Cardiff City 0-3 Arsenal: Aaron Ramsey fantastic against his old side (video)

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Arsenal remain top of the table after their 3-0 victory over Cardiff, pulling seven points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea, both who play tomorrow.

Right from the start, it looked as though there’d be no chance for Cardiff. It took just a minute for Jack Wilshere to hit the woodwork, jumping on to a ball from Aaron Ramsey and letting fly from the edge of the area. But Cardiff didn’t let it get them down, with the Bluebirds grabbing a great chance ten minutes in. Kévin Théophile-Catherine got away down the right and sent in his cross, but Frazier Campbell’s header went just wide.

Fifteen minutes in, Olivier Giroud missed a wonderful opportunity to put his side ahead. Again it was Ramsey with the through ball, but the forward thought he was offside and stopped clean…only to look over and see there was no flag raised. Needless to say, Arsène Wenger looked none too pleased.

But the Arsenal manager couldn’t help but smile when Ramsey put his side ahead just before the half hour mark. Mesut Özil took off down the left while Ramsey timed his run perfectly in the center. The Welshman got his head to the cross and left David Marshall no chance as the ball looped into the back of the net. The whole of Cardiff City Stadium rose to its feet and, with mutual respect, Ramsey did not celebrate his goal against his former club.

The hosts weren’t quite as accommodating after the restart, however. Once again, the dangerous Ramsey was busy getting the ball into a dangerous area. He pulled back for Giroud to take a shot and, with Marshall out of position, it looked like it would be simple enough for Arsenal to double their lead. Instead, Cardiff defender Ben Turner came rushing in to rescue his side.

Shortly after, the Bluebirds very nearly managed an equalizer, with Frazier Campbell rising above Kieran Gibbs to send in a header. It was only impressive reflexes from Wojciech Szczesny that kept Cardiff out of the game — and seconds later, the Arsenal goalkeeper was back again, this time stopping a shot from Steven Caulker. The pressure continued, with Peter Whittingham’s shot blocked before Szczesny was called into action again, this time preventing a goal from Kévin Théophile-Catherine.

But it was Arsenal that had the last word, scoring two in the second half and sealing their lead at the top of the table. It was Mathieu Flamini, grabbing his first goal in his second stint with the Gunners. Özil was once again the provider, setting up the Frenchman to send it into the top right corner. Then it was Ramsey getting his second, off a lovely counter attack. Ramsey fed Theo Walcott, on moments before for Özil. Walcott looked like he had half a mind to take the shot himself, but instead returned it back to Ramsey, who had no trouble putting it in for Arsenal’s third goal.

Cardiff: Marshall, Taylor (Cornelius 87), Caulker, Turner, Whittingham, Medel, Campbell (Odemwingie 65), Kim (Noone 75), Mutch, Cowie, Theophile-Catherine

Subs not used: Lewis, Hudson, Gunnarsson, Bellamy

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere (Monreal 81), Ramsey, Ozil (Walcott 90), Cazorla (Flamini 77), Giroud

Subs not used: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Gnabry

Goals: Ramsey 29′, Flamini 86′, Ramsey 90′

World Cup’s only black coach says there should be more

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MOSCOW (AP) — The only black coach at this year’s World Cup says there is a need for more in soccer.

“In European countries, in major clubs, you see lots of African players. Now we need African coaches for our continent to go ahead,” Senegal’s Aliou Cisse said through a translator on Monday, a day ahead of his nation’s World Cup opener against Poland.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The percentage of black players at this year’s tournament and with clubs in the world’s top leagues is far higher.

Cisse was captain of Senegal when it reached the 2002 quarterfinals in the nation’s only previous World Cup appearance.

“I am the only black coach in this World Cup. That is true,” Cisse said. “But really these are debates that disturb me. I think that football is a universal sport and that the color of your skin is of very little importance.”

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cisse cited Florent Ibenge, the coach of Congo’s national team, as a sign of progress.

“I think we have a new generation that is working, that is doing its utmost, and beyond being good players with a past of professional footballers,” Cisse said. “We are very good in our tactics, and we have the right to be part of the top international coaches.”

Africa’s best performance at the World Cup has been to reach the quarterfinals, accomplished by Cameroon in 1990, Senegal in 2002 and Ghana in 2010.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“I have the certainty that one day an African team, an African country, will win the World Cup,” Cisse said. “It’s a bit more complicated in our countries. We have realities that are not there in other continents, but I think that the African continent is full of qualities. We are on the way, and I’m sure that Senegal, Nigeria or other African countries will be able win, just like Brazil, Germany or other European countries.”

A lack of minority managers also has been documented at the club level. The Sports People’s Think Tank said in November there were just three minority managers among the 92 English professional clubs as of Sept. 1.

World Cup: Saudi team safe after plane caught fire mid-flight

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The Saudi Arabian national team arrived alive and well in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Monday after a terrifying incident that saw their plane catch fire in the air.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The blaze was caused by “a technical failure in one of the airplane engines,” which the airline, Rossiya, claims was caused by a bird flying into the engine. Each of the planes engines were reportedly in operation upon landing at its final destination.

The Saudi Arabian Football Federation posted a message on Twitter later on Monday, saying they “would like to reassure everyone that all the Saudi national team players are safe, after a technical failure in one of the airplane engines that has just landed in Rostov-on-Don airport, and now they’re heading to their residence safely.”

The Green Falcons will face Uruguay in Rostov, hoping to rebound from their tournament-opening 5-0 loss to Russia on Thursday, in each side’s second game of Group A action on Wednesday (11 a.m. ET).

Seismologists clarify Mexico fans didn’t cause earthquake

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MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s National Seismological Service says there was seismic activity around the country’s capital Sunday, but it wasn’t linked to soccer fans celebrating their country’s game-winning goal vs. Germany at the World Cup.

[ MORE: Where to watch Tuesday’s games, feat. Colombia and Egypt ]

The service says in a report that there were two small earthquakes at 10:24 a.m. and 12:01 p.m. The goal came around 11:35 a.m. local time.

A geological institute reported Sunday that seismic detectors had registered a false earthquake that may have been generated by “massive jumps” by fans.

[ MORE: Harry Kane “buzzing” after two goals | Southgate encouraged ]

Mexico’s Seismological Service explained Monday that the city’s normal bustle of traffic and other movement causes vibrations that are detected by sensitive instruments.

It says those vibrations notably quieted during the match as people gathered in front of TVs to watch, and rose after the goal.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 6 — Colombia vs. Japan; Salah’s debut?

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Day 6 of the 2018 World Cup is up next, on Tuesday — and would you believe it? — there’s another three games on the schedule. This whole “back-to-back-to-back games of soccer” thing isn’t so bad.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Up first, it’s the 2018 debut of Colombia, winners of tens hundreds of millions of hearts in 2014, as they take on Japan. In the day’s other Group H fixture, it’ll be Robert Lewandowski and Poland facing Sadio Mane and Senegal. Star power aplenty.

Then, we swing things back around to Group A, where the hosts Russia will look to continue their hot start against Egypt with Mohamed Salah expected to make his World Cup debut.

Below is Tuesday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Tuesday, June 19

Group H
Colombia vs. Japan: Saransk, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
Poland vs. Senegal: Moscow, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group A
Russia vs. Egypt: St. Petersburg, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE