After watching Manchester United’s latest pre-season game against Real Madrid in the early hours of Wednesday morning, many fans have been left divided over their new goalkeeper André Onana’s performance on his debut.
Man United ultimately lost the game 2-0 after conceding both an early goal and one in the dying embers, and while the Cameroonian keeper showed plenty of positive signs throughout the match, it was hardly the result the Reds were looking for on his first outing.
The Spaniards opened the scoring inside the first six minutes after a long ball over the top and in behind the United defence left them chasing back, at which point Onana decided to come out to the edge of his box and pressure the on-running Jude Bellingham.
Unfortunately for him, the young English star had the calmness and composure to dink the ball over the 27-year-old to score his first finish for Madrid and while it was ultimately found to have been offside, the goal still stood and one of Onana’s first actions in red ended with him being chipped on his debut.
To little surprise, Bellingham went on to win man of the match overall after shining throughout the game and although the goal should have been ruled out, it left many supporters watching at home debating whether Onana should have rushed out or stayed on his line.
His positioning throughout the game, in fact, was highlighted throughout, with the pundits commentating on MUTV remarking: “It was interesting to watch him play so high. We’ve never had a United goalkeeper come 10-15 yards outside his box.”
Ex-pro Danny Webber was one of many who went on to note that “it’s an added benefit that he can come out and play with his feet”, with some even describing his passing distribution as “outrageous”, taking plenty of comfort in some impressive stats over the course of the 90.
One person tweeted, “The goal was absolutely his fault you have to do better there his distribution is great but as a goalkeeper and keeping the ball out of the net, I think he’s no better than [David] de Gea“. On the other hand, Onana did make two very decent reflex saves in the game, to his credit.
Then came the second goal from 33-year-old former Stoke and Newcastle striker, Joselu, who produced an absolutely exquisite bicycle kick in the 89th minute which would have caught most keepers off guard and simply left Onana wrong-footed.
A few people on social media suggested that he should have come out to claim the cross (a criticism that was often levelled at de Gea) or at least attempted to get a hand to it given it was at his near post, but you won’t find many shot-stoppers with the reflexes to keep out finishes like this. What a goal.
Ultimately, these knee-jerk reactions to Onana’s first game in United colours are just that, and getting through your debut against one of the best teams in the world scot-free was an extremely tall order.
Moreover, judging anyone on their first game at a new club when they’ve barely had any time to even train with their new teammates, let alone play a competitive match, seems pretty harsh and premature.
Even still, his manager and former Ajax coach seemed content, as ten Hag said: “I think good. Solid. Two very good saves. He was there in the moment when the team needed him, he did his job. He integrated well in our team.” It’s a long old season so fans will have to see how he settles in.
You can watch the highlights down below and decide for yourself:
Featured Image — Manchester United (via Instagram)/MUTV/@utdreport (via Twitter)
Scott McTominay jokes he’s ‘fuming’ he didn’t score a hat-trick against Chelsea as he reflects on Man United’s mentality
Scott McTominay has joked he’s “fuming” with himself after failing to score a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday nightand shed some light on the mentality around Old Trafford.
McTominay starred in the Red Devils’ win over Mauricio Pochettino’s side on a cold night at home, managing to bag a brace with a goal in the first and second half to get his squad over the line, but he himself said he could have had more.
Speaking to MUTV after the game, the 26-year-old said he and the squad knew they needed to drum up a reaction after the Newcastle disappointment, adding that contributing more goals is something he wants to keep working on and insisting that plenty of people back him to do so.
Confessing that his mum, dad and grandad have all been encouraging him to “get in the box” and that he just needs to “believe in [him]self and go for it”, the Scotsman did go on to quip he was “fuming” to not grab a third as he shook his head went on to shake and reveal a wry smile.
Commentator and presenter Stewart Gardner went on to list McTominay’s impressive stats this season, having now scored 14 goals in his last 33 appearances for club and country. A seriously good rate from a midfielder typically entrusted to help link play and break things up in the middle of the park.
Now boasting half a dozen goals and an assist across all competitions so far this campaign, he sits as the club’s leading goalscorer in the Premier League with five finishes to his name — with only Bruno Fernandes having contributed more (five goals and five assists) — he’s genuinely become one of Man United’s main goal threats.
While he recently rubbished talk that he played as a striker regularly coming up through the youth academy, simply having been deployed for the odd game in reality, he has always had a shot on him and it isn’t the first time he’s bagged a winner or a big goal for the Reds. This wasn’t a bad one either:
Chatting with the pundits on Amazon Prime Sport, he reiterated that he could have had “one or two more” on another night and agreed that the performance against Newcastle in the previous fixture was “pretty abysmal”, holding his hands up to admit that it was “no way near good enough”.
Reflecting on the later chance he had to seal the hat-trick towards the end of the game, he said he simply needed to “calm down on the last one”.
As for the mentality to get the result during a difficult period where the club remained under a lot of scrutiny from pundits and fans alike, McTominay went on to say that the manager is responsible for the way they played and some “lighter training sessions to keep energy levels up” definitely helped.
Regardless, he was sure to not get ahead of himself and assured ten Hag‘s team were still taking things a game at a time. You can watch the full highlights from Manchester United vs Chelsea down below:
Featured Images — Scott McTominay (via Instagram)/MUTV
Kevin Sinfield has entered the final leg of yet another ultra marathon challenge for MND
Ex-rugby player turned England coach Kevin Sinfield has begun the final day of yet another incredible ultra marathon challenge he is undertaking to raise money and awareness around motor neurone disease (MND), with the sports personality scheduled to finish up this Thursday.
Having set off on 1 December, the Oldham-born athlete is facing what he has called easily his “toughest challenge” yet, taking on the newly-dubbed ‘Ultra 7 in 7 in 7’, which will see him once again run an ultra marathon every day for seven days across seven different cities.
Following on from his first Ultra 7 in 7 back in 2020 and most recent one last year, the Leeds Rhinos legend has now raised well over £8 million pounds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA), the cause he got behind following his former teammate and best mate Rob Burrow’s diagnosis in 2019.
Now, having taken on the incredible feat once again — running the equivalent of 27 miles (43km) a day — Sinfield is hoping to not just reach the trademark £777,777 fundraising target, but smash it for a fourth consecutive time. Here he is finishing up his penultimate leg in his second home.
Setting off from Yorkshire’s iconic Headingley Stadium with a team of friends and volunteers, the 43-year-old has passed through the likes of Cardiff, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin and Brighton, and is now staring down one last push towards the finale from Twickenham Stadium to the Mall in London.
Having already amassed over £557k in donations since the start of his remarkable journey, he is well on course to reach the finish line in every sense of the word.
The best part about this most recent Ultra 7 fundraising challenge, though, is that beyond just putting in the hard yards in Burrow‘s name and raising money for the MNDA, the funds generated from this series of runs will be going to multiple causes.
As well as the Leeds Hospitals Charity and The Darby Rimmer MND Foundation, money will also be going to the Irish MNDA set up by former Scottish rugby player, Doddie Weir, who sadly died from the condition in 2022 but has remained an inspiration to Sinfield and countless others over recent years.
Having echoed his lasting sentiment that “MND isn’t untreatable, it’s just underfunded” throughout his own campaigning for the cause, the local sporting hero will also be representing the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in his honour. Heartwarming stuff.
As we’re sure is the case for all of you too, we’ve been absolutely blown away by this man over the last few years not only in his ability to keep completing these huge feats of endurance but by the size of his heart in continuing to fundraise on such a massive scale.
From raising awareness around MND and becoming an emblem of friendship with his best mate Rob, Kevin Sinfield has truly set an example for all of us and will no doubt prove a role model to millions for years to come.