Chicão por pouco não marcou depois de cobrança de escanteio. Renan neutralizou o arremate aos pés do zagueiro. Aos 26min, Mugni executou boa jogada individual e chutou forte. Mais uma vez o goleiro Renan defendeu.

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O Goiás respondeu aos 32min em cobrança de falta de David. Felipe espalmou. Renan voltou a barrar iniciativa do Flamengo no arremate de Luiz Antonio. Os comandados de Jayme de Almeida predominaram no confronto, mas não conseguiram abrir o placar até o encerramento do primeiro tempo.

O Rubro-negro voltou para a segunda etapa com Gabriel no lugar de Amaral. A alteração visou poupar o volante por conta do cartão amarelo recebido nos primeiros 45 minutos. Aos 9min, Araújo cabeceou e quase surpreendeu os mandantes.

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O Flamengo chegou perto mais uma vez aos 14min. Leo Moura cruzou e Renan salvou com os pés. Os cariocas continuaram pressionando, mas as dificuldades em passar pela retranca goiana e a boa atuação de seu goleiro dificultaram o processo.

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Os times ainda tentaram algumas vezes, porém, o placar não foi modificado. David teve a melhor chance da partida e parou nas mãos de Felipe aos 39min, lance que poderia ter dado o triunfo aos visitantes. Na próxima rodada, Flamengo e Goiás correrão atrás dos primeiros três pontos depois de uma estreia frustrante

http://esporte.uol.com.br/futebol/campeonatos/brasileiro/serie-a/ultimas-noticias/2014/04/20/fla-esbarra-em-boa-atuacao-de-renan-e-so-empata-com-goias-na-estreia-do-br.htm

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Flamenguista for life.

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This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

De Futebol

Norwich City v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League

Liverpool jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to see Norwich City come back and cut the gap to 2-1. The Reds scored to make it 3-1 only to have the Birdinhos make it close 3-2. In the end Liverpool hung on for a wild and thrilling 3-2 win. The Reds are five points clear of second place Chelsea.

Liverpool and Chelsea have a huge encounter next Sunday at Anfield. Raheem Sterling started the Reds off on the right foot with a strike in the fourth minute. Luis Suarez scored in the eleventh minute for a quick two nil lead. It stayed that way until Gary Hooper tickled the twines in the 54th minute to give the Canaries some hope. This made it 2-1. Sterling added his second gal in the 62nd minute to complete his daily double. The reds lead three one. Robert Snodgrass close range header in the 77th minute creped the Birdinhos to 3-2. It was nut-cutting time the rest of the way as Norwich City applied the pressure but couldn’t get the final goal for the tie.

Liverpool's Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez

This was a huge road win for Liverpool at the Birdinhos house. The Reds are in the catbird seat with 80 points. Chelsea is second with 75 and Man Shitty is third 71 points however the Citizens will play late today and we will see if they win or not.

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The Guardian’s Simon Burnton summed the match up this way on their live report- “and relax. A wild, intense second-half, from which we learned two things: 1) Norwich could still get the points they need for probable safety, even with their ludicrous fixture list; 2) Liverpool need serious squad-strengthening sharpish. Allen came in and did well, Lucas was less impressive, and Moses didn’t contribute much once he came off the bench. This isn’t news, but it is a worry – there are still three results to claim, two of them without Henderson. Eleven wins on the spin suggests an unstoppable force; successive desperate stoppage-time narrow-victory-protecting rearguard actions do not.

Henry Winter The Telegraph- “If the sign of champions elect is grinding out wins, showing strength of mind to resist pressure, standing tall in the face of a storm, then Liverpool moved even closer to their first title since 1990. They can almost touch the trophy now.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League

Nobody said it would be easy for Liverpool. Nobody said it would be a procession, even with the wobbles of Chelsea and Manchester City in recent days. Norwich City, fighting hard for survival, were never going to be obliging hosts for Steven Gerrard and company. Inspired by Robert Snodgrass, Norwich made Liverpool sweat for the victory that takes them five points clear of Chelsea with three games remaining.

Liverpool led early through Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez, conceded to Gary Hooper, but restored their two-goal edge through Sterling’s second deflected strike. When the tireless Snodgrass then headed in with 13 minutes remaining, Liverpool were clinging on before matching a club record of a sixth successive away league win. Gerrard steadied them and the final whistle was greeted rapturously by the Liverpool fans.

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They had been singing “poetry in motion” early on. Within four minutes, Liverpool fans were also singing about the league. Chelsea’s surprising defeat by Sunderland, and the rattled behaviour of Jose Mourinho and his back-room staff, had delighted the Liverpool supporters. So did their team’s start.

Liverpool's Luis Suarez scores

Sterling was magnificent, scoring with a wonderful finish. Even the deflection off Michael Turner could not detract from the majesty of Sterling’s touch and movement, cutting in from the left, taking a couple of touches to guide the ball past Bradley Johnson. Sterling’s next touch sent the ball flying past John Ruddy, albeit via Turner, for his eighth league goal of the season. Sterling immediately raced to Rodgers, leaping into his manager’s arms, a sign of gratitude for that inspiring guidance earlier in the season.

Sterling then played the creator after 11 minutes, crossing from the left for Suarez, who was running in, adjusting his body to meet the ball to deadliest effect. The Uruguayan cleverly turned the ball across Ruddy and in. Suarez’s 12th goal against Norwich in five games was his 30th league goal of the season, matching Ian Rush’s return in 86-87.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

The record books were updated all game. Sterling’s strike broke Liverpool’s record for 56 first-half goals set in 1895-96. Liverpool have now found the mark in 25 successive league games, equalling their top-flight record set between April-December 1933 and March-December 2001. Only Southampton (at Anfield) and Arsenal (at the Emirates) have stopped Liverpool from netting in a league game this season.

Norwich had their first-half chances, Hooper heading over, and the lively Nathan Redmond testing Simon Mignolet but Liverpool were so in control. Such is Liverpool’s commitment to the possession, and they enjoyed the ball’s company for two-thirds of the opening half, that Mignolet and Jon Flanagan calmly passed the ball around Hooper to launch another attack. Martin Skrtel was in typically imposing mood for almost an hour.

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Gerrard was sitting in front of the back-four, taking the ball off the centre-halves, building moves. Liverpool initially did not seem handicapped by the absence of the suspended Jordan Henderson or the injured Daniel Sturridge. Joe Allen delivered one of his best displays in a Liverpool shirt, passing and moving, a force in both boxes, repelling an attack one moment and then speeding forward to bring a good save from Ruddy.

For 45 minutes, there was movement and menace all over. Philippe Coutinho was on the left but moving inside, linking and creating. Lucas was tucked in on the right. The full-backs, Glen Johnson and the left-sided Flanagan, helped provide the width. Sterling’s movement particularly bemused Norwich. It was not simply the speed which had Norwich players diving in to vacated space, Sterling having spirited the ball away. It was the intelligence of Sterling’s movement, the youngster appearing everywhere in the final third, collecting the ball, turning and running at Norwich.

Suarez was Suarez, the PFA Player of the Year in waiting, the most prolific goalscorer amongst the leading leagues in Europe, such a constant whirl of technique and movement that Norwich’s players risked dizziness. Some lost their self-restraint. Snodgrass clattered Allen. Turner caught Sterling.

The pause for half-time slowed Liverpool’s momentum. They needed to kill off Norwich, who were fighting for their lives. Sterling wasted a superb chance, shooting over from Coutinho’s cut-back. Norwich refused to yield, charging forward, chasing hope. Skrtel headed clear from Hooper. Gerrard emerged briefly hobbling from a block-tackle on Redmond.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

Norwich broke through after 54 minutes. Mignolet has never fully convinced dealing with crosses this season, and he faltered under pressure from Bradley Johnson. The ball fell to Hooper, who stroked home his first goal in 17 hours and 23 minutes.

This surely would be a test of Liverpool’s character. Norwich fans were raucous, believing that they could get back into this game, that they could stay up. Rodgers switched to 4-3-3, pushing Sterling wide. The England youngster briefly soothed Liverpool’s nerves after 62 minutes, seizing a loose ball from Bradley Johnson and accelerating 50 yards through the middle. Johnson managed to cover back but his attempted interception merely diverted Sterling’s shot, sending it looping over Ruddy.

Norwich never gave up. Martin headed a Snodgrass corner over. Their fans kept believing, kept railing against injustice. Norwich fans were furious at the way Suarez responded to a Leroy Fer challenge, rolling around, clutching his ankle, before realizing the move was going on and jumping up, fully recovered.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

Norwich scored again with 13 minutes left. Again, Liverpool looked vulnerable under the aerial ball and this time Snodgrass swooped, heading in at the far-post.

The managers made their moves. Neil Adams sent on Ricky van Wolfswinkel and Josh Murphy. Rodgers, seeking to absorb Norwich pressure, went to a back-five. Allen came off for Daniel Agger. Yet even with the extra centre-half, Liverpool still lacked conviction at the back. Redmond’s cross was missed by Mamadou Sakho, presenting Van Wolfswinkel with a glorious chance but he headed straight at Mignolet.

Liverpool celebrated a victory rooted in grit and determination. Chelsea now visit Anfield next weekend in the middle of their Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid. It will be interesting to see whether Mourinho rests any of his stars for the second leg. The Premier League trophy is surely destined for Anfield.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/10776951/Norwich-City-2-Liverpool-3-match-report.html

This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

Norwich City v Liverpool - Premier League

De Futeol

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Crystal Palace is on a hot streak. The Eagles defeated West Ham 1-0. Mile Jedinak nailed the PK in the 59th minute for Crystal Palace’s sixth win in a row. The Eagles are in eleventh place 40 points.

Paul Doyle The Guardian “Not content merely with avoiding relegation, Crystal Palace strengthened their bid for a top-half finish as Mile Jedinak scored a second-half penalty to give Tony Pulis’s side their fifth straight Premier League win. West Ham are not mathematically certain of staying up but their chances being leapfrogged by five of the eight teams below them seem slim.

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Even still, boos at the final whistle made it clear that there is growing discontent with Sam Allardyce’s side.

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Football concerns were put in their place before kick-off when West Ham staged a poignant tribute to Dylan Tombides, their former striker who died from testicular cancer on Friday at the age of 20. After the club announced it was retiring the No38 jersey that the Australian used to wear, Tombides’ father and his younger brother Taylor, a youth team player at West Ham, laid it in the centre circle amid prolonged applause around Upton Park. It was a short but powerful ceremony.

When the match started, West Ham made clear their intention of gaining the three points they needed to copperfasten their place in the Premier League, as Julian Speroni was forced into a save from an Andy Carroll header in the third minute. However, Palace responded by showing the solidity and slickness that had enabled them to secure safety even before this game. In the 16th minute Carroll had to clear the ball off his own line as Kagisho Dikgacoi aimed a downward header at goal from a corner by Yannick Bolasie.

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Bolasie’s strength and trickery made him a constant menace down the left and a minute later he produced a cross from which Scott Dann should have scored but the defender headed over from close range. Palace continued to threaten and believed they should have been awarded a penalty for handball when Kevin Nolan flung himself in front of a shot by Adrian Mariappa but the referee ruled that the ball hit the midfielder’s shoulder.

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It was a far from one-way traffic in a game that, while hardly a thriller, offered enough hold the interest. Speroni had to touch a 20-yard drive from Mohamed Diamé over the bar in the 28th minute. Carroll, meanwhile, continued to serve as a berserker in the box, spreading chaos every time the ball was flighted towards him. But the appeals for him to be awarded a penalty after he collided with two defenders in the 33rd minute were far-fetched. Two minutes later the striker combined nimbly with Nolan before teeing up Diamé for a 10-yard shot that Speroni did well to bat away. The goalkeeper then had to paw out another Carroll header.

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Carroll, almost inevitably, was presented with the first chance of the second half too, but he dragged his shot wide from 10 yards after good service by Stewart Downing. In the 55th minute Carroll unleashed another shot, which this time brought a block from Damien Delaney.

By now Palace had coiled deep and Jerome found himself with little support when he latched on to a long ball in the 58th minute. However the striker made the most of his meagre rations and proved too shrewd for Pablo Armero, who tripped Jerome on the way into the box. Jedinak converted the spot-kick expertly.

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The home fans were quick to vent their disgruntlement and the visitors sought to deepen their anger. West Ham had to defend frantically over the next few minutes to avoid falling further behind.

Sam Allardyce’s decision to replace Matt Jarvis with Carlton Cole in the 70th minute was greeted with more boos from the locals. The subsequent introduction of Joe Cole proved more popular but neither switch injected enough ingenuity into the hosts to infiltrate the diligent Palace guards.

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http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/19/west-ham-united-crystal-palace-premier-league-match-report

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Swansea City scored the late equalizer in the 90th minute plus two to get the 2-1 win over Newcastle. Wilfried Bony nailed the gift to snatch the victory from struggling Toons fifth straight defeat.

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Aston Villa and Southampton tied nil-nil.

In the match between Toons and Swansea City the ref was knocked out on shot to the head from ball. This is Excedrin headache number nine.

The Daily Mail-“ It seems there is no greater sense of schadenfreude in football than seeing a match official come a cropper, which is exactly what happened during Saturday’s game between Newcastle and Swansea at St James’ Park.

 

 

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Premier League referee Chris Foy was hit square in the face when Swans midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’s shot was blocked by Magpies captain Fabricio Collocini and ricocheted in his direction.

The unsuspecting official was left motionless on the floor for several seconds before being treated by Newcastle medical staff.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2608429/Referee-Chris-Foy-forced-Newcastle-game-flattened-blocked-shot.html

 

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Chelsea took the early one nil lead. It sure looked like the Black Cats were dead in the water. Sunderland scored two goals to stun the Blues at Stamford Bridge 2-1. This is Jose Mourinho’s first loss at Stamford Bridge in seventy-seven matches. This sucker was huge. The Reds are now in the drivers seat to win the title. All Liverpool has to do is win tomorrow against Norwich City at Carrow Road they will lead Chelsea by five points.

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Samuel Eto’o scored in the 12th minute. It sure looked like deja ve all over again. Conner Wickham nailed the equalizer in the 18th minute. The Blues applied the pressure but couldn’t crack the Black Cats stellar “D”. The match winner happened when America Jozy Altidore took the rock to the rack. The Blues Cesar Azpillicueta fouled him and the spot kick was given. Fabio Borini deposited the gift into the back of the net in the 82nd minute. Deja ve all over again. Not on this day as Sunderland held one for the upset city win over Chelsea.

Liverpool is still the top dog with 77 points. Chelsea is second 75 points and Shitty is third 71.

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Sunderland is still whale dung 29 points. The Black Cats have a match in hand.

So the unpredictable is the norm of the day in the EPL. Eighteen of the Black cats twenty-nine points have come against the top clubs in the EPL.

Go figure!

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Jim White The Telegraph-. “Is Gus Poyet a Liverpool fan? It is a question that will have been on the minds of many in the Premier League after his Sunderland team contrived this most improbable victory at Stamford Bridge to follow their midweek draw against Manchester City, two results which effectively handed Brendan Rodgers the title.

Tuesday sees the start of a three game sequence – in which the showdown with Liverpool is bookended by Champions League semi-final legs against Atletico Madrid – that will define Chelsea’s season. But Jose Mourinho was right in his programme notes to suggest that only three points accrued against the relegation favourites would keep the title quest alive. Victory was the only option.

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In the eleventh minute, it looked as if such a result might be achieved in the most routine of fashions. A tricky, jinking run by Samuel Eto’o was brought to an end by Santiago Vergini’s sliding tackle just as the Ivorian was about to shoot.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/10776601/Chelsea-1-Sunderland-2-match-report.html

Dominic Field The Guardian- “Fabio Borini may never eclipse this contribution as a Liverpool player. The Italian loanee edged up to the penalty, awarded harshly against César Azpilicueta eight minutes from time, to ease the ball beyond Mark Schwarzer and, in breathing life into Sunderland‘s desperate attempt to avoid relegation, handed his parent club the initiative in the title race. The Premier League is Liverpool’s to claim.

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This was a twist few could have foreseen. José Mourinho’s 77-game unbeaten league run in this arena was curtailed by a former Chelsea player, the youth-team graduate who had since found opportunities so limited under Brendan Rodgers at Anfield that he was shipped out for the season in search of first-team football. The concession was too much for Mourinho’s assistant, Rui Faria, who raged at the Wirral-based official, Mike Dean, and had to be restrained by three members of the home coaching staff on the touchline as emotion took over.

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His manager even yanked him back by his hair, the referee eventually sending Faria to the stand, but there was to be no salvation for the hosts. While Sunderland are now three points adrift with winnable games to come, their four-point haul from trips to the Etihad and now Stamford Bridge over the past few days has effectively transformed them into kingmakers in the title race. If Liverpool win at Norwich on Sunday lunchtime their advantage will be five points and even a Chelsea victory at Anfield next Sunday will not be enough. This felt decisive.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/19/chelsea-sunderland-premier-league-match-report

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This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone.

 

De Futebol

 

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River Plate tied nil-nil against Estudinates. This tie dropped Los Millionarios to fourth place with 24 points. Gimnasia LP defeated Racing 1-0 to move into third place with 24 points. El Lobo has a plus five while Los Millionarios is a plus four.

Top dog Estudinates stayed the main man 25 points. Colon de Santa Fe jumped into second place with a 1-0 win over Newell’s Old Boys in a battle of the red cards. Los Sabaleros has 25 points but the Los Pincharrates-the rat stabbers are a plus six while Colon de Santa Fe is a plus four.

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San Lorenzo hung on for a nil-nil  tie against Boca Juniors. Santo was down two men and still hung on for the tie. Los Xeneise is buried in 12th place 17 points. San Lorenzo is eighth 22 points.

With the World Cup just around the corner Torneo final is pushing to get the season done before June. This means a ton of midweek matches like these that were play on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.

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La Razon on the River Plate tie. Pudo ser para cualquiera de los dos. Estudiantes mereció más, pero River también tuvo sus oportunidades para llevarse los tres puntos. Sin embargo, el pozo quedó vacante: igualaron sin goles en La Plata y dejaron abierta la definición del Final, con el Pincha en la punta de la tabla junto a Colón, con 25 puntos, y el Millonario al acecho, a una unidad de los líderes. En buena parte, la parda sin gritos se debió a la actuación de los arqueros, especialmente de Leandro Chichizola, que atajó por la lesión de Marcelo Barovero y fue clave, al taparle un penal -mal sancionado por el árbitro Germán Delfino- a Guido Carrillo y varias jugadas más de peligro para el local. Mano a mano.
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Como era de esperar en un duelo entre equipos que priorizan la solidez por encima de la toma de riesgos para atacar, el primer tiempo no deparó demasiadas opciones de gol. No obstante, las que hubo fueron clarísimas. De entrada, Estudiantes puso a Franco Jara mano a mano con Chichizola, pero el delantero se vio tan sorprendido por su soledad frente al arco que remató débilmente. Los dirigidos por Ramón Díaz contestaron y dejaron a Fernando Cavenaghi en una inmejorable posición. Sucede que el Torito está peleado con la red y, al no advertir que Gerónimo Rulli le regalaba un palo, definió al medio y dejó escapar la chance. A los 35 minutos llegó el error de Delfino. Tras un pelotazo largo, Jara empujó en la pugna a Eder Alvarez Balanta, que al mover los brazos acomodándose para no caerse, tocó la pelota con la mano. No hubo intención, pero el juez cobró el tiro desde los once metros y generó el lucimiento “de Chichizola.

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En el complemento, Cavenaghi trató de sacarse la mufa, pero una tijera quedó en manos de Rulli y un zurdazo se le fue cerca. Con el correr de los minutos, River se apagó y los muchachos de Mauricio Pellegrino crecieron, progresando por los costados con mucha velocidad. Así, Jara tuvo su revancha y su remate dio en el palo. Luego, a River lo salvó el hombro de Jonatan Maidana, que interrumpió el recorrido de una pelota con destino de gol. Y por último, Chichizola terminó de ponerse el rótulo de figura tapándole una clarísima al ingresado Juan Manuel Olivera.

Así, los dos siguen soñando con terminar arriba de todo el pelotón. Mano a mano.

http://www.larazon.com.ar/deportes/Mano-mano_0_561000051.html

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La Razon on the Boca Juniors tie. Hay razones que la propia razón nunca entenderá. Por eso, la pasión gana por goleada, aunque desde adentro del campo no se trasmita demasiado. Por eso, el hecho de que reaparezca Juan Román Riquelme alcanzaba para ilusionar a los hinchas de Boca. Por eso, que San Lorenzo alistara a sus mejores hombres a pesar del trajín que viene sufriendo esperanzaba a los simpatizantes de San Lorenzo. Eso pesaba más que la pésima campaña de los dirigidos por Carlos Bianchi y la irregularidad de los de Edgardo Bauza. Pero ayer ambos conjuntos mostraron su versión más pálida e igualaron sin tantos en la Bombonera. De esta manera, el Ciclón se mantiene con expectativas, dado que con 22 puntos se ubica a tres de los líderes, Estudiantes y Colón. En cambio, Boca sigue deambulando por la mitad de la tabla.

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En la primera etapa el trámite resultó muy chato y hubo muy poco para rescatar. Ambos se repartieron los momentos de dominio de la pelota, pero ninguno fue punzante en los últimos metros de la cancha. Así, recién a los 43 minutos se vio una jugada de serio peligro. Tras recibir de Angel Correa, Ignacio Piatti se deshizo de su marcador en el área y remató apurado y desviado por la llegada de un segundo defensor. Eso fue todo.

En el segundo tiempo el desarrollo continuó siendo aburrido y muy deslucido. A falta de 20 minutos para el cierre, Correa tuvo la más clara, pero Agustín Orion le ganó en el mano a mano cuando el juvenil intentaba eludirlo. Enseguida, las esperanzas del Ciclón terminaron de apagarse. Es que su mejor jugador, Leandro Romagnoli, el único que había intentado desequilibrar y conducir, pegó un patadón producto de la impotencia tras perder una pelota y vio la tarjeta roja directa. Por el otro lado, Riquelme había desaparecido hace rato. Y si los dos Diez no gravitan… El 0-0 fue inamovible y sólo quedó tiempo para que Néstor Ortigoza se fuera expulsado por doble amarilla.

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En definitiva, a San Lorenzo, que a veces hace reír y otras llorar a sus hinchas, todavía le cierran los números. Del otro lado, Boca sólo espera que el Torneo Final termine pronto.

http://www.larazon.com.ar/deportes/nada-boca_0_561000050.html

This is it from Bobby Gee in The De Futebol Zone

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