What the papers say

Subscribe to What the papers say feed What the papers say
Read the latest Manchester United news, transfer rumours, match reports, fixtures and live scores from the Guardian
Updated: 33 min 34 sec ago

Granada 0-2 Manchester United: Europa League quarter-final – as it happened

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 22:09

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes put Manchester United in control of their quarter-final at the half-way stage

11.42pm BST

Related: Europa League roundup: Roma seal fightback at Ajax, Villarreal beat Zagreb

10.49pm BST

Related: Tomas Holes ruins Arsenal’s night as Slavia Prague snatch last-gasp equaliser

10.09pm BST

Sid Lowe has filed his match report, which is my cue to head off. Thanks for your company - goodnight!

Related: Rashford’s finishing touch helps Manchester United sink Granada

9.54pm BST

Peep peep! That’s a very good night’s work for Manchester United. The game was rubbish, in truth, but United can live with that after such a favourable result. Marcus Rashford scored a classy goal in the first half and Bruno Fernandes added another penalty in the last minute. Granada struggled to lay a glove on United: their only shots on target long-range efforts from Kenedy. United didn’t have many attempts either, but they made theirs count.

9.51pm BST

90+3 min That second goal makes a big difference to the second leg. It means Solskjaer should - should - be able to start with Fernandes and Rashford on the bench, which is important as they are both in need of a rest.

9.50pm BST

Fernandes clipped it towards the bottom-left corner. Silva went the right way and got hands on it, but the ball slithered through his hands. That’s a very rare example of a goalkeeping error at a penalty.

9.49pm BST

Bruno Fernandes scores - just!

9.48pm BST

89 min: PENALTY TO UNITED! Brice has been penalised for fouling Fernandes off the ball. Everyone was waiting for a Telles cross, and Fernandes went over after a shove to the face by Brice. It looks a bit soft but it was also stupid from Brice, and it’s not going to be overturned by VAR.

9.47pm BST

88 min If it stays like this it will be Manchester United’s 11th clean sheet in the last 17 games. They’ve needed them, as the goals have dried up a wee bit, 9-0 victories notwithstanding.

9.45pm BST

86 min And Granada have brought on Luis Suarez (no, stop it) and Yan Brice for Gonalons and Soldado.

9.44pm BST

85 min Donny van de Beek has come on to replace Mason Greenwood.

9.43pm BST

84 min Matic is booked for leading with the arm and brushing the face of Puertas.

9.42pm BST

83 min: Good save from Silva! James did really well, dummying to shoot before reversing a pass to Fernandes. His shot from close range was smothered by Silva. Actually, scratch all that: replays showed Fernandes was offside, so it wouldn’t have counted.

9.40pm BST

81 min Mathis’s long-range shot deflects behind for a corner. There have only been four shots on target in the whole game: three from Kenedy and the goal from Rashford.

9.39pm BST

79 min United waste a couple of minutes by passing the ball around in defence and midfield. It’s been a really slow game, the antonym of that deranged thriller between Bayern and PSG last night.

9.33pm BST

75 min And two more changes for Granada: Dimitri Foulquier and the talented Venezuelan Darwin Machis replace Kenedy and Neva

9.32pm BST

74 min Another change for United: Pogba off, Matic on. Pogba had a 6.5/10 kind of game.

9.32pm BST

73 min James surges promisingly down the left but then overhits his cross.

9.31pm BST

73 min “They may be plucky underdogs, but Granada are a cynical disgrace,” says Duncan Edwards. “I’ve counted at least three times them complaining to the ref about nonexistent elbowing.”

Some of their tackling has been surprisingly brusque as well. They’ve clearly decided the English don’t like it up ’em.

9.30pm BST

72 min: Harry Maguire is out of the second leg as well - he’s been booked for a foul on Soldado. That means United will be without Shaw, Maguire and McTominay next week.

9.29pm BST

70 min Herrera breaks forward dangerously but slightly overhits his pass to Neva, whose cross deflects behind off Lindelof. Had the pass been softer, Neva would have been able to shoot first time.

9.28pm BST

70 min That Bergkamp goal against Argentina was all well and good,” says Ian Copestake, “but talk about a one-footed player!”

9.28pm BST

69 min Herrera shoots over from the edge of the area.

9.27pm BST

69 min Granada had a good spell either side of half-time. Since then, however, United have kept them at arm’s length. You never really know in the peculiar world of behind-closed-doors football, but you’d think Granada need at least a draw tonight if they are to have a serious chance of going through next week.

9.26pm BST

68 min “Watching football without fans in the ground is kind of like an Imitation of Life, wouldn’t you say?” says Peter Oh. “I’d go as far as saying that I’ve been Losing My Religion.”

9.25pm BST

67 min For the third time tonight, a sweet long-range strike from Kenedy is too close to de Gea. He has been lively though.

9.25pm BST

66 min Talking of Spurs, Roberto Soldado has a speculative pop from 25 yards. Goal kick to Manchester United.

9.25pm BST

65 min Another Manchester United change: Edinson Cavani replaces the goalscorer Marcus Rashford, who is presumably being protected with Sunday’s revenge mission at Spurs in mind.

9.23pm BST

64 min “I’ve a friend who, how can I say it nicely, really does not want to like Rashford,” says Hiruy Gulilat. “This just makes me a defender of Rashford, without pay! And that control before the goal is not making it easy for him.”

9.21pm BST

63 min I shan’t tell you what’s happening in the other quarter-finals in case you plan to watch any games on delay. But if you want to know the latest scores, this link is your friend.

9.20pm BST

62 min Fernandes’s corner is headed over by Pogba at the far post. There were plenty of bodies around, but it still looked like a decent chance.

9.19pm BST

60 min Maguire sells himself near the halfway line and is beaten by Herrera. Granada have a two-on-two attack as a result but Lindelof’s positioning is excellent and he blocks Herrera’s pass towards Soldado.

9.17pm BST

58 min Maguire rumbles forward from the halfway line, beats Gonalons with some extravagant sleight of hip and rifles a long-range shot not far wide. He really should do that more often.

9.16pm BST

58 min We’re all friends here, so let us speak frankly: so far, this has been a dog of a game.

9.13pm BST

54 min Fernandes’s deep free-kick hits the head of Maguire at the far post and ricochets to safety. I’m pretty sure Maguire was unsighted, as otherwise it would have been a decent chance.

9.13pm BST

54 min Duarte’s night is over. He limps off, German runs on to replace him.

9.11pm BST

53 min Duarte is going to try to continue, though he’s limping heavily.

9.10pm BST

51 min Domingos Duarte boots James up in the air - and injures himself in the process. I don’t think he’s going to be able to continue. Either way, he won’t be playing next week: he was booked for that agricultural hack at James, his third yellow card of the tournament.

9.09pm BST

50 min The next corner is headed away by McTominay, but only as far as Kenedy on the left edge of the box. He whistles a good shot towards goal, but it’s too close to de Gea.

9.08pm BST

49 min Granada have won five or six corners either side of half-time. Make that six or seven, with Montoro’s near-post corner headed behind for another by Pogba...

9.07pm BST

47 min United have switched their front players: James to the left, Rashford central, Greenwood on the right.

9.04pm BST

46 min Peep peep! Granada begin the second half.

9.04pm BST

United have made a half-time substitution - Alex Telles is on for Luke Shaw.

9.04pm BST

That goal was Rashford’s 20th of the season, to go with 22 in 2019-20. Those are really decent numbers for a wide forward in a team that are good but not great.

9.02pm BST

“Putting aside magnificent art-pop for a second, Rashford’s first touch for the goal was absolutely filthy, and shouldn’t be shown without some kind of warning message,” says Matt Dony. “It was pre-watershed!”

If that’s an excuse to link to something I wrote ten years ago, then I don’t know what is!

Related: The Joy of Six: football first touches | Rob Smyth

9.00pm BST

“Hi Rob,” says David Wall. “What is the weather like in Spain this evening? I imagine it’s noticeably warmer than it has been in Manchester over the past week so it’ll be important for United’s players to replenish their Electrolyte levels at half time. If not then there’s a risk of a couple of Daysleepers in the defence as they’ll tire later in the game. With them having the lead in the away leg of the tie will Solskjaer be asking for more Drive in the second half, or will be an Apologist for taking a more defensive approach?”

I hope you’re proud of yourself, Matt Dony.

8.51pm BST

Peep peep! Mason Greenwood had half a chance to double the lead just before the break, but tried one stepover too many and was dispossessed. As it is, Marcus Rashford’s expertly taken goal has put United in control of the tie. It was a forgettable half, very sluggish, though Granada started to attack with more aggression after going behind. See you soon for the second half.

8.48pm BST

Marcus Rashford is the first English player to score eight goals for #mufc in European competition in a single season (excluding qualifiers) since Bobby Charlton in 1964/65 #mulive [opta]

8.47pm BST

45 min This is Granada’s best spell. They’ve been quite aggressive at times, particularly with Rashford and Fernandes, and I suspect we’ll see more of that after half-time.

8.46pm BST

44 min A nice corner routine from Granada. Montoro clips it outside the area to Kenedy, who cuts across a sweet volley that is comfortably saved by de Gea. It was straight at him, but a really good strike.

8.44pm BST

43 min “R.E.M. songs, is it, Martyn Crooks?” says Matt Dony. “United a goal up and looking to go through to the Great Beyond of the semi-finals. Granada have got players who could make a difference, though, if they tune themselves in. What’s The Frequency, Kenedy?”


8.43pm BST

42 min Luke Shaw is also out of the second leg: he has been booked for fouling Puertas.

8.43pm BST

41 min Montoro angle sthe resulting free-kick towards Herrera, whose volleyed cross hits the outside of the post! De Gea had it covered, I think, although the movement of his hands wasn’t entirely convincing. Moments later, Soldado drags a half chance wide of the near post.

8.40pm BST

40 min McTominay is booked for a foul on Puertas. That means he’ll miss the second leg.

8.40pm BST

39 min United have had 71 per cent of the possession. Rashford’s goal is the only shot on target at either end.

8.39pm BST

38 min A nice move from Granada ends with Dias flashing an excellent ball across the six-yard box.

8.37pm BST

35 min Fernandes’s long-range shot deflects behind for a corner. Nothing comes of it. The game has been a stinker, in truth, but United won’t care now they have taken the lead.

8.35pm BST

33 min Rashford’s angled run and finish were good, but the key to the goal was that velvety first touch.

8.33pm BST

32 min Herrera’s cross-shot almost falls kindly for Soldado, who is unable to sort his feet out at very short notice.

8.32pm BST

Ah, it was an exceedingly simple goal. Lindelof drove a 60-yard pass over the defence to Rashford, who killed the dropping ball majestically and slid it past Silva from 10 yards.

8.31pm BST

Marcus Rashford scores, and I’ve no idea what happened because they were showing a replay of the Soldado shot!

8.31pm BST

30 min Puertas gets to the byline and stabs the ball across to Soldado, who shoots into the side netting from a very tight angle. He had no chance of scoring from there.

8.28pm BST

28 min At the other end, Kenedy hammers a bouncing ball over the bar from a very tight angle.

8.28pm BST

27 min McTominay, the only man playing with much urgency, clips an excellent pass over the defence to find Rashford on the left of the area. He plays the ball back to Fernandes, whose outside-of-the-foot strike is blocked. Rashford picks up the loose ball and tries a big curling shot towards the far corner. He gets too much on it.

8.26pm BST

25 min Herrera goes down holding his face after a challenge with McTominay in the centre circle. McTominay did slap him, though I’m 99.9 per cent sure it was accidental. The referee agrees.

8.24pm BST

23 min Granada are very well organised defensively, and so far United haven’t threatened to open them up.

8.20pm BST

19 min Rashford wallops the free-kick over the bar. On the plus side, he doesn’t seem to be feeling his ankle any more.

8.19pm BST

18 min Fernandes is fouled 28 yards from goal by Herrera. The free-kick is a fair way to the left of centre, but Rashford looks like he wants to have a shot.

8.17pm BST

17 min Nothing is happening. The game is now taking place almost exclusively in Granada’s half, but not so much in their third.

8.14pm BST

14 min United are starting to have more of the ball, though it’s all fairly slow and safe for now. Granada look happy to play on the counter-attack.

8.11pm BST

11 min Rashford is still on the field. It’s hard to know whether he’s okay, as he’s had no reason to break into a sprint since that blocked shot in the fifth minute.

8.09pm BST

9 min Yes, it is the same Kenedy of Chelsea/Newcastle/Watford/Fluminense fame.

8.08pm BST

8 min Pogba loses the ball to Kenedy in a dangerous area, then brings him down and is booked. United, as is their wont, have started quite sluggishly.

8.08pm BST

7 min Rashford, who was a doubt for this game, looks like he’s struggling a little.

8.07pm BST

6 min The game is stopped for a few seconds because of a streaker. He looked very pleased with himself as he charged naked across the field.

8.05pm BST

5 min United break through Pogba, who plays a fine long pass out to Rashford out on the left. He cuts inside and has a shot blocked.

8.04pm BST

4 min It’s been a lively start from Granada, with most of the early exchanges taking place in the United half.

8.02pm BST

2 min “Predictions Rob?” says John Ryan. “I see United getting three, at least...”

I’m going for 2-1 Granada.

8.00pm BST

1 min Peep peep! United, wearing their Joy Division tribute kit, kick off from left to right. Granada are in their red and white home strip.

Related: Which football teams have played in kits inspired by musicians? | The Knowledge

7.58pm BST

The players stroll onto the field. It’s a crisp night in southern Spain, and the only shame is that there aren’t 19,000 supporters here for the biggest game in Granada’s history.

7.43pm BST

Apropos very little, BT Sport’s Curb Your Enthusiasm-themed FA Cup adverts never fail to make me smile. Whoever came up with the idea deserves an award.

@AFCWimbledon v West Ham ⚒️
January 2019

"Two strong centre forwards...there's only going to be one winner!"

What the cup?!

#EmiratesFACup | Third Round | This weekend pic.twitter.com/uehhm5wOOL

Sutton v Leeds ⚪️
January 2017

"Leeds always produce, they're in a good place at the moment!"

What the cup?!

#EmiratesFACup | Third Round | Starts January 8th pic.twitter.com/xp8GkkvyxJ

7.41pm BST

“Agree that Granada is an incredible place,” says Martyn Crooks. “I lived there for a few months as a student; at the time CF Granada were playing the third-tier football. The only time I was at El Estadio Los Carmenes was to see an R.E.M. concert. That evening I witnessed an attempt to relive their glory day, not too unlike recent Manchester United.”

Look, the new album is a return to form.

7.28pm BST

We tend not to do live blogs from the ground. More’s the pity.

Welcome to the House of Dreams, @ManUtd. #UEL #GRAMUN pic.twitter.com/kUISV9GLhH

7.06pm BST

“God, I love Granada,” writes Ian Copestake. “Not the team (didn’t know they had one!). The place! If only it was one the coast it would be THE best place on the planet.”

When you wrote ‘not the team’, I thought you were about to start eulogising Coronation Street and the Krypton Factor.

7.02pm BST

The route to Europa League glory for Granada and United

Semi-final Roma or Ajax

6.59pm BST

Pre-match reading

Related: Roberto Soldado: ‘I can’t believe I’m meeting Manchester United again’

Related: Solskjær welcomes Henderson and De Gea rivalry for Manchester United

6.49pm BST

David de Gea starts in goal for Manchester United, one of three changes from the team that beat Brighton on Sunday. Scott McTominay and Daniel James replace Fred and Edinson Cavani. That probably means Mason Greenwood will move to centre forward.

Granada (4-2-3-1) Silva; Diaz, Vallejo, Duarte, Neva; Herrera, Gonalons; Puertas, Montoro, Kenedy; Soldado.
Substitutes: Banacloche, Fabrega, Foulquier, Nehuen Perez, German, Suarez, Brice, Machis, Molina.

4.32pm BST

Hello. Let’s start with a trip to Dictionary Corner:

Nearly is used to indicate that something is not quite the case, or not completely the case.

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Rashford’s touch and Fernandes’s calm help Manchester United sink Granada

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 22:07

With a wave of Jan Eteki’s hand, Manchester United were virtually through. For much of a largely uneventful night it appeared that a single, gorgeous touch from Marcus Rashford would secure a small yet significant lead for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side to take into the second leg. Then a late gift given turned it into a virtually unassailable one, the substitute catching Bruno Fernandes in the face to give him the penalty from which he put them on the verge of the Europa League semi-final.

With half an hour gone Rashford had watched the ball travel 60 yards through the air to where he was running. He caught it on his toe, tamed it, and turned it into what seemed set to be the only goal. Instead, as added time approached Eteki, who had only been on the pitch four minutes, made the error that in effect ended this tie.

Related: Tomas Holes ruins Arsenal’s night as Slavia Prague snatch last-gasp equaliser

Related: Europa League roundup: Roma seal fightback at Ajax, Villarreal beat Zagreb

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Europa League: previews and predictions for the quarter-finals

Thu, 04/08/2021 - 08:00

A look ahead to Granada v Manchester United, Arsenal v Slavia Prague, Ajax v Roma and Dinamo Zagreb v Villarreal

By Ben McAleer for WhoScored

Granada have more than exceeded expectations since they were promoted to La Liga in 2019. They finished seventh in their first season back in the top flight, securing a place in the Europa League as a result. After knocking out Napoli and Molde on their way to the quarter-finals, they are not to be underestimated by Manchester United.

Related: Slavia Prague's Ondrej Kudela not returning to UK for Arsenal game

Related: José Mourinho attacks Spurs attitude after dismal Dinamo Zagreb defeat

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Solskjær welcomes Henderson and De Gea rivalry for Manchester United

Wed, 04/07/2021 - 14:46
  • United manager praises ‘bond’ and ‘spirit’ between goalkeepers
  • Solskjær refuses to confirm who will face Granada on Thursday

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has welcomed the “bond” between Dean Henderson and David de Gea that he says exists despite fierce competition between the goalkeepers to be first choice for Manchester United.

Henderson was preferred to De Gea for Sunday’s 2-1 win over Brighton, a sign that the 24-year-old may now be considered Solskjær’s first choice given that the Spaniard had previously been picked regularly in the Premier League.

Related: Liverpool floored in Madrid, Dortmund denied at City – Football Weekly

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

David Squires on … the great Erling Haaland European sales tour

Tue, 04/06/2021 - 11:44

Our cartoonist looks at Mino Raiola’s hawking of the Dortmund forward around some of Europe’s leading clubs

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Mason Greenwood seals comeback win for Manchester United over Brighton

Sun, 04/04/2021 - 21:32

Manchester United could first curse and then thank their academy. Their youth system has supplied at least one player for every first-team squad since 1937 but United’s capacity to also produce footballers for other clubs threatened to harm them when Danny Welbeck put Brighton on course for a maiden win at Old Trafford. Instead, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, two others who followed Welbeck’s path into the United forward line and then the England squad, struck in a rescue job after a wretched first half.

Comebacks represent another United tradition – “We have done that a few times this season, we are getting used to it,” said Ole Gunnar Solskjær – while Brighton have acquired an unfortunate habit of losing games from winning positions. This was an addition to the litany of fixtures where they got plaudits but not points. Their excellence was not shown in the eventual scoreline.

Related: Valencia walk off against Cádiz after Diakhaby accuses opponent of racist abuse

Related: Antonio Rüdiger clashes with Kepa Arrizabalaga at Chelsea training

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United v Brighton: Premier League – live!

Sun, 04/04/2021 - 19:05

6.58pm BST

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has just said Anthony Martial may not play again this season because of a knee injury. As exasperating as he can be, that would still be a big blow to United’s hopes of winning the Europa League.

6.56pm BST

It’s already been an eventful day in the Premier League. Read all about it by clicking the clickable things below.

6.39pm BST

United’s injury list is not as bad as feared. Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Edinson Cavani all start, as do Paul Pogba and Dean Henderson, who is preferred to David de Gea. There are two changes from United’s last league game, the scruffy 1-0 win over West Ham three weeks ago: Pogba and Cavani are in for Scott McTominay and Daniel James.

Graham Potter sticks with the Brighton side that hammered Newcastle before the international break.

6.16pm BST

It’s second v sixteenth at Old Trafford. A home banker, right? Well not necessarily. This, for all kinds of reasons, is a really intriguing game. There’s Manchester United’s injury list and relatively modest home form; Brighton’s excellent recent performances and generally strong away form; the fact Brighton have never, ever, ever won at Old Trafford; and that bizarre game at the Amex Stadium in September, when Leandro Trossard hit the woodwork 49 times and Bruno Fernandes scored the winning goal after the final whistle had been blown.

While United are slightly in limbo - they are 17 points behind Manchester City and have an eight-point cushion from the teams outside the Champions League places - Brighton know exactly what time it is. For all their admirable football, they are still in a relegation battle and need all the points they can get. The league table says they have 32, which is 25 fewer than United. But if you’re into the whole xG thing, both teams should be on 49 points. That theoretical equality is another reason to think this match should be interesting enough to make us all forget the fact we’re missing bloody Line of Duty.

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United v Brighton: match preview

Sat, 04/03/2021 - 09:00

The title may never have been a realistic proposition but a win against Brighton would give a healthy boost to wrapping up a top-four finish early so Manchester United can focus on trying to win the Europa League and FA Cup. Graham Potter’s side begin a difficult run to the finish line with Everton and Chelsea following this and a final three games against West Ham, Manchester City and Arsenal. The omens begin poorly as Brighton have conceded three goals in each of their past four meetings with United, losing each time. The meat of the run-in sandwich against Sheffield United, Leeds and Wolves will be crucial to their hopes of survival. Then again Newcastle’s form is so poor it may matter very little.

Sunday 7.30pm BT Sport 1

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Solskjær ready to let De Gea and Henderson share goalkeeping duties

Fri, 04/02/2021 - 17:22
  • Manchester United manager facing ‘difficult’ decision
  • De Gea not assured of being Premier League first choice

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has made clear to David de Gea that he faces a fight to remain Manchester United’s No 1 goalkeeper and that he should expect to share that duty with Dean Henderson for the remainder of the season at least.

De Gea has not featured for United since the goalless draw at Chelsea on 28 February having returned to Spain for the birth of his first child. Henderson has started United’s past six games and, bar the mistake that led to Milan’s late equaliser in their Europa League last-16 first leg, the 24-year-old has impressed.

Related: Cristiano Ronaldo's discarded armband raises €64,000 to help Serbian baby

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 04/02/2021 - 00:03

Chances for Arsenal and Liverpool to boost their seasons and for Edinson Cavani and Aleksandar Mitrovic to deliver goals

If anyone had told Mikel Arteta that last season’s gap between Arsenal and Liverpool – 43 points – would narrow to four by early April he would have been forgiven for envisaging an unlikely title battle. The truth from Arsenal’s perspective is far more mundane; Liverpool’s slump is the story and they travel to the Emirates in urgent need of a win that might recharge their top-four hopes. They cannot afford to drift any further behind Chelsea so this weekend is probably all about keeping pace, given Thomas Tuchel’s side face West Brom. This is not a fixture Arteta or Jürgen Klopp would have wanted on the back of an international break; Arsenal may be without Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, two of their biggest reasons to think a push for the Europa League is still on, and a nervy affair could be in prospect. Both teams’ campaigns are on the line, but not in the way either would wish. NA

Arsenal v Liverpool (Saturday, 8pm, all times BST)

Leicester v Manchester City (Saturday, 5.30pm)

Leeds v Sheffield United (Saturday, 3pm)

Related: 'It's nip and tuck': the Championship's final wild dash for promotion

Chelsea v West Brom (Saturday, 12.30pm)

Manchester United v Brighton (Sunday, 7.30pm)

Newcastle v Tottenham (Sunday, 2.05pm)

Aston Villa v Fulham (Sunday, 4.30pm)

Related: Which Premier League clubs have the hardest and easiest run-ins?

Everton v Crystal Palace (Monday, 6pm)

Southampton v Burnley (Sunday, 12pm)

Wolves v West Ham (Monday, 8.15pm)

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Luke Shaw admits letting Southgate down over serial England withdrawals

Mon, 03/29/2021 - 22:30
  • Manchester United left-back vows to turn over new leaf
  • ‘I have another chance and I need to prove I’m different now’

Luke Shaw has talked about the deep sense of regret he carried for more than two years at letting down Gareth Southgate as he vowed to make the most of his fresh start with England.

The Manchester United left-back, who played in the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win against Albania in Tirana on Sunday, said he had shown a lack of respect at being called up in the past, which he put down in part to psychological difficulties.

Related: England need to improve to win honours, says Gareth Southgate

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Nicky Butt quits Manchester United coaching staff to pursue 'new challenge'

Wed, 03/24/2021 - 17:29
  • Butt has been head of first-team development
  • United revamped backroom setup this month

Nicky Butt has stepped down as Manchester United’s head of first-team development to pursue “a new professional challenge”.

Butt has spent nine years in coaching and player development positions at the club’s academy, playing a key role in overseeing the progress of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Axel Tuanzebe, Dean Henderson and Mason Greenwood into the first team.

Related: Marcus Rashford vows to reach children who have never owned book

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Fred racially abused online after Manchester United’s defeat by Leicester

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 21:29
  • Midfielder’s Instagram account targeted after Cup exit
  • Fred one of several United players abused in recent weeks

The Manchester United midfielder Fred was the subject of racist abuse after his side’s 3-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Leicester on Sunday.

Fred was at fault for Leicester’s opening goal when he gifted the ball to Kelechi Iheanacho in front of goal, and the Leicester striker rounded the goalkeeper Dean Henderson to slot home.

Related: Tielemans a glorious throwback while Solskjær's thoughts wander forward | Barney Ronay

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Tielemans a glorious throwback while Solskjær's thoughts wander forward | Barney Ronay

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 20:31

The midfielder propelled Leicester to a FA Cup quarter-final victory that Manchester United never looked like winning

With hindsight Ole Gunner Solskjær might concede there have been better weeks to talk, a little disdainfully, about the “ego” of trophy-winning managers.

In a show of commendable humility, Solskjær’s Manchester United duly exited the FA Cup at the quarter-final stage, another moment of not-quite-there to follow three semi-final dead ends. Look on my selflessness and tremble. For I am the most humble.

Related: Iheanacho's double sinks Manchester United and puts Leicester in last four

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Iheanacho’s double sinks Manchester United and puts Leicester in last four

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 19:15

The run had to end at some point but, when it did for Manchester United, it did so in comprehensive fashion. They had not tasted defeat on their domestic travels for 14 months – a sequence of 29 matches – yet they were second best in all departments here to see another avenue to silverware closed off.

In simple terms, Leicester seemed to want it more. Brendan Rodgers’s team pressed high, they snapped into challenges and refused to allow United to establish any rhythm. But once they had possession, they were slick and incisive. There were times when United gasped for breath.

Related: Leicester 3-1 Manchester United: FA Cup quarter-final – as it happened

Related: Chelsea to face Manchester City in semi-final after beating Sheffield United

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Leicester 3-1 Manchester United: FA Cup quarter-final – as it happened

Sun, 03/21/2021 - 19:00

The in-form Kelechi Iheanacho scored twice as Leicester outclassed and outsmarted United to reach their first FA Cup semi-final since 1982

7.15pm GMT

That’s it for tonight’s blog. I’ll leave you with David Hytner’s match report. Thanks for your company and emails, and congratulations to Leicester on a glorious performance. Night!

Related: Iheanacho double sinks Manchester United and puts Leicester in last four

7.00pm GMT

Here’s the magnificent Youri Tielemans

“It was a really good team performance. Everyone worked together, everyone was positive. It was a very hard game and I think we did brilliantly. [On the goal] I just saw the space, ran into it and tried to keep the shot low. Then Kelechi killed the game on a set-piece. He’s a good character - he’s very shy but always happy. [His current form] is brilliant for him and the team also.”

6.59pm GMT

Apparently there were 28 passes before Tielemans’ goal, which makes it even better.

6.58pm GMT

Here’s Kelechi Iheanacho

“I feel great and the whole team are happy. We’ve really been waiting for this moment, to get into the FA Cup semi-final [for the first time since 1982]. We worked really well in training to get ready for this game tactically. I think we were fitter than them in the game and that helped us, and we passed the ball really well.

6.55pm GMT

A beaming James Maddison is down on the touchline, hugging his team-mates as they come off the field. It’s been the happiest of days for Leicester.

6.53pm GMT

More more more

Related: Aston Villa v Tottenham Hotspur: Premier League – live!

6.52pm GMT

Peep peep! Leicester have reached the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time in 39 years, where they will play Southampton. Their performance was almost flawless, full of intelligence, purpose, dynamism and ruthlessness. Kelechi Iheanacho scored two and had a stormer, with the brilliant Youri Tielemans getting the other goal. There were also outstanding performances from Wilfred Ndidi, Wesley Fofana, Caglar Soyuncu and Brendan Rodgers. United were poor by their standards but many of their errors were forced by Leicester, who pulled off one of their most rousing victories since Rodgers took over. Honestly, they were wonderful.

6.50pm GMT

90+2 min Martial’s downward header is saved comfortably by Schmeichel.

6.48pm GMT

90 min Four added minutes. It’s not happening.

6.46pm GMT

88 min A sizzling, angry free-kick from Fernandes is tipped over smartly by Schmeichel.

6.45pm GMT

87 min The world being in the state it is, most of the post-match focus will be on United’s inadequacies. That’s not fair on Leicester. Even by their admirable standards of the last two seasons, they have been absolutely brilliant tonight. And Brendan Rodgers has won the tactical battle hands down.

6.43pm GMT

85 min On the plus side, at least United didn’t lose another semi-final.

6.42pm GMT

84 min Fred is replaced by Amad.

6.41pm GMT

82 min A change for Leicester: Hamza Choudhury replaces Jamie Vardy, who was a constant menace even though he is clearly out of form in front of goal.

6.39pm GMT

81 min “Just joined, somewhat late, and saw your post about John Beck,” says Richard Hirst. “Has there ever been such a big difference between player and manager: he was quite a footballing midfielder for Fulham, the complete antithesis of what he became as a manager.”

George Graham? I suppose Beck still wins.

6.38pm GMT

80 min The scoreline is a fair reflection of the game. It’s been a masterful performance from Leicester - and they are playing without three or four regulars.

6.37pm GMT

Leicester had a free-kick on the left wing. Albrighton swiung it deep, McTominay misjudged it and Iheanacho headed in from a few yards out. Henderson, scrambling across his goal, got hands on the ball but could only push it into the net.

6.36pm GMT

Leicester City are heading into the FA Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1982!

6.34pm GMT

76 min It’s all United now, though Leicester are well organised defensively and Kasper Schmeichel still hasn’t had much to do.

6.33pm GMT

75 min Evans is booked for a hopelessly late tackle on Fernandes.

6.33pm GMT

74 min If it stays like this, there will be plenty of talk about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to leave Shaw, Fernandes and McTominay on the bench. Maybe he really meant what he said about league position > trophies.

6.30pm GMT

73 min A Leicester change: Dennis Praet replaces Ayoze Perez.

6.30pm GMT

72 min McTominay is booked for bundling over Perez near the halfway line. I’m not sure it was a foul, but there you go.

6.28pm GMT

70 min Fernandes’s cross is headed behind by the stretching Evans. This is United’s best spell of the match. Fernandes’s corner is headed away by, yes, Ndidi.

6.28pm GMT

70 min Soyuncu’s awkward long pass is killed sweetly by Iheanacho, who then pokes it forward to leave Vardy one against one with Maguire. But this time Maguire keeps his legs closed and intercepts with authority.

6.26pm GMT

69 min Albrighton is booked for a foul on Shaw.

6.26pm GMT

69 min “Every time Castagne gets the ball,” says Gavin Herbert, “I’m reminded of this.”

6.25pm GMT

68 min This is now United’s best available XI, and they are dominating for the firest time since the early stages. Wan-Bissaka hammers a cross that hits Cavani in the chest/arm before he has time to react. Moments later, McTominay’s flicked header is comfortably saved by Schmeichel.

6.23pm GMT

65 min McTominay wins a corner for United. Fernandes curls it out, Maguire heads it across the area and Albrighton clears.

6.22pm GMT

64 min The quadruple substitution: Bruno Fernandes, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Edinson Cavani replace Matic, Telles, Pogba and van de Beek.

6.21pm GMT

64 min Telles overhits the free-kick and it drifts out of play. That’s his last touch of the game.

6.21pm GMT

63 min United are about to make a quadruple substitution.

6.20pm GMT

63 min Martial is fouled 30 yards from goal by Evans, who insists it was a dive. Replays suggest it probably was, but Andre Marriner has given the free-kick.

6.20pm GMT

62 min Perez runs at a backpedalling United defence but then sprays high and wide from 25 yards. This has been a scintillating performance from Leicester - and they are doing it without Harvey Barnes and James Maddison.

6.19pm GMT

61 min Lindelof does very well to beat Vardy to a near-post cross from Albrighton. It’s all Leicester at the moment, and I’m surprised we haven’t seen Bruno Fernandes. United have been completely outplayed.

6.18pm GMT

60 min Tielemans and Ndidi have been majestic today. So has Iheanacho, who took his goal expertly but has been a revelation in general play.

6.17pm GMT

58 min: Vardy misses a sitter! Leicester should be out of sight. Ndidi won the ball off Greenwood on the halfway line and found Iheanacho. He slid a pass down the inside-left channel to Vardy, who nutmegged Maguire deliciously to move through on goal but then shot wide of the near post from 10 yards. “Fucking shite!” he screams, and it was.

6.16pm GMT

57 min The corner is half cleared, and Greenwood goes on a mazy run before hitting a cross that is cleared by Soyuncu. Telles picks up the loose ball and hits a booming shot that flashes past the far post. Schmeichel seemed pretty relaxed, so maybe it wasn’t as close as it looked.

6.14pm GMT

57 min Telles’s free-kick is headed behind by Soyuncu.

6.14pm GMT

56 min Telles’s cross is handled by Albrighton, which means a free-kick to United on the left wing...

6.12pm GMT

54 min “This happened to Palace in 1990,” says Ant. “They’d lost 9-0 to Liverpool in the league but beat them 4-3 in the semi-final. Scenes!”

6.11pm GMT

That’s a lovely goal from an outstanding multi-purpose midfield player. He lost Matic by playing a one-two with Iheanacho, then ran away from Fred and rifled a low drive into the far corner from the edge of the area. The defending wasn’t great - Fred was unusually flat-footed and Lindelof backed off - but it was superbly taken by Tielemans.

6.09pm GMT

And now Youri Tielemans has scored!

6.09pm GMT

51 min Leicester have made a confident start to the second half. The midfield pair of Ndidi and Tielemans are bossing the game.

6.08pm GMT

49 min The match will be settled tonight, even if it means extra-time, penalties and a Royal Rumble. So long as they’re finished in time for Line of Duty, I don’t care who wins or how they do it.

6.06pm GMT

48 min Maguire lofts an absurd square ball across his own area and out for a throw-in. Ndidi receives the ball, surges into the area but then crosses too close to Henderson.

6.05pm GMT

47 min “Some discussion on BBC1 about whether Greenwood gave a shout for VDB to leave it,” says Tom Williams. “Looked like Greenwood was very much on his heels until Donny’s dummy™ so maybe one for best non-touch assists too? Just eager and delighted for anything good to be attributed to van de Beek.”

Yeah, I thought they underplayed van de Beek’s contribution. Whether there was a shout or not, it was a lovely bit of play.

6.03pm GMT

46 min Peep peep!

6.03pm GMT

On the BBC, Guy Mowbray makes an excellent point: whatever happens here, Southampton will be playing a team that has recently beaten them 9-0 in the semi-final. It’ll be a cracking story if they win.

6.00pm GMT

The draw for the final will be made after the semi-finals have been completed.

5.59pm GMT

It’s time for the semi-final draw...

5.58pm GMT

“I am a massive fan of Donny as you’ve heard me email in so much to MBMs,” says Ruth Purdue. “He is not Bruno and comparing him to Fernandes is not fair on either of them. He is an excellent passer of the ball and hardly ever gives it away. Donny is a cute touch and link-up player, similar to Mata. He can work in tight spaces easily. Today he has made forward runs and not been found, similar to other games.

“Bruno constantly gives it away sometimes embarrassingly and that lead up to goals (one being a Leicester goal) but his bravery, imagination, leadership and vision have dragged this team from the brink. They have two different styles.

5.55pm GMT

“van de Beek should get an assist for his non-assist,” says Justin Kavanagh. “Football is getting far too existential these days. Or is it?”

5.49pm GMT

“The best thing about Shevchenko’s transfer to Chelsea was the effect it had on Drogba,” says Phil Podolsky. “Never seen as clear an example of a player stepping up his game as Drogba in the 2006-07 season and it was a sight to behold.”

5.48pm GMT

FA Cup semi-final draw

These are the ball numbers, the hell you care.

5.47pm GMT

Peep peep! We’re no closer to finding out who will complete the semi-final line-up. Leicester were much the better team in the first half, playing very intelligently on the counter-attack, and took the lead when the in-form Kelechi Iheanacho punished a lamentable backpass from Fred. But United managed to stay in the game, just about, and equalised when Mason Greenwood scored after a fine dummy from Donny van de Beek.

5.44pm GMT

44 min: So close from Perez! That was beautiful play. He received a pass from Albrighton just outside the area, zig-zagged away from Matic and swept a shot that curled just wide of the far post. Henderson wouldn’t have saved it.

5.42pm GMT

43 min By the way, the draw for the semi-final will take place at half-time.

5.41pm GMT

42 min Leicester charge down the other end, and Albrighton’s excellent cross is headed behind by Lindelof. This is turning into a good game.

5.41pm GMT

41 min Greenwood picks up a loose ball on the edge of the area and lays it back to Pogba, whose tame shot rolls through to Schmeichel.

5.40pm GMT

39 min “I’m glad to see van de Beek getting another chance today (not that he’s done much with it so far),” says David Wall. “From his Ajax days he’s obviously a good player, and I always think it a shame when good players like that aren’t able to show their class when they move to the Premier League. I’m not a Chelsea fan but I felt that way about Shevchenko disappointing there (though I’m not saying van de Beek is on his level). It’s as though the entire league has missed out on something.”

I know what you mean. A small part of me never quite recovered from two years with Seba Veron. As for van de Beek, his confidence is through the floor, unsurprisingly. It’s all very strange. That was a touch of class for Greenwood’s goal, though, or rather a non-touch.

5.39pm GMT

Telles and Pogba combined well down the left, with Pogba dragging a low cross into the middle. Van de Beek dummied it beautifully at the near post, and Greenwood nipped in front of Castagne to ping a first-time shot into the net.

5.38pm GMT

Manchester United equalise out of nothing!

5.38pm GMT

38 min A decent cross from Telles is missed by the leaping Martial at the near post.

5.36pm GMT

36 min Pogba goes down holding his right foot after Fofana accidentally stands on it. He’s in pain but is going to continue.

5.34pm GMT

34 min Wan-Bissaka makes a vital interception to stop Iheanacho’s pass putting Vardy through on goal. Again it came from a mistake, with Lindelof wandering out of defence and then playing a poor pass towards Pogba.

5.34pm GMT

33 min Pogba is now back on the left, so it looks like that was just a temporary switch. United need to do something, though, because Leicester are teaching them a lesson.

5.33pm GMT

32 min Donny van de Beek has been sadly anonymous for United, and I suspect we’ll see Bruno Fernandes as early as half-time. Edinson Cavani is another option. For now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has switched his attacking players, with Pogba moving to the right, Greenwood into the centre and Martial to the left.

5.31pm GMT

31 min Albrighton dummies to cross and instead squares the free-kick to Tielemans, whose first-time shot from 20 yards is blocked.

5.31pm GMT

30 min Maguire is booked for fouling Iheanacho just outside the area on the right. This has, so far, been a tactical masterclass from Brendan Rodgers, with selective pressing and rapier counter-attacks. Iheanacho and Vardy are pulling United’s centre-backs all over the place.

5.29pm GMT

29 min “Hello there, Rob!” says Adam Roberts. “Does Fred get an assist for that? The weight on the pass was perfect.”

Yep, and a pre-assist from Maguire.

5.28pm GMT

28 min Fred’s cross from the right is punched behind a little nervously by Schmeichel, who seemed worried that it might sneak in the far corner. Telles’s corner is headed well wide by Maguire. That was a slightly better chance than the first one; I think he saw the ball late though.

5.28pm GMT

27 min Although the goal came in farcical circumstances, that shouldn’t obscure an elegant, confident finish from Iheanacho. He took it beautifully.

5.26pm GMT

26 min I’ll say one thing and one thing only: John Beck’s Cambridge never conceded a goal like that.

5.25pm GMT

That was a mess from United’s point of view. They tried to play out from the back... with hilarious consequences. It started when Maguire playing a dangerous pass into Fred, who was facing his own goal in the D and had a Leicester player up his derriere. Fred tried to play the ball back to Henderson - but instead gave it straight to Iheanacho, who moved smoothly round Henderson to score.

5.24pm GMT

Kelechi Iheanacho scores after a howler from Fred!

5.22pm GMT

22 min Albrighton beats Telles and wins a corner off Maguire. Leicester are well on top at the moment.

5.21pm GMT

21 min Albrighton goes down holding his head after being hit by a flailing arm from Telles. It was clumsy rather than malicious, and life goes on.

5.19pm GMT

20 min I was going to say before the game that Leicester had the home disadvantage, as both these teams are better away from home. In fact, in the first 20 minutes United have been more like the home team, which is playing into Leicester’s hands.

5.18pm GMT

18 min Another half-chance for Vardy, whose low shot is well blocked by Maguire. The opportunity came after Fred was robbed by Perez 30 yards from goal.

5.18pm GMT

18 min United started well but Leicester have looked more dangerous in the last few minutes. Vardy has taken up some good positions between Wan-Bissaka and Lindelof.

5.17pm GMT

17 min Henderson makes a good save. Vardy broke into the area on the left and tried to pick out Iheanacho with a low cross. Maguire’s interception sent the ball back to Vardy, who swept a first-time shot towards the far corner with his right foot. Henderson got down to his left to push it away.

5.12pm GMT

13 min Telles’s deep corner is headed towards goal by the backpedalling Maguire, and Schmeichel makes a comfortable save. Maguire couldn’t get any power in the header.

5.12pm GMT

12 min Martial, who looks sharp, wins a corner on the right. Telles wanders across to take it...

5.07pm GMT

8 min United continue to dominate possession, with Pogba seeing a lot of the ball. Leicester won’t mind that too much, such is their counter-attacking threat.

5.06pm GMT

6 min In the modern game, Martial could easily have been booked for that tackle, as his studs were showing. Funny how things evolve: 20 years ago that would have been seen as a magnificent tackle. Either way, Martial’s tackle only registered 1.1 on the Sounessometer.

Just hand over the award, now ... #Souness #LFC #Rangers pic.twitter.com/9GmZk5ydRY

5.05pm GMT

5 min Leicester players are furious when Martial puts Tielemans up in the air. It was a very strong tackle; the only issue is whether it was dangerous. The referee didn’t think so.

5.04pm GMT

4 min Vardy scoots down the left and crosses dangerously towards Iheanacho, whose first-time shot is blocked by the sliding Telles. It wouldn’t have counted - Vardy was offside - but that was good defending from Telles.

5.02pm GMT

3 min United have started well, with some good one-touch passing.

5.00pm GMT

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

4.58pm GMT

The players are out on the field, all with their gameface on. Here we are now, entertain us.

4.41pm GMT

While we wait for this to start, there’s a spectacular match taking place at the London Stadium.

Related: West Ham v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

4.32pm GMT

Related: Hakim Ziyech seals Chelsea's FA Cup progress against Sheffield United

4.27pm GMT

And the last time Leicester hosted Man Utd in a cup game, 25 years ago, Emile Heskey and Steve Claridge concocted a goal of astonishing brilliance. Don’t worry about reading the words - that’s so 2002 - but please scroll down to the video at the bottom of the article.

Related: Golden Goal: Steve Claridge for Leicester v Manchester United (1996) | Rob Smyth

4.26pm GMT

The last time Leicester reached the FA Cup semi-final was in 1982, when they triumphed in one of the strangest quarter-finals ever played.

Related: Football | The Joy of Six: FA Cup quarter-finals | Rob Smyth

4.10pm GMT

Pre-match reading

Related: Forget Solskjær’s comments, he would love Manchester United to win a cup

4.03pm GMT

Brendan Rodgers has picked his strongest available team; Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not. There are a few surprises in the Man Utd side - Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Alex Telles and Donny van de Beek all start, with Bruno Fernandes only on the bench. Marcus Rashford is not in the squad.

Leicester’s only change from last weekend 5-0 win over Sheffield United is at wing-back, with Marc Albrighton replacing the injured Ricardo Pereira.

3.19pm GMT

The schedulers have saved the best for last: Leicester v Manchester United is the tie of the round, a potential humdinger between two of the best teams in the country. Their last meeting was an excellent 2-2 draw on Boxing Day, and this feels like a game that could go the distance: extra-time, penalties, sudden death, the whole thing only just finishing in time for Line of Duty.

It’s not quite the A-list party it might have been, as both teams are without key players through injury: Harvey Barnes, James Maddison, James Justin, Ricardo Pereira, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani are all likely to miss the game. But that means opportunities for players like Kelechi Iheanacho, who rammed a hat-trick in the 5-0 win over Sheffield United last weekend.

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Forget Solskjær’s comments, he would love Manchester United to win a cup

Sat, 03/20/2021 - 22:30

Manager’s playing down of knockout success was a psychological move that worked well in Milan

If Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s declaration that cup competitions should not be the gauge of Manchester United was a cute psychological move it reaped dividends at Milan on Thursday. Needing victory at the San Siro, his side duly delivered to eliminate Stefano Pioli’s team and move into the Europa League quarter-finals. Next United travel to Leicester on Sunday for their other realistic route to silverware: the FA Cup.

Solskjær’s perspective shifted noticeably on sudden-death competitions before United’s trip to Italy. Rather than claim a triumph would be a major step and crucial for his side’s development, which has been his stance, United were to be judged primarily on Premier League performances and position.

Related: Manchester United sign £235m shirt sponsorship deal with TeamViewer

Related: Europa League: Manchester United land Granada, Arsenal face Slavia Prague

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Manchester United sign £235m shirt sponsorship deal with TeamViewer

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 13:27
  • Five-year contract starts from next season
  • Club believe deal is sport’s most lucrative during pandemic

Manchester United have announced a five-year €275m (£235m) shirt sponsorship deal with TeamViewer, which starts from next season.

Related: Europa League: Manchester United land Granada, Arsenal face Slavia Prague

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Europa League: Manchester United land Granada, Arsenal face Slavia Prague

Fri, 03/19/2021 - 12:42
  • United will play Ajax or Roma if they progress
  • Slavia have knocked out Rangers and Leicester

Manchester United have been handed a Europa League quarter-final against Granada and Arsenal will take on Slavia Prague, who have defeated Rangers and Leicester in the previous two rounds.

Related: Champions League: Liverpool draw Real Madrid and could then face Chelsea

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say

Paul Pogba's stylish strike sinks Milan and sends Manchester United through

Thu, 03/18/2021 - 22:05

Manchester United squeezed into the Europa League quarter-finals the hard way: coming to Milan and earning the victory required. In doing so, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men won their biggest game of the campaign.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, once of United, was brought on for the latter stages. As the minutes ebbed away he rose above Luke Shaw to head strongly but Dean Henderson tipped over.

Related: Nine-man Rangers fall apart against Slavia Prague and make wretched exit

Related: Orsic hits hat-trick as Dinamo Zagreb dump Spurs out of Europa League

Continue reading...
Categories: What the papers say