Manchester United vs Arsenal: Red-hot Red Devils end Gunners’ perfect start

1 Comment

Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford as the Red Devils made it four-straight wins in the Premier League and ended the Gunners’ perfect start to the season.

[ MORE: Erik ten Hag, Rashford react to big win ]

New $100 million signing Antony opened the scoring on his debut and Marcus Rashford scored twice in the second half as United were totally committed and Erik ten Hag was a very happy man.

[ MORE: Player ratings out of 10 for United vs Arsenal ]

Bukayo Saka had made it 1-1 early in the second half and Mikel Arteta’s side played their part in a top quality game which also had some VAR drama in the first half as a Gabriel Martinelli goal was ruled out for a foul on the excellent Christian Eriksen.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA

With the win United now have 12 points from a possible 18 this season as they’ve totally turned things around, while Arsenal have 15 points and after five-straight wins to open the campaign they suffered their first defeat but still sit top of the Premier League table.

WATCH FULL MATCH REPLAY


What we learned from Manchester United vs Arsenal

VAR gets it spot on to deny Martinelli’s goal: At 0-0 Odegaard nudged Eriksen off the ball in midfield, Saka found Martinelli and the latter slotted home. Arsenal had caught United out but after VAR intervened, the goal was chalked out for a clear foul on Eriksen. Was it aggressive and over the top? No. Was it obviously a foul? Yes. Odegaard used both of his arms to push Eriksen in the back and that is a foul. VAR is used to overturn a clear and obvious error and this fell under that category.

Aggressive United rattle Arsenal’s slick youngsters: In waves Arsenal’s slick attackers pulled United all over the place. But it was United’s blunt aggression which ground Arsenal down over the 90 minutes. McTominay rattled into challenges, Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane kept chipping away at the lively Gabriel Jesus and Diogo Dalot and Tyrell Malacia both never stopped surging up and down their flank. Arsenal’s young side were very impressive but United just battered them.

Antony proved his class: All eyes were on him after his $100 million move from Ajax and the Brazilian proved he’s the man for the big stage. He didn’t score or assist that much at Ajax as he’s all about dictating the tempo of the play and creating openings. But he’s already shown he has end product to go with his flashy skills and this goal will do his confidence (something he isn’t short of) the world of good. Along with Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia and Casemiro, United’s five new signings will all play their part in reshaping this team. It is early days but it seems like United’s recruitment is finally going somewhere. (JPW)


Erik ten Hag reaction: How have Man United improved so much?

“Credit with the spirit in this team,” Ten Hag said. “They can deal with setbacks and we did. A team can do that. I think we’ve really improved the mentality. … I know we have the right characters. Now it’s about cooperation, get the resilience in, deal with setbacks but also belief. There’s room for improvement. First 10 minutes, then goal was canceled. We lost a little bit of composure.” (NM)


Marcus Rashford reaction: Even game vs a very good team

“They are a good team. They know their principles of play and are very good at it. They are a good possession-based team and offer lots of difficulties with players dropping into pockets and with attacking threats. It is what we expected. I thought it was an even game. There were big spaces in the first half we couldn’t exploit. We managed to do that in the second half.” (NM)


Mikel Arteta reaction: Disappointment with VAR, happy with performance

On VAR call that took goal away from Martinelli: “Lack of consistency. One is soft and last week they made a foul on Aaron [Ramsdale] but it is soft, it is not a foul. There is a foul on Bukayo [Saka], it is soft but not a penalty. Today it is a foul. The threshold in the first actions, you could see there is no yellow card because they want to keep a threshold in a big game. Really difficult to understand.”

Says Arsenal played well enough to win: “I am really disappointed to lose the game especially with the way it went over the 95 minutes. We had some big periods where we were totally dominant and in total control. We created chance after chance but did not close the game. In any moment, when they have open spaces, they are goPhoto by Michael Regan/Getty Imagesing to hurt you.” (NM)


Tactical focus

United came flying out of the traps with their newfound aggression but Arsenal gradually dictated the tempo of the play and were unlucky to not be ahead before Antony struck. Antony’s goal summed up the directness of Erik ten Hag’s side over the last few games as Eriksen found Fernandes in midfield and three forward passes set up the chance which Antony put away. In the second half Zinchenko pinched inside even more to try and create midfield overloads and Arsenal were deservedly level. But that directness from the first goal worked for United’s second and third goals too as they figured out that Arsenal had no real protection ahead of their defense with Thomas Partey badly missed. (JPW)

 [ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]


Stars of the show

Scott McTominay: Dominant in midfield as he rattled into challenges and provided a shield centrally. Casemiro is breathing down his neck for a starting spot and although McTominay isn’t a star, he is doing a very important job for United which was summed up by his late clearance to deny Arsenal.

Christian Eriksen: Involved in all three goals and oozed class from his new deeper central midfield role. Found Bruno Fernandes centrally with those key passes to get United on the front foot quickly. That is so important to how they want to play under Erik ten Hag.

Bukayo Saka: Caused so many problems and grabbed his goal in the second half. United were very scared of him and often doubled up to try and stop him surging forward. Martin Odegaard was also excellent in midfield. Arsenal won’t be too upset with their display. (JPW)


What’s next?

Manchester United host Real Sociedad on Thursday, Sept. 8 in the UEFA Europa League group stage opener and then travel to Crystal Palace on Sunday, Sept. 11 in the Premier League. Arsenal head to FC Zurich in the Europa League on Thursday and then host Everton on Sunday.


How to watch Manchester United vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 11:30 am ET, Sunday
TV: USA Network
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com


Manchester United vs Arsenal live analysis! – By Joe Prince-Wright

FULL TIME: Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal. Celebrations at Old Trafford as Erik ten Hag looks as cool as a cucumber. Look at what it means to these United players and their fans. Wow. Old Trafford is rocking.

Arsenal are trying their best to get back into this but United are so resilient now and Cristiano Ronaldo has almost been set free on a few counters as Arsenal take more chances.

GOALLLL! Manchester United 3-1 up. United catch out Arsenal’s high line and Eriksen sets up Marcus Rashford to slot home. Excellent composure from Eriksen. Game. Set. Match.

GOALLL! Marcus Rashford puts Manchester United 2-1 up. Old Trafford erupts. Just as Arsenal were all over United, another direct attack leads to a goal. Eriksen to Fernandes to Rashford. Boom. What a pass from Bruno and Rashford keeps his cool to slot home.

GOALLL! Bukayo Saka makes it 1-1. Boy, they deserved that. Arsenal have been excellent at the start of the second half. Martin Odegaard with an excellent pass, Gabriel Jesus causes problems and Saka slots the loose ball home. Game on at Old Trafford!

Substitute for United, as Ronaldo is on for Antony. The debutant gets a standing ovation from Old Trafford.

A run down the left ends in a cross clipped to the back post but it hits the top of the bar. Mikel Arteta looks happy with what he’s seeing.

Arsenal fans singing to Manchester United supporters about the referee: “Paul Tierney, he’s one of your own.” Banter is flowing at Old Trafford, as well as chances for Arsenal…

It is all Arsenal at the start of the second half. Gabriel Jesus runs clear and sets up Odegaard but the Norwegian star gets his shot all wrong. Moments later Saka smashes a shot wide but is then caught by Tyrell Malacia. No penalty kick given but Saka was definitely caught after the ball had gone. Hmm. Arsenal’s players are delighted with that decision.

HALF TIME: And exhale. What a 45 minutes that was. Incredible intensity and both teams flying into tackles. Full throttle football. Antony has Manchester United 1-0 up at the break but Arsenal have had plenty of chances (and that disallowed goal) which will give them hope of launching a second half comeback.

GOALLLL! Antony on his Manchester United debut puts Manchester United 1-0 up. Lovely finish and great play by Rashford to set him up. “Take a bow, new boy!” says Peter Drury. What a moment for the $100 million signing.

Eriksen found Fernandes to set up the chance and what a lovely pass from Rashford to find Antony. Talk about making a statement on your Premier League debut.

Arsenal buoyed by that lovely counter on their no-goal. United are sitting a bit deeper now. Saka causing Malacia lots of problems here.

NO GOAL! Just as United looked so dangerous, Arsenal thought they had taken the lead through a lovely finish from Gabriel Martinelli on the break. Hang on, though. VAR has a look and Martin Odegaard clearly used his hands to push Christian Eriksen in the back to set up the attack. Tough to argue with that goal being chalked off by VAR. And it is no goal after referee Paul Tierney looked at the pitch-side monitor. Lovely play from Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli on that disallowed goal, though.

CHANCE! Great cross from Dalot after clever play from Antony and Christian Eriksen arrives at the back post but he volleys wide. Good stuff from United.

KICK OFF! Old Trafford is rocking. Both teams have gone for it early on with Diogo Dalot surging into the box but nobody was on the end of it. Gabriel Jesus is brought down by Lisandro Martinez. Free kick to Arsenal.

What a clash this will be at Old Trafford today, as Erik ten Hag’s United host red-hot Arsenal with both teams aiming to put down a marker early in the season. Strap in, folks!

United have won three-straight games after opening the season with two shocking defeats and their recent success has been built on a newfound defensive resilience. $100 million deadline day signing Antony comes in to the starting lineup to make his debut, which will excite United’s fans across the globe.

However, Arsenal are leaving pretty much everyone feeling excited about them as Mikel Arteta’s young side have won five from five to start the season. With key players (Odegaard, Zinchenko and Ramsdale) shaking off injuries to be ready for this clash, let’s see if the young Gunners are the real deal and can stay perfect. (JPW)


Key storylines & star players

13 goals scored, four conceded. Even more impressive than the numbers is the ease, fluidity and artistry with which Arsenal have romped every side they’ve faced. Three different players have already scored three goals in the Premier League, as Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard lead the way. Jesus has three assists as well, though Erling Haaland has all but sewn up “signing of the season” after scoring nine goals in his first five games for Man City, who moved on from Jesus in the summer to make room for Haaland. Sunday will, though, see Arsenal face a side which poses real danger going the other way if they lose the ball and don’t transition back to defending quickly and sharply enough.

As for Manchester United, Erik ten Hag needs to see continued progress from a side which has won three straight games (after losing their first two, including a 4-0 embarrassment against Brentford) and made a pair of key signings in the final days of the summer transfer window (Casemiro and Antony). Cristiano Ronaldo remains at the club after failing to secure a transfer away as he requested, potentially complicating matters even more for Ten Hag, whose side has looked far more functional and balanced when the Portuguese superstar isn’t on the field. (AE)


Manchester United team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Anthony Martial (achilles), Brandon Williams (undisclosed), Facundo Pellistri (ankle), Mason Greenwood (suspension – MORE)

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Thomas Partey (quad), Mohamed Elneny (thigh), Reiss Nelson (undisclosed)

Follow @AndyEdMLS

Lionel Messi goal, assist leads Argentina awakening vs Mexico

0 Comments

Lionel Messi’s second-half goal gave Argentina’s World Cup hopes a massive lift as the Albiceleste broke through against stubborn Mexico to win 2-0 in Lusail on Saturday.

Enzo Fernandez, 21, also scored for Argentina in the win, which comes after a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in the opener.

STREAM LIVE ARGENTINA vs MEXICO

Mexico’s brave performance was broken by Messi’s splendid finish and now Mexico (1 point) needs to beat Saudi Arabia (3 points) and get help from Argentina (3 points) vs Poland (4 points) to make the Round of 16.

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


Lionel Messi: Of course he did.

The world’s — maybe history’s — greatest ever player had a frustrating day and spent 65 minutes thinking this could’ve been his last World Cup match.

Twenty-five minutes later, he had a goal and an assist and Argentina was heading to Poland likely a draw or better away from going to the knockout rounds.

C’est la Messi.

Mexico executed Tata Martino’s masterful plan for over an hour and looked set to walk away with a point. Messi wasn’t getting the ball in dangerous spaces and Lautaro Martinez was so ineffective that he was taken off the pitch.

Then: One hesitation when Angel Di Maria spotted Messi. Two touches for the Atomic Ant. 1-0.

Messi would later assist young Enzo Fernandez’s goal to re-certify his status as one of the very best to do it in any team sport. Argentina only had 0.28 expected goals on the day but when you have two magic shots, it’ll get the job done.


Stars of the show

Lionel Messi

Nicolas Otamendi

Hector Moreno

Argentina vs Mexico
fotmob.com

Lionel Messi goal video: GOAT things

Enzo Fernandez goal video: Pearler of a finish delivers Messi assist


How to watch Argentina vs Mexico live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 2pm ET, Saturday Nov. 26
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

It’s Messi, of course, who says he’s playing in his final World Cup, but it’s also about who’s going to step up as a difference maker for Argentina. Lautaro Martinez had a goal taken off the board for a razor-thin offside versus Saudi Arabia, while Julian Alvarez had a shot saved in his sub’s role and both Paulo Dybala and Angel Correa were unused subs in the opener.

Mexico’s midfield was excellent to start the tournament. Will Hector Herrera again join Edson Alvarez and Luis Chavez is setting the tone for Tata Martino’s team? And can El Tri find a finisher after Henry Martin and Co. failed to find the back of the goal versus Poland.


Argentina quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 3
World Cup titles: 2 (1978, 1986)
World Cup appearances: 17
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONMEBOL (2nd place)
Coach: Lionel Scaloni
Key players: Lionel Messi, Angel de Maria, Lautaro Martinez

Mexico quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 13
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CONCACAF (2nd place)
Coach: Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino
Key players: Guillermo Ochoa, Hector Herrera, Raul Jimenez

Belgium vs Morocco: How to watch live, stream link, team news

0 Comments

Belgium will look to get back to their best and make it two wins from two in the group stage but Morocco will make it extremely tough for Kevin de Bruyne and Co.

STREAM LIVE BELGIUM v MOROCCO

Roberto Martinez saw his side totally dominated by Canada in their Group F opener but they took their one big chance and won the game, largely thanks to poor finishing from Canada and Thibaut Courtois saving a penalty kick. The No. 2 ranked team in the world has to improve. Fast.

Morocco caused Croatia plenty of problems in their opening game and a draw was a fair result as their high-pressing caused Croatia a lot of problems. They will look to do exactly the same against Belgium and could have plenty of joy if Hakim Ziyech is found in dangerous areas in the final third.

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

Here is everything you need for Belgium vs Morocco. 


How to watch Belgium vs Morocco live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 8am ET – Sunday, November 27
Stadium: Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor 
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

Kevin de Bruyne was almost apologetic after being named man of the match against Canada as he said he and his teammates really struggled in their World Cup opener. Belgium have to give their back three more protection as they are really susceptible to speedy wide players cutting in wide and teams playing direct and cutting out their midfield playmakers. Roberto Martinez will surely start the likes of Meunier and Onana in this game to try and give Belgium a little more control and solidity. Michy Batshuayi is expected to continue to fill in for the injured Romelu Lukaku once again.

Morocco will try and do exactly what Canada did to Belgium and they have the players to do it. Ziyech and Boufal will cause problems out wide and Morocco looked solid defensively against Croatia. There is a real whiff of an upset in the air around this one as Morocco will be roared on by their large group of supporters in Qatar.


Belgium quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 2
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 14
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Roberto Martinez
Key players: Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard

Morocco Rica quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 22
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 6
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from CAF
Coach: Vahid Halilhodzic
Key players: Achraf Hakimi, Yassine Bounou, Youssef En-Nesyri, Romain Saiss


World Cup 2022 Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Costa Rica schedule, fixtures, rankings

0 Comments

Japan and Spain sent early messages in Group E with an upset of Germany and demolition of Costa Rica, respectively, to start the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

[ LIVE: Watch World Cup en Espanol en Peacock ]

Japan reached the Round of 16 at the last World Cup and gave Belgium everything it could handle before bowing out 3-2, while Costa Rica surprised everyone in 2014 when it emerged atop a Group D with England, Italy, and Uruguay, then beating Greece in the Round of 16.

Of course, Spanish boss Luis Enrique and Germany’s Hansi Flick will be fancying themselves the favorites to emerge from the group, but the latter now knows better than ever before that anything can happen in Qatar after a 2-1 loss to Japan. Spain hammered Costa Rica 7-0 in their opener and they look the real deal.

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

Below is everything you need to know on World Cup 2022 Group E.


Group E schedule (all times ET)

Recap/highlights: Spain 7-0 Costa Rica – Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor
Recap/highlights: Germany 1-2 Japan – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
Sunday, November 27: Spain vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm
Sunday, November 27: Japan vs Costa Rica – Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan – 5am
Thursday, December 1: Japan vs Spain – Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan – 2pm
Thursday, December 1: Costa Rica vs Germany – Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor – 2pm

How To Watch Group E matches live

  • When: November 23-December 1 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!


Group E table

1. Spain — 3 points (+7 GD)
2. Japan — 3 points (+1)
3. Germany — 0 points (-1)
4. Costa Rica — 0 points (-7)


Spain

Current FIFA world ranking: 7
World Cup titles: 1 (2010)
World Cup appearances: 16
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Luis Enrique
Key players: Rodri, Pedri, Pau Torres, Jordi Alba

Germany

Current FIFA world ranking: 11
World Cup titles: 4 (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
World Cup appearances: 20
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from UEFA (1st place)
Coach: Hansi Flick
Key players: Manuel Neuer, Antonio Rudiger, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka

Costa Rica

Current FIFA world ranking: 31
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 5
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF via interconfederation playoffs
Coach: Luis Fernando Suarez
Key players: Keylor Navas, Joel Campbell, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz

Japan

Current FIFA world ranking: 24
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 7
How they qualified: Qualified automatically from AFC
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu
Key players: Maya Yoshida, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Takumi Minamino, Daichi Kamada

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

0 Comments

Newly famous international darlings Canada will try again for a number of firsts, when they face Croatia in their second game at the 2022 World Cup on Sunday.

STREAM CROATIA vs CANADA LIVE

Canada outshone many of the tournament’s heavyweights during the first round of group games, ultimately falling just short of their first World Cup point and, had things gone just a bit differently, their first win.

Group F is an intriguing one, with favorites Belgium struggling in their opener and Croatia and Morocco both failing to impress against one another. As things stand, it’s wide open for anyone (and everyone).

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

Here is everything you need for Croatia vs Canada. 


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

Kick off: 11am ET, Sunday (November 27)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)


Key storylines, players to watch closely

On one hand, Canada were downright brilliant when they made their World Cup return, 36 years in the making on Wednesday. On the other hand, they lost 1-0 to Belgium and are the only team in Group F without a point thus far. The Canucks won plaudits (and new fans) as they showed no fear whatsoever playing against the no. 2 team in the world and were comfortably the better side on the day, so said Belgium boss Roberto Martinez after the game. Alphonso Davies was denied by Thibaut Courtois from the penalty spot, with the game still 0-0 and Canada seeking its first-ever World Cup goal (yeah, that too). Sunday, perhaps.

As for Croatia, their opening draw with Morocco raised a few red flags for a nation that went all the way to the World Cup final just four (and a half) years ago. With five of 11 starters age 30 or older, Croatia have very little range and mobility, and no explosiveness anywhere in the side. Despite holding nearly 65 percent of possession in the game against Morocco, Croatia managed just five shots in 90 minutes (two on target) and a paltry 0.52 xG. If things don’t turn around on Sunday, it’ll be the end of an iconic era that, unfortunately, lasted one cycle too long.


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

Canada quick facts

Current FIFA world ranking: 41
World Cup titles: 0
World Cup appearances: 2
How they qualified: Qualified from CONCACAF (1st place)
Coach: John Herdman
Key players: Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Milan Borjan, Jonathan Osorio

Follow @AndyEdMLS