Jamaican club Cavalier and Dominican Republic’s Moca FC will be targeting quick starts in their respective 2024 Concacaf Champions Cup Round One campaigns, as they tackle Major League Soccer (MLS) outfits FC Cincinnati and Nashville FC in first leg action on Thursday.

Moca FC hosts Nashville SC at the Estadio Cibao in Santiago de los Caballeros at 7:00pm, while Cavalier will also be at home to FC Cincinnati at the National Stadium at 9:00pm Jamaica time.

Cavalier, who secured their spot in this edition of the Champions Cup by virtue of their runner-up finish in last year’s Concacaf Caribbean Cup, will be hoping to carry their form from the Jamaica Premier League into play and upset the proverbial applecart across the two-leg tie.

The Rudolph Speid-coached side currently head the Jamaica Premier League standings on the back of a 12-match unbeaten run, the last four of which ended in clean sheet victories.

“We have only conceded two goals in 12 (Jamaica Premier League) games, one being an own goal. So, we are on a trajectory and it is something that we plan because we know that we will be up against some good attackers in the Concacaf Champions League, so we try to hone our defence,” Speid said.

While the level of competition on the Champions Cup stage is more formidable that the Jamaica Premier League and the Caribbean Cup, Cavalier have proven that they can compete and, if their rich scoring from the Caribbean Cup, in particular, is anything to go by, then FC Cincinnati will have to put every foot right defensively.

No player had more goals in the Caribbean Cup than Shaniel Thomas, who finished with eight goals, including a pair of hat-tricks. However, Thomas didn’t do it alone as Jalmaro Calvin also scored four goals and was one of the playmakers in attack.

Speid is backing that dynamic duo and others to execute accordingly against an FC Cincinnati team playing its first match of the year.

“We just want to see what we can get from the two games against Cincinnati,” Speid added.

Cincinnati FC also enjoyed a fruitful 2023 season in MLS, where they won the Supporters Shield as the team with the best regular season record.

Like Cavalier, the Ohio-based club will be making their Champions Cup debut as well but boast both quality and experience within the squad. Attacking midfielder and 2023 MLS Most Valuable Player Luciano Acosta, who had 17 goals and 14 assists in 2023, is no stranger to the Champions Cup, as he enjoyed a stint with DC United in 2015-16 season. Now, almost eight years later, Acosta will get another crack at Concacaf glory.

FC Cincinnati also have great strength in defence, especially in central defenders Matt Miazga and Miles Robinson, both of whom have won a Concacaf Gold Cup with the United States Men’s National team.

A pair of seasoned FC Cincinnati defenders going up against Cavalier’s prolific attack should make for an intriguing first leg.

Moca FC vs Nashville SC

These two teams will also be making their Concacaf Champions Cup debuts, as Moca FC progressed by virtue of their third-place finish in the Caribbean Cup, while Nashville SC, due to their runner-up finish in last year’s Leagues Cup.

Moca used a stifling defence and timely goal-scoring to reach the knockout stage of the Caribbean Cup, as they conceded just three goals in their four group stage games.

In attack, Gustavo Ascona was a headache for opponents defence in scoring four goals, while Victor Sanchez was also threat in notching two goals.

But they are up against an MLS team that boast one of the strongest squads in the Eastern Conference, which makes for a daunting assignment.

Leading the way for Nashville is talented midfielder Hany Mukhtar, who pocketed MLS’s Most Valuable Player for the 2022 season, a feat he followed up with 15 goals and 11 assists in 2023. New arrival Tyler Boyd should also help in attack, after scoring seven goals and contributing four assists last season with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Nashville SC are also quite strong in defence, with United States Internationals Walker Zimmerman and Shaq Moore at the back. 

Reggae Boy Ravel Morrison finds himself at the center of attention as Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers, and Peterborough United have expressed interest in securing the services of the 31-year-old midfielder.

A free agent since parting ways with Major League Soccer side DC United at the beginning of this year, Morrison is eager to return to regular football action, sparking the interest of clubs across the English Championship.

Sheffield Wednesday, currently grappling with the challenges of a survival fight in the Championship, sees Morrison as a potential boost to their attacking options. The free agent status of the Jamaican international has also piqued the interest of League One promotion hopefuls Bolton and Peterborough, both aiming to strengthen their squads for the crucial final weeks of the season.

Having made his debut for Jamaica in November 2020, Morrison showcased his prowess by scoring his first international goal in a crucial World Cup qualification match against Honduras in March 2022. However, despite his impressive international outings, the 31-year-old has been sidelined from the Reggae Boyz squad since March 2023 due to a lack of club football activity.

Should Morrison secure a contract with any of the three English Championship clubs currently courting him, it could potentially reignite his chances of returning to the national team. The window of opportunity, however, seems tight, with Jamaica's Reggae Boyz gearing up to face the United States in the CONCACAF Nations Cup semi-finals in late March.

The possibility of a move to Sheffield Wednesday adds an intriguing layer to the narrative, considering Morrison's past stint with their cross-city rivals Sheffield United during the 2019-20 season.

With a football journey that has taken him through clubs in six different countries, Morrison stands at a crossroads, contemplating a return to the league where it all began for the talented midfielder, or the prospect of venturing into League One for the first time in his career.

 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe says Manchester United will make a fresh decision on the future of forward Mason Greenwood and will “justify it one way or the other”.

Greenwood, who is on loan at Spanish side Getafe, was suspended by United on January 30, 2022 over allegations relating to a young woman after images and videos were posted online.

The now 22-year-old faced charges including attempted rape and assault but the Crown Prosecution Service announced in February last year that the case had been discontinued.

Reports last year that United were planning to retain him following an internal investigation were met by public outcry and Ratcliffe acknowledges that a decision will have to be made when Greenwood returns about what happens next – but insists nothing has been finalised yet.

“It’s quite clear we have to make a decision. There is no decision that’s been made,” Ratcliffe said at a media briefing to mark the completion of his purchase of a minority stake in United which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

Asked asked if the Greenwood situation would be a “fresh decision”, Ratcliffe said: “Yeah we will. Absolutely. We will make a decision, and we will justify it one way or the other.”

Ratcliffe added: “He’s on loan obviously, but he’s not the only one – we’ve got one or two footballers that we have to deal with and we have to make a decision on, so we will do that.

“The process will be – understand the facts, not the hype, and then try and come to a fair decision on the basis of values, which is basically: is he a good guy or not?

“Could he play sincerely for Manchester United, (play) well and we’d be comfortable with it and the fans would be comfortable with it.”

Greenwood is under contract at United until the summer of 2025.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has jokingly questioned whether his Manchester United takeover rival Sheikh Jassim even exists after completing the purchase of a minority stake in the Red Devils.

Ratcliffe and Qatari businessman Sheikh Jassim were the two public bidders looking to take full control of United from the Glazer family which has owned the club since 2005, before Ratcliffe’s focus switched to securing a smaller stake.

His Ineos company now controls football operations as part of a deal which will see him own 28.9 per cent of the club by the year’s end.

Reflecting on the long road to the completion of the deal, Ratcliffe admitted he did find it strange that there was an apparent lack of interest in buying United in comparison to when Chelsea came onto the market in 2022 and that his main rival for full control was someone who “still nobody has ever seen”.

“The Glazers never met him. I’m not sure he exists,” he joked.

“It was extraordinary. That (apparent lack of wider interest) was confounding. There’s no comparison between Chelsea and Manchester United, the scale of Manchester United is incomparable with any of the London clubs to be honest with you.”

Asked whether he thought he may have been bidding alone rather than against Sheikh Jassim, Ratcliffe said: “They (the Qatari bid) were obviously there and there was a whole host of people on the team, on the squad. I didn’t ever meet them. But it was a very odd affair.”

Representatives who worked with Sheikh Jassim during the period of his interest in United have been contacted for comment by the PA news agency.

Ratcliffe was asked about whether he held a long-term ambition to ultimately gain full control of United and whether he was concerned that ‘drag-along’ rights held by the Glazers which could force him to sell his stake in the event they wished to sell.

“There are all sorts of scenarios. We might get hit by an asteroid,” he said.

“There have been lots of opportunities for people to come in and buy Manchester United in the last 12 months – why is it all going to change?”

Asked if taking full control was his ultimate aim, Ratcliffe said: “The ultimate aim is just for Manchester United to play really good football. It’s not about what am I going to do in five years’ time?”

AC Milan will be without Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori for the Europa League visit to Rennes.

The Rossoneri put one foot in the last 16 with a 3-0 win over the French side in last week’s first leg.

Both players are on the way back from long-term injuries but are not ready for Thursday’s match, though might make the weekend clash with Atalanta.

Boss Stefano Pioli said on Milan TV: “It’s clear that Kalulu and Tomori haven’t trained with us for a long time, so getting them back will be very important.

“They won’t be available for tomorrow night, if anything we’ll see for Sunday. It’s clear that we were happy to have some important players back in the group.”

Piolo stressed that the tie is not over, despite Milan’s dominance in the first leg.

“We approach it with great concentration, great desire to pass this round,” he said.

“It is clear that we took a good lead in the first game but it is equally true that we cannot consider it over.

“We are playing against a team that, despite changing five or six players, won in the league match.

“We know each other well, both us and them. That can be an advantage but we can also expect different things because they will try to come back.

“We are just focused on what we have to do to get through the round.

“Their verticality, their speed for sure and also their positions, in the first leg they tried to put us in trouble with different positions than we thought.

“We can also expect something different tomorrow night. It’s a fast team, it’s a quality team that absolutely will not raise the white flag easily.

“We will have to be good at reading the game with great attention, with great conviction, managing well and trying to hit the opponents.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe admits Dan Ashworth would make a “very good addition” to Manchester United as sporting director and says it would be “absurd” if he was forced to serve an extended period of garden leave.

Ashworth has been placed on leave by Newcastle after informing the club that he had chosen to leave his role as their sporting director.

Manchester United co-owner Ratcliffe has confirmed United’s interest in Ashworth and hoped a sensible solution could be worked out.

“I think Dan Ashworth is clearly one of the top sporting directors in the world. I’ve no doubt he’s a very, very capable person,” Ratcliffe said on Wednesday after completing his purchase of a minority stake in United which will rise to 28.9 per cent by year’s end.

“And he’s interested in the Manchester United job because it’s probably the biggest sporting director job in the world just now, with the biggest challenge.

“It would be different if you were sporting director at Manchester City, because you’re just maintaining a level. With Manchester United, you’ve got quite a significant building job.

“I think it’d be a very good addition to Manchester United, but he needs to decide whether he’s going to make that jump.

“We’ve obviously had words with Newcastle. They clearly would be disappointed to lose Dan. I understand why they would be disappointed to lose Dan but but then you can’t equally criticise Dan because it is a transient industry.

“So we’ll have to see how it unfolds.”

Ratcliffe said it would be “a bit silly” if it took £20million to secure Ashworth’s services, and added: “What I do think is completely absurd is suggesting that a man who’s really good at his job, sits in his garden for one and a half years.

“I mean, that’s completely stupid. We had a very grown-up conversation with Manchester City about Omar (Berrada, who will become United’s new chief executive). Things calmed up and we sorted it out very amicably.

“They could see why Omar wanted to take on that challenge and they didn’t want to stand in his way.

“You look at (Manchester City manager) Pep (Guardiola) with his footballers, if you’ve got a footballer that doesn’t want to play for Manchester City, then he says ‘fine, you can leave’ but he doesn’t tell him, ‘I want you to sit in the garden for four and a half years’.

“That’s not the way the UK works, or at least not the way the law works in the UK, either. It supports a period of time which is sensible and fair, but not silly periods of time.”

Ratcliffe admitted recruitment was “top of the list” in achieving his goal of returning to the pinnacle of the English and European game within three years.

“I think recruitment in the modern game is critical,” he said.

“Manchester United have clearly spent a lot of money but they haven’t done as well as some other clubs. So when I was talking about being best in class in all aspects of football, recruitment is clearly top of the list.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has echoed two of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous lines by vowing to knock “noisy neighbours” Manchester City and Liverpool “off their perch” within three years as he set out his vision to rebuild the Red Devils.

Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware, using the famous sentiment of United’s great former manager, but called on fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

In 2002, Ferguson said his “greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch”, going on to surpass their rivals’ league title tally, while he branded City as the “noisy neighbours” in 2010.

In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

“We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

“There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

“They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

“I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

“You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

“It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

Ratcliffe, whose stake in United will rise to 28.9 per cent by the end of the year by virtue of his investment in club infrastructure, acknowledges that having a modern fit-for-purpose stadium is vital.

He said the focus will be on either a stadium in the north to rival Wembley as the go-to venue in England for major matches, or to redevelop Old Trafford.

“There is a really good case to refurbish Old Trafford, probably about £1billion in cost, or something like that,” he said.

“You finish up with a great stadium, it’s probably an 80 or 90,000-seater. But it’s not perfect because you’re modifying a stadium that is slap bang up against a railway line and all that type of stuff, so it’s not an ideal world. But you finish up with a very good answer.

“There’s this wider conversation with the community as to whether you could use a more ambitious project on site as a catalyst to regenerate that Old Trafford area. There’s a strong case for using a stadium to regenerate that area, like with the Olympics, like Seb Coe did with that part of East London quite successfully. City have done it and they’ve done quite a good job (of regenerating Eastlands).”

Both of those projects had state support, and Ratcliffe saw no issue with the same happening at United to achieve that.

“The people in the north pay their taxes like the people in the south pay their taxes,” he said.

“But where’s the national stadium for football? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for rugby? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for tennis? It’s in the south. Where’s the national concert stadium? It’s the O2, it’s in the south. Where’s the Olympic Village? It’s in the south.

“All of this talk about levelling up and the Northern Powerhouse… where is the stadium in the north? How many Champions Leagues has the north-west won and how many Champions Leagues has London won? The answer to that is the north-west has won 10 – Liverpool have won more than us – and London has won two.

“Where do you have to go if you get to the semi-final of the FA Cup and you’re a northern club? You have to schlep down to London, don’t you? People in the north pay their taxes and there is an argument that you could think about a more ambitious project in the north which would be fitting for England, for the Champions League final or the FA Cup final and act as a catalyst to regenerate southern Manchester, which has got quite significant history in the UK.”

Sir Jim Ratcliffe accepts Manchester United have a lot to learn from their “noisy neighbours” Manchester City and Liverpool but is determined to “knock both of them off their perch” within three years as he set out his vision to rebuild the Red Devils.

Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware but called on United fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

“We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

“There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

“They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

“I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

“You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

“It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

Oscar Bobb has described his Manchester City and Norway team-mate Erling Haaland as an inspiration.

Haaland got the only goal as City edged out Brentford 1-0 on Tuesday night in a match that saw emerging talent Bobb, 20, make his first Premier League start.

It was Haaland’s 17th goal of the season despite missing two months of the campaign with a foot injury, and took him to 53 in 55 league appearances since joining City in the summer of 2022. A goal against the Bees meant he has scored against all 21 Premier League opponents he has faced.

“What he’s achieved is crazy, right?” Bobb said. “He’s only three years older than me, same country, everything. Yes, he’s an inspiration.”

Asked if he was close with his illustrious team-mate, Bobb said: “Yes, I think it’s natural. We’re pretty close in age and from the same place. He helps me a lot.”

It was Haaland’s third goal in seven games since his return from injury and came after he was criticised for missing a string of opportunities in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.

But Bobb said there had never been any concern within the City camp regarding their star striker, who last week was mourning the death of his grandmother.

“Everyone knows how good of a finisher he is,” Bobb said. “As long as he gets in those situations, whether he misses or scores, such a clinical finish, if he misses a few one game it’s not like he’s going to start missing all his chances.

“There’s no real worries. I mean, when you have the quality he has, it is just about getting to the right spots.”

Haaland capitalised on a slip from Kristoffer Ajer to finally find a way past Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken, breaching a defence that for 70 minutes had stood firm to the growing frustration of Pep Guardiola, his players, and the home fans inside the Etihad Stadium.

Bobb had one of City’s best chances in the first half when he collected a rebound, neatly created space for himself but then saw his shot blocked on the line by Ben Mee.

Though it was his first league start, this was Bobb’s 16th City appearance of the season. The winger, who joined City’s academy from Valerenga in 2019, has scored two goals, including a memorable late winner at Newcastle last month.

“It’s been a big step up but I think, playing in this team, it gets a lot easier because you are not always dominating but usually you see a lot of the ball,” he said.

“For me as a player I’m more of a ball-player than a runner and that helps. Being in this group and with these people helps me.”

Bobb is now hoping to play his part in the title chase as City look ahead to a March fixture list that includes a derby against United, a potentially pivotal trip to Anfield and a home match against Arsenal.

“In these situations – the manager says it a lot – you don’t really think too far ahead,” Bobb said. “It’s (a few) games before United even. So I don’t think that’s the biggest focus right now. It will be, of course, and that period will be good for the team.

“Two, three years ago we won by one point when (Ilkay Gundogan) scored (on the final day against Aston Villa). When you look at it like that, every point could be a title-deciding point.”

Wayne Rooney says he would walk to Manchester City if Pep Guardiola asked him to become his assistant.

Rooney became Manchester United’s record scorer during 13 years at Old Trafford from 2004, scoring 253 goals in 559 appearances for the Red Devils.

The former England captain was linked with a move to City after handing in a transfer request at United in 2010.

Rooney eventually patched up his differences with manager Sir Alex Ferguson and stayed at Old Trafford for another seven years.

But, less than two months after his 15-game spell as Birmingham manager came to an end, the 38-year-old admits he would be open to the idea of working on the blue side of Manchester.

“It depends (on whether I’d ever be an assistant) – if Pep Guardiola comes in and asks me to be his assistant, you’d walk there,” Rooney told the Stick to Football podcast.

“You see what (Mikel) Arteta is doing now (at Arsenal) and I strongly believe a lot of that is from learning what Guardiola was doing, and so it depends on what the situation is.

“For me, the best manager is Pep and you look at how he adapts – how they (City) are playing now is not the same as how they were playing four years ago.

“He keeps making these subtle changes and then you see everyone else trying to do the same. They also work harder than anyone else.”

City, the English, European and FIFA World Club Cup champions, are 12 points better off in the Premier League than sixth-placed United, and Rooney says it is “frustrating” watching his former team under Erik ten Hag.

He said: “There’s talent in there. But I just think there’s a mindset that needs to change.

“You watch some games and I think, ‘Really good’. But then all of a sudden it’s like a switch that’s been flicked.

“They can go from being really good to really bad. There’s a lack of consistency.”

Rooney has been linked to a possible switch to boxing, with the self-confessed fight fan confirming there have been talks to get him in the ring.

He also expressed an interest in becoming a lawyer during a recent media interview, saying he had applied to Nottingham University to study criminal law when he was at Derby.

Rooney laughed on the podcast when recalling telling lawyers what to ask during his wife Coleen’s ‘Wagatha Christie’ libel trial with Rebekah Vardy in 2022.

But Rooney insists his focus is firmly on returning to management after spells at Derby, Major League Soccer side DC United and Birmingham.

“It’s all experience – I’m only 38, I’ve had three managerial jobs but I’ve got quite a bit of experience to lean on,” said Rooney.

“If you look at the three clubs I’ve managed, going in at Derby under their circumstances in administration, DC United who were bottom of the league when I went over there, and now Birmingham, who over the past 10 years have been a mess.

“I want to focus on getting back into management. The main thing for me is to completely cut out what I’ve done as a player and almost start again as a manager.

“Of course, my playing experience will help me, but I’m right at the bottom from a managerial point of view, and I want to work my way up.

“I’m not relying on what I’ve done as a player to get me into places that I shouldn’t be.

“I want to get back into managing and I want to prove myself – whether that’s League Two, League One or Championship.”

Bayern Munich have announced that head coach Thomas Tuchel will leave the club at the end of the season.

Tuchel’s position has come under scrutiny following a woeful run of results that has left the Bundesliga champions facing the prospect of a first season without winning a trophy since 2011-12.

Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen told the club website: “In an open, good conversation we came to the decision to mutually end our collaboration in the summer. Our goal is to carry out a sporting realignment with a new coach for the 2024/25 season.

Former Chelsea boss Tuchel, who took over in March 2023, said: “We have agreed that we will end our collaboration after this season. Until then, I and my coaching team will of course continue to do everything we can to ensure maximum success.”

Luton captain Tom Lockyer has shown the scar of his implantable cardioverter defibrillator and called it his “new little superpower” following his cardiac arrest.

The 29-year-old midfielder collapsed on the pitch in the 59th minute of the Hatters’ Premier League game at Bournemouth on December 16, his heart stopping for two minutes and 40 seconds, and has since been fitted with an ICD.

He said on Sunday it was “out of his hands” whether he will ever play football again, but joked on Wednesday morning that his defibrillator was not “too intrusive” as it does not affect his golf swing.

“I call it my new little superpower really because after something like this happens and you make a recovery you have it in there just in case,” Lockyer told ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

“It just in my side here. I’ll show you. It just sits there. The battery lasts for about eight years. To start with it was very sore and I still can’t sleep on my left side but I never slept on my left side.

“You get a little iPad almost and it plugs into a wall and every night you click a button on that and it syncs up to your defib an reports back to the hospital and shows your heartbeat throughout the whole day, if there was any sort of irregularities and if the device is still working.

“It doesn’t affect my golf swing, I’m still rubbish at that so isn’t too intrusive!”

The Welshman, whose partner is pregnant with their first child, has been keeping himself busy during his recovery by building Lego.

“I am doing the Disney castle at the minute so that’s another 5,000 piece,” he said. “I said I would like to do the Titanic, but with the baby on the way I don’t know if I can do it!”

Erling Haaland’s goal against Brentford means he has scored against every opponent he has faced in the Premier League.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the prolific Norway international’s Manchester City record.

Full house

Chelsea, Liverpool and Brentford were the only teams not to concede to Haaland in his astonishing debut season in England, when he won the Premier League Golden Boot with 36 goals in 33 games.

He ticked off Chelsea and Liverpool in successive league games either side of November’s international break and, having failed to score in this season’s first meeting with the Bees, has had to wait until Tuesday’s postponed return fixture to complete the set of 21 opponents he has faced.

He has yet to play against Luton, having missed December’s fixture while injured, so April’s game at the Etihad Stadium will bring the chance to add a 22nd name to his perfect record.

Tuesday night’s effort means Haaland now has 53 goals in 55 Premier League appearances.

Favourite opponents

Haaland’s best Premier League scoring record is against derby rivals Manchester United as well as Fulham, with five goals in three games against each.

He hit a hat-trick at home to United last season and a double at Old Trafford this term, while scoring in both of last season’s meetings with the Cottagers and adding a treble in September.

He has four goals against each of Crystal Palace, in two appearances, and Nottingham Forest, West Ham and Wolves in three apiece and Everton in four, with hat-tricks against all but the Hammers and Toffees.

He has three against both Brighton and Southampton while he has scored in every game against Fulham, Everton, West Ham (three games each), Palace, Saints (two), Leicester and Sheffield United (one).

Aston Villa, Brentford, Bournemouth, Newcastle and Tottenham, in three games each, Liverpool in two and the Blades in one have conceded only once to Haaland.

Record books

Harry Kane also scored against every Premier League opponent he faced, a total of 32 clubs, during his time with Tottenham – a brief loan at Norwich early in his career did not yield any of his eventual 213 goals in the competition.

Frank Lampard holds the record for scoring Premier League goals against the most clubs overall, with his 39 one more than Andy Cole, but neither player scored against every opponent they faced.

Third on that list with 37 opponents is the league’s record scorer Alan Shearer, whose 20 goals against Leeds is the most by one player against a single opponent.

What the papers say

Liverpool have identified Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi as a transfer target this summer, the Telegraph reports. Manchester United are also interested in the 23-year-old.

In an effort to replace Kylian Mbappe, the i says Paris St Germain are interested in Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and Barcelona midfielder Gavi.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Harry Kane: Football Transfers says Manchester United could once again try and lure the Bayern Munich striker and England captain to the club.

Gleison Bremer: Manchester United are also interested in the 26-year-old defender, currently at Juventus, who has been valued at £59.8million, Italian outlet Calciomercato says.

Wayne Rooney ended speculation over his future to sign a new five-and-a-half-year contract at Manchester United on this day in 2014.

The forward had been linked with a move away from Old Trafford months earlier after Sir Alex Ferguson retired and was replaced by David Moyes.

With only 18 months to go on his deal, Rooney agreed fresh terms until the summer of 2019 and made clear his ambition to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record of 249 goals for the Red Devils.

 

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On a new contract worth up to £300,000 a week, Rooney would spend another three seasons at United and finish with 253 goals from 559 appearances.

The attacker broke Charlton’s record on January 21, 2017 with a free-kick at Stoke and a week later was presented with a commemorative Golden Boot to acknowledge him becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer.

After five Premier League titles, three League Cups, plus solitary success in the Champions League, Europa League, Club World Cup and FA Cup, Rooney left Old Trafford to return to boyhood side Everton.

His second spell at Goodison Park was short-lived and, after stints with DC United in the United States and at Derby in the Championship, Rooney retired from professional football at the start of 2021 to take over as manager of the Rams.

The former England captain also bettered Charlton’s record of 49 goals for his country and finished with 53 from 120 appearances, but was overtaken by Harry Kane last year.

Rooney was most recently manager of Birmingham.

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