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Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

Liverpool team meeting clears air before Manchester United showdown

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 22:30
  • Klopp says team have renewed focus for Anfield clash
  • ‘We know what went wrong. We know what to change’

Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s players have shown renewed focus for Sunday’s top-of-the-table showdown with Manchester United after a team meeting in the wake of last week’s defeat at Southampton.

The champions have picked up only 13 points from eight league matches starting with the draw at Brighton in November – a run that has allowed Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side to seize the initiative in the title race. As Klopp prepared for his 200th Premier League game, he revealed his side’s determination to make up for recent struggles.

Related: Thiago Alcântara's time arrives to make key contribution for Liverpool

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Bruno Fernandes hits back at Jürgen Klopp over Manchester United penalties

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 22:30
  • ‘People can say what they want. I don’t hear, I don’t care’
  • United have won 42 spot-kicks to Liverpool’s 19 in last two years

Bruno Fernandes has told Jürgen Klopp to continue to complain if he wishes about the number of penalties Manchester United win because the midfielder could not care less about the Liverpool manager’s view.

United travel to Anfield on Sunday as Premier League leaders and hope to hand the champions a first home defeat in the competition since April 2017. Since Ole Gunnar Solskjær became manager two years ago United have been awarded 42 penalties and Liverpool 19, and this season’s tally is 6-5 in United’s favour. Klopp recently stated that under Solskjær United had won more spot-kicks than Liverpool had across his five years in charge, although in fact his tally is 46.

Related: Marcus Rashford says Mourinho taught Manchester United how to win penalties

Related: 'It will go to the wire' – Jürgen Klopp predicts fierce Premier League title fight

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How good can Bruno Fernandes make Manchester United? Anfield may tell | Barney Ronay

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 20:00

Midfield risk-taker has been a transformative signing but needs to nail it in the big games – starting at Liverpool on Sunday

This is not the beginning of the title run-in. This is not the start of the middle, or the beginning of the end. Let’s face it, nobody really knows what’s going on up there in this jetlagged oddity of a Premier League season, when points have been scattered with luxurious abandon, and none of these teams seem ready to find a sustained higher gear.

Not that it makes much difference. There will, as ever, be an urge to portray Manchester United’s trip to Liverpool on Sunday as something more decisive, a make-or-breaker, a full-on Super Sunday Judgment Day-style Showdown.

Related: Manchester United's Leah Galton: 'Press and Heath have changed our mindset'

Related: Bruno Fernandes hits back at Jürgen Klopp over Manchester United penalties

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Rooney-mania had many ages but his defining moment remains the first | Jonathan Liew

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 19:43

It is the basic paradox of Rooney that a player of such emotional heft will ultimately be judged largely on numbers and records

In a way, it was the perfect understated ending: with a short, sober statement on the Derby County website. New manager appointed at struggling Championship club. Signs a two-and-a-half-year deal after a cautiously successful stint in caretaker charge. Liam Rosenior to be his assistant.

Meanwhile – buried in the seventh paragraph, as if an entirely incidental detail – England and Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer has decided to retire as a footballer.

Related: Wayne Rooney calls time on playing career to become Derby manager

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Mourinho taught Manchester United to be ‘savvy’ about penalties, says Rashford – video

Fri, 01/15/2021 - 09:59

Marcus Rashford has revealed Manchester United manager José Mourinho helped him become more 'savvy' about winning penalties in an interview with the Football Writers’ Association that rewarded the player with the 2021 tribute award on Thursday.

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Marcus Rashford says Mourinho taught Manchester United how to win penalties

Thu, 01/14/2021 - 23:47
  • Striker says pep talk showed players how to be more ‘savvy’
  • Klopp’s comment about United’s penalties annoyed United

Marcus Rashford has revealed a pep talk from the former Manchester United manager José Mourinho helped him become more “savvy” in the penalty area.

Rashford received the Football Writers’ Association 2021 tribute award on Thursday and in a wide-ranging interview was asked why United might be perceived to be getting more than their fair share of penalties. The question came in the wake of

Related: Kieran Trippier may never serve full betting ban after panel deals blow to FA

Related: RB Leipzig set to lose Upamecano for €42m in summer but won't sell in January

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Atlético Madrid sign Dembélé on loan, Fosu-Mensah joins Bayer Leverkusen

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 21:04
  • Lyon and Atlético agree future fee as Islam Slimani joins Lyon
  • Timothy Fosu-Mensah leaves Manchester United for Bundesliga

Atlético Madrid have confirmed the signing of the Lyon forward Moussa Dembélé on an initial loan deal.

The La Liga leaders will pay a €1.5m (£1.35m) fee to loan Dembélé for the rest of the season, with an option to make the move permanent in the summer. Lyon have announced that the agreed fee is €33.5m (£29.9m) with a further €5m (£4.45m) in add-ons.

Related: Men's transfer window January 2021 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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How do Solskjær's side compare with Manchester United's last title winners? | Marcus Christenson

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 15:54

United are top after 17 games for the first time since 2013. The similarities and differences between then and now are striking

The world was a very different place eight years ago. Britain was in the European Union, Donald Trump was a businessman and Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge at Old Trafford. Furthermore there was no pandemic (although we obviously did not realise quite how lucky we were to live in a pandemic-free world).

The 2012-13 season is also the last time Manchester United were top of the Premier League after 17 games of the season. The campaign had started as scheduled in August, which meant that the Premier League leaders had played 17 games by 15 December. United were top by six points ahead of Manchester City.

Related: Manchester United 'excited and hungry' for summit meeting with Liverpool

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'Great test': Manchester United ready for crunch clash with Liverpool – video

Wed, 01/13/2021 - 09:45

Ole Gunnar Solskjær says his Manchester United side are ready for a top-of-the-table clash with Liverpool. United currently sit in first after they secured their ninth win in 11 games, away at Burnley. 'You’ve got to go in there knowing that we’re playing against the team that’s been, by a mile, the best in the country for the last year and a half,' he said. 'They’re champions by right.' Three points separate the two sides going into Sunday's match

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Manchester United 'excited and hungry' for summit meeting with Liverpool

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 23:54
  • Solskjær relishing ‘test of character’ after 1-0 win at Burnley
  • Manchester United top of league after ninth win in 11 games

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said his Manchester United players are “ready, excited and hungry” before Sunday’s Premier League summit meeting at Liverpool.

Related: Manchester United go clear at top after Paul Pogba volley sees off Burnley

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Burnley 0-1 Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 22:40

Paul Pogba’s second-half goal at Burnley earned Manchester United the three points by which they now lead the Premier League

10.40pm GMT

And with that, I’m off. Bye!

10.39pm GMT

Here’s Jamie Jackson’s match report from Turf Moor:

Manchester United are top of the Premier League and for this they can thank Paul Pogba whose influence grew after the break, the midfielder crowning his display with a sweet 71st-minute winner. This came when Bruno Fernandes found Marcus Rashford along the right and he crossed for Pogba to smash in a volley that beat Nick Pope via a Matthew Lowton deflection.

Victory means United go to 36 points and overtake Liverpool, with 33, after 17 games – this having last been achieved after the same number of matches when beating Sunderland 3-1 on 15 December 2012 under Sir Alex Ferguson. The upturn in United’s fortunes under Ole Gunnar Solskjær is further underlined by the 33-point swing they have engineered over Liverpool as they visit Anfield on Sunday: before last term’s corresponding fixture United were 27 points behind.

Related: Manchester United go clear at top after Paul Pogba volley sees off Burnley

10.38pm GMT

The managers have spoken! First, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, who is chuffed:

When you get three points in the Premier League it makes you smile. It was a hard fought three points though. It always is up here. I’ve not watched any of [the controversial moments] so I can’t really say. It might have been a foul by Luke apparently, so that’s probably the right decision. Definitely not a foul by Harry on his goal. We started playing after the [big long VAR check bonanza]. They disagreed with some of the decisions that were made out there and at half-time you’ve got to calm them down. Second half we played really well, then you expect the onslaught in the last five minutes. They are so well organised. There aren’t many spaces but we did look at some of the spaces. It was a great cross and a very well executed finish. Then we could have got one or two more to calm the nerves, but we did it the hard way.

Liverpool have had an unbelievable three and a half seasons, but we couldn’t have asked for a better time to play them. We’re in good shape, and we’re hungry.

I thought it was a good performance against a top side who are going well, we’ve been improving as the season’s gone on. I thought they dealt with [the VARfest] as best they could. I thought it was a foul immediately. On another day that tackle’s just a little bit too high, a little bit too late. You don’t want to see people red carded but on another day he might have gone off for that. But the game’s not about VAR for me. After half-time they had a good 20, 25 minutes and they scored a goal from a deflection. They had chances but not golden chances, and we created a few ourselves particularly at the end.

10.29pm GMT

Here’s Paul Doyle’s report on Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-2 Everton:

Michael Keane headed his third league goal of the season as Everton overcame problems with their strikeforce to claim a win that lifts them into the top four. Alex Iwobi shot the visitors into an early lead before Rúben Neves drew Wolves level in a contest in which the home side’s absences ultimately proved the more costly.

Related: Keane's fine header keeps Everton's top-four push on track against Wolves

10.26pm GMT

Paul Pogba has a chat:

We know that the game today was very hard, and obviously we wanted to win. It’s not easy to play here and we got the three points, and we’re happy for that. But there’s still a long way, and now we have to focus again for the rest of the season. The decision of the referee [not sure if this bit is about the Maguire non-goal, or the Brady non-red] which in my opinion I didn’t agree, but I’m not the boss on the pitch, he’s the boss. It was a goal [definitely Maguire now], for sure. It was a beautiful goal. When the referee decided that it was kind of strange, but we got the result we wanted so we’re happy.

It’s very hard to play here, they’re very strong and we had to keep our head down and focus on ourselves and the goal would come, and it did come. I’m always happy when I win. Today we won so I’m very happy. I’m happy we’re at the top, but there’s still a long way to go, we have big games coming up and we have to focus on that.

10.19pm GMT

The Premier League table is looking good tonight for United fans, or for neutrals licking their lips at the prospect of Liverpool v Manchester United on Sunday:

10.17pm GMT

Burnley had a decent first half, and an excellent final 10 minutes, but Manchester United’s dominance of the majority of the second period, when Pogba and Fernandes emerged as the game’s outstanding influences, allowed them to seal victory. I suppose Burnley should probably have had a penalty for a Maguire handball, but then Maguire’s disallowed first-half header should have stood, so it’s all good.

Turf Moor "a hard place to go" index (last 26 Burnley home games vs Big Six)

LLDLLLLLLDLLLLWLLLLLLDDLLL

10.14pm GMT

90+8 mins: It’s all over! Manchester United have won, and are three points clear at the top of the table!

10.13pm GMT

90+6 mins: Now Matic is down and in apparent discomfort. Play continues.

10.12pm GMT

90+5 mins: Burnley pump the ball into the penalty area, McTominay (a recent replacement for Fernandes) heads it straight to Vydra, and he chests down and blasts over!

10.11pm GMT

90+4 mins: Martial limps from the field, having possibly pulled a muscle as he tried to chase down the loose ball after his shot is saved. Tuanzebe comes on for the final seconds.

10.10pm GMT

90+4 mins: Martial misses the chance to seal it! United break, and Martial leaves the ball to run on to Cavani, who loops a first-time pass back towards the Frenchman, who shoots rather sadly, straight at Pope.

10.09pm GMT

90+2 mins: Mee and Shaw end up on the ground, both holding their heads, and play is paused while they’re checked out.

10.08pm GMT

90+1 mins: Nearly an equaliser! McNeil’s cross comes off Bailly’s head and bounces towards Tarkowski, but it’s just behind him and he can’t divert it goalwards!

10.07pm GMT

90+1 mins: Rodriguez has come on for Barnes, and we’re into four minutes of stoppage time.

10.06pm GMT

88 mins: The corner eventually falls to Vydra, who blasts over the bar. There’s then a delay while the VAR checks for a possible handball on Maguire, and I’ve no idea how he got away with that one. As he jumps with Bailly and Mee his seems an entirely arm-based challenge, and though he didn’t know much about it the ball definitely hit an elbow.

10.04pm GMT

87 mins: A good dummy in the build-up and a good first-time shot from Vydra, but it deflects off Bailly and wide. Burnley have finally woken up here, and worked out that they can worry United.

10.02pm GMT

85 mins: Now the ball drops to Brownhill on the edge of the area, but he slices his half-volley wide.

10.01pm GMT

84 mins: Burnley find Vydra with a long ball, but Vydra is facing the wrong way and can’t find an elegant way to turn around, so he loses the ball instead.

9.59pm GMT

82 mins: Pogba’s pass somehow reaches Martial, who turns goalwards and looks certain to extend United’s lead. But he takes an unnecessary touch, and Tarkowski makes an excellent if slightly desperate challenge, and Burnley stay in the game.

9.57pm GMT

80 mins: Burnley bring Vydra on for Wood, and United bring Greenwood on for Rashford. Manchester United are 5-0 ahead on shots on target in this half, and Burnley really have offered very little.

| "Pick that one out!"

Michael Keane's thumping header gives Everton the lead at Wolves!

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9.53pm GMT

76 mins: Cavani loses the ball thanks to an unfortunate bounce in midfield, and what follows will surely win him the 2021 Emmy for outstanding achievement in the field of wild gesticulation.

Breakthrough for #MUFC!

Paul Pogba's deflected strike gives them the lead at Turf Moor...

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9.50pm GMT

74 mins: Another goal has gone in at Molineux, and Everton lead once again, this time through Michael Keane.

9.49pm GMT

72 mins: A bit fortunate that, in that Pope would surely have saved the shot had it not hit Lowton, but the pressure had been building and Rashford did well to bide his time on the flank rather than just send in a hopeful cross, instead waiting for the right moment, the right run, and the right man.

9.48pm GMT

Rashford crosses from the right, the ball landing on Pogba’s toe, just inside the penalty area, and he hits a handsome volley that flies low towards goal, flicks Lowton’s calf and deflects through Pope’s legs and in!

9.46pm GMT

69 mins: A United attack ends with Pogba and then Cavani going over but the referee ignoring both incidents. Burnley clear the ball up to Barnes, who then also goes over and is so sure he’s been fouled he grabs the ball on his way down. The referee finally gives a free kick, for handball.

9.44pm GMT

67 mins: The corner is weakly semi-cleared by Lowton to Cavani, who takes a nice touch inside to open up a shooting chance but then curls his effort wide with his left foot.

9.43pm GMT

66 mins: Rashford drives down the right before blasting in a cross towards nobody in particular, which goes behind off a defender.

9.41pm GMT

65 mins: We enter the substitution phase of the evening, with Dwight McNeil replacing Brady.

9.39pm GMT

62 mins: Westwood trips Fernandes, who is spending more time in pockets of space between Burnley’s lines and therefore more influential, and is booked.

9.37pm GMT

60 mins: Fernandes has the ball 25 yards out. He wants to find a pass, but everyone in front of him, from both sides, is standing still, so eventually he just has a shot, which Pope saves.

9.36pm GMT

59 mins: United are well on top here, but not finding the killer ball into the area, or the killer run that enables that ball.

9.33pm GMT

56 mins: United have supped their special tea at the interval, and are an improved team since the break. Fernandes lashes a low shot too close to Pope from 23 yards.

9.29pm GMT

52 mins: A good, fast United attack ends with Martial passing inside for Cavani, who mishits his shot when well placed!

9.28pm GMT

51 mins: Barnes has a phenomenally rubbish shot, which barely has enough power to reach the goalline but does in the end go out for a goal kick.

9.26pm GMT

50 mins: Dale Johnson, who has his finger on the VAR pulse, has an update on the first-half VARfest:

Ok, got updated info for VAR process in #BURMUN

The VAR, Stuart Attwell, looked at the possible red card for the challenge by Luke Shaw, but determined it was not a red card.

The VAR decided it should be a red card to Robbie Brady for denying a goalscoring opportunity. (cont)

9.22pm GMT

46 mins: Peeeeep! They’re off! Again!

9.21pm GMT

The players are back out and nearly ready to go.

9.18pm GMT

United will be relieved that the referee is feeling lenient (so didn’t send off Shaw), but aggrieved that he’s been too firm (so disallowed Maguire’s header), and also annoyed that he’s feeling lenient (so didn’t give that edge-of-the-area foul on Shaw). This must be confusing for them.

9.09pm GMT

“Good evening Simon,” writes Simon McMahon. “You know I’m not normally one to take an interest in the Scottish football scene but, in the absence of any goal action so far, Lawrence Shankland’s strike for Dundee United against St Johnstone tonight was, well, not very Scottish. Imagine David Beckham against Wimbledon, but better. Like Paul Scholes, I suppose.”

You be the judge:

Absolutely Unbelievable pic.twitter.com/lCe0Sg0Rbu

9.07pm GMT

45+5 mins: An underhit Wan-Bissaka cross is followed by an overhit Fernandes cross, and that’s half time! No goals, but plenty of intrigue.

9.06pm GMT

45+3 mins: Fernandes gets booked for a foul on United’s right flank.

9.05pm GMT

45+2 mins: Shaw runs at the Burnley box and is fouled as he reaches it, but the ball rolls to a teammate and the referee allows play to progress for the second or two it takes for nothing much to happen. I thought he could have called play back for the free kick, but he decides against it.

9.04pm GMT

45+1 mins: Into stoppage time we go, and there will be four minutes of it. It starts with a lovely curling, dipping Martial shot which is tipped over by Pope.

9.04pm GMT

43 mins: “I thought we were told that in the cases of foul play, that VAR could only be used to review possible red cards,” says Paul Keane, “so a yellow card is not an option. I’m not saying the yellow card is not the just outcome, but the process of getting there seems to be inconsistent with what we have been told.” VAR can’t deliberately check a booking, but it can go back to see if an offence was committed in the build-up to a key decision - a goal or sending-off - and I suppose a yellow card can be awarded if one is picked up.

8.57pm GMT

39 mins: A United corner. Barnes is marking Bailly, and as the ball is about to be taken he goes down. The first corner is very good, dipping dangerously towards the near post; the retaken corner is not so great. It remains goalless.

8.56pm GMT

38 mins: I think that was a very charitable decision. Pieters was never going to win that header, not where he was standing, and without jumping, but Maguire couldn’t win it without going into him.

8.54pm GMT

36 mins: A fabulous Shaw cross, and an excellent header as Maguire outjumps Pieters at the far post and heads in. But the referee thinks he fouled the defender before winning the header, and disallows it!

8.52pm GMT

34 mins: I’m not sure I’ve seen a this-side-gets-a-red-card-if-that-side-doesn’t-get-a-red-card VAR check before. In the circumstances I have to be a tiny bit disappointed that it somehow ended with neither side getting a red card.

8.51pm GMT

33 mins: And eventually the free kick is taken, curled over a crowded six-yard box and out for a goal kick.

8.50pm GMT

32 mins: Burnley try to take the free kick quickly, before the United defence is set, but the quick pass is to a player who’s offside! Their blushes are saved, though, because the referee wants to book Shaw before play restarts.

8.49pm GMT

32 mins: It’s a free-kick to Burnley! Brady’s yellow card has been rescinded!

8.48pm GMT

31 mins: I think Shaw just catches the ball, before he plants his studs on Gudmundsson’s shin.

8.47pm GMT

28 mins: They’re checking Shaw’s challenge on Gudmundsson. Brady could be sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity if the VAR thinks it’s not a foul. And there’s a chance VAR might think that one’s a red card. Someone’s very possibly going off here, but who?

8.46pm GMT

27 mins: Action at both ends! At one, Gudmundsson seems to win the ball ahead of Shaw and goes down. The home side want a free kick but don’t get one, United break, Mee misjudges and Cavani goes clear. He checks onto his right foot, at which point Brady wipes him out. The referee shows yellow, but VAR will take a second look.

8.43pm GMT

25 mins: Matic intercepts the ball in midfield and finds Martial with an excellent first-time pass. The Frenchman nudges past Lowton and shoots with his left foot, but it curls just wide!

8.41pm GMT

23 mins: The referee calls over Maguire and tells him to tell Cavani to stop winding everyone up. “I understand the viewpoint of Richard Hirst but far worse is when you join one of those tipping games,” writes Malcolm Shuttleworth. “I find myself (as a Man Utd fan) willing teams like Man City or Liverpool to score a late winner, so I can get some points. When it happens, it’s like watching your mother-in-law drive over a cliff in your new car.”

8.39pm GMT

22 mins: Fernandes gives the ball away and Burnley put together a lovely little move to set up Wood for a shot, from just inside the area, that hits the sliding Bailly in the chest.

8.37pm GMT

20 mins: A nice dribble from Rashford, who passes to Fernandes, and from his cross Martial attempts an overhead which looks decent but hits a defender.

8.35pm GMT

17 mins: Shot! Shaw rolls the ball across the edge of the area, and Fernandes’ first-time effort is too close to Pope. Meanwhile, this touches-in-opposition-penalty-area stat is something:

Ruben Neves penalty box predator PL career update:

Games played: 91
Touches inside penalty area: 12
Penalties scored: 3
Goals scored when the ball is just sort of in the air, moving about and you find yourself quite near the net: 1

8.32pm GMT

15 mins: Another goal at Molineux, where it’s now Wolves 1-1 Everton, Ruben Neves with the equaliser.

8.31pm GMT

14 mins: Cavani and Mee go for the same high ball. Mee puts out his hand to hold off his rival, which lands on the back of the Uruguayan’s neck. Cavani goes down clutching his face.

8.30pm GMT

13 mins: The ball drops kindly to Mee, who hammers a shot wildly off target from distance.

8.28pm GMT

10 mins: Burnley have done all the significant attacking in the very early stages, and it seems their plan is to put Wan-Bissaka under maximal pressure with early high balls down their left flank.

8.25pm GMT

8 mins: There has been an early goal in tonight’s other Premier League game at Molineux, where Everton have taken a sixth-minute lead through Alex Iwobi.

| Everton lead at Molineux!

Alex Iwobi starts the move then finishes it off in style!

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8.24pm GMT

7 mins: Gudmundsson’s high ball into the box is knocked down and nearly drops to Barnes, who flattens Maguire in his desperation to reach it and concedes a free kick.

8.23pm GMT

5 mins: “I’m deeply conflicted tonight,” writes Richard Hirst. “As a Fulham supporter I badly need Burnley to lose but as a paid up member of the Anyone But United brigade I can’t support them either. I’m hoping for a 0-0 draw with a mass brawl leading to both clubs having points deducted for failing to control their players. At least that would warm up a cold night!” One of the worst things about football supporting is when it leaves you wanting both sides to lose a game you happen to be watching.

8.19pm GMT

1 min: The game’s first shot comes within the opening 20 seconds, when a long ball from right to left bounces to Brady, who hammers a left-footer high from the edge of the box.

8.18pm GMT

1 min: Peeeeeeep! The whistle blows, Ashley Westwood kicks off, he realises everyone else is on one knee, so he does too and bashfully re-kicks-off a few moments later.

8.13pm GMT

Out come the players! It is apparently -1C in Burnley currently, with a gentle breeze.

8.10pm GMT

“In case by some strange twist of fate Man Utd are awarded a penalty this evening, is there a narrative/case to be made that the skippy jump of he who will take it constitutes “ungentlemanly conduct” and should be stamped down on like a Monty Python foot?”

I don’t think so, as he doesn’t come to a standstill. United were given 14 penalties last season, twice as many as the fourth most-penaltied team in the division and three ahead of No2, but they’re only joint second in this season’s penalty table with six, four behind Leicester and level with Brighton.

7.54pm GMT

“Big call by Ole to play Maguire IMO,” writes Peter Kingsnorth. “He’s a yellow card away from a one-match suspension. Liverpool would tear a Bailly-Lindelof pairing to shreds. Could have gone with Tuanzabe at left CB today. Decisions, decisions ... who’d be a manager, eh?” This is indeed a risk. For what it’s worth, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Luke Shaw are all two bookings away from a ban (though they would have to get both bookings in the next three games including this one, after which they can get another five bookings before they are banned). Burnley’s most-booked players, Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Westwood, are both also two bookings away from a ban, and they have four more games before the yellow card mini-amnesty kicks in.

7.40pm GMT

Here is photographic evidence that Manchester United’s players have arrived at Turf Moor. Looks like they all have to show photo ID on their phones and have the right QR code before they’re let in.

7.22pm GMT

Four changes for Burnley, who bring in Westwood, Pope, Brownhill and Lowton and take out Cork, Norris, Stephens and Bardsley. United make loads of changes to the team that beat Watford - in come De Gea, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Martial and Cavani - but the only changes to the team that started their last Premier League game see Fred and McTominay drop out, and Matic and Cavani come in.

7.18pm GMT

The team sheets have been submitted, and tonight’s key names are these ones:

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Tarkowski, Mee, Pieters, Gudmundsson, Brownhill, Westwood, Brady, Wood, Barnes. Subs: Cork, McNeil, Stephens, Rodriguez, Norris, Bardsley, Vydra, Long, Benson.
Man Utd: De Gea, Wan Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Martial, Cavani. Subs: Mata, Greenwood, Fred, James, Henderson, Alex Telles, van de Beek, Tuanzebe, McTominay.
Referee: Kevin Friend.

LINE-UP | Here is how the Clarets line-up against Manchester United this evening. ⬇️#BURMUN | #UTC | @eToro

All eyes on Turf Moor!

Here's your United XI to take on Burnley

#MUFC
⁰#️⃣ #BURMUN
#PL

4.32pm GMT

Manchester United have won eight and drawn two of their last 10 matches. They might not have spent much of the season looking much like a title-winning team, but that is title-winning form, and they start the evening second in the table, behind Liverpool on goal difference with this game in hand. Anything but defeat and they will sit alone at the top of the league by bedtime, and the last time they led the league as late into a season as this was eight years ago, Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning final campaign.

“We need to get points against Burnley before anyone can say you’re top of the table but that’s a position that we have put ourselves in,” says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. “So I would like to think that we go into this game not thinking about where we’ll end up tomorrow night in the table but where we can end up in the table in May. That’s what matters. You accumulate the points throughout the season so if at one point you think ‘Ah, we’ve made it now, we’ve cracked it,’ and you relax, that’s when it’s going to hit you back. So we’re very focused.”

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Manchester United go clear at top after Paul Pogba volley sees off Burnley

Tue, 01/12/2021 - 22:29

Manchester United are top of the Premier League and for this they can thank Paul Pogba whose influence grew after the break, the midfielder crowning his display with a sweet 71st-minute winner. This came when Bruno Fernandes found Marcus Rashford along the right and he crossed for Pogba to smash in a volley that beat Nick Pope via a Matthew Lowton deflection.

Victory means United go to 36 points and overtake Liverpool, with 33, after 17 games – this having last been achieved after the same number of matches when beating Sunderland 3-1 on 15 December 2012 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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

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Solskjær wants Manchester United squad to develop an 'inner justice'

Mon, 01/11/2021 - 22:30
  • United take on Burnley on Tuesday with chance to go top
  • Manager demands team ethic and togetherness in squad

Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants Manchester United to have an “inner justice” which ensures every player adheres to a team ethic and does not allow cliques that can be ruinous to success.

Solskjær takes United to Burnley on Tuesday knowing a point would take his side above Liverpool as leaders before Sunday’s visit to Anfield. The Norwegian praised United’s togetherness and was asked whether the ideal was for players to manage themselves.

Related: Fulham to play Tottenham at two days' notice after Spurs v Aston Villa called off

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FA Cup: Manchester United drawn against Liverpool in fourth round

Mon, 01/11/2021 - 20:07
  • Chorley get Premier League tie with Wolves after win over Derby
  • Everton could meet Spurs if both teams progress to fifth round

Manchester United will host the Premier League champions Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round.

Monday night’s draw pitched United into battle with Jürgen Klopp’s men and the encounter will take place just a week after Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side take on Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday. The last time the Merseyside club won the FA Cup, in 2006, they beat United on the way to the final, winning 1-0 in the fifth round.

Related: FA Cup fourth and fifth-round draw: Man Utd face Liverpool – as it happened

On Sunday Neil Kengni gave Tottenham a scare when his shot hit the bar in the 20th minute of Marine's FA Cup tie. On Monday he attended a Zoom tutorial on health and safety for his apprentice plumbing course from his home in Manchester. 

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Pogba, Lindelöf and Shaw in fitness race for Manchester United's trip to Burnley

Sun, 01/10/2021 - 22:30
  • United would top the table with a point at Turf Moor on Tuesday
  • ‘It’s great that our fans are excited,’ says Solskjær of title race

Paul Pogba, Victor Lindelöf and Luke Shaw are in a race to be fit for Manchester United’s trip to Burnley on Tuesday.

Related: Scott McTominay keeps his head to guide Manchester United past Watford

Related: Super-clubs lack patience for rookies like Arteta and Lampard to learn on job | Jonathan Wilson

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Scott McTominay keeps his head to guide Manchester United past Watford

Sat, 01/09/2021 - 22:00

Manchester United are into the fourth round courtesy of Scott McTominay’s early strike from a corner yet this was a stumbling outing, the high-paced game they like to play absent. Still, Ole Gunnar Solskjær was not overly concerned: in a hectic schedule it is solely about being in the hat for the draw and the manager’s thoughts now turn to Tuesday’s trip to Burnley. Win, or even take a point there, and United arrive at Liverpool next Sunday as Premier League leaders – a position Solskjær may not have dreamed of at the start of the season.

The manager was clear in heralding his captain-for-the-night’s performance. “Scott delivered and he always does,” Solskjær said. “He’s a leader and I thought today I’d give it to him to see how he reacts. He was brilliant. He should have scored a few more on set plays before now because he is a monster of a human being. I am very happy he got the goal.”

Related: Allardyce's wait for a win goes on as Blackpool dump West Brom out of Cup

Related: Emile Smith Rowe finds something extra to fire Arsenal past Newcastle

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Manchester United v Watford: FA Cup third round – live!

Sat, 01/09/2021 - 19:13

7.12pm GMT

Manchester United make a slew of changes to their starting XI. Only two players named for the 2-0 League Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City retain their place: goalkeeper Dean Henderson and Scott McTominay, captaining the side for the first time. There’s a rare sighting of £35m midfielder Donny van de Beek, who makes only his ninth start in a United shirt, while former Watford striker Odion Ighalo takes a place on the bench.

Watford welcome back their 19-year-old Brazilian striker Joao Pedro from injury. Danish winger Philip Zinckernagel makes his debut after signing for the Hornets on New Year’s Day.

7.03pm GMT

Manchester United: Henderson, Williams, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Telles, van de Beek, McTominay, Mata, James, Lingard, Greenwood.
Subs: De Gea, Maguire, Wan-Bissake, Fernandes, Fred, Matic, Ighalo, Martial, Rashford.

Watford: Bachmann, Navarro, Sierralta, Troost-Ekong, Masina, Sarr, Chalobah, Hughes, Zinckernagel, Pedro, Gray.
Subs: Foster, Ngakia, Wilmot, Sema, Dalby, Barrett, Hungbo, Crichlow, Phillips.

1.03pm GMT

“I don’t believe in underdogs. At least not in the Cup. You respect the opposition, but it is a terrible trap to be overawed by them. The players must believe they have as much right to be on the field as anybody. Once they do, it’s just 11 men against 11.” The legendary Watford manager Graham Taylor there, in January 1982, after his promotion-bound Second Division side beat First Division title-chasing giants Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup.

Their 1-0 victory came courtesy of a first-half Jan Lohman goal. The 18-year-old John Barnes man-marked an uncharacteristically ineffective Bryan Robson out of the game. Lou Macari had a header cleared off the line, and Garry Birtles had a couple of raspers saved by Steve Sherwood, but otherwise it was all Watford. “No complaints,” shrugged Ron Atkinson. “They were better than us in every department.” Watching on was Hornets chairman Elton John. “It was one of my greatest moments,” said the composer of Rocket Man, Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting and Don’t Go Breaking My Heart. “Tremendous cup tie.”

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær worried by Manchester United's set-piece frailty

Fri, 01/08/2021 - 22:30
  • United conceded from free-kick and corner in semi-final
  • ‘In big games against good teams we lose that bit of focus’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted he is concerned at Manchester United’s habit of conceding goals from set pieces by losing focus in “big games”, the latest two coming in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City.

John Stones’s opener came after United’s centre-backs, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelöf, failed to stop Phil Foden’s free-kick from reaching the defender, whose run was not tracked by the left-back, Luke Shaw. Fernandinho’s goal derived from a poor Aaron Wan-Bissaka clearance following a corner, the right-back’s header going straight to the Brazilian.

Related: Manchester United sign Amad Diallo as Cavani ban reasons revealed

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FA Cup third round: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 01/08/2021 - 00:05

Boreham Wood, Marine and Stockport are hoping for romance but a shadow of uncertainty is hanging over the competition

Chorley’s home tie against Derby always looked ripe for an upset and still does, albeit with the Championship side now in the role of underdogs against hosts from four divisions below. An outbreak of Covid-19 means Wayne Rooney and his senior Derby players will be watching from home as a team of youngsters deputise in order to fulfil the fixture. A similar scenario may unfold on Friday evening with Aston Villa fielding youth players at home to Liverpool. Chorley’s chances of reaching the fourth round have hugely increased, but manager Jamie Vermiglio has been left deflated by the fixture’s reduction in status to little more than a box-ticking exercise. At least, unlike Southampton’s game against Shrewsbury, it’s still going ahead. At a time when the virus looks likely to wreak havoc on fixture lists in all four divisions, there is little wriggle-room even without these added headaches. Whether or not Covid-hit games should be played this weekend is open to serious question, much like the wisdom of even attempting to carry on with this season’s FA Cup. BG

Chorley v Derby, Saturday 12.15pm (all times GMT)

Related: Aston Villa set to field youth players in Liverpool FA Cup tie due to Covid cases

Blackpool v West Brom, Saturday 3pm

Newport County v Brighton, Sunday 7.45pm

Related: Manchester City purring again after stumbling upon winning formula | Jonathan Wilson

Stockport v West Ham, Monday 8pm

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Manchester United sign Amad Diallo as Cavani ban reasons revealed

Thu, 01/07/2021 - 17:02
  • Winger signs deal until 2025 at Old Trafford
  • Solskjær: ‘He is one of the most exciting prospects in the game’

Manchester United have completed the signing of the Atalanta teenager Amad Diallo on a deal until 2025 with the option of a further year.

United reached an agreement with the Serie A club for the 18-year-old player on 5 October, subject to a medical, work permit and personal terms. United have confirmed those steps have been completed and an application has been made for a visa, which once issued will allow Diallo to travel to Manchester and join Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side.

Related: Men's transfer window January 2021 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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