Ronaldo scores twice as Man Utd beat Newcastle: clockwatch – as it happened

By Niall McVeigh
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring the opening goal of the game. Photograph: Matt West/Shutterstock

Time to sign off – I’ll leave you with reaction from a raucous Old Trafford, where Cristiano Ronaldo inevitably took centre stage. He’s back, alright.


The post-match thoughts of Ole Gunnar Solskjær: “When you win a game, you enjoy it. Loads of expectations today for the team, for Cristiano, and they delivered. He’s developed into a fantastic goal scorer, knowing where to be ... he drops in, links the play well, and gets into the box when he has to. [He and Bruno] have a great respect for each other, and we’ll develop that relationship here.”

Do join Scott Murray for Chelsea v Aston Villa, where Romelu Lukaku has just fired the hosts in front:


Match report: Watford 0-2 Wolves

Here’s West Ham manager David Moyes: “It was a hard-fought point ... we played well but didn’t quite have the connection in the forward areas. Southampton defended very well.” On Antonio’s red card, he says the striker “shouldn’t have dived in ... he’s on a yellow card, and he’s given the referee a decision to make. I haven’t seen it again, but it’s probably the correct decision.”

Match report: Southampton 0-0 West Ham

Here’s how things stand in Scotland. Hibs and Hearts meet in Sunday’s derby, where the prize for the winner is top spot in the table.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Rangers 5 6 12
2 Hibernian 4 6 10
3 Hearts 4 4 10
4 Motherwell 5 3 10
5 Celtic 5 13 9
6 Aberdeen 5 1 8
7 Dundee Utd 5 -2 7
8 St Johnstone 5 -2 3
9 Dundee 5 -7 3
10 St Mirren 5 -7 3
11 Ross County 5 -8 2
12 Livingston 5 -7 1

In the Bundesliga earlier, Erling Haaland scored twice in a comeback win at Leverkusen, while Wolfsburg stayed top of the pile with a 2-0 win at Greuther Fürth.

Mikel Arteta on Arsenal’s win: “We were playing not only the game, but with emotions, and the games we’ve lost. It was a deserved win, we should maybe have scored more. We started really well, but lost our rhythm and started giving the ball away. We did better in the second half. Six new signings played today, they did really well, they showed courage and personality.”

In League Two, Forest Green climb to the top while Leyton Orient are third after thrashing Oldham, who look in big trouble at the foot of the table.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Forest Green 7 6 16
2 Harrogate Town 6 6 14
3 Leyton Orient 7 7 12
4 Hartlepool 6 3 12
5 Rochdale 7 2 11
6 Bradford 7 2 11
7 Swindon 7 2 11
8 Exeter 7 4 10
9 Northampton 6 1 10
10 Colchester 6 1 9
11 Port Vale 7 1 9
12 Carlisle 7 0 9
13 Barrow 7 1 8
14 Salford City 7 1 8
15 Tranmere 7 -1 8
16 Newport County 6 -2 8
17 Stevenage 7 -2 8
18 Walsall 7 -2 8
19 Crawley Town 6 -3 7
20 Mansfield 7 -4 7
21 Bristol Rovers 7 -5 7
22 Scunthorpe 7 -7 6
23 Sutton Utd 5 -1 5
24 Oldham 7 -10 3

Match report: Brentford 0-1 Brighton

Match report: Man Utd 4-1 Newcastle

It was the hottest ticket in town and Cristiano Ronaldo was never going to disappoint. It is rare that one individual transcends a match but that is how it was at Old Trafford from the moment Manchester United’s returning icon first stepped out to warm up, sparking roars that could be heard half a mile from the ground.

Some reaction from Old Trafford:

Bruno Fernandes: “Everyone knows what Cristiano brings to the club, and the world of football. It’s about everything we can do for the team, and getting a results. Good players can always be good together, and play in the same team. I was really happy to score, of course.”

Newcastle’s Steve Bruce: “That first goal is his goalscoring instinct – if there’s such a thing as a genuine superstar, this kid is it. We made a good fist of the game, but we weren’t quite good enough.”

It’s nice to see three clubs who have had their problems – Sunderland, Wigan and Bolton – leading the way in League One. Wimbledon and MK Dons are locked together in the play-off spots, while Ipswich drop into the bottom four.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Sunderland 6 5 15
2 Wigan 6 4 13
3 Bolton 7 4 12
4 AFC Wimbledon 7 3 12
5 Milton Keynes Dons 7 3 12
6 Accrington Stanley 7 0 12
7 Burton Albion 7 0 12
8 Plymouth 6 5 11
9 Wycombe 6 2 11
10 Oxford Utd 7 1 11
11 Portsmouth 6 2 10
12 Sheff Wed 6 1 10
13 Rotherham 6 0 9
14 Cheltenham 7 -1 9
15 Cambridge Utd 6 -1 8
16 Lincoln City 6 1 7
17 Fleetwood Town 6 0 7
18 Morecambe 6 0 7
19 Gillingham 6 -1 6
20 Charlton 6 -3 4
21 Shrewsbury 7 -7 4
22 Ipswich 6 -5 3
23 Crewe 6 -6 2
24 Doncaster 6 -7 1

Match report: Arsenal 1-0 Norwich

Match report: Leicester 0-1 Man City

League One and League Two results

League One

Burton 1-1 Gillingham
Cambridge 1-5 Lincoln
Charlton 0-2 Cheltenham
Ipswich 2-5 Bolton
MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth
Morecambe 3-4 Wimbledon
Oxford 0-0 Wycombe
Plymouth 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Rotherham 2-4 Fleetwood
Shrewsbury 1-1 Crewe
Sunderland 2-1 Accrington
Wigan 2-1 Doncaster

League Two

Crawley 2-1 Carlisle
Forest Green 1-0 Northampton
Hartlepool 1-0 Bristol Rovers
Leyton Orient 4-0 Oldham
Rochdale 1-0 Tranmere
Salford City 1-0 Bradford City
Scunthorpe 0-4 Exeter
Sutton 2-1 Stevenage
Swindon 1-2 Port Vale
Walsall 3-1 Mansfield


In the Championship, Fulham’s loss at Blackpool allows West Brom to edge a point clear at the top. It was a good day for Stoke, Bournemouth and sixth-placed Coventry, who all won at home. Reading plunge into the bottom three after letting a 3-1 lead slip at home to QPR.

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 West Brom 6 7 14
2 Fulham 6 9 13
3 Stoke 6 2 13
4 QPR 6 6 12
5 AFC Bournemouth 6 6 12
6 Coventry 6 2 12
7 Birmingham 6 6 11
8 Huddersfield 6 1 10
9 Blackburn 6 1 9
10 Cardiff 5 3 8
11 Bristol City 6 0 8
12 Luton 6 -2 8
13 Preston North End 6 -2 7
14 Millwall 6 -2 6
15 Middlesbrough 6 -2 6
16 Derby 6 -2 6
17 Barnsley 6 -3 6
18 Sheff Utd 6 -2 5
19 Blackpool 6 -3 5
20 Hull 6 -3 5
21 Swansea 6 -4 5
22 Reading 6 -6 4
23 Peterborough 6 -8 4
24 Nottm Forest 5 -4 1


“I think Dundee United signed the wrong No. 7,” notes Simon McMahon. “St Mirren 0-0 United, FT.”

Elsewhere in Scotland, Celtic beat Ross County 3-0 with Albian Ajeti scoring twice and Motherwell go up to fourth with a 2-0 home win over Aberdeen. Dundee and Livingston also drew 0-0.

Here’s the latest Premier League table:

Pos Team P GD Pts
1 Man Utd 4 8 10
2 Man City 4 10 9
3 Brighton 4 2 9
4 Tottenham Hotspur 4 0 9
5 West Ham 4 5 8
6 Chelsea 3 5 7
7 Liverpool 3 5 7
8 Everton 3 4 7
9 Leicester 4 -2 6
10 Brentford 4 1 5
11 Crystal Palace 4 0 5
12 Aston Villa 3 1 4
13 Wolverhampton 4 -1 3
14 Southampton 4 -2 3
15 Watford 4 -4 3
16 Arsenal 4 -8 3
17 Leeds 3 -4 2
18 Burnley 3 -3 1
19 Newcastle 4 -7 1
20 Norwich 4 -10 0


Championship results

A late, late leveller for Luton at Ewood Park where Luke Berry has struck in the 98th minute. Here are all the Championship results:

Blackburn 2-2 Luton
Blackpool 1-0 Fulham
Bournemouth 3-0 Barnsley
Bristol City 0-0 Preston
Coventry 2-0 Middlesbrough
Reading 3-3 QPR
Sheffield United 6-2 Peterborough
Stoke 2-1 Huddersfield
Swansea 0-0 Hull
West Brom 1-1 Millwall

Full time! Brentford 0-1 Brighton

Brentford lose their first Premier League game of the season as Leandro Trossard’s last-minute goal earns Brighton victory.

Full time! Southampton 0-0 West Ham

West Ham hold on for a point but Michail Antonio’s late red card capped a disappointing afternoon for the Hammers.

Full time! Arsenal 1-0 Norwich

Sighs of relief at Arsenal, who probably should have won more comfortably. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the only goal to lift the Gunners off the foot of the table.

Full time! Leicester 0-1 Man City

It’s a hard-fought win for the champions, who dominated the first half but had to hang on after Bernardo Silva’s goal, which proved to be the winner.

Full time! Man Utd 4-1 Newcastle

Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo on a dream second debut, while late strikes from Bruno Fernandes and Jesse Lingard send Manchester United top of the table. A good day at Old Trafford.

GOAL! Brentford 0-1 Brighton (Trossard 90')

Oh my! Leandro Trossard has surely snatched victory for Brighton with a superb strike. The Seagulls are heading back into the top four, as it stands.

Leandro Trossard sticks Brighton’s nose in front with a fine finish.
Leandro Trossard sticks Brighton’s nose in front with a fine finish. Photograph: Ian Tuttle/Shutterstock


Red card! Antonio sent off for West Ham

Michael Antonio, August’s player of the month, is sent off for picking up a second yellow card. Guess who put him in their fantasy team!

Full time: Watford 0-2 Wolves

An own goal from Francisco Sierralta and a late second from new signing Hwang Hee-chan give Wolves their first league win of the season.

GOAL! Man Utd 4-1 Newcastle (Lingard 93')

Return of the King. Jesse Lingard comes off the bench to get Manchester United’s fourth!

Jesse Lingard scores Manchester United’s fourth goal.
Jesse Lingard scores Manchester United’s fourth goal. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Jesse Lingard of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his side’s fourth goal.
Lingard celebrates. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images


Norwich are still testing the nerves of the Arsenal fans, while Southampton go close again – Broja’s header is cleared off the line by Declan Rice.

Norwich press upfield but Arsenal counter, and Nicolas Pepe fails to take advantage. Into stoppage time there and at St Mary’s, where it’s still goalless.

At the Madejski, the away fans are going absolutely wild – Stefan Johansen has levelled for QPR at Reading. It’s 3-3!

“Big bust up between Lexi and Chef Matthew on Below Deck Med,” notes Chris N. “Deserves it’s own Clockwatch.” Is Team Hannah/Sandy the new Team Ronaldo/Messi?

Leicester keep pushing for an equaliser, Ruben Dias making a last-ditch intervention with time ticking down. “Arsenal are in control” are the fateful words on Sky, with Bukayo Saka bending the ball wide of goal. They lead Norwich 1-0 at an anxious Emirates.

Who needs Messi? Ander Herrera has his second for PSG at home to Clermont; they lead 2-0.

In League Two, Forest Green are heading top of the table after Jamille Matt’s opener against Northampton – and Sutton are on course for a first-ever EFL win. They lead 10-man Stevenage 2-1 at Gander Green Lane.

GOAL! Watford 0-2 Wolves (Hwang 84')

Substitute Hwang Hee-chan makes the points safe at Vicarage Road. His nickname is “the Bull”, so he should fit in nicely at Wolves.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-Chan scores their second goal.
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-Chan scores their second goal. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Hwang Hee-Chan celebrates scoring their second goal.
Hwang celebrates after doubling Wolves’ lead. Photograph: David Klein/Reuters


GOAL! Man Utd 3-1 Newcastle (Bruno Fernandes 80')

Ronaldo has two, and now his compatriot adds a third with a belter of a strike from 25 yards!

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes scores their third goal.
Bruno Fernandes whoomps home United’s third. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


Southampton hit the post! It’s substitute Armando Broja who so nearly puts the hosts ahead against an off-colour West Ham. And there’s another goal at Old Trafford ...

Chelsea v Aston Villa: team news

Thomas Tuchel hands Saúl a start on his Chelsea debut. Join Scott Murray for all the latest from the Bridge.

Chelsea: Mendy, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Rudiger, Hudson-Odoi, Kovacic, Saul, Alonso, Ziyech, Havertz, Lukaku.
Subs: Arrizabalaga, Christensen, Jorginho, Werner, Loftus-Cheek, Mount, Chilwell, Azpilicueta, Barkley.

Aston Villa: Steer, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Tuanzebe, Targett, Jacob Ramsey, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ings, Watkins.
Subs: Sanson, Traore, Young, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Hause, Bailey, Archer, Sinisalo.

Oof, susbtitutes Kelechi Iheanacho and Ademola Lookman almost combine for a Leicester leveller. Still 15 minutes or so for them to find one.

Reading lead QPR 3-2 at the Mad Stad, John Swift completing his hat-trick before Rangers hit straight back. It’s got a bit silly in League One: Cambridge 1-5 Lincoln, Ipswich 2-5 Bolton, Morecambe 3-3 Wimbledon and Rotherham 2-4 Fleetwood are all actual latest scores.

It’s five for Sheffield United! Ndiaye gets his second of the game. Elsewhere, Stoke lead Huddersfield 2-1, Luton have one back at Blackburn, and Coventry lead Middlesbrough 1-0. I invite you to imagine the face on Boro boss Neil Warnock right now.

It’s still Brentford 0-0 Brighton and Southampton 0-0 West Ham. As it stands, one of these games won’t be last on Match of the Day.

GOAL! Watford 0-1 Wolves (Sierralta own goal)

Wolves have their first goal of the season ... and it’s scored by a Watford player as Francisco Sierralta (I think) puts through his own net.

Full time scores in the Bundesliga: Leverkusen 3-4 Dortmund, Freiburg 1-1 Cologne, Fürth 0-2 Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim 0-2 Mainz, Union 0-0 Augsburg.

It’s all happening now. Celtic lead Ross County 2-0, Albian Ajeti with their second. John Swift has his second as Reading lead QPR 2-1 on a tricky day for the Championship’s early pace-setters. Sheffield United are not among them, but they lead Peterborough 4-1. Morgan Gibbs-White is the latest name on the scoresheet.

“Clockwatch could be vastly improved by streaming the video and audio the Guardian’s MBM commentator is watching so we could compare the two,” suggests Ben Bamford.

I’ll be honest, I’m watching Below Deck Mediterranean and letting the Guardian supercomputer do the rest.

GOAL! Arsenal 1-0 Norwich (Aubameyang 66')

A big goal at the Emirates, where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fires home on the rebound. After a lengthy VAR check (hello, Mike Dean) the goal is given.

Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (centre) slots the ball home.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (centre) slots the ball home. Photograph: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images


GOAL! Leicester 0-1 Man City (Silva 62')

And a breakthrough at the King Power Stadium, where Manchester City lead. Bernardo Silva pounces after Rodri’s shot wrong-foots Kasper Schmeichel.

Bernardo Silva scores Manchester City’s first goal past Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel.
Bernardo Silva scores Manchester City’s first goal past Leicester City keeper Kasper Schmeichel. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images


GOAL! Man Utd 2-1 Newcastle (Ronaldo 62')

And again! Cristiano Ronaldo gets his second of the afternoon, racing on to Luke Shaw’s pass and firing home. He’s decent, isn’t he?

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo scores their second goal.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo scores their second goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


No Lionel Messi for PSG today, but they lead 1-0 at home to Clermont through Ander Herrera. In Serie A, a first win of the season for Venezia, who beat fellow promoted side Empoli 2-1.

A lively old game in Leverkusen, where Dortmund have gone behind three times but now lead 4-3.

In League One, Carl Winchester has put Sunderland back in front at home to Accrington, and Ethan Chislett has equalised for Wimbledon at Morecambe. And we complete a trio of great names with Elliott List, who has got Bolton’s fifth away at Ipswich.

Ferran Torres and Ilkay Gundogan both go close for Manchester City, who have had their chances against Leicester. Back at Old Trafford, Jadon Sancho is struggling to make much of an impact.

Millwall are level at the Hawthorns, Danny Ballard with the qualiser. In League One Wigan lead Doncaster 2-1, Will Keane with both the goals.

GOAL! Man Utd 1-1 Newcastle (Manquillo 56')

Oh, hello. Newcastle are level, Javier Manquillo finishing off a quick counter attack with a drilled low finish!

Javier Manquillo slots the ball past David de Gea for the Magpies’ equaliser.
Javier Manquillo slots the ball past David de Gea for the Magpies’ equaliser. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


“Plenty of goals in the Level 7 Isthmian Premier League, one of the grassroots leagues the blackout exists to protect,” notes John Dalby. “I reckon there’s probably around 4,000 fans watching the leagues ten games. Horsham being held 0-0 at Folkestone though.”

Kyle Bartley has given West Brom the lead at home to Millwall, and they’re on course to go clear at the top of the Championship. Bournemouth lead Barnsley 2-0, Dominic Solanke with the goal. And more trouble for Ipswich, who are 4-2 down at home to Bolton.

“The general goal-drought explains and excuses Arsenal’s failure to trouble Norwich,” says Charles Antaki. “It must be something in the air, nothing to do with the team’s limpness, bluntness or deep-seated malaise.”

There’s a surprise brewing at Bloomfield Road, where Josh Bowler has fired Blackpool ahead against Fulham. A quick exchange of goals at Stoke, where Jacob Brown has equalised just after Harry Toffolo had fired Huddersfield in front.

Blackpool’s Josh Bowler scores the opening goal against Fulham.
Blackpool’s Josh Bowler scores the opening goal against Fulham. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images


No goal! Jamie Vardy has the ball in the net for Leicester, but the assistant referee’s flag is up.

Here we go again

The various second halves are under way, everywhere.

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Just the one goal in Scotland at half time, where Kevin van Veen has put Motherwell 1-0 up at Aberdeen. Celtic v Ross County, Dundee v Livingston and St Mirren v Dundee United are all goalless.

Football League half-times


Bournemouth 1-0 Barnsley
Blackburn 2-0 Luton
Blackpool 0-0 Fulham
Bristol City 0-0 Preston
Coventry 0-0 Middlesbrough
Reading 1-1 QPR
Sheffield United 1-1 Peterborough
Stoke City 0-0 Huddersfield
Swansea 0-0 Hull
West Brom 0-0 Millwall

League One

Burton 0-1 Gillingham
Cambridge 0-3 Lincoln
Charlton 0-2 Cheltenham
Ipswich 2-3 Bolton
MK Dons 0-0 Portsmouth
Morecambe 0-1 Wimbledon
Oxford 0-0 Wycombe
Plymouth 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday
Rotherham 2-1 Fleetwood
Shrewsbury 1-1 Crewe
Sunderland 1-1 Accrington
Wigan 1-1 Doncaster

League Two

Crawley 1-0 Carlisle
Forest Green 0-0 Northampton
Hartlepool 0-0 Bristol Rovers
Leyton Orient 2-0 Oldham
Rochdale 0-0 Tranmere
Salford City 0-0 Bradford City
Scunthorpe 0-1 Exeter
Sutton 0-0 Stevenage
Swindon 0-1 Port Vale
Walsall 2-0 Mansfield

Premier League half-time scores

Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 100% of the goals in the six 3pm top-flight kick-offs.

Arsenal 0-0 Norwich
Brentford 0-0 Brighton
Leicester 0-0 Manchester City
Manchester United 1-0 Newcastle
Southampton 0-0 West Ham
Watford 0-0 Wolves

Half time at the Emirates, where Norwich are holding off Arsenal; the King Power, where Man City can’t find a breakthrough; and at St Mary’s, where very little of note has happened.

At the Hawthorns, Karlan Grant has seen his penalty saved – and it’s West Brom 0-0 Millwall at half-time.

Brentford have had the better of things against Brighton, with Bryan Mbuemo going close at the end of the half. The visitors have lost Adam Webster to injury, and Adam Lallana is also struggling. Oladapo Afolayan has fired Bolton ahead again at Ipswich; they lead 3-2.

GOAL! Man Utd 1-0 Newcastle (Ronaldo 45'+2)

Of course. Cristiano Ronaldo breaks the Premier League’s first-half drought and marks his Manchester United debut with a goal, tapping in after a mistake from Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman.

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo scores past Newcastle keeper Freddie Woodman.
No surprises here. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring their first goal with Bruno Fernandes.
Cue pandemonium. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters


Manchester City are turning up the heat, with Vestergaard blocking Ferran Torres’ volley before Gabriel Jesus tests Schmeichel again.

Goalless at half-time between Watford and Wolves, with Ruben Semedo scuffing a great chance for the visitors.

More bad news for Sheffield teams: Jack Marriott has levelled for Peterborough at Bramall Lane, while Wednesday are two goals down to Plymouth. Accrington have levelled at Sunderland in their top o’ the table clash, while it’s Ipswich 2-2 Bolton in a lively one at Portman Road.

The issues seem to be resolved in the USA, and I can confirm the United game is working fine in Singapore. If you’re wondering why I’m discussing global TV coverage at length, it’s because all six Premier League 3pm games are goalless. Boo!


“I have Peacock and Clockwatch,” says Mary Waltz. “Peacock allows me to watch the match, but only Clockwatch occasionally prints my rants. Advantage Clockwatch.”

It seems Canadians aren’t getting any sweet Premier League action, unless they sign up to a streaming service. “On the upside, we get to watch Alphonso Davies in the Bundesliga games, and I’ve been enjoying the WSL broadcasts,” notes Fred Decker. “I’ve also become a Guardian MBM loyalist, so there’s that.”

Blackburn have scored twice in quick succession to lead Luton 2-0 at Ewood Park, while John Swift has equalised for Reading at home to QPR.

Blackburn Rovers’ Harry Pickering celebrates scoring their second goal.
Blackburn Rovers’ Harry Pickering celebrates scoring their second goal. Photograph: Alex Dodd/CameraSport/Getty Images

Still no goals anywhere in the Premier League, including at Old Trafford, where the ball strikes Jamaal Lascelles’ hand in the area – but the referee and VAR are collectively unmoved.


Francisco Trinçao has impressed for Wolves at Watford, and has just had an effort from 25 yards saved – but the hosts are enjoying the better of the game so far.

Wolves’ Francisco Trinçao battles for possession with Peter Etebo of Watford.
Wolves’ Francisco Trinçao battles for possession with Peter Etebo of Watford. Photograph: Harriet Lander/Wolves/Getty Images


“Just want to note that the Manchester United game isn’t playing live in Canada either,” notes Paul Reid. “Currently our sports networks are playing the Bundesliga instead.” Typical Canadian hipsters.

An update for US Prem-watchers: it seems the really big game is still available on the Peacock streaming service.

Ivan Toney is looking lively for Brentford again, and almost scores from 40 yards after spotting Robert Sanchez off his line. Speaking of long-range lobs, Patrik Schick has put Leverkusen back ahead at half-time against Dortmund.

At the King Power, Rodri is booked for a heavy challenge on Youri Tielemans. At Old Trafford, Newcastle are getting into the game, with Joe Willock unable to pick out a teammate with a cross from close range.

Manchester City’s Rodri fouls Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
Oof. Manchester City’s Rodri fouls Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and goes in the ref’s book. Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images/Reuters


Jack Grealish goes close for Manchester City, firing wide after a fancy free-kick routine. At the Emirates, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang caps a flowing move with a shot that tests Tim Krul in the Norwich goal.

Also worth noting that, according to BBC Radio Five, the UK is one of only five countries where the Manchester United game can’t be broadcast live. The others are Cuba, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.

It sounds like there are big problems with US Premier League coverage, which is not ideal, given the occasion. Stick with the Clockwatch, it’ll never let you down*.

*It may let you down

More EFL goals! Iliman Ndiaye has fired Sheffield United ahead against Peterborough, Jordan Zemura has given Bournemouth the lead at home to Barnsley, and QPR lead at Reading through a Michael Morrison own goal.

Reading’s Michael Morrison (second left) scores an own goal to give the visitors the lead.
Reading’s Michael Morrison (second left) scores an own goal to give the visitors the lead. Photograph: Simon Galloway/PA

In League One, Daniel Neil has put Sunderland 1-0 up against Accrington, while Lincoln lead Cambridge 2-0.


“One thing I want to know is: which match is Mike Dean refereeing after his self-spoofing, card-wielding appearance on Ted Lasso?” asks Mike Greville. It seems he is on VAR duty at the Emirates for Arsenal v Norwich.

I wasn’t aware of Deano’s cameo, Mike. I need to see it urgently.

Ronaldo, who starts as a centre-forward but is drifting wide, deep and all over the place. He fires an early shot into the side netting. In other decent striker news, Erling Haaland has fired Dortmund level at Leverkusen.

Plenty of early goals in League One: Lincoln, Cheltenham, Ipswich, Wimbledon and Plymouth are all on the board.

No goals yet at the Emirates, but T Henry is on the scoresheet. Venezia’s Thomas Henry, that is, who has put them ahead at Empoli.

At the King Power, chances for both sides early on. Schmeichel denies Gabriel Jesus with Bernardo Silva firing wide, before Jamie Vardy tees up Harvey Barnes, who draws a fine save from Ederson.

Five Bundesliga games kicked off at 2.30pm (BST). Here are the latest scores:

Leverkusen 1-0 Dortmund
Freiburg 0-1 Cologne
Greuther Fürth 0-1 Wolfsburg
Hoffenheim 0-1 Mainz
Union Berlin 0-0 Augsburg

Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen sopens the scoring against Borussia Dortmund.
Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen sopens the scoring against Borussia Dortmund. Photograph: DeFodi Images/Getty Images


That Super League protest business all feels a very long time ago, doesn’t it?

Here we go!

Games are kicking off in north London, west London, Leicester, Manchester, Southampton, Watford and far beyond. Can anyone come up with an early rocket to beat this?

Here is Ed Aarons’ match report, filed from a still-shaking press box up in the gods at Selhurst Park:

The results are in: 77% of you think Ronaldo will be a hit at Manchester United.

“Why can’t Ole give Van de Beek a chance?” asks Freddy Davidson. “He can do more than Matic can – he can attack and defend, and is a very smart player overall. Donny needs a chance to prove himself and Newcastle would have been perfect for him to do it.” His complete lack of opportunities at Old Trafford remains a bit of a mystery.

“Regarding your point that you would choose Ronaldo to score in the last minute over Messi: my nephew Darcus tells me he sees Messi as the best footballer ever and Ronaldo as the best player,” writes Nathaniel Matthews, whose nephew knows his stuff.

Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo warms up ahead of kick-off.
Manchester United’s Cristiano Ronaldo warms up ahead of kick-off. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


Here’s roving reporter Simon McMahon with a look at events north of the border:

“Extremely excited to see United’s new No 7 make his long awaited debut this afternoon. Pure box office. Straight into the starting eleven too. Pace, technical ability, goals, he’s got the lot. Welcome to Scotland, Ilmari Niskanen. Dundee United’s new Finnish international makes his bow against St Mirren in Paisley.

Other Premiership 3pm fixtures include Celtic v Ross County, Dundee v Livingston, Motherwell v Aberdeen. The early game has just finished St Johnstone 1-2 Rangers.”

Full time: Crystal Palace 3-0 Tottenham

Édouard strikes again in stoppage time to cap a dream debut, and Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace project has lift off. Ten-man Spurs’ unbeaten start is over, and how.

Football League: 3pm (BST) kick-offs

In the Championship, the leading pair of Fulham and West Brom will fancy their chances against Blackpool and Millwall respectively. Sheffield United seek a first league win of the season at home to Peterborough, while third-placed QPR visit struggling Reading. Stoke host Huddersfield in a meeting of two sides currently sitting in the top six.

In League One, the top two meet at the Stadium of Light as Sunderland entertain Accrington Stanley. In the chasing pack, Burton host Gillingham, Sheffield Wednesday visit Plymouth and Wigan welcome bottom club Doncaster.

In League Two, Sutton United seek their first Football League win at home to Stevenage, while Forest Green could go top with a win over fifth-placed Northampton.


Bournemouth v Barnsley
Blackburn v Luton
Blackpool v Fulham
Bristol City v Preston
Coventry v Middlesbrough
Reading v QPR
Sheffield United v Peterborough
Stoke City v Huddersfield
Swansea v Hull
West Brom v Millwall

League One

Burton v Gillingham
Cambridge v Lincoln
Charlton v Cheltenham
Ipswich v Bolton
MK Dons v Portsmouth
Morecambe v Wimbledon
Oxford v Wycombe
Plymouth v Sheffield Wednesday
Rotherham v Fleetwood
Shrewsbury v Crewe
Sunderland v Accrington
Wigan v Doncaster

League Two

Crawley v Carlisle
Forest Green v Northampton
Hartlepool v Bristol Rovers
Leyton Orient v Oldham
Rochdale v Tranmere
Salford City v Bradford City
Scunthorpe v Exeter
Sutton v Stevenage
Swindon v Port Vale
Walsall v Mansfield

Watford v Wolves: team news

Francisco Sierralta (Chile) and Raul Jiménez (Mexico) both start for their respective sides after that whole international-duty farrago was cleared up. Josh King starts for Watford, while new loan recruit Hwang Hee-chan is on the Wolves bench.

Watford: Bachmann, Ngakia, Troost-Ekong, Sierralta, Rose, Etebo, Sarr, Sissoko, Kucka, Bonaventure, King.
Subs: Louza, Cleverley, Masina, Sema, Cathcart, Tufan, Kabasele, Hernandez, Elliot.

Wolves: Jose Sa, Kilman, Coady, Saiss, Nelson Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Marcal, Trincao, Jimenez, Traore.
Subs: Hoever, Ait Nouri, Daniel Podence, Mosquera, Boly, Silva, Ruddy, Hwang, Dendoncker.

Southampton v West Ham: team news

Zouma, Vlasic and Kral are all on the bench for West Ham, who can go (at least) joint-top of the table with a win after Spurs’ impending defeat at Crystal Palace.

Southampton: McCarthy, Livramento, Stephens, Salisu, Perraud, Elyounoussi, Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Djenepo, Redmond, Adam Armstrong.
Subs: Walker-Peters, Lyanco, Adams, Broja, Tella, Diallo, Bednarek, Valery, Forster.

West Ham: Fabianski, Coufal, Dawson, Ogbonna, Cresswell, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Fornals, Benrahma, Antonio.
Subs: Zouma, Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Vlasic, Areola, Noble, Diop, Fredericks, Kral.

Crystal Palace lead Tottenham 2-0, with Wilfried Zaha’s penalty followed up by new boy Odsonne Édouard scoring seconds after coming off the bench. There’s a party atmosphere at Selhurst Park:

Leicester v Man City: team news

Ederson and Gabriel Jesus both start for Manchester City after Friday night’s reprieve from the Brazilian FA. Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden are on the bench, while deadline day signing Ademola Lookman is among the Leicester substitutes.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Castagne, Soyuncu, Vestergaard, Bertrand, Albrighton, Ndidi, Tielemans, Barnes, Vardy, Maddison.
Subs: Evans, Ward, Iheanacho, Amartey, Ricardo Pereira, Dewsbury-Hall, Daka, Lookman, Soumare.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Dias, Laporte, Cancelo, Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Gundogan, Gabriel Jesus, Torres, Grealish.
Subs: Stones, Ake, Sterling, Zinchenko, De Bruyne, Fernandinho, Mahrez, Carson, Foden.

Arsenal v Norwich: team news

Mikel Arteta hands Takehiro Tomiyasu his debut at right-back, while Ainsley Maitland-Niles gets his chance in central midfield. For Norwich, Andrew Omobamidele starts in central defence after the teenager impressed for Ireland on international duty.

Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Maitland-Niles, Sambi Lokonga, Pepe, Odegaard, Saka, Aubameyang.
Subs: Leno, Thomas, Lacazette, Smith-Rowe, Cedric, Tavares, Chambers, Pablo Mari, Martinelli.

Norwich: Krul, Aarons, Hanley, Omobamidele, Williams, Lees-Melou, McLean, Rupp, Dowell, Tzolis, Pukki.
Subs: Gibson, Gilmour, Cantwell, Kabak, Normann, Rashica, Sorensen, Gunn, Idah.

Brentford v Brighton: team news

Brentford: Raya, Ajer, Jansson, Pinnock, Canos, Norgaard, Baptiste, Janelt, Henry, Mbeumo, Toney.
Subs: Jorgensen, Thompson, Jensen, Forss, Wissa, Ghoddos, Onyeka, Roerslev, Fernandez.

Brighton: Sanchez, Webster, Duffy, Dunk, Veltman, Lallana, Bissouma, Cucurella, Trossard, Maupay, Welbeck.
Subs: Mac Allister, Moder, Scherpen, Alzate, March, Steele, Roberts, Richards, Locadia.

Ronaldo starts for Man Utd against Newcastle

It’s official! Cristiano Ronaldo goes straight into the starting line-up. He’s likely to lead the line with Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho in behind. Jesse Lingard, incidentally, is on the bench. Here’s how both teams line up:

Man Utd (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo.
Subs: Lindelöf, Bailly, Mata, Martial, Lingard, Fred, Dalot, Heaton, Van de Beek.

Newcastle (3-4-1-2): Woodman; Hayden, Lascelles, Clark; Manquillo, Willock, Longstaff, Ritchie; Almirón; Joelinton, Saint-Maximin.
Subs: Schär, Lewis, Hendrick, Krafth, Fernández, Murphy, Darlow, Gayle, White.


In the Women’s Super League, Aston Villa have earned a useful point at West Ham thanks to Remi Allen’s late leveller. Allen headed home Ramona Petzelberger’s cross in stoppage time to cancel out Adriana Leon’s eighth-minute opener for the hosts.

Villa players celebrate their late equaliser.
Villa players celebrate their late equaliser. Photograph: Paul Currie/Shutterstock

Some important pre-match reading here, from Max Rushden.

It’s all kicking off at Selhurst Park, where Japhet Tanganga has been sent off for Tottenham. It’s still 0-0 there, but Spurs’ run of wins and clean sheets is under threat. Join Scott Murray for the latest:

Will Ronaldo’s second stint at Manchester United lead to goals, trophies, adulation and a statue outside the ground? Or will he creak around like a petulant Tin Man, while arguing about penalties a lot?

It’s probably somewhere in the middle, but this is The Discourse. There is no middle ground. Vote now!

Mary Waltz asks the age-old question: “Ronaldo or Messi? I have always been on team Messi but I have never seen the need to rip into CR7 to justify my choice. The cold war tactics became tedious.”

Tedious is the word, Mary. Both are exceptional players, and I have a hard time believing fans of either genuinely believe the other player is not actually that good. We’ll have no talk of Penaldo or Pessi here today.

I am also Team Messi – I just think he’s better, that’s all – but if I had to pick one of them to score in the last minute for my team, I would probably choose Ronaldo.

No doubt these merchandise sellers outside the ground will be doing a brisk trade today.
No doubt these merchandise sellers outside the ground will be doing a brisk trade today. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


Premier League: 3pm (BST) kick-offs

Arsenal v Norwich

The two teams at the foot of the table meet on what could be a fractious afternoon at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta can at least call on Thomas Partey again in midfield. Norwich are winless in their last 23 top-flight trips to London.

Brentford v Brighton

Both these teams begin today in the top half and the winner will become the league’s designated dark horse. The two clubs have met in four different divisions and three Cup competitions, but never in the top flight.

Leicester v Manchester City

Pep Guardiola will be glad to have Ederson available against opponents that have caused him plenty of problems. The visitors have lost their last four games away from the Etihad, if you include the Champions League final and the Foxes’ Community Shield win.

Manchester United v Newcastle

Newcastle have won once at Old Trafford since 1972 and there isn’t much hope of that statistic changing today. The under-fire Steve Bruce must have met news of Ronaldo’s return with the weariest of sighs.

Southampton v West Ham

New signings Kurt Zouma, Alex Kral and Nikola Vlasic are all in contention to feature for West Ham in a game that will surely feature plenty of high-tempo pressing and muscular set-piece battles.

Watford v Wolves

Wolves have lost their first three games 1-0 under Bruno Lage, and a slow start would become something more serious if it happens again today. Watford made 13 summer signings; some will probably feature here.

Here are the thoughts of Ole Gunnar Solskjær on his eye-catching summer signing:

“We are still a work in progress. Cristiano coming, of course, that gives us another edge. He comes with his winning mentality – him and Raphaël [Varane] have won the Champions League, European Championships, World Cups. We are adding some experience and quality that we didn’t have.”


He left Old Trafford in search of greater recognition, and found a new stage on which to excel. It looked like he would never return – but he had unfinished business. Now, after banging in goals elsewhere and shining on the international stage, he’s ready to lead Manchester United to glory again.

Sadly for Jesse Lingard, he’s unlikely to get on the pitch against Newcastle today. Already on the fringes, he’ll have a watching brief with Cristiano Ronaldo set to start up front. He used to play for United a while back, and has done pretty well in the years since he left.

Yes, CR7’s strutting shadow looms large over the Premier League once again. There will, inevitably, be more on him this afternoon. But there are five other top-flight fixtures to take in, and plenty more besides in the Football League, Scotland and in Europe.

Can Leicester inflict another early defeat on the defending champions? Who will win the battle of projects between Brentford and Brighton? What on earth will happen next in Arsenal v Norwich? And are you still thinking about Ronaldo? Either way, stay tuned.

Fans gather outside the ground to celebrate the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.
No prizes for guessing who these fans are thinking about. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian


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