Order your programme for United v Liverpool cup tie

Within its pages you’ll find the usual diverse range of treats, starting with the traditional manager’s column, where you’ll find Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reflecting on our tight game with the Merseysiders in the Premier League plus our rise to the top of the league.

We’ve also snared an exclusive interview with Edinson Cavani for you. Find out how the Uruguayan is settling into life in England, what he thinks of his new team-mates and manager, plus his hopes for the biggest fixture in English football. Does he think he can emulate his compatriot Diego Forlan, who scored twice against Liverpool back in 2002?

Elsewhere, there’s a comprehensive guide to our opponents, an in-depth guide to the history of FA Cup meetings between United and Liverpool, and a fascinating piece with former LFC defender John Scales, who discusses the 1996 FA Cup final that was settled by Eric Cantona’s famous goal (not to mention those dubious white suits).


Two fixture changes for United Women

As for Everton, Willie Kirk’s side have impressed this term and are currently fifth in the WSL table. During our most recent meeting, it was the Toffees who emerged with a 1-0 victory, despite United enjoying long spells on top during December’s Continental League Cup tie.

Casey will be hoping United can bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to Chelsea when we host Birmingham City on Sunday, ahead of the Everton and Reading encounters.

That loss to the Blues was our first in the league this season and leaves United second in the table, having picked up 26 points from our 11 WSL matches this term.


Under-23s beaten in first outing of 2021

Reds keeper Matej Kovar, back in the fold after a loan spell with Swindon Town, uncharacteristically under-hit a pass and Leicester’s Jake Wakeling got to the ball first before releasing it to Callum Wright, who made the most of United’s early lapse.

It was most certainly not the way United wanted to return to action following nearly a month on the sidelines and our prospects worsened, in the 14th minute, when Thai winger Thanawat Suengchitthawon made his way in from the left before hitting an angled shot that looked to take a deflection before crossing the line.

Neil Wood’s lads had given themselves a lot to do but, happily, what seemed to be a long road back was halved two minutes later when Hannibal sent Elanga away down the left. A posse of Leicester defenders gave chase but the Reds’ flying winger kept his nerve to find the net off the far post.

A quick riposte was just what United needed and it provided us with a vital boost with the game still in its early stages. In terms of possession there had been little in it and that balance of play was extended throughout the first half. So it was no real shock when, in the first minute of added time, the Reds levelled the scores.

And Hannibal was involved again when he supplied Harvey Neville with another fine pass, which the young full-back accepted without altering step. Neville’s driven cross was met with a telling touch by Elanga and the teams were level going into the break.


When Best, Law and Charlton first played together

The trio of legends broke many records with some of them still standing to this day. Best, for example, is the second and most recent United player to score six goals in one game – in his case, it was an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Northampton Town in February 1970 that finished 8-2 to the Reds. The only other man to bag a double-hat-trick for our club was Harold Halse, in the 1911 Charity Shield when Swindon Town were thumped 8-4.

Law’s record of 46 United goals in all competitions in the 1963/64 season is one of his scoring benchmarks that still stands proud today; Ruud van Nistelrooy’s 44 in 2002/03 is the closest anyone has come to matching his feat since then. Denis has also bagged the most Reds hat-tricks with a whopping 18 (Jack Rowley comes next with 12), and he was the United player to reach 100 goals in the fewest games – he only needed 110 matches.

Charlton’s 758 appearances and aforementioned 249 goals were two big club records that stood unbroken for many decades. Ryan Giggs finally broke Sir Bobby’s games record in Moscow in 2008, when he came on as a substitute in the Champions League final. It took even longer for his goalscoring mark to be surpassed, when Wayne Rooney netted his 250th, four years ago this week.

The full version of this article can be found in the new issue of Inside United, on sale from 19 January and available online from manutd.com/magazine.


Early team news: Fulham v United

Those three look the likeliest to come back in when United take on Scott Parker’s improving side in the 20:15 GMT kick-off, while Alex Telles, Mason Greenwood and Donny van de Beek could also make a case for inclusion, considering their reduced workload over the Christmas and New Year period.

Ole may be keeping an eye on suspensions, too – with Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes all one booking away from a ban.

Should any of them be cautioned at the Cottage, they’ll miss next Wednesday’s clash with Sheffield United at Old Trafford and, with the suspension threshold rising from five to 10 yellows after this game, that may not be a risk Solskjaer is willing to take, despite the trio all toeing the disciplinary line on Merseyside.