Multiple ‘Super Cup’ fixtures have taken place around Europe this week, while the opening weekend of the English Premier League season also getting underway has meant football supporters around the globe have had much to take in over the past few days.
The footballing ups and downs that take place are an entertaining part of the business, and it is certainly a part of why we follow.
Here, we highlight the good, the bad and the ugly from around Europe this weekend.
The Good: Manchester United and Jose Mourinho Begin With a Victory.
Sunday afternoon saw the self -proclaimed ‘Special One’ get off to a winning start as Manchester United boss, with a 3-1 victory away at AFC Bournemouth.
Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the goals as the Red Devils enjoyed taking control of much of the afternoon’s proceedings. United supporters should be especially excited by the seemingly instant adaptation of Ibrahimovic to the English game.
Following up his Community Shield winner against Leicester City last week, ‘Zlatan’ found the net against the Cherries to all but seal victory for his side midway through Sunday’s second half.
Ibrahimovic’s size and strength will undoubtedly lead to more goals for United throughout this Premier League campaign. Excellent performances from Daley Blind and Eric Bailly in Mourinho’s back four will have been equally satisfying for all those following Manchester United, though tougher tests are on the horizon.
The Bad: Déjà Vu For Borussia Dortmund Who Again Suffer Defeat at the Hands of Bayern Munich.
The German Super Cup was played on Sunday night, as perennial Bundesliga rivals FC Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund squared off for the first trophy of the new season.
Despite a strong first-half performance, the match ended with a familiar feeling for Dortmund, tasting defeat against FC Bayern.
The 2-0 victory for Bayern saw new manager Carlo Ancelotti capture his first piece of silverware for the Bavarian giants, as midfielder Arturo Vidal put in an exceptional performance.
Despite there being little shame in succumbing to the impressive display of the five-time European Cup winners, Dortmund will feel disappointed that they were unable to provide more resistance late in the match, as possession and all the scoring chances belonged to Bayern.
Manager Thomas Tuchel will receive criticism for not playing Mario Gotze who has recently re-signed for Dortmund from Bayern, as his pace and quality could well have been of use when searching for the equaliser.
Tragically for BVB, their new season has started in the exact same fashion that their last season finished with – watching bitter rivals Bayern lift a trophy.
The Ugly: Paddy Mcnair’s Face Gives Manchester City Three Crucial Points
Oh, Paddy McNair.
Everything seemed to be going so swimmingly for the 21-year old defender. Judged to be surplus to requirements in Jose Mourinho’s new regime at Manchester United, he found himself brought into David Moyes’ Sunderland side and subbed into the team’s first match of the new season against Manchester City on Saturday.
Clinging to a 1-1 scoreline and set for an impressive point at the Etihad, the centre-back saw his day go south in only a few short minutes. Desperately pushing for a last minute goal, City midfielder Jesus Navas crossed the ball into the box from the left flank, only to find his pass deflected off the gloves of Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
For Sunderland, that was the good news. The bad news? The ball cannoned off Mannone’s hands directly into the face of poor Paddy McNair, who could only grimace in pain while seeing the ball trickle into the net and hand City all three points at home.
Keep your head up, young man. There will be better days ahead.