Manchester United 2-1 West Ham United: Rooney scores, sees red in win (video)

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Wayne Rooney’s on-field antics gave Manchester United an early lead, then forced them to hold on for their lives.

A strong strike in the fifth minute was the first of the Red Devils two goals — Robin van Persie also scored — but a 59th minute moment of madness from the Manchester United captain forced his club into a half-hour of 10-man ball.

United is up to eight points through six matches, and moves up to sixth-place in the table.

[VIDEO: Premier League highlights, here | Rooney’s red ]

[RELATED: Watch the full match replay]

Diafra Sakho scored for West Ham, which now has seven points through six matches.

United showed danger right from the jump, with Angel Di Maria earning a free kick off a harsh tackle from Alex Song, and Radamel Falcao nearly getting on the end of a 2nd minute opportunity.

And Rooney, on his 10th anniversary with the club, made sure the scoring did start early. Rafael sent a cross in from the right and Wayne Rooney used his right for a pretty, devious shot that beat Adrian to make it 1-0 in the 5th minute.

Truly, Manchester United carried the play. The Hammers looked overwhelmed by the Red Devils quick ball movement and ability to find open looks, but the finish was inconsistent and — credit to West Ham — plenty of chances were blocked.

source: APVan Persie made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute when Adrian scrambled to get back into goal after a poor clearance and RVP caught the keeper off-balance to net side panel. Radamel Falcao provided the pass to spring the Dutchman.

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

Red Devils keeper David De Gea found himself out of position off a cross in the 37th minute, and it ended poorly for the Spaniard. Hammers striker Diafra Sakho continued his torrid start to Premier League play by nodding home to make it 2-1.

At halftime there was a brilliant bit of wisdom from former Wales player John Hartson, “Marcos Rojo and Patrick McNair have probably never had a conversation before today but they are Manchester United’s main central defensive pairing.”

Would that prove to be a problem? We won’t really be able to judge, because Rooney took one of the silliest red cards you’ll see. The Manchester United captain high-kicked Stewart Downing in the knee as the Hammers midfielder was running away with the play.

United buckled down, substituting Darren Fletcher and Antonio Valencia for Falcao and Ander Herrera. The Red Devils impressed in closing down West Ham opportunities.

Kevin Nolan looked to have found a 90th minute equalizer, but the linesman called the West Ham man offsides. Replays revealed it to be extremely close, and the Irons were likely done wrong.


Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw, Blind, Herrera (Valencia, 74′), Di Maria (Thorpe, 90+4′), Rooney, van Persie, Falcao (Fletcher, 65′)

Goals: Rooney (5′), Van Persie (22′)

Red card: Rooney (59′)

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Tomkins, Downing, Sakho, Demel (Jenkinson, 65′), Amalfitano (Cole, 61′), Poyet (Nolan, 73′), Song (c), Valencia

Goal: Sakho (37′)

Champions League preview: Spurs host Leipzig, Valencia visits Atalanta

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Two more UEFA Champions League Round of 16 ties kickoff Wednesday, including one being labeled as the biggest in a club’s existence.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

That would be Serie A side Atalanta, which hosts Valencia at 3 p.m. at Gewiss Stadium.

Atalanta had played in two consecutive Europa Leagues, but this is their first move into the Champions League. To make the knockout rounds is exceptional, and club president Antonio Percassi is fired up.

“We must be honest, this is the most important game in the history of this club,” Percassi told Sky Sport Italia. “It doesn’t seem real. It’s exciting just thinking that tomorrow we’ll be in a Champions League Round of 16. It’s wonderful for our fans too. … This is going to be a unique experience that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.”

Atalanta finished second in its group to Manchester City, and is fourth in Serie A. Valencia won its group.

There’s a Premier League side in action on Wednesday, too, as Spurs begin life without Heung-Min Son.

Jose Mourinho spun a tale about how badly Tottenham will need its fans against RB Leipzig, comparing the home-field advantage to an emergency rescue crew of sorts.

Leipzig is led by Julian Nagelsmann, who was once referred to as “Baby Mourinho” by his players.

The 32-year-old was quick to distance himself from the story.

“Tomorrow it is Leipzig against Tottenham, not Mourinho v. Baby Mourinho,” he said. “I have great respect for Mourinho. He has won lots of titles with big clubs, the Champions League twice. He has made his mark on European football at some big European clubs. I think it his 59th knockout game in the CL and it is my first so there is obviously respect there.”

Liverpool’s Robertson not a fan of Atletico Madrid theatrics

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Liverpool fullback Andy Robertson was not impressed with Atletico Madrid’s display as his side fell 1-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League’s Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Reds fell behind on a fourth-minute Saul Niguez goal and couldn’t get a shot on target despite 73 percent possession in Spain.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Atleti executed its plan to near-perfection, slowing restarts and taking advantage of counterattacking opportunities to assuage the constant pressure of Liverpool.

At times it was reminiscent of early-century Italian national team play, and both neutrals and Liverpool knew what they were in for once Atleti took the lead.

“We gave them the best possible start to get the fans behind them and then they can start falling over and things like that, trying to get under our skin a bit which I think we handled quite well to be honest,” Robertson told BT Sport. “We know we are better than (how they played). We put in a decent performance and we can be better than that. Luckily we have got a second leg to put it right.”

Given the performance and the reputation, you’d still fancy the Reds to “put it right” at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp thinks Atleti will feel plenty of pressure at Anfield, and he will certainly feel the officiating will be more to his liking.

Liverpool’s Klopp: ‘Our people will be ready’ for second leg at Anfield

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Jurgen Klopp didn’t have any issue with Diego Simeone’s defense-first Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The Spanish side flummoxed Liverpool’s attack and the Reds didn’t manage a shot on target despite eight attempts and 73 percent possession at the Wanda Metropolitano.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

What Klopp didn’t appreciate was the referee’s work, though, implying that Polish official Szymon Marciniak was overwhelmed by the occasion. Marciniak has worked UCL matches for six seasons, twice overseeing quarterfinal ties.

Klopp was shown a yellow card in the second half, and the Liverpool boss felt Sadio Mane was harassed by Atleti. Klopp removed yellow-carrying Mane at halftime.

“He was targeted obviously,” Klopp said after the game. “The only thing they wanted was to make sure he got a yellow card. The score is 1-0, that’s all but you need to be really strong as a ref in this atmosphere. So many things happened, after 30 minutes already three players were on the ground. The first yellow card was a striker from us. I’m not sure they even got a yellow card, which is funny.”

Atleti’s Angel Correa was shown a yellow, while Klopp, Mane, and Joe Gomez were cautioned for Liverpool.

The Liverpool boss found himself laughing a few times, especially when he was asked about Simeone’s touchline personality.

Klopp said before the game that if the German was a four in intensity, then Simeone was a 12. Simeone followed suit by constantly urging the crowd to get behind the home side on Tuesday.

That didn’t bother Klopp, but he issued a public relations officer’s dream in reacting to it.

“Wow, wow,” he laughed. “That’s energy. I don’t think I have to do it that much (at Anfield). Our people will be ready. Welcome to Anfield. It’s not over yet.”

Klopp finished his remarks by saying of Jordan Henderson‘s removal from the game with a hamstring injury, “I hope it was a precaution, but I’m not 100 percent sure”

Haaland wins first leg after Borussia Dortmund-PSG comes to life late

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Erling Haaland scored twice in a mid-second half flurry as Borussia Dortmund beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday.

The hosts also got an assist from teenager Giovanni Reyna, who became the youngest American to appear in a Champions League match.

Haaland now has 39 goals in 29 appearances between Red Bull Salzburg and BVB, 11 of those for his new German employer.

Neymar scored off a Kylian Mbappe goal for PSG, who brings an away goal back to the Parc des Princes for a March 11 second leg.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Neymar had an early free kick, missing just wide of the far post.

Jadon Sancho troubled the keeper twice in the first half hour, first with a cross that Mats Hummels headed over goal. Then, Keylor Navas picked another Sancho offering out of the air.

Sancho kept serving, and Erling Haaland couldn’t turn a promising cross on target.

Dortmund walked into halftime with a scoreless match but a 7-2 edge in shot attempts. Neither of PSG’s shots were on target.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Borussia Dortmund boss Lucien Favre put in American teen Giovani Reyna in the 67th minute.

Two minutes later, it was 1-0 to the hosts through Haaland’s close-range goal.

Neymar replied from close range himself after a powerful, clever dribble from Kylian Mbappe led to a pass through the box.

But Haaland got his second in the 77th minute with a scorching shot that serves as the first senior assist of Reyna’s senior career with Dortmund (Watch it here).