What the papers say

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Updated: 2 hours 11 min ago

United’s FA Cup celebrations gave Arsenal added motivation, says Leno

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 12:00

• ‘You never forget that,’ says Leno after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory
• Lingard’s moonwalking caused a stir in United’s 3-1 Cup win

Bernd Leno says Arsenal had extra incentive to beat Manchester United after Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s team had celebrated with an exuberance that was noted during January’s 3-1 victory at the Emirates in the FA Cup.

Related: Arsenal fire warning to Spurs that race for north London has not yet been won | Barney Ronay

The four-way sprint for the third and fourth Champions League places

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

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 08:31

Emery has Arsenal on course for top-four finish, Camarasa’s class is vital for Cardiff and Coady leads Wolves from the back

Manchester United arrived in north London having won every away game under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, including a comprehensive FA Cup fourth-round victory at the Emirates. Arsenal had an unbeaten run of their own to protect – they haven’t lost at home in the league since the opening day – and Granit Xhaka’s early goal enabled them to maintain that run. Arsenal rode their luck at times, but Unai Emery’s three-man defence restricted the visitors’ threat on the break, while the deployment of both Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up front paid off. Victory takes Arsenal’s tally against their fellow ‘big six’ teams this season to 12 points – double what they managed in Arsène Wenger’s farewell season. With a relatively kind run-in, a top-four finish (preferably above Spurs) now appears firmly within reach – an achievement most fans would have taken before their first season with Emery at the wheel. Niall McVeigh

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

Related: Liverpool goalkeeper Shamal George hurt in alleged racially motivated attack

Related: Flexible Brendan Rodgers could be natural fit at evolving Leicester City | Jonathan Wilson

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Arsenal fire warning to Spurs that race for north London has not yet been won | Barney Ronay

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:01
Unai Emery’s side have their rivals and the Champions League in their sights after a victory over Manchester United

We’re coming for you, we’re coming for you. Oh Tottenham Hotspur, we’re coming for you. At the end of a raucous, fun, potentially vital Premier League afternoon at the Emirates the home fans had already turned their eyes towards the other power in north London.

Related: Emery calls for calm at Arsenal and 'respect' after fan shoves Smalling

Related: Aubameyang atones from spot to help Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 23:18

Your weekend roundup of the best photography from England’s top flight

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Unai Emery calls on Arsenal to ‘be calm’ as race for top-four place hots up

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 20:39
• Arsenal now in fourth, one point behind Spurs
• ‘We won’t change our idea, which is to think game by game’

Unai Emery called for Arsenal to keep their composure in the Premier League run-in, after watching them jump to fourth place in the table after a 2-0 home win over Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the caretaker United manager, who tasted defeat in the league for the first time in his tenure as his team slipped to fifth, predicted that the race for the Champions League qualifying spots would “go to the wire,” and Emery knows that mentality will be key.

Related: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Related: Aubameyang atones from spot to help Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United

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Aubameyang atones from spot to help Arsenal leapfrog Manchester United

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 18:34

After the low point of Rennes, Arsenal reaquainted themselves with the winning feeling. After the euphoria of Paris, Manchester United tasted Premier League defeat for the first time under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. This topsy-turvey season continues to confound and, as the dust settled, the fight for places three and four in the top-flight table could not have been more tantalisingly poised.

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

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

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Arsenal v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 03/10/2019 - 15:47

3.41pm GMT

Team news news: Unai Emery makes five changes from the Arsenal team defeated in Rennes, while Aaron Ramsey is preferred to Matteo Guendouzi. There is also another league start for Mesut Özil, but Shrokdan Mustafi has to make do with a spot on the substitutes’ bench. Elsewhere Paul Pogba is, as expected, back in for Manchester United after serving a European ban at Paris Saint-Germain in midweek. Diogo Dalot and Nemanja Matic also start, as Solskjær makes three changes.

3.37pm GMT

Arsenal (3-4-1-2): Leno; Sokratis, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Xhaka, Ramsey, Kolasinac; Özil; Aubameyang, Lacazette

Subs: Cech, Mustafi, Elneny, Guendouzi, Suárez, Iwobi, Nketiah

2.57pm GMT

Vieira v Keane, Keown v van Nistelrooy and, er, Guendouzi v Pogba? It may now be Ole at the wheel but this is always a supercharged fixture, one never short of needle. While these matches used to decide the title race, these days they tend to define which teams secure top-four berths come May. There is no doubting there is still an awful lot riding on this one; defeat could prove damaging, particularly for Unai Emery’s side, with eight games to play. Manchester United arrive in north London dizzily high on confidence after an extraordinary night in Paris in midweek, while Arsenal also returned from France but with contrasting emotions, leaving Rennes on a bum-note after Europa League defeat. The hardest job facing Ole Gunnar Solskjær – surely a shoo-in for the permanent gig – is seemingly keeping a lid on the noise surrounding a team thoroughly enjoying their football once more. “I am not here to get excited,” Solskjær said. “I am here to do my job. I am contracted to Man Utd until the end of June.”

United have won on their last two visits to the Emirates Stadium and another victory would be Solskjær’s 15th in 18 games, with the Norwegian steering his side into the quarter-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday. In terms of team news, Paul Pogba is back after serving a European suspension, while Anthony Martial is expected to return. There are also a couple of milestones to get mildly excited about: Laurent Koscielny will make his 250th Premier League appearance and Chris Smalling will make his 200th top-flight bow for United. For Arsenal, Alexandre Lacazette is back from suspension but Lucas Torreira serves the first of a three-match ban after being sent off in the north London derby.

Related: Manchester United confidence trick has made Solskjær look irreplaceable | Paul Wilson

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Manchester United confidence trick has made Solskjær look irreplaceable | Paul Wilson

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 12:00
Caretaker manager has returned swagger and sense of purpose to United and his transformation of Lukaku and co is startling

“The game is all about confidence, like most other things in life,” Sir Alex Ferguson once said. “Without self-belief you won’t achieve anything.” If Manchester United are not full to the brim with confidence as they travel to Arsenal on Sunday it is hard to imagine when they ever will be. The only blot on Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s copybook since taking over from José Mourinho was the initial Champions League defeat by Paris Saint-Germain, and now that setback has been overcome against all expectation there is a case for arguing that United can still regard themselves undefeated under their new manager.

If that is a tad too generous what is unarguably true is that Solskjær is out on his own with nine straight away wins and a nice line in can-do optimism. Not even Ferguson’s mind games ever worked that well, and the debate over the permanent position has moved on from whether United ought to offer the job to the Norwegian to how they can possibly resist such an astonishingly successful audition.

Related: Solskjær believes Marcus Rashford can be a goal machine for United

(Before the weekend’s fixtures)

Related: Nurture and nature the keynotes as Solskjær displays complete knowhow | Barney Ronay

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Can European football clubs’ claims about Asian fanbases be believed?

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 09:45

Premier League clubs say they have hundreds of millions of followers and Espanyol say 40m Chinese watched Wu’s debut

Espanyol’s Chinese owner, Chen Yansheng, said in December that the best way to increase the club’s popularity in the world’s most populous country would be to sign a Chinese player. In January he signed the best, in the shape of Wu Lei, the top scorer in the 2018 Chinese Super League.

Wu’s La Liga debut against Villarreal on 3 February was decent but overshadowed by Espanyol’s PR department claiming his 13 minutes of action were watched by 40 million Chinese fans. The figures were then broadcast around the world.

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Arsenal v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 03/09/2019 - 09:00

Unai Emery needs to dig deep into his bag of tricks to find a way of thwarting Manchester United. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s record since taking charge is phenomenal and especially away from home, proceedings in Paris on Wednesday night being a prime example. Arsenal’s trip to France was the total opposite. Emery’s side were humiliated because of the usual brand of brainless defending. Arsenal will slip four points behind United in fourth if they produce the same. Graham Searles

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Solskjær believes Marcus Rashford can be a goal machine for United

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 12:23
• United interim manager urges him to follow Lukaku example
• Caretaker remained tight-lipped about full-time appointment

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Marcus Rashford can be a goal-machine for Manchester United, with the interim manager “battering” the striker to score as many as Romelu Lukaku does in practice after training.

United travel on Sunday to Arsenal, opponents against whom Rashford marked his Premier League debut three years ago by scoring twice in a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær ‘certain’ to get Manchester United job, says Luke Shaw

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Stabbed Manchester United fan recovering after surgery in Paris

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 10:46
• Man, 44, attacked after Champions League game
• United hope fan can return home ealy next week

The Manchester United fan who was stabbed on Wednesday night in Paris is recovering from surgery, with the hope being he can return home at the start of next week.

The incident happened after United knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League last-16 with the 44-year-old reportedly attacked in a taxi. United have been in contact with family and are monitoring the situation.

Related: Manchester United fan stabbed in Paris after PSG defeat

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 03/08/2019 - 00:48

No let-up for Solskjær’s side at Arsenal, a test of Wolves’ progress at Chelsea and plenty of spark in Selhurst’s ‘derby’

Following their midweek heroics at the Parc des Princes, Manchester United’s players must “go again” for an away trip to Arsenal on Sunday, the outcome of which could have a huge bearing on either or both sides’ involvement in next season’s Champions League. For all Arsenal’s flakiness, looking at both sides’ run-ins following this encounter, it is hardly an exaggeration to say this is a “must win” game for United. Their final eight games include six against sides currently in the top half of the table, including Manchester City and Chelsea. After playing United, Arsenal will have to face only two teams currently in the top 10, with seventh-placed Wolves the highest ranked. Theirs is unquestionably the easier run of fixtures, so United cannot afford what would be an understandable dip in performance after their midweek Lord Mayor’s show. BG

Related: Manchester United’s VAR-assisted miracle highlights game’s woolly laws

Related: Uefa launches formal investigation into Manchester City’s FFP conduct

Related: Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino says touchline ban is ‘completely unfair’

Related: Manchester United rock PSG, plus Football Leaks – Football Weekly Extra

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Manchester United fan stabbed in Paris after PSG defeat

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 23:51

Man, 44, reportedly undergoes emergency operation after attack with ‘large blade’

A Manchester United fan is being treated in hospital in France for a stabbing injury shortly after the English side knocked Paris Saint-Germain out of the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The Foreign Office said it was in touch with the French authorities over the incident, with reports suggesting the man is undergoing emergency surgery.

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Romelu Lukaku leads Manchester United calls for Solskjær appointment

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 22:30

• Forward wants Ole Gunnar Solskjær to be made manager
• Luke Shaw: ‘We love the job he’s done so far’

Manchester United players have backed Ole Gunnar Solskjær being appointed as the club’s permanent manager, with Romelu Lukaku asking “what else” the Norwegian needs to do to get the job.

The forward’s stance has been supported by Luke Shaw and came after the memorable Champions League triumph against Paris Saint-Germain. Marcus Rashford’s late penalty at Parc des Princes made the last-16 tie 3-3 on aggregate and United progressed on away goals, having lost 2-0 in the first leg at Old Trafford.

Related: PSG demise a lesson in the corrupting effect of money and arrogance | Jonathan Wilson

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Nurture and nature the keynotes as Solskjaer displays complete knowhow| Barney Ronay

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 18:45

Manchester United’s interim manager gets what his club are all about – offering hope, excitement and a sense of belonging

At the final whistle inside the Parc des Princes, Manchester United’s players started running, haring across in a ragged, joyful cavalry charge towards the narrow band of their supporters at the far end.

Shirts were pulled off and hurled in the air. Scott McTominay did a European-record triple jump through the centre circle. Halfway there Chris Smalling looked down, noticed he still had the ball in his hands and hoofed it so high into the air it is probably still up there in the Paris skies, surfing on the weird voodoo of that moment.

Related: Manchester United rock PSG, plus Football Leaks – Football Weekly Extra

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Legends. ✊#MUFC pic.twitter.com/l7x74snTs6

Related: ‘Ridiculous in the eyes of the world’ – French press reacts to PSG defeat

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Manchester United’s miracle in Paris highlights woolly failings of VAR

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 13:30

Football’s rulebook has too many grey areas for the technology – as Marcus Rashford’s penalty against PSG proved

The VAR decision that took Manchester United into the Champions League quarter-finals was a good example of why the new technology that will be in the Premier League from next season comes with the capacity to cause more arguments than it actually settles.

Though Neymar’s sweary reaction betrayed an understandable disappointment at Paris Saint-Germain going out of the competition in such a manner in the final minute, his point about games being decided by remote officials who are not necessarily in tune with the contest on the pitch was a fair one. There was no clear and obvious mistake in Paris for a start. Diogo Dalot’s appeal for a penalty appeared as hopeful as the original shot which would surely have cleared the bar but for striking Presnel Kimpembe.

Related: PSG demise a lesson in the corrupting effect of money and arrogance | Jonathan Wilson

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

Related: PSG’s Neymar calls Manchester United VAR penalty decision ‘a disgrace’

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‘Ridiculous in the eyes of the world’ – French press reacts to PSG defeat

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 12:12
The media in France did not think PSG could stoop any lower in Europe – but then came the defeat by Manchester United. ‘Unforgivable’ was Le Parisien’s verdict

Paris Saint-Germain have failed often in Europe in the past decade, but rarely so dramatically and never so unexpectedly. While Barcelona’s remontada at Camp Nou two years ago was unprecedented, overturning a 4-0 first-leg loss in Paris to win 6-1 and progress in the second, there remained a sense that Messi and co were capable of fighting back. That was not the case here. Never had a 2-0 home first-leg deficit been overturned in the Champions League, and given PSG’s masterful away display three weeks ago coupled with a Manchester United missing Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Alexis Sánchez, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, this tie was supposed to be over. But, in the driving Parisian rain, another record was broken.

Related: PSG demise a lesson in the corrupting effect of money and arrogance | Jonathan Wilson

Related: Get in there, Fred! Ole’s carefree outsiders leave PSG in the dust | Barney Ronay

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PSG demise a lesson in the corrupting effect of money and arrogance | Jonathan Wilson

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:46

It was a great week for the puckish charms of football and its ability to confound hubris

Football still, it turns out, has the power to fight back. Money is a lot of things but it isn’t quite everything, not yet.

Although before we get carried away, it should be acknowledged that it really is a lot of things, most things even, almost everything. The leagues of Italy and France are a walkover yet again. Spain and Germany will probably have very familiar champions. So distorted has the modern view become that not only are Ajax, grandees of the Dutch game, transformed into plucky giant-killers, but somehow Manchester United can be cast as improbable outsiders. It was a great week for the puckish charms of football and its ability to confound hubris but nobody should kid themselves: it’s losing the war against greed.

Related: Get in there, Fred! Ole’s carefree outsiders leave PSG in the dust | Barney Ronay

Related: PSG’s Neymar calls Manchester United VAR penalty decision ‘a disgrace’

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PSG’s Neymar calls Manchester United VAR penalty decision ‘a disgrace’

Thu, 03/07/2019 - 09:12

• ‘People who know nothing about football in charge of VAR’
• PSG president Al-Khelaifi says Thomas Tuchel’s job not at risk

Neymar has called the decision to give Manchester United a late penalty against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday night “a disgrace” and said that the VAR officials in charge “knew nothing about football”.

The 27-year-old, who missed the tie because of injury, was incensed after officials awarded United a spot-kick for a handball by Presnel Kimpembe deep into stoppage time, which Marcus Rashford then coolly converted to send the Premier League side through to the quarter-finals.

Related: PSG 1-3 Manchester United (3-3 agg): Champions League player ratings | Jamie Jackson

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