De Futebol

Man U scored in the dying embers of the first half when Eric Bailly poked home the rock in the 45th minute.  The Red Devils applied the pressure on Swansea City. In a span of four minutes Man U scored four goals to put this puppy to bed.

Buda Bing Buda Boom Man U blows out Swansea City 4-0. The Red Devils have scored nine goals in their first two matches. Man U has given zip zero nada goals to start the season off in a very impressive fashion.

Romelu Lukaku 80th minute, Paul Pogba 82nd minute and Anthony Martial 84th minute showed how quick Man U can change the match in a matter of minutes.

The Guardians Stuart James wrote:” José Mourinho has been quick to stress that Manchester United are anything but a “dream team” but his players have made a perfect start to the season, collecting maximum points, scoring freely, failing to concede and looking like a side that have all the credentials to mount a legitimate challenge for the Premier League title.

These are early days, of course, and United will face much tougher examinations than those posed by West Ham United and Swansea in their opening two fixtures, yet there is something ominous about the fact that they have started with back-to-back 4-0 victories. Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have scored in each of those matches and Eric Bailly now has his first goal for the club and his first in league football in 67 attempts.

It was Bailly who set United on the way to victory here, scoring just before half-time against a Swansea side that capitulated in the final 10 minutes. United struck three goals in four minutes during that period, courtesy of Lukaku, Pogba and Martial, laying bare the weaknesses in a Swansea squad that is crying out for investment on the back of Gylfi Sigurdsson’s departure.

The Icelander’s transfer to Everton, together with the absence of Fernando Llorente, who is still recovering from breaking his arm in a cycling accident in the close season, means that Swansea are without two players who contributed more than half of their Premier League goals last season. The fact that have failed to score in their opening two matches, and rarely looked like doing so, says it all.

It had actually started as one of those days when United needed to be patient, although for periods in the first half their frustration got the better of them. Marcus Rashford showed flashes of brilliance but also moments of petulance while Pogba was playing with fire when he clumsily fouled Martin Olsson. Already on a yellow card following a poor challenge on Tom Carroll, the Frenchman escaped with a telling-off. Had he not already been booked, it is easy to imagine that Jon Moss, the referee, would have shown a card.

Set up with a three-man central defence in which Kyle Bartley started his first Premier League game for 20 months, Swansea sat deep and soaked up the United pressure, threatening only sporadically on the counterattack, yet the home team could have been ahead inside three minutes. Cutting in from the left and with the angle against him, Jordan Ayew curled the ball with the outside of his boot and it glanced off the top of the bar. Whether it was a shot or a cross is unclear but David de Gea was caught in no man’s land.

Six minutes later United struck the woodwork. Juan Mata’s fine free-kick picked out Phil Jones and the central defender, who was totally unmarked, ought to have scored. Instead the ball came off his shoulder and hit the crossbar almost in slow motion. United were not so forgiving with a set piece later in the half. This time it was Daley Blind’s corner that exposed some poor marking in the Swansea defence, leaving Pogba with a free header. The Frenchman’s effort was flicked on to the bar via Lukasz Fabianski’s fingertips, bounced on the line and Bailly, reacting much quicker than Federico Fernández, who seemed to be expecting the Swansea keeper to jump to his feet, stabbed home.

It was an awful time for Swansea to concede, although Rashford could and probably should have opened the scoring 10 minutes earlier when he ran on to a wayward header from Alfie Mawson. Bearing down on goal with only Fabianski to beat, Rashford tried to lift the ball over the Swansea keeper but succeeded only in chipping it into his arms. At the other end Bartley headed narrowly wide from Carroll’s corner.

Bailly’s goal meant Swansea had to show more attacking conviction and they had a chance on the hour mark to equalise. Carroll, finding space on the left, floated in a cross that Tammy Abraham headed over. United seemed to playing within themselves a little, almost coasting, and were fortunate to get away with another Carroll delivery, this time from a corner, that somehow eluded everyone.

Then came the flurry of late United goals. Lukaku, set up by Henrikh Mkhitaryan and with all the time in the world, swept the ball past Fabianski from 12 yards. Pogba then made it 3-0, intercepting Carroll’s wayward pass, before playing a one-two with Mkhitaryan and cleverly lifting the ball over Fabianski. Martial, set up by the rampaging Pogba, calmly slotted in the fourth and United were rampant.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/19/swansea-city-manchester-united-premier-league-match-report

Sadio Mane scored in the 73rd minute to lift Liverpool over Crystal Palace 1-0.

Watford shutout Bournemouth 2-0.

West Brom edged Burnley 1-0.

Leicester City doubled up on Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0.

Southampton scored in the 93rd minute plus when Charlie Austin nailed the PK for a wild 3-2 win over West Ham.

Chicharito led the Hammers with the daily double in the 45th and 74th minutes.

Stoke City scored the only goal of the match in the in the 47th minute when Jese Rodriguez found the back of the net for the Potters.

Arsenal was sent packing in a 1-0 loss to Stoke City.

De Futebol

Flamengo and Botafogo tied nil-nil in the first leg of the Copa do Brasil.

Globo Esportes:” e clássicos são decididos em detalhes, é justamente a falta deles que pode explicar o empate sem gols entre Botafogo e Flamengo, nesta quarta-feira, no Estádio Nilton Santos, pelo jogo de ida da semifinal da Copa do Brasil. Ambos fizeram partidas taticamente corretas, com ligeira superioridade para o time rubro-negro, mais perigoso no campo ofensivo. Só que o jogo prometeu mais do que entregou. No fim, o momento de maior capricho acabou partindo de Jair Ventura, o técnico do Botafogo, com o cumprimento afetuoso no estreante Reinaldo Rueda, do Flamengo. Em um jogo de atmosfera tensa, aquele foi o necessário tratado de paz.

Antes da partida, a rivalidade acirrada entre Flamengo e Botafogo trazia o temor de confusão iminente. Mas uma dividida mais forte entre Alex Muralha e Carli, no fim do segundo tempo, foi o mais perto de qualquer atrito. Talvez preocupado com o ambiente do clássico, o árbitro Anderson Daronco foi enérgico até demais e mostrou cartão vermelho aos dois jogadores. O remédio em excesso acabou sendo o veneno de uma partida que, apesar de não ser exuberante, trazia duelos táticos interessantes. A partir daí, qualquer movimento no placar ficou relegado à segunda partida. Empate com gols na próxima quarta-feira coloca o Flamengo na final. Em caso de novo 0 a 0, a decisão vai para os pênaltis.

Na outra semifinal, o Grêmio derrotou o Cruzeiro por 1 a 0 em Porto Alegre, com gol de Lucas Barrios. A partida de volta, no Mineirão, também acontece na próxima quarta-feira.

A escolha por Cuéllar e Willian Arão como dupla de volantes, deixando Márcio Araújo no banco de reservas, passou no teste de fogo do primeiro tempo. O temor de fragilidade na marcação não se concretizou. Pelo contrário: o Flamengo teve sucesso ao adiantar suas linhas e causou problemas à saída de bola alvinegra. Sem os espaços que normalmente encontra para contra-atacar, o Botafogo limitou-se a bolas levantadas na área durante boa parte dos 45 minutos iniciais. E assim permaneceria no segundo tempo.

Só que este Botafogo, comandado há um ano por Jair Ventura, tem um estilo de jogo sólido o bastante para equilibrar qualquer partida. Embora passasse tempo até demais em seu campo, o time alvinegro só permitiu uma chance real do Flamengo, e na bola parada: Éverton alçou, Réver cabeceou e Gatito segurou.

Bastou escapar para o ataque que o Botafogo foi mais perigoso, ao mesmo tempo que expunha fragilidades do Flamengo. Renê foi escolhido por Rueda numa tentativa de dar segurança defensiva à lateral esquerda, depois que o técnico colombiano assistiu de camarote à desastrosa atuação do titular Trauco contra o Atlético-MG. Pois justamente Renê cochilou na marcação e foi desarmado por Bruno Silva, aos 26. O meia alvinegro cruzou rasteiro e Roger por pouco não tocou na bola antes do inseguro Muralha, titular nesta Copa do Brasil só por conta da impossibilidade de inscrever o recém-contratado Diego Alves.

Empurrado por sua torcida, o Botafogo aproveitou o momento e ensaiou uma pressão. Bruno Silva assustou de voleio, Matheus Fernandes arriscou de fora da área e Pimpão deixou Roger na cara do gol. Foram cinco minutos que valeram por todo um primeiro tempo.

A dupla Cuéllar e Arão desafogou o Flamengo logo antes do intervalo, com uma combinação pela direita. Rodinei chegou ao fundo pela primeira vez e cruzou para Berrío, que quase aproveita uma falha de Gatito. O goleiro do Botafogo já se recuperava para fazer a defesa quando a arbitragem, erroneamente, paralisava o lance marcando uma saída pela linha de fundo no passe de Rodinei.

O segundo tempo começou parecendo uma cópia do primeiro. Era o Flamengo quem mais ocupava o campo ofensivo, graças ao dinamismo de Cuéllar, Arão e também de Diego, empenhado tanto na recomposição defensiva quando na tentativa de dar velocidade aos ataques. Foi a partir de um passe de primeira do camisa 35 que Éverton se viu com um latifúndio à sua frente para arrancar, até ser parado com falta na entrada da área do Botafogo. O próprio Diego cobrou, e Gatito observou a bola bater no travessão.

Quando o jogo parecia prestes a ficar mais aberto, o árbitro Anderson Daronco condenou a partida à mesmice aos 35 minutos ao expulsar, com excesso de rigor, o zagueiro Carli e o goleiro Muralha, após uma dividida mais acirrada. Rueda, que havia acabado de lançar Vinícius Jr., foi obrigado a tirá-lo para colocar Thiago. Jair teve de abrir mão do centroavante Roger pelo zagueiro Marcelo. Os dois times não conseguiram criar mais nada, e terão de lidar com as perdas para o próximo jogo. O Botafogo também não terá Pimpão, que recebeu o terceiro amarelo.

Se não houve confusão dentro de campo, o clássico teve momentos de tensão no lado de fora do Estádio Nilton Santos. Na chegada, o ônibus do Flamengo foi alvejado por objetos atirados por torcedores do Botafogo. Ninguém ficou ferido, mas o veículo apresentou alguns amassados.

A entrada da torcida do Flamengo apresentou problemas. Segundo a Polícia Militar, o portão de acesso foi fechado após uma tentativa de invasão. Com isso, muitos torcedores ainda estavam fora do estádio depois do apito inicial, o que gerou irritação e mais confusão. Policiais usaram gás de pimenta e soltaram balas de borracha. A entrada só foi regularizada no fim do primeiro tempo.

https://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/botafogo-flamengo-ficam-no-empate-sem-gols-pela-copa-do-brasil-21715121#ixzz4q1k96Wsp

De Futebol

Flamengo and Botafogo will battle it out in the semifinals of the Copa do Brasil.

Globo Esportes:” O Flamengo vai decidir em casa o confronto de semifinal da Copa do Brasil diante do Botafogo. A CBF sorteou nesta segunda-feira os mandos de campo dos dois duelos – o outro será disputado entre Cruzeiro e Grêmio, com o time mineiro decidindo em casa.

A primeira partida entre Botafogo e Flamengo será no dia 16 de agosto, no estádio Nilton Santos, Engenhão. A volta, na Arena da Ilha, será no dia 23/08. O Grêmio abre o confronto com o Cruzeiro em Porto Alegre, e a volta será no Mineirão – os dois jogos marcados também para 16 e 23 de agosto.

As finais da Copa do Brasil serão em 7 e 27 de setembro.

https://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/flamengo-decide-semifinal-contra-botafogo-em-casa-21650559#ixzz4oVOCfn4j

De Futebol

Flamengo advanced to the next round of the Copa Sudamericana.

Globo Esportes:”  Nada como um Palestino em tempos de crise e necessidade de afirmação. A Ilha do Urubu recebeu um visitante sob medida, ainda que o Flamengo mereça seus créditos por ter feito o que lhe cabia diante de um adversário tão frágil: um gol atrás do outro, em especial no primeiro tempo. Talvez seja pouco para tirar conclusões, em especial numa fase de transição entre um treinador demitido e outro, o colombiano Reinaldo Rueda, em vias de ser contratado.

Ao menos, os 5 a 0 serviram para melhorar o astral e para colocar o Flamengo nas oitavas de final da Copa Sul-Americana após um 10 a 2 na soma dos jogos de ida e volta. Medirá forças com a Chapecoense.

Em dez minutos, o Flamengo já vencia por 2 a 0 e amenizava algumas de suas inquietações. Afinal, para isso parecia valer, de verdade, o jogo de ontem. Vizeu marcara o primeiro gol, após ter vivido uma manhã de domingo infeliz, com chances desperdiçadas diante do Vitória. O mesmo lance, aliás, ajudou a começar a reabilitar Willian Arão, autor do chute desviado pelo centroavante. No domingo, uma rebatida errada dele resultara no gol do Vitória.

Quem também busca sua afirmação no início da passagem pelo Flamengo é Geuvânio. Encontrou terreno favorável diante do Palestino. Surgiu na área para fazer o primeiro gol e deu belo passe para Éverton Ribeiro marcar o terceiro. Pouco antes do intervalo, Arão dera mais um passo em sua reconciliação com a torcida ao fazer o quarto gol.

Curioso é que o Flamengo, diante de uma Ilha do Urubu que recebeu, de longe, seu menor público, não precisou sequer ficar mais tempo com a bola do que o Palestino. Mesmo assim, o time chileno jamais assustou. Alex Muralha foi exigido apenas numa finalização de Gutierrez.

Uma certa ansiedade cerca também o desenvolvimento de Vinícius Júnior no Flamengo. Já vendido ao Real Madrid por €45 milhões, naturalmente tornou-se opção menos habitual no time principal, já que a chegada de reforços obstruiu seu caminho. Mesmo assim, vê-lo ter grandes momentos, à altura do valor da negociação por um jogador tão jovem, mobilizava a torcida.

E também neste aspecto o jogo com o Palestino foi uma ocasião perfeita. Num segundo tempo em que o Flamengo diminuíra o ritmo, Vinícius voltou a movimentar o campo. Recebeu um passe de Éverton Ribeiro, perdeu o ângulo de chute e achou Berrío. De cabeça, o colombiano encontrou o jovem rubro-negro, que chutou de primeira para abrir o placar. Caso confirme os prognósticos de que é um craque em formação, o gol será lembrado no futuro. E os pouco mais de 5 mil que foram à Ilha terão história para contar.

Contarão, também, sobre a noite em que até Márcio Araújo ficou imune a protestos.

https://oglobo.globo.com/esportes/flamengo-goleia-palestino-avanca-na-sul-americana-21689311#ixzz4pSa2iCB8

De Futebol

Man U kicked ass and took names in a 4-0 whitewash win over West Brom. Spurs needed two second half goals to shutout Newcastle 2-0.

The Guardians Daniel Taylor wrote:” For Manchester United, it is difficult to see how their first game of the new seasoncould have gone much better other than perhaps another goal or two to polish up their superiority. As it was, they shouldn’t be too greedy. Romelu Lukaku has wasted little time demonstrating why he became the club’s most expensive summer recruit and, on this evidence, it is shaping up to be a season of rich promise for José≈ Mourinho’s team.

Lukaku should certainly have dispelled any lingering self-doubt with the two goals that laid the foundations for the most emphatic league win of the Mourinho era. Not that the £75m signing displayed even a flicker of stage fright with the left-foot finish and close-range header with which he introduced himself to the Old Trafford crowd.

Lukaku ended a hugely satisfying afternoon waving appreciatively to the Stretford End and he might have finished with the ball as a souvenir had it not been for a brilliant saving tackle by Pablo Zabaleta, one of three West Ham debutants, to deny him a hat-trick just after the hour.

Yet this was more than just a story of Lukaku easing into life in Manchester and, though the new signing deserves the headlines, the form of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, among others, should also fill Mourinho with optimism that his team are capable of significant improvement after last season’s sixth-placed finish.

Potential champions? You wouldn’t bet your mortgage against it and, for what it is worth at this time of the season, this rout puts them top already. Mourinho also made the point afterwards that we should anticipate the team getting better. “I’m not going to say the performance was perfect because it wasn’t perfect. There is still room for improvement.”

Henrikh Mkhitaryan was another of the star performers and, not for the first time, it felt faintly ludicrous that Chelsea had allowed Nemanja Matic to defect to one of their title rivals. Matic fitted in seamlessly and the home side were not flattered by the late one-two when the substitute Anthony Martial slotted in the third goal, quickly followed by the brilliantly effective Pogba knocking another in from 20 yards. It was a tepid show from West Ham and they have now lost 11 opening-day fixtures in the Premier League era, more than any other club.

As the crowd serenaded Mourinho and Joe Hart, West Ham’s new goalkeeper, was reminded that it was a long way down since he was winning championships with Manchester City, it did not seem to matter too much that Victor Lindelof, the £31m acquisition from Benfica, was not even in the home squad because of his unimpressive form in pre-season.

Another manager might have felt duty-bound to involve such a costly signing. Mourinho does not operate with those kinds of constraints and Phil Jones was recalled alongside Eric Bailly to make sure Javier Hernández did not have a profitable return to Old Trafford.

Hernández scored 37 goals in 103 league games during his days in Manchester and one imagines he would have loved the kind of chances that Lukaku’s team-mates served up for the Belgian. Mkhitaryan’s expertly delivered free-kick for the second goal was the case in point. Rashford’s beautifully weighted pass for the first was another. These are the opportunities Lukaku thrives upon and, as long as it continues this way, he should get a hatful this season. Rashford was also involved in the second goal, having been chopped down by Zabaleta for the free-kick, and the teenager curled another shot against the post before Martial took over for the last 10 minutes.

These are early days but Mourinho, slowly but surely, seems to be assembling a side with no obvious weaknesses and Matic’s contribution for the first goal was a splendid snapshot of why he had been added to the payroll. Matic played with great control and it was his interception, cutting out Pedro Obiang’s pass, that sent Rashford haring away on the counter-attacking move that led to Lukaku scoring from 12 yards.

West Ham had defended stoutly until that point but they set about the afternoon with a distinct lack of adventure and there were only sporadic moments when their new-look frontline of Hernández, Marko Arnautovic and André Ayew flickered into life. Arnautovic had their best moment with a looping header that David de Gea tipped over the crossbar but the score was 2-0 at that stage and, for the most part, Slaven Bilic’s men were pinned inside their own half. “They were better than us in every department,” Bilic reflected. “We are very low.”

Mkhitaryan’s precise pass left Martial with the opportunity to stroke in the third goal and the away end was rapidly emptying as Pogba added the final flourish and Hart was beaten for the second time in three minutes. “The fans have reason to be optimistic,” Mourinho said.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/13/manchester-united-west-ham-premier-league-match-report

De Futebol

Watford jumped out to a 2-1 lead over Liverpool. The Reds came back to score two goals in a two-minute span in the second half to take 3-2 lead only to have the Hornets to level this puppy at three in the 95th minute plus three.

Liverpool and Watford tied three all.

EPL Match Report: “Miguel Britos scored a stoppage-time equaliser as Watford furstrated Liverpool on opening day.

Stefano Okaka had headed in Jose Holebas’s corner to give Watford an eighth-minute lead.

But Sadio Mane levelled before the half-hour after a neat one-two with Emre Can.

Less than three minutes later Watford were ahead again as Abdoulaye Doucoure scored after Liverpool could not clear.

Ten minutes into the second half and Liverpool were level once more after Mohamed Salah was brought down by Heurelho Gomes and Roberto Firmino converted from the spot.

Two minutes later, Salah put Liverpool ahead, bundling in Firmino’s chip.

Despite being hit by injuries to Daryl Janmaat, Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul, Watford pulled level as Britos bundled in after Simon Mignolet could not keep out Richarlison’s shot.”

https://www.premierleague.com/match/22350

Chelsea lost to Burnley 3-2 at Stamford Bridge.

Can you say stink the joint out big time?

The Blues could be in for a long assed season if this junk keeps up.

Huddersfield shut out Crystal Place 3-0.

Everton defeated Stoke City 1-0.

West Brom shutout Bournemouth 1-0

Man Shitty scored two second half goals to blowout recently promoted Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0

On tap for later today we have Man U-West Ham and Newcastle and Tottenham.

De Futebol

Leeds kicked off the Championship season with a 3-2 win over Bolton.

The Daily Mail:” Could this be the year? It is a question Leeds United supporters ask every August and the answer is usually no.

However, if opening days are any barometer then the fallen Yorkshire giants may well have a shot at regaining the Premier League status they lost at this stadium a distant 13 years ago.

New manager Thomas Christiansen orchestrated a Roses victory that should not have been by such a narrow margin, with the visitors impressive but somehow left hanging on, on a rainy afternoon full of bright promise for the suffering hordes.

A double from Kalvin Phillips along with a predator’s strike from Chris Wood, with Gary Madine responding, gave Leeds the handsome lead their clinical efforts deserved at the break before an Adam Le Fondre penalty made for a nervy ending.

Christiansen was impressed but admitted he felt the strain. ‘My heart rate went up!’ he said. ‘This was the game I expected – a tough game against a good opponent – and a result I have dreamt of.’

The visitors went ahead after just seven minutes when Phillips drilled home a Pablo Hernandez corner with the aid of a deflection.

It sparked away end chants aimed at Garry Monk, the manager who jettisoned Leeds for the riches of Middlesbrough in the summer and whose new side lost their first match under his stewardship on Saturday.

They were not wishing him well. Those chants got a second airing on half an hour. Following a spell of Bolton pressure, Kemar Roofe found space on the right, crossed to the far post for new boy Ezgjan Alioski who smartly nodded inside to Wood.

The prolific Kiwi, five yards out, made no mistake, heading in off the underside of the bar. Wood plundered 27 goals last season and has been linked with a host of top flight clubs. ‘It is very important (he stays),’ Christiansen said when asked about his striker’s future. ‘But you never know what will happen. I am confident he will stay.’

Phil Parkinson’s men responded when Josh Vela’s corner found Madine at the far post to halve the deficit – but with home fans still celebrating it was 3-1 as Phillips tapped his second into an empty net following smart work from Wood.

On 65 minutes, Bolton were handed a lifeline when substitute Conor Shaughnessy acquainted himself too closely with Madine from a corner, almost pulling his shirt over his head.

After referee Simon Hooper pointed to the spot Le Fondre stepped up to fire the penalty right down the middle. Three goals, however, ended up being enough for three points.

‘To start the first game away with a win, it’s a very important and we have to continue with this,’ Christiansen added. ‘It’s started in a good way. We played the football I wanted to play.’

In the Denmark-born Spaniard, who is the seventh new manager to start a Leeds season in a row, they appear to have a bright young boss and have sold more season tickets than any other campaign since they plunged out of the top flight.

While it is early in his reign, new owner Andrea Radrizzani appears to be the safe pair of hands they have long-craved at theirs-again Elland Road and the eight summer signings will excite – although one of those arrivals, German goalkeeper Felix Wieldwald, will need to improve on a poor start here.

In a bid to cut down queues with a big crowd expected Bolton had asked fans to print their tickets at home rather than pick them up from the office. For long periods those supporters may have wished they stayed there, but Parkinson’s team showed spirit and improved from a shaky opening.

The manager, who saw David Wheater injured and the influential Vela stretchered off and taken to hospital, was pleased with the Wanderers’ efforts. ‘I thought we showed character and gave everything,’ he said.

‘I was pleased with the response. In the second half we were great and I take a lot of confidence from that. The third goal was a body blow because at 2-1 I thought Leeds were creaking.’ Parkinson has been offered a new contract and revealed he will sign it shortly. ‘It’s agreed with the chairman so hopefully we’ll get that done this week,’ he added.

His cash-strapped employers remain under a transfer embargo and last season’s promotion, a fine achievement, will be bettered if they avoid the drop this time around. Despite defeat, they showed enough here to suggest there should be three teams worse than them.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4765878/Bolton-2-3-Leeds-Kalvin-Phillips-bags-brace.html#ixzz4p4dJT7OV

De Futebol

Real Madrid defeated Man U 2-1 to win the Super Cup.

The Guardians Jamie Jackson wrote: “Manchester United were beaten but should take some encouragement for making Real Madrid fight until the end and, following Nemanja Matic’s fine performance, will hope real quality has been added to the midfield.

As it was, Madrid claimed the trophy, goals by Casemiro and Isco answered only by Romelu Lukaku’s first competitive strike since his £75m move from Everton – though he also missed an easier chance in what was a mixed outing for him.

Madrid dominated for large swathes yet United might have forced extra-time when, near the end, Marcus Rashford raced in at goal but his effort allowed goalkeeper Keylor Navas to steer the ball away for a corner.

There was a large roar when Cristiano Ronaldo was given the final few minutes – there were seven added – but Madrid’s real jubilation was in winning their second consecutive Uefa Super Cup to add to their back-to-back Champions League triumphs.

Gareth Bale missed the first golden opportunity in the oppressive heat inside the Philip II Arena. The 28-year-old, operating as a striker alongside Karim Benzema, won a corner. When play broke from this Marcelo swung in a cross from the left. For some reason Paul Pogba ducked and the ball landed on Bale’s right boot, but he spurned the chance despite being close to David de Gea’s goal.

For this first competitive outing of the 2017-18 term José Mourinho sent out a largely predictable XI. The one debatable selection was that of Jesse Lingard for Rashford in a 4-3-3. The midfield trio of Ander Herrera, Matic and Pogba is one the manager will hope to field consistently, form permitting.

The Madrid talking point was Ronaldo starting on the bench – he has only recently returned to training – and Bale’s inclusion from the off. According to Mourinho this meant Bale is not for sale, after the Portuguese’s claim in the buildup that should the Welshman be chosen by Zinedine Zidane he must be in his long-term plans. Mourinho conceded the point by saying it was “game over” in terms of that transfer and that Bale was going nowhere.

Despite the muggy air there was a slick pace to proceedings. Madrid’s initial burst was followed by Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pogba, Matic and Lukaku all combining in and around the Spanish champions’ area.

Matic particularly impressed. His was an all-round contribution that saw him cleaning up near De Gea and prompting Lukaku and Lingard into attacking pockets with clever balls.

Casemiro, though, showed how dangerous the European champions are from a Toni Kroos corner. The German floated in the ball in from the left and the Brazilian’s stooping header hit the bar, the No14 beating Matteo Darmian’s challenge.

Zidane’s strategy was for Bale and Benzema to swap between left and right and for playmaker Isco to race into holes they created. An illustration came when the latter burned along the left, played a give-and-go and let fly a 20-yarder.

His effort was too high but it was Isco’s dazzling footwork that led to Madrid’s opener. After a run-and-pirouette he took aim, the ball rebounding and falling to Dani Carvajal. The right-back scooped a sweet pass to Casemiro and his half-volley made it 1-0. Mourinho later complained this was offside but it looked marginal.

When Gianluca Rocchi called for drinks at 30 minutes United could thank the referee for the relief. Each coach had an animated chat though Mourinho was the more concerned.

The 54-year-old was to wear a dismayed look when United’s next two attacks foundered due two mistakes. First Herrera aimed a free-kick straight out. Then when the same player charged down a Kroos pass and Lukaku played himself offside by touching the ball. The half ended with a Benzema shot being beaten away by De Gea and Lukaku aiming a rare header at Navas.

Mourinho replaced the anonymous Lingard with Rashford for the second half. Yet United were almost instantly pinned back. Kroos forced De Gea to save to his right, then a Mkhitaryan dribble foundered and Marcelo failed to make the keeper save again.

The next time they attacked there was no mistake. It was too simple, though, as an Isco-Bale one-two saw the former double the Spaniards’ lead.

Worse followed when Pogba headed straight at Navas and Lukaku blasted the rebound wide from close-range – this was the chance that might have taken the contest into a further half an hour. Mourinho acted by swapping Herrera for Marouane Fellaini and after Bale hit the bar United pulled one back.

The goal was down to Lukaku’s alertness. The excellent Matic fired at Navas and when the ball came back the Belgian striker slotted it in with his right boot from a few yards out.

Following a Ramos-Fellaini clash of heads Fellaini required lengthy treatment but after a sizeable protector was put on he could continue.

United did the same until final whistle. This was not a vintage offering but Mourinho is right to be encouraged ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener against West Ham United at Old Trafford.”

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/08/real-madrid-manchester-united-super-cup-match-report

 

De Futebol

The English Championship is underway. The Daily Mail:” The Championship may only be one day old but so good was the goal that decided this game it will be tough to better in the 295 days of competition to follow.

Barrie McKay certainly earned the plaudits even as Nottingham Forest were not even close to deserving victory over Millwall.

By any measure, the visitors should have won handsomely, and can be aggrieved for a disallowed goal 15 minutes from the end.

Steve Morison finished off Jed Wallace’s cross from a tight angle and ran to celebrate with the away fans for a good 30 seconds. But referee Peter Bankes had spotted an infringement that nobody else saw and eventually blew his whistle. It was a call that left Neil Harris justifiably baffled. For Mark Warburton, it was a fortunate start to what he hopes will be Forest’s reawakening.

Both these sides entered this new season having finished the last in frenetic fashion. Millwall won promotion from League One at Wembley, while Forest required a last-day victory to avoid relegation.

Optimism has since spread at the City Ground as the takeover by Evangelos Marinakis begins to create positive change behind the scenes after the damaging reign of Fawaz Al-Hasawi. On the pitch Warburton has shaped his team in his image during a promising pre-season.

But it was Millwall, well honed in Harris’s methods, who began much the sharper. George Saville clipped the outside of the post from close range and Millwall created six further clear cut chances in the opening half. But somehow the hosts went in ahead.

It was a special goal too, and it will be difficult to improve upon throughout these nine months ahead.

McKay became a regular at Rangers under Warburton and the Forest manager was determined to bring him south of the border this summer. At a cost of £500,000 due to his contract being a year from expiration, the winger already looks superb value for money.

Forest were struggling badly to find any fluency against a structured defence until McKay took responsibility four minutes before the interval. Collecting the ball on the left touchline, he cut inside, glided past two Millwall players and struck the sweetest of shots from 25 yards that flew in off the near post.

Warburton still left the field at half-time shaking his head in frustration at the manner of his team’s performance prior to that. Millwall had cut them open at will.

Morison struck the crossbar with a volley from a corner, Lee Gregory skied an effort when through, and Aiden O’Brien sent a header over when it really ought to have rippled the net.

Gregory also drew a brilliant save from Jordan Smith with a fierce shot on the turn, and O’Brien headed another chance over from Shaun Hutchinson’s free-kick.

Gregory was again through after a neat one-two with Saville but his shot was scuffed and Smith was down to stop.

If anything, Millwall’s profligacy grew after the break. Smith erred horribly by throwing the ball to Morison, who squared to Gregory but the striker got under his finish for an appalling miss.

Millwall were not done there. In the 65th minute a slick break involving Gregory and Morison saw Jed Wallace with only Smith to beat but the Forest goalkeeper was once again equal to the task.

When they did finally get the ball in the net, Bankes intervened and was on the receiving end from Harris after the final whistle.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-4762032/Nottingham-Forest-1-0-Millwall-McKay-s-strike-wins-it.html#ixzz4oso25pH2

De Futebol

Liverpool defeated Bayern Munich 3-0 to advance to the finals of Audi Cup.

The Guardians Andy Hunter wrote:” Daniel Sturridge has given Liverpool a pre-season injury scare after suffering a thigh problem while scoring the final goal in a convincing 3-0 defeat of Bayern Munich.

The injury-prone Liverpool striker chipped an exquisite finish over Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich in the 83rd minute of the Audi Cup game at the Allianz Arena. In doing so Sturridge, a 67th minute substitute for Jürgen Klopp’s team, sustained a thigh injury that forced his own substitution with four minutes remaining. The England international will have further tests before the full extent of the problem and any lay-off is known.

“I can’t say [the extent] but he hurt his thigh,” said Klopp after the win that set up a final against Atlético Madrid on Wednesday. “He has prepared really well and I just hope it’s only a small injury and he can play again soon. His goal was really great and he had another chance before that. You could see how fast he is. It is a shame and I just hope it is nothing serious.”

Sturridge later downplayed the injury, insisting he “will be OK”. “I think it’s just a bit of fatigue. I’m feeling the best I’ve felt for a while,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the season and hopefully we can have some success this season as well.”

Any time on the sidelines would represent a significant setback to Sturridge who, despite doubts over his long-term Liverpool future at the end of last season, has impressed Klopp this summer with his fitness and application. The striker had spoken only recently about his sharpness after being sidelined by a hip injury last season and losing his starting role in the Liverpool team behind Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho. The competition for forward places in Klopp’s side has intensified following the club record signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma this summer, and Liverpool’s attacking prowess was evident as they beat Bayern comfortably at the Allianz Arena.

Mané, who is working his way back to full fitness having undergone knee surgery in April, opened the scoring against Carlo Ancelotti’s team and was instrumental in Liverpool’s second, a close-range header from Salah. Bayern enjoyed plenty of possession but could not cope with their opponents’ pace and penetration on the counter attack.

The Bundesliga champions face their first competitive match of the season on Saturday – the German Supercup Final against Klopp’s old club Borussia Dortmund – and their preparations have been far from ideal. Bayern have lost to Arsenal, Milan, Internazionale and now Liverpool in pre-season. Robert Lewandowski’s obvious displeasure at the poor quality service he received and an anonymous display from summer recruit James Rodriguez, stationed wide on the right, showed Ancelotti has several problems to address ahead of the new season. Not that Klopp got carried away with Liverpool’s most impressive result of the summer so far.

“Nearly everything was good but we are still in our preparations, we haven’t played enough football so far, and Bayern enjoyed too much possession tonight,” the Liverpool manager said. “We gave the ball to Bayern too much and we had to run around too much but at times my team showed how good they can play football. The third goal was great. In attack we were really good. In the first half we were very dangerous on the counter, the pressing was very good.”

Out-of-favour Alberto Moreno, who has been linked with a move away from Liverpool this summer, produced a productive display at left back. Klopp suggested the Spanish defender would have a future at Anfield if he displayed that form on a more consistent basis.

Klopp said: “He would play if he played like he did today, yes. It was a really good game by Alberto. Every second he was playing better, that’s why we kept playing him. He looked really fit although he had a little problem with his thigh but we had a test with him this morning and he was OK. The players decide themselves how many games they play.”

In the other Audi Cup semi-final Atlético came from a goal behind to beat Napoli 2-1 thanks to strikes from Fernando Torres and Luciano Vietto. Diego Simeone’s team also had Diego Godín sent off for two bookable offences, the second of which sparked furious exchanges between the opposing benches. “I hope things will calm down for tomorrow as we want to play a bit,” said Klopp.

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/aug/01/liverpool-daniel-sturridge-thigh-injury-will-be-ok