De Futebol Flamengo wins their third Straight in Carioca Group Play!

My guys from Flamengo defeated Bangu 1-0 to stay perfect in Group play in the Carioca Championship.

Globo Esportes:” Existe uma diferença importante entre o Flamengo e seus principais adversários neste início de Campeonato Carioca — diferença esta que ajuda a explicar os 100% de aproveitamento, mantidos com a vitória desta quarta-feira sobre o Bangu, por 1 a 0, na Ilha do Urubu. Mesmo com a incerteza que cercou o comando após a saída inesperada de Reinaldo Rueda, o time rubro-negro manteve clareza sobre o que precisa atingir no primeiro estágio de sua temporada — e, principalmente, como a

Com três vitórias em três jogos, o Flamengo praticamente já carimbou sua vaga na semifinal da Taça Guanabara. Mais importante do que isso, porém, é a mescla entre atletas do time sub-20 e jovens da equipe principal, garantindo minutos a quem mais precisa deles neste início de ano. Se a estratégia não comprometeu o aproveitamento na competição é porque, além de bem executada, há material humano de qualidade na base. Evidência disso é que o clube chegou à sua quarta final da Copa São Paulo de Futebol Júnior, a terceira nesta década: encara o São Paulo nesta quinta-feira, às 10h, no Pacaembu, pelo tetracampeonato.

Neste Carioca, o Flamengo não gastou titulares em vão nas rodadas iniciais. O lateral Renê e o volante Rômulo, dois nomes que precisavam recuperar crédito com torcida e comissão técnica, foram os únicos veteranos na formação titular ontem. Na reta final do jogo, Renê levantou a torcida com um chute de longe que raspou o travessão defendido por Célio Gabriel, Rômulo, por sua vez, ouviu aplausos dos cerca de quatro mil torcedores na Ilha do Urubu ao ser substituído no início do segundo tempo.

Ronaldo (21 anos) e Jean Lucas (19), seus jovens companheiros na trinca do meio-campo, mostravam segurança com e sem a bola nos pés. No primeiro tempo, um desavisado pensaria que estava assistindo a um Flamengo com força máxima. Os erros de passe e posicionamento defensivo eram os mesmos de qualquer outro time em início de temporada.

Vinícius Jr. dominou os holofotes mais uma vez, e não por acaso. Muito à vontade numa equipe repleta de velhos conhecidos, o camisa 10 pintou e bordou em lances individuais e jogadas de linhas de fundo. Um desses lances, aos 35 minutos do primeiro tempo, terminou com passe açucarado para Lincoln após deixar três marcadores na saudade. O centroavante, que tem apenas 17 anos, aproveitou para fazer seu primeiro gol no time profissional do Flamengo. E deixou claro que a formatação atual não é benéfica somente para dar segurança a Vinícius Jr.: a recíproca, neste caso, é muito verdadeira.

— Só tenho a agradecer por esse cara — disse Lincoln, referindo-se a Vinícius Jr. na saída para o intervalo. — Conheço desde os 11 anos. Do lado dele as coisas ficam mais fáceis.

Mais preocupado em dar minutagem aos jogadores do que em preservar a formação que funcionara na etapa inicial, o técnico Paulo César Carpegiani fez as cinco substituições a que tinha direito antes dos 25 minutos do segundo tempo. A entrada de mais jogadores tarimbados, como o atacante Geuvânio e o volante Jonas, acabou diminuindo a intensidade da garotada rubro-negra, e o Bangu aproveitou para tentar surpreender. Na melhor chance da equipe alvirrubra, aos 23 minutos, Almir foi lançado por Nilson e achou um canto aberto na saída do goleiro Gabriel Batista, mas o árbitro Leonardo Garcia Cavaleiro percebeu impedimento e anulou acertadamente o lance.

Vinícius Jr. não se acanhou com as mudanças no segundo tempo e continuou sendo o principal articulador do Flamengo. Aos 41, em boa jogada individual, ele se livrou de dois adversários e só parou na defesa de Célio Gabriel.

Exemplo maior da segurança psicológica do time rubro-negro foi Vitor Gabriel, de 18 anos. Há três dias, o jovem atacante havia marcado dois gols contra a Portuguesa e ajudado o Flamengo a avançar para a final da Copa São Paulo. Suspenso pelo terceiro cartão amarelo, Vitor não poderá atuar na decisão desta quinta-feira, contra o São Paulo.

Mas pôde ser relacionado para o jogo desta quarta, contra o Bangu, e substituiu Lincoln. Confortável em campo, Vitor nem parecia estar jogando um torneio de adultos, diferente das competições sub-20 que costuma disputar. No Flamengo atual, não há maior vitória do que esta.

https://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/garotada-do-flamengo-ganha-mais-uma-no-carioca-1-0-sobre-bangu-22326670#ixzz55Cm9R4sK

De Futebol Flamengo Wins Again!

Flamengo picked up their second win the Carioca Championship a 1-0 win over Cabofriense.

Globo Esporte:” Usando a camisa 10 em sua primeira partida neste ano, Vinícius Jr. balançou a rede na Ilha do Urubu. Foi o suficiente para garantir a alegria dos pouco mais de 4 mil rubro-negros que foram ao estádio – e também a vitória do Flamengo sobre a Cabofriense, por 1 a 0, na noite deste domingo.

O time rubro-negro atuou com alguns jogadores do elenco principal, como Vinícius Jr., o ala-direito Rodinei, o lateral-esquerdo Renê e o zagueiro Léo Duarte. A maior parte da escalação, contudo, era formada por jovens do time sub-20. Os profissionais, que ainda estão em pré-temporada, devem começar a ser lançados no clássico contra o Vasco, no próximo fim de semana.

O gol saiu aos 32 minutos do primeiro tempo. O próprio Vinícius Jr. iniciou a jogada, abrindo na direita com Rodinei. O lateral devolveu a gentileza e cruzou para o camisa 10 completar.

https://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/vinicius-jr-marca-flamengo-vence-cabofriense-na-ilha-do-urubu-22313064#ixzz54vLv4lPf

De Futebol Liverpool Stinks the Joint Out in a 3-2 loss to West Ham in the FA Cup Fourth Round

Liverpool stunk the joint out in a 3-2 loss to West Brom in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Guardians Andy Hunter wrote:” VAR vied for the limelight but West Bromwich Albion would not be denied. “Nice one Cyrille,” sang the away section as they savoured an outstanding victory and tribute to their late hero Regis. His old club excelled while Liverpool faltered badly, exiting the FA Cup at the fourth-round stage for the third season running under Jürgen Klopp.

“We had big aims in this competition and we wanted to show that,” said the Liverpool manager, who lamented another poor defensive display that invited Jay Rodriguez to score twice and Craig Dawson to force Joël Matip into conceding an own goal before half-time.

Alan Pardew’s complaint centred on the referee, Craig Pawson, and his over-use of VAR. The West Brom manager could have none over a performance that deservedly inflicted a second defeat of the week on Liverpool by a team in the bottom two of the Premier League.

Pawson used VAR to disallow a Dawson header at 2-1, to award Liverpool a penalty that was missed by Roberto Firmino and to allow Albion’s third goal to stand. All three were correct calls but VAR introduced both accuracy and farce at Anfield.

The referee appeared to be guided by Mohamed Salah in awarding the spot-kick, taking three minutes and 53 seconds to do so. He also called for several unnecessary reviews that brought an absorbing and flowing Cup tie to a standstill and left players from both teams openly mocking its use. The introduction of VAR for addressing “clear and obvious” errors was exposed to ridicule here.

“It’s hard to know where to start,” said Pardew on the video reviews, echoing the thoughts of many at Anfield. “I don’t think that is what we want to see going forward. There was no communication from the referee to us. We didn’t know why the game was being stopped. They reversed the Dawson goal which would never have been disallowed in a league game. Are we going to start taking goals away from the entertainment for slight margins?

“The biggest worry for me was the four minutes for the Salah penalty decision. You are going from a high-tempo workrate to nothing and then we had a hamstring injury [to Kieran Gibbs] just after that. As a coach should I have got our players to keep warmed-up in that situation? I don’t know. It was bizarre.

The real shame was how VAR intruded on the acclaim Albion merited for attacking Liverpool in the first half, dominating central midfield and defending stoutly in the second as the hosts pressed in vain for a recovery. Klopp sportingly sought out Dawson and Jonny Evans on the final whistle, shaking the hands of two defenders who repelled his team expertly even while carrying injury, with all three substitutes deployed.

Defeat confines Klopp’s hopes of silverware this season to the Champions League. It also demonstrated that his side’s frailties cannot be wiped away simply by spending £75m on Virgil van Dijk. He was one of several Liverpool players to endure an off-night, one that could not have been foreseen when Firmino exquisitely chipped them into an early lead. A rare mistake by Evans enabled Salah to pounce on a Chris Brunt back pass that the defender wrongly believed to be bound for Ben Foster. The Albion goalkeeper, who enjoyed a fine Saturday night’s work, saved from the Egypt international but Firmino sent the rebound back over both Evans and Foster with an instinctive touch of class.

Unfortunately for Liverpool, their midfield and defence again failed to match the quality of their front three. Albion’s central midfield pairing of Grzegorz Krychowiak and Gareth Barry, still superior to any of the midfielders he left behind at Everton, dominated their counterparts and Rodriguez reaped the benefits.

The visitors were level within a minute when Barry dispossessed Georginio Wijnaldum and Brunt threaded a first-time pass into Rodriguez. The Albion forward ghosted away from Emre Can and Van Dijk before sending an unstoppable shot into Simon Mignolet’s top corner. Albion then edged ahead thanks to a superb flowing attack orchestrated by Krychowiak, who beat Can easily and released Gibbs down the left.

The full-back’s low centre dissected the Liverpool defence and Rodriguez was there again to score from close range as the recalled Alberto Moreno dawdled. VAR then took centre stage, coming into play to disallow Dawson’s header from a Brunt corner and then to hand Liverpool a penalty when Jake Livermore pulled down Salah. The referee viewed the incident himself on the touchline monitor before Firmino swept his spot-kick against the bar.

More poor defending from Liverpool, after Albion had lost Gibbs and Hal Robson-Kanu to injury in quick succession, gave the visitors the cushion of a third. Krychowiak hooked the ball over a suspect offside trap to Dawson and his shot evaded Mignolet before taking a final touch off Matip.

Liverpool only roused after a triple substitution by Klopp in the second half. Salah offered Anfield hope when he scored from close range from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, that struck Firmino, but there was no reprieve. “Albion defended with big hearts,” said Klopp. “I don’t like to say it but they deserved it.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/27/liverpool-west-brom-fa-cup-match-report

De Futebol Man U Blow out Yeovil Town 4-0 to move on in The FA Cup

Man U blew out Yeovil Town 4-0 in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The Guardians Dominic Fifield wrote:” Manchester United were discomforted for periods in this corner of Somerset, their style occasionally cramped by Yeovil Town’s urgency and the visitors’ agitation was raised at times to the beat of the drummer in the raucous Thatcher’s Gold stand. But in the end, once underlying qualities had told, this was made to feel more like a saunter into the fifth round.

Alexis Sánchez could depart warmed by two simple assists on a first appearance as this club’s No 7. It is hard to make too many sweeping judgments of how easily the highest paid player in English football will slip into United’s forward ranks after a dismissal of spirited opponents from the bottom tier, but this was still an encouraging start. Certainly, his presence seemed to coax eye-catching form from Marcus Rashford at his side. José Mourinho, his hands buried deep into pockets as he surveyed the scene, had reason to be cheered by this display on his 55th birthday.

For all the sense of anticipation whipped up by Sánchez’s inclusion from the start, it had been the hosts who had torn more eagerly into the tie, scuttling forward at pace almost from their pre-match huddle to unnerve Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelöf at the heart of United’s defence. Jordan Green sprang down the left, twisting and turning to liberate himself from his marker, while Sam Surridge and François Zoko, booked inside the first minute for a challenge on Rojo, snapped at the visitors’ back line.

That early urgency, tantalisingly, had threatened to yield a lead. Had Omar Sowunmi met Jake Gray’s early free-kick with more conviction then the locals, willing the ball in, might have raised the roof. Instead Sergio Romero claimed the header with comfort.

The goalkeeper had already improvised to block Green’s low drive with his feet, and would push out Thomas James’s swerving free-kick before the break. Indeed, while Yeovil whipped up that whirlwind the gulf between the sides – second in the Premier League to opponents two points off the cut-off at the foot of League Two – had not appeared to gape quite so wide. Yet that lack of cutting edge and composure in front of goal from Darren Way’s team would tell before the interval.

United may have been disjointed for long periods, unable to impose themselves on a frantic contest for all Juan Mata’s clever delivery and Sánchez’s energy, but they were far more ruthless. By the break, their lead had been established.

It was secured by the visitors’ most impressive attacking forward. It had been Rashford, not Sánchez who had most unnerved the home side, his quick feet all a blur and his movement incisive in the middle of United’s front three. His pace in possession was blistering at times, his eagerness to shift the ball to team-mates disorientating lower league opponents. A spasm of indecision from James and Nathan Smith, each waiting for the other to shepherd the ball back to Artur Krysiak, eventually presented Rashford with his chance and he duly pounced. His finish was clipped beyond the goalkeeper for a 10th goal of the campaign. The concession rather deflated the locals, an anticlimax after a half of excellent endeavour.

Sánchez had played his part in establishing the lead, driving into the box before slipping his pass to the England striker, and would repeat that trick on the hour-mark as the visitors extended their advantage. In truth, the Chilean, with only two training sessions as a United player under his belt, had been as wasteful in possession as he was productive up to then, but was ever eager to coax, create or accelerate forward. He already has the strut of a United player, the air of someone who knows he belongs, and has swiftly assumed set piece duties. It was his corner that was met by Mata on the turn early in the second half, the Spaniard’s shot clipping the top of the bar, and his gallop downfield and pass for Ander Herrera that eventually supplied the second.

By then the momentum appeared to have shifted, fatigue steadily creeping into Yeovil legs as the adrenalin subsided and passes became increasingly optimistic and rather wild. Michael Carrick, all calm authority, had imposed some control. Krysiak, an unused substitute when United had won 2-0 in this arena a little over three years ago, and his centre-halves did their best to stem the tide, but quality told.

The goalkeeper had denied Scott McTominay impressively, but he was helpless as United countered in numbers from Yeovil’s first corner of the second period. Sánchez was at the core of that burst with Herrera, a scorer here in 2015, sprinting alongside before thumping his shot into the corner.

They would stroll through the latter stages, Angel Gomes almost scoring with his first involvement off the bench before another substitute, Jesse Lingard, rolled the visitors’ third across Krysiak and in. The England international’s participation could be threatened most by Sanchez’s arrival. This was a timely reminder of his own qualities before Romelu Lukaku added another from close range in injury time.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/26/yeovil-manchester-united-fa-cup-fourth-round-match-report

De Futebol In Honour of Jimmy Armfield

I found this little diddy about Futebol broadcasted on the radio by The Guardians Amy Lawrence.  So here it goes.” It was the sound that the goal made that was particularly stirring. As Mohamed Salah’s impudent chip against Manchester City arced into the net the noise it made was noticably different to the goals that had preceded it. The crackle from the crowd had added gasps of astonishment to mark the spectacular, plus the dizzying wow-factor to signal a flurry in quick succession, mixed in with standard goal jubilation. For those of us who somehow managed not to be watching the game of the season live on telly (or even luckier in the flesh at Anfield), it still managed to be an extraordinary radio experience. The emotional soundscape made it obvious this was no ordinary match.

“It’s the old line that the pictures are better on radio,” smiles Rob Nothman, former producer and now a broadcasting coach. “If you have a quality commentator who can take you to the ground, describe what’s going on, give you all the information, but can also paint pictures, it’s evocative, it can grip you.”

Deciphering the nuances of live football from what you can hear over the radio was a much more useful skill a generation or so ago when there was significantly less action on television. Childhood memories of having a little speaker or headphone glued to your ear as the only means to follow a crucial match remain vivid. Radio played a huge part in how we consumed the game, a major source of information on goals, formations, news, opinion, atmosphere, you name it.

It feels particularly poignant to reflect on the power of football on the radio to honour the memory of Jimmy Armfield, whose voice, warmth and experience made him a master of this art. “He had knowledge, authority and clarity,” reflects Nothman. “When he opened his jacket he had a variety of medals – great player, great manager and he was able to bring that across as a broadcaster but in a sympathetic way. Such a lovely man, we will all miss him terribly.”

In this modern media age it’s realistic to wonder what the future holds for football on the radio. The younger fan is brought up on a diet of goals broadcast in a flash over a mobile phone, instant Twitter opinions, fan TV channels and so on.

With attention spans changing to suit current social media trends, watching a full game without any distraction is more of a challenge. Kids tend to prefer highlights, shorter bursts, more action and less analysis.

Mark Chapman, the broadcaster who works across various media, is a staunch defender of the special qualities of radio. It remains, he explains, a significant way to absorb football even in this quick-refresh world. “I still maintain it is the fastest way of getting the goals,” he says. “TV is on a slight delay, and we will certainly get it before an app is updated. In this fast-moving world, radio is still the most immediate way of getting your information.

“If there is a massive news story, if you think what needs to be mobilised from a TV point of view to start covering it, that takes a fair amount of time compared to radio who can have someone on the phone within 10 seconds and straight through to a presenter. Just because radio has been around for the longest time compared to the other mediums it still to me feels very modern.

“There is an immediacy of wanting to see the goal and Twitter and so on but there is still a place for live commentary on the game, for debate. The point is listening to a piece of radio might not be the same as watching it but in some ways it can be better. This commentary might be amazing! If you get the right team radio is a much better way to consume a dreadful game.

“I will give you an example: I was driving back from the FA Cup draw in Coventry a couple of weeks ago and that Monday night game was Brighton v Crystal Palace. The 5 Live commentary team was Jonathan Pearce and Steve Claridge and it was hilarious. I couldn’t tell you much about what happened in the first half but as a listen on the radio it was great.”

This week is the anniversary of the first live broadcast of a football match over the airwaves. On 22 January 1927, from a wooden hut that resembled a garden shed erected at Highbury, the top-flight clash between Arsenal and Sheffield United was broadcast over the BBC’s radio service.

A notable detail is that debate to get permission for the radio experience at sports grounds had gone on for some time as the authorities were concerned that live broadcasts would have an impact on attendances and affect ticket sales. The very first commentator was the splendidly named Henry Blyth Thornhill Wakelam – a former rugby player.

Chapman’s love for the magic of football on the radio endures. “There is still nothing better in any of the jobs that I do than saying: ‘It’s 5 o’clock, you are listening to 5 Live and this is Sports Report. You know there are two million people in cars coming back from sport ready to listen to the headlines.” Cue that music …

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/22/enduring-power-magic-football-on-the-radio

De Futebol Arsenal defeats Chelsea 2-1! Up Next Man Shitty in The Finals of The Carabao Cup!

Arsenal fell behind one nil to hated rival Chelsea in the Carabao Cup semifinal. My Gunners scored the next two goals to beat the Blues 2-1 to advance to the finals of the Carabao Cup where the guys will battle Man Shitty.

The Daily Mail:” A goal and an assist. Not the worst night for Antonio Rudiger. Unfortunately…

The goal was Arsenal’s first-half equaliser; the assist, their second-half winner. Not that Rudiger could have done much about either. They were hapless deflections, that is all, scruffy influence on what was often a scruffy game. Not that Arsenal were complaining.

This win takes them to Wembley again, for the first domestic cup final after their last visit in May. Manchester City will be favourites on the day, of course, but so were Chelsea over two legs here. Arsenal were decent value for their win, though, even if Chelsea will rue the chances missed in the first game.

The winner came after 60 minutes, Arsenal having fought back from an early goal down. Alexandre Lacazette, quiet otherwise, held the ball up well on the right against Andreas Christensen, before attempting a cross which clipped the legs of Rudiger. Having already diverted the ball into his own net with his head, he could have done with a break. He didn’t get it. The rebound took the ball directly to Granit Xhaka, who prodded it past second-string goalkeeper Willy Caballero. Ah well. A Carabao Cup final appearance was hardly going to influence the long term future of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. These things do matter to Arsenal though. They may be losing ground in the league, but he has turned them into an excellent cup side.

Alex Iwobi should have wrapped the game up with 14 minutes remaining, but hit his shot directly at Caballero with plenty of time and space. It made for a very nervous closing spell, particularly when Eden Hazard got on the ball.

The home fans were already full of misplaced outrage, mistakenly believing he should have been sent off for a second-half dive. Hazard had already been booked for a foul on Mesut Ozil and was through on goal, but lost his footing, and fell. Yet what would once have been a source of merriment was now a cause for anger. The locals wanted him booked for diving, and therefore sent off. It would have been a travesty. There was no appeal from Hazard, no attempt to make capital of the situation. He tripped. That was all. Footballers have to be free to fall over without being accused of simulation. Sometimes it truly is slippery out there.

The poor souls who paid good money for the first leg of this, must have followed the rematch with envy. There was more action, and goals, in the first 12 minutes than they enjoyed in 90 at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea had the ball in the net, disallowed on a tight – but right – offside call after five minutes, scored legitimately after seven, and saw their lead erased five minutes later. And those were not the only opportunities in a frenetic opening spell. It was more like the league game here, earlier this month, which finished 2-2 and could have been 5-5. At times it resembled one of those pick-up games over the park, players doing as they pleased with scant regard for shape; or one of those title fights that is more like a scrap. Only as the teams settled did the game become more structured and the defences begin to hold sway. But it was fun while it lasted.

The VAR was in play on Wednesday night – as the Carabao Cup continued its random quest for truth – and Michael Oliver used it at the first opportunity. Cesar Azpilicueta clipped the ball through, Pedro sprinted away from Arsenal’s back line and steered a header past David Ospina. It looked too good to be true; and was. Scott Ledger’s flag was up and the VAR rerun showed him to be correct. Pedro was off, but not by much. Arsenal could not afford to leave gaps in their ranks like that again. Being Arsenal, they failed to learn this rather obvious lesson.

So two minutes later, they paid. It was a lovely, fluent passing move, started by N’Golo Kante, who fed the ball into Pedro, his deft flick finding Eden Hazard exploiting a hole in the middle of Arsenal’s defence that the team bus could have driven through. Unlike Alvaro Morata, who missed three one-on-one chances at Stamford Bridge in the first leg, Hazard made no mistake, slipping the ball past Ospina with the minimum fuss.

Arsenal should have equalised within two minutes, and it was unfortunate that the one English player on the pitch was probably the reason they didn’t. Jack Wilshere has been in great form for Arsenal of late, but his touch when put through by Alex Iwobi was poor. Iwobi pinged it, yes, but the best teams often do, and Wilshere’s attempt at control diverted the ball into the path of goalkeeper Willy Cabellero, who saved at his feet. Caballero sustained a minor injury but carried on. It was good news for Chelsea with Thibaut Courtois already out – but Eduardo remained on standby.

It is fair to say Caballero’s knock had no influence on Arsenal’s equaliser, however. No goalkeeper could have kept the ball out from its zig-zag path to goal. A Hector Bellerin ball across the face of goal was put out from a corner and when it returned to the box, Nacho Monreal won a header. From there, the ball took on a life of its own. It hit Marcos Alonso on the head, rebounded off the head of Antonio Rudiger and defeated Caballero utterly. He might have reacted to the first ricochet, but the second left him stranded.

Chelsea then should have gone ahead again in the 20th minute, when a great dummy from Hazard left Willian in space. The Brazilian snatched at his shot, however, which he screwed wide. It was the last significant part he would play in the game, withdrawn soon after with what looked like hamstring trouble, and replaced by Ross Barkley, on his debut.

It was May last year when Barkley last played a competitive first-team kick, but he was immediately involved, clattered to the ground by Wilshere, which earned the Arsenal man a booking, before conceding a foul in a dangerous area, Xhaka’s attempt deflected over the bar. Just before half-time Mesut Ozil had a shot deflected wide by Azpilicueta – Arsenal ending in the ascendancy, even if trailing on away goals.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-5308845/Arsenal-2-1-Chelsea-agg-2-1-Gunners-book-Wembley-spot.html#ixzz558un0c1j

De Futebol A masterful win by Liverpool over Man Shitty

This was a masterful win by Liverpool over Man Shitty. Jurgen Klopp praised his players according to the Guardians Andy Hunter.

Hunter wrote:” Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool issued an “important statement” about their future without Philippe Coutinho after ending Manchester City’s unbeaten run in thrilling style at Anfield.

Liverpool scored four outstanding goals and survived a late City fightback from 4-1 to inflict a first Premier League defeat on Pep Guardiola’s leaders in 31 games. The 4-3 victory arrived in Liverpool’s first outing since selling Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m and Klopp admitted it was essential for his team to respond convincingly to the Brazilian’s departure.

“We made the right statement,” the Liverpool manager said. “It was not that I said to the players before the game: ‘It would be nice if you could win so nobody talks about Phil,’ but it was important for us to show it’s possible to win without him. It was a very important statement but that is all. We’ve got three points but we got them in a very important moment.”

Liverpool’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah all scored in the space of nine second‑half minutes after Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain had given the home side an early lead. And Klopp, desperate before kick-off to avenge the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in September, admitted Liverpool’s adventurous display was the only way to play Guardiola’s men.

“You have no alternative if you want to beat City. You could sit deep in your box and hope nothing happens but we are Liverpool and we should try to win this way. The way we pressed in the second half was outstanding, on a different planet. It is a historical day. It may be the only game City lose this season because they are so strong.”

Guardiola admitted City “lost a little bit of our control” amid a frenzied Anfield atmosphere and their reaction to a first league defeat since April 2017 would shape the remainder of their title pursuit.

The City manager said: “We played good for 10-15 minutes in the second half until the goal from Firmino and after that we lost a little bit of our control. We were involved in the environment of Anfield for many reasons. It is our first defeat and you need to live those situations to realise what we have done so far. We have to be sure to win the next one and fight until the end to win the Premier League.”

Guardiola said he expected to lose Fabian Delph “for a while” after the converted left-back sustained a knee injury that resulted in his leaving Anfield on crutches.”
https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/14/jurgen-klopp-praises-liverpools-adventure-in-win-over-manchester-city

 

De Futebol Liverpool Loses! What a Shock!

Liverpool was given the opportunity to keep pace with Man U and Chelsea. Instead the Reds lost to bottom feeder Swansea City 1-0.

The loss keeps Liverpool in fourth place with 47 points.

The Reds were coming off a huge win over Man Shitty last Sunday.

EPL Match Report:” Bottom-of-the-table Swansea City boosted their hopes of staying up with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool at Liberty Stadium.

Alfie Mawson scored the only goal to end Liverpool’s 14-match unbeaten run, a week after they became the first team this season to beat Premier League leaders Manchester City.

In the first half, Virgil van Dijk headed just wide in his first PL match since joining the Reds from Southampton.

Mawson capitalised five minutes before the break when a corner ricocheted off team-mate Federico Fernandez.

Goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski then superbly saved a Mohamed Salah free-kick before a frantic final minute.

Roberto Firmino headed against the post and substitute Adam Lallana could not convert the rebound as Carlos Carvalhal’s side moved to within three points of safety.

Liverpool remain fourth, three points behind Chelsea and two ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22580

De Futebol Spurs and Saints Tie!

Tottenham  had a chance to cement their hold on fifth place and keep within striking distance of second place Man U, third placed Chelsea however Southampton had other ideas as the Saints held spurs to a one all draw.

Spurs had the opportunity to keep their five-point lead over sixth place Arsenal. Now the gap is only a mere three points. Tottenham is fifth 45 points while my Gunners are sixth with 42 points.

The Guardians Jacob Steinberg wrote:” For Southampton, nothing was more satisfying than the sight of an animated Mauricio Pochettino hopping up and down on the touchline as Tottenham’s final attack petered out. It is almost five years since they brought Pochettino to England and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they have lost their way since the days when they were seen as the model for every mid-table hopeful to follow. But this gutsy performance reminded them of better times, offering them hope of winning their battle against relegation, and they must have taken great heart from seeing their former manager displaying his frustration so visibly at the end of this absorbing game.

A draw was not enough for Southampton to move out of the bottom three but this was a step in the right direction after weeks of gloom and speculation about Mauricio Pellegrino’s future. Sharing the points with Tottenham is not to be sniffed at. The only disappointment for Southampton was that they were denied their first victory in 11 games by Harry Kane’s 99th Premier League goal.

While Pellegrino’s default response to questions about his diminished job security has been to point out that he is trying to lay the foundations for a brighter future, his team’s early vigour gave the impression the Argentinian is under no illusions about the rising culture of impatience in the Premier League’s packed lower reaches. Marco Silva’s sacking by Watford earlier in the day was a reminder of the seemingly insatiable desire for instant success and Pellegrino, who has struggled to win the trust of Southampton’s supporters, must have been

The hosts were quick to the ball in midfield and eager to probe down the flanks, displaying an intent that has not always been evident in their approach this season, and they certainly gave their all to make life difficult for Tottenham during the first half. The match was barely a minute old when Manolo Gabbiadini tested Michel Vorm, who was making his first league start of the season, with a shot from 25 yards and it was impossible to argue that it was against the run of play when Southampton took the lead.

Perhaps the absence of Hugo Lloris in goal unsettled Tottenham’s defence. Lloris and Christian Eriksen were both missing because of illness and the visitors often looked uneasy without two of their most influential players, falling behind to a goal that summed up their ragged start.

Southampton had clearly noticed that Serge Aurier can be guilty of questionable positioning. The Ivorian is an enterprising attacking force from right-back and his pace can get him out of tight spots but he was nowhere to be seen when Pierre-Emile Højbjerg almost set up Gabbiadini for a simple finish and he did not do enough to stop Ryan Bertrand from zipping a low cross across the slick surface in the 15th minute. Gabbiadini was lurking again and the Italian’s presence forced Davinson Sánchez to slide and turn Bertrand’s centre past Vorm.

However, Southampton’s attempt to protect their advantage left much to be desired. Tottenham sought an instant response, with Eric Dier rapping a snapshot against the woodwork, and they were level when Kane peeled away from Jack Stephens to head Ben Davies’s corner past Alex McCarthy three minutes later.

The thought occurred that Virgil van Dijk would have had a tighter grip on Kane. There was no stopping Kane once he had a yard on Stephens, though, and the sheer force of will that he displayed to meet Davies’s delivery first underlined why reports of Real Madrid targeting the striker in the summer were dismissed so vociferously by Tottenham.

Yet while Kane’s importance to his team cannot be emphasised enough, this was a reminder that Tottenham are not a solo operation. Moussa Sissoko turned Davies’s driven cross past the post and they controlled the game after the break, but they missed Eriksen’s craft. Dele Alli, who clipped a shot wide in the second half, struggled to shoulder the creative burden. Cédric Soares’s diligent performance at right-back can best be summed up by Pochettino replacing Son Heung-min with Érik Lamela and Tottenham often huffed and puffed in their quest for a winning goal.

With Mario Lemina impressing in midfield, there were few heart-in-mouth moments for Southampton to endure. Stephens made a last-ditch block to deny Lamela and Alli was inches away from converting Kane’s low centre from the left, but Southampton could point to what could have been a memorable introduction to senior football for Michael Obafemi, a 17-year-old striker who fluffed his lines when the impressive Dusan Tadic teed him up.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jan/21/southampton-tottenham-premier-league-match-report

De Futebol Arsenal wins Big! Man U escapes with a win! Man Shitty Wins!

Man U struggled in a 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moore.  Anthony Martial poked home the rock in the 54th minute to secure the three points for the Red Devils.

Man U stays in second place with 53 points.

EPL Match Report on the Man U win: “Manchester United cut the gap to Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points with a 1-0 win over Burnley.

Anthony Martial scored the only goal at Turf Moor to extend United’s unbeaten run to eight matches.

There were no shots on target in the first half, with Ashley Young, back from suspension, curling the best chance wide.

But nine minutes after the break Romelu Lukaku passed for Martial to smash in off the crossbar and score in three consecutive PL appearances for the first time.

Almost immediately Burnley came close to an equaliser but Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s free-kick hit the woodwork and bounced over.

The Clarets kept pushing in Sean Dyche’s 100th PL match as a manager but, despite a scare from James Tarkowski, United held on for the win.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22574

Chelsea blew the doors off of Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0.

Chelsea is third with 50 points.

Liverpool battles Swansea City Monday night. The Reds have 47 points good enough for fourth place.

Liverpool can jump into third place with a win Monday night by scoring at least four goals. The Blues are a plus29 while the Reds are a plus 26.

Arsenal blew out Crystal Palace 4-1.

My Gunners stay put in sixth place with 42 points.

EPL Match Report on the Arsenal win:” A lightning start set Arsenal on the way to a 4-1 win over in-form Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal scored three goals in the opening 13 minutes, the fastest a team have taken a 3-0 lead in a Premier League match since the Gunners did so themselves seven years ago.

Nacho Monreal netted the first from Granit Xhaka’s corner before the defender produced two assists for Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny.

Alexandre Lacazette made it 4-0 on 22 minutes, latching on to Mesut Ozil’s delightful flick for Arsenal’s 500th PL goal scored by a Frenchman.

Monreal went off injured before half-time and, after the break, Petr Cech was denied a 200th PL clean sheet when Luka Milivojevic netted a consolation goal.

After inflicting Palace’s first away defeat in six matches, Arsenal sit two points behind fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. The Eagles drop to 13th. “

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22572

Everton and West Brom tied one all.

Leicester City nailed Watford 2-0.

West Ham and Bournemouth tied one all.

Stoke City shutout Huddersfield 2-0.

Tottenham and Southampton will battle it out on Sunday at the Saints house.

Man Shitty defeated Newcastle 3-1 to keep their twelve point lead over second place Man U.