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Guardiola struggles to explain UCL collapses at Man City, Bayern

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) It has become an alarming trait for Pep Guardiola in his post-Barcelona coaching career.

His teams keep on imploding on the big occasion. And the Manchester City manager knows it.

“I drop a lot of Champions League games in (the space of) 10 to 15 minutes, and I think about that many times,” he said, candidly. “It happened many times. Maybe it’s my fault.”

Guardiola was speaking soon after his City side conceded three goals in 16 minutes on Saturday to lose the Manchester derby 3-2 against United. It denied City the chance to wrap up the Premier League title in record time.

Three days earlier, City conceded three goals in 19 minutes to lose 3-0 at Liverpool in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal matchup.

Guardiola, it seems, is struggling to get that collapse at Anfield out of his head. He constantly referred to it in news conferences before and after the United loss.

It might be because he has previous experience at Bayern Munich, the team he left after three seasons to join City and where he failed to win the Champions League in three attempts.

In the 2014 semifinals, Bayern conceded three goals in 18 minutes on the way to losing 4-0 at home to Real Madrid in the second leg and 5-0 on aggregate.

A year later, the German team was drawing 0-0 after 77 minutes at Barcelona in the first leg of the semifinals. Then Lionel Messi scored twice and Neymar added an injury-time third as Barcelona won 3-0.

Even in his first season at City last year, Monaco scored twice in the opening 30 minutes on its way to a 3-1 win in the second leg and a victory via the away-goals rule.

“When you play against Liverpool in Europe or against United, when you have momentum, you have to close the door,” Guardiola said. “We didn’t close it. When it’s time to defend, you have to defend.”

Still, Guardiola doesn’t think he needs to change his attacking, possession-based approach that has brought him plenty of trophies – and admirers – throughout his career, even if his two Champions League titles were at a Messi-inspired Barcelona in 2009 and ’11.

City is set to clinch a Premier League-League Cup double this season, playing some of the best football the English game has ever seen.

“I have to think about it, but I feel when you dominate and you create chances, you are closer to winning the games,” he said. “I think this season showed that. The numbers we have shown in terms of goals … not just the goals but when the team is stable, the chances we concede, I think we are the best with these type of players.”

Liga MX wrap: Xolos beats Chivas as Apertura begins

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Liga MX’s Apertura season is off and running with all 18 clubs partaking in a match this weekend.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Club Tijuana 2-1 Chivas Guadalajara

Scoreless at the half, the weekend’s marquee match sprang to life in the final 45. Juan Martin Lucero gave TJ a 54th minute lead before Jose Van Rankin knotted it up five minutes later.

Lucero assisted Jose Rivero’s 75th minute winner, which was helped in its status when Michael Perez took a red card in the 80th.

Cruz Azul 3-0 Puebla

Elias Hernandez scored a goal and added an assist, and Milton Caraglio put one of his five shots on goal into the net. Andres Renteria also scored in the win.

Tigres 2-0 Leon

Andre-Pierre Gignac scored, and Lucas Zelarayan marked a goal and an assist in the win.

Elsewhere
Necaxa 2-1 Club America
Toluca 2-0 Morelia
Santos Laguna 2-1 Lobos BUAP
Pachuca 0-1 Monterrey
Veracruz 0-2 Pumas UNAM
Atlas 0-0 Queretaro

Report: Colorado acquires USMNT mid Acosta for Badji

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The West’s first place team is switching it up in a big way.

FC Dallas is sending Homegrown Player and USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta to Western foes Colorado Rapids in exchange for striker Dominique Badji, according to a report by The Dallas Morning News.

[ MORE: Pulisic rips up Liverpool ]

Acosta, 22, has 17 caps and a goal for the U.S., and is primarily a defensive midfielder. He’s also played right and left back.

He’s appeared 139 times for Dallas, scoring 13 times with nine assists, but had fallen out with head coach Oscar Pareja. He’s also struggled mightily on the field, according to WhoScored.

Badji, 25, has seven goals and three assists in 16 matches for the Rapids this season, building on an eight-goal, five-assist campaign last season.

FCD has gotten six goals out of forward Maxi Urruti, and there’s been little production from anyone else. Cristian Colman is out with an ankle injury and managed just a pair of goals in 399 minutes.

The risk of trading Acosta is mitigated by the continued speculation that he may test the waters of European soccer. Badji’s a quality player, but Colorado may’ve gotten a bargain in its push to escape the dregs of the West.

Quintero, Loons pick LAFC apart in five-star win (video)

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Minnesota United throttled LAFC on Sunday, using a Christian Ramirez brace to batter the hot expansion team 5-1 in Minnesota.

Darwin Quintero had a goal and two assists for the Loons, who took advantage of LAFC’s decision not to start dominant forward Adama Diomande and center back Walker Zimmerman.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

Quintero ripped off seven shots, putting five on goal. He now has 10 goals and five assists since joining the Loons after scoring two and eight in 29 matches for Club America last year.

Miguel Ibarra recorded a goal and an assist, while Rasmus Schuller also scored. LAFC’s goal came courtesy Benny Feilhaber.

Minnesota’s Bobby Shuttleworth and LA’s Tyler Miller each made six saves in their goals.

LAFC fails in a bid to make up points on Western Conference first seed FC Dallas, while the Loons now can eye a playoff spot in the West.

Already-thin Liverpool center back corps loses Matip to quad injury

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Liverpool’s 3-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund featured an injury to a position with very little depth.

The Reds lost Joel Matip to what Jurgen Klopp said could possibly be a “small tear” in one of his quads.

[ MORE: Marketing Pulisic with BVB ]

If Matip, 26, needs any significant time to heal up, he’ll put a major question mark into Liverpool’s opening day center back pairing.

Virgil Van Dijk, who scored against BVB on Sunday, already won’t have Dejan Lovren as a partner thanks to a post-World Cup vacation.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Ragnar Klavan as options next to Van Dijk.

Matches at Crystal Palace and home to Brighton and Hove Albion follow the Aug. 12 visit from West Ham.