Tag: Manchester United

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane set to miss out for up to six weeks

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had been ruled out of action through a hamstring injury for around six weeks.

Mane, 25, was injured on international duty with Senegal and his absence could not have come at a worse time for Jurgen Klopp with Manchester United visiting Anfield on Saturday.

The Senegalese international scored 13 Premier League goals last season despite missing the whole of January because of the Africa Cup of Nations and the final six weeks of the campaign with a knee injury.

There was little doubt that he is amongst Liverpool’s most influential players, and as a result his injury has come at a particularly bad time with Adam Lallana still struggling to regain fitness after a thigh injury.

Lallana has already been sent to the Aspetar sports clinic in Qatar as he continues his rehabilitation and is likely to return in mid-November, along with Mane who will miss the two Champions League games against Maribor and trips to Tottenham and West Ham, as well the visit of Huddersfield Town.  

The Reds will still hope to have Mane in contention for their Champions League fixture in Sevilla on 21 November before they host Chelsea four days later in the Premier League.

“The winger was substituted 89 minutes into Senegal’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over the Cape Verde Islands on Saturday,” a Liverpool statement read. “It has now been confirmed that he picked up an injury during that fixture that could keep him out of action for up to six weeks.”

Klopp’s side have often struggled without Mané, since his move from Southampton, averaging 2.2 Premier League goals with him in the team as compared to 1.6 goals in his absence. Last season, their form fell away dramatically while Mané was at the Africa Cup of Nations, winning just one of their seven games, against League Two Plymouth in an FA Cup replay.

Jose Mourinho: United need to stay respectful to win at Moscow

Club manager Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United needs to be dominant while staying humble and respecting hosts CSKA Moscow to win and thus maintain their fine start to the season.

The Red Devils had won their Group A opening game against Basel at Old Trafford a fortnight ago by 3-0, and Mourinho is once again targeting maximum points at the VEB Arena against the Russian team.

“We cannot guarantee this line of success but the way to try to keep it going is to do what we’re doing,” Mourinho said. “We try to play well and in some moments of the match, if the opponents have moments of superiority, we have to be humble, like we were against Southampton, and to cope with the difficult moments.”

“Looking at the match at Southampton on TV, I think there was an episode in the first half that could transform the game [Shane Long’s first-half challenge on Marouane Fellaini which resulted in an ankle injury for the Belgian].”

“We were winning 1-0 when that happened and we could be in control and win the game easily, but in the second half we had to be humble and accept the opponent was on a high and we had to fight hard. So I think it’s a mixture of our quality and trying to be dominant, like we want to be always, but accepting the reality of high-level football, that when the opponent has a strong moment, you have to cope with it.”

Fellaini went on to finish the match against Southampton, but was subsequently ruled out of the trip to Moscow and Mourinho hopes he will be available after next month’s international break.

Mourinho hopes Fellaini will not now be called up by Belgium for their international matches as they have already qualified for the 2018 World Cup. “Fellaini was lucky – he could have been in a much worse situation but at the moment … when we don’t have (Paul) Pogba and (Michael) Carrick,” he added. “I expect him not to be out for a long time and after Crystal Palace – Belgium are the first country to qualify so I hope he can be playing for us.”

Arsenal Wenger turned down move to United for love of Arsenal “values”

Arsene Wenger says that it was his dedication to Arsenal’s values persuaded him to reject an offer from Manchester United in 2001 and continue his career at the north London club.

Wenger’s 21-year tenure at Arsenal was long peppered with approaches from high profile suitors, which included a move to United. The Red Devils were Arsenal’s primary rivals for the Premier League title during the early part of the century, and one such would have caused shockwaves.

Still, it was something that then United chairman MArtin Edwards, sought to achieve after Sir Alex Ferguson – in a decision later reversed – announced that he would retire at the end of the 2001‑02 season but Wenger opted to turn down a proposal that he admits was attractive.

“You should ask him,” Wenger said of Edwards after the latter claimed in his new autobiography that the pair met in London to discuss a move. “I am always very confidential. One day maybe I will get all the contacts I had during my stay at Arsenal and it would make a few chapters. You should ask Martin Edwards.”

Asked on why he would turn down United, who were the reigning champions when Edwards made his approach, Wenger was more explained he saw no reason to leave a club whose philosophy matched his own.

“Because I love the values of this club and, for me, a club is about values first,” he said. “One day it would be a good chat to have with the press to look at the evolution. You speak about Manchester United, and the evolution in the last 20 years would be very interesting. A lot has changed but when I came here this club was about values that I love in sport. That is why I am still in the competition.”

“So I always question myself. Yes, of course, Manchester United is attractive but am I happy here? The answer was yes.”

Wenger clarified that he was never tempted by a move to Old Trafford. “No, because I was always happy here,” he said. “More than people [were] happy with me, I was always happy here.”