De Futebol

28E87ECB00000578-0-image-a-32_1432155859927

Let the fun and games begin for Liverpool striker Raheem Sterling. Man U fired the first shot across the bow. The Daily Mail- “Manchester United have made a sensational enquiry about the prospect of signing Raheem Sterling.

No player has moved directly between the most bitter rivals in English football since Phil Chisnall moved from Old Trafford to Anfield in 1964 but United have explored the prospect of exploiting Sterling’s contract stand-off.

28EA245500000578-3090077-The_Liverpool_playmaker_fires_in_a_shot_at_Old_Trafford_as_Liver-a-36_1432156792170

Liverpool flatly told United they have no interest in doing business for the England international, who has turned down the offer of a new contract and has told Brendan Rodgers that he wants to leave the club this summer.

Sterling, who was heckled at Liverpool’s end of season awards on Tuesday night, has two years remaining on his current contract and Liverpool have made it clear they do not want to sell him in the coming window.

28DC77E900000578-3090077-Chelsea_Arsenal_and_Manchester_City_have_all_been_plotting_moves-a-37_1432156796770

Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City have all been plotting moves to varying degrees for Sterling but United’s emergence shows how vulnerable Liverpool have become and it is unlikely to be the last offer they receive.

Brendan Rodgers vowed recently that Liverpool are determined to make a stand and retain the 20-year-old yet it is going to become increasingly complicated, particularly if Sterling becomes disillusioned.

Aidy Ward, Sterling’s agent, has asked for Liverpool to bring forward talks that were planned for the end of the season to tomorrow when it is expected he will formally tell the club his client wants to leave.

Slowly Sterling’s camp have ramped up the pressure to force Liverpool’s hand and the fact United felt encouraged enough to enquire confirms that Liverpool face a huge fight to fend off predators.

After Arsenal’s 0-0 draw with Sunderland on Wednesday night, former Gunners forward Thierry Henry suggested that Sterling was being badly advised about his future.

28EA528400000578-3090077-image-a-51_1432158195521

‘We know he is a Londoner. We all know Arsenal want him from what Arsene [Wenger] was saying yesterday,’ Henry said.

I think we all know that he is receiving bad advice. You can’t go out and talk about your contract in the press. You should respect the fans and club you play for.

‘When I was young I had problem with Madrid and Monaco. Some guys put stuff in my head and it affected my game. You can blame the agent or advisor but you need to be a man and say “enough, you are destroying my life and my career”. He is a great product of Liverpool and for England and I’d be more than happy to see him at Arsenal.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3090077/Manchester-United-make-Raheem-Sterling-Liverpool-tell-rivals-not-sell-want-away-star.html#ixzz3aikCQYoa

28C16D3E00000578-3087571-image-a-20_1432030048770

De Futebol

07662DE9000005DC-0-image-m-48_1431949380855

There are many ways to gage how a club is doing. After a crappy season last year Man U shocked the entire pundit clown class by finishing fourth possibly third depending on what happens on the final Sunday of the season on May 24th.

Man U made vast improvements over last year’s disaster. The Red Devils didn’t win the EPL. Chelsea did yet no one and I repeat no one except me expected Man U to finish in the top four and earn a Champions League berth.

Louis Van Gaal is a winner where ever he goes. Jose Mourinho is the same way. Mourinho learned his lessons well under the tutelage of Van Gaal. Very few managers have won titles in the different leagues in Europe.

united-arsenal-sco_3309424b

Under Louis Van Gall the Red Devils had the best record in head to head competition against the top six in the table. Man U won five lost two and tied three for a total of 18 points. Chelsea was second with 17 points. The Blues had four wins five draws and one loss. Man Shitty was third with 15 points. Arsenal was fourth with eleven points.

Man U’s only two losses were on the road to Chelsea and Man Shitty.

The Telegraph- “Manchester United may not have won the Premier League, but Louis Van Gaal (when he’s stopped singing songs about himself) may take heart from the results of his side against the other top clubs in the Premier League this season.

can-remy_3309418b

With every fixture between United, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool and Spurs now fulfilled this season, the final mini-league of the top six shows United top by a point from Chelsea.

United trail Chelsea by 15 points in the actual Premier League table, but have performed admirably in matches against other contenders for the Champions League places.

Louis Van Gaal’s side have lost only twice in 10 matches against the rest of the top six, away at Chelsea in April and at Manchester City in November.

Premier League top six minileague

P W D L F A GD Pts
Man Utd 10 5 3 2 16 8 +8 18
Chelsea 10 4 5 1 15 10 +5 17
Man City 10 4 3 3 16 14 +2 15
Arsenal 10 2 5 3 14 13 +1 11
Liverpool 10 3 2 5 15 20 -5 11
Spurs 10 2 2 6 11 22 -11 8

Opta

Chelsea, meanwhile, have only lost once, away at Spurs on new year’s day. Their five draws against top six opposition reflect an often cautious approach from Jose Mourinho in the big games, leading to such unforgettable classics this season as Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0.

lampard_3309423b

Manchester City trail Chelsea in the mini-league, and have scored the joint-highest amount of goals with Manchester United.

Arsenal and Liverpool both have 11 points from a possible 30 in games against the top six, although Liverpool’s defence has been far more porous in those games.

juan-mata_3309420b

Spurs sit sixth in the mini-league, as they do in the overall Premier League table, with a significantly worse record than the remainder of the league’s elite clubs.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/11614823/Manchester-United-top-Premier-Leagues-top-six-mini-league.html

De Futebol

article-3089952-28EA18A300000578-496_964x39028E9929E00000578-3089952-image-a-47_1432152707254

Sunderland did what they had to do. The Black Cats hung on for dear life to escape Arsenal’s house Emirates with a nil-nil draw. The tie means that Sunderland is safe. This is all the Black Cats needed was a single point from one of their final two matches to stay outta the voce vai zone. The draw slams the door shut on Man U to steal third place from my Gunners. Arsenal has 72 points. Man U has 69. Goal difference is the key. My Gunners are a plus 32 while the Red Devils are a plus 25. The only chance for Man U to steal third the Red Devils must win by an eight goal margin against Hull City. The guys must really stink the joint out against West Brom.

Will this happen? Not in this lifetime nor the next.

28E934F800000578-3089952-image-a-11_1432151141040

The tie also kills our chances to overtake Shitty for second place. Man Shitty has 76 points. So the top four will look like this after the final matches on Sunday May 24th. Chelsea is the champions. Second place belongs to Shitty. Third place is Arsenal. The guys will keep the automatic spot in the Champions League. Man U is fourth and will qualify for the Champions league however the Red Devils will have to play a play in series in August to make it to the Group stage.

28E9AFA800000578-3089952-image-m-58_1432153288277

Sunderland is in fifteenth place 38 points. Aston Villa drops to 16th place 38. Hull City needs to beat Man U on Sunday and hope Newcastle losses to West Ham for the Tigers to escape the you’re outta here zone. Newcastle 17th place 36 points. Hull City 18th place 34 points.

The hero of the match for Sunderland was the keeper Costel Pantilimon. He came up big time after time.

28E939A000000578-0-image-m-8_1432150275042

The Telegraphs Henry Winter- “Sunderland players performed as if they were fighting for their careers, let alone their place in the Premier League this season. Sunderland were the models of total defiance, especially Costel Pantilimon and Sebastian Coates, denying Arsenal time and again and grasping the point that guarantees survival.

Arsenal were Arsenal, over-elaborating too often, and Olivier Giroud needs not regain his sharpness. They enjoyed 65 per cent possession but could not find a way past Coates, the centre-back who made a series of vital clearances, or Pantilimon, who thwarted Theo Walcott in particular.

28E9AA9000000578-3089952-image-a-51_1432153143459

Yet Sunderland had their chances and Steven Fletcher certainly should have scored in the second half. But Sunderland’s game-plan was primarily about defending. Pantilimon and Coates were joined in the resistance movement by others giving everything for the cause. John O’Shea, the captain, led by example, standing tall, making clearances.

Billy Jones worked overtime dealing with Arsenal attackers. Over on the left, Patrick van Aanholt was helped out by the selfless Jermain Defoe in repelling Jack Wilshere, Hector Bellerin and then Walcott. Lee Cattermole and Seb Larsson never stopped closing Arsenal players down until the final whistle.

28E941A200000578-0-image-a-3_1432150232238

When it came, Dick Advocaat hugged his staff and his players and looked up to the smart seats towards a beaming Ellis Short, Sunderland’s owner who had taken a gamble of appointing the Dutchman. What a gamble.

28E98A5100000578-3089952-image-m-31_1432152161454

Sunderland are safe. The final relegation position is now between Hull City and Newcastle United. Advocaat had done his job, had kept Sunderland up and he appeared in tears as he walked from the pitch with Van Aanholt.

Some Arsenal fans had sportingly stayed on to salute Sunderland. Advocaat’s men had deserved it. They lack the finesse of Arsenal’s stars but they showed their heart when their club needed it most. Their fans saw the effort, and cheered them to the rafters. When the final whistle came, there was an old-style, guttural Roker Roar from the away fans. This meant so much. This meant Premier League next season.

28E9984300000578-3089952-image-a-55_1432153197215

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11618171/Arsenal-0-Sunderland-0-match-report-Gunners-secure-third-spot-while-visitors-safeguard-top-flight-status.html 

28E932A500000578-3089952-image-m-18_1432151720769

 

 

De Futebol

0zlsrf31c85m5wx4km8gvao7r

Flamengo fell behind 2-0 before scoring two goals in the final sixteen minutes to escape with a two all draw against Sport. The tie keeps Mengao out of the voce vai zone 15th place a single point.

Goals by Hector Canteros 74th minute and Everton 90th minute saved our silly butts.

O Dia Rio – Foi dramático. Flamengo e Sport fizeram um jogo tenso e cheio de polêmicas, neste domingo, no Maracanã. Os pernambucanos abriram 2 a 0 no placar, com Diego Souza e Élber. Canteros diminuiu para o time da Gávea e Éverton deixou tudo igual, aos 52 minutos do segundo tempo. O relógio se prolongou na segunda etapa por conta do longo atendimento ao goleiro Magrão, que teve que deixar o gramado com dores no ombro direito.

5pkgaapjf1lw5jmmoatnfnqtz

Diego Souza assumiu o posto de gol-linha, mas não conseguiu evitar o empate. Os jogadores do Leão ficaram na bronca com o árbitro Dewson Fernando Freitas e com os adversários. No lance que deu um ponto para cada equipe, os jogadores cariocas não tiveram fair play e não devolveram a bola para os rivais.

Com o empate, o Flamengo somou seu primeiro ponto no Brasileirão, ocupando o 15º lugar. O Sport é 2º, com 4 pontos, empatado com o Atlético-MG. Na próxima rodada, os cariocas visitam o Avaí, domingo, às 16h, na Ressaca. No mesmo dia, os pernambucanos recebem o Coritiba, às 18h30, na Ilha do Retiro.

O primeiro tempo teve poucas emoções para os torcedores de ambos os lados. As equipes chegavam no ataque mas pecavam nas finalizações. A primeira defesa só aconteceu aos 25 minutos, com René. O lateral tentou de fora da área mas o chute saiu fraquinho, nas mãos de Paulo Victor.

A resposta do Flamengo veio com Anderson Pico. O lateral bateu falta com violência, mas o quique da bola no chão tirou a velocidade dela e deixou tudo mais fácil para o goleiro Magrão.

8lowv1lq8sikhn2f0b3r65n4x

Nos acréscimos do primeiro tempo, o Sport abriu o placar. Joeliton invadiu a área, em velocidade, e foi derrubado por Canteros. O árbitro Dewson Fernando Freitas assinalou penalidade máxima. Na cobrança, Diego Souza converteu. O jogador, número 87, ainda provocou apontando para o número em suas costas. Sport e Flamengo travam uma briga judicial para definir quem é o campeão brasileiro de 1987.

Na volta para o segundo tempo, a torcida do Flamengo já começava a perder sua paciência com o time. o clima das arquibancadas refletia com os jogadores no gramado. Quem se aproveitou disso foi o Sport, que ampliou com Élber. O meia tabelou com Joeliton e recebeu um lindo passe de calcanhar. Cara a cara com Paulo Victor, o jogador só teve o trabalho de tocar por cima do goleiro do Flamengo. 2 a 0 Sport.

e2iej17xsmkvjfngn3x1djoig

Cinco minutos depois, o Flamengo diminuiu. Alecsandro recebeu o cruzamento e ajeitou para Canteros. O argentino, sozinho, só teve o trabalho de mandar para a rede.

Aos 42, Magrão reclamou de dores no ombro direito e o jogo ficou parado por quase dez minutos para que o goleiro fosse atendido. Sem condições de continuar, e com todas as substituições feitas, Diego Souza foi para a meta. E foi ele quem sofreu o gol de empate.

b2t3i4q0n4o11wozzxr6fzfx9

Paulinho cruzou, Eduardo da Silva ajeitou com o peito e Éverton fuzilou o ângulo esquerdo do goleiro-linha para empatar. Os jogadores do Sport ficaram reclamando de uma falta de fair play do Flamengo, que não teria devolvido a bola que estava em posse dos pernambucanos.

Quando o relógio já marcava 55 minutos, o árbitro assinalou mais três de acréscimos. O Flamengo tentou chegar no abafa, mas as bolas levantadas na área eram repelidas pelo Diego Souza. No último lance do jogo, Gabriel apareceu no segundo poste e tocou cruzado. Diego Souza caiu para defender e segurar o empate em 2 a 2.

http://odia.ig.com.br/esporte/flamengo/2015-05-17/em-jogo-dramatico-flamengo-empata-com-o-sport-aos-52-minutos-do-2-tempo.html

aypxhd0q10aup0uj8g78o5c1q

 

De Futebol

article-3086445-28D5CAFD00000578-888_964x390

West Brom burst the Chelsea bubble with a 3-0 thrashing of the Blues. Chelsea started off on the wrong foot. A rocket by Albion’s Saido Berahino ninth minute sent the Blues reeling. A dumb red card by Cesc Fabregas 29th minute put Chelsea behind the proverbial eight ball. The Blues hung in there for as long as they could. John Terry was faked out by Saido Berahino. This forced Terry to take him down. Berahino nailed the gifted in the 47th minute to make two one. John Terry should have been given the heave-hoe.

West Brom made it three nil in the 60th minute when Chris Brunt left it fly from close range. Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois never had a chance. Nothing but the back of net.

28D5C7A200000578-3086700-image-a-41_1431980106054

This is the Blues third loss of the season. The crown is already theirs. Was this expected? I think so. For Chelsea really didn’t have that much to play for. This is the first time Jose Mourinho’s squad lost their composure. A dumb foul by Fabregas and John Terry’s stupid take down showed that Albion packing the box got underneath Chelsea’s nerves. The Cesc Fabregas brain fart was preceded by the dust up between Diego Costa and Darren Fletcher in the 28th minute.

Boas Myhill came up big for West Brom.

28D5947300000578-3086700-image-a-27_1431978050295

Chelsea ends the season against Sunderland at Stanford Bridge. Depending on what happens against my Gunners on Wednesday the Black Cats could be in danger of getting the heave hoe. Sunderland is in 16th place 37 points. The Black Cats need only a point their last two matches to escape the you’re outta here zone.

Hull City is the final voce vai zone spot 18th place 34 points. The Tigers entertain Man U on the final Sunday May 24th.

Newcastle is in the dangers zone 17th place 36 points.

28D58CE400000578-3086700-image-a-30_1431978162070

The Daily Mail- “No matter how many times you watch the dropped volley that inexplicably left the boot of Cesc Fabregas and smacked Chris Brunt on the side of his head, two questions remain. How, and why?

It was struck with such unerring accuracy that it belonged in a coaching academy, a masterclass in target practice from 20 yards when he hit the West Brom midfielder’s bonce.

28D5F95E00000578-3086700-image-a-50_1431981620884

The result left referee Mike Jones with little option but to send off Fabregas for violent conduct. It was a daft thing for Fabregas to do.

Chelsea were a goal down and a man down after that, on the way to only their third defeat in the league this season after two goals from Saido Berahino and a beauty from Chris Brunt confirmed this famous West Brom win.

28D576E800000578-3086700-image-a-13_1431976657604

Fabregas brought back memories of the day when a youth team player at West Ham’s Chadwell Heath training ground was caught on camera hitting Harry Redknapp on the head as part of a dare.

The result here was a red card, an act of stupidity that was brought about by the man boiling up in Chelsea’s No19 shirt following a six game absence from the team because of a hamstring injury.

28D5D45B00000578-3086700-image-a-39_1431980046149

Jose Mourinho admitted that Diego Costa had begged him to play, pulling on the Chelsea for the first time since they were confirmed as champions of England. Self-discipline is not his strong point.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3086700/West-Brom-3-0-Chelsea-Saido-Berahino-scores-deadly-double-Cesc-Fabregas-sees-red-moment-madness-Blues-lose.html#ixzz3aWjg3Kc5

28D582BA00000578-3086700-image-a-21_1431977225473

De Futebol

article-3085329-28C98E0300000578-141_964x386

Man U gave up a late own goal by Tyler Blackett in the 82nd minute for the one all draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford. Theo Walcott fired the rock into the teeth of the goal Buda bing Buda boom off of the backside of Blackett to just about give my Gunners third place and the automatic Champions League berth.

Man U has 69 points. Arsenal has 71 point third place. Man Shitty blew up Swansea City 4-2 to stake a claim on second place with 76 points.

My Gunners play their match in hand on Wednesday May 20th against Sunderland. The win will give us third place 74 points. This is a must win situation if we want to catch second place Shitty.

28C93F8400000578-3085329-image-a-54_1431879666602

The Telegraphs Henry Winter “Arsene Wenger’s desire for a “more serene break” in the summer was all but granted here when Tyler Blackett’s own goal left Arsenal on the cusp of qualifying automatically for the group stage of the Champions League. Arsenal look destined to finish third now.

28C8DBE500000578-0-image-a-22_1431876330103

After an anaemic first half by Arsenal, during which they deservedly fell behind to the excellent Ander Herrera, Wenger’s side stepped up a gear in the second half, especially when Theo Walcott arrived to give more drive down the right.

Louis van Gaal’s decision to remove Marcos Rojo, who was doing well at left-back, invited Walcott to attack the incoming Blackett, and forcing the deflected goal seven minutes from time.

Arsenal supporters had been calling for Walcott’s arrival and his introduction for Hector Bellerin brought that equaliser of huge significance.

United’s hopes of qualifying automatically for the group stage of the Champions League now hang by a thread after this. Arsenal lie two points and seven goals ahead of fourth-placed United and can confirm third against Sunderland at the Emirates on Wednesday. Only a last-day loss by Manchester City could give Arsenal any hope of second.

28C8DC7400000578-0-image-a-21_1431876078422

United did a lap of honour at the end but this was frustrating. They largely controlled the first half, and Ashley Young was as good as Herrera, but lost David de Gea to injury amidst rising fears that he will move to Real Madrid in the summer. After his own break that may be less than serene, Van Gaal will have a busy summer, as this game highlighted again the need to strengthen.

Van Gaal has £150m to spend and has already invested £31m on Memphis Depay. There was some hint of future promise with the sight of United’s Under-21s parading their trophy before kick-off but the need for a dominant central midfielder and another striker was clear.

This fixture often used to be the defining moment of the Premier League season. Instead, this game was all about the tussle for third. A splintered game initially was all about fragments until the wing-play of Young, distracting presence of Marouane Fellaini and composed finishing of Herrera on the half-hour gave some edge to the occasion.

Fellaini was an important presence from the start, working behind Radamel Falcao, proving a useful clearing house as well as disrupting Arsenal’s supply-lines, leaping above Francis Coquelin to win the ball in the first minute.

28C8ECE600000578-3085329-image-a-23_1431877306987

The footwork was faulty at times, good at others. Alexis Sanchez and Phil Jones slipped over. Juan Mata kept driving the ball left to Young, who really troubled Hector Bellerin. Mata was a creative source, taking a pass from Herrera and sliding Falcao down the inside-right channel.

The Colombian hesitated and Laurent Koscielny was able to block. Falcao did not seize this chance to shine in the absence of Wayne Rooney, who had a dead leg.

Young continued to impress, dispossessing Sanchez. United continued to threaten. When Coquelin fouled Mata, the Spaniard delivered a low free-kick held by David Ospina.

28C8FFC100000578-3085329-image-a-30_1431877881996

Jones slipped, but managed to clear with his head inches above the ground as Giroud lurked.

On the half-hour, United broke through. Again, Young was influential, whipping in a good cross from the left. Arsenal were fixated with Fellaini, focusing on the tall Belgian, and leaving Herrera unmarked towards the far-post. Herrera’s finish was crisp, giving Ospina no chance.

Herrera was a joy to watch, and must have been a shimmering nightmare to play against for an hour as when his quick feet steered the ball past Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, who ended up inspecting the turf. Fellaini then slipped.

There was a lightweight on the pitch at half-time, Anthony Crolla talking of his gratitude to Rooney for his support when the boxer had his skull fractured by burglars.

28C90CBC00000578-3085329-image-a-29_1431877878127

Arsenal were resembling middleweights, struggling to land a blow, until Walcott came on. Fellaini was dealing well with Per Mertesacker at set-pieces. Daley Blind kept breaking up moves.

Van Gaal set Arsenal another test on the hour by sending on Robin van Persie for the hard-working, but ineffective Falcao. As the Colombian jogged to the dug-out, he waved to the fans in what looked a real valedictory gesture. United expected more than four goals in 29 appearances for £265,000 a week.

The focus then turned to De Gea, who made a superb save from Olivier Giroud, triggering more applause from the United fans and chants of “David de Gea – we want you to stay”. The Spaniard was then caught out by Ramsey who ran on to Santi Cazorla’s pass and lifted the ball over De Gea. Fortunately for United, Rojo had covered back to clear.

28C91A6000000578-3085329-image-a-47_1431879242566

De Gea then injured his back, colliding with Fellaini, and was replaced by Victor Valdes, making his United debut and playing his first game since Barcelona beat Celta Vigo 3-0 on March 26, 2014.

De Gea was walking down the touchline, giving a brief wave to the Stretford End as speculation will intensify about his United future with Real Madrid keen. Valdes was warmly greeted and soon beaten. With seven minutes remaining, Walcott struck. He had arrived after 73 minutes and was soon twisting and turning Blackett, who had replaced Rojo.

When Walcott then attempted to deliver the ball across goal, it hit Blackett and fell past the deceived Valdes. As well as a reminder of Walcott’s enduring threat, it was deserved reward for Arsenal’s improved second-half performance which has surely booked Wenger that “serene break”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11610916/Manchester-United-1-Arsenal-1-match-report-Theo-Walcott-gives-Gunners-advantage-in-race-for-third-place.html

28C92DB700000578-3085329-image-a-38_1431878643400

De Futebol

28BEB6C600000578-0-image-a-74_1431783273486

The Saints did what they had to do to stay in contention for a Europa League spot. Sadio Mane scored the quickest hat Trick in EPL history to lead Southampton to a 6-1 thrashing of Aston Villa. Mane scored in the 12:22, 13:46 and 15:16 to send Villa into the depths of despair and humiliation.

This outburst killed the match off for the Saints. Southampton’s Shane Long added a daily double in the 26th and 38th minutes to make five nil. Can you say, “Turn out the lights the party’s over.” It was. Game, set, and match to Southampton.

28BEB6BE00000578-0-image-a-77_1431783280426

Southampton has 60 points. Tottenham defeated Hull City 2-0 so Spurs will stay in sixth place with 61 points. The Saints are in seventh 60 big ones. The race for the final Europa League spot will come down to the final Sunday of the season on May 24th.

The Telegraphs Dan Lucas “Southampton’s Sadio Mane scored the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history against Aston Villa on Saturday.

28BEB6CE00000578-0-image-a-75_1431783276631

Mane scored his three goals in two minutes and 56 seconds, beating the previous record – four minutes and 33 seconds by Robbie Fowler for Liverpool against Arsenal in 1994 – by one minute and 37 seconds.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/southampton/11610134/Sadio-Mane-scores-fastest-hat-trick-in-Premier-League-history.html

The Guardian “Sadio Mané netted the fastest hat-trick in Premier League history as Southampton boosted their hopes of European qualification with a remarkable victory against Aston Villa.

Saints have made a mockery of those predicting a season of strife at St Mary’s, with Ronald Koeman not only steering the club to calmer waters but new heights after replacing high-profile departures with some wily acquisitions.

28BE769C00000578-0-image-a-67_1431780571577

Mané, a £10m signing from Red Bull Salzburg, was among them and underlined his qualities with his record-breaking treble.

The Senegal international’s hat-trick was wrapped up in two minutes and 56 seconds, the quickest in Premier League history, beating the record of four minutes and 33 seconds set by Liverpool’s Robbie Fowler in 1994 against Arsenal.

The hat-trick was part of an incredible first half, in which fellow summer signing Shane Long contributed by slotting home from close range before hitting an incredible 40-yard effort to put Saints five up inside 38 minutes.

28BE572300000578-3084365-Long_celebrates_what_must_have_been_one_of_his_easier_goals_as_S-a-5_1431789411078

Christian Benteke pulled one back on the stroke of half-time with an exceptional header, but that did not save Tim Sherwood’s FA Cup finalists trudging off at half-time to a chorus of boos.

Villa, who would have ensured survival with a win, improved after the break but were unable to keep Saints at bay, with Graziano Pellè volleying home to take Saints to 60 points, their best-ever Premier League return.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/16/southampton-aston-villa-premier-league-match-report?CMP=share_btn_tw

28BE76E300000578-0-image-a-70_1431781649984

Newcastle blew a one nil lead to lose to Queens Parks Rangers 2-1. This means only two points separate 18th place 34 points Hull City and 17th place Newcastle 36 points. The Tigers need to win their final match of the season and Toons lose to escape the grips of the voce vai zone.

Sunderland is still in the dangers zone. The Black Cats and Leicester City tied nil-nil. The Foxes are safe 14th place 38 points. Sunderland sits in 16th place 37 points. Hull City has superior goal difference over both Toons and the Black Cats.

28C0056300000578-3084389-Leicester_City_players_celebrate-a-60_1431792758071

The Telegraph- “It is perhaps the greatest of all escapes. Leicester City were Premier League no hopers at the end of a bleak mid-winter and manager Nigel Pearson was every bookmaker’s favourite to become the next Premier League boss to lose his job.

Even at the end of March, despite a few encouraging performances, few thought the Foxes were anything other than Championship bound.

28BE795D00000578-0-image-a-68_1431780748335

But since the start of April, Leicester’s form has been superb, transforming a lost cause into a realistic one with seven wins out of eight, their only defeat coming against champions Chelsea. This point against fellow stragglers Sunderland means Leicester are safe. Few teams have enjoyed a more remarkable transformation than Pearson’s and for all his gruff, Yorkshireman faults, he deserves a cuddle for what he has done.

That Leicester remained in trouble before this draw shows how bad results had been before this incredible run started. In the three months between September 27th and December 28th, Leicester went 13 games without a win, losing 11 of them.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11607709/Sunderland-0-Leicester-City-0-match-report-Leicester-complete-the-Great-Escape.html

28BFF2CE00000578-3084389-image-a-50_1431792252341

De Futebol

006B514100000258-0-image-m-4_1430855571347

Man Shitty, Man U and Arsenal all are in action tomorrow. These matches will go a long way in deciding which team winds up second, third or fourth. Righty now Shitty has the upper hand with 73 points. Arsenal shot themselves in the foot with a heartbreaking 1-0 home loss to Swansea City Monday night. The guys still have match in hand so this means the war with hated rivals Man U at Old Trafford tomorrow will have major impact on where my Gunners will finish.

22C842D400000578-0-image-a-58_1431605853788

Right now Arsenal is third with 70 points. Man U is fourth with 68. A Red Devils win will give them the upper hand for the automatic Champions League berth. Shitty has a hot date with Swansea City at the Swans house. Man Shitty should win. Yet we must not count our chickens before they are hatched. Shitty’s road record sucks. I am hoping Swansea City wins. Man Shitty has lost four out of their last six road matches. I am hoping this form continues.

Playing at Old Trafford has been a nightmare for Arsenal. My Gunners have not won at Old Trafford since a 1-0 win September 2006. Will this streak continue? We will find out real quick. Man U has 14 wins at Old Trafford compared with Arsenal’s three. There have been five draws in the last 22 matches.

The guys will play their match in hand Wednesday May 20th at our house Emirates against Sunderland. The Black Cats are in a fight to stay out of the final voce vai zone spot. Both Burnley and Queens Park Rangers have been given their walking papers.

28AAFC0700000578-0-image-a-53_1431604996467

De Futebol

New Man U signee Memphis Depay told the Guardian “He is eager to work with Luis Van Gaal.”

Jamie Jackson wrote, “Memphis Depay has said he is “on fire” at the moment and that working with Louis van Gaal at Manchester United was a prime attraction in agreeing to join from PSV Eindhoven this summer.

United will sign Depay for around £25m in the close season, subject to a medical, and the winger, whose 25 goals made him PSV’s highest scorer as the club won the Eredivisie, believes his form has never been better.

“My dreams started with going to the World Cup [last summer] and then when I was there I scored two goals – becoming the youngest ever Dutch goalscorer – and I was very happy,” said the 21-year-old, who flew to London on Wednesday for promotional work.

“But when the World Cup was finished I realised that was not it. I had to take more on to the pitch. So after the World Cup in pre-season I spoke to my manager and said I have to keep focused. Scoring in the World Cup was good but not the end of it. Now I am on fire.”

Of Van Gaal, who was Holland’s coach at Brazil 2014, Depay said: “He is different. His performance on the training ground is different from other trainers. After the World Cup he told me to stay hungry and I told myself to stay hungry.

When I made the decision to stay [at PSV] I wanted to be champion and top scorer. I set those goals and I hope to achieve them. It will be great to have an opportunity to train with him and work with him.

“I want to improve myself but Dutch players have played also in the Premier League and I spoke with many of them. I believe I can be a big player in the Premier League. I am very excited. I was always reading about the Premier League. It has been a big dream and one that came true. But it is not the end of the dream, it is just starting.”

Depay again stated he wants to be the world’s best footballer. “‘Dream chaser’ stands for me chasing my dreams,” he said of the tattoo on his chest. “I believe I can be one of the best players in the world and I have to dream and believe to achieve. You just have to work every day on your dreams.”

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/13/memphis-depay-best-player-van-gaal-manchester-united

ronaldo-goal_3292659b

Depay also said the Cristiano Ronaldo is one of his futebol idols. Depay told the Telegraph

“I heard Leroy Fer speak about it and it is great to hear that from other players,” he added. “If you read it in the media it is great, but I am 21 and I have not reached the level of Cristiano Ronaldo.

“He is a big hero for me and one day I hope to reach that level. He scores so many goals and I want to fight to be one of the best players in the world.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-united/11602956/Memphis-Depay-wants-to-become-worlds-best-at-Man-Utd.html

Barclays Premier League 2014/15 Crystal Palace v Manchester United Selhurst Park Stadium, Whitehorse Ln, London, United Kingdom - 9 May 2015

 

De Futebol

2880A28C00000578-3076474-image-a-16_1431336376778

Man U made it back to the Champions League under Louis Van Gaal. After stinking the joint out with the moron David Moyes. This man was handpicked by Sir Alex and it almost ruined this great club. Now under guidance of a real manager the Red Devils shocked everyone with a top four finish. No on and repeat no one expected this except me.

The Daily Mail “Depending where Man U finishes it could be a tricky trip back to the Champions League Group stage. Manchester United can breathe a little easier in the final two matches of the Premier League season after ensuring their return to the Champions League.

It would take an extraordinary collapse now for Louis van Gaal’s team to be pipped by Liverpool and lose fourth place – United are six points ahead and have a superior goal difference of 14.

283EB38900000578-3076474-image-a-23_1431336938990

But their chances of catching Manchester City in second and Arsenal in third are also unlikely, meaning they are destined for the play-off round on their return to European competition.

Given the calibre of their potential opponents in this two-legged tie in August, reaching the group phase is by no means a foregone conclusion.

The play-off round, which next season will be played on August 18/19 and 25/26, a couple of weeks after the start of the Premier League, is divided into two sections.

288D8DFE00000578-3076474-image-a-32_1431340410236

There is a ‘Champions Route’ which channels through clubs that have won the domestic league in some of Europe’s less-heralded nations and ensures representation in the group stage is as broad as possible.

There is then the ‘League Route’ which takes in the clubs that finish second, third or fourth in the more prominent European leagues. United will, of course, be in here.

Luckily for them, a seeding system based on the UEFA Club Coefficient should spare them a difficult meeting with the likes of Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen or Napoli.

2880FB4F00000578-3076474-image-a-21_1431336863937

Despite not featuring in the Champions League this season for the first time since 1995-96, United are still ranked 10th in the coefficient as it stands based on their performance over the past five years.

This will mean they are the top seed in the Play-off Round draw and, based on the current league tables and the current coefficient ranking, will keep them apart from Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Napoli.

However, it may not spare them from the kind of awkward, long-haul trek Van Gaal will desperately want to avoid at such an early point in the season.

The closely-fought Turkish league, which sees Galastasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas separated by just two points with four round to play could well mean a trip to Istanbul if the draw falls unkindly.

2890782C00000578-0-image-a-162_1431431309852

Arsenal, very familiar with the Play-off Round in recent seasons, only beat Besiktas by a single goal over two legs when they met last season.

In Russia, the second Champions League spot is a battle between Krasnodar and CSKA Moscow, again meaning a four-hour flight.

They could also find themselves facing the equally hostile atmospheres of Panathinaikos or PAOK in Greece.

Sporting Lisbon or Ajax are other potential opponents, as are Lazio, whose underwhelming recent performances in Europe mean they lurk 39th on UEFA’s list.

2881136E00000578-3076474-image-a-17_1431336478569

Although United would be strong favourites to progress regardless of their opponents, the Play-off Round is far from straightforward and the unthinkable scenario of demotion to the Europa League looms over all the leading lights who find themselves here.

You have to earn the right to play in the Champions League proper and United have been warned.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3076474/Manchester-United-returned-Champions-League-tricky-trips-Turkey-Russia-Greece-await-August-Play-Round.html#ixzz3Zsfc7rf4

21DB00DB00000578-3076474-image-a-25_1431337238991

De Futebol

4stca4tx0g2mz1ai36n8n883t

Flamengo started the Brasileiros Serie A with a 2-1 loss to Sao Paulo. All the goals were scored in the final sixteen minutes. Tricolor put the match on ice with two goals in a six minute span. Luis Fabiano 84th minute and Alexandre Pato 80th minute. Mengao made it close with a goal in the 87th minute from Everton but it was too little too late.

O Dia São Paulo – O Flamengo não começou com o pé direito no Campeonato Brasileiro. Na estreia da competição, o Rubro-Negro foi derrotado por 2 a 1 pelo São Paulo, neste domingo, no Morumbi. A partida até começou equilibrada, mas a equipe carioca caiu de produção no segundo tempo e tomou dois gols em menos de dez minutos. Em cobrança de pênalti, o time carioca diminiu, tentou reação, mas não evitou o tropeço. Luis Fabiano e Pato marcaram para o Tricolor. E Everton fez o de honra para os cariocas.

20150510184019_731

Após a derrota, o Flamengo ocupa a 15° posição na tabela do Campeonato Brasileiro, sem somar. Já o São Paulo assume a 3º colocação, com 3 pontos conquistados. O Rubro-Negro volta a campo no próximo domingo, contra o Sport, às 16h, no Maracanã. E o São Paulo encara a Ponte Preta no mesmo dia, às 18h30, no Moises Lucarell

A partida no Morumbi começou equilibrada. Nos minutos inciais, ambas equipes mostravam perigo na área adversária. Ao longo do confronto, o Flamengo começou a chegar com mais facilidade na defesa são paulina.

Em um dos vacilos da zaga tricolor, Gabriel tocou para Cirino que, até tentou cortar Rogério Ceni, que saiu do gol, mas não acertou o chute. No final do primeiro tempo, o São Paulo voltou a assustar, mas Paulo Victor foi acionado e mostrou serviço.

20150510192120_924

Na volta ao intervalo, o Tricolor demonstrava que estava em busca do primeiro gol e chegava com perigo. Até que aos 11 minutos, Everton lançou para área e Gabriel, cara a cara com Ceni, desperdiçou.

Cinco minutos depois veio a melhor chance do São Paulo: Luis Fabiano recebeu na grande área, mandou para o gol, mas Paulo Victor salvou mais uma vez. No rebote, o Fabuloso arriscou novamente e Anderson Pico tirou em cima da linha, salvando o Flamengo.

20150510192327_428

Após o lance, a equipe paulista passou a dominar o jogo. Criando mais chances, não demorou para que o Tricolor marcasse o primeiro da partida. Aos 28 minutos, Pato recebeu de Souza e tocou para Wesley, que deu um lindo passe para Luis Fabiano cabecear e marcar.

Seis minutos depois do gol, Ganso achou Pato, que com categoria tirou de Paulo Victor e ampliou a vantagem paulista. 2 a 0 no Morumbi.

Dominando o duelo, aconteceu o que o São Paulo não esperava: Em cobrança de escanteio rubro-negro, Marcelo Lima de Henrique marcou penalidade após toque de braço de Ganso na jogada. Na cobrança, Everton diminuiu para o Flamengo.

20150510191828_177

O Rubro-Negro até tentou colocar uma pressão no fim da partida e esboçar reação, mas os paulistas souberam administrar o resultado e conquistaram a vitória jogando em casa.

http://odia.ig.com.br/esporte/flamengo/2015-05-10/sob-chuva-flamengo-e-derrotado-para-o-sao-paulo-na-estreia-do-brasileirao.html

It sure looks like the guys are in the same pickled they were in last year. They stink. We barely escaped the voce vai zone. Is this Déjà vu all over again?

De Futebol

article-3077355-2891131B00000578-355_964x390

The guys had numerous to score my Gunners couldn’t push the rock past the keeper Lukasz Fabianski. The match changer happened in the 85th minute. Bafétimbi Gomis’ rocket header sent the rock and the Arsenal keeper sprawling into the back of the net. The ref’s said, “No Goal!” Not so fast bucko. The camera installed to make sure these mistakes do not happen lite scoreboard telling the world it was a goal. It was. And that was that Arsenal snapped it’s ten match unbeaten string. Actually the guys won eight in a row before the nil-nil draw against Chelsea on April 26th.

This was the guy’s first loss since the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Tottenham on February 7th.

2891049400000578-3077355-image-a-48_1431377323617

The hero of the match was former Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski. He made brilliant save after brilliant save to insure the Swans win over my Gunners.

The Telegraphs Henry Winter wrote-“This was a setback for Arsenal in the chase to finish second in the Premier League yet reward for Swansea, City, Bafétimbi Gomis and the Goal Decision System. To the naked eye it was impossible to tell whether Gomis’ late header had crossed the line but the technology did its job and Swansea were on their way to an unexpected but famous three points.

2890B5CC00000578-3077355-image-a-33_1431375689882

Garry Monk’s well-organised side had defended well throughout, relying on the leadership of Ashley Williams. Victory was most rooted in the defiance of the former Arsenal goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski, lampooned as “Flappyhanski” for his occasional errors during his 78 games and seven years here.

Yet he starred for Swansea, making great saves particularly from Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Nacho Monreal. As Arsenal laid siege late on, Fabianski kept picking off crosses. At the final whistle, Jonjo Shelvey and Williams led the players to congratulate their keeper. “

Arsenal players looked stunned. Monreal pulled his shirt over his head as if not wanting to be associated with the defeat. Laurent Koscielny sat on his haunches on the halfway line, seemingly in disbelief.

2890E1F500000578-3077355-image-a-47_1431376834447

This was an ill-timed blow for Arsenal, who face Manchester United at the weekend and will be keen to avoid fourth place and the perils of pre-qualifying for the Champions League. Arsenal lacked sufficient pace in their attacking and Olivier Giroud was a blunt instrument eventually removed.

Swansea have now done the double over Arsenal and departed to an ovation from quite a few home fans who stayed on to applaud them off, reserving a particular salute for Fabianski. The late drama was such a contrast to earlier events.

“And now, on the big screens – the best of the first half,’’ the Arsenal announcer had shouted rather breathlessly and optimistically at the interval. There was little to see. Despite the prompting of Cazorla, Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal rarely threatened Fabianski’s goal before the break.

The tone had quickly been set, namely one of Arsenal possession, predominantly central, and Swansea’s occasionally pacey counter-attacking down the flanks through Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer. The game initially exuded a slightly desultory feel, even if there was still much to play for in terms of Europe. Swansea had been targeting a Europa League place while Arsenal had wanted to ensure either second or third to avoid pre-qualifying.

2890E32300000578-3077355-image-a-36_1431376785339

The Emirates was far from full, although the 3,000 Swansea fans were in good voice. There had been little to occupy their attentions in the opening half. Giroud headed a decent cross from Aaron Ramsey over. Shelvey dribbled across the Arsenal area, searching for a glimmer of David Ospina’s goal, but his eventual shot was blocked.

Swansea were defending deep, swamping midfield and operating with Gylfi Sigurdsson as an unlikely, if hard-working centre-forward. Gomis and Marvin Emnes had begun on the bench. Arsenal were faced with a wall of white shirts. Shelvey took his tackling duties to excess, fouling Sánchez and going into Kevin Friend’s book under the totting-up process.

On it went, the first-half exercise in lethargy and poor finishing. Ramsey clipped the ball with the outside of his boot but it faded wide. Cazorla had a shot charged down by Williams. Giroud manoeuvred some space around Williams but curled his left-footed shot wide.

Swansea were defending well. Neil Taylor nicked the ball off Özil, then Montero also dispossessed the German. Sánchez then conjured up Arsenal’s best move of the half, collecting the ball deep in his own half, looking up and lifting a 50-yard pass over Swansea’s back-line for Ramsey to chase. Fabianski had read the unfolding danger and sprinted out to grasp the ball.

28907D9F00000578-3077355-image-a-35_1431375702991

The second half had to be better. Both sides immediately lifted the tempo. Héctor Bellerin put in a low, hard cross from the right which the sliding Federico Fernández cleared before Giroud could get a touch. Arsenal were really quickening their attacks, looking to break before Swansea could regain their shape. Sánchez hit the side-netting. Özil then released Ramsey but the angle tightened and he buried the ball in the side-netting.

Ospina then impressed with a low interception of a driven cross from Shelvey. Three changes were then made. Àngel Rangel hobbled off, replaced by Ashley Richards at right-back for Swansea. Then the Emirates was treated to the welcome sight of Jack Wilshere coming on. He had emerged from the bench at Hull City last week and made his second appearance on his return from that ankle injury suffered in a reckless challenge from Manchester United’s Paddy McNair here on Nov 22.

28909CE100000578-3077355-image-a-44_1431376822395

Wilshere was soon joined by another England international, Theo Walcott, a bonus for Ray Lewington, Roy Hodgson’s England assistant in the stand. Giroud retreated to the bench as Walcott went through the middle. The pressure on Fabianski’s goal intensified. Cazorla unleashed a shot that deflected wide off Williams. Bellerin then teased in another ball from the right but Walcott’s shot failed to trouble Fabianski.

Fabianski continued to defy his old team-mates. He repelled a shot from Sánchez and Walcott’s follow-up, and moments later from Cazorla. It was an astonishing display of shot-stopping from a keeper once derided for some of his mistakes during his time at Arsenal.

Garry Monk had made some attacking changes, removing the excellent Ki Sung-Yeung for Gomis, withdrawing Sigurdsson into midfield. Modou Barrow replaced Dyer on the right. But the force remained with Arsenal, who were hammering at Swansea’s back door.

2891027100000578-3077355-image-m-57_1431377429926

With five minutes remaining, Swansea turned the game on its head. Barrow flew down the right, lifting in a cross that Bellerin leapt towards and flicked away but only on to Montero. The winger turned the ball back in, and Gomis was the most determined, reaching the cross, heading it goalwards.

Ospina dived to his left, pushing the ball away but Swansea screamed that it had crossed the line. Friend got the signal that it had crossed the line, blew his whistle and pointed to the halfway line. There was still some pressure to withstand but with Fabianski in goal, Swansea were safe. “

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11597808/Arsenal-0-Swansea-City-1-match-report-Bafetimbi-Gomis-seals-league-double-over-Gunners-after-Fabianiski-heroics.html

The loss just about kills our chances of catching second place Shitty. We have Man U breathing down our necks. Shitty is second with 73. Arsenal is third 70 points. Man U is fourth with 68. Man U and Arsenal battle at Old Trafford this coming Sunday. A loss would push the guys into fourth place.

2890954200000578-3077355-image-a-42_1431376815556

De Futebol

006B514100000258-0-image-m-4_1430855571347

The pressure is on the guys to win this sucker against Swansea City later today. Shitty took apart a sorry Queens Park Rangers 6-0. This means we have to put up huge numbers if we want to overtake Shitty for second place.

The Swans are in eighth place 53 points. A win will move Swansea City within a point of 7th place Southampton. This means the Swans can win their next two and if the Saints lose Swansea City will get the final Europa League spot.

Both the Swans and my Gunners have a ton to play so this sucker will be an all-out war.

The guys have not lost since February 7th  a 2-1 loss to Tottenham. Since that time we have won eight out of our last nine. The only blemish is the nil-nil draw against Chelsea. My Gunners heading to the match against the Eagles lead the league with 16 points in their last six matches.

Arsene Wenger said “that he does not want to miss Theo Walcott‘s “golden age” by allowing him to leave Arsenal.

Wenger went on tot say, “I bought him at Southampton when he was 17 because I believe in his qualities as a good finisher and the timing of his runs are very intelligent,” the manager explained.

“He’s at the best age now. Being 26 to 32 as a striker is the best age as a striker and I wouldn’t like to miss that golden age.

“I think his position will be striker. I work with him in both situations, as a striker and as a wide player. But the quality of the runs is so fantastic with the pace he has. When he was younger he was rushing his finishing but he is a good finisher now.

“He can be transformed. He is naturally gifted to play in this position but he has different qualities. Olivier Giroud has a physical presence, back to goal, can head the ball. Theo is more a guy who is a runner, who goes behind.

“He loves the club and I think he wants to stay. [Out] of the whole squad he is the player who has played the most games for us. Nobody has played more for us than Theo. I think he has played 202 games and that means he is part of us.”

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/20150509/-i-don-t-want-to-miss-theo-s-golden-age-#4HcDXDfA1W6qCo2j.99

gun__1426626762_0317-Monaco-Koscielny

 

De Futebol

 

article-3074957-2880E10B00000578-5_964x386

Man U stopped their three match losing streak with a hard fought 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at the Eagles house. The Red Devils took the early one nil lead off a PK in the 19th minute via Juan Mata. Crystal Palace tied it at one all when Jason Puncheon punched the rock past David de Gea in the 57th minute. Marouane Fellini poked  home the winner in the 78th minute.

The win keeps Man U in fourth place with 67 points. The Red Devils trail both Man Shitty and Arsenal by three points. Shitty plays later today against Queens Park Rangers. Arsenal has a hot date with Swansea City on Monday at our house Emirates.

2880C3B800000578-0-image-a-81_1431194789362

The Guardian- “When it was all said and done, and Manchester United are now so nearly there in terms of Champions League qualification, Louis van Gaal’s post-match soundbite cut to the heart of the matter. “Football is crazy,” the United manager said.

This was an outlandish result for his team, chiselled from a performance so sub-standard that for large swathes of the second half, it was difficult to believe that here before our eyes were the 20-time champions of English football. Or, even, the fourth best team of this season’s Premier League.

2880C3C300000578-0-image-a-77_1431194674993

After the Crystal Palace substitute Jason Puncheon had cancelled out Juan Mata’s first-half penalty with a free-kick that deflected in off Daley Blind as the United midfielder shielded his eyes from the sun, the home team sensed blood. United’s vulnerabilities were alarmingly clear, particularly with the captain, Wayne Rooney, having been forced off with a dead leg at half-time.

287EE3BD00000578-3074820-image-a-26_1431189144504

Van Gaal’s team groped for direction and leadership, and the errors pock-marked their play. Chris Smalling made some of the most glaring but the centre-half was not alone. United were clinging on after Puncheon’s equaliser and, not for the first time, they were indebted to the reflexes of David de Gea, whose headline moment was the stunning save to deny Glenn Murray at close quarters on 71 minutes.”

2880C70000000578-0-image-a-80_1431194683178

Apart from a couple of bursts from Ashley Young, United offered nothing as an attacking force in the second half and yet they staged the smash-and-grab with Marouane Fellaini’s seventh goal of the season. Even that came coated in good fortune. Following Young’s cross from the left, the United substitute, Radamel Falcao, shoved Damien Delaney into Julián Speroni, which scrambled the Palace goalkeeper and allowed Fellaini to head home.

Van Gaal could not explain it all, and he did not attempt to do so. “When you see how we have played against Chelsea, Everton and West Bromwich Albion [in the previous three games, each of which was lost] and you compare it with today – this was not our best match,” Van Gaal said. “But you win and that is also the beauty of football. What I have seen today is the fighting spirit of my team. I said to the players: ‘When you fight like that, you are difficult to beat.’”

2880D50A00000578-3074957-image-a-100_1431197900255

United now need only two more points from their final two matches to ensure a top-four finish and they might not even need that, if Liverpool were to slip in any of their remaining three games, the next of which is at Chelsea on Sunday.

“This result brings us a big step closer to our goal and I shall sit with a fantastic glass of wine to see the match, Chelsea against Liverpool,” Van Gaal said. Would he toast a Chelsea result with champagne? “Alan Pardew looked bemused and a little shocked at how his Palace team had emerged with nothing, and the manager’s complaints centred on two penalty controversies. He felt that Scott Dann should not have been penalised for leading with his right biceps on Young’s cross, which was a tough sell, as the award for handball looked to be sound. Mata converted his 10th goal of the season to end United’s goal drought at 305 minutes.

2880D50200000578-3074957-image-a-96_1431197872041

But Pardew was on safer ground with his gripe about the referee Michael Oliver’s non-award of a penalty in the 53rd minute. Puncheon jinked back inside the area; he felt Mata catch his standing foot and down he went. It was not a natural fall but, equally, there was contact from Mata.

The temperature went up and, with United looking uncertain, it was no surprise when Puncheon fashioned the equaliser, after Smalling had conceded a free-kick 25 yards from goal.

2880D50600000578-3074957-image-m-95_1431197864005

United had lost Luke Shaw on 39 minutes after he copped an accidental elbow in the face from James McArthur; Rooney could not continue after the interval and Smalling, too, seemed to have a knock. Van Gaal was asked what it was. “He was stumbling [around] and I don’t think he played his best match, so that’s why I substituted him,” Van Gaal replied. He did go on to say that his hapless player had some cramp.

Blind had hit the post from distance early on, while Ander Herrera fluffed a 22nd-minute volley, but Palace, too, had their moments in the first half, with Mile Jedinak heading narrowly off target and Murray just failing to convert after a well-worked free-kick.

2880D51600000578-3074957-image-m-99_1431197890733

Palace turned the screw after the equaliser and, for a dismal 20-minute period, United trembled. Smalling was caught in possession, leading to McArthur prodding inches wide and then the big chance, when Dann teed up Murray, six yards out. The striker went for the deft chip but De Gea threw out an arm to save. It was a priceless moment from the United player of the season and it felt even more so when Fellaini plundered the winner. There was still time for De Gea to save with his legs from Murray. United squeaked home.

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/09/crystal-palace-manchester-united-premier-league-match-report

28809A7200000578-0-image-a-45_1431193401729

De Futebol

article-3073498-2877B06100000578-184_964x390

The title race is over. Chelsea is the new champion. Yet there is a ton to be decided for also rans. The battle for the two automatic Champions League berths are on the line, the battle for the bye-bye zone as well the other Champions League spot that requires a play in during the summer.

As it stands right now before we head into today’s matches. Man Shitty is second 70 points. Arsenal is third 70 points. The difference is Shitty is a plus 35 while my Gunners are a plus 34. Man U is fourth 65 points. Liverpool is clipping at the heels of the Red Devils with 61 points. The Reds have to win all three matches and hope Man U loses all three of their final matches. All the Red Devils need is four points and fourth place is theirs.

Man U travels to Crystal Palace later today. This is a must win for the mighty Red Devils. Liverpool has a hot date with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Jose Mourinho’s guys will be hungry to stomp the Reds on the head to sned them into the Europa Zone.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18:  West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce reacts on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Newcastle United at the Boleyn Ground on January 18, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 18: West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce reacts on the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Newcastle United at the Boleyn Ground on January 18, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

My Gunners battle Monday night against Swansea City. The Swans have a shot at the final Europa League spot. Southampton sits in seventh place 57 big ones. Swansea City is eighth 53 points so the Swans need to win this sucker and hope the Saints lose to Leicester City. The Foxes are on a roll as of late winning five out of their last six matches. Leicester City is one step of the you’re outta here zone 16th place 34 points. Sunderland has 18th place 33 points. The Black Cats tangle with Everton at the Toffees house.

Hull City is the Tigers Den to take on Burnley. The Clarets are just about toast 20th place 26 points. Burnley needs to run the table and hope Hull City, Sunderland and Leicester City lose their final three matches.

article-3073599-28755EDE00000578-791_636x398

Toons are in danger of getting the heave hoe. Newcastle is in 15th place 35. Toons take on West Brom and hope to snap their eight match losing streak.

Aston Villa is 14th place 35 points. Villa and West Ham will duke it out at Villa Park.

article-3072725-287135D200000578-314_636x382

De Futebol

006B514100000258-0-image-m-4_1430855571347

Arsenal great Thierry Henry told the Daily Mail Wenger needs to spend a ton of bucks to bring in players if the guys want to compete and win the title. He is right. Arsenal thinks that second, third or fourth place is a title. Not in this lifetime. Yet this acceptance of mediocrity is the accepted norm. What a crock! This is why we are always the bridesmaid. We haven’t won squat since 2005. FA Cups are good but these are booby prizes. Or like a friend of mine said, “Understanding is the booby prize of life.”

The Daily Mail-When Thierry Henry urged Arsenal to sign four world-class players Jose Mourinho pretended to fall off his chair in shock.

285AFC8D00000578-0-image-a-57_1430863993565

To add such a quartet to Arsene Wenger’s lavish squad would make them ‘invincible’ once again, chortled Mourinho.

Henry, like many others who watch Arsenal, envisaged four high-end players down the spine of the team: a top-level goalkeeper, dominant centre half, strong and athletic midfielder and 25-goal-a-season striker.

2850D3B100000578-0-Arsenal_manager_Arsene_Wenger_has_been_urged_to_spend_big_in_the-m-5_1430855627794

Imagine stitching Petr Cech, Mats Hummels, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani through a side already rich with the talent of Alexis Sanchez, Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil.

It is akin to what Chelsea did last year with Thibaut Courtois, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.

Would it close the gap? Arsenal are cash-rich with saleable assets to boost funds but things work differently in N5 and Wenger has said how the fine form of 2015 has changed his mind about his tactics in the summer market.

CECH MATE?

2825E58200000578-3069249-Petr_Cech-a-58_1430864012180

Arsenal’s summer work must start in goal. This year’s upturn in form correlates directly to the moment David Ospina replaced Wojciech Szczesny as No 1. Yet the Colombian is not entirely convincing and Petr Cech is handily available.

Chelsea would prefer not to sell to such obvious rivals but Cech’s relationship with Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho can overcome this issue if he wants it to.

284F4E8300000578-3069249-image-a-36_1430861840892

On the other side of this equation is Arsenal’s transfer policy. Cech is 33 later this month and will be a big investment in terms of fee and wages. Blowing big money on thirty-somethings is hardly the modus operandi of Arsene Wenger.

Will he make an exception because it appears to be such an ideal fit? Sometimes it feels like the louder the clamour, the less likely Wenger is to do it.

Even with the January addition of Gabriel Paulista, it feels as if Arsenal need more in central defence. Per Mertesacker has taken a lot of criticism this season, but he plays in a team which exposes its centre halves — unlike, for example, Chelsea.

285AFCAF00000578-3069249-image-m-65_1430864054280

A big-money upgrade on the 30-year-old German might appeal to fans, but Eliaquim Mangala was the hottest defender on the market last summer and it has gone badly for him at Manchester City.

Arsenal could do with strengthening at the back but even at £32million, there are certainly no guarantees.

This has always been Wenger’s mantra and his instinct will be reinforced by the emergence of teenager Hector Bellerin from the youth ranks and the rapid improvement of Nacho Monreal since Arsenal adopted a slightly more cautious style of play.

Calum Chambers, suddenly third-choice right back, may find his next chance appears in the centre.

285AFCC300000578-3069249-image-m-60_1430864017698

RISE OF COQUELIN

Francis Coquelin is the key factor behind Wenger’s rethink. There was a long-standing interest in Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin, although this has cooled since Coquelin established his place in the team.

Wenger’s principles will deter him from playing such a pair together in central midfield even if there have been times when Arsenal seem to cry out for more physical presence in midfield

He has faith in possession and prefers more craft to more protection — and the experiment with Cazorla deep in midfield has proved successful.

He will also be wary of losing what he has found in the second part of the season. Cazorla is 30 and Wenger might spring a surprise by prioritising an alternative to him, like Paris Saint-Germain’s Yohan Cabaye, instead of investing in someone who is a slight upgrade on Coquelin.

284FAB7600000578-3069249-image-a-30_1430861550565

JACK’S BACK

Wilshere returned to action on Monday at Hull with his trademark explosion of pace in evidence. He looked in good touch after five months out, but Arsenal have changed in his absence with players cementing their places in the roles where he plays.

Coquelin provides the bite and there is no touching Sanchez, Ozil or Cazorla at the moment. Aaron Ramsey is out of position on the right but Wilshere would be equally out of position if he were to oust him.

Manchester City’s interest in Wilshere appears genuine, but Arsenal value him at £40m. It is a figure which includes the usual premium for an English player, and it seems an awful lot of money for someone with such a rotten injury record. It is a fork in the road for Wilshere, now 23. He needs regular football more than anything.

285AFCD700000578-3069249-Edinson_Cavani-a-66_1430864058442

GIROUD AWAKENING

Henry fuelled this one when he claimed Arsenal would not win the Barclays Premier League with Olivier Giroud up front. It is harsh on a centre forward who has missed three months of the season and still scored 18 in all competitions.

While Sanchez is prolific from the wing, this is a decent goal return. Giroud also has the physical strength to operate with his back to goal and get the best from the creative forces which swarm around him.

Shop in the next tier where Sergio Aguero and Luis Suarez reside and transfer fees are north of £50m. It is hard to imagine an English club laying down money for Radamel Falcao after this season. Wenger is much more likely to accept Giroud for what he is and search to improve options around him.

He is well stocked in these positions but if Wilshere or Theo Walcott is sold, it generates space for the likes of Lyon’s Nabil Fekir, a youngster who is right up Wenger’s street.

285AFCC700000578-3069249-image-a-68_1430864095767

ALL IN THE MIND?

While Wenger is reluctant to fix what he thinks isn’t broken, there remain questions about this team that will not be answered by finishing second and winning the FA Cup.

They have yet to deliver under extended pressure, always promising more than they produce with a stylish recovery to repair a poor start or a dreadful collapse after a rampant opening to the season.

It is about maturity of character and mental strength and Arsenal could use a little more of it.

The heat will be on next season to challenge for the title — another reason to start the summer by paying whatever it takes to get a proven winner like Cech into the building.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3069249/Arsene-Wenger-needs-SPEND-BIG-transform-Arsenal-title-challengers-season.html#ixzz3ZOvMdZO5

2850C70600000578-3069249-image-m-14_1430859619202

De Futebol

dangot_3292001b

One of the richest men in Africa wants to buy Arsenal according to the Telegraph Aliko Dangote. “Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote claims he still harbours hopes of one day buying Arsenal.

The Nigerian has an estimated fortune of £10.4billion and is reported to have wanted to buy into the club when former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith was selling her shares in 2010.

Arsenal’s current majority shareholder is American tycoon Stan Kroenke, who remains committed to the Barclays Premier League club for the long-term. Uzbek magnate Alisher Usmanov controls around 30 per cent and has also expressed no desire to offload any of his stock.

Nevertheless Dangote, whose business interests include sugar, flour and oil, remains keen to become part of the Emirates Stadium club sometime in the future.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: “I still hope, one day at the right price, that I will buy the team.

gun__1430896366_Unknown

“I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won’t want to resist. I know my strategy.”

Dangote, though, added no imminent bid was in the pipeline.

“We have $16billion-worth of investments in the next few years. Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe,” he said.

gun__1430525096_OLeary_early_stuff

Arsenal beat Hull 3-1 on Monday night to give themselves a good chance to finish second behind Premier League champions Chelsea, and will face Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 30.

Dangote, however, suggested Arsene Wenger’s side should be achieving more. He added: “(Wenger) needs to change his style a bit. They need new direction.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11583748/Arsenal-targeted-for-takeover-by-Africas-richest-man.html

We will see what happens.

Arsenal v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League

De Futebol

2846C5A900000578-3066396-image-a-67_1430671981612

No shit Sherlock. Anyone with a half a brain knows that great managers and coaches who are worth their salt pay attention to the smallest details. Those who don’t lose. All one has to do is ask Louis Van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Vince Lombardi, Chuck Knoll, John Wooden, and the list goes on Add nausea. Look folks the great coaches and managers have highly structured practices. They are designed to the minute of what will take place. Each practice session has a purpose. The drills are designed with a purpose. The practices are highly structured and they flow easily from one drill to the next. They have extensive scouting reports. The game plans are laid out from the very beginning of the week, actually they put in motion as soon as the match or game is over, on how to exploit a team’s weaknesses. 28464F5E00000578-0-image-a-51_1430664980093

The Daily Mail wrote this story about how Jose Mourinho pays attention detail and this was the reason why he went on to win the EPL. This has to be a joke? Right. Here is a part of the story. “The wine was flowing at the annual Chelsea Pitch Owners’ lunch when a video showing Steven Gerrard’s fatal slip at Anfield was beamed on to the giant screens. As the glasses clinked to a re-run of Demba Ba scoring the goal that virtually ended Liverpool’s dreams of winning the Barclays Premier League last May, the footage cut to some shots of Jose Mourinho.

2846CE3D00000578-3066173-image-a-54_1430667502791

‘Next season,’ he vowed, with Chelsea supporters roaring their approval to a previously unseen clip, which had been recorded shortly after Manchester City won the title. At Stamford Bridge on Sunday, after Eden Hazard headed the winner against Crystal Palace, Mourinho fulfilled his promise. Each morning, Chelsea’s manager leaves the family’s £6m townhouse in the heart of London’s upscale district of Belgravia to head for the club’s training ground in Surrey. At just after 7am it is an easy commute against the traffic, with Mourinho sitting in the back of a chauffeur-driven car on the familiar 21-mile journey into the countryside before his sponsored Jaguar swings left off the A3 and into the village of Cobham.

2846CDE400000578-3066173-image-a-50_1430667377784

While many managers’ offices are bestrewn with copies of newspapers, FourFourTwo or Esquire, Mourinho’s first-floor rooms are a picture of order, with his training schedules meticulously filed. His dedication and work ethic is remarkable, even to the point where he made sure that his morning session at St George’s Park, which is home to the national team, last Tuesday, was shut off with huge blackout screens. Training began at 10.30 sharp, just as it always does, with a blast of Mourinho’s whistle. There are no stragglers on the Special One’s watch. 28478E7E00000578-3066396-image-a-92_1430673752707

He demanded extra security around the complex to make sure his team shape for the clash with Leicester City, who had won their previous four Premier League games, would not be leaked to Nigel Pearson. Last Wednesday’s 3-1 victory at the King Power Stadium, with goals from Didier Drogba, John Terry and Ramires, set up this title-clincher against Palace. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3066396/Chelsea-cruised-Premier-League-title-thanks-meticulous-sharp-pragmatic-Jose-Mourinho-helm.html#ixzz3ZDRjjnIC 28075F9F00000578-3066396-Mourinho_talks_tactics_with_Hazard_during_the_Premier_League_mat-a-71_1430672932128

Jose Mourinho can be and is a horse’s ass many times yet this cat can flat out coach. He has won titles in every league he has been in. Sir Alex is another and so is Louis Van Gaal. Van Gaal has won a title in every league he has been the head man Ajax Eredivisie: 1993–94, 1994–95, 1995–96, Barcelona La Liga: 1997–98, 1998–99, Bayern Munch Bundesliga: 2009–10.

The wins may not be pretty. Style points are for losers. Just ask Man Shitty or Arsenal or the Brasil Nation Team for they scored goals and play Jogo bonito but in the end they lost. Just win baby is the key. Thank you Al Davis. 2846159100000578-3066173-image-a-9_1430662175719

De Futebol

article-3067754-284F742900000578-765_964x386

My guys from Arsenal decided to take the match by scruff of the neck with two goals in a four minute span to take a quick two nil lead. The guys defeated Hull City 3-1.

Alexis Sanchez nailed a free kick in the 28th minute for the 1-0 lead. A dumb foul by Hull City’s Jake Livermore set the table for the brilliant free kick deflection. In the 32nd minute Aaron Ramsey took the rock and out raced the Tigers “D”. Ramsey fired from the center of the box. Nothing but the back of the net for two nil lead.

Alexis Sanchez worked his way through the Tigers porous “D”. Sanchez shot found its mark for the 3-0 lead in the 45th minute plus one. This gimmie goal was set up with deadly passing between Santi Cazorla and Aaron Ramsey.

284F2CC300000578-3067754-image-a-19_1430769731590

The first foray into the teeth of the net was stopped by Hull City’s keeper Steve Harper. The rebound comes out. Ramsey finds his mate Sanchez. Can you say, “That’s all she wrote.”

The second half didn’t start out too well for the guys when Hull City’s Stephen Quinn tickled the twines in the 56th minute to cut the gap to 3-1. Our guys Laurent Koscielny was tackled hard. The ref said, Play on.” This led to the Quinn goal.

The guys win 3-1. The win keeps us level on points with Man Shitty 70 points each. Shitty has a better goal difference a plus 35 to ours plus 33.

284F356000000578-3067754-image-a-35_1430769904527

This was a very good win for the guys. We have a match in hand so all we need to do is run the table and second place is ours. A week from today we have a hot date with Swansea City at our house Emirates. The Swans are fighting for a berth in the Europa League. Swansea City is in eighth place 53 points. The Swans trail seventh place Spurs by five points. Tottenham has 58 so these means Swansea City will battle like there is no tomorrow.

284F40C500000578-3067754-image-a-37_1430769920651

We have not lost since February 7th a 2-1 loss to Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Arsenal has won five out of their last since. The only blemish is the nil-nil draw against Chelsea on Sunday April 26th.

Look folks the guys are on a great run. Only Chelsea is better. The Blues have lost only twice this season. Yes, many have criticized Jose Mourinho’s style of play yet this does produce results wins. In the end style is for losers. Wins are for winners. “Just win baby.”

The Telegraphs Alan Tyers live dialog summed it up this way- “That is a strong showing from Arsenal. Lethal attacking moves, with Sanchez and Ramsey especially on-song, unplayable at times. At half time you feared it might be a cricket score, but Hull fought back gamely to ‘win’ the second half and that’s good news for their goal difference in a fixture that always looked like a tough ask. Arsenal tighten their grip on the imaginary trophy that you get for finishing second. They’re on 70 points, as are Man City, but the North Londoners have a game in hand.”

284F57E300000578-3067754-image-a-42_1430770613644

Here’s a few facts to toss at ya. Hull City has lost five of their six matches against Arsenal in the EPL. My Gunners have won eight and lost none against the Tigers in all competitions. Alexis Sanchez keeps his streak of scoring against Hull City. Sanchez has score in three straight matches against the Tigers this season. Arsenal has not conceded a fist half goal in the EPL in their last thirteen matches. (All facts were taken from Talk Sport fact sheet.)

284F159B00000578-0-image-a-17_1430767155147

The Guardian-“Another masterclass in passing and movement from Santi Cazorla and two more goals from Alexis Sánchez were sufficient to ensure Arsenal headed back to London confident of returning to the Champions League next season.

The gap in goal difference is such that it is effectively impossible for fifth-placed Liverpool to catch Arsène Wenger’s players now but unfortunately for Steve Bruce the possibility of Hull dropping into the Championship remains far from theoretical. His side lie in 17th and third-to-bottom Sunderland are only a point behind, awkward fixtures lie ahead and the momentum gained during a recent mini-rival could be in danger of evaporating.’

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/may/04/hull-city-arsenal-premier-league-match-report

The Telegraphs Chris Bascombe sums up the Arsenal plight very well. “It is always tease, tease, tease with Arsenal.

284F329D00000578-3067754-image-a-32_1430769872504

Some would have been depressed 24 hours after the demise of their latest title challenge, but Arsène Wenger’s side are excelling at being the best of the also-rans. You didn’t know whether to stand and applaud the classicism of some of the football or yell in frustration as Hull were disrobed in the first half at the KC Stadium.

Is this proof the foundation is there for a more serious Premier League challenge next year, or evidence they should have pushed Jose Mourinho closer this time?”

Bascombe adds “This is a fine Arsenal team and it would be ridiculous to suggest this is a bad season with second place and a possible FA Cup win to come, but so often they appear to be excelling with the window dressing when they need just a little more work on the foundations. Hull’s threat of a comeback further demonstrated concerns about Arsenal’s underbelly.”

284F653D00000578-3067754-image-a-51_1430771492351

Bascombe sums up the guys to a tee. “The lesson came from Wenger’s side. At times brilliant, at times flawed. It is ever thus in this Arsenal era.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11581540/Hull-City-1-Arsenal-3-match-report-Alexis-Sanchez-at-the-double-to-close-in-on-second-place.html

This is what being an Arsenal fan means. They lead you up to the title then break your heart.

284F131300000578-0-image-a-5_1430766921704

De Futebol

28474F0C00000578-3066327-image-a-61_1430671006405

Man Shitty did what they had to do. Shitty’s Sergio Aguero scored the only goal of the match in the 28th minute for the 1-0 win over Spurs. This loss puts a dagger in the hearts of Tottenham in the hopes of catching fourth place Man U to possibly get a Champions League berth. Spurs had hoped to stay even with fifth place Liverpool in an attempt to stay ahead of seventh place Southampton 57 points of the final Europa League berth. Liverpool has 61 points. Spurs are stuck on 58.

The road win snapped Shitty’s four match losing streak at the opponent’s house. The last road win was a 4-1 win over Stoke City February 11th.

Shitty is in a battle with Arsenal and Man U in the race for second place as well as who gets the final two automatic berths in the Champions League. Shitty has 70 points to stay in second place. My Gunners are third 67 points. We take a trip the Tigers house The Kingston later today. So this is a must situation for Arsenal. Man U is fourth with 65.

Hull City is in a regulation fight. The Tigers are currently in 16th place 34 points. Sunderland is in the last voce vai zone spot 18th place 33 points. These guys will be a tough out. We have to with this sucker.

If we can keep a clean sheet and score four or more goals we can wrestle second place from Shitty on goal difference. Shitty is a plus 35. My Gunners are a plus 31.

Chelsea defeated Crystal Palace 1-0 to the win the EPL. The Blues have 83 points.

2847498800000578-3066327-image-a-58_1430670939144