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The 2 Robbies, Kyle Martino recap Champions League, Europa

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We’ve got a pair of podcasts to wrap up a busy, busy week for Premier League clubs in Europe.


Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle review the opening fixtures of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League group stage focusing on Liverpool’s 3-2 win over PSG (0:25), Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan (14:00), Manchester United’s 3-0 win at Young Boys (24:25), Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat to Lyon (29:30), Chelsea’s win at PAOK (40:30) and Arsenal taking care of business against Vorskla (46:20).

[ MORE: Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5 p.m. ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:


Kyle Martino takes a deep dive on a big week for Liverpool which saw the Reds come away with victories against Tottenham and PSG (7:40), a down week for Spurs which saw them lose their third straight after falling 2-1 to Inter (20:20) and whether or not Eden Hazard truly is the best in Europe (30:10).

[ MORE: That’s a Dive on Apple podcasts ]

 

Cristiano Ronaldo sweating on UEFA’s match report over ban

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Cristiano Ronaldo is still unsure whether he will get a homecoming at Old Trafford next month.

Ronaldo, 33, was sent off for Juventus in their 2-0 win at Valencia in their UEFA Champions League opener in Spain on Wednesday.

That means that Ronaldo is definitely suspended for Juve’s next UCL clash against Young Boys on Oct. 2, but he could miss additional matches depending on what is in the referees report.

UEFA will examine what was in the report and the reason for Ronaldo’s red card and then decide if an additional suspension is required.

The red card itself was an extremely bizarre decision.

Ronaldo jostled with Jeison Murrillo in the box and after the Colombian defender fell to the ground, Ronaldo appeared to put his hand on Murrillo’s head. Then he was sent off. Seriously. That was it.

The Portuguese superstar reacted angrily by throwing himself to the ground, bursting into tears and then failing to get off the pitch in time as he was astounded by the decision.

Seeing Juve take on his former club Manchester United at Old Trafford on Oct. 23 was going to one of the top storylines from the UCL group stage this season.

We aren’t sure if Ronaldo will get a chance to get a warm reception from United’s fans as he’s still adored for leading them to the UEFA Champions League title in 2008 and three-straight Premier League trophies before he left for Real Madrid.

Not an ideal situation for Ronnie, but he still has some hope that a glitzy homecoming will happen.

Allegri wants VAR, Bonucci doubts ref vision on Ronaldo red

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Sky Sports in Italy says its lip readers confirm that Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off Wednesday was down to tugging the hair of Jeison Murillo while the Valencia man was on the turf.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci wasn’t too impressed, even after his club went on to win 2-0 in Spain.

[ UCL: Real rocks Roma, Man City falls ]

“As far as I could see, it was a pretty normal clash,” Bonucci said. “Murillo put his hands on Ronaldo first, he reacted, but these things can happen and we must be stronger than everyone and everything.

“Ronaldo was angry, of course. The referee saw what he saw – not very well – and we overcame the obstacles.”

Juventus boss Max Allegri wants to take it a step further.

Juve is no stranger to calling for VAR, and Allegri is upset that the Portuguese megastar will miss at least one more match due to the red card (and could miss his Manchester United reunion should his suspension go beyond one match). From Football-Italia.net:

“I can only say that VAR would’ve helped the referee in this decision,” Allegri said. “Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with this and we’ll miss him for the next games too.”

It all pales in comparison to the vitriol seething out of Ronaldo’s sister, who reportedly posted on Instagram that “there will be a high price” for his tears, adding that “God never sleeps.”

Arteta: Despite loss, Man City was “ready for the game”

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Mikel Arteta might have enjoyed the opportunity to sit in the hot seat for Manchester City when the Premier League champions opened their UEFA Champions League season at home to Lyon on Wednesday, but he sure didn’t like the result.

[ RECAP: Man City 1-2 Lyon ]

With suspended Pep Guardiola watching from the stands, Man City went behind 2-0 to the French visitors. The champs could muster one second half marker in a loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Arteta said he couldn’t say whether the game would be different with Guardiola on the touch line, but doesn’t think the loss comes down to his absence. From ManCity.com:

“We missed the right pass and didn’t find consistency,” he said. “We felt under threat every time we lost the ball, that can bring the confidence lower. We were ready for the game, keen to start to Champions League because the way we ended it last season really hurt.

“The players are not perfect, sometimes they have bad days, sometimes better. I can’t fault the effort. I won’t judge them because we lost.”

He’s finding more positives than his players when it comes to the day’s mettle.

“We started slowly, and we were inconsistent in the way we wanted to play,” Arteta said. “We lost too many duels. We gave the ball away in difficult circumstances and they scored twice, but after that, the reaction from the lads was superb. We tweaked a few things to control situations better and we created chances, but at this level, it wasn’t enough.”

John Stones was at the back for both of Lyon’s goals, and admitted that halftime hit the players hard.

“Really disappointing,” he said. “To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating,. We came in at half-time a bit deflated. We picked ourselves up and played a better second half but it was frustrating.”

Mourinho, Man Utd revel in Pogba performance

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Paul Pogba blessed Manchester United with a powerful performance in the Red Devils’ 3-0 UEFA Champions League win at Young Boys on Wednesday, and it was impossible not to notice his class.

[ UCL: Real rocks Roma, Man City falls ]

Jose Mourinho did, as did several of his teammates on a night the French midfielder scored twice and assisted United’s other goal.

“Solid, class and gave the team the pace we needed at times,” said Manchester United’s manager. “He controlled the tempo and of course it was a very good goal.”

Pogba again captained the side, which has won three-straight and allowed just one goal in wins over Burnley and Watford in addition to Wednesday’s win.

Luke Shaw drew a penalty that Pogba converted for the match’s second game, and loved what he saw from his captain. From the BBC:

“He gets some stick sometimes but we know what quality he has. For me, he is one of the best in the world. He is important as captain. He shows on the pitch what kind of leader he is. Hopefully he can carry that on.”

Mourinho’s praise carries a bit more weight considering he didn’t quite enjoy the competition.

“Job done,” he said. “Not phenomenal but good enough. (Young Boys) were intense, compact and had self esteem.”