Showing posts from December, 2017

Everton vs Manchester United Preview

After dropping six points in one week, we travel to Merseyside to pay a visit to Everton. This has been a rather disappointing festive period as we find ourselves in third place, a point behind Chelsea. However, during Manchester City's draw against Crystal Palace, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne suffered long term injuries. This may slow down their incredible run of form, but overcoming 15 points, is a tough ask. 
We put ourselves into this quagmire with unnecessary losses and now we face the consequences. Anyway, onto our next game, that is Everton. We go to Goodison Park where a new man in charge has changed the entire dynamics of their season. A previously weak and incompetent Everton side are now up for a fight and seem more intimidating now. 
The players and the system is more or less the game but newer and fresher ideas have sprung life into this side. Despite conceding plenty of goals, Pickford has prevented the scoreline from getting embarrassing. He is one of the best…

Manchester United vs Southampton Player Ratings

David De Gea – 8
If it wasn’t for the greatest goalkeeper in the world, we would have certainly lost this game. He made some brilliant saves to keep us in the game. His two most notable saves were shots from Shane Long and Oriol Romeu.

Ashley Young – 7
Like in the game against Burnley, he proved to be a threat down that right-hand side. There is no doubt that he is much more of a threat in right back than left. He pushed forward at every opportunity he got.

Victor Lindelof – 6
He done well to handle Shane Long most of the time but did look shaky at times.

Phil Jones – 7
I am not quite sure what has happened to Jones this season, he has been our best CB. Another splendid display from the Englishman. If he keeps this up, there is no doubt that he will be the first player on Southgate’s team-sheet in Russia.

Luke Shaw – 7
He looked adventurous going forwards and put in another good performance which, I’m sure, is making Jose Mourinho reconsider selling him.

Nemanja Matic – 5
This is th…

Manchester United vs Southampton Match Analysis

Another lacklustre performance from the Red Devils as they end 2017 on a run of three consecutive Premier League draws and a winless run stretching for a further match and to start to show the holes in the United squad. Before the match had even begun, Man United's poor form of late has been used to Chelsea's advantage as the London giants leapt over their Mancunian rivals and into second place after thumping Stoke 5-0 at home, leaving Manchester United desperately needing a win in order to climb back to second place but unfortunately they remained third if only by a single point. 
United made three changes to the squad that drew 2-2 with Burnley as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was declared injured and confirmed to be out for a month and so the Swede was replaced by match-saver Jesse Lingard, as well as Victor Lindelof and Henrikh Mkhitaryan making way for Marcos Rojo and Marcus Rashford respectively. With these changes, Jose Mourinho would have hoped for a more solid defence and an ag…

Manchester United vs Southampton Preview

Taking all the disappointment to the chin amidst this busy schedule, we now welcome Southampton Football Club to Old Trafford for the last game of the calendar year 2017. On the back of yet another frustrating point against Burnley, we look to the game against Southampton for some solace.
Southampton are in a horrible run of form and haven't won a game since the 26th of November. This dry patch of their's also includes a 5-2 drubbing at Wembley last week and a 4-1 loss to Leicester at St. Mary's. But make no mistake, I assure you that Shane Long will turn into prime Ronaldinho against us. 
I heard a Southampton fan say this week, who was equating correctly predicting the Saints' lineup to winning the lottery. They have quality in their team but they just don't seem to click. They have one of the best shot stoppers in England, in Fraser Forster. He is absolutely brilliant, however he last kept a clean sheet two months ago.
Their defence will be a little shaky becau…

Manchester United vs Burnley Player Ratings

Another disappointing draw for Manchester United and a lack of clinical finishing once again, we looked like the Manchester United squad who drew 15 times last season. A delightful flick from Jesse Lingard halved the deficit and the England winger scored a late equaliser to keep United 12 points behind City (who have a game in hand) and a point above Chelsea. 
DAVID DE GEA 6/10 Nothing he could do about the Barnes goal, Gudmundsson's cross was whipped to far away from the Spaniard for him to come and collect or punch it away. De Gea was very close to palming away Defour's freekick but the Belgian's freekick was spinning away from the 'keeper's grasp and would have been a tremendous save had he got to it. 
ASHLEY YOUNG 8.5/10 The only true creator Manchester United had yesterday. With Valencia out with injury, Young was able to play on the right and cross constantly and created numerous chances, including Lingard's first goal, and could have assisted Lukaku and …

Manchester United vs Burnley Match Analysis

After a disastrous exit from the Carabao Cup against Bristol City and drawing at Leicester last Saturday, only a win would do for a Boxing Day fixture against Burnley at Old Trafford. Manchester United made four changes to the side that drew 2-2 Leicester with Smalling, Lindelof, Martial and Lingard making way for Shaw, Rojo, Rashford and Ibrahimovic, with the Swede making his first Premier League start of the season. 
United got off to the worst possible start when Marcos Rojo brought down Jeff Hendrick just outside the penalty box and after deflecting off the Argentine defender and then Lukaku, Ashley Barnes hammered it in from close range and for the third successive game in the row, Manchester United were behind in the game. United responded in the best way possible and could have scored through Lukaku, Shaw and Ibrahimovic but it was Steven Defour who scored a rocket freekick past David de Gea and doubling the Claret's lead 35 minutes in. United kept pushing and could have h…

Manchester United vs Burnley Preview

Boxing Day is here! As a massive sports fan, this day is one I look forward to every year. On this day, all Premier League clubs play regardless of when they have played over the weekend. This Boxing Day, Manchester United face Burnley at Old Trafford.

       After another disappointing encounter against Leicester saw the gap between us and Man City open to 13 points. But I am not going to talk about the draw because it has been blown out of proportion on every level. Don't get me wrong. It was extremely frustrating to watch but seeing fans hurl abuse at players' "Merry Christmas" posts and calling the likes of Rashford and Martial, "frauds", is way out of order. And above all, blaming Jose for the draw is a degree of stupidity on its own.

        Anyway, onto the next game. Burnley are currently seventh on the table after probably their best start to the Premier League. Sean Dyche has set his team up very well with an extremely astute defence and a…

Leicester City vs Manchester United Player Ratings

Leicester City vs Manchester United Player Ratings

A few defensive errors and a lack of clinical finishing gave Leicester the chance to snatch a late equaliser and pin United a further two points behind City to make the deficit an almost unreachable thirteen points from 1st place. DAVID DE GEA 6/10 Nothing he could do about either goals, he was stranded by his defence. Other than the goals there was not much to do for the Spanish no.1 and only had to make one save all game. 
VICTOR LINDELOF 7/10 Despite heavy criticism on social media for not running back for the Vardy goal, overall Lindelof played very well at right back and dealt with the pace of Gray very well. He is continuing to become much stronger and intelligent in his defending and his distribution is consistently good.
CHRIS SMALLING 5/10 Gave Mahrez enough time to find Vardy for the goal and was at fault for the last minute equaliser as he returned from the sideline and did not get close enough to Maguire to stop his free …

Leicester City vs Manchester United Match Analysis

The picture says it all really
Another stomach-wrenching performance to watch as Manchester United end the first half of the Premier League season second on 42 points and an almost unbelievable thirteen points behind their rivals Manchester City on 55 points. Manchester United made eight changes to the side that lost to Bristol with Lindelof, Martial and Pogba the only survivors. With Valencia out injured, Victor Lindelof acted as a proxy right-back with Darmian clearly unable to be trusted by the Portugese manager. 
After a shock defeat to Bristol City on Wednesday, Jose Mourinho would have expected his team to bounce back to winning ways and with the return of Paul Pogba to the side after his suspension, United fans would expect a good performance. The Red Devils started well and created chances early in the game and Lingard could have scored early. Mahrez, Gray and Vardy look very dangerous since Puel has come in and challenged the United defence from the off. Just before the half…

Leicester City vs Manchester United Preview

In the aftermath of a disappointing result against Bristol City, we move on the Premier League where we face a resilient Leicester City. We travel to the King Power Stadium where after the appointment of Claude Puel, their season seems to have taken a U-turn for the better.

      However, in their last home game against Crystal Palace, they lost 3-0. This result should not make us turn a blind eye to the beautiful football they have been playing recently. They held Manchester City to a draw midweek but ended up losing on penalties. This was all despite resting Mahrez and Vardy. The irony is that these two players missed the decisive penalties that saw them lose the game.

      Anyway, Leicester play a 4-2-3-1 with Marc Albrighton, Demarai Gray and Riyadh Mahrez playing right behind Jamie Vardy. Puel likes to rotate the three attacking midfielders with players like Ben Chilwell and Shinji Okazaki. And their squad players also seem to deliver every time they are given a chance.


Bristol City vs Manchester United Player Ratings

This will be brutal to the majority of United players who kicked a ball yesterday. A terribly poor, effortless performance from a team showing no care or respect to a Championship side that clearly wanted to win more than the Red Devils and outmatched and really outclassed the holders of the Carabao Cup. Best of luck to Bristol City who will take on Manchester City in the semi-final, they thoroughly earned their victory but for Manchester United, it will hopefully be a wake-up call from the set of poor performances (despite the two victories against Bournemouth and WBA) to return them to the form in which they started the season with. 
SERGIO ROMERO 5/10 He made some decent saves in the first half, but a miscued punch and a couple of dodgy clearences made his night even more nervy. Nothing he could do about the first goal but as for the second, perhaps if he had held his ground he would have saved the shot but instead watched it slip through his legs and into the goal. Not his best n…

Bristol City vs Manchester United Match Analysis

What an absolute disaster.
A horrendous performance from relatively the whole team and as Bristol City beat Manchester United after a 92nd minute strike from Korey Smith sent the Championship side into the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup and potentially pitted against Chelsea, Manchester City or Arsenal. Manchester United made ten changes to the side that narrowly beat West Bromwich Albion on Sunday with the only survivor being Marcus Rashford. Zlatan Ibrahimovic started his first game for Manchester United since his injury against Anderlecht and was named captain for the game. Paul Pogba also returned after his three-game suspension from a challenge on Hector Bellerin.  The Robins were the better team of the first half as they dominated the play and smothered Manchester United's star players so that they could not really get going and overall looked like the lesser side in the early knockings of the game. The passing overall was very sloppy and despite the team looking to be play…

Bristol City vs Manchester United Preview

So the Carabao Cup defence continues, this time at Bristol City's humble abode of Ashton Gate stadium. We move on to this second consecutive away game after a tough draw against West Brom. Lukaku and Lingard scored, but a dodgy West Brom goal saw the game remain tight till the end.

I see plenty of fans moaning and quantifying every tiny flaw, but these are the games that we drew and dropped points at, last season. We are progressing slowly, but steadily. Besides, our team's core is still very young and most of them are yet to peak. Patience and time are fundamental ingredients for creating a dynasty that most journalists are absurdly crediting Pep for.

Manchester United is a club that has built its foundation of success on heaps and heaps of failure and disappointment. One team turning up after spending billions, is no reason to panic. Jose Mourinho beat Pep's 2011 Barcelona squad, who by popular opinion are one of the best teams in world football, to the title.

Moving on…

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United Player Ratings

After another tight and nervy game against West Brom, Manchester United earn the three points and maintain the three point gap between Chelsea and seven ahead of Liverpool at fourth.  One concern after the match was Antonio Valencia's injury after 65 minutes as he was replaced by Marcos Rojo. However, he has come out and said he is now "fine" and will certainly feature next weekend at the King Power Stadium. DAVID DE GEA 6/10 Did not have much to do all game apart from a few comfortable saves. A little controversy with James McClean but was clear from reflection that it was nothing. He couldn't do anything about the goal but was furious with the goalscorer later on after Barry seemed to stamp on the spaniard.
ANTONIO VALENCIA 6.5/10 Coped well with James McClean's pace for the time he was on the pitch but his crossing must be more consistent. 
CHRIS SMALLING 7.5/10 Played very well over the 90 minutes. Made a series of good tackles and is returning to his best a…

West Brom vs Manchester United Match Analysis

For the second time this week, we have just scraped a win, this time against West Brom. On Wednesday we managed to secure a 1-0 win over Bournemouth at Old Trafford with a less than convincing performance. Today's opponents drew 0-0 with Liverpool midweek and if Liverpool's attack couldn't break them down, we knew it would be tough for us. Nonetheless, we still managed a 2-1 victory and in the end, it is the three points which matter most.

The first half was by far the better half for us and although there weren't many chances created, we were the team that took our chances. The deadlock was broken in the 27th minute by the big Belgian who is continuing to prove his critics wrong by getting on the score-sheet for the second game running. Lukaku got ahead of Gibbs to head home beautifully Marcus Rashford's cross. 8 minutes later Jesse Lingard, this week's birthday boy, found the back of the net again. His shot from just outside the box was deflected which caught…

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United Preview

West Bromwich Albion vs Manchester United Preview

After a hard-fought victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday, Manchester United travel to Birmingham for Sunday's early-afternoon fixture against West Bromwich Albion. Both Manchester United and WBA know that only a win will suffice despite the different situations the clubs are in. For Manchester United need to keep close to Man City's tail with a chance for the Citizens to slip up against Tottenham this weekend and with Chelsea high-flyers on their tail, three points are desperately needed. West Brom also know that a defeat could send them into the relegation zone with literally half of the clubs within a four point gap to the relegation zone with both Crystal Palace and West Ham United both looking revitalised after appointing new managers. 
Manchester United are still without Eric Bailly after Jose Mourinho all but confirmed he would sit out the remainder of 2017 with his injury he suffered whilst playing for the Ivory Coast.…

Manchester United vs Bournemouth Player Ratings

A hard-fought, almost unearned victory against the Cherries kept Manchester United three points ahead of Chelsea and maintaining the deficit of eleven points behind Manchester City. 
DAVID DE GEA 9/10 Another top-quality performance, perhaps not the fixture he expected to be so active in but kept United in the game once again and earned his tenth Premier League clean sheet

ANTONIO VALENCIA 6/10 Didn't do anything wrong but was not his best performance offensively. His crosses were all inaccurate and not as influential as he has been in recent weeks
CHRIS SMALLING 7/10 Another solid performance but ought to have made more of an effort in the wider part of the pitches when the defence is stretched as he was beaten too easily on several occasions
PHIL JONES 8/10 A great return to the starting XI demonstrating why he was put ahead of Smalling and Lindelof at the start of the season. He showed his strength in every tackle and his pace to reach the ball. Will be vital in the weeks to co…