Showing posts from April, 2018

Manchester United vs Arsenal Player Ratings

Another three points, which gives a five point gap between us in second, and Liverpool in third and guarantees us at least a top four finish. Manchester United were the dominant side in the first half, and Arsenal played well in the second half. Manchester United started the game well, and took the lead in the sixteenth minute, with a volley from Paul Pogba.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan equalised in the fifty-first minute, after Ander Herrera misjudged Antonio Valencia 's pass. Allowing Henrikh Mikhitaryan to pounce, run forward, and score. Arsenal had good patches, but rarely troubled De Gea.

Marouanne Fellaini came on in the sixty-fourth minute for Ander Herrera. He scored with a header, after connecting with a nice cross into the box by Anthony Martial. Winning the game three minutes from the end.

David De Gea - 8.5/10
Had a relatively quiet game. Made some routine saves before, and after Mkhitaryan's equaliser.

Antonio Valencia - 8/10
Very solid defensively as usual. But didn't…

Manchester United vs Arsenal Match Analysis

In what was dubbed the "Wenger Out" fixture, the result was fitting.  When United grabbed all three points on Marouane Fellaini's late winner, United was assured of a top 4 finish in the English Premier League this season, and Arsenal was assured a finish outside the top 4.

Wenger once said that finishing top 4 was a "trophy" and its fitting that unless his side is able to win Europa, his side will go trophy-less in his final season - and without his fictional top 4 trophy as well.

Also fitting that United won this match in what was once "Fergie Time", the waning seconds of stoppage time, breaking Wenger's heart one more time at Old Trafford.

United fielded a strong XI to face Arsenal while Wenger picked a side that was a combination of starters and backups while inserting Henrik Mkhitarian into the side to face his former club.  The Armenian midfielder became the first player to score for and against United in the same season in the English Pre…

Manchester United vs Arsenal Preview

Manchester United take on Arsenal in one of the last games of the season. This will be most likely be Wenger's last game against United, his last game at Old Trafford, and his last game against arch nemesis Jose Mourinho.
After 22 years of service, Arsene Wenger has decided to step down as Arsenal manager after protests and disgruntled fans made their voices heard. Anyway, in a bid to give him a proper farewell, the last thing that Arsenal fans and players would want is a defeat to Mourinho. That is why I feel that they will be up for the game. Techincally, both teams have nothing to play for but none would like to lose, all the same.
In the past, Manchester United vs Arsenal used to be what the Premier League was all about. Ferguson vs Wenger, Vieira vs Keane, Keown vs Nistelrooy, the games were intense. From the FA Cup semi final in 1999 to the Battle of Old Trafford to the day we stopped them from going 50 games unbeaten, it has been an amazing journey. Of late though, with bo…

Manchester United vs Arsenal Combined XI

It's Manchester United's final game against one of the top six teams in the Premier League and is by far the most difficult league game they have left with away games against Brighton and West Ham United before the final game of the season at Old Trafford against Watford remaining. This match will be Arsene Wenger's final game against Manchester United before ending his 22 year stay and Arsenal will try to give their venerable manager a good send off and Manchester United will be aiming to seal a top 2 finish and build up momentum for the big FA Cup final against Chelsea. 
While Manchester United may have had disappointing moments in the league with awful defeats to Huddersfield, Man City, Newcastle and most of all West Brom almost two weeks ago, Arsenal have had an even worse season with horrendous performances that have left them scrapping for sixth with Burnley hot on their heels and Everton (in eighth) almost as close to Arsenal (twelve points difference) as the North…

Manchester United vs Arsenal: Memorable Encounters

The Premier League has witnessed many great rivalries over the years. Rivalries which defined seasons, rivalries that were just classic games over the years, which were fun to watch. Some of them being, Manchester United vs Liverpool, The Merseyside Derby (Liverpool vs Everton), The Manchester Derby (United vs City), Arsenal vs Chelsea, Arsenal vs Spurs and many more. These rivalries, one of the greatest in England, caught the eyes of the world audience. These matches never disappointed, always edge of the seat thrillers which showed the might of the teams and showed who ruled the land.
Over the years, Manchester United and Arsenal have provided us with some memorable encounters which never disappointed. It was like the clash of two tactical giants, Wenger vs Ferguson. Both these teams have had great matches with great drama, passion and footballing excellence. Sir Alex and Manchester United having the upper hand. With United’s final match coming up against a member of the big 6, Ar…

Is Chris Smalling back to his best?

I think it's fair to say that many United fans have criticised Chris Smalling over the past 18 months since Jose Mourinho has come into the position of United manager. He was one of the stars of United's woeful fifth place finish in the 2015/16 season with colossus-esque performances which changed his title to 'Mike' Smalling and someone who could be a big player for Manchester United and a potential captain for the side. However since his red card against Crystal Palace for Louis van Gaal's final game as the United boss in the FA Cup final, he fell down the pecking order at the club. The (then new) signing Eric Bailly filled in for him alongside Daley Blind for the first few games of the season and Smalling often drifted out of the side with Jose favouring Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones alongside Eric Bailly and struggled to make appearances in the league as he was restricted to 18 appearances in the league that season. It was a substantial decrease from the final ye…

Dead Wood-ward

Retrospectively, our failures in the years gone by has been down to the mediocrity of our squad. We often settle for players that aren't as technically gifted as the mettle of a Premier League champion demands.

       Despite having a relatively great season - second in the league, beaten all the top 6, and an FA Cup final - we're still a notch below Manchester City. They are above us in terms of squad depth and no amounts of Arab money jokes can take that away. Their second team blew us away in the first half of the derby. But the manner in which we responded makes me believe that we're on par when it comes to ability.

      The season has been long and has had its flaws. These flaws are the dead wood still present in our squad. These players need to be replaced with new and fresher legs. Because as Einstein rightfully said, "Insanity, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". So instead of repeating the mistakes over to the…

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Semi-Final Player Ratings

Seeing Jones and Smalling at the back had to give United supporters heart palpitations pregame.  This feeling was not quelled when Spurs scored nearly a carbon copy of their 11-second strike in the last league fixture, this time in the 11th minute.  However, the Red Devils got great performances all around in their semi-final triumph over Spurs.

Formation: 4-3-2-1.  In attack the attacking 3 and midfield had free reign.

Conceded 1 early though not his fault, and didn't have much to do the rest of the afternoon.  Distribution was on point as always, and his punt led to the winning goal


A threat going forward as usual, gave Tottenham's back 4 something to deal with on the wings, opening up the middle.  Was lucky to avoid red on a bad challenge

United managers keep trying to take his spot away, but he continues to find ways into the XI.  With the attackers, wing backs and defensive mids  firing forward, Jones and Smal…

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur FA Cup Semi-Final Match Analysis

MANCHESTER UNITED have beaten Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley to book a spot in the finals of the FA Cup! We registered a 2-1 victory on Spurs' "home ground". A perfect performance from the entire team gave us a typical Mourinho victory. As I mentioned earlier, Jose lives for such games and it is poetic that we won the game by making a comeback.
Spurs started the game on the front foot and we saw ourselves a goal down. Eriksen played in an inch perfect cross for Dele Alli to tap it into the back of the net. We responded well and got the equalizer in the first half itself. It was a Sanchez header at the end of a beautiful Pogba cross. 
In the second half, we got the winner that we had been so urgently pushing forward for. Herrera smashed in a loose ball that came at the end of a woeful Lukaku first touch. We never realized the good that can come from Lukaku's poor touch. Apart from that, Lukaku had a great game. It is crazy how our poacher has a better cross on himself …

Manchester United vs Tottenham FA Cup Semi-Final Preview

With the possibility of Liverpool winning the Champions League, Manchester City already crowned winners of the League Cup and Premier League and Arsenal still in contention for the Europa League, there is pressure on Manchester United to win some silverware.
The FA Cup.
A long-standing football competition, the oldest in the world, which has produced magical moments. Many teams traditionally considered as the ‘underdogs’ have gone on to produce famous upsets. Wigan Athletic’s 1-0 victory over our rivals, Manchester City, in the 2012/13 season, produced one of the greatest shocks. Manchester United have won the FA Cup 12 times in our history. Our last came in the 2015/16 season with a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace. Only Arsenal have a greater record, having won their 13th title last year against Chelsea with a 2-1 victory.
Image: Daily Express
The Red Devils are on course for a top-four finish in the Premier League, with Jose Mourinho demanding that we focus on taking the second spot. A …

Bournemouth vs Manchester United Player Ratings

A solid display. Manchester United beat Bournemouth 2-0 at The Vitality Stadium in a relatively comfortable victory. Chris Smalling, making his one hundred and fiftieth appearance for Manchester United, opened the scoring in the twenty-eighth minute with a tap in. Jesse Lingard providing the assist for Smalling, after Ander Herrera had picked Lingard out with a superb through ball.

Romelu Lukaku came on in the sixty-third minute for Jesse Lingard. And made his mark seven minutes later. Scoring with a through ball assist by Paul Pogba,  and Lukaku lifting over Begovic to make it 2-0, clinching the game in the process.

David De Gea - 8/10
A solid performance by the Spaniard. Earning his seventeenth Premier League clean sheet this season. Twenty-one shut-outs in all competitions.

Matteo Darmian -6/10
A tough game for the Italian. Looked rusty at times. Making his first start since October. Didn't provide many crosses, and was often out of position.

Phil Jones -8/10
Despite two month…

Bournemouth vs Manchester United Match Analysis

After disappointingly losing to West Brom on Sunday, Manchester United put in a completely different performance as they beat Bournemouth 2-0. 
In the match against West Brom, Mourinho highlighted that a few of the players were trying to be too complicated and needed to play simpler. It is clear that the players took his comments on board and played simpler attacking football, which inevitably resulted in goals. 
Prior to the match, Mourinho stated that there would be a lot of rotation in the squad and that the players which performed well against Bournemouth were guaranteed a start in Saturday's important FA Cup semi final. 
Our starting XI: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Shaw; Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Rashford, Martial
Manchester United broke the deadlock in the 28th minute via Chris Smalling. Brilliant vision from Herrera led to Jesse Lingard firing the ball across the box to Chris Smalling who scored from close range. That was his third goal in the Premier League…

AFC Bournemouth vs Manchester United Preview

Well as they say, the only way is up. After such an awful performance on Sunday as Manchester United submitted the title to Manchester City with a 1-0 home defeat to rock bottom side West Brom, Bournemouth host the Red Devils on Wednesday as United aim to nail down second place. Bournemouth are now basically safe from relegation and are ten points clear from 18th place Southampton. United are a point above Liverpool and must return to winning ways to maintain their now dangerous position and simply need to attack with precision and fast pace to cut through the Bournemouth midfield and into the attacking third with ease. 
Jose Mourinho has said that any player that shines against Bournemouth are far more likely to be in the starting XI for the crucial match against Tottenham in the FA Cup semi-final. The likes of Herrera, Mata and Matic all had terrible games despite being given the nod to start the game. It would be nice to give Martial and Rashford starts and allow them to attack the…