Monthly Archives: September 2016

Atletico Madrid tops group D after home win against Bayern

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Atletico needed just a single goal to defeat Bayern Munich and cut short the undefeated streak of the Bundesliga giants.

Both teams entered the Vincente Calderon on undefeated records in all competitions since the start of the season, but Yannick Carrasco’s single goal was enough for Atletico to inflict defeat upon Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

However, the two teams had also created sufficient chances that could have changed the course of the game throughout.

Fernando Torres hit the woodwork with a header early on, as his teammate Antoine Griezmann also found the bar late in the game with a penalty.

As for Bayern, Franck Ribery and Robert Lewandowski also missed when chances on goal presented themselves. Lewandowski, who was also Bayern’s primary attacking threat, saw little of the ball – and headed his only chance wide from an unmarked position near the penalty spot.

In the end, the single vital touch was at 35 minutes when Griezmann finds Carrasco with a through ball for the Belgian winger to hit a left-footed shot past Manuel Neuer.

The match ended at 1-0, a repeat of the first-leg scoreline between the sides in last year’s semi-final clash, and was also Ancelotti’s first defeat as manager for Bayern.

The result placed Atletico on top of group D on six points from two games, three clear of Bayern in second. At the same time, PSV Eindhoven and Rostov, who drew 2-2 in Russia, are level on one point.

Zlatan header wins first Europa League match for United

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Manchester United rises from the bottom of their Europa League group with a 1-0 win against Zorya Luhansk thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic header.

The former Sweden International nods home the second-half winner after a mis-hit shot from substitute Wayne Rooney.

It was also United’s first shot on target in the game despite dominating the game with 70% of possession at Old Trafford.

“It was not an easy game,” Ibrahimovic said after the game. “We played well, created chances, but this is a typical game.”

“When you don’t score in the beginning, the spaces get smaller and smaller. After the goal, we had more space but it was a decent game. We won and that is what counts after losing against Feyenoord.”

Zorya’s well drilled defense had indeed been able to kept United at bay, as the Red Devils appeared slow and hesitant going forward.

United coach Jose Mourinho was also realistic about the win, despite having recorded three straight wins after suffering three consecutive defeats.

“One week, three defeats. One week, three victories. But I was not depressed by the defeats and I am not over the moon with three wins,” he said.

“It was difficult. We had our chances in the first half, we could have scored and it would have been a different match. But we didn’t.”

“They kept organised and had plenty of players behind the ball but with players ready to do something on the counter-attack. It was difficult and we needed to win.”

Nonetheless, the result moved United up to third, level on three points with Feyenoord. The Manchester club is also one point adrift of Turkish leaders Fenerbahce, who travel to Old Trafford on 20 October in the next round of games.

Marcus Rashford left out of England U-21s

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Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has been left out by England Under-21s just three days before the next senior squad was to be named.

The 18-year-old was part of England’s Euro 2016 squad in the summer.

However, he was not picked for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia earlier this month, and instead debuted for the English under-21s against Norway, scoring a hat-trick in the process.

But following coach Sam Allardyce prompt dismissal, Rashford was left out of newly appointed Under-21s manager Aidy Boothroyd’s squad, as Gareth Southgate stepping up to lead the senior team for four matches.

It is easy to imagine Rashford would have a place in the senior squad once more.

He had been demoted because Allardyce had been concerned at Rashford’s lack of game time back in August, but it was not an issue in September, after Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho featured the young striker in more matches (five) and minutes (316) for United this month than Wayne Rooney (four and 277 respectively).

On the other hand, Southgate also reassured that Wayne Rooney retains his captaincy of the England squad as he prepares to name his squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovenia next month.

Southgate had informed the forward by phone that Rooney would remain an important part of the English squad despite the United player’s indifferent recent form, after he seeked assurances from the interim manager after a tumultuous few days as to what role he would play in the next four games.

Sam Allardyce leaves England job after just one game

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Sam Allardyce has left his job as England manager by mutual consent after just one match in charge.

Allardyce, 61, was appointed to his posts just 67 days ago. He would end his brief stint as England boss with a 100% record after the Three Lions defeated Slovakia by 1-0 in their first World Cup qualifying match.

His departure came after a newspaper investigation by the Telegraph alleged that Allardyce had negotiated for a fee of £400,000 to represent an overseas firm that was hoping to profit from Premier League transfers, before he had even named his first squad.

It was also claimed that Allardyce also offered advice on how to “get around” the FA’s own regulations on third-party ownership, was disparaging about his predecessor Roy Hodgson’s speech impediment, said that assistant Gary Neville should “sit down and shut up”, and criticised the FA’s “stupid” -Wembley redevelopment.

Following emergency meetings between Allardyce, Football Association chief executive Martin Gleen and chairman Greg Clarke, the news soon came that a “deeply disappointed” Allardyce had agreed to quit by “mutual consent”.

Gareth Southgate, manager for England U-21s, will replace him in England’s next four matches against against Malta, Slovenia, Scotland and Spain. He could take the job on a permanent basis if he impresses.

The FA has since issued a statement: “Allardyce’s conduct, as reported today, was inappropriate of the England manager. He accepts he made a significant error of judgment and has apologized.”

“However, due to the serious nature of his actions, the FA and Allardyce have mutually agreed to terminate his contract with immediate effect.”

Allardyce had also offered a “sincere and wholehearted apology” for his actions.

“Although it was made clear during the recorded conversations that any proposed arrangements would need the FA’s full approval, I recognise I made some comments which have caused embarrassment,” Allardyce said.

“As part of today’s meeting, I was asked to clarify what I said and the context in which the conversations took place. I have co-operated fully in this regard.”

Allardyce had succeeded Roy Hodgson in July after England’s disastrous Euro 2016 campaign in France, but the duration of his time as England coach meant that he will be the shortest serving manager for the national side.