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Martial hits out at Mourinho; Young signs new deal

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Ahead of Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Anthony Martial has hit out at Jose Mourinho.

[ MORE: Pogba dazzles in United win

Speaking to the media alongside his new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Martial acted as Solskjaer’s translator at one point as French media asked questions ahead of the UCL last 16 first leg.

When asked about the incredible change in results and performances since Mourinho was fired in December and Solskjaer was hired on a caretaker basis until the end of the season, this was Martial’s response.

“We have a coach who has perhaps got different intentions, a different approach and we are trying to do what he is asking us to do,” Martial said. “Perhaps it is easier for us now to play this style of football compared to the previous style of football we were asked to play. We are doing well on the pitch and we hope we continue to do well on the pitch.”

Ouch, that has to hurt Jose. But with 10 wins from 11 games in all competitions under Solskajer, the Red Devils returning to the top four and rampant attacking displays from Martial, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, can you really disagree with what Martial is saying?

Probs not.

As for Solskjaer, the man who scored the winning goal in the UCL final in 1999 for United, he is relishing the chance to lead them out against PSG in what should be another classic European night at Old Trafford. Keen to brush off talk about a win against PSG being key in gaining him the United job on a permanent basis, Solskjaer was focused on enjoying the occasion.

“It is both the supporters and the players who are looking for to this,” Solskjaer explained. “It has always been special. I want my players to go into this game confident and embrace the game… We’ve given ourselves the best possible opportunity because of the way we’ve come into this game. We’re confident and we’re looking like a team. If there was ever a time to go into big games, it’s now.”

With Neymar out and Edinson Cavani doubtful for PSG, the stars are aligning for United to take a lead with them to the Parc des Princes for the second leg in two weeks time.


Fresh from United signing Martial and Phil Jones to new contracts, Ashley Young is the latest to commit his future to the club.

Young, 33, was out of contract in the summer but has agreed an extension on his deal until the summer of 2020. The converted right back has flourished in his new role and has been one of United’s most consistent players over the past 12 months, as he has often captained the team.

The former Aston Villa and Watford player has now been at United for eight seasons and is a reliable and versatile player for the Red Devils.

Signing him to a one-year contract extension makes perfect sense, especially with Antonio Valencia‘s injury problems and his future at Old Trafford uncertain.

“Since I’ve come into the club, Ashley has been fantastic. His attitude and his experience around the place is vital for us because we have got a young team,” Solskjaer said. “We’ve got players that need some leaders in the dressing room and Ash is one of them so I’m delighted.”

Pogba dazzles as Man United batter Fulham (video)

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  • United remain unbeaten under Solskjaer
  • Pogba, Martial score first half goals
  • Fulham remain seven points from safety
  • 10 wins from 11 for United in all comps under Solskjaer
  • United move into top four

Manchester United eased past Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, with a clinical first half leading the Red Devils to victory.

Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial both scored superb goals in the first half, as Fulham just couldn’t cope with United’s rapid counter attacks. Pogba then scored a penalty kick in the second half to cap off his Man of the Match display.

Ahead of their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash against Paris Saint-Germain, United made six changes to their lineup and the players who did appear on the pitch didn’t skip a beat.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains unbeaten as United’s caretaker manager (winning 10 of 11 games in all competitions) and they’ve now moved into the top four and have 51 points. Fulham remain second from bottom and seven points from safety on 17 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After an even start which saw Fulham go close through Luciano Vietto and Aleksandar Mitrovic, United struck twice with their first two efforts at goal.

Pogba smashed home the opener after Martial’s delicate pass into the box, as the Frenchman dominated early proceedings from central midfield.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Martial then picked the ball up in his own half, danced away from Fulham’s defense and finished off calmly for United’s second, as the Red Devils were 2-0 up early in the game.

Romelu Lukaku almost nodded home at the far post to score a third, and moments later Phil Jones saw a superb shot from outside the box tipped over.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Fulham had plenty of the ball in the first half but barely threatened, as United were lethal on the counter attack.

Ander Herrera went close after the break but Sergio Rico saved, then United sealed their win as Juan Mata won a penalty kick after he was fouled clearly by Denis Odoi.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Pogba slammed home the penalty kick with minimum fuss to make it 3-0, as Solskajer continues to work wonders at Old Trafford.

Late chances at both ends saw David De Gea deny Mitrovic’s header, then substitute Alexis Sanchez raced free but his shot was straight at Sergio Rico.

Man Utd scores twice late v. Burnley (video)

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  • Barnes takes advantage of Andreas mistake
  • Wood doubles lead
  • Pogba, Lindelof score late

Manchester United left it late, but scored twice in the final six minutes to take a point from game Burnley at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood scored for Burnley, who nearly handed United its first loss of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era.

United moves to 45 points, two fewer than fourth place Chelsea and fifth place Arsenal, while Burnley is 15th with 23.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester United had the early upper hand, but it was Phil Jones who had to act quickly to deny Barnes and Burnleyan early lead.

Luke Shaw tried a bounding half-volley in the 20th minute, but the ball headed wide of the far post.

Paul Pogba had an opener rightly called back when Juan Mata found the Frenchman in an offside position.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Jack Cork forced Andreas Pereira into a turnover 10 yards outside the 18, and the ex-Swans man slipped Barnes on goal to lash a shot past David De Gea.

Romelu Lukaku‘s chances of scoring with his last chance of the game were foiled by a wonderful Heaton save in the 67th minute.

Ashley Westwood then continued his fine assist with a cross that Wood headed behind De Gea.

Pogba clawed a goal back for United from the spot when Jesse Lingard embellished a foul on his shoulder to get a penalty kick with three minutes left in the 90.

Premier League Club Power Rankings: Week 22

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The individual spots on the PL club power rankings feel like they are teetering, prepared for some big moves.

[ ARCHIVE: Premier League club power rankings ]

The table says that Arsenal and Spurs are comfortable in their top spots, but the power rankings see a loss to West Ham and injury to Harry Kane as reason for concern.

We are just a result or two from some serious tumult, but here’s where we sit today.


20. Huddersfield Town — Putting aside the idea of a new manager bounce against Manchester City or some other surprising results, the Terriers would need an unbelievable finish to the season to survive the drop; Huddersfield only faces three relegation candidates in the final 16 match days. Climbing out of the Bottom Three would be one of the greatest escapes of all-time.
Last week: 20
Season high: 16
Season low: 20

19. Fulham — Losing to Burnley was a killer. But, hey, at least your strikers aren’t fighting during a yoga class. Wait, what’s that? They are?!? Oh.
Last week: 19
Season high: 11
Season low: 20

18. Newcastle United — Owner Mike Ashley doesn’t look prepared to invest anything ever in January, and Rafa Benitez is heading into a crucial home game against Cardiff City down a number of starters. So this is going well, especially considering Newcastle is hardly even being linked with transfer targets. Even the rumor mongers know better than to expect people to latch onto clickbait when it says Newcastle might buy big. And FWIW: We had Newcastle in our Bottom Three before last week’s results dropped them there on the table.
Last week: 18
Season high: 13
Season low: 19

17. Cardiff City — The good news for Neil Warnock‘s Bluebirds is the three teams below them look quite poor. A win at Newcastle on Saturday would be a huge step to safety.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

16. Crystal Palace — Not quite as maddening as Wolves and Watford, but the team that beat Man City has now drawn Cardiff City 0-0 and lost at home to the Hornets.
Last week: 13
Season high: 6
Season low: 17

15. Southampton — The Leicester City win is another fine moment for Ralph Hasenhuttl‘s men, who have been aided just as much by the Bottom Three as their own results.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

14. Burnley — A third-straight league win has Sean Dyche‘s unit on the rise. The fixture list has helped, but the hardened English boss has done a fine job focusing his men on the task at hand.
Last week: 17
Season high: 13
Season low: 20

13. Bournemouth — Only being stopped by a new season low by the clubs underneath it. Next up for the Cherries: West Ham and Chelsea at the Vitality Stadium.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 14

12. Everton — Will be relieved to have handled Bournemouth, and will be eyeing a table run with fixtures ahead with Southampton, Huddersfield Town, Wolves, and Watford.
Last week: 12
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

11. Leicester City — Here’s what I wrote last week, before the Foxes went and lost to Southampton, They’re doing it again, luring me into the belief that the Foxes are the clear favorite to finish seventh. This all but guarantees a weekend loss to Southampton at the King Power Stadium.”
Last week: 10
Season high: 7
Season low: 13

10. Brighton and Hove Albion — Flustered Liverpool, and it wouldn’t have been a crime had the Seagulls lifted a point from the leaders.
Last week: 13
Season high: 9
Season low: 19

9. Wolves — Losing to Man City is all but certain when you go down a man at the Etihad Stadium.
Last week: 8
Season high: 5
Season low: 13

8. Watford — How many years do you think have been taken off Javi Gracia‘s life by this team’s unpredictable form? Do you think he’s going to have a presidential downtown in looks by the time this is through? After dramatically drawing Newcastle and Bournemouth, the Hornets are back into seventh via a win at Palace.
Last week: 11
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

7. West Ham United — We cannot overlook recent form and 10 points on the table, but the Irons are looking decent money against any club that dares to overlook them. Just ask Arsenal.
Last week: 10
Season high: 6
Season low: 20

6. Arsenal — It’s not wild to call Saturday’s match against Chelsea a season-defining one, especially with the Top Four door opened by an injury to Harry Kane at Spurs.
Last week: 6
Season high: 2
Season low: 9

5. Chelsea — Ten points from 12 has rarely looked so meh.
Last week: 4
Season high: 1
Season low: 5

4. Manchester United — Took three points off Spurs as a team, then perhaps even more thanks to Phil Jones‘ tackle on Harry Kane.
Last week: 5
Season high: 4
Season low: 14

3. Spurs — Seven is the number. That’s Spurs’ advantage on Chelsea and Arsenal heading into this prolonged Harry Kane absence.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 8

2. Man City — Could sleepwalk through next four fixtures to get to Chelsea and Arsenal on consecutive match days. And both of those are at the Etihad Stadium.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 3

1. Liverpool — Sadio Mane has joined Dejan Lovren in publicly claiming they’ll win their first top flight title of the Premier League era.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 4

Tottenham confirm Harry Kane out with ankle injury

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Harry Kane is out for Tottenham Hotspur at the worst possible time.

Kane, 25, went down after being caught by Phil Jones and Victor Lindelof late in the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday at Wembley, and Mauricio Pochettino feared his ankle injury was serious.

His worst fears have been confirmed.

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Tottenham have revealed that Kane will be out until March, and he is going to miss some huge games in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and their League Cup semifinal second leg at Chelsea.

Here is the official statement from Spurs.

“Following preliminary assessments, we can confirm that Harry Kane has damaged ligaments in his left ankle, sustained during Sunday’s match. He will continue to be monitored by our medical staff as he commences rehabilitation and is expected to return to training in early March.”

With Kane missing a hugely important period of Tottenham’s season, plus Heung-Min Son away throughout January with South Korea at the 2019 Asian Cup, Spurs are now putting all their eggs in one basket.

Over to you, Fernando Llorente…

Here are the games Kane is expected to miss while he spends time on the sidelines.

  • Fulham (A) – Premier League – January 20
  • Chelsea (A) – EFL Cup – January 24
  • Crystal Palace (A) – FA Cup – January 27
  • Watford (H) – Premier League – January 30
  • Newcastle (H) – Premier League – February 2
  • Leicester (H) – Premier League – February 10
  • Borussia Dortmund (H) – Champions League – February 13
  • Burnley – Premier League (A) – February 23
  • League Cup Final – February 25* if Spurs reach the final
  • Chelsea – Premier League (A) – February 27

This is a massive blow for Spurs which compounds their defeat against United (they somehow lost due to a combination of David De Gea‘s heroics and poor finishing) as they’re now nine points off first-place Liverpool and will have to play the next few months without their top goalscorer.

Kane is the joint-top leading scorer in the Premier League with 14 goals so far, but this is a familiar injury for him. The forward injured his ankle twice in the 2016-17 campaign, as Spurs fans were left to wonder what could have been if Kane had stayed fit all season long.

With Son missing, Pochettino must now turn to Llorente, who has only played in a handful of League Cup and FA Cup games as well as a few minutes in the PL, to try and spearhead their attack in the next few months. The veteran Spaniard has scored four goals in 11 appearances this season, but has yet to find the back of the net in his five PL outings.

The only other option Spurs have is Vincent Janssen, who has been out injured and scored for their U23 side at the weekend, but Pochettino revealed the Dutch striker is “not in his plans” at Tottenham.

This is far from ideal for Spurs, as this injury to Kane will have huge implications on their progress in the PL, Europe and both domestic cup competitions.