Bradford City

Bradford City slideshow

Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Jordan Pickford: If I need to step up, I'll take a penalty for England at the World Cup
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Jordan Pickford: If I need to step up, I'll take a penalty for England at the World Cup
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Jordan Pickford: If I need to step up, I'll take a penalty for England at the World Cup
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
Jordan Pickford: If I need to step up, I'll take a penalty for England at the World Cup
Just 1.2 seconds. That is the difference, Jordan Pickford reveals, that shows how England take their penalties quicker, that they hurry them in fact, than other nations during shoot-outs; shoot-outs that they have lost six times in their last seven attempts in European Championships and World Cups. This week England have been practising at St George’s Park, as part of their World Cup preparations, with part of that practice being to replicate the solitary walk from the half-way line to the penalty spot and, crucially, to slow it down after detailed analysis from the Football Association showed that no other country takes their penalties quicker. “It's 1.2 seconds or something,” Pickford says of the slender but crucial time difference adding that it was also part of the preparations for last summer’s Under-21s European Championships when, yes, England lost again on penalties. “I'd say we're doing a lot of work on that at the moment,” the 24-year-old says. “Behind the scenes we're doing a lot of work to get preparation for how we'd want to go about it. But it's pot luck sometimes, isn't it?” It may be pot luck but Gareth Southgate is not leaving anything to chance - not least because the FA report details practising as much as possible, and players taking their time as they approach the spot, as key factors for winning a shoot-out. Pickford would be happy to step up and take a penalty for England in a World Cup shootout Credit: PA Southgate is also aware of the need not to make shoot-outs an obsession and in Pickford he has a confident character, a goalkeeper who is able to “mentally block out mistakes” and who is not only hoping to stop spot-kicks – if it comes to that – but take one also. “If I need to step up, I’ll take one,” Pickford says. “I’ve got no issue with that. I’ve never taken one in a shoot-out but I’m always practising in training. I remember the Under-17s World Cup, I was down as third to take one. But the manager John Peacock changed it so I dropped to seventh. And the lad who took the third penalty smashed it over the bar!” With Pickford vying with Jack Butland and Nick Pope to be England’s number one in Russia that confidence with the ball at his feet is expected to be a crucial factor in the Everton goalkeeper being selected. “I think I've always been good at it,” Pickford says. “I always practised, even when I was younger. Just passing balls with my mates. It's coming into the game a lot now, playing out from the back.” World Cup 2018 | All you need to know Pickford adds, laughing, that he sees himself as a “holding midfielder, little quarter-back role” if he ever had to play outfield. “It's definitely a thing you need to do as a goalkeeper now,” he says of that ability. “And something I'm very capable of doing.” Even so England go to the World Cup with three goalkeepers who have just nine caps – and just two for Pickford (both clean sheets) - between them after Southgate took the decision to leave out Joe Hart, who has made 75 appearances but has struggled for two seasons now. Is the lack of experience for England’s trio a concern? “You have got to thrive on it, really,” Pickford claims. “Nine caps but look at our experience in the Premier League. I have played 38 games this season and numerous (games) in cups and Europa League. That is where you get your experience from.” Pickford has leapt ahead of Joe Hart in the England pecking order Credit: CAMERASPORT For Pickford, like Butland, Hart was a hero for him growing up. “He's a legend in the game for us,” Pickford says. “And he's been the top keeper in England for eight years. It's a bit different not seeing him here.” Of Hart’s career, Pickford adds: “The pathway, from Shrewsbury and getting his move then going out on loan. That's the pathway I wanted to take to getting where I am now. I think it's the right pathway, not just playing reserve team football. You've got to go and learn your trade.” Which is what Pickford did – with loan spells at Darlington, Alfreton Town, Burton Albion, Carlisle United, Bradford City and Preston during his time at Sunderland before earning his £30million move to Everton last summer where it has been a difficult, turbulent campaign. “Being at Sunderland, I was used to a change in manager!” Pickford says with first Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce sacked at Everton. “It was a hard one because the Europa League is very tough and there were a lot of new signings. It either goes one way or the other. You either start off flying or it takes a bit of time to bed in. And it took a bit of time to bed in with the new signings. Butland is vying with Pickford for England's no.1 spot at the World Cup Credit: ACTION IMAGES “I felt like I just cracked on straight away, I just enjoyed it…For myself, personally, I thought it was a great season. But as a squad, we were a bit disappointed, we wanted to finish as high as possible. Seventh or higher would have been our target. But from where Big Sam got us, from 16th up to eighth, the form we had with him was top-six form, so you can’t dwell on it too much.” That is something Pickford does not do – even when he was criticised, at Sunderland, by the then manager David Moyes over his dietary habits. “He never said it to me, he just said it to the papers,” Pickford says. “It would have been nice if he’d come and said it to me. Sometimes on the field you learn, but off the field you learn the most, becoming a better person and nutritionally, I’ve worked a lot on it. Getting down where I’m flying and feel much lighter and getting across the goal even quicker. You say you can learn on the pitch but it’s all about off the field, what you do in the gym and your nutrition.” And if England succeed in Russia? If they even, finally, win a shoot-out? “After the final? We’d be having more than a pizza if we win the final,” Pickford says.
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
Olivier Giroud and Liverpool target Nabil Fekir score as France beat Ireland in World Cup warm-up
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
Olivier Giroud and Liverpool target Nabil Fekir score as France beat Ireland in World Cup warm-up
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
Olivier Giroud and Liverpool target Nabil Fekir score as France beat Ireland in World Cup warm-up
As ever with France, it will not be a lack of talent that stops them winning the World Cup as Didier Deschamps’ side brushed aside Ireland with the confidence of a team that looks good enough to triumph in Russia. Ireland were out-classed, turning up to play the fixture, but little more. The gulf in quality was as big on the pitch as it appeared embarrassing on paper. When France sent on Atletico Madrid’s Antoine Griezmann as a second half substitute, Ireland turned to Shamrock Rovers’ Graham Burke. It did not even resemble a fair fight. Yet, still doubts about France’s ability to perform when it matters remain, the concerns about their fortitude under pressure will linger for as long as they fail to prove otherwise. The French have a tendency to lose their sparkle at major tournaments. Even when everything seems to be going their way, as it did at the European Championships two years ago, when they beat world champions Germany in the semi-final, but lost to Portugal in the final. That must change this summer, where anything less than a semi-final appearance will be a failure. Really, though, they need to win it, given the standard of players they can leave out, not just of their starting XI, but their squad. Kylian Mbappe had to battle Irish resilience and torrential rain Credit: AFP It was always going to be a tough night for Ireland, with their willing but limited mix of Premier League squad players and Championship battlers and they conceded twice just before half time. Olivier Giroud bundled the ball in from close range, from a corner, at the third attempt and Bradford City goalkeeper, Colin Doyle, failed to keep out a relatively tame shot from Liverpool transfer target Nabil Fekir. Yet, for all of France’s fleet-footed attacking play, for all their skill, they still found it hard to prise the Irish defence open and they were not clinical when chances did come. World Cup 2018 | All you need to know For those countries preparing to face them at the World Cup, teams who may even be able to test them on the counter attack, the message will spread – France cannot be nullified, as such, but they can be frustrated if you defend deep and well. Better teams than Ireland will fancy their chances, particularly Denmark, who France play in the group stage, with Christian Eriksen pulling the strings. The men in blue, though, were simply too good against limited opposition here and the game was over as a meaningful contest at the end of the first half when France scored twice in the space of just five minutes. Credit: SPORTSFILE Ireland kept the score down after that and their dignity, but it was a miserable evening for a side in transition, three players, all playing outside of the Premier League, earning their first international caps as O’Neill looks ahead to the League of Nations campaign in September. “My opinion of the French team is they are very strong, individually they have a lot of talent, they are an excellent side,” said O’Neill. “I think they have improved in the last two years.” Player ratings France (4-3-3) Mandanda 6, Mendy 7 (Hernandez 64) Umtiti 7 (Kimpembe 64), Rami 7, Sidibe 7 (Pavard 82), Matuidi 7, Nzonzi 7, Tolisso 7 Pogba 79), Mbappe 7 (Dembele 79), Giroud 7, Fekir 7 (Griezmann 64) Sub not used: Lloris, Areola, Kante, Lemar, Thauvin. Republic of Ireland (4-2-3-1) Doyle 5, Coleman 7, K. Long 6, Duffy 6, D. Williams 6 (Doherty 82), Browne 5 (Arter 59), Rice 6, O'Dowda 4 (Burke 70), Walters 4 (Meyler 60), S. Long 4 (Judge 70), McClean 5 Subs not used: O’Malley, Supple, Cunningham, Egan, Lenihan, Horgan, Stevens, S Williams.
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
It remains perhaps the most iconic photograph in the history of British sport. England captain Bobby Moore is holding aloft the Jules Rimet trophy while on the shoulders of Sir Geoff Hurst and Ray Wilson after England had won the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Wilson, who was 83, on Wednesday became the third member of that team to die after Moore and Alan Ball following what has been a 14-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. The left-back and oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s iconic team, Wilson was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago, but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and regularly attending matches at Huddersfield Town with his two sons, Russell and Neil. News of Wilson’s death emerged just as Gareth Southgate named his England squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia and, 52 years on, just simply the passage of time remains sufficient to underline the magnitude of what Wilson helped to achieve. Tributes poured in for a player who never courted the limelight and was among the lesser known of England’s World Cup-winning team, but was regarded by many good judges as the best left-back of his time and the finest in English history. “In many people’s eyes, the best English left-back ever,” said Jimmy Greaves. “We had some laughs and late nights through the years and even with your illness you carried on coming with us and keeping us on our toes until about six years ago. Goodbye old friend.” Ray Wilson (right) celebrates with the Jules Rimet trophy alongside Bobby Moore (left) and Jack Charlton (centre) Credit: PA Sir Bobby Charlton said he was “deeply saddened by the awful news”, describing Wilson as “a great man, an excellent team-mate and a close friend”. Wilson was born in Shirebrook, a Derbyshire mining village in 1934, and was working on the railways when he was signed by Huddersfield at the age of 18. It was there that he was converted from wing-half to full-back by Bill Shankly, then Huddersfield manager, and he broke into the England team from the second tier of English football. Wilson was one of the first of the modern and more mobile full-backs who could influence both ends of the pitch, and this mobility helped to inspire Ramsey’s ‘Wingless Wonders’ system. At the time, most full-backs were physical defenders, but Wilson could match opposing wingers for pace, skill and vision. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE He was also selected in the 1962 World Cup squad in Chile and, by the time he had moved to Everton in 1964, he was established in Ramsey’s England team. During the 1966 finals, Wilson was ever-present, providing the incisive pass which allowed Martin Peters to create Hurst’s winner in the quarter-final against Argentina before reaching his 50th cap in the semi-final against Portugal. In the final, his early header fell to Bologna striker Helmut Haller, who duly put West Germany into a 12th-minute lead, but he was among England’s best performers thereafter in the eventual 4-2 victory. Wilson would later joke that he was grimacing in pain in the photograph with Moore as he was shouldering most of his team-mate’s weight and a bronze statue of the four players – Moore, Hurst, Peters and Wilson – stands just yards from West Ham’s old Upton Park stadium. He later also played at Oldham Athletic and Bradford City, where he spent a short period coaching, before working as an undertaker and living just outside Huddersfield in Slaithwaite. As with so many of the 1966 team, the authorities were slow to celebrate Wilson’s achievements. He received an MBE some 34 years after the World Cup win and was inducted into English football’s Hall of Fame in 2008. He sold his World Cup-winning medal in 2002 for £80,750 after deciding it was better to share the funds between his children, rather than simply leave it as a memento. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia in 2004. His England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Peters are also suffering with the disease, while Jack Charlton has been experiencing problems with his memory. Numerous other former footballers have been diagnosed with various neurological diseases at a worryingly young age and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association are now funding a research project into the potential link with football. It is, though, 16 years since former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia – chronic traumatic encephalopathy – that is caused by head trauma. World Cup winners Roger Hunt, left, and Ray Wilson of Liverpool and Everton, champions and FA Cup-winners respectively, show the Jules Rimet trophy a fortnight after England's victory to the Goodison crowd before the Charity Shield Credit: PA Photos In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking their dogs. The unexpected passion for art was prompted when his son’s partner bought him a colouring book and he has sketched thousands of detailed pictures of fantastical creatures on A4 sheets of card. For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England’s greatest football triumph, was in the same red of the 1966 World Cup winning kit. The kit had Wilson’s signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front. An old pair of his football boots are also on display in the boardroom. Joe Royle, who made his Everton debut in the same year that Wilson helped them also win the FA Cup at Wembley in 1966, said last night that Wilson had played “in the last England team that had four, maybe five, world class players”. He added that Wilson “was certainly one of those - a maestro”. When poised to win his 100th cap, Steven Gerrard explained even more succinctly how Wilson shared the most elevated possible platform in English football. “Hero status is given out far too easily,” he said. “As far as playing for England goes, there are 11 heroes. The rest haven’t really delivered.”
Ray Wilson has become the third of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team to die following a long battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. The left-back - oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s team - was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and had remained a regular supporter at Huddersfield Town. As well as Huddersfield, Wilson played for Everton, where he also won the 1966 FA Cup, as well as Oldham Athletic and Bradford City. He was capped 63 times for England and played every match during the 1966 World Cup finals. He worked as an undertaker in retirement and only received an MBE in 2000, some 34 years after helping England to win the World Cup. Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia, a disease that his 1966 England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters are also currently suffering with. Jack Charlton is also experiencing problems with his memory. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Numerous other former players are now suffering with neurological problems and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association have funded a research project that has begun this year. That is 16 years after another former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia that has since been proven to be caused by trauma to the head. In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England's greatest football triumph, was in the same red as the 1966 World Cup-winning kit. The kit had Wilson's signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front.
Ray Wilson - England World Cup winner in 1966 - dies, aged 83, after battling Alzheimer's
Ray Wilson has become the third of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team to die following a long battle against Alzheimer’s Disease. The left-back - oldest member of Sir Alf Ramsey’s team - was not well enough to attend the 50th anniversary dinner two years ago but had been living with his wife Pat in Yorkshire and had remained a regular supporter at Huddersfield Town. As well as Huddersfield, Wilson played for Everton, where he also won the 1966 FA Cup, as well as Oldham Athletic and Bradford City. He was capped 63 times for England and played every match during the 1966 World Cup finals. He worked as an undertaker in retirement and only received an MBE in 2000, some 34 years after helping England to win the World Cup. Wilson was only 69 when he was diagnosed with dementia, a disease that his 1966 England team-mates Nobby Stiles and Martin Peters are also currently suffering with. Jack Charlton is also experiencing problems with his memory. Ray Wilson (top row, second right) with the England World Cup-winning team Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE Numerous other former players are now suffering with neurological problems and, following a Telegraph campaign, the Football Association and the Professional Footballers’ Association have funded a research project that has begun this year. That is 16 years after another former England international, Jeff Astle, died from a type of dementia that has since been proven to be caused by trauma to the head. In recent interviews, Wilson’s family have described how he remained happy even during his illness and spent much of his later years drawing and walking. Ray Wilson slides in to take the ball away from France's Philippe Gondet in 1966 Credit: HULTON ARCHIVE For their promotion-winning 2016-17 season, Huddersfield released a new second-change kit in Wilson’s honour. It was designed with the tag line ‘Legends Are Rarely Made’ and, 50 years on from England's greatest football triumph, was in the same red as the 1966 World Cup-winning kit. The kit had Wilson's signature in white, beneath the collar on the back, and below the white badge on the front.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
How Mo Salah became the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history
Mohamed Salah has scored 43 goals for Liverpool this season, taking the club to the brink of the Champions League final and giving himself a genuine chance of winning the Ballon d'Or. But aside from the sheer quantity of his goals, what sets Salah apart? Here is everything you need to know about the exploits of the man dominating the end of the season. He has a ravenous appetite Mohamed Salah - Top goal scorers in Europe If it seems like Salah scores in every game he plays that is because he generally does. If one thing has set the Egyptian apart this season it is his sheer consistency and appetite for goals - since December 30 Salah has started 18 games and scored in 16 of them. His longest run of games without a goal this season is three, in September and October, while only once in the last six months has he failed to score in two successive games. For context, Lionel Messi has twice gone five games without scoring, which shows the rate Salah is going at. He is the top scorer in Europe's top five leagues, ahead of Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Robert Lewandowski. It is astonishing stuff. He’s speeding up In comparison to his current form, Salah started relatively slowly. He scored three goals in each of August, September and October - a more than respectable tally - but is regularly doubling that total now. The only month in which he dipped was January, and that was due to injury. Mohamed Salah - Goals by month The 25-year-old is getting more prolific as the season has gone on, which is partly why he pipped Kevin de Bruyne - a player whose best form was at the beginning of the season - to the PFA Player of the Year Award. He scores at vital moments In addition to the vast quantity of goals Salah scores, he also scores at important times - the key periods before half-time and full-time that change the complexion of games. Mohamed Salah - when he scored Of his 44 goals, 21 have been scored in the last 15 minutes of each half, suggesting that while teams might be able to keep him out for a while Salah will get you in the end. He scores decisive goals There are certain goalscorers who tend to add a little gloss to a scoreline, contributing the fourth to a 5-0 win. Salah is not one of those players. Of his 44 goals, 15 have come when the scores are level (10 of those being the first of the game), and another 15 when there was just one goal between the teams. Based on the idea that scoring the single goal in a 1-0 win contributes two points to your team (by changing one point to three), Salah has been responsible for 20 points this season. By way of comparison, Sadio Mane has contributed 10 points to the Liverpool cause and Roberto Firmino eight. Salah - as was the case against Roma on Tuesday night - is very much the main man. Roma v Liverpool He scores brilliant goals, simple goals, long-range goals - with a few signature strikes thrown in to the bargain It goes without saying that having scored 43 goals this season Salah is a brilliant, instinctive finisher, but he actually scores four main types of goals, some of which are becoming trademarks. The poacher’s effort Liverpool may not have realised they were signing a poacher, but that is exactly what Salah has turned out to be. His first goal for the club was a tap-in from a yard against Watford and 14 of his goals have been first-time finishes, many after rebounds from the goalkeeper or the woodwork. They keep the goal tally ticking over. Watford 2 - 3 Liverpool (Mohamed Salah, 57 min) Salah celebrates scoring his first goal for Liverpool against Watford back in August Credit: Getty Images The curler When Salah has the ball on the right-hand side of the area he tends to have one thought in mind - curl the ball with his left foot towards the far corner of the goal. It is a strike he has perfected this season, particularly at the Anfield Road end where he has scored that exact type of goal against Southampton, Everton and now Roma. OHHH MO SALAH! �� What a goal! What a moment! Liverpool and their Egyptian King go marching on! ������ pic.twitter.com/30UvuOdnTJ— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 When Salah picked up the ball in just that position after 35 minutes on Tuesday night it was obvious Juan Jesus should have shepherded him onto his right foot. Instead he allowed Salah to shoot and Roma paid the price as Salah unerringly found the top corner. An undervalued by-product of this goal is the reaction of the goalkeeper, who in each occasion dives but with arms withdrawn, an acceptance it is a futile effort. If given space on the edge of the box, Salah is deadly. The dink Salah’s second against Roma was another trademark strike - the beautifully-judged dink. His goal on Tuesday night was perhaps the hardest of all those he has scored this season, coming as it did from outside the area with Alisson closing him down, but there was also a sense that - once he was played through by Firmino - it was inevitable. Salah! Again! Wow! This time the coolest of dinks over the keeper! �� Goal number 43 of the season �� pic.twitter.com/pkQWlhS26l— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 24, 2018 In the last fortnight Salah has scored three separate chips, against Manchester City, West Brom and now Roma. It is the type of finish that takes real courage, with the acknowledgement you could look silly if it doesn’t work. If executed correctly it is almost impossible to stop - and Salah knows exactly how to pull it off. The ‘now you see him, now you don’t’ dribble There have been times this season when Salah’s finishing has been reminiscent of Lionel Messi’s, no more so than when he is seemingly surrounded in the penalty area before somehow finding a gap to score. As with Messi, Salah does not strike you as a devastating physical specimen. At just 5ft 9in and 71 kgs it seems he should be knocked off the ball more often than he is. But as with Messi, Salah has a low centre of gravity, is stronger than he looks and has a wand of a left foot. He also has ice in his veins and is not scared to take his time to get a shot away. Of his 43 goals, nine have been scored after taking at least four touches of the ball - a huge amount, particularly in the penalty area. For context, Salah had just 44 touches against Roma on Tuesday, which shows how unusual having four touches in one move is. Mohamed Salah - Number of touches Salah takes to score But when he gets going it is difficult to stop him. Three of Salah’s most memorable goals this season have been jaw-dropping dribbles, against Tottenham in February and twice against Watford last month. They were Messi-esque, and they have a dual advantage. With opponents scared of his dribbling ability they back off, allowing him to unleash the curler. Either way, Salah tends to come out on top. He can score from anywhere The plot map of Salah’s goals illustrates quite how dangerous he is. Mohamed Salah - Where he scored from A short backlift means chances close to goal are easily put away, while he is deadly from the edge of the area or just outside. Then there are the real long range efforts - particularly if Ederson decides to clear the ball straight to him. He does it in the big games Salah is no flat-track bully, an accusation often levelled at so many strikers over the years. His scoring rate is remarkably consistent no matter who he is playing against. This season the Egyptian has played 14 games against the top six or in the Champions League knockout stages, scoring 12 goals - 0.86 per game. Mohamed Salah - Flat-track bullies In the other 33 games he has scored 31 goals - 0.94 goals per game. It is a tiny difference in relative terms and underlines his consistency against any calibre of opposition. It also bears contrast with his peers. The top five goalscorers in the Premier League are Salah, Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy. Of those five three of them - Kane, Aguero and Sterling - have a far inferior record against the big sides, while Salah is extremely consistent and Vardy (who is having an astonishing season) actually has far more success against the big teams than the also-rans. It is another big tick for Salah. He is a creator as well as a goalscorer Salah brings more than just goals. It may have been because his first two goals were scored in front of the Roma supporters, but the Egyptian only truly celebrated after setting up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s third on Tuesday night. Roberto Firmino celebrates with Salah after scoring Liverpool's fourth goal against Roma Credit: Getty Images That was his 12th assist of the season and a 13th soon followed for Roberto Firmino, the second most of any player for the club this season. That means he either scores or assists a goal every 67 minutes - a frankly astonishing record. With Firmino averaging a goal or assist every 89 minutes and Mane one every 116 minutes, it demonstrated why this is a strike-force to be feared. He has a signature celebration but seemingly no ego Any self-respecting modern footballer looking to build their personal brand needs a stock celebration. Salah's now familiar pose - stock still, in front of the celebrating Liverpool fans - is a great image and is being copied in school playgrounds up and down the land. Salah in trademark pose after scoring for Liverpool against Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final tie Credit: Getty Images He also seems extremely likeable, coming across in interviews as genuinely down-to-earth. Easier said than done when you consider that in the recent Egyptian elections Salah is reported to have received over a million votes, despite the fact he was not a candidate. Instead, Egyptians who wanted to register a protest vote crossed out the names of the two formal candidates and wrote Salah’s instead. Salah is said to be a unifying force in Egypt, particularly as he played for neither Al Ahly or Zamalek - Cairo’s two bitter city rivals - instead making his professional debut for Arab Contractors before moving to Basel. A mural in downtown Cairo that depicts Salah Credit: AFP/Getty Images The Liverpool fans have unsurprisingly taken him to their hearts, finding a use for the James song Sit Down in the process: No-one saw this coming When Liverpool played Roma £34m for Salah last summer they clearly thought they were getting a serious talent, but they surely never expected this level of sustained brilliance. The Egyptian scored 34 goals in two seasons at Roma - a more than reasonable return but hardly indicative of a talent that would start to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for World Player of the Year honours. His forgettable stint at Chelsea coloured many perceptions of him, particularly in England. Salah had shone at Basel, got his big move and then ended up having to take a step backwards after it failed to work out. He calmly rebuilt his career in Italy before returning to the Premier League for another shot, becoming one of the division’s most dominant figures within 10 months. Salah struggled during his time at Chelsea Credit: Action Images He is the slowest-burning overnight sensation in English football history, a man whose career at Stamford Bridge was finished by disappointing performances against Shrewsbury and Bradford City just over three years ago. Now he is shining in a Champions League semi-final or, as Paul Hayward wrote: “In classic world-class-player style, Salah pretty much decided to score”. It is a genuinely brilliant story with seemingly no downside. At this stage all there is to do is enjoy a man who doesn’t look like he should be one of the world’s best footballers becoming exactly that. So is he fit to be put in the same bracket as Messi and Ronaldo? Absolutely. Salah has outscored both at club level this season - his 43 goals being one more than Ronaldo and three more than Messi - and talk of the Ballon d’Or is far from fanciful. "Without a shadow of a doubt he's the best player on the planet right now." �� Mo Salah is being fast-tracked to legendary status down at Anfield ������ pic.twitter.com/UzGqotwpdM— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 25, 2018 If he wins the Champions League with Liverpool and performs well at the World Cup he could well be crowned the best player on the planet.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Bradford City's Tony McMahon takes a throw in Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Bradford City's Tony McMahon takes a throw in Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 General view of ball being prepared for a corner Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 General view of ball being prepared for a corner Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
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League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Referee David Webb gestures Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Carlton Morris in action with Bradford City's Charlie Wyke Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Carlton Morris in action with Bradford City's Charlie Wyke Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Aristotle Nsiala with fans at the end of the match Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Aristotle Nsiala with fans at the end of the match Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Aristotle Nsiala with fans at the end of the match Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Aristotle Nsiala with fans at the end of the match Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Carlton Morris in action with Braford City's Timothee Dieng Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury Town's Carlton Morris in action with Braford City's Timothee Dieng Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury's Omar Beckles is shown a red card by referee David Webb Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Shrewsbury's Omar Beckles is shown a red card by referee David Webb Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Bradford City's Alex Gilled in action with Shrewsbury's Jon Nolan Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
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Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy in action with Shrewsbury Town's Jon Nolan Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
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Soccer Football - League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town - Northern Commercials Stadium, Bradford, Britain - April 12, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy in action with Shrewsbury Town's Jon Nolan Action Images/Lee Smith EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Bradford City vs Shrewsbury Town
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Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Craig Conway scores his sides second goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Craig Conway scores his sides second goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Craig Conway celebrates scoring his sides second goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Craig Conway celebrates scoring his sides second goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack celebrates scoring his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack celebrates scoring his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack scores his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack scores his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack scores his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack scores his sides first goal Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Darragh Lenihan in action with Bradford City's Dominic Poleon Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Darragh Lenihan in action with Bradford City's Dominic Poleon Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Bradford City's manager Simon Grayson Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
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Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Elliott Bennett shoots Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Elliott Bennett shoots Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers Bradley Dack in action with Bradford City's Nicky Law Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Blackburn Rovers vs Bradford City - Ewood Park, Blackburn, Britain - March 29, 2018 Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray Action Images/Jason Cairnduff EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle made a special effort to be available for his team just a day after playing for Ireland in Turkey.
Two games in two days! Ireland's Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford
Bradford City goalkeeper Colin Doyle made a special effort to be available for his team just a day after playing for Ireland in Turkey.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy looks dejected Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy looks dejected Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis scores their second goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis scores their second goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis scores his sides first goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' John Marquis scores his sides first goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger shoots at goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers' James Coppinger shoots at goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Joel Grodowski has an attempt on goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Joel Grodowski has an attempt on goal Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy and Romain Vincelot in action with Doncaster Rovers' Alex Kiwomya Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Callum Guy and Romain Vincelot in action with Doncaster Rovers' Alex Kiwomya Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Alex Gilliead (L) in action with Doncaster Rovers' Luke McCullough Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Alex Gilliead (L) in action with Doncaster Rovers' Luke McCullough Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Anthony McMahon (L) in action with Doncaster Rovers' Alex Kiwomya Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City's Anthony McMahon (L) in action with Doncaster Rovers' Alex Kiwomya Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson with Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson before the match Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City
Soccer Football - League One - Doncaster Rovers vs Bradford City - Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Britain - March 19, 2018 Doncaster Rovers Manager Darren Ferguson with Bradford City Manager Simon Grayson before the match Action Images/Craig Brough EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

<p>Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.</p><p>There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.</p><p>With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..</p><p><strong>Shrewsbury Town vs Everton</strong></p><p>In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.</p><p>Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.</p><p>Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.</p><p><strong>Artmedia vs Celtic</strong></p><p>Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.</p><p>Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.</p><p>Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.</p><p><strong>North Korea vs Italy</strong></p><p>Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?</p><p>Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.</p><p>Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.</p><p><strong>Senegal vs France</strong></p><p>Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.</p><p>With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.</p><p>Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.</p><p><strong>Sunderland vs Leeds</strong></p><p>Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.</p><p>Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.</p><p>Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.</p><p><strong>Wigan vs Manchester City</strong></p><p>And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?</p><p>In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.</p><p>Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.</p><p><strong>Greece vs Portugal</strong></p><p>The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.</p><p>Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.</p><p>The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.</p><p><strong>Bradford City vs Chelsea</strong></p><p>Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.</p><p>But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.</p><p>A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.</p>
Eight Underdog Upsets That Shocked the World of Soccer

Football fans love a good upset, whether that's at club level or on the international stage.

There's no greater feeling for supporters of underdog sides to get one over their more illustrious, cash rich opponents while other fans just love the sheer shock and magic that accompanies such unlikely triumphs.

With plenty of amazing nights to remember, here's eight of the biggest upsets that the world of football has been privy to down the decades..

Shrewsbury Town vs Everton

In the list of greatest shocks to Evertonians in recent times, the Toffees coming unstuck against the Shrews in the FA Cup third round back in January 2003 is the biggest.

Led by former Everton captain Kevin Ratcliffe, the then-fourth division side - a whole 80 places below the Blues in the football pyramid - stunned their opponents thanks to a brace from veteran forward Nigel Jemson.

Former Everton winger Niklas Alexandersson had appeared to spare his team's blushes with an equaliser after Jemson's opener but, in the 88th minute, the ex-Oxford man glanced a header past Richard Wright to spark scenes of jubilation at Gay Meadow.

Artmedia vs Celtic

Scotland's most well-known club - sorry, Rangers fans - took on minnows Artmedia Petrzalka of the Slovakian top division back in 2005 in the second preliminary round of the 2005/06 Champions League.

Expected to thump their hosts with ease, the Hoops were left shell shocked as Artmedia ran riot in Gordon Strachan's first game in charge - racking up four second-half goals after Juraj Halenar's first half tap-in.

Celtic gave it their best efforts in the return leg but could only secure a 4-0 victory at Parkhead and, thanks to that abject first leg, crashed out of Europe altogether that season.

North Korea vs Italy

Azzurri were billed to turn North Korea over at the 1966 World Cup held on English soil. The two-time world champions would have no problem dispensing with a nation at their first ever finals, surely?

Pretty much everyone was wrong in that assumption. The Italians only needed a point to progress as group winners but, thanks to Pak Doo-ik's 42nd minute goal, fell to an unheard of defeat to the international small fry after being reduced to 10 men at Ayresome Park.

Such was the shock back home in Italy, the team were pelted with rotten tomatoes and eggs and booed upon their return following their elimination.

Senegal vs France

Reigning World Cup champions France began their defence of their crown at the 2002 tournament in Japan and South Korea with a group clash against former French colony Senegal.

With Zinedine Zidane the only legend missing from their lineup, Les Bleus - and the world - were predicting a huge victory over the Lions of Teranga.

Step forward ex-Liverpool and Bolton man El-Hadji Diouf. The striker played a wonderful ball into Pape Bouba Diop to strike at the heart of the French team and after a never-say-die display of defensive brilliance, Senegal completed an almighty shock win over the holders.

Sunderland vs Leeds

Second tier side Sunderland weren't given a hope or a prayer when they faced down defending champions Leeds in the 1973 FA Cup final.

Such little expectation had been placed on the Black Cats that they were 250-1 outsiders to lift the prestigious trophy before the competition but, against all the odds, secured the piece of silverware with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Don Revie's all-conquering side.

Ian Porterfield's 22nd-minute strike proved the difference on the day as a crowd of 100,000 bore witness to a final unexpected by 99% of supporters.

Wigan vs Manchester City

And speaking of FA Cup shocks, what about this one from earlier in February 2018 as the Latics stunned Pep Guardiola's and his free-flowing attacking charges?

In a result that puts paid to their 2013 FA Cup final triumph over the same opposition, Wigan secured a huge 1-0 win over the Citizens on home soil as Will Grigg's superbly taken goal fired Paul Cook's League One side into the quarter-finals of the competition.

Fabian Delph's controversial red card in the first half helped their cause, but it proved to be a deserved win and caused scenes of utter joy on the pitch at the final whistle.

Greece vs Portugal

The Euro 2004 final pitted the star-studded lineup of Portugal against surprise package Greece, who had doggedly hauled themselves to the showpiece event in their own country.

Managed by the tactically astute Otto Rehhagel, the band of lesser lights held Cristiano Ronaldo and company at arm's length to ensure that Angelos Charisteas' first half opener was to be the winning goal.

The arrival of the final whistle sparked joyous scenes across Greece and was hailed as a landmark day for their national side.

Bradford City vs Chelsea

Chelsea were two goals to the good over League Two team Bradford when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup in 2015, and nobody could have thought that the Bantams would turn the scoreline on its head.

But do that they certainly did as four second half goals had the hosts reeling and ensured Jose Mourinho had a face of thunder come the full-time whistle.

A place in the fifth round of the cup was Bradford's reward for their stunning comeback against a club that had been so impervious on home soil during the Portuguese boss' two reigns in west London.

The magic of the FA Cup loomed large over the horizon of Huish Park as Yeovil Town welcomed Manchester United for a tantalising fourth round clash at the end of January. Having bested Bradford City last time out, the League Two outfit were handed a dream tie against the Red Devils on home soil - and the potential for one of the greatest cup upsets of all-time was on the minds of everyone associated with Darren Way's team. 90min's Year of the Underdog series has followed a number of clubs into...
VIDEO: Behind the Scenes as Yeovil Host Man Utd in FA Cup Fourth Round - Year of the Underdog
The magic of the FA Cup loomed large over the horizon of Huish Park as Yeovil Town welcomed Manchester United for a tantalising fourth round clash at the end of January. Having bested Bradford City last time out, the League Two outfit were handed a dream tie against the Red Devils on home soil - and the potential for one of the greatest cup upsets of all-time was on the minds of everyone associated with Darren Way's team. 90min's Year of the Underdog series has followed a number of clubs into...
The magic of the FA Cup loomed large over the horizon of Huish Park as Yeovil Town welcomed Manchester United for a tantalising fourth round clash at the end of January. Having bested Bradford City last time out, the League Two outfit were handed a dream tie against the Red Devils on home soil - and the potential for one of the greatest cup upsets of all-time was on the minds of everyone associated with Darren Way's team. 90min's Year of the Underdog series has followed a number of clubs into...
VIDEO: Behind the Scenes as Yeovil Host Man Utd in FA Cup Fourth Round - Year of the Underdog
The magic of the FA Cup loomed large over the horizon of Huish Park as Yeovil Town welcomed Manchester United for a tantalising fourth round clash at the end of January. Having bested Bradford City last time out, the League Two outfit were handed a dream tie against the Red Devils on home soil - and the potential for one of the greatest cup upsets of all-time was on the minds of everyone associated with Darren Way's team. 90min's Year of the Underdog series has followed a number of clubs into...
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Bradford City sack club legend Stuart McCall after six consecutive defeats
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Tottenham 2 Man Utd 0: Christian Eriksen's 11-second strike and Phil Jones' own goal sink outplayed Reds
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Tottenham 2 Man Utd 0: Christian Eriksen's 11-second strike and Phil Jones' own goal sink outplayed Reds
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Tottenham 2 Man Utd 0: Christian Eriksen's 11-second strike and Phil Jones' own goal sink outplayed Reds
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Tottenham 2 Man Utd 0: Christian Eriksen's 11-second strike and Phil Jones' own goal sink outplayed Reds
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen, Dele, Son, Kane. #COYSpic.twitter.com/ReyAxSKYBB— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 6:56PM Shake �� pic.twitter.com/2geSeK0U6b— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 This is the sort of handshake Mark Hughes should be getting angry about. Big night: Jan Vertonghen of Tottenham Hotspur arrives at Wembley prior to the Premier League match against Manchester United Credit: Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images 6:53PM Spurs have a shiny new signing ���� @LucasMoura7 has a message for you all...#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/IFWF5VxICA— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 and have made him do a video. 6:40PM Good evening An important Premier League match for both of these teams, and a very busy evening of football. There are seven Premier League fixtures on tonight, and these two sides are acutely aware that there can be no slip ups in the battle for Champions League places. United on 53 points, Tottenham on 45 know that Man City and Chelsea both have should-win home fixtures against WBA and Bournemouth respectively. The days of "lads, it's Tottenham" have gone for good for United, but they did beat Spurs 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season, so travel to the capital with plenty of reason for optimism.
Tottenham 2 Man Utd 0: Christian Eriksen's 11-second strike and Phil Jones' own goal sink outplayed Reds
Gone in 10.5 seconds. Precisely. Jose Mourinho spoke about having the ammunition to compete but this was a night in which Manchester United’s big guns fired blanks; a night in which they fell behind to Tottenham Hotspur in the very first attack and struggled to compete after that. It was a night in which new signing Alexis Sanchez, making his first Premier League start, Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and, especially, Paul Pogba struggled. Pogba, a bag of indiscipline in a deeper midfield role that required far more nous, barely lasted an hour before being hooked. Big names, big signings, big fail against a Spurs side orchestrated imperiously by Christian Eriksen. United back-fired. Mourinho lashed out at his players for failing to follow instructions but the manager, too, got it wrong. He has to decide how he is going to use Pogba because, like this, his team were far too open. They were far too un-Mourinho like. Wrong formation, wrong tactics and defensively United were a shambles with the central pairing of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling struggling to cope. Jones was simply bullied by Harry Kane. And this in front of a Wembley crowd of 81,978 – a new Premier League record. Spurs needed to win – and needed to win against one of their rivals - and did just that, opening up a six-point gap ahead of sixth-placed Arsenal and reducing their deficit behind second-placed United. Spurs were better-organised and wanted this more. It means just five points separate the four teams behind runaway leaders Manchester City. United’s woe was summed up when Mourinho subbed the sub, just seven minutes after Marouane Fellaini came on with the midfielder having suffered a knee injury while, later on, Sanchez was seen in that default position he adopted of late for Arsenal: sitting on the turf, arms outstretched, appealing for a perceived injustice. Marouane Fellaini is subbed off after just eight minutes Credit: PA The start was simply extraordinary. Five touches from kick-off and the ball was in the United net with Jan Vertonghen launching it forward for Kane to challenge Jones. It skimmed off the United defender and was latched onto by Dele Alli whose miscued shot deflected off Smalling, running into the path of the onrushing Eriksen. He gleefully curled it around a stunned David De Gea. The stadium clock read 10 seconds. The precise confirmation later came in at 10.5 seconds which meant it was the third-fastest goal in Premier League history behind Alan Shearer’s strike, in 10.4 seconds, for Newcastle United against Manchester City in 2003 and the fastest of all by another Spurs player, Ledley King, against Bradford City in 2000. That was just 9.9 seconds. It was also Eriksen’s 50th goal for Spurs and since he signed for the club, in 2013, only Kane has scored more. And there was one more morsel of food for thought: replays showed that Kane had encroached into the United half just as the kick-off was taken, allowing him to get far enough forward to reach Vertonghen’s long ball. Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) It did provoke a strong response from United with a couple of chances – Jesse Lingard was denied by Hugo Lloris, with his outstretched left boot, while Lukaku burst into the penalty area but his cut-back to Anthony Martial fell short and the Spurs goalkeeper smothered. It felt like another goal was coming and Jones provided it but only with a perfect, side-footed finish. Into his own goal. It came as Kieran Trippier fired in a low cross and Jones intercepted before it got to Kane, with the ball flying past De Gea. It capped a miserable half, which turned into a miserable match for Jones who had been dominated by Kane and panicked into errors. Phil Jones after scoring an own goal Credit: AFP Again United attempted an immediate response and Lloris did well to turn away a fierce drive from Martial, after he slalomed into the area, while Pogba had to do better than volley over from Smalling’s header across goal from the corner. But it was Spurs who finished the half strongly and probably should have had a penalty when Anthony Valencia slid in on Alli as he prepared to shoot. The appeals were waved away by referee Andre Marriner and he was waving away appeals by United, early in the second-half, when Sanchez’s attempt to head a corner back across goal was blocked by Heung-min Son with his arm. Again it appeared a penalty should have been awarded. There was one more chance for United with another near-post shot, this time from Lukaku, but again it was turned away by Lloris. Mourinho, with his hands stuffed in his jacket, made changes but it did not provoke a response. United appeared spent; appeared bereft of ideas and it was Spurs who dominated. Harry Kane shoots wide Credit: AP It could have been more. It probably should have been more. As well as Kane played, his shooting was unusually awry as he snatched at opportunities, or failed to connect properly, although he was right to be furious with Son after the Korean was put through by Eriksen, with another sublime pass, only for him to hammer a shot at De Gea who beat it out for a corner. Son should simply have squared for Kane who would have had a tap in. It was Spurs who continued to push, with Sanchez showing his frustration after he was kicked by Alli which led to some pushing and shoving. Pochettino was not taking any chances and withdrew Alli. The game was won. The damage was done. United, damningly, had nothing left. 9:53PM Full time: Tottenham Hotspur 2 Manchester United 0 A 'statement' win (jargon alert) for Spurs at the start of a hard run. Liverpool, NEWPORT, Arsenal and Juventus next. Man Utd's back four won't be much fun on the ride home. 2-0 ft.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 Two Telegraph men at the ground, Jason Burt and Paul Hayward, will have their verdicts imminently. 9:52PM 90 mins There are going to be three minutes of injury time. Lamela clear and in the area with a chance to put the cherry on the top, but he fires over. That is full time. 9:51PM 89 mins Looking again at replays, Fellaini was clutching his leg and looked to have pulled something. With regret, I think we must say 'case closed' and that him storming off was a reaction of disappointment and not anger. 9:46PM 87 mins Spurs have a freekick just outside the United area. More drama from Sanchez, yelling as if he's being murdered when he's tackled. Him and Jose are going to be great fun together. 9:44PM 85 mins Could see Marouane as a cricketer. Fire and brimstone fast bowler, genuine rabbit with the bat. Fellaini's heatmap today �� #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/SbwhL4C2nt— Tomás (@MwesigwaThomas) January 31, 2018 9:43PM 84 mins Really first rate foul by Alli on Sanchez there. A proper comedy playground trip, or the sort of trip a popular boy would do on a weed in the canteen (I am not advocating this as a way to behave). Just upends him from behind. Sanchez, predictably, goes tonto. 9:42PM More on Marouane Don't share the view at all that BT Sport were telling any "lies" but this is an angle. Fellaini was not pulled off for tactical reasons. He was limping and clutching at his leg a number of times before coming off. Please don't listen to the lies that you hear on BT Sport. It was a substitution that had to be made by Jose Mourinho. pic.twitter.com/W5hEjj209j— ً (@UTDSVERYOWN) January 31, 2018 Meanwhile in the football, it is all Spurs. 9:39PM 80 mins Fellaini unhappy as they try to drag him down the tunnel #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/mSauEgoxrT— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 31, 2018 9:38PM 79 mins What happened with Fellaini, then? Word from Jason Burt at Wembley: "injured." United gubbed by Spurs but we are talking about the Fellaini subbing. pic.twitter.com/7rZcd7Pn2N— John Brewin (@JohnBrewin_) January 31, 2018 = Looked bloody furious about something, anyway;. 9:37PM 78 mins Here's Fellaini's touch map. Fellaini touch map Credit: BT Sport 9:33PM 76 mins Eriksen. To Kane. Lovely ball. Shoots low and hard, but just wide. United epically awful at the moment. 9:33PM 75 mins Anyway, back to the football. 9:31PM MOURINHO HAS TAKEN FELLAINI OFF I dunno if he is injured. Fellaini does not seem to be hurt. But he is coming off. Has Mourinho gone full banana? He's taken Fellaini off, Marouane has ripped off his United jersey and stalked down the tunnel in his under shirt. He must be hurt, right? Otherwise that is really sensational 9:27PM 68 mins Son! Eriksen plays it through, Son drills it hard at the near post when much the better option surely was the unmarked Kane in the centre. 9:25PM 65 mins There's a fragility about Spurs which still suggests to me that a United goal would lead to two United goals, but things are not right for the Reds. Well pinned back now. Spurs playing it around. Davies shoots from distance. Nah. Shortly afterwards, another patient attack from Spurs, this one ends with Kane shooting from distance. Again, no real threat. 9:22PM 62 mins Martial looking promising in this run down the left, into the box. Pogba's last action was to lose the ball to Harry Kane. Poor night from PP. Not sure he's quite in his correct position as 50% of a midfield two sitting deep behind four out-and-out attackers. 9:21PM 61 mins Lingard is coming off and my man Marouane is coming on. And, wow, Pogba is also coming off, he does not look too happy. Mata the man on, 9:14PM 56 mins Pogba with a wonderful garryowen that frees Lukaku, the ball comes down with ice on it and spins back perfectly into the path of the big man, who fires at goal. Lloris turns it over. Lukaku used his strength to great effect there, Davies the man he overpowered. 9:13PM 55 mins Alli, I think possibly more by luck than judgement has swung a boot to produce a sliced ball right on a plae for Kane. He shoots wide. 9:12PM 53 mins United have a chance to get back into this when Sanchez wins a corner. Delivered in to that man Sanchez who heads that ball, it hits Son on the hand. Not really Son's fault so I think no pen is the right call. 9:07PM 49 mins United are all over the shop. Further sloppy play, Son gets the ball and shoots just wide form the edge of the box. God knows what is wrong with United... 9:07PM 48 mins It's all Spurs! Alli down the flank, crosses low, and Valencia shows great composure as he plays out of defence. 9:04PM 46 mins Wonder if they let Sanchez do any half time yelling yet? Anyhoo, it's Spurs who are out of the traps much the quicker. Kane into the box, DRILLS a shot at the keeper... ah, offside. Blimey. What is up with Man United? 8:58PM Graham Poll on that pen "He wipes out Alli there, that should have been a penalty. You can tell from the angle behind the goal, but not from the angle Andre had. "On that kick off, VAR would not have affected the decision there because it came from a restaff." 8:48PM Half time: Tottenham 2 Man United 0 10.48 seconds to break the deadlock, then a Phil Jones own goal pearler. Sanchez looks aghast. Mourinho stormed off about 7 minutes before the whistle. This is glorious stuff. 8:46PM 44 mins Lengthy delay while Son gets treatment. I like the idea of Mourinho pacing the dressing room waiting for everyone. Eventually it's played forward, Kane latches on to it... this should be it! No, he has muffed it. God alone knows what is wrong with United, but they're lucky not to be even further behind. 8:43PM 43 mins Jose, the massive drama queen, is already out of the dugout and into the tunnel, disappearing from view. 8:40PM 39 mins Tottingham have a freekick down the right, whipped in by Eriksen. Dier meets it, gets plenty of it, but fails to hit the target. Maybe Sanchez has some sort of expanding forcefield around him that means his teammates play like they're wearing big floppy clown shoes. Maybe it's him that's been the problem all along.— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) January 31, 2018 8:39PM 37 mins Phil Jones is having a bit of a classic here. He's been given a yellow for fouling H Kane, bit harsh to my eyes. He barely touched him. It's because he's big, isn't it? A smaller man would have got away with that all day long. 8:37PM 36 mins I fancy Sanchez for a card. Frustration showing. Down the left here, loses it. Out for a throw. 8:36PM 33 mins Son shoots from distance but that's halfway to Finchley Road. 8:32PM 31 mins Spurs want a pen! And you can see the point of view. Valenica has hurled himself into the tackle, very risky, but he gets away with it. Credit: BT Sport 8:31PM 29 mins Martial opens Spurs up with his pace and goes close. Lloris had to look lively to turn that to safety. Now Pogba has a really good chance at the back post but seems to wimp out of challenging for the ball. Alli was ready to meet him full blooded. Pogba taking an earful from Mourinho for vacating the space alongside Matic. Not Pogba's natural position, but he's been asked to play that deeper role.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 8:29PM GOAL! Phil Jones own goal! Spurs goal gif Poor Phil. The ball is crossed in from Trippier, low and hard. Phil Jones has met it crisply and absolutely murdered it into the back of his own net. Own goal: Man Utd ( 28 min ) It was a hell of a finish. 8:26PM 25 mins Talking of not getting your head up to spot a team-mate, Alli is down the right here, excellent posiiton. Son! Son! Son is in the middle. Dele does not see it until too late. 8:25PM 24 mins LAst time these sides met there was some enjoyable argy-bargy between Alli and Young Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur and Ashley Young of Manchester United in October Credit: Getty Young allegedly told him "come back to me when you have won the Premier League." 8:24PM 22 mins Kane into the box! One touch, and a shot.... but it's easy for the keeper. Good chance! 8:23PM 20 mins I make that the first dispirited shrug from Alexis at the poor decision making (ie not giving the ball to Alexis) of an MUFC teammate. Miss: Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Anthony Martial, 21 min) The shrug came after Martial tore down the wing, failed to look up and spot support in the area and then fired well over. 8:19PM 18 mins Dembele is booked for a foul on Trippier. 8:18PM 16 mins Not sure if Kane is doing it deliberately, but he's just caught Alexis again. Paul Pogba, who has been desperately quiet so far, hoofs a freekick gormlessly into nowhere. 8:16PM 15 mins Lingard with a really good run, slips it to Romelu, who nearly manages to bundle through. 8:15PM 14 mins Alexis onto the ball, Kane tackles him and catches him on the ankle. 8:12PM 10 mins Dear old Phil Jones doing what he does best, throwing his junkyard dog's body in front of a shot. Corner. 8:08PM 5 mins Kane was in the opponent's half at the kick off. Credit: BT Sport 1 If only there was some form of recording technology that they could use to retrospectively check goals. 8:05PM 2 mins Remarkable start. And here come United at the other end.... looking dangerous. Ashley Young plays it in from the left and it is nearly tapped in by Romelu Lukaku at the far post. 8:01PM GOAL SPURS! Spurs goal gif 11 second goal! Eriksen! The commentator describes it as a brilliant goal, not too sure about, but it is certainly a quick goal. From the kick off, played to Jan V, who hoofs it forward. Kane nods it on, Son has a swing, completely miscues and manages to smear it into the path of Eriksen who fires home. Scenes Spurs 1 - 0 Man Utd (Christian Eriksen, 1 min) 8:00PM 1 mins The Rhyme of the Andre Marriner blows the whistle. 8:00PM Likes a trip to Wembley does the boy Alexis. Credit: BT Sport 7:54PM Owen's boyish excitement at being allowed to do kicking of the ball into the goal in that clip inevitably put one in mind of this deconstructivist masterpiece. The Assassination of a 13-Year-Old Goalkeeper by the Coward Michael Owen:https://t.co/k88nmymsOw My favourite clip:https://t.co/pp9gUhoBw0— Adam Hurrey (@FootballCliches) April 13, 2016 7:42PM Michael Owen and Harry Keane have been doing some shooting drills. Credit: BT Harry: "I always think to go across goal, that's always been my first half. Hard for the keeper. "30 yards, you just want to hit the target, get the wobble on it. "I have always wanted to prove people wrong" he says of a relatively late run to true excellence. "Volleying is such a hard technique, your brain has to go into slow motion, just wait..." Michael Owen: "once I started to score hat-tricks I started to put my balls in frames." 7:38PM Window into Lineker's mind Good to see Harry Redknapp on @btsport. Feel they’ve missed a trick, though, not having him do his punditry leaning out of a car window.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 31, 2018 7:37PM A nice problem to have ... but... where does this leave Jose with regard to Marcus Rashford? Credit: BT Sport Tony Martial must also feel that he has been put on notice. Do those two young men choose to learn from the mighty Sanchez, or do they shrink and sulk at his arrival? 7:35PM Here's how the teams might line up Credit: BT Sport 7:32PM Here are the quotes from that interview YOU SIGNED YOUR CONTRACT LAST WEEK. WHOSE SIGNING WAS MORE IMPORTANT? YOUR'S OR ALEXIS? Alexis. And the club did amazingly well, the owners giving it the green light, Mr Woodward… WHERE DO YOU SEE UNITED IN 2020? Better than now, fighting for what we are fighting for now, but with different ammunition. Are we looking to win every competition, yes, but probably we won’t, I see us being real contenders for everything but that is the level we want to achieve HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY? I didn’t. In the morning we travel to Yeovil, after we prepare for game, after the game it was 11pm and then I don’t want to enjoy at that time. I have lots of cakes - club cake, players’ cake, my family’s cake. YOU SEEM HAPPIER NOW? IN THE PAST YOU’VE SEEMED GRUMPY? That’s because people doesn’t share with me the intimacy of the inside doors. I think I am a funny guy sometimes maybe with some silly jokes but press conferences, I don’t like it, no. Football matches, I am focused on the match, pre match I have interviews, post match, I have interviews, it’s two parts of the pressure of the game so maybe the people they get it wrong. The paparrazi who sleeps in the door of the Lowry hotel he sees me in the morning when I am sleeping. He sees me later when I am going back and I am tired. He is there 24 hours a day and he can’t get a good picture YOU ARE 2nd in LEAGUE. DO UTD GET ENOUGH CREDIT City deserves more credit. With the points we have we would normally be with the distance of four or five and really really in the fight for the title. So we are doing good things and deserve some credit. Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. 7:31PM Jose Mourinho has given an interview to BT Sport Credit: BT Sport "I think I am a funny guy sometimes. Press conferences I do not like. I focus on the match." 7:12PM Team sheet from the Wembley press room Spurs v Man Utd pic.twitter.com/hbucq3LLvB— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) January 31, 2018 7:11PM He looks quite sweet �� Welcome to Spurs, @LucasMoura7! ����#BemVindoLucaspic.twitter.com/xDdckxPbBr— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2018 getting his medical. Wonder if he got a lolly afterwards. 7:06PM Ceiling Cat I think Lucas Moura has a ceiling but he represents great value in this market and is what Spurs have been after for 18 months— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) January 27, 2018 7:03PM That man Alexis is in the XI. #TOTMUN team news: Alexis Sanchez makes his first Premier League start for Man Utd https://t.co/C59LCpbadipic.twitter.com/0Igl6RHqGb— Telegraph Football (@TeleFootball) January 31, 2018 7:02PM Here are Man United The team news is in! Here’s your #MUFC starting XI for our @PremierLeague game against Tottenham… #TOTMUNpic.twitter.com/u6WTNtnzwE— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 31, 2018 7:01PM Here is the Spurs side #THFC: Lloris (C), Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Davies, Dier, Dembele, Eriksen,