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Updated: 2 hours 19 min ago

Manchester United announce record revenue but say 'focus is on winning trophies'

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:51
  • Club recorded revenue of £627.1m in the last financial year
  • Woodward: we remain focused on rebuilding the team

The Manchester United executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, has said the club “remain focused on our plan of rebuilding the team” after announcing record revenues of £627.1m for the last financial year.

Related: Solskjær’s rebuild talk cannot mask Manchester United’s sense of drift

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Sports fans likely to be hit by Thomas Cook's collapse

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 19:31

Specialist division sold tickets for events including football matches and cricket tour

Sports fans who bought tickets for major football matches and England’s winter cricket tour to South Africa are among those who could be affected by the collapse of Thomas Cook.

Thomas Cook Sport, a specialist division of the fallen tour operator, provided tickets and accommodation for some of the UK’s biggest football clubs, including Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham. It also sold packages for rugby, the NFL, Formula One and darts, including the world championship in December.

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Solskjær’s rebuild talk cannot mask Manchester United’s sense of drift

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 16:55

The manager’s honeymoon period is over and the defeat at West Ham demonstrated their lack of high-grade options again

It was a soundbite from Ole Gunnar Solskjær designed to cut through the hysteria that always accompanies a bad Manchester United defeat and, make no mistake, Sunday’s 2-0 reverse at West Ham was as bad as anything on the manager’s nine-month watch – with the exception of the 4-0 drubbing at Everton last April.

Related: Mark Noble the beating heart of West Ham wherever they want to call home | Richard Williams

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær defends United players and rues missed ‘big chances’

Phil Jones : sacked in the morning
Ed Woodward : we’re on camera, stop
pic.twitter.com/OhYvjoN3pT

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

Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sport

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

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 08:26

Solskjær’s diplomacy masks United problems, De Bruyne in the ascendancy and Xhaka’s poor form gives Emery a tough choice

Unai Emery is yet to find the right balance for his midfield but the claim of his de facto captain, Granit Xhaka, to be part of it is looking decidedly tenuous. First things first: the Switzerland international is a good player who cares tremendously and does not deserve anything like the negative reception he received upon his substitution against Aston Villa after 72 minutes. But his replacements, Lucas Torreira and the outstanding youngster Joe Willock, helped turbo-charge Arsenal’s comeback while Matteo Guendouzi played the second half like a man possessed. Xhaka, by contrast, looked hesitant and off the pace. He is nowhere near automatic selection territory on this season’s form and Emery, who has delayed formally announcing Arsenal’s next club captain, may have a tough decision to make. Nick Ames

Related: VAR to the fore despite excellence of goals in Liverpool’s victory

Related: Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

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The Dozen: City's blitz and Azpilicueta's false joy – the best Premier League pictures

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 21:21

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

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'We hope for better' says Solskjær after Manchester United lose 2-0 to West Ham – video

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 19:21

Manchester United's poor away form continued as they suffered a 2-0 defeat at West Ham. Ole Gunnar Solskjær's side have lost four and drawn three of their past seven Premier League games away from Old Trafford. Andriy Yarmolenko opened the scoring just before half-time before a stunning free-kick from Aaron Cresswell made sure of the win late in the second half. 'Sometimes along the road you're going to hit some bumps, some highs, some lows,' said Solskjær.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjær defends United players and rues missed ‘big chances’

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 19:18
• Roy Keane leads chorus of criticism after 2-0 defeat at West Ham
• Manager says nothing wrong with team’s ‘attitude and desire’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær refused to criticise his Manchester United players in public after their insipid defeat at West Ham, insisting that the collective attitude was right and only the quality of their decision-making let them down.

Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell consigned the visitors to defeat and the Sky TV pundits piled in on them, with Roy Keane, the former United captain, saying he was “shocked and saddened by how bad they are”. He added: “Everything about United was lacklustre. No quality. A lack of desire. A lack of leaders. It’s a long way back for them.”

Related: Aaron Cresswell seals victory for West Ham over toothless Manchester United

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Aaron Cresswell seals victory for West Ham over toothless Manchester United

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 16:04

For Ole Gunnar Solskjær and Manchester United, it was one of those flat and underwhelming performances that highlight how far off the top they have fallen and why the fight to reacquaint themselves with Champions League football this season promises to be so fraught.

Related: Diogo Jota’s injury-time equaliser earns winless Wolves a point at Palace

Related: Chelsea v Liverpool: Premier League – live!

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West Ham v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 13:33

1.31pm BST

A few murmurs that Mason Greenwood has a bout of tonsillitis, hence him not being involved in the 18-man squad at the London Stadium. It remains a very young Manchester United bench, including Axel Tuanzebe, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes. The big plus for United, who have drawn their past three away matches, given Daniel James’s early-season form is that the Wales winger has recovered from a back problem. Manuel Pellegrini said Lanzini has a “small problem” but it is sufficient for him to miss out, with Pablo Fornals, a £24m signing, getting the nod for his second league start.

1.23pm BST

Solskjær says Paul Pogba is going nowhere in January:

Related: Pogba is at Manchester United for the long haul, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

1.11pm BST

Team news news: No Paul Pogba or Anthony Martial, as expected, for Manchester United, with the pair missing with ankle and thigh problems respectively, while Luke Shaw and Eric Bailly remain absent through injury. United are unchanged from victory over Leicester – they didn’t name a single unchanged side in the Premier League in 2018-19 – which means there is no place for 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who struck the winner over Astana in midweek. Daniel James, however, is deemed fit enough to start after a late fitness test. As for West Ham, Manuel Pellegrini is forced into shuffling the pack, with Aaron Cresswell in for the suspended Arthur Masuaku, while Pablo Fornals replaces Manuel Lanzini.

1.05pm BST

West Ham (4-1-4-1): Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice; Yarmolenko, Noble, Fornals, Anderson; Haller

Subs: Roberto, Ajeti, Balbuena, Zabaleta, Snodgrass, Sanchez, Wilshere

12.47pm BST

The good news for Manchester United? They come into this one on the back of successive wins, and back-to-back clean sheets to boot. The bad news? Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side are winless in six away matches, another failure to take three points on the road away from matching their miserable Premier League record. Oh, and Roy Keane, José Mourinho and Graeme Souness will be staring back at them in a swanky and spotless studio. A baby-faced teenager Mason Greenwood, who does not turn 18 until next month, proved the hero for United in midweek, while West Ham are feeling fresh as a daisy, unbeaten since an opening day humbling at Manchester City. “Manchester United played on Thursday night [in victory over Astana in the Europa League] but they changed nine players so it will be a different team,” said Manuel Pellegrini. “We are in a good moment so, if we are playing against the big teams, we must show we can play in the same way.” Solskjær, too, is feeling upbeat. “We feel we are on the right track and, if we keep it up, I believe we will be challenging for the top four at the end of the season,” he said. “It is wide open at the moment.” For West Ham, who won this fixture in April, this represents a fine chance to stamp their authority.

Kick-off: 2pm (BST)

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Pogba is at Manchester United for the long haul, says Ole Gunnar Solskjær

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 22:30

• Manager confident Real Madrid’s overtures can be repelled
• ‘Paul is going nowhere, he is totally committed’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has admitted speculation is always likely to surround Paul Pogba’s future for as long as the France midfielder remains at Manchester United but is confident any further overtures from Real Madrid can be repulsed in January. United’s manager also believes a top-four finish is not beyond his side this season.

Zinedine Zidane is under pressure at the Bernabéu because of poor results, rather than his failure to sign his main transfer target in the summer, though Real Madrid’s president, Florentino Pérez, still appears to believe a move is possible later in the season. However, Solskjær is adamant Pogba will stay at United.

Related: Mason Greenwood’s first Manchester United goal earns win over Astana

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West Ham v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 09/21/2019 - 08:59

West Ham will see this as a fine opportunity to establish themselves as genuine contenders to finish in the top six. They won this fixture last season and are unbeaten in five games in all competitions before hosting Manchester United, who beat Astana in the Europa League on Thursday. While West Ham have few injury concerns, United are without Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial. Daniel James is also a doubt for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side. Jacob Steinberg

Sunday 2pm Sky Sports Premier League

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From Hart to Saivet: the Premier League's forgotten men

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:00

Whether out of favour or held back by injury, millions of pounds of talent is sitting unused in England’s top flight

Seventy-five England caps are not to be sniffed at but the former Manchester City goalkeeper’s fall has been pretty extraordinary. It is three years since Iceland humiliated England at Euro 2016 and Hart, having failed to repair his reputation at Torino or West Ham, has not started a Premier League game since Boxing Day, a 5-1 home defeat by Everton, which compounded a miserable defensive record: he kept three clean sheets and conceded 41 goals in 19 top-flight matches last season. Not even the departure of Tom Heaton has soothed things for Hart, 32, with Nick Pope restored as Sean Dyche’s No 1 and the arrival of Bailey Peacock-Farrell meaning he is not guaranteed to be second-choice. His sole appearance this season came in a cup defeat by Sunderland, and it proved nightmarish: Sunderland scored from three of their four shots on target and Hart’s only save led to a goal.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 00:30

Mesut Özil remains an enigma for Unai Emery, Phil Jagielka returns to Everton and Liverpool’s 100% record could end

Still looking for his first home win as Chelsea manager, Frank Lampard will do well to get off the mark against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. While he and his coaching staff will have scrutinised Napoli’s midweek Champions League win over Jürgen Klopp’s side looking for weaknesses, they are unlikely to have learned much they didn’t know already. Diligently maintaining your shape, getting behind Liverpool’s advancing full-backs and hoping at least one of your central defenders can perform a passable imitation of Kalidou Koulibaly is all very well in theory, but a lot easier said than done. And while the prospect of Liverpool’s preposterously-talented front three drawing blanks again seems remote, Lampard can at least take heart from the fact Liverpool only beat one of their fellow top six teams on their travels last season. BG

Related: The return of the Champions League – Football Weekly Extra

Related: My life of WhatsApp and existential crises in the world of amateur football | Max Rushden

Related: Southampton’s Jan Bednarek: ‘We have to be a really nasty opponent’

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Mason Greenwood’s first Manchester United goal earns win over Astana

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 21:59

Mason Greenwood came to Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s rescue just as the Manchester United manager’s faith in his promoted young players was beginning to look misplaced. On his first Old Trafford start, the 17-year-old earned United the points with a coolly struck winner.

Solskjær had said he was an expert finisher and here he proved it with an important first United goal, though it was significant that by the 73rd minute he was the only teenager left on the field. “If you just get Mason in the box you know something is going to happen,” Solskjær said. “He might not play in the next game but he’ll be important for us this season. He’ll get his minutes.”

Related: Bukayo Saka inspires Arsenal to thrilling win at Eintracht Frankfurt

Related: Ryan Christie penalty secures draw for Celtic at Rennes despite late red card

Related: Wolves make poor start to group stage as Braga exploit sloppy defending

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Eintracht Frankfurt v Arsenal, Rennes v Celtic: Europa League – live!

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 18:12

6.12pm BST

Arsenal threaten again, but Trapp comes out quickly to reach the ball just before Torreira, who might have injured his ankle in hurdling the onrushing keeper.

6.11pm BST

Twelve games are being played, each now 15 minutes old. That’s the equivalent of four full matches played, and only one goal has been scored.

6.10pm BST

Meanwhile in Rennes, Grenier heads wide when he might have put the home side ahead against Celtic.

6.09pm BST

Arsenal fluff another excellent chance. This time Sow gives the ball to Saka, but he fails to release Aubameyang when all it would have taken was a straightforward pass, and the opportunity disappears in a puff of disappointment.

6.08pm BST

There has only been one Europa League goal so far, and it has been scored by Kevin Bua, whose 10th-minute goal has put Basel ahead against Krasnodar.

6.06pm BST

When they do get the ball into the box, Kamada falls over backwards in a ludicrous and unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty.

6.05pm BST

Frankfurt have dominated since that chance, but without threatening Arsenal’s penalty area.

6.02pm BST

What a chance for Arsenal! In the fifth minute, Saka lifts the ball to the far post where Torreira runs onto it, totally ignored by the defence. He meets it on the half-volley, eight yards out, and blasts it miles high!

5.56pm BST

Peeeeeep! We’re off!

5.56pm BST

In case you’re wondering what Tony Yeboah looks like these days:

5.53pm BST

And out they come! Behind the home goal, all hell breaks loose.

5.51pm BST

The players are on their way out! I’m watching events at Frankfurt, where the players’ tunnel looks like a conference centre.

5.40pm BST

The away dressing-room at Eintracht Frankfurt looks pleasingly old-school:

5.26pm BST

Arsenal have arrived for their game at Frankfurt, and don’t they look excited?

Arsenal arrive at Frankfurt Stadion ️#UEL pic.twitter.com/sHnlvDzhAr

5.17pm BST

Here are the starting line-ups from the Philips Stadion:

PSV: Zoet, Dumfries, Baumgartl, Viergever, Boscagli, Hendrix, Rosario, Ihattaren, Bergwijn, Malen, Bruma. Subs: Schwaab, Mitroglou, Gakpo, Ruiter, Doan, Sadilek, Teze.
Sporting: Ribeiro, Rosier, Coates, Neto, Acuna, Bolasie, Doumbia, Wendel, Luis, Vietto, Bruno Fernandes. Subs: Tiago Ilori, Eduardo Henrique, Camacho, Borja, Pedro Mendes, Cabral, Maximiano.
Referee: Ivan Kruzliak (Slovakia).

5.00pm BST

Rennes: Mendy; Traoré, Da Silva, Gnagnon, Morel; Bourigeaud, Jonas Martin, Grenier; Raphinha, Niang, Tait. Subs: Salin, Siebatcheu, Lea Siliki, Camavinga, Del Castillo, Hunou, Gelin.
Celtic: Forster; Elhamed, Ajer, Jullien, Bolingoli; Brown, McGregor; Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi; Edouard. Subs: Gordon, Bayo, Bauer, Hayes, Morgan, Rogic, Ntcham.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon named an unchanged team for their Europa League group opener in Rennes.

That meant no place in the starting line-up for French midfielder Olivier Ntcham, with Norway winger Mohamed Elyounoussi keeping his place after his debut at Hamilton.

⭐️ @EuropaLeague Team News ⭐️

Our side to face @staderennais in the #UEL #RENCEL pic.twitter.com/1gH4O1FBSQ

4.54pm BST

Here’s PA Media’s take on the Arsenal line-up:

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery made seven changes for the Europa League Group F opener at Eintracht Frankfurt.

The Gunners boss kept Sead Kolasinac, Granit Xhaka, David Luiz and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in his side from the weekend Premier League draw at Watford.

4.44pm BST

A load of changes for Arsenal, including Bukayo Saka making his second first-team start:

Eintracht Frankfurt: Trapp, Abraham, Hasebe, Hinteregger, Kohr, Da Costa, Sow, Kamada, Kostic, Dost, Andre Silva. Subs: Ndicka, Falette, Fernandes, Joveljic, Chandler, Ronnow, Paciencia.
Arsenal: Martinez, Chambers, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Torreira, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Willock, Saka, Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles, Pepe, Nelson, Guendouzi, Martinelli.
Referee: Davide Massa (Italy).

4.42pm BST

We have some team news trickling in. Hold on to your hats ...

1.28pm BST

Welcome to another bumper evening of European football, in which 24 games will be played in two batches over five hours - and we’ll be here for the lot of it.

In the early games Celtic head to Rennes, where they should keep an eye out for the outrageously gifted 16-year-old defensive midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, who has played every minute of the French side’s season so far, while Arsenal visit Eintracht Frankfurt without Sokratis Papastathopoulos or Mesut Ozil, both dropped after flopping at Vicarage Road at the weekend. “Usually Eintracht are doing high pressing,” says Unai Emery worryingly, as we saw at Watford on Sunday that their defence can spontaneously self-combust when pressed. “Some mistakes we made on Sunday we need to improve. Today is another challenge to show how we can improve. Last year Frankfurt played in the same semi-final as Chelsea. To start tomorrow with them is a tough match.” There’s also PSV v Sporting, which looks like a Champions League fixture that has simply got lost somewhere though in fact the teams have played twice in the Europa League since they last met in the continent’s premier competition back in 1998. True fact: there has only been one away win in 11 meetings since 1975.

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Football transfer rumours: Thomas Tuchel to take over at Manchester United?

Thu, 09/19/2019 - 09:17

Today’s tell-all is scraping the bottom of the barrel

Underwhelmed by Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s stint at the wheel, Manchester United are hoping to replace him with Thomas Tuchel. Reports from France suggest both United and Barcelona are interested in luring the German away from Paris Saint-Germain and after the French club’s smiting of Real Madrid last night, we’re guessing there could be plenty of interest from the Bernabéu as well.

Related: Erling Braut Haaland, the Norwegian ‘beast’ ripping up the record books | Marcus Christenson

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Manchester United’s Greenwood ‘one of best finishers I’ve seen’, says Solskjær

Wed, 09/18/2019 - 16:30
• Young striker in line to start in Europa League against Astana
• Solskjær intends to rotate and give younger players game time

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has described Mason Greenwood as one of the best finishers he has seen and is ready to give the 17-year-old a first senior start of the season in Thursday’s Europa League group game against Astana.

The Manchester United manager intends to make several changes, with one or two regulars nursing injuries and a testing game at West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday. Daniel James has joined Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial on the sidelines after picking up a knock in the last league match against Leicester, and Solskjær hinted that Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and Fred are likely to face the Kazakh champions at Old Trafford.

Related: Chelsea open talks with Abraham and Tomori over new five-year contracts

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‘My future is fixed’: David de Gea signs new four-year Manchester United deal

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 15:24
• Spanish goalkeeper’s deal runs until 2023
• De Gea moved to Old Trafford in 2011

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has signed a new four-year deal with the club, ending speculation about his future.

De Gea’s moved to Old Trafford in 2011 from Atlético Madrid and firmly made himself one of the team’s key players over the last eight seasons. The Spain international’s new contract will keep him at Manchester United until the summer of 2023, with the option of extending it for a further season.

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

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

Mon, 09/16/2019 - 08:29

Buendía the architect of City’s bad day, Arsenal were woeful in defence and Maguire deserved better from Leicester fans

The way in which Norwich turned a negative into a positive was quite something. With nigh-on a full team of players out injured, the odds of stopping Manchester City looked insurmountable. Instead Daniel Farke’s men gave their best performance of the season by far, not only cutting the champions open but looking solid at the back for the first time. There was kudos for the debutants in defence, Sam Byram and Ibrahim Amadou, but also for more seasoned Norwich players. Emi Buendía and Marco Stiepermann were central to a buccaneering style in the Championship yet had struggled to bring that form to the top flight. With the gauntlet down, however, they delivered. Buendía contributed two assists and regularly sprung the City press. Stiepermann sparked several counter attacks and crucially reestablished his understanding with Teemu Pukki. Paul MacInnes

Related: Watford look like their old selves now Quique Sánchez Flores is back | Nick Ames

Related: The Dozen: Guardiola's grief and David Luiz's lunge – the best Premier League pictures

Related: Tammy Abraham revels up front but Chelsea need to tighten up at the back

Related: Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 top scorers 2019-20

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James Maddison has Brendan Rodgers eulogising about his potential

Sun, 09/15/2019 - 22:30
• Leicester manager compares Maddison to Philippe Coutinho
• ‘He is a humble boy, has a lovely swagger, a lovely arrogance’

James Maddison’s turn as a roving No 10 was the standout display as Manchester United broke a three‑game run without a win at Old Trafford. Leicester City may have lost to Marcus Rashford’s early penalty but their 22-year-old midfielder lit up the contest via a performance that illustrated how he would immediately make Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side better. Maddison embodies the type of quick-minded, technically astute player the United manager wants.

To hear his manager, Brendan Rodgers, say Maddison has a “swagger” and is reminiscent of “Philippe Coutinho” strengthened that sense while also highlighting the situation vacant at United marked “playmaker”.

Related: Emile Heskey: ‘I was on the floor and started crying. Then I found a barber’ | Jamie Jackson

Related: Marcus Rashford’s early penalty edges blunt Manchester United past Leicester

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