Following Chelsea’s thrilling 2-0 victory over Liverpool on Sunday, NBCSN’s Rebecca Lowe sat down with England legend Gary Lineker to discuss the brilliance of Jose Mourinho.
Lineker’s fascination with Mourinho begins with his ability to concoct a lineup of players who have never played together and make it work. That was no more obvious than looking at Chelsea’s back four, which consisted of a player who had yet to make a Premier League appearance, Tomas Kalas, being paired with Branislav Ivanovic at center-back while normal left-back Cesar Azpilicueta moved to the right-side and out-of-favor Ashley Cole returned to left-back.
It was a setup that looked primed for Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling to tear open, except it never happened. The inclusion of John Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic at holding midfield provided an extra buffer for the defense, and also allowed the attacking midfielders – Andre Schurrle, Mohamed Salah, Frank Lampard, and later, Willian – to cause problems on the counter.
The team choice was impressive, as was the result, which came in the middle of the semi-final legs of the Champions League. It was a feat by Mourinho that didn’t impress Brendan Rodgers but had Lineker floored, noting: “The man is special, no doubt about it.”
Men In Blazers podcast: Mourinho’s Chelsea return; Bradley’s 1st point
After failing to qualify for the playoffs in each of their first eight seasons, 2015 saw the Reds venture into the postseason for the first time ever, only to be thumped in the knockout round, 3-0, by their 401 derby rival Montreal Impact, of all sides.
This is the year, though, or so we’ve said and been told all season long. While it remains to be seen how deep of a run TFC can muster in 2016, they’ll always have the Jozy Altidore‘s terrible first touch; Altidore’s wayward second and third touches; Altidore’s overhead cross; and Sebastian Giovinco’s strike, all of which you can watch in all its hilarity glory below.
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) United States international Julian Green scored in his first official start as title holder Bayern Munich eased to a 3-1 win over Augsburg to reach the third round of the German Cup on Wednesday.
Green’s first goal in a competition match for Bayern came in the 42nd minute with a header off a cross by Thomas Mueller.
The 21-year-old American winger played in the previous German Cup round, coming off the bench in a 5-0 win over Carl-Zeiss Jena. Green has been in coach Carlo Ancelotti’s squad several times this season but this was his first start.
Manchester United will take on West Ham United at Old Trafford, while Arsenal will welcome Southampton to the Emirates Stadium. All quarterfinal fixtures will be played the week commencing Nov. 28.
As for the other two matchups, Liverpool host Leeds United at Anfield, and Hull City will face one of the three clubs they replaced in the PL this season, recently relegated Newcastle United, at the KCOM Stadium.
Full EFL Cup quarterfinal draw
Liverpool vs. Leeds United
Manchester United vs. West Ham
Hull City vs. Newcastle United
Arsenal vs. Southampton