What the papers say

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Updated: 14 min 16 sec ago

Premier League: 10 things to look out for on the final day of the season

Fri, 05/21/2021 - 00:01

Chelsea and Liverpool aim to seal their Champions League places as Sergio Agüero bids farewell to the Etihad Stadium

If Harry Kane really is making his Tottenham swansong at the King Power Stadium, he will have wished it could come with stakes rather higher than a fraught battle to cling on to seventh place. The emotions will be inescapable and the motivation to provide one last star turn presumably huge. Winning at such a difficult venue would be bittersweet for Kane and Spurs, given how costly the collapse of their away form has been to their campaign, with only two wins in their last nine. Such an outcome would also be deeply frustrating for Leicester, who are still in with a credible shout of Champions League qualification given Chelsea face a tricky assignment at Aston Villa. Kane and company may sense vulnerability with the Foxes emerging from two intense, draining face-offs against Thomas Tuchel’s side, but even a win will not clear the clouds of uncertainty over the club as summer approaches. NA

Leicester v Tottenham (all matches are 4pm BST kick-offs)

It may not be the bauble they were hoping to pick up on the final day, but Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah will both still be keen to claim the Premier League Golden Boot. The Spurs and Liverpool forwards are level on 22 goals, with Man Utd's Bruno Fernandes four goals back on 18.

Manchester City v Everton

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Arsenal v Brighton

Related: ‘It sounded like 80,000’: how it felt to have fans back in Premier League

Liverpool v Crystal Palace

West Ham v Southampton

Fulham v Newcastle

Related: Battle for Europe: how the Premier League’s places will be decided

Wolves v Manchester United

Sheffield United v Burnley

Leeds United v West Brom

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‘It sounded like 80,000’: how it felt to have fans back in Premier League

Thu, 05/20/2021 - 12:00

After the return of supporters to top-flight grounds, our reporters reflect on the impact at the matches they attended

The Amex’s reopening could not have gone more perfectly to script. Brighton’s comeback sparked wild celebrations in all four stands but the atmosphere had been electric from the first whistle. Everyone present seemed desperate to make up for lost time and there was barely a pause for breath even when, having heartily booed Riyad Mahrez seconds before he created the opener, they saw Manchester City pull ahead. Although we will never know for sure, there was a strong sense that the ferocity of the reaction when Danny Welbeck went down under João Cancelo’s challenge made it easier for Stuart Attwell to issue the latter a gamechanging red card. To seasoned watchers of closed-doors football at Brighton it was clear throughout that the game’s intensity was several notches higher in front of such exuberant backing. Nick Ames

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‘A new era’: Joel Glazer to hold first meeting with Manchester United fans

Wed, 05/19/2021 - 17:46
  • Co-chairman to attend online fans’ forum on 4 June
  • He believes this can ‘open a new era of positive dialogue’

Joel Glazer is to attend an online Manchester United fans’ forum on 4 June, the first time he will directly engage with supporters since his family bought the club in 2005. The co-chairman has said he hopes this will usher in a “new era”.

The move follows protests against the Glazers outside Old Trafford, including one that caused United’s game with Liverpool on 2 May to be postponed. The club also lost a proposed 10-year, £200m training kit sponsorship with The Hut Group because the local business has concerns about fans targeting United’s commercial partners.

Related: Manchester City want Harry Kane and plan talks with Tottenham

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Manchester United held by Fulham as Bryan cancels out Cavani’s 40-yard lob

Tue, 05/18/2021 - 20:11

A point was ultimately enough for Manchester United to seal second place and their fans returned to Old Trafford: two pleasing headlines for those of a red persuasion on a warm May evening that had 10,000 of the faithful witnessing Edinson Cavani in the flesh for the first time as those discontented with the Glazers’ ownership kept protests low-key.

“The buzz, energy, atmosphere was magic really,” said Ole Gunnar Solskjær. “You felt it in the warm-up – and that’s been missing – maybe that was part of the reason why we played the way we did: too much to entertain.”

Related: Harry Kane’s possible transfer puts Daniel Levy in impossibly tight spot

Related: Karim Benzema recalled to France squad for Euros despite impending trial

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Manchester United v Fulham: Premier League – live!

Tue, 05/18/2021 - 17:04

5.04pm BST

Manchester United: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Cavani

Subs: Henderson, Bailly, Mata, Rashford, Diallo, Telles, Matic, Williams, Van de Beek

5.02pm BST

4.59pm BST

4.58pm BST

4.48pm BST

“For the last few years they have been taken by the same two teams and for us to go into them and divide them it’s good,” he said of United being in second place. “It’s a good performance but we can’t say it’s an achievement, it’s not an achievement.

4.47pm BST

“I think, for me, the most important thing is finishing this season and focusing on that really,” said Fulham’s manager in the build-up to this game. “What’s to be next year is a few months away. What’s vitally important for me and for the players, I need the players to understand that you’re in the biggest league and the best league and the spotlight’s constantly on them. We need to finish this season the right way, really.

4.47pm BST

4.47pm BST

Manchester United are without Harry Maguire, as well as long-term absentee Phil Jones. Anthony Martial and Daniel James may make the bench having recovered from injury.

Related: Fan protests affected Manchester United performances, Solskjær claims

1.49pm BST

Manchester United host Fulham at Old Trafford, in a fixture where the desperate pre-match efforts of broadcasters to market it as being in any way significant to either side are likely to be among the highlights.

Manchester United have bigger fish to fry: specifically an imminent date with Villarreal in the Europa League final, while already relegated Fulham have probably been counting down the minutes until the end of the season since their fate was sealed just over a week ago.

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Fan protests affected Manchester United performances, Solskjær claims

Mon, 05/17/2021 - 15:39
  • Manager says players’ routines were unsettled by delays
  • Solskjær hoping for ‘positive day’ when fans return on Tuesday

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has blamed Manchester United fans’ protest against the Glazers’ ownership for the defeats to Leicester City and Liverpool in their past two home games. But the United manager called on supporters to get behind his team when they return to Old Trafford for the first time since the easing of lockdown restrictions in Tuesday night’s fixture against Fulham.

United lost 2-1 to Leicester and 4-2 to Liverpool in the first two home matches held after the initial attempt to play the latter fixture was postponed on 2 May. This happened after some of the crowd who gathered on the stadium forecourt broke in and entered the pitch, with violence also occurring. There was also a protest at the team hotel in the centre of Manchester.

Related: What next for Manchester United and their protesting fans?

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Fatigue, flares and fine details threaten Manchester United’s march

Fri, 05/14/2021 - 17:53

Last season Solskjær’s side faced a defining game at Leicester and won. Are they in shape to repeat the trick against Villarreal?

An enormous police presence. Dogs. Drones. A helicopter. A 10ft wall. Crash barriers. Subterfuge. It has taken an awful lot for the Premier League and their partners to get matches played since last June but Thursday night at Old Trafford for the classic of the English football calendar – Manchester United v Liverpool – took matters to a whole new level.

The details above are the eye-popping ones, the response to the fear that a group of United supporters – incandescent at the Glazer family and the owners’ drive to join the failed European Super League – might try to force a second postponement, the original fixture on the Sunday before last having been bumped after protesters stormed the stadium.

Related: Why China investment in Inter brings urgent need to scrutinise owners | Barney Ronay

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Alexander-Arnold reminds us why we love football amid outside drama | Jonathan Liew

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 23:59

Near the end of what has supposedly been a difficult season the Liverpool right-back treated Old Trafford as his playground

There was a decoy Liverpool bus. That was the one that ended up getting its tyres slashed by Manchester United fans on a side street near Old Trafford.

The real Liverpool bus, unmarked and unheralded, sneaked around the back entrance to avoid the hundreds of protesters out front.

Related: Firmino fires Liverpool past Manchester United and into top-four reckoning

Related: Manchester United 2-4 Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

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Win over Manchester United ‘exactly what we needed’, says Liverpool’s Klopp

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 23:44
  • Team ‘still in race’ for top four after 4-2 win, says Klopp
  • ‘No problem’ with Sadio Mané despite snubbed handshake

Jürgen Klopp admitted Liverpool’s 4-2 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford was “exactly what we needed” to keep alive their hopes of Champions League qualification.

Liverpool are fifth on 60 points with a game in hand on Chelsea, who are four ahead, and Leicester, on 66. As the latter two play each other on Tuesday one or both will drop points meaning if Liverpool win their last three games – West Brom, Burnley, Crystal Palace – and improve their goal difference above that of Chelsea and Leicester they will finish in the top four.

Related: Jürgen Klopp’s fallen Premier League kings have five games to save season

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Firmino fires Liverpool past Manchester United and into top-four reckoning

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 22:22

It was a night when a section of the Manchester United support once again turned the air heavy with protest and, for a brief while, we wondered whether the Liverpool team would make it into Old Trafford. But when they did and England’s classic fixture, which had been postponed on the Sunday before last following demonstrations by United’s fans against their American owners, crackled to life, it was Liverpool who fashioned what could prove a decisive victory.

They showed poise and character to recover from a sluggish start and, following a see-saw contest, it was left to Mohamed Salah to streak away at the very end to make the points safe. After a turbulent season, Liverpool now have control of their own destiny with regard to a Champions League finish. If they can finish with wins over West Brom, Burnley and Crystal Palace, they will most likely get what they want – with Chelsea and Leicester to meet next Tuesday and one or both set to drop points.

Related: Gary Neville says Glazers have turned Old Trafford into a ‘prison’ amid protests

Related: Manchester United 2-4 Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

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Categories: What the papers say

Gary Neville says Glazers have turned Old Trafford into a ‘prison’ amid protests

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 22:12
  • Heavy security and police presence at Man United v Liverpool
  • ‘It’s a devastating image for the club,’ says former captain

Flares and anger filled the Manchester skies as United fans staged another protest before the rescheduled match with Liverpool in which at least two arrests were made, with Gary Neville claiming security arrangements had turned Old Trafford into a “prison”.

The club erected barricades to protect the ground and there was a visibly heavier police and security presence ensuring those who gathered to voice opposition to the Glazer family ownership were kept at a distance and funnelled when moving around the venue.

Related: Richard Arnold leads race to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United

Related: Richard Arnold leads race to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United

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Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United v Liverpool goes ahead amid anti-Glazers protests – live!

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 21:47

9.46pm BST

71 min: Off the line! Greenwood tries to stab Fernandes’s blocked effort in at the far post but Phillips is back to clear at the last. Eventually Liverpool scramble the ball behind and they defend the subsequent corner uneasily, too. United have a lease of life!

9.45pm BST

70 min: Game on, now. United had immediately looked livelier with Greenwood’s introduction. Alexander-Arnold lashes over as Liverpool try to restore their two-goal margin.

9.44pm BST

Now then! Did I say Cavani had been quiet? He takes Rashford’s pass, waits for the run beyond, lays a cute through ball down the inside-left and Rashford slips a lovely finish inside Alisson’s far post!

9.43pm BST

67 min: Another Shaw corner is defended well. Liverpool look to break but Wan-Bissaka makes a nicely timed tackle on Jota.

9.41pm BST

66 min: Greenwood wins a corner. Feels like an age since I’ve mentioned Cavani’s name – in fact it’s since his early chance – which tells you how little he’s been involved. Neither he nor any of his teammates can get a head on Shaw’s set piece.

9.38pm BST

63 min: Fred, who has not done well, is replaced by Greenwood as Solskjaer looks to perk things up.

9.38pm BST

62 min: But Liverpool are picking them open at will and the rampant Alexander-Arnold, appearing on the left now, has a good opening but allows Henderson to awkwardly save his drive.

9.37pm BST

61 min: Dangerous free-kick to United, a little outside the box and to the left. Can they work their way back in? No, Williams defends it well.

9.35pm BST

59 min: Jota smacks the woodwork! Number four seems inevitable as Liverpool beautifully carve through United on the break, but Jota whacks the frame so hard that I couldn’t actually tell if it hit post or bar. A replay has just told me he thudded the upright.

9.33pm BST

58 min: “Since scoring the opener United have been second best and I’m not talking about their position in the table,” sniggers Peter Oh.

Not a lot happening out there currently, although Rashford has taken a clattering from Williams.

9.30pm BST

55 min: “I love to see teams punished for farting around at the back without good cause,” writes Phil Haran. “When a team presses like Liverpool do it is stupid to try and faff around. Get it into the middle of the park quickly and then look for passes.”

There’s a time and a place, I’d agree, and too many teams appear to ignore the risk v reward factor and play out unnecessarily because they seem to feel they *have* to.

9.29pm BST

54 min: If anything you’d back Liverpool to get a fourth here. United are operating with no intensity at all.

9.26pm BST

51 min: A lot of discussions about whether the injured Harry Maguire would have made this United defence better. I think the conclusion is a resounding “YES”.

9.25pm BST

49 min: “No wonder the United fans didn’t want to see their team play these,” chuckles Phil Grey.

United have fallen apart here, that’s for sure.

9.23pm BST

They’ve added to it! The problems begin when Fred tries to play out from the back and hands possession to Alexander-Arnold. He can’t find Salah but Shaw tries to manoeuvre the ball out and is robbed. Alexander-Arnold gets a chance to shoot, sees his effort spilled by Henderson, and Firmino snaffles it up!

9.21pm BST

Liverpool restart us. Can they hold on, or add, to their lead and fling themselves into the heart of the top four conversation?

9.11pm BST

Interesting detail on that Liverpool coach drama from earlier ...

I now understand the red Liverpool team WAS due to be part of the convoy of coaches taking the LFC players to the game at Old Trafford and was on its way to the team hotel when it was blocked in. As a result it was stood down and the team travelled in the other coaches

9.09pm BST

Half-time reading: Paul Doyle’s report from Villa v Everton!

Related: Returning Grealish can’t inspire Aston Villa in goalless draw with Everton

9.06pm BST

Hugh Molloy isn’t pleased with Pogba: “Gives away the free-kick needlessly then loses his man, Firmino, who scores. Such a frustrating player.”

9.06pm BST

United went ahead through Phillips’ own goal but, from the midway point in the half, Liverpool seized control. They had a penalty denied but then levelled through Jota and now Firmino, right on the whistle, has put them ahead with a potentially massive goal!

9.04pm BST

As you’d expect, Alexander-Arnold whips it in from the flank on a sixpence. Firmino ghosts around the back, beyond Pogba, and bullets his header past Henderson from a matter of yards!

9.03pm BST

45+3 min: Fernandes looks OK. Liverpool now have a fairly dangerous-looking free-kick on the right and ...

9.02pm BST

45+1 min: Pogba gets another bit of space but a tame shot is cleared. There’ll be a stoppage as Fernandes is down, seemingly having picked up a knock while trying to smash the loose ball from that effort towards goal.

9.00pm BST

44 min: The quiet Rashford tries to pick a path through, but is dispossessed. United are trying to wrest back some initiative before the break.

8.58pm BST

43 min: On Jota, Patrick Crumlish emails

“I know the focus has been on the centre-back injuries, especially Virgil, but I feel top four would have been wrapped up long ago for Liverpool if Jota hadn’t been injured in what was a complete dead rubber against Midtyjlland. Needed someone to score one or two goals in those 1-0 defeats, would be a very different season.”

8.57pm BST

41 min: Much better though, as Pogba tricks through into the inside-left side of the area and lashes a shot that skims the side netting.

8.56pm BST

40 min: United won’t be displeased to go in at 1-1, I reckon. Liverpool have controlled this from the moment I said the hosts looked physically dominant ...

8.54pm BST

38 min: I make that Jota’s ninth league goal for Liverpool in 18 appearances, a third of which have come from the bench. He’s been superb when he’s played.

8.51pm BST

36 min: Liverpool come again immediately and win another corner. This one is cleared more resolutely.

8.51pm BST

A deserved leveller! Jota improvises delightfully to flick Phillips’ shot past Henderson after United get bogged down in their own box following that corner. Game on here!

8.50pm BST

34 min: Ooh, Henderson flips Jota’s fierce volley over the bar after the forward had cleverly teed himself up from a Robertson pass. Henderson then half-clears the corner, Salah has an effort blocked, United still can’t clear and ...

8.47pm BST

32 min: Pogba loops a header across goal but wide. Conceding another now would be sickening for Liverpool. United have not especially looked like adding to the opener.

8.46pm BST

30 min: We’ve seen a few of those awarded by the slow-mos recently, where someone clears the ball and makes contact in following through. This one didn’t seem a pen to me and this time the slow mo was right.

8.45pm BST

Tierney runs over to his screen and, to Klopp’s disgust, cancels the award. Bailly made contact with the ball first but did follow through and down Phillips. Personally I think the ref was right.

8.43pm BST

It’s swung in from the right, an initial volley is blocked, but Phillips seizes on the loose ball ... Bailly clips him, and a spot kick is given! Paul Tierney will review this on VAR though.

8.42pm BST

25 min: What a shame there are no fans in the ground (with emphasis on *in*). This fixture shouldn’t be played behind closed doors. What a fillip that we should be getting decent numbers of supporters back inside grounds from next week – I can’t wait. Big testament to the work of many people in slowing the pandemic: I had my first Pfizer jab today as it happens, thank you to our wonderful, indispensable NHS.

Liverpool win a corner and ...

8.39pm BST

24 min: Henderson is out very well to stop Jota nicking a beautifully weighted Alexander-Arnold delivery past him.

8.38pm BST

22 min: United look physically strong today, I’d say that, and they’re dominating in that area. Wouldn’t have been the case if many of these guys had faced Leicester.

8.36pm BST

20 min: “On that subject, I also would have liked to see significant point deductions for all the ESL signatories. Give Leicester another title for the ages and let there be fit punishment for that distinctly anti-competitive act,” writes Matt Richman.

Signs Liverpool are getting a few things together here but they haven’t really exposed United since that early Firmino sight.

8.34pm BST

18 min: Getting quite a lot of pro-points deduction emails actually, off the back of Geoff Saunders’ missive. And quite a lot of anti. It’s a 50/50 split I’d say, which is closer than I’d expected.

8.32pm BST

16 min: “I suspect OGS has won over a lot of Man Utd fans with his team selections this week,” emails Tim Smith. Am I right that most Man Utd fans would rather hand the title to Man City than have Liverpool qualify for Champions League?”

As we speak, Liverpool press but Robertson crosses too high for Jota.

8.30pm BST

14 min: McTominay blocks a shot from the jinking Salah. It’s a good, open start here.

8.29pm BST

@NickAmes82 Having your arm underneath you like that is considered a 'natural position' when sliding. It doesn't matter if it hit a different body part first.

Re the Firmino penalty shout.

8.28pm BST

13 min: What a big goal that could prove to be. Did Phillips really need to stick his leg out there? I guess he couldn’t see whether Alisson had the shot covered, plus the flight of the ball was hard to judge. Either way, it’s given Liverpool a mountain to climb already.

8.26pm BST

Wan-Bissaka gets to the byline, underlapping onto a Rahsford pass. He lays back to Fernandes, whose outside-of-the-foot shot may or may not be on target ... before it’s sent flying into the opposite corner by the desperate, outstretched leg of Phillips!

8.24pm BST

8 min: “It is not much use saying ‘they kick left to right’ in text commentary. We can’t see from which side you’re looking at it from,” complains Cillian.

Oh, OK, I thought it might help you imagine as if watching on telly. But you guys are the boss.

8.21pm BST

5 min: Bizarre from Alisson, who presents the ball straight to Cavani and is fortunate the striker drags his shot wide as he scurries back towards goal!

8.19pm BST

4 min: Early chance for Firmino, who is released in the box and shoots a little late perhaps, Bailly blocking. Liverpool want a handball but it struck Bailly’s limb after ricocheting off another part of his body. The corner comes to nought.

8.17pm BST

1 min: “Why do all you journalists covering man utd matches insist on posting anti Utd emails. Pack it in!” writes pjobrennan under the subject header “Bias”.

This rabidly biased Ipswich Town fan will take your words onboard.

8.16pm BST

They kick left to right.

8.13pm BST

There are players on the pitch – we will soon have football!

8.07pm BST

“When will Manchester United be punished for their fans causing the original game to be called off?” asks Geoff Saunders. “The precedents are very clear with point deductions and fines applied to every other side; why not Manchester Utd?

“They are responsible for the behaviour of their fans, every precedent has shown that – why do they get off scot free, as if they are the victims in fact?”

8.06pm BST

Just to confirm, this match is going to start on time. Eight or nine minutes to go.

8.02pm BST

We are aware of a protest currently taking place outside Old Trafford football stadium, with a small number of people seemingly intent on disrupting the fixture. Officers are in attendance to maintain safety while facilitating the right to peaceful protest. Two arrests have been made relating to public order offences.

Assistant chief constable for GMP, Chris Sykes said: “We have been working closely with Manchester United and partners to ensure those in attendance outside the stadium are kept safe while exercising their right to a peaceful protest.

7.58pm BST

Everton have drawn 0-0 at Villa. That means the Toffees are a point behind Liverpool, although Klopp’s side are about to play their game in hand ...

7.56pm BST

Brian Laithwaite writes:

“Just shows you how the Glazers still don’t get it. Whatever United do has to be the best. Look how they have treated the women’s team, poor facilities etc. This should have been sorted out before the team was set up, not as an afterthought. Casey Stoney was going a great job, now she is leaving because of the inequalities of facilities for the women’s team. A lot of the girls joined the team because of her and her plans for the team, now how many will leave ?”

7.43pm BST

The crowd is noticeably thinner now with one fan saying he’s off to find a pub to watch the game! Fans are clearly disappointed that they’ve been unable to prevent the game going ahead and those who’ve stayed are clearly growing tense. A few have started throwing bottles and flare canisters at the police line.

7.41pm BST

There is some other football going on and it’s of some consequence to Liverpool actually. Aston Villa are holding Everton to a goalless draw with seven minutes or so left.

Related: Aston Villa v Everton: Premier League – live!

7.33pm BST

Solskjaer on those changes: “Tuesday was the big change for us. This is a team that’s played a lot of games for us and only Eric [Bailly] played the full game on Tuesday so it shouldn’t be a problem, carry on as normal.

“My players are very, very focused to show what kind of team we are, just glad we can play a game of football.”

7.29pm BST

Manchester United: Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba; Cavani. Subs: De Gea, Tuanzebe, Williams, Telles, Amad, Mata, Matic, Van de Beek, Greenwood.

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, R Williams, Phillips, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Jota, Firmino, Salah. Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Mane, Jones, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, Origi, Woodburn, N Williams.

7.21pm BST

The crowd has walked back round to outside the East Stand. Still lots of people here but some of the energy has died down now word has got round that the Liverpool bus is inside the ground.

7.19pm BST

Actual footballer Diogo Jota speaks words: “We said we need to do our job to think about getting a Champions League spot. We need other teams to drop points but we still need to do our job today. It’s really important for us and for the season, and for next season as well. We need to play to win, do our best and take our chances.”

7.12pm BST

Hello. So we do have a game, it appears. As Michael has told you, there are pitch walks being ... errm ... walked and match preparations being made. The protests will continue outside Old Trafford, as far as we can tell – some reports say it’s still peaceful but starting to assume a little bit of an edge now that the game is taking place after all.

7.09pm BST

As things stand, we’re still heading for a 8.15pm BST kick-off, although it would not be a surprise to see the kick-off delayed. I’m going to hand over now to Nick Ames, who will cover the rest of the build-up and the match itself. Cheers!

7.07pm BST

Sadio Mané is walking the Old Trafford pitch with Shaqiri in his training gear. They both look fairly relaxed.

7.04pm BST

It looks like we are going to have a game, then, and that the red Liverpool bus was a decoy. There are pictures of Liverpool players entering the dressing rooms.

Well played lads. The red coach must have been a decoy #lfc pic.twitter.com/HQFjY8ujxa

6.59pm BST

The large crowd outside the East Stand has dissipated. The fans have marched around the other side of the stadium, and there are now more police than supporters.

6.56pm BST

Roy Keane on Sky Sports:

Manchester United fans are not done with this, we saw some protests a few weeks ago, but I think there is still a lot to come. The concern is that when the fans can come back to the stadium, you could have 70,000 fans showing up at Old Trafford, frustrated with what happened. Things can get much worse.”

6.42pm BST

The Manchester Evening News is reporting that the Manchester United players drove themselves to the stadium and that two team buses did dummy runs between their own hotel and the stadium in a bid to throw off protesters.

We are not entirely sure where the Liverpool team is, and if they are in the Liverpool bus. The hotel they were staying at is about two miles from Old Trafford.

6.35pm BST

Manchester United players and staff are already safely inside the stadium. They arrived at Old Trafford earlier.

6.34pm BST

It is worth noting that all the protests appear to be peaceful.

Some Manchester United fans are chanting “we’re going on the pitch again” outside Old Trafford.

6.32pm BST

It is not clear whether this image was taken before or after the Liverpool team bus started moving again.


6.31pm BST

Gary Neville on Sky.

Let’s be clear, what we’ve seen on that full-court before which is effectively Man United turned into a prison, it’s a devastating image for the Manchester United Football Club brand around the world, let’s just note that. You have to put prison walls up around your ground and have hundreds and hundreds of police officers on a game where fans aren’t attending, there is something that has gone badly wrong.

6.27pm BST

Two hours before kick off there’s already a large crowd gathered outside the East Stand. People are setting off yellow and green flares and there’s a police helicopter circling the ground.

6.26pm BST

Alex Mistlin is one of our reporters who is outside Old Trafford. How exactly the Liverpool (or Manchester United) bus will be able to approach the stadium remains uncertain. There are already a significant number of people outside and one imagines there will be more disruption.

6.22pm BST

The Liverpool bus is moving again, and the large police presence does suggest that the Liverpool team is inside.

And we’re on the move (including unexpected poodle photobomb) pic.twitter.com/0xYNGwHcZ9

1.59pm BST

Do we have a game today? It remains unclear. Following on from the protests which caused this fixture to be postponed earlier this month, Manchester United fans are again protesting outside Old Trafford and beyond.

Anger remains over the European Super League involvement although the majority of the ire remains towards the club’s owners, the Glazer family.

Could it happen again?

It’s happening... pic.twitter.com/XP0DHTNwck

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Categories: What the papers say

Richard Arnold leads race to replace Ed Woodward at Manchester United

Thu, 05/13/2021 - 10:33
  • Managing director heads list of three internal candidates
  • Woodward is United’s most powerful executive

Richard Arnold, Manchester United’s group managing director, heads a list of three internal candidates to replace Ed Woodward as the club’s most powerful executive.

The Guardian understands that Arnold is in pole position to succeed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, with Cliff Baty, chief financial officer, and Hemen Tseayo, head of corporate finance, also being considered by the owners, the Glazers, who are thought to favour a current employee.

Related: Klopp: Liverpool suffering because of Manchester United fixtures ‘crime’

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Klopp: Liverpool suffering because of Manchester United fixtures ‘crime’

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 15:22
  • Manager backs Solskjær over weakened team selection
  • Henderson on course to be available for Euros, Klopp says

Jürgen Klopp has described Manchester United’s fixture schedule as “a crime” and accused the Premier League of reneging on a promise that teams would not suffer as a consequence of the Old Trafford protests against the Glazer family.

The Liverpool manager backed Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s decision to make 10 changes for United’s 2-1 defeat by Leicester on Tuesday, despite the damage done to his side’s prospects of qualifying for next season’s Champions League. Klopp admitted he would have done the same if forced to play three matches in five days and that Liverpool will have only themselves to blame should they fail to finish in the top four.

Related: Virgil van Dijk rules out Euro 2020 return to focus on fitness at Liverpool

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Harry Maguire doubtful for Europa League final but Solskjær remains hopeful

Wed, 05/12/2021 - 13:30
  • Defender out of Manchester United’s final league games
  • ‘We’ll do everything we can to get him ready for the final’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said Harry Maguire will miss Manchester United’s final three games of the Premier League season and remains a doubt for the Europa League final against Villarreal.

The United manager delivered an upbeat assessment of the defender’s ankle ligament injury before Tuesday’s defeat by Leicester but afterwards admitted his positivity was “maybe stretching it”. Maguire, injured in Sunday’s win at Aston Villa, attended the Leicester game at Old Trafford on crutches and wearing a protective boot on his left foot.

Related: Leicester’s vital victory over young Manchester United hands title to City

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Mason Greenwood stakes claim to be Harry Kane’s de facto England deputy

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 22:31

Manchester United teenager scored against Leicester and has hit form at right time to win a place in England’s Euros squad

Farewell then, the Premier League season. You tried hard. You provided the odd squall of intensity. Manchester City, also known as the Premier League champions 2020-21 after this result, were very good for a long time in mid-season. Leicester City, who moved close to sealing a top-four spot with victory, have been a genuinely bright spark, fun to watch, and deserving of their likely reward.

Related: Manchester City win the Premier League after United lose to Leicester

Related: Manchester City’s title is a triumph of class and refinement on the hoof | Barney Ronay

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Leicester’s vital victory over young Manchester United hands title to City

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 20:02

If two Cities could celebrate, Manchester City had known their coronation was only a matter of time. But the likelihood of Leicester City joining the new champions in the Champions League had diminished with each setback so the result that decided the 2020-21 title may have a greater eventual significance for the 2016 winners.

Related: Mason Greenwood stakes claim to be Harry Kane’s de facto England deputy

Related: Manchester City win the Premier League after United lose to Leicester

Related: Manchester City’s title is a triumph of class and refinement on the hoof | Barney Ronay

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Manchester United v Leicester City: Premier League – live!

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 17:35

5.35pm BST

5.18pm BST

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Those teams: Nineteen year old Swedish winger Anthony Elanga makes his senior debut for Manchester United this evening, while his fellow fresh-faced whelp Amad Diallo makes his Premier League bow as Ole rings the changes.

Comparatively grizzled veterans David de Gea, Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic also come into a side featuring a back four of Brandon Williams, Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe and Alex Telles. With Mason Greenwood the only survivor from Sunday’s win over Aston Villa, even Donny van de Beek gets a rare start.

5.03pm BST

Manchester United: De Gea, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, Matic, Mata, Van de Beek, Diallo, Elanga, Greenwood.

Subs: Henderson, Lindelof, Pogba, Cavani, Rashford, Fernandes, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay.

4.43pm BST

Related: La Liga drama, relentless Lille and Pirlo’s perilous position – Football Weekly

4.43pm BST

4.43pm BST

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4.43pm BST

Related: What next for Manchester United and their protesting fans?

4.43pm BST

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Related: ‘Manchester United can achieve special things’ – Cavani signs one-year deal

4.42pm BST

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An ever-present for United in the Premier League this season, Harry Maguire looks nailed on to miss tonight’s game after limping off against Aston Villa with an ankle injury, while Ole Gunnar Solskjær is likely to rotate his squad due to the quick turnaround of fixtures. Eric Bailly is liekly to come in for Maguire, who joins Dan James and long-term absentees Anthony Martial and Phil Jones in the treatment room.

4.42pm BST

Related: Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘Did I think we could still beat Bayern in 1999? No chance!’

10.38am BST

Greetings one and all. Old Trafford is the venue for this evening’s match between Manchester United and Leicester City, which kicks off a mere 50 hours since the home side wrapped up their Sunday afternoon victory against Aston Villa.

It’s United’s first home match since protesting fans caused the postponement of their game against Liverpool and extra security measures have been put in place around Old Trafford in a bid to prevent a similar scenario doesn’t unfold today.

Related: Chelsea joy in WSL and Premier League and EFL ups and downs – Football Weekly

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What next for Manchester United and their protesting fans?

Tue, 05/11/2021 - 16:30

With Old Trafford hosting two big games this week, we spoke to supporters about the Glazers, the protests and the club’s future

I saw my first match at Old Trafford in November 1953, when United beat Blackpool 4-1 and Tommy Taylor scored a hat-trick. I opposed the Glazer takeover from the early days and joined the Manchester United Supporters Trust and the Green and Gold campaign. Some of my friends gave up their season tickets and started following smaller local clubs, including the breakaway FC United of Manchester.

Related: Sir Alex Ferguson: ‘Did I think we could still beat Bayern in 1999? No chance!’

Related: Joel Glazer vows to allow fans shares in Manchester United

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Alex Ferguson: ‘Did I think we could still beat Bayern in 1999? No chance!’

Mon, 05/10/2021 - 21:00

In an exclusive interview, the legendary manager and son Jason reflect on the brain haemorrhage that nearly killed him and the film they have just made, his upbringing in Scotland, the lows and highs at Manchester United, his admiration for Steven Gerrard … and that Champions League final

“You’re lying on your bed and you are on your own,” Sir Alex Ferguson says as he remembers being in hospital exactly three years ago this week when, after suffering a brain haemorrhage, he came close to death. “It can become lonely and frightening,” the greatest manager in the history of British football continues as he relives that raw memory.

Ferguson and I are just starting an interview which is shaped by so many layered and rollicking recollections. Memories of the ghostly shipyards of Glasgow and his teeming life as a boy in Govan ripple through him. He relives the pain and sectarianism he experienced at Rangers, the fire and transformation he generated at Aberdeen and the early abuse and enduring glory of his 27 years at Manchester United. Memories of his father, with whom he fell out until football reunited them, merge into an evocation of everything his wife Cathy has done for him.

Related: Sir Alex Ferguson: 'I feared I would never speak again'

They said: ‘Look, he’s 76 and he’s had a massive bleed on the brain. Just prepare yourself for the worst'

Related: Buy a classic sport photograph: Alex Ferguson's hairdryer treatment

The spirit of that club in my time was through the young players – Beckham, Giggs, Scholes, the Nevilles

I was thinking what I’d say to the players: ‘You had a great season.’ But then we won it.

How we reported that night in Barcelona

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