Category Archives: News

Manchester United Meets Sevilla Without Rashford

LONDON: Manchester United are plagued by the problem of injuries to key players ahead of the first quarter-final of the Europa League against Sevilla, early this Friday morning.

United will visit the Spanish club most likely without the services of their top scorer Marcus Rashford who has a groin injury.

Rashford was at the peak of his form scoring 28 goals in all competitions but he had to be taken off as the team cruised to a 2-0 win over Everton yesterday.

Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag, when asked about the injury status of his hamstring, admitted that the initial assessment found that it was not very good for Rashford.

“We have to wait but it doesn’t look good. Again, it’s due to the tight (match) schedule.

“It can’t be just you playing for three games in six days. We have to protect our players,” said Ten Hag.

If Rashford is ruled out, Ten Hag is expected to risk ex-Sevilla loanee Anthony Martial to take over the striker’s place.

Martial spent six months with Sevilla in the second half of the 2021/2022 season, scoring just one goal in 12 appearances.

Southgate Begins England’s Quest To Win Euro 2024

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: England’s quest to win a major championship since 1966 began early this Friday morning as the Three Lions squad began their Euro 2024 qualification campaign against the defending champions, Italy.

After taking time out to consider his future following a World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of France in December, Gareth Southgate will remain as England boss and try for a fourth time at glory.

Southgate is already seeing a transformation that is changing his country’s fortunes on the international stage.

But after reaching the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals in the last three major tournaments, as well as ending a 58-year drought in Germany next year will be seen as a disappointment.

Southgate may have sounded a warning this week about the lack of regular England players in the Premier League (EPL) but he admitted it was a long-term concern with the talent at his disposal.

Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham are proving they are two young talents in football in Qatar.

Harry Kane’s goals for his country will make him England’s record holder while Marcus Rashford’s potential has finally been realized under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.

Injury to Rashford means he will miss this week’s openers against Italy and Ukraine but Southgate has no shortage of substitutes with Manchester City pair Phil Foden and Jack Grealish expected to battle it out for places.

Of all the successes under Southgate, the win over Germany in the last 16 of Euro 2020 remains the only knockout stage win against a major nation in international football.

“This is a game we have to show we can win,” Southgate said of the clash with Italy in the atmosphere at the Estadio Diego Armanda Maradona near Naples.

“That’s the next level for us as a team.”

Mbappe Aimed To Take PSG To UEFA CL Quarter-Final

PARIS: Kylian Mbappe headed to Munich after breaking Paris Saint-Germain’s record and determined to lead the French giants past Bayern to the quarter-finals of the European Champions League.

PSG trailed 1-0 after losing in the first leg of the last 16, where the injured Mbappe was only briefly included in the match last month.

But the 24-year-old France star made the most of the short spell by scoring but having it ruled out for offside, signaling that he can turn their fortunes around in Munich.

Since that defeat, the Ligue 1 leaders have bounced back to record three domestic wins, scoring 11 goals in total.

Mbappe hit five of them, including one in Saturday’s 4-2 win over Nantes which saw him surpass Edinson Cavani’s record as PSG’s top scorer – five years after he joined the club from Monaco in 2017.

Mbappe, who last December became the first player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final since Geoff Hurst in 1966, has now collected 201 goals in 247 games for PSG.

“All players play to make a name in the history of football, so that they will be remembered. I think with this record people will remember me here,” said Mbappe.

Mbappe scored 30 goals in 30 games for the club this season and is arguably the best player in the world at the moment, although he was pipped by teammate Lionel Messi for the FIFA Player of the Year award.

Messi, with 18 goals for PSG this season, has played the mastermind behind Mbappe’s finishing moves in Cristhope Galtier’s squad – which is missing Neymar ahead of the trip to Munich with an ankle injury.

The Brazilian forward will be out until the end of the season following surgery on his ankle days away.

Should they be eliminated again in the first round of the Champions League knockout stages, it would be PSG’s fifth in seven seasons.

They lost to Bayern in Lisbon in the 2020 final, but Mbappe’s best performance came the following year in Munich.

Mbappe exploded twice in the first quarter-final to win 3-2 at the Allianz Arena.

Arsenal Beat Everton

LONDON: Gabriel Martinelli performed brilliantly as Arsenal created a five-point gap at the top of the English Premier League (EPL) with a 4-0 win over Everton early this morning.

Bukayo Saka broke Everton’s stubborn barrier late in the first half before Brazilian striker Martinelli doubled Arsenal’s lead at the Emirates Stadium.

Martin Odegaard scored the third and Martinelli completed Arsenal’s biggest win since October in what could be another sign of a resurgent title chase.

It is important for Mikel Arteta’s side to win this match to create a gap over second-placed Manchester City as the title race draws to a close.

With 13 games to go, victory keeps Arsenal in pole position to win the title for the first time since Arsene Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ in 2003-04.

“After we scored the first goal, the game opened up. We needed a moment of magic and Bukayo gave it. After that we played better and deserved to win this game,” said Arteta.

“It’s an indication we’re already here and we want to continue.”

After a three-match winless run that saw them relegated after City’s 3-1 win at the Emirates, Arsenal have bounced back nicely.

A run of three wins since defeat at the hands of City has given the Gunners 60 points, their joint-highest tally after 25 EPL games compared to the 2003-04 and 2007-08 campaigns.

“I’m happy to see the team play the way we want. This league gives a different story,” said Arteta.

“We already proved something big after what happened at Goodison. I’m happy with the maturity and quality we showed.”

Sean Dyche started his Everton career by scoring in a shock 1-0 win over Arsenal at Goodison Park on 4 February.

Real Madrid Haunt Liverpool On The European Stage

LONDON: Jurgen Klopp wants Liverpool to continue their resurgence this season by taking revenge against Real Madrid in the European Champions League.

Klopp’s squad finally showed improvement in a campaign that was almost completely destroyed.

Liverpool recorded back-to-back wins – over Everton and Newcastle – to rekindle their chances of a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle put them just six points behind their opponents who are fourth in the league, with Liverpool one game less.

Liverpool will host Real at Anfield tomorrow for the first leg of the last 16 round of the European Champions League.

It will be decisive in Klopp’s ability to lead Liverpool to a second Champions League title under his management.

Liverpool, six-time champions of Europe’s elite competition, should have enjoyed more Champions League success under Klopp’s guidance, but Real were the main obstacle.

The Spanish giants beat Liverpool in the 2018 final, knocked them out in the quarter-finals in 2021 and won the title last season with a 1-0 victory in the final in Paris thanks to a goal from Vinicius Junior.

Liverpool have failed to beat Real since winning in the last 16 of the 2009 Champions League.

Last year’s defeat ended their failure to chase a quadruple title, a mission that only yielded success in the FA Cup and League Cup.

With this year’s Champions League final set to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, he is sure to invoke fond memories for Liverpool where they beat AC Milan for the 2005 edition of the championship.

The Reds are definitely looking forward to returning to Ataturk Stadium, but they first need to overcome Carlo Ancelotti’s men

Barcelona, Manchester United To Prove Their Status

BARCELONA: Barcelona will await the arrival of Manchester United early this Friday morning in a clash that has twice graced the final of the Champions League but this week is somewhat embarrassing in the play-off round of the Europa League.

The Catalan side were knocked out of Europe’s premier competition at the first hurdle as Manchester United finished as runners-up in their Europa League group stage, pitting the two against each other.

Despite the high status of both teams who once held the title of giant, they are among the most improved teams and are at the best level of performance in the continent.

Barcelona and Manchester United are both being built by great coaches Erik ten Hag and Xavi Hernandez who aim to quickly return to Europe’s elite stage.

The teams last met in 2019 as United slumped after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson while Barcelona’s decline began again.

Five-time Champions League winners Barca won the quarter-final 4-0 on aggregate, but the only player United will likely face near Camp Nou is goalkeeper Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona have since overhauled their entire squad at their expense last summer, sparking criticism after being knocked out of the Europa League.

Robert Lewandowski is a dangerous striker signed by the Catalan squad while Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen have already confirmed their status as key defenders among the best in Europe.

Barcelona have conceded just seven goals in La Liga this season, keeping 16 clean sheets in 21 games and Xavi’s side are unbeaten in 16 games in all competitions.

Xavi took over the team in November last year and led the team from mid-table to second place in the league.

“It’s been over a year since Xavi came and a lot of things have changed, maybe even the mentality and the way we defend,” Ter Stegen said this week.

“(Xavi) has a plan, maybe it takes longer than expected, but you see the results step by step. We have a better idea to do it on the pitch and this is the key to success.”

Liverpool, United Deserve To Be Awarded EPL Title

LONDON: The English Premier League (EPL) title should be awarded to Manchester United and Liverpool after Manchester City was accused of violating financial regulations.

The Premier League today claimed City, owned by Abu Dhabi-controlled City Football Group (CFG), breached financial rules more than 100 times over nine seasons.

After the news broke, Liverpool and United supporters insisted their teams should be awarded the Premier League title in a year in which they finished second behind Pep Guardiola’s side.

Liverpool are just one point behind City in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons. The Reds were also two points behind City in the 2013-14 season.

United were denied the 2011-12 league title by City on goal difference thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic win in the final league game.

One Liverpool supporter wrote: “If found guilty there should be points deducted. We only have one title instead of three because we are competing against teams who break the law.”

Another Reds supporter wrote: “Give the Premier League title to the second place team in 2013-14, 2018-19 and 2021-22 as punishment.”

United supporters also said: “Give Manchester United and Jose Mourinho the 2017-18 Premier League title.”

Manchester United To The League Cup Final

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said winning a trophy was a necessary step at Old Trafford after the team beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 earlier this morning then won 5-0 on aggregate to reach the League Cup final.

Anthony Martial and Fred scored for Ten Hag’s side in the final 17 minutes of the semi-final with United facing Newcastle at Wembley on February 26.

Three managers have left the club since United last won a trophy under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

But Ten Hag is now just one game short of ending the drought in his first season at the club.

“I think we have a good squad, so we want to maintain a high standard,” said the Dutch manager. “You have to bring it in every game.

“We are Manchester United. When you are a United player, you have to live up to that standard.”

The advantage collected by the Red Devils when they won 3-0 at the City Ground in the first round when Ten Hag could rotate the squad since United are still involved in four tournaments.

He made six changes from the squad that beat Reading 3-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup last Saturday with Marcus Rashford among those rested on the bench.

Wout Weghorst came close to breaking the deadlock before the break when the Dutchman’s header went wide but the game opened up more after Ten Hag made a change after an hour.

“We have a lot to do this season, so far I hope everyone can play,” said Ten Hag.

“If you want to win trophies, you need all of them to perform. You saw tonight that we can bring a new dynamic from the bench.”

Newcastle United Are Close To League Cup Final

SOUTHAMPTON: Eddie Howe warned Newcastle that they are not safe for the League Cup final after a 1-0 win over Southampton early this morning.

Joelinton scored the only goal of the game in the second half at St Mary’s to put Newcastle ever closer to a domestic championship final since 1999.

Southampton’s Duje Caleta-Car was sent off at the end of a tense game after Adam Armstrong’s equalizer for Nathan Jones’ side was disallowed by VAR for handball.

Newcastle may qualify for Wembley ahead of the tie at St James’ Park on January 31, meeting winners Manchester United and Nottingham Forest in the final.

“It was a good day but there is still a long way to go in this meeting. Happy to win, that’s our goal, but we realize 1-0 is too thin.

“It’s a tough game. I think both teams have had their chances. Nobody’s got the upper hand yet. We go back to St James’ with the fans behind us,” said Howe.

Howe, however, admitted his side were lucky when Armstrong’s equalizer was disallowed: “I thought it was a goal. It was a relief when VAR stepped in.”

Newcastle enjoyed an excellent season under Howe, finishing third in the Premier League and reaching their first semi-final of the domestic championship since 2005.

The last time they won a domestic trophy was in the 1995 FA Cup.

Their last final ended in defeat at the hands of Manchester United in the 1999 FA Cup.

Manchester City Continues To Win The Money League

MANCHESTER: Manchester City lead Deloitte’s Football Money League for the second consecutive year with the English Premier League dominating the top 20 clubs for the first time.

The total revenue from the top 20 clubs is close to the pre-pandemic value of 9.2 billion euros for the 2021-22 season.

The increase was largely through a 1.3 billion euro jump in matchday revenue after two seasons affected by pandemic disruptions.

The Premier League’s increased revenue in broadcast rights sales and strong commercial growth saw 11 of England’s top flight clubs fill the top 20 for the first time.

Leeds and Newcastle replaced Wolves and Zenit St Petersburg from last season’s top 20 list.

A 13 percent increase in City’s income to 731 million euros saw them maintain their top position over European champions Real Madrid who collected 714 million euros.

Liverpool are third, their highest finish in Money League history and overcame Manchester United for the first time, following their triumphant run to the European Champions League final, at 702 million euros.

United are fourth (689 million euros), followed by Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich (each at 654 million euros).

Barcelona, ​​who topped the Money League two years ago, slipped to seventh place after being knocked out of the European Champions League at the group stage and suffering a decline in commercial value compared to its rivals.

Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal complete the top 10.

“The financial dominance of the English Premier League will be difficult to challenge for the coming seasons. It is not impossible that one day all 20 English Premier League clubs will be in the top 30 of the Money League,” said Deloitte Sports Business Group director, Sam Boor.