Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City: Manchester is blue

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  • De Bruyne opened scoring
  • Iheanacho doubled the lead
  • Zlatan pulled one back after a Bravo blunder
  • City have won 4 of last 6 derbies at United
  • Guardiola has 8 wins in 17 games v Mourinho

MANCHESTER — Manchester is blue.

Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday in the Manchester derby as Pep Guardiola got the better of Jose Mourinho in a heavyweight encounter between two expensively assembled sides who are favorites for the Premier League title.

Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho gave City a 2-0 lead and just before half time Zlatan Ibrahimovic made it 2-1 after making the most of a terrible blunder from Claudio Bravo.

United improved but couldn’t find an equalizer despite late pressure and City held on for the victory to make it four wins from four to open up the Premier League season.

They also have the small matter of bragging rights in Manchester…

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Early on the game began at a frantic pace as De Bruyne got in down the left and his cross just missed Sterling and Iheanacho in the center. At the other end Pogba curled a speculative effort from distance just over as the match ebbed and flowed.

City began to dominate the game and were duly rewarded in the 15th minute as a long ball forward was flicked on by Iheanacho ahead of Eric Bailly and Daley Blind was slow to respond to the loose ball. De Bruyne wasn’t and the Belgian attacker grabbed the ball, raced in on goal and gave De Gea the eyes to slot home. 1-0 to City.

[ MORE: Premier League standings

The first major flash point of the derby arrived just before the half hour mark as a loose ball bounced into the technical area and as Guardiola caught the ball Rooney tired to wrestle it back off him. There was some brief grappling and then things calmed down but it showed the passion and tension on show.

City continued to pour forward with Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling in possession and City swarming around Marouane Fellaini, forcing United to give up possession time and time again. That pressure led to a second goal as De Bruyne was played in on the right side of the box and his shot across goal hit the post and rebounded straight to Iheanacho and he slotted home. 2-0 to Man City.

The scoring wasn’t over in the first half as United were handed a lifeline courtesy of a monumental error from City’s new goalkeeper Bravo on his debut. The Chilean goalkeeper completely misjudged a long ball into the box and Ibrahimovic picked up the loose ball and brilliantly volleyed home. 2-1. Game on.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]  

At half time Mourinho made two subs with Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera coming on for the disappointing duo of Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard. That meant Pogba was pushed through the middle and Rooney put to the right. Rashford made an immediate impact with the English youngster cutting in from the left and teeing up Zlatan who couldn’t quite get his shot on target.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Guardiola brought on Fernando for Iheanacho to add an extra body in midfield and to try regain some control but his goalkeeper had another moment to forget in the 55th minute. Bravo tried to turn Herrera in his own box but a heavy touch saw him closed down by Rooney and City’s goalkeeper clattered into a 50-50 tackle. Lucky boy.

United continued to do all the pressing with City content to sit on their 2-1 lead, with Ibrahimovic firing a volley over the bar. Local lad Rashford then though he’d equalized but his shot deflected off Ibrahimovic in an offside position and in.

City had a rare chance at the other end with Fernandinho‘s volley from a corner saved initially, then Nicolas Otamendi’s effort with the follow up well blocked.

Late on United simply ran out of ideas as they pushed forward but couldn’t break through as Ibrhaimovic’s late effort was deflected wide. City held on for a 2-1 win and Guardiola, once again, prevailed over Mourinho.

La Liga roundup: Griezmann shines in Barcelona’s 5-2 drubbing of Betis

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Wins from Barcelona and Atletico Madrid highlight La Liga’s Sunday action.

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Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

Antoine Griezmann’s Camp Nou debut was one for the books.

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez sidelined with injuries, the floor was all Griezmann’s. He didn’t disappoint.

Down 1-0, Griezmann, sneaking past his markers inside the box, acrobatically tapped a lofting ball from Sergi Roberto into the back of the net.

The best was yet to come, however.

In the second half, as Barcelona pinned Real Betis back in their defensive third, the Frenchman’s magic came to life.

Soon after, the floodgates opened – Barcelona’s skill effortlessly began to pick apart a weaker Betis side. Just 30 minutes after the 28-year-old’s second goal, Ernesto Valverde’s side posed a 5-1 lead.

Loren Moron’s superb strike gave Betis a second, but the defending champions had already done the damage behind goals from Carles Perez, Jordi Alba, Arturo Vidal and Griezmann.

With Sunday’s performance in mind, how will Barcelona function with Messi, Suarez and Griezmann spearheading the attack?

Osasuna may soon find that out firsthand as they host the Catalonians next. Elsewhere, looking for their first points of the season, Betis host Leganes.

Leganes 0-1 Atletico Madrid 

With a goal in the 70th minute, Vitolo played the unlikely hero for Atletico Madrid in their 1-0 win over Leganes.

Following a smooth lay-off from Joao Felix, the 29-year-old calmly slotted the ball past Juan Soriano, ten minutes after replacing Mario Hermoso.

The goal certainly meant a lot to Vitolo and Atletico Madrid, who along with Sevilla, are one of two teams to start the season with six points after two matchweeks.

Although not entirely dominant throughout the course of the match, the home side was inches from stripping two points from Los Colchoneros with Jonathan Silva’s free-kick hitting the crossbar.

Despite having a pair of clear-cut opportunities on Sunday, Atletico’s $142 million summer signing is yet to celebrate his first La Liga goal. Alvaro Morata, too, is waiting to catch fire.

With Atletico hosting an underperforming Eibar next, the narrative that Simeone’s side is lacking efficiency in the attack can soon fall flat. On the other hand, no points to their name, will look to exploit a confidence-battered Real Betis.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Alaves 0-0 Espanyol

RCD Mallorca 0-1 Real Sociedad

Rapids name Robin Fraser as head coach

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COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) The Colorado Rapids have named former Major League Soccer player and longtime assistant Robin Fraser as their head coach.

Fraser steps in for Conor Casey, who’s been the interim coach since the team fired Anthony Hudson in May. Colorado is 7-14-6 and at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.

Fraser’s first match in charge will be Saturday at the New York Red Bulls.

The 52-year-old Fraser has served as an assistant coach at Toronto FC since 2015.

Fraser was the fourth overall pick in the 1996 MLS player draft by the Los Angeles Galaxy. Over his career, Fraser suited up for the Galaxy, the Rapids and the Columbus Crew. He said in a statement Sunday he considers Colorado home because he’s so familiar with the soccer community.

Rapids general manager Padraig Smith said Fraser has a “deep knowledge of what it takes to be successful in MLS.”

Pochettino upset with attacking stars, speaks on Eriksen status

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Mauricio Pochettino might’ve understood Tottenham Hotspur dropping points last week at Man City, but he didn’t plan on not taking anything from Newcastle United on Sunday at home.

“You need the capacity to step up in this type of situation but we didn’t show that quality today,” Pochettino said. “When the ball arrives in the last third you need something from the talent and quality we have there and today we didn’t have that.”

[ RECAP: Spurs 0-1 Newcastle | Bruce reacts ]

So that’s pretty straight forward, but Pochettino was less happy to answer the question of why he didn’t start Christian Eriksen. Some (read: this writer) have questioned the philosophy of putting a man you may sell for $50 million on the bench. Either put him in the Starting XI and risk him, or leave him off the 18.

“When you lose, the players who don’t play are the best. With Christian we win and we lose a lot of games. I accept that situation is like this. If we won 3-0 today no one talks about different names.

“I cannot find excuses about the transfer window being open to justify that performance or the result. We cannot find the way to be solid and to have consistency for different reasons. I am going to be happy in 10 days after we play Arsenal when the transfer window closes in Europe and to have the player involved until the transfer window again in January.”

We’re not gonna read too much into it, but it does sound a bit like Pochettino is daring teams to bid for Eriksen. Would it make sense for him to hold onto Eriksen until January before cashing in?

Newcastle’s Bruce heard criticism, happy to beat Spurs

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Steve Bruce heard a lot of the criticism from fans upon his hiring at Newcastle United, and it rang out louder after the Magpies started 0-2 including a loss at newly-promoted Norwich City.

[ RECAP: Spurs 0-1 Newcastle ]

He may well hear plenty more down the road, but the childhood Newcastle supporter was feeling relieved and maybe redeemed after a fortunate and wonderful 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday. From the BBC:

“We came to this fantastic stadium, this fantastic club and we performed. I mean, to say I ‘cannot even do a warm up’ is mad. I have managed 900-odd games and over the years you would think there would be some sort of respect but I go back to the fact that whoever took over from Rafa Benitez was going to get the abuse.”

Newcastle faces struggling Watford at St. James’ Park next week, and another result will ease a lot of nerves (though certainly not all of them.