The last week of football has had some exciting action with Brighton humbling Manchester United to a match stopped with political slogans pausing the game for some time.
Here is a list of the things that made headline in football:
Match of the Week: Manchester United vs Brighton & Hove Albion
Manchester United’s woeful start to the season as it crumbled to a 1-3 defeat to Brighton Hove & Albion at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
This defeat also meant that United has now lost three of its five opening matches for the first time in Premier League history.
Brighton and United began on equal footing, with Erik Ten Hag’s side succeeding in employing the high press to make early inroads. But all its good work was laid to waste when the visiting side drafted through the right flank, from where Simon Andgra squared the ball to former United man Danny Welbeck to side foot in.
United continued to press forward, primarily through winger Marcus Rashford whose electric performance was dimmed by some below-par decision-making in the final third.
The Red Devils thought they were back level when Rashford chopped the ball back to newly signed Rasmus Hojlund for an easy finish. But VAR disallowed the goal as the ball had gone out before the final pass was made.
In the second half, Brighton blew United out of the water with well-worked goals from Pascal Gross and Joao Pedro.
This was Gross’ fourth goal at Old Trafford. Only Steven Gerrard and Mohamed Salah have scored more Premier League goals as a visiting player at the iconic ground.
The home side looked clueless at the face of the Seagulls’ intricate passing and off-the-ball movement, which has made them one of the best-attacking units in the league.
Hannibal Mejbri managed to sneak in a goal for United, but that did not deny Brighton a fourth-consecutive Premier League win over the Red Devils.
Indian Football team leaves for Asian Games, ISL match rescheduled
The Indian men’s and women’s football teams left for the Asian Games 2022 set to start in China on September 19.
While the women’s team was selected well in advance, the men’s team was finalised after a series of discussions with the Indian Super League (ISL) clubs, cajoling some of them to release key players, such as Sunil Chhetri (Bengaluru FC), Sandesh Jhingan (FC Goa) and Chinglensana Singh (Hyderabad FC).
As a result, the ISL match between Goa and Hyderabad was postponed and some other matches are also expected to be affected with players unavailable due to Asian Games duty.
No Messi, no win? Inter Miami slumps to a 2-5 loss against Atlanta United
Atlanta United took the lead with a three-goal spree late in the first half and beat Inter Miami, playing without star Lionel Messi, 5-2 on Saturday night.
Leo Campana scored two goals for Inter Miami, which also was without defender Jordi Alba. The story of the night, however, was the absence of Messi. Messi’s absence for the Major League football match was a disappointment for a crowd of 71,635 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The five goals matched Atlanta’s second-highest total of the season. Atlanta beat Columbus 6-1 on March 25 and also scored five goals in a 5-1 win over Portland on March 18.
Neymar marks Saudi Pro League debut in style
Brazil’s all-time leading goal scorer Neymar made his Saudi Pro League debut for Al-Hilal on Friday, coming off the bench to feature for the final 26 minutes of his new club’s 6-1 demolition of Al-Riyadh.
The 31-year-old, who last month joined the former Asian champions for 90 million euros ($95.9 million) from Paris Saint-Germain, was introduced in the 64th minute for fellow Brazilian Michael and set up Malcom to score Al-Hilal’s fourth in the 83rd minute.
Fans jeered as Al-Hilal captain Salem Al-Dawsari opted to take an 87th minute penalty as Neymar watched on, the Saudi Arabia winger converting before adding his side’s sixth goal in injury time.
Pro-Serbian chants in Romania vs Kosovo
Romania and Kosovo managed to finish a game that risked being abandoned. Political pro-Serbia chants by home fans in Bucharest forced a 45-minute delay in the first half and players were taken back to their locker rooms.
After Romania risked forfeiting the game as a 3-0 loss, late goals earned a 2-0 win though the national federation now faces punishment in a UEFA disciplinary case.
Restraining order for Rubiales
Luis Rubiales, the former president of the Spanish football federation, has been given a restraining order and is prohibited from contacting the player he kissed on the lips last month at the Women’s World Cup, Spain’s National Court said Friday.
Rubiales appeared in front of Judge Francisco de Jorge and denied any wrongdoing when questioned about kissing Spain player Jenni Hermoso on the lips during the awards ceremony, the state prosecutors’ office said.
After hearing Rubiales, the judge issued a restraining order that prohibits Rubiales from being within 200 meters (yards) of Hermoso. The state prosecutors had asked for that ban to reach 500 meters (yards).
Richarlison repays faith from Postecoglou
Ange Postecoglou saluted Richarlison after the troubled Tottenham striker inspired his side’s dramatic 2-1 win against Sheffield United on Saturday.
Tottenham was in danger of a shock Premier League loss when Gustavo Hamer fired promoted United ahead after 73 minutes in north London.
But a minimum of 12 minutes of stoppage time was added in the second half, allowing Richarlison to ride to Tottenham’s rescue.
The Brazilian headed Tottenham’s equaliser from Ivan Perisic’s corner in the eighth minute of additional time and then set up Dejan Kulusevski to net the winner two minutes later.
Richarlison had been pictured in tears after being substituted in Brazil’s 5-1 win over Bolivia and revealed in midweek that he would seek “psychological help” following a turbulent time in his personal life.
“Whatever Richy needs, we’ll help him get to the space he wants to. He was emotional after a game and that’s fine,” Postecoglou had told reporters before the Premier League game.
“We’ll provide all the support he needs. I’m sure every player in the dressing room is dealing with something. There’s always something that isn’t where you want it to be. It’s about keeping perspective and balance. That’s part of life.”
On Saturday, the Brazilian repaid the Australian’s fate with a match-winning performance in the Premier League.
(with inputs from AP and AFP)
Three Real Madrid players arrested over sexual video with minor
Spanish police have arrested at least three unnamed Real Madrid youth players for allegedly distributing a sexual video featuring a minor, a police spokesperson said on Thursday.
Real Madrid officials were not immediately available for comment.
According to a report by the El Confidencial newspaper, the main subject of the probe is a Real Madrid C – the Spanish club’s third team – player, who allegedly recorded his sexual relationship with the 16-year-old victim. Cadena SER radio station reported that the relationship was consensual.
The two other players allegedly shared the video without the minor’s consent via mobile messaging app WhatsApp, El Confidencial and Cadena SER reported.
All three were detained on Thursday morning in Madrid, suspected of committing a felony known in Spanish criminal law as “revealing secrets of a sexual nature”, the reports said.