De Futebol Arsenal Looks Good in 5-1 Blowout of PSG!

Arsenal took PGS to the woodshed winning 5-1 in the International Cup played in Singapore.

The Guardian: Mesut Özil enjoyed a successful return to action at the end of a tumultuous week as he scored the opening goal in Arsenal’s 5-1 victory over a makeshift Paris St-Germain side at their pre-season International Champions Cup game in Singapore.

Özil quit the German national side last Sunday citing “racism and disrespect”for his Turkish roots as he bore the brunt of criticism following Germany’s disastrous World Cup, but the midfielder looked relaxed and focused here.

Arsenal fielded a strong team with Özil installed as captain and the Premier League side soon took control against weakened opposition, given the time and space they will not be afforded when the domestic campaign kicks off in August.

Özil did not need long to stamp his authority on the contest, side-footing past a stranded Gianluigi Buffon in the 13th minute after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had raced clear down the right and sent a pinpoint low cross into the German’s path.

The Gunners were utterly dominant and should have added to their tally, but Buffon showed the brilliance that earned him 176 caps for Italy, saving well to deny Alex Iwobi, Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan when they were all clean through on goal.

The French champions offered little in a tepid first-half display, midfielder Azzedine Toufiqui twice curling shots wide of Bernd Leno’s right-hand post before the German keeper stood firm to block Timothy Weah’s powerful shot in the 34th minute.

Christopher Nkunku produced PSG’s best moment of the half shortly before the break when the French midfielder jinked past three Arsenal defenders before sending a rising shot just over the Arsenal crossbar.

PSG made a much stronger start to the second half and Nkunku soon tested replacement goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez with a stinging free-kick from the edge of the penalty area that the Argentinian parried clear with a diving punch. Nkunku was not to be denied from the penalty spot, however, sending Martínez the wrong way with a spot-kick awarded on the advice of the assistant referee after Weah had tumbled spectacularly following a clumsy Sead Kolasinac challenge.

The 60th-minute strike was reward for Paris St Germain’s endeavour but they were only level for seven minutes as substitute Alexandre Lacazette scooped a sublime finish over Buffon from close range to re-establish Arsenal’s advantage.

The Frenchman needed just three more minutes to double his personal tally when Buffon missed a punch, leaving an unmarked Lacazette to make it 3-1 with a free header that bounced in off the post.

Defender Rob Holding and striker Eddie Nketiah rounded off the scoring in the final minutes as a rampant Arsenal more than made up for a disappointing penalty shootout defeat to Atlético Madrid in Thursday’s tournament opener.

PSG, who will welcome back a raft of World Cup players next week, take on the Europa League winners in the final match of the event on Monday.

De Futebol Man U Wins in a Wild 9-8 PK Shootout over AC Milan!

Man U wins in a wild 9-8 shootout over AC Milan.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson:” Manchester United won their opening International Champions Cup game after regulation time ended 1-1 and 26 spot kicks were required to finally separate the two sides in the ensuing penalty shootout. Milan’s Franck Kessie missed the final and decisive effort from 12 yards but José Mourinho’s team again struggled for fluency, with Alexis Sánchez a class above his team-mates once more.

The Chilean starred in the drab goalless affair with San Jose Earthquakes and was again United’s one bright light at the StubHub Center. Mourinho spent a muggy evening in south Los Angeles frustrated with his side’s display, his body language around the technical area leaving no doubt regarding his feeling. There was, in truth, only the odd flash of invention and when it appeared Sánchez was usually involved.

Juan Mata forced an opening corner from a free-kick after United’s captain for the evening, Matteo Darmian, was felled. It came to nothing but when Scott McTominay drilled a shot at Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal from the right the No 1 needed to be sharp to save low. The keeper did precisely the same later on when Sanchez pinged a 30-yard free-kick from the left to draw “oohs” from a not-quite full stadium.

The next time United threatened there were cheers to hail arguably their finest move of the tour. Mata hit a slick first-time pass through to Sánchez and the Chilean beat Donnarumma to his left with a classy finish.

When the team sheet dropped the absence of Anthony Martial had meant some intrigue regarding who Mourinho might select at No 9. The Frenchman had earlier flown home and out of the tour in abrupt fashion to attend the birth of his child. There had been no warning he might depart – Mourinho did not mention the prospect at UCLA last week when branding pre-season “very bad” due to the number of players absent due to post-World Cup holidays.

The manager’s answer to Martial’s departure was to name Sánchez at centre-forward, with Mata and McTominay as two in support in what was a rare 3-4-2-1 shape. The three centre-back system did nothing to stop Suso’s equaliser, which arrived moments after Sánchez’s strike. Leonardo Bonucci threaded a long pass into the Spaniard and he beat Lee Grant confidently. An annoyed Mourinho waved a hand before his face, a gesture to coaching staff to indicate a concentration deficit in defence.

With Antonio Valencia’s tour also over due to a calf injury and Nemanja Matic not yet match fit Mourinho had named the strongest side possible, with Andreas Pereira, Grant and Axel Tuanzebe the only fringe players. Valencia’s absence may hand Darmian a chance to start the season at right-back and this may have been behind him being given the armband.

The Italian looked sharp as did Sánchez – one reverse pass to Luke Shaw bamboozled Milan’s rear-guard. Later, the same pair were involved when United turned defence into attack. A Shaw burst from near the area carried the ball before he fed Sánchez. The No 7 raced in on Milan’s goal, found Ander Herrera, and after his first shot was beaten out the follow-up effort was miscued.

At a “mandatory hydration break” just after the half hour mark, Mourinho seemed to remonstrate with Tuanzebe, perhaps regarding Milan’s strike, and there was also a word for Shaw and Grant. Played resumed and when the break neared the manager had seen enough, taking one of his trademark wanders off early ahead of the whistle for the interval.

Within seconds of the second half starting Sánchez supplied some stardust. He hit a dipping cross-field ball from the left to Darmian. As the right-back roved down his wing Sánchez ran to the edge of the area and performed a scissor-kick that was spectacular but off target.

From there the contest sagged for a passage until Milan spun United too easily, Tuanzebe was left stranded, and Patrick Cutrone could shoot. Cue an exasperated Mourinho turning to his bench once more to complain at what he witnessed.

At a “mandatory hydration break” just after the half hour mark, Mourinho seemed to remonstrate with Tuanzebe, perhaps regarding Milan’s strike, and there was also a word for Shaw and Grant. Played resumed and when the break neared the manager had seen enough, taking one of his trademark wanders off early ahead of the whistle for the interval.

Within seconds of the second half starting Sánchez supplied some stardust. He hit a dipping cross-field ball from the left to Darmian. As the right-back roved down his wing Sánchez ran to the edge of the area and performed a scissor-kick that was spectacular but off target.

From there the contest sagged for a passage until Milan spun United too easily, Tuanzebe was left stranded, and Patrick Cutrone could shoot. Cue an exasperated Mourinho turning to his bench once more to complain at what he witnessed.

United finally managed an attack via Shaw. His cross went for a corner on the right and when the delivery came to him his shot was saved to the left by Pep Reina, who had just replaced Donnarumma. At the close Nikola Kalinić, a Milan replacement, saw his effort rebound back off Pereira’s right post, leaving the contest to be settled by the marathon shootout.

De Futebol Late PK seals Man Shitty Fate a 2-1 Loss to Liverpool!

Liverpool defeated Man Shitty 2-1.

The Guardians Andy Hunter;” Sixty days after his last Liverpool appearance was brought to an abrupt, painful and tearful halt in the Champions League final, Mohamed Salah returned seamlessly to his role as tormentor-in-chief for Jürgen Klopp’s team. Manchester City were again made to suffer, succumbing to their fourth consecutive defeat in seven months to Liverpool courtesy of Sadio Mané’s stoppage-time penalty.

Salah transformed a pre-season friendly in which a youthful City side held the edge, and the lead through Leroy Sané’s fine finish, before succumbing to the greater energy and quality that the Egypt international and Mané brought to the Liverpool attack. The scorer of 44 goals for Liverpool last season equalised 70 seconds after his introduction at the MetLife Stadium. He could have finished with a hat-trick but had to settle for a pivotal role in the penalty that gave Liverpool victory instead.

“Mo has no problems, he just has to get used to what we do,” said Klopp, who welcomed Salah back for the first time since the shoulder injury that contributed to Liverpool’s loss to Real Madrid in Kiev. “We have done a lot to strengthen the muscles in his shoulder. If I had concerns he wouldn’t have played. He came in and scored after maybe 35 seconds and had a big impact along with Sadio and Dom [Solanke]. It was a nice second half. It is still there, it is all good, but we need to keep on working.”

Preparations for the International Champions Cup fixture were far from ideal for both teams. The pitch was a problem too, sodden following a day’s downpour and patchy having been relaid at 5am on Tuesday after a series of Taylor Swift concerts. City had 16 members of their first team squad missing due to post-World Cup holidays and injuries. A youthful, inexperienced starting XI was the inevitable consequence although £60m record signing Riyad Mahrez made his second appearance in City colours.

Liverpool’s selection issues were less dramatic, with Georginio Wijnaldum returning for his first game of pre-season and Klopp’s team far more recognisable, but they only arrived at their hotel in New Jersey at 2am on the day of the game. Technical issues with their plane and an electrical storm delayed their flight from Charlotte by almost eight hours. Summer signing Naby Keïta suffered a sore neck on the journey and was omitted from the match-day squad as a result.

In the circumstances City’s youngsters acquitted themselves well, playing the sharper and more threatening football in the first half despite Liverpool enjoying more possession. Lukas Nmecha, the Hamburg-born England Under-19 international, caused frequent problems for Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk in the centre of Liverpool’s defence with intelligent movement and strong hold-up play. Oleksandr Zinchenko settled comfortably into a holding midfield role and Brahim Diaz also impressed behind Nmacha. It was Mahrez who dictated the rhythm of the City performance, however, effortlessly controlling proceedings in a more central midfield position than he usually had at Leicester City.

Mahrez created the first opening of the night with a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Nmacha. The 19-year-old’s low shot was parried by Loris Karius and, under pressure from Fabinho, he skied the rebound wastefully over an open goal. The striker appealed in vain for a penalty, as did Luke Bolton when he was caught by Andy Robertson inside the area but stayed on his feet before falling once the ball had rolled out for a goal-kick.

Referee Sorin Stoica was unmoved by a third penalty claim when Curtis Jones was sent tumbling by Cameron Humphreys shortly before the interval. Jones was Liverpool’s stand-out performer in the first half. The 17-year-old has enjoyed a fine pre-season for Klopp’s team and he posed the greatest threat to City’s defence from the left of Liverpool’s attack. That was until his replacement, Salah, entered the fray in the 61st minute.

The friendly was in desperate need of incident to enliven a crowd of 52,635 – a healthy attendance by any standard yet way below the MetLife Stadium’s capacity of 82,500. The appeal of two of the Premier League’s leading lights was inevitably diminished by the absence of so many star names. The quota, and the spectacle, was improved by the second half introduction of Sané.

Within seconds of Solanke having a goal disallowed for offside, City opened the scoring with a quality goal on the counter attack. Bernardo Silva, another half-time substitute, sent Sané sprinting clear of Van Dijk with a fine turn away from Fabinho and ball down the left channel. The Germany international, still smarting from his surprising omission from Joachim Löw’s World Cup squad, left Van Dijk in his wake before sweeping a powerful finish beyond substitute goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher.

Liverpool levelled swiftly and, to the audible delight of the majority in the crowd, it was Salah who scored with a close-range header from Rafael Camacho’s inviting right-wing cross. The Egypt international had been on the pitch for only 70 seconds when he equalised past an exposed Joe Hart, who replaced Claudio Bravo during the interval, and Salah was instrumental in turning the game emphatically in Liverpool’s favour thereafter.

Salah almost headed in a second from Mane’s cross but his effort was deflected wide by Humphreys. He then struck the crossbar when clean through on goal and helped create two decent openings for Mané, neither taken. Liverpool’s late dominance appeared set to peter out into a penalty shootout but, in the 92nd minute, they were awarded a spot-kick when Tosin Adarabioyo clumsily pushed Solanke in the back as they challenged for Salah’s chip into the penalty area. This time Stoica did point to the spot and Mané made no mistake, sending Hart the wrong way to record another win for Klopp over Pep Guardiola.

“It is incredible what we have done,” the City manager said. “It was amazing what these players have done for 75 minutes against that team, one that played for the Champions League. I am so, so proud. I am happy to be manager of these guys for that reason. In the last 15 minutes we were so tired and the quality of the changes that Liverpool made up front meant they deserved more goals in the end, but the way we played for 75 minutes was incredible. The average age was 19, so good.”

De Futebol Blame De Gea… Not so fast Bucko!

David de Gea has been in the dog house since Spain’s loss to Russia in a wild and woolly PK shootout loss to Russia in the quarterfinals and the crazy three all draw against Portugal in the opening round of the Group stage.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson:” Ander Herrera has defended David de Gea by saying the Manchester United goalkeeper was criticised during Spain’s World Cup campaign because of his world-class status.

In Spain’s opening match at Russia 2018 against Portugal De Gea spilled a Cristiano Ronaldo shot to allow a soft goal in the 3-3 draw. This came after he committed a similar error in the warm-up game against Switzerland that led to Ricardo Rodríguez scoring.

Herrera believes De Gea’s usual impeccable goalkeeping means the mistakes were harshly highlighted. “I don’t care what the critics say,” the midfielder said. “He is the best goalkeeper in the world, by far, and he will show it again. When you are the best goalkeeper in the world and you don’t make those amazing saves, everyone is going to talk. When I don’t play very well, I don’t get that criticism because I am not one of the best in the world, but he is, so it’s normal and he will cope with it.

“He is so strong. I remember when I was in Spain and he signed for the club [in 2011], the first couple of months were hard for him and he became the best goalkeeper in the world in the next four years, so I am very relaxed about him. We are very lucky to have him.”

De Gea will receive a boost from United fans when he joins the tour of the US next week, according to Herrera. “They are very loyal. They have already shown that to him and he knows he’s going to get them back. We are very relaxed because he is going to show again that he is the best in the world and he will give us again eight or 10 points this season.

“I remember that difficult summer [2015] when everyone was talking about Real Madrid and he played the first game at Old Trafford and everyone was singing his name and he told me: ‘This is amazing, they are the best.’”

With many senior players resting after the World Cup, José Mourinho’s tour squad features a number of youngsters: RoShaun Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell, James Garner, Ethan Hamilton, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood and Joshua Bohui. Mitchell, Tuanzebe, Gomes, Chong and Greenwood featured in the 1-1 draw with Club América in the opening match in Phoenix.

Herrera said: “They are very good. They are training fantastic. This club – one of the things I like the most is that we give a lot of importance to the academy. Not every team in the Premier League can say the same. We are the biggest club in the Premier League but we give a lot of importance to the academy.”

Of Chong, an 18-year-old forward, he said: “Chong was very good in the second half in my opinion and the other kids didn’t have too much time but they will. I like him because he is very brave. When he trains he is not scared of trying new things and taking people on in one-on-ones. He wants to learn and he listens a lot in training.

“I am also very surprised about Garner. Angel also has a lot of quality and the striker [Greenwood], I didn’t know he was 16 years old and he was fighting against men, so I am very confident and I hope one day that they kick our ass out of the club. That will show that the club is doing the right things.”

De Futebol Flamengo defeats Botafogo 2-0 to stay atop the Leader Board !

Flamengo shutout Botafogo 2-0 to stay a step a head Sao Paulo. The guys have thirty points while Sao Paulo defeated Corinthians 3-1 good enough for second place with twenty-nine points.

Globo Esporte:” Matheus Sávio teve a titularidade criticada por boa parte da torcida do Flamengo quando a escalação foi anunciada. E o prata da casa precisou de sete minutos para afastar as dúvidas. Ele foi protagonista dos dois gols do jogo. Com o 2 a 0 sobre o Botafogo no Maracanã, o rubro-negro chega aos 30 pontos. As onze rodadas na liderança já são recorde para o clube na era dos pontos corridos. Na quarta-feira, o time visita o Santos na Vila Belmiro.

Assim como já havia acontecido contra o Corinthians em sua estreia, Marcos Paquetá novamente viu seu time sofrer um gol no início. O Flamengo aproveitou-se da fragilidade de Luís Ricardo na marcação em duas jogadas seguidas e de uma noite ruim de Jefferson. O técnico soma duas derrotas, quatro gols sofridos e nenhuma anotado a favor do Botafogo. Estacionado nos 17 pontos, o alvinegro recebe a Chapecoense, no estádio Nilton Santos.

No primeiro lance, o lateral-direito do Botafogo foi caminhando para trás enquanto Matheus Sávio pedalava invadindo a área. Ele ajeitou a bola e chutou. Em câmera lenta, o goleiro alvinegro parecia fazer golpe de vista. Quando resolveu ir na bola era tarde. Ao fim do primeiro tempo, o atacante rubro-negro disse que não quis cruzar, dúvida criada devido à chegada da companheiros em boa posição na área.

— Eu busquei chutar na hora que cortei para a perna direita — garantiu o jovem de 21 anos.

Os primeiros 10 minutos foram um retrato do que aconteceu no restante da primeira etapa em que os jogadores do Botafogo não conseguiram encontrar Diego e Lucas Paquetá. Marcados sempre à distância, eles tinham tempo para pensar e encontrar companheiros em movimento. Foi com espaço no meio que os dois participaram do início da jogada do segundo gol, em que a bola foi para Matheus Sávio. Aos 7, marcado de forma displicente por Luís Ricardo, ele cruzou. Diego, de 1,75m, ganhou disputa de corpo com Igor Rabello, de 1,91m. A bola ficou viva na área e Lucas Paquetá chegou antes do vacilante Jefferson para marcar.

— O Paquetá cobrou muito os primeiros 10 minutos, mas nos desajustamos ali. Foi uma questão de organização — avaliou Jean no intervalo, quando sairia para a entrada de Aguirre na segunda etapa.

No lance do gol, Jefferson se chocou com Paquetá e quebrou alguns dentes, saindo aos 17 para a entrada de Saulo. O goleiro de 23 anos pouco foi acionado no primeiro tempo. Enquanto isso, o alvinegro saía para o jogo, mas os lances só tinham algum futuro quando passavam pelos pés de Moisés. Em jogada do lateral-esquerdo, Kieza — em noite ruim — finalizou aos 27. Cinco minutos depois, Valencia tentou em chute de longe.

Em sua primeira jogada na segunda etapa, Aguirre chutou com perigo. Lindoso também arriscou de fora, exigindo defesa de Diego Alves. Aos 13, em contra-ataque rápido, Paquetá deu bonito chute cruzado e Saulo espalmou.

Insatisfeito com a postura de seu time, Barbieri reclamava à beira do campo. Aos 24, ele fez duas mudanças. Saíram Guerrero, em noite pouco inspirada, e Matheus Sávio para a entrada de Lincoln e Pará. Mais tarde, Willian Arão entrou na vaga de Uribe. No Botafogo, o insosso Kieza foi substituído por Luiz Fernando.

Ao fim, o alvinegro ouviu a torcida do Flamengo cantar “olé”. No minuto final, por falta no Pará, Aguirre foi expulso.

De Futebol Liverpool Gets Their Clocks Cleaned by Borussia Dortmund 3-1!

Liverpool dropped a 3-1 decision to Borussia Dortmund in a preseason hook up.

The Daily Mail:” Joel Matip has handed Jurgen Klopp a major fitness headache as he suffered an injury which may force him to miss the start of the new season.

The Cameroon defender walked off the pitch during Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund clutching his left groin after he had attempted to make a simple pass in the 22nd minute. He received treatment in the dressing room and was able to leave the stadium without the use of crutches.

But Klopp revealed the 26-year-old – who was ruled out of the Champions League final after damaging his thigh on March 31 at Crystal Palace – had suffered a ‘small tear’ and the full extent of the issue will only become apparent when he is assessed again later this week.

‘It is not the same injury,’ said Klopp. ‘It’s a little tear, we hope. That is the most negative thing about this day. It is not cool.

‘These things can happen. Maybe we know tomorrow or the day after tomorrow we know more. At this moment we only know it was too painful to carry on.’

This is a problem for Klopp, as he had Matip lined up to partner Virgil van Dijk in the Premier League opener against West Ham on August 12, as Dejan Lovren is not due back from his post-World Cup holiday until August 6.

Van Dijk scored Liverpool’s goal in a keenly contested clash here in Charlotte, planting a firm header from Andrew Robertson’s left-wing cross in the 25th minute.

At that stage, it was difficult to see how Klopp’s current side – who wore a garish purple kit – would lose to his old employers.

The Germans, though, equalised with a 63rd-minute penalty from Christian Pulisic; the United States international was tripped by James Milner but got up to beat Loris Karius from 12 yards.

The match seemed to be drifting towards a penalty shootout, but in the 88th minute Dortmund broke away and Pulisic – a player whom Klopp tried to sign for Liverpool 12 months ago – thrashed in a shot from 20 yards after he was teed up by Marcel Schmelzer.

To make matters worse, Karius then pushed a Pulisic shot into the path of Jacob Brunn Larsen who fired into an empty net. It was, without question, another error by a player who needs to be removed from the spotlight.

‘The game was very difficult for both teams,’ said Klopp. ‘A few players after five minutes thought “wow, where are we here?” Dortmund had exactly the same problems. Fabinho should be the guy who organised in the first-half but it was not easy.

‘We controlled the game but didn’t create a lot of chances. We scored a goal after a nice set-piece. Set-pieces were the most positive thing today. Second half was much better. We won a lot of balls in second half but didn’t do much with it.

‘We had two big chances from Dom Solanke and Joe Gomez had a big, big chance with Sheyi Ojo (who hit the bar). Days like this you have to stay strong and show desire and greed that you want to keep the result at 1-1. Morale went down at 3-1. You have to learn from it.’

Karius’ performance showed why Klopp has broken the world transfer record to sign Alisson, who will join Liverpool’s squad for a training camp in France next week and make his debut against Napoli in Dublin on August 4.

De Futebol- Man U San Jose Nil-Nil

Man U and San Jose tied nil-nil.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson:” Alexis Sánchez offered an eye-catching 65-minute cameo but Manchester United drew a disappointing crowd of 32, 549 for this second tour outing, against San Jose Earthquakes.

hese were the headlines from a game that took four minutes for Sánchez to make an impact. His free-kick was fired in from the left, Eric Bailly found space and a stooping header pinged off JT Marcinkowksi’s bar.

The defender should have scored and United came close seconds later. This time Sánchez strolled through the middle and fed Tahith Chong but the 18-year-old’s back-heel was cleared.

While Sánchez was finally starting his pre-season following a visa issue, Antonio Valencia’s afternoon lasted six minutes, the captain being removed for Matteo Darmian with what looked to be a calf problem.

As Sánchez continued to buzz around, all of this meant a bright start for those inside Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers.

The problem was the empty seats. A venue that holds up to 75,000 appeared around only a quarter full despite the official number given. This followed the half-filled University of Phoenix Stadium for Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Club America. When United played Real Madrid here last year and Barcelona three years ago the venue was a virtual sell-out.

After Florian Jungwirth clattered Sánchez – drawing a yellow card – Luke Shaw suffered a nutmeg by Nick Lima that led to a free-kick. This yielded nothing as did an Anthony Martial run when he was clear in on Marcinkowski.

Along with Sánchez, James Garner, Chong and Joel Pereira were Jose Mourinho’s other changes from the opening tour match. Garner, another who is 18, made one intervention near his area.At the other end United offered up a sequence of slick interplay that had Sánchez to the fore, alongside Andreas Pereira in midfield who was sharp and tenacious.

Eight minutes before the break United forced a second corner. Pereira swung the ball in from the right, finding Garner’s head, but the youngster could not direct the shot. By the break the Earthquakes had proved feisty opponents, with Sánchez and Pereira being roughed up. The pair were among United’s better players, Sánchez in particular illustrating his class by running the contest via a cocktail of pace and verve.

Lee Grant, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanazebe, Scott McTominay and Juan Mata were the manager’s changes for the second period as he reshuffled the frontline to have Sanchez playing central, Martial on the left, the Spaniard to the right.

Mikael Stahre changed all of his XI and Mata’s first contribution was to cede possession needlessly to Jackson Yueill in midfield. When United’s No 8 made a diagonal run from his right-hand berth Sánchez found him and Mata, from inside the area, tried to turn the ball back into Martial. He failed but this was a clever United move that will have pleased Mourinho.

So, too, the goal-line clearance an alert Fosu-Mensah made to clear Vako’s shot as United were split open for virtually the first time.

It was Vako who next stood up a free-kick for Yeferson Quintana to beat a clutch of defenders and head at Grant, the keeper making a low save.

When Sánchez went off he was replaced by Mason Greenwood, the 16-year-old operating at centre-forward for United in only a second appearance. On the afternoon’s evidence Sánchez had not suffered from missing the Club América match while waiting for US Immigration to grant his papers for travel.

United were bound to dip with his departure and Grant had to pull off a flying save from a shot from 25 yards by Tommy Thompson, the No1 tipping over the bar. Finally McTominay was offered a gilded chance to claim victory but his close-range header from Greenwood’s cross was disappointing.

Antonio Valencia was forced off after six minutes due to what appeared calf strain.

Mourinho said: “He’s injured. We need to get used to it. Last season he was already in this kind of situation and probably this season we’re going to have more of that.”


De Futebol- Will the Pieces of Puzzle Come Together for Man U?

The Guardians Jamie Jackson looks at the up coming season for Man U.


One assessment of José Mourinho’s business at the halfway mark of the window might be that it has been underwhelming. The manager has recruited Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk for £52m, paid Porto £19m for Diogo Dalot and signed Lee Grant for £1.5m from Stoke City to become his third-choice goalkeeper.

Whether theses recruits have strengthened the squad is arguable. At Russia 2018 Fred could not dislodge Casemiro or Manchester City’s Fernandinho as Brazil’s defensive midfielder, the 25-year-old failing to feature for a single second.

For United Fred’s role is to be the pivot who allows Paul Pogba to surge forward. That pair join Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera, Scott McTominay and Marouane Fellaini as Mourinho’s midfield options. Yet there is a lack of stardust here, apart from Pogba, and no natural replacement for the Frenchman if he is absent. This is in contrast to City, where Pep Guardiola can choose from David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gündogan.

Full-back is one of the key positions Mourinho believes has to be improved if United are to catch their crosstown rivals. Yet Dalot is a largely untested 19-year-old and Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are converted wingers who will both be 33 when the season starts. Luke Shaw appears to have lost considerable weight via a close-season fitness regime but remains an enigma, while Matteo Darmian may leave along with Daley Blind, who completed his move to Ajax on Tuesday. Mourinho, then, may need to buy again, with Juventus’s Alex Sandro a possible target.

Style of play

This is still the biggest issue for many United fans: the stodgy fare Mourinho’s side serve up. The complaint can be countered by the manager claiming the Europa League and League Cup in his first term, and finishing second last season – the best since the title of 2013. The concern is that Mourinho’s CV shows a career-long preference for dogmatic defence and the approach has seemingly become more entrenched at United. Can he, then, meld the attacking talent of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez into a consistently potent force?

Mourinho has high hopes Sánchez will be far more formidable following a rare close season off. Yet the Chilean’s preparation is not aided by missing the start of the tour because of a “personal administrative issue”, thought to be the denial of a US visa because of Sánchez accepting a suspended prison sentence from Spanish authorities for tax fraud this year.

Will Pogba finally turn it on for Mourinho?

The Frenchman was a standout performer in Russia and crowned his tournament with a sweet left-foot strike in the 4-2 win over Croatia in the final. This means Pogba will arrive back next month following an enforced three-week break as a world champion and surely in the perfect place to produce a campaign of consistent brilliance. Still only 25 he should be the fulcrum who runs the team, pinning opponents back and creating openings, while weighing in with 15 goals a season.

Can he do it? Will Pogba and Mourinho improve a relationship that has been fractured? The first question impacts on the second: Pogba’s challenge is to ensure the answer is in the affirmative. If it is not then United’s season may disappoint.

Win the title – or go very close

By May 2019 six years will have passed since Sir Alex Ferguson landed the most recent of United’s record 20 top-division titles. Mourinho may have secured second last term but he ended trophy-less and the 19-point gap to City indicates what a non-event the race for the Premier League was. Liverpool’s dismantling of Guardiola’s men in the Champions League quarter-finals and the league fixture at Anfield via a fast-and-furious style seems anathema to Mourinho, so he may need to produce a quasi-miracle to finish ahead of City – and Liverpool. If he fails to do so then his job will be in the balance, unless a glittering Champions League challenge is returned. Mourinho, of course, has only once lasted longer than three full seasons as a manager.

Inspire his players by finding an extra bounce in the step

Can Mourinho rediscover the twinkle-in-the-eye persona which was pure box office when landing in English football at Chelsea in summer 2004? Then he was the most attractive of propositions: an electric presence who made serial winning seem a magical feat of ease. At 14 years younger – aged 41 – Mourinho carried scant baggage: all was still a novelty as he followed leading Porto to an unlikely Champions League triumph by making Chelsea England’s top team for the first time in 50 years.

The spark now appears only occasionally; Mourinho is a more sombre man, offering no more than the odd glimpse of the anything-is-possible spirit that prompted the famous self-characterisation as the “special one”, and which surely inspired his players. Restore this and it may give United the extra 1% that defines champions.

De Futebol Man U- Club America tie one all

Man U opened up their preseason tour with an unconvincing one all tie with Mexican Club America in Arizona.

The Daily Mail:” The good news is that Jose Mourinho still has five games and 21 days to knock Manchester United into shape. This was the first match of pre-season and we know not to get carried away just yet.

However, the United manager admits he is ‘worried’ about the new campaign and that’s understandable. Reinforcements are on the way – 12 World Cup stars and Alexis Sanchez – but not soon enough for Mourinho’s liking.

Most of them will not be available when United start the season at home to Leicester City at Old Trafford on August 10. He will have to lean heavily on the current group, and there is clearly still a lot of work to be done.

United managed to draw the opening game of their US tour in Phoenix against a Club America side further on in their preparation ahead of the start of the Mexican League season on Sunday. There are four more games on this trip plus a friendly against Bayern Munich, and then that will be that.

Perhaps more surprising here was the size of the crowd. The 64,000-seater University of Phoenix Stadium was just over half full, providing further evidence that United are no longer a guaranteed sell-out Stateside – especially when the tour organisers were charging up to £160 for the best seats here. At least the roof was closed and the air conditioning at full blast to shield the players from the suffocating desert heat.

Mourinho had little choice but to go with his strongest available line-up: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw in defence, in front of debutant goalkeeper Lee Grant. Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay in midfield. Mata and Anthony Martial in attack. Six of the seven teenagers in the tour party starting on the bench.

It could, as the United manager pointed out beforehand, be quite close to the team that kicks off the season against Leicester. Sanchez is on his way from Manchester, and David De Gea, Nemanja Matic and Fred will fly out to join the tour next week. All four of those players could face Leicester, taking the place of Grant, Andreas Pereira, McTominay and Demitri Mitchell.

‘The line-up has the most possible, I would say men, because the objective is to prepare them the best we can for the start of the season,’ said Mourinho. ‘We don’t have many more players than this one.

‘Valencia, Smalling, Bailly and Shaw, they are probably the ones to start the season. We have Matic and Fred coming next week, so in there we have more solutions. We have Mata, Mitchell, Martial. Sanchez is coming but we don’t have many more solutions for the start of the season.’

Still, United made a positive start in their new home kit, with Martial causing the Mexicans plenty of problems in the first half. He has reached a crossroads in his Old Trafford career after a frustrating season that resulted in him missing out on France’s World Cup winning squad and his agent indicating that he wants to leave.

It remains to be seen how the sometimes surly Frenchman handles the situation, but he certainly looked keen to impress here. There were nine minutes on the clock when Valencia took on three players down the right and sent in a low cross to Martial who turned and went down rather theatrically under minimal contact from Edson Alvarez. Referee Kevin Scott’s decision was no penalty, and it was the correct one.

Mitchell and Mata then combined well on the edge of the box, and Herrera touched the ball to Martial who curled it over, before forcing a good save from Augustin Marchesin nine minutes later.

His last effort of the half came a minute before the interval when he was fouled 20 yards out. Penalty kick, flashed up on the scoreboard, but it was only a freekick and Martial sent it narrowly over.

United’s best attempt of the half actually came from Mata who wriggled into the box in the 15th minute and fired through a club of Club America players. It beat Marchesin but not the post, coming back off the foot of the upright.

Grant was hardly busy on his debut at the other end, but he had to produce a smart save to deny Paul Aguilar before making way for Joel Pereira at half-time.

Pereira immediately found himself under more pressure from the Mexicans. Smalling produced an excellent block to prevent an almost certain goal in the 52nd minute, and then Roger Martinez went through with only the United keeper to beat but Pereira stuck out a foot to keep the ball out.

He was unable to rescue United again when Club America went ahead in the 59th minute, however. Not enough pressure was applied to Antonio Lopez when he took possession of the ball on the left flank, and he floated a cross into the box. It found Henry Martin unmarked between Smalling and Bailly, and he rose to guide a firm header past Pereira.

That was the cue for Mourinho to send on Matteo Darmian and then the kids, including 16-year-old Mason Greenwood. It was one of them, Tahith Chong, who crowned a lively appearance off the bench in the second half by providing the cross which led to United’s equaliser in the 78th minute.

Andreas Pereira met it with a diving header that came back off the post, and the ball ran for Mata whose first-time shot somehow found its way past hapless substitute goalkeeper Oscar Jimenez.

It saved United from defeat on a night when the scoreline wasn’t overly important. It soon will be, though, and Mourinho won’t sleep any easier as United headed straight back to their hotel base in LA.

De Futebol Flamengo losses to Sao Paulo 1-0

Flamengo returned to action after the vacation due to the World Cup. The guys stunk the joint out in a 1-0 loss to Sao Paulo.

Globo Esporte:” A torcida do Flamengo tanto pediu para que seguissem o líder que o São Paulo resolveu colar bem pertinho do primeiro colocado do Campeonato Brasileiro. Com gol de cabeça do ex-jogador rubro-negro Everton, no começo do segundo tempo, a equipe paulista venceu por 1 a 0 e ficou apenas um ponto atrás do time carioca, com 26.

Numa partida truncada, pegada e pouco criativa, a primeira chance veio apenas após uma falta infantil de Éverton Ribeiro em Nenê, aos sete minutos, pelo lado direito da área do Flamengo. Na cobrança, o jovem lateral-direito Éder Militão quase abriu o placar.

Apesar de não conseguir armar tramas contundentes para penetrar na defesa do São Paulo, o Flamengo começou dominando as ações, com alta intensidade e trocas rápidas de passes e triangulações pelo meio. A primeira tentativa rubro-negra ocorreu aos 12 minutos, em chute de longa distância de Éverton Ribeiro, que não deu problemas para o goleiro Sidão.

A resposta são-paulina veio com o estreante meia equatoriano Joao Rojas, que gingou na frente de Réver e chutou cruzado para defesa de Diego Alves. Aos 35 minutos, o veterano Jucilei sentiu lesão muscular e foi substituído pelo jovem Liziero.

Defendendo-se com duas linhas de quatro, o time do técnico uruguaio Diego Aguirre passou a levar perigo em contragolpes e bolas alçadas na área, aproveitando a confusão do miolo de zaga do Flamengo, que não era protegido por Romulo, ainda fora de forma, e Lucas Paquetá, em noite nada inspirada.

No final do primeiro tempo, o líder do Brasileirão chegou perto de abrir o marcador quando Diego cobrou falta na área, Paquetá desviou de cabeça e a bola explodiu no travessão.

Com apenas 33% de posse de bola nos primeiros 45 minutos, o São Paulo aproveitou as brechas da zaga rubro-negra para fazer 1 a 0 logo no início do segundo tempo, num gol de cabeça do ex-Flamengo Everton, que não comemorou, mesmo tendo sido vaiado pela torcida flamenguista no começo do jogo.

Com muita correria e pouca qualidade, Marlos Moreno, que substituiu Vinícius Júnior, negociado com o Real Madrid, deixou o campo para a entrada do estreante atacante Fernando Uribe. E não demorou para ele tirar o torcedor flamenguista do sério. Depois de chute de Paquetá, o colombiano bateu de canela em rebote de Sidão e perdeu a chance de empatar dentro da pequena área.

Minutos mais tarde, Uribe voltou a errar quando recebeu passe açucarado na cara do gol mas preferiu tocar para trás ao invés de chutar para o gol.

Incomodado com a atuação da equipe, o técnico Maurício Barbieri tirou Romulo, que não é nem sombra daquele volante excelente que despontou no Vasco, e colocou o lateral-esquerdo peruano Trauco.

Seguindo o pragmatismo tão aplicado na Copa do Mundo da Rússia, o São Paulo se fechou todo em seu campo de defesa quando assumiu a vantagem no placar e ficou quase toda a etapa final recuado à espera de um contra-ataque para matar o jogo. Esse panorama e o nervosismo do Flamengo deixaram a partida quente, com muitas discussões e faltas. Já nos acréscimos, Araruna fez falta dura em Renê, levou o segundo cartão e foi expulo. No total, foram três cartões amarelos para o Mais Querido e quatro para o tricolor paulistano.

Aos 49 minutos do segundo tempo, um até então sumido Paolo Guerrero — que teve mantido o efeito suspensivo que lhe permitiu disputar a Copa do Mundo pelo Peru e pode atuar na partida de ontem — recebeu perfeito cruzamento de Rodinei e cabeceou com força, mas a bola saiu à esquerda do ângulo do goleiro são-paulino.

Com a derrota, o rubro-negro continua na liderança, com 27 pontos, seguido de perto pelo São Paulo, com um a menos. Após derrotar o Atlético-MG por 2 a 0, o Grêmio chegou à quarta colocação, com os mesmos 23 pontos do time mineiro. No sábado à noite, o Flamengo encara o Botafogo no Maracanã.