Premier League on tour, Saturday roundup: Liverpool, Manchester United into ICC final

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For Manchester City, the International Champions Cup is over, with penalty kicks again haunting Manuel Pellegrini’s squad. After losing to Liverpool via spot kicks on Wednesday, Manuel Pellegrini’s team met the same fate on Saturday, with Greek champions Olympiacos claiming second in Group B after their shootout win in Minneapolis, Minn.

The result set paved the way for Liverpool, first in the group, to join rival Manchester United in Monday’s final, with both halves of England’s greatest northwest derby using Saturday wins to clinch their place in Miami. backed by an early goal in Charlotte, N.C., the Reds claimed victory over Milan, while a record crowd in Ann Arbor, Mich. saw Manchester United down European champions Real Madrid.

Here more on the three Premier League titans’ days on American soil:

Olympiacos 2-2 Manchester City

Stevan Jovetic’s goal 10 minutes before halftime gave the Citizens a brief lead, but when Dimitrios Diamantakos equalized from the middle of the box in the 37th minute, the sides went into intermission tied, 1-1.

Aleksandr Kolarov restored City’s lead in the 53rd minute after David Silva was brought down in the box, but Diamantakos’s second of the game saw the teams play out the final 25 minutes at 2-2. In the shootout, Micah Richards’ miss in the seventh round allowed Anastasios Papazoglou to lift Olympiacos to second in Group B, his conversion into the lower left corner giving the Greeks the shootout, 5-4.

Manchester United 3-1 Real Madrid

The largest crowd in U.S. soccer history (109,318) saw Ashley Young stake the Red Devils to a 21st minute lead, an advantage Gareth Bale pulled back from the spot after being taken down in the box. Eight minutes before halftime, a cross from Young was misplayed by Iker Casillas, giving the United winger what would turn out to be the game’s winning goal.

In the 80th, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández converted from close range off a Shinji Kagawa cross to give United a 3-1 lead, allowing the Red Devils to claim a spot in Monday’s final.

Milan 0-2 Liverpool

A disappointing tournament for Milan ends with the Rossoneri giving up their ninth and 10th goals of the competition: An earlier opener to Joe Allen, and late consolation for Suso. While Pippo Inzaghi’s side confirmed its place at the bottom of the eight-team tournament, Liverpool moved on to Monday’s final, where a preseason derby will mark the end of each club’s U.S. tour.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.