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    Premier League giants like Man Utd and Arsenal will have power to SCRAP FA Cup replays – but rest of league won’t

    PREM Euro giants will be offered the chance to play one-off early FA Cup ties to avoid a New Year fixtures pile-up.Wembley chiefs are ready to agree to scrap some FA Cup third and fourth round replays to ease this season’s match congestion.
    Clubs in European competitions will have the opportunity to scrap FA Cup replaysCredit: Getty
    But while the vast majority of ties WILL still have second matches if required, teams in European competitions will be offered the option of settling ties on the day.
    FA bosses recognise that the issues of an already-congested campaign due to the six-week World Cup break have been exacerbated by the postponements caused by The Queen’s death.
    The seven teams in European competitions face nine matches next month compared to the six games scheduled for the other 13 sides.
    This month’s 13 domestic and Euro postponements mean Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United will head into the second half of the campaign two Prem matches behind schedule and facing potentially playing 42 matches between Boxing Day and the end of the season.
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    And that potential backlog will see FA chiefs agree to giving them dispensation to settle some ties on the day rather than face extra matches.
    While the FA’s lucrative TV contracts include replays for the third and fourth rounds, Wembley chiefs will be willing to grant an exemption in specific cases this season to help ensure the European teams do not get snowed under by games.
    But the FA will NOT give up early round replays without a fight despite the desire of some Prem clubs to ensure all ties in the competition are one-off affairs from 2024.
    Replays are worth up to £20m in the value of the current deals with worldwide broadcasters.
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    And with some overseas TV deals including second games in the initial rounds now in place until 2027, it appears replays are set to stay for another five years at least – unless Prem clubs come up with a hefty compensation package.
    A decision on which ties will be settled on the day – likely to be with penalty shoot-outs available after extra-time – will not be made until after the second round draw in December. More

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    Watch Cristiano Ronaldo score incredible rabona volley in Man Utd warm-up.. and it’s not the first time he’s done it

    CRISTIANO RONALDO showed he hasn’t lost his magic touch by scoring an incredible rabona volley.But it’s not the first time the Manchester United star has done it.
    Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning rabona volley ahead of Man Utd’s win at SheriffCredit: Twitter
    Ronaldo, 37, was handed a rare start by Erik ten Hag as the Red Devils beat Sheriff 2-0 last week.
    The Portugal legend netted United’s second goal after Jadon Sancho gave them the lead.
    But Ronaldo’s most impressive moment came BEFORE kick-off in the Europa League clash.
    Going through his usual drills in the warm-up, Ronnie turned to practicing some attacking runs at goal.
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    Video footage shows the ball being crossed into the veteran’s path, with just yards between Ronaldo and the open goal.
    But instead of simply sticking the ball away, the icon went a step further as he performed an outrageous rabona volley with little effort.
    Ronaldo looked very pleased as he turned away to continue his warm-up.
    But fans of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner know it’s not the first time Ronaldo’s produced something similar.
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    Linking up with Portugal teammates during the Autumn international break in 2016, Ronnie scored a breathtaking rabona goal during training.
    His effort came just months after captaining his country to glory at Euro 2016.
    Ronaldo went on to score 42 goals in all competitions for Real Madrid that season, winning LaLiga PLUS the Champions League.
    And United fans will be hoping Ronnie’s cheeky show of confidence can propel their side to similar glory this term. More

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    Man Utd stars and staff hit by bout of FOOD POISONING following Europa League clash with up to 12 feeling unwell

    MANCHESTER UNITED players and staff were hit by a bout of suspected food poisoning following their Europa League victory in Moldova.The group travelled back from their 2-0 away win against FC Sheriff last Thursday straight after the game on a private plane.
    Man Utd secured a 2-0 win over Sheriff on ThursdayCredit: AFP
    A group of players were hit with food poisoning after the gameCredit: Reuters
    But members of the party began to feel unwell on Friday.
    It is understood up to 12 of the United party were affected.
    The club is trying to look into whether it was something the group had eaten while in Chisinau or on the plane on the way back.
    A handful of players missed training on Friday because of it but were ok again to train Saturday, while others missed Saturday.
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    Those affected who were due on international duty have still been able to join up with their countries.
    It is not clear how badly the squad would have been affected for their home match against Leeds United today had it gone ahead.
    The match was postponed due to policing issues.
    The victory in Chisinau put United’s Europa League campaign back on track after losing their Group E opener to Real Sociedad.
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    New boss Erik Ten Hag has now overseen five wins in the Red Devils’ last six games.
    They are on a run of four Premier League wins on the bounce following those disappointing opening two games that saw a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton and 4-0 mauling at Brentford.
    Next up is probably the toughest away trip in the Premier League to champions Manchester City in the derby at The Etihad on Sunday, October 2nd after the international break.
    But having already beaten league leaders Arsenal recently, Ten Hag’s revitalised side will travel there with confidence. More

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    Jose Mourinho equals legendary Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s record with most wins in Europe in Champions League era

    JOSE MOURINHO has equalled Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 106 European wins in the Champions League era.Dating back to 1992, Fergie won 106 matches in the Champions League and Europa League, with just one of those victories coming in the latter.
    Carlo Ancelotti has the most wins in Europe in the Champions League era
    Jose Mourinho has equalled Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 106 European wins since 1992Credit: Getty
    105 of Ferguson’s victories came in the Champions LeagueCredit: Getty
    Mourinho has now equalled the United legend after his Roma side beat HJK Helsinki 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.
    But the Portuguese is still 25 wins away from matching Ferguson’s total number of victories in the Champions League – though he has managed 43 fewer games than the Scot.
    However, Mourinho does boast four Champions League and Europa League winners’ medals since 1992, compared to Ferguson’s two Champions League titles.
    The former Chelsea boss also has more wins in Europe’s top two competitions than both Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola since 1992.
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    The Manchester City boss has 95 Champions League wins but has never managed a Europa league game.
    While Wenger falls one short of Ferguson and Mourinho with 105 victories.

    However, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League five times, boasts 119 wins.
    Mourinho is set to add to his tally this season with Roma set to play at least four more games in the Europa League group stage.
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    The Italian giants have good pedigree in European competition under Mourinho too, winning the inaugural Europa Conference League earlier this year.
    I Giallorossi have also enjoyed a good start to the Serie A season and are just one point shy of league leaders Napoli after winning four of their first six matches. More

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    Jose Mourinho claims Roma striker Belotti has a ‘disease’ after performing ‘four or five heel flicks’ in wacky interview

    JOSE MOURINHO channelled his inner David Brent when describing Roma striker Andrea Belotti.The ex-Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss is well known for his wacky interviews, and his latest effort was no different.
    Andrea Belotti scored his first Roma goal on Thursday nightCredit: Reuters
    Jose Mourinho has claimed Belotti is suffering from a “disease”Credit: Reuters
    The Roma gaffer hilariously claimed striker Belotti is suffering from a “disease” that means he can’t put the ball in the back of the net.
    Summer signing Belotti scored his first goal for the club in last night’s 3-0 Europa League win over HJK Helsinki.
    But Mourinho still reckons Belotti is trying too hard to score the perfect goal, and hit out at him for his fancy “heel touches”.
    The Portuguese icon said: “Belotti also seems to be suffering from this disease we have up front, today I saw him do four or five heel touches. This is not him.”
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    “He has to score, with his knee, with his ass, with his head.
    “He has the virus of a playmaking wizard, whereas he just needs to score. That’s it.
    “We need to improve in terms of execution, the average of shots and goals made is not good.”
    Belotti finally broke his duck against Finnish minnows HJK, after Paulo Dybala and Lorenzo Pellegrini had struck for the Italians.
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    Mourinho snapped up Italy striker Belotti on a free after his Torino contract expired, but the 28-year-old is behind England ace Tammy Abraham in the pecking order.
    And Belotti has also found himself victim to a classic Mourinho line.
    In the last week the Portuguese manager has also hit out at Abraham, publicly calling for the ex-Chelsea striker to drop deeper on the pitch to affect the play.
    Mourinho told Sky Sports Italia: “He has to do it – he has to drop deep when the team needs him.
    “Maybe he can struggle more mentally to do it, but that is also the mission.” More

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    Jadon Sancho reveals touching reason for shinpad celebration after goal against Sheriff in Man Utd’s Europa League win

    JADON SANCHO has revealed the exact reason behind his shinpad celebration after scoring against FC Sheriff.The 22-year-old winger – who was earlier left out of the England squad – gave Manchester United broke the deadlock in last night’s 2-0 Europa League victory.
    Jadon Sancho has revealed the reason behind his shinpad celebrationCredit: Getty
    Former Dortmund ace Sancho was perfectly picked out by Christian Eriksen on the edge of the area before he jinked past one defender and fired the ball in the bottom corner.
    However, it was his actions after the goal that got supporters talking on social media.
    As his teammates came to congratulate him, Sancho reached down to pull out one of his shinpads and then lifted it up to the sky.
    Footage had emerged earlier this week of Sancho signing a matchday programme for a young fan after stopping in his car.
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    As he handed it back to the kid, he then received a special gift.
    The boy gave Sancho personalised shinpads that had the attacker’s face on as the lad’s parent told Sancho that he should wear them in his next game.
    The United ace then gave the kid a high five and replied: “Of course I will.”
    And when asked about the celebration after the game, Sancho said: “Yeah, a little kid gave me some shinpads and asked me to wear them.
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    “I said ‘Yeah, no problem’ and that was a little gesture from me when I scored, showing him that I was wearing his shinpads that he gave me.”
    Sancho added: “It was really important we got the win today.
    “Obviously our last home game vs Real Sociedad was an upset and coming into this game we knew we had to get the three points today.”
    He later posted a snap of his celebration on Instagram and tagged the youngster, who appears to be called Jacob, while captioning it with: “This is for you Young Legend.” More

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    Cristiano Ronaldo ends worst drought in 16 YEARS to score 699th career goal as Ten Hag warns rivals Man Utd star is back

    CRISTIANO RONALDO ended his worst goal drought for 16 years after firing in a penalty against Sheriff Tiraspol – and Erik ten Hag believes there’s a lot more to come.The strike was Ronaldo’s first ever goal in the Europa League and gave Manchester United a comfortable 2-0 lead in Moldova.
    Cristiano Ronaldo ended his run of eight games without a goal against SheriffCredit: Getty
    It was also his first club goal for eight games, having last found the net against Brentford in May.
    Incredibly, it is the longest spell the Portuguese star has gone without a goal since 2006, when he went ten games without finding the target for United between March and May.
    Since then CR7 has scored with remarkable consistency and is now just one goal shy of 700 career club goals.
    Sheriff are the 124th side Ronaldo has scored against and even his team-mates were excited with the effort – Scott McTominay was caught mouthing Ronaldo’s famous ‘Siuu’ celebration after the goal.
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    Ronaldo’s team-mates continue to show him support despite believing he could be on the move in January.
    The striker was heavily linked with a summer exit due to his desire to play in the Champions League but a willing suitor could not be found.
    Erik ten Hag claims the 37-year-old is committed to the project at Old Trafford and expects the goals to flow now Ronaldo has broken his drought.
    Ten Hag said after the win against Sheriff: “We could expect this when you miss pre-season, he has to work really hard and invest to get the right fitness.
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    “He will score more goals. He’s really close, when he gets more fitness he will score more.
    “He’s totally committed to this project, totally committed to this team, totally involved, you also see connections that are coming around him on the pitch and he is constructing connections so I’m happy with that.”
    Ronaldo could also be encouraged to stay by the news of Ten Hag being given a £70million war chest to upgrade his squad in January.
    Ten Hag missed out on a number of long-term targets over the summer, most notably Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona.
    The Dutch midfielder is still high on his wishlist, and a move in January hasn’t been ruled out with the Spanish giants’ finances still an issue. More

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    Former Bolton striker Henrik Pedersen serves West Ham fans from his bar as they ‘forgive him for relegating them’

    WEST HAM fans were served beer by an old enemy before their Europa Conference League match in Denmark on Thursday evening.The Hammers edged past Danish outfit Silkeborg 3-2 to maintain their perfect start to European competition this season.
    Pedersen could be seen pouring drinks for West Ham fans at his own pub

    Pedersen helped keep Bolton up in 2003 as West Ham were relegatedCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    But prior to the match, one West Ham fan shared a clip of a flock of Irons supporters being served by ex-Bolton star Henrik Pedersen.
    Pedersen, 47, who also spent a decade with Silkeborg across two spells, could be seen pulling pints in his own pub.
    And the caption for the video brought back a few memories for West Ham fans as they are well aware of the former Bolton man.
    It read: “Ex-@SilkeborgIF and Bolton player Henrik Pedersen keeping us @westham fans hydrated in his bar!
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    “We’ve forgiven him for relegating us all those years ago!🤣.”
    The relegation being referenced came back in the 2002/03 Premier League campaign.
    Pedersen helped Bolton to safety by just two points as they finished the season in 17th place.
    But West Ham were the unlucky side that dropped down to the Championship as a result.
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    The East London outfit finished two points below Bolton and were relegated.
    It would take the Hammers two seasons to return to the top flight, before they did so through the play-offs in 2005.
    Meanwhile, Bolton remained in the Prem for nine more campaigns, before eventually dropping down to the Championship in 2012.
    Since then, they have gone as low as League Two, but are now back in League One. More