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Updated: 41 min 31 sec ago

Manchester City v Manchester United: a long season boiled down to one game | Paul Wilson

5 hours 11 min ago
A derby draw could suit both teams but Mourinho is unbeaten in the league since October and would clearly love to make life even more miserable for Guardiola

The race is not always to the swift, according to Ecclesiastes, although as Damon Runyon and thousands of others subsequently pointed out, that is never the way to bet.

Picking the winners and losers in this season’s title and top-four race has been an unusually fraught business, mainly because Chelsea dropped so far out of the running last time out.

Related: Pep Guardiola needs time to prove naysayers wrong at Manchester City | Jacob Steinberg

Related: Wayne Rooney at risk of going out at Old Trafford with a whimper | Daniel Taylor

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Pep Guardiola says Manchester City could adapt to Europa League

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 22:30
• City can go third with win over Manchester United on Thursday
• Doubts over David Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Agüero for derby

Pep Guardiola has said he and Manchester City would be able to adapt to the Europa League next season, though he is still “very optimistic” they will qualify for the Champions League.

City host Manchester United in Thursday night’s derby in fourth spot, a point and a place ahead of José Mourinho’s team. A United victory would push Guardiola’s side into fifth place. The City manager twice won the Champions League in charge of Barcelona and has discussed how much he enjoys competing in it since taking over at the Etihad Stadium.

Related: Pep Guardiola needs time to prove naysayers wrong at Manchester City | Jacob Steinberg

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Manchester United’s Paul Pogba ruled out of derby against City

Wed, 04/26/2017 - 15:34
• Jose Mourinho confirms the midfielder will not be fit to face City
• Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia will feature at the Etihad

José Mourinho has been left disappointed after Chris Smalling and Phil Jones declined to meet his challenge about rushing back from injury for a Manchester derby that will also go ahead without Paul Pogba.

Mourinho’s insistence that Marcos Rojo’s long-term knee injury meant it was time for Smalling and Jones to be braver has failed to coax either player back for the game at Manchester City on Thursday.

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury may be good news for his MLS suitors

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Manchester United show ‘concrete interest’ in £85m Antoine Griezmann

Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:58
• ‘United were the first to come and see us,’ says Atlético forward’s agent
• Griezmann’s buyout clause of £85m limits interest to only wealthy clubs

Manchester United have shown “concrete interest” in signing the Atlético Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann, who has an buyout clause of £85m, the France international’s agent Eric Olhats has claimed.

Related: Ander Herrera says Champions League place is at stake in Manchester derby

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Ander Herrera says Champions League place is at stake in Manchester derby

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 22:30
• Midfielder says clash with Manchester City will be ‘the game of the season’
• Yaya Touré would prefer to ‘play without a referee’ after error at Wembley

Ander Herrera believes the Manchester derby on Thursday will be the biggest match of their season, with United and City separated by only a point in the Premier League table as they chase Champions League qualification for next season.

United go into the game at the Etihad Stadium on the back of three successive Premier League victories that have revived their hopes of finishing in the top four. Having starred in the 2-0 win against the leaders, Chelsea, last week, the Spain midfielder Herrera played a pivotal role in the 2-0 victory against Burnley at Turf Moor and he admitted the meeting with Pep Guardiola’s side could be make or break for both teams.

Related: Liverpool need flawless finish and a Manchester City favour, says Emre Can

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic's injury may be good news for his MLS suitors

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:00

As Manchester United mourned the loss of their top scorer, those in Major League Soccer were contemplating what it meant for them

The sight of a player suffering suffering a season-ending injury is always a desperate one, particularly when the player in question is of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s quality. Indeed, the Swede will take no further part in the 2016-17 campaign, picking up a cruciate knee ligament injury that could sideline him until 2018. But as Manchester United mourned the loss of their top scorer, those in Major League Soccer were contemplating what it meant for them.

Ibrahimovic has been heavily linked with a move Stateside, with recent reports claiming Los Angeles FC have offered the striker a deal worth $6.4m a year in an effort to tempt him across the Atlantic. This comes after reports that the LA Galaxy were similarly lining up a move for the Manchester United striker who is out of contract in the summer. The tug of war over Ibrahimovic’s next destination was getting serious just as he suffered a season-ending injury.

Related: Bastian Schweinsteiger forgets the World Cup and shines on MLS debut

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‘Giving up is not an option’: Zlatan Ibrahimovic vows to return from injury

Mon, 04/24/2017 - 09:08
• Manchester United striker admits he will be ‘out for a while’
• José Mourinho says rehabilitation will be ‘really, really hard’

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has insisted he will not retire from football but admitted he will be out “for a while” with the injury he sustained against Anderlecht last week.

The Manchester United striker suffered significant knee ligament damage in the quarter-final victory in the Europa League, with the club awaiting a more detailed prognosis on how long he will be out. Manager José Mourinho admitted after Sunday’s 2-0 victory over Burnley that the 35-year-old’s recovery will be “really, really hard” due to his advanced years but, in a post on his Instagram page, Ibrahimovic has vowed to come back stronger.

Related: Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney sink Burnley

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Manchester United’s Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney sink Burnley

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 16:24

Manchester United enter Thursday’s 174th derby with Manchester City knowing victory at the Etihad Stadium will leapfrog them over Pep Guardiola’s side into fourth place following this convincing win.

Before the recalled Wayne Rooney’s 251st goal for the club, Anthony Martial became the first United man to score at Turf Moor in the league since Lou Macari in 1976. In doing so he cost another £8.5m payment to Monaco, a clause being triggered by Martial reaching 25th goals for the club. This may raise his fee to £44.5m but the close to £40m dividend yielded should Champions League qualification be achieved means United will hardly care.

Related: Burnley v Manchester United: Premier League – as it happened

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Burnley v Manchester United: Premier League – live!

Sun, 04/23/2017 - 13:54

1.54pm BST

Also on Martial, Neville says he was pleased to hear Mourinho call him out for not working hard enough, as he thinks it too. That’s a shame, as he’s a brilliant talent, though you wonder if harder work ought to have been coaxed from him by now.

1.51pm BST

Gary Neville says he’s heard that Rooney won’t be playing up front today. If so, that’s a big chance for Anthony Martial, though I’m not convinced he has the instinct, or at least makes the runs of a centre-forward.

1.50pm BST

In that connection, Marcus Rashford is left out, and with good reason. He gave everything in midweek and last Sunday, and will be needed in more important games. You’d not trust his team-mates to get it done without him, mind.

1.49pm BST

Mourinho is sad for his players as individuals, not for his team - what compassion! Zlatan, he explains, is close to the end of his career, and Rojo was playing as well as he ever had, having finally won a spot at centre-back in the Argentina side. Geoff Shreeves decides to ask whether Zlatan will play again, and is given microscopic shrift.

The obligatory question about Rooney follows - “is he at the top of his game and raring to go?” That too is batted away, and what comes next is telling: Mourinho says that rather than the home game against Burnley, when United had 43,986 shots without scoring, today he’s expecting two shots and two goals.

1.44pm BST

Talking of Martial, it might just be that Zlatan’s injury saves his United career. He looked certain for the off this time last week, but he ought to now get games; if he can play as he did last season, he’ll be a hard man to shift.

1.43pm BST

So, about that team news, then. Burnley make one change, and it’s up front: Gray replaces Vokes. As for United, out go Romero, Valencia, Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Mkhitaryan, Rashford and Ibrahimovic; in come De Gea, Darmian, Blind, Young, Herrera, Fellaini, Rooney and Martial.

1.39pm BST

A team who’re safe against a team who make eight changes, and two of whom played 120 sapping minutes in midweek: yes, we’re in for a cracker this afternoon, alright.

I say Burnley are safe; I say Burnley are safe; and they are. But they’d not mind just a couple more points, and whatever happens, they’re not the sort to toss it off.

1.17pm BST

Burnley: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Barton, Hendrick, Brady, Gray, Barnes. Subs: Flanagan, Defour, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Tarkowski, Pope, Agyei.

Man Utd: De Gea, Young, Bailly, Blind, Darmian, Ander Herrera, Fellaini, Pogba, Lingard, Rooney, Martial. Subs: Carrick, Rashford, Romero, Mkhitaryan, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe.

1.12pm BST

Daniel will be here soon. In the meantime, here’s José Mourinho on Manchester United’s injuries.:

José Mourinho has admitted Manchester United “are in trouble” due to an injury crisis after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo suffered what are feared to be season-ending injuries in Thursday’s Europa League victory over Anderlecht.

United have been drawn to face Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the tournament after beating Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate. Lyon will play Ajax in the other semi. Mourinho, whose side play Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday, said: “We are in trouble. In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don’t have [Phil] Jones or [Chris] Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too.

Related: Mourinho running out of options after latest Manchester United injuries

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Wayne Rooney at risk of going out at Old Trafford with a whimper | Daniel Taylor

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 21:00

Manchester United’s record scorer most likely has 10 games left, at most, for the club he signed for in 2004 and his chances of a fitting finale look slim

In the middle of the pitch, under the lights of the Bernabéu, one man could be seen going through his victory poses. Cristiano Ronaldo has choreographed these routines over the years. He kept his top on this time, maybe reserving that particular treat for the final, but you are probably familiar with the rest of the act. Ronaldo pointed at his chest. He nodded with appreciation at his own night’s work and it was the look of self‑adoration you might remember from the Fonz after a particularly impressive chat-up line to one of the girls from Happy Days.

A couple of nights later, it was midway through the second half at Old Trafford when Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo’s old colleague, started going through his warm-up on the side of the pitch. Manchester United were finding it difficult to shake off Anderlecht in their Europa League quarter-final and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had rarely looked so disorientated. Yet when the crowd called for a change it was another substitute, Ander Herrera, they serenaded rather than Rooney. A few moments later, they sang the Spaniard’s name for a second time. Rooney returned to the dugout and never had to remove his tracksuit top even when Ibrahimovic went down with the injury, ruptured knee ligaments, that footballers fear the most.

Related: Manchester United: Ibrahimovic and Rojo suffer ‘significant ligament damage’

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s misfortune could still yield dividend for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

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Manchester United: Ibrahimovic and Rojo suffer ‘significant ligament damage’

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 18:25
• Swede and Argentinian carried off against Anderlecht on Thursday
• ‘Both players require specialist opinions over the coming days’

Manchester United have confirmed that the knee injuries sustained by Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo involve “significant ligament damage” and said that both players will require specialist treatment in the near future.

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s misfortune could still yield dividend for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

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Burnley v Manchester United: match preview

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 08:59

José Mourinho is unlikely to take this one lightly even though the effects of playing 120 minutes against Anderlecht on Thursday and significant injuries to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo suggest they may struggle. United’s manager is so short of options the club’s captain and record scorer, Wayne Rooney, overlooked as substitute against the Belgian club, may even be pressed into service. Mark Tallentire

Kick-off Sunday 2.15pm

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José Mourinho running out of options after latest Manchester United injuries

Sat, 04/22/2017 - 00:01
• Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo could be out for rest of season
• Mourinho admits ‘we are in trouble’ before league game with Burnley

José Mourinho has admitted Manchester United “are in trouble” due to an injury crisis after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo suffered what are feared to be season-ending injuries in Thursday’s Europa League victory over Anderlecht.

United have been drawn to face Celta Vigo in the semi-finals of the tournament after beating Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate. Lyon will play Ajax in the other semi. Mourinho, whose side play Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, said: “We are in trouble. In this moment, Eric Bailly played six matches in a row, and we lost Marcos Rojo, we don’t have [Phil] Jones or [Chris] Smalling, we are in trouble and now we lose Zlatan too.

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Manchester United draw Celta Vigo in the Europa League semi-final

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 12:26
  • Manchester United have been drawn to face Celta Vigo in the semi-final of the Europa League, with Ajax facing Lyon in the other tie

12.24pm BST

Manchester United have been drawn to face Celta Vigo in the semi-final of the Europa League, with Ajax facing Lyon in the other tie.

United reached the semi-finals by beating Anderlecht 3-2 on aggregate, with Marcus Rashford hitting an extra-time winner on Thursday night. Celta beat RC Genk after securing a 1-1 draw in Belgium, which meant they went through 3-2 on aggregate.

12.18pm BST

So there you go. Following in the footsteps of fellow Manc Steve Coogan, United will be taking a trip to Spain. The first leg will be on May 4, with the second on May 11.

12.16pm BST

Step forward Iago!

12.15pm BST

But who will United play!????!!!!!??

12.15pm BST

The first team out is...Ajax.

12.15pm BST

Here we go...

12.12pm BST

The man doing the draw for this one is...Patrick Andersson, ex of Bayern Munich and of course a Swedish man. The final will be in Stockholm this year, in case you hadn’t joined the dots.

12.10pm BST

Quick reminder that if United draw Celta, we could be in for the prospect of Iago Aspas taking a corner in England once again.

12.06pm BST

The mayor of Stockholm is on stage. She might be a robot. Reports unconfirmed so far.

12.01pm BST

Here we go again. Pedro Pinto sashays his way onto the stage in the UEFA lecture theatre. Hopefully the representatives from the clubs aren’t flicking ink at each other.

11.48am BST

Quick reminder that this tournament does appear to now be Jose Mourinho’s priority. From a couple of weeks ago:

I just want to think that against Everton we are going to do what we tried to do [against West Brom], to try to play with our best team and try to win the match,” Mourinho said. “And after Everton we go to Sunderland with the same perspective, and then after Sunderland the Europa League comes and I don’t know. Then, it’s possible that you see me play in the Premier League with a team where I’m going to protect the players that I consider fundamental for the Europa League. But only, only if the results in the next matches put us in a situation where mathematically, it becomes almost impossible to do it.”

Related: José Mourinho may sideline league if Manchester United fail to improve

11.42am BST

Here’s how United have reached this stage of the competition, by beating Anderlecht last night, although not without some cost...

Related: Marcus Rashford’s extra-time winner takes Manchester United through

9.36am BST

Hello there. Look at you, back here for more. A quick reminder of the teams left in this Europa League draw.

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José Mourinho tells injured players to be brave for Manchester United cause

Fri, 04/21/2017 - 00:32

• Mourinho wants Jones and Smalling to hurry back to help depleted squad
• ‘I don’t think Ibrahimovic and Rojo suffered easy injuries’

José Mourinho said Manchester United can still dream of winning the Europa League after reaching the semi-finals of the competition with victory over Anderlecht on Thursday night but implored Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to “be brave for the team” and try and accelerate recovery from injury on a night when Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were both taken off on stretchers.

The Swede injured his right knee and as he has yet to agree a new one-year deal at United there are fears the 35-year-old might never play for the club again should it prove a long-term problem.

Related: Marcus Rashford’s extra-time winner takes Manchester United through

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s misfortune could still yield dividend for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s misfortune could still yield dividend for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 23:25
Ibrahimovic’s season might be over after he twisted a knee against Anderlecht but the injury allowed match-winner Marcus Rashford to switch to the centre

The final act of normal time featured the sad sight of Zlatan Ibrahimovic twisting his right knee and being taken off as the tie moved into extra time. Yet this would have a beneficial side effect for Manchester United with what happened in the 107th minute of the contest.

Ibrahimovic’s exit meant a reshuffle as on came Anthony Martial, who took Marcus Rashford’s wide-left berth, with the No19 becoming centre-forward – and his deflected left-foot finish took his side into the Europa League semi-finals.

Related: Marcus Rashford’s extra-time winner takes Manchester United through

Related: Manchester United 2-1 Anderlecht (3-2 agg): Europa League quarter-final – as it happened

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Marcus Rashford’s extra-time winner takes Manchester United through

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 22:45

In the end, it was a bittersweet night for Manchester United. They are through to the semi-finals, courtesy of another outstanding addition for Marcus Rashford’s growing portfolio, but the victory came at a heavy cost bearing in mind the sight of Zlatan Ibrahimovic limping away with a jarring knee injury just before the tie moved into extra-time.

Ibrahimovic’s knee had bent to a point where there will inevitably be concerns about whether he is able to take any further part in the competition. He will undergo a scan to assess the damage and if United’s worst fears are confirmed, it threatens to be a considerable loss, even if Rashford’s end-of-season form indicates he is ready to fill the void.

Related: José Mourinho tells injured players to be brave for Manchester United cause

Related: Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s cruel injury luck may be a blessing for Manchester United | Jamie Jackson

Related: Manchester United 2-1 Anderlecht (3-2 agg): Europa League quarter-final – as it happened

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Manchester United v Anderlecht: Europa League quarter-final – live!

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 19:10

7.09pm BST

Manchester United: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Shaw; Carrick, Pogba; Lingard, Mkhitaryan, Rashford; Ibrahimovic. Subs: De Gea, Blind, Fellaini, Herrera, Young, Martial, Rooney.

Anderlecht: Ruben; Appiah, Kara, Spajic, Obradovic; Tielemans, Dendoncker; Hanni, Chipciu, Acheampong; Teodorczyk Subs: Boeckx, Deschacht, Bruno, Nuytinck, Capel, Kiese Thelin, Stanciu.

10.54am BST

Hello. If there’s anything to be learnt from the fraternal squabbling between Chuck and Jimmy McGill, it’s that holding a person to what they say into a tape recorder is just cruel. So while Jose Mourinho is the man who said the following about Rafa Benitez bringing the Europa League to Chelsea in 2013 – “I don’t want to win the Europa League. It would be a big disappointment for me. I don’t want my players to feel the Europa League is our competition” – it’s also true that people either have to adapt to a change in their circumstances or drown in their own pride and delusion.

The primary target for Manchester United at the start of the season, no matter what Jose Mourinho will tell us now, was not to win the Europa League. It would have been a lovely bonus, sure, but after signing Eric Bailly, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the main focus for a manager with as much as a lust for winning as Mourinho and a club as successful as United was to challenge for the Premier League. That they haven’t come close to doing so must rank as a disappointment, though it would have been easier to take if they looked like re-asserting themselves as a top four force again. Sunday’s win over Chelsea was a big step in the right direction. It was probably their best performance since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, one that was full of youthful pace, energy, inventiveness and desire. But as it is, despite that win and despite a long unbeaten run which suggests that Mourinho has hardened this squad’s mentality, chances are they’ll be finishing fifth at most, which leaves the Europa League as their likeliest route back into the Champions League.

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Who will win the Europa League? Rating the chances of the eight quarter-finalists

Thu, 04/20/2017 - 11:00

Manchester United are the outstanding favourites but Lyon pose a big threat and Celta Vigo will be keen to extend Spain’s dominance over this competition

By Martin Laurence for WhoScored?, part of the Guardian Sport Network

After the first leg of the Europa League quarter-finals all eight sides have realistic hopes of progressing to the final four. Manchester United conceded a late equaliser in Anderlecht but were the only side to get a positive result away from home. Celta Vigo take a 3-2 lead to Genk; Lyon go to Besiktas 2-1 in front; and Schalke have a little more to do after a 2-0 defeat in Ajax. We take a look at the remaining sides’ prospects of winning the trophy – and earning a place in next season’s Champions League.

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