Reality TV star helps 4th-tier Crawley cause FA Cup shock
(Clive Brunskill/Pool via AP)Sat on an upturned bucket next to the touchline, Marcelo Bielsa stared at the ground after seeing his Leeds team concede a third goal in another stunning result in the FA Cup. And, rather embarrassingly, the latest defeat was administered by a fourth-tier team containing a reality TV star making his debut in professional soccer. Crawley caused a major upset on Sunday, beating Premier League team Leeds 3-0 to make a mockery of the 62-place gap between the clubs in English football’s pyramid. Later, eighth-tier Marine hosts Premier League giant Tottenham in the biggest mismatch in the history of the cup, with 161 spots separating the teams. On Saturday, sixth-tier Chorley eliminated second-tier Derby and Premier League team West Bromwich Albion was ousted by third-division Blackpool.
Fans return to the EPL as Chelsea, Man U enjoy comeback wins
The fans — 2,000 from West Ham, 2,000 from Chelsea — had contrasting experiences on opposite sides of London. Chelsea’s players treated their select group of attending fans to a comeback of their own at Stamford Bridge. The match saw respective managers Frank Lampard, of Chelsea, and Marcelo Bielsa, of Leeds, meet for the first time in the Premier League. Meanwhile, Guardiola didn’t make a single substitution, at a time when he is pushing the Premier League to increase the number of replacements from three to five for player-welfare reasons. It’s now 11 goals in 11 games for the Everton striker after scoring the equalizer in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.
Man City slips further behind leader Everton with Leeds draw
Manchester City's head coach Pep Guardiola, left, talks with Leeds United's head coach Marcelo Bielsa at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Manchester City at Elland Road in Leeds, England, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020. What to make of seeing his Manchester City side held 1-1 by Bielsa's Leeds on Saturday? While Leeds had seven shots on target, Raheem Sterling's 16th-minute strike low shot inside the far post was one of only two for City. We must do more and better.”Especially with City already eight points behind Everton, which is the early leader after beating Brighton 4-2 to make it four wins out of four. Fifth-place Leeds, which like Everton has played a game more than City, is still three points ahead of Guardiola's side.
Guardiola takes on his guru, Bielsa, for 1st time in England
Leeds United's head coach Marcelo Bielsa looks out during the English Premier League soccer match between Leeds United and Fulham at Elland Road Stadium, in Leeds, England, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Within two years, Guardiola was at the helm of Barcelona and leading what would become perhaps the greatest ever team at club level. Indeed, Bielsa would feel the full force of Guardiola’s team when returning to Spanish soccer in charge of Athletic Bilbao in 2011. Guardiola never played under Bielsa, though he dearly wishes he had. “Leeds have a specific way of playing, completely different to all the teams in the league,” Guardiola said.
Disjointed and overrun, Man Utd slumps to loss on EPL return
(Richard Heathcote/Pool via AP)Manchester United began its Premier League campaign with a performance as disjointed as its offseason. Maybe the 3-1 home loss to Crystal Palace on Saturday shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. After all, United only ended a pandemic-prolonged 2019-20 season 33 days ago with a demoralizing loss to Sevilla in the Europa League semifinals. “We knew Manchester United didn’t play last week and that we had the mental advantage,” Palace winger Andros Townsend said. On a day when 21 goals were scored in four games, there were also wins for Everton, Leeds and Arsenal.
Liverpool wins wild opener vs Leeds in EPL title defense
Leeds United's head coach Marcelo Bielsa calls out to his players during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Leeds United, at the Anfield stadium, in Liverpool, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Bielsa’s first English Premier League game as a manager was barely a half-hour old and already there’d been five goals, countless chances and furious, end-to-end drama. Back in the top division after a 16-year absence, Leeds is certainly going to be a fun watch under the Argentine coaching great this season. “It was eventful,” Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk said with a smile, summing up a chaotic match. It was much more straightforward for Arsenal against another promoted team as the Premier League started a month later than scheduled due to the pandemic that is still preventing fans from attending games.
Liverpool opens EPL title defense against promoted Leeds
Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp, left, celebrates following the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, Wednesday, July 22, 2020. Liverpool are champions of the EPL for the season 2019-2020. The trophy is presented at the teams last home game of the season. (Laurence Griffiths, Pool via AP)LONDON Leeds' first game in the Premier League in 16 years couldn't be tougher: a trip to champion Liverpool. Liverpool can, therefore, get a head-start on two of its biggest rivals and will open its first title defense since 1990 with a match against promoted Leeds on Sept. 12 followed by games against Chelsea away and Arsenal at home.
AP Interview: Leeds owner tells Bielsa to relax, stress less
In this photo taken on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani poses for a picture after an interview with the Associated Press in Lisbon, Portugal. Leeds is counting on Marcelo Bielsa leading the team in the Premier League while planning for a future without the enigmatic manager. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)LISBON As owner of Leeds, Andrea Radrizzani is one of the few people who can challenge Marcelo Bielsa and be blunt with the enigmatic manager. He is very meticulous, but I always try to advise him to relax because he brings a lot of stress in his daily life and I think stress is never positive, Radrizzani said in an interview in Lisbon. As Leeds discovered on Thursday it will open the Premier League against champion Liverpool on the weekend of Sept. 12-13, Bielsa remained without a contract.