The soccer news starts with Juventus at Manchester United in the Champions League. It didn't take a deep knowledge of contemporary soccer tactics and trends to notice that Juventus was the better team in a game they won 1-0. That's not a commanding scoreline, but the performance showed a class distinction that's tough to ignore in Group H. Something has to give with Manchester United, and soon.
Saying that Juventus players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci "could give some Harvard University classes about how to be a central defender," Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho was one of the people who saw the difference between the two clubs.
"I have to say that Juventus is at a different level," he said. "If people doesn’t want to accept that, it’s their problem. I always try to be honest. They have a different level of quality and stability and experience and knowhow and at the base of the team, they have Bonucci and Chiellini. That’s the base that allows them to play with the freedom that they play in attack."
Given Mourinho's tendency to say that sort of thing, it's not just expected. It's also a nice hedge against the criticism likely to flow in the direction of himself and his team. Why not get ahead of it and help point out the obvious? Juventus has a better setup right now, something their competitors can try to solve through tactics and a hefty transfer budget.
“We were excellent in the first-half," apple of Mourinho's eye Chiellini said. "Our movement was really good and we made it hard for them to pick us up. We kept the ball well too. We probably deserved to be more than one goal ahead at the break. We dropped off a touch after the interval. They're a very physical side. That's something we must try to improve between now and the spring if we want to raise our game further."
That's the biggest takeaway in October. Win or lose, there's too much at stake in the Champions League for any club to decide that they're the finished product.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta looks at the USMNT U-20 squad for World Cup qualifying. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Doug Roberson has United players responding to the news that coach Tata Martino is leaving the club at the end of the season.
ESPN has Australia joining the United States and Germany in wanting Video Assistant Referee decisions announced in the stadium like in gridiron football. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw has Spain Association president Luis Rubiales appealing to FIFA over the planned La Liga game in Miami. Bundesliga Fanatic's Mathew Burt explains the coaching change at Hamburg.
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Logo courtesy of Juventus