De Futebol

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The winning streak has stopped at twelve for Arsenal. My Gunners and Besiktas tied nil-nil. The bad news is that Aaron Ramsey was given the heave hoe and will miss the return leg at our house Emirates next Wednesday.  Besiktas almost scored from the out set when  former Chelsea striker Demba Ba fired a long range bomb from the opening kickoff that almost found its mark. Yes Martha we dodged a bullet. The Turkish club put a ton of pressure on us but could quite nail it. This is good for us.

We didn’t play that well and this is cause for concern. We were stretched to the limit by Besiktas.  This tie could be priceless for we didn’t give up a goal nor did we score a goal so we must win at our house next Wednesday to advance to the main draw in the Champions League.

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The frustration thing is that we failed to finish our scoring chances especially Olivier Giroud and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who’s shot in the late stages rattle the post. Donk off the post wide right.

Wenger was furious for the two yellow cards that sent Ramsey packing. Jeremy Wilson The Telegraph wrote “Arsenal’s once flawless Champions League play-off record has suffered its first blemish but Arsène Wenger is unlikely to have felt more relief in winning the 12 previous fixtures.

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With Aaron Ramsey controversially sent off and Wenger almost hit by a missile that was hurled in his direction on the final whistle, his team also euphemistically dodged a bullet in Istanbul on Tuesday night.

Against a Besiktas team inspired by Demba Ba, they survived considerable pressure and a series of near-misses, including a spectacular Ba effort from the halfway line in the opening seconds of the match.

Indeed, in the very same stadium that Liverpool staged their memorable comeback from 3-0 down against AC Milan in the Champions League 10 seasons ago, it is no exaggeration to say that, with better Besiktas finishing, Arsenal might have required similar heroics in the return leg.

As it is, they will be clear favourites in the relative calm of the Emirates next Wednesday to secure their place in the Champions League group phase for a 17th consecutive year, even if Wenger is furious that they must now do it without Ramsey

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“Both yellow cards for Aaron Ramsey are unbelievable,” he said. “When you see the fouls they have made it’s not serious. Just not serious. Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved. I think in the second half the performance of the referee was very bad.”

Wenger had earlier begun what is his 20th quest to win the Champions League with either Arsenal or Monaco by taking one of the more notable gambles of his career.

Per Mertsacker might have been just short of the match fitness that Wenger ideally wanted but he could quite easily have made the trip to Turkey to provide cover for a defence that was severely lacking in depth. Wenger, though, ruled that his vice-captain should continue his preparation for Saturday’s match against Everton at the club’s London Colney base and, in what was only his third senior centre-back appearance, selected 19-year-old Calum Chambers alongside Laurent Koscielny.

The match began extraordinarily. Straight from the kick-off, Ba saw that Wojciech Szczesny had drifted off his line and smashed a full 50-yard shot in the direction of the Arsenal goal. As time almost seemed to stand still, Szczesny scurried back and, with his 6ft 5in frame at full stretch, tipped Ba’s audacious effort onto the crossbar. The gasps from all around the Ataturk Olympic Stadium soon turned to vociferous encouragement for Besiktas and whistles every time an Arsenal player touched the ball.

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With Slaven Bilic immediately making his way to the touchline and urging his players forward, it was quickly obvious that Arsenal’s ability to withstand early pressure would be critical. Oguzhan Ozyakup, who left Arsenal in 2012 after failing to break into the first team, then delivered a perfectly weighted cross for Ba. The former Chelsea striker had cleverly drifted into space behind Chambers and his left-footed volley forced an excellent save from Szczesny.

Bilic’s game-plan was clearly to target Arsenal’s defensive vulnerabilities but the flipside of their approach was a susceptibility to being punished on the counter-attack. Alexis Sanchez was especially dangerous down Arsenal’s right and soon created two good chances.

Olivier Giroud, who was back leading the line for Arsenal following a hamstring injury to Yaya Sanogo, was just unable to get a shot away and then Santi Cazorla dragged his effort across the Besiktas goal. A poor-quality pitch was not helping Arsenal’s attempts to establish their passing rhythm but the adventure of Besiktas was continuing to place considerable pressure on their defence.

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Veli Kavlak was the next Besiktas player to test Szczesny with a powerful shot and, with Ba thriving as their talisman, there was no compromise in an attacking style that had seen off Feyenoord in the previous qualifying round. Ba also came within inches of putting Besiktas into the lead on the stroke of half-time when, having turned the Arsenal defence and sent Szczesny the wrong way, he pulled his shot just wide of the near post.

Another excellent chance arrived within seconds of the restart when Ozyakup dissected Arsenal’s defence, only for Olcay Sahan to wastefully direct his shot beyond Szczesny’s far post.

The look of utter frustration on Bilic’s face told its own story but Arsenal’s difficulties were further compounded by the loss of captain Mikel Arteta following what Wenger called a “very bad” challenge by Ba. Mathieu Flamini was tasked with providing added protection to the back four but, in the absence of Arteta, Arsenal found it even more difficult to discover their fluency. Sanchez’s first-half threat was also diminished and Wenger eventually responded by bringing on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal were briefly revived but, just as it seemed that the momentum might turn, they lost Ramsey. He had been booked for an earlier challenge on Necip Uysal and, while there was certainly contact as he clumsily used his arm to impede Ozyakup’s run, it was a soft and needless red card. Oxlade-Chamberlain did still almost win it in added time, with his shot brilliantly turned onto the inside of a post by Tolga Zengin.

The match ended with Bilic being shown to the stands following one of his many complaints at referee Milorad Mazic. His team’s best chance has probably also gone.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11044677/Besiktas-0-Arsenal-0-Champions-League-match-report.html

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De Futebol

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Newly promoted Burnley shocked the Blues with an early goal by Scott Arfield 14th minute. Chelsea came back to score three goals in rapid succession to put away a pesky Clarets squad 3-1. Goals by Diego Costa 17h minute, Schürrle 21st minute, and Branislav Ivanovic 34th minute was all the Blues needed to get the win. The Clarets put up  a heck of a fight  but could not score after Chelsea took the three one lead. Burnley attacked well. The Clarets had some really good chances to make it interesting the Blues held firm for the 3-1 win.

Henry Winter The Telegraph It was scarcely 20 miles away from here, over at Bolton Wanderers, that Cesc Fabregas said farewell to English football in a 2011 defeat with Arsenal.

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He returned to the Premier League in style on Monday night, orchestrating victory on his Chelsea debut, showing why Jose Mourinho’s side are such heavyweight challengers for the title, and producing one particularly breathtaking touch that was a privilege to bear witness to.

It came after 21 minutes with the score at 1-1, Diego Costa having equalised Scott Arfield’s shock opener. As a blue pyro spread smoke from in front of the David Fishwick Stand housing the Chelsea fans, their team scored a goal of total beauty down the other end, a move accelerated by Fabregas in midfield and which he was to embellish even more.

As Eden Hazard took up the running, dribbling through Burnley’s midfield, Fabregas ghosted towards the edge of the area. Hazard laid the ball right to Branislav Ivanovic, who spotted that Fabregas was unmarked. Ivanovic stroked the ball inside and Fabregas’s response sent Chelsea fans into raptures and professionals, past and present, posting eulogies on Twitter.

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The joy of Cesc’s touch was not simply the deft technique, the cushioning of the ball; it was also Fabregas’s awareness of André Schürrle’s run. The German advanced on to a ball so tempting that it should have come with a gilt edge and embossed with the word INVITATION. Schürrle calmly drove it past Tom Heaton.

Premier League audiences have been treated to many sumptuous assists down the years, a couple of gems including Steven Gerrard’s pass with the outside of the boot to John Arne Riise at Highbury in 2002, a delivery that totally bemused Arsenal, and Dennis Bergkamp’s threaded pass to Freddie Ljungberg against Bolton the same year. Fabregas’s assist was in that elevated category.

As Chelsea waved a banner reading “Cesc is blue”, the Spaniard graced central midfield, alongside Nemanja Matic but with licence to roam forward. He kept taking the ball on the half-turn, always happy to take possession when under pressure, slipping away from Burnley markers, always with his head up looking for team-mates’ movement.

Fabregas’s desire to impress after a frustrating time used out of position at Barcelona is considerable, giving Chelsea further confidence that they can wrest the Premier League title from Manchester City. No wonder Jose Mourinho was so keen to bring him in.

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“I know clearly what the player is because we were so long in the same league,’’ said Mourinho. “He moved to Spain also so for the last 10 years we have been in the same league for six or seven. I know exactly what he will bring. For Barcelona he was the fake nine, the No 10 and winger but I know and he knows what is his best position so he is giving exactly what we need. Quick thinking in midfield. He brings people in the same direction. I am really happy.

“I agree with Cesc being man of the match because he and Matic controlled the game and dictated the intensity of the game. They decided how to control the pace. They were both good brains in this team and I am happy with that because last season we could not control the game as we controlled today.”

This was an important win for Chelsea, not simply to keep pace with the three other contenders for the title, Arsenal, Liverpool and City, but also to prove they could dismiss less celebrated opponents, a costly issue last season. Burnley caused them trouble, especially the excellent Arfield, who kept running at Chelsea’s defence. If Burnley play all season with the depth of belief espoused by Arfield, they have a chance of staying up.

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When Matthew Taylor cut the ball back from the left after 14 minutes, Chelsea were far too sluggish in closing down Arfield. He controlled the ball with his right, instantly killing the momentum. As Gary Cahill ventured towards him, Arfield was too quick, sending the ball looping at speed past Thibaut Courtois.

But the newcomers to the Premier League were then swept away by Chelsea’s new boys. Within three minutes of Arfield’s strike, Costa levelled. Fabregas flicked the ball to Ivanovic, whose cross from the right clipped Heaton’s right-hand upright and dropped obligingly to Costa. His finish was unerring, the ball driven into the net. Chelsea have the line-leading forward they need; now they must keep Costa fit. Four minutes later, Fabregas teed up Schürrle.

Chelsea were then understandably frustrated that Costa was then cautioned by Michael Oliver for diving; lurking on the off-chance that Ben Mee would underhit his back pass, Costa was definitely caught by Heaton but clearly maximised the contact. The fact remains that he was caught, that it would have been a free-kick to Chelsea anywhere else on the field, and that Costa was unlucky to be booked.

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Refusing to be distracted by the injustice, Chelsea simply took their annoyance out on Burnley’s defence. Michael Duff conceded a corner, that Fabregas curled into the six-yard box for Ivanovic to volley home. It was wretched marking by Burnley.

Chelsea fans went through their song book, singing about Steven Gerrard’s costly slip last season, about Dennis Wise scoring at the San Siro and also saluting Courtois. “Thibaut, Thibaut, give us a wave,’’ they chanted. It felt a significant moment in Chelsea’s history, a watershed for the Blues.

Petr Cech has served Chelsea so well but time waits for no man. Chelsea also risked losing Courtois if he was not given his chance after excelling on loan at Atlético Madrid. Cech may be wise to respond to Paris St-Germain’s interest; Courtois already looks established. He was commanding coming off his line to take crosses, and then threw himself athletically to his right to keep out a second-half Arfield shot.

Chelsea fans were also saluting two long-serving players who left in the summer. They sang about Ashley Cole winning the European Cup, and about “Super Frankie Lampard”; so much for any bitterness about his current switch to Manchester City en route to New York. There was even time for Didier Drogba to come on, and then throw his shirt into the crowd. So many positives for Chelsea, the list headed by “that” pass from Fabregas.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/11042365/Burnley-1-Chelsea-3-Diego-Costa-and-Cesc-Fabregas-inspire-Jose-Mourinhos-side-to-impressive-win.html

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De Futebol

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Flamengo picked up their first road win of the season.  Boo Mengao scored the knockout1-0 win over Coritiba. The win has the guys with 16 points sitting in 14th place.

O’Dia wrote  Flamengo e Coritiba fizeram neste domingo, no Couto Pereira, o duelo de duas equipes que lutavam para deixar o rebaixamento. Mas a tarefa não era fácil, mesmo vencendo ambos os times torciam por uma sequência de resultados para sair da zona de rebaixamento. O Rubro-Negro saiu na frente com Everton e segurou o placar no segundo tempo, conquistando sua primeira vitória como visitante no Brasileirão.

Mesmo jogado fora de casa, o Flamengo conseguiu abrir o placar logo no início do primeiro tempo e por pouco não aumentou. Jogando na defesa, os cariocas sofreram com o volume de jogo imposto pelo Coritiba, que também criou boas oportunidades no primeiro tempo. Na segunda etapa, o Rubro-Negro se fechou na defesa e conseguiu sua primeira vitória como visitante.

Com 16 pontos, o Flamengo chegou ao 13º lugar, depois da vitória deste domingo, no Couto Pereira. O Coritiba ficou nos 12, conquistados em 15 jogos no Brasileirão.

Na quarta-feira, o Flamengo recebe o Atlético-MG, às 22h, no Maracanã. Mais cedo, no mesmo dia, o Coritiba fará seu segundo jogo seguindo em casa, diante do Vitória, às 21h.

O Flamengo assustando logo aos 12 minutos da primeira etapa. Canteros levantou a bola na área e Everton, que sozinho, mandou de cabeça por cima do gol de Vanderlei. Quatro minutos depois, o mesmo Everton abriu o placar no Couto Pereira.

Baraka não conseguiu dominar a bola e perdeu para Everton, que avançou em velocidade. O meia ficou cara a cara com o goleiro e só teve o trabalho de colocar no fundo da rede do Coxa.

O primeiro lance de susto do Coritiba foi com Germano, aos 20, de cabeça. Robinho cobra escanteio e o volante testou na rede, pelo lado de fora.

Com o Flamengo mais recuado, o Coritiba cresceu na partida. Os paranaenses chegaram ao gol Rubro-Negro em duas oportunidades: uma com Marcelo e outra com Norberto. Ambas tentativas foram paradas pelo goleiro Paulo Victor.

O Flamengo respondeu com Alecsandro. Everton puxou o contra-ataque em velocidade pela esquerda e cruzou para o atacante que, de frente para o gol, chutou para fora.

Melhor na troca de passes, o Coritiba teve uma chance clara de gol aos 39 minutos. Robinho recebeu na esquerda e rolou para o zagueiro Leandro Almeida, chegar batendo para fora. A bola passou perto da trave do goleiro Paulo Victor.

O último lance de perigo do primeiro tempo foi do Coxa. Geraldo avançou pela esquerda e cruzou por baixo. O zagueiro Marcelo se esticou e quase marcou contra.

Na volta do segundo tempo, o técnico Celso Roth promoveu duas mudanças no Coritiba e o time voltou querendo marcar logo o gol de empate. O ímpeto no ataque abriu espaço para o Flamengo explorar os contra-ataques.

As chances de gol sumiram do jogo. Ambas equipes falhavam na hora de acertar último passe. Na hora que o chute finalmente saia, muitas vezes era sem direção, indo para fora.

O jogo começou melhorar para o Flamengo, aos 36 minutos, quando Robinho foi expulso depois levar o segundo cartão amarelo na partida. Com isso, o Rubro-Negro só precisou segurar o placar e trazer os três pontos na bagagem para o Rio.

http://odia.ig.com.br/esporte/flamengo/2014-08-17/flamengo-vence-o-coritiba-e-sai-da-zona-de-rebaixamento-no-brasileirao.html

De Futebol

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Man Shitty after stubbing their toes against my Gunners in the Community Shield defeated Newcastle 2-0. Shitty pressed the attack and it was only a matter of time before Toons would wilt. It happened just before the break. David Silva nailed it in the 38th minute for the one nil lead. Newcastle gave it all they had in the second half but Shitty put it away with a late goal from Sergio Aguero in the 90th minute plus two for the final of 2-0.

A successful start for the defending champs at Toons house St. James Park.

Toons new signees did okay against in their debut against Man Shitty.  ESPN described it this way.” New boys Jack Colback and Remy Cabella were impressive on their debuts, while lone striker Emmanuel Riviere showed flashes of his talent before fading as he found himself locked in a physical battle with Vincent Kompany.”

Then added  “New boys Jack Colback and Remy Cabella were impressive on their debuts, while lone striker Emmanuel Riviere showed flashes of his talent before fading as he found himself locked in a physical battle with Vincent Kompany.

ESPN summed up Shitty’s performance.  “Manchester City start this season as they finished the last one: with a win and in first place. This 2-0 win over Newcastle United wasn’t quite the devastatingly fine performance…

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http://www.espnfc.com/barclays-premier-league/match/395755/newcastle-united-manchester-city/report

The Daily Mail wrote that the margin for winning and losing in the EPL is a very fine line.  Shitty wasn’t at their best but they won. Newcastle began what may well be a very testing season competitively but could not find a way to beat Joe Hart on this day.

The Daily Mail went on to write Shitty’s two goals were pleasing to the eye but were the result of muscle more than pure magic. The Daily Mail put the finishing touches by summing it up the match this way.  Shitty in the end was good enough to win and this is the entire point. Shitty won.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2727176/Newcastle-United-0-2-Manchester-City-David-Silva-Sergio-Aguero-ensure-champions-start-Premier-League-title-defence-win.html

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De Futebol

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My guys from Arsenal pulled a win outta their hats to save the day for us. Arsenal won 2-1 on stoppage time goal by Aaron Ramsey in the 90th minute plus one to get the three points. It sure looked like not a single home club would win. Not on this day.

My Gunners fell behind early. Brede Hangeland poked home the close range header in the 35th minute to give the Eagles the one nil lead.  It sure looked like a long evening for us. Laurent Koscielny noodled home the rock 45th minute plus one for equalizer.

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We had most of the possession. We were on the attack right after the screw up that lead to Crystal Palace’s goal. The Eagles lost their manager Tony Pulis when he quit due to lack of respect and stupid management not getting him the players he needed.

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I thought good! We can win this sucker with ease. Not so fast bucko. Crystal Palace put up one hell of fight. The match maker happened in the 88th minute the genius of a man Jason Puncheon received his second yellow card on a brilliant challenge Nacho Monreal near the halfway line.  This brilliant tackle gave us the big MO we needed to finally earn the breakthrough two minutes later.

We need this win badly. My Gunners can’t afford a rocky start to the season.  Man Shitty and Chelsea are favorites to win the whole enchilada.   Arsenal played well but we still struggled against a club we should haven beaten with ease. The woes of having a hard time against clubs not as good as us still can be our down fall.

If we want to won the title my Gunners better straighten this problem out. If we don’t we could wind up with a fourth of fifth place finish again. This needs to be addressed now.

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Possession time and all of that looks good on the stats sheet but on the end we need to score and not let bad teams hang around. This could bite in the ass and cost Arsenal the title.  The other fatal flaw is the way we defend set pieces. We suck.  This cost us the goal and this could have cost us the win. It didn’t. We need to work on this as well.

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Jim White The Telegraph summed up the match this way-Aaron Ramsey’s last-minute winner gave Arsenal all three points at the Emirates. The significance of his strike, hit almost from the goal line, was evident in the Welshman’s spirited celebration: this was a goal that spoke of Arsenal’s reserves of character. Because, make no mistake, this was no easy ride for the North London side. This was not a match won by fancy footwork of cunning trickery; they had to work like Trojans for this reward.

For a team apparently reeling from the wholly unnecessary departure of a talismanic manager, Crystal Palace had spent nearly 90 minutes showing little sign of crumbling. Keith Millen may have been standing in, but in its work rate and refusal to yield space, this was a Tony Pulis team in all but name. With Joe Ledley snapping and Mile Jedinak quickly dispossessing a ponderous Yaya Sanogo, the grizzled, bearded Palace central midfield began the match looking as if it had just returned from a particularly challenging Artic adventure. The arrival of Brede Hangeland from Fulham has only made this a more physically imposing side.

For much of the game, Arsenal had little to match Palace’s brutal directness. The new signing Alexis Sanchez looked comfortable on the ball, if not particularly threatening. A lovely step past Joel Ward was followed by an overhit cross. Indeed, it was in the area the Chilean was patrolling that Arsenal have been most significantly weakened by the summer of transfer activity. Bacary Sagna’s laser-like delivery from the right is going to be hugely missed when Arsenal attack. And Mathieu Debuchy looked reluctant to gambol forward in quite the manner the Gunners fans are used to seeing from their French right-backs.

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It was not until just before half-time that Arsenal seemed to appreciate that something more direct was required than their usual neat interplay if they were to draw anything from the match. The jolt to their wellbeing came in the 35th minute, when Hangeland’s scale bore fruit. Tearing in from the back of the Arsenal penalty box, the towering Palace centre back met Jason Puncheon’s corner unchallenged at the near post and flicked a header past Wojchiech Szczesny. At the time he was being marked by Sanchez, which was not presumably the reason he was brought to North London.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11039186/Arsenal-2-Crystal-Palace-1-Aaron-Ramsey-scores-late-winner-to-open-Premier-League-campaign-with-victory.html

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De Futebol

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Harry “Me Boy” Redknapp’s venture back into the EPL didn’t turn out so well. The Hoops  lost to Hull City 1-0.  A goal by the Tigers James Chester in the 52nd minute spelled doom for QPR. This was the direct result of a lapse by defender Rio Ferdinand. Add to the mix a missed PK by Charlie Austin sunk the Hoops.

Ian Winrow The Telegraph wrote-  “Rio Ferdinand’s lapse in concentration combined with Charlie Austin’s failure to convert a late penalty ensured James Chester’s 52nd-minute goal secured an opening day victory for Hull City and ensured QPR‘s return to the Premier League was marked by defeat.

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Ferdinand was experiencing a comfortable start to life away from Old Trafford before he failed to pick up Chester as Stephen Quinn delivered a right-wing corner. Wrong-footed and out of position, the former England defender was unable to prevent Chester, a former United trainee, from heading past Rob Green.

Austin then spurned the chance to salvage a point, his 84th-minute spot-kick saved by Alan McGregor after Chester was adjudged to have handled Junior Hoilett’s cross, and Rangers’ misery was complete.

This defeat is by no means as alarming as the 5-0 home loss to Swansea that marked the start of the club’s last Premier League campaign. But after the growing optimism of close season, it comes as a painful blow to Harry Redknapp and his players.

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For Steve Bruce, the Hull manager, however, this was the perfect start as May’s FA Cup finalists begin their efforts to avoid the familiar difficulties of a second season in the top flight.

Rangers had appeared largely untroubled during a first half that suggested Redknapp’s side would settle quickly into their new surroundings. Establishing early control of midfield, the home side spent most of the opening 45 minutes on the front foot and would have established a first-half lead had Jordon Mutch not missed two clear opportunities while Andrew Robertson, the Hull left-back, produced an excellent goal-line clearance from Caulker’s header.

The visitors were convinced they should have been awarded a penalty in the 32nd minute when Nikica Jelavic was barged over by Armand Traore but that was a rare moment of concern for Rangers.

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Bruce decided changes were needed and the decision at half-time to revert to a back-four allowed Hull to compete more effectively in midfield and take control of the game.

Where Rangers had dominated in the first half, the visitors were now superior and, after finally exerting some pressure on Rob Green’s goal, forced the lead seven minutes after the break. Stephen Quinn’s corner was delivered to the far post and Chester, having eluded Ferdinand, headed past Green.

A second goal should have come 12 minute later but Green saved well from Tom Ince and the miss looked as though it might be costly when Chester blocked Hoilett’s cross before McGregor intervened to protect the visitors’ advantage.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11038868/Queens-Park-Rangers-0-Hull-City-1-Harry-Redknapps-return-starts-with-defeat-after-Rio-Ferdinand-blunder.html

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Andreas Weimann scored the match winner in the 50th minute for a Villa 1-0 win Stoke City.  The Telegraph’s John Percy “Andreas Weimann earned Aston Villa their first away victory since New Year’s Day and raised hopes of a brighter future for Paul Lambert.

Villa are up for sale with a wantaway owner while Lambert is under pressure from a sceptical fanbase but this win had all the steely qualities that have been painfully absent for so long.

Weimann’s goal early in the second half was enough to condemn Mark Hughes’s stylish team to a surprise defeat in front of a expectant home support.

Optimism has been building that Stoke City can even better last season’s ninth-placed finish and the signing of former Barcelona prodigy Bojan has ramped up expectation levels even further.

But Villa were resolute, assured and streetwise, suggesting the influence of Lambert’s assistant Roy Keane has already had an effect.

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In a scrappy first half the visitors wasted the best chance after a mix-up between Asmir Begovic and Marc Wilson in the 25th minute.

Kieran Richardson capitalised on hesitancy from Begovic to square the ball across goal to Gabriel Agbonlahor, but he could only sidefoot his shot wide.

But they were ahead five minutes into the second half after a fortunate ricochet allowed Weimann a second shot on goal, which he directed across Begovic into the far corner.

Stoke could not find a formula to trouble the Villa defence as they attempted to respond and Peter Crouch was introduced with 20 minutes remaining.

Villa still had chances, however, and substitute Leandro Bacuna wasted a decent opportunity with a wild shot two minutes from time – which left Keane furious on the touchline.

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The anticipated late pressure never materialised and Villa’s fans left the Britannia chanting “we’re going to win the league”. They will struggle to challenge the top 10, in truth, but this was a promising start.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11038823/Stoke-City-0-Aston-Villa-1-Andreas-Weimann-scores-only-goal-to-give-Paul-Lambert-and-Roy-Keane-winning-start.html

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De Futebol

 

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Gentlemen start your engines. The EPL is off to the races later today. I have been waiting for this day since the season ended in May. Man Shitty is the defending champs. My Gunners finished fourth place. Liverpool shocked everyone with a second place finish. Chelsea wound up in third place.

The shocker was Man U stinking the joint out. The Red Devils had their worst finish in top flight futebol seventh place and then couple this with home losses to Everton, Newcastle, and a ton of other clubs who hadn’t won at Old Trafford in many a moon and this was a recipe for disaster. Now Moyes is gone and welcome hard ass Louis Van Gaal. We will see how this all plays out for Man U. The Red Devils battle Swansea City at Old Trafford.

Shitty and the Blues are favorites to win the crown. Liverpool is minus one of the best strikers in the business the biter Luis Suarez. How will this affect the Reds? No one knows at this point.

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My Gunners open up with Crystal Palace. The Eagles are minus headman Tony Pulis who quit on Thursday. Pulis told the management I have had enough of your bull crap so I am outta here. This could send Crystal Palace packing.

Man Shitty opens on the road Sunday at Newcastle’s house. Liverpool entertains Southampton at Anfield. The Saints are coming off a shake up and destruction of their club. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is out at Southampton and now is the new headman at Tottenham.

Everton had a great finish last year under Roberto Martinez a fifth  place finish that no one expected, The Toffees open up with newcomer Leicester City at the Foxes house. This will be a good one.

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Harry “Me Boy” Redknapp is back in the EPL. Queens Park Rangers was not even considered to be here. The Hoops are and now they will have a point to prove they belong when QPR battles Hull City.

The rest of today’s schedule looks like this Hull City-Aston Villa, West Brom-Sunderland, and West Ham-Tottenham.

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De Futebol

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My guys from Flamengo are in a world of hurt. The money is tight. The talent is almost non-existent. Boo Mengao is facing getting the heave-hoe for the first time in Rubro-negro’s history. The out look is bleak. This could be Mengao’s worse season ever.

One of the key players Luis Antonio is being investigated by the cops for embezzlement.  Luxemburgo was brought back to get the team on track. So far two wins and a loss is good. But we have to understand we can win at our house on the road we suck.

Flamengo has too many players that are hurt or under investigation by the cops. This is not good for any club. In the end we need to get better players if not voce vai baby.

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UOL- A polêmica envolvendo o elo do volante Luiz Antônio com uma milícia da zona oeste do Rio de Janeiro é mais uma dor de cabeça para o técnico Vanderlei Luxemburgo no Flamengo. Desde que retornou ao clube, o comandante acumula problemas e luta para que os mesmos tenham interferência mínima na performance dentro das quatro linhas.

A briga contra o rebaixamento no Campeonato Brasileiro, suspensões, lesões, crises política e financeira, além da reformulação do elenco estão entre os desafios diários que Luxa precisa driblar no Rubro-negro. O UOL Esporte listou os obstáculos do comandante. Veja abaixo:

http://esporte.uol.com.br/futebol/campeonatos/brasileiro/serie-a/ultimas-noticias/2014/08/14/luiz-antonio-e-mais-uma-dor-de-cabeca-veja-os-obstaculos-de-luxa-no-fla.htm

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De Futebol

Wayne Rooney Manchester United

Man U named Wayne Rooney the captain by Louis Van Gaal. Jamie Jackson The Guardian wrote “Wayne Rooney has been named Manchester United captain by Louis van Gaal with Darren Fletcher becoming vice-captain. The striker has beaten Robin van Persie, who was Van Gaal’s leader when in charge of Holland, to the position.

Rooney led the side in Tuesday evening’s 2-1 win over Valencia at Old Trafford, the second time he had done so under the new manager. He takes over from Nemanja Vidic, who has left for Internazionale.

Van Gaal said: “For me it’s always very important the choice of captain. Wayne has shown a great attitude towards everything he does. I have been very impressed by his professionalism and his attitude to training and to my philosophy.

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“He is a great inspiration to the younger members of the team and I believe he will put his heart and soul into his captaincy role. Darren Fletcher will become the vice-captain. Darren is a natural leader and will captain the team when Wayne isn’t playing Darren is a very experienced player and a very popular member of the dressing room, I know he will work well alongside Wayne.”

Rooney said: “It is a huge honour for me – and for my family – to be named captain of this great club. It is a role I will perform with great pride. Team spirit has always been very high in our dressing room and I am very grateful to the manager for the faith he has shown in me.”

I look forward to leading the team out on Saturday at our first match of the new season.”

Fletcher said: “I am delighted to have been named as vice-captain. It’s a very proud moment for me and my family.”

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Van Gaal hopes to sign the Argentina defender Marcos Rojo from Sporting Lisbon for £16m and is renewing his interest in Ángel di María after the Real Madrid forward’s proposed transfer to Paris Saint-Germain fell through.

The Dutchman is also considering a move for Ajax’s Daley Blind , which underlines the manager’s determination to strengthen his squad considerably in the final days of the transfer window.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/aug/12/wayne-rooney-manchester-united-captain-louis-van-gaal

De Futebol

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Defending Champions River Plate tied Gimnasia LP one all outta the box in the Argentinos Apertura. Diario Hoy wrote “Con algunas caras nuevas, pero la misma esencia, Gimnasia puso primera en el Campeonato de Primera división justamente enfrentando al último campeón, al que lo puso de rodillas en el comienzo, pero que, después de verse en desventaja, consiguió un empate que podría haber terminado en triunfo si Pablo Vegetti no fallaba la más fácil que tuvo.

El Lobo arrancó el certamen mostrando la misma fisonomía que pregona el entrenador: presión alta, entrega, sacrificio y ataque rápido y profundo. Así fue como el combinado tripero asfixió a River en la primera parte, siendo agresivo para controlar el juego de Ponzio, tapándole las bandas y corriendo con la conducción de Nacho Fernández y la entrega del solitario Vegetti.

Gimnasia tuvo las ocasiones más claras en la primera mitad: primero fue Licht el que remató de derecha y, tras desvío en Barovero, el balón rebotó en el palo; y luego el arquero le negó el grito a Vegetti tras el cabezazo del 9 que encontró bien parado al golero millonario.

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El local fue más, porque propuso el ritmo de juego que lo caracteriza y porque controló bien a los pibes Boyé y Driussi, como el armado de juego con Pisculichi, al mismo tiempo que se animó a romper líneas siendo vertical. De todos modos, Alvaro no entró en funcionamiento (Rojas tampoco) y por momento faltó claridad.

Ya en el complemento, Nacho guapeó al minuto con una escapada en la que sacó un zurdazo abajo y el balón besó el caño izquierdo del ingresado Chiarini.

Sin embargo, el Lobo, sin Meza, y con los ingresos de Cardozo y Mendoza, no tuvo la profundidad necesaria y fue sintiendo el cansancio del trabajo hecho en los primeros 45 minutos. Y eso se vio en el retroceso.

El equipo se cansó y River, ya que con Mora y Teo en cancha, fue imponiendo el dominio, la posesión, aunque sin peligro. Sin embargo, y tras la suspensión del encuentro de 9 minutos por falta de energía, el Millonario abrió la cuenta por medio de la pelota parada: Ferreyra ejecutó y Teo, que durmió a Quiroga y anticipó una mala salida de Monetti, conectó para abrir el marcador.

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De inmediato Mora tuvo el segundo, pero el Mono rozó la pelota y mantuvo al equipo con vida. Y así fue como Gimnasia buscó hasta el final, principalmente desde las subidas de un interminable Licht y la conducción de Nacho Fernández.

Alvaro lo tuvo con un zurdazo que Chiarini mandó al córner, y justamente desde ese envío de esquina, Cardozo la bajó y el goleador, que se movió en el área, conectó para empatar.
De todas formas, el ex San Carlos tuvo la victoria en la última, en una acción colectiva en la cual Cardozo lo asistió y el 9 pifió de zurda a escasos metros del arco. Así, el Lobo rescató un punto ante el campeón, pero ya mostró signos de su gen.

http://diariohoy.net/el-clasico/punto-de-partida-35169

Boca Juniors is on the downhill slide fast. El “Xeneize lost to Newell’s Old Boys 1-0. This is not a good start for Boca Juniors. El Xeneize is one of the most decorated clubs in Argentina futebol. La Lepra has been on the rise for the past few years. Newell’s Old Boys last won the 2013 Torneo Final. Lepra has won six Primera crowns  while Boca Juniors has won 30 titles with the last coming in 2011.

Boca Juniors lost one of their star players Riquelme.  This is one of the reason why El Xeneize is struggling big time. La Lepra’s Mauricio Tevez scored the match winner.

Diario Hoy “El “Xeneize” cayó 1-0 en la presentación en el campeonato local. Ya sin Riquelme tras su partida a Argentinos, el equipo sufrió por la falta de creación de juego y los debutantes no pudieron cambiarle la cara. Mauricio Tevez marcó el gol de la “Lepra” sobre el final del primer tiempo.

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“Es grandioso debutar en esta cancha con un gol”

El juvenil Mauricio Tevez, quien hoy se estrenó en la primera división de Newell`s Old Boys de Rosario con el tanto que le permitió a su equipo ganarle como visitante a Boca Juniors por 1 a 0, afirmó que “es grandioso debutar en esta cancha con un gol”.

Tevez, de 17 años, quien hasta hace unos meses jugaba en la quinta división del conjunto rosarino, respecto del gol que marcó indicó que “por lo general, nunca le pego al arco, siempre doy el pase atrás, pero esta vez cerré los ojos y le pegué, cuando ingresó no lo podía creer, sentí una alegría inmensa”.

Por último, tras la finalización del partido, la joven promesa de Newell`s se refirió a la oportunidad que le dio el entrenador Gustavo Raggio y remarcó que “él me subió a primera y se lo agradezco, me conoce de la novena y gracias a Dios hoy me dio esta posibilidad y hoy estoy acá disfrutando”.

http://diariohoy.net/el-clasico/el-peor-debut-boca-perdio-ante-newells-y-el-gol-lo-marco-tevez-35184

De Futebol

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My guys from Flamengo picked up a huge home win over Sport 1-0. The win was good but Boo Mengao is still the voce vai zone 19th place 13 points. Here’s the rub four other clubs Bahia, Botafogo, Figueirense, and Criciuma each have 13 points. So we are still alive to get out of the heave-hoe zone.

Rubro-negro still hasn’t lost at home and this is our saving grace. No road wins and this is the killer.

O Dia Em pleno Dia dos Pais, a torcida do Flamengo lotou o Maracanã para apoiar o time, lanterna do Campeonato Brasileiro, no jogo contra o Sport, válido pela 14ª rodada. Deu certo. Luxemburgo apostou no atacante Eduardo da Silva no segundo tempo e o atacante, que fez sua segunda partida pelo time, foi o responsável pela vitória do rubro-negro carioca, ao marcar de cabeça aos 39 minutos.

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A vitória deu sobrevida a equipe, que chegou aos 13 pontos, deixando a última colocação do Brasileirão, mas não saiu da zona de rebaixamento. Com a derrota, o Leão caiu uma posição e foi para sexto. Na próximo domingo, o visita o Coritiba no Couto Pereira, às 16h. O Sport, por sua vez, recebe o Atlético-PR na Ilha do Retiro, às 18h30.

Mesmo com Flamengo e Sport querendo a vitória, por motivos distindo no campeonato, os dois times começaram o duelo no Maracanã com cautela, se estudando e chegando pouco ao ataque. Nos primeiros 15 minutos, só um lance mereceu destaque. Em bonita jogada, aos 13, Everton deu um balão em cima de um marcador do Sport, passou por outro adversário e notou Paulinho em boas condições. O atacante recebeu o passe e arriscou de primeira, mas o chute saiu longe do gol de Magrão, sem sustos para o arqueiro do Leão.

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Com 19 minutos, o Sport teve boa chance em bola parada, de longe. Léo Moura perdeu a posse e o zagueiro Marcelo cometeu falta, que poderia ter recebido cartão amarelo, mas o árbitro Emerson Almeida Ferreira viu irregularidade sem punição. O atacante Neto Baiano bateu forte, mas não assustou Paulo Victor.

Aos poucos os times passavam a dar mais espaços. Aos 27, Alecsandro se desvencilhou da marcação e recebeu bom passe, mas Magrão saiu do gol e pulou alto para cabecear a bola e afastar o perigo. No lance, o goleiro se chocou com o atacante, que ficou caído, pedindo falta, mas a arbitragem nada marcou.

 Apesar de estar jogando fora de casa, o Sport chegava com algum frequência. Em dois lances a equipe comandada por Eduardo Baptista teve chance de marcar. Aos 38, Patric chegou à linha de fundo e viu Rithely livre, mas o volante bateu errado na bola, desperdiçando boa oportunidade de gol. No minuto seguinte, o mesmo Rithely lançou Augusto, que, de frente para Felipe, tentou encobrir o goleiro do Flamengo, mas Marcelo cortou para escanteio.

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O troco dos anfitriões foi aos 42, com Paulinho. O camisa 26 recebeu na entrada da área e bate colocado, rasteiro, mas Magrão, atento, faz a defesa sem grandes dificuldades. Foi a última chance de gol do primeiro tempo, que não teve muitas finalizações.

Na volta para o segundo tempo, o time de Vanderlei Luxermburgo começou atacando. Impulsionada pela torcida, que passou a incentivar ainda mais desde o início da etapa final, a equipe chegava ao ataque, mas não tinha precisão na hora de chutar. Aos quatro minutos, Mugni, que entrou no lugar de Luiz Antônio durante o intervalo, cobrou escanteio na cabeça de Cáceres, que cabeceou por cima do gol do Sport.

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Aos poucos o Leão foi recuperando o pique do primeiro tempo e aprontando para cima da zaga do Flamengo. Aos 17, em cobrança de falta, o lateral-direito Patric bateu alto e Ferron, que substituiu Ewerton Páscoa, testou firme, mas por cima da baliza de Paulo Victor. Chance de ouro para o Sport.

Na busca de um gol, Luxemburgou promoveu duas entradas aos 25 minutos de jogo, mudando peças do ataque. Eduardo da Silva, entrou no lugar de Paulinho, para fazer sua estreia no Maracanã, enquanto Arthur substituiu Alecsandro. Aos 29 Mugni entrou na área livre e tentou o passe para Arthur, que estava na marca da cal, mas Rithelly cortou para escanteio. Na batida, o Sport cortou o perigo.

Aos 30, um lance polêmico. Em bola rebatida na área do Sport, Eduardo da Silva caiu e ficou pedindo pênalti de Ferron. Com um príncipio de confusão, Emerson Almeida Ferreira se impôs e afastou os atletas.

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A troca mostrou que Luxemburgo tem estrela. Aos 39 minutos, o lateral João Paulo foi à linha de fundo e fez cruzamento primoroso, na cabeça de Eduardo da Silva, que cabeceou livre para o fundo do gol do Sport, sem chances para Magrão. A torcida rubro-negro foi ao delírio no Maracanã.

Com o gol salvador, o Flamengo apenas segurou o resultado nos minutos finais de jogo. Os três pontos dão sobrevida ao time, que deixou a lanterna do Brasileirão, mas ainda se manteve na zona de rebaixamento.

http://odia.ig.com.br/esporte/flamengo/2014-08-10/com-maracana-cheio-eduardo-da-silva-faz-seu-primeiro-gol-e-da-a-vitoria-ao-fla.html

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De Futebol

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Is this a precursor of things to come? No points were at stake. Yes, Martha many of the top Man Shitty players were out due to the World Cup so were some of ours guys tambem. My Gunners took it to Shitty  winning 3-0 to in the Community Shield.  This coming Saturday the real season starts. We will see what happens but for now Arsenal is the King of the shield.

Henry Winter of The Telegraph wrote- “In keeping with the fabled timetable of the capital’s buses, Arsenal fans waited nine years for a trophy and then two come along in quick succession.

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“Arsenal will need a new trophy cabinet,” screamed the Wembley DJ as the FA Cup winners swept to an emphatic Community Shield win over Manchester City, the champions who seemed totally disinterested. Arsenal supporters will rightly enjoy this but will not get carried away.

In a game also notable for the introduction of vanishing spray and City’s disappearing defence, the victory was still undeniably impressive and Arsenal supporters were in jubilant mood as they celebrated goals from Santi Cazorla, the outstanding Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud in Poznan style.

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They also derived pleasure from the contributions of Arsene Wenger’s summer signings, namely the finesse of Alexis Sanchez, strong signs of Calum Chambers’ potential at centre-half, and a busy display from Mathieu Debuchy at right-back. As Sanchez, Chambers and Debuchy helped parade the trophy before the fans, the music thudding out of Wembley’s speakers ranged from Move on Up to London Calling but a touch of caution would have been welcome, perhaps with a twirl of Johnny Nash’s There are more questions than answers.

A truer assessment of Arsenal’s ability to last the marathon assault course that is the Premier League must wait for another day. How will Sanchez fare against a defence more obdurate than one possessing Dedryk Boyata at its heart? How will Chambers combat the movement of the likes of Sergio Aguero?

How will Debuchy deal with a wide player like Eden Hazard?

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Do Arsenal need another centre-forward or should Wenger keep faith in Yaya Sanogo as understudy to Giroud? Is another centre-half still required despite Wenger suggesting that Chambers and Nacho Monreal could deputise for the first-choice right-left combination of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny?

How will Arsenal handle Chelsea and the power of Diego Costa, the guile of Cesc Fabregas and a resolute defence organised by John Terry? How will they deal with the pace of Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling? So many questions. What can be said with some conviction is that Arsenal boast deeper reserves of talent and belief than for a decade.

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And, a lovely conundrum this, how on earth is Wenger going to juggle his myriad options in the creative department behind Giroud? He now has Sanchez along with Cazorla, Ramsey, comfortably the best player on the pitch with his passing and moving, Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Theo Walcott still to return from injury.

Enough questions. This should not alter radically the season’s title odds with City and Chelsea deserved favourites but it will have another, improving effect on Arsenal’s confidence, on a conviction that they can live with robust, high-class opponents. The most uplifting memory Arsenal fans will take away from Wembley is that they answered the questions posed them in this one-sided Community Shield. Mikel Arteta, the new club captain after Thomas Vermaelen has been sold, anchored midfield, allowing Jack Wilshere to push on, linking with Sanchez and company.

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England’s outgoing captain, Steven Gerrard, had indicated a year ago that Wilshere could be his successor. Wilshere was particularly looking to seize this opportunity, following a difficult summer in Manaus, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Las Vegas. Roy Hodgson had planned to attend Wembley, assessing the three English players starting, but was held up in a three-hour traffic jam en route from his central London home and eventually gave up, turning round and watching the game on television.

London traffic? Who’d have guessed? Even at the weekend, the capital can get clogged up, but was worsened by the RideLondon cycle race hurtling through the centre. Hodgson missed a decent shift from Wilshere and particularly the contribution of Chambers, who was making interceptions as if born to the position, even embarking on a strong run forward after 20 minutes. He was really caught out once when Edin Dzeko lured him wide and then beat him for pace.

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Hodgson also missed Joe Hart warming up, the England No 1 kept on the bench by Willy Caballero, a favourite of Manuel Pellegrini’s from their days at Malaga. Caballero never convinced here, although due allowance must be made for the occasional hapless nature of the defending in front of him. Hart cannot have been overly concerned watching these 90 minutes but Pellegrini’s post-match utterances were hardly reassuring. City’s manager announced that all of his 22 players were challenging for places, an understandable sentiment, except that keepers often need the security of knowing they are No 1. A season of doubts over Hart will help neither City nor England.

Arsenal were without Ozil and Mertesacker but City’s list of first-choice absentees was even longer, including Vincent Kompany, Aguero, Alvaro Negredo, Martin Demichelis and Pablo Zabaleta while David Silva did come on. Samir Nasri looked lively early on, having one shot blocked by Debuchy amidst endless jeers from Arsenal fans for announcing they would be “stupid” to boo him. They were asking Nasri for the score by the end.

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The goals began after 21 minutes. Ramsey began the move in midfield, passing to Sanchez, who turned the ball in to Sanogo. The tall striker responded well, eluding Matija Nastasic. As the ball was worked on, Boyata flew in on Wilshere, fouling the Arsenal No 10 but Michael Oliver played some excellent advantage. The ball carried on to Cazorla, whose first touch created the opportunity, and his second, left-footed, despatched a low shot past Caballero.

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City’s backline resembled a loose collection of strangers. Three minutes remaining before the break, Arsenal cut through again. Ramsey did superbly, starting the move in his own box with a touch out to Wilshere, who was flattened in spreading the ball right to Sanchez. The little Chilean weighted his pass perfectly, allowing Sanogo to outmuscle, wrongfoot and generally bamboozle Boyata. Sanogo rolled the ball on to Ramsey, who had raced 80 yards. His first touch deceived Nastasic and Gael Clichy. His second gave Caballero no chance.

As the second half opened up, Stevan Jovetic hit the post with a header and then had a drive well saved by Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal simply flicked at the accelerator again. Giroud held off Nastasic and sent a dipping shot past Caballero. Giroud may lack pace but he does give Arsenal a physical, back-to-goal, line-leading option. Arsenal showed they are in the mood to answer questions this season. City, though, are unlikely to play as anaemically again.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11024506/Arsenal-3-Manchester-City-0-Aaron-Ramsey-shines-as-Arsene-Wengers-men-coast-to-Community-Shield-victory.html

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De Futebol

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Fulham was sent packing to the English Championship and the result is still the same a 2-1 loss to Ipswich Town. Jacob Steinberg The Guardian wrote “Welcome back, Fulham and, yes, the Championship is harder than you might have remembered. This is an unforgiving league, one that punishes even the smallest of weaknesses, and Fulham had plenty of those on show at Portman Road. While it is too early to make definitive judgements about any side, Felix Magath should definitely be worried by Fulham’s lack of quality.

Fulham were playing their first match outside the Premier League in 13 years and, while Magath could argue that they are a work in progress, they need to find their feet quickly, or opponents will take as much delight in playing them as Mick McCarthy’s Ipswich Town did. The one consolation for Magath was the way his team roused themselves after Tim Hoogland’s late deflected strike set up a frantic finale, but Ipswich clung on for an impressive victory.

After a summer of upheaval, there were unfamiliar faces everywhere you looked in the Fulham side. Eight players were making their debuts, several youngsters had been promoted from the club’s excellent academy and Hugo Rodallega – who started on the bench – was the only survivor in the squad from Fulham’s opening-day victory against Sunderland last season. Clearly patience was going to be required.

Ipswich Town v Fulham - Sky Bet Football League Championship

Magath, who has made little effort to disguise how unimpressed he has been with the running of the club in the past year, likes to do things his way. The German says Fulham will be fine if there is no interference, everyone listens to him, and no one moans about his gruelling training sessions. He has, after all, twice won the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.

Yet he could not save Fulham from relegation after replacing René Meulensteen in February, and the signs were not encouraging here when Jesse Joronen – the 21-year-old Finn making his debut in goal – was nervily knocking a clearance out for a corner early on and arguing with his new pals in the Fulham defence. At least Joronen was feeling happier after making a brilliant save from Christophe Berra’s looping header a few minutes later.

Cole Skuse then sent a volley inches over but Fulham gradually settled, despite their lack of cohesion, with Chris David using the ball intelligently in midfield. Yet Ross McCormack – their £11m summer signing from Leeds United and the Championship’s top scorer last season – was isolated alongside Moussa Dembélé, who wasted Fulham’s best chance of the first half, when he failed to convert the rebound after keeper Dean Gerken fumbled David’s shot. How Fulham would have loved for the ball to drop to McCormack.

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In fairness, Gerken did well to react to his error and spread himself, but Dembélé was too casual, and Ipswich made him regret his profligacy when Fulham conceded possession cheaply in midfield after 32 minutes. Luke Hyam broke clear and fed Daryl Murphy, who sped past the flat-footed Shaun Hutchinson with embarrassing ease, before crunching an emphatic finish past Joronen.

Without ever suggesting they are going to take the division by storm, Ipswich deserved to be in front. They are a team without ego, organised and diligent, one that worked hard for each other, snapped into their tackles and attacked eagerly. Their owner, Marcus Evans, used his programme notes to express his delight that McCarthy has signed a new three-year deal, and their supporters liked what they saw.

They did have a scare early in the second half, when Konstantinos Stafylidis’s volley, from 25 yards out, scorched over the bar – and there were times when Fulham pushed them back – but Ipswich were mostly comfortable, even more so when McCormack was replaced by young Cauley Woodrow after 57 minutes.

Indeed, they carried the greater threat at times, and David McGoldrick – who replaced the injured Balint Bajner just before half-time – was a handful with his willingness to use his pace and run into the channels. McGoldrick did not take long to make an impact and his goal, after 61 minutes, summed up the difference between the sides. Murphy bullied the increasingly hapless Fulham defence into submission on the left and, although his low cross into the six-yard box was turned away, the ball broke to McGoldrick, who rammed it through the bodies and past Joronen.

Ipswich Town v Fulham - Sky Bet Football League Championship

Fulham’s shoulders slumped and as the captain, Scott Parker, picked the ball out of the net and traipsed back to the centre circle, he looked like he knew it is going to be a long season, even though Ipswich were hanging on at the end.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/aug/09/ipswich-town-fulham-championship-football

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Derby County v Rotherham United - Sky Bet Football League Championship

The first weekend in The English Championship is in the books.

Wigan and Reading tie two all.

Nottingham Forest shut out Blackpool 2-0.

Watford took apart Bolton 3-0.

Wigan Athletic v Reading - Sky Bet Football League Championship

Millwall killed Leeds 2-0.

Middlesbrough shut out Birmingham 2-0.

Brighton lost to Sheffield Wednesday 1-0. ‘

Brentford and Charlton tied one all.

Derby edged Rotherham 1-0.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Nottingham Forest v Blackpool - City Ground

De Futebol

Soccer, 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup Match between Manchester United and Liverpool

The Rooney man is glad Louis Van Gaal is the new headman. He thanked Van Gaal for being tough according to The Guardian’s Steven Brenner. Brenner wrote ” for helping the Manchester United squad buy into a new football philosophy.”

Rooney added, “It’s been a good few weeks, we’ve got a new manager who wants us to play a different style of football. We’ve had to adapt. We’ve had some good results against top opposition so we can be pleased.”

“I think the system suits the team, not only myself. The manager came in and had a look at the players we’ve got. He’s done what he thinks is best suited for our team.

“He’s a tough manager but he’s been great since he came in. He’s given us all a different way of looking at football, which we haven’t had before. It’s been great for us and hopefully that will continue.

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“We wanted to win games, play well. And obviously we’ve done that. We’ve won a trophy as well. It’s always nice to beat Liverpool. We’re happy with the work we’ve done out here, now we go on to Valencia and then the season starts.”

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/aug/05/wayne-rooney-louis-van-gaal-manchestern-united

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De Futebol

Yeovil Town

The little guys open this weekend. My guys that I began following in 2006 Yeovil Town open up this Saturday against Doncaster. The Glovers made it to the English Championship for the first time 2013-14. Yeovil Town finished in the whale dung position so the Glovers were sent packing back to League One.

One of the cats who the Glovers are counting on is Seth Nana Twumasi. He is now injury free and ready to play. The Yeovil Town website wrote this   “After putting his injury nightmares behind him, Seth Nana Twumasi is in buoyant mood ahead of the season opener this Saturday at Huish Park.

The Glovers kick off their League One campaign at home to Doncaster and Twumasi is hoping a good pre-season will be rewarded with a starting berth.

“I feel good, last year was my first year and it was tough on me because I was out for a long time injured but I’ve come back this year, it’s my second year, and I look sharp so I feel good in myself and hopefully I’ve impressed the manager and everybody here.

“Having all the injuries was really tough, there was a time when I thought I would never play again but that’s behind me now and I’m looking forward, and I think I’ve done well in pre-season so hopefully I can kick on from there.”

Former Chelsea and Northampton right-back Twumasi scored in the 9-0 win over Dorchester on Monday night, and reveals the squad are positive entering the new season despite suffering relegation during the last campaign.

Getting relegated was disappointing but that’s in the past as well, we’re here to fight for the team and for the fans and for everyone and hopefully we can go up this year.”

http://www.ytfc.net/news/article/20140805-nana-dorch-1805506.aspx#RWJvmq3XvAq6XhMm.99

According to the Daily Mail Yeovil Town is a dark horse to win the League One crown. The Daily Mail wrote- “Yeovil Town have rebuilt sufficiently over the summer to render them promotion contenders but do not have the personal or the resources to have aspirations of dominating the  division as Wolves did last season.

Yeovil Town will be targeting promotion but may have to settle for the playoff route.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2717642/League-One-preview-Sheffield-United-looking-make-fourth-time-lucky-Leyton-Orient-aim-one-better.html

De Futebol

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My guys from Boo Mengao came crashing down hard. After winning against Botafogo the guys stunk the joint out losing to Chapecoense 1-0 last Sunday.  Flamengo is now perfect bagel on the road one draw and six losses. The loss drops Rubro-negro into the whale dung position ten points.

It sure looks like we are headed south for the first time in Boo Mengao’s history.  O Dia  “A derrota expõe toda a fragilidade do Flamengo no Brasileiro. O Rubro-Negro ainda não venceu fora do Maracanã e nem sequer fez um golzinho. Não à toa é o lanterna. O Fla tem a pior defesa – sofreu 20 gols, o mesmo número do Figueirense – e o pior ataque, com apenas oito gols em 13 jogos, o mesmo número do Figueira

As apostas de Luxa fracassaram. Luiz Antonio foi discreto na lateral direita, no lugar do suspenso Léo Moura. Muralha teve atuação burocrática na vaga de Cáceres, outro suspenso. Canteros, em seu primeiro jogo como titular, abusou dos erros de passe. Gabriel errou praticamente tudo que tentou. Ele ficou com o lugar de Paulinho, vetado. Eduardo da Silva, que fez sua estreia no segundo tempo, também foi discreto.

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Na próxima rodada, no domingo, o Flamengo, que continua com 10 pontos, recebe o Sport no Maracanã, às 16h. A Chapecoense, que soma 14 pontos e e está na 13ª colocação, entra em campo na quarta-feira, para rodada atrasada, e encara o Atlético-MG, na Arena Condá.

A Chapecoense tomou a iniciativa e partiu para o ataque. Fabinho chutou de fora da área. Paulo Victor quase se complicou, mas defendeu. Aos sete minutos, os donos da casa abriram o placar. Neném cobrou falta, a zaga do Flamengo não cortou, Paulo Victor não saiu e a bola morreu no fundo da rede: 1 a 0.

O Rubro-Negro tinha mais posse de bola, mas não conseguia criar chances de perigo. Alecsandro ficava isolado no ataque. Os meias Everton, Gabriel e Mugni estavam pouco inspirados. A Chapecoense passou a explorar o contra-ataque. Foi assim que assustou duas vezes. A melhor chance do Flamengo foi após uma trapalhada da zaga rival. Mugni ficou com a bola, mas seu chute foi desviado. Sem criatividade, o Fla foi para o intervalo perdendo.

O Flamengo voltou com Márcio Araújo no lugar de João Paulo. Everton foi deslocado para a esquerda. O panamorama não mudou. O time continuou sem criatividade. A Chapecoense era mais perigosa e obrigou Paulo Victor a trabalhar duas vezes. No primeiro lance, ele espalmou cabeçada de Wanderson. Depois, desviou chute de Fabiano.

A resposta do Flamengo foi com Alecsandro. Com a mão, ele ganhou da zaga e ficou cara a cara com Danilo, mas optou por uma cavadinha. O goleiro da Chapecoense espalmou. Luxemburgo fez as duas últimas mudanças. Negueba entrou no lugar de Gabriel, que nada fez em campo. Eduardo Silva estreou pelo Rubro-Negro. O atacante substituiu Canteros. O argentino fez seu primeiro jogo como titular e teve atuação discreta, com erros de passe em demasia.

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A situação em nada mudou. Alecsandro ficaria cara a cara com o goleiro, mas dominou com a mão. A arbitragem, desta vez, viu e parou o lance.

http://odia.ig.com.br/esporte/flamengo/2014-08-03/apatico-flamengo-perde-para-a-chapecoense-e-volta-para-a-lanterna-do-brasileiro.html

UOL wrote this about Boo Mengao “O Flamengo ainda não sabe o que é se livrar da zona do rebaixamento neste Campeonato Brasileiro. Em mais um atuação muito abaixo da média, o Rubro-negro foi derrotado por 1 a 0 pela Chapecoense na Arena Condá e completou sua sexta rodada no grupo dos quatro últimos colocados da competição. Rafael Lima, do time catarinense, marcou o gol que aumentou o drama dos cariocas na temporada.

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E como se não bastasse a dificuldade em sair da zona da degola, o Flamengo ainda voltou a ocupar a lanterna do Brasileiro após uma rodada longe da última colocação. Com a vitória do Figueirense por 3 a 0 sobre o Sport, o time da Gávea caiu para o 20º lugar – apenas 10 pontos em 13 rodadas. Já a Chapecoense chegou aos 14 pontos e pulou para 13ª colocação do campeonato.

Com apenas 6min, a Chapecoense conseguiu o que queria: a vantagem no placar. Após o gol nascido em uma cobrança de falta, o time da casa, com muita vontade, controlou a marcação e impediu qualquer perigo do Flamengo. O time do Rio de Janeiro até que tinha a posse de bola, mas sem organização e intensidade no meio campo, não assustava a equipe adversária. Desta maneira, o marcador, que apontava 1 a 0 para os catarinenses, foi mantido até o intervalo.

No segundo tempo, o panorama pouco se alterou. O Flamengo seguia sem saber o que fazer com a bola nos pés. Além disso, ainda via a Chapecoense chegar com perigo nos contra-ataques. Nem mesmo as alterações do técnico Vanderlei Luxemburgo fizeram efeito. Márcio Araújo, Negueba e o estreante Eduardo da Silva não conseguiram evitar mais uma derrota da equipe carioca – a sétima em 13 jogos.

O melhor: Nenén – cobrou a falta que originou o gol da vitória e criou as melhores chances da Chapecoense. Foi sempre motivo de preocupação para a defesa do Flamengo

O pior: João Paulo – mal na defesa e no ataque, incomodou torcida e o técnico Vanderlei Luxemburgo. Foi sacado no intervalo após permitir investidas ofensivas da Chapecoense durante todo o primeiro tempo.

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Chave do jogo: A boa marcação da Chapecoense no meio, sempre com muita vontade e disposição, impediu que o time do Flamengo dominasse o setor e criasse chances de perigo. Após sair na frente, o time da Arena Condá viu nesse setor um elemento fundamental para garantir o triunfo

Para lembrar:
O Flamengo ainda não sabe o que é vencer fora de casa neste Brasileiro. Por enquanto, foram seis jogos longe do Rio de Janeiro: um empate e cinco derrotas.

No próximo jogo, no domingo (dia 10), o Flamengo encara o Sport no Maracanã pela 14ª rodada para tentar sua reabilitação. Já a Chapecoense, novamente em casa, recebe o Atlético-MG nesta quarta-feira em partida adiada da décima rodada.

http://esporte.uol.com.br/futebol/campeonatos/brasileiro/serie-a/ultimas-noticias/2014/08/03/chapecoense-x-flamengo.htm#fotoNav=4

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De Futebol

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Man U is now changing from a culture of losing under David Moyes to a culture of excellence. The Red Devils fell behind one nil. Instead of quitting like Man U would have done under David Moyes the guys buckled up the belts and scored three times to get the 3-1 win over arch rival Liverpool International Champions Cup.

Liverpool and Man U are two of the most successful clubs in topflight English Futebol. Count em folks thirty eight title. between the guys. This is a ton of em.  Both Louis Van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers started the strongest squads they could. This is right. Even though this is a meaningless match the Reds and the Red Devils  knew that this match is showcase of  what English futebol is all about.

Mark Ogden The Telegraph wrote -“Wayne Rooney ensured Louis van Gaal extended his unbeaten start as a Manchester United manager by inspiring a dramatic fightback to seal victory against Liverpool in Miami.

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Rooney, who captained Van Gaal’s team for the first time in Florida, cancelled out Steven Gerrard’s first-half opener early in the second-half of the International Champions Cup final.

Juan Mata then gave United the lead before Rooney saw a goal ruled out, correctly, after he scored from close range following up on an Ashley Young cross which had bounced back into play from the stanchion behind the goal.

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Rooney, who was booked towards the end of a feisty encounter in front of a crowd of 51,014, did his hopes of securing the captaincy on a permanent basis no harm, however, by driving his team-mates to the win, which was confirmed by substitute Jesse Lingard’s strike in the 88th minute.

Despite both managers insisting this was a game that carried little significance as a pre-season friendly, Van Gaal and Rodgers still chose to select their strongest available team for the first meeting of England’s most successful clubs on foreign soil.

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Any psychological edge gained in this encounter could give the victor an advantage in the new season and the intensity displayed by both teams from the outset highlighted the determination to emerge with the win.

United made the brighter start and should have taken the lead as early as the fifth minute through Javier Hernandez.

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The Mexico forward, starting in place of the injured Danny Welbeck, was given a golden opportunity after receiving Ashley Young’s cross in the six yard box.

But Hernandez scuffed his effort and the ball was cleared by Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho.

United then quickly suffered another early blow when Antonio Valencia limped out of the game on nine minutes, being replaced by Luke Shaw.

Valencia was sent off in this stadium in June following a scuffle with Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling while playing for Ecuador against England, so he is unlikely to hold too many find memories of Miami.

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The loss of Valencia led to uncertainty at the back for United and Liverpool almost capitalised within a minute when Jordan Henderson headed Gerrard’s free-kick over the crossbar from close range.

Liverpool did open the scoring three minutes later, though, after referee Mark Geiger awarded a penalty following a clumsy Phil Jones challenge on Sterling.

Gerrard calmly put Liverpool ahead by sending David De Gea the wrong way from the spot.

United lacked the fluency of their previous tour games, with Liverpool’s pressing and possession posing the biggest test to Van Gaal’s team so far.

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And Rodgers’ team maintained the pressure as they went in search of a second goal, with Phillipe Coutinho forcing a save from De Gea with a long range strike on 24 minutes.

United were then fortunate to concede a second penalty ten minutes later when Ander Herrera’s foul on Sterling went unpunished by the American referee.

Having finished runners up to Manchester City last season, Liverpool backed up their superiority over United by continuing to dominate in the second half.

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The midfield area, in particular, was a Liverpool stronghold and a mistake by Herrera caused by Gerrard’s pressure led to the former England captain releasing Rickie Lambert in the penalty area.

But the £4 million summer signing from Southampton scuffed his shot, enabling de Gea to save easily.

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Moments later, Coutinho freed Sterling with a sublime pass, but the England winger’s shot was deflected behind by Chris Smalling.

United were being overrun, but they clawed themselves back into the game on 55 minutes through Rooney.

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Herrera’s good work in the centre of the pitch saw the Spaniard release Hernandez down the right and the forward’s cross was met by Rooney, whose left foot volley nestled in the far corner of the net.

Rooney celebrated as though this was more than a friendly and United reacted with similar passion two minutes later when Mata put them ahead.

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Shaw’s pass from the left found Mata in space eighteen yards out and the former Chelsea midfielder beat goalkeeper Simon Mignolet with a left foot shot which was deflected off Sakho.

The two goals completely changed the complexion of the game and United were now the team most likely to add to the scoring.

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And it appeared as though Rooney had claimed his second goal when he scored from two yards after Ashley Young’s header bounced down after the woodwork.

But with the cross hitting the stanchion behind the crossbar, referee Geiger backtracked on his decision to award the goal after consulting the fourth official, who may have seen the incident on the jumbo screens inside the Sun Life Stadium.

United retained the upper hand after the strike was ruled out, though, and Lingard capped their fightback by scoring from 15 yards in the dying stages.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/11012301/Manchester-United-3-Liverpool-1-Wayne-Rooney-and-Juan-Mata-inspire-Louis-van-Gaals-sides-comeback.html

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De Futebol

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After scoring five goals Saturday my guys from Arsenal came crashing back to earth on Sunday losing to Monaco 1-0 in the Emirates Cup. The guys played like crap. My Gunners reverted to their old ways and this is a continuing problem since 2009. With the loss  Valencia won the prize with nine points. My Gunners had eight points. This is the fourth straight year the guys haven’t won the cup.

Valencia defeated Benfica 3-1 earlier on Sunday.

The match featured the first time start for big money transfer Alexis Sanchez.  Sanchez had one shot on goal.

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The Telegraph ” Arsenal were once again prevented from winning the Emirates Cup as they slipped to a narrow defeat against Monaco.

Following a big win on Saturday, Arsenal, who had big-money summer recruit Alexis Sánchez starting for the first time, were favourites to claim the trophy but a 1-0 loss means Arsène Wenger’s side once again missed out in front of their own fans.

Valencia won the competition having amassed nine points, one more than the London club, who have not won their tournament in four years.

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Radamel Falcao scored the only goal of the game in the first half, although Arsenal will be aggrieved that they were not awarded a late penalty for a foul on substitute Chuba Akpom.

The game marked 15 years to the day since Arsenal favourite Thierry Henry signed from Juventus – and a new prospective hero made his first start for the club as Wenger named Sánchez in his starting line-up.

But, having won 5-1 against Benfica 24 hours earlier, Arsenal struggled against the Ligue 1 outfit and created little in the way of clear-cut chances with Sánchez rarely on the ball.

With Saturday’s four-goal hero Yaya Sanogo and fellow goalscorer Joel Campbell rested from the squad, Wenger’s side struggled to play at the same high tempo that had seen them blow Benfica away.

Arsenal vs. Monaco - Emirates Cup - Emirates Stadium - London - 03/08/2014

Falcao, starting a game for the first start since a serious knee injury in January, opened the scoring as he converted a free header from the edge of the six-yard box eight minutes before the break.

Sánchez was on the periphery for the opening 45 minutes and was moved into a central role when Olivier Giroud was replaced at the break by midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Fellow new signings Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers started in the Arsenal defence, with the latter replaced by Ignasi Miquel at half-time.

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Former Barcelona man Sánchez was more involved immediately following his change in role as he fed Santi Cazorla inside the Monaco penalty area, with the Spaniard poking the ball through to Jack Wilshere – whose powerful effort was superbly turned away by Danijel Subasic.

Sánchez could only slash a shot wide after Nabil Dirar had dallied in possession inside his own box – the Chile international’s last contribution before he was replaced with a little over 15 minutes remaining.

Akpom came on in his place and was brought down by Subasic as he burst into the box, only for referee Martin Atkinson to award a free-kick rather than a penalty – despite replays showing the foul was clearly inside the area.

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Valencia finished the tournament on nine points after coming from behind to beat Benfica 3-1 in Sunday’s early kick-off.

Derley opened the scoring early on for the beaten Europa League finalists after their Spanish opponents had them gifted possession but a 10-minute second-half salvo saw Valencia take victory.

José Luis Gayá levelled four minutes after the interval with Pablo Piatti and Andrés Guardado giving Nuno Espirito Santo’s side the win and overall success in the pre-season tournament.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11009308/Arsenal-0-Monaco-1-match-report.html

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De Futebol

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Man U has their confidence  back. Yes it is still the preseason but the Red Devils defeated a very good Real Madrid squad 3-1. This is only the preseason. Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t play until the final fifteen  minutes  of the match. Many of the top players who won the Champions League played against Man U. The signs are there that Louis Van Gaal is making in roads to change the culture of doubt and fear.  The guys have a spring to their step. The “D” played very well.

The Rooney man set up  goal by Ashley Young.  Young nailed the daily double.  Forgotten striker Javier Hernandez nailed a header in late stages of the match to secure the 3-1 win.

The jury is still out. The season begins on August 16th and then we will get all the answers if the Red Devils are for real or just pretenders.

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Mark Ogden The Telegraph- Javier Hernandez confirmed a Manchester United versus Liverpool clash in Miami on Monday with a diving header to seal a 3-1 victory against Real Madrid in front of the biggest crowd ever to witness a football game in the United States.

Hernandez’s eightieth minute goal was enough to ensure a 3-1 win against Real after two first-half strikes from Ashley Young, either side of a Gareth Bale penalty, had given Louis van Gaal’s team a 2-1 half-time lead.

With Liverpool having already secured top spot in their International Champions Cup group, United’s victory guaranteed that English football’s two superpowers will meet at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium on Monday to contest the final, but Florida will not witness a crowd anywhere close to the 109, 318 that packed into Michigan University’s Big House.

“It’s Liverpool in the final?” said Van Gaal. “Ok! Thank-you!

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“It is good for English football and very important that two teams from the Premier League will play in the final.

“It is also preparation time for them and, in the long term, it won’t tell us anything. But it is better to win than lose.

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“The crowd here was amazing. Within fourteen days, we have played for more than 300,000 fans in the States and that is amazing in preparation time.”

United’s victories against AS Roma and Inter Milan prior to the encounter with Real had taken Van Gaal’s team into top spot, ensuring that they would progress to Monday’s final if they avoided defeat here.

Real, in contrast, had lost both group fixtures against the Italian clubs and knew that their next stop would be Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti’s team returning home to continue preparation for the new La Liga season and the Uefa Super Cup clash with Sevilla in Cardiff on August 12.

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Ancelotti had chosen not to risk the fitness of Cristiano Ronaldo against his former club, with recent £63m signing James Rodriguez and French forward Karim Benzema missing to the tour of the United States due to their extended runs at the World Cup.

But despite the absence of some of Real’s star names, this remained a box office occasion for the Michigan college town of Ann Arbor and its enormous stadium.

Tickets for the fixture sold out within a day of going on sale earlier this year, ensuring it would surpass the 94,194 crowd which attended the 1994 World Cup between Italy and Brazil at the Pasadena Rose Bowl as the biggest ever to witness a soccer game in the States.

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The crowd was also the biggest that United played in front of since their 1957 European Cup semi-final against Real at the Santiago Bernabeu, when 120,000 turned out to see the home side defeat the Busby Babes.

Van Gaal’s players began the game much brighter than the European champions and captain Darren Fletcher went close to opening the scoring on fourteen minutes when he shot just wide from twenty yards after being teed up by Rooney.

United took the lead on twenty minutes, however, when Young finished off a stunning move of twenty passes, with Fletcher playing a key role in final outcome.

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Having receive the ball from Antonio Valencia, the Scotland midfielder broke forward before passing to Rooney on the edge of the penalty area.

Rooney’s back-heel to Danny Welbeck saw the ball moved on to Young and the England winger beat Iker Casillas from twelve yards to put United ahead.

Real bounced back quickly, though, with the pace and power of Bale proving too much for the inexperienced United defender Michael Keane, who hauled the Welshman to the ground to concede a twenty-seventh minute penalty.

Bale stepped up to take the penalty himself before sending David de Gea the wrong way to equalise from the spot.

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With Ronaldo watching from the bench, Bale clamed centre-stage as Real’s leading light and the former Tottenham winger almost put the Spaniard’s ahead with an audacious overhead kick four minutes after his penalty.

It was a well-executed effort by Bale, but on this occasion, De Gea was able to react quickly enough to save the shot.

With both teams playing carefree attacking football, the Michigan crowd was undoubtedly getting value for money.

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And the red-shirted majority inside the stadium were on their feet again on thirty-six minutes when Young scored his second goal of the game with a curling effort from twenty yards.

Although Rooney attempted to claim the goal, suggesting he had made the slightest of contact with an attempted header, replays showed the goal to be Young’s.

Despite being unable to win the group, though, Real upped the tempo on the second-half and submitted United to sustained pressure.

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Bale saw a free-kick hit the post, with Isco only denied by a reflex save by De Gea as United, with Keane and Tyler Blackett in the back-three, battled to hold on.

But with Bale joined on the pitch by Ronaldo for the final nineteen minutes, United broke clear to claim a third and secure victory when Hernandez headed in at the far post from Shinji Kagawa’s cross.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/11008559/Manchester-United-3-Real-Madrid-1-Ashley-Young-scores-twice-as-Louis-van-Gaal-maintains-impressive-start.html

Man U will now take on hated rival Liverpool later today in the International Cup final. The Reds shut out AC Milan 2-0.

Chris Bascombe The Telegraph wrote -There was a time when Liverpool entertained the idea of appointing Louis Van Gaal as a director of football above Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers killed the idea as a condition of taking the Liverpool job in 2012, confident he had no need for mentoring from such a high profile, hands on coach.

If there was little prospect of the pair becoming working allies, their club colours ensure they are now established as adversaries. The Manchester United manager will be given his first taste of a rivalry that is as much global and commercial as domestic and sporting in Miami on Monday.

Liverpool and United were guaranteed to meet in the final of International Champions Cup before the Merseysiders’ kicked off their last group game against AC Milan – a 2-0 victory courtesy of Joe Allen and Suso.

It is the fixture Richard Scudamore has been dreaming about – an unofficial game 39 – which promises to be as competitive as a pre-season friendly can be because of the badges on the shirt.

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There were signs Rodgers was preparing for the final with his team sheet in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, the majority of his senior players kept in reserve. Simon Mignolet, Raheem Sterling and Jordan Henderson were the only starters you’d expect to see in Liverpool’s opening day fixture.

Maybe Rodgers knew what was coming from Milan, who approached the fixture as if they had been shown a video of the 2005 Champions League final penalty shoot-out in the dressing room. The Italians are not what they were when they last defeated Liverpool in 2007, full of so many ageing stars they look like they should leave Serie A and transfer to the MLS. What they now lack in quality they appear to be compensating for in aggression.

There were numerous inciting incidents, Milan taking particular offence when referee David Ganter awarded Liverpool a penalty for a clumsy shove by Adil Rami on Sterling.

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Rickie Lambert missed the chance to score his first Liverpool goal from the spot on 28 minutes – he’d never missed for his former club Southampton in 34 attempts – but Milan continued to goad the officials and target Liverpool limbs.

Liverpool were already ahead on 17 minutes courtesy of Allen, who benefited from an error from ex-Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien. Essien passed directly to the Welsh midfielder who struck the post. Sterling’s follow-up shot was saved but Allen was on hand to volley the rebound past Christian Abbiati.

Sterling, inevitably, was involved in the goal. His form bodes well for the new season, his close control, shimmying and dribbling promising goals with every forward sprint. His confidence is swelling, and the fact he was the target of Milan’s ire was a compliment. It was no surprise Rodgers subbed the youngster at half time to prevent any unnecessary wounding.

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On the opposite flank, another teenager Jordan Ibe – viewed with the same excitement as Sterling on this tour two years ago – displayed the kind of strength and pace that belies his age. He is 18 but is built for the hustle and bustle of the English game. His run began the move that led to Allen’s goal. Watch him grow.

Milan improved in the early stages of the second half, Mario Balotelli’s introduction elevating their performance, so Rodgers called for the cavalry on the hour, eight substitutions including Steven Gerrard, Coutinho and Glen Johnson.

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It was a tame second half, in truth, Mignolet’s save from Mbaye Niang maintaining Liverpool’s lead as the substitution disrupted any chance of a flowing game. The Belgian also made an excellent save from Bryan Cristante in injury time.

The game was already over by then because two minutes from the end Suso – who has returned after a year’s loan in Spain – struck a splendid second with his left foot from the edge of the penalty box.

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The Liverpool plane originally scheduled to leave on Saturday evening for John Lennon Airport was instead routed to Miami – Liverpool meeting the Dutch manager who could see easily have been a Fenway Sports Group appointment two years ago.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/liverpool/11008664/Liverpool-2-AC-Milan-0-Joe-Allen-and-Suso-on-target-while-Rickie-Lambert-misses-penalty.html

 

De Futebol

BRITAIN SOCCER FRIENDLY

My guys from Arsenal stretched their muscles by blowing out Benfica  5-1. Yaya Sanogo led the  Gunner attack with four goals.  This match means nothing for the real test begins August 16th when the EPL opens up shop.

Ian Winrow The Telegraph-Alexis Sanchez’s late appearance offered a glimpse of the anticipation surrounding the arrival of the £35 million forward at Arsenal, but the Chilean’s contribution to a 5-1 victory over Benfica was overshadowed by that of Yaya Sanogo who scored four times in the opening 47 minutes, catching even Arsene Wenger by surprise.

Sanchez’s presence at the Emirates Stadium following his transfer from Barcelona has strengthened the belief Arsenal have the attacking strength to launch a more sustained challenge for the Premier League title.

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Wenger, though, confirmed Sanogo and Joel Campbell, scorer of Arsenal’s other, goal will have a significant role to play in the coming season and will not be allowed to leave the club on loan.

The 21-year-old’s goals unexpectedly diverted attention from Sanchez and Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said: “That’s football. It always surprises you. Not only you, but me as well.”

He added: “Sanogo came last year on a free and we worked very hard for six months with him and from January onwards he was slowly getting better. Now that we have worked very hard with him, we want him to stay here.”

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Sanchez’s contribution was brief, but he demonstrated he is keen to make an immediate impression on his new club, quickly embarking on a series of twisting, dynamic runs that did nothing to dampen the excitement surrounding his arrival.

By then Benfica were utterly demoralised and Sanchez will get a longer opportunity to bed himself in against Monaco on Sunday.

“He is not fit yet, but he has shown through some runs he will be very dangerous,” said Wenger.

“He can play on the flanks and through the middle. Tomorrow I will certainly play him on the flank for 45 minutes. He is not fit yet, but in one week he should be much better.”

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Wenger’s upbeat mood was further strengthened by the performances of Campbell and Calum Chambers, the only one of Arsenal’s summer signings to start.

The former Southampton defender operated at centre back and his manager said: “I thought he played very well, was intelligent, good decision making and calm on the ball, good in the air. He is 19 years old, and what he did is very promising.”

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Campbell, the Costa Rica forward, is back at the club after spending the last three seasons out on loan and Wenger insists he will remain in north London, despite interest from AC Milan and Galatasaray.

“I like the way he plays, he’s good on the ball, creative and collectively as well he has a good balance between individual skill and collective attitude – that’s not easy to find,” said Wenger. “There is no reason to let him go. I want to keep him.”

The outcome of this game never in doubt from the moment Sanogo flicked Aaron Ramsey low cross home in the 27th minute. Joel Campbell volleyed a 41st minute second from Hector Bellerin’s cross before Sanogo twice took advantage of a static Benfica defence to make it 4-0 at half time.

The forward struck again two minutes after the break when Benfica keeper Moraes Artur spilled Ramsey’s cross before Nico Gaitan headed Benfica’s 62nd minute consolation.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11008256/Arsenal-5-Benfica-1-Yaya-Sanogo-scores-four-as-Alexis-Sanchez-and-Calum-Chambers-feature-in-Emirates-Cup.html

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