Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was proud of the battling qualities displayed by Marcus Rashford as he played through the pain to help Manchester United beat Granada.

Troubled by a niggling ankle problem, Rashford opened the scoring at the Nuevo Los Carmenes on Thursday, latching onto Victor Lindelof's long pass before finishing with composure.

The goal took Rashford to 20 for the season in all competitions, making him the first United player to hit double figures in consecutive campaigns since Wayne Rooney 11 years ago.

The England forward, who was taken off 10 minutes after scoring in last weekend's 2-1 Premier League win over Brighton and Hove Albion, battled on against Granada before being substituted with a little over 25 minutes left.

Solskjaer, who hopes Rashford will be fit to face Tottenham on Sunday, was delighted with Rashford's impact against stubborn opposition.

"Marcus, fantastic goal," he said. "Great pass by Victor, great run and the skill to bring the ball down like this, we've seen it a few times before, and it's a top, top quality goal.

"It's the same thing as before, he's not recovered from it. Hopefully, it's not got any worse from this. He lasted 60 or 70 against Brighton, 65 now, so hopefully he's ready. I think he should be ready for Sunday."

When asked if he ever told former manager Alex Ferguson he was fully fit to play when struggling with injury, Solskjaer replied: "Yeah, I probably did! I did a few times. It's not like I couldn't perform, but I probably knew I wasn't at 100 per cent. But when are you at 100 per cent as a footballer? I think that's very rare.

"We know he's someone we have to protect, and he was ready, and he was vital for us today."

While comfortable in defence, United offered little threat of a second goal until Bruno Fernandes scored his 19th penalty for the club after being pushed in the face by Yan Eteki.

The Portugal star, who was struggling with his vision in one eye after the foul, squeezed a shot beneath goalkeeper Rui Silva in the 90th minute.

With Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay suspended for the second leg after receiving yellow cards, Solskjaer was relieved to be heading back to Old Trafford with a more commanding advantage.

"It was an important goal, the second one. A 1-0 lead, losing three players, is not a good position to be in," he said.

"I don't think we deserved those five yellow cards, but that's happened. I'm delighted with the result, of course.

"[The second goal] is so vital away from home and we've created a good starting point for ourselves next week.

"Scoring with one eye is a skill! He drives the team and drives himself. He's got such enthusiasm and hunger to win and to do well. I've played in teams with a lot stronger personalities than that, to be honest.

"That's the way for us to improve and reach the next level: always demand more, and more, and more."

Shaw was taken off at half-time, but Solskjaer added of the left-back: "I had to protect Luke, but I think and hope he should be okay for the weekend."

Tomas Holes scored in stoppage time to deny Nicolas Pepe the glory of a late winner as Slavia Prague snatched a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Pepe looked to have won the game for Mikel Arteta's men when he finished clinically after being played through by fellow substitute Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with four minutes of normal time remaining.

But Czech champions Slavia, who knocked out Leicester City and Rangers in the previous two rounds, showed their resilience once again in Thursday's clash at Emirates Stadium as Holes swooped in the third added minute to head a precious away goal.

Arsenal twice hit the post with the game scoreless, with Alexandre Lacazette failing to convert when clean through on goal, but they now head into next week's reverse fixture in Prague needing to score at least once to avoid elimination.

Marcus Rashford's 20th goal of the season helped Manchester United to a 2-0 win over Granada in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.

The forward's finish from a fine Victor Lindelof pass in the first half and a late penalty from Bruno Fernandes secured a commanding first-leg advantage in Thursday's clash at the Nuevo Los Carmenes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were not particularly inspired in attack but rarely looked troubled by a team who have already eliminated Napoli in an impressive first European campaign.

Chelsea loanee Kenedy was a threat with shots from distance, but Diego Martinez's men were unable to create clear openings against a diligent Red Devils rearguard, particularly with only 33 per cent of the ball.

Rashford, who sustained an ankle problem in the win over Brighton and Hove Albion last Sunday, appeared to be struggling in the early exchanges as United made hard work of breaking down Granada.

The England forward looked fit and sharp 31 minutes in, though, latching onto Lindelof's long ball over the top before prodding a composed finish beyond goalkeeper Rui Silva.

The goal sparked a little life into Granada's attack, Kenedy's ambitious volley from the edge of the area giving the returning David de Gea something to do.

Kenedy twice tested De Gea again from outside the box after the restart but they were comfortable saves for the United keeper, who was otherwise mostly untroubled.

Fernandes had had a quiet game but he squeezed a mishit penalty under Silva's grasp to score a potentially decisive second away goal in the 90th minute after Yan Eteki was penalised for pushing a hand into the Portugal star's face.

What does it mean? Advantage United after timid encounter

It was not a thrill-a-minute contest but it puts United in a good position to progress to the semi-finals for the second season in a row, and there was little offered by Granada to worry them unduly.

However, Solskjaer will want a more committed and creative performance when they travel to Tottenham this weekend if they are to preserve their long unbeaten away run.

United must preserve Rashford for run-in

Rashford's goal made him the first United player to hit double figures in consecutive campaigns since Wayne Rooney 11 years ago.

He came off with a little under half an hour remaining, and Solskjaer will need to manage his ankle concern carefully: their league position, and their chances of winning this competition, could depend on it.

Greenwood goes missing

The matchwinner against Brighton last Sunday, Mason Greenwood offered little attacking threat in Spain and struggled to hold up the ball or link the play.

One such poor use of the ball gave Granada a rare chance to break at speed in the United half, although they could not make use of the opportunity.

What's next?

Before next Thursday's second leg, each side return to domestic action on Sunday. United face Tottenham away in the Premier League, with Granada travelling to Real Valladolid in LaLiga.

The in-form Gerard Moreno scored his 24th club goal of the season as Villarreal secured a 1-0 Europa League quarter-final first-leg victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

Influential Spain forward Moreno stroked in his eighth goal in his last five matches for club and country from the penalty spot in the first half at Stadion Maksimir on Thursday.

Unai Emery's side deservedly extended their winning run to six matches, with Mislav Orsic's disallowed goal for offside in the first half summing up the Croatian champions' night.

The Yellow Submarine were good value for their win and will be expected to finish off the job in the second leg at Estadio de la Ceramica next Thursday.

Geronimo Rulli dived to his left to keep out Lovro Majer's deflected strike and Kevin Theophile-Catherine headed wide at the far post from a corner in a promising start for Dinamo.

Orsic, whose hat-trick knocked Tottenham out in the previous round, had the ball in the back of the Villarreal net, but the goal was ruled out as Iyayi Atiemwen had strayed marginally offside.

It was the LaLiga side who took the lead just before half-time, when the classy Moreno nonchalantly sent Dominik Livakovic the wrong way after Theophile-Catherine was penalised for what appeared to be an unintentional handball.

Emery replaced Carlos Bacca with Paco Alcacer at half-time and the Spanish side toyed with Dinamo after the break, dominating possession as they played with a swagger.

Samuel Chukwueze was unable to finish a slick Villarreal move with a second goal from close range and Dinamo boss Damir Krznar introduced Bruno Petkovic in a bid to turn the tide just after the hour mark.

Alcacer spurned a great chance to give Villarreal breathing space when he dragged a shot tamely wide before Livakovic tipped Manu Trigueros's deflected drive over the crossbar.

Dinamo struggled to get the ball off well-drilled Villarreal, who comfortably saw out the victory in impressive fashion.

Ibanez scored a stunning late winner as Roma came from behind to take command of their Europa League quarter-final with Ajax with a 2-1 first-leg win in Amsterdam.

Roma looked to be heading for a damaging defeat when Davy Klaasen put Ajax ahead in the 39th minute and Dusan Tadic won a penalty shortly after the restart.

But Pau Lopez saved from 12 yards before European debutant Kjell Scherpen's huge error at the other end allowed Lorenzo Pellegrini to equalise.

And a late moment of magic turned the tide firmly in Roma's favour, the defender unleashing an unstoppable volley to give the Serie A side the lead in the tie going into next week's return leg.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sounded an ominous warning to Europa League opponents Granada as he declared scoring goals was in Manchester United's DNA.

United are away to the Spanish side on Thursday for the first leg of their quarter-final tie in a competition that represents their last realistic hope of silverware this season.

Despite having scored only four times in their past five away games in all competitions, United boss Solskjaer insisted his team would go on the offensive.

"I think that's what we do best. It's always going to be in our DNA that we want to go and score goals," he told the club's official website.

"Of course you want a defensive foundation, but we know about away goals and also how good we are at Old Trafford as well.

"We've got a proud record at Old Trafford in Europe, so if we get a good result to build on, that's all we can ask."

United did smash four past Real Sociedad in Turin and also secured a pivotal 1-0 victory against Milan at San Siro, with Solskjaer taking confidence from those performances in the competition. 

"I think we've proved to ourselves and everyone that we are a good side home or away, but of course the neutral game against Sociedad was a very good one for us," he said. 

"We played against a very good team. Granada is a different team and a different set-up than Real Sociedad with different strengths and a different way of playing, so we've got to find a way to get the best possible performance."

Forward Anthony Elanga is in contention to make his United debut and Solskjaer has full faith in the 18-year-old.

The Swedish striker signed a new contract last month and Solskjaer insists he has not only been included in the squad for experience and is ready for action.

"I've got faith in the young lads of course and, in Anthony, we have a player with good skills, a great attitude and he scores goals from either the right or left, and he's got good pace," said the Norwegian.

"He's not just there for experience, he might actually play a part, who knows? He's got that X-factor and I like players with speed and acceleration and he's definitely got that."

Willian has urged players to make public the abuse they receive online after revealing the personal impact of such comments on social media.

The Arsenal player shared abusive messages sent to him on Instagram earlier this year, while other high-profile footballers have followed suit in the hope of exposing the issue.

Manchester United and England forward Marcus Rashford described it as "humanity and social media at its worst" in January in response to messages he received, while Liverpool condemned the "abhorrent racial abuse" aimed at Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita after a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday.

Willian wants more footballers to share their experiences, as well as calling on the authorities to take stronger action.

"The advice is to share, to put it on their social media, to speak, to never stay quiet, never have fear to come and to speak about that," the Brazil international told the media on Wednesday.

"These people have to pay for that. I don't know why they do that, we want to know that, we have to speak, we have to share on our social media and that's it."

On the best way to combat the problem, Willian said: "I think we have to find a way to change the profile of social media, I think people want to have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, they need to put their ID, then when these things happen, we can catch them.

"The authorities can catch them. That's the action that we want."

Willian understands social media offers a platform for criticism over performances on the pitch, but made clear there is a line that should not be crossed – particularly when it comes to family members.

"It really affects me, what they say about my family. If they want to criticise me, it's no problem, I will always accept that," the former Chelsea player said.

"But when they come to attack you, attack your family with bad words that I cannot say here, that hurts. That's really affecting me and it's a big problem.

He added: "I feel that, straight away I want to delete my social media account. I have seen some people, they are deleting their social media because of that. Straight away I want to do that.

"Then when you think, when you take a few minutes, you relax a little bit more, the first reaction is to delete."

Willian admitted there have been times he has been worried about going onto social media, considering what he may discover on his personal accounts.

"We are human, you know? I want to understand what these people, who they are, who they think they are to come to speak to us like that," he said.

"We are professional, we do the best to help the team, we want to win, we always want to win, we never want to lose.

"We have our bad days, sometimes we are not feeling good, we have problems like everybody has, we have families, sometimes you don't have it, you are not in a good day, you have a bad game and they come with these kind of words that hurt you. That's why we want to stop it. Enough is enough."

Last month, Arsenal launched a #StopOnlineAbuse action aimed at tackling the issue of discrimination on social media.

Asked why he felt the time had come to speak out again about the issue, Willian replied: "Well, because we see it day by day, week by week.

"I was in that situation one month ago, and it was very difficult for me because I have a lot of things on my phone and I saw a lot of horrible words against my family for example.

"After that, I said to myself, 'Enough is enough, I have to try something', to take action against racism and online abuse.

"I am proud because the club is doing that, they are helping us a lot and I will never stop my fight against racism."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised David de Gea and Dean Henderson for how they are handling the competition to be Manchester United number one.

Henderson had deputised for De Gea while he was absent from the squad for the birth of his child last month.

But the England international has retained his place in the squad since his fellow goalkeeper's return.

That included, for the first time since the switch was made, a match in the Premier League when United took on Brighton and Hove Albion last time out.

A key week sees United play two away matches. The Red Devils are against Granada in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday before taking on Tottenham in the league on Sunday.

Solskjaer was asked about the ongoing battle between his keepers ahead of the trip to Spain.

"Every time I try to explain to players why they aren't playing in this particular game and what they have to do - all those discussions remain private of course," said the United boss.

"David has been a top, top keeper and is still a top, top keeper. He is working to be ready when he plays.

"When it is David or Dean I'm very comfortable to play either of them and I'm pleased that either of them are happy to be a sub. 

"I cannot prioritise the league or Europa League. The next game is the most important one. 

"With the keepers I have two very, very good options and whoever plays will play well I'm sure."

Solskjaer compared the battle for the number one spot to his own playing career at Old Trafford, where he was often part of a squad rotation system and coming up against big-name signings.

He added: "When you are a part of Man United, there will always be players that come in and they are not just there to fill the squad. 

"Everyone has got the ambition to take your shirt. 

"I was there myself as a striker. We signed Ruud van Nistelrooy, Diego Forlan, Louis Saha, we signed loads of top strikers - Teddy Sheringham, Dwight Yorke. 

"The aim for me then was to prove to the manager I could be important. I'm going to give everything I can to play. It's the same whatever position you play. 

"David has had 10 fantastic years at Man United. He's had challengers who of course wanted to play. 

"Sergio Romero has probably played less games than he deserved. Dean comes in and also gives his all. It's a healthy competition, of course it is. 

"The goalkeeping departments are a very tight-knit group. They work together in prep, they have different gym sessions, they stay together more and naturally create a bond.

"The spirit in the goalkeeper department has been top. All of them want to play and that includes Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop and Sergio Romero. That is a competition I like."

United are hot favourites to progress against Granada, who sit ninth in LaLiga and are playing in Europe for the first time this season.

But Solskjaer is not taking them lightly after defeating Serie A heavyweights Milan in the previous round.

He added: "Complacency? No. When you beat Real Sociedad or AC Milan you just get more of a taste for it. You know you have jumped a couple of high hurdles. 

"Granada beating Napoli, getting through the group and then beating Molde last time is a sign of a team that has got quality. 

"It is going to be a difficult game. We have of course set our eyes on the final and improving on last season. We want to win this tournament.

"It is very big for us, of course. The next game is always the most important, we have to live by the principle. 

"If you get the chance to play in a quarter-final in Europe for Man United, every player knows this is a massive game and an important game for you. 

"We have beaten Milan away, we have beaten Real Sociedad, and have drawn against them both at home. This game can give us even more momentum."

Mikel Arteta is unsure if Kieran Tierney will play for Arsenal again this season after the left-back was ruled out for four to six weeks with ligament damage to his left knee.

The full-back limped off during the Gunners' disappointing 3-0 reverse at home to Liverpool on Saturday and required further checks on the severity of the issue.

An Arsenal statement said Tierney will not require surgery on the injury but with the Premier League campaign coming to an end on May 23, he may not feature again for Arsenal this term.

It is also unfortunate timing for Scotland, who play their first match of the rescheduled Euro 2020 finals against the Czech Republic on June 14, with the first of two warm-up fixtures taking place against the Netherlands on June 2.

"It could have been worse, he's feeling better, the damage is not that bad," Arteta said when previewing the first leg of Arsenal's Europa League quarter-final tie against Slavia Prague.

"We have to go day by day to see how Kieran is feeling. Depending where we are and how he's feeling, we'll make this decision.

"It will depend on how things evolve. He is keen to play for us again this season and obviously his country in the Euros."

Tierney's injury is particularly problematic as Arsenal do not have another out and out left-back in their squad, with Sead Kolasinac having left for Schalke in January and Arteta unable to find a suitable replacement.

"We're going to have to make some adjustments. His qualities are unique. We don't have anyone to replace these qualities," Arteta added. 

"We're going to have to find different ways to fulfil that gap and use all the things that can be as effective as well.

"We could not do anything in that window. We let Kolasinac out on loan and it's a decision that we made."

Bukayo Saka could be one solution to fill the void a little deeper down the left, with Arteta saying: "That's the reality: you have to change something, find a different way of attacking, find a different structure.

"It has to be stable and done by players who are doing that. We knew that position was a weakness around the squad. We have to find different solutions."

Saka himself has been contending with a hamstring issue but he, Emile Smith Rowe (thigh/quad) and Granit Xhaka (illness) are all in training in the hope of featuring, while Martin Odegaard will be assessed having struggled with an ankle problem since returning from international duty with Norway. David Luiz is still recovering from a knee injury.

The match against Slavia is particularly important for Arsenal, who put in an abject showing against Liverpool and know their most realistic chance of returning to European football next term is winning the Europa League having slipped to 10th in the Premier League.

Arteta feels the "big punch" inflicted by Liverpool may ultimately be a good thing for his side.

"I cannot criticise [the] hard work or ethic of my players, it's not about they don't want to run or try. There are areas where we are inconsistent, my demands are to be hitting those goals, achieving our best level every day, whether it's training or game day," he said.

"I didn't see anything different, that's why it was a big shock what happened against Liverpool, it's part of the journey, sometimes a big punch or slap in the face is good to return to reality.

"This competition is all or nothing because when you play a tie you are in or out. We know how important the game is for us."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited by the potential of forward Anthony Elanga, who is in contention to make his Manchester United debut against Granada in the Europa League.

United are away to the Spanish side on Thursday for the first leg of their quarter-final tie in a competition that represents their last hope of silverware this season.

Elanga, 18, has been added to the United squad for the competition and will travel to Spain with the first-team.

The Swedish striker signed a new contract last month and Solskjaer insists he has not only been included in the squad for experience and is ready for action.

Even if his debut does not come against Granada, it sounds like Elanga will be featuring for United soon.

"He'll be in the squad, he'll be on the bench," Solskjaer said about the inclusion of Elanga. "He has impressed when he has been in training with us.

"He was very unlucky when he got a bad injury about two or three months ago because he was about to move into the first-team squad then. He has worked really hard to come back.

"He has got some x-factor, some attributes, it's not like a gift, but the pace and acceleration and speed that he has got - that's a given for wingers.

"When he's got that speed, he's always got qualities I like. He is a confident goalscoring winger.

"He has an appetite and hunger to improve and when he has been training with us the last while he has been here - he has not been fazed by it. 

"He has a lot of quality, speed and he is a goalscorer. He likes to beat men and has a right foot and left foot. 

"He has an appetite to develop and to keep learning. It's not just for the experience. He's ready to play a part."

Forward Amad Diallo, who scored against Milan in the round of 16, is also pushing for a first United start.

"Of course he is [getting closer]," added Solskjaer of the €40million signing from Atalanta.

"He is getting more and more used to our expectations, our standards, our training, the level of intensity in the games over here. 

"He did well when he played 45 minutes against Milan, definitely a bright start, and we will see him gradually start games. 

"It might come now or it might come in a little while."

Defender Eric Bailly is still in the Ivory Coast as he needs a negative coronavirus result before being allowed to return.

Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, was forced to come off against Brighton and Hove Albion last time out, a match in which he scored.

He will travel to Spain after training on Wednesday but Solskjaer will not take any unnecessary risks with the England forward.

The United boss added: "I can't disclose my team now, we're not going to do that. 

"Marcus is travelling and we have got to make a decision if he starts or is on the bench. I don't think he'll be 90-minute man, but let's see where we're at on Thursday.

"I don't pick players when we know there is a risk. There's always a risk when you step out on to the pitch, but if the physio says it's too much of a risk I would never pick him. 

"Now, Marcus joined in training this morning and let's see how he reacts. His back has recovered and it's a tough one. 

"He wants to play and wants to give his all for Man United. We'll listen to what he says like we did on Saturday when he came off and said it was too sore."

Granada are playing in their first European campaign and are the first side since RB Leipzig in 2017-18 to reach the quarter-finals of a major continental competition while doing so.

The last side to reach the semi-finals in such a season was Villarreal in 2003-04 (UEFA Cup).

United, meanwhile, are in the quarter-final stages of a major European competition for the 27th time, progressing from 17 of the previous 26. 

They are winless in the first leg of each of their last three two-legged quarter-final matches in Europe (D2 L1).

Ondrej Kudela was given an initial one-match ban by UEFA as the governing body opened proceedings against the Slavia Prague defender following allegations he racially abused Rangers' Glen Kamara.

After an investigation, UEFA's Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body confirmed on Tuesday it had suspended Kudela for violating Article 15(1)(a)(iv) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, relating to "insulting players or others present at the match".

A statement said this decision was made "without prejudice to any ruling that the CEDB may subsequently make on the alleged violation of Article 14(1)".

Article 14(1) refers to a person who "insults the human dignity of a person or group of persons on whatever grounds, including skin colour, race, religion, ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation", the violation of which would incur "a suspension lasting at least ten matches or a specified period of time, or any other appropriate sanction".

A decision on the second potential violation will be made "in due course", the statement added.

UEFA's investigation relates to an incident in Slavia's Europa League win over Rangers in which Kamara reported receiving "vile" abuse from Kudela.

Television pictures showed Kudela, who covered his mouth with his hand, lean in to Kamara and make a comment which sparked fury from the Rangers midfielder and his team-mate Bongani Zungu.

Kamara demanded action from UEFA, saying: "It's time to stop the tokenism and take a zero-tolerance approach."

Slavia strenuously denied the allegations following the match in March and issued a statement defending Kudela.

The Czech club will face Arsenal in the Europa League quarter-finals this week but would have been without Kudela regardless of his ban.

The centre-back is still struggling following a blow to his nose sustained in a clash with Gareth Bale while on international duty last week.

Daley Blind is hopeful he can be fit in time for the Netherlands' Euro 2020 campaign after being ruled out for the rest of Ajax's season with an ankle injury.

The 31-year-old sustained the damage during the second half of Tuesday's 7-0 World Cup 2022 qualifying victory over Gibraltar.

Blind was initially feared to have suffered knee ligament damage in the awkward fall, which left him wincing in pain and in need of a stretcher.

However, the versatile defender underwent a scan on Thursday and it was confirmed he has avoided a long-term lay-off, but he is unlikely to play again for Ajax this campaign.

Ajax provided an update on their official website and Blind said: "Today, after an examination in the hospital it turned out that fortunately there is no damage to the knee, but that the front ankle ligament of my left ankle is torn.

"I assume that my season at Ajax is over. I will have an operation next week. If everything goes well during rehabilitation, I hope that I can still make it to the Euros this summer."

"Of course I am terribly disappointed. You play football to win trophies and those trophies will be won in the coming months. Of course, I wanted to be there. It has been a wonderful season with Ajax so far. That now ends very abruptly for me."

Ajax are 11 points clear of PSV at the top of the Eredivisie, face Roma in the last eight of the Europa League and are into the final of the KNVB Beker, where Vitesse await later this month.

Vice-captain Blind has featured 34 times for Ajax in 2020-21 and started all three of the his country's World Cup qualifiers.

Fellow Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk is also in a race against time to be fit for the delayed European Championship finals, which begins for the Dutch on June 13 with a clash against Ukraine in Amsterdam. Ukraine and Austria are also in Group C.

Manchester United have been let down by "sloppy results" this season but are constantly improving under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to midfielder Scott McTominay.

Solskjaer's side were eliminated from the FA Cup by Leicester City in the last match before the two-week international break – their first domestic away loss in 30 matches.

United were also knocked out of the EFL Cup by Manchester City at the semi-final stage and exited the Champions League in the group phase earlier in the campaign.

However, the Red Devils have advanced past Real Sociedad and Milan to reach the last eight of the Europa League, where Granada await, while they sit second in the Premier League.

United may be 14 points adrift of leaders Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, but McTominay believes they are heading in the right direction.

"We've got a good group of players with top, top quality," he told ESPN.

"People are quite quick to forget how well we've done at times. It's the sloppy results that have let us down. This team is evolving. It's not a time to panic."

McTominay has appeared 39 times for United in all competitions this season, which is the most times he has featured for his boyhood club since making his debut in 2016-17.

He ranks particularly highly among United midfielders in the Premier League this term for duels won, his average of 6.54 per 90 minutes behind only Paul Pogba (8.08).

The Scotland international's game has also improved in other areas since last season.

McTominay's average of 46.54 successful passes per game in the top flight is an increase on 41.59 from last season, while his passing accuracy has gone from 80.91 per cent in 2019-20 to 87.58 this term.

Meanwhile, his tally of four goals puts him behind only Bruno Fernandes (16) in regards to United's highest-scoring midfielders.
 
"'I'm not perfect every game and I know that," McTominay said as he looked ahead to the future. "I've got a lot to improve on but there's also things I do well so I'm just trying to improve and kickstart my game to another level. 

"I just want to do my best. It's about consistency and playing well over the course of a season."

United return to action on Sunday with a Premier League meeting with Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford, where they will be aiming to make it six wins in a row against the Seagulls in all competitions, netting exactly three times in the last four.

A decision on whether a new format for the Champions League will be implemented has been put back to April 19.

UEFA's executive committee was reportedly expected to sanction changes to Europe's premier club competition post-2024 at a meeting on Wednesday.

The topic will still be discussed, but there will be no announcement until next month, UEFA has clarified.

Under the proposed amendments to the Champions League, there would be a 10-match first phase, with the current group stage scrapped.

There would also be 36 teams to qualify rather than 32 and two clubs could receive 'wildcard' entries.

Those wildcards would be handed out to clubs with the highest UEFA co-efficient - points ranking clubs on their past European success - who qualified for the Europa League but missed out on the Champions League due to the position they finished in their domestic competition.

A statement from the governing body said: "UEFA can confirm that a meeting of the executive committee will take place tomorrow, Wednesday March 31, and that the future of club competitions post-2024 will be one of the topics discussed.

"However, any official decision in this respect will only be made at the next UEFA executive committee meeting on April 19, in order to finalise ongoing discussions."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.