International friendly roundup: Neymar leads Brazil; Mexico falls in Chicago

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Six teams headed to Brazil were in action on Tuesday, with the only World Cup qualifier that lost its friendly doing so with a drastically changed squad. With nine changes to the team that bested Ecuador on Saturday, Miguel Herrera seemed less concerned with getting Mexico a win than taking a final look at players he may be considering for his starting lineup.

Elsewhere, two seeded teams posted multi-goal victories, while two nations targeting second place in their groups failed to covert their chances in Philadelphia.

Here’s a rundown of the day’s results:

Switzerland 2-0 Peru – The last World Cup warm up for Group E’s seeded side nearly ended in a disappointing draw in Lucerne, but with goals in the 74th and 84th minutes from Stephan Lichtsteiner and Xherdan Shaqiri, Ottmar Hitzfeld’s team salvaged a respectable result. With just one loss in their last 18 matches, Switzerland leaves for Brazil on Friday.

Brazil 4-0 Panama – Neymar added a back heel assist to his early free kick goal to leads the Seleçao to a decisive victory in Goiás. Dani Alves had given the World Cup hosts a 2-0 lead by halftime, but goals from Hulk and Willian doubling the team’s lead before the final whistle.

Greece 0-0 Nigeria – A pro-Greece crowd a PPL Park saw the sides share chances in the first half, but as the second half played out, the Super Eagles looked closer to claiming the game’s first goal. By full time, however, despite late chances for each side, nine combined shots on target couldn’t produce a goal, with the Nigerians held scoreless ahead of Saturday’s meeting with the United States.

Mexico 0-1 Bosnia-Herzegovina – Herrera’s mass changes led to a flat showing at Solider Field in Chicago. With an announcement on the team’s starting lineup expected in the next couple of days, Mexico conceded to Izet Hajrovic just before halftime. Despite introducing Isaac Brizuela, Alan Pulido, Andres Guardado, Giovani dos Santos, and Marco Fabián in the second half, El Tri  was held scoreless ahead Friday’s trip to Gillette Stadium.

Jurgen Klopp announced as new Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool FC
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Enough with the speculation and reports already, because it’s finally officially official: Jurgen Klopp has been appointed the newest manager of Liverpool Football Club, the Merseyside club announced on Thursday.

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Klopp will be unveiled to the world at an introductory press conference at Anfield on Friday.

According to early reports, Klopp’s three-year contract could pay him as much as $10 million per season.

[ QUOTE KING: Top 10 “Klopp-isms” from his time at Dortmund ]

The 48-year-old German has been out of work since stepping down at Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund following a seventh-place finish to the 2014-15 season. Klopp’s seven seasons in charge of Dortmund weren’t without success and silverware, though, as he led Der BVB to back-to-back league titles in 2011 and 2012, a German Cup triumph in 2012 and a UEFA Champions League final appearance in 2013.

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright will be at Anfield on Friday for Klopp’s unveiling, so be sure to follow JPW on Twitter and check back to PST for wall-to-wall coverage of Klopp’s first press conference as Liverpool manager.

Mourinho “working like never before” to turn Chelsea around

Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Jose Mourinho got the dreaded much-needed vote of confidence from Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich last weekend, seemingly giving the Portuguese manager a temporary stay of execution despite the Blues’ worst start to a season in 37 years.

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Speaking this week, Mourinho has revealed that while he’s thankful to have been kept on at the club for which he regularly professes his love, he still thinks it was no-brainer for Abramovich. In other words, Mourinho’s not backing down from his incredible, seven-minute rant to one question following Saturday’s defeat to Southampton.

Mourinho, on what he’s doing to turn Chelsea around — quotes from the Guardian:

“It shows the confidence of Abramovich in the manager who has won three Premier League titles with this club. I thank him and I keep working.

“What’s going on? I do not know. The results with Chelsea at the moment have been really bad. I cannot hide that reality, and I don’t want to. And I struggle to find an explanation. But I assure you: I’m working like never before and we will come out of this. And there is also the Champions League that we will not neglect, for certain.”

What did you expect from Mourinho? Well, you know, I should probably be fired, but thanks to Mr. Abramovich for not realizing this and keeping me employed? It’s simultaneously interesting and the least surprising thing ever, though, that Mourinho claims to not know what’s wrong with Chelsea at the moment. Of course he has a theory (or five), and of course he’s “working like never before” to correct it.

[ MORE: Ozil, Coquelin say Arsenal can win the title this season ]

The most fascinating thing about Chelsea’s sluggish start to the season is to see, hear and read Mourinho speaking from a position of powerlessness. Always the clever one, the one dictating where the discussion goes, the one in charge of every press interaction, Saturday’s rant felt like watching a desperate Mourinho grasping for anything by which to pull himself back up.