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Sport Champions League return gives platform for Man Utd's rebuild

15:14  27 july  2020
15:14  27 july  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Securing Champions League football is a great accomplishment for Man United, but Solskjaer & Co. still have a long way to go now that they' re there. Ole lauds Man Utd ' s Champions League berth. Solskjaer has merely taken United back to base camp in their attempts to return to the summit of the

The official UEFA Champions League fixtures and results list. 1Look for the 'Open calendar' button in the upper menu. 2Select 'From internet' in the dropdown. 3Past the link in the text field. 4You' re done - now enjoy all the fixtures and results!

Manchester United's return to the Champions League is a significant milestone as the Red Devils seek to close the gap to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the battle for Premier League supremacy.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holding a racket: Job well done: Manchester United climbed into third in the Premier League thanks to a 14-game unbeaten run to end the season © CARL RECINE Job well done: Manchester United climbed into third in the Premier League thanks to a 14-game unbeaten run to end the season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men held their nerve on a final-day shootout for a place in the top four, winning 2-0 at Leicester to complete a 14-game unbeaten run in the league and end the season best of the rest in third place.

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ESPN FC' s Steve Nicol and Don Hutchison react to Manchester United and Chelsea qualifying for Champions League football on the final day of the Follow ESPN UK across multiple platforms Ole on Ronaldo helping sign Bruno, Rebuilding the Culture at Man Utd | High Performance Podcast

It has given Solskjaer further scope to delve into the transfer window with greater chances of landing big name signings. United have been heavily linked with a £108m move for Jadon Sancho while £70m-rated Jack Grealish Neil Custis expects huge things from Man Utd ' s Mason Greenwood in the future.

"Liverpool and City have been running away with it in the last couple of seasons so to get third is a massive achievement for the team," said Solskjaer.

A huge 33-point gap to champions Liverpool shows the strides they still have to make to become title contenders again, but since the January signing of Bruno Fernandes transformed the mood and results at Old Trafford, no team in the Premier League has won more points.

a group of baseball players playing a football game: Manchester United's Anthony Martial (left), Mason Greenwood (centre) and Marcus Rashford have formed a potent front three since the Premier League's restart © Paul ELLIS Manchester United's Anthony Martial (left), Mason Greenwood (centre) and Marcus Rashford have formed a potent front three since the Premier League's restart

"Bringing Bruno in, in January, has made a big difference," said Harry Maguire, who cost United a world record £80 million ($103 million) for a defender at the start of the season.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has fired back at his detractors after Manchester United secured their place back in the Champions League . To finish third with this team and this squad, and where we have been with this rebuild , has been a massive achievement by everyone.

Champions League returns as Tottenham face Manchester City in the quarter finals. Man City are still eyeing up the quadruple this season, but can Tottenham

"To finish third in the Premier League should be a minimum requirement from this club, but next season we have to keep improving and building."

A third-place finish should buy Solskjaer time that did not look likely when Old Trafford turned on the team during a miserable 2-0 home defeat to Burnley in January.

The Norwegian has already proved himself adept at building a counter-attacking team capable of upsetting the odds. United have beaten both Chelsea and City three times this season and were the only team in 36 games between March 2019 and February 2020 to take a Premier League point from Liverpool.

However, the arrival of Fernandes, the emergence of 18-year-old Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba's return from injury and the development of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial into 20-goal-a-season forwards has improved United's ability to see off weaker opposition.

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While acknowledging Champions League qualification makes it easier to sign stars, under-fire boss Solskjaer insisted United still have pulling power. "The Champions League gives the club more resources, more money, that' s one thing," Solskjaer said ahead of Monday' s blockbuster trip to Chelsea.

Fernandes' penalty secured Man Utd ' s Champions League spot for next seasonCredit: Guardian News & Media / Free to use by all titles in perpetuity under NMC agreement. The final standings of this Premier League season. Brendan Rodgers' side had been in the top four since December - and

a person with a football ball on a field: Key signing: Bruno Fernandes transformed Manchester United's season after arriving in January © Oli SCARFF Key signing: Bruno Fernandes transformed Manchester United's season after arriving in January

"I think it's a big day for Ole, it gives him some peace and demonstrates progress," said former United captain Gary Neville after the victory at Leicester. "They look like they can win games in different ways."

- Culture change -

During his 19 months in charge, Solskjaer has repeatedly stressed the need for a culture change as well as a return to winning ways on the pitch.

Greenwood and Rashford are not the only academy graduates to make important contributions this season. Brandon Williams and Scott McTominay are established squad players, while United have also got back to picking off exciting young British talent from other clubs in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.

"We are going places and we've got a team you can like. You can see the DNA of Manchester United. At least that's what I feel," said Solskjaer.

The income from the Champions League will aid that rebuild.

Even prior to the economic hit caused by coronavirus with the loss of matchday income and rebates to broadcasters, United expected their revenue to shrink by up to £67 million this season without Champions League football.

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær insists his side' s spectacular 1-3 win against PSG in Paris in the last round of the Champions League will

LEICESTER, England (AP) -- — Manchester United will return to the Champions League at the expense of Leicester after winning 2-0 at the King Power Stadium on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday. Bruno Fernandes netted from the penalty spot in the 71st minute

On top of extra TV and prize money, United also stood to lose substantially from clauses in certain commercial contracts had they missed the spotlight provided by European football's premier competition for two consecutive seasons.

Key to United's improvement from sixth last season to third has been the success of their four big signings in Fernandes, Maguire, Wan-Bissaka and James, compared with wasted transfer fees and wages spent on players in previous years, including Alexis Sanchez.

If they are to keep heading in the right direction, their recruitment must be spot on again, with Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho reportedly United's premier target for the summer.

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