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Updated: 7 hours 46 min ago

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

14 hours 3 min ago

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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Categories: What the papers say

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

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

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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Categories: What the papers say

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

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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Categories: What the papers say

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

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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Categories: What the papers say

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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'

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

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?

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

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

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

Mon, 11/09/2020 - 08:00

Man City and Arsenal need fresh blood in midfield, Ademola Lookman faces a test and Hakim Ziyech is fulfilling his promise

As Liverpool’s front four overran Manchester City’s defence in the opening stages, Pep Guardiola was forced to accept the lack of mobility in key central midfield positions was putting his side at risk. Rodri and Ilkay Gündogan are devoid of pace, something which makes City more vulnerable to the counterattack than most. Additionally, they lack the impetus to instigate attacks from deep positions, leaving transitions to be slower than is required for a team who want to challenge for all major trophies. Guardiola dropped Gündogan alongside Rodri but this failed to quell the wave of Liverpool attacks being thrown at a City defence that is still building an understanding. Guardiola’s centre back pairing might finally be sorted but his next big acquisition needs to be in front of them if he is to ensure City are capable of beating Liverpool in the future. Will Unwin

Match report: Manchester City 1-1 Liverpool

Match report: Arsenal 0-3 Aston Villa

Match report: Everton 1-3 Manchester United

Match report: Leicester 1-0 Wolves

Match report: Chelsea 4-1 Sheffield United

Match report: West Brom 0-1 Tottenham

Match report: Southampton 2-0 Newcastle

Match report: Crystal Palace 4-1 Leeds United

Match report: West Ham 1-0 Fulham

Match report: Brighton 0-0 Burnley

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Categories: What the papers say

Solskjær blames 'absolute joke' schedule for Manchester United injuries

Sat, 11/07/2020 - 15:58
  • Norwegian angry at quick turnaround after midweek loss
  • Shaw, Lindelof and Rashford injured in 3-1 win at Everton

Ole Gunnar Solskjær claimed Manchester United were “set up to fail” against Everton in a furious outburst at the Premier League’s refusal to reschedule the early kick‑off at Goodison Park.

United eased the pressure on their manager with a club record equalling seventh successive Premier League away win, but Solskjær was in no mood to rejoice afterwards. He remained incandescent at the decision to kick‑off at 12.30pm on a Saturday following the Champions League trip to Istanbul on Wednesday, and the refusal of United’s request to switch the game to Sunday before an international break.

Related: Manchester United edge Everton after Fernandes goals lift Solskjær pressure

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Categories: What the papers say

Everton 1-3 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Sat, 11/07/2020 - 14:55

Bruno Fernandes scored two and set up another as United came from behind to take the pressure off Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

2.55pm GMT

Andy Hunter was at Goodison Park. His verdict is in. Thanks for reading this MBM!

Related: Manchester United edge Everton after Fernandes double and Cavani's clincher

2.53pm GMT

Carlo Ancelotti’s verdict. “After we scored, we were not able to defend well. They scored two goals easily, took advantage and then the game was more difficult. If we could play the first half like we did the second we could have had a different result, but that was not the case. We have to defend better. We were slow at the back. We have to improve. I hope after the international break we will be back in a different shape. I know how to manage the difficulties. This season is not finished yet. This moment is bad, so we have to be focused.”

2.45pm GMT

Since the start of February (when Bruno Fernandes signed) only Liverpool have taken more Premier League points than United. A vindicated Solskjaer speaks to BT Sport ... and he’s fuming. “We were set up to fail. They set up the boys to fail. We been to Turkey Wednesday night, we’re playing Saturday lunchtime kick-off, it’s an absolute shambles. And I cannot praise the boys enough for the character they have shown. Them boys deserve better than being thrown out here to fail today. Authorities set us up to fail. You’ve got Liverpool and City, play on Tuesday, they play Sunday. Who’s responsible? I’ve had enough. We’ve lost Luke Shaw [hamstring] because of that. So set us up on a Sunday, then. It’s a joke. We were brilliant. They deserve all the praise. Well done.”

2.37pm GMT

The man-of-the-match Bruno Fernandes speaks to BT Sport, and is asked who scored United’s second goal. “I don’t care. If Marcus touched it a little bit it can be his goal, it was no problem for me. Most importantly for me as a number 10 is serving my team-mates, as I did in the end for Cavani, I had the chance to shoot and look for the hat-trick but I see him alone. And if Marcus can take the second goal, it is not a problem for me. Everyone needs to be a leader. One who doesn’t talk too much but does the right things. Others need to speak a little bit more, to feel more part of the game. The three points is for everyone, not just one player.”

2.34pm GMT

You’d have been forgiven for fearing the worst for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when Bernard gave Everton the lead. But United’s players came to the rescue of their under-fire manager. Bruno Fernandes orchestrated a fine comeback, and the richly deserved win buys Solskjaer some precious time. It also moves United up to 13th, on ten points, suddenly only six off Southampton’s lead but with a game in hand. Everton meanwhile stay fifth, but they’ve been stuck on 13 points for a while now.

2.29pm GMT

It’s seven Premier League away wins in a row for United, thanks to two goals and an assist from the wonderful Bruno Fernandes. Everton have lost three on the spin, the first time that fate’s befallen Carlo Ancelotti since he was at AC Milan in 2006.

2.27pm GMT

It’s four on two. Fernandes down the middle. He draws Holgate infield, then plays a cute flick towards Cavani on his left. Cavani nearly runs offside, but he’s OK, and slams into the bottom left!

2.26pm GMT

90 min +4: Keane creams long towards Iwobi, just to the right of goal. Iwobi pulls back for Doucoure ... who takes a fresh-air swipe! United break, and ...

2.24pm GMT

90 min +3: Digne clumsily bowls Rashford to the ground. Rashford takes his sweet time to get up.

2.23pm GMT

90 min +2: United head up the other end and go about their business carefully and slowly. The clock ticks on.

2.22pm GMT

90 min +1: Coleman spins Fred gorgeously down the right. He cuts back for Doucoure, who leans back and hoicks high into the stand. He has the good grace to look sheepish.

2.21pm GMT

90 min: There will be four extra minutes.

2.21pm GMT

89 min: Fernandes tries to beat Pickford with the free kick from 35 yards. It’s always heading over ... but it’s always worth testing the erratic Pickford.

2.19pm GMT

88 min: Doucoure is booked for a high-speed whack into McTominay. There’s been a bit of an edge to this match, you know. Slightly surprising it hasn’t spilled over at any point.

2.18pm GMT

87 min: A free kick for United deep in Everton territory. Fernandes tries to surprise everyone with a quick flick, but only slaps the ball straight to Tosun.

2.17pm GMT

85 min: Tosun is booked for a cynical tug on McTominay. The foul allows VAR to take a look at an earlier coming together between Keane and Cavani just inside the Everton box. Turns out everything’s fine. We play on.

2.15pm GMT

84 min: Digne curls to the far post. Maguire rises to bash a header clear. The ball’s returned. Fernandes and Doucoure scrap and tug away at each other, but it’s a fair 50-50 tussle and Everton don’t get the penalty they ambitiously claim for.

2.14pm GMT

83 min: Coleman goes on another blistering run, this time down the right, and is taken out by a combination of Fred and McTominay. Fred goes in the book. Free kick, just to the right of the United box.

2.12pm GMT

82 min: United make a double change. On come Pogba and Cavani, in place of Mata and Martial.

2.11pm GMT

80 min: Everton ping it around, pushing United back. No way through, though. Rodriguez earns another corner down the left. It’s his last act of the afternoon; he’s replaced by Tosun. Nothing comes of his corner.

2.09pm GMT

78 min: Calvert-Lewin breezes down the left. He’s got no support, so does extremely well to win a corner on his own off Maguire. Nothing comes of the set piece, though. Everton need something.

2.07pm GMT

76 min: Iwobi earns a corner off Tuanzebe down the right. Rodriguez takes one, then another. Bernard has a whack from distance. Nope. De Gea still hasn’t had any serious work to do in this second half.

2.06pm GMT

74 min: Mata tries to thread a shot into the bottom right from 25 yards. Ambitious. Everton go up the other end, Iwobi crossing from the right. Maguire heads clear under pressure from Calvert-Lewin. That’s superb defending.

2.04pm GMT

72 min: He’s also a superb footballer, and gently wedges a ball down the middle that nearly releases Rashford. Pickford comes out to smother, then berates his team-mates for their poor decision-making, an admirable display of chutzpah.

2.03pm GMT

71 min: Fernandes slides in on Allan, catching both ball and foot. The referee’s not interested this time, but Fernandes is pressure-testing his luck. He’s fired up.

2.00pm GMT

69 min: It’s all gone a bit scrappy in the wake of the substitutions.

1.58pm GMT

67 min: A disappointed Shaw makes way for Tuanzebe.

1.57pm GMT

66 min: Sigurdsson, who has been very poor today, is replaced by Iwobi.

1.56pm GMT

65 min: Corner for United down the left. Coleman clears Fernandes’s cross before it reaches Pickford, who was preparing to squirt it with his funny flower.

1.55pm GMT

63 min: Now Everton want a penalty as Maguire scythes through Digne. But the flag had gone up for an offside earlier in the move, and Maguire got a toe to the ball before cleaning out his man. No penalty. A few rash decisions being made at the moment, in more ways than one.

1.54pm GMT

61 min: No penalty! That is preposterous. Maguire was clattered by two separate challenges. Everton ... specifically Pickford ... gets away with a couple of outrageous plays. Penny for the thoughts of Virgil van Dijk.

1.52pm GMT

60 min: Fernandes loops the free kick to the left-hand post. Pickford reprises his cock-up that set up Divock Origi in the Merseyside derby a couple of seasons ago. He drops the high ball, teeing up Maguire, who can only knee over the bar from a tight angle. But Maguire is then kicked by both Keane and Pickford. VAR to check.

1.50pm GMT

59 min: Fernandes threatens to spin away from Sigurdsson so is shoved to the ground by the Everton man. A free kick just right of centre, 35 yards out. Fernandes’s eyes light up.

1.49pm GMT

57 min: Coleman bustles with purpose down the middle of the park, the sort of dribble Rodriguez would be proud of. He enters the box, space opening up for a shot, but he can’t sort his feet out, hesitates, and eventually falls over. For a second, a wonder strike from a very unexpected source was on the cards. Shame.

1.46pm GMT

55 min: Everton have seen much more of the ball since the restart. They’ve yet to seriously warm De Gea’s hands, however.

1.44pm GMT

53 min: Calvert-Lewin clips a cross in from the left. Rodriguez attempts a bicycle kick, but his scheme is scuppered by Maguire, who has read the danger well and comes in to clear.

1.43pm GMT

51 min: Fernandes is booked for a late clip on Sigurdsson. He effs, jeffs and gesticulates, and really needs to watch himself. It’s not the first time this afternoon he’s nearly talked himself into bother.

1.41pm GMT

49 min: Sigurdsson’s set-piece delivery, not for the first time today, is appalling. United clear easily. In the dugout, Duncan Ferguson fumes in a manner that should worry the Icelandic midfielder.

1.39pm GMT

48 min: A long Everton hoof. Calvert-Lewin is the only man up, and he does sensationally well to win an aerial duel with Lindelof, spin him, then run down the left and draw a foul from Wan-Bissaka. Free kick to the left of the box.

1.38pm GMT

47 min: Everton appear to have upped the intensity. All players with hair freshly blow-dried by Carlo Ancelotti.

1.37pm GMT

46 min: Within 15 seconds of the restart, Sigurdsson rolls a ball across the face of the United box for Doucoure. Shaw very bravely blocks the shot.

1.36pm GMT

Everton get the second half underway. No changes.

1.29pm GMT

United’s second goal, then. It’s been awarded to Bruno Fernandes. Rashford didn’t get a touch on it.

1.22pm GMT

United responded wonderfully to falling behind. If you’ve heard people questioning whether the players are four-square behind their manager, well, there’s your answer. Everton by contrast played a half of two halves: very good, then very poor. A puzzle for Ancelotti to solve during the break.

1.20pm GMT

45 min +4: Allan is booked for a petulant lunge into the back of Fred.

1.20pm GMT

45 min +3: Digne might not be the only Evertonian culpable for the turnaround. Paul Fitzgerald has been looking back at the second goal: “It shows Allan completely unconcerned about Rashford strolling into the box ahead of him.”

1.18pm GMT

45 min +2: Shaw flicks purposefully clear. The ball’s returned by Digne but Rodriguez is caught offside. Everton have done absolutely nothing since Digne opted to shoot instead of setting up Calvert-Lewin at 1-0.

1.17pm GMT

45 min +1: Fred slides into Calvert-Lewin, out on the right. A free kick and a chance for Everton to line up on the edge of the United box.

1.16pm GMT

45 min: Martial is back up. There will be four added minutes.

1.15pm GMT

44 min: Fernandes is back up and about ... but now Martial is down, Keane’s knee accidentally catching him under the chin as the pair flailed around in the air.

1.14pm GMT

43 min: To be fair, though, Fernandes took a whack in the first challenge with Coleman, and he’s down getting treatment.

1.13pm GMT

41 min: Fernandes is bundled to the ground by Coleman. A minute later, he repays with interest. He should probably go into the book for a late tackle ... or for then demanding the referee book Coleman. But it’s just a stern talking-to.

1.10pm GMT

39 min: Everton have completely misplaced their mojo. #MEGA

1.08pm GMT

37 min: Martial is flagged an inch or two offside as he races down the middle. The correct decision but Everton were playing with fire there. United look dangerous every time they go forward.

1.07pm GMT

36 min: What a response by United to falling behind, though. Everton by contrast are losing their cool, Allan clattering into Martial and risking the ire of the referee.

1.06pm GMT

34 min: Holgate is booked for an agricultural lunge on Martial. Meanwhile, replays of the second goal aren’t conclusive, but ... it could be Fernandes’s goal, you know. Rashford certainly strained to head the cross, but did he make contact? If he did, it was the lightest of touches. Neither player seemed 100 percent sure as they celebrated ... but they celebrated as if it didn’t matter either way.

1.04pm GMT

Another lovely United goal. Fred finds Rashford in the middle with a lovely right-to-left diagonal pass. Rashford slips wide left to Fernandes, who chips delicately back into the centre. Rashford eyebrows it towards the bottom right, off the post, and in!

1.02pm GMT

31 min: Fernandes is brought down by Keane, 35 yards out. United load the box. Everton sit deep. Fernandes opts to blooter straight through the thicket of players. Any slight touch and it’s deceiving Pickford, but somehow the ball gets through without deviation, and it’s an easy gather for the keeper.

1.01pm GMT

29 min: Bernard skips past Wan-Bissaka, who has been uncharacteristically lax so far this afternoon. He reaches the edge of the box, where his shot is blocked. It’s good end-to-end fun, this.

1.00pm GMT

28 min: Bernard’s cute reverse pass down the left releases Digne. He enters the box, with Calvert-Lewin in the middle, waiting for the invitation to tap home from six yards. But Digne decides to take the shot on himself, going for the top-left corner. He gives it a good thump, but the ball bangs the left-hand post and out for a goal kick. Calvert-Lewin is furious. Digne pretends not to see him.

12.58pm GMT

27 min: It’s easily cleared, and suddenly United are flooding forward on the counter en masse! Mata scampers down the left, with time to weigh up his cross. But he sends it straight into the arms of Pickford, with Martial and Fred waiting in acres of space.

12.57pm GMT

26 min: Everton respond through Coleman, skittering down the right. He’s upended by Shaw. Free kick. This is basically a corner.

12.56pm GMT

This is a brilliant goal. United move up a gear and pick up the pace. Some nice triangles down the inside-left channel. Suddenly Mata slips the ball wide for Shaw, who sends in a stunning cross. He finds Fernandes, ten yards out. Fernandes plants a glorious header into the top right, giving Pickford absolutely no chance!

12.54pm GMT

24 min: Rashford drives in from the left and reaches the edge of the box, before opening his body and attempting a curler into the bottom right. It’s always sailing wide, but it was a nice purposeful run.

12.53pm GMT


12.52pm GMT

21 min: In the stand, Ed Woodward frowns, a dark cartoon scribble forming above his head. Not happy.

12.51pm GMT

Solskjaer isn’t smiling now. Pickford hits long. Calvert-Lewin flicks on, beating Lindelof in the air with ease. Bernard picks up possession, cuts inside past Wan-Bissaka, and threads a shot into the bottom left. Too easy. Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka and De Gea should all have done better.

12.49pm GMT

18 min: Lindelof plays a suicidal backpass that nearly lets Doucoure in. De Gea is off his line quicksmart to blooter clear. Lindelof makes a theatrical show of apologising to his keeper once the danger has passed. De Gea doesn’t seem too pleased.

12.48pm GMT

17 min: Buoyed by that chance, United come again, Fernandes seeing another shot blocked. The rebound falls to Rashford, who slices over the bar.

12.47pm GMT

16 min: United should be leading. Rashford’s corner from the left is half-cleared by Holgate. Fred returns it down the inside-left channel ... and Martial is free! He fires a low shot across Pickford and inches wide of the right-hand post. Everyone was expecting the net to billow.

12.46pm GMT

15 min: Fernandes shoots from distance. The ball twangs off Sigurdsson’s back, and this will be United’s first corner of the match.

12.45pm GMT

14 min: United move it around the middle of the park, but at glacial pace. Everton are once more quite content to sit back and wait.

12.44pm GMT

12 min: After a reasonable start, United are struggling to retain possession. Solskjaer nevertheless seems to be enjoying himself on the touchline. A broad smile as he laughs and jokes with his staff. Perhaps he’s just spotted that toolkit with his aeroplane.

12.41pm GMT

10 min: Everton are starting to stroke it around nicely. Rodriguez splits the United back line in half with a cute backheel down the right. Coleman dinks it into the middle but there’s nobody there. That was a very pretty move, shame about its end.

12.39pm GMT

9 min: Sigurdsson’s delivery is dismal, failing to beat the first man. Penny for Calvert-Lewin’s thoughts.

12.39pm GMT

8 min: Digne drops a shoulder down the left and wins the first corner of the match off Wan-Bissaka.

12.38pm GMT

6 min: Rodriguez sends Bernard scampering down the left. Bernard cuts inside and curls towards Calvert-Lewin, who flicks a header towards the top right. It’s just over the bar. De Gea was momentarily worried that the ball was looping into the corner, but he breathes again.

12.36pm GMT

5 min: Shaw crosses from the left. The ball pings off Rashford’s back and out for a throw. Everton seem perfectly happy to sit back and let United come onto them, having spotted how things have been panning out at Old Trafford this season.

12.35pm GMT

4 min: And now some careful probing by United, though they don’t really get anywhere. Everyone easing themselves into this match.

12.32pm GMT

2 min: Both sides take a turn to ping the ball around in fast and confident fashion. Early statements of intent.

12.31pm GMT

And we’re off! United get the ball rolling ... but only after the players take a knee of solidarity, love and equality. Black lives matter. There’s no room for racism.

12.30pm GMT

The teams are out! Everton in blue, Manchester United in red, Ed Woodward in the stand with that usual glazed look. A moment to remember the fallen. The Last Post. The referee pierces the silence with his whistle. We’ll be off in a minute, and the excitement is palpable, as amply illustrated by Neil Carter: “It’s Saturday and my beloved Manchester United are playing. Hello darkness my old friend. Sigh.”

12.26pm GMT

As one of Liverpool’s most famous sons once sang ... ♫ ♬ ♩ ♪ Above us only sky ♫ ♬ ♩ ♪ Imagine a world in which that really was the case. Because just look at the swivel-eyed tin-foil-hattery floating through the air over Goodison Park earlier this afternoon! Imagine using your own money to pay for this.

12.16pm GMT

Carlo Ancelotti’s turn. “It was a good week because we recovered a lot of players from injury. I think we have a better team today. It is a difficult game but also a great opportunity to come back to win as we did during the first period of the season. We have to defend better against United, they are a strong team with a lot of quality up front.”

12.07pm GMT

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talks to BT Sport. “Every day when you’re at Manchester United you need to deliver, because you’re in the best position, you’ve got the best possible shirt over your head, and you must go out and enjoy it. That’s how I felt when I played, that’s how I feel now when I lead them out, so I just want them to express their talents. I want a confident team working together. Our diamond worked quite well against Leipzig, didn’t it, so you don’t have to delve too far back to find good results. Every game lives its own life, and the first goal is massive, so hopefully today we can start bright. That first goal against Istanbul is ... [laughs sheepishly] ... I don’t know what to say about that one because it’s one of the worst goals I’ve conceded as a manager, and when you make personal mistakes, it just costs you.”

11.57am GMT

Carlo Ancelotti has a lovely word or two for Marcus Rashford in his programme notes. Rashford was welcomed with a message on the big screen from the Everton Fans’ Forum which read: “Thank you for sticking up for our kids who needed a voice, here on Merseyside and across the country.” That’s been echoed by the manager, who writes ...

I heard our supporters are saying thank you to Marcus Rashford for his incredible effort to ensure no child in this country is hungry. I say congratulations too. In football we have a privileged position where people hear our voices. Marcus is using his platform to make a meaningful and lasting change and doing his work with maturity and dignity.

11.37am GMT

Carlo Ancelotti has made six changes to the Everton side beaten at Newcastle. Jordan Pickford, Seamus Coleman, Lucas Digne, Mason Holgate, Bernard and James Rodriguez replace Robin Olsen, Niels Nkounkou, Yerry Mina, Jonjoe Kenny, Fabian Delph and Andre Gomes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer make just one change from the Manchester United side that lost to Arsenal last Sunday. Paul Pogba drops to the bench, Juan Mata taking his place.

11.32am GMT

Everton: Pickford, Coleman, Holgate, Keane, Digne, Doucoure, Allan, Sigurdsson, Rodriguez, Calvert-Lewin, Bernard.
Subs: Mina, Tosun, Iwobi, Andre Gomes, Godfrey, Davies, Olsen.

Manchester United: de Gea, Wan Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Martial.
Subs: Pogba, Cavani, James, Henderson, Matic, van de Beek, Tuanzebe.

3.36pm GMT

Everton’s fast start to the season seems a distant memory already. They won their first seven games in all competitions, and in some style too, but since then it’s been slim pickings: just one point from the last nine available. They could do with some good news as they look to snap that run, and here’s some: James Rodriguez should be back from injury.

Here’s some more: they face Manchester United this lunchtime. United aren’t in a good place right now. They were eased aside by Arsenal last weekend, conceded one of the daftest goals in the entire history of association football in Istanbul on Wednesday, and are stuck at the wrong end of the Premier League table. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under serious pressure; another bad performance today would plunge him into all sorts of bother.

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Categories: What the papers say