Mauricio Pellegrino

Saints’ Pellegrino frustrated by “chaotic” draw with Newcastle

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Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino was displeased with his club’s day at St. Mary’s, even if Saints finally found their finishing feet.

Manolo Gabbiadini scored with a magnificent move and then again from the spot, but Saints were down 1-0 and 2-1 to visiting Newcastle on the day.

[ RECAP: Saints 2-2 Newcastle ]

The second half was frenetic and entertaining, and Pellegrino says his formation played a role in that (Which certainly may not bode well for those wanting an attacking Saints side in the near future).

From the BBC:

“It was a chaotic game. We conceded a couple of soft goals. In the last 20 minutes we could win the game but we could also lose it.

“As a manager I don’t like this sort of game. We scored two goals but we didn’t always control the game. Newcastle won a lot of second balls because we played with two strikers.”

Well… maybe drop one of those strikers tactically when not in possession?

Anyway, Saints can feel encouraged by a strong second half in which they scored twice and had plenty of control.

Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. Manchester United

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  • Southampton has 3 clean sheets in 5 PL games this season
  • 8 players have scored for MUFC, the most in the PL
  • Saints have lost to MUFC 24 times, more than any other PL team

Manchester United can equal its club record best start to a Premier League season if they defeat Southampton at St. Mary’s Saturday morning (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

The Red Devils, as they were all of last season, have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League, conceding just two goals through five matches, joint-best alongside Manchester City.

[ LIVE: Stream Premier League games

The Southampton defense, however, will be most hyped in this match as Virgil Van Dijk is likely to make his first start for the Saints since January. The Dutchman has been out of action after holding out of preseason and the start of the campaign over transfer rumors, but is back with the club after returning as a substitute last time out.

Southampton has conceded just four goals in five games without their most coveted defender, but they have also scored just four goals on their way to eight points thus far, which leaves them in ninth position.

On the other side, Manchester United will be missing Paul Pogba and Marcos Rojo, but otherwise have a clean bill of health as they look to at the least keep stride with their cross-town rivals atop the league table. Jose Mourinho has six away fixtures over the next four weeks across all competitions, and will likely look to rotate the squad at some point during that stretch.

What they’re saying

Mourinho on Southampton: “Southampton to be fair, I played them in my second spell in England, I played them and they had Mauricio [Pochettino], and then [Ronald] Koeman, and then [Claude] Puel and now Mauricio [Pellegrino] – and I don’t see many changes. It’s the kind of club where they are very stable in the way they play, the way they think (about) football, the qualities of their players. It’s a good team to be a manager. Honestly, it’s a very good club to be a manager and I see the match as a very difficult match.”

Pellegrino on Manchester United: “When we play against the biggest team in the world, it allows us to draw some conclusions about how we are. This is for me the nice challenge and we have to strive for this. Playing against Manchester United is one of the most beautiful things. I will live this opportunity, I will live this game, and now we have to try to enjoy this game.”

Prediction

This could be a difficult match for Manchester United. Southampton’s defense is very stout, and the Red Devils could potentially find themselves frustrated should they find themselves goalless through the first 60 minutes. Ultimately, the smartest play here is a close 1-0 win for Manchester United with a late goal, but a similar result in the other direction wouldn’t be the most shocking thing.

Southampton hires Pellegrino as manager

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Southampton has hired Mauricio Pellegrino as its next manager, replacing Claude Puel.

Pellegrino has impressed at all four of his managerial stops so far, with success at Valencia and Alaves in La Liga and Argentine club Independiente and Estudiantes.

[ MORE: Fabinho has interest in Man Utd ]

Vice chairman Les Reed spoke glowingly of his new hire:

“He has an excellent understanding of the Southampton Way, and his style of play and aspiration matches the philosophy, culture and ambition of the club. We firmly believe Mauricio is the right person to help us take the next steps. He knows our players and believes we have a great squad that with some fine-tuning will be able to deliver continued success.

The Southampton Daily Echo says reports of Frank De Boer’s hiring at Crystal Palace were triggered by news that Southampton favored Mauricio Pellegrino.

Pellegrino, De Boer and Patrick Vieira had been reported as options for Saints, and Pellegrino emerged as the favorite.

The Crystal Palace job is the only vacant seats in the Premier League, with Watford hiring Marco Silva and Leicester keeping Craig Shakespeare.

Again, this is going to be a hectic time for Saints fans. That’s not because Pellegrino isn’t a promising hire; He’s a top prospect. No, we’re just worried for the amount of times Mauricio Pellegrino is going to be called by the name of former Southampton boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Looks like Southampton’s again ahead of the curve.

Reports: Southampton interested in Pellegrino, Vieira for manager post

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You may have seen some buzz on the Internet today regarding a Major League Soccer manager making his move to the Premier League.

That name is a bigger one in world football, and certainly not for his fine work in MLS as New York City FC boss.

Patrick Vieira has surged to pole position on multiple betting web sites as Southampton slowly makes its way toward hiring a replacement for Claude Puel. Vieira was also linked with the Saint-Etienne job earlier this month. Would he leave NYCFC? Southampton would be an interesting job for any manager interested in making his way into the Premier League hierarchy.

[ MORE: Man City in for Aubameyang ]

However, ESPN reported that Saints could appoint Mauricio Pellegrino to the post. The 45-year-old Argentine was an assistant at both Liverpool and Inter Milan before cutting his managerial teeth with Valencia, where he wont 47 percent of his matches in a short stint.

He’s since coached with a pair of Argentine clubs, Estudiantes and Independiente, before returning to La Liga with Alaves.

Putting aside the obvious humor in Mauricio Pellegrino having a job once held by Mauricio Pochettino, it’s an intriguing option for Saints.

So is Vieira, who carries name value and has done pretty well for himself in the unorthodox world of MLS.

Frank De Boer is also said to be in the running for the gig, and Saints reportedly want to name a coach early next week.

Yes, BATE Borisov leads this group – UEFA Champions League Group F preview

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It’s been three weeks, and the result is still unbelievable. Bayern Munich did lose in Minsk last round. The same team that’s tearing through the Bundesliga lost to BATE Borisov, one of the bigger upsets in Champions League history.

The result keeps the group a three-team race, even after Lille’s early fade. It also means the day’s most important match isn’t Bayern’s visit to LOSC’s new Grand Stade. It’s the one in Belarus.

BATE Borisov (Belarus) vs. Valencia (Spain)

Dinamo Stadium, Minsk, 2:45 p.m. Eastern

After wins at Lille and versus Bayern, Belarusian champions top the group with six points. While their results have been upsets, they haven’t been squeaked out, smash-and-grab jobs. Far from it. BATE have a +4 goal difference, have scored three of their six goals in their matches’ first 23 minutes, and have yet to concede before the hour mark. They haven’t trailed in the tournament, only spending 29 minutes on even footing with their opponents.

So BATE’s likely to be around longer than we expected. It’s only right that we take some time to better know some of their key contributors:

  • 28-year-old striker Vitali Rodionov will lead the attack. Over the course of his career with BATE, he’s been good for one goal every two league games. In this year’s tournament, he’s scored in each game.
  • Alyaksandr Volodko’s Champions League success earned the defensive midfielder a callup for to the Belarus national team, for whom he debuted last week. The 26-year-old has a goal and two assists while playing on the left of a three-man unit in front of the defense.
  • Edhar Alyakhnovich has a goal and an assist playing on the right in BATE’s midfield. Like Volodko, Alyakhnovish started his career at Dinamo Brest before moving to Borisov (he moved in 2010, Volodko’s been with BATE since 2008). Against Lille, Alyakhnovich completed 52 passes (second on the team) at an 87 percent clip.
  • As with most upsets, the goalkeeping has been huge. Andrey Harbunow, in his first season with BATE, has had to make 12 saves during over the first two games, during which time the Belarusians were outshot 46-18.

In previous matches, BATE was aided by the element of surprise. They came into the competition as minnows. When they beat Lille, they opened eyes, but it wasn’t until their upset of Bayern that people really started to take note. Now, they’re this year’s APOEL Nicosia – the Cypriot club that made a Cinderella run to last year’s knockout round.

Valencia is unlikely to become the third team to overlook FC BATE. Coming off a convincing victory over Lille, Los Che can go top with a win in Minsk. It’s an opportunity few thought they’d have when the tournament started, but with back-to-back games against BATE, Mauricio Pellegrino’s team have a chance to take control of the group.

Coming off a dramatic league victory over Athletic Bilbao, Valencia can use this match to regain some of the swagger the showed during strong performances at the Santiago Bernabeu (1-1), Nou Camp (0-1), and Allianz Arena (1-2).

From BATE head coach Viktor Goncharenko:

” It is hard to say if we would be happy with a draw. We could definitely say so afterwards, though it depends if we were ahead or conceded first.”

From Valencia head coach Mauricio Pellegrino:

“[O]ur defence has to be more reliable. We cannot afford too many defensive mistakes against BATE, and I think it is time to win away at last.”

UEFA preview

More previews: Group E Group F Group G Group H

Lille (France) vs. Bayern Munich (Germany)

Grand Stade, Lille, 2:45 p.m. Eastern

Rebuild versus reload. It’s a dichotomy that has cliché when talking about U.S. college sports. Some programs are so good at getting new talent, they don’t rebuild after their best players graduate (read: forgo their last three seasons of eligibility). Those programs just reload – bringing in a new class of top-flight talent, never missing a beat.

The explosion in sports media that’s occurred over the last 20 years has pushed that cliché beyond college sports. Rebuild versus reload is asked whenever a team starts descending in their success cycle. When old cornerstones are phased out for new figureheads, is a team reloading? Or completely rebuilding?

Lille and Bayern are perfect illustrations of this dichotomy – examples of why some clubs’ successes go in phases while others are perpetual powers.

Bayern’s European royalty. Even attempts to spend the club into insignificance (in the 1980s) couldn’t knock FCB off their pedestal in Germany. Thanks to wealth and reputation that give Bayern the pick of Bundesliga talent, Bayern doesn’t rebuild. They reload. Currently two years without a title, FCB has raced out to a perfect 8-0-0 start in Germany.

Lille, on the other hand, has been forced into a rebuild. Two years ago, LOSC claimed their first league title in 47 years with the help of players like Eden Hazard, Gervinho, Moussa Sow, Yoann Cabaye and Adil Rami. With all of those stars gone, Rudi Garcia’s squad’s been forced to rebuild, seemingly unable to hold on near the top of their league while their new stadium’s virtues to take hold.

It’s not too late, though. Lille currently sit 11th in France, but the season’s still young. Although they’ve won only two of their nine league matches, they’ve also only lost two games, one of which was to Paris Saint-Germain. If Garcia can get more production out of Nolan Roux, Salomon Kalou, Ryan Mendes and (or) Tulio de Melo (a quartet that’s combined for four goals this season), Lille can convert draws into victories.

While it would be nice if that process started on Tuesday, Lille’s problem is the bigger picture. Bottom of their group with no points through two matches, LOSC may have too much ground to make up in Champions Legaue. Against a Bayern team smarting from a shock loss in Belarus, progress will be as important as points.

From Lille head coach Rudi Garcia:

” We are playing one of the biggest sides in Europe so we will have to give it 120% and Bayern will have to have an off day if we want to get a positive result. It is David against Goliath. “

From Bayern head coach Jupp Heynckes:

” LOSC are one of the best teams in France, regardless of the league table. They are well organised and have a good structure.”

UEFA Preview

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