What the papers say
“Och, not Duncan Ferguson again,” Sir Alex Ferguson used to complain whenever his Manchester United side came up against Everton. Not without reason, either. More than once, Sir Alex would find his plans laid to waste by his younger namesake: seven goals in all, including headed winners in 1995 and 2005. For the older Ferguson, “Big Dunc” represented the dangerous unknown: an inimitable cocktail of salt and chaos that a generation later, in his newest guise as a manager, seemed to be undoing United all over again.
As Everton’s interim manager completed his television interview at the end of this 1-1 draw, he turned towards the knot of travelling fans in the corner. Arms pumping, jacket off, shirt sodden, he demanded and received their acclaim. A short distance away in the directors’ box, the power trio of Bill Kenwright, Farhad Moshiri and Marcel Brands gazed inscrutably on. Ten days in and their hasty stop-gap appointment was already giving them plenty to think about.Continue reading...
• Manager refuses to talk about signing Erling Haaland
Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted Manchester United lacked the “ideas” required to beat Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday.
United dominated before and after Victor Lindelöf’s first-half own goal but could salvage only a point via Mason Greenwood’s late equaliser. The result meant United dropped to sixth and ultimately left their manager ruing a paucity of creativity.Continue reading...
A late Mason Greenwood strike spoilt the party for Duncan Ferguson as his Everton side drew at Old Trafford. Everton were looking for a second successive win under their interim manager, after a heroic win against Chelsea last time out. The Toffees opened the score after an own-goal from Manchester United's Victor Lindelöf.Continue reading...
Manchester United’s bid to claim a third consecutive Premier League win for the first time since January foundered on a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal.
After the high-octane victories over Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side were sloppy and profligate. Everton came to be dogged and if not for a cool-eyed finish by 18-year-old Mason Greenwood in the 77th minute Duncan Ferguson’s team would have won.Continue reading...
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- Manley to McTominay: 4,000 victories for Manchester United’s academy
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2 min Now hear come Everton, Holgate pumping in a cross that De Gea has to flick over the top. He looks to have hurt himself stretching, but will be fine.
1 min United nearly score in the first 20 seconds! Rashford beats Coleman in the air and Martial runs the channel - do not adjust your sets, you read that right – then finds Fred, who bursts into the box, beats one man, runs through another, and the ball squirts across to Lingard, who swivels to shoot just wide.
1 min Off we go!
Here come the teams! Harrance Maguire captains United, and I’d expect that to continue – I’d not be surprised if he was signed partly for that reason. Personally, I’m unconvinced. If he actually is the leader he’s meant to be – Steve Bruce with a first touch – then he ought to have done more to protect the leads United habitually cede.
“Happy to see bogeyman Sigurdsson on the bench,” emails Duncan Edwards. “Happy for Gary Naylor to keep that goal as his greatest memory of Everton v United and happy to predict that will remain the case after today. 4-2 United.”
To save Gary the bother.
Solskjaer tells Sky Everton pose a different challenge to City, and his young team are learning etcetera etcetera; he expects Everton to play a centre-back in midfield.
Ferguson confirms that Sidibe and Sigurdsson are ill, and the formation is a consequence of that – I think he might have done well in that aspect, because the 5-3-2 will make things harder for United.
What Everton need to avoid – and prepare yourselves, for this is a biggie – is not to concede early. United’s confidence, though up, remains brittle, and if they fail to score in the first half-hour, they’ll remember that they’re meant to struggle in such circumstances and also that they lack midfield inspiration. On which point, Jesse Lingard has been really good lately, and the onus will be on him to open things up.
Back to today, I imagine Ferguson has gone for ball-carriers in midfield because he wants to counter the counterers. Playing two strikers also means that the long ball is a decent option, and if Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin can hold it up, Bernard, Iwobi and the wing-backs will be in the game.
Imagine this was your boss!
How good was this!
I imagine United will look to outrun and outfight Everton in midfield – there’s not a lot of ballast in Bernard, Davies and Iwobi – then find space between centre-back and wing-back. The question is how effectively they can do that against a team sitting deep.
Players you’ve never seen play well: Bernard. I’m surprised he’s playing today, and I’m unsure what it is he’s meant to be good at. Feel free to correct me.
“Duncan knows what to do when the time comes,” tweets Gary Naylor.
Looking again at the teams, I wonder if Axel Tuanzebe might’ve been a smart choice for United. Lindelof started the season poorly, and though he’s been better in recent weeks, he and Maguire are too similar for my tastes. Tuanzebe is as good as Lindelof on the ball, better under the high ball, and has the recovery pace to compensate for any errors. I’d guess that Ferguson sees the centre of United’s defence as a weak point to exploit.
So, come on then: let’s have your tales of classic late-90s idiocy. I’ll start: when Hooch came out, we went to Kwik Save Kentish Town, bought a load, then went back to school for afternoon lessons. It went as well as you imagine.
Ferguson, meanwhile, changes formation and personnel. Aware of what United can do when offered space, his 5-3-2 will aim to restrict that, at the same time as keeping an attacking threat via the deployment of two strikers. Out go Sidibe, Schneiderlin, Walcott and Sigurdsson; in come Coleman, Mina, Davies and Bernard.
So United are unchanged – replace Fred or Lingard with Pogba (stop laughing at the back) and this is Solskjaer’s first team. At some point, Greenwood is going to demand inclusion – personally, I’d have picked him over Martial for last weekend. But Martial was excellent in that game, so deservedly returns. Can he maintain that level of effort and performance?
Manchester United (a 4-3-3 disguised as a 4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred, Lingard; James, Martial, Rashford. Subs: Romero, Tuanzebe, Williams, Young, Pereira, Mata, Greenwood.
Everton (a practical 5-3-2): Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Mina, Digne; Bernard, Davies, Iwobi; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison. Subs: Stekelenburg, Baines, Tosun, Keane, Niasse, Martina, Gordon.
Sometimes the cosmos is kind to us. Not often, but sometimes. And right now is one of those times, because frankly, who doesn’t wish we were back in the late 90s? Some of us who are dead were alive, many of us who are old were young, and all of us who are young were free of this revolting hell-hole of a planet. So slip on your v-neck and Vans, grab a Fuse and a bottle of Hooch, and come right in for Ole Gunnar Solskjær v Duncan Ferguson back up in the game!
Strangely, these men are similar in an increasingly unusual way: they are uniformly loved. Petty grudge-bearing and fickle mind-changing are part of what makes football so joyous, but both Solskjær and Ferguson sit above that, a status earned through consistent excellence, unquestioned commitment and unimpeachable integrity – whether tripping Rob ert Lee or ragdolling Paul Ince.Continue reading...
Manchester United are aiming to win three consecutive league matches for the first time since mid-January while Duncan Ferguson hopes to claim a second win in a row as Everton caretaker manager. This is United’s last league outing before Wednesday’s one-year anniversary of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s temporary appointment so there is extra incentive to claim victory. Jamie Jackson
Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
The system that bred the Busby Babes, George Best and the Class of 92 hits a remarkable milestone on Sunday
Scott McTominay is the latest poster boy for a remarkable Manchester United academy that has produced the Busby Babes, George Best and the Class of 92, and which will provide a player to the matchday squad for the 4,000th game in succession when Everton visit on Sunday.
McTominay was blooded at the age of 20 by José Mourinho in a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in May 2017 and by the end of the following campaign had received the manager’s player of the season award.Continue reading...
The Burnley winger was let go by the club he supported as a boy but he has bounced back to attract United’s interest once again
Dwight McNeil turned 20 only last month, yet he is already an established presence on the left wing at Burnley, with the promise of a long Premier League career ahead and bigger clubs beginning to show interest in his rare ability to beat defenders with the ball at his feet.
To say those feet are firmly planted on the ground might be understating the matter, for McNeil’s is a football success story based on family values and recurring routines. As a child he would watch his father playing for clubs at non-league and lower league level around the north-west. “Stalybridge Celtic spotted him first, and he went to Hyde, Runcorn, Macclesfield and Stockport, with me and my mum following him everywhere every week,” McNeil explains.
Related: Burnley v Newcastle: match previewContinue reading...
• Ferguson still in temporary charge at Goodison Park
Manchester United will be looking for a fourth consecutive win when Everton travel to Old Trafford on Sunday, and though the visiting team have just lost a manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær knows better than most how effective an in-house replacement can be.
With Duncan Ferguson following Frank Lampard and Freddie Ljungberg in taking either temporary or permanent control of the club he knows best, it is even possible that United set a pioneering example when turning to Solskjær just under a year ago.Continue reading...
Arsenal can exploit Manchester City’s weakness, Pellegrini in peril and Brighton upbeat for Palace derby
Nigel Pearson was introduced to the media at Vicarage Road on Thursday, when he was asked about the reputation he has gained across his career. Towards the end of his time at Leicester one press conference memorably dissolved into an instantly infamous rant – “If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich” – which sealed his reputation as, frankly, a bit of a grump. “I know I have at times been perceived as difficult to work with, but a lot of that was born out of trying to protect my players,” he said. “I’m a human being, I’m like anybody else. You would prefer to be liked than disliked, wouldn’t you? But I have to accept I have been responsible for creating a persona.” In the other dugout on Saturday will be a manager who has created an entirely contrasting persona, but sadly for Pearson there are likely to be more frowns for him than Jürgen Klopp. In their last three visits, Watford have lost 5-0, 5-0 and 6-1. Since then, they have got worse and Liverpool better. SBContinue reading...
Mason Greenwood had a night to remember as Manchester United dismantled AZ Alkmaar’s challenge with a barrage of second-half goals. The 18-year-old striker scored two of them and won a penalty for another as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side cantered to victory in their final Europa League group game.
“The lad’s a natural finisher, he’s always done it,” the United manager said. “He’s good with both feet and always composed. He probably just needs to develop his heading. Seriously, though, to change nine players and still win so comfortably is a great credit to the players.”
Cluj booked their place in the knockout stages by defeating a makeshift Celtic side in Romania. Second-half goals from defender Andrei Burca and midfielder Damjan Djokovic inflicted Celtic's first Group E defeat.Continue reading...
- Updates from Thursday’s Europa League matches
- Live scoreboard: all the details from tonight’s matches
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Some instructions from Freddie Ljungberg to Lacazette - behind the hand of course as is de rigueur these days. Arsenal then make a mess of trying to play the ball out from the back. Not sure that’s what he was recommending guys ...
Some colour from one of tonight’s other games here. Looks lovely, if a little empty ...
#tsfpAtTheGames @sidlowe is at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez tonight for a big Europa League game.
Getafe and Krasnodar both level on 9 points, battling for second place in the group. It's very wet and very cold... pic.twitter.com/FkeCGHKVG1
A good save from the Standard keeper denies Smith-Rowe at the other end. Better from Arsenal
Almost disastrous for Arsenal but Cancela fails to capitalise on their defensive problems after an initial mistake from David Luiz. Groans all around the Stade Maurice Dufrasne
We have a goal! Vitoria have taken the lead in Germany against Eintracht Frankfurt which means Standard’s dream of qualifying is alive and kicking ...
A decent start for Celtic over in Romania, with debutant Robertson showing some great skill. They also have Karamoko Dembele and the fantastically-named Grant Savoury on the bench. If you can think of any of food-based players in action this evening let me know ...
You’ve got to love David Luiz, who has just attempted a shot from his own halfway line! Not far away either
Peep peep and we’re off in the early kick-offs. Guendouzi goes down after clashing with M’Poku inside the first 30 seconds but seemed to make a lot of that.
Sako and Nelson providing support to Lacazette in attack tonight for the Gunners, who have made nine changes from the win over West Ham. Could be exciting ... Meanwhile Standard’s top scorer Maxime Lestienne is on the bench
A young Arsenal side take to the pitch in Belgium. It looks cold out there.
Almost time for kick-off now, hope you’re all ready. A reminder of the games about to start
The pressure is on Lazio to win against Rennes in Group E otherwise Cluj will be heading through with Celtic. Things are pretty tight in Arsenal’s group after their loss to Eintracht Frankfurt last time but they will be fine unless they lose 5-0, with the Germans just needing a point at home to Vitoria
In Group C, Basel are definitely through whatever happens but Getafe need a point against Krasnodar at home to qualify. Group D is much simpler, with Sporting and Linz battling it out for top spot in Austria.
Several groups still have issues to be resolved, although we already know that Sevilla and Apoel Nicoisa are in the hat from Group A. In Group B, it’s a three way tussle between Dynamo Kiev, FC Copenhagen and Malmo with the Swedish side needing to win in the Danish capital to be sure of fending off the Ukrainians.
It’s time to get serious in the competition that started back in the second week of July for some of the teams in action this evening. After this week’s events in the Champions League, we know that Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, Benfica, Club Bruges, Inter Milan, Olympiakos, Red Bull Salzburg and Shakhtar Donetsk will be the eight teams dropping down into the draw for the last-32, which looks a decent set of potential winners to me.
It’s all change for Celtic as well, with a debut for 18-year-old Scott Robertson in midfield ...
CFR Cluj: Arlauskis, Susic, Burca, Cestor, Camora, Djokovic, Bordeianu, Culio, Deac, Traore, Omrani.
Hi everyone and welcome to a busy evening in the Europa League! There’s a lot going on in the final round of matches in the group stages with plenty to be resolved in the 24 games that are taking place tonight.
First up among the British sides are Arsenal, who just need to avoid a 5-0 defeat in their trip to face Standard Liege in Belgium to make it through to the last-32. After their morale-boosting win over West Ham on Monday, surely that will be a piece of cake for Freddie Ljungberg’s side?
There’s a recall for Matteo Guendouzi as Freddie Ljungberg names his Arsenal side to face Standard Liege.
Here’s the teams in full:Continue reading...
- Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig to push for January transfer
- Playing time key but Norwegian will talk to United and Juve
The Red Bull Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland is considering offers from Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig after visiting the two Bundesliga clubs but is expected to hold talks with Manchester United and Juventus before deciding on his future.Continue reading...
• Solskjær expects Paul Pogba to return before end of year
Ole Gunnar Solskjær claims his decision to rest senior squad members for the arduous trip to Kazakhstan last month is behind Manchester United’s impressive performances in the last two weeks, with the club moving up to fifth in the table after beating José Mourinho’s Tottenham and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
With qualification to the Europa knockout stage assured an extremely callow United side lost in Astana, though they will finish top of their group as long as they avoid defeat by AZ Alkmaar at Old Trafford in the final group game on Thursday. Solskjær confirmed he would again be considering reserves and academy products, while sending out a selection capable of winning.Continue reading...
Stadium was once a jewel but now it needs an urgent upgrade as Tottenham and others lead the way
Old Trafford is one of football’s most vibrant amphitheatres. During the 109-year history of Manchester United’s home, Billy Meredith, George Best, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane and Cristiano Ronaldo are a few of the greats to grace the stage of England’s record title winners.
Yet the venue has become tired and worn. When the Manchester rain poured hard last season the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand leaked. The seating is crammed and wifi patchy. The directors’ box has an antiquated feel and the bars and suites a faded glamour. A venue that hosted 1966 World Cup and Euro 96 matches has not staged a showpiece game since the 2003 European Cup final.
The new cantilever stand under construction in August 1965. Photograph: Terry Mealy/Mirrorpix via Getty Images
Fans outside Old Trafford by the souvenir shop in 1972 and the Manchester United megastore in 1996. Photographs: Colorsport/Shutterstock; Empics Sport
The first game at Old Trafford in February 1910, bomb damage in September 1945; Looking down, in August 1949, on the new uncovered stand which temporarily replaced the covered stand destroyed during the blitz, Chelsea goalkeeper Petar Borota lines up his defensive wall at Old Trafford in May 1979 and a view of the Stretford End in April 2014. Photographs: Manchester United via Getty Images; Daily Herald/Mirrorpix via Getty Images; Mirrorpix/Action Images; Chelsea FC via Getty Images; Offside/Getty Images
The Spurs fans display a mosaic ahead at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in April 2019. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Aerial views of Old Trafford in the 1930s, 1966 and 2017. Photographs: Bob Thomas/Popperfoto via Getty Images; PA Archive; Emre Zengin/AlamyContinue reading...
• Rashford having his most prolific season at Manchester United
• Solskjær: ‘It’s very easy to compare the two of them’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has encouraged comparisons between Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo and admitted the England forward has the ability to emulate his predecessor at Manchester United.
Rashford’s penalty in the victory over Manchester City in Saturday’s derby took him to double figures in the Premier League for only the second time in his career despite more than half of the season remaining. With 16 goals for club and country so far the 22-year-old is enjoying by far his most prolific campaign since breaking into the United first team under Louis van Gaal in 2016, having been utilised mainly off the left flank by Solskjær and the England manager, Gareth Southgate.Continue reading...
Aston Villa need more firepower, Tottenham’s front four are flying again and Manchester City have fallen behind
The difference between finishing 17th and 18th in the Premier League is often a striker who can score 10 goals a season. Aston Villa’s line is being led by Wesley, a £22m summer signing from Club Brugge. Thus far he has scored four goals in 16 Premier League appearances, the last coming more than two months ago. There is no doubting the Brazilian is short of confidence, not troubling Kasper Schmeichel on Sunday, but his hold-up play and lack of physicality must be a concern for Dean Smith whose reserve, Jonathan Kodjia, was deemed not worthy of replacing Wesley in Villa’s thrashing. Admittedly, Leicester’s defence is the best in the league but Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu barely broke sweat. January is fast approaching and Smith will have to do some business to avoid the drop. Do nothing and Villa’s fate could be sealed quickly. Will UnwinContinue reading...
• Jesse Lingard praised after recent return to form
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is determined that Manchester United remain just as focused on winning when they play against so-called lesser teams as they were in the victory against Manchester City on Saturday.
The champions were beaten 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium, with United as impressive as they were in the midweek win against Tottenham. Yet despite Chelsea also previously being beaten and the leaders Liverpool held to a draw, Solskjær’s side have lost against Crystal Palace, West Ham, Newcastle and Bournemouth.Continue reading...
Ball-boy affection and Norfolk rainbows in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures.Continue reading...
Man reportedly named as Anthony Burke arrested over alleged racist abuse of Manchester United player
The arrest of a man on Sunday in connection with alleged racist abuse directed towards Manchester United players in a televised derby has led to renewed soul searching about the extent of the problem in the game.
In the immediate aftermath of the match at the Etihad, in which Manchester United beat rivals City 2-1, former player turned pundit Gary Neville blamed politicians including Boris Johnson for creating a climate where racism was more acceptable.Continue reading...