Matic to miss start of Man Utd season after surgery

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Nemanja Matic will miss the start of the Premier League season after undergoing surgery.

The midfielder sustained an abdominal injury during the World Cup, as Serbia were knocked out in the group stages.

And Mourinho has now revealed that Matic has been forced to go under the knife, meaning he faces a prolonged spell on the sidelines.

“Matic arrived from the World Cup, holiday, direct to surgery because something happened in the World Cup,” Mourinho told the club’s official website.

“He has had surgery. He is out for the start of the season. He came from the World Cup with the injury and the time he had to rest on holiday was not enough to resolve the problem.

“I don’t know how long he will be out for.”

United were beaten 4-1 by LIverpool in a pre-season friendly on Saturday, and Mourinho has bemoaned the thin nature of his current squad.

“We play Real Madrid and we have no more players than what we have,” he told MUTV. “Matic arrived from the World Cup, holiday, direct to surgery because something happened in the World Cup. Antonio Valencia comes from holiday – I think too much holiday for him. His condition was not good when he was back, then injury and also go back.

“Anthony Martial has the baby and after the baby is born – beautiful baby, full of health, thank God – he should be here and he is not here. So we have Alexis (Sanchez) and (Juan) Mata who play every minute of every match and now we have Real Madrid and after that Bayern Munich and that’s our start.

“I just hope the boys on deserved holidays, they take care of themselves a little bit and I hope somebody wants to do what (Marcus) Rashford and (Phil) Jones decide to do, which is to be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team because for the beginning of the season we are going to be in trouble.

“The majority of the players that played are not going to play – some of them are not even going to belong to the squad.”

United face Leicester City in their opening Premier League game on August 10.

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‘I submitted five-man list months ago’ – Mourinho laments Man Utd’s transfer business

Jose Mourinho wants two new signings but believes he will only land one after providing Manchester United with a list of five transfer targets months ago as his frustration grows at Old Trafford.

Mourinho was not in a good mood after his undermanned United side were beaten 4-1 by Premier League rivals Liverpool at the International Champions Cup on Saturday, claiming he would not pay to watch the Red Devils at this point in their campaign.

United have already added Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant to their squad this summer but Mourinho is keen for more reinforcements as he looks to bridge the gap to 2017-18 champions Manchester City.

Central defence is one area which he wishes to improve, though Leicester City’s tough stance over the sale of Harry Maguire means United are now considering a fresh bid for Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld .

And Mourinho continues to make no secret of his desire to further bolster United having failed to win any of their four matches in 90 minutes during their tour of the US.

“I would like to have two more players. I think I am not going to get two,” Mourinho told reporters. “I think that it’s possible I will have one. And that one, I gave a list to my club of five names a few months ago. And I wait to see if it’s possible to have one of these players.

“If it’s possible. it’s possible, if it’s not it’s not. If it’s possible, it’s good, if not then we keep fighting and working and believing in the players that we have.”

United were put to the sword in the second half by a superior Liverpool side, who netted three unanswered goals courtesy of Daniel Sturridge, Oluwaseyi Ojo and Xherdan Shaqiri after Andreas Pereira’s stunning free-kick had cancelled out Sadio Mane’s opener.

The Red Devils have been without a host of their stars following the World Cup, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, David de Gea, Nemanja Matic – who will miss the start of the season due to injury – Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford enjoying holidays.

“This is nothing to do with reinforcements,” Mourinho said. The reinforcements are Pogba, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Victor] Lindelof, Rashford, Lingard, Matic, [Antonio] Valencia. These are reinforcements.

Jose Mourinho Andreas Pereira Manchester United 2018-19

“This is not our team this is not our squad. We started the game with almost half of the players who are not even going to belong to our squad on August 9. They will not be here.

“This is not our squad. Reinforcements, you mean players that I would like to buy, to add to the squad. That’s another thing, but this is not my squad, this is not even half my squad, or 30 per cent of it. So don’t look to this.

“You can ask me if I still want new players, that’s another question. But in relation to today, we have four or five players who are dead because they care with the club and try to give everything, even risking themselves, because they don’t want to let all the kids play by themselves against AC Milan, against Liverpool.”

Alexis Sanchez appeared frustrated at times against Liverpool and Mourinho responded by saying, “Do you want him to be very happy with the players he has around him? We are not playing here to improve the team or our dynamic or routines. We are playing here just to try to survive and to have some not-very-ugly results.

“Alexis is the only attacking player we have. We don’t have wingers, we don’t have strikers. He’s the only one who is here, and the poor man is there trying his best, with the frustration of somebody that wants more.

“Against Milan he played fantastically well, and he did his best here. I don’t think you are right to say he is not happy. If he is not happy he is not ready to play two consecutive matches of 90 minutes and 85 minutes working the way he worked.

“For me, these guys are phenomenal in terms of attitude and respect for the club. Really pleased with them.”

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Barcelona 2 Tottenham 2 (5-3 on penalties): Malcom seals shoot-out win, Arthur nets stunner

Debutant Arthur scored a stunning goal and Malcom converted the decisive spot-kick as Barcelona surrendered a two-goal lead but survived to beat Tottenham 5-3 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the International Champions Cup.

Barca were cruising at half-time thanks to Munir El Haddadi and Arthur, who put the LaLiga champions in a commanding position in Pasadena, California on Saturday.

A €40million signing from Gremio, 21-year-old Brazilian midfielder Arthur curled a shot past Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga approaching the half-hour mark at the Rose Bowl.

Arthur’s memorable strike followed Munir El Haddadi’s opener 14 minutes earlier, however, Tottenham dominated the second half and scored two goals in as many minutes with 15 minutes remaining through Son Heung-min and substitute Georges-Kevin N’Koudou.

Barca, though, held their nerve in the shoot-out as debutant Malcom – who was set to join Roma before the move was controversially hijacked by the Spaniards – scored the winning penalty after Anthony Georgiou’s penalty was saved.

Barca were without a number of first-team regulars, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele and Gerard Pique among the absentees for the club’s United States tour.

The Spanish giants, however, were still able to call on Nelson Semedo, Andre Gomes and Jasper Cillessen for their ICC opener, while Clement Lenglet – signed from Sevilla – made his debut alongside Arthur.

Premier League side Tottenham, who crushed Roma 4-1 last time out, included two-goal heroes Fernando Llorente and Lucas Moura as well as Christian Eriksen, Son, Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko.

Barca controlled proceedings from the outset and they exposed Tottenham’s high defensive line on numerous occasions before breaking the deadlock.

Munir – who spent last season on loan at Deportivo Alaves – lost his man at the back post and headed into an empty net from close range after Rafinha directed a header cross goal in the 15th minute.

Semedo was constant threat down the flank and the Barca full-back almost doubled the lead, with his fierce shot parried away for a corner.

Barca got their second goal in the 29th minute – Arthur teed up by Rafinha before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net – but there were concerns for the LaLiga champions after Denis Suarez and Gomes were forced off prior to the break.

It was a comfortable opening 45 minutes for back-up keeper Cillessen, who made a relatively routine save to keep out Eriksen’s free-kick.

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MLS Review: Davies nets two stunners, Martinez won’t stop scoring

Fresh off of completing an MLS-record deal to move to Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies flashed the type of skill that made him such a hot young prospect as the Vancouver Whitecaps rolled to a 4-2 win over Minnesota United on Saturday. 

Yordy Reyna had Vancouver out in front before halftime, but it was Davies who scored the second for the Whitecaps in spectacular fashion.

Rolling the ball past one defender and splitting three others, the teenager calmly slotted in with his left foot to double the lead. 

Kei Kamara tacked on a third for Vancouver before Ibson and Abu Danladi scored to pull MNUFC back to within one. 

But Davies struck his second to put the match on ice, once again ghosting past multiple defenders before finding the back of the net. 

For the first time this season defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC has won back-to-back matches, with both victories coming against the Chicago Fire. 

TFC, coming off a victory over Chicago last Saturday, ran riot over the Fire this week in a 3-0 win.

Jozy Altidore found his way back among the goals to open the scoring in the 52nd minute, with Jonathan Osorio continuing his fine form 20 minutes later to make it 2-0. 

Sebastian Giovinco rounded out the scoring in the closing minutes as Toronto closed the gap on the Fire in the East standings, though both sides still have plenty of work to do in their push to make the playoffs. 

Eastern Conference leader Atlanta United shouldn’t have any concerns about making the playoffs thanks in large part to Josef Martinez, who netted his 23rd and 24th goals of the season on Saturday night to hand the Five Stripes a 2-1 win over the Montreal Impact. 

Martinez now needs just three goals to tie the MLS single-season scoring record. 

The New York Red Bulls came up just short in their bid for a comeback against the Columbus Crew at Red Bull Arena. 

Jonathan Mensah, Patrick Mullins and an own goal from Sean Davis had the Crew three goals up, but Mensah repaid the own-goal favor just after the break before Daniel Royer cut the lead to just one. 

Royer had a chance to complete the comeback but scuffed the shot and Columbus held on for a 3-2 win. 

Wayne Rooney netted his first MLS goal in a win over the Colorado Rapids, though it was an own goal that proved to be the winner for D.C. United in a 2-1 victory. 

FC Dallas took a 3-2 win over Sporting Kansas City, the club’s first victory in Kansas City in seven years, to move six points clear in the Western Conference. Michael Barrios was the man of the moment for Dallas. Having not scored all season, the Colombian netted a hat trick to secure the win. 

The Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo traded early goals before Portland scored twice in the final 10 minutes in a 3-1 win.

Sebastian Blanco powered home an Alvas Powell cross just seven minutes in, but Houston pulled level in the 12th minute through Romell Quioto.

With 10 minutes left Fanendo Adi – reportedly playing his final game for Portland before a transfer to an unknown team – scored the winner.

Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes played out the only game of the night that didn’t produce a goal, with the sides playing out a 0-0 draw. 

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U.S. defender Chris Richards ‘super ecstatic’ after first Bayern Munich start

Less than a month ago Chris Richards was playing with an MLS team’s U-19 side. Saturday night he was staring down Riyad Mahrez and Manchester City in his first start for Bayern Munich.

The German giants eventually fell 3-2 to their English counterparts, but that didn’t do much to dampen Richards’ enthusiasm. Already thin on center backs with key players still on vacation after the World Cup, Bayern also elected to rest experienced defender Javi Martinez. That meant a central partnership made up typical fullback David Alaba and the American teenager, making his first start and playing 90 minutes for the Bavarians for the first time.

“I learned around lunchtime and I was super ecstatic,” Richards said after the match. “I knew Javi’s knee wasn’t feeling too well so I knew there was a good chance of me starting. Once I got the shot, I was ecstatic.”

Richards has been on a rapid rise. Since the six-month loan as part of a partnership between FC Dallas and Bayern was confirmed, he was included in the club’s ICC squad, made his Bayern debut last week, came on at halftime against Juventus earlier this week and started Saturday. Even playing with a player like Alaba is something he didn’t imagine just months ago, but the Austrian defender has done everything possible to make the Alabama native feel welcome.

“It’s amazing. He’s a world-class player. A lot of my friends here are fans of him. It’s weird being able to sit and talk with him, and all my friends are fanboying over him,” Richards said. “It’s been a great experience and he’s a great person and a player.”

“It’s pretty hard, but you just have to know that you’re here for the same reason. You can give them respect, but don’t be a fanboy,” Richards continued, speaking of keeping his cool around players he grew up watching on TV.

He’s making a push to be on TV himself soon.

“I’m starting off with the U-19 team, but there’s always a chance to go forward depending on my progression,” he said. “The goal, by December, is to at least maybe get on the roster with the first team for a Bundesliga match, but whatever happens happens.”

What happens now is Richards and the rest of the Bayern team flying back to Germany where preparation will begin for Aug. 12’s Supercup final against Eintracht Frankfurt. With Martinez back to fitness and players who were at the World Cup like Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng returning to club action, Richards will need a break to get his next first-team start.

“Chris made his jump very well today. It’s obviously not easy for him to join a team that has played together for a long time already,” Bayern manager Niko Kovac said in his post-match news conference. “I’m very happy he did a lot of things right and not that many things wrong today. Everyone at FC Bayern is looking forward to the development of this player, but he certainly has to work hard in order to achieve that.”

That’s what the 18-year-old intends to do as he builds on a solid showing Saturday against Manchester City.

“I wish I could do more. That comes with every game. I think today I had a good performance, but there’s always stuff I can work on,” he said. “Hopefully I made a good push for the first team.”

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