Europa League: Man United Held To A Draw At Brugge

Manchester United’s Portuguese goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira (L) fights for the ball with Club Brugge’s Belgian midfielder Mats Rits, during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg, football match between Club Brugge’s and Manchester United, at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges on February 20, 2020. JOHN THYS / AFP

 

Anthony Martial struck a crucial away goal as Manchester United ground out a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge in Belgium on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie.

Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis lobbed a stranded Sergio Romero from 30 yards to give Belgian league leaders Brugge the lead on 15 minutes at a chilly, rainswept Jan Breydelstadion.

Martial though hauled United level before half-time with an excellent run and finish after pouncing on a defensive lapse from Brandon Mechele.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made six changes to the side that beat Chelsea on Monday, with Romero handed another start in Europe while Victor Lindelof returned from illness to form a three-man defence alongside Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. New signing Odion Ighalo again began on the bench.

Brugge coach Philippe Clement, once of Coventry City, handed a European debut to 19-year-old Maxim De Cuyper with captain Ruud Vormer only fit enough to start among the substitutes.

De Cuyper nearly popped up with a goal inside three minutes when Dennis escaped Maguire and skipped towards Romero, his attempt to pull back resulting in Nemanja Matic hooking against the teenager and the ball ricocheting fortuitously over the bar.

Andreas Pereira, United’s Belgium-born Brazilian midfielder, saw a low 20-yard drive tipped behind by Simon Mignolet, with the Brugge goalkeeper setting Dennis up for the opener moments later.

A long kick forward caught United short in defence and Dennis, who scored twice against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in October, outmuscled Brandon Williams before lofting over Romero with the Argentine well off his line.

An increasingly ragged United were fortunate not to fall further behind when Mats Rits scuffed wide before Romero positioned himself expertly to keep out Dennis from a tough angle.

 Martial takes advantage 

Brugge then paid a heavy price when Mechele allowed a bouncing ball to run beyond him, an alert Martial seizing on the opening to race clear and steer calmly beyond Mignolet.

Martial almost bagged a quickfire second as he smacked the post just before the interval, Mignolet extending a vital hand to divert the Frenchman’s curling strike just outside the penalty area.

Brugge will be without Eder Balanta for the return leg at Old Trafford next week after he was booked for a foul on Juan Mata, and the Colombian was replaced by Vormer early in the second half.

Jesse Lingard stabbed wide while lunging to reach a teasing ball from Diogo Dalot before Dennis was again denied by Romero from a tricky position.

Odilon Kossounou squandered a superb chance to put Brugge back on top when he scuffed wide following terrific work on the right from Dennis and a clever dummy from Siebe Schrijvers.

Bruno Fernandes injected fresh life into United as he was introduced for the final 10 minutes, and although the 2017 champions were unable to land a knockout blow they will fancy their chances of finishing off the tie on home soil.

Celtic keeper Fraser Forster saved a late Jens Stage penalty as the Scottish champions drew 1-1 away to FC Copenhagen after Odsonne Edouard’s opener was cancelled by an effort from Senegalese striker Dame N’Doye.

La Liga surprise package Getafe defeated last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax 2-0 in Spain with Brazilian duo Deyverson and Kenedy on target.

Christian Eriksen bagged his first Inter Milan goal in a 2-0 win away to Ludogorets of Bulgaria. Romelu Lukaku added a late second from the spot.

Record five-time winners Sevilla needed the 82nd-minute equaliser from January arrival Youssef En-Nesyri to salvage a 1-1 draw away to Romanians Cluj.

AFP

Martial, Rashford Score For United In Burnley Win

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial (C) puts the ball in the back of the net but is ruled to have fouled Burnley’s English defender James Tarkowski (L) ruling out the goal during the English Premier League football match at Turf Moor in Burnley, north west England on December 28, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford scored late in each half as Manchester United moved into fifth place in the Premier League with an impressive 2-0 win at Burnley.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have responded positively to disappointing 2-0 defeat to then bottom-of-the-table Watford less than a week ago to head into the new year with fresh belief they can secure a return to the Champions League next season.

If United are to achieve that goal, Martial and Rashford will be key and they again provided the goals for the Red Devils in a game of few clear-cut chances.

There were also positives for Solskjaer at the back as his side ended a club-record 14-match run without a Premier League clean sheet.

Burnley have not beaten United since 2009 and never looked likely to spring a surprise.

Rashford was first to threaten when he hit the outside of the post midway through the first half.

But Burnley were architects of their own downfall just before half-time when Charlie Taylor gifted possession to Andreas Perreira and he fed Martial to score his third goal in two games.

Phil Bardsley forced David De Gea into a fine save with Burnley’s only shot on target.

United finally got the second goal their performance deserved to add a shine to the scoreline deep into stoppage time.

Daniel James led a counter-attack down the right and Rashford slotted home his 16th goal of the season at the second attempt after slipping as he rounded Nick Pope.

Martial Can Reach Ronaldo’s Level, Says Solskjaer

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English FA Cup fourth / AFP

 

Anthony Martial has the talent to reach Cristiano Ronaldo’s level if he puts his mind to it, according to Manchester United caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Martial had looked set to leave the club in the summer after falling out with Jose Mourinho but battled his way back into the Portuguese manager’s plans.

Last month, with Solskjaer now at the helm at Old Trafford, he signed a deal keeping him at the club until at least 2024.

The France international marked his first start since that contract with an assist and a superb second in the 3-0 win against Fulham, where his fine solo goal led ex-United captain Gary Neville to compare it to a Ronaldo effort at Craven Cottage in 2007.

READ ALSO: Martial Can Take Inspiration From Ronaldo, Says Solskjaer

“He does have similarities, of course,” said Solskjaer, who replaced the sacked Mourinho in December. “If he wants to be at Cristiano’s level, Anthony knows what he has to do. It’s up to him. He has the talent.”

“I am glad he is in my team,” the Norwegian added. “He has contributed to so many chances, so many goals. He is a Manchester United player. He excites the crowd. He excites the manager. He excites his teammates. And he is a great character around the place.”

Martial, 23, who became the most expensive teenager in history when he moved to United from Monaco in 2015 for an initial £36 million ($46 million), has scored 47 goals for the club.

Ronaldo scored 118 goals in 292 appearances for United, winning the Premier League three times and the Champions League.

United play Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, bolstered by Neymar’s injury, but Solskjaer said the absence of the Brazilian would be a loss.

“When you play against the best teams, you want to play against the players,” he said. “The crowd want to see the best players. Too bad for Old Trafford.

“I have played a couple of games when we played Real Madrid and (Brazil’s) Ronaldo and (Luis) Figo and all those were coming to Old Trafford. That gives it an extra edge.

“Unfortunately for Neymar he is injured but of course he is a quality player. I think our right-back thinks it is not too bad he will not be here.”

AFP

Martial Can Take Inspiration From Ronaldo, Says Solskjaer

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English FA Cup fourth / AFP

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged Anthony Martial to fulfil his potential at Manchester United by following Cristiano Ronaldo’s example.

United announced on Thursday that the France striker had signed a new contract that commits him to the club until at least June 2024, with the option for a further year.

Martial, who is expected to recover from a minor training injury to play at Leicester in the Premier League on Sunday, has scored 10 goals this season, although he had gone more than a month without one before striking in the 3-1 FA Cup win at Arsenal on January 25.

Solskjaer, United’s caretaker-manager, witnessed Ronaldo’s transformation from raw teenager to world-class talent while at Old Trafford.

The Juventus forward, who joined United from Sporting Lisbon as an 18-year-old in 2003, spent six years with the club before joining Real Madrid.

Martial moved to Old Trafford from Monaco in 2015, aged 19, and has shown flashes of talent, without ever establishing himself as a consistent goalscorer.

Solskjaer believes the France forward has plenty of room for improvement and has urged him to look at the way Ronaldo developed.

“Cristiano was the best, the way he’s changed to now, that’s part of any player’s development,” said the interim United boss.

“You’ve got to model yourself on someone and you’ve got to have more challenges ahead of you. You can’t just rely on what you do now.

“I speak about my experience at this club with Cristiano and what Anthony can achieve. I talk about Cristiano’s career, what he’s made, how he’s got there.”

Martial scored 17 goals in his first season with United, but has not matched that total since.

He endured a difficult campaign under Jose Mourinho last season, missing out on France’s World Cup squad, and it seemed at one stage as if he might leave Old Trafford.

– Martial confidence –

He appears to be playing with more confidence now, and Solskjaer sees the new contract as a sign of the club’s faith in the forward.

“He’s had some ups and downs at the club, he’s been top scorer, he’s been developing,” said Solskjaer.

“Of course as a young lad moving abroad it’s not easy but now he knows he’s going to stay here for the coming future and I believe in him, I certainly believe in him.

“He’s a fantastic finisher, with great ability. He’s young, but he’s intelligent, knows his football.”

Solskjaer, a prolific striker for United between 1996 and 2007, is certain that Martial has the ability to become a 20-goal-a-season striker.

“He has the capability but I’d like him to make a few more runs in behind because he doesn’t miss chances,” he said.

“When he gets chances, he’s a fantastic finisher, so he needs to get more chances. That’s one of the things I keep telling him — you’ve got to read and sniff wherever there’s going to be a chance, and maybe some scruffy goals at times.”

Solskjaer hopes that goalkeeper David de Gea will follow Martial in signing a new contract.

“The club are working on a few players,” he said. “I don’t know how far we are, but it’s a statement from the club we want to keep our best players.”

Martial Extends Manchester United Deal Until 2024

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English FA Cup fourth / AFP

 

Anthony Martial has signed a new contract that will keep him at Manchester United until June 2024 just months after he seemed set to leave, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Frenchman, who moved to Old Trafford from Monaco in 2015, has scored eight Premier League goals this season.

“I am loving my time at this club,” said Martial, whose new deal includes the option to extend for a further year.

“From the day I joined I have been made to feel part of the United family and I have been incredibly humbled and overwhelmed by the warmth and love of our fans, who continue to amaze me with their support.

“I would like to thank (interim boss) Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) and his coaching staff for their belief in me and for helping me to take my game to the next level. This club is all about winning trophies and I am sure the next piece of silverware is not that far away.”

READ ALSOAtletico Madrid Complete Loan Signing Of Morata From Chelsea

Martial signed from Monaco for an initial £36 million ($47 million) and became the most expensive teenager in the world but until recently it appeared a matter of when rather than if he would leave Old Trafford.

The forward’s agent Philippe Lamboley indicated in June that his client wanted to seek a new challenge and former boss Jose Mourinho was reportedly willing to sell him, although executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward made clear he wanted to keep the player.

Martial was fined by Mourinho after failing to return to the club’s pre-season tour of the United States following the birth of his second child and was on the fringes of the side in the early weeks of the campaign.

But the Frenchman has been an integral part of the side since Solskjaer replaced the sacked Mourinho in December.

“Anthony is one of those naturally gifted players that any coach would love to work with,” said the Norwegian interim boss.

“For a young man, he has a good footballing brain which, when coupled with his exceptional talent, makes for a player with an exciting future ahead of him.”

While Martial commits his future to the club, Marouane Fellaini is reportedly set to end his five-and-a-half year stay at Old Trafford, with United, understood to have reached an agreement in principle regarding his sale to Chinese club Shandong.

It is understood that the Belgium international has already passed a medical, leaving paperwork and final terms to iron out.

Fellaini posted an Instagram photo of himself at an airport on Thursday, with the phrase “let’s go” written across it.

Solskjaer Hopeful Over New United Contract For Martial

Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial warms up for the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on January 19, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Anthony Martial will agree on a new contract with Manchester United in the coming weeks as the club look to tie down a clutch of top players.

France forward Martial and goalkeeper David de Gea are both out of contract at the end of next season after United triggered 12-month extension options shortly before Christmas.

The club are in talks with both players as well as forward Juan Mata, whose contract expires this coming June.

Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, is known to be keen to get the futures of all three players sorted out while he works on appointing a permanent manager before the start of next season.

Martial is understood to be close to agreeing to a five-year contract, while Spain international De Gea has made it clear he wants to remain at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer, United’s caretaker manager for the rest of this season following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December, has received indications that strong progress has been made with Martial, De Gea and Mata.

“I think the club’s making progress but I leave that to the right people to do that,” he said. “I don’t know really how far we are away from it but hopefully we’re going to have some good news in the coming weeks.”

Solskjaer, who has won his first seven matches in charge, will attempt to extend that run on Friday when his side visit Arsenal in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Reports in the British media have suggested that United have rejected an approach from Arsenal to take Eric Bailly on loan for the rest of the season but Solskjaer said he was not aware of any approach for the Ivory Coast defender.

 Rivalry 

Solskjaer is looking forward to facing Arsenal, a team with whom United enjoyed a fierce rivalry during his time as a player at Old Trafford, between 1996 and 2007.

They faced each other several times in the FA Cup during that period, with United winning two semi-finals, in 1999 and 2004, and Arsenal victorious in both a 2003 fifth-round tie and 2005 final.

The 1999 semi-final has become part of United folklore, with Ryan Giggs scoring a memorable individual goal to win a replay at Villa Park as the club went on to win the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.

Solskjaer said: “It was fantastic. That’s the one fierce football rivalry of my years here as a player.

“We were always the closest rivals. They won the double, we won the treble. The games were just fantastic.

“We had a great team, and they had a very good team. They had the French connection with Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Robert Pires and Emmanuel Petit. There were some tackles flying in between the two teams. They were fantastic games.”

Solskjaer described the disappearance of Cardiff striker Emiliano Sala as “tragic news”.

The Argentine forward, signed from Nantes, was on board a plane from France to south Wales that disappeared from radar on Monday just north of Alderney, in the Channel Islands.

Solskjaer, who managed Cardiff between January and September 2014, said: “It’s tragic news. When you wake up, you hope to read good news but the more time it goes the less likely it is.

“It’s just tragic for the boy and the family and everyone involved and associated. We’re just hoping and praying there’ll be some good news.”

AFP

United’s Martial Earns Recall To France Squad

 

Anthony Martial has been rewarded for his impressive recent form with Manchester United by being recalled to the France squad by coach Didier Deschamps on Thursday.

Martial, who has scored five goals in United’s last four Premier League games, comes in for France’s Nations League match in the Netherlands on November 16 and their home friendly against Uruguay four days later.

Martial, 22, was not in the France squad that won the World Cup in Russia. He won the last of his 18 caps in a friendly away to the Russians in March.

“We’re still talking about a young player who, I hope, is in the process of gaining a certain maturity,” said Deschamps.

“That can be seen on the pitch, with the importance he’s taken on in recent weeks in Manchester, in the head of Jose Mourinho, and what he’s doing on the pitch.”

Deschamps acknowledged Martial’s struggles to maintain his best form in the past have held him back at times.

“It’s always been Anthony’s problem. He knows it and I’ve told him. He’s someone who has incredible potential but who doesn’t always do it with consistency.”

Manchester City full-back Benjamin Mendy, Lyon captain Nabil Fekir and Marseille defender Adil Rami also return to the squad after missing last month’s friendly against Iceland and the Nations League win against Germany.

Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet and Atletico Madrid duo Thomas Lemar and Lucas Hernandez are all absent. The latter two are injured.

France know a draw away to the Dutch in Rotterdam will secure their place in the finals of the new Nations League, which will feature four teams and be played in June next year.

A defeat, though, will give the Netherlands the chance to leapfrog the World Cup winners when they play Germany away on November 19.

The friendly against Uruguay will be played at the Stade de France on Tuesday, November 20.

France squad:

Goalkeepers: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/ENG), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER), Adil Rami (Marseille), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace/ENG), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfielders: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Steven Nzonzi (Roma/ITA), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG)

Forwards: Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona/ESP), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid/ESP), Anthony Martial (Manchester United/ENG), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).

AFP

Mourinho Says No Guarantee Of Regular Starts For Martial, Rashford

Mourinho Says No Guarantee Of Regular Starts For Martial, Rashford
(Files) Jose Mourinho leaves the pitch at the end of the football match between Manchester United and Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on February 3, 2018. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho has warned Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford he can make no guarantees about regular first-team starts with Manchester United as speculation mounts over their respective futures at Old Trafford.

Rashford has started just 30 of the 70 Premier League games in which Mourinho has been in charge in the Portuguese manager’s near-two seasons at the club.

Meanwhile Martial appears to have dropped down United’s pecking order since the arrival of Alex Sanchez in the January transfer window, having failed to complete a full 90 minutes in the Premier League since the middle of February.

That has led to speculation that either, or both, could seek a future away from the club and, while Mourinho refused to comment on that prospect, it is understood United are not keen to listen to offers for either player.

However, Mourinho could do little to console the pair about their limited opportunities when he spoke at a news conference on Friday.

“It is just football, we cannot have just 11 players,” he said. “It would be amazing economically for the football clubs to have only 11 and play with the same 11, no injuries, no suspension, no fatigue,” Mourinho said.

– ‘Nothing I can do’ –

“It would be better for everyone to have only 11 but is impossible. At every club and every level, from the top of the world to the amateur football clubs, you need more than 11 players and only 11 can start. It is as simple as that, there’s nothing I can do.

“Only 11 can start so the same questions you are doing to me, you should do to every other manager because everyone has players in the same situation.”

It is a strange statistical anomaly that Rashford has actually featured in more first-team games than any other player in Mourinho’s time in charge of United — a fact the manager is fond of reciting.

However, many of those outings have been off the bench or in competitions such as the League Cup or, last season, the Europa League.

Mourinho was in no mood to discuss their medium-term prospects but he did offer the cases of Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic — automatic first-team starters under the manager — as examples of players Rashford and Martial should try to emulate.

The United boss has made no secret of his admiration for Lukaku and Matic, often singling them out for praise even while criticising other squad members.

“If I was you I would go ask why Lukaku plays every match, why Matic plays every match,” Mourinho told reporters.

“You always go to that one. The answer is if you want what I call dry answers, I have dry answers. And a dry answer is only 11 can start the match and we are 22.”

The situation concerning Lukaku is particularly interesting with the Belgian international now the only specialist centre-forward on United’s books, following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to the United States.

At one stage, it had appeared that Martial could be a possible back-up to Lukaku although Mourinho has long since abandoned that experiment.

Sanchez remains a possible focal point for Mourinho’s attack and the manager mockingly suggested he has no intention of trying to sign another forward in the summer transfer window to offer Lukaku some breathing space.

“No, no,” said Mourinho,” whose second-placed side face bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Sunday.

“If I have more competition for him I have more competition for the other ones you are saying are not happy because they are not playing.

“I probably have to reduce and have a squad of 12 or 13 players,” he added sarcastically.

AFP

Martial Strikes As United Await Sanchez Arrival

Goal-scorer Manchester United’s French striker Anthony Martial (L) shakes hands with Coach Jose Mourinho after being substituted during the football match against Burnley on January 20, 2018. Lindsey PARNABY / AFP

 

Anthony Martial proved the match-winner for Manchester United as Jose Mourinho took time off from his high-profile pursuit of Alexis Sanchez to mastermind a 1-0 victory at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

The Frenchman scored in his third consecutive Premier League game for United — the first time he has accomplished that feat — on a day when the pending arrival of Sanchez from Arsenal was still very much the centre of conversation.

The Chilean forward is expected to complete that move, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan moving in the opposite direction, this week and he will join a United team still entertaining hopes of catching Manchester City at the top of the league table after this victory.

United took the lead after 54 minutes with a goal that owed everything to Romelu Lukaku’s strength and persistence as he won an apparently lost cause in midfield.

Lukaku shrugged aside Phil Bardsley in a challenge and won the chase to the loose ball before delivering a magnificent 30-yard pass for Martial, unmarked in the area, who finished clinically with an unstoppable, 15-yard right-foot strike.

It was the start of a far more entertaining second half than the first had been and the hosts might actually have equalised within two minutes, following a foul on the edge of the United area by Juan Mata on Ashley Barnes.

Johann Berg Gudmundsson delivered a skilful free-kick which clipped the United crossbar on its way over.

Gudmundsson was also in the thick of the action moments later when he met Charlie Taylor’s cross with a header which struck defender Chris Smalling and led to unsuccessful appeals for a penalty.

There were half chances for Paul Pogba and Lukaku and the unusual sight of Mourinho literally picking up Jesse Lingard and encouraging him to play on after being fouled by Steven Defour in front of the United bench.

Mourinho’s sense of urgency was justified with a dangerous set-piece header from Ben Mee being tipped over by David De Gea.

Defour also set up an opening for Barnes which the forward headed wide while United’s wastefulness continued when Lingard dithered and saw an effort blocked by Mee after a swift counter and Martial was denied in the closing minutes by home goalkeeper Nick Pope.

In a first half lacking any real clear-cut chances, the first, and best, had fallen to Burnley with just five minutes gone but James Tarkowski headed down and wide from a free-kick.

It took until the 41st minute for United to seriously threaten when Ashley Young, recalled in place of Luke Shaw, beat Bardsley and advanced into the home area before curling a shot just beyond the far post.

Young’s chip into the area found Pogba who lobbed the ball, first-time, over the goal and Pogba sent Martial away for a shot which was well blocked from a promising position.

On the stroke of half-time, Pogba again set up an opening for Martial with the winger this time placing a shot wide of Pope’s left-hand post from just inside the area.

AFP

Manchester United Defeat Burnley In Premier League Clash

Manchester United Defeat Burnley In Premier League ClashManchester United on Sunday beat Burnley 2-0 to keep up the pressure on Manchester City in the English Premier League.

Anthony Martial broke the deadlock after 21 minutes, sliding Ander Herrera’s cross past Tom Heaton.

Eighteen minutes later, Wayne Rooney nudged home after Martial’s shot was half-stopped by the home goalkeeper.

The victory earned United three points as they close the gap on City with a point.

On the other hand, Burnley are 15th on the Premier League table with 36 points from 34 matches.

FA Cup: Man. United In Striker Crisis Ahead Of Chelsea Clash

Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com
Courtesy: http://www.manutd.com

Manchester United is expected to face Chelsea in tonight’s English FA Cup quarter-final tie without a recognised senior striker.

Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are out of visit to Chelsea through injury, as the Red Devils face a striker crisis.

Rooney, is believed to have been involved in an accidental training ground collision with defender, Phil Jones.

Martial will also miss the match with Chelsea through injury, while Rashford, who has scored three goals in two FA Cup appearances this season, is absent through illness.

Chelsea Storm To 13th Straight Victory

Chelsea Storm To 13th Straight VictoryA Willian brace helped Chelsea beat Stoke City to claim their 13th consecutive Premier League win and equal Arsenal’s record for the most successive victories within the same season.

Gary Cahill opened the scoring from Cesc Fabregas’ 100th Premier League assist – only the fourth player to reach the milestone – before Stoke equalised via Bruno Martins Indi’s first PL goal 56 seconds into the second half.

The Blues made it 2-1 when Willian fired through the crowd after Eden Hazard’s cushioned pass, but Stoke levelled for the second time through Peter Crouch.

Chelsea hit back immediately to take the lead for the third time as Willian rifled into the roof of Lee Grant’s net, while Diego Costa completed the scoring on his return from suspension with his 14th of the season.

Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba scored two late goals as Manchester United deservedly beat Middleborough.

Hal Robson-Kanu scored a stunning winner on his first Premier League start in over three years as West Brom came from behind to beat Southampton.

Managerless Swansea City remain rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table after they were thoroughly outplayed by Bournemouth.

Leicester City beat West Ham United 1-0.