Former Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic believes criticism of Harry Maguire has been over the top, likening it to a "disaster".

United made Maguire the most expensive defender of all time when they signed him from Leicester City in 2019 and he quickly established himself as a key player, even becoming captain.

But after a fairly promising first couple of years, Maguire's popularity among supporters has decreased significantly, with the England centre-back's performances routinely questioned last season.

The situation turned particularly ugly in April when Maguire received a bomb threat to his home.

Maguire was dropped by new manager Erik ten Hag after United lost their first two matches of the new Premier League season, but Matic – now at Roma – feels his former colleague has been treated dreadfully by the average fan on social media, suggesting the criticism comes from a place of jealousy.

"What people are doing to him, it is a disaster," Matic told The Times.

"Everything has to have limits and some of these people writing on social media, they don't have their own lives so they just have to write bad things about someone else."

Individual criticism of Maguire over the past year or so has also come against a backdrop of flak aimed at the United team in general, as they slumped to a sixth-placed finish last season with their worst points total (58) in the Premier League era.

Former United captain Roy Keane is among the most vocal television pundits when it comes to analysis of the Red Devils, and he also went on something of a rant about Matic towards the end of his time at Old Trafford.

Shortly after Matic confirmed he was to leave United, Keane took umbrage with the Serbian making such a decision before the end of the season and saying former club Chelsea also still had a place in his heart.

Matic provided a measured response, saying: "I have respect for what he has done but he needs to understand that football has changed.

"If I played for Chelsea, I cannot say I hate them. I cannot be angry when I'm talking to the press after the game.

"The way he behaved on pitch, 70 per cent of it is a red card today. You cannot throw a punch when all the cameras in the world are there.

"The real hero is when you go out on the street and say something, but he was always very nice with me, so what he says in public, to be honest, I don't really care.

"I know what I've done in my career and I'm very happy."

Nemanja Matic, not Paulo Dybala, is the signing that will provide the biggest boost to a Roma side who should be looking to push Inter for the Serie A title this season, according to former Giallorossi boss Fabio Capello.

While Roma's sixth-placed finish in Italy's top flight last term was nothing out of the ordinary, Jose Mourinho did lead the club to success in the inaugural Europa Conference League.

Overall, the season provided a solid foundation for Mourinho and Roma to build on, and they have enjoyed a promising transfer window as they prepare for the new campaign.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Mile Svilar and Zeki Celik all add depth to the squad, while Paulo Dybala arrived on a free transfer after his Juventus contract expired – the Argentinian's signing galvanised the fanbase and has been seen as a real statement of intent for the season to come.

Yet while Dybala may have attracted most of the focus, Capello – who spent time at Roma as a player and coach – thinks Matic may be an even shrewder acquisition after the experienced Serbian joined on a free from Manchester United to work under Mourinho for the third time.

Asked if he liked the signing of Dybala for Roma, Capello told Il Mattino: "Sure, who doesn't like him?

"But Mourinho's real shot is there in the middle, and it's Matic. He's impressive, few know how to dam the middle of the field like he does.

"Obviously Roma cannot hide [not play proactively], but I don't think, given the enthusiasm, that they think of doing that."

Roma have not won the Scudetto since the 2000-01 season, which was their first title success in 18 years.

Capello is not getting carried away and suggesting they are the frontrunners, but he does expect it to be the Giallorossi and Milan presenting the biggest challenge to Inter.

"It will be fun. I see a very balanced Serie A, a bit like last year, although the balances may still change based on market operations this month," he continued. "But, for example, Roma is there [as a challenger], with intelligent operations.

"Inter are always a step ahead. Roma and Milan are the ones that seem to me already complete, and that's a plus.

"Juventus live with [Paul] Pogba's injury and there is a risk that he could play with the handbrake pulled due to the injury, fearing he could miss the World Cup in Qatar.

"And also Napoli is there in the running for a place in the Champions League."

Roma begin their campaign away to Salernitana on Sunday.

Nemanja Matic wasted little time in deciding to join Roma and work with Jose Mourinho, explaining the Giallorossi coach "convinced me in less than five minutes".

The Serbia international will play under the stewardship of Mourinho for a third time in his career, having already featured for the Portuguese at Chelsea and Manchester United.

Mourinho first signed the midfielder for Chelsea from Benfica in 2014 in a deal worth £40million ($50m), winning the Premier League in their sole season together.

Matic played at Stamford Bridge for a further two years after Mourinho's departure, before the Portuguese coach re-signed him at United in 2017.

The following year Mourinho was relieved from his duties at Old Trafford, with Matic staying at United until last month, when he reunited with his former coach on a one-year deal in the Eternal City.

Matic has played 118 matches under Mourinho, the 33-year-old's most appearances under a single manager in the Premier League, and could not turn down working with him once more.

"He convinced me in less than five minutes to come to Rome: when I left United he called me and I immediately said yes," Matic told Il Messaggero.

"Mou has something extra that motivates and spurs you. I've never seen him satisfied, when he wins he already thinks about the next day. He is the first to be hungry for victories.

Francesco Totti is surprised that Romelu Lukaku could return to Inter but thinks he "wanted to go back to where he was good."

Having only left Inter to join Chelsea in a reported £97.5million deal last August, Lukaku is reportedly keen to move back to the club where he won the Serie A title last year.

Inter's managing director Alessandro Antonello said earlier this week that the forward holds a "great desire" to return after scoring just eight Premier League goals during an underwhelming 2021-22 season at Stamford Bridge.

While Italy great Totti expected Lukaku to move elsewhere, he says the potential return of a man who scored 30 goals in his final season with Inter would be a huge boost for the Nerazzurri.

"I wouldn't have expected it," Totti told Sky Sports Italia. "I thought he was going to another club, but he wanted to go back to where he was good, he won [Serie A] and he wants to keep winning. 

"In Italy he moves a lot, on a physical level it's embarrassing!"

With Inter also reportedly targeting former Juventus man Paulo Dybala and hoping to keep hold of Lautaro Martinez, Totti said that level of depth would strike fear into their opponents.

"No one knows with which tandem they will play, Simone Inzaghi will be happy." the Roma legend said.

Totti welcomed the arrival of Nemanja Matic at Roma as Jose Mourinho strives to build on their Europa Conference League triumph.

"If Mourinho made this choice it means that he is flexible for the team. We are talking about a great player who has shown his worth in Europe," he said.

"To come to Rome you need the right mentality and he has always shown that he has it."

Lille's Zeki Celik and Sassuolo's Davide Frattesi i have also been linked with the Eternal City giants and Totti says the Giallorossi need more strength in depth in order to push for a Champions League spot. 

"To obtain results you always need great players. If these names are available to Mourinho, it will be a more competitive Roma, who wants to aim above all for a place in the Champions League," he added.

"Then he will have to buy other players to get what we have won in the past. As I've always said, you need champions to win."

Nemanja Matic has reunited with Jose Mourinho at Roma following his departure from Manchester United, signing on a free transfer with the Serie A side. 

The 33-year-old has penned a one-year deal in the Italian capital, joining former United team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan and ex-Chelsea colleague Tammy Abraham at the Stadio Olimpico. 

The Serbia international confirmed last season that it would be his last at Old Trafford, having spent five years in Manchester, and has been signed by Mourinho for the third time in his career. 

"I am pleased and honoured to be joining this club and I cannot wait to start the new season with my team-mates," Matic said.

"Roma is a big club, with amazing fans and a coach, Jose Mourinho, who is well known to everyone – making the decision to come here very straightforward.

"I hope that by working together we are able to achieve some great things."

In 2014, following three years in Portugal, Matic re-signed for Chelsea during Mourinho’s second stint at Stamford Bridge and, three years later, followed the Portuguese boss to United and was a regular fixture in the first team throughout the managerial spells of Louis van Gaal and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Liverpool's Champions League final loss seemingly signalled the end for Sadio Mane at Anfield.

Luis Diaz's January transfer, along with fresh links for Raphinha to Anfield, all lead to Mane's eventual departure. 

However, the Reds are not willing to let him go for the wrong price, in what is becoming a tricky leverage play.

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL REJECT BAYERN BID FOR MANE

Liverpool have rejected Bayern Munich's opening €29.1million (£25m) bid for  Sadio Mane, according to the Times.

The offer was reportedly submitted at the end of last week and the sum is inclusive of add-ons, which depend on Bayern's performances next season, such as winning the Champions League.

Liverpool officials did not consider the offer, which is perceived a gross undervaluing of the 30-year-old attacker.

Although Bayern want to move quickly on securing the Senegal international, Liverpool have yet to relay a price at which they would be willing to sell. 

ROUND-UP

– Meanwhile, the Reds will not look to further pursue Barcelona midfielder Gavi, according to Sport.

– Nemanja Matic will join Roma once his contract at Manchester United expires at the end of the month, per Sky Sports.

– Benfica are hoping to reach an agreement with PSV over Mario Gotze, Fabrizio Romano reports.

– Talks are in progress for Inter's Stefano Sensi to join newly promoted Monza on a €15m permanent deal, per Nicolo Schira.

Nemanja Matic hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as "an example to everyone" and a "winner", as the midfielder prepares to make his final Manchester United appearance on the final day of the season.

Having joined United from Chelsea in 2017, Matic will depart Old Trafford as a free agent after the Red Devils travel to Crystal Palace for their final Premier League outing of the campaign on Sunday.

Matic has made 23 league appearances for United this term, although the Red Devils can only finish as high as sixth after enduring a frustrating campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. 

The form of Ronaldo has been one positive during United's underwhelming season, with the Portuguese legend scoring 18 goals in 30 league appearances since returning to Old Trafford at the start of the campaign.

As he prepares to play his final game for United, Matic told the club's official media channels he was proud to have been able to share a dressing room with Ronaldo, hailing the striker's influence.

"He's a fantastic player. He's an example to everyone, an example to young guys," he said of the 37-year-old. 

"It's very important for them to see how he behaves every day and how he approaches the games and the training sessions. He's a winner. 

"He's a great character and a very nice man outside of the pitch. I'm very pleased I had the opportunity to share the dressing room with him."

Ronaldo's 18 Premier League goals this season make it his second-most prolific campaign in the competition, after he scored 31 times in 2007-08. However, just four of Ronaldo's league goals have come away from home this season ahead of Sunday's trip to Selhurst Park.

Meanwhile, among all players to have scored 100 or more goals in Premier League history, Ronaldo has netted the highest percentage of his strikes in home games (70 per cent, 71/102).

Matic, meanwhile, says he is yet to decide on his next move, and has refused to rule out a move abroad after spending over eight years in the Premier League with Chelsea and United.

"I haven't decided yet. Let's finish the season and in June probably I will decide my future. But nothing is decided yet," he added. "All options are open for me and let's see." 

With United already looking ahead of the imminent arrival of Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, the 33-year-old also reassured Red Devils fans that the future at Old Trafford was bright, thanking them for their support during a difficult era at the club.

"I just want to say thank you for the fantastic support. I know that we had a couple of difficult seasons, but I just want them to know that us at the training ground, we're doing our best and United will come back, for sure," he added.

"It's going to take some time, but United will be back and just keep supporting the team. Stay together."

Lionel Messi's much-publicised move to Paris Saint-Germain has not gone as planned.

Messi's departure from Barcelona to join Kylian Mbappe and Neymar has not translated into European silverware despite lofty expectations in the French capital.

While the 34-year-old's future at PSG might be in doubt, he reportedly appears to be setting himself up for life post-football.

TOP STORY – MESSI TO BUY INTO INTER MIAMI   

Messi will acquire 35 per cent of shares in Inter Miami and the join the MLS franchise when his contract expires at PSG, according to DIRECTV.

The Argentina international made a very public and emotional departure from Barcelona last year, before signing a two-year deal at PSG.

Despite six goals and 13 assists in 25 Ligue 1 appearances this season, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner has not propelled PSG to European success.

While Messi has previously confirmed his desire to play in the MLS and live in the United States, it will reportedly eventuate after his deal expires at the end of the 2022-23 season.

However, Sport has disputed the report, saying Messi's camp insist "the player has not defined his future".

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– The Mirror is reporting 20-year-old Ajax defender Jurrien Timber is a target for Manchester United, with talks already believed to have taken place over his transfer.

– Juventus have offered Paul Pogba, who will be available on a free transfer when his United deal expires, a three-year-deal and a €7.5million annual salary, according to Goal.

– In further anticipated player turnover at Old Trafford, Roma coach Jose Mourinho wants to bring in 33-year-old Nemanja Matic on a free transfer, per Calciomercato.

– Manchester City are preparing a £30m move for Brighton and Hove Albion's Marc Cucurella, the Daily Mail reports.

Following their exit at the hands of Roma in the Europa Conference League semi-finals, Leicester City are at the fork in the road that faces every club their size following some success.

History says that sustainable progress will have to come at the expense of selling the players who got the club to such heights.

While James Maddison and Wesley Fofana have long been on the wish lists of bigger clubs, Youri Tielemans reportedly looks set to leave also.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL, REAL MADRID SET ON TIELEMANS

Arsenal are closing in on a £40million transfer for Leicester City and Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans, The Sun is reporting.

Real Madrid are waiting to pounce, however, if Arsenal fail to qualify for the Champions League this season.

Leicester are now reportedly resigned to selling the 25-year-old, whose goal won the Foxes the FA Cup last term. 

Tielemans has made no secret of his desire to play Champions League football, meaning Manchester United have dropped out of the race.

ROUND-UP

- Fernandinho appears set to leave Manchester City, despite having a year remaining on his contract, citing a personal decision, per Fabrizio Romano.

Tottenham are looking to sign Villarreal's Pau Torres for a fee below his release clause of £55million (€64.3m), Football Insider reports.

- The Daily Star are reporting Nemanja Matic, who will leave Manchester United at the end of the season, is set to join Juventus.

- West Ham are leading the race to sign 23-year-old Chile international Ben Brereton-Diaz from Blackburn Rovers, according to The Sun.

Ousmane Dembele's signing for Barcelona had become emblematic of Josep Maria Bartomeu's turbulent presidency.

An untenably ballooning wage bill saw the club face bankruptcy in the aftermath of Covid-19 restrictions and in a need to cut wages, the French attacker has become an expendable asset.

However, Dembele is reportedly determined to make keeping him at Barcelona more feasible, despite being set to leave at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – DEMBELE OPEN TO BARCELONA WAGE CUT

With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Ousmane Dembele is prepared to reduce his salary in order to sign a new contract at Barcelona, Sport reports.

Dembele's agent Moussa Sissoko and the Barcelona board reportedly met and the assertion was made that the France international was willing to take a pay cut to continue playing under Xavi.

Return on investment has always lingered over the 24-year-old attacker following his €140million transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017. 

Dembele has provided one goal in all competitions this season for the Blaugrana, but leads the team in assists with 11 from 28 appearances.

 

ROUND-UP

- Roma are looking to the Premier League to bolster their squad for next season, with Granit Xhaka, Douglas Luiz and Nemanja Matic all being considered, Calciomercato reports.

- Barcelona are also keen to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski but no opening bid has been made yet, per Fabrizio Romano.

- The Athletic is reporting Manchester United are considering a £50m move for Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips.

- Wayne Rooney has become to top candidate to replace the dismissed  Sean Dyche at Burnley on a permanent basis, according to the Sun.

New investment at Milan could see the Italian powerhouse target the best players across Europe's top clubs.

Milan have entered into exclusive talks with Bahrain-based asset manager Investcorp over a takeover.

The Rossoneri have been linked with Real Madrid's Marco Asensio and Isco and Liverpool's Divock Origi already.

TOP STORY – STERLING ON MILAN WISH LIST

Milan are monitoring Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The England international is among a list of players that Milan would like to sign amid a reported lucrative takeover by a Bahrain-based organisation.

Sterling's current contract with City expires in 2023, but the Daily Mail claims he would turn down the Italian move.

 

ROUND-UP

 Christian Eriksen is gaining interest from former employers Tottenham after a good run of form, although his agent is set to meet with Brentford at the end of this season to formalise his future, claims Fabrizio Romano.

– Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will hold talks at the end of this season to discuss his future having struggled for opportunities, reports Football.London.

– Jose Mourinho's Roma will open talks with Nemanja Matic's representatives as the Serbian midfielder prepares to leave Manchester United, reports Nicolo Schira.

– Manchester Evening News claims Manchester United have revived their interest in Villarreal defender Pau Torres.

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has confirmed he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Matic signed for United from Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2017 and swiftly established himself as a crucial part of Jose Mourinho's side, starting 35 top-flight games in his first season at the club.

His role lessened under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but the former Serbia international nevertheless signed a new deal in July 2020, extending his stay at Old Trafford until the end of 2022-23.

However, having made only 11 Premier League starts this season, Matic has announced it will be his final campaign with the club.

"After a great deal of thought, I have decided that this season will be my last with Manchester United," the 33-year-old wrote in a post on his official Instagram account.

"I have informed the board, the manager and the players of my decision.

"It has been a huge honour and a privilege to play for this great club. A big thank you to the fans for their unwavering support.

"I will now give everything until the end of the season to help my team-mates finish as strongly as possible."

Matic could be the first of a mass exodus at United ahead of 2022-23, with fellow midfielders Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard all out of contract at the end of June.

It is uncertain as to who will be in permanent charge of United next season, though it has been widely reported that Ajax coach Erik ten Hag reached a verbal agreement earlier this week.

Manchester City and Liverpool are going from one blockbuster meeting to another, and an FA Cup semi-final awaits on Saturday for Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.

It would be easy to assume this is almost customary when teams are as dominant as City and Liverpool have been domestically of late, but it is not strictly the case.

Their Wembley showdown will be just the third FA Cup semi-final clash of the Premier League era between teams who have begun the day in the top two of the latter competition.

Considering this is the 30th season of the Premier League, it goes to show such showdowns cannot be taken for granted.

It has been even more rare for the eventual top two in the Premier League to contest an FA Cup final, with Chelsea denying Manchester United a double in 2006-07 in the only example of that game coming to fruition.

Here, Stats Perform looks back at the two previous FA Cup semi-finals to feature the then current Premier League top two. Could City and Liverpool, packed with attacking talent, produce drama to match these thrillers?


1999: Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal (replay, after 0-0 in first game), Villa Park

Memorable moment: David Beckham scored from 30 yards, and Peter Schmeichel saved a Dennis Bergkamp penalty, but the replay in front of a smattering over 30,000 fans at Villa Park will be remembered almost exclusively for Ryan Giggs' chest hair. Sorry... goal. Yes, definitely for his goal.

Injury limited Giggs to just 24 league appearances that season, and he managed just five goal involvements across those games (3 goals, 2 assists), the fewest he would have in a Premier League campaign until 2012-13 and 2013-14, his twilight final years as a player.

After Beckham's fine first-half opener, Arsenal drew level in the 69th minute when Bergkamp scored from similarly long range with the help of a deflection, and United were in trouble when Roy Keane was sent off five minutes later. Schmeichel came to the rescue with a spot-kick save after Phil Neville tripped Ray Parlour at the death in normal time, and then it was over to Giggs. Vintage Giggs.

Early in the second half of extra time, a stray pass from Patrick Vieira was intercepted 15 yards inside United's half by Giggs in left midfield. From there he snaked through a weary Arsenal rearguard, showing remarkable close control of a bobbling ball on a pitch that was cutting up, before smashing a shot past David Seaman at his near post. Off came his shirt, Giggs celebrating wildly, United on their way to the final.

What came next: United had been a point ahead of Arsenal and third-placed Chelsea in the Premier League title race, and it remained close all the way, with victory over Tottenham on the final day making sure Alex Ferguson's side won that title. They carried off the FA Cup too, goals from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes earning a 2-0 win over Newcastle United, and the most special moment came at Camp Nou, where Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck late to give the Red Devils a famous 2-1 success over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final, and the first and only such treble by an English club. City might match that this season, while Liverpool could even top it, having already won the EFL Cup, with the FA Cup, Champions League and Premier League still in their sights.

2017: Chelsea 4-2 Tottenham, Wembley

Memorable moment: Nemanja Matic sealed the spoils for Chelsea with a remarkable 30-yard drive into the top corner, as the Premier League's then London elite met at Wembley.

Chelsea were four points ahead of Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham at the top of the table, with Antonio Conte looking good to mark his first season in England with silverware. They had a double in their sights too, and although Tottenham twice came from behind to cancel out two goals from Willian in this semi-final, thanks to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, it was Chelsea who prevailed thanks to substitute Eden Hazard's sizzling low strike and a remarkable finish from Matic 10 minutes from time.

Fed a short pass by Hazard, Matic lashed an unstoppable left-footed drive into the top-right corner, thudding in off the underside of the crossbar.

What came next: Chelsea duly wrapped up the league title with two games to spare as Tottenham reluctantly settled for second, seven points off the pace in the final reckoning. But for all their domestic dominance up to that point, a savage twist arrived in the FA Cup final, where Arsenal awaited them. Arsene Wenger's Gunners finished only fifth in the Premier League, but they had kept something in reserve for Wembley as goals from Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey gave the Gunners the trophy.

Conte got his hands on the FA Cup a year later but was sacked before the new season began; after returning to football with Inter, and landing a Scudetto in Milan, Conte could not resist a return to London when Tottenham came calling last November.

Ralf Rangnick has strengthened his Manchester United staff by bringing in assistant coach Chris Armas and sports psychologist Sascha Lense.

Interim manager Rangnick has until the end of the season to make his mark at Old Trafford, with scope for two further years as a consultant, after club legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in late November.

Former RB Leipzig head coach Rangnick started with a 1-0 home triumph over Crystal Palace on Sunday, becoming the first German boss to win his opening game in the Premier League after five countrymen previously tried and failed.

United technical director Darren Fletcher and coach Kieran McKenna acted as assistants for that victory and Rangnick has now bolstered his backroom staff with new appointments.

Lense has worked alongside Rangnick previously, most recently at RB Leipzig, while United's new boss got to know former New York Red Bulls manager Armas while operating as Red Bull's global head of sport and development.

"It won't be that many [staff coming in]," Rangnick told a news conference on Tuesday. "So far I'm very happy to work with the staff I have met last week, and they gave me a lot of help in the last couple of days in preparation for the Crystal Palace game.

"We have decided to bring in a sports psychologist, with Sascha Lense. He's from Germany, he's a former second division player.

"I worked with him for three years at Leipzig, in the year I won promotion from the second to the first division myself and the following two years when Ralph Hasenhuttl was head coach and Zsolt Low – the current assistant coach of Thomas Tuchel [at Chelsea] – was assistant coach.

"I will also have one other assistant coach, with Chris Armas. Chris used to be the assistant coach at the New York Red Bulls under Jesse Marsch. That was five years ago, when I first met him. Since then, we have met quite frequently."

With United's spot in the next round of the Champions League already confirmed, Rangnick has hinted at heavy rotation for Wednesday's home clash with Young Boys, who have not won away in the Champions League or European Cup since August 1960.

The 63-year-old Rangnick confirmed that Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson will start and told the club's official website that Nemanja Matic will captain the side.

Nemanja Matic says Manchester United supporters "deserve much, much better" from their side following Saturday's bruising 4-2 loss against Leicester City.

United conceded four times in a Premier League match for the first time since April 2019 as their English record of 29 successive away league games unbeaten came to an end at the King Power Stadium.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have collected only one point from the last nine on offer and are fifth in the table after eight matches, five points adrift of leaders Chelsea, with Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City up next.

Matic played 80 minutes of the defeat to Leicester and remains confident United can still challenge for the title, but the former Serbia international accepts a vast improvement is needed heading into a tough run of games.

"We are sorry for [the supporters]," he told United's official website. "They support us, especially away and they are top. They deserve much, much better than this.

"We will do our best to make them happy in the future. But we have 14 points – we are still in the title race. We don't want to give up until the end."

United have now lost three successive games against Leicester in all competitions for the first time since November 1901, having also been defeated 2-1 in their most recent league meeting prior to Saturday and 3-1 in last term's FA Cup quarter-final.

In a thrilling encounter at the King Power Stadium, Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu put Leicester ahead after Mason Greenwood had opened the scoring with a spectacular opener.

Marcus Rashford equalised for United on his first appearance since the Euro 2020 final, but Jamie Vardy restored City's lead just 54 seconds later and Patson Daka bundled in a fourth in stoppage time to seal the points.

In doing so, Daka became the first Zambian player to score in the Premier League, making it 105 different nationalities to have now netted in the competition.

Matic, who has appeared eight times for United in all competitions this season, had no complaints about the scoreline and called for unity.

The defeat and recent form means pressure is inevitably building on boss Solskjaer.

"They created a lot of chances. So we have to be honest; we have to say that they deserved to win," Matic said. "One minute after scoring [to make it 2-2] we conceded the third goal. Of course, the frustration was there.

"But sometimes you have to say when the opponent was better, and to see where we can improve, what we have to do better. I'm sure our team is much better than this."

Matic, who has emerged as a rumoured transfer target for Barcelona, added: "Everyone is sad, everyone is with their head down at the moment. But when you play for Man United, if you don't win the game of course you are disappointed, but we have to stick together."

Atalanta in the Champions League is the next test for United. Ahead of that game on Wednesday, Matic said: "It's also going to be hard. We are very disappointed, but I think that, in the future, we will show we are much better than this.

"Every next game is the most important; every next game is a new challenge, an opportunity to show your qualities. We're going to take responsibility; we're going to step up and see what we can do. I'm sure that we can do a lot."

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