Premier League​ games ‘screened illegally via Saudi satellite firm’

UK body representing top 20 clubs says it has compelling evidence of year-long piracy operation A Saudi government-owned satellite firm is linked to the illegal screening of Premier League football matches across the Middle East and north Africa, the Premier League has claimed, saying it had compelling evidence of the year-long piracy operation. There have been suggestions that Arabsat’s piracy operation is part of a wider political dispute between Saudi Arabia and its regional political rival Qatar. Continue reading...

Jürgen Klopp delighted with Liverpool’s ‘ugly’ win at Crystal Palace

• Manager hails team’s strength in face of Palace bombardment
• Roy Hodgson incensed at soft penalty awardJürgen Klopp praised Liverpool for playing “ugly” to squeeze their way beyond Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park and maintain their winning start to the new season with his opposite number, Roy Hodgson, left seething at the penalty award that left the hosts playing catch-up. Liverpool, inspired by the excellent Virgil van Dijk, weathered the second-half revival Palace had mustered until being reduced to 10 men and secured a second successive clean sheet to prevail despite offering only glimpses of their attacking best. “You have to play it as it is and be a real challenger, play ugly, do all that type of stuff,” said Klopp of his team’s display. “Our target is to be a difficult opponent. We did that. Continue reading...

Robust Liverpool show signs they are learning how to win ugly | Jacob Steinberg

The addition of Virgil van Dijk and Alisson has given Jürgen Klopp’s side a more solid look than in previous seasonsOn a testing night for Liverpool at a raucous Selhurst Park, fans of dramatic title races were pleased to witness further confirmation that Jürgen Klopp’s speedsters remain the best bet to keep pace with Manchester City. Even at this early stage none of the other pretenders look as ready as Liverpool to sprint alongside Pep Guardiola’s champions now that steel accompanies their raw ability. In its own defiant way, this slender, bitty, draining victory over Crystal Palace was even more impressive than last week’s humiliation of West Ham. Liverpool, who already know they cannot let City out of their sights for a single second, were rarely at their dizzying best and they had to be tough to withstand Palace’s physical onslaught after James Milner’s penalty. There is a different Continue reading "Robust Liverpool show signs they are learning how to win ugly | Jacob Steinberg"

James Milner and Sadio Mané give Liverpool win at 10-man Crystal Palace

Jürgen Klopp will have taken far more satisfaction at this narrow victory than the far more emphatic dismissal of West Ham United on the opening weekend. Crystal Palace, awkward and organised opponents, were seen off in south London to maintain the Merseysiders’ pristine start to the campaign to leave their manager punching the air on the sidelines. In a season when they are expected to challenge, this was a statement of Liverpool’s intent. Elements of their performance here were rusty, and their manager must have craved them moving the ball far quicker than they managed at times to pull stubborn rivals from their defensive base, but the visitors could take huge heart from the strength demonstrated across their back line while their hosts boasted a full complement. Virgil van Dijk, in particular, was a colossus against muscular forwards long before Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s dismissal made life rather more comfortable in the Continue reading "James Milner and Sadio Mané give Liverpool win at 10-man Crystal Palace"

Arsenal were on the cusp of snagging new FC Schalke 04 recruit

As per a report published by Goal, Arsenal were supposedly on the cusp of snagging new FC Schalke 04 recruit Hamza Mendyl, however a proposed switch to the Emirates was allegedly halted due to work permit issues, an unfortunate circumstance for the Gunners which ultimately handed the Bundesliga outfit the upper hand in the hunt for […]

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal legend wants FC Girondins de Bordeaux job

Arsene Wenger insists that Arsenal legend Thierry Henry wants to manage FC Girondins de Bordeaux job following the Ligue 1 outfit’s decision to suspend current manager Gus Poyet, who recently branded the club a ‘disgrace’. The former Brighton & Hove Albion and AFC Sunderland boss was dismayed after Bordeaux sold striker Gaetan Laborde to domestic counterparts Montpellier […]

José Mourinho: ‘Don’t ask me to do what you criticised me so much for’ – video

José Mourinho's woes continued after his side suffered a 3-2 defeat to Brighton at the Amex Stadium. Speaking after the game Mourinho stated: 'I will be very happy to analyse my players’ performances when they were very good. When I cannot do that, don’t push me to the other side because I will not go to the other side' • Mourinho retains United backing despite Brighton defeat Continue reading...

Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Burnley already suffering effects of Europe, the flipside to N’Golo Kanté’s new role and Wolves’s strikers struggling to match team’s midfield talent Brighton upstaged Manchester United, but that they did so without the help of any of their headline summer signings (Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Yves Bissouma and Bernardo, who cost a combined £41m) is proof they are only just getting started. An opening-day defeat by Watford was desperately disappointing but, as poor as United were, Brighton bossed this match from start to finish. Martín Montoya, a deadline-day arrival from Valencia, impressed on his debut but it was the presence of the wily Glenn Murray and the purring Pascal Gross, a £3m buy from Ingolstadt, that again proved pivotal. Better still, Chris Hughton still has a wealth of attacking talent, including the striker Florin Andone, to infuse his team with. This kind of match will not necessarily define Brighton’s season but Continue reading "Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action"

Álvaro Morata: ‘I want to change things, not for the haters, but for Chelsea’

The striker Antonio Conte once called the kind of man you’d like to ‘marry your daughter’ is determined to add a reputation for ruthlessness in front of goal to his nice-guy image Last September Chelsea’s then manager, Antonio Conte, used a pre-match press conference to lavish praise on Álvaro Morata. The Italian described the Spaniard as a “complete player” after a run of four goals in six appearances for the club, before going on to say something that was meant warmly but that in its own curious way damned the forward. “You’d be open to have this type of person marry your daughter. A good guy, a polite person.” Few men want to be described as polite daughter-marrying material and certainly not someone trying to establish themselves in the cut-throat environment of the Premier League. The compliment was particularly unwelcome for Morata given that he had been tasked with Continue reading "Álvaro Morata: ‘I want to change things, not for the haters, but for Chelsea’"

Brighton defeat exposes José Mourinho’s shrinking sphere of influence | Paul Doyle

The Manchester United manager once held sway over all he surveyed but a subdued summer at Old Trafford has seen a once-dominant figure losing the control he cravesJosé Mourinho’s irritation with the “movie” that Manchester City released last week was mild compared to his anger at the horror show that Manchester United made him sit through when losing at Brighton in May. He did not want to see a repeat of that performance on his latest visit. But the sequel was worse. In May there was an excuse. Mourinho had not picked a full-strength team, instead giving a clutch of fringe players a chance to impress before the FA Cup final. They blew it. “Some of them are not as good as they think they are,” Mourinho shot after that match before confessing to a failure of his own: “I did not succeed in persuading them the points were Continue reading "Brighton defeat exposes José Mourinho’s shrinking sphere of influence | Paul Doyle"

José Mourinho: I won’t discuss United’s failings in Brighton defeat

• Manager says he has been criticised in past for views on players
• Chris Hughton ‘very proud’ of Brighton’s performanceJosé Mourinho said he could not give an honest assessment of his team’s performance after Manchester United slumped to a shambolic 3-2 defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium. United’s manager refused to share any thoughts about his players, claiming he has been criticised by the media for speaking too openly in the past about individuals who have displeased him. “When I am critical with my players you just don’t accept it, so please do not ask me to go in this direction because it is not good for me,” Mourinho said. Continue reading...

Brave and efficient Brighton see off a poor Manchester United effort

This lamentable effort was enough to remind José Mourinho that he has much more pressing concerns than Manchester City poking fun at him in their new documentary. Manchester United’s budding film critic could only grit his teeth as Brighton & Hove Albion’s jubilant supporters informed him that his city is blue. Mourinho had watched his team deliver a performance of farcical proportion and for all that he accused City of a lack of class before this game, on this evidence United are a considerable distance behind their neighbours where it really matters. It was the first time that England’s most famous club conceded three goals in a first half since October 2015, when Louis van Gaal was in the dugout, and they suffered even more than when they were beaten by Brighton here in May. Continue reading...

Will Hughes buries Burnley as Watford maintain bright start to season

Things are looking up for Watford, who proved their opening-day win against Brighton last week was no fluke with a surprisingly comfortable defeat of the side who got closest to the top six last season. Burnley are not used to losing at home and Watford are not used to winning away, but Javi Gracia’s first victory on the road since taking over at Vicarage Road means his side now have a maximum points return after two games while Sean Dyche must be wondering what happened to the defensive solidity that took the Clarets into Europe. Continue reading...