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Player ratings as Garnacho strikes late for Man Utd

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Alejandro Garnacho was the hero as his injury-time strike ensured Manchester United saw off Fulham with a late 2-1 victory on Sunday.

Christian Eriksen tapped home the opener and his first United goal before Daniel James equalised in the second half with a strike against his former club.

Substitute Alejandro Garnacho – who has provided some excellent performances against Aston Villa and Real Sociedad recently – popped up late on to slide in the winner and consolidate United’s grip on fifth before the World Cup break.

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Both sides looked vulnerable and uncomfortable out of possession in the early stages but it was United who went ahead as Bruno Fernandes burst into the box and squared for Eriksen, who converted from close range.

Fulham probed, smelling weakness against an away side that had only named eight substitutes, and came close to an equaliser when Harry Wilson latched onto Andreas Pereira’s low cross but saw his effort saved.

Tyrell Malacia was set for a tough afternoon as Fulham smelt blood and set Willian and Antonee Robinson onto the out-of-position Dutchman. He kept his head above water throughout the first half, however, and United even had chances to kill the game before the break. Anthony Martial could only head an inch-perfect cross from Luke Shaw over the crossbar and Eriksen fired wide from a brilliant, low ball again from Fernandes.

Marco Silva’s side had work to do after the break, but a first league win over United since December 2009 wasn’t out of reach, despite the visitors having not yet dropped a point from a winning position this season.

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Again, Erik ten Hag’s side spurned a chance to put the game to bed moments into the second half. A missed block saw a floated ball fall into Anthony Elanga’s pass, but his tame shot wasn’t enough to beat Bernd Leno. Marcus Rashford followed in the rebound, but could only win a corner for his efforts.

As they have done with regularity this season, Fulham went in search of an equaliser and weren’t afraid to commit forward. Just as United looked to exploit them on the break, a loose pass gifted possession back to the hosts. Willian burst down the right flank and released Tom Cairney, who rifled a ball across to substitute and former United man James to slot home at the back post.

Strangely, United only seemed to get worse as the game went on, with a scattergun approach to trying to regain the lead naturally not working out. That was until Garnacho sparked a moment of brilliance at the death, exchanging passes with Eriksen and bursting into the box to slot home an incredibly late winner.

It was a huge strike and another show of the teenager’s credentials to ensure United headed back up north with all three points from a seriously testing affair.

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Starting XI – GK: Bernd Leno (7); RB: Bobby Reid (7), CB: Issa Diop (6), CB: Tim Ream (7), LB: Antonee Robinson (7); CM: Joao Palhinha (7), CM: Tom Cairney (7); RW: Harry Wilson (6), AM: Andreas Pereira (6), RW: Willian (7); ST: Carlos Vinicius (6).

SUBS: Daniel James (7), Joshua Onomah (N/A)

Anthony Martial

No goal today for Martial / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

GK: David de Gea – 6/10 – Down smartly to deny Carlos Vinicius after 52 minutes; at full stretch to deny Tim Ream from the resulting corner.

RB: Tyrell Malacia – 4/10 – Out of position, he struggled positionally and looked awkward in possession, with his immediate thought being to cut inside onto his left foot. Had trouble containing Willian and was caught in no man’s land for the equaliser.

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CB: Victor Lindelof – 6/10 – With no Mitrovic up front for Fulham, deploying the Swede was less of a risk.

CB: Lisandro Martinez – 7/10 – Defenders should not be this composed with a ball at their feet. Goes against every convention ever taught in British Sunday league, but it’s such an asset. Another fine display from the ‘Butcher’.

LB: Luke Shaw – 6/10 – A composed performance on a much more settled left-wing, venturing forward into space well.

DM: Casemiro – 7/10 – Looks more comfortable with every game he plays. Still caught in possession once or twice, but positioned himself strongly to sweep up in front of United’s defence.

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DM: Christian Eriksen – 7/10 – Key to United’s build-up play, as usual. Always available for a pass and picked the right positions. Their need for another deep-lying playmaker to alleviate the burden on Eriksen is obvious, as the Dane’s influence waned later on.

RM: Anthony Elanga – 6/10 – Couldn’t provide the same sort of output as Antony. Where the Brazilian stretches the pitch and isolates defenders, Elanga does his best work running in behind. United’s right flank is considerably weaker without their usual duo.

AM: Bruno Fernandes – 8/10 – Sharp, confident, outgoing. Fernandes at his best. He popped up between Fulham’s various defensive gaps and demonstrated his incredible passing range on his 100th Premier League outing.

LM: Marcus Rashford – 6/10 – A more timid performance following weeks of impressive and explosive displays.

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ST: Anthony Martial – 6/10 – His hold-up play, technical ability and composure in possession is so key to United being able to sustain attacks and break quickly. Just lacked any clear-cut chances to score himself.

SUB: Scott McTominay (55′ for Elanga) – 5/10 – Didn’t offer the same pace on the counter for United.

SUB: Alejandro Garnacho (72′ for Martial) – 8/10 – Fearless as usual when running at defenders. Paid dividends in the form of a last-minute winner.

Manager: Erik ten Hag – 5/10 – His hands were tied with injuries limiting his options both in the XI and off the bench, but bringing on McTominay when he did felt a little strange.

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Player of the Match – Bruno Fernandes (Man Utd)



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EPL

Al-Nassr offer Cristiano Ronaldo record-breaking contract

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Al-Nassr have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a contract that could make him the highest paid footballer in history, according to report.

The 37-year-old sensationally left Manchester United by mutual agreement earlier this month after he criticised the club’s players, manager and hierarchy in an explosive interview with Piers Morgan.

Ronaldo, who is currently away at the World Cup with Portugal, has been targeted by clubs in Saudi Arabia before, and turned down the opportunity to join Al-Hilal in the summer despite being offered over £300m to do so.

90min previously revealed that Al-Hilal were preparing a fresh offer for Ronaldo, but it’s believed they have turned their attention to Lionel Messi and other priorities – paving the way for Al-Nassr to try and engineer a move of their own.

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Ronaldo’s current intention is to remain in Europe, where he can continue to compete in the Champions League, but sources have confirmed to 90min that Al-Nassr have put forward a blockbuster contract offer to take him to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Nassr’s offer is believed to be a three-year deal worth close to £250m a year once add-ons, incentives and bonuses are factored in – eclipsing the huge contract Kylian Mbappe penned earlier this summer to remain at Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo is yet to respond to Al-Nassr’s proposal, but his desire to continue competing at the highest level was made clear in the interview he conducted with Morgan.

Newcastle United, owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and Chelsea are two Premier League teams to have previously been linked with Ronaldo.

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Marcus Rashford pays tribute to late friend with goal celebration

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Marcus Rashford has revealed that his celebration following his first goal against Wales was a tribute to a friend who’d recently passed away.

The Man Utd man was in electric form for the Three Lions on Tuesday evening, scoring a brace and catapulting himself to the top of the tournament goalscoring charts in the process. In scoring his second and third goal in Qatar, Rahsford became the first Man Utd player to score three goals at a World Cup for England since Sir Bobby Charlton achieved the feat way back in 1966.

Speaking after the game to the press, Rashford revealed that he pointed to the sky following his first goal in order to pay tribute to his friend who passed away following a long battle with cancer:

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“I lost one of my friends a couple of days ago. He had quite a long battle with cancer. I’m pleased I scored for him, he was a big supporter and good friend of mine. He was someone who came into my life.”

Rashford also gave an assessment of the game itself and his overall performance stating: “I fancied a free-kick in the first half, but the one in the second half was in a better position. From there it’s about being calm and executing what you do in training. They don’t go in often but I was glad it did today.

“It’s a great feeling. We were a bit disappointed after the USA game, and the only way to bounce back is to have a good performance in your next game; I thought we did it. It was just about taking the chances when they came.”

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders and Toby Cudworth to look back on South Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cup’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!

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If you can’t see the podcast embed, click to download or listen to the episode in full!



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Tottenham ask Inter about availability of key player

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Tottenham Hotspur have made enquiries to Inter over right wing-back Denzel Dumfries, 90min understands.

Spurs are on the hunt for reinforcements at wing-back, with 90min previously reporting that one of Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty could be sold in January, while a loan move for Djed Spence looks likely.

On their list of targets is Dumfries, who is currently at the World Cup with the Netherlands. Inter need to sell one star player by the end of the season to help ease their financial woes.

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It was previously thought that Milan Skriniar would be the man to make way, but he will either sign a new contract or leave for free when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Instead, Inter will look to sell Dumfries in January and loan him back for the rest of the season, though Spurs would push to take him off their hands straight away.

Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey in the latest episode of Talking Transfers, discussing Cristiano Ronaldo’s interview and his future, Man Utd’s interest in Cody Gakpo, plus the latest on Endrick and Rafael Leao. Available on all audio platforms.

If you can’t see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!

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In addition to Tottenham, Chelsea are also interested in the Dutchman, and this could drive Dumfries’ price up.

Dumfries signed for Inter in 2021 as a replacement for the outgoing Achraf Hakimi, whose sale partly contributed to the exit of current Spurs head coach Antonio Conte.

He scored five goals from wing-back in his debut season at San Siro and has found the net twice more this term.





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