Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conceded Manchester United lost to the better team against Liverpool, but did claim fan protests outside Old Trafford disrupted his team.

United went down 4-2 to their rivals on Thursday – Jurgen Klopp's men clinching a vital three points in their bid for Champions League qualification.

It was a match rearranged following fan protests against United's ownership on May 2, when supporters prevented the teams from leaving their hotels and also got onto the Old Trafford pitch.

There were no such security breaches this time around, though United's squad arrived at the ground around six hours before kick-off.

However, a large fan presence once again gathered outside the ground ahead of the game, and Solskjaer does believe it had a negative impact on United's preparations and performance.

"Of course it disrupted us a little bit so it's not been ideal but we had to deal with it," he told Sky Sports.

"Hopefully when we let the fans in on Tuesday it's a good atmosphere. We have waited a long time to let them in so we're looking forward to enjoying the game together.

"They deserved the win. We conceded goals in key moments of the game. We didn't build on the momentum or break up their momentum. We gave them at least two goals really. Then we scored again, had a massive chance. Key moments went against us.

"Their shape and their pressing is very aggressive. We created our own downfall. The second goal you probably expect no foul there then it's a bad moment to concede just before half-time. The third goal we gave them and that's really poor."

United were without captain Harry Maguire for a second straight game, with the England defender having sustained an injury against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Solskjaer's side have lost both games Maguire has missed, but he insisted United must recover from the loss of the centre-back, who may well miss the rest of the campaign, including the Europa League final against Villarreal in Gdansk.

"Harry [Maguire] has been really important for us so of course we're going to miss him but he's out so we have to deal with that," Solskjaer continued.

"It's about regrouping and building our own confidence again as we have two games and a final.

"Tuesday. We need to find ourselves straight away. We need to build that momentum and confidence. We should go into that final ready."

Liverpool provided a huge boost to their hopes of Champions League football next season as they claimed a thrilling 4-2 win over rivals Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead early through Bruno Fernandes, but were pegged back before half-time as Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino got on the scoresheet.

It looked like the visitors had things wrapped up early in the second period as Firmino headed in his second only for Marcus Rashford to set up a nervy finish as he pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining.

But the visitors rounded things off late on through Mohamed Salah to put pressure firmly back on Chelsea and Leicester City in the chase for top four.

Liverpool saw penalty claims for handball against Eric Bailly waved away, while Edinson Cavani shot wide from a wayward Alisson pass in a busy opening.

It was United who struck first, Fernandes afforded plenty of space to curl the ball in off Nathaniel Phillips.

Bailly had another escape when VAR showed he made a clean tackle on Phillips after referee Anthony Taylor had initially pointed for a Liverpool penalty.

The visitors were level, though, when Phillips collected the ball from a corner and made space for a shot that Jota expertly diverted home.

Liverpool then deservedly went in front on the stroke of half-time when Firmino headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick at the back post.

And they doubled their lead less than a minute after the restart as Dean Henderson spilled an Alexander-Arnold shot to hand Firmino a simple close-range finish. 

The visitors could have wrapped it up by the hour mark, with Jota cracking the post and Alexander-Arnold shooting at Henderson from similar positions inside the box in quick succession.

It looked like they would rue that miss when Rashford slightly scuffed a finish home after a brilliantly slick interchange between United's forwards.

But United could not turn their dominance of the final 20 minutes into a goal that would have denied their rivals a first Old Trafford win since 2014, which was wrapped up in the final minute of normal time by a cool Salah finish.

Liverpool provided a huge boost to their hopes of Champions League football next season as they claimed a thrilling 4-2 win over rivals Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side took the lead early through Bruno Fernandes, but were pegged back before half-time as Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino got on the scoresheet.

It looked like the visitors had things wrapped up early in the second period as Firmino headed in his second only for Marcus Rashford to set up a nervy finish as he pulled one back with 20 minutes remaining.

But the visitors rounded things off late on through Mohamed Salah to put pressure firmly back on Chelsea and Leicester City in the chase for top four.

Liverpool saw penalty claims for handball against Eric Bailly waved away, while Edinson Cavani shot wide from a wayward Alisson pass in a busy opening.

It was United who struck first, Fernandes afforded plenty of space to curl the ball in off Nathaniel Phillips.

Bailly had another escape when VAR showed he made a clean tackle on Phillips after referee Anthony Taylor had initially pointed for a Liverpool penalty.

The visitors were level, though, when Phillips collected the ball from a corner and made space for a shot that Jota expertly diverted home.

Liverpool then deservedly went in front on the stroke of half-time when Firmino headed home Trent Alexander-Arnold's free-kick at the back post.

And they doubled their lead less than a minute after the restart as Dean Henderson spilled an Alexander-Arnold shot to hand Firmino a simple close-range finish. 

The visitors could have wrapped it up by the hour mark, with Jota cracking the post and Alexander-Arnold shooting at Henderson from similar positions inside the box in quick succession.

It looked like they would rue that miss when Rashford slightly scuffed a finish home after a brilliantly slick interchange between United's forwards.

But United could not turn their dominance of the final 20 minutes into a goal that would have denied their rivals a first Old Trafford win since 2014, which was wrapped up in the final minute of normal time by a cool Salah finish.

Manchester United's rescheduled Premier League clash with Liverpool is set to go ahead on time after renewed fan protests were effectively controlled.

The sides' original meeting on Sunday, May 2 was called off after supporters broke into Old Trafford and stormed the pitch as part of protests against United's ownership.

Several police officers were injured during the ensuing clashes, which forced the postponement of the game on safety grounds.

However, the rearranged fixture looks likely to go ahead after United, along with local police, took steps to prepare for fresh protests taking place on Thursday evening.

Barriers were erected around Old Trafford to prevent fans from entering, while the United players arrived individually by car earlier in the day before taking a pre-match nap at the stadium.

Liverpool, meanwhile, sent a decoy coach that was momentarily blocked by a group of fans, but ultimately arrived at a side of the ground clear of supporters and without issue.

As such, it is currently expected that the game will kick off on time (8.15pm GMT).

United's American owners have been the target of renewed ire from fans in the aftermath of failed plans to join a breakaway Super League alongside the Premier League's 'big six'.

Consequently, United legend Roy Keane does not expect supporter anger at the Glazers to subside any time soon.

He told Sky Sports: "Manchester United fans are not done with this, we saw some protests a few weeks ago, but I think there is still a lot to come. 

"The concern is that when the fans can come back to the stadium, you could have 70,000 fans showing up at Old Trafford, frustrated with what happened. Things can get much worse."

Keane's former United team-mate, Gary Neville, believes the ongoing protests are serving to damage the club's brand, which in turn should hurt the Glazers.

He said: "Let's be clear, what we’ve seen on that forecourt before which is effectively Man United turned into a prison, it’s a devastating image for the Manchester United Football Club brand around the world, let's just note that. 

"You have to put prison walls up around your ground and have hundreds and hundreds of police officers on a game where fans aren't attending, there is something that has gone badly wrong."

Dayot Upamecano has claimed he turned down an opportunity to join Manchester United as a teenager because Ralf Rangnick presented such a persuasive alternative.

The defender, who will leave RB Leipzig to join Bayern Munich at the end of this season, was targeted by United as a teenage prospect when he was with French club Valenciennes.

He elected to turn down United and move to Austrian club Salzburg, Upamecano says, after being wowed by Rangnick's precise vision for his career.

At the time, Rangnick was sporting director for Salzburg and Leipzig, with both clubs part of the Red Bull empire, and talking Upamecano into a move proved one of many successes he achieved in that role.

United had tempted the youngster, however, and Upamecano told The Athletic: "I was a young boy. I wanted to sign for them straight away. Manchester United! But then my parents took me aside and said: 'Let's think carefully about this'.

"We thought about it for a long time and then decided that going 'etape par etape' [step by step] was the best option for me. Everything Ralf said came true."

Upamecano was loaned out to Liefering before returning to make an impact with Salzburg while still in his teens, and at the age of 18, in January 2017, he was moved through the ranks to join Leipzig.

Rangnick, who had already enjoyed one spell as head coach of Leipzig, returned for another in 2018, and Upamecano said: "Ralf was the most important coach for me. He's a professor, a scientist of football, and he also cares about everything. He's always there for you with advice on matters football and non-football, every single day."

Before joining Bayern, Upamecano has the chance on Thursday to land a DFB-Pokal title with Leipzig as they head into the final in Berlin against Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Nagelsmann, who succeeded Rangnick in 2019, has been another major influence on the career of Upamecano, who describes the 33-year-old as "an unbelievable manager".

Like Upamecano, Nagelsmann will also move to Bayern at the season's end.

"He really takes you to another level," Upamecano said. "For example, because of Julian, I have improved a lot in terms of opening the game from the defence with precise passes into the midfield, and he told me to use my dribbling abilities in order to create spaces going forward."

That is borne out by data that shows Upamecano has progressed significantly while at Leipzig.

Following his mid-season arrival in 2017, Upamecano had an overall passing accuracy of 78.6 per cent in the Bundesliga, while his accuracy with passes ending in the final third of the field was just 46.2 per cent.

These numbers belong firmly in Upamecano's past, because his precision now shows a marked improvement.

In 2017-18, he stepped up those percentages to 83.7 and 55 in the Bundesliga, while attempting 130 passes into the final third of the pitch.

But in 2019-20, his overall accuracy stood at 89.1 per cent and his accuracy into the final third was a healthy 74 per cent, with Upamecano attempting 232 balls into that attacking area in league games. Each figure put him in the top 10 for Bundesliga defenders who played at least 20 games.

This season has seen a minor step back, but an 88.5 per cent total accuracy and 70 per cent accuracy into the final third continues to reflect well on the French defender, a player United must sorely regret failing to recruit.

It was a shame Harry Maguire's run of never missing a Premier League match for Manchester United had to end against his former club – even if Leicester City might have been pleased.

The United captain sat out Tuesday's 2-1 win for the Foxes at Old Trafford, a result that handed Manchester City the title and brought one of this season's few constants to an end.

Maguire had played in every minute of 71 consecutive league games for the Red Devils – and in his final five for Leicester before his transfer two years ago – until an unfortunate ankle injury saw him hobble off 78 minutes into his side's 3-1 win at Aston Villa last Sunday.

Granted, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may well have rested him for Leicester's visit anyway due to the "impossible" task of playing three Premier League games in five days, but the decision, in the end, was taken out of his hands as United's lingering title hopes finally died.

City were almost certain to win the league anyway and United are guaranteed a top-four finish, so their remaining league matches with Liverpool, Fulham and Wolves are of comparatively little importance even if second place is not yet secured. More pertinent is the looming Europa League final on May 26, when Solskjaer will get his first shot at silverware as United manager, possibly with his captain watching from the sidelines.

Depending on their performance and results in these coming four games, Maguire may at least be given some of the credit he deserves, which was notably scarce in that 71-match run.

CAPTAIN'S RUN

Firstly, the simple reality of playing that many consecutive matches without a minute's rest is more remarkable than many seem to realise.

Since the start of 2019-20, Maguire has played for 9,615 minutes in all competitions, more than any other player across Europe's top five leagues. The next on that list is Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer on 8,700 minutes, a difference that equates to more than 10 full matches.

Critics would argue praising a footballer for playing is no different to lauding any other professional –  much less handsomely paid – for simply turning up for work, but starting 106 matches across two seasons, any two seasons, is commendable. Throw in the unprecedented disruption of a global pandemic, the lockdowns, the pause in training and matches, the restart, the brutal rescheduling and the persistent restrictions on personal travel, and what Maguire has managed points to an astonishing work ethic and dedication.

Few people truly believe Maguire, or any defender, is worth the £80million United paid for him three years ago, but that kind of outlay undoubtedly looks better on a balance sheet when the 'asset' has been available for his team at every opportunity. Look at Eden Hazard, a €100m-plus Galactico who moved at the same time as Maguire and has played roughly a quarter of the number of minutes since for Real Madrid.

TOP OF THE CHARTS

Maguire has missed 11 games for United in all competitions, most of them in the domestic cups, so comparing them directly with and without their captain is a pretty redundant exercise.

Examining his individual numbers offers a broader picture of his influence, though. He has helped United to 42 clean sheets in all competitions, the most of any defender across Europe's top five leagues in that time. He is also directly responsible for by far the most clearances (391), headed clearances (244), duels won (645) and aerials won (432).

Anyone with Maguire's minutes will naturally build up those sorts of numbers, but his averages place him in good company, too. Since his United debut, Maguire's 3.66 headed clearances per 90 minutes is better than that of John Stones (2.47), Ruben Dias (2.86) and Antonio Rudiger (3.1), and a fraction behind Virgil van Dijk (3.94). His duels-won-per-90 rate of 6.04 is marginally better than Van Dijk's (5.95) and behind only Chris Basham, Jannik Vestergaard and James Tarkowski among central defenders from England's top tier.

Unquestionably a good stopper, he has also proved suitably adept with the ball. Maguire has made 6,152 successful passes in his United career, again the most of any defender in those top European leagues over the same period. Of those passes, 2,142 have been completed in the opponent's half, which is the best figure for any nominal centre-back.

Compare United 2018-19 with how they have been since Maguire's arrival, and his impact becomes starker. In that season, when Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018, only six Premier League teams conceded more goals than United (70) in all competitions, while their Expected Goals Against tally of 71.8 was the fourth worst among Premier League sides. They also faced 694 shots, the third most behind Arsenal (709) and Tottenham (718), and kept only 12 clean sheets. Man City kept 33.

In Maguire's first season, United conceded only 51 in all competitions, the fewest of any Premier League sides apart from Leicester (49) and Sheffield United (45), with their xGA dropping to 59.24, the lowest of the 'big six' apart from City (55.02). They also faced 79 fewer shots and kept 27 clean sheets, more than any other Premier League side.

United have already conceded 61 times this season, but 12 of those goals came in their first three league games just a month after their run to the previous Europa League semi-finals and shortly following a legal case involving Maguire in Greece. They still have the third-best defence in the Premier League, have lost the joint fewest games (five) and have kept 24 clean sheets in all competitions, behind only City and Chelsea (31).

THE MAGUIRE WAY

Maguire can also claim to have had as much of an influence on United's patterns of play as any Solskjaer signing – barring Bruno Fernandes, of course.

Solskjaer's side have often faced difficulty against well-structured defences partly because the Red Devils sometimes lack players willing to break lines and pull opponents out of position. Counterintuitively, that's something Maguire does extremely well.

In the Premier League this season, only Ruben Dias (806) has completed more carries (moving with the ball five metres or more) than Maguire (685), who is regularly the starting point of positive United moves. Indeed, Maguire has started 24 open-play sequences to end in a shot, which is the highest number among Premier League centre-backs this term. 

Similarly, Maguire has 93 shot build-up involvements, a useful measure of those players who actively contribute to attacking situations without actually taking the shot themselves. Again, only Dias (98) has more among centre-backs, while each of them has seen those involvements end in a goal 13 times, the most in the league.

Maguire has not only made United's defence more resolute; he has directly impacted their use of the ball. His absence in the coming games will be keenly felt, but at least the United captain might start to be acknowledged as one of the most influential players in England.

Jurgen Klopp fully understands Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's reasons for fielding a much-changed team in Manchester United's defeat to Leicester City.

Liverpool's Champions League hopes were dealt a blow on Tuesday, with the Foxes running out 2-1 winners at Old Trafford.

Solskjaer made 10 changes in total from the team he started in Sunday's comeback win over Aston Villa, with only Mason Greenwood – who continued his fine goalscoring form with an eighth in all competitions since March 21 – retaining his place.

The victory moved Leicester onto 66 points, two clear of fourth-placed Chelsea and nine clear of Liverpool, who sit sixth though do have Thursday's Premier League match with United in hand.

Some sections of Liverpool's support were infuriated by Solskjaer's decision to prioritise Thursday's game against the Reds over Tuesday's match, yet Klopp does not believe the United boss had much of a choice.

With United's planned game with Liverpool postponed due to fan protests on May 2, the Premier League rearranged the fixture for May 13, giving United a gruelling task of three games in five days.

"It was the line-up I expected. Not exactly but I knew he had to make these changes. They played Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday," Klopp, who has not yet won at Old Trafford as a manager, said in Wednesday's pre-match news conference.

"I've said it 500 times, with all the things that happened and the protest in Manchester that lead to that situation, to play Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday is a crime. It is. It's not the fault of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the players.

"My question was to myself, would I have done the same? Yes, you have to. You have to. We are late in the season. United went to the Europa League final, that means an awful lot of games."

Klopp also questioned why the Premier League could not have instead played the game this coming Sunday – May 16 – moving Liverpool's match with West Brom.

"Now you get Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. That's not possible. But the weekend off is a weekend off for United. They play now Thursday and have the weekend off," he continued.

"I'm not the guy doing the schedule, the fixture list, but when we thought how it could work out on the day the game got cancelled and we drove home on the bus.

"We made our fixtures and there was no Tuesday, Thursday game. We would have played all the games and moved one West Brom game. But that didn't happen.

"The explanation from the Premier League was no other team should suffer because of the things that happened in Manchester. That didn't work out pretty well. Obviously nobody else [suffered] but a little bit West Ham, a little bit Liverpool.

"But if we don't go to the Champions League and don't qualify for it, it's not the fault of Solskjaer because of team selection or the Premier League, it's our fault.

"But in this specific case, I think you could have done it differently. But you get more and more used to things barely going in your favour or in your direction and just accept it."

United have avoided defeat in both meetings with Liverpool in all competitions this season (W1 D1).

The last time they faced the Reds as many as three times in a season without losing any was in the treble-winning campaign of 1998-99, though Liverpool have not lost consecutive games against United in all competitions since a run of four between 2014-2016, with the Reds losing 3-2 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in January.

Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has announced his retirement at the age of 35.

Valencia spent 10 years at Old Trafford before returning to his home country with LDU Quito, where he played for one season prior to joining Mexican side Queretaro in November.

The ex-Ecuador international also represented El Nacional, Villarreal, Recreativo and Wigan Athletic during an 18-year career that will be best remembered for his time with United.

He amassed 277 starts for the Red Devils in all competitions and a further 61 outings as substitute, scoring 25 goals.

Valencia, who won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two EFL Cups, three Community Shields and the Europa League, took to Twitter on Wednesday to thank United fans.

"At the age of 14, as a child, I left my village and my first team to travel to the capital of my country. I travelled with a lot of nostalgia bug full of hope," he said.

"A few years later I was able to travel to Europe, something I had never dreamed of. I played in Spain, and then came to my second home: England.

"Wigan was a unique experience, and then God gave me the opportunity to join Manchester United. I will never forget everything I experienced at Old Trafford.

"I will never forget every goal, every trophy and the wonderful fans.

"I did not think this moment would come so soon, but my body has asked me to make this decision. I am announcing my retirement from football. 

"I want to thank everyone who has been part of my career and life. God in the first place, for always blessing me. Zoila and my daughter Domenik who have been my pillars. 

"My parents for giving me so much. To fans of all the countries where I have played, I always tried to give my best. Thank you for your affection and support."

Valencia was voted United's Player of the Year in 2011-12 and won the Players' Player of the Year in that same campaign and again five seasons later.

The 2011-12 season was a particularly memorable one for the versatile right-sided player as he assisted 13 goals in 27 Premier League appearances.

Only Nani (14 in 33 appearances) and David Beckham (15 in 31) have assisted more Premier League goals in a single season for the club.

Valencia also holds the record for the most appearances of any South American player in the competition with 325, followed by Pablo Zabaleta (303) and Nolberto Solano (302).

The El Nacional academy product scored 23 Premier League goals for United and was not on the losing side in any of those matches, the Red Devils winning 95.7 per cent of them.

Only two players to have scored in at least 20 matches have a better such win percentage - Chelsea pair Pedro (96.3 per cent) and Florent Malouda (96.7 per cent).

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not expect Harry Maguire to feature in the Premier League again this season but remains hopeful he will be fit for the Europa League final.

United captain Maguire suffered ankle ligament damage when he collided with Anwar El Ghazi during a 3-1 win at Aston Villa last Sunday.

The England centre-back was at Old Trafford on crutches wearing a protective boot on his left foot for a 2-1 loss to Leicester City on Tuesday, a defeat that sealed the title for Manchester City.

Solskjaer thinks Maguire's top-flight campaign is over with three games to play, but is optimistic he will face Villarreal in Gdansk on May 26.

The United boss said on the eve of Thursday's Premier League encounter with Liverpool: "The good news was it wasn't broken. There was no fracture, but a ligament injury of course is serious as well.

"If I'm very positive - that's maybe stretching it - I'm hopeful that he might be ready for it [the Europa League final]. I don't think he'll play in the league again before [the end of the season]. We'll do everything we can to get him ready for the final."

Solskjaer said there should be no concerns that he might take a risk by playing Maguire with Euro 2020 on the horizon.

"You always try to look after players long-term. If he's fit, he'll play for us, if he's not he won't," said the former Norway striker.

"As I said, we're hopeful that he's ready. If he's ready for us, he'll probably be ready for the Euros. Norway are not in the Euros, so I'm not really that concerned [about the Euros]."

Solskjaer made 10 changes to his starting line-up for the defeat to the Foxes and will rotate again when they face Champions League hopefuls Liverpool, given United are amid a schedule of four games in the space of 10 days.

"There will be changes of course but many of the players that played tonight did really well so they're in contention as well," he added.

"It's about managing the squad now and building momentum, building confidence, making sure we get enough points to get second and then going into the final confident."

Casey Stoney will step down as head coach of Manchester United Women at the end of the domestic season.

The former England international took charge in June 2018 shortly after finishing her distinguished playing career at Liverpool.

Stoney led United to the Women's Championship title, and promotion to the Women's Super League, in the team's inaugural season in 2018-19. They won 18 of their 20 matches and suffered just one defeat.

United finished a creditable fourth in their first season in the top flight in 2019-20 and again this term, 10 points behind champions Chelsea. They face Leicester City in the fifth round of the Women's FA Cup on Sunday.

"It has been an honour to lead the women's team at this great club and this has been an incredibly tough decision," Stoney said in a statement.

"I have loved leading this group and I am proud of what we have achieved together. However, after a difficult season with disruption caused by the pandemic, I now feel the time is right to take some time away and for someone else to come in and lead the team on the next stage of its journey.

"I want to thank the club, all of the fantastic staff, the fans, and most of all the players, for the incredible experience we have shared over the past three years."

United's outgoing executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "Casey has been a driving force behind the success of our women's team since she joined the club in 2018. She has been an inspiration to her players and staff, to everyone at the club, and to the fans. Everyone at Manchester United thanks her for her unstinting hard work and dedication and pays tribute to her achievements. She will always be part of the Manchester United family."

Football director John Murtough added: "Manchester United is completely committed to its women's team and to building on the legacy of Casey's achievements as we move forwards. With the recent historic first game at Old Trafford and the impact the team has made in the Women's Super League, the future is bright.

"While we will be sad to see Casey leave, the team and the operation will continue to go from strength to strength."

UEFA has opened a disciplinary investigation against Barcelona, Juventus and Real Madrid, the three clubs who are yet to withdraw from the European Super League.

Nine of the original 12 founding teams involved in the controversial project – including all six English clubs – have renounced the competition and promised to take all possible steps to remove themselves from it.

They all agreed a peace accord with UEFA last week that saw them recommit to the current structures of club and international football.

As part of the deal, those nine teams also accepted light punishments including goodwill payments to UEFA and a small portion of their prize money being withheld.

But Barca, Juve and Madrid are yet to terminate their involvement and on Saturday insisted the breakaway project was lawful, hitting out at "intolerable" pressure and vowing to persevere. 

When announcing their agreement with the nine clubs who came back into the fold, UEFA said it would "take whatever action it deems appropriate" against the remaining three.

That process has now begun, as UEFA released a statement on Wednesday confirming the disciplinary probe.

It read: "In accordance with Article 31(4) of the UEFA disciplinary regulations, UEFA ethics and disciplinary inspectors have today been appointed to conduct a disciplinary investigation regarding a potential violation of UEFA's legal framework by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus in connection with the so-called 'Super League' project.

"Further information regarding this matter will be made available in due course."

Speaking last week, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin discussed the recent developments, praising the nine clubs for stepping back from the Super League.

"I said at the UEFA Congress that it takes a strong organisation to admit making a mistake especially in these days of trial by social media," he said.

"In accepting their commitments and willingness to repair the disruption they caused, UEFA wants to put this chapter behind it and move forward in a positive spirit.

"The measures announced are significant, but none of the financial penalties will be retained by UEFA. They will all be reinvested into youth and grassroots football in local communities across Europe, including the UK.

"These clubs have done just that, recognised their mistakes quickly and have taken action to demonstrate their contrition and future commitment to European football.

"The same cannot be said for the clubs that remain involved in the so-called 'Super League' and UEFA will deal with those clubs subsequently."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauded Mason Greenwood for playing with responsibility alongside some of Manchester United's younger players against Leicester City and wants him to retain that authority when teaming up with first-team regulars.

United lost 2-1 at home to Leicester on Tuesday, a defeat that confirmed Manchester City as Premier League champions for the third time in four years.

The result did not come as a huge surprise, however, given Solskjaer had made 10 changes to his starting XI from the 3-1 win over Aston Villa just two days earlier – Greenwood the only player to keep his place.

The England international got United's goal, a tidy finish into the bottom-left corner after skipping past Caglar Soyuncu to cancel out Luke Thomas' spectacular opener.

Alongside him in the United attack were 18-year-old Amad Diallo, making his Premier League debut, and Anthony Elanga, who was playing his first ever game for the senior side – Greenwood, although only six months older than the latter, was making his 102nd appearance.

Solskjaer felt Greenwood – occupying the central striker position – played with greater authority and responsibility as a result and he wants the 19-year-old to take that into their next game against Liverpool on Thursday, when the likes of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba can expect to be back in the team.

"You saw some definite leadership, the way he had to take responsibility," Solskjaer said.

"He's got Amad and Anthony next to him, looks at them and thinks, 'I've got 100 games here so I need to help them', which is great.

"He did really well, considering his age he's got 100 games and has got loads of experience.

"The way he took responsibility, I was really pleased with it. That's maybe not as easy when you've got Bruno, Paul, Marcus and Edinson [Cavani] next to you, which is natural.

"I still want him to take that responsibility when he plays. No matter how old you are, if you believe in yourself, trust in yourself, and think it's the right decision, you make that decision.

"He did that [against Leicester] and I still want him to do that on Thursday, when he plays with the more experienced ones."

It has been a testing season for Greenwood, who struggled early on to replicate the remarkable form he had shown in 2019-20.

The teenager had to cope with the death of a close friend and was then involved in controversy on England duty, finding himself sent home after making his debut and then being excluded from the next selection.

Greenwood also appeared to become something of a target for certain sections of the British media, and his form suffered considerably, only managing three goals across all competitions between the start of the season in September and the end of 2020.

His struggles continued into 2021 and the forward went on a run of 15 appearances without a single goal from late January, but he ended that barren spell against Leicester City on March 21 and has since netted eight times in 11 matches.

No Premier League player has scored more goals on all fronts over the same period, with Greenwood once again showing the kind of killer-instinct in front of goal that made him so feared in 2019-20, when he scored 17 goals.

Ten of those came in the league from an expected goals (xG) value of just 2.9, meaning he scored 7.1 goals more than expected. No player in the division could match that xG overperformance.

This would generally indicate elite-level finishing or a player getting lucky. Greenwood's form earlier this season suggested it was the latter, but since March 21 his xG overperformance across all competitions is 5.0 – almost double the next-most efficient player in that time, Kelechi Iheanacho (xG overperformance of 2.9).

After a shaky period, Greenwood is seemingly back on track and showing the finishing talents that made people sit up and take note last season.

While Solskjaer wants him to keep playing with authority for United, on current form many would even be backing him to take extra "responsibility" with England at Euro 2020.

Manchester United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has criticized the scheduling of his side's league fixtures, labelling them as "impossible" amid a pile-up.

Solskjaer fielded a second-string line-up for Tuesday's 2-1 home loss to Leicester City, which comes only two days after they won 3-1 away to Aston Villa in the Premier League.

The Red Devils' fixture pile-up has been compounded by their run to the Europa League final, having completed their passage on Thursday with an 8-5 aggregate win over Roma.

But United's backlog was made worse by their postponed league fixture against Liverpool due to fan protests at Old Trafford.

United play that fixture against Liverpool on Thursday before another league match against Fulham on Tuesday.

Solskjaer acknowledged the situation the postponed Liverpool fixture had created but called for fairer re-scheduling.

"It can’t be like this again," Solskjaer said post-game. "You can’t play Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday - it is impossible.

"That’s the reason why we had to make these changes because it is unheard of. I say it again, if this game was tomorrow, no problem and if we have another game on Saturday.

"If you have two days in between, there is no problem but this is impossible for the players to perform at this level Thursday night, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday. It is impossible."

Leicester City head coach Brendan Rodgers has hailed his side's "extremely important win" over Manchester United as they move a step closer to securing Champions League qualification.

Goals from Luke Thomas and Caglar Soyuncu earned the Foxes three crucial points in the race for the top four.

Leicester moved back into to third with the victory, up to 66 points after 36 games, sitting ahead of fourth-placed Chelsea on 64 points from 35 games.

West Ham and Liverpool are on 58 and 57 points from 35 and 34 games respectively, with Leicester's win creating an improbable deficit to overcome.

The Foxes crumbled at this stage in their Champions League bid last season so the magnitude of a rare win at Old Trafford was not lost on Rodgers

"It’s an extremely important win for us," Rodgers said. "It’s huge.

"We’re at 66 points now, which is what two of the sides that finished in there last season got.

"It’s a big step but there are still two games to go and the teams are still chasing us, so we still have work to do."

Leicester, who play Chelsea in the FA Cup final this weekend, have two tough remaining Premier League fixtures away to the Blues and at home to Tottenham.

"It’s the stage of the season where every win, every point is so important," Rodgers said.

"To be able to come to Old Trafford, it’s another victory for us against a top six club and, as you can see, it’ll be very, very important for us and where we finish this season."

On Saturday's FA Cup final, Rodgers added: "You can see the quality of their team, but we’ll be ready. We’ll look forward to it and we’ll fight to be the first team in Leicester City’s history to win the FA Cup."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it will take a couple of new signings for Manchester United to seriously challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title next season.

A United side showing 10 changes from Sunday's victory at Aston Villa fell to a 2-1 loss at home to Leicester City on Tuesday - a result that crowned City as champions with three games to spare.

It is City's seventh top-flight title triumph, five of those in the last decade, while United's wait for Premier League glory will stretch into a ninth season.

While Solskjaer feels his side deserve praise for pushing City as far as they did, the Norwegian accepts it will take some spending in the close season to fully close the gap.

"If you want to take up the challenge with them we need to strengthen our squad," he told BT Sport. "Congratulations to them. They have had a fantastic season. 

"I am very pleased with my boys that have made it to the last 10 days with a Manchester City side ahead of us that are lauded as the best in Europe.

"We want to take the next step and it might be that we need a couple more to strengthen the squad."

Mason Greenwood was the only player to keep his place in United's starting line-up for the loss to third-placed Leicester, who are now within four points of their opponents.

Solskjaer hinted ahead of the game he would prioritise the upcoming clash with Liverpool, which comes a little over 48 hours after the visit of Leicester to Old Trafford.

The United boss believes his side performed well given the circumstances as he again hit out at the Premier League for rescheduling the game versus Liverpool for this Thursday.

"We started off slow, as you might expect because they have not had any time to prepare for the game, but after they scored we had nothing to lose," he said.

"We played some very good stuff and I was pleased with it. We have not had too much time to prepare and we went into half-time pleased. 

"They didn't get out of the traps and they got a goal from a corner that should have been a throw.

"But it can't be like this again. We can't play Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday to Thursday. It is impossible. That's the reason we made the changes. 

"It's unheard of. It is impossible for the players to perform at this level going from Thursday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday."

Greenwood's smart finish cancelled out Luke Thomas' impressive volleyed opener, before Caglar Soyuncu headed in a winner for Leicester 24 minutes from time.

England international Greenwood now has 29 goals in all competitions since the start of last season, which is the most of any teenager in Europe's top five leagues.

On a day that saw Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga make their Premier League debuts for United, Solskjaer reserved special praise for Greenwood.

"Mason looked like a seasoned professional and he is only 19," Solskjaer said at his post-match news conference.

"You saw some definite leadership in he had to take responsibility. He did really well considering his age.

"No matter how old you are, if you believe yourself and trust yourself then you make that decision."

The defeat for United was their fifth at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season, which is as many as in their previous two campaigns combined.

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