What the papers say
- Manager praises players after 3-2 win against Manchester United
- ‘We are not there yet,’ warns Mikel Arteta on City comparisons
Mikel Arteta marvelled at an “extraordinary” first half of the season from his Arsenal team but warned that they are still short of the level set by Manchester City, despite sitting five points clear at the top of the league with a game in hand.
Arsenal retained their cushion after Eddie Nketiah’s last-gasp winner against Manchester United and their tally of 50 points represents the club’s best start to a Premier League season. They are already in with a tantalising chance of winning their first title since 2004; even so, Arteta believes they will have to improve in order to complete the feat.Continue reading...
Expectation and reality seem to have aligned in north London, giving Mikel Arteta’s side a sense of unstoppable momentum
Sunday in London and all you can see is fumes: hot breath on cold air and vape smoke and dope smoke and steam rising from sweaty heads and a hype they can finally believe in. Of course Eddie Nketiah is delighted and of course Oleksandr Zinchenko is delighted, but have you ever in your life seen such happy unused substitutes? Sunday in London and it doesn’t matter whether you’re in the back row pressed against the stained glass, or so close you can grasp the hem of the preacher’s garment. Everyone in this congregation gets saved in the end.
The post-Christmas Emirates is a different place to what it was pre-Christmas. There’s a swagger and an arrogance here now, the sweet spot where old certainties meet new stirrings. And they no longer ask, they demand. Even the sticky periods are waited out with measured impatience rather than dull dread. OK, Marcus Rashford. Nice header, Lisandro Martínez. But what time do we actually win?Continue reading...
Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute goal, his second of the match, settled a pulsating contest and took Arsenal to 50 points after just 19 games
“Possibly bordering on ‘Unpopular opinion’ territory,” high-fives Matt Dony, “and I reserve the right to vehemently deny I ever said this, but I think that Arsenal potentially winning the league is more of a Leicester one-off type thing than the start of a sustained period of title-challenging,.
“They’re a very good side, and Arteta has done a wonderful, patient job in instilling a mindset and a system. There’s much to admire about them. But they do seem to be playing at their limit this year. Things are going well for them. The whole squad have been performing well, and they haven’t been too bothered by injuries. I’m not sure how sustainable that is. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’re back in the 7th-3rd shake-up next season. But, as I said, I’ve been wrong before…”Continue reading...
It was a game to evoke memories of when these two clubs had the rivalry that defined English football and the destination of the Premier League title; a shuddering collision which was surely the best watch of the season so far.
Keane in the tunnel; Keown versus Van Nistelrooy; brawls; flying pizza. It all felt like a part of it again because, for the first time in a long while, the fixture had a relevance to the championship race. As it always was, it was incident filled from first to last; the tackles flying, the tempers flaring. And when it was over Arsenal had taken an adrenaline-fuelled step towards their first title since 2004.Continue reading...
Arsenal and Manchester United managers have boldly redeployed their defensive players in adapted roles
It was in the heat of summer that Mikel Arteta finally decided to press the button on a strategy he had been brewing for almost a year. For much of the previous season he had become convinced that Ben White was a right-back in the making: quick, calm on the ball and blessed with sound positional sense and a high level of tactical intelligence. The problem was everyone else. None of the squad, he decided, was capable of replacing White in the centre of defence.
For some time Arteta had been searching for full-backs who could play his way: stepping up into a narrower role when Arsenal had the ball, effectively mutating into central midfielders. Over his three seasons at the club he had tried and discarded Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Héctor Bellerín on the right, Nuno Tavares and even Bukayo Saka on the left.Continue reading...
The goals are flowing again for the striker thanks to his new manager: ‘It’s a complete different energy around the club’
When picking over the Marcus Rashford renaissance, surely the feelgood story of the season, one that no football fan resents irrespective of allegiance, it is easy to linger on the biggest moments. The decisive goals for a resurgent Manchester United in the Premier League against Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City. The comeback strike for England at the World Cup against Iran with virtually his first touch at international level since the penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final. The two-goal salvo against Wales in the next tie, including the banging free-kick.
Rashford’s managers though, for club and country, are drawn to something else, a lower-profile flicker but one that captures his essence – the drive and clarity that has underpinned his journey from the time when United first scouted him as a six-year-old. It was the towering header against West Ham at the end of October that gave United a 1-0 home win. Christian Eriksen had stood up the cross and, when Rashford threw himself at it, Erik ten Hag could feel a glow of satisfaction.Continue reading...
Both clubs are reborn this season and this storied fixture seems ready to take on a life of its own once more
Listen carefully and you might just hear the sound of an old rivalry stirring. On Sunday there is unlikely to be pizza in the Emirates Stadium tunnel and, even if a penalty is missed, the chances of a bawling match between taker and miscreant appear remote. But Arsenal and Manchester United meet amid a clear sense things are changing: in recent years any excitement around this fixture has leant squarely on its tradition but, at long last, it takes on a life of its own once again.
This is not a title showdown: any suggestion the race for top spot might develop into a shootout between these two foes was firmly refuted by midweek comebacks at Selhurst Park and the Etihad. Even if United win, they will be five points shy of Arsenal having played a game more. The bigger picture, though, is that they are finally a threat to each other at the business end again, not simply for fifth or sixth place.Continue reading...
Ratcliffe said he wanted to challenge PSG when he bought Nice in 2019. Despite good intentions, he hasn’t even come close
Nice were considered the best-run club in France in the 2016-17 season, when they challenged for the Ligue 1 title under manager Lucien Favre, president Jean-Pierre Rivère and transfer specialist Julien Fournier. They were top of the table at Christmas, lost just four games all season – fewer than PSG – and gathered an impressive 78 points on their way to finishing third.
Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of the Ineos chemical company who says he is in the running to buy Manchester United, bought Nice in 2019. Despite his vast wealth, and input from Favre, Rivère and Fournier in recent seasons, Nice have been unable to replicate the success they enjoyed before Ratcliffe’s arrival.Continue reading...
Mykhaylo Mudryk could make his Chelsea debut at Anfield, while Newcastle and Manchester United will miss their Brazilians
Shoots of recovery or a false dawn? Both Jürgen Klopp and Graham Potter will be desperately hoping their respective 1-0 wins last time out demonstrated the former. Liverpool versus Chelsea may lack its usual consequences, with the teams occupying ninth and 10th place in the table and a 10-point chasm between themselves and fourth place, but their managers would beg to differ. Klopp admitted there would have been genuine doubt around Anfield on Saturday had Liverpool repeated their tame efforts at Brighton in the FA Cup replay at Wolves. An improved display from a much-changed team at Molineux, particularly in terms of Liverpool’s pressing and energy, left Klopp with major selection dilemmas for Saturday as well as renewed optimism. Potter was simply relieved after Chelsea secured only a second win in 10 games last weekend against Crystal Palace. Mykhaylo Mudryk could be involved for the first time since his big-money arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk as the visitors strive for much-needed momentum. Andy Hunter
Liverpool v Chelsea, Saturday 12.30pm (all times GMT)
Arsenal v Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm
West Ham v Everton, Saturday 3pm
Manchester City v Wolves, Sunday 2pm
Crystal Palace v Newcastle, Saturday 5.30pm
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest, Saturday 3pm
Southampton v Aston Villa, Saturday 3pmContinue reading...
- Manager unhappy after dropping points at Selhurst Park
- Casemiro booking means he misses Sunday’s trip to Arsenal
Erik ten Hag said Manchester United have to learn how to be more ruthless after missing out on the opportunity to move ahead of Manchester City in the Premier League table and to within six points of the leaders, Arsenal.
A brilliant free-kick from Crystal Palace’s Michael Olise in the final minute of normal time cancelled out Bruno Fernandes’ goal for United and denied Ten Hag a 10th straight victory in all competitions. The 1-1 draw leaves them in third, trailing Arsenal by eight points having played a game more going into the meeting with Mikel Arteta’s side on Sunday.Continue reading...
Just when it looked as if Manchester United had found their mojo again after all this time, a stunning late free-kick from Michael Olise denied Erik Ten Hag’s side a 10th successive win in all competitions and second place in the Premier League. A first-half goal from Bruno Fernandes had seemed to provide yet more compelling evidence that the club that have been crowned champions of England more than any other could be serious title contenders once more.
With a trip to face Arsenal at the Emirates to come on Sunday, United trail the leaders by eight points having played a game more. They will know it should be much closer after surrendering their advantage with almost the last kick of the game against a spirited Crystal Palace side that simply refused to give in.Continue reading...
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3 min: A rare old atmosphere at Selhurst Park. Both sets of fans are giving it plenty.
1 min: Before the match, Ten Hag was insistent that United won’t be pumping cross after cross towards the 6ft 6in Weghorst, but within 50 seconds Wan-Bissaka is looking for him with a looper from the right. Palace clear their lines without too much fuss.Continue reading...
- Battle for Brentford goalkeeper likely at end of campaign
- Top clubs have long-term interest in possible bargain No 1
Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham have all shown interest in the Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, who will enter the final year of his contract this summer.
The 27-year-old Spaniard has yet to agree new terms at Brentford and is likely to be available for a reduced price if no new deal is signed before next season. He has publicly been coy about his future and the potential for a bargain has alerted several of the Premier League’s top clubs, who have long tracked his role in Brentford’s rise to eighth in the division.Continue reading...
- Defender has been switched to centre-back
- ‘He’s shown a lot of leadership capacities,’ says manager
Erik ten Hag believes Luke Shaw is Manchester United’s “example at the moment” because of the defender’s honesty. The manager has praised how the England international dealt with Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne in Saturday’s win over Manchester City.
Ten Hag dropped Shaw after the first two Premier League games but the defender was reinstated after missing the next five league matches and has performed impressively.Continue reading...
- Billionaire’s company Ineos is in the process, spokesperson says
- Glazer family looking for about £5bn to sell Premier League club
One of Britain’s richest people, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, has confirmed that his company is in the running to buy Manchester United from the Glazer family.
The 70-year-old billionaire, who was born in Failsworth in Greater Manchester, had been coy about his ambitions to take over his boyhood club when the Glazers first indicated they would be willing to sell in November.Continue reading...
Our cartoonist looks at pulses racing as the Premier League derbies go the way of United and Arsenal
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Dutch striker failed to crack the Premier League with Burnley but gets a second chance after loan move to Old Trafford
Last January Wout Weghorst was on his way to the Premier League to replace a club talisman who could not resist the allure of Saudi Arabian money. This winter he is doing exactly the same. For Chris Wood at Burnley read Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, and Weghorst is unlikely to suffer from imposter syndrome.
The striker, who could make his United debut at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, arrived at Turf Moor with an impressive record in the Bundesliga at Wolfsburg and in his native Netherlands, scoring at a rate of one goal every two games for much of his career. At Burnley things did not work out as he hoped. He got two goals in 20 league appearances on his way to ending the season as a Championship player, at which point he announced he wanted to leave and joined Besiktas for a successful loan.Continue reading...
- Summit of the World Economic Forum starts there on Monday
- Club insist it will be used to meet existing clients and partners
Manchester United set out a dazzling Davos shop front this week but insisted its lounge was to entertain clients and partners rather than to attract buyers during the annual summit of the World Economic Forum, which begins on Monday.
United said in November they were looking at options to either get new investment or explore a potential sale, 17 years after the Glazer family bought the club.Continue reading...
Mykhaylo Mudryk might not be a huge loss for Arsenal, Everton’s decline looks terminal and Moyes’s is time is running out
When Arsenal were as rhapsodic as in their first half at Tottenham, it was tempting to wonder just where Mykhaylo Mudryk might have fitted in. In Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, Mikel Arteta already has the Premier League’s most potent wingers. Would it have been worth lashing out next year’s transfer budget and breaking wage structures for a player not guaranteed to start? Instead, the Ukrainian takes up his lengthy, lucrative new contract at Chelsea. That Gabriel Jesus’s injury will keep him out longer than hoped must also have altered strategic thinking. Finding a player who can replace the Brazilian will be exacting, and while Eddie Nketiah continues to shimmer, working devilishly across the front at Tottenham, a lack of further centre-forward options points to Arsenal’s primacy being a result of their having the best first XI in the Premier League rather than the deepest squad. Quality reinforcements could still come in rather handy. John Brewin
Match report: Tottenham 0-2 Arsenal
Match report: Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
Match report: Everton 1-2 Southampton
Match report: Wolves 1-0 West Ham
Match report: Brighton 3-0 Liverpool
Match report: Chelsea 1-0 Crystal PalaceContinue reading...
Hard-won victory in Manchester derby showed newly resolute United have finally managed to shake off weight of the past
Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United have learned how to suffer and deal with difficult moments after years of adopting a laissez-faire attitude to defeat. There is a realisation that the team can be better than the sum of its parts if the players work together.
Against Manchester City they were organised and showed new-found discipline for 90 minutes to win an underwhelming derby. Despite City enjoying 71% of possession, they could only muster a single shot on target, which was Jack Grealish’s opener. While City were below their best, their playmakers only need a moment of genius to create a goal – but as Kevin De Bruyne proved – but United limited them through precision defending.Continue reading...