Shaw to make Manchester United return in Champions League opener

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed Luke Shaw will return from his concussion lay-off in the Champions League clash with Young Boys on Wednesday.

Shaw, who sustained a head knock while on England duty last weekend, sat out the 2-1 win at Watford despite being cleared to feature by United’s medical staff.

Ashley Young deputised at left-back but will make way in midweek.

“Luke Shaw plays Wednesday. We can’t do it with one left-back and Ashley Young is not just a left-back, he’s also a right-back,” Mourinho told reporters.

“They both are doing well, and they both are different players and I think they both understand that one is a young player and the other one is the experienced one.

“It’s good for us to have these two options, plus [Matteo] Darmian. Darmian is my emergency man, he is always ready for everything.”

Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling’s first-half goals proved enough for United to bank three crucial points at Vicarage Road as they withstood a fightback following Andre Gray’s 65th-minute strike.

David de Gea’s late heroics made sure of the result, the goalkeeper brilliantly denying Christian Kabasele’s header following a free-kick in stoppage time.

“Yes, only one save but a fantastic save,” Mourinho said of the Spain international.

“In some matches you don’t touch the ball, in some matches you are just somebody that is watching the game, but in the right moment you have to be there.

“And today his moment was that save in the last minutes, so good for him and for us.”

The Portuguese, however, was not prepared to offer an opinion on the red card Nemanja Matic received for a second bookable offence prior to De Gea’s stop.

“They only thing I know is that [referee] Mike Dean was very good, the assistants were very good and [fourth official] Paul Tierney on the touchline was very good too,” he said.

“It was an easy job for Paul, because me and Javi [Gracia] didn’t create any problems, but they did a very good job and if it is a yellow or not, I don’t know. It’s too far for me [to see].”

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Lopetegui and Ramos disappointed with Madrid’s first dropped points

Julen Lopetegui and Sergio Ramos both refused to credit a comeback draw at Athletic Club as a good result for Real Madrid.

Lopetegui’s side dropped points for the first time this season after Isco’s header cancelled out Iker Muniain’s scrambled opener at San Mames on Saturday.

Earlier in the day Barcelona had also been forced to come from behind, but a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad means the champions have a two-point lead at the top.

And Lopetegui, who missed the chance to become the first Madrid coach to win his first four league games since Manuel Pellegrini in 2009-10, could not be happy with his side’s draw.

“It’s a very difficult place to come,” Lopetegui said to Movistar Partidazo.

“Athletic are a team that comes to look for you, that presser you. In the second half we improved.

“Madrid never consider a draw to be good, we performed in the second half and we have to keep working.”

Ramos echoed the comments from Madrid’s head coach, accepting his side found it tough against a well-drilled Athletic outfit.

“We must always give the maximum for this club,” Ramos told Movistar. “We do not consider the draw as good, it is never good when you draw. There is a lot to improve.

“We knew it is one of the most difficult stadiums away from home, people push, but regardless of that, Athletic are a team that knows very well what they play.

“It is difficult to reach them and generate chances, then in the second half we overcame the pressure and got a result.”

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The only thing I don’t like about Smalling is his hair – Mourinho

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been impressed with Chris Smalling’s recent form, though he is not keen on the centre-back’s new haircut.

Smalling scored what proved to be the winning goal in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph at Watford, ending the hosts’ 100 per cent start to the season, even if late pressure meant it was a close shave for United.

Aside from the goal, the defender’s display was impressive, as he dealt with Troy Deeney particularly effectively at Vicarage Road, proving to be a cut above the opposition.

But, after sporting a new ‘do’ which appeared to be a combination of cornrows and bantu knots, Smalling should not be expecting any style tips from Mourinho.

“He was good, the only thing I don’t like from Chris at this moment is his haircut, but I am nobody to tell him that,” Mourinho joked in his post-match news conference.

“But he’s playing really well, also Victor [Lindelof]. And I repeat, Marouane [Fellaini] is really important for them in two difficult matches, matches of two-against-two, because Burnley and Watford play two strikers, two powerful strikers.

“They can hold the ball, they can make runs, they are good in the air, they are physical, clever, so I think these three guys [Smalling, Lindelof and Fellaini] were very important for us today again, and when a central defender can score a goal, even better.”

Fellaini made his second start of the season on Saturday after impressing against Burnley last time out, and Mourinho is delighted with the Belgian’s form, while also crediting his “simple” style of play.

“We made defensive mistakes against Brighton and against Tottenham,” Mourinho said. “Against Brighton we didn’t deserve to win that match, but against Tottenham I think we did deserve to win it.

“But six goals and defensive mistakes, and then we go to two matches away – difficult matches, different stadiums, Burnley, Watford – and I felt that my central defenders they needed, especially in this moment of a bit of instability, they needed somebody to support and to give them the first wall; physicality.

“But Marouane is giving us more than that. He is giving us that, but he’s giving us also quality and simplicity in his football. He’s playing simple.

“He’s playing simple and well. So I’m really happy. I’m really happy with Marouane.”

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McManaman: Mourinho-style management still effective in modern game

Liverpool legend Steve McManaman believes modern day footballers need to learn how to accept criticism and suggested a disciplined brand of man management like that used by Jose Mourinho should not be condemned as bullying.

Manchester United boss Mourinho has come under fire for publicly criticising his players during his reign at Old Trafford, with his no-nonsense treatment of Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba coming in for scrutiny.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane hit the headlines in recent days after he was involved in a high profile spat with Cardiff City midfielder Harry Arter, with details of the verbal battering handed out by Keane leading to calls for him to quit his role as Martin O’Neill’s number two.

However, McManaman believes that ‘old-school’ management can still be effective, even in a society that no longer tolerates the kind of colourful language that used to be the norm in football dressing rooms.

“I don’t think what they call the old school style of management is redundant, but players have changed and maybe managers and coaching staff have to adapt to that,” BT Sport pundit McManaman told Goal.

“Footballers are more fragile than they used to be, there is no doubt about that, but I still feel there is a place in game for a good telling off when the moment is right.

“We see managers like Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola and they appear to have found the perfect balance between having the players under control and getting a good rapport with them.

“That is obviously going to be easier when you are winning games most week and what we saw in the recent documentary looking behind the scenes at Man City was that Guardiola can scream and shout with the best of them.

“I’m sure Klopp does the same when the time is right and the Liverpool players all seem to be enjoying working in his set-up.

“Then you look at someone like Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and he has a slightly different approach. He is more open in his criticism of players at times, but I don’t have a problem with that.

“I never minded a manager moaning and shouting at me as long as it was constructive and 99 per cent of the time, he was right and I appreciated the need to improve. I also knew my team-mates and my father would tell me I had played badly and that would make me even more disappointed. I never saw criticism or being shouted at as bullying.”

Steve McManaman BT Sport 2018

McManaman went on to suggest that Keane’s verbal attack on Arter was harder to justify, with the Ireland assistant boss questioning the midfielder’s professionalism after he missed an international training session on medical advice.

“What we have seen with Keane and the way he dealt with Arter seems to be taking things over the top,” he added.

“The trouble in the Keane/Arter situation is it happened in an international camp and Keane is only the assistant manager. He only sees Arter for a few days every two or three months over the course of a year with Ireland, so to chastise him for not training seems harsh when he doesn’t know him too well.

“When you work with players every day, you understand what makes them tick, but a new element has come into this because shouting abuse at people is now viewed as a form of bullying.

“I was a Scouser playing for Liverpool when I came into the game and I could take any criticism that came my way, but not everyone has a thick skin and can accept it.

“Also, Keane and Martin O’Neill worked in the game in a previous era when this kind of treatment was considered to be the norm, so they are still working to those rules.

“Every dressing room has a different of characters. Managers are paid the big bucks to evaluate the right way to get the best out of each player and not everyone will respond well to being shouted at every day.”

BT Sport brings you the moments that matter this season, with exclusive live and highlights coverage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League. Watch live on TV and via the award-winning BT Sport App. For more info visit bt.com/sport

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Bayern suffer further injury nightmare as Tolisso and Rafinha face months out

Corentin Tolisso will spend several months on the sidelines after tearing his anterior cruciate knee ligament in Bayern Munich’s win over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, with the club also confirming that full-back Rafinha is set to miss “a number of weeks” with ankle ligament damage. 

Tolisso was forced off with the knee injury just before the break, having scored to pull Bayern level after Leverkusen had opened the scoring from the spot early on.

For Rafinha, a brutal challenge from Karim Bellarabi was the cause of the injury, with Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness calling the tackle “an assault” and claiming there should be a three-month ban on the 28-year-old.

The injury news will come as a brutal blow to Bayern, who moved back to the top of the Bundesliga table with the win but now face an extended period without two proven midfield stars. 

“Coco does not look so good,” Arjen Robben, who scored to put Bayern in front, said after the match. “You always have to hope that it is not that bad after all.

“He’s a good player and we’ve said that many times. 

“We need all the players, especially in such a phase. That’s very bitter, especially for himself.”

France team-mate Benjamin Mendy, who has had injury struggles of his own over the last year, also sent well-wishes to Tolisso, who now faces and extended time of the sideline and a tough recovery. 

The injuries come at a bad time for the Bundesliga side, who open their Champions League campaign against Benfica mid-week ahead of a showdown with Schalke in league play next Saturday.

Though the match against Leverkusen was the first start of the Bundesliga season for Tolisso and Rafinha entered the match as a substitute, the club’s depth will now be tested as the games come thick and fast over the next two months. 

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