Back pages: Juan Mata winner as Man United sink Wolves, but Marcus Rashford injured
A round up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 16 January
Man Utd see off Wolves
Manchester United’s 1-0 victory against Wolves in their FA Cup third round replay dominates the back pages and the fact it was Juan Mata who scored the winner at Old Trafford gives headline writers the chance for creativity.
‘Art of the Mata’ screams the Daily Star, while the Daily Mirror goes with ‘Juan and Only’. Describing the Spaniard’s second-half strike as a “touch of class”, The Guardian also reports on the worrying back injury to United and England striker Marcus Rashford, which is likely to force him out of United’s Premier League visit to Liverpool on Sunday.
“He’ll be tested in the next few days - we have to see for Sunday,” said United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when asked about Rashford.
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Big Ben strikes again
The news that England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been named the International Cricket Council’s Player of the Year makes most of the back pages. The 28-year-old Stokes has been rewarded for his stupendous form in 2019, which included inspiring England to their inaugural World Cup title, and his country will be hoping his genius is put to good use in the Third Test against South Africa, which starts today.
The Times says that one man who won’t be present in Port Elizabeth is Jofra Archer, out injured, but paceman Mark Wood is fit and will make his first appearance of the series.
Tennis legends Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal are both described as “selfish” on the back page of the Daily Express, although the insult doesn’t originate from the paper. It’s the description of Brayden Schnur, a minor player on the tennis circuit but one who believes that the two giants of the sport should have spoken out against the quality of air players at the Australian Open are experiencing.
“Roger and Rafa are a little bit selfish in thinking about themselves and their careers,” said Canadian Schnur, ranked 103rd in the world “Because they’re near the end and all they’re thinking about is their legacy and they’re not thinking about the sport itself and trying to do what’s good for the sport - so those guys need to step up.”