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Mourinho hits out at Man City’s spending

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Jose Mourinho is like a dog with a bone right now.

With his Manchester United side dropping points against Leicester City and Burnley with two 2-2 draws over the festive period, the Red Devils are getting plenty of criticism as they’ve fallen 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s clash at Old Trafford against Southampton (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Mourinho once again commented on the spending power of PL leaders, and crosstown rivals, Manchester City.

“Without taking any credit from Manchester City and Pep and his staff and the players, obviously they have lots of credit in what they are doing but Pep arrived, he had the goalkeeper of England [Joe Hart], he doesn’t like him. He buys the goalkeeper of Barcelona [Claudio Bravo], he doesn’t like him. He buys another one [Ederson], now he likes him,” Mourinho said.

“He has [Pablo] Zabaleta and [Aleksandr] Kolarov, two very good players but more than 30 years old, he wants to replace. He doesn’t replace with two, he replaces with three. One from Tottenham [Kyle Walker], one from Monaco [Benjamin Mendy], one from Real Madrid [Danilo], as an example.”

So, there is a slither of credit in there but also a lot of talk about the huge resources Pep Guardiola has at his disposal.

Mourinho said that he has the support of United’s hierarchy but also added: “You [either] belong to one of these clubs where there is no limit and you buy what you want, no Financial Fair Play, there is nothing, you do what you want or it’s hard, it’s hard.”

The Portuguese coach appreciates what he’s been given (over $400 million on new players since he arrived in the summer of 2016, by the way) but the fact that Guardiola has only spent $130 million more than him in that same time period — the price of two full backs — seems to have been glossed over.

“I have the backing of the club. We all know we invested a lot, so when you invest as much as we did it wouldn’t be very fair of me to say the club didn’t support, didn’t want to help, doesn’t want to win. It would be very unfair, which is not me,” Mourinho said. “The club invested a lot of money. The problem is not the money we invest, the problem is the money the others invest. And it’s the problem that others with better squads, with better stability, with more options, they keep investing and that is the only problem.”

Mourinho and Man United are no paupers and this ‘woe is me’ routine is getting very old, very fast. Of course City’s riches have a big deal to do with their record-breaking run but there is a clear plan and philosophy in place and the vast sums are being spent wisely. You can’t say the same about United’s transfer dealings over the past few years.

I get it. It’s tough for Mourinho and United’s fans to appreciate greatness when it’s on their own door step and is being orchestrated by a manager who has long been a main rival of Mourinho’s.

Special things are happening at City regardless of the cash and it’s time for Mourinho to let go of his bone and worry about his own house.

MLS Three Things: RBNY beats Atlanta, is a special club right now

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At this point, Jesse Marsch could take the USMNT job, Tyler Adams could bolt for the Bundesliga, and we’d still have to select the New York Red Bulls to finish with a home playoff game.

[ MORE: Willian’s shot at Conte ]

That’s how well run RBNY is these days, which is to take nothing away from their coach and 19-year-old star, but considering they navigated a solid CONCACAF Champions League run en route to this start… well…. wow.

On a night when Luis Robles’ ironman streak ended, Kaku recorded two assists, and Ezequiel Barco bagged his second goal in three matches, they don’t even meet the requirements of our three things.

Form giants deliver more goals

Marsch’s men have been shutout once this season, and most multiple goals in four-consecutive wins. Three of those four wins have come on the road, at LA, Colorado, and now Atlanta.

RBNY has the best points-per-game in Major League Soccer, has scored the joint-most goals despite playing in the second-fewest games, and is allowing barely more than a goal-a-game.

Bet against ’em. We dare ya.

BWP delivers the goods

RBNY’s 33-year-old English star scored twice and won a penalty that Daniel Royer converted as he continued his assault on all future Red Bulls’ hopes of becoming the club’s leading scorer.

Bradley Wright-Phillips has almost 50 more goals than his nearest competitor, Juan Pablo Angel, and he makes headers look like child’s play.

Victory comes with a price

Kemar Lawrence was lost with a scary-looking face-plant on a clearance, and needed to be stretchered off the pitch. Hopefully it’s not long-term for the Jamaican back.

Willian “edits” Conte out of FA Cup champions photo

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Willian is not a fan of Antonio Conte.

Come to another conclusion if you like, but it’s hard to argue the Brazilian wizard’s feelings following his Instagram post after Chelsea beat Manchester United in the FA Cup Final.

[ MORE: Matic wants squad changes at Man Utd ]

Willian covered his manager in trophies following the win, and it’d be a stretch to call that a tribute to the Italian’s tactical brilliance.

The player recorded seven goals and six assists despite playing less than all but 12 Chelsea players in league play (12th place Alvaro Morata had 11 and 6).

We’re accepting alternative explanations for the since-deleted Instagram photo below:

Elis scores twice as Dynamo beat Fire 3-2

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (AP) Alberth Elis scored two second-half goals to help the Houston Dynamo beat the Chicago Fire 3-2 on Sunday for their first road win of the season.

Elis, on a one-on-one breakaway, cut back to evade defender Johan Kappelhof and ripped a right-footer from the center of the box into the back of the net to give Houston (4-3-3) a 3-2 lead in the 74th minute.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

The Dynamo’s Romell Quioto opened the scoring in the fourth, running onto a long through ball from Tomas Martinez and rolling the finish past sliding goalkeeper Richard Sanchez. Nemanja Nikolic tied it in the 14th minute and then fed Diego Campos for a goal about two minutes later. Elis converted from the spot to make it 2-2 early in the second half after Mauro Manotas drew a foul in the area conceded by Sanchez.

Chicago (3-6-2) has lost three of its last four games.

 

Inter Milan back in the Champions League after late heroics (video)

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It’s been more than a half-decade since Inter Milan qualified for the UEFA Champions League, an infamous run that ended on Sunday.

Inter scored twice in the final 13 minutes to beat fifth-place Lazio and advance into the Top Four via head-to-head record.

[ MORE: Man Utd youngster gets USMNT call-up ]

Lazio held 1-0 and 2-1 leads, but could not get the job done at home, collecting red cards in the 79th minute and stoppage time.

Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino scored his third goal of the season, redirecting a corner kick home in the 81st minute, as Inter clinched fourth place in Serie A.