Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Fulham 0

A Hatem Ben Arfa strike five minutes from time handed Newcastle United a 1-0 win over Fulham at St James’ Park on Saturday.

The winger’s curled effort from the edge of the penalty box brought Newcastle their first victory of the season, and was a fitting reward for their efforts in a game they dominated.

Alan Pardew made a number of changes from the League Cup win over Morecambe in midweek, with Shola Ameobi keeping his place after scoring at the Globe Arena while captain Fabricio Coloccini returned.

Yohan Cabaye was also included in the hosts’ squad for the first time in 2013-14 having been previously excluded amid interest from Arsenal, while QPR loanee Loic Remy joined him in the dugout.

For Fulham, Darren Bent made his first Premier League start for the club since his loan switch from Aston Villa while midweek goalscorer Adel Taarabt dropped to the bench.

Newcastle began the brighter of the two teams, with skipper Coloccini seeing a header cleared from close range by John Arne Riise after four minutes.

But the game began to even out as time progressed, with Bent and Mathieu Debuchy having efforts on goal for the away and home sides respectively.

Alex Kacaniklic had a glorious chance to put the visitors ahead on the half-hour mark, when he latched on to a long ball from the back. However, he was unable to get clean contact and was dispossessed by the alert Debuchy.

Papiss Cisse then headed wide after a cross from Ben Arfa before the latter fired over in the last five minutes of the half, however, Fulham emerged unscathed to go in goalless at the break.

It took until 61 minutes for the first chance of the second half, with Ben Arfa striking a dipping effort at David Stockdale before Ameobi glanced a header wide a minute later.

Riise hit back for Fulham after 66 minutes when he forced a save from Tim Krul with a free-kick but Newcastle resumed control of the match in the aftermath.

Substitute Yoan Gouffran subsequently failed to connect with a Ben Arfa cross with 79 minutes gone, as the hosts continued to apply plenty of pressure.

And with five minutes of normal time remaining, their constant creation of chances finally brought a goal, as Ben Arfa cut in from the right-hand side of the box to fire brilliantly home.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Bruce full of praise for battling Hull City

Hull City boss Steve Bruce praised his side, but bemoaned a lack of cutting edge, after their 2-0 loss away to Manchester City on Saturday.

Bruce’s side were superb in the first half and should have taken the lead as Sone Aluko went through on goal, but the Nigeria international could only scuff wide when one-on-one with Joe Hart.

They also looked solid at the back, but as the hosts ramped the pressure up, Alvaro Negredo nodded his team in front after the hour, with Yaya Toure adding a gloss to the scoreline with a stunning late free-kick.

However, Bruce – who also saw his side go down 2-0 at Chelsea in their first game of the season – was heartened by his side’s showing against one of the favourites for the Premier League title.

He said: “We couldn’t have asked for more really. Our Achilles heel in the championship last year was ‘can we score enough?’

“Certainly we’ve got really good players, and we’ve added to that, and you can see why we’ve come out of the Championship with the way we played. But we need to score.

“I’ve been here a few times since the change – I think I’ve had more chances today than I’ve had in six games against them so we needed to take one.

“But overall I’m very, very pleased.”

The former Sunderland and Wigan boss saw Danny Graham’s first-half strike chalked off for offside and, although Bruce admitted the decision was correct, he was left to rue his side not getting the rub of the luck.

He said: “The linesman gives an offside, which he’s right, but he’s two inches offside

“I thought these days (the benefit of the doubt) was supposed to go to the attacker, but when you see it and you realise how close it is it’s a big call.

“You need that little bit of luck when you come here but it wasn’t to be.”

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Premier League: Norwich City 1 Southampton 0

Nathan Redmond’s first goal for Norwich City earned them a 1-0 win at home to Southampton on Saturday.

The 100th competitive meeting between these two sides saw chances aplenty, with both goalkeepers on top form, but Redmond’s strike was enough to give Chris Hughton’s side their first Premier League victory of the season.

Adam Lallana came closest to a goal for Mauricio Pochettino’s men, volleying against the post, but Norwich created the majority of the chances, with England Under-21 international Redmond at the hub of their best play.

Hughton was without the injured Gary Hooper (shin) and Ryan Bennett, who needed stitches after gashing his knee in the League Cup tie against Bury in midweek.

Pochettino, meanwhile, handed a first start to Southampton’s record signing Pablo Daniel Osvaldo, in place of Jay Rodriguez, while Guly do Prado and Jos Hooiveld missed out through injury.

The hosts started brightly and nearly opened the scoring after three minutes when Redmond, a close-season signing from Birmingham City, won the ball on the left and burst through to the edge of the area, striking a low right-footed effort that flew just wide.

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n had Artur Boruc to thank for keeping them level when he spread himself well to deny Leroy Fer, after Johan Elmander had flicked on a Robert Snodgrass free-kick. The rebound fell to Ricky van Wolfswinkel, but he poked wide.

At the other end, Bradley Johnson faced shouts for a penalty when Lallana’s shot crashed into his outstretched arm. Referee Howard Webb, though, deemed the handball accidental.

Norwich then had a penalty shout of their own, Van Wolfswinkel’s back-post header hitting Calum Chambers, but Webb again waved away the appeals.

The hosts looked the more dangerous and Chambers was again fortunate, this time not to score an own-goal, when he deflected Steven Whittaker’s drilled cross-cum-shot wide of goal.

But Southampton still offered a threat of their own and Lallana almost put them ahead with a well-struck volley that beat John Ruddy all ends up before rebounding back off the post.

And that threat continued in the early stages of the second half, with Osvaldo twice being denied a first Southampton goal by good saves from Ruddy.

Norwich’s aerial threat also continued, with Fer heading wide from a Snodgrass free-kick, before Elmander headed over from Redmond’s cross from the left.

Redmond’s winner came after 67 minutes when he cut in from the left and beat his man with a step-over, before hitting a low right-footed shot that flew in at the near post.

And Redmond almost grabbed a second with another solo effort, dribbling from just inside the visitors’ half before seeing his shot saved, much to the annoyance of Van Wolfswinkel, who was free in the area.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Premier League: Cardiff City 0 Everton 0

Cardiff maintained their unbeaten home record in the Premier League with a scrappy 0-0 draw against Everton on Saturday.

In a game devoid of clear-cut opportunities David Marshall made the game’s best save in final seconds of the first-half.

The 28-year-old reacted quickly to palm away a deflected header from Nikica Jelavic, with Cardiff also lucky to survive to good penalty claims.

Both Roberto Martinez and Malky Mackay named unchanged sides from their opening Premier League outings, as Fraizer Campbell continued up front for Cardiff and Ross Barkley lined up in support of Jelavic for the visitors.
Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines both started once again, despite continued reports linking the pair with moves to Manchester United.

Peter Whittingham had the first chance of the game as he sent an inswinging corner towards the front post and Tim Howard was forced to come through a crowd of players to claw the ball away.

Everton slowly came back into the game and felt they should have had a penalty in the closing five minutes of the half.

Leighton Baines charged into the penalty area and was challenged by Gary Medel only for referee Anthony Taylor to award a goal kick.

Marshall then kept his side in the half with an instinctive save from a Jelavic header in stoppage time.

The Croatia international met a Seamus Coleman cross strongly, only for the goalkeeper to react brilliantly and deny the striker after his effort had taken a deflection off Ben Turner’s arm, with further Everton penalty appeals falling on deaf ears.

The 28-year-old should have opened the scoring for the visitors seven minutes after the break, however he blazed over the crossbar after a neat through ball from Fellaini.

Martinez introduced Arouna Kone for Jelavic just after the hour, and the Ivorian had a fantastic chance to win the game in the closing 10 minutes.

He reacted quickly to volley a shot towards goal after a scramble in the penalty area, Marshall saved well but Kone was flagged offside.

Baines and Fellaini combined on the edge of the penalty soon after but the full-back’s right-foot shot skewed high and wide of goal as the game petered out into a dull draw.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Will champions be frustrated in the transfer market this summer?

Manchester United fans may need to be patient with new boss David Moyes in the transfer market

Manchester United fans may need to be patient with new boss David Moyes in the transfer market

Manchester United boss David Moyes has yet to make a signing since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson in the Red Devils hot seat.

The Scot was expected to spend big this summer at Old Trafford and further strengthen the United squad. Moyes is now being criticised for not bringing any new additions this summer.

Frustrated

However, all Moyes’ moves to bring in players so far have ended in failure. Their bid for Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas ended unsuccessfully, as the former-Gunners captain decided to stay in La Liga with the Catalan giants.

Most recently United have also failed with a bid for Athletic Bilbao’s talented central midfielder Ander Herrera.

The Basque club have revealed that the 24-year-old will only leave if his minimum fee clause of £30.75million is met and he wants to leave.

High-profile

The most high-profile failure to sign players was when Moyes returned to his old club Everton and made a bid of £28million for Everton’s star duo Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez was not happy about the bid, but has yet to state that the pair are not for sale.

Cautious

Manchester United fans may need to get used to Moyes procrastinating in the transfer market. The Scot was always cautious in the transfer market at Everton. He took a long time to do deals and was always very careful with Everton’s money.

He is now operating in a completely different financial league at Old Trafford. However, he has not yet been able to change his mind-set to suit the club. Surely as a boss that has been starved of resources for 11 years he would be looking to splash the cash and bring in big players.

Return

Moyes could yet return to Everton with an improved bid for Baines and Fellaini before the transfer window shuts on Tuesday night. An improved bid of £36million is also believed to have been turned down.

There is a suggestion that Everton would probably sell the pair for £38million. Toffees boss Martinez is also believed to have contingency plans in case United do come in with an acceptable offer for the highly-rated pair.

Weakness

If Manchester United have a weakness it is the lack of a top quality central midfield. A creative central midfielder must have been David Moyes priority this summer. I think most United fans would admit that they would like their team to bring another central midfielder before the window shuts.

There are quality players available and United may just have missed a trick with Tottenham signing Christian Eriksen. Former-United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was believed to have been tracking the young Danes career.

Eriksen cost Spurs a relatively cut-price £11.5million from Ajax. Eriksen could have been the ideal solution to United’s lack of creativity from midfield. He is young, but he has the talent and potential to go on to become a great player.

Maybe Moyes cautious nature got in the way of looking at signing Eriksen. I am sure Eriksen probably would have chosen United ahead of Tottenham, just for the fact that Champions League will be on offer at Old Trafford this season.

Linked

Another player that has been linked with Manchester United is Real Madrid playmaker Mesut Ozil. The Germany international could be available when Gareth Bale’s expected move to Real Madrid is completed in the next few days.

Ozil could be a fantastic signing and is believed to be valued in the £25million bracket. Ozil is exactly the sort of midfielder that United have lacked in recent seasons. The likes of Shinji Kagawa and Anderson both arrived at Old Trafford with big reputations, but neither have quite lived up to their potential.

From Moyes first team selections it appears that David Moyes does not rate Kagawa, and Anderson’s United career has been plagued by injuries. Ozil would definitely be an upgrade on either of the pair and be an exciting signing for United.

Trust

Sir Alex Ferguson chose David Moyes as his successor and Red Devils fans must now trust the veteran Scot’s judgement. Ferguson had admired Moyes for over a decade and even tried to appoint Moyes as his assistant prior to his move to Everton. He has now got his wish with Moyes now at old Trafford.

Moyes needs time to become accustomed to being at one of the biggest clubs in the world. The former-Everton boss has the potential to be a very good United boss, but he will need time to adjust to life at Old Trafford, especially when it comes to spending his clubs money.

Will David Moyes bring any new signings in before the transfer window shuts?

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Pellegrini: Manchester City must improve

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has demanded improvement from his side after their hard-fought 2-0 win over Hull City on Saturday.

City endured a frustrating afternoon against a spirited Hull side, who held out for more than an hour before Alvaro Negredo headed home and Yaya Toure netted a late free-kick.

And Pellegrini admitted that his charges need to work harder in order to compete this season, having fallen to a 3-2 defeat to another newly promoted side, Cardiff City, last week.

“The most important thing is getting the points,” he said

“I am very happy that we won but of course I think we must improve. We had too many difficulties during the first half.

“Hull defended well and we need to try and be a dangerous team.

“Every match is hard and you must always concentrate and you must play 100 per cent to win any game in the Premier League.

“I know what the Premier League is, it’s important to win 2-0. It’s not easy to beat any team.”

The Chilean was also unsurprised by the performance of striker Negredo, who was on hand to break the deadlock after 65 minutes, having entered the game as a half-time substitute.

Pellegrini also hinted the former Sevilla man could soon be handed a start having scored in two appearances from the bench so far this term.

He said: “I expect form Alvaro Negredo exactly what we are seeing, every time he plays.

“I know how good a striker he is.

“Everyone that puts in a good performance will have a possible start.”

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Ki signs season-long loan at Sunderland

Sunderland have signed South Korean midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng on a season-long loan from Swansea City.

Ki, who has been capped 51 times by his country, becomes Paolo Di Canio’s 11th signing of the transfer window.

The 24-year-old began his career in his home country with FC Seoul before moving to Celtic in 2009.

After three years at Celtic Park he moved to Swansea last season, where he made 38 appearances in all competitions.

Ki will join up with international team-mate Ji Dong-Won at the Stadium of Light.

The midfielder featured as a late substitute in Swansea’s opening-day defeat to Manchester United and also started their 0-0 UEFA Europa League qualifying draw against Swedish side Malmo.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Celtic announce Pukki signing

Celtic have confirmed the signing of Finnish forward Teemu Pukki from Schalke for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old has signed a four-year deal and is seen as a potential successor to ex-Hoops forward Gary Hooper, who moved to Norwich City in the close-season.

He revealed his excitement at joining the Scottish champions, who earlier this week booked their place in the UEFA Champions League with a dramatic play-off victory over Shakhter Karagandy.

“I am really excited about it and I am just waiting to meet the guys and get to play on the pitch”, he told the club’s official website.

“I can’t really wait to play in the stadium in front of the fans as I have heard so many good things about them. I am really looking forward to it and I hope it happens soon.

“I spoke to our national team coach Mixu Paatelainen and he was saying it will be a good club to go to.

“Celtic are a great, traditional club. There is an opportunity to play in the Champions League and I hope I can score a lot of goals but I know it’s not going to be easy to just go in the side and I will need to work hard to get into the team.”

The Finland international been capped 24 times by his country.

His arrival comes a day after Celtic signed Israeli midfielder Nir Biton.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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Coda, Pasquale leave Udinese on loan

Udinese have sent defenders Andrea Coda and Giovanni Pasquale on loan to fellow Serie A clubs, Livorno and Torino respectively.

Both players have joined their new club’s on season-long deals and are available for this weekend’s fixtures.

Coda, who will wear the number 85 shirt for Livorno, goes straight into the squad to face fellow Serie A new-boys Sassuolo on Sunday.

The 28-year-old centre-back spent the final six months of last season on loan at Parma, making five appearances.

Left-back Pasquale has moved to Torino for the season, having spent the last five seasons at the Stadio Friuli.

The 31-year-old featured in Udinese’s first league game of the season, a 2-1 defeat away to Lazio, having made 23 appearances in all competitions last season.

Pasquale will wear squad number 26 and has gone straight into Giampiero Ventura’s squad for Sunday’s trip to Atalanta.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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De Rossi set for Roma stay

Daniele De Rossi will not be leaving Roma for Manchester United, according to the Serie A club’s manager, Rudi Garcia.

Media reports emerging on Friday had suggested that David Moyes had turned his attentions to the Italy international as he desperately tries to bolster his midfield ranks.

The Old Trafford boss has already seen moves for Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini fail in the transfer window.

A bid thought to be in the region of £10million was reportedly lodged, but Garcia has revealed that De Rossi is going nowhere, having rejected Manchester City to sign a new deal at the Stadio Olimpico in January.

“Daniele de Rossi isn’t only a big player, but he’s also a big man,” the Frenchman said.

“He has been here at Roma for a long time and he wants to play with this jersey.

“We spoke when he came back from his holidays and we said that, if it got past a certain date, he would certainly remain with us.

“He will stay here for the whole season and this is something that satisfies me a lot.”

De Rossi, who failed to score in 25 Serie A outings last season, started the new term in stunning form, netting a long-range effort as Roma beat Livorno 2-0 last week.

Sat 31 August, 2013
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