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  • Manchester United must go all out to secure the most important piece of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s puzzle

    Manchester United boast fast, exciting and young forwards, yet don’t have an established centre forward, a top goalscorer. Edinson Cavani could have been that man this season, but he’s started only seven of United’s 28 league games and played only 919 minutes of league football. Harry Maguire has played 2,610. Cavani signed after the season had begun, quarantined, got fit, got injured, got suspended and got injured again. Twice. The Uruguayan could still be a world class player and has shown…...
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  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shows he has an eye for fine margins in Manchester United’s push back to the top

    Alex Ferguson had never thought much about footballers’ eyesight until he received a letter from Dr Gail Stephenson in 1996. Gail was a big United fan who went to games with her daughter Rebecca. Gail was also the vision expert at Liverpool University and had noted that United lost four of the five away games in a grey strip in the 1995-96 season. She explained to Ferguson that the drab colour made it much harder for the players to pick out their teammates than the regular kit. United didn’t…...
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  • European Super League: big clubs prove that match-going supporters no longer matter – they are after ‘armchair fans’

    It was a big FA Cup game against Chelsea at Old Trafford in 1988 and the Stretford End was busier than usual. A crowd of 50,716 was present, 11,000 more than normal. Chelsea were on their way to relegation, but one of the game’s great appeals is that nothing is permanent and nor should it be.  “Move along, let the part-timers in,” said a voice as I tried to squeeze past. “Then they can go back to their armchairs and watch the other games on TV.”It stung. To be an armchair fan was a stain...
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  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes ‘nights like this’ will keep Edinson Cavani at Manchester United

    AS Roma knew all about Edinson Cavani before he left Naples for Paris in 2013, the year Manchester United last won the English Premier League title.There was the hat-trick in his final season in a 4-1 win, another goal in Olimpico. Cavani scored nine times against Roma in his final nine games against them.On Thursday night in rainy Manchester, he hit two more and also set up Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood as Manchester United finally convinced in a semi-final under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to…...
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  • Manchester United’s porous defence misses skipper Maguire, with Bailly a nervy stopgap

    If only Manchester United’s central defence could stand as firm as the forbidding wall erected by the club to keep protesting fans out of Old Trafford.

    Harry Maguire, usually an every minute of every game mainstay, has been absent for United’s two midweek home matches separated by only a day this week.

    Though United’s captain tried to urge his teammates on from the stands this week, United lost three times in a Thursday to Thursday run which encompassed four games...
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  • Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Uefa Europa League loss to act as ‘springboard’

    The pickup vans worked their way through Gdansk’s beautiful city centre on Thursday night, stopping to collect branded Manchester United, Villarreal and Uefa signage for the 2021 Europa League final.

    There were giant pictures of each finalist to pack away while the United and Villarreal flags which flew from the front of every bus, tram and lamp post were replaced with the flags of Poland and Gdansk.

    As the city where the first shots of the Second World War were fired...
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  • SCMP Global Impact Newsletter, SIGN UP NOW

    SCMP Global Impact Newsletter, SIGN UP NOW

    Curated by our award-winning team of journalists, this must-read newsletter explores the impact of emerging topics originating from China, and their significance around the globe.


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  • Kieran Trippier deserves his England place – Manchester United’s interest shows Southgate is not alone in admiring him

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  • Manchester United’s Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Uefa Europa League loss to act as ‘springboard’

    The pickup vans worked their way through Gdansk’s beautiful city centre on Thursday night, stopping to collect branded Manchester United, Villarreal and Uefa signage for the 2021 Europa League final.There were giant pictures of each finalist to pack away while the United and Villarreal flags which flew from the front of every bus, tram and lamp post were replaced with the flags of Poland and Gdansk.As the city where the first shots of the Second World War were fired and where the Solidarity…...
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  • A win that means so much to the club and town of Villareal – a tiny blink-and-you’ll-miss-it kind of place

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