Man United win again, ease by Huddersfield

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  • Two wins from two for Solskjaer
  • Matic, Pogba score
  • Six-straight defeats for Huddersfield

Manchester United beat Huddersfield Town 3-1 on Boxing Day at Old Trafford, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made it two wins from two as United’s caretaker manager.

Nemanja Matic put United 1-0 up and Paul Pogba scored twice in the second half to ease United to victory. Mathias Jorgensen pulled a goal back for Huddersfield late on, but David Wagner‘s men are now bottom of the table after six-straight defeats.

With the win United now have 32 points, while Huddersfield have 10.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

Huddersfield had a great chance to take the lead as a long throw into the box caused mayhem but Terrence Kongolo smashed the ball over the bar fro just six yards out.

United started to pour forward ahead of half time and that pressure eventually pay dividends.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

A corner from the left was flicked on by Victor Lindelof and Matic was on hand to tap home and score the first home goal of Solskjaer’s reign.

United should have doubled their lead before the break as Rashford did superbly to nutmeg a defender and cross to the back post, but Diogo Dalot put his effort wide with the goal gaping. Rashford then lashed an effort wide of the far post as United cranked through the gears.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Huddersfield had a few chances at the start of the second half as Laurent Depoitre, Issac Mbenza and Elias Kachunga all went close. Solskjaer brought on Ander Herrera and Ashley Young for Fred and Dalot in the second half as he tried to kick United back into life, but Huddersfield went close again. Depoitre flicked an effort goalwards from a corner but David De Gea produced a magnificent save as the away side continued to threaten.

But Pogba then delivered two moments of quality as he first finished off after great work from Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, and then drilled a shot in from distance for his second and United’s third of the game. Game over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Huddersfield grabbed a consolation late on as Steve Mounie flicked the ball to Jorgensen to score, but in truth United barely got out of second gear as Solskjaer celebrated a win in his first home game in charge of the Red Devils on a caretaker basis.

FOLLOW LIVE: Southampton v. Derby County

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Southampton and Derby County chase the final spot in the fourth round proper of the 2018-19 FA Cup with a replay at St. Mary’s on Wednesday.

[ FOLLOW: FA Cup scoreboard ]

The clubs drew 2-2 at Pride Park on Jan. 5, with a Nathan Redmond 2-0 lead going to waste for the Premier League visitors.

The victor gets a trip to the Crown Ground to face League One’s Accrington Stanley on Jan. 26.

Full fourth round fixture list

Jan. 25
Arsenal v. Manchester United

Jan. 26
Accrington Stanley v. Derby County or Southampton
Brighton and Hove Albion v. West Bromwich Albion
Bristol City v. Bolton
Doncaster Rovers v. Oldham Athletic
Man City v. Burnley
Middlesbrough v. Newport County
Newcastle United v. Watford
Portsmouth v. Queens Park Rangers
Swansea City v. Gillingham
Shrewsbury Town v. Wolves
Millwall v. Everton
AFC Wimbledon v. West Ham United

Jan. 27
Crystal Palace v. Spurs
Chelsea v. Sheffield Wednesday

Jan. 28
Barnet v. Brentford

Leeds’ Bielsa admits he spied “all the rivals”; How widespread is spying?

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Managerial darling Marcelo Bielsa spoke out Wednesday as fallout continues from a Leeds United scout caught spying on Derby County last week.

Bielsa says he’s spied on every team the club has played in the Championship this season.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

How rare is this? And how big of a role has it played in Leeds’ 4-point lead in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League? From the BBC:

“I observed all the rivals we played against and watched the training sessions of all opponents,” he said. “All the information I need to clarify, I gather it without watching the training session of the opponent, so why did I send someone to watch them? Just because I thought I wasn’t violating the norm. I gathered information that I can obtain in another way.

“We feel guilty if we don’t work enough, it [watching the opponents train] allows us to have less anxiety and in my case I am stupid enough to allow this kind of behavior.”

The 63-year-old Argentine has spent time at Lille, Lazio, Marseille, Athletic Bilbao, and Espanyol in addition to running the national teams of Argentina and Chile.

It does raise the question of how much spying is done in soccer. We know that the NFL’s New England Patriots cheated during a game against the New York Jets and that MLB teams try to steal signals, but sneaking around a training session… is that okay? Should it be?

55-goal Martinez re-ups with Atlanta through 2023

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Josef Martinez has signed a new deal with Atlanta United, with a contract tying him to the club through the 2023 Major League Soccer season.

Martinez, 25, has 55 goals in 61 games for the Five Stripes since arriving from Torino in 2017, a strike rate unlike anything the Venezuelan had been able to do in his career with the Serie A club, Young Boys, or Caracas.

[ MORE: Neymar praises Weah ]

That development has him happy to lock down a new Designated Player deal in Georgia, one that certainly would raise his transfer value. From AtlUtd.com:

“This means a lot to me because of the affection that the fans have shown me, that the fans show all of the players. It’s unique,” Martinez said. “They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that’s why we love playing here. I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I’ve always had. I’ve said before that I don’t want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that’s who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city.”

With neither Newcastle nor Real Betis ready to meet Atlanta’s transfer fee for Miguel Almiron, the Five Stripes are in a bit of a bind with a reported deal for expected DP Pity Martinez despite having the league maximum three DPs in Martinez, Almiron, and Ezequiel Barco. Perhaps the European clubs are trying to force Atlanta’s hand.

Men In Blazers Podcast: De Gea heroics; Liverpool, Man City wins

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Rog and Davo applaud David De Gea‘s goalkeeping heroics in Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Tottenham. Plus, wins for Liverpool and City in the title race.

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