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Paul Pogba: A career destined for the stars that could end as one of the greatest what-if stories in football

Paul Pogba might never play a competitive football game again. The four-year ban for doping, unless he successfully revokes it – an unlikely outcome – would spell doom for a career that could be slotted straightaway into the textbook of cautionary lessons. It’s tragic that a career seemingly destined for the stratosphere could wither away in anonymity, even more tragic when the tragedy is largely self-scripted. The French midfielder’s career had all the narrative arcs to weave a rags-to riches-and-glory story. The deprived upbringing in a rough quarter of Paris for immigrants; the jaw-dropping skills that crammed Le Havre Academy with scouts; exit and return to Manchester United for a then-record British transfer fee; a World Cup winner at 25, with the author of a stunning goal in the f...
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Cristiano Ronaldo in trouble for obscene gesture in response to Messi chants

Al Nassr and Cristiano Ronaldo had a near perfect night out on Sunday. The club beat Al Shabab 3-2 to maintain a one-arm distance with Saudi Pro League table toppers Al Hilal, and its captain scored from the spot to lead from the front. The goal marked a 34th for the Portuguese in the ongoing season. A gesture from the winning captain after the game ended however, may have led to the jovial mood being subdued. Leading his teammates after an away win, Ronaldo responded to the home fans chanting the name of his arch nemesis Lionel Messi by directing an obscene gesture at them which is currently being investigated by Saudi football federation’s Disciplinary and Ethics Committee. Here’s a video of the said incident: pic.twitter.com/WKj2jIrTk4 — @TrollFootball Videos (@TF_Video) February 25...
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I want to feel pressure of managing a club again, says Solskjaer | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Close to two years since departing from Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hasn't allowed the aspiration of managing another prestigious club to diminish. He acknowledged missing the pressure-filled realm of a top-flight football manager.Solskjaer departed from Old Trafford in November 2022 following the club's significant defeats against arch-rivals Liverpool, neighbors Manchester City and Watford."I've got at least one club job in me. It has to be an interesting one, somewhere, an adventure, somewhere, I can be myself. No disrespect, but after you've managed Manchester United for three years, it's like, where do you go?"Yeah, of course, I want to feel that pressure again. You know, when you see the games, you miss it," Solskjaer told a select media gathering in Bengalu...
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Explained: Why it was a dry January transfer window in the Premier League as spending fell by nearly 90%

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was distraught at not being able to sign a striker in the January transfer window this year. “I wanted a striker, and because of the injury to (Anthony) Martial, we don’t really have the back-up. It was not possible because we have to meet the FFP rules,” he said.It’s been a while since the Premier League managers have had to worry about Financial Fair Play rules as witnessed by their spending in the last three record-breaking winter windows. Even last year, the EPL clubs had spent £815m. This year, it has seen a mighty fall with the 20 top-flight clubs spending just £100m, which is £715m less than last year according to a report by Deloitte, with Tottenham’s signing of Radu Dragusin from Genoa for £25m the highest spent this time around. So, was t...
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Late drama at Molineux as Kobbie Mainoo secures Manchester United’s thrilling win over Wolves | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Manchester United emerged victorious in a dramatic 4-3 win against Wolves in a roller coaster of a match at Molineux, with Kobbie Mainoo stealing the spotlight with a 97th-minute winner. The game saw United initially take a 2-0 lead, only to be pegged back by Wolves, who fought their way back into contention with late goals.Marcus Rashford, making a goalscoring return after being fined for a night out that led to him missing training, opened the scoring with a fine finish from outside the box.Rasmus Hojlund extended United's lead with his third goal in four Premier League games before halftime.Scott McTominay increased United's advantage after Pablo Sarabia's penalty narrowed the gap for Wolves. However, a late surge from the home side saw Max Kilman and Pedro Neto score late...
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IND vs ENG: England to take Manchester United chef for 5-match Test series against India

England will tour India for a five-match Test series starting this month. With the rise in popularity of Bazball, it promises to be a mouth-watering clash. As part of their off-field plans for the tour, the visitors reportedly will take Manchester United chef Omar Meziane, who in the past traveled with the team to Pakistan in December 2022 when Ben Stokes’ side whitewashed the Men in Green. “England will take their own chef on tour to India later this month to try and avoid players falling ill during the seven-week trip. The chef will join the squad in Hyderabad before the first Test on January 25 in an attempt to keep on top of the players’ nutrition,” The Telegraph quoted. England will start their series in Hyderabad, followed by games in Vishakhapatnam, Rajkot, and Ranchi, and play t...
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Manchester United hold Liverpool to 0-0 draw as Arsenal top Premier League | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Manchester United disrupted Liverpool's perfect record with a hard-fought 0-0 draw in a closely contested match at Anfield. Despite Liverpool's dominance, holding nearly 70 percent possession and attempting 34 shots compared to United's six, the visitors stood resilient, denying the title chasers a victory. United frustrate LiverpoolLiverpool now sit second in the table, one point behind Arsenal, who secured a 2-0 win against Brighton earlier in the day.Jurgen Klopp's side, boasting an impressive 11 wins from 11 home games this season, faced a determined Manchester United. Crucial saves by keepersUnited's goalkeeper Andre Onana made crucial saves, including stopping a close-range header from Virgil van Dijk.United's Rasmus Hojlund had a chance to snatch the win, but his shot ...
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The Liverpool game might be Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag’s last chance

Manchester United are a club in free fall at the moment having lost 12 out of 24 matches in all competitions and crashing out of the Champions League after finishing bottom of their group which also ensured they were not even good enough to compete in the Europa League.The pressure on manager Erik Ten Hag has been mounting for a while now and this weekend’s game against rivals Liverpool might be the final nail in the coffin. In 2018, this was the same fixture that had cost Jose Mourinho his job even though he had won the Europa and the Carabao Cup with the team in the previous season while also finishing second in the league. In comparison, ten Hag has won just a Carabao Cup. A leaky defence After the recent 0-1 defeat to a Bayern Munich side which looked to be playing at half speed, wh...
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Manchester United suffer 0-3 humiliation at home against Bournemouth | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Manchester United faced a humiliating 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday, intensifying the pressure on manager Erik Ten Hag.In a dismal performance, United struggled to match the form shown by in-form Bournemouth, who took a deserved lead in the first half with Dominic Solanke's close-range goal after five minutes.Despite the hosts attempting to mount a comeback in the second half, Bournemouth sealed their victory with two goals in a five-minute span. Philip Billing and Marcos Senesi both scored with powerful headers as United's defence faltered.The defeat adds to the inconsistent form of Manchester United, who had previously secured an impressive midweek victory over Chelsea. Bournemouth, on the other hand, has now won four of th...
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Why Erik Ten Hag went for Andre Onana by discarding David De Gea

Carles Busquets, father of Sergio, spent most of his Barcelona days as an understudy to the imposing Andoni Zubizarreta. But one day, in 1993, Johan Cruyff, the visionary-manager, would put Busquets in the team-sheet ahead of Zubizarreta. To the shocked assistants, the Dutchman would patiently explain: “Andoni is an exceptional goalkeeper, but not good with his feet, Carles might not be as good as him with his hands, but with the feet he clearly is. And that’s the future of goalkeeping.” Busquets, who spent his early days at the La Masia academy dreaming to be a striker, would use his feet so much that he was mocked as the “goalkeeper without hands.” But Cruyff, a deep thinker of the game, was envisioning the future, how the role of the goalkeeper would evolve after the back-pass rule w...
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Premier League: Newcastle stun Manchester United, Arsenal extend lead at the top | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Newcastle United handed Manchester United their sixth Premier League defeat of the season, securing a 1-0 victory at St James' Park. Anthony Gordon netted the decisive goal, elevating Newcastle to fifth in the table and within two points of the top four. In contrast, Manchester United languished in seventh, yet to conquer any top-nine team in the Premier League this season.Despite missing 11 first-team players due to injury or suspension, Newcastle impressed, deserving a more significant margin of victory.Kieran Trippier's free-kick rattled the bar, and Alexander Isak's attempt narrowly missed, setting the stage for Gordon to break the deadlock 10 minutes into the second half.Newcastle's under-strength squad, under the guidance of manager Eddie Howe, showcased resilience, hav...
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Manchester United slip closer to Champions League exit, Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven enter last 16 | Football News – Times of India

Manchester United are on the brink of elimination from the Champions League group stage after relinquishing a two-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Galatasaray in Istanbul on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Arsenal and PSV Eindhoven secured spots in the last 16.United, three-time European champions, needed a victory against Galatasaray in Turkey to control their destiny for qualification, especially after losing to the same opponents at Old Trafford the previous month.Erik ten Hag's team initially seemed in command, with Alejandro Garnacho scoring early, followed by a remarkable strike from Bruno Fernandes in the 18th minute. Despite Hakim Ziyech pulling one back with a free-kick, Scott McTominay restored United's two-goal lead early in the second half.However, Galatasaray gained renewed hope as another...
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Cristiano Ronaldo tells referee to overturn penalty he won in AFC Champions League – Times of India

NEW DELHI: In a captivating AFC Champions League encounter between Al Nassr and Persepolis, Cristiano Ronaldo took centre stage, influencing a pivotal moment that saw the referee reverse a penalty decision in the Saudi Pro League side's 0-0 draw with the Iranian outfit.The 38-year-old football icon, formerly of Manchester Unitedand Real Madrid, found himself at the centre of controversy when Chinese referee Ma Ning initially awarded a penalty after Ronaldo appeared to be brought down by Persepolis' Soroush Rafiei.Displaying his trademark determination, Ronaldo vehemently contested the decision, wagging his finger and shaking his head.The persuasive influence of Ronaldo prompted the referee to consult VAR, leading to a surprising reversal of the penalty decision after reviewing the incid...
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Premier League: Manchester United cruise to 3-0 victory over struggling Everton – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Manchester United delivered a commanding performance on Sunday, securing a 3-0 win over Everton at Goodison Park. Alejandro Garnacho stole the show with a spectacular overhead kick in the third minute, setting the tone for a dominant display by the visitors.The 19-year-old Argentine leapt acrobatically to connect with Diogo Dalot's cross, beating goalkeeper Jordan Pickford with precision.Garnacho's goal drew comparisons toWayne Rooney's iconic strike in the 2011 Manchester derby."Superb - something amazing, and I have no words to describe it. It is out of this world. Special from a special kid," praised United captain Bruno Fernandes.Marcus Rashford doubled United's lead in the 56th minute, converting a penalty awarded after VAR ruled Anthony Martial was tripped by Ashley You...
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Watch: Alejandro Garnacho scores one of the greatest goals in the Premier League

Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho scored what can be termed as one of the best goals in the history of the Premier League as the Red Devils rode out 3-0 victorious over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday. The Argentina winger scored an overhead goal to bring back memories of United legends like Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo. Rooney had famously nailed an overhead kick against Manchester City in 2011 to help the side to a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford. The match was happening with Everton fans up in arms over sanctions handed to the club for financial mismanagement. The club’s supporters were livid at the 10-point deduction slapped on them by a disciplinary commission last week. The Associated Press reported that many Everton supporters were holding up pink cards featuring the...
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Erik Ten Hag and his rocky year at Manchester United

“An era can come to an end,” Erik Ten Hag had said over a year ago about Man City and Liverpool’s duopoly when he was passed the mantle of Manchester United coach. On Wednesday night, as his United players stood broken and battered at the end of a 0-3 drubbing to Newcastle United which eliminated them from the League Cup, he must have realised that this particular ‘era’ at Old Trafford is a long way from being over. Last year, after the 10th matchday, United were 7th with five wins, two draws and three losses. This year, they are 8th, having already lost five matches. So what has changed in this one year for the club? If you believe the murmurs around, United have only regressed as a team with no signs of improvement forthcoming. Damning stats like Erling Haaland having scored 11 times ...
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ICC World Cup: The inspiration behind Jasprit Bumrah’s new ‘temple point’ celebration is… | Cricket News – Times of India

India's bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah continues to leave an impact in the ongoing ICC World Cup, with his latest exploits triggering a Pakistan collapse and giving India a famous win over their traditional rivals in Ahmedabad on Saturday. But what also caught the attention of his fans and viewers worldwide is his new 'temple point' celebration.A key contributor in India's 3/3 wins so far in the round-robin phase of this ODI World Cup on home soil, Bumrah, who made a strong comeback after a prolonged injury hiatus, has taken eight wickets and shares the top spot in the list of wicket-takers with New Zealanders Mitchell Santner and Matt Henry.Bumrah began the tournament by taking six wickets against Australia and Afghanistan. The first time he was seen doing the 'temple point' celebrat...
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World Cup, India vs Afghanistan: How ‘smart’ Jasprit Bumrah makes back-up seamers’ job easier | Cricket News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Jasprit Bumrah emulated Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford's 'temple-point' celebration after dismissing Ibrahim Zadran. While Rashford's celebration is supposed to be a statement on mental health, Bumrah's was suggestive of the way he outsmarts batters.For most part of his career, Bumrah's unorthodox action and natural ability with the ball have dominated discussions.The cerebral aspect of his bowling is often ignored. All of his four wickets in his spell of 4/39 on Wednesday were well set up.World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma's record-breaking century leads India to 8-wicket win against AfghanistanBumrah makes the job easier for the rest of the bowling lineup in the middle overs. He covers up for more than one bowler having an off day. Wednesday was an off day for Mohammed...
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Fans go berserk as Scott McTominay scores twice in injury time to earn Manchester United 2-1 win vs Brentford | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Scott McTominay emerged as the hero for Manchester United, netting two crucial late goals to rescue his team from what could have been another humiliating defeat.The match against the visiting team took an unexpected turn when Mathias Jensen secured the lead for them during the first half. Manchester United's makeshift defence appeared vulnerable against the opposition's offensive prowess. Goalkeeper Andre Onana had an opportunity to make a better save but only managed to get a feeble hand on the ball. At halftime, Casemiro was substituted for Christian Eriksen in an attempt to bolster United's efforts, but the team continued to struggle to regain control of the game.Scott McTominay thought he had finally secured a late equalizer for United, but the goal was ultimately ruled ...
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Premier League: Bruno Fernandes’ stunning strike lifts Manchester United in 1-0 win over Burnley | Football News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Manchester United found relief in a crucial 1-0 victory against Burnley on Saturday, ending a three-game losing streak and alleviating the early-season crisis that had enveloped the club. The match's defining moment came courtesy of United's captain, Bruno Fernandes, whose stunning strike just before half-time secured the much-needed win.Fernandes showcased his match-winning quality when he expertly volleyed the ball into the net after receiving a pinpoint long pass from Jonny Evans. The goal marked a return to form for the Portuguese midfielder and breathed new life into Manchester United's campaign.The victory propelled the Red Devils to eighth place in the Premier League table, offering some respite for manager Erik ten Hag, who had faced mounting pressure in recent weeks....