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Updated: 2 hours 54 min ago

Buy a classic sport photograph: Cantona's comeback

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 09:06

The eighth of a Guardian Print Shop series featuring classic sports images from the likes of Gerry Cranham, Mark Leech and Tom Jenkins – yours to own from just £55 including free delivery

“When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea.” Few aphorisms in football are as bizarre or memorable as the one uttered by Eric Cantona in April 1995 when he addressed the national media three months after his infamous ‘kung fu’ attack on a Crystal Palace fan. ‘The King’, as Manchester United fans called him, was unrepentant for his actions and won his appeal against a prison sentence. It would be a further six months before he would return to action, in a home match with arch-rivals Liverpool. After serving one of the longest bans in football history, Cantona’s impact was instantaneous. He crafted the opening goal after just 67 seconds of the match, teeing up teammate Nicky Butt, before a Robbie Fowler double gave the visitors a 2-1 lead. Poetically, the fate of the match came to rest on Cantona’s shoulders. Ryan Giggs won a 71st-minute penalty when he ran onto the Frenchman’s through ball and was nudged to the turf by Jamie Redknapp. Cantona, hands on hips, oozed confidence before casually stroking the spot-kick into one corner as the goalkeeper dived to the other. The subsequent celebration was distinctly odd: he pole-danced in front of the East Stand. Why such a celebration, you might ask? Because ... er, he’s Eric Cantona.

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England’s Marcus Rashford back in the goal groove after confidence takes a hit

Mon, 11/18/2019 - 22:30

• Manchester United striker emerges from ‘tough period’
• Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori stunned at his progress in past year

Marcus Rashford feels the confidence is flooding back into his game after a run of nine goals in 10 matches for Manchester United and England, casting aside what the forward admits has been a difficult spell.

It was a fruitful international break for Rashford, who scored a slickly taken goal seven minutes from time in the 4-0 win over Kosovo, having replaced Callum Hudson-Odoi before the hour. He was also on target against Montenegro three days before, putting in a scintillating display, and on this form there is every chance he will join Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in Gareth Southgate’s front three at Euro 2020.

Related: Gareth Southgate admits Euro 2020 is key to him remaining England manager

Related: Euro 2020 roundup: Italy crush Armenia 9-1 while Spain hammer Romania

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Manchester United weighing up move for Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho

Fri, 11/15/2019 - 17:00
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær alerted by recent troubles in Germany
• United may face competition from Liverpool and Real Madrid

Manchester United are weighing up a move in January for Jadon Sancho, with Ole Gunnar Solskjær alerted by the forward’s recent troubles at Borussia Dortmund.

The manager has identified Sancho as a summer target but he and Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, have a policy of trying to sign players of interest in the preceding winter window should there be a chance of doing so.

Related: Wilf McGuinness: ‘I thought Munich was the end, that United were finished’

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Wilf McGuinness: ‘I thought Munich was the end, that United were finished’

Wed, 11/13/2019 - 11:56
The 82-year-old former Manchester United player and coach talks about the air disaster, Sir Matt Busby and playing for £20 a week

Wilf McGuinness is 82 but his face lights up with vivid memories of the man who had such an impact on his life. “Matt Busby was a god,” McGuinness says simply as he looks up with an expression of gratitude and awe and remembers the football manager who turned Manchester United into one of the world’s greatest clubs. “We used to look up at him when we were growing up. We thought: ‘There he is. That’s the boss.’ That’s what we called him. Boss. He was a wonderful man.”

McGuinness was one of the original Busby Babes, a team of youthful brilliance which was decimated by the Munich disaster of 1958. He was injured and so missed being on the plane which took the lives of many of his best friends and teammates, while scarring those who survived. McGuinness was part of the second wave of Babes with whom Busby created a new team that would eventually become the first English club to win the European Cup in 1968. Another bad injury had ended his career long before then but Busby respected him so much that he persuaded McGuinness to become a coach at Old Trafford.

Related: How the Manchester Guardian reported the Munich air disaster in 1958

£20 a week was the maximum wage. We couldn’t get more. But I was happy getting the bus to training

Related: Beauty of the Babes: when a classic became a Manchester United legacy | David Lacey

Related: Football: David Meek on the Busby Babes

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Manchester United’s Daniel James says he won’t be intimidated by defenders

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 16:01
• James was on receiving end during 3-1 win over Brighton
• Welshman says return of ‘focal point’ Martial has lifted United

Daniel James has said he stands up as soon as possible when kicked to show opposition players no fear of intimidation.

The 22-year-old again impressed in Manchester United’s 3-1 win over Brighton at Old Trafford on Sunday. One run drew a free-kick when Lewis Dunk fouled him – the Brighton defender was booked – and from the dead ball United forced their second, a Davy Pröpper own goal.

Related: Marcus Rashford inspires Manchester United to simple win over Brighton

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

Mon, 11/11/2019 - 08:30

Emery’s Arsenal have lost their direction and Spurs’ problems start at full-back but Burnley’s Dwight McNeil is on song

Riyad Mahrez impressed only in spells during his first season at Manchester City but, with Leroy Sané felled by a cruciate injury in August’s Community Shield victory, the onus was on the £60m man to step up. An imperious performance at West Ham on the opening day of the season suggested he would do exactly that, yet he has started only four league games since – two of those being defeats – and with his side desperate for goals in a critical game at Anfield he was not called on at all. Mahrez remains a magical player on his day but the suspicion remains that he is a player who reflects his team’s performance rather than dictates it. City broke the bank to sign Mahrez from Leicester. With their defence a shambles, it looks in hindsight like a woeful misjudgment. Alex Hess

Related: Liverpool’s symmetrical full-backs have turned them into world leaders | Barney Ronay

Related: The Dozen: flares, zorbs and Maddison's delight – the best Premier League pics

Related: Brendan Rodgers’ vision keeps Leicester in sight of another miracle

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The Dozen: flares, zorbs and Maddison's delight – the best Premier League pics

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 23:31

Our picture editors chose their favourite pics from the weekend’s action

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Marcus Rashford inspires Manchester United to simple win over Brighton

Sun, 11/10/2019 - 16:22

This was as entertaining a Manchester United display as there has been under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.

Midway through the second half the manager was regaled by fans with the song that pleads not to “take my Solskjær away” in recognition of the verve and vibrancy being witnessed.

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Manchester United v Brighton: match preview

Sat, 11/09/2019 - 09:01

Manchester United are again looking up following the league defeat last time out at Bournemouth after Europa League knockout qualification was secured on Thursday with two group games left. Brandon Williams could make his full debut at left-back as Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team look for a repeat of last season’s win, though Brighton arrive with two more points than United. Jamie Jackson

Sunday 2pm

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Solskjær predicts big future for Mason Greenwood but will not rush him

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 15:01
• Forward scored in win against Partizan Belgrade
• ‘Mason is going to have a very good career’

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is predicting a big future for Mason Greenwood and has explained why the 18-year-old forward has been used so sparingly this season.

Greenwood scored the opening goal in Manchester United’s win against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, but missed their previous cup outing against Chelsea through being selected for the U21s to play Doncaster the night before. Even when Anthony Martial was out injured Solskjær resisted the temptation to use Greenwood in league games, because he did not want to rush his development or give him too much responsibility too early.

Related: Ole Gunnar Solskjær feels Anthony Martial’s revival ‘reflects our new mood’

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Premier League title already out of Manchester United's reach, Solskjær admits – video

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 12:23

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær admits the Premier League title is out of the club’s reach this season as his rebuilding project at Old Trafford continues.

‘We’re too far behind the top teams,’ he said. ‘We need to improve our league form, definitely.’

United are in 10th place with 13 points from 11 games this season, already 18 behind leaders Liverpool. They face Brighton at home on Sunday with just one victory in their last six league games.

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Busby review – Manchester United's great manager remains an enigma

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 11:00

This profile of Matt Busby deals well with the horror of the Munich air disaster – but fails to reveal much about its subject

After cinema releases for documentaries about Bill Shankly and Bobby Robson, it was only matter of time before attention turned to Matt Busby, who produced Manchester United’s glamour sides of the late 1950s and 60s and forged the club’s identity.

There’s an understandably elegaic tone to this profile. Busby’s career as a manager was dominated – and interrupted – by the horrors of the Munich air crash, which claimed the lives of eight of his players. The best, and most interesting, material here is that which covers the aftermath of the disaster: the eerie atmosphere of the subsequent games, the absence of any counselling or indeed much sympathy for the survivors, Busby’s recovery period, and resolute team-building to plug the gaps in the devastated side.

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Busby: first look at documentary on the legendary Manchester United manager – video teaser

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 09:10

In this exclusive clip from the upcoming Busby documentary, Sir Bobby Charlton recounts being called up to the first team for the first time. Charlton, an 18-year-old at the time, was suffering with an ankle injury: ‘If there was one time I didn’t want to play it was that day.’ Busby’s decision to put him in the first team would coin the phrase the Busby Babes.

Busby is in select cinemas from 11 November, and can be owned on digital from 15 November, and DVD & Blu-ray from 18 November.

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Busby: first look at documentary on the legendary Manchester United manager – video teaser

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 08:00

In this exclusive clip from the upcoming Busby documentary, Sir Bobby Charlton recounts being called up to the first team for the first time. Charlton, an 18-year-old at the time, was suffering with an ankle injury: 'If there was one time I didn't want to play it was that day.' Busby's decision to put him in the first team would coin the phrase the Busby Babes.

Busby is in select cinemas from 11 November, and can be owned on digital from 15 November, and DVD & Blu-ray from 18 November.

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Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Fri, 11/08/2019 - 00:01

Liverpool’s resilience faces biggest test, Vardy threatens to deepen Arsenal’s gloom and a welcome dilemma for Newcastle

Apparently there is a game going on in Liverpool on Sunday. Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Genk in midweek was very much a continuation of a theme – since mid-September they have also beaten Chelsea, Leicester, Tottenham and Aston Villa by the same scoreline, and they last won a league game by more than one goal at home to Newcastle on 14 September. In their last six league games they have a goal difference of only five, yet they have somehow converted that into a mathematically maximal 16 points. The day Liverpool beat Newcastle was also when Manchester City lost at Norwich, but since then the champions have thumped Watford 8-0, put three past Everton and Aston Villa and with the damaging exception of last month’s home defeat to Wolves looked gloriously untroubled. In their own past six games City have accumulated a goal difference of 14, but won only 15 points. Liverpool have often looked of late like a side desperate to lose but somehow unable to, and another demonstration of that kind of resilience on Sunday would give them a very significant advantage in the title chase. SB

Related: Manchester City fear repeat of bus attack after message to Liverpool fans

Related: Eric Dier: ‘People said I was injured but I just kept on falling ill’

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Manchester United reach last 32 after Anthony Martial strikes against Partizan

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 21:55

Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants to see Manchester United playing on the front foot and creating chances and they qualified for the knockout stages of the Europa League by doing just that.

The second of two wins against Partizan Belgrade was achieved through the composed finishing of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, though with just a little more composure in front of goal United could have doubled the margin of victory. As it was, they scored two first-half goals for the first time in almost a year, kept the crowd entertained with some lively attacking football and back at the top of their group can now afford to be more relaxed about the games that remain against Astana and Alkmaar.

Related: Olivier Ntcham’s late show at Lazio fires Celtic into Europa League last 32

Related: Alfredo Morelos breaks deadlock for Rangers to overcome Porto

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Lazio v Celtic and more: Europa League – live!

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 17:14

5.14pm GMT

Lazio: Strakosha, Felipe, Vavro, Acerbi, Lazzari, Parolo, Lucas, Milinkovic-Savic, Jony, Caicedo, Immobile. Subs: Patric Gil, Berisha, Luis Alberto, Bastos, Lulic, Guerrieri, Adekanye.

Celtic: Forster, Elhamed, Jullien, Ajer, Hayes, Brown, McGregor, Forrest, Christie, Elyounoussi, Edouard. Subs: Gordon, Taylor, Bitton, Sinclair, Bauer, Morgan, Ntcham.

Referee:
Tobias Stieler (Germany)

Related: Ten of the most prolific strikers in Europe this season

Related: Celtic edge Lazio thanks to Christopher Jullien’s late header

4.58pm GMT

Hello everyone! Hot Europa League action for you tonight, we’ve no less than 23 matches to tell you about:

Related: Vitória Guimarães’ Bruno Duarte strikes late to deny Arsenal in Europa League

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Solskjær urges Manchester United ‘to fill their boots’ against Partizan Belgrade

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 16:03
• Reds can confirm Europa League qualification with win
• Victor Lindelof will miss the game with a back injury

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is hoping Manchester United can rediscover their appetite for goals when they take on Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League at Old Trafford. Though his side opened their league campaign with an impressive 4-0 demolition of Chelsea, the six home matches since have featured just a single goal in each and and Solskjær believes United can do better.

“We’ve had a few results go against us through fine margins this season but now we know we are on the right track,” the United manager said. “The defeat at Bournemouth put an end to that mini-run we were on but we can start another one against Partizan if things go well. We have kept three cleans sheets already in the competition, which is impressive, and now we would like to score a few more goals. If we get off to a good start in a game like this we could fill our boots, and we want to go for it.”

Related: Bournemouth’s Joshua King brings end to Manchester United’s revival

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

Mon, 11/04/2019 - 08:59

Pulisic’s long wait pays off, Rodgers helps Vardy roll back the years and Nuno the perfectionist is back on track

“Perfection doesn’t exist but we are always chasing it,” Nuno Espírito Santo said after Wolves’ thoroughly deserved draw at Arsenal. It was a nice line from a manager who tends to prefer that his players’ performances do the talking. While his side were nowhere near flawless on Saturday they were certainly impressive: there is no doubt Wolves are one of the best-coached teams in the Premier League and they look back to their old selves now after an uncertain, Europa League-addled start to the campaign. They have not lost in the top flight since mid-September and a four-point haul from their visits to the Etihad and the Emirates suggests they will lift themselves into contention for this season’s European spots. Wolves do not offer a thrill a minute but few sides have their technical and tactical clarity; they dominated for sizeable periods and, even without the injured defender Willy Boly, are a formidable prospect once again. Nick Ames

Related: The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

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

Related: Out-of-form Everton and Tottenham leave it to VAR to supply highlights | Paul Wilson

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The Dozen: the weekend’s best Premier League photos

Sun, 11/03/2019 - 19:17

Referees, bicycle kicks, agony and ‘giving it back’ in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures

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