Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said that Manchester United were tactically weak in the midfield department where Paris Saint-Germain dominated the proceedings. The Red Devils were fancied to outclass a Les Parisiens side, who were without the likes of Neymar and Edinson Cavani upfront but they experienced the complete opposite with the French club securing a 2-0 triumph in the end.
Speaking on BeIN Sports, Wenger indicated that United were dominated in the centre of the park where the French outfit went with five midfielders compared to their three. He added to emphasise the importance of holding onto possession for longer periods at home which was simply not the case for United during the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie.
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Morocco international Medhi Benatia has revealed that he turned down advances from Manchester United and Arsenal in order to raise his children in a muslim-based country. The central defender has been tipped to head to the Premier League from Juventus during the winter period before he made the shock move to Qatar with Al Duhail.
The former Roma man has since made his debut for the Middle East outfit and speaking to the club’s official website, he has now revealed that the move was based on religious reasons, he said: “I faced criticism from the Moroccan sports critics after moving to Doha but I want everyone to respect my decision because it was the best for me and for my family.”
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Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has highlighted that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has brought back the happiness within the squad after guiding the club to five successive victories. The Norwegian was hired as the interim boss after the dismissal of Jose Mourinho and the 45-year-old has managed to transform the club’s fortunes with the perfect record.
Speaking to Manutd.com, Romeo highlighted that the squad are much happy than they were before and this has partly contributed to the improved performances on the playing field, he said: “We’ve had a great run. Not just the results, but the way in which we have won the games as well. Scoring five goals in one match was a big boost to confidence and was really something. What we’re showing now, after a great Christmas, is only right for a club of this stature, [it] proves what we can do. [The manager] knows what he wants to achieve – both for the club and us as individuals. You can see he has brought to the club a certain happiness and it is going well.”
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Manchester United legend Roy Keane has said that the players at his former club are equally responsible for the Red Devils’ average Premier League season. The Mancunian giants recently took the decision to axe Mourinho from the head coach role but Keane believes the players should be likewise blamed for the results after not playing at their full capacity under the Portuguese.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, he said:“I do think the players, obviously, get away with murder. Just the way they hide behind the manager, Mourinho. Whatever you say about the players, they have thrown him under the bus and people have said Mourinho has been falling out with players, well you would fall out with players. That’s the name of the game and players turn up overweight or players are not training properly and not producing. And then for some of them to down tools, you know, shame on some of them players.”
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Manchester United favourite Dimitar Berbatov has urged the Red Devils’ hierarchy to listen to Jose Mourinho’s transfer demands at the turn of the year. The Mancunian giants have made an uncharacteristic start to the season with just 20 points from their opening 12 matches and the run already sees them 12 points behind table-toppers Manchester City.
In a report covered by The Mirror, Berbatov admitted that United are not in the best of position at the moment but they should still back the Portuguese head coach when the transfer window reopens. He added that the central defence remains the position of concern and the board ought to pursue at least one recruit in the New Year, though it certainly won’t be easy.
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Manchester United favourite Nicky Butt has said that there has been a genuine power shift between the Manchester clubs over the past few years and his former side have a challenge on their hands to reclaim their dominancy over their cross-town rivals. The Red Devils were truly outclassed during the recent derby at the Etihad Stadium where Manchester City secured a comfortable 3-1 victory to return to the top of the table.
Speaking in a player care conference, Butt admitted that United are going through a tough period whilst suggesting that City have bridged a gap between themselves and chasing pack. He added that United now have the challenge to reclaim the reputation of being the best from the times of Sir Alex Ferguson.
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Huddersfield heaped more misery onto Fulham at the John Smith’s Stadium during another edition of Monday Night Football. Losing to the Terriers at this stage of the season is nothing short of disastrous for Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic as the West Yorkshire side managed to leapfrog Fulham and propel themselves off the foot of the table.
Right now, Fulham are at their first real crossroads after being promoted from the Championship last season. As things stand, their record makes for quite awful reading after suffering their fifth straight defeat as well as only managing a solitary win in their opening 11 games in England’s top flight. This downturn in form is light years away from the fashion in which they ended last season in the Championship by beating Villa at Wembley in the play-off final. Continue reading “Fulham: Stick or Twist”