Sixteen years Leeds United have been away from the Premier League and while they may not have envisioned their return to be the way it was, the league itself will be glad to have them here again. The winners of the Premier League taking on the winners of the Championship, would, in any other case, not be such a mouth watering proposition. But when the match up was Jurgen Klopp’s high pressing side going up against Marcelo Bielsa’s hard pressing side, goals and excitement wasn’t expected, but demanded.
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In that regard, the game — the event that is — delivered. In buckets. Not quite the bucket Bielsa sat on though, and he will be disappointed. This was evidenced by his post game comments where he lamented that, “At this level errors equal goals.” He wanted the points and Leeds did not get them. They may win the plaudits, but the points went to Liverpool.
Liverpool were obviously warned of Leeds’ intensity —Jurgen Klopp is, after all, a genius in his own right — and were up for it from the start, scoring the opener in the fourth minute via a Mohamed Salah penalty, after Robin Koch saw a Salah shot hit his hand in the area. Leeds may have capitulated from thereon but instead they pressed high, and were level in the 12th minute, Jack Harrison, scoring after collecting a Kalvin Phillips pass, sliding past Trent Alexander Arnold and Joe Gomez before slotting his shot into the bottom corner.
Eight minutes later, Liverpool had their lead, Virgil Van Dijk heading from five yards off a corner. That was perhaps the goal that will annoy Bielsa the most — Leeds’ defense, Koch in particular, going to sleep. Again Leeds fought back, Patrick Bamford profiting from a terrible Van Dijk error to slot past Alisson in the 30th minute. Three minutes later, Salah had his second, picking a weak clearance to slot a powerful shot into the top right. They took that lead into halftime. The entertainment was worth its value. And the first act was tiring, and exhilarating.
Liverpool were much better after the break, but Leeds slowly climbed back and equalised for the third time, Mateusz Klich completing a brilliant move, he himself had initiated. And then they held on, strongly, threatening enough to keep Liverpool at bay. And yet, in the 88th minute, it was another headless chicken moment, this time by their new signing Rodrigo, which gifted Liverpool another penalty. Salah slotted hme, for a hat-trick, and Liverpool’s title defence got off to the perfect start. For Leeds, applause was all that remained.
All About Bagan vs East Bengal
Armando Colaco believes that the match between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will be the highlight of the Indian Super League (ISL) season.
"The ISL is now the number one league of the country and everyone wants to be there. Everyone wants the big piece of cake and that is where the rivalry of Mohun Bagan and East Bengal will continue," Colaco said in conversation with Goal.
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“When Mohun Bagan got into the ISL, East Bengal also had to get there. They (East Bengal) approached Mamata Banerjee's government to get it (possible ISL spot),” he added. Colaco, who coached East Bengal between 2013-15 and believes that the game between the two iconic clubs will not be “ATK and somebody else but Mohun Bagan and East Bengal and people love that. There is not going to be a crowd bigger than the one you get for a Mohun Bagan vs East Bengal match in Kolkata.”
“You can lose to anyone but you cannot afford to lose the (Kolkata) derby,” Colaco reminisced. “People start coming to the stadium from the morning of the game. I have experienced it first hand and I am proud that I never lost against Mohun Bagan”.
Maguire to Remain United Captain
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said that Harry Maguire will continue to remain the captain of the club despite the defender’s assault case in Greece. Maguire was handed a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days following an alleged brawl during a family holiday on the island of Mykonos.
“Harry... had a difficult summer,” Solskjaer said. “He didn't have a long break. His break was different to others as we gave him a few more days and, after, he came back and looked fine.”
Maguire has pleaded not guilty and was granted a full retrial after he appealed against the verdict. He was also dropped by Gareth Southgate from England's UEFA Nations League squad hours after being found guilty by the Greek court
“He's handled it really well and, of course, I'll be here to support him. He is going to be our captain. We'll leave Harry and his people and the process to run,” Solskjaer added. “For me, he is a top, an absolute top human being and has always been a positive guy with the right values. So I really hope we can see Harry performing at his best,” he added.
Spurs Women Sign Morgan
Tottenham Hotspur Women have signed United States forward Alex Morgan — the only caveat being she gets a visa on time.
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The 31 year old was a key member of the US side that won back to back World Cups in 2015 and 2019. Morgan recently gave birth to a daughter and has scored 107 goals in 169 international appearances for her country.
She is the fifth member from the US to have been signed for a Women’s Super League (WSL) club this summer. Sam Mewis, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath and Christen Press are already in England clubs.
Midfielders Mewis and Lavelle have signed contracts with Manchester City, while Manchester United have Heath and Press in their side. Spurs say Morgan has joined "for the 2020-21" season although early reports suggested she would only stay until the end of December.
Besiktas Coach Yalcin Tests Positive
Besiktas’ coach, Sergen Yalcin has tested positive for Covid-19, a club official said. Yalcin was found to be positive while going through routine tests before they play against Trabzonspor, Tekin Kerem Ulku, the team's health board coordinator, said.
Yalcin has not displayed any symptoms and is now required to isolate himself in line with health ministry guidelines,the official added. Daily coronavirus cases and deaths in Turkey are at a new peak now since mid-May.
The government is not in favour of reintroducing a full lockdown in the nation but have urged citizens to follow social distancing, take proper hygiene measures and have made masks compulsory for all.
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