Thiago, Paulinho steer Brazil into last 16

first_imgHaving opened his Russia 2018 account with the second of Brazil’s two late goals in Friday’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica, Neymar was again impressive.After the tearful emotion of Saint Petersburg, Neymar cut a more joyful figure after this win, blowing kisses to the crowd as the five-time champions celebrated.As Group E winners, Brazil will now face Mexico in Samara on Monday, with group runners-up Switzerland taking on Sweden in St. Petersburg on Tuesday.In the pre-match build-up Brazil coach Tite said Neymar alone can not “shoulder the responsibility” for his team’s World Cup hopes.However, the 26-year-old seemed content to carry Brazil’s attack, motoring through Serbia’s midfield and crashing an early shot just wide of the post.The match at Moscow’s Spartak Stadium began at a ferocious tempo and Brazil left-back Marcelo was an early casualty, limping off after ten minutes to be replaced by Filipe Luis.Neymar had the best chance of the opening half hour when he forced Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic to palm his shot away.Brazil fans celebrateTempers frayed when Serbia midfielder Adem Ljajic scythed down Neymar, in full flight on the left flank, to earn a booking on 33 minutes.Brazil conjured the opener from nothing when a beautifully lofted pass from Philippe Coutinho found Paulinho, who flicked the ball over Stojkovic’s reach on 36 minutes to make it 1-0 at the break.Serbia repeatedly struggled to contain Brazil’s fleet-footed attack.Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic was the next Serbian midfielder to be booked when he fouled Manchester City star Gabriel Jesus on 48 minutes.Serbia’s brightest spell came with half an hour left, only to be let down by poor finishing.Ljajic stumbled to take a return pass after a charging run into Brazil’s box and then fired over shortly after.Then with his defence beaten, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson palmed a save straight at Aleksandar Mitrovic, but the Serbia forward could only head the ball back into the grateful arms of the Brazilian shotstopper.To cap Serbia’s frustrations, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic fired wide, then Mitrovic guided a powerful header straight at Alisson from a corner.However, Brazil made sure of the win when Neymar swung in a free-kick and his Paris Saint-Germain team-mate Thiago crashed home his header, unmarked at the near post, on 68 minutes.With one eye on the last 16, Tite took off Countinho with ten minutes left while Neymar twice went close to scoring the Selecao’s third late on, but the Brazil coach can be happy with his star forward.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Brazil’s midfielder Paulinho (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Serbia and Brazil in Moscow, landing Brazil in the final 16 for the tournament© AFP Francisco LEONGMOSCOW, Russia, June 27 – Brazil eased into the World Cup knockout stages after defeating Serbia 2-0 here Wednesday, with superstar Neymar sparkling in a win which sets up a last 16 clash against Mexico.Paulinho put Brazil ahead with a superb dinked finish on 36 minutes before Neymar swung in a cross for Thiago Silva to header the Selecao’s second goal with 22 minutes left in Moscow.last_img read more

Mourinho will wait to decide on Lukaku’s Cup final fitness

first_img0Shares0000Romelu Lukaku faces a late fitness test ahead of FA Cup final © AFP / Paul ELLISWATFORD, United Kingdom, May 18 – Jose Mourinho will wait until the last minute before deciding whether Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku is fit to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea.Lukaku has missed United’s last three matches after suffering an ankle injury against Arsenal in April. The Belgium striker is in a race against time to be fit for the Wembley showdown with his former club.And United manager Mourinho, possibly hoping to keep Chelsea guessing, said on Friday that he remains uncertain if Lukaku will be available.Mourinho will be able to call on French forward Anthony Martial, who has recovered from the knee injury he sustained in training.“Martial is fit. Lukaku we have to wait until the last moment. I don’t want to lie and say he doesn’t play or vice versa,” Mourinho told reporters at United’s hotel.It would be a significant blow to United’s hopes of winning the FA Cup for a record-equalling 13th time if Lukaku is unable to pass his late fitness test.Since Lukaku was sidelined, United have lacked a cutting edge and they scored only once in their last three games of the season.The 25-year-old energised United with a goal spree at the start of the season after arriving from Everton in a £75 million ($101 million) deal.Lukaku has scored 27 times for United in all competitions this season, making his first season at Old Trafford a success overall.But he went through a sustained barren patch — with one goal in 12 games — after opposing defences began to sit deeper to stop the Belgian hurting them with his pace.Mourinho was also forced to defend Lukaku from criticism by United fans frustrated at what they perceived as a lack of effort from their muscular forward.Lukaku got back on track at the start of 2018, but had scored just once in his last five appearances before picking up the injury that leaves his Cup final hopes of a knife-edge.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Leaders Leicester eyeing shock move for former Wigan flop

first_img1 Leicester City are preparing a January move for Caen striker Andy Delort.The 24-year-old only joined the Ligue 1 side in the summer after a disappointing spell with Wigan Athletic.Delort joined the Latics for £3m in the summer of 2014, but he failed to settle and headed back to France after just 12 months.Since returning, the forward has been in fine form and he already has six league goals to his name this term.That, according to Foot 365, has attracted interest from Leicester and they are now ready to make a move during the January transfer window.Aston Villa and QPR are also said to be keen on the former France under-20 international. Andy Delort last_img read more