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.

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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.

Cardiff City 0-0 Derby County

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Cardiff remain top of the Championship table after a goalless draw against Derby County.

It wasn’t a very exciting, with very few chances for both teams. Junior Hoilett did have an effort from outside the box which went narrowly over the bar early on. That was the closest either team came to scoring in the first half.

In the second half, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing fired wide and Derby’s Craig Forsyth had a cross which hit the bar. There was a lack of intensity from both teams, as it didn’t look like a goal would come from either team.

From a counter-attack led by Mendez-Laing, his effort was blocked by Curtis Davies. Derby nearly snatched it in stoppage time, but Neil Etheridge denied David Nugent. He denied Nugeng again from long range a couple of minutes later.

The lack of intensity in this game was perhaps due to the fact the two teams had only made one change each from their midweek fixtures.

City remain top of the league, but Wolves’ win at Burton Albion reduced the lead to one point. Derby are 15th, with a winless run of four games.

It is the international break next weekend so City’s next game is away at Birmingham on Friday, the 13 October.

Manchester United 4-0 Crystal Palace

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Man United eased to victory over pointless Crystal Palace, who are still yet to score a goal this season.

If Palace had any plans of trying to keep it tight, those plans went straight out of the window within 3 minutes. After some excellent work by Marcus Rashford on the left got him past Joel Ward, before he squared it for Juan Mata to finish from 10 yards out.

After the goal, Palace did show a bit of fight, with Bakary Sako testing David de Gea, but it would take something special to beat the Spaniard in goals, who is starting to become the best keeper in the world.

In the 35th minute, United scored another through Marouane Fellaini. From Ashley Young’s cross from the left, Fellaini volleyed home at the back post to double the lead.

United continued to threaten in the first half, with Rashford, Romelu Lukaku and Henrick Mkhitaryan all having efforts. There didn’t look like anyway back for Palace.

In the second half, it didn’t take long for United to extend the lead. In the 49th minute, Fellaini scored his second of the match, as he headed in Rashford’s free-kick.

Lukaku should’ve scored with about 20 minutes to go but, Lukaku fired wide after sending the keeper wide. Substitute Anthony Martial also came close to scoring but, his effort was saved by Palace keeper Wayne Hennessey.

In the 86th minute, Lukaku did get his goal through converting a Martial cross from close range. It was his 11th goal in 10 United games. He has failed to score in only one of his United games this season.

United only landed in Manchester early Thursday morning, but having made five changes from that game, they didn’t look tired at all. The difference with United this season is that they have so many options and can afford to rotate.

This result took United top for a couple of hours, until Man City beat Chelsea to overtake United on goal difference. United have had a fantastic goalscoring start, scoring 33 goals in 11 games. Palace remain bottom.

Next up for United is arguably their toughest game of the season so far against Liverpool after the international break, on Saturday, the 14 October. Hopefully they can carry on winning against Liverpool.

Cardiff City 3-1 Leeds United

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Cardiff replaced Leeds at the top of the Championship through beating them with a breathless display at the Cardiff City Stadium.

It was an even start to the match, with both teams having a couple of efforts on goal. But, Leeds were unable to play their free-flowing football, with Cardiff pressing them.

In the 28th minute, City took the lead through Kenneth Zohore. Mateusz Klich slipped, losing possession to Loic Damour, who freed Junior Hoilett. Hoilett skipped through the Leeds defence, before squaring the ball for Zohore to tap in. It was his first goal since the opening day of the season.

In the 37th minute, City doubled their lead through Hoilett. After the ball fell to Hoilett, he turned, ran a bit and curled it away from the keeper from distance.

A couple of minutes after the goal, Liam Cooper could’ve been sent off for a two-footed challenge on Nathaniel Mendez-Laing. He was given a yellow card but, just before half-time he was late on Mendez-Laing and was sent off.

It seemed as though Leeds played better with a man less, and City struggled with an extra man. For the first 10 minutes of the second half Leeds were playing the better, with Kemar Roofe and Gaetano

Berardi having efforts saved.

In the 59th minute, City scored a third, with Zohore scoring his second of the night. After Hoilett had played one-twos with Zohore and Damour, he played it to Sean Morrison, who’s cross-shot fell to Zohore who tapped it in.

It looked like City would then ease to victory and maybe add some more, but it wasn’t the case. In the 67th minute, Roofe pulled a goal back to give the Bluebirds something to think about and to make sure that they were concentrating. It was a deflected shot which wrong-footed Neil Etheridge in goal.

But, there was no real trouble for City for the rest of the game and they eased to victory. Leeds just couldn’t deal with the energetic performance from Cardiff.

City have replaced Leeds at the top of the Championship, while Leeds have dropped to third. This was a huge statement from the Bluebirds.

The crowd of 27,160 was the biggest this season for City and they were treated to a very impressive performances and result from City.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a home game against Derby next Saturday, the 30 April. Hopefully we can continue winning.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester United

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Romelu Lukaku scored his sixth Premier League goal of the season to give Manchester United a hard-fought victory at Southampton.

United are starting to play with the same fluidity that brings back memories of the Sir Alex Ferguson days. They dominated the first half, with Henrick Mkhitaryan testing Fraser Forster.

In the 20th minute, Lukaku put United in front. From an Ashley Young cross, Lukaku’s header was saved, but he finished the rebound.

Soon after the goal, Marcus Rashford had a free-kick which went narrowly wide. United were attacking with a free-flowing nature.

Their main successes were coming down the left, with Marcus Rashford’s pace, technique and dribbling ability, along with his link-up play with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, causing the home defence problems.

United were forced back in the second half and had to rely on counter-attacks. Nathan Redmond had a shot saved by David de Gea.

United had some efforts on goal in the second half, with Lukaku having a shot saved. United hardly looked threatened for the majority of the game, although Oriol Romeu had a header which beat De Gea, but not Marouane Fellaini who was well-placed on the line.

Romeu had another chance, as he shot narrowly wide from a tight angle. United had another chance to clinch the game, with substitute Ander Herrera firing over from a very good position, after being set up by Lukaku.

United did hold on, as they ended the game with six defenders, with Chris Snalling and Daley Blind coming off. United have only conceded two goals in six league games this season.

It was a bizarre end to the match, with Jose Mourinho being sent to the stand. He said that he didn’t know why he had been sent to the stands.

Southampton have only scored four league goals this season, while United have scored 17 goals. There is more pace and free-flowing football happening for United at the moment.

This result maintains United’s unbeaten start thus season, although they are second in the table, behind Man City on goal difference. Southampton are in 11th place.

Next up for United is a trip to CSKA Moscow in the Champions League next Wednesday, the 27 September. Next up in the league is a home game against Crystal Palace next Saturday, the 30 September. Hopefully United can continue the winning form.

Sunderland 1-2 Cardiff City

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Cardiff finally won in September as they overcame Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

City started brightly, with Craig Bryson opening the scoring in the 7th minute. From a goal-kick, Kenneth Zohore headed it on, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing kicked it over the top, and Bryson volleyed it low past the keeper.

Shortly after the goal, Aron Gunnarsson nearly doubled the lead, but his effort was saved by Robbin Ruiter. Just before half-time, City received a huge let-off when Bryan Oviedo struck the post from 30 yards, with Etheridge beaten.

In the second half, in the 53rd minute, Sunderland did equalise through Lynden Gooch. After Sean Morrison had clumsily hauled Gooch down, he steeped up to slot the ball into the corner.

City nearly went back in front but, Bruno Manga’s effort was saved by the keeper. And Cardiff did go back in front through a penalty from Joe Ralls. After Morrison was hauled to the floor from a corner, Ralls stepped up to coolly slot in and restore Cardiff’s lead.

Cardiff held on to stay joint top of the Championship with Wolves and Leeds, who they play on Tuesday. It was an important win after not winning for three games.

This was the first Championship meeting at the Stadium of Light between the sides since October 2006, which Cardiff also won 2-1 thanks to a brace from Michael Chopra.

Cardiff remain third, level on points with Wolves and Leeds, while Sunderland drop to 22nd in the league. They haven’t won at home in 15 successive matches.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a home game against Leeds next Tuesday, the 26 September. Hopefully we can continue the winning form.

Manchester United 4-1 Burton Albion

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Man United eased past Burton Albion in the EFL Cup to set up a last-16 tie at Swansea.

The victory was never in doubt, as first-half goals from Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard and a second-half goal from Anthony Martial put United in a commanding lead. But, with the last kick of the game, substitute Joel Pereira dropped the ball, allowing Lloyd Dyer to score.

United opened the scoring inside five minutes through Rashford. Michael Carrick played the ball into Lingard, who flicked it on, and Rashford fired home. A minute later, United nearly scored another. Ander Herrera played the ball through to Lingard, whose shot was blocked.

United doubled the lead in the 17th minute through another goal from Rashford. After picking up the ball from Daley Blind, Rashford took one touch before firing emphatically in off the post.

United continued to threaten, with Juan Mata and Martial coming close. In the 26th minute, Joe Mason had a great chance to score. After a mistake by Victor Lindelof, Luke Varney played Mason in, but his poor effort was saved by Sergio Romero.

Soon after that, Mata came close again, hitting the post. From the follow-up Matteo Darmian crossed in and Martial’s acrobatic effort was blocked.

In the 36th minute, United scored another through Lingard’s deflected effort. Martial’s piece of skill gave the ball to Lingard, whose shot was deflected in off a Burton player.

In the second half, United continued to dominate, with Martial dribbling through, before having his shot saved. But, a couple of minutes later, in the 60th minute, Martial did add a fourth. It was an assist from Rashford, who played Martial in and Martial finished coolly.

Martial came close again, just dragging a shot wide from close range. He also came close from a free-kick, narrowly missing with a good effort.

The only thing which Mourinho will be unimpressed with is that with the last kick of the game, Pereira dropped the ball, which led to Dyer scoring a consolation.

United have very good strength in depth this season. Keeper Sergio Romero made his first start since the Europa League final, while club captain Michael Carrick was making his first appearance of the season.

Even though there were nine changes from the 4-0 victory over Everton last Sunday, the team was still very strong. Rashford and Mata were the only players to keep their places from that game. Rashford and Martial are fighting it out with each other for a place in the starting eleven.

Next up for United in the EFL Cup is a trip to Swansea in the fourth-round on the 24 October. Next up in all competitions they are away at Southampton next Saturday, the 23 September. Hopefully they can keep the winning form going.

Rashford and Juan Mata were the only two players who started the 4-0 win over Everton last Sunday to make the team, but there was still no starting place for Luke Shaw.

Since returning from injury in last season’s Community Shield, the former Southampton defender has started just 17 of 72 games.

Shaw came on at the start of the second half by which time United were 3-0 ahead.

Manchester United 4-0 Everton

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Romelu Lukaku scored against his former club, as Man United scored three late goals to seal a comfortably victory over Everton.

United started very strongly and they opened the scoring in the fourth minute through and absolute belter by Antonio Valencia. Nemanja Matic switched the ball from left to right and Valencia came in and smashed the ball first time into the top corner from 25 yards.

That early lead was was rarely threatened by an Everton team who have dropped into the bottom three. But, until the last 10 minutes, they were in the game and could’ve nicked something from the game.

Wayne Rooney, who was playing against the club where he is the top goalscorer of all-time, had Everton’s two best opportunities. One of them was in the first half, which he missed, and the other in the second half, was saved by De Gea.

United had a few half-chances during the first half, but couldn’t break down Everton. Lukaku should’ve scored. Jordan Pickford messed up a clearance, before Marcus Rashford played the ball to Lukaku, and Lukaku put it wide with only the keeper to beat.

United dominated most of the second half, but Gylfi Sigurdsson did have a close-range shot saved by the keeper. With just over an hour played, Juan Mata fired a free-kick which hit the post.

With United continuing to apply the pressure, Jesse Lingard fired over from inside the box after being set-up by Ashley Young. Matic also had a low effort from long-range which went narrowly wide.

In the 82nd minute, Rooney was substituted to a standing ovation from both team’s supporters. He also had a hand shake from Jose Mourinho. It was a standing ovation which he fully deserved. It was a frustrating afternoon for the man who scored 253 goals in 13 years at the club.

United finally doubled their lead a minute after Rooney went off, through Henrick Mkhitaryan. After a mistake from Ashley Williams, Lukaku played in Mkhitaryan, who slotted past Pickford.

In the 89th minute, Lukaku scored. Just before the goal, Lukaku was getting booed by the Everton fans before taking a free-kick but, after the free-kick was blocked, the ball came back into the box and Lingard flicked the ball on, and Lukaku stuck it in the net. He celebrated through cupping his ear to the away fans.

Lukaku has now scored five goals in five league games. Anthony Martial finished off the scoring with a penalty in the second minute of stoppage time. Morgan Schneiderlin handled the ball and Martial coolly slotted home.

Everton have endured a shocking start to the season, with four points from five games. Rooney has scored their only goals of the season, with two. It is now 325 minutes since they scored in the league.

United and Man City have had an identical start to the season – wins, points, goals scored, and goals conceded. City are only top because of alphabetical order.

Next up for United they are at home to Burton Albion in the EFL Cup. Next up in the league is a trip to Southampton next Saturday, the 23 September.

Cardiff City 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday

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Sol Bamba scored with the last kick of the game to salvage a draw for Cardiff against

Sheffield Wednesday.

City started similarly to how they were against Preston mid-week, on the back-foot. They allowed Wednesday to have most of the ball early on, with some of the players looking a bit tired.

Wednesday’s pressure eventually paid off in the 39th minute when Gary Hooper scored. From Adam Reach’s cross on the left, Hooper headed past Neil Etheridge in goal to put Wednesday in front. It was poor marking from the City defence, allowing Hooper a free header.

The only time City really threatened was when Aron Gunnarsson had a volley comfortably caught by Keiren Westwood. Cardiff seemed to benefit from a signature fiery Warnock team talk at half-time, as they came out brighter in the second-half.

But early on in the second half, Lee Peltier, who was very poor during this game, nearly kicked the ball into his own net from a corner.

Cardiff were starting to create more chances, with Nathaniel Mendez-Laing having a well-struck shot deflected over. From the resulting corner, Gunnarsson headed narrowly wide from close range.

City continued to threaten and Junior Hoilett had a header saved from a corner. Steven Fletcher should’ve doubled Wednesday’s lead with about 20 minutes to go, but he skied it with only the keeper to beat.

Kenneth Zohore headed over and Joe Bennett fired over, so it looked like Sheffield Wednesday were going to hold on. But, with the last kick of the game, the Bluebirds equalised

Lee Tomlin’s free-kick was brilliantly saved by Westwood, but Mendez-Laing followed up and hid low cross was poked in by Bamba to spark wild celebrations in the stadium.

After starting the season with 5 wins out of 5, Cardiff have drawn 2 and lost 1 out of the last 3, but it has still been a very good start to the season. Hopefully we can keep it going.

City drop to third but level on points with Leeds and Wolves. Sheffield Wednesday climb to sixth in the table after being unbeaten since the opening day of the season.

Next up for the Bluebirds is a trip to Sunderland next Saturday, the 23 September.

Sol Bamba’s injury-time goal salvaged a draw for Cardiff City as they dramatically denied Sheffield Wednesday a third successive win in the Championship.

Cardiff are level on points with league leaders Leeds, but drop to third.

The Bluebirds had made an electric start to the campaign by winning their opening five Championship fixtures, though that momentum was tempered by a draw at Fulham and a 3-0 defeat at Preston.

The drubbing at Deepdale cost Warnock’s team their place at the top of the table and, by contrast, they faced a Sheffield Wednesday side on the rise, climbing up to sixth spot having been unbeaten in the league since the opening day of the season.