La Liga & Serie A roundup: Real Madrid held scoreless; Juve stunned at home


This was the opening weekend of play in Spain and Italy’s top flights, and both leagues have already seen some shocking results. Catch up on all the action from La Liga and Serie A, right here.

Sporting Gijon 0-0 Real Madrid

Based on the crowd reaction when the final whistle blew at the Estadio el Molinon, you would have thought Sporting Gijon had just won the league. Back in La Liga for the first time since 2011-12, the newly promoted club battled to a scoreless draw with Real Madrid, despite the visitors controlling nearly 70-percent possession. Sporting did not register a shot on target but held on for a point as Rafa Benitez’s career at Real is off to a rough start.

Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Barcelona

It was an up-and-down day for Barcelona, as the defending La Liga champions started the season with a 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao. First, Dani Alves was forced off with an injury less than 20 minutes into the match. Then, Lionel Messi had a penalty kick saved as the teams went into the break in a scoreless draw. Luis Suarez would score the game-winner in the 54th minute, but Barca took another blow as Sergio Busquets went down with an injury late in the match.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 Las Palmas

Antoine Greizmann finished third in La Liga in scoring last season behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, and the French international picked up where he left off, scoring the only goal in Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 win over newly promoted Las Palmas. It was Las Palmas’ first match in the top flight since 2002, as the small club from the Canary Islands put up a respectable performance against one of the league’s best sides.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Malaga 0-0 Sevilla
Deportivo 0-0 Real Sociedad
Espanyol 1-0 Getafe
Rayo 0-0 Valencia
Levante 1-2 Celta Vigo
Real Betis 1-1 Villarreal
Granada vs. Eibar (Monday, 2:30 p.m. ET)


Juventus had not lost a Serie A match at home since 2013.

Juventus 0-1 Udinese

Juventus entered the opening day on a 48-match unbeaten run at home, but that record was washed away when Udinese shocked the defending Serie A champions 1-0 in Turin. Juventus only lost three matches all last season, but Cyril Thereau’s 78th minute strike was enough to sink Max Allegri’s men.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Inter Milan 1-0 Atalanta

On-loan from Manchester City, Stevan Jovetic fired a beautiful curling shot into the top corner in the 93rd minute to steal all three points for Inter Milan. Jovetic entered the match as a substitute early in the first half when Mauro Icardi went down with an injury and he made the most of his debut, taking advantage of an Atalanta side that was playing with ten-men after Carlos Carmona was sent off in the 71st minute.

Fiorentina 2-0 AC Milan

It was a tough day for Rodrigo Ely, as the 21-year-old defender was sent off just over 30 minutes into his AC Milan debut. Down a man for nearly an hour, Sinisa Mihaljovic’s men couldn’t hold on as a free kick goal from Marcos Alonso and a penalty from Josip Ilicic led Fiorentina to a win on opening day.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Verona 1-1 Roma
Lazio 2-1 Bologna
Sampdoria 5-2 Cagliari
Frosinone 1-2 Torino
Sassuolo 2-1 Napoli
Empoli 1-3 Chievo
Palermo 1-0 Genoa

Man City vs Man United: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City vs Manchester United: Erling Haaland is set for his Manchester derby debut when the two-time defending champions host the rapidly improving Red Devils at Etihad Stadium on Sunday (watch live, 9 am ET on Peacock Premium). 


Haaland has taken the Premier League by storm with an absurd 11 goals scored in his first seven games after (ostensibly) choosing Man City over Man United before leaving Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Six weeks ago, Manchester United had not a single point from their first two games, including a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of tiny Brentford, but Erik ten Hag has since switched tactical course en route to four straight wins, including a 3-1 victory over PL leaders Arsenal last time out, to set up this hugely intriguing showdown on Sunday.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Man City vs Man United

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

How to watch Manchester City vs Manchester United live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 9 am ET, Sunday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & star players

Despite a pair of disappointing draws (Newcastle and Aston Villa), it’s been an unbeaten start to the 2022-23 season for Man City, who still lead the PL in possession (66.4 percent per game) while also becoming an unstoppable offensive force from last season (14 goals in their first seven games) to this season (23). That’s not to say it’s been easy as Manchester City go through a tactical shift of their own to better appeal to the big Norwegian’s poaching abilities. Though they have been forced to grind out results a few times already this season, it’s highlighted a newfound spontaneity for a side that’s been as regimented as any in the world. Will that freedom be what ultimately lands Pep Guardiola his first Champions League trophy since 2011, and perhaps a third straight PL title (and a fifth in six years) to boot?

As for Manchester United, the Ten Hag era has been a wild roller-coaster ride already, short as it’s been. The back-to-back defeats were one thing, but the abject performances were the real cause for discontent. While picking up the four straight victories, the Dutchman has also settled on a midfield setup with Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen operating in (effectively) a double pivot with Bruno Fernandes the most advanced of the three. It has brought defensive stability, of course, but more importantly the change has revealed a deadly counter-attacking side. Each of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Fernandes have scored twice during the winning run, with new boy Antony also getting in on the fun on his debut. With space in behind (and the proper service from deep), Ten Hag might just have his first winning formula (albeit quite unlike him).

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee)

Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Marcus Rashford (thigh), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE, Donny van de Beek (knock), Martin Dubravka (knock)

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WATCH: Lionel Messi spins gorgeous free kick goal past Nice’s Schmeichel


Lionel Messi got the better of Kasper Schmeichel with an outstanding free kick as Paris Saint-Germain outlasted Nice 2-1 on Saturday at the Parc des Princes.

The world’s greatest scorer was fouled to set up a free kick just inside the arc. Nice, of course, got into a wall and former Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel arranged it to his liking.

As he does so many times, however, Messi spun a free kick just over the wall. The ball, which came so close to taking a slight turn off a leaping wall member (actually, did it?), tumbled down and right into the side netting to give PSG a 1-0 lead before the match was a half-hour old.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi scores relentless Groningen goal ]

Gaetan Laborde tied the match before halftime, and Nice’s revamped roster looked set to hold tight for a point (The club’s signed familiar Premier League names Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Aaron Ramsey, and Mario Lemina).

Even that wouldn’t be enough, though, as Kylian Mbappe came off the bench to replace young Hugo Ekitike to finish a Nordi Mukiele assist for a 2-1 win.

PSG has eight wins and a draw this season, good for a two-point lead on second-place Marseille. Messi has five goals and a joint-league-best seven assists, tied with Neymar. Mbappe and Neymar are tied for the league goals lead with eight.

Lionel Messi free kick goal video

USMNT’s Ricardo Pepi defies xG with relentless goal (video)


USMNT forward Ricardo Pepi’s goal while trying to will Groningen back into an eventual 4-1 loss to AZ Alkmaar on Saturday will not be one of the expected variety.

The 19-year-old striker, on loan from Augsburg, ran onto an audacious long pass from 20-year-old defender Neraysho Kasanwirjo but had plenty of work to do with AZ leading 2-0.

[ MORE: Josef Martinez scores audacious overhead goal ]

Pepi sees one defender fall in a race to the ball, then bodies up AZ’s Sam Beukema a little outside the six-yard box.

Hand-to-hand combat sees both players hit the turf, and Pepi probably could won a penalty.

But the World Cup hopeful spins while on the pitch and snaps a shot past charging AZ goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst to make it 2-1.

Video after the jump.

Ricardo Pepi

Ricardo Pepi goal video: Fantastic start to Groningen loan

Pepi now has a goal or an assist in his first three Eredivisie outings, not unlike his fantastic start to life in a USMNT shirt.

His goal contributions have taken a dive since his first two USMNT matches — World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Jamaica — and he only has one assist from the following 10 outings in a U.S. shirt.

Still, Pepi is clearly one of Gregg Berhalter’s favorite options for the upcoming World Cup, and his performances will be measured against Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok, FC Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira, and others.

In a tournament where every moment matters, his work for this scrappy finish will be well-noted by the USMNT staff.

Josef Martinez scores vicious overhead kick in Atlanta United loss (video)


If this is the last goal of Josef Martinez’s (likely) final season with Atlanta United, it will be very appropriate.

So for Martinez, even in a losing effort, to go airborne for an overhead kick that is a simply sensational feat of athleticism and power, well, it just feels right.

The 29-year-old Venezuelan forward joined the Five Stripes in 2017 in what seemed a massive capture for the club at the time and now seems downright gargantuan, but he’s fallen out with current manager Gonzalo Pineda and was even suspended for a match last month.

[ MORE: West Ham beats Wolves | Klopp reacts to latest setback ]

Martinez has nine goals and four assists in an injury-abbreviated 25-game season, giving him 111 goals in 156 appearances for ATL UTD. The former Torino and Young Boys striker is still being capped for Venezuela and would leave with an MLS Cup, Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, and Campeones Cup as well as a boatload of individual honors.

Atlanta lost 2-1 to New England on Saturday and returns home for their season finale next weekend versus New York City FC. The Five Stripes won’t make the playoffs unless at least two teams decide not to field teams, so if the NYCFC game doesn’t go well, let’s pretend this one was his final appearance for the club.