Cristiano Ronaldo vowed to return to Manchester United with the "same commitment and dedication as always" as the forward looks to play his way back into favour at Old Trafford.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was dropped for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea after refusing to come on as a substitute and leaving the bench early in last Wednesday's win over Tottenham.

United manager Erik ten Hag insisted the decision was to stick to principles and build a positive environment at the club, with the Portugal international only allowed to return to first-team training on Tuesday.

Ronaldo is expected to feature in Thursday's Europa League clash at home to Sheriff and made a promise to the fans as he looks to work his way back into Ten Hag's reckoning.

"Back on track, with the same commitment and dedication as always!," the forward posted on Instagram on Wednesday.

United will seal a place in Europa League knockout stages against Sheriff if they win, draw or avoid defeat by more than one goal.

The Red Devils will be without the injured Raphael Varane, though, while Ten Hag will make late decisions on the fitness of Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Mikel Arteta highlighted the importance of Arsenal securing top spot in Europa League Group A ahead of their showdown with PSV.

The Gunners confirmed their qualification from the first phase with a 1-0 victory over the Dutch giants last week, and a point at Philips Stadion would be enough to send them through as group winners.

Whoever finishes second in Group A will face a two-legged play-off against one of eight sides dropping out of the Champions League, with potential opponents including Juventus and Barcelona.

Arteta is subsequently keen to avoid any additional hassle.

"Last week, we made the first step, which was to qualify for the next round. We need to win [on Thursday] because we want to finish first," the Spaniard said during his pre-match press conference.

"This competition is getting harder and harder and how it looks today and what the possibilities are, it looks like the next round is going to be extremely competitive.

"That's why finishing first in the group and avoiding another two games is such an important thing for us."

Arteta, who will be without Marquinhos through illness for the trip to Eindhoven, also defended his decision not to rotate his squad more during the opening weeks of the season.

Arsenal have won 13 of their 15 matches across all competitions this term, though it was suggested the players looked fatigued during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Southampton.

"We don't have that many players," the Gunners boss added. "Even the players that we have, we are bringing four kids with us so we can make the squad.

"We need to put 11 players there, and they have to play. We cannot always change 10, 11 players every game."

Erik ten Hag is backing Harry Maguire to play an important role for Manchester United after fellow defender Raphael Varane suffered an injury blow.

Maguire has only made two Premier League starts since Ten Hag took charge of United – both of which came in the humiliating back-to-back defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford in August. 

However, Maguire could be set for a recall after Varane was ruled out until the World Cup next month, having suffered a leg injury in Saturday's dramatic 1-1 draw at Chelsea. 

Speaking ahead of Thursday's Europa League meeting with Sheriff, Ten Hag said Maguire had the ideal qualities to help the Red Devils.

"He always has an important role to play. He was injured and is happy he is back, and now he has to get back into games," Ten Hag said.

"I understand the interest, but we look at United. We have to get the right results.

"It's always about performance, about presentation. Regarding his qualities, there's no problem. He is a great player and has great capabilities to do a job for us."

Varane's injury has put him at risk of missing France's World Cup defence, with Didier Deschamps' Bleus set to begin their Group D campaign against Australia on November 22.

However, Ten Hag does not believe it is club coaches' responsibility to rest players during a packed pre-tournament schedule, adding: "I think it is the wrong idea. 

"They only have [a few] weeks and then the World Cup starts. You have to keep the right fitness, the right shape. 

"It is not optimum, but that is something the national managers have to deal with."

Manchester United must "show consistency" before they can discuss if they are catching up with their rivals, according to Christian Eriksen.

The Denmark international arrived during the close season at Old Trafford alongside new boss Erik ten Hag, with the Dutchman tasked in ensuring a turnaround in fortunes for United.

Following a rocky start to the campaign, the Premier League side have shown vast improvements since, albeit with some less-than-stellar results – such as a derby thrashing from Manchester City –along the way.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie with Sheriff, which United enter unbeaten in six games, Eriksen played down suggestions there is more pressure upon United than his former clubs, adding he feels they are making strides forward.

"The pressure has been the same, the focus on the outside is bigger," he stated. "Publicity around the club is bigger but pressure around the football, I don't feel it.

"I think you can see the development in the games, how we go into them. You see it with the fans and with us. But we need to show our consistency before we can compare to other teams."

With the season set to be bisected by the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Eriksen could be eyeing a return to major tournament football a year and a half on from suffering cardiac arrest at Euro 2020.

But he says his focus remains on club matters for now, adding: "For every footballer it is the same. We are focused on the next game."

Cristiano Ronaldo is back in Manchester United's squad for Thursday's Europa League tie with Sheriff, but manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Raphael Varane will not play again before the World Cup.

Portugal international Ronaldo was dropped by United for Saturday's 1-1 draw with Chelsea after refusing to come on as a substitute and heading for the tunnel early in last week's 2-0 win over Tottenham.

The 37-year-old was also briefly excluded from first-team involvement, but he returned to training on Tuesday and will now be considered for selection against Sheriff at Old Trafford.

However, United will be without centre-back Varane until after the World Cup break, though Ten Hag did not reveal whether the France international will be fit in time for his country's Qatar 2022 campaign.

"Cristiano will be in the squad tomorrow. Rapha Varane isn't. He will be out until the World Cup," Ten Hag said at Wednesday's pre-match news conference.

Varane left the field in tears after sustaining a leg injury in the dramatic draw with Chelsea, with the defender now in a race against time to be fit for the World Cup, which begins on November 22 for France with a game against Australia.

Further pressed on a timeline for Varane's return to action, Ten Hag told reporters: "We will have to see how he develops, how his rehab will develop."

United will book a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League against Sheriff if they win, draw or avoid defeat by more than one goal.

Ten Hag also confirmed he will make a late decision on whether to field Harry Maguire, Donny van de Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, all of whom returned to training this week.

Manchester United are "going in the right direction" under Erik ten Hag, but left-back Luke Shaw says the club know they "can do better".

Ten Hag arrived from Ajax at the close of a dismal 2021-22 campaign for United and was tasked with turning around their fortunes after another barren season.

Despite a rocky start, Ten Hag has since helped United rediscover their rhythms, having now strung together six games unbeaten in all competitions since derby defeat to Manchester City at the start of October.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League encounter with Sheriff, Shaw reflected on the team's growth under their new boss, and feels there is still yet more to come.

"I think there has been a massive improvement," he told United's club website. "The start of the season was obviously nowhere near good enough, we all knew that, but I think, since then, we've taken a lot of big strides.

"We know we can do better – for example against Newcastle at home [earlier this month], we have to be winning those games and taking three points instead of one. But there has definitely been improvements."

Asked about Ten Hag's impact, Shaw said: "He speaks to the players individually quite a lot and I think, from the start of pre-season, I could see what sort of manager he was going to be and I was extremely impressed with the way he came across, not just in terms of how he speaks to you, but his ideas of how he wants his team to set up.

"His structure and the way he wants to play with the ball and without the ball – it was really impressive. Things obviously take time, but I think we're going in the right direction and I think it could be a really good next few months because I feel like we're taking the right steps."

Shaw has not been a guaranteed starter for United this term, battling Netherlands international Tyrell Malacia for his berth, but the England defender believes the contest between the two is bringing out the best in him.

"I really like Ty; I sit next to him in the changing room, and he's a really nice guy and an extremely good player," he added.

"He's still very young and we get on really well and, for both of us, it's nice to get on well with someone who is in your position."

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against PSV following their 1-0 defeat to Arsenal in the Europa League at the Emirates Stadium.

Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game to seal the Gunners' spot in the knockout stages of the competition, with just a point required from the last two fixtures to seal top spot and a bye to the round of 16.

PSV now face potential sanctions after four charges were levelled against the Eredivisie club for the throwing of objects, lighting of fireworks, acts of damage and crowd disturbances.

Disturbances occurred after the final whistle in London, with fans allegedly ripping out seats and throwing flares into the Arsenal section, which led to the deployment of riot police.

UEFA has said its disciplinary bodies will decide on the matter in due course.

PSV sit second in Group A, four points behind the Gunners, with the pair facing off in the reverse clash next week.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says qualification for the Europa League's knockout stages is simply "the first step" following their 1-0 win over PSV, with the Spaniard already focused on winning Group A.

Granit Xhaka's 70th-minute volley ensured the Gunners secured a top-two finish with two games to spare on Thursday, as they were rewarded for their patience against a solid opponent at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have now won their first four games of a Europa League campaign for just the second time, having also done so in 2020-21, and can seal first place with a draw in next week's return fixture against the Eredivisie giants.

With group winners earning a bye straight through to the competition's last-16 and avoiding further fixture congestion in the new year with a playoff round, Arteta knows the importance of finishing the job at hand.

"We had really good moments, and we were really dominant against a really good side," he told BT Sport.

"I think we just lacked that final pass or shot. But we're very happy to win the game, and we [have] qualified, which is the first step.

"In Europe, you have to control the opponent. They are very talented, used to winning and the amount of goals they have scored is incredible. We were really composed and mature.

"When you have the chance in Europe, you have to take it. The difference between finishing first and second is big, and we want to get the job done."

Meanwhile, Arsenal and England supporters were dealt a scare when Bukayo Saka went down in the second half, but Arteta eased any fears of an injury layoff, adding: "I think he will be okay."

After beating Walter Benitez to decide the contest, Xhaka has now scored as many goals this campaign (three) as in his previous three seasons combined, while Thursday's goal represented his first for the Gunners to not be scored with his left foot.

The midfielder highlighted the importance of Arsenal maintaining their momentum in his own post-match interview with BT Sport, saying: "I'm so happy the ball came, and happy I scored. 

"I don't know when I scored for the last time with the right foot, maybe it's the first in my career, but I'm so happy! It doesn't matter which foot, or who scores, as long as we keep winning.

"It gives us confidence and onto the next one. When you win games, you have to be happy. Everything is going well at the moment, but for us it is not a surprise, we're doing a lot of work. 

"In the end, you win and lose as a team and at the moment we are very dangerous. We wanted to go through after this game and we are very happy."

Granit Xhaka's volley ensured Arsenal secured qualification for the Europa League's knockout stages with two games to spare, firing the Gunners to a 1-0 home win over PSV.

Mikel Arteta selected a strong side as Arsenal looked to ensure their progression from Group A on Thursday, but PSV appeared likely to make them wait after producing a resolute defensive display.

Walter Benitez kept Arsenal at bay until the 70th minute, but Xhaka expertly diverted a right-wing delivery into the bottom-left corner to seal the hosts' progress.

While Arsenal are now assured of a place in the Europa League's knockout stages, a point in next week's return fixture will guarantee them top spot and a bye to the competition's round of 16.

Xhaka and Gabriel Jesus both dragged left-footed efforts wide as Arsenal laid siege to PSV's goal in the early exchanges, with Kieran Tierney also sending a wild volley over.

Fabio Vieira then whipped a free-kick wide of the bottom-left corner after 41 minutes, with Arteta's team failing to manage a shot on target before the break as PSV stood firm.

Arsenal improved after the restart, but Benitez made an excellent one-on-one save to deny Bukayo Saka after 53 minutes before turning Jesus' effort away following a slaloming run from the Brazilian.

Eddie Nketiah then smashed an effort narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

But just when Arsenal appeared to be running out of ideas, Xhaka had the final say.

The Switzerland international swivelled on Takehiro Tomiyasu's delivery to drill a right-footed effort beyond the dive of Benitez from just inside the area, ensuring Arsenal's progress.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admits there is "a lot" he would do differently in terms of his behaviour on the touchline, but believes coaches "have a responsibility" to stay cool.

Following Jurgen Klopp's furious reaction to a foul against Mohamed Salah being missed by officials during Liverpool's 1-0 win against Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday, the German was sent off by referee Anthony Taylor, and later acknowledged he deserved his red card.

City boss Pep Guardiola had also been animated after Phil Foden's second-half goal was disallowed following a VAR review that spotted a foul in the build-up.

At a press conference ahead of Arsenal's Europa League Group A match with PSV at Emirates Stadium, Arteta said: "We do have a responsibility, not only with the referees as well but with the game. We want to get this game played and respected.

"Obviously to talk about any managers, I have enough just looking after my own behaviour and trying to do the right things for our club.

"But yes it is very intense, you get heated, there are moments like in the last few games. You've seen many, many incidents when VAR has to step in and there is a lot of controversy and a lot of moments where the result is in the air. It depends on a decision and it’s not easy to manage, but of course, we have a huge responsibility.

"If I have to watch myself on the camera after a match then there are probably things I would do differently. But when you are there in the heat and the way you talk even to your own players, a lot of time you would do it differently.

"It's something that we have to learn, I think we are all conscious of it but the heat of the game takes you to behave in certain ways."

The Gunners sit four points clear at the top of the Premier League after their win at Leeds United on Sunday was followed by City's loss at Liverpool.

Arsenal were set to host City on Wednesday had it not been for the PSV fixture - which was re-arranged following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - but Arteta insists it does not matter when his current team faces his former employers.

"I don't know, it is what it is," he said. "Obviously the fixtures and the amount of games that we have, at the end of the day we're going to have to play with everybody and we have this schedule and we've adapted to it."

Arteta confirmed Oleksandr Zinchenko will be fit again from a calf injury before the World Cup break, despite the Ukrainian having not played since the north London derby victory against Tottenham, hinting that he could even play a part on Thursday.

Gabriel Martinelli could be absent after missing training, but Arteta refused to rule out either Zinchenko or the Brazilian attacker, saying: "No they are not ruled out, but we will see tomorrow what we decide."

Arsenal will confirm qualification with a win against the Dutch side, sitting five points ahead of third-place Bodo/Glimt with a game in hand.

Diogo Dalot believes the underlying spirit shown in Manchester United's dramatic 1-0 win over Omonia Nicosia promises to take them far as a team.

United looked destined to be frustrated by their visitors in Thursday's Europa League clash at Old Trafford, but the hosts eventually scored with their 34th shot.

Scott McTominay dealt the decisive blow after Omonia goalkeeper Francis Uzoho had performed admirably to keep the game goalless.

With his goal, McTominay became the first substitute to score a winning goal in the 90th minute or later in a European match for United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the 1999 Champions League final.

Like Solskjaer on that occasion, McTominay came off the bench to net his winner, and Dalot felt that reflected well on United's depth and the strength of character that runs through the squad.

"I think that this is what will take us to places," he said.

"Be a squad as a full, not just 11 or 12, 13 players, be a complete squad and I think everyone feels that they can get a chance if they work hard, if they fight for it.

"I think this competition is healthy for everyone – especially us as players. It always improves us and I think, as a squad, it's the best that you can have."

He added: "We had to be patient. We created – I don't know how many chances we created – but I think we could be a little bit more clinical, but I think we deserved it at the end, the goal.

"When that happens I think it has to come out the patience to not be frustrated because you see the time going and going and you don't score a goal, but I think we did well.

"We kept patience, especially around their box. Like I said, we could be a little bit more clinical but, at the end, I think we deserved the goal and the three points."

Dalot's analysis of United not being clinical enough was highlighted by the fact their one goal came from 4.3 expected goals (xG).

That was only the second time since 2010 that United recorded more than 4.0 xG (excluding penalties) in a single match, and yet they still only scraped by.

Nevertheless, it was also an eighth win in 10 matches across all competitions, with those two blemishes coming against Manchester City and Real Sociedad.

That demolition by City aside, United do appear to be making progress under Erik ten Hag, though Dalot accepts they are not where they want to be yet.

"I think we still have a lot of time and space to improve," he said. "But the games are coming fast so we have to be prepared each game for different kinds of things that the manager can ask for us.

"But overall, I think we are reacting well to what he has been asking – especially after the pre-season, where we had a lot of information coming to us."

United are next in action on Sunday when they face Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho mocked clubs qualifying for the Europa League knockout stages via the backdoor as 'the failed sharks of the Champions League'.

Mourinho's side are in a battle to reach the knockout stages via Group C after a 1-1 draw at Real Betis left them third on four points, behind the Spaniards (10) and Ludogorets (seven). Roma will still hope to overhaul Ludogorets and advance with two games to play in the group.

The draw, however, meant Betis were assured of reaching the next stage and Mourinho was asked if they were the Europa League favourites, leading him to implicitly goad teams like Barcelona and Juventus.

"I see them [Betis] as candidates, but the failed sharks of the Champions League will arrive, and they will come in hard," Mourinho said, referring to sides who drop into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League groups.

"They shouldn't come but it's the reality. It's going to be fun. The failures of the Champions League."

Among the clubs currently third in Champions League groups are Barcelona, Juventus, Ajax, Atletico Madrid and Milan.

Should Roma fail to finish in the top two in Group C, they will qualify for the Conference League where they will defend the title they won under Mourinho last season.

The Portuguese added: "We want to go through and finish second, but if we finish third, we'll become candidates to retain the Conference League."

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag hopes his players are "saving goals for next week" after a dismal display of finishing during their 1-0 Europa League win over Omonia Nicosia on Thursday.

Scott McTominay scored with United's 34th shot of the game in the third minute of stoppage time, becoming the first substitute to score a winning goal after the 90th minute in a European match for the Red Devils since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's iconic goal in the 1999 Champions League final.

It followed a particularly wasteful performance from Marcus Rashford, who failed to find the back of the net with a whopping 10 shots.

Ten Hag was not overly concerned by United's profligacy and expects his side to start scoring more regularly soon. 

Asked if winning was the main thing, Ten Hag told BT Sport: "No, it's not, because football is about scoring goals.

"We created so many chances but we only hit the back of the net once. The team are patient, they kept creating and then they scored.

"I have no concern because in every game we score. I have the faith we will continue with that. Hopefully we're saving the goals for next week.

"We said at half-time we need to keep the focus. When you play against a defensively compact opponent and you don't score, you get impatient. You can get sloppy and lose you the ball and then they break.

"I have a preference to score more and earlier because it makes it easier. We still have two games to go and we go game to game."

McTominay's goal was his first in Europe for United since February 2020 against Club Brugge, and the Scotland international was pleased with his team-mates' patience against stubborn opponents.

"We knew we needed the win tonight but that they'd be fired up too," he said.

"Neil Lennon is a great coach and no games like this are ever easy. Everyone is pleased with the result.

"You have to be patient sometimes. Rashford had so many chances and we did everything but score. Their goalkeeper was a different class but we created enough chances and deserved to score in the end.

"I wasn't on the pitch for the majority of the game but sometimes you think it's not going to be your day. The team spirit is good though and no one ever gives up.

"It's a massive goal because we need to win the group."

United are next in action on Sunday when they host Newcastle United in the Premier League. 

Mikel Arteta wants to see further improvement from Arsenal despite making it six wins on the trot with a hard-fought 1-0 away victory over Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League.

Bukayo Saka's deflected 24th-minute goal gave the Gunners the lead, but they faced serious pressure in the second half as their hosts pushed for an equaliser.

Tthe Norwegian champions' attempts to maintain their run of 14 straight home victories in European competition was ultimately ended however as their visitors clung on for 11 wins across 12 games this season.

Speaking afterwards however, Arteta acknowledged his side needed to up their game on the whole, despite professing his satisfaction with another taut triumph.

"I'm really happy with the win against a team that has won the last 14 here at home," the Spaniard told BT Sport.

"We were expecting a really tough night here, and we made a lot of changes again, but I’m delighted to find a way to win. To do that under any circumstances is a real positive for me and the team.

"They are really fast and the turnovers and giving away of the ball that you don’t usually expect. The ball was leaping, and it was out of your feet, and you give it away and the game becomes so fast.

"I'm happy, but at the same time we have to improve a lot."

Saka made it four goals for the season with his winner, but Arteta wants more from the 21-year-old.

"He can become much better," Arteta added. "He had moments in the game where he was really good and then moments he can improve and demand more of himself, especially defensively.

"There were moments where we allowed their left full-back to progress the play and break our press too easily. There are a lot of things to improve."

Arsenal were victorious despite making seven changes from the weekend's victory over Liverpool, and Arteta was delighted with the mentality of those he brought into the starting line-up.

"Today there were moments where we had to suffer, and we lost too many duels in the middle of the park," he said. "But the way the boys are trying and their hunger to win is there, and you can notice that."

Scott McTominay's stoppage-time strike spared Marcus Rashford's blushes as Manchester United toiled to a 1-0 Europa League win over Omonia Nicosia at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Rashford, who is United's top scorer this season, had a whopping 10 shots, but a combination of wasteful finishing and fine goalkeeping from Francis Uzoho denied the Red Devils forward.

Substitute McTominay stepped up three minutes into added time to get his team-mate out of jail, though, as United sealed a third consecutive Group E win despite a listless performance in front of goal.

The result means Erik ten Hag's side only need a point from their final two group games against Sheriff and Real Sociedad to book their spot in the knockout stages.

Rashford saw a whipped effort tipped over by Uzoho inside two minutes, while the Omonia goalkeeper raced off his line to again deny the United forward midway through the first half.

Uzoho tipped a long-range Rashford strike wide as United continued to dominate, before Casemiro thundered a 25-yard effort against the crossbar.

United went in at the break having had a whopping 14 shots, yet they could have been behind had Bruno squared to Andronikos Kakoullis instead of blazing over from a tight angle following a swift counter-attack.   

Uzoho picked up where he left off after the interval, producing a double save to deny Antony and Rashford, before the latter wastefully steered wide when clean through. 

The Omonia goalkeeper produced further smart stops to keep out Ronaldo and McTominay, but the Scotland international powered home from close range at the death to deny the Cypriot side a famous point.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.