What the papers say

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Updated: 1 hour 29 min ago

Paul Pogba’s home burgled while children slept in bedrooms

Thu, 03/17/2022 - 08:44

Manchester United midfielder says ‘nightmare’ break-in occurred while he played at Old Trafford on Tuesday

The Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has become the latest footballer to have his house burgled while he was playing in a high-profile game.

The French international described the five-minute break-in as “our family’s worst nightmare” and said his children were asleep in their bedrooms at the time.

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Manchester United: a tale of mediocrity and greed finding its own reward | Barney Ronay

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 21:00

Loss to Atlético Madrid is just the latest illustration of a club riddled with incoherence on and off the pitch

These wall-stones are wondrous. The fates broke them. Pavements were smashed. The work of giants is decaying.

Medieval English poetry loved nothing better than a beautiful ruin: moss-encrusted decay, dying grandeur, the empty hearth. Although, to be fair, medieval England was also cold, damp and prone to violent marauders.

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Manchester United: who must go and who should stay this summer?

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 18:00

After a fifth straight season at Old Trafford without a trophy we assess the squad as a rebuild looms under a new manager

Manchester United are in a serious pickle: knocked out of the Champions League on Tuesday the club’s trophy drought will stretch to at least five seasons as Ralf Rangnick’s team fight to finish in the top four. The squad are patently not good enough. A perfect scenario would allow a double-figures clear-out of players but this is impossible. So, the category included below of “stay by default” recognises this; “must go” is self-explanatory; and “must stay” takes in the dead certs and those out of contract next year who should be persuaded to re-sign. Mason Greenwood, suspended indefinitely, has not been included in this list.

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Thomas Tuchel and Julen Lopetegui on Manchester United’s manager shortlist

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 13:27
  • Chelsea’s predicament has alerted Old Trafford hierarchy
  • Pochettino, Ten Hag and Luis Enrique also under consideration

Manchester United are monitoring Thomas Tuchel’s situation at Chelsea as they intensify their search for a new manager and also have Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui on their shortlist.

Three other candidates are understood to be of particular interest: Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag of Ajax and Spain’s Luis Enrique. Of those, Enrique could be the most difficult to land because he intends to lead Spain at the World Cup, which starts in Qatar in November, and United are intent on having a new manager in charge for the start of next season.

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'There was a foul': Rangnick and De Gea unhappy after Manchester United's European exit – video

Wed, 03/16/2022 - 09:51

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said the referee’s failure to award a free-kick in the buildup to Atlético Madrid’s winner was curious as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League last 16. Renan Lodi’s 41st-minute strike means it will be at least five seasons since United last won a trophy. 'You’re right – too many years without any trophies – that we are fighting for trophies,' said David de Gea. 'We need much more from everyone because this club is too big for where we are now.'

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Manchester United’s Rangnick: referee missed free-kick before Atlético goal

Tue, 03/15/2022 - 23:58
  • Manchester United’s interim manager calls officiating ‘curious’
  • David de Gea: ‘We need much more from everyone’

Ralf Rangnick said the referee’s failure to award a free-kick in the buildup to Atlético Madrid’s winner was decisive as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League last 16.

Renan Lodi’s 41st-minute strike means it will be at least five seasons since United last won a trophy. The goal occurred after a coming together of Anthony Elanga and Reinildo Mandava, with the referee, Slavko Vinic, judging there was no foul.

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Erratic display shines light on Manchester United’s also-ran status | Jonathan Liew

Tue, 03/15/2022 - 23:35

Cristiano Ronaldo had no shots on target and Ralf Rangnick’s changes made no sense against a ruthless Atlético Madrid

Deep into the 94th minute at Old Trafford, Manchester United swarmed forward for one last attack. As the famous red shirts massed ominously in the penalty area, the Stretford End rose as one, shouted as one, dreamed in vivid noise and colour of a classic United comeback. Meanwhile, surging forward with the ball at his feet, the messenger at the gates of glory, was Nemanja Matic.

Well, Matic carried on running. Slowed. Slowed a little more. Took a look up. Panicked. Remembered that he still had a football at his feet. Spotted Marcus Rashford on the right wing: the simplest and least threatening ball, but the only one that would not require him to stop, turn, swivel or twist. The moment passed, and a good deal more quickly than Matic.

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Manchester United 0-1 Atlético Madrid (1-2 agg): Champions League last 16, second leg – as it happened

Tue, 03/15/2022 - 22:35

Atlético Madrid won the second leg at Old Trafford as Renan Lodi’s header sent the Spanish side to the quarter-finals

1 min: United v Atletico is go! The visitors kick off ... but it’s a false start, so they have to do it again.

“For all its many problems, football is the greatest game: I love it!” booms Brian Kitt, and so say all of us.

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Manchester United out of Champions League after Atlético Madrid triumph

Tue, 03/15/2022 - 22:08

Ralf Rangnick was asked after Manchester United’s victory over Tottenham on Saturday whether he thought his team could win the Champions League. It was all he could do not to laugh. After the funeral, in his words, that was the derby defeat at Manchester City the previous weekend, the question did not make sense, according to the interim manager.

Perhaps it is the hope that gets to people. Or the reality that United are a club that only seems to deal in the wildest of extremes. This was the night when it all came crashing back down, United’s flickers of promise ground into the dust by Atlético Madrid and the team given an extremely familiar sinking feeling on Europe’s grandest stage.

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Manchester United considering Old Trafford demolition as part of revamp

Mon, 03/14/2022 - 20:20
  • Club are weighing up several different development options
  • Stadium has had no significant work undertaken since 2006

Manchester United are considering all options with regard to updating Old Trafford, including knocking the stadium down and building a new one on the same site.

While the bulldozing of the stadium would be unpopular with a sizeable proportion of fans, this is understood to be the least likely choice at the current juncture, with one significant obstacle being where the team would play their home games while the new venue was under construction.

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Diego Simeone keeps faith in Atlético’s old ways to beat Manchester United

Mon, 03/14/2022 - 19:52
  • Atlético are on a winning streak after club backed the coach
  • ‘Over the last 10 years we found a path where results followed’

“Manchester United,” Diego Simeone said before falling silent, steel in his stare as he sat and waited for the next question. The Atlético Madrid manager had been asked about reports he was the coach Paris Saint-Germain had identified as the ideal candidate to take over after they were eliminated by Real Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League but there was only one thing on his mind: not having the same fate befall his side.

Their league title defence over almost before it began, the Champions League is all Atlético have left. A month ago, most expected that not to last very long either and for the first time there were questions about Simeone’s future. But he said the significance of the club’s hierarchy backing him after a dreadful home defeat to Levante and with his authority re-established they have won four league games in succession since. They also had the better of the first leg against United, a 1-1 draw in Madrid, cautious optimism returning.

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Ralf Rangnick says fan factor can inspire Manchester United to win over Atlético

Mon, 03/14/2022 - 17:15
  • Manager wants supporters to be United’s ‘12th and 13th player’
  • Champions League Last 16-tie against Atlético Madrid level at 1-1

Ralf Rangnick wants Manchester United fans to be the “12th and 13th player” on Tuesday night at Old Trafford when his team bids to knock out Atlético Madrid and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

United have reached the last eight only twice since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 – the following year and in 2019 – and with the tie poised at 1-1 after the first leg Rangnick said he was looking for the home fans to make the same difference as they did in the 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday.

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

Mon, 03/14/2022 - 08:06

Chelsea would miss Antonio Rüdiger, Arsenal look the real deal and Everton’s defensive crisis deepens

Where was Harry Kane? Where was Son Heung-min? Where was Antonio Conte’s ability to make decisive in-game, narrative-changing tactical switches? Sure, Manchester United were shaky and required Cristiano Ronaldo to rescue all three points. Last month the Italian’s masterplan had Kane and Son turning Manchester City over via rapid counterattacking. This is how Tottenham play. This is the Conte masterplan. And if it doesn’t work he seems to have nothing else. Against United his two star forwards did not have enough impact on the contest and Conte needed to find a way for them or others to do so. It was instructive that Spurs’s best moments were the very rare occasions where they managed to flood United with numbers One of these led to the penalty that Kane scored. Perhaps that was a clue to how Conte might vary the side’s play. Jamie Jackson

Match report: Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham

Match report: Arsenal 2-0 Leicester

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Covid leaves Bruno Fernandes in ‘last-minute race’ to face Atlético Madrid

Sun, 03/13/2022 - 22:30
  • Portuguese midfielder had to miss Saturday’s win against Spurs
  • Champions League last-16 tie is 1-1 before Tuesday’s second leg

Bruno Fernandes is in a “last-minute race” to be fit for Manchester United’s last-16 second leg against Atlético Madrid at Old Trafford on Tuesday after contracting Covid-19. The illness ruled the Portuguese midfielder out of Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Tottenham.

Fernandes is United’s second-highest scorer with nine goals in all competitions. Ralf Rangnick is unsure if the 27-year-old can face Atlético, in a tie poised at 1-1. Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are also doubts owing to injury.

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Ronaldo continues to be a problem and a magnificent solution for United | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 03/12/2022 - 20:50

Forward answered his critics with a fine hat-trick to set a new Fifa goalscoring record and secure victory over Tottenham

Cristiano Ronaldo has been a problematic signing for Manchester United. Particularly in the last few weeks he has – finally, at 37 – begun to look his age. He would create tactical problems for any coach, especially one as devoted to gegenpressing as Ralf Rangnick. He is not the player he was. But though much was taken, much abides.

That this was only his second hat-trick for Manchester United is testament to how he has changed as a player. As he moved past Josef ‘Pepi’ Bican in Fifa’s charts as the leading goalscorer of all time, it’s easy to forget that when he left Manchester United in 2009, he was not yet the goal machine he would become but rather a wide forward who would occasionally be deployed through the centre. It was only at Real Madrid that the goals came by the bucketload.

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Ronaldo hits hat-trick as Manchester United edge Tottenham in thriller

Sat, 03/12/2022 - 19:34

The Cristiano Ronaldo header that gave him a hat-trick, his 807th career goal and claimed this pivotal game in the late-season shootout for Champions League qualification oozed quality and desire.

Eight minutes remained when the 37-year-old bulldozed Matt Doherty aside, eyes fixed only on Alex Telles’s corner from the right, and connected his forehead to the ball as he cartwheeled through the air before hitting the turf.

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Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – live!

Sat, 03/12/2022 - 18:03

2 min: Spurs get the ball back. Hojbjerg passes long down the right in the hope of releasing Kane. Varane comes across to block off the channel.

1 min: United snaffle possession in short order and stroke the ball around hither and yon. Spurs sit back and hold their shape.

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Rangnick says Rashford free to leave United if game-time is a problem

Fri, 03/11/2022 - 22:30
  • Manager denies forward has not played enough this season
  • Rangnick insists there is no issue but will not stop any move

Ralf Rangnick denied Marcus Rashford has not had enough game-time under him, with Manchester United’s interim manager stating the forward is free to consider leaving in the summer if he wishes.

The 24-year-old is thinking about whether to depart because he is unhappy at his number of minutes since Rangnick took over in November. Rashford did not start Sunday’s 4-1 loss at Manchester City, which was the fourth consecutive league match he has been a substitute, though he was in the XI that drew at Atlético Madrid a fortnight ago. In all Rashford has made 10 starts and been a replacement four times under the German.

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Manchester United v Tottenham: match preview

Fri, 03/11/2022 - 14:31

If Manchester United lose to Tottenham then their visitors leapfrog them and Ralf Rangnick’s side will fall to seventh if West Ham win on Sunday. That position is where United finished in the troubled, 34-game run under David Moyes, a campaign which is the poorest of all the previous eight since United’s last title was won. But who knows which Spurs will turn up. The side that lost to Burnley or that beats Manchester City? Jamie Jackson

Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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Rashford facing crossroads with Manchester United dream souring | Jamie Jackson

Fri, 03/11/2022 - 12:51

The boyhood United striker revelled in rising to the big occasion but the ultimate poster boy’s future is in doubt

Saturday 30 October, Tottenham versus Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium: Marcus Rashford is a picture of lissome menace, leaving Eric Dier and Emerson Royal in a different postcode as, on 86 minutes, he glides on to Nemanja Matic’s ball and, with zero doubt, beats Hugo Lloris to seal a 3-0 win.

This Saturday, Manchester United versus Tottenham, Old Trafford: Rashford does, now, harbour doubt. Will he be selected by Ralf Rangnick? Will he reverse the sputtering form that has yielded four league goals in 18 appearances at 217 minutes each. And, will he remain at his boyhood club beyond the summer?

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