Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United

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Man United fell eight points behind league leaders Man City, as Alvaro Morata’s first goal since September gave Chelsea victory.

Early on the ball was in United’s net after Phil Jones had volleyed into his own net, but the referee adjudged that Alvaro Morata had pushed him, which forced him into kicking the ball in.

Marcus Rashford had a good chance but, he headed over with Thibaut Courtois putting pressure on him. Timoue Bakayoko should’ve scored for Chelsea but he put it wide when he was only a few yards out.

Romelu Lukaku had a decent effort from outside the box which Courtois had to push wide. Chelsea had quite a few efforts on goal in the first half, with Eden Hazard testing David de Gea and Andreas Christensen heading over from a corner the closest efforts.

In the second half, in the 55th minute, Morata put Chesea in front. Cesar Azpilicueta crossed the ball from deep and Morata headed powerfully past De Gea. It was poor defending as he was unmarked.

Hazard had a chance to double the lead but fired straight at De Gea. Rashford cams very close to drawing United level, but he fired narrowly wide. United had hardly pressed all game but, were putting a lot of pressure on late on.

Marouane Fellain nearly equalised for United. He controlled the ball with his chest, before firing at goal but Courtois saved it. In the end it was too little too late.

It was another poor away performance by United after the goalless draw at Liverpool and the 2-1 loss at Huddersfield. This result was Mourinho’s third straight loss at Stamford Bridge since he because United manager.

There was only a brief handshake between Mourinho and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte before the game, but there wasn’t even a handshake at the final whistle with Conte celebrating a much-needed victory for him. Conte was fired up throughout, with referee having to lecture him because of his touch line antics.

The victory for Chelsea will hardly have affected the Man City too much, but it was an important victory for Conte. On the other hand, United are now eight points adrift and not playing the greatest football at the moment, missing the injured Paul Pogba severely.

In the battle between Lukaku and Morata, Morata came out on top in this game. Lukaku struggled to get into the game and has not scored in his past seven games. Morata made a big contribution to the game, powering a header past De Gea for the only goal of the game.

United remain second in the table but, they are eight points adrift league leaders Man City. Chelsea are fourth in the table, only one point off United.

Next up for United are Newcastle at home on Saturday, the 18 November after the international break. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

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Bristol City 2-1 Cardiff City

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10-man Cardiff dropped to third in the league as they lost to Bristol City, who made it three successive Championship victories.

Bristol City opened the scoring in the 20th minute through Callum O’Dowda. He picked up the ball just outside the box, he cut inside onto his left foot, before firing into the far corner.

Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was forced into a few saves during the first half, with Milan Djuric and Joe Bryan testing him with efforts.

In the 41st minute, Omar Bogle equalised for Cardiff. After Junior Hoilett had battled hard to get the ball to him, he fired past Bristol keeper Frank Fielding for his second goal in two starts.

In the 55th minute, Cardiff goalscorer Bogle was sent off for a late tackle on Marlon Pack. But, shortly before that, Pack should’ve been sent off for a second yellow card, but was let off the hook.

Bristol City took full advantage of the extra man by taking the lead in the 66th minute through Aden Flint. From a long throw-in, Flint lost his man and powerfully headed past Etheridge.

Substitute Danny Ward came close to scoring when he came on, but he headed Callum Paterson’s cross wide. Bristol came very close to sealing the game, but Josh Brownhill fired narrowly wide.

In stoppage time ex-Bristol City man Lee Tomlin fired a free-kick, which went narrowly over the bar. In the end, it was too much for the 10 men of Cardiff.

This was only third league defeat of the season for Cardiff. It was only Bristol City’s third win in eighteen games against Cardiff. The Robins remain in fourth, while Cardiff drop to third, being overtaken by Sheffield United and are now four point of league leaders Wolves.

Next up for the Bluebirds is Brentford at home after the international break on the 18 November. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

Cardiff City 3-1 Ipswich

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Cardiff convincingly overcame Ipswich to move up to second in the Championship.

City got off to a good start, with Junior Hoilett scoring in the 12th minute. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing found Hoilett at the back post with a cross, and Hoilett guided the ball into the bottom far corner with a volley.

Soon after that, Ipswich could’ve been further behind, only for Bartosz Bialkowski to deny Omar Bogle from close range with an excellent save.

But, after managing to get through that spell of pressure, Ipswich came close to equalising, with Tommy Smith mistiming his effort from a corner and Flynn Downes having a shot well blocked by Joe Ralls.

However, less than a minute after the restart, Bogle doubled City’s lead. After some neat exchange between Lee Tomlin and Mendez-Laing, Bogle was freed by Mendez-Laing, and he slotted coolly past Bialkowski.

Bogle came close to scoring another, only for Bialkowski to deny him. Ipswich didn’t force City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge into many saves, but Bersant Celina did bring a save out of Etheridge with a free-kick.

Danny Ward came very close to finishing the game off with only a few minutes of normal time to go, but after some hesitation from the Ipswich defence allowed Ward to run through on goal, his effort hit the post.

Ipswich did pull a goal back in the 90th minute, when Celina slotted in after a counter-attack. But, the nervy finish which they had set up only lasted a minute.

After Mendez-Laing’s shot was saved, after he had run through, Ward put away the rebound to finish the game off.

City had failed to score in open play for six hours and 43 minutes and been held to goalless draws in their previous two home fixtures. But that ended in this game.

City climb to second with this win, one point off first-placed Wolves, while Ipswich are 11th after their fourth defeat from five games.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Bristol City for the Severnside Derby. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Cardiff City 0-0 Millwall

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Cardiff missed the opportunity to move back to the top of the Championship as Millwall held them to a 0-0 draw.

It was a scrappy game, with a few clear-cut chances but not many. In the first half, Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer denied Danny Ward from point-blank range from a low Lee Peltier cross. He should’ve scored.

Soon after that, Ward had another effort which Archer saved. After Sol Bamba played it to him, Archer had to push away his effort which was going into the bottom left corner.

Bamba nearly gifted Millwall a goal when his under-hit backlash was seized upon by Steve Morison, but his one-on-one was saved by Neil Etheridge.

In the 37th minute, Joe Bennett had to go off because of injury, with Callum Paterson replacing him for his debut. About a minute after he came on, he nearly set up a goal when he ran with the ball, before crossing it in towards Hoilett, who controlled the ball and volleyed it, but Archer was to the rescue for Millwall again.

Early on in the second half, Morison had an effort which was saved by Etheridge. City could’ve been down to 10 men when Sean Morrison impeded Lee Gregory when he was through on goal, but nothing was given.

Late on substitute Lee Tomlin had the ball in the net, but it was disallowed for dangerous play. After having a decent shot saved by Archer, Tomlin waited for the keeper to throw the ball up to kick it before flicking the ball past the keeper and tapping into the empty net. Tomlin was given a yellow card.

In stoppage time, City should’ve had a penalty when Morrison was pulled to the floor, but the referee didn’t give it. The ref had a very poor game, getting key decisions wrong.

I believe Neil Warnock has to start starting Tomlin as he is the most creative player in the team. He isn’t as hard-working as other players but, he can do more than others with the ball at his feet.

City drop to third, with Sheffield United going top of the table. Wolves lost, so it was a missed opportunity to go top. Millwall are 15th.

Next up for the Bluebirds is Ipswich at home next Tuesday, the 31 October. Hopefully we can get to winning ways.

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham

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A late goal from substitute Anthony Martial gave Man United an important victory over Tottenham.

There wasnt many clear chances for either side, as both teams restricted the opposition to mostly long-range shots. Marcus Rashford had a free-kick which Hugo Lloris had to push away.

Spurs had quite a few shots in the first half, but nearly all of them were from long-range. Serge Aurier, Moussa Sissoko, and Toby Alderweireld all had long shots which didn’t trouble David de Gea in goal. Eric Dier had an effort from close-range from a corner, but he didn’t connect cleanly with it and De Gea was able to hold onto it.

In the second half, Henrick Mkhitaryan had an effort from just inside the box, which Lloris fumbled, but Spurs managed to clear it away.

United were starting to get some chances and putting some pressure on Spurs. From a corner, the ball was headed away, before Antonio Valencia ran onto the ball and fired narrowly over the bar.

In the 70th minute, Martial came on for Rashford. The substitution wasn’t well received by the supporters but, in the end the substitution won the game for United.

Romelu Lukaku, who had endured a frustrating game, had an effort, which Lloris pushed away, but it was going wide already. Throughout the game Lukaku had been calling on his team-mates to provide better and quicker service to him.

A few minutes before the goal, Dele Alli should’ve scored for Spurs. Christian Eriksen played the bell over the top to him, but Alli poked the ball wide from point-blank range.

Lukaku’s game became even more frustrating when he hit the post from a Jesse Lingard cross. But, a couple of minutes after that, his persistence paid off.

In the 81st minute, United took the lead through Martial. From a goal-kick, Lukaku headed the ball on, which allowed Martial to run through and slot the ball past Lloris.

Right at the end, with no Spurs defenders back, the ball was cleared from a set-piece to Lingard, who ran through, but with pressure put on him from a defender, he put it over the bar.

Spurs were without their talisman Harry Kane in this game, and it seemed as though they struggled without him, as they created very few chances, with the main chance being when Alli poked wide when the game was still goalless.

Ashley Young was a key figure for United in this game, as he seems to have been rejuvenated this season. He defended tirelessly and occasionally delivered the sort of dangerous crosses that were his trademark as a winger.

Next up for United is against Benfica in Old Trafford in the Champions League next Tuesday, the 31 October. Next up in the league is a trip to Chelsea next Sunday, the 5 November. Hopefully they can continute the winning form.

Huddersfield 2-1 Manchester United

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Huddersfield beat a very poor Man United for the first time in 65 years to end United’s unbeaten start to the season.

Huddersfield were a lot more up for it than United for the whole game. But, Romelu Lukaku did have an early effort saved after being found by Nemanja Matic.

It seemed as though Huddersfield were getting into the United players heads, as Anthony Martial got frustrated after a strong tackle from Tommy Smith. Martial gave him a little kick, which led to him being yellow-carded.

United were restricted to only a few real chances. Ander Herrera had an effort from outside he box, but it wasn’t a clean connection and it went wide.

In the 23rd minute, Phil Jones had to go off because of injury, and it was clear that he wasn’t happy, as he slammed the ground in frustration. Victor Lindelof replaced him.

It wasn’t long after that substitution that Huddersfield took the lead. It was in the 28th minute through Aaron Mooy. After Juan Mata lost the ball in midfield, Mooy picked the ball up, before passing it to Tom Ince, whose shot was saved by David de Gea, but Mooy slotted in the rebound.

Five minutes later, another mistake led to another goal for Huddersfield. This time it was Lindelof who made the mistake, as he tried to head a Huddersfield goal-kick back to De Gea but, he missed the ball, Laurent Depoitre picked it up, rounded the keeper, and tapped it in.

Matic came close to halving the deficit at the end of the half, but his effort was deflected wide. That was the closest United came to scoring in the first half.

Mourinho mad a double change at half-time, bringing on Henrick Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford for Martial and Mata. Mourinho had seen enough.

Ashley Young had an effort for United early on in the second half, which went wide, but it was another effort which wasn’t really a chance.

In the 78th minute, Rashford scored to put United back in the game. From a Lukaku cross, Rashford headed in to halve the deficit and set up a nervy finale.

United nearly grabbed an equaliser right at the death which would’ve been undeserved, but Mathias Jorgensen slid in to block Chris Smalling’s effort.

According to Mourinho the best team won, the team with the better attitude. United were just not up for this game and they deservedly lost.

Huddersfield were organised throughout, and only towards the end did they allow United to have any chances. United had almost 80% possession but could only break down the Terriers once.

United had only conceded twice in eight league games before this game but, now that tally has been doubled because of this game. No side in top-flight history have ever kept eight clean sheets in the first nine games and that continues.

United are now without first-choice centre-backs Eric Bailly and Jones, which could deal a severe blow to the team as a whole. The defensive frailties were obvious in this game.

Unite remain second, but they are now five points behind Man City after they beat Burnley 3-0. Huddersfield are 10th, which is a huge achievement for the club.

Next up for United is a trip to Swansea in the EFL Cup next Tuesday, the 24 October. Next up in the league is a big game at home to Tottenham next Saturday, the 28 October. Hopefully they can get back to winning ways.

Middlesbrough 0-1 Cardiff City

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A late Joe Ralls penalty gave Cardiff victory over Middlesbrough in the Championship.

Cardiff came close to scoring early on in the game, with Danny Ward firing straight at Darren Randolph after Junior Hoilett had blocked Randolph’s clearance. Ward had time to bring the ball down before shooting so it was a missed opportunity.

Apart from that effort there wasn’t any other real opportunity for either team in the first half, apart from Ward being inches away form a Joe Bennett cross.

Early on in the second half, Sol Bamba gave a short back-pass to Neil Etheridge, but Etheridge saved him from embarrassment by clearing the ball. Stewart Downing picked up the clearance, driving at the defence, before having a shot headed over by Bamba.

Soon after that, Downing had a free-kick deflected narrowly wide. With just over an hour played, after a free-kick had been crossed into the box, the ball fell to Bamba a few yards from goal, but his effort was somehow blocked. He should’ve scored.

More chances were starting to come for both sides and Martin Braithwaite’s effort was caught by Etheridge. Ward also had an effort for Cardiff which went inches wide.

In the 84th minute, Joe Ralls scored a penalty to give City the lead. The penalty came from Nathaniel Mendez-Laing being fouled by Adama Traore, who had missed the previous game because he missed the team bus, so it was a bad return to the team.

A couple of minutes later, Hoilett should’ve finished the game off, but he put his header wide from Mendez-Laing’s cross. But, City held on for the win, which is a very good win.

City remain second, two points behind Wolves, whilst Middlesbrough are 13th, after a run of six games without a clean sheet.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a home game against Millwall next Saturday, the 28 October. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Benfica 0-1 Manchester United

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A very poor mistake by Benfica goalkeeper Mile Svilar gave Marcus Rashford a goal and gave Man United victory in Lisbon.

It was a game of very few chances, with Benfica only having a couple. But, Eduardo Salvio had their best chance, firing wide from inside the box. They failed to test David de Gea all game.

United also had very few chances, with Nemanja Matic forcing Svilar into a save, and Henrick Mkhitaryan fired over the bar from inside the box during the first half. The performance from United in the first half was similar to the draw at Anfield against Liverpool, with Romelu Lukaku failing to get on the ball.

But, United improved in the second half, taking control of the match. Rashford forced the keeper into a save early on in the second half and about 10 minutes after that, Matic lashed over from a good position.

Then came the crucial moment of the game. Rashford free-kick a long way from the goal and Svilar tried to anticipate the ball, but the ball sailed over his head, and as he back-peddled to try to keep the ball out, the referee pointed to his watch to signal a goal.

It was Svilar’s European debut at 18 years old and he had been having a decent game, saving from Matic, Rashford and Martial. He was playing like a sweeper keeper, with 11 of his touches coming outside the box.

But, there was cause for concern when Rashford had to go off because of injury. Anthony Martial came on to replace him and came close to scoring, but he had an effort saved.

The two former Benfica players, Matic and Victor Lindelof both had very good games, especially Matic. Matic made the most passes (85) and tackles (4) plus more possession gained (14) than any other player on the pitch.

Defender Lindelof, who joined in the summer from Benfica, has yet to start in the Premier League, but has played all three Champions League matches. He looked assured on the ball, playing more passes than any other defender.

Benfica were reduced to 10 men in stoppage time, with Luisao being sent-off for two yellow cards. Benfica are bottom of Group A, with no points. In the other game in the group, Basel beat CSKA Moscow 2-0.

United on the other hand, are top of the group, with three wins out of three. They have conceded just six goals in all competitions all season. United remain unbeaten in all completions this season, apart from the Super Cup.

Next up for United is a home game against Benfica on Tuesday, the 31 October. Next up in all competitions is a trip to Huddersfield next Saturday, the 21 October. Hopefully, we can get back to winning ways in the league.

Birmingham 1-0 Cardiff City

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Cardiff lost top spot, as they lost against Birmingham with a poor performance, as new Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill made a winning start.

Birmingham took the lead in the 19th minute through Che Adams. After he picked up a Neil Etheridge clearance just inside Cardiff’s half, he ran at the defence, before cutting inside and firing into the bottom right corner, through Sean Morrison’s legs. Morrison should’ve defended better.

Cardiff barely threatened all game, but Junior Hoilett did fire just wide in the first half. Craig Bryson also had a close-range shot which was blocked but, the ref gave a goal kick instead of a corner when it was clearly a corner.

About 10 minutes into the second half, Cardiff survived a huge let-off. Adams’ close-range shot was blocked by his own team-mate, and Jacques Maghoma’s effort from the rebound was deflected off a defender, with Bruno Manga having to clear off the line.

But for a fantastic far-post clearance from Michael Morrison, Hoilett would’ve tapped in to equalise. Cardiff should’ve had a penalty, with Joe Bennett being caught by a high foot.

Birmingham nearly finished the game off, but Sean Morrison got to the ball to head it away. Cardiff tried to pile on the pressure late on, surpassing Birmingham on the corner count but, they failed to register a single shot on target all game.

Lee Tomlin has to start playing, as he is a wasted talent sitting on the bench. Bringing on Liam Feeney for Hoilett was a silly idea as that is like for like and the formation and tactics weren’t working. Tomlin must start playing.

Also, although the is the captain, Morrison is very dodgy and the centre-back partnership should be Sol Bamba and Manga. That is a more reliable partnership.

Cardiff are now second, as Wolves have overtaken us to go top. Birmingham have climbed to 19th. Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Middlesbrough on Saturday, the 21 October. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

Georgia 0-1 Wales

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Tom Lawrence’s brilliant strike won the game for Wales against Georgia to keep up our hopes of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Wales started brightly on a night when the only thing that was important was the win. In the first few minutes, Lawrence played it through to Aaron Ramsey, who fired narrowly wide.

Andy King came close to scoring in the first half, but his volley, which he didn’t connect cleanly with, was saved. Sam Vokes came close to scoring, but after Ramsey’s low cross came to him, his effort drifted narrowly wide.

Although Wales were dominating, Georgia came close, with Giorgi Kvilitaia heading inches wide. Wales were struggling to turn the possession into goals.

But, in the second half, it didn’t take long for Wales to take the lead. In the 49th minute, Lawrence collected the ball from Ramsey, before firing powerfully past Georgia keeper Loria, with the power too much for him.

Wales looked comfortable throughout, as Georgia struggled to have any efforts on goal. Their first effort on goal was in the 80th minute, when Giorgi Merebashvili forced Wayne Hennessey to make a save, with the help of Ashley Williams.

Wales got deeper and deeper in the final exchanges and were almost made to pay for losing possession, but last-ditch defending from Davies allowed them to clear their lines.

Gareth Bale was injured for this game, and before this game, Wales hadn’t won a game without him since 2013. Without Bale, some thought 17 year old Ben Woodburn would be picked but, Lawrence was chosen instead and he justified that decision.

Georgia simply could not contain Lawrence as he continuously cut in from the left, playing in an inverted wide role that allowed Ben Davies to provide width and contain the hosts’ naturally attacking full-backs.

But, Ramsey was the main source of inspiration in this match, on his 50th cap, in a game where he had to step up as Bale was out. He assisted Lawrence and was constantly trying to get the team moving.

Wales are second in Group D, one point behind leaders Serbia and one ahead of third-placed Republic of Ireland with one game to play.

Because Austria scored a late goal to beat Serbia 3-2, Wales will qualify automatically if they beat Ireland and Serbia fail to overcome Georgia.

If we avoid defeat against Ireland, and end up coming second. The eight best second-placed teams from the nine groups enter the play-offs, and Wales are eighth in those rankings at the moment.

Victory in Tbilisi, the first time Wales have beaten Georgia, sets the stage for the Republic match, which is likely to be the most intense Wales international staged at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Next up for Wales is that game against Ireland, which is next Monday, the 9 October. Hopefully we can get result we need from a massive game at the Cardiff City Stadium.