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Football Briefs: Julia Roberts is a Red; United down Real on penalties

Last updated on: July 24, 2017 17:21 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Julia Roberts

IMAGE: Actress Julia Roberts supports Manchester United. Photograph: MUFC/Twitter.

Hollywood actress Julia Roberts was soaking up the atmosphere as Manchester United took on Real Madrid in California on Sunday night.

Julia was seen wearing a United top and it was posted on the club’s Twitter account with a caption: “Julia Roberts is a Red!”

It’s not the first time that the Pretty Woman star has demonstrated her love for the team.

Last year, the actress attended a slightly less high-octane match at Old Trafford, where United drew 1-1 with West Ham.

Manchester United down Real Madrid on penalties

Manchester United

IMAGE: Anthony Martial celebrates with Jesse Lingard. Photograph: MUFC/Twitter.

Manchester United defeated Real Madrid in an ugly penalty shootout on Sunday with seven players failing to convert from the spot after their International Champions Cup match ended 1-1 in Northern California.

United, who won the shootout 2-1, took the lead just before halftime when Anthony Martial slalomed into the box past three defenders to set up Jesse Lingard from close range.

Both sides made a raft of changes at the break, which upset the rhythm of the game. The sweltering conditions were also a factor as players struggled to get the tempo back up, while the 65,109 fans eagerly awaited the next goal.

It came in the 69th minute after Victor Lindelof took Real's Theo Hernandez down in the box and Brazilian Casemiro scored from the penalty spot.

Casemiro would get another chance from the spot in the shootout but hit the crossbar with Real's fifth kick to leave United the winners.

The first four penalty takers all missed, prompting incredulous laughter from a crowd denied much of a game in the second half. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Daley Blind found the net for United while Luis Miguel Quezada was the only Real Madrid shooter to score.

The two sides are to meet again in the UEFA Super Cup on Aug. 8 in Macedonia, which will be a much more competitive affair.

European champions Madrid next play Manchester City while United face Barcelona on Wednesday.

Ancelotti expects Rodriguez to shine at Bayern

Bayern Munich's recent signing James Rodriguez says: "I'm excited and motivated to be here with the team. I'm getting better physically and I'm on the right path" 

IMAGE: Bayern Munich's recent signing James Rodriguez says: "I'm excited and motivated to be here with the team. I'm getting better physically and I'm on the right path". Photograph: Bayern Munich/Twitter

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti believes new loan signing James Rodriguez will play a key role in the engine room of the German champions as they seek to export their domestic dominance to the rest of Europe.

Ancelotti guided Bayern to a fifth Bundesliga title in a row last season but the side suffered a fourth successive knockout stage failure in the Champions League and the Italian is hoping midfielder Rodriguez will spur them to greater success.

"James has a fantastic quality that can improve our level of play," Ancelotti told reporters in Singapore on Monday, where the club are involved in a three-team pre-season tournament.

"I think he gives us something extra between the lines (attack and midfield), especially in terms of the final pass to the strikers," Ancelotti added of the Colombian, who joined Bayern on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid.

"I joined Bayern because they are one of the best teams in the world and I am delighted to be at a club where the coach really trusts me," added the 26-year-old, who endured three frustrating seasons in the Spanish capital.

"I am here to win titles and am sure that we have the team and the coach to do it."

Looking ahead to the upcoming Bundesliga season, Ancelotti expects Bayern's main threat to come from Borussia Dortmund and last season's surprise runners-up RB Leipzig, who he believes may struggle with a heavier workload.

"I expect the same teams to challenge us next season. Of course, Dortmund will be there and it will be interesting to see how Leipzig go now that they have Champions League involvement and they are not used to playing in this competition, combining domestic and European football."

Rooney can lead Everton to new level, says Koeman

Everton manager Ronald Koeman says their new signing Wayne Rooney has already made a huge impact on the squad and believes the England captain's experience could lead the Merseyside club to new heights.

Rooney, who is the record scorer for the national team, returned to his first club after 13 years with Manchester United and was Koeman's sixth signing in the current transfer window.

"He has a lot of experience," Koeman told the club website.

"He is an important player on the pitch but also important for his team mates and certainly the young players to show them what you need to do to reach that high standard of football.

"That means he needs to be a leader off the pitch and if I see how he's working and what he's doing with all the players it's really what we want."

The Merseyside club have been one of the most active Premier League clubs in the transfer window, with their major signings including Rooney, Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru, Sandro Ramirez and Cuco Martina.

With Koeman hoping to sustain a challenge in both the Premier League and Europe during the upcoming season, the Dutchman believes they have added plenty of quality to the squad.

"I'm really happy with how the new players have settled in," Koeman added. "They have great futures at Everton and provide the quality we need to improve."

Everton will begin their new season against Ruzomberok, of Slovakia, in the Europa League third qualifying round. Koeman's side will be at home in the first leg on Thursday with the return fixture scheduled on Aug. 3.

Mourinho challenges Martial to be more consistent

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has asked winger Anthony Martial to deliver more consistent performances after the French forward dazzled in a pre-season victory over Real Madrid on Sunday.

Martial produced an impressive performance, including a fine run to set up United's opening goal for Jesse Lingard before United defeated Madrid on penalties at the Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

Mourinho said he saw an improvement in Martial's work ethic in training ahead of the new campaign but the 21-year-old will need to do more on the pitch to impress him.

"Obviously we want more consistency in his talent," Mourinho told reporters.

"I think today was positive for him, that's why I left him for 90 minutes on the pitch.

"He was enjoying it and trying things, it's important to try things in these friendly matches, so it's good for Anthony and his confidence.

"I can say he is training better than before, he's working harder than before. It's just a question to bring his talent more in a consistent way."

United face Barcelona on Wednesday in Washington DC with a doubt over the fitness of midfielder Ander Herrera, who was substituted after suffering a knock in the second half.

"It must at least be very painful because for Ander to come off, it has to be very painful," the Portuguese added.

"I want to wait and see what it is...it was in front of the bench, it was a bad contact. Maybe it is his ribs but I don't know."

Mourinho is already without defenders Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and winger Ashley Young ahead of the season after the trio suffered long-term injuries at the end of last campaign.

United kick off their Premier League campaign at Old Trafford against West Ham United on Aug. 13.

Chelsea apologise to China for Kenedy's offensive comments

Chelsea apologised to their Chinese fans on Sunday for offensive comments made on social media by Brazilian player Kenedy and said the midfielder had been disciplined.

The 21-year-old Kenedy, who signed for the Premier League side in August 2015, made the remarks on his Instagram page on Saturday ahead of Chelsea's preseason friendly against Arsenal in Beijing.

One of the posts was a picture of a security guard asleep which was tagged with: "Wake up China. You idiot." Another carried an expletive in Portuguese. He later deleted the posts.

"Kenedy’s actions were a mistake that he will learn greatly from," the club said on their website (www.chelseafc.com). "His behaviour does not represent the entire team and does not align with the club’s high expectations and strict requirements of its young players. He has been strongly reprimanded and disciplined.

"Everyone at Chelsea Football Club has the utmost respect and admiration for China and loves our Chinese fans. It is because of this that the negative impact we have seen over the last two days has left us shocked and saddened. Once again, we sincerely apologise for the hurt caused to our Chinese fans as well as to the Chinese people."

Kenedy himself addressed the issue after Chelsea's 3-0 win at the Bird's Nest stadium, in which he was jeered by sections of the crowd, saying he had not intended to cause offence.

Writing on social media, he said: "Hello my friends, just wanna say sorry if someone was sad because I used (that) expression... was no racism, just an expression."

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