David De Gea

Bournemouth stun Man United

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BOURNEMOUTH — The Cherries stunned the Red Devils in the swirling rain on England’s South Coast on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Bournemouth beat Manchester United 1-0 at the Vitality Stadium, as Josh King‘s goal right on the stroke of half time was enough to seal a famous win for Eddie Howe‘s side.

With the win Bournemouth rise to sixth place in the Premier League table on 16 points, jumping above Man United who have 13 points as their run of wins away from home ended. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was once again an unhappy man.


3 things we learned

1. United almost at full strength, no more excuses: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was only missing Luke Shaw and Paul Pogba from what would be his strongest possible starting lineup. United can’t keep blaming injuries for their poor start to the season. United have now lost to Bournemouth, Newcastle West Ham and Crystal Palace this season, so maybe this is their new normal. With players returning to full fitness, things could improve, but right now Solskjaer is under pressure as United could be as much as 10 points off the top four by the end of this weekend. That isn’t good enough.

2. Bournemouth’s newfound defensive solidity promises plenty: Howe’s side have been much-improved defensively in recent weeks and although they’ve struggled to score goals, they created chances against United and looked solid enough at the back. Their two midfielder destroyers were excellent and Cook and Ake have formed a solid partnership. They sat in, soaked up pressure and Bournemouth have a newfound defensive solidity. They’ve never had that since they arrived in the Premier League in 2015.

3. Midfield balance off for United: The Red Devils are missing Pogba’s ability to get them on the front foot, as McTominay, Fred and Pereira played so many sideways and safe passes in central midfield. The balance was off and United had plenty of the ball but did little with it. They had no personality and no driving influence, especially in the second half. They started well but faded badly and there was a surprising lack of creativity in the final third as Rashford, Martial and James made decent runs but weren’t found often enough.

Man of the Match: Philip Billing – Won the ball back time and time again for Bournemouth. A dominant force in midfield who won the battle against Andreas Pereira and Fred on his own. Yet another gem polished by Eddie Howe. Billing and Lerma shielded the back four expertly and Nathan Ake was superb at center back. But Billing held everything together.


Early on United were lively down their right as James raced clear but Andreas Pereira slipped as he looked to apply the finishing touch.

The movement of United’s front three caused Bournemouth so many problems early on, as James linked up with Martial to cross for Fred but he got his effort all wrong as he stretched for it.

Bournemouth’s first big chance of the game arrived via Harry Wilson as his deflected effort flew wide after some clever passes. Moments later David De Gea saved Ryan Fraser‘s cross and the Scottish winger went down in the box but no penalty kick was given despite calls of “VAR! VAR!” from the home fans.

James drilled a shot inches wide after a free kick was only half cleared as United looked dangerous every time they attacked. Fraser hit a shot straight at De Gea on the counter as the home side improved after a slow start. Martial then went down under a challenge from Jefferson Lerma which sparked a huge melee inside the box but no penalty kick was given after VAR was used.

Right on half time Bournemouth took the lead as Adam Smith’s cross was controlled brilliantly from King and he then flicked the ball over Aaron Wan-Bissaka and finished to put the Cherries ahead. It was a sublime solo goal but United should have defended better.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The game opened up after the opening goal as Bournemouth almost grabbed a second but Fraser’s shot was right at De Gea after a lovely move down the right.

De Gea then denied King after a Bournemouth counter caught United out and Harry Wilson went down in the box but nothing was given.

The Liverpool loanee was then denied by De Gea as Bournemouth continued to have chances on the break and although United had plenty of the ball, they struggled to break down the Cherries stubborn defense.

Late on substitute Mason Greenwood hit the post as United chucked everything at Bournemouth with McTominay having a shot saved and Maguire coming close, but the Cherries held on for a famous win.

Live, Europa League: Man United, Wolves, Arsenal in action

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Three Premier League teams are in UEFA Europa League action on Thursday, as Wolves and Man United face tricky tests away from home and Arsenal have a winnable home match.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ] 

Man United make seven changes for their trip to Belgrade to play Partizan in Group L, as the likes of David De Gea and Marcus Rashford rested with DDG not even on the bench. Youngsters James Garner and Brandon Williams start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side who have four points from their first two games of the group stage. Anthony Martial returns to the starting lineup in a huge boost for Solskjaer.

In Group K Wolves make five changes with Kilman, Vinagre, Gibbs-White, Doherty and Saiss coming into the team. Nuno Espirito Santo clearly has one eye on Sunday’s trip to Newcastle in the Premier League but Raul Jimenez and Patrick Cutrone remain up top.

Unai Emery‘s Arsenal have won both of their opening group stage games and the likes of Bellerin and Holding will again feature as they continue their long recoveries from injury.

Elsewhere Rangers head to Porto, Celtic host Lazio and Roma play Borussia Monchengladbach in some tasty looking clashes across Europe.

Below is the schedule in full for the games which kick off across two windows at 12:55 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET.


Early games (kick off time, 12:55 p.m. ET)

Partizan Belgrade v. Manchester United
AZ Alkmaar v. Astana
Qarabag v. APOEL Nicosia
Young Boys v. Feyenoord
FC Porto v. Glasgow Rangers
CSKA Moscow v. Ferencvaros
Ludogorets v. Espanyol
Gent v. Wolfsburg
St Etienne v. Oleksandriya
Istanbul Basaksehir v. RZ Pellets WAC
Roma v. Borussia Monchengladbach
Besiktas v. Braga
Slovan Bratislava v. Wolves

Late games (3 p.m. ET)

Sevilla v. Dudelange
Dynamo Kiev v. FC Copenhagen
Malmo v. FC Lugano
Getafe v. Basel
Trabzonspor v. Krasnodar
PSV v. Linz ASK
Sporting Lisbon v. Rosenborg
Celtic v. Lazio
Rennes v. Cluj
Arsenal v. Vitoria
Frankfurt v. Standard Liege

Pogba, De Gea miss Man United training

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It doesn’t seem like either David De Gea or Paul Pogba will play in the UEFA Europa League for Manchester United on Thursday.

Neither stars were training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side on Wednesday, ahead of the Red Devils playing at Partizan Belgrade.

It is likely both will be saved for their Premier League clash at Norwich City on Sunday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com), with Pogba in a race against time to be ready.

Pogba has missed United’s last three games after a reoccurrence of foot and ankle issues, as he travelled to Dubai over the international break to try and get himself fit as soon as possible.

De Gea wasn’t expected to play against Liverpool on Sunday after suffering a thigh injury playing for Spain, but the goalkeeper rushed back and will likely be rested with Sergio Romero set to start on Thursday.

Solskjaer’s injury woes are easing a little with Jesse Lingard returning, while Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka played against Liverpool to give the Red Devils a boost.

Luke Shaw and Nemanja Matic are closing in on a return from injury, while Diogo Dalot, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Eric Bailly and now Axel Tuanzebe are out.

With four-straight away games coming up in all competitions, United have reached a pivotal stage of their season after their worst PL start for 30 years.

They play Partizan (Europa League), Norwich, Chelsea (League Cup) and Bournemouth in the next 10 days, and after a morale-boosting performance and draw against Liverpool, Solskjaer is hoping the treatment room continues to empty and confidence continues to build.

Player ratings from Manchester United-Liverpool

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Manchester United’s late letdown denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a statement victory against Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool, as both managers had their moments at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man Utd 1-1 Liverpool ]

The players, too, were a mixed bag, as Liverpool missed Mohamed Salah in a big way in a game that also cried out for Paul Pogba.

Manchester United

David De Gea — 6 — Not a ton to do, and would’ve had to have been a super hero to deny the goal.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 7 — Was very good for most of the match, though either Andreas Pereira or him failed to bother Andy Robertson‘s cross for the equalizer.

Marcos Rojo — 5 — A solid step-in performance right up until he committed to block Robertson’s cross and missed it, allowing Lallana a tap-in.

Victor Lindelof — 6 — Got away with a foul on Origi in the build-up to United’s goal, but otherwise well within himself.

Harry Maguire — 7 — Marshaled a surprising back three very well.

Ashley Young — 6 — All over the place, sometimes in the good way and sometimes in the bad.

Fred — 5 — Like watching a whirlwind, it’s difficult to tell whether his activity is influential in a positive light or just making up for lack of positional awareness.

Scott McTominay — 7 — He’s a big, strong, heady youngster, and did well in a midfield match-up which was considering to be a lopsided disadvantage.

Andreas Pereira (Off 90′) — 5 — Ran his shorts off, but so many needless fancy first half touches. Imagine Pogba in his place executing this game plan, and it may’ve been 3-1 at the break.

Daniel James — 7 — Took a beating and contributed plenty at the back end, and that’s without mentioning his cross for Rashford’s goal.

Marcus Rashford (Off 84′) — 7 — A slow start gave way to a star turn, with his goal the highlight but his industry what made him a MOTM candidate.

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — 8 — Would’ve liked to see Martial or Mata for Pereira earlier, but the back three was as gutsy and proper trap for Klopp, one that clearly upset the Liverpool boss. With Mohamed Salah out, the move blossomed further.

Subs:
Anthony Martial (On 84′) — N/A
Brandon Williams (On 90′) — N/A

Liverpool

Alisson Becker — 6 — One save and one clearance in a non-descript match.

Andrew Robertson — 7 — Relentless as usual and got his assist through traffic to keep the undefeated record in play. Caught out of the camera on United’s goal, but that’s a symptom of the system.

Virgil Van Dijk — 6 — Fine. Would’ve liked him to do something instead of playing a mile off of James’ run, but expecting heroism in every game is a lot for a center back.

Joel Matip — 5 — A step back for the newly-resigned center back, as he couldn’t cut out James’ cross on the goal.

Trent Alexander-Arnold — 5 — Ten crosses. One on the mark. A decent-enough day in his own end, but far from his standard without Mohamed Salah.

Fabinho — 6 — Hard-edged when the Reds were sleeping.

Jordan Henderson (Off 71′) — 4 — Sloppy and grew more so after the break, clearly frustrated by the atmosphere. Took a decent chance to trouble De Gea and sliced it into outer space.

Georginio Wijnaldum (Off 82′)  — 7 — A curious sub, as the Dutch international looked one of the few players capable of supplying something special.

Sadio Mane — 6 — Has a goal in a world without silly handball rules. Otherwise not really in the fray.

Divock Origi (Off 60′) — 4 — On his horse early, his influence waned to the point he was a spectator when Jurgen Klopp replaced him.

Roberto Firmino — 5 — A rare off day for one of the best center forwards in the business.

Manager: Jurgen Klopp — 7 — It took him a while to figure out United’s back three, but all three of his subs were influential in the point.

Subs:
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (On 60′) — 8 — The original AOC changed the game.
Adam Lallana (On 71′) — 8 — That’s a great way to end a goal drought
Naby Keita (On 82′) — 7 — Got the defense moving, setting up space for Robertson assist.

Liverpool equalizes, denied history by Manchester United

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Adam Lallana‘s late goal denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a statement win as Liverpool came back to take a point from Manchester United in a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Marcus Rashford scored the goal, which was upheld by VAR despite a seeming foul in the build-up, while VAR also took a Liverpool goal off the board for handball.

Liverpool was bidding to move to 9-0 on the Premier League season by claiming its ninth-straight away league win and 18th consecutive win overall, but they’ll take the point.

Liverpool leads the league with 25 points, six more than Man City, while United rises 14th with 10 points.


Three stars of the match

1. Marcus Rashford — He didn’t look right over the first 20 minutes, but kept working until he found the opening goal. The effort didn’t stop there, as he managed four successful dribbles and wasn’t credited with a single time dispossessed.

2. Adam Lallana — Jurgen Klopp‘s 71st minute sub scored his first goal since May 2017, coming off the bench and slipping behind United’s defense to punish with an equalizer.

3. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — Credit where it’s due, especially when we’ve been critical of the Manchester United boss, but Liverpool never found an answer for the Red Devils’ back three. Perhaps more credit to Solskjaer for not going away from it when Axel Tuanzebe went down in warm-ups.

Honorable mention: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Fabinho, Scott McTominay, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

United held the ball for much of the first 10 minutes, but didn’t bother Alisson Becker.

The Reds, on the other hand, saw a 13th minute dribble and shot from Georginio Wijnaldum turn into a David De Gea save.

Cagey and tight, the next shot on target was a 25th minute low effort from Scott McTominay to Alisson.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was probably the best player on the pitch in the opening half hour, and saw a strong cross cut out by Virgil Van Dijk in the 28th.

Joel Matip spotted a streaking Sadio Mane for a lightning counter out of nothing, but Divock Origi couldn’t make much out of Mane’s feed and De Gea collected the shot.

That’s when United took its lead with one of two first half goals to go to VAR.

Rashford got on the business end of a Daniel James cross, which came two moves after Victor Lindelof kicked Divock Origi as the Belgian lost possession with a sloppy touch. A foul if it’s called, but it wasn’t and VAR did not overrule it.

Mane then had a goal chalked off for a handball, VAR catching a touch most refs wouldn’t.

Liverpool took hold of the game shortly after halftime, but physical United continued its tight marking and heavy tackling.

Daniel James was waylaid on a 50/50 ball with Fabinho and play questionably went on as James lay on the turf with an apparent head injury.

Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw a deflected effort go wide in the 64th, as Jurgen Klopp took off Divock Origi and tried to find an answer to United’s back three.

The next sub was Adam Lallana for Jordan Henderson, as Liverpool had 20 minutes plus stoppage to find an equalizer.

He was the difference maker, as Robertson’s cross bounded through a sea of United defenders to meet him at the back post.