What the papers say

‘Absolutely not’: Ten Hag denies United are way behind City after derby defeat

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 20:12
  • Manchester United manager says ‘small margins’ decided game
  • Pep Guardiola claims Phil Foden is best player in the league

Erik ten Hag denied Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City showed there is a gulf between the sides and claimed that, with different officiating decisions before each of Phil Foden’s goals, the visitors could have won.

Marcus Rashford’s eighth-minute strike gave United the lead and, though he spurned further chances, City dominated throughout. Foden’s finishes on 56 and 80 minutes gave the hosts the lead before Erling Haaland’s third in added time sealed victory for Pep Guardiola’s side.

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Phil Foden thrives using trusty old Pep Guardiola skill-gnome template | Barney Ronay

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 19:28

The Manchester City playmaker controlled the game from tight spaces to offer mouthwatering encouragement to England

At times during the opening hour of this game it might have seemed to a casual observer that Phil Foden had walked on to the pitch with a handler in tow; perhaps some tolerant elderly relative, there to stand close but not really that close, to chase dutifully, prepared to let him show off his twinkly footwork, like some weary Sunday morning dad scrolling his phone in the park.

In the event this turned out to be Victor Lindelöf, Manchester United’s stand-in left-back, who did his best to track and chase and non-specifically hinder Manchester City’s outstanding attacker in what was, ultimately, a neck-crickingly one-sided 3-1 victory. This was a thankless security detail. Even with United’s deep-set midfield filling the spaces, Lindelöf simply didn’t have the physical capacity to stop this full-bore, mid-season version of Foden, who is just a different style of human, his feet moving too quickly, the tendons set to a different level of twang.

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Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: Premier League ratings

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 18:35

De Bruyne, Foden and Rodri made the difference in the second half as United failed to hold off Pep Guardiola’s title chasers

Ederson The less heralded of City’s A-listers had zero chance with Marcus Rashford’s finish and was as safe as usual. 7

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Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 18:03

Phil Foden scored two fine goals as City came from behind to overwhelm United in the second half

A reminder of the teams

Man City (possible 4-1-2-3) Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Ake; Rodri; De Bruyne, Bernardo; Foden, Haaland, Doku.
Substitutes: Ortega, Gvardiol, Akanji, Lewis, Kovacic, Gomez, Nunes, Bobb, Alvarez.

We have a few players with physical problems who have really fought to be part of this game. Jonny Evans is one of them – he wanted to play and this is the strongest back four we have available.

[On his tactics] Sometimes we want to overload the midfield. We know they have a high back line. We have a lot of speed with Garnacho, Rashford, then Scott McTominay from the second line and Diogo Dalot from the third. We have a lot of options there.

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Foden earns City spoils in Manchester derby to keep pressure on Liverpool

What the papers say - Sun, 03/03/2024 - 17:52

At least it was not another abject humiliation. That was the crumb of comfort from the Manchester United point of view. In four of the previous six derbies – and that did not include the FA Cup final at the end of last season, which Manchester City won 2-1 – United had been taken apart in grisly fashion. Their supporters even had the thrill of seeing Marcus Rashford blast them into an early lead with a furious long-range drive.

It was still another defeat, another occasion when the gap to the top was mapped out in painful detail – as it was always going to be. United’s ambition was limited to battling to stay compact and trying to nick something on the counterattack. It is not what they should be about and Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the new minority owner, knows it.

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‘We can go toe to toe with them’: Erik ten Hag backs United to supplant City

What the papers say - Sat, 03/02/2024 - 22:30
  • Manager echoes ‘ambition’ of minority owner Jim Ratcliffe
  • Team travel to Etihad for derby 15 points behind local rivals

Erik ten Hag wants to topple Manchester City and turn Manchester United into the Premier League’s best once again. The Dutchman takes his side to the Etihad on Sunday 15 points behind their neighbours but believes United have the quality to be champions.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the club’s new minority owner, says his ambition is to knock City “off their perch” in the next three years but United have a lot of catching up to do. “We have to show ambition, we want to be the best. That is what United stands for,” Ten Hag said. “But at the same time, we know where we are now. We’ve also seen that there are moments where we go toe-to-toe, so that’s the belief we have as a team.

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Bruno Fernandes naysayers overlook just how important he is for United

What the papers say - Sat, 03/02/2024 - 22:30

The captain is often maligned for his on-field antics but would Roy Keane be any different with this team around him?

Bruno Fernandes is Manchester United’s 2020s version of Roy Keane: vocal, aggressive, fiercely competitive, highly talented and deemed by his manager to be the obvious captain. The Portuguese is all these things, especially in a United vintage that is among the weakest of the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.

If Ferguson viewed Keane as his alpha male, the Irishman was surrounded by stellar acts in Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Jaap Stam and numerous others. At different times, all had an argument for being the Premier League’s best player in their position. Fernandes does not enjoy the same supporting A-list cast. In a team game he looks around the pitch each week and sees maybe only Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martínez, when they are fit, who are his equal.

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Omar Berrada: City’s business brain crossing Manchester to rebuild United

What the papers say - Sat, 03/02/2024 - 12:00

Manchester United’s swoop for City’s chief operating officer is seen as a coup but how much influence will Berrada have?

Omar Berrada and John Lennon: Manchester United’s incoming chief executive and the late Beatles superstar are, seemingly, kindred spirits.

This is according to Berrada himself, the Paris-born Moroccan who was a boyhood Barcelona fan. His poaching from Manchester City by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the 27.7% United owner and controller of football policy, has been a shock to the champions’ hierarchy and is viewed as a coup in the industry.

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Jim Ratcliffe sets United’s stakes high for first Manchester derby test

What the papers say - Fri, 03/01/2024 - 20:00

Knocking City off their perch is the ultimate target and the new investor has made it clear Erik ten Hag has little room for error

Welcome to the new world. Which looks, at first glance, a bit like the old world. There may be a new and exceptionally wealthy sheriff in town. But even with a midweek FA Cup win in the bag Manchester United have taken the chance over the past few days to return to a more familiar state of disorder.

Erik ten Hag is talking about TikTok videos, with all the easy command of your uncle who teaches Latin trying to understand grime music. The new Marcus Rashford has dropped (themes: pain and longing; mentions of trying hard or backing the manager: zero).

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Erik ten Hag demands apology for Fulham's Fernandes TikTok post – video

What the papers say - Fri, 03/01/2024 - 00:28

Erik ten Hag has demanded an apology from Fulham for posting a video on TikTok mocking Bruno Fernandes following their 2-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. 'I didn’t know this, but if they did it I would say it is not right. It is absolutely not right that a club makes such a statement, because it is totally out of order and they were wrong so they should apologise for this,' he said

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 03/01/2024 - 00:00

Ivan Toney faces a club backed to sign him, Spurs need to kick on and Erling Haaland spells danger for Erik ten Hag

Brentford have what Chelsea want: a striker who consistently scores goals. Ivan Toney’s desire to leave for a team higher up the table – although it’s not much of a jump at the minute – is well known. Brentford, struggling of late, defeated Mauricio Pochettino’s side earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge during Toney’s well-publicised ban. With Toney back among the ranks, they will be even more confident at home on Saturday and the striker will see the match as an opportunity to show Chelsea he could be the man to lead them from mid-table also-rans to once again challenging for European football. Chelsea were blunt against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup final, an indication they still require a No 9, but at least got back to winning ways in the FA Cup against Leeds. Chelsea’s defence will know about Toney’s threat and could be helpful scouts when the Blues decide who they should splash out for in the summer. Will Unwin

Brentford v Chelsea, Saturday 3pm (all times GMT)

Everton v West Ham, Saturday 3pm

Fulham v Brighton, Saturday 3pm

Newcastle v Wolves, Saturday 3pm

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Marcus Rashford says criticism has ‘a tone you don’t get with all footballers’

What the papers say - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 20:12
  • England forward wants naysayers to ‘have a bit more humanity’
  • Alan Shearer has questioned Rashford’s body language

Marcus Rashford has suggested he is judged more harshly than some other footballers and said there is “a tone” to media reporting of both his perceived attitude at Manchester United and off-the-field lifestyle.

In a first-person piece for the Players’ Tribune website entitled ‘Who I really am’, the England forward claimed his campaigning against child food poverty during the Covid pandemic “seemed to rub certain people the wrong way”.

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‘Good for us’: La Liga president wants Mason Greenwood to stay in Spain

What the papers say - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 16:36
  • Javier Tebas says Greenwood’s past does not concern him
  • Forward on loan at Getafe from Manchester United

La Liga’s president, Javier Tebas, says Mason Greenwood’s past does not concern him and that he would like to see the on-loan Getafe forward prolong his career in Spain.

Greenwood joined the club on loan from Manchester United last September, seven months after the Crown Prosecution Service announced that criminal proceedings against him over an alleged attempted rape had been dropped. He had ­previously been suspended by United and would have been due to stand trial last November. Since returning to the pitch he has been well received at his temporary club, scoring five goals in Spain’s top flight, and Tebas is keen for him remain there for the long term.

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Manchester United’s Ten Hag demands Fulham apology for Fernandes TikTok

What the papers say - Thu, 02/29/2024 - 15:26
  • Manager claims opponents ‘totally out of order’ over post
  • Maguire and Højlund likely to stay on lengthy injury list

Erik ten Hag has called on Fulham to apologise for appearing to mock Bruno Fernandes. The Manchester United manager hit out in the wake of Wednesday’s FA Cup victory over Nottingham Forest at criticism implying his captain feigned injury against Fulham.

Before Sunday’s derby with Manchester City, Ten Hag was asked about a TikTok post from Fulham showing Fernandes going down during last Saturday’s Premier League contest, then swiftly recovering, accompanied by the caption: “So glad he’s OK …”

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Casemiro’s late nod topples Forest as Manchester United roll on in FA Cup

What the papers say - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 21:56

Legend has it that Mark Robins was the man to save Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United managerial career with an FA Cup winner against Nottingham Forest in 1990. That year United went on to win the trophy at Wembley and the pressure was lifted from their manager. Erik ten Hag will be hoping Casemiro’s late ­winner might have the same galvanising effect on his tenure.

The Brazilian’s header was the 36th attempt on goal on a night devoid of quality but the result is all that matters for Ten Hag, who will be ­holding on to hope United can reach ­Wembley in this competition as he looks to prove himself to Sir Jim ­Ratcliffe, the club’s new ­minority ­shareholder – although the small matter of ­Liverpool awaits in the next round as United look to go one better than being beaten ­finalists last season.

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FA Cup quarter-final draw: Man Utd host Liverpool, Newcastle face Man City trip

What the papers say - Wed, 02/28/2024 - 21:53
  • Chelsea will host Leicester after edging out Leeds
  • Wolves face Coventry in Midlands derby at Molineux

Manchester United will host Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals after both teams advanced from the fifth round on Wednesday.

The draw for the last eight, which was made before the FA Cup matches on Wednesday, threw up the possibility of a heavyweight tie at Old Trafford. That fixture became a reality after Casemiro’s late winner at Nottingham Forest, and Liverpool’s 3-0 win against Southampton at Anfield.

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Erik ten Hag hits back at Jamie Carragher's 'subjective' criticism of Manchester United – video

What the papers say - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 16:41

The Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, has hit back at Jamie Carragher's criticism of his side's defending. Speaking on Sky Sports, the former Liverpool defender Carragher was scathing about United's display in Saturday's 2-1 defeat by Fulham, which ended a five-match winning run that had fuelled some optimism around Old Trafford. But Ten Hag accused Carragher of being biased against his side, saying: 'First of all, some analysts are very objective in their comments, very good advice, some are very subjective. Jamie Carragher is one of them. From the first moment on he has criticised and now he wants to make his point.'

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Some Manchester United players asked for day off after defeat by Fulham

What the papers say - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 13:59
  • Normal routine is analysis and warm-down day after a game
  • Staff were surprised by requests which were turned down

A number of Manchester United ­players complained to coaching staff that they wanted Sunday off after the 2-1 defeat by Fulham on ­Satur­day despite Erik ten Hag’s squad ­usually going in after a match day for warm‑downs and video analysis.

The request caused surprise given the insipid display and it being part of the manager’s normal routine. It was rejected by staff, who reminded the players of their commitments, with Ten Hag thought to be unaware.

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Premier League weekly awards: Bailey shines; United’s Fernandes problem

What the papers say - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 10:00

From Aston Villa’s maestro to Burnley’s woes, we hand out honors (and dishonors) from the top-flight weekend

Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey was in the middle of all that was right and good about his team’s 4-2 win over Nottingham Forest. Bailey finished with a goal and two assists, tormenting the left side of Forest’s defence.

They have conceded more shots than any side this season other than Sheffield United.

They have conceded more shots in February than Manchester City have all season.

They rank 13th in goals per game.

They’ve scored the eighth fewest goals in open play.

They’ve been outscored in the expected goals tally in open play.

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Eric Ramsay leaves Manchester United for Minnesota and MLS head coach role

What the papers say - Tue, 02/27/2024 - 00:48
  • 32-year-old becomes the youngest head coach in MLS history
  • Ramsay ‘incredibly excited’ by role with Minnesota United

Eric Ramsay has left Manchester United to join Minnesota United and become the youngest head coach in Major League Soccer history.

In a statement released by Minnesota United on Monday, 32-year-old Ramsay said: “I’m incredibly excited to be joining a club with such a strong football culture, a fanatic fanbase and a brilliant infrastructure. I’ve spoken to a lot of the club’s staff and you can’t help but feel everyone’s passion for moving the club forward.”

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