Phil Jones

Mourinho: Manchester United flying at final whistle

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Jose Mourinho didn’t want to sound too positive after Manchester United’s sterling performance on Opening Day, but he couldn’t help himself.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 4-0 West Ham ]

While saying the match was more difficult than it looked, admitting that West Ham did come close to making it 2-1 through Marko Arnautovic, Mourinho said his side was humming at the final whistle.

“At 2-nil they had a chance and I don’t think the game (goes to) 4-nil,” Mourinho said. “Then of course we scored the third goal, you breathe and you relax but probably if you play 10 more minutes, more goals.”

He said United’s start of the match wasn’t what he wanted, but downplayed the lively post-match tenor of, well, everyone else. From the BBC:

“The fact we start winning and are top, it means nothing. The performance and the levels of confidence is what means a lot to me.”

United center back Phil Jones joined NBC’s broadcast crew on the Old Trafford pitch after the game, and said the side accomplished its goals for Opening Day.

“It was well-documented last season that we didn’t pick up as many points as we should’ve at home for whatever reason. It was important for us and the fans to feel and get some positive vibes at the start of the season.”

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Finally, hero Romelu Lukaku bagged a brace and said United fans can expect more of the same from Mourinho’s crew (from the BBC):

“The fans want to see attractive football and we have to stick to that. They will be pleased today. It is just the start, we need to keep working to the manager’s plan.”

Man United charged by UEFA for breaching anti-doping rules

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Two of Manchester United’s players have been sanctioned by UEFA for breaching anti-doping rules following their Europa League final win against Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden back in May.

[ MORE: Christian Pulisic to Liverpool?

Phil Jones has been banned two games and fined $5,875, while Daley Blind has been fined $5,875.

Jones was charged with “insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer” and failing to cooperate with the procedure. Blind is charged with non-compliance as UEFA stated he did not go “immediately to the doping control station as notified.”

United were also fined $11,751, with Jones banned for two European games which includes the UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid on Aug. 8 in Skopje, plus their UEFA Champions League group stage opener. Blind did not receive a suspension.

Of course, anti-doping measures are serious in soccer, as they are in any sport, but the fact that Jones and Blind may not have had this on their mind right away is probably because they just finished a grueling, testing season by winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League.

Jones and Blind probably just wanted to celebrate with their fans in Stockholm, but UEFA isn’t having any of it and rules are rules.

Below is the statement from UEFA in full, with United able to appeal their decision.

The club has been charged for infringements of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations (ADR) concerning the doping control procedure. In particular, according to Appendix B (17) of the afore-mentioned regulations, “the teams are responsible for ensuring that the players drawn to undergo doping controls are taken by the respective team representatives to the doping control station straight from the pitch as soon as the match is over. This applies even when chaperones are appointed by UEFA”.

• The player Philip Jones has been charged for insulting and directing abusive language towards the Doping Control Officer (Article 15 (1) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations), as well as for a lack of cooperation and respect towards the doping control procedure (Article 6.05 ADR).

• The player Daley Blind has been charged for violation and non-compliance with Article 6.05 (a) of the UEFA Anti-Doping Regulations, which states that “every player designated to undergo as doping control is personally responsible for reporting immediately to the doping control station as notified”.

WATCH: Lukaku leaves RSL bodies strewn across 18 for goal

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It’s definitely preseason for Manchester United’s back line, though their attack is in midseason form.

Part of the latter is the competition, but Real Salt Lake is well into the season and made the United back line look poor early in Monday’s match at Rio Tinto.

How bad? We’re not sure Phil Jones and Daley Blind aren’t still backing up to give RSL space to attack, and Luis Silva put the MLS side up 1-0 early.

[ MORE: U.S. the new front-runner? ]

Yes, that Luis Silva, the 28-year-old Mexican with one club goal since 2014.

Henrik Mkhitaryan had United level soon after, which set the stage for Romelu Lukaku‘s first goal in a Manchester United shirt.

Was it impressive? Yep. Lukaku used physical play and a deft touch to take a classic Jozy Altidore in MLS goal to a more explosive level.

That “increased pressure” is looking like no big deal (at least while on preseason tour in the U.S.).

Boro’s Gibson called to England after injury to Man Utd’s Smalling

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Scoring goals has been the biggest problem for Middlesbrough in its return to the Premier League, and that overshadows how well the Northeast club has defended its own goal.

Ben Gibson has been a huge part of that, and now he’ll earn the chance to represent his nation thanks to an injury to Chris Smalling. Gibson will join England ahead of Sunday’s home World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

[ MORE: Podolski leads Germany past England ]

Gibson has far and away been Boro’s best player, leading the side in blocked shots and clearances. The blocked shots total is tied for ninth in the Premier League, 11 behind current leader and new England teammate Michael Keane.

Smalling’s undisclosed injury is a bigger problem for Manchester United, which had already lost center back depth on England duty when Phil Jones was hurt.

West Ham 0-2 Man Utd: Six-straight wins for Red Devils

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  • Feghouli sees red in 15′
  • Mata subs in, scores
  • Fellow sub Rashford assists
  • Zlatan hammers 13th PL goal

Manchester United won its sixth-straight game on Monday, picking up a 2-0 win at the Olympic Stadium against 10-man West Ham United.

Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for the Red Devils, who are a point back of the Top Four on 39 points. West Ham sits 12th with 22 points.

Sofiane Feghouli was shown red after just 15 minutes in a controversial sending off.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The game hit a major turning point when Feghouli was shown straight red for losing the ball and sliding into the legs of Phil Jones, who was also airborne into the challenge.

Antonio Valencia and Jesse Lingard both missed doorstep goals which were stopped by Darren Randolph. Nice saves by the West Ham keeper, but regrettable work by the Manchester United men off a nice offer from Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Minutes later, Zlatan Ibrahimovic blazed an in-tight shot over the goal.

David De Gea was called into play for a 44th minute curler from Manuel Lanzini, and the 10-man Irons won an unlikely corner.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

After a bit of a sleepy start to the second half, Mourinho brought on Marcus Rashford.

West Ham had the next chance, though, as Lanzini slid Michail Antonio in on De Gea, who made a sliding stop on the West Ham man.

That’s when Mata broke through, as Rashford worked Havard Nordtveit and then Pedro Obiang before cutting back for the Spaniard’s cool finish.

Rashford set up Pogba on a similar cut back, only to see the French midfielder bounce his shot wide of the far post.

Ibrahimovic appeared to be offside as he made it 2-0, a miserable West Ham clearance popping into his path for a lashed finish.

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