De Futebol Cardiff City promoted to the EPL!

Cardiff City won the Championship so up next a little trip the EPL next season.

The Guardians Nick Miller:” Aday after Stoke City, a team who used to revel in their status as unpopular underdogs, were relegated from the Premier League, it was fitting that Cardiff City sealed promotion.

Most seasons the Championship throws up an unexpected success story, a team that scraps its way towards the top of the table as everyone waits for the bubble to burst. Last season it was Huddersfield and Reading, the season before that Sheffield Wednesday.

This time it has been Cardiff but, while the teams in previous years have managed to cling on and claim a play-off place, the Bluebirds are up automatically, trailing only the juggernaut of Wolves. A decent season for Cardiff would have been a top-half finish. Top six looked achievable but very ambitious. This has been utterly extraordinary.

And in a way it is all thanks to the Rotherham chairman, Tony Stewart. Back at the start of 2016 Neil Warnock, his enthusiasm for the game dimmed and mind elsewhere after his wife Sharon was diagnosed with cancer, was not really looking to get back into management. But he was invited to a Rotherham game and eventually persuaded by Stewart to take over and save them from relegation. He duly achieved that but, more importantly for Cardiff, it reignited his taste for management and, more specifically, for an eighth promotion, something no other manager has done.

Cardiff are the fourth club Warnock has taken to the top flight, something no other manager has done. While it is always handy to take what the 69-year-old says with a soupcon of salt, given his team were second-bottom when he took over last season, one can believe it when he says this is his greatest achievement “by an absolute mile”.

They finished the season on 90 points, three more than when they were last promoted in 2013. That year it was enough to win the Championship. It is also their highest tally since three points for a win was introduced in 1981, the second-highest ever if the 1947 Division Three South winners’ total is adjusted accordingly.

It is all the more remarkable considering the teams they have finished above. Middlesbrough, Aston Villa and Fulham all have the financial means to augment their squads with Premier League quality players. Cardiff have spent money – Gary Madine somehow cost them £6m in January – but their success has not been based on it.

Their best performers have essentially been reclamation projects, unpolished gems and those unwanted elsewhere. Junior Hoilett was signed on a free transfer, as was Sol Bamba. Sean Morrison was discarded by Reading four years ago. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was signed from Rochdale. The goalkeeper Neil Etheridge came in from Walsall. Callum Paterson was bought as a right-back but converted into a midfielder. One could go on.

This has been the source of Warnock’s strength this season and indeed down the years. He excels in bringing together jigsaw pieces that do not fit and making sense of them. It has been one of the most extraordinary examples in recent years of making a team more than the sum of its parts.

Warnock’s methods are not especially complicated, broadly based on team spirit and bonding, and an underrated aspect of it is how he has managed the expectations placed upon them. When promotion started to look plausible, then likely, with pressure theoretically growing, Warnock emphasised that, even if they had to go through the play-offs, it did not matter too much because they had already had a great season.

Then there is their rather straightforward style of play. What constitutes entertaining football is entirely subjective, and the unattractiveness of Cardiff’s football this season has been exaggerated by some. They do have decent ball-players in their team and will almost certainly buy some more, but this is not a side who will win prizes for aesthetics.

Only Burton, who were relegated, Bolton and Millwall had a lower possession rate. Nobody played fewer passes, nobody completed fewer passes and nobody played fewer passes in the opposition half. Nobody won more aerial duels, nobody had more efforts on goal from set pieces, only Bolton committed more fouls. In short a Premier League fan unfamiliar with Cardiff should not prepare to like them.

The question now is whether Cardiff can translate this success to the top flight. Their style of play should not be a problem in that respect: it is not a million miles away from Burnley’s, whose achievements Warnock has said he would like to emulate.

For now, though, this is a good enough achievement. As an image to sum up how extraordinary this promotion is, consider the sight of Vincent Tan, formerly one of the most hated owners in football, being carried shoulder high by Cardiff fans after the 0-0 draw with Reading that confirmed their promotion on Sunday. Cardiff in the Premier League could well be rather fun.”

De Futebol Chelsea beats Man U 1-0 to win the FA Cup!

Man U sleep walked their way to a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup Final. Both the Red Devils and the Blues looked like neither wanted to be there.

The result was a mistake filled match that the Blues won on a PK in the 22nd minute when Phil Jones was forced to foul Eden Hazard in the box.

The Guardians Daniel Taylor:” If this turns out to be Antonio Conte’s final game as Chelsea manager – and who could really be surprised if they do part ways? – at least he has gone out on a high. For all the problems, the unending politics and the clear impression of a manager who knows his time is up, another trophy has been added to the collection. Last year, the Premier League, this season, the FA Cup; only at Chelsea, perhaps, could a manager with that return now be cut loose.

It is an eccentric twist bearing in mind Chelsea have just won the eighth FA Cup of their history, moving joint third with Tottenham on the all-time list. But this can be an unorthodox club, and who can possibly say the boom-and-bust policy does not work when Chelsea, on Roman Abramovich’s watch, have accumulated so much silverware? This was the 15th trophy of the Abramovich era – and that is not even using the José Mourinho tactic of counting Community Shields.

The Portuguese, in fairness, managed to get through a galling day for Manchester United without feeling it necessary to aim any gratuitous digs at his former club. Well, apart from saying it was undeserved and describing Chelsea’s tactics as “predictable”, namely by aiming the ball up to Olivier Giroud and hoping Eden Hazard could sprinkle some magic on the occasion.

Predictable but effective would have been a better way of putting it and unfortunately for Mourinho his own team had nobody to menace Chelsea in the way Hazard did Phil Jones and the rest of United’s defence. Jones, in particular, looked dizzied by the experience and Hazard, with the decisive first-half penalty, chose a good day to put in one of his more illuminating performances of the past year.

The same goes for Antonio Rüdiger as Chelsea defended with the stoutness that was reminiscent of Conte’s title-winning season. Gary Cahill has rediscovered his best form and, on this evidence, Chelsea’s captain might have overtaken Jones in the pecking order to start for England in the World Cup. Jones is too prone to these kind of accident-laden performances. He finished the game with a bandaged head and a sore hamstring but nothing will hurt as much as watching back the key moments, in the 21st minute, when Chelsea put themselves in a position of strength.

Jones’s first mistake was to back off as Cesc Fàbregas curled the ball into Hazard’s feet. The Belgian came forward, trying to make space for himself. His first touch left Jones stranded and United were vulnerable as soon as Hazard started picking up speed, running inside his marker before shaping to shoot inside the penalty area.

Conte was enraged that Jones avoided a red card for the flailing, desperate challenge that brought down Hazard. It was a clear penalty and the referee, Michael Oliver, was surrounded by Chelsea players wanting to know why Jones had not been sent off.

Conte still looked incensed even after Hazard had expertly rolled the penalty past David de Gea but it was the correct decision if the referee thought Jones had made a legitimate attempt to play the ball. In that case, the regulations state referees ought to show a yellow card, regardless of whether it denies a goalscoring opportunity.

After that, Chelsea had to withstand some concerted pressure, especially in the second half, when Conte’s side started to defend more deeply. A linesman’s flag denied Alexis Sánchez a close-range equaliser and Thibaut Courtois had a fine game. It would be an exaggeration, however, to depict United’s second-half improvement as a full-blown assault.

The width was generally provided by United’s full-backs, Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia. Otherwise, it was a six-out-of-10 performance from the more advanced players and in the closing minutes, when an onslaught might have been expected, Chelsea were largely untroubled.

Romelu Lukaku could not make any difference when he replaced Marcus Rashford in the 73rd minute and Mourinho, reflecting on a season without silverware, seemed keen afterwards to clarify that United’s leading scorer had gone to him, rather than the other way round, to say he did not feel ready to start.

Rashford flickered only occasionally and it was a laboured performance from Sánchez, as it often has been since his defection from Arsenal. Hazard, on the other hand, always shimmered with menace when Chelsea looked to spring their opponents on the break.

The disappointment was the lack of refinement from the two teams that finished second and fifth in the Premier League, featuring some of the more celebrated players in English football’s top division. The game hotted up in the final half an hour but, Hazard apart, it lacked any real sophistication and always had the feel of a papering‑over‑the‑cracks final. United finished 19 points behind Manchester City in the league, with Chelsea 30 adrift of the top, and nobody could have left Wembley thinking that the gulf felt like a deception.

Ultimately, though, it finished with Hazard swigging from a bottle of champagne, a blizzard of ticker tape fluttering at the Chelsea end and Blue is the Colour being pumped out as the trophy was passed down the line of victorious players. Afterwards, there were all the usual questions for Conte about whether he will be leaving. If he does, there is one clear certainty – they cannot allow Hazard to follow.

De Futebol Liverpool makes to their ninth Champions League Final!

Liverpool has made to their ninth Champions League finals. This is more than the combined finals appearances of Man U, Chelsea, and Arsenal according to the Daily Mail.

“As if going further than any of their Premier League rivals in Europe this season wasn’t enough, Liverpool’s aggregate win over Roma on Wednesday night means they have now reached as many Champions League/European Cup finals as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal put together.

The May 26 showpiece against Real Madrid in Kiev will see Liverpool bid for a sixth European crown and will be the eighth final that they have played in.

That draws them alongside Barcelona (8) with only Juventus (9), Bayern Munich (10), AC Milan (11) and Real Madrid (16) ahead of them in the European pecking order of appearances.

Alongside their famous victories in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005, Liverpool also lost finals in 1985 and 2007.

Liverpool’s nearest domestic rivals in terms of finals reached are Manchester United, who have competed in five in total, lifting the trophy in 1968, 1999 and 2008.

That 2008 final saw United beat Chelsea on penalties in the only all-English final to date. But the Stamford Bridge club would go on to win the Champions League four years later in their second and only other final appearance.

Also on two final appearances – and with a 100 per cent record after beating Malmo in 1979 and Hamburg in 1980 – are Nottingham Forest, who haven’t competed in England’s top flight since 1999.

Forest’s European Cup double came in a period where English clubs won the competition a remarkable six times in a row. The final year in that sequence, coming after Liverpool’s third triumph in five years, was Aston Villa’s win over Bayern Munich in 1982.

Villa join Arsenal and Leeds United on one European Cup final appearance, with the Gunners losing to Barcelona in 2006 and Leeds to Bayern Munich in 1975.

De Futebol Stinks the joint out in a 3-2 loss to Chaecoense


Flamengo stunk the joint out in a 3-2 loss to Chapecoense. Boo-Mengao is still atop the heap with ten points.

Globo Esporte:” Apesar da derrota, o Flamengo se manteve líder do Brasileiro. No entanto, o time carioca agora tem as companhias de Corinthians e Atlético-MG, com os mesmos 10 pontos. O trio tem o mesmo número de vitórias (3), mas o Rubro-Negro tem um saldo de gols melhor (6). No próximo sábado o time enfrenta o Vasco. Antes, porém, o desafio será contra o Emelec, quarta, pela Libertadores. Os dois jogos serão no Maracanã;

A Chapeconese, por sua vez, deu um salto com sua primeira vitória. Agora com 6 pontos, a equipe catarinense deixou a zona de rebaixamento e está na 12ª colocação. O time catarinense volta a campo pelo Brasileirão no dia 21, quando visita o itner no Beira-Rio.

Um Flamengo com mais posse de bola (56%), mas irreconhecível. Com uma equipe recheada de reservas e Rodinei improvisado na ponta, o Rubro-Negro levou um passeio da Chape na etapa inicial. Especialmente no lado esquerdo de sua defesa, com Apodi infernizando Trauco. Foi nas costas do peruano, inclusive, que saiu o primeiro gol, após jogada do lateral da Chape. Apodi cruzou para o ex-rubro-negro Canteros colocar os catarinenses em vantage.

O Flamengo voltou para o segundo tempo sem mudanças, mas com uma nova postura. E empatou aos 3 com Guerrero, após cruzamento do compatriota Trauco. Foi o primeiro gol do camisa 9 após voltar de suspensão. O empate abriu a partida, mas quem fez o segundo foi a Chape. Após falha de Juan, a arbitragem marcou pênalti polêmico de Jonas em Guilherme. O próprio Guilherme cobrou e marcou. Barbieri teve de mexer e colocou Vinicius Junior. O garoto precisou de poucos minutos para empatar a partida, após novo cruzamento de Trauco. O Flamengo até deu a impressão de que poderia virar e deixar a Arena Condá com a vitória, mas sofreu o terceiro nos acréscimos. Aos 45, Eduardo cruzou, e Leandro Pereira deu a primeira vitória para a Chape.

O Flamengo não tem muito o que comemorar, mas Guerrero, ao menos, marcou seu primeiro gol após suspensão de seis meses imposta pela Fifa. Até então, o último gol do peruano tinha ocorrido em 10 de outubro, no empate entre Peru e Colômbia. Com a camisa rubro-negra, o camisa 9 não marcava desde 17 de setembro do ano passado, na vitória por 2 a 0 sobre o Sport.

Trauco não começava uma partida desde fevereiro e recebeu nova oportunidade neste domingo. Foi muito mal no primeiro tempo, deixou espaços na esquerda e falhou no primeiro gol da Chape. Na volta do intervalo, no entanto, tentou se redimir. Ele foi o responsável pelas assistências dos dois gols do Flamengo.”

De Futebol Flamengo-Ponte Preta- tie Mengao on the next round of Copa do Brasil

Flamengo and Ponte Preta tied nil-nil. Boo Mengao advance to the next round of the Copa do Brasil.

Globo Esporte:” O Flamengo está classificado para as quartas de final da Copa do Brasil. A vaga veio com o empate por 0 a 0 com a Ponte Preta, nesta quinta-feira, no Maracanã. O resultado serviu para o time comandado por Maurício Barbieri porque o jogo de ida, em Campinas, teve vitória do Fla, por 1 a 0.

Mesmo sem brilhar, o rubro-negro alcançou mais uma partida sem levar gols – a sexta seguida. O adversário na próxima fase da competição será definido por sorteio. A Copa do Brasil só volta depois da Copa do Mundo.

O Flamengo não rendeu tanto ofensivamente quanto nos jogos recentes pelo Brasileirão. Mas mesmo assim o time não chegou a irritar a torcida, apesar da falta de gols, porque o que se viu foi uma equipe esforçando-se para achar espaço entre os marcadores da equipe campineira. Os rubro-negros, inclusive, encheram o estádio mais uma vez: foram 52.497 pagantes. E olha que o trânsito no Rio foi complicado pela jornada de manifestação dos taxistas.

Durante a maior parte do jogo, Ponte Preta nem parecia que estava em desvantagem no confronto, já que adotou uma postura muito cautelosa, até pela disparidade técnica entre as equipes. Só que foi o time visitante quem criou, já aos 39 minutos do segundo tempo, a chance mais clara de gol do jogo: um chute de Felippe Cardoso que bateu na trave direita de Diego Alves. Ninguém apareceu no rebote.

O goleiro Ivan, da Ponte, teve uma boa atuação. Ele esteve bem posicionado nas bolas que rondaram a área e fez belas defesas nas duas principais oportunidades rubro-negras – uma em cada tempo – em chutes de fora da área de Paquetá e Everton Ribeiro. O camisa 7, inclusive, foi o principal responsável pela articulação do Fla, sendo mais eficiente que o próprio Paquetá na função.

Paolo Guerrero também teve mais uma oportunidade de atuar. Novamente substituindo Henrique Dourado no segundo tempo, o peruano recebeu um ótimo passe de Vinícius Júnior, mas não teve velocidade suficiente para chegar à frente do zagueiro Reynaldo e em condições de finalizar. Situação de quem ainda está fora de forma.

O susto que o Flamengo levou – a bola na trave – foi em um momento de guarda baixa. Serviu como um choque para que o time ficasse mais atento e fizesse o suficiente para evitar o pior no Maracanã. Vaga assegurada.

De Futebol Liverpool wins!

Liverpool showed why these cats can be very dangerous club in a 4-0 shellacking of Brighton and Hove Albion.

EPL Match Report:” Mohamed Salah made Premier League history as Liverpool secured fourth place with a 4-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

Salah set a record for most goals scored by one player in a 38-match season as the Reds ended 2017/18 unbeaten at Anfield.

The EA SPORTS Player of the season broke the deadlock on 26 minutes with his 32nd goal of a superb campaign.

Dejan Lovren doubled Liverpool’s lead when he headed in Andrew Robertson’s cross just before half-time.

Salah then turned provider by passing for Dominic Solanke to net for the first time in the competition, before Robertson made it 4-0 late on.

In finishing fourth Liverpool qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League ahead of their final in that competition in two weeks’ time”

De Futebol Arsene Wenger is sent out a winner!

My guys from Arsenal send out Arsene Wenger a winner a 1-0 win over Huddersfield.

EPL Match Report:” Arsene Wenger’s final match in charge of Arsenal ended with victory as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal earned a 1-0 win at Huddersfield Town.

The hosts twice came close through Tom Ince, who fired high and then wide in the opening 15 minutes.

Arsenal struck on 38 minutes when an intricate move involving Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alexandre Lacazette and Aaron Ramsey teed up Aubameyang to convert from close range.

On his 13th appearance the January signing became the Arsenal player to reach 10 Premier League goals in the fewest number of matches.

Lacazette’s chip and Danny Welbeck’s effort were both saved by Jonas Lossl, while Aaron Mooy hit the bar at the other end on 88 minutes.

Arsenal held on for their first away win in 2018 and the 476th and final victory of Wenger’s 22-year reign as manager.

They finish the campaign in sixth place, on 63 points. Town finish in 16th on 37 points.”

De Futebol The season is Over!

It’s all over but the shouting in the EPL. The EPL season is over

Shitty defeated Southampton 1-0.

Man U edged Watford 1-0.

Arsenal defeated Huddersfield 1-0.

Bournemouth got by Burnley 2-1.

Crystal Palace shutout West Brom 2-0.

In a shootout Tottenham outscored Leicester City 5-4.

Stoke City blew up Swansea City 2-1.

West Ham destroyed Everton 3-1.

Liverpool clobbered Bright and Hove Albion 4-0.

The shocker of the day Toons massacred Chelsea 3-0. The Blues had a chance to earn the final Champions League however Newcastle ended this real quick coupled with the Reds superior firepower win over the Seagulls killed Chelsea’s hopes of making it.

Voce vai are West Brom, Stoke City and Swansea City.

Man Shitty is king with 100 points.

Man U is second with 81 points.

Spurs are third with 77 points.

Liverpool is fourth with 75 points.

Chelsea is fifth with 70 points.

Man Shitty and Man U have the two automatic bids to the Champions League while Tottenham and Liverpool have made to the play on round of the Champions League.

De Futebol Flamengo wins two in a row! Top dogs!

Flamengo took apart Internacional 2-0 to stay at the head of the class with ten points.

Globo Esporte:” No jogo que marcou o retorno de Paolo Guerrero aos gramados, o Flamengo não decepcionou a torcida que lotou o Maracanã e, com belos gols de Lucas Paquetá e Everton Ribeiro, venceu o Internacional por 2 a 0. O resultado mantém o rubro-negro na liderança do Brasileirão, agora com 10 pontos. Na próxima rodada, o Fla visita a Chapecoense.

O placar coroou a atuação dominante do Flamengo, que tomou as rédeas da partida desde o começo e buscou sempre o gol. O Internacional, por sua vez, tentou contra-ataques, mas não obteve sucesso, exceto em duas bolas pelo alto – ambas com Leandro Damião, que obrigaram intervenções importantes de Diego Alves.

Os cerca de 60 mil presentes (55.283 pagantes) puderam soltar os dois gritos de gol no segundo tempo. O primeiro foi resultado de um belo chute de Lucas Paquetá, pegando o rebote de uma cobrança de falta que ele mesmo mandou na barreira. No segundo, Everton Ribeiro concluiu com precisão no canto de Danilo Fernandes, após sair costurando os marcadores.

No período entre um gol e outro, o Inter perdeu o atacante Willian Pottker, expulso após uma cabeçada em Vinicius Júnior. Assim, a vida colorada ficou mais complicada.

Guerrero, que cumpriu seis meses de suspensão por doping, já estava em campo quando os gols do Flamengo saíram. Ele substituiu Henrique Dourado, com dores na coxa direita, aos 13 do primeiro tempo, conseguiu boas tabelas e até levou perigo em uma cobrança de falta.

O Flamengo chegou à terceira vitória no Brasileirão e agora tem dois pontos de vantagem em relação ao segundo colocado, o Palmeiras. O resultado ainda aumentou a sequência invicta do técnico Mauricio Barbieri à frente da equipe: agora são oito partidas.

De Futebol Flamengo is atop the Heap with an impressive win!

Flamengo kicked ass and took names in a 3-0 win over Ceara. The guys are atop the heap with seven points.

Globo Esporte: “Foi quase da água para o vinho. A desorganização vista na quarta-feira passada ficou para trás. Um Flamengo transformado fez a alegria da calorosa torcida cearense no Castelão e derrotou o Ceará por 3 a 0, neste domingo, pela terceira rodada do Brasileirão.

O placar alivia um pouco a pressão sobre o time, que foi alvo de um protesto ríspido no embarque para Fortaleza, e deixa o Flamengo na liderança do Brasileirão. Vinícius Júnior, duas vezes, e Diego fizeram os gols rubro-negros na partida.

O camisa 10 do Flamengo, inclusive, protagonizou a cena mais emblemática do jogo ao atravessar o campo todo para comemorar na arquibancada com a torcida, que desde a chegada da delegação, no sábado, direcionou muito apoio ao jogador.

– Houve agressão, mas não podemos generalizar. A torcida do Flamengo é maravilhosa. Gostaríamos sempre de corresponder. Podemos errar por pontaria, mas jamais podemos errar por omissão – disse Diego.

A organização do Flamengo passou pela mudança de posicionamento do próprio camisa 10 com Lucas Paquetá. O jovem rubro-negro atuou mais recuado, enquanto o “ritmista” jogou mais perto de Henrique Dourado, lá na frente.

Paquetá foi um dos melhores em campo porque conseguiu contribuição valiosa na construção das jogadas. Mas não foi o único. Cuéllar, por exemplo, foi outro que se destacou. O passe para o primeiro gol de Vinicius Júnior foi um primor. Outra jogada muito bem trabalhada, já no segundo tempo, culminou com o outro gol da promessa rubro-negra.

O terceiro gol do Flamengo, de cabeça, foi o motivo da comemoração efusiva de Diego. Se na sexta-feira ele precisou da intervenção da segurança para não ser “amassado” no aeroporto, o meia, desta vez, atravessou o campo todo só para receber o contato com o torcedor.

A crise tende a ser amenizada no Flamengo. Se a resposta for como a deste domingo, na bola e dentro de campo, as coisas vão caminhar muito bem.