What the papers say

From Hart to Saivet: the Premier League's forgotten men

What the papers say - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:00

Whether out of favour or held back by injury, millions of pounds of talent is sitting unused in England’s top flight

Seventy-five England caps are not to be sniffed at but the former Manchester City goalkeeper’s fall has been pretty extraordinary. It is three years since Iceland humiliated England at Euro 2016 and Hart, having failed to repair his reputation at Torino or West Ham, has not started a Premier League game since Boxing Day, a 5-1 home defeat by Everton, which compounded a miserable defensive record: he kept three clean sheets and conceded 41 goals in 19 top-flight matches last season. Not even the departure of Tom Heaton has soothed things for Hart, 32, with Nick Pope restored as Sean Dyche’s No 1 and the arrival of Bailey Peacock-Farrell meaning he is not guaranteed to be second-choice. His sole appearance this season came in a cup defeat by Sunderland, and it proved nightmarish: Sunderland scored from three of their four shots on target and Hart’s only save led to a goal.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 09/20/2019 - 00:30

Mesut Özil remains an enigma for Unai Emery, Phil Jagielka returns to Everton and Liverpool’s 100% record could end

Still looking for his first home win as Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard will do well to get off the mark against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. While he and his coaching staff will have scrutinised Napoli’s midweek Champions League win over Jürgen Klopp’s side looking for weaknesses, they are unlikely to have learned much they didn’t know already. Diligently maintaining your shape, getting behind Liverpool’s advancing full-backs and hoping at least one of your central defenders can perform a passable imitation of Kalidou Koulibaly is all very well in theory, but a lot easier said than done. And while the prospect of Liverpool’s preposterously-talented front three drawing blanks again seems remote, Lampard can at least take heart from the fact Liverpool only beat one of their fellow top six teams on their travels last season. BG

Related: The return of the Champions League – Football Weekly Extra

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Related: Southampton’s Jan Bednarek: ‘We have to be a really nasty opponent’

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Mason Greenwood’s first Manchester United goal earns win over Astana

What the papers say - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 21:59

Mason Greenwood came to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s rescue just as the Manchester United manager’s faith in his promoted young players was beginning to look misplaced. On his first Old Trafford start, the 17-year-old earned United the points with a coolly struck winner.

Solskjær had said he was an expert finisher and here he proved it with an important first United goal, though it was significant that by the 73rd minute he was the only teenager left on the field. “If you just get Mason in the box you know something is going to happen,” Solskjær said. “He might not play in the next game but he’ll be important for us this season. He’ll get his minutes.”

Related: Bukayo Saka inspires Arsenal to thrilling win at Eintracht Frankfurt

Related: Ryan Christie penalty secures draw for Celtic at Rennes despite late red card

Related: Wolves make poor start to group stage as Braga exploit sloppy defending

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Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal, Rennes v Celtic: Europa League – live!

What the papers say - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 18:12

6.12pm BST

Arsenal threaten again, but Trapp comes out quickly to reach the ball just before Torreira, who might have injured his ankle in hurdling the onrushing keeper.

6.11pm BST

Twelve games are being played, each now 15 minutes old. That’s the equivalent of four full matches played, and only one goal has been scored.

6.10pm BST

Meanwhile in Rennes, Grenier heads wide when he might have put the home side ahead against Celtic.

6.09pm BST

Arsenal fluff another excellent chance. This time Sow gives the ball to Saka, but he fails to release Aubameyang when all it would have taken was a straightforward pass, and the opportunity disappears in a puff of disappointment.

6.08pm BST

There has only been one Europa League goal so far, and it has been scored by Kevin Bua, whose 10th-minute goal has put Basel ahead against Krasnodar.

6.06pm BST

When they do get the ball into the box, Kamada falls over backwards in a ludicrous and unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty.

6.05pm BST

Frankfurt have dominated since that chance, but without threatening Arsenal’s penalty area.

6.02pm BST

What a chance for Arsenal! In the fifth minute, Saka lifts the ball to the far post where Torreira runs onto it, totally ignored by the defence. He meets it on the half-volley, eight yards out, and blasts it miles high!

5.56pm BST

Peeeeeep! We’re off!

5.56pm BST

In case you’re wondering what Tony Yeboah looks like these days:

5.53pm BST

And out they come! Behind the home goal, all hell breaks loose.

5.51pm BST

The players are on their way out! I’m watching events at Frankfurt, where the players’ tunnel looks like a conference centre.

5.40pm BST

The away dressing-room at Eintracht Frankfurt looks pleasingly old-school:

5.26pm BST

Arsenal have arrived for their game at Frankfurt, and don’t they look excited?

Arsenal arrive at Frankfurt Stadion ️#UEL pic.twitter.com/sHnlvDzhAr

5.17pm BST

Here are the starting line-ups from the Philips Stadion:

PSV: Zoet, Dumfries, Baumgartl, Viergever, Boscagli, Hendrix, Rosario, Ihattaren, Bergwijn, Malen, Bruma. Subs: Schwaab, Mitroglou, Gakpo, Ruiter, Doan, Sadilek, Teze.
Sporting: Ribeiro, Rosier, Coates, Neto, Acuna, Bolasie, Doumbia, Wendel, Luis, Vietto, Bruno Fernandes. Subs: Tiago Ilori, Eduardo Henrique, Camacho, Borja, Pedro Mendes, Cabral, Maximiano.
Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia).

5.00pm BST

Rennes: Mendy; Traoré, Da Silva, Gnagnon, Morel; Bourigeaud, Jonas Martin, Grenier; Raphinha, Niang, Tait. Subs: Salin, Siebatcheu, Lea Siliki, Camavinga, Del Castillo, Hunou, Gelin.
Celtic: Forster; Elhamed, Ajer, Jullien, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard. Subs: Gordon, Bayo, Bauer, Hayes, Morgan, Rogic, Ntcham.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon named an unchanged team for their Europa League group opener in Rennes.

That meant no place in the starting line-up for French midfielder Olivier Ntcham, with Norway winger Mohamed Elyounoussi keeping his place after his debut at Hamilton.

⭐️ @EuropaLeague Team News ⭐️

Our side to face @staderennais in the #UEL #RENCEL pic.twitter.com/1gH4O1FBSQ

4.54pm BST

Here’s PA Media’s take on the Arsenal line-up:

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery made seven changes for the Europa League Group F opener at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Gunners boss kept Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in his side from the weekend Premier League draw at Watford.

4.44pm BST

A load of changes for Arsenal, including Bukayo Saka making his second first-team start:

Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp, Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger, Kohr, Da Costa, Sow, Kamada, Kostic, Dost, Andre Silva. Subs: Ndicka, Falette, Fernandes, Joveljic, Chandler, Ronnow, Paciencia.
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Willock, Saka, Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Nelson, Guendouzi, Martinelli.
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy).

4.42pm BST

We have some team news trickling in. Hold on to your hats ...

1.28pm BST

Welcome to another bumper evening of European football, in which 24 games will be played in two batches over five hours - and we’ll be here for the lot of it.

In the early games Celtic head to Rennes, where they should keep an eye out for the outrageously gifted 16-year-old defensive midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who has played every minute of the French side’s season so far, while Arsenal visit Eintracht Frankfurt without Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Mesut Ozil, both dropped after flopping at Vicarage Road at the weekend. “Usually Eintracht are doing high pressing,” says Unai Emery worryingly, as we saw at Watford on Sunday that their defence can spontaneously self-combust when pressed. “Some mistakes we made on Sunday we need to improve. Today is another challenge to show how we can improve. Last year Frankfurt played in the same semi-final as Chelsea. To start tomorrow with them is a tough match.” There’s also PSV v Sporting, which looks like a Champions League fixture that has simply got lost somewhere though in fact the teams have played twice in the Europa League since they last met in the continent’s premier competition back in 1998. True fact: there has only been one away win in 11 meetings since 1975.

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Football transfer rumours: Thomas Tuchel to take over at Manchester United?

What the papers say - Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:17

Today’s tell-all is scraping the bottom of the barrel

Underwhelmed by Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s stint at the wheel, Manchester United are hoping to replace him with Thomas Tuchel. Reports from France suggest both United and Barcelona are interested in luring the German away from Paris Saint-Germain and after the French club’s smiting of Real Madrid last night, we’re guessing there could be plenty of interest from the Bernabéu as well.

Related: Erling Braut Haaland, the Norwegian ‘beast’ ripping up the record books | Marcus Christenson

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Manchester United’s Greenwood ‘one of best finishers I’ve seen’, says Solskjær

What the papers say - Wed, 09/18/2019 - 16:30
• Young striker in line to start in Europa League against Astana
• Solskjær intends to rotate and give younger players game time

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has described Mason Greenwood as one of the best finishers he has seen and is ready to give the 17-year-old a first senior start of the season in Thursday’s Europa League group game against Astana.

The Manchester United manager intends to make several changes, with one or two regulars nursing injuries and a testing game at West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday. Daniel James has joined Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial on the sidelines after picking up a knock in the last league match against Leicester, and Solskjær hinted that Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and Fred are likely to face the Kazakh champions at Old Trafford.

Related: Chelsea open talks with Abraham and Tomori over new five-year contracts

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‘My future is fixed’: David de Gea signs new four-year Manchester United deal

What the papers say - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 15:24
• Spanish goalkeeper’s deal runs until 2023
• De Gea moved to Old Trafford in 2011

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has signed a new four-year deal with the club, ending speculation about his future.

De Gea’s moved to Old Trafford in 2011 from Atlético Madrid and firmly made himself one of the team’s key players over the last eight seasons. The Spain international’s new contract will keep him at Manchester United until the summer of 2023, with the option of extending it for a further season.

Related: Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

What the papers say - Mon, 09/16/2019 - 08:29

Buendía the architect of City’s bad day, Arsenal were woeful in defence and Maguire deserved better from Leicester fans

The way in which Norwich turned a negative into a positive was quite something. With nigh-on a full team of players out injured, the odds of stopping Manchester City looked insurmountable. Instead Daniel Farke’s men gave their best performance of the season by far, not only cutting the champions open but looking solid at the back for the first time. There was kudos for the debutants in defence, Sam Byram and Ibrahim Amadou, but also for more seasoned Norwich players. Emi Buendía and Marco Stiepermann were central to a buccaneering style in the Championship yet had struggled to bring that form to the top flight. With the gauntlet down, however, they delivered. Buendía contributed two assists and regularly sprung the City press. Stiepermann sparked several counter attacks and crucially reestablished his understanding with Teemu Pukki. Paul MacInnes

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James Maddison has Brendan Rodgers eulogising about his potential

What the papers say - Sun, 09/15/2019 - 22:30
• Leicester manager compares Maddison to Philippe Coutinho
• ‘He is a humble boy, has a lovely swagger, a lovely arrogance’

James Maddison’s turn as a roving No 10 was the standout display as Manchester United broke a three‑game run without a win at Old Trafford. Leicester City may have lost to Marcus Rashford’s early penalty but their 22-year-old midfielder lit up the contest via a performance that illustrated how he would immediately make Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side better. Maddison embodies the type of quick-minded, technically astute player the United manager wants.

To hear his manager, Brendan Rodgers, say Maddison has a “swagger” and is reminiscent of “Philippe Coutinho” strengthened that sense while also highlighting the situation vacant at United marked “playmaker”.

Related: Emile Heskey: ‘I was on the floor and started crying. Then I found a barber’ | Jamie Jackson

Related: Marcus Rashford’s early penalty edges blunt Manchester United past Leicester

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The Dozen: Guardiola's grief and David Luiz's lunge – the best Premier League pictures

What the papers say - Sun, 09/15/2019 - 21:52

Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the weekend’s matches

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'We want to play better than this' says Solskjær after 1-0 win over Leicester – video

What the papers say - Sat, 09/14/2019 - 19:03

'The performances have been miles better than this' were the words of Ole Gunnar Solksjær after his side snuck a 1-0 victory over Leicester City. An early penalty kick from Marcus Rashford was the difference. In a game that saw a number of key players missing for Manchester United. The manager insisted that his side 'want to play better than this' 

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Marcus Rashford’s early penalty edges blunt Manchester United past Leicester

What the papers say - Sat, 09/14/2019 - 17:08

The good news for Manchester United is that they have rediscovered their winning habit. They won this game despite missing a number of key players with injury and, for that alone, Ole Gunnar Solskjær can probably accept the fact their performance never got any higher than six out of ten – lots of huffing and puffing, but none of the old panache.

Leicester certainly had enough of the ball to believe they ought to have extended United’s winless sequence to four matches. Ultimately, though, Solskjær and his players can reflect on a decent afternoon’s work bearing in mind Leicester have ambitions of their own to break into the Premier League’s top four this season.

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Rashford and Martial told by Solskjær to raise Manchester United goal rate

What the papers say - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 22:30
• Manager lays on the line his standards for forwards
• Forty goals between them would still not be ‘top, top-class’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said that even if Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were to improve their Premier League goal return to one every two games for Manchester United this would still not be “top, top class”.

United have spurned chances in a run of uneven form in which they have drawn twice and lost once since the opening 4-0 win over Chelsea. Rashford and Martial, who is injured, have each scored twice this season. The former has 29 league goals in 115 appearances, the latter 36 in 116 for the club.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the credibility conundrum at Manchester United

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Manchester United v Leicester: match preview

What the papers say - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 16:32

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is almost in crisis-management mode. His Manchester United team have not won since the opening day and as he continues to bemoan missed chances, the decision not to replace Romelu Lukaku becomes ever more odd. Leicester arrive with three more points – they have eight – so this is a real challenge for Solskjær and his side. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 3pm

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the credibility conundrum at Manchester United

What the papers say - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 14:14
Sceptics in the squad doubt the manager’s tactics and coaching but is it wise to assume he is out of his depth?

Ole Gunnar Solskjær asked to be judged on this season and four matches in his credibility is being questioned within Manchester’s United squad.

The concerns are not thought to be universally shared, the Guardian understands, and a paradox here is that a group of players who flatlined at the end of last term and are again underperforming have their own need to prove they possess the requisite quality.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Solskjær worried about 'tough' Leicester game as Pogba adds to injury woes – video

What the papers say - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 13:10

Manchester United will have to play well to emerge from their match with Leicester with any points, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said. Solskjær confirmed Paul Pogba will miss the game, worsening United's injury troubles which could see as many as seven players out of action.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 09/13/2019 - 00:05

Bruce might have what it takes at Anfield, Manchester United and Spurs under pressure and a six-pointer at the Amex?

Newcastle don’t have much of a record at Anfield. They’ve not won there since Steve Watson knocked Roy Evans’s side out of the League Cup in 1995; they’ve not tasted league victory there since Andrew Cole and Robert Lee secured a 2-0 win in 1994. It’s been mainly defeats ever since, though they did get a point three years ago against a starting XI featuring Alberto Moreno, Connor Randall and Kevin Stewart. The Magpies won’t be flying down the A1 with too much hope in their hearts, then. Liverpool are on a 13-match Premier League winning run, and Mo Salah and Sadio Mané have had their feet up during the international break. SM

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Related: ‘We’re building a player’ – the transformation of Wolves’ Adama Traoré

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Paul Scholes and the wonderful aesthetic appeal of the perfect pass | Nick Ames

What the papers say - Thu, 09/12/2019 - 11:48
The former Manchester United legend showed on Wednesday night why so many of us love a wonderfully executed pass

In discussions about the art of the pass, it is never wrong to afford Johan Cruyff the final word. “Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate,” he famously said, instantly creating a blueprint for a generation of players and coaches everywhere.

Related: The most perfect camera angles of great football moments

He sees things that other people don't!

Outrageous vision and skill from Paul Scholes... pic.twitter.com/oju4gfh4O5

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David de Gea close to signing new Manchester United contract

What the papers say - Mon, 09/09/2019 - 14:49
  • Goalkeeper would earn similar wage to Paul Pogba
  • De Gea’s deal is due to run out next summer

David de Gea is close to finally agreeing a new contract with Manchester United. The goalkeeper is on the verge of completing the details on terms in the region of the £290,000-a-week basic earned by Paul Pogba and the Spaniard expects to sign soon, it is understood.

Related: Gareth Southgate urges Marcus Rashford to use his speed more effectively

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Chris Smalling describes racism as ‘unacceptable’ as he settles in at Roma

What the papers say - Fri, 09/06/2019 - 12:47
• Racism a live issue in Italy following abuse of Romelu Lukaku
• On-loan United defender excited about playing in Serie A

Chris Smalling has described racism as an “unacceptable” and “sad” problem that affects all parts of the world but is hopeful that it will lessen in future years.

The defender spoke on the matter during his introductory press conference as a Roma player, having joined the Italian club from Manchester United on a season-long loan deal, as part of which Roma have paid United €3m (£2.7m).

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