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Updated: 15 min 16 sec ago

'We are on the right track:' Solskjær defiant despite defeat at Liverpool – video

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 12:23

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has refused to engage with Gary Neville’s criticism of Ed Woodward, the manager instead pointing to the 'strides forward' made by Manchester United in Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool. 'For me we lost to Liverpool, a team that you all say are fantastic, and we’ve been in the game until the last kick,' he said. 'And, for me, that’s strides forward. We’re disappointed losing the game, we don’t want to be behind them but there were signs that we are on the right track.'

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Solskjær insists Liverpool defeat shows Manchester United are ‘on right track’

Tue, 01/21/2020 - 10:51

• Manager saw signs that team are making ‘strides forward’
• Solskjær refuses to engage with Gary Neville’s criticism

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has refused to engage with Gary Neville’s criticism of Ed Woodward, the manager instead pointing to the “strides forward” made by Manchester United in the defeat at Liverpool on Sunday.

Neville, a former club captain, described Woodward’s player recruitment as “unforgiveable” in a vociferous attack on the executive vice-chairman after the 2-0 defeat at Anfield, in which Mohamed Salah scored the late second goal.

Related: For Manchester United the gulf to Liverpool is cause for major concern | Jonathan Wilson

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For Manchester United the gulf to Liverpool is cause for major concern | Jonathan Wilson

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 19:59
United have just been well beaten by a Liverpool side 30 points ahead of them. They are sleepwalking towards mediocrity

Liverpool are brilliant. They are top of the league by 16 points with a game in hand and will probably have the title wrapped up by the end of March. And yet at the same time, while acknowledging how preposterous it is to offer any criticism of a side that has taken 64 points from 22 games this season, there must be a sense that of late they’ve become a little bit sloppy.

In their past two league games, against Tottenham last week and then against Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday, they have come extremely close to drawing games they have dominated almost entirely. Giovani Lo Celso and Anthony Martial both missed extremely presentable chances to make it 1-1. In both games Liverpool ended up under pressure in the final 10 minutes – on Sunday at least until Mohamed Salah added a second on the break deep in injury time. Tottenham they had broadly held at arm’s length, in a performance of great control; United they had pummelled for roughly a third of each half. And yet in each two points could have slipped from their grasp.

Related: Unheard-of achievement beckons as Liverpool begin their victory parade | Barney Ronay

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Gary Neville rails at Ed Woodward over Manchester United 'mess'

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 12:28
  • Neville says money wasted on signings and wages
  • ‘That’s the squad they’ve got. It’s unforgivable’

Gary Neville has launched his most vociferous attack on Ed Woodward, claiming Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman is fortunate to still be in a job and that the expensively-assembled squad’s position in the league is “unforgivable”.

The former United captain is a long-term critic of Woodward and was scathing of his recruitment that stands at around £850m in seven years in charge. His latest comments followed Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team at Anfield on Sunday, which means the league leaders are now 30 points ahead of United.

Related: Unheard-of achievement beckons as Liverpool begin their victory parade | Barney Ronay

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The Dozen: Pickford flies and red skies – best Premier League photos

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 11:51

Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the weekend’s action

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

Mon, 01/20/2020 - 08:32

Grealish, Saka and Chalobah shine in draws, while Newcastle are ready for reinforcements after a late win

Arsenal’s injury problems at left‑back have led them to explore signing Layvin Kurzawa from Paris Saint-Germain. But what if the solution lies closer to home? Bukayo Saka is 18 and earlier this season was being rightly lauded for his rich promise as a flying winger. But he has filled in at full‑back four times in the past month, most recently against Sheffield United on Saturday, and looks the part. Saka is tenacious, diligent, has speed and energy to burn and a knack of picking out teammates with his deliveries. “I think he could,” Mikel Arteta said when asked if Saka could carve out a long-term future in the role. “He is someone that’s never played there before but he’s really trying to do it as well as possible. You can see that he’s got many strengths to play in that position.” Club and manager might have hit upon something far more exciting than they expected. Nick Ames

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Unheard-of achievement beckons as Liverpool begin their victory parade | Barney Ronay

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 20:36
If the champions of Europe win the title undefeated they will have to be recognised as the best of the Premier League era

They’re coming for you, they’re coming for you. The class of ’99. Fergie, Eric, Andy and Dwight, they’re coming for you. So much for the league. And so much for Manchester United this season, who were once again awkward, eager opponents for the league leaders, without ever feeling like much more than a bump in the road.

At the end of this 2-0 victory, as the weeks tick down through winter into spring, Liverpool will have something else in their sights now, a feeling of ascent beyond the everyday business of titles and cups.

Related: Van Dijk and Salah incisions help Liverpool tear open Manchester United

Related: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Premier League player ratings | John Brewin

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Beating Manchester United 'one of the best' says Klopp as Liverpool go 16 points clear - video

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 20:34

Liverpool took a further step forward to their first title in 30 years with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United. Jürgen Klopp's side now sit 16 points ahead of Manchester City, with a game in hand over Pep Guardiola's side. A header early in the first half from Virgil van Dijk opened the score before a stoppage-time goal courtesy of Mo Salah sealed the result

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Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Premier League player ratings | John Brewin

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 19:57
Jordan Henderson stood out for the victors while Brandon Williams was asked to do too much for Manchester United


Related: Van Dijk and Salah incisions help Liverpool tear open Manchester United

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Marcus Rashford out for at least two months with double back stress fracture

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 19:07
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær says fracture is ‘a bad injury’
• Striker could miss England Euro 2020 warm-up games

Manchester United’s troubled season took another turn for the worse as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Liverpool and faced up to the loss of Marcus Rashford for between two and three months.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær reported that Rashford had sustained a stress fracture in his back after taking a heavy knock in the 1-0 FA Cup replay win against Wolves at Old Trafford last Wednesday. United’s manager described it as “a bad injury”.

Related: Van Dijk and Salah goals take dominant Liverpool past Manchester United

Related: Unheard-of achievement beckons as Liverpool begin their victory parade | Barney Ronay

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Van Dijk and Salah incisions help Liverpool tear open Manchester United

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 18:33

For Manchester United fans, it is the hope that kills them. The hope Ole Gunnar Solskjær can find the answers, that the flickers of promise from his tenure can morph into meaningful momentum, that the romance inherent in his appointment can somehow override the problems and the drift at the top of the club.

This was a game in which Liverpool’s superiority was so pronounced for most of the first half and the early part of the second it would have been no surprise had they led by five or six. The intensity of their football coupled with the surgical nature of their incisions were enough to take the breath. It certainly seemed to take that of United and it felt like the latest reality check for Solskjær and his players.

Related: Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Related: Westwood seals Burnley comeback win over Leicester after Vardy penalty miss

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Liverpool v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 18:13

6.13pm GMT

86 mins: Liverpool’s post-substitional tactical rejig has seen them switch to a 4-5-1, with Salah on his own up front.

6.12pm GMT

84 mins: There have been spells in this match where United have been on the verge of being submerged. Had Salah converted that chance early in this half, that might indeed have happened. Instead here they are, still a single goal down and with six minutes to take advantage of an increasingly jittery Anfield.

6.09pm GMT

82 mins: Liverpool use up their last two substitutions, bringing on Fabinho and Divock Origi, and taking off Firmino and Mane.

6.09pm GMT

81 mins: United win a corner, and it’s curled towards the near post where four of their players compete with one defender. It looked to me like Maguire headed it clear.

6.07pm GMT

80 mins: United keep the ball around Liverpool’s area for a while, until Mata plays a one-two with Wan-Bissaka and scoops in a lovely-looking but inaccurate cross that bounces through to Alisson.

6.05pm GMT

78 mins: Martial’s excellent cross is just too high for Greenwood. United, though, are starting to sniff an equaliser.

6.04pm GMT

77 mins: Alexander-Arnold crosses towards the onrushing Mane, who backheels towards Firmino, but there’s a little bit too power on his touch and by the time the Brazilian has it under control and is facing the goal, there are too many defenders there for him to get a shot on target.

6.01pm GMT

74 mins: United make a double substitution, bringing Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood on and taking Williams and Pereira off.

6.01pm GMT

73 mins: Alexander-Arnold takes; United head clear.

5.59pm GMT

72 mins: Salah spins past Shaw, who has both hands round the Egyptians waist as he attempts to recover. Free kick, and a booking.

5.58pm GMT

70 mins: For the last 10 minutes or so we have had a pretty even game, with both sides threatening.

5.55pm GMT

67 mins: Now a better shot from distance, this time from Fred. This time Alisson shovels it behind for a corner.

5.54pm GMT

67 mins: Martial hits a low 30-yarder straight at Alisson.

5.54pm GMT

66 mins: Liverpool take off Oxlade-Chamberlain, who looks extremely grumpy about either this decision or his own performance, and bring on Lallana.

5.51pm GMT

63 mins: Another chance for Liverpool. They break from the edge of their area, Wijnaldum does excellently to beat Maguire in the centre circle and he releases Mane, but Lindelof does well to hold up his run and force him onto his left foot, and his eventual shot is feeble and off target.

5.50pm GMT

61 mins: How Liverpool’s goal survived the last five minutes I don’t know. Those two chances, for Fred and Martial, have changed the flow of the game a bit, building United’s confidence and weakening Liverpool’s.

5.47pm GMT

59 mins: Impossible miss! Martial plays a one-two with Pereira, chests the ball down, and lashes the ball goalwards from 12 yards or so, but it flies over the bar!

5.45pm GMT

57 mins: A chance for an equaliser! Fred intercepts Alexander-Arnold’s poor long throw on the halfway line and runs without any kind of challenge into Liverpool’s penalty area, where he shoots wide of the near post. “As frustrating as the whole situation was around the first disallowed goal, I take some small crumb of satisfaction from the fact that De Gea picked up an insanely unnecessary yellow card,” writes Matt Dony. “His protests had no effect on the final outcome. He screamed in a man’s face, then the decision went his way anyway. Also, my father played in goal back in the ‘good old days’. He fondly remembers times when, in the face of a couple of 14 stone forwards charging at him, he had no choice but to throw the ball over the crossbar and concede a corner. Keepers today don’t know they’re born.”

5.43pm GMT

56 mins: How United’s goal survived the last 10 minutes I don’t know.

Yes, Mohamed Salah managed to miss the target from there. #LIVMUNhttps://t.co/fgp14xnMCC pic.twitter.com/JF85yppQe6

5.42pm GMT

55 mins: Firmino dances inside the penalty area, humiliating a couple of defenders before shooting into Wan-Bissaka’s bum.

5.40pm GMT

52 mins: Alexander-Arnold’s cross hits Shaw’s hand, but no dice from the officials (it was, to be fair, thundered into him from no distance). Oxlade-Chamberlain’s low shot is easily saved by De Gea.

5.39pm GMT

52 mins: Lindelof goes down clutching his groin, but plays on. Wan-Bissaka seems unable to sprint, and is either injured, knackered or lazy.

5.38pm GMT

51 mins: How United’s goal survived the last five minutes I don’t know.

5.37pm GMT

49 mins: Henderson’s left-footed shot from the edge of the area hits a post! De Gea got a fingertip to that, an excellent save.

5.36pm GMT

49 mins: Liverpool seem keen to extend their lead. Now Mane shoots over from an acute angle.

5.35pm GMT

48 mins: Impossible miss! Robertson streaks past Wan-Bissaka on the left and crosses, Shaw trips over his own feet, and Salah, with the goal at his mercy from the six-yard line, hits it into his left foot off his right foot, and it bobbles wide! A comedy of errors.

5.34pm GMT

47 mins: Henderson has the first shot of the second half, from 25 yards or so after Salah gave up attempting to create a shooting chance for himself and laid it off, but it’s deflected to safety.

5.33pm GMT

46 mins: Peeeeeeeep! Both sides unchanged.

5.32pm GMT

The players are back out and ready for more.

5.30pm GMT

There was also this:

Patrice Evra checking what Graeme Souness has been drinking is my favourite moment of 2020 so far pic.twitter.com/iqTwiuRqtf

5.29pm GMT

Of Sky’s three studio guests, Patrice Evra says Van Dijk fouled De Gea, and both Graeme Souness and Roy Keane are furious about it. Souness’s argument is that it is impossible for an outfield player to challenge a goalkeeper more fairly than Van Dijk did, and thus if that is a foul then it is impossible for goalkeepers to be challenged, but goalkeepers should be challengeable, and that therefore is not a foul. It has some merit, I think. Even goalkeepers think it wasn’t a foul:

I don’t think that’s a foul, you know.

5.22pm GMT

The debate over Liverpool’s first disallowed goal continues. “I was a goalkeeper In football and ice hockey, and a catcher in baseball,” writes Hubert O’Hearn. “I’ll flat out tell you we’re over-protected. Contact before the ball arrives? That’s a foul. If we drop, fumble or bumble? Not a foul! Keepers are, or should be, made of stern stuff. Don’t treat the brethren of the nets like porcelain dolls. Now get me a whisky in a dirty glass.”

5.18pm GMT

45+3 mins: That’s all for now. Liverpool took the lead before they started playing, and have failed to extend it since - though they’ve come pretty close.

5.17pm GMT

45+2 mins: Liverpool win their eighth corner of the half; United are still in search of their first.

5.16pm GMT

45+1 mins: Into stoppage time, of which there’ll be a couple more minutes. Wijnaldum passes to Mane inside the area, but his first touch takes him away from goal and again defenders get over to challenge.

5.16pm GMT

45 mins: Chance! United’s defence falls apart like so much sodden toilet paper. Salah passes to Mane, who is in all sorts of space. It’s not a great pass, forcing Mane to stall his run and giving Lindelof a chance to recover, but he still pushes it ahead of himself and lashes a shot goalwards from just inside the area. De Gea saves with his right boot.

5.14pm GMT

44 mins: Pereira shoots from 25 yards, and Allison catches.

5.13pm GMT

43 mins: Robertson boots the ball upfield, and with Salah lurking behind him Shaw raises his right foot, volleys gently over his shoulder, spins and is away. One for the showreel there.

5.11pm GMT

41 mins: Chance for United! Martial curls an excellent cross to Wan-Bissaka, who half-volleys across to Pereira, who just needs to touch it in at the far post but can’t quite reach it! “The reaction of the United players following what seemed a perfectly legit challenge by van Dijk was an unwelcome reminder of the days of Roy Keane,” fumes Tony Wawryk. “Players shouting in the ref’s face, pointing, manhandling - they lost their heads. Half the team should have been booked and de Gea sent off. Shocking behaviour.”

5.10pm GMT

40 mins: A moment of promise for United as Pereira runs into the area, but for some reason James steps across to tackle him.

5.08pm GMT

37 mins: This is your traditional hurly-burly, wild and error-strewn old-fashioned English top-flight fare. Wijnaldum is playing excellently, having been pretty much immune so far.

5.06pm GMT

36 mins: Liverpool have the ball in the net again, but this time the linesman’s got a flag up! It’s a fabulous through-ball from Oxlade-Chamberlain to Wijnaldum, who nudges it past De Gea, but he was six inches offside.

5.03pm GMT

34 mins: United are experimenting with different methods of losing the ball on the edge of their own area.

5.02pm GMT

31 mins: Van Dijk did look over his left shoulder to check De Gea’s position before he jumped. Perhaps without that the goal would have stood. He certainly didn’t make much contact with De Gea.

That was a goal all day long. Two men going for a falling ball. One can even use his hands. You can't just think, "Oh well he's going to catch that I better not go for it."#LIVMUN

4.58pm GMT

28 mins: After a promising start, United are wobbling like Weebles. Firmino tries to play through to Salah, but it’s just about intercepted.

4.57pm GMT

Gary Neville is furious about this, insisting Van Dijk’s challenge was fair. Both players jumped, the Dutchman getting high enough to stop De Gea catching. The ball rolled left, was played back to Firmino, whose curling finish was fabulous. Apparently the VAR decided Van Dijk made no attempt to play the ball, but it would have landed on his head if De Gea hadn’t reached over it to flap it nowhere much.

4.54pm GMT

United are furious! They think Van Dijk fouled De Gea in the build-up, and VAR will have a look.

4.54pm GMT

24 mins: Chance! Firmino ‘s pass deflects off Fred to Mane, inside the area, who tries to take a touch, takes a bad one, and gives Shaw the chance to clear.

4.53pm GMT

22 mins: An excellent sliding challenge from Wan-Bissaka on Robertson, but Liverpool have another corner. Williams finds himself dealing with Van Dijk again, but this time it’s headed clear at the near post.

4.50pm GMT

20 mins: Andreas Pereira goes down, for no obvious reason. The physio swiftly persuades him to get up again.

4.49pm GMT

19 mins: “You posted at 5 minutes that Matip passed to James. Tough to do when he’s on the bench for the other team,” writes Joe Pearson. Ah, ye olde Matic-Matip brainfart. I’ve edited it out now.

4.48pm GMT

18 mins: Liverpool win a free-kick on the right, and Van Dijk nearly gets on the end of this one too. Maguire beats him to it, at the expense of a corner.

4.47pm GMT

17 mins: Liverpool have played with no rhythm, but if that’s how United are going to defend set-pieces they don’t really need to.

4.45pm GMT

Liverpool win a right-wing corner, Alexander-Arnold swings it into the middle and Van Dijk is somehow being marked by Brandon Williams. Van Dijk jumps, Williams ducks, and the header ripples the net!

4.44pm GMT

13 mins: By the look of the red skies over Anfield this evening, local shepherds are in for a good night.

@Simon_Burnton wait... Matip?

4.40pm GMT

10 mins: Robertson slides in to prod the ball away from James, who had looked destined to win the race. James doesn’t seem to understand where the ball went or why he hasn’t got a free-kick for it.

4.39pm GMT

8 mins: Wijnaldum heads a bouncing ball, which Matic tries to beat him to with a boot. The Serbian doesn’t get anything on the ball and not much on the player either, but Wijnaldum makes the most of it and the referee gets a card out.

4.37pm GMT

7 mins: The corner isn’t up to much, and as Liverpool try to recycle the ball Alexander-Arnold shanks a left-footed crossfield pass out of play.

4.36pm GMT

6 mins: Liverpool attack, but they too hit a poor pass, which forces Mane out wide. He lays back to Robertson, whose cross deflects behind for a corner.

4.35pm GMT

5 mins: Matic sends James scurrying into space on the right, but his low centre is cut out by Van Dijk before it can reach Martial. That looked a decent chance, but the cross was not great.

4.33pm GMT

4 mins: United have started encouragingly. They win a free-kick on the right, which Pereira crosses in and Van Dijk cuts out. “Please Roy, what would you do in Ole’s place?” wonders Mary Waltz. “Your top scorer is out. Your two best midfielders, McTominay and Pogba, can’t or won’t play. Your facing the best team in the UK and Europe on their home turf where they have not lost for 51 fixtures. You parked the bus at Old Trafford and earned a tie. the best result against Liverpool this season.what other choice does Ole have?” Yeah, but hats.

4.31pm GMT

1 min: United are indeed fielding a back four. Alisson scuffs a pass to Robertson, which goes straight out of play for a United throw-in.

4.30pm GMT

1 min: Action! United get the game started!

4.29pm GMT

All handshakes and preambles complete, it’s time for action. Well, nearly.

4.27pm GMT

Out come the players! Not long to go now!

4.26pm GMT

There weren’t exactly a lot of silly hats among the United players pre-match. I think only Martial and Shaw were hatted, and even they were wearing beanie hats, which I think is a straightforward, no-messing practical winter hat, rather than a silly one.

4.23pm GMT

There was talk of United playing a back five, with Shaw a bonus additional centre-half. But a four of Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire and Shaw appears to be warming up together, so that’s probably what they’re going to do.

4.22pm GMT

Here’s a snippet from Jurgen Klopp:

Our fans know that we take each game 100% serious. So we can’t be even more serious today. It’s all good. In the last game [in October] I didn’t see us there in the first half. Here today we can be a completely different animal, and that’s what we have to show. And then, it’s a football game against a strong opponent and we want to win the game.

4.18pm GMT

Matt Dony is worried. Nay, terrified: “Having spent so many of my formative years watching United hoovering up trophies and swaggering to titles, they’ve got me in a kind of Stockholm Syndrome situation,” he writes. “On the one hand, the way they’ve fallen apart in the post-Fergie years is obviously enormously entertaining. But on the other hand, it just seems somehow wrong and unsettling to see them playing listless, goes-nowhere football, and flirting with mid-table mediocrity. They still have some lovely players to watch, but my word they also have some average ones. And yet, I’m terrified about this game. They’re still ‘United’. Liverpool’s run has to end sometime; I have no problem with that. But please, not against United. They still bang on about ending The Invincibles’ run. Having little else to cheer about these days, I simply can’t imagine how many ties we’ll have to hear about today should they win.”

4.14pm GMT

Roy Keane, hat-hater:

Roy Keane: hating silly hats since 1991 pic.twitter.com/QxbzFcGJ5h

4.09pm GMT

Roy Keane, part of Sky’s team, is already angry. “I can’t say what he said off-air,” says Graeme Souness. Here’s what Keane said on air:

When I see people like Shaw coming back into the team ... the nearer we’re getting to kick-off the more worried I’m getting actually. I think I was fine about two hours ago. Do you know what, I look at the players, I look at them getting warmed up, and I see their silly hats. Do you know what, it’s as if their mindset is let’s not be beaten. That negative talk already. I’m worried, I have to say.

4.06pm GMT

Here are the highlights of Solskjaer’s pre-match interview with Sky:

He got a couple of knocks again and jolts when he came on against Wolverhampton. He’s aggravated his back, he’s had some trouble before, and of course we’re going to give him time to recover and rest before we put him back on the pitch. He’s always recovered quickly before, so let’s hope he does that again. I wouldn’t expect him to be back in the next few weeks. I think we’ve got a way that ... we have to come to a difficult place, to play against a very good team, and we have to try to maximise the players we’ve got. I think we’ve got a chance to give them some trouble with the way we’re playing.

4.04pm GMT

More pre-match reading:

Related: Alan Kennedy: this fantastic Liverpool team reminds me so much of my own

4.01pm GMT

Here’s that Solskjaer bit on Rashford:

The boss has explained @MarcusRashford's absence from the United squad #MUFC #LIVMUN pic.twitter.com/cZ6Qqz2FBP

3.55pm GMT

Burnley have indeed beaten Leicester by two goals to one goal. John Brewin has the aftermath:

Related: Burnley 2-1 Leicester: Premier League – live!

3.43pm GMT

Meanwhile, some news breaks about Marcus Rashford, who according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be out “for weeks” with his back injury.

OGS just told us the @MarcusRashford will be out for “for weeks” with back injury.

3.40pm GMT

It’s looking like another bad weekend for the Liverpool-chasers: Manchester City having drawn yesterday, Leicester are currently 2-1 down at Burnley, with nine minutes (plus stoppages) remaining.

3.39pm GMT

So Liverpool play their familiar first-choice XI. United, meanwhile, play both Brandon Williams and Luke Shaw, presumably as some kind of Alexander-Arnold neutralising double-left-back combo.

3.35pm GMT

Team news is in, and without further ado, or really any ado at all, here it is!

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mane. Subs: Fabinho, Adrian, Minamino, Lallana, Origi, Matip, Jones.


Our line-up to face @ManUtd


Here's your #MUFC starting XI for #LIVMUN...

3.33pm GMT

Liverpool’s team coach arrives at Anfield. Team news should be upon us very shortly.

Liverpool arrive at Anfield to face Man Utd #LFC pic.twitter.com/efOSYs05K5

1.20pm GMT

Hello world!

As you survey Liverpool’s path to the title in search of potential banana skins, there’s really not much to see between now and the trip to Manchester City in early April. After Wolves away next week (potential danger there as well, although Wolves’ home record isn’t all that great) they have a run of league games against the teams currently (in league position order, rather than chronological) 13th, 16th, 16th again, 17th, 19th and 20th. Win all of their games between now and the end of that run and they will be at the very minimum 19 points ahead with 27 available, and in need of three wins from their last nine to seal the deal.

Related: Solskjær: Manchester United will need a great performance against Liverpool

Related: Klopp ready for Liverpool’s ‘biggest game’ against Manchester United

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Categories: What the papers say

Liverpool beating Man Utd at Anfield – sporting bliss | Kenan Malik

Sun, 01/19/2020 - 07:30

Sport is at its best when it generates real drama. But there are always exceptions to the rule…

Expectation and dread. That’s what I’ll be feeling this afternoon as Liverpool take on Manchester United at Anfield. On paper, the result is a foregone conclusion. Liverpool are runaway leaders of the Premier League and possibly the best team in the world. United these days play dreadful, soul-sapping football and languish 27 points behind their rivals.

But football isn’t played on paper. And there is nothing certain about sport. United are the one team that have taken points off Liverpool this season and may do so again.

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Klopp ready for Liverpool’s ‘biggest game’ against Manchester United

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 22:30

The Liverpool manager said his side have more enemies than anyone else as they prepare to face Manchester United, the only team to take points off them this season

History and most of English football tend to see the past 50 years as a battle for supremacy between Liverpool and Manchester United. The great north-west rivalry provided the narrative arc even before Sir Alex Ferguson made his famous comment about knocking the country’s most successful team off their perch, though if the pendulum is swinging back towards Merseyside this season it might just be because Jürgen Klopp is an outsider to all that.

“I used to enjoy watching English football when I was working in Germany but I was busy with my job most of the time,” the Liverpool manager says. “Then when I came here I only thought about my team, I didn’t give much thought to my opponents. I knew about Chelsea, because they had won the Champions League and the Europa League.

Related: Jürgen Klopp says Africa Cup of Nations move is a ‘catastrophe’ for Liverpool

Related: Young's Manchester United captaincy goes to Maguire after Inter move

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Categories: What the papers say

Solskjær: Manchester United will need a great performance against Liverpool

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 22:29

• ‘We have shown we can hold our own,’ says United manager
• Believes Liverpool are the best team in Premier League

Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Liverpool will win the title this season because they are the best team in the Premier League but argues they will have to do it again and again to be regarded as the best ever.

Liverpool have recorded the best start to a league season, with 61 points from a possible 63. Keep that up and they will smash Manchester City’s two-year-old record of 100 points in a season, so claims that this might be the best team the Premier League has yet produced are not without foundation. Yet as a member of Manchester United’s treble‑winning side in 1999 and someone who twice saw Sir Alex Ferguson win three titles in a row, Solskjær feels longevity ought to count for something.

Related: Jürgen Klopp says Africa Cup of Nations move is a ‘catastrophe’ for Liverpool

Related: Manchester United make Harry Maguire new full-time captain

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær is not the right manager for Manchester United | Jonathan Wilson

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 20:00
There has been little sign of improvement since Solskjær took over and he looks ill-equipped to turn things around

O n Friday 5 March 1909, Manchester United went to Burnley for an FA Cup quarter-final. The pitch was frozen, there was heavy snow and with 18 minutes remaining the referee, Herbert Bamlett, decided the match couldn’t go on. For United, the abandonment was fortunate: they had been 1-0 down but won the rearranged game 3-2 and went on, for the first time, to lift the FA Cup.

Bamlett, having refereed the 1914 FA Cup final, turned his hand to management, taking charge of Oldham, Wigan Borough and Middlesbrough, guiding the latter to the verge of promotion when, in April 1927, he was named manager of United.

Related: Manchester United make Harry Maguire new full-time captain

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Manchester United baulk at Sporting’s £68m valuation of Bruno Fernandes

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 14:00
• Club will end interest in midfielder unless Sporting lower price
• United believe 25-year-old is worth closer to £45m plus add-ons

Manchester United have baulked at Sporting Lisbon’s £68m valuation of Bruno Fernandes, with their valuation of the midfielder closer to £45m plus add-ons. United will end their interest in the 25-year-old unless the Portuguese club move far closer to the fee United believe is realistic.

In the summer Tottenham Hotspur made a take-it-or-leave-it offer of £45m for Fernandes and Ole Gunnar Solskjær, the manager, and executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, view this as the baseline fee for him.

Related: Young's Manchester United captaincy goes to Maguire after Inter move

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Liverpool v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 01/18/2020 - 09:00

Football fans are naturally superstitious but funny things can happen when your team is on a long unbeaten run. Arsenal supporters will remember the “this is the day we are going to lose” mentality in the latter stages of the record 49-game streak in 2003-04. It could be a tricky looking away game, or perhaps an early kick-off, but usually it would just be against a bitter rival who you knew would enjoy ending your run more than anybody else. So it is entirely natural that Liverpool – unbeaten this season, unbeaten in 38 league matches and unbeaten in the league at Anfield since April 2017 – seem to be entertaining the fact they will lose to Manchester United on Sunday. True, United are the only team to take a point off Jürgen Klopp’s side this season courtesy of October’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford but their inconsistent away form has seen them lose at Watford and Arsenal of late and there is little to suggest they can silence Anfield. Apart from the fact that this is football, of course. Paul Chronnell

Sunday 4.30pm Sky Sports Premier League

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'We've got players coming through': Solskjær explains Ashley Young's United exit – video

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 14:05

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær said the club wasn't ready to offer captain Ashely Young a two-year contract, explaining why the time was right for the former England international to leave. Solksjær said Young had been a 'good servant for the club', as he turns 35 this summer and moves on to Inter, where he's signed an 18-month contract. 

Young is the third United player to join Inter in the past six months, with Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sánchez also teaming up with Conte in Milan. The Manchester United manager then confirmed Harry Maguire as the club's new full-time captain, six months after his £80m move from Leicester, saying he'd been impressed by his strong leadership skills. 

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Manchester United make Harry Maguire new full-time captain

Fri, 01/17/2020 - 10:51
  • Ashley Young due to complete move to Inter
  • Marcus Rashford unlikely to be fit for Liverpool game

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has confirmed Harry Maguire as Manchester United’s new full-time captain, six months after his £80m move from Leicester.

Maguire will take the armband from Ashley Young, who is expected to complete his move to Inter, pending a medical on Friday.

Related: Inter agree £1.3m fee with Manchester United for full-back Ashley Young

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