What the papers say
Brighton were rewarded for their assertiveness and defence against Arsenal, Crystal Palace continued to do well away from home while Everton’s Phil Jagielka deserves a fitting farewell
Manchester United have suffered their share of indignities already this season but now they will have to start supporting Manchester City in the FA Cup final. A tame draw at Huddersfield finally ended Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s slim hopes of a creeping into the Champions League, but Watford winning the FA Cup and United finishing sixth would bring forward the latter’s Europa League involvement with a qualifying round on 25 July. That will lead to some rescheduling as United are supposed to be in Shanghai then for a meeting with Spurs in the International Champions Cup. Solskjær spoke of the positives Arsenal and Chelsea have drawn from the Europa League this season, but United did all that two years ago when they beat Ajax in the final. Wonder where Ajax are now? United have gone a long way backwards since finishing second last year. Paul WilsonContinue reading...
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted his side can have no complaints about finishing outside the Premier League's top four.
After a lacklustre 1-1 draw at the bottom club, Huddersfield Town, on Sunday it was confirmed that United will not play in next season's Champions League, with Solskjær adding: 'Europa League is probably the right place for us.'Continue reading...
• Manager said United had been inconsistent over the season
• Solskjær was disappointed at missing out on Champions League
Ole Gunnar Solskjær put a brave face on Manchester United’s latest disappointment, but accepted his side had not been good enough to put away chances against a dispirited and disorganised Huddersfield that would have kept hopes of a Champions League finish alive.Continue reading...
Manchester United’s slender hopes of a top-four finish were ended in shambolic fashion when they surrendered an early lead to relegated Huddersfield, allowing the club marooned at the bottom of the table with 14 points to claim a wholly unexpected 15th that will alter the nature of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s summer.
Not that much has gone for the Terriers in their two-season stay in the Premier League, but at least the side that shares the early relegation record with Derby County can take pride in taking four points off Manchester United in two league meetings at the John Smith’s Stadium. Huddersfield won this fixture last season, and despite a dreadful start to this game they had their chances in the second half to cause a similar shock.Continue reading...
- Live updates from the John Smith’s Stadium, kick-off 2pm (BST)
- I will get realistic chance to revive Manchester United, says Solskjær
- Feel free to tweet Nick or email firstname.lastname@example.org
90+4 min: Pogba shoots, slips and the result is certainly not respectable. Solskjaer sits impassively, then leaps to his feet. Lossl takes an age over the goal kick and is booked. Neville laments, quite rightly, how United simply let this game drift for an hour.
90+3 min: United have five minutes to be in with a shout of keeping their season respectable ...
90+1 min: Huddersfield bring on Diakhaby for the scorer, Mbenza, whose goal was his first of the season. We will see EIGHT added minutes here.
89 min: Chong could win it! He looks well offside as Rashford slides him through – and a replay shows he indeed was – and drives into the box before Lossl tips his angled shot away. Then Pogba clatters one against the bar from 18 yards moments later! It’s the second time he’s hit the frame! And *then* Huddersfield break and De Gea saves again with his legs from Grant. Suddenly it’s all happening at the death!
87 min: Still, United will have some big social media engagement figures after this. And that is what counts!
86 min: This has been so unbelievably – yet so very believably – bad from United since those first 20 minutes. These players just coast, don’t they? Where’s the energy, the fire, the resolve, the determination? These are intangibles but no successful team does without them.
83 min: Dalot replaces Lindelof. The Swede, who has played better than most of his teammates, heads down the tunnel so presumably has a knock. Ashley Young is now playing at centre-back for Manchester United.
82 min: Lossl beats away a cross-shot from Rashford. United need to build a head of steam now-ish.
80 min: But it’s Mbenza streaking away again on the right to win a corner off Jones. Lowe swings it in ... and United just about clear at the second time of asking.
79 min: It has to be a grandstand last 15 minutes or so from United now, and ultimately a win, otherwise their top-four hopes are mathematically done. Will they deign to make it exciting?
77 min: McTominay gets up groggily. It’s one of those where you just have to trust the medics to do the right thing. They’ve deemed he can continue, so he does – and the game does too.
76 min: McTominay is caught by Lossl as the keeper punches away, and seems to have a head injury. The physio comes on ...
74 min: It’s now Chelsea 3-0 Watford. Higuain has got the third.
73 min: Now Mata squares and Rashford, on the stretch, can’t get the ball on target. Have United’s players realised the gravity of the situation at last?
72 min: “Lifelong United fan here, I went to the same school as Geordie Best,” writes Philip Brennan just as Phil Jones misses a *sitter*, jabbing a low Young free kick over when totally unmarked. “I just punched the air and cheered when Huddersfield scored. I’m going back to watching Glentoran.”
I think a few people might sympathise with that. United need to remember they are a football club, double-quick.
70 min: “We’re going down!” chant the home fans. They could yet go down with a win here. United are all over the show; it’s as joyless from them as usual.
69 min: “I’d actually have more of an opinion on Woodward if he backtracked on Solskjaer and said ‘enough is enough’ and broke the bank for a top tier relevant manager. Otherwise is could be another few years and millions being wasted,” writes Paul Fitzgerald.
I just think it’s hard to have a firm view on Solskjaer at the moment. They probably firmed the appointment up too quickly but, as for his own ability to turn things around, we must remember he has inherited an absolute rabble.
66 min: It’s taking two groundstaff to assemble a corner flag at the moment. It’s not going superbly but would you have a steady hand with 24,500 people making merry around you? Now we do restart after a six-minute delay.
65 min: We are still waiting to get underway as a new flagpole is constructed. A farce that matches United’s season well. What do they have left here? They seemed to have improved a little since Herrera and Chong came on, moving the ball more slickly, but you can’t say they have not courted this.
63 min: Lossl gets an assist there, and it’s atonement for that earlier blooper. The game is delayed while we get a new corner flag – I think a jubilant Mbenza smashed it in celebrating! Meanwhile Neville murmurs: “There’s nothing to like about this United team at all. Just awful.”
Oh my! Lossl grabs that McTominay header and immediately aims a long, flat clearance upfield towards the chasing Mbenza. Shaw is the only United player back and well positioned to clear ... but completely misses the ball! Now Mbenza is through, and slides his finish under De Gea. The stadium goes wild!
60 min: Shaw wins a corner although he could maybe have picked out Chong sooner at the far post. McTominay’s downwards header is saved easily – and then ...
57 min: Then Pogba puts a better effort over from 20 yards. There are goals here if they do want them.
56 min: Ander Herrera, who replaced Matic a couple of minutes back, blasts a quite in-keeping shot well off target.
55 min: Gary Neville is going into one of his quite delicious rants about United’s lack of character, spirit, commitment. Can’t say he is wrong. A bright start here has turned into absolute nothingness, let’s be honest, and we’ve seen this film before. Tahith Chong might fancy this, though, as the youth product replaces a limping Sanchez. Will we see the Chilean in a United shirt again? I doubt it.
52 min: Huddersfield are testing United with balls over the top. They look a bit wobbly and Grant, cutting onto his left foot, curls just over the bar! No intensity from United at all at present.
50 min: David Luiz has very quickly made that 2-0. So Chelsea are heading third, and if it stayed like this United would be two points behind fourth-placed Spurs going into the final day.
49 min: Bad news for United, though, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek has turned the boos into cheers at Stamford Bridge. It’s Chelsea 1-0 Watford.
47 min: Shaw fizzes one well wide after a half-clearance from Hogg. United start on top.
United get the half started.
A Huddersfield change at the break: Smith replaces the injured Durm.
Dean Hoyle has been addressing the Terriers fans at the break. “All I am is custodian of fans’ dreams. I’ve done my bit and now it’s for somebody else to carry the weight of expectation.”
He gets one heck of an ovation, and it’s so well deserved.
Chelsea are drawing 0-0 with Watford. By all accounts they were booed off at the break. United couldn’t be the team that find a semblance of form and snatches fourth ... could they?
Huddersfield can’t make a late corner count, the whistle goes, and there we are. McTominay’s early goal, scored with plenty of help from Lossl, separates these two. United were in total control for around 25 minutes, but Huddersfield came back into it and De Gea had to make an important save from Grant. Pogba has since hit the bar and United will feel they have more goals in them – if they can summon a good, sustained period of high tempo, which hardly seems a done deal.
45+1 min: Rashford takes a blow to the head but, after some treatment, is deemed fine to continue.
44 min: Lindelof heads another Pritchard delivery from the right away. The hosts are getting joy down there ands Lindelof is having a superb half.
43 min: Siewert gets, I’d say, disproportionately unhappy about then non-award of a throw to Huddersfield, stalking outside his technical area and offering some choice words to somebody.
42 min: Pogba hits the bar! Mata loops a fine cross in and Pogba, twisting with the ball just behind him, arcs a superb header against the frame. It dribbles back off a home defender but is grabbed before it can roll across the line.
39 min: Lindelof, again, is in there in the nick of time to stop Mbenza converting a Pritchard centre. Then Jones gives away possession and it’s worked through to Grant, who is denied by a big De Gea save with his feet! United have dozed off here, big time. It happens so often.
37 min: Mata overcooks a through pass for Rashford, who is beaten to the ball by Lossl. United could do with a second goal.
36 min: It’s a good spell for the Terriers, for sure, and Lindelof does well again to stop a neat Pritchard pass sending Bacuna away.
34 min: Jones is rightly booked for taking Hogg out on the right byline. Hogg had, errrm, roasted him. Another chance for some home pressure, but McTominay lumps Mooy’s delivery away.
31 min: Now Huddersfield, who have come into this slightly, win a free-kick 30 yards out and Bacuna’s strike snicks wide off a red shirt. The corner comes to nothing but this resembles a contest now, albeit not an absorbing one.
29 min: Huddersfield put a nice little move together and Grant, in space on the right of the box, sees his cross defended bravely by Lindelof.
28 min: The bulletins from Chelsea, where it is goalless, suggest Watford are well on top and Kante has gone off injured. Hope growing for United?
26 min: Sanchez, who is playing well enough, chips towards an unmarked Pogba at the far post but it’s at an awkward height and the midfielder can do little more than keep the ball alive for a second or two before Lossl pounces.
25 min: At the other end Mata, getting on the end of a lovely United move, measures one towards the far corner but it doesn’t fade enough and a decent chance goes begging.
24 min: And now they have a shot, Mata giving away possession with a loose touch and Bacuna, who has better passing options, shooting a yard wide from 20 yards. De Gea was never too worried.
22 min: Huddersfield have their first attack – yes, really – but it comes to very little as Durm’s low cross is easily ushered away.
20 min: United, who are dominant to a ludicrous degree, win consecutive corners but Young swings the second one out of play. They’ve been wasteful with set pieces so far, although I can’t imagine they’ll be short of further opportunities to threaten.
18 min: Hogg, who likes a challenge, is punished for a heavy one on Pogba, before Kongolo slides in at the other end to prevent a United opening.
17 min: Corner to United. They could and should win this by a hatful, I think we can say that already. But not with crosses like the one Mata just provided.
15 min: Lee Mason, yer ref, awards United a free-kick much closer in now after Rashford is hauled over. Now this could be a chance for Mata. It is he who has a go, but the ball ends up floated into the wall.
12 min: Young aims a deep corner and Lindelof, about 14 yards out, looks absolutely stunned to be allowed to control it on his chest with nobody near him. Huddersfield end up winning a free-kick but their defending so far has been rank bad.
11 min: A half-chance for number two, Sanchez showing some of his old tenacity to win possession on the left byline and centre for Rashford at the near post, but Kongolo is in very smartly to stop him converting.
10 min: That was McTominay’s second goal for United. They may as well try for a few more now if they’re going to come as cheaply as that one.
That’s the start they wanted, although it’s with a lot of help from Lossl. McTominay wins a free-kick just inside his own half and it’s worked short. Eventually he receives the ball himself, via a lucky break off a defender, and takes it into the box. His low, left-footed shot is OK-ish, but Lossl really should save. But it squirts through his legs and flies in!
6 min: Sanchez is clipped by Schindler and it’s a United free-kick, a little further out than ideal shooting range although Huddersfield form a three-man wall. Rashford has a pop but it bounces harmlessly through to Lossl.
4 min: There’ll be an eye or two on Chelsea’s fortunes against Watford. I’ll try and keep you informed. Nothing at all has happened here yet.
2 min: A slow start, but a very noisy stadium that seems intent on giving Huddersfield and Hoyle a lively farewell.
Huddersfield, kicking right to left, get us going.
And the teams are out on the pitch here! It seems a bright, perky atmosphere, all things considered – so let’s hope that points to a fun afternoon in general.
Don’t forget you can keep on top of the Championship’s last knockings here with Daniel Harris. The play-off and title races are going to the wire!
They’ll be trotting out in a few minutes. United’s season – what’s left of it anyway – is right on the line here. Remember, realistically they have to win and preferably score a few, too ...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Alexis Sanchez to Sky Sports: “He's been waiting for an opportunity. He's been injured for a while & working hard to get back, so hopefully we can see a sharp Alexis with the attitude and hunger to get goals because we need goals to win the game" #MUFC
There you go ...
Huddersfield benefit from the return of Aaron Mooy, who missed the defeat at Liverpool. That was their 21st loss in 23 league games, a staggeringly bad record. It just hasn’t worked yet under Jan Siewert although he didn’t inherit a straightforward situation.
“Is it also possible the start for Alexis is one of those ‘put him in the showroom so that we can get a decent bit for him in the summer’ things?” ponders Thomas Krantz.
Possibly a bit of that too, yes. Although who’d take him currently? I’d add that the wider surprise over Sanchez’s drop-off ... errrr ... surprises me. It always looked a weird investment, I thought. His game was based so much on incredible reserve of energy, industry and dynamism. He’d also played a tremendous amount of football, year-round, for club and country. When you get to 30, it starts to tell – it’s not rocket science! I think we’re just seeing a player who is burnt out.
That start for Alexis Sanchez is his first for two months – the home win over Southampton was his last. A chance to salvage his United career from the dead? Or more of a sign that the likes of Lukaku and Martial are not much longer for Old Trafford?
Huddersfield: Lossl, Lowe, Kongolo, Schindler, Durm; Hogg, Bacuna, Mooy; Grant, Mbenza, Pritchard. Subs: Coleman, Smith, Kachunga, Diakhaby, Mounie, Stankovic, Daly.
Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Matić, McTominay, Pogba; Mata, Sánchez, Rashford. Subs: Grant, Dalot, Smalling, Fred, Herrera, Pereira, Chong.
Almost there! That’ll surely be the feeling for both sets of fans here, who can’t have enjoyed this season one little bit. It has, for different reasons, become a fairly agonising slog for both – although there is just enough to keep everyone involved interested in what we have ahead ...
For Manchester United there is, quite incredibly given their recent form, still hope of a top-four spot. They are three points and a fair few goals shy of fourth-place incumbents Chelsea, who face a tougher assignment against Watford at the game time as this match, and two behind fifth-placed Arsenal with the Gunners hosting Brighton later. So it is an ask but, as we know, absolutely none of the contenders seem willing to grab this one by the horns – and it might just be that whoever can churn out two wins at this point will stumble over the line. Do United deserve that? No, not really. But then nobody really does. So they need to do the business here and see whether that keeps them in with a chance.Continue reading...
• Manager claims it will take two or three years to catch rivals
• Norwegian insists the club can still attract elite players
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is confident Manchester United will grant him the “two or three years” he believes is needed to establish a style of play that will realistically challenge Manchester City and Liverpool.
Last season José Mourinho’s side finished second but 19 points behind City, while United were 27 points behind the champions and 26 from Liverpool at the start of this weekend. Sixth-placed United are also unlikely to claim a Champions League berth as they are three points behind Chelsea, who are fourth, and one from fifth-place Arsenal. United have failed to win a league game since 13 April and are on a run of two victories in 10 matches in all competitions.Continue reading...
The 2-1 win home win over Manchester United in October 2017 has been the highlight of Huddersfield’s two-season stint in the Premier League. They are a different team now but will try to attack United in an attempt to get a victory in their last match at the John Smith’s Stadium before their return to the Championship. But for that, they would probably need an unwitting contribution from Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team, who should be at their best as they pursue a top-four finish. Paul Doyle
Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
• Solskjær says club can attract players without top-four finish
The Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said David de Gea will not be dropped at Huddersfield despite his poor recent form – although he added that his deputy, Sergio Romero, is injured.
The 28-year-old has made a serious of high-profile blunders as talk about his future continues, with last weekend’s gaffe allowing Chelsea an equaliser in a 1-1 draw that was a blow to United’s top-four hopes.Continue reading...
Leicester can test City but Liverpool face a challenge of their own, it’s all or nothing for Cardiff and Watford need to regroup
Following the disappointment of their reasonably heroic Champions League defeat at Barcelona, Liverpool must rouse themselves for what could be an extremely tricky Saturday evening appointment at Newcastle in which they simply cannot afford to slip up. With only two matches of the Premier League campaign remaining, anything less than a win for Liverpool would leave the door open for Manchester City to all but wrap up the title on Monday. One suspects this is a far tougher assignment than Jürgen Klopp would like so soon after a gruelling and dispiriting game at the Camp Nou and the portents are not great. Last September, a BBC study on the form of Premier League teams following midweek fixtures in Europe showed that Liverpool had won half a point less per game on on average following European fixtures over the previous five years, the worst record among their top-flight rivals. Last season alone, coming out of European games, they dropped points against Burnley, Stoke, Everton and their opponents on Saturday, Newcastle. BGContinue reading...
Blending refined aesthetics with startling self-revelation – and a fair few lies – the Irish author’s essays offer readers a compelling puzzle
Kevin Breathnach would like to clear something up: he’s never been a professional skateboarder. Good, you might say, I never said he was. But Breathnach’s debut essay collection Tunnel Vision reveals a relationship with the truth that is dizzyingly fluid, where the problem is not only the repeated telling of lies, but also of undoing them.
“This is my opportunity – I never got to address this lie in the book,” he says; understandably, he seems to have lost track of the untruths. “I told everyone at college that I had once been a sponsored skateboarder. Ten years on, people who know me still believe it. It just travelled too fast.” Does he know why he told that lie in the first place, I ask, and he shrugs as if to say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t I?’Continue reading...
David Luiz is king of the through ball; Phil Jones keeps the ball; and Aleksandar Mitrovic keeps missing
With two weekends remaining in the Premier League, Manchester City are top of the table and Mohamed Salah is leading the scoring charts. It might feel familiar but this campaign has been nothing like last season in reality. As well as offering a two-horse title race in which both sides keep refusing to blink, it has thrown up plenty of statistical surprises. Here are a handful that sounded very unlikely before the season began, starting between the sticks.Continue reading...
Today’s whispers are dozing off
Signing the next big thing from Portugal can be a tricky business. You might end up with Cristiano Ronaldo, you’ll probably end up with either another Renato Sanches or Hélder Postiga. Still though, sometimes it’s worth rolling the dice, and when you’re Ed ‘Snake Eyes’ Woodward, there’s no messing about. Bruno Fernandes, who spent years in Italy at Udinese and Sampdoria doing nothing more than OK, has been doing rather better recently at Sporting Lisbon, leading some media outlets to report that United will drop a combined £150m for the 24-year-old as well as Benfica’s young scamp, João Félix.
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
• Ferdinand, 40, was a teammate of Ole Gunnar Solskjær
Rio Ferdinand is among the candidates being considered for a senior football role at Manchester United.
Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, is seeking to appoint a technical director whose job will include long-term strategy of United’s first team.Continue reading...
• Striker has struggled to start under Ole Gunnar Solskjær
• Champions League qualification key to decision
Romelu Lukaku has admitted he does not know whether he will still be at Manchester United next season.
The striker has struggled to be a first choice under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, though he did start Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.Continue reading...
Chris Hughton’s position looks uncertain after five successful years, Youri Tielemans catches the eye but Leicester will face a battle to keep him and Wolves show the way forward
When was the last time Manchester City finished a Premier League match with four centre-halves on the pitch? Pep Guardiola, who admitted he had been “trembling”, said he would have brought on another one if he had not already used all his substitutes and Sean Dyche said, with some pride, that he could tell the City manager was anxious. “I saw Pep Guardiola with my own eyes – and I heard it too – screaming, ‘Get it in the corner.’ That’s some compliment.” It was certainly not a stress-free afternoon at Turf Moor for the league leaders and reigning champions but 12 league wins in a row suggest City can handle the pressure. If they can make it 14, it will guarantee the championship trophy staying in Manchester and there are no signs that they will not be able to cope now the heat of the battle is close to intolerable. Daniel TaylorContinue reading...
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A promising first-half performance against Chelsea from Solskjær’s team was undone by another self-inflicted mistake
This was not the result Ole Gunnar Solskjær was looking for. The Manchester United manager admitted beforehand that only a win would be good enough, though with Chelsea doing most of the attacking at the end he must have been pleased to avoid a third defeat in eight days.Continue reading...
• ‘David has been unbelievable. We support each other’
• Chelsea injury worries over Willian and Antonio Rüdiger
Ole Gunnar Solskjær refused to say he should have dropped David de Gea after the goalkeeper’s latest blunder allowed Chelsea to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford and damaged Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League qualification.
“No,” said Solskjær when asked if De Gea should have been left out. “David has been a fantastic keeper at this club, his reaction after Manchester City was good and I was confident in him. He knows he could do better with their goal but it’s one of those things again.”Continue reading...
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has joined Ole Gunnar Solskjær in defending Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea after his mistake let in Marcos Alonso to earn the Blues a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
Alonso's goal before the break cancelled out Juan Mata's early strike for United and saw Chelsea move to a two-point cushion in fourth place, occupying the last Champions League qualifying spot.Continue reading...
This draw frustrates Manchester United and cheers Chelsea who, after Arsenal’s capitulation at Leicester City earlier on Sunday, now have a Champions League berth in their control.Continue reading...