Today’s back pages: Aston Villa reach Wembley, Man Utd take ‘Bru turn’, fury over Folau


Villa victory

Aston Villa’s dramatic 2-1 win over Leicester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final receives plenty of coverage in the papers today. 

“Roar emotion” is the headline in the Independent, while the Daily Mirror pays homage to Mahmoud Trezeguet’s injury-time winner with a “Trez for Prez” splash. 

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Villa opened the scoring when Matt Targett fired home on 12 minutes, only for the Foxes to score a crucial away goal through Kelechi Iheanacho on 72 minutes. 

But Trezeguet struck the winner in stoppage time to spark scenes of joy at Villa Park, and the Midlands club will meet the winner of tonight’s other semi between the two Manchester clubs.

The Carabao Cup final takes place at Wembley on Sunday 1 March (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports).

United get their man

Many papers carry the news that Manchester United have clinched the signing of Sporting Lisbon ace Bruno Fernandes, just 24 hours after it appeared the deal had fallen through because of a failure to agree a price. 

“Bru turn” is the headline in The Sun, which claims that United will pay £55m for Fernandes after the two clubs found common ground. 

Furthermore, the paper says that United sealed the deal despite an effort from Barcelona to “hijack” the move. 

The Daily Express says United “boxed clever” to land the midfielder, agreeing to pay £46.6m up front, with an additional £8.5m in “realistic add-ons”. 

That was enough for Sporting to sanction the deal and according to The Times, the 25-year-old Fernandes will have a medical today before his official unveiling as a Red Devil. 

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Fury over Folau signing 

The news that controversial Australia rugby star Israel Folau has signed a one-year deal with Super League club Catalans Dragons is carried by several papers. 

“Fury” is the word used by the Mirror, Guardian, Independent and the Express in describing the reaction in several quarters. 

Folau, 30, was sacked last year by his former employers, the Australian Rugby Union, after making homophobic comments but he’s crossed codes to resurrect his career with the French rugby league outfit. 

According to the Guardian, the Dragons believe Folau deserves a second chance but the paper says that “many across a sport which prides itself on inclusivity are furious that Folau has been allowed to return to rugby league”. 

Today’s newspaper back pages

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