Man City's fifth Premier League title in nine years confirms their status among England's historic sides

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ESPN 11 May, 2021 - 03:16pm 11 views

Did City win the league?

Manchester City's are the kings of England once again. City won the seventh league title in club history, clinching the Premier League on Tuesday after second-place Manchester United lost at home to Leicester City, 2-1. CBSSports.comManchester City win the Premier League as Manchester United lose to Leicester City

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Eric Cantona is as mesmerising in the flesh as he was on the pitch and was perfect to tell Manchester...

talkSPORT.com 12 May, 2021 - 02:01am

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It was February 7, 1958, a hospital in Munich. The survivors of the air crash which laid waste to the Busby Babes, the young stars of Manchester United, are fighting for their lives. Among them is the team manager, Matt Busby.

My late father, Peter, was supposed to be on that flight. But his Sports Editor on the Daily Herald had given him another assignment. He was on the next plane out to Munich. He was a friend of Busby’s. As he waited for the manager to win his battle and leave hospital, that friendship became a bond.

And so it was that my arch Catholic grandmother went to her grave believing I’d been named after a saint. But I hadn’t.

My father was a dyed-in the wool West Ham fan. And I had little choice but to follow in his footsteps. God only knows what he’d make of this season. He’d be smiling. But, like me, he’d also be smiling at the other United’s progress. The bond endures.

I was fortunate enough to meet Sir Matt and, more often, his son Sandy. My dad would arrange holidays and tell my mum the football season was over and it was time for a complete break – just her, him and us kids. Imagine her surprise when, within a couple of hours, we’d bumped into the likes of Bobby Charlton, Martin Peters and Bobby Moore. Same destination, same two weeks, same fibs told to the wives.

So as a kid I was spoilt rotten. Bobby Moore became my friend, too. And I made a film about him – Bobby – in deference to that relationship. Likewise Sir Bobby Charlton was always Bobby to me. He and Lady Norma would welcome me to the United boardroom. A welcome that is still extended today.

Michael Edelson is the longest serving director at United and I’ve known him for years. I helped him write his autobiography. And it was him I turned to when I decide to make a film about United. He agreed to help and eventually became an Executive Producer on the project.

I knew United had around 640 million signed up followers around the world. And I knew their story would be a brilliant one to tell. But this film would be different. This film would have a genuine superstar to lead it.

Eric Cantona was perfect for the role. He was a superstar as a player and remains one today, be it as an actor, artist or poet. He agreed to tell the United story for us.

We flew to Lisbon to interview him over three days and met him in a restaurant where he even ordered sardines.

He helped us write the film and I’d like to think the result, The United Way, is a bit special.

From the dark days of Munich through to the realisation of Busby’s European dream ten years later. On through the barren years of the 70s and Fergie’s early struggles. Then on to Cantona’s arrival and league titles and cups aplenty culminating in that incredible treble in 1999.

We hear from a galaxy of United stars. Key figures like David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Bryan Robson, Brian Kidd, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Butt, Peter Schmeichel, the late Tommy Docherty and many, many more.

But at the heart of it all is Eric. He grabs your attention and doesn’t let you go. As mesmerising in the flesh as he was on the pitch. Well, my wife was swooning anyway…

It’s a terrific story, but it’s not just about a football club.

The United Way is at heart a story of the people. It is set against a background of four decades of change on and off the pitch. Lords Heseltine and Kinnock add socio-political context. Musicians Peter Hook and Shaun Ryder recall the ground-breaking sounds and styles, which, along with the football club, helped make Manchester a pioneering, swashbuckling cultural capital.

It’s is a cinematic journey to discover the soul of a football club, of a city, and of a people.

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Protesting fans stay away from Old Trafford ring of steel

Reuters 12 May, 2021 - 02:01am

United's game against Liverpool last week was postponed after fans, calling for the removal of the club's owners, the Glazer family, clashed with police and broke into the stadium, entering the field of play. L1N2MP07I

There was no sign of fans or protesters around the stadium before Tuesday's game but there was a heavy police and security presence around the venue.

Social media posts suggested protesters were instead looking to Thursday's rescheduled game with Liverpool for a further demonstration of their opposition to the Glazers.

Steel barriers were erected around the main entrance to the ground and there were increased numbers of private security staff and local police.

The Glazers have faced fan opposition since they took over the club in a heavily leveraged deal in 2005, but the protests were reignited last month due to the club's involvement in the attempt to create a breakaway European Super League. L1N2MP0FH

In response to the protests and open letters from fans, United owner and co-chairman Joel Glazer wrote to supporters last week to say he is willing to discuss increasing fan shareholding in the club as part of a wider consultation with them.

“We want to work together to come up with an ambitious package of measures which will transform our relationship with fans and strengthen the club for the long-term," he wrote. L1N2MU1G4

“In this spirit, we will reach out to members of the forum to schedule a meeting in which I shall participate as soon as possible after the final game of the season,” he added.

Tuesday's game with Leicester is part of a crammed schedule for United, who beat Aston Villa on Sunday. With an eye on the clash with their local rivals Liverpool in 48 hours, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named a second-string side to face the Foxes.

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Five of Prem’s Big Six on Forbes’ most valuable sports teams list with £13BILLION value after cash cow Supe...

The Sun 12 May, 2021 - 02:01am

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Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham were among 12 European giants to sign up for the controversial breakaway competition last month.

The Big Six were hit by an almighty backlash from fans, leading to protests outside the stadiums and, ultimately, the teams' withdrawal as the European Super League crumbled.

Many believed the main incentive for the Dirty Dozen was cash.

But it turns out they don't really need the extra billions of pounds.

Incredibly, FIVE of the greedy Premier League's Big Six are among Forbes' top 50 most valuable sports teams on the planet - worth a combined £13BILLION.

And Barcelona and Real Madrid - who STILL haven't officially pulled out of the ESL - are right near the top, too.

The LaLiga duo sit fourth and fifth in the 50-strong sporting list, worth £3.4bn apiece.

They trail only Dallas Cowboys (NFL, £4bn), New York Yankees (MLB, £3.7bn) and New York Knicks (NBA, £3.5bn) in the standings.

The only other football club to sneak into the top ten are fan-friendly German giants Bayern Munich, valued at £3bn.

Man Utd (£3bn), Liverpool (£2.9bn) and Man City (£2.8bn) sit 11th, 12th and 13th in the list - with only NINE football clubs breaking into the top 50.

Chelsea are the seventh-most-valuable football club - 25th of all sports teams - valued at £2.3bn.

Arsenal - the subject of a potential takeover by Spotify CEO and lifelong Gooner Daniel Ek - are worth just shy of £2bn, 38th on the overall list.

The ninth and final football club on the list are Paris Saint-Germain - another to NOT sign up for the Super League.

The French giants are valued at £1.8bn - good for 43rd on the list.

Tottenham, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid - the remaining five members of the Dirty Dozen - do not make the top 50.

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Manchester United: If games ended at half-time they'd be 13th in the Premier League table!

Daily Mail 12 May, 2021 - 02:01am

By Daniel Davis For Mailonline

It is no secret Manchester United have been affectionately, or otherwise, nicknamed 'Second Half FC' this season. In a style which recalls the never-say-die attitude of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure, they just do not know when they're beaten.

The comeback against Aston Villa at the weekend showed just that. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a self-professed student of the legendary Ferguson, looks to have picked up all the right tricks, having guided his team to countless victories from behind.

Bertrand Traore's stunning opener in the Midlands was enough to light up any game of Premier League football, but there was a strange sense of finality when the ball found the back of the net. 'Here we go', his team-mates were probably thinking.

Manchester United have now claimed 31 points from losing positions after beating Aston Villa

There is a sense Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team are capable of mounting comebacks every game

And sure enough, just as night always turns to day, United grouped together at the break and, following another effective pep talk from their manager, clawed back from a goal down to win 3-1 and tighten their grip on second spot.

It has been a familiar feeling for United supporters throughout this campaign. A rollercoaster ride it may be, and one they likely hope was a great deal simpler, but their players know how to get the job done.

The stellar track record of fighting back masks a very worrying fact for Solskjaer and his coaching staff, however. He was keen to play down the tendency to deliver stodgy and slow first-half performances as a coincidence, but it simply can't be.

United have been dogged by a number of poor first-half performances during this campaign

Edinson Cavani nodded in United's third goal late on at Villa Park to seal another comeback win

Be it a mentality issue or, as Luke Shaw hinted, a failure to be 'ready' for games, the conundrum is there and must be solved. Pulsating comebacks after half-time are not enough to sustain title challenges or a push for silverware alone.

In fact, the issue has been laid horribly bare for United through an alternative league table. This one, made up from half-time scores alone, shows the club lying down the pecking order in 13th spot. 

Around them are the likes of Fulham, Burnley and Leeds, while sitting pretty at the top are, unsurprisingly, Manchester City. 

So, how do the rest of the standings look? Tottenham are sat behind a rampant City in second, 10 points behind the leaders' tally of 71.

This may come as little shock to the club's fanbase, with their collapses after the break largely the main factor behind the derailing of their season. Under Jose Mourinho, the team looked incapable of holding on to a lead.

Making up the rest of the top four spots are Chelsea and West Ham. Both teams are enjoying fine seasons and their strong first-half form has helped propel them up the table to be in and around the Champions League places.

Next, Everton, Aston Villa and Liverpool are on course to qualify for the Europa League. Carlo Ancelotti's side are scrapping to get into Europe this season, although it looks as though their second-half performances have ended their top four hopes.

In eighth are Brighton. The south coast outfit have confused even the biggest brains in the business this term with their xG being very high, but their actual position in the table just above the drop zone. 

To little surprise, Manchester City are flying high at the top of the real life and half-time tables

Tottenham have also impressed in their first-half performances and sit all the way up in second

As the alternative standings show, what they serve up in the first-half is the least of their worries heading into the summer.

Southampton are the second surprise name flying high in the upper reaches. Another top-flight team based down south and flailing around for points in reality, their results at the interval would see them just outside the European spots.

Crystal Palace and Leicester take up 10th and 11th respectively. The former, who are actually 13th in the real table, have seen their good work underdone in painful fashion after the whistle for the second half has sounded.

Leicester, meanwhile, may be punching for a top-four finish this time around, but Brendan Rodgers, like Solskjaer, will have plenty of cause for concern with what has been happening in the first period of games.

Leicester are currently in fourth spot but the half-time table has them lying down in 12 place

Arsenal have endured a miserable season and have been ahead at half-time in just nine games

Below them are Arsenal, who can be found down in 12th in this alternative state of play. It has truly been a season to forget for Mikel Arteta, and his strugglers have 43 points, six adrift of the final European place. 

Then, it's Manchester United. With scores taken solely from half-time, the Red Devils have drawn a whopping 19 games, and lost eight. The 21 goals shipped do not make for good reading either.

Fulham, Burnley, Leeds and Wolves are the only other teams who escape the dreaded dotted line above 18th. Leeds' position is staggering considering their heroics this term, although Marcelo Bielsa is sure to delve into this.

Leeds are in 16th in the half-time table but have enjoyed a fine campaign back in the top-flight

Propping up the table are Newcastle, West Brom and Sheffield United. 

The final two clubs have been officially relegated, but it is some strong second-half showings from Steve Bruce's team that has seen them secure survival.

But what if we were now to take the second half scores in isolation? How would the table look then?

Well, the inevitability of comebacks from United see them in top spot. They would have 18 wins, 12 draws and just four defeats - and the 44 goals, and 15 conceded, have given supporters plenty to be optimistic about.

Some of the notable changes between the two different tables are Leicester sitting in fourth, Arsenal moving into seventh and Tottenham dropping all the way to 11th.

Leeds have also impressed after the break, shooting up to be fifth, while West Ham's stuttering bid for the top four has been all but shattered by what happens in the second half.

It is important to remember, of course, that both these tables are solely hypothetical. Football is enthralling because drama can break out in any minute of every game. A 93rd minute winner is just as important as a breakthrough after 60 seconds.

United's never-say-die attitude and comebacks see them at the top of the second-half table 

Solskjaer labelled the poor first-half displays as coincidence but the track record is worrying

But what these standings do reveal is a fascinating insight into which side of each of the 20 teams is shown at the start of matches, and then at the end. 

The cold, hard statistics shown in the different points tallies are far from the coincidence that Solskjaer believes they may be. 

Yes, fluke goals or poor decisions may skew everything slightly, but the glimpse into the mentalities and fitness of players is one every manager should embrace. 

It may well prove the difference between winning trophies or suffering heartbreak.    

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Every Premier League winning team - ranked - 90min - 90min - 90min

90min 12 May, 2021 - 02:01am

But in 28 seasons of the English top flight, fans have witnessed endless special moments. Seven clubs have won the Premier League so far, and in celebration of the competition living another day thanks to the European project crashing and burning, 90min has ranked every Premier League winning team since its inauguration.

Strap in and brace yourself for a lot of Manchester United.

Premier League man city

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