Ryan Giggs leaves Manchester United

Ryan Giggs is to leave Manchester United, the club he has been with since the age of 14, to pursue his desire to be a manager.

Giggs, 42, has played more times for the club than anyone else in history and is its most decorated player, having won every major honour in club football.

Ryan Giggs said: "After 29 seasons at Manchester United as a player and assistant manager, I know winning is in the DNA of this club - giving youth a chance, and playing attacking and exciting football. It’s healthy to have high expectations, it’s right to expect to win. Manchester United expects, deserves, nothing less.

"This is why it is a huge decision for me to step away from the club that has been my life since the age of 14. It has not been a decision that I have made lightly. I'll take away so many special memories as well as a lifetime of experiences that will, I hope, serve me well in the future.

"However, the time feels right and, although I have no immediate plans to step into management, it is where I want to be.

"I’ve been extremely fortunate in having two great managerial mentors; first in Sir Alex, who I’ve spent the majority of my life working with and learning from and who I believe will remain as football’s greatest-ever manager and in more recent times, Louis van Gaal, whose CV speaks for itself. The knowledge I have gleaned from them has been invaluable.

"I want to reiterate my thanks to the backroom staff and support teams at Manchester United I’ve worked with over the years. The results on the pitch are a reflection of the hard work off it. I would not have achieved the success I have without the dedication, sacrifice and commitment of these people in creating the best environment for the team to succeed.

"I want to congratulate José Mourinho on his appointment as manager of the world’s biggest club. There are only a handful of proven winners at the very highest level and José is unquestionably one of them. I know the fans will welcome him.

"My final thank you is to the fans. I cannot begin to tell you how much I will miss walking out at Old Trafford in front of you. It’s extremely difficult to say goodbye after 29 years. I have loved every minute both as a player and assistant manager. The support you have always shown me has been phenomenal; thank you.

"It’s time for a new chapter and a new challenge. I’m excited about the future - I’ve had the best apprenticeship into management anyone could ever ask for."

Executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward said: "Ryan’s place in the history of Manchester United is assured. He has been a constant presence at the club since 1987 and, during his playing days, regularly delighted crowds; first with his dazzling wing play and later with his intelligence and ability to dictate a game.

"He has tackled his coaching and management responsibilities with similar rigour and diligence. The experiences and discipline he developed at United will undoubtedly be a big help as he continues to learn his trade. He has all the attributes to be a terrific manager in the future. Everyone at the club wishes him well in his new career. He will be missed but will always be welcome at Manchester United."

*Taken from Manutd.com

Zlatan Ibrahimović: Manchester United sign Zlatan Ibrahimović

Manchester United is delighted to announce the signing of Swedish international striker Zlatan Ibrahimović.
 Ibrahimović, 34, made 180 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain, scoring 156 goals. He has won championships in four different leagues since beginning his professional career with Malmo in 1999. Zlatan represented his country 116 times, scoring 62 goals, before announcing his retirement from international football last month.
 Zlatan Ibrahimović said:
 "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Manchester United and am looking forward to playing in the Premier League. It goes without saying that I cannot wait to work with Jose Mourinho once again. He is a fantastic manager and I am ready for this new and exciting challenge. I have thoroughly enjoyed my career so far and have some great memories. I am now ready to create more special memories in England."
 Jose Mourinho said:
 "Zlatan needs no introduction. The statistics speak for themselves. Ibra is one of the best strikers in the world and a player who always gives 100 per cent. He has won the most important league championships in the world of football, now he has the opportunity to play in the best league in the world and I know he will grasp this opportunity and will work hard to help the team win titles. I am certain that his talent will delight fans at Old Trafford next season and that his experience will be invaluable in helping to develop the younger players in the squad."

*Taken from Manutd.com

Jose Mourinho: Appointed Manchester United Manager

• Portuguese coach has won 22 trophies since 2003

José Mourinho will take over as manager of Manchester United from the 2016/17 season, signing a three-year contract with an option to stay at the club until at least 2020.

José, 53, has managed at the top level of European football for over a decade and in that time has won league titles and cups in four countries (Portugal, England, Italy and Spain), as well as winning the UEFA Champions League twice – in 2004 with FC Porto and in 2010 with Inter Milan.

Announcing the appointment, Ed Woodward said: "José is quite simply the best manager in the game today. He has won trophies and inspired players in countries across Europe and, of course, he knows the Premier League very well, having won three titles here.

"I’d like to take this opportunity to welcome him to Manchester United. His track record of success is ideal to take the club forward."

José Mourinho said: "To become Manchester United manager is a special honour in the game. It is a club known and admired throughout the world. There is a mystique and a romance about it which no other club can match.

"I have always felt an affinity with Old Trafford; it has hosted some important memories for me in my career and I have always enjoyed a rapport with the United fans. I’m looking forward to being their manager and enjoying their magnificent support in the coming years."

*Taken from Manutd.com

2015/2016 UEFA Champions League: CSKA Moscow 1-1 Manchester United

Manchester United came from a goal down in Russia to earn a vital point against CSKA Moscow after dominating proceedings at Arena Khimki.

It was an eventful night for Reds striker Anthony Martial who conceded a penalty at one end and netted a superb header at the other. Seydou Doumbia had put the Russian side ahead on 15 minutes, blasting home from close-range after Roman Eremenko’s spot-kick had been well saved by David De Gea. But Martial atoned for his handball not long after the hour-mark with a brilliantly directed header, in off the post, to help United claim an important point in Group B.

Louis van Gaal, perhaps with one eye on Sunday’s Manchester derby, made two changes to the team that eased past Everton at the weekend. Antonio Valencia, United’s match-winner against CSKA Moscow six years ago, came in at right-back to replace Matteo Darmian, while Jesse Lingard, who performed admirably in the second half on Merseyside, made his Champions League debut in place of Juan Mata. There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up with former Reds winger Zoran Tosic on the right flank for CSKA who came into the game unbeaten at home for six months.

With every team in Group B on three points you expected a tight opening to the match, played in near-freezing conditions, and that it was, although United had plenty of possession. It was therefore something of a surprise to see CSKA take the lead on 15 minutes, despite De Gea’s best efforts. Having initially saved Mario Fernandes’ shot, it turned out the referee had already blown up for a penalty after Fernandes’ flick was handled by Martial. Eremenko stepped up to take the spot-kick and despite De Gea pushing the ball onto the post, Doumbia was the fastest player to follow up as he swept home the rebound.

Things almost got worse for the Reds on half-hour mark when the pacey Ahmed Musa turned and took aim from 30 yards, but De Gea leapt high to tip the dipping shot over the bar.

More possession followed for the Reds before the break, but a 25-yard shot from Wayne Rooney, which dropped wide, was the only real effort of any note.

Possession: CSKA 32% United 68%
Shots: CSKA 5 United 3
Shot on target: CSKA 3 United 1
Corners: CSKA 2 United 0

Marouane Fellaini entered the fray at the restart with Bastian Schweinsteiger making way. The pattern of the second half mirrored that of the first with plenty of possession for the Reds, but very little to show for it.

Rooney got a glimpse of goal on the hour when he met Ander Herrera's cross from the right with his head, but CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev was on hand to claim.

The best opening of the match thus far arrived three minutes later when Herrera put Lingard through, but the youngster didn’t connect properly and could only steer the ball into the goalkeeper’s arms.

A United goal looked imminent and it duly arrived on 65 minutes. Valencia powered down the right and sent in a cross which was met by a fine header from Martial which rolled in off the post.

The Reds had a chance to win the match with four minutes left when substitute Memphis Depay’s curling cross was met by Martial, who pulled it back for Fellaini, but Akinfeev just managed to push the ball clear before the Belgian pounced.

That proved to be the last opportunity for United, who will now look forward to meeting CSKA again at Old Trafford on 3 November.

Possession: CSKA 28% United 72%
Shots: CSKA 7 United 7
Shots on target: CSKA 4 United 3
Corners: CSKA 3 United 1


CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev, Fernandes, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski (Aleksei Berezutski 41), Schennikov, Wernbloom, Zoran Tosic, Dzagoev (Cauņa 87), Eremenko (Panchenko 83), Musa, Doumbia.
Subs not used: Chepchugov, Nababkin, Milanov, Golovin.

United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo (Blind 64), Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini 46), Lingard (Memphis 79), Herrera, Martial, Rooney.
Subs not used: Romero, Darmian, Carrick, Mata.
Booked: Martial, Herrera, Fellaini


"I don’t think we played too fast in ball possession, it was too slow in the first half. We improved that in the second half and scored a fantastic goal. We could have won but 'could have' doesn't count in football." - Louis van Gaal

"Martial didn’t let his head go down because that [conceding a penalty] can happen to anyone. Anthony scored a great goal and after that we pushed on but we could not score the second goal which was a shame.” - Morgan Schneiderlin

*Taken from manutd.com

2015/2016 BPL 09: Everton 0-3 Manchester United

Scorers: Schneiderlin 18', Herrera 22' , Rooney 62' | 17 October 2015 | Goodison Park | Att: TBC

Manchester United got back to winning ways and earned a first victory at Goodison Park since 2011 thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney.

It was the perfect way for the Reds to return to Barclays Premier League action following the international break and a chastening 3-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out. The result also maintained pressure on the leaders, Manchester City, who secured a comfortable 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

Saturday's match was tinged with emotion with the news that Howard Kendall, the former Everton player and manager, had died at the age of 69 and the players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. A minute’s applause also preceded kick-off at Goodison Park, where Louis van Gaal made four changes to his starting XI by recalling Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Schneiderlin and Herrera.

A slow start in the previous game at Arsenal allowed the Gunners to score three times in the first 20 minutes and the manager demanded a much-improved opening on Merseyside. He got his wish, too, when Chris Smalling chested Rojo’s shot towards Schneiderlin for the Frenchman to bag his first competitive United goal with a cool finish on 18 minutes. Herrera doubled the lead four minutes later when the Spaniard stormed into the area to head Rojo’s fine cross past former Reds goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Jones briefly left the action on 30 minutes to stem the flow of blood pouring from his nose, which was the result of an increasingly physical first half that also saw David De Gea and Anthony Martial temporarily go down with knocks. Although Everton pressed for a goal before the break, the closest they came was a powerful effort from Ross Barkley that was clawed away by De Gea on 45 minutes.

Possession: Everton 44% United 56%
Shots: Everton 5 United 6
Shots on target: Everton 0 United 4
Corners: Everton 3 United 1

The second half began with Jesse Lingard replacing Juan Mata to make his first appearance since his first-team debut on the opening day of 2014/15, when he suffered a serious knee injury, and the 22-year-old Academy graduate was quickly needed in defence as Everton piled on the pressure, going close to scoring when Romelu Lukaku’s shot was brilliantly saved by the left boot of De Gea.

United stood firm and scored again after the hour-mark when Phil Jagielka’s wayward pass fell to Schneiderlin on the halfway line, from where he fed Herrera on the right. The Spaniard slipped a neat ball forward to Rooney and the ex-Everton striker executed a fine finish past Howard. Wayne is now second in the Premier League goal charts and level with Andy Cole with 187 to his name, although he still has some way to go before catching Alan Shearer's record of 260.

Barkley, the promising England international who was arguably Everton’s best player, hit a rasping free-kick onto the roof of De Gea’s goal on 80 minutes before Marouane Fellaini replaced Herrera to receive a respectful ovation from the home fans who used to cheer his name. The Belgian's presence in midfield allowed United to consolidate an excellent win, another clean sheet and three more Premier League points.

Possession: Everton 47% United 53%
Shots: Everton 11 United 10
Shots on target: Everton 3 United 7
Corners: Everton 5 United 4


Everton: Howard, Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Galloway, Barry, McCarthy, Lennon (Deulofeu 73'), Barkley, Naismith (Kone 46'), Lukaku.
Subs not used: Joel, Mirallas, Osman, Mori, Browning.

Booked: Coleman, Lukaku

United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Schweinsteiger (Carrick 74'), Schneiderlin, Mata (Lingard 46'), Herrera (Fellaini 81'), Rooney, Martial.
Subs not used: Johnstone, Blind, Pereira, Memphis.

Booked: Schweinsteiger, Rojo

2015/2016 BPL 08: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United

Scorers: Sanchez 6, 20, Ozil 7 | 4 October 2015 | Emirates Stadium | Att: 64,084

It was a day to forget for Manchester United in North London on Sunday as three goals in the opening 20 minutes sealed a 3-0 win for Arsenal.

The hosts raced in a two-goal lead through Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil in the first 10 minutes, before Sanchez netted another soon after.

Having been outplayed for most of the first period, United improved after the break and forced Petr Cech into a couple of good stops, but the damage had already been done.

Louis van Gaal made two changes to the side that came from behind to beat Wolfsburg, with Michael Carrick and Ashley Young coming in for Morgan Schneiderlin and Antonio Valencia. Young came on at right full-back in midweek, but having impressed so much down the left last term, as a winger and wing-back, he returned to a more familiar role, with Matteo Darmian, a starter at left-back for the last two games, back in the right-back slot.

The teams came into the game on the back of contrasting Champions League results – United a 2-1 victory over Wolfsburg and Arsenal a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Olympiacos. Many pundits wondered how Arsene Wenger’s side, who had been heavily criticised along with their manager, would respond. The answer in the opening 10 minutes was emphatically.

The Gunners came flying out of the blocks and within seven minutes were two goals to the good, without some Reds even having touched the ball. The first came on six minutes, when Ozil worked space down the right and slid a cross in for Sanchez to cleverly flick past David De Gea. Sixty seconds later, Ozil got himself on the scoresheet with a cool side-footed finish after being found by Theo Walcott in a sweeping Arsenal move.

Just as the Reds attempted to get some sort of foothold in the game with a bit of possession and pressure on Arsenal’s defence, the Gunners made it three. Walcott was involved again, finding Sanchez on the edge of the box and, after tricking his way past a clutch of defenders, he blasted the ball into the top corner to leave the Reds stunned.

It could have been four just after the half-hour mark when Sanchez turned provider for Aaron Ramsey, coming in at the back post on the right, but he volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy.

As half-time approached, the Reds were given a glimmer of hope with a first opening of the game. Darmian’s ball into the area eventually came to Anthony Martial, who controlled it and shot on the turn brilliantly, but Cech stuck out a leg to block it.

Possession: Arsenal 47% United 53%
Shots: Arsenal 7 United 2
Shots on target: Arsenal 3 United 2
Corners: Arsenal 2 United 2

Van Gaal opted to make a double substitution at the start of the second period with Antonio Valencia and Marouane Fellaini replacing Darmian and Memphis; the changes saw Wayne Rooney switch to the left as Fellaini slotted in behind Martial.

The Reds knew a response was needed... and fast. Young almost provided it four minutes in when he cut in from the left and fired goalwards, but Cech leapt to his right to claim the ball. He was called on again just after the hour mark when Rooney guided a shot towards the target from the edge of the box, but the Arsenal stopper tipped it clear.

A neat move from the Reds on 68 minutes, involving Carrick, Juan Mata and Rooney, led to Bastian Schweinsteiger getting through, but Cech was there again to block bravely from close-range.

Arsenal had not been the attacking force they were in the first period and seemed content to sit on their lead, but they still had the ability to up the tempo when it was needed and Ozil almost made it four after another attack of pace and precision, only for De Gea to save.

Substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain clipped the bar in injury-time as the Arsenal fans celebrated what they already had. The Reds, meanwhile, will be keen to move on from this match as quickly as possible.

Possession: Arsenal 38% United 62%
Shots: Arsenal 11 United 9
Shots on target: Arsenal 5 United 5
Corners: Arsenal 3 United 6

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mertesacker, Gabriel, Monreal; Coquelin, Cazorla; Ramsey, Ozil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 74), Sanchez (Gibbs 81); Walcott (Giroud 74).
Subs not used: Ospina, Debuchy, Chambers, Campbell.
Booked: Coquelin.

United: De Gea, Young, Smalling, Blind, Darmian (Valencia 46), Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata (Wilson 82), Rooney, Memphis (Fellaini 46), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Jones, McNair, Schneiderlin.
Booked: Young, Darmian, Rooney.

Louis van Gaal: "It was a shock for me. It wasn't a normal performance. They were much more aggressive than us and, when you give a team like Arsenal so much space to play football, you know you shall lose."

Michael Carrick: "We are bitterly disappointed and will probably beat ourselves up about it over the next few weeks, but we’ll come back looking at the bigger picture. It’s a setback, but we’re still up there."

*Taken from Manutd.com

2015/2016 BPL 07: Manchester United 3-0 Sunderland

Scorers: Memphis ‘45+4, Rooney ’46, Mata ‘90 | 26 September 2015 | Old Trafford

Manchester United went top of the Barclays Premier League after dispatching a stubborn Sunderland outfit by three goals to nil with strikes from Memphis, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

Memphis put United in front deep into first-half injury time following a tricky opening period, before captain Rooney doubled the Reds’ advantage shortly after the break. The hosts then enjoyed a comfortable second half, with Juan Mata wrapping up the result in the 90th minute, as United leapfrogged rivals City to take pole position for the first time under Louis van Gaal.

The boss made five changes to the team that started against Ipswich Town in midweek, with Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis and Anthony Martial all given the nod to start. It was a strong, attacking XI, and the Reds began the game very much on the front foot.

Two of the players reinstated to the line-up - Memphis and Martial - were heavily involved early on, linking up well with Rooney and Mata, the other half of United’s attacking quartet. The fine opening from the home side yielded its first opportunity on six minutes when a Matteo Darmian cross into the box skimmed the head of Anthony Martial, who was on the hunt for his fifth goal in five matches. A further half-chance followed only minutes later, but Memphis could not bring Carrick’s arrowed reverse ball under control.

Sunderland responded well to United’s bright start, as the Black Cats – wearing their bright green away strip – began to assert themselves on the match. Still, a John O’Shea header aside, chances remained at a minimum for the visitors as van Gaal’s men continued to probe for a break through.

The Reds were almost given an enormous helping hand midway through the opening period when a breakdown in communication between Black Cats stopper Costel Pantilimon and defender Younes Kaboul resulted in the giant keeper handling the ball outside of his area having hoofed the ball aloft and away from the prying Martial. A free-kick was awarded just outside the 18-yard box, but Juan Mata could only fire into the wall.

Frustration had begun to seep in around Old Trafford, just as Jermaine Lens caused a fright at the Stretford End as the forward forced David De Gea into a stop with his feet at the near post. A tepid free-kick from Memphis did little to ease the growing sense of tension in the stands, but the no. 7 went on to redeem himself with only seconds remaining of the first half.

United responded to a colossal roar from the Stretford End to launch one last assault on the Sunderland rearguard, as Blind picked out Mata with a pin-point ball into the box who - in turn - cushioned the ball to the Dutchman to tap home. The noise that greeted his first domestic strike highlighted the importance of the strike, with the Reds now sat in the box seat as they headed to the changing rooms for the interval.

Possession: United 61% Sunderland 39%
Shots at goal: United 6 Sunderland 3
Shots on target: United 3 Sunderland 2
Corners: United 3 Sunderland 0

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat brought Steven Fletcher on for Adam Johnson at the start of the second half, seemingly with the hope of giving the visitors an improved goal threat. It was United, however, who were again much quicker out of the traps and were rewarded for such tenacity with a second goal only a minute after the restart.

The ever-threatening Martial received the ball from Mata on the right flank, before proceeding to outfox Younes Kaboul, allowing him to fire a pass across goal. The direct cross hit the on-rushing Wayne Rooney, directing the ball – via a slight deflection off Pantilimon – into the back of the net.

Unsurprisingly, the goal prompted a response from Sunderland who began to press United for the first time in the game. The Black Cats won a succession of corners which briefly caused the Reds some hassle, but thankfully were able to clear their lines after a Jeremain Lens free-kick landed dangerously at the far post. Another chance soon followed, but Patrick van Aanholt found De Gea in the way once again after fashioning an opportunity on the left side of United’s area.

Thereafter, it was the home side who were undisputedly in control and should have wrapped up the three points on 67 minutes. The excellent Martial evaded his marker to rush through on goal with only O’Shea and Pantilimon to beat as Memphis sprinted to join him in support. The Frenchman played in his team-mate, but the Dutchman could only aim his shot straight at the keeper.

As the game neared its conclusion, van Gaal replaced Carrick, Blind and Memphis with Schweinsteiger, Jones and Young over a ten-minute period, freshening up his side whilst also guarding against any late Sunderland threat.

That said, it was United that continued to push and Mata's effort was expertly tipped round the post by Pantilimon. Undeterred, van Gaal’s men continued to throw men forward and Juan eventually got his name on the scoresheet in the 90th minute, firing into the roof of the net from an Ashley Young cross to set the seal on a fine day at the office for the new leaders of the Barclays Premier League.

Possession: United 66% Sunderland 34%
Shots at goal: United 12 Sunderland 8
Shots on target: United 7 Sunderland 4
Corners: United 5 Sunderland 2

The Teams
United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Blind (Jones 73’), Darmian, Schneiderlin, Carrick (Schweinsteiger 68’), Mata, Rooney, Memphis (Young 77’), Martial.
Subs not used: Romero, Herrera, Fellaini, Pereira.

Sunderland:  Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, O’Shea, Kaboul, Cattermole, M’Vila, Johnson (Fletcher 45’), Toivonen (Larsson 70’), Lens, Borini.
Subs not used: Mannone, Gomez, Defoe, M’Vila, Coates, Yedlin.
Booked: Johnson, Jones, Cattermole.

*Taken from Manutd.com

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