What the papers say
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær joked that Marcus Rashford did the 'honourable thing' by missing a penalty against Norwich that was controversially awarded by VAR.
The penalty was awarded for a Ben Godfrey foul on Daniel James – but Solskjær admitted that he did not think it should have been given and quipped that Rashford missed the penalty on purpose even though it looked like he tried to score it.
United missed another penalty later in the game, but still won 3-1to move up to seventh in the Premier League.Continue reading...
Has the Manchester United bus run over a black cat on a Europa League away trip? Has Jesse Lingard cracked a mirror from overuse? Maybe Ole Gunnar Solskjær was looking at the blue sky and not the pavement and walked under a tradesman’s ladder. Or maybe United just aren’t any good at penalties, that’s the other possibility.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both missed spot kicks in this breeze of a victory at Carrow Road. That means, that of the six penalties they have been awarded so far this season (the highest total in the Premier League) Solskjær’s men have contrived to miss four of them. They’ve been missed by three different players to boot, Paul Pogba the other and that after a long debate with Rashford over who deserved the right to mess it up.Continue reading...
You wait almost seven months for an away victory and then two come along in the space of four days. Manchester United finally recorded a first Premier League win on the road since Ole Gunnar Solskjær was appointed permanently thanks to goals from Scott McTominay, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, although it could have been even worse for Norwich had it not been for the heroics of their goalkeeper, Tim Krul.
The Dutchman’s two penalty saves in the first half to deny first Rashford and then Martial after VAR had overturned the referee Stuart Attwell’s original decisions kept the hosts in the game longer than they probably deserved, in truth, such was the disarray of their defence at times. But a clinical away performance ensured United rounded off a promising week in style, even if Solskjær will know that much tougher challenges surely lie ahead.Continue reading...
Manchester United made it over the line against Partizan Belgrade and finally won away but their lack of goals is a pressing concern. In their last 19 matches they have scored more than once on one occasion. Norwich’s porous defence could provide an excellent chance to improve on that though. After scoring for fun early on Daniel Farke’s side are struggling too. One goal in four matches since beating Manchester City speaks for itself. Graham Searles
Sunday 4.30pmContinue reading...
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struggled to answer why his side had not won away from home for 232 days.
United ended that run in beating Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday, having not won on the road since beating PSG 3-1 in the Champions League back in March.
Solskjaer’s team can build on their win when they face Norwich at Carrow Road on Sunday.Continue reading...
• Solskjær says United will need to be at their best to beat Norwich
Ole Gunnar Solskjær believes Manchester United could definitely play with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford as centre-forwards, with the manager encouraged by how a twin-pronged attack troubled Liverpool.
That game, which had Daniel James partnering Rashford, ended 1-1 last weekend. United are at Norwich City on Sunday where Solskjær has options if he wishes to field two strikers again.Continue reading...
After 232 days the wait is over. Manchester United have an away win and so break a sequence that began after the heady March night at Paris Saint-Germain where a 3-1 victory swept them into the Champions League quarter-finals and all seemed so rosy under Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s management.
This win, courtesy of an Anthony Martial penalty, came in United’s third Europa League game and puts them in charge of Group L. They have seven points, three more than Partizan Belgrade, and are favourites to progress. Martial’s spot-kick came after the 19-year-old Brandon Williams proved too quick for Nemanja Miletic, who felled him. This was only the left-sided player’s second start and he drew high praise from Solskjær. “He is as brave as a lion, fearless, and is going to be a top player,” the manager said.Continue reading...
- Updates from the evening’s Europa League group games
- Live scores: all the goals as they go in around Europe
- Email Daniel here or tweet @DanielHarris
What a save! Rangers break again, Barisic slings over another lovely cross, and Morelos is up again! He makes great contact too, but heads too close to Marchesin, who adjusts hands brilliantly to shove over the top.
Dear oh dear! Soumah runs at Maguire who sells himself like a cheap thrill, diving in and opening up the way to goal. But Soumah panics, rushing his shot that bobbles wide.
In Bratislava, Nuno has introduced Traore and he’s already made a difference, just missing Jimenez with a cross after a charge down the right.
Soumah runs at Jones who again does well, standing strong, somehow refraining from giving away a penalty, and seeing the danger away.
It’s kind of strange how Solskjaer has handled his young players, only giving them minutes when he’s got no choice or when games are nearly over. Mason Greenwood looks ready, and Brandon Williams looks better than both Shaw and Young to me, and given that United are aiming to be competitive in a year or two, not not, worth giving a run.
Nacho goes low with the free-kick, from 20 yards and left of centre, bobbling it past the far post.
That’s a brilliant challenge. I’m not sure how the ref has apprised a foul there.
Sadiq gets away again, Jones makes what looks like a really good challenge, and the ref gives a free-kick on the edge.
Off we go again in Belgrade.
“ I think my Sunday league team circa 1976 would have given this Partizan team a game,” says Duncan Edwards. “They really are *anglo saxon*. Then again, Martial seems unable to even pick the right studs. Huh, cue him scoring!”
A mate in the away end sent me this:
MUFC in Belgrade ⚪️⚫️ pic.twitter.com/9yeelUtaEX
Elsewhere: in Wolves’ group, Braga now lead away to Besiktas.
Porto have been comfortably the better side, but Rangers have still threatened and their goal was a peach.
I wonder how long it’ll be till we see Neves and Jonny because Wolves have played ok, but are lacking their usual control.
United started fairly but the penalty came just as Partizan were asserting themselves.
Barisic gets down the left and crosses low and long to the far side of the box, where Morelos collects and absolutely buries an expert’s finish inside the near post. That is very, very well done.
The keeper dives to his left and Martial eases the ball to his right. It’s not as comic as when Pogba misses, but it serves a different purpose.
Williams dashes into the box, Pavlovic shoves him then trips him, and that’s a penalty! Partizan are crying, but I really can’y see why.
Here comes Sadiq again, finding Asano, and though Jones robs him, he’s already on the way down, and his momentum sends him right into the ball, conjuring a shot which goes wide.
It’s all kicking off! Sadiq, Partizan’s leading scorer, picks up a loose ball just outside the United box, advances, and caresses a glorious curling sidefooter onto the post, about halfway up!
Eeek! Morelos climbs high to power-glance a header onto the bar! On the bench, Gerrard makes that face I know you’re picturing.
Lingard hits the post! Wan-Bissaka does really well to win the ball on the edge of the Partizan box, tees him up, and from 20 yards, he carefully places an effort against the base of the woodwork.
Rangers, silky devils that they are, try to play their way out when clearing a corner. Someone – Jack, I think – finds Luis Diaz, just outside the box, and he skips infield a little before unfurling a delicious curler that hisses and spits its way past McGregor.
Bratislava are looking ok against Wolves now; the other game in that group, Besiktas v Braga, is 0-0.
Oh! Ze Luis climbs high and hangs long to fling a header against the post. Porto are coming.
Goal in Rome! The excellent Zaniolo has put the home side ahead against Gladbach.
Wolfsburg now lead 2-0 in Gent; Apoel have equalised at Qarabag.
...Alex Telles curls over the bar.
Young Boys now lead Feyenoord 2-0; they currently sit top of Rangers’ group. Meanwhile, Morelos gives the ball away, Marega nashes towards the box, and Jack bumps him over. He’s booked, and Porto have a free-kick...
Rangers are doing well yakno, and get the ball out to Tavernier, nicely bouncing in front of him. But he doesn’t get his knee over it, lashing high and then some.
I’ve been watching United for more than 35 years now, and I don’t think I’ve seen less compelling football than in the Europa League group stages. I guess there are too many teams in the Champions League, but though the current standard isn’t great, that it’s improved massively in the era is unarguable.
A nice pass from Garner finds Wan-Bissaka, and the ball goes back to McTominay. He has a man free outside him but opts to shoot – I don’t think anyone will chastise him for that, given hwo scared United usually are of the same – and doesn’t catch it perfectly, so it lopes just wide.
Back in Oporto, Kent has another run, winning a corner. It goes short, but the eventuating shot – I didn’t see whose – is blocked.
Goals not in our featured games:
Qarabag 1-0 Apoel
Pavlovic clatters Martial as they contest a high ball, and that’s a free-kick to United, 25 yards out, left of centre. I don’t think Mata can kick the ball as far as the goal, but he can curl a luscious cross onto McTominay’s brow! But, not for the first time, he misses a free header; what an oversight that is.
As I was saying! With their first attack, a goal! A fine pass with the outside of the foot sends Sporar away at inside-left, and when you’re in nick you’re in nick! He slows Coady down, moves off, and his shot clips the defender on its way inside the near post.
It’s been a quiet start in Bratislava, but the territorial advantage is with Wolves.
Extremely tangentially, I rewatched City of God for the first time in years the other night. I cannot remember being so dazzled, visually and thematically, since the first day I saw it, when I went to the cinema in the afternoon, then again in the evening. Any more for any more?
At the Dragao, Corona has just slung over a lovely cross that Ze Luis headed wide.
“Please explain for me Ed Woodward’s disparaging comments about Daley Blind,” requests Robert Hisnay. “Who would you rather have, Rojo or Blind?”
As someone who hates United marginally less than every other football club in the world, I was sad to see Blind leave United. I think what happened was that they needed to raise money and he was one of very few any other club wanted. Mourinho never fancied him though – when he arrived, he didn’t even list him as a centre-back, was then forced to play him there, dropped him as soon as he made a mistake and never really acknowledged his role in the Europa League win. He is in different league to Rojo and also quite the dish.
Porto win a corner which Goldson heads clear and immediately Kent is on his bike, running through the first challenge and screeching all the way to the other box before his touch forsakes him. That’s exactly what Gerrard has planned.
Wolfsburg have taken the lead in Gent.
Decent move by United down the right, featuring Jones and Lingard, but Wan-Bissaka can’t find a cross. He’ll need to improve that part of his game if United are to make this system work - and I actually wonder whether, long-term, he might just make a centre-back. The raw materials are all there.
First of many: Marcos Rojo clips aimlessly forward ... though not via rabona.
We’re away in Oporto ... and Belgrade...
The Dragao is extremely unfull, and perhaps that’ll help Rangers. They’ve taken a decent contingent, who can make themselves heard in the proper manner.
I should note that Nuno has picked a strong team in Bratislava. I daresay he fancies a long run in this competition and why not? Wolves are an absolute bastard to play against, and have the attackers to give any team agita.
The players are tunnelled...
“The improved performance against Liverpool has me hopeful about United again,” says Duncan Edwards. “In my optimism I see us winning the Europa, finishing third in the league, signing the Norwegian Beast, and challenging for the title next season. Ah, hope...”
United could still make the top four – when people criticise them, they forget to note that they’ve been missing six of their first XI. I’d still have spent the Maguire money on the midfield, but I understand why Solskjaer didn’t.
Steven Gerrard tells BT that his team need to show belief in and out of possession, have a structure and defend aggressively. He also says that his ball-carriers and fast players – his “one v one merchants” – have to take responsibility when they can, but he accepts that Porto will have a lot of the ball. He’s looking forward to watching Barker, who’s been picked with that in mind.
Partizan were meant to be playing behind closed doors after racism from their crowd, but managed to get around the ban on a technicality, giving tickets away for free to kids and such. In the BT studio, Robin van Persie makes the point that walking off should not be a responsibility foisted upon the players – the officials should intervene on their behalf.
Other things to note about United’s XI: Martial, whose ambling shift against Liverpool was not at all good but whom United have unarguably missed, returns from the start; Lingard, who’s been horrible for months, is also back; and Jimmy Garner, who is now far too good for age-group football, makes his first start. I believe there are reservations about his power and speed, but he’s an intelligent and incisive passer of the ball.
So, do Manchester United now play 3-5-2? That they’re doing so tonight, with radically different personnel to those who played against Liverpool, suggests a policy decision. And it’s not an inexplicable decision, given a surfeit a centre-backs and an absence of wingers. The question is whether something that worked against Liverpool, who demand a special plan, is necessarily something that will work all the time. In the end, it’s not possible to hide that midfield and that’s all there is to it.
Slovan Bratislava: Greif; Medvedev, Abena, Bozhikov, De Marco; Ibrahim, De Kamps; Daniel, Holman, Rharsalla; Sporar. Subs: Sulla, Ljubicic, Drazic, Ratao, Nono, Bajric, Cavric.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Patricio; Boly, Coady, Kilman; Doherty, Saiss, Gibbs-White, Moutinho, Vinagre; Jimenez, Cutrone. Subs: Ruddy, Jonny, Perry, Neves, Dendoncker, Traore, Jota.
Porto: Marchesin, Corona, Pepe, Marcano, Alex Telles, Otavio, Uribe, Danilo Pereira, Diaz, Marega, Ze Luis. Subs: Bruno Costa, Nakajima, Manafa, Mbemba, Tiquinho Soares, Diogo Costa, Silva.
Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Helander, Barisic, Davis, Barker, Jack, Kamara, Kent, Morelos. Subs: Defoe, Ojo, Foderingham, Flanagan, Aribo, Katic, Arfield.
Partizan: Stojkovic, Pavlovic, Natcho, Tosic, Sadiq, Asano, Zdjelar, Soumah, Ostojic, Urosevic, Miletic. Subs: Vujacic, Lazar Pavlovic, Ivanovic, Scekic, Brezancic, Filip Stevanovic, Nemanja Stevanovic.
Manchester United: Romero, Jones, Maguire, Rojo, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Garner, Williams, Mata, Lingard, Martial. Subs: Lindelof, Rashford, Grant, Andreas Pereira, Fred, James, Greenwood.
Right, let’s have some teams...
Thursday night, five to six, Thursday night, five to six. But of course! What else is to drink do at that time of the week, other than watch yet another football match? Exactly!
For those who like their football awful and hilarious, we have Partizan v Manchester United – United’s games against Astana and AZ were epochally awful, and there’s a good chance we’ll get to enjoy more of the same.Continue reading...
• Ole Gunnar Solskjær: ‘We’ve been through the protocol’
Marcus Rashford and Harry Maguire have drawn on the experience of Bulgaria fans racially abusing England team members to prepare Manchester United for the “worst-case scenario” when playing Partizan Belgrade on Thursday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side will play their third Europa League Group L game at Partizan Stadium. The Serbian club have already been ordered by Uefa to play two matches in the competition behind closed doors because of racist abuse from supporters.Continue reading...
• Former Villa striker Savo Milosevic: ’I expect things to be fair’
Partizan Belgrade head coach Savo Milosevic is confident there will be no racist chanting from fans when his team face Manchester United after the hosts completed a two-match stadium sanction for racist behaviour.
The Serbian club has already served a ban following August’s Europa League qualifying match against Turkey’s Yeni Malatyaspor. Uefa allowed Partizan to invite schoolchildren to watch the second of those games, a crowd of 22,00 attending September’s 2-2 Group L draw with AZ Alkmaar.Continue reading...
• ‘This individual is not welcome at Old Trafford’
Manchester United have issued an indefinite ban to the supporter who allegedly racially abused Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold during the 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The fan was ejected and now faces being disallowed from attending any more matches at the stadium, though the ruling can be appealed.Continue reading...
Our cartoonist looks back on a derby that will live for days in the memory and how Frank Lampard engineered the Soviet Union’s collapseContinue reading...
Manchester United were unrecognisable on Sunday. Which is to say that for most of the time they played like Manchester United rather than the dispirited rabble written off by many commentators in the noisy lead-up to their meeting with Liverpool, the European champions and Premier League leaders, at Old Trafford.
The weekend papers would have made Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s players feel as though they were reading their own obituaries. Their tactics were “muddled”. The club had “decayed”. Their performance in their previous match, a bedraggled defeat at St James’ Park just before the recent international break, had been “historically bad”. They were described as “shorn of authority and confidence” and “the last cuts of offal” compared to the prime steak offered in the glory years. Two former international players, in separate columns in different papers, reached the same conclusion: only one current United player – Harry Maguire – would be good enough to join 10 from Liverpool in a combined XI.Continue reading...
• Incident could lead to indefinite ban
Great Manchester Police have been informed after Manchester United stewards ejected a supporter during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at Old Trafford on Sunday because of alleged racial abuse.
United have opened an investigation into the incident, with a club spokesman confirming that the fan was immediately removed from the stadium. “We are aware of an incident at yesterday’s game where an individual in the home section has allegedly engaged in racial abuse. The individual was identified and ejected from the stadium,” he said. “We are currently investigating the matter as a priority. Racism and all forms of discrimination are completely unacceptable and do not reflect the values of our club.” If found guilty, the fan could be banned indefinitely.Continue reading...
• Midfielder sure he will play more games during hectic season
Adam Lallana believes his late equaliser against Manchester United can kick-start his Liverpool career and again make him an integral part of Jürgen Klopp’s team.
The 31-year-old came on as a 71st-minute replacement at Old Trafford on Sunday and went on to score the goal that secured a 1-1 draw for the Premier League leaders. Lallana’s previous goal for Liverpool came more than two years ago, against Middlesbrough in May 2017.Continue reading...
A result for Manchester United to build on or a reminder of how far they must climb? | Jonathan Wilson
So close. So, so close. Manchester United came within five minutes of pulling off their best result since Paris in March. Had they done so, Ole Gunnar Solskjær would have been hailed for his tactical genius, for the boldness of the changes that forced Liverpool into their worst performance of the season, for the vision that found a plan from the most unpromising pieces. But results are the great validifiers, and the draw leaves United two points above the relegation zone. As Solskjær observed last week in what must have been for him a moment of devastating self-realisation, it’s not the 1990s any more.
Perhaps this will prove a springboard. Perhaps this was the performance that will remind United what they can be. Perhaps (and this may be more important to United fans in the short term) this will sow doubts at Liverpool and interrupt their title challenge. But the sense was that Adam Lalllana’s late equaliser changed everything. That it will persuade Liverpool that they can still pull out results when everything is going against them, and that it will confirm to United – board, fans and players – that stagnation is now their state.Continue reading...
Overhead kicks, serenity and scarves in this week’s roundup of the best top-flight pictures
• No chance – we’re not playing basketball, Solskjær retorts
Jürgen Klopp railed at the VAR outcome over a “clear foul” in the buildup to Marcus Rashford’s goal as Liverpool surrendered their 100% record in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United on Sunday.
The result cut Liverpool’s lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League to six points. The draw prevented Klopp’s side from matching City’s record of 18 successive league wins and providing a welcome confidence boost for Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s side after a testing start to the season.Continue reading...
Liverpool's unbeaten start to the season continued after a late Adam Lallana goal levelled the scores at Old Trafford. There was a moment of controversy in the opening Marcus Rashford goal, when Divock Origi was brought down with a tackle from behind in the buildup. A decision which Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp was '100% sure VAR will overrule'Continue reading...
This is a result that may prove pivotal for Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City. For Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s team confidence is boosted after ending Jürgen Klopp’s leaders perfect league record, while Pep Guardiola’s champions look at the table and see the gap to Liverpool is six points.
Yet United’s fourth draw of the season came close to going down as a memorable victory before Adam Lallana’s late equaliser, the substitute sending the travelling support delirious. Their counterparts had enjoyed the same emotion for much of the match, half-time here being greeted by United players sprinting for the dressing room while Liverpool’s slouched off. The differing body language was indicative of what had just unfolded.Continue reading...