What the papers say

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Updated: 1 hour 49 min ago

Get in there, Fred! Ole’s carefree outsiders leave PSG in the dust | Barney Ronay

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 00:09

Manchester United made it all happen on a night which Solskjær had always insisted would not be ‘mission impossible’

Whatever substance Marcus Rashford’s spleen, guts, backbone and other vital parts are made from, Manchester United’s official industrial concrete partner would be well-served setting about trying to replicate its precise unbreakable formula.

Related: Manchester United floor PSG as Marcus Rashford’s late penalty caps comeback

Related: PSG 1-3 Manchester United (3-3 agg): Champions League player ratings | Jamie Jackson

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær salutes ‘fearless’ Rashford on United’s glory night

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Manchester United floor PSG as Marcus Rashford’s late penalty caps comeback

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 22:13

Where does this result register in the list of spectacular European nights for Manchester United? Very high, presumably, given the scenes of jubilation after Marcus Rashford’s decisive penalty, deep into stoppage time, on the night a VAR decision helped to make fools of everyone who assumed Paris St Germain’s first-leg lead was unassailable.

Related: Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Manchester United (3-3 agg): Champions League – as it happened

Related: Porto v Roma: Champions League last 16, second leg, extra time – live!

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Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United: Champions League last 16, second leg – live!

Wed, 03/06/2019 - 19:31

7.31pm GMT

While we’re waiting for meaningful action, here’s something that’ll while away those nervous moments before kick-off. That Rob Smyth knows a thing or two about Manchester United, and he recently spoke to the Roy Keane Versus podcast about the 1996 FA Cup final. An appalling match to watch, of course, but our Bobbie can turn water into wine, and this makes for some real good listening. United fans, slake your thirst.

7.17pm GMT

The quarter-finals (or next season’s group stage). Thilo Kehrer, Marco Verratti, Juan Bernat and Julian Draxler are all walking the disciplinary tightrope. They’ll miss the next match for PSG if they pick up a yellow card. Only Ashley Young of United’s contingent need worry about this.

7.11pm GMT

Manchester United make a couple of changes to the side named for the 3-2 win over Southampton on Saturday. Alexis Sanchez is injured while Paul Pogba is suspended, so Eric Bailly and Fred come into the starting XI instead.

United appear to be going 3-5-2, with Bailly joining Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling at the back, Ashley Young and Luke Shaw providing support from the flanks. It’s an inexperienced bench, featuring Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes ... but then youth is what United are all about, so.

7.04pm GMT

Paris Saint-Germain won 2-1 at Caen on Saturday thanks to a couple of Kylian Mbappe goals. Mbappe is one of only five players from that match who keep their place in the starting line-up. In come Gianluigi Buffon, captain Thiago Silva, Presnel Kimpembe, Marco Verratti, Juan Bernat and Julian Draxler. They take the places of the benched Alphonse Areola, Leandro Paredes, Thomas Meunier and Layvin Kurzawa, and Christopher Nkunku and Moussa Diaby, who miss out altogether.

A lot of changes, though that’s the same PSG side that started at Old Trafford. Edinson Cavani returns to the bench after injury.

6.58pm GMT

Paris Saint-Germain: Buffon, Kehrer, Thiago Silva, Kimpembe, Bernat, Verratti, Marquinhos, Dani Alves, Draxler, Di Maria, Mbappe.
Subs: Areola, Paredes, Cavani, Meunier, Choupo-Moting, Kurzawa, Dagba.

Manchester United: de Gea, Bailly, Smalling, Lindelof, Young, Andreas Pereira, Fred, McTominay, Shaw, Lukaku, Rashford.
Subs: Romero, Rojo, Dalot, Garner, Chong, Gomes, Greenwood.

3.22pm GMT

It’s fair to say Manchester United are up against it here. They’re 0-2 down after the home leg, and that’s a specific scoreline you simply don’t come back from in the European Cup: not once in the 63-year history of the tournament has a team extricated themselves from bother after losing 0-2 at home. A total of 106 teams have tried it; a total of 106 teams have failed.

Not only that, half of the team is missing through suspension, illness or injury. So we’ll not see Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial, Alexis Sánchez, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian or Antonio Valencia tonight.

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Beware spirit that drove Manchester United’s 1999 win, Tuchel warns PSG

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 21:43
• Coach says team will need to be “200%” to progress
• ‘It’s better to always be aware of the qualities of Solskjær’

Thomas Tuchel has warned Paris Saint-Germain they will have to be “200%” to knock Manchester United out of the Champions League, saying Ole Gunner Solskjær’s side are imbued with the spirit that drove their interim manager to be the hero of the club’s 1999 triumph.

PSG take a 2-0 advantage into Wednesday night’s last-16 second leg at the Parc des Princes. However their German manager is wary of Solskjær and cited the Norwegian’s famous late winner as a substitute that beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the final of 20 years ago.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær says Molde contract has expired as PSG loom

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 19:39
• ‘I think the contract is expired,’ Solskjær says of Norwegian club
• Manchester United manager says first goal is key at PSG

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has indicated there is one fewer obstacle to him becoming Manchester United’s permanent manager by saying his contract with Molde has expired.

When the 46-year-old took-over as interim No 1 in December it was thought he remained manager of the Norwegian club in an official capacity. Yet Solskjær, talking to the Norwegian podcast Fotballklubben, suggested this is not the case. “I’m not sure how it works. I think the contract is expired and that I’m now under contract with Manchester United. I think we need a new contract there [at Molde].”

Related: Manchester United seek to replicate 1999 Houdini act against PSG | Daniel Taylor

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'Never mission impossible': Solskjær on Manchester United's chances at PSG – video

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 19:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjær says if his side can secure the first goal against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday ‘anything can happen’. It follows United’s 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford three weeks ago, the only time in their history of European football that they have lost a home game by more than one goal

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Manchester United seek to replicate 1999 Houdini act against PSG | Daniel Taylor

Tue, 03/05/2019 - 18:43
Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes his players can draw on United’s famous victory at Juventus 20 years ago and overturn a daunting 2-0 deficit at Parc des Princes

Ole Gunnar Solskjær tried his best to sound confident. He insisted there was “never mission impossible” and, not for the first time recently, he was reminded about that seminal match against Juventus in 1999 and the hard evidence Manchester United did at least have previous when it came to almost implausible feats of escapology in Europe’s premier club competition.

The only problem with that line is that there is a good reason why so many people reminisce about that semi-final in Turin, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s team were putting in place their unprecedented Treble and produced one of the more spectacular performances of his 26 years in charge.

Related: Criminal or whistleblower? The story of the man behind Football Leaks

Related: Manchester United’s Alexis Sánchez may be out for rest of season

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Manchester United’s Alexis Sánchez may be out for rest of season

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 15:13
• United forward damages knee ligaments against Southampton
• Chile’s physio claims Sánchez will need eight weeks to recover

Alexis Sánchez’s season could be over as the Manchester United forward faces up to eight weeks out, according to Chile’s physiotherapist, Pedro Oñate.

Sánchez damaged ligaments in his right knee during Saturday’s 3-2 home win over Southampton and the 30-year-old could be unavailable for the next two months, Oñate claimed.

Related: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to return from injury with Liverpool Under-23s

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'You all know who you are': Romelu Lukaku speaks out on racism in the media – video

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 11:24

Romelu Lukaku has spoken out about racism and discrimination he has received both in the media and from football supporters.

The Belgian striker told OTRO that ever since he missed a chance for Manchester United against Real Madrid in the Super Cup in 2017, he feels he has received a 'lack of respect' from fans.

Sachin Nakrani: we need a rethink over BAME coverage

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

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 08:14

Mkhitaryan makes a timely return to form, Bournemouth set unwanted record and Wolves should snap up Jiménez

How do you deal with Manchester City? Take them on? Or get 11 players behind the ball and hang on for grim life. It was certainly a curious game at Bournemouth on Saturday – if you can call it a game. Eddie Howe’s side lost narrowly, 1-0, but it is hard to think of a more misleading scoreline. Bournemouth became the first club since Opta has been gathering data to fail to register a shot on or off target in a Premier League match. The home team never even won a corner. Kyle Walker, Manchester City’s right‑back, completed more passes than the entire Bournemouth team, who had 18% of possession. Howe admitted afterwards that he feared the consequences if Bournemouth opened up against City and he probably had a point. The alternative, however, is a slow death by 810 passes and that is a fairly joyless experience too. Stuart James

Related: Sport on TV this week: the highlights for UK viewers

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 03/03/2019 - 19:42

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

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‘I’ve been part of so many great comebacks,’ says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 20:04
• Romelu Lukaku double gives United 3-2 win over Southampton
• Solskjær: ‘I said at the interval we needed more urgency’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær claimed his 10th Premier League victory was the most satisfying so far – because of the manner in which it was achieved.

United trailed at half-time and were pegged back to 2-2 15 minutes from the end, but fought back for a late win in the style Solskjær knows so well. “This club does great comebacks,” the caretaker manager said. “I’ve been a part of that so many times myself as a player, and as a manager or a spectator it’s great to watch.”

Related: Romelu Lukaku strikes twice as Manchester United beat Southampton

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Romelu Lukaku strikes twice as Manchester United beat Southampton

Sat, 03/02/2019 - 17:14

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s 10th win in 12 Premier League games did not come without a scare – Manchester United trailed at the interval to Yan Valery’s stunning strike and had to overcome spirited resistance when Southampton fought back to 2-2 late in the second half – but two goals from a rejuvenated Romelu Lukaku kept their revival on the road.

Paul Pogba missed the chance to give the scoreline a flattering gloss when he saw a stoppage-time penalty saved, though going down by four goals would have been very hard on a spirited Southampton. “Romelu is a quality striker with a goalscorer’s instincts,” Solskjær said. “He knows what he wants to do and he has the ability to deliver it.”

Related: Manchester City go top after Riyad Mahrez goal sinks Bournemouth

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Manchester United v Southampton: match preview

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 14:46

Ole Gunnar Solskjær expects Marcus Rashford to be fit enough to start after the ankle injury that hampered the forward against Liverpool and forced him to miss the midweek win over Crystal Palace. United have the chance to close on Tottenham and Arsenal, who meet in Saturday’s early kick-off, in the race for the top four. Solskjær should be wary of visitors fighting for survival, particularly given Saints’ Old Trafford record – they have lost only once in their last five visits. Niall McVeigh

Today 3pm

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær hints Antonio Valencia’s time up at Manchester United

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 10:23
• Club not expected to trigger extension to Valencia’s contract
• Club captain has been troubled by injury this season

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has hinted Antonio Valencia’s Manchester United career is over after 10 years, with the one-year extension on his contract not expected to be triggered by its 5pm deadline on Friday.

Valencia became club captain in the summer but has suffered an injury-blighted campaign, managing only one league start in the past five months. The defender has made 338 appearances for United since Sir Alex Ferguson signed him from Wigan Athletic in June 2009.

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

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Luke Shaw is thriving under Solskjær – and away from Mourinho

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 22:30

Left-back is ‘mentally tough’ and United’s player of the season, says teammate Romelu Lukaku

It has been an interesting part of the Ole Gunnar Solskjær revolution at Manchester United – perhaps not the most high-profile but a component nonetheless and an element in the movement that appears to be sweeping the caretaker manager towards the job on a permanent basis.

Luke Shaw was outstanding in the club’s 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, having also starred in the 0-0 home draw with Liverpool on Sunday. According to Romelu Lukaku, the 23-year-old left-back has been United’s player of the season so far. And it has been difficult to ignore the evidence that his performances have gone up a level since Solskjær took over from José Mourinho in December.

Related: Luke Shaw: You need thick skin to play for José Mourinho’s Manchester United

Luke has the potential to be the England left‑back for many, many years and for Manchester United, the same

Related: The Lukaku paradox: goals, moments of brilliance … and clumsiness | Jonathan Wilson

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The Lukaku paradox: goals and a capacity for brilliance … and clumsiness | Jonathan Wilson

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 11:02
Romelu Lukaku is the 20th most prolific scorer in Premier League history, but he gets judged by the wrong standards

Romelu Lukaku’s two goals against Crystal Palace on Wednesday took him to 111 in the Premier League, level with Dion Dublin as the 20th most prolific scorer in the competition’s history. This was only the fourth time he has completed 90 minutes under Ole Gunnar Solskjær and they were his first goals in almost two months, and yet there is a sense that Lukaku as much as anybody is benefiting from the burst of Norwegian sunshine over Old Trafford.

Perhaps it doesn’t seem like much for the 10th most expensive signing in history to pull level with the presenter of a daytime-TV property show. It should be acknowledged that there is some evidence that football was played before 1992 and that some forwards may have amassed many more goals before the Premier League existed. But still, Lukaku now stands only two goals behind Ian Wright (who admittedly was 28 at the start of the first Premier League season) and nine behind Steven Gerrard in the overall rankings. He is 25.

Related: Manchester United roll on as Romelu Lukaku seizes chance at Crystal Palace

The top 20

Related: Panini Cheapskates told to stop selling badly drawn Manchester United stickers

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Manchester United roll on as Romelu Lukaku seizes chance at Crystal Palace

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 21:59

Ole Gunnar Solskjær had sounded the call to arms. Manchester United were in the midst of an injury crisis and it was incumbent on a big player to step up from the fringes to save them. The caretaker manager named names, too. He wanted to see Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez play to their potential.

It was Lukaku that delivered. The striker blew a glorious chance in the eighth minute but he did not go into his shell. Far from it. He put United in control with two excellent finishes, one with either foot – the first from the edge of the penalty area – and although Crystal Palace fought back to score through Joel Ward, it was Lukaku who helped to ensure that his team had the final word.

Related: Sadio Mané and Virgil van Dijk lead rampant Liverpool past Watford

Related: Pedro strike and Trippier howler lift Sarri and give Chelsea win over Spurs

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Panini Cheapskates told to stop selling badly drawn Manchester United stickers

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 16:54
  • Club say drawings ‘infringe intellectual property rights’
  • Amateur artists rebrand club and raise £500 for charity

An “artistically challenged” couple who have raised £12,000 for charity by creating crude Panini-like stickers during international football tournaments, have been told by Manchester United to stop selling “wonky drawings” of their former players and club crest.

Related: World Cup 2014 quiz: guess the hand-drawn Panini stickers?

They sent us a bunch of trademark numbers, including some that relate the their badge. So they're saying that this is intellectual property theft... pic.twitter.com/GBSEtRPzYo

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Football transfer rumours: Romagnoli and Rakitic to Manchester United?

Wed, 02/27/2019 - 08:51

Today’s tittle-tattle feels so extraordinary

Maurizio Sarri may have, at a conservative estimate, 99 problems – but apparently Chelsea’s transfer ban isn’t one. Sarri has said the club is working on being able to make summer signings – although whether he’ll be around to reap the benefits is another matter. Calciomercato reports Fifa will not hold Roman Abramovich up for long – and that Chelsea could sign the Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli.

If the Blues are still tied up in red tape, then Manchester United could benefit. Ole Gunnar Solskjær appears destined for the permanent gig at Old Trafford, and is targeting Romagnoli and the Barcelona playmaker Ivan Rakitic in a continental spending spree. It won’t be three Rs, though, with the perma-linked Cristiano Ronaldo staying at Juventus.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær shrugs off injury crisis: 'It’s survival of the fittest'

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