Brandon Williams

Manchester derby
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How will Man City, Man Utd line up in Sunday’s derby?

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The Manchester derby will be missing some key pieces when City visits United on Sunday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Harry Maguire is doubtful for the Red Devils, likely to join Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as key pieces unable to tangle with the “noisy neighbors.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

City’s banged up, too, as Kevin De Bruyne is in doubt to play while Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain absent.

It will likely be City’s first look at Bruno Fernandes, who has three goals and two assists in seven appearances for the Red Devils.

Both teams played at midweek against Championship competition, City outlasting Sheffield Wednesday and United taking care of Derby County.

How the managers respond to derby stakes but fixture congestion is interesting, especially for City; The two-time reigning league champions have a rescheduled match with Arsenal on Wednesday.

Manchester United projected XI

De Gea

 Wan-Bissaka — Lindelof — Bailly — Williams

McTominay — Matic —  Fred

Fernandes

Martial — Greenwood

Why: Solskjaer will bring his hard men to the midfield and hope Fernandes, Martial, Greenwood, and his fullbacks can carve up City on the counter. He’ll save Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira to come off the bench.

Manchester City projected XI

Ederson

Walker — Otamendi — Fernandinho — Mendy

Rodri — Gundogan

Mahrez — Foden — Sterling

Aguero

This could see Bernardo Silva played centrally for Foden and Jesus over Aguero, but we have Guardiola rewarding Foden for his sensational League Cup Final.

Player Ratings from Liverpool 2-0 Manchester United

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Liverpool might’ve needed a stoppage time goal to put Manchester United away, but the Reds outclassed their rivals on Sunday at Anfield.

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It was a righteous beatdown of the visitors, who were without Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford but looked more like a relegated-threatened side than one of the most successful clubs in football history.

[ MORE: JPW’s Three Things ]


Liverpool

Alisson — 9 — One of the world’s best gets an extra point for assisting Mohamed Salah‘s insurance goal.

Andy Robertson — 7 — Typical strength from the hard-working Scot.

Joe Gomez — 7

Virgil Van Dijk — 8 — Scored the decisive goal and was almost imperious at the back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold — 7

Georginio Wijnaldum — 7

Jordan Henderson — 8 — One of his best days in the shirt, winning numerous tackles and deprived of a delightful goal by De Gea.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Out 66′) — 7

Sadio Mane (Out 83′) — 5 — If he’s anywhere near his average self, he has a first half hat trick.

Mohamed Salah — 7 — Tied for a match-high shots with Mane, but had more of an edge and found a deserved goal late.

Roberto Firmino (Out 83′) — 7 — A game-high six dribbles to go with plenty of industry.

Subs 

Adam Lallana (66′) — 7

Divock Origi (83′) — N/A

Fabinho (83′) — N/A


Manchester United

David De Gea — 7 — An incredible save on Jordan Henderson on a day he had so little help.

Luke Shaw (Off 87′) — 5

Harry Maguire — 4 — Tried to do too much in his first match as full-time United captain.

Victor Lindelof — 4

Aaron Wan-Bissaka — 6 — One of few standouts on the day, with loads of energy and few ready to meet his level.

Brandon Williams (Out 75′) — 6

Nemanja Matic — 6

Fred — 7 — One of the few United players to bring effort and sharpness, but his shooting was off. Only Van Dijk attempted more passes.

Andreas Pereira (Out 75′) — 3 — Don’t let his ability to produce an edge of your seat moment detract from 16-of-26 passing and dreadful inconsistency.

Daniel James — 5

Anthony Martial — 4 — Blazed a perfect chance to tie the match over the bar, and effort wasn’t there.

Subs 

Juan Mata (In 75′) — N/A

Mason Greenwood (In 75′) — N/A

Diogo Dalot (In 87′) — N/A

Manchester United smashes Norwich City

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Marcus Rashford scored twice and Juan Mata had two assists as Manchester United blasted Norwich City 4-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood also scored for the Red Devils, who pull into fifth with 34 points.

Norwich City remains dead last with 14 points and a league-worst 45 conceded goals.


Three things we learned

1. Rashford’s arrival unquestioned: The hype surrounding United’s 22-year-old forward beat him to stardom by at least two years, but he’s here now. Rashford goes to the dirty places to get goals, but is also capable of conjuring the sublime. He now has 19 goals across all competitions including 14 of 35 in league play. It’s a marvelous season as the Englishman has justified United’s willingness to sell Romelu Lukaku.

2. No Pukki, no party: Teemu Pukki hasn’t been as electric as his early season showings, but the Finn brings a threat. United didn’t need to account for that with prospect Adam Idah leading the line, which allowed the defenders to worry more about Emiliano Buendia and Todd Cantwell out wide. Norwich remains very much in for it and will finish the weekend at least seven points clear of safety.

3. Williams takes another step toward long-term left back spot: Brandon Williams isn’t consistently starring at left back for Manchester United, but the 19-year-old has been average on his worst days. Believe it or not, we wrote this before he run a penalty with a surging run into the box.

Man of the Match: Rashford.


United wanted a penalty when Christoph Zimmermann and Anthony Martial had a moment, but VAR saw the Frenchman stumble and nothing more.

A rare start for Juan Mata was a wise choice, the Spaniard setting up Rashford for the match’s first goal with a delightful cross.

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The Red Devils broke open the dam with quickfire goals from Rashford and Martial, as Norwich City’s basement status was reinforced via goal differential.

Greenwood came off the bench to round out the scoring, United successfully continuing its pursuit of the Top Four.

Manchester United beats Burnley to go fifth

Manchester United beats Burnley to go fifth
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Manchester United seized a chance to go fifth with a 2-0 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

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The Red Devils sit one point back of fourth place Chelsea, who plays Arsenal on Sunday.

Burnley’s 24 points are six clear of the drop zone after 20 matches.

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Three things we learned

1. Wasteful Red Devils survive nonetheless: Anthony Martial should’ve had a hat trick, but will be one of the few Manchester United attackers able to live with his day considering he provided a goal. With 63 percent of the ball, United had plenty of time to produce chances but often made baffling choices in the final third.

United were without Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, and perhaps a bit fortunate to be playing a Burnley side who’s scored thrice in its last seven league matches.

2. Teen left back Williams impresses: Brandon Williams played left back in his first league start since Dec. 1, and was very lively going forward. He passed at 87 percent on the day. He has a goal and an assist in just under 800 first team minutes this season.

3. Rashford gets his goal (again): Rashford scrapped his way to a stoppage time marker and now has 16 goals and six assists in 26 matches after sliding the insurance tally over the line. He’s been held off the score sheet just four times in his last 11 league outings. It wasn’t an incredible night for Marcus Rashford, merely solid, but boy has it been a solid four months.

Man of the Match: Daniel James — It was a day without a ton of starring performances, but the ex-Swansea City man was rampant up and down the wing and assisted Rashford’s late insurance goal.


James Tarkowski knocked down a free kick that David De Gea rescued from a goal to spring a counter.

United worked down the left with Martial, the ball finding its way to Rashford for a shot that curled just wide of the frame.

Martial then saw a ball cleared off the line by Phil Bardsley after a Daniel James shot deflected onto his path.

United took the lead in the 44th through Martial. Andreas Pereira picked the pocket of Burnley left back Taylor, drawing a pass behind the Clarets back line for Martial to poke past Pope.

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Martial had the ball in the net again but saw his 51st minute marker whistled for a foul. Pope saved a Martial shot three minutes later.

Burnley had a couple of chances and grew into the game. Unlikely striker Phil Bardsley tore into a low effort that required a superb save from David De Gea.

Martial and Lingard combined to throw away an 83rd minute chance to make it 2-0. James and Rashford teamed up for a stoppage time goal after United held firm against a late Burnley set piece surge.

Blades, Red Devils engage in thrilling 3-3 draw

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A match with almost everything saw Sheffield United throw aside a 2-0 lead but rally for a 3-3 draw with Manchester United at Bramall Lane on Sunday.

Oli McBurnie’s stoppage time goal withstood VAR review, joining a great performance from Lys Mousset in helping the Blades to another memorable result in their return to the Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the changes that mattered at halftime, as his Red Devils rallied for the point.

The feckless first half Red Devils turned into a force through three second half goals from 19-year-old Brandon Williams, 18-year-old Mason Greenwood, and relatively ancient 22-year-old Marcus Rashford, who also recorded an assist.

Sheffield United moves into sixth place with 18 points, a point and three places above their visitors.


Three things we learned

1. Three kids give hope after Ole fixes formation: Brandon Williams scored his first senior goal for United with a quivering rocket in the 73rd minute. Daniel James was industrious all day if a bit sloppy, and helped set up the goal with a move down the right before Williams pounced on a ball at the back post. The behind the goal angle was sensational, showing a ball with only one destination.

Then Greenwood got on the end of a Rashford cross, one that Phil Jagiela was too slow to poke, as the Red Devils claimed an equalizer with 13 minutes to play. Greenwood turned 18 on Oct. 1, and Williams 19 on Sept. 3.

The subs fit in nicely, but the victory also came about after manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had the humility to change his miserable, porous first half game plan. Phil Jones was removed as the side went from something of a 3-4-2-1 to a 4-2-3-1. The payoff took 20 minutes to really arrived, but then it just kept coming until the Red Devils were in front.

2. Mousset, Blades cut through United’s miserable back line: David De Gea was standing on his head from moment one, as the Red Devils continuously got worked. And after the Red Devils took the lead, the back line gave it away.

Lys Mousset’s new lease on life continued to work wonders, as he destroyed Phil Jones en route to setting up the first goal and then cut into a danger area to slot a 22-yard shot past De Gea early in the second half.

I mean, this is staggering stuff.

3. David De Gea keeps gauze on a deep wound: While United was getting run off the pitch — really this could’ve been 3 or 4-0 at halftime — its Spanish keeper was his best self, making a number of phenomenal saves and commanding his area. Without him, the second half outcome isn’t remotely possible.

Man of the Match: Marcus Rashford might just be coming into his own. The English striker has shown himself quite the passer of late, and there are plenty of reasons to think he’s starting to fulfill his potential. Rashford has 10 goals and 4 assists in 18 matches across all competitions.


David De Gea made two incredible saves in the 11th minute, the second an acrobatic palming of David McGoldrick‘s header.

The Blades also had a pair of penalty shouts in the first quarter hour, both unheard.

Lys Mousset was lively, and bodied Phil Jones to set up John Lundstram for a chance well-saved by De Gea only to see another John, Fleck, pop the rebound inside the far post.

McGoldrick kept coming in a bid for the second, drilling a ball to De Gea.

Manchester United had some moments in counter attack, but overall everyone short of Fred an De Gea were extremely sloppy.

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The Red Devils snapped to life at halftime, with Rashford using a couple deft moves to create space for a swirling shot over the frame in the 48th.

Mousset made it 2-0 when a run dragged Harry Maguire away from the Frenchman’s dribble, allowing the players to tear into a shot from 22 yards.

Manchester United got one back in the 73rd through Williams’ vicious finish, and the wall was broken down. Greenwood got to Rashford’s cross to make it 2-2, and Rashford reaped the rewards of Anthony Martial and James’ playmaking to make it 3-2.

McBurnie then settled a cross calmly, somehow avoiding a handball before smashing home for a stoppage time equalizer.