Mason Greenwood is the youngest player to score twice in the same game in Europe for Manchester United, aged 18 years and 72 daysMason Greenwood scored twice as Manchester United got four in 11 minutes to defeat AZ Alkmaar and secure a seeding for the Europa League knockout phase.After a mundane first half, the game burst into life in the 53rd minute when Ashley Young drove home Juan Mata’s cross for his first goal since February.Greenwood stole the headlines though, firing home from the edge of the box before producing a fine left-footed finish to end the scoring frenzy. It was the first time the 18-year-old had scored two in a first-team game and took his overall tally for the season to six. He is now United’s leading scorer in Europe this season and only Marcus Rashford has scored more in all competitions.In between the striker’s double, Mata converted a penalty for the Spain midfielder’s first goal of the season.The victory was United’s biggest in Europe since 2016 when they beat another Dutch side, Feyenoord, by the same score and means they will avoid Benfica, Ajax and Inter Milan in Monday’s last-32 draw.’A killer in the box’ – how good can Greenwood be?Thursday’s Europa League reactionAll changeThe victory was United’s third in a row in all competitions, coming after impressive triumphs against Tottenham and Manchester City.It is only the third time United have done that since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer began his spell as United manager with eight successive wins after he replaced Jose Mourinho on 19 December last year.The opening period lacked a competitive edge but Solskjaer will be delighted at the way it turned out, particularly as, from the team that started against Manchester City, only Harry Maguire and Martial kept their places.This is crucial as, with a Carabao Cup quarter-final against Colchester in which they are overwhelming favourites, Solskjaer’s side were starting what could turn out to be 19 games in 77 days, which will end with the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.The volume of fixtures is one of the reasons why it is still felt United need to make signings when the transfer window opens next month.Greenwood shines, Chong does notWhen they entertain Everton on Sunday, United will reach an astonishing 4,000 consecutive games where a player they have been responsible for developing has been part of their matchday squad.It is a staggering statistic, one that dates back to October 1937 and a game against Fulham at Craven Cottage.Two of their modern-day products are Tahith Chong and Greenwood, who shared the memorable experience of being introduced as late substitutes in the memorable Champions League victory at Paris St-Germain in March.Greenwood has bounded along since then. Against Alkmaar he made his seventh start in 18 overall appearances that have now yielded six goals. He is an automatic member of Solskjaer’s matchday squad and in October signed a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023.By contrast, Chong has stalled. A Netherlands Under-21 player, He came on as a substitute here, his sixth appearance of the season – and only his second since 6 October. The midfielder’s contract runs out at the end of the season and an extension offer remains unsigned amid rumours of excessive demands that United officials do not feel justify his performances. At 20, Chong is nearly two years older than Greenwood and the suspicion is growing that an impactful United career might prove beyond him. He tried hard enough on Thursday but the quality showed by Greenwood was missing.Man of the match – Mason Greenwood (Manchester United)
Greenwood was one of seven academy graduates to finish the game for Manchester United’Greenwood is different class as a finisher’ – what they saidManchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told BT Sport:”I told them to be more us [at half-time], be more Man United. I know it’s difficult for players when you change but in the second half we just found a rhythm, made more passes forward, more runs forward, were pressing and got our goals.”On Mason Greenwood:”He’s different class as a finisher, if there’s anything around the box you expect him to get a shot off and on target, he’s good at creating space for himself and right foot, left foot it doesn’t matter. I’m very pleased with his performance.”He’s a different type to Wazza [Wayne Rooney] and the good thing about Mason is he is just going to look forward to Sunday. It’s natural for him to score goals, it doesn’t matter what level it is.”Dutch delight for United – the statsManchester United have won seven of their nine previous home games against Dutch sides in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in the last three.Juan Mata has been directly involved in three goals (one goal, two assists) in a single European match for the first time since March 2013, scoring once and assisting twice for Chelsea against Steaua Bucharest.Ashley Young has scored his first European goal for Manchester United since February 2012 when netting against Ajax.Only Marcus Rashford (13) has scored more goals than Mason Greenwood (six) in all competitions for Manchester United this season.Greenwood is the youngest player to score a double in major European competition for Manchester United, aged 18 years and 72 days.What’s next?Manchester United return to action in the Premier League on Sunday (14:00 GMT) when they welcome Everton to Old Trafford.
Who is Valencia’s exciting English teenager Musah?
Yunus Musah is eligible to represent England, Ghana, Italy and the United StatesThe departure of several key stars has made for a tough summer for Valencia – but one talented English teenager is offering room for optimism at the Mestalla Stadium.Former Arsenal academy star Yunus Musah became the first English player to represent the Spanish…
Yunus Musah is eligible to represent England, Ghana, Italy and the United StatesThe departure of several key stars has made for a tough summer for Valencia – but one talented English teenager is offering room for optimism at the Mestalla Stadium.Former Arsenal academy star Yunus Musah became the first English player to represent the Spanish side when he started their opening 4-2 La Liga win over Levante on 13 September.And at 17 years 289 days, it also made England youth international Musah the club’s youngest foreign player, as well as putting him in the top 10 youngest overall.Musah made his second successive start in a 2-1 defeat by Celta Vigo on Saturday, meaning he has played 171 of Valencia’s 180 league minutes so far as he seeks to consolidate a place in the first team following the club’s turbulent pre-season.Valencia supporters protested against owner Peter Lim before the Levante game, after former Watford boss Javi Gracia became the club’s eighth different manager since 2014 and key players Ferran Torres, Rodrigo, Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin all departed.However, their side twice came from behind in the 4-2 derby victory, with Musah’s impressive debut further helping to lift the mood.”I was very happy. I couldn’t stop smiling and I called my parents afterwards,” Musah told the club’s website post-match.”I spoke with them to thank them and I want to thank everybody who has helped me to have this moment.”So, just how did he get here?Yunus Musah spent seven years at Arsenal, winning the U18 Premier League South in 2019Musah has captained England from under-15 to under-18 level, despite also being eligible to represent Ghana, Italy and the United States.Of Ghanaian descent, he was born in the American city New York while his mother was on holiday there in November 2002 and then lived in Italy until the age of nine.He began his youth career in Italy, with local side Giorgione, before joining Arsenal’s academy after moving to London in 2012.Musah spent seven years with the Gunners and played a key role in their under-18s’ Premier League South triumph in 2018-2019, scoring four goals and making three assists in 15 appearances that campaign, before his Valencia move.The versatile midfielder has featured centrally and on the wing for both club and country, and has already established a reputation for his slick passing, creativity and pace.The question now is: just how good could he be?”The merit for what players do, like Yunus, should go to the player. There is the makings of a player there, and despite his age he showed great maturity to endure the level of demand that was there,” Gracia saidexternal-link following Musah’s debut against Levante.”That should be valued and we should take care of him, so that in the future he contributes many more things to Valencia.”Having already demonstrated his exciting potential in Valencia’s opening games of 2020-21, Musah’s present challenge is to cement his place as a regular starter – and perhaps get his first goal.He came closest when he struck the woodwork against Levante, and his end product is something the player himself identifies as an area for immediate improvement.”I want to score more goals and be more consistent with my passes,” he said. “Sometimes in the game I can do so many good passes and one bad one. I want to correct that.”Musah has described himself as “a passer and also physical”, adding: “I can run past players because I’m a bit bigger than some of them. I’m really good at passing and I can create a lot of chances.”Valencia – and England – will be hoping he can continue to flourish during his time at the Mestalla, where he is contracted until 2022.Stacey Dooley Revisits: Where are they now?Mercury Prize: 12 essential albums from former winners and nominees
‘He raised me like you’ – Mourinho moved by request for photo to honour journalist’s father
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho agrees to take a photo with a Macedonian journalist to put at his late father’s resting place.Read more: ‘It’s important for Alli to perform’ – Mourinho
Nike to make Australia away football kit in female sizes ‘by 2021’
Publishedduration1 hour agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAustralia is set to co-host the Women’s World Cup in 2023Australia’s football authority has announced that replicas of the national team’s away shirt will be available in women’s sizes, after a fan backlash.New kits for the women’s and men’s football teams, created by Nike, were unveiled last week.Football Federation Australia…
Publishedduration1 hour agoimage copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAustralia is set to co-host the Women’s World Cup in 2023Australia’s football authority has announced that replicas of the national team’s away shirt will be available in women’s sizes, after a fan backlash.New kits for the women’s and men’s football teams, created by Nike, were unveiled last week.Football Federation Australia (FFA) said on Wednesday the kits would now be ready for supporters “in early 2021.”In a statement, the FFA said the initial unavailability “was not consistent with the values in which FFA seeks to uphold and promote”.The football body added that it would ensure “future processes are aligned with the organisation’s broader vision and mission for the sport”.Manufacturer Nike also confirmed the news. It said it was “committed to women’s football and serving our female athletes and consumers”.Last week’s news prompted outcry from fans and players. Australian national player Elise Kellond-Knight wrote on Twitter the lack of women’s sizes was “a fairly significant problem”.But the latest announcement has been welcomed by prominent figures in Australian football, including Moya Dodd, a former vice-captain of the national team.Australia’s women’s football team, known as The Matildas, are currently ranked seventh in the world. In 2019 the Matildas struck a historic deal with the FFA which means the top male and female players are on the same pay scale. However the men are likely to keep earning more due to the greater prize money on offer at their matches. They also now receive identical training conditions and other entitlements, such as business air travel, which had previously only been afforded to the lower-ranked men’s team.Australia and New Zealand are co-hosting the next Women’s World Cup tournament in 2023.