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Europa League final preview: Ajax v United

May 24, 2017 Tags: , Matches 2 comments
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Manchester United takes on Ajax almost six years to the day since the Reds last European final – few could have predicted that the face of the club would have changed so dramatically in the intervening time. The Reds’ 3-1 “hiding”- as Sir Alex Ferguson put it – at the hands of Barcelona in 2011 marked the natural end of a successful period in the team’s history. Could another one begin in Stockholm on Wednesday night?

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Manchester United’s European Finals

May 24, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion No comments
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This season represents many things, some of which might be unrepeatable on these pages. For all the negative and frustrating moments over the past few months, it is also a season that represents another Manchester United attempt at lifting a European title. This Wednesday offers United a unique opportunity to add a trophy that, for better or worse, has eluded a burgeoning cabinet thus far. Europa League victory might well represent the ‘bare minimum’ this season, but would help José Mourinho achieve his season’s goal of returning to the Champions League.

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Everything you always wanted to know about Ajax

May 23, 2017 Tags: , Opinion No comments
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Wednesday’s Europa League final offers José Mourinho not only the opportunity to salvage Manchester United’s season, but a route back into the Champions League. After four seasons of failure, United cannot afford to miss out on the continent’s élite competition once again. It’s a task easier said than done of course. Mourinho’s side was some way short of making it through the Premier League. So all eyes on Stockholm this week. The opponents: Ajax, a vibrant and youthful side ready to make the step to the next level.

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Ajax v United: Kasper Dolberg – The Boy’s Dane Good

May 20, 2017 Tags: , , Opinion 2 comments
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Over the years Ajax Amsterdam has made a habit of housing Danish football’s finest talents. The famous red and white jersey has been graced by the presence of Søren Lerby, Frank Arnesen, Jan Mølby, Jesper Olsen, and more recently Christian Eriksen. Following in illustrious footsteps is Kasper Dolberg, the newly crowned winner of this season’s Johan Cruyff Award. In part one of a multi-part preview of the Europa League final, Rant looks at Ajax’ blonde danger man.

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Stuck in the middle with Mou

May 17, 2017 Tags: Opinion 5 comments
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Make no mistake, Manchester United’s Premier League season will end in disappointment, no matter the scoreline against Crystal Palace at the weekend. At the start of the campaign this was a team touted to challenge for the Premier League title having acquired stellar names over the summer: Zlatan Ibrahimović, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. That’s not to mention Eric Bailly, who has turned out to be one of the consistent bright points in a frustrating season. Add José Mourinho, the man who should have succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson, and everybody assumed the club would challenge for top honours.

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Rant’s manifesto to turn United around

May 16, 2017 Tags: Opinion 9 comments
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It is a team is stumbling towards the season’s end, the Premier League is a long forgotten dream, and the campaign will conclude successfully only if the Reds emerge victorious in next week’s Europa League final. There is glory, Champions League qualification, and tens of millions in revenue at stake. Yet, whatever the outcome of the Stockholm final few can conclude that José Mourinho has delivered on the promise offered last summer. It’s going to be a C plus season, with yet another a rethink in store over the break.

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United out to spoil Spurs’ party as season’s end draws near

May 13, 2017 Tags: , Opinion 5 comments
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After 118 years Tottenham Hotspur prepares to say goodbye to White Hart Lane. The century has not aged the old ground well, with Spurs’ facilities outdated and other clubs moving ahead. It is testament to Mauricio Pochettino’s talent as a manager that he has taken the Lillywhites to second on the Premier League’s sixth largest budget. José Mourinho might typically be out to spoil the party, but with the Manchester United manager has long since prioritised winning the Europa League. It might not be a scratch team on Sunday, but it is likely to be far from full strength.

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Mourinho sacrifices top-four as Europa League final beckons

May 11, 2017 Tags: , Matches 4 comments
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Sunday’s result against Arsenal was the game in which José Mourinho finally delivered on his threat to forsake Manchester United’s top-four hopes in search of a Europa League triumph. The Reds suffered a torrid afternoon at the Emirates, marking the end of a 25 game Premier League unbeaten run, one which must rank among the most uninspiring in football history. During the run United slipped from six points off the league leaders to nineteen. It is a damning statistic, yet the Reds are is still in the hunt for a second piece of silverware as the club welcomes Celta Vigo to Old Trafford with a place in the Europa League final at stake.

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