Jose Mourinho says “best team lost,” attacks Arsenal’s defensive tactics, as Chelsea beaten at their own game

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LONDON — Jose Mourinho accused Arsenal of “leaving their philosophy in the changing room” during Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to their Premier League rivals in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday.

[ MORE: Three things we learned ]

Mourinho’s Chelsea did most of the pressing on a hot day in north London, but were frustrated by a water-tight Arsenal defense which soaked up the pressure expertly after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had given them an early lead.

[ MORE: Wenger, Mourinho’s feud continues ]

Speaking to the press after the game, Mourinho went straight for the Gunners and their ultra-defensive approach. This came after the managers failed to shake hands after the showpiece game to kick off the domestic season, as Wenger and Mourinho’s bitter feud continues. Mourinho also threw his runners up medal into the crowd for a young Arsenal fan, shrugging off the loss in the traditional curtain-raiser for the new season.

[ VIDEO: Oxlade-Chamberlain’s stunner wins it ]

In many ways at Wembley on Sunday, Arsenal managed to beat Chelsea at their own game.

“It depends on the perspective because normally you [the media] like to say that the team who defends very well doesn’t deserve to win and I have to go in your direction and say the best team lost and the defensive team won,” Mourinho said. “But I also have my opinion. My opinion is that the team that defends very well and the team that leaves their philosophy in the changing room and changes their philosophy and leaves 10 players behind the ball and play the whole second half with nine players in front of the box. This is football, this is very good tactical organization. In that perspective they scored one goal, they deserved to win.”

Mourinho is being clever here. He is saying: “okay, you complain when Chelsea defends and sneaks a 1-0 win, but when Arsenal does it, it is okay?”

But Wenger must be applauded for seeing the error of his ways in the past and being more flexible with this tactics. An Arsenal team of three of four years ago would have crumbled against Chelsea on Sunday but they defended bravely and Francis Coquelin sat in front of the back four to expertly thwart Chelsea’s offense, with Eden Hazard having a very quiet afternoon. As we saw during the second half of the last PL season, the Gunners have finally found a way to grind out wins.

So, what does Wenger think about Mourinho saying his side “left their philosophy in the dressing room?”

“We abandoned nothing. We defended well. Our game is based on togetherness, on solidarity, and defending and attacking well,” Wenger said. “I believe that we defended because there was maybe a bit of a psychological hurdle ahead of my players. They were more concerned with protecting our lead against Chelsea rather than playing attacking football. We have to accept that and I don’t think that’s giving up your philosophy, it’s a punctual fact that we wanted to win a game like that. I’m quite proud of that.”

With Wenger finally getting one over on Mourinho, the Chelsea boss has lost that psychological edge which almost seemed to be eating away at the soul of Arsenal’s players and fans. Chelsea boss believes he never had an edge and played down the defeat.

source: AP
Arsenal celebrate their opening goal vs. Chelsea.

“I have never had a psychological edge,” Mourinho said. “I think what happened before it is not normal. Because it is not normal, I never paid attention to that. I always thought that one game is one game and has no relation with other games. 13 matches is an eternity. It is too much. I never pay attention to that.”

As for Wenger, he lauded the signing of former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech as maybe being a reason why the Blues couldn’t break his side down, and he also praised his side for the defensive solidity.

“There is an extra satisfaction because we beat a good team and against the offensive potential that Chelsea has, we didn’t concede a goal,” Wenger said. “He did well and maybe he [Cech] had an influence on the Chelsea players as well because they think that to score against him they have to score the perfect goal. When you have that, sometimes you try too hard.”

Leagues Cup preview: MLS gets its next shot at Liga MX

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It’s not a typo; The s is very real.

The Leagues Cup — not the League Cup — is the new competition pitting Major League Soccer sides against some of the top sides from Mexico’s Liga MX.

The tournament has been expanded before it’s even seen a ball kicked in competition, as the second edition with go from eight to 16 teams.

[ MORE: Newcastle in for $28M Saint-Maximin ]

For now, though, we’ve got four American and four Mexican sides meeting over the next two months in a bid for North American supremacy not unlike a CONCACAF Champions League stripped of all the minnows.

Much like the CCL, the Mexican sides will be expected to triumph, even with all of the quarterfinals being staged in the United States.

Chicago Fire hosts Cruz Azul on Tuesday, followed by the LA Galaxy’s visit from Club Tijuana.

Wednesday will see the Houston Dynamo host Club America, and Tigres UANL at Real Salt Lake.

The winners meet Aug. 20, while the final will be played Sept. 18 in Las Vegas.

There’s a lot of promise in this, and it gives MLS another chance to make some statements about the distance between it and Liga MX. The Mexican sides have flat out dominated the CCL, and it’s not difficult to make the same prediction for this tournament.

But, like many tournaments, it also gives success-starved clubs a chance to give their fans something big and their players a tonic. For Bastian Schweinsteiger‘s Chicago, for one, it’s a huge opportunity. And for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Galaxy, it’s a look toward another piece of silverware for one of the world’s biggest trophy cases.

USMNT prospect Ledezma earns praise from van Nistelrooy

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Even for talents of the highest levels with top soccer education, sometimes a kid’s gotta learn how to eat.

Richard “Richie” Ledezma, 18, is in the midst of his first year at Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, a spot which beckoned after a five-match, one-goal season in the USL with Real Monarchs of the USL.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Ledezma starred for U.S. U-20 team at the World Cup after his first half-season with PSV, which saw him play with the U-19s while trying to lose some weight.

From Goal.com:

“PSV help me with my nutrition, with my food and how I eat. It’s the quantity of food you eat, I guess,” he added. “Because I came a little chubby, when I got here, I guess. They all called me ‘fatty’ and stuff, so I was like, cool, you know? So no more McDonald’s.”

Goal’s James Westwood had a wide-ranging interview with Ledezma and also spoke with soccer royalty: longtime Real Madrid and Manchester United scorer Ruud van Nistelrooy was Ledezma’s coach with the U-19s.

“He’s making a difference in midfield with very quick-thinking passes, movement, can score a goal, play people in, he’s creating chances for the whole team.”

That’s not just good praise from a legend, but a solid sign for fans of the United States men’s national team. A proper No. 10 or playmaking midfielder could allow Gregg Berhalter or another future USMNT coach to use Christian Pulisic on the wings.

Ledezma has some work to do before he breaks into the first team of the Dutch runners-up, who have signed former Stoke City man Ibrahim Afellay and has Gaston Pereiro in the fold as well.

Newcastle reportedly in for $28M mercurial Nice attacker

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L’Equipe says that Newcastle United have returned to Nice in the hopes of landing Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Ligue 1 outfit wants $28 million for the playmaker, who could team up with Miguel Almiron and (maybe) Joelinton to give the Magpies a much-improved attack.

[ MORE: Chicago adds USMNT hero ]

Saint-Maximin, 22, has 10 goals and 10 assists across his last two seasons with Nice, and played everywhere in attack for Patrick Vieira: both wings, center forward, second striker, attacking mid… even some left and right midfield.

The player, however, has been a headache for Vieira at times, with the manager saying Saint-Maximin believes that he has enough talent to reach the highest level without the required amount of work.

That said, the youngster’s skill set is electric. He’s a March birth date, too, so a relatively young 22. That $28 million would be another transfer record broken for Newcastle, assuming it happens ahead of the Joelinton move.

Or… as Newcastle fan knows, neither could go through.

Clark County “declines to prosecute” Ronaldo for rape

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Cristiano Ronaldo will not face sexual assault charges for a June 2009 incident in the United States, attorneys say.

An American woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Juventus superstar last year, claiming that Ronaldo forced himself upon her while she was in a prone position in his hotel room.

[ MORE: Bayern keen on Zaha ]

Ronaldo had expressed belief that he would be cleared of the claims, and claimed that graphic documents produced by German publication Der Spiegel were altered and fabricated.

Las Vegas police issued a warrant in a bid to get Ronaldo’s DNA, and the DA’s office says the woman’s refusal to name her attacker stopped them for collecting “vital evidence.” The woman reached a civil settlement with Ronaldo in 2010.

From News3LV.com:

“Based upon a review of the information presented at this time, the allegations of sexual assault against Cristiano Ronaldo cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt,” the D.A.’s office said. “Therefore, no charges will be forthcoming.”