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Updated: 2 hours 25 min ago

Manchester United v Chelsea: match preview

Sat, 04/27/2019 - 09:00

Three wins from the last three games will give Manchester United the best chance of claiming a Champions League berth. Yet the 527 minutes since Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team last scored from open play is an encouraging statistic for Chelsea as they arrive knowing victory will help their own top-four challenge. Given how Arsenal split the two in the table, a draw by final whistle will not aid United or Chelsea greatly. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Juventus keen on signing Paul Pogba but may need to sell players first

Sat, 04/27/2019 - 08:00
  • United likely to demand €130m for French midfielder
  • Juventus have met with Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola

Juventus would like to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United this summer but would have to sell two or three important players to be able to afford the Frenchman. United are likely to demand €130m (£112.4m) for the 26-year-old.

United want to keep the World Cup winner but his second spell at the club has not been a success so far. The midfielder may look to leave in the summer, especially if Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side misses out on a Champions League place for next season.

Related: PFA Team of the Year: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba a shock inclusion

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: Leicester keen to sign Atalanta striker Andrea Petagna in summer for €20m

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Maurizio Sarri believes his first season at Chelsea has been a success

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 22:30

• Players urged to make top four and Europa League final
• ‘The season, at the moment, is good,’ manager says

Maurizio Sarri will consider his first season at Chelsea a success whatever the outcome of the club’s pursuit of Champions League qualification, but he has challenged his players to secure a top-four finish and a place in the Europa League final in the weeks to come.

Chelsea can open a six‑point gap over Manchester United, effectively knocking their hosts out of top‑four contention, by winning at Old Trafford on Sunday with qualification for Europe’s elite competition in their own hands. Sarri has also taken the team to a Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt, and saw his side beaten on penalties by Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final.

Related: Premier League top four: who will stumble into the Champions League?

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: Doing something right despite the hysteria: in defence of Maurizio Sarri | Barney Ronay

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Premier League top four: who will stumble into the Champions League?

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 18:59

Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have one win from eight games between them – who will win the race?

The battle for the top four continues this weekend with all four teams seemingly doing their utmost to miss out. Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United have managed a single win between them in eight games (and that was Spurs’ late win against Brighton) and Mauricio Pochettino’s team recently picked up four points from an available 15.

So with this in mind we asked our writers how it came to this and why these clubs are still fighting to secure a place in the top four with three games to go – as well as if there is any hope of any of them mounting a serious title challenge in the next two years.

Related: Title race, top four, promotion and relegation – what's still at stake?

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

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær on Pogba: 'I think Paul is going to be here' – video

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 13:20

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes that the future of Paul Pogba is at Manchester United. The midfielder has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, however Solskjær said: 'I can assure you that he is very determined to be successful at United.' Pogba's side have lost four of their last six matches and, despite their recent dip in form, the Frenchman made it into the PFA Team of the Year. United host Chelsea on Sunday in a key battle for the top four

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De Gea’s Manchester United place is secure despite poor form, says Solskjær

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 10:39
• ‘I trust David,’ says United manager of keeper after recent errors
• Solskjær believes Paul Pogba will remain at club next season

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has stated he will not drop David De Gea for Sunday’s visit of Chelsea despite the Manchester United goalkeeper’s shaky form.

De Gea was at fault for each of Manchester City’s goals in Wednesday’s 2-0 derby defeat at Old Trafford. The Spaniard was also culpable for Lionel Messi’s second in the 3-0 loss at Barcelona in last week’s Champions League loss.

Related: Solskjær expects Pogba to stay at United: weekend countdown – live!

Related: Dominant Manchester City show how vast the gulf has become with United | Jonathan Wilson

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 04/26/2019 - 00:01

A chance for Shaqiri to shine, City may need to show their dark side and Cardiff can pile pressure on Brighton

Pep Guardiola is not usually short of post-match praise for his players, but he struck a different note after the Manchester derby win. “Tonight we can enjoy it, but tomorrow it’s over, so we have to be focused,” he said. “I know people are going to talk about how beautiful, how handsome we are, but now we have to go to Burnley”. Guardiola is rightly taking nothing for granted even after taking the necessary six points from Spurs and United. Burnley were one of six teams to take points off City last season and have routinely posed problems for the top six this term. It is to City’s advantage that they have been winning ugly for a while. The 6-0 thrashing of Chelsea in February was perhaps the last time City were at full throttle in the league, but the wins have kept coming, drawn out through force of will. Guardiola’s handsome team will need to show their dark side again on Sunday. NM

Related: Manchester City's derby delight, focus on Burnley and eggs – Football Weekly Extra

Related: PFA Team of the Year: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba a shock inclusion

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The Bernardo principle, Alexis Sánchez and Manchester City’s great paradox | Barney Ronay

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 20:12
Alexis Sánchez might have been in Bernardo Silva’s place on Wednesday had things panned out differently but that would have gone against the tone and texture of Pep Guardiola’s team

Of the many telling facts, stats and scalding-hot takes to emerge from Wednesday night’s Manchester derby – a game that felt as if two clubs were passing briefly on airport travelators, waving curtly as they rolled off in opposite directions – perhaps the most poignant was the touch map of Alexis Sánchez.

Related: Dominant Manchester City show how vast the gulf has become with United | Jonathan Wilson

Alexis Sanchez came on for a total of 12 minutes tonight.

This is his touch map...#ManchesterDerby #MUNMCI pic.twitter.com/yHyyaunyQK

Related: Manchester City's derby delight, focus on Burnley and eggs – Football Weekly Extra

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Dominant Manchester City show how vast the gulf has become with United | Jonathan Wilson

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 13:10

While Ole Gunnar Solskjær tries to reconjure old values, City are breaking free from their past with the title a step closer

In prospect, six weeks ago, in that golden age when Manchester United didn’t have a permanent manager, the derby looked like being the biggest obstacle between Manchester City and retaining the league title. History, perhaps, will continue to view it as such: it is a derby, it is United; how could it not have been a night of furious passions and impossible tension? And yet in the moment, once the initial United surge was over – there was, at least, some sort of reaction to Sunday’s humiliation at Everton – the overwhelming sense was of how vast the gulf between the sides has become.

That is 11 league wins in a row now for City, a run of absurd consistency. United battled, at least until going behind, but as Roy Keane pointed out that should be a prerequisite. The presence of a bit of fight, though, served only to highlight the difference in quality, a disparity highlighted by the way United set out with three central defenders shielded by three deep-lying midfielders – and nobody accused Ole Gunnar Solskjær of needless ideological negativity; breaking the game up was just the best way of trying to get something out of the game.

Related: Obsession with past leaves Solskjær’s United stuck in a footballing Pompeii | Barney Ronay

Related: PFA Team of the Year: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba a shock inclusion

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Football quiz: how much do you know about Premier League title races?

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 10:45

Who ate well? Who left it late? Who won on goal difference?

Which player was mentioned by name in Kevin Keegan’s infamous "I would love it" rant during the 1995-96 run-in?

Les Ferdinand

Roy Keane

Stuart Pearce

David Platt

Which club has won the Premier League on goal difference?

Blackburn Rovers

Chelsea

Arsenal

Manchester City

Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Anfield in 2014 is often remembered for Steven Gerrard’s slip. Which player made his league debut for Chelsea in that game and was named man of the match (in the Guardian, at least)?

Lewis Baker

Nathan Ake

Tomas Kalas

Mohamed Salah

Manchester United won the first Premier League title in 1993. Who came second?

Norwich City

Blackburn Rovers

Aston Villa

QPR

Arsenal did not lose any of their 38 league matches in the 2003-04 season. How many did they win?

22

26

30

34

Manchester City won the title in 2012 thanks to a 3-2 victory over QPR on the final day. When did Edin Dzeko and Sergio Agüero score their goals?

The 87th minute and 89th minute

The 90th minute and 93rd minute

The 92nd minute and 94th minute

The 95th minute and 98th minute

What food did Claudio Ranieri promise his Leicester players if they kept clean sheets during their run to the title in 2016?

Burgers

Fish and chips

Pizza

Pasta

Manchester United pipped Chelsea to the title by two points in the 2007-08 season. Which player made the most league appearances for United that season?

Wes Brown

Cristiano Ronaldo

Paul Scholes

Edwin van der Sar

Arsenal beat Everton 4-0 in May 1998 to clinch the title. Which player (who went on to become a Premier League manager) opened the scoring with an own goal?

David Moyes

Slaven Bilic

Aidy Boothroyd

Owen Coyle

Which club won the title even though they lost their last two games of the season?

Arsenal

Blackburn Rovers

Manchester City

Chelsea

1 and above.

Oh dear

2 and above.

Oh dear

3 and above.

Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?

5 and above.

Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?

4 and above.

Not familiar with the title race. Do you support Spurs?

6 and above.

That's an impressive score.  

7 and above.

You made top four but didn't win the title

8 and above.

You made top four but didn't win the title

9 and above.

Close but you just missed out on goal difference

0 and above.

Oh dear

10 and above.

You are the title winner of this quiz

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PFA Team of the Year: Manchester United’s Paul Pogba a shock inclusion

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 09:17

• United midfielder makes players’ XI
• City have six players in team and Liverpool four

Title chasing Manchester City and Liverpool dominated the The Professional Footballers’ Association’s team of the year when it was announced on Thursday but there was a surprise inclusion for Paul Pogba.

Related: Leroy Sané fires Manchester City past United to tip scales in title race

The PFA Premier League Team of the Year!#PFAawards | #TOTY pic.twitter.com/YBWOhoJsQI

Related: Obsession with past leaves Solskjær’s United stuck in a footballing Pompeii | Barney Ronay

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Obsession with past leaves Solskjaer’s United stuck in a footballing Pompeii

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 00:30

Manchester United’s derby performance was that off a club cranking out the same jangly playlist while locked in a time warp as the present ebbs away

Not even close. Not even close to being close. If there is an accurate measure of Manchester City’s domestic dominance over the past two seasons, and more specifically that combined 50-point lead over the creaky 1990s tribute act from across the way, it is perhaps the sight of Old Trafford at the final whistle of this room-temperature 2-0 derby victory.

As the home crowd filed out in added time you could see the bones of this ground open up, its clanky iron clavicles exposed to the air. The only noise came from the sky blue corner where City’s fans sang “this city is ours” and – a little prematurely: the bigger test of Burnley away is yet to come – a few late rounds of “Campeones”.

Related: Leroy Sané fires Manchester City past United to tip scales in title race

Related: Pep Guardiola turns Manchester City’s focus to Burnley after derby win

Related: Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City: Premier League player ratings | Jamie Jackson

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær: 'I need to see who is willing to make sacrifices for Manchester United' – video

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 00:30

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said his side did not have enough quality in Manchester United's 2-0 derby defeat to Manchester City.

The loss for United may prove to be damaging in their hopes to finish in the top four, as they remain in sixth place with three matches left to play.

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Pep Guardiola turns Manchester City’s focus to Burnley after derby win

Thu, 04/25/2019 - 00:04
• City are a point ahead of Liverpool with three games to go
• Guardiola: ‘We still have a job to do’

Pep Guardiola has called on his Manchester City players to finish the season with three more victories after watching them win 2-0 against Manchester United to move into a position of strength at the top of the Premier League table.

City are now a point ahead of Liverpool with three games to go after second-half goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané extended United’s run to seven defeats from their last nine games, their worst sequence of results since 1962.

Related: Leroy Sané fires Manchester City past United to tip scales in title race

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Leroy Sané fires Manchester City past United to tip scales in title race

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 22:00

Every season there is always one game in the title race when the team who are going to win the Premier League know it is going to be their year. One game when everything turns in their favour, all the hard work comes together and the supporters can think it is going to be a season to cherish.

For Manchester City, was this that night? It certainly felt that way even if they still have to negotiate a tricky assignment at Burnley on Sunday before closing their season with a home game against Leicester and a trip to Brighton. City have made it 11 league wins in a row and if they can extend that sequence to 14 there will be nothing Liverpool, in second place, can do about it. No wonder there was such jubilation at the final whistle from the players in blue.

Related: Pep Guardiola turns Manchester City’s focus to Burnley after derby win

Related: Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City: Premier League player ratings | Jamie Jackson

Related: Diogo Jota-inspired Wolves deal fresh blow to Arsenal’s top-four hopes

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Manchester United v Manchester City: Premier League – live!

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 18:30

2.00pm BST

Hello. They’ve been playing Manchester derbies since 1881, the year Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson first met and Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid. And there has never been a United-City duel in a context exactly like today’s. The 178th showdown between the clubs is assured of at least mention in each clubs’ history books no matter how it unfolds. Some shade of glory beckons for both, but deep regret, even ignominy, also lurks. This match has immediate importance to each team’s season and is a bellwether game for what could happen beyond that. And Liverpool are watching in the role of helpless bystanders hoping that United, their fiercest rivals, will do them a favour in spite of themselves. But what if the twist in this season’s title race is that there is no twist? And City just keep on winning.

Pep Guardiola’s men haven’t dropped a point in the Premier League since late January and there’s little to suggest they’re about to slip up now, especially not against a United side who have been in wretched form, with Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Everton not so much humiliating as contemptible. Everything suggests the gulf between the neighbours is growing. But this is a derby. This is at Old Trafford. City are not perfect and United do have some quality and, presumably, some pride.

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Manchester City fans could teach Brexit Britain how to put the fun in failure | Daniel Lavelle

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 08:00
Win or lose, leave or remain – City supporters know it’s important never to take yourself too seriously

The British are celebrated for their ability to laugh at themselves. Which is good – because we’re not celebrated for much else at the moment. But even our talent for self-mockery is being strained. The cause is understandable: Westminster’s incompetence is so farcical it should be funny. But it’s not. We’re in danger of becoming a nation of dour, po-faced haters (and self-haters). So thank the lord for Manchester City fans. And as a Man United fan I never thought I’d hear myself say that.

In these dark days it is the blue half of Manchester that is showing the rest of the country it is still possible to not take yourself too seriously. City learned the hard way. They endured 35 years of pain – not winning a single trophy while United swept up everything in front of them. And in that time they learned the invaluable lesson – it’s best to poke fun at yourself before others get the chance.

Related: My team lost, but Man City v Spurs was better theatre than Shakespeare | Simon Hattenstone

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Pep Guardiola hits back at Ole Gunnar Solskjær over ‘foul’ accusations

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 22:30
• United manager claims City foul early to avoid yellow cards
• Guardiola says opposite number might be trying to sway referee

Pep Guardiola has reacted to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s suggestion that Manchester City’s players will push the boundaries in Wednesday’s derby and accused the United manager of trying to influence the referee.

Solskjær’s belief is that City will press hard at Old Trafford and foul United high up the pitch because there is less chance of them being booked for misdemeanours in those areas. “You don’t get the yellow cards [there], do you? But that’s just because they commit so many players forward and you can clearly see that they’ve got them in that mould of trying to win the ball back, and they do make fouls,” the United manager said.

Related: Manchester United at Old Trafford are not scary any more, says Pep Guardiola

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær insists he is right manager for Manchester United

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Manchester United can still inflict telling blow on City’s title hopes

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 20:00

In a game that may decide who wins the Premier League, United’s players have a chance to react with the race for the top four still wide open

This is the one, this is the one – we have waited for. Although perhaps not quite like this. There have been plenty of epic-scale, thunderously-billed, pundit-gurgling Manchester derbies in the Premier League years, games to match Old Trafford’s stirring pre-match soundtrack. But never one as apparently empty of red-shirted hope as Wednesday’s meeting, a game that will come close to deciding the destiny of the league title.

Related: Liverpool and Manchester City are both deserving of title-winners’ confetti | Barney Ronay

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: Who do Manchester United fans prefer for the title: City or Liverpool?

Related: Manchester United at Old Trafford are not scary any more, says Pep Guardiola

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