Manchester United didn’t deserve to lose, says Solskjaer
Abuja, March 10, 2019 Manchester United Interim Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed dissappointed at his team’s 0-2 loss against English Premier League rivals at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Solskjaer suffered his first Premier League defeat since being appointed Manchester United’s interim manager as Arsenal leapfrogged their opponents to move into the top four.
Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka beat David de Gea with a swerving shot from outside the penalty area in the 12th minute, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the hosts’ lead from the penalty spot in the 69th minute after Fred’s foul on Alexandre Lacazette.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that this was only United’s second defeat in 18 league and cup games under Solskjaer.
Solskjaer in his post-match reaction said he was happy with his team’s performance but disappointed with the result.
“I am disappointed with the result. Then you look back at the performance and you can’t say this was a game we deserved the lose.
“We created at least five good chances, hit the wood work twice. They (Arsenal) scored with their first shot and got a penalty.
“So the performance was good but result disappointing,” he said.
He, however, admitted that his team started the game on the back foot which caused them all three points as Arsenal made them pay for their mistakes.
“We started sloppy and that was probably what led to the first goal we conceded. We didn’t really get up to him (Granit Xhaka), so we gave him time to have a strike.
“I don’t think the second goal was a penalty but the referee had to make a decision and he might be disappointed when he sees it.
“When you see the boys work as hard as they do and the attitude they show every single day during training, I think the boys were a bit lethargic in the first 10 minutes. We didn’t really have that zip about us.
“But then, when we got going, we created chances but just didn’t take them,” he said.
He noted that his team managed to finish the game without any setbacks, adding that they would be ready both physically and mentally for their next game against Wolves in the FA Cup quarter-final action on Saturday.
“Its been fantastic so far. Today is of course the lowest we’ve been and we lost a chance to really put pressure on Tottenham Hotspurs but we’re still in the fight.
“You’ve got to get on with but you’ve got to look beyond the result sometimes and sometimes we’ve won games that we didn’t deserve to win.
“Today we lost a game that we didn’t deserve to lose,” he said.
Manchester United extend Ighalo loan until January 2021
Manchester United have extended striker Odion Ighalo’s loan from Shanghai Shenhua until the end of January 2021, the Premier League club said on Monday.
The 30-year-old made an impressive start to life at United, scoring four times in eight games after signing an initial loan deal until May 31 from the Chinese Super League club.
Ighalo’s current deal with Shanghai runs out in December 2022 and he is expected to sign a new contract until the end of 2024, Sky reported.
The Nigerian, who has scored two goals apiece for Man United in the Europa League and FA Cup, will hope to open his account in the Premier League when the season, suspended since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumes on June 17.
UK marks 3rd anniversary of Manchester Arena attack
People grieve at a memorial of the Manchester Arena attack in Manchester, Britain, May 22, 2020. Manchester on Friday marked the third anniversary of the terrorist attack which killed 22 people and injured hundreds. The attack happened when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande on May 22, 2017. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)
CAS sets aside 3 days to hear Manchester City’s appeal against UEFA ban
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has set aside three days in June to hear Manchester City’s appeal against a two-year ban from European competition for breaching fair play rules.
Updated listings posted on the Switzerland-based court’s website on Tuesday set a June 8 to June 10 date.
It said Manchester City, whose majority shares are owned by the Abu Dhabi United Group, had overstated sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016.
The court added that the club failed to cooperate with UEFA’s investigation.
The club were also handed a fine of 30 million euros (32.81 million dollars).
The ruling, if upheld, would mean Manchester City would not be able to compete in the 2020/2021 UEFA Champions League should they again qualify for Europe’s top club competition.
They would also be banned from European competition in the 2021/2022 season.
The FFP regulations were introduced in 2011 to stop clubs running up big losses buying players.
They are also to ensure sponsorships are genuine commercial deals, rather than ways for owners to pump cash into clubs to circumvent the rules.
The league plans to restart in June.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Manchester unveils memorial design for arena bombing victims ahead of commemoration day
The Manchester City Council on Monday unveiled a design for a proposed permanent memorial to the 22 people killed in the bombing attack at the Manchester Arena in 2017, as Friday marks three years exactly since the attack.
“The Glade of Light” memorial, which includes a stone halo centerpiece marked with the names of the 22 victims, will be located in the Medieval Quarter near Manchester Cathedral, less than 400 meters from where the tragedy took place.
The plans are being submitted for approval next month.
“Manchester will never forget the terrible events of 22 May 2017. Those who were killed, those who lost loved ones and all those whose lives changed forever that night are forever in our thoughts,” said Manchester council leader Richard Leese.
No public events are planned Friday. People have been urged not to leave tributes such as flowers but to stay home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to light a candle and pay respects online by watching a service live streamed from Manchester Cathedral.
The attack happened when Salman Abedi detonated a bomb at the end of a concert by U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande on May 22, 2017. It was the worst terror attack in Britain since the London bombings in 2005 in which 52 people died.
Interview: Manchester University to build “even stronger” partnership with China, says vice-chancellor
Universities have a particularly important role in helping build international relationships and should continue to play a key role in supporting partnerships despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, said president and vice-chancellor of the University of Manchester.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Professor Nancy Rothwell, the first female president and vice-chancellor of the largest single-site university in Britain, said the university will continue to build an “even stronger” partnership with China after getting through the pandemic.
TAKING CARE OF OVERSEAS STUDENTS
After the outbreak of COVID-19, the university set up an emergency response group in February, long before the lockdown imposed by the British government, and quickly made the decision to move nearly all of the teaching online.
The vice-chancellor said they also effectively closed most parts of the university while maintained a presence on campus, particularly supporting students in the residences, which include a number of Chinese students. And the university kept things going including mental health support, counselling service, catering for students in residences, and put in place regular contacts with students whether in Britain or overseas.
“We have regular discussions with Chinese Students and Scholars Association, as well as the Chinese consul general and his staff in Manchester. We ask them to alert us if there are students that may be struggling but we weren’t aware of,” she said, adding that the Chinese students are always doing well in supporting each other through their strong community and the big indigenous Chinese community in Manchester has always been very supportive.
As the British government published its plan to gradually ease the lockdown restrictions, the universities in Britain are also considering steps to ensure both the safety of students and education quality.
“We are starting to open some parts of the campus and research labs as a test area. We are looking at extra cleaning and keeping social distancing. We believe that in the autumn, most of the lectures will still be online, but we are hopeful the smaller group teaching, the tutorials, will be allowed to be face to face, depending on if that will being safe,” said Rothwell.
COOPERATION WITH CHINA
Rothwell, also a professor of physiology, co-chair of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology and president of the British Science Association, has visited China many times during the past 20 years, including two visits with former British prime ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.
“From being a number of years, I would say, China was well behind the West, but now it is no longer behind at all. In fact, in many areas it is leading on. The research institutes and universities are among the best in the world,” she said, adding that she witnessed many partnerships being built between the University of Manchester and universities and businesses in China.
“We had sent protective equipment out to Wuhan and they sent it back again to help us. We also have been working with doctors in Wuhan. They have been teaming up with doctors in Manchester to share their experience and advice in dealing with patients with COVID-19, which is really helpful,” she told Xinhua.
Besides, the institute has COVID-19-related researches with joint efforts from Chinese partners. One example is the on-going work with the Peking University in genetics trying to understand all the things in human genes that make some people more likely to get infected while others more likely to recover quickly, she said.
The vice chancellor noted that the University of Manchester has always played a leading role in enhancing Britain-China ties, therefore she sees the prejudice and some unfriendly voices emerged in the British society against China since the COVID-19 outbreak “unhelpful”.
“I think it’s unhelpful. I see the university as having a key role in international relations generally in building bridges and in supporting partnerships. Together with the Chinese community in Manchester and the Manchester China Institute, we’re not listening to these voices. We are going to build up strong relationships, even stronger, once we are through the worst of it,” she said.
She especially mentioned the Manchester China Institute, which was established on campus particularly for promoting mutual understanding and learning between the two cultures. It is now having a study looking around the social impact of the pandemic, to explore how the British and Chinese public have responded to it.
“As soon as we start to get back to normal, we will not only start building our existing links, but also developing new ones,” she said.
People participate in weekly “Clap for Our Carers” in Manchester, Britain
Staff of Salford Royal hospital participate in the weekly “Clap for Our Carers” in Manchester, Britain on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Jon Super/Xinhua)
Premier League, clubs “scared’’ to publicly back restart, ex-Manchester United player says
The Premier League in England and its clubs are “frightened to death” about publicly backing the resumption of the season, television pundit Gary Neville said on Sunday.
Neville said this was because they do not want to be held liable if someone dies because of the coronavirus.
The 20 Premier League clubs held a conference call on Friday in which they looked at plans for a resumption of training this month.
But they deferred making a decision on resuming the season until the government gave the go-ahead.
The government had originally set May 7 as the day it would review lockdown restrictions.
“I’d respect them more if they said, `We accept the increase in health risk, but it’s one we are willing to take’. They won’t, as they are frightened to death!”
When a Twitter user asked him what would happen if they restarted the season and someone died, Neville said: “That’s why we haven’t heard one single prominent CEO, Chairman, owner or executive open his mouth to back the re-start.
“Scared to death of the liability and blame.”
The clubs have reviewed plans for resuming training which will initially be restricted to small groups of players with no use of indoor facilities.
Some clubs started individual sessions for players at their training grounds last week.
Neville said that although he understands the complexities of a return to action, it was “depressing” to see the league and clubs not communicating their plans.
“It would be good for them (the Premier League) to speak at least once. Any of them! Clubs included,” the former Manchester United and England defender added when it was suggested to him that the league has press briefings.
“They are bottling this virus on comms (communications). Very happy to tell us when they are delivering food parcels though.”
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
Manchester United to install 1,500 barrier seats to allow fans, stand next season
Manchester United have received approval to install 1,500 barriers at its Old Trafford stadium next season.
The barrier will allow supporters to safely stand, the Premier League side said on Wednesday.
The club submitted their proposal to Trafford Council last year and the seats, which come with a rail for fans to lean on, when they stand, would be installed in the north-east quadrant of the stadium.
Standing at grounds of the top two tiers is banned, but clubs have looked to find a middle ground, with Wolverhampton Wanderers installing rail seats at their Molineux stadium last year.
”United will now discuss installation options with potential suppliers, working within current UK government recommendations relating to construction site operating procedures and social distancing,” the club said in a statement.
The club’s Managing Director, Richard Arnold said the seats would improve spectator safety in areas where fans are prone to standing more often during games.
”It also allows us to future-proof the stadium in the event of any changes to the current all-seater stadium policy.
”If the trial is successful, we may consider further implementation of barrier seating in other parts of the stadium,” Arnold said.
Manchester United Supporters’ Trust said they were delighted that the club was given the go-ahead, after campaigning for several years to make it a reality.
Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Salif Atojoko (NAN)
Aguero is Manchester City’s biggest idol, Jesus says
Gabriel Jesus has described his battle with Sergio Aguero for a place in Manchester City’s starting line-up as “thankless”.
He went on to describe the Argentinian as the best player in the English Premier League club’s history.
In spite of having scored 63 goals in 138 matches for Manchester City, the 23-year-old Brazilian has struggled to secure a regular berth in Pep Guardiola’s preferred 11.
The starting line-up has mostly featured Aguero in the No. 9 role.
“He is the biggest idol that has ever played for the club,” Jesus said in an Instagram Live session on Thursday.
“I know I’m not going to be a guaranteed starter. But I believe I’m improving and I’ll continue to improve. I think my greatest quality is my mindset.”
Aguero has scored 254 times in 368 matches for Manchester City, including the stoppage-time goal against Queens Park Rangers in 2012 that clinched their first top flight title in 44 years.
In a wide-ranging conversation with fans, Jesus denied feeling burdened by pressure to perform for Brazil’s national team.
The five-time world champions have not had a prolific central striker since dual World Cup winner Ronaldo ended his international career more than a decade ago.
Jesus, who has scored 18 goals in 39 matches for the Selecao, says the former FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Milan forward was on a different level.
“We’ve had a lot of good strikers but there is no way to compare anyone with Ronaldo,” he said.
“He was the best player I’ve ever seen and I really believe that there won’t be anyone like him again,” the former Palmeiras player added.
Edited By: Olawale Alabi) (NAN)
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