What the papers say
There was razzmatazz, a “Welcome to the Jungle” soundtrack” and no fairy tale for Wayne Rooney. Instead of a script with Manchester United’s record goalscorer haunting them for Derby, the visitors ruined the Rooney party and Odion Ighalo signalled he may have a future at Old Trafford beyond his temporary deal.
As with the latter days of his 13-year United career Rooney was glimpsed only around the edges of a match that ended with his former club securing passage to Norwich for a quarter-final, and Ighalo the scorer of two goals to take his tally to three.Continue reading...
- FA Cup updates from the 7.45pm kick-0ff
- Wayne Rooney: ‘As a kid every half-time I argued with Ferguson’
- And you can email Simon here or tweet him here
Six changes for Manchester United, with Odion Ighalo, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata among those coming in. Harry Maguire has turned an ankle in training and thus spends the evening at home with an icepack. Rooney as expected starts for Derby.
The boss has made 6️⃣ changes from Sunday's game at Goodison Park #MUFC
Tonight’s the night! The night, that is, when Derby County, the only non-Premier League team left in the FA Cup, travel to Old Trafford where all eyes will be on a certain Wayne Mark Rooney, their captain and player-coach, formerly of course of United. People will gaze upon his bearded visage, and shake their heads and talk about how much better he used to be, just as they have been for approximately the last 15 years (though for much of that time he didn’t have the beard).Continue reading...
Today’s tittle-tattle has got five on it
It’s been 125 days since José Mourinho took over as Tottenham manager. Let’s see how he’s getting on. Oh. Oh boy. Dear me. Oh wow. Mourinho will have had a rough night’s sleep, those Spurs pyjamas itching him terribly, and his mood won’t improve when he sees the morning papers. Those pesky Harry Kane to Manchester United rumours are back, with the added twist that Kane himself is keen on the move. Yikes!
United are planning to bring in Kane as part of a big-money revamp, along with Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Birmingham midfielder Jude Bellingham. Whether it’ll be under Ole Gunnar Solskjær remains to be seen; Mauricio Pochettino’s stock is rising with every Spurs pratfall, but he may end up at Real Madrid. The Spanish giants are set to react to the humiliation of losing the odd game by sacking Zinedine Zidane and splurging a sack of Euros on Kylian Mbappé.Continue reading...
Before the FA Cup tie Derby’s player-coach discusses the way back for Manchester United and why his second Everton exit rankles
Four months on, the sight of Wayne Rooney in a Derby County tracksuit is still somewhat unusual. Even more so given he is discussing tackling Manchester United on Thursday, emitting a warm glow as he tries to sum up more than a decade at Old Trafford: 13 years, 12 trophies, 559 appearances and a record 253 goals. “I loved it there,” he says. “Some huge highs and some lows. When you’ve been somewhere so long, and you look back on it, your old teammates and the staff, it was the main part of my career. It was enjoyable and something I’ll look back on with great memories. There was obviously the time when I nearly left the club, which I regret. There were lows but they were certainly outweighed by the highs.”
For Rooney the FA Cup fifth round promises to be a special, if not a slightly strange occasion at a sold-out Pride Park but facing United is not an alien prospect after twice doing so on his return to Everton three years ago. By the end of the 2017-18 season, Everton deemed Rooney dispensable and he left for DC United until touching down at Derby. The muddiness of that second Goodison Park exit rankles. “It was a big thing for me to go back there. There were things that got said, or didn’t get said. At the end of the day all I wanted from Everton was a bit of honesty with the situation. I said to them: ‘I’m not a child, I’ll accept whatever you want to happen here.’ That was the only disappointment. But Everton is a fantastic club, I’m delighted for them bringing [Carlo] Ancelotti in and they look like they are thankfully, finally, moving forward.”Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has warned that Wayne Rooney will want to prove there is 'life in an old dog' when Manchester United face Derby County in Thursday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie. The 34-year-old left United for Everton in the summer of 2017 after a glittering 13-year career in which he became the club’s record goalscorer with a tally of 253 goals and 12 major honours. He joined Derby as player-coach in January after a spell at DC United in MLSContinue reading...
There are plenty of special Rooney moments for Manchester United fans to recall before he faces them with Derby
It is a pity in some ways that fifth-round replays have been abolished in the FA Cup. Wayne Rooney turns 35 this year, and with Derby County in the bottom half of the Championship the chances seem slim of a return to Old Trafford to allow the Manchester United faithful one last chance to show their appreciation.
Doubtless Rooney will be warmly received by the travelling United support at Pride Park for Thursday’s Cup tie, though one imagines the Manchester reaction to a fleeting visit by a card-carrying club legend would be something to behold. Perhaps the former England striker is not quite as revered as, say, Eric Cantona, because he joined a winning side rather than completing an emerging one; stayed longer, possibly a season or two too long; confounded a few managers; held a gun to the club’s head on a couple of occasions and failed to amuse the world with gnomic utterances about seagulls following trawlers, but if the Frenchman was half-footballer, half-folk myth Rooney has the numbers to prove he is the complete United hero.Continue reading...
- Rooney will line up for Derby against United in FA Cup
- Striker scored 253 goals in 13 years at Old Trafford
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has warned that Wayne Rooney will want to prove there is “life in an old dog” when facing Manchester United for Derby County in Thursday’s FA Cup fifth round tie.
The 34-year-old left United for Everton in the summer of 2017 after a glittering 13-year career in which he became the club’s record goalscorer with a tally of 253 and claimed 12 major honours. He joined Derby as player-coach in January after a spell at DC United in MLS.Continue reading...
Underrated Pearson has transformed Watford, Wolves’ unsung hero comes to fore and Messi and Griezmann just don’t click
The sound of a top-flight stadium reverberating to “We’ve got super Nigel Pearson, he knows exactly what we need” (tune: Bad Moon Rising) can be filed among the things few envisaged in August. But Watford’s win against Liverpool was a measure of the uplift one of the season’s less likely appointments has contrived. “He is always about feet on the floor, he [has] never overreacted and you have to stay focused,” said Abdoulaye Doucouré. “He showed us videos and said we can do it. Nigel is a great, great manager, a great lad, and now he will keep everyone on the floor to make sure we keep our goal to stay up.” Pearson’s tactical acumen can be underrated – as he showed with his setup against the leaders, stretching Liverpool yet managing to stay compact – but his man-management is getting crucial extra percentages out of his players. Nick AmesContinue reading...
- Manager ‘asked for an explanation’ over VAR-disallowed goal
- Adds: ‘If I am banned I will be disappointed’
Carlo Ancelotti claimed he should not have been sent off and VAR should have allowed Everton a stoppage‑time victory against Manchester United as the Goodison Park stalemate ended in controversy.
Everton’s manager was shown a red card after the final whistle by the referee Christopher Kavanagh for demanding an explanation over the decision to disallow Harry Maguire’s own goal in the third minute of stoppage time.Continue reading...
Everton were denied a late winner against Manchester United after a strike from Dominic Calvert-Lewin was deemed to have been obstructed by Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was sat on the ground in front of David De Gea. At the full-time whistle a raging Carlo Ancelotti was shown a red card by the referee.
Speaking after the match, the Italian joked that his sending off was 'not the first time and it will not be the last'. When asked about the goal, ruled out by VAR, Ancelotti admitted that it was a 'really difficult decision'
The January recruit has teamed up with Fred to excellent effect and has made United’s midfield a more urgent, fully functioning unit
The good news for Ole Gunnar Solskjær is that Manchester United did not throw in the towel here as they did in losing 4-0 last season.
Even after making a comically inept start and gifting Everton an opening goal inside three minutes, they kept their cool and kept going.Continue reading...
There was no need for Ole Gunnar Solskjær to issue a public apology after this visit to Goodison Park but the preservation of Manchester United’s unbeaten run, and with it their hopes of Champions League qualification, was thanks to VAR as well as another injection of quality from Bruno Fernandes.
“You’re just hoping, fingers crossed, they make a decision that benefits you,” Solskjær said after the highly eventful draw. Given Carlo Ancelotti’s anger after the final whistle, and the red card that greeted the Everton manager’s red mist, they certainly did that.Continue reading...
Bruno Fernandes equalised for United after an early David de Gea error but there was controversy in injury time as Everton had a winner ruled out
Here’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who says that goal should have stood: “Gylfi moves his legs out the way, the keeper’s never gonna save it ... he’s not in his line of sight”.
The official verdict from VAR is that Sigurdsson was in De Gea’s line of sight. Anyway, I’ll throw it over to you, readers:
Should Everton's late winner have counted? #EVEMUN
VAR? Huh! What is it good for? Overturning late winners that probably shouldn’t have stood, in this case.
That goal was the type that would have been flagged before, an incorrect decision costing United a deserved point – and it would have been particularly harsh on Maguire, who was otherwise brilliant. I’m still a bit confused as to how interfering with play – an extremely subjective call – was so quickly overturned.
FT: Tottenham 2-3 Wolves What a result for Wolves, who fought back from 1-0 and 2-1 down to leapfrog Spurs and go sixth.
Ancelotti is livid, and remonstrates at length with Chris Kavanagh, who shows him a red card! That’ll be a touchline ban for Carlo.
One more Everton corner after that drama, but Richarlison heads over. And with that, the boos ring out around Goodison.
The replays show that Sigurdsson didn’t touch the ball, but lifted his legs to let it roll in. He’s a mile offside, and interfering with play – even if I’m not sure a wrong-footed De Gea would have stopped it anyway.
Have Everton just won it?! What utter, utter scenes. Richarlison finds himself in space, and lays the ball back to Sigurdsson, four yards out ... but now De Gea turns it away with his boot! Narrative.
But it’s turned back in, hits Maguire’s heel, trickles past Sigurdsson on the deck – and in! The place erupts, but this is going to a VAR check, post-haste ...
90 mins: Pickford saves Everton! United come again, and Mata plays in Fernandes. He gets a looping shot away under pressure and Pickford gets a glove to it. It’s dropping right into Ighalo’s path though – but somehow, Pickford springs across goal and gets a boot to it!
89 mins: At the other end, Sigurdsson gives away a cheap corner, but Mata’s low effort is risible, and Sidibe clears.
88 mins: Sidibe’s tired-looking cross is cleared by Maguire. From Everton’s 800th corner of the second half ... Maguire heads clear.
87 mins: Richarlison shimmies past Wan Bissaka and Fred down the left, but his cut back is turned behind by Lindelöf. The Swede also meets the corner, but the whistle goes for a push, by Davies on De Gea.
85 mins: Everton corner, and you guess which slab-shaped head gets to the ball first. Fernandes may get man of the match but Maguire has been fantastic. Two contrasting performances, in fairness.
83 mins: Another promising Everton free kick as Fred fouls Davies close to the byline. Maguire heads it clear again!
82 mins: Moise Kean is on for the final stages, replacing Andre Gomes, who has come through an 80-minute workout unscathed. Carlo’s going for the win!
81 mins: Sidibe has been booked for coming back on without the referee’s permission. He can’t quite get the hang of the whole “getting on the field” thing, can he?
80 mins: Fernandes finds space on the edge of the area, but his low shot lacks power and Pickford gathers.
79 mins: Carragher said Baines was lucky not to have scored an own goal there which seemed a) harsh and b) a bit rich, coming from him.
Team news is in from Wembley, where Phil Foden starts for City. Kevin De Bruyne is on the bench. Join Simon Burnton here:
77 mins: United break at speed, Fernandes absolutely roasting Gomes for pace, then firing a low cross towards Ighalo – but Baines gets back to cut it out! Superb work, stopping what looked a certain goal.
76 mins: Another Everton corner, this time taken by Baines from De Gea’s left – and it’s the best delivery so far, dipping right in front of goal, where Maguire thrusts a knee at it to clear.
Tottenham 2-3 Wolves: Raúl Jiménez has put Wolves ahead! As it stands, they’ll be going level on points with United ...
72 mins: Two changes for United; Odion Ighalo and Juan Mata are on, Greenwood and McTominay off.
71 mins: Sigurdsson’s free kick is slammed into the United wall. Perhaps it’s for the best: Fred didn’t handle the ball, so we’d all have to talk about VAR again.
70 mins: Maguire wins a couple of big headers to clear the danger, but Everton get a free kick right in the Sigurdsson zone from a Fred handball. He’s booked, then gives the referee a nudge, and Maguire has to make another timely intervention, dragging the midfielder away.
69 mins: Calvert-Lewin canters onto a Davies through-ball, but is shepherded wide by Maguire. He gets a low shot away, which De Gea saves with his feet.
68 mins: Halfway through the second half, and this game is very much up for grabs.
66 mins: A couple of corners from Sigurdsson, but he can’t find that killer delivery.
64 mins: So much of Everton’s attacking play has involved the two strikers making a nuisance of themselves on the edge of the box. Here, Richarlison turns smartly but his shot is charged down by Maguire ...
63 mins: Another Everton corner, as Matic continues an efficient afternoon by cutting out Baines’ cross. It’s cleared but the hosts come again, until Gomes’ aimless through ball rolls behind.
62 mins: Walcott, who’s been largely peripheral, is replaced by Bernard.
61 mins: Fernandes plays the corner short, takes it back, dances past two defenders and has a shot hurriedly closed down by Tom Davies. This guy is absolute box office.
60 mins: More magic from Fernandes, a clever dummy playing in Greenwood, who finds Martial to his left. His shot is closed down, deflecting behind for a corner.
59 mins: Lindelof gets the better of Calvert-Lewin this time, holding the striker off smartly.
Tottenham 2-2 Wolves: Diogo Jota has got Wolves level again against Spurs, turning in Doherty’s cross.
56 mins: Everton hit the post! It’s Sigurdsson who takes it, from a fair way out wide – but he goes for goal, and curls a terrific effort onto the near post! De Gea wasn’t getting there – I reckon an inch to the right, and that’s pinging in.
55 mins: Calvert-Lewin gets some change from the United defence, a quick switch of direction outfoxing Lindelof, who brings him down. Dangerous free kick ...
53 mins: It’s been a bit of a slow, scrappy start to the second half.
51 mins: Fernandes tries to set Martial free down the left with the outside of his boot, but Sidibe gets back to clear, and the corner is dealt with.
50 mins: United look to break from an Everton corner, but Fred’s pass is mishit and the hosts scurry back. Gomes draws a foul to give them some breathing space.
As many, many people are pointing out on Twitter, it’s been a very good afternoon for Manchester United and England’s Dean Henderson so far.
47 mins: Scott McTominay wins a foul after muscling past Gylfi Sigurdsson. Bruno Fernandes lifts it towards Harry Maguire but he’s in “double coverage”, to borrow an NFL expression.
We’re back under way. We’ve had goalkeeping errors, big-money signings impressing, and a few dodgy tackles. A solid 8 on the Barclays-o-meter so far.
“With Bruno in the team, all the United players seem more confident in possession and in their movements off the ball. Plus he’s absolute mustard isn’t he?” writes Duncan Edwards, who was always going to a United fan.
Tottenham 2-1 Wolves: It won’t be level at the break in the other top-flight game. Serge Aurier’s stunner has put Spurs back in front!
After a nightmare start, United were much the better side, and were good value for their equaliser – even if it came after more iffy goalkeeping. Things then turned scrappy and spiky, with both teams in need of the break to clear their heads.
46 mins: Oof! This is Everton’s best chance since the first five minutes. Baines whips in a tempting outswinger from near the corner flag and Richarlison flings himself at it – but just can’t connect with the header!
44 mins: Maguire goes in the book for a foul on Calvert-Lewin. Four yellow cards in the last five minutes.
“That was a lovely goal by Bruno. He has single-handedly saved Ole’s job,” says Mary Waltz. I don’t know about single-handed – players like Fred have improved immensely, too – but he’s been quite the January signing.
42 mins: Davies does go in the book now, for a ragged tackle on Matic. He got a let-off, and he wasted it.
40 mins: Things are getting a bit spicy all of a sudden, with Calvert-Lewin upending Shaw, and Tom Davies then getting involved. It’s all threatening to boil over, with Ancelotti and Duncan Ferguson (!) trying to drag Davies away. Calvert-Lewin is booked, and Shaw gets a yellow for his reaction.
39 mins: Everton fans are unhappy as United fail to return possession from the throw-in. Richarlison is still on but moving awkwardly – and now takes another knock from Maguire ...
37 mins: It’s the second time Richarlison has spent time on the deck in this half, and he’s looking fragile. He goes down again soon after play restarts, and may have to come off ...
Tottenham 1-1 Wolves: A leveller at Spurs too, as Matt Doherty gets Wolves on terms.
35 mins: Richarlison is down after a stray boot from Fred catches him on the knee.
Fernandes collected Matic’s short pass in midfield, was given time and space 20 yards out, and fired a low, swerving shot towards the near post. It was certainly moving, but Pickford will be disappointed. He gets down to it, but the ball zips under his arm and in!
Bruno Fernandes strikes again, and United are deservedly level!
30 mins: United win a corner, which Fernandes whips in. Holgate’s looping header has Pickford back tracking, before Maguire is penalised for a foul ...
28 mins: Gareth Southgate is here, principally to keep tabs on Jordan Pickford. Surely Calvert-Lewin has earned a shot with England, particularly given their injuries up front?
27 mins: Seamus Coleman is going off, having taken a knock to his ankle. Djibril Sidibe has his socks on, and comes on to replace him at right-back.
25 mins: Calvert-Lewin finds Richarlison on the edge of the area, and he controls well before sending it left to Sigurdsson. It’s a touch overhit though, and the move fizzles out.
24 mins: Free kick wide left for Everton, with Baines and Sigurdsson over it. It’s the latter who whips it in, and it drops into an awkward area for United, but it’s scrambled clear before Calvert-Lewin can react.
22 mins: Fernandes with a cheeky nutmeg for the YouTube compilation, then a low cross that only troubles the side netting.
20 mins: More attacking intent from United, Fernandes linking things up nicely before Shaw’s curious cross-shot goes nowhere. 62% possession so far.
“As a Everton fan I will take the goal as credit even though it was due to De Gea’s brain cramp,” says Mary Waltz. Hey, they all count.
18 mins: Gomes gets the better of compatriot Bruno Fernandes, shrugging him off and proceeding into the box, where his shot is blocked. An Everton fan screams “second ball!!” loud enough for everyone in the ground to hear.
17 mins: Fred is making useful inroads on the left of that diamond; his cross is perfect for Mason Greenwood, who should probably have done better with a free header from 10 yards, which he puts over the bar.
Tottenham 1-0 Wolves: Over in North London, Steven Bergwijn has fired Spurs ahead, following up after Dele Alli’s effort was saved.
14 mins: Everton haven’t been able to build on that early gift; they’re sitting deep and struggling to build attacks just now.
12 mins: United fans appeal for a penalty as Fred’s powerful shot is charged down by Richarlison, standing about six inches away. It struck his arm, but thankfully we’re not seeing those given these days.
11 mins: Although to be fair, they’ve responded really well – and Matic tests Pickford with another rocket from the edge of the box. He gets down well to turn it away.
@niallmcveigh pretty prescient pre-match chat from Solskjaer on MUTV, then?
Well, quite. There was absolutely zero danger when De Gea got the ball; they’ve basically given Everton a goal start ...
9 mins: Shaw gets upfield and picks out Martial with a pass to feet. The striker turns, but scuffs his shot well wide.
6 mins: United hit the bar! This game is being played at a fair old whip, with United getting forward at pace. Fred cuts in from the left and cuts back to Matic, whose effort from 20 yards crashes off the crossbar!
5 mins: Calvert-Lewin almost adds a second! A long ball upfield puts him in behind, but De Gea begins making up for that error with a fine, low save to his left.
What was that about making a good start? United play the ball around at the back, and De Gea lines up a hoof downfield – but he takes too long, Calvert-Lewin closes him down – and the ricochet flies into the net!
OH. MY. WORD. What a mistake from David de Gea!
1 min: Everton charge forward and Richarlison is felled by a firm, but fair challenge from Lindelöf. He stays down for a moment or two, but is OK to carry on.
Here we go!
The teams are in the tunnel, the sirens from “Z-Cars” warming things up outside. This could be a cracker; let’s hope for some more thrikers like these:
Souness and Keane, football’s own Statler and Waldorf, are at it again while talking about André Gomes: “takes too long on the ball”; “unbelievably slow”. “I like him,” Souey adds, somewhat unconvincingly.
Solskjær has had a quick pre-match chat with MUTV. He says Dan James is out as a “precaution” but should be back next week. “This is a tough place to play, if you don’t get off to a good start,” he adds.
There’s another 2pm kick-off in the Premier League today, with Spurs facing Wolves. Defeat for United here would allow the winner of that game to jump into fifth. Here’s a bit of team news, and I’ll do my best to keep you abreast of any goals there.
Tottenham: Gazzaniga; Aurier, Sanchez, Tanganga, Davies; Dier, Winks; Bergwijn, Alli, Lo Celso; Lucas Moura.
Subs: Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Vorm, Ndombele, Skipp, Fernandes, Parrott.
Related: Tottenham v Wolves: match preview
It’s a Manchester United game, televised by Sky, so time for Graeme Souness to have a pop at Paul Pogba. “The cynic in me wonders if he’ll be back playing again when the Euros come around. We’ve seen him dancing at a wedding, shooting hoops ...”
Roy Keane is slightly more measured, instead suggesting United are no longer missing Pogba’s presence on the field. It would be fun to see him linking up with Fernandes though, surely.
Only four of United’s starting XI started that 4-0 defeat at Goodison: David de Gea, Victor Lindelöf, Nemanja Matic and Fred. There are six Everton players in today’s line-up that started back in April: Pickford, Coleman, Keane, Sigurdsson, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin.
So, Andre Gomes makes his first start since that awful ankle injury he suffered against Spurs. Carlo Ancelotti is ringing the changes from the 3-2 defeat at Arsenal, with Michael Keane, Séamus Coleman, Theo Walcott and Tom Davies also coming in.
For United, Anthony Martial is ruled fit enough to start the game, in what looks like a possible diamond formation, with Bruno Fernandes tucked in behind Martial and Mason Greenwood. Interesting ...
Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Holgate, Baines; Walcott, Gomes, Davies, Sigurdsson; Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison.
Subs: Delph, Mina, Iwobi, Sidibe, Bernard, Kean, Virginia.
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Matic, McTominay, Fred, Bruno Fernandes; Greenwood, Martial.
Subs: Bailly, Mata, Lingard, Pereira, Romero, Ighalo, Williams.
Referee: Chris Kavanagh (Lancashire)
Goodison Park used to hold happy memories for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. As a Manchester United player, he won five matches here, scoring a couple of goals to boot. Just look at this slice of vintage Barclays from 1997. Lovely stuff.
That all changed last April when United got thrashed 4-0 here, a rare highlight in Marco Silva’s deeply underwhelming tenure. “That performance is difficult to describe because it was so bad,” Solskjær said afterwards. Our own Andy Hunter came up with a few suggestions: shambles, humiliation, pathetic, spineless.Continue reading...
Ole Gunnar Solskjær issued a public apology and threatened a clear-out after the 4-0 humbling at Goodison Park last season. The exodus never materialised but Sunday’s return is opportunity to demonstrate that, with Bruno Fernandes making an immediate impact and United unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, lessons have been learned and progress is being made. Defeat at Arsenal last Sunday delivered a reminder of Everton’s shortcomings and confirmed Carlo Ancelotti was right to ignore the hype about Champions League qualification. The Europa League is his target and he could do with a repeat of last season’s victory to ensure it remains a realistic one. Andy Hunter
Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier LeagueContinue reading...
- Rangers meet Leverkusen, Wolves tackle Olympiakos
- Inter land Getafe, while Sevilla will face Roma
Manchester United will face the Austrian side Lask in the last 16 of the Europa League following Friday’s draw in Nyon. Fellow Premier League side Wolves take on Olympiakos, while Rangers face Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen.
Rangers will be at Ibrox for the first leg on 12 March, with Wolves and Manchester United away from home. The second legs will take place on 19 March.Continue reading...
- Manager’s lowest point was 4-0 ‘capitulation’ at Everton
- Victory over Brugge was ‘United as the fans want to see’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær is confident Manchester United will not repeat last season’s 4-0 surrender at Everton on Sunday, with the manager admitting the team he selected that day “capitulated”.
United are in confident mood after Thursday’s 5-0 victory over Club Brugge took them into Friday’s Europa League last-16 draw 6-1 on aggregate. This was a seventh consecutive match unbeaten, including six clean sheets.Continue reading...
Villa try to break Manchester City’s League Cup stranglehold, Vardy needs a goal and Moyes must rouse Hammers
Since he scored 14 goals in 12 league games between late September and 21 December, in which he failed to find the net in only two matches (one of them against Norwich), someone has turned off Jamie Vardy’s scoring tap. In that free-scoring period there seemed to be no stopping him: he may not have been on the scoresheet against the Canaries, for example, but he played excellently and threatened constantly, and it was his (off-target) header from James Maddison’s corner that Tim Krul flapped into his own net for the equaliser in a 1-1 draw. But since Christmas he has not scored at all, and in six league games this calendar year he has had only eight shots – 50% of them against Manchester City last weekend – and only four on target, the most recent against Chelsea on 1 February, 235 pitch minutes ago. Brendan Rodgers’ priority must be to turn that tap back on. SBContinue reading...
Another scintillating Bruno Fernandes display swept Manchester United into the last 16 and on this showing they are serious contenders for a second Europa League crown in three years.
Fernandes’ vision gives United a new dimension and elevates his team-mates. The playmaker scored a second penalty in two games and although naysayers may claim this was “only” Club Brugge, United have struggled against similar opponents under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. This was a performance that crushed the Belgian side and took United to seven matches unbeaten, a run that includes six clean sheets.Continue reading...
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3 min: What a start! United generate a corner and after a frantic rush in the box, Maguire’s shot is blocked. United are already moving forward in waves, with Fernandes’ wonderful strike tipped onto the post.
1 min: And we’re off. Club Brugge kick things off tonight.
The first set of games are done. Not long now...
⏰ EARLY RESULTS ⏰
✅ Roma, Wolfsburg, LASK, Basel, Leverkusen & Wolves through to the round of 16
* İstanbul Başakşehir Sporting CP has gone to extra time #UEL
Luke Shaw on BT Sport:
When people doubt you so much, mentally it makes me stronger and it makes me want it more. I just gotta keep on working hard and not just myself, but on the team too.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer just fronted up for the BT Sport cameras:
On Martial: Muscle injury, I think. Let’s give him the days he needs. I hope for the weekend but I’m not sure.
On the importance of this game: It’s very important that we keep on winning games, get a momentum. These are the only team that has scored against us in the last 6 games. A quick team, counter attacking team, so we have to be focused.
Solskjaer confirms that Martial is out after picking up an injury in training yesterday. Given how well he Martial performing right now, the boss be desperate for a quick return.
Solskjaer on Martial: "He didn't feel right after the training yesterday. He is injured but hopefully not too bad." #mufc
Man United: Romero, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, James, Fernandes, Mata, Ighalo.
Life has not been the same since noted philosopher Andreas Pereira’s glorious words of wisdom ahead of the first leg:
I am trying to get back to scoring goals in my game. Goals are like ketchup, if you score one, more will come.
Some ominous statistics for Club Brugge today:
Here is Club Brugge manager Philippe Clement on tonight’s game, speaking in yesterday’s press conference:
“It will be a bigger challenge than we thought due to the absence of [Ruud] Vormer, [Eder] Balanta and [Emmanuel] Dennis... For the first game I said that we needed a miracle to qualify for the next round. Now we need more than that. We are here with a young team with less experience, but this will be instructive. My team will be able to gain experience... It will be different circumstances in the ‘Theatre of Dreams’. But let’s dream. We are going to give everything. ”
Hello! Welcome to our coverage of tonight’s decisive Europa League clash between Manchester United and Club Brugge at Old Trafford. Last week in Bruges, both teams left fairly satisfied with a 1-1 draw that could have been snatched by either team. While Club Brugge punched above their weight, created ample chances and played an excellent game, United started horrendously and an average performance was salvaged by two players in particular: Anthony Martial single-handedly dragged his team into the game with a moment of tenacity and skill to score the equaliser, and then the night ended with a startling cameo from new kid Bruno Fernandes who offered a potential preview of what is to come.
Both players flowed into this weekend’s excellent 3-0 win over Watford, with Fernandes scoring his first goal for United after winning the penalty, before Martial produced an absurd piece of skill to delicately chip home his third goal in three games. United have clearly shown some good football over the past 10 days and the challenge now is to turn a couple of solid performances into a good run of games. So far this season, inconsistency has defined them.Continue reading...
- Club has confirmed net debt had risen to almost £400m
• ‘For footballing reasons and financially it will help’
Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted the longer Manchester United are not in the Champions League the more the club will suffer. United failed to qualify after finishing sixth last season under Solskjær, who took over as the manager in December 2018. They are in the Europa League at home to Club Brugge in the last-32 on Thursday after a 1-1 draw last week.Continue reading...