What the papers say

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Updated: 9 hours 2 min ago

Dalot and Højlund seal late win for Manchester United at Brighton

Sun, 05/19/2024 - 18:16

If one manager’s future is settled, the other’s hangs in the balance. Roberto De Zerbi’s departure from Brighton appears a case of parting as friends before a relationship turns sour when the two parties desire ­different things. He received a full-time guard of honour, a video ­montage celebrating “Il Capo” and the warmest applause.

“This morning, I went walking in the city thinking what we have done together and I think we gave our best, I gave my best, my players gave their best,” he told the crowd. “I’m sad but I know what I would like to do in my life.” He leaves a club where ­backroom continuity allows the loss of a manager to be only a glancing blow and his first nod was to Tony Bloom: “you are a great owner, do not forget that”.

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Premier League 2023-24 fans’ verdicts, part two: Liverpool to Wolves

Sun, 05/19/2024 - 08:00

Fans review the season with one game to play: the stars, the flops and the moments that made them smile

Back at Wembley winning a trophy, and we’ve made it back to the Champions League, so it’s pretty good. It was a season of two halves really. At New Year we were flying, then came the injuries and then came the dip. The manager has given everything, again, and today will be an outpouring of love and thanks to him. In Germany he is known as a Menschenfanger, a people catcher, someone who has a positive effect on those around him. For us, he’s been a dream catcher, too. He gave us belief and he gave us the best of times. He made us happy. 8/10.

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Manchester United in better position than last year, says Erik ten Hag

Sat, 05/18/2024 - 22:30
  • United, in eighth place, could miss European qualification
  • ‘We have more high-quality players in the squad now’

Erik ten Hag believes Manchester United are in a better position than a year ago despite missing out on Champions League qualification and potentially failing to secure any European football next season.

United head into their final day trip to Brighton sitting in eighth and need to better Newcastle’s result at Brentford to finish seventh and guarantee a place in the Europa Conference League, while defeating Manchester City in the FA Cup final next week would earn a spot in the Europa League. It is a long way from coming third in Ten Hag’s first season at Old Trafford.

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Great Premier League final days, from Blackburn in 95 to Agüerooo!

Sat, 05/18/2024 - 11:00

Leadership of the Premier League has never changed hands on the final day, but there have been plenty of nail-biting finishes

Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn had led since November but went into the final weekend on a jittery run of form as they attempted to be crowned champions for the first time since 1914, whereas Manchester United had picked up 17 points from their previous seven games before heading to Upton Park. Michael Hughes gave West Ham the lead in the first half as Alan Shearer scored his 34th goal of the season at Anfield but when Brian McClair and then John Barnes equalised, suddenly United had hope. Jamie Redknapp fulfilled Liverpool’s end of the bargain by scoring from a late free-kick that was greeted with silence from the home crowd. Yet an inspired Ludek Miklosko performance in goal denied United and meant Dalglish could celebrate.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the final day of the season

Fri, 05/17/2024 - 00:00

The title race reaches the finish line, it’s the end of an era at Liverpool and Spurs face two trips in quick succession

Only the most grim-faced of churls would refuse to recognise the progress Mikel Arteta’s outstanding Arsenal side have made this season. The very fact a title win is on the table this weekend says more than enough and now they must make sure that, just in case West Ham cause an almighty stir at the Etihad, they do not taint it with unnecessary regrets. When Everton pitched up in London on the final day two years ago the home side cruised to a 5-1 win; nostalgia buffs among the support might prefer the 4-3 rip-roarer in 2002 that rubber-stamped the double winners’ season and ended with a Premier League trophy presentation. Even if the latter scenario is an outside bet this time, Arteta will expect his players to block out any noise – including dispatches from Manchester – and put an opponent to the sword one last time, making sure they at least do their bit. An opportunity to make dreams come true may yet present itself. Nick Ames

Arsenal v Everton (all games Sunday 4pm BST)

Brentford v Newcastle

Brighton v Manchester United

Burnley v Nottingham Forest

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Ten Hag reveals Luke Shaw injury setback before FA Cup final and Euros

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 17:14
  • Manchester United left-back has not played for three months
  • Ten Hag says Harry Maguire has ‘fair chance’ for Cup final

Luke Shaw’s availability for this summer’s European Championship is in greater doubt than ever after the Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, said the left-back was struggling to be fit for the FA Cup final after a setback.

Shaw has not featured for United for three months, after coming off with a muscle problem during their victory against Luton in February. His England colleague Harry Maguire has not played since United’s draw with Burnley at the end of last month and Ten Hag offered a mixed update on the pair.

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Dead hand of the immovable Glazers keeps strangling Manchester United | Jonathan Liew

Thu, 05/16/2024 - 13:35

Leaky Old Trafford roof was almost a too perfect sign of neglect by owners who love the money but don’t seem to like the club

In February, the NFL players’ union carried out its second annual survey of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and let’s just say it wasn’t pleasant reading. Tampa Bay players reported that the changing room was “not clean, constantly smelly and has a persistent bug issue”. The sauna was described as “dirty and/or mouldy”. This barely a decade after an MRSA outbreak infected three Buccaneers players, two of whom never competed again.

In addition, players complained about being forced to pay $90 (£72) for childcare on match days (most teams offer this for free), being charged $1,750 a season for the privilege of having their own hotel room on away trips and being made to sit at the back of the plane while club staff travelled first class. Most of the blame for this state of affairs was laid squarely at the team’s ownership, whom the survey ranked 29th out of the 32 NFL franchise owners, and who go by the name of the Glazer family.

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Manchester United ‘absolutely’ want Bruno Fernandes to stay, claims Ten Hag

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 23:45
  • Fernandes: ‘If for some reason the club doesn’t want me, I will go’
  • Eddie Howe says Newcastle denied ‘stonewall penalty’ in 3-2 loss

Erik ten Hag claimed after Manchester United’s 3-2 victory against Newcastle that Bruno Fernandes “absolutely” wants to stay, after the captain hinted at being unsure of the club’s desire to keep him, while Eddie Howe felt his side were denied a “stonewall penalty”.

In an on-pitch interview after the win, Fernandes said: “I will be here until – the club needs to want me. I feel that the club wants me to be part of the future. As I always said, I don’t want to be a player the club doesn’t want to have. If for some reason the club doesn’t want me, I will go.”

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Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle: Premier League – as it happened

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 22:24

Ten Hag’s side are still in the hunt for European qualification on the final day after a tight win over rivals Newcastle

Pleased to say that we’re not due for another downpour tonight in Manchester, although there might be some light drizzle closer to kick-off. Classic.

Meanwhile …

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Højlund strikes late as Manchester United beat Newcastle to boost Ten Hag

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 22:06

Manchester United are up to 57 points, the same as Newcastle United, who headed back to the north-east pondering precisely how they lost a toe-to-toe contest played out at breakneck speed. The win was sealed by a sweet finish by Rasmus Højlund, just on as a replacement, his 18-yard, right-foot shot going through Lewis Hall’s legs and in via a Martin Dubravka palm.

Despite victory, Erik ten Hag’s team remain eighth, due to a vastly inferior goal difference, so may have to beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final to secure European football.

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Erik ten Hag 50-50 to remain in Manchester United post

Wed, 05/15/2024 - 14:53
  • Manager expected to discover fate in next fortnight
  • Gareth Southgate among those linked with position

Erik ten Hag’s future at Manchester United is expected to be decided in the next fortnight, with the chances of the Dutchman keeping his job thought to be 50-50. United’s plan is to decide the manager’s fate after the FA Cup final on 25 May, when they face Manchester City at Wembley. It is understood his chances of remaining in the post are finely balanced.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the minority owner who now controls United’s football policy, his key lieutenant, Sir Dave Brailsford, Jean Claude-Blanc, the acting chief executive, and the technical director, Jason Wilcox, are leading the assessment of Ten Hag.

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Manchester United ponder move for Kieran McKenna if Ten Hag departs

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 23:25
  • Initial contact has been made with Ipswich manager
  • Brighton and Brentford also show an interest

Kieran McKenna has emerged as a surprise candidate to replace Erik ten Hag if the Dutchman leaves Manchester United at the end of the season, with the Ipswich manager also attracting strong interest from other Premier League clubs after achieving successive promotions at Portman Road.

McKenna, who was on the Old Trafford coaching staff for six years before taking charge of Ipswich in December 2021, is understood to be highly regarded by the United ­hierarchy after helping the Suffolk club to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2002.

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Ten Hag hits back at Rooney’s claim that United players are faking injuries

Tue, 05/14/2024 - 22:30
  • Wayne Rooney had said players were pretending to be unfit
  • Erik ten Hag: ‘They are training to make themselves available’

Erik ten Hag has rejected Wayne ­Rooney’s claim that some of ­Manchester United’s injured footballers are fit enough to play, by stating they all are “desperate” to be involved.

Rooney, a former United captain and the club’s record goalscorer, made his assertion after the 1-0 defeat by Arsenal on Sunday while ­working as a Sky Sports pundit, ­saying he was “100% sure” that ­players were ­declaring themselves unfit without being so and that this had left Ten Hag to “take all the stick”. His comments were put to the manager.

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Manchester United failed to fix Old Trafford roof despite knowledge of leaks

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 20:30
  • Club claims huge volume of rain caused issue after Arsenal game
  • United have examined feasibility of replacing Stretford End roof

Manchester United failed to fix a hole in the Old Trafford roof despite being aware that it was prone to sporadic leaks, as occurred at the end of the 1-0 defeat against Arsenal on Sunday.

While it is understood United accept there are faults in the stadium covering that allowed rain to get through on Sunday and previous occasions, the club deny that the large cascade of water pouring from the south-west corner at the Stretford End was due to a leak in the roof. Instead this was because of the huge volume of precipitation that fell which entered a siphonic roof drainage system and caused this to overflow.

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State of Old Trafford's disrepair evident as water floods Manchester United's stadium – video

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 15:42

Old Trafford flooded with water at the end of Manchester United's game with Arsenal on Sunday, leaking through the roof and cascading through the stands. Footage also shows the roof in Arsenal's dressing room leaking water on to the players. The Glazers, Manchester United's long-time owners, have often been criticised by fans for their apparent reluctance to invest in updating and adequately maintaining the increasingly ageing stadium.

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Manchester United fans divided on Ten Hag but keep the splits hidden

Mon, 05/13/2024 - 10:05

Atmosphere against Arsenal showed that whether supporters want manager to stay or go, backing for team remains strong

At the picnic benches behind the Stretford End where fans enjoy a pre-game bite the atmosphere is as serene as Erik ten Hag’s perma-calm media persona before Manchester United’s kick-off against Arsenal.

The manager has remained unruffled despite the 24-7 speculation about his job, but in the next few weeks his future will be decided by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the Ineos chairman’s key lieutenant, Sir Dave Brailsford, and the acting chief executive, Jean-Claude Blanc.

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William Saliba marshals champion defensive unit to keep Arsenal in race | Barney Ronay

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 21:09

Centre-back delivered another commanding performance of craft and consistency in a partnership still in prime years

Even the weather seemed to want this match done. By the time the final whistle blew at Old Trafford the skies had already broken open, pounding the turf with English summer rain, gluing Erik ten Hag’s ill-advised houndstooth summer sports jacket to his shoulders, leaving Mikel Arteta squelching across in skintight all-black to punch the air in celebration of a 1-0 win that leaves Arsenal top of the table, right up until the next time they’re not.

This is not the end, as long as we can still say: this is the end. The title race will now tick down into the final week of the season, which is a thing in itself given the might of the Manchester City machine.

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‘Live the final day’: Mikel Arteta dreams of title after win at United sets up climax

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 21:03
  • Arsenal opened ‘box of dreams’ following 1-0 win at Old Trafford
  • Gunners point clear of Manchester City but played game more

Mikel Arteta praised his ­Arsenal ­players for “opening the box of dreams” after victory over Manchester United ensured they will fight for the title on the final day of the season. He also insisted that their fiercest rivals, Tottenham, can force a result against Manchester City on Tuesday to help their challenge.

Leandro Trossard’s 20th-­minute goal took Arsenal top on 86 points, one ahead of City. If Ange ­Postecoglou’s team manage a draw against the champions, Arsenal’s superior goal difference of three would give them the edge going into the last day. ­Whatever occurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Arteta’s side will still be in contention on Sunday when City host West Ham and Arsenal are at home to Everton.

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Premier League weekend awards: City’s new winger and Glasner’s masterclass

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 19:47

From Man City’s defender turned winger to Nicolas Jackson’s game-winner, we hand out honors (and dishonors) from the top-flight weekend

Arsenal were not at their melodic best in their 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday. But at this stage of the season, it’s results, not performances, that matter. The goal that kept them alive in the title race came courtesy of Leandro Trossard, with a hat-tip to Casemiro and André Onana in the United defense.

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Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal: Premier League player ratings

Sun, 05/12/2024 - 19:10

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhães showed why they are integral to Arsenal’s title challenge while Casemiro struggled

André Onana Short and long passes miss the target far too regularly – as his to Ben White did to initiate Arsenal’s winner – but the Cameroonian’s sharp reflexes saved further goals. 6/10

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