Three things we learned from Man United’s win vs. Leicester City

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LONDON — Manchester United beat Leicester 2-1 at Wembley in the Community Shield on Sunday as Zlatan Ibrahimovich was the hero.

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Zlatan scored the winning goal late on but that didn’t tell the whole story as Leicester pushed United back and a disjointed Red Devils side somewhat snatched the win.

[ MORE: Mourinho praises Pogba ]

Here’s a look at what we learned from an intense encounter at Wembley.

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UNITED’S REBUILD NOWHERE NEAR COMPLETE

Stood on the sidelines with his hands in his pockets, Jose Mourinho cut a frustrated figured on the sidelines in the sun at Wembley. He has every right to be.

After a calamitous preseason tour to China — their friendly against Manchester City was canceled due to a poor pitch — ate into his precious preparation time ahead of his debut season in charge of United, his team looked off the pace for large periods of the Community Shield against Leicester. Even when Jesse Lingard scored a superb solo goal following his slaloming 40-yard run it came against the run of play.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic labored up front but his first touch let him down on numerous occasions and he looked rusty, despite his game-winner late on. Wayne Rooney tried to get involved but again looked off the pace. Marouane Fellaini‘s horrendous error to let in Jamie Vardy for his goal summed up his game, while Michael Carrick alongside him was over run.

Even when Paul Pogba’s arrival is announced in the coming day, that won’t solve United’s issues in midfield. He will run and maraud forward but there’s no enforcer, no destroyer to break things up. Mourinho always has one of those and right now it is the one gaping hole United need to address. Fast.

Behind Mourinho’s smile at the final whistle there was an a shrug of the shoulders as he embraced Claudio Ranieri. That told you all you needed to know.

Yes, United won, but there’s still plenty of work to do on the long road to recovery. Over half of the United players on the pitch realize they are walking on a tightrope and must improve or face the same fate as Bastian Schweinsteiger and others who have been cast aside by a ruthless and hungry Mourinho.


BAILLY A BEAST

Much has been made about the imminent arrival of Pogba and United’s capture of the enigmatic Zlatan this summer but Eric Bailly‘s signing has flown under the radar. It won’t for much longer.

Arriving from Villarreal for short of $40 million, 22-year-old Bailly has been a force during United’s preseason and he continued that impressive form on Sunday. Several times he stepped in to snuff out chances before they developed and his pace and power allowed him to face Vardy and come out on top. He made a superb sliding tackle midway through the first half as Vardy raced clear and his calmness on the ball to try connect passes was applauded by Mourinho on more than one occasion, even if a couple of his other efforts when into touch. He’s in the team to tackle, head and defend and he does that with ease.

Bailly was booked by referee Craig Pawson in the second half for a shoulder barge on Vardy but it was harsh. With Antonio Valencia looking solid at right back and Luke Shaw easing himself back in at left back, United’s biggest question defensively is who they now play alongside Bailly. For now it is Daley Blind but neither he or Chris Smalling seem like long-term solutions. The young Ivorian defender certainly does.


SAME OLD LEICESTER

Leicester were very, very unlucky on Sunday. Shinji Okazaki went close and hit the bar in the first half, plus Ahmed Musa headed just over late on as they pushed United hard.

Ranieri will be pleased with how his team performed but something has been cropping up in preseason which didn’t impact them last season: defensive errors. Against Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona in preseason games Leicester conceded four goals on both occasions. Making the step up to the UEFA Champions League this season, Ranieri’s men are picking up valuable lessons and must now figure out how to learn from them.

On Zlatan’s game-winning goal Valencia was given too much time to make his move, surge down the right and clip the ball to the back post where Ibrahimovich was waiting. Captain Wes Morgan hardly ever seemed to be beaten in the air last season. Zlatan bossed him. On Lingard’s opener a huge gaping hole opened up in the area of midfield N'Golo Kante patrolled expertly last season. Replacing him will perhaps by Leicester’s biggest worry this season.

Little mistakes were creeping in but overall it was the same old Leicester we saw battle to the title last season. Vardy was a pest. Musa and Demarai Gray injected even more pace in the second half to great effect and the Foxes never gave up.

We won’t see anything different from Leicester this season as they pressed high, worked tirelessly and played in the same formation with virtually the same personnel as last season, Kante aside. The problem for Ranieri is that teams have now had two months over the summer to decipher just how they could stop Leicester.

The biggest issue for Leicester is not that other teams have figured them out. It is perhaps that they already seem more likely to beat themselves than they did at any point throughout their incredible, mystical campaign in 2015-16.

England beats USWNT 2-1 in statement victory at Wembley

England vs USWNT
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LONDON (AP) — Ten weeks after conquering Europe, England proclaimed themselves ready for even more after beating the world champion USWNT 2-1 in a friendly at Wembley Stadium on Friday.

Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway scored to help England beat the USWNT for the first time since 2017 and less than 10 months before the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Stanway’s penalty in the 33rd minute put the hosts in front for good before 76,893 fans. Victory extended England’s unbeaten run to 23 games under coach Sarina Wiegman.

England took the lead in the 10th when Beth Mead sent a low cross into the box. USWNT defender Alana Cook tried to make a sliding block but the ball wiggled through to Hemp, who finished from close range.

The Americans equalized just before the half-hour mark. Millie Bright tried to pass out of the back to a tightly covered Stanway, and Lindsey Horan poked the ball forward to Sophia Smith, who turned and fired low to the left corner past a diving Mary Earps.

Stanway made amends from the spot, though, shooting the ball into the right corner as goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher went the wrong way.

Minutes later, the visitors thought they tied the game again but Trinity Rodman’s strike was ruled out for offside.

England and the USWNT wore teal armbands in solidarity with sexual abuse victims and together held a banner that read “Protect the Players” just before kickoff. A report this week into the scandals that erupted in the National Women’s Soccer League last season found emotional abuse and sexual misconduct were systemic in the league.

There was also a moment of silence for the victims of the deadly crush of fans at a soccer match in Indonesia.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Allen Lazard were among the stars in attendance. The Packers play the New York Giants on Sunday in an NFL game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “Ted Lasso” actor Jason Sudeikis was also on hand.

USWNT wing Crystal Dunn went on as a second-half substitute — less than five months after giving birth to her son. It was her 124th international appearance and first in nearly 13 months.

The draw for the World Cup will be in Auckland on Oct. 22.

Bournemouth vs Leicester: How to watch live, stream link, team news

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Bournemouth vs Leicester: The Cherries will try to make it five games unbeaten when they host the one-win Foxes at Vitality Stadium on Saturday (watch live, 10 am ET on Peacock Premium). 

STREAM LIVE BOURNEMOUTH vs LEICESTER

Leicester (4 points. 19th place) hammered Nottingham Forest 4-0 to pick up that first win of the season last time out, seemingly buying manager Brendan Rodgers a bit more time following an incredibly rocky start (0W-1D-6L). Bournemouth (9 points – 13th), meanwhile, are unbeaten (1W-3D-0L) since firing Scott Parker in late August (1W-0D-3L to start).

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Bournemouth vs Leicester

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


How to watch Bournemouth vs Leicester live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10 am ET, Saturday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Key storylines & star players

The Cherries had turned their season around by tightening the defense (just three goals conceded in four games, including two clean sheets) to compensate for their inability to create, let alone finish, scoring chances (two goals scored in four games under Parker; four in four games under interim boss Gary O’Neil). Half of their six goals came in the 3-2 victory over Nottingham Forest (a common them emerges as well), all in a 36-minute period in the second half. Aside from those 36 minutes, it’s been a barren wasteland of offensive output (0.48 xG per game – last in the Premier League, by a wide margin).

The Foxes kept their first clean sheet of the season in the win over Forest, after conceding a PL-high 22 goals in their first seven games (they are still last in the PL, just ahead of — you guessed it — Forest). Leicester were, however, fortunate to escape the opening half-hour without conceding (maybe twice), most notably when Taiwo Awoniyi hit the post of an open goal. Saturday’s battle with Bournemouth will offer the perfect opportunity for another clean sheet.


Bournemouth team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Leicester team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Wilfried Ndidi (hamstring), Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Nampalys Mendy (knee)

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Premier League injury news, 2022-23 season

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Premier League injury news: It’s time to take a look at which players might be unavailable for matchweek 10 of the 2022-23 Premier League season, due to injury.

[ MORE: How to watch the Premier League on NBC ]

Prior to every matchweek this season, we’ll update this Premier League injuries page with the latest news and update, so make sure to check back regularly to see how your favorite — or least-favorite — club is getting on.

Let’s check out the latest Premier League injury news, below.


Arsenal injuries

OUT: Emile Smith Rowe (groin), Mohamed Elneny (thigh)

Aston Villa injuries

OUT: Diego Carlos (achilles), Lucas Digne (ankle), Boubacar Kamara (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Leon Bailey (undisclosed), Calum Chambers (illness)

Bournemouth injuries

OUT: David Brooks (fitness), Lloyd Kelly (knee), Junior Stanislas (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Joseph Rothwell (thigh), Benjamin Pearson (undisclosed), Ryan Fredericks (undisclosed)

Brentford injuries

OUT: Pontus Jansson (hamstring), Christian Norgaard (achilles), Keane Lewis-Potter (knock) | QUESTIONABLE: Ethan Pinnock (knee)

Brighton & Hove Albion injuries

OUT: Jakub Moder (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Moises Caicedo (undisclosed)Enock Mwepu (illness)

Chelsea injuries

OUT: Wesley Fofana (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: N’Golo Kante (hamstring), Carney Chukwuemeka (illness)

Crystal Palace injuries

OUT:  Chris Richards (leg), Jack Butland (hand), Nathaniel Clyne (ankle), Nathan Ferguson (foot), James McArthur (groin)

Everton injuries

OUT: Ben Godfrey (broken leg), Nathan Patterson (ankle), Andros Townsend (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Dominic Calvert-Lewin (knee), Yerry Mina (ankle), Mason Holgate (knee)

Fulham injuries

OUT: Harry Wilson (knee), Nathaniel Chalobah (suspension), Layvin Kurzawz (calf), Manor Solomon (knee) | QUESTIONABLE: Antonee Robinson (ankle), Willian (calf), Kenny Tete (undisclosed)

Leeds United injuries

OUT: Luis Sinisterra (suspension), Stuart Dallas (thigh), Adam Forshaw (ankle), Archie Gray (ankle)

Leicester City injuries

OUT: Wilfried Ndidi (hamstring), Ricardo Pereira (achilles), Ryan Bertrand (knee), Nampalys Mendy (knee)

Liverpool injuries

OUT: Naby Keita (undisclosed), Arthur Melo (undisclosed), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (hamstring) | QUESTIONABLE: Curtis Jones (calf), Andrew Robertson (knee)

Manchester City injuries

OUT: Kyle Walker (groin), Kalvin Phillips (shoulder), John Stones (hamstring), Benjamin Mendy (suspension – MORE)

Manchester United injuries

OUT: Harry Maguire (hamstring), Aaron Wan Bissaka (knock), Donny van de Beek (knock), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE) | QUESTIONABLE: Raphael Varane (ankle)

Newcastle United injuries

OUT: Jonjo Shelvey (thigh), Matt Ritchie (calf), Emil Krafth (knee), Karl Darlow (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Aleksander Isak (leg)

Nottingham Forest injuries

OUT: Omar Richards (calf), Moussa Niakhate (thigh)

Southampton injuries

OUT: Valentino Livramento (knee), Romeo Lavia (undisclosed) | QUESTIONABLE: Adam Armstrong (undisclosed), Juan Larios (undisclosed)

Tottenham Hotspur injuries

OUT: Dejan Kulusevski (undisclosed), Emerson Royal (suspension), Lucas Moura (achilles), Japhet Tanganga (knock)

West Ham United injuries

OUT: Nayef Aguerd (ankle) | QUESTIONABLE: Maxwel Cornet (calf)

Wolverhampton Wanderers injuries

OUT: Ruben Neves (suspension), Raul Jimenez (groin), Pedro Neto (ankle), Sasa Kalajdzic (torn ACL), Nathan Collins (suspension), Chiquinho (knee)

Premier League player Power Rankings – Week 8

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The latest Premier League player Power Rankings of the 2022-23 season have arrived, as we focus on who starred across Matchweek 9 as the action returned in full force following the international break.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

Stars from Manchester City and Arsenal continue to dominate the upper echelons of our list, as plenty of megastars are starting to hit top gear.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Remember: this is a list of the top 20 performing players right now in the Premier League. It is all based on their current form and which way they are trending, right now!

I’m sure you all agree wholeheartedly with our latest Premier League player Power Rankings…


Premier League player Power Rankings 2022-23 season – Week 8

1. Erling Haaland (Man City) – Even
2. Kevin de Bruyne (Man City) – Even
3. Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) – Up 2
4. Phil Foden (Man City) – Up 2
5. Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal) –  Down 2
6. William Saliba (Arsenal) – Up 9
7. Joao Cancelo (Man City) – Even
8. Aaron Ramsdale (Arsenal) – Up 3
9. Harry Kane (Tottenham) – Down 5
10. Kieran Trippier (Newcastle) – Up 8
11. Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal) – Up 9
12. Leandro Trossard (Brighton) – New entry
13. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal) – Up 4
14. Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton) – New entry
15. Alisson (Liverpool) – New entry
16. Manuel Akanji (Man City) – New entry
17. Alex Iwobi (Everton) – New entry
18. Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) – Up 1
19. Miguel Almiron (Newcastle) – New entry
20. Thomas Partey (Arsenal) – New entry