Big Phil returns to Stamford Bridge, recalls his quick axe

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With his arrival at Stamford Bridge on Monday, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari claimed that he was not provided enough time at Chelsea to succeed before being sacked in February 2009.

Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar, doesn’t it?

During Big Phil’s reign in West London he was cruising through the 2008-09 season with his club fourth in the Premier League table and still in both the FA Cup and Champions League when Roman Abramovich dropped the guillotine and brought in Guus Hiddink (after a 1 match caretaker stint by Ray Wilkins) to finish out the season.

When asked whether he was given sufficient time at Chelsea, Scolari said: “I don’t think so but it was a decision from the management.” He also lamented, “I believe my time at Chelsea was not as bad as people have been talking about.”

Anonymous reports – which Sporting News‘ Brian Krause has given me the nod of journalistic approval to print –  say that as the Brazil boss muttered these words, Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto di Matteo collectively threw their hands in the air and screamed ‘No, no, no, I was the one who wasn’t given enough time at Chelsea!!

Regardless of Abramovich’s lack of appreciation for Scolari, he still has a friend in everyone’s favorite West London geezer, David Luiz. The Chelsea defender, always eager to offer his insightful opinions on topics that he may or may not have first-hand knowledge of, said: “I’m sure [Scolari] is happy to come back here because regardless of what happened here he has very good memories.” He continued, “What I have heard, having asked around, is Scolari had a great time, regardless of what happened.”

The good times at the Bridge continue Monday when Scolari and Luiz look to improve on their country’s unsightly FIFA World Ranking of #18 when they take on Fabio Capello’s Russia.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.