What the papers say
- Premier League updates from the 5.30pm GMT kick-off
- Solskjær haunted by Pochettino’s ghost amid high-wire act
- Get in touch! Email Barry or tweet @bglendenning
Those teams: David De Gea keeps his place in goal for Manchester United, for whom Paul Pogba is a surprise starter. Luke Shaw keeps his place in United’s defence, with Alex Telles dropping to the bench. Anthony Martial is also among the substitutes, with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood playing up front. Nemanja Matic is dropped.
John Stones keeps his place in the heart of the Manchester City alongside Ruben Dias, while Ilkay Gundogan is among the substitutes. Fernandinho starts instead. Gabriel Jesus starts up front for City, while Sergio Aguero does not feature in the matchday squad despite presumptions he would be on the bench.
Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, Pogba, McTominay, Fernandes, Rashford, Greenwood
Subs: Henderson, Bailly, Mata, Martial, Telles, Matic, Van de Beek
Back from injury and on to the scoresheet during his side’s midweek win over Marseille, Sergio Aguero will not start tonight’s game, according to his manager, but will be on the bench. Defender Eric Garcia is out for a couple of weeks with an unspecified knock, while midfielder Ilkay Gundogan was expected to undergo a fitness test earlier today.
Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial sat out Manchester United’s defeat at the hands of RB Leipzig but both are expected to be available for selection today.
Welcome to our coverage of the 183rd Manchester derby, a game that will be played behind closed doors at Old Trafford but is likely to ferociously contested anyway.
United go into the game in seventh place, one point and two places clear of their rivals after 10 games and eager to make amends following their embarrassing midweek exit from the Champions League.Continue reading...
Manchester United manager goes into Saturday’s derby knowing defeat would, as always, bring an unforgiving spotlight
For Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the cycle is wearyingly familiar. The Manchester United manager can win and sometimes win well and it is usually down to Bruno Fernandes or possibly Marcus Rashford. But when he loses it is his head on the chopping block or, more precisely, the list of trending topics on social media.
#OleOut is normally accompanied by some sort of reference to Mauricio Pochettino, the out-of-work former Tottenham manager, whom a section of supporters have anointed as Solskjær’s successor-in-waiting. It has been this way for the best part of a year – Ole at the wheel; Pochettino looming aggressively in his mirrors.Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær could really use a win in this 183rd Manchester derby after Tuesday’s Champions League exit. Yet Manchester United’s Premier League form is excellent, four successive wins and a home-and-away double over Manchester City in the league last season. But: Pep Guardiola’s side are performing formidably in Europe and domestically. So, as usual, this clash of storied neighbours could go either way. Jamie Jackson
Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
- Manager believes team have more penetration and consistency
- Solskjær says before derby De Gea is ‘a man we really rely on’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Manchester United have the “penetration and consistency” critics claim they lack, with the manager pleased with the side’s direction as he approaches two years in charge.
United are sixth as they prepare to host Manchester City in Saturday’s 183rd derby, sitting five points behind the joint-leaders, Tottenham and Liverpool, with a match in hand, having won their past four Premier League games. On Tuesday United crashed out of the Champions League when losing 3-2 at Leipzig, when a point would have been enough to qualify for the last-16.Continue reading...
Manchester United can’t rely on their defence, Crystal Palace could hurt the league leaders and Folarin Balogun looks ready
For all Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s talk of tradition, he tends to pick negative options when under pressure. This was understandable in the first half of last season because he had no midfield to speak of, but that is no longer so. Nevertheless, he still went into Tuesday’s match against RB Leipzig with two holding players in front of three centre-backs, against opposition playing without a traditional centre-forward – cowardly naivety that was deservedly punished. He is right to mistrust his team’s defending – though he signed three of those responsible for it – but the best way of combating that is to get the ball down the other end, not deliberately invite pressure. Should Solskjær try that against City, things could get embarrassingly messy, and looking longer-term – though he has done a decent job in repairing the mess that he found – it’s hard not to wonder how his team would do with the best possible manager. DH
Manchester United v Manchester City, Saturday 5.30pm GMT
Everton v Chelsea, Saturday 8pm
Arsenal v Burnley, Sunday 7.15pm
Crystal Palace v Tottenham, Sunday 2.15pm
Leeds v West Ham, Friday 8pm
Wolves v Aston Villa, Saturday 12.30pm
Southampton v Sheffield United, Sunday 12pm
Newcastle v West Brom, Saturday 3pm
Fulham v Liverpool, Sunday 4.30pm
Leicester v Brighton, Sunday 7.15pmContinue reading...
Fingers will be pointed at individuals after United’s latest failure but they reflect a club without a functioning strategy or setup
There are certain clubs that seem to be built on chagrin: where the urge to fulminate and pontificate and point the finger after a big defeat almost soothes the pain of the defeat itself. At the moment, Manchester United feel like one of those clubs. Elimination from the Champions League on Tuesday night was many things: a shame for the club’s fans, a big blow to the balance sheet, an enormous missed opportunity after the opening-day win in Paris. But it was also an unmissable chance to dish out some well-deserved blame.
As ever, Harry Maguire was first to partake in the ritual blood-letting. Over the past few months, it has become something of a staple to see United’s captain “fronting up” to BT Sport after a defeat. And here he was again, looking fittingly contrite and remorseful, like a naughty sea cadet who had wandered into the missile room looking for his jelly babies and accidentally fired a torpedo at Taiwan.Continue reading...
- Club executive believe manager has team on right path
- Win ratio and rebuild of squad give hierarchy confidence
Manchester United remain firmly behind Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and the club’s hierarchy are confident his record as manager shows the side are on an upward trajectory.
There is a strong belief that despite crashing out of the Champions League on Tuesday at RB Leipzig, United can mount a title challenge this season. The executive are disappointed to be in the Europa League, but Solskjær’s win ratio and ongoing rebuilding of the squad, which has impressed them, mean he retains their support.Continue reading...
Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jordan Jarrett Bryan, Jacob Steinberg and Barney Ronay to discuss Manchester United bowing out of the Champions League, the incident involving Istanbul’s Basaksehir’s Pierre Webo and a fourth official in Paris, plus we ask Millwall fan Barney Ronay about recent events at the Den
Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jordan Jarrett Bryan, Jacob Steinberg and Barney Ronay to discuss Manchester United leaving the Champions League and if this means Paul Pogba and Ole Gunnar Solskjær leaving Manchester United.Continue reading...
- Manager opposed to teams dropping from Champions League
- ‘I don’t think we should be afraid of playing any team’
José Mourinho has described his former club Manchester United as one of the favourites to win the Europa League, although he maintained that his Tottenham team would fear no one in the knockout rounds.
United enter the last 32 of the competition having finished third in their Champions League group after Tuesday’s 3-2 defeat at RB Leipzig – something Mourinho has long opposed on sporting grounds. To him, Champions League failure ought not to be rewarded with a shot at the Europa League.Continue reading...
Manchester United were tactically inadequate in Germany, where a carefully honed plan met their hopeful one
There was an eerie quality to the BT Sport analysis of Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League. At times the post-match segment was like watching a highly skilled Victorian parlour game as Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand accepted the challenge of describing the ineptitude of United’s start against RB Leipzig, the turgid team selection, the unchecked early gains of Julian Nagelsmann’s swift diagonal attacks – all the while managing not to mention the name of United’s manager.
Scholes in particular is a true friend in this regard. Ole Gunnar Solskjær could presumably stand on his studio desk shooting him in the neck repeatedly with a pellet gun, and Scholes would shrug and say, well, it’s undoubtedly some kind of pellet gun situation. Or, what I need here is a long-term not-being-shot identity, that’s the real issue.Continue reading...
- English side eliminated after losing 3-2 at RB Leipzig
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side only needed a point to progress
Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United “didn’t turn up” as they lost 3-2 at RB Leipzig and crashed out of the Champions League, having needed only a point to qualify for the last 16.Continue reading...
- Updates from the crucial Group H match, 8pm GMT kick-off
- PSG v Basaksehir suspended after fourth official accused of racism
- ‘You’re making me blush’: when Dani Olmo met Juan Mata
- And you can get in touch with Paul by email or on Twitter
Stay tuned for all the reaction from Leipzig, including, no doubt, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s response to the inevitable questions about his job security.
Manchester United have been eliminated from the Champions League. This time they could not complete the comeback. They have been punished for a dozy start to this critical game, being outclassed for long periods, and relapsed into sloppiness to concede a third. Their milling and flailing towards the end came too late to save them.
90+3 min: Pogba curls over a lovely cross from the right. Mukiele stretches to cut it out at the near post but diverts it towards his own goal ... keeper! What a save by Gulacsi! Was that United’s last stand?
90+2 min: Maguire is playing as an auxiliary striker now, lumbering around up front in the hope of getting on the end of one of the balls United are launching into the box.
90 min: United have at least four more minutes to save their Champions League skins ...
89 min: Swift passing by United to work the ball to Rashford on the let. He cuts inside, ignores teammates in the area and tries to beat the keeper from a difficult angle. Gulacsi bursts that dream.
88 min: Rashford receives a diagonal pass near the left-hand corner of the box. He lays it back to McTominay, who swishes it high over the bar.
87 min: A blind pass by Pogba gifts possession to Leipzig but they fail to profit. straying offside in their over-eagerness.
85 min: Leipzig try to keep the ball down near the United corner flag but they can’t hold on to it...
What a leap by Pogba! He soared at the back post to meet a corner by Fernandes and his downward header struck Maguire on the way into the net. Leipzig insist it hit his harm, but the VAR review declares otherwise. That comeback is on!
81 min: In all the excitement, I neglected to mention that Tuanzebe has come on in place of Lindelof. Thank you for your understanding.
With his usual hop, skip and a jump, Fernandes sends the keeper the wrong way and slots into the far corner. The start of an unforgettable comeback?
Greenwood and Konaté go shoulder-to-shoulder in the box and the smaller man goes down. That’s no justification for a spotkick, but the ref disagrees.
76 min: Fernandez curls an in-swinger in from the left. Rashford tries to get little eyebrows on it, but the ball bounces harmlessly through to the keeper.
75 min: Leipzig substitution: Adams on, Kampl off.
74 min: Fernandes unloads a respectable shot from long range. Gulacsi touches it over the bar.
72 min: Rashford ghosts past two players before Haidara wins the ball with an excellent sliding tackle. But United regain it quickly and work it to Greenwood, who tries to torpedo a shot into the far corner from 12 yards. The keeper gets down well to save.
71 min: Gulacsi tips a shot by McTominay around the post for a corner, then punches said corner to safety.
Dithering in the United defence is punished by Kluivert! While Maguire and De Gea wondered who would deal with a ball rolling across the six-yard area, Kluivert nipped in and beat the keeper with an artful dink!
67 min: Freekick to United near the left-hand corner to the left of the Leipzig D. Fernandes curls a beauty over the wall ... and against the crossbar!
66 min: Fernandes fires off a dipping, swerving shot from over 25 yards. The keeper plunges to his left to push it behind, though it may have been heading wide. “At the risk of lobbing an incendiary sentiment into this mbm, isn’t having an underwhelming ‘star” player as much a part of the modern-era United DNA as anything else?” chips in Grant Tennille. “Veron, Forlan, Di Maria, Schweinsteiger... Surely you can fill in a few gaps in my memory?”
64 min: Rashford drills a shot wide from over 20 yards.
64 min: Pogba flips a nice pass through to Fernandes, who sweeps it beautifully out wide to Greenwood, but Orban intervenes with an impeccably timed tackle.
63 min: Maguire sees yellow for tripping Kluivert.
62 min: Nkunku twists and turns inside the United area and gets off a shot from the left. Lindelof blocks it. Then Kluivert gets booked for trying to pull back Fernandes.
United substitutions: Can Pogba be United’s hero? He’s on for Shaw. And Williams has replaced Matic.
60 min: Shaw’s freekick from the let fails to beat the first man. United’s ratio of rubbish setpiece deliveries to good ones sinks further.
Leipzig substitutions: Kluivert and Poulsen on, Olmo and Forsberg off.
55 min: Fernandez sends a lovely freekick from the right bouncing across the face of goal. Maguire strains in an effort to get his head to it at the back post but he misses it’s fractionally beyond him! That’s the best setpiece delivery from United all night.
55 min: Fernande with an outswinging corner from the right. Nkunu heads it away at the near post.
54 min: The threat from United is growing. They are looking much sharper, passing more snappily and running more ambitiously.
52 min: Rashford zigzags in from the left, working his way to the edge of the area and then feeding it wide. But the cross is cut out.
50 min: United force a couple of corners but they’re well defended.
49 min: Nice play by United. Some dinky one-touch passing in the opposing half, with Van de Beek continually making the sort of proactive runs beyond the last defenders that were missing in the first period.
47 min: Van de Beek’s first touch was to give the ball away. Leipzig have started the brighter, though not to the same extent as they did in the first half.
46 min: Van de Beek is on, in place of Telles. Presumably that means United are switching to a back four.
“Aren’t you forgetting that United could go through if Basaksekir win in Paris?” hollers Gordon Dempsey. That would make no difference to United, Gordon, because PSG have a better record in the head-to-head game between the two.
“Ole has Leipzig exactly where he wants them!” chirps Peter Oh.
Time to enact Plan B, Ole. United looked bewildered in the first half hour of this game and found themselves two goals before they got any sense of what their opponents were up to. Indeed, they were mighty close to falling three goals behind. They improved in the last 15 minutes and worked themselves into some threatening positions. But they need to get a lot sharper and more nimble to mount a comeback here. Otherwise their Champions League campaign is over .... unless something outrageous happens in the other game.
45 min: There will be at least two more minutes before half-time...
43 min: Leipzig break after a bout of pressure from United. Shaw takes out an attacker on half-way and cops a booking. Then the ref strides over to the United dugout to administer a stern telling-off to everyone who objected to his decision.
41 min: Rashford is fouled near the right-hand corner flag. Fernandes delivers the freekick beyond the far post. McTominay nuts it back into the danger zone, and Leipzig eventually clear.
39 min: McTominay releases Rashford after United win possession in midfield. Rashford tries to weave his way between the last two defenders but magic eludes him.
37 min: Maguire gets a meaty header to a corner by Telles but it’s blocked by Konaté. And the ref blows for a foul by McTominay anyway.
36 min: For the second time in the evening, poor old Wan-Bissaka tries an extravagant piece of skill and winds up embarrassing himself. This time his attempted shot with the outside of his foot at the edge of the area results in him falling over.
35 min: Sabitzer booked for taking down McTominay in midfield after a strong run by the Scot.
33 min: As if buoyed by the VAR let-off, United begin to enjoy applying a bit of pressure at the other end. But it comes to nought.
United breathe a sign of relief, as Orban’s goal is chalked off. He was in an offside positions when someone else’s header cam back off the post, which is why he was on hand to prod in the rebound. Meanwhile, the other match in this group - between PSG and Basahsekir - has been paused because of a racist incident. More details as I get them.
Leipzig think they have made it 3-0 but the video ref is checking whether Orban was offside.
28 min: Wan-Bissaka confuses himself as he tries to play his way out of trouble, coughing up possession. Leipzig sweep forward and Shaw has to scamper across to clear before Forsberg can pounce. “I have a feeling that Solskier’s ‘we love to make it difficult for ourselves’ comment will come to haunt him,” suggests Fatsani Sonny Gunya. “I don’t see teams allowing United’s come back kings mantra play their minds. As for this German machine, I sense it’s well oiled for the knockout stages!”
25 min: United have improved, which was almost inevitable. Kongate concedes a freekick wide on the left by shunting over Greenwood. Telles wafts it into the area, offering Gulacsi an easy catch. “So what do you do when you’ve set your team up to be as defensive as possible and concede two in the first 20 minutes?” ask Ole Gunnar Sols David Flynn. “If I know Ole like I think I know Ole, he’ll spend the rest of the game looking like an extremely worried 80-year-old infant and then hope Barcelona appoint Poch before Woodward thinks to sack him.”
23 min: Freekick to United, about 25 yards out, to the right of the D. Fernandes blasts it into the wall and then clips the rebound towards Maguire at the far post. It’s diverted behind for a corner. Telles takes it, Greenwood nod over the bar.
20 min: United are trying to assert themselves somewhat, or at least circulate the ball a bit. But they have shown none of Leipzig’s movement or pizzazz and are being kept at bay quite easily. “Just read Justin Kavanagh’s thoughts and one match springs to mind, the World Cup final where he scored the winning goal,” recalls Harry Crane, though it would be more accurate to say Pogba scored one of the winning goals and did not dominate the game. “I really can’t be doing with this lazy discourse that he hasn’t tried or hasn’t performed for United, when he has been in the team he’s been first for everything that matters (goals, assists, passes) but for some reason because he doesn’t scream at people when the rest of the team around him is terrible its his fault.” There’s some validity to that comment, but the point really is that goals, assists and passes are not the only thing that matter (and he should often prompt faster with passing). But, you know, chances are United are going to ask him to come on and help rescue them here in the second half. He could have the last laugh yet. Whatever happens.
16 min: What do you know, Angelino is galloping down the let again like a giddy little pony in a wide open prairie. And when the cross comes in, Forsberg is in splendid isolation right in front of United’s goal. He takes a touch but then prods the ball wide from 10 yards. That sloppy finish aside, United are being schooled here.
Achtung! United are in a world of bother! Once again they have been left flummoxed by Leipzig’s movement. This time Angelino clipped over a cross from the right and Haidara was free to run on to it and rasp a fierce shot into the net! It’s remarkable how often Leipzig manage to find a free player.
10 min: Wan-Bissaka cuts out a cross from Angelino, who ran on to yet another diagonal pass. The resultant corner is cleared.
9 min: That’s better from United! The chance came from a counter, of course, as Greenwood dashed down the right and cut on to his left foot as he got into the box and cracked off a low shot that demanded a save from the keeper.
7 min: Angelino, pushed very far forward on the left, collects another crossfield pass and motors into the box. This time Wan-Bissaka is quick to close him down but the man on loan from Man City still gets a shot off, without enough power to bother De Gea.
5 min: No sign of a response yet from United, who still look stodgy. Leipzig are positively effervescent in comparison.
3 min: So Solskjaer’s yet again finds himself hoping for another stirring fightback. His side have hardly started so far, although Fernandes has managed to pick up a yellow card to complicate matters.
Oh my, what a start! And how easy it was for Leipzig! They had all of the ball sicne kickoff and were allowed to build gradually down the right and then a send over a cross. Angelino ran on to it at the far side of the box under absolutely no pressure and walloped a terrific low shot into the far corner!
1 min: Leipzig v Man United is go!
Here comes the teams. There are no fans in the stadium so the booming rendition of the Champions League jingle is solely for the benefit of the players and officials. Leipzig are in their white jerseys with red and yellow go-faster trims, while United are back in black (just in case you wanted a different ear worm to the Champions League tune).
“Scholes might have a point if this was the first time Raiola had sounded off like this,” ventures Mark Gillespie. “However, as it’s been a running theme for as long as he’s been at the club, unless and until he does sack him or reign him in, the only conclusion we can draw is that Pogba is happy with the statements. The agent is the representative of the player and works for him, there is no justification for giving players leeway if their agents make comments like this, as they choose who represents them in the media.”
“The thing I will never understand is why people in the game talk about Paul Pogba’s ‘character’,” notes Justin Kavanagh. “Name one big match, for club or country, that Paul Pogba has truly dominated? Nor have we ever really seen him directing traffic in midfield (say yelling or pointing at those around him a la Keane or Gerrard). He cannot even control his Mr. 15%, yet this guy is supposed to be an influence in the dressing room? I know he’s a talented footballer (when he can be arsed) but what am I missing here?” Personality is not the same as leadership. It seems to me that he is generally well liked in the dressing room because he’s fun, friendly and pretty successful - a likeable teammate - but no, he doesn’t seem to demand efficiency, from himself or others.
“We need everyone, all the 11 player who start and the subs who come on, to perform at their best.”
Asked to what extent Pogba’s omission was determined by his agent’s comments, Solskjaer replies: “My decision tonight is obviously tactical. That’s the only thing. We made a team decision way before this game. We decided on Scott and Nemanja in midfield before we played West Ham.” Though he then adds: “For me you prepare for every single game as if it’s your last one, more or less. We know we’ve got City on Saturday but that doesn’t matter now.”
“What does Donny Van De Beek have to do to get a consistent run in this team?” demands Ian Palmer. “Matic and McTominay are in ahead of him. I know who I would least rather face if I were the opposition.” Entirely different kinds of players, no? And Van De Beek didn’t exactly seize his opportunity at West Ham at the weekend.
Discussing the recent comments made by Paul Pogba’s agent - to wit, that he si determined to leave Man United - Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes take slightly different views: Ferdinand thinks United should have showed Pogba’s agent - and others - who’s boss and refused to give them the feeling the can sound off as they please without consequences; Scholes, meanwhile, thinks the onus is on Pogba to get a handle on his agent whose utterances, according to Scholes, risk creating the false impression that Pogba is “a bad lad, trouble in the dressing room” (the contrary is true according to Scholes, who says Pogba should either tell his agent to shut up or sack him.
Oh look, here’s the first email on what is sure to be a recurring theme: “It’s a huge night for Manchester United so Paul Pogba starts in his best position,” blurts S Wrap. “The bench.”
Keep it solid and pounce on the counter-attack: that seems to be the unsurprising strategy put forward by Solskjaer, if his team selection is anything to go by. Luke Shaw returns to first-team action after injury, while there will be a rotating cast of attackers, with Rashford and Greenwood presumably flitting where the see fit. Leipzig will probably aim to be more dominant but they’ll be aiming to unhinge with fast and clever movement too. This promises to be entertaining.
Leipzig: Gulacsi; Mukiele, Konaté, Orban, Angelino; Sabitzer, Haidara, Kampl; Nkunku, Forsberg; Olmo
Hello. It’s another moment of truth for Manchester United: today we discover whether they are pitiable, rudderless drifters or a re-emerging force - at least until the next make-or-break day in Ole Gunanr Solskjaer’s up-and-down reign. Harry Maguire cited last season’s Top Four Decider at Leicester as evidence of his team’s ability to show their class when it matters most, but three semi-final defeats in the same season stand as exhibits to the contrary. Still, that’s the past: what we’re dealing with today is a Champions League nail-biter in which a draw or a win will confirm United’s progress from an exceptionally difficult group and defeat would lead to Europa League indignity and an avalanche of abuse for Solskjaer (and/or Maguire, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, David De Gea, the suspended Fred and, oh yes, Paul Pogba).
United have reason to be optimistic. They tend to be particularly dangerous away from home thanks to their awesome counter-attacking power and, what is more, they whacked Leipzig 5-0 at Old Trafford in October, when the usually excellent Dayot Upamecano turned in a performance that rather discredited all those stories linking him with a future move to Old Trafford. But Leipzig have beaten PSG at home since then and came tantalisingly close to climbing to the top of the Bundesliga last weekend before conceding a late equaliser to draw 3-3 with Bayern Munich. United’s bad-first-half/barnstorming-second-half routine might just prove to be enough today. But it might not. Either way, stuff’s about to go down. This could turn out to be an epic contest that will make future editions of the brilliant Untied Rewind podcast even better, or it it could be a total dud – with baleful consequences. All in all, it’s on!Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær had said beforehand that Manchester United were addicted to making life difficult for themselves. It had long been in their blood and his players appeared determined to prove their manager’s point during a torrid opening period against RB Leipzig. They slumped to an early 2-0 deficit and the damage could and should have been heavier.
The next part of the equation in recent times for Solskjær and the club has been outlandish fightbacks, particularly away from home. All hope looked lost when the Leipzig substitute Justin Kluivert made it 3-0 midway through the second half – a goal that had come against the run of play. United had advertised a goal of their own after the restart.Continue reading...
- ‘Paul at Manchester United is unhappy’, says Mino Raiola
- European giants alerted as winter window opens on 2 January
Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has claimed it will be best for the midfielder and Manchester United if the 27-year-old leaves in January as he is unhappy and can “no longer express” himself at the club.
The comments are believed to be part of an interview Raiola has conducted with Italian newspaper Tuttosport and which will be published in full on Tuesday. They will not go down well at United and especially as the team’s focus is meant to be on preparing for a crucial Champions League fixture with RB Leipzig.Continue reading...
Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Jamie Jackson join Max Rushden to discuss the weekend’s talking points - including wins for Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea. The latter of which re-ignites the ongoing debate about whether Marcelo Bielsa is as good as Jonathan Wilson paints him out to be. The panel also address the demoralising scenes from Saturday, when some fans at Millwall booed their players for taking a knee
Much from the Premier League to discuss as Spurs comfortably win the North London Derby and Manchester United fightback once again to overcome a wasteful West Ham. The panel discuss whether Marcelo Bielsa is all that good after being outwitted by Frank Lampard and ask whether Christian Benteke is back.
Plus, the panel discuss the depressing scenes at the New Den as some Millwall fans booed players taking a knee before their home defeat by Derby on Saturday. The Premier League’s £50m bailout for League One and Two clubs is also on the agenda.Continue reading...
Dani Olmo and Juan Mata face off for RB Leipzig and Man Utd in the Champions League but got together to talk over Zoom
In one corner, Dani Olmo. In the other, Juan Mata. On the screen and on the pitch. Tomorrow night, Manchester United meet RB Leipzig in the Champions League; now, two of their players meet over Zoom, aware that unless something strange happens in Paris, come 10 o’clock Tuesday only one will remain in the competition, their fate in each other’s hands. “It’s a pity we can’t both go through,” Olmo says. “It’s difficult: we didn’t want to reach the last game in this situation,” Mata says.
The two Spaniards have been talking about playing football for fun, connecting with the child inside, but this is a bit serious for that. “In those final minutes before the match, it’s impossible to avoid the emotion, the nerves, those feelings, the thought: ‘We have to win,’” Mata says. “Well, draw in this case. Truth is, there are elements of professional football that make it harder to enjoy: the demands to get a result, to play well or lose your place, to perform in front of 80,000, not with your friends in front of no one.
Football is an emotional roulette, every three days, short term goals, the pace of life, suffering defeats, facing objectives, and it’s hard to find a role after
Hopefully we can still enjoy this. It will be difficult, it will be close, but we’ll do what we can to win. It’s in our handsContinue reading...
On the day the Premier League opened its turnstiles again, Manchester United treated a fraction of a crowd to a fraction of a performance. Once again, they saved it all for the last half-hour, deservedly going 1-0 down before Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford all scored in a riotous climax.
For West Ham, a harsh lesson in efficiency. They went deservedly ahead through Tomas Soucek but had the chances to finish the game within the first hour. Instead, a distracted United – with, you suspect, one eye on Leipzig on Tuesday – finished them.Continue reading...
- Updates from the 5.30pm GMT kick-off
- Live scoreboard: all the latest scores and results from today’s games
- Solskjær has fingers crossed over Rashford’s shoulder injury
- And you can get in touch with Scott by email here
A ninth consecutive Premier League away win. A textbook game of two halves. Manchester United are two points off the top!
90 min +4: Mata pings Greenwood clear. Greenwood opts for the first-time spectacular, and shanks it well wide left. Up the other end, Lanzini larrups a frustrated long-distance effort straight at Henderson.
90 min +3: Manchester United stroke it around as the clock ticks down. Compare and contrast to an hour ago. The transformation has been remarkable.
90 min +1: The first of five added minutes passes by without incident. “This iteration of Manchester United is obviously not a title winning side but this squad surely has resolve,” argues Billy Graboso. “That alone will probably save Ole for this season.”
90 min: Johnson is barged over by Rashford out on the right. A chance for West Ham to load the box and grab a goal that would make injury time interesting. But Cresswell’s free kick is headed clear by Lindelof.
89 min: Benrahma embarks on a purposeful dribble down the middle. For a second, it looks as if he might sensationally break through. But he loses control on the edge of the box and falls over in the hope of purchasing a cheap free kick. He doesn’t get one.
87 min: Rice has a rake from 25 yards. It’s a decent hit, but takes a deflection off McTominay that actually helps Henderson, the ball whistling straight down the keeper’s throat.
85 min: The resulting corner is no good. Johnson comes on for Coufal.
84 min: A free kick for West Ham, 30 yards out. Cresswell takes, and curls powerfully over the wall and towards the bottom right. It’s in all the way, but Henderson extends an arm to turn around the post. What a save!
82 min: West Ham are in danger of losing heavily, which seemed to be Manchester United’s fate in the first half. Rashford makes good down the left and sends a dribbler across the face of goal. Thankfully for the 2,000 increasingly morose attendees, there’s nobody in dazzle camouflage in the middle.
80 min: Coufal dribbles down the right and wins a corner off Telles. Cresswell takes. The ball ends up at the feet of Benrahma on the other wing. He dribbles at Lindelof, who isn’t minded to tackle inside the box. Benrahma drops a shoulder to move to the inside, and sends a curler towards the top right. Inches over, with Henderson beaten. It’s just not West Ham’s day.
Mata creams a first-time pass from the centre circle down the inside-left channel for Rashford, who is sprung clear. He draws Fabianski and dinks a lovely chip over the keeper and into the net. Good luck trying to figure this Manchester United side out.
77 min: Greenwood bustles down the inside left and slices a shot wide. Manchester United look dangerous on every attack now. They’re as wonderful now as they were woeful earlier on.
76 min: Rashford is fixed up and good to go again. Meanwhile the hosts make a double change, sending on Benrahma and Lanzini in place of Bowen and Fornals.
74 min: Rashford romps at warp speed down the left. Rice gets a good foot in to stop his gallop. Rashford accidentally falls into Ogbonna’s boot, and play is stopped while West Ham were on the counter. The West Ham 2,000 aren’t happy, and boo accordingly, but the referee had little option.
72 min: Fernandes turns in the centre circle and slides Rashford clear down the inside-right channel. He’s clear on goal, but slightly scuffs his shot across Fabianski, which twangs off the base of the left-hand post and away. Inches from setting the seal on what will be one of the more absurd Jeckyll-and-Hyde performances since ... er, last weekend at Southampton.
70 min: A look of glazed confusion washes across the face of David Moyes. He has no idea how his team have just been hit by that double whammy. But this is just what this Manchester United team does.
He’ll be doubly livid now. Telles makes space down the left and cuts back for Greenwood, who has his back to goal on the six-yard box. He takes one touch to spin Ogbonna, and lashes past Fabianski. One smooth movement of extreme brilliance!
67 min: Moyes is fuming.
66 min: There’s a VAR check. Did Henderson’s blooter upfield curl out of play before reaching Fernandes? David Moyes certainly things so. But there’s no way of knowing for sure, if the footage shown is all they’ve got to go by, and so the goal stands.
Henderson launches a long clearance down the right, under pressure from Bowen. He inadvertently springs Fernandes down the right. Fernandes cuts back for Pogba, who unleashes a screamer into the top right! Fabianski had no chance.
63 min: Martial can’t continue. He limps off, to be replaced by Mata.
61 min: Rashford earns a corner for Manchester United that’s wasted. But they’re beginning to ask a few questions on a regular basis at long last.
60 min: Ogbonna launches a crossfield pass that finds Coufal in acres on the right. The resulting cross is no good, but once again you have to question Telles. Not so much what he’s doing, but where he is.
59 min: Manchester United are currently playing with ten-and-a-half men. Martial is limping heavily and trying to run it off.
57 min: Fernandes shows in attack for the first time since coming on, spinning cutely down the middle and threading a delicate pass forward in the hope of releasing Martial into the box. Martial is well offside. But again: a little better from Manchester United.
55 min: Rashford tries to pick up the pace with a determined dribble down the left. He cuts inside and tees up McTominay, who flashes the side netting with a fierce first-time drive. A little better from the visitors.
54 min: On Sky Sports, co-commentator Gary Neville is fuming at the half-arsed nature of Manchester United’s press. Right now: steam > bubbles.
53 min: Maguire decides to have a thrash from the best part of 30 yards. It’s a decent enough effort, but Fabianski shouldn’t get beaten from there, and doesn’t. He smothers easily.
52 min: Incredible amounts of space for Coufal on the right. Where’s Telles?! He enters the box and looks for Fornals in the middle. The ball flies across to Bowen, who attempts to steer into an unguarded net from a tight angle, but can only find the side netting. A big chance to double West Ham’s lead is spurned.
50 min: West Ham stroke the ball around nicely, from back to front, Masuaku finally firing in a cross from the left. Maguire hacks clear. Both sides, for differing reasons, look hell-bent on hunting goals.
48 min: Rashford probes down the left. He runs slap-bang into Coufal, and demands a free kick for obstruction, but doesn’t get one. You’ve seen them given. A good sign for those worried about his shoulder that he’s more than prepared to get physical.
46 min: Martial is sent scampering down the left ... but he’s miles offside. “Those Man Utd shirts are a bit like watching telly in the 70s/80s,” suggests Justin Kavanagh. “The broken lines would slide upward or downward for ten minutes before a minute of beautiful clarity would break through and you could finally make sense of what you were watching - only for the zebra lines to then return with a vengeance. A lot like watching United these days, in fact.”
Manchester United get the second half underway. They’ll be buoyed by the fact they’ve won four of the six Premier League games in which they’ve conceded the first goal this season ... and that Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford are on for the second half. They replace Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani.
Half-time entertainment. Having witnessed that abject first-half display, Manchester United fans can be forgiven for daydreaming about better times. They could do worse than fire up United Rewind, a nostalgia-fest hosted by Rob Smyth and Daniel Harris of this parish. It’s everything you’d expect from this magnificent duo ... but even better than that. You won’t regret it. Get on it.
Episode one of United Rewind is out now!@DanielHarris and Rob Smyth look back at United's counter-attacking shellacking of Norwich in the 1993 title run-in.
Eric, Giggs and Ince all star and there's a combustible cameo from Robbo too...#MUFC #MUNPSGhttps://t.co/d2WJnEm5sa pic.twitter.com/Uo3hBIaku1
There’s just enough time left for Bowen to lift an effort over the bar ... and the whistle goes for the break. It’s no exaggeration to say that the hosts could - arguably should - be at least three goals up. Manchester United have some thinking to do.
45 min: From the resulting throw, Bowen flashes a header goalwards. Henderson does well to parry, though the flag goes up for offside anyway.
44 min: West Ham break from the Manchester United corner. Fornals puts Bowen clean through! The visitors are very fortunate that Wan-Bissaka is much faster than Bowen. He catches him up on the edge of the box and blocks.
43 min: Yet despite their awful first-half display, they could be level. Martial glides in from the left and curls powerfully towards the top left. Fabianski does extremely well to claw out for a corner.
42 min: Manchester United are a rabble. McTominay and Lindelof get in an awful mess, gifting Bowen possession then bringing him down. That leads to a shot, a corner, a melee, and a Pogba overhead clearance that on another day could have taken Soucek’s head off.
40 min: Haller is sent clear down the middle! Manchester United’s defence is all over the shop! Haller rounds Henderson on the left. He switches feet, preparing to stroke home ... then slips over! Henderson is able to claim. Haller might have been a yard offside, but we’ll never know for sure. No need for VAR to check, and Haller may be the only person in the London Stadium wishing there were still no fans allowed.
39 min: Manchester United fans won’t be too worried yet. They keep falling behind on their travels in the Premier League ... and keep winning. Can West Ham buck the trend?
The corner’s whipped from the left to the near post. Rice flicks on. Henderson plus defenders had all swarmed Rice, and Soucek is able to poke into an unguarded net from a couple of yards! It had been coming.
37 min: Haller spins Maguire down the right and loops long to the far post, where the excellent Bowen waits. He brings the ball down and shoots from a tight angle. A deflection earns West Ham a corner. From which ...
36 min: Pogba has a dig from distance. It’s swerving around but easily claimed by Fabianski, who has otherwise had very little to do.
35 min: Pogba’s forward pass clanks into a thicket of players. Bowen comes away with it and drives towards the Manchester United box from the right. He slips a pass into Fornals, who pokes a delicate no-backlift effort towards the bottom left. Henderson is beaten. The ball clanks off the base of the post and back into the keeper’s grateful arms.
33 min: Manchester United’s brief resurgence has stalled. They’re shipping possession with obscene regularity right now. This time they allow Bowen to have a dig from distance. Miles over the bar, but it’s another warning sign. The visitors need to sharpen up.
32 min: Cavani gifts West Ham the ball. Bowen is sent scampering down the right, passes Telles with ease, and curls to the far post, where Fornals heads into the side netting from a tight-ish angle. It wasn’t the easiest of chances, though he should still have done better.
31 min: West Ham work a short corner and waste it. A harmless game of head tennis breaks out on the edge of the Manchester United area and Henderson is quickly out to claim.
30 min: Pogba and Van de Beek take turns to give the ball away cheaply. That allows Masuaku to work his way down the left and earn a corner.
28 min: Manchester United are spending more and more time in the West Ham half. Cavani is popping up everywhere.
26 min: A long ball launched down the West Ham right. Maguire comes across to deal with it, but brings the ball down with his arm. It’s a blatant handball, but there’s no free kick coming West Ham’s way, the referee waving play on. David Moyes goes ballistic on the touchline. That free kick would have been in a tasty position near the Manchester United box.
25 min: A free kick earned by Pogba out on the right. He takes it himself. The delivery’s no good, and it’s easily cleared by Ogbonna. “Is that the Manchester United bench booing Pogba?” wonders sports satirist Gary Naylor.
24 min: Once again, the Manchester United corner is a non-event. But Manchester United are growing into the game after a slow start.
23 min: Pogba wins a 50-50 with Rice and lays off to Martial, who slips Telles away down the left. Telles sweeps a low cross into the mixer. Ogbonna is forced to sky the ball over his own bar for a corner.
21 min: A little space for Haller out on the left. He’s got Bowen bombing down the centre, through a huge gap in the Manchester United defence. He looks to thread a diagonal pass to release his team-mate ... but it clatters into Maguire, who intercepts through accident more than design. The visitors were nearly exposed there.
19 min: A one-two between Greenwood and Wan-Bissaka out on the right. The full back passes infield for Martial, who takes a snapshot. It’s deflected wide for a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece.
17 min: Soucek wraps his leg around McTominay from behind and is fortunate to escape a booking. It’s a painful one for the Manchester United midfielder, but after a brief spot of rolling and grimacing he’s up and about again.
16 min: Masuaku crosses from the left. Haller tries to trap and turn on the penalty spot, but loses control. West Ham are attacking with confidence.
15 min: It’s Pogba trying with a long pass this time. He finds Cavani down the left. The striker brings it down gracefully, but then backheels to nobody in particular. For a second, West Ham were very light at the back.
14 min: Maguire launches long, hoping to release Van de Beek, breaking from deep. Ogbonna puts a stop to the plan with a towering header clear.
12 min: A neat interchange between Haller and Fornals nearly opens Manchester United up down the left. The flag goes up, though there wasn’t much in it. West Ham have been much the better team during these early exchanges.
11 min: A free kick for West Ham out on the left. Cresswell takes, looping long in the hope of finding Ogbonna at the far post. Henderson comes out and flaps a bit, but there’s no worry as the delivery’s no good and the ball sails out for a goal kick.
9 min: Soucek releases Bowen down the right. Bowen’s free! He enters the box and passes a forensic shot across Henderson and into the bottom left. But the flag goes up for offside. VAR double-checks, though there’s no need to. He was miles off.
8 min: Plenty of applause as Fornals continues to apply the press. A gorgeous sound rippling down from the stand. We’ve missed it.
6 min: Henderson is put under some early pressure when the ball’s at his feet. He deals with West Ham’s press comfortably, but you can be sure David Moyes has told his charges to test the full Premier League debutant at every nerve-jangling opportunity.
4 min: Cavani wants a free kick after running into Balbuena out on the left. He’s not getting one. Meanwhile here’s Damian A Durrant painting a dazzling picture with words: “Manchester United’s kit looks like a hangover feels.”
2 min: West Ham are on the front foot early doors. Bowen causes a bit of bother down the right, swinging the ball in twice. Manchester United can’t clear and Fornals nearly gets a snapshot away at the near post. Henderson blocks and the danger is averted.
The players take a knee ... there’s no room for racism ... and West Ham get the ball rolling. Bubbles in the air, as well as the sweet, sweet sound of punters in the stand. Stay safe, everyone.
The teams are out! West Ham United are in their famous claret and blue, while Manchester United wear their dazzle-ship camouflage. The 2,000 West Ham fans in the Billy Bonds Stand bring the atmosphere. Above them, a rainbow, in support of Stonewall’s rainbow laces campaign for LGBT+ inclusivity. All of it: lovely to see.
David Moyes welcomes the lucky 2,000 fans back to the London Stadium. “I hope the fans have a positive effect. We’ve been playing well. We’ve been playing in a positive fashion, especially here at the London Stadium where it’s been said it’s not home yet, we’re not winning enough games, but I think we’re doing much better so hopefully the supporters will help us again today. It’s a start, but this arena can hold many, many more, and it’s capable because of the way it’s spread out, and the distances to walk up to the stadium, etcetera, but we’re following the government guidelines and we can only have 2,000. I think Manchester United are a really good team, they’ve been in form away from home, so I’m hoping we can give them a really good game and show that we are worthy of being in and around the top teams.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks to Sky Sports. “The injury David de Gea had against Southampton has flared up a little bit so we didn’t want to take the risk and kept him at home. Bruno Fernandes has been kicked from pillar to post recently so if I don’t have to use him I’d like not to. Marcus Rashford is fit enough to be on the bench and he held his arm up - with a bad shoulder! - to say he’s ready if needed. Every time you pick a team you think short term, but with a little eye on the next few games. I couldn’t take risks even though we know this is an unbelievably tough place and a tough team to play against.”
That Manchester United team serves up a tasty trio of Premier League firsts. Dean Henderson and Edinson Cavani both make their full league debuts for the club, while Bruno Fernandes isn’t in a Premier League starting XI for the first time since he joined. Meanwhile Digvijay Yadav is on board with my description of the upcoming showdown in Leipzig: “It’s season-defining all right. If Manchester United win here and in Germany, they’d be within touching distance of the top of the league and would have snuck out of a tough group. Lose and Mauricio Pochettino should keep his phone fully charged.”
West Ham, three on the bounce, make just one change to the side named for the win over Aston Villa, and not by choice. The injured Michail Antonio is replaced by Sebastien Haller.
Manchester United have one eye on the potentially season-defining visit to Leipzig on Tuesday, making four changes to the team sent out against PSG. Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford drop to the bench, while David de Gea and Fred miss out altogether. Dean Henderson, Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Mason Greenwood step up.
West Ham United: Fabianski, Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku, Bowen, Fornals, Haller.
Subs: Benrahma, Lanzini, Snodgrass, Noble, Diop, Johnson, Randolph.
Manchester United: Henderson, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, McTominay, Pogba, Greenwood, van de Beek, Martial, Cavani.
Subs: Mata, Rashford, Grant, Fernandes, Matic, Williams, Tuanzebe.
This is one of those fixtures that delivers more often than not. See!
This evening should be no different. West Ham are in great form at the moment, having won their last three Premier League games, and five of their last eight. They’ve even worked out how to win ugly, which they did against Aston Villa on Monday night, a fact David Moyes was more than happy to admit. Sign of a good team, right? Which is what the Hammers, quietly, are threatening to become. A third successive win over Manchester United at home is on.Continue reading...
- Forward struggling to play full 90 minutes at present
- ‘Hopefully it won’t take too long to completely go away’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted he has “fingers crossed” regarding Marcus Rashford’s shoulder problem, with the injury preventing Manchester United’s top scorer from completing most games.
Since suffering the injury in the win at Everton on 7 November, Rashford has been forced to pull out of the England squad and completed only one full 90 minutes – last Sunday’s victory at Southampton.Continue reading...
West Ham are on a great run and Manchester United are hurting after losing to PSG in midweek, so what better time for David Moyes to hammer home a point to his former employers. Ole Gunnar Solskjær is unlikely to be fazed, though, with world class talent in Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani to rely on. The pair were instrumental in United’s comeback win last week and the former cannot be left free to pick West Ham apart. Graham Searles
Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...