Swansea’s incredible “rock and roll” revival

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When Carlos Carvalhal was appointed as Swansea City’s manager in late December with the club bottom of the table with 1just 13 points from 20 games, nobody expected this kind of turnaround. Nobody.

In the next nine games they’ve picked up 17 points and are soaring up the Premier League table.

After Swansea’s 4-1 win against West Ham on Saturday, the Portuguese coach has lost just two of his opening 15 games in all competitions and the Swans have won four-straight home games in the Premier League to lift themselves out of the relegation zone.

They are far from safe, but they are the form team in the bottom half of the table and have the momentum. Carvalhal knows it and the king of analogies was at it again after another big win.

“We moved things around today, rested some players and I am very happy. Our level of intensity is very high and the players are in a very good way,” Carvalhal said. “There are games where you must listen to the music of the opponent. We made West Ham dance to our music and it was rock and roll.”

Carvalhal would have been tapping his feet on the sidelines all game long as the Swans started brightly and never let West Ham settle.

Jordan and Andre Ayew made West Ham’s defense squirm, while the Swans were dangerous from set pieces and solid at the back. Everything was right about their performance.

“We have had some important victories since I arrived but this was the best performance,” Carvalhal said. “We are near to what I want us to do in all aspects of the game.We are progressing, it was an important victory. We lost last week and I said we would learn. It was my fault that we lost last week, we were too open.”

That’s been the key to Carvalhal’s success: humility. He has been laughing and joking in press conferences, dishing out Portuguese pastries for journalists and delivering hilarious analogies whenever he can to try and lift the mood.

When Swansea win, he salutes the players. When they lose, he blames himself.

Carvalhal has been a breath of fresh air and to think he was fired by second-tier Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season, the man himself has grasped a chance to step up to the Premier League for the first time in his career and give Swansea a real chance of survival.

When he arrived nobody gave them a chance of staying up. Now, you’ll find few who will bet against the Swans being in the Premier League next season.

Video: Mbappe taps home to give France first blood

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The match is really opening up now, and France has begun to assert itself with an opener just beyond the half-hour mark.

[ MORE: Denmark, Australia draw, leaving Group C wide open ]

Kylian Mbappe has given Les Bleus a 1-0 lead over Peru after a deflected Olivier Giroud cross found the Monaco attacker just in front of goal for a tap-in finish.

The sequence began after Paul Pogba dispossessed Peru deep in their own half, before dishing the ball off to Giroud.

The goal for Mbappe is his first at a World Cup, as the 19-year-old continues to impress for both club and country.

American referee Geiger accused of asking for Portugal kit

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Morocco’s World Cup journey will conclude after the group stage, but the African side isn’t pleased with how their second match transpired on Wednesday against Portugal.

[ MORE: Spain gets win after Iran sees equalizer ruled off ]

The Moroccans have lodged a complaint with FIFA against referee Mark Geiger — an American who has become one of the most well-known officials in Major League Soccer.

Geiger was alleged to have asked Portuguese captain Cristiano Ronaldo for his jersey at halftime of the 1-0 win over Morocco, to which Geiger has categorically denied the claims.

FIFA released the following statement on the matter:

The claims stemmed from Morocco player Nordin Amrabat, who addressed the matter in an interview following the match.

“I don’t know what [Geiger] is used to, but he was very impressed by Cristiano [Ronaldo],” Amrabat said. “I’ve been just told by Pepe that in the [first half], he asked if he could have his shirt. Come on, man. What are we talking about? … We are at the World Cup, not a circus here.”

Geiger returned to action on Thursday as video assistant referee for the Denmark-Australia match, which included an important alteration in a call that led to an Australia penalty kick.

Group C wide open as Denmark, Australia settle for draw

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Denmark and Australia settled for a 1-1 draw on Thursday, as this exciting Group C affair had nothing to separate the two nations at the end of 90 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

As it stands, the Danes lead the group with four points, while Australia earned its first point of the World Cup.

France will meet Peru later on Thursday, with Les Bleus having won its first match and Peru having suffered defeat to Denmark.

The Danes broke through after seven minutes when Nicolai Jørgensen picked out a perfect back-heel pass to Christian Eriksen at the top of the box, before the Tottenham Hotspur attacker volleyed home for a 1-0 lead.

Jørgensen nearly doubled the Denmark advantage in the 24th minute when the 27-year-old had an open header from close range that skewed just wide of the target.

Australia worked its way into the match following the opener, and were awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute after VAR Mark Geiger altered an initial decision for a handball inside the box.

Mile Jedinak converted the spot kick to level the match at 1-1, giving the Socceroos life.

A dangerous free kick four minutes later almost gave Denmark the lead once again, however, Eriksen couldn’t get a crucial touch on the ball to knock it over the goal line before Ryan collected.

The second half continued with lightning pace from both sides, and Aaron Mooy‘s 71st minute blast came inches away from giving Australia an improbable lead.

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The two nations will conclude Group C play on June 26, as Denmark faces France and Australia takes on CONMEBOL side Peru.

Video: VAR awards Australia penalty, before Jedinak converts

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The Socceroos battled admirably in the latter stages of the first half, and Australia was rewarded for their efforts.

Australia has leveled the match at 1-1 after a Mile Jedinak penalty kick cancelled out Christian Eriksen’s stunning opener in the seventh minute.

After an initial decision to play on by the head referee, VAR Mark Geiger opted to award a penalty kick to the Aussies after Yussuf Poulsen was caught with his hand away from his body on a Mathew Leckie header.

Poulsen was also shown a yellow card for the infraction, which rules him out for Denmark’s group-stage finale against France.