Your Monday Briefing is here to provide a punchy summary of the weekend’s news, views and events involving Manchester United…
1: DEFEAT AT STAMFORD BRIDGE
United’s Stamford Bridge frustrations continued on Sunday after Alvaro Morata’s second-half header sealed a 1-0 victory for Chelsea in the Premier League. The Blues’ frontman struck a killer blow on 55 minutes as he rose unmarked to head home following a solid period of pressure from the hosts. The Reds tried to hit back and almost equalised, firstly when Marcus Rashford shot wide and later through Marouane Fellaini.
2: FELLI IS BACK
That is the main positive to stem from west London, after the Belgium international made his welcomed return from injury as a second-half substitute. Jose Mourinho praised him afterwards, saying: “I have to say that Fellaini was fantastic for me, his fellow players, for the fans, for the team, for the club. He was injured for weeks, he trained yesterday for the first time with the team and he put himself on the line.”
3: ROJO ALSO TRAVELLED
Marcos was pictured with the squad that journeyed south to Chelsea, sparking rumours that the Argentina international was also about to return from injury. He only watched the game from the stand but, based on the manager’s recent estimations, our no.5 could make his comeback after the international break.
4: EIGHT POINTS
That is now the gap between United and leaders Manchester City after Sunday’s results: Pep Guardiola’s Blues enhanced their lead at the top thanks to their 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium.
5: WILSON INSPIRED THE UNDER-23S
Two goals from James Wilson – including a penalty – helped Ricky Sbragia’s side launch the Premier League International Cup campaign with a 2-1 win over Swansea City at Leigh Sports Village on Saturday.
6: DEFEAT FOR THE UNDER-18S
On Sunday, Kieran McKenna’s Under-18s were beaten for the first time since the opening day of the season when Stoke City snatched a 1-0 win at Clayton Wood, thanks to Kristoffer Szereto’s goal.
7: CLASS OF ’92 REUNITED
Club legends David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers, Gary and Phil, all returned to Old Trafford on Friday night to launch the new adidas range, Ninety-Two. It was the first time they’ve been back at the stadium as a group since 2011 and our Facebook Live Q&A from the Megastore, hosted by Rachel Riley, was watched by well over half a million fans.
Gary spoke passionately about the role of the youth system within the club: “It’s important that United continue to tell the story of youth and particularly during a time when it’s more difficult for young players to break into the first team. I don’t think we should let the candle burn out because ultimately you need to keep reminding people of the importance of producing young players.”
8: TWO FIXTURES CHANGED
It was announced on Friday night that two of United’s January fixtures have been moved to accommodate live television coverage in the UK. The Reds will begin 2018 with an early evening clash at Everton on New Year’s Day, while the home game against Stoke City is due to be played on Monday 15 January, providing neither club is involved in an Emirates FA Cup third-round replay.
Credit: Man Utd news