De Futebol

27BD2EB100000578-3045729-image-a-34_1429449416121

Man Shitty had their way with West Ham at the Etihad winning2-0. The win keeps Shitty in fourth place with 64 points.

Shitty trails Man U by a point in the race for third place. The Red Devils have 65 points. Arsenal is second with 66 points. Chelsea is the top dog with 76 points. All the Blues need to do is win the next two matches and the title is theirs.

Mark Ogden the Telegraph-David Silva suffered a worrying head injury and received seven minutes of treatment on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher as Manchester City emerged from their recent slump with a comfortable victory against West Ham.

27BF354800000578-0-image-a-36_1429460243795

Silva was knocked to the ground in the 67th minute by the flailing left elbow of West Ham midfielder Cheikhou Kayate, who was booked by referee Anthony Taylor, before being treated by City’s medical team.

Despite the length of Silva’s treatment, the incident appeared to be accidental and a result of Kayate’s 6ft 4ins frame against the diminutive Spaniard rather than malicious intent on the part of the Senegalese midfielder.

27BEFAB800000578-0-image-a-31_1429459195305

But with Silva being struck on the temple, the 29-year-old was treated and then carried off while wearing an oxygen mask before being replaced by Samir Nasri.

Silva’s injury proved a sickening element of City’s win, which moves the champions to within a point of third placed Manchester United.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/manchester-city/11548191/Manchester-City-2-West-Ham-0-match-report-Sergio-Aguero-helps-champions-close-gap-on-United.html

27BF127100000578-0-image-a-30_1429459041122

Chelsea and Arsenal hook up next Sunday at Emirates.

Tottenham extended Newcastle’s losing streak to six matches with a 3-1 win at Toons house St. James Park. Spurs are in sixth place with 57 points. Liverpool has 57 points however the Reds have a superior goal difference a plus eleven compared with Tottenham’s plus six.

Spurs sunk the dagger into Newcastle slowly slipping away fast season. Toons have lost six straight matches.

Toons are stuck in 14th place 35 points. Seven points separate Newcastle and voce vai bound 18th place Leicester City 28 points.

27BF354800000578-3045960-Jack_Colback_is_in_the_right_place_at_the_right_time_to_pounce_o-a-5_1429477617441

The Daily Mail- There are toxic times on Tyneside but the thousands of supporters who boycotted were at least spared another dispiriting display which equalled a club-record rot of six straight defeats in the Premier League.

Were it not for a freaky five wins on the spin last autumn, the Magpies would be headed for the Championship. In fact, head coach John Carver fears his side – the worst in the division on present form – could yet plummet towards the bottom three.

‘We are in amongst a relegation battle. Leicester, for example, are winning games, but we aren’t,’ he said after goals from Nacer Chadli, Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane’s 30th of the season condemned them to a 10th loss in 14.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3045960/Newcastle-United-1-3-Tottenham-Christian-Eriksen-curls-freakish-free-kick-Harry-Kane-caps-win-Spurs.html#ixzz3XmcuBf4h
27BEB88F00000578-0-image-a-47_1429460941445

De Futebol

27B5B70600000578-0-image-a-47_142937930162727B4951C00000578-0-image-a-14_1429375917539

My Gunners almost bit the dust against the Choo-Choo guys Reading. A gaff by the Reading keeper Adam Federici in 105th minute gave my guys the hard fought 2-1 to advance to The FA Cup finals.

Alexis Sanchez hit a holy roller that went right through the keeper’s hand, through the wickets and into the back of the net to complete his daily double.

Reading hung in there when Sanchez hit a perfect shot in the 39th minute for the one nil lead. The Choo-Choo guys found the equalizer from Garath McCleary in the 54th minute.

27B56A5200000578-0-image-a-22_142937678707227B6166900000578-3044993-image-a-111_1429384431324

It stayed that way until extra time when Sanchez squeezed the rock through Garath McCleary’s hands and wickets for the win.

Jeremy Wilson the Telegraph- “Jose Mourinho might have slammed shut the door yesterday on Arsene Wenger’s distant Premier League title hopes but the history books of the FA Cup final may still have to be reopened for the Arsenal manager next month.

27B6249600000578-3044993-image-a-5_1429385213985

After the drama of extra-time against Championship opposition for the second successive year, Wenger now has the chance to win a modern-day record sixth FA Cup when Arsenal return to Wembley to face Aston Villa or Liverpool on May 30. Two goals from Alexis Sanchez following two assists by Mesut Ozil ultimately settled this match although Arsenal were also indebted to a goalkeeping mistake by Adam Federici in the 105th minute that was the only blemish on an otherwise stirring Reading performance.

27B58FE300000578-0-image-a-32_1429377924047

As might be expected from a team on a run of 22 wins in 26 matches, there was little sign of the frayed nerves that was so evident when Arsenal faced Wigan at this stage of the competition last year. With Wojciech Szczesny always expected to return as goalkeeper and Mathieu Debuchy and Kieran Gibbs still arguably regarded as the first-choice full-backs, the big surprise in Wenger’s team selection was Danny Welbeck starting as the main central striker. Olivier Giroud has been Arsenal’s best player throughout 2015 but, like Szczesny, Welbeck was ultimately rewarded for his goal in the victory over Manchester United in the previous round of the FA Cup. “

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11547279/Reading-1-Arsenal-2-match-report-Alexis-Sanchez-hits-winner-in-extra-time-to-book-FA-Cup-final-spot.html

27B61C6A00000578-3044993-image-a-95_1429383885373

The Daily Mail-“But just before the extra time interval, the cruelty of football struck Reading down.

Alexis Sanchez cut in from the left and fired in a low, stinging shot. Adam Federici, the Reading goalkeeper, the best professional at the club, a man who had made several outstanding saves in the course of the game, crouched to gather the ball only for it to squirm through his legs and roll agonisingly over the line.

At the final whistle, inconsolable, he headed straight for the tunnel in tears.

27B614FD00000578-3044993-image-a-114_1429384542650

Federici deserved better than that. So did Reading. But for Arsenal, it was enough. They held on as Reading poured forward and now, when they face either Liverpool or Aston Villa here in the final next month, they will be bidding to become the most successful team in the history of this famous competition.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3044993/Reading-1-2-Arsenal-Adam-Federici-howler-lets-second-Alexis-Sanchez-strike-Gunners-reach-FA-Cup-final-extra-time.html#ixzz3Xgwt08lh
27B654B600000578-3044993-image-a-2_1429385127723

This was not a great or overpowering performance over Championship League Reading. It came down to a Keystone Cops moment by the Choo-Choo guys’ keeper Adam Federici to propel us to The FA Cups finals against Aston Villa.

Villa shocked Liverpool with a 2-1 win.

27B654C100000578-3044993-image-a-1_1429385121487

De Futebol

27B5A06900000578-3044957-image-a-26_1429378959353

Man U held the possession advantage against Chelsea. It came down to one mistake by Falco at midfield and Chelsea was off to the races. Budda bing budda boom Eden Hazard took the back heal from mate Oscar. David de Gea never had a chance. Rock into the back of the net in the 38th minute for the 1-0 win over Man U.

The Red Devils six match winning streak is snapped. The Blues are ten points ahead of second place Arsenal and eleven points over third place Man U.

This was Man U’s first loss since February 21st.

27B5A37800000578-3044957-image-a-24_1429378866056

Chelsea has 76 points. Second place Arsenal has 66 points. The Blues and Arsenal have played the same number of matches 32.

The match came down to one fatal mistake. This is what good teams do. They capitalize on the boo boos of others. They punish you for it. In the end no matter how well or badly they play these guys find a way to win.

The only stat that means anything is the “W.”

Jose Mourinho has trained his team well. The Blues play great team defense. Chelsea forces you to make a ton of passes. When a player breaks free the offside help forced Man U to make that extra pass. The danger is averted.

Rooney had a chance to put the Red Devils up in the opening minutes. The Rooney missed the wide open net. It was wide right.

Man U played well but in the end the guys couldn’t find the back of the net.

Stamford Bridge is a hard place to play. The Blues are the class of the EPL. Chelsea has sat at the head of the class since August 30th.

27B5C4FF00000578-3044957-image-a-42_1429380045109

Jose Mourinho summed up the match this way “We played the match the strategic way. I don’t care about stats you just care about the points.”

Jason Burt the Telegraph summarized the match to a tee “Chelsea now have one hand on the Premier League trophy – and used the other to fend off an irrepressible Manchester United who were desperately unfortunate to lose this encounter which put a brake on their own resurgence.

There was no champagne football from Jose Mourinho’s side apart from the brilliance of Eden Hazard – this was park-the-bus, get-the-job-done- but the corks will soon be popping. A 10-point lead at the helm of the table with six games to go appears insurmountable and with it a third league title under Mourinho even if they would appear set for a more formidable challenge from this developing United side next season. But that is for the future.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/competitions/premier-league/11547326/Chelsea-1-Manchester-United-0-match-report-Eden-Hazard-strikes-again-as-hosts-close-in-on-title.html

27B5C32300000578-3044957-image-a-40_1429379760903

This is classic Jose Mourinho futebol. Get the early lead and they play great in your face defensive futebol.

The old adage is the stats are for losers. The loser on this day is Man U. Yet folks the future is bright for the Red Devils. No one expected Man U to be in the fourth let alone have a sniff at the title.

All the Blues have to do is win two more and the title is theirs.

The Guardian- “There really can be no doubt now that when the ribbons are attached to the Premier League trophy the light blue of Manchester City will be replaced by a darker shade. José Mourinho’s team are ticking off the challenges and their lead is now 10 points. With only half a dozen games to go, the residents of Fulham can expect a letter soon advising them of plans for an open-top bus parade.

27B5D89300000578-3044957-image-m-56_1429381172462

For long spells it was a predictably conservative performance from the league leaders, but there is an expertise here in the art of winning football matches through structure, stubbornness and know-how and, when the opposition makes an error, being absolutely clinical. It also helps that they have a left-sided attacker, Eden Hazard, who could feasibly finish the season with a clean sweep of the player-of-the-year trophies to go with his championship medal. Hazard’s contribution has been immense and it was his goal, towards the end of the first half, that gave Chelsea the opportunity to remind everyone exactly how accomplished they are at not surrendering those positions. The ovation when Hazard was substituted in stoppage time told its own story and it was not long afterwards before Mourinho was out of his dugout, demanding even more noise, in that familiar victory pose.”

http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/apr/18/chelsea-manchester-united-premier-league-match-report

27B567FA00000578-0-image-a-8_1429377222039

Van Gaal said after the match- I’m not frustrated, I am very proud of my team,’ he said. ‘We played the best match this season but in football you can lose in spite of you being the better team.

‘We are in a process and I see my team always growing, improving, every week. It’s amazing how we have played here and when you see the statistics it’s unbelievable that the result is 1-0. It’s not like any other sport. But that’s what counts.

‘It’s not that we have made a big step in our process that counts. We count it but for the fans, they have lost and Manchester United have lost and that’s a pity when you play so well.

27B598DC00000578-3044957-image-m-45_1429380209539

‘We were the dominant team on the pitch. In the first half we have created three chances and Chelsea, zero. In the second half we created eight chances and Chelsea three.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/article-3045111/Louis-van-Gaal-declares-Manchester-United-beat-Chelsea-Premier-League-title-season-defeat-Stamford-Bridge.html#ixzz3XhdAd0hz
article-3044722-27B585A900000578-912_964x386

De Futebol

article-3043446-27AA349A00000578-703_964x405

The other matches that are on tap for today look like this Crystal Palace-West Brom, Everton-Burnley, Leicester City-Swansea City, and Stoke City-Southampton.

There is a ton to play for all of these clubs. Burnley and Leicester City are itching to get out of the voce vai zone. The Clarets and the Foxes will have a little temporary relief from you’re outa here zone with victories. Hull City is not playing. The Tigers are in 17th place with 28 points.

Southampton is still in the hunt for a Europa League spot. The Saints have an outside shot at catching Man Shitty for the final Champions League spot. Southampton is in sixth place 56 points. Man Shitty is in fourth place with 61 points.

277B994000000578-0-image-a-81_1429276463028

Ronald Koeman told the Daily Mail “believes Southampton will have to win their six remaining games to stand any chance of reaching the Champions League.”

Koeman added ‘Normally yes,’ the Dutchman said. ‘The distance is five points. We need to win I think all.

“They (City) don’t lose three games, no. They have the next two at home. Normally, with the players that they have, the qualities.

‘You never know, but it’s all about to win the last six to have really a good chance to be one of the top four teams.”

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3043635/Southampton-win-six-remaining-league-games-finish-inside-four-insists-Ronald-Koeman.html#ixzz3XbIJlhK7
yannick-bolasie_3265009k

Liverpool and Arsenal are not playing due to The FA Cup semifinals today and Sunday.

Stoke City, Crystal Palace, Swansea City, and Everton are safe.

Chelsea and Man U will duke it out today at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are top dog 73 points. The Red Devils are third 65 points.

De Futebol

22C27AAF00000578-3042223-image-m-42_1429203725513

The headline match of the weekend is Chelsea and Man U hooking up at Stamford Bridge. The Blues are the main man with 73 points. Man U is third with 65points.

This war will happen on Saturday. Let the fireworks begin.

If Chelsea wins the title is almost theirs. If Man U wins the door is ajar for either Arsenal or the Red Devils to steal the crown.

Shitty can get themselves back in the hunt with a win on Sunday. The Citizens must run the table and hope Chelsea stinks the joint out losing at least four matches or so.

Vangaalmoods_3269935b

Will this happen? Not in this lifetime. Jose Mourinho will make sure the Blues win the title. He will drive the whip hard.

Man Shitty and West Brom are at the Etihad on Sunday. Shitty has lost two in a row and four of their last six matches.

A loss or tie for Shitty will be a dagger to the heart. I sure hope so. For these arrogant pricks need a little lesson in humility.

Chelsea-Man U match can conger up the glory days of Sir Alex and Jose Mourinho spitting, glaring, throwing dagger darts and jawing at each other on the touchline.

Jose-MAIN-QUOTES_3260783k

Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho do have a relationship. Mourinho cut his coaching teeth under Van Gaal as one of his assistants.

26382CBA00000578-3042223-image-a-38_1429203565298

This still a classic match. It will be a good one.

My second place Gunners are in The FA Cup semifinal against the Choo-choo guys Reading on Saturday. A win put the guys in The FA Cup final against either Liverpool or Aston Villa. The Reds and Villa have a hot date on Sunday.

Manchester United v Manchester City - Premier League

De Futebol

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

Here is an interesting take on why my guys from Arsenal can win the whole shebang. First the guys are on fire. We have won eight in a row. Second Chelsea has two hard matches coming up in the next four weeks Man U this Saturday and then Arsenal at our house Emirates April 26th. Any combination of losses or ties could hurt the Blues title hopes.

We see how this all plays out. Jose Mourinho is the master head games master. Wenger has a hard time matching his genius in this area. Yes Arsenal have won eight in a row but this could come crashing down at any moment.

TROPHYPICTURE_3266641b

Arsenal and Man U have a hot date down on May 17th at Old Trafford. My Gunners defeated Man U in the semifinals of the FA Cup. The Telegraph- On paper, a match away at in-form Manchester United looks like being Arsenal’s toughest test, but their 2-1 win in the FA Cup will put paid to any inferiority complex.

On that occasion, Francis Coquelin shackled Marouane Fellaini superbly, while Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez looked a threat all night on the counter-attack.

After years of punishment from United, Arsenal can now legitimately feel they’re on a level playing field with the 13-time Premier League winners.”

Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker

Chelsea has been very lucky to get wins. The Telegraph “Chelsea’s last three matches have seen them win thanks to a goalkeeping error, with Hull’s Allan McGregor, Stoke’s Asmir Begovic and QPR’s Rob Green giving them a helping hand.

Chelsea can’t keep getting away with the insipid displays that have characterised their recent form. Against QPR in particular they looked blunt going forward all game, and only managed one shot on target against a team which had conceded three goals against Aston Villa earlier in the week.

A big improvement is needed, with matches against Manchester United and Arsenal up next, particularly with Diego Costa – their standout striker

One thing is for sure Chelsea’s march to the title will be a tough road with Man U and Arsenal waiting the wings. Jose Mourinho will not tolerate any let downs. I can’t wait to see what happens.

Burnley v Arsenal - Premier League

De Futebol

Arsenal v Liverpool - Premier League

My guys from Arsenal were in the shits. We were losing players left and right. Wenger made the call to bring back Francis Coquelin. He did and the results propelled the guys to a eight match win streak. My Gunners are now in second place with 66 points.

Henry Winter wrote-Arsene Wenger’s disciples have restored their messiah to his pedestal, lauding Arsenal’s manager for an impressive eight successive wins when his season-changing decision, summoning Francis Coquelin from exile, was forced on him. Coquelin has become one of Arsenal’s most important players, the beast amidst the beauty, by accident.

At 1.52pm on December 12, Charlton Athletic announced the “BREAKING NEWS” on their twitter feed that Coquelin had suddenly been recalled by Wenger. It was quite a shock. A bit-part player at Arsenal since 2008, Coquelin moved between shirts, changing from 35 to 39 to 22 and 34, a mobile number, never belonging. The Frenchman seemed surplus to requirements by Wenger, who even extended his compatriot’s loan at The Valley on December 1 by another month.

But just as the 23-year-old was preparing for another loan game against Blackpool in the Championship an SOS call came in from Wenger. A plethora of injuries to central midfielders prompted the Arsenal manager into his emergency action. Jack Wilshere’s ankle was battered by Manchester United’s Paddy McNair on November 22, Mikel Arteta damaged his calf against Borussia Dortmund on November 26 and then Aaron Ramsey pulled a hamstring against Galatasaray on December 9. Wenger was already missing Abou Diaby.

santi-cazorla_3206299b

So in a move that has so unexpectedly given promise for the future, Arsenal went back to their roots, taking back a player who was plying his trade scarcely a mile from Woolwich. Coquelin hot-footed it across the Thames, coming on against Newcastle United 24 hours later. It was the January 18 victory at Manchester City that truly alerted everyone to his qualities. He made seven interceptions, won all three of his tackles, and dominated seven of his eight aerial duels, subduing David Silva in the process. He instructed more illustrious team-mates to keep their focus and not get carried away after Santi Cazorla’s opening goal.

After a decade of supporters pleading with Wenger to shield the defence more, Wenger finally found a successor to Gilberto Silva more through luck than design. Coquelin is no Invincible but he has become an Irreplaceable, not bad for a player who Wenger kept on the bench for eight games at the start of the season, using only once against Southampton in the Capital One Cup before despatching to Charlton.

Obsessed with pure football, Wenger preferred his deepest-lying midfielder to be a passer, a player like Arteta, sadly ageing and not tough enough anyway. Mathieu Flamini is too headstrong for the role. Wilshere is more creative, a passer who works better with a Coquelin-type. Ditto Ramsey.

So let us sweep aside the garlands currently strewn at the feet of the saintly Wenger. He has stumbled on the balanced midfield of Coquelin and Cazorla through unfortunate injury and happenstance (although Ramsey and Wilshere could also dovetail with Coquelin). Wenger has been helped inordinately – rescued is too strong a word, just – by an employee he had all but abandoned.

Given the chance, Coquelin has seized it hungrily and also improved in the succeeding four months, diving in less, intercepting more. He is that rarity in Wengerland, a water-carrier, a midfielder content to get the ball and give it, a professional who understands the importance of protecting the back-four and keeping clean sheets.

Mikel_arteta_3165961b

He’s had poor games, notably to Monaco at home, but he is now in contention for Arsenal’s Player of the Season. The fans love Alexis Sanchez’s adventure, Cazorla’s irrepressibility, Mesut Ozil’s increasing elegant influence, Hector Bellerin’s lively promise and Olivier Giroud’s impact but Coquelin has spread the grit to kept Arsenal on the road.

He excelled against Liverpool. He was Man of the Match at Turf Moor last Saturday, nicking the ball to help set up Ramsey’s winner, and registering a Premier League record of 11 interceptions. He’s vocal and demanding of his team-mates. He also shows a passion for the cause of a player aching for this opportunity since he was 17.

Wenger has chanced on a more balanced side. If Wenger does turn this fortuitous Damascene moment into something longer-term, and recruit a Morgan Schneiderlin, who he continues to scout, or Monaco’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, then Arsenal will have sufficient cover in the engine-room or even start two in certain tougher away games.

The constant criticism of Wenger’s post-Invincibles sides is that they are psychologically, often physically, brittle. Arteta’s appointment as club captain encapsulated Wenger’s philosophy; the Spaniard is a truly charming individual, a great ambassador for the club, and a neat, technical footballer but a leader in adversity? No.

Arsenal have lacked leadership in recent times throughout the club from board-room to dressing-room. Shareholders seem happy with the status quo, qualifying for the lucrative Champions League, keeping the money rolling in, if not the trophies. Wenger has lifted one trophy in 10 years, yet is under little pressure internally. Sadly, a culture has been allowed to develop at Arsenal where fourth is the new first. With ticket prices so high, Arsenal supporters have every right to question a passive board and a blinkered manager. Coquelin, a man who hates losing, may just change that ethos.

About time. Wenger has reached one Champions League final in 18 attempts. In reaching that showdown in Paris, Arsenal conceded only two group-stage goals (to Thun and Ajax) and none in the knock-out rounds against Real Madrid, Juventus and Villarreal when Gilberto Silva was supreme shielding a (good) defence.

It is embarrassing that Wenger has needed until now to appreciate that the best teams balance defence and attack. Arsenal’s manager does deserve praise for certain decisions this season, not least starting Danny Welbeck as centre-forward against Manchester United, in signing the wonderful Sanchez, in finally playing Ozil in his best position (as a No 10), and giving Arsenal more tactical flexibility as seen in the contrasting strengths of Welbeck and Giroud. Arsenal have shown more resilience, winning at the Etihad in the league and Old Trafford in the Cup, as well as destroying Liverpool at home.

Those of us who wanted Wenger to change, or for Arsenal to change manager, know that the season is still in balance. Second place and an FA Cup would be a good season. Second or third place and defeat at Wembley (in the final or semi) would be a combination that would have the Wenger Out brigade taking to the streets and social media again. Make no mistake: the substantial desire for regime change at Arsenal has not disappeared. Wenger is on notice from many fans.

This has been an average league season with the champions anaemic, with Liverpool missing Luis Suarez and (for long periods) Daniel Sturridge, with United taking time to rally under Louis van Gaal, and with Chelsea now cruising to the title with a 37-year-old upfront. All will be stronger next season.

Wenger has still to shake off Jose Mourinho’s “specialist in failure” jibe. Mourinho is the anti-Wenger, the master tactician, the serial winner. Arsenal “entertain” Chelsea on Sunday week. Beating Mourinho would be a huge statement. Wenger will need his accidental alchemist, Francis Coquelin, to be at his dogged, defiant best.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/teams/arsenal/11534041/Arsene-Wenger-deserves-no-credit-for-Arsenals-best-decision-this-season-recalling-Francis-Coquelin.html

Francis-Coquelin_3255681b