What the papers say

What has happened to Anthony Martial this season?

What the papers say - Thu, 11/26/2020 - 13:29

Anthony Martial has more red cards than goals or assists in the league this season. Should Edinson Cavani take his place?

By Josh Wright for WhoScored

Just like a tackle, former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes does not need a second invitation to snap into a discussion about his old club and his opinions are rarely complimentary. Back in October, Anthony Martial was on the receiving end of a Scholes volley. It wasn’t quite Aston Villa in 2006, but more stinging like Bradford in 2000. “The problem with United’s forwards is that none of them is an actual centre-forward,” he said. “Martial almost conned us into thinking he was one at the end of last season because he scored so many goals and was quite good.”

Scholes knows what it takes to be a successful striker at United, having played alongside Andy Cole, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney among others, but that assessment is harsh. Scholes was certainly right about Martial’s form at the end of last season though. He was brilliant when the Premier League resumed in June.

Related: Nicklas Bendtner, Martin Keown and the ubiquity of pink football boots

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Marcus Rashford will receive special award at BBC's Spoty

What the papers say - Wed, 11/25/2020 - 22:30
  • Manchester United striker led campaign for free school meals
  • BBC to show documentary following his activism

Marcus Rashford will be honoured with a special award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year but he has not made the shortlist for the main category, the winner of which is voted for by the public.

While the special award recognises Rashford’s campaigning against child poverty and for free school meals, the 23-year-old has been excluded from the Spoty nominees because the Manchester United and England forward’s on-field achievements have not reached the sporting bar as decided by the judging panel.

Related: 'It is never about him': how Marcus Rashford became such a devastating activist

Related: Mail on Sunday v Marcus Rashford: a sinister attack on a young black man | Jonathan Liew

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Champions League, yet more VAR and the return of fans – Football Weekly

What the papers say - Wed, 11/25/2020 - 17:41

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Nicky Bandini and Jonathan Wilson to discuss Tuesday’s Champions League football

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

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Solskjær takes the handbrake off but can he do it when it really matters? | Jonathan Liew

What the papers say - Wed, 11/25/2020 - 08:00

Manchester United’s sparkle early on against Istanbul Basaksehir was eye-opening yet even in victory there remain questions

Up in the Old Trafford stands sat Sir Alex Ferguson: quiet and discreet, 80 next year, watching the game in a suit and tie and a club-branded mask. There was no furious chewing of gum, no swearing at the fourth official. And in a way, to glimpse the present-day Sir Alex through a shaky television long lens is to be reminded of the extent to which his genius was grounded in performance. For Ferguson, management was theatre: the taps on the watch, the press conference mind games, the affected fits of anger. Ferguson understood, as did so many of the game’s great coaches, that the bigger you made yourself, the bigger the shadow you cast.

In a way, this was the best way of understanding United’s triumph here: a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir that was effectively sealed in the first 20 minutes, and less effectively protected in the last 20. The underlying numbers will tell you just how threatening Istanbul were at times: taking 13 shots to United’s 14, enjoying long spells of possession, moving the ball smartly up the flanks. But to a large degree, this was not a game about underlying numbers.

Related: Bruno Fernandes leads Manchester United to Istanbul Basaksehir win

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Manchester United 4-1 Istanbul Basaksehir: Champions League – as it happened

What the papers say - Tue, 11/24/2020 - 22:26

Bruno Fernandes was the two-goal hero as United flew out of the blocks, moving to within a point of qualification for the knockout stage

10.26pm GMT

Jamie Jackson’s verdict from Old Trafford is in, bringing this MBM to its natural conclusion. You know what to do: clickity click! Thanks for reading this live blog. Nighty night!

Related: Bruno Fernandes leads Manchester United to Istanbul Basaksehir win

10.25pm GMT

Ole speaks! “First half, you saw the intent straight away. The boys wanted to play, they enjoyed it, it’s a Champions League night at Old Trafford. You expect them to enjoy themselves. We created some great chances, some very nice goals, and I was very pleased. Donny can play in different positions, Edinson is a good old-fashioned number nine, and we haven’t had that for a while, and I was very happy with how Anthony played on the left. Marcus is a very good penalty taker, and Bruno is very confident, so if Bruno wants to give it to Marcus, so be it. They can share them around. When you are 3-0 up you take the foot off the pedal. I think they enjoyed the second half more than the first, but 4-1 in the Champions League, you are happy with. We need one more point but we want to top the group. PSG are coming here and we look forward to that one.”

He also reports that Lindelof has a back problem, Wan-Bissaka some trouble with his ankle, but both should be OK for the weekend.

10.11pm GMT

The brilliant Bruno Fernandes speaks frankly to BT Sport. “I think we played really well, starting the game with the right mentality: stronger, intense. The first half was really important to get the points today. [The first goal] was a really good goal, you need to be ready when you are outside the box to shoot ... or sometimes to stop the game, stop the counter! This time was to shoot, maybe next time I need to take a yellow card, I don’t know! [Huge cheeky smile] After the last Premier League game, I told Rashie he could take the next penalty, so I remembered that. And also he is one of the top scorers in the Champions League, it’s important for him to keep going there and take that confidence. It doesn’t matter who takes. When the team scores, I score too. It is a good position [in the group] but we can’t relax. We need to win the next game on Sunday, but then we have time to think about the next game in the Champions League.”

10.01pm GMT

PSG ended up beating Leipzig 1-0. Both of those teams are now on six points in Group H, three behind leaders United. Basaksehir prop up the table with three points. Next up for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side: PSG at home. Having already done a number on last season’s finalists away, and needing just one more point, they’ll be confident of doing enough to make it through to the knockouts, especially as they’re now on a seven-game winning streak at Old Trafford, running up an aggregate score of 24-2. Mind you, if they give Neymar and Mbappe the chances they gave Basaksehir tonight ... it promises to be a great match, put it that way.

9.56pm GMT

There’s just enough time for Greenwood to shoot and Gunok to save, and that’s the end of a fine evening’s entertainment. United were magnificent in the first half, attacking with verve and panache. Not so good in the second, but then they made a tranche of changes, so that’s understandable. The three points keeps them top of the group, and they now only need a point from their final two matches against PSG and Leipzig to make the knockout stage!

9.53pm GMT

90 min +3: It’s been the dictionary definition of a curate’s egg, this one.

9.52pm GMT

United counter at speed. Van de Beek slips Greenwood into acres on the right. Greenwood reaches the edge of the box and rolls across for James, who ends a long scoring drought by opening his body and sidefooting confidently into the bottom right!

9.51pm GMT

90 min +2: Turuc loops in from the right. De Gea claims. And then ...

9.50pm GMT

90 min +1: The first of four added minutes goes by without any great drama.

9.49pm GMT

90 min: James drives down the left and enters the box, pulling back for Greenwood and nearly teeing up the striker, six yards from goal. Basaksehir swarm and clear.

9.48pm GMT

89 min: Turuc is booked for some minor indiscretion or other.

9.48pm GMT

88 min: Greenwood springs clear and nearly rounds Gunok, but the keeper clears well. He’s out of his area, though, and Cavani tries to dispatch the ball into the empty net from distance. He doesn’t quite get a hold of his ambitious effort, and the keeper can get back to gather.

9.46pm GMT

87 min: Carlos Ponck comes on for Martin Skrtel. Then a little space for Visca just inside the United box on the left. His low shot is weak and straight at De Gea. He should have done much better.

9.45pm GMT

86 min: Maguire is booked for taking his own sweet time over the resulting free kick.

9.44pm GMT

85 min: Tekdemir is booked for a crude block on Fred. United have dampened Basaksehir’s post-goal verve a little.

9.43pm GMT

83 min: Space for Cavani out on the right. His cross nearly clears the Stretford End. Too much wonderfuel gas behind that one.

9.42pm GMT

82 min: Suddenly United are looking very nervous. Tuanzebe and De Gea get in a muddle. Then Rafael bursts down the right and wallops low towards the near post. Ba tries to trap and shoot, but he should have left it for Gulbrandsen behind him. Ba whips into the side netting, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sends on Nemanja Matic for Anthony Martial.

9.39pm GMT

80 min: Visca drifts in from the right and unleashes a stunning shot towards the top left. De Gea is beaten all ends up. The ball crashes off the crossbar and away to safety.

9.38pm GMT

78 min: Skrtel catches Cavani from behind, clumsily more than aggressively. He deserves his booking though.

9.37pm GMT

77 min: United try to bounce back immediately from a free kick of their own. Telles takes it, curling it from the left flank to the far post. He nearly finds Maguire ... but not quite. Goal kick.

9.36pm GMT

Ba is bundled over by Fred, just to the left of centre, 25 yards from goal. Turuc whips it over the wall and into the top left. For a second it looks like De Gea has clawed it out, but the referee’s watch buzzes. It’s well over the line. That’s a wonderful free kick ... and a wake-up call for United.

9.34pm GMT

73 min: A double change for Basaksehir: Hasan Ali Kaldirim and Giuliano come on for Berkay Ozcan and Boli Bolingoli.

9.33pm GMT

72 min: Basaksehir press United back, Ba and Visca drawing pretty triangles out on the left flank. Maguire is forced to blooter unceremoniously into the stand before screaming at his team-mates to get back up to speed. United have dropped their intensity since making that tranche of subs.

9.30pm GMT

70 min: Greenwood is fed by James down the inside-right channel, and takes a whack when he reaches the area. His effort is blocked, but he’s been lively since coming on.

9.29pm GMT

69 min: Visca continues to probe down the left. Williams hasn’t got up to speed yet, and is fortunate that the Basaksehir winger continues to make some strange decisions.

9.27pm GMT

67 min: Visca wins the ball off a lumbering Williams and scampers off down the left wing. He’s got space and options in the middle, but opts for a weird delivery that’s neither cross nor shot. The ball flies off harmlessly into the stand behind the goal.

9.24pm GMT

65 min: Tekdemir brazenly wrestles Martial to the ground as the United striker looks to break. A free kick, but for some reason not a yellow card.

9.22pm GMT

63 min: A change for Basaksehir, as Nacer Chadli makes way for Fredrik Gulbrandsen, who scored twice at the weekend.

9.21pm GMT

62 min: Greenwood’s first act is to dribble with great purpose down the right and consider shooting upon entering the box. He leaves it too late. He settles for a corner, and gets on the end of it at the near post. Deflection. Another corner, this time on the right. Maguire gets a free header from that one, and sends it miles over the bar.

9.19pm GMT

60 min: United make a triple substitution. On come Mason Greenwood, Brandon Williams and Daniel James; Marcus Rashford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Bruno Fernandes are the lads getting a rest. Wan-Bissaka is the only one of the three to head straight down the tunnel; coupled with the frown on his face, he may have picked up a problem.

9.17pm GMT

58 min: Turuc drives at Martial down the right and cuts back for Rafael, who attempts a dream curler into the top left on his return to his old stomping ground. Full marks for ambition.

9.16pm GMT

57 min: A simple pass down the middle nearly opens United up. Ba threatens to latch onto the ball and break clear ... but Maguire comes across and wins a tough tussle.

9.14pm GMT

55 min: Tuanzebe is booked for flapping his arm across Ba’s face as the pair contest a high ball. That means he won’t be available for selection next week against PSG.

9.13pm GMT

53 min: From the corner, Visca is this close to breaking away a la Ba in the first game. Rashford does extremely well to shepherd him to the wing, then hold him up, eventually forcing him to turn tail. Lightning doesn’t strike twice.

9.11pm GMT

52 min: Telles continues to patrol the left wing with sassy confidence. He pings a cross to win a corner, which he takes himself. He nearly finds Cavani at the far post, but the ball sails all the way through the six-yard box. Fernandes does well to retrieve the situation, gathering the loose ball and winning a corner on the other side.

9.10pm GMT

50 min: Visca has been Basaksehir’s best player by some distance, and here he drops a shoulder before cracking a fine low drive towards the bottom left. De Gea is unsighted, so does brilliantly to stick out a late, strong hand to turn the ball around for a corner. Great football all round ... until the corner’s taken. That’s a waste of time.

9.09pm GMT

49 min: Bolingoli carelessly gives the ball away to Fernandes out on the United right. Fernandes drifts infield, considers shooting, but slips Cavani in down the channel instead. Cavani should score, but over-elaborates, gets the ball stuck under his feet, and can only force a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece.

9.07pm GMT

48 min: Ba spins Tuanzebe and threatens to burst into the United box. Maguire steps in to intercept and clear.

9.06pm GMT

46 min: Easy to forget that Basaksehir were romping into the United box after 15 seconds or so. They try the front-foot gambit again, but Wan-Bissaka is having none of it and clears his lines.

9.04pm GMT

United get the second half underway. They’ll be looking to whistle a few more goals past the uncertain Mert Gunok’s lugs. But they also need to conserve energy, with a big game at Southampton coming up on Sunday, so Axel Tuanzebe replaces Victor Lindelof, who has been struggling recently with a bad back. Meanwhile Basaksehir replace Irfan Can Kahveci with Mahmut Tekdemir.

8.53pm GMT

Half-time entertainment. Chelsea ensured their place in the knockout stage next year. Here’s Tumaini Carayol’s verdict.

Related: Giroud strikes late against Rennes to seal Chelsea's spot knockout stages

8.50pm GMT

Elsewhere in the multiverse, United lead 7-0, while another parallel dimension has the score at 3-3. It’s been that sort of game. More please!

8.47pm GMT

45 min: A free kick of Basaksehir out on the left. They make an absolute balls of it, and suddenly United are four on two! Rashford, skittering down the right, tries to chip across for Cavani, who is totally free on the left. Bolingoli gets a head in the way. Then a long clearance nearly releases Ba, only for Lindelof to make a last-man intervention. This is ludicrously wonderful.

8.45pm GMT

43 min: Turuc slips a pass down the left for Bolingoli, who reaches the corner of the six-yard box and backheels for Ba. The striker shoots towards the top right, but it’s not a clean whack and Maguire is able to deflect it out for a corner. Fine defending, but he should never have been given the chance. Ba has now missed two sitters. Nothing comes of the corner.

8.42pm GMT

41 min: This match is absurdly open, and being played out at 101 miles per hour. It is excellent entertainment.

8.41pm GMT

39 min: Visca whips in from the right. Maguire loses Ba, who should score from six yards ... but sends a dismal header miles over the bar. United stream up the other end, five on three, Martial setting up Fernandes who tries to poke under Gunok from the edge of the box. The keeper does well to block.

8.39pm GMT

38 min: Fred clatters into Visca out on the right. Free kick, and a chance for the visitors to load the box.

8.38pm GMT

37 min: There’s no way this is going to end 3-0.

8.38pm GMT

Rashford takes a worrying stuttering run-up ... Fernandes has missed a couple this season with these antics ... but there’s no need to fret! Rashford gives the keeper eyes, sending him one way and rolling his penalty into the bottom right! What ice-cool brilliance.

8.36pm GMT

35 min: Yep, it’s a penalty. But here’s what being a team-mate is all about: Fernandes, on a first-half hat-trick, gives the ball to Rashford. There’s generosity!

8.35pm GMT

34 min: There’s no question that Bolingoli has conceded a penalty ... but was Rashford offside as he sprung away from Bolingoli on the halfway line? VAR is checking.

8.34pm GMT

33 min: Lindelof rakes a glorious long pass down the right. Rashford gets ahead of Bolingoli, and races towards the box. Once in the area, Bolingoli barges Rashford in the back. Rashford goes over, and the referee points to the spot.

8.33pm GMT

31 min: Ba dribbles a shot on the turn towards the bottom right. De Gea gathers with a yawn. But Basaksehir are attacking with confidence, despite it all.

8.31pm GMT

29 min: Fred belts an appalling blind pass that crashes into Ba’s midriff. With United light at the back, and Visca ready to help his team-mate launch an attack, Fred is very lucky that the referee blows for handball. It did hit Ba’s arm, but there was bugger all he could do about it.

8.30pm GMT

28 min: Visca has been Basaksehir’s biggest threat so far. He takes charge of the set piece, and whistles a respectable effort over the wall and inches wide and high of the top-left corner. But De Gea has it covered all the way and watches calmly as it sails over.

8.28pm GMT

27 min: Ba bustles down the middle and is tripped by Wan-Bissaka, who gets the ball but a big chunk of the man too. A free kick in a dangerous position, though it’s right on the limit for a direct shot.

8.26pm GMT

25 min: A free kick for Basaksehir out on the right. They play it short, then Kahveci sends a long diagonal pass towards Skrtel, making a nuisance of himself in the box. The cross is no good and sails apologetically out for a goal kick.

8.25pm GMT

24 min: Another half-chance for Basaksehir, as Visca rolls a pass across the face of the United box from the right. Kahveci shoots, but he’s falling backwards, and Maguire is able to close him down and block.

8.24pm GMT

23 min: Telles has been superb so far. He breezes down the left at warp speed, before finding Rashford on the opposite wing with a raking pass. Nothing comes of the move, but the new left-back is causing all sorts of bother out on his wing.

8.23pm GMT

21 min: Gunok had the good grace to look embarrassed. That’s about the best you can say. What an abysmal error, just as his team were beginning to ask a couple of questions up the other end.

8.21pm GMT

Bruno Fernandes’s first goal was sensational; this one is a fiasco. Telles crosses from the left. Cavani goes up but is never going to get it. Gunok should catch, but lets the ball spring off his fingertips, the ball dropping to Fernandes, six yards out, in front of an open goal. In it rolls.

8.19pm GMT

17 min: Ozcan dribbles across the face of the United box, left to right, in the George Best versus Sheffield United style, before teeing up Visca. The resulting shot from 20 yards finds the top-right corner ... of the Stretford End. He should have done much better. United have been effervescent in attack, but Basaksehir have worried the defence on a couple of occasions now.

8.17pm GMT

16 min: Neymar has put PSG one up at home against Leipzig. Everything matters in this tight group.

8.16pm GMT

14 min: I can exclusively reveal that this isn’t going to end 1-0 either. Within the space of 60 seconds, Fernandes fizzes a speculative shot wide left of goal, then Ba takes a fresh-air swipe at a decent chance from 12 yards, Basaksehir having put their first decent attacking move together down the right. Breathless stuff!

8.14pm GMT

12 min: Van de Beek finds Fernandes in the middle. He immediately shuttles the ball down the inside-right channel for Rashford, who shouldn’t get to the ball before the out-rushing Gunok, but somehow toe-pokes through the hesitant keeper’s legs and in from a tight angle! But the flag goes up for offside.

8.13pm GMT

11 min: Martial and Rashford combine at pace down the left. Martial drives into the box and whips infield. His cross is too high for Cavani. Only just, though.

8.11pm GMT

9 min: It’s not often you can say a goal had been coming after seven minutes. But here we are. United started magnificently, and this is their reward.

8.09pm GMT

Wow! Maguire slips a pass down the left for Telles, who wins a corner off Rafael. Telles takes himself. Epureanu heads clear. The ball drops to Fernandes, just to the right of the D. Fernandes meets it on the half-volley, sending a rising net-ripper into the top right! Gunok had no chance at all. That was a blistering strike!

8.06pm GMT

5 min: Telles has a burst down the left, but can’t quite find anyone infield. United come again through Martial, who dribbles down the same wing and along the byline. He tries to find Rashford with a cutback, but the national treasure is closed down. Great start by United. This isn’t going to end 0-0.

8.05pm GMT

2 min: Now United stream forward. A cute Fernandes flick out on the right, infield between two defenders, sends Rashford dribbling with elegance down the middle. A sashay on the edge of the box, and suddenly he’s got space to shoot. His effort is blocked by Gunok, who spills, instigating a flurry of fevered activity. The rebound doesn’t quite drop for Rashford, who cocks his head back in annoyance. That move deserved a goal.

8.02pm GMT

1 min: Basaksehir start very much on the front foot, Turuc bustling into the area from the left. He’s never in control and De Gea is able to clear. The visitors are shooting towards the Stretford End in this first half.

8.01pm GMT

And we’re off! Basaksehir get the ball rolling ... but not before all players take a knee. Black lives matter. There’s no room for racism.

8.00pm GMT

The teams are out! Manchester United are in their famous red shirts; Basaksehir sport second-choice blue. United wear black armbands in honour of their former midfielder Maurice Setters, part of their 1963 FA Cup final winning team, who passed away earlier this week. We’ll be off in a minute.

Related: Maurice Setters, Republic of Ireland assistant to Jack Charlton, dies aged 83

7.45pm GMT

BT Sport have a word with Ole. “The group is very open. We opened the group up with the performance we had last time, so tonight is about getting that performance right. Hopefully that’s enough to get the result. Donny has been a very good addition to the squad, a fantastic lad. He started well in Turkey but we had to change towards the end to try to get a goal. The balance of the team meant we took him off. But tonight I’m sure we are going to see him enjoy himself again. Cavani has scored a good goal against Everton, has been away with Uruguay and scored, getting his fitness, and for us he’s a different striker. He gets in where it hurts, gets his head on the ball, so hopefully we can provide some crosses and feed him with chances. You know when you give a team a two-goal lead, they have something to hang onto, it’s always hard and they hung onto it. We had a goalline clearance towards the end but we just didn’t create enough. We want the first goal tonight, that’s important in games like this.”

7.39pm GMT

Pre-match pessimism / brazen fate-tempting. “This should be straightforward but United will most likely labour and make a meal out of it as per lately,” sighs Neil Carter. “Henderson should have started and Lindelof should have been rested as he’s been struggling with his back. Tuanzabe should have gotten some minutes. But what do I know eh. Shame there are no fans in the stadium to welcome back Rafael.”

7.10pm GMT

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer names an attacking team. Donny van de Beek gets a rare run out, while Edinson Cavani makes his first start for United. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata drop to the bench, the two sacrifices in the wake of the uninspiring win over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend. David de Gea is selected ahead of Dean Henderson, who played in Istanbul.

Basaksehir name ten of the 11 players who started the reverse fixture three weeks ago. Nacer Chadli, formerly of West Bromwich Albion, takes the place of Danijel Aleksic on the left wing. Demba Ba, who scored that goal, spearheads the Turkish champions again. Chadli and Ba aren’t the only erstwhile Premier League stars in the Basaksehir XI: Martin Skrtel, once of Liverpool, marshals their defence alongside former United favourite Rafael.

7.02pm GMT

Manchester United: de Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Telles, van de Beek, Fred, Martial, Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani.
Subs: Mata, Greenwood, Grant, James, Fosu-Mensah, Ighalo, Henderson, Pellistri, Matic, Williams, Tuanzebe, Mengi.

Istanbul Basaksehir: Gunok, Da Silva, Skrtel, Epureanu, Bolingoli Mbombo, Ozcan, Visca, Chadli, Kahveci, Turuc, Ba.
Subs: Babacan, Kaldirim, Kivanc, Giuliano, Tekdemir, Gulbrandsen, Ponck, Kaplan, Karakus.

3.50pm GMT

On the face of it, this shouldn’t be a particularly difficult assignment for Manchester United. İstanbul Başakşehir have lost their last three European away games, conceding eight goals in the process. They’ve lost ten of their 16 away matches in Europe, letting in 33 goals and keeping just one clean sheet. And their five-match unbeaten run in the Turkish Super Lig came to an end at the weekend, two late Fredrik Gulbrandsen goals putting a flattering sheen on a 3-2 defeat at city rivals Beşiktaş.

However United’s form at Old Trafford is nothing short of downright weird. The narrow win over West Bromwich Albion at the weekend was their first victory at home in the Premier League this season. They’ve lost four of their last seven home Champions League fixtures, and three of their last four games against Turkish opponents. On the flip side, they won all five of their home games in last season’s Europa League, scoring 15 times and conceding just the one. They’re currently on a six-game winning streak in Europe at Old Trafford; the aggregate score is 20-1. They recently routed last season’s semi-finalists Leipzig 5-0. Good luck sifting through all this evidence.

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Categories: What the papers say

Bruno Fernandes leads Manchester United to Istanbul Basaksehir win

What the papers say - Tue, 11/24/2020 - 22:00

Manchester United were accomplished in a victory that gives them nine points and firm control of Group H. Bruno Fernandes was again the key man in Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side, decorating the win with two goals in his latest dazzling all-round display.

The fact that United were beaten by these same opponents just three weeks ago felt particularly odd given their general superiority here - at least until Deniz Turuc’s 75th-minute free-kick squeezed past David De Gea.

Related: Fans' long-awaited return to stadiums could be hit by shortage of stewards

Related: Giroud strikes late against Rennes to seal Chelsea's spot knockout stages

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Maurice Setters, Republic of Ireland assistant to Jack Charlton, dies aged 83

What the papers say - Mon, 11/23/2020 - 21:37
  • Former midfielder played for Manchester United and West Brom
  • Setters had reportedly been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease

Maurice Setters, the former Manchester United player and Jack Charlton’s assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland, has died aged 83.

“Manchester United is deeply saddened to hear that Maurice Setters has passed away at the age of 83,” United said on their official website. “We send our condolences to Maurice’s family and friends at this difficult time – rest in peace.”

Related: Jack Charlton's courage shone through as he faced his 'greatest challenge' | Paul Doyle

Related: FA Cup set to introduce concussion substitute trial this season

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Solskjær: Manchester United 'need at least 10 points' in Champions League

What the papers say - Mon, 11/23/2020 - 17:11
  • United host Basaksehir on Tuesday after 2-1 loss in Turkey
  • Team have taken six points from their first three matches

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said Manchester United cannot afford further lax concentration against Istanbul Basaksehir after poor defending caused both goals in the defeat to the Turkish champions in the reverse Champions League fixture this month.

United host Basaksehir on Tuesday knowing a second defeat will leave them in a precarious position in Group H with only six points after four matches.

Related: Manchester United's Fernandes hits spot to sink unhappy West Brom

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

What the papers say - Mon, 11/23/2020 - 08:26

Tottenham can challenge for the title, Arsenal’s search for goals goes on and Timo Werner hits his stride for Chelsea

Perhaps we ought to ask the question differently. How are Tottenham going to mess this up? A tear in Harry Kane’s ankle? A dodgy lasagne? A global pandemic halting the league? Because in the heat of this moment, in which the world is upside down and anything can happen, the biggest reason why Spurs cannot win the title is that they are Spurs. Apart from the loss to Everton on the opening weekend, they have been better than everybody they have faced – and that has included both Manchester clubs, most recently City on Saturday. After an excellent transfer window, they are looking like a winning José Mourinho team. Mourinho refuses to admit it and he will only go game-by-game but, deep down, he knows it is there for the taking. Sunday’s visit to Chelsea is huge. David Hytner

Related: Wrexham's takeover may make football the cart behind a documentary horse

Related: No amount of Marcelo Bielsa’s genius can save Leeds from a bumpy ride | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Liverpool show they have resolve to retain title in season of trench warfare | Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan Liew: Arteta’s Arsenal still searching for identity

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Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United's Fernandes hits spot to sink unhappy West Brom

What the papers say - Sat, 11/21/2020 - 21:54

Manchester United finally have a Premier League victory at Old Trafford and a second consecutive win in the competition, though they far from convinced. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side benefited from three decisions regarding two penalties and Slaven Bilic was understandably disappointed at the majority of the officiating here from David Coote, the referee, and VAR.

Each occurred in the second half and centred on Bruno Fernandes and Conor Gallagher. In the first the former was adjudged by Coote to have fouled the latter and the referee awarded a spot-kick. Yet VAR informed the official to consult the pitchside monitor and, after this, he reversed his decision, ruling that it was clear and obvious Fernandes took the ball before touching Gallagher.

Related: Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion: Premier League – live!

Related: Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

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Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United v West Bromwich Albion: Premier League – live!

What the papers say - Sat, 11/21/2020 - 20:02

8.02pm GMT

2 min Martial beats three players down the right before being fouled by Barkley. Mata’s free-kick is headed on at the near post by Martial and pushed away by the diving Johnstone. That was a pretty good save.

8.00pm GMT

1 min Peep peep! Bruno Fernandes gets the match underway for United, who are kicking from right to left.

7.58pm GMT

West Brom are in their evocative yellow and green change strip. United are in red; both teams are wearing black armbands in tribute to Albert Quixall.

Related: Albert Quixall obituary

7.56pm GMT

“Rob,” says Stig. “Appreciate that Utd are struggling, but would any of the WBA players make it into the Utd team?”


7.51pm GMT

Ten minutes until kick-off. A victory would move United into the top half of the table, perhaps as high as seventh. If West Brom win they will move out of the relegation places.

7.50pm GMT

In other news

United Rewind is a brand new podcast.

Every week @DanielHarris and Rob Smyth will revisit a match from United's past and discuss the build-up, the fallout, the atmosphere and the action.

Episode one is out on Wednesday December 2nd so subscribe in your podcast app now!#MUFC pic.twitter.com/ERo8j8LxsL

7.38pm GMT

Here’s more on a very good night for Jose Mourinho

Related: Son and Lo Celso take Tottenham top with win over Manchester City

7.24pm GMT

United have won none of their last six league games at Old Trafford, which I think is their worst run since the bleak winter of 1989-90. They have plenty of incentive to win tonight, not least because it would move them above Manchester City. Solskjaer out!

Related: Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City: Premier League – live!

7.09pm GMT

Pre-match reading

Related: 'It is never about him': how Marcus Rashford became such a devastating activist

Related: Albert Quixall obituary

7.05pm GMT

United’s new left-back Alex Telles makes his Premier League debut. He is returning after Covid-19, as are Branislav Ivanovic and Matheus Pereira in the West Brom side. But West Brom have lost two more players to Covid, with the captain Jake Livermore and Kieran Gibbs unavailable.

Donny van de Beek is still only on the bench for United, while Paul Pogba isn’t in the squad. He has an ankle injury.

6.17pm GMT

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Manchester United v West Brom from Old Trafford. It’s 14th versus 18th in the league - or, if you look at the relevant home and away tables, 19th versus 19th. Both teams have picked up one point in four games, with United scoring two goals and West Brom conceding 10. It’s the resistible force versus the movable object.

Most people will expect a comfortable home win; we always do when West Brom go to Manchester. But they have won three of their five games at Old Trafford since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, including a shock win in 2018 that confirmed Manchester City as champions.

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Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United hit by 'sophisticated' cyber attack but say fan data is safe

What the papers say - Fri, 11/20/2020 - 23:04
  • Club ‘shut down affected systems’ in response to hacking
  • United ‘not currently aware of any breach of personal data’

Manchester United have been hit by a cyber attack on their systems but say they are not “currently aware of any breach of personal data associated with our fans and customers”.

The club, who host West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, confirmed the hacking on Friday evening and said all systems needed for the match remained secure.

Related: Paul Pogba 'very important for us' says Solskjær after Deschamps comments

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Categories: What the papers say

Paul Pogba 'very important for us' says Solskjær after Deschamps comments

What the papers say - Fri, 11/20/2020 - 22:30
  • Manchester United manager says he has spoken to midfielder
  • Deschamps said Pogba ‘cannot be happy’ with playing time

Ole Gunnar Solskjær spoke privately to Paul Pogba on Friday about comments made by the France midfielder’s international manager, Didier Deschamps, in recent days.

Deschamps told the French media Pogba “needed the right platform” to thrive, apparently hinting that the 27-year-old is not being provided with such a springboard at Manchester United. Indeed, after starring for France during the international break, the £89m former Juventus midfielder could find himself back on Solskjær’s bench at home to West Brom on Saturday night.

Related: Manchester United v West Brom: match preview

Related: Manchester United hit by 'sophisticated' cyber attack but say fan data is safe

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Categories: What the papers say

Albert Quixall obituary

What the papers say - Fri, 11/20/2020 - 14:59
Footballer recruited for a record-breaking fee to Manchester United by Matt Busby in the aftermath of the Munich air disaster

The footballer Albert Quixall, who has died aged 87, was one of Matt Busby’s key recruits at Manchester United as the great manager began to rebuild his side at Old Trafford after the death of eight players in the appalling Munich air disaster of 1958. Busby broke the British transfer fee record to pay £45,000 for Quixall just six months after the crash, and his new inside-forward helped United to finish second in his first season there.

An exciting and unusual figure, adroit, quick in mind and movement, Quixall stayed with Manchester United until 1964, winning an FA Cup medal during his stay. But the rebuilding process in the league took longer than hoped, and by the time United had finally managed to win the Division One championship again – in 1965 – he had left the club for pastures new.

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Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United v West Brom: match preview

What the papers say - Fri, 11/20/2020 - 14:59

Can Manchester United beat West Brom and string back-to-back wins together for a first time this season? Slaven Bilic’s side have only three points and are winless so if Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men turn up and follow the usual script and lose expect the latest inquiry into their direction under the Norwegian. Jamie Jackson

Saturday 8pm BT Sport 1

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Categories: What the papers say

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

What the papers say - Fri, 11/20/2020 - 00:01

Anything could happen at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Foxes sniff their chance and Lookman can bounce back

Both sides have personnel problems and coming in the immediate aftermath of an international break, Tottenham’s home match against Manchester Cityseems nigh on impossible to predict, even before factoring in some of the borderline-bonkers scorelines featuring both teams in other matches this season. A win for Tottenham on Saturday evening would make them overnight leaders of the Premier League and leave City looking uncharacteristically forlorn and out of sorts in mid-table. With Gareth Bale gaining sharpness with every passing day and likely to start in attack for the home side along with the irrepressible Son Heung-min and Harry Kane, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that City will have their work cut out in what seems a genuine test of both sides’ title credentials. José Mourinho is known for his extreme pragmatism, but it is difficult to see his side approach this contest in anything other than a comparatively gung-ho manner with so much attacking talent at their disposal. BG

Related: My Premier League team of the season so far | Barry Glendenning

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Categories: What the papers say

Marcus Rashford launches book club so every child can experience 'escapism'

What the papers say - Tue, 11/17/2020 - 16:00
  • Player promoting reading and literacy among children
  • Follows his work to highlight issue of child food poverty

Marcus Rashford is launching a book club and his own range of literature with the aim of giving children from lower socio-economic backgrounds the opportunity to embrace reading from an early age.

The Manchester United and England footballer is working with Macmillan Children’s Books (MCB) to promote reading and literacy among children from all backgrounds, and he talked about his own lack of access to books as a child.

Related: Mail on Sunday v Marcus Rashford: a sinister attack on a young black man | Jonathan Liew

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Categories: What the papers say

Golden Goal: Terry Gibson for Manchester United v Arsenal (1987) | Rob Smyth

What the papers say - Sat, 11/14/2020 - 09:10

A violent game remembered for a spectacular rampage by Norman Whiteside had a poignant footnote

Not every golden goal has to glister. One of the most euphoric moments of Terry Gibson’s career was a tap-in from eight yards in a match his team would probably have won anyway. After a year of incessant frustration, it was his first goal for Manchester United – and, as it turned out, his last.

Gibson was marginalised almost as soon as he was signed by Ron Atkinson, who was subsequently replaced by Sir Alex Ferguson in November 1986. Two months later, Gibson made one and scored in injury-time to secure a violent 2-0 win over the league leaders Arsenal. Not for the last time, they left Old Trafford bristling with injustice as an unbeaten run – 22 games this time – went up in smoke.

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Categories: What the papers say

Football quiz: who was Roy Keane ranting about in these quotes?

What the papers say - Fri, 11/13/2020 - 10:00

Which players and managers took a tongue-lashing from Keane?

"I am sick to death of this goalkeeper!"

Darren Randolph

David de Gea

Jordan Pickford

Roy Carroll

"He’s had loads of plaudits over the last few months - I know he’s still a young man - but his body language today was shocking, really shocking. Shrugging his shoulders when things weren’t going his way, you roll your sleeves up."

Paul Pogba

Mason Greenwood

Anthony Martial

Marcus Rashford

"Who is he, Mother Theresa?"

Niall Quinn

Alan Shearer

Gary Neville

Alex Ferguson

"Stuff like that kinda almost insults me. What am I supposed to do? Give up? Not cover every blade of grass? Not do my best for my teammates? Not do my best for my club? To be honest, I get actually offended when people throw quotes like that at me as if I'm supposed to be honoured by it."

Mick McCarthy

Alex Ferguson

Clive Tyldesley

Ron Atkinson

"I felt I was entitled to say that. He was just a mascot for them. Walking around .... – ‘Look at me, how big I am’ – and he didn’t even own the bloody thing."

Mick McCarthy

David Gill

Alex Ferguson

David Beckham

"He said, ‘I’ve had enough of you. It’s time we sorted this out.’ So I said, ‘Okay.’ And we had a fight. It felt like 10 minutes. There was a lot of noise – ****’s a big lad. I woke up the next morning. I kind of vaguely remembered the fight ... My hand was really sore and one of my fingers was bent backward ... Throughout the flight, **** wore his sunglasses. He never took them off, and it wasn’t very sunny ... Butty had refereed the fight. He even got a new nickname for it – Mills Lane, after the famous boxing referee. Anyway, **** had grabbed me, I’d head-butted him – we’d been fighting for ages."

Steve Bruce

Ruud van Nistelrooy

Niall Quinn

Peter Schmeichel

"One of the best pros you could ever come across, so being late for the bus tarnished him; you’d have thought he’d been caught with drugs or something. He was having a go at me."

Gary Neville

David Beckham

Denis Irwin

Andy Cole

"Reinventing the game, apparently. Sugar lumps at half-time."

Jürgen Klopp

Arsène Wenger

Pep Guardiola

Julian Nagelsmann

"He was an absolute prick to play against. Niggling, sneaky."

Paul Ince

Alf-Inge Haaland

Vinnie Jones

Dennis Wise

"People are telling me he’s playing well, I don’t think so. This guy is 30 years of age, an international player, he’s a car crash. He keeps on making these type of mistakes. He was rightfully punished for it.”

Jordan Henderson

Kyle Walker

Joe Hart

Phil Neville

1 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

2 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

3 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

4 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

5 and above.

Oh dear. Roy will not be impressed

6 and above.

You got a few wrong. Roy will not be pleased

7 and above.

You got a few wrong. Roy will not be pleased

8 and above.

You got two wrong. Roy will not be pleased

9 and above.

You got one wrong. Roy will not be pleased

0 and above.

You scored a bit fat zero. Roy will not be impressed

10 and above.

You scored full marks. Roy would not expect any less from you.

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Categories: What the papers say

Paul Pogba 'cannot be happy' at Manchester United, says Deschamps

What the papers say - Mon, 11/09/2020 - 19:43
  • France manager questions playing time and positioning
  • ‘With me, there is no concern. He will tell me his feelings’

Paul Pogba “cannot be happy” with the situation he finds himself in at Manchester United, the France manager, Didier Deschamps, has said.

The midfielder has started four of United’s seven Premier League games this season and one of three in the Champions League. Pogba’s future at Old Trafford remains uncertain after he suggested last month that he “dreams” of playing for Real Madrid.

Related: Paul Pogba admits he dreams of playing for Real Madrid one day

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Categories: What the papers say