Neymar's expected exit from Paris Saint-Germain seems to be gathering speed.

Neymar, 27, is set to leave the Ligue 1 champions, with a return to LaLiga – either with former club Barcelona or Real Madrid – appearing likely.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said he no longer wanted "superstar behaviour" and Neymar looks set to depart the Parc des Princes.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR SET FOR LALIGA RETURN

A return to Barcelona, where he spent four seasons before joining PSG, seems the most likely for Neymar.

According to television channel Gol, the Brazilian is already looking for a house in Barcelona, and he wants the same home he occupied during his first stint at the club.

However, the star forward has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid. Marca report PSG may want Casemiro in a possible deal for Neymar.

Mundo Deportivo report Neymar recently told Al-Khelaifi: "I don't want to play anymore at PSG. I want to go back to my house [Barcelona], where I should never have left."

ROUND-UP

- Paul Pogba may want a "new challenge" away from Manchester United, but he is set to get a nice bonus beforehand. The Sun report Pogba is due to receive a £3.78million loyalty bonus from United at the start of July. While the midfielder is linked with Real Madrid, Gianluca Di Marzio reports there are still talks for Pogba to return to Juventus.

- Real Madrid still seem keen to land Tottenham star Christian Eriksen. The Daily Mail report Madrid are set to offer Spurs £45m plus midfielder Dani Ceballos for the Denmark playmaker.

- Matthijs de Ligt appears to be getting closer to a decision over his future. The Ajax captain has told Barcelona he will not be joining them, according to Cadena SER.

- Manchester United's hopes of keeping David de Gea have received a boost. The Sun report PSG, long linked with the goalkeeper, have instead turned their attentions to AC Milan shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

- Staying at Old Trafford, Romelu Lukaku will not force a Manchester United exit despite being linked with a move, according to the Mirror. There has been plenty of talk around United, with The Sun reporting the club offered Phil Jones in a deal to sign West Ham defender Issa Diop, but the Hammers want Anthony Martial. Meanwhile, Gianluca Di Marzio reports United are also showing an interest in Napoli right-back Elseid Hysaj.

- Manchester City appear set to strengthen with the signing of Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. Goal report Rodri has decided to leave Atletico and join City, who are set to pay his €70m buy-out clause.

Manchester United's recent poor results have left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer realising he has a serious job on his hands if he wants to turn things around at Old Trafford.

All seemed rosy during Solskjaer's period as interim manager as he inspired a remarkable upturn in form, got key players back on side and guided United into the Champions League quarter-finals against the odds.

But since Solskjaer took the wheel permanently in March, United have lost four of six games across all competitions, including a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Everton on Sunday.

Before that game – and following the 4-0 aggregate loss to Barcelona in the Champions League – Solskjaer questioned the attitudes of his players, saying some needed "a reality check".

With bitter local rivals Manchester City visiting on Wednesday, United have the perfect opportunity to bounce back and we've examined they key men who need to buck up their ideas.

 

Paul Pogba

Pogba initially found the form of his United career after Solskjaer took charge, but the team's biggest problem this season has been the midfield's inability to dictate matches. The Frenchman has undoubtedly been partly responsible, stamping his authority far too inconsistently for a player of his talent. Two goals – both of which were penalties – and no assists in his last nine games, Pogba's form has been alarming, particularly those two anonymous showings against Barca in the Champions League. Links with Real Madrid have also resurfaced since Zinedine Zidane's return. Perhaps his head has been turned.

Marcus Rashford

Much like Pogba, Rashford was excellent in the early weeks of Solskjaer's reign, scoring six in the Norwegian's first 10 games at the helm. He has three goals in 13 appearances since. While it's not necessarily a reason for his dip in form, the England international is reportedly stalling on a new contract, hardly helping fan perception in a difficult time. His composure in front of goal has been called into question, while his wastefulness at set-pieces is beginning to grind the gears of supporters. He's undoubtedly talented but looks utterly miserable at the moment, with media reports claiming his attitude is not what it should be.

Romelu Lukaku

Of United's forwards, Lukaku arguably had the most difficult start to life under Solskjaer, with it quickly becoming apparent his attributes weren't ideally suited to the manager's system. Injuries gave him a chance in February and he capitalised with six goals in three games, suggesting he'd managed to adapt, with the new regime wanting him to play with his back to goal less frequently. Recent performances proved that form to be temporary, however. The Belgian is reportedly open to leaving the club at the end of the season and it's difficult to see him being missed if he was to depart.

David de Gea

Probably the only man to have found anything close to world-class form at United since Alex Ferguson's retirement. De Gea has been a great player for United, though it's fair to say he is having easily his worst campaign since his first at Old Trafford. Errors have been made far too regularly compared to his usual standard, including a howler against Barca and more suspect positioning against Everton at the weekend. Coincidentally or not, he's another whose future is in doubt, with contract negotiations apparently going poorly. A social media rallying cry after the Goodison Park defeat at least suggests he cares, but he is not making himself indispensable.

Anthony Martial

United were wise to tie Martial down to a new long-term contract in January given his undoubted potential and market value. The France international had enjoyed a decent start to the season under Mourinho, despite the Portuguese coach reportedly trying to sell him, and that form continued for Solskjaer at first. But since signing his new deal, Martial has scored just twice in all competitions and his displays have left a lot to be desired. He retained his place despite a dire outing at Barcelona and was similarly ineffective against Everton, his runs predictable and unimaginative. He is capable of so much more.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims some of his Manchester United players "need a reality check" and admits it will take time to rebuild the squad to meet his demands.

United were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona on Tuesday in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie, having lost the reverse game at Old Trafford 1-0.

Including those matches, the Red Devils have lost five of their last seven games in all competitions and face a tough run-in in the Premier League as they attempt to finish in the top four.

There has been talk of a significant spending spree in the transfer window to come, with players including Jadon Sancho and Kalidou Koulibaly linked with moves, while the futures of Alexis Sanchez, Paul Pogba and David de Gea appear uncertain.

Solskjaer, though, insists there is no easy fix to be had in the transfer market and suggested some United stars are unlikely to match the improvements of others under his tutelage.

"I've learned a lot about them over the months I've been here," he told a news conference on Friday. "Most of them have really impressed me with their attitude. There are some who need a reality check on where they're at, but most know they can improve if they keep working.

"I've been speaking to the club [about transfers]. We know we have to be realistic and we know we have a job. There's no quick fix, it's not 'buy seven players and we're in the right shape'. We are where we are.

"I can't wait for pre-season. There will be some additions, but the players have to come back knowing what's expected of them. First day of pre-season they've got to do the job and take ownership of that over the holidays. It'll be great to see who is coming back ready."

It was put to Solskjaer that Anthony Martial is one such player in need of a "reality check", having disappointed with recent performances, but the United boss has faith in the France forward.

"I've spoken to individuals and Anthony's one of them, I've spoken to all of them individually," he said. "Anthony's got a massive talent, he knows we believe in him, so just keep on working. 

"Anyone at Man United has to deliver to stay in the squad and stay in the team and Anthony's no different to Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Rom [Romelu Lukaku], Alexis, the many forwards we have to choose from. That's the great thing about it. It's down to players as well [to improve].

"As we've said, we've lost two league games since I came in. Those games we shouldn't have talked about losing. We've won games we maybe didn't deserve to, but players know what's going to happen, they know what I expect. When we came in 19th of December, and where we're at now, I think anyone would have taken that. 

"When you're playing, there's no hiding place and everyone can see what the level's at. We're also working in training with the fantastic staff I've got to create a culture I want. You want players to take ownership of what's happening but it's the performances on the pitch that will determine where they're at in their careers. That's what we spoke about in Barcelona as well - when you're in big stadiums you have to step up because there is no hiding place."

Solskjaer also defended United's transfer policy amid criticism of their approach to scouting and recruitment in recent years.

"I know there's been loads of criticism. I don't know if all these critics know what's happening," he said. "We've got scouts scouring the planet looking for good footballers. We'll sign players we think are the right fit personality-wise, quality-wise, price-wise. I'm confident we're doing what we can to get the right players in."

Anthony Martial will start with Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard in Manchester United's Champions League clash with Barcelona on Tuesday.

The France international played the full 90 minutes of the 2-1 Premier League win over West Ham on Saturday, having only come on as a substitute in the 1-0 first-leg loss to Barca last week.

In total, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer makes four changes from the West Ham win, with Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young, Scott McTominay and Rashford coming in for Diogo Dalot, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Marcos Rojo.

Nemanja Matic and Alexis Sanchez, who have recovered from injury, are on the bench.

Barca have made one change to the team that won at Old Trafford, with Sergi Roberto replacing Nelson Semedo at right-back.

Ernesto Valverde has changed all 10 of the outfield players from Saturday's 0-0 LaLiga draw with Huesca, with only goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen keeping his place.

Manchester United marked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment as permanent manager with an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Watford on Saturday.

Goals in each half from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial got the Red Devils back to winning ways after losses to Arsenal and Wolves in the Premier League and FA Cup, despite Abdoulaye Doucoure's late strike.

It was a mostly uninspiring performance from United at Old Trafford, but the result moves them back into the top four at the end of a week in which Solskjaer was confirmed as their next full-time boss on a three-year deal.

Doucoure dragged a shot wide from inside the United box as the home side endured a strangely sluggish start in the Manchester sun, but they took the lead 28 minutes in, with Rashford clipping a clever finish over Ben Foster after Luke Shaw won back the ball on the edge of his own area and sent his England team-mate through on goal.

Foster made a smart save with his legs to deny Martial before half-time, as United began to dictate proceedings thanks largely to Solskjaer's decision to shift Juan Mata from the right wing into a number 10 role.

Watford were the better side after the break once more, though, with David de Gea saving well from Roberto Pereyra and Will Hughes curling a shot wide after Nemanja Matic lost the ball in his own area.

Martial struck 18 minutes from time, scooping the ball into the net after he reacted quickest following a tangle with goalkeeper Foster, and it proved just enough for the victory despite Doucoure slotting past De Gea after a clever link-up with Isaac Success and Troy Deeney.

What does it mean? United turn up pressure on Arsenal

Back-to-back losses to Arsenal in the league and Wolves in the FA Cup seemed to be on United's minds at times as they played largely risk-free football, but Solskjaer will be pleased enough to emerge from this game with three points.

The win lifts them back into fourth place in the table, a point above the Gunners, who play Newcastle United on Monday, and level with Tottenham in third.

Watford drop to ninth, but you sense their focus is already on next Sunday's cup semi-final with Wolves at Wembley.

Jones the unexpected hero

Making his first league start since February 9, Phil Jones had an excellent game at the heart of United's defence. The fact he was so involved in the match reflects how generally poor his side were further forward.

Pogba goes missing

Nobody in the United midfield stood out, but Pogba was particularly anonymous. He offered little to link with the attack and rarely tracked the forward runs of Hughes.

What's next?

United head to Wolves on Tuesday, when Watford host struggling Fulham.

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has withdrawn from the France squad for their opening European Championship qualifiers because of a knee problem.

Martial felt severe pain in his right knee after United's FA Cup defeat to Wolves on Saturday and conversations between the Premier League club and France's team doctor Franck Le Gall have led to his omission.

Atletico Madrid's Thomas Lemar replaces him in the squad for the games with Moldova and Iceland.

The world champions begin their Group H campaign in Chisinau on Friday before hosting Iceland at the Stade de France in a repeat of the Euro 2016 quarter-final the following Monday.

Martial had been on the sidelines since February 12 because of a groin injury before returning in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Arsenal. 

His knee trouble will be of concern to United, who take on Watford and visit Wolves in the space of four days after the international break as they seek to secure a Premier League top-four spot.

United do, however, have eight days to rest after the trip to Wolves before they welcome Barcelona to Old Trafford in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Martial has scored 11 goals in 30 appearances for United this season.

 

Manchester United interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not completely convinced Alexis Sanchez will rediscover his best form but remains hopeful.

Sanchez arrived at Old Trafford from Arsenal last January in a swap deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way.

While the Armenia international has steadily carved out a niche for himself in London, impressing in particular over the last six weeks, Sanchez has been a significant flop at United.

The Chilean has scored just seven goals in all competitions and very rarely resembled the player he was when at his best in an Arsenal or Barcelona jersey.

A knee injury forced his withdrawal against Southampton, a match in which United improved and went on to win after his substitution, but Solskjaer retains hope he can get through his difficult start to life at Old Trafford when he returns to action next month.

"I hope so," Solskjaer told reporters when asked if Sanchez can get back to his best.

"You can never be 100 per cent sure, but Alexis is such a determined lad, he loves football and is doing everything he can to get back and show his best side.

"He's coming back on Sunday. He's not been on grass yet [since his injury], he's been seeing his people in Barcelona.

"He's still a few weeks away, so if we get to about Everton, [Manchester] City, Chelsea [matches], that period, he'll probably be available."

Sanchez is just one of a host of United players to have suffered with injuries of late.

Jesse Lingard and Ander Herrera have been back in training following their respective issues, but Romelu Lukaku is a doubt for Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Wolves.

"He [Lukaku] has had a sore foot this week," Solskjaer revealed. "He's being assessed, so hopefully he'll get through [training] today [Friday].

"Phil Jones is back, there have been so many players out. Anthony [Martial] is back, Ander [Herrera] has been training, Jesse [Lingard] has been training, so we've got a decision to make [on Saturday] about who's match-fit."

Didier Deschamps concedes that Alexandre Lacazette and Wissam Ben Yedder will not be happy about being overlooked for the latest France squad.

Deschamps named his squad for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Moldova and Iceland on Thursday and there was no place for the duo.

Ben Yedder has been in sensational form for Sevilla this season, plundering a hat-trick against Real Sociedad at the weekend to take his tally to 26 in all competitions, while Lacazette has scored 14 goals in all competitions for Arsenal.

Deschamps has an abundance of talent to choose from in attack and says the similarities between Ben Yedder and Lacazette worked against them, instead opting for Olivier Giroud's physicality up front.

"I don't think they will be happy today," he told a media conference.

"They are doing a lot of very good things, but I have to make choices. They are both closer in style to each other than Giroud.

"They would deserve the call-up. They just need to keep doing what they are doing."

Anthony Martial pulled out of the Nations League clash against Netherlands and friendly with Uruguay in November with a groin problem and has again been called up by Deschamps, who is excited by what the Manchester United star can do when fully fit.

"He has always been part of this French group," he explained.

"Sometimes he has been taken, sometimes he hasn't. He had some slight fitness concerns, but when he is in full control of his ability in beating players, he has all the attacking qualities required."

Deschamps' side travel to Moldova on March 22 and then face Iceland at the Stade de France three days later.

Kingsley Coman has been recalled to the France squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Moldova and Iceland, while Samuel Umtiti and Anthony Martial also return after injury.

Bayern Munich forward Coman has not been called up by Didier Deschamps since being dropped from the preliminary squad ahead of the World Cup in Russia, where Les Bleus went on to triumph.

Injuries have limited Coman's Bundesliga starts this season, but a fine run of form for the German champions has done enough to earn a recall for the qualifiers at Moldova on March 22 and at home to Iceland three days later.

Coman is joined by Barcelona defender Umtiti, who missed the Nations League clash against Netherlands and friendly with Uruguay in November with a knee injury, and Manchester United's Martial, who pulled out of the same squad with a groin problem.

There is still no place for defender Aymeric Laporte despite his impressive displays for Manchester City this season, while Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette and Sevilla's Wissam Ben Yedder have also been overlooked.

Ousmane Dembele misses out after suffering a hamstring injury during Barcelona's 5-1 Champions League last-16 win over Lyon on Wednesday that is likely to keep him out for a month.

France squad: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham), Steve Mandanda (Marseille), Lucas Digne (Everton), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain), Djibril Sidibe (Monaco), Kurt Zouma (Everton), Layvin Kurzawa (Paris Saint-Germain), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon), Kingsley Coman (Bayern Munich), Nabil Fekir (Lyon), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Anthony Martial (Manchester United), Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain), Florian Thauvin (Marseille).

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have offered their thanks to Louis van Gaal after the former Manchester United manager announced his retirement.

Van Gaal, who also managed Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, AZ and the Netherlands in an illustrious career, revealed the news on Dutch TV show VTBL.

The Dutchman handed a teenage Rashford his United debut in February 2016, having signed Martial from Monaco five months earlier.

And both players paid tribute to their former boss on Twitter, with Rashford writing: "Thank you for opening the door & trusting in me. Enjoy retirement boss."

Martial added: "Thanks for everything coach !! It was a honor [sic] to learn from you!"

Van Gaal won silverware at every club he managed, most notably claiming Champions League glory with Ajax during a six-year stint in the 1990s that also yielded three Eredivisie titles and success in the UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Intercontinental Cup.

He went on to win LaLiga twice with Barca in the first of two spells in charge and earned a hugely impressive Eredivisie crown with AZ in 2009, before securing a domestic treble at Bayern Munich the following year.

A second stint as coach of his country brought a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup, while his two-year tenure at United ended two days after the club won the 2015-16 FA Cup.

Anthony Martial, Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera could all return for Manchester United in Sunday's Premier League clash with Arsenal.

France forward Martial has been out for three weeks with a hamstring injury, while Matic and Herrera have been absent from United's midfield for the last three matches in all competitions.

Caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes to have all three available for the visit to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, as well as Eric Bailly, who came off in the first half of the Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday with a knock.

"Eric's fine," Solskjaer told reporters on Friday. "Anthony will be available and hopefully we'll have Nemanja and or Ander ready as well. We're looking better for it. They just need to have another couple of days' training with the team.

"You've got to consider their [Arsenal's] approach, what system they will play, which is impossible to predict, but then you need to look at who's fit and how we'll approach the game with different kind of systems: is it a counter-attacking game, a different type of game? 

"But the fitness issue plays more than ever. We've got players coming in, players who put a proper shift in on one of the hardest nights we've had physically. It was great to have fresh legs. Scott [McTominay] and Fred cover the ground so much, which must be something we have to consider."

United produced a dramatic turnaround in their last-16 tie with PSG, progressing on away goals after a 3-1 win at Parc des Princes thanks to two goals from Romelu Lukaku and an injury-time penalty from Marcus Rashford.

Solskjaer, though, is adamant there will be no difficulty in getting his players focused for the clash with the Gunners, who sit just a point behind them in the table.

"No problem whatsoever," he assured. "We've gone to the quarter-finals, which is what we sometimes expect at Man United. It was the way it happened, the celebrations at the end, it just happens the way you win a game like we did. Arsenal is a fantastic game to get yourself ready for again."

Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard are among the Manchester United players set to miss their Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain.

Sanchez hurt his right knee during Saturday's 3-2 Premier League win at home to Southampton and had to be substituted before half-time.

Reports have claimed he could be out for the rest of the season and Chile national team doctor Pedro Onate has said Sanchez will be back in six to eight weeks.

Martial was a major doubt for Wednesday's trip to Paris as United try to overturn a 2-0 defeat in last month's first leg of the last-16 tie.

The France forward has not played since that Old Trafford defeat on February 12 due to a groin injury and is not ready to return to action.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's injury concerns do not stop at Martial and Sanchez, however, as a host of first-team midfielders are also absent, along with captain Antonio Valencia.

Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Lingard all missed out on selection for the 20-man travelling squad, while Paul Pogba is suspended after he was sent off in the first leg.

Solskjaer has therefore handed squad places to young players Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams, as well as Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira.

PSG are expected to be without Edinson Cavani and Neymar for the second leg, although both forwards were also absent for the first leg.

Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes David de Gea remembers the club's "belief" in him as negotiations over a new contract continue.

United have already activated an option to extend the Spain international's contract until the end of next season but have so far been unable to agree a long-term deal.

De Gea joined United in 2011 for a British record fee for a goalkeeper in an £18.9million switch from Atletico Madrid.

Despite initially struggling to adapt to the Premier League, he has since developed into one of the world's best goalkeepers and has won United's player of the season award in four out of the last five years.

Solskjaer was fulsome in his praise of the 28-year-old but wants him to consider what the club have done for him as contract talks rumble on.

"The club and David are in dialogue, hopefully they'll agree," he told a media conference ahead of United's Premier League clash with Southampton at Old Trafford on Saturday. "It's out of my hands but I'm sure we'll do what we can.

"David's done fantastic since he came. The club really showed how much they wanted him back in the day when Eric [Steele, United's former goalkeeping coach] and the gaffer [Alex Ferguson] found him.

"There were probably keepers better at that time but the belief the manager showed in him paid dividends.

"He's been player of the year I don't know how many years, we're grateful to have him."

When asked to compare De Gea with previous United goalkeeping greats Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar, Solskjaer added: "It's difficult to compare them, but Edwin and Peter were never player of the year.

"David's contributed so many points over the years for us and I would say he's the best goalkeeper in the world. Peter was at the time and Edwin at the time as well.

"I'm delighted with David and his personality is fantastic."

Solskjaer, meanwhile, confirmed that Marcus Rashford is likely to start against Southampton after only being fit enough to make a 13-minute cameo from the substitutes' bench in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

The England international picked up a knock on his ankle during last weekend's 0-0 draw with Liverpool, but United boss Solskjaer said: "He still felt it on Wednesday, but he'll be ready. I'll probably start him."

Solskjaer also revealed that the game will likely come too soon for Anthony Martial, who is recovering from a groin strain, and that United's squad will be similar to the one that travelled to Selhurst Park in midweek.

Liverpool returned to the Premier League summit despite being held to a 0-0 draw by bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford in a match that was marred by first-half injuries to four players.

After days of anticipation and excitement, the match swiftly descended into farce in the first period, as Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Roberto Firmino and Jesse Lingard were all forced off injured, and the match struggled to recover from an entertainment perspective.

The medical staff were rather less busy in the second half and that allowed Liverpool to increase the pressure, generally dominating against a United effectively playing with 10 men due to Marcus Rashford struggling with a knock.

But the Reds could not take advantage, with United arguably happy to hold on to the draw which sees Ole Gunnar Solskjaer set a new record points haul for a manager in his first 10 Premier League games, taking him on to 26 points.

After losing Nemanja Matic to injury in the build-up to the match, the first 25 minutes were nightmarish for United in terms of fitness, losing Herrera and Mata, while Rashford was also in pain.

Liverpool did not remain unscathed, as they lost Firmino just past the half-hour mark having appeared to roll his ankle.

Lingard – Mata's replacement despite being deemed not fit enough to start following a hamstring injury – then seemed to aggravate that problem when attempting to round Alisson for the only real chance of a bizarre first period, forcing Solskjaer to replace him with Alexis Sanchez.

Liverpool looked to turn things up after the break, but United's defence provided an excellent platform.

A rare opportunity fell to them 20 minutes from time, as Georginio Wijnaldum headed just wide from a corner.

United briefly thought they had the lead when Joel Matip put into his own goal in the 75th minute, but Chris Smalling – who played the ball into the danger zone – was offside, and that proved to be the final chance at either end, as Liverpool dropped points for the third Premier League game in four.

 

What does it mean? United in a full-blown injury crisis

With three forced off and Rashford also clearly suffering, adding to the absences of Anthony Martial, Matic and Marcos Rojo, it is fair to say United are in a dire position with injuries. It is an entirely realistic that Solskjaer could be without five of his six first-choice midfield and forward options for their next games. For Liverpool, the point is enough to move them past Manchester City at the summit but it will be seen as a chance missed in the title race.

An a-Shaw-ing presence

Up against Mohamed Salah, United supporters would have had every reason to be a little worried, but Luke Shaw produced an exceptional defensive display against him.

Salah offers precious little

It would have been the perfect occasion for Salah to score his 50th Premier League goal for the Reds and become the fastest player to reach that milestone, but he endured a poor day, arguably one of his worst in a Liverpool shirt.

What's next?

United – or whatever group of uninjured players Solskjaer can gather together – travel to Crystal Palace on Wednesday, while Liverpool host Watford the same day.

Jesse Lingard has been declared fit enough to start on the bench for Manchester United in Sunday's visit of bitter rivals Liverpool, but neither Nemanja Matic nor Anthony Martial are involved.

Lingard injured his hamstring in the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain 12 days ago, with interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saying at the time he expected the England international to be out for up to three weeks.

Anthony Martial hurt his groin in the same game and Solskjaer suggested on Friday that the Frenchman was further along in his recovery than Lingard, yet he will not feature at Old Trafford.

Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata take their respective places in attack, giving the team a similar set-up to the one which won so impressively at Chelsea on Monday.

Matic was also reported to be a doubt after not arriving with the rest of the team at their hotel on Friday, and his absence has since been confirmed.

Solskjaer explained Matic sustained an injury in training and is likely to be out for two weeks.

"He got injured in one of the training sessions a few days ago," he told MUTV. "We tried to get him fit before the game, but it wasn't to be and he'll probably be out for a couple of weeks."

The Serbian has been impressive since Solskjaer's December arrival, and his unavailability poses a real problem for United given a lack of depth in their midfield options, with Scott McTominay given the nod in his place.

There are few surprises in the Liverpool team, but James Milner has been selected to play right-back, while Fabinho slots into the midfield to replace Naby Keita, who is on the bench.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino lead the attack as normal.

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