What the papers say

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Updated: 8 hours 6 min ago

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

Mon, 09/28/2020 - 08:00

Another handball horror show, Calvert-Lewin is benefiting from Ancelotti effect and sentiment alone will not save Lampard

Ole Gunnar Solskjær said Manchester United had “three or four weeks to catch up to a few teams”, and how it showed. United could not get out to prevent crosses or track Brighton’s runners. Their lack of match sharpness is a consequence of their lack of a pre-season. It was interesting to hear Gareth Southgate say the players in his England squad in early September who had played in European competition until mid‑August were the fittest because they had, effectively, played all the way through. Solskjær has a different view and feels comfortable in advancing it as mitigation, essentially because it is not his fault, rather that of these unprecedented times. But the message is United cannot do the basics because their bodies will not let them. David Hytner

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My son is Spurs fan. It won’t last | Séamas O’Reilly

Sun, 09/27/2020 - 09:30

He’s allowed to support the local team – until he’s old enough to like football, and know better

“Where’s his gear?” my wife asked. The boy was due to attend his first football practice, and she was looking for his Spurs kit. She got it for him last year, after “we” decided he’d support his local team. I say “we”, because I do remember having that conversation, but never thought she’d actually follow through.

What I hadn’t anticipated was my wife becoming a Spurs devotee after watching an Amazon documentary series about the team, a telegenic squad doing their best to prove nice guys needn’t finish last. I felt like one of those people whose relatives have been radicalised by al-Qaida. Suddenly these boys, with their coiffed hair and shiny smiles, were seeds of my own destruction, agents for a permanent Spurs-ward swing for my poor, defenceless child.

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'We need more late goals,' says Solskjær after last-gasp win over Brighton – video

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 19:10

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Manchester United's controversial match-winning penalty is just the boost the club needed after scoring their first Premier League win of the season at Brighton. 

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Manchester United beat Brighton with last-gasp Bruno Fernandes penalty

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 14:45

It was an occasion when Ole Gunnar Solskjær was reminded of the adage about how it is better to be a lucky general. His Manchester United team got their first points of the Premier League season after a heavy-legged performance that lacked direction for long spells and a finale that could be best described as bonkers but what made the difference in the final analysis was the framework of David de Gea’s goal.

Almost ridiculously, Brighton rattled the posts and crossbar a total of five times, with Leandro Trossard doing so three times. Adam Webster and Solly March were also denied. Since Opta began compiling statistics in 2003 for hitting the woodwork, no team had previously done so more than three times in a Premier League game.

Related: Brighton 2-3 Manchester United: Premier League – live!

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Brighton v Manchester United: Premier League – live

Sat, 09/26/2020 - 13:59

1.59pm BST

71 min White makes a vital tackle on Martial in the area. Fernandes’ beautiful pass put Martial through, and he was about to shoot when White appeared to poke the ball away.

1.56pm BST

68 min Maupay does very well to win the ball on the edge of the United area, fight his way past a couple of players and manufacture a shot that is comfortably saved by de Gea.

1.53pm BST

65 min A Manchester United change: Fred replaces Paul Pogba, who didn’t have a great game.

1.51pm BST

63 min Trossard finds March in space on the left edge of the area. He beats Greenwood with ease and hammers a cross that is cleared at the near post by Lindelof. Brighton still look very dangerous.

1.50pm BST

62 min United break dangerously, only for Martial to play a poor pass to Shaw in the area. They’ve been a lot better in the second half.

1.49pm BST

61 min “Connolly is a fine player and has put my heart in my throat multiple times today, but how has he not been booked for diving yet?” says Matthew Richman. “That last one ahead of Maguire was especially egregious.”

1.48pm BST

60 min The scoreline is so harsh on Brighton. It’s even harsher now: March has hit the post! That’s the fourth time they’ve hit the woodwork. Brighton worked the ball beautifully from right to left, with Maupay eventually finding March in space on the left side of the area. He dragged a low shot across goal that beat de Gea and bounced off the inside of the post.

1.47pm BST

60 min “Poor Ben White,” says Mary Waltz. “Rashford made him look like a puppet on a string. Wonderful.”

1.46pm BST

59 min “Surely Henrik Larsson was United’s last successful panic signing?” says Nick Parish. “Didn’t stay long but had a huge impact. Is he still playing?”

Henrik Larsson was a glorious footballer but I never understood all the excitement about his time at United. He was fine but he didn’t really do much, and he kept Saha (who had been instrumental in United’s rebirth that season) out of the side.

1.46pm BST

58 min Connolly goes over again in the area, this time after a challenge from behind by Maguire. Chris Kavanagh says no penalty and VAR agrees. There was a slight shove from Maguire but not enough for a foul.

1.44pm BST

That was such a cool finish. Fernandes put him clear in the inside-left channel with a lovely pass. Rashford cut into the area, dummied to shoot and beat White. Then he ran past the covering Dunk, dummied to shoot again and twisted away from White a second time. Finally he battered a left-footed shot that hit the lunging Dunk and flew into the net. It was on target so it’s Rashford’s goal.

1.42pm BST

Marcus Rashford scores a beauty!

1.42pm BST

54 min United’s tempo has been much better since half-time, which suggests they received an appreciable brollocking from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

1.40pm BST

53 min VAR’s having a blinder.

1.40pm BST

Yep, Rashford was just offside when he slid Greenwood’s cross past Ryan at the near post.

1.39pm BST

That’s a cracking finish, though he might be offside.

1.39pm BST

51 min I don’t know what to make of that. I don’t think it would have been overturned last season, so VAR is improving.

1.36pm BST

NO PENALTY Connolly stepped across Pogba and went over. I don’t think it was a foul, and Chris Kavanagh has reversed his decision.

1.35pm BST

VAR pending The referee has gone across to look at the pitchside monitor, so maybe it will be overturned.

1.35pm BST

47 min: PENALTY TO BRIGHTON! Connolly went over after a clumsy challenge from Pogba, who has been booked. It’s pretty soft - Pogba didn’t do much wrong as Connolly stepped across him - but I’m not sure it will be overturned.

1.33pm BST

46 min Peep peep! Brighton begin the second half.

1.25pm BST

“Maguire really should score more goals considering how often he wins the ball at set pieces in the opposition box,” says David Wall. “You’d think that would be the difficult part especially as he so often gets a clean contact. He has the potential to be as prolific as Steve Bruce used to be (aside from the penalties) if he worked on his finishing more.”

Yep, agreed, although at the moment his biggest concern is the day job.

1.22pm BST

“They lost the first two in 1992-93 as well, a season that picked up somewhat,” says Robert Hanley. “Cantona arrived soon after, the last successful panic signing at United.”

Of course they did, FFS. 1986-87 was the last time they lost the first three.

1.20pm BST

Half-time reading

Fans or no fans, this will be a belter.

Related: Chris Wilder faces Marcelo Bielsa in derby duel of the master tacticians

1.20pm BST

“Hi Rob,” says Wayne Farrell. “the problem with Man Utd is that all their best players are in really bad form, Rashford, Martial, Fernandez, Maguire, Pogba. Although it’s debatable if Pogba is one of Man Utd’s best players cause in my opinion since he’s been moved deeper he has no impact on games at all, a complete passenger, a 5 or 6 every game which for an £89m player is farcical.

“I think the fact that so many players are in bad form is the responsibility of the coaching team. Motivation and confidence comes from them. The team seem to be strangers together, really remind of the England team in most international tournaments (expect 2018 WC).”

1.18pm BST

Peep peep! That was a difficult half for United, who were outplayed by an excellent Brighton side. Brighton hit the woodwork three times before Neal Maupay gave them the lead with a Panenka, but they had been ahead for only three minutes when Lewis Dunk scored an own goal.

1.14pm BST

45 min Matic’s long-range shot is patted down by Ryan.

1.14pm BST

The goal came from a free-kick just outside the area on the left wing. Fernandees absolutely hammered it towards the far post, where Matic did well to push the ball back into the middle from the byline. Maguire and Dunk challenged for it on the six-yard line and it ended up in the net. It looks like an own goal.

1.13pm BST

United are level!

1.12pm BST

42 min The last time United lost their first two league games was in 1986-87, Ron Atkinson’s last season as manager.

1.11pm BST

41 min Matic is booked for a hand-off into Connolly’s face.

1.11pm BST

That was a delicious bit of arrogance. He kissed the ball softly down the middle as de Gea dived to his left.

1.10pm BST

Maupay scores with an outrageous Panenka!

1.09pm BST

Lamptey cut across Fernandes and brushed his leg. He knew what he was doing but it’s still a penalty. It all stemmed from a mistake by Wan-Bissaka, who was harassed into losing the ball by March.

1.08pm BST

PENALTY TO BRIGHTON! Bruno Fernandes has been penalised for a clumsy challenge on Lamptey. I don’t think this will be overturned.

1.07pm BST

37 min March plays an excellent pass to leave Connolly one against one with Maguire. Connolly is slightly indecisive, though, and Matic gets back to dispossess him. That was a chance.

1.06pm BST

36 min “United has too much quality to be playing this constipated brand of football,” says Mary Waltz.

It’s fascinating - and slightly alarming - how different they look from the team that hammered Brighton here in June. Especially as it’s the same starting XI.

1.05pm BST

34 min “Ok, I get that United’s squad isn’t exactly overflowing with top quality midfielders,” says Matt Dony. “And I get that he has had his moments while playing for Chelsea and United (generally a good few years ago), but Matic still being picked for what is ostensibly one of the top sides in the country seems perverse. Even Mourinho would be thinking twice by now.”

I think he’s been really good in the last few months. The bigger problem is Pogba, who is getting worse. He isn’t even a luxury player any more.

1.03pm BST

33 min: Greenwood has a goal disallowed for offside! It was a slick move involving Martial and Rashford, but replays showed Rashford was offside before he found Greenwood.

1.01pm BST

30 min: Webster hits the bar! That’s the third time Brighton have hit the woodwork. March’s free-kick was partially cleared by Maguire and came to Maupay on the right. He lofted a half-volley back into the middle, where Webster looped a header towards goal. de Gea backpedalled desperately and the ball bounced off the top of the bar. He might have got a touch, I’m not sure.

12.58pm BST

27 min “There is a reason why United have begun this season like this - lack of match fitness,” says Digvijay Yadav. “United have played a couple of games till now (due to rest after playing in Europe) while others have played 6-7. City were lucky in that they faced Wolves who were in the same boat. Of course, another signing will help but there are mitigating circumstances.”

While I take your point, and I think it’s a factor, they’re only one or two games behind everyone else aren’t they?

12.55pm BST

24 min Maupay wins a corner off Matic. Trossard’s inswinger is punched away unconvincingly by de Gea. Maupay heads the loose ball down to Connolly, who drags a volley well wide from 15 yards.

12.52pm BST

23 min United’s performance has been pedestrian at best.

12.52pm BST

22 min Bruno Fernandes is booked for a lunge at Maupay.

12.52pm BST

21 min: Trossard hits the other post! That was another excellent effort. Alzate played a lovely ball between the lines to find Trossard in space, 20 yards from goal. He got it onto his left foot and cracked a low shot across goal that brushed the outside of the far post.

12.49pm BST

19 min A wicked inswinging cross from Fernandes on the left just evades Martial and bounces a couple of yards wide of the far post.

12.48pm BST

18 min After a good move from Brighton, March’s low cross deflects off Lindelof and into the hands of a de Gea.

12.47pm BST

17 min Lamptey plays a loose pass that is picked up by Greenwood 20 yards from goal. He moves into the area but drives well wide from a tight angle.

12.43pm BST

13 min March’s lofted free-kick is headed away by Maguire.

12.43pm BST

13 min Lamptey goes on his first eye-catching run, charging infield before being fouled by Matic 35 yards from goal.

12.41pm BST

12 min Brighton look dangerous on the counter-attack. Connolly moves into space and finds Maupay, whose long-range shot is blocked by Lindelof.

12.41pm BST

10 min United haven’t made the greatest start, with some sloppy passing and a bit of lethargy. Brighton have been much more cohesive.

12.40pm BST

9 min: Trossard hits the post! That was a great effort. Alzate fed a nice pass into him on the edge of the area. He took a quick touch and then crashed a left-footed shot that beat de Gea and smacked the outside of the post.

12.37pm BST

7 min Brighton have settled into the game and are passing the ball around nicely. They’re a very likeable team.

12.36pm BST

5 min These teams meet again here on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup, although most of these players probably won’t be involved.

12.34pm BST

4 min Maupay wins the first corner of the game for Brighton. March takes it short to Lallana, whose cross is kicked away at the near post. I’m surprised March didn’t swing that in towards de Gea and allow the wind to take effect.

12.33pm BST

3 min A quiet start, nowt to report. United have had most of the ball.

12.31pm BST

2 min “Am so pleased Lallana recovered so promptly,” says Ian Copestake. “Felt bad for him seeing him go off on his debut. Mind you, he never recovered that quickly at Liverpool so not that I am so fickle as to change my opinion within one post but he is dead to me.”

12.30pm BST

1 min Peep peep! United kick off from right to left.

12.29pm BST

It’s a windy day down in Brighton. Both teams are ready - Brighton are wearing in their lovely new home kit, United their new red strip.

12.16pm BST

“You weren’t the only one expecting Lindelof to be dropped (rested?) today,” says Neil Carter. “He was deemed to be fatigued during the last round of internationals and looked awful last week. Maybe two games for Eric in a week is too much though he is a fragile. Anyway an improved but still disjointed performance expected today against a well organised Brighton so 1-1 my prediction.”

12.13pm BST

“I think you mean Ron Burgundy,” says Keith Geoghegan (and tens of others). “Not sure why Ron Jeremy would be on your mind.”

Ach, apologies, I’ve amended it now.

12.09pm BST

“Afternoon, Rob,” says Ian Copestake. “On the crisis front, it is kind of understandable now given that any team with title pretentions can’t lose more than one game thanks to City driving Liverpool to such heights. And even a draw is looking like the new loss.”

The 1-0 win is the new loss.

11.37am BST

Pre-match reading

Related: Solskjær says questions over lack of signings 'disrespectful' to Van de Beek

Related: Brighton v Manchester United: match preview

11.37am BST

Adam Lallana replaces Yves Bissouma in the Brighton midfield, an attacking decision from Graham Potter. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has gone back to the XI that won 3-0 here in June. That’s a bit of a surprise; I thought Eric Bailly would replace Victor Lindelof.

11.33am BST

Brighton (3-4-3) Ryan; White, Dunk, Webster; Lamptey, Lallana, Alzate, March; Trossard, Connolly, Maupay.
Substitutes: Steele, Bernardo, Burn, Veltman, Gross, Molumby, Jahanbakhsh.

Manchester United (4-2-3-1) de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Substitutes: Henderson, Bailly, Fosu-Mensah, Lingard, Fred, van de Beek, McTominay.

10.55am BST

Morning. You don’t need to have seen the film Anchorman to know it’s the source of the phrase, “Well, that escalated quickly.” We see it on memes all the time, with a picture of the film’s lead character Ron Burgundy. The main reason it’s such a popular meme is that, in modern society, things do escalate pretty darn quickly.

Look at Manchester United. They ended the 2019-20 season in a state of giddy optimism; six weeks later, it’s all doom and gloom. United have been all hat and no cattle in the transfer market, and they were alarmingly bad in last weekend’s 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace. If they lose today at Brighton, the media - traditional and social - will go to town. Ludicrous after only two league games, no question, but it’s an immutable law of Premier League coverage that at least one club must be IN CRISIS.

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Solskjær says questions over lack of signings 'disrespectful' to Van de Beek

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 22:30
  • Manchester United manager not concerned by rivals’ spending
  • Dutch midfielder is club’s only new signing this summer

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has denied he will be frustrated if Manchester United do not strengthen as markedly as Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, saying this would be “disrespectful” to Donny van de Beek.

The manager has signed only the 24-year-old midfielder in the window, for an initial £34.7m from Ajax, but is also targeting Porto’s Alex Telles and Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

Related: Manchester United target Alex Telles urges Porto to lower asking price

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Brighton v Manchester United: match preview

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 19:16

Brighton lost 3-0 in the corresponding fixture in June and since then United have added the £35m Netherlands international Donny van de Beek to their squad. Joël Veltman, at £0.9m Brighton’s costliest signing of the transfer window thus far, is also a Dutch international and a former Ajax teammate of Van de Beek. Neither of the former colleagues are likely to start on Saturday, though, but if Tariq Lamptey fails a fitness test on a groin strain, Veltman may slot in at right wing-back for Graham Potter’s side. Rich Flower

Saturday 12.30pm BT Sport 1

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 09/25/2020 - 00:01

A showdown at Anfield, perfect records on the line at Selhurst Park and an old face meeting Chelsea at the Hawthorns

As Manchester United’s team bus left Luton on Tuesday night, a dissident band of fans broke into a chant. “What do we want? Sancho!” they bellowed. Ed Woodward’s ears undoubtedly burned as the chances of Jadon Sancho’s arrival now appear low. United’s frankly dreadful performance last Saturday against Crystal Palace increased fears among supporters that this will be another summer in which unsatisfactory transfer business takes the club backwards. Each of United’s peers in the top four have strengthened and appear willing to do more business. A similar flop against what has looked a more than useful Brighton team, with Graham Potter a canny reader of opponents, and the questioning of Woodward and Ole Gunnar Solskjær may swiftly reach fever pitch. The improvements made last season can swiftly be undone. Should United lose then expect to see Woodward reach for the chequebook, even if United’s record with panic buys has been atrocious in recent years. JB

26/04 - On this day in 1992, Leeds won their third top-flight title thanks to a 3-2 win vs Sheffield United, and a Liverpool victory over Manchester United. MOT. pic.twitter.com/QHMcFiiByz

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Manchester United target Alex Telles urges Porto to lower asking price

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 19:26
  • Portuguese club want £18.3m for Brazil left-back
  • Telles has only one year left on his contract at Porto

Alex Telles believes Porto’s asking price to Manchester United of about €20m (£18.3m) for his transfer is unrealistic, with the left-back conscious he is in line to be a free agent next summer.

Although the 27-year-old remains hopeful a deal can be concluded this week, he is braced for negotiations to drag on towards the close of the window on 5 October.

Related: Hate crimes recorded at one in 10 football games in England and Wales

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Football transfer rumours: Liverpool to beat Manchester City to Koulibaly?

Thu, 09/24/2020 - 08:24

Today’s talk starts the day with shampoo

Were it to come off, it would be the daddy of all transfers but Kylian Mbappé and his move to either Real Madrid, Liverpool or whoever else wants to pay €200m-plus may be approaching. Or it may not, as there is a growing sense that the flying Frenchman may choose to stay at PSG for the moment while continuing to explore his options for escape. Were Mbappé to stay in Paris, then he might have a new teammate in Chelsea’s Antonio Rüdiger, who may be set for a loan move or even sold for the cash that could bring Declan Rice in from West Ham.

Whatever happens with Mbappé, Liverpool seem likely to be busy in the closing days of the transfer window both with ins and outs. Harry Wilson is linked with Burnley, and Rhian Brewster is with Sheffield United. Georginio Wijnaldum looks for the off, too, having turned down a new contract and with Thiago Alcântara added to Jürgen Klopp’s squad. Ousmane Dembélé is also said to be the subject of a loan enquiry to Barcelona.

Related: Luis Suárez wins fight to join Atlético Madrid after Barcelona agree £5.5m fee

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Roma prepare second Chris Smalling bid as Manchester United ask for £18m

Wed, 09/23/2020 - 10:12
  • First bid of £11m rejected by Manchester United
  • Centre-back spent last season on loan at Roma

Roma are stepping up their pursuit of the Manchester United centre-back Chris Smalling and are expected to submit a second bid for the 30-year-old this week.

A first offer of £11m was rejected out of hand by United, who are hoping to bolster their transfer budget with at least £18m.

Related: Men's transfer window summer 2020 – all deals from Europe's top five leagues

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Manchester United rely on Rashford and Greenwood to overcome Luton

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 22:25

Ole Gunnar Solskjær started the evening demanding a vastly improved performance but ended it extremely thankful for Dean Henderson’s match-winning save on his debut as Manchester United eventually overcame Luton Town.

The goalkeeper spent last season on loan at Sheffield United but nine years after joining from Carlisle as a teenager he was finally handed a first appearance for United as he bids to put pressure on David de Gea and England’s Jordan Pickford this season.

Related: David Moyes and two players leave West Ham game after Covid-19 positive tests

Related: UK government ready to rescue up to eight sports facing financial black hole

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Luton v Manchester United: Carabao Cup third round – live!

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 21:53

9.52pm BST

76 min: Luton have been drifting in this game, and they make some subs.

76' First game changers on for the Hatters...

↪ Harry Cornick
↩ Jordan Clark

↪ Elliot Lee
↩ George Moncur

0-1 ⚫#CarabaoCup #COYH

9.48pm BST

74 min: Van de Beek is next to have a go, pouncing on a loose ball inside the ball to slam the ball goalwards from a tight angle. Shea does well to save with his feet, it so easily could have squirmed under him.

9.47pm BST

72 min: Lingard should score, but he skies a glorious chance over! Some neat passing from Mata and Fred gives Lingard half an yard to get his shot off from around the penalty spot. But on his favoured right, he curls it three yards over. That’s poor, even if Jesse does claim a deflection.

9.44pm BST

70 min: “No-one should be too hard on the Man Utd ‘performance,’” emails Geoff Wignall. “It’d be unrealistic to expect anyone to crush Luton’s reserves by fielding a mere nine full internationals.”

9.43pm BST

68 min: Kioso goes on an adventure from right back, ending up as Luton’s most advanced player but slightly loses control of the ball and fouls Bailly rather badly in trying to win it back. Yellow card.

9.41pm BST

66 min: Just a reminder that we’ll go straight to penalties if there is a draw tonight. No extra time.

9.40pm BST

64 min: Matic tries his luck from range, powerfully struck inside the near post, but Shea is there to repel.

9.39pm BST

62 min: Luton clear the ball off the line! Mata, who has been the best player on the pitch, floats a great cross to the back post. Lingard is lurking, and gets a good connection on a volley from a tight angle. It beats Shea in Luton’s goal but Lockyer recovers to hook it clear!

9.38pm BST

59 min: Williams is very quick, isn’t he?

9.33pm BST

57 min: Yellow card for Brandon Williams, who cynically brings down LuaLua on a dangerous counter-attack for Luton. A good foul, as they say.

9.32pm BST

It’s all over at West Ham, who have beaten Hull City 5-1 in the other late Carabao Cup tie. Two late goals for Andriy Yarmolenko and Sébastien Haller.

9.29pm BST

53 min: Van de Beek latches onto a Mata pass, and feeds Lingard who drifts into a central area and looks to curl one … but it ends up in Row Z.

9.27pm BST

51 min: Both teams have very strong benches. Rashford, Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes feature on United’s, while Luton have star striker James Collins lurking on their sideline.

9.24pm BST

49 min: Referee Tim Robinson has noticed that there is still a cone on the pitch from half-time, so there’s a brief, but exciting, stoppage in play.

@michaelbutler18 a cone? Surely Man Utd's half-time substitution of Fred

9.22pm BST

47 min: Hylton flashes a low centre across United’s six-yard box, but there is nobody to tuck the ball home.

9.20pm BST

Peeeeeep! We’re off again at Kenilworth Road.

9.20pm BST

West Ham are still playing, 3-1 up against Hull.

There is also this story from earlier.

Related: David Moyes and two players leave West Ham game after Covid-19 positive tests

9.19pm BST

Some upsets, of sorts:

Newport County 3-1 Watford

9.11pm BST

Luton should feel like there is not much to respect there, with all due respect to Manchester United.”

Another zinger from Darren Fletcher at half-time in the Sky studios.

9.06pm BST

Half-time looking:

Related: David Squires on … Gareth Bale's second coming at Spurs

9.03pm BST

Luton are still very much in this.

9.02pm BST

45 min: One minute added on here. Nathan Jones will be gutted that his side couldn’t get to half time goalless.

9.01pm BST

Shea dives right, and Mata curls it into the other corner. Was definitely a penalty, but Williams was smart in inviting the contact.

9.00pm BST

42 min: Moncur with a very clumsy challenge on Williams!

8.58pm BST

40 min: Five minutes to go in this first half. Manchester United have created one chance, by my count. Shea’s save from Mata. It’s now quite uninspiring stuff. Lingard boots a cross straight out for a goal kick. Solskjær looks glum in the stands.

8.56pm BST

38 min: Hylton is doing a fine job of holding the ball up against Bailly. Whenever Luton are pressed at the back, they always have the option of hitting it long, and are having a lot of joy with their No 9 in the air.

8.55pm BST

36 min: The camera pans to … Luton legend Mick Harford on the sidelines. He has on a black gilet and a fine head of hair.

8.53pm BST

34 min: Kioso looks a very solid player at right back for Luton. Lingard, who started brightly but has faded somewhat on the left wing, has failed to get the better of the Irishman a couple of times recently.

8.50pm BST

West Ham are now 3-0 up against Hull. Andriy Yarmolenko with a penalty.

8.48pm BST

30 min: Whisper it, but Luton are the better side at the moment. Clarke cuts in off the right wing, zooms past a couple of black shirts and lets fly. Deflected behind for another corner, which is cleared.

8.45pm BST

27 min: “In answer to your poser: Who do you think is more one-footed: Fred, Matic or Mata?” asks Nick Chronnell. “Is the answer Tony Valencia?”


8.44pm BST

25 min: Another corner for Luton, who are evidently trying to put some pressure on Henderson. It’s floated to the back post, where some shocking United marking allows Bradley a free header. Blocked! Shinnie volleys the rebound goalwards! Blocked! Kioso has a shock from range … wide!

8.42pm BST

22 min: Tunnicliffe, who came through the academy at Manchester United and played a couple of times for them in the League Cup a few years ago, is playing like a man possessed in Luton’s midfield. Very fired up and not short of quality either. Luton have felt their way into this match and earned a corner.

8.39pm BST

Elsewhere, Newport County are now 3-1 up against Watford, it’s West Brom 2-2 Brentford and West Ham 2-0 Hull City. All those games are in the second half.

8.37pm BST

18 min: Fred goes close! He unloads from 25 yards, it catches a deflection and just flies wide! Shea was stranded but it remains goalless.

8.36pm BST

17 min: Chance for Luton! The home side break on the counter-attack and pour forward in numbers. Tunnicliffe slips Hylton in down the left, but the striker shoots poorly wide, when he surely should have passed the ball across the face of goal. Tunnicliffe certainly thinks so.

8.34pm BST

16 min: Lingard has been tidy thus far. If he does leave, I’m not entirely sure where he’ll go. Not good enough for Spurs, no room at Everton anymore … West Ham? Stinks of West Ham doesn’t it.

8.32pm BST

14 min: Chance! Lingard makes a run to the byline down the left, cuts back towards Van de Beek, who dummies, and Mata is there on the penalty spot to sweep the ball towards the far corner. Shea is at first unsighted, but gets down well to palm it behind!

8.30pm BST

12 min: Luton captain Sonny Bradley, born in south London and previously of Swedish third-division side IK Frej, has a very impressive array of neck tattoos.

8.27pm BST

10 min: Maguire, the only player that played against Palace to start tonight, is allowed to gallop up to the edge of Luton’s box with the ball at his feet, so the England defender laces one at goal, which ends up 20 yards wide.

8.26pm BST

8 min: Who do you think is more one-footed: Fred, Matic or Mata?

8.25pm BST

6 min: An email from Matt Richman. “Clearly this is not a shared opinion, but I rate Ighalo rather highly as a centre forward. Not only is he an excellent athlete, but he has the nous and ability to hold his own in the box and score some fun goals. Furthermore, he clearly enjoys every goal he scores in a United shirt; here’s hoping he has something to celebrate today.”

He’s an excellent finisher, there’s no getting around that. And sometimes, for a top drawer team, that’s enough. But United are not that yet, and are not going to win the league with him in the starting XI.

8.22pm BST

4 min: Good turn from Lingard on the half turn, and he drives through the heart of Luton’s midfield impressively, before laying off to Mata, who shoots tamely towards the near post. Shea saves.

8.19pm BST

2 min: United popping it about. I think Luton have touched the ball once in the opening two minutes.

8.16pm BST

The teams are out, Luton in their tangerine and blue, United in their changed black and white number. The players of both sides take a knee and away we go. Peeeeeeeeeeep!

8.15pm BST

Ten minutes into the second half and Watford are still 2-0 down to Newport County.

8.12pm BST

Darren Fletcher, a Sky pundit tonight, says “Manchester United are the biggest team in the world.”

7.54pm BST

As stated on the club website:

West Ham United can confirm that David Moyes, Issa Diop and Josh Cullen have returned positive tests for Covid-19.

The club’s medical team were informed of the test results as the team were at London Stadium preparing for this evening’s Carabao Cup third round tie against Hull City. The manager and both players immediately left the stadium and have returned home.

7.49pm BST

Ed Aarons is our man in Luton tonight. The heady days 2014-15, ladies and gentleman!

Spotted in the toilets at Kenilworth Road pic.twitter.com/kOYTEenoQl

7.46pm BST

As for Watford, they are one of three other Carabao Cup matches on tonight. They are … 2-0 down to League Two’s Newport County. Yikes.

Elsewhere in the early kick offs, it’s West Ham 0-0 Hull City (a first league start for Jack Wilshere in over a year) and West Brom 0-0 Brentford.

7.43pm BST

Gareth (“Watford fan...obviously”) has sent the first email of the night: “Luton have made nine changes because their cup final is on Saturday. The game against Watford will be their biggest game for 14 years, bless them.”

You can send me a mail on michael.butler@theguardian.com or tweet me @michaelbutler18.

7.29pm BST

Luton have made NINE changes from the side that beat Derby. Mostly a B-team in progress, with starts for George Moncur (son of John), striker Danny Hylton and Jordan Clark, who has impressed off the bench of late.

Your Hatters to take on @ManUtd tonight in the third round of the @Carabao_Cup #COYH pic.twitter.com/iAaGegPj6l

Here's how we line up to face Luton in our #CarabaoCup third-round encounter #MUFC

6.58pm BST

The last time Manchester United visited Kenilworth Road, it was 1992 and Alex Ferguson still hadn’t won a league title in England. That day, a Lee Sharpe opener was cancelled out by a Mick Harford header in a disappointing 1-1 draw for the away side, the Luton legend pouncing on a rebound after he had crashed an outrageous header off the crossbar.

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Alex Telles hopes to seal Manchester United move from Porto this week

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:56
  • Talks for Brazilian left-back are advanced but fee not settled
  • Telles’s time at Porto suggests he will score and set up goals

Alex Telles is hopeful of sealing a move to Manchester United from Porto this week and becoming Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s second signing of the window. Negotiations for the 27-year-old Brazil left-back, who has a release clause of €40m (£36.7m), are advanced.

Related: VAR is getting it right despite football's wider mood of suspicion and distrust | Sean Ingle

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Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to sell Lacazette, Rüdiger out at Chelsea?

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 09:23

This talk’s paddles cut the water in a long and hurried flight

In typical José Mourinho style, José Mourinho has again made fools of all those who said he was predictable parody of himself. When he arrived at Spurs, it appeared clear the player he planned to needlessly persecute was Tanguy Ndombele but it’s since turned out that the wily, crafty, sly old fox was misdirecting all along – the real receptacle for his angst is was Dele Alli all along.

Related: Dele Alli's Tottenham future in doubt after PSG are offered midfielder

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

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 08:00

Chelsea’s youngsters are back on the sidelines, former Blues defender Tariq Lamptey shines in win and Eddie Nketiah has his eye on goals

Much of the praise heaped on Frank Lampard about this time last year focused on his apparent eagerness to find a place in the first-team setup for the academy graduates that had been rendered collateral damage by the money and splendour of the Abramovich era. But against Liverpool, the spearhead of last season’s locally sourced side, Tammy Abraham, was consigned to the bench by the £47m Timo Werner and the £72m Kai Havertz was picked ahead of Callum Hudson-Odoi, whose mettle will be further tested when Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic are fit. Ruben Loftus-Cheek was not in the squad at all. Fikayo Tomori’s emergency introduction was the first time he had kicked a ball since February. And Mason Mount is playing in the position preferred by Havertz. Suddenly Lampard’s new-look Chelsea begin to resemble the old one: expensive signings, a squad overflowing with pedigree – and a manager who needs to get results in the here and now. Alex Hess
Match report: Chelsea 0-2 Liverpool

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'We need players': Luke Shaw calls on Manchester United to strengthen squad

Sun, 09/20/2020 - 10:36
  • Shaw on defeat to Crystal Palace: ‘Everything went wrong’
  • United revive interest in Porto’s £40m-rated Alex Telles

Luke Shaw has called for Manchester United to sign more players to “keep up” with their big-spending rivals after making an unconvincing start to the season in the 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

United suffered a second successive home defeat to Roy Hodgson’s side in their opening match, with Donny van de Beek – the club’s only only major summer signing for £35m – scoring after coming off the bench. United have revived their interest signing Porto’s Alex Telles, with the Brazilian set to provide competition for Shaw at left-back if he signs.

Related: Manchester United need time more than money or Jadon Sancho | Jonathan Liew

Related: Manchester United rocked by Wilfried Zaha double for Crystal Palace

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Manchester United need time more than money or Jadon Sancho | Jonathan Liew

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 20:56

Old Trafford could do with a new face or two, but the need is no more pressing because of their opening defeat by Crystal Palace

Last weekend, a small but significant part of Manchester United’s online fanbase got themselves extremely excited by a new Instagram Story posted by their on-off transfer target, the Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho.

Over recent years, the increasingly feverish fetishisation of transfer gossip has been mirrored in the growth of an army of amateur online detectives who scour the social media posts of footballers – and often their partners and families – for even the vaguest hint they may be on the move. Planes are tracked across the North Sea. Isn’t that row of elms the same as the one outside Arsenal’s training ground? If I’m not mistaken, that broken grit box is from the A560, which is how you’d get from Manchester airport to Carrington if the M56 is gridlocked. And so on.

Related: Manchester United rocked by Wilfried Zaha double for Crystal Palace

Related: Manchester United 1-3 Crystal Palace: Premier League – as it happened

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Manchester United rocked by Wilfried Zaha double for Crystal Palace

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 19:42

Manchester United were dour in an opening-game loss that ended a 14-match unbeaten Premier League run.

Crystal Palace’s second goal was a controversial Wilfried Zaha penalty, retaken due to David de Gea apparently leaving his line when saving Jordan Ayew’s initial effort. But, really, there can be no excuses for the way United’s frontline was starved throughout due to a concerning lack of energy and creativity.

Related: Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Premier League – live!

Related: Leeds hold off spirited Fulham fightback after Hélder Costa double

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Manchester United v Crystal Palace: Premier League – live!

Sat, 09/19/2020 - 16:33

4.33pm BST

Manchester United (4-2-3-1) de Gea; Fosu-Mensah, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Substitutes: Henderson, Bailly, Fred, van de Beek, Greenwood, Ighalo, Wan-Bissaka.

Crystal Palace (4-3-3) Guaita; Ward, Kouyate, Sakho, Mitchell; McArthur, McCarthy, Schlupp; Townsend, Ayew, Zaha.
Substitutes: Hennessey, Kelly, Inniss, Milivojevic, Meyer, Eze, Batshuayi.

11.08am BST

Hello. It’s time for another season in the irresistible soap opera that is Manchester United post-Fergie. The last one went pretty well: United finished third in the league, realistically the highest achievable position, and reached the semi-finals of all three cup competitions. But these are not the kind of laurels on which a club of United’s stature should rest; their task for this year is to continue the dramatic improvement that was sparked by the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January.

While Donny van de Beek looks a crafty signing, most people expected United to do more business in the transfer market. Jadon Sancho and Sergio Reguilon will not be making their debuts tonight, and a slightly frustrating off-season was compounded by the sight of Harry Maguire and Mason Greenwood on the front pages.

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