Solskjaer Sustains Winning Start As United Beat Reading

Manchester United’s Spanish midfielder Juan Mata celebrates scoring the opening goal during the English FA Cup third round football match against Reading at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 5, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enjoyed a fifth successive win in as many games as interim manager of Manchester United when his side beat Reading 2-0 in the third round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The former United striker had already guided the Red Devils to a run of four straight Premier League victories since being appointed coach after controversial former boss Jose Mourinho was sacked last month.

That winning sequence was maintained against second-tier strugglers Reading, with the third round marking the entry into the FA Cup, the world’s oldest senior knockout football competition, of England’s top-flight clubs.

United, last season’s losing finalists, were 2-0 up before half-time, thanks to goals from Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku but Reading had their chances against a still suspect defence.

Mata gave United, 12-times winners of the Cup, the lead in unusual fashion in the 22nd minute.

United initially had a goal disallowed for offside against Fred but referee Stuart Attwell, after a lengthy consultation with the video assistant referee, awarded the home side a penalty for a foul on Mata in the build-up.

The Spanish midfielder then scored from the spot himself, sending Reading goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola the wrong way.

Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku were both making their first United starts under Solskjaer and the pair combined to make it 2-0 deep into stoppage time at the end of the first-half.

From Sanchez’s through-ball, the onrushing Lukaku calmly rounded Jaakkola and scored from a tight angle.

Elsewhere, an all-Premier League clash saw Brighton win 3-1 away to south coast rivals Bournemouth.

Brighton, beaten in a replay by United in the 1983 FA Cup final, scored with what amounted to their first attack of the game when Anthony Knockaert fired them into a 31st-minute lead.

And three minutes later it was 2-0, when Yves Bissouma’s long-range shot went in off the post.

Bournemouth pulled a goal back through Marc Pugh’s fine effort from 20 yards out but Brighton restored their two-goal lead in the 64th minute when Florin Andone headed in from the Seagulls’ first corner of the game.

Marko Arnautovic had a bizarre match as West Ham beat Championship club Birmingham 2-0.

The Austrian striker scored as early as the second minute.

Yet Arnautovic was, for no clear reason, substituted after 19 minutes by Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini.

But Andy Carroll, the man who replaced Arnautovic, made it 2-0 in the 90th minute when the forward’s header saw him score his first goal since April.

West Ham’s Samir Nasri, the former Arsenal and Manchester City midfielder playing 60 minutes on his debut for the east London side, having joined after completing a doping ban.

Premier League strugglers Burnley needed a late penalty from Chris Wood to see off third-tier Barnsley 1-0.

Bakary Sako’s goal was enough to give West Brom a 1-0 win over fellow Championship club Wigan, shock FA Cup-winners in 2013.

Former England striker Peter Crouch scored an equaliser for Stoke, now a Championship club, in a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury, who are a division below in League One.

FA Cup holders Chelsea face Championship club Nottingham Forest in one of Saturday’s 1500 GMT ties, with Arsenal — the record 13 times FA Cup winners, away to third tier Blackpool in a 1730 GMT kick-off clash.

Premier League champions Manchester City are at home to Championship side Rotherham on Sunday.

Liverpool, the Premier League leaders, play Wolves in an all-top flight clash at Anfield on Monday.

Tottenham Hotspur became the first club into the fourth round this season with a 7-0 rout of fourth-tier Tranmere on Friday.

AFP

Reading Sack Manager Paul Clement

Paul Clement                                                                                                              Geoff CADDICK / AFP

 

Paul Clement has been sacked by Reading after less than nine months in charge, the English Championship club announced on Thursday.

The Royals are outside the relegation zone on goal difference after winning just four of their 20 league games so far this season.

“Reading Football Club can announce that Paul Clement has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect,” said a club statement.

“Clement was appointed towards the end of March and earned two victories and a final day draw in Cardiff which proved enough to secure the club its Championship status at the end of a challenging 2017/18 campaign.

“However, following five wins in the first 22 league and cup matches of 2018/19, owners Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai have made the difficult decision that the time is now right to make a change.”

Former Derby and Swansea manager Clement, 46, signed a three-year deal when he replaced Jaap Stam in March.

AFP

Mourinho Says New Defender Unnecessary For Manchester United

Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, DefenderManchester United Coach, Jose Mourinho, says he will not sign a new defender in January despite losing Eric Bailly to the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Portuguese explained that a new defender would be needless for the club since Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo were performing well.

He added that Phil Jones was also back to full fitness, saying he would manage the three players before Bailly returns.

“No, I’ll wait for Bailly (and) I hope the three can control the situation in those eight matches.

“I will try to rest one in every game. On Saturday (against Reading in the FA Cup) I will rest one, against Hull (in Tuesday’s League Cup semifinal first leg) another.

“We’ll try to make a rotation between these three. We still have Daley Blind as the fourth in case we need him to play there. We have Michael Carrick, so let’s try,” Mourinho told reporters at the Red Devils’ training base.

David Moyes Charged With Misconduct In Southampton Clash

David Moyes, Southampton Sunderland manager, David Moyes, has been charged with misconduct after being sent off at Southampton on Wednesday.

The Football Association said it is alleged “Moyes used abusive and/or insulting words towards a match official”.

He has been given until 18:00 BST on Tuesday to respond to the allegation.

The incident took place when Referee Chris Kavanagh waved away appeals for a foul on Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe in the penalty area.

Sunderland lost 1-0 to their hosts as they crashed out of the EFL Cup.

Manchester United also edged past Manchester City with a 1-0 victory while West Ham United beat Chelsea 2 – 1 on Wednesday night.

Arsenal and Liverpool had earlier through to the fifth round as they defeated Reading and Tottenham respectively on Tuesday night.

Ferguson Says Liverpool Are Strong League Title Contenders

Liverpool, Alex FergusonFormer Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, says Liverpool are serious Premier League title contenders this season.

Ferguson said Jurgen Klopp had “revived Liverpool’s enthusiasm” since taking over as manager in October 2015.

“For two decades, Liverpool changed managers without building their own identity.

“You can now sense you truly have to count them in this year,” he told German magazine Kicker.

Liverpool are third in on the league table, sharing points with leaders Manchester City.

In their nine league matches in the present season, they have played four of the current top seven – Arsenal, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and defending champions, Leicester City.

The Reds have also made it through to the fifth round of the EFL and will face Leeds United in the quarterfinal.

Arsenal, Liverpool Through To Last Eight Of EFL Cup

EFL cup, Arsenal, LiverpoolAlex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored two goals as Arsenal booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup with a 2-0 win over Reading.

The Championship side went into the match looking for their first ever win over the Gunners, but it was an easy win for Arsenal in the end, thanks to a double by the Ox, who seemed to be overcoming his difficult start to the season.

The brace takes his tally to five for the season – which is his best return in a season for the Gunners.

Except for Elneny and Iwobi who kept their places, Arsenal fielded a new team, including Lucas Perez, who came off the bench against Boro at the weekend.

Olivier Giroud made his return to the first-team fold as a second half substitute.

Arsenal have not won the League Cup since 1993.

Liverpool are also through to the fifth round courtesy of a brace from another England striker, Daniel Sturridge as they defeated Tottenham 2-1.

The striker opened the scoring early at Anfield after exploiting a Spurs mistake. He doubled the lead in the 60th minute

Liverpool were forced to endure a nervy end to the evening, however, as Vincent Janssen pulled one back for Tottenham with his penalty after Lucas Leiva fouled Erik Lamela in the area.

Hull City Force Arsenal FA Cup Replay

fa cup-ArsenalFA Champions, Arsenal, will play a fifth-round replay at Hull City after failing to beat the championship leaders at the Emirates.

The Tigers created little, but defended admirably to frustrate Arsene Wenger in his 100th FA Cup game as Gunners manager.

Championship side, Reading, came from behind to earn a shocking 3-1 fifth round win over West Brom.

Despite falling behind to a Darren Fletcher goal in the 54th minute, goals from Paul McShane, Michael Hector and Lucas Piazon gave the Royals victory at the Madjekski stadium.

Odion Ighalo’s Watford progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2007 after Scott Wootton’s own goal gifted them victory against Leeds.

Everton also secured passage to the next round with a 2-nil away victory over AFC Bournemoth.

FA Cup: Chelsea Face Manchester City In Fifth Round

FA CupChelsea have been handed the toughest of fixtures in the English FA Cup fifth round.

The English Premier League defending champions, will face Manchester City after thrashing championship side Milton Keynes dons 5-1 away to advance.

A first half hat-trick by Brazilian Oscar put Chelsea in control by halftime.

Eden hazard, who had not scored for 30 matches, made it 4-1 from the penalty spot after 55 minutes before substitute Bertrand Traore, who had been on the pitch five minutes, scored his first goal for Chelsea to make it 5-1 in the 62nd.

FA Cup Defending Champions, Arsenal will take on Hull City in a repeat of the 2014 final.

Arsenal and Hull meet for the third year running, with the Gunners having eliminated the Tigers with a 2-0 win in the third round in 2015.

The fifth round ties will be played on the weekend of February 19-22.

Full FA Cup fifth-round draw

Chelsea v Manchester City

Reading v West Brom or Peterborough

Watford v Leeds United

Shrewsbury Town v Manchester United

Blackburn v Liverpool or West Ham

Tottenham v Crystal Palace

Arsenal v Hull

Bournemouth v Everton

FA Cup: Arsenal, Spurs, Man City Through To 5th Round

fa cupArsenal scored two fine goals to secure their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of a hard-working Burnley side.

The first, from Calum Chambers, saw the right back arrow a curling shot into the top corner, before the visitors equalised through Sam Vokes.

Alexis Sanchez re-established the lead in the second half when he got on the end of a sweeping counter-attack and that was enough to see off the Clarets.

A brace from Nacer Chadli helped Tottenham to comfortably beat League One side Colchester United 4-1.

Nigerian striker, Kelechi Iheanacho, scored a hat trick to help Manchester City to a 4-0 victory over Aston Villa.

Manchester City’s hat-trick hero said after the match “I’m so happy and grateful to score a hat-trick today. I took my time with the third goal, I let the keeper show me where he was going and I put it to his left. It’s a great feeling to score my first hat-trick. I hope there’s more to come.”

Manchester United had on Friday defeated Derby County 3-1 to relieve the pressure on manager Louis van Gaal.

Leeds United, Hull City, Crystal Palace, Watford, Blackburn, Bournemouth, Reading and Shrewsbury all secured victories on Saturday to make into the fifth round of the FA Cup.

West Brom and Peterborough will go to a replay after playing out a 2-2 draw.

Barcelona pushing for David Luiz

Chelsea and Brazilian defender David Luiz has attracted Spanish giants; Barcelona and they are ready to test Stamford Bridge’s decision on the Brazilian as Chelsea has made it known that David is not going to be sold as the player just joined Chelsea in January of 2011 so there no immediate plans to sell him to any club and this is coming a week before the transfer window closes officially.

With his present value around £30million by the London club, there’s been a speculation that Barcelona has strong interest in Luiz who has been touted as not a guaranteed starter.

Meanwhile, a photograph of David Luiz on private plane was posted by him on twitter saying that he was preparing to fly to Barcelona, but the club responded saying he was on his way to attend a Nike event in Barcelona with the permission of Manager Di Matteo.

Luiz, before the EPL clash between Chelsea and Reading which ended in favour of Chelsea declared himself injured and that he will be missing the match on Wednesday night via twitter.

The player has had a divided opinion at the club since he joined from Benfica for a deal worth around £25m. An unorthodox defender who has been prone to the occasional mistake had his taken by Tim Cahill on Wednesday night against Reading, the England international scored Chelsea’s second goal in a performance that question the defence of the team in terms of discipline.

Chelsea would looking to sign up a right-back rather than a centre-back as Branislav Ivanovic told Di Matteo that he wants to be considered as a centre-back and not as a right-back, where he has found himself playing for much of last season.

There’s already a likely replacement for the Brazilian in the event of leaving Chelsea as Marseille right-back Cesar Azpilicueta is one candidate regarded as a suitable option which the Blues’ have signed on.

 

Chelsea cruises to second EPL victory against Reading

Chelsea, on Wednesday evening got their second EPL victory at home after recording the first victory against Wigan.

Fernando Torres ensured the path to victory with his goal after Blues’ trailed behind the visitor throughout the later part of the first half before Cahill scored a 30-yarder and the pressure doubled on the part of the new European champions and it brought about Torres’ goal which he tapped in from to give Chelsea 3-2 lead at Stamford Bridge.

Pavel Pogrebnyak had cancelled out Frank Lampard’s penalty opener and Danny Guthrie had seen his tame free-kick spin in after a Petr Cech error.

With the score line at halftime, Di Matteo rearranged his game plan by throwing on attacking players – Oscar and Daniel Sturridge – in the second half, the ‘youth squad’ had a neat move which left Ashley Cole with the simplest of jobs to cross for Torres to do a clean finish.

Reading tried to respond in the final few minutes but paid the price for their ambition, as Branislav Ivanovic swept home deep into injury time following a quick counter-attack after Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici had gone up for a corner at the other end to give Chelsea a comfortable win of 4-2.

EPL games from next weekend were re-arranged due to Chelsea’s participation in the European Super Cup.