A Devil Of A Game For United As Fledgling Bluebirds Only Get One

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Martial slots the ball away to score his eighth Premier League goal of the season, one behind his total in the league from last season (9).

Manchester United eased to a 5-1 win against Cardiff City in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game as interim manager, following the sacking of José Mourinho, on Tuesday.

The visitors took less than five minutes to open the scoring, after United midfielder, Paul Pogba was fouled by Cardiff player, Aron Gunnarsson, 30 yards out from the hosts’ goal and up stepped United striker, Marcus Rashford to produce a stunning free-kick, which ended up in the bottom right corner of the net, leaving Cardiff goalkeeper, Etheridge with no chance of stopping, as the ball skidded off the turf, leaving him wrong footed.

Rashford free kick

Rashford slams home Manchester United’s free-kick, after Pogba (far left) ran over the ball to leave it to the England international, to give Solskjaer the perfect start to his United managerial career, against Cardiff, who gave him his first opportunity in the Premier League, all the way back in 2014.

Over twenty minutes later, United doubled their lead with a stunning strike from midfielder, Ander Herrera, who was set up by Paul Pogba, however the hosts stood off the Spaniard, as he shot from 20 yards out, once again his goal was aided by a deflection  off a Cardiff player, which took the ball way from Etheridge, which left him  with no chance of stopping it, as the ball flew into the top right corner.

Herrera Goal.jpg

Stunner: Herrera’s long distance effort gives United a second goal, as the Cardiff players gave him the freedom of the stadium to score.

Eight minutes before half time, the hosts were awarded a penalty after United striker, Rashford handled the ball in his own penalty area, which Cardiff midfielder, Victor Camarasa, smashed into the top left corner of the goal, that left United goalkeeper, David De Gea couldn’t save as Cardiff halved the deficit, which left the home fans with the chance of dreaming a comeback against Manchester United.

Camarasa penalty

Camarasa scores from the penalty spot to reduce the arrears at the Cardiff City Stadium, as the hosts make it 2-1.

However, three minutes the visitors, further extended the away side extended their  lead to two clear goals, after Anthony Martial (see picture at start of article) and his French international team-mate, Pogba assisted the goal, as Martial slalomed into the box and confidently slotted the ball low into the bottom left corner.

At half-time, the scoreline remained 3-1 to the away side, in a half in which they dominated, as life after Mourinho got off to the perfect in the opening 45 minutes at the Cardiff City Stadium. As the second half got underway, the visitors extended their lead to three goals, as they went 4-1 up through a penalty, which was converted by Jesse Lingard, after he was fouled by Cardiff defender, Sol Bamba, who clumsily wiped out the United player, that was a stonewall penalty, despite his protests to the referee.

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Lingard celebrates in front of the away fans and is joined by team-mate, Matic, as United, cruised into fifth gear in the opening minutes of the second half.

Cardiff kept Manchester United three goals clear until the ninetieth minute of the game as Lingard doubled his goal tally in the match to give the visitors a fifth goal, something that the Red Devils had not achieved since Sir Alex Ferguson’s last game in May 2013, which happened to be a 5-5 draw against West Brom in his final game as manager. England international, Lingard ran in behind the Cardiff defence to pick up Paul Pogba’s pass, before coolly rounding Neil Etheridge and slotting in calmly to give Solskjaer, his first three points as United manager.

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Cool as a cucumber: Lingard rounds Etheridge, as United score their fifth goal of the night, which gave the Red Devils their biggest win of the season so far.

At the final whistle, interim manager, Solskjaer came onto the pitch and celebrated with his players, as well as the fans, as the travelling fans, cheered his name in a jubilant manner, following such a comprehensive win against a Cardiff side, who before tonight had won four out of their last five league matches at home.

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Happy once again: Pogba and Solskjaer exchange smiles with each other, as United looked like a team that is capable of finishing in the top four, as the troubles they had in  Mourinho’s reign seemed to be a thing of the past.

What’s Next?

Cardiff travel to Crystal Palace on the 26 December with a 15:00pm kick off, whilst Manchester United, host struggling Huddersfield Town at home, on the same day, also with a 15:00pm kick off.

Everton Deny Watford All Three Points In Thrilling Game At Goodison Park

Digne free kick

Everton defender Lucas Digne scored his first goal in English football with a free-kick late into added time to deny Watford all the spoils at Goodison.

Everton snatched a draw from the jews of defeat as Digne’s first goal for the Toffees earned his side a point, as Marco Silva faced his previous employers for the first time since being sacked by Watford in January this year.

In the first half both Everton and Watford, both had chances to take the lead and the break through came for home team, after 15 minutes as former Watford player, Richarlison thumped the ball home from close range. However in the build up to the goal, Theo Walcott touched the ball onto André Gomes’ path from an offside position but the linesman’s flag stayed down.

RIicharlison goal

Not holding back: Richarlison celebrates against his former club, after giving Everton the lead fifteen minutes into the game.

The scoreline remained 1-0 to the Toffees at half time, despite both teams having chances at their respective ends as the half drew to a close. Furthermore Watford targeted Richarlison throughout the first half, yet nothing was given by referee, Kevin Friend.

In the second half, the game seemed to be more energetic and end to end as Watford equalised after the hour mark,  through an own goal from Everton captain, Seamus Coleman following Roberto Pereyra’s shot which hit the post and rebounded straight off the Republic of Ireland international as the visitors found their way back into the game.

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Roberto Pereyra celebrates following Coleman’s own goal, which gave Watford a fortunate leveller at Goodison Park.

Two minutes after Watford had equalised they look the lead as midfielder, Abdoulaye Doucouré out-jumped Seamus Coleman to head home following a wonderful ball in from Roberto Pereyra. This was after the away side started to dominate the game as they caused Everton more problems compared to the first half, as the home team were on top in the opening 45 minutes.

Doucoure Gives Watford The Lead

Doucouré heads The Hornets into the lead just two minutes after they levelled the scoreline as Everton seemed to lose focus moments after the restart.

Three minutes after the visitors had taken the lead, Everton were awarded a penalty after Watford player, Christian Kabasele shoved over Yerry Mina in the box and his blushes were spared by goalkeeper, Foster, who saved Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty with his feet, despite diving away to his right. This meant that the game remained 2-1 to Watford and there were still 22 minutes left to play.

Everton penalty saved

Foster care: The Watford keeper shuts out Sigurdsson’s penalty with his left leg to help maintain his side’s lead at Goodison Park.

As the clock ticked past the 70 minute mark, Everton missed a delightful chance to equalise as goalscorer, Richarlison slipped in the penalty area as he tried to convert Coleman’s shot into the goal but he failed to find the back of the net against his former club, from a few yards out.

Richarlison miss

Richarlison holds onto the goal, moments after missing a chance to get the Toffees a way back into the game.

Watford held onto their lead for 30 minutes and deep into added time Hornets defender, Christian Kabasele needlessly handed the ball just outside the penalty area, that proved costly as Everton defender, Digne curled the ball beyond the reach of Watford goalkeeper, Ben Foster to give the home side a point late on. When the final whistle was blown, Watford players slumped to the ground after they gave away their lead, despite being the better team throughout the second half.

Holebas Sits On The Turf

Heartbroken: Holebas sits on the turf in disbelief and reflects on what would have been had Watford held onto their lead after a late free-kick ensured that the visitors went back to Hertfordshire with a point, instead of all three.

What’s Next?

Everton travel to second place Manchester City on December 15th, with a 12:30pm kick off, which will be in front of the Sky Cameras once again. Whilst Watford entertain struggling Cardiff City at home on the same day, with a kick off time of 3pm.

 

It’s One For Sorrow For Magpies, As Wolves Take All The Joy

 

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 DeAndre Yedlin’s sending off  in the 57th minute,  changed the game as the Magpies had to play over 30 minutes with 10 men.

Wolves defender Matt Doherty headed in a last minute winner for the visitors as they took all three points at St James’ Park, in what was a feisty encounter between the two sides.

In first half, Wolves took the lead in the 17th minute through Diogo Jota’s side-footed finish from six yards out after a delightful cross from winger, Helder Costa, which wasn’t kept out by Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka, despite the  Slovakians’ best effort to save the shot.

Diogo Jota Goal For Wolves

Diogo Jota puts Wolves into the lead after a lapse in concentration from Newcastle captain, Jamaal Lascelles, who was ball watching as the Portuguese midfielder sneaked in unmarked at the far post.

Six minutes later Newcastle, who had dominated the early proceedings, equalised following an Ayoze Perez header after Salomón Rondón delivered a wonderful cross, which the Spanish striker,  flicked above Wolves goalkeeper, Rui Patricio to level the scoreline during a pulsating first half.

AYOZE PEREZ GOAL

Heads up: Newcastle striker Perez out jumps Wolves captain, Conor Coady to equalise for the Magpies 7 minutes after the visitors took the lead at St James’ Park.

The scoreline remained level at half-time, in what turned out to be an even first 45 minutes, despite Newcastle dominating their opponents , but both sides failed to extend their advantage before the break.

As the second half began Wolves had early chances through Doherty, whose half volleyed effort was wonderfully saved by Dubravka, as the scores still remained even in the opening stages of the half. However, the Magpies were then reduced to 10 men after Yedlin was given his marching orders, having being deemed as the last man by the referee, as he pulled on the shirt of Wolves’ goalscorer, Jota, just before the hour mark.

The red card put Newcastle under pressure as the visitors dominated proceedings following Yedlin’s dismissal as Wolves striker,  Raul Jimenez, hit the crossbar but the ball did not cross the goal line. As the match drew on both teams had opportunities to win the game. Finally, in additional time in the second half, the visitors took advantage as Wolves defender, Doherty,  headed into an open goal. This was just after  Diogo Jota’s shot was parried straight into Doherty’s path by Dubravka, sealing Wolves’ first away win in two months.  Newcastle, however,  remain three points above the relegation zone.

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Relief: Doherty celebrates with passion after giving Wolves a late win, which put them into the top 10 position in the league, meaning they are only four points behind Manchester United after 16 league games played.

What’s Next?

Newcastle travel to fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on the 15th December, with a kick off time of 3pm, knowing that a victory would put them six points clear of their opponents. Whilst on the same day, Wolverhampton Wanderers are at home against high-flying Bournemouth, also with a 3pm kick off, knowing that a victory would put them two points ahead of their next opponents.

Baggies deny Villains in pulsating West Midlands Derby

WEST BROM V ASTON VILLA

A controversial goal from Jay Rodriguez earned West Brom a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw against local rivals, Aston Villa at the Hawthorns on Friday night.

In the opening 12 minutes Aston Villa, who are without a win at West Brom since a 2-1 win, all the way back in 2008, took the lead through an own goal from the head of West Brom defender, Ahmed Hegazi, following a deflection off the hand of Jake Livermore after a shot from Villa midfielder, Anwar El Ghazi, from just outside the penalty area.

WBA V ASTON VILLA (1)

Aston Villa players run to El Ghazi after they took the lead against their local rivals, through an own goal from Heghazi in the opening 12 minutes at the Hawthorns.

After the goal, West Brom came to life and 16 minutes later, the Baggies drew level from Newcastle loanee, Dwight Gayle, who slid skilfully in at the far post, following a delightful cross from Leicester loanee, Harvey Barnes.

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Gayle levels the score at 1-1, which was deserved after the Baggies put the pressure on in the latter parts of the first half.

When the first half whistle was blown, the scores remained level, despite both sides having opportunities to take the lead.  Both defences remained vigilant to keep the first half on level terms.

In the second half, Aston Villa were forced into an early change when left-back, Neil Taylor limped off with a hamstring issue and was replaced by Ahmed Elmohamady, just after the 52 minute mark of the game.  Seven minutes later, the Villains took the lead again through a stunning goal from Anwar El Ghazi and this time, the goal wasn’t going to be taken off him by the dubious goals panel.

El Ghazi Stunner

Bend it like El Ghazi: The Aston Villa midfielder, uses the outside of his boot to curl the Villains into the lead once more, during the early stages of the second half.

The Villains could have extended their lead further just after the hour mark, however Chelsea loanee, Tammy Abraham who was completely unmarked missed the target from six yards out, after Yannick Bolasie’s square ball, picked him out.

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Abraham looks on with embarrassment , following his miss in the second half against West Brom at the Hawthorns.

As the half drew on, both sides made further changes, with West Brom making their changes to chase a point in the West Midlands Derby, whilst Aston Villa made changes to try and preserve their lead, as victory would have put them into the play-off places.

As the game drew to a close, five minutes were added on after the clock hit the 90 minute mark at the Hawthorns and one minute later, West Brom equalised in controversial fashion, as Jay Rodriguez headed the ball into the back of the net, however the ball bounced off his hand, as he fell to the ground. Aston Villa were furious after the goal, and they protested to the referee that the ball had gone in illegally. Despite this, the linesman was consulted by Darren England and the goal was awarded after the collaboration.

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Hand of Jay Rod: Rodriguez bundles the ball into the back of the net with his hand, which earned West Brom a point.

When the final whistle was blown by the referee, the argument from Aston Villa players following Rodriguez’s equaliser had only just begun, however Darren England was having none of it, as the game had finished and both teams had earned a point in a very close fought encounter by both sides.

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Boiling point: Glenn Whelan (centre) is dragged away from the referee, Darren England by Chris Brunt (centre left) after the final whistle, as Villa continued their protests at the end of the game.

What’s Next?

West Brom travel away to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United on December 14th, with a kick off time of 7:45pm, which is live in front of the Sky Cameras once again. Whilst Aston Villa entertain Stoke City at Villa Park on December 15th, with a kick off time of 3pm.