Player ratings from Man United v. Chelsea

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Manchester United beat Chelsea 2-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday to blow the Premier League title race wide-open.

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Chelsea’s lead atop the PL table has now been cut to four points, while United have given their chances of finishing in the top four a big boost.

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Here are the marks out of 10 for each player in what turned out to be a very comfortable win for United.


Manchester United

David De Gea – 6 – Hardly had anything to do, distribution was good.

Antonio Valencia – 6 – Played further forward due to Herrera marking Hazard. Cool head on the ball.

Eric Bailly – 7 – Did well to keep Costa out and always looked mobile enough to cut off Hazard when he cut inside.

Marcos Rojo – 8 – Shackled Diego Costa well as the battle threatened to boil over.

Matteo Darmian – 7 – Solid display at left back from the Italian who is taking his chance.

Ander Herrera – 8 – Had Hazard in his back pocket, plus grabbed a goal and an assist.

Paul Pogba – 7 – Much more disciplined display from Pogba who made a great tackle in the first half on Hazard.

Maroaune Fellaini – 6 – Did a great defensive job but didn’t get chance to do much in attack. Steady.

Ashley Young – 6 – Did plenty of dirty work and was solid defensively. Stopped Chelsea’s full backs playing.

Jesse Lingard – 6 – Perfect foil for Rashford as he chased Chelsea’s defense down and was always on hand to link up.

Marcus Rashford – 9 – Splendid display as he finished superbly for the first, then ran Chelsea’s defense ragged.

Subs
Michael Carrick on for Jesse Lingard – 6
Zlatan Ibrahimovic on for Marcus Rashford – 5
Fosu-Mensah on for Ashley Young – 5


Chelsea

Asmir Begovic – 5 – Positioning could have been better on the first goal but not much he could do about the second.

Kurt Zouma – 5 – Shaky on the ball and looked like a man thrust into the starting lineup at the last minute due to Alonso’s injury.

David Luiz – 5 – Let Rashford go for United’s first goal and was out-muscled by the youngster time and time again. Tough afternoon.

Gary Cahill – 6 – Tried to help Chelsea’s backline together but it didn’t work.

Victor Moses – 4 – Hauled off in the second half after Conte switched him from the left flank to the right.

N'Golo Kante – 6 – Kept battling hard but had little impact on the game with Paul Pogba matching up well in the battle.

Nemanja Matic – 5  – Subbed out for a more attacking option. A decent display but not much more.

Cesar Azpilicueta – 6 – Kept trying to push forward whenever he could from wing-back but looks much more comfortable at center back.

Pedro – 4 – Wasteful in the final third and couldn’t get on the end of a chance at the back post.

Eden Hazard – 5 – So often the go-to guy for Conte but Herrera shackled him and his flashes of quality were all too rare.

Diego Costa – 5 – Lost the physical battle to Rojo and never had a sniff at goal. Shackled.

Subs
Cesc Fabregas on for Victor Moses – 5
Willian on for Nemanja Matic- 5
Ruben Loftus-Cheek on for Kurt Zouma – 5

Cristiano Ronaldo announces birth of twin sons via surrogate

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not play in Portugal’s third-place match at the 2017 Confederations Cup this Sunday.

He has bigger things to sort out.

Ronaldo, 32, was released from Portugal’s squad late Wednesday after their defeat on penalty kicks to Chile in the Confed Cup semifinals in Russia.  The Real Madrid and Portugal superstar will now travel to visit his new twin sons, who were born via a surrogate earlier this month, with Ronaldo set to meet them for the first time after captaining Portugal in Russia over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Portuguese TV channel SIC, the surrogate mother was based on the west coast of the U.S. (I can already hear you guys asking ‘does that mean they’re eligible to play for the USMNT?’). Ronaldo is now the father of three children after already having a seven-year-old son, Cristiano Ronaldo Jr.

Reports also suggest that his 22-year-old girlfriend Georgina Rodriguez is five months pregnant, so soon he could be a father for the fourth time. He would then be able to field a five-a-side team of Ronaldo’s for indoor games…

Below is the post from Ronaldo confirming his departure from Portugal’s squad, which the national team also confirmed, as he is set to meet his new children for the first time.

“I was in the service of the national team, as always, body and soul, even though my two sons were born. Unfortunately, we have not been able to achieve the main sporting objective that we wanted, but I am sure we will continue to give joy to the Portuguese.

“The President of the Portuguese Football Federation and the national picker have today had an attitude that has touched me and I will not forget. I’m very happy to finally be with my children for the first time.”

Open Cup roundup: Poku lifts Miami; Red Bulls, Cincy win on PKs

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While MLS represents the majority of the remaining clubs in this year’s U.S. Open Cup, one side continues to defy the odds.

[ MORE: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson ]

Miami FC reached their first quarterfinal in club history after knocking off Atlanta United late on Wednesday, behind a goal and an assist from Kwadwo Poku. The victory for Miami sets up a date with FC Cincinnati — who pulled off an unbelievable shootout win against the Chicago Fire.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls and New England Revolution both advanced on the night with wins over the Philadelphia Union and D.C. United, respectively. The Red Bulls and Revs will meet in the final eight as well.

Sporting KC kept its hope of hoisting a fourth U.S. Open Cup title alive on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. The 2015 winners will take on FC Dallas — who defeated the Colorado Rapids on Tuesday night.

Here are all the results from tonight’s Open Cup action.

Houston Dynamo 0-2 Sporting KC
New England Revolution 2-1 D.C. United
Miami FC 3-2 Atlanta United
New York Red Bulls 1-1 (5-3 on PKs) Philadelphia Union
FC Cincinnati 0-0 (3-1 on PKs) Chicago Fire
San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Seattle Sounders
LA Galaxy 2-0 Sacramento Republic

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.