What the papers say
- Premier League updates from St James’ Park, kick-off 8pm GMT
- Clockwatch – updates from the rest of tonight’s action
- And feel free to email Jacob or tweet @JacobSteinberg
53 min: Jonjo Shelvey replaces the injured Mo Diame. Shelvey will either win the game for Newcastle or lose it for them.
51 min: Shaw and Mata both try to get the ball into the middle from the left. Nothing doing. Moments later Lindelof outmuscles Rondon and knocks a pass through to Rashford, who’s played onside by Schar. The striker cuts inside, ignores his team-mates in the middle and hits a shot out for a throw.
48 min: A low-key start to the half.
46 min: Newcastle get the second half underway. It’s not long before Lindelof gets a booking.
The home fans applaud. It hasn’t been too bad, you know, but we await the first goal. Manchester United end the half looking likelier.
45 min+2: Diame returns.
45 min: Now Diame’s down and in need of a chat with the physio. This has petered out. Two added minutes.
44 min: Atsu returns to the pitch after some treatment. He’s faded after a bright start. Newcastle could do with him stirring again. They have no spark up front at the moment.
42 min: Mata’s curling delivery tempts Phil Jones. He clears it effortlessly.
41 min: Pogba’s fouled on the right. Mata goes across to take the free-kick.
39 min: After some treatment, Martial lives. Hopefully he won’t have woken up thinking that Mourinho’s still in charge.
38 min: Perez accidentally boots the ball straight into Martial’s face. Down goes the Frenchman. It’s been that sort of half. In fact it’s quite a feat we haven’t seen either team score a farcical goal yet. But Phil Jones is on the pitch, so anything’s possible.
36 min: “If Solksjaer picks Phil Jones to play against Mbappe and Neymar surely UEFA are going to have to step in with some kind of mercy rule,” Michael Meagher says.
No, Michael. Solskjaer just loves attacking football too much.
35 min: Newcastle attack for the first time in around 15 minutes. Atsu crosses from the right and Rondon heads over from six yards. He couldn’t quite rise high enough.
32 min: Lascelles, who’s on a booking, dives into another full-blooded challenge to stop a surging Pogba, who’s sent flying into the air. The replays suggest that was just about on the right side of legal. Which is fortunate for Lascelles given that Pogba was in the Newcastle area.
31 min: Pogba finds Martial, who threatens to burst through on the left, only for Schar to stand firm and deny the forward with a no-nonsense challenge. Moments later Martial flicks the ball through to Rashford, carving Newcastle open. When the ball’s whipped off Rashford’s toes, just in the nick of time, it runs to the right for Mata. But before the Spaniard can stroke home from close range, Dubravaka throws himself at his feet to save Newcastle again.
30 min: Pogba scoops a shot wide from the edge of the area.
28 min: Lascelles overruns the ball and commits himself into a thunderous challenge on Herrera. An obvious yellow card for the Newcastle skipper.
25 min: Another chance for United. Pogba slips a pass inside to Mata, who conjures a delightful assist to set up Martial. However the Frenchman slips after taking the ball on his chest and ends up scooping a disappointing volley over the bar. United’s frustration grows.
24 min: Out of nothing, a long ball from the back from United causes all sorts of problems in the Not United defence. Lascelles and Schar run into each other in the Laurel and Hardy style, allowing Rashford to burst clear. Luckily for the comedy duo, Dubravaka’s going about his job more seriously tonight and he ensures that a sliding Rashford can’t poke the ball past him and into the net.
23 min: Atsu tries to release Rondon but United defender Phil Jones covers and manages not to score an own goal. “Good evening Jäcob, what’s with all these photos of Manchester United staff smiling broadly?” Justin Kävänägh says. “I didn’t think Alexis Sanchez even knew how to smile any more. What a difference a visit from a kindly old veteran filled with good will from Lapland over Christmas makes.”
22 min: “It’s Newcastle United so please stop referring to Manchester just as United in your updates,” weeps John Manning.
20 min: Still no goals for Rashford or Pogba or Martial. Get Fellaini on. That’s how it works, right?
18 min: Perez drops deep and drives a lovely pass over the top to Atsu. Where’s Valencia gone? The right-back’s leaving his man a lot of space. However Atsu’s first touch takes him wide and he lacks a clinical touch again, dragging a lame effort across the face of goal from the left of the United area.
15 min: United counter after that scare and almost silence the increasingly noisy home fans, only for Martial’s shot from the left to rip into the side netting. Close. This might turn into a good game!
14 min: Atsu threatens again on the left after poor defending from Jones. The winger stands up Lindelof and dribbles past the Swede. He’s cut inside on to his right feet and he tries to surprise De Gea with a low stabbed effort. The United goalkeeper is alive to the danger, though, diving to his right to hold. Moments later Newcastle cause more problems. Jones, who scored a majestic own goal against Valencia last month, is hassled into conceding possession by Perez after dawdling near his own area. It’s so dozy and the pressure from Perez sees the ball run through to an onside Rondon, who’s clear on goal. However the striker doesn’t react quickly enough - was he expecting a flag? - and lets Jones race back to make a recovery tackle.
13 min: Newcastle lob an up and under into the United area and Atsu, more alert than Herrera, darts in from the left. The winger controls well but he’s quickly under pressure and only manages to slide a shot straight at De Gea, who makes an easy save.
10 min: Martial runs on to a long ball down the right and tries to outpace Lascelles, who leans in and knocks the United forward over on the edge of the area. Andre Marriner isn’t interested in United’s appeals for another free-kick. Newcastle will argue it’s a contact sport.
9 min: Martial wins a free-kick on the left after being fouled by Yedling. It’s quite far out and the angle isn’t great, but Rashford decides he wants to have a go after scoring at Cardiff. The striker tries to catch out Dubravka with a wobbling low effort towards the near post but the Newcastle goalkeeper dives to his right to make the save. He can’t keep hold of the ball, though, and it squirms clear. There’s a moment of panic in the Newcastle defence but they eventually get the situation under control. Or, to be more precise, Phil Jones was the player trying to do something with the loose ball.
8 min: This feels like Crystal Palace v Chelsea on Sunday, with the hosts sitting back and the visitors seeing most of the ball. The question is whether United can break Newcastle down. Or whether Newcastle will chance their arm with an attack or two.
7 min: Yedlin clips Pogba’s heels on the left. United resist the temptation to send the big men forward from the back. They just keep on playing. Newcastle eventually win the ball back for a brief spell of possession, but they don’t keep it for long.
5 min: Diame picks up possession on the halfway line and pings a long pass straight out for a goal-kick. Excellent.
4 min: United attack down the left, Martial dribbling into the area and exchanging passes with Mata. Yedlin stops the ball reaching Martial, who would have been through on goal. The ball comes back to Pogba, who shoots straight at Dubravka from the left. It seems Newcastle are playing a back five, with Dummett joining Schar and Lascelles in the middle and Yedlin and Ritchie as wing-backs.
2 min: Philippe Albert.
Peep! Manchester United, in their red shirts and white shorts, get the game underway, kicking from left to right in the first half. Newcastle are, get this, in black and white stripes.
Here come the teams! We’ll have football under the St James’s Park lights soon.
“Why can’t you Brits be bothered to get the basics right?” Charles Bruggman roars. “His name is Fabian Schär (the umlaut modifies the sound). If you cannot find a keyboard with the appropriate accents, the alternative spelling is ‘Schaer’. Brexit does not justify sloppiness.”
Brexit means I don’t have to use umlauts any more. About bloody time! Although I do have it in my locker. Watch: Chärles.
Rafa Benitez speaks! “It will be a tough game but we are confident that we can win if we do things well. At the same time I say to my players we have to stay focused to the end. Hopefully it will be the same as last season and we can win. The key thing is to do things right. If we do maybe they will be frustrated. But they are a good team.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer speaks! “The boys have set the standards of where we can perform. The first proper test is when you come away from home. It’s never an easy game at Newcastle, although we had a decent record here when we played. It’s a strong bench. We have a strong squad and that gives us options. I want to put Alexis Sanchez on because he’s been looking sharp in training. He’s been away for a month but he’s really worked hard.”
You’ll remember that Alexis Sanchez’s last-minute winner in Manchester United’s comeback win over Newcastle at Old Trafford in October was a real turning point for Jose Mo... oh. But that was a cracking game. Newcastle swept into a two-goal lead at half-time and were unlucky not to be further ahead. They’ll have a chance if they play like that, but they know better than most sides that United are hugely dangerous when they gather attacking momentum.
Newcastle make one change after last Saturday’s draw at Watford. Fabian Schar replaces the injured Federico Fernandez at the back.
Manchester United make three changes after last Sunday’s win over Bournemouth. Antonio Valencia replaces Ashley Young at right-back, Phil Jones comes in for the suspended Eric Bailly and Juan Mata starts in place of Jesse Lingard. Alexis Sanchez, who was absolutely devastated to see Jose Mourinho go, is on the bench after returning from injury.
Newcastle: Dubravka; Yedlin, Schar, Lascelles, Dummett; Diame, Hayden; Ritchie, Perez, Atsu; Rondon. Subs: Woodman, Manquillo, Lejeune, Shelvey, Kenedy, Muto, Joseulu.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Jones, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Mata; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Young, Fred, Darmian, Lingard, Sanchez, Lukaku.
Hello. Turns out Sir Alex Ferguson headed into Manchester United’s training ground to give a pep talk to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his coaching staff. Just like the old days in a way. In fact sometimes you almost get the sense that United would love nothing more than to transport themselves back to the 90s. Why not get the whole band back together? Fergie and Ole together in the dugout, Giggsy and Becks on the wings, Keano ... well, maybe it wouldn’t work with Keano and Fergie any more. But you get the drift. The 90s: a bloody great time to be alive if you supported Manchester United Football Club.
Mind you, the same could be said of Newcastle United supporters. Those were some rare times indeed for St James’s Park regulars. They almost won the title with Kevin Keegan and charge and the football was magnificent, with the likes of Faustino Asprilla, Peter Beardsley, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Alan Shearer and Temuri Ketsbaia in attack. This was one of the top fixtures. There was always excitement and meaning when Newcastle played Manchester United.Continue reading...
• Out-of-form Newcastle face Manchester United on Wednesday
• ‘Everyone, players, staff, has to realise it is so difficult for us’
José Mourinho’s often stark candour won few hearts and minds at Manchester United but Rafael Benítez believes his own brand of brutal honesty can help keep Newcastle United in the Premier League.
As Benítez prepared to welcome a team from Old Trafford under Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s interim care to Tyneside on Wednesday night he reflected on the fine line separating debilitating negativity and necessary realism.Continue reading...
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær says the club's former boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, has visited the club recently and remains a key influence on both himself and Old Trafford. Solskjær says he keeps Ferguson informed and admits he feels 'at home' back in his old Manchester habitatContinue reading...
• Former manager gave pep talks to Solskjær and his staff
• Ferguson recovering from last spring’s brain haemorrhage
Sir Alex Ferguson provided encouragement and a series of informal pep talks for Ole Gunnar Solskjær and the Manchester United manager’s staff at the training ground on Saturday.
“He paid us a visit,” said Solskjær as he prepared his players for Wednesday night’s trip to face a Newcastle United side managed by one of Ferguson’s former rivals, Rafael Benítez. “Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed his time at the training ground, we had a few nice chats and he encouraged us. He knows the staff I’ve got are Manchester United through and through. He knows we’re going to do whatever we can, up to the last second we’re here, for Manchester United, as best we can.”Continue reading...
• Solskjær wants Manchester United to kill games early, he says
Jesse Lingard believes Ole Gunnar Solskjær has ensured a bright New Year for Manchester United by turning back time and restoring Paul Pogba to the dynamic midfielder for whom the club paid £89m.
“I can definitely, definitely, see the Paul I used to know,” said Lingard as he reflected on United’s three games and three wins – featuring four goals from Pogba – since the Norwegian took temporary charge at Old Trafford in the wake of José Mourinho’s sacking. “I have seen him playing through the ranks and he is back to that player, the player we know.”Continue reading...
Jürgen Locadia proves his worth, Hart loses out to Heaton, Palace need reinforcements and Arsenal need a defence
After Ole Gunnar Solskjær rained praise down on Marcus Rashford, calling him the “catalyst” for Manchester United’s pressing game, Romelu Lukaku might wonder when he will next be given a start. Rashford scored and created Paul Pogba’s opener in the 4-1 win. Asked about Lukaku, who was a late, scoring replacement, Solskjær said: “At times he’s a good target man but if you tell him to be a target man he’ll never face the goal, today he was side on and he’s got the attributes of a top, top striker. We need to work on his fitness but I’m delighted even though he was half a yard offside – it was a good finish.” Next up is Thursday’s trip to Newcastle United as the caretaker manager seeks a fourth consecutive win from his opening four games. So far Rashford has excelled for the Norwegian so why would he drop him now for Lukaku? Jamie JacksonContinue reading...
Towards the end Old Trafford was the loudest in recent memory, Manchester United’s joyous fans singing the “20 times” ditty about their record number of titles.Continue reading...
- Premier League updates from Old Trafford, kick-off 4.30pm GMT
- Kanté tightens Chelsea’s grip on top four with winner at Palace
- And feel free to email Jacob or tweet @JacobSteinberg
Manchester United make four changes to the side that beat Huddersfield on Boxing Day. Ashley Young, Eric Bailly, Ander Herrera and Anthony Martial replace Diego Dalot, Phil Jones, Fred and Juan Mata.
Bournemouth start with three at the back after their drubbing against Tottenham. Eddie Howe makes three changes, replacing Simon Francis, Jefferson Lerma and Ryan Fraser with Diego Rico, Jordon Ibe and Josh King.
Manchester United: De Gea; Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Jones, Darmian, Pereira, Fellaini, Mata, Lukaku.
Bournemouth: Begovic; Cook, Ake, Daniels; Ibe, Stanislas, Brooks, Surman, Rico; King, Wilson. Subs: Boruc, Simpson, Mings, Lerma, Fraser, Mousset, Defoe.
Hello. With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sitting in the dugout instead of that moody Portuguese teenager, everything’s awesome again at Old Trafford. Cardiff City and Huddersfield Town have been vanquished, Paul Pogba’s remembered that he’s a world champion and Manchester United are starting to remember that football is supposed to be played with a smile. After the gloom of the Jose Mourinho era, it’s good to see United’s players expressing themselves on the pitch at last.
That said, they haven’t been tested too much under Solskjaer yet. With all the talent available to the Norwegian, we shouldn’t read too much into wins over a couple of struggling sides. Sterner examinations lie in store and United will need to hit a high level to deal with Bournemouth this afternoon. Eddie Howe’s side have been out of sorts recently and were beaten 5-0 by Tottenham on Boxing Day but they have ways of hurting their opponents. United, who start the day 11 points off fourth-placed Chelsea and six points below fifth-placed Arsenal, needed a last-minute winner to win the reverse fixture in November and it could be another tight affair if Bournemouth are at their best.Continue reading...
The stories Gary Neville and Robbie Savage tell of 1990s initiations can be seen as lads being lads but it is time the club admitted that in some case the culture damaged lives
As Gary Neville will be able to testify, making love to Clayton Blackmore in front of the entire Manchester United first team was not the most pleasurable experience of his years as an up-and-coming player in the club’s apprentice ranks.
Not the real Clayton Blackmore, obviously. But the players who set up the game called “Shag Sunbed” – maybe you remember Blackmore’s all-year tan – did their best to make it authentic, sticking a life-size picture of him on the treatment table, slipping on some Barry White and then watching as Neville, or whoever else had been called out, had to dance round the table, seduce his man and, in front of everybody, simulate sex, sound effects and all. “I can’t tell you how excruciating that is for a 16-year-old in front of an audience of his heroes like Mark Hughes and Bryan Robson,” Neville writes in his autobiography.Continue reading...
Time to panic yet? Fans weigh up whom their clubs need to sign in the transfer window, which opens on Tuesday
It’s hard to judge the Emery project until we’ve seen what he can do in a transfer window or two – and there’s an obvious area for him to address. The wing/full-back role has become such a demanding one these days that top sides need to be able to rotate a minimum of four quality options. With ours dropping like flies, we badly need some new blood in that position. Unfortunately, though, any plans to address it this winter might be derailed by the need to provide cover for the injured Welbeck and Holding. The other factor to watch is whether or not the futures of Özil and Ramsey become any clearer. Bernard Azulay, GoonersDiary.co.uk @GoonerN5Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s has had the dream start at Manchester United, so the trick is to earn a third win and against a Bournemouth side who were beaten 2-1 in November’s reverse fixture. While Eddie Howe usually poses problems for any side, United, with Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and Alexis Sánchez all potentially available again, surely have the tools to win. Jamie Jackson
Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
• Solskjær says this should be ‘best time’ of players’ lives
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said it is down to Alexis Sánchez and Romelu Lukaku to be self-motivated and follow Paul Pogba’s example by proving their worth again at Manchester United – because this should be the “best time of their life”.
The interim manager has selected Pogba for his opening two games and been rewarded with impressive displays from the midfielder. Sánchez and Lukaku have been out of form this season but Solskjær is adamant it is not down to him to improve them.Continue reading...
Things could get worse for Manchester City before they get better and Kyle Walker-Peters poses a few questions for Mauricio PochettinoContinue reading...
• ‘He can make the difference for Manchester United’
• Bournemouth next as Solskjær looks for third win in a row
Nemanja Matic has urged his team-mate Paul Pogba to keep improving while playing for Ole Gunnar Solskjær, saying that the Frenchman is capable of “doing even more”.
Pogba has been reinstated to the Manchester United team after the dismissal of José Mourinho, starting both games since the Portuguese manager departed, supplying two assists in the 5-1 victory at Cardiff City and scoring two in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield Town.Continue reading...