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Solskjaer: Man United's Everton capitulation my lowest point

Solskjaer: Man United's Everton capitulation my lowest point


Newcastle United have banned players from shaking hands at the club amid fears coronavirus could spread, manager Steve Bruce has said.

The global flu epidemic that originated in China has caused more than 2,700 deaths to date.

- Marcotti: Soccer, sports and coronavirus

Italy was the first European country to suffer an outbreak of COVID-19, with over 250 suspected cases and 12 deaths in the country. According to the BBC, more than 80,000 people in nearly 50 countries have been infected.

The virus has hit the world of sport and Premier League side Newcastle have taken preventative steps in the battle against it.

The club have not reported any flu-like symptoms but Bruce said: "There is a shaking hands ritual here, everyone shakes hands with each other when we see each other in the morning. We have stopped that on the back of the virus.

"Let's hope it doesn't get any worse. We are like everyone else, glued to the TV seeing what happens next. We are mindful of bugs sweeping through."

World Health Organization head Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus has told the BBC coronavirus has reached a "decisive point" and has "pandemic potential."

In football, four Serie A games were postponed last weekend, while Thursday's Europa League match between Inter and Ludogorets at the San Siro took place behind closed doors. 

"I think the whole world has to think differently and be aware of the virus," Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. "I think we'll definitely look at things. You can see what happens in Italy with the games and I think it's a worry for everyone. We've got to take the precautions we need to."

Elsewhere, a player for Italian third division club US Pianese has tested positive coronavirus, marking what is believed to be the first case of a footballer in Europe.

With Italy a Euro 2020 venue, UEFA issued a statement on Wednesday, saying "there is no need to change anything in the planned timetable" while also adding that "the issue will be kept under constant scrutiny."

Wembley will host seven matches at the tournament, the most of any of the 12 venues across Europe, and the Football Association is monitoring developments regarding the situation.

In Spain, Valencia have announced in a statement they have cancelled all public acts, including news conferences, as they look to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Among the acts that have been cancelled is the tribute to former player David Villa that was scheduled to take place ahead of Saturday's home game against Real Betis.

Valencia confirmed on Thursday that a Spanish sport journalist that covered their Champions League game against Atalanta in Milan on Feb. 19 has tested positive for the virus.

ESPN's Adriana Garcia contributed to this report.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said his last trip to Everton was his "lowest point" as Manchester United manager as he prepares to take his team back to Goodison Park for the first time since a humiliating 4-0 defeat in April.

Solskjaer branded the thrashing "a capitulation" and in the immediate aftermath questioned whether his players cared enough to play for the club.

Everton have been transformed since the appointment of Carlo Ancelotti but Solskjaer has promised a better performance on Sunday.

"That was the lowest I've been," Solskjaer said.

"I think you all know that and remember that. That was a capitulation. We had absolutely nothing about us, even though their goals were more or less counter-attacks from set plays and long throw-ins.

"Everything you didn't want to see you saw in that game. Against Everton at home, they're hard to play against with two up front.

"They put players in the box and we knew what we were up against. I'm 100% sure we'll put a better performance up."

Of the players who featured at Goodison Park in April, David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Nemanja Matic, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Fred, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay are still regulars.

Chris Smalling, Ashley Young, Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez have left while Phil Jones and Diogo Dalot are on the fringes of the squad.

"That was the day, the lowest," Solskjaer said.

"I knew probably before then but one or two had their last chance, more or less, but we had to get to the summer first.

"I can with hand on heart 100% say these boys will never give in and never give up like that team did. These are the boys we want to build the next team around."

United extended their unbeaten run to seven with the 5-0 win over Club Brugge on Thursday night. Odion Ighalo scored his first goal for the club following his deadline day move from Shanghai Shenhua and the Nigerian could be asked to step in again if Anthony Martial cannot shake off a thigh injury he picked up in training on Wednesday.

"Odion has definitely shown what type of striker he is," Solskjaer added.

"He's ready for that game on Sunday. I don't know about Anthony, to be honest. I've not asked. He tried [to play against Brugge] so he wasn't that bad but we'll have to do a scan probably."