David de Gea

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Pogba, De Gea ruled out for Man United v. Liverpool

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According to our partners at Sky Sports, Manchester United’s David De Gea and Paul Pogba will not play against Liverpool this Sunday (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

This is far from ideal for a United side already low in confidence after a dreadful start to the season.

De Gea injured his groin while on international duty with Spain on Tuesday as he injured an abductor while kicking a ball against Sweden in a EURO 2020 qualifier. He is expected to have a full assessment in Manchester on Thursday but isn’t expected to be available to play against Liverpool.

As for Pogba, he suffered a reoccurrence of his foot injury before the international break and has been training in Dubai on his own during the past week to try and speed up his recovery.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already been without Pogba, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for large chunks of the season so far, as Man United sit in 12th place in the Premier League table.

“No chance,” Solskjaer said of Pogba’s availability for the weekend. “Paul had an injury, then came back, worked really hard, played a couple of games. Maybe played through the pain barrier. We had a scan after the Arsenal game and he needed a few weeks rest in the boot. Hopefully he won’t be too long but he won’t make this game, no.”

Not having their star goalkeeper and central midfielder available for this clash with bitter rivals Liverpool is another huge setback for Solskjaer, as Sergio Romero and Fred will likely start in their place.

Martial, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka are all expected to miss the game against Liverpool too as Solskjaer will at least have a valid excuse if the Premier League leaders give United a hiding on Sunday.

De Gea limps off for Spain ahead of Man Utd-Liverpool tilt

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Here’s the good news for Manchester United supporters: David De Gea played incredibly well for Spain in its EURO qualifier on Tuesday as La Furia Roja clinched a place in EURO 2020.

The bad news? The performance was truncated, with De Gea limping off the pitch and replaced by Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in the 60th minute.

[ MORE: EURO qualifying wrap ]

De Gea appeared to injure himself while attempting a goal kick of all things, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be wondering what fresh hell awaits him next.

Perhaps that’s simply the fact that Liverpool visits Old Trafford on Sunday in a match that Solskjaer previously said was perhaps ideal for his reeling Red Devils.

Solskjaer would turn to Sergio Romero should De Gea been unable to play at the weekend. Lee Grant is United’s third goalkeeper with Dean Henderson on loan to Sheffield United.

United was already going to need a lot of help to beat back the unbeaten Reds.

Manchester United: Solskjaer, De Gea rue loss to Newcastle

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In the sometimes myopic world of the Premier League, a big question looms for Manchester United and the boss it’s been publicly backing.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his side lose 1-0 at Newcastle United on Sunday at St. James’ Park to remain on nine points.

[ MORE: Match recap | Newcastle reaction ]

He says the loss comes down to injuries and a bad first half.

“The first half was the sloppiest we’ve been,” Solskjaer said. “In the second half we dominated but we didn’t create. We’ve not changed a lot. We’ve played the same way and stuck to our principles. The players are working hard. We’ve had six out from the Chelsea game and that’s going to affect results. But we’ll work hard and get the quality back.”

Next up is a visit from Liverpool after the international break. Even if Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial return, you’d have to bet that the Red Devils might get run out of their own building by their hated rivals.

Solskjaer, however, says maybe they are the right team at the right time.

“That’s a perfect game for us. The international break is also at the perfect time because their heads need a bit of airing. It doesn’t help having a meeting tomorrow. They will go away with their national teams, meet their teammates and come back fresh. We have had a good time together, we have prepared since the first day of pre-season, we have stuck to the same principles. We have not got the result today but we have to keep carrying on.”

I’m going to go ahead and say that that’s a pretty bold sentiment, Ole.

United has seven games in 21 days between international breaks, and it’s wild that United may have to consider both its league and Europa League lives over the next 24-48 hours.

Consider the fixture list. Not only does United need results against three non-traditional powers, but it could lose to two big rivals while dealing with Europa challenges.

Oct. 20 – v. Liverpool (PL)
Oct. 24 – at Partizan Belgrade (UEL)
Oct. 27 – at Norwich City (PL)
Oct. 30 – at Chelsea (League Cup)
Nov. 2 – at Bournemouth (PL)
Nov. 7 – v. Partizan Belgrade (UEL)
Nov. 10 – v. Brighton (PL)

The Red Devils are as close to the Bottom Three (two points) as the top half of the table. It’s been miserable, as United’s only Premier League win since the 4-0 season-opening beating of Chelsea was a fortunate 1-0 against Leicester City.

Goalkeeper David De Gea‘s emotion was visceral in talking to cameras after the game, saying that United has to improve “everything.”

“It’s a hard moment for us,” he said. “The most difficult time since I’ve been here. I don’t know why, what is happening. Sorry to the fans. We will keep fighting. Come on, we conceded a goal from a comer. That cannot happen. It’s unacceptable.”

It isn’t. And someone will soon be held to the coals for these awful performances. Perhaps Martial and Pogba can rescue the Red Devils, who were also without Victor Lindelof on Sunday, but they are needed now more than ever.

Longstaffs lead Newcastle past miserable Man Utd

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More than a few eyebrows were raised when Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce started both of his young Longstaffs against Manchester United at St. James’ Park on Sunday.

It’s fair to say they popped off the head when the younger one belted the Magpies out of the Bottom Three against the sunk standard Red Devils.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Matty Longstaff scored in the 72nd minute and older brother Sean combined to stifle a sloppy Manchester United midfield in a 1-0 win.

Manchester United has nine points, good for 12th, while Newcastle is up to eight points and 16th place.

Three things we learned

1. Man Utd woeful without Pogba, Martial: Most teams, to be fair, would look poor without two world class talents, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s men look absolutely idea-free up front. Marcus Rashford did little to nothing on the day, and in his defense his physical gifts are left for nothing without decent service. The side heaps pressure on the still-young center forward when it only gives him a pressure-packed possibility or two per game.

Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United is full of industry, but the Magpies have been wide open for business in the middle of the park. The fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had no answers for the Longstaff brothers, making their 15th and 1st PL appearance, should be massively alarming. It’s a great story for Newcastle given the combined 40 years between the academy products, but the Red Devils didn’t even look like a well-drilled unit of superior talent against one of the worst-performing teams in the PL this season. Not legendary, Ole.

2. Speaking of the Longstaffs: Steve Bruce made a brave move in starting 19-year-old Matty Longstaff alongside his brother Sean, the former making his first PL start and the latter chased by Manchester United in the summer.

It’s absurdly early for this, but Newcastle fans will freely dream of a decade of two brothers bossing the center midfield for them at St. James’ Park. It’s a story best told by clubs like Newcastle, even if the beautiful goal was produced by Saint-Maximin and Jetro Willems.

3. Differing fortunes for MLS men Almiron, Yedlin: Newcastle’s former record signing was bright again, but showed his battered confidence with two very poor moments. First he got behind the defense but took two extra touches to turn a breakaway into a blocked shot. Then his long dribble saw him cut right outside the box only to earn a deserved yellow card for diving rather than staying onto the ball. His potential and the flashes mean Newcastle has to keep him out there to work through it, but the Paraguayan’s faith in his finishing is shot right now.

DeAndre Yedlin, however, was plenty lively in his first and long-awaited start of the Premier League season after delay after delay in recovery from injury. He helped produced a terrific chance for Carroll, regularly got behind the Red Devils’ back line, and made a great sliding intervention a yard outside the six with 20 minutes to play.

Man of the Match: Matty Longstaff — On emotion, and just ahead of the team’s most consistent weekly performer in Fabian Schar.

Allan Saint-Maximin‘s long dribble provided an early chance for Miguel Almiron, but a less-than-ideal first touch pushed the Paraguayan out of line from goal and produced a mere corner.

A live wire, Saint-Maximin danced through three defenders before dragging a 12th minute shot wide from great distance.

Daniel James won a rare chance for Manchester United, but Martin Dubravka came to claim the free kick from near corner kick distance.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Debutant teen Matty Longstaff swirled a 23-yard shot off the top of the cross bar in the 28th.

Almiron then beat the back line but took a couple of superfluous touches to allow the Red Devils time to block his shot inside the 18.

Harry Maguire flubbed a free header off a corner kick just before halftime. Would the Red Devils rue that?

Matty Longstaff and DeAndre Yedlin combined to cue up Andy Carroll for a header in the 65th, but the big man had to stoop and saw the ball spin over the cross bar.

The lead was rightly won by Saint-Maximin playing Willems into the 18, with the Dutch loanee cutting back for Matty Longstaff to rip low and hard past David De Gea.

Solskjaer laments another blown Manchester United lead

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
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David De Gea refused to blame the officials for a goofy goal at Old Trafford, where Manchester United drew Arsenal 1-1 on Monday.

The Red Devils led 1-0 when Bukayo Saka played Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang behind the back line, and the linesman raised his flag before the striker scored past De Gea.

[ RECAP: Man Utd 1-1 Arsenal ]

Referee Kevin Friend didn’t blow his whistle, though, and VAR upheld Aubameyang’s well-timed run.

“Well, it was a big mistake for us,” he said. “We gave away an important goal.”

De Gea admitted that the flag could be a bit distracting, but that it doesn’t stop his job of stopping Aubameyang from scoring.

“Of course it’s an issue if the linesman keeps the flag down but also we know there is a VAR, so if it’s offside, it’s offside. We need to keep focus on the game. It’s a goal for them. We need to learn from that mistake.”

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t harp on the VAR part of things, saying his claims to the referee about a potential whistle boiled down to gamesmanship (“Sometimes you hear a noise and you try your luck, don’t you?”).

He was, however, upset with United’s inability to finish the job. For the third time this Premier League season, a 1-0 lead turned into a 1-1 draw. First Wolves, then Saints, now Arsenal.

“Another time we get 1-nil up and we don’t get the second goal. That’s the learning now for this team. We need to be more clinical. We’ll learn, definitely, but it’s a steep learning curve for a few. It’s a bad goal to give up.”

Solskjaer said the youth in the side are helping them start to build something, but that that’s simply a silver lining on Monday. He also said Marcus Rashford is 100 percent fit.