Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Marco Reus’ early strike seals victory for the hosts

A first half goal by Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus was enough to carry last season’s runners-up past Bayer Leverkusen in their Bundesliga opener on Saturday but their winning start was overshadowed by an injury to new signing Karim Adeyemi.

It was also a victorious return for Dortmund coach Edin Terzic, back on the bench after 15 months following his first stint as an interim coach in 2021.

But Adeyemi’s injury that eventually forced him off in the 23rd minute was the third to a new signing, as Dortmund are already without defender Niklas Suele, nursing a thigh injury, and forward Sebastien Haller, out for months following the discovery of a malignant testicular tumour.

Adeyemi thought he had scored when he turned a Youssoufa Moukoko cutback toward goal in the 10th minute but the ball was kept on the line by Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky before Reus stabbed it over for the lead.

Minutes later, Germany forward Adeyemi was taken off following a knock on his foot earlier in the game.

Leverkusen, third last season, had their share of chances and were it not for Mo Dahoud’s perfectly timed sliding tackle in the 42nd minute, Patrik Schick would have had the chance to level.

Dortmund came close after the break with Hradecky denying Thorgan Hazard in the 50th before Schick responded with a pair of chances of his own and two good saves from Dortmund’s Gregor Kobel.

It was a much improved performance by Leverkusen following last week’s shock German Cup first round exit to third division’s Elversberg but it was spoilt when Hradecky was sent off for holding the ball with his hands outside the box late in the game.

Champions Bayern Munich kicked off the season on Friday with a sensational 6-1 demolition of Eintracht Frankfurt.

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  • 23 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Erling Haaland jets off to the Marbella sun from just hours after City’s 4-0 drubbing of Bournemouth

    Manchester City star striker Erling Haaland put the frustrations of his Bournemouth performance immediately behind him as he jetted off to the beach in Marbella.

    The £51million summer signing has been pictured taking a dip in the sea in his Dolce and Gabbana swim shorts as he enjoys a break from the action after he flew out to Spain just hours after City’s 4-0 victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.

    Crowds gathered around the 22-year-old to take pictures as he also strolled along the sandy beach on his mini-break.

    Pep Guardiola’s side made it back-to-back wins to start the new Premier League season, despite the Norwegian having only eight touches in the game and failing to get on the scoresheet.

    Haaland only had eight touches against Bournemouth – just one more than Romelu Lukaku’s record low of seven touches in a Premier League game for Chelsea against Crystal Palace last season.

    In fact, Haaland completed just two passes in the entire game – the lowest total for a City player under Guardiola.

    It saw the striker fail to add to the two goals he scored last week in the win against West Ham United at the London Stadium on Sunday.

    Although with one of his two passes during the match, he managed to pick up an assist, as he set up Ilkay Gundogan.

    City boss Guardiola has leapt to the defence of his summer signing by suggesting he did the best he could against the Cherries’ high line.

    ‘The most difficult job in the world is when you are a striker against a (defence) with three central midfielders, three centre-backs and you are in the middle,’ Guardiola said following the victory.

    ‘We will find many of these situations but it’s a question of time. With the quality of player we have behind him (Haaland), we will find him.’

    It is not the first time Haaland has faced questions on his possible role in the City team.

    Doubts were raised over the City No 9 after his display in the Community Shield as Guardiola’s men were beaten 3-1 by Liverpool.

    But the former Borussia Dortmund forward quickly hit back with a brace on his Premier League debut and his manager believes he will live up to his billing.

    Up next for City is a trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle next weekend as the champions look to continue their perfect start to the season.

  • 23 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    IAN LADYMAN: Erik ten Hag must learn fast after dire start at Man United

    The decision to appoint Erik ten Hag ahead of Mauricio Pochettino at Manchester United last spring was a close one. Both men presented impressive cases. Both were desperate for the job. In the end, Ten Hag impressed the United board that bit more with the quality and intensity of his interview.

    Hiring a manager with no Premier League experience to try to drag United from the depths was always going to be a gamble. At Brentford on Saturday — during 35 shocking minutes — the scale of that gamble was laid bare.

    It would be quite wrong to blame Ten Hag entirely or even largely for what happened at Brentford. Put together a list of guilty parties and he would be nowhere near the top of it.

    United have been making poor decisions at all levels for years. When too much money is spent on the wrong players for so long, the kind of confused, disparate football — devoid of communication, cohesion or method — is what you eventually get.

    However, football managers are paid to make a difference. They pick the team and choose the tactics. Ten Hag knew the United job was his as long ago as April.

    As such, he has had an awful long time to bring something of himself to this United team and, so far, the only marks left by his fingerprints have been clumsy.

    Six days before Brentford mugged them in the sunshine, Brighton came to Old Trafford and unpicked the United defence regularly.

    They won 2-1 and could have scored more. Much of Brighton’s success came from pressing a United back four and goalkeeper who looked uncomfortable in possession.

    Ten Hag must have seen that. Brentford manager Thomas Frank and his players certainly did.

    It was startling, therefore, to see United doing exactly the same thing in London. Did Ten Hag feel the opening day’s performance was freakish, a fluke?

    Did he not see what previous United managers had seen? Namely that this United team do not have the players to play their way upfield from their own penalty area in the way teams like Manchester City and indeed Brighton do?

    Brentford’s first two goals originated from United players turning over cheap possession in their own half.

    The third, meanwhile, was a goal from a set-piece, something else Frank and doubtless the rest of the world had identified as a possibility as soon as United — at their manager’s behest — signed a 5ft 9in central defender Lisandro Martinez to play alongside Harry Maguire.

    Ten Hag may yet turn out to be the next Sir Alex Ferguson. He will need time and it is to be hoped he is given it.

    Equally, the Dutchman must learn fast. It is, for example, hard to imagine a time-served Premier League coach such as Pochettino making the kind of mistakes Ten Hag has made.

    Pochettino’s Tottenham team that ran Leicester close for the title in 2016 was talented but also full of athletes.

    Ten Hag can’t be expected to invent that. To a degree it will have to be bought. But what has been clear so far is that Ten Hag has been caught on the back foot in terms of what the Premier League is actually like.

    Short of a centre forward last week after Cristiano Ronaldo’s interrupted pre-season, Ten Hag played Christian Eriksen as a false nine. It seemed an odd, rather too clever kind of idea and it backfired and was abandoned after 50 minutes.

    On Saturday, Eriksen played deeper and that didn’t work either. Where was the Dane brought in to play? He is the kind of talent around which an attacking unit can be built but that will not work if he isn’t even sure of his own position.

    These are the early days of Ten Hag’s reign. He was not hired to bring miraculous short-term improvement. Equally, nobody expected United to begin their season quite like this.

    Already next Monday’s home game against Liverpool has taken on gargantuan proportions. Ten Hag is the manager. He is in charge. As such these results are placed by his name. He must begin to look like a Premier League coach soon.

  • 23 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Manchester United: How low can Erik ten Hag’s side go after disastrous defeat against Brentford?

    Erik ten Hag may have inherited a sinking ship at Manchester United, but you cannot drill another hole and expect to remain dry amid the tidal wave of criticism. Here at Brentford, his side truly did plunge to new depths of gutless incompetence.

    Two matches is too soon to judge a manager, of course, but you can form an opinion. On the evidence so far, the Dutchman looks like adding to the club’s myriad problems, as opposed to finding a solution.

    He tried to influence his players during the first-half drinks break — by which point United trailed 2-0 — but their response was to concede another two within 10 minutes. They had taken plenty of water on board, but seemingly none of Ten Hag’s instruction.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, detached at the back of the rabble in their bile-green jerseys, spent the interlude with a towel around his neck, but the metaphorical equivalent had long since been thrown. Ten Hag was lost, helpless in halting the surrender.

    It is too easy, then, for pundits and former players, such as Gary Neville, to kick all of their annoyance towards the hierarchy. Yes, the Glazers are inept owners and this fractured incarnation of United is a consequence of their flawed decision-making.

    But that does not give the manager a free pass. The Glazers are not responsible for organising and motivating the players, that is the job of Ten Hag. And, within the confines of successive 90 minutes now, his players have been disorganised and demotivated.

    The fact he is only two games in is a reason for concern, not immunity from censure. Two games? The players should be running through a brick wall for a new manager, not hiding behind it.

    Remember all of that nonsense from the summer about Ten Hag’s immediate impact? The players, we were told, were even turning up for training at 9am and some were staying until 5pm. Welcome to the real world, lads.

    But already you detect a disconnect between the players and Ten Hag, who stood expressionless as they walked past him at full-time. There was zero interaction in either direction.

    As the team bus waited, Ten Hag was not exactly keeping his players free from its wheels in the nearby media suite.

    ‘Rubbish’ he called them. He was not done, bucking managerial convention with an eye-opening, ‘The team has to take the responsibility’.

    He later accepted some of the blame, but it is clear he believes many of the issues pre-date his arrival. While that does not excuse some of his tactical choices and a general feeling of unease around the 52-year-old’s suitability, he is also right. They are a sorry bunch and that much was evident in the hour after the game.

    As Christian Eriksen sloped wearily from the dressing room towards the stadium exit, he declined the invitation to share his thoughts with the press. Tellingly, he did offer: ‘Not today. It was a terrible day.’ And this from a man who knows a thing or two about bad days.

    In fact, not a single United player would take questions from the national media. At least Eriksen refused politely, unlike some, whose petulant grunts captured perfectly their absence of personality on the pitch.

    A word on Eriksen, who was used as a false nine in the opening day defeat by Brighton and shunted into a false four here. False in the sense that he is not, and never will be, a deep-lying midfielder screening a defence. But it felt needless — naive, if we’re being kind — when Ten Hag substituted the former Brentford playmaker with three minutes to go, subjecting the Dane to the mockery of home supporters. ‘You should have stayed at a big club,’ they crowed.

    Brentford fans, however, were the least of the visiting worries as they sought their escape from west London. Once, United stars would leave the stadium to a giddy chorus of worship. Not here. The selfie hunters had been elbowed out by angry punters. It was an unedifying scene.

    ‘F*** off, Fred, you’re s***,’ strained one crazed voice, inescapably Mancunian. ‘Maguire. Disgrace. Get out,’ yelled another.

    Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho left together — it was the only time the forwards had been in tandem all day — and were immediately shot down by a cry of, ‘Not good enough’.

    Bizarrely, one fan did tell Donny van de Beek that he ‘deserved better than this’. Really? The midfielder has done nothing to support that assertion. With the team sinking in the second half, Ten Hag turned to his former Ajax player from the bench. It felt like reaching for a life jacket and being handed a rubber duck.

    In that sense, there is sympathy with the new boss given the hopeless recruitment of recent years, which shows no sign of change. It was interesting to note Brentford’s new signing Mikkel Damsgaard speak of his battle with arthritis before the game. Arthritis? That sounds like a pre-requisite in United’s search for timeworn strikers.

    Meanwhile, post-match and back outside the stadium, the boos continued. Just yards away, a steel container of kit was waiting to be loaded on to the team bus. How appropriate it felt that a member of staff had dumped a bag over part of the motto adorning the top of it. ‘We are United’ was no more. ‘We are…’ it now read. Insert your own adjective here.

    With all of the players having scrambled behind tinted- windowed sanctuary, United assistant coach Steve McClaren emerged with his arm around Brentford striker Ivan Toney. Maybe he was trying to take him back to Manchester. Goodness, they could do with him.

    Toney broke away from the grinning McClaren — even on the darkest days he can make a Cheshire Cat look glum — and the frontman gave a revealing take on his side’s 4-0 win. ‘I am disappointed it was four,’ he began, no hint of bombast. ‘When you see a weak point, you go for the jugular and we did that. I feel like it could have been more in the end.’

    The weak point — or rather, the weakest point, for there were plenty — was Lisandro Martinez. Yes, the 5ft 9in centre back who Ten Hag insisted follow him from Ajax this summer for what looks a crazily inflated £55million.

    ‘It is a compliment for me, him (Martinez) getting subbed off at half-time,’ said Toney. ‘Our quality in the air against a smaller centre back… it was a good game plan.’

    As atrocious as United were, Thomas Frank’s Brentford were brilliant. They will have harder games than this — Fulham and Colchester are next — but they ran all over United, quite literally, during a first half which ranks as one of the most astonishing in Premier League history.

    Josh Dasliva fired their opener. Correction — David de Gea let a saveable shot squirm through him. De Gea then played Eriksen a pass he did not want, but should have managed, from a short goal-kick and Mathias Jensen stole in to score the second.

    Defender Ben Mee made it three, out-muscling Martinez on the goal-line, and Bryan Mbeumo slotted in the fourth, climaxing a devastating break which, many years ago, would have been straight out of a United playbook. Not any more. Indeed, it is difficult to determine what their current strategy actually is.

    De Gea, in a separate interview, did reveal what Ten Hag had said at half-time. ‘Unacceptable, what we were doing on the pitch, nothing else to be honest,’ said the Spaniard. ‘It was horrible, then some tactical things. It was horrible from us.’

    Horrible. Rubbish. Disgrace. The words of player, manager and supporter. United have Liverpool at Old Trafford next Monday. That sinking ship, you feel, is yet to reach the bed of its ocean.

  • 23 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Aston Villa summer signing Diego Carlos suffers Achilles’ tendon injury in second game for the club

    Aston Villa have confirmed that £26million summer signing Diego Carlos suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon in their win over Everton and will now require surgery.

    The 29-year-old has started both Premier League games of the new campaign under Steven Gerrard, but was forced off through injury late on during Saturday’s home win over Everton.

    A statement from Villa on the club’s website has since confirmed the severity of the Brazilian’s injury, with the defender now set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

    ‘Aston Villa can confirm Diego Carlos has ruptured his Achilles’ tendon,’ it read.

    ‘The player sustained the injury during Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Everton. The player will require surgery and will then begin his rehabilitation programme.’

    Following the game Gerrard stated that the club would ‘wait and see the outcome of his injury’, before determining whether they would be looking to make any further signings this summer.

    Carlos’ absence may provide an opportunity for England international Tyrone Mings to reassert himself within the Villa squad.

    The defender was left on the bench as Villa were defeated by Bournemouth in the opening Premier League fixture, but returned to the starting eleven on Saturday, putting in an exceptional performance alongside Carlos in the heart of defence.

    Mings was stripped of the Villa captaincy over the summer, with Gerrard handing the armband to Scottish midfielder John McGinn and naming Carlos, and Emiliano Martinez as his deputies.

  • 23 минуты назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Fans shred Man United for letting Dean Henderson leave on loan and keeping David de Gea

    Fans have torn into Manchester United for ‘letting go of the wrong goalkeeper’ after contrasting displays from David de Gea and Dean Henderson this weekend.

    Henderson, who was No 2 behind De Gea at Old Trafford last season but did not play a single Premier League game, joined newly-promoted Nottingham Forest on loan at the start of July.

    But just two weeks into the season, the early signs suggest that United may have been better off keeping the one-cap England international.

    De Gea had a horror show between the sticks in United’s shambolic 4-0 defeat by Brentford on Saturday and after the game he accepted responsibility for the result.

    The Spaniard somehow let Josh Dasilva’s shot squirm past him after only 10 minutes, before his sloppy pass to Christian Eriksen on the edge of the United penalty area led to Mathias Jensen stealing the ball to double the Bees’ lead.

    In comparison, Henderson kept a clean sheet as Forest got off the mark for the season with a 1-0 win over West Ham on Sunday.

    The 25-year-old played a vital role in the victory as he saved a second half penalty from Declan Rice.

    Tearing into United on Twitter, one fan wrote: ‘Dean Henderson having the game of his life the day after that De Gea disaster class. How do this club get every big decision wrong.’

    ‘Man Utd should sign this Forest keeper, he looks handy,’ another supporter joked.

    ‘Man utd really let go the wrong keeper lmao,’ a third said. Another added: ‘Nah Deano Henderson took the De Gea 0/10 yesterday to heart.’

    Telling Sky Sports about his penalty save after the game, Henderson said: ‘I know Dec’s favoured side, I’ve trained with him before. But you never know if he’ll change it up last minute. I stuck with what I knew and luckily he put it there.’

    The Forest goalkeeper was slammed by United fans earlier this month as he described his treatment at Old Trafford as ‘criminal’ in an extraordinary interview with talkSPORT.

    ‘To be quite honest with you, it’s probably been the toughest 12 months of my career,’ Henderson said. ‘It’s been tough, it’s been hard and I’m so happy I’ve come out the other end of it now.

    ‘The conversation I had, coming out of the Euros squad (with England), was that you’re coming back here (to United) to be the No 1 goalkeeper. I got Covid, then unfortunately no-one followed through with anything they told me.

    ‘It’s frustrating as well, because I turned so many good loans down last summer for that reason and they wouldn’t let me go. To sit there and waste 12 months is criminal, really, at my age. I was fuming.’

  • 1 час, 37 минут назад 15.08.2022Sport
    Toto Wolff offers intriguing Lewis Hamilton retirement update ahead of Belgian GP

    Toto Wolff has hinted Lewis Hamilton may not leave F1 for at least another three seasons and could help Mercedes to a trio of titles. Wolff claimed Hamilton could secure a tenth drivers’ title before hanging up his helmet if the Silver Arrows solved their issues.

    Hamilton’s current deal expires at the end of next season but Wolff’s comment suggested a two-year extension could be on the cards. The Austrian made the comment when he was asked how important an eighth F1 title was to Hamilton.

    Speaking to Motorsport.com Italy, he said: “Of course, he would have been the only [driver] to hold this record, but I think he can be equally proud of having seven titles like Michael [Schumacher], I think this milestone is also very historic and important. But the goal is to get back to having the right performance soon, and if we return to providing Lewis with a good car, why just think of eight world titles? Why not ten?”.

    Another three seasons would see Hamilton competing in F1 until the age of 40, the time when the Mercedes star has previously revealed he will walk away from the sport. Last season, the seven-time champion told Corriere della Serra he “honestly hoped” that he wasn’t still racing at 40.

    He stressed there were “so many things I want to do” after F1 that staying in the sport past this age “would be difficult”. However, Hamilton could be on the verge of a major u-turn as he recently suggested he could be enticed into a new deal.

    It comes after he missed out on his eighth F1 crown in controversial circumstances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year. He is also desperate to get Mercedes back to the front after the German manufacturer dropped to the third-fastest car this season.

    Speaking to Vogue, Hamilton commented: “I’ll be lying if I said that I hadn’t thought about extending.

    “I’m still on the mission, I’m still loving driving, I’m still being challenged by it. So I don’t really feel like I have to give it up anytime soon.” Hamilton also expressed his desire to stay at Mercedes despite the frustrations of being uncompetitive.

    He announced he was “100 per cent committed” to the Silver Arrows and stressed it wasn’t in his DNA to walk away at the sign of a rough patch.

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Sport Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen: Marco Reus' early strike seals victory for the hosts