Zaha’s Brace Nails Manchester United To Opening Game Defeat

Zaha celebrating scoring a goal against Manchester United in a Premier League game on 19/9/2020. Photo: [email protected] Crystal Palace

 

Ivory Coast forward, Wilfred Zaha bagged a brace to help Crystal Palace nail Manchester United to a 1-3 defeat in their opening game of the 2020/2021 season. 

On the second weekend of the new campaign, United were playing for the first time after being given an extra week of rest due to their involvement in the latter stages of last season’s Europa League.

But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s lethargic side were well below their best and Palace took full advantage thanks to Andros Townsend’s seventh-minute strike and Zaha’s 74th-minute penalty against his former club.

There was a hint of controversy about Zaha’s goal as VAR ruled Victor Lindelof had handled Jordan Ayew’s shot even though the ball was hit with force at him from close quarters.

David De Gea saved Ayew’s spot-kick, but VAR intervened again to order a retake as United’s keeper had strayed off his line and this time Zaha converted from the spot.

 


Crystal Palace’s Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha shoots to score their second goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 19, 2020. / AFP / POOL / Martin Rickett.

 

United’s only major close-season signing Donny van de Beek came off the bench and the former Ajax midfielder reduced the deficit with a debut goal in the 80th minute.

But Zaha, who endured a difficult spell at United before rejoining Palace, showed why the Eagles are so keen to keep him amid speculation over his future as the Ivory Coast winger lashed home in the 85th minute.

For the first time in six years, United were beaten in their opening league game.

It was a chastening start to the season for United, who have come under fire from fans frustrated at their relatively modest transfer outlay compared to their title rivals.

AFP

 

Bruno Fernandez Wins Manchester United Player Of The Year In Debut Season

Bruno Fernandez is seen as one of the best penalty takers presently. Photo: [email protected] United.

 

 

Portuguese star Bruno Fernandez has been voted as Manchester United Player of the Year for 2019/2020 in a debut season that saw him scoring seven goals and bagging eight assists. 

“Thousands of fans voted in our Official App to determine the victor, and they decided in favour of the Portuguese playmaker, who just edged out Anthony Martial, with Marcus Rashford finishing in third place,” the Premier League club said on Friday while announcing the midfielder as the winner of the Sir Matt Busby Player prize.

“Bruno succeeds Luke Shaw as the trophy’s holder and is the first player in club history to seize it after just half a season in the red shirt.”

 

Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes (L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on June 30, 2020. Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP
File photo: Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes (L) celebrates scoring their second goal with Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba (R) during the English Premier League football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester United at the American Express Community Stadium in Brighton, southern England on June 30, 2020.
Alastair Grant / POOL / AFP

 

Despite playing 22 times for the Red Devils since joining them from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020,  Fernandez got 35.5 per cent of the votes from fans, pipping Martial who scored 34 per cent, to the award.

READ ALSO: Solskjaer Asked England Not To Pick Greenwood Before COVID-19 Breach

England forward Marcus Rashford earned 10.4 per cent of the nominations to finish third while Mason Greenwood ended fourth in the poll with 8.3 per cent of votes.

“Next was Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who obtained 3.8 per cent, and Harry Maguire finished sixth with 2.4 per cent,” United explained.

A Good Feeling 

The Portuguese star who has been in dazzling form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side scooped the club’s Player of the Month gong in February, March, June and August.

“Of course you want to win some trophies for the team, for the club and for the fans. But, obviously, I’m happy with the individual trophies,” the player said, admitting that “you feel good” when a footballer win prizes.

“I want to add this to so many trophies for the club and for the fans because I think they deserve [it].”

Solskjaer Asked England Not To Pick Greenwood Before COVID-19 Breach

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaves after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 1, 2019. The game finished 2-2.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed he asked England not to pick Mason Greenwood before the Manchester United forward was withdrawn from the squad after breaching coronavirus protocols.

Greenwood and Manchester City’s Phil Foden were forced to fly home from Iceland earlier this month after they were caught mixing with local women in the England hotel.

The pair had just made their England debuts in the Nations League victory over Iceland when video footage emerged of their breach of the bio-secure bubble which had been set up to avoid contact with the virus.

England boss Gareth Southgate admitted he couldn’t understand their behaviour and axed them from the subsequent match in Denmark.

But United manager Solskjaer defended Greenwood and said he warned England that the 18-year-old needed a rest before the start of the new season.

“Yeah, of course I speak to Mason and I’ve spoken to Mason,” Solskjaer said. “Of course, what we speak about and discuss will be between the two of us.

“The kid had a fantastic season. He’s just come through. You come to the end of the season and we’ve had less than two weeks off and he’s called up to the national team.

“I have to be honest enough to say I tried my best to give him a rest over the summer. That the club asked specifically and pointed out that he should have had a rest.

“He needs it mentally and physically after that season he had. First thing that happens is: one – he’s called up, and two – he’s right there in the press.

“We’ve done whatever we can to protect him and I will keep on helping him. I know that when he comes back into the daily routine of the club and what we do to him, he’ll be fine.”

Greenwood has been training with United after passing coronavirus tests and Solskjaer confirmed the striker is in contention to feature in United’s Premier League opener against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

“Yeah, he’s part of the group. With the testing and Covid protocols, he trained by himself for a little while. We had some tests done and as soon as possible he was with us. He’s a big part of this group,” Solskjaer said.

“This is where he feels at home. He’s not comfortable, we challenge him, we’ve got people looking after him.

“We have to understand he’s an 18-year-old kid who needs managing.”

– ‘Strong character’ –
Earlier in the close-season, United captain Harry Maguire was handed a suspended 21-month sentence by a Greek court after being found guilty of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and attempted bribery during an incident on the island of Mykonos.

Maguire denied the offences and has launched an appeal which nullifies the conviction, but the defender still lost his place in the England squad for the Iceland and Denmark matches.

Confident Maguire can focus on football despite the off-field distraction, Solskjaer said: “The process will keep on going. Knowing Harry, he’s a very strong character so hopefully he can put that apart.

“Naturally, as a human being it will be in the back of his mind what’s happened this summer, and apart from that you’ve just got to see how it develops.”

United have spent most of the close-season in an unsuccessful attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho.

The deal is still not completely dead according to reports, but Solskjaer would only confirm that United are still looking to strengthen after signing just Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek so far.

“You know I can’t say anything about other clubs’ players out of respect to them. I can’t speculate. But we understand that to get even further; one – we need to develop what we have, two – we’re also looking to strengthen the team, of course we are,” Solskjaer said.

“I’ve been in dialogue with the club. Of course, we’re always discussing and hopefully, let’s see if we can bring anyone in.”

 

 

 

‘100 Is Not Enough’: Record-Breaking Ronaldo Vows To Score More For Portugal

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) shoots past Sweden's defender Filip Helander (C) and Sweden's defender Pontus Jansson during the UEFA Nations League football match between Sweden and Portugal on September 8, 2020 in Solna, Sweden. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP
Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) shoots past Sweden’s defender Filip Helander (C) and Sweden’s defender Pontus Jansson during the UEFA Nations League football match between Sweden and Portugal on September 8, 2020, in Solna, Sweden. Jonathan NACKSTRAND / AFP

 

Multiple Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo wants to score more goals for the national team after he crossed the 100-goal mark for Portugal in a 2-0 win over Sweden, Tuesday.

The former Manchester United forward who is overjoyed on reaching the milestone, took to his social media handle to describe it as a “historic goal” for A Seleção.

READ ALSO: De Bruyne Wins PFA Player Of The Year

“Huge pride in this historical goal for our national team!” he wrote on Instagram on Tuesday evening. “When they tell me I can reach 100, I say it’s not enough…101 goals for Portugal.”

 

 

Record Chasing Brace

The 35-year-old Juventus attacker curled in a free-kick from 25 yards over the wall and into the far left corner beyond Sweden’s stranded goalkeeper Robin Olsen for a memorable milestone in his trophy-laden career.

The bonus second goal, and his 101st, came in the 72nd minute, with the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player cutting back inside the Swedish defence and producing a deft finish into the far corner from 20 yards.

After making his first senior international appearance as an 18-year-old in 2003, Ronaldo notched up his first goal for Portugal in a 2-1 defeat by eventual winners Greece at Euro 2004.

Ronaldo, capped 165 times by Portugal, is second only to Iran’s Ali Daei, on 109, in the list of top men’s international goal scorers.

Incredibly for Ronaldo, just 17 of his 100 goals have come in friendly matches, and his nine hat-tricks all came in FIFA or UEFA tournaments or qualifying games.

Portugal are leading Group 3 in League A, with the Sweden victory and massive 4-1 win over Croatia on Friday, giving them six points in two games played so far.

 

Messi Boycotts First Pre-Season As Barcelona Demand $833m Release Clause

messi-
File photo: Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi looks downwards during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on July 16, 2020. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

 

Lionel Messi boycotted Barcelona’s first pre-season training session on Monday, club sources have confirmed to AFP, as the striker upped the stakes in his battle to leave this summer.

After skipping coronavirus tests on Sunday, Messi was absent again from the club’s Ciutat Esportiva training ground, where Ronald Koeman held a session at 5:30 pm, his first since being appointed Barca coach.

It appears increasingly likely Messi will try to force a transfer by refusing to play in La Liga next season, which begins on September 12.

The 33-year-old and his lawyers believe that participating in Barcelona’s pre-season programme would contradict their argument that Messi no longer belongs to the club.

They insist a clause in his contract that allows Messi to depart for free this summer was activated last Tuesday when the burofax stating his intention to leave arrived at the Camp Nou.

 

messi
File photo: Barcelona’s Argentine forward Lionel Messi gestures during the Spanish League football match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on July 16, 2020. LLUIS GENE / AFP

 

But Barcelona maintain that clause had to be activated by June 10 and the deadline has not been extended, despite the season being prolonged due to the pandemic, with the men’s Champions League final played on August 23.

La Liga backed up Barca’s position on Sunday by announcing that the release clause in Messi’s contract, set at 700 million euros ($833 million), still applies.

The club’s captain and greatest ever player, who has scored 634 goals for them and won 34 titles, now risks being punished either by a fine or, if his absence continues, a reduction in salary.

Manchester City remain favourites to sign Messi, whose basic salary alone amounts to around 60 million euros.

The Argentinian has reportedly spoken to City coach Pep Guardiola but other clubs remain in the running, including Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and Juventus.

AFP

Pogba Tests Positive For COVID-19, Left Out Of France Squad

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after losing the UEFA Champions league first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Barcelona/ AFP

 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was omitted from the France squad announced Thursday for next month’s Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for Covid-19, coach Didier Deschamps said.

World Cup winner Pogba has been replaced by teenager Eduardo Camavinga, who was called up for the first time alongside Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

“Unfortunately he underwent a test yesterday (Wednesday) which was revealed to be positive this morning,” Deschamps said of Pogba’s absence from the group.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot was also recalled for the first time in over two years after he refused to go on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup.

“He’s found a very good level again. We can’t go back, I’m not someone who likes to take radical decisions. He remained selectable,” explained Deschamps.

Blaise Matuidi, 33, was overlooked following his recent move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in Major League Soccer as Deschamps decided to give a chance to some younger players in midfield.

Kylian Mbappe was one of two Paris Saint-Germain players included alongside defender Presnel Kimpembe, both starters in last weekend’s Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

France will travel to Sweden for their opening Nations League game on September 5 before returning home to play Croatia three days later. Their last international was the 2-0 victory over Albania on November 17.

The French Squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Mike Maignan (Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern/GER), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona/ESP), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid/ESP), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig/GER), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Steven Nzonzi (Rennes), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus/ITA), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG)

Forwards: Houssem Aouar (Lyon), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona/ESP), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Anthony Martial (Manchester United/ENG), Kylian Mbappe (PSG).

 

AFP

Man Utd Captain Maguire Gets Suspended Prison Sentence For Greek Assault

In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP
In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was on Tuesday given a suspended prison sentence of 21 months and 10 days on assault charges by a court in Greece.

The England international defender was arrested late last Thursday after a fight at a nightclub in Mykonos.

He was charged with assault, bodily harm, verbal abuse and attempted bribery.

Maguire, who did not attend the hearing on the Greek island of Syros, denied all charges and stated his intention to appeal the verdict.

“Following the hearing today, I have instructed my legal team with immediate effect to inform the courts we will be appealing. I remain strong and confident regarding our innocence in this matter – if anything myself, family and friends are the victims,” Maguire said in a statement.

Manchester United released in an official statement shortly after the verdict fell, backing their player.

“Harry Maguire pleaded not guilty to all of the misdemeanour charges made against him and he continues to strongly assert his innocence,” the club said.

The statement added: “It should be noted that the prosecution confirmed the charges and provided their evidence late on the day before the trial, giving the defence team minimal time to digest them and prepare.

“A request for the case to be adjourned was subsequently denied. On this basis, along with the substantial body of evidence refuting the charges, Harry Maguire’s legal team will now appeal the verdict, to allow a full and fair hearing at a later date.”

The sentence is suspended for three years.

According to reports in Greek media, the nightclub fight started when someone hurt Maguire’s sister.

The 27-year-old defender, who has 26 England caps, spent two nights in police custody before flying home at the weekend.

AFP

Man Utd Captain, Harry Maguire, Released From Police Custody In Greece

 In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United's English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP
In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Oli SCARFF / POOL / AFP

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire was released from Greek police custody Saturday, TV footage showed, ahead of a hearing on assault charges on the island of Mykonos.

Wearing a baseball cap and mask, Maguire was shown leaving a courthouse on neighbouring Syros island, accompanied by what appeared to be members of his legal team, and boarding a dark minivan.

The England centre-back’s hearing has been set for Tuesday but he is not obliged to be present.

Manchester United said in a statement: “Following the appearance in court today we note the adjournment of the case to allow the legal team to consider the case file.

“Harry has pleaded not guilty to the charges. It would be inappropriate for the player or club to comment further while the legal process takes its course,” the club said.

His lawyer Constantinos Darivas had earlier told Greek sports website gazzetta.gr that the England centre-back had denied the charges, and was in “fine condition” despite spending two nights in detention since his Thursday night arrest.

Manchester United football team captain Harry Maguire (2nd L) leaves a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos on August 22, 2020. EUROKINISSI / AFP
Manchester United football team captain Harry Maguire (2nd L) leaves a courthouse on the Greek island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos on August 22, 2020. EUROKINISSI / AFP

 

Greek TV channel Mega said Maguire’s father had flown to Greece to be at his son’s side.

The case is being heard on the island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos.

The £80 million (88 million euros) defender was arrested late Thursday after what Greek police described as an “altercation” between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos.

Mega said Maguire had become enraged after someone in the other group struck his sister.

A Greek police statement on Friday said that three men aged 27, 28 and 29 had been arrested in Mykonos.

The police said an officer was punched on the scene, and that a second fight had broken out at the local police station where the three men “strenuously resisted (arrest), pushing and striking three officers.”

One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to hush up the incident, the police said.

The suspects are accused of assault, resisting arrest, verbally insulting and threatening the arresting officers, and attempted bribery, the police said.

Four Mykonos officers sustained slight injuries in the fracas, the authorities said.

Mykonos is popular with sports stars and celebrities for its all-night nightlife and beaches.

United’s 2019/20 season ended Sunday in a 2-1 defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League semi-finals.

But the club will be back in pre-season training in two weeks and could begin the new Premier League campaign in less than a month.

On Monday, Maguire had tweeted after the elimination: “Time to go away, reflect, recover and be ready to come back stronger next season.”

 

AFP

Maguire In Court Over Police ‘Assault’

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 26, 2020 Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire reacts during the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. AFP

 

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire will appear before a Greek prosecutor Saturday to face charges of allegedly assaulting police on the island of Mykonos, with his lawyer promising a swift resolution.

“Everything is going well. Maguire denies the charges. If all goes well, we’ll be done (today),” Constantinos Darivas told Greek sports website gazzetta.gr.

Darivas added that the England centre-back was in “fine condition” despite spending two nights in detention since his Thursday night arrest.

Maguire will be taken before a prosecutor before midday.

The case is being heard on the island of Syros, the administrative hub of the Cycladic island group that includes Mykonos.

The £80-million (88-million-euro) defender was arrested early Friday after what Greek police described as an “altercation” between two groups of British tourists on Mykonos.

A Greek police statement on Friday said that three men aged 27, 28 and 29 had been arrested in Mykonos.

Greek state agency ANA identified the suspects as Maguire, his brother and a friend.

The police said an officer was punched on the scene, and that a second fight had broken out at the local police station where the three men “strenuously resisted (arrest), pushing and striking three officers.”

One of the suspects then tried to bribe the officers to hush up the incident, the police said.

The suspects are accused of assault, resisting arrest, verbally insulting and threatening the arresting officers, and attempted bribery, the police said.

Four Mykonos officers sustained slight injuries in the fracas, the authorities said.

Mykonos is popular with sports stars and celebrities for its all-night nightlife and beaches.

United on Friday said in a brief statement they were “aware of an alleged incident involving Harry Maguire in Mykonos last night.”

“Contact has been made with Harry, and he is fully cooperating with the Greek authorities.

“At this time we will be making no further comment,” the club added.

AFP

Man Utd’s Jones Receives Twitter Apology After Jibe

Phil Jones has endured a difficult season and missed out on a place in United’s squad for the current Europa League campaign with an ankle injury.

 

Manchester United defender Phil Jones has received an apology from Twitter after its official UK account mocked the England international.

The verified @TwitterUK account took a swipe at the much-maligned Jones on Tuesday, posting: “Name a better footballer than Phil Jones”.

The incident came after the social media network had previously said “being the target of online abuse is not easy to deal with” on a dedicated help centre page about coping and reporting abuse.

United are understood to have complained to Twitter about the subsequently deleted post, with the social network apologising to both club and player.

Jones has endured a difficult season and missed out on a place in United’s squad for the current Europa League campaign with an ankle injury.

He last featured for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team in January’s FA Cup fourth-round win at Tranmere, netting the fourth goal in a 6-0 romp.

 

-AFP

Fernandes Penalty Lifts Man Utd Past Dogged Copenhagen

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes reacts after an injury during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final football match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at the RheinEnergieStadion, in Cologne, western Germany, on August 10, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / POOL / AFP)

 

Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in extra time as Manchester United scraped past FC Copenhagen 1-0 on Monday in the quarter-finals of the Europa League, reshaped into an eight-team straight knockout tournament in Germany due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Portugal international notched his competition-best seventh goal of the season as United set up a semi-final clash against Sevilla or Wolves, joining Inter Milan in the last four following the Italian side’s 2-1 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Dusseldorf.

“Third time this season we’ve been to the semis, every competition we’ve been in. Delighted we’ve gone through, we deserved to win tonight,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport.

“Their keeper was fantastic, unbelievable. We hit the post a few times, there were a couple of VAR decisions against us. It could have been one of those nights that you end up with penalty shoot outs. They made it hard for us.”

 

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (L) shakes hands with FC Copenhagen’s Greek midfielder Zeca, next to Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes at the end of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final football match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at the RheinEnergieStadion, in Cologne, western Germany, on August 10, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / various sources / AFP)

All games from the quarter-finals onwards in this season’s Europa League are being played behind closed doors as one-off ties across four venues — Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen — in a unique format following a five-month interruption.

Solskjaer recalled Fernandes, Paul Pogba, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial but the 2017 competition winners struggled early, and 18-year-old Copenhagen forward Mohamed Daramy was twice involved as the Danish underdogs threatened a creaking United backline.

Eric Bailly intervened just as Daramy attempted to stab home a bouncing cross, and the Ivorian defender was then played into trouble by Fred with Jens Stage’s subsequent effort blocked.

Rashford finally tested Karl-Johan Johnsson just before the interval with a long-range shot — the first of a multitude of saves for Copenhagen’s outstanding Swedish goalkeeper.

Greenwood looked to have put United ahead as he drilled in via the far post moments later only for the teenager to be ruled offside following a VAR review.

He again went close early in the second half when he slammed against the upright, with Fernandes promptly smacking the opposite post with a dipping 20-yard drive.

The Portugal international, who scored five times in the group stage with Sporting, stung the palms of Johnsson with another hit from distance — shortly after Aaron Wan-Bissaka made a desperation block to thwart Bryan Oviedo after a mesmerising dribble from Rasmus Falk.

Johnsson outstanding in goal

Appearing in their first European quarter-final, and the first Danish club to reach this stage since 1997, Copenhagen continued to frustrate United as they sought a repeat of their 1-0 win when the clubs last met in the Champions League group stage in 2006.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes scores a penalty during the UEFA Europa League quarter-final football match between Manchester United and FC Copenhagen at the RheinEnergieStadion, in Cologne, western Germany, on August 10, 2020. (Photo by WOLFGANG RATTAY / various sources / AFP)

Martial nearly won the game in normal time but again a sprawling Johnsson tipped away his curling attempt that appeared destined for the top corner.

The France striker was once more repelled by Johnsson at the start of extra time, but Martial won a penalty as United kept the attack alive and the striker was upended by Andreas Bjelland.

Fernandes blasted home from the spot on 95 minutes but Solskjaer’s team were left to sweat until the end as Johnsson pulled off sensational stops from the Portuguese and substitute Juan Mata, with Victor Lindelof the third United player to strike the post.

United though ultimately ensured their 2019-20 campaign will extend into a second year, having started the season 365 days ago with a 4-0 Premier League win over Chelsea. Awaiting them on Sunday will be Sevilla — who have won the Europa League and its precursor, the UEFA Cup, a record five times — or domestic rivals Wolves.

Former United striker Romelu Lukaku grabbed the decisive goal for Antonio Conte’s Inter against Leverkusen as the Serie A runners-up moved a step closer to adding to their titles from 1991, 1994 and 1998.

Inter struck first as Nicolo Barella guided in from the edge of the area on 15 minutes, with Lukaku bundling in a second six minutes later.

Kai Havertz reduced the deficit in possibly his final game for Leverkusen on 25 minutes after exchanging passes with fellow Germany international Kevin Volland, but Inter held on to seal their place against Shakhtar Donetsk or Basel in next week’s semi-final.

“The defence did a tremendous job again tonight. We are growing but we have to learn to kill games off when we have the chances to do it, and we didn’t tonight,” said Lukaku.

“Now we have time to recover physically and prepare for another great game. We will have to be ready.”

 

 

-AFP

Sancho Travels With Dortmund For Pre-Season As Man Utd Transfer Deadline Expires

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
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

 

Jadon Sancho travelled with Borussia Dortmund to their pre-season training camp on Monday, the day the Bundesliga club’s deadline for the England winger’s possible transfer to Manchester United expired.

The 20-year-old is one of the brightest talents in Europe and Dortmund, who finished second in the Bundesliga last season, had slapped a 120 million euros ($140 million) price tag on him.

Media in the United Kingdom reported last week that United were close to signing the starlet.

Reports of a switch to United became rife over the weekend after Sancho was spotted at a party in London before returning to Dortmund.

In an interview last week, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke ruled out a transfer of Sancho once their week-long camp in Switzerland started Monday.

 

AFP