Three things we learned from RB Leipzig – Manchester United

Paul Pogba
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

RB Leipzig – Manchester United: Manchester United is out of the UEFA Champions League, headed to the Europa League following a 3-2 loss to RB Leipzig at Red Bull Arena in Saxony on Tuesday.

Leipzig’s 12 points are three more than United and PSG, who holds the tiebreaker on the Red Devils and did not play its match following allegations of racial abuse from the fourth official towards Istanbul Basaksehir assistant Pierre Webo.

[ MORE: Maguire reacts to Champions League exit ]

The Red Devils snapped to life in the second half and Bruno Fernandes scored an 80th-minute penalty for United and substitute Paul Pogba nodded home off a corner kick but it was too little, too late.

RB Leipzig – Manchester United thrilled late but the Red Devils failed to finish the comeback, undone by first-half errors.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA

Three Four things we learned from RB Leipzig – Manchester United

1. Nagelsmann tempts Ole’s tactical acumen, United resilience: The visiting Red Devils have developed a reputation for comebacks, but down 2-0 on the continent in a potentially season-defining game was a much bigger challenge than any of United’s comebacks this season (especially with Paul Pogba left at home). United was cooked out wide despite having two fullbacks playing in the midfield of a 3-4-3, as Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann targeted width and space going forward, making it look like United rolled out a formation without telling the three center backs and two wide men their defensive responsibilities.

Solskjaer responded at halftime by taking off Alex Telles for Donny van de Beek. At the hour mark, he plugged Paul Pogba and Brandon Williams into the fray for Nemanja Matic and Luke Shaw. Those midfield moves helped United control the second half but the margins for error were so thin and a critical mistake allowed Leipzig to add a decisive third goal.

2. Pogba changes game in shot across Solskjaer’s bow: Is the situation going to be untenable for Solskjaer at Old Trafford after Pogba came off the bench and changed the entire game one day after his agent Mino Raiola said Pogba is being misused and headed for the exit at Old Trafford?

[ RELATED: Solskjaer tears into Raiola after the game ]

Pogba and Donny van de Beek were both very good off the bench but that will earn more questions toward Solskjaer, who has rarely started the latter and whose use of the former has been controversial at best. As our own Joe Prince-Wright said, Pogba played the ball that led to Greenwood’s penalty and then scored a goal of his own before sending a late cross that could’ve well led to a qualifying equalizer.

3. That said, both the backs and attack bear the blame: United got nothing cooking in the first 20 minutes while Leipzig sent in cross after cross thanks to the Red Devils’ wide men. The center backs didn’t do much, either.

But Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford did very little with Bruno Fernandes service as United went down 2-0, and Scott McTominay and Matic underneath them were not a threat. Fernandes had multiple chances as the game wore on and the Portuguese was the Red Devils’ best hope even after Greenwood awakened to tempt the frame and win a penalty kick that Fernandes snapped past Gulacsi.

4. Man City man cooks United ahead of derby: For whatever reason, Pep Guardiola’s hole at left back is not Angelino sized and that was a huge problem for Solskjaer as the Spaniard has torched many opponents this season.

Angelino was all over the pitch again Tuesday, a left-wing back or left mid depending on how you view Nagelsmann’s 3-4-3 (USMNT star Tyler Adams has said wide men are often playing several positions over 90 minutes under Nagelsmann). He has seven goals and five assists in 17 appearances for the Germans this season.

Americans Abroad

Tyler Adams subbed into the match for the final 12 minutes and saw both goals of United’s comeback bid. He picked up a yellow card, won a duel, made an interception, and one tackle.

Man of the Match: Angelino

RB Leipzig – Manchester United recap

Two teams that went deep into their European tournaments last season were not worried by the occasion.

The Bundesliga hosts took the lead through ex-Man City man Angelino, who continues to thrill in an advanced role with Leipzig.

Mason Greenwood forced a ninth-minute save out of Peter Gulacsi within minutes, United’s urgent push for an equalizer underway.

Angelino found Forsberg in the heart of the box moments later but the Swede missed just wide.

[ MORE: McKennie scores for Juve at Barcelona ]

United grew into the game near halftime and totally dominated in the early stages of the second half. The Red Devils still needed two goals with no Leipzig reply.

Fernandes had a shot blocked after the hour mark and then struck the cross bar with a 67th-minute free kick.

It was 3-0 when Wan-Bissaka’s sloppy play led to a giveaway, and Angelino’s cross was ignored by Harry Maguire in the expectation of David De Gea claiming it.

Kluivert was there to reap the rewards of United’s miscommunication.

Fernandes converted the Greenwood-won penalty and Pogba nodded a back-post header off the leg of Dayot Upamecanoo and past Gulacsi for 3-2.

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USMNT reportedly opens contract talks with Gregg Berhalter; Good or bad idea?


Gregg Berhalter may be sticking around the United States men’s national team program, giving the USMNT coaching continuity as it moves from 2022 World Cup Round of 16 member to 2026 World Cup co-host.

ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle says that Berhalter is beginning contract discussions with the United States Soccer Federation but also interested in taking a job in Europe with his profile having risen alongside the USMNT at the World Cup.

Berhalter’s current contract ends at the end of the calendar year, and the Yanks have scheduled a domestic camp in January and friendlies against Serbia and Colombia.

[ MORE: USMNT transfer rumors for Musah, Dest ]

Berhalter has done some good things for the program, most notably winning the CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup with two different groups. He also straightened out the defending, for the most part, and got out of the World Cup group.

Berhalter successfully recruited Sergino Dest and Yunus Musah, two of the program’s stars at the World Cup. He also convinced Malik Tillman, Gaga Slonina, and Jesus Ferreira that the U.S. was the right place for their national team futures.

He also, subjectively, was slow if not downright stubborn in acquiesing to certain points-of-view that made the team better. From Tyler Adams as a right back at the outset of his tenure to saying Tim Ream didn’t fit how he wanted to play about a month before the World Cup… then playing him every minute of the tournament.

But for the most part when lessons were learned, they stayed learned.

Should Gregg Berhalter continue as USMNT boss?

Let’s start here, because it’s necessary: It’s clear that Berhalter cared about his players and the project, whether you like the way he operated or not. This wasn’t a half-assed operation, but one with passion.

So does he still have that passion? Only he can answer that, and if he’d like to get more matchdays in his life then maybe he does want to go back to the club game.

And frankly, that’s fine either way, because his four years with the program were neither amazing nor pitiful. They can be described as anything from a slight disappointment to a minor success, depending on your perspective and expectations.

If you believe that picking up the pieces from the absolute travesty that was failing to qualify for the World Cup from the richest nation and one of the two most talented nations amongst CONCACAF men’s programs was really hard, then you think Berhalter getting the men to the 2022 World Cup and surviving the group with a young group was a solid step in the right direction and a minor success.

If you believe that the American soccer climate is such that you should always make the World Cup out of one of the world’s lesser confederations and that the Yanks progressed as the second team of a group in which they were the second-ranked team according to FIFA and Elo Ratings, well, you can have a different standard.

The Yanks will never again fail to qualify for the World Cup given the expanded field, but hosts have historically had a drastically-improved chance to reach the semifinals. THe federation would have to be confident that picking the best squad regardless of how it reflects on his previous selections — let alone a Best XI — is going to happen under a given coach.

Berhalter’s 49 and is far from the worst or best boss in USMNT history. Whoever’s in the job four years from now will have a chance to go down as either one. Choose wisely, fed. And Gregg! Who knows how far his star could rise with a solid run in Europe, and history says there will be the chance to reconnect with the USMNT job.

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Premier League table, 2022-23 season


If it’s the 2022-23 Premier League table you’re after, you’ve come to the right place.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

We’re at the 2022 World Cup break, and the final few rounds of Premier League fixtures caused so many shocks.

Who’s looking like title contenders and/or favorites?

Almost at the halfway mark of the 2022-23 season, Arsenal and Manchester City are looking head and shoulders above the rest.

The Gunners will have their hands full for the duration of their title challenge, as Erling Haaland continues to take the Premier League by storm with an almost impossible goal-scoring record.

Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United are locked in a battle for the top four, while Liverpool have improved and will be back in the Champions League scrap and Chelsea are struggling.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Who are the early-season candidates for relegation?

Newly promoted Nottingham Forest moved off the bottom of the table with a win before the break, with Wolves and Southampton currently occupying the other two relegation places.

Leicester have picked up a few big wins, while West Ham, Everton and Leeds all find themselves within a few points of the bottom-three after a topsy-turvy start.

Below you will find the latest Premier League table.

Premier League table – Matchweek 16

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England vs France: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Match 59 of the 2022 World Cup features a pair of European heavyweights duking it out for a place in the semifinals when England faces France on Saturday.

Didier Deschamps’ France is bidding to become a back-to-back World Cup winner, but Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions are tournament-hardened and have shown their explosive nature three times this tournament.


France beat Poland 3-1 in its Round of 16 match while England overcame a dodgy start to pound Senegal 3-0.

Neither team can say its faced a test like this in the tournament, and this could be a fantastic fight in Qatar.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for England vs France.

How to watch England vs France live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday, December 1
Stadium: Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

England will look to Harry Kane, though the question remains who will flank the Tottenham center forward. Marcus Rashford’s been very good but Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden got the starting spots against Senegal and it paid off for Southgate.

Kylian Mbappe has been borderline unstoppable and will test Harry Maguire, John Stones, and friends and Antoine Griezmann pulls the strings in behind and Aurelien Tchouameni continues to strengthen his reputation in the center of the pitch.

England quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 5
World Cup titles: 1 (1966)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA
Coach: Gareth Southgate
Key players: Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham, Jordan Pickford

France quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 4
World Cup titles: 2 (1998, 2018)
World Cup appearances: 15
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (Won Group D)
Coach: Didier Deschamps
Key players: Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Antoine Griezmann

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Croatia vs Brazil: How to watch live, stream link, team news


World Cup-savvy Croatia stands in the way of stylish Brazil’s pursuit of a sixth World Cup crown, and the pair promise a complex match-up on Friday in Al Rayyan.

Match 58 of the 2022 World Cup kicks off the quarterfinals as Neymar leads Tite’s star-studded CONMEBOL powers into a match against the 2018 runners-up.


Croatia got past Japan in penalties and will now dream of the two wins that could set it back in the final where France could again be waiting for a juicy rematch.

Croatia needed penalties to get past Japan in the Round of 16, while Brazil pasted South Korea 4-1.  Croatia has never beaten Brazil in four meetings, losing at the 2006 and 2014 World Cups.

[ LIVE: World Cup 2022 schedule, how to watch, scores, hub ]

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Brazil.

How to watch Croatia vs Brazil live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 10am ET, Friday, December 9
Stadium: Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Key storylines, players to watch closely

Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic was fantastic in penalties versus Japan to get here, but Luka Modric continues to do the things that get Croatia out of trouble and puts the opponents into heaps of it. Josko Gvardiola has arguably been the defender of the tournament, and the 20-year-old looks to test his mettle again against the Selecao.

Pick a Brazil player who’s failed to impress and you’ve achieved a mighty feat. Neymar’s been fantastic when healthy while RIcharlison is in serious pursuit of the Golden Boot. Alisson Becker flexed his muscles once or twice versus South Korea and figures to be busier as the competition continues to heat up in Qatar.

Croatia quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 12
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Zlatko Dalic
Key players: Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol

Brazil quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 1
World Cup titles: 5 (1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002)
World Cup appearances: 22
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (1st place)
Coach: Tite
Key players: Neymar, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Alisson Becker

Follow @NicholasMendola