La Liga & Serie A roundup: Madrid clubs cruise; Juve loses again

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Catch up on all of this weekend’s action from Spain and Italy’s top flights.

Real Madrid 5-0 Real Betis

After a disappointing scoreless draw to open the season, Real Madrid got back on track with a 5-0 thrashing of Real Betis. Gareth Bale scored two goals and Karim Benzema added one as well, but the man of the match was James Rodriguez. James assisted on Bale’s first, buried a brilliant free kick, and scored on a bicycle kick, creating a personal highlight reel in just 90 minutes.

Sevilla 0-3 Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid is yet to concede a goal through two matches, defeating Sevilla 3-0 to remain unbeaten and unscored upon. Koke put Atletico ahead in the first half before Gabi had a shot deflected past the keeper to double the lead in the 78th minute. Jackson Martinez sealed the win with beautiful strike from distance, the Colombian’s first goal for the club since joining from Porto.

Barcelona 1-0 Malaga

Barcelona failed to score a goal against Malaga and took just one point from two matches last year, but squeaked out close 1-0 victory over the South coast side this weekend. Thomas Vermaelen was the surprise goalscorer for the defending European champs, as the former Arsenal center-back fired home a volley with less than 20 minutes to play to take all three points.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Villarreal 3-1 Espanyol
Real Sociedad 0-0 Sporting Gijon
Celta Vigo 3-0 Rayo
Eibar 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
Valencia 1-1 Deportivo
Las Palmas 0-0 Levante
Getafe 1-2 Granada

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Paul Pogba
Juve has lost the opening two matches of a season for the first time in club history.

Roma 2-1 Juventus — MORE

After losing three matches all of last season, Juventus has opened up the new campaign with two straight losses, falling to Roma 2-1 earlier today. Goals from Miralem Pjanic and Edin Dzeko downed Juve, who were forced to ten men when Patrice Evra was sent off in the second half. Far from a dream start for the team that was a win away from the treble last season.

AC Milan 2-1 Empoli

Summer signings Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano both scored for AC Milan, as the Rossoneri got their first Serie A win under Sinisa Mihajlovic. Depsite the result, the new manager was not pleased with his side’s performance, saying “The result is the only thing to salvage, nothing else. I saw the players too tense and frightened. Courage and personality was lacking from my players. We won, but I feel like I have lost.” Harsh words after taking all three points.

Napoli 2-2 Sampdoria

Maurizio Sarri has yet to find a win as Napoli manager, after losing to Sassuolo last week and drawing Sampdoria this weekend 2-2. Gonzalo Higuain scored twice in the first half to give Napoli a 2-0 lead, but Sampdoria striker Eder scored two goals in two minutes in the second half to climb back for a draw.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Carpi 1-2 Inter Milan
Bologna 0-1 Sassuolo
Udinese 0-1 Palermo
Torino 3-1 Fiorentina
Chievo 4-0 Lazio
Atalanta 2-0 Frosinone
Genoa 2-0 Verona

Chelsea needs to wait “48 hours” to assess Mount

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Mason Mount‘s move from the Championship to the Premier League has been nearly seamless.

His adjustment to the Champions League was cut down too quickly to get an understanding of whether it would be too big of a jump.

[ MORE: Match recap | Barkley drama ]

Mount, 20, was chopped down by Valencia’s Francis Coquelin, the former Arsenal man, and had to leave the game after just 16 minutes.

Here’s Frank Lampard, from ChelseaFC.com:

“He’s got an ankle injury but we don’t know how bad it is. We’ll have to assess it in the next 48 hours to see the scale of the injury. It was a shame because he started the game well and it meant we had to make the change early on.”

Mount scored nine times with four assists on loan under Lampard at Derby County last season, and has already chipped in three goals for Chelsea this season.

Lampard turned to Pedro off the bench on Tuesday, but any lengthy absence for Mount will spell more time for American youngster Christian Pulisic.

UEFA Champions League Wednesday preview: Man City, Spurs debut

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Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur begin their UEFA Champions League campaigns on very different results and with very different vibes.

City is coming off a stunning 3-2 loss to injury-hit Norwich City, and is set up in Ukraine to face Shakhtar Donetsk for the third-straight season, a side which beat Pep Guardiola once in four tries between 2017/18 and 2018/19 in the UCL.

[ MORE: UCL Tues. wrap ]

But on Wednesday, Guardiola’s men are going to carry a similar feel to one of his old Barcelona teams, as Pep seemingly will have Fernandinho pull a Javier Mascherano and drop into the back line.

Yes, Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi are Manchester City’s hopes at center back, now that John Stones has joined Aymeric Laporte on the shelf.

“For me as a manager it’s an incredible challenge,” said Pep Guardiola. “But I believe a lot, people don’t know the spirit and resolve to solve this problem. The players going to come back with Dinho, Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis. … It’s happened, but what we are not going to do is complain. We have to have 11 players on the pitch and I like it, to find a solution. For the players as well to find an incredible step forward.”

Spurs, meanwhile, will simply be trying to build on any momentum gained by a 4-0 demolition of Crystal Palace at the weekend, a win which came after manager Mauricio Pochettino begged his side to “re-focus” after a relatively poor start to the season.

Now a bit more relaxed, Spurs head to Greece as the clear favorites against stingy Olympiacos. These are, after all, the finalists of last season’s tournament.

Pochettino won’t be sleeping on the challenge, from The London Evening Standard:

“They have good players and if we are not focused and don’t take our best game we are going to suffer. But last season we played in the final of Champions League, so it’s normal people think before the game, Tottenham is one step above Olympiacos but in the end you need to show it on the pitch.”

Spurs are one of two early kickoffs on Tuesday.

Full UCL Wednesday schedule

12:55 p.m. ET
Club Brugge v. Galatasaray
Olympiacos v. Tottenham Hotspur

3 p.m. ET
Bayer Leverkusen v. Lokomotiv Moscow
Paris Saint-Germain v. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid v. Juventus
Dinamo Zagreb v. Atalanta
Bayern Munich v. Red Star Belgrade
Shakhtar Donetsk v. Manchester City

American coach Marsch speaks after landmark Champions League day

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Jesse Marsch made his UEFA Champions League debut on Tuesday, a historic first for not just the Wisconsin native but also his country.

Marsch, 45, oversaw Red Bull Salzburg’s 6-2 demolition of Genk, becoming the first American to win a UCL match as manager.

[ MORE: Champions League Tues. wrap ]

“We knew we were going into the match full of confidence,” he said, via the Salzburg site. “We knew too that we could put in a performance of this quality. I wasn’t pleased with a few situations, such as conceding for 3-1. That shows our incredible mentality though as it prompted us to give a few more percent and immediately score two goals.”

The ex-New York Red Bulls manager and RB Leipzig assistant manager got another three goals from incredible 19-year-old striker Erling Braut Haland, who nows has 17 goals in nine matches this season.

“It is an absolute joy to work with this team. We have a lot of players who just know how to battle, and that rubs off on the others. You can see that on the pitch on nights like tonight.”

There will be tougher nights ahead for Marsch, who is in a group with Liverpool and Napoli, but Tuesday was a fine start for the tactician. And it was a banner moment for American coaches abroad, who’ve been led by past and present USMNT coaches Bob Bradley and Gregg Berhalter.

Maybe one day that’ll be Marsch’s title… but it seems like he may have some loftier ground to cover on his path through world soccer.

Klopp: Liverpool made wrong decisions; Penalty also incorrect

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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is going to bat for his left back after Andrew Robertson gave away what became the decisive penalty in a 2-0 loss to Napoli in UEFA Champions League action on Tuesday.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty,” Klopp said. “What can I say, for me, it is clear and obvious no penalty. He jumps before any contact, we can’t change that.”

[ RECAP: Napoli 2-0 Liverpool ]

For what it’s worth: It sure seemed like both a foul on Robertson and a comical embellishment from Callejon, but we digress.

Liverpool just didn’t have it on the day, like when Sadio Mane played a terrible pass to Mohamed Salah on what could’ve been an easy 1-0 lead.

In the moments they did have it, there was Napoli goalkeeper Alex Meret making a splendid save.

“We played a lot of good football but didn’t finish it off. We controlled moments but had not enough chances in the end. We made decisions that were not right and have to accept the result. It was very often the final ball that was not right.”

Also, forgive Klopp if he has stopped enjoying the beautiful country of Italy.