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Manchester United draws Club America 1-1 on Mata goal

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Manchester United began Jose Mourinho’s “very bad” preseason with a drab 1-1 draw against Liga MX side Club America.

Juan Mata hit the post in the opening 20 minutes and later scored the equalizer in the 78th minute after Ander Herrera‘s header rebounded off the crossbar and right into the Spaniard’s lap. Mata then put his shot through the goalkeeper’s legs and in for the only goal for the Red Devils.

With many players receiving extra rest after participating in the 2018 World Cup, Manchester United is utilizing a bit-part roster for much of the preseason which includes five matches in the United States. Regulars Mata, Herrera, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial, and Antonio Valencia were all included in the starting lineup, but they were joined by a smattering of relative unknowns.

35-year-old journeyman goalkeeper Lee Grant played the first 45 minutes between the sticks, replaced in the second half by 22-year-old Joel Peirera. 22-year-old midfielder Andreas Pereira played the full 90 minutes in midfield, while 21-year-old winger Demetri Mitchell saw his name listed among the starters along with Scott McTominay, who suffered a nasty looking head injury late in the match on an overhead kick attempt.

16-year-old Mason Greenwood got a few minutes towards the end, with Mourinho hoping to get a quick look at the club’s U-18 leading scorer. Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Alex Tuanzebe also both came off the bench to participate, as did 18-year-old former Feyenoord youth product Tahith Chong who was impressive during his second-half appearance.

While Manchester United held a slight majority in possession, Club America out-shot the Premier League giants 15-10, however the Liga MX side could only manage to put four of those on target.

Mourinho bemoans ‘very bad’ preseason for Man United

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MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has described the team’s preseason as “very bad” because of the disruption caused by the World Cup and the absence of Alexis Sanchez for the tour of the United States.

Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones will not return to training with United until close to the start of the new season because their countries got to the semifinals of the World Cup in Russia.

Sanchez wasn’t among the United squad heading across the Atlantic because there was an issue with his visa after the Chile forward accepted a 16-month suspended sentence in Spain over a tax issue.

Mourinho said “preseason is very bad, I have to say that,” adding that “I am worried because I am not training with all my players.”

On Sanchez, Mourinho said “he’s very sad, it’s not good for him or me, not good for anyone. There is no one to blame — the club is making an effort. I have to respect the U.S. authorities in their process of selection of visas. I hope he will come to join us.”

Mourinho said he is set to start the season with Sanchez, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial as his strike force.

United flew to Los Angeles on Sunday and will play five games, including three International Champions Cup matches against Real Madrid, AC Milan and Liverpool, during its stay.

United plays its first English Premier League game of the season on Aug. 10 against Leicester at Old Trafford.

Championship Sunday, rounded up

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The Premier League put a bow on its remarkable season with a 100-point flourish from Man City, and a new single-season scoring mark.

[ MORE: Full match replays | Final table | Final grades ]

It also waved goodbye to Arsene Wenger, at least at Arsenal. All that and more in the PL roundup.

Southampton 0-1 Manchester CityRECAP

Gabriel Jesus‘ stoppage time winner — man, does this club play to the final season’s whistle — made sure Man City added “first 100-point club” to its list of amazing accomplishments.

Liverpool 4-0 Brighton and Hove Albion — RECAP

Mohamed Salah set the new Premier League scoring record, while Dejan Lovren, Andy Robertson, and Dominic Solanke also scored to lead Liverpool back into the UEFA Champions League regardless of the final against Real Madrid.

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Arsenal — RECAP

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang became the fastest Gunner to 10 Premier League goals and notably has status as the last player to score in Arsene Wenger’s time at Arsenal.

Newcastle United 3-0 Chelsea — RECAP

Newcastle fans are dreaming of the transfer market after Rafa Benitez put another fine line on his resume with a demolition of the Blues. Ayoze Perez scored twice and Jonjo Shelvey also scored to clinch a Top Ten finish for the Magpies, who were in a relegation battle deep into the season. Chelsea is off to the Europa League, and in poor form ahead of next week’s FA Cup Final against Manchester United.

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City — RECAP

Spirit remains at Stoke despite its relegation, as it dragged Swansea down with it. An early goal for Andy King was long forgotten after Badou Ndiaye and Peter Crouch gave the traveling Potters support a win in their final Premier League match for at least 15 months.

Tottenham Hotspur 5-4 Leicester City — RECAP

Don’t tell these clubs they had nothing to play for…

Harry Kane became the second Premier League player to score 30 goals this season, as Spurs trailed 1-0 and 3-1. They also were level at 4 following Jamie Vardy‘s second of the night when Kane completed his brace.

What a way to end a season.

West Ham United 3-1 Everton — RECAP

David Moyes‘ Irons hammered his former club, in doing so embarrassing former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce. The Toffees spent big this season and hired Big Sam to fix their season and lead them back into European contention. He largely failed. As for Moyes, has he reclaimed his Premier League mojo?

Burnley 1-2 Bournemouth — RECAP

Chris Wood‘s early goal was canceled out by Joshua King, then substitute Callum Wilson claimed all three points for the Cherries in this match-up of two of the finest British managers in the game.

Crystal Palace 2-0 West Bromwich Albion  — RECAP

Wilfried Zaha and Patrick Van Aanholt ended Roy Hodgson‘s Manager of the Year campaign with another win, as left-for-dead Palace finishes 11th despite an 0-7 goalless start!

Manchester United 1-0 Watford  — RECAP

Marcus Rashford scores the lone goal on a play began by Michael Carrick and helped along by Juan Mata. That’s why Mourinho plays Lukaku so much (#jab).

Man United 1-0 Watford: Rashford caps Red Devils season

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If there ever was a game to provide a microcosm of what Manchester United’s season has been, this one was it. Largely a snoozefest, Manchester United scored off a speculative long-ball and then bunkered in for the remainder of the match as they finish the season with all three points at Old Trafford.

Manchester United saw most of the early half-chances, but nothing of true value. Marcus Rashford fired an early shot over, while Alexis Sanchez looked for an ambitious volley but fired it well wide. Watford was forced into an early change as

The home side, keeping disciplined on the defensive side, earned the opener out of nothing on 34 minutes. A speculative long-ball by Michael Carrick unlocked the messy Watford back line and fell straight in to the path of Juan Mata, who was through on goal alongside Marcus Rashford, and the Spaniard laid off to his teammate to get past goalkeeper Huerelho Gomes, and the English international had a tap-in to open the scoring.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The goal was fitting for the cagey first half, something out of nothing as Mourinho’s strategy held the visitors at bay. Watford nearly had the equalizer two ticks before halftime as Richarlison picked out a header at point-blank range, but he struck it directly at deputy goalkeeper Sergio Romero who held his ground and kept out the effort.

The second half had hardly a chance in it until the 80th minute, when Watford looked to equalize off a corner, but the header was speculative and Romero could collect. Manchester United was happy to sit back and soak up the pressure,

[ MORE: Final Premier League standings ]

Michael Carrick got a standing ovation as his Manchester United career came to an end with an 85th minute substitution, and the Red Devils had one more big opportunity as Alexis Sanchez ran the break, but his ball to the middle of the penalty area fell unclaimed.

The final whistle came to mercifully end the season finale at Old Trafford, giving Manchester United a final tally of 81 points, 12 more than last season’s haul. They end the year four points clear of third-placed Tottenham, and 19 points back of champions Manchester City. For Watford, the goalscoring continues to be a clear issue, and they end the campaign in 14th with 41 points.

AT HALF: Salah sets record, Kane scores, Chelsea absent (video)

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There are a few surprising performances on Championship Sunday, namely Chelsea’s lack of one at Newcastle United.

[ STREAM: All 10 Championship Sunday matches ]

Newcastle United 1-0 Chelsea [STREAM]

In 2015, Dwight Gayle‘s two goals for Crystal Palace in the last 10 minutes of a 3-3 draw with Liverpool crushed the Reds’ title hopes. His early Newcastle goal Sunday helped insure Liverpool’s Top Four hopes three years later, and the Magpies are dominating the Blues.

Southampton 0-0 Manchester City [STREAM]

If you’d hazard a guess which two of the 10 morning matches would be nil-nil, this would not be atop the list…

 

Swansea City 1-2 Stoke City [STREAM]

Andy King made a dent on the scoreboard with his goal in the first quarter hour, but Badou Ndiaye leveled the scoring as one of the few bright spots of Stoke’s relegation campaign may be bidding goodbye with a goal. Peter Crouch has it 2-1 at the break.

Liverpool 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion [STREAM]

Mohamed Salah has set a new Premier League record with his 32nd marker of the league season. Dejan Lovren has more or less grabbed the permanent marker to write Liverpool’s name in next season’s Champions League.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Leicester City [STREAM]

Riyad Mahrez cued up Jamie Vardy for an early goal, but Spurs answered in no time through that man Harry Kane. Mahrez scored a goal of his own as two teams with nothing to lose are promising more entertainment at Wembley.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Huddersfield Town 0-1 Arsenal [STREAM]

Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang has scored for the Gunners in Arsene Wenger‘s final match in charge.

Manchester United 1-0 Watford [STREAM]

Marcus Rashford on the board for the Red Devils on a play began by Michael Carrick and helped along by Juan Mata. That’s why Mourinho plays Lukaku so much (#jab).

West Ham United 1-0 Everton [STREAM]

Manuel Lanzini has Big Sam’s old club leading his new club. Fitting.

Burnley 1-0 Bournemouth [STREAM

That Kiwi man, Chris Wood, has another goal for the Europa League-bound Clarets.

Crystal Palace 0-0 West Bromwich Albion [STREAM]

…though the second of the morning’s nil-nils is a little more predictable.