Manchester City Football Club – Michmutters

Premier League, Chelsea transfers, rumor mill, transfer flops, Fernando Torres, Timo Werner, number nine jersey curse, Romelu Lukaku

Heavy spenders Chelsea have already been busy during the transfer window, and are almost certainly not finished despite spending €186.59m ($A270m) so far.

According to reports, the club are reportedly prepared to sign both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, ​​as well as Wesley Fofana from Leicester.

Chelsea have already signed Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Gabriel Slonina, Carney Chukwuemeka and Marc Cucurella in their squad overhaul.

World-class striker Aubameyang, a former club captain of London rivals Arsenal, would represent the latest in a long line of superstar strikers to have joined Stamford Bridge – although many have struggled to make their mark.

Indeed, Chelsea’s number nine jersey has been worn by so many flops in recent years that coach Thomas Tuchel revealed that no-one will wear the number this season.

“It’s cursed, it’s cursed, people tell me it’s cursed … nobody wants to touch the No 9,” he said.

But it’s not just the number nine jersey that has been a curse at Chelsea. Dating back to the end of the last century, many of Chelsea’s big-name attacking signings have failed to make their mark.

Here are some of the great Blues flops of the modern era.

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Transfer fee: £10m ($17m AUD) from Blackburn in 1999

Playing record: One goal in 28 Premier League games

Chelsea reached deep into their pockets to lure Sutton to Stamford Bridge from relegation stricken Blackburn, for what was then a club record fee.

The striker had signed from the Rovers, where he starred alongside Premier League icon Alan Shearer, after they placed second-last in the 1998-99 season.

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But the former England international had a forgettable debut campaign with the Blues, scoring just one goal from his 28 Premier League appearances.

Sutton’s sole contribution on the scoresheet came in a 5-0 thrashing of English giants Manchester United, which was a highlight in an otherwise quiet tenure in London.

His season went from bad to worse when he failed to make Chelsea’s bench for the 2000 FA Cup Final against Aston Villa, which the Blues won 1-0.

Sutton was a one season flop at Chelsea, though, after securing a transfer to Scottish giants Celtic.


Transfer fees: €22.5m ($32m AUD) from Parma in 2003

Playing record: 10 goals from 38 games

Mutu began his Chelsea career in fine form, scoring four goals from his first three appearances for the giants of English football.

Playing in front of new fans for the first time, the Romanian scored the winning goal on his club debut against Leicester City.

But drama ensued as his relationship with Jose Mourinho reportedly reached its boiling point, with Mutu facing backlash from his manager after he claimed to be injured.

Chelsea later fired the striker after he tested positive for cocaine use in 2004, and was suspended for seven months.

Although he was not at the London club anymore, Mutu failed another anti-doping test in January of 2010, as reported by the Guardian.

Mutu, who also wore the number seven jersey at Chelsea, was handed a nine-month ban for that incident.

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Transfer fees: €43.9m ($63m AUD) from Milan in 2006

Playing record: Nine goals from 48 Premier League games

Chelsea splashed the cash once again to sign Ukrainian Andriy Shevchenko, who became the biggest signing in English football at the time.

Shevchenko, who was 30-year-old when he moved to London from Milan, was handed the number seven jersey under decorated coach Jose Mourinho.

But he failed to live up to the hype, scoring just 14 goals from 51 games during his first season with the famous London club.

Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.
Andriy Shevchenko had a forgettable spell with Chelsea.Source: AP

Shevchenko was loaned out to AC Milan, the club he’d signed from, during the 2008/09 season after failing to hit his stride at Stamford Bridge.

As reported by The Guardian, manager Carlo Ancelotti believed that Shevchenko was the fourth best striker at the club, just three years after he secured his record transfer.

Shevchenko was left out of Chelsea’s squad for the 2009/10 Champions League, and later returned to Dynamo Kyiv.


Transfer fees: £50m ($85m AUD) from Liverpool in 2011

Playing record: 20 goals in 110 Premier League games for Chelsea

Fernando Torres rose to footballing stardom during a successful stint at Liverpool, where he truly embodied the phrase ‘human highlight reel’.

Torres had already made his name in Spain, after being handed the Atletico Madrid captaincy at just 19 years of age.

The Spaniard left Madrid for Liverpool, although he’d return to the club at the back end of his career, and quickly proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in England.

Fernando Torres struggled to find some form after completing his move to Stamford Bridge. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

But drama struck early in 2011, as Torres completed a sensational transfer to Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The Blues again broke the British transfer record for a reported fee of £50 million, as the striker completed a mid-season move sent shockwaves throughout the league.

Hollywood couldn’t have scripted it better, though, as Torres made his club debut for Chelsea after Liverpool.

The Blues lost that 1-0 and maybe it was a sign of things to come, as Torres went on to score just 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea.

But while he failed to fire, these big money moves are all about making an impact when it counts, and Torres did that in the biggest competition that world football has to offer.

While he was far from an overwhelming success at Stamford Bridge, Torres did score a game sealing goal against Barcelona in a Champions League semi-final.

Chelsea went on to win their first ever Champions League crown in the 2011-12 campaign, beating German powerhouse Bayern Munich 4-3 on penalties.


Transfer fee: £11m ($18m AUD) from Basel in 2014

Playing record: Two goals from 13 games

Mohamed Salah has cemented his legacy as a Premier League legend after a stellar career with Liverpool, but his career in England wasn’t always so successful.

The ‘Egyptian King’ made just 19 appearances for Chelsea, before he was loaned out to Fiorentina just 13-months after moving to London.

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Salah’s two best Premier League games in Blue came in a 6-0 win over rivals Arsenal, where he scored, as well as a promising showing against Stoke.

Salah was later loaned out to Roma, before securing a permanent move to the Italian capital soon after.

But the scintillating winger really took his career to the next Liverpool after he secured a well-known transfer to Liverpool.

Not only has Salah tasted success in both the Champions League and Premier League with the Merseyside club, but he’s widely considered to be one of the best footballers on the planet.

In fact he’s become so popular, the Economist revealed that more than one million Egyptians spoiled their ballots by trying to vote for Salah during the presidential election in 2018.

With many noteworthy individual accolades on the football field to speak of as well, Salah is certainly another gem that Chelsea failed to cherish when they had the chance.


Transfer fees: Around £60m ($103m AUD) from Real Madrid in 2017

Playing record: 24 goals from about 72 games

After impressive spells with European giants Juventus and Real Madrid, Morata was brought into the club as a replacement for Diego Costa.

Costa, who won two Premier League titles and scored 59 goals for Chelsea, returned to Atletico Madrid after being told he was free to look elsewhere.

Morata was another striker who had the weight of the world on his shoulders when he moved to Stamford Bridge, due to the hype surrounding his arrival.

But the Spaniard failed to make an impression on the scoresheet, scoring just 15 goals in his 48 games.

After initially signing for the club on a five year deal, Morata was eventually loaned out to Atletico Madrid on an 18-month deal.

Atletico signed him on a permanent deal later, although he was loaned out to Juventus soon after in September, 2020.


Transfer fees: €60m ($87m AUD) from RB Leipzig in 2020

playing record 23 goals in 89 appearances

Werner was one of the hottest properties on the football transfer market as European giants came looking to sign the star striker after an incredible spell at RB Leipzig.

During his four years at the German club, Werner scored 90 goals and had 40 assists from 156 competitive games.

Liverpool were also believed to be in the hunt for his signature, before he completed an expensive move to Chelsea on a five-year deal.

But the German quickly fell out of favor at Chelsea, having scored just 23 goals in 89 appearances.

With Chelsea reportedly looking to sign some strikers in the ongoing transfer window, the 26-year-old left the club and returned to RB Leipzig.


Transfer fees: £97.5m ($167m AUD) from Inter Milan in 2021

Playing record: 15 goals in all competitions from 44 games

Belgian Romelu Lukaku may have had a fairly expensive price tag to his name last year, but that didn’t stop Chelsea from making another mind-blowing investment in their future.

Once again, the Blues broke their transfer record to sign the striker from Italian giants Inter Milan.

Romelu Lukaku was a marquee signing for Chelsea, but he failed to make his mark on the scoresheet. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

With their Champions League glory still fresh in the minds of football fans, Chelsea managed to lure the powerful striker back to Stamford Bridge on an incredible transfer.

Despite their European success, Chelsea had come fourth in the Premier League the year before, but this signing was widely considered to be a difference maker.

Many believed that Lukaku could fire for the Blues after a previous stint at the club earlier in his career, before more well-known and successful stints with the likes of Everton and Manchester United.

But it was a disastrous return to the Premier League for Lukaku, who scored just eight goals before completing a loan move back to Inter Milan – and leaving the number nine jersey vacant.



Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel sat off, fight, video, reaction, Tottenham vs Chelsea, score, Harry Kane goal

Harry Kane snatched a 96th minute equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw for Tottenham from a feisty London derby against Chelsea.

Both managers Antonio Conte and Thomas Tuchel were sent-off after the full-time whistle for their second physical altercation of the match.

Chelsea looked set to get a new era at Stamford Bridge off to the best possible start as they twice led through Kalidou Koulibaly and Reece James.

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Ben Davies (R) celebrates with Ivan Perisic (C) after Harry Kane scores their late equaliser.  (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)
Ben Davies (R) celebrates with Ivan Perisic (C) after Harry Kane scores their late equaliser. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

Tottenham were well off the level required if they are to live up to hopes of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for the title, but showed the newfound character instilled by Conte to fight back for a point.

The Italian and Tuchel were both booked in the aftermath of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s first equaliser.

Tempers then flared again during a handshake after Kane hesitated in with virtually the last action of the game.

“It is the Premier League and why we love it. It is emotional coaches on the sidelines,” said Tuchel.

“I think it (the red card) was not necessary. But a lot of things were not necessary today so it is another poor decision from the referee.

“It’s emotional. You like it. We don’t need comments now. It was heated up and heated up.

“I thought when you shake hands you look into each other’s eyes. Antonio (Conte) had other ideas.”


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Antonio Conte (R) and Thomas Tuchel (L) shake hands then clash. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP
The game finished 2-2. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)Source: AFP

Tottenham have still only won once at Stamford Bridge in 32 years in the league, but Conte will be delighted to escape with a share of the spoils against his former club.

“There is a difference between Chelsea and Tottenham but we are here to reduce this gap,” said the Italian. “Last season we lost three times, this time we drew so it’s a little step forward.”

New Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly was welcomed by a huge banner from the Chelsea support and saw an early return on the near £170 million ($206 million) investment in the transfer market since he sanctioned a £2.5 billion takeover to buy the club from Roman Abramovich .

Despite the drastic changes in the boardroom, on the field it was like the old times under Abramovich as Chelsea outthought, outplayed and outmuscled Spurs for the first 45 minutes.

Two of their new signings combined for the opening goal as it was from Marc Cucurella’s corner that Koulibaly found space to volley home.

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Conte again resisted the temptation to start any of his six new signings, but it was not until the introduction of Richarlison just before the hour mark and a switch of formation that Tottenham began to threaten.

Kane had a glorious chance to level when he uncharacteristically dragged wide with only Edouard Mendy to beat.

Spurs did level 22 minutes from time in controversial fashion to light the spark between the two managers.

Kai Havertz looked to be clearly fouled by Rodrigo Bentancur before Tottenham broke forward and the ball eventually fell to Hojbjerg to fire low and hard past Mendy.

Tuchel reacted furiously to the decision and Conte’s overzealous celebration. The German fought fire with fire as he sprinted down the touchline to celebrate when James thrashed home Raheem Sterling’s pass to restore Chelsea’s lead 13 minutes from time.

However, Kane had the final say as he flicked in Ivan Perisic’s corner deep into added time.

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Earlier, Nottingham Forest celebrated their first home game in the Premier League for 23 years by beating West Ham 1-0.

The two-time European champions have made 14 new signings in a bid to maintain their top-flight status and two of those making their home debuts were the heroes as Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal and Dean Henderson saved Declan Rice’s penalty.

Forest had fortune on their side as the Hammers also had a first-half goal controversially ruled out and hit the underside of the crossbar twice after the break through Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma.

But that mattered little to a capacity 30,000 crowd at the City Ground, who roared the home side over the line.

West Ham have now lost both their opening two games of the season, but in stark contrast to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City last weekend, they should have taken at least a point back to London.

Taiwo Awoniyi of Notts Forest celebrates scoring the first goal (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Benrahma’s cool finish from Rice’s pass was ruled out after a VAR review for a foul by Michail Antonio as he blocked off Moussa Niakhate.

On top of nearly £100 million in transfer fees, Forest have splashed out a reported £200,000-a-week to secure Jesse Lingard on a one-year deal.

Lingard had been long linked with a return to West Ham after a successful loan spell in the 2020/21 season.

And he played a part in the winner as his shot was blocked by Ben Johnson but rebounded in off Awoniyi’s knee.

Bar a Brennan Johnson goal that was ruled out by VAR for offside, it was the visitors who had all the best chances after the break.

Fornals smashed an effort of the bar seconds into the second period before Benrahma did likewise from a nearly inch-perfect free-kick.

Rice had the best chance of all from the spot after Scott McKenna handled Tomas Soucek’s effort.

However, Henderson made himself an instant hero by diving low to his right to save the penalty.

More desperate defending was needed by Neco Williams to clear Kurt Zouma’s header off the line late on, but Forest held out for a famous win



Premier League news, lineups, fixtures, Chelsea vs Tottenham, team news, Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, start time, scores

A thrilling opening weekend saw the Premier League return with a bang. Liverpool and Manchester United were stunned, Spurs claimed a statement victory, while Erling Haaland made his mark for Manchester City.

Now attention turns to Matchday 2. Erik ten Hag faces a huge call over Cristiano Ronaldo as the Red Devils seek to get their season off and running, while Spurs visit Stamford Bridge in the first big-six blockbuster.

Here are the big storylines to watch out for this weekend.

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Manchester United finished last season by losing their final six away games – a nightmare streak that ruined any hope of Champions League football. It was their worst run of road losses since March 1981 – but defeat at Brentford this weekend would make it their worst run since all the way back in 1936, when they lost ten on the trot away from Old Trafford.

But is it a serious prospect against a relative minnow in the Bees? Well, history hasn’t helped United much to start this season – their defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion last week was their first-ever loss at home to the Seagulls.

Christian Eriksen starred for the Bees last season, winning 7 of his 11 games on the park, but struggled in a false nine position for United against Brighton.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival in the second half shifted Eriksen into the midfield, a move which benefited the team immensely.

Whether Erik ten Hag rushes Ronaldo into the starting line-up in search of a maiden Premier League win will be a crucial selection conundrum, especially since the Portuguese legend is still short of fitness.

But after conceding two goals in the first half in the opening week – and it could well have been three if VAR didn’t overrule a penalty early in the second half – ten Hag clearly has just as many problems in defense (especially on set pieces ).

With Brentford adding to their well-earned reputation for fighting out of tricky situations when they fought back for a 2-2 draw against Leicester, this one will likely be battled out until the final whistle sounds. It just might signal more woe for the Red Devils.

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It’s the first big-six clash of the season, and it should be an absolute beauty as Chelsea host Tottenham.

But there’s a heavy weight of history standing in their way: Spurs have won just once in their last 37 matches at Stamford Bridge. No wonder the Blues are favorites for this one, despite their ‘rusty’ 1-0 win over Everton last week – as coach Thomas Tuchel described it.

Spurs, on the other hand, fought back from an early deficit to win 4-1 over Southampton – a result that means they have scored the most Premier League in the 2022 calendar year to date.

Antonio Conte has enjoyed a full pre-season and a big transfer window in Tottenham, and this match will be a true litmus test for just how far they’ve come – and whether they can actually challenge at the pointy end this season.

“I think it’ll be a good test to mark whether they are really in the contest for the title,” former Spurs back Pascal Chimbonda told Sky Sports News.”

Perhaps the biggest key to their improvement is their depth: none of their six signings started against Saints. Some, like Richarlison, could start this time out, while Ivan Perisic might also hope to replace Ryan Sessegnon.

PREDICTED XI: Hugo Lloris; Eric Dier, Ben Davies, Cristian Romero; Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur, Ivan Perisic, Emerson; Heung-Min Son, Dejan Kulusevski; Harry Kane.

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For Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel hasn’t been fully happy with his transfer window so far despite some big-name arrivals in Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling, and Marc Cucurella.

Koulibaly and Sterling both started and should start again this time out, while Cucurella came off the bench and could depose Ben Chilwell from the starting role. Christian Pulisic’s impressive bench cameo could also see him introduced to the XI.

If they fail to score from open play again, it could just nudge the new owners to push even harder to complete the signings of targets Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, ​​or Wesley Fofana from Leicester City – having already missed out on Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.

The first heavyweight bout of the season is here, and it could have huge ramifications on the trajectories of two big-six members.

Predicted Chelsea XI: Edouard Mendy; Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta, Kalidou Koulibaly; Ben Chilwell, N’Golo Kante, Jorgino, Reece James, Mason Mount, Kai Havertz; Raheem Sterling.

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Frank Lampard might be a Premier League and England great, but this weekend he meets another man of similar pedigree – his old England teammate Steven Gerrard.

The duo met 34 times during their playing careers, and Lampard had the upper hand with 16 wins compared to Gerrard’s 11. Both will be desperate for victory this weekend in their first-ever managerial meeting.

For Lampard, the biggest worry – among many – is his staggeringly poor defensive record away from home.

In 38 games in charge of Everton and previously Chelsea, his sides conceded 73 goals at an average of 1.92 per 90 minutes. That includes a Blues side that would win the Champions League six months after his departure from him.

There were concerns about Everton’s squad entering this season (having sold star striker Richarlison to balance the books), and those only worsened on opening day when defenders Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina both copped serious injuries.

Everton have since pulled a late signing swoop for Conor Coady and midfielder Amadou Onana (from Wolverhampton on Monday and Lille on Tuesday, in that order), while they added another solid defender in James Tarkowski from Burnley in pre-season.

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After Everton lost to Chelsea 1-0 and Gerrard’s Aston Villa lost to promoted Bournemouth 2-0, the pressure is on.

But where will the Toffee goals come from?

Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Andros Townsend are months away from returning, but Lampard welcomes back-up forward Salomon Rondon to the team after suspension.

And the club is reportedly chasing Southampton’s Che Adams to boost their stingy offence, having missed out on Burnley winger Maxwel Cornet who instead joined West Ham.

“We know there is a void in forward areas, we are short in numbers there,” Lampard said amid a difficult pre-season.

Arresting his poor defensive record on the road will be a key priority – but their lack of firepower up front could be just as worrying down the track.

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A-League: Slovakian international Robert Mak joins Sydney FC

Sydney FC’s measured and patient approach to returning to the A-League summit has stepped up a gear with the signing of former Manchester City winger Robert Mak.

Capped 73 times for Slovakia, Mak has joined the Sky Blues on a two-year deal after winning back-to-back Hungarian top-flight titles with Ferencváros.

“We took our time because there’s a specific type of player we want,” Sydney FC coach Steve Corica said.

“We’ve got a few more to come in as well, but to have the first one done is great.

“We’re two months out from the start of the (A-League) season which gives us plenty of time to work with Robert and to get him ready.”

The most successful club in A-League history with five championships, the Sky Blues finished a disappointing eighth last season.

“We had to have a good look at where we were and what kind of players and what formation we wanted to look at if we wanted to change things,” Corica said.

“It’s probably the best time right now to do it.”

Mak’s ability to play on either wing and also in a central attacking role if required made him an attractive target for Sydney.

“He has two great feet and can play on either side of the pitch. He likes to take on defenders and will create and score goals for us as well,” Corica said.

“To play that many times for your country is no mean feat and I think he will really stand out this season.”

Having joined Manchester City’s academy at 13, Mak stayed there for six years before leaving in 2010 to join German club Nurnberg.

From there he went to Greek club Paok in 2014 and also had spells in Russia (Zenit St Petersburg) and Turkey (Konyaspor) before his move to Hungary.

“I’ve been part of a few championships and cup wins in my career, so I know what it takes and want to bring my experience, personality and a few goals and assists to help us this season,” said Mak, who has made more than 30 game appearances in the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.

“This is going to be a fantastic challenge for me, and it’s a real honor to be signing for Australia’s biggest and most successful club.”

The Sky Blues continue their Australia Cup campaign on Wednesday night with a round-of-16 clash against NPL Victoria outfit Bentleigh Greens in Melbourne.

In Wednesday night’s other Cup round-of-16 battle, South Australian state league club Modbury Jets host Macarthur FC at Gepps Cross.

Read related topics:sydney



Manchester United analysis; Premier League reaction, Erik ten Hag, transfers, Cristiano Ronaldo

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has slammed his old clubs “unacceptable” effort to sign new players, after they sunk to a 113-year-old on Sunday night.

After a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last season, the Red Devils failed to make their mark in the summer transfer market.

United have signed just three players under new manager Erik ten Hag, including 30-year-old Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen.

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Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard are among the list of players who have left Old Trafford during the English summer, while Cristiano Ronaldo is heavily rumored to follow suit.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner was benched for United’s season opener against Brighton on Monday morning (AEST), and has reportedly requested a transfer away from Old Trafford.

Manchester United are now rumored to be chasing the services of former West Ham and Stoke striker Marko Arnautovic, who played under ten Hag at Dutch club Twente 13 years ago.

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However, Untied have reportedly had their bid for the 33-year-old rejected by Bologna.

After a quiet transfer window, Neville has called United the “easiest team to play” in the Premier League after their history making loss to Brighton.

“Anyone who has watched those Manchester United players he has been handed will recognize that is a familiar performance and the people above him should have known that it was an unacceptable situation to hand Erik ten Hag that squad,” Neville told Sky Sports.

“It needed improving more than it has been. There is still time in the window but he needed three or four weeks more to work with them.

“Every coach comes in thinking they can do better than the last coach with the players at his disposal as they believe they are a better coach and that is probably the case with this. But the reality is, he’s seen what those players are capable of today.

Christian Eriksen cuts a rejected figure.
Christian Eriksen cuts a rejected figure.Source: Getty Images

“I don’t think any Manchester United fan or pundit that has watched this team over the last 12 months, with the same players playing in the same positions, expected anything different than what we saw.

“The reality is those players need replacing or supported more by better players.”

It was a forgettable season opener for the Red Devils who hadn’t lost to Brighton at home in a competitive match, dating back to the FA Cup in 1909.

The first-ever meeting between the two clubs was a 1-0 win to United at Manchester’s Bank Street on January 16 of that year.

While a new season brings optimism and excitement, but frustration began to mount from the opening whistle for United fans after the hosts came frightening close to conceding inside 30 seconds.

But after missing chances of their own throughout the first half, the Red Devils went behind 2-0 after two quick goals to Pascal Gross.

While an own goal from midfielder Alexis Mac Allister gave the hosts a glimmer of hope with 20 minutes to play, it just wasn’t to be.

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United.Source: Getty Images

Premier League icon Paul Scholes took aim at United after a “shocking” first-half set his old club up for defeat.

United may have controlled the match with 62.9 per cent of possession, but only managed two more shots on target than their English rivals.

Scholes believes the Red Devils need to improve their midfield as he called out two underperforming players.

“(Scott) McTominay was always trying to run with the ball, ridiculous. The quality in the middle of the pitch was really poor,” Scholes said.

“The quality in the middle of the pitch was nowhere near good enough but we’ve seen that for the last few years with these two players.

“With Fred and McTominay, he (ten Tag) is going to have to go with just one of them but eve none of them is probably too many.

“Fred gives the ball away all the time and McTominay’s trying to run with the ball constantly and then gives it away. Pass it to your best players! It’s not that difficult. It’s criminal on a day like today.”

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Two United fans reached their boiling points during the match, as they began to fight in the South Stand at Old Trafford.

Nearby fans watched on in shock as the pair began to wrestle with each other, with one of the men appearing to grab the other by the throat.

Another person seemed to step between the two men in an attempt to break up their row, as more supported turn to face the pair instead of the match.

A third Manchester United legend, Roy Keane, has also been critical in saying the “DNA” of the club wasn’t there anymore.

“You talk about pre-season, I saw a lot of PR nonsense coming out of Manchester United during the games and I still saw the same problems,” Roy Keane told Sky Sports.

“It’s the same characters, same personalities, especially in midfield.

“There are elements of talent in the squad but when they have setback they don’t deal with it. I go back to the DNA of the club and culture at the training ground, it’s not there. I don’t see personalities, I don’t see characters.

“It’s not all about throwing money at it but if these players aren’t up to it and good enough for Manchester United.”

Meanwhile, cross-town rivals Manchester City got their title defense off to a dream start with a 2-0 win over West Ham.

Star recruit Erling Haaland scored two goals on his Premier League debut for the Citizens.



Premier League scores; Manchester City def West Ham, Brighton def Manchester United, Erling Haaland goals, news, scores, results, video

Erling Haaland scored twice on his Premier League debut as Manchester City opened their defense of the title with a 2-0 win at West Ham, while Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Brighton in Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge on Sunday.

Haaland lived up to the hype since his transfer from Borussia Dortmund to give the champions a perfect start to the season in the searing heat of East London.

West Ham nearly derailed City’s title chances when they led 2-0 at halftime in the penultimate game of last season before Pep Guardiola’s men battled back for the point that ultimately edged out Liverpool at the top of the table.

But they were no match this time as Haaland immediately provided the value of City adding a proven goalscorer to their arsenal.

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Haaland scores twice in EPL debut! | 01:07

The Norwegian has been signed as the long-term successor to Sergio Aguero and started his City career just like the club’s all-time record goalscorer with a double on his league debut.

Haaland had missed chances in City’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool in the Community Shield, but Guardiola’s warning that the goals would soon flow proved to be correct.

“We know we have a threat there. He is an incredible deep runner and finisher,” said Guardiola.

“He is adapting perfectly in the way we want to play. We are going to find him more and more and hopefully we can give him the opportunity to score more goals.”

City’s patient possession game wore the Hammers down as temperatures in the English capital soared above 30 degrees Celsius on Sunday.

Haaland took responsibility from the penalty spot to open his Premier League account after he had been brought down by Alphonse Areola.

West Ham started the second half with more attacking intent but that simply played into the hands of City’s new weapon as Kevin De Bruyne split open their defense with one pass on the counter-attack for Haaland to gallop clear on goal and slot low past Areola.


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Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton &  Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images


The contrasting fortunes of the Manchester clubs in recent seasons continued as United suffered another false dawn in Ten Hag’s first competitive game in charge.

Cristiano Ronaldo started on the bench for the Red Devils due to his lack of pre-season training with the Portuguese reportedly keen on an exit from Old Trafford to play in the Champions League this season.

Brighton thrashed United 4-0 when the sides last met in May and despite losing Yves Bissouma and Marc Cucurella for over £100 million since, the Seagulls were again too slick for United’s leaden-footed defence.

Twice in nine minutes Pascal Gross ghosted in unmarked at the back post to slot into an unguarded net before halftime.

It even took a Brighton mistake for Ten Hag’s men to find the net as Robert Sanchez slapped the ball into his own net off the unfortunate Alexis Mac Allister.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 07: Harry Maguire of Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on August 07, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Ronaldo was given a rousing reception from an otherwise frustrated crowd, but never had a clear sight of goal to deny Brighton their first ever win at Old Trafford.

“It’s the worst possible start, to be 2-0 down at halftime at Old Trafford,” said United captain Harry Maguire.

“It’s not good enough. We huffed and puffed to get one back and we had chances to equalize. It’s a bad start for us.”

Klopp laments ‘really bad’ Liverpool | 03:00


Brentford did manage to come from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw away to Leicester.

The Foxes have been in turmoil heading into the season with long-serving captain Kasper Schmeichel joining Nice and rumors about the futures of James Maddison and Wesley Fofana.

Both started and Maddison’s corner teed up Timothy Castagne to score the opening goal.

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s stunning strike from long range then doubled Leicester’s lead early in the second-half.

But Brentford bounced back to take a point as Ivan Toney used his strength to fire home from close range before Josh Dasilva found the top corner.

LEICESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 07: Brentford Manager Thomas Frank celebrates with Josh Dasilva after the Premier League match between Leicester City and Brentford FC at The King Power Stadium on August 6, 2022 in Leicester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Magpies overrun Forest, Leeds pip Wolves | 00:55



Premier League transfers, Chelsea sign Marc Cucurella, Christian Benteke, Manchester City, latest news,

The Premier League has just kicked off for a season, but transfers are still coming thick and fast as managers look to finalize their squads after a short off-season.

With the Premier League starting on its earliest-ever date due to the impact of a World Cup scheduled mid-season, many managers still have plenty of work to do – with Leicester having not signed a single player yet.

The Foxes today announced legendary keeper Kasper Schmeichel had departed for France, but it was Chelsea’s signing of Brighton’s Marc Cucurella for a fullback record-equalling

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Gunners get the job done at Palace | 02:07


Chelsea have signed Spanish defender Marc Cucurella from Premier League rivals Brighton on a six-year contract, the London club announced Friday.

No fee was disclosed but British media reports have valued the deal at £60 million – the equal-highest fee for a fullback.

The 24-year-old should now be available for Chelsea’s Premier League opener away to Everton on Saturday.

“I’m really happy; it’s a big opportunity for me to join one of the best clubs in the world and I’m going to work hard to be happy here and help the team,” Cucurella told Chelsea’s website.

The Spain wing-back has now become Chelsea’s latest pre-season signing with Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka all having arrived at Stamford Bridge for a total spend of £172m.

Cucurella’s move has paved the way for young Chelsea centre-back Levi Colwill to head in the opposite direction, on loan, to Brighton.

Both Manchester City and Chelsea have been interested in Cucurella, although the Premier League champions are understood to have baulked at Brighton’s asking price.

But Chelsea, under new owner Todd Boehly’s consortium, remained interested.

“He’s young, hungry, mobile and a very intelligent player,” said Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel of Cucurella, with the German explaining the new recruit would take some of the pressure off Ben Chilwell during the England wing-back’s recovery from knee surgery.

“It helps in depth and in quality, and it helps with Ben, to escape the pressure of I have to deliver and we need you absolutely now,” Tuchel said.

“We have of course at the moment in this position Marcos Alonso, Kenedy and Emerson.

“And I think he (Cucurella) can play very well in the back three, so it’s a bit of a profile of Azpi (Azpilicueta) on the left side. He gives us many options.”

Boehly added: “Marc is an elite defender of proven Premier League quality and he further strengthens our squad going into the new season.

“We continue to work on and off the pitch, and we’re delighted Marc will be a part of the present and future at Chelsea.

Kloppo COOKS over World Cup | 01:15


Belgian international striker Christian Benteke, who has spent the past 10 years in the Premier League, joined Wayne Rooney-coached DC United of Major League Soccer on Friday, the club announced.

United obtained the 31-year-old forward on a permanent transfer from Crystal Palace and signed him to a deal through the 2024 season with a club option for 2025.

“Christian is a top player who has played at the highest level for a long time,” former England and Manchester United star Rooney said.

“His experience and ability to score goals and help the team will be invaluable. It’s exciting for the team and myself to get him in and playing. He will make a huge difference.” United will need all the help it can get with a record of just six wins and three draws for 21 points, the second-worst in the 28-team North American league.

Benteke scored 86 goals in 280 Premier League appearances with Aston Villa, Liverpool, and Palace.

Benteke becomes the sixth player to join United since Rooney was named coach last month.

Pep confident Haaland will bag goals | 00:45


David Moyes has said West Ham will still be involved in the transfer market after signing Maxwel Cornet.

The Ivory Coast forward has joined the Hammers following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League in a move worth a reported £17.5 million.

His arrival at the London Stadium ahead of the new season comes after Nayef Aguerd, Flynn Downes and Gianluca Scamacca joined the club, with goalkeeper Alphonse Areola signing a permanent deal following a loan spell.

However, defend Aguerd, who cost £30 million, is expected to be out for three months with a knee injury.

Having also lost the retired Mark Noble, and the released duo of Ryan Fredericks and Andriy Yarmolenko, from what was already a thin squad, West Ham manager Moyes is keen to sign more players.

“We’ve made good signings,” Moyes said Friday. “We’ve had one or two injuries as well, which we have to take into consideration, but we’re far from finished in that regard.

“We lost three outfield players and a goalkeeper this summer. We didn’t bring any players in during January so we need to fill these voids. We want to bring in quality players and we’re working to do that.”

Scamacca will help fill the void in West Ham’s ranks left by last year’s departure of striker Sebastien Haller.

But the £30 million signing from Sassuolo is short of match fitness and so not expected to feature in West Ham’s opener against champions Manchester City on Sunday.

Leicester City's Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) and Leicester City's Italian former manager Claudio Ranieri (L) after their iconic triumph.
Leicester City’s Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel (R) and Leicester City’s Italian former manager Claudio Ranieri (L) after their iconic triumph.Source: AFP


Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel said Friday he has “high ambitions” to replicate his success with Leicester City at new club Nice.

The 35-year-old was the mainstay of the most successful period in the English club’s history winning the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield in his 11-year spell.

“In football, if you have a feeling, you have to go with it,” said the former Leicester captain, who wants to turn the Riviera outfit back into the “top club” who won four Ligue 1 titles, the last in 1959.

“Leicester is a club that I love. The decision to leave family members is difficult,” Schmeichel told a press conference.

“But I am 35 years old. It was time to challenge myself, with the desire to continue to grow as a player and person — a new language, a new experience for my family.

“But the main reason was the fact that Ineos (owners) have very high ambitions for Nice. They want to make it a top club. I see similarities there with when I joined Leicester.” The son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel joined Leicester from Leeds in 2011 and soon became a fans’ favorite with his 479 appearances the third most in the club’s history.

Nice finished fifth in Ligue 1 last season and open their new campaign at Toulouse on Sunday.



England wins women’s Euro 2022, Leah Williamson handball, Germany, video, latest, highlights

England won a major women’s tournament for the first time as Chloe Kelly’s extra-time goal secured a 2-1 victory over Germany at a sold out Wembley on Sunday.

In front of a record crowd of 87,192 for any match in the history of the European Championships, Kelly prodded home a loose ball from close range to end English football’s 56-year wait for a World Cup or Euro victory.

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England looked set for victory in the 90 minutes when substitute Ella Toone’s sublime chip over Merle Frohms put the hosts in front.

Germany showed remarkable resilience to bounce back as Lina Magull leveled 11 minutes from time.

But for once, England were not to be denied a major tournament success. Kelly fought back from an anterior cruciate ligament tear to be fit in time for the tournament and made herself a national hero by being in the right place to pounce when Germany failed to clear a corner in the 110th minute.

The Manchester City winger tore her shirt off in celebration in scenes reminiscent of Mia Hamm’s famous reaction to scoring the winning penalty for the USA at the 1999 World Cup.

Fortune did not favor Germany, who lost captain and top goalscorer Alexandra Popp to a muscle injury in the warm-up.

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But England will feel their time for some luck was due as 12 months on from the Three Lions’ defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 men’s final, the nation’s women went one better.

While England enjoy the celebrations, Germany manager Martin Voss-Tecklenburg was left aggrieved by the decision not to award a penalty to her side in the first half of Sunday’s Euro 2022 final defeat to England.

Lionesses captain Leah Williamson escaped after the ball hit her hand in a goalmouth scramble with the score still at 0-0.

After a VAR check, Ukrainian referee Kateryna Monzul was not told to review her initial decision not to give a penalty.

“On this level at the end of the European Championships this shouldn’t happen,” said Voss-Tecklenburg.

“I’d like to have a discussion why did not one look at it? This is something I would really like to ask. It happened to us today, but if it had happened to them I would feel the same. It really bothers me.”

Football's home.  (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)
Football’s home. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Germany suffered a major blow even before kick-off when captain and top goalscorer Alexandra Popp was forced to pull out in the warm-up due to a muscle injury.

Voss-Tecklenburg said the Wolfsburg striker, who had scored six goals in five games in the tournament, had suffered the injury in training on Saturday.

“We tried everything. Yesterday at the end of final training there were some problems, which we didn’t expect,” she added.

“This morning it looked a bit better but it was clear the decision had to be hers. I trusted her 1000 percent and today she said she couldn’t run or shoot properly.

“I have even higher respect to her to say that after such a special tournament, she won’t play a final. She is a great personality.”

German newspaper Bild called the final “another Wembley fraud”. England’s only previous major tournament win in either the men’s or women’s game came in the 1966 World Cup with a 4-2 win over West Germany that is still remembered for the Three Lions’ controversial third goal that may not have crossed the line.



EPL transfer news; Cristiano Ronaldo future at Manchester United, Tino Vermer Chelsea, news, updates

Cristiano Ronaldo could be heading for an ugly exit from Manchester United, after the striker sensationally left Old Trafford during a pre-season match last weekend.

Playing his first preseason match after missing the tour to Thailand and Australia, Ronaldo stormed out of the stadium with 10 minutes to play after being subbed off at half-time.

The Portugal international had been visibly frustrated with manager Erik ten Hag earlier in the fixture, while his agent Jorge Mendes reportedly continues to push for a transfer.

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Meanwhile, Chelsea forward Timo Werner could complete an incredible move to a fierce London rival as two Premier League clubs enter the race for his services.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva is also on the cusp of a massive transfer to a Spanish powerhouse, but the deal hinges on another star being sold.

Here’s the latest transfer gossip in the latest edition of the Rumor Mill!


Ronaldo donned Manchester United’s famous red jersey for the first time in 12 weeks during the club’s 1-1 draw with Rayo Vallecano on Monday (AEST).

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner played 45 minutes in his highly anticipated return, and later said that he was “happy to be back”.

But manger ten Hag is reportedly disappointed with the 37-year-old after he left Old Trafford before the final whistle.

UK media outlet The Sun have shared pictures of Ronaldo shrugging and covering his face in frustration while his new manager attempted to address him during a water break.

After being subbed off at half-time, Ronaldo then left the stadium with 10 minutes still to play. Photos show the football superstar walking out to a few, if not angry, fans waiting for him.

“It is not a good look to leave early when you have been involved in the squad,” a Manchester United insider told SunSport.

“It is different if you are up in the stands and not involved.

“You would expect someone who has played in the game to be in the changing rooms at the end to listen to the manager’s thoughts.

“Also a lot of people were there to see him and he was not even involved in the clapping of the fans after the final whistle.”

Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is still hoping to secure a transfer for his disgruntled client.


Timo Werner could line up for one of Chelsea’s fiercest rivals this season, with The Blues reportedly willing to part ways with the German international in this transfer window.

The 26-year-old, who joined Chelsea for $83m (AEDT) in 2020, has failed to fire at the level that was expected of him when he signed at Stamford Bridge, having scored just 10 Premier League goals in 56 games.

But Werner could be handed a Premier League lifeline with London rivals Arsenal, who are interested in acquiring his services.

Mikel Arteta has already welcomed former Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus in this transfer window, as they continue to bolster their attack.

Newcastle United are also interested in signing Werner on loan, but his hefty wage is potential issue in regards to that deal.

The Sunhave also said that European powerhouses Juventus and Real Madrid are also interested in Werner.


Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva is close to a massive deal with Barcelona, ​​as the Spanish giants continue to rebuild towards their former glory.

But Silva will only be able to complete the move if Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong agrees to leave the club.

De Jong has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United throughout this transfer window, although he appears intent on staying at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona manager Xavi has revealed that he doesn’t know whether de Jong will remain at the club or not.

“I don’t know if he’s going to stay here,” Xavi said.

“I’ve never sent Frenkie a message. There’s still time and a lot of things can still happen.

“The fact that he played as a central defender in the other games was not a sign that he was leaving.”


Football insider Fabrizio Romano has shared some major transfer news for Liverpool fans, as a Champions League winner confirms his intention to remain at the club.

Forward Roberto Firmino has said that he loves “this team, city and fans”, amidst speculation about his future with The Reds.

“I love this team, city and fans,” Firmino told TNT Brazil.

“I’m here at Liverpool and I want to stay.”


Brighton left-back Marc Cucurella has been heavily linked with a transfer to English champions Manchester City, but a deal with Chelsea appears to be more likely.

Cucurella may be wearing a darker shade of blue this season as the London club entering talks with the defender.

City have refused to increase their bid which has seen them fall out of the race for his signature – for now.



Pre-season games, Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo, contract, transfer, rumours, updates

Cristiano Ronaldo played 45 minutes as he made his first Manchester United appearance in 12 weeks during a 1-1 pre-season draw with Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford and later proclaimed: “Happy to be back”.

The 37-year-old Portugal forward, who missed the club’s pre-season tour to Thailand and Australia for personal reasons, reportedly wants to leave the club he rejoined last year.

Former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo finished as United’s top scorer last season with 24 goals.

Ronaldo returns to Manchester at last | 00:36

But the campaign as a whole was a huge disappointment for the club, with a sixth-place finish in the Premier League meaning they missed out on qualification for the Champions League.

Ronaldo was left out of United’s squad for Saturday’s friendly with Atletico Madrid in Oslo.

But, commenting on a post on a fan page about him missing the game in Norway, Ronaldo wrote Friday: “Domingo o rei joga” which translates as “Sunday the king plays”.

Ronaldo applauded fans on both sides of the ground as he led the team out for their pre-match warm-up on Sunday.

The veteran forward had one clear chance during his 45-minute appearance but drove over the bar after running on to Donny van de Beek’s lay-off.

LATEST ON RONALDO: Man Utd star chases stunning reunion with Sporting Lisbon

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United during the Pre-Season Friendly match. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

After the match, Ronaldo posted a photograph of himself playing in the game on his Twitter feed beneath a caption of “Happy to be back”.

“I cannot tell at this moment [how fit Ronaldo is],” Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag said pre-game.

“He is not on the level of the rest of the squad because he has missed a lot of weeks.

“But he needs games and he needs training, a lot.”

New signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez both featured for an hour in a game set up by Ten Hag for the players who did not have major roles in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Atletico.

Amad Diallo, who was on loan at Rangers last season, gave United the lead early in the second half when the 20-year-old Ivory Coast winger fired in the rebound after a shot from Alex Telles had been saved.

United’s lead, however, lasted just nine minutes before Alvaro Garcia equalized in similar fashion after Tom Heaton had saved Isaac Palazon Camacho’s initial effort.

United start their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton on August 7.