Sanchez injury mars victory

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes the hamstring injury Alexis Sanchez picked up during Manchester United's FA Cup third-round win against Reading is not serious.

The Chile international suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury and was replaced by Marcus Rashford in the 64th minute at Old Trafford as United beat the Championship strugglers 2-0.

After watching his side make it five victories in a row since Jose Mourinho's departure last month, Solskjaer said: "You can't ask for more than going through but the way we played wasn't the best.

"They controlled the game in the first five minutes and we weren't up to speed. But we made nine changes, so I made it hard for the boys because they hadn't played together too much but we got the goals and managed to get through.

"I hope Alexis Sanchez's injury is not going to be too bad – it's the same hamstring that he's been having trouble with but we'll see. Hopefully he'll be OK for next weekend."

Juan Mata opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 22 minutes, but only after a VAR review which ruled that the Spaniard had been fouled by Omar Richards.

Sanchez set up Romelu Lukaku to double United's lead in first-half stoppage time.

United are 3/1 to finish in the top four of the Premier League this season and 40/1 to win the Champions League.

Lukaku and Sanchez set to start

Strikers Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will both start for Manchester United in their FA Cup third round clash with Reading on Saturday.

Belgium international Lukaku has scored in both of his last two appearances, finding the net against both Bournemouth and Newcastle United after coming on as a substitute.

Meanwhile, Chile frontman Sanchez has not started a game since early November, but made his first appearance since later that month when he came on just past the hour mark of the 2-0 win over the Magpies.

Now both men will get an opportunity to make a bigger impression on interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who also suggested that rejuvenated midfield ace Paul Pogba will sit out the game due to a knock.

He told reporters. "I'm not sure if Paul's going to be ready, he got a knock against Newcastle.

"There will be a few changes – some of them are itching now to play of course. Lukaku and Sanchez will start, that's important for them because they need more game time."

Solskjaer has enjoyed a perfect start to his time in charge at Old Trafford, winning four in a row, with the Red Devils scoring a total of 14 goals in victories over Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, Bournemouth and Newcastle.

And the former United striker is eager to continue that fine run of form, adding: "Obviously when you come into a club like this you expect to win games.

"And when you win four, you expect to win the next one as well. I think we can win every single game."

United and Reading met in the third round of the FA Cup two years ago, when the hosts powered to a 4-0 success at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils are 1/8 to win in 90 minutes on Saturday and are 13/2 to claim another 4-0 victory, with United 8/15 to keep a clean sheet.

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Solskjaer impressed by fit-again Sanchez

Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Alexis Sanchez is looking back to his best as he gets set to return to action.

The Chilean is closing in on a year at Old Trafford following his switch from Arsenal last January but has yet to demonstrate the form which prompted the Red Devils to make him the highest-paid player in the club's history.

Former boss Jose Mourinho struggled to get the best out of the ex-Barcelona forward but his replacement is hoping it will be a different story.

Sanchez has been sidelined since the end of November with a hamstring injury but is back in training and Solskjaer says he could feature in Wednesday's Premier League encounter at Newcastle United.

The Norwegian says he has been impressed with what he has seen of the 30-year-old since he took charge and believes he can play an important role in his team going forward.

"[Sanchez] had some great training sessions over the last few days," Solskjaer said.

"He wanted to be here today as well but we had to manage. Obviously he has been out for a month but he will be involved, yeah.

"He wants to play all the time. He is one of those characters. He made himself available [for Bournemouth] but it was a few days too early for him because he has not really had enough fitness work but he is chomping at the bit."

Solskjaer went on to say that he hoped Sanchez would be the latest player to enjoy a new lease of life under his stewardship with the likes of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford having shone over the festive period.

Pogba has scored back-to-back braces in the wins over Huddersfield and Bournemouth, and is 8/5 to score anytime at St James' Park on Wednesday.

United have won three out of three under Solskjaer and are 3/5 to extend that winning run in the north-east, while Newcastle are 5/1 and the draw is 21/10.

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Sanchez suffers injury blow

Chile international Alexis Sanchez will definitely miss Manchester United's visit to Southampton after suffering a hamstring problem in training.

The former Arsenal and Barcelona star, who was not in Jose Mourinho's squad for Tuesday's narrow Champions League victory against Young Boys, has struggled this season and has not started a match since the win at Juventus more than three weeks ago.

United, 4/1 to finish in the top four this season, are currently seventh in the Premier League table, and can be backed at 10/11 to beat Saints on Saturday.

Mourinho said: "It is an aggressive muscular injury. He has not had a scan yet but the player is experienced. He knows what the injury is.

"From my experience, the painful scream and the way it happened, it will be a long time."

Meanwhile, it has been reported that United have exercised their option to extend goalkeeper David de Gea's contract for another year.

The Spain international's current Old Trafford deal was due to expire at the end of this season.

The 28-year-old made one outstanding save when the match against Young Boys was still goalless. United went on to beat the Swiss side 1-0 and confirm their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, a competition they are 40/1 to win this season.

De Gea moved to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has been linked with a transfer to Paris St-Germain recently.

Mourinho's team can be backed at 13/8 to keep a clean sheet at St Mary's on Saturday.

Jose plays down Sanchez talk

Manchester United head coach Jose Mourinho says he has been given no indication that striker Alexis Sanchez may be looking to leave Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old Chile international has struggled to hit top form since joining the Red Devils from Arsenal in January, having scored just three goals in 21 Premier League appearances.

That lack of impact has prompted suggestions that former Barcelona ace Sanchez could look to move on, but Mourinho has played down such talk.

He told reporters ahead of a Saturday afternoon visit from Crystal Palace: "I don't think so, because he never told me that he wants to leave or isn't happy to stay.

"He is improving like the team is improving. When he plays he is giving us his personality, his desire to play and to produce for the team and trying to adapt to how we play and vice versa.

"Can he do better? I think we can all do better."

Sanchez has found the net just once for United this season, scoring a dramatic late winner in a 3-2 victory over Newcastle United.

However, during the recent international break he was on target in both of his appearances for Chile, as they lost 3-2 to Costa Rica before claiming a 4-1 victory against Honduras.

Meanwhile, United are 4/9 to secure all three points against Palace on Saturday, with Sanchez 6/4 to score at any time, while the in-form Anthony Martial is available at 6/4.

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Sanchez to sit out Juve clash

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that forward Alexis Sanchez will miss the Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday evening.

Mourinho did not specify what the problem was with the Chile international, who featured as a late substitute in the 2-2 Premier League draw with Chelsea at the weekend, telling reporters: "Nothing to hide and Alexis is out."

The Portuguese also spoke about the prospect of wing-back Antonio Valencia featuring for the first time in three weeks, adding: "The reason was that he was ten days without training with a problem.

"Not an injury, but a problem that he had a very complicated surgery on his mouth and ten days without training needed a little bit of time to recover some level after that."

Italian champions Juve will arrive at Old Trafford shorn of the services of a number of their squad, with Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic having been ruled out of the game due to an ankle problem which could see him sidelined for several weeks.

Also absent will be Leonardo Bonucci, Sami Khedira and former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.

Juve will, of course, have former United favourite Cristiano Ronaldo among their ranks, with the Portuguese superstar returning to European action after serving a one-match suspension for being red-carded against Valencia.

Ronaldo, who moved to Turin from Real Madrid in the summer, scored 118 goals in 292 appearances in all competitions during six years at Old Trafford, helping the Red Devils to Champions League glory in 2008.

He can be backed at 21/20 to score at any time against his former club on Tuesday, with Juve 6/4 to win the game, while a 1-1 draw is priced at 5/1.

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Premier League: This was Quite Incredible!

Manchester United 3-2 Newcastle United

“Still United with Jose,” read a banner held aloft by one fan near the dugout as the players came out for this teatime encounter at Old Trafford.

It was a sign of support from the United faithful, a feeling many home fans agree with amid a seeming media agenda against the United boss.

Jose Mourinho even playfully squirted a water bottle at the cameras as they followed him into the dugout.

The mischievous Newcastle fans then only took a minute to sing the chant of ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’ in the Man Utd’s boss direction.

There was no doubt where the main focus of this Premier League game would be, and that was the dugout.

However, what was to follow was quite staggering and was surely something neither set of fans could have predicted.

Highlights of the game

Indeed, without taking anything away from Newcastle, this was stunning.

Before you could blink, the lowly Geordies led 2-0, effectively gifted two goals as the stunned hosts conceded two goals in the opening 10 minutes in a Premier League match at Old Trafford for the first ever time.

First, stand-in captain Ashley Young, who is not a right-back, was turned inside out by Kenedy and slotted home the opener.

Then Young was turned with ease again, and new signing Yoshinori Muto added to his sharp turn with a sharp finish.

It was the start United must have dreaded, but no us fans expected this, not even the most optimistic Newcastle supporters.

Suddenly, the biggest Premier League 2018 news story was on the cards. Could Mourinho survive another defeat? The obituaries for one of football’s most successful managers at England’s biggest club were being written.

Even Mourinho couldn’t have expected such shocking defending as his side was cut open again and again, only a David De Gea save denying Jonjo Shelvey after he was left in acres of space.

The home boss acted swiftly.

Whether the substitution of Eric Bailly was a sign Mourinho was blaming the Ivory Coast defender for the start – or reminding chief executive Ed Woodward of his failure to back the manager’s call to sign a defender in the transfer market – is unclear.

Perhaps it was just he didn’t want to embarrass a young player by hooking him off so early on.

Either way, on came Juan Mata with young midfielder Scott McTominay reverting to centre-half.

Yet it didn’t make a difference.

Marcus Rashford headed wide, but Newcastle came closest to adding to their tally with Ayoze Perez looking dangerous. De Gea denied Muto again, and anxiety seemingly seeping out of every home pore.

The Premier League 2018 odds on Mourinho surviving the weekend were slim as the teams returned to the dressing room at half-time, and Mourinho jogged back to deliver arguably the most important team talk of his career.

The boos turned to cheers as the Portuguese boss, under immense pressure immediately before kick-off, headed to the tunnel, a sign not everyone was giving up.

However, if many of the players were devoid of confidence, others should have been embarrassed.

If they had stopped playing for the manager, it meant they had stopped playing for the club and the fans; that is definitely unforgivable.

The second half started as many would have expected with United pushing Newcastle back deep in their own half.

Nemanja Matic, who had by now reverted to centre-back, blazed over the first chance from close range before Rashford headed wide.

A home goal was desperately needed but plucky Newcastle were holding firm, even though more focus was on home misery rather than a terrific away effort.

It arrived 20 minutes from time when Mata produced a trademark free-kick which was despatched beyond talented Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

The shot-stopper then denied substitute Marouane Fellaini and Chris Smalling but was helpless as the tireless Anthony Martial produced a fine finish to equalise.

Newcastle almost nearly caused home palpitations before a combination of Fellaini and Lukaku managed to clear the ball off the line.

Time was ticking and only a home win would suffice, and then the moment few saw coming at half-time.

Substitute Alexis Sanchez headed home to leave luckless Newcastle crestfallen as Old Trafford erupted.

“Still United with Jose” – you better believe it!

Key statistics

Manchester United have lost one of their last 37 home matches against Newcastle in all competitions (won 27, drew nine), with that solitary loss coming in December 2013 during David Moyes’ tenure thanks to a Yohan Cabaye goal.

The Magpies are winless in nine games (eight in the league) since beating Chelsea in May.

Only in 1898-99 (10 matches) and 2015-16 (eight games) have they waited longer for their first victory in a top-flight campaign.

What’s next?

It’s the international break now.

Jose Mourinho brought back Manchester United’s form in the 2nd half of their Premier League match against Newcastle

Jose Mourinho celebrates after scoring their third goal

United are back in action in a fortnight’s time (October 20) when Mourinho returns to his former club with a trip to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.

Then it’s time for a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo as Juventus visit the Theatre of Dreams in the Champions League.

Newcastle, who need owner Mike Ashley to invest, are next in action when they entertain Brighton at St James’ Park.

 

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Sanchez motivated for new term

Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez is ready to hit the ground running for the new season, while he wishes to see big-name players joining the ranks at Old Trafford.

Sanchez admits he did not find his best form for the Red Devils after signing from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January.

The Chilean is 9/2 to score first when United begin the new Premier League season with a home game against Leicester on Friday night and he's very keen to get underway.

"The truth is I'm very eager to get started with the new season, and I'm very motivated," he said.

"I think when you go to a new club in the middle of a season it's always hard.

"In the five or six months that I've been here, it was all about learning, new training methods, working with a new coach and getting to know my team-mates.

"I want to now show everyone what I know I can do and what I'm capable of and bring something to the team and performing for my teammates."

Another of his former clubs, Barcelona, have just recruited his compatriot Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich and Sanchez says United too must be looking at big names.

United have made two summer signings to date, with Fred joining from Shakhtar Donetsk and Diogo Dalot from Porto.

"At United we have to sign big players, with experience," Sanchez told Sky Sports. "Barcelona just signed Arturo Vidal, who is a great player and my team-mate from Chile.

"He is an example of the type of players we need to sign in order to win trophies and compete at the highest level.

"From what I've seen in training, Fred is a player who always wants to get forward, he is always trying to get forward and from a personal point of view I think we'll be able to combine well and it will be good for my game."

Man United are 1/2 to beat Leicester, with the Foxes 7/1 and the draw priced at 16/5.

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Sanchez frustrated with his form

Chile international Alexis Sanchez has admitted that he has not found it easy to adapt to life at Manchester United following his transfer from Arsenal.

Sanchez, who moved to Old Trafford in January, has struggled to cope with Jose Mourinho's preferred style of play and was a peripheral figure on Saturday as United were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the FA Cup final.

The 29-year-old has managed to score only three goals in 18 appearances for Mourinho's side, who are 6/1 to win the 2018/19 Premier League title and 1/3 to finish in the top four.

"I think that in every game I have played in I have maybe found it hard to adapt to the style of play and I have been getting to know my team-mates," said Sanchez.

"I also had some great players alongside me at Barcelona, some highly experienced guys who had great quality. I think that United are not too dissimilar as a club to them in their size and stature. However, I believe we need to improve in all aspects."

United finished second in the Premier League table but were 19 points behind champions Manchester City, 8/13 to win the title again next season.

"We need to be focused and concentrated in the big games and the same in the so-called lesser games too," Sanchez added. "I want to try and keep improving so we can see the club winning trophies."

SPOTLIGHT: Stateside Rooney, Super Rafa and a Chile-ing Absence

In order for a punter to know the right moves to make on the top betting sites, he must know his sports. Keeping up with the latest buzz in the sport you are following gives you the edge above the others who blindly punt on a betsite.

Today’s news circle around three parties that are familiar with being the center of attention. us is certain that the waves they made in the headlines will surely affect your betting prospects!

Wayne Rooney is headed to the MLS

Wayne Rooney is reportedly set to depart from the Premier League to MLS

Wayne Rooney’s potential move to MLS has been agreed in principle

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Wayne Rooney’s time in the Premier League is now up. The former England captain is 32, had a subpar season with Everton and does not want to play for any clubs other than the Toffees and Manchester United.

Some feel that his game isn’t suited to the English game anymore, and his move away from the Premier League is inevitable. Wazza confirmed those theories by agreeing a deal in principle with Major League Soccer side DC United.

The deal, reportedly worth £12.5m, was closed after Rooney’s representatives negotiated terms in the United States. Pundits such as Gary Neville supported the move, saying that his return to his boyhood club didn’t really work out well for him.

However, Everton boss Sam Allardyce insists that the Toffees haven’t asked him to leave.

“My understanding is there seems to have been some negotiation along the line but as for clarity as to whether Wayne is staying or going we’ll see later on,” Allardyce said. “I’m comfortable with any player who wants to leave but let’s get this clear. Wayne Rooney has not asked to leave and neither has Wayne Rooney had a confrontation with me.”

Should Rooney head to the USA, he will inevitable meet with former United team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who already made himself a home with the LA Galaxy.

Rafael Nadal sets new record in dominant clay streak

Rafael Nadal broke McEnroe's 49-set winning run

Rafael Nadal holds an all-time winning record of 50 winning streak in a row

Rafael Nadal is undoubtedly the man to beat on clay courts, and his wins at Monte Carlo and Barcelona are clear evidence of his dominance. However, not many people know that Nadal just added another huge accomplishment to his already-illustrious career.

The King of Clay broke American tennis legend John McEnroe’s record of 49 straight sets won on the same surface. The match that got him through the record books is his victory over Diego Schwartzman in the third round of the Madrid Open.

He will try to extend his record when he faces Dominic Thiem, but Nadal is just appreciating what he just did.

“When my career is over, these are things that are going to be there for always. It’s difficult to be able to win 50 sets in a row,” Nadal said. “Well, it’s done. It’s over. Let’s not talk about that anymore and let’s continue on what we have ahead, which is what I am concerned about.”

Chile’s World Cup absence will haunt Sanchez

Chile missed out the World Cup qualification

Despite being on FIFA’s Top Ten, Alexis Sanchez and Chile will miss the World Cup.

Football fans that know their FIFA World Rankings will be aware that almost every single nation in the Top Ten are on their way to Russia. Chile is the only curious exception.

It’s unimaginable that a team that stars Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Bravo would be missing out on playing for the World Cup. However, a devastating defeat to Brazil forced Sanchez and friends to try and make it to the intercontinental playoff.

Colombia’s loss to Peru doomed La Roja to spend the summer watching the World Cup from their homes. The loss hurt Sanchez so bad that it affected his training with Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger shared his opinion on his former winger: “I believe to play at the top level, it is part of dealing with that kind of disappointment. He is in a very difficult mind. Chile just won the Copa America twice, and now they don’t even go to the World Cup.”

It wouldn’t be a stretch to think that Chile’s devastating exit from the World Cup was what prompted Sanchez to pack up and leave the Emirates for better pastures. While he is now playing on a better team at Manchester United, the sting of not playing in Russia will affect his mental state for quite some time.

He is among the list of excellent players who won’t play in the World Cup. The fault is in no way entirely Sanchez’s, but the team did lose some important matches that could have secured their spot.

All they could do now is hope that Sanchez is still as effective a player when he is 33 for the next World Cup. While this won’t be his last World Cup, Alexis won’t be playing at such a high level when the doors for Qatar open.

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