Arsenal pass Leicester as most likely to topple top 4

Leicester have almost upset the order at the top of the Premier League for the past two seasons, but in 2021-22 it's Arsenal poised to crack the top four. (Author: Gardener)

4LONDON -- Leicester City not only lost Sunday's clash with Arsenal 2-0, but also handed the baton to their hosts as the side were most likely to meet the Premier League top four. Brendan Rodgers' side have knocked on the door of Champions League football for the last two seasons, capitulating at the end of both campaigns in a way that will serve as a historic warning for Arsenal of the run-in to come. The Foxes have not been able to reach those heights this season - never ending a game week higher than eighth - but while Leicester have fallen away, the identity of the side most likely to take their place was up not very clear now. - Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (US only) Get Instant AccessArsenal have quietly but steadily established themselves as the Champions League team-on-hold, claiming five straight wins and turning their pending games into welcome opportunities to solidify their position strengthen as must-win encounters with high pressure to gain ground. There is understandable reluctance in this part of north London to look too far ahead with a quarter of the season left - and some tough games lying in wait - but Arsenal responded with a win elsewhere this weekend for Manchester United and West Ham United deserved their own win to move back up to fourth place. The Gunners are now a point ahead of United and three ahead of West Ham despite playing three games fewer, a position manager Mikel Arteta is aware of but continues to downplay. I'm looking at the table with the remaining games, I know where we are but we have to look forward," he said after the game. I'm not a big player, I've never been and I don't want to play that now Club: Some protest, some support but all frustrated by the distance between who they are and what they used to be. But it was Martin Odegaard who once again shone brightest here, creating five chances in the first half alone scored - more than any Arsenal player in the first half of a Premier League game since Mesut Özil against Everton in October 2017. There is more than a passing resemblance between Ödegaard and Özil, particularly the Ozil, across Arsenal fans purring in his prime, not the one who later became an outcast, draining both money and positivity from a club mired in introspective existential angst.Ödegaard has the same ability, in the le last third place, and so often chooses the right pass with the optimal weight The 23-year-old spoke this month of his satisfaction at finally having found some rest after a previous nomadic career, "has given me peace and stability to settle down somewhere and not have to worry about where the next loan should be. "He seems to thrive in the environment Arteta created. "He was great again today, in every aspect of the game," Arteta said of the Norway captain. "What he had to do in defense when we were high, when we were deep, in the build up phase in the last third, how he understands the game and manages it when he's needed will be a long way off I think since his arrival. He shows great maturity and responsibility on the pitch and makes the other players better I think. Although Harvey Barnes didn't belong in that category, Rodgers was caught by a pitchside TV camera saying the word 'wow' as his cheering through the right-handed The English goalkeeper's reflex stop was interrupted. Saddened by the penalty decision for Arsenal's second goal, Leicester came up with a VAR (Video Assistant Referee) review for a Caglar Soyuncu handball in a close-fight in the penalty area, but whatever the method, the Gunners were value for their money Victory. It's not just Leicester's recent experience that should serve as a warning for Arsena l. Tough challenges lie ahead, not least in the remaining games with Liverpool next Wednesday, games against United and West Ham at the end of April, and trips to Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea to be re-arranged. The 2018-19 experience will also be remembered after they won just one of their last five league games to stumble out of the top four under Unai Emery. The wait for a first Champions League season has felt a lot longer than five years in these parts, considering it has been preceded by 19 consecutive seasons in Europe's premier club competition. Nothing is decided yet but beating Leicester in the way they did underlined that Arsenal are in pole position from here.


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta welcomes Martin Odegaard while Brendan Rodgers crowns Aaron Ramsdale England's No 1

Rodgers: For me, he [Ramsdale] is currently the best England goalkeeper. Since joining Arsenal it looks like he has grown into the club; watch Arsenal v Liverpool live on Sky Sports Premier League on Wednesday; Kick-off 8:15 p.m (Author: Gardener)

EnglandMikel Arteta has said Martin Odegaard is the embodiment of an Arsenal player after his "amazing" performance against Leicester. Odegaard had six chances in the game, five of them in the first half - the most chances an Arsenal player has had in the first half of a Premier League game since Mesut Özil's six chances against Everton in October 2017. “He was great again today, in every aspect of the game; what he had to do in defense when we were high and low; in construction phases; in the final third, how he understood the game and led when he was needed," said Gunner's boss, Arteta said. "He's come a long way since he arrived, he shows great maturity and responsibility on the pitch and he makes the others Player better I think." Asked if the initial £30m Arsenal paid Real Madrid to sign Odegaard last summer was a steal, Arteta added: "I don't know, it is yet a bit early to say Thomas Partey was also praised by Arteta after his outstanding performance The Ghana international gave Arsenal the lead in the 11th minute with a header and, after hitting the post and crossbar with a shot, played played a key role in the incident that led to the second-half penalty from which Alexandre Lacazette scored Arteta believes the 28-year-old midfielder, who played e.g was named Arsenal's Player of the Month for the first time, keeps getting better: "He almost scored, he had a great shot off the crossbar." , he was involved in both goals - the header he scored and also the penalty - and the reaction when he had the shot," Arteta added. "You could see that he was voted player of the month last month and he has come a long way , he has the consistency and the protocol, he understands much better what we want. "I think his cohesion and understanding with the others Players are getting better and now it's about consistency and going on." As composed as Arsenal were, the Gunners were indebted to another brilliant performance from goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. The 23-year-old made an impressive first-half save to to prevent Harvey Barnes from tying Leicester with a header, and Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers had no doubt that Ramsdale is the best goalkeeper in the country at the moment."To me he's the best England goalkeeper at the moment," said Rodgers.His Progress since he joined Arsenal, a huge club with a different expectation of how to play football, but he's coped with it really well."He looks like he is he has grown into the club, he plays with a calm; he was bouncing around earlier in the season but now he has a really nice calm in his game. His save against Barnesy was a great save - the header looked in - and kept Arsenal ahead. "Having watched and observed the level of his game he is currently the best England goalkeeper. It's a big credit to him, he looks like an excellent goalkeeper. "At the highest level as a goalkeeper you have to be sure of the ball and he is very good with his feet." For Arsenal's second goal, Luke Thomas appeared to have saved the visitors from being 2-0 down when he hooked the ball off the line, but there was a VAR check for a handball from Caglar Soyuncu inside the box, that appeared to hamper Partey's close-range header before Thomas gave his clearance.After a lengthy check, the penalty was awarded and Lacazette fired the ball into the top corner to double his side's lead, but Leicester boss Rodgers believes there is one was a tough decision."I think the time it took to get the award will probably tell you that it was tough to be honest," the Foxes manager said. Caglar's move was a functional move, it obviously touched his hand, but it certainly wasn't intentional and that was a big disappointment for us in the game we were good at."


Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta hails Thomas Partey's improvement after Leicester win

The Ghana midfielder scored and played a key role in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Leicester (Author: Gardener)

LeicesterMikel Arteta believes Thomas Partey has 'come a long way' since signing for the club (Nick Potts/PA) - PA Wire Mikel Arteta said Thomas Partey has 'come a long way' since joining the club has signed after the Ghana international produced an outstanding performance in Arsenal's 2-0 win over Leicester. Partey and Alexandre Lacazette were on target as the Gunners reclaimed fourth place in the Premier League from Manchester United, who beat Tottenham on Saturday. Partey put Arsenal ahead with a header in the 11th minute while also hitting the woodwork with a shot and playing a key role in the incident that led to the second-half penalty from which Lacazette scored all three points. The 28-year-old may not have made as many headlines as some of his team-mates since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2020, but Arteta believes the midfielder, who was named Arsenal's player of the month for the first time in February, is only getting better better and better. "He almost scored, he had a great shot off the bar, he was involved in both goals - the header he scored and also the penalty - and the reaction when he had the shot," said Arteta. “You could see he was voted player of the month last month and he has come a long way, he has the consistency and the minutes, he understands much better what we want. "I think his bond and understanding with the other players is getting better and now it's about consistency and going on." Arsenal haven't made the top four since Arsène Wenger and last season they improved for the first time since the Failed to qualify for Europe in the 1994/95 season but they are a point clear and three games adrift of fifth-placed Manchester United. West Ham, in sixth and seventh place, have also played three more games than the Gunners and are three and five points worse off respectively. It's a promising position to be on the home stretch, but Arteta isn't looking too far ahead. “I look at the table with the games we have left. We have to look at what we're doing and look at our performances and prepare for the next game and that's it," Arteta said when asked how important it was to stay fourth. After a lengthy check, the penalty was missed and Lacazette fired the ball into the top corner to double his side's lead, but Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers believes it was a tough decision. "I think the time it took to be forgiven will probably tell you it was tough, to be honest," the Foxes manager said. "I think Caglar's move was a functional move, it obviously touched his hand but it certainly wasn't intentional and that was a big disappointment for us in the game we were good at." It's happened to us a few times over the course of the season but it's very frustrating." He added, "I think we've seen a lot of decisions - I'm not one to talk about the referees, I know it's a really difficult one job is and I try to respect what they have to do, but there's a lot of the inconsistency in it and obviously some of the decisions cost you something."


Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette score as the Gunners move back up to fourth

Match Report & Free Highlights Thomas Partey's header and Alexandre Lacazette's penalty secure victory over Leicester as Arsenal move back up to fourth in the Premier League above Manchester United (Author: Gardener)

Thomas ParteyArsenal cemented their position in the top four with a 2-0 win over Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium. Thomas Partey's header gave the Gunners an early lead and Alexandre Lacazette added the second from the penalty spot just before the hour mark after a handball from Caglar Soyuncu. The three points lift Arsenal back up to fourth place above Manchester United, a point ahead of them with three games in hand. Brendan Rodgers will be frustrated that mistakes undermined Leicester but Mikel Arteta's men were better in the big moments. This well-known weakness of set pieces was demonstrated when Gabriel Martinelli's left corner was headed off by an unmarked Partey at the near post in the 11th minute. Partey almost doubled Arsenal's advantage in a dominant opening show by the home side when he hit the bar, despite Leicester returning to the competition. Harvey Barnes came close before Ben White mounted a crucial tackle against James Maddison but it was Aaron Ramsdale's superb save against Barnes that kept Arsenal ahead at the break. The penalty took the game away from the visitors, referee Anthony Taylor was ordered by VAR to check the monitor when Partey's header touched Soyuncu's fingertips. Contact was clear on the slow-motion replays and Luke Thomas' goal-line clearance saved the Turkey international defender from a red card. From then on, the home side were able to enjoy themselves while the impressive Martin Odegaard finished the game – a fifth straight Premier League win. Arsenal have the edge in the race for the top four, and not just because of total points and number of games left, but also because they play far better football than their rivals. "Sometimes he has the ball on a string," said former Arsenal striker Alan Smith, co-commentator for Sky Sports at the Emirates Stadium. "He looks incredible at the moment, his confidence is sky high." Part of Odegaard's football made the crowd gasp with delight, a back pass to Bukayo Saka went unnoticed by half the fans in the stadium but the Dane saw it and even executed it from pitch level. His vision brings a new dimension to Arsenal. Odegaard created five chances for his team-mates in the first half alone and it's not just that creativity - he works too. Nobody in the Arsenal team regained the ball more often in the last third. "They are a really good side and we had to up the level we showed against Watford and we did that in every aspect of the game today I think," Arteta told Sky Sports. "We had moments where the speed of the ball, the understanding, the movement, the connection between the players was great. “We are in a very good position, but there is still a lot to fight for. It's Liverpool now, we know how tough it's going to be and we need to set the game up to win it. It took a long time for that weakness to creep back in. Thomas was the man to mark for Partey but found himself under the ball while Barnes and Ricardo Pereira couldn't get close enough to the Arsenal midfielder either. Partey was incredibly unmarked to score. Brendan Rodgers' side played good football after that, testing Ramsdale twice and it would have been a fair reflection of the game if they had been level at half-time. But when cheap goals are given away the rest doesn't matter "We have conceded another bad goal from a corner," Rodgers told Sky Sports. "Obviously that's disappointing because you get away from home in every game but especially away when we looked solid on the back foot. "But I found ours Response really well. Barnesy has a good header and Aaron makes a brilliant save. He had a few against us where they look like they were in. "At half-time we were still in the game. I don't want to criticize the referees, but they take so long to look at and if you slow it down long enough you see Cags getting his fingernails on it Arsenal meets at 8.15pm on Wednesday live on Sky Sports on Liverpool in the Premier League. Leicester will return to the Europa Conference League when they take on Rennes in the second leg of the round of 16 at 17.45 on Thursday. The Foxes' next Premier League game is on Sunday at 2pm against Brentford.


Can Jesse Marsch keep Leeds United in the Premier League? The sloppy win at Norwich City shows the improvements made

A win is a win is a win is a win. Elland Road blew their top when Jesse Marsch clinched his first win as manager of Leeds United and while it wasn't pretty, Leeds took a step closer to Premier League safety with a win over Norwich City. (Author: Gardener)

Jesse MarschLeeds United's 2-1 win over Norwich City on Sunday was many things, but pretty wasn't one of them. At the moment, the three points – the first points of Jesse Marsch's tenure as manager at Leeds United – matter most. Leeds beat Norwich for most of the game, a positive sign for the hosts at Elland Road, who are looking for positive results to cling to through a relegation battle. And yet, when Teemu Pukki's cross found Kenny McLean in front of the Leeds United net, it seemed like the Whites had thrown it all away. An early goal from Rodrigo gave Leeds the lead but the hosts failed to secure victory despite chance after chance. It seemed like the points were gone as Rashica was knocked down by a clumsy tackle from Luke Ayling in the 75th minute. Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot but Leeds were sacked after VAR overturned the decision. That should have been a warning but Leeds continued to wriggle in front of the net. Elland Road was stunned. However, Leeds have been fighting tooth and nail all season and today was no different. A fabulous counterattack left the goal open and Joe Gelhardt – just two minutes earlier – completed Raphinha's cross to secure all three points. - Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) March 13, 2022 It wasn't quite as Tim Krul came forward for a corner from Norwich City to unsettle the home fans again, but Leeds held out just a little longer. MORE: Who is Jesse Marsch? New American manager at Leeds United When the final whistle blew, Marsch celebrated as if he had won the Premier League title. Elland Road blew up its peak. Players on hands and knees, Leeds and Norwich. In what has been a tough, tough season, a break like this was long overdue. Had to win today. #lufc - Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) March 13, 2022 I just can't stress how big this win was this way and what it did for Elland Road. #MOT - Rich Williams (@itsrichwilliams) March 13, 2022 Leeds still have a long way to go. The Whites were abysmal in front of the net throughout the game, with the 2.91 xG total not even fully indicating the dominance Leeds enjoyed during the flow of mainly one-way traffic. MORE: Marsch's appointment is a chance to change American football stereotypes The defense also falls short of Premier League standards. While Leeds remained in complete control for most of the game against the league's worst attacker, the defense broke in the frantic closing stages of the game. Leeds completed an incredible 28 tackles in the match, with Ayling and Mateusz Klich each scoring six of their own. We have to fight for everything." - Leeds United (@LUFC) March 13, 2022 It remains to be seen if this can yield results against more ruthless opponents - and make no mistake, more results are required to end the season with Premier League status intact – but for today Marsch can find solace in three points and the outstanding emotion emanating from Elland Road was hope.” — bet365 (@bet365) March 13, 2022


The Postman and Leeds superfan's home has a hidden museum dedicated to LUFC

Quirky items in his collection include real West Stand seats and a life-size cutout of David Batty (Author: Gardener)

PostmanThe Postman and Leeds superfan's home has a hidden museum dedicated to the LUFC. Quirky items in his collection include real West Stand seats and a life-size cutout of David Batty. Thank you for signing up! Fan has curated Leeds United memorabilia and souvenirs in a hidden museum at his home. Crazy LUFC footie fan has been collecting the LUFC themed items for years. Ben Hunt, 44, has been a lifelong LUFC fan since his uncle recommended the club to him. His prized collection includes shirts, retro sock tags and random artifacts, including an old West Stand seat from Elland Road. It's a family affair as Ben, who lives in Denby Dale, met his wife after a game in Leeds. As reported in LeedsLive, Ben's collection includes hundreds of worn shirts that some of the all time greats have played in to date including Billy Bremner, Mark Viduka and Jermaine Beckford. He also has items from the Don Revie era in the 1960s and 1970s including match shirts from the 1965, '70, '72 and '73 FA Cup Finals and the '68 League Cup Final shirt. Random artifacts from the club's history include the original Lucas the Cop Cat mascot costume. Other quirky additions include real West Stand seats and a life-size cutout of David Batty because Ben's wife "loves" him. Ben, who has been a season ticket holder for more than 25 years, said: “My first shirt was a late 1970's Eddie Gray. Ben Hunt is proud of the Leeds United Museum he has built at home: “Now I have over 400 worn items and museum pieces and have regular visitors to the museum. He wanted to give me something for the museum. I told him I'm 'el Loco', not him!” Ben also has a full set of retro sock tags and the club crest, taken from the East Stand entrance. Other impressive exhibits include a model stadium that stood on Blue Peter in 1986, street signs, man-of-match trophies, boots, goalie gloves and kit bags. Former head coach Marcelo Bielsa parted ways with Leeds United after the 4-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur. American coach Jesse Marsch, who previously coached Red Bull Slazburg and RB Leipzig, has since taken the Argentine's place. Ben said: “Leaving Bielsa is like a kick in the butt. It feels like someone you loved has died, I'm disappointed. I'm sure Marcelo would like all the Leeds fans to support him and the team to the end, that's what we do best.” A seat from Elland Road is one of the more quirky items in Ben's collection. When asked if he would mix up the exhibition after Bielsa's departure, he said he would not do his own exhibition for Bielsa. Ben said: "I keep changing the displays inside anyway to freshen it up for visitors. I feel like if I did something specific for him he would want to know why not Revie or Wilkinson instead. Bless him." Ben has co-authored a book with football writer Robert Endeacott about the history of the club's kits and pictures of his collection, which can be found on his website.


Newcastle Team v Chelsea forecast with four changes for Eddie Howe

Four changes for Eddie Howe - Expected Newcastle team vs Chelsea (Author: Gardener)

ChelseaConsider this Newcastle team vs. Chelsea. Eddie Howe and his side are looking to go unbeaten in ten Premier League games and win seven in their last eight games. Newcastle United have put a very decent daylight between them and the relegation zone, but there hangs the huge carrot that if Eddie Howe and his team could beat Chelsea, NUFC could be up to thirteen points clear of the last three - depending on results elsewhere. So what can we expect from the Newcastle team against Chelsea? This was the Newcastle team vs Southampton: While there have been some rumours/claims that Fabian Schar may have a groin problem after the Southampton win. Then we also have Allan Saint-Maximin, who missed Thursday night due to illness, and Joelinton, who is also absent from St Mary's with an ongoing groin problem. It's always difficult to say for sure how serious an injury problem is, whether players might be resting for certain games when they might have been able to play. While you also have Eddie Howe who cares about his players and doesn't take unnecessary risks with them, unlike a certain former head coach... Anyway, Dubravka is putting on a nice little run after an initially difficult return to the team, just three Goals have been conceded in the last five PL games. Had arguably his best game of the season so far in Southampton, didn't have a chance to score and made some very good saves, controlling his box and reacting quickly to potential threats. I wouldn't criticize anyone for the effort, but I think it was remarkable that this win/lost streak continued despite NUFC's right side being so weak. Surely Javier Manquillo will get a run this time, the versatile Spain squad player is more agile and a better defender than Krafth. Targett was excellent again on Thursday night when he returned to old club Southampton. Schar and Burn have been the rock on which this recent superb run has largely been built, four wins and a draw since Dan Burn made his first start against Villa. I'm sure Eddie Howe would love to continue this partnership but I have a feeling the reports from Fabian Schar possibly missing this game could be in the money. Jamaal Lascelles actually had one of his better games against Everton and it was his superb header that scored the own goal that immediately put Newcastle back in the game. He missed the Villa game due to illness, allowing Burn to make his debut. I think the two will start together for the first time today in Schar's likely absence. If Joelinton can play, I think he'll be back today. Bruno Guimaraes, who scored that stunning winner, otherwise had a mixed game on Thursday night. Bruno wasn't bad and had a decent game, but at times he had gifted possession and still seemed to adapt. He'll have many 10s out of 10s for NUFC in the future I'm sure, but not today. Shelvey and Willock remain in the team, the former producing a rare superb NUFC cross that Chris Wood was screaming for, while Willock was very good against Southampton for the whole 90 minutes I thought. Chris Wood also played better overall against Southampton in my opinion compared to some of his previous games. I think he's been good all the time and his work performance helps the team massively, both in attack and defence. However, I think we saw an even better and more dangerous Wood on Thursday and his classic header was the icing on the cake. Remarkably, Chris Wood actually helped Newcastle collect 20 points in their first eight games in the NUFC Premier League. Ryan Fraser has also started all of those last eight PL games and put in another very good non-stop performance against Southampton. However, I think if Allan Saint-Maximin can start, he will. So the four changes I think Eddie Howe will make. Javier Manquillo, Jamaal Lascelles, Joelinton and Allan Saint-Maximin for Emil Krafth, Fabian Schar, Bruno Guimaraes and Jacob Murphy.


Video shows clear difference between Ronaldo and Messi in Champions League crisis moments

Cristiano Ronaldo is hoping to do better than Lionel Messi in the Champions League round of 16. The Manchester United star is aiming to raise 'big ears' for the first time since his last season at Real Madrid but will have to get past his old Spanish rivals at Old Trafford on Tuesday to […] (Author: Gardener)

Champions LeagueCristiano Ronaldo is hoping to do better than Lionel Messi in the Champions League round of 16. The Manchester United star is aiming to raise "big ears" for the first time since his last season at Real Madrid but will need to get past his old Spanish rivals at Old Trafford on Tuesday to get closer to that dream. Ronaldo looked frustrated after the first leg against Atletico Madrid when United were lucky enough to walk away with a draw, benefiting from Anthony Elanga's late equalizer to nullify Joao Felix's opener. However, Ronaldo knows a thing or two about navigating do-or-die games with Atletico, so I'm sure you'd forgive United fans for going into the second leg in Manchester with calm confidence. Although Messi would certainly qualify for the last eight as PSG took a 2-0 lead against Real Madrid late on, Karim Benzema's stunning treble turned the game upside down. With the Real Madrid star's last two goals coming just seconds apart, the chaotic scenes at the Bernabeu did nothing but continue the narrative that in a Champions League crisis, having Ronaldo is better than Messi. And while it remains to be seen how deep Ronaldo will have to dig this time, there is one particular viral video that suggests United will be more than prepared if that scenario unfolds. That's because the current status quo in the dynamic between Ronaldo and Messi reminds us of a popular video from 2020 that compares superstars' reactions to defeat in key Champions League games where they scored 0: 3 were lost. The difference between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo when their teams lose 3-0 - Albi 🇽🇰 (@albiFCB7) November 27, 2020 With all the respect in the world for Messi, you must raise your hands up and say that Ronaldo is the better leader - and that's even more true when it comes to the crucial games in the Champions League. However, even as the shots flew past Keylor Navas, to the point where Real seemed to bottle it all up, Ronaldo can still be seen trying to cheer up the spirits of both players and fans. Soccer Football – Champions League Quarter-Finals, Second Leg – Real Madrid vs Juventus – Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain – April 11, 2018 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his first goal with his teammates REUTERS/Paul Hanna And at the end of the day, It can Didn't harm the European giants as they eventually won the tie 4-3, with Ronaldo himself keeping his nerve to score an injury-time penalty. Admittedly, the Blaugrana have had far less time than Real to change tack and Messi no doubt rallied the troops at some point, but surely Barca fans would have welcomed a more Ronaldo-like reaction. Soccer Football – Champions League Quarter-Finals, Second Leg – AS Roma vs FC Barcelona – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – April 10, 2018 Barcelona's Lionel Messi looks dejected after the match REUTERS/Tony Gentile


Man Utd 'opt' for Araujo transfer as Maguire own goal nearly cost them

Manchester United are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of Barcelona star Ronaldo Araujo after another poor performance from Harry Maguire in the 3-2 win over Tottenham (Author: Gardener)

AraujoManchester United are reportedly stepping up their pursuit of Barcelona star Ronaldo Araujo after another poor performance from Harry Maguire in the 3-2 win over Tottenham Fenster. Araujo is out of contract with Barcelona in June 2023 and has attracted the attention of several European top clubs with his recent performances. However, he is sticking to the terms of the five-year deal he signed back in 2018 and has reportedly turned down two new offers from Barcelona. Ronald Araujo is a transfer target for Manchester United this summer Spanish newspaper Sport reports that the sluggish talks between the club and representatives of Uruguayans United and Paris Saint-Germain have drawn attention to his possible availability. Araujo reportedly wants a contract at the team that suits his nature and while he enjoys playing for Xavi, he is aware that United and PSG would pay much higher wages. The fact that Barcelona signed two of their other young stars - Pedri and Ansu Fati - on new contracts back in October hasn't gone unnoticed by Araujo. United are said to be ready to pay a hefty transfer fee as well as a hefty salary this summer to lure the young defender to Old Trafford. The possibility of Araujo joining United in the summer has been further fueled by recent reports that the defender will be receiving regular English lessons should he land a transfer. The timing of the developments is interesting given Harry Maguire's recent struggles at the heart of Ralf Rangnick's defence. United clinched a 3-2 win over Tottenham on Saturday to move back up to fourth in the Premier League but they needed an inspired performance from Cristiano Ronaldo to clinch the points. Would Ronald Araujo be a good signing for Manchester United this summer? Harry Maguire scored an own goal in Manchester United's win over Spurs. Ronaldo scored a wonderful hat-trick to help his side recover from last weekend's 4-1 derby defeat by Manchester City, but United's defense was once again weak. Alex Telles conceded a penalty - scored by Harry Kane - for a handball, while Maguire scored an own goal from a Sergio Reguilon cross to make it 2-2 in the second half. Maguire has struggled for consistency this season, with two minor injuries contributing to his poor form. Maguire will be hoping for a more solid performance as his club appear to be already eyeing potential substitutes for the summer.


Cristiano Ronaldo's sensational hat-trick lifts Manchester United past Tottenham to boost top-four hopes

Manchester United 3-2 Tottenham: The Portuguese struck a treble to bolster the Red Devils' hopes of a top-four finish in the Premier League (Author: Gardener)

Cristiano Ronaldo'sFor a player whose integration into this Manchester United team has caused many problems, Cristiano Ronaldo's goals could ultimately solve their biggest of them all. The 805th, 806th and 807th goals of his 20-year career not only mean he is now the top scorer in the history of competitive men's football, but also means United hope to secure a top-four next season Secure result and champions league football stay alive. Anything less than a win against Tottenham Hotspur would have made those hopes look increasingly desperate and started a potentially season-defining week poorly. A Harry Maguire own goal, added to Harry Kane's first-half penalty, looked set to set United on that path. Yet even at 37, with a creaky body, a dodgy hip and on the back of poor form, Ronaldo is giving you a shot. The record-breaking second crowned a good team move. The victorious third came on from a corner, with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner rising highest to meet and head in Alex Telles' corner. Fulfilling his hat-trick, the Portuguese hoisted United over the line and to one of their key wins of the season so far. Tom Brady, the seven-time Super Bowl winner and greatest quarterback in the sport's history, watched from the directors' box at Old Trafford, and it felt symbolic that an athlete born with age-defying, all-conquering endurance in is connected, there was to bear witness. Brady is Kane's hero - and said he would fist the Tottenham forward if he scored - but he was here to see Ronaldo. Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his side's second goal (Getty). That position is far from secure as Arsenal are just two points behind and have four games to make up, but it is healthier than Tottenham's. Yes, Conte's side have game shifts of their own and could still overtake United if they win their two games in hand, but they'd rather have the points on the board and today was all about the man who got them there. Ronaldo was one of five changes since last weekend's Manchester derby defeat but Bruno Fernandes was absent through illness. David de Gea's involvement had been threatened by a Covid test which turned out to be a false positive, with two more negatives allowing him to play. Tottenham's squad news was easy in comparison, with Sergio Reguilon replacing the injured Ryan Sessegnon. Kane scored from the penalty spot (Tottenham Hotspur/Getty) Ronaldo used his influence from the start and was furious when an early penalty challenge was denied. His shot at the end of a fine United move that started with a raking cross-field pass from the much-maligned Maguire had hit Eric Dier's arm but referee Jonathan Moss saw no offense. Ronaldo didn't stop arguing his case until he scored. Conte's team was probably the stronger in the first half in the overall balance of the game and caused a lot of problems in the channels. As the pressure mounted on the shattered United defence, Diogo Dalot had to deftly clear from the goal-line to prevent Dier leveling from a Son Heung-min corner. Dejan Kulusevski proved particularly problematic, eventually forcing the free-kick for Kane's equalizer, snaking past Jadon Sancho and drilling in a cross that caught Alex Telles in the arm. Kane's penalty wasn't entirely out of De Gea's reach but struck deep and hard down the United keeper's right and had enough power to restore the parity Tottenham's response deserved. Spurs celebrate after Maguire scores an own goal (Reuters) It was a brilliant United move - the type you haven't seen often enough at Old Trafford this season - from Nemanja Matic's ball over the top, via the timing of Sanchos Run to the backcountry, up to Ronaldo's movement and finish. However, it would have been offside if Reguilon failed to keep up with his teammates and Sancho continued to play sloppily. Tottenham lost some of their spark from that point and reemerged in the second half looking more catchy and predictable. However, there was something about the nature of United's goals that suggested they would not see through the second half. They didn't come out of nowhere, but were certainly against the flow of the game. Unfortunately for Maguire, that jump came off his body. Kane had done well to stop Varane before Son Reguilon chipped in behind United's defense down the left. Maguire stretched out a leg to prevent the left-back's cross from reaching Cristian Romero in the box, deflecting the cross into his own net in the process. Romero celebrated in the face of the hapless United captain, perhaps forgetting that there were 18 minutes plus injury time left and, most importantly, the all-time leading scorer in history was still on the pitch.