Mason Greenwood replaces the injured Anthony Martial in the Manchester United team as Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford for the first time since his sacking.

Martial was substituted towards the end of United's last match, a 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told MUTV the France forward could be out for "a little while".

Taking Martial's place in the United attack is 18-year-old striker Greenwood, who starts a Premier League game for the first time this season, while Scott McTominay is fit to come into midfield.

Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira and Brandon Williams drop out of the team that started against Villa, with Ashley Young, McTominay and Jesse Lingard drafted into the XI.

Menwhile, Mourinho's selection sees Harry Winks return to the Tottenham midfield at the expense of Tanguy Ndombele, who drops to the bench.

Eric Dier has also been left out following the win over Bournemouth at home, Lucas Moura coming into the team instead.

Anthony Martial's return has been crucial to Manchester United's recent upturn in form, according to team-mate Daniel James.

France forward Martial missed almost two months of action with a thigh injury before returning off the bench late in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool on October 20. 

The Red Devils have since won five of their six matches since, with a limp 1-0 loss at Bournemouth the only blot in that run.

Martial, James and Marcus Rashford were in scintillating form as Brighton and Hove Albion were swept aside 3-1 on Sunday, a result that left United seventh heading into the international break.

And James, who turned 22 on Sunday, believes Martial's influence has been pivotal to the recent improvement.

"Since he's come back in, we've got that focal point," James said after the Brighton game. 

"He's a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind. It's been important for me and for Marcus since he's come back into the team to get that interlink.

"Since he's come back, he's got goals and he's got assists and he's been great for us."

James arrived from Championship side Swansea City in a reported £15million deal in June and has taken on a prominent role in the team, appearing in all 12 Premier League fixtures this term.

The Wales winger concedes he did not expect to feature so much but is relishing the opportunity.

"Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship," he added. 

"I think I've taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think, 'I'm here for a reason'.

"At the start of the season, I maybe didn't think I would play as much. Every game I've been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I've really enjoyed it."

Anthony Martial is still very much part of France's plans going forward despite missing out on selection this time around, says head coach Didier Deschamps.

Manchester United forward Martial has been in fine form for the Red Devils since returning from the thigh injury that ruled him out for two months three weeks ago.

The 23-year-old has scored three goals in his past six outings and has linked well with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James at Old Trafford.

However, Martial – whose last international appearance came in a friendly against Russia in March 2018 – has again been omitted for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers with Moldova and Albania.

Deschamps, though, says he is likely to be included in the future.

"He was part of the French team on a regular basis, but recently he was often injured," he said. 

"He came back not so long ago and it's going well in his role as a central striker with Manchester United.

"But for a long time he's been part of the players likely to be called." 

Olivier Giroud is included despite the experienced striker's limited game time for Chelsea this season.

The 33-year-old has made just six appearances and played just 120 minutes of Premier League football.

Giroud continues to be selected regularly by Deschamps, the former Arsenal forward having earned his trust.

"Maybe that means something but it's mostly what happened on the pitch that means something," he added. 

"If he is the one I used the most, do not forget either the ratio of matches and goals. 

"There are not many in front of him in terms of goals in the history of the France team. He did the right thing, he answered the trust."

Deschamps also expects Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe to be fit to feature even though he missed the 2-1 Ligue 1 win at Brest on Saturday with a muscular issue.

"He [Mbappe] has not arrived yet, [but] will be there," Deschamps said. "There was a communication between the two doctors on the fact it was a precaution.

"There was no particular concern compared to our deadline of Thursday."

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were to the fore once again as Manchester United saw off Brighton and Hove Albion 3-1 at Old Trafford to move back into the top half of the Premier League table.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men impressed in Thursday's 3-0 Europa League victory over Partizan Belgrade, which Martial and Rashford both scored in, and the forwards both played crucial roles again as a resilient Brighton were dispatched fairly comfortably.

United looked as though they were going to cruise to victory during the early exchanges, as they found themselves 2-0 up thanks to a couple of fortuitous goals from Andreas Pereira and Davy Propper, who beat his own goalkeeper.

Lewis Dunk pulled one back for Brighton just past the hour, but Rashford - set up by Martial - lashed in soon after to seal the points, though United arguably should have added several more goals, with the England star, Daniel James and Brandon Williams all going close.

United began with real purpose but were extremely fortunate to open the scoring in the 17th minute.

Pereira was guilty of overplaying on the counter and was dispossessed, but the ball came to Martial and he teed the Brazilian up again, with the eventual shot finding the net via a massive deflection.

The hosts were lucky again soon after, as Scott McTominay attempted to bundle over the line and Propper prodded it into his own net.

Chances came at both ends just past the hour – Mat Ryan unconvincingly knocking Fred's long-range effort on to the crossbar, before Dunk lost Pereira at a corner to emphatically head Brighton back into the contest.

Rashford restored the two-goal lead two minutes later, however, crashing an effort in off the crossbar after Martial teed his strike partner up.

An awful miss from Rashford was followed by saves to deny him, Williams and James, but Brighton were unable to make United rue their wastefulness.

A late ankle injury suffered by McTominay, which left the midfielder in considerable pain, was the only significant dampener on an otherwise fine day for the Red Devils.

 

What does it mean? United moving in the right direction

It has not been a straightforward start to the season, but in recent weeks United have shown signs of getting back to the side they were during Solskjaer's days as caretaker manager.

In that period, Rashford and Martial were vital and it is no surprise to see them central to most of what is good about United at the moment. While seventh place is hardly impressive, they are now just a point adrift of Sheffield United and Arsenal.

Fred finding his feet

This was arguably Fred's best performance in a United shirt. His passing was crisp, he moved the ball on quickly and played a role in two of the three goals. Perhaps he is not the dud many claimed he was.

Pereira out of his depth

While he did manage to score a goal, there was little to recommend in Pereira's performance. It remains something of a mystery how he manages to retain a place in the starting XI.

What's next?

United travel to high-flying Sheffield United next Sunday, while Brighton host Leicester City the day before.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Scott McTominay suffered an ankle injury in Manchester United's win over Partizan Belgrade, while he played down concerns over Harry Maguire.

United booked their spot in the Europa League last 32 thanks to Thursday's 3-0 win, which came thanks to goals from Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

McTominay came off during the second half of the victory due to an ankle injury, while Maguire was also a worry.

But while he has fewer worries about Maguire, United manager Solskjaer confirmed some concerns surrounding McTominay.

"I think Harry will be okay. He finished the game anyway," he told MUTV.

"Scott is more of a concern, so let's see how he recovers in the next few days.

"He said he was going to be okay out on the pitch and he said 'I'll be fine'. He's tough, but he had to come off.

"I hope he'll recover for Sunday, but I don't know. Inside of his ankle. I think he went over on his ankle."

Sitting 10th in the Premier League table, United host Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The win over Partizan gave Solskjaer's men a boost and the performance of his young attack featuring Greenwood, Rashford and Martial was particularly pleasing for the manager.

"The reason we put the three of them together is that we know they are a dangerous trio, with players behind them who can provide chances," he said.

"Well done to Mason for a very, very calm finish. He was composed and waited for the keeper. The second one was from Anthony and was probably the skill of the night.

"Then it was great to see Marcus finishing with his left foot. He will get into those positions quite often in a game. For him to go on the outside, on his left, it is not great for defenders to see.

"It is good for us because he can go inside on his right and then finish with his left."

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were on target as Manchester United ensured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a convincing 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Knowing a win would be enough to see them through - courtesy of a better head-to-head record against Partizan in Group L - United wasted little time in asserting their authority, with Mason Greenwood capping a dominant start in the 21st minute.

Martial added a magnificent second soon after, with Rashford, who had been wasteful in the first half, making it 3-0 shortly after the restart as United cruised into the round of 32 with two matches to spare.

Martial and Partizan's Umar Sadiq both had goals disallowed for offside in the opening five minutes, before Rashford drilled wide from 10 yards out.

Rashford had another opportunity three minutes later, only for Vladimir Stojkovic to rush out and deny the England forward, but Greenwood made no such mistake.

Having benefitted from some dreadful Partizan marking, Greenwood kept his cool to slot beyond Stojkovic after setting himself from Rashford's neat pass.

United were two ahead just after the half hour - Martial prodding in an excellent finish after driving through Partizan's defence with some sublime footwork.

Rashford finally found his shooting boots after the restart, slamming home a brilliant first-time finish from Ashley Young's cushioned touch.

Young almost went from provider to scorer with a terrific free-kick moments later, his strike glancing the side netting before Fred drew a fine stop out of Stojkovic.

A fine night for United was blemished with 15 minutes remaining - Scott McTominay forced off through injury - but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will be able to reflect on a job well done at Old Trafford.

 

What does it mean? United finally making life easier for themselves

It has been a hard slog of a campaign so far for Solskjaer, whose side had appeared to turn a corner prior to their defeat at Bournemouth last time out. 

However, with progression in this competition secured, United can at least now switch their full focus to correcting their dismal league form.

United's vibrant attack come good

It was an ideal night for United's strikers, with all three of them getting in on the act. While starting both of his first-choice forwards in the form of Rashford and Martial may have been a risk, it paid off for Solskjaer, while Greenwood - who became the youngest player to score and assist in a single European game for the Red Devils - continued his impressive start to life in United's first team.

McTominay's fitness a cause for concern

McTominay has been one of United's most consistent performers so far this term, but after a robust challenge from Aleksandar Scekic, the Scotland international was unable to continue and could now be a doubt for Sunday's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

What's next?

United host Brighton the Premier League on Sunday, while Partizan are in action against Indija in the Serbian top flight.

Manchester United scored more than once in a Premier League game for just the second time this season in Sunday's 3-1 win at Norwich City.

A first away league victory in nine attempts since February for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men coincided with the return of Anthony Martial, who missed two months of action with a thigh injury prior to returning as a late substitute against Liverpool last week.

Martial started the season in impressive form with two goals and an assist in his first three outings, including a strike in the 4-0 win against Chelsea - the only other occasion United have scored more than once in a game in any competition since April.

Solskjaer this week talked up Martial's importance and is hopeful his relationship with strike partner Marcus Rashford - also on the scoresheet at Carrow Road - will "improve and grow" over time.

With the help of Opta stats, we look at the impact Martial has had since arriving at Old Trafford in 2015 and explore his link-up with Rashford in more detail.


MARTIAL HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

Martial came on as a late substitute against Liverpool last week and made his first start since August in the 1-0 Europa League win against Partizan, scoring the only goal of the game from the penalty spot to mark his return in style.

The France international retained his place in the line-up for the trip to Norwich three days later - the first time he had started alongside Rashford since the opening weeks of the campaign.

And the duo did not take long to show just how dangerous they can be when used in tandem high up the pitch, most notably in the build-up for Martial's 73rd-minute strike to put United 3-0 ahead.

Martial knocked the ball into the path of Rashford, who returned it with an impressive flicked pass for the 23-year-old to beat Tim Krul - who had earlier kept out penalties from both players - with a dinked finish.

It was Martial's 37th Premier League goal since arriving from Monaco in September 2015 - more than any other United player in that period, with Rashford next best on 32.

RASHFORD CAN PROFIT FROM MARTIAL RETURN

Speaking after that first away league win of the campaign at Norwich, Rashford admitted the Red Devils' attacking players need to step up and craft more opportunities for each other in front of goal.

Rashford has now created three chances for Martial in the top flight during the latter's limited time on the field this term, making it one of the most effective link-ups in the side.

In the prolonged absence of Martial, meanwhile, Rashford has had to rely on Paul Pogba (seven) and Daniel James (five) to create chances for him.

With the ex-Monaco ace now back to full fitness and hitting the ground running, it is little wonder why Solskjaer is excited to see how the partnership blossoms.


MARTIAL MATTERS TO UNITED

While Martial was recuperating from his latest injury lay-off, Rashford has been quietly going about his business.

The versatile attacker has been involved in the fifth most goals of any Premier League player in 2019-20, scoring five times and setting up three more.

That puts him level with Raheem Sterling (eight) and Mohamed Salah (eight), while only Kevin De Bruyne (11), Jamie Vardy (10), Sergio Aguero (10) and Tammy Abraham (nine) have been more heavily involved in front of goal.

And on the basis of the 90 minutes in East Anglia last weekend, Rashford's stats - both in terms of goals and assists - will surely only improve following the return of Martial alongside him.

Only a string of fine saves from Krul prevented United from running riot in that most recent league outing, with Rashford and Martial managing eight shots on target between them.

"It's like Teddy Sheringham and Solskjaer!" United's Norwegian boss joked after the match. With Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez no longer around, it is very much down to Martial and Rashford to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.

Marcus Rashford thinks Manchester United's forwards need to be better at creating clear-cut chances despite an impressive win at Norwich City on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side won an away Premier League game for the first time since February and scored more than once in a match for only the second time this season as they claimed a 3-1 victory at Carrow Road.

Scott McTominay fired in the opener - United's 2,000th goal of the Premier League era - after 21 minutes and Rashford, who had seen a penalty saved by Tim Krul, doubled the lead following a fine pass from Daniel James.

Krul also denied Anthony Martial from the spot just before half-time but the France international responded by finishing a good move involving Rashford to put the game beyond Norwich, who got a consolation goal through Onel Hernandez.

Rashford, who has reached 50 goals for United in all competitions, now wants to see the club's forwards creating more clear chances for one another.

"I think the one thing we can improve on is making more clear-cut opportunities for each other," he said to MUTV. "For me, that's the next step.

"We’re creating and making each other half-chances, but, as forwards, the easier the goals you can get, the better. We want to be able to just square it past the goalkeeper and tap it in.

"We've been working hard and I think, if we keep that up, it'll become easier for us."

Sunday saw another positive performance from James, who has been United's most consistent attacking player in his first season in the Premier League since a reported £15m move from Swansea City.

"He's had a brilliant impact - he's scored important goals and he's assisting as well," Rashford said.

"The main thing is that he's working hard for the team and the other stuff just comes with the game. He's the prime example of that. 

"We're all hungry to keep pushing, to keep scoring more goals and keep assisting each other. I think, if us three can keep doing that on a regular basis, then we'll definitely get some more points."

Rashford admitted it was "a nice feeling" to reach a half-century for United after scoring in back-to-back league games for the first time since January.

"I think this goal wasn't so bad," said the 21-year-old. "The keeper's not really rushing out at you so you can relax and pick your spot. 

"It's a brilliant ball from Dan, even to recognise the space and, when we play like that, it's devastating. Like I said, we can keep doing that and keep making chances for each other."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United should not have been awarded their first penalty against Norwich City after another Premier League match dominated by contentious VAR decisions.

United were given two spot-kicks at Carrow Road on Sunday, but Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial both failed to beat Tim Krul.

Rashford and Martial did get on the scoresheet, however, as Solskjaer's side, who went ahead thanks to Scott McTominay, cruised to a 3-1 win - their first away league victory in nine attempts.

Both penalties were awarded by VAR, which also played a huge part in Arsenal's draw with Crystal Palace, while the system caused controversy on Saturday when it was used to award Brighton and Hove Albion a spot-kick against Everton.

United's first penalty came when Daniel James and Ben Godfrey collided in the area and, while Solskjaer believes the Red Devils' second penalty for a handball by Todd Cantwell was justified, he questioned the initial intervention.

"I don't want to talk too much about VAR. I disagree with the first one," Solskjaer told BBC Sport.

"The second one is [a penalty] but both should be retaken, the goalkeeper is a yard off his line. We are talking about it again.

"VAR is there to help but when it takes ages like the first penalty, it is not a clear and obvious error. When it took that long, it is a signal that it should not have been [given]."

United's form has picked up since coming back from the international break, with Solskjaer's team having followed up the 1-1 draw against league leaders Liverpool last Sunday with successive victories.

"I have been hurt by the results," Solskjaer continued. "This has been a good week for us. It started with a decent performance against Liverpool and now two wins away from home. It gives the players confidence and momentum."

Martial - who only returned from a thigh injury against Liverpool - has scored in United's past two matches, netting the winner against Partizan Belgrade and getting over his penalty miss at Carrow Road with a quality finish.

"We have missed Anthony, he is a very important player for us, the way we play, and Rashford was excellent down the sides and in the middle," Solskjaer said.

"A great response to missing the penalty, chasing back and scoring.

"The third was a very good goal and a class finish. It is great for Anthony to score a goal like that. We could and should have had a few more goals."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer firmly believes Anthony Martial can be the striker Manchester United have been told to sign.

United have scored no more than a single goal in 12 of their 13 matches this season since allowing Romelu Lukaku to leave for Inter.

Former captain Roy Keane advised United to "go and get" Tottenham star Harry Kane but, in the fit-again Martial, manager Solskjaer feels he already has the solution.

The French forward scored the winner against Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League and should lead the line in the Premier League trip to Norwich City on Sunday.

"I've heard what some people have said about us being short of a genuine number nine, but Anthony has absolutely ­everything in his locker to take that role," Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.

"He can be a target man, he's quick, he's technical, and one of the reasons he wanted to stay here was because I told him I saw him as a central striker.

"I don't think people ­outside the club realise how good this lad is, but the players in the dressing room know.

"When we are talking about how we are going to score goals, they say, 'We will just give the ball to Anthony.'

"He has the confidence of his team-mates and his manager ­because we see him every day in training."

Martial's decisive spot-kick in Serbia capped a welcome to the return to the starting XI following a problematic thigh strain.

The 23-year-old will now be relied upon to help resurrect United's season, giving him the chance to answer the critics who have previously questioned his attitude.

Solskjaer said: "People have the wrong idea about Anthony. He is a lad who enjoys life and always has a smile on his face. I know some people will be surprised by that because he is ­always being criticised for having poor body language.

"But he is happy again. He always wanted to be Manchester United's number nine and he's got his number back. We've missed him for the last eight weeks.

"We hoped to have him back earlier and he was so desperate to play that he really pushed his recovery and ended up having a small recurrence."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful Manchester United will see an upturn in form for having Anthony Martial back fit and firing.

Martial had been out for almost two months with a thigh strain before returning as a substitute in the Premier League draw against Liverpool last week.

The France forward then started and scored the only goal of the game as United defeated Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.

That was United's first away win in 12 attempts, with a miserable run of form seeing them 14th heading in the league heading into this weekend and a trip to Norwich City.

But Solskjaer believes Martial can influence an extended change in United's fortunes, having been brought off on the hour-mark in Serbia to be fresh in time for Sunday.

"We've not created as many [chances] as we'd have liked and not scored as many as we'd have liked," Solskjaer said.

"Now Anthony is back, he got a goal, and I'm sure we'll see us improve as a team with Anthony in the side. He does give us something different."

He added: "I hope we're going to stop [Norwich] because it's always going to be difficult down at Carrow Road but we're ready for it now. We've got some players back.

"I managed to take Aaron [Wan-Bissaka] and Anthony off after 60 minutes as they were out a long time. Hopefully, it will be a fresh team because we need to be up at our best to have a chance."

United are still missing a number of star men, however, including Paul Pogba, who Solskjaer earlier ruled out of the Norwich match.

"We're working very hard to get them fit and, hopefully, we can get them back soon," he said. "I'm not going to put a deadline on it but it won't be long, hopefully."

Meanwhile, the side's fitness issues have seen United switch to a back three for their past two matches.

Despite being forced into the change, Solskjaer feels the new formation has suited his players well, explaining: "I think injuries have made us get into the position where the performances didn't come and we had fit centre-backs, good centre-backs and quality centre-backs.

"It just made it easier to go to a back three against Liverpool and again in Serbia.

"We've got Jesse [Lingard] back, who can play in a three in midfield, and the players who played for us on Thursday, for example, Sergio [Romero] played in a World Cup final, Marcos Rojo played in a back three in a World Cup final and [Phil Jones] and Harry [Maguire] played in a semi-final. Jesse played in his position.

"It's just injuries that have made us go into this position but it's working quite well."

Manchester United finally enjoyed away-day success as Anthony Martial's 43rd-minute penalty earned an unconvincing 1-0 win over Partizan Belgrade, lifting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men to the top of Group L in the Europa League.

Prior to Thursday's contest in Serbia, United had gone 11 matches without an away win in all competitions - their worst such run in 40 years - since beating Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League back in March.

Yet the Red Devils' travelling support were finally given reason to celebrate again as a spot-kick from Martial - making his first start since August 24 following injury - was complemented by the club's third clean sheet in as many Europa League matches this term.

United's overall performance was far from impressive and a lack of creativity was again apparent as a side showing seven changes from Sunday's encouraging 1-1 draw with Liverpool failed to muster a single shot on target besides Martial's penalty.

However, the result will at least please Solskjaer as the 2016-17 Europa League winners are firmly on course to reach the knockout stages having claimed seven points from three games.

The only clear-cut chance of a turgid opening half-hour, in which United dominated possession, saw Scott McTominay wastefully head wide at the far post from Juan Mata's inviting 15th-minute free-kick.

A brief spell of Partizan pressure heralded a significant rise in entertainment value, with the fit-again Jesse Lingard and Umar Sadiq each striking the post in quick succession.

Martial then calmly sent Vladimir Stojkovic the wrong way from 12 yards, after Brandon Williams' surging run into the hosts' box had drawn a clear foul from Nemanja Miletic.

United were pegged back for much of the second half, though, and had to survive a succession of penalty appeals from Partizan, the most convincing arriving in the 67th minute when Miletic's back-post header appeared to strike the arm of Williams.

A furious Miletic was booked for his protests after the referee refused to point to the spot and the hosts' pressure continued to go unrewarded, with Sergio Romero saving sharply from Takuma Asano late on.

Paul Pogba is expected to return from injury in Manchester United's EFL Cup clash with Rochdale at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The midfielder has been unavailable since withdrawing from the France squad at the start of September with an ankle injury.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Pogba will play at least some part of the Rochdale game with a view to building up fitness ahead of next Monday's Premier League meeting with Arsenal.

"He'll probably get some minutes against Rochdale," Solskjaer said on United's official website. "But we definitely think he's ready for Arsenal."

Pogba's return is a welcome boost for United in the wake of a deeply disappointing 2-0 league defeat at West Ham on Sunday.

The former Juventus star has not played for United since the 1-1 draw at Southampton on August 31.

Marcus Rashford suffered a groin injury at London Stadium and will be unavailable for the Rochdale match, with United still unclear over how long he will need to recover.

Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw are also still sidelined, while Eric Bailly continues his recovery from a serious knee injury.

Mason Greenwood, who missed the loss to West Ham due to tonsillitis, is hoping to be available.

The 17-year-old, who scored his first senior goal for the club to earn a 1-0 win over Astana in the Europa League last week, is United's only central attacking option in the absence of Rashford and Martial.

Fit-again Jesse Lingard was used as a makeshift striker against the Hammers following Rashford's injury.

The Neymar transfer saga is over for at least another window, but it remains to be seen how the star responds at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 27, was largely expected to return to Barcelona, only for no agreement to be reached between the clubs before the window closed on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, the superstar forward is far from happy.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR ANGRY WITH PSG AFTER NOT GETTING BARCELONA RETURN

Neymar is very sad and deeply angry with PSG over his failed Barcelona move, according to Sport.

However, they also report Barcelona are convinced Neymar will return to Camp Nou in 2020.

Sport say Barca offered €150million – with €20m coming from Neymar – plus Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo on permanent deals and Ousmane Dembele on loan, only for the deal to be rejected.

ROUND-UP

- After plenty of debate, the Premier League will extend its close-season transfer window until September 1 next year, according to The Sun. Several clubs have been frustrated after they only had until August 8 to complete their business as the rest of Europe remained active.

- With Jill Ellis set to leave her post as United States head coach, the Women's World Cup winners have lined up England boss Phil Neville as their number one target to replace her, according to the Daily Mail.

- Manchester United are looking to the future. Sport Witness reports the Premier League giants sent scouts to watch Benfica duo Ruben Dias, 22, and Florentino Luis, 20, against Sporting Braga on Sunday, lining the pair up as two potential transfer targets.

- After collecting just five points from four Premier League games, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting frustrated. Solskjaer is frustrated by the failures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to score "scruffy" goals, according to The Athletic.

Daniel James' brilliant opener in Manchester United's 1-1 draw at Southampton continued a stunning start to life in the Premier League for the Wales youngster.

James capped an opening weekend thumping of Chelsea and was also on target in last weekend's 2-1 loss to Crystal Palace.

Three goals in his first four United appearances places the 21-year-old in some elite company but being prolific in your opening games for the club does not necessary mean long-term success.

Here are the other Red Devils who got off to a flyer in the Premier League era.

Robin van Persie – four in three

Van Persie's decision to shun Manchester City to move to United from Arsenal instantly endeared him to the Old Trafford faithful. His debut from the bench could not avert a 1-0 loss to Everton at Goodison Park, but he thrashed in a sublime volley in a 3-2 win over Fulham before a hat-trick saw off Southampton by the same margin. The Dutch forward maintained his prolific form, scoring 26 Premier League goals as United sent Alex Ferguson into retirement with one more title.

Louis Saha – four in four

Rarely do January signings prove such an instant hit as Saha, following his switch from Fulham midway through the 2003-04 campaign. He opened the scoring in wins over Southampton and Everton, completing a double in the latter game. The France international did likewise at Fulham before his old employers battled back to a 1-1 draw. Saha collected a pair of Premier League medals and also became a Champions League winner during his time at United, although injuries frequently interrupted his progress.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – four in four

Never likely to tolerate a quiet introduction to English football, Ibrahimovic drove in from long range to cap a 3-1 win at Bournemouth on his debut in 2016. His double to sink Southampton ensured a memorable maiden turn at Old Trafford, where he also found the target in a derby loss to Manchester City. Ibrahimovic scored 28 times in 46 appearances as United claimed EFL Cup and Europa League glory. However, a serious knee injury meant he was a spectator for the latter triumph and an underwhelming return the following season preceded his move to LA Galaxy.

Romelu Lukaku – four in four

It would have been very hard to envisage Lukaku being hastily bundled out of Old Trafford to Inter without a replacement being sought after he produced an instant return on Jose Mourinho's £75million investment in 2017. The Belgium striker hit a brace in a 4-0 opening-weekend win over West Ham. He also scored as Swansea were beaten by the same margin and netted in a 2-2 draw at Stoke City to go four in four. It was part of a hot streak of 16 goals across 13 appearances for club and country – something Antonio Conte clearly has designs on Lukaku rediscovering at Inter.

Dwight Yorke - three in four

Some eyebrows were raised when Ferguson paid a then club-record £12.6m to bring in Yorke from Aston Villa in August 1998. Although he drew a blank in a 0-0 debut at West Ham, a brace against Charlton Athletic – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was also at the double in a 4-0 win – got him off and running. The opener in a 2-0 victory against Coventry City next time out ensured United had a new hero who would prove pivotal in that season's historic treble.

Anthony Martial – three in four

Like James, Martial came off the bench to delight Old Trafford on his debut, dispatching an unforgettable solo effort to down bitter rivals Liverpool. Southampton, who would seemingly do well to avoid attackers in the early stages of their United careers if possible, then copped for a brace at St Mary's. Now restored to a central striking role in a depleted attack, the onus is on Martial to make good on that early promise this season.

Marcus Rashford – three in four

The remaining member of United's first-choice attack also flew out of the blocks. Rashford was Louis van Gaal's most successful punt on youth during his time in charge – a brace against Arsenal on his 2016 Premier League bow actually followed a Europa League double versus FC Midtjylland the preceding midweek. On his fourth league appearance, Rashford brilliantly scored the only goal to sink City in the derby.

Page 1 of 2
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.