Paddy McNair

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Sunderland sign McNair, Love from Manchester United

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David Moyes has raided his former club Manchester United for two young defenders, paying a fee of $8 million.

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Paddy McNair and Donald Love have both signed four-year contracts at Sunderland and Moyes’ first three signings as Black Cats boss since he took over in late July have all been defenders.

McNair, 21, had broken into United’s first team under Louis Van Gaal in 2014-15 but found minutes hard to come by last season and the Northern Ireland international was allowed to leave by Jose Mourinho. As for Love, he also broke through under LVG and at 21 years old the Scottish right back is ready to stake his claim as a regular in the PL.

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Knowing the young defenders well, Moyes was delighted to get them to the Stadium of Light.

“Paddy is a young, athletic player who is improving all the time. He has experience for Northern Ireland and we want to bring as many international players to the club as we can,” Moyes said. “Donald comes highly recommended and is another young player who I hope can develop and improve here. I want to add some young players to the squad as well as some senior players and both of them have got really good potential and the opportunity to improve.”

These defensive acquisitions come after Sunderland bought center back Papy Djilobodji from Chelsea for $11 million and amid strong speculation that star center back Lamine Kone will move to Everton in a $22 million deal.

Kone was a beast for Sunderland last season after arriving in January and scored two vital goals as former manager Sam Allardyce led them to safety. However, with Wes Brown and Sergio Vergini leaving Sunderland this summer, the Black Cats needed reinforcements and Moyes has moved to bring in two promising defenders.

Watch Live: Swansea City vs Manchester United (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Manchester United will look to keep its unbeaten streak alive as they head to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City live on NBCSN at 11:00am E.T. or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

It hasn’t looked pretty at times, but the Red Devils have picked up two wins and a draw so far this league season which has them in the table’s fourth position.

WATCH LIVE: Swansea City vs Manchester United live on NBC Sports Live Extra

Maroane Fellaini returns for Manchester United having served his three-match suspension, and comes into the squad on the bench. Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo both remain out with injury, and thus Paddy McNair is on the bench as defensive cover. Sergio Romero remains the starter in goal as Louis van Gaal confirmed he will not select David de Gea until after the transfer window closes.

For Swansea City, Garry Monk’s only injury concern was supposed to be Ki Sung-Yueng, and he’s recovered from injury to make the bench after playing most of the club’s midweek clash. Unfortunately, Jefferson Montero also injured himself in training recently and will not be available for the match.

The Swans will be looking for their third straight win over the Red Devils after besting United both times last season in league play. They’ve won three of the last four over Manchester United in all competitions, all by a 2-1 score.

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams, Taylor, Cork, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge, Gomis.
Bench: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Bartley, Tabanou, Ki Sung-Yueng, Dyer, Eder.

Manchester United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Herrera, Memphis; Rooney.
Bench: Johnstone, McNair, Valencia, Carrick, Young, Fellaini, Chicharito.

Everton 3-0 Manchester United: Toffees score early, snuff out visiting attack

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A pair of early goals saw Everton comfortably ahead, and they snuffed out Manchester United the rest of the way to earn their third straight victory over the Red Devils at Goodison Park.

James McCarthy and John Stones both hit strikes in the opening 45 minutes, and Everton extinguished every United chance before it developed as Kevin Mirallas delivered the deathblow late.

Everton appeared to be on the back foot early, but they would strike first just four minutes in. Following the clearance of a Manchester United corner, Everton forayed into the Red Devil half for the first time on a furious counter. McCarthy darted down the middle and a cutback meant for Romelu Lukaku fell at his feet. The 24-year-old slipped through poor tackles from Daley Blind and Paddy McNair, and slotted an off-balance shot into the back of the net.

United jumped right back onto the ball and got an opportunity for Marouane Fellaini but he fired over the bar with Tim Howard falling on the shot. Fellaini was again the focal point of an opponent’s strategy, as this time Everton looked to wind him up, and it worked, earning the big Belgian a 12th-minute yellow card for taking down Ross Barkley.

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United wouldn’t get too many more good chances as the first half dragged on, and Everton again would pick its spots. A corner swung in from Leighton Baines and Stones met it at the near post, delivering a pinpoint header across the face and into the far corner for the home side’s second 10 minutes before the break, and the 20-year-old’s first Premier League goal.

With Fellaini neutralized, Louis van Gaal made a halftime substitution to bring on Radamel Falcao in an attempt to give United a bigger attacking threat. It didn’t do much right away, as United continued to possess but do little with it. Luke Shaw had a nice pullback for Juan Mata  just after halftime but the Spaniard flubbed his shot.

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Van Gaal then brought on Angel Di Maria just after the hour mark with Falcao and Wayne Rooney still receiving little service. With United searching for a way back into the game, the visiting defense shut off and Everton sealed the win.

Ross Barkley on a counter delivered a ball over the top for Lukaku. With the Belgian striker clearly offside, the entire Manchester United defense shut off expecting a flag. Instead, Lukaku stopped before the ball reached him, and having removed himself from play, the whistle never came. The ball went through to Kevin Mirallas, who came on with 20 minutes to go for Leon Osman, and he slotted home Everton’s third to seal the win. He nearly had a second with five minutes to go, but David de Gea produced a stellar save to keep him out.

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Manchester United had nothing left after Everton’s third, and the home side easily saw it out despite the expensive talent in red. The win gives Everton its sixth match in a row without a loss, including five wins. Manchester United, meanwhile, fall to its second straight defeat following a strong run of form through 2015. The Red Devils, more importantly, remain eight points above Liverpool in the final Champions League spot, and fail to take the opportunity to jump above either Manchester City or Arsenal in the table.

LINEUPS:

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Osman (Mirallas 69′); Lukaku.

Goals – McCarthy 5′, Stones 35′, Mirallas 74′

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Mata (Di Maria 63′), Fellaini (Falcao 46′), Young, Rooney.

Watch Live: Everton vs Manchester United (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Two in-form teams meet at Goodison Park looking to finish the season strong as Everton hosts Manchester United live on NBCSN at 8:30am ET or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Manchester United looks set to lock up a return to the Champions League, as a win at Goodison today could simultaneously put them a whopping 10 points above Liverpool in fifth place while also vaulting them above Manchester City and Arsenal into second place.

Meanwhile, their opponents have been in good form as well. The Toffees have rattled off five unbeaten, including four wins over that span, and look poised to finish a somewhat disappointing season on a high note. Everton sits in 12th position, but a win could put them level with West Ham on points for 10th.

WATCH LIVE: Everton vs. Manchester United live online at NBC Sports Live Extra

Daley Blind returns to the field for the Red Devils after missing out with a slight ankle problem, but the defense is slightly beaten up with Phil Jones and Marcus Rojo both on the sidelines. That leaves young Paddy McNair to spot start yet again in central defense alongside Chris Smalling, something he did plenty of early in the season. Michael Carrick also will not play thanks to a calf injury.

Embodying the juxtoposition of last year’s failures against this season’s success, former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini starts on the return to his former club.

For the home side, Roberto Martinez is without Steven Pienaar thanks to injury while Leon Osman and James McCarthy are both ready to return from knocks and are in the starting lineup. Everton have scored exactly one goal in each of their last three games, but the defense has been stout and they’ve recorded seven points across that time.

LINEUPS:

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Osman; Lukaku.
Bench: Joel, Kone, Mirallas, Naismith, Besic, Garbutt, Alcaraz.

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young, Rooney.
Bench: Valdes, Blackett, Januzaj, Pereira, Di Maria, van Persie, Falcao.

Despite defeat to Chelsea, Louis van Gaal hails Manchester United’s “best match of season”

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LONDON — Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United side lost 1-0 on Saturday at Chelsea but the Dutch manager declared himself a happy man after the game at Stamford Bridge.

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Hailing the creativity of his side at the home of the runaway Premier League leaders, van Gaal revealed his feelings about United’s display as their six-game winning spree came to a halt in west London.

“I am not frustrated, I am very proud of my team,” van Gaal said. “We played the best match of the season but in football you can lose. In spite of [the fact] that you are the better team.”

United had 70 percent of possession, had 15 shots at goal compared to Chelsea’s seven and created three key chances in the second half which they failed to convert. Van Gaal questioned the decision to not award his side a free kick in the buildup to the only goal of the game, where John Terry looked to have fouled Radamel Falcao, but was pleased that his side continues to progress.

“We are in a process and I see my team always growing and improving every week,” van Gaal said. “It is amazing how we have played here. When you see the statistics it is unbelievable that the result is 1-0. But that is football.”

The Red Devils were without four key players heading into this match as Michael Carrick, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones were out, but United’s inexperienced backline, which included Paddy McNair and Luke Shaw, were hardly tested as the away side did all of the pressing but couldn’t find a crucial breakthrough.

“In spite of the compact defensive organization of Chelsea, we have created more chances in the second half. That is unbelievable performance, I think. But you need to score. Normally we are more effective and normally we are not so creative and because of that I think we played a fantastic match but we lost,” van Gaal added. “Now I have very disappointed players and I am very disappointed but I see that we are improving every week and when you can play at Chelsea, like this, as the dominant team. Then I am very happy with that but I am disappointed [with the defeat]. That is the ambivalence in my feelings.”

With five games to go United remains in third place, 11 points behind leaders Chelsea and four points ahead of fourth-placed Manchester City. Van Gaal’s side deserved more than they got at Chelsea on Saturday but as he said: “that’s football.”