Van Gaal's no-nonsense approach has already won him plenty of fans in the terraces.

Premier League on tour, Tuesday roundup: United beat Inter in penalties

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Manchester United continued their success in the US with a third consecutive victory, winning 5-4 on penalties against Inter Milan after a 0-0 draw in regulation.

Despite the goalless scoreline, the match was an entertaining one with Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal trying out a number of different players and approaches.

Juan Mata and Ander Herrera enjoyed strong performances in the center of midfield while Inter Milan’s Fredy Guarin nearly won the match for his side after coming on as a substitute. In the end the goalless draw was settled in penalties where Darren Fletcher scored the winner after Marco Andreolli put his effort off the cross bar.

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Van Gaal lined up United in his fabled 3-5-2 formation meaning Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young were wingbacks, no doubt a first for the latter. Early on United possessed the ball well despite Inter packing the midfield with a 5-4-1 formation. Mata looked lively for United and in the 37th minute helped manufacture a decent chance through Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck that was cut out before a shot could be hit. Three minutes later and it was the Spaniard again looking dangerous, with a drilled shot fizzing just wide.

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In the second half van Gaal made nine substitutions, including new boy Luke Shaw, who had recently been criticized by his manager for poor fitness. Things remained tight in the midfield and United enjoyed a few flashes from Wilfried Zaha and Nani, on for Rooney and Welbeck as the two strikers. In the 71st minute, Young and Nani combined down the right side and found and Tom Cleverley on the cross but his shot went well over the bar. In the 85th minute it was Inter substitute Guarin who came close to breaking the deadlock when his screamer of a free kick from 25 yards out was tipped over the bar by substitute goalkeeper David De Gea.

With the 0-0 draw at the final whistle it was off to penalties where Young, Javier Hernandez, Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa scored for United while Guarin, Yann M’Villa and Saphir Taider found the back of the net for Inter before Andreolli missed and Fletcher banged home the winner.

Other Premier League Results From Tuesday
Exeter City 0-2 Swansea City
Leyton Orient 2-2 Queens Park Rangers
Recreativo Huelva 0-1 Sunderland

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
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Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.

EURO 2016: Ireland shock Germany, Northern Ireland qualify

Shane Long, Ireland
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A recap of Thursday’s action in 2016 European Championship qualifying:

Ireland 1-0 Germany

Southampton striker Shane Long scored the goal that knocked off the defending world champions and pushed Ireland one step closer to next summer’s European Championship in France. Long, who entered the game in the 65th minute, latched onto Darren Randolph‘s ball over the top in the 70th minute, took one touch to settle and fired for the far post, beating Manuel Neuer for the game’s only goal.

With one game still to play, Ireland (18 points) sit third in Group D, level on points with Sunday’s opponent Poland. While the winner of Sunday’s clash could leapfrog Germany (19), they will more likely finish second in the group and qualify automatically. A draw on Sunday could still see both sides qualify automatically through the ranking of third-place finishers (the top third-place finishers from group play earns an automatic berth at EURO 2016).

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece

Norther Ireland (20 points) topped Greece (3), 3-1 on Thursday to officially book their place at EURO 2016. Steven Davis scored twice and Josh Magennis added the third for Michael O’Neill’s side.

With one game still to play (Sunday, at Finland), Northern Ireland can finish no lower than second. A draw against Finland, or any points dropped by Romania (17) would see Northern Ireland finish top of Group F.

Portugal 1-0 Denmark

Joao Moutinho scored the only goal of the game to secure Portugal’s (18 points from just seven games) place at next summer’s tournament. The defeat sees Denmark remain second in Group I, a point ahead of third-place Albania, who lost to Serbia on Thursday. Having played all eight of their group games, Denmark can go no higher than 12 points, meaning they would fail to qualify if Albania beat Armenia on Sunday. A draw between Albania and Armenia would see Denmark qualify based on tiebreakers.

Elsewhere in EURO 2016 qualifying action

Group D

Scotland 2-2 Poland
Georgia 4-0 Gibraltar

Group F

Hungary 2-1 Faroe Islands
Romania 1-1 Finland

Group I

Albania 0-2 Serbia