Cardiff City's Odemwingie is challenged by Newcastle United's Cisse during their English Premier League soccer match at Cardiff City Stadium

Cardiff 1-2 Newcastle: Visitors hold on to grab a much needed victory (video)

Leave a comment

Alan Pardew will be sleeping a bit easier tonight, after his Newcastle side held on in the face of a late onslaught from Cardiff to take all three points home from Wales. Loic Remy scored a brace inside ten minutes, but the Bluebirds came roaring back in the second half. Only Peter Odemwingie managed to get in a goal, however, and Cardiff take 12th — for now, anyway.

After two successive league losses, the visitors were desperate for a win. When Remy scored his first goal on the half hour mark, one could almost see the weights lifting from Pardew’s shoulders. The Frenchman charged up the left, cut inside and drove his shot low and into the far corner. David Marshall managed to get a hand to it, but could do nothing to keep out Remy’s fine solo effort.

Not even ten minutes had passed before Remy managed another. This time Papiss Cisse put in the effort, but Marshall parried away. Unfortunately for the Cardiff keeper, the ball fell to Remy, who easily slipped in the rebound.

Perhaps Pardew buoyed his side up a bit too much during the halftime interval, or perhaps Malky Mackay really is that good at the halftime pep talks, but Cardiff came back determined to find at least a point. Jordon Mutch, last week’s goalscorer, came on for Bo-Kyung Kim and quickly got into the swing of things, putting one effort wide before setting up Peter Whittingham for his own scuffed attempt.

The third try’s the charm, though, and it was Mutch’s through ball that set up Cardiff’s goal. Odemwingie latched on to the end of it, leaving Newcastle defender Mike Williamson scuffing at air before drawing out Tim Krul. With the goal clear, Odemwingie easily slotted home.

Cardiff very nearly got their equalizer moments later, with Odemwingie playing the set up man this time, but Frazier Campbell sent his shot wide. The hosts continued to press for the equalizer, enjoying the majority of the possession in the second half. Mackay might do well to put Mutch on from the start next time, as he proved to have an excellent touch and fine way of weaving through the Newcastle defense.

Cardiff Starting XI: Marshall; Taylor, Caulker, Turner, Theophile-Catherine; Medel, Whittingham, Kim (Mutch 46) Gunnarsson, Odemwingie (Maynard 81); Campbell (Bellamy 66)

Substitutes not used: Lewis; Hudson, Noone, Cowie

Goals: Odemwingie 58

Newcastle Starting XI: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Cabaye (Ben Arfa 85), Tiote, Sissoko; Gouffran, Cissé, Remy (Gutierrez 71)

Substitutes not used:  Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett, Anita, Sammy Ameobi

Goals: Remy 30, 38

Vincent Kompany forced off just nine minutes into Man City’s UCL semi

MADRID, ENGLAND - MAY 04: Pepe of Real Madrid checks on the injured Vincent Kompany of Manchester City  during the UEFA Champions League semi final, second leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City FC at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 4, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

Vincent Kompany managed just nine minutes in Manchester City’s Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid before going down with a thigh injury.

The City captain pulled up around midfield and immediately went down, replaced by Eliaquim Mangala.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Real Madrid vs. Man City ]

Earlier this season in the Champions League, Kompany lasted just six minutes before leaving the pitch with a calf injury against Dynamo Kiev.

At 30-years-old, injuries have been Kompany’s biggest enemy this season, with the Belgian center-back managing just 13 starts in the Premier League.

Anfield nights: Liverpool prepares for second leg vs Villarreal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 04:  Dejan Lovren (L) and Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool arrive for a press conference ahead of the UEFA Europa League Semi-Final Second Leg match against Villarreal at Melwood Training Ground on May 4, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Denis Suarez found Adrian Lopez on a streaking counter attack in the last gasps of stoppage time, breaking 90 minutes worth of stern resilience from Liverpool.

What a difference a minute can make.

Villarreal enters the second leg of its UEFA Europa League semifinal against Liverpool with a 1-0 lead and the knowledge that a draw or one-goal scoring loss will put it into the final.

[ PL PLAYBACK: What does Leicester’s title say for the future? ]

For their part, the Reds will be amped up by the Anfield faithful on Thursday, and Jurgen Klopp will hope to make amends for a Starting XI and substitution set that left Liverpool fans asking, “Why no Sturridge, boss?

Liverpool won’t be too worried, though, given its Europa record when in need of a comeback. The Reds came back to topple Borussia Dortmund in the quarterfinals, one of the most enthralling matches in recent memory.

Suffice it to say that Reds don’t want to go down 2-0 again, and expect a bit more of a chess match this go-round. Here’s Dejan Lovren, from LiverpoolFC.com:

“[It will be] maybe even more than 90 minutes, so like I said – we need to be clever enough. We don’t just have 20 minutes to play the game, we have 90 minutes so everything is possible. The fans know and are expecting a massive game, but we will take it smarter than the last time [against Dortmund]. It would be a great season for us if we go to the final and win it.”

Klopp opted to rest several regulars in Sunday’s loss to Swansea, with names like Smith, Stewart, Ojo, Chirivella and Ward on the pitch. Those will likely give way to more established names Mignolet, Lucas and Lallana come Friday.

Villarreal is coming off a 2-0 win over Valencia, and holding onto a shutout streak of more than three matches (including Thursday’s win over Liverpool). They’ll have to do very well to hold Liverpool scoreless, but perhaps a road goal will be all “The Yellow Submarine” needs to advance to the final in Basel.

UCL FOLLOW LIVE: Man City looks to upend Real Madrid in Spain

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 26:  Sergio Aguero of Manchester City and Pepe of Real Madrid CF battle for the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on April 26, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Real Madrid needs a win at home against Manchester City to give the UEFA Champions League its second Madrid Derby final in three years.

Kickoff is at 2:45 p.m. ET from the Bernabeu and, unlike the first leg, Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the lineup for Real Madrid.

[ UCL: Pellegrini hails road record | Ronaldo in ]

Man City has Yaya Toure back in the fold, and Vincent Kompany will captain the unit.

To follow live, click here.

LINEUPS

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, Bale, Jese, Isco, Ronaldo. Subs: Casilla, Varane, James, Kovacic, Lucas Vazquez, Danilo, Borja Mayoral.

 Manchester City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Clichy, Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, De Bruyne, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Mangala, Kolarov, Delph, Sterling, Bony, Iheanacho.

Reports say Wambach entering the fields of broadcasting, reporting

RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA - FEBRUARY 02:  America soccer player and two-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach  attends the 2016 MAKERS Conference Day 2 at the Terrenea Resort on February 2, 2016 in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for AOL)
Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for AOL
1 Comment

She’s dipped her toes into the pool during the FIFA elections, and now USWNT soccer legend Abby Wambach may have found her second career.

The all-time leading goal scorer in international competition, Wambach will be branching into the media field.

[ UCL: Pellegrini hails road record | Ronaldo in ]

The Associated Press’ Anne M. Peterson says it’ll be as an analyst and contributor, while Sports Illustrated media mastermind Richard Deitsch expects her to dig a bit deeper into the reporting world.

Many athletes have succeeded in becoming broadcasters, but true reporting is a different animal. This will be an interesting story to follow.

Wambach’s name was in the news earlier this year when she plead guilty for a DUII charge. She retired from the playing field in December.