Manchester United: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Harry Maguire will be fit for Europa League final

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Harry Maguire will be fit for Europa League final after confirming he sustained ankle ligament damage against Villa… as Manchester United skipper dons protective boot while watching clash against Leicester from the stands

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to have Harry Maguire for the Europa League final
  • The Manchester United captain picked up an ankle injury in the win over Villa
  • Maguire was seen wearing a protective boot at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening
  • The defender watched United take on Leicester in their Premier League clash¬†

Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire races race against the clock to be fit for club’s Europa League final after picking up an ankle injury against Aston Villa on Sunday.

However, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to have Maguire back for the Gdansk showpiece despite cameras showing the defender on crutches while wearing a protective boot after sustaining ankle ligament damage.

The 28-year-old was on the cusp of becoming the first outfield player in the club’s history to complete 72 consecutive Premier League matches until being forced off towards the end of Sunday’s 3-1 win at Villa Park.

Harry Maguire faces race to get fit for Manchester United’s Europa League final this month

Maguire was seen on crutches while wearing a protective boot after picking up an ankle injury

Maguire was seen on crutches while wearing a protective boot after picking up an ankle injury

Maguire missed his first top-flight match since joining United in 2019 on Tuesday when former club Leicester came to Old Trafford and was seen in the stands wearing the medical boot.

Solskjaer confirmed in his pre-match interview with MUTV that the centre back had avoided a fracture but faces a battle to get back for the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26.

‘Obviously we’ve had scans and the good news is there’s no fracture,’ the United boss said.

Maguire picked up the ankle injury during United's 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday

Maguire picked up the ankle injury during United’s 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Sunday

The Manchester United centre half was injured in a challenge with Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi

The Manchester United centre half was injured in a challenge with Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi

‘(There is) ligament damage and hopefully we’ll see him again this season. Hopefully ready for the final.’

Maguire, who has been ever-present in the Premier League since joining United for ¬£80million from Leicester in the summer of 2019, tweeted at the weekend: ‘Hoping the injury isn’t nothing serious and I’ll be back playing soon.’¬†

Gareth Southgate will be sweating on Maguire’s fitness, with the England boss naming his Euro 2020 squad on May 25.

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Manchester United’s Harry Maguire is an injury doubt for Europa League final with a twisted ankle

Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is an injury doubt for the Europa League final after suffering a twisted ankle in 3-1 win against Aston Villa in a huge blow for the Red Devils

  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side beat ten-man Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday afternoon
  • Result means Manchester City have to wait before being crowned champions¬†
  • Maguire broke a run of playing every league minute since arriving in July 2019
  • The England centre half previously blasted the club’s ‘ridiculous’ fixture pile-up¬†

Harry Maguire could be out of the Europa League final after he limped out of the 2-1 win at Aston Villa with a twisted ankle.

The Manchester United skipper was hurt in a collision with Anwar El Ghazi and will have scans on Monday.

The injury broke Maguire’s run of playing every minute for United in the Premier League since joining from Leicester in the summer of 2019.

Harry Maguire could miss the Europa League final after picking up an injury against Aston Villa

The Manchester United centre half was injured in a challenge with Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi

The Manchester United centre half was injured in a challenge with Villa winger Anwar El Ghazi

Maguire, 28, initially tried to play on but went down again on the pitch and was eventually replaced by Ivorian Eric Bailly in the 78th minute. 

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted that the England defender could be out for a ‘few weeks’ ‚ÄĒ raising fears over his place in the Europa League final against Villarreal on May 26 in Gdansk, Poland.

‘We’ve got to check him,’ said Solskjaer. ‘It might be a few weeks, it might be a couple of days. Hopefully he won’t be too bad.’¬†

Former Leicester centre half Maguire previously blasted the club’s ‘ridiculous’ fixture pile-up that sees them play three matches across just five days.

The 28-year-old had previously played every Premier League minute since signing in July 2019

The 28-year-old had previously played every Premier League minute since signing in July 2019

He told Manchester United’s website: ‘It’s going to be very tough. I don’t think it’s ever been done in Premier League history. I don’t know why it’s been done.

‘Three games in five days is just ridiculous. It’s tough when you have two games in three days over the Christmas period, as happens sometimes. To have three in five, I don’t know where that’s come from; I don’t know why they’ve decided on that.

‘To be available for selection, and the manager to show the faith in me to play me in every Premier League game since I’ve signed, is a proud achievement. But for sure, it’s going to be tough to play three games in five days.

But now manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears Maguire could be out for the next few weeks

But now manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears Maguire could be out for the next few weeks

‘It’s a proud record of mine and to be dealt that from our fixtures and our schedule is a tough one to take if it does come to that, that I do need a rest in one of the games.’

Had Maguire completed the full game against Aston Villa, it would have marked 72 consecutive Premier League matches without missing a minute – breaking former United defender Gary Pallister’s record of 71.¬†

The result means fierce rivals Manchester City cannot yet be officially crowned as Premier League champions, although that is expected to be a formality. 

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Martin Keown backs Arsenal fans’ protests as he admits new owners could be the ‘catalyst’ for change

‘The club is going backwards and they have to arrest that slide’: Martin Keown backs Arsenal fans’ protests as he admits new owners could be the ‘catalyst’ for change at the Emirates… as Joe Cole defends Mikel Arteta because he ‘joined a sinking ship’

  • Arsenal disastrous season effectively came to an end on Thursday evening
  • The Gunners were knocked out of the Europa League after a draw with Villarreal
  • Fans have been protesting¬†in recent weeks and want a change in ownership¬†
  • Mikel Arteta is under huge pressure and it remains to be seen if he will stay¬†

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has had his say on the state of affairs at his old club, saying they are going backwards and something must be done to stop that.

The Gunners’ season effrectivelky came to an end on Thursday as they were dumped out of the Europa League following a desperately disappointing 0-0 draw with Villarreal.

Speaking on BT Sport ahead of Sunday’s clash against West Brom, Keown said:¬†‘the fans need to have their say. The club is becoming stagnated. There’s a lack of investment.¬†

‘The Kroenkes – do they really love the club? They need to spend massively. Leno wont’ sign a new contract. Luiz is leaving. Bellerin isn’t signing a new contract. There’s a remarkable amount of players that are uncertain of their futures.¬†

‘Arteta needs to take some responsibility. He’s outsmarted himself. He needs to keep it simple. I do believe he’s an outstanding coach, he needs to prove he’s an outstanding manager. It’s going to be difficult to back him if he loses again.

‘It’s about results. He’s been here 18 months and he’s won an FA Cup, but when we look at league form it’s fallen away. The football club is going backwards and they have to arrest that slide. How much of the problem is about the manager and how much is about the squad? The manager is concerning me because he always blames the players. massive expenditure is needed. new owners could be the catalyst.’

Fellow pundit Joe Cole expressed some sympathy for, saying he had an almost impossible job.

‘I feel for Mikel, he joined a sinking ship. The club had been on a steady decline, eyebrows were raised when he took it – it’s a massive job to take. H

‘He needs to take some responsibility, hopefully he does that privately. This is where Arsenal are at and the fans need to understand that. It’s going to take a few years to turn it around. There are good young players and that’s where the direction needs to be.’

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Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ in potential Ligue 1 return

Former Nice manager Patrick Vieira ‘being considered for Lyon hotseat’ with Ligue 1 outfit seeking successor to outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at the end of the season

  • Patrick Vieira is reportedly a candidate for the imminent vacancy at Ligue 1 Lyon
  • Boss Rudi Garcia will leave the third-placed French club at the end of this season
  • France legend Vieira left Nice in December following their Europa League failure
  • The Premier League icon led New York City before two-and-a-half years at Nice¬†

Patrick Vieira could return to management by succeeding outgoing boss Rudi Garcia at French giants Lyon, according to reports in France.

Arsenal legend Vieira was axed by Nice in December after a poor run of form and the club’s Europa League departure, and the 44-year-old is now thought to be one of four candidates to take over from Garcia when he departs at the end of this season.

Lyon’s board are said to be increasingly receptive to the idea of appointing Vieira because he would be immediately available for no pay-off, according to L’Equipe.

Patrick Vieira is said to be a candidate to succeed Garcia

Patrick Vieira (right) is said to be in the frame to succeed boss Rudi Garcia when he leaves Lyon

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Vieira is looking for his first managerial role since leaving fellow Ligue 1 side Nice in December

Les Gones are also keen on Christophe Galtier, who is closing in on the Ligue 1 crown with Lille in a tight title race ahead of PSG and Lyon, and Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi.

Ukrainian heavyweights Shakhtar Donetsk have also been strongly linked with De Zerbi, while Marcelo Gallardo, the other name in the reckoning, is understood to want to stay in Argentina with River Plate until the end of the calendar year.

The difficulties of pursuing managers already under contract could push Vieira to the top of the list, potentially handing him his first taste of Champions League football since he played for Inter Milan during their treble-winning 2009/10 campaign.

Lyon could also appoint Sporting Director Juninho, although that could land them penalties from the league as the former Brazil international does not currently hold the required qualifications to lead a team in the French top flight.

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

The 1998 World Cup and three-time Premier League winner is yet to win a trophy as a manager

Vieira has never won a trophy as a manager, winning 35 and losing 32 of his 89 games in charge of Nice from June 2018.

The three-time Premier League winner left his first job in France after a dismal European campaign in which Nice lost five games out of six in the group stage, including home defeats to Slavia Prague and Bayer Leverkusen.

Nice lured him from New York City, where he had guided the Major League Soccer side to their first ever playoff appearance during a reign that began at the start of 2016.

Manchester City gave him a development role following his retirement in 2011, and Newcastle interviewed Vieira for their managerial vacancy in May 2015.

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Should Man United break the bank to sign Harry Kane or stick with Edinson Cavani?

Of the eight goals Manchester United scored in their Europa League semi-final against Roma, Edinson Cavani scored four of them and set up a further three.

The Uruguayan striker is enjoying a rich vein of form and it looks like the 34-year-old is tempted to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

But will a strike force that combines Cavani with Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood be good enough to challenge for the top honours?

Edinson Cavani has been excellent for Manchester United in recent weeks as they have made it through to the final of the UEFA Europa League against Villarreal 

It increasingly looks as though Cavani will be part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's plans next season

It increasingly looks as though Cavani will be part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans next season

But the question remains over whether United need to splash out on a top-class striker such as England captain Harry Kane in order to compete for the major prizes

But the question remains over whether United need to splash out on a top-class striker such as England captain Harry Kane in order to compete for the major prizes 

There is an argument that in order to take the next step and compete properly in the Premier League title race and the Champions League, United must splash out on a world-class striker – and Harry Kane is top of the shopping list.

So do Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side need to go out and sign a new forward or does Cavani’s form suggest they have enough firepower as it is?

Sportsmail’s ADAM SHERGOLD and LUKE AUGUSTUS offer both sides of the argument.¬†

WHY UNITED MUST SIGN KANE

BY ADAM SHERGOLD

Edinson Cavani has proved a wonderful signing for Manchester United, the Uruguayan striker enjoying a shimmering Indian summer in his fine career.

But for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team to take the next step and challenge for the major honours rather than merely the Europa League, big money needs to be spent on a new striker this summer.

That’s not to say that Cavani should be let go. A one-year contract extension should be offered to the 34-year-old if he wants it, a just reward for his 14 goals.

It would be an insult, however, to the tangible progress United have made under Solskjaer over the past 12 months if the Glazer family didn’t back him in the market.

Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland is another striker set to be in serious demand this summer

Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland is another striker set to be in serious demand this summer

Kane cuts a dejected figure as Tottenham lose out to Man City in the Carabao Cup final

Kane cuts a dejected figure as Tottenham lose out to Man City in the Carabao Cup final

United are a top quality centre forward and centre half away from giving Manchester City a real run for their money in next season’s Premier League and going deep in the Champions League.

And that forward needs to be either Harry Kane or Erling Haaland. Given the intense competition and inevitable bidding war for Haaland, you’d say Kane is the more likely option.

England’s captain has enjoyed another excellent season with 31 goals and 16 assists for Tottenham. He has added further strings to his bow by becoming a more rounded forward.

He is, at the age of 27, the complete centre forward and entering his prime. Yet he still doesn’t have a single piece of silverware to his name.

Spurs’ meek defeat to City in the Carabao Cup final must have confirmed to Kane that if he doesn’t agitate for a move away soon then he will never fulfil his ambitions in the game.

Kane must realise that in order to achieve his ambitions he must leave Tottenham soon

Kane must realise that in order to achieve his ambitions he must leave Tottenham soon

United can make a strong case to him. Solskjaer can argue to Kane that he will be the missing piece, their No 1 striker for the next five years with the service to score at least 30 times a season.

If United add a reliable 30-goal striker to their ranks, they will be in the mix for every trophy.

Fail to move for Kane now and stick with Cavani and Anthony Martial for another year and chances are United will completely lose out and set themselves back years.

As Rio Ferdinand said in the BT Sport studio on Thursday night: ‘I worry about what you do if you let Kane and Haaland go somewhere else.’

And as Paul Scholes added: ‘United are a club that need to sign a proper centre forward for the next five years. I’m talking a Kane or Haaland.

‘Cavani will slow down, fitness-wise, injury-wise (he) might not be great.’

Rio Ferdinand says United cannot miss the chance to secure a big name for the future

Paul Scholes admitted he does not see any of United's other current strikers becoming centre forwards

Rio Ferdinand (left) says United cannot miss the chance to secure a big name for the future while Paul Scholes does not see any of United’s other current forwards becoming strikers

Exactly. Yes, Daniel Levy will drive a hard bargain for Kane, asking upwards of ¬£100million. But this is precisely what United’s endless commercialisation is for.

There’s also the potential factor of the Glazers trying to quell European Super League fan fury in the summer with a big-name capture.

But it’s also fundamentally about where United want to go.¬†

Are they content to plod along in the top four, getting within touching distance but not quite touching the silverware, as Pep Guardiola’s City create a Fergie-style dynasty of success with a Kane or Haaland banging in the goals?

Kane guarantees any team 30-plus goals per season and could take United to the next level

Kane guarantees any team 30-plus goals per season and could take United to the next level

Or do they want to go toe-to-toe for the title with City and Chelsea and Liverpool; compete for the Champions League with Bayern, Real and PSG?

When it comes to scoring goals, Kane is as close to a safe bet as it’s possible to get in football. He can take United to the next level. They must go all-out to sign him.

WHY UNITED SHOULD STICK WITH CAVANI

BY LUKE AUGUSTUS 

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side and both Manchester United and Edinson Cavani must remember this.

This unlikely partnership has blossomed into something special with the 34-year-old reinvigorated at Old Trafford and with the club benefitting tremendously from it.

There is no denying Harry Kane’s world-class abilities; he and Robert Lewandowski are the two best No 9s in the world.

However, with a reported ¬£150million price-tag – and in a transfer market that is still reeling from the impact of coronavirus on club finances everywhere – United are arguably better off reinvesting that money on more glaring holes in the squad than Tottenham’s talisman.

Cavani delivered again for Manchester United with two sublime goals in Rome on Thursday

Cavani delivered again for Manchester United with two sublime goals in Rome on Thursday

The 34-year-old showed he is the main man up front and United's most natural goalscorer

The 34-year-old showed he is the main man up front and United’s most natural goalscorer

Just think about it for a second. Scoring goals hasn’t been a problem for the Red Devils this season, as their eight across their Europa League semi-final two legs with Roma proved. It’s keeping them out that has cost them.

A centre back and a holding central midfielder player are two priority positions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this summer if they are to challenge Premier League champions-elect Manchester City next season as well as to fare better than the Champions League group stages.

The likes of Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde have been linked as potential centre-back signings this summer and they will cost north of ¬£50m, while West Ham’s Declan Rice has a valuation of at least ¬£70m if United are to try to make him their holding midfielder.

One of those centre backs plus Rice would result in a total of ¬£120m. That’s a lot of money but would enable Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to play a more expansive and possession-based brand of football.¬†

United should spent their money on a quality holding midfielder like West Ham's Declan Rice

United should spent their money on a quality holding midfielder like West Ham’s Declan Rice

Signing a new centre half such as Jules Kounde of Sevilla should be United's main priority

Signing a new centre half such as Jules Kounde of Sevilla should be United’s main priority

For example, he would likely feel more secure playing Paul Pogba as one of the two midfield pivots alongside Rice – which would therefore free up a space in the wide areas for someone else.

Former United midfielder Owen Hargreaves also believes United should keep Cavani and reinvest elsewhere on the squad.

Speaking in the BT Studio during punditry duty after United’s clash with Roma, Hargreaves outlined: ‘Every ex-Man United player or fan wants Harry Kane or Haaland but the money that will cost now in the climate is just not realistic.

‘I think Cavani has done a wonderful job. Get him to sign a new deal and obviously there are no transfer payments there. Obviously he’s on big wages. I think they can spend that Haaland, Kane money on potentially three other players.’

Owen Hargreaves feels United should give Cavani a new deal and spend big money elsewhere

Owen Hargreaves feels United should give Cavani a new deal and spend big money elsewhere

Cavani has scored 14 goals in 34 appearances for the club since making his debut in October and his influence on and off the pitch is unquestioned. So, why change that?

His movement off the ball is world class and he has given Solskjaer’s side a dimension they have lacked up front during his entire managerial reign there.

The Uruguayan has the approval of his team-mates, which is a clear indicator of his value to his peers too.

Speaking before the second leg against Roma, Bruno Fernandes told BT Sport: ‘The most important thing with Edi for me is not the movement he does or the goals he scores but the way he helps off the ball.

‘People like to see numbers so see how much he runs each game ‚Äď he’s normally in the top three and he’s a striker!

Cavani has built an impressive understanding with Bruno Fernandes (right) at United

Cavani has built an impressive understanding with Bruno Fernandes (right) at United

‘You see how he helps us defending, you see when he or someone else loses the ball he tries to recover it straight away and press.

‘The mentality he has is passing to us and he has to keep passing it to us because he has the right mentality to be a champion and we have to learn from that.

‘Everyone can see his technical qualities because he made history everywhere else he’s played and nobody can delete history.’

Mason Greenwood is huge beneficiary in learning under Cavani’s tutelage. The way Cavani stuck up for him after a spat with Roma defenders on Thursday night was a joy to see.

Now United must put up a fight and keep their No 7 for next season too.

Cavani jumped in to defend his team-mate Mason Greenwood from Roma defenders

Cavani jumped in to defend his team-mate Mason Greenwood from Roma defenders

The Uruguayan was furious as Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini confronted Greenwood

The Uruguayan was furious as Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini confronted Greenwood

Villarreal boss Unai Emery insists he knew his side ‘had to suffer’ in order to beat ex-club Arsenal

Unai Emery insists Villarreal are NOT scared of Manchester United as he helps LaLiga club make ‘final step’ in securing their first ever European final after dumping former club Arsenal out of Europa League semis

Unai Emery insists Villarreal are not afraid of facing Manchester United in the Europa League final after dumping out fellow favourites Arsenal on Thursday. 

After securing a 2-1 win at home last week, Villarreal just needed to keep a clean sheet to book their spot in the club’s first ever European final ‚Äď a feat they’ve never achieved since the first took part in European competitions from 2002.

While Mikel Arteta’s side struck the post twice and had plenty of chances, Villarreal managed to keep the Gunners at bay and finish the game in a goalless stalemate, leaving the Premier League club’s season in tatters.

Unai Emery says Villarreal ‘had to suffer’ in order to book their spot in the Europa League final

And while Emery got payback after being sacked by the north London club two years ago, he applauded his side’s efforts for remaining focused ahead of the Gdansk showpiece.

‘I knew the final was in Gdansk but I didn’t want to hear about it,’ Emery said after the game, according to AS.¬†

‘We had a very good qualifying phase and we had to beat a favourite to get to the final, and we had a very serious tie against Arsenal. We knew we’d suffer today, but we’ve managed to have some less tense moments.

‘I’ve tried to enjoy and live these moments. We know that if we scored a goal we’d be safe but if not, we’d suffer.¬†

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice against the Spanish outfit

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice against the Spanish outfit

A 0-0 draw with Villarreal means Arsenal face a first campaign without Europe for 25 years

A 0-0 draw with Villarreal means Arsenal face a first campaign without Europe for 25 years

‘They’ve had tight matches at home, so we had to play a serious match so that their virtues wouldn’t appear. That’s the toughest job in football.’

Emery added: ‘I am satisfied and proud. Satisfied with the job that we have done and proud of the project that we have here at Villarreal.

‘The president had been here for over 20 years, they have been in the Champions League semi-finals, three Europa League semi-finals but lacking that final step.

‘I think we are going to be up against the favourites in Manchester United and they have shown their potential throughout the campaign in this competition.

‘However, we have knocked out one of the teams that was one of the favourites, we are aware of how difficult it is going to be but we are proud to prepare and compete in that kind of game.

Emery had a turbulent spell in charge of the Gunners before being sacked in November 2019

Emery had a turbulent spell in charge of the Gunners before being sacked in November 2019

‘Manchester United are a great side and we are going to have to work hard to nullify some of their strengths.’

Emery’s successor Arteta insists he is still the man to lead Arsenal back to glory despite the club now facing a first season without European football in 25 years, with the club currently ninth in the table.¬†

Emery won the Europa League three times as Sevilla manager and took Arsenal to the final in 2019, where they lost to Chelsea.

Manchester United will be waiting for Emery’s Villarreal this time around as Arsenal’s exit prevented both Europa League and Champions League finals from being all-English affairs.

Mikel Arteta says he is the man to lead Arsenal despite failing to reach the Europa League final

Mikel Arteta says he is the man to lead Arsenal despite failing to reach the Europa League final

With Arsenal also on course for their worst league finish since 1995-96, Arteta is coming under pressure from some sections of supporters – despite winning the FA Cup last year.

Asked if he still had faith in his own ability to do the job, he simply replied: ‘Yes.’

Pushed on whether he felt his position is under threat, Arteta added: ‘I think everybody’s job is under scrutiny.’

He also said he ‘wouldn’t be sitting here’ if he did not think he could pick his players up and stressed: ‘You will see it. It is not about talking, it is about showing it on the pitch.’¬†¬†¬†

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Edinson Cavani storms in to protect Mason Greenwood as youngster is confronted by Roma defenders

Edinson Cavani storms in to protect Mason Greenwood as his Manchester United team-mate is confronted by Roma defenders… after hitting double in 8-5 Roma thriller

  • Edinson Cavani scored a brace as United secured their Europa League final spot
  • United lost 3-2 to Roma on the night but went through 8-5 after two thrilling legs
  • Mason Greenwood was confronted by Mancini and Karsdorp during the game
  • Cavani steamed in to protect the youngster, showing his leadership in the team¬†¬†

Edinson Cavani was goalscorer turned bodyguard on Thursday, after storming in to defend team-mate Mason Greenwood from a bust-up with Roma defenders. 

The Uruguayan struck twice in the Italian capital as Manchester United booked their spot in the Europa League final, despite losing 3-2 on the night.

The 34-year-old has proved many doubters wrong by bagging 14 goals so far this season, and though his future at Old Trafford is uncertain he demonstrated his commitment to the United cause by backing-up a young team-mate. 

Edinson Cavani jumped-in to defend his team-mate Mason Greenwood from Roma defenders

The Uruguayan was furious as Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini confronted Greenwood

The Uruguayan was furious as Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini confronted Greenwood

At a break in play Greenwood and Gianluca Mancini clashed by the corner flag, bumping into each other as they argued. 

Rick Karsdorp waded-in next to shove Greenwood, and Cavani was incensed. The pumped-up scorer charged in to shove the right-back away, and took on Mancini while he was at it. 

Greenwood has already admitted he’s been learning from the former PSG star on the training ground, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be delighted with the effect Cavani is having in the camp.¬†¬†¬†¬†

‘Anyone can learn from him ‚Äď whether it is a young player or an older player,’ Greenwood said.

Cavani was in form on Thursday, scoring a brace to send United to the Europa League final

Cavani was in form on Thursday, scoring a brace to send United to the Europa League final

Greenwood is feeling the full benefit of playing in the same team as an experienced forward

Greenwood is feeling the full benefit of playing in the same team as an experienced forward 

‘He has just come here and set an example, really. I like the things he does so I obviously pick up on the little things he does.

‘I watch him in training and always have an eye on him, to see what movements he does, so I can add it to my game. So it is a big benefit that he is here at the club, I think.

‘You can see the two goals he scored against Southampton (in November) were just unbelievable. It was stuff he has been doing for 10 to 15 years at PSG and at Napoli as well, so he is a good footballer.’

Cavani’s double on Saturday ensured United cruised into the Europa League final, where they will face Villarreal.¬†¬†

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Arsenal’s worst fears materialised on a sobering Europa League night against Unai Emery’s Villarreal

Arsenal’s worst fears materialised on a sobering Europa League night against Villarreal – the fact it was former manager Unai Emery delivering the blow twists the knife in further

  • Some ask if Emery can consider himself unlucky to be sacked at the Emirates¬†
  • Emery, removed in 2019, is a three-time Europa League winner with Sevilla¬†
  • The fact it was a former employee knocking them out will sting for the Gunners

There was enough apprehension for Arsenal given the implications this tie had for their present and future.

That the returning Unai Emery could deliver the fatal blow only increased it.

Arsenal’s underwhelming, inconsistent campaign has left some, with the benefit of hindsight, wondering if Emery can consider himself a little unlucky the way things panned out at the Emirates and questioning the managerial change.

Unai Emery saw Villarreal squeeze past Arsenal in their Europa League semi-final second leg

Emery had a turbulent spell in charge of the Gunners before being sacked in November 2019

Emery had a turbulent spell in charge of the Gunners before being sacked in November 2019

Arsenal were eighth when Emery was dismissed in November 2019 but have found themselves floundering even lower recently under Mikel Arteta.¬†This woefully limp exit, when Arsenal performed as if they did not realise exactly what was on the line, will do nothing to silence Arteta’s critics.

But doubting the decision to dispense with Emery would be revising history and also simplistic.¬†Arsenal were on their worst run of form since 1992 as Emery’s reign drew to a close and a defensive mess, their goal getting repeatedly peppered.

The atmosphere at the Emirates was toxic, leaving Emery regularly pleading with the supporters who wanted him gone, trying to strike up a connection that never came. His inability to get his message across was a factor there and with his players.

At times some simply could not understand him and even openly mocked Emery.¬†‘Good ebening Gunners,’ former playmaker Mesut Ozil tweeted before kick-off, poking fun at Emery by using a phrase that became his trademark during his time in North London.

The fact it was their former employee who knocked them out will sting for the North Londoners

The fact it was their former employee who knocked them out will sting for the North Londoners

It was an indication of what he was up against, Emery lacking the control required to instil some dressing room discipline and Arsene Wenger’s shoes ultimately proved too big to fill.

It was not all bad though. Some players had no complaints. Others liked how he worked one-on-one, used analysis and explained his demands.

In mitigation Emery wanted a big-money defender and then Wilfried Zaha in his second summer but let the club win those battles in the hope that toeing the line would help him preserve his job.

Emery was first to blood two of Arsenal’s best players this season, Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe. He missed out on the top four but did reach the 2019 Europa League final.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice against the Spanish outfit

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hit the post twice against the Spanish outfit

In his native Spain, there are no doubts about Emery, a three times Europa League winner with Sevilla. He has the authority, credit and respect at Villarreal that he lacked in London.

Initially Emery showed why as he edged out his successor in the first leg tactical battle before Nicolas Pepe’s penalty gave Arsenal hope.¬†

And other than the two occasions when they needed the help of the post, Emery’s Villarreal had few problems keeping Arsenal at bay in the return.¬†Rather than a second-leg fightback, it was Arsenal’s worst fears which materialised.

And one of Emery’s better nights at the Emirates as he reached yet another Europa League final.¬†

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Manchester United get police escort to the airport to fly to Rome

Manchester United get police escort to the airport to fly to Rome amid fears of more disruptive fan protests ahead of Europa League semi-final after Liverpool clash was postponed

  • Manchester United are due to fly to Rome for their Europa League semi-final¬†
  • There had been fears that protesters planned to stop them from boarding¬†¬†
  • As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were given a police escort to the airport¬†

Manchester United were given a police escort to the airport on Wednesday afternoon over fears of further fan protests directed at the team.

United are due to travel to Rome to face Roma in the second-leg of their Europa League semi-final, but there were suggestions some supporters may attempt to stop the team from boarding their plane. 

As a result, a tactical aid unit was deployed to ensure the team’s coach reached the airport without any problems.¬†

Manchester United’s team bus was given a police escort to Manchester airport on Wednesday

Paul Pogba gives his thumbs up to one of the security detail that aided their journey

Paul Pogba gives his thumbs up to one of the security detail that aided their journey

It follows angry scenes on Sunday, as United fans broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch in protest against the club’s owners – the Glazer family.¬†

Six police officers were injured during the demonstration, with supporters calling for the owners to sell up following their decision to make the club a founding member of the ill-fated European Super League. 

The violent scenes, which caused the match with Liverpool to be called off, were condemned by Solskjaer on Wednesday, when he spoke ahead of the clash in Italy. 

‘It was a difficult day for us,’ he told reporters. ‘Of course we wanted to play and beat Liverpool.

There was a strong police presence outside the airport, where United were set to depart from

There was a strong police presence outside the airport, where United were set to depart from 

‘We have to listen and hear the fans’ voice. Everyone’s right to protest but it has to be in civilised manner.

‘Unfortunately when you break in and police officers get injured that’s one step too far. When it gets out of hand like this it’s a police matter, not about showing opinions anymore.

‘The right to protest peacefully, everyone has a human right to be heard, but when you step out of line and break in dressing rooms, that’s one step too far when it becomes a police matter.’

MORE TO FOLLOW 

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals he’s had a personal apology from Manchester United owners the Glazers

BREAKING NEWS: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reveals he’s had a personal apology from Manchester United owners the Glazers and says they ARE listening to fans, even as they stay silent over furious protests

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he has received a personal apology from the Glazer owners following the botched European Super League plans.

Fans were left furious after United initially became founding members of the Super League, and protests have followed, with Sunday’s clash against Liverpool at Old Trafford being postponed after supporters forced their way into the stadium.

Despite the furore surrounding United’s plans, the club’s co-chairman Avram Glazer refused to apologise to supporters for attempting to join the highly-controversial Super League.¬†

Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he has received an apology from the Glazers (left – Avram, and right – Joel)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are gearing up for their second leg against Roma on Thursday

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are gearing up for their second leg against Roma on Thursday

But Solskjaer has since admitted that the Glazer owners have indeed reached out to him and are listening to the fans.

Speaking ahead of United’s Europa League semi-final second leg clash at Roma, Solskjaer revealed: ‘I have been communicating with the owners, they have apologised to me personally.¬†¬†

‘I know they have started communication with other individuals other than me.

‘It is a difficult position for me to be in this, I have to focus on the football. I have always had a good relationship and they do listen to me. They do listen to the fans and I am sure there will be better communication coming.’¬†¬†

Avram Glazer has been hiding out in his Palm Beach mansion following the Super League scandal, but having been tracked down by Sky News, he was given the opportunity to ‘apologise’ for his part in the breakaway league and ‘address the United fans’.

However, he refused to comment when asked if United fans were ‘just customers’ to him.¬†

Then before getting in his car and driving away the Sky News reporter pressed: ‘This an opportunity for you – an apology perhaps?’. However he again refused to speak out.

More to follow…¬†

Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes scored twice each to beat Roma at Old Trafford

Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes scored twice each to beat Roma at Old Trafford

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