Chris Smalling

Leading Premier League players plan 24-hour social media blackout

Leading Premier League stars have backed a 24-hour social media boycott in protest at an escalation of incidents of racial abuse online. The campaign launched by the Professional Footballers’ Association will urge players to stay off social media from 0900 on Friday morning after posting the hashtag #Enough. The PFA say it is intended as a show of solidarity with players who have been targeted, as well as a demand to social media organisations and the game’s authorities that more needs to be done. #Enough 👊🏽👊🏼👊🏿 Making a stand against racist abuse! A player led 24hr boycott on social media. Read more: https://t.co/XxVkrefZ1H pic.twitter.com/I787Ar6rKg — PFA | Professional Footballers’ Association (@PFA) April 18, 2019 Simone Pound, Head of Equalities at the PFA, said: “Football has t...

Result: Paul Pogba nets two penalties in Manchester United win

Paul Pogba scores twice from the penalty spot as Manchester United record a 2-1 win over West Ham United in the Premier League. Paul Pogba scored twice from the penalty spot as Manchester United recorded a 2-1 win over West Ham United in Saturday evening’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford. Felipe Anderson cancelled out Pogba’s first spot kick early in the second period, but the midfielder netted once again in the 80th minute to secure three huge points for top-four hopefuls United. The result means that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side have moved above Arsenal into fifth position in the table and now sit just two points off fourth-placed Chelsea with five games left. The 20-time English champions will now switch their attention to the second leg of their Champions League q...

How Barcelona could line up against Huesca

Sports Mole looks at how Barcelona could line up in this weekend’s La Liga clash with Huesca. Barcelona will be looking to continue their charge towards the La Liga title when they travel to basement side Huesca on Saturday afternoon. Barca beat second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend to open up an 11-point lead at the summit, while Huesca sit bottom of the table, six points behind 17th-placed Real Valladolid. An own goal from Luke Shaw saw Barca record a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. The return match at Camp Nou will take place next week and therefore head coach Ernesto Valverde is expected to make a number of changes to his starting XI this weekend. With that in mind, Sports Mole has ta...

Preview: Huesca vs. Barcelona – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole brings you the team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Barcelona’s trip to Huesca in La Liga. Bottom will welcome top in La Liga this weekend as Barcelona head to Estadio El Alcoraz to face Huesca. Barca beat second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend to open up an 11-point lead at the summit, while Huesca sit bottom of the table, six points behind 17th-placed Real Valladolid heading into Week 32. Huesca © Reuters Huesca finished second in the Segunda Division last term to earn a spot in the top flight for the first time. They were actually playing Segunda B football as recently as 2015 but are now in the big time. All things considered, Huesca deserve huge praise for their form this season. It is going to be tough to escape the bottom three, but just six point...

Result: Luke Shaw own goal hands Barcelona first-leg advantage

An own goal from Luke Shaw sees Barcelona record a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. An own goal from Luke Shaw saw Barcelona record a 1-0 win over Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. United arguably shaded the match against an off-colour Barca, but the Spanish champions did enough to secure a narrow advantage ahead of the return fixture at Camp Nou next week. © Reuters Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera both missed out for United, meaning that there were spots in midfield for Scott McTominay and Fred. There was also a position in the XI for Diogo Dalot, who started as a wing-back. As for Barca, Ousmane Dembele was only fit enough for the bench, so Philippe Coutinh...

Combined XI: Manchester United vs. Barcelona

Sports Mole selects its strongest combined XI from the squads of Manchester United and Barcelona ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League showdown between the two sides. Two titans of European football go head to head on Wednesday night when Manchester United host Barcelona at Old Trafford for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. United launched an unforgettable comeback to beat Paris Saint-Germain on aggregate in the last 16, and will be hoping for a similarly-sized upset over two legs against the La Liga leaders. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s side have lost three of their last four outings, though, whereas Barcelona boast a 16-match unbeaten streak that has taken them to the brink of a second successive domestic title and kept them on course for the treble. Here, Spor...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: ‘No more slip-ups for Manchester United in top-four race’

Boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted Manchester United have no room for error in their top-four quest after conceding they blew it at Wolves. Chris Smalling‘s own goal condemned 10-man United to a 2-1 defeat – their third in four games – as they missed the chance to climb back into the Champions League spots. Scott McTominay‘s first United goal put the visitors ahead but Fred’s mistake allowed Diogo Jota to level in the first half and Ashley Young was sent off mid-way through the second half for two bookings in five minutes. United remain fifth in the Premier League, behind Tottenham on goal difference, with six games left and face Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final first leg next week. Chris Smalling’s own goal settled the game (Nick Potts/PA) Solskjae...

Result: Wolverhampton Wanderers record comeback win over 10-man Manchester United

Wolverhampton Wanderers overturn an early deficit to register a 2-1 win over 10-man Manchester United in Tuesday’s Premier League encounter at Molineux. Wolverhampton Wanderers have maintained their hold of seventh position with a 2-1 victory over Manchester United in Tuesday’s Premier League clash at Molineux. Scott McTominay had put United into an early lead with his first goal for the club, but Diogo Jota‘s low-range strike got Wolves back on level terms before Ashley Young was dismissed before the hour mark. United matched Wolves during the closing quarter of the match, but Chris Smalling put through his own net with 13 minutes left to leave United outside of the top four. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer criticised his players for the tempo of their play when losing to Wolves in...

Result: Manchester United overcome Watford to go fourth in Premier League

Manchester United move above Arsenal into fourth position in the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 win against Watford. Manchester United have moved above Arsenal into fourth position in the Premier League table courtesy of a 2-1 win against Watford at Old Trafford. In what was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s first match since being appointed permanent boss, the Red Devils secured an important three points to return to the Champions League positions. Watford were excellent for long spells of the contest, but goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial saw the 20-time English champions return to winning ways following back-to-back defeats. © Reuters United’s team showed four changes from the one that started the FA Cup defeat at Wolverhampton Wanderers before the international br...

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refuses to blame David De Gea for Manchester United defeat

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended goalkeeper David De Gea after he saw his unbeaten Premier League streak ended at Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners have an impressive home record this season and extended their run to 15 league games without defeat at the Emirates Stadium with a 2-0 win which moves them above United and into fourth. Granit Xhaka’s long-range effort caught out De Gea before a contentious second-half penalty allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to seal three vital points in the race for Champions League qualification. Solskjaer, who tasted domestic defeat for the first time since his appointment as caretaker manager in December, saw both Romelu Lukaku and Fred hit the woodwork. Not our day today, Reds, but we’ll be back.#MUFC 🔴 pic.twitter.com/lNX0Hq28oX —...

PFA calls for full inquiry after Grealish and Smalling confronted by fans

The safety of players is at the top of the agenda after Jack Grealish was attacked on the pitch and Chris Smalling was confronted, with the Professional Footballers’ Association calling for a full inquiry after a dark day for the sport. Two fans were arrested following separate incidents on Sunday, with Aston Villa skipper Grealish punched by a fan just hours before Smalling was ran at and appeared to be pushed by a supporter during Manchester United’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. Grealish old was struck on the side of the head after nine minutes as he stood in Birmingham’s penalty area during the Second City derby. Grealish went on to hail it the ‘best day of his life’, recovering from being punched by the Birmingham fan to score the winner in the Second City derby. The fan, named by West Midla...

Result: Arsenal beat Manchester United to claim top-four advantage

Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang register as Arsenal beat top-four rivals Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have defeated Manchester United 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium to inflict a first Premier League defeat on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since he replaced Jose Mourinho. The Gunners picked up the victory through a first-half strike from Granit Xhaka, which David de Gea should have kept out, and a second-half penalty from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Romelu Lukaku wasted a couple of big chances for United either side of Xhaka’s goal as United, unbeaten in 12 top-flight matches before today, slipped below their opponents into fifth place. Arsenal’s top-four destiny is not quite in their own hands, though, as Chelsea can draw level on points if they win thei...

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