Romelu Lukaku needed to be more ruthless for Man United while Stoke should be pleased with Jese

Alex Rea 9/09/2017
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Manchester United remain top of the table despite two goals from Cameroon forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to earn stoke a 2-2 draw in the late kick-off at the bet365 Stadium.

Choupo-Moting, a summer recruit from Schalke, put the Potters ahead on 43 minutes.

United, though, were back on level terms just three minutes later through Marcus Rashford, who inadvertently deflected a header from Paul Pogba into the net following a corner.

Romelu Lukaku gave United, who had made a 100 per cent start to the new Premier League season, the lead on 57 minutes after his initial shot had been saved by Jack Butland.
Choupo-Moting, though, secured a point for the home side with a header just after the hour, although Lukaku shot over late on and Butland produced a fine reaction stop in added time.


We analyse the performances of two key stars from the game - Lukaku and Stoke forward Jese.

STATS


Jese (Stoke)


Goals - 0
Shots - 2
Shots on target - 1
Touches - 25 
Key passes - 1
Dribbles - 1
Dispossessed - 1
Aerials won - 0
Jese on the run for Stoke Jese on the run for Stoke

Lukaku (Man United)


Goals - 1
Shots - 6
Shots on target - 3
Touches - 35
Key passes - 1
Dribbles - 0
Dispossessed - 3
Aerials won - 1
Romelu Lukaku scores United's second Romelu Lukaku scores United's second

EFFECTIVENESS


Jese


Maxim Choupo-Moting will deservedly take the plaudits for his brace but Jese has shown some promising form and is developing a key role in the dynamic - didn't think you'd say that about Stoke - front three.
He retained possession well when needed, looked to thread through cutting balls and was denied a goal by the brilliance of David De Gea - though the resulting corner led to the equaliser anyway.
Indeed, the former Real Madrid man seems to have found a new lease of life in Stoke - didn't think we'd say that either - and Potters fans will be hoping his promising form is no flash in the pan.

Lukaku


Not quite the anonymous performance he displayed against Leicester but not his destructive best either. He dropped in when he needed to try and link up with the rest of United's attack and was strong in leading the line.
Showed his deceptive speed on the counter as well but he should have scored the after Anthony Martial's superb work and he was fortunate to get a second bite for his strike.
A neat and tidy performance with a goal rather anything earth shattering but no doubt FPL managers will be pleased.


KEY MOMENTS


Jese


1st min - Literally within seconds Jese cleverly hooks the ball over his own head and he sets Choupo-Moting clear down the right wing only for the striker to bundle the ball out for a corner when he had the chance to power a shot at goal.
60th min CHANCE - A stunning save from David De Gea denied him a goal. Eric Pieters crossed in from the left and Jese met it perfectly to flash a shot from the corner of the six-yard box but somehow the United stopper gets fingertips to push the ball over. The resulting corner leads to Stoke's second equliser, though.
75th min - SUBSTITUTION - The Spaniard's game is ended when he comes off for Saido Berahino.

Lukaku


57th min GOAL - A touch of fortune about the goal as Jese is dispossessed in midfield and United counter through Henrikh Mkhitaryan who chips a clever pass through the middle for Lukaku to burst clear. His first attempt across Jack Butland is brilliantly stopped but he reacts quickest to the rebound to slam home his fourth of the season.
81st min CHANCE - Should have been the winner as Martial turns on the jets and speeds down the right. He deliciously bends an awkward low ball into the area and it sits up for Lukaku six-yards out and instead of directing goalwards the Belgian shins the ball over the bar.
Romelu Lukaku celebrates his goal Romelu Lukaku celebrates his goal

VERDICT


Jese


Finding his fitness and his form, he was effective in linking up with Xherdan Shaqiri and Choupo-Moting who together are forming quite the trio.
Denied a goal by the brilliance of De Gea but a promising performance all the same.

6.5/10


Lukaku


A quiet first-half but he fused United's attacks and his hold-up play was as solid as ever.
Needed to be more ruthless finishing as he was lucky to get a second bite at the cheery for his goal.

7.5/10


All statistics are compiled using whoscored.com


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Theo Hernandez says Real Madrid "need" Cristiano Ronaldo back after draw with Levante

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Theo Hernandez says Real Madrid “need Cristiano Ronaldo” back after his side drew 1-1 against Levante at the Bernabeu.

A slow start by a much-changed Real team was punished when Ivi Lopez fired newly-promoted Levante into a shock lead after just 12 minutes.

Real responded thanks to Lucas Vazquez’s equaliser before half-time, but failed to break Levante’s resistance despite incessant pressure as Bale, Marcelo and Toni Kroos came close in the second-half.

Hernandez, who made his debut at left-back, said of the draw: “We’re hurting because of the draw. But we’ll keep working hard and fighting to get points on the board. We’ll take it game by game.

“We’re not happy with the result but we have to start thinking about Wednesday and the Champions League. We played our game. We had chances and we didn’t take them. Levante had one and they scored from it.”

The foul which got Marcelo sent off

The foul which got Marcelo sent off

Marcelo will join Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos in being suspended after he was sent off and Hernandez added: “We need all the players who have been suspended, one hundred percent. But the referee made his decision and that’s that.

“We need Cristiano back with us now so he can score goals.”

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Not replacing Alvaro Morata was a huge risk and other things learned from Real Madrid's draw with Levante

Andy West 9/09/2017
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Real Madrid paid for the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo and a series of missed chances by Gareth Bale as they were held 1-1 at home by Levante.

A slow start by a much-changed Real team was punished when Ivi Lopez fired newly-promoted Levante into a shock lead after just 12 minutes.

Real responded thanks to Lucas Vazquez’s equaliser before half-time, but failed to break Levante’s resistance despite incessant pressure as Bale, Marcelo and Toni Kroos came close in the second-half.

Here are three things learned from the draw…

REAL MADRID ARE NOT INVINCIBLE

When the season started, Real Madrid were reigning Spanish and Champions League champions and had just convincingly beaten Barcelona and Manchester United in Super Cups. They looked unstoppable.

But football, as the saying goes, is a funny old game, and just a short while later they have been plunged into a mini-crisis after failing to win either of their first two home league games for the first time in 22 years.

Manager Zinedine Zidane certainly won’t be losing his head and will no doubt recall that his team endured a similar run around about the same time last year, drawing three consecutive games against Villarreal, Las Palmas and Eibar. They can recover now like they did then.

Their stuttering start to the season, however, serves a reminder that nothing comes easily in a hugely competitive league such as La Liga, and that even lesser lights such as Levante are more than capable of dishing out upsets if things go their way.

Real Madrid are by no means finished, but they have been given a wake-up call – loud and clear.

NOT REPLACING ALVARO MORATA WAS A HUGE RISK

In an otherwise logical and well-planned summer transfer window, Madrid took a major risk by selling Alvaro Morata to Chelsea and not signing a replacement.

The danger was exacerbated with the knowledge that Cristiano Ronaldo now regularly sits out games as part of Zinedine Zidane’s rotation policy, and an earlier than expected test of the decision came courtesy of Ronaldo’s Spanish Super Cup red card, forcing him to miss the first four league games.

Without him, Madrid have only two choices for the centre forward role, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, and both are desperately struggling for form right now.

Benzema started against Levante but was soon forced off with a thigh injury, leaving Bale to step off the bench and lead the line in an unaccustomed centre forward role. The Welshman was very poor, struggling to make much impact in his team’s build-up play and missing three glorious chances to score.

It’s easy to say with the benefit of hindsight that Madrid should have signed a centre forward this summer and that they would have won against Levante if Morata had been playing. But it’s also true.

Not a good in the office for Gareth Bale

Not a good in the office for Gareth Bale

TIME FOR THEO

Madrid’s frustration was encapsulated in an explosive outburst towards the end of the game when Marcelo unleashed a shot (which was well saved) and then tangled in an ugly fashion with Levante midfielder Lerma, kicking his opponent viciously.

It was a moment of madness from Marcelo, who was rightly shown a straight red card and now faces a suspension of at least two games – the same length of ban received by Isco for a similar incident in El Clasico a couple of years ago.

Marcelo’s absence will probably mean an extended opportunity for Theo Hernandez, the club’s summer recruit from Atletico Madrid who dazzled on loan with Alaves last season.

Playing alongside Marcelo on the left flank, Theo endured a mixed full league debut against Levante, showcasing his impressive physical talents with a number of powerful runs but generally letting himself down with poor final delivery. He must do better in the coming weeks.

Theo Hernandez

Theo Hernandez

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