Conte Questions Mourinho’s Sanity 

FILE PHOTO: Chelsea’s head coach Antonio Conte addresses a press conference at Chelsea’s Cobham training facility in Stoke D’Abernon, southwest of London. PHOTO: GLYN KIRK / AFP

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte suggested on Friday that Jose Mourinho has “senile dementia” and that the Manchester United manager is still focused on events at Stamford Bridge two years after he was sacked.

Mourinho, who had two spells as Chelsea boss and is Conte’s immediate predecessor, appeared to take a swipe at the Italian — and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp — for their antics in the technical area on Thursday, when he said he did not feel the need to behave like “a clown” on the touchline.

Asked about Mourinho’s comments on Friday, Conte used the Italian phrase “demenza senile” in relation to the Portuguese, which translates as senile dementia.

“I think he has to see himself in the past — maybe he was speaking about himself in the past,” said Conte. “Maybe, sometimes, I think that someone forgets what’s said in the past, which is his behaviour.

“Sometimes I think there is, I don’t know the name, but demenza senile… when you forget what you do in the past.”

Conte is in his second season as Chelsea head coach, as Mourinho is at United.

Mourinho was sacked by Chelsea in December 2015 and the Blues finished 10th, after which Conte guided them to the title in his first season as boss.

Conte added of the Portuguese: “There is a person that continues to look here. You understand? He went away, but he continued to look here.”

The Italian, whose side play at Norwich in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, described the verbal sparring between Premier League bosses as “very strange” but he also responded to comments from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.

Wenger accused Eden Hazard of diving to earn a penalty in Wednesday’s 2-2 Premier League draw, but Conte believes other decisions went the Gunners’ way and referred to previous meetings.

“I think if Arsene Wenger watched the game again, (he would) understand he was very lucky during the game with the referee’s decisions,” said the Chelsea boss.

“Don’t forget, in the last few games (with Arsenal) we finished the game with 10 men, when they won the FA Cup, the Community Shield. I think the referee’s decision(s) was a bit strange.

“If I want I can talk about refereeing decisions for one month. But I don’t want to do this. I think we must have respect for referees’ decisions.

“I think Wenger has to accept the decisions. He’s an old coach, he has a lot of experience, he won a lot. He has to continue to do what he did in the past.”

AFP

Mourinho: Ibrahimovic’s Injury Will Be Ruinous For United

Manchester United, Jose Mourinho, Zlatan IbrahimovicManchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, says Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury will be disastrous for the club.

Mourinho, who earlier suggested Ibrahimovic sees out his career with the Red Devils, noted that it would be damaging for his side to lose the Swedish to injury.

“Obviously a disaster but that’s football. It’s not a surprise (how many goals he has scored). In Spain, Messi and Cristiano (Ronaldo) have a lot of penalties to score.

“They are phenomenal players with lots of penalties to score goals. Here, Zlatan has 18 (league) matches and one penalty. It’s not so easy to score goals,” the Portuguese told British media on Saturday.

Influential Ibrahimovic needs one more goal in the league clash against Middlesbrough to match the 50-goal record of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

Mourinho Rues United’s Congested Schedule

mourinhoManchester United Manager, Jose Mourinho has rued his side’s tight fixture schedule as he contemplated a potentially tough run of matches in October.

United got their Europa League campaign off the ground with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Zorya Luhansk at Old Trafford on Thursday and host Group A leaders Fenerbahce in their next game on October 20.

Prior to that, they face a Monday night match at arch rivals Liverpool, with a trip to Chelsea next in the Premier League, and a crunch game against Manchester City in the League Cup to follow.

“We could play Liverpool on the Saturday, we could play Liverpool on the Sunday but we play Liverpool on the Monday,’ he said.

“We have this kind of poisoned gift of playing on Monday which creates a very difficult situation but we want to try to qualify for the next round.

“There’s a long way to go but we will play against Fenerbahce with a good team,” he said.

His team needed the intervention of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to beat Zorya 1-0 on Thursday.

Ibrahimovic, who turns 35 on Monday October 3, headed home a second-half winner to see off the Ukrainian outfit.

Mourinho had signaled his intentions by picking a strong side that also featured world record signing Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.

He was rewarded with a third consecutive win in all competitions to lift the mood at the club after they had previously suffered three straight losses.

Sweden Includes Ibrahimovic In Olympics Squad

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden, OlympicsZlatan Ibrahimovic has been listed in Sweden’s provisional 35-man squad for the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

But the 34-year-old has refused to disclose his intention whether or not to participate in the Olympics, until the Euro 2016 was over.

He is the captain of the Swedish national team at the ongoing European football competition.

Meanwhile, Sweden’s coach at the Olympics, Hakan Ericson, said he would keep Ibrahimovic’s chance of participating open, but acknowledged the probabilities were slim.

This comes after the Paris Saint-Germain forward agreed to conditional terms with Manchester United and to join the club after Euro 2016.

The Red Devils manager, Jose Mourinho, gave his approval to Ibrahimovic’s signing, as the duo were motivated to work together again after winning the Italian league title with Inter Milan in 2009.

Man United Must Return To Winning Ways – Van Gaal

Manchester-van gaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, admits his side’s title chances could be over if the team cannot end their run of eight games without a win against Swansea.

United followed a run of four straight defeats with a goalless draw against struggling Chelsea on Tuesday.

The team’s dismal run of results which has included them being dumped out of the Champions League in the group stages, has led to widespread speculation that Van Gaal’s job is in jeopardy.

The Dutchman admits United must win on Saturday to maintain any realistic hope of overturning the nine-point deficit between themselves and Premier League leaders, Arsenal.

Van Gaal Admits Sack Fears

Van GaalManchester United Manager, Louis Van Gaal, says that his position is under scrutiny after his side’s 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich City on Saturday.

Speaking in his post-match presser, Van Gaal admitted that he is under pressure because of the recent poor run of form.

He, however, insists that a change in management will not bring immediate success, before urging the club’s hierarchy to back him for the rest of the season.

United have lost their last three matches in all competitions and are winless in their last 6 games.

Manchester United were booed off by their own fans as Norwich earned a shock 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.

English Premier League Results

In other English Premier League matches played on Saturday, Newcastle played a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in St. James Park, while goals from Branislav Ivanovic, Pedro Rodriquez and Brazilian midfielder, Oscar gave Chelsea a 3-1 victory over Sunderland in front of new boss, Guus Hiddink.

Leicester City ensured they will be top of the table at Christmas by beating Everton 3-2 at Goodison Park.

Harry Kane scored on his 100th Tottenham appearance as they moved into the top four with a 2-0 victory at struggling Southampton.

Substitute Lee Chung-Yong lashed home a sensational winner for crystal palace at stoke to put the eagles level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham.

Bournemouth secured their second away win of the season after a 2-1 win over Westbrom.

Van Gaal Targets Victory In PSV Clash

van GaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, admits that his team are struggling with injuries as they prepare to face PSV Eindhoven in Wednesday’s Champions League at Old Trafford.

United could be without nine front-line players for the visit of Dutch Champions, PSV, in Group B after defender, Phil Jones, and midfielder, Ander Herrera, were injured in the Premier League win at Watford.

Wayne Rooney is also a doubt after missing Saturday’s match with an illness, while 19-year-old French forward, Anthony Martial, has a foot injury.

However, PSV Manager, Phillip Cocu, expressed beliefs that his team could advance to the knockout stages of the League, as they prepare to play Manchester United.

United midfielder, Daley Blind, said they would be on a revenge mission when they host PSV in the Group B clash.

Van Gaal’s side lost the first leg in Eindhoven by 2 goals to 1, but Blind suggests the score line was not a fair reflection of the game.

The match is scheduled for 8:45pm, Nigerian time.

Van Gaal Defends Removal Of Anthony Martial In CSKA Game

van gaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, has insisted that he was right to take off Anthony Martial against CSKA Moscow, despite boos from some of the Manchester United supporters.

The United boss had started Tuesday night’s Champions League Group B clash with Martial as the main striker ahead of Wayne Rooney, in a more withdrawn role.

But with the game goalless after 66 minutes, Van Gaal replaced the French teenager with Marouane Fellaini and pushed Rooney up front.

However, the decision was vindicated as the United and England Captain headed home the winner in the 79th minute.

Man Utd, City Play Goalless Draw

manu--cityManchester United and Manchester City, on Sunday, played out a goalless draw in their derby at Old Trafford.

With the result, City returned to the top of the English Premier League, ahead of Arsenal, on goal difference.

United and City played out a dour 0-0 draw at old trafford that was short on entertainment as well as chances with both sides cancelling each other out.

Only ‘Bad Luck’

Manchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, claimed his side controlled the game against City for 90 minutes, saying only ‘bad luck’ prevented them from claiming all three points.

City boss, Manuel Pellegrini, is however happy with his team’s defensive performance.

Meanwhile, Tottenham’s Harry Kane returned to goal scoring form with a hat-trick, as Spurs came from behind to thrash Bournemouth five goals to one.

Also, Sunderland moved off the bottom of the League table, following a three nil win over north-east rivals and fellow strugglers, Newcastle. Liverpool and Southampton played out a 1-1 draw.

United, City Bosses Praise Team’s Performance

Manchester United, City Bosses Praise Team's PerfomanceManagers of English Premier League giants, Manchester United and Manchester City, have expressed satisfaction with their team’ performance in Wednesday night’s UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United manager, Luis Van Gaal, said he is happy with the team performance despite a 1-1 draw in Russia against CSKA Moscow.

David De Gea saved Roman Eremenko’s penalty, but Seydou Doumbia scored the rebound to put the Russian side ahead after a handball from Anthony Martial.

Martial consequently redeemed himself with a second-half header to level the match.

The Red Devils are now on 4 points from three matches, but two points behind leaders Wolfsburg.

Meanwhile, Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, is brimming with confidence after Kevin De Bruyne secured a stoppage time 2-1 win over Sevilla.Manchester United, City Bosses Praise Team's Perfomance

Pellegrini praised the team’s character for fighting back after conceding an early goal and boost their chances of reaching the last 16 round of the competition.

Going into the match, City had won only five of their 15 home Champions League matches.

Sevilla will be hosting Manchester City on November 3 in Spain.

Pressure On To Beat Brugge – Van Gaal

van GaalManchester United Manager, Louis Van Gaal says the pressure is high but believes in his club and has great respect for qualifier opponents, Club Brugge.

He said: “There’s a lot of pressure because our aim is to reach the Champions League and that is what Arsene Wenger mentioned last year”, Van Gaal said at a press conference.

“These kind of matches are difficult. We’ve drawn Brugge and they can defend very well. They can attack also, so it shall be a difficult match – that is why the pressure is high.

“The board, the players and the fans want to participate. We have to show our quality against a good team. It is not an easy game,” he added

The Dutchman, who has guided his team to two successive Premier League wins at the start of the season, is expecting a difficult first-leg on Tuesday against the Belgians at Old Trafford, as United try to return to the group stages of the competition.

The United boss also reiterated that his players are always capable of forcing their way into the team if they impress in training.

Meanwhile, Club Brugge Manager, Michel Preud’homme said they could produce an FA Cup-type upset by beating Manchester United in their Champions League qualifier.

Club Brugge reached the quarter-finals of the Europa League and finished second in the Belgian League last season, the coach said his team prefers playing Champions League to other competitions.

English FA Cup: Van Gaal Hails Resilient Man United Performance

van GaalManchester United Manager, Louis van Gaal, was happy to see his charges secure a safe passage to the FA Cup fourth round following a tough match against Yeovil Town.

Strikes from Ander Herrera and Angel Di Maria gave the Reds a 2-0 win in a hard-fought battle on Sunday afternoon and Mr van Gaal believes the players deserve some credit for their resilient display.

“It’s always difficult to play against such teams,” van Gaal told BT Sport.

“They gave us not so much time and every ball came under pressure. I have lot of respect for the players and coach of Yeovil Town – it was not so easy for us.

“In the second half, we had a little bit more time and space, we played better and were more patient,” he added.

“We kept the ball better also and, because of that, we could score the winning goal.

“We dominated the game, more so in the second half. They had one chance from a set-piece, but we were organised and Angel Di Maria cleared it away.

“It’s just simple organisation. I think they maybe had one more chance after a mistake from one of my players, but that’s it.”

On Di Maria’s impact on the game, the coach said, “It was class, and not his first from outside the box. It had a little bit of luck, but you need that, I’m very happy for him.”

The victory did not come without some price for the reds as Rafael and Luke Shaw were forced off during half time.

The Brazilian has a suspected fractured cheekbone, while England international Shaw sustained an ankle problem.

The defensive pair did not reappear after half-time of the FA Cup third-round tie, with the Reds bringing on Juan Mata and Jonny Evans and reverting to the back-four.