Brighton Gain Promotion To EPL

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Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. have gained promotion to the English Premier League (EPL) after Huddersfield Town were held to a 1-1 draw by Derby County in the English Championship.

Brighton beat Wigan Athletic 2-1 to move seven points clear at the top of the table.

The South-Coast club can now start preparing for life in the top division again, following their relegation in 1982-1983 and subsequent journey down and back up the leagues.

They need three more points to clinch the Championship title and will be crowned champions if they win at Norwich on Friday.

Egypt To Allow 20,000 Fans For Togo Friendly

Egyptian Football Association Allows 20,000 Fans For Togo FriendlyThe Egyptian Football Association says it will only allow 20,000 fans for the friendly international against Togo.

The Pharaohs will host the Hawks at Borg El-Arab stadium in Alexandria on Tuesday, March 28.

Coach Hector Cuper is preparing his side ahead of their away match against Tunisia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Argentine coach has called up 10 international players in the squad, including Wigan Athletic’s Sam Morsy.

Mertesacker, Coquelin Believe Retaining FA Cup Will Be Tough For Arsenal

FA CupArsenal Captain, Per Mertesacker, says the squad is approaching Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Reading with vivid memories of last year’s tough semifinal against Wigan Athletic.

Mertesacker said that the Gunners have learnt lessons from their exit from the UEFA Champions League and cannot afford to make mistakes

The German defender believes the game will be tough but expects his team to win the encounter.

“It is going to be their biggest game of the season so to mentally prepare that is going to be difficult, not just to match their physicality and mental strength but to do more, to be on the ball from the start,” Mertesacker said.

“[We need] to show them respect but no fear for the pressure. The winning streak helps us a bit but this competition is completely different.

“It is the best competition I have ever played in because so many big teams struggle. But I don’t want to struggle.

“I want to repeat the success. That is my real target so let’s make sure that we are on the same level and do more than our opponent.

“The mental side of that [Wigan] game was really tough and we need to repeat that to show that we’re good enough and mentally good enough to repeat that.

“On the football side we’re good enough but sometimes you need to put in some different qualities nobody expects from you.

“We had some different games when you think of Manchester City away – nobody expected us to play like that, focusing on our own defence and then getting them on the break. That was something new for us as a team.

“We need a special performance on Saturday as well to release that pressure.”

The Gunners have won 16 of their past 18 matches and are heavy favourites to progress against Championship side Reading.

However, Francis Coquelin – who played against the Royals earlier this season while on loan at Charlton – says they will have to make a fast start to the match.

“You know the FA Cup, you don’t know what to expect – any team is ready for it and it is always a tough game at any stage,” he told Arsenal Player.

“A semi-final at Wembley will be even tougher. We need to be ready and start on the front foot. Hopefully we can do that and win the game.

“I remember a tough game [against them for Charlton]. We won 1-0, but to be honest I don’t think we really deserved it.

“They put a lot of pressure on us, they have Pogrebnyak up front who is a big threat, and on the wings they have great players as well. We know it will be a tough game, it is a semi-final and the league you play in doesn’t matter.

“Whether you are in the Championship or the Premier League, in a game like this the team who puts the most pressure on and creates the most chances will win. If everyone is focused, we know we can get a good result.”

English FA Cup Semi-Final: Arsenal Beat Wigan 4-2 On Penalties

ArsenalArsenal Football Club have made it into the final of the 2014 English FA Cup.

The game went into penalties after 120 minutes of gruelling football had ended in a 1-1 score line.

Wigan had gone ahead through Jordi Gomez’s second-half penalty, after Callum McManaman had been brought down by Per Mertesacker.

Mertesacker, however, atoned for his earlier error by heading in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s mis-hit shot at the back post with just eight minutes remaining.

Both teams struggled to create chances in the 30 minutes of extra time during which a fine Arsenal move culminated in Oxlade-Chamberlain smashing a drive off the angle of post and bar, in what was the best chance of the extra time.

Arsenal goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski, however, became the hero on the night by saving Wigan’s first 2 penalties from Gary Caldwell and Jack Collison, while his team mates; Mikel Arteta, Kim Källström, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla did their part of the job by delivering perfectly taken kicks.

Holders, Wigan gave their absolute all but in the end they lost the chance to defend their title in the final. It has been a great run for Rosler’s men who would be expected to concentrate on winning promotion back to the Premier League.

Arsenal will play either Hull or Sheffield United in the final at Wembley.

 

Arsenal Goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski Became The Hero As He Saved 2 Penalties

ArsenalArsenal Football Club have made it into the final of the 2014 FA Cup.

The game went into penalties after 120 minutes of grueling football ended in a 1-1 score line.

Arsenal goalkeeper, Łukasz Fabianski became the hero by saving Wigan’s first 2 penalties with his team mates Mikel Arteta, Kim Källström, Olivier Giroud, and Santi Cazorla doing their part of the job by delivering perfectly taken kicks.

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Wigan Stun Man City Again In FA Cup Win

Wigan beat Man CityDefending FA Cup champions, Wigan Athletic shocked Manchester City in the FA Cup for the second time in consecutive seasons after producing a remarkable 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Jordi Gomez put the Latics ahead from the penalty spot in the first half, and James Perch added a second after half-time with a finish at the back post.

Manuel Pellegrini’s team pulled one back through Samir Nasri but could not find an equalizer as Wigan defended with all they had.

Wigan also beat City in last year’s Wembley final and edged a pulsating tie at the Etihad after some heroic defending.

Wigan Athletic’s reward for their outstanding victory over Manchester City is a semi-final clash against Arsenal.

For the other semi-final game, Hull City has been drawn against Sheffield United. The Tigers eased to a 3-0 victory against Sunderland at the KC Stadium on Sunday.

The games will be played at Wembley over the weekend of April 12/13.

Martinez Making Moves To Sign Moses

With the confirmation of former Wigan Athletic Manager Roberto Martinez move to Everton, to replace Moyes who is now the manager of the Red devils, Manchester United, Martinez has been rumoured to be gunning for his first signing and Nigerian international Victor Moses is Martinez’s target.

Moses has so far had a fair season with the Stanford Bridge club Chelsea since he joined the club but with the dawn of new reign; the Jose Mourinho campaign beginning next season after the Portuguese departed Spanish club Real Madrid to return to his former London club, nothing is certain anymore as the Special One may or may not have need for the Nigerian.

According to report, the former Wigan Athletic manager is an ardent admirer of Nigerian International as he once under the tutelage of Martinez when completed a £2.5 million transfer to Premier League side Wigan Athletic after Palace went into administration.

The cost to sign the Chelsea player has been put at £9m.

Victor Moses has featured 12 times for the National Team of Nigeria; the Super Eagles.

Moses can play in a variety of positions, but in the first-team games he has taken part in so far, Moses has mostly played as a winger.

Born in Nigeria, Moses has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels, but opted to play for the Nigerian national team as opposed to being fully capped for England.

Wigan Athletic In Greatest FA Cup Upset As City Succumbs

Wigan Athletic has pulled off one of the greatest FA Cup final upset in the history of the competition when a 90th minute header from substitute Ben Watson gave them a 1-0 win over highly-fancied Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on this evening.

Wigan, still threatened with relegation from the Premier League, played the better football throughout and deserved to win the match in what was their first FA Cup final in their 81-year history.

The Latics’ win was the biggest upset since Wimbledon beat Liverpool in the 1988 final and represented a personal triumph for their chairman Dave Whelan who broke his leg playing for Blackburn Rovers in the 1960 FA Cup final.

City, FA Cup winners in 2011 and Premier League champions last season, were the overwhelming favourites to win the famous trophy for the sixth time but were largely outplayed against the underdogs who put their erratic league form behind them.

Roberto Mancini’s team had their best chance in the 29th minute when Carlos Tevez had a shot from 10 metres which was well saved by Wigan goalkeeper Joel Robles. The Spaniard stuck out a leg to block what seemed a certain goal-bound strike from Tevez and it was just one of a string of saves he made.

Instead of using their width, City attempted to build attacks though the middle and made little progress against Wigan’s back three of Paul Scharner, Antolin Alcaraz and Emmerson Boyce blocking their progress.

Instead, Wigan played the ball wide with the excellent Callum McManaman on the right and Roger Espinoza on the left creating space and opportunities.

Wigan nearly took the lead in the 76th minute when Shaun Maloney’s free kick rebounded off the crossbar and they caused more trouble eight minutes later when a bursting run from the ever-dangerous Callum McManaman forced City defender Pablo Zabaleta into a foul and the Argentine was sent off for a second yellow card.

Wigan won it when Watson, who had only been on the field for nine minutes and had broken his leg earlier this season, powered an unstoppable header past keeper Joe Hart from a Maloney corner.

Roberto Martinez’s team now face two Premier League matches to save themselves from relegation, but will become the first team to win the FA Cup and go down in the same season if they fail to stay up.

Even if they had lost Wigan knew they would play in the Europa League next season because City had already clinched a Champions League spot. But this Cup win could now galvanise them to extend their Premier League status for a ninth season.

Victor Moses completes move to Chelsea

Nigeria forward, Victor Moses from Wigan Athletic Thursday completed his move to Chelsea FC.

The 21-year-old, who featured for the Latics against the European champions last week, agreed personal terms to complete his switch to Stamford Bridge.

No details were released regarding the fee or the length of Moses’ contract.

Wigan chairman Dave Whelan accused Chelsea last week of “messing about” over the fee to be paid for Moses, with the Blues’ offers up to that point conditional on add-ons and Wigan thought to be holding out for around £9million.

A bid was finally accepted on Thursday and Moses was given permission to discuss personal terms.

Moses represented England up to under-21 level before switching allegiance to Nigeria for his senior international career.

He emerged from Crystal Palace’s academy to make his first-team debut in 2007, before joining the Latics in 2010 and making 74 league appearances with eight goals.

A statement on Chelsea’s official website read: “Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Victor Moses from Wigan Athletic.

“The 21-year-old winger’s last appearance in Wigan colours came in Chelsea’s 2-0 win at the DW Stadium last weekend, when he caught the eye with his strong running out wide.”

Moses becomes Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo’s second signing of the day, following Friday morning’s capture of Marseille full-back Cesar Azpilicueta.

The 22-year-old, who played for Spain in this summer’s Olympics, arrived for a reported £7m.

Chelsea on the verge of signing Moses

Chelsea are set to sign Nigeria forward Victor Moses from Wigan after the European champions finally met the Latics’ asking price.

The Blues had seen four bids for Moses rejected by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan during the course of a fractious transfer saga that had lasted since the end of last season.

Whelan had infuriated Chelsea by speaking publicly about the negotiations in a bid to drive up the price.

But Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is on the verge of getting his man at the fifth attempt after Wigan confirmed they have accepted an improved offer and have given the 21-year-old permission to discuss a contract with the west London club.

“The club can confirm that after four unsuccessful bids from Chelsea for Victor Moses, a fifth bid has today finally met the valuation and terms set by Wigan Athletic and been accepted. The player has been given permission to speak with Chelsea,” a statement on Wigan’s website confirmed.

It has been reported that Wigan were demanding around £9 million for Moses, who joined the Latics from Crystal Palace in 2010 and has risen to prominence after a series of impressive displays last season.

FIRST TEAM ACTION

At Chelsea the impression lingers that his role in proceedings would be supposedly far less significant, particularly as he competes with more exotic and heralded summer recruits.

Up front, Fernando Torres will be allowed to try and rediscover his best form. His £50 million price tag has brought unrivalled pressure but also unrivalled patience from club and owner, meaning those looking to usurp him could be waiting a long time.

On the flanks, Hazard’s sparkling start to life in the Premier League has made him, for the moment, what Jose Mourinho might call an “Untouchable”, while Oscar and Marin will be given plenty of opportunity to adjust to the English game. Di Matteo’s use of Ramires and Ryan Bertrand as more conservative wing options would also likely work against Moses.

His choice, then could not be more stark: To continue a virtually guaranteed footballing education on the pitch with Wigan, or to take a leap of faith, and hope he will be inspired rather than overwhelmed by the level of talent which would surround him at his new club.

Moses has been at this crossroads before. In January 2010, as a 19-year-old wonderkid at Crystal Palace, he opted to spurn the reported interest of some of Europe’s elite clubs to join the less glamorous but less intimidating Latics.