It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for; the return of Bebe! Yes, that’s right our best Portuguese forward since Cristiano was in action on Monday night for Besiktas as he made a cameo from the bench in their game against their lesser known city rivals Istanbul B.B in an absorbing encounter at Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.
Bebe made his long awaited return in the 76th minute, and had his first sight of goal minutes later after being played through the right channel. The 21-year-old forward cut back well onto his right foot, but finished well over the bar. Despite the horrific knee injury that kept our most questioned signing out of action for seven months, it seems Bebe has enjoyed his time in Turkey with compatriots Hugo Almeida, Manuel Fernandes, Ricardo Quaresma and Simao.
Kiko Macheda has returned to United and will be out for the rest of the season with a persistent ankle injury. Despite Macheda’s injury problems at QPR (he missed the weekend’s game against Sunderland with this ankle injury) it was a strange decision to allow the youngster to go on loan to a club where the managerial position was unstable. Since Neil Warnock’s sacking, Macheda has fell behind Djibril Cisse, Bobby Zamora, Jay Bothroyd and Jamie Mackie in the pecking order at Loftus Road and it was unrealistic to think he would get a good run of games as the West London side battle with relegation. He should’ve gone to Wigan where there is stability, he’d be local (so could play the odd reserve game) and he’d actually get games – it did Tom Cleverley no harm at all. This could lead to the end of Macheda’s time at Old Trafford as he has struggled to build on successive winners against Aston Villa and Sunderland as United clinched the title in 2009.
John Cofie was on the score-sheet in Royal Antwerp’s 3-2 loss to Tubize. Cofie, 19, netted his second goal for Antwerp with just two minutes played but this quick start proved to be a false one as complacency creeped in and Antwerp let their lead slip. But it wasn’t Cofie’s goal people were talking about afterwards. It was an altercation with the Tubize coach. The Belgian FA are considering whether to look into an unusual incident after the visiting manager gestured to kick opposition striker John Cofie in a ‘delicate place’. Cofie, who is on loan from Manchester United, was chasing down a loose ball when he found himself hurtling towards the Tubize bench – and more specifically head coach Dante Brogno.
But rather than simply stop the ball in front of him and hand it back to the player, Brogno inexplicably appeared to extend his leg towards Cofie’s ‘personal area’ before lowering it just in time.
Understandably peeved, the United loanee pushes the manager backwards – but then, somewhat hypocritically, Brogno gets in a big tizzy, seemingly irked by Cofie’s shove and protesting his innocence.
The two then had to be separated by players and officials alike. All a little unsavoury – and a little pointless.
A video of the incident can be seen here: http://www.101greatgoals.com/gvideos/manchester-uniteds-john-cofie-antwerp-gets-the-boot-from-tubize-coach-dante-brogno/
Second-half goals from Gary McSheffrey and Oliver Norwood boosted Coventry’s Championship survival hopes while pushing Portsmouth closer to the drop. McSheffrey side-footed home from 12 yards before Norwood found the top corner to make the points safe. Despite Portsmouth maintaining possession, it was Coventry and Norwood who settled it from six yards out, his second goal in as many games. Norwood was playing in an advanced midfield position and his late runs into the box were causing Portsmouth problems all afternoon.
Reece Brown played the full 90 minutes of Oldham’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth and was largely behind the clean sheet gained by The Latics as he did well to keep out an in-form Bournemouth side and some last-ditch defending was needed from the 20-year-old in the dying minutes which ensured the well-deserved win after a dogged display from the home side. Brown has also spoken of his new-found defensive partnership with Oldham’s Jean-Yves Mvoto. Brown featured in midfield and at left-back for The Latics in recent weeks before reverting to a more familiar role at the heart of the defence alongside Mvoto for the back-to-back 1-0 wins over Hartlepool and Bournemouth.
An ankle problem means the 20-year-old is a doubt for Tuesday’s clash with Leyton Orient, but Brown hopes to resume a complimentary alliance with the former Sunderland man.
“Obviously Jean is a big lad so I’m sure that would prefer to get up there and win the ball more than I do,” he said.
“When it’s with me I like to get on the ball and look for that pass, look for the ball into the strikers or the one over the top for the wingers.
“That’s how I’ve been brought up to play at United – to try and play from the back, give it to the midfielders, be composed on the ball and don’t panic. I think that’s my game, but I’ve adjusted well because a few of the games in League One have been second-ball games.”
Six Manchester United Academy graduates started the second half in Hull’s 2-0 loss at Portsmouth on Tuesday night including current loan stars Robbie Brady and Joshua King who were in the starting XI together. The pair started brightly up-front for The Tigers with good interplay but as Portsmouth dominated the first half something had to give with King eventually being substituted for ex-Arsenal man Jay Simpson. Brady, with a point to prove after being dropped for King, worked his socks off and was Hull’s outstanding player as he went wide and tried to provide for Simpson but despite his efforts (which included a well-hit free kick), Brady was unable to change the score. For Hull, this was a further blow to their own play-off chances – Nicky Barmby’s men have won just one of their last nine league matches. This came after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Leicester City. King started this game while Brady was on the bench until the 58th minute when Hull were after an equaliser but made no difference to proceedings. King started brightly with an effort from the edge of the area which went wide of the left-hand upright whilst another shot was saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
Wootton was an unused substitute in Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw with Brighton on Saturday but played the full game on Tuesday in a 0-0 draw with Leicester. Wootton put in a solid performance at his favoured right-back position and put everything into the game, maybe a little too much with an unfair challenge on Lloyd Dyer earning him a booking. Apart from this, Wootton’s positional play and discipline was excellent as he kept out play-off chasers Leicester.
Tomasz Kuszczak was at fault for Ipswich’s opener at Vicarage Road on Saturday as former Arsenal forward Emmanuel-Thomas capitalised on hesitancy between Carl Dickinson and Kuszczak to finish well from Andy Drury’s cross. The two mid-table sides started the day separated by goal difference but it is Watford who now stand within six points of the play-off places after coming from behind to win 2-1.