Postecoglou era off to good start as Tottenham beats Man United. Liverpool overcomes Bournemouth

LONDON (AP) — As Ange Postecoglou made his way to the far end of Tottenham’s stadium to applaud supporters after his first home game as Spurs manager, he was greeted by a white wall of fans giving him a standing ovation.

If any of those supporters still had lingering doubts about the club’s direction following a summer of upheaval, it’s safe to say that beating Manchester United 2-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday went a long way toward winning over skeptics.

Yes, the Harry Kane era is over at Tottenham. But the Postecoglou era could be worth getting excited about as well.

“The support was outstanding, right from the first whistle the crowd were outstanding,” Postecoglou said. “They carried us through the first half because we were nervy. … We’re showing bits of our game today. I saw enough that encourages me.”

It should encourage the fans, too.

Playing the brand of attacking football that the Australian manager promised to bring to north London, Tottenham took the lead through Pape Matar Sarr in the 49th minute and netted the second with a bit of luck as United defender Lisandro Martinez deflected a low cross into his own net in the 83rd.

Sure, there were things Tottenham still need to improve. The team’s attempts to implement Postecoglou’s tactic of playing out from the back nearly got them in trouble in the first half, as United’s press forced turnovers and dangerous counterattacks.

And Richarlison so far looks incapable of replacing Kane up front, as the Brazil striker struggled to get involved in Spurs’ attacks for the second game running and was taken off in the 70th.

But James Maddison had another good showing as Tottenham’s new creator-in-chief, and fellow newcomer Guglielmo Vicario pulled off a couple of good saves to deny United a way back. None better than when he tipped a header from Casemiro over the bar as the visitors searched for an equalizer.

For United manager Erik ten Hag, meanwhile, this was another game that left more question marks around his team.

United somehow beat Wolverhampton 1-0 at home in the opening round despite being largely outplayed at Old Trafford, and this time they lost despite being the better team in a first half that had good chances for both sides. Bruno Fernandes should have given United the lead before the break, but missed a wide open header in front of goal.

And Tottenham then largely dominated after the break.

“It was fair to say we looked a bit nervous at the start which wasn’t surprising,” Postecoglou said. “We gave the ball away a little bit too much and, to be fair, Man Utd probably had the better of the chances. … Second half, certainly in spells, it kind of showed the team we want to be.”


Manchester City celebrated last season’s treble in front of the home fans, and given an immediate reminder that repeating as Premier League champion could be harder than ever.

In its first home game of the season, City needed a first-half goal from Julian Alvarez to beat Newcastle 1-0 at the Etihad in a tight encounter that showed Eddie Howe’s team is growing ever closer to challenging the very top teams.

“There are no words to express my gratitude for the performance we gave,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “It was really, really good.”

Man City made it two for two after beating Burnley away in the season opener, while Newcastle was coming off an impressive 4-1 win over Aston Villa.


A bit of adversity seemed to be just what Liverpool needed in its first home game.

Jurgen Klopp’s team went behind in the third minute and Alexis Mac Allister was sent off in the second half, but the still beat Bournemouth 3-1 at Anfield.

After Antoine Semenyo put the visitors ahead, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah scored for Liverpool in the first half and Diogo Jota added the third shortly after the hosts went down to 10 men.

Mac Allister was shown a straight red card in the 58th for kicking Ryan Christie’s leg after a mistimed challenge for the ball that Klopp insisted did not warrant a sending off.

“When you see it back, it is the inside of the foot and no power behind it. It is not ruthless it is just (he) mis-hit the ball and then hit slightly the shin of the other player,” Klopp said. “We saw harsher challenges which were not a red card and this shouldn’t have been.”

Salah’s goal lifted him past Steven Gerrard into fifth place among Liverpool’s all-time leading scorers, with 187.


Brighton could well find itself atop the standings after the weekend, thanks to another high-scoring display.

Solly March netted two goals in a four-minute span of the second half as Brighton earned a second straight 4-1 win to start the season — this time against Wolverhampton.

Kaoru Mitoma and Pervis Estupiñan also netted for the visitors before the break.

It was another indication that Brighton is ready to challenge the top teams again despite losing Mac Allister to Liverpool and midfielder Moises Caicedo to Chelsea following a record-high sixth-place finish last season.

Brentford followed up last weekend’s 2-2 home draw against Tottenham by beating Fulham 3-0 away, after the host’s Tim Ream was sent off in the second half.


AP soccer:

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