Soccer world reaction to Manchester United – Liverpool postponement, fan protests

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Manchester United – Liverpool was called off after supporters of Man United protesting the club’s ownership surged onto the Old Trafford pitch two-plus hours before kickoff of the Red Devils’ match with Liverpool on Sunday.

STATEMENT ON MANCHESTER UNITED – LIVERPOOL

A few hours later the game was postponed, as police clashed with protestors outside the stadium as they eventually cleared the streets around Old Trafford.

The first invasion happened just after 9am ET, and some were holding the green-and-gold of Newton Heath in protest of the Glazer family, an uneasy relationship between fans and ownership ratcheted up by United’s inclusion in the failed European Super League plot just 10 days ago.

One fan climbed atop a goal, another spit in the 18, and another took a camera tripod and threw it onto the grass in just a few examples of the unrest at Old Trafford prior to the latest edition of a fierce rivalry. Players were left stuck inside their hotel rooms in central Manchester under police guard as fans also protested outside the hotels.

Manchester United, Liverpool and the Premier League will now work together to try and squeeze this game in and reschedule it before the end of the season, as the Premier League issued a statement confirming the game has been postponed.

Below is reaction from across the soccer world, as Manchester United – Liverpool is postponed and the protestors sent out an extremely strong message to the owners of United, those involved with the European Super League and the wider sporting world.


Reaction on Manchester United – Liverpool postponement

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on Sky Sports: “I’m disappointed the game is off. We all are. United fans have had enough. They’re doing this because they love the club. It’s not just the last few weeks and the Super League, it’s been building for years. They’ve thought enough is enough. It’s a huge statement for the game to be called off.

“This has been the build-up of the last few years. The leadership of the club hasn’t been good enough. When they look at the owners they think it’s all about making money. I believe the United fans are doing this because they love the cub. People might not agree but sometimes you have to put a marker down for people to notice. This will go all over the world. Hopefully the owners see the fans are deadly serious. There’s more to come, this is just the start from Man Utd fans, I guarantee you.”




Former Manchester United defender, and Sky Sports analyst, Gary Neville: “The reason why those thousands and thousands of fans came today is because they have had enough. They have had enough. We can make the story today about the disturbances and I think that needs to be covered but the story should be about the Man Utd fans. They have had enough. It will be very difficult in the next few months.

“I think all football fans should unite behind today what Manchester United fans have done. What they [the Glazer family] did two weeks ago was really dangerous for English football. We must not forget that. They tried to walk away and create a closed-shop league and tried to create a famine, a famine in this country for every other football club. They tried to create a famine two weeks ago in English football, Dutch football, German football, in French football. All over Europe. Those 15 clubs would have walked away from their leagues with that money and basically destroy the ethos of the pyramid of relegation and promotion in English football. That is number one.

“It is unforgivable what they did as a family two weeks ago. The Glazer family two weeks ago tried to implement something that would have damaged every single community in this country that has got football at the heart of it. That is why they are dangerous. [Florentino] Perez is dangerous. [Joan] Laporte and [Andrea] Agnelli, they are dangerous to the ethos of equal opportunities in football. Let’s not forget what we are arguing about it. Today there is anger, tomorrow I am hoping it switch to mobilization towards reform and regulation behind the fan-led review.”

“When I talked two weeks ago about these clubs, and I might be naive, they should act like the grandfather of English football. Demonstrating wealth, showing compassion, spreading their experience, being fair. They haven’t done. They’ve demonstrated self-greed and tried to walk away with all of the money themselves and left their family struggling below. That is not what you do at this football club or Liverpool Football Club.”





Manchester United-Liverpool: How to watch, stream, reschedule updates

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Manchester United – Liverpool: Protests inside and outside Old Trafford led to the postponement of one of the Premier League’s best rivalries (original start time 11:30 am ET Sunday, on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Red Devils could dash the Reds’ dreams of a top-four Premier League finish when the two sides meet at Old Trafford in arguably English football’s most fierce rivalry on Sunday, but multiple pitch invasions in the hours preceding the start have kept players at their hotels.

MANCHESTER UNITED – LIVERPOOL STREAM LIVE

Jurgen Klopp’s side has endured a disappointing, injury-plagued 2020-21 season, but Liverpool still find themselves within striking distance of UEFA Champions League qualification with five games left to play. Four points separate the Red and 4th-place Chelsea ahead of matchweek 34, but the trip to Manchester will be the final time Liverpool face a side currently in the top 12 places of the table. Their remaining fixtures after Sunday are against the 13th-, 14th-, 15th- and 19th-place sides at present. 12 out of 12 points from the final four games, without a win against Manchester United, lands a whole lot softer and quieter than running the table with five straight wins and forcing Chelsea to be borderline perfect.

[ THE RUN-IN:  What’s the latest in the top-four battle? | Europa League race ]

Manchester United, on the other hand, don’t have too much left to play for domestically. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side isn’t yet locked into a 2nd-place finish, but it’s looking likely and the prospect of finishing the season by lifting the Europa League trophy for the second time in five years is certainly starting to weigh on the hearts and minds of Manchester’s red half. Hammering the final nail into the coffin of Liverpool’s Premier League title defense, assuring they finish outside the top-four, would come in a very close second for Red Devils fans.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Manchester United – Liverpool this Sunday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Team news: Manchester United – Liverpool (INJURY REPORT)

Manchester United: Henderson, Shaw, Maguire, Lindelof, Wan-Bissaka, McTominay, Fred, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford. Subs: De Gea, Bailly, Cavani, Mata, Telles, Matic, Willias, Van de Beek, Tuanzebe.

Liverpool: Alisson, Robertson, Kabak, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold, Milner, Fabinho, Thiago, Mane, Firmino, Salah. Subs: Adrian, Wijnaldum, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Jota, Tsimikas, Shaqiri, R. Williams


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Manchester United (+175) | Liverpool (+145) | Draw (+245)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

Is it too obvious or easy to say it’ll be a tight, hotly contested, cagey affair between two sides that look more interested in not losing than they do in winning? Manchester United – Liverpool always has a cup final feel to it, so it’s always safe to expect the game to play out as such. In the end, a full week of rest and preparation makes the (very small) difference for Liverpool. Manchester United 0-1 Liverpool.


How to watch Manchester United – Liverpool and start time

Kickoff: 11:30 am ET Sunday
TV: NBCSN
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

Chelsea – Fulham, stream live! How to watch, analysis, odds

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Chelsea – Fulham is a huge west London derby on Saturday (start time 12:30pm ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) as both teams need the points, but for very different reasons.

STREAM CHELSEA – FULHAM LIVE

Thomas Tuchel and Chelsea sit in fourth place heading into the weekend and have reached the FA Cup final and are sitting pretty after their 1-1 draw at Real Madrid in their UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg in midweek. Christian Pulisic is in fine form and Tuchel’s amazing first few months in charge has seen the Blues in the top four and battling for two trophies.

As for Fulham, well, Scott Parker’s side sit in the relegation zone and seven points from safety heading into this weekend. Every game is a must-win for them now. They have come agonizingly close to big wins in recent weeks but time is running out. Scoring goals remains the big problem for Fulham who may have to change up their plan and go all-out attack to stay up.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Chelsea – Fulham.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  


Live analysis from Chelsea – Fulham

FULL TIME! Easy win for Chelsea, as they are now just two points behind third-place Leicester and six points ahead of fifth-place West Ham, who have a game in-hand. Fulham are in big trouble, nine points from safety with 12 points to play for. They have to win all four of their remaining games to give themselves a chance. Thanks for joining me at Stamford Bridge!

90th minute: Azpilicueta, sat on the bench, tells Fulham to shut up and they are ‘always talking’ as Parker smiles at him in a menacing way. Werner is then taken down right no the edge of the box but nothing comes of the free kick.

87th minute: Parker is urging his team on ‘Josh Maja, brilliant!’ and ‘Well done, Jedz!’ as well as ‘body language, come on!’ He knows they are gong to lose this, but is encouraged by how they are playing.

80th minute: Mitro is on, finally, but Fulham seemed resigned to their fate.

Tammy Abraham coming on for Chelsea, with Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi and Tino Anjorin warming up as they hope to come on.

Also, great to hear ‘yes, Jedi!’ whenever USMNT’s Antonee Robinson does anything good.

Jorginho and Cesar Azpilicueta are both on the bench and warming up on the sidelines. They will both be managers in the future. They are barking out so many instructions to the players on the pitch and absolutely love it.

Fulham doing their best to force the issue but Kante, Billy Gilmour (who has been really good) and Mason Mount (who has also been superb) are just popping the ball around in central midfield.

Substitute for Chelsea as N’Golo Kante comes on for Hakim Ziyech. Just want Fulham needed.

CHANCE! What a chance for Havertz to score a hat trick, but Tosin dives in with a fine block to deny him.

The camera pans to the stands and Aleksandar Mitrovic has a face like thunder as he sits on the bench. Surely Fulham will bring him on, and soon?

“Chilli, Chilli, Chill… how many crosses? How many?” Safe to say that Thomas Tuchel isn’t happy with Ben Chilwell as Fulham have whipped in plenty of crosses from the right. Chilwell is trying to pretend he can’t hear Tuchel. Um, Ben, we are sat inside an empty stadium and everyone can hear Tuchel.

58th minute: Fulham have had lots of the ball but have only had a few blocked shots and crosses to show for it. That final ball is missing.

GOALLLL! Kai Havertz slots home his and Chelsea’s second goal of the game. Way too easy for Chelsea as Havertz found Werner and then wandered into the box to get on the end of the through ball and slot home. There was a VAR check for offside, but the goal stands.

SECOND HALF! An open, end-to-end start to the second half.

HALF TIME: Really even first half. Fulham had plenty of chances, but Chelsea had two or three really good opportunities too. Kai Havertz’s goal remains the difference between the teams.

WHAT A SAVE! A free kick from Lookman is half cleared and Ola Aina’s deflected shot is superb saved by Edouard Mendy. Right on half time. Huge moment in tis game.

Chelsea have had a lot of the ball and Parker is willing Fulham to get to half time just 1-0 down. ‘Big two minutes, big two minutes!’

SAVEEE! Wow. What a stop. Timo Werner is through and squares it to Ziyech, but his shot is saved brilliantly by Areola. Chelsea should be 2-0 up.

PENALTY SHOUT: ‘That is assault!’ screams Scott Parker as Cavaleiro is bundled over by Chilwell in the box. Fulham want a penalty kick, but nothing is given. Moments later Fulham wanted a free kick as Lookman went down. The look of disgust on Parker’s face said it all.

CHANCES! Bobby Decordova-Reid is denied by a fine Thiago Silva block. Moments later Robinson flicks a great ball forward to Lookman who is denied superbly by Mendy. Fulham pushing for an equalizer.

NO GOALLL! Lovely ball from Mount to Havertz, again, but the German forward was just offside. Great first touch and finish. Chelsea pinging it around wonderfully now.

At least there is one hardcore Chelsea fan in the stadium today. Cesar Azpilicueta is giving the referee stick and cheering his team on and applauding very move. The club captain is properly up for this.

GOALLL! Kai Havertz finishes off after a wonderful pass from Mason Mount. Brilliant weight on the pass from Mount. Chelsea lead 1-0 early on, as they finish their first attack of the game.

8th minute: Reece James is getting an earful from Thomas Tuchel who is not happy with his positioning. At all.

SAVE! Wonderful stop from Edouard Mendy to deny USMNT’s Antonee Robinson. A superb shot from the USMNT left back, who surged forward and lashed an effort in on goal that Mendy just tipped over. A brilliant effort from Robinson.

3rd minute: Really good start by Fulham, who have pinned Chelsea back. Lookman looks lively and Edouard Mendy looks a little uncomfortable on the ball.

Kick off! We’re off here at Stamford Bridge. Huge 90 minutes in the season for both these teams, but especially Fulham. Can they spring a shock against a much-changed Chelsea?

Pre-game sights and sounds: USMNT defender Antonee Robinson is looking up at the big screens as Chelsea show a replay of David Luiz scoring a screamer for Chelsea against Fulham in the past. Th USMNT left back is looking sharp in rondo as Fulham ping it around. Lovely moment as USMNT teammates Christian Pulisic and Antonee Robinson share a quick embrace on the pitch. U.S. veteran defender Tim Ream is having a good old chuckle with Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta too.

Lots of sun here in west London, on a perfect day for a west London derby! This is massive as Chelsea need the win for their top four push, while Fulham need the points to boost their faint hopes of staying in the Premier League.

I’ll keep you updated and entertained (hopefully on the latter!) as I’m sat about 10 yards from the pitch here at Stamford Bridge. It is pristine, by the way.


Team news

Chelsea: Mendy, Zouma, Silva, Christensen, Chilwell, Mount, Gilmour, James, Werner, Ziyech, Havertz. Subs: Arrizabalaga, Azpilicueta, Kante, Jorginho, Anjorin, Alonso, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, Abraham.

Fulham: Areola, Aina, Andersen, Adarabioyo, Robinson, Decordova-Reid, Zambo Anguissa, Lemina, Lookman, Maja, Cavaleiro. Subs: Rodak, Odoi, Ream, Bryan, Hector, Tete, Onomah, Carvalho, Mitrovic.


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Chelsea are the huge favorites at -223, with Fulham massive underdogs at +650 to win. The draw is +320.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction

This is such a tough one to call. Chelsea will rest a few players for the Champions League semifinal leg against Real Madrid, but they are so tough to break down and need the points in their top four battle. Fulham have to go for it and will leave gaps on the break and both teams love to play a 3-4-2-1 system. It will be tight, and I’m tempted to go for a draw, but got for a narrow win for the hosts. Chelsea 2-1 Fulham.


How to watch, stream and start time

Kick off: Saturday, 12:30pm ET
TV Channel: NBC
Online: Stream via NBCSports.com

The Breakdown: Analyzing the most intriguing Premier League plays

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The Breakdown is our new series, as we analyze some of the crazy plays from across the Premier League and try to understand exactly what happened.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Each week our own Joe Prince-Wright will dive a little deeper into the best, and worst, plays from the PL, and explain how things developed, point out some things you may have missed and have a bit of banter along the way.

The main thing here is this: if you want a Premier League play to appear in The Breakdown (it can be as weird and wonderful as you want) and for Joe Prince-Wright to give it the full treatment, send him a Tweet here and we will do our best to break down as many as possible.

We live and breathe every single second of every single Premier League game, and can’t wait to watch these moments back and break them down with you.

So grab a drink, get some snack and enjoy looking back at some of the wild plays and moments from the last week, and maybe you will gain a little something extra that you didn’t spot from the action over the last seven days.

In the fourth episode of The Breakdown (which you can watch in full above) JPW looks at the following from Matchweek 33 in the Premier League:

The Breakdown – Episode 4

  • Timo Werner’s hold-up play and timing of his runs into the box
  • Kelechi Iheanacho’s clever touches and quick thinking
  • Liverpool pouring more players forward to create chaos

Teams set to be allowed 26-man squads for Euro 2020

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LONDON — Teams at the European Championship are set to be increased to 26 players for this year’s Euro 2020 tournament, three more than usual.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

UEFA’s national teams committee recommended the change on Monday and it is set to be ratified by UEFA by the end of the week, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the decision, which was first reported online by The Times of London, ahead of its final approval.

The congested schedule following the shutdown of the sport at the start of the pandemic last season is believed to be the reason to provide teams with more options.

The workload on players has been a concern for coaches ahead of the Euro 2020 tournament, which was due to be played last year before being postponed.

The 24-team Euro 2020 tournament is scheduled to start on June 11 and end on July 11.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

UEFA had already decided to let teams use five substitutes in regulation time instead of three. The five-subs rule is being used by most competitions amid the pandemic to protect players from injury.