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Man United Keeper Onana Available For Wigan Cup Game –

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Man United Keeper Onana Available For Wigan Cup Game -

Manchester United will have goalkeeper Andre Onana available for their FA Cup third-round match against Wigan Athletic, manager Erik ten Hag said on Thursday, following talks to delay his departure to the Africa Cup of Nations.

United play third-tier Wigan on Monday and Cameroon have a friendly scheduled for Tuesday against Zambia before they kick off the tournament against Guinea on Jan. 15.

“We’re talking with the Cameroon federation, it was an issue during the talks with Andre when he came in here (in July from Inter Milan),” Ten Hag told reporters. “It’s constructive.”

United, languishing eighth in the Premier League nine points adrift of the top four, host fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur on Jan. 14.

“I don’t know yet (if Onana will be available for Spurs) but he will be here for the game against Wigan,” Ten Hag said.

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United had a roller-coaster festive period, beating Aston Villa 3-2 with a stunning comeback before a meek 2-1 defeat at Nottingham Forest that kept the pressure on Ten Hag following the takeover of United by Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS group.

Ten Hag met Ratcliffe for the first time.

“We had a long meeting, so many hours we sit together, on many issues we were on the same page, very positive from both sides,” the manager said.

“I can say that it was a very constructive meeting and we’re looking forward to working with each other.”

Ten Hag said it was too early to expect much change to the team under the new ownership.

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“We have to let it settle down, they’re just coming in, introducing themselves,” he said. “They have good ideas, we have to see what we can integrate. In togetherness we will work, but after one day you can’t tell that.

“They have given me a few (of their ideas), we have had our debates about strategies and I think we will come together.”

United have triggered options on contract extensions for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Hannibal Mejbri, Ten Hag said, adding that they were “talking with” Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial.

Ten Hag said there was no news on Jadon Sancho’s potential loan move to his former club Borussia Dortmund. Sancho has not played for United since late August when he complained about his treatment on social media after Ten Hag criticised his performances in training.

United, eliminated from Europe and the League Cup, have won the 12 FA Cup 12 times, most recently in 2016.

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-Reuters

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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Carabao Cup

Liverpool Claim League Cup With 1-0 Extra-time Victory Over Chelsea –

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Liverpool Claim League Cup With 1-0 Extra-time Victory Over Chelsea -

Liverpool won the League Cup by beating Chelsea 1-0 through a late extra-time goal from captain Virgil van Dijk after a fierce end-to-end battle at Wembley on Sunday.

Dutchman Van Dijk rose to meet a corner in the 118th minute and nodded home in front of cheering Liverpool fans.

The two teams had numerous chances in the first 90 minutes.

Both sides had goals ruled out after long VAR checks, with Raheem Sterling’s first-half effort for Chelsea cancelled out because Nicolas Jackson was offside in the build-up while Van Dijk’s second-half header was disallowed for an infringement by Wataru Endo.

Both teams also hit the post, Liverpool’s Cody Gakpo in the first half and Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher in the second.

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It was the third Cup victory for Juergen Klopp’s Liverpool over Chelsea in two years, the Reds winning the League and FA Cups in 2022 after goalless draws and penalty shootouts.

-Reuters

 

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League Cup Trophy A Part Of Final Chapter With Liverpool, Says Klopp –

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League Cup Trophy A Part Of Final Chapter With Liverpool, Says Klopp -

Winning the League Cup would be a crucial addition to the final segment of a memoir with Liverpool, the soon-to-depart manager Juergen Klopp said before his side’s final match against Chelsea.

Klopp has announced his decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, citing dwindling energy levels.

The 56-year-old, who is the only Liverpool manager to win six different major trophies, would dedicate the victory to everyone connected to the Merseyside club as part of his trophy-laden nine-year epoch.

“I want to win on Sunday but not for me or my trophy cabinet,” Klopp said of the League Cup final. “It is for the boys, for the club, for the people. That is much more important.

“We wrote, and we are still writing, a wonderful book, and when I leave we close that book and put it on the shelf and then someone else will write a wonderful book.

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“Yes, there is space for some chapters. It is long. I am not there and writing the resume already? Not at all. I am 100% in trying to create a few special memories on top of what we have done.”

Klopp’s side have a lengthy injury list that could hinder their chances of securing a record-extending 10th League Cup triumph at Wembley, with the likes of Diogo Jota, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson and Curtis Jones sidelined and forwards Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai doubtful for Sunday.

Liverpool’s most recent triumph came in the 2021-22 campaign when they also lifted the FA Cup, and narrowly missed securing a treble as they finished second in the Premier League.

-Reuters

 

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