Manchester United Agree $99m Deal For Ajax Winger Antony – Reports

File photo of Ajax Brazilian winger, Antony Santos. Credit: @antony00

 

Manchester United have agreed a fee that could rise to £85 million ($99 million) to sign Ajax’s Brazilian winger Antony, reports said Monday.

The Premier League giants have agreed to pay £80.75 million, with a further £4.25 million in add-ons, the BBC, Sky Sports and other British media said ahead of the transfer window closing on Thursday.

The 22-year-old Antony could be the second player to follow United manager Erik ten Hag from the Dutch champions to Old Trafford following the arrival of defender Lisandro Martinez.

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Tyrell Malacia, Martinez, Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have arrived so far this summer and Ten Hag is hoping to keep Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the Portuguese wanting to leave to play Champions League football.

The 37-year-old was on the bench for United’s 1-0 win at Southampton on Saturday before making a largely anonymous substitute appearance in the second half.

United remain adamant that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is not for sale in the second season of his second spell with the club.

“We played with him, so we want him to stay. That is what we want. I hope so,” Ten Hag said.

United will attempt to win a third successive Premier League match at Leicester City on Thursday, hours before the transfer window closes at 2200 GMT.

AFP

Man United Beat Liverpool, Record First Win Of Season

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (R) celebrates in front of supporters after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 22, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Erik ten Hag secured his first win as Manchester United manager as goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford beat Liverpool 2-1 at Old Trafford on Monday.

United had started the weekend bottom of the Premier League, but moved above Liverpool on a massive night for their new Dutch manager.Liverpool’s expected title challenge is fading fast with Jurgen Klopp’s men yet to win three games into the new season. 

United fans began the evening by marching on Old Trafford in protest at the decade of decline overseen by the club’s owners, the Glazer family.

A social media movement encouraging supporters to boycott the game in the wake of an embarrassing 4-0 defeat at Brentford last weekend failed to materialise.

But even amid the jubilation of a first league win over Liverpool since 2018, chants of “we want Glazers out” persisted throughout the 90 minutes.

Ten Hag responded to the concession of four goals inside 35 minutes at Brentford by dropping Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire among four changes.

After becoming the first United manager in more than a century to lose his first two games, the former Ajax manager got the response he desired in an explosive opening half hour that rocked Liverpool back on their heels.

READ ALSOOdegaard Leads Arsenal To Top Of The Premier League

Anthony Elanga should have opened the scoring when he curled off the base of the post after two passes from Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes carved Liverpool wide open.

Defensive disorganisation has been a repeated failing of Liverpool’s winless start to the season and they failed to learn their lesson for the opening goal on 16 minutes.

A neat one-two between Elanga and Christian Eriksen opened up the Liverpool defence once more and when the ball was cut back to Sancho, he left James Milner on the floor before coolly slotting home.

Milner bounced back up to confront Virgil Van Dijk for his role in the goal as the Dutch defender sat off Sancho.

Alisson Becker was then forced to tip Eriksen’s dipping free-kick over before the visitors were able to restore some order in the closing stages of the first half.

United nearly gifted them an equaliser when Fernandes blasted Milner’s header towards his own goal and was fortunate to see the ball rebound back off Lisandro Martinez on the line.

Liverpool’s reluctance to refresh Klopp’s midfield options will face more scrutiny in the final days of the transfer window.

With Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita out injured, the 36-year-old Milner showed his age and Klopp had precious few options to turn to on the bench with new 75 million euro (£64 million, $77 million) striker Darwin Nunez serving the first of a three-match ban for being sent off on his home debut.

Liverpool’s lack of energy in midfield was exposed for United’s second goal as Jordan Henderson’s poor touch presented possession to Anthony Martial and his perfect through ball set Rashford free to score his first goal since January.

Restoring Rashford’s confidence is one of the many tasks that still lie ahead for Ten Hag.

But the England attacker looked more like his old self and only a fine save from Alisson low to his left denied Rashford his second and United’s third.

United goalkeeper David de Gea’s error opened the floodgates at Brentford but the Spaniard also played his part in a night of redemption with a point-blank save from Luis Diaz.

Mohamed Salah’s header set up a grandstand finish 10 minutes from time, but United summoned a steel rarely seen in recent seasons to see out the closing stages and secure a much-needed boost for their new boss.

AFP

Ex-Man United Star Giggs Goes On Trial For Assault

Former Manchester United star and Wales manager Ryan Giggs arrives at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester on August 8, 2022 at the start of his trial for assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Former Manchester United star Ryan Giggs stands trial Monday on charges of attacking and coercively controlling his ex-girlfriend, in a case that has upended his managerial career.

The 48-year-old, who until recently served as coach of the Wales national team, has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which carry a maximum jail term of five years.

The jury trial at a crown court in Manchester was set to open at 10:30 am (0930 GMT), presided over by judge Hilary Manley. It is expected to last 10 days.

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Giggs is charged with assaulting his former girlfriend, PR executive Kate Greville, causing her actual bodily harm on November 1, 2020, when police were called to his home in the Manchester area.

The Welshman is further charged with common assault of her younger sister, Emma Greville, on the same day.

He also faces a charge of controlling and coercive behaviour towards Kate Greville throughout their relationship, which began in 2017 and ended with the alleged assault.

The charge specifies that his behaviour towards Greville, 36, included the use of “isolation, belittling, humiliation, harassment, degradation and abuse”.

Giggs was arrested by police at his home in November 2020 and released on bail.

He has denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty at an initial court appearance in April last year.

His trial was due to be heard in January but it was delayed due to a backlog of court cases caused by the Covid pandemic.

First of two trials

Giggs’s lawyer, Chris Daw, has acted for high-profile sports figures including former England and Chelsea football captain John Terry, who was found not guilty of racially abusing fellow player Anton Ferdinand in 2012.

Giggs resigned as the Wales manager in June, after being on leave since his arrest.

He said he did not want “continued interest around this case” to affect the team as it prepares for this year’s World Cup in Qatar.

He remains on conditional bail, and has said he looks forward to “clearing my name”.

A dazzling teenage talent, Giggs ended his career at Old Trafford as the most-decorated player in English football history.

As a player, Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances over 23 years for Manchester United, winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.

He then began his coaching career at Old Trafford, taking temporary charge at the end of the 2013/14 season after David Moyes was sacked before working as an assistant to Louis van Gaal for two years.

Giggs was appointed Wales boss in January 2018 and helped them secure qualification for Euro 2020, just their second major tournament appearance since the 1958 World Cup.

His trial opens shortly before another court case involving a star footballer, Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy.

The Frenchman is set to go on trial on Wednesday in Chester, northwest England, accused of rape and assault in a case involving seven women.

Mendy, who has been suspended by City, denies the allegations.

AFP

Liverpool Thrash Manchester United To Go Top Of Premier League

Liverpool’s Senegalese striker Sadio Mane celebrates with teammates after scoring his team third goal during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield in Liverpool, northwest England on April 19, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Liverpool embarrassed Manchester United for the second time this season to move top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah struck twice in a 4-0 thrashing on Tuesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s men won 5-0 at Old Trafford in October and expectations of a similar rout were well-founded as Liverpool exposed the massive gulf between the sides with Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane also on target.

Liverpool move two points ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table, but still, need the English champions to slip up in their remaining seven league games of the season to win the title.

In contrast to the fine margins separating Liverpool and City, a 22-point gap now lies between the league leaders and United in sixth with only Tottenham and Arsenal’s own failings keeping the Red Devils in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

United interim manager Ralf Rangnick forewarned what would happen to his side if they defended as they did in a 3-2 home win over bottom-of-the-table Norwich on Saturday.

The German’s attempt to plug the holes in the United defence was a recall for Phil Jones, making just his second Premier League appearance since January 2020, as part of a back five.

But it took just five minutes for the visitors to be cut open.

Mane’s through ball picked out Salah in acres of space and he found Diaz to apply a simple finish from close range.

Two minutes later the fierce rivalry between English football’s two most successful clubs was set aside in a show of support for Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese superstar was missing for United after revealing on Monday that his newborn baby son had died.

Supporters on all sides of Anfield stood for a minute’s applause, while the Liverpool fans sang their own anthem “You’ll never walk alone”.

On the field, the one-way traffic continued with United barely able to get out of their own half.

A second Liverpool goal seemed inevitable and when it arrived, it was of the highest quality.

Joel Matip fizzed the ball into Mane’s feet and the Senegalese lofted a first-time pass over the top for Salah.

The Egyptian had not scored for Liverpool from open play since February but showed no signs of a lack of confidence as he cushioned the ball into his path and slotted low past David de Gea.

Diaz rounded off another brilliant team move before half-time only to be flagged offside.

Half-time offered United some respite and they improved markedly after the break thanks to the introduction of Jadon Sancho.

The England winger created the visitors’ one big chance to get back into the game as Alisson Becker spread himself to block Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga.

Liverpool are now potentially 10 games away from a first-ever quadruple of Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup titles.

And they look set to pounce on any wobble from City in the run-in with their lethal collection of forwards all in top form.

Mane coolly steered home the third from Diaz’s cross to end any hope of a United revival.

Salah then took his tally for the season to 30, five of which have come in two games against United, as he lifted the ball over De Gea from Diogo Jota’s pass five minutes from time.

AFP

Maguire Scores As Man United Continue Push For Champions League Spot


Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire (C) reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on February 20, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United survived blowing another half-time lead to open up a four-point advantage in the race for a top-four finish in the Premier League with a thrilling 4-2 win at relegation-threatened Leeds.

Harry Maguire responded to questions over his status as captain of the Red Devils by opening the scoring on 34 minutes before Bruno Fernandes added a second on the stroke of half-time.

Lost leads have been a feature of Ralf Rangnick’s interim spell in charge and United were punished by another slow start to a second half as Rodrigo’s fortunate cross and substitute Raphinha brought Leeds level.

However, United this time bounced back to find a winner when Fred smashed in 20 minutes from time before Anthony Elanga sealed the points late on.

This was United’s first league visit to Elland Road in front of a capacity crowd in 19 years and the visitors were met with a hostile atmosphere and a tricky pitch due to incessant rain.

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa described keeping his club in the top-flight as “an obligation” this week but took the bold decision to drop top scorer Raphinha to the bench after subbing the Brazilian at half-time in last week’s 3-0 defeat at Everton.

Another ragged defensive display leaves Bielsa’s men still just five points above the relegation zone and with a daunting trip to Liverpool to come in midweek.

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Maguire Responds

Stories that Cristiano Ronaldo was set to replace Maguire as United captain for the rest of the season were dismissed as “nonsense” by Rangnick this week.

Ronaldo ended his worst goal drought for 13 years in midweek against Brighton and missed a glorious chance to open the scoring when Ilan Meslier spread himself brilliantly to deny the Portuguese a tap in from point-blank range.

Instead, it was Maguire who broke the deadlock and United’s run of failing to score from a corner for over a year with a powerful header from Luke Shaw’s delivery.

Leeds have conceded 11 goals in their two visits to Old Trafford in the past two seasons and their wide-open style was allowing United to slice through with ease on the counter-attack once more.

Five minutes into time added on at the end of the first half for a head injury to Robin Koch, the visitors doubled their lead when Jadon Sancho’s inviting cross found Fernandes unmarked to head down past Meslier.

United had blown a half-time lead in three of their last four games, but on each occasion, it had been a single-goal advantage.

Bielsa swallowed his pride at the break to introduce Raphinha and Leeds were level within nine minutes of the restart thanks to two goals in 60 seconds.

Firstly Rodrigo’s cross flew over the head of David De Gea into the far corner.

With the crowd still on their feet, Leeds scored again when Adam Forshaw’s strong challenge on Bruno Fernandes was not penalised and Daniel James’ cross was swept home by Raphinha at the back post.

As conditions continued to worsen under a torrential downpour, Rangnick turned to his bench in what appeared a bid to tighten up his midfield with the introduction of Fred for Paul Pogba.

But it was the Brazilian who struck the winner as a wild game had another swing when he drilled home Sancho’s pass at the near post.

Another of Rangnick’s substitutes then ensured there would not be a second Leeds comeback with a calm finish after Fernandes had robbed Pascal Struijk on the edge of his own box.

AFP

For The First Time, Man City’s Revenue Exceeds Man Utd’s

Manchester City’s Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva (C) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal with teammates during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on November 6, 2021. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City’s revenue exceeded arch-rivals Manchester United for the first time last year, the Premier League champions revealed in their latest financial accounts on Wednesday.

City reported club record revenue of £569.8 million ($780 million) for their title-winning 2020-21 season.

That was a revenue increase of 19 per cent on the previous year, with an overall profit of £2.4 million.

Across Manchester, United, who finished 12 points behind City in the Premier League last term, recorded revenue of £494.1 million for the financial year ended June 30, 2021.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Can Still Attract Elite Players, Says Arteta

City’s latest figures, published in their annual report for 2020-21, reflect a highly successful campaign for Pep Guardiola’s side.

They won the Premier League and League Cup and reached the Champions League final for the first time, losing 1-0 to Chelsea in Porto.

Matchday revenue fell from £41.7 million to just £700,000 as a result of matches being played behind closed doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The return to profitability comes after a loss of £126 million in 2019-20 when the pandemic first hit.

“The season closed with the team having played 63 out of a maximum possible 64 matches, taking home the Premier League title, winning a record-equalling eight League Cups, reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League for the first time and breaking a raft of records in the process. This is not a club that gives up when the going gets tough,” City chief executive Ferran Soriano said.

“From a business perspective, we were pleased to return to profitability, having successfully navigated the revenue challenges created by the pandemic. Covid-19 did not stop us, and we continued to grow, innovate and develop new ideas.

“And while we cannot dismiss the pain of missing out on the trophy in Porto at our first ever UEFA Champions League final, we must also pause to savour the fact that Manchester City has won three of the last four Premier League titles, and are now looking ahead to what we can do to achieve even greater success in the next stage of our journey.”

AFP

Struggling Newcastle Frustrate Rusty Man United’s Top Four Hopes 


Newcastle United’s Brazilian striker Joelinton (R) vies with Manchester United’s English striker Jadon Sancho during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 27, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Edinson Cavani spared Manchester United’s blushes on their return from a coronavirus hiatus as the Uruguayan rescued a 1-1 draw at struggling Newcastle on Monday.

Ralf Rangnick’s side trailed to Allan Saint-Maximin’s eye-catching early goal and were out-played for long periods at St James’ Park.

But Cavani came off the bench to bag his first goal since October in the second half, ensuring Rangnick avoided his first defeat in four games as United’s interim manager.

United remain in seventh place in the Premier League, seven points behind fourth placed Arsenal with two games in hand.

Rangnick had won his first two league games since taking over from the axed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but neither performance was especially convincing and this was another underwhelming effort.

United did have the excuse of the Covid outbreak that forced them into a 16-day period of inactivity since they won 1-0 at Norwich on December 11.

Their games against Brentford and Brighton were postponed, with the club’s training ground shut for four days.

But regardless of the coronavirus chaos, Rangnick will know United must improve dramatically if they are to secure a top four finish.

Second bottom Newcastle ended a three-game losing streak, leaving them two points from safety after the most encouraging display of Eddie Howe’s eight-match reign.

However, the sight of Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson limping off with injuries was a major blow for Howe, who has won just once since replacing the sacked Steve Bruce.

Although their Covid situation has improved, United still weren’t able to return a completely clean bill of health after Sweden defender Victor Lindelof tested positive on Sunday.

Rusty Man Utd

Raphael Varane returned from injury to replace Lindelof, but United looked rusty after their enforced lay-off and Newcastle took advantage to snatch a seventh minute lead.

Varane carelessly gifted possession to Sean Longstaff and he picked out Saint-Maximin.

The French winger showed his mesmerising dribbling ability as he shimmied past Diogo Dalot and Harry Maguire before steering a fierce strike past David De Gea from the edge of the area.

Newcastle were a real threat on the counter and Jonjo Shelvey broke from the halfway line for a 25-yard rocket that De Gea pushed away.

United struggled to make any impact in the first half, their lethargy encapsulated a Cristiano Ronaldo miskick that drew a mocking roar of delight from the Gallowgate End.

The visitors were creaking and Wilson had the ball in the net from the inspired Saint-Maximin’s pass, only for an offside flag to curtail the striker’s celebrations.

Rangnick responded by sending on Sancho and Cavani for Fred and Greenwood at half-time.

Crucially, Saint-Maximin should have scored with a close-range effort that lacked the power to beat De Gea.

United finally began to emerge from their shell and Marcus Rashford’s dipping shot forced a tip over from Martin Dubravka.

Cavani wasted a good chance from Sancho’s pass and Ronaldo’s frustrations boiled over as he was booked for a reckless challenge on Ryan Fraser that had Newcastle baying for a red card.

Fraser nearly exacted immediate retribution with a stinging drive which De Gea saved at full stretch.

But United equalised in the 71st minute when Dalot’s cross reached Cavani and the Uruguay striker stabbed home at the second attempt after his first effort was blocked.

It was the 80th league goal conceded by Newcastle in 2021, the most of any Premier League team in a calendar year.

Cavani almost made it 81 moments later as his goalbound flick was hooked off the line by Jamaal Lascelles.

In a dramatic finale, Newcastle’s Jacob Murphy hit the post with a curler before Miguel Almiron’s strike forced a brilliant save from De Gea.

AFP

Man United, Brentford Match Postponed Over COVID-19 Concerns

Fans sit in the stands during an English Premier League football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 5, 2021. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United’s match at Brentford on Tuesday was postponed as the English Premier League reported a record number of Covid-19 cases, with the virus threatening to disrupt the busy Christmas fixture list.

It came hours after the Old Trafford club closed their Carrington training complex because of several players and staff members testing positive for coronavirus.

The Premier League Board took the decision to postpone the Brentford clash “based on guidance from medical advisors”, said a Manchester United statement.

United’s fixture in west London was the second Premier League game to fall to the virus in three days after Tottenham Hotspur’s match at Brighton on Sunday was called off.

“Manchester United can confirm that our Premier League fixture at Brentford FC, on Tuesday 14 December at 19:30, has been postponed and will be rescheduled in due course,” a United statement late Monday said.

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With the Omicron variant sweeping across Britain, there are growing virus issues at several Premier League clubs.

The Premier League on Monday reported 42 new Covid-19 cases in the past week — a seven-day record since testing figures started being released in May 2020 — up from 12 cases the previous week.

More fixtures could come under threat with Brighton, Tottenham, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Norwich City all reporting confirmed Covid-19 cases in recent days.

Norwich are due to host Villa on Tuesday, while Tottenham are scheduled to travel to Leicester on Thursday.

All of United’s players tested negative before Saturday’s match at Norwich, but it was reported a group of players and staff tested positive on Sunday.

“Following PCR confirmation of positive tests among the first-team staff and players, the outbreak requires ongoing surveillance with individuals who tested positive isolating in line with Premier League protocols,” added the United statement.

Emergency Measures

The Premier League last week instructed all clubs to reinstate Covid-19 restrictions, including a return to social distancing and mask-wearing.

“With the health of players and staff the priority, and in light of the recent rise in Covid-19 cases across the country, the Premier League has reintroduced emergency measures,” the Premier League reiterated in a statement late Monday.

“These include protocols such as more frequent testing, wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing, and limiting treatment time.”

Brentford expressed disappointment for their supporters at the postponement, but said the “health and safety of both clubs’ players and staff must always come first”.

Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard said that his team had a virus outbreak involving “a couple of staff members and a couple of players” which led to the club cancelling training on Sunday.

However, the squad trained as normal on Monday ahead of their trip to Carrow Road, where United won 1-0 on Saturday.

“We retested this morning and we have got a couple of staff and a couple of players missing for the foreseeable future,” said Gerrard.

“But the vast majority have come through the test this morning and we look forward to competing against Norwich.”

Brighton manager Graham Potter said there were “three or four” positive tests among his squad, but their match against Wolves on Wednesday was not currently under threat.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte admitted he had been “scared” by the outbreak at the north London club, which also caused their European fixture against Rennes last week to be called off after eight players and five members of Spurs’ staff tested positive.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta last week called for the Premier League to issue clearer guidelines on how many positive tests should trigger a postponement.

Arteta’s side lost at Brentford on the opening weekend of this season when their game went ahead despite four positive tests.

Man Utd Sack Solskjaer After Dismal Run

Solskjaer reacts at the end of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United ended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s three-year reign as manager at Old Trafford on Sunday, but plan to wait until the end of the season to name the Norwegian’s permanent successor.

Saturday’s 4-1 embarrassment at the hands of struggling Watford was the final straw for the United board, who had stuck by Solskjaer in recent weeks despite humiliating home defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City.

Former midfielder Michael Carrick, who was part of Solskjaer’s coaching team, will take charge of the forthcoming games while the club look to appoint an interim manager till the end of the season.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Thrash Arsenal To End Arteta’s Winning Streak

“Manchester United announces that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has left his role as Manager,” the club said in a statement.

“Ole will always be a legend at Manchester United and it is with regret that we have reached this difficult decision. While the past few weeks have been disappointing, they should not obscure all the work he has done over the past three years to rebuild the foundations for long-term success.”

Solskjaer leaves with United already realistically out of the Premier League title race, 12 points behind leaders Chelsea down in seventh in the table, and having exited the League Cup.

Carrick’s first game in charge will be a crucial Champions League trip to Villarreal on Tuesday.

Another defeat in Spain would leave the Red Devils needing both results in the final round of matches in Group F to go their way to avoid crashing out at the group stage for a second consecutive season.

 ‘Nightmare’

A run of five defeats in Solskjaer’s final seven league games contrasts sharply with the anticipation that surrounded the club in August when Cristiano Ronaldo made a surprise return to Old Trafford in the final days of the transfer window.

United also spent over £100 million ($134 million) on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane as they looked to build on finishing second in the league to Manchester City last season.

However, Solskjaer was unable to assemble the pieces of his star-studded squad into a collective unit despite Ronaldo’s return of nine goals in 14 games.

“We don’t know what to do with the ball, we don’t know how to defend properly and we’re conceding a lot of goals,” said United goalkeeper David de Gea, whose double penalty save from Watford’s Ismaila Sarr counted for nothing.

“It’s not acceptable for this club and the level of players that we have. It’s another nightmare.”

Solskjaer had ridden out storms before in a rollercoaster but ultimately trophyless three years.

However, even his credit as a club legend for scoring the winning goal in the 1999 Champions League final to win a historic treble for Alex Ferguson’s side was fading as he was booed by the travelling support at Vicarage Road.

“Thank you Ole. You did us proud,” said former United captain Gary Neville, who has been criticised for not calling for his former teammate to be sacked in his punditry.

“The last two months were tough but before that you restored some soul into the club.”

Zinedine Zidane, who won three Champions League titles with Ronaldo and Varane at Real Madrid, is the bookmakers’ favourite to succeed Solskjaer, with Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and Ajax boss Erik ten Hag also in contention.

But the decision to wait until the summer to make a permanent appointment could open up a wider pool of potential candidates, including Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, who has previously been linked with the job.

Man Utd Crash Out Of League Cup, Spurs, Chelsea And Arsenal Advance

West Ham United’s Czech midfielder Alex Kral (L) and West Ham United’s English striker Jarrod Bowen (R) closes in on Manchester United’s Swedish defender Victor Lindelof during the English League Cup third round football match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 22, 2021.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester United crashed out of the League Cup as West Ham avenged their painful loss to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with a 1-0 win at Old Trafford, while Chelsea and Tottenham survived penalty shoot-outs to reach the fourth round on Wednesday.

The Hammers suffered a gut-wrenching 2-1 defeat against United in the Premier League on Sunday when David De Gea saved Mark Noble’s stoppage-time penalty after Jesse Lingard’s late winner.

But David Moyes’ men got a measure of revenge three days later as Manuel Lanzini’s first half goal dumped United out in the third round.

Solskjaer made 11 changes and Moyes opted for 10 alterations, with West Ham’s understudies making the most of their moment in the spotlight.

Ryan Fredericks ghosted past Alex Telles and cut back for Lanzini to sweep past United goalkeeper Dean Henderson in the ninth minute.

That was enough for Moyes to secure a first win over United since they sacked the Scot after less than a season in charge in 2014.

It was also West Ham’s first victory at Old Trafford since 2007.

At Stamford Bridge, Chelsea won 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa.

Much-maligned German forward Timo Werner headed Chelsea into the lead in the 54th minute, finishing off Reece James’ cross for his first goal in 11 games.

With Villa fan Prince William watching from the stands, 19-year-old striker Cameron Archer equalised in the 64th minute with a close-range header from Matty Cash’s cross.

James scored Chelsea’s winning penalty in the shoot-out after Ashley Young and Marvelous Nakamba missed for Villa.

Kane Back On Track 


Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur at the Molineux stadium in Wolverhampton, central England on September 22, 2021. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Harry Kane ended his goal drought as Tottenham boss Nuno Espirito Santo knocked out his former club Wolves 3-2 on penalties after a 2-2 draw at Molineux.

Tanguy Ndombele gave Tottenham a 14th-minute lead when he charged down Conor Coady’s clearance and shot past John Ruddy.

Kane, without a goal in his four previous games, increased Tottenham’s advantage after 23 minutes.

Dele Alli’s perfect pass sent Kane clear and the England captain found the bottom corner.

Leander Dendoncker pulled one back for Wolves seven minutes before the break when he headed in Rayan Ait-Nouri’s corner.

Daniel Podence levelled 13 minutes into the second half from Dendoncker’s pass.

In the shootout, Dendoncker, Ruben Neves and Coady all missed for Wolves.

Arsenal Win


Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) celebrates with team mates after he scores his team’s opening goal during the English League Cup third round football match between Arsenal and AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 22, 2021.
JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

Arsenal eased to a 3-0 win against third tier AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, featuring 10 changes from the weekend win at Burnley, went ahead in the 11th minute.

Gabriel Martinelli was fouled by Nesta Guinness-Walker and Alexandre Lacazette slotted home the penalty.

Emile Smith-Rowe doubled the lead in the 77th minute and Eddie Nketiah’s impudent flick wrapped up the win three minutes later.

Ademola Lookman scored his first Leicester goal in a 2-0 win at second tier Millwall.

Lookman, making his maiden Leicester start following his loan move from RB Leipzig, netted five minutes into the second half with a cool strike after Kelechi Iheanacho’s effort was saved by George Long.

Iheanacho got on the scoresheet himself, driving into the roof of the net in the 88th minute.

Brighton manager Graham Potter enjoyed a 2-0 win against his former club Swansea thanks to a first half brace from Aaron Connolly at the Amex Stadium.

AFP

Young Boys Stun Man United In Champions League Clash

Young Boys’ Swiss midfielder Sandro Lauper (C) helps Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo to stand up during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match at Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, on September 14, 2021. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

 

Substitute Jordan Siebatcheu struck with the last kick of the game as Swiss side Young Boys claimed a sensational 2-1 Champions League win over 10-man Manchester United on Tuesday after Cristiano Ronaldo had earlier opened the scoring.

USA striker Siebatcheu pounced on Jesse Lingard’s short back-pass to tuck the ball past David de Gea for a 95th-minute winner in front of a delirious crowd at the Wankdorf Stadium.

Ronaldo had earlier put United ahead with his third goal in two games since returning to Old Trafford.

However, the match hinged on Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s sending-off late in the first half for a dangerous tackle on Young Boys midfielder Christopher Martins which gave Young Boys hope.

The hosts hit back to equalise in the second half through Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu and Ronaldo was substituted before Siebatcheu got the winner.

It is a terrible start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side in Group F, especially with tougher tests likely to come against Atalanta and Villarreal.

Ronaldo at least added to his statistics — he is the Champions League’s all-time record scorer and now has 135 goals in the competition, 15 more than his old enemy Lionel Messi.

He will be 37 early next year but his hunger for success in Europe’s elite club competition knows no bounds and he clearly felt returning to Old Trafford gave him a better chance of winning a sixth European Cup than if he stayed at Juventus.

Young Boys’ US forward Jordy Siebatcheu Pefok (C) celebrates after scoring a goal with teammates during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match against Manchester United at Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, on September 14, 2021. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

 

However, it is a decade since United were a real force in the Champions League and this is another disappointing European result for them.

Young Boys won their fourth straight Swiss title last season but have since lost their top scorer, Cameroon’s Jean-Pierre Nsame, to a serious injury while coach Gerardo Seoane departed for Bayer Leverkusen.

He has been replaced in the Swiss capital by David Wagner, the German-born former USA international and one-time boss of Huddersfield Town in the Premier League.

 

Red Card Changes Game

While on paper this was an obvious mismatch, Young Boys did have boisterous support behind them in a packed stadium with coronavirus restrictions in Switzerland now eased.

However United silenced the crowd as they took an early lead, Bruno Fernandes delivering a glorious pass with the outside of his right boot from the left for Ronaldo to steal in behind Ulisses Garcia at the back post and score.

Goalkeeper David von Ballmoos made contact with the shot but failed to keep it out and Ronaldo had the first goal of this season’s Champions League.

He has now scored in the Champions League in 16 straight seasons, and he had another shot saved at the end of a quick break forward, just after Switzerland winger Christian Fassnacht had tested David de Gea at the other end.

Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba after scoring a goal during the UEFA Champions League Group F football match against Young Boys at Wankdorf Stadium in Bern, on September 14, 2021. SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP

 

At that point, it seemed only a matter of time before the visitors picked off their opponents on the break, but then came the sending-off of Wan-Bissaka in the 35th minute.

The full-back’s studs caught Luxembourg international Martins above the left ankle, and French referee Francois Letexier had no choice but to show a straight red card.

Solskjaer immediately removed Jadon Sancho to send on a replacement right-back in Diogo Dalot. He then brought on Raphael Varane for the second half in place of Donny van de Beek, who had been given his first start this season.

That meant a back five for the second half, with Ronaldo left alone up front, while Young Boys pushed forward looking for an equaliser that came in the 66th minute when Ngamaleu got in front of Varane and prodded home Meschack Elia’s cross from the right to the delight of the home fans.

Ronaldo came off in the 72nd minute and right at the end of five added minutes, Young Boys won it as Lingard provided the perfect assist for Siebatcheu.

AFP

Man Utd Reach Agreement With Dortmund To Sign Sancho

Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho attends a training session of the German first division Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund at the team training grounds in Dortmund, western Germany, on August 3, 2020. INA FASSBENDER / AFP
File photo: Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho attends a training session of the German first division Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund at the team training grounds in Dortmund, western Germany, on August 3, 2020. INA FASSBENDER / AFP

 

Manchester United announced on Thursday they had reached an agreement in principle with Borussia Dortmund for the transfer of England international Jadon Sancho, who will cost the Premier League club 85 million euros.

United have long been keen to bring the winger to Old Trafford and they are finally set to get their man, who is currently on England duty at Euro 2020.

“The signing is subject to contractual terms and a medical, which will be completed after Jadon’s involvement in the UEFA European Championship,” United said in a brief statement.

Bundesliga side Dortmund confirmed earlier Thursday that they had agreed a fee of 85 million euros ($100 million, £73 million) for the 21-year-old.

“The contractual details now have to be coordinated and completed,” the club said in their statement.

“Moreover, the formal processing of the transfer is still subject to the successful completion of all necessary medical tests and examinations.”

Reports said Sancho would sign a five-year deal at Old Trafford.

Speculation had been rife last year that he would be headed to Old Trafford, but no transfer materialised at that point.

Sancho, who has scored three times in 20 senior international appearances, is set to become the second-most expensive English player behind Harry Maguire, whom United signed two years ago from Leicester for £80 million.

Manchester United’s announcement was welcomed by Marcus Rashford, who is with Sancho on England duty preparing for Saturday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final against Ukraine.

Rashford posted a photo of the pair with the caption “Family @Sanchooo10, Welcome brother”.

Sancho’s contract with Dortmund had been due to run until the end of June 2023 and his transfer is one of the most expensive in Bundesliga history.

It will mean a return to Manchester for the player, who was a graduate of Manchester City’s academy before joining Dortmund in search of first-team football.

Even though Sancho never played a first-team game for them, City will be due around £10 million of the fee as a result of a 15 percent sell-on clause they had inserted in the deal when he left the Etihad Stadium.

Sancho joined Dortmund in 2017 and made 137 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 50 goals and establishing himself as one of Europe’s brightest young stars.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to use his new player on the right flank as he looks to add more creativity to his attack.

The club have not won the Premier League title since 2013 and last season finished in second place, 12 points behind champions Manchester City.

AFP