Greenwood’s Late Equaliser Rescues United Against Everton

Manchester United’s English striker Mason Greenwood (L) battles with Everton’s English defender Mason Holgate (C) and Colombian defender Yerry Mina (R) during the English Premier League football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north-west England, on December 15, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

 

Mason Greenwood came off the bench to rescue Manchester United as the teenage striker’s late equaliser secured a 1-1 draw against Everton on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side fell behind to Victor Lindelof’s controversial first-half own-goal after United’s appeals for a foul on David de Gea were ignored by VAR.

But Greenwood, introduced in the second half, underlined his vast potential with a clinical strike 13 minutes from full-time.

READ ALSO: I Am Alive And Bubbling – IBB

The 18-year-old is the third-youngest player to score a Premier League goal at Old Trafford after former United forwards Federico Macheda and Danny Welbeck.

Bradford-born Greenwood, a product of United’s youth academy, now has seven goals in his breakthrough season after netting twice in his previous appearance against Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.

This was his second Premier League goal after his strike against Sheffield United in November and his rapid progress is a bright spot in a difficult season for Solskjaer’s sixth-placed team.

It was fitting that Greenwood scored in the 4,000th senior match in succession in which at least one youth graduate was represented in United’s first-team or matchday squad, an extraordinary record stretching back over nine decades.

After their impressive wins over Tottenham and Manchester City in their last two league games, United’s frustrating draw reaffirmed how much improvement is still needed under Solskjaer despite Greenwood’s ascent.

For Duncan Ferguson, Everton’s caretaker manager, this spirited performance built on the momentum from last weekend’s win over Chelsea.

Hit by injuries and illness, Everton avoided losing for the seventh time in their last eight away league matches.

Another of United’s homegrown products should have opened the scoring within 20 seconds when Fred’s burst into the Everton area ended with Jesse Lingard swivelling onto the loose ball and shooting wide from 10 yards.

Daniel James’ blistering pace was on full display when the winger raced clear for a low drive that flashed wide of the far post, prompting an angry exchange between Everton keeper Jordan Pickford and team-mate Lucas Digne about who was to blame for the break.

– Focused and combative –

Marcus Rashford tested Pickford with a swerving free-kick, but United — at their best when counter-attacking — were too often forced into slow build-up play that was easy for Everton’s well-drilled defence to stifle.

United were losing their grip and it was Everton who took the lead in bizarre fashion in the 36th minute.

When Leighton Baines sent over an inswinging corner, De Gea came and missed as he tried to punch clear, with the ball bouncing off Lindelof into his own net.

United protested that Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin had fouled De Gea by putting an arm across his face, but although the goal was reviewed by VAR it was allowed to stand.

The farcical goal meant United had failed to keep a clean-sheet in 12 consecutive top-flight matches for the first time since 1971.

United pressed harder after half-time and Luke Shaw drove forward from left-back for a stinging drive that Pickford pushed away to James, who accidentally drove the rebound into Lingard’s face.

Everton were far more focused and combative than under the sacked Marco Silva.

But Solskjaer introduced Greenwood with 25 minutes left and it proved an inspired move.

Greenwood immediately had an effort saved by Pickford and, with United firmly on the front foot, the teenage starlet equalised in the 77th minute.

Picked out by James, Greenwood steadied himself on the edge of the area with a perfect first touch before drilling his low left-foot shot through a crowd of Everton defenders and past Pickford.

In a tense finale, Alex Iwobi almost won it for Everton with a dipping shot that De Gea pushed away before Ferguson hauled off substitute Moise Kean only 18 minutes after putting him on.

AFP

Rooney Confident He Could Still Thrive In Premier League

File Photo: Wayne Rooney attends a press conference during a media day at St George’s Park in Burton-on-Trent, central England on November 13, 2018, ahead of their international friendly football match against the USA on November 15.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Wayne Rooney believes he could still make an impact in the Premier League as the former Manchester United star targets a return to the top-flight with Derby.

Rooney will resume his career in England next month after joining second-tier Derby as player-coach from MLS side DC United.

The 34-year-old striker will work as an assistant to Rams boss Phillip Coco, with promotion back to the top flight the aim as he tries to prove he can still compete with the sport’s elite even in the twilight of his career.

“I still felt I could do it when I was at Everton, but other people made their decisions on that,” Rooney was quoted as saying in the British media on Sunday.

“Now my ambition is to get Derby back in the Premier League and hopefully play my part there for them.

“Ryan Giggs was able to play into his late thirties in the Premier League and Gareth Barry says he wants to do it at 40.

“It’s important to understand football. It is not all about running round, it is about using your head to play the game.

“Sometimes that gets lost, because you don’t score as many goals or whatever. Given the right team around me, then I could still play in the Premier League.

“The two teams I played for in the Premier League were Manchester United and Everton. I am at Derby now, and hopefully, we can get there with them.”

Former England captain Rooney, whose tally of 208 Premier League goals is bettered only by Alan Shearer, went to America in June last year after leaving first club Everton, whom he re-joined from United following a 13-year stay at Old Trafford.

Derby are 16th in the Championship, nine points off the play-off places after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Millwall.

Solskjaer Calls For Consistency After Manchester United Mini-Revival

United Seek To Derail Liverpool Title Bid
Manchester United’s Norwegian caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Wednesday that he wants Manchester United to learn how to be consistent as his in-form team prepare for their Europa League clash with AZ Alkmaar.

Group L leaders United have already qualified for the knockout stages of the competition going into Thursday’s match at Old Trafford, and they are up to fifth place in the Premier League after a run of five matches without defeat that included successive wins over Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City.

“Consistency is vital in football. If we want to win trophies this young team needs to learn how to put performances in when they don’t feel great,” said Solskjaer. “It doesn’t happen that you feel great every time you walk onto the pitch.

“We have had some games this year where we have not been able to perform as well as we would like but that is a learning curve.

“The young boys will improve that as well in the next few years and hopefully the rest of the year. We are looking brighter now.”

Solskjaer’s side are one point ahead of surprise Dutch outfit Alkmaar and need a draw from their final group match to ensure top spot.

“Results are the proof in the end. Inside we have always believed in what we are doing,” the Norwegian added.

“I see these boys in training every single day. I see their skills and attitude so I’m not worried.”

Solskjaer also condemned the alleged racist abuse aimed at United midfielders Fred and Jesse Lingard in their 2-1 derby win over City on Saturday, with the former also being hit by missiles as he went to take a second-half corner.

A 41-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in connection with the allegations, before being bailed pending further investigation.

“This isn’t how it should be in football but what we can do is go out onto the pitch next time and prove we are all equal,” said Solskjaer. “It has been a tough couple of days for Jesse and Fred.”

AFP

Premier League Recap: United Win Manchester Bragging Rights

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (C) celebrates scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Manchester United delivered a potentially fatal blow to Manchester City’s Premier League title hopes on Saturday after leaders Liverpool secured the Christmas number one spot with victory against Bournemouth.

City came into the match at the Etihad knowing they had to win after Jurgen Klopp’s men coasted to a 3-0 victory on England’s south coast but succumbed to United’s lightning-quick attacks, losing 2-1.

Earlier, Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham blitzed Burnley 5-0, with Son Heung-min scoring a sensational individual goal, to close to within six points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who went down 3-1 to Everton at Goodison Park.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United side started the evening match at the Etihad buoyed by their victory against Spurs in midweek and were immediately on the front foot, sprinting forward at every opportunity.

Marcus Rashford opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute and Anthony Martial doubled the visitors’ lead six minutes later.

City came back strongly, dominating possession, but could not force a breakthrough and the visitors continued to look dangerous on the break.

Eventually City’s pressure paid off, with Nicolas Otamendi’s late header sparking a frantic wave of City attacks but they failed to find an equaliser and are now 14 points behind Liverpool. United are up to fifth.

Klopp’s team took advantage of playing before their closest rivals to widen the gulf at the top of the table to 11 points, with Leicester not in action until Sunday, meaning Liverpool cannot be caught by December 25.

Klopp, mindful of a fixture pile-up for his side, made seven changes from the 5-2 midweek victory against Everton, with Sadio Mane dropping to the bench and Alisson Becker back in goal following suspension.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring for the European champions in the 35th minute and Liverpool made it 2-0 just before the break when Naby Keita played a fine one-two with Mohamed Salah and finished from close range, with Keita turning provider for Salah in the 54th minute.

It was Liverpool’s first clean sheet in any match since late September.

“Yes, it was (perfect), 100 percent,” said the manager.

“We scored wonderful goals, we had more chances and did really well and we were really uncomfortable to play against.

“From 3-0 on we controlled the game absolutely. The players didn’t like it too much, they wanted to be really loud in these moments but I didn’t want to see any unnecessary risk. It was maybe not the most exciting but necessary.”

Son stunner for Spurs

Spurs flew out of the blocks at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Harry Kane scored twice and there were also goals for Lucas Moura and Moussa Sissoko but it was Son Heung-min’s goal that caught the eye.

With Spurs already 2-0 up, Son stole the show just after the half hour, running from deep inside his own half past a host of Burnley defenders and capped the astonishing burst with an ice-cool finish.

Spurs are still six points behind fourth-placed Chelsea but will fancy their chances of closing the gap on their London rivals, who are stumbling after a six-game winning run earlier in the season.

“A perfect day,” Mourinho told the BBC. “No injuries, a clean sheet, goals, perfect football, kids coming on for first Premier League football.”

Everton made it a miserable day for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea thanks to an early strike from Brazil forward Richarlison and two goals from England under-21 international Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Former Everton player Duncan Ferguson, in charge for the first time of the Toffees after the sacking of Marco Silva, refused to talk up his chances of getting the coaching job full-time, telling BT Sport: “I’m sure they’re out there looking for other candidates, and rightly so. We want the best guys in the world managing our football club.”

Watford, who appointed former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson as their new manager on Friday, were unable to force their second win of the season, drawing 0-0 with Crystal Palace.

 

AFP

Rashford Strikes Twice As United End Mourinho’s Perfect Start At Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur’s Argentinian goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga deflects the ball onto the bar from a shot by Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (not pictured) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 4, 2019. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Marcus Rashford spoiled Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford on Wednesday, scoring twice as Manchester United beat Tottenham 2-1 to end their former manager’s perfect start to his tenure at his new club.

The England forward put United in front early in the first half and converted a second-half penalty to restore their lead after Dele Alli’s exquisite equaliser as United leapfrogged Spurs in the Premier League table.

Spurs went into the match two points ahead of United after their mini-revival under their new boss, who replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino at the London club last month.

Struggling United had made their worst start to a season in 31 years but started brightly against the visitors, playing with energy and adventure and cutting through the Spurs midfield with ease.

The home side deservedly took the lead when Rashford beat Paulo Gazzaniga at his near post in the sixth minute — the forward’s 11th goal in his past 13 games for United and England.

Man-of-the-match Rashford, attacking from the left, surprised the goalkeeper with the power of his shot but Gazzaniga may feel he should have done better.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could easily have stretched their lead but Gazzaniga made amends by touching a thunderous Rashford shot onto the crossbar.

 Rashford threat 

The Spurs goalkeeper made another smart stop minutes later, keeping out a curling effort from Rashford and Jesse Lingard also went close.

It was a far cry from recent disjointed performances against Sheffield United and Aston Villa. Both of those matches ended in draws after United had taken the lead.

But despite being a clear second best, Tottenham edged their way back into the game and were on level terms six minutes before half-time thanks to an audacious piece of skill from the in-form Alli.

Serge Aurier’s shot was saved and the rebound landed to Alli, whose sweet first touch took the ball away from Ashley Young and Fred. He let it bounce before shooting past David de Gea into the far corner.

The England man looked a pale shadow of himself in the early weeks of the season but has bounced back in style, scoring four times in his past three matches.

United would have been disappointed to have been trailing at the break after their impressive first-half showing but they were back in front in the 49th minute when Rashford sent Gazzaniga the wrong way from the spot after being brought down by Moussa Sissoko.

The match then fell into a familiar pattern, with United surging forward in search of another goal, with Rashford a constant threat down the left and Daniel James also looking dangerous.

Mourinho threw on Christian Eriksen in search of an equaliser as the game remained in the balance but despite some late pressure against a nervy United, they left Old Trafford empty-handed.

Mourinho, sacked by United last December, won his first three matches in charge of Spurs, with his team scoring 10 goals in the process but he has problems to sort out at the back as he targets a Champions League spot.

United are also eyeing the top four despite a big gap to close.

AFP

Solskjaer Calm About United Future Despite Sackings

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. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he does not fear for his future as Manchester United manager despite a spate of Premier League sackings as he prepares to face his predecessor Jose Mourinho.

Spurs turned to Mourinho after dismissing Mauricio Pochettino last month, while Arsenal and Watford have subsequently sacked Unai Emery and Quique Sanchez Flores.

READ ALSO: ‘We Didn’t Use Our Heads’, Sarri Berates Players For Poor Performance

Solskjaer is under increasing pressure, with United ninth in the Premier League, 22 points behind leaders Liverpool and eight off a top-four spot as they prepare for Wednesday’s match against Tottenham.

“No, it doesn’t make me more concerned,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.  “I’m just focusing on my job and that’s just doing as well as I can, and look forward to the next game, and look long-term, plan things with board.

“It’s that time of year. It’s never nice to see your colleagues lose your jobs — three in a very short space of time.

“It’s a game of margins,” he added. “Sometimes you have luck, sometimes you don’t, but it doesn’t make me any more concerned that it’s December.

“I’m good, absolutely no problem. Sometimes you laugh when you read stories about what I’ve said and stuff, at least I know the sources are just made up, blatant lies.”

The United boss bemoaned his team’s failure to turn draws into wins, saying they were not getting the results their football deserved.

The club are winless in three games and Solskjaer’s job will not get any easier with a derby against Manchester City on Saturday to follow the game against Mourinho’s Spurs side.

The Norwegian, though, dismissed any need for crisis talks with the United board.

“Three days or four days are not going to change a whole lot, but these two games are great chances for us to prove things and prove to ourselves that we can continue in the vein we have had against some of the better sides,” he said.

Solskjaer expects Mourinho to receive a warm welcome when he returns to Old Trafford a year after being sacked, having won the League Cup and Europa League during his time in charge.

“We know we have to improve, we are working hard to do that right and when you change a manager halfway through the season (it) isn’t where it is supposed to be,” said the Norwegian.

“I don’t think whoever the manager of the opposition team is will change their motivation (of the players),” he said.

“They are motivated to do well for Man Utd, because they know it’s about improving every day in training and every time you step on that pitch it’s a chance to prove you can be part of this long term. That has always been the case at Man Utd.”

United will still be without the injured Paul Pogba but Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic will be assessed as Solskjaer looks at his midfield options.

AFP

Maguire Frustrated Over United Defensive Lapses

Manchester United’s English defender Harry Maguire (L) vies with Aston Villa’s Brazilian striker Wesley (R) during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on December 1, 2019.
PHOTO: Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Harry Maguire is frustrated that defensive lapses are costing Manchester United crucial points after they let slip a winning position for the second consecutive match against Aston Villa.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were leading 2-1 midway through the second half at Old Trafford on Sunday before a Tyrone Mings equaliser forced them to share the points.

The 2-2 draw left United in ninth place in the Premier League with 18 points from 14 matches, their worst return at a similar stage since 1988/89.

United also conceded a late goal in the previous week in a 3-3 draw against Sheffield United after storming back from 2-0 down to lead 3-2.

“We got ourselves in a great position in the second half (against Villa) and again conceded a sloppy goal really,” Maguire told MUTV.

“As a defender especially, it’s frustrating,” he added. “We haven’t really conceded many chances or goals prior to the last two games and then we’ve conceded five.”

Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time since he was sacked a year ago with a resurgent Tottenham side on Wednesday before United make the short trip to neighbours Manchester City at the weekend.

Solskjaer has to find a way to turn draws into wins, having managed just six victories in 22 league matches since being appointed permanent manager in March.

Maguire believes the quick turnaround from Sunday to Wednesday could help United after their recent disappointments.

“It’s perfect. When you don’t win any football match you want a game as soon as possible to put things right,” he said. “And there’s no better way than to play Tottenham here at Old Trafford.”

AFP

Sheffield Hold Man Utd To 3-3 Draw In Dramatic Comeback

Sheffield United’s French striker Lys Mousset (L) celebrates with Sheffield United’s English midfielder John Lundstram (R) after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Sheffield United and Manchester United at Bramall Lane in Sheffield, northern England on November 24, 2019.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Manchester United and Sheffield United shared the spoils after a dramatic 3-3 draw at Bramall Lane on Sunday, with the home side scoring a late equaliser after three goals from the visitors in seven minutes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team, outplayed for 70 minutes by the promoted side, trailed 2-0 after a first-half goal from John Fleck and a second-half effort from Lys Mousset.

Chris Wilder’s team were hungrier and more incisive but from nowhere United were back in the game, with 19-year-old Brandon Williams scoring in the 72nd minute.

Manchester United suddenly looked full of ideas and incisive running, with the game turned on its head.

READ ALSO: Lazio Remain Third In Serie A After Sassuolo Victory

Solskjaer threw on Mason Greenwood to replace Andreas Pereira, meaning they were now operating with an attacking quartet of Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James.

Just five minutes after Williams’ strike, Greenwood equalised, finishing from close range after Rashford’s cross.

With the home side rocking badly, United poured forward again and Rashford swept home.

But the drama was still not over, with Oliver McBurnie controlling the ball and firing past David de Gea to level at 3-3. The goal stood after a VAR check.

AFP

Man United Beat Brighton 3-1, Climb To Seventh Position

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford (R) celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on November 10, 2019.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester United’s upturn in form continued as Andreas Pereira and Marcus Rashford struck in a 3-1 victory over Brighton at Old Trafford that was even more comfortable than the scoreline suggested.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side also benefitted from a first-half own goal from Davy Propper to recover from an unproductive spell that had seen them score just four times in their last four home league games.

United moved to within a point of the top five after scoring twice in two first-half minutes and, although both came after significant deflections off Brighton defenders, it was no more than Solskjaer’s side deserved.

READ ALSO: Cagliari Rout Fiorentina 5-2, Climb To Third In Serie A

Fielding the youngest starting line-up of any team in the Premier League this season – 23 years, 350 days – United made an energetic opening with Rashford coming closest to a goal, with a committed run and powerful shot which Mat Ryan saved well.

But on 17 minutes a United counter-attack saw Fred find Anthony Martial. His link with Pereira, whose shot took an unkind deflection off Dale Stephens, wrong-footing Ryan on its way in.

United supporters were still celebrating that opener when they were handed double cause for celebration from a deep free-kick that Fred floated into the Brighton area.

Harry Maguire rose powerfully, causing panic for Ryan and his defence, and with Brighton slow to react, Scott McTominay forced the ball over the line, via a final touch by Davy Propper.

Not even the inevitably drawn-out delay for a VAR check, over whether Maguire had handled or Ryan fouled in the build-up to the goal, could dilute the joy of home supporters.

It was a scintillating spell of football from a side that, before Thursday’s Europa League win over Partizan Belgrade, had not scored two first-half goals at Old Trafford for nearly 10 months since Brighton’s last visit in mid-January.

After some low moments so far this season, including a dispiriting 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth last weekend, United were on their way to a fifth victory in their last six league and cup games.

This is United’s best run since Solskjaer first took over from Jose Mourinho at the turn of the year.

Brighton were looking for their first-ever victory at Old Trafford but rarely threatened in the first half beyond a couple of set-piece deliveries.

And if Fred had been more fortunate with a 61st-minute strike that Ryan fumbled onto his bar to catch at the second attempt, the afternoon could have been far more comfortable.

As it was, there was a worry for United on 64 minutes when Brighton halved arrears from a Pascal Gross corner, met by Lewis Dunk who headed in from six yards despite the close attention of Maguire.

United’s response was swift and clinical, however, with the Reds restoring their two-goal cushion just two minutes later.

It came from a blistering counter-attack and a beautifully-weighted through ball from Fred which Martial took in his stride, brushing off Shane Duffy and rounding Ryan before pulling back for Rashford to convert.

Rashford would follow that, moments later, with an astonishing miss as he failed to find the back of an open net from six yards after fine work and accurate cross from Dan James.

Teenage full-back Brandon Williams, making his first-ever league start, James and Rashford were all denied by Ryan as United threatened to make the victory even more emphatic, but settled for three goals and a very welcome three points.

AFP

Bournemouth Blow Man United Of Course

Bournemouth’s Norwegian striker Joshua King (R) scores the opening goal past Manchester United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea (L) during the English Premier League football match between Bournemouth and Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium in Bournemouth, southern England on November 2, 2019.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Manchester United’s mini-revival came to a crashing halt as Josh King’s strike on the stroke of half-time earned Bournemouth a 1-0 win in treacherous weather conditions on England’s south coast.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had not won away from home since March until 10 days ago, but three consecutive wins on the road at Partizan Belgrade, Norwich and Chelsea to book a place in the League Cup quarter-finals in midweek hinted at a turning point for the Norwegian.

Instead, the failings that have characterised their season were back in evidence as a lack of goal threat and one moment of slack defending inflicted a fourth Premier League defeat in 11 games.

The visitors had started the brighter as both sides struggled to cope in the howling wind and rain.

Daniel James whistled a long-range effort just wide, whilst Anthony Martial saw appeals for a penalty waved away.

Bournemouth struck their decisive blow just before the break when King, who started his career in England at United after being recommended to Alex Ferguson by Solskjaer, came back to haunt his former employers.

The Norwegian acrobatically lifted the ball beyond Victor Lindelof and bamboozled Aaron Wan-Bissaka before firing past David de Gea.

United enjoyed plenty of possession in the second period to try and find a route back into the game, but even with Martial back to partner Marcus Rashford in attack, they lacked a cutting edge.

Andreas Pereira tested Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale with a dipping effort from the edge of the area, but it was not until Solskjaer threw on two teenagers in Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams in the final 10 minutes that the visitors really ramped up the pressure.

Greenwood came closest to an equaliser when he hit the post with his first touch before Scott McTominay’s shot was too close to Ramsdale, who collected at the second attempt.

Bournemouth held out for a third consecutive clean sheet and just their third victory over United in their history to move above the Red Devils into sixth in the Premier League table.

Fourth-Tier Colchester Get Dream Draw With Manchester United

 

Fourth-tier Colchester United’s chairman expressed his delight at being drawn away at Manchester United in their League Cup quarter-final declaring “You come into football for days like this.”

Colchester — the lowest ranked side remaining in the competition — have lost both times they have faced United: 1-0 in the FA Cup fifth round in 1978-79 and 2-0 in the League Cup third round in 1983-84.

However, that did not diminish the joy at the prospect of playing at Old Trafford. Having knocked out last season’s Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur in the third round, Colchester are keen for another high-profile giant-killing act.

“Everyone’s delighted with the draw,” their chairman Robbie Cowling told the BBC.

“You come into football for days like this. We’re going to enjoy every minute.”

Holders Manchester City also face lower-league opposition as they travel to third tier Oxford United — who knocked out Manchester United in the fourth round of the 1983-1984 edition.

There are two all-Premier League ties with Aston Villa to host Liverpool and Everton at home to Leicester City.

After their thrilling win on penalties over Arsenal following a 5-5 draw, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp threatened to call a halt to his side’s participation because the quarterfinal is too close to the FIFA World Club Cup.

Liverpool are due to play in the semi-finals in Qatar on December 18 and the League Cup quarter-finals are scheduled for that week.

However, the EFL — organisers of the League Cup — released a statement saying they were talking to Liverpool about an alternative date.

“The EFL is in discussions with Liverpool to identify an alternative date given the club’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup competition,” they said.

Draw:

Aston Villa v Liverpool

Everton v Leicester City

Manchester United v Colchester United

Oxford v Manchester City

AFP

Manchester United’s Confidence On The Rise, Says Rashford

Manchester United’s English striker Marcus Rashford gestures at the final whistle during the English Leaguse Cup fourth round football match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in London on October 30, 2019. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Three successive away wins have done wonders for Manchester United’s confidence following a difficult patch, according to striker Marcus Rashford.

Rashford celebrated his 22nd birthday a day early in some style on Wednesday scoring both United’s goals as they beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge to progress to the League Cup quarter-finals.

His second goal, a swerving 30-yard free-kick, was labelled by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as “Cristiano (Ronaldo)-like” though Rashford preferred to see it as an important boost to team morale following away wins at Partizan Belgrade and their first in the Premier League in eight months last Sunday at Norwich.

Solskjaer had been under pressure after United made their worst start to a league season in 33 years, but Rashford hopes the team have now turned the corner since becoming the first side to take points off leaders Liverpool a fortnight ago with a 1-1 draw.

“If you get a couple of wins back-to-back early on in the season it can change the direction the season is going,” Rashford told Sky Sports.

“Because mentally, for a team like Man United, when you’re winning back-to-back games, the team’s confidence levels go up.

“So, if we can keep doing this and keep it up in the league, we take it game by game and go back up the table.”

United’s next challenge is a fourth successive away trip, this time in the Premier League to Bournemouth, who are level on points with them, on Saturday.