Mourinho praises Pogba, Shaw, Dalot after United Swiss stroll

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho heaped praise on captain Paul Pogba and full backs Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot after they shone in a 3-0 win at Champions League debutants Young Boys Bern on Wednesday.

France World Cup winner Pogba scored two goals and assisted compatriot Anthony Martial’s third while Shaw and 19-year old Dalot, making his United debut, looked solid on the flanks after a stormy opening 30 minutes.

“I felt Paul was a bit tired in the last part of the game, but he was class,” Mourinho told BT Sport.

“He gave the team the pace we needed at times, keeping possession and keeping control of the tempo. The goal was good, and the penalty showed personality.”

Pogba opened the scoring with a sublime left-footed finish in the 35th minute before calmly drilling in a 44th-minute penalty.

He carved Young Boys open with a defence-splitting pass which presented Martial with a simple finish at the near post in the 66th minute.

Close-season signing Dalot, who missed the start of the campaign with a knee injury, showed pace going forward and delivered several good crosses from the right.

Shaw, often criticised by Mourinho last season for below-par performances on the left, has looked more consistent and confident this term.

“I thought Dalot was very good, but I prefer to speak about both full backs,” said Mourinho.

“Shaw played like he has done since the start of the season. Dalot is one of the best right backs in Europe already. He has a lifetime to play for Manchester United.”

The United boss was also pleased with the overall display.

“Job done. Not phenomenal but good enough. After the first goal the game was in control - after that, it was just a question of scoring the goals to give us the stability we needed for the second half,” Mourinho said.

Champions League round-up: Messi bags hat-trick in Barca victory

Lionel Messi scored the eighth Champions League hat-trick of his career as 10-man Barcelona recovered from a disappointing start to thrash PSV 4-0 in Group B.

Messi's superb 32nd-minute free-kick was his side's first shot on target and set up a comfortable win in which Ousmane Dembele also got on the scoresheet with a top-class solo goal.

PSV had their chances with Gaston Pereiro coming close early on but the game changed when Messi curled home his opener after Dembele was pulled down.

Dembele lashed home Barcelona's second from long range in the 74th minute before Messi rounded off another dazzling display despite French defender Samuel Umtiti's late red card for two bookable offences.

Messi's hat-trick took him clear of his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seven trebles to his name in this competition.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said: "He does extraordinary things and makes them seem routine.

"Today it was three goals, and he unlocked the match with his free-kick. The strike was masterful and he simply doesn't tire of scoring hat-tricks."

Substitute Roberto Firmino came to Liverpool's rescue after Paris St Germain hauled themselves back from two goals down in a five-goal thriller at Anfield.

Jurgen's Klopp's men eased into a 2-0 lead through Daniel Sturridge, on his first start in the competition, and a James Milner penalty inside the first 36 minutes.

Thomas Meunier pulled one back for PSG and Kylian Mbappe equalised in the 83rd minute before Firmino, who was not considered ready to start after suffering an eye injury at the weekend, stepped up to give his side the points in the second minute of added time.

Inter Milan also left it late to dispatch Tottenham 2-1 at the San Siro after trailing to Christian Eriksen's 53rd-minute opener.

The Italian side drew level eight minutes from time through a superb first-time volley from Mauro Icardi, before Matias Vecino headed home deep into injury time to complete Inter's comeback and seal Spurs' third defeat in succession.

Atletico Madrid came from behind to win 2-1 in Monaco, after Samuel Grandsir had given Leonardo Jardim's Ligue 1 strugglers an 18th-minute lead.

Diego Costa equalised for the visitors on the half-hour and Jose Gimenez netted what turned out to be the winning goal in injury time at the end of the first half.

Goals from Garry Rodrigues, Eren Derdiyok and Selcuk Inan helped Galatasaray to a comfortable 3-0 win over Lokomotiv Moscow in Istanbul, despite the late sending-off of midfielder Badou N'Diaye.

Christian Pulisic scored in the 85th minute to give Borussia Dortmund a 1-0 win at Club Brugge, Schalke and Porto drew 1-1 with goals from Breel Embolo and an Otavio penalty respectively, while Red Star Belgrade versus Napoli ended goalless.

Champions League: Firmino a doubt

Roberto Firmino remains a doubt for Liverpool's Champions League meeting with Paris Saint-Germain tonight.

Firmino was forced off during the second half of Saturday's 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur after being accidentally poked in the eye by Jan Vertonghen.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp still hopes to be able to call upon the Brazilian for his side's opening Group C game at Anfield.

However, when asked whether Firmino would definitely be available to play, Klopp said: "No, not definitely. If we played today, no chance, but we all hope there is a chance for tomorrow.

"That is good news, that it will be close. When everyone saw the pictures after the game, we were all shocked.

"When we had first-hand contact with him, after he was in hospital, it was a big relief for all of us.

"It is painful and no-one needs that but he will be fine - we just don't know exactly when. Another 30 hours before the game? We will see how it develops."

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Luke Shaw will start for Manchester United in their Champions League clash against Young Boys on Wednesday night.

The left-back was left out of the Manchester United squad on Saturday due to a head injury suffered while on international duty with England last week.

Manchester United claimed a 2-1 win over Watford in the Premier League in Shaw’s absence this weekend as they secured all three points to make it back to back wins in the top flight for the first time this season.

Shaw was left out as a precaution after he suffered a concussion during England’s clash with Spain.

However, Mourinho has now confirmed that the England defender is in good shape and that he should be ready to face Young Boys in Manchester United’s Champions League group stage opener on Wednesday night.

Speaking at his post-match news conference on Saturday night, Mourinho said: “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.

“They both are doing well and they both are different players, and they both understand that one is a young player and the other one is the experienced one, and it’s good for us to have these two options.

“Plus [Matteo] Darmian is my emergency man; he is always ready for everything.”

Manchester United are looking to be one of the main contenders for the Premier League title this season as they look to win the trophy for the first time since 2013.

The Red Devils ended up in second place in the Premier League table and without a trophy last term.

Spanish anti-doping agency investigates Russia's Denis Cheryshev

Spain’s anti-doping agency has opened an investigation into Valencia and Russia winger Denis Cheryshev, following remarks from his father Dmitri in the Russian media about an injection the player took to treat an injury.

“We can confirm we have started an investigation to find out more information about the case,” said a spokesman from the AEPSAD, the Spanish Agency for Health Protection in Sport, which is responsible for the fight against doping.

“The investigation is being carried out with the co-operation of Russia’s anti-doping agency and is in contact with the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

Cheryshev, who scored four goals in Russia’s surprise run to the World Cup quarter-finals, has denied ever taking a banned substance.

The investigation stems from an interview which Dmitri Cheryshev gave to Russian publication Sport Weekend during the World Cup, in which he was quoted saying his son had received an injection containing “growth hormone” in the run-up to the tournament to treat injury.

On the eve of Russia’s last-16 game against Spain, Cheryshev said: “I have never used any prohibited substances and you don’t even have to think twice about it.”

The Russian Football Union said at the time that the treatment the player received had been a platelet-rich plasma injection which is legal and said the journalist had incorrectly interpreted Dmitri Cheryshev’s words.

Cheryshev joined Valencia on loan from Villarreal in August. He scored in Russia’s 2-1 win at Turkey in the Uefa Nations League last Friday.

Valencia’s director general Mateu Alemany said on Wednesday the club was unaware of the investigation, adding he believed the player’s father had been misquoted.

“We haven’t been notified about what has been published. If the player was involved in an investigation then they [the agency] should have told the club and the player,” Alemany said.

“We have had no communication in any form, he was subject to controls at Villarreal and at the World Cup. After reading everything, I think it’s an error in the transcription, because growth factors are not the same as growth hormones.”

Zinedine Zidane confirms that he will make managerial return soon

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has confirmed his intention to return to the touchline soon in quotes obtained by Spanish media outlet Marca.

Zidane told Spain’s public broadcaster TVE:

“I am sure that I will coach again before long,”

“This is what I like and what I have done all my life.”

Zidane told reporters the news whilst watching his youngest son Elyaz in action for one of Real Madrid’s youth teams.

Zidane has told friends that he expects a call from 13-time Premier League champions Manchester United, who have endured a tough start to the season under manager Jose Mourinho.

Zidane could be the perfect man to take charge at Old Trafford next as pressure is building on the side to reestablish themselves as one of Europe’s most feared sides.

The side have suffered a decline since former manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 season.

Zidane made history with Real Madrid during his two and a half year spell with Los Blancos becoming the first ever side to win the Champions League in three consecutive years.

Zidane has established himself as one of the best managers of all time by achieving this massive feat so early in his managerial career.

After taking charge following Rafa Benitez’s sacking in January of 2016 no one would have believed that the Frenchman would go on to become as successful a manager as he was player.

Boss relieved by Shaw's recovery from collision

Luke Shaw was "sat up, talking" and "fairly comfortable" following England's 2-1 home defeat to Spain, according to manager Gareth Southgate, after the left-back was forced off in the second half following a horror head collision.

The Manchester United star's injury overshadowed what had been a somewhat chastening night for Southgate's side, although the news ensured it ended on a positive note.

Southgate did add that he felt Danny Welbeck's 96th-minute strike should have stood, after being ruled out for a perceived foul on David De Gea, but insisted that shouldn't take away from the fact Spain were "better than us for long periods".

Luis Enrique's side were 2-1 up when Shaw suffered an accidental collision with Dani Carvajal, leaving him having to be carried off on a stretcher with an oxygen mask.

It was all the more unfortunate because his performance had been so good up until that point, setting up Marcus Rashford's opener, but Southgate did seem reassured by how the defender was after the game.

"He's sat up in the dressing room, talking and seems fairly comfortable," the England manager said. "We'll have to assess him a bit more, but that's definitely a good sign. Difficult to tell [if he was unconscious]. There'll be tests. We won't take any chances with his health, it was a nasty looking fall.

"I think, as you say, great contribution for the goal. And it's a big thing, we've thrown him in today after a few games of the season. He's still ... we have quite a few players short of minutes and sharpness, so to come into a game like tonight after so long out of the international scene is as tough a test as you can have. But he's shown flashes that he can play a part for us."

Southgate had praise for other players, adding: "Eric [Dier] provided some stability, and allowed us to play better through midfield. I'm very proud of the way the players finished the game."

Southgate retains trust in England youth for bright future

England manager Gareth Southgate will continue to select younger players who can adapt better to his tactics and preferred formations as he looks to build on the side’s impressive World Cup showing in Russia. Southgate, who guided a relatively inexperienced squad to the semi-finals in July, told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Nations League match against Spain that he planned to retain a policy of promoting from England’s youth teams. "We looked through different players over the last couple of years and decided, because of the way we want to play and the type of players we want to work with, that there are some guys who didn’t fit that model," Southgate told Sky Sports. "We’re into a fresh cycle of probably not going back to players who have been in before and that we’ve had a good look at," the former England under-21s coach added. "So the next group that we’re looking at are probably coming through our younger age groups.” Southgate has also been forced to look for fresher options after the experienced duo of defender Gary Cahill and striker Jamie Vardy ended their international careers last week. England won the Under-20 World Cup, the Under-17 World Cup and the Under-19 European Championship last year and Southgate has continually pushed for regular game time for some of those players in the Premier League. England will be without the injured Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling for the Spain clash as well as the friendly against Switzerland at Leicester’s King Power Stadium on Tuesday.

José Mourinho among top coaches calling on Uefa to review away goals rule

Some of Europe’s highest-profile club coaches, including José Mourinho, have called upon Uefa to review the use of the away goals rule in continental competitions because scoring away from home is not as difficult as it used to be.

They also want the transfer window to end at the same time in all the region’s major leagues.

Uefa’s deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti confirmed that the European soccer body would “open a discussion” on the use of the rule which is used to determine the winners of knockout ties when the aggregate score is level.

Along with Manchester United manager Mourinho, the annual meeting included Massimiliano Allegri (Juventus), Carlo Ancelotti (Napoli), Unai Emery (Arsenal), Paulo Fonseca (Shakhtar Donetsk), Julen Lopetegui (Real Madrid), Thomas Tuchel (Paris Saint-Germain) and former Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger.

“The coaches think that scoring goals away is not as difficult as it was in the past... so they think the rule should be reviewed and that’s what we will do,” Marchetti told reporters.

“They consider the situation in football has changed and the weight of the away goals is not the same as many years ago when the rule was introduced.”

The rule was first introduced in the former European Cup Winners’ Cup competition in 1965 as an alternative to tossing a coin or staging a replay on a neutral ground.

At the time, playing away in Europe was a huge challenge which involved difficult travel and intimidating, unfamiliar conditions abroad, a far cry from today where it is considered routine.

Marchetti said the coaches felt the rule was also counter-productive and that, as much as encouraging away teams to attack, it induced home teams to defend to avoid conceding a costly goal. “This is one of the points that needs to be looked at,” he said.

On the transfer window, he said the coaches wanted more countries to follow the example of England and Italy and close them before the start of the season.

The transfer windows in England and Italy were changed this year in response to complaints last year that they had overshadowed the action on the pitch and made it difficult for coaches to plan.

However, in Spain, Germany and France, they continued until the end of August as before.

“The coaches are of an opinion that there should be a unified window and the window should close before the competition starts,” said Marchetti. “The idea would be to try and bring them into line.”

Ronaldo, Modric, Salah finalists for FIFA top men's player award

Lionel Messi failed to make the shortlist for world player of the year on Monday for the first time since 2006, with Luka Modric, Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo making the list.

Messi and Ronaldo have been the only winners of FIFA's main individual award since 2008.

Modric made the FIFA Best shortlist after helping Real Madrid to a third straight Champions League title in May and then leading Croatia to the World Cup final.

Ronaldo joined Juventus from Real Madrid after the Champions League final win over Liverpool.

Salah was injured in the Champions League final but was recognized for his Premier League record 32 goals for Liverpool.

The women's player shortlist is headed by five-time winner Marta of Brazil. The Orlando Pride player is up against Lyon teammates Ada Hegerberg of Norway and Dzsenifer Marozsan of Germany.

In terms of of the men's coach of the year award, Didier Deschamps, who led France to the World Cup title, was nominated alongside Zlatko Dalic of Croatia. Zinedine Zidane, who quit Real Madrid after a third straight Champions League title, completes the shortlist.

The three coaches in contention for the women's game award are Asako Takakura, who led Japan to the Asian Games title last week, Reynald Pedros of France and Sarina Wiegman of the Netherlands.

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