Manchester United are in crisis - and the Red Devils might try to spend their way out of trouble.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side 12th in the Premier League and only two points off the relegation zone, additions to the squad seem inevitable in January.

The latest transfer rumours suggest a raft of players could be heading to Old Trafford in a bid to stop the rot.


TOP STORY – FOXES DUO ON UNITED'S RADAR

Harry Maguire has already made the move from Leicester City to Manchester United and, according to the Sun, the Red Devils want to raid the club again in January. The UK newspaper claims a £130million double swoop is being lined up for Ben Chilwell and James Maddison.

Goal reports West Ham midfielder Declan Rice and Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly are also targets for United, regardless of Solskjaer's future. United also continue to be linked with striker Mario Mandzukic, who is struggling for minutes under new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri.


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- United are struggling but Everton have been even worse, with the Toffees in the relegation zone after eight games of the new season. According to a report in UK tabloid the Daily Star, Marco Silva has been given three games to save his job. Unfortunately for Silva, the third game of that run is against his old club Watford in the EFL Cup. The Hornets surely would love to push Silva towards the sack.

- England boss Gareth Southgate will hand Chelsea starlet Mason Mount his first international start when the Three Lions take on the Czech Republic in Prague on Friday, reports Sky Sports. Mount has impressed for the Blues this season, scoring four goals in eight Premier League starts.

- The forward has spent his whole career at Bayern Munich, but Thomas Muller could be moving on. The ex-Germany international has slipped out of favour under Niko Kovac and is not content to play a back-up role. According to Bild, Muller will seek a move in January.

- Sampdoria are closing in on an agreement with Claudio Ranieri to become their new coach. Bottom of Serie A, Samp are seeking a replacement for the sacked Eusebio Di Francesco. According to various Italian outlets including Sky Sport Italia and La Gazzetta dello Sport, Samp could pay Ranieri - who led Leicester City to the Premier League title - €1million a year. Ranieri also replaced Di Francesco after he was sacked by Roma last season.

- Right-back Elseid Hysaj could leave Napoli during the January transfer window, his agent Mario Giuffredi has told Rete Sport. Hysaj was previously linked with Manchester United and Juventus, but Giuffredi indicated Roma would be his client's preferred destination. A fee of around €30m has been mooted for the Albania international.

Jose Mourinho rejected the chance to hold talks with Lyon regarding their vacant head coach position because he has "already chosen another" team, according to the Ligue 1 club's president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Mourinho has been out of work since December last year, when he was sacked by Manchester United following a run of poor results.

The Portuguese coach has this season made regular television appearances as a pundit, widely attracting acclaim for his insight, demeanour and analysis.

Lyon sacked Sylvinho on Monday after just one win in his last nine matches at the helm and Aulas had identified Mourinho as a target, though the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss apparently turned them down on account of having another job lined up.

"We had some fairly flattering exchanges over text," Aulas told reporters via a telephone news conference.

"It was nice for everyone. He did not accept our proposal to meet because he has already chosen another club."

Sylvinho's arrival coincided with the return of club icon Juninho Pernambucano as sporting director in pre-season.

Aulas confirmed the decision to dismiss the former Manchester City and Barcelona defender came from Juninho, with Sylvinho's perceived negative brand of football doing little to endear himself.

"It was indeed Juninho who took the decision to change coach, he even had this view a little earlier on," Aulas said. "He is going to continue to take responsibility on the football side in the same way.

"He is a boy who breathes football. In the first matches, he detected a certain number of problems. It is he who explained his decision to Sylvinho.

"I didn't know of him [Sylvinho] before Juninho told me about him. The defensive style he offered created a destabilising effect in terms of the normal attacking style of Lyon. We made a mistake, but in general we don't make a mistake twice."

While Aulas seemed to confirm Patrick Vieira will not be considered as he is under contract at Nice, Remi Garde – who coached Lyon between 2011 and 2014 – is an option.

"He hasn't been contacted yet, but that is a possible route. For the moment, talks haven't happened, but maybe they will," Aulas added.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will be remembered as one of Germany's all-time greats because he was "symbolic" for more than 10 years, according to his first Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Schweinsteiger, 35, confirmed on Tuesday he will end his playing career when the 2019 MLS season concludes, with Chicago Fire failing to reach the playoffs.

The midfielder has enjoyed an illustrious career at the top, spending 13 years in Bayern's first-team before also playing for Manchester United for just over 18 months.

But arguably most importantly he represented his country for 12 years after making his debut in 2004, helping them to a third-place finish as World Cup hosts in 2006, then again in South Africa four years later, before eventually becoming champions in 2014.

Hitzfeld gave Schweinsteiger his Bayern debut as an 18-year-old in 2002 and feels it was an honour to work with someone who went on to become a Germany icon.

"That was the time when I thought I could throw the boy in," Hitzfeld told Goal and SPOX of Schweinsteiger's debut against Lens in the Champions League 17 years ago.

"I had already seen in the training games what a high level and what great talent he had. Nevertheless, it is a long way [to the top]. As a coach, I experienced many talents who then fell by the wayside.

"For me as a coach, it was not difficult to shape him, because his great talent was already there.

"Bastian was a born footballer, you do not have to do much, just lead. That's why I'm glad he made that career. It was a privilege to work with him, because such a player is a gift for every coach.

"Bastian is one of the best German footballers of all time. He has shaped German football with his unbelievable game intelligence for more than a decade as a symbolic figure.

"His share in winning the World Cup was incredibly high. You cannot overestimate his performance.

"With this German mentality, with this fighting spirit coupled with his technical ability, he has fought until the end.

"He has preceded [others] as an absolute role model and has transferred his incredible will to the team."

Another day, another rumour about Christian Eriksen.

The soon-to-be free agent Eriksen wants a new challenge after flagging his intent during the previous transfer window.

A move to LaLiga appeals and a Spanish giant from the capital are reportedly ready to pounce.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID EYE ERIKSEN 

AS and Marca claim Real Madrid are ready to make a move for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in January.

Eriksen is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Spurs star has been linked to the likes of Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Inter.

However, Madrid are reportedly unwilling to wait until season's end as they look to strengthen their midfield.

ROUND-UP

Inter are eyeing Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic, says FC Inter News. Matic has found himself out of favour under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and a switch to Serie A could be on the cards for the Serbia international, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

- According to Calciomercato, Serie A champions Juventus are looking to sign Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri. The Italy international worked with Maurizio Sarri during the former Chelsea boss' time at Stamford Bridge.

Massimiliano Allegri has handed United a "deadline" for him to be given the job at Old Trafford, says La Gazzetta dello Sport. Solskjaer is under growing pressure, with the Red Devils enduring a difficult season and former Juventus boss Allegri has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil fears he has played his last game for the Gunners, according to the Mirror. Ozil has struggled to establish himself since Unai Emery's arrival and the former Germany international has been linked to MLS outfit DC United and Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- Le10Sport claims former Chile, Sevilla and Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli is on the shortlist to fill the Lyon vacancy following Sylvinho's sacking. Sampaoli is in charge of Brazilian side Santos.

- Gianluca Di Marzio reports Claudio Ranieri is in the mix to take over at Sampdoria, who sacked Eusebio Di Francesco prior to the international break. Ranieri – who sensationally led Leicester City to Premier League glory in 2015-16 – last oversaw Roma on a temporary basis last term. Ex-AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso reportedly turned down the job.

- Manchester United are among the admirers of rising Mexico star Sebastian Cordova, reports Record. The 22-year-old America playmaker made his international debut for El Tri last week. The attacking third and midfield are areas of concern for United, who have also been linked to Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic and Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic.

As pressure builds on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is speculation Manchester United are already looking around for future managers.

According to reports, one such potential candidate is a man making waves in the Bundesliga, now with RB Leipzig.

Even though Solskjaer appears to have the backing of United's hierarchy, the time might come to look to the future - just like the club's former manager Jose Mourinho, who has his eye on a comeback.

 

TOP STORY - UNITED CONSIDER NAGELSMANN

Manchester United are interested in Julian Nagelsmann as a future manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Just 32, Nagelsmann has impressed in the Bundesliga, initially with Hoffenheim and this season at RB Leipzig.

Although Ole Solskjaer still has support at the club despite their worst league start for 30 years, it is reported by the newspaper that United are "gathering information" on Nagelsmann with a view to a future approach to take charge of the first team.

ROUND-UP

- Jose Mourinho, is plotting a Premier League return and is keeping an eye on Mauricio Pochettino's situation at Tottenham, according to the Daily Mail.

- Whatever happens with the United manager job, transfer plans for next year are already being drawn up. The big names being eyed for next season are Kalidou Koulibaly and Declan RiceGoal reports.

- In Italy, Juventus have made it clear they will not sell Paulo Dybala in the January transfer window, Calciomercato says. Dybala was linked with United and Spurs in the previous window.

Gareth Bale, meanwhile, considers being left out of the Champions League draw with Club Brugge to be the final straw at Real Madrid, and he wants out next year, AS claims.

- Finally, in more news concerning United bosses of the past, the Mirror and the Daily Mail say there is a growing chance David Moyes could return to Everton if the under-fire Marco Silva is sacked, with the Scot now odds-on in some places to take charge again.

Dean Henderson has been called up to the England squad for the first time to replace the injured Tom Heaton.

The goalkeeper, on loan at Sheffield United from Manchester United, is to join up with Gareth Southgate's squad at St George's Park on Wednesday.

"The decision was taken after Heaton returned to his club for further assessment on an injury sustained during Aston Villa's win against Norwich City last weekend," the FA added in a statement.

Henderson, who has represented England from Under-16 to Under-21 level, has impressed with Sheffield United in the past year, helping them secure promotion to the Premier League.

The 22-year-old rejoined the Blades in July for another season after signing a new three-year contract with Manchester United.

"This is what dreams are made of... it's a dream come true to receive my first England senior call up!!" he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

England face the Czech Republic and Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifiers on October 11 and 14 respectively.

Bastian Schweinsteiger will go down in history as one of Germany's all-time greats, says head coach Joachim Low.

The 2014 World Cup winner announced his retirement on Monday after Chicago Fire failed to reach the MLS playoffs.

Schweinsteiger was an influential part of Low's side that triumphed in Brazil five years ago, when Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final at the Maracana.

The former Bayern Munich and Manchester United midfielder accumulated 121 caps and captained the national team for two years after Philipp Lahm's retirement.

"Today we talked about Argentina, when Basti finished his career, a player with such a class," Low said when addressing the media prior to Schweinsteiger's announcement. 

"He was certainly one of the greatest players Germany had. Each one of us must have a picture of him in our head and that's the game, the final in the Maracana, blood streaming, he keeps getting up.

"He fights until he falls down. His will to win could also be seen in every action. He was a great player and a great personality."

Low says Schweinsteiger, an eight-time Bundesliga and one-time Champions League winner with Bayern, will always have a place in Germany's set up.

"Every player who has once played with us, is of course always welcome. Just as Miroslav Klose thought of it," he added.

"I know him, always open, always honest, always emphatic towards the fans. The fans liked him. For Bastian, we always have a place with us."

Bastian Schweinsteiger has announced his retirement from football following Chicago Fire's failure to reach the MLS playoffs.

The 35-year-old stated via Twitter that "the time has now come" to conclude his playing career at the end of the 2019 season.

In a message to fans, he said: "I would like to thank both you and my teams FC Bayern, Manchester United, Chicago Fire and the German national team. You made this unbelievable time possible for me!

"And of course, I would also like to thank my wife Ana Ivanovic and my family for their support.

"Saying goodbye as an active player makes me feel a little nostalgic, but I am also looking forward to the exciting challenges that await me soon.

"I will remain faithful to football. Many, many thanks for the time we spent together, I will always have a place for you in my heart!"

Schweinsteiger joined Fire in 2017 after leaving United and signed a one-year contract extension last January, but he could not help them finish higher than eighth in the Eastern Conference.

The midfielder progressed through Bayern Munich's youth system and went on to win 18 trophies in a 14-year career with the senior side, his crowning moment coming in the treble-winning season of 2012-13.

He moved to United in 2015 but struggled to impress in Louis van Gaal's final season in charge and was initially ostracised from the first team by Jose Mourinho when he took over.

However, he forced his way back into Mourinho's plans and scored his last goal in a 4-0 FA Cup win over Wigan Athletic in January 2017, shortly before leaving for MLS.

Schweinsteiger won 121 caps for Germany to become their fourth-highest appearance-maker, winning the World Cup in 2014 and becoming captain for two years after Philipp Lahm's retirement.

Under-fire Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be given time to turn things around at Old Trafford, according to former team-mate Mark Bosnich.

United slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Sunday – a tally of nine points from eight matches their worst at this stage of a Premier League campaign.

A team looking shorn of form and confidence lie two points above the relegation zone and, although Bosnich wants the United board to be patient with Solskjaer, he acknowledges this cannot be finite.

"They're not winning football games and you have to say, at the moment, they're not playing particularly good football," the former Australia goalkeeper told Omnisport.

"We've spoken before about the big gap that was going to be there when Sir Alex Ferguson left and we understand that. But there's been three managers now, Ole's the fourth manager.

"I can understand everybody's impatience but they're going to have to gather patience.

"If things continue how they're going they may be left with no choice, but I don't think they're at that stage at the moment.

"I would stick. I'm biased, I must admit that, because I'm an ex-team-mate of his. He was not only a world-class player but a world-class person and I would stick with him.

"To be honest, if you look at the availability around the world, it's not as if a Jurgen Klopp or a Pep Guardiola is free and available.

"Stick with him. However, there is a cut-off point. I said this with Jose Mourinho.

"If in another 20 games, 28 games into the season, if he's third from bottom they may be left with no choice."

Bosnich believes Solskjaer and his predecessors have been hamstrung by ill-judged moves in the transfer market, with the August decision to sell Romelu Lukaku to Inter without signing a replacement striker a case in point.

"Let’s be really frank, the recruitment has been poor over the past three or four years," he said.

"Regardless of what the personal situation was, it was a mistake to let Lukaku go without having a ready-made replacement to come in. Especially at that stage of the season."

However, the ex-Chelsea and Aston Villa man insists it is time for the likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford to stand up and be counted, with a daunting showdown against Premier League leaders Liverpool waiting on the other side of the international break.

"They didn't [sign a replacement for Lukaku] and now Martial, Rashford and all of them have to find their spirit, find their soul and fight back," Bosnich added.

"There's no use just sort of turning up at training, doing your job, going to the game, hiding, hoping that you don't get any criticism and picking up your wages. That doesn't work at a club like Manchester United."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

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- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood has pulled out of the England Under-21 squad due to injury.

The 18-year-old has withdrawn from Aidy Boothroyd's group because of a back problem and will remain with United during the international break.

Wolves' Morgan Gibbs-White (back) and Arsenal's Reiss Nelson (knee) have also pulled out of the England U-21 squad, with Swansea City's Sam Surridge and Ben Wilmot called up in their stead.

Greenwood, who came on as a substitute in Sunday's 1-0 Premier League defeat to Newcastle United, will now begin a battle to be fit for the visit of Liverpool on October 20.

He is the latest United player to be struck down by injury during a desperately difficult run for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Anthony Martial all missed the loss at St James' Park, which extended United's winless run to three games in all competitions.

Excluding the penalty shoot-out win over League One Rochdale in the EFL Cup, Solskjaer has overseen just three wins this season and none since the 1-0 victory over Astana in the Europa League on September 19.

Manchester United fans deserve better than the club's poor form, says striker Marcus Rashford.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side lost 1-0 away to Newcastle United on Sunday, leaving them 12th in the Premier League.

The Red Devils are only two points clear of the relegation zone, with David de Gea telling Sky Sports United are enduring their "most difficult time" since his arrival in 2011.

Spain goalkeeper De Gea blasted United's performances as "unacceptable", while Solskjaer took responsibility for a run of form that has seen his side take 17 points in 16 league matches since his permanent appointment in March.

Rashford himself has struggled for form, with the striker having only scored once since hitting a brace in the 4-0 opening weekend defeat of Chelsea.

"You can't hide in football and the last few weeks simply haven't been good enough," Rashford posted on Twitter.

"As a United fan myself, that hurts. And you deserve better.

"We know we need to improve and that is our sole focus as a team and as a club."

United have been dealing with an injury crisis and midfielder Paul Pogba was among those who missed the trip to Newcastle.

France international Pogba has been ruled out of his country's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers and his post on social media on Monday indicated he is fully focused on his recovery.

"They say hard work pay off what about hard work in the heat?" Pogba wrote on Instagram with a video of him working out in Dubai. "Let's see - loving the view though."

United's first game after the international break is at home to rivals Liverpool, who have won 17 Premier League games in a row and are eight points clear at the top of the table.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

ROUND-UP

- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

Could we have seen a potentially decisive weekend in the Premier League title race?

Liverpool opened an eight-point lead over Manchester City at the summit as James Milner's last-gasp penalty secured a precious 2-1 win over Leicester City on Saturday.

The Reds moved eight points clear with the last-gasp triumph – and City were unable to cut into it as they slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat at home to Wolves on Sunday.

As for Manchester United, their torrid recent form continued with a 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United, while struggling Tottenham were on the end of a resounding 3-0 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Our Premier League Data Diary sheds some light on the detail behind the big stories of this weekend's top games.

 

REDS LEAVE IT LATE TO MAINTAIN PERFECT START

Victory over Leicester means Liverpool have now won their past 17 Premier League games, just one short of Manchester City's top-flight record of 18.

They have also become just the seventh side in history to win each of their opening eight matches in an English top-flight season.

The Reds forged ahead through Sadio Mane's 50th league goal for the club in what was his 100th appearance in the competition for Jurgen Klopp's side.

James Maddison gave the Foxes hope of a point, though, with their first and only shot on target.

However, Milner stepped up deep into added time to seal yet another win for the hosts. It marked the 34th time they have scored a winning goal in a Premier League match in or after the 90th minute, which is at least nine more than any other team

TRAORE DOUBLE DOWNS INSIPID CITY

City were failed to respond to Liverpool's victory, slipping to just a fourth home league defeat in 61 matches under Pep Guardiola.

It was the first time they have lost a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium without scoring since March 2016, when they were beaten 1-0 by neighbours Manchester United.

Wolves were indebted to a superb double from Adama Traore inside the final 10 minutes to claim their second league win of the season. Remarkably, he had failed to score in his previous 32 Premier League matches.

The result marked the first time Wolves have beaten City away from home in a top-flight fixture since December 1979.

LONGSTAFF PILES MISERY ON SOLSKJAER

United's woeful start to the season reached a new low on Sunday. The sorry defeat at Newcastle means they have won a mere nine points from their opening eight games – their lowest total at this stage since the 1989-90 campaign.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's beleaguered squad are now winless in their last eight away league games – their longest such run in the top flight since September 1989, when they went 11 games without victory.

Under-pressure Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, meanwhile, can celebrate after registering his first ever win as a manager against the club he served as a player, doing so at the 23rd attempt.

Victory came courtesy of Matty Longstaff's drilled effort 18 minutes from time, the 19-year-old becoming the youngest player to score on his Premier League debut for Newcastle.

SEAGULLS SWOOP TO TAKE ADVANTAGE

Tottenham's defeat at Brighton means they have now lost 17 games in all competitions in 2019 – more than any other top-flight side.

Brighton went ahead after just three minutes, Neal Maupay nodding in after Hugo Lloris fumbled a cross - injuring himself in the process. Only Asmir Begovic (21) has made more errors leading to goals than Lloris (18) in the Premier League since his debut in the competition in October 2012.

Nineteen-year-old Aaron Connolly then added two more either side of the interval to seal a memorable win for the hosts. The Irishman is the first teenager to start a Premier League game for Brighton and also the first to score in the league for the Seagulls since Jake Forster-Caskey in April 2014.

The win equalled Brighton's biggest margin of victory in a top-flight game and meant they scored more than once in a league home game for the first time in 16 matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer acknowledged Manchester United are already facing a monumental task to challenge for Champions League qualification in the Premier League.

United slumped to their third Premier League defeat of the season as Matty Longstaff's debut goal earned Newcastle United a 1-0 win at St James' Park on Sunday.

The Red Devils have now made their worst start to a league campaign since 1989-90, with Solskjaer's side managing just two wins from their eight matches so far.

Things do not get any easier for United, who welcome league leaders Liverpool to Old Trafford after the international break on October 20.

Solskjaer, however, believes United – who could be boosted by the return of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba from injury – can use the Liverpool fixture as a chance to push on, though he acknowledged his team need to start picking up points swiftly.

"Very symptomatic of where we are at the moment. We don't create enough chances to deserve to win a game of football, that's the short version," Solskjaer, who has taken just 17 points since taking permanent charge of United, told a news conference.

"We have given ourselves a very tough task to get into the top four. We need points straight away, get on a run. We need momentum.

"I can't tell you what is acceptable, every game should be one you need to win at this club but at the moment we can't win games, especially away from home.

"But we have the perfect opportunity to get players back and get supporters' mood up with Liverpool at home.

"We're unhappy with the results, they bring down the mood in everyone. I've got to say sorry to the fans that we're not winning games but that is down to starting a rebuild.

"This is not a similar situation to when I was sat after a [4-0 defeat at] Everton last season, when I felt people had given up. These boys give everything they have got for the shirt and we'll get there again."

Harry Maguire should have given United the lead before half-time, only to head wide from six yards out - a miss which Solskjaer believes sums up the club's current form.

"I missed bigger chances. If you're 2-0 up and your team's winning every game, he'd close his eyes and score," Solskjaer said.

"At the moment it's just not going for us. He knows and we know it's a big opportunity in the game. I've talked about these moments many times over the last month, we have to grasp the moment when it's there. We didn't and we need to clear our heads and get ready for Liverpool."

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