Why September is a huge month at United
The international break is dominating the attention at the moment, but there's plenty to look forward to from a Manchester United perspective.
For all four of our sides, it's the first full month of the new campaign and a particularly important one for the Women, whose return to action is just a day away.
Here are the key dates for your diary and all the most important information for each of our 14 fixtures in September...
Manchester United Women kick off the 2021/22 WSL season by hosting Reading at Leigh Sports Village. It will be an historic evening in more ways than one: not only is it the Reds first game under the management of Marc Skinner, but it’s also the first time in 18 months that supporters have been permitted to watch our Women’s side in a competitive game - tickets are still available. If you can't make it to the ground, you can watch live on Sky Sports in the UK from 19:45 BST, or we’ll be replaying it in full on MUTV from 21:45 BST.
Could this be the one we’ve all been waiting for? United v Newcastle at Old Trafford, kicking off at 15:00 BST on Saturday 11 September could be the game in which Cristiano Ronaldo pulls on that red shirt once again. It’s already one of the most hotly anticipated home clashes of recent years and we’ll be gradually ramping up the focus over the next seven days or so. If you’re not lucky enough to have yourself a ticket at the Theatre of Dreams for that day, follow the action as it unfolds on ManUtd.com and the Official App. You can also pre-order the official matchday programme, United Review, now.
There are two youth-team fixtures that Saturday too, with the Under-23s playing Arsenal in Borehamwood at 13:00 BST and our Under-18s side facing Middlesbrough at Carrington an hour earlier.
Skinner’s Reds face their first away trip of the season, against newly promoted Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. United beat the Foxes by a combined score of 13 to 1 during our sole season in the Championship, but the East Midlands side have rapidly improved in recent years and can now count three familiar faces in their squad in Abbie McManus, Jess Sigsworth and Charlie Devlin. Watch our reunion with the former United trio at 14:00 BST on the FA Player.
Solskjaer’s men make a much-anticipated return to the Champions League with a visit to Switzerland. Young Boys, who play in the capital Bern, are the opposition and many of our players will have fond memories of our last trip to Wankdorf Stadium. We ran out 3-0 winners there in September 2018, with Paul Pogba scoring twice and Anthony Martial once. Ronaldo will be keen to feature in a competition he has made his own in recent years: the Portuguese holds the all-time scoring record with a sensational 134 goals… You can see if he adds to that tally at 17:45 BST on BT Sport in the UK.
Neil Wood’s young Reds are in Leigh once again to welcome Brighton and Hove Albion’s Under-23s in the Friday night kick-off (19:00 BST). The Seagulls have started the campaign strongly and sit second in Premier League 2 at the time of writing, with two wins and draw from their opening three fixtures.
Depending on the results of the previous weekend, a top-of-the-table clash could be taking place on Sunday 19 September, when the London Stadium hosts West Ham v United. The Hammers have raced out of the blocks after last season’s excellent sixth-placed finish under David Moyes, but the Reds can take spirit from December 2020’s comeback victory in Stratford, when goals from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford secured our first three points in East London for almost four years. Let’s hope for more of the same in a game which is slated for a Sky Sports broadcast, with a 14:00 BST kick-off.
The Hammers are once again the opposition, this time at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup third round. The Reds have failed to progress beyond this round of the competition just twice since 2007 and we are one of a few sides who will fancy our chances of ending Manchester City’s recent stranglehold on the trophy. It is expected that Solskjaer will rotate his side for this one, which kicks off at 19:45 BST. Tickets are still available for the game and you can purchase them here.
The Under-23s are live on MUTV as we travel to Merseyside to take on Everton at 19:00 BST. The Toffees finished fifth in last season’s Premier League 2 table, three places and two points clear of United.
Another Old Trafford clash is on the cards when Aston Villa come to town. The visitors may have lost talisman Jack Grealish over the summer, but Dean Smith’s side have added the likes of Emi Buendia, Danny Ings and Leon Bailey to an already talented squad and they should provide tough opposition for this 15:00 BST kick-off. Earlier that morning, Travis Binnion’s Under-18s welcome Stoke City to Carrington for a league fixture.
Our Women close out the month with a mouthwatering clash against Emma Hayes’s all-conquering Chelsea side at Leigh Sports Village. The Blues have claimed five of the last six domestic trophies, including two WSL titles, and made it to the Champions League final in May. They were held by the Reds in this fixture last season though and can we go one better against the only side we are yet to record victory against? The game will be broadcast live on BBC Two in the UK, while tickets are on sale here.
September ends with a rematch of May’s Europa League final. Unai Emery’s Villarreal side were faultless from the spot in Gdansk, but let’s not dwell on that. A first Champions League night in front of a full Old Trafford crowd since April 2019 is a different matter. Register your interest in tickets now – it’s one not to be missed!