Jose Mourinho vs. Pep Guardiola’s eagerly awaited battle will not take place.
The new managers of Manchester United and Manchester City will have to wait until October of the new Premier League until they can lock horns for the first-time in Manchester.
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The first-ever Manchester derby was set to take place on foreign soil in the International Champions Cup but it was cancelled Monday as extreme weather conditions in Beijing in recent days led to severe damage to the playing surface at the Birds Nest Stadium in the Chinese capital.
Both teams have made huge deals of their preseason tours to China with new kits being unveiling on the Great Wall and plenty of promotional events lined up.
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However Manchester United vs. Manchester City will not be rescheduled and the two clubs, along with the organizers of the ICC tournament, released the following statement after the cancellation of the high-profile friendly.
The cancellation was made in the interest of player safety and comes following extreme weather events in Beijing over a multiple day period, that have left the playing surface in a condition deemed to be unfit for play. The conditions experienced in Beijing on July 19 and July 20 were reported as being some of the most extreme weather conditions the capital of China has experienced in recent history. Regular rain occurred also on July 21 and July 22.
The decision was made collectively by tournament organisers, participating clubs, the China Football Association, the Beijing Football Association and the management of the National Stadium.
Due to international travel schedules and planned sporting commitments, the match cancellation is definitive and the match will not be re-scheduled.
The International Champions Cup and its participating clubs thanked and apologised to fans in China and around the world who were planning to attend the match or watch the match broadcast.
To acknowledge the support of fans, players of Manchester City and Manchester United will record and distribute a thank you video for fans in China before departing Beijing.
Both Mourinho and Guardiola had expressed severe concern over the playing surface in Beijing, with both teams forced to train elsewhere leading up to the game. Mourinho also had his press conference first cancelled due to the extreme heat inside the conference room and then hastily arranged on a running track on the side of a pitch.
Media covering the game in China’s largest city called the organization of the event “farcical” and the group running the ICC tournament, Relevant Sports, will certainly have plenty of questions to answer.
Reports claim that a fungus had developed on the pitch after record rainfall in Beijing in recent weeks. That was coupled with soaring temperatures which ensured the pitch could not be patched up in time and wasn’t suitable to host the game.
It is a big blow for fans of both clubs in China, with over 50,000 tickets sold in the 90,000 capacity stadium. The event was capped to 60,000 tickets but now both clubs have traveled to China to each play one game in the searing heat.
United lost 4-1 to Borussia Dortmund in temperatures close to 100 degrees last week, while City will play Dortmund on Thursday before returning to England.
City have forged close links with China after owner Sheikh Mansour sold a 13 percent stake in the club to Chinese investors last December. In the coming months and years the organizers of the ICC and other friendly tournaments will try to make sure these events aren’t replicated.
Weather is weather and can’t be controlled but it is clear the situation surrounding this mammoth game in Beijing was far from ideal.
From the Endearing Jurgen Klopp Tales file, the Liverpool manager reportedly starred in defense, midfield and attack for a squad full of Reds coaches against Stanford on Sunday.
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Liverpool, who have based themselves on the sunny, warm Stanford University campus as part of their preparations for the 2016-17 Premier League, took on the collegiate side and played the youngsters to a 1-1 draw.
Klopp failed to get his name on the scoresheet, though the former Mainz striker had one golden chance turned away by Stanford’s goalkeeper. The same couldn’t be said for physiotherapist Ruben Pons, who scored from beyond the halfway line on a mishit long ball over the top.
With all the goodwill Klopp has banked with Reds fans in his first nine months at the club, he’s now only a PL title away from securing his place as an eternal Liverpool legend.
Liverpool will take on Chelsea in each side’s first International Champions Cup fixture Wednesday night (11 p.m. ET) in Pasadena, Calif.
Following Steve Bruce’s sudden and unexpected resignation this week, Hull City find themselves without a first-team manager 20 days before the 2016-17 Premier League opener, which will pit the PL newcomers (again) against the reigning PL champions (not again) Leicester City on Aug. 13.
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The man presently in charge of the club, Mike Phelan, who served as Sir Alex Ferguson‘s no. 2 for a number of years at Manchester United, has essentially no first-team managerial experience, but he’s eager to cut his teeth and wants the job anyway — quotes from the Hull Daily Mail:
“I want to be a manager. I don’t really see why I shouldn’t want to be a manager. Time will tell. That decision doesn’t sometimes come down to you.
“I’ve had a small chat and I was asked if I would carry on being in charge for now. We have games, we have preparations, we’ve still got three weeks to go.
“My job is no different to what it has been except now I’m stood on the touchline in games doing my bit. We just have to do our job, there’s nothing else we can do until the powers that be make their decisions.”
Here’s why it’s (obviously) crazy for the club to delay a final decision any longer than absolutely necessary: with every passing day, important preparations for a PL season, a campaign in which the Tigers will almost certainly be fighting for their top-division status, are being undertaken by an interim boss who, based upon the daily whims of an outgoing owner, may or may not be the man to lead Hull into that 38-game battle.
Phelan previously served as interim manager for Norwich City in 2015, for a period totaling four days.
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Serge Aurier scored twice and Paris Saint-Germain beat Inter Milan 3-1 on Sunday at the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium.
Layvin Kurzawa also scored for PSG on a free kick in the 61st minute in the International Champions Cup match. Stevan Jovetic scored for Inter Milan on a penalty kick in stoppage time following the first half.
Autzen Stadium, the home football field of the Oregon Ducks, hosted the match, part of the International Champions Cup. Real grass was laid down on the artificial turf field, obscuring the yellow `O’ at midfield.
The International Champions Cup is an exhibition tournament involving 17 teams playing on four different continents. It serves a tuneup for the regular season.
Inter Milan was coming off a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake earlier in the week in Utah. Striker Mauro Icardi played in that match, and was given the day off against PSG.
Paris Saint-Germain, which beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 its last time out on July 14 in Austria, is embarking on its first season under Unai Emery, who took over for Laurnet Blanc. In addition to the new manager, PSG will also need to adjust to the departure of enigmatic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who signed with Manchester United earlier this month.
Ibrahimovic had 38 goals in 31 French league games last season, helping PSG to a fourth successive title. On Sunday midfielder Javier Pastore wore No. 10.
Angel Di Maria, Edinson Cavani and Thomas Meunier entered as subs for Paris Saint-Germain in the second half.
Di Maria had just returned to his club team earlier in the week after taking some time off following the Copa America tournament. He played for his native Argentina in the final, which Chile won on penalty kicks.
David Luiz apparently did not make the trip to Eugene from Los Angeles, where PSG was training.
Aurier, who played in the 2014 World Cup for his native Ivory Coast, left-footed the rebound of a free kick off goalkeeper Samir Handanovic into the bottom left corner.
Inter Milan evened it on Jovetic’s penalty kick into the top right corner in extra time following the first half. The penalty was awarded when Lucas Moura was called for a handball.
Aurier had a good chance in the 57th minute but his shot hit the crossbar. A few minutes later, Kurzawa struck a perfectly placed free kick that Handanovic couldn’t reach that put PSG in front.
Aurier’s second goal was a header off a cross from Alec Georgen in the 87th minute.