Monday, June 24, 2013

Confederations Cup - Suarez becomes Uruguay's all-time leading scorer in Tahiti romp

2:30 AM Posted by Moto Musashi , , No comments

Confederations Cup Group B, Recife . 

Uruguay 8 (Hernández 2’, 24’, 45’, 67’ (pen.), Pérez 27, Lodeiro 61’, Suarez 82’, 90), Tahiti 0


Luis Suarez broke the Uruguayan scoring record and Abel Hernandez scored four as the South American champions sealed their place in the last four of the Confederations Cup with an 8-0 thrashing of Tahiti in Recife.
Suarez came off the bench to score his 35th and 36th goals for his country to overtake Diego Forlan despite still only being 26 as the Uruguay ans set-up a semi-final date with Brazil.
The 2011 Copa America winners took the lead within the opening two minutes, when Hernandez headed in at the back post from a Nicolas Lodeiro corner. 
And Uruguay doubled their lead after 23 minutes when Hernandez latched on to a ball played over the top of the Tahiti backline, finishing well on the volley after juggling the ball over Nicolas Vallar.
Tahiti did come close to finding the net through speedy winger Steevy Chong Hue, who collected the ball on the halfway line before beating two opposition defenders and rounding the keeper. However he couldn’t stretch far enough to angle the ball towards goal, finding the side netting.

 Diego Perez took advantage of Tahiti’s slack offside trap to make it 3-0 before Hernandez completed his hat-trick, latching on to Walter Gargano’s through ball before finishing with the outside of his left foot.
Uruguay resumed their dominance after the break but Tahiti did have one moment to remember, when Andres Scotti saw his penalty saved by Gilbert Meriel, the third keeper the Oceania champions had used in the tournament.
And Scotti completed a nightmare couple of minutes by being shown a second yellow card for bringing down Chong Hue on the edge of the Uruguay box.
But Tahiti’s man advantage was soon cancelled out when Teheivarii Ludivion was also shown a second yellow, with Uruguay making it 5-0 soon after when Nicolas Lodeiro turned home Gargano’s drive across the face of goal.
Hernandez netted his fourth of the evening and Uruguay sixth from the spot, after Chong Hue brought down Matias Agguiregaray inside the penalty area, before Suarez, brought on as a second half substitute, netted Uruguay’s seventh of the night.
Suarez made it 8-0 with just seconds left on the clock to send Tahiti home from the Confederations Cup and secure Uruguay’s place in the semi-finals with aplomb.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
Abel Hernandez – The Palermo striker looked sharp from the beginning and could've even had more than four. Took advantage of slack marking and defensive awareness to make his case for a starting spot against Brazil.
PLAYER RATINGS
URUGUAY: Silva 4, Agguiregaray 6, Coates 5, Scotti 3, Gargano 7, Perez 6, Eguren 6, Pereira 6, Lodeiro 7, Ramirez 6, Hernandez 9. Subs: Suarez 7.
TAHITI: Meriel 7, Simon 5, Tehau 5, Vallar 4, Ludivion 3, Aitamai 4, Vahirua 6, Hyanine 4, Caroine 5, Chong Hue 7, Tehau 4. Subs: Atani 3, Lemaire 4.

Confederations Cup - Torres on target as Spain end Nigeria hopes

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Confederations Cup Group B, Fortaleza .

Spain 3 (Alba 3, 88, Torres 62) -Nigeria 0


Spain booked their place in the Confederations Cup semi-finals with a 3-0 win over a wasteful Nigeria in Fortaleza.
Vicente del Bosque's world champions will face Italy in the last four on Thursday evening in a repeat of last year's European Championship final which Spain won 4-0 while Uruguay are also through as runners up in Group B after they clubbed Tahiti 8-0 in the night's other match.
They will meet host nation Brazil in an all-South American semi-final on Wednesday night.
Jordi Alba danced through a posse of white shirts to slide the ball into the net for the opening goal on three minutes before substitute Torres nodded home the second from Pedro's cross on 62 minutes.
Alba added the third goal on the break for Spain with two minutes remaining as he bounded onto David Villa's free-kick before rounding goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to secure Spain three wins out of three after a 2-1 win over Uruguay and a 10-0 drubbing of Tahiti's part-timers.
Torres has now scored five goals from six shots on target in the 2013 Confederations Cup, and is showing flashes of his old form at these finals.
Spain progress as group winners on nine points. Uruguay join them on six with Nigeria's 6-1 win over Tahiti their solitary success last weekend.
Spain were probably fortunate to escape this match without conceding a goal as Nigeria contrived to pass up several chances to cut through an opposition side who are now 25 matches unbeaten in international climes.


John Obi Mikel saw a shot deflected over the bar by Gerard Pique on 11 minutes with Victor Valdes diving to swat a Sunday Mba effort past a post eight minutes later.
Joseph Akpala headed straight at Valdes from Efe Ambrose's cross with Jospeh Ideye narrowly failing to convert an Ambrose cutback seven minutes before half-time.
The chances continued to come and go for the African champions in the second period with Ideye failing to finish on 52 minutes after Valdes failed to hold Ahmed Musaab's cross.
Mohammed Gambo perhaps wasted Nigeria's best chance on 73 minutes when he mishit a volley wide after being played in by the dangerous Musaab, who had ghosted beyond Sergio Ramos like he was invisible.
Of course, Spain also had plenty of moments of their own with Cesc Fabregas hitting a post in the first half and Ramos nodding straight into the arms of Enyeama seconds before the break.
Enyeama also had to look likely to save from Roberto Soldado while Silva failed to direct a volley at goal after being played in by a crisp Andres Iniesta ball. In the end, none of it mattered as Spain progressed with a bit to spare.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jordi Alba - Less a left-back, more an extra winger. Couple of lovely goals by the Barcelona player in a fine all-round performance.

PLAYER RATINGS
Nigeria: Enyeama 6, Oboabona 6, Echiejile 6, Ambrose 6, Omeruo 5, Mikel 6, Ogude 6, Mba 7, Musa 7, Ideye 6, Akpala 6...subs: Ogu 6, Egwueke 6, Gambo 6
Spain: Valdes 7, Arbeloa 7, Sergio Ramos 7, Pique 7, Jordi Alba 8, Xavi 8, Busquets 7, Iniesta 8, Pedro 7, Fabregas 7, Soldado 7..subs: Villa 7, Torres 7, Silva

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Napoli: City out of Cavani race

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Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis has claimed Manchester City are not prepared to meet their £53.6million asking price for striker Edinson Cavani.


De Laurentiis has also said Real Madrid are the only club to have made an acceptable offer for the Uruguay forward while he has had no contact with Chelsea.
Cavani, who scored 38 goals last season, is one of the hottest properties in the world game and has been consistently linked with a big-money move. But it appears City's interest in the 26-year-old, who scored three goals against them in two Champions League games in 2011, could be cooling.
De Laurentiis, speaking at a press conference to unveil new manager Rafael Benitez, said: "Manchester City have not the money to pay for Cavani, they say, 'We don't pay that'. The Abu Dhabi (owners) have said they will never spend 63million euros for Cavani. They say, 'We can give other things', but they are not in the interest of our club."
De Laurentiis added that Real Madrid have made known their willingness to meet a release clause and he would expect the player to speak to the Spanish giants.
He said: "At this time, Real Madrid are the only club who have made a firm offer for Cavani. It is human, if Real Madrid call, to answer. He knows he has a clause and must decide."
As for Chelsea, De Laurentiis said: "Chelsea? Certain kind of agents may tell you Chelsea will call you, but maybe he has spoken with somebody who has spoken with somebody, who has spoken with somebody who says 'maybe'. My company never received a call. It is very difficult to pay the 63million (euros) because Financial Fair Play is conditioning everybody."
Cavani is currently with his national team at the Confederations Cup in Brazil. Benitez, who was in charge of Chelsea last season, says the player has made no decisions about his future but he would like him to stay.
The Spaniard said: "He is playing with his national team so we have not talked about his future. As the chairman has said, we will wait and see how he feels. He is an important player for us so we are very happy if he continues playing well and scoring goals."
City have already had a busy summer, having appointed Manuel Pellegrini as manager and spent close to £45million on Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho and Spain winger Jesus Navas. They have also been strongly linked with Malaga's Spain Under-21 playmaker Isco.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Confederations Cup - FIFA denies cancellation rumours

7:39 PM Posted by Moto Musashi , , No comments

FIFA has not discussed the possibility of cancelling the Confederations Cup, which has been overshadowed by protests sweeping Brazil, soccer's governing body said on Friday.

A riot policeman fires his weapon while confronting stone-throwing demonstrators during an anti-government protest in Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River, June 20, 2013 (Reuters)

"To date, neither FIFA nor the local organising committee have ever discussed any such possibility of cancelling the FIFA Confederations Cup," FIFA said in a statement sent to Reuters.
In a later statement it added: "FIFA in constant contact with all stakeholders, including teams. FIFA has not received any requests to leave Brazil, from any team.
"FIFA is in constant contact with local authorities. Have full trust in security arrangements and we'll continue to monitor situation.
"FIFA supports and acknowledges the right of free speech and to demonstrate peacefully and condemns any form of violence."
CBN radio and the website of the Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper, both respected, mainstream Brazilian media, carried reports earlier on Friday speculating that the eight-team tournament, considered a dry run for next year's World Cup, was in danger.
"FIFA will claim compensation from Brazil if the Confederations Cup has to be suspended," said a headline on CBN's website.
An estimated one million people took to the streets in cities across Brazil on Thursday as the country's biggest protests in two decades intensified despite government concessions meant to quell them.
The protests, now in their second week, have been about high taxes, inflation, corruption and poor public services and have also targeted the $26 billion of public money being spent on the World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.
A CBN report said one of the eight teams were pressuring their leaders to leave the Confederations Cup because they were worried about relatives who were in Brazil to watch the matches.
"On the legal side, there's a certain degree of confidence on FIFA's part that if the tournament is cancelled, it can launch a claim from the Brazilian government, if there are no safety guarantees for the competition or the World Cup," said the report by Juck Kfouri, a veteran Brazilian sports journalist.
"There is strong speculation, which won't go away," he added, referring to rumours that the competition was in danger.
The Estado said that FIFA was negotiating with the teams to try to persuade them to stay.
"The protests in the streets of Brazilian cities have forced FIFA to negotiate with the teams to keep them in the Confederations Cup," it said.
"By law, if there is no guarantee of safety, it could force the tournament to be cancelled."
The Estado said that two FIFA vehicles were attacked in Salvador, where Uruguay played Nigeria on Wednesday, and its employees had been instructed not to wear uniforms outside their hotel.
FIFA confirmed the incident but said the vehicles were empty and parked in the street when the windows were smashed.
The Folha de Sao Paulo said that FIFA and the participating teams were "terrified" by the situation.
"The competition has become a nightmare for the organisation," it said. "FIFA didn't imagine that the event would be perfect but the size of the problems is worse than the worst-case scenario."
No matches for scheduled for Friday. Play is due to resume on Saturday with Italy facing Brazil in Salvador and Japan playing Mexico in Belo Horizonte.

Confederations Cup - Forlan winner leaves Uruguay on cusp of last four

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Confederations Cup Group B, Arena Fonte Nova .

Uruguay 2 (Lugano 19, Forlan 51) - Nigeria 1 (Mikel 37)


Diego Forlan scored the winner in his 100th match for Uruguay in a 2-1 win over Nigeria in Confederations Cup Group B.
The Internacional forward had not scored in 12 matches for his country, but picked a good time to come up with the clincher when he scored his 34th goal for his country on 51 minutes amid a spare atmosphere in Salvador.
Luis Suarez fed Edinson Cavani on the break and he slipped the ball into the path of former Atletico Madrid striker Forlan, who did not have to break stride in smashing the ball high into the Nigeria net from 12 yards.
John Obi Mikel equalised for the African champions on 37 minutes after he eluded the Uruguay captain Diego Lugano to finish with some class from the edge of the opposition box.
Lugano had given Uruguay the lead with a miskick on 19 minutes after Cavani had missed Forlan's cross into the heart of the Nigeria box.
The win leaves Uruguay as overwhelming favourites to join Spain - who walloped Tahiti 10-0 earlier in the evening - in the last four of the competition when Group B concludes on Sunday evening. Nigeria need to beat the world champions Spain in their final match with Uruguay certain to reach six points against minnows Tahiti.

If Nigeria fail to end Spain's 24-match unbeaten run in international climes, they will be on the plane home from Brazil on Monday despite a 6-1 drubbing of Tahiti in their opening group game.
Spain only need a point to finalise their progress.
Nigeria could easily have gone ahead on 42 minutes.
The lively Ahmed Mussab produced a corner that saw Diego Godin head back across his own goal under pressure, but Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera did just enough to flip the ball over his bar.
Uruguay managed to keep Nigeria at arm's length in the second half, but they will hope for more from Cavani if they progress in the tournament.
He did not look like a figure who scored 33 times for Napoli last season as he walloped miles over the bar on 68 minutes before somehow heading wide from seven yards from a Forlan free-kick on 75 minutes as Nigeria remained a threat until the end.
Fortunately for Uruguay, those misses did not prevent them from collecting three points that should see them through.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Diego Forlan - A stunning goal and showed he still has the movement to trouble any defence in the world.
MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS
PLAYER RATINGS
Nigeria: Enyeama 7, Ambrose 5, Omeruo 6, Oboabona 6, Echiejile 6, Ogude 6, Mikel 6, Musa 7, Ogu 5, Oduamadi 6, Ideye 6...subs: Akpala 6, Babatunde 6, Mba 6
Uruguay: Muslera 6, Maxi Pereira 6, Lugano 5, Godin 6, Caceres 6, Arevalo Rios 5, Gonzalez 5, Rodriguez 6, Forlan 8, Suarez 5, Cavani 4..subs: Coates 5, Pereira 6

Confederations Cup - Torres hits four as Spain maul plucky Tahiti

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Confederations Cup Group B, Maracana .

Spain 10 (Torres 5', 33', 57', 78', Villa 39', 49', 64', Silva 31', 89', Mata 66') - Tahiti 0


Spain hit double figures in their Confederations Cup Group B clash against minnows Tahiti in a 10-0 win at the Maracana with Fernando Torres helping himself to four goals.
The world and European champions produced a professional performance against the Oceania minnows to set a new record winning scoreline for this competition at the fabled venue in Rio de Janeiro.
It also equalled Tahiti's heaviest-ever defeat after they lost to New Zealand by the same scoreline in 2004.
Torres (5,33, 57, 78), David Villa (39,49, 64), David Silva (31, 89) and Juan Mata (66) were the other Spain scorers as they continued their march towards the last four of the tournament after a 2-1 win over Uruguay in their opening game.
Spain only pick up one goal in the opening 33 minutes, but the floodgates began to open when Tahiti tired in the heat of the final hour as their opponents kept the ball with some relish.
Torres also knocked a penalty off the bar and over seconds before he rounded the eccentric Tahiti goalkeeper Mikael Roche for his country's ninth goal of the evening.
A crowd of over 70,000 were firmly behind Tahiti - a country with a population of only 170,000 and consisting of several part-time players - after their 6-1 loss to Nigeria in their opening match of the tournament, but they rarely threatened the Spanish goal.
They never lacked heart, but Spain clicked into gear by running in three goals before the half-time whistle.


Torres beat the goalkeeper at the near post for the opening goal as his mishit shot eluded Roche.
Vincente del Bosque's side slotted their second when Silva passed the ball into the net from Villa's pass for a 2-0 lead.
Torres then rounded Roche for the third before Villa converted with ease from a Silva pass.
With Tahiti playing a high line and struggling to garner any possession, Villa made it five from Nacho Monreal's cross ball early in the second half.
Torres swept his hat-trick into the gaping net from Villa's cutback for a 6-0 lead with Villa helping himself to a simple seventh after Roche had come off his line only to miss the loose ball.
Mata cut through several defenders to hammer the ball through the legs of Roche to make it eight with Torres atoning for his penalty miss by dragging the ball past Roche to finish for number nine.
With minutes left on the clock, Silva turned to swipe a shot into the corner of the net from substitute Jesus Navas's pass as Spain declared on 10 for the night.
Spain will make sure of their place in the last four with a win over Nigeria on Sunday as Tahiti bow out of the tournament against Uruguay.
Spain's biggest win remains their 13-0 friendly win over Bulgaria in 1933. Their biggest competitive victory was 12-1 over Malta in 1983.
They could have scored more on the night here, but Del Bosque will have been happy to make use of his full squad in what was nothing more than a training session.
MAN OF THE MATCH
David Silva - Tormented the part-timers with his vision. Could have scored more than two. Not that it mattered greatly.
MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS
PLAYER RATINGS
Spain: Reina 6, Azpilicueta 7, Albiol 7, Sergio Ramos 6, Monreal 6, Cazorla 6, Javi Martinez 6, Silva 8, Mata 8, Torres 7, Villa 8..subs: Iniesta 6, Fabregas 6, Jesus Navas 6
Tahiti: Roche 6, Aitamai 6, Jonathan Tehau 6, Vallar 6, Ludivion 6, Lemaire 6, Vahirua 6, Bourebare 6, Caroine 6, Alvin Tehau 6, Chong Hue 7..subs: Teaonui Tehau 6, Lorenzo Tehau 6, Vero 6

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Messi summoned to give evidence

4:19 PM Posted by Moto Musashi , , , No comments

Lionel Messi and his father Jorge were ordered on Thursday to appear before a Barcelona court in September after Spanish prosecutors accused the pair of tax fraud.


Earlier in the day, Spanish media reported that an examining magistrate had brought official charges against the Messis but a writ showed the two had been summoned to give evidence.
The magistrate has accepted a complaint from the Catalonia tax crime prosecutor, who has accused Barcelona's World Player of the Year and his father of defrauding the Spanish tax office of more than 4 million euros (£3.4m).
"The judge has accepted the complaint presented by the prosecutor against Lionel Messi and Jorge Horacio Messi for three alleged crimes against the tax authorities," a statement from the Barcelona court said.
"The acceptance of the case is the next step after a complaint is presented. The court can start to investigate and reach a conclusion as to whether a crime has been committed or not.
"The magistrate has called the accused to give evidence on September 17."
In the Spanish legal system, if the magistrate determines there is sufficient evidence to bring charges, he or she will do so and then proceed with a pre-trial investigation.
The complaint relates to the three tax periods of 2007, 2008 and 2009, the court said.
Two weeks ago, the prosecutor's office said income from the sale of Messi's image rights was effectively hidden from Spanish authorities via a complex web of shell companies in Uruguay, Belize, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
The pair could face up to four years in jail if found guilty, according to Spanish law.
"We learned about the action begun by the Spanish prosecutor through the media," Rosario-born Messi, who has been resident in Barcelona since 2000 and gained Spanish citizenship in 2005, wrote in a statement on his official Facebook page at the time.
"It is something that surprises us because we have never committed any offence."

Confederations Cup - Italy through to semis after seven-goal thriller

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Confederations Cup, Group A, Arena Pernambucano, Recife . 

Italy 4 (De Rossi 41, Uchida 50 og, Balotelli 52 pen, Giovinco 86) - Japan 3 (Honda 21 pen, Kagawa 33, Okazaki 69).


Italy secured a place in the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup following a thrilling 4-3 win over Japan in Recife, Sebastian Giovinco scoring the winner with only four minutes remaining.
Japan took the lead following a rather fortunate penalty award after 20 minutes as Keisuke Honda struck from the spot, with the impressive Shinji Kagawa adding a second on 33 minutes with a smart shot on the turn.
Italy responded through a firm header from Daniele De Rossi and then completed the turnaround in the first seven minutes of the second half when Atsuto Uchida put the ball into his own net and Mario Balotelli converted a penalty of his own following an even more farcical award.
A compelling, if slightly unhinged contest took another turn when Japan drew level on 69 minutes,Shinji Okazaki heading home from a free-kick, and the drama continued late on when Japan struck the woodwork twice in the space of three seconds.
But Giovinco tapped the ball home late on to take Italy through to the last four with Brazil, while Japan’s Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni saw what would have been a late equaliser from Maya Yoshida ruled out after Japan had hit the woodwork once again.
Japan were irresistible at the start of the match, taking the game to Italy with impressive vigour. After six minutes they should have been in front when Kagawa delivered a superb cross from the left, dropping the ball over Giorgio Chiellini and onto the head of Ryoichi Maeda – but the forward nodded it straight at Gianluigi Buffon.
Kagawa came into the tournament off the back of a mixed season when he was rather underused by Manchester United but the playmaker is essential for his country and on 17 minutes forced Buffon to tip over a vicious attempt that swerved nastily in the air from 30 yards out.
Japan were swamping an inhibited Italy side and pounced on a mistake in the Azzurri backline to take the lead after 21 minutes. Mattia De Sciglio was the guilty party and when Okazaki snuck in he was brought to ground by Buffon. The keeper got a touch to the ball and was unlucky to see a penalty awarded, even if he avoided a red card; Honda stepped up to stroke the penalty home.
Cesare Prandelli sought to address his side’s underwhelming performance when removing Alberto Aquilani for Giovinco after only 30 minutes but Italy promptly conceded a second when they failed to deal with a high ball into the box and Kagawa spun to strike a brilliant effort past Buffon and into the corner of the net.
Japan were good value for their lead, but almost collapsed before half-time. De Rossi pulled one back with a firm header from a perfect Andrea Pirlo corner before Emanuele Giaccherini struck the base of the post with an opportunistic shot in added time.
Still, Italy needed only seven minutes to turn a deficit into a lead when the match resumed, with an own goal from Uchida initially drawing the two sides level. Yoshida was at fault when allowing Giovinco to wriggle away from him by the byline and the tiny forward’s cross was turned in by the sliding Uchida.
It was then Japan’s turn to suffer a harsh penalty decision as Makoto Hasebe was bizarrely penalised for handball when a shot bounced off his leg and against his arm, which was tucked behind his body. Balotelli was ruthless as ever from 12 yards as Italy took the lead for the first time.
Giovinco almost extended their advantage with a rasping effort from 20 yards that Kawashima tipped round the post but on 69 minutes, and just seconds after Prandelli replaced Giaccherini with Claudio Marchisio when Italy were ready to defend a set-piece, Okazaki got ahead of Riccardo Montolivo to meet Yasuhito Endo’s free-kick and direct a header past Buffon.
In a frantic conclusion, Japan hit the woodwork twice in three seconds when Okazaki struck the post with a firm effort from 12 yards and Kagawa inexplicably headed the rebound against the turf and then the crossbar.
Japan were punished for the miss when De Rossi prised open the defence with a glorious pass and Marchisio squared for Giovinco, who tapped home with four minutes remaining. Even then there was time for Yoshida to have a late goal disallowed as a wonderful match reached a dramatic conclusion.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Shinji Kagawa (Japan) – He may have missed a late chance but the Manchester United playmaker was otherwise impeccable, impressing with his movement, his goal and his near-perfect use of the ball.
PLAYER RATINGS
ITALY: Buffon 5, Maggio 6, Chiellini 5, Barzagli 6, De Sciglio 5, Aquilani 5, De Rossi 8, Montolivo 6, Pirlo 6, Giaccherini 6, Balotelli 8. Subs: Giovinco 8, Abate 7, Marchisio 7.
JAPAN: Kawashima 6, Nagatomo 6, Uchida 5, Konno 6, Yoshida 5, Honda 8, Endo 6, Kagawa 8, Hasebe 7, Maeda 6, Okazaki 8. Subs: Sakai 6, Havenaar 6, Nakamura N/A.

Confederations Cup - Neymar inspires Brazil to win over Mexico

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Confederations Cup, Group A, Estadio Placido Castelo, Fortaleza . 

Brazil 2 (Neymar 9, Jo 90+2) - Mexico 0


A wonderful performance from Neymar helped Brazil reach the semi-finals of the Confederations Cup following a 2-0 victory over Mexico in Fortaleza.
Barcelona’s latest recruit added to his goal in Brazil’s opening victory over Japan with a classy finish after nine minutes, meeting a dropping ball with a thunderous effort that flew just inside the post.
In second-half injury time, the forward then lost two markers with an outrageous piece of skill before teeing up substitute Jo, who finished into an empty net.
As trouble continued in the streets after what has been a turbulent few days in Brazilian society, the country witnessed a sporting victory that, following Italy's win over Japan in the late kick-off, saw them into the last four with the Azzurri.
In a week that has seen Brazilians pour into the streets in their millions to protest against the government and draw attention to the country’s social problems, a spine-tingling national anthem gave way to an electric start from Brazil, with Neymar, Marcelo and Hulk all taking the opportunity to gee up the febrile crowd inside the Estadio Castelao.
Liga-bound Neymar was influential early on as he caused havoc from his position wide on the left as he teed up Paulinho for a shot that was blocked, set up Oscar for a goal that was disallowed for offside and then put Brazil in front after nine minutes with a moment of pure brilliance.
Dani Alves delivered a teasing cross from the right and after Francisco Rodriguez could only head his attempted clearance high into the air, the ball dropped perfectly for the left boot of Neymar as the striker lashed a superb volley just inside the post from 16 yards out.
Brazil pushed forward at every opportunity in a pulsating start, with Alves almost catching Jose Corona out with a Cantona-esque chip that threatened to dip under the bar. However, they remained typically vulnerable at the back with Hiram Mier rifling a low effort just past the far post following a Mexico corner that was defended awfully.
Neymar, though, remained the star of the show, his every touch greeted with a rise in the decibel levels inside the Fortaleza stadium. On 23 minutes he demonstrated his class once again when controlling beautifully with his chest, taking the ball away from Mier with a deft touch and thundering a shot just over the bar.
But a first half which promised so much petered out, with the main incident of note in the closing stages being a heavy blow to David Luiz nose following an accidental collision with Thiago Silva that required two changes of shirt and lengthy treatment as the Brazilian medical staff tried to stem the stream of blood pouring out of the Chelsea defender.
Luiz returned for the second half and again Brazil started quickly with Thiago Silva having a goal rightly disallowed when the offside Hulk touched a wonderful Neymar free-kick square for the Paris Saint-Germain centre-back.
Hulk was involved once again on 55 minutes when Neymar flicked a gorgeous return ball over the top of the defence for the Zenit forward to collect. He had two good options: score at the near post or square for Fred for a tap-in in the centre. But Hulk took option three: snatch at the ball and drive it horribly wide.
Mexico threatened only briefly, and when they did find space to attack the penalty area they found Luiz and Silva in resilient form for Brazil. The Chelsea defender made one particularly impressive intervention to prevent Javier Hernandez from tapping home at the back post.
An otherwise disappointing first half was enlivened in injury time when Neymar produced another bit of magic. Approaching the box from the left, he bided his time, rolling his studs over the ball, before spotting a gap and darting between two players to feed former Everton and Manchester City striker Jo, who swept the ball home for a superb clincher.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Neymar (Brazil) – Settled the game with his fantastic volley after nine minutes and his tricks and imagination ensured he would dominate the highlights reel even before his obscenely good assist.
PLAYER RATINGS
BRAZIL: Cesar 6, Alves 6, Silva 7, Luiz 7, Marcelo 5, Gustavo 6, Paulinho 6, Oscar 5, Neymar 8, Fred 5, Hulk 5. Subs: Hernandez 6, Moura 6, Jo 7.
MEXICO: Corona 6, Rodriguez 6, Salcido 6, Moreno 5, Flores 6, Torrado 5, Dos Santos 7, Guardado 6, Torres 5, Mier 6, Hernandez 5. Subs: Herrera 5, Barrera 6, Jimenez N/A.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mourinho, Moyes await news of first fixtures

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he fixtures for 2013/14 will be announced at 09:00.


The new season begins on August 17 and is one of the most keenly-anticipated for many years, with huge change amongst the top teams.
Manchester United's opening game will be the first since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, with David Moyes in charge of the team. Jose Mourinho has made an emotional return to Chelsea, six years after he left Stamford Bridge, while Manuel Pellegrini has taken the reins at Manchester City.
In addition, Everton and Stoke City begin new eras under Roberto Martinez and Mark Hughes respectively, after Moyes and Tony Pulis moved on after lengthy spells in charge.
The promoted teams for the new campaign are the Championship winners Cardiff City, runners-up Hull City, and play-off victors Crystal Palace.

Fixture  Premier League (2013-2014)

Saturday 17 August 2013
Arsenal v Aston Villa
Chelsea v Hull
Crystal Palace v Tottenham
Liverpool v Stoke
Man City v Newcastle
Norwich v Everton
Sunderland v Fulham
Swansea v Man Utd
West Brom v Southampton
West Ham v Cardiff
Saturday 24 August 2013
Aston Villa v Liverpool
Cardiff v Man City
Everton v West Brom
Fulham v Arsenal
Hull v Norwich
Man Utd v Chelsea
Newcastle v West Ham
Southampton v Sunderland
Stoke v Crystal Palace
Tottenham v Swansea
Saturday 31 August 2013
Arsenal v Tottenham
Cardiff v Everton
Chelsea P-P Aston Villa (due to UEFA Super Cup)
Crystal Palace v Sunderland
Liverpool v Man Utd
Man City v Hull
Newcastle v Fulham
Norwich v Southampton
West Brom v Swansea
West Ham v Stoke
Saturday 14 September 2013
Aston Villa v Newcastle
Everton v Chelsea
Fulham v West Brom
Hull v Cardiff
Man Utd v Crystal Palace
Southampton v West Ham
Stoke v Man City
Sunderland v Arsenal
Swansea v Liverpool
Tottenham v Norwich
Saturday 21 September 2013
Arsenal v Stoke
Cardiff v Tottenham
Chelsea v Fulham
Crystal Palace v Swansea
Liverpool v Southampton
Man City v Man Utd
Newcastle v Hull
Norwich v Aston Villa
West Brom v Sunderland
West Ham v Everton
Saturday 28 September 2013
Aston Villa v Man City
Everton v Newcastle
Fulham v Cardiff
Hull v West Ham
Man Utd v West Brom
Southampton v Crystal Palace
Stoke v Norwich
Sunderland v Liverpool
Swansea v Arsenal
Tottenham v Chelsea
Saturday 5 October 2013
Cardiff v Newcastle
Fulham v Stoke
Hull v Aston Villa
Liverpool v Crystal Palace
Man City v Everton
Norwich v Chelsea
Southampton v Swansea
Sunderland v Man Utd
Tottenham v West Ham
West Brom v Arsenal
Saturday 19 October 2013
Arsenal v Norwich
Aston Villa v Tottenham
Chelsea v Cardiff
Crystal Palace v Fulham
Everton v Hull
Man Utd v Southampton
Newcastle v Liverpool
Stoke v West Brom
Swansea v Sunderland
West Ham v Man City
Saturday 26 October 2013
Aston Villa v Everton
Chelsea v Man City
Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Liverpool v West Brom
Man Utd v Stoke
Norwich v Cardiff
Southampton v Fulham
Sunderland v Newcastle
Swansea v West Ham
Tottenham v Hull
Saturday 2 November 2013
Arsenal v Liverpool
Cardiff v Swansea
Everton v Tottenham
Fulham v Man Utd
Hull v Sunderland
Man City v Norwich
Newcastle v Chelsea
Stoke v Southampton
West Brom v Crystal Palace
West Ham v Aston Villa
Saturday 9 November 2013
Aston Villa v Cardiff
Chelsea v West Brom
Crystal Palace v Everton
Liverpool v Fulham
Man Utd v Arsenal
Norwich v West Ham
Southampton v Hull
Sunderland v Man City
Swansea v Stoke
Tottenham v Newcastle
Saturday 23 November 2013
Arsenal v Southampton
Cardiff v Man Utd
Everton v Liverpool
Fulham v Swansea
Hull v Crystal Palace
Man City v Tottenham
Newcastle v Norwich
Stoke v Sunderland
West Brom v Aston Villa
West Ham v Chelsea
Saturday 30 November 2013
Aston Villa v Sunderland
Cardiff v Arsenal
Chelsea v Southampton
Everton v Stoke
Hull v Liverpool
Man City v Swansea
Newcastle v West Brom
Norwich v Crystal Palace
Tottenham v Man Utd
West Ham v Fulham
Tuesday 3 December 2013
Arsenal v Hull
Crystal Palace v West Ham
Liverpool v Norwich
Man Utd v Everton
Southampton v Aston Villa
Stoke v Cardiff
Sunderland v Chelsea
Swansea v Newcastle
West Brom v Man City
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Fulham v Tottenham
Saturday 7 December 2013
Arsenal v Everton
Crystal Palace v Cardiff
Fulham v Aston Villa
Liverpool v West Ham
Man Utd v Newcastle
Southampton v Man City
Stoke v Chelsea
Sunderland v Tottenham
Swansea v Hull
West Brom v Norwich
Saturday 14 December 2013
Aston Villa v Man Utd
Cardiff v West Brom
Chelsea v Crystal Palace
Everton v Fulham
Hull v Stoke
Man City v Arsenal
Newcastle v Southampton
Norwich v Swansea
Tottenham v Liverpool
West Ham v Sunderland
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Arsenal v Chelsea
Crystal Palace v Newcastle
Fulham v Man City
Liverpool v Cardiff
Man Utd v West Ham
Southampton v Tottenham
Stoke v Aston Villa
Sunderland v Norwich
Swansea v Everton
West Brom v Hull
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Aston Villa v Crystal Palace
Cardiff v Southampton
Chelsea v Swansea
Everton v Sunderland
Hull v Man Utd
Man City v Liverpool
Newcastle v Stoke
Norwich v Fulham
Tottenham v West Brom
West Ham v Arsenal
Saturday, 28 December 2013
Aston Villa v Swansea
Cardiff v Sunderland
Chelsea v Liverpool
Everton v Southampton
Hull v Fulham
Man City v Crystal Palace
Newcastle v Arsenal
Norwich v Man Utd
Tottenham v Stoke
West Ham v West Brom
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
Arsenal v Cardiff
Crystal Palace v Norwich
Fulham v West Ham
Liverpool v Hull
Man Utd v Tottenham
Southampton v Chelsea
Stoke v Everton
Sunderland v Aston Villa
Swansea v Man City
West Brom v Newcastle
Saturday 11 January 2014
Aston Villa v Arsenal
Cardiff v West Ham
Everton v Norwich
Fulham v Sunderland
Hull v Chelsea
Man Utd v Swansea
Newcastle v Man City
Southampton v West Brom
Stoke v Liverpool
Tottenham v Crystal Palace
Saturday 18 January 2014
Arsenal v Fulham
Chelsea v Man Utd
Crystal Palace v Stoke
Liverpool v Aston Villa
Man City v Cardiff
Norwich v Hull
Sunderland v Southampton
Swansea v Tottenham
West Brom v Everton
West Ham v Newcastle
Tuesday 28 January 2014
Aston Villa v West Brom
Crystal Palace v Hull
Liverpool v Everton
Man Utd v Cardiff
Norwich v Newcastle
Southampton v Arsenal
Sunderland v Stoke
Swansea v Fulham
Wednesday 29 January 2014
Chelsea v West Ham
Tottenham v Man City
Saturday 1 February 2014
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
Cardiff v Norwich
Everton v Aston Villa
Fulham v Southampton
Hull v Tottenham
Man City v Chelsea
Newcastle v Sunderland
Stoke v Man Utd
West Brom v Liverpool
West Ham v Swansea
Saturday 8 February 2014
Aston Villa v West Ham
Chelsea v Newcastle
Crystal Palace v West Brom
Liverpool v Arsenal
Man Utd v Fulham
Norwich v Man City
Southampton v Stoke
Sunderland v Hull
Swansea v Cardiff
Tottenham v Everton
Tuesday 11 February 2014
Arsenal v Man Utd
Cardiff v Aston Villa
Hull v Southampton
Stoke v Swansea
West Brom v Chelsea
West Ham v Norwich
Wednesday 12 February 2014
Everton v Crystal Palace
Fulham v Liverpool
Man City v Sunderland
Newcastle v Tottenham
Saturday 22 February 2014
Arsenal v Sunderland
Cardiff v Hull
Chelsea v Everton
Crystal Palace v Man Utd
Liverpool v Swansea
Man City v Stoke
Newcastle v Aston Villa
Norwich v Tottenham
West Brom v Fulham
West Ham v Southampton
Saturday 1 March 2014
Aston Villa v Norwich
Everton v West Ham
Fulham v Chelsea
Hull v Newcastle
Man Utd v Man City
Southampton v Liverpool
Stoke v Arsenal
Sunderland v West Brom
Swansea v Crystal Palace
Tottenham v Cardiff
Saturday 8 March 2014
Arsenal v Swansea
Cardiff v Fulham
Chelsea v Tottenham
Crystal Palace v Southampton
Liverpool v Sunderland
Man City v Aston Villa
Newcastle v Everton
Norwich v Stoke
West Brom v Man Utd
West Ham v Hull
Saturday 15 March 2014
Aston Villa v Chelsea
Everton v Cardiff
Fulham v Newcastle
Hull v Man City
Man Utd v Liverpool
Southampton v Norwich
Stoke v West Ham
Sunderland v Crystal Palace
Swansea v West Brom
Tottenham v Arsenal
Saturday 22 March 2014
Aston Villa v Stoke
Cardiff v Liverpool
Chelsea v Arsenal
Everton v Swansea
Hull v West Brom
Man City v Fulham
Newcastle v Crystal Palace
Norwich v Sunderland
Tottenham v Southampton
West Ham v Man Utd
Saturday 29 March 2014
Arsenal v Man City
Crystal Palace v Chelsea
Fulham v Everton
Liverpool v Tottenham
Man Utd v Aston Villa
Southampton v Newcastle
Stoke v Hull
Sunderland v West Ham
Swansea v Norwich
West Brom v Cardiff
Saturday, 5 April 2014
Aston Villa v Fulham
Cardiff v Crystal Palace
Chelsea v Stoke
Everton v Arsenal
Hull v Swansea
Man City v Southampton
Newcastle v Man Utd
Norwich v West Brom
Tottenham v Sunderland
West Ham v Liverpool
Saturday, 12 April 2014
Arsenal v West Ham
Crystal Palace v Aston Villa
Fulham v Norwich
Liverpool v Man City
Man Utd v Hull
Southampton v Cardiff
Stoke v Newcastle
Sunderland v Everton
Swansea v Chelsea
West Brom v Tottenham
Saturday, 19 April 2014
Aston Villa v Southampton
Cardiff v Stoke
Chelsea v Sunderland
Everton v Man Utd
Hull v Arsenal
Man City v West Brom
Newcastle v Swansea
Norwich v Liverpool
Tottenham v Fulham
West Ham v Crystal Palace
Saturday, 26 April 2014
Arsenal v Newcastle
Crystal Palace v Man City
Fulham v Hull
Liverpool v Chelsea
Man Utd v Norwich
Southampton v Everton
Stoke v Tottenham
Sunderland v Cardiff
Swansea v Aston Villa
West Brom v West Ham
Saturday 3 May 2014
Arsenal v West Brom
Aston Villa v Hull
Chelsea v Norwich
Crystal Palace v Liverpool
Everton v Man City
Man Utd v Sunderland
Newcastle v Cardiff
Stoke v Fulham
Swansea v Southampton
West Ham v Tottenham
Sunday 11 May 2014
Cardiff v Chelsea
Fulham v Crystal Palace
Hull v Everton
Liverpool v Newcastle
Man City v West Ham
Norwich v Arsenal
Southampton v Man Utd
Sunderland v Swansea
Tottenham v Aston Villa
West Brom v Stoke