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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Football Briefs: 'United on the verge of hitting top form'

Football Briefs: 'United on the verge of hitting top form'

December 04, 2017 16:12 IST

Manchester United

IMAGE: Manchester United recorded their fourth consecutive league win on Saturday. Photograph: Manchester United FC/Twitter

Manchester United are optimistic ahead of a crucial period of fixtures as they are close to finding their best form, midfielder Ander Herrera said ahead of Sunday’s top of the table showdown against Premier League leaders Manchester City.


United beat top four contenders Arsenal 3-1 on Saturday, thanks to goals from Jesse Lingard and Antonio Valencia along with a brilliant performance from goalkeeper David De Gea, to record their fourth consecutive league win.

”We are going to find our best moment very soon,“ Herrera told the club’s website. ”We are second and chasing to be top of the table."

”It was a fantastic result (at Arsenal) with some great performances. David was amazing, and we were clinical in the first half, with two chances in the first 15 minutes and two goals.

“Jesse is on fire now, Paul (Pogba) as well, it’s a pity he got a red card. Romelu (Lukaku) didn’t score but he helped us a lot. The centre-backs -- Victor (Lindelof) is in fantastic form right now. So we are optimistic of course.”

City are in dominant form and look almost unstoppable as they aim to extend their 20-game winning streak across all competitions along with their eight-point lead.

United play their final Champions League group match against CSKA Moscow on Tuesday and Herrera says the team are fully focused on sealing progression to the knockout stages rather than Sunday’s crucial league encounter.

“I‘m not thinking about Sunday, now it’s about CSKA. We are not qualified yet so we don’t think about City yet,” Herrera added.

Dejected Koeman yet to recover from Everton sacking

Former Everton manager Ronald Koeman is yet to get over the disappointment of being sacked by the Premier League club and has rejected multiple managerial offers since his dismissal.

Koeman was fired in October, after 16 months in charge of the Merseyside club, as significant transfer spending failed to inspire Everton, who dropped into the relegation zone after winning just two of their opening nine league games.

“I had started something at Everton and I really wanted to finish it in a good way. This is why my disappointment is bigger than ever before. I have to be realistic and I am not moaning about it,” the Dutchman told the Sunday Mirror.

The 54-year-old was touted to take over at several vacant managerial roles at Premier League and European clubs, including West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United, but turned down the offers.

”I need to put those feelings of disappointment away first,“ Koeman added. ”This is the reason why I’ve not taken any of the offers -- the offers were there immediately after leaving Everton."

“I had a few offers from the Premier League and a few more elsewhere in Europe.”

Everton have climbed to 10th in the standings under the guidance of interim boss David Unsworth and newly-appointed permanent manager Sam Allardyce and travel to fourth-placed Liverpool for the Merseyside derby on Sunday.

Ancelotti says not interested in Italy job

Carlo Ancelotti says he has been approached by Italian FA about the possibility of coaching the national side but that he prefers to keep working in club football.

Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich in September, said he was honoured that Italians see him as the man to replace Gian Piero Ventura who was fired after Italy astonishingly failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup.

However, he added: ”It would be a completely different job. I want to continue coaching in club football. I still enjoy training and working every day.

“Italian football has some problems and I don’t think I can solve them on my own, it’s the whole system that needs to be changed,” he told the “Domenica Sportiva” programme on state broadcaster Rai.

“There is a conflict between the federation and the clubs. The federation needs to impose itself on the clubs to improve the system.”

Ancelotti, 58, is one of Europe’s most successful coaches, having won the Champions League with both AC Milan and Real Madrid. He has also won domestic league titles in Italy, England, France and Germany.

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