Manchester United downed Chelsea, 2-0, in Avram Grant's first game as the Blues' new manager. With Ronaldinho
sidelined, Argentine Leo Messi
starred for Barcelona in its win against Sevilla. Unfancied Nancy remained the leader in France's Ligue 1, while former Mexican national team captain
took charge at struggling Atlas. MATCH
] If a change of managers was intended to change Chelsea's fortunes, it didn't work.
The Blues lost their
first game since the sudden departure of Jose Mourinho
, falling to Manchester United, 2-0, in a game that saw them finish with 10 players.
Mourinho's replacement, Israeli Avram Grant
, bemoaned the dismissal of Nigerian John Obe Mikel
for a challenge on
Frenchman Patrice Evra
in the 32nd minute.
United won on a superb header from Carlos Tevez
at the end in
the first half and a penalty kick by Louis Saha
in the 89th minute after the Frenchman was taken down by Tal Ben
The loss dropped Chelsea to sixth place, five points behind leader Arsenal but with a game in hand. PLAYER
] With Ronaldinho
sidelined and rapidly falling
out of favor in the Catalan press, Barcelona president Joan Laporta
called Argentine Leo Messi
"the essence of
soccer" after he sparked a win against Sevilla on Saturday.
Messi followed up on his impressive display for Barcelona in the 3-0 UEFA Champions League win over Lyon on Wednesday
by scoring two goals in seven minutes that gave the Catalan club a 2-1 victory over Sevilla at the Nou Camp Stadium.
French star Thierry Henry
set up Messi for the first goal that the young Argentine put away with a scissors kick. The second goal was scored from the penalty kick after Mexican teenager Giovani Dos Santos
was taken down in the penalty area. RACE
] Unfancied Nancy remained the leader in France's Ligue 1 thanks to a 2-0 win over Lorient on a pair of goals by Youssouf Hadji
With six wins, one tie and only loss in eight games, the Lorraine club leads Bordeaux by a point and has a game in hand.
Just five years ago, the club at which the great Michel Platini
got his start was on the verge of being demoted from the second level of French soccer, but
Uruguayan coach Pablo Correa
has worked magic using a mix of journeymen and young players.
Hadji, the younger brother of former Moroccan
star Mustapha Hadji
, returned to Nancy in January after stints at Bastia and Rennes and has been outstanding this season.
Frenchmen Sebastien Puygrenier
and Pascal Berenguer
, both long-time ASNL players, Marc-Antoine
and Issiar Dia
, who arrived last season, as well as Brazilians Kim
and Andre Luiz
have all been key players for Nancy. COACH
/TOMAS BOY Tomas Boy
, the captain of Mexico's 1986 World Cup team, is the new coach of struggling Mexican First Division club Atlas.
came shortly before Saturday's game against Chiapas. With Atlas assistants in communication with Boy from the sidelines, the Guadalajara club lost to Jaguares, 1-0, leaving it with only two
points in nine games in the Torneo Apertura.
Romano was the third First Division coach to be fired after Dario Franco
at UAG and Victor Manuel Vucetich