Anthony Martial

Pogba set to return to Man Utd training; Martial misses LASK trip

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Paul Pogba may be granted a birthday wish to return to Manchester United training.

Pogba turns 27 on Sunday, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the United star will rejoin the team in training next week.

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So we’re getting closer to seeing a Manchester United attack with both Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, which is nice considering the Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 matches after a win in the Manchester Derby.

The Frenchman hasn’t played since Boxing Day, and has just four appearances since the calendar flipped to September.

It’s been an extremely challenging season for Pogba, who has constantly been mentioned in the rumor mill.

Every decision in his rehabilitation has been met with second-guessing amongst media and fans, and his agent sure hasn’t helped things.

In other United injury news, Anthony Martial is set to miss out on Thursday’s Europa League first leg at LASK due to fallout from a derby collision with a goal post.

Martial may return when the Red Devils visit Spurs on Sunday before a second leg versus LASK at Old Trafford.

Then there’s an FA Cup match with Norwich City on March 22 before a league match April 4 at Brighton and Hove Albion.

‘You can’t ask for more’: Solskjaer delighted as red-hot Man United beat City

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Manchester United are, once again, derby winners, holding off an aggressive Manchester City to a 2-0 win.

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It is 10 games unbeaten now for United, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer couldn’t be more content for a group of players – and fan base – that were on the other side of the spectrum not too long ago.

“The desire, attitude, commitment,” he said. “The connection between fans and players and the team. What a day they’ve had today, both the players and the fans. Of course they made us defend, that’s the type of players they are, but if our fans can see players with attitude and commitment and desire, then we’ve done our job as coaches today.”

Such positive result means United have achieved a league double of rivals City, and that they consolidate their hopes of making a top-four finish. Bruno Fernandes continues to demonstrate he was well worth the transfer dilemma, contributing two goals and three assists since joining from Sporting in January. The Portuguese international and Anthony Martial have been vital throughout the Red Devils’ fine run of form.

“Anthony and Bruno have hit if off,” the Norwegian manager said about his players. “It is a privilege to be a manager of a squad with this attitude. You can’t ask for more. They are going to improve as players as well.”

It’s worth asking how Solskjaer will navigate the coming weeks on the back of such palpable, positive momentum. United may be flying high, but they close out March with both legs of their Round of 16 Europa League matchup, a league bout against Tottenham, and Norwich City in the FA Cup quarterfinals.

That, in addition to United’s overdefensive posture against City, will may be two topics Solskjaer and company may look over in the coming days. It’s been affective, but is it sustainable in the long run?

For now, it’s time to celebrate that Manchester is, once again, red.

“Well of course it’s a derby, the fans love it, the players love it,” Solskjaer said. “For our players to beat the team that’s Man City, with the problems that we’ve had as well, it’s fantastic. I’m just delighted for them. We played against an absolute top, top team. Of course we had to defend and they had possession, but we’re delighted with the outcome.”

VIDEO: Fernandes, Martial combine for magic Man United goal

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Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial combine for a beautiful Man United goal in the Manchester Derby against Man City.

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The Portuguese playmaker dinked a lovely ball over the defense and Martial ran onto it before smashing home past Ederson.

Man City’s goalkeeper should have done better with the shot at the near post but take nothing away from the creativity of Fernandes and Martial.

The clever free kick and the movement then finish from Martial was sublime and that moment of magic will live long in the memory of Man United fans in the Manchester Derby.

Take a look at the Man United goal in the video below as Man United’s superb run of form continues.

Fernandes runs the show as Manchester United crushes Watford

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Bruno Fernandes scored a goal and helped set up two as Manchester United beat Watford 3-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Anthony Martial recorded United’s second goal with a magical finish off his own rebound after Fernandes sent him through on goal, while Mason Greenwood added a late goal after a 1-2 with the Portuguese.

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United is now fifth with 41 points, three points back of fourth-place Chelsea.

Watford had a goal chalked off by VAR, and remains in the bottom three with 24 points. That’s one point off 17th and two off 16th.

Three things we learned

1. Bruno as advertised: There was no question Fernandes addressed a need for the Old Trafford set, but few would’ve seen the Portuguese revolutionizing the team’s attack so quickly (and also underlining how badly United has missed Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba). It’s not silly to say Fernandes could’ve had four assists on the day. Magnificent stuff from the 25-year-old. No surprise he has Cristiano Ronaldo’s endorsement.

2. Greenwood shows another glimpse: The Mason Greenwood hype train hasn’t been as pronounced as Marcus Rashford’s of years past, and we’re grateful for that. But his shoulder move and sick cut before dribbling 50 yards to combine with Fernandes on the third goal of the game was gorgeous stuff. More hope for the future.

3. This: It’s easy to forget the heights of which somewhat-mercurial Anthony Martial is capable.

Man of the Match: Fernandes had four key passes and was perfect in his take-ons and ground duels. Incredible show.

Poor communication between Harry Maguire and Nemanja Matic sprung Troy Deeney toward goal, but United left back Luke Shaw saved his teammates further blushes with a block.

Abdoulaye Doucoure then ran onto a dummied Gerard Deulofeu pass but found himself closed down by David De Gea.

United should’ve been up through Wan-Bissaka when Foster parried a cross onto his path, but the English back struck the ball tamely into the outside of the goal.

Bruno Fernandes led a terrific 38th-minute move, and Daniel James eventually teed up Fred for a shot that curled wide of the goal.

The January signing danced past Ben Foster and hit the deck when the Watford goalkeeper went to ground. VAR stayed with the call on the field, and Fernandes finished well with a little hop step.

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Deeney looked to have made it 1-1 in the 52nd minute, thumping a. ball into the top of the goal when a corner kick was turned off the post by Craig Dawson‘s arm. It was attached to his body, but that does not matter in the attacking box.

Martial instead made it 2-0 off a Fernandes feed, collecting his own rebound before dribbling Watford dizzy and spinning a chip into the goal.

Fernandes spotted Maguire with a seeing-eye cross in the 69th, but the defender’s header was poor.

Greenwood scored his goal in the 75th, carrying the ball 50 yards before working a 1-2 with Fernandes and finishing with aplomb.

Odion Ighalo came close to getting on the board for his new club against his old one, but Adam Masina deflected his shot off the post.

VIDEO: Martial scores for Man United v. Club Brugge

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Anthony Martial scored once again for Man United and his goal in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg against Club Brugge was a beauty.

The Frenchman is standing tall in the absence of Marcus Rashford through injury as he has now scored in back-to-back games away from home.

Martial, 24, made the most of a slight defensive mistake from Club Brugge as he powered towards goal and kept his cool to slot home, while he also hit the post in the first half after Simon Mignolet got a slight touch on his curling effort.

When he’s on form he’s a joy to watch and after his towering header against Chelsea on Monday, Martial has done it again a few days later in Belgium. It is the third time this season he has scored in back-to-back games and he has now scored 14 goals in 30 appearances for the Red Devils, his best return since he scored 17 in his opening season at United in 2015-16.

Here is Martial’s goal at Club Brugge, as United need him to kick on and take this tally for the season to at least 20 goals if they are going to be successful.