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Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

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

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 17:29
• Manchester City have lost once in past seven visits to rivals
• Kevin De Bruyne out of derby with hamstring injury

Pep Guardiola said playing Manchester United at Old Trafford is not “scary” any longer. City have lost once at Old Trafford in seven visits since February 2011, a run that includes 6-1 and 3-0 victories. Between 1974 and 2008 City failed to record a single victory.

Guardiola’s team know that if they beat United again then they will lead Liverpool by a point with only three matches left of their title defence.Asked about City’s strong recent record at Old Trafford, Guardiola said: “I don’t make theories about what happened in the past for what is going to happen in the future. Every game is completely different.

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

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær insists he is right manager for Manchester United

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 11:10
• Solskjær: ‘I’m confident in myself to take this challenge on’
• United host local rivals Manchester City on Wednesday

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted he is the right manager to ensure success at Manchester United despite Sunday’s 4-0 defeat at Everton.

United produced their worst display under Solskjær, who has overseen 25 matches in all competitions, initially as interim manager and then the permanent No 1, at Goodison Park and the loss left the team on 64 points in sixth place, three behind Chelsea, who occupy the final Champions League place. They host Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Related: Manchester United stars may look to exit if club misses out on top four

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

Tue, 04/23/2019 - 10:00

Five supporters confide their hopes and fears for what could be a nightmare end to the season for those around Old Trafford

For Manchester United fans it is the doomsday scenario: Liverpool and Manchester City vying for the title – one of their two fiercest rivals guaranteed to be the 2018-19 Premier League champions.

As City’s Kyle Walker says: “United fans are in a difficult situation obviously. When I’m out and about or walking my dogs, United fans are coming up to me saying, ‘We’d rather City win the league than Liverpool’.” So is this true? The Guardian asked five United supporters.

Related: Solskjær’s Easter woes show Manchester United must live up to their past | Richard Williams

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Manchester United stars may look to exit if club misses out on top four

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 20:15

• Paul Pogba and David de Gea among those who could opt to go
• Manner of Everton defeat has caused aftershocks at Old Trafford

David de Gea, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku will all consider their futures if Manchester United fail to qualify for the Champions League.

The 4-0 humiliation at Everton has left United sixth on 64 points. A Champions League berth is out of United’s hands.

Related: Solskjær’s Easter woes show Manchester United must live up to their past | Richard Williams

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Solskjær’s Easter woes show Manchester United must live up to their past | Richard Williams

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 17:39
Time will tell whether the club really have hit on their saviour and, either way, they must rediscover their boldness of old

For those with long memories the irony inherent in Richarlison’s marvellous opening goal for Everton against Manchester United was the way his overhead kick evoked the image of Denis Law defying gravity as he rose in a whirl of limbs.

There were no Brazilians in the English game then, so the Scot’s combination of opportunism, athleticism and deadly marksmanship was something rare and precious, whether or not you were a Manchester United fan. The fact such a goal was being scored against United on Sunday, triggering their fifth consecutive away defeat, symbolised their plight.

Related: Is there a single Manchester United player the fans would be sad to lose? | Jonathan Wilson

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Is there a single Manchester United player the fans would be sad to lose? | Jonathan Wilson

Mon, 04/22/2019 - 11:22
Manchester United were woeful at Everton on Sunday and would Ed Woodward actually appoint Ole Gunnar Solskjær as a permanent manager now?

So that’s the team Liverpool are banking on to win them the title? There could have been little pleasure for Liverpool fans in watching Manchester United being gubbed by their Everton on Sunday, just a desperate hope that there will be a reaction, that the shame of such a limp performance will somehow inspire them against Manchester City on Wednesday. Perhaps it will, but you wouldn’t bank on it: almost the moment Ole Gunnar Solskjær got the job permanently, his players began acting like he was a supply teacher.

The 4-0 defeat to Everton was United’s fifth away defeat in a row – their worst run since 1981 – and their sixth in their last eight games. They didn’t play especially well in the other two either. The Norwegian papers may still proudly show United third in the Solskjærtabellen – the league table as it would be had the season begun when their man replaced José Mourinho – but the sunshine doesn’t seem anywhere near as bright as it did.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær apologises – ‘We let the fans down. We let the club down’

Related: Manchester United thrashed by Everton after Richarlison kickstarts rout

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær apologises – ‘We let the fans down. We let the club down’

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 18:33
• Manchester United beaten ‘on all the basics’ in 4-0 rout
• ‘Performance is difficult to describe because it was so bad’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær questioned the desire of Manchester United’s players and admitted some will not feature in his plans for a successful reign at Old Trafford after suffering a 4-0 humbling at Everton.

The United manager said his pitiful team were beaten in the basics of football at Goodison Park, where Everton recorded their biggest win over the Manchester club for 35 years. Marco Silva’s side have now beaten United, Arsenal and Chelsea in successive home games, keeping a clean sheet in each, and outstanding goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott capped a dominant 90-minute display. It prompted an apology from the United manager to supporters on the pitch and in his post-match press conference.

Related: Manchester United thrashed by Everton after Richarlison kickstarts rout

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær apologises to Man Utd fans as Marco Silva celebrates Everton's 4-0 win – video

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 17:34

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has said Manchester United’s performance during their 4-0 defeat at Everton was ‘difficult to describe because it is so bad’.

United have conceded 48 Premier League goals in 2018-19, their highest ever tally in a single season in the competition and their most in a top-flight league campaign since 1978-79 (63)

Everton embarrass United as Richarlison kickstarts rout

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Manchester United thrashed by Everton after Richarlison kickstarts rout

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 15:45

Defeat on a sunny Easter Sunday afternoon at Goodison Park did for David Moyes at Manchester United. And that was merely a routine 2-0 reverse at the end of a brief era. Five years later, at the start of a supposed new dawn, came humiliation. Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the inheritor and latest supervisor of a shambles.

On Friday the United manager said his players were in need of a reality check. It landed heavily on them as Marco Silva’s slick, expansive and clinical team recorded Everton’s biggest win over United since October 1984. Four outstanding goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott, plus one complete team performance, left Solksjær with another lament, this time over United’s failure to match Everton in the basics. A damning appraisal backed by a damning statistic: the visitors running 8.03km less than their opponents.

Related: Everton v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

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Everton v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 04/21/2019 - 15:25

3.23pm BST

Where do Manchester United go from here? Outclassed, outworked and outfought. Everton scored four excellent goals and dominated from start-to-finish but, boy, were United bad. They have lost six of their past eight games and lose five on the trot away from home for the first time since 1981. A chastening defeat, arguably the worst of the post-Ferguson era.

3.20pm BST

90 min: There will be four added minutes. Four more minutes of misery for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjær and co.

3.19pm BST

89 min: Another decent delivery by Dalot into the box, but Jagielka gets up to head away. Goes without saying that it is too little too late but Dalot has found some joy down the left, making in-roads since Everton were forced into that defensive reshuffle following an injury to Digne.

3.18pm BST

88 min: Everton seem happy to call it quits at 4-0.

3.16pm BST

85 min: “We want five!” emails Robert Greenland. If anything, United may just pull one back. Jordan Pickford is perhaps a little lucky to get away with barging Scott McTominay out of the way inside the box, before carrying on outside the 18-yard area. The England goalkeeper ended up closer to the corner flag than his goal-line. It all stemmed from a decent cross into the box, by Diogo Dalot with the outside of his boot, was cleared by Coleman.

3.13pm BST

83 min: Just when United thought it couldn’t get any worse: here comes Phil Jagielka, in place of the injured Lucas Digne. Ademola Lookman was primed to come on but Jagielka ends up getting the nod. Digne has been fantastic and that strike for Everton’s third majestic, a goal that will live long in the memory.

3.10pm BST

81 min: Coleman saunters into the box ahead of Dalot and lets fly! It has plenty of power but it’s straight at David de Gea, who gathers.

3.10pm BST

80 min: Does this shambles actually put Ole Gunnar Solskjær at risk of the sack? They are heading for a sixth defeat in eight matches, five of which have been away from Old Trafford. United have been dire, arguably the poorest performance since Sir Alex Ferguson walked away. How United must pine for those glory days.

3.08pm BST

79 min: Rob Moore, on email, says: “Stuck between a rock and a hard place as a Liverpool fan, but this shambles from United has me nervous for Wednesday and arguably our best chance of City dropping points. Hopefully Ole gets the hårføner out.” And, more from our resident Norwegian specialist. “Looks like you might need this phrase too,” starts Phil Grey via email. “To throw in the towel in Norwegian is: å kaste inn håndkleet.” Smooth.

3.06pm BST

76 min: Andreas Pereira replaces Marcus Rashford, United’s final change.

3.05pm BST

75 min: James McCarthy replaces Idrissa Gueye, who has been quietly magnificent in the Everton midfield.

3.03pm BST

72 min: Who on earth is at the wheel? Ole Gunnar Solskjær will not want to put his name to this listless, lethargic and lost display. This is as bad as any performance under Mourinho. Everton, meanwhile, are enjoying themselves. A different kind of “Ole!” rings out round Goodison. United have been well and truly battered. They look bruised, and beaten.

3.00pm BST

69 min: Anthony Martial shoots wide! Paul Pogba plays Martial into a gaping hole in the Everton defence and the forward really should hit the target. Everton made life difficult, throwing themselves at his effort, but Martial drags wide. Jordan Pickford is still to make a meaningful save.

2.57pm BST

67 min: McTominay is booked as Everton win another free-kick on halfway. At least it looks as though he cares. Is that a thing?

2.56pm BST

66 min: José Mourinho has presumably just cracked open another bottle of red. Manchester United have been all over the shop.

2.52pm BST

It’s FOUR! More excruciating defending – Dalot gets painfully sucked in to leave United at sea – allows Gylfi Sigurdsson to slip through Walcott, who side-foots the ball beyond an exposed De Gea. Humiliating for Manchester United but no less than Everton deserve. Goodison Park is absolutely rocking.

2.49pm BST

58 min: De Gea boots away Sigurdsson’s corner! It was curling in, too. A devious corner was whipped goalwards by the Everton midfielder and almost caught United cold. Everton very nearly found a fourth goal! Everybody was expecting Sigurdsson to flight a ball towards the penalty spot but a quick-thinking Sigurdsson bent the ball in towards the near post, and it almost crept in, only for De Gea to hoof the ball off the line with his right foot.

2.47pm BST

57 min: And now Smalling slips as Calvert-Lewin charges towards the box, with Ashley Young going to ground to hook the ball away for another Everton corner. United are being given a real runaround. They are at sixes and sevens defensively, and they’ve not been much better in attack.

2.44pm BST

Crikey, what a hit by Lucas Digne! Another stunning goal by Everton, with the full-back thrashing a swerving volley home, beyond David de Gea, who barely moved. Sigurdsson’s corner was punched clear by the Manchester United goalkeeper but it landed at the feet of Digne, who allowed the ball to bounce one before winding up a left-footed piledriver. The result of that is devastating for United, joy for Everton.

2.44pm BST

54 min: Sigurdsson torments Matic on the edge of the box, twisting and turning before having a pop with his left foot. Again, he caught it sweetly but this time United get a block in. Everton win another corner.

2.42pm BST

51 min: First things first: a hair dryer in Norwegian update. “Ooo, I know that one,” pipes up Phil Grey on email, as have others. “Hårføner.” Back to the football, Matic and Martial momentarily combine but Pogba cannot keep pace in the box.

2.39pm BST

50 min: Walcott replaces Richarlison.

2.39pm BST

48 min: Richarlison, who had a problem at the tail end of the first half, is grounded by what appears to be the same issue. Theo Walcott is being readied down on the Everton bench. In that first half, Anthony Martial had a meagre 11 touches, the same number as Jordan Pickford. Michael Keane, for context, had 18, Romelu Lukaku just 19 and Marcus Rashford 20.

2.37pm BST

47 min: Smalling heads clear a routine cross in from the left by Digne after Bernard made ground. One final half-time email, courtesy of Hubert O’Hearn. “So, what is the Norwegian word for ‘hair dryer’?” Anyone?

2.35pm BST

46 min: We’re back under way at Goodison Park, with two new faces on the pitch. A double change for Manchester United: Fred is replaced by Scott McTominay, while Ashley Young takes the armband, on in place of Phil Jones. United have not lost five consecutive away games since ... 1981. But they are danger of equalling that record this afternoon.

2.27pm BST

Things can only get better for Manchester United, right? They surely cannot play much worse. The second half is imminent.

2.22pm BST

That was desperate from United. Now, to some emails. “Phelan, Carrick and Solskjær on at half-time?” asks Richard Fielden-Watkinson. Matt Dony adds: “Here’s hoping that United are getting all of the absolute-rubbishness out of their system before Wednesday. I’m not holding my breath, though ...” And, via Twitter, @rooronnie7, rather aptly, says: “Looks like the wheels are coming off seeing the 1st half performance from UTD.”

2.20pm BST

One particular statistic speaks volumes of a miserable Manchester United campaign: they have now conceded 46 goals this season – the most they’ve ever conceded in a Premier League campaign. They trail by two goals, two beauties. First, an overhead-kick by Richarlison after a long-throw by the again impressive Lucas Digne, while Gylfi Sigurdsson found the bottom corner with a stinging strike from 25 yards. Everton, it must be said, have been excellent but United have been dreadful. Really, really bad.

2.17pm BST

45+1 min: Richarlison takes a blow to the ribs after colliding with Dalot. He is seemingly winded and will require some treatment. On the touchline, Marco Silva looks very pleased with himself, and no doubt his team.

2.16pm BST

45 min: There will be two added minutes.

2.14pm BST

44 min: United clear Sigurdsson’s free-kick before Coleman, the last man, recycles possession, swivelling away from the onrushing Rashford. Everton have barely put a foot wrong.

2.13pm BST

43 min: And now Dalot is late on Richarlison. Everton have a golden opportunity to swing another ball into the box.

2.12pm BST

40 min: A hospital pass by De Gea to Dalot plays the defender into trouble and United are extremely fortunate to escape danger, as the ball ends up back in the Manchester United goalkeeper’s hands. Richarlison tried to rob Dalot of possession but the latter gets just enough on it before calming things down. Dalot didn’t want it in the first place but it was a catalogue of errors. The half-time whistle would be no bad thing for United.

2.10pm BST

39 min: Phil Jones is in a spot of bother, appearing to injure himself after sliding in to nick the ball away from the whizzing Bernard. He gets up to valiantly limp away but on come the medical team to assist.

2.08pm BST

37 min: Schneiderlin is adjudged to have fouled Pogba and United gain a little respite. But Sigurdsson hoofs the free-kick clear.

2.07pm BST

35 min: On taking caretaker charge, the widespread discourse was that Ole Gunnar Solskjær had freed United. They look shot here, though, frightened of not only making mistakes but also of 10th-placed Everton.

2.05pm BST

33 min: Phil Jones wallops the ball into the sky, slicing his clearance as Everton continue to probe down the right flank, much to the amusement of the home faithful. United look so brittle defensively.

2.03pm BST

32 min: That goal was supposed to give United a kick up the backside. But if anything, Everton have grown further into the ascendency.

2.01pm BST

30 min: The frowns on the faces of Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Mike Phelan say it all. United have been second best throughout and, so far, they have simply been embarrassed by Everton.

2.00pm BST

This is really not going to plan for Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Everton fly forward on the counter via Gueye, and once Gylfi Sigurdsson picks the ball up 30-odd yards from goal, there is only one thing in his mind. Beckoned to have a shot at goal by Nemanja Matic, who stands off his man, Sigurdsson lets fly and beats David de Gea from outside the box. De Gea is disappointed with himself but Sigurdsson’s effort was not lacking in power.

1.57pm BST

27 min: Fred wins Manchester United their first corner of the afternoon but Rashford’s delivery is poor and Digne heads away at the near post.

1.56pm BST

26 min: Zouma looks to pick out Digne with a high ball over the top, but United snuff it out. Digne has been a real outlet for Everton.

1.55pm BST

25 min: And now Fred catches Calvert-Lewin, but the referee Paul Tierney lets him off the hook. A little lenient, perhaps.

1.53pm BST

23 min: Idrissa Gueye is booked for a hefty takedown of Fred, a no-nonsense challenge around 35 yards from goal. Rashford is ambitious and has a go but fires his free-kick straight into the Gwladys Street end. That’s about as good as things have got so far for Manchester United.

1.52pm BST

21 min: Pogba keeps a United attack alive with a deft pass before Rashford raids down the right but his cross is intercepted, much to the frustration of Anthony Martial and Lukaku, who have, it is fair to say, been totally anonymous so far. Everton promptly zoom up the other end but Richarlison, the goalscorer, gets himself in a muddle and overcooks his pass.

1.50pm BST

20 min: Pogba plays a wonderful 50-yard pass downfield in search of Marcus Rashford and the striker does well to get a shot away, but it loops over Jordan Pickford’s goal. He had to strike early, with Zouma and Keane quick to swarm him for company.

1.49pm BST

19 min: Lucas Digne has been lively for Everton down that left flank. In a fairly flat season, he has been one of Marco Silva’s shining lights.

1.48pm BST

17 min: Digne whips in a dangerous corner that almost drops kindly for Calvert-Lewin but United – just about – manage to clear their lines until Fred surrenders on the right flank. And Everton win yet another corner. A dominant spell culminates with a wayward pass by Sigurdsson, of all people, but there is no doubt the momentum is with Everton.

1.46pm BST

15 min: Lucas Digne reloads for another mammoth long throw, with Kurt Zouma in his sights this time but Jones heads the ball away.

1.45pm BST

14 min: It’s all Everton, as Sigurdsson swings in another corner. Pogba blocks a rifled Digne effort but back come the hosts. It is wave after wave of attacks for United to deal with and, at the moment, they cannot cope. United have barely been outside of their own half, penned in by Everton.

1.42pm BST

It had been coming. A Lucas Digne long throw is not dealt with and, after Calvert-Lewin helps the ball on, Richarlison acrobatically converts from inside the box, hooking the ball beyond De Gea. Diogo Dalot stooped to head the ball away, but it was very half-hearted. That’s Richarlison’s 14th goal of the season and his third in his last six matches. Manchester United have been underwhelming at best and have got what they deserve.

1.42pm BST

12 min: Smalling intercepts another slipped ball down the left flank. Everton are piling the pressure on and their home fans are loving it.

1.41pm BST

11 min: A big save by David de Gea to keep Richarlison out! Everton recycle the initial corner and, when the ball is played back in towards the back post, there is the Brazilian lurking to hammer a volley goalwards. De Gea gets his body behind it, clambering the ball to safety and away.

1.40pm BST

10 min: Richarlison cannot reach the free-kick but Everton can maintain the heat after winning a corner. Lucas Digne delivers ...

1.40pm BST

8 min: Sigurdsson turns 30 yards from goal, and is clipped by Fred. The Iceland midfielder will likely dink it towards the back post, where Michael Keane, Kurt Zouma and co are queuing up.

1.39pm BST

7 min: Schneiderlin wins the ball just inside his own half before spraying the ball into the bath of an advancing Bernard. That is the base for another Everton break forward, with Séamus Coleman and Nemanja Matic going head-to-head on the byline. But United win a free-kick. It has been a fairly lethargic start by United, who have allowed Everton to do as they please.

1.37pm BST

6 min: Sigurdsson does brilliantly to weave his way into the box off the right flank but his cross is easily gathered by De Gea, Calvert-Lewin unable to reach it.

1.36pm BST

5 min: United counter from the corner, and Calvert-Lewin tugs at the shirt of Rashford, who was breaking at speed. Everton win a free-kick on halfway. United fans are in good voice in the away end. “Ole’s at the wheel!” ...

1.35pm BST

4 min: Sigurdsson delivers but it cannons off the back of Smalling and De Gea gobbles it up. The Spaniard rolls the ball out to Smalling but his pass is wayward, straight out of play and Everton regain possession, winning another corner as Calvert-Lewin wins a duel against Jones.

1.34pm BST

3 min: Everton win a corner, De Gea unable to keep the ball in.

1.32pm BST

2 min: Marco Silva urges Everton to play it quicker as they enjoy their own early spell of possession. Bernard jets down the flank before United snuff it out.

1.32pm BST

1 min: An early touch for Lukaku is heavily booed by Everton fans, as United jump on the front foot. It looks as though Lindelöf, Jones and Smalling are playing as a back three.

1.30pm BST

Idrissa Gueye kicks things off for Everton.

1.26pm BST

The teams are in the tunnel. Z-Cars rings round Goodison ...

1.21pm BST

Romelu Lukaku takes a lot of flak – but his goalscoring record speaks volumes; he has scored at least 12 goals per season for six of the seven past Premier League seasons, the first of which was an impressive loan spell at West Brom, aged 19. He ripped it up at Everton, too, earning a £75m move to Manchester United. The thing eluding him is breaking that 20-goal milestone, something he has just done just once in his career, while on the books at Goodison. What’s more, he is still only 25 and, at 25 years and 343 days old, the Belgian becomes the sixth youngest player to reach 250 Premier League appearances – and is the youngest non-English player to do so, overtaking Ryan Giggs (26y 167d). That says a lot.

1.10pm BST

Manchester United are “in the wilderness”, says Gary Neville before telling Paul Pogba to give the club some “clarity” on his future. The France midfielder could do with a big performance after being washed up in midweek. History is on United’s side at Goodison this afternoon at least: Everton have lost more Premier League matches against Manchester United than any side has against another in the history of the competition (36).

12.56pm BST

Solskjær speaks about Romelu Lukaku returning against his former club. “Rom likes to play football, likes to prove he’s a goalscorer, that he’s in the team,” he says. “We’ve got three big games this week and it’s a chance for everyone to say: ‘I want to play against [Manchester] City and Chelsea’. We have to perform as a team, attitude has been really good and in some games we have been a bit off form, some we haven’t got what we deserved.”

12.41pm BST

Team news news: Ole Gunnar Solskjær makes three changes from the defeat to Barcelona, with Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Diogo Dalot restored to the starting lineup. Ashley Young, who took the brunt of the criticism on the back of that defeat at Camp Nou, is among those relegated to the bench. Marco Silva also tweaks personnel, with Michael Keane replacing Phil Jagielka in the heart of defence, while former United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin is in for the suspended André Gomes.

12.35pm BST

Everton: Pickford; Coleman, Keane, Zouma, Digne; Schneiderlin, Gueye; Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard; Calvert-Lewin

Subs: Stekelenburg, Tosun, Walcott, Jagielka, Davies, Lookman, McCarthy

12.18pm BST

They say time is the best healer and now Manchester United have had the chance to wipe away the grimaces from a humbling defeat at Camp Nou, how will they respond? After the toil and exhaustion of chasing Lionel Messi’s shadow for 92 minutes, as the painful reality that United are a world away from competing with Europe’s top table set in, there is a plausible feeling that Ole Gunnar Solskjær was only ever papering over the cracks. Either way, the Solskjær machine that cantered to eight straight wins requires some heavy greasing. Losing to Barcelona is no disgrace but the manner in which they were brushed aside exposed United’s shortcomings; they are too rugged in defence, too slow and predictable in midfield and unsure of the best plan of attack going forward. “There’s no quick fix, it’s not like we buy seven players and suddenly we’re in the right shape, we are where we are,” Solskjær said. “We have to take it step-by-step and of course there will be signings made in the summer.” Plenty of food for thought then, and a point or two to prove for one or two players at a sun-drenched Goodison Park. United have been leaking goals and have lost four consecutive matches on the road for the first time in 20 years, when Solskjær was up front in 1999. After their own mini revival, Everton slipped up against relegated Fulham last time out and Marco Silva’s side are also looking to bounce back, though will have to do so without the suspended midfielder, André Gomes. “It is a moment to learn because it will be tough for us,” Silva said.

Kick-off: 1.30pm (BST)

Related: Manchester United rebuild is long-term project, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

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Manchester United rebuild is long-term project, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 22:30

• Manager rules out major influx of players over summer
• Club face crucial week in battle for place in top four

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has ruled out the possibility of Manchester United signing half a dozen new players in the summer, despite acknowledging the club needs to be rebuilt in order to challenge Manchester City and Liverpool.

The United manager’s frankness about the size of the task ahead and the comprehensiveness of the defeat against Barcelona in midweek led to speculation that there might be a clearout at Old Trafford in the close season, with up to half the side being replaced. “We plan to be in the top four, we plan to be in the Champions League next season and we want players who can keep us in the Champions League and move us up the table,” Solskjær said. “But we know there is not going to be a quick fix. We have to take it step by step.

Related: Manchester United squad verdict: who should stay and who should go?

Related: United’s season risks chastening end after Solskjær’s promise of fresh start

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Karel Poborsky: ‘They put me into a coma. All my face muscles were paralysed’

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 10:57
The former Manchester United winger talks about a visit from Ferguson, his relationship with Beckham and the brain infection that could have killed him

“If I arrived at the hospital one day later than I did, this interview would not happen. I arrived at the hospital too late to find out the root of the infection; they put me straight into a coma. After I woke up, they asked me what my name was and the seven times table. All of my face muscles were paralysed – it was an infection of the brain. I spent three weeks quarantined in hospital on powerful antibiotics, directly to the veins. I couldn’t eat, I had to keep my eyes covered because I was so sensitive to light. I was very scared.”

Karel Poborsky still does not know how he got ill in the summer of 2016 – one theory is that a tick living in his beard bit him – but the important thing is that he is now healthy and well. Sitting in the reception of a plush London hotel alongside his long-term partner, Andrea Tomsu, his eyes dance brightly behind a pair of horn-rimmed glasses and he talks animatedly about his life and career.

Related: Golden goal: Karel Poborsky for the Czech Republic v Portugal (1996) | Nick Ames

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Related: John Scales: ‘I punched a hole in the wall when I had to leave Liverpool’

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Everton v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 09:00

Goodison Park heralds the start of a defining eight-day period for the visitors and their hopes of Champions League football next season. Manchester City and Chelsea follow the trip to Everton for United, who have lost five of their last seven games and dipped dramatically since the hasty appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær as permanent manager. Ander Herrera is available after injury as United look to react to their midweek lesson from Barcelona in the Champions League. Everton have beaten Chelsea and Arsenal in their last two home fixtures. Andy Hunter

Sunday 1.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Solskjær says some Manchester United players need ‘reality check’

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:43
• ‘There is no hiding place,’ he warns in call for better attitude
• ‘I’ve spoken to individuals and Martial is one of them’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes some of his Manchester United squad need a “reality check” before a potentially pivotal few weeks for the club.

A 3-0 defeat at Barcelona in midweek saw United knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, which meant they have lost five of their past seven matches.

Related: The Premier League teams’ ineptitude index 2018-19

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

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Categories: What the papers say

The Premier League teams’ ineptitude index 2018-19

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:00

It’s awards time for the most incompetent teams in the Premier League, from those who can’t take throw-ins to others who revel in needless yellow cards

Welcome to the Guardian’s fifth annual index of ineptitude, a catalogue of calamity, a prospectus of the piss-poor.

As each season draws to a close, the best moments, players and teams of the year are all charted, celebrated and cheered. Which means that what comprises most of the rest of the Premier League experience is missed.

Related: The Premier League teams’ ineptitude index 2017-18

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Categories: What the papers say

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:27

Hard for Manchester City and Spurs to serve up another classic, Everton can cause trouble for Manchester United and Chelsea fans should lap up Eden Hazard

Before the run-in even started, Liverpool looked like they might be consumed by nerves during it, so tentative were their performances against Leicester, West Ham and Manchester United. But they battled hard to avoid disaster, and now that the run-in is actually under way, are playing like a team who expect to be champions, either riding their good form or maintaining the patience and composure necessary to force the issue. Against both Tottenham and Chelsea, they could easily have flapped in frantic, frenetic style, but instead were able to increase intensity without sacrificing control, which brought them the goals that they needed. Or, put another way, Cardiff are in deep, deep trouble. DH

Related: Mauricio Pochettino says he feared ‘massive’ emotional toll’ of losing to City

Related: Premier League players to boycott social media in protest at racist abuse

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Manchester United condemn online racist abuse directed at Ashley Young

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 15:28

• Young the latest player to be targeted on social media
• ‘We are working to identify the individuals involved,’ say United

Manchester United are working towards identifying the people who racially abused Ashley Young on Twitter following the club’s Champions League quarter-final second leg defeat by Barcelona.

The 33-year-old defender was targeted after Tuesday night’s 3-0 loss, which saw United exit the competition 4-0 on aggregate. He is the latest in a series of players to receive abuse on social media platforms. Tranmere Rovers called in police at the weekend after MK Dons striker Chuks Aneke was targeted in the wake of Saturday’s 2-1 League Two defeat at Prenton Park.

Related: From parks to Premier League: the shocking scale of racism in English football

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Manchester United squad verdict: who should stay and who should go?

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 12:54

After defeat to Barcelona, Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted he faces a rebuilding job at Old Trafford. How many players he needs exactly is open to debate ...

David de Gea The Spaniard’s howler for Lionel Messi’s second goal on Tuesday was not his first this season but it would still represent good business for Manchester United if their No 1 signed a new deal in the summer. Verdict Stay.

Related: United’s season risks chastening end after Solskjær’s promise of fresh start

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United’s season risks chastening end after Solskjær’s promise of fresh start

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 12:48
Defeat to Barcelona highlighted glaring weaknesses and a Champions League return requires a swift upturn in fortunes

As a chastened Manchester United turn back to the Premier League, where their aim of securing a top-four finish will be tested by the visits of Manchester City and Chelsea, at least they can dispense with the nostalgia bordering on superstition that came with Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s mission to rejuvenate his old club.

Barcelona 2019 did not remotely resemble Barcelona 1999, except in the fact that United trailed for most of the game. The more exact parallel was with Barcelona 1994, where Alex Ferguson’s United were humbled 4-0 by the team of Hristo Stoichkov, Romário and a certain Josep Guardiola in a group game defeat that left the English champions unable to advance into the Champions League knockout stages.

Related: Solskjær must chuck out Manchester United chintz or Ole years are doomed | Barney Ronay

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Football quiz: when English clubs meet in Europe

Wed, 04/17/2019 - 11:00

Spurs are facing an exotic trip to Manchester in the Champions League. How well do you remember other all-English ties?

Who were the first two English clubs to meet in a major European final?

Chelsea and Manchester United

Tottenham and Wolves

Liverpool and Aston Villa

Blackburn and Arsenal

Nottingham Forest won the European Cup in the 1978-79 season. Which English team did they beat in the first round?

Arsenal

Derby County

Liverpool

Leeds United

Manchester City picked up their first (and so far only) European trophy by winning the Cup Winner’s Cup in 1970. Which English club beat City in the semi-finals the next season and went on to win their title?

Liverpool

Chelsea

Everton

Southampton

Liverpool reached the Champions League final in 2005 thanks to a 1-0 win over Chelsea in the semi-finals. Which Spaniard scored the only goal of the tie?

Antonio Núñez

Xabi Alonso

Fernando Morientes

Luis García

Manchester United beat Chelsea on penalties in the Champions League final in 2008. Which United player missed in the shootout?

Paul Scholes

Anderson

Cristiano Ronaldo

Michael Carrick

Arsenal went unbeaten in the league in the 2003-04 season, but they lost to Chelsea in the Champions League quarter-finals. Who scored Chelsea’s late winner in the second leg at Stamford Bridge?

Mario Melchiot

Scott Parker

Robert Huth

Wayne Bridge

Who was the last English manager to knock an English club out of the European Cup?

Steve McClaren

Harry Redknapp

Tony Barton

Brian Clough

Liverpool beat Manchester City 5-1 on aggregate in the Champions League quarter-finals last season. Who was the only English player to score a goal in that tie?

Jordan Henderson

Raheem Sterling

James Milner

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Liverpool and Manchester United have only met in one European tie. Who was the United manager at the time?

Matt Busby

Ron Atkinson

David Moyes

Louis van Gaal

Who was the last English manager to win a European trophy?

Terry Venables

Bob Paisley

Bobby Robson

Roy Hodgson

1 and above.

More of a Scottish football fan?

2 and above.

More of a Scottish football fan?

3 and above.

That's a decent(ish) score. Enjoy the big match

4 and above.

That's a decent score. Enjoy the big match

5 and above.

That is an impressive score. Enjoy the match

6 and above.

That's an impressive score. Enjoy the big match

7 and above.

That is a very impressive score. Enjoy the big match

8 and above.

You are a football genius. Enjoy the big match

9 and above.

You are a football genius. Enjoy the big match

0 and above.

More of a Scottish football fan?

10 and above.

You are a football genius. Enjoy the big match

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