Paul Scholes claims Manchester United have copied Liverpool’s mistakes

Jose Mourinho is struggling to find consistency at Manchester United (Action Plus via Getty Images)Paul Scholes believes Manchester United have turned into a laughing stock by copying the mistakes Liverpool made during his time as a player.

United have lost three out of their eight Premier League games so far and a title challenge from Jose Mourinho’s side is looking unlikely.

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Manchester City have enjoyed a strong start to the season and look on course to compete for the title.

During Scholes’ career, both Liverpool and City struggled to to keep up with United who dominated the Premier League under Sir Alex Ferguson.

But the former midfielder believes United have slipped far behind their rivals with poor recruitment and a muddled playing style.

Scholes won 11 Premier League titles during his time at United (Getty Images)‘United now feels like Liverpool from years ago, like we’re making all the same mistakes as they did,’ Scholes told ESPN.

‘We were watching Liverpool and City from afar and smirking as they changed managers and players every year, never getting anything right.

‘It feels like we have turned into a Liverpool or a Man City.

‘I feel like people at Liverpool and Man City are looking at us and laughing like we did at them many years ago.

Scholes believes Liverpool are far ahead of United (Getty Images)More: Football

‘But if you look across the road, they’re doing everything right. They’ve brought the best manager in the world in. They’ve brought staff in to be responsible for signing players. They have a set way of playing every week.

‘Everything becomes easy for them. It becomes easy for the scout who knows that they play 4-3-3 and knows the positions of players and what they’re looking to sign.

‘It’s virtually impossible for a chief scout at Man United to do the same.

‘Whether Jose has a clear way in the future, I don’t know because the form is that bad. United are all over the place.’

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Chelsea ‘top club in England’ ahead of Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal, claims Olivier Giroud

Giroud believes Chelsea are England’s top club (Picture: AFP/Getty)Olivier Giroud believes Chelsea are the ‘top club in England’ ahead of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City and former club Arsenal.

The Blues ditched the Emirates for Stamford Bridge in January, but his new side failed to qualify for the Champions League and will spend this campaign in the Europa League.

It’s been an up-and-down few years for the west London club, but Chelsea have won as many Premier League titles over the past decade as their main rivals, and Giroud – who was linked with a move away in the summer – is convinced they are the ‘top club’ in the country.

When asked about leaving Chelsea in the summer, he told L’Equipe: ‘It did not go as far as we could say.

Giroud left Arsenal in January (Picture: Getty)‘There was really a contact [from Marseille] last year, but nothing really concrete this summer.

‘I had just arrived at Chelsea, it was not the time to pack my bags again three months later.

‘For me, Chelsea is the top club in England, the one that has won the most titles over the last ten years.

‘I am where I wanted to be. So why leave?’

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Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk told he ‘needs to change’ after Manchester City blunder

Virgil van Dijk has largely impressed for Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Virgil van Dijk needs to ‘change’ after almost gifting Manchester City victory over Liverpool at the weekend, his Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman has said.

Dutch star Van Dijk is rated as one of the Premier League’s best defenders and has enjoyed a bright start to his career at Anfield.

His performances have helped Liverpool climb to the top of the table – where they sit alongside Man City and Chelsea.

But he conceded a penalty against City at the weekend after fouling Leroy Sane with a clumsy challenge in the 85th-minute.

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While Riyad Mahrez blasted his spot-kick over the bar, Koeman says this was another example of how Van Dijk needs to improve.

‘I know him so well – and that means I know where all his little faults are,’ the Netherlands manager said.

‘Virgil has to improve. Not a lot. But sometimes he is a little too laid back. That needs to change.

‘There are moments as a defender when you should be no more than three feet away from the striker you are marking.

Van Dijk trains with his Netherlands team (Picture: Getty)

Manchester United and Arsenal to miss out on Premier League top four – Matt Le Tissier

Premier League legend and Sky Sports pundit Matt Le Tissier (Picture: Getty)Manchester United and Arsenal will miss out on a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, according to Matt Le Tissier.

Three teams are currently joint-top, with defending champions Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool separated only by goal difference.

Arsenal are fourth, having won their last nine games in all competitions, but north London rivals Tottenham are hot on their heels.

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Jose Mourinho’s United, meanwhile, are down in eighth after a poor start to the campaign.

The Red Devils finished second last season on 81 points but Le Tissier cannot see them securing a top-four place this term.

‘I think I will go with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs for the top four,’ Le Tissier told Sky Sports.

Jose Mourinho faces a fight to finish in the top four (Picture: Getty)‘As long as Christian Eriksen doesn’t spend to long out of the team for Tottenham… because I think they miss him quite a bit.

‘Manchester United have got some ground to make up if they are going to be in contention.’

The Southampton legend added: ‘I still think Manchester City will win the title.

Le Tissier is backing Manchester City to defend the title (Picture: Getty)‘They have so much quality and strength in depth and over the course of the season that will give them the edge.

‘Even without someone who was considered to be their best player last season in Kevin De Bruyne, they’re still sitting top of the table after eight games.

‘Many people thought they were going to miss him a lot and obviously that quality of player is going to be a bit of a miss.

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‘But their strength in depth is just incredible and what they’ve got in terms of quality forward players and being able to hurt teams in different areas of the pitch.

‘They should be a couple of points clear but Riyad Mahrez’s penalty against Liverpool was an absolute shocker.

‘I don’t think they will win it by 19 points again like last season but I’d expect Man City to win it by a handful of points.’

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Gary Neville rules Arsenal and Chelsea out of the Premier League title race

Former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville doubts Arsenal and Chelsea will challenge for the Premier League title this season.

Both London clubs have enjoyed impressive starts to the 2018-19 campaign, with Chelsea joint-top going into the second international break of the season.

The Blues look revitalised under Maurizio Sarri – who replaced Antonio Conte as manager in the summer – and are yet to be beaten in the league.

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Arsenal, meanwhile, won their ninth consecutive game in all competitions on Sunday, thrashing Fulham 5-1 at Craven Cottage.

But despite their scintillating form, Neville doubts Arsenal or Chelsea will challenge Manchester City and Liverpool for the title.

‘I don’t think Arsenal… I don’t think they’ll be challenging for the title,’ the former Manchester United and England defender told Sky Sports.

Liverpool goalkeeping coach hailed by Jamie Carragher after key role in Riyad Mahrez’s penalty

Alisson dived the right way for Riyad Mahrez’s penalty (Picture: Getty)Jamie Carragher highlighted the role of Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg after Riyad Mahrez missed a crucial penalty in Manchester City’s goalless draw at Anfield.

Mahrez had a golden opportunity to send City top of the Premier League table after Virgil van Dijk scythed down Leroy Sane inside the box in the 85th minute of the clash.

However, Pep Guardiola’s £60million signing blazed his spot-kick well over Alisson’s bar and both managers had to settle for a point on Merseyside.

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Mahrez aimed for the top left corner of Alisson’s goal and replays show Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach, Achterberg, instructing the Brazilian to dive in that direction – which he did.

Achterberg was then be seen punching the air in the dugout as Mahrez wasted the chance to end Liverpool’s unbeaten record in the league.

Liverpool great Carragher spotted Achterberg’s antics in the dugout and highlighted the unseen work that goes in from backroom staff.

‘When I was up there doing commentary, I could see the goalkeeping coach John Achterberg,’ the former defender said.

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‘You can see what he’s telling him. Obviously if you’re facing then it’s top right.

‘He goes exactly there and the ‘keeper dives that way and look at the reaction. That’s the work they have to do, the analysis of penalty-takers.’

Graeme Souness reveals the ONE reason Chelsea won’t challenge Liverpool & Man City for the Premier League title

Graeme Souness has ruled Chelsea out of the title race (Picture: Getty)Graeme Souness believes Chelsea are missing a top striker to challenge Liverpool and Manchester City for the Premier League title.

The Blues returned to the top of the table after their 3-0 win against Southampton on Sunday and are locked on 20 points with rivals Liverpool and City, who played out a 0-0 draw at Anfield later in the day.

Maurizio Sarri has his side playing free-flowing football and looks to have improved the defence from their leaky displays at the very start of the season.

Eden Hazard is in the form of his life at Stamford Bridge but Souness believes Chelsea are over-reliant on the Belgian and lack a ‘goal-getter’ in the mould of Sergio Aguero.

Hazard’s already scored eight goals this term (Picture: Getty)‘I maintain that Chelsea, if they had an out-and-out ‘goal-getter’ they could join these two [Liverpool and City,’ Souness told SkySports.

‘Without Hazard they don’t have as much threat. Both of these two have more players that can threaten.

‘It will be between one of Liverpool and City. Don’t write Chelsea out but they need a real ‘goal-getter’.

‘If anything happened to Hazard they’d be in trouble. I like their football but I’ve got a slight doubt about them.’

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Chelsea face Manchester United after the international break and it remains to be seen if former manager Jose Mourinho will still be in charge of the Red Devils.

Reports on the weekend claimed Mourinho would be sacked regardless of whether the club beat Newcastle at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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Gabriel Jesus ‘not happy’ with Pep Guardiola’s penalty decision in Liverpool draw

Mahrez pulled rank on Jesus (Picture: Jon Super/REX)Gabriel Jesus admits he was unhappy to be blocked from taking Manchester City’s penalty against Liverpool.

Pep Guardiola wanted Riyad Mahrez to take the 85th minute spot kick, with the City forward telling Jesus to move aside.

Virgil van Dijk’s challenge on Leroy Sane gave City the chance to steal all three points, but Mahrez shot high over the bar.

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The game ended with both sides sharing the points and Jesus said after the result he was disappointed to be passed over.

‘Obviously I’m not happy,’ he said. ‘As with Riyad, I’ve been practicing. I would like to have taken it, I was confident, so I was not happy that they did not allow me.

‘However, it was important that we didn’t lose. Pep spoke with me.

Mahrez missed the target by some distance (Picture: Getty)‘This is part of football, sometimes these things happen. I will support Riyad if the manager chooses him again.’

The stalemate at Anfield leaves City and Liverpool level at the top of the table, with Chelsea also on 20 points.

The penalty miss turned out to be a costly one for City, but Guardiola insisted it was his choice.

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Guardiola says he made the choice to overlook Jesus (Picture: Reuters)He said: ‘During the training sessions every day I see Mahrez taking the penalties and it gave me a lot of confidence.

‘It will be good experience for him, next time it will go in. Jesus wanted to [take it]. I apologise. It was my decision.’

Jurgen Klopp denies Premier League title race is a two-horse race

Liverpool and City are being billed as the top two contenders (Picture: Getty)Jurgen Klopp rejects the idea the Premier League title race will be between Liverpool and Manchester City this season.

City held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw at Anfield on Sunday, in what was being billed as a crucial fixture in the title race.

But after Chelsea beat Southampton 3-0, the Blues sit on 20 points with Liverpool and City, with all three sitting joint-top of the table.

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Arsenal are climbing up the table after six league wins in a row, and Klopp thinks there will be a cluster of clubs challenging for the title.

‘Absolutely,’ Klopp said when asked if the draw opened up the title race. ‘I knew this before.

‘And Arsenal are two points behind, yeah? Having won six games in a row, did they? So it looks like they are in a good shape.

Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez breaks silence after shocking penalty miss v Liverpool

Riyad Mahrez smashed his penalty over the bar (Picture: Getty)Manchester City forward Riyad Mahrez insists he will not let his shocking penalty miss against Liverpool affect his confidence.

Mahrez had a golden chance to give City their first Premier League victory over Liverpool at Anfield for 15 years when the visitors were awarded a penalty in the 84th minute.

Substitute Leroy Sane was taken out by Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk in the box, but Mahrez blazed his spot-kick way over the bar.

The Premier League clash finished goalless, meaning City, Liverpool and Chelsea are joint-top of the table going into the second international break of the season.

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Mahrez, speaking for the first time about the penalty incident, said: ‘My record is good in the Champions League yes, but not in the Premier League.

‘We have to go forward and stay strong – it’s football, it’s life.

‘It won’t affect me at all. Everyone misses penalties, even big, big players.’

‘Of course I wanted to score to help the team to win. I made the decision to shoot in the middle – the ball went up.

58 – Among players to have taken at least 10 penalties in the Premier League, only Juan Pablo Angel (50%, 5/10) has a lower success rate than Riyad Mahrez (58%, 7/12). Fluffed. pic.twitter.com/SKbNurWsQD
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 7, 2018

‘Now I have to look forward. It’s part of football – sometimes you score, sometimes you miss.

‘But the most important part was that our performance was very good. We deserved to win, but sometimes it’s important not to lose, as well.’

Pep Guardiola refused to criticise Mahrez, who joined City from Leicester in the summer, and praised his ‘courage’ for stepping up, with Sergio Aguero already off the field.

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‘[Riyad] had the courage and the balls to take the penalty, in training he shoots perfect penalties but sometimes it happens,’ he said.

‘The usual taker is Sergio Aguero but he wasn’t there. We played so well so if you want to analyse the result it was okay.

‘Last season we lost here, and this season we drew, maybe next season we will win.’

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