Michelle Kaufman

Michelle Kaufman: It’s time for the latest Arsenal-Manchester United clash

The Dolphins and Jets are not the fiercest or oldest rivals playing in London on Sunday.

Across town from Wembley Stadium, where the NFL teams face off, English Premier League giants Arsenal and Manchester United have their latest showdown at Emirates Stadium.

These teams first met in 1894, have played 221 times, and as always, the match is making big headlines.

ManU entered Saturday atop the EPL standings with 16 points, and Arsenal was tied for third with 13 points. Arsenal was coming off an embarrassing 3-2 Champions League loss to Greek club Olympiakos and eager to put that game behind.

Although the Gunners have won just one of the past 13 meetings against Manchester United, they have weapons in Chilean Alexis Sanchez and Germany’s Mesut Ozil, who was not at his best against Olympiakos.

Manchester United had big offseason signings and seems to be clicking with Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial. Wayne Rooney has struggled, but his teammates have made up for it.

ManU won 2-1 last year and holds the edge in the overall series: 93 wins, 79 losses, 49 ties.

▪ Mourinho under fire: Dolphins coach Joe Philbin thinks he’s under pressure? He ought to take a drive across London to commiserate with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Heading into Saturday’s match against Southampton, Chelsea — the defending league champion — was in 14th place with just two wins in the first seven games. Last week, it suffered a humiliating 2-1 Champions League loss to Mourinho’s former Portuguese club, Porto. It was Chelsea’s fifth loss this season after losing just five games all of last season.

Mourinho, dubbed “The Special One,” admits he is having a very un-special season. On Friday, he told reporters it was “the worst period in my career with the worst results in my career.”

But he said he is trying to learn from the adversity.

“It is something that is helping me to be better,” he said. “It is a great negative experience. I’ve had big challenges. I am not saying it’s a hard challenge, I’m saying it’s the worst period. I have never lost so many matches.”

The Blues coach said he is facing a kind of pressure with which he is unfamiliar. “I like to be under pressure when I’m top of the league and the second is one point behind. That’s the pressure I like.”

▪ Lewandowski roll continues: There is no player in Europe hotter than Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski. Following on his five-goals-in-nine-minutes the previous week, Lewandowski scored a hat trick in a 5-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb. In one week, he scored 10 goals over three games.

▪ U.S. takes step to Rio: The U.S. under-23 men’s team beat Canada 3-1 on Thursday in its opening CONCACAF Olympic qualifying match. Stanford junior Jordan Morris, who also has played on the senior national team, scored two goals. Real Salt Lake’s Luis Gil scored on a stoppage-time penalty kick.

▪ KC defends NWSL title: The National Women’s Soccer League championship game Thursday was a rematch of last season, and it had the same result. FC Kansas City edged the Seattle Reign, this time 1-0.

Amy Rodriguez scored the winner in the 78th minute off a cross from U.S. teammate Heather O’Reilly. Two other Kansas City players, Becky Sauerbrunn and Lauren Holiday, also played for the U.S. Women’s World Cup-winning team.

It was the final match for Holiday, who announced her retirement.

“To win for club and country is absolutely the best feeling in the world,” Holiday said. “The winning is absolutely wonderful, but the friendships are what I’m going to cherish the most. That’s what I’m going to take away, and that’s what I’m going to miss, for sure.”

Who’s leading

MLS: East — New York (48), Columbus and New England (47), DC (45), Toronto (43). West — Los Angeles (50), Vancouver (48), Dallas (47), Seattle (46), Kansas City (45).

NASL: Ottawa (34), Minnesota (29), Edmonton (25), NY (23), Atlanta (22), Fort Lauderdale (20).

EPL: Manchester United (16), Manchester City (15), West Ham and Arsenal (13), Everton, Tottenham, Crystal Palace and Leicester City (12).

La Liga: Villarreal (16), Barcelona (15), Real Madrid and Celto Vigo (14), Atletico Madrid (12).

Serie A: Inter Milan and Fiorentina (15), Torino (13), Sassuolo and Lazio (12).

Ligue 1: PSG (20), ASSE (16), Rennes, Stade Reims and Angers (15).

Bundesliga: Bayern Munich (21), Dortmund (17), Schalke 04 (16), Wolfsburg and Bayer (12).

On the tube

Sunday: Everton vs. Liverpool (8:30 a.m., NBCSN), Arsenal vs. Manchester United (11 a.m., NBCSN), Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid (2:30 p.m., BeINSport USA), Costa Rica vs. Honduras Olympic qualifying (4:30 p.m., Telemundo), Dallas vs. Houston (5 p.m., ESPN2), Seattle vs. LA (9:30 p.m., FS1).

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