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Manchester City’s Khaldoon Al Mubarak leads tributes to Colin Bell

Colin Bell
Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Manchester City legend Colin Bell has died at the age of 74. The midfielder — who began his career at Bury, before moving to City in 1966 passed away after a short illness.

“It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of Manchester City legend Colin Bell. Colin passed away peacefully this afternoon. He leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack,” a City statement said

“He is widely regarded to be the finest City player of his generation, making 492 appearances and scoring 152 goals for the Club during a 13-year stay. Few players have left such an indelible mark on City.

“Known as Colin The King, in 2004 fans voted to name a stand inside the Etihad Stadium after him and his name is still sung regularly at matches.”

City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak led the tributes, saying: “Colin Bell will always be remembered as one of Manchester City’s greatest players and the very sad news today of his passing will affect everybody connected to our club.

“I am fortunate to be able to speak regularly to his former manager and teammates, and it’s clear to me that Colin was a player held in the highest regard by all those who had the privilege of playing alongside him or seeing him play. The passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius. The fact that we have a stand at the Etihad Stadium named after Colin speaks volumes about the importance of his contribution to this club.

“Colin was incredibly humble and a modest and understated man with an obvious inner strength of character. He was clearly comfortable with who he was and what he had achieved in the game. For the rest of us, there is always the thought of what might have been if injury had not affected his career. Undoubtedly more trophies for City and far more than the 49 England caps to his name.”

The England star was part of the Bell, Lee and Summerbee trio at Manchester City and has a stand named in his honour at the Etihad.

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Sports UK

Manchester City legend Colin Bell dies aged 74

Manchester City legend Colin Bell has died, aged 74.

Bell spent 13 years as a player at Maine Road, winning both the first and second division titles as well as the FA Cup, League Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup.

He is widely regarded as one of City’s greatest-ever players, scoring 117 goals in 394 league appearances from midfield, and was dubbed The King of the Kippax.

Bell has a stand named in his honour at the Etihad Stadium.

City said in a statement released on Tuesday night: “It is with the deepest sadness and heaviest of hearts we announce the passing of Manchester City legend Colin Bell.

Bell in action for City

“Colin passed away peacefully this afternoon after a short, non-Covid related illness, aged 74. He leaves behind wife Marie, children Jon and Dawn and grandchildren, Luke, Mark, Isla and Jack.

“He is widely regarded to be the finest City player of his generation, making 492 appearances and scoring 152 goals for the Club during a 13-year stay.

“Few players have left such an indelible mark on City.

“Known as Colin The King, in 2004 fans voted to name a stand inside the Etihad Stadium after him and his name is still sung regularly at matches.”

He played 48 times for England over a seven-year period, including at the 1970 World Cup, scoring nine goals.

Bell also represented Bury and San Jose Earthquakes during his professional career.

Colin Bell (R) with Mike Summerbee (C) and Tony Book (L) in 2015

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “Colin Bell will always be remembered as one of Manchester City’s greatest players and the very sad news today of his passing will affect everybody connected to our club.

“I am fortunate to be able to speak regularly to his former manager and teammates, and it’s clear to me that Colin was a player held in the highest regard by all those who had the privilege of playing alongside him or seeing him play.

“The passage of time does little to erase the memories of his genius. The fact that we have a stand at the Etihad Stadium named after Colin speaks volumes about the importance of his contribution to this club.

“Colin was incredibly humble and a modest and understated man with an obvious inner strength of character. He was clearly comfortable with who he was and what he had achieved in the game.

“For the rest of us, there is always the thought of what might have been if injury had not affected his career. Undoubtedly more trophies for City and far more than the 49 England caps to his name.

“Our Club has lost a true great. Everyone’s thoughts and best wishes are with Colin’s family.”

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UAE

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola to ponder over retirement

Dubai: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said the wealth of experience he has gained from previous coaching stints has better equipped him for the top job at City and he might stay in management longer than he had anticipated.

The 49-year-old Spaniard’s current five-year stay at City is his longest spell in charge of a club since he began his managerial career in 2008.

Guardiola managed Barcelona from 2008-12 and spent three years in charge of Bayern Munich before joining City, who he has guided to two Premier League titles, three League Cups and an FA Cup since his arrival in 2016.

“Of course I am better now, definitely. Experience helps you – especially the way I live my profession,” Guardiola, who signed a new two-year contract in November, told the City website.

“Before I thought I would retire soon, now maybe I am thinking I might retire older. 50 already, it is a nice age!”

City are eighth in the Premier League with 26 points, seven adrift of leaders Liverpool but with two games in hand. They visit sixth-placed Chelsea later on Sunday.

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Manchester United has already woken up and is tied as the Premier League leader with Liverpool | The State

He Manchester United carried out Aston Villa’s visit to Old Trafford (2-1) and reached the leader in the Premier League, Liverpool, with whom he is now tied on points.

The champion must still play in Southampton on Monday his match of the seventeenth day but the victory against the Birmingham team places United with the same points.

The premiere in 2021 of the Norwegian team Ole Gunnar Solksjaer proved convincing against an opponent who has been at the top of the table all the time and who comes out of the European positions after this setback in Manchester.

The Red Devils took the lead five minutes before half-time, when a boarding on the right by Aaron Wan Bissaka ended with a cross into the box that took advantage of the French Anthony Martial to finish with a header and overcome Argentine goal Emiliano Martínez.

The visiting team did not decline despite the conceded goal. In fact, he improved in the second half and managed to tie through the Burkinabe Bertrand Traoré, who took advantage of a ball received from Jack Grealish at game time.

The balance only lasted four minutes for Dean Smith’s team. A foul inside the area by Douglas Luis against Paul Pogba was indicated as a penalty after consulting with the VAR. Portuguese Bruno Fernandes scored from eleven meters and closed the triumph of Manchester United, tied with Liverpool for the lead.

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Manchester City’s game against Everton is postponed due to spate of new positive Covid-19 cases

Manchester City’s clash with Everton was postponed on Monday night after a worrying coronavirus outbreak among Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Sportsmail understands that three of City’s team returned positive tests on Monday, with the Premier League game at Goodison Park dramatically called off around five hours before kick-off.

Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus were already in self-isolation along with two other staff members after contracting the virus last week, before another trio of players tested positive.

Gabriel Jesus was among the Manchester City players to have previously tested positive 

Kyle Walker is currently isolating and missed the Premier League game against Newcastle

Kyle Walker is currently isolating and missed the Premier League game against Newcastle

City sources suspect the sudden outbreak – now seven confirmed cases since Christmas Day – was caused by last week’s 4-1 Carabao Cup victory at Arsenal.

While Guardiola’s team is believed to have travelled to and from London on the day to minimise risk, they did spend time in a hotel pre-match and fear contraction of the contagious new strain, VUI-202012/01.

The decision to postpone the trip to Everton was taken at an emergency Premier League meeting and made on medical advice as a precautionary measure. Similarly, Newcastle’s match against Aston Villa did not take place after five players tested positive earlier this month.

City’s cases are on the rise, with a fuller extent of the club’s escalation expected after another round of testing on Tuesday. The City Football Academy has been closed indefinitely and currently undergoing a deep clean. 

Pep Guardiola's side will await the rescheduled fixture date and the Chelsea game is at risk

Pep Guardiola’s side will await the rescheduled fixture date and the Chelsea game is at risk

Monday’s developments leaves Sunday’s visit to Chelsea in severe doubt and a further postponement there would place City three games behind the majority of their rivals.

Next Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final at Manchester United will be rearranged rather than forfeited in the event of City being unable to fulfil the tie.

Rescheduling a number of games in an already truncated season would represent a significant headache, with City still in all four competitions. City have, however, been keen to stress that postponing Monday night’s match was the only logical course of action given the potential ramifications.

‘After the latest round of Covid-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day,’ a City statement read.  

City beat Newcastle on Boxing Day without Jesus and Walker, who were isolating

City beat Newcastle on Boxing Day without Jesus and Walker, who were isolating 

Pep Guardiola's side are currently sixth in the Premier League table after 14 games

Pep Guardiola’s side are currently sixth in the Premier League table after 14 games

‘With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.

‘Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.

‘All positive cases involving players and staff will observe a period of self-isolation in accordance with Premier League and UK Government protocol on quarantine.’

Everton were furious with the Premier League’s move to postpone the game. They had been made aware the fixture was potentially in jeopardy mid-morning but they received no contact from the Premier League until after the emergency meeting had taken place.

It was then made clear to them that the decision had already been made and that left Goodison officials enraged, as there had been no precedent for making such a late call. Everton wanted to play and had started their pre-match preparations at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool, their usual base. 

An indication of the depth of feeling about the move is reflected in the fact that Everton will now ask the Premier League for full disclosure on how they arrived at the decision and want transparency on the reasons behind it.

Guardiola will be concerned about the health and fitness impact on his players

Guardiola will be concerned about the health and fitness impact on his players 

A terse club statement read: ‘Everton Football Club regret the postponement of tonight’s match against Manchester City – not only for the 2,000 fans who would have been attending, but for supporters on Merseyside and across the world.

‘Our players were prepared for the game, as were both the team staff and everyone at Goodison. Matchday is the most important date in our calendar. And this was a big one.

‘Whilst Everton will always have public safety uppermost, we will be requesting full disclosure of all the information that Manchester City provided to the Premier League so the Club can be clear on why this decision was taken.’

Some would argue that the postponement actually benefits Everton, as they would have been without key players Allan, James Rodriguez, Richarlison, Lucas Digne and Fabian Delph but there was frustration within the squad when they were disbanded late in the afternoon and sent home.

Guardiola was unsure who he was going to have available on Monday morning and said after Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle: ‘Covid is here. It is not just here in Man City, it is all around the world attacking hard so that’s why we have to be careful and what we want is the next days is for Kyle and Gabriel not to have symptoms and recover.’  

City are scheduled to face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup next Wednesday

City are scheduled to face Manchester United in the Carabao Cup next Wednesday

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was fearful for City after the two initial positive tests, claiming his team are still shaken by their experiences earlier in the month.

‘I hope, for City’s sake, they don’t go into double figures,’ Bruce said. ‘We are witnessing the after-effects. We have still got problems with it. It doesn’t just come and go over you. It has been a big factor over the last couple of weeks.’

Ilkay Gundogan, Riyad Mahrez and Aymeric Laporte all tested positive earlier in the season, missing a number of games between them, but this is City’s first postponement of the campaign.

Should all of Tuesday’s tests return negative the prospect of the Chelsea match going ahead has not yet been ruled out.

The Premier League said: ‘This rise [in cases at City] has created uncertainty and the Premier League Board received medical advice that the match should be postponed. The board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution.

‘The decision has been taken with the health of players and staff the priority. The Premier League continues to have full confidence in its protocols and rules, and the way in which all clubs are implementing them.’

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Headlines UK Manchester

Greater Manchester police is placed in special measures after failing to report 80,000 crimes

Andy Burnham ‘threw the Greater Manchester police chief under the bus to save his own skin’, a source has said, after it emerged that the force is to be placed in ‘special measures’.  

The chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Ian Hopkins, quit ‘with immediate effect’ today after a damning inspection report revealed the force’s officers failed to record 80,000 crimes in 2020. 

Inspectors said they had ‘serious cause for concern’ about the way England’s second biggest police force was being run after it was revealed they had not recorded a fifth of all reported crimes, meaning ‘victims are too often being let down’.  

The announcement was made this afternoon, and a Home Office source has now alleged Manchester Mayor Mr Burnham threw the senior officer ‘under the bus to save his own skin.’

The insider added: ‘It’s no surprise that the Labour Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham has thrown a senior police officer under the bus to save his own skin.

‘This will not distract from his years of failure, and most disturbingly his inability to deliver justice for victims and survivors of the most abhorrent crimes.’   

Mayor Andy Burnham, pictured with chief constable Hopkins in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, will retain political control of the ailing force

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins is off sick and Greater Manchester Police is to be placed in ‘special measures’ today following a damning inspection report last week that revealed officers failed to record 80,000 crimes in 2020

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins is off sick and Greater Manchester Police is to be placed in ‘special measures’ today following a damning inspection report last week that revealed officers failed to record 80,000 crimes in 2020

MailOnline has contacted Mr Burnham for comment. 

It was reported earlier this week that Mr Hopkins was signed off sick as he was battling labyrinthitis, an inner ear infection that affects balance. 

Now he will step down from the force after more than three decades, almost half of which was spent in the top job. 

In a statement today, he said: ‘These are challenging times for Greater Manchester Police. The force has a long-term strategic plan to address the issues raised by the HMIC and I believe this plan should be led by a Chief Constable who can oversee it from start to finish.

Greater Manchester Police placed in ‘special measures’: What does this mean?

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will put Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in what is known as the ‘national oversight process’ as a result of its failures around crime recording and the protection of vulnerable people, it is understood.  

The HMICFRS will closely monitor how England’s second largest force tries to address its failings.

This will involve Greater Manchester Police developing an improvement plan.  

A spokesperson for the HMICFRS said today: ‘The level of scrutiny on Greater Manchester Police has been raised and the force has been placed in the Engage stage of the HMICFRS monitoring process.

‘This is due to the causes of concern raised in HMICFRS’s recent reports which have highlighted the poor service the force provides to many victims of crime.

‘In the Engage stage, a force is required to develop an improvement plan to address the specific causes of concern that have led to it being placed in the advanced phase of the monitoring process.

‘The process is intended to provide support to the force from external organisations including the Home Office, College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council to assist in achieving the required improvements.’ 

‘Considering what is best for GMP and the communities we serve, and given my current ill health, I have decided to stand down from the post of Chief Constable with immediate effect.

‘It has been an honour to serve the public for 32 years, nearly 13 of which as a Chief Officer in GMP. Throughout my career I have been committed to achieving the best outcomes for the people I serve. The decision to stand down is not one I have taken lightly but I feel the time is right.

‘I was due to retire in autumn 2021 and bringing that date forward assists in the timely recruitment of my successor.

‘I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues and the many dedicated officers and staff I have had the privilege of working with throughout my service.’

Mr Burnham confirmed in a statement this afternoon that he had agreed with the chief constable that he will stand down ‘with immediate effect’. 

He said Mr Hopkins had led the force during ‘one of the most difficult periods in its history’ dealing with budget cuts and ‘complex threats’ such as the Manchester Arena terror attack.

He added: ‘In other important areas, however, the organisation has not made the progress needed. It is an important principle of policing in this country that it is operationally independent from political interference.

‘I do not run Greater Manchester Police on a day to day basis. Instead, it is my job to hold the Chief Constable to account, and by extension the force for the services provided to our residents.

‘At times this essential task has been made too difficult by an overly defensive culture within GMP. This needs to change if GMP is to develop the open learning culture that will allow the failures identified by HMIC to be properly addressed.

‘Improvements are now overdue. So both I and the deputy mayor, whilst paying tribute today to Ian’s 12 years of service to Greater Manchester Police have concluded that now is the time for new leadership, and a new era in our police force.’

Mr Burnham said deputy chief constable Ian Pilling will assume the operational duties of chief constable ahead of a full recruitment process.

Asked why it was the chief constable who has stepped down and not him, he said: ‘Because I do not run Greater Manchester Police.

‘The police service is operationally independent from politicians and rightly so. My job is different. I have to hold the police to account for the services they provide to the Greater Manchester public, and I am here today doing my job holding the police service to account.

Andy Burnham 'threw the Greater Manchester police chief under the bus to save his own skin', a source has said, after it emerged that the force is to be placed in 'special measures'

Andy Burnham ‘threw the Greater Manchester police chief under the bus to save his own skin’, a Home Office source has said today

‘The minute we were presented with evidence in the report of continuing failure on support to victims and the recording of crime, myself and the deputy mayor took immediate action.’

He added: ‘It has been a difficult week for Greater Manchester Police. This is a difficult day. I have a regard for Ian too… but at the end of the day, it’s public confidence in Greater Manchester Police that matters.

‘And that comes from taking decisive action to make the police force accountable to the public of Greater Manchester, and that is what I am doing today. I’m doing the job I was elected to do, and I will continue to do that.’

Case study: Domestic abuse victim denied support 

A pregnant victim called to report that an older relative was making threats of violence against her, that he was always fighting her and wanted to attack her.

She confirmed that this happens regularly. The caller was clearly distressed on the telephone and sounded fearful. The pattern of behaviour is repeated and continuous. 

A domestic abuse-related offence of controlling and coercive behaviour should have been recorded as a crime but wasn’t, no investigation was undertaken and appropriate safeguarding opportunities were missed.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will put Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in what is known as the ‘national oversight process’ as a result of its failures around crime recording and the protection of vulnerable people, it is understood. 

But Labour Mayor Mr Burnham retains political control of the force.

Only one other force – Cleveland Police – is believed to have ever been placed in these measures, the highest level of escalation. HMI has consistently warned GMP about its crime recording and protection of vulnerable people for nearly five years.

The move will involve much more hands-on involvement from the inspectorate, the Home Office, College of Policing, National Police Chiefs Council, with the measures to remain in place until GMP can demonstrate sufficient improvement.  

In a joint statement, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Bev Hughes, Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime and Criminal Justice, said the HMICFRS report ‘raised extremely serious issues with implications for the quality of services to victims that have been on-going for a number of years’.

They outlined actions being put in place to improve standards of service, including investing in more police officers and recruiting more staff for GMP’s Central Recording and Resolution Unit.

A dedicated hotline, supported by Victim Support, will be available from Monday for victims who wish to make a complaint or report concerns about their treatment.

It comes after a blistering report last week found the force had significantly deteriorated in its crime recording since 2018 and was now even worse at it than in 2016, when it was rated inadequate.

It warned that GMP’s services to victims were a ‘serious cause for concern’, and highlighted drifting, poorly-planned investigations and safeguarding failures.

The report’s author Zoe Billingham said the force had ‘bucked the trend’ in that its performance had declined since its previous poor inspections rather than improving.

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has been warning GMP about its crime recording and protection of vulnerable people for nearly five years.

After the report was published, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who oversees the force, said he was ‘confident’ that ‘in just a small number of days, significant progress has been made’.

That plan includes a new complaints line for people who do not feel their crime report has been dealt with properly, as well as further recruitment to a new centralised crime recording unit and a ‘gold command structure’ aimed at turning around the situation.

A meeting with the Home Office about the report was ‘constructive’, Mr Burnham’s deputy Beverley Hughes had said.

GMP officers have been failing to record all crimes and accused of failing many victims in the city

GMP officers have been failing to record all crimes and accused of failing many victims in the city

The report revealed a number of damning case studies as examples of where the force had failed.

One of these detailed how a domestic abuse victim was denied support.

It revealed how the pregnant woman called to report that an older relative was making threats of violence against her, that he was always fighting her and wanted to attack her.

She confirmed that this happens regularly. The caller was clearly distressed on the telephone and sounded fearful. The pattern of behaviour is repeated and continuous. 

Case study: Rape investigation not progressed 

A victim reported a rape by an identified suspect, and further disclosed that they had also recently been the victim of a violent domestic assault by a different suspect. 

The victim declined to provide a formal account at that stage as they wanted time to reflect on whether to take any investigation forward. 

The rape was recorded as a crime, however the domestic abuse crime was not.

Following initial disclosure, no investigation plan was put in place for the rape crime and there was no investigative activity for more than four months, even though clear lines of enquiry were apparent. 

No contact was made with the victim after the report, either directly or through agencies (who were in contact with the victim). 

The most recent log entry merely states that contact needed to be made and further enquiries progressed. 

Tasks to review the investigation were sent to a detective inspector (28 days) and a detective chief inspector (90 days). Neither of these tasks were completed.

Although the victim had some reservations about engaging in the investigation at the initial reporting stage, more could and should have been done to support and safeguard them by taking positive action.

A domestic abuse-related offence of controlling and coercive behaviour should have been recorded as a crime but wasn’t, no investigation was undertaken and appropriate safeguarding opportunities were missed.

Similarly, concerns were raised over the way a rape investigation was not progressed by officers.

The report details how a victim reported an attack by an identified suspect, adding that they’d also recently been the victim of a violent domestic assault by a different suspect. 

The victim declined to provide a formal account at that stage as they wanted time to reflect on whether to take any investigation forward. 

The rape was recorded as a crime, but the domestic abuse crime was not.

Following initial disclosure, no investigation plan was put in place for the rape crime and there was no investigative activity for more than four months, even though clear lines of enquiry were apparent. 

No contact was made with the victim after the report, either directly or through agencies (who were in contact with the victim). 

The most recent log entry merely states that contact needed to be made and further enquiries progressed. 

Tasks to review the investigation were sent to a detective inspector (28 days) and a detective chief inspector (90 days), but neither of these were completed. 

Although the victim had some reservations about engaging in the investigation at the initial reporting stage, more could and should have been done to support and safeguard them by taking positive action, investigators found.  

An HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) spokesman said: ‘The level of scrutiny on Greater Manchester Police has been raised and the force has been placed in the Engage stage of the HMICFRS monitoring process.

‘This is due to the causes of concern raised in HMICFRS’s recent reports which have highlighted the poor service the force provides to many victims of crime.

‘In the Engage stage, a force is required to develop an improvement plan to address the specific causes of concern that have led to it being placed in the advanced phase of the monitoring process.

‘The process is intended to provide support to the force from external organisations including the Home Office, College of Policing and the National Police Chiefs Council to assist in achieving the required improvements.’

The move comes amid growing speculation within the Greater Manchester system about the force’s performance, including frustrations among MPs and within town halls. 

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Headline USA

Wayne Rooney’s Eldest Son Signs Manchester United Contract | The State

Kai Rooney, eldest son of Wayne Rooney, signed his first contract with Manchester United. The young man is on a mission to continue his father’s legacy.

It was Wade Rooney himself whouien shared the image of his 11-year-old son Kai when signing the contract to dress in red from the lower categories of the English team, in order to start a new dynasty at Manchester United.

The forward shared on his social networks a photo with his wife Coleen and his son Kai Wayne, while the latter was stamping his signature to join the Red Devils academy in a shirt featuring his father’s legendary ’10’.

“Pride day. Kai is signing for Manchester United. Keep working hard, son, “he wrote the footballer who scored more than 250 goals for the Red Devils.

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Sports UK

Player ratings from Manchester United’s win at Sheffield United

Manchester United moved into the Premier League’s top six with a 3-2 win at basement boys Sheffield United.

Marcus Rashford struck twice for the Red Devils as they once again came from behind on the road to claim all three points.

Dean Henderson, preferred to David de Gea in goal, endured a nightmare start on his return to Bramall Lane where he excelled on loan.

His error was pounced upon by David McGoldrick in the opening minutes to put the Blades into a surprise lead.

But Rashford levelled with a lethal strike from the edge of the area but Anthony Martial put United in front.

Rashford made it 3-1 after the break, finishing a slick passing move to make the game safe.

McGoldrick headed his second in the closing stages from a corner but United held on for the win.

Here are the player ratings from the Steel City…

Rashford struck twice for United

Sheffield United

Ramsdale 5

Made one save from Rashford, but could have done better for the goals.

Basham 6

Moved from centre-half into midfield and showed some nice touches.

Egan 6

Tried to keep the Reds out and made a goal-saving clearance from Martial.

Robinson 5

Played on the left of the Blades’ three-man defence and his passing was off.

Baldock 5

Had a very difficult night trying to stop Rashford and could not contain him.

Berge 6

Pulled up with a hamstring injury and limped off after seven minutes.

Ampadu 5

Deployed in the midfield holding role and found it hard against Matic and Pogba.

x

Fleck 5

Missed a great chance to make it 2-0 when he shot wide of the post.

Stevens 6

Tried to attack and be an option on the left, but had to defend mostly.

McGoldrick 8

Scored twice and was a nuisance with his non-stop pressing.

Burke 7

Showed great determination to close down Henderson and create the opener.

Subs: Jagielka (Berge 12, 5), Mousset (Jagielka 63 5).

Martial scored United’s second goal

Manchester United are looking to plot their path back to the top.

And you can keep track of their journey by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.

But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.

The question now is whether they can find the right balance?

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Manchester United

Henderson 5

Made a rare error against his old club to gift McGoldrick his early opener.

Wan-Bissaka 6

Did what little he had to do well and was tidy in possession.

Lindelof 8

Rare assist for Rashford’s first goal with his long pass and was assured.

Maguire 7

Solid aerial performance from the United captain against his boyhood club.

Telles 6

Was able to attack almost at will down the left with so little defending to do.

Matic 6

Anchored the midfield in front of the back four and was a calming presence.

Pogba 7

Fine display despite the fresh uncertainty over his future and had a hand in two goals.

Fernandes 6

Quiet by his lofty standards, but was still involved in the flowing move for the third goal.

Rashford 9

MOTM. Dazzling display and the Blades just could not contain him as he scored twice.

Martial 7

Scored his first goal in 10 league games and was a menace with his movement.

Greenwood 6

Looked lively in support of Rashford and Martial up top even if he did not score.

Subs: Mata (Greenwood 73 6), Van de Beek (Fernandes 79 6), McTominay (Martial 89).

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Sports UK

Keane aims brutal “stuck with you” dig at Neville after Manchester Derby

Former Manchester United teammates Roy Keane and Gary Neville once again locked horns following the Red Devils’ dire 0-0 draw with rivals Manchester City.

The two sides cancelled each other out in a highly disappointing encounter at Old Trafford on Saturday in a result which does little for both side’s title aspirations.

During the post-match analysis on Sky Sports Keane was discussing how much Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should rotate his United team in the coming weeks over the busy festive period.

And while reminiscing about his playing days he couldn’t resist a cheeky dig at Neville.

“I always say, when you’re at a big club, the players pick the team,” he said.

Roy Keane couldn’t resist a sly dig at Gary Neville

“You train (well) all week and the manager may say ‘well, I have to play him’. That was my mindset when I was playing for the club.

“Squad rotation is all good but don’t be rotating me. I’ve got to be playing in the team because hopefully I can bring something to it.”

Keane then motioned towards Neville, saying: “Chop and change some other lads, Gary and one or two others, but leave me to it.”

Neville responded: “I was a stalwart at right-back, I’ll have you know,” to which Keane replied: “You were the only right-back at the club. We were stuck with you!”

Fellow pundit Micah Richards found the exchange highly amusing, and burst out laughing at Keane’s brutal put-down.

Keane has developed something of a reputation for his no-nonsense punditry style, and he was left fuming as United and City players embraced each other following the full time whistle.

Keane appeared to suggest he was a somewhat more important player to Manchester United than Neville was

“At the end of the game the staff and players are hugging, smiling, chatting with each other,” he said.

“Just get down the tunnel, I don’t get it! Everyone wants to be pals with each other, and be popular!

“You’re playing for these clubs, particularly Man Utd, to win football matches! Not to be mates with everybody!”

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Man Utd predicted XI for Manchester derby as forward absent from squad

Manchester United face another huge game when they take on rivals City in Saturday’s Manchester derby.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has decisions to make over the likes of David de Gea and Paul Pogba, while he also has injury worries up front as his side bid to make it five straight wins in the Premier League.

And the game has taken on even more importance after the Red Devils crashed out of the Champions League thanks to their midweek defeat to RB Leipzig.

United go into Saturday’s Old Trafford clash in seventh place in the Premier League – one place and one point above Pep Guardiola’s side.

A win for either side would put them in the top four, at least until Sunday, while both Manchester teams have a game in hand over the teams above them.

David de Gea’s place is under threat following his mistake against RB Leipzig

United boss Solskjaer must decide whether to keep faith with De Gea following his mistake against Leipzig, when he appeared to turn away as Justin Kluivert fired home the Bundesliga side’s third goal.

De Gea’s regular starting place is under increasing threat from Dean Henderson, but the manager is likely to stick with his first-choice keeper for the visit of City.

In front of De Gea will be first-choice centre-back pairing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, and regular right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Luke Shaw is likely to play at left-back in place of Alex Telles, with the England man offering more defensive resistance against the pace and skill of Riyad Mahrez.

Paul Pogba looks set to have to settle for a place on the bench again

Solskjaer spoke before Saturday’s game of how Pogba was focused on contributing for United, despite his agent Mino Raiola this week saying the midfielder was desperate to leave Old Trafford.

Nevertheless, Pogba is again set to start on the bench, with the manager likely to bring Fred back following his European suspension alongside Scott McTominay in the engine room to combat the threat of Kevin de Bruyne.

Edinson Cavani is struggling with an injury ahead of Saturday’s game and did not arrive at the team hotel on Friday, according to the Manchester Evening News. But Anthony Martial is available again and looks set to return to the attack.

Solskjaer rested Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford for the first half of last week’s win at West Ham, but he won’t make the same mistake again after they were instrumental in United’s second-half comeback from a goal down.

Fernandes and Rashford changed the game at West Ham and will start against City

How United could line up against City at Old Trafford

Fernandes will resume his usual attacking midfield role, with Rashford and Mason Greenwood on either flank in support of Martial.

United have lost three Premier League games at Old Trafford this season, and will want to avoid dropping any more points at the Theatre of Dreams as they look to close to within two points of leading pair Tottenham and Liverpool.

City will have Sergio Aguero on the bench after he continues his return from injury by coming on to score against Marseille in midweek.

Centre-back Eric Garcia is injured, while Ilkay Gundogan will be assessed ahead of the game.

Man Utd predicted XI vs Man City (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial .

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