Neil Warnock’s newly-promoted Cardiff City secured their first point of the Premier League season with a 0-0 draw at home against Newcastle United to kick off the weekend, but the number of goals belittled the number of talking points after a fiercely contested 90 minutes.
Midway through the first half after trying to pull one too many tricks out of his bag and losing the ball, Newcastle midfielder Kenedy lashed out, kicking Cardiff City’s Victor Camarasa across the middle of the shin in a move not out of place in a kickboxing match. The referee was standing only a few metres away, but failed to notice the blatant red card offense.
Football is a strange game, in which teams can spend long periods not deserving anything from a match and feel frustrated at failing to win it in the end. There is no better example of this than on Saturday, when Newcastle United left Cardiff City cursing a missed opportunity. After 90 minutes of misplaced passes and a worrying lack of energy, the win was put on a plate when a last minute penalty was awarded. Nobody summed up how poor the Magpies were more than Kenedy, so it was fitting that he missed from the spot.
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that he had the opportunity to take charge of Spain ahead of this summer’s World Cup. The former world champions caused early drama in the tournament when they sacked boss Julen Lopetegui on the eve of the opening game of the campaign after the 51-year-old took charge of Real Madrid without notifying the Spanish FA. Sporting director Fernando Hierro ultimately took charge of the team for the tournament, but Benitez claims there was a “chance” that he could have been the man in the dugout in Russia. Benitez admitted that he remains open to the prospect of managing his native national team in the future, but says for the time being he is happy in the north east.