By DAN KARELL
For arguably the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired following the 2012-2013 season, Manchester United looked like the team of old.
Going down two goals in the first 13 minutes, Man United stormed back in the opening match in the English Premier League’s Boxing Day schedule, tying the match 13 minutes later before scoring the go-ahead goal 21 minutes into the second half to defeat Hull City 3-2. Wayne Rooney played a part in all three United goals, setting up the first, scoring the second on a terrific volley, and then causing Hull defender James Chester to lose his concentration and power a header into his own goal.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, Arsenal took down West Ham 3-1 behind two goals from Theo Walcott, Sunderland stunned 10-man Everton on the road, 1-0, with Tim Howard having been shown a red card in the 23rd minute, and Newcastle pummeled Stoke City, 5-1.
Here are some more stories from around the world:
BARCELONA OPENS NEGOCIATIONS FOR COURTOIS
With Victor Valdes almost surely leaving Barcelona at the end of this season, it looks as though Barcelona has identified his replacement.
The Catalan club has been linked with both Atletico Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but it looks as though Barcelona is interested in bringing the Belgian Courtois to the Nou Camp. A report in Spanish publication Marca states that Barcelona has opened talks with Chelsea for the on-loan goalkeeper with Atletico. It’s thought that Barcelona would need to pay at least 20 million euros ($27.5 million) for Courtois’ services.
Only 21-years old, Courtois has been one of the stars of Atletico’s rise into the top three teams in La Liga. So far this season he has eight clean sheets to go along with 15 league wins in 17 matches.
PSG SEARCHING FOR CENTRAL MIDFIELD DEPTH
With the opening of the January transfer window fast approaching, Paris Saint-Germain is discussing all options available.
The club was disappointed with recent losses to Evian TG in Ligue 1 and Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and is looking to bulk up the squad’s midfield with a signing that could feature in the next round of the Champions League. Among those linked with PSG in one French report are Newcastle’s Yohan Cabaye, AS Roma pair Miralem Pjanic and Daniele De Rossi, Fiorentina’s Borja Valero, and Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic.
Cagliari’s Belgian midfielder Radja Nainggolan is also included in the report, though he is likely to join AC Milan this January. The report doesn’t state how much each player could cost, though it’s likely some players would leave before any new ones enter the PSG squad.
Juan Antonio Pizzi, who just took San Lorenzo to the Argentine league title, has been named head coach of Valencia CF. (REPORT)
Bayern Munich and Manchester United have been linked with the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke. (REPORT)
PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been strongly criticized for saying women’s soccer players don’t deserve to be compared to their male counterparts. (REPORT)
Controversial Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan has secured a deal to buy Bosnian club FK Sarajevo. (REPORT)
Former AC Milan goalkeeper Dida has signed a contract with Brazilian club Internacional of Porto Alegre. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Impressed with Man United’s comeback victory this morning? Do you see Courtois moving to Barcelona? Think PSG can make a couple of purchases this January?
Share your thoughts below.