Your Monday Briefing: What a weekend for United!
It was a weekend to remember for Manchester United after all three of the club’s age groups secured important victories. Here’s Your Monday Briefing to wrap up the essential headlines...
There is only one place to start and that is Saturday’s excellent Premier League win at Old Trafford, which has strengthened our grip on second place. Marcus Rashford scored twice in the first half and, although Eric Bailly’s own goal prompted a tense finale, Jose Mourinho's men were deserving winners in the end.
The result has left us 13 points behind leaders Manchester City, who face Stoke City tonight, and four ahead of third-placed Tottenham Hotspur. Jurgen Klopp's side are now five behind in fourth.
After making his first top-flight start since Boxing Day, the 20-year-old was voted our Man of the Match by supporters on Twitter with a massive 81 per cent of votes. It was a just recognition of his performance and the manager’s shrewd decision to include him in the XI.
“He probably came in unexpected but we trusted him,”Mourinho later explained.
“We felt the game could be adapted to his qualities. It was because he was impressing a lot in training and, sometimes, that's the point.”
On a yellow card, Marcus was substituted midway through the second half and, when asked about that decision to make the change, Jose told reporters:
“I heard Gary Neville was asking [on Sky Sports] for Marcus Rashford to get a red card and I was scared maybe the referee was watching it at half-time!”
'It'll be hard to beat this feeling'Video
YOUNG THE UNSUNG HERO
Rashford deserved the praise and acclaim for his two-goal display, but many fans and pundits were right to highlight Ashley’s performance at left-back against Mo Salah. The Egypt international is the Premier League’s second-highest scorer this season on 24 and a clear contender for the PFA Player of the Year award, but he was completely nullified on Saturday afternoon.
Ashley Young magnificent #MUNLIV few have played Salah better. Not really a question of whether he’s in Southgate’s #eng squad on Thursday now but does he start at World Cup? Most in-form left-back & can easily play wing-back system Southgate wants to use in Russia.— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) March 10, 2018
JOSE DOESN’T CARE WHAT PEOPLE SAY
United registered two shots on target and impressively scored from both, while also limiting Liverpool’s famous attack to a handful of half chances.
“It was a complete performance by us with two different halves,
“ Jose said.
“If people don't think we deserved it, I don't care. I am a bit tired, we have a match on Tuesday. I don't care what people say. The boys are happy, I'm happy.”
Mourinho: We controlled the gameVideo
“I want to praise every player but Marouane Fellaini had to go to knee surgery,“ said Mourinho at his press conference.“To return ahead of time, he did fantastic work to recover outside the club with the people who have his trust. He arrived to train a couple of days ago and made himself available.”
NO UPDATE ON BAILLY YET
Shortly after netting his unfortunate own goal, the Ivorian appeared to pick up an injury but gallantly played on to finish the game. Asked about his fitness afterwards, Jose said:“I don't know. He had a fantastic performance. An amazing goal! He showed great spirit to cope with the own goal and to cope with the injury as it was obviously painful. That's the Eric we love!”
WHY POGBA MISSED OUT
Paul was omitted from the squad and, speaking before kick-off, the boss confirmed he picked up an injury in training on Friday.“An unlucky situation and he is out,”he said.“I don't know how long he is out for.”
United 2 Liverpool 1 Gallery
In pictures, the story of a significant win at Old Trafford.
Attention now turns to Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Sevilla, who suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Valencia in La Liga at the weekend. The Spanish club has since named a 22-man travelling squad for the trip to Old Trafford and, interestingly, former Manchester City winger Jesus Navas has not been included due to an
“injury to his right calf”.
United’s Reserves came from behind to claim a morale-boosting victory against Liverpool at Anfield on Friday in what was one of their best performances of the season, with Ricky Sbragia’s side scoring twice in the final 10 minutes to win in rain-soaked conditions. On Saturday, our Under-18s also produced a top display to sweep aside West Bromwich Albion 6-1 at the Aon Training Complex.
LOAN STARS IN ACTION
Sam Johnstone started once again as Aston Villa secured a vital 4-1 win over rivals Wolves at Villa Park and, elsewhere in the Championship, James Wilson stepped off the bench and hit the post as Sheffield United drew 0-0 at Ipswich Town. Tim Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell, Matty Willock, Charlie Scott and Andreas Pereira were not involved for their respective loan clubs.