What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 16 min ago

Manchester United considering Rio Ferdinand for technical director role

Tue, 04/30/2019 - 14:16
• Former United captain has met with Ed Woodward
• Ferdinand, 40, was a teammate of Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Rio Ferdinand is among the candidates being considered for a senior football role at Manchester United.

Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, is seeking to appoint a technical director whose job will include long-term strategy of United’s first team.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær faces thankless task to revive Manchester United | Paul Wilson

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Romelu Lukaku admits he may leave Manchester United before next season

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 12:00

• Striker has struggled to start under Ole Gunnar Solskjær
• Champions League qualification key to decision

Romelu Lukaku has admitted he does not know whether he will still be at Manchester United next season.

The striker has struggled to be a first choice under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, though he did start Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær faces thankless task to revive Manchester United | Paul Wilson

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

Mon, 04/29/2019 - 08:22

Chris Hughton’s position looks uncertain after five successful years, Youri Tielemans catches the eye but Leicester will face a battle to keep him and Wolves show the way forward

When was the last time Manchester City finished a Premier League match with four centre-halves on the pitch? Pep Guardiola, who admitted he had been “trembling”, said he would have brought on another one if he had not already used all his substitutes and Sean Dyche said, with some pride, that he could tell the City manager was anxious. “I saw Pep Guardiola with my own eyes – and I heard it too – screaming, ‘Get it in the corner.’ That’s some compliment.” It was certainly not a stress-free afternoon at Turf Moor for the league leaders and reigning champions but 12 league wins in a row suggest City can handle the pressure. If they can make it 14, it will guarantee the championship trophy staying in Manchester and there are no signs that they will not be able to cope now the heat of the battle is close to intolerable. Daniel Taylor

Related: Ashley Barnes fails to provide twist that Jürgen Klopp wished for | Nick Ames

Related: Patience, scouting and the system: the story behind Norwich’s promotion

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 20:34

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

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær faces thankless task to revive Manchester United | Paul Wilson

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 20:32

A promising first-half performance against Chelsea from Solskjær’s team was undone by another self-inflicted mistake

This was not the result Ole Gunnar Solskjær was looking for. The Manchester United manager admitted beforehand that only a win would be good enough, though with Chelsea doing most of the attacking at the end he must have been pleased to avoid a third defeat in eight days.

Related: David de Gea’s blunder hands Chelsea a point at Manchester United

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær faces thankless task to revive Manchester United| Paul Wilson

Related: Sergio Agüero steers Manchester City towards title with win over Burnley

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær backs De Gea despite goalkeeper’s latest error

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 20:30

• ‘David has been unbelievable. We support each other’
• Chelsea injury worries over Willian and Antonio Rüdiger

Ole Gunnar Solskjær refused to say he should have dropped David de Gea after the goalkeeper’s latest blunder allowed Chelsea to draw 1-1 at Old Trafford and damaged Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League qualification.

“No,” said Solskjær when asked if De Gea should have been left out. “David has been a fantastic keeper at this club, his reaction after Manchester City was good and I was confident in him. He knows he could do better with their goal but it’s one of those things again.”

Related: David de Gea’s blunder hands Chelsea a point at Manchester United

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær faces thankless task to revive Manchester United| Paul Wilson

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Sarri and Solskjær defend de Gea after his error gifts Chelsea draw at Manchester United – video

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 20:29

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has joined Ole Gunnar Solskjær in defending Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea after his mistake let in Marcos Alonso to earn the Blues a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.

Alonso's goal before the break cancelled out Juan Mata's early strike for United and saw Chelsea move to a two-point cushion in fourth place, occupying the last Champions League qualifying spot.

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David de Gea’s blunder hands Chelsea a point at Manchester United

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 18:36

This draw frustrates Manchester United and cheers Chelsea who, after Arsenal’s capitulation at Leicester City earlier on Sunday, now have a Champions League berth in their control.

Related: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea: Premier League – live reaction

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær backs De Gea despite goalkeeper’s latest error

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Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea: Premier League – live reaction

Sun, 04/28/2019 - 18:29

Another hideous mistake from David de Gea gave Chelsea a point at Old Trafford and surely ended Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in the top four

6.29pm BST

“I feel quite privileged to have watched the two laziest centre forwards in world football on the pitch at the same time,” says Stephen Carr. “It feels as momentous as the Pacino-De Niro scene in ‘Heat’.”

6.26pm BST

That’s an excellent result for Chelsea, who look likely to play Champions League football next season. Manchester United will almost certainly be playing in the Europa League. They started the match superbly and deserved to lead through Juan Mata’s goal. But another bad mistake from David de Gea, which allowed Marcos Alonso to equalise just before half-time, changed the mood of the match and Chelsea were comfortable for almost all of a bitty second half.

6.25pm BST

Peep peep!

6.25pm BST

90+7 min De Gea makes a vital save from Higuain, although he didn’t know much about it.

6.23pm BST

90+6 min There’s a manic desperation to United’s attacking, but not so much in the way of quality.

6.20pm BST

90+3 min: Pedro clears off the line! Young’s deep, inswinging corner from the left was headed firmly towards goal by Rojo, and Pedro danced across the line to head clear. Chelsea would have been fuming had Rojo scored.

6.19pm BST

90+3 min McTominay wins a corner after a good header down from Sanchez, who is actually playing really well.

6.18pm BST

90+2 min Lukaku, who had been flagged offside, is denied anyway by an excellent save by Kepa.

6.18pm BST

90+1 min There are seven added minutes, mainly because of the injuries to Rudiger and Bailly.

6.17pm BST

90 min Hazard’s stinging shot from the edge of the area is blocked by McTominay, who had both arms held tight behind back in the VAR position.

6.16pm BST

89 min Young is booked for dissent. United can’t put Chelsea under any sustained pressure. Lukaku was brilliant in the first half hour but it looks like he shot his bolt.

6.15pm BST

88 min Pedro crashes over the bar from the right side of the box. Chelsea, for all their good play, have hardly bothered David de Gea in the second half.

6.12pm BST

86 min McTominay bullies Kante off the ball and finds Pogba, whose angled through pass to Lukaku is crucially intercepted on the edge of the area by Alonso.

6.12pm BST

85 min Can Manchester United score? They occasionally score.

6.11pm BST

84 min Willian, who is still feeling the impact of Rojo’s studs, limps off to be replaced by Pedro.

6.10pm BST

83 min Chelsea don’t need a winner, but it’s there for them if they want it enough. They are much the better side now.

6.08pm BST

81 min United started so well but they have lost their way in the second half, exemplified by Matic spraying a crossfield pass straight out of play. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes his final change, with Scott McTominay replacing Juan Mata.

6.07pm BST

80 min Willian is going to try to carry on, although he’s limping heavily.

6.07pm BST

79 min Rojo is booked for planting his studs into Willian’s ankle. It was an appalling, reckless challenge and he should have been sent off.

6.05pm BST

79 min United miss Marouane Fellaini. They do.

6.05pm BST

78 min Herrera sweeps a good pass out to Young, who then plays a dreadful pass towards Sanchez. He does well to win the ball off David Luiz near the byline, only to rake a miserable cross straight out of play.

6.03pm BST

77 min “Sanchez is improving,” says Matthew Stephens. “He’s touched the ball twice already.”

6.02pm BST

76 min Ruben Loftus-Cheek replaces Kovacic, who is brought off for his own protection.

6.02pm BST

75 min “Saying ‘David Luiz could’ve done X without faking an injury’ is tantamount to saying ‘Romario could’ve just put it in the net without humiliating the keeper so thoroughly’,” says Phil Podolsky. “Some things are signature elements of one’s art.”

6.01pm BST

74 min Willian wins a corner for Chelsea, who look the likelier scores. It’s been a stop-start half, which probably hasn’t helped United, although the bigger problem is their porcelain confidence.

5.59pm BST

73 min “I’d love to know what percentage of dedicated season-ticket football fans who cheer on all their foreign players every week voted for Brexit?” says Nigel Moore. “More than the national average, I bet.”

And the best thing is that, if you do want to place a bet, football can direct you about 500 different companies who will happily take your money. Thank you, football!

5.59pm BST

72 min Willian curls a free-kick over the bar from 25 yards.

5.58pm BST

71 min A stretcher is brought on for Bailly, but he’s able to limp slowly off the field with support from the medical staff. Marcos Rojo replaces him.

5.55pm BST

68 min Now Bailly is down injured after a challenge with Kovacic on the edge of the area. This looks really bad. It’s his right knee, and he’s in agony.

5.54pm BST

67 min Blimey. Bailly flattens Alonso just outside the area with what looked like a two-footed tackle. He got the ball but that doesn’t really matter.

5.53pm BST

66 min David Luiz is fine. I think he faked that injury to justify kicking the ball out of play so that Christensen could come on. Bit weird, as he could have just kicked it out anyway.

5.52pm BST

65 min Christensen comes on for Rudiger, but now David Luiz has gone down holding his groin. Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez has replaced Marcus Rashford. That looks like an injury as well.

5.51pm BST

65 min “Thoroughly enjoying the fifty-fifty challenge between Eden Hazard and Juan Mata,” says Joe Mann. “The footballing equivalent of war between Luxembourg and Andorra...”

5.51pm BST

64 min Antonio Rudiger is limping off with what looks like a recurrence of his knee injury. Andreas Christensen will replace him.

5.48pm BST

61 min “Further to the debate about De Gea,” says Robert Darby. “It is all well and good playing him against Cardiff and Huddersfield, but putting on his kit and jumping up and down between the posts before the kick-off is likely to be the sum total of all the action he will see.”


5.47pm BST

60 min Kovacic, who has already been booked, leaves one on Herrera. It wasn’t enough for a second yellow card, but his next tackle might be.

5.46pm BST

59 min A draw is of little use to United, unless they want to play on Thursday nights next season. It would be a decent result for Chelsea, though.

5.45pm BST

58 min Chelsea are looking threatening at the moment. It’s been a very enjoyable game, full of subtle momentum shifts.

5.43pm BST

56 min Hazard tries to test de Gea with a long-range shot that spins behind off Young. Willian’s corner is headed away by Bailly.

5.42pm BST

56 min “Couldn’t disagree more about de Gea,” says Reg Gorczynski. “He’s shown little loyalty to the club… missed a transfer last time only because of delayed fax…clearly holding out as (like Sanchez) he sees the club as a cash cow. I’d move him, and several other like-minded players, out NOW!”


5.42pm BST

55 min A United free-kick falls nicely for Bailly, who drags an apologetic left-footed shot straight at Arrizabalaga from 12 yards.

5.40pm BST

53 min Kovacic is booked for kicking the ball away.

5.40pm BST

52 min Willian is booked for a foul on Mata. He walks away in disgust, motioning extravagantly that he got the ball. Replays show he was right.

5.38pm BST

50 min Rashford’s free-kick kicks up awkwardly in front of Arrizabalaga, who does well to hold on with United players sniffing around for a fumble.

5.36pm BST

50 min Kante shoves Bailly over 30 yards from goal. Hazard was fouled just before that by Matic, so Chelsea will have a bit of a humour on if this leads to a goal.

5.34pm BST

48 min The manner of that equaliser has deflated United and invigorated Chelsea, who have started the second half confidently.

5.32pm BST

46 min Peep peep! Chelsea begin the second half, probably with instructions to shoot on sight.

5.32pm BST

“The knives will really be out for David de Gea but we must not forget that he is our best player since Sir Alex’s days and thus persist with his slump even if it is a gamble with the Champions league qualification,” says Adarsh Ashokan. “We as a club must show faith in him in such testing times which would show him that we value him very highly as a club and would like to resign a new contract.”

For what it’s worth - nowt - I agree. If they were about to play Liverpool in a Champions League semi-final, I think there would be a big decision to make, but I’d play him against Huddersfield and Cardiff. He’s an all-time great who’s having a bad spell; happens to them all.

5.30pm BST

J Stand chanting De Gea's name. Stretford End will doubtless warmly applaud him when he re-emerges. Deserves to be cut some slack but his form rivals his first six months at the club. #mufc

5.23pm BST

“A friend of mine once went on a double date in Chelsea, only to find out her half of the date was Juan Mata,” says Norrie Hernon. “‘Quite shy and very polite,’ apparently. No, she didn’t give any further details, despite my whinnying. Which is exactly how I imagined him.”

5.21pm BST

“I’m suggesting that after all that fawning, Neville is not the most partial of judges,” says Paul Fitzgerald.

Hmm, I’m not sure what your point is. We know Neville’s allegiance, and his friendship with Solskjaer, but whenever I’ve seen him on Sky Sports he has been as near to objective as dammit. When the time comes that Solskjaer is fighting for his job, I think he’ll be as considered and fair as he was with Mourinho, van Gaal and Moyes. I would agree there is a developing problem with grating bias, but there are other pundits who come to mind before Neville. Each to their own, I guess.

5.18pm BST

Peep peep! Juan Mata gave United an early lead before another sad error from David de Gea led to Marcos Alonso’s equaliser. The scoreline flatters Chelsea a touch, though they’ll not give a solitary one about that.

5.16pm BST

45+1 min Another opening for United. Rashford bursts into the box on the right and lofts a cross towards Mata beyond the far post. He cushions it back into the middle and Chelsea scramble it behind for a corner.

5.14pm BST

That was another surreal error. Rudiger moved forward and smashed a hopeful shot from 30 yards. It was well struck but straight at de Gea, who fumbled it to his right. Alonso, who was the only one to follow the ball in, bounced a clever shot across de Gea and in off the far post.

5.13pm BST

David de Gea has made another mistake!

5.12pm BST

43 min Herrera is booked for a foul on Alonso.

5.11pm BST

41 min A double stepover from Pogba is too much for Azpilicueta, who boots him and is lucky not to be booked. Pogba has been excellent in the first half.

5.10pm BST

40 min Mata’s lovely, dipping cross from the left is headed behind by the stopping Alonso. Nothing comes of the corner.

5.08pm BST

38 min “A lot of things are ridiculous,” says Paul Fitzgerald. “Such as Neville asking Ole where he wants his statue after the PSG game.”

Are you suggesting that was a serious question?

5.07pm BST

37 min I think Matic was trying to hold Azpilicueta off, but ultimately he elbowed him in the face and should at least have been booked.

5.06pm BST

36 min Azpilicueta is down holding his face after being hit by a flailing arm from Matic. Martin Atkinson waves play on, and United eventually kick the ball out.

5.05pm BST

35 min Matic slides a penetrative pass down the inside-left channel for Rashford, who runs at Rudiger in the area but gets the ball stuck under his feet.

5.04pm BST

34 min Lukaku, who is really up for this game, shoulder barges Azpilicueta into the advertising boards as they challenge for a ball on the left. Great stuff.

5.03pm BST

33 min Mata, played in on the right of the area by Herrera, crosses too close to Arrizabalaga. This is a fun, open game.

5.02pm BST

32 min “If Mata writes an autobiography,” says Kevin Wilson, “I want to read more about his love of Chinese art.”

I’d like to hear his thoughts on why so few footballers have bothered to pledge 1 per cent of their income to Common Goal.

4.59pm BST

30 min Bailly almost makes it 2-0. Young swung a corner from the left towards the six-yard line, where Bailly got between Alonso and Rudiger to plant a downward header just wide of the far post.

4.58pm BST

29 min “There are many factors, of course,” says Colum Farrelly, “but to what extent has the absence of Ander Herrera contributed to Utd’s recent poor form?”

A bit, yeah, although he did play in the FA Cup game at Wolves that really started the slump. He’s limited but I like him a lot and they’ll miss him.

4.58pm BST

28 min The resulting corner is headed by Rudiger onto the back of Alonso’s head, and luckily for Chelsea the ball ricochets to safety.

4.57pm BST

28 min Lukaku plays another nice through pass, this time to Rashford. Azpilicueta tracks him all the way to concede a corner. Excellent defending.

4.56pm BST

26 min Chelsea have been much the better side in the last 10 minutes, although they haven’t really worked David de Gea.

4.55pm BST

24 min “Mata’s only 31?” sniffs Hubert O’Hearn. “Seems like he’s been around since Stanley Matthews. One thing – when he retires, if he wants to do it, Juan Mata will have one fascinating autobiography to read. The scenes he’s seen in and out of clubhouses at Chelsea and United, my my.”

He’s not really the whistle-blowing type, is he.

4.53pm BST

23 min Willian and Jorginho try the Beckham/Scholes corner. Goal kick to Manchester United.

4.52pm BST

22 min This is a good spell for Chelsea. A poor header from Shaw goes straight to Higuain, but he redeems himself by blocking the subsequent shot.

4.49pm BST

20 min A couple of corners for Chelsea, the second of which is half cleared to Jorginho 25 yards out. Goal kick to Manchester United.

4.48pm BST

19 min There was a lovely line from Rob Hughes about Romario - “darting between defenders like a lizard between rocks” - which comes to mind even time Hazard slips past people. He is despicably good.

4.47pm BST

18 min Alonso cracks the free-kick over the bar.

4.47pm BST

16 min Hazard slips gloriously past Herrera, who trips him 25 yards from goal. He’s fortunate not to get booked for that.

4.46pm BST

14 min “Seems like Man U’s problem is pretty simply a lack of a technical director with clear authority over transfers,” says Joe Harvey. “An additional problem seems to be an organizational chart where no one knows who’s precisely responsible for what. For my taste, the TD has sole say and is higher up the chart than the manager, but that’s just me.”

Yes, agreed. When you see clubs like City (Manchester and Norwich), you realise how important it is to have a clear identity and purpose. I mean, there are lots of other problems at United but this is probably the biggest one.

4.42pm BST

12 min This is the same United system - and the same personnel, bar Bailly and De Gea - that Solskjaer used when they put Chelsea out of the FA Cup in February.

4.42pm BST

The goal was made by Lukaku, who chipped a beautiful pass over the defence into the path of Luke Shaw. Kepa came out to block the shot, so Shaw touched the ball across the area for Mata to score his right foot. There were a few defenders on the line but Mata stayed cool and passed it into the net.

4.41pm BST

It’s been coming, and that’s a really nice goal from Juan Mata.

4.40pm BST

10 min Lukaku plays an excellent pass to Shaw, whose low cross is kicked away by Azpilicueta. United are playing some good one-touch football.

4.38pm BST

9 min The first goal is even more important than usual, given the fragile confidence of both sides, United in particular.

4.37pm BST

8 min It’s been a breezy, open start to the game, with United in particular showing a zest and intent that hasn’t been evident of late.

4.36pm BST

7 min Rashford beats Alonso with a lovely turn on the right. He looks really sharp.

4.36pm BST

5 min “How can Neville be seen as an impartial judge when he obviously has an ever-ready excuse available for his friend Ole,” says Paul Fitzgerald. “Man Utd’s biggest problem is not just Ole’s lack of nous but former Utd players’ omnipresence and their sense of entitlement over the Utd debate.”

I think that’s harsh, verging on ridiculous, but that’s just my opinion.

4.34pm BST

4 min: Big save from Kepa! That was a great chance for Lukaku, who made a good run onto a long ball forward from Shaw and was through on goal. He spent too long trying to move the ball onto his left foot, which allowed Rudiger to get round, but Lukaku still managed to hit a low shot that was smothered by the outrushing Kepa.

4.33pm BST

4 min “Right now the Premier League table looks ridiculous,” says Phil Podolsky, “but overall the hierarchy at the very top seems to be less rigid than in all the other top leagues. You can see Chelsea buying, I dunno, Griezmann, Coutinho and Alaba and challenging for the title, with Liverpool weakened after losing Mane and Salah to the Spanish big two, City facing uncertainty after Pep walks out at the end of next season etc. (I know Chelsea have the transfer ban which they’re appealing, but in the realm of the hypothetical etc.)”

Yep, agreed. The top six has been set in stone for years, the Leicester miracle notwithstanding, but there’s been a lot of change within that sextet. It’s a different kind of predictable to Spain, Italy and Germany. I still prefer the Championship, though.

4.32pm BST

3 min A good attack from Chelsea. Hazard hammers a dangerous low cross that Kante flicks towards goal on the six-yard line, and Shaw comes round to make a fine block.

4.31pm BST

2 min “True about Azpilicueta,” says Nelson Kalberer, “but doesn’t he always look like he wants to kill someone?”

Yes. Here’s a picture of him in the tunnel, in fact.

4.30pm BST

1 min Peep peep! United kick off from right to left.

4.24pm BST

The players are in the tunnel. Cesar Azpilicueta looks like he wants to kill someone. Eden Hazard is laughing and joking.

4.09pm BST

Manchester City have beaten Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor, which leaves them two wins away from retaining the title.

Related: Burnley 0-1 Manchester City: Premier League – live!

3.37pm BST

There are just over 15 minutes remaining in the vital match between Burnley and Manchester City. You will not believe the score!

Related: Burnley v Manchester City: Premier League – live!

3.36pm BST

Pre-match reading

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær keen to have the last laugh ahead of Chelsea showdown

Related: Maurizio Sarri: I need two more years to make Chelsea title contenders

3.35pm BST

Ander Herrera, so impressive in the last two months, returns to the side in what looks like a diamond midfield. Juan Mata and Eric Bailly have also been taken out of cold storage.

Manchester United (4-D-2) de Gea; Young, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic; Herrera, Pogba; Mata; Rashford, Lukaku.
Substitutes: Romero, Rojo, McTominay, Darmian, Pereira, Sanchez, Martial.

2.35pm BST

Hello and welcome to live coverage of Manchester United v Chelsea from Old Trafford, the latest instalment in the strangely compelling stumble for Champions League places.

Actually, to call it a stumble might be bit generous. Spurs have lost six of their last league 10 games; Arsenal have lost four of the last five and were plugged 3-0 by Leicester earlier today. Manchester United have lost four of their last six league games – and seven out of nine in all competitions – while Chelsea, who are in reasonable form compared to the others, have still lost five of their last seven away games in the Premier League.

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