Odion Ighalo

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Man United expected to extend Ighalo loan

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Man United are expected to extend the loan deal for Odion Ighalo as the Nigerian striker is currently only on loan until May 31.

Ighalo, 30, arrived from Shanghai Shenhua on January transfer deadline day and has scored four goals in eight games for Man United.

According to our partners in the UK at Sky Sports, the loan deal for Ighalo will be extended until June 30 when UEFA has said the end of the 2019-20 season will now be due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

That June 30 date seems ambitious, at best, for an end date and the added issue here is that Odion Ighalo’s parent club in the Chinese Super League may resume play before Man United do and they would expect him to come back.

If that is the case, what happens to Ighalo?

Man United could of course buy him outright whenever the summer transfer window is due to open as they have the option to make his deal permanent. Ighalo is also reportedly ready to take a huge pay cut to sign a permanent deal.

Ighalo obviously isn’t the only player on loan at another club right now and if FIFA or other governing bodies don’t intervene to make a widespread rule for extending the dates of current loan deals by a couple of months, it will be down to the individual clubs to arrange who they have and when.

Plus, what happens to players who are then expected to return to their parent clubs but aren’t registered in their squads for the rest of the 2019-20 campaigns?

Clubs are going to need a lot of help and flexibility from FIFA, UEFA, the FA and other governing bodies to sort out the best solution for players currently on loan in these unprecedented times.

Man United cruise to 5-0 lead in Europa League last-16 (video)

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Manchester United all but sealed their place in the Europa League quarterfinals — should the competition continue over the coming days and weeks — with a 5-0 demolition of LASK in the two sides’ round-of-16 first-leg clash in Linz, Austria, on Thursday.

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The game was played in an empty stadium due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Five different Red Devils scored on the day, including a pair of forwards in January signing Odion Ighalo and 18-year-old Mason Greenwood.

Ighalo tallied his fourth goal (all competitions) since joining Man United on transfer deadline day, with his second in the Europa League. While he is still awaiting his first Premier League goal for the club, he appeared to be in fine form with his left-footed strike to open scoring in the 28th minute.

Daniel James and Juan Mata made it 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, before Greenwood pinged the ball off both posts before sneaking over the goal line in the 91st minute. Andreas Pereira added a fifth for good measure just seconds after the restart.

United are tentatively scheduled to host LASK for the second leg at Old Trafford next Thursday.

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VIDEO: Ighalo scores amazing solo goal for Man United v. LASK

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Odion Ighalo is playing for the club he loves and he scored a superb solo goal for Man United v. LASK in the Europa League.

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Ighalo picked up the ball on the edge of the box, juggled the ball past a couple of defenders to work some space and then rifled home off the crossbar and in.

There was no crowd to witness it as the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg game was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus outbreak. Odion Ighalo may not score a better goal in a Man United shirt.

Click play on the video below to see the Nigerian striker score his fourth goal in eight outings for Man United since his loan move from China in January.

With goals like this, surely  Ighalo’s loan will made into a permanent move in the summer?

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Player ratings: Man United v. Man City

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Manchester is definitely red as Man United beat Man City 2-0 in the Premier League on Sunday to do the double over their crosstown rivals for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

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Anthony Martial‘s first half goal set United on their way in a tight, tense clash as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side defended superbly and kept their top four hopes alive with a gritty victory against Pep Guardiola‘s Man City. Scott McTominay sealed the win with a strike from distance amid the pouring rain in Manchester.

Here’s a look at the marks out of 10 for the players from both teams.


Man United

David De Gea: 6 – Didn’t really have much to do and what he did, he did it well. No errors this week.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 8 – A superb display from AWB who shut down Sterling and was a threat going forward.

Victor Lindelof: 6 – Solid enough and made several blocks when it mattered most.

Harry Maguire: 7 – Came back early from injury and his positioning was spot on. Marshalled the United defense expertly.

Luke Shaw: 7 – Put his body on the line at left center back and left back and will have impressed watching England boss Gareth Southgate. His resurgence continues.

Brandon Williams: 7 – Energetic display from the local lad as Williams got forward a lot more than usual.

Nemanja Matic: 7 – Typically combative display as his sat in front of the back five with Fred. This was his type of game.

Fred: 7 – See above, but with more energy as his consistency in the second half of the season has been sublime.

Bruno Fernandes: 8 – His moment of magic set up Martial for the opener and he was so calm on the ball and made some great runs that his United teammates didn’t see.

Daniel James: 7 – Worked his socks off out wide and had a few good looks on goal but his drought continues. Has to get his head up more in the final third.

Anthony Martial: 8 – A proper No.9’s display as he held the ball up, volleyed home the opener and did his best to be an outlet. He’s really matured this season.

Subs
Scott McTominay: 6 – Scored a lovely goal from distance to seal the win.
Eric Bailly: 6 – A few good clearances and tackles late on.
Odion Ighalo: 6 – Was only on the pitch for a few minutes but got involved.


Man City

Ederson: 4 – At fault for both goals and almost caught in possession. One of his worst displays in a Man City shirt.

Joao Cancelo: 6 – Had quality from right back but chose the wrong option when he got forward.

Fernandinho: 5 – An unusually poor display as Martial turned him inside out on several occasions.

Nicolas Otamendi: 5 – Could have given away a penalty kick and lunged in time and time again.

Oleksandr Zinchenko: 4 – A horrid display at left back. James and AWB ran rings around him. Subbed off.

Rodri: 7 – Did his best to keep City ticking over and, as always, tidy in possession.

Ilkay Gundogan: 5 – The game passed him by in midfield. Not his type of game at all.

Phil Foden: 7 – Kept trying to make things happen but maybe this underlined how much City rely on Kevin De Bruyne.

Bernardo Silva: 6 – Quiet game by his standards but some quality deliveries as per usual.

Sergio Aguero: 5 – Scored a goal which was disallowed via VAR and he looked totally off the pace of the game.

Raheem Sterling: 4 – See above. Missed a great chance in the second half and was just off, as he has been a lot recently.

Subs
Riyad Mahrez: 7 – Made a big difference off the bench down the right hand side. So much creativity.
Gabriel Jesus: 6 – Came close to scoring and so dangerous. Should have started.
Benjamin Mendy: 5 – A slight upgrade on Zinchenko at left back, but that’s not saying much.

Ighalo: I spent my lunch money on watching Man United

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Odion Ighalo is leaving his dream at Man United.

The Nigerian striker, 30, joined United on loan on transfer deadline day in January in a shock move as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scrambled around for a forward after Marcus Rashford was injured.

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Ighalo has made an immediate impact at United, scoring in the Europa League win against Club Brugge last week and then twice in the FA Cup win at Derby County this week.

Speaking to our partners Sky Sports ahead of the Manchester Derby on Sunday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com), Ighalo revealed that where he grew up in Ajegunle was “like a ghetto and it was very difficult” but he saved up his lunch money for school so he could watch Man United when the weekend arrived.

“I know many footballers say that, when they sign for a team, this is my dream team. Respect to that but my own case was different,” Ighalo explained. “Anyone who knows me back from when I was young knows me and my siblings supported Man United, we would pay to go and watch Man United play. In Nigeria, you have to have sports channels to watch that but not everyone can afford it. My parents couldn’t afford that so you have to pay a viewing centre to watch that. We would pay to watch that.

“You start saving the money they would give you to go to school. You would eat at home and they would give you some pocket money to go to school and maybe eat lunch there. But you would be saving it bit by bit and when you get to the weekend, everybody is ready. You have your jersey and you wash it before the weekend. You put them on and go to the viewing centre and it’s crazy there. Some other fans want Man United to lose then you’re a Man United fan and you want them to win and you start arguing, shouting, screaming and all of that.”

Ighalo said up to 500 people would cram into a room to watch United and added that he cannot believe his luck to be playing at Old Trafford: “It is the happiest moment of my life, playing for my dream team, the team I supported when I was young.”

Given his good form in cup competitions and that he’s made a difference coming off the bench in recent games at Chelsea and Everton, Ighalo may not start against Man City but if he jumps off the bench late in the game, now you may understand why he has that little extra motivation to play for Man United.