Brighton new boy Leon Balogun shocked at Manchester United’s ‘slow’ football

• ‘The lads told me this is the kind of game against United’
• New defender expects Anfield on Saturday to be much harder

Brighton’s Leon Balogun has said that he was surprised by Manchester United’s slow football in the 3-2 defeat to his new club on Sunday.

Albion’s centre-back was under the impression that the Premier League would be faster than the Bundesliga after leaving Mainz on a free transfer, although his observations about United’s attacking approach probably revealed more about José Mourinho’s methods than the overall state of English football.

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via Football | The Guardian

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 seasons

On 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 feel to this team, a more robust vibe after years of flakiness, a sense that they are learning how to win ugly.

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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 latter stages.

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England meet defeat in Women’s U-20 World Cup as Japan march into final

• England 0-2 Japan
• Japan to face France or Spain in Friday’s final

England are out of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup after falling to a 2-0 semi-final defeat by an imperious Japan side at the Stade de la Rabine.

The teams met as the two highest scorers in the competition – each having dished out a six-goal thrashing in the group stages – and England were almost off the mark in the second minute when Chloe Kelly spun past her marker and hit a smart low effort that was clawed wide at full stretch by Hannah Stambaugh in the Japan goal.

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via Football | The Guardian

Loris Karius nears two-year loan move to Besiktas from Liverpool

• Out-of-favour goalkeeper close to agreeing spell in Turkey
• Alisson signing has limited Karius’s chances at Anfield

Loris Karius is close to leaving Liverpool after the club agreed a two-year loan deal with Besiktas for their out-of-favour goalkeeper.

The 25-year-old has been considering his Anfield future since the £65m arrival of Alisson last month, a then world-record deal for a goalkeeper that took Karius by surprise and ended his role as Jürgen Klopp’s first choice.

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via Football | The Guardian

Yannick Bolasie close to Middlesbrough loan switch from Everton

• Winger to link up with ex-manager Tony Pulis
• Championship leaders also keen on Mo Besic and Matt Targett

Everton’s Yannick Bolasie is close to joining the Championship leaders, Middlesbrough, on a season-long loan and could soon be followed by his Goodison Park teammate Mo Besic.

Bolasie travelled on Monday to Rockliffe Park, Middlesbrough’s training ground near Darlington, for talks with Tony Pulis, Boro’s manager, and for a medical.

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Class, schoolings and some harsh lessons – Football Weekly

Max and co on Manchester United’s lacklustre defeat, Manchester City’s rout of Huddersfield and entertainment at the Bridge

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Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini and Andy Brassell to dig into why Manchester United were so lacklustre at Brighton on Sunday afternoon.

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La Liga returns as modest Huesca make a major impact | Sid Lowe

Huesca are the 63rd team to make it up to primera and they marked their first game there with an historic success

On the opening day of the season, the happiest boy in the Basque country was in the stand on Indalezio Ojanguren street, when his cool older cousin came across to get him. It was full-time and everyone had left the pitch at Ipurúa, the picturesque little home of Eibar, but Huesca winger Álex Gallar headed the other way towards the family that had flown in from Mallorca, lifted him over the barrier and together they walked across the grass holding hands, waving at the 500 fans at one end. Then they disappeared down the tunnel and turned right in the direction of the dressing room, where celebrations had started, thud-thud-thud audible through the walls.

Not long after, in one corner of La Liga’s smallest stadium, he stood wearing one Huesca shirt and holding another – three times the size he is and sweaty still – smiling and watching, eyes wide, as Gallar stood in front of a TV camera and tried but mostly failed to find the words. When the camera failed too and they fiddled, trying to get a loose screw to go back in, Gallar grinned at his cousin, grinned at the little pack of fluffy radio mics across the room, shrugged and said: “Them next.” Now they all wanted to talk to him. He had, after all, just scored twice, the first of them wonderful, gliding in left-footed with a swish of the hips and a dip of the shoulder, going past two and easing smoothly, almost gently into the area before finishing with his right.

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via Football | The Guardian

Benjamin Mendy dials back on phone use at Pep Guardiola’s urging

• Manchester City full-back was urged to ‘forget’ social media
• ‘In the dressing room I don’t use my phone. It’s better’

Benjamin Mendy has said he is taking Pep Guardiola’s advice by staying off social media when at Manchester City’s training ground or in the dressing room.

Related: Sergio Agüero hits hat-trick in Manchester City’s rout of Huddersfield

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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

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via Football | The Guardian