What the papers say

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Updated: 34 min 33 sec ago

Alexis Sánchez the incredible sulk comes good at his old home | Barney Ronay

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 22:27
The forward, back at the Emirates, scores only his second goal for United since last March as he enjoys the rare treat of playing against the Arsenal defence

Just past the half hour on a chilly night Alexis Sánchez did something he managed far too seldom in the dog days of the late-Wenger era. He got the Emirates crowd on its feet: fists clenched, leaping about the seats with something close to delirium. Albeit, on this occasion Sánchez had just scored a goal against Arsenal, choosing to celebrate extensively with his grey-shirted Manchester United teammates in front of the home fans behind the goal.

You can hardly blame him. For one thing it was just his second goal for United since March last year. And for another Sánchez was enjoying a rare treat on a slightly wild night in north London. This time around he finally got to play against rather than in front of an Arsenal defence.

Related: Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United: FA Cup fourth round – as it happened

In the space of a year and a half Sánchez has become a one-man symbol of systemic failure at not one but two super-clubs

Related: Manchester United see off Arsenal to maintain manager’s perfect start

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Manchester United see off Arsenal to maintain manager’s perfect start

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 22:06

By now, it has become a familiar sight: Ole Gunnar Solskjær hugging his staff, eyes twinkling, applauding his players and celebrating the return of Manchester United, as we used to know them. Quick, incisive football, willing to take on anyone and, more often that not, coming out on top. Solskjær has even taken to chewing gum, Ferguson-style, with the wrappers scattered round his feet, and at this rate the only possible regret for his club is that they did not tire of José Mourinho earlier.

This was their eighth straight win since Solskjær was handed the role on a caretaker basis and the case for him taking the job full time is building all the time, particularly now his restorative qualities even appear to stretch to Alexis Sánchez, who scored the opening goal on his return to his former club. Jesse Lingard put in United’s second goal soon afterwards but perhaps the most impressive part of United’s performance was the way they withheld some fierce pressure from an Arsenal side that lost but did not play badly. A lesser team would have wilted, and perhaps Mourinho’s United would have, too. Not the current side, though. Solksjær’s team feel rejuvenated, epitomised by the transformation of Victor Lindelof in the heart of their defence.

Related: FA Cup fourth round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Related: Gary Neville: 1999 FA Cup win over Arsenal was only game I ever smiled in

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Arsenal v Manchester United: FA Cup fourth round – live!

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 19:15

7.15pm GMT

Pre-match reading

Related: Unai Emery backs Mourinho sacking and warns of Manchester United threat

Related: ‘Arsenal games were the fiercest battles’: Solskjær relishing Gunners Cup tie | Paul Wilson

Related: Gary Neville: 1999 FA Cup win over Arsenal was only game I ever smiled in

6.58pm GMT

The FA Cup is United’s only realistic chance of a trophy - a Liverpool 2005-style miracle notwithstanding - so it’s slightly surprising that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rested David De Gea, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Unai Emery hasn’t rotated any of his outfield players, so there’s no place in the starting XI for Mesut Ozil. It’s not yet clear whether Arsenal play a diamond midfield or 4-2-3-1.

5.43pm GMT

No English fixture provokes as much talk of the past as Arsenal v Manchester United. There are two main reasons for that. The rivalry from 1996-2005 was, in my correct opinion, the greatest in English football history; and the teams aren’t what they used to be. Good times then, bad times now: the combination is conducive to the kind of easy, comforting nostalgia usually reserved for the lonely, self-loathing man propping up the bar and staring absent-mindedly at the top shelf.

There’s an upside to the downside, though. These teams aren’t going to win the league this year, and therefore the FA Cup really matters. You could argue that none of the other 30 teams left in the competition want or need to win it as much as Arsenal and United, so this match should crackle with oldfangled intensity.

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Football transfer rumours: Juan Mata to sign for Arsenal on a free transfer?

Fri, 01/25/2019 - 08:59

Today’s rumours are giving you a run for your money

The Mill is up bright and early, licking its lips ahead of a huge showdown between Arsenal and Manchester United later on. Who will come out on top in the tug-of-war for Juan Mata? To be fair, there’s little indication United are pulling especially hard: Mata’s contract runs out in the summer and there’s been scant progress on a new deal, so let the games commence. The Gunners believe Mata won’t be put off by the underwhelming fortunes of recent transfers – in either direction – between the two, but they have Juventus, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain for company and, of course, need to face him and his team-mates in an actual football match this evening.

Related: Thierry Henry suspended by Monaco as manager after 104 days in charge

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Gary Neville: 1999 FA Cup win over Arsenal was only game I ever smiled in

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:30
• Neville says semi-final replay was best match he played in
• Former Manchester United defender recalls ‘magical week’

Gary Neville has described Manchester United’s 1999 FA Cup semi-final win over Arsenal as the best game he played in – and the only one in which he smiled.

Neville won eight Premier League titles, two Champions Leagues, three FA Cups, two League Cups, the Intercontinental Cup and Club World Cup, while playing 85 times for England and featuring at five tournaments.

Related: PSG’s Neymar a doubt for Manchester United tie after metatarsal injury

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Unai Emery backs Mourinho sacking and warns of Manchester United threat

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:30

• ‘They lost a lot of points,’ says Arsenal manager
• Emery promises to field strong lineup in FA Cup tie

Unai Emery believes Manchester United’s decision to sack José Mourinho in December was completely justified given their low points tally and lack of competitive edge.

According to the Arsenal manager, anyone who falls below expected standards has to accept they are in the firing line. “This is normal,” Emery said. “I was not surprised because this team has big players and can think about winning the Premier League. They lost a lot of points.” At the sharp end of management there was not much room for sympathy.

Related: Unai Emery sings Monchi’s praises with Arsenal seeking new technical director

Related: David Squires on … Mesut Özil and Unai Emery's relationship

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‘Arsenal games were the fiercest battles’: Solskjær relishing Gunners Cup tie | Paul Wilson

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:30

• FA Cup test stirs fond memories for United manager
• ‘It was everything I love about football’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has always loved the FA Cup – he rates walking out at Wembley in 1999 as highly as all the other memories from that year because the Cup final on television was always an event when growing up in Norway – and he is equally happy to be renewing a rivalry with Arsenal that is just as fondly remembered.

“The games against Arsenal were the fiercest battles we had during my time in England,” Manchester United’s caretaker manager said. “They won the double, we won the treble and the games were just fantastic because they were the two top teams. We had a great team and they had a very good one. It was a special rivalry and I’m not sure the Premier League has seen anything like it since, although perhaps Manchester City and Liverpool at the moment are close.

Related: PSG’s Neymar a doubt for Manchester United tie after metatarsal injury

Related: Paul Scholes says Class of 92 should have greater role at Manchester United

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‘Paul Pogba could captain Manchester United,’ says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 22:30

• Caretaker manager praises Pogba’s leadership qualities
• ‘When he’s enjoying himself he brings so many good things’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær considers Paul Pogba to be captaincy material at Manchester United, continuing his policy of proving the yin to José Mourinho’s yang.

Mourinho stripped the midfielder of the vice-captaincy and told him he would never be captain but Solskjær has worked with Pogba in the past and regards him as a leader.

Related: ‘Arsenal games were the fiercest battles’: Solskjær relishing Gunners Cup tie

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Real Madrid and Barcelona overtake Manchester United as top earning clubs

Thu, 01/24/2019 - 00:01

• Top 20 generated £7.4bn of combined revenue in 2017-18
• Six Premier League clubs in Deloitte’s money league top 10

Manchester United have been unseated as world football’s biggest earners after slipping to third behind Real Madrid and Barcelona in Deloitte’s annual report into club revenues. However, the underlying financial strength of the Premier League was emphasised as English clubs provided six of the top 10 in the accountancy experts’ money league, a record from a single country.

The report found that football continues to boom, with the 20 highest-earning clubs in the world generating a record £7.4bn of combined revenue in 2017-18, an increase of 6% on the previous year. United, though, were unable to keep pace with Madrid and Barcelona after pulling in £581m in 2017-18, a fall of £8.8m on the previous season. The report’s authors found that United, despite returning to the Champions League last season, received broadly similar sums from Uefa as they did from winning the Europa League in 2016-17.

Related: How did Barcelona end up signing Kevin-Prince Boateng? | Sid Lowe

2017-18 revenue in £m (v 2016-17 revenue)

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PSG’s Neymar a doubt for Manchester United tie after being taken to hospital

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 22:44

• Thomas Tuchel ‘worried’ after Brazilian limps off in cup match
• Barcelona lose to Sevilla in Copa del Rey quarter-final

Neymar is a doubt for the first leg of Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League tie against Manchester United in three weeks having been taken to hospital after injuring his foot in a 2-0 victory over Racing Strasbourg in the French Cup on Wednesday.

The Brazil striker left the pitch after an hour after Strasbourg midfielder Moataz Zemzemi attempted to tackle him three times before referee Johan Hamel awarded a free-kick. He was later taken to hospital for precautionary tests, with manager Thomas Tuchel admitting he is “worried” about the forward’s condition and blaming the referee for not blowing for a foul sooner.

Related: Gonzalo Higuaín completes move to Chelsea on initial loan deal

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Unai Emery: 'Manchester United are a new team under Solskjær' – video

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 22:40

Unai Emery believes Manchester United are a ‘different team’ with Ole Gunnar Solskjær at the helm. United travel to face Emery’s Arsenal on Friday night in the pick of the FA Cup fourth-round ties

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Paul Scholes says Class of 92 should have greater role at Manchester United

Wed, 01/23/2019 - 22:30
• Scholes surprised that only Nicky Butt works at United
• Scholes feels ‘you’ve got your club back’ with Solskjær

Paul Scholes believes it is “strange” that only Nicky Butt of the Class of 92 works at Manchester United, the former midfielder stating that Sir Alex Ferguson’s wish was for them all to have roles.

Scholes was referring to himself, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary and Phil Neville together with Butt, who is the head of academy at United. Scholes went as far as to say that he had been left feeling unwelcome at United. The six own 60% of Salford City, following the announcement on Wednesday that Beckham has bought a 10% stake.

Related: Maurizio Sarri questions Eden Hazard’s ability to be a leader for Chelsea

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Transfer roundup: Ashley Cole joins Derby until end of season

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 17:23
• Former England left-back links up with Frank Lampard
• Manchester United’s Scott McTominay signs contract extension

The former England defender Ashley Cole has joined Derby until the end of the season. The 107-cap left-back has linked up with his former Chelsea teammate and current Derby manager Frank Lampard at Pride Park.

Related: Barcelona close to signing Kevin-Prince Boateng from Sassuolo

Related: Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues

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

Mon, 01/21/2019 - 07:34

Unai Emery gets better of Maurizio Sarri, Mohamed Salah takes shine off his milestone and Riyad Mahrez victim of City’s power

While these have been a troubled few weeks for Arsenal, with Sven Mislintat’s impending exit set to leave a big hole in their recruitment department, their victory over Chelsea was a reminder there have been plenty of positives during Unai Emery’s first season. The Spaniard has had to muddle along with an imbalanced squad but has shown he can make important tactical interventions on several occasions. He certainly got the better of Maurizio Sarri, disrupting the Chelsea manager’s attempts to build from the back by using an energetic high press, and his switch to a midfield diamond demonstrated Arsenal have become more flexible since parting company with Arsène Wenger. Emery’s side played with snap and bite from the start, with the tone set by Lucas Torreira’s waspish performance, and the impressive Aaron Ramsey. Jacob Steinberg

Lacazette shows Chelsea the value of a no-nonsense No 9

Related: Chelsea have a good manager and players – so why are they in a mess? | Jonathan Wilson

‘Liverpool had to dig deep,’ says relieved Klopp after thrilling win

Guardiola says City must improve to win the league

Related: The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Pochettino says Alli’s hamstring injury does ‘not look great’

Jota completes Wolves hat-trick to break Leicester hearts

Related: Liverpool favoured by fortune but fly to Dubai with defensive dilemma | Andy Hunter

Pogba and Rashford strike to keep winning run intact

Ward-Prowse hits stunner to seal win for Saints

Newcastle out of bottom three as Schär sinks Cardiff

Related: Huddersfield fans and Sky Sports find new manager in stands … or do they?

Wilson’s blistering strike sets up Cherries win

Heaton is Burnley’s hero as Dyche enjoys homecoming

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Rashford at Ronaldo level after 150 Manchester United games, says Solskjær

Sun, 01/20/2019 - 22:30
• Manchester United manager heaps praise on 21-year-old
• ‘He is a proper Manc. You can’t kick him and keep him down’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Marcus Rashford is on the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney were when they had played 150 times for Manchester United.

Rashford marked his landmark appearance with arguably the finest goal of his career in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford, a strike deriving from impressive close control and a curled finish from a tight angle.

Related: Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford strike as Manchester United beat Brighton

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Juventus in advanced talks to sign United’s Matteo Darmian on loan

Sun, 01/20/2019 - 17:25
• Deal would see Juve having an option to buy full-back for £7.1m
• Italian defender keen on a move back to Serie A

The Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian is close to joining Juventus on loan until the end of the season in a deal that would see the Italian champions having the option to sign him permanently in the summer for €8m (£7.1m).

Related: Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues

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José Mourinho must bin blame game and learn from his failings at United | Daniel Taylor

Sun, 01/20/2019 - 09:00
Manchester United’s former manager fails to show any hint of humility or to acknowledge he made mistakes at Old Trafford

The people who used to work with Sven-Göran Eriksson tell a story about the former England manager, going back to the European Championship in 2004, when he did something that was totally out of character. He almost lost his temper.

England had just been knocked out by Portugal. Inside the dressing room was a scene of desolation and the Football Association’s staff saw something in his face that day they had never seen before: fury. A bad refereeing decision had denied Sol Campbell a late winner and Eriksson wanted to know where the official was. He was puce with anger. He left the dressing room to rap on the referee’s door and, when it swung open, there were a few interminable moments when nobody could quite be sure how far he was willing to take it. At which point Sven, once again, reverted to being Sven. “Mr referee,” he said, holding out his hand. “I wanted to say thank you for a good game.”

Related: José Mourinho says Manchester United not ready for modern football

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José Mourinho bemoans lack of backing compared to Klopp and Guardiola

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:45

• Former Manchester United manager points our rivals’ spending
• ‘Pep made great decisions, great decisions that were supported’

The former Manchester United manager José Mourinho has claimed Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp were afforded more luxuries than him in the Premier League.

The Portuguese highlighted the support Guardiola and Klopp have received in the transfer market since taking over at Manchester City and Liverpool respectively. Mourinho appeared to struggle to secure his intended transfer targets in the summer at Old Trafford, but Guardiola and Klopp have not had that problem.

Related: Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford strike as Manchester United beat Brighton

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'Rashford is playing the best football in his career,' says Solskjær after United win – video

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 19:34

Marcus Rashford marked his 150th appearance for Manchester United with a wonderful goal as his side won 2-1 at home to Brighton. Speaking after the match Ole Gunnar Solskjær said he believes the forward is currently the best striker in the Premier League with Harry Kane out injured

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Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford strike as Manchester United beat Brighton

Sat, 01/19/2019 - 17:00

Marcus Rashford graced his 150th Manchester United appearance with a strike he – and those inside Old Trafford – will always remember. Goal No 41 of his career came just before the interval and ensured a seventh win from Ole Gunnar Solskjær opening seven matches in charge.

The Norwegian believes Rashford may currently be the Premier League’s finest No 9. “He’s playing the best football of his career,” Solskjær said. “Harry Kane is injured so maybe that gives him the chance to be the best at the moment.”

Related: Jota brings up Wolves hat-trick to break Leicester hearts in 4-3 thriller

Related: Mohamed Salah double helps Liverpool to rollercoaster win over Crystal Palace

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