What the papers say

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Updated: 15 hours 39 min ago

Klopp wants Liverpool to ignore ‘noise’ and focus on beating Manchester United

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 14:03
  • Manager wary of wounded visitors being viewed as easy to beat
  • Liverpool face ‘crazy’ schedule for rest of month, says Klopp

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool must ignore “the noise” around Manchester United and treat Sunday’s contest against their great rivals like a cup final.

The Liverpool manager is uncomfortable with the negativity surrounding Erik ten Hag’s side before their visit to Anfield and the expectation his Premier League leaders will deepen United’s latest crisis. Liverpool recorded the biggest victory in 211 meetings between the clubs in the corresponding fixture last season, their 7-0 triumph equalling the heaviest defeat in United’s history, and have won all 11 games at home this season.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 12/15/2023 - 00:01

The time for excuses at Chelsea is over, Anfield awaits for Manchester United and Eddie Howe must stop the rot

There is often fear when a former favourite returns but Brennan Johnson will be welcomed back with open arms at Nottingham Forest even though he may hope to leave as a pantomime villain. The Wales international progressed through the ranks at the City Ground, becoming integral to Forest’s promotion, and was a key reason they stayed up last season. Such form meant his departure over the summer became an inevitability, especially because the money on offer was much needed. No offence to Forest but Tottenham is a big step up for Johnson and he has taken time to adapt to his new surroundings and the management of Ange Postecoglou. Pressure has grown on Tottenham’s forwards in recent weeks following James Maddison’s injury but, after four defeats in five, they found their feet against Newcastle. Johnson has one goal and two assists in his short Tottenham career but returning to familiar surroundings could kickstart his season. Will Unwin

Nottingham Forest v Spurs, Friday 8pm (all times GMT)

Newcastle v Fulham, Saturday 3pm

Arsenal v Brighton, Sunday 2pm

Chelsea v Sheffield United, Saturday 3pm

Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Saturday 3pm

Burnley v Everton, Saturday 5.30pm

Brentford v Aston Villa, Sunday 2pm

Liverpool v Manchester United, Sunday 4.30pm

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Champions League grades: Bayern Munich defeat puts Ten Hag on thin ice | John Brewin

Thu, 12/14/2023 - 12:14

The final round of Champions League group games are in the books. We run through the standouts, surprises and disappointments, grading all 32 teams

Editor’s note: these grades are for teams’ performances in this week’s round of matches rather than their chances of winning the competition as a whole.

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Avoiding humiliation: the new normal for stumbling Manchester United

Wed, 12/13/2023 - 16:10

Champions League exit was no surprise – fans were resigned to it – and Erik ten Hag has much work to do to salvage the season

When Manchester United kicked off their Champions League campaign at Bayern Munich on 20 September, it was impossible to ignore the sense of foreboding. The season had started badly – three Premier League defeats in five – and the priority at the Allianz Arena was not, seemingly, to win or draw but to avoid humiliation.

The 4-3 defeat was a seven‑goal thriller in name only, Bayern comfortable once in front, their superiority pronounced over a United team unable to fire in more than fits and starts. Still, it was not a disaster for United. They knew their Champions League progress would not rest on this match.

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'We've lost decisive players': Ten Hag says injuries were key to Champions League exit – video

Wed, 12/13/2023 - 14:27

Manchester United suffered a 1-0 defeat to FC Bayern Munich, a result which saw them eliminated from the Champions League. The defeat means that the Red Devils will play no part in European competition for the remainder of this season. Ten Hag blamed the result partly on the loss of 'players who are very decisive for [their] game and who can make the difference' although he added that it wasn't an excuse. The manager was optimistic however, adding 'there's still many things to play for. And now we can focus, of course, on the Premier League'.

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Ten Hag’s Manchester United stand up and die at club stranded in the past | Barney Ronay

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 23:53

United suffer European exit to a Bayern side who are a good version of whatever it is the hosts are trying to piece together

As the seconds ticked down at the end of a Champions League season‑ender that felt like a gentle, even quite tender, act of sporting euthanasia, the only noise inside Old Trafford was the sound of the Bayern Munich fans singing an impressively sustained version of Football’s Coming Home. A little later they sang Is This A Library? Actually, no, it’s more of a museum. They chanted “Auf Wiedersehen” at the departing members of the home support who, frankly, had done pretty well to stick it out to that point.

The good news for Erik ten Hag at the end of this low-fi 1-0 defeat is that United’s players didn’t lie down and die at Old Trafford. Instead they stood up and died, running hard and creating a kind of simulacrum of a functioning elite team.

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Erik ten Hag has ‘no regrets’ despite United finishing last in group

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 23:46
  • Ten Hag: ‘We didn’t make it … we have to learn from it’
  • Dutchman not using injuries as excuse for elimination

Erik ten Hag insisted he had no regrets about Manchester United’s failed Champions League campaign despite finishing bottom of their group after a 1-0 defeat by Bayern Munich.

Kingsley Coman scored the only goal of the game to ensure United finished with a fourth defeat, the full‑time whistle greeted with boos by those who were left at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United v Bayern Munich: Champions League – live

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 22:38

1 min Bayern kick off, straight back to Neuer. Route one and in no time Harry Kane is crossing from the right, but he was offside.

The anthem rings out and the players exchange hand-slaps. United are in their classic red with white shorts and white socks, Bayern in all-black. The crowd are making a lot of noise.

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Manchester United 0-1 Bayern Munich: Champions League player ratings | Will Unwin

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 22:32

Rasmus Højlund was taught a lesson by Bayern’s defenders while Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich were dominant

André Onana Could not be criticised for the goal as there was little he could do with Coman one-on-one on an otherwise quiet night. 6/10

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Manchester United’s European dream collapses with defeat to Bayern

Tue, 12/12/2023 - 22:17

Anything is possible, Erik ten Hag had claimed, if Manchester United brought their A-game. And yet it still felt outlandish to really believe they were about to beat Bayern Munich, let alone have the other Group A game, between Copenhagen and Galatasaray, end in a draw; the double whammy to save their skin.

United, after all, have not beaten a top-ranked team during this traumatic season. They have won only once against opponents that currently sit in the top half of the Premier League – and that was 10th-placed Fulham.

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Hope and fear for Manchester United before Champions League showdown | David Hytner

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 21:00

Fans do not know which team will turn up as Ten Hag chases victory and some luck against Bayern Munich on Tuesday

For Manchester United, the week had started with an apology – the abject performance in the 1-0 Premier League defeat at Newcastle. And it finished with another one, more literal this time, served up by the captain, Bruno Fernandes, after the 3-0 home loss against Bournemouth on Saturday.

In between times, there was the 2-1 victory against Chelsea at Old Trafford, which was lauded in some quarters as the best display of the season, even if there were still holes in it – specifically the one in front of the back four to defend the counterattack and the lack of ruthlessness in the final third.

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Scott McTominay insists Manchester United team are behind Erik ten Hag

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 15:15
  • Manager backed despite reports players lost confidence in him
  • Lindelöf a doubt for Champions League tie with Bayern

Erik ten Hag goes into Manchester United’s make-or-break Champions League assignment against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night with the belief that anything is possible – and a ringing endorsement from Scott McTominay about the environment he has created for the players.

United must beat Bayern under the Old Trafford lights and hope the other Group A tie between Copenhagen and Galatasaray finishes in a draw in order to progress. Given United’s erratic form, it feels as though it could be a tall order for them simply to fulfil their side of the bargain, although Bayern – hammered 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday – have nothing tangible to play for, having already sewn up top spot.

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Scott McTominay insists Manchester United players 'firmly behind Ten Hag' – video

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 14:56

Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has insisted that Erik ten Hag has the full support of the squad as he looked ahead to United’s potentially season-defining Champions League Group A match against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford. Ten Hag has been criticised for United's inconsistent performances so far this season, having won nine and lost seven out of 16 Premier League matches. 'The boys are firmly behind the manager and that's the be-all and end-all,' McTominay said. 'It's not just a case of some of the other managers [in the past] where it's been a little bit toxic at times.'

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Manchester United open to offers for players including Casemiro and Sancho

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 12:47
  • Bids also encouraged for Varane, Martial and Van de Beek
  • Erik ten Hag needs to generate funds before strengthening

Manchester United are open to offers for Casemiro, Raphaël Varane, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek in January, though Erik ten Hag will not countenance any sale if it weakens his squad.

The manager is not intent on pushing any player out and United do not anticipate a busy month but financial fair play rules mean there is the need to generate funds in order to strengthen, so he and the club’s hierarchy will listen to any prospective bidders.

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

Mon, 12/11/2023 - 08:00

Liverpool go top, Chelsea seem to need even more financial backing, and no one wants to bet against Villa

The bad news for Luton is that they’ve already played the (notional) best three teams in the league at home. In the past five weeks, they’ve drawn with Liverpool, lost 4-3 to Arsenal to a 97th-minute winner, and gone down to a narrow 2-1 defeat by Manchester City. In all three games they’ve gone ahead. Playing the elite clearly suits Rob Edwards’ side. The issue is whether they can produce that quality of performance against lesser sides. They beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at home during that run, and that has to be the model. Playing a 3-4-3 gives them plenty of crossing options – and Andros Townsend remains a very fine deliverer of a ball, as he proved in laying on Elijah Adebayo’s goal against City – and they have the physicality to take advantage. The worry is that they are now four points adrift, even with Everton’s points deduction; they could do with finding some of the luck they’ve lacked against the big three against more beatable sides. Jonathan Wilson

Match report: Luton 1-2 Manchester City

Match report: Crystal Palace 1-2 Liverpool

Match report: Manchester United 0-3 Bournemouth

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‘Not acceptable’: Bruno Fernandes sorry for latest Manchester United slip

Sun, 12/10/2023 - 14:25
  • Captain frustrated and baffled after Bournemouth collapse
  • United face daunting Bayern and Liverpool in coming week

Bruno Fernandes has apologised for Manchester United’s display in their 3-0 home loss to Bournemouth on Saturday and called for greater consistency from his side ahead of a daunting set of fixtures in the next week.

United face Bayern Munich in a must-win Champions League game on Tuesday followed by a trip to Liverpool in the league five days later. Erik ten Hag’s side appear unlikely to triumph in either fixture if their display at the weekend is anything to go by, with United booed off by their own supporters having deservedly suffered a seventh defeats in 16 league games. That the result came only three days after a 2-1 win over Chelsea only further highlighted the unpredictable nature of the Old Trafford side.

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'We're not good enough': Ten Hag takes responsibility for Manchester United's loss – video

Sat, 12/09/2023 - 19:59

Erik ten Hag said he 'takes responsibility' for Manchester United's humbling 3-0 loss to Bournemouth, saying that they were not 'ready for the game'. He added: 'I think we have to always be ready for the game. And so I have to take the responsibility for that. I have to prepare my team that they are ready for the game.' It is United's seventh league defeat of the campaign, and fourth at home, leaving them languishing in sixth place on 27 points.

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‘We’re really inconsistent’: Ten Hag implores United to toughen up

Sat, 12/09/2023 - 19:15
  • Manager says team must improve after loss to Bournemouth
  • Ten Hag takes responsibility for dismal performance

Erik ten Hag admitted Manchester United are not good enough to achieve the consistency of an elite team after they were humiliated 3-0 by Bournemouth.

Dominic Solanke’s fifth-minute strike was followed by second‑half goals from Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi to secure Bournemouth’s first win at Old Trafford. United’s disjointed, dismal display followed Wednesday’s 2-1 home win over Chelsea to continue a pattern of uneven displays and results.

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Manchester United stunned 3-0 as Bournemouth break Old Trafford duck

Sat, 12/09/2023 - 17:18

This was jubilation for Bournemouth and a crimson embarrassment for Manchester United which would have been worse had Dango Ouattara’s late strike not been ruled out, via VAR, because of the player’s handball. But make no mistake, Erik ten Hag’s team were a rabble reminiscent of the United of the dog days under his predecessor, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, and so at the final whistle the boos that greeted them were no surprise.

Bournemouth’s second goal, in the 68th minute, killed off Ten Hag’s side en route to a first ever victory at Old Trafford. A loose Luke Shaw pass was intercepted by the Cherries, who motored upfield. Dominic Solanke fed Marcus Tavernier on the left and, when he lifted the ball in, up rose substitute Philip Billing to crash in a memorable header.

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Jadon Sancho likely to leave Manchester United in January over non-apology

Fri, 12/08/2023 - 22:29
  • Forward refusing to back down in row with Erik ten Hag
  • Marcus Rashford told to force his way back into United team

Jadon Sancho is likely to leave Manchester United in January due to his refusal to apologise to Erik ten Hag for questioning the Dutchman’s explanation for why he was left out of September’s loss at Arsenal.

After United were defeated 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium, Ten Hag stated Sancho had not travelled to London because he had not trained well enough. This led to the forward claiming on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Ten Hag’s explanation was “completely untrue”, pinning the statement to his account. Sancho removed the statement two days later but remains suspended after failing to retract his criticism of United’s manager.

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