MLS

MLS: Sounders return to summit as Inter Miami's play-off chances take a hit

By Sports Desk October 03, 2021

Seattle Sounders returned to the top of the Western Conference after ending the Colorado Rapids' 12-match unbeaten streak in a comprehensive 3-0 win in MLS action on Sunday.

Cristian Roldan, Jimmy Medranda and Joao Paolo scored in a three-goal first half to inspire the Sounders against the Rapids in Seattle.

The Rapids were enjoying their second-best unbeaten run in club history, only behind the 15-game undefeated streak from April 2016 to July 2016.

But Colorado came unstuck away to the Sounders at Lumen Field, where Roldan broke the deadlock in the second minute before Medranda and Paolo's moment of individual brilliance made it 3-0 prior to half-time.

The Sounders are top of the west, two points clear of Sporting Kansas City, who beat Houston Dynamo 4-2 behind Daniel Salloi's magical performance (one goal and an assist) and Johnny Russell's brace.

Entering the contest, Salloi and Russell had been directly involved, either together or individually, in Sporting KC's previous seven goals (Salloi three goals, Russell three goals and two assists). At least one of those two players had scored or assisted on 19 of the 23 goals Kansas City scored since late July.

David Beckham's Inter Miami and their hopes of featuring in the play-offs were dealt a blow following a 1-0 defeat to Portland Timbers.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda struck to extend Portland's unbeaten run to eight matches, including seven wins, and condemn Inter Miami to a fourth consecutive loss.

Inter Miami are eight points adrift of the post-season places in the Eastern Conference with seven fixtures remaining, while the fourth-placed Timbers are seven points clear of Real Salt Lake in the battle for home-field advantage.

Elsewhere, 10-man Philadelphia Union were 3-0 winners over defending champions Columbus Crew, Toronto defeated Chicago Fire 3-1 and New York City drew 0-0 with Nashville, while the El Trafico derby between LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC ended 1-1.

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    Erik ten Hag claimed Manchester United's need for new signings was "clear" following their humiliating 4-0 defeat at Brentford, though he noted the Red Devils are underperforming given the quality already present in their squad. 

    Having watched his side slump to a 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion last week, Ten Hag became the first United manager to lose each of his first two games in charge since John Chapman in 1921.

    An embarrassing performance saw United go 4-0 down within just 35 minutes in London as Brentford scored with each of their first four shots on target.

    United, who are bottom of the Premier League two matches into the Ten Hag era, have been linked with further additions in the transfer market, with Juventus' Adrien Rabiot a reported target amid their struggles to attract Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.

    Speaking to BBC after the chastening loss, Ten Hag said: "You have to be ready for a game and be ready for the battle as individuals and as a team. We have to push each other and bring the demands in because it is not good.

    "It is clear we need players, but I don't want to think about that in this moment. The good players we had should have been better.

    "I hoped for a better start, I have to believe because I have seen good things, but the two games from now are disappointing.

    "We will analyse and we will move forward, but one thing is quite clear, we have to do things better.

    "This team is good enough to beat Brighton and Brentford which we didn't, so we have to question ourselves."

    Brentford's victory represented their first over United in any competition since a 2-0 FA Cup win in February 1938, and ended their seven-match winless run against the Old Trafford outfit.

    And while United were plagued by individual mistakes throughout a torrid first half, Ten Hag accepted responsibility for another dismal performance. 

    "It's difficult for me. It's surprising when you start the game like this; in 35 minutes you concede four goals," he told Sky Sports.

    "The team has to take responsibility. I feel really sorry for the fans – they did everything to support us, but we let them down.

    "You have to take responsibility on the pitch as a team and as individuals, that's what we didn't do. What I asked them to do is play with belief and take responsibility for the performance. We have to work on that.

    "The manager is responsible as well. He has the main responsibility and I'll take that and work on that."

  • De Gea accepts responsibility after Man Utd's 'horrible' defeat to Brentford De Gea accepts responsibility after Man Utd's 'horrible' defeat to Brentford

    David de Gea described Manchester United's 4-0 defeat to Brentford as "horrible" and says he was responsible for his side not leaving London with a win.

    De Gea allowed Josh Dasilva's tame shot from 25 yards squirm through his grasp to give Brentford the lead, before the goalkeeper's poor pass out to Christian Eriksen led to a second from Mathias Jensen.

    Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo then ensured Brentford became only the third side to put four past United in the first half of a Premier League game.

    It meant United lost four consecutive league matches for the first time since February 1979, while they have also lost seven successive away league games for the first time since losing 10 on the bounce between September and December 1936.

    "I cost three points to my team today, to be honest," De Gea told Sky Sports.

    "It was a poor performance from myself. After the first mistake and the second, it was very tough for the team to get playing. It was a horrible day.

    "We should react better. I should save the first shot and probably the result would be different. It just depends on how the game is going, sometimes I maybe have to read the game better and go long [for the second goal].

    "I tried to play when I shouldn't have to Christian. We are not like other teams conceding first and winning 5-1 or 6-1. This is why I cost the team three points

    "It was an easy save. We have to react much better and be capable of scoring goals. It was a poor performance. It's easy to play in pre-season when you play for nothing.

    "When you play the games that matter, you need bravery and to be proper players. That wasn't the case. We have to keep working, head up, it is the beginning under a new manager and a lot to improve."

    United are next back in action a week on Monday when Liverpool visit Old Trafford. 

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    Milan recovered from conceding just two minutes into their Serie A title defence to beat Udinese 4-2 at San Siro on Saturday.

    The opening game of the season in the Italian top flight for the Rossoneri saw a penalty from Theo Hernandez, two goals from Ante Rebic and another from Brahim Diaz guide them to three points, despite conceding twice to the visitors through Rodrigo Becao and Adam Masina.

    New signings Charles de Ketelaere and Divock Origi were named on the bench for Stefano Pioli's side, with the former introduced for the final 20 minutes and the latter for the final seven in front of their new fans. 

    It was a losing start for new Udinese head coach Andrea Sottil, though he will have been buoyed by his team's ability to keep Milan honest in a game that was more open in the first half than Pioli would have liked.

    It was far from an ideal start for the hosts as Udinese took the lead in just the second minute when Becao headed a Gerard Deulofeu corner in at the near post.

    That advantage did not last long though as a VAR check led to a Milan penalty being awarded on 10 minutes after Brandon Soppy was judged to have fouled Davide Calabria, with Hernandez calmly dispatching the spot kick.

    The champions were in front just four minutes later when neat play from Diaz gave Calabria the chance to cross to Rebic, who swept the ball past Marco Silvestri.

    Deulofeu made a mess of a chance when in on goal, but Udinese were level just before half-time when two more former Watford players combined, with Roberto Pereyra crossing for Masina to head in at the far post.

    If Milan made a slow start in the first half, Udinese managed to trump it in the second as Nehuen Pereza and Masina made a mess of a Hernandez cross from the left, allowing Diaz to prod the hosts back in front just 34 seconds after the restart.

    Diaz had been a thorn in Udinese's side all game, and won the ball inside the opposition's box on 68 minutes before squaring to Rebic to lift his finish into the roof of the net to seal the win.

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