Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United: Welbeck hands United yet another win (video)

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Manchester United edged out Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday, as David Moyes’ men won 1-0 thanks to substitute Danny Welbeck’s second half strike.

The Red Devils were far from convincing in the first half, but Welbeck’s cool finish after the break sealed all three points with his fourth goal in his last four PL games. Norwich huffed and puffed but really didn’t come close to equalizing as the Red Devils held on.

With the win United are just seven points off top spot and sit in sixth, while Norwich are in 14th and just three points above the relegation zone.

United took the early initiative at Carrow Road, as Shinji Kagawa curled in an effort form the left that Javier Hernandez couldn’t quite got on the end of. Soon after Norwich almost scored the opener as David De Gea made a great stop from Russel Martin’s effort but the rebound fell straight to Wes Hoolahan who got his feet all wrong and the chance passed.

That chance gave Norwich plenty of confidence, as the Canaries pinned United back for a prolonged spell in the first half. Plenty of yellow cards were dished out as Ryan Giggs, Leroy Fer and Hernandez were all cautioned by referee Phil Dowd.

(MORE: Latest Premier League Standings)

United, missing Wayne Rooney though injury, showed little going forward as the first half ended 0-0 with Norwich having 11 attempts to the Red Devils three.

At half time Welbeck came off the bench and within 15 minutes of his arrival the England international had put United 1-0 up with the decisive strike. The ball broke kindly for Welbeck, who calmly rounded Ruddy before slotting home the opener.

Welbeck made the difference after coming on as United pushed for the second and the Canaries wobbled. Norwich tried to get back into things as Nathan Redmond went down in the box but calls for a penalty were waved away by referee Dowd. Substitute Josh Murphy hammered just over the bar late on for the Canaries as the home side pushed to grab a point.

However, Moyes’ men hung on to win by a solitary strike as they recorded sixth-straight wins in all competitions to close out 2013 in style.

LINEUPS

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Fer, Johnson; Snodgrass (Murphy, 79), Hoolahan, Redmond; Hooper (van Wolfswinkel, 69)

Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Young, Cleverley, Carrick, Giggs (Welbeck, 45), Kagawa (Januzaj, 69), Hernandez (Fletcher, 87)

Goal: Welbeck (57)

Conte names Gary Cahill new Chelsea captain

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As expected, Gary Cahill has been named Chelsea’s next skipper following the departure of long-time talisman John Terry this summer.

[ MORE: Mourinho rules out speculation of Bale joining Man United ]

While Cahill is no stranger to captaining his side — which he did for much of last season — the honor has been bestowed upon him on a full-time basis now by manager Antonio Conte as Chelsea prepares for the 2017/18 Premier League campaign.

Conte insists though that while Cahill is the man to wear the armband going forward that the rest of the squad’s elder statesman must also take on leadership roles to help guide the club as they pursue back-to-back PL crowns.

“I think also we can have other captains in our team, it could be [Cesar] Azpilicueta, [David] Luiz, and also, in the future, it could be Thibaut Courtois, Cesc Fabregas,” Conte told the Evening Standard.

“I think every single player must improve in this [being personalities in the dressing room] and take more responsibility because we lost big players and we need now to find these new players to create this fundamental for Chelsea. It is very important for our future success to create this base.”

Transfer rumor roundup: Man United to swoop for Verratti?

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With the Premier League season lurking, several of England’s top clubs are looking to put the finishing touches on their summer with quality last-minute signings.

Manchester United has been in the market for a holding midfield this transfer window, with Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic and Eric Dier of Tottenham long linked to the Red Devils, but now another name could be made available to Jose Mourinho.

Marco Verratti is reportedly growing more and more tired at PSG, and while the Italian does still wish to move to Barcelona this summer, he would be open to signing with United if the Blaugrana don’t come calling.


Chelsea could be closing in on another young Brazilian talent, and Blues will be looking to beat out Man United and others for his services.

Fluminense forward Richarlison is the player of interest, and the Blues are prepared to duel with the Red Devils and AC Milan in order to secure the 20-year-old’s signature.


Meanwhile, Juventus is looking to Liverpool’s Emre Can to help out in the midfield after a strong season for the Reds in the Premier League.

Mourinho rules out speculation of Bale joining United

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Jose Mourinho has certainly done his best to help revamp Manchester United this summer with the additions of Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof, however, one name can be ruled out from joining the Red Devils at this time.

[ MORE: West Ham signs Arnautovic for club-record fee ]

There’s been speculation for some time that Gareth Bale would return to England — and likely to United if he did make a comeback in the Premier League — but the Portuguese boss has slammed the door on those talks.

“The same [as Ronaldo],” Mourinho said when asked about Bale’s availability. “You have contacts and feelings, you understand things, and it was clear that Bale likes Madrid, the challenge and situation.

“They are in a very good situation now and I never felt a desire for him to leave, so why waste time on it? No.”

While Bale — and Cristiano Ronaldo — appear off the radar of Mourinho and Co. for now, the second-year United manager has suggested that he would like one or two more signings to be made available to him heading into the season.

Players like Nemanja Matic of Chelsea and Tottenham’s Eric Dier continue to be linked to the Red Devils, while Ivan Perisic has also been rumored to be closing in on a deal to Old Trafford.

“Names is difficult for me, the players belong to clubs and are in preseason,” he said. “The managers and owners are not happy if players talk about them — I’m the same.

“My plan for the evolution of the team, my second transfer window, was to get four players and get balance and make a better squad.

“But with the development of the market, I was getting the feedback from Mr Woodward and I repeat, the market is very difficult.

“If the club has no chance to give me the four players, I like my group and I go with them, but I still have the hope I can have a third player, and maybe a fourth.”

El Salvador players face bans after biting USMNT’s Altidore, Gonzalez

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While the USMNT booked its place into the Gold Cup final on Saturday night, the team’s quarterfinal opponent was punished for the actions of some of its players.

[ MORE: Player ratings from USMNT’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica ]

The U.S. knocked off El Salvador, 2-0, on Wednesday night, but it was the malice committed by the losers that proved to be so disappointing to watch.

Americans Jozy Altidore and Omar Gonzalez were each bit by El Salvadoran players during the match, with both incidents going unnoticed during live action by the referees.

Henry Romero was given a six-match international ban, while Darwin Ceren of the San Jose Earthquakes was handed a three-match suspension for his role.

According to CONCACAF, the duo will only have to sit out “official matches,” and with El Salvador out of the running for qualification into next summer’s World Cup, the Central Americans will have some down time.