EPL

Solskjaer makes 'keep it peaceful' plea as Man Utd fans plan protest

By Sports Desk April 30, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged Manchester United supporters to "keep it peaceful" with their protests against the club's owners.

A demonstration by disgruntled fans is expected to take place before Sunday's Premier League clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford.

The Glazer family's ownership of United has not been popular for many years, but the club's involvement in the recent European Super League plans saw confidence in the hierarchy take a further hit.

United signed up but then withdrew from the competition 48 hours after the league was launched, along with domestic rivals Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool. 

Executives and owners of those clubs have taken flak from fans who objected to the 'breakaway' nature of the Super League. There have been supporter protests at various grounds around the country, and now United's stadium could see a big turnout from disenchanted fans.

"It's important the fans' views are listened to and we communicate better," Solskjaer said.

He added: "When the protests are going on, it's important that they go in a good fashion and that we keep it peaceful."

Solskjaer was unsurprisingly not inclined to criticise the owners, instead pointing to the support he has found when looking to strengthen the United squad.

"My job is to focus on the football side," said the Norwegian, whose team sit second in the Premier League and have one foot in the Europa League final.

"I've been backed, I've had great support from the club and the owners, and I'm sure I will get the backing again to go one step further."

United's 6-2 win over Roma on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final should mean the return game in Italy is as near to a formality as such matches can be.

Now United have a chance not only to tighten their grip on second place, but also to dent Liverpool's Champions League qualifying prospects.

Jurgen Klopp's Premier League champions have seen their crown slip this term, and they trail fourth-placed Chelsea by four points with just five games to play.

Defeat at Old Trafford would be a hammer blow to those hopes, but Solskjaer dismissed the idea it could be on his players' minds.

He said: "We're just thinking about winning ourselves. Whatever that does to Liverpool cannot be of our concern.

"Throughout the season you have games you look forward to and this Liverpool game at home is one of the biggest games of the season.

"It doesn't matter if we're first or second or third or fourth. No matter what, this is a massive, massive game."

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    ROUND-UP

    - The front page of Diario AS claims former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri is the favourite to replace Zinedine Zidane if the Frenchman leaves Real Madrid. Club great Raul, who is currently in charge of the Castilla team, is another option. It comes as Madrid push to bring in a franchise player in the form of Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, while Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich's David Alaba are also wanted amid links to Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga and United midfielder Paul Pogba.

    - The Sun says City are considering a mega move for Barca superstar Lionel Messi, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Messi is reportedly open to reuniting with Pep Guardiola in Manchester on a one-year deal.

    Barca are weighing up the futures of Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto, reports Mundo Deportivo. Due to their financial situation, the players could be asked to take a pay cut as Lyon captain Memphis Depay prepares to arrive on a free transfer. City forward Sergio Aguero and defender Eric Garcia, Haaland and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum have also been linked.

    - Lille's Jonathan Ikone is Dortmund's top priority as the Bundesliga club prepare for life without Jadon Sancho, according to France Football. Sancho has been tipped to join United or Liverpool, while Dortmund are also eyeing PSV sensation Donyell Malen, Ajax forward David Neres and Pedro Goncalves of Sporting CP.

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