Can nothing that Fulham and Felix Magath do go right? They paid too much for Ross McCormack and after the £11milion striker’s stuttering start they went back to Leeds to buy his sidekick there, Matt Smith, for £500,000 to give him a hand. Judgement on that particular ploy will have to wait because Smith’s debut at Reading lasted only 18 minutes before his reckless sliding tackle on Hope Akpan earned him a red card.
Reading’s 3-0 victory looked inevitable from that point. Glenn Murray, on loan from Crystal Palace, headed two goals and Nick Blackman added the third late on. That sent Fulham to the bottom of the Championship with one point, because Blackpool picked up their first point of he season in a battling 0-0 draw at home to third-placed Wolves. Magath is known to be a demanding manager but the questions for him are mounting.
Canaries on song
With the leaders Nottingham Forest due to play Derby today, Norwich joined them on 13 points, but that didn’t look likely at half-time when they were 2-0 down at Cardiff City. But the Canaries took off after the interval when everything went right for them. A challenge on Lewis Grabban saw the ball run for Martin Olsson to pull a goal back and after 58 minutes it was level when Wes Hoolahan buries a rebound. Michael Turner then put Norwich ahead and Cameron Jerome made it 4-2
Brentford are sixth after beating Brighton 3-2 at Griffin Park in the game of the day. The Bees swept into a 2-0 lead with Moses Odubajo opening the score with an angled drive after Alan Jude’s through ball and after 32 minute their top scorer Andre Gray scored from Jake Bidwell’s left wing cross. Brighton quickly hit back with Gordon Greer’s volley after a corner had been flicked on. After the interval Brentford made their passing game pay with Jonathan Douglas scoring a third from another Bidwell cross. But Brighton were not finished, with Danny Holla setting up a tense finale by curling in a beauty from 25 yards.
Neymar must wonder what he has to do to start a match for Barcelona. He came on as a substitute to score twice from passes by Lionel Messi as Barça beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0 and maintained their lead in the Spanish league.
Messi set him up in the 79th minute and again five minutes later but it was Messi who earned the plaudits afterwards.
“Messi is not only the best in the world for the goals he scores but also because of the assists he makes,” Luis Enrique, Barcelona’s coach said. “He is the best in every facet of the attack.”
Kagawa back in triumph
Manchester United may have avoided seeing Danny Welbeck, the England striker they sold, score a blinder on his Arsenal debut, but they might want to avoid the German football on the television. Another United outcast, Shinji Kagawa, who spent two seasons at United after winning Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 with Dortmund, was given a hero’s welcome on his return to Borussia Dortmund, and the 25-year-old “Lost son”, as he is being called in Germany, set Japanese flags waving by helping to set up the first goal and scoring another as Dortmund beat Freiburg 3-1.
“Shinji played an outstanding game,” Jürgen Klopp, Dortmund’s coach, said. “We know very well that he can play football and also create a special atmosphere.”Reuse content