USMNT and Chelsea center back Matt Miazga lifted the lid on a tumultuous season which had little do with the on-field part of soccer.
Speaking with Goal.com, Miazga opened up on his truncated loan at Ligue 1 side Nantes, current run at Reading, and the key figures as he tries to earn more Premier League playing time.
[ MORE: Analyzing the UCL draw ]
But he also spoke about the tragic plane accident that claimed the lives of two including his former teammate Emiliano Sala.
Miazga said he prays for Sala and his family, in reflecting on the striker with Goal.com’s Nizaar Kinsella:
“I knew him for six months, we lined up together in the same shirt, fought together, travelled together, ate together, trying to win football matches,” Miazga said. “We spoke French, and he let me practice my French. It is very, very sad. Rest in peace. No one wants to see it happen, especially to someone you know. You would never think it could happen in 2019. A good guy, a good player which was shown by his big-money Premier League transfer.”
It’s tough to read. Losing a co-worker is one thing, but the bonds of sport seem to stitch themselves together a little tighter.
Neil Warnock and Cardiff City are not going away, even if their relegation rivals are also heating up.
[ RECAP: Cardiff 2-0 West Ham ]
The Bluebirds took care of West Ham United 2-0 on Saturday at Cardiff City Stadium. They are two points back of Burnley and Southampton in the race to avoid the final relegation place.
“We feel there’s some more results in us and there’s a few teams around us now so we have to keep getting results and keep putting pressure on them,” Warnock said.
Cardiff still faces Burnley, Brighton and Hove Albion, Fulham, and Crystal Palace and needs results there and on days like Saturday, considering the club also has a quartet of Top Four candidates on their fixture list.
“We had to stand up and be counted because nobody is going to help us,” he said. “We were solid at the back and brilliant in midfield and we were a threat up front too. … It would have been nice to have a cigar out and be 3-0 or 4-0 up at the end but we can’t complain. The crowd were brilliant throughout and it made for a special afternoon.”
There is pro-Cardiff sentiment for many neutrals given the death of record signing Emiliano Sala, and the Bluebirds still have plenty of opportunities to rally toward safety.
- Hoilett scores in fourth minute
- West Ham no 1st half shots on target
- Camarasa lively, scores in 2nd half
All of the ball, but none of the battle.
West Ham United fell 2-0 to a spirited Cardiff City on Saturday, as the Bluebirds rode goals from Junior Hoilett and Victor Camarasa to a home win at Cardiff City Stadium.
Cardiff is two points back of Burnley and Southampton in the race for safety, while West Ham fails to put any heat on Watford and Wolves in the race for 7th.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Cardiff scored through the Premier League’s Canadian representative, as Hoilett lifted the home fans following the neat advancement of Victor Camarasa and Josh Murphy.
The Irons allowed the first six shots of the half and did not manage one on target against Cardiff goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
[ MORE: Premier League box scores, lineups, stats ]
West Ham was still without a shot on goal when Cardiff doubled its advantage.
It was the same trio of actors from the first goal, with Hoilett cueing up Murphy via a big cross. The latter than headed back to Camarasa for the finish.
[ MORE: Premier League stats ]
Brighton’s comeback win at Crystal Palace featured three goals, and the five 10 a.m. ET kickoffs around the Premier League are providing more.
[ MORE: Stream the second halves live ]
Cardiff City 1-0 West Ham United
Junior Hoilett scored in the fourth minute and the visitors might honestly still be in London.
Huddersfield Town 0-1 Bournemouth
Callum Wilson profited from some David Brooks and Ryan Fraser work to put the Cherries ahead at the John Smith’s Stadium.
Leicester City 1-0 Fulham
Wilfred Ndidi turned Fulham over at midfield, and Jamie Vardy laid off to Youri Tielemans for his first Premier League goal.
Southampton 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
Harry Kane has been at his best, and collected his 200th goal for club and country off a feed from rejuvenated Dele Alli.
Newcastle United 0-2 Everton
Goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are sandwiched around a Jordan Pickford conceded-and-saved penalty at St. James’ Park.
[ MORE: Premier League box scores, lineups, stats ]
Cardiff City will be without their star center back Sol Bamba for the rest of the Premier League season.
The news is a hammer blow to Cardiff’s manager Neil Warnock, as Bamba has been a mainstay in defense and a huge reason why they’re within two points of Premier League safety with nine games to go.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Cardiff confirmed that Bamba has ruptured the ACL in his left knee in the 2-0 defeat at Wolves at the weekend and will miss the rest of the season.
“Unfortunately our biggest fears have been confirmed regarding the injury Sol suffered at Wolves on Saturday,” Warnock said. “Scans have shown that Sol has ruptured his ACL; he will have an operation on Wednesday and therefore miss the rest of the season. It is a major blow to the squad but I know all of our supporters will join me in wishing him the very best during his recovery.”
Cardiff’s chance of staying up have just taken a massive hit.
Bamba is their defensive leader and it will now be down to Sean Morrison and Bruno Manga to stand tall and make sure the Bluebirds do not waver in his absence.
Warnock has previously stated that Bamba is as good as Virgil Van Dijk. Although that is a little off the mark, it shows how highly-regarded Bamba is by everyone at Cardiff.
With games against Liverpool, Man City, Man United and Chelsea still to come, Cardiff knew they were already up against it to try and stay in the Premier League.