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Man United evening headlines as Rooney hits out at Ferguson

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Here are the Manchester United evening headlines for Sunday, August 2.

Rooney questions Ferguson’s tactics

Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney believes that Sir Alex Ferguson got it tactically wrong during both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals.

The Reds were defeated in both games by Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, losing 2-0 in 2009 and 3-1 at Wembley two years later.

And Rooney, who scored United’s equaliser in the 2011 final, believes the club should have approached both games in a more pragmatic fashion.

He said in his Sunday Times column: “We lost two Champions League finals going toe-to-toe with Guardiola’s Barcelona, by trying to press high and get round them, which was suicidal.

“I remember Alex Ferguson saying 'we’re Man United and we’re going to attack, it’s in the culture of this football club' and thinking 'I’m not too sure about this'.

"I think all the players knew, deep down, it was the wrong approach, that we were abandoning the way that had brought us success in that 2008 semi-final — and sure enough both times we got outplayed. There is being true to the club, but then there’s sitting back afterwards and thinking 'we lost'.”

Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles Smalling heading back to Old Trafford

Chris Smalling is set to return to Manchester United after spending the season with Roma.

The Italian club paid a £2.7 million loan fee to take the centre-back to Italy – and the original deal was extended to cover the end of the Serie A campaign.

However, it was never going to be extended again to take in the conclusion to the Europa League this month.

Instead, Roma would have to complete a permanent transfer or another long-term loan for Smalling and that is unlikely to happen in time for him to be registered in their squad for the final stages of the competition.

Roma sporting director Gianluca Pertrachi confirmed that the club want to keep Smalling, as well as his former United team-mate Henrikh Mkhitaryan.

Pertrachi told Sky Italia last month: “We'll do everything we can to keep them, especially since they want to stay here.

“We'll find out in the future if we are able to or not, but I feel the players are on my side."

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Training resumes ahead of Europa League tie

Harry Maguire and Scott McTominay returned to training on Sunday as Manchester United prepare for Wednesday’s Europa League dead rubber with LASK Linz.

United have an unassailable 5-0 lead from March’s first leg against the Austrians and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed his players five days off after last Sunday’s 2-0 win at Leicester City.

The majority of them returned to Carrington on Saturday, apart from Maguire and McTominay.

The former enjoyed a short break with his family, while the latter was in Greece.

United will play either FC Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir in the Europa League quarter-finals in Cologne on June 10.




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