Chris Smalling

Newcastle stuns Manchester United

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  • Dubravka shines in debut
  • Ritchie scores off set piece
  • Mourinho winless at St. James’ Park

Matt Ritchie‘s second half goal led Newcastle United to a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday at St. James’ Park to ensure their stay in the Premier League’s drop zone was a shade over two hours.

Goalkeeper Martin Dubravka made a number of huge saves as Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial were continually flummoxed by the hosts.

The win boosts Newcastle into 13th place with 28 points, while Manchester United remains second with 56.

Paul Pogba was pulled in the 66th minute after losing his mark on Newcastle’s goal.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Chris Smalling gave away a free kick on the edge of the 18 with a handball, and Kenedy stared down David De Gea before letting Gayle blast one into the wall. De Gea stopped Jonjo Shelvey on the rebound before DeAndre Yedlin ended the chance by shooting over the goal.

A Manchester United giveaway allowed Diame to cue up Ayoze Perez for a half-chance that zipped wide of the goal.

The Red Devils settled into possession but couldn’t find the target, with Newcastle backstop Martin Dubravka making a few handy plays on debut. At the other end, Kenedy his a hard shot right at De Gea.

Moments after Dwight Gayle held up a potentially strong Newcastle break, Anthony Martial nearly made them pay but for a Dubravka save.

Lukaku crossed for Martial, who got in front of Paul Dummett but drove his header wide.

Chris Smalling chopped down Gayle at the corner of the 18, but no penalty call came for the English striker.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The second half saw Matt Ritchie’s penalty shout denied by the offside flag, and United started to assert control soon after through a Lukaku goal pulled back for a foul and an Alexis Sanchez penalty shout that ended with his shooting into the side netting.

Sanchez then flubbed a chance to make it 1-0 with an extra touch after dancing past Dubravka. The superfluous move allowed Florian Lejeune to slide in front of him and block the shot.

Newcastle won a free kick when Smalling dove inside his own half, and Shelvey’s free kick was headed into Ritchie’s path by

Jose Mourinho pulled Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard for Michael Carrick and Juan Mata after the goal, and the Red Devils were back at it. Dubravka stopped an Ashley Young rip in the 68th minute.

Newcastle showed steel as the Red Devils kept attacking, with Martial seeing two shots from the top of the six blocked by Gayle and Yedlin.

Premier League Preview: Manchester United vs. Burnley

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  • Man United has the Premier League’s best Boxing Day win percentage at 83%
  • Only Man City and Chelsea have conceded fewer away goals than Burnley
  • Burnley has not won at Old Trafford in league play since 1962

Jose Mourinho is not happy. Not happy at all. In fact, the Manchester United manager is so edgy that even the slightest misstep can set him off. It did this morning.

[ MORE: Top Premier League Storylines – Boxing Day ]

The Portuguese boss man abruptly ended his press conference when asked an odd but fair question about Paul Pogba‘s qualities as a leader and whether Mourinho sees him as a long-term challenger for the captain’s armband.

It’s easy to understand why Mourinho is so testy of late. His side has conceded a pair of late goals in critical moments over the past two matches, calling Manchester United’s performance against Leicester City “childish,” referring to both their ability to increase the lead in front of net and their defending at the death. Now, they return home to the friendly confines of Old Trafford hoping to use the home crowd to push the squad the full 90 minutes as they host Burnley on Tuesday (Watch live, 10:00 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Meanwhile, Burnley has its own wounds to lick. The big picture view sees the Clarets in 7th position, a spot any supporter would take in a heartbeat heading into the Boxing Day test, but the 3-0 defeat to Spurs last time out exposed them as top four pretenders and will give Sean Dyche reason to brood over his team’s usually stout defensive abilities.

Team News

Manchester United:  Out – Eric Bailly (ankle), Antonio Valencia (hamstring), Marouane Fellaini (knee), Michael Carrick (heart). Questionable – Matteo Darmian (unspecified), Chris Smalling (unspecified)

Burnley: Out – James Tarkowski (suspension). QuestionableStephen Ward (knee), Chris Wood (knee).

What they’re saying

Burnley manager Sean Dyche on loaded upcoming fixture list“We’ve got some big teams coming, big challenges, but wherever you are in the league you’ve got to play them. They [Manchester United] were superb last season, [goalkeeper] Tom [Heaton] was saving all sorts. We know the run of games we’ve got – no problem with it, that’s life in the Premier League”

Jose Mourinho on loss to Leicester City: “Some players have childish decisions and time helps them to have maturity and to decide better. But some other players stay with childish decision until the end of their career. It’s a big frustration because they are easy goals to score and to kill the game. On top of that in the last couple of minutes, we allow the opposition to throw a few balls to the box and we couldn’t defend the last cross so I think we were punished by our mistakes.”

Prediction

While Manchester United have struggled in recent past, coming back home should provide the club a boost. Burnley has looked great at times this season and Sean Dyche should be praised for squeezing all he can out of this lineup, but the Clarets have not fared well against the best teams in the league this season, a trend that will likely continue. Mourinho and United should win this one in customary 1-0 fashion as United scores soon after halftime and closes up shop late, especially as Burnley continue to sorely miss James Tarkowski.

Mourinho: Eric Bailly out; United may look to buy in January

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Jose Mourinho has revealed that Eric Bailly requires ankle surgery and will be out for up to three months for Manchester United.

The Ivorian center back has been missing since early November after suffering the injury on international duty.

Bailly, 23, hasn’t recovered as quickly as United would have liked and his injury is more serious than originally thought.

“He [Bailly] goes to surgery, the decision is made,” Mourinho told MUTV. “I don’t say (he’s out) for the rest of the season but it’s for the next two or three months.”

United have plenty of options at center back with Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo all around, but all three have been out with injuries during this season. That said, Bailly is by far United’s most consistent and reliable defender and having him out until February or March is a big blow for Mourinho.

As for the January transfer market, Mourinho may not go and buy a replacement for Bailly but he did hint at perhaps doing some business in the January even though he isn’t the biggest fan of the mid-season window.

“Not a big defender of the January market,” Mourinho said. “There are players and situations you have the chance to do and you shouldn’t lose them. I don’t like January market just to buy.”

United have been linked with a January move for Antoine Griezmann but Mourinho refused to comment on speculation linking the French international with a move to Old Trafford.

Griezmann looked set to move in the summer with United, Barcelona and PSG all interested in signing the striker, but with his manager at Atleti, Diego Simeone, saying that he will now be able to leave Atletico if the right offer comes in, surely United will be looking at bolstering their attack if the right deal can be done.

Buying in January, especially for a player of Griezmann’s caliber, usually comes at a premium but what if he has a great summer with France at the 2018 World Cup? His transfer value would surely rocket then.

With the Red Devils 11 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, they will need something special to claw back points in the second half off the campaign. Griezmann’s arrival would make everyone sit up and take notice, even if United don’t exactly need to boost their attacking talent.

Simply put: if a player of Griezmann’s caliber becomes available, as it appears is the case, you need to pull out all of the stops to try and sign him.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s future at United appears to be over, so maybe if they can move the Armenian playmaker on and free up some cash to bring in Griezmann (a good friend of Paul Pogba) then a deal can be done. With Atleti not qualifying for the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League, it appears the Spanish club are willing to let Griezmann leave after he handled the summer of transfer speculation admirably and remained with the La Liga outfit during their transfer embargo and move to a new stadium.

Lingard, De Gea lead Man Utd past Arsenal

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  • Valencia, Lingard put United up 2-0 early
  • Arsenal has 71 percent first half possession
  • Lacazette makes it 2-1 after break
  • Pogba sets up Lingard for 3-1, then sent off
  • Arsenal out-attempts United 33-8

Jesse Lingard bagged a brace as Manchester United took its chances in a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Antonio Valencia also scored for the Red Devils, who moved to within five points of Manchester City before the Premier League leaders play Sunday.

Arsenal got its goal from Alexandre Lacazette, and sits fifth with 28 points.

Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Hector Bellerin with just over a quarter hour to play in North London.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Valencia looked to have been denied by his extra touch off a Paul Pogba through ball, but spun the ball through Petr Cech‘s legs to make it 1-0.

It was off a bad giveaway, and Arsenal had a second one moments later. United clinically finished again, with Anthony Martial‘s incredibly deft flick meeting Lingard’s impressive side-footed finish inside the far post.

Arsenal liked to attack down the right, and Chris Smalling defended well earn a goal kick in the 20th.

The Gunners were thwarted in a chance to pull one back when David De Gea stopped Alexandre Lacazette at close range before Granit Xhaka laced the rebound wide of the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lacazette hit on a 49th minute rebound to make it 2-1, with both playmaker Aaron Ramsey and the goal scorer in acres of space.

United saw a ball hit the far post moments later in a bid to restore the two-goal lead.

De Gea made an amazing pair of stops on Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez in the 56th minute.

It was 3-1 after the hour mark thanks to another Arsenal giveaway, with Pogba turning Laurent Koscielny inside out before passing through the six for Lingard to tap home.

But the smiles turned to frowns when Pogba went studs up into Bellerin’s ankle, an easy red card and a huge obstacle for Jose Mourinho in the Manchester Derby.

Young’s beautiful brace leads Man Utd

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  • Young scores pretty pair (video)
  • Martial makes it 3-0
  • Rojo concedes PK
  • Lingard solo dribble ends it

Ashley Young scored two goals and Anthony Martial also netted as Manchester United used a huge first half to beat Watford 4-2 at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.

Jesse Lingard put the match to bed after Troy Deeney and Abdoulaye Doucore scored second half goals to pull Watford within one.

United is now five points back of Man City, which plays Wednesday versus Southampton.

Watford fails to reach the Top Four, and remains eighth with 22 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Victor Lindelof bodied Richarlison off the ball before a cross could reach him in the seventh minute as Manchester United dodged the first threat of the match.

And Watford was largely on the front foot for the first quarter hour, as Will Hughes continued his prominent role in the team and Richarlison remained a challenge for the opposition.

Young gave United a second goal in as many matches, this one credited to him, as he hit a shot from the left that beat Heurelho Gomes to the near post.

Paul Pogba won a 24th minute free kick during a 50-yard dribble through the heart of the midfield. Abdoulaye Doucore saw yellow, and Young stepped to the plate with a fantastic, swerving free kick goal.

Martial added a third in the 32nd minute, running to the top of the 18 to hit a low shot to the left of a diving Gomes.

Romelu Lukaku‘s 45th minute rip was stopped by a Gomes dive, and the keeper popped up to stop Jesse Lingard’s rebound.

Richarlison missed a header just before the halftime whistle.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lukaku had a sadly funny miss in the 75th minute. Cued up alone with an empty net, he dribbled out of a chance to make it 4-0 to compound his struggles and confound his supporters.

Roberto Pereyra won a penalty in the 77th minute, dribbling past Marcos Rojo. The back’s rescue tackle was quite poor, and Deeney didn’t miss from the spot.

Deeney then got higher than Chris Smalling to head on goal.

Watford continued to control play, and Marco Silva‘s men pulled within one when Doucoure connected with a cross. The Hornets would have seven minutes to find an equalizer.