What the papers say
• ‘I am worried about results, not the fans,’ says Sarri
Maurizio Sarri is clinging to his job after Chelsea’s defence of the FA Cup was wrecked by Manchester United and the home supporters took out their frustrations on the manager.
Boos greeted the whistle at half-time and full-time, with discontent at Sarri’s substitutions spilling over in the second half of the 2-0 fifth-round defeat.Continue reading...
Marcus Rashford a joy to watch and a constant menace while Eden Hazard must be running low on patience
Kepa Arrizabalaga 5 No chance with first goal but should have done better to prevent Pogba’s header creeping in.Continue reading...
On nights like this it makes no sense at all to think a manager would not search high and low for the key to Paul Pogba and then turn it to the fullest degree. The slow-burning intensity of this FA Cup tie was wrapped up in the chasing and harrying, the bundling challenges and hopeful pot-shots, until Pogba suddenly elevated himself, the game, and Manchester United’s vibrant Cup run.
In a 14-minute spell at the end of the first half they carved out an unassailable lead thanks to the blend of vision, technical precision and physical force that is Pogba at his swaggering best. First, the cross: Ander Herrera set off on a sudden sprint up the right, anticipating that United might be about to unleash an invaluable weapon. Pogba with the ball at his feet on his current form always presents the possibility of a stirring touch.Continue reading...
• Millwall v Brighton and Watford v Crystal Palace
Both Manchester clubs were kept apart in the draw for the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Manchester City will travel to Swansea for another trip to south Wales after beating Newport in the fifth round.Continue reading...
Chelsea will not stand for much more of this. Maurizio Sarri, isolated and alone, shuffled around his technical area as his team were out-muscled, out-manoeuvred and out-classed by Manchester United to leave the FA Cup. The Italian’s eyes never left the pitch but he could not have been deaf to the repertoire of chants, whipped up by the fans in the Matthew Harding stand where faith in the current regime is wrecked beyond repair, which damned their own head coach. The humiliation was brutal.
They veered from “You don’t know what you’re doing”, via an industrial and scathing assessment of Sarri-ball, to bellowed praise of Frank Lampard, a favourite figure whose candidacy as a potential replacement, for all that his current focus is with Derby, has been enhanced by Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s startling success with United since December.
Related: FA Cup quarter-final draw – live!Continue reading...
- FA Cup fifth-round updates from the 7.30pm GMT kick-off
- Football Weekly: FA Cup predictability, trouncings and wild finales
- And feel free to email Jacob or tweet him @JacobSteinberg
A reminder: VAR is in use for this game and there will also be extra-time and penalties if it ends in a draw. No replay! The quarter-final draw will also take place once this is over.
Chelsea start in their Sarri-approved 4-3-3. Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Gonzalo Higuain replaces Andreas Christensen, Emerson Palmieri, Ross Barkley, Willian and Olivier Giroud, all of whom make way after deputising in last Thursday’s away win against Malmo in the Europa League.
Manchester United make four changes after last week’s defeat to PSG. Sergio Romero starts in goal instead of the rested David De Gea and Chris Smalling replaces Eric Bailly, while Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata come in for the injured pair of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard. We’ll have to wait to see if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can squeeze any ketchup out of Alexis Sanchez, who starts on the bench.
Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger, Alonso; Jorginho, Kante, Kovacic; Pedro, Higuain, Hazard. Subs: Caballero, Christensen, Zappacosta, Hudson-Odoi, Barkley, Willian Giroud.
Manchester United: Romero; Young, Lindelof, Smalling, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Mata, Lukaku, Rashford. Subs: De Gea, Bailly, Dalot, Fred, McTominay, Pereira, Sanchez.
Hello. Who’d be a football manager in 2019, eh? Offered the chance, probably all of us. After all, most of them get paid pretty well. The pay-off when you’re fired after two seconds would be wonderful. But don’t get too excited. Nobody likes being fired. You’d actually be pretty upset. All those millions, but you’d just want to get back out on the training ground again and smell the grass, lay out the cones, get involved with the banter, bark out some orders, slice some oranges. You’d just want someone to refer to you as The Gaffer again. Or The Gaffa.
The problem is nobody gets much time to do much coaching these days, especially at the highest level, which makes it hard to maintain a sense of perspective when things aren’t going to plan. Everybody wants success and everybody wants it now. The demands simply grow louder, more intense and harder to ignore, because we all need to Have Our Say, which is how we get ourselves into the situation where this FA Cup tie between Chelsea and Manchester United is being billed in some quarters as an audition for the managers of both teams to prove that they deserve to still be in a job this time next week.Continue reading...
• Manchester United manager backs his Chilean forward
• Sánchez looks to rediscover form against Chelsea in FA Cup
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has denied Alexis Sánchez is past his best, saying that once the Chilean forward scores it will be like squeezing a “bottle of ketchup” and his best form will be released.Continue reading...
“I think every manager feels that loneliness,” Ryan Giggs says as he identifies the usually unspoken difficulty at the core of his work. The manager of Wales since January 2018, Giggs has had nine games to get used to the isolation.
“I’m lucky to have great staff around me and, during the week, you’re constantly in meetings and on the training ground. But it’s that hour before the game, when the coaches take the lads out to warm up, that you feel it. You’re alone in the dressing room and you’ve done everything you can. That’s a lonely time. There’s nothing left to do. You’re on your own.”
If it is Ole, keep it among the club and start planning. Our problem the past few years is we were always playing catch up.Continue reading...
The clubs are meeting in the FA Cup’s tie of the round after sobering defeats last week
The fast-moving world of football has managed to overtake what promised to be an FA Cup treat at Stamford Bridge on Monday night. When the draw was made, Chelsea’s pairing with Manchester United was the obvious fifth-round highlight, but that was before both clubs suffered chastening setbacks.
Chelsea suffered their heaviest defeat of the Premier League era at the hands of Manchester City last Sunday, a 6-0 thrashing that left Maurizio Sarri in a state of shock. It is highly unlikely that Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s United will be quite so ruthless and relentless, though with a Carabao Cup final against City due at the end of the month one could readily understand Sarri and his players feeling apprehensive about the possibility of setting up another meeting in a different competition.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
• United away to Chelsea in FA Cup on Monday
Chris Smalling can draw on his own challenging childhood when talking to the pupils of Salford City Academy. He is there as the new patron of Football Beyond Borders, a charity that hopes to provide stability and hope for disadvantaged youngsters. Smalling’s glittering career shows how difficult beginnings can be overcome. The 29-year-old lost his father as a child and was raised on a council estate, the family requiring social security.
“I grew up with my mother and brother and was in education to 18, so I feel hopefully I can relate to them all,” he says, speaking at the comprehensive school the day after Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team lost 2-0 to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. “Football was always a dream, but a distant dream until when I was about to go to university. I’d had a couple of trials, but it wasn’t a realistic dream, it was a kid’s dream.”Continue reading...
• Gomes, Chong, Sánchez and Lukaku in line to deputise
Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are out for up to three weeks because of injury, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær saying that means a chance for Alexis Sánchez and Romelu Lukaku to step up for Manchester United.
Martial and Lingard were forced off during Tuesday’s 2-0 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford because of groin and hamstring problems respectively.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
Originally they were called Fergie’s Fledglings, then the Class of ’92, though it was fitting that Eric Harrison’s death at the age of 81 led everyone at Manchester United to acknowledge where the credit for a remarkable generation was due.
“Eric we owe you everything,” Gary Neville said. “We’ve lost our mentor, our coach and the man who made us. He taught us how to play, to never give up and how important it was to win your individual battles.”
He instilled values that stood us in good stead for the rest of our lives. I'll be for ever indebted to himContinue reading...
• Portuguese’s next move will be to host show on Russian TV
Manchester United have revealed that José Mourinho and his staff received a £19.6m payoff following the Portuguese’s sacking at Old Trafford.
The staggering sum was disclosed in figures released on Thursday in the club’s half-yearly accounts. It was called an “exceptional item relating to compensation to the former manager and certain members of the coaching staff for loss of office”. The other coaching staff thought to be compensated are senior goalkeeping coach Silvino Louro, opposition scout Ricardo Formosinho, fitness coaches Stefano Rapetti and Carlos Lalin and analyst Giovanni Cerra, although Mourinho is expected to have received the bulk of the money.Continue reading...
Today’s fluff has got apple pie in the sky hopes
João Félix, the 19-year-old Benfica forward, is in the kind of form that was bound to attract somebody’s notice. In each of his last three league appearances he has scored and assisted a goal, helping his team to 5-1, 4-2 – over Sporting, no less – and 10-0 wins. And according to the Sun he has been watched “on a number of occasions” by scouts representing Manchester United, who have bought some decent Portuguese teenagers in the past and feel ready to dip their toe into that market once again. United “are looking to launch a bid in the next transfer window” and Benfica “would be willing to sell the youngster”, with the only thing standing in the way of an easy deal being the fact that As Águias value him at an eye-popping £100m. “The club went to see Félix in action and it was all positive,” an Old Trafford source tells the Sun. “He is definitely someone who is increasingly of interest.”Continue reading...
• United pay tribute to ‘mentor of young players’
• Harrison helped produce Fergie’s Fledglings
Eric Harrison, the coach credited with producing Manchester United’s famous Class of 92 youth side, has died at the age of 81.
News of his death was confirmed on Thursday by United, where Harrison spent 17 years as a youth team coach after moving from Everton in 1981.Continue reading...
• PSG face series of charges over the conduct of their fans
Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United after two bottles were thrown from the stands towards Ángel Di María during Paris Saint-Germain’s win at Old Trafford on Tuesday.Continue reading...
Whisper it – and try at least for a while to ignore the enormous Brazilian ego that has temporarily vacated the room – but might Paris Saint-Germain finally have worked it out? The difference between their performances at Anfield in September and at Old Trafford on Tuesday could hardly have been more pronounced. Perhaps this PSG are contenders after all.
Certain issues, it’s true, remain. Gianluigi Buffon is 41. However agile and dominant he remains, he has the feet of a goalkeeper who grew up in the 90s; a sweeper-keeper he is not and, in a world in which almost everybody presses, that restricts how high the defensive line can play while in turn making PSG susceptible to opponents who press them.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær urged his players to raise their game after suffering his first defeat as Manchester United manager against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.Continue reading...
• ‘This is a reality check for us,’ says Solskjær after PSG defeat
• United may face Uefa action over bottle thrown on pitch
Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United cannot afford to feel sorry for themselves after Paris Saint-Germain inflicted a first defeat of his caretaker tenure.
Asked what his message to the players was after a 2-0 defeat that was United’s heaviest at home in European competition, Solskjær looked forward to their next game, in the FA Cup on Monday, saying: “Not to be sorry for themselves. Anyone who feels sorry for themselves probably won’t play against Chelsea.Continue reading...
For all the complexities of elite sport, some things don’t change. In his novel End Zone, Don DeLillo obsesses about the speed of NFL running backs. “Speed is the last excitement left,” he writes. “The one thing we haven’t used up, still naked in its potential.”
In which case DeLillo could do a lot worse than have a peek at Kylian Mbappé, who glided around the edges at Old Trafford for half an hour; who scored a decisive second-half goal; and who by the end had provided some moments of exhilaration so natural and easy in among the collisions you could almost feel the stadium goggling each time he began to glide away.Continue reading...