The hoodoo is over | MUNDIAL MORNINGS

MONDAY 04 JANUARY 2016

Melbourne Victory ended their five match win-less streak
thanks to a goal from Fahid Ben Khalfallah against Newcastle Jets yesterday at
the Hunter stadium.

It was a much needed win for Kevin Muscat’s men, placing them
within touching distance of rivals Melbourne City and Sydney FC.

The game looked like it was going to go pear shaped for
Victory, struggling to convert possession into cut throat opportunities.

As frustration grew for marquee striker Besart Berisha, Khalfallah
stepped up to the plate, exposing the weak Newcastle defence with a darting run
before finding the back of the net.

The goal could be the perfect thing for Victory’s confidence
as they push for back to back championships.

 NEW YEAR NEW CHELSEA 

By the looks of Chelsea’s performance this morning, it seems
they are healed and ready to leave their poor form back in 2015.

Their goal scorers were back to their old selves, with
Oscar, Willian and Diego Costa all finding the scoresheet in their 3-0 win over
Crystal Palace.

The inclusion of interim manager Guus Hiddink has injected
newly found confidence in the Blues. Chelsea’s midfielders are starting to
dominate the midfield again, with Fabregas, Mikel and Matic all playing an
important role.

The sad story this season for the Blues has been their best
player from 2014-15, Eden Hazard. He looks a desolate man, leaving the field
early due to a groin strain. The damage from the first half of the season may
have already been done, as a dejected Hazard could be on the way out.

Willian’s addition has been a positive for Chelsea, finally performing
after constantly being overlooked by former manager Jose Mourinho.

VALENCIA STICK IT TO THE MAN

 New manager Gary Neville still awaits his first win for Valencia
FC, but his persistence may be starting to pay off.

Madrid scored early through a wonderful piece of play
through a Gareth Bale back heel, to set up Ronaldo for a cross to Benzema.

Although Madrid looked to dominate possession against a team
that lacked confidence, they weren’t their ruthless selves and paid the price
for it.

The Oranges fought hard to deter Madrid from opening the
floodgates, and scored moments before half time through Dani Parejo.

The goal had woken the beast, as Madrid started to push
further into their oppositions half. Madrid went down to 10 men after a wild
challenge from Kovacic on Cancelo left the referee with no choice but to send
him home early.

Rafa Benitez’s men remained calm, and scored what looked
like a late winner through Gareth Bale. The emotion from Benitez on the
touchline displayed his desperation for the win and for his job security.

Before they could blink, Valencia were back level, after Paco
Alcacer was set up by team-mate Rodrigo.

This game would have felt like a win for Manager Gary
Neville, who recently came out and said coaching was not in his long term
plans.  “I’m not going to say where I
want to end up, and it isn’t in management or head coaching, so I want to be
clear about that,” Neville told Sky Sports.

By Ari Charilaou (He’s also on twitter here)

 

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Ari Charilaou