The Warm-Up: Marcus Rashford will save us all
Manchester United have one foot in the Europa League final, thanks to Marcus Rashford.
FRIDAY'S BIG HEADLINES
Rashford's right boot gives United one foot in final
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May 2017 was when It started. We didn't know it then, but our generational battle was forged in those few days just before the onset of a hot, hot summer.
But, as the chronicles record, He arrived. The One Who Would Redeem Us All. The Light and the Hope. Marcus Rashford. The player whom Emperor Zuckerberg once described with these immortal words: 'The boy's a bit special'.
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If endowing Rashford with the task of saving humanity from its new dark age, a looming dystopian nightmare , is not placing too much pressure on the lad, it is safe to say that The Warm-Up is pretty excited about what the future holds for the Manchester United striker, and all of us who will get to enjoy his progress.
Already a preternatural finder and maker of space, with lovely technique and a neat injection of pace, Rashford now seems to have added set-piece devilry to his bow. Jose Mourinho - often one to knock the stuffing out of his players - was nothing but complimentary as he contemplated a passage to the final, and the access to Champions League football that winning the lesser competition guarantees.
Marcus Rashford: nothing less than the greatest asset to humankind we have on this planet.
Diego to Costa fortune
Tianjin Quanjian are confident they have a pre-contract deal agreed for the Chelsea striker, who could be paid in the region of £600,000 a week to join up with Alexandre Pato who, it says here, played alongside Costa at Chelsea for a bit. Huh. Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel is also at the club.
Chelsea could pocket around £75m, which seems like a pretty good deal for a 28-year-old hothead, who is admittedly pretty good at scoring goals.
I'm Walking Away
Kyle Walker Mauricio PochettinoGetty Images
Tottenham might not end up beating Chelsea to the Premier League title this season but, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino, they are guaranteed to be champions in one respect at least. In response to reports that Kyle Walker wants to leave the club after being sidelined for big games against Chelsea and Arsenal, the Spurs boss said yesterday:
" Kyle is on the list for Friday’s match (against West Ham) and I cannot confirm whether he is happy or not because these are just rumours, and if I commented on every rumour my press conferences would be two hours long... I understand the rumours and understand the business but it seems that Tottenham are always the trending topic when it comes to rumours. We are the champions of rumours."
And as anyone who regularly uses Twitter knows, it's rarely good news if you are trending.
IN OTHER NEWS
The Rashford goal sparked some vigorous debate in the talkSPORT studios...
The Warm-Up has become almost entirely immune to viral videos of people performing football tricks, because they are basically all the same - or have been digitally doctored in some way which makes them worthless. However, we will make an exception for this extremely talented youngster.
IN THE CHANNELS
England are playing at the European Under-17 Championship (and, wouldn't you know it, we have the rights). Yesterday they played their opening game, a 3-1 win over Norway, and there was one particularly outstanding performer: Manchester City's Jadon Sancho.
Here he is setting up Rhian Brewster for the opening goal with a quite brilliant assist:
And here he is with a lovely bit of footwork to start the move for Brewster to score a very fine second:
In further good news for Manchester City, playmaker Phil Foden added England's third goal:
It looks like the future is in safe hands.
If you can forgive a rare, and tentative, step out of our safe space of football, yesterday on the site we published a truly excellent long read about the most iconic section of the 100th Giro d'Italia, which starts on Friday.
" On the very first visit to the Stelvio, controversy raged. The battle was between Coppi and Hugo Koblet, the man known as the Pedaleur de Charme, hailing from Switzerland and the first foreign winner of La Corsa Rosa. In contrast to the angular noses and marked faces of Coppi and his compatriot Gino Bartali, Koblet had the visage of a blond angel, who pedalled effortlessly, with extraordinary elegance, and always carried a comb and a bottle of cologne with him on races to maintain his pristine image."
Friday Night Football is back! And it's the warm and cuddly coming together of BFFs West Ham and Tottenham at London Stadium. On a *Friday night*. Sure that one will pass off without any incident. We'll have live coverage of that from 7pm.
And as previously mentioned, the 100th Giro d'Italia has its Grande Partenza from Sardinia today. That's live on Eurosport and Eurosport Player from 11:45am.
Adam Hurrey has finally finished his honeymoon and will be absolutely delighted to be back writing The Warm-Up on Monday rather than swanning round Japan.