What the papers say
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.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Continue reading...
• ‘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.Continue reading...
• 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].”Continue reading...
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 goalContinue reading...
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.Continue reading...
• 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.Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
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 JamesContinue reading...
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• 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.”Continue reading...
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.”
Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportContinue reading...
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 3pmContinue reading...
• 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.Continue reading...
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.
Luke has the potential to be the England left‑back for many, many years and for Manchester United, the sameContinue reading...
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.
The top 20Continue reading...
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.Continue reading...
- 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.
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/GBSEtRPzYoContinue reading...
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.Continue reading...