Reading 2-2 Cardiff City

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Two goals in seven minutes from Cardiff rescued a dramatic draw to stay within four points of Championship leaders Wolves.

It was a very poor first-half performance from Cardiff, as Reading went 2-0 up. The first was a Callum Paterson own goal, as there was a lack of communication from goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, with Paterson heading in from a corner.

The second also came following a corner. After a corner had been cleared to the edge of the box, Mo Barrow fired at goal, with the ball deflected off a City player past Etheridge.

Cardiff were much better in the second half. Reading had a couple of chances, but it was mostly Cardiff. Junior Hoilett should’ve scored after Nathaniel Mendez-Laing had crossed the ball into him but, he headed the ball into the ground and over the bar.

Omar Bogle, who didn’t play too well, twice failed to finish off chances in the penalty area. It looked as if it wasn’t going to be City’s day and it was going to be Reading’s day.

But, we came back in the last 10 minutes. In the 83rd minute, Joe Bennett volleyed in excellently to set up a tense finish.

And in stoppage time, Lee Tomlin’s shot just crept over the line after hitting the underside of the bar after Sol Bamba’s header had hit the bar. It showed great character to come back from two goals down after a very poor first half.

It had looked like being a forgettable night for Cardiff when manager Neil Warnock was sent to the stands by referee Steve Martin with 13 minutes remaining, having shown his frustration on one occasion too many. But, Warnock was very angry about it after the game.

City remain second, four points off leaders Wolves. Reading climb to 14th after extending their unbeaten run to five games.

Next up for the Bluebirds are Hull City at home next Saturday, the 16 December. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

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Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City

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10 December 2017

Nicolas Otamendi scored the winner for Man City, as they extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points.

There wasn’t many chances during the first half, with City testing de Gea a few times. Gabriel Jesus felt that he should’ve been awarded a penalty when he thought he’d been tripped, but the referee didn’t give it.

But, the game opened up in the last few minutes of the first half. In the the 43rd minute, City took the lead through David Silva. After a corner had come into the box, the ball came off Romelu Lukaku to Silva, who hooked the ball into the net.

But City’s lead didn’t last long as United equalised in the second minute of stoppage time through Marcus Rashford. The ball had been crossed in towards Rashford, with Fabian Delph, who should’ve dealt with it comfortably, missing the ball, allowing Rashford to slot in.

In the second half, once again a mistake from Lukaku from a Man City set-piece led to City regaining the lead in the 54th minute through Otamendi. Lukaku, who had a poor game, lashed at a clearance which hit one of his team-mates, and falling to Otamendi, who finished the opportunity.

Jose Mourinho was very annoyed after the math because of the incident in the 79th minute, when Ander Herrera was giving a yellow card for diving in the box, when it appeared that there was contact from Otamendi.

United continued to press, with City goalkeeper Ederson making a double-save to deny Lukaku and Juan Mata. They should’ve scored. But in the end City held on to make it 14 Premier League victories in a row.

Both managers, especially Mourinho, had a lot to say after the game. Mourinho said that United’s title hopes are “probably” over because referee Michael Oliver failed to award the penalty when Herrera was tripped. He also called City “lucky”.

Pep Guardiola hit back after Mourinho had said that City players go down too easily. He also said that they were the team who wanted to play more and that it was the same last season when Mourinho again had a go at the referee.

United struggled to mount a lot of pressure on a City team who have only dropped two points in 16 league games so far. They are the first team to win 14 successive English top-flight games in a single season.

This result ended United’s 40-match unbeaten run at home – which stretched back to City’s win here in September 2016.

The more games City’s rivals lose, the further they fall away, which makes it look very hard for teams to catch City. City’s fans stayed in their seats long after the game, taunting United.

United’s line-up looked attacking, but they struggled to threaten City. This result is a critical blow to United and gave Guardiola the victory over rival Mourinho.

United remain second, 11 points adrift league leaders Man City. Next up for United are Bournemouth at home next Wednesday the 13 December. Hopefully we can get back to winning ways.

Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United

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A brilliant tactical performance from United, including a magnificent performance from goalkeeper David de Gea, helped United to be the first side to win a league game at Arsenal since January.

In what was a breathtaking game throughout, United took the lead in the 4th minute. Laurent Koscielny played a poor cross field pass which was intercepted by Antonio Valencia, before he played it to Paul Pogba, who gave it back to him, and Valencia finished under Petr Cech.

After another defensive mistake in the 11th minute, Jesse Lingard doubled United’s lead. After robbing Skhodran Mustafi, he linked up with Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial, before side-footing past Cech.

Those goals meant United had scored as many goals in 11 minutes as they had in eight away fixtures against the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ clubs.

It was a breathtaking first half, with 20 shots on goal in total. Alexandre Lacazette hit the bar from close range, with Granit Xhaka firing narrowly wide in a goalmouth scramble. De Gea, who was simply fantastic, denied Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, and spectacularly keeping out a Romelu Lukaku own goal.

But, de Gea was finally beaten four minutes after the break, as Lacazette pulled a goal back for Arsenal. The ball was played over the top to Aaron Ramsey, who tapped it off to Lacazette, who had a simple finish.

One of the best saves that de Gea made was a double save, which denied Lacazette and then Alexis Sanchez. First, he got down low to stop Lacazette’s effort and then was able to get his leg back up to deny Sanchez’s follow-up.

But, with Arsenal pressing and only allowing United 26% possession in the first 15 minutes of the second half, United counter-attacked Arsenal brilliantly to open up a two-goal lead again. After Pogba had burst into the box, he squared it for Lingard, who tapped in his second of the match.

Pogba was sent off for a stamp on Hector Berellin in the 74th minute but, that didn’t affect United, who held on to stop Arsenal recording 12 straight league home wins and to secure a first win for Mourinho in his past 12 away fixtures against the ‘big six’.

Arsenal could’ve had a penalty late on, as Danny Welbeck was caught by Matteo Darmian, but by then, the 10 men of United had managed to weather the storm that Arsenal threw at them.

The only negative that came out of one of the matches of the season is the fact that Pogba will now miss three games, including the Manchester Derby next weekend.

Arsenal will wonder how they only managed to score once, but de Gea was simply incredible in goal. He was praised after the match by both managers.

United remain in second place, eight points off leaders Man City, whilst Arsenal drop out of the Champions League qualification places into fifth.

Next up for United is the Manchester Derby next Sunday, the 10 December. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Cardiff City 3-1 Norwich City

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Cardiff gave manager Neil Warnock a happy birthday, as a spirited second-half fightback gave us victory over Norwich.

It was a scrappy first half with not many chances, but Marco Stiepermann gave Norwich the lead in the 43rd minute, who fired through a crowd of players from distance.

Cardiff were not at their best and we’re lucky not to be 2-0 behind just before the break, as Nelson Oliveira was unable to beat Cardiff goalkeeper with a simple chance.

Neil Warnock was clearly not happy with how Cardiff had played in the first half, as he made two changes at half-time. Those changes paid dividends within four minutes as the Bluebirds equalised.

As a corner was crossed into the box, Ivo Pinto was penalised for a push on Sean Morrison and the referee gave a penalty. Joe Ralls slotted the penalty in to draw Cardiff level.

Ralls then came very close to scoring, as he hit the bar from close range following a free-kick. In the 63rd minute, Junior Hoilett volleyed in to put the Bluebirds in front.

Josh Murphy had an effort saved by Etheridge after beating Bruno Manga. In the 77th minute, Cardiff had a fantastic opportunity to double the lead after Lee Tomlin had drawn a foul from Norwich keeper Angus Gunn. But, Ralls fired the penalty fired the penalty straight down the middle where Gunn was standing, and he saved it.

They did double the lead in the 80th minute through Omar Bogle, who finished from close range from a Callum Paterson cross.

Cardiff have now won four games i a row, whilst Norwich are now winless in eight games. The Bluebirds have closed the gap to Wolves to one point with Wolves playing on Monday. With 43 points this our highest ever number of points after 20 games. Norwich remain 15th.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Reading next Monday, the 11 December. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Nottingham Forest 0-2 Cardiff City

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Goals from Junior Hoilett and Danny Ward gave Cardiff victory over Nottingham Forest to close the gap on Championship leaders Wolves to four points.

Cardiff went ahead in the 24th minute through Hoilett. From a Joe Ralls free-kick, Sean Morrison headed the ball on to Hoilett, who headed in.

Daryl Murphy missed a great chance to equalise by firing over from eight yards when it was 1-0. Forest had a penalty appeal when Armand Traore’s cross appeared to hit Bruno Ecuele Manga on the arm.

In the 38th minute, Ward doubled Cardiff’s lead with a brilliant finish. He picked the ball up, before finding the top corner from 25 yards with a fantastic strike.

Forest struggled to find any way back into the game, as Tyler Walker shot tamely at Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and David Vaughan had an effort which went over the bar. They failed to seriously test Etheridge as Cardiff closed the game out comfortably.

Cardiff have now won four of their past five league games. With Wolves winning games comfortably at the moment, it’s going to be tough to overtake them at the top of the table, but City are definitely giving a good go at it.

Cardiff remain in second place, four points off leaders Wolves and three points clear of third-placed Sheffield United, who drew 1-1 at home to Birmingham on Saturday. Forest remain in ninth, five points off the play-offs.

Next up for the Bluebirds are Norwich at home next Friday, the 1 December. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Manchester United 1-0 Brighton

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An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal gave Man United a narrow victory over Brighton.

Brighton were more than a match for United throughout. Early on in the game, Anthony Knockaert and Pascal Gross both came close to scoring, with Knockaert kicking the ball across the face of goal, and Gross forcing David de Gea into a save.

United were thwarted by Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan, as he made a double save, first of all to deny Romelu Lukaku’s header, and then to deny Paul Pogba’s follow-up.

Brighton continued to threaten United in the second half, up until the own goal. From a corner, the ball came out to Ashley Young on the edge of the box, whose shot went in via a huge deflection off Dunk.

Dunk is the first player in Premier League history to score an own goal against both Manchester clubs in the same season. But, the goal could yet be given to Young, who hasn’t scored since May 2016.

Both teams came close after the goal but, United held on to extend their unbeaten run at home to 39 league and cup games, with the last home defeat coming on the 10 September 2016 against Man City.

But, this was a far from vintage performance. The next home game is against City on the 10 December and Jose Mourinho will know that his side will have to produce a much better performance to have a chance of beating the league leaders.

Lukaku didn’t look at his best at all, with the striker now having scored once in his last 10 games in all competitions. Pogba also wasn’t at his best, failing to make as much of an impact as he did last week against Newcastle.

This was an eleventh straight home win for United, as they have cut the game to Man City to five points, with City playing on Sunday. Brighton, who Mourinho gave big praise to after the game, are ninth.

Next up for United is a trip to Watford next Tuesday, the 28 November. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

Manager Jose Mourinho said Brighton provided his Manchester United side with “probably the hardest match we’ve had this season” after a narrow win for the hosts at Old Trafford.

An unfortunate Lewis Dunk own goal was enough to earn United an 11th straight home win and cut Manchester City’s lead at the top to five points ahead of their game at Huddersfield on Sunday.

Yet Brighton, who remain ninth in the table, were more than a match for United.

Mourinho offered Hughton a hug at the final whistle – the Red Devils boss clearly relieved to have won a match despite a far from vintage display.

Lukaku looked flat throughout and now has one goal in his past 10 games while Paul Pogba was unable to have as much influence as he enjoyed the previous week against Newcastle.

This will go down as an ugly win but Mourinho and his players will not care if they are top of the table next May.

Barnsley 0-1 Cardiff City

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Callum Paterson’s late winning goal against Barnsley moved Cardiff back in to the Championship automatic promotion places.

There wasn’t many clear chances in the first half, with Barnsley probably having the better of a goalless first half. Adam Hammill and Mamadou Thiam both had chances. But, Barnsley couldn’t find a way past a defence which has conceded fewer goals than any other team in the division.

Cardiff were more of a threat during the second half. There were hardly any clear chances in the second half, as it looked as though it would be a slice of good fortune would win the game.

That slice of good fortune went to Cardiff and Callum Paterson, who scored the winner in the 83rd minute. After a corner came into the box, Barnsley failed to clear the ball, with Paterson blocking a clearance, which diverted the ball into the net.

City held on for the win, which moved them up to second in the league, after Sheffield United’s home loss to Fulham. They are four points off leaders Wolves. Barnsley on the other hand, are 17th.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Nottingham Forest next Sunday, the 26 November. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

means Cardiff are now second in the table, one point behind leaders Wolves.

For Barnsley, meanwhile, the end of their four-match unbeaten run sees them drop to 17th place.

the hosts could not find a way past a Bluebirds defence which has conceded fewer goals than any other team in the division.

The visitors were more of a threat in the second half as Craig Bryson’s half-volley went wide and Junior Hoilett had an effort saved.

Manchester United 4-1 Newcastle

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Paul Pogba scored on his return from injury as United came from behind to beat Newcastle to set a club record of 38 games unbeaten at Old Trafford.

United started brightly, with Romelu Lukaku coming close to scoring, firing over after being picked out by Antonio Valencia. He’d been on a goal drought before this game, and was desperate to break it.

But, in the 14th minute, Dwight Gayle put Newcastle in front. After being picked out by DeAndre Yedlin with a low cross, Gayle slotted into the bottom corner. A Victor Lindelof slip had allowed the ball to reach him.

Newcastle could’ve doubled their lead soon after that but, Jacob Murphy fired narrowly wide after being found by a brilliant pass from Jonjo Shelvey.

In the 37th minute, Anthony Martial scored to draw United level. After Pogba had beaten Isaac Hayden and stood up a cross at the back post, Martial rose highest to plant a header into the bottom corner.

United should’ve had a penalty soon after that with Ciaran Clark pulling Lukaku’s shirt but the referee didn’t give it. United did take the lead in stoppage time at the end of the first half through Chris Smalling. Ashley Young crossed it to the back post, allowing Smalling to head past Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliott.

Newcastle should’ve been level moments after Smalling’s goal. Isaac Hayden tip-toed through the United defence, before firing straight at David de Gea. He should’ve scored.

In the 53rd minute, United double the lead through a well-worked goal finished off by Pogba. After Lukaku had crossed the mall in to Marcus Rashford, he played it back across goal, allowing Pogba to tap the ball into an empty net.

Newcastle came close to getting a goal back, with Murphy forcing De Gea into a save from distance. Newcastle were still pushing to get back into the game.

In the 70th minute, Lukaku got his goal. After forcing his way through the Newcastle defence, he smashed the ball into the roof of the net. It was his first league goal since 30 September.

In the 77th minute, Zlatan Ibrahimovic came on as a substitute after seven months out with a cruciate knee ligament injury. After coming on he came close to scoring, with an acrobatic effort which Rob Elliott saved.

In the end this was a comfortable victory for United. There was a swagger about the way that United played, especially with Pogba back from injury.

They lost their record as the only side in Europe’s five major leagues not to have conceded a top-flight goal at home, but they showed they are back to their ruthless best in front of goal.

United remain in second, eight points off leaders Man City. Newcastle are 11th after a run of three defeats in a row.

Next up for United is a trip to Basel in the Champions League next Wednesday, the 22 November, where a draw would comfirm qualification for the knock-out stages. Next up in the league are Brighton at home. Hopefully they can carry on the winning form.

Cardiff City 2-0 Brentford

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Cardiff kept up the pressure on the sides around them at the top of the Championship with a comfortable win over Brentford.

City started brightly, with Sol Bamba having a shot saved from point-blank range. But, Brentford couldn’t hold out Cardiff for much longer.

In the eighth minute, Joe Ralls put City in front. After Brentford failed to deal with a Sean Morrison long throw-in, the ball came out to Ralls, who smashed it home from 18 yards.

Brentford should’ve equalised through Neal Maupay in the 33rd minute, but he somehow missed the target. After Sean Morrison received the ball from Neil Etheridge and controlled the ball poorly, the ball came to Maupay, who somehow missed the target with nearly the whole goal to aim at.

A couple of minutes after that, Cardiff doubled the lead through Danny Ward. After Bruno Manga’s string run, he squared the ball for Ward to tap in.

Brentford came close to getting a goal back early in the second half, with Maupay firing a shot narrowly wide from outside the box. Maupay had another effort soon after that, this effort going narrowly over.

Junior Hoilett came close to getting a third for Cardiff, but his effort went over after being set up by Ward. City seemed comfortable but, Brentford were still pressing.

Sergi Canos had a shot saved by Etheridge from close-range. The ball came back out to Lasse Vibe, whose header was blocked off the line by Joe Bennett.

Cardiff held on to stay in touch with the top. City remain third, four points off leaders Wolves, and two points off second-placed Sheffield United.

Cardiff have now won six of their past eight home league matches against Brentford, with manager Neil Warnock unbeaten at home against the Bees for more than 20 years.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Barnsley next Tuesday, the 21 November. Hopefully we can continue our winning form.

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.