Manchester United 2-0 Southampton

 Match report: United 2 Southampton 0

Premier League | Old Trafford | Att: 75,326 | Scorers: Ibrahimovic 36, 52 (pen)

Paul Pogba may have been the star attraction beneath the Friday night lights, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic stole the show at Old Trafford after his brace secured a 2-0 win over Southampton that keeps Manchester United top of the Premier League table.

The Swedish striker scored either side of half-time, firstly with a well-taken header and then from the penalty spot, as Jose Mourinho’s men dispatched the visitors in a comfortable fashion that will continue to fuel the belief that the team can challenge for the title this season.

The first home match of the season is always a special occasion for fans, yet this much-anticipated Old Trafford outing was elevated beyond the traditional sense of excitement in light of Pogba’s first appearance since returning to the club following a four-season spell at Juventus. The world-record signing’s every touch was cheered, particularly throughout the opening exchanges, and the stadium would have erupted had his shot from Ibrahimovic’s pass beaten Fraser Forster on 13 minutes.

Southampton did not excel in their first match under new manager Claude Puel, drawing 1-1 with Watford, yet they made a positive start at Old Trafford – firstly, by winning the coin toss and making United attack the Stretford End in the first half, which is against tradition. The Saints then registered shots at goal through Dusan Tadic and Shane Long, in spite of Oriol Romeu going off injured.

Wayne Rooney stung the palms of Forster with a rasping strike on the half-hour mark, and it was the captain who assisted the opener moments later. His superb cross from the right corner-flag was headed home at the back post by Ibrahimovic, the summer signing who made it three goals in as many competitive matches after his strikes in the Community Shield and at Bournemouth.

STATS AT HALF-TIME
Possession:
United 47% Southampton 53%
Shots at goal: United 4 Southampton 6
Shots on target: United 3 Southampton 1
Corners: United 3 Southampton 0

Juan Mata, a scorer at Bournemouth last weekend, blazed over the crossbar and Southampton’s Tadic saw a goal disallowed for offside as the match resumed in entertaining fashion. Anthony Martial then tested Forster with a 20-yard drive from the left wing before Ibrahimovic scored from the penalty spot to double the Reds’ advantage. Luke Shaw won the spot-kick after going to ground inside the area, with Jordy Clasie the guilty party.

Pogba displayed his repertoire of attributes – strength, vision, creativity – and almost added a goal to his performance when heading over from Mata’s corner on 64 minutes. It was at this point when Mourinho turned from his technical area and nodded repeatedly to the crowd while clapping his hands together, as if he was praising their support. He had, of course, spoken about its importance on Thursday, telling MUTV: “If the fans play their part, there will be no chance for the opponent.”

Armenia captain Henrikh Mkhitaryan was introduced to the Old Trafford crowd on 75 minutes, taking the place of Mata on the right, before Martial was replaced by Ander Herrera as Mourinho looked to consolidate the victory in the professional manner that his teams have become known for.

As for Pogba, United’s new no.6, he finished the game despite not playing since the European Championship final on 10 July. While his name was not added to the score sheet, despite going close with a powerful shot wide in the 93rd minute, the 23-year-old’s industrious display in midfield hinted at what will hopefully become a stellar career back at the club he calls “home”. Welcome back, Paul.

STATS AT FULL-TIME
Possession: United 45% Southampton 55%
Shots at goal: United 11 Southampton 11
Shots on target: United 5 Southampton 1
Corners: United 4 Southampton 0

THE TEAMS

United: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw, Fellaini, Pogba, Mata (Mkhitaryan 75), Rooney (Smalling 89), Martial (Herrera 22), Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Schneiderlin, Young, Rashford.

Southampton: Forster, Cedric, Van Dijk, Fonte, Targett, Davis (Austin 67), Romeu (Clasie 11), Hojberg, Tadic, Redmond, Long (Rodriguez 84).
Subs not used: McCarthy, Yoshida, Ward-Prowse, Pied.

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PAUL POGBA Return Manchester United

VIDEO: PAUL POGBA INTERVIEW PART 1
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Paul Pogba gave an exclusive interview to MUTV shortly after completing his transfer back to Manchester United from Juventus. In part one, the French midfielder spoke to David Stowell about his excitement at returning to the Reds, and of how he’s grown as a player in his four years away. Look out for part two from 09:00 BST on Tuesday…
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Paul, welcome back to Manchester United. How do you sum up your emotions right now?
There’s no words, to be honest, there’s no words. I just came back to Carrington. It was like I’d just come back home. I just went for a holiday, looks like I went for a holiday. I’ve come back home, I’m happy and I see everyone, the same persons. It’s just a great feeling, to be honest.

I suppose it’s a funny question after what you’ve just said but why are you back here at United? What made you come back?
I think it’s destiny, I would say it’s destiny. First my mum told me I would come back here and I told her, ‘You never know, you’ll see.’ For myself as well it’s a big challenge too, just to come back to where I came from, where I grew up, where I started. I didn’t finish what I started here so I think I came here to finish it.

And of course, you have to listen to your mum…
My mum, she says ‘Your mum’s always right.’ So she was right this time, so it’s good.

And how does it feel to be the world’s most expensive footballer? That’s quite an achievement with all that you’ve already achieved on the pitch…
The thing with me is I only think about the pitch. I want to do great, I want to be one of the best, I want to win titles, I want to achieve things and that’s all; that’s why I came here, just to do this, to become one of the best and to win titles because I know this club has to win titles. This club is created to win titles, to win things, to win big things. I just focus on this and that’s it. I’m just ready to go and work on that and just kill it. (smiles)

Has it been a mad summer for you, playing in the Euros at home for France and then being linked with different clubs?
Yeah. Was there a bit of sadness? Of course, because we lost the final at home. But I will say I’m happy. It was a bad thing for a good thing so I’m happy now. I’m back home and it’s something crazy, it’s really crazy, I cannot explain. I’m very, very happy, the feeling I have in my body. I can’t wait to start.

What’s it like being Paul Pogba now, compared to when you were here at 18 or 19, in this indoor arena at the Academy?
Well, I was younger. Now I’m taller and bigger (laughs). It’s just like… as I told you… it looks like I went for a holiday and I came back home. I was meant to come back here. I feel this. I always had this United thing in my heart and that’s why I came back. I’m happy, just happy.

How have you changed as a player since you were here at United the first time around? What have you learned about your game, about yourself? How are you different?
I’m more experienced, I’ve won titles at Juventus. I’ve been playing with big players like when I started at Man United, of course. I came back. I’ve not come back from the Academy now; I went to play somewhere else and I came back, I would say, as a person, as an adult. I would say with experience, with more games, so I think that’s the difference.

Source : http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Exclusive-Interviews/2016/Aug/video-new-manchester-united-signing-paul-pogba-mutv-interview-part-1.aspx


Manchester United is delighted to announce that Paul Pogba has completed his transfer from Italian club Juventus. Paul joins on a five-year contract, with the option to extend for a further year.

PAUL POGBA PHOTO PAUL COOPER
Paul, 23, has been with Juventus for four seasons, making 124 appearances and scoring 28 goals. He joined the Bianconeri from United in 2012.

The midfielder has been capped by France on 38 occasions, scoring 6 goals and was a member of the recent squad that reached the final of Euro 2016.

Paul Pogba said:

“I am delighted to rejoin United. It has always been a club with a special place in my heart and I am really looking forward to working with José Mourinho. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Juventus and have some fantastic memories of a great club with players that I count as friends. But I feel the time is right to go back to Old Trafford. I always enjoyed playing in front of the fans and can’t wait to make my contribution to the team. This is the right club for me to achieve everything I hope to in the game.”

José Mourinho said:

“Paul is one of the best players in the world and will be a key part of the United team I want to build here for the future. He is quick, strong, scores goals and reads the game better than many players much older than he is. At 23, he has the chance to make that position his own here over many years. He is young and will continue to improve; he has the chance to be at the heart of this club for the next decade and beyond.”

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first MUTV interview

Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s first MUTV interview

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has given his first interview to MUTV after signing a contract at Manchester United on Friday. The Swede spoke to Stewart Gardner about his move to Old Trafford, his hopes for the 2016/17 season and reuniting with manager Jose Mourinho…

Welcome to Manchester United. How do you feel?
I’m super excited. I am super, super happy. Finally it is done! There have been a lot of talks but it has come to the moment where everything is done. Now we start, now the hard work starts. I am super happy and just waiting to get to know the guys, to train and I am here in the training facility. It looks like it is a big club, a huge club, so I am excited.

There was lots of speculation and you had fun with it. Are you happy that is over now?
I am happy and now I can focus on one thing and that is the United shirt. I can leave everything behind me because I played in the European Championship and there was more talk about my future than the Europeans. Finally now everything is over and I can focus on my new club, go back to hard work and do as well as possible.

How important was Jose Mourinho to this transfer? 
I think my decision was pretty easy, it was more difficult to make everything possible. I compare it with the Mayweather and Pacquiao fight. They said it would never happen but it happened. I want to say thank you to my team, United and Jose Mourinho because they all made it possible. Now I am a United player and I am super, super happy. My decision was the easiest part, let’s say. The rest was a puzzle but the puzzle came together and we are all happy.

You must have great memories of working with him at Inter?
I have great memories. The only regret I had with Jose was that it was a short time with him. I had one season. We won together, we enjoyed it together, we had a great time together and I learned a lot. I got to know him as a person, not only as a coach, and I only have positive things to say. He is a winner, I am a winner, we both know what we want and that is to win. Wherever we go we win, and we will win.

Was a spell in the Premier League the only thing missing from your glittering career?
I think it is a big challenge for me. Wherever I go I have won and I am looking forward to this new adventure, a new chapter in my career and my life. If I can win here, I don’t know how many players have had the possibility to play in different competitions like I have and won at the same time. I will work hard, I know my mentality, I come to win and I want to win. Behind everything is hard work and that is what I have been doing so far, and that is what I am going to do now.

It is an exciting time in the Premier League with players and managers arriving. What are you looking forward to about it?
I think the whole Premier League and to be representing Manchester United. Every game will be a wow for the world, especially with everything that is going on with the new coaches and the new players, and me also. It will be a funny year in a good competition, a hard competition and I am not worried.

You have won 10 titles in 11 seasons. Can you do that here?
I have come to win, I haven’t come to waste time or to look at the weather. I am here to win and that is my objective. I don’t give up until I win. That is the objective, to win. We will play in the Europa League and for everything we play for we go to win. With the coach, with the players, everyone working collectively, playing collectively, you can reach your goals. We will do all of the things we need to do to reach our main goal.

We have promising strikers coming through like Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Can somebody like you with your experience help them along?
I think so. I have experience from different cultures and different team-mates, world class team-mates, so I learned from then. First of all it is up to every player. If you are professional and working hard enough then you will succeed. You will become a top player. I will do my best to help everybody, not only the two names you gave. Even the club, to bring it up to where it belongs and that is at the top of the table.

Are you looking forward to playing at Old Trafford? You’ve been once before with Inter…
Yeah I am looking forward to that first game, I will enjoy every second and every minute of it. The stadium is amazing the supporters are even more amazing. That will be a big day for me and I am absolutely looking forward to it. 

What happens now for you after a long season with PSG and playing at the European Championship – when will your pre-season start?
Now I breathe out because everything is done after all the talks and speculation! Now it is official, I am a United player and I am the happiest in the world. But now I need a bit of rest after the long season and after the Euros. I will take my rest. How long that will be? I will discuss it with the boss and we will see.

After Paris you said you came as a king and left as a legend. When you leave here, how would you like to be described?
Hopefully I have the same scenario! But this is a new chapter and I don’t like to compare the past with the present. This is different. This will be different and you will see at the end of it.

What is your message to the United fans?
I am super happy and super excited. I am looking forward to the season that is coming. You are great and keep supporting the team. This year will be exciting and there will be great things happening. Keep pushing up and we will give back to you. Hopefully we will give back more than one trophy.

More: Watch the full interview in our video player above.

Source : http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Exclusive-Interviews/2016/Jul/zlatan-ibrahimovic-first-interview-as-manchester-united-player-mutv-exclusive.aspx

Manchester United 2016/17 Fixtures

FOOTBALL NEWS

15/06/2016 09:00, Report by Mark Froggatt

PREMIER LEAGUE RELEASE 2016/17 FIXTURE LIST: UNITED FACE BOURNEMOUTH AWAY FIRST

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The 2016/17 Premier League fixture list was released on Wednesday morning and Manchester United will begin the new season with a trip to Bournemouth.

It will, of course, be Jose Mourinho’s first top-flight match in charge of the Reds and the Portuguese coach will be determined to start with a victory over Eddie Howe’s Cherries at the Vitality Stadium. United’s opening home clash is against Southampton in the second fixture.

The first Manchester derby has been scheduled for 10 September at Old Trafford – as you can see in the full fixture list below – and that pits Mourinho against the Blues’ new boss Pep Guardiola. Our new manager will also face rivals Liverpool at Anfield on 15 October before returning to former club Chelsea a week later.

Other standout fixtures include the Boxing Day match against Sunderland at Old Trafford, a trip to West Ham United’s new Olympic Stadium on 2 January and the final game against Crystal Palace, the club beaten by the Reds in this year’s FA Cup final, at Old Trafford.

As ever, it is worth highlighting that all dates released by the Premier League are very much subject to change, with broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport yet to decide which matches they will show live.

You can download these fixtures to your calendar with our exclusive app at www.manutd.com/calendar.

Premier League fixtures 2016/17

Sat Aug 13 Bournemouth A
Sat Aug 20 Southampton H
Sat Aug 27 Hull City A
Sat Sep 10 Manchester City H
Sat Sep 17 Watford A
Sat Sep 24 Leicester City H
Sat Oct 1 Stoke City H
Sat Oct 15 Liverpool A
Sat Oct 22 Chelsea A
Sat Oct 29 Burnley H
Sat Nov 5 Swansea City A 
Sat Nov 19 Arsenal H
Sat Nov 26 West Ham United H
Sat Dec 3 Everton A
Sat Dec 10 Tottenham Hotspur H
Tue Dec 13 Crystal Palace A
Sat Dec 17 West Bromwich Albion A
Mon Dec 26 Sunderland H
Sat Dec 31 Middlesbrough H
Mon Jan 2 West Ham United A
Sat Jan 14 Liverpool H
Sat Jan 21 Stoke City A
Tue Jan 31 Hull City H
Sat Feb 4 Leicester City A
Sat Feb 11 Watford H
Sat Feb 25 Manchester City A
Sat Mar 4 Bournemouth H
Sat Mar 11 Southampton A
Sat Mar 18 Middlesbrough A
Sat Apr 1 West Bromwich Albion H
Tue Apr 4 Everton H
Sat Apr 8 Sunderland A
Sat Apr 15 Chelsea H
Sat Apr 22 Burnley A
Sat Apr 29 Swansea City H
Sat May 6 Arsenal A
Sat May 13 Tottenham Hotspur A
Sun May 21 Crystal Palace H

Dates are subject to change. Fixtures compiled by the Premier League in association with Atos.

Manchester United OKAY

FA Cup Victory Would Be Perfect Point For Manchester United To Say Ta-Ra To Louis Van Gaal

It’s very rare that managers leave their clubs at a point that’s right for both parties. Usually either the club want them to stay, or the manager doesn’t want to go but is shown the door because of poor results.

But if Manchester United were to beat Crystal Palace on Saturday to win the FA Cup then they’ll have stumbled upon the perfect moment to terminate Louis Van Gaal’s contract while also allowing the Dutch manager to leave with his head held high.

At the moment, Louis Van Gaal insists that he’ll still be Manchester United’s manager come the start of next season. But he’ll be more than aware of the rising discontent at Old Trafford, while he’ll also know that finishing fifth in the Premier League and missing out on Champions League football is not good enough for a club of United’s size.

But if Manchester United were to win the FA Cup and then Van Gaal was to depart, he could insist that he’d returned the club to winning ways while they could then set about trying to appoint the right man to get them back amongst the European elite.

To be fair to Louis Van Gaal that’s not too far from the truth. Obviously missing out on the Champions League was a huge step back, but if you look at the current United team you can see Van Gaal’s impact.

Not only have United been extremely solid in defence – conceding the joint least amount of Premier League goals in the 2015/2016 season – but with David De Gea, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford United now have a core of exciting young players that have established themselves as regulars. The progress has just been too slow though.

As Leicester City sensationally proved over the last 12 months, with one or two pinpoint purchases and the appointment of the right manager, there’s every chance that could United could still make startling improvement next season.

But after Manchester United didn’t get into the top 4 when it was really there for the taking and having spent over £250 million over the last two seasons rather poorly, Louis Van Gaal can no longer be trusted to move the club forward.

While a defeat to Crystal Palace in the FA Cup Final would see Van Gaal depart to a chorus of vitriol from rightfully infuriated Manchester United fans, victory would provoke a celebration that’d briefly erase the memories of the tedious play that they’ve had to endure for long spells of his tenure.

It would also leave enough room for Manchester United to say a genial goodbye to Louis Van Gaal, before they then quickly moved ahead to, hopefully, a brighter future.

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MANCHESTER UNITED’S OFFICIAL SQUAD

PHOTO FOR 2015/16

Louis van Gaal joined his players and coaching staff at Old Trafford on Monday afternoon for the annual Manchester United squad photo.

The boss, the backroom team and first-team stars including all six of the Reds’ summer signings basked in the Manchester sunshine as club photographer John Peters took the eagerly-awaited picture.

See the full photo and download it as an exclusive wallpaper from manutd.com/wallpapers.

Source : http://www.manutd.com/en/News-And-Features/Football-News/2015/Sep/louis-van-gaal-and-his-manchester-united-players-pose-for-official-2015-16-squad-photo.aspx

Full Time : 3 Sunderland 0. Memphis, Rooney and Mata seal a third successive win as the Reds go top.

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