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Arsenal Hand Manchester United Another Home Defeat

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Arsenal Hand Manchester United Another Home Defeat

Arsenal won away at Manchester United in the Premier League for the first time in 14 years as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s penalty earned a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win for the Gunners on Sunday.

United’s run without a home win in the league stretches to six games as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men sink to 15th in the table. Starved of the chance to counter-attack by the visitors’ disciplined set-up, United were far from the threat that thrashed RB Leipzig 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek.

Arsenal have struggled for goals of late, but were gifted the chance to win the game by Paul Pogba’s mis-timed lunge on Hector Bellerin and Aubameyang’s first league goal since the opening day of the season moved Mikel Arteta’s men up to eighth.

Victory also ended a run of 29 games without a win away from home for Arsenal against their ‘big six’ rivals stretching back to January 2015.

The day started in sombre fashion for United as they remembered former great Nobby Stiles, who died at 78 this week, and confirmed the news that another legend of the club Bobby Charlton is suffering from dementia.

On the field, there was precious little to lift the mood at Old Trafford as United again failed to shine on their own patch. In his 100th game as United manager, Solskjaer stuck with the 4-4-2 system that demolished Leipzig in such stunning fashion.

However, Arsenal were not so easily opened up on the counter-attack as Arteta’s side again just lacked a cutting edge up front to turn a disciplined performance into a more convincing win.

Aubameyang had not scored a Premier League goal since signing a new three-year contract six weeks ago and prior to his penalty endured another frustrating day in front of goal as he could not stretch far enough to turn home Bellerin’s dangerous low cross at the back post early on.

Mason Greenwood fired low into the feet of Bernd Leno from Marcus Rashford’s pass in a rare sighting of United’s front two in the first half. But Solskjaer would have been content just to get to half-time on level terms as Willian struck the bar for the visitors after a well-worked one-two with Aubameyang before Bukayo Saka headed the best chance of the half over the bar.

Arsenal continued to pose the greater threat after the break as Aubameyang curled wide the sort of half-chance he has made his speciality from the edge of the box before the outstanding Thomas Partey stung the palms of David de Gea. Solskjaer’s change of shape has been seen as a way of getting Pogba back into the team alongside Bruno Fernandes.

But a moment of ill-discipline from Pogba finally gave Arsenal the breakthrough 21 minutes from time as the Frenchman needlessly dived in to clip Bellerin inside the box. Aubameyang kept his cool to break his scoring drought by sending De Gea the wrong way and score Arsenal’s first goal in the Premier League for 277 minutes.

The visitors then held out doggedly with the closest United coming to an equaliser when Mohamed Elneny and Leno combined to turn Donny van de Beek’s cross onto their own post.

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Rangnick’s expected arrival at Man Utd ‘not good news’ for rivals – Klopp

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Ralf Rangnick’s expected arrival at arch-rivals Manchester United is “not good news for other teams” due to his vast experience and ability to organise teams.

Klopp’s fellow German is set to be installed as United interim manager until the end of the season following last week’s sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a terrible run of results.

Rangnick, the former Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig boss, is credited with influencing the pressing style of Klopp and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

“Unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, that’s how it is, to Manchester United,” Klopp said on Friday on the eve of Liverpool’s match against Southampton.

“Ralf is obviously a really experienced manager. He built most famously two clubs from nowhere to proper threats and forces in Germany with Hoffenheim and Leipzig.

“United will be organised on the pitch, we should realise that — that’s obviously not good news for other teams.”

Rangnick’s legal representative earlier confirmed to AFP subsidiary SID that the final points of a deal to take the current head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to Old Trafford were being finalised.

According to reports, Rangnick, 63, is poised to sign a deal until May 2022 and then work as a consultant at United for two further years.

United are planning to make a permanent appointment at the end of the campaign, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino strongly linked with the job.

Michael Carrick took charge of the team for Tuesday’s Champions League win at Villarreal, which secured progress to the knockout stage, and is also preparing the squad for Sunday’s daunting fixture at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

The former United midfielder refused to be drawn on the reports that Rangnick is poised to take charge.

“From my point of view there’s a lot of speculation and reports, but as I’m sitting here now I’m preparing the team for the game,” Carrick said.

“My head’s in the game. I haven’t got any more news to share with you on that front. I’m just looking forward to getting down to London to play against Chelsea.”

Read Also: Ndidi nets as Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

Whoever comes in, Carrick believes the misfiring United squad can quickly adapt to a change in style.

“I think you can get ideas across quite quickly. History shows that,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not just about ideas, it’s just a different voice, a freshness, and history proves that for whatever reason. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes not so well.”

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Haaland set to make suprise return from injury for Dortmund

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Erling Haaland is set to make a surprise return for Borussia Dortmund this weekend after a five-week absence with a leg injury, his coach Marco Rose said on Friday.

The 21-year-old Norwegian, who has scored 18 goals in 13 games this season for club and country, missed crucial matches as Dortmund were knocked out of the Champions League and Norway failed to qualify for the World Cup.

But he could be in line to return on Saturday at Wolfsburg, albeit as a substitute.

“He’ll be on the bus. He feels good, but it will be a short appearance at best,” said Rose.

Dortmund exited the Champions League on Wednesday when a 3-1 loss at Sporting Lisbon handed them a third straight defeat in Europe.

Second-placed Dortmund are eager to get Haaland fit again before their showdown against Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich a week on Saturday, with only a point currently separating the clubs in the table.

Read Also: Ndidi nets as Leicester win to keep Europa League hopes alive

“If he joins us in Wolfsburg and things go well during the week, then he is of course an option (against Bayern),” Rose added.

It is a significant boost for Dortmund, who had previously predicted the forward could be out until 2022.

In his absence, Norway missed out on qualifying for the 2022 World Cup after a 2-0 defeat by the Netherlands left them third in their group and unable to reach the finals in Qatar.

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Juve’s Allegri sorry for Chelsea hammering, targets improvement

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri apologised for his side’s performance at Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday and called for improvement ahead of a key month in their season.

Serie A’s most successful club have been disappointing since Allegri returned to take charge in the close season. They sit eighth in the standings after 13 games, 11 points behind leaders Napoli.

Their season went from bad to worse as they lost 4-0 at Chelsea – their biggest defeat in all competitions since a 4-0 Serie A loss against AS Roma in February 2004.

“We are sorry for the defeat in London, we are Juventus and it’s never good to make such a bad impression,” Allegri told a news conference on Friday ahead of his side’s weekend clash with Atalanta.

“The team played a good first half, the game was balanced until minute 55. Perhaps we played a better first half than the game in Turin (when they beat Chelsea 1-0). We melted after their second goal.

“Atalanta are a physical team, they score many goals, but they concede as much, so we need a good game in attack and defence. We need to be clinical.”

Saturday’s visitors to Turin, Atalanta, started the season slowly but have clicked into gear in recent matches, finding their scoring touch once more, while going six unbeaten in the league.

Allegri, however, is planning for even further ahead as he looks to turn things around in Turin.

Read Also: Serie A: Pioli signs contract extension at AC Milan until 2023

“Tomorrow is an important match, but not decisive, we have an important month ahead,” he added. “The next six games are crucial.

“The problem is that we didn’t make good results against the smaller clubs. The lads were a bit sad after the defeat in London, but yesterday they trained really well.

“We need a general path to improve the individual players and the team. We can’t look at the past, we need to get to March in good shape, a new season will begin in March.”

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