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Harry Maguire set to stay Manchester United captain for immediate future

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 12:06
  • Defender due to return for pre-season training next week
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær set to make long-term decision then

Harry Maguire will remain as Manchester United captain in the immediate future, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær to make a long-term decision when returning for pre-season training next week following the defender’s conviction for assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and attempted bribery on the Greek island of Mykonos.

Related: Harry Maguire's lack of apology 'shocking', says police officers' lawyer

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Harry Maguire's lack of apology 'shocking', says police officers' lawyer

Wed, 08/26/2020 - 11:02
  • Lawyer says apology would affect any appeals process
  • Footballer has said he is victim and vowed to clear name

The lawyer who represented two police officers in the Harry Maguire assault case says it is “shocking” there has been no apology from the Manchester United captain and his co-defendants.

Maguire, along with his brother Joe and their friend Christopher Sharman, were found guilty of assaulting a police officer, swearing, resisting arrest and attempted bribery at a court on the Greek island of Syros on Tuesday. The England player was handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence.

Related: Harry Maguire withdrawn from England squad after guilty verdict in Greece

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Maguire's career in danger of freefall after week that changed everything | Jamie Jackson

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 21:11

Maguire’s hard-earned status as a leader for club and country will be damaged by the guilty verdict delivered in Greece

Nightmare. There is no other prescient characterisation of the past few days for Harry Maguire which culminated in Tuesday’s conviction of the Manchester United captain in a Greek court on the charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery following a night out in Mykonos on Thursday.

Maguire, who pleaded not guilty to all counts, could surely not believe the judgment handed down by a three-member misdemeanours panel on the neighbouring island of Syros – or the punishment of a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days.

Related: Harry Maguire given suspended prison sentence after guilty verdict in Greece

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Harry Maguire found guilty of aggravated assault and attempted bribery in Greece

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 17:28
  • Manchester United defender had denied all charges
  • Maguire announces intention to appeal

Harry Maguire has been found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and attempted bribery by a three-member misdemeanours court convening on the Greek island of Syros.

The £190,000-a-week Manchester United and England defender had denied all charges and said he would appeal. Maguire was given a prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days that was suspended on account of the charges being misdemeanours and and the court’s acknowledgement of his clear criminal record. His two co-defendants, who included his footballer brother Joe, were handed 13-month sentences.

Related: Harry Maguire named in England squad amid trial in Greece

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The history of the Premier League in red cards

Tue, 08/25/2020 - 13:29

The Premier League has come a long way since 1992, as can be seen by the evolution of its sendings off

By Alex Hess for The Squall

In the Premier League’s inaugural season, the whiff of glamour was still very, very distant. The games were televised, and Gazza’s tears had given the “slum sport” of the 80s a new voguishness, but the football itself left a bit to be desired. While the terraces were now largely free of bloodthirsty oafs inflicting head wounds on each other, the same could not said of the pitch.

Related: How Middlesbrough's mid-1990s transfers changed English football

Related: When Leeds, Leicester and Wolves were relegated together in 2004 | Richard Foster

Related: The football industry needs to wake up to the climate emergency

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Harry Maguire hopes to make England squad despite arrest and trial in Greece

Mon, 08/24/2020 - 22:30
  • Gareth Southgate to name squad for Nations League games
  • Manchester United defender denies all charges

Harry Maguire is eager to be selected on Tuesday by Gareth Southgate in the England squad to face Iceland and Denmark early next month, because he believes he is in the right frame of mind to play despite the scandal that has built around his arrest and trial for “serial bodily harm” and “serial insult” in Greece.

Southgate has been forced to think deeply about whether to call up Maguire, normally an automatic pick, in the wake of the drama in Mykonos on Thursday night when the Manchester United captain and some of his friends became embroiled in a violent argument with a group of tourists outside a bar. Greek police officers were then involved, with Maguire alleged to have attacked one of them. He denies this and all the charges.

Related: Harry Maguire set to fly back from Greece after assault charge

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Paul Pogba to stay at Manchester United and sign new deal, says Mino Raiola

Sun, 08/23/2020 - 20:56
  • Player’s agent says United will not accept any bids
  • Pogba’s current deal set to expire in summer of 2021

Paul Pogba will not be sold by Manchester United this summer and talks over a new contract at Old Trafford will start soon, according to the France midfielder’s agent, Mino Raiola.

Related: Patrice Evra: 'Silence is a crime. You can’t be in silence any more'

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Patrice Evra: 'Silence is a crime. You can’t be in silence any more'

Sun, 08/23/2020 - 10:00

Former France and Manchester United defender on dressing up as a panda to combat racism and his admiration for Alex Ferguson

“Sometimes I don’t want to talk about all these things because, inside, I’m crying,” Patrice Evra says as we sit on his favourite bench in London. The former Manchester United defender shields his eyes on the hottest day of the summer as we look over the Thames in a discreet corner of Battersea. Evra has led me to his secret bench because we can talk here for more than two hours about his complex life.

Evra is well-known for his Instagram videos in which he shouts “I love this game” while singing along to Marvin Gaye, with or without Paul Pogba, or wearing a Panda costume as his gleeful way of undercutting racism. “I want to spread that positive message,” he says while acknowledging his own “dark energy”. After being racially abused he kicked one of his club’s fans at Marseille in 2017. Evra was also insulted in racial terms by Luis Suárez in 2011. He played in four Champions League finals and was one of Alex Ferguson’s favourite players in five Premier League-winning campaigns.

One of my brothers is called Mamadou. When he calls for a job, they hang up. He changed his name to Claude.

Related: Patrice Evra has come a long way from Marsala to Manchester via Monaco | Louise Taylor

When Ferguson left, United lost their DNA. I tried my best for David Moyes but I knew it would be a disaster.

Related: Michael Emenalo: ‘The narrative that white is good has to change’

Related: Kelly Cates: 'When the players took a knee it was breathtaking'

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How did model professional Harry Maguire end up in custody in Greece?

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 19:04

Manchester United defender has a reputation for being bright, solid, dependable, a safe pair of hands. What went wrong?

They are the kind of headlines that cause hearts to pound for football executives. “Premier League star arrested after drunken brawl.” And, on this occasion, there would be a detail that made it worse. Much worse. A police officer had allegedly been struck by the player during the incident.

For Manchester United and England, the shock was only intensified by the identity of the individual. If either the club or the national setup had made a hypothetical shortlist of who it might have been, Harry Maguire would not have been on it. He would not have been anywhere near it.

Related: Harry Maguire detained in Greece after alleged assault on police officer

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Harry Maguire co-operating with Greek authorities after alleged incident

Fri, 08/21/2020 - 11:07
  • England defender reported to have been in altercation
  • Maguire is on holiday in Mykonos before new season

Manchester United’s captain, Harry Maguire, was involved in an “alleged incident” on Thursday evening in Mykonos, with reports in Greece claiming the £80m signing was part of an altercation outside a bar on the island.

A statement from United on Friday read: “The club is aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night. Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully co-operating with the Greek authorities. At this time we will be making no further comment.”

Related: Harry Kane in quarantine and out of Tottenham training after Bahamas trip

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Dean Henderson to fight for Manchester United No 1 spot as Ramsdale joins Blades

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 21:23
  • Former Bournemouth goalkeeper to replace United loanee
  • Ramsdale returns to first club after spell on south coast

Aaron Ramsdale has returned to Sheffield United after joining from Bournemouth on a four-year deal.

The England Under-21 goalkeeper began his career with the Blades before leaving to join Bournemouth in 2017 and Chris Wilder’s side are believed to have spent £18.5m to secure his return.

Related: Steely and a winner: Sarina Wiegman fits the bill for Lionesses

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Football transfer rumours: David Brooks to sign for Manchester United?

Wed, 08/19/2020 - 09:30

This page has been waiting on you

Let’s get Jadon Sancho out of the way by saying that Manchester United have set their sights elsewhere and what would appear a rather less complicated deal for Bournemouth’s David Brooks. Jason Tindall, the former Eddie Howe assistant who is now manager, may not wish to sell but relegation has loosened Bournemouth’s hand.

Related: Chelsea reopen talks over Havertz fee but still at least €20m shy of valuation

Related: Arsenal wait on Gabriel Magalhães decision after agreeing fee with Lille

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Manchester United's failings give added meaning to transfer window

Tue, 08/18/2020 - 08:00

There is little problem with the strikers – although they could be more ruthless - but the defence has to be strengthened

A mystery, a conundrum, a riddle, wrapped in the enigma of a third-place Premier League finish and three lost semi-finals: Manchester United at the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s first full season as manager.

Yet this is the United of the post-Alex Ferguson era. One characterisation of the English champions in the seven years since he stepped away is that they have become used to mediocrity.

Related: 'I trust in myself': De Gea defends his role as Manchester United No 1

Related: Wily Sevilla show Manchester United that momentum is not a tactic | Jonathan Liew

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'I trust in myself': De Gea defends his role as Manchester United No 1

Mon, 08/17/2020 - 17:00
  • ‘I showed my qualities all the years,’ says Spanish keeper
  • Maybe we need a bit more experience in team, he adds

David de Gea trusts himself to continue as the Manchester United goalkeeper despite scrutiny of his dip in form.

De Gea, who has now been with United for nine seasons, committed a series of goal-costing errors towards the end of the season, a sequence that mirrored the close of the previous one. These included conceding a Stephen Bergwijn long shot that was hit directly at him in the 1-1 draw at Tottenham and Mason Mount’s similar attempt in the 3-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat by Chelsea.

Related: Solskjær blames youth and poor finishing for Manchester United defeat

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Wily Sevilla show Manchester United that momentum is not a tactic | Jonathan Liew

Mon, 08/17/2020 - 08:03

United have a loose philosophy and style of play, based largely on their electric front five. But they entrust too much to good feelings and blind faith

This, as José Mourinho might drily observe, is football heritage.

To lose one semi-final might be considered unfortunate. To lose two a coincidence. But in United’s third unsuccessful attempt to grease their season with silverware could be identified a clear pattern running through the club. It is not a problem that can be solved by signing Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish. Rather, it is something more systemic and deep-rooted, a malaise that took years to set in and may well take years to cure.

Related: Luuk de Jong sinks Manchester United and puts Sevilla in Europa League final

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Solskjær blames youth and poor finishing for Manchester United defeat

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 23:45
  • United lost third semi-final of season to Sevilla in Europa League
  • ‘When you don’t score you know you might be in for hard night’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær highlighted Manchester United’s poor finishing after his side failed to advance into the Europa League final and said his young players still had plenty to learn about closing out games and achieving consistency.

“We are still a young side, about three years younger than Sevilla on average,” the United manager said after a disappointing 2-1 defeat in Cologne. “I think you saw that tonight. There was tiredness but there was also inexperience. I think if we had taken our chances we would have won the game but that is not always how football works.

Related: Luuk de Jong sinks Manchester United and puts Sevilla in Europa League final

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Luuk de Jong sinks Manchester United and puts Sevilla in Europa League final

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 22:04

Manchester United’s long season ended in its 61st game and in semi-final heartbreak for the third time. Extra time appeared the favoured outcome before Luuk de Jong stole ahead of Victor Lindelöf and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to score the winner 12 minutes from time for Sevilla.

While they will meet Shakhtar Donetsk or Internazionale in Friday’s final, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side head for the beach and reflection on what might have been. A third-place Premier League finish is admirable but losing in the League Cup, FA Cup and now Europa League semi-finals is a disappointment United will not wish to repeat.

Related: Sevilla 2-1 Manchester United: Europa League semi-final – live!

Related: Solskjær blames youth and poor finishing for Manchester United defeat

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Sevilla v Manchester United: Europa League semi-final – live!

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 21:31

9.31pm BST

71 min: Navas crosses towards De Jong but it’s headed away. Sevilla have certainly stabilised but aren’t offering that much. Reguilon is caught clumsily by Wan Bissaka just outside the box though ...

9.28pm BST

69 min: Pogba drives optimistically over. We are starting to smell extra time ...

9.25pm BST

67 min: Sevilla have got a bit spikier, fouling a fair bit, but not too much sparkier with those changes. United, for their part, have gone a touch flat since that blistering first eight or nine minutes of the half. Rashford is booked for dissent when conceding a throw-in.

9.24pm BST

65 min: “Probably already done, but: at the risk of an intentional Partridge, I can only hope United score so Bono can mutter to himself ‘Sunday, bloody Sunday’,” says Tim Horner and, yes, two other people as well.

9.20pm BST

61 min: Bono has been good but I’d say none of those saves was “brilliant”. Most of the time he stood tall and didn’t commit rashly, and that kind of presence is so vital in a keeper. I tend to find saves, in and of themselves, are gushed over a bit too much 80% of the time. And now I’ll end this searing hot take.

9.17pm BST

58 min: It’s still all United, with Sevilla at sixes and sevens defensively, but Bono hasn’t been called upon to make a potentially gamechanging save for some five minutes now.

9.15pm BST

56 min: Attacking shakeup from Sevilla, who have put nothing together in this half. Ocampos is replaced by Munir, and De Jong comes on for En-Nesyri.

9.14pm BST

55 min: Going to need some pretty niche Bono puns at this rate. United could have won this game in the last 10 minutes. And might be worried they haven’t ...

9.13pm BST

53 min: My goodness me, Bono saves *again*! And AGAIN! United’s high press sees Martial mug Banega, Pogba subsequently returning the ball to the striker. He’s one-on-one but Bono stands up and saves with a foot. Moments later, he does something similar in an almost identical situation. This is a quite incredible spell.

9.10pm BST

50 min: Oh, and United have another big chance! And another! Bono comes to the rescue again with a big save at the far post from Martial, with Rashford then denied by last-ditch challenge from Fernando. Then a Fernandes drive inside the box is brilliantly blocked. Somehow Sevilla stay level!

9.08pm BST

49 min: United have, as in the first half, come out very positively here. Sevilla look far less convincing on the back foot than the front.

9.06pm BST

46 min: Great save by Bono! Forty-six seconds into the half, Fernandes wafts one through to Greenwood and the youngster’s first touch is superb. But so is the save, diverting the ball away when you’d have backed United to regain the lead!

9.04pm BST

The second half has started.

9.04pm BST

Gavin May asks: “Surprised no one felt the foul on Rashford for the pen wasn’t a red card – studs showing full force into the shin – endangering an opponent? Seen plenty of reds for similar fouls in the middle of the park.”

Maybe, it was a really poor challenge on second viewing. Equally, you don’t always see those ones after a shot given as pens (rightly or wrongly).

8.58pm BST

Toby emails, seemingly with the sole intention of making me blindly jealous:

“Hello from a very chilled out Leros in Greece. Social distancing is easy as there’s no one here! A joy. What a great game so far. Sevilla are a lovely side and Utd are looking better as the game goes on. Think we’re on for a cracking second half with Utd to edge it. Fingers crossed.”

8.49pm BST

A fine half played at a great tempo. Suso equalised Fernandes’ early penalty and I make that fair, at this point. Don’t go away – anything could happen here.

8.48pm BST

45+2 min: Marvellous play by Pogba on the edge of his box sends Rashford away again, and he gets into the Sevilla area with defenders backing off and looking petrified. But he gets his feet in a muddle and Sevilla survive!

8.46pm BST

45+1 min: Another parry from Bono – this time when Fernandes sets himself up a volley and thuds one down the keeper’s throat from 20 yards.

8.45pm BST

45 min: Rashford sears down the left, cuts inside but shoots well wide. Two added minutes of the half to come.

8.43pm BST

43 min: Williams and En-Nesyri, the Sevilla striker, have a tussle and Williams goes down, with United claiming there were some naughty afters. Didn’t see much that fitted that description, really, and nothing is done.

8.42pm BST

42 min: Ocampos tracks back assiduously to rob Greenwood. Sevilla do have some lovely players. So do United – which means we’ve had a really interesting first half.

8.39pm BST

39 min: Fair play, that was quite a hit from Rashford given the range. Bono has to make sure and parry the wickedly moving ball.

8.38pm BST

38 min: United are more on the front foot now, Greenwood and Martial just finding themselves crowding out as they tip-tap towards the six-yard box. Banega then concedes a free-kick and United might have a shooting chance from 30+ yards ...

8.35pm BST

35 min: “You can guarantee a Man Utd penalty will get rival fans throwing conspiracy theories all over the place. But it stands to reason that a team that had quick, fleet footed attackers should get more penalties. Plus with VAR, surely a poorly given penalty would be overruled? Besides the Villa penalty, can anyone name one Utd didn’t get fairly?” asks Kevin Wilson.

Let’s head this off at the pass – I agree with this email.

8.33pm BST

33 min: Pogba tries to free Rashford but it’s cut out. Then Martial has a great sight of goal from 18 yards after Greenwood tees him up ... but he whips his first-time effort just over!

8.31pm BST

32 min: Reguilon, on loan from Real Madrid, is absolute *lightning* down there. His latest foray is held up but what a player he looks.

8.29pm BST

29 min: Fernandes, full of fun, tries to catch Bono off his line from halfway. He overcooks it but United do need to rediscover the flair they showed at the start.

8.28pm BST

28 min: Maguire heads a corner harmlessly over. We really have a game here!

8.27pm BST

They’d been threatening and probably deserve it. The goal is a fine one, Ocampos feeding the bursting Reguilon – who has been excellent from left-back. Reguilon’s low centre is perfect for ex-Liverpool man Suso to slam home at the far post. United are furious as they, not Sevilla, should have been awarded a throw-in at the start of the move – but that’s not in VAR’s remit. And to be fair, Sevilla were 70 yards from goal at that point.

8.25pm BST

24 min: A slightly scrappy phase, though Ocampos heads over from a Reguilon cross as I type. United seem to want to lure Sevilla’s full-backs as high as possible and then streak in behind.

8.22pm BST

22 min: A dangerous low Navas centre from the right is hacked away. He’s still got legs at 34! Could he have done a job for City last night ... ? (*hides*)

8.19pm BST

19 min: That penalty was United’s 22nd of the season, conspiracy wizards! At the moment they seem happy to sit in a bit more.

8.18pm BST

@NickAmes82 Bono in nets for Sevilla, is the Edge at fullback? Paul watching in Murcia

About 10 zillion of you have sent this in but it’s easiest, in the heat of the battle, to paste a tweet.

8.16pm BST

16 min: De Gea parries a meaty shot from the lively Ocampos, from an angle on the left. This game is absolutely not done, Sevilla are bright and bubbly going forward.

8.14pm BST

14 min: Good chance for Fred! United win the ball, initially through Fred actually, and then sweep upfield. Fred is in acres on the right side of the box but would rather the ball was on his left foot. He slices wide of the near post with his right.

8.12pm BST

13 min: Sevilla’s goalkeeper is called Bono and, as you might expect, my inbox is buckling under all your wisecrackery. Keep it coming and I’ll try my best to do an email roundup at the break.

8.11pm BST

11 min: Sevilla look for an instant response and again make hay down that left side, but Banega can’t quite control well enough to get a shot in when reasonably placed.

8.09pm BST

A hop, a jump and a quite brilliantly taken penalty into the top corner. His 12th goal for United!

8.08pm BST

Martial slips Rashford in and his shot is well parried by Bono ... but he’s clipped by Diego Carlos on the follow-through and United have a spot kick! Did the follow-through affect the shot? I’m not sure. But Fernandes will take it, pending a VAR check ...

8.06pm BST

7 min: Ever Banega, one of the best “almost top-top-top” players of recent years, is pulling some strings early on. If Sevilla lose it’ll be his last game for them – he’s off to Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia. But oh ... !

8.04pm BST

5 min: Sevilla had a frayed first minute or two but now, from a good move down the left, Reguilon earns them a corner. It’s headed away by Fernandes at the near post. But a good brisk tempo to this early on.

8.02pm BST

2 min: Good start from United! Greenwood slices into the box but can’t quite make room for a shot. Fernandes has a blast but it’s deflected behind, and then Maguire heads over after the corner is half-cleared but inflicts a foul in the process.

8.00pm BST

United, right to left, kick off.

7.57pm BST

The players are emerging ... we will kick off soon! United in black, Sevilla in white.

7.54pm BST

From Woolie Madden: “As part of my research before this game (each Europa League game I submit a 20-page dossier for inclusion in my son’s school newsletter – none printed so far) I came across the surprising fact that Sevilla have had an English, a Scottish and two Irish managers in their history. But for me, no one can top the wonderful six months in 1995 when they were managed by the marvellously named Otto Bumbel.”

I think it might have been in 1964 unless we are looking at different Otto Bumbels – we wouldn’t want the kids being misinformed now. Otherwise, heck of a name and do go on Wiki for a look at his career, quite a life ...

7.49pm BST

“In what world can we see this one-off tournament format continuing? Whatever happens tonight, everything in Lisbon and Köln has been buckets of fun and I’d be only too pleased to see it happen with fans one day. Obviously participating clubs wouldn’t be too keen on losing matchday revenue from two-legged ties, but this just seems too good to drop,” asks Matthew Richman.

It’s been great, hasn’t it? I get that it means aberrations are more likely but what’s wrong with that? I think everyone agrees it’s been a success – but I don’t see it continuing in “normal” circumstances. The big dogs want more face-offs against each other, not fewer.

7.44pm BST

“Big call to put in Fred over Matic, hope it works out for Ole and we make the final,” writes Neil Carter.

Definitely an eye-catcher but Fred did start against Copenhagen and Linz.

7.22pm BST

Some Manchester United transfer news ...

Related: Manchester United's Tahith Chong completes loan to Werder Bremen

7.08pm BST

Get in the mood for the match ...

Related: Solskjær hopes to make final the first of many for Manchester United | Paul Wilson

7.00pm BST

Sevilla: Bono, Navas, Kounde, Carlos, Reguilon, Banega, Fernando, Jordan, Suso, En-Nesyri, Ocampos

Subs: Vaclik, Javi Diaz, Sergi Gomez, Escudero, Gudelj, Vazquez, Oliver Torres, Munir, De Jong, Lara, Genaro y Pablo Perez.

6.15pm BST

This European knock-out stuff is proving to be a jolly good wheeze, isn’t it? That was certainly the case for Manchester United fans last night, anyway, as they watched City flunk it in the Champions League against a – let’s be honest – modest Lyon side. And it was the case for literally anyone who isn’t desperate for Barcelona to win games of football, or Bayern to lose them, just 24 hours previously. So what awaits in the second continental competition tonight?

Between them, these two have won six of the last 14 Europa Leagues. OK, so five of those have gone to Sevilla but this is definitely a clash of heavyweights – with the winner facing Internazionale or Shakhtar in what is a mouthwatering climax to this tournament. Both sides scraped through the quarters, Sevilla overcoming Wolves late on and United edging it against Copenhagen. The La Liga side – they finished fourth –also beat Roma en route here so have arguably had the tougher journey. But all bets are off tonight, in my book. This semi-final could be an absolute belter and seems too tough to call.

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Manchester United's Tahith Chong set for loan to Werder Bremen

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 10:42
  • Chong given permission to train with Bundesliga club
  • The Dutch winger is contracted to United until 2022

Manchester United winger Tahith Chong has joined up with Werder Bremen’s pre-season training camp in Austria ahead of a potential loan move to the Bundesliga club.

Related: Solskjær hopes to make final the first of many for Manchester United | Paul Wilson

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Solskjær hopes to make final the first of many for Manchester United | Paul Wilson

Sun, 08/16/2020 - 08:00

After producing a leaner, fitter, infinitely more watchable side the manager wants to make the most of chance to beat Sevilla in the Europa League semi-final

It was probably just the heat that prompted Ole Gunnar Solskjær to go for the controlled casual look in Manchester United’s last game against Copenhagen, though there was no mistaking that the figure sitting alone in the dugout in white shirtsleeves looked cooler and more relaxed than his more animated counterpart, Ståle Solbakken.

Perhaps that is no big deal, though Solskjær at the moment can arguably do relaxed better than Jürgen Klopp or Pep Guardiola. Less than two years after returning to Manchester United as manager he is almost at the Carlo Ancelotti level of detached serenity, but with considerably better results. The background noise that accompanied his first year back in the Premier League, the good luck charm effect of a fresh-faced antidote to José Mourinho wearing off as soon as his caretaker status was made permanent and the doubts that surrounded the club sticking with a relative novice when Mauricio Pochettino had made himself available for the job subsided some time ago.

Related: Solskjær's simple plan hints at red dawn for new-look Manchester United | Barney Ronay

Related: Martial provides the drive to prolong Manchester United's endless season | Barney Ronay

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