Mourinho on Man United chasing Chelsea for title

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With a wry smile following Manchester United’s 2-0 win against Watford on Saturday, Jose Mourinho knows his team is on a roll.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

16 games unbeaten in the Premier League, United momentarily moved up to fifth place and they’re now just one point behind Manchester City and two points off second-place in the table.

Speaking after the comfortable win, which could’ve been by four or five, Mourinho smiled as he looked ahead to Saturday’s late game between United’s top four rivals Liverpool and Tottenham.

“I am so happy with the game between Liverpool and Tottenham later because I know someone will lose points,” Mourinho laughed.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

11 points behind PL leaders Chelsea with 13 games to go, can United catch Chelsea?

“Chelsea are very good defensive team,” Mourinho said. “They defend very well and with lots of players and I think in this situation a very defensive team wins the title with counterattack goals and set pieces goals so I don’t think they will let it slip but football is football.”

Football is football indeed. And United is playing very good football right now.

With Juan Mata and Anthony Martial grabbing a goal in each half, the latter was given a standing ovation as he left the pitch against Watford late in the game. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an off-day in front of goal but was a handful, while Martial, Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba are all hitting their stride. Plus Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are in reserve.

Mourinho knew beating Watford was important on Saturday as his side continue to grind out wins.

“We needed to win, I know it is an amazing record but it would be a perfect record with two or three draws less than we have a home,” Mourinho said. “Was a dangerous game. They are a good team, they have good experienced players, a good coach. They came obviously to defend but when they were losing they tried and they were always dangerous. It was a difficult match and very important victory for us.”

Imagine if those home draws against West Ham, Stoke, Burnley and Hull had all been wins…

United should really be neck and neck with Chelsea in the title race. Mourinho’s men are trucking along like a juggernaut and with no PL games until March due to their involvement in the EFL Cup final on Feb. 26, they can now focus on three cup competitions with the FA Cup and UEFA Europa League up next.

When it comes to the PL, United is well in the hunt for a top four finish.

UCL Playoff Wrap: Liverpool, Sporting CP, CSKA advance to group stage

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It was another memorable European night for Liverpool in front of the Kop at Anfield.

Lifted by three goals in the opening 21 minutes, the Reds cruised to a 4-2 win over Hoffenheim 1899 in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff stage Wednesday evening. With the win, Liverpool returns to the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season.

[ MORE: Champions League scores ]

Sadio Mane set up Emre Can twice and both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino chipped in with goals of their own to lead Liverpool to victory. After Can’s double and Salah’s goal gave Liverpool a three-goal lead, Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann brought Mark Uth off the bench onto the field and he promptly scored in the 28th minute to draw within two.

Firmino again put Liverpool ahead by three goals with a goal into an open net in the 63rd minute. Hoffenheim recorded a consolation goal in the 79th minute through Sandro Wagner but Liverpool was resolute and held on for victory.

Liverpool, and the rest of the winning clubs, will learn their fates for the group stage on Thursday.

Here’s a look at the rest of the Champions League playoff scores:

Slavia Prague 0-0 APOEL (APOEL advances 2-0 on aggregate)

FC Copenhagen 2-1 Qarabag FK (Qarabag advances on away goals, 2-2 on aggregate)

FCSB (Steaua București) 1-5 Sporting CP (Sporting CP advances 5-1 on aggregate)

CSKA Moscow 2-0 BSC Young Boys (CSKA advances on aggregate, 3-0)

VIDEO: A sneak peek of Everton’s Europa League journey – Part 2

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In Part 2 of Everton Unseen, European football returns to Goodison Park as Everton host MFK Ruzomberok in the qualifying round of the Europa League.

Click play on the video below to get a feel for how Goodison Park will be in the second leg of the Europa League in Part 2 of this videos series.

[ MORE: Live Europa League scores

[ WATCH: Part 1 of Everton Unseen ]

FIFA to send in emergency team to run Cameroon football

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA says it is sending in an emergency management team to run the troubled Cameroon football federation.

The panel to be appointed by FIFA and the Confederation of African Football (CAF) will oversee elections by next March to replace disputed polls in 2015 for the Cameroon federation board.

FIFA’s intervention comes amid speculation Cameroon could be stripped of hosting the next African Cup of Nations in June-July 2019.

CAF President Ahmad this month cast doubt on Cameroon’s ability to prepare for the expanded 24-team tournament.

FIFA says Wednesday it acted after “recent failed attempts … to reconcile the football stakeholders in Cameroon and overcome the current impasse.”

Transfer Roundup: Tottenham complete signing of Sanchez, Clucas joins Swansea

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Tottenham reportedly broke the bank for its first transfer of the summer.

The North London club confirmed that it had completed a transfer with Ajax for defender Davinson Sanchez after the Colombian international passed a medical. According to The Telegraph, the deal is worth around $54 million, a club record. The deal is subject to acquisition of Sanchez’s work permit but given the transfer fee and him being in Colombia’s squad, it’s likely a mere formality at this point.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The 21-year-old defender brings speed and strength to Tottenham’s backline as well as a year of seasoning in the Eredivisie, which features plenty of attacking talent. Sanchez will battle with Eric Dier, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen for a place in Spurs’ three-man backline.

It’s a risk moving to a new club a year ahead of the World Cup, but Sanchez is hoping that with appearances in the UEFA Champions League and Premier League up for grabs, he can do well enough to keep his place in the Colombia National Team squad.

Here’s some more transfer news from across England: