MLS Snapshot: Real Salt Lake 1-1 New York Red Bulls

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[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0g9sLUqxqw]

One game, 100 words or less: A resilient night from New York allowed the Red Bulls to take a point out of Rio Tinto, despot being held to one shot on target. On a layoff from Tim Cahill in the 57th minute, Thierry Henry pulled back João Plata’s first half opener, opening his right-foot on an equalizer from just outside the penalty box. Limiting Real Salt Lake to four tries on target, New York leveraged Henry’s lone shot for a 1-1 draw in Utah.

Goals

Real Salt Lake: Plata 18′
New York: Henry 57′

Three moments that mattered:

18′ – Just … don’t let him soon – And Chris Duvall tried, but as the rookie right back leapt to try keep Plata from getting his shot on goal, the RSL attacker slid his try underneath the 22-year-old, beating Luis Robles far post for an early opener.

57′ – We’re going to miss you, Titi – At halftime, ESPN’s Alexi Lalas relayed the feeling around the league: Thierry Henry’s probably done after this season. Just over 12 minutes later, the Red Bulls star was providing a glimpse of what we may miss. Lurking outside the penalty area, Henry was in the perfect spot to jog into a Tim Cahill layoff, opening his right foot onto a casual, precise finish just inside Nick Rimando’s left post.

77′ – Jamison Olave’s going to get some time off –

via @8bitsports

Was that a pinch? Or a grab? Regardless, Olave wasn’t punished on the play. Olmes Garcia saw yellow, presumably for simulation.

Lineups

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando; Tony Beltran, Nat Borchers, Chris Schuler, Chris Wingert; Luke Mulholland (Luis Gil 67′), Kyle Beckerman, Ned Grabavoy; Javier Morales; João Plata, Olmes Garcia (Robbie Findley 82′)
New York Red Bulls: Luis Robles; Chris Duvall, Jamison Olave, Ibrahim Sekagya, Roy Miller; Eric Alexander (Ruben Bover Izquierdo 79′), Dax McCarty, Tim Cahill, Ambroise Oyongo; Thierry Henry (Péguy Luyindula 90′); Bradley Wright-Phillips

Three lessons going forward:

1. Both teams showed their quality – Real Salt Lake was the better team on the night, but not so far beyond what you’d expect from a good team playing mid-week at home. To New York’s credit, they were able to get a valuable point despite only generating two or three good chances.

As Jeff Cassar said after the game, if RSL plays like this, they’re going to win more often than not, but they didn’t on Wednesday. A lot of that has to do with New York.

2. The continued importance of Henry – New York had four shots on the night. Two were “set up” by Henry, the other was the playmaker’s goal. If Henry really does ride off into the sunset, pray for the Red Bulls.

3. Real Salt Lake looks like Real Salt Lake – As RSL struggled through late spring, “Cassar’s first test” was the typical refrain around these parts. The first-year coach needed to adjust.

Now, with Kyle Beckerman back in the middle, RSL looks like its normal self. The team’s still missing a forward (and might go get one), but the way it controls games has returned. Maybe Cassar just needed to ride it out?

Where this leaves them:

  • The point inches RSL three in front of the West’s peleton. Seattle still leads the conference by five.
  • While the point was a good one, New York is still fifth in the Eas, one point behind the New England, Toronto, Columbus dog pile at the edge of the playoffs.

MLS Snapshot: Atlanta United 4-0 LA Galaxy (video)

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The match in 100 words (or less): Somewhere, Atlanta United is still scoring now with 19 goals in its last five outings. The “Five Stripes” fired at will for the second-straight game, leading 3-0 before Jermaine Jones made it academic with a silly red card. Yamil Asad had two goals and two assists in the first half, while Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez also scored. For Martinez, it’s seven goals in seven days. LA has quit, and Tata Martino’s Atlanta may just pose a threat to Toronto FC’s presumed MLS Cup Final spot.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap | La Liga | Serie A ]


Three moments that mattered

13′ — Maaaaayyyybe defend, LA? — It’s one thing for Rafael Garcia to back off and back off and back off and back off Yamil Asad. It’s another thing to fail in any attempt to mark the hottest scorer in MLS: Josef Martinez.

20′ — Three goals in seven minutes — About that “defending”… woof. This is a straight-up passing drill for ATL.

39′ — Jermaine Jones rolls back the years (not in a good way) — The combustible midfielder showed that vibes haven’t settled in LA despite Sigi Schmid’s presence, taking an easy red considering VAR’s abilities for dragging his cleat in the direction of a fellow human’s spine.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | Standings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the Match: Asad

Goal scorers: Martinez (13′), Asad (16′, 20′), Almiron (43′)

Atletico Madrid to host 2018-19 UEFA Champions League final

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The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League Final is headed to Madrid.

Atletico Madrid announced that next season’s final will be played at the recently-opened Wanda Metropolitano, making Atleti the fourth Spanish club to host a UCL final (Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla).

[ WATCH: Rashford’s sensational goal ]

Atleti raves of its new home, “The Wanda Metropolitano can seat 68,000 spectators and is at the technological forefront due to agreements with top companies in their sector.”

This season’s final will be played at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium in Kiev, the home of the Ukraine national team and Dynamo Kiev.

The UCL Final was last in Madrid at the home of Real Madrid, the Santiago Bernabeu, for Inter Milan’s triumph over Bayern Munich in 2010.

Mourinho: League Cup “important to” Man Utd, but asks if it’s necessary?

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Marcus Rashford‘s heroics helped Manchester United cruise past visiting Burton Albion, 4-1, in a League Cup third round match at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Mourinho said the League Cup is important to Manchester United because it’s an official tournament, and United wants to win everything it can as a club.

[ WATCH: Rashford’s sensational second ]

Yet he stopped short of endorsing the Cup’s long-term future, a tournament which his side won last season but is perhaps the major obstacle towards the Premier League joining other European leagues with winter breaks. From ManUtd.com:

“If the competition is an official competition then it is important for Manchester United and for me as a manager. If you ask me could the English football survive or even be better without this competition? Maybe, maybe we would be fresher for European competition for example. But we have this competition, we have to respect the sponsors, we have to respect the opponents and a lot of us are trying to do our best.”

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap | La Liga | Serie A ]

United drew a trip to Swansea for the fourth round, and is certainly among the favorites to win the whole thing with their solid depth (See their Starting XI below).

Would you miss the League Cup if it went away?

Serie A: Mertens scores unreal goal; Napoli, Milan, Juve win (video)

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It’s early but signs of an actual title race in Italy are truly delightful.

Juventus and Napoli remain perfect, with the latter above the former in the Serie A table this early season following Wednesday wins.

[ MORE: Bundesliga wrap | La Liga | League Cup ]

Roma and Atalanta posted blowout wins, while AC Milan won a day after their Milanese rivals Inter needed a 77th minute penalty to draw at Bologna.

Lazio 1-4 Napoli

There were five goals in this one, but the only one you need to witness comes on this unreal shot from an odd angle by the world’s top under-appreciated scorer: Dries Mertens.

Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina

Mario Mandzukic scored the lone goal as The Old Lady slipped further behind Napoli in goal difference.

AC Milan 2-0 SPAL

I Rossoneri scored on a penalty in each half, with new boys Ricardo Rodriguez and Franck Kessie converting the chances.

Benevento 0-4 Roma

Edin Dzeko buried a pair of goals and the hosts gifted i Lupi a pair of own goals.

Elsewhere
Bologna 1-1 Inter Milan — Tuesday
Cagliari 0-1 Sassuolo
Genoa 1-1 Chievo
Verona 0-0 Sampdoria
Udinese 2-3 Torino

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Napoli 5 5 0 0 19 3 16 2-0-0 3-0-0 15
 Juventus 5 5 0 0 14 3 11 3-0-0 2-0-0 15
 Inter Milan 5 4 1 0 11 2 9 2-0-0 2-1-0 13
 AC Milan 5 4 0 1 10 6 4 3-0-0 1-0-1 12
 Torino 5 3 2 0 10 5 5 1-1-0 2-1-0 11
 Lazio 5 3 1 1 10 8 2 1-1-1 2-0-0 10
 Roma 4 3 0 1 9 3 6 1-0-1 2-0-0 9
 Sampdoria 4 2 2 0 6 4 2 1-0-0 1-2-0 8
 Atalanta 5 2 1 2 9 7 2 2-0-1 0-1-1 7
 Fiorentina 5 2 0 3 8 7 1 1-0-1 1-0-2 6
 Cagliari 5 2 0 3 4 6 -2 1-0-1 1-0-2 6
 Chievo 5 1 2 2 5 8 -3 0-1-1 1-1-1 5
 Bologna 5 1 2 2 4 7 -3 0-2-1 1-0-1 5
 SPAL 5 1 1 3 3 8 -5 1-0-1 0-1-2 4
 Sassuolo 5 1 1 3 3 8 -5 0-1-1 1-0-2 4
 Udinese 5 1 0 4 7 10 -3 1-0-2 0-0-2 3
 Genoa 5 0 2 3 5 9 -4 0-1-2 0-1-1 2
 Verona 5 0 2 3 1 11 -10 0-1-2 0-1-1 2
 Crotone 5 0 1 4 1 11 -10 0-1-2 0-0-2 1
 Benevento 5 0 0 5 1 14 -13 0-0-3 0-0-2 0