Jose Mour­inho fears Man United suc­cumb­ing to pres­sure af­ter 3rd loss

Tavec­chio wants to re­duce Serie A from 20 to 18 clubs Torino full­back Moli­naro tears ACL, re­quires surgery

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

The foot­balling di­vide in Manch­ester is be­com­ing clearer a month into the sea­son.

On the blue side, Pep Guardi­ola is thriv­ing at the start of his Manch­ester City ca­reer with five wins out of five in the Premier League.

On the red side, Jose Mour­inho is dis­cov­er­ing the toils David Moyes and Louis van Gaal en­dured try­ing to live up to Alex Ferguson’s high achieve­ments dur­ing his 26-year reign at United.

Af­ter open­ing the cam­paign with three suc­ces­sive wins, the record 20-time English cham­pi­ons have now lost three games in around a week.

United’s 3-1 loss at Wat­ford on Sun­day - end­ing a 30-year un­beaten run against the club based north of Lon­don - fol­lowed a los­ing start to the Europa League on Thursday at Feyeno­ord in the Nether­lands. The mis­er­able se­quence started by los­ing the first Manch­ester derby of the sea­son to Guardi­ola’s City.

“I feel that some in­di­vid­u­als prob­a­bly feel the pres­sure and re­spon­si­bil­ity too much,” Mour­inho said at Vicarage Road. “We Strug­gling to com­pete with the English Premier League and the Span­ish Liga, Ital­ian foot­ball fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Carlo Tavec­chio wants to re­duce Serie A from 20 to 18 clubs.

Tavec­chio told Rai state ra­dio that a re­duc­tion would in­crease the over­all skill level of the league and at­tract a big­ger fan base with more com­pet­i­tive matches.

Tavec­chio also wants to re­duce started the sea­son very well with (win­ning) the Com­mu­nity Shield and three vic­to­ries in a row in the the num­ber of teams in Serie B and the third divi­sion. He plans to dis­cuss a three- or a four-year plan with the leagues this week.

He says, “I know there are eco­nomic prob­lems and we can’t do it in a year.”

Serie A pres­i­dent Mau­r­izio Beretta has in­di­cated he is open to dis­cussing the idea.

Serie A had 18 clubs from 19882004 be­fore the cur­rent 20-team for­mat was in­tro­duced. Premier League, the best start that a new man­ager has had at Manch­ester United I think. Torino full­back Cris­tian Moli­naro has torn a lig­a­ment in his left knee and will re­quire surgery, de­priv­ing newly ar­rived goal­keeper Joe Hart of a key de­fender.

Moli­naro in­jured his an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment near the halfhour mark of Sun­day’s 0-0 draw with Em­poli.

He could be out for up to six months.

“But was I think­ing that my team was ready, per­fect, un­beat­able? Not at all. I was com­pletely aware that we were not per­fect, with lots of play­ers who are not end prod­ucts and can make their own mis­takes.”

On Sun­day, al­though 18-yearold Mar­cus Rash­ford marked his first start of the sea­son for Mour­inho by can­celling out Eti­enne Capoue’s opener, Wat­ford surged back in front in the 83rd minute at Vicarage Road. Sub­sti­tute Camilo Zu­niga scored within a minute of com­ing off the bench and Troy Deeney net­ted a penalty in the fifth minute of stop­page time.

It’s only five games into the Premier League sea­son but United is al­ready six points be­hind the lead­ers — Guardi­ola’s City.

“We have to im­prove, no doubt, in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively,” Mour­inho said. “And that’s my job.”

If not Manch­ester United could be miss­ing out on the top-four again and face an­other sea­son out of the Cham­pi­ons League. But there’s a long way to go in the sea­son.

Torino is al­ready with­out lead­ing for­ward An­drea Belotti, who in­jured his right thigh with Italy’s na­tional team ear­lier this month.

Belotti, who scored a hat trick against Bologna in Au­gust, is ex­pected back in the next week or two.

Hart, the Eng­land starter, is on loan from Manch­ester City.

Torino has four points from the open­ing four rounds.

Man United man­ager Jose Mour­inho

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