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Rashford forced to withdraw from England squad


Monday 20 March 2023 15:00Marcus Rashford has been forced to withdraw from the England squad.The Manchester United forward sustained a knock during the 3-1 victory over Fulham in the Emirates FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford on Sunday. Our no.10 required treatment after being hurt in the build-up to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener for the visitors and was later withdrawn in the 83rd minute, with Fred taking his place.Marcus scored his 30th goal for club and country this season when bagging a brilliant winner in the 1-0 Europa League second-leg victory at Real Betis on Thursday night. He netted three times for England at the World Cup finals, taking his international tally to 15 in 51 caps. After winning the club and Premier League Player-of-the-Month awards for February, he will hopefully be available to face Newcastle United in our next fixture, on Sunday 2 April.Rashford misses England’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Italy, in Naples, on Thursday and at home to Ukraine on Sunday. United defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw remain in Gareth Southgate’s plans ahead of the fixtures as the Three Lions start their campaign. Tottenham keeper Fraser Forster has been added to the squad, in place of Newcastle’s Nick Pope, while Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount has also had to pull out.Recommended:Highlights: United v Fulham VideoHighlights: United v FulhamWatch the best action from our FA Cup quarter-final meeting with Fulham at Old Trafford…Monday 20 March 2023 15:00Back to Top

Fulham, Marco Silva and Aleksandar Mitrovic charged after incidents during FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United


Aleksandar Mitrovic is facing a lengthy ban after the Football Association announced the standard punishment for his dismissal against Manchester United would be “clearly insufficient”.Mitrovic gave Fulham the lead in Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford but was sent off after trying to grab referee Chris Kavanagh’s arm during a chaotic couple of minutes. Willian and head coach Marco Silva were also given their marching orders during that period but it is the conduct of Mitrovic in Fulham’s 3-1 defeat that has come under particular scrutiny. Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Dermot Gallagher explains why Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was sent off in the FA Cup for pushing a referee, while Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes wasn’t for a similar incident in the Premier League against Liverpool Man Utd into FA Cup semi-finals as nine-player Fulham implodeRef Watch: Why Aleksandar Mitrovic was sent off, but Bruno Fernandes wasn’tRoy Keane: Fulham self-destructed | Marco Silva: Mitrovic ref shove shouldn’t merit long banFulham have been charged by the FA with failing to “ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion”, while Silva has been accused of several misdemeanours.The FA’s statement in full”Fulham, Marco Silva and Aleksandar Mitrovic have been charged following the incidents that took place in or around the 72nd minute of their tie against Manchester United in the FA Cup on Sunday 19 March. “It is alleged that Marco Silva used abusive and/or insulting words and/or gestures and/or behaviour towards the match referee; that he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official prior to his dismissal; and that he also used abusive and/or insulting words and/or gestures and/or behaviour towards the fourth official after being sent off. “It is further alleged that in throwing a water bottle in the direction of the assistant referee his behaviour was improper. “The FA has claimed that the standard punishment which would otherwise apply to Aleksandar Mitrovic for the sending off offence of violent conduct that he committed towards the match referee is clearly insufficient.”In addition, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s behaviour and/or language was allegedly improper and/or abusive and/or insulting and/or threatening following his dismissal.”It’s also alleged that Fulham failed to ensure its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.”‘Referee had no option but to send Mitrovic off’ Image: Aleksandar Mitrovic argues vociferously with referee Chris Kavanagh before being sent off Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher:”You cannot manhandle a referee. We spoke the other week about Bruno Fernandes against Liverpool when I was of the opinion it wasn’t a red card offence, but I did say I don’t condone anyone touching a referee.”However, in Mitrovic’s case, I think it is much more aggressive. He’s got hold of the ref and pulled him back. He’s been given a red card and what you saw after the red card was so aggressive and so nasty towards Chris Kavanagh, and that is why I think he has done an absolutely fantastic job for himself and referees in general because he kept his cool.”He didn’t react to it or get sucked into it. He kept his composure and I really admire him. He stood up for what referees stand for.”I said at the time that I didn’t condone what Fernandes did. I don’t think it is wise to touch a match official. However, I don’t think that is aggressive. It is petulant from Fernandes, and he could have easily been given a yellow card for that. People would have accepted that.”I still don’t think the Fernandes incident is a red card offence, but the Mitrovic incident is.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe would walk away from Manchester United bid rather than pay ‘a stupid price’


Jim Ratcliffe – REUTERS/Phil NobleSir Jim Ratcliffe has insisted he will not be sucked into paying a “stupid” price for Manchester United and says his interest in buying the club is being driven by a desire to “win things”.The billionaire owner of petrochemicals giant Ineos met with United in person on Friday as he  bids to win over the Glazers in the takeover battle for England’s biggest football club.Ratcliffe’s main competition for United appears to be the chairman of the Qatar Islamic Bank, Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad Al Thani, whose bid team held talks in Manchester the day before the Ineos founder’s visit.Telegraph Sport understands that second, detailed bids could be sent to Raine Group, the merchant bank running the process of behalf of the Glazers, as early as Wednesday.The indications are that the initial offers made by interested parties fell short of the Glazers’ £5 billion plus valuation and will have to be raised to persuade the Americans to sell. Sheikh Jassim is proposing a completely debt free takeover; Ratcliffe has said his bid will not add to the existing debt levels.Yet Ratcliffe, while refusing to discuss the financial details of his bid, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview that he would not be paying a “stupid” figure that would cause regret down the line.“How do you decide the price of a painting? How do you decide the price of a house? It’s not related to how much it cost to build or how much it cost to paint,” Ratcliffe said. “What you don’t want to do is pay stupid prices for things because then you regret it subsequently.”A lifelong United fan who was at the Nou Camp to see Sir Alex Ferguson’s beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in dramatic circumstances in 1999 to complete a historic treble, Ratcliffe, who hails from Oldham, said his motives for buying the club were born of a desire for on pitch success.“Our interest in that club would be purely in winning things,” he said.The Glazers have been subjected to widespread protests and fan fury over the money that has poured out of the club to service their leveraged takeover and line their own pockets. Ratcliffe said he regarded United as a “community asset” rather than a financial one.Ratcliffe admitted the pursuit of United was different to many of his other business investments. “That in a sense goes without saying, because sport is emotional,” he added.Ratcliffe spoke to United manager Erik ten Hag and chief executive Richard Arnold in Manchester last week.The Ineos team turned out in force. In addition to Ratcliffe, Sir David Brailsford – the former British Cycling chief who is now director of sport at Ineos – was also present, along with Ineos co-owners Andy Currie and John Reece.Ineos Sport chair Rob Nevin and Jean Claude Blanc, who joined Ineos Sport as chief executive only last month, were also there to listen to presentations on “opportunities and challenges” at the club.

Lewis Dunk convinced Brighton can reach FA Cup final


Lewis Dunk celebrates after Brighton reach FA Cup semi-finals with win over Grimsby (PA Wire)Brighton captain Lewis Dunk is convinced his “completely different” side have what it takes to right the wrongs of their last FA Cup semi-final appearance and go all the way at Wembley.Sunday’s 5-0 victory over League Two side Grimsby assured Albion of just their third trip to the final four, with the Seagulls now set to face Manchester United on the weekend of April 22-23.Dunk is one of the only Brighton players with memories of their last attempt to reach the final – a 1-0 loss to eventual winners Manchester City in 2019 – and is relishing the prospect of tying up unfinished business.He told the club’s official website: “We’ve been there before and had a great feeling, but leaving Wembley, losing, it’s not a nice feeling. So we’re going there to get ourselves to the final and one step further than last time.“There’s not many left from that squad. But (now) you’ve got boys that are playing in World Cups and big occasions, so it’s a game of football that we are going to make sure we try and win.”Brighton finished two points clear of relegation in the 2018/19 season, the last campaign they made it this far in the FA Cup, while they now sit seventh in the Premier League and face the genuine prospect of qualifying for European football next season.Their only other semi-final appearance was in 1982/83, when the Seagulls eventually reached the trophy contest but finished runners-up to Manchester United in a replay, Gordon Smith writing himself into club lore after narrowly failing to score a would-be winner in the first match.This Brighton side, featuring World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Japan international Kaoru Mitoma, who has netted or been involved with a goal in each of his four FA Cup appearances, has a distinctly-different feel.“I think it’s a completely different squad,” added Dunk. “I think we’re in a completely different place as a club, as a group. I think we’re better than we were back then and we’d like to go there and show what we’re about.“Leading out the team at Wembley is a privilege for me, I’m lucky to to it twice but I want to be on the winning side next time, walking out in the final and winning that.”Grimsby boss Paul Hurst, whose club have won a windfall £558,000 in prize money alone and were just the fifth tier-four outfit to reach an FA Cup quarter-final, said of his side: “They’ve now brought a spotlight onto Grimsby Town Football Club, given the supporters some special moments.“It’s helped show a lot of people and it might help moving forward in terms of recruitment. The biggest plus is the financial reward should really help the football club and whatever that is spent on it can only help.“That will be a decision for the owners to make, but I genuinely don’t care what it is as long as it improves the football club. That’s what I want to see happen.”

United Vying With Chelsea And Newcastle As Clubs Consider Triggering La Liga Speedster’s 43.8M Release Clause


BACK Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle are all weighing up a possible move for Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Calciomercato.it. The Italian website claims that the three Premier League teams are considering whether to trigger the pacey winger’s release clause. Dembele signed a contract extension just last year but a buyout fee was included which means that the likes of United can buy him for €50m (£43.8m) this summer. A lot, of course, depends on whether Dembele is looking to leave Barca. He turned down offers from elsewhere in order to remain at the Camp Nou at the start of the season and he has become a key figure for manager Xavi. Dembele has scored eight goals and provided seven assists in 28 appearances so far this campaign, although he is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury. Considering United have already paid £86m for Antony, who plays in Dembele’s favoured position on the right flank, it would be a surprise if they do pursue a move for the France international.

Chelsea ‘to offer £58m outcast and cash to land Osimhen in shock swap’


CHELSEA could offer cash plus one of their stars to beat Manchester United in the race to sign Victor Osimhen, according to reports. The Napoli striker has been in hot form all season and looks set to be one of the most coveted players when the transfer window reopens this summer. 1It’s been a truly remarkable season for Victor Osimhen – and clubs around Europe are taking noticeCredit: Rex Premier League clubs have been keeping a close eye on the 24-year-old as he continues to lead Napoli to the Serie A title with his outstanding performances. Chelsea are believed to be among those in the hunt and could offer out one of their own players to get the Nigerian. Calciomercato report that the Blues’ hierarchy could use Christian Pulisic to try and get the deal over the line. The American, 24, has struggled to reach his best form consistently since arriving at Stamford Bridge and could be used as a counterweight in any deal. Even with the midfielder involved, Napoli would likely still command a huge fee. That might not be a problem for the London club who have not been shy about splashing the cash this season. Chelsea shelled out £323million in the January window, which is more than teams in Serie A, LaLiga, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 combined. And owner Todd Boehly is believed to be willing to spend big again and is already looking forward to next season. Most read in Football BETTING SPECIAL – BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK Osimhen is enjoying the season of his life and has hit 25 goals in 29 games across all competitions in this campaign. He and his in-demand teammate Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have helped propel Napoli to a 19-point lead in Italy’s title race. The club will be confident of winning the league from here and may even fancy a tilt at the Champions League after landing a favourable draw against AC Milan on Friday.

Garnacho deletes Insta story and re-posts it after fans spot something on sofa


ALEJANDRO GARNACHO deleted and re-posted a slightly altered Instagram story after Manchester United fans spotted a vape on his sofa. The 18-year-old shared an image of him watching the 3-1 win over Fulham from his home as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. 3Alejandro Garnacho deleted and re-posted an image after removing a vape from his sofaCredit: EPA 3Garnacho initially shared this picture with a green vape on his sofaCredit: @garnacho7 3He then deleted and re-posted this image without the vape in shotCredit: @garnacho7 But he then swiftly removed the picture when his followers spotted a green vape sitting in front of him on the sofa – before he re-uploaded the snap without the vape. SunSport understands the electronic cigarette belongs to his dad. Man Utd declined to comment when approached. Garnacho, who has contributed five goals and six assists in 32 games this season, suffered his ankle injury during Man Utd’s goalless draw with Southampton last weekend. And last week he was spotted hobbling on crutches with his right foot covered in a protective boot. It is not known how long he will be sidelined for. It was also confirmed earlier this week that Garnacho – born in Spain but a citizen of Argentina – has decided to play his international football for the World Cup winners. Meanwhile, Man Utd booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a dramatic win over Fulham on Sunday afternoon. Most read in Football Erik ten Hag’s men were trailing 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining when Willian’s handball led to three sendings off as the ex-Chelsea man was handed his marching orders along with manager Marco Silva and striker Aleksandar Mitrovic. Bruno Fernandes converted the resulting spot kick, before Marcel Sabitzer completed the turnaround moments later. Fernandes then added a late third as the Red Devils booked their spot at Wembley against Brighton on the weekend of April 22/23.

Erling Haaland odds-on to register 400 Dream Team points in a single season


IT turns out Erling Haaland was just toying with Dream Team gaffers. Between Game Weeks 20 and 26, the Norwegian poacher trundled along at a relatively modest rate while Marcus Rashford (£6.7m) closed the gap at the top of the rankings. At one point, it looked as if it was only a matter of time before Manchester United’s homegrown hero would ascend to the throne. However, Manchester City’s No9 has responded with a frankly ridiculous 66 points across the last two Game Weeks to reassert his dominance. 3A centre-back’s worst nightmare This explosive burst started with a clutch penalty at Selhurst Park but he truly burst into life with FIVE goals past RB Leipzig in the Champions League. Haaland was withdrawn just after the hour mark on Tuesday night having plundered 38 points at the expense of the Bundesliga club. He then registered his sixth (yes, SIXTH) hat-trick of the season at home to Burnley on Saturday as Pep Guardiola’s side booked their place in the FA Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 6-0 victory over the Championship leaders. The Norwegian poacher’s treble against the Clarets, again produced in just over an hour, resulted in a 23-point influx. Suddenly, Haaland is 88 points clear of Rashford at the top of Dream Team’s rankings and the contest for individual supremacy once again looks to be a procession. 3A proper No9Credit: GETTY Having moved onto 344 points overall, he’s now odds-on to breach the 400-mark before the campaign’s end, something achieved only once before in Dream Team history. Most read in Football Cristiano Ronaldo became a quadruple centurion in 2007/08, the season that resulted in the first of his five Ballons d’Or, and while the likes of Mohamed Salah (£8.7m) and Harry Kane (£7.8m) have come close since, the Portuguese’s record tally has never truly been threatened. With 42 goals in all competitions so far this term, Haaland has to be considered a phenomenon regardless but how close will he get to Ronaldo’s all-time record of 477 points? 3A memorable seasonCredit: GETTY He’s 133 adrift of that humongous tally at this stage meaning he needs to average approximately 10.2 points every Game Week from now until the end of the season. To put that into perspective, he averages 9.6 points-per-game so far this term. With Man City likely to make the FA Cup final and intent on Champions League glory, Haaland will have more fixtures at his disposal than most. Whatever happens, the prolific 22-year-old’s debut Dream Team campaign will be remembered as one of the most spectacular introductions in the history of the game.

Why Marcus Rashford has pulled out of the England squad


Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has pulled out of the upcoming England squad.

BBC Sport report he is one of three withdrawals along with Mason Mount and Nick Pope.

The official reason cited by Manchester United’s club website is injury. The injury is not considered serious.

The statement details Rashford suffered a ‘knock’ in the build-up to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s opener for Fulham in Sunday’s 3-1 victory for United.

Rashford continued up the 83rd minute before being substituted for Fred.

Manchester United v Fulham: Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Believe it or not, this is good news for Manchester United

Whether you believe Rashford is actually injured or not, this is good news for Manchester United.

Rashford is in real need of a rest. He has played 49 games for club and country now this season.

A recent report explained how he could reach 72 matches this season if he continued to be selected for every match.

Something had to give, and fortunately it was England.

Rashford has lost a little spark in recent weeks despite his winning goal against Real Sociedad five days ago.

He has scored a staggering 27 goals this season for Manchester United, a personal bet, however, only two have come in the last six games.

Manchester United have nine fixtures across three competitions in the month of April, and with limited attacking options, keeping Rashford fresh is important.

This withdrawal is also a little dig towards England boss Gareth Southgate, who selected Rashford for only five minutes of the Three Lions World Cup quarter-final defeat to France, despite the player being the country’s top goalscorer at the tournament.

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