Mourinho on controlling Man Utd win, Rashford red, Fellaini force

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Jose Mourinho was relaxed in his response to Manchester United’s controlling 2-0 win at Burnley on Sunday, even when asked about Marcus Rashford‘s silly red card.

[ RECAP: Burnley 0-2 Man Utd ]

“I really don’t know what happened,” Mourinho said. “I would say naive: a kid and a very experienced man. Bardsley is in the game for 20 years and Marcus is still a naive boy.”

That’s the closest Mourinho came to saying anything remotely controversial during his post-match television interview on NBCSN, a far cry from his past few times in front of a microphone.

He called himself “one of the greatest managers in the world” on Friday, days after comparing the amount of goals Spurs scored at Old Trafford to the amount of Premier League titles he’s overseen from the manager’s chair.

Mourinho had complained that he’s always asked to pick out players who performed poorly, but was quizzed on Sunday’s stars this go-round.

“Lots of good performances but Fellaini was fundamental for the team and together with Smalling and Lindelof they made a fantastic group of players to cope with (Burnley’s) strength,” he said. “Luke Shaw also had a very good performance, and many others.”

Oh, and this:

United now has the international break to sort out what’s been successful in their two wins and unsuccessful in two losses.

A trip to perfect Watford is next, followed by Young Boys in the Champions League, and a visit from Wolves.

Lukaku powers 10-man Man Utd past Burnley

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  • Lukaku scores two
  • Hart saves Pogba PK
  • Rashford sent off

Romelu Lukaku gave Jose Mourinho a much-needed win with two goals in a 2-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday.

Alexis Sanchez registered in an assist for United, which won its first league match since Opening Day.

United moves 10th on the table with six points, while Burnley remains 19th.

Red Devils substitute Marcus Rashford was sent off, and will miss three matches for a straight red card.

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Jesse Lingard came very close to curling in a wonderful effort in the second minute, but the ball missed by inches and teased by bounding behind the goal.

Luke Shaw forced a save out of Joe Hart a couple of minutes later.

United went ahead in the 27th minute, as Lukaku leapt between a pair of defenders to head Alexis Sanchez’s pinpoint cross past a leaping Joe Hart.

Lukaku was on the doorstep to make it 2-0 when a blocked shot dropped into his path in the 45th minute.

Joe Hart saved Paul Pogba‘s penalty kick bid after Aaron Lennon stepped on Marcus Rashford in the box.

Burnley’s Phil Bardsley was shown a yellow card and Rashford a red after the latter headbutted the former following a dirty foul from Bardsley.

Lukaku was sprung on a breakaway from Pogba, and danced around Hart but couldn’t get past Ben Mee‘s challenge. Mee had both hands on Lukaku’s challenge, but referee Jon Moss did not award United its second penalty of the game.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Americans Abroad preview: Howard, Guzan meet in England; Brooks, Johnson clash in Germany

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Another weekend is upon us, and that means Americans playing their club soccer abroad will turn their attention to executing top-notch performances.

The most notable matchup comes out of the Premier League, where Everton netminder Tim Howard and Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan will encounter each other as their respective teams go head-to-head. Howard and the Toffees are fresh off a superb 3-0 win against Manchester United, while Villa put in a valiant attempt to challenge Manchester City and lost, 3-2, last week. Guzan hasn’t won in four meetings vs. Everton when Howard’s started.

Ahead of Stoke City’s journey to Swansea on Saturday, Geoff Cameron has reportedly been coping with hamstring “tightness”, which, manager Mark Hughes said, will be a game-time decision and could keep him out of the clash. Phil Bardsley, who has been out of selection due to poor play, would likely replace Cameron.

To Tottenham, Spurs defender DeAndre Yedlin finally made his first team debut as a 79th-minute substitute in last week’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa, and he showed moments of promise. His selection for the upcoming vital clash against Manchester City at White Hart Lane is undetermined at this point, but if Mauricio Pochettino needs an attacking spark late in the game, the 21-year-old may be called upon.

[RELATED: Cameron on Chelsea’s defensive success, life at NBC studio]

In the Bundesliga, Hertha BSC, featuring young German-American defender John Brooks, will take on Borussia Mönchengladbach, starring veteran midfielder Fabian Johnson. Many have commended Brooks for his growth this season, and currently, his success has helped his side allow only four goals in eight previous competitions. Johnson, too, is witnessing above average form right now with one goal and four assists in his past seven starts. Hertha is situated at 13th place, and the Foals are battling hard in the top three.

Over to Ligue 1, Alejandro Bedoya of Nantes has started the last four games for his team and scored two goals in that span. The USMNT regular has shown flashes of quality in France, and he will have the chance to extend his form this weekend in a clash against leader Paris Saint-Germain. The Canaries are slotted at 10th place in the league table.

Others

Norway: Bob Bradley, Cole Grossman when Stabæk faces Rhett Bernstein, Mjøndalen

Germany: Timothy Chandler in Eintracht Frankfurt at Werder Bremen

Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace (Lineups and Live Stream)

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On Saturday Stoke City host in-form Crystal Palace at the Britannia Stadium (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET and online via Live Extra) with the Potters aiming to continue their push up the table.

Mark Hughes’ men have won three of their last four but lost their last match 1-0 away at West Brom in a shocking display. Stoke know they’ll have to be on their guard when Palace roll into town as Alan Pardew’s side possess plenty of pace, power and confidence as they continue to sit in midtable after staving off relegation fears. A few more wins for the Eagles will all but secure their PL status for a second-straight season for the first time in history.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA LIVE EXTRA

In team news Stoke start U.S. national team man Geoff Cameron in place of Phil Bardsley, while Palace bring in Pape Souare at left back.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters; Nzonzi, Adam; Diouf, Ireland, Arnautovic; Crouch. Subs: Butland, Bardsley, Whelan, Walters, Sidwell, Teixeira, Wollscheid

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Ward, Dann, Delaney, Souare; Ledley, McArthur; Zaha, Puncheon, Bolasie; Murray. Subs: Hennessey, Mariappa, Hangeland, Kelly, Sanogo, Ameobi, Gayle

Stoke snag Sidwell; Could they be next year’s Premier League darlings?

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Mark Hughes is setting up the Potters to be the underdog darlings of the Premier League next season.

With Southampton losing its coach and — likely — star players, which non-giant club could become the story of 2014/15? Certainly Crystal Palace would like to think it can do the trick, and Harry Redknapp probably thinks he’s going to Champions League, but take a peek at what Hughes is doing at Stoke City.

Stoke has smartly picked up Steve Sidwell, 31, who was Fulham’s top scorer last season in its relegation campaign. Add him to ex-Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley, and Hughes has a quietly-strong start to the transfer season (especially given the club’s size).

It’s a two-year deal for Sidwell, who was a target for Alan Pardew at Newcastle United among a number of suitors once he secured his release from Fulham.

“Steve was much in demand and we are delighted to have won the race to secure his signature,” said Stoke chief executive Tony Scholes.

The Potters jumped into ninth place in the Premier League on the final day of last season, but that was 19 points back of the last European qualifier (not counting Hull City, which made it on FA Cup finalist’s form).

And with a steady lineup of Asmir Begovic in net and a good back line of Ryan Shawcross, Geoff Cameron and others, Stoke is one to watch moving forward if they can add more attacking flair like Sidwell, and 2014 Stoke young player of the year Marko Arnautovic.