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Manchester United - Copenhagen
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Manchester United breaks through Copenhagen in extra time

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Manchester United – Copenhagen: The Europa League’s biggest underdogs of the quarterfinals took the tournament favorites to extra time before succumbing 1-0 in Cologne.

Bruno Fernandes highlighted his Man of the Match performance by converting an Anthony Martial-won penalty in the 95th minute for Manchester United, the only way past Copenhagen’s terrific goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson.

But Fernandes gave United a scare, needing care for his hamstring at the final whistle.

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Johnsson made 13 saves, seven from inside the box, to keep Copenhagen within a sucker punch of eliminating the Red Devils over 90 minutes.

Manchester United heads to Dusseldorf for an Aug. 17 semifinal against the winner of Tuesday’s tilt between Wolves and Sevilla.


Three things we learned

1. Copenhagen plays prime tournament soccer: The heaviest underdogs in the quarterfinals, Copenhagen executed a traditional 4-4-2 in a less-traditional low block for much of the match. The low block wasn’t the surprise, but instead of two banks of five, the rows of four with two men hassling up front challenged United for time and helped spring a number of dangerous counters. The Danes opened up in extra time after going behind, but taking it to extra time was more than many expected out of them.

2. VAR denies the Red Devils: A rout would’ve been on if this match was staged a year ago without VAR, as the assistant referee twice allowed United goals to go to video. Harry Maguire was offside before assisting the first would-be Red Devils goal, while Mason Greenwood was off before ripping a rocket off the far post and into the goal.

3. Bruno is a beast: Fernandes was everywhere, cueing up his teammates for chances when he wasn’t smashing them off the frame in a bid to win it himself. The Portuguese playmaker registered three key passes, put three of his five shots on target, and won the majority of his duels on top of scoring the game’s lone goal (SofaScore). Now United must hope his late leg injury was just a product of 120 minutes and nothing major.

Man of the Match

Fernandes, and yes we had him here before he smashed his penalty home. Fernandes is now the Europa League’s leading scorer with seven goals between Sporting Lisbon and United.


Manchester United – Copenhagen recap

United has plenty of the ball in the first 10 minutes but Copenhagen provided legitimate danger that Eric Bailly managed in his own six.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka blocked a cross with his face and needed treatment, looking quite dazed before returning to the game.

Another Copenhagen chance was blocked in the six by Bailly (again), who proved a wise choice over Victor Lindelof.

VAR had a look at an early United goal and rightly chalked Harry Maguire offside in the build-up. And it took Mason Greenwood’s hammer off the far post off the board for offside early in stoppage time.

Copenhagen was in it at the break. Would United pay?

[ MORE: Lukaku leads Inter past Bayer Leverkusen ]

The early stages of the second half remained with the Red Devils, Copenhagen parking all its men behind the ball at times.

Rashford flubbed a chance to shoot or pass to Paul Pogba when Bruno Fernandes spotted him at the back post just after the hour mark.

Fernandes tried his luck from distance in the 63rd, ripping a shot off the far post.

Ex-Everton man Bryan Oviedo nearly put Copenhagen ahead in the 66th only to see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bailly clog his shooting lane after Rasmus Falk dazzled to get into the box.

Karl-Johan Johnsson made a flying save on Anthony Martial to force an 84th-minute corner that came to nothing for United.

Johnsson denied Martial again in-tight at the start of stoppage time, but the high was short-lived as the Frenchman was dropped in the box moments later.

Fernandes stepped to the spot and used a stuttering run-up before blasting his penalty home.

Martial nearly had it 2-0 after the restart when he dribbled through the Copenhagen 18 but took it himself instead of laying off to Juan Mata in what would’ve been a fairly straight-forward chance for the Spaniard.

Johnsson denied Fernandes at the end of the first 15 minutes of extra time, United unfortunate to not score on the ensuing corner when Mata’s shot was blocked to Lindelof, who fired off the outside of the post.

Lindelof made a fine intervention to block a close-range equalizer bid in the 116th.

Serie A wrap: Inter keeps slim scudetto hopes alive

Romelu Lukaku goal
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Juventus has refused to put the finishing touches on its ninth-straight scudetto, and Inter Milan hopes it never manages to do it.

[ MORE: How has Project Restart changed the Big Six? ]

Juve can win the title by beating Sampdoria on Sunday, but Inter didn’t let them off the hook thanks to two in-form former Manchester United men.

Genoa 0-3 Inter Milan

Romelu Lukaku scored his 22nd and 23rd goals of the Serie A season as Inter moved within four points of Juventus with two matches to play for Inter and three for the table leaders.

Another pair of former Premier League mainstays teamed up for Inter’s other goal, as Victor Moses cued up resurgent and in-form Alexis Sanchez for a 2-0 lead in the 82nd minute before Lukaku completed his brace in stoppage time.

Genoa fails to put more space between itself and 18th place Lecce, who is four points back of safety with a match-in-hand on Saturday’s hosts.

Look at this from Big Rom:

Napoli 2-0 Sassuolo

Napoli moved within a point of sixth-place Milan thanks to Elseid Hysaj’s eighth-minute goal and not one, not two, but three Sassuolo goals lifted off the board by VAR.

Allan scored off a Dries Mertens assist in stoppage time to salt away the points.

The win puts eighth-place Sassuolo 11 points in the hosts’ rear view mirror.

Brescia 1-2 Parma

Parma moved into the top half of the table for at least a day after Juve loanee and Swedish phenom Dejan Kulusevski got a goal and set up ex-Manchester United man Matteo Darmian for another.

Daniele Dessena answered Darmian’s 59th minute opener in the 62nd minute but Kulusevski added more misery to already-relegated Brescia when he scored with under 10 minutes to play.

Spurs, Bournemouth split points in drab draw

Bournemouth - Tottenham recap
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Twelve minutes of stoppage time barely injected life into a scoreless, slumberous slog between Tottenham Hotspur and Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Thursday.

Hugo Lloris made a terrific stop on Harry Wilson deep in 12 minutes of stoppage time to keep Spurs’ sheet clean.

Tottenham has 49 points, six back of fifth-place Manchester United who plays Thursday and behind three teams in the race for Europa League places.

BOURNEMOUTH – TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY

Spurs face Arsenal at the weekend in a statement North London Derby between Mikel Arteta and Jose Mourinho, before Newcastle, Leicester City, and Crystal Palace complete the fixture list.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

Bournemouth’s 28 points are three back of safety. The Cherries finish with Leicester City, Manchester City, Southampton, and Everton.


Three things we learned

1. South coast snooze: Bournemouth fans wouldn’t have minded the point, but the journey to a rare clean sheet was just about as boring as you’ll see apart from an early penalty controversy, a gnarly injury, and a goal being pulled off the board by handball when Callum Wilson’s clever 90th-minute goal took a turn off Josh King and into the goal.

2. Scary incident for ex-Spurs man Smith: There was a lengthy delay around the hour mark when Cherries defender Adam Smith was involved in a violent collision at midfield, requiring plenty of medical attention. The former Spurs man was given oxygen and needed a stretcher to get off the pitch. Hopefully the long time right back is doing alright.

3. Mourinho’s offense looks toothless: First, let’s admit that Harry Kane had a goal egregiously taken away from him via the rulebook when Lucas Moura’s unwitting handball led to a goal against Sheffield United. But Spurs have five goals in five matches since the Premier League’s return. As much as it’s nice to see three clean sheets in four outings, Mourinho has to find a way to get his men moving.

Man of the Match:

Hugo Lloris – The Frenchman’s incredible stop of a surging Harry Wilson deep in stoppage time was a welcome moment for a sleepy match. Lloris made the only two saves of a slumberous affair.

Bournemouth – Tottenham recap

Harry Kane was not given a penalty in the opening minutes as he was shoved to the turf but also collided with a teammate while tracking a pass. Referee Paul Tierney didn’t see anything in it, and surprisingly neither did VAR.

The Cherries had a good spell of play after that, a mini-vibe of how Spurs looked after the Harry Kane goal was took off the board against Sheffield United.

The game flowed back into Spurs control for the final stanza before halftime.

Spurs let Bournemouth stick around and Harry Wilson’s nice run led to nothing in the 68th minute as the match looked destined for goose eggs, sadly enough.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Blades cut through Spurs after early VAR controversy

Sheffield United - Tottenham recap
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Sheffield United – Tottenham Hotspur recap: Tottenham never recovered from a wildly controversial VAR decision, displaying miserable defense in a 3-1 loss to Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Thursday.

Playing nothing like the European team they are increasingly unlikely to be, Spurs fell apart and sit ninth with 45 points. Harry Kane, whose early goal was ruled out by VAR, scored in the 90th minute.

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Blades got a goal and an assist from Sander Berge in moving into seventh. Oli McBurnie and Lys Mousset also scored for the hosts.

SHEFFIELD UNITED – TOTTENHAM FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Blades find their sharpness against sleepy Spurs defense: Raise your hand if you had Sheffield United taking four of six points from Tottenham Hotspur during Blades’ first season back in the Premier League? Okay, maybe, we believe you but keep that hand up if you though a late season win would boost Blades back over Spurs and into a top seven place. The first goal saw Blades move the ball through and to Berge like it was a training exercise. The second goal saw Spurs fast asleep when Enda Stevens drove deep into the box before cutting back to Mousset. The third goal? Somehow the worst of the bunch, as Davinson Sanchez had a day to forget.

2. VARroneous: An atrocious reading of the laws has taken Harry Kane’s equalizer off the board at Bramall Lane. Lucas Moura was nudged over by Berge while dribbling through the Blades defense. The ball ricocheted off his arm while he was falling and facing the opposite direction. That was enough to pull it off the board. Letter of the law? We guess, but even Blades boss Chris Wilder is going to stand with infuriated Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on this one.

Wednesday saw a silly VAR call that at least made a modicum of sense when a prone and technically offside West Ham’s Michail Antonio was stranded between goal scorer Tomas Soucek and would-be stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga. This took that to the next level.

3. Mousset rejoins the scoring ranks: The French playmaker had trouble living up to expectations at Bournemouth, scoring five times with one assist in 2146 minutes (71 appearances). Mousset now has six goals and four assists in his first season at Sheffield United, the production coming over less than 1200 minutes.

Man of the Match

Berge — The big Norwegian covered seemingly every blade of grass and won most of his duels (7-of-9) on an economical day that saw him grab his first PL goal. He’d late get his assist and was every bit the man they signed for big money this January.


Sheffield United – Tottenham recap

Spurs controlled play for most of the first 25 minutes, but Berge put the game on its ear by helping facilitate the opener he’d finish with class.

Berge moved the ball from left to right and stayed in the fray to make it 1-0 with a shot dragged across goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Spurs scored within 30 seconds of restart, Kane slotting low past Dean Henderson in the 33rd.

But wait! The ball ricocheted off a falling Lucas Moura’s arm and VAR ruled it no goal.

Chances were few the rest of the way aside from two terrible bits of defending from Spurs.

Mousset’s sixth PL goal of the season came wide open in the six, while Berge cued up McBurnie for a similar goal toward the final whistle.

Heung-min Son set up Kane for Spurs’ last-minute concession, the Englishman’s 13th league goal this season coming on the South Korean’s ninth assist.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Jose Mourinho reaction: Happy with players, mad at injuries and referee

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Come for the game action. Stay for the Jose Mourinho reaction.

Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho lamented two missing players and the referee after his side blew a halftime lead in a 1-1 home draw with Manchester United on Friday.

Mourinho was “happy with things, unhappy with others,” crediting his players for their attitude, plan-following, and “giving to United what they don’t like.”

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The boss said he was displeased because he had three attackers coming back from injury who didn’t have the energy to press high for 90 minutes. Two of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, and Steven Bergwijn would’ve been pulled for Lucas Moura and Dele Alli on another day (if the latter two weren’t starting altogether).

Gedson Fernandes and Giovani Lo Celso replaced Erik Lamela and Bergwijn, while Harvey White and Ryan Sessegnon were unused subs.

“Unhappy with the fact that the way I was reading the game I had no bench to react to it, with Lucas and Dele. They would be on the bench or playing. When (United) became more dominant and (we were) tired up front, we couldn’t build. It was hard to manage the game in that sense.”

Mourinho also didn’t like referee Jon Moss’ day on two penalties, as well as VAR not overturning both of them. VAR did reverse Moss’ call on a late Bruno Fernandes dive.

“I’m not happy with the penalty and also not happy with the second penalty. The referee in the game can make a mistake, can give a cheap penalty but VAR can do its job. On the second penalty I’m unhappy with Moss because he didn’t give the free kick on Serge and again he gave the penalty. In this case, VAR gave the truth.”

Spurs are four points back of fifth and six back of fourth with several teams around them yet to play a 30th match. The North London side next meets West Ham next in a London Derby.