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Read the latest Manchester United news, transfer rumours, match reports, fixtures and live scores from the Guardian
Updated: 7 min 11 sec ago

Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to offer Kepa plus £25m for Jan Oblak?

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 09:18

Today’s tittle-tattle likes the ambition of it

Get the right keeper in at the right age and you’ve got the position sorted for a decade, so goes the logic. Chelsea struck gold when they upgraded Carlo Cudicini for Petr Cech in 2004, and the 11 years’ service they got from him took in four Premier League titles, one Champions League win, one in the Europa League, plus four FA Cups and three League Cups. Thibaut Courtois may have toddled off a little early for their liking, after just the four major trophies including two league winners’ medals, but bringing in Kepa Arrizabalaga for well over £70m showed full intent to repeat the trick.

Related: Bayern defeat was a 'harsh lesson', admits Chelsea's Frank Lampard

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Manchester United's net debt rises £73.6m to £391.3m in three months

Tue, 02/25/2020 - 13:01
  • Financial results for quarter show revenues down 19.3%
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær gets backing from Ed Woodward

Manchester United have announced the club’s net debt has risen £73.6m to £391.3m and have backed Ole Gunnar Solskjær to implement “our footballing vision”.

The net debt increase is published in United’s Q2 financial results that also document how broadcast revenue for the quarter showed a decrease of £39m – 37.6% – due primarily to not competing in the Champions League this season. Total revenues were also down, by 19.3% to £168.4m.

Related: David Squires on … You are the VAR

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Football transfer rumours: Matuidi to Manchester United or Arsenal?

Tue, 02/25/2020 - 09:15

Today’s fluff mixes 8oz plain flour, a pinch of salt, two large eggs, half a pint of milk, and then spills it down its front

The Mill was down for some long overdue maintenance overnight, offering an opportunity for its gnomic, light-deprived team to get the waders on and finally jab a Vileda Supermop at the knotweed and slime that’s accrued on its spokes. We’re delighted to report that some additional motion has been achieved, and a years-worth of Pogba fluff has been removed along with some extremely Eden Hazardous waste.

Happily, safely wrapped in a Lidl bag for life was a bit of tittle-tattle from 2016, which we’ve given an hour or two out on the line and can now re-present to you as if box-fresh: Blaise Matuidi to Manchester United. Juve’s deep-lying midfielder is now 32 but has been linked to a Premier League move since JLS’ Beat Again was top of the charts. Back in 2009, the player was uncapped for France but a target for Arsène Wenger’s Arsenal – now Mikel Arteta has designs on thwarting Ole Gunnar Solskjær in pursuit of the 84-cap veteran. The Gunners also have Atlético Madrid’s Thomas Partey on their radar.

Related: Manchester United cast the net with new emerging local talent programme

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Manchester United cast the net with new emerging local talent programme

Mon, 02/24/2020 - 20:15
  • United broaden engagement across the north-west
  • Plan is to operate under overall academy structure

Manchester United have embarked on a new initiative aimed at increasing their pool of local talent in order to find potential stars of the future.

The emerging talent programme is to work with over 20,000 children and young people over the next three years as the Premier League club broaden their engagement with local schools and grassroots clubs across Manchester and the north-west.

Related: Manley to McTominay: 4,000 victories for Manchester United academy | Jamie Jackson

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Bruno Fernandes vows to get United into Champions League

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 17:42
  • £46m signing scored a penalty in 3-0 win
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjær: ‘He is a mix of Scholes and Veron’

Bruno Fernandes vowed to help Manchester United “conquer” the race for a Champions League place following his impressive display in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Watford at Old Trafford.

The midfielder scored his first goal for the club – a 42nd-minute penalty – and also created second-half strikes for Anthony Martial, whose finish particularly impressed, and Mason Greenwood as United moved to within three points of Chelsea in fourth.

Related: Bruno Fernandes opens Manchester United account in win over Watford

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Cadbury teams up with Manchester United to tackle loneliness in older people

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 16:56

Fans are encouraged to speak to older people at match against Watford in Age UK campaign

There was a striking change with tradition at Manchester United’s match against Watford on Sunday as 11 elderly “guests of honour” replaced the customary child mascots before the kick-off, stepping out and shaking hands with the first team on the Old Trafford ground.

The estimated 75,000 people attending the match at the so-called “Theatre of Dreams” were also shown messages about loneliness beamed on to the ground’s video walls, with related content in the matchday programme.

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Bruno Fernandes opens Manchester United account in win over Watford

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 16:13

After a dour start this became the Anthony Martial and Bruno Fernandes show. Each have the quality Manchester United require if a challenge for a Champions League berth is to be mounted, this win lifting them two places up to fifth in this quest.

Both scored while showing their team-mates how to turn a contest United’s way. In the closing stages Mason Greenwood caught on, starting and finishing a move for an 11th of the 18-year-old’s breakthrough season, the final pass to him coming – inevitably – from Fernandes.

Related: Bruno Fernandes vows to get United into Champions League

Related: Diogo Jota double seals easy win for Wolves over Norwich

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Manchester United v Watford, Wolves v Norwich: clockwatch – live!

Sun, 02/23/2020 - 15:11

3.10pm GMT

Troy Deeney wheels away. Harry Maguire appeals for handball, but it seems United have been punished for another sloppy start ...

3.09pm GMT

Wolves are home and hosed. Raúl Jiménez gets in on the act after Jota’s shot cannoned off the inside of a post and he taps in Wolves’ third. Dendoncker kickstarts the move, seizing possession on halfway before slipping in Jota, who goes mightily close. Jiménez converts the rebound.

3.08pm GMT

50 min: This second half is shaping up similar to the first from a Manchester United perspective, with Dan James proving to be the dangerman down the left flank. When he’s in possession, Watford look panicked. Other than James’ odd foray forward, a nondescript start to the second period.

3.03pm GMT

46 min: We’re back under way at Old Trafford and Molineux. No changes at half-time. Wolves, who are cruising against Norwich, will be hoping for more of the same. Tim Krul tipped a fine Rúben Neves strike on to the crossbar on the brink of the interval.

2.55pm GMT

A juicy half-time stat to get stuck into, courtesy of Opta: Bruno Fernandes has scored each of the last 13 penalties he has taken in top-flight football (12/12 with Sporting and 1/1 with Man Utd) since missing for Udinese in April 2016.

2.51pm GMT

Elsewhere, City and Chelsea are level-pegging in the WSL:

Related: Manchester City v Chelsea: Women's Super League – live!

2.48pm GMT

Manchester United 1-0 Watford
Wolves 2-0 Norwich City

2.46pm GMT

45 min: We’re into stoppage time at Old Trafford and Molineux.

2.45pm GMT

44 min: It was a jinking, Jorginho-esque run up by Fernandes, his first goal in a Manchester United shirt. That goal ends a run of 235 minutes without a Premier League goal at Old Trafford for United. United look set to take a one-goal advantage with them down the tunnel at the interval. “Just when you think you’ve seen everything in football, a Portugueser comes along with the triple-jump penalty,” emails Justin Kavanagh.

2.43pm GMT

Nicely done. Bruno Fernandes watches Ben Foster dive to his right, so promptly rolls the ball to the Watford goalkeeper’s left.

2.42pm GMT

41 min: Penalty to Manchester United ... Fernandes rushed into the box, out came Ben Foster and, despite the Watford goalkeeper shaking his head in disbelief, there is only one outcome for the referee Martin Atkinson. Watford had looked so content.

2.40pm GMT

38 min: James teeds up Fred, but it’s high and wide! Dan James drives down the left, cuts on to his right foot and shoots over. He repeats the formula seconds later, but this time picks out Fred, who really should hit the target. United are, finally, making some strides going forward but Watford are still rather comfortable.

2.37pm GMT

36 min: Raúl Jiménez, rightly, gets a lot of love, but Jota is mustard. Now, time for some more red-hot baseball cap chat. “Sun visors. Please,” emails Colin Young. Apologies! “If we call them baseball caps I can only think MAGA. Yeah, I know ...”

2.33pm GMT

30 min: Ole Gunnar Solskjær was bigging up Anthony Martial earlier in the week but the Manchester United forward has been more cold than hot so far at Old Trafford, with the Frenchman blazing an effort painfully wide a moment ago. Up the other end, Doucouré went close for a grooving Watford side:

Related: Solskjær backs Martial to get 20 goals for Manchester United for first time

2.31pm GMT

Make that five goals in two games. Is there another hat-trick on the cards for Jota? Dendoncker keeps a corner alive and Romain Saïss smacks the ball across goal, handing Jota the ball on a plate. Jota taps in from close range.

2.28pm GMT

26 min: Diogo Jota, it is fair to say, is a man in form; he has netted seven goals in his last seven home games in all competitions, including four in his last two. A moment ago Jota squared the ball for Raúl Jiménez, but an alert Alex Tettey did well to intercept for Norwich. As things stand, Wolves will move up to eighth, level on points with Manchester United. Back to Old Trafford ...

2.26pm GMT

25 min: It’s raining goals. City lead Chelsea in the WSL:

Related: Manchester City v Chelsea: Women's Super League – live!

2.25pm GMT

22 min: United seem to have put the wheels in motion – Daniel James leathered a cross in a moment ago after speeding down the left flank before Aaron Wan-Bissaka fired against the side netting – but it is baby steps at the moment. United are beginning to pop the ball about a little quicker, but they have been half-hearted when it matters thus far. A little tame in the final phase.

2.21pm GMT

Diogo Jota, who helped himself to a hat-trick on Thursday, is at it again. After a VAR check, Wolves are able to celebrate the opener at Molineux. Matt Doherty took hold of the ball on the edge of the area and picked out the Portuguese, who coolly did the rest, firing under the legs of Tim Krul.

2.18pm GMT

17 min: A few moans and groans as Fred surrenders possession and then trips as he tries to win it back. Anthony Martial does not do much better. Plenty of encouragement for Watford, who could move out of the relegation zone with a point.

2.18pm GMT

16 min: De Gea does well to deny Doucouré! Watford have dominated the opening stages at Old Trafford. Will Hughes drives through the spine of the United midfield, picking out Gerard Deulofeu to his left. The winger delivers a low cross and it runs kindly for Doucouré, who is eventually crowded out.

2.12pm GMT

11 min: It has all been very sluggish from a Manchester United point of view in the early stages. Nothing to write home about, that’s for sure. Reasons to be cheerful for Watford, with Deeney getting plenty of joy in attack. Watford are a different beast when Deeney’s in the mood. United are yet to get going.

2.11pm GMT

9 min: “Love the blog,” begins Jack on email. “What is your stance on goalkeepers wearing baseball caps – something we should see more of?” Absolutely. Nothing better than a baseball cap being frantically ferried to the goalkeeper from the technical area. A relatively low-key start at Molineux, where Wolves are yet to get into their stride after a brilliant night under the lights on Thursday.

2.10pm GMT

8 min: That mix-up between Maguire and Lindelöf has not exactly settled the nerves. Manchester United have made a jittery start at Old Trafford, with Maguire again sloppily distributing possession. Watford are feeling pretty good about themselves.

2.06pm GMT

5 min: Shaw makes a big tackle on Troy Deeney, who was in on David de Gea after an incredible mix-up between Lindelöf and Maguire. Shaw snatches the ball away and Manchester United get away with it. A decent start by both teams at Old Trafford. At Molineux, a baseball cap is the order of the day for Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patrício, who is being blinded by the low Black Country sun.

2.02pm GMT

2 min: A lively opening by Dan James, who stretches the Watford right-back Craig Dawson and fizzes in a low cross. Ben Foster gathers.

2.01pm GMT

We’re under way.

1.56pm GMT

We’re edging closer to kick-off. Fred the Red is out on the pitch, geeing up the crowd. There will be a minute’s silence before Manchester United take on Watford in honour of Harry Gregg:

Related: Harry Gregg obituary

1.43pm GMT

“Cleverley hasn’t only played for Watford,” points out Martin Lancon on email. Indeed, the midfielder is on the bench against Manchester United at Old Trafford, where Odion Ighalo and Danny Welbeck could also get on against their former side. “Let’s not fear the game,” says Nigel Pearson. “We have to embrace the challenge and earn the right to play at this level again next season. The players know they are capable of beating Manchester United, they have proven that but it’s about what we do today.”

1.36pm GMT

More from Solskjær, who has been talking through his decision to omit Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard from the United squad. “We picked a squad of 18 and we felt it was the right 18 here,” he said. “We’ve got cover on the bench for wide men, forwards, midfielders and defenders, so that was the decision I made.”

1.33pm GMT

A reminder that four Serie A matches have been postponed:

Related: Four Serie A matches called off due to coronavirus outbreak

1.28pm GMT

Team news news: Wolves give Adama Traoré a breather after he helped demolish Espanyol on Thursday. Leander Dendoncker replaces the winger, who takes a spot on the bench. Norwich make two changes from their narrow defeat to Liverpool with Christoph Zimmermann replaced by Ben Godfrey and left-back Jamal Lewis comes in for Sam Byram, who has been ruled out for the season.

1.20pm GMT

Manchester United will play host for Euro 2021’s opener:

Related: Old Trafford picked to stage grand opening of Women’s Euro 2021

1.16pm GMT

Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants Manchester United to join the top-four feast. “We need more wins,” he says. “Let’s join the party and try and challenge for that top four. Watford are very well organised and are always a threat, we need to be at our best. Mason Greenwood didn’t travel to Bruges [in midweek] but he feels OK.”

1.12pm GMT

Team news news: Mason Greenwood makes his first Premier League start since facing Newcastle on Boxing Day, when Scott McTominay, who returns among the Manchester United substitutes this afternoon, suffered a knee injury. Odion Ighalo and Danny Welbeck are on the bench at Old Trafford against their former clubs. Solskjær makes two changes from victory over Chelsea, with Victor Lindelöf and Greenwood replacing Eric Bailly and Brandon Williams. As for Watford, Adrian Mariappa drops to the bench, with Craig Dawson stepping in. And Marcus Rashford remains sidelined for United because of a double back stress fracture, but his nephew has been doing the business in his absence:

Nephew doing it on the pitch whilst I can’t. First Sunday tournament for United at Carrington, 3 goals in 4 games. Proud Uncle ❤️ pic.twitter.com/TLcFIBltKB

1.05pm GMT

Manchester United (4-4-2): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelöf, Shaw; Fernandes, Fred, Matic, James; Martial, Greenwood

12.50pm GMT

Welcome to the Odion Ighalo and John Ruddy derbies. Manchester United can snatch back fifth spot with victory over Watford, while Wolves could leapfrog Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side should United slip up at Old Trafford. Watford’s upturn in form has hit the buffers – they are winless in four matches – but Nigel Pearson’s side may relish the role of underdogs, as they did when they beat United in December. United have been Jekyll and Hyde under Solskjær, and finding the net has been a problem; failure to score this afternoon would mean three games without scoring at home for their first time since May 2002. “I feel that Bruno [Fernandes] and Odion coming in will get more goals in the team. That’s been lacking,” Solskjær said. “The games we’ve lost – West Ham, Burnley, Palace, Bournemouth – we’ve had chances but we haven’t scored goals.”

Wolves, meanwhile, are feeling better about themselves after victory in midweek over Espanyol in the Europa League. That led Nuno Espírito Santo to declare “dreaming is for free” with some giddy Wolves supporters hopeful of going the distance in the competition, but, after a couple of days’ rest, it is back down to business at Molineux. As for Norwich, Daniel Farke’s side badly need a result to prevent them from sinking without trace. “People can write us off and say we have no chance to close the gap. But I don’t agree,” said Farke. “It is possible.”

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Manchester United v Watford: match preview

Sat, 02/22/2020 - 09:00

Odion Ighalo could make his full Manchester United debut against his former club and expect David De Gea, Bruno Fernandes and Fred to be restored to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s starting lineup following Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Club Brugge. Nigel Pearson’s Watford will fancy a win at Old Trafford as they were victorous in December’s reverse fixture, an indication of United’s struggles against the lower-ranked sides. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 2pm

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Young Manchester United fan writes to Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp and gets reply

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 18:39

Ten-year-old Daragh Curley wrote to the Liverpool manager asking him if he could make his team lose a few games

The Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, has said he was so charmed by the sheer cheek of a young Manchester United fan who wrote to ask whether he could start making Liverpool lose games that he sent the 10-year-old a personal reply.

Daragh Curley, from County Donegal, wrote to the 52-year-old German coach this week asking him to engineer a few Liverpool defeats so they would not win the Premier League this season.

A 10-year-old Man United fan asked Jürgen Klopp's @LFC side to stop winning

...and he's responded pic.twitter.com/9QGfIy7hjG

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Fond memories of football circa 1959 | Letter

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 16:06
Bob Wood remembers Manchester United goalkeeper Harry Gregg, who died this month

In 1959, the year after the Munich disaster, at the age of 10, I cycled from my home in Timperley to Harry Gregg’s house in Sale in order to try to get his autograph. When I knocked at the door his wife invited me in as Harry hadn’t got back from training. I was devastated to learn from your obituary (18 February) that she must have died a year or so later.

When Harry returned, we sat and had a cup of tea and talked about Manchester United and football in general but not, obviously, about Munich. I left with a signed photograph and a wonderful memory of the afternoon. I don’t suppose that such a thing could happen today.

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Which club will take Manchester City's place in the Champions League?

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 15:35

The club that finishes fifth in the Premier League may end up in the Champions League next season. Who will step up?

By Ben McAleer for WhoScored

With Liverpool, Manchester City and Leicester City well clear at the top of the Premier League table, the battle for fourth was going to be a hotly contested affair. Now that City have been banned from Uefa competitions for the next two seasons – pending an appeal – the race has been flung wide open. Providing City’s appeal fails, the teams that finish fourth and fifth in the league will qualify for the Champions League next season. Every club from Chelsea in fourth down to Everton in ninth has a realistic change of making it into the top five. Here we rank the contenders.

Related: Ten uncapped players who could feature for England at Euro 2020

Related: Solskjær backs Martial to get 20 goals for Manchester United for first time

Related: The players who are enjoying life beyond the Premier League

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Solskjær backs Martial to get 20 goals for Manchester United for first time

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 10:00
  • Manager praises finishing and attitude of striker
  • ‘Sometimes I’d like him to be stronger physically’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Anthony Martial can be the first Manchester United player to break the 20-goal barrier since Romelu Lukaku two seasons ago.

Martial scored his 14th of the campaign in Thursday’s 1-1 draw at Club Brugge in the Europa League last-32 opening leg. His highest total for United is 17, in 2015-16. He was fielded then as a centre-forward by Louis van Gaal – before Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival the following season – and Solskjær is also using him in that position.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

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Anthony Martial puts Manchester United in driving seat against Brugge

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 19:59

Manchester United stuttered throughout this tepid affair yet still remain favourites to reach the last 16 at the expense of Club Brugge in next week’s return leg.

Towards the end here snow fell, replacing the rain, on a night when each side was frozen in a deep below-par state. While Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side have the away goal, whether United possess the talent and skill to win this competition for a second time in four seasons is doubtful.

Related: Club Brugge v Manchester United: Europa League last 32 – live!

Related: Fraser Forster rescues Celtic with penalty save against Copenhagen

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Club Brugge v Manchester United: Europa League last 32 – live!

Thu, 02/20/2020 - 19:07

7.07pm GMT

50 min End to end stuff at the beginning of half. Moments after Martial failed to finish Mata’s pass, Vanaken found Dennis with a nice pass at the other end. Good shot from Dennis but a very good save from Romero.

7.05pm GMT

49 min Two chances from United to open up. First Lingard very nearly got onto the end of a cross, then Juan Mata picked up a loose Brugge pass and found Martial in the box with a nice ball. Martial had a great chance on his left foot but he bizarrely tried to cut back to Mata. The ball bounced off a Brugge defender and rolled to a thankful Mignolet.

7.02pm GMT

47 min By no means will the home team be shedding tears over that substitution. Ruud Vormer had been struggling with injury but he is one of the best players and he is responsible for 15 league assists and 2 in Europe this year. Not bad.

7.01pm GMT

45 min The second half begins. About one kick into the second half, Balanta went down again with the same injury from the final minutes of the first half. He has now been replaced by Ruud Vormer.

6.56pm GMT

Meanwhile, Celtic lead 1-0 in Copenhagen.

Related: Copenhagen v Celtic, Getafe v Ajax and more: Europa League – live!

6.53pm GMT

It will be interesting to see how Manchester United start the second half. That was a rancid opening 35 minutes from them against a glittering Club Brugge. They had endless possession yet looked so timid on the ball and they could have conceded more.

The game changed in the blink of an eye with one moment of intelligence and industry from Martial, which galvanised the team. By the end of the first half, United had 6 shots to 5.

6.47pm GMT

From Ciarán:

I’m not saying he’s going to score many more goals like that, but it proves the worth of working a little bit harder off the ball. A lot Anelka to his game. One can’t doubt his talent (he’s just smashed the ball off the post as I write this) but there are infuriatingly lethargic spells from him almost every game.

6.44pm GMT

Well, that was an interesting half. Brugge dominated a completely lacklustre United for 35 minutes before Martial changed the game by taking advantage from a mistake by Mechele and nailing his finish.

Neither team will be happy with the goal they conceded, but here we are.

6.43pm GMT

45 min Balanta is down with a knock for Brugge and the physio is on. He looks quite dazed but he walked off and it seems like he should continue.

6.41pm GMT

Anthony Martial's top-scoring seasons for Manchester United:

2015-16: 17 goals
2019-20: 14 goals

Common theme? The No.9 shirt. pic.twitter.com/8F9Hf97VHD

6.40pm GMT

43 min Martial once again creates something from nothing, this time rattling the post with a wicked strike from outside the box.

That was going in if not for an excellent fingertip save from Mignolet to roll the ball onto the post.

6.38pm GMT

40 min That was a big miss from Brandon Williams, who booted his shot miles over the bar from a great position. Much better work from United, who worked the ball up the pitch and to Pereira who then fizzed in a great cross to Williams, who was in space at the far post.

6.35pm GMT

That was something. Brugge defender Mechele received a throw in from a completely neutral position but he clearly didn’t realise how close Martial was. As he let the ball run past him, Martial sprinted forward and nicked the ball, dribbling free and then finishing with plenty of composure. Industrious work from the Frenchman and we will see if he can single-handedly inject some confidence into his team.

6.32pm GMT

Out of nowhere, United are level! After a bad mistake from Mechele, a great run and finish from Martial.

6.31pm GMT

From Justin:

With United opting to play with a fly keeper tonight behind Lindelof, who always seems to be in the wrong post code when the ball is delivered, I’m not sure Bruges will need the full-on “miracle” to beat United in this competition. No walking on water required, Monsieur Clement; just tell them to bring their waders and hoof it up into the deep end.

6.29pm GMT

Well then.

Mignolet now has as many assists in Europe this season as Kevin De Bruyne

6.28pm GMT

30 min United are now up to 62.5% possession here and they continue to do absolutely nothing but pass sideways with it. This time, Brugge’s Mata steals the ball and flits about 40 yards up the right flank. This time he was just too quick for his teammates to catch up, but again, that is just too easy.

6.25pm GMT

28 min Tau, De Cuyper and Dennis have been electric so far from the left. Another chance for them as the trio combine with some quick one touch combinations before Dennis fires off a shot from the tight angle.

Well saved by Romero in the end but the home team is strolling through the United midfield at the moment.

6.22pm GMT

26 min This time, it’s Cuyper who produces a lovely through ball in Tau’s direction after a quick break. Tau was just offside and United breathe.

6.21pm GMT

24 min United have had 61.3% of the ball so far today but they really aren’t doing anything with it. The home team is happily waiting for space on the counter and, so far, tearing the English team apart with quick passing.

6.19pm GMT

21 mins Another heart-in-mouth moment for United. This time, Maguire failed to win a header from a long ball and the ball bounced over him as Brugge’s Tau chased it. Solid work from United keeper Romero, who was quick to meet the ball out of his box before hoofing it out.

6.16pm GMT

Club Brugge's Emmanuel Dennis has scored three goals in European competition this season:

⚽ Real Madrid
⚽ Real Madrid
⚽ Manchester United

A man for the big occasion. pic.twitter.com/dh1F381BRg

6.15pm GMT

17 min So much for a slow start! Brugge are moving the ball so quickly in the final third and, minutes after their first goal, they are already after a second. Quite a poor miss from Rits at the end of another great move from the home team.

The United defence looks shaken.

6.12pm GMT

6.09pm GMT

13 min With the exception of the opening scare for United, there is not too much happening here. This has been quite a sterile start.

6.07pm GMT

9 min United are settling down and have commanded possession a couple of minutes, but the ball is mostly in their own half.

Meanwhile, the rain has officially stopped.

6.04pm GMT

6 min Brugge are already showing exactly what have made them so successful this year. They are passing out from the back and have started with some crisp passing through the lines - they lead the Belgian Pro League in possession and passes played. Dennis was just offside after a lovely through ball by Vanaken. They are here to play.

6.01pm GMT

2 min Goodness. Brugge immediately generate a big chance to begin! United’s Brandon Williams suffered a tough tackle as the ball was pushed out. Brugge took the throw in quickly, with Vanaken whipping a ball into the box. Carnage in the box, but the ball was eventually cleared by Lindelof. That was a warning.

5.56pm GMT

1 min: United kick off tonight. We begin.

5.55pm GMT

Andreas Pereira, a philosopher, in his BT Sport interview:

Goals are like ketchup, if you score one, loads more will come”

5.52pm GMT

The teams are heading out onto the pitch. A reminder: VAR is now being used in the Europa league. Let’s see what carnage that brings up.

5.50pm GMT

The weather is absolutely miserable in Bruges. The rain is heavy and the camera has already cut to many sad people wearing big coats.

5.44pm GMT

Bruno Fernandes in the Europa League this season:

• Most shots (24)
• Most goals + assists (8)
• Second-most goals (5)
• Second-most assists (3)

Solskjaer's super-sub? pic.twitter.com/wLOn5aqcNS

5.41pm GMT

Recommended reading:

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5.28pm GMT

The Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on BT Sport:

[Ighalo’s] not trained too many days with us. We’re still waiting. Hopefully we can get him on at the end of the game today. [Bailly] got a knock against Chelsea, so he wasn’t able to play today.

We know the conditions here aren’t great but we have to concentrate here.. We’ll just have to play a good game of football, try to control our game and try to play at our tempo.

5.20pm GMT

Players that have scored against Sergio Romero this season:

➖ Luke Matheson (16 at the time)
➖ Michy Batshuayi

The Manchester United goalkeeper has only conceded two goals in 10 appearances in all competitions in 19/20 pic.twitter.com/08kxjMPg93

5.15pm GMT

Some big changes for both teams tonight. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made six changes from United’s win at Chelsea earlier in the week. Fred, Fernandes, Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, De Gea and James all resting.

Club Brugge is putting forward a strong squad after resting players on the weekend. Still, particularly notable players on the bench are Ruud Vormer, the club talisman who is responsible for 15 assists in the league this season and 2 in Europe. David Okereke, Brugge’s second highest scorer in the league with 9 goals, also starts on the bench.

5.07pm GMT

Be sure to check out Barry Glendenning’s Fiver today.

Related: The Fiver | One of European football’s most pleasantly genteel experiences

4.59pm GMT

Club Brugge: Mignolet, Mata, Kossounou, Mechele, Deli, Rits, Balanta, Vanaken, Bonaventure, Tau, De Cuyper

Subs: Horvath, Ricca, Mitrovic, De Ketelaere, Vormer, Schrijvers, Okereke

3.35pm GMT

Here is Philippe Clement’s sober preview of tonight’s match:

“To eliminate Manchester United, you really need a real miracle. People who do not think that have not looked at recent history. Agreed, United has a difficult season. But they won at Manchester City and Chelsea and won points from Liverpool. There is a lot of quality in their group. “

“In Europe, you have years in which you perform a miracle. We will of course throw ourselves [at United] completely. These are two games in which we have nothing to lose. Many boys are looking forward to it. Matches like these provide my players with energy. ”

3.32pm GMT

What an unusually pleasant, stress-free week this has been for United fans. After arriving at Stamford Bridge on Monday with only one league win in 2020, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team stole away with three points and offered all a rare opportunity to relax and bask in the glory of a job well done. There were pleasing performances from Harry Maguire (despite his stray boot’s attempts to ruin everything), Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Erick Bailly, Bruno Fernandes and many more. In the end they were too busy celebrating to hear Mino Raiola’s new proclamations of war.

As always, the question is whether they can use a solid win like this to build some momentum and United’s biggest problem this season is how frequently they have been in this position. This season has included wins against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Leicester City and two other wins over Chelsea, yet the answer has usually been a resounding no. United have shrunk against lesser teams and struggled to piece together consistent form throughout. Here they stand once again attempting to use a big result to propel them forward.

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Marcus Rashford 'touch and go' to play again this season, reveals Solskjær

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 17:57
  • Striker’s back injury worse than initially thought
  • Rashford’s participation at Euro 2020 in major doubt

Marcus Rashford’s chances of playing for Manchester United again this season are “touch and go”, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who has said the striker’s back injury is more severe than initially thought. It leaves Rashford’s participation at Euro 2020 in major doubt.

Rashford suffered a double stress fracture in January’s FA Cup win over Wolves and United’s manager was asked on Wednesday, before his team’s Europa League game at Club Brugge, whether the 22-year-old’s chances of featuring for United before the end of the campaign were rated at 50-50.

Related: Chelsea say 'large group' of Manchester United fans made homophobic chants

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Chelsea say 'large group' of Manchester United fans made homophobic chants

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 09:05
  • Fans prevented from entering or ejected, Chelsea report
  • United say song ‘runs counter to our values’

Chelsea have said that a “large group” of Manchester United fans made homophobic chants at Monday’s game at Stamford Bridge.

A number of fans were prevented from entering the ground and others were ejected during United’s 2-0 win, according to Chelsea.

Related: Arsène Wenger uses Fifa role to propose new offside law amid marginal VAR calls

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'Universally wrong decision': Frank Lampard on Maguire's red-card escape – video

Tue, 02/18/2020 - 09:30

'Maguire should get a red and then he scores the second goal.' Frank Lampard spoke of his frustration after his Chelsea side were defeated 2-0 by Manchester United after VAR once again took centre stage. Television replays showed the United central defender appearing to catch Michy Batshuayi with his boot as the pair tangled off the field in the first half. The incident was reviewed and no card was given. To make matters worse for Lampard's side, they also suffered two disallowed goals, both ruled out by VAR

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Harry Maguire and Manchester United rely on VAR for win at Chelsea

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 23:57

For Chelsea, it was a painful night in more ways than one. As if seeing Harry Maguire escape censure for studding Michy Batshuayi in a very private area was not bad enough, there was also the frustration of the VAR interventions that left Frank Lampard feeling sore after being beaten again by Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who celebrated a win built on dogged defending, Bruno Fernandes’s first assist in a Manchester United shirt and the sight of Anthony Martial rising to the occasion in the absence of the injured Marcus Rashford.

It was a strange contest – Solskjær admitted his side were poor before Martial gave them the lead – and those tight refereeing calls are worth keeping in mind when it comes to analysing United’s fourth league win over another Big Six side this season.

Related: Bruno Fernandes offers vision of a thrusting United midfield after so long

Related: United's Harry Maguire should have been sent off, says Frank Lampard

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United's Harry Maguire should have been sent off, says Frank Lampard

Mon, 02/17/2020 - 23:26
  • Maguire admits ‘catching’ Michy Batshuayi off the ball
  • ‘I don’t like the way we’re losing games,’ says Lampard

Frank Lampard said after Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat against Manchester United that he believed Harry Maguire should have been sent off.

Television replays showed the United central defender appearing to kick out at Michy Batshuayi as the pair tangled off the field in the first half. The incident was reviewed by video technology and no card was given; to compound Chelsea’s chagrin Maguire went on to score United’s second goal.

Related: Harry Maguire and Manchester United rely on VAR for win at Chelsea

Related: Bruno Fernandes offers vision of a thrusting United midfield after so long

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Categories: What the papers say