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The Mourinho Era Begins

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After months of speculation, hundreds of millions spent on summer signings and a plenty of quotable one liners, Mourinho and Manchester United finally got their premier league campaign underway.  

And a steady start it was for the Red Devils as they took 3 points with 3 goals from the usual suspects.  Much to the surprise of United fans, Juan Mata got the start under Mourinho and got the campaign underway with the first goal of the season with 5 minutes to go in the first half.

Mata has been linked towards being the first big name stars on the way out under Mourinho’s rule but the little spaniard looked in control, exercised a fantastic workrate and showed why he would be worth keeping around.

That’s not to say that United didn’t take time to grow into the game.  It took a double error by Simon Francis to grab the opener.  Wayne Rooney returned to a more advanced attacking role and it took some time for him to become acclimate himself.  Eventually, he looked more at ease with his passing and control and spearheaded the much improved United attack by heading home United’s second with 30 minutes to play.

First Win

It was something of a different feel about United attack from last year’s stifled strains under Louis Van Gaal.  Perhaps it was Mourinho, perhaps it was Louis Van Gaal’s departure, or perhaps it was the one signing brought on to do just one thing.  Score goals.  

Zlatan announced his arrival in spectacular fashion.  After scoring the winning goal in United’s Community Shield win over Leicester City last week, he was eager to open up his Premier League goalscoring account.  

He did so with a superb strike in the 64th minute as he stroked it past Artur Boruc.  It was classic Zlatan at his best scoring goals where others have no business even trying for.  

His flick on to Rooney should have ended with a goal but his hold up play, strength and determination showed just how important a signing he will be in the season to come for United.  

Zlatan Time

Bournemouth grabbed a consolation goal as Martial was caught sleeping on a through pass but this was a complete performance by Mourinho’s men.  It can only get better with Paul Pogba expecting to make his debut for United in the weeks to come.  He will add even more threat, control and poise to the United midfield.  

Mourinho has never lost an opening game in the Premier League and his 100% record stays in tact.  Many have questioned Mourinho’s arrival and if it’s the right thing for United.  Today proved that he was not about to fall victim to his predecessor’s follies.  

He looked fierce on the touchline, full of passion and fire.  He demanded more of his players even when United led by 2 goals.  Mourinho will always be a careful manager when it comes to tactics but 3 goals and 3 points in his first match has gotten United off to a fiery start and something exciting to look forward to this season.  

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Juventus Fans Arrested After Clash with Police

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Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Ajax has already been marred by violence and controversy, before the teams even took to the pitch.

According to Ansa, citing a report from De Telegraaf, dozens of fans were reportedly arrested in Amsterdam in the hours leading up to the game.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (h/t Football Italia) took to Facebook live video to state that “around 120” fans had been arrested.

Per the report from De Telegraaf, fans near the Johan Cruyff Arena were “in possession of knives, clubs, pepper spray and flares.” Also, dozens of Ajax supporters were reported to have clashed with riot police in separate incidents outside the stadium and were eventually dispersed with the use of tear gas and water cannons.

The Mirror posted the following images on their Twitter page:

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Man City forward Raheem Sterling Looking to Combat Racism on the Pitch

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Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, who spoke out last month after being subjected to taunts during England’s game in Montenegro, is looking to take his fight against racism to the pitch, saying he would rather stay on the field than let racism force him to walk off of the pitch during a match.

Sterling’s manager Pep Guardiola, stated that he would support players walking off in protest if it happened again, in a strong statement that racism is simply not acceptable.

“I think everyone are entitled to their own opinions. My mum has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am,” Sterling said, according to the Manchester Evening News.

“I wouldn’t personally agree with [walking off], to win the game would hurt them even more they’re only trying to get you down. If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.

“Everyone’s different. Everyone has their own opinion, how they deal with things emotionally and you have to support everyone.”

Sterling opened up about the racism he has faced in his life, discussing when he first expereinced racism when he moved from North London up to the north-west back in 2010.

“I don’t think trying to make a difference or making a difference, it’s about speaking what you experience. Some people might shy away from it, if more players speak up that might be better.

“It’s offensive but growing up my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this. When I hear it, it’s nothing new. I’m happy with it. I’m confident, I’m black and I’m proud. Some people can’t take it but my mum has always told me to love who I am.

“The first time I experienced racism is when I went up north to Liverpool – in London in schools and on a day-to-day basis you’re surrounded by a diverse community. Only a few occasions growing up in the academy in Liverpool, and then mainly in the last couple of years of being a professional.”

 

 

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Birmingham City Fan Jailed for 14 Days for Punching Aston Villa Player

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27-year old Paul Mitchel, a Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 days after he plead guilt to assaulting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Graelish during the derby on Sunday.

Mitchell rushed the pitch and took a swing at Graelish when the player’s back was turned at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s stadium during the Championship match on Sunday.

Mitchell admitted to invading the pitch and has been officially banned from attending any football match in the U.K. for up to 10 years, and was also ordered to pay £350 in total fines.

Graelish made a statement in which he described how he was “shocked and scared” by the attack.

“I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident,” he said (h/t ESPN). “It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon.”

“He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning,” Mitchell’s lawyer, Vaughn Whistance, said on Monday.

“His initial foolish intention was to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd. He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a 2-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”

“This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour,” said a spokesperson for the FA.

“On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.

“Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.

“This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.

“We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.

“In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place.”

Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Aston Villa and banned Mitchell for life.

“Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in Sunday afternoon’s derby match,” a club statement said.

“We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St. Andrew’s for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.

“The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.

“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this — there are no excuses.

“Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club.”

 

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