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Author Archive for Paul Wilson at Old Trafford

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José Mourinho hails ‘phenomenal’ Paul Pogba after Manchester United sink City

• Two-goal midfielder was pivotal figure in comeback from 2-0 down• Pep Guardiola says he spoke to Pogba to congratulate the playerPaul Pogba was the pivotal figure in the memorable Manchester derby that prevented the Premier League leaders wrapping up…

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Jesse Lingard shines as quickfire Manchester United cruise past Swansea

Paul Pogba returned to the starting line up, Romelu Lukaku scored his 100th Premier League goal and Alexis Sánchez rediscovered his finishing prowess, though this comfortable victory over a pedestrian Swansea side was not just about Manchester United’s…

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José Mourinho plays down Manchester United’s Champions League exit

• Mourinho: ‘I know this has happened at United before’• Manager says team must focus on FA Cup quarter-finalJosé Mourinho attempted to play down the significance of Manchester United’s exit from the Champions League as former players turned television…

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Chelsea lose momentum and match after José Mourinho’s changes | Paul Wilson

Antonio Conte had a frustrating day as his side failed to take their chances before Jesse Lingard took his for Manchester UnitedCredit where it is due: José Mourinho’s sometimes dour tactics do occasionally produce results. This was a big one for Manch…

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Alexis Sánchez off the mark to help Manchester United sink Huddersfield

The good news for Manchester United is that Manchester City’s lead has been cut to 13 points. The bad news, apart from the fact 13 points is still a lot, is that this performance was not a vast improvement on the one against Tottenham at Wembley.While …

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José Mourinho still has issues with Manchester United fans which don’t exist | Paul Wilson

The Manchester United manager continued his needless bickering with a section of the home support in his programme notes but his reasons remain unclearEnjoy the game is a phrase every football fan reads every week if they buy a match programme and both…

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José Mourinho tells critics to ‘calm down’ after Manchester United beat Spurs

• ‘Some people speak too much. You know, calm down, relax’• ‘It was a good performance from us, I liked it,’ says MourinhoA week after excoriating his players for their unprofessional attitude at Huddersfield Town, José Mourinho was all smiles as his M…

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Manchester United’s Anthony Martial rises to occasion to sink Spurs

Even without Harry Kane, Tottenham held the upper hand for much of this closely contested game, though Manchester United are no mugs under José Mourinho and they stuck grimly to their task to pick up an important win with a late Anthony Martial goal. T…

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Roy Hodgson says Crystal Palace fighting in class they cannot handle

• ‘We are attempting to respond and not stay on the canvas’
• José Mourinho hails Marouane Fellaini after Manchester United’s 4-0 win

Roy Hodgson chose a boxing analogy to describe his side’s latest thumping in Manchester, inevitably inviting the observation that in a real ringfight the referee would have stopped such an uneven contest.

“I don’t want to criticise my players in any way, but we are taking a few blows to the chin,” the Crystal Palace manager said, as his team remain without either a goal or a victory. “We are without Zaha, Benteke and Loftus-Cheek and we lost Scott Dann the day before the game. We are playing with a winger from Wolves at centre-forward. Add all those things together and we have to accept we are the boxer fighting in a weight class he is not able to handle at the moment. We are taking the blows and getting knocked down, but we are attempting to respond and not stay on the canvas.”

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Paul Pogba has difficulty showing his worth but Manchester United progress | Paul Wilson

The £90m French midfielder has had a tough time in England this season and he struggled again to justify his lofty valuation against Celta Vigo

It cannot be easy wearing the tag of world’s most expensive footballer, and it may turn out the detailed transfer fee revelations of the past few days prove a blessing in disguise for Paul Pogba.

Since Manchester United brought him back in such costly fashion last summer there has been a background muttering for most of the season to the effect that he does not actually look like a £90m player. José Mourinho keeps saying that he will, one day, while United’s many detractors and even one or two of their supporters feel that pushing the boat out to the extent of breaking the world record ought to deliver a finished player from day one.

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José Mourinho criticises Manchester United’s finishing after Everton draw

• ‘It is obvious we don’t score enough goals,’ says Manchester United manager
• Ronald Koeman laments Everton’s missed chances but pleased with showing

José Mourinho has admitted that goalscoring is a problem for Manchester United and says he will take steps to improve the situation for next season.

United’s last‑gasp equaliser against Everton took their unbeaten record to 20 Premier League games, yet they have remained out of the top four through drawing 10 of them. “It is obvious we do not score enough goals,” the United manager said. “We have the attacking players, we have the chances but we don’t convert enough. I think we are second in the table for attempts on goal but third from bottom for the ratio of chances accepted. That says it all. I would happily sign up now to go 20 matches unbeaten next season, but to win more games we need to score more goals.”

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s late penalty rescues Manchester United against Everton

José Mourinho’s cunning plan to qualify for the Champions League by winning the Europa event is going to come in handy if Manchester United continue playing like this. They have taken only two points from two successive home games, and needed a 94th-minute penalty to avoid defeat against a desperately unlucky Everton.

This was a classy and convincing response from the visitors after their abject display in the Merseyside derby, while once again questions were raised about the ponderousness of United’s attack. At this rate they are not going to instil much fear into Europa League opponents, though a certain amount of luck remains on Mourinho’s side, otherwise it would not have been Luke Shaw’s shot that brought about the last-minute spot-kick.

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José Mourinho blames Paul Pogba injury on crowded fixture schedule

• Frustrated United manager says fatigue is beginning to affect his players
• Tiredness means ‘we will probably lose at Middlesbrough now’

José Mourinho hit out at English fixture scheduling after losing Paul Pogba to a hamstring injury in the Europa League victory over Rostov.

Manchester United’s France international is likely to be out for three weeks, and thus unable to play at Middlesbrough on Sunday or link up with his national team in the upcoming international break. Mourinho believes the injury was a result of fatigue. Marcos Rojo was so energy depleted during the game that he called for a banana to be brought on to the pitch.

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Juan Mata helps Manchester United to Europa League victory over Rostov

Manchester United made it to the last eight of the Europa League with a stodgy performance against oddly defensive Russian opponents. A second-half goal from Juan Mata was enough to seal victory, though considering Rostov started in a losing position thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s away goal it was surprising they made so little attempt to chase the game.

It was not such a great surprise to see United make hard work of breaking down their disciplined defence, but though the result was satisfactory in the end a worry for José Mourinho was the sight of Paul Pogba limping off with a muscle strain.

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Juan Mata helps Manchester United to Europa League victory over Rostov

Manchester United made it to the last eight of the Europa League with a stodgy performance against oddly defensive Russian opponents. A second-half goal from Juan Mata was enough to seal victory, though considering Rostov started in a losing position thanks to Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s away goal it was surprising they made so little attempt to chase the game.

It was not such a great surprise to see United make hard work of breaking down their disciplined defence, but though the result was satisfactory in the end a worry for José Mourinho was the sight of Paul Pogba limping off with a muscle strain.

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Anthony Martial catches the eye for United as he feels his way back to form | Paul Wilson

Manchester United’s attacking options were slightly limited and the Frenchman took the opportunity against St-Étienne to remind the manager of his value

There may be trouble ahead, José Mourinho warned before this game, channelling Irving Berlin in an attempt to point out that Manchester United will inevitably face a fixture pile-up if they continue to fight on four fronts.

There may be trouble if United fail to reach the Champions League next season, too; one season in four is not really good enough for a club of such stature and frequently exercised spending power, and Antoine Griezmann may not fancy joining a side with only Europa League football to offer.

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Wayne Rooney’s supporting cast grow tired of chasing records up blind alleys | Paul Wilson

Surpassing Sir Bobby Charlton has become a distraction in addition to making the Manchester United captain too easy to mark out of the game – as Hull City demonstrated in the EFL Cup semi-final first leg

Marco Silva would probably prefer to be picking up league points than examining the possibilities presented by cup football in England, though perhaps the Hull City manager should view his first two games as a honeymoon period.

Quite an eventful one at that. Victory at the first time of asking in the FA Cup at the weekend may have been marred by a shortage of home fans – Hull supporters were staging a protest against the club owners – but this occasion was even weirder. First of all Silva was up against the only other Portuguese manager in the Premier League, and possibly the only one to claim to know him well. “He is one of the game’s good young coaches and I hope he wins some matches,” José Mourinho said. “Just not this one.”

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Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney sees yellow and puts record chasing on hold | Paul Wilson

The Old Trafford captain has missed the chance to break the club’s goalscoring record when his team visit Goodison Park to take on his first club, Everton

Wayne Rooney may be having a chequered season, both on the pitch and off it, though he is at that stage in an illustrious career where history beckons at every turn.

Last week against Feyenoord he not only produced one of his most convincing displays of the season but the opening goal he both made and scored confirmed him as Manchester United’s all-time leading scorer in Europe, as well as pushing his club tally to a within a single strike of Bobby Charlton’s record of 249.

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Wayne Rooney rolls back years to help Manchester United hit right note

For the first time in a long time Wayne Rooney was Manchester United’s main inspiration as they found an attacking formula that clicked against Feyenoord

Never mind the novelty of seeing Henrikh Mkhitaryan on Manchester United’s wing, the sights that had Old Trafford rubbing its eyes in disbelief were a third game in a row for Michael Carrick and what looked suspiciously like Wayne Rooney proving his critics wrong.

The latter may have his limitations as a wedding pianist but here was evidence he can still lead defenders a merry dance. José Mourinho has taken a lot of stick this season for believing his captain can still make a useful contribution, even bowing to public opinion and dropping him at one point, but, restored to the No10 position behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the England striker rolled back the years and both made and scored the first goal in one of his most convincing performances of the season.

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José Mourinho: ‘Manchester United unluckiest team in Premier League’

• United should be in top four, says manager after 1-1 draw with Arsenal
• Arsène Wenger: Arsenal scored great goal and showed ‘never-give-up attitude’

José Mourinho claimed his Manchester United team were the unluckiest in the Premier League after a third home draw in a row and should by rights be occupying a top four position.

The United manager also contended Arsenal’s late equaliser in the 1-1 lunchtime draw at Old Trafford might have been prevented had Marouane Fellaini been available to help out in defence. “When the cross came in we didn’t have enough tall, strong players in the box to deal with it,” he said. “If Fellaini had been on the bench I’d have brought him on to help us see out the last few minutes.”

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