What the papers say

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Read the latest Manchester United news, transfer rumours, match reports, fixtures and live scores from the Guardian
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Everything suggests United's players have given up on Solskjær | Daniel Harris

Tue, 10/26/2021 - 08:00

There comes a point in most tenures when all hope expires and Manchester United’s manager has reached that juncture

Manchester United can play worse than they did against Liverpool. Yes, yes, I know, but before you click out please stick with me for a second. Though their defending was as bad as defending can be – again – until things got silly they attacked with speed, cohesion and imagination, not something said often.

The result, then, was not a factor of performance but of opponent, a serious beating long in the post, dispensed by a serious team missing two-thirds of their first‑choice midfield. Which is to say United have rarefied depths still to plumb – and with games against Atalanta, Manchester City, Villarreal and Chelsea imminent, history may soon repeat farce as slapstick.

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Salah’s crowning glory for Egypt in sight after feats for club and continent | Ed Aarons

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 17:50

The Liverpool forward is the highest-scoring African player in Premier League history after his hat-trick at Old Trafford

“The new KINGS on the block,” wrote Didier Drogba on Twitter in response to a picture of him with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané. Less than 24 hours after Salah’s scintillating hat-trick at Old Trafford propelled him past Drogba to become the highest-scoring African player in the Premier League, his former Chelsea teammate also retweeted a cartoon in which he places a crown on the Egypt forward’s head.

With Liverpool leading 2-0 against a ragged Manchester United on Sunday and Salah tied with Drogba on 104 goals, there was a sense of inevitability that the big moment would arrive for the player from the small town of Nagrig in the Nile Delta. It was fitting that the assist for the record-breaking goal in the 38th minute came from Guinea’s Naby Keïta, with Salah making it 106 seven minutes later before rounding off the rout by becoming the first visiting player to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford since Real Madrid’s Ronaldo in 2003 and the first in the Premier League.

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Liverpool demolish Manchester United. Plus banners and toes – Football Weekly

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 14:51

Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Barney Ronay to dissect Liverpool’s demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford, and review the rest of the weekend’s Premier League action

Rate, review, share on Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Audioboom, Mixcloud, Acast and Stitcher, and join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

We start with Liverpool’s brilliant 5-0 win at Old Trafford, as Mohamed Salah becomes the first opposition player to score a hat-trick at Old Trafford since Ronaldo (the original) in 2003. We ask why Ole Gunnar Solskjær is beyond scrutiny in some quarters, and why United’s pressing is so disastrous.

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Conte keen on Manchester United job as players doubt Solskjær’s capability

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 12:31
  • Former Chelsea manager would welcome Old Trafford talks
  • Players like Solskjær but think he is tactically not up to task

Antonio Conte would be open to discussing taking over at Manchester United if Ole Gunnar Solskjær were sacked, while it emerged on Monday that several players are questioning whether the Norwegian can take the team any further.

Several dressing-room sources have told the Guardian that Sunday’s 5-0 capitulation to Liverpool at Old Trafford has crystallised a lack of belief in Solskjær being a good enough manager for United. The 48-year-old is considered tactically underwhelming, while being well-liked by the squad and within the wider club.

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Manchester United rout had been coming: nobody has a clue what they are doing | Jonathan Wilson

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 11:00

Press, discipline and fluency were woefully lacking against Liverpool, with inadequacies of Solskjær and Ronaldo exposed

What have Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Alan Partridge got in common?

Both need help constructing a press.

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

Mon, 10/25/2021 - 08:00

Nuno seems scared of his Spurs bench, Manchester United players must stand up and Joshua King haunts Goodison Park

Substitutions have been permitted in English league football since 1965, but maybe nobody told Nuno Espí­rito Santo. The Tottenham manager has been curiously reluctant to use his well-stocked bench in recent weeks, and even as his side sleepwalked to defeat at West Ham, he waited until the 84th minute to make changes. Even if the likes of Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn have hardly sparkled of late, a worrying gulf is opening between the first XI and the rest. Meanwhile, Nuno’s continuing stubbornness – “The game was under control,” he explained curtly – is hardly likely to endear him to the fanbase. Jonathan Liew

Match report: West Ham 1-0 Tottenham

Match report: Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa

Match report: Brentford 1-2 Leicester

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Inept, weak, no plan: humiliation for Manchester United and Solskjær | Barney Ronay

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 21:54

Shocking 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool a gruesome spectacle that showed a team in a state of high-priced sporting decay

What was this thing, exactly? For 90 minutes at Old Trafford the players of Liverpool and Manchester United produced something that resembled, in its colours and shapes, an elite-level football match. In practice it felt like something else: a kind of ritual humiliation, certainly, a real-time study in how to empty, safely, four-fifths of a football stadium.

Mainly it was just a gruesome spectacle, something seasick and rotten, a team in a state of high‑priced sporting decay caught pinned and wriggling under the lights.

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Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: player ratings from Old Trafford

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 21:50

Mohamed Salah stood out on a memorable day for Jürgen Klopp’s side while Harry Maguire had a match to forget

David de Gea The sole United man who did his job. Near post save from Salah was top-class and he was blameless for every goal. 7

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Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjær calls 5-0 thrashing ‘darkest day’

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 21:24
  • Solskjær: ‘I do believe in myself, I am getting close’
  • Jürgen Klopp says of Liverpool win: ‘The result is insane’

A defiant Ole Gunnar Solskjær insisted he remains the best manager for Manchester United and is not considering leaving his position despite their 5-0 home humiliation by Liverpool on what he described as his darkest day in charge.

United trailed 4-0 at half-time on Sunday for the first time in the Premier League era following goals from Naby Keïta, Diogo Jota and two from Mohamed Salah. The players were booed off at the interval and when the Egyptian became the first visiting player to score a league hat-trick at United since 1991, soon after the restart, some supporters left. To make matters worse Paul Pogba was later shown a straight red card for a lunge on Keïta, who was taken off on a stretcher.

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'Rock bottom': Solskjær deflated after Liverpool's 5-0 win against Man Utd – video

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 20:29

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said he was at 'rock bottom' after his side's dismal 5-0 defeat by Liverpool at Old Trafford. The hosts were 4-0 down by the break and 5-0 down before the half-time substitute Paul Pogba was sent off for a studs-up tackle on Naby Keita. A hat-trick from Mohamed Salah was the outstanding individual display in what Solskjær said was his worst defeat as United boss. 

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Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: Premier League – as it happened

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 19:13

Mo Salah scored a hat-trick as Liverpool humiliated a shambolic Manchester United, who were 5-0 down after 50 minutes and had Paul Pogba sent off

Jurgen Klopp’s pre-match thoughts

“Diogo was in outstanding form before the international break and he is training at a very high level. We saw a few things that made us think it would be a good game [to play Konate].

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Mohamed Salah hits hat-trick as Liverpool thrash Manchester United

Sun, 10/24/2021 - 18:49

When the half-time whistle sounded, with Liverpool 4-0 up and everybody inside Old Trafford well aware that it could have been seven, the boos from the Manchester United fans rang out.

At half-time against Atalanta in the Champions League last Wednesday night, with United 2-0 down, there had been a volley of jeers before the support for the team and the manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, came through. United would rally to win 3-2.

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‘No time to lose’ if Manchester United are to mount title bid, admits Solskjær

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 22:30
  • Manager believes Sancho and Ronaldo yet to gel with team
  • ‘I expect us to improve. It’s about finding the balance’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted Manchester United have “no time to lose” if they are to mount a title challenge, with the manager aware Liverpool will be seven points clear of his side if Sunday’s visitors win at Old Trafford.

United have taken one point from their previous three matches and last won in the league at West Ham a month ago. Liverpool are undefeated in 12 matches in all competitions and were a point off the top of the Premier League going into the weekend.

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Goals a bonus for Roberto Firmino, Liverpool’s beloved anti-Ronaldo | Richard Jolly

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 22:30

The relentless Brazilian’s 300th game for Liverpool contrasted sharply with Cristiano Ronaldo’s for Manchester United

Perhaps it was fitting that milestones were brought up in trademark fashion. Cristiano Ronaldo completed a triple century of Manchester United appearances as the comic-book hero, comeback king and matchwinner against Atalanta. A day earlier, Roberto Firmino joined Liverpool’s 300 club with a relentless display of scurrying.

Diego Simeone’s famously industrious Atlético Madrid met a man who shares their ethos. Liverpool secured one of their finest victories under Jürgen Klopp. “I am pretty sure he was the player who ran the most against Atlético, 100% the attacking player who ran the most,” said a grinning Klopp. “It says a lot.”

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Solskjær the perfect frontman for United's era of endless new dawns | Jonathan Liew

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 20:00

Liverpool clash is being billed as make-or-break but that is typical of club where everything happens but nothing changes

The Super League breakaway. The resignation of Ed Woodward. The Old Trafford protests. The Europa League final. The signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphaël Varane. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s new contract. The return of Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo’s two-goal debut against Newcastle. The injury-time defeat to Young Boys. The injury-time victory over Villarreal. Losing 4-2 to Leicester. And most recently coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against Atalanta, a result so eminently predictable it almost counts as plagiarism.

That’s just the past six months. Six months of wins, losses, triumph, heartbreak, scandal, rumour, greed and excess at the world’s most meme-able football club. It’s tempting to see the modern Manchester United as essentially a directionless vehicle, a model of flailing incompetence that provides plenty of entertainment but whose wider purpose is unclear. But what if this is the wider purpose? What if we’re not watching the painstaking construction of a long and glorious project, but its realisation?

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Back to the future for Liverpool as control gives way to constant clatter | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 20:00

Is the tactical wheel turning for Jürgen Klopp, the manager whose guided chaos changed the modern game?

‘Something,” Jürgen Klopp said in February 2019 after Liverpool had drawn 0-0 at home against Bayern, “changed in the world of football – everyone adapted to it and we have to make sure we adapt.”

He was talking about a new-found willingness from top teams to defend. In as far as it has been possible to trace anything in the vastly changed environment of Covid-19, he was probably right – and yet watching Liverpool beat Atlético Madrid 3-2 on Tuesday, nobody could have believed football has entered a new age of attrition. And in that, perhaps, lies one of the two doubts that lurk behind Liverpool’s broadly excellent start to the season.

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Manchester United v Liverpool: match preview

Sat, 10/23/2021 - 09:00

The equivalent fixture was postponed on 2 May due to the unrest from disgruntled Manchester United fans who broke into the stadium in protest at the Glazer family’s ownership. When it was finally staged 11 days later Liverpool won 4-2 and another loss for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side on Sunday would leave them seven points behind their rivals and surely out of the title race before the clocks go back for winter. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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'Comebacks are in our DNA': Solskjær draws on Man Utd history – video

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 18:03

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said comebacks like his side's 3-2 win over Atalanta on Wednesday are in the club's DNA. 'It’s never give in – [the title of] Sir Alex’s documentary. We needed half-time against Atalanta to maybe push that belief a little more.'

Speaking before Sunday's clash with Liverpool, the Manchester United manager accepted that 'a performance needs to consist of 90 plus minutes of attacking and defending' in order to beat top teams.

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While a match has a pulse, Solskjær’s Manchester United will still believe | David Hytner

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 17:02

Though erratic, the manager’s side host Liverpool on Sunday taking cues from the past to keep fighting to the final whistle

It was the moment that ignited Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s reputation, not just as a Manchester United supersub but as the provider of dramatic, late goals that made a difference. It was January 1999, Old Trafford was in a frenzy after Dwight Yorke’s 88th-minute equaliser against Liverpool in an FA Cup fourth-round tie and the board had gone up for stoppage time.

Solskjær, on as an 81st-minute replacement for Gary Neville, saw Paul Scholes reach a flick ahead of Jamie Carragher and nudge the ball towards him. The Norwegian was on the right side of the area, level with the penalty spot and he looked like the calmest person in the stadium, taking two touches to create the space and angle before firing low past David James to win it.

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Sports quiz of the week: Mo Salah, Rory McIlroy, NBA and Steve Bruce

Fri, 10/22/2021 - 16:16

Who won again? Who scored again? Who created again?

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