Man Utd will go all out in pursuit of silverware, says Matic

By Sports Desk March 17, 2021

Manchester United will go all guns blazing into a pivotal week in their season as they pursue silverware, says Nemanja Matic.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side head to Milan for the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie on Thursday, with an FA Cup quarter-final against Leicester City at the weekend.

With the Premier League title surely heading across Manchester to City's Etihad Stadium, United's hopes of success hinge on how they fare over these two crunch clashes.

A 1-1 draw at Old Trafford left their European fate hanging in the balance, but Matic insists they will look to get on the front foot at San Siro.

"We are coming to the end of the season so the quarter-finals and semi-finals are waiting for us," Matic told United's official website.

"We have to show our character, our quality, and we have to show that we are ready to win some titles.

"We will play our football because we are not a team that only defends. We always want to score more goals. I think we will play our football the same way we are always trying. 

"We train every day and we will see. We are ready to compete and we have 90 minutes to show our quality."

Speaking about the challenge facing them against Stefano Pioli's side, Matic underlined his respect for the Serie A high-flyers and revealed he was looking forward to playing at San Siro.

"Now we know more about them. We know the way they play. We have to be wary that they are a top team," he said.

"They play good football, they have a good coach and it's going to be an interesting game. It's going to be hard for us again, but we are confident and we will try to win the game.

"I never had the opportunity to play at the San Siro, this is my first time, so I am looking forward to that. 

"It's an iconic stadium as everyone knows and we are happy that we can go there and compete with them again."

Related items

  • 'I made my dream as a child come true' – Zaniolo winner hands Roma maiden European trophy 'I made my dream as a child come true' – Zaniolo winner hands Roma maiden European trophy

    Nicolo Zaniolo is hoping to savour a childhood dream after his goal secured Roma the Europa Conference League title on Wednesday, defeating Feyenoord 1-0.

    Zaniolo's goal proved the difference in a tightly-contested final in Tirana, chesting down Gianluca Manini's pass over the Feyenoord defence to poke the ball home past Justin Bijlow in the 32nd minute.

    The 22-year-old scored the hat-trick to ignite the Giallorossi's comeback against Bodo/Glimt in the quarter-final second leg, making his winner in Tirana that much more fitting.

    Post-match, he was adamant Roma can build something lasting upon this maiden European triumph, after losses in the 1984 European Cup and 1991 UEFA Cup finals.

    "It's all wonderful, we want to enjoy this moment," Zaniolo told Sky Sports Italia. "I made my dream as a child come true, winning a European competition.

    "There are no words, the fans are fantastic, and the victory is all for them. After this victory something important is being born. We are strong and we have not yet understood how much.

    "I dedicate the goal and the victory to my whole family – my father, my mother, my grandmother, everyone. They have always been close to me."

    The Giallorossi absorbed and defended for the majority of the match after Zaniolo's goal but more than the nature of the performance, the victory has an added dimension for captain Lorenzo Pellegrini.

    Before two seasons with Sassuolo, the 25-year-old progressed through Roma's academy, grew up supporting the club and eventually returned.

    Pellegrini admitted it was hard to process the achievement with that in mind, but wanted to taste more success with the club.

    "We are a real team, we proved that," Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia. "Now we have to celebrate and then start again, which is always difficult after a great victory, but a real team wins, celebrates and starts again.

    "I said yesterday that I never would’ve imagined at the age of 25 to achieve this with the Roma jersey and the captain’s armband. It is a wonderful moment.

    "Now we must celebrate, fix this moment in our minds and make it happen again in future."

  • 'I feel 100 per cent Roma' - Mourinho basks in Roma's Conference League final triumph 'I feel 100 per cent Roma' - Mourinho basks in Roma's Conference League final triumph

    Jose Mourinho has declared he is "100 per cent Roma" after their 1-0 Europa Conference League final triumph over Feyenoord on Wednesday.

    Playing in their first continental showpiece since losing the 1984 European Cup final to Liverpool, Nicolo Zaniolo scored the only goal for the Giallorossi, poking the ball home in the 32nd minute after chesting down Gianluca Mancini's ball over the top of the defence.

    The victory in Tirana gave the Serie A club their first major European trophy.

    In his first season at Roma, Mourinho has now emulated Giovanni Trapattoni's feat of winning a European trophy in three separate decades.

    Despite famously leaving in the following off-season after winning the Champions League with Porto and Inter, the 59-year-old asserted he wants to stay and build on this success in the Italian capital.

    "I remain, even if some voice or offer arrives," Mourinho said. "I want to stay in Rome and we need to understand what our owners want to do in the next season because we can follow up on this story, we must define the direction for the next season.

    "I feel like a Roma player, like I feel like an Inter fan, a Chelsista, I'm crazy about Real Madrid, but for all due respect for the clubs I have worked for, I feel 100 per cent Roma.

    "The beautiful thing about my career beyond winning with Manchester United, winning with Porto, Inter and now with Roma is something special. Winning when everyone expects it is easy, while it is special to win when you do something truly historic. I hope the fans wait for us and celebrate with us all."

    In distinct Mourinho fashion, the Giallorossi were able to absorb pressure once they took the lead, only holding 33 per cent of possession over the 90 minutes.

    Feyenoord could do very little in breaking Roma down, generating only three shots from open play in the penalty area in the match, despite how much of the ball they had.

    For Mourinho and Roma, the Conference League had become a priority and he was pleased this trophy had not c1ome at the expense of domestic ambitions.

    "There are so many things going on in my head right now," he said. "I have been in Rome for 11 months and I immediately understood where I was.

    "As I told the boys, in Turin in the locker room, we did what we had to do, our job. But today it wasn't work, it was history and we wrote history. The Conference League is a competition that we thought we could win from the start, slowly becoming stronger and stronger and we met stronger and stronger teams.

    "But we were aiming for it and sacrificed a few points in the league without losing qualification for the Europa League."

  • Anderlecht part Kompany with head coach as Man City great reportedly agrees Burnley move Anderlecht part Kompany with head coach as Man City great reportedly agrees Burnley move

    Manchester City great Vincent Kompany has left his post as Anderlecht head coach amid reports linking him with the vacant manager's position at Burnley.

    Kompany returned to Anderlecht – whose academy he was a graduate of – in 2019 in a player-manager capacity as the club looked to rebuild, though he soon switched focus to playing duties.

    A year later, in August 2020, he was appointed as the club's head coach after bringing his playing days to a close.

    Anderlecht could only finish as high as fourth in the 2020-21 Belgian Pro League season, before ending the 2021-22 campaign third.

    Although Kompany signed a four-year deal in 2020, he leaves the club having failed to win Anderlecht a first league title since 2016-17, with Club Brugge winning four out of a possible five.

    Anderlecht insisted Kompany's departure was a "mutual" decision.

    A statement read: "The club and the coach have analysed the past season and discussed the plans for the future. The two parties have decided to part ways in mutual consent. This decision was taken with a lot of mutual respect and gratitude for everything that has been achieved together.

    "The club wishes Vincent Kompany all the best in his further career as a coach. He was, is and will remain an icon of the club and will always find a home at Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht."

    Kompany added: "Today only one feeling prevails: I am proud that I was able to start this new chapter at the club of my heart.

    "I have now been a player and a coach of RSC Anderlecht, but above all I remain a loyal fan."

    Widespread reports earlier on Wednesday suggested Kompany has already secured his next job, with a move back to English football seemingly on the cards.

    Burnley brought Sean Dyche's 10-year tenure to an end in April as they looked to stave off relegation from the Premier League.

    Caretaker manager Mike Jackson initially inspired an improvement, but it was not enough as they ultimately dropped back to the second tier for the first time since 2015-16.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.