United Briefing: One week, two huge home games

Tuesday 27 April 2021 08:00

With Roma and Liverpool visiting Old Trafford on Thursday and Sunday, this could be a season-defining week for Manchester United and minds are fixed firmly on achieving success.

Our Europa League semi-final first leg against the Italians kicks off at 20:00 BST and offers a chance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Reds to gain a crucial advantage ahead of next week’s trip to Rome, with a place in next month’s showpiece finale in Gdansk, Poland, up for grabs. 

Liverpool at the Theatre of Dreams is traditionally the biggest game of any season for most United supporters, of course, and this weekend’s Premier League outing has added significance: a win would mean we finish above them in the table for the first time since the 2017/18 campaign.

So how is the mood ahead of this influential week of fixtures? Let’s hear from four key voices at the Aon Training Complex in Solskjaer, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic

Solskjaer: “Roma defend well, as Italians always do of course. They’re an experienced team and we all know Edin Dzeko, so any ball in the box is a dangerous one. We’re looking forward to it, of course. We’re in a semi-final now and it feels like a proper European tie, because Roma is a club with loads of tradition and history, but we’ve done well against Italian teams before. We’re looking forward to it and we’re going into these games hoping to get to the final. If you can finish this season with a final and a trophy then that would be great.”
Classic Match: United 7 Roma 1 Video

Classic Match: United 7 Roma 1

The seven-goal demolition of Roma has to go down as one of our very best nights in Europe…

Maguire: “Yeah, it’s big week ahead and we need to improve on today [against Leeds], for sure. We need to be more clinical in the final third. Obviously, Roma in the Europa League is going to be a tough tie and it is one we look forward to, and then Liverpool at Old Trafford - a big week. We need to go into it full of confidence and improve on what we showed [at Elland Road].”

Shaw: “Of course, these are three massive games coming up and especially the two against Roma, which could sort of define our season. I think we have been in the semi-finals a lot in the last two seasons, and we haven't been successful in them. So this is a chance for us to take a step in the right direction, get through that and then win the competition.”
Matic: “I think it's time to get to the final and win this trophy, but it's going to be hard. We respect Roma, we know that they are a good squad with a good coach and a big club. It's going to be interesting, but we have to believe in our qualities. We want to play in that big final and bring trophies to Old Trafford because this club deserves the best.”
Goal of the Day: Hughes v Sheffield Wednesday Video

Goal of the Day: Hughes v Sheffield Wednesday

There's just something about a ball going in off the bar, and this Mark Hughes strike from 1994 is the prime example...


United are preparing for the Roma game at the Aon Training Complex and we’ll have exclusive footage of the session for you in the afternoon, as well as photos of the workout – naturally, these may provide clues about which players are available for the big game at Old Trafford. 

Away from the first team, our Under-18s will face Sunderland in a 13:00 BST kick-off that is live on MUTV. You can also read about the match via our report on ManUtd.com and the Official App.
Ruud: It all went ballistic! Video

Ruud: It all went ballistic!

United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy recalls the top-of-the-table battles with Arsenal, in his brilliant podcast…

Make sure you also check out our latest excerpt from Ruud van Nistelrooy’s brilliant UTD Podcast, focusing on his first season as a Red and how he misinterpreted the fans’ chanting of his name. 

Today is also the anniversary of legendary defender Paul McGrath joining the club in 1982. He went on to make 199 appearances for the club and became an iconic figure for many supporters. 
Bailly: I love this club Video

Bailly: I love this club

Eric Bailly tells us that his new contract is like a new challenge for him...


We officially announced a new contract for Eric Bailly and the United defender was delighted, telling us: “I’m very happy. This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United. I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good.”

The manager also provided his reaction, saying: “Eric has improved his robustness since my time as manager and he will continue to play a significant part in the squad.”

Earlier on, we published our extended highlights of Sunday's Premier League draw against Leeds, heard from Luke Shaw and examined how Harry Maguire is set to break a long-standing record

The aforementioned UTD Podcast with van Nistelrooy was also released in full at 17:00 BST and is available now via all of your favourite streaming services. 

Monday's essentials: