Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP

MLS Snapshots: Montreal Impact 3-0 NY Red Bulls | RSL 2-1 Seattle Sounders

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The game in 100 words (or less): Attention, folks: the Montreal Impact are really, really good, with or without Didier Drogba, as they showed once again in Saturday’s 3-0 hammering of the reigning Supporters’ Shield-winning New York Red Bulls. Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti and Anthony Jackson-Hamel provided the goals, while the Red Bulls failed to find the back of the net for the second straight game after leading the league in goals scored last season (just four shots on target through two games). Piatti (three goals and two assists through two games) looks the player likeliest to challenge Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco for Golden Boot and MVP honors this year.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 2 ]

Three moments that mattered

58′ — Oduro gets in behind, finishes past Robles — With Drogba once again unavailable on Saturday, Oduro got his second straight start and center forward and scored for the second straight game.

71′ — Piatti gets in behind, makes it 2-0 — Gideon Baah made his MLS debut in generally impressive fashion last week for the Red Bulls. This week, he was the Impact’s whipping boy, having committed the fatal turnover on Oduro’s opener, and then getting caught in acres of space as Piatti waltzed into the penalty area and fired Montreal to a 2-0 lead.

90+4′ — Jackson-Hamel slots it past Robles to complete the rout — Harry Shipp’s delicately chipped through ball put Jackson-Hamel into all kinds of space inside the Red Bulls penalty area, where the 22-year-old coolly poked his first-time effort past Luis Robles for the emphatic exclamation point goal.

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Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Oduro (58′), Piatti (71′), Jackson-Hamel (90+4′)


The game in 100 words (or less): If you spent two hours of your Saturday afternoon soldiering through the Real Salt Lake 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders, I am truly sorry. Hopefully you allowed me to watch this one so you didn’t have to. Osvaldo Alonso scored an unattractive goal — his first in 96 games — just before the half-hour mark, Sunny Obayan equalized just before halftime, and Jamison Olave scored the most “Jamison Olave” goal to snatch all three points in the 86th minute. The Sounders are without a single point through two games to begin the 2016 season, while RSL were mere seconds last week from taking all six points to open the season.

[ MORE: Previewing the rest of Week 2 ]

Three moments that mattered

28′ — Alonso pokes home a rebound to make it 1-0 — Nick Rimando made an extremely Rimando-like reaction save to stop Nelson Valdez’s initial effort off the cross from Joevin Jones, but the ball sat up ever so nicely for Alonso at the back post, where the Cuban poked home with ease.

43′ — Sunny heads home from a corner, makes it 1-1 — Perfectly placed corner kick by Joao Plata, perfectly executed header from 11 yards out by Sunny. Textbook stuff from RSL, and poor marking from the Sounders.

86′ — Olave wins the jump ball, heads home for 2-1 — From Plata’s overhit free kick, Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martinez did the simplest things: he sent the ball back into the penalty area with his first touch. Olave clashed with goalkeeper Tyler Miller in mid-air, and the Colombian brute came out on top, as he often does in aerial duels.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Juan Manuel Martinez

Goalscorers: Alonso (28′), Sunny (43′), Olave (86′)

Red-hot Rebić scores again as AC Milan tops Torino

AC Milan
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MILAN (AP) Ante Rebić kept up his scoring form to lead AC Milan to a 1-0 win over struggling Torino in Serie A on Monday.

The Croatia international beat his marker to redirect a cross from the center of the area midway through the first half at the San Siro.

The score raised Rebić’s tally to six goals and an assist in eight matches since he earned his starting spot – a move that coincided with Zlatan Ibrahimović’s return to the Rossoneri.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Bouncing back from a derby loss, Milan moved up to eighth and just beyond the Europa League places. The seven-time European champion is hoping to return to continental competition after voluntary withdrawing from this season’s Europa League to pay for UEFA financial fair play breaches.

Torino, meanwhile, lost its fifth straight, with new coach Moreno Longo still unable to turn things around in his second match in charge.

Ibrahimović narrowly missed a curling shot shortly after the break.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Simeone: Liverpool intensity “makes me admire it as a rival”

UEFA Champions League
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The UEFA Champions League returns at long last on Tuesday, and two of the greatest managers in the game will match wits for the first time.

No we’re not talking about Lucien Favre and Thomas Tuchel, the meeting of the minds in Tuesday’s other kickoff between Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain in Germany.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Simeone in Spain, and the fiery German thinks it will be “absolutely interesting.”

From The Liverpool Echo:

“People say I emotional on the sideline,” Klopp said. “I am only on level 4, Diego is level 12. Really I am the kindergarten cop against him. He is so impressive after all these years, after so many years at the club – eight years. That is really long and having still this emotional level, still, wow. So impressive. I say, his teams are always organized world class.”

The admiration is mutual.

Simeone expects a huge challenge from a Liverpool team he regards on a historic plane.

“We are facing a magnificent team, really well-trained by a coach who is different and has different alternatives in his team,” he said, via The Independent. “We have always spoken about great teams throughout time and I have no doubt this Liverpool is going to go down in history as a great team because it is different to teams that we have admired. This team is much more intense, more adaptable, and it makes me admire it as a rival.”

The bettors say Liverpool is the heavy favorite in the first leg despite the match’s location at the Wanda Metropolitano. With football geniuses like Klopp and Simeone, however, either could have a plan to throw the other for a loop.

CONCACAF Champions League preview: Five MLS sides eye history

CONCACAF Champions League preview
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Once the Premier League and La Liga had taken their final bows of the day on Saturday, there felt was a particular absence, one soon-to-be filled by domestic soccer.

Yes, MLS is coming soon, and the CONCACAF Champions League is even closer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

Five MLS sides begin their Round of 16 ties over the next three evenings, some with easier paths than others to elusive CCL glory.

The competition may not have burned itself onto the mainstream, lagging behind continental competitions in Europe and South America, but those who’ve embraced it (hint: this guy) love the thing.

For all the progress Major League Soccer has made in its quarter-century, it’s yet to find much success in dealing with Liga MX powers in the fight to qualify for the Club World Cup.

MLS sides have not won the competition since it was rebranded the CCL. Only three MLS sides have made the CCL final this decade, with Real Salt Lake (2011), Montreal Impact (2015), and Toronto FC (2017) all coming up short at the last step.

The CCL provides everything you love and hate about World Cup qualifying, and those dicey pitches with sometimes worse lighting mean the favorites aren’t guaranteed much.

The top half of the bracket sees three MLS teams — Montreal, Seattle, and NYCFC — and just one Liga MX side, while the bottom half gives us a Liga MX v. MLS match-up straight away.

That’s Leon v. LAFC, and it begins Tuesday night in Mexico. That tie carries the added intrigue of MLS superstar Carlos Vela bringing his act back to his home country for the first time… ever.

Bracket

Saprissa (Costa Rica) v. Montreal — 8 p.m. ET Weds.
Olimpia (Honduras) v. Seattle — 10 p.m. ET Thurs.

San Carlos (Costa Rica) v. NYCFC — 8 p.m. ET Thurs.
Alianza (El Salvador) v. UANL Tigres — 8 p.m. ET Weds.

Leon v. LAFC — 10 p.m. ET Tues.
Portmore United (Jamaica) v. Cruz Azul — 8 p.m. ET Tues.

Comunicaciones (Guatemala) v. Club America — 10 p.m. ET Weds.
Montagua (Honduras) v. Atlanta United — 10 p.m. ET Tues.

The 2 Robbies podcast: VAR carnage at Stamford Bridge

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle dissect a crazy game at Stamford Bridge that saw Chelsea on the wrong side of several VAR decisions (00:45).

The gents also recap the big moments from the weekend; Liverpool beat Norwich (18:30), Son’s late winner against Aston Villa (24:45) and Arteta‘s attackers thrash Newcastle United (30:15).

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]