FC Bayern vs. Manchester United: View from the opposition

Posted on April 08, 2014  by El Rob  in Champions League, El Rob, Man United, Match Previews   No Comments »
Vidic-BayernAnother brilliant headed goal (and defensive display) by Vidic would be nice.

On Wednesday night, United face their biggest match of the season in Munich. After last week’s stirring 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, the Reds have to summon a performance for the ages to get past European champions Bayern, and reach the Champions League semifinals.

This past weekend, Bayern lost their first match of the Bundesliga season, 1-0 at Augsburg, with a starting XI featuring stars of the world game such as Mitchell Weiser, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Ylli Sallahi. United beat Newcastle 4-0, a really good performance that built upon their improving away form. Mr. Moyes was also able to rest key players such as Carrick, Ferdinand and Vidic, while Rafael may be fit to start on Wednesday. Unfortunately, man-of-the-match Juan Mata is cup-tied and therefore unavailable for the game. Robin van Persie is still injured and will be out for some time again, while Wayne Rooney is likely to start after suffering from a toe injury at the weekend. Patrice Evra will be available after a one-match suspension, though – amazingly – there is the possibility that Alex Büttner will get the nod at left back, after a disciplined and controlled defensive performance last week.

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Reds on the road: Can United play this way every week?

Posted on April 06, 2014  by El Rob  in El Rob, Man United, Players, Premier League   5 Comments »
Kagawa_Mata_Hernandez
Chicharito might be miserable under Moyes, but looked happy to play with Kagawa, Mata and Januzaj.

Author: Rob
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Four straight away wins in the league. No goals conceded away from home in five. Juan Mata is looking confident and decisive while scoring and assisting from his preferred position, with Shinji Kagawa increasingly influential from wide areas and enjoying his partnership with Mata*. Antonio Valencia is recapturing some form, and Wayne Rooney (until his recent injury) has been scoring consistently from the #9 position. Away from Old Trafford, it’s beginning to look like Manchester United again.

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Manchester United 4-1 Aston Villa: Bring on Bayern?

Posted on March 30, 2014  by El Rob  in Aston Villa, Champions League, El Rob, Man United, Premier League   6 Comments »
manchester-united-vs-aston-villa
Juan Mata scored his first goal for United yesterday. If you didn’t celebrate that, you have no soul.
Mata celebrates: “Wayne’s shaved and I haven’t, so you can’t notice we resemble each other a bit!”
Also: Fellaini kinda looks like he’s doing a “Blue Steel” pose, but for a different camera.

Author: Rob
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Manchester United scored a slightly-flattering 4-1 home win over Aston Villa on Saturday. Villa opened the scoring through a decent Ashley Westwood free kick. “That’ll teach ya to stop confusing me with the golfer Lee Westwood!” he’s reported to have thought to himself while celebrating. United equalised through a Rooney header while Villa were exhibiting their patented “FIFA ’99 Amateur mode” defensive tactics, and United eased on to victory from there, showing a bit of the bounce-back-ability for which the club was is famous. I wanted to make an Alan Partridge reference here, as it’s quite appropriate – think “give me a second season!” – but sadly I’ve given up Alan Partridge references for Lent.*

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Manchester United vs. Manchester City: View from the opposition

Posted on March 24, 2014  by El Rob  in El Rob, Man United, Manchester City, Match Previews, Premier League   1 Comment »
Yaya Toure out muscles Fellaini
Fellaini experienced his first Manchester derby in September, as Yaya Touré bossed things at the Etihad.

Manchester United take on local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Tuesday, in a match that will hold massive significance for both sides, though for potentially different reasons. With little else in the league to play for, United will want to keep building the momentum built by their last two wins on the trot – a rarity this season – and to gain some measure of revenge for the 4-1 shellacking received at the Etihad in September. David Moyes will want to see an better performance than United’s last home game – a soul-crushing 3-0 reverse against Liverpool.

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Crystal Palace 0-2 Man United: A “routine” away win

Posted on February 23, 2014  by El Rob  in Crystal Palace, El Rob, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
Rooney-volley-Palace
Wayne Rooney volleyed home a brilliant second goal to secure the win.

Author: Rob
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Manchester United went to South London on Saturday evening, and emerged with a creditable 2-0 win against in-form Crystal Palace. In another era – i.e. the one that ended last May – this would’ve been considered the archetypal ‘routine’ away win in the Premier League, but almost amazingly, this was United’s first away win of 2014. How quickly times change. On the day, a penalty from Robin van Persie and an excellent first time shot by Wayne Rooney – both goals coming after some excellent play by Patrice Evra – made the difference on Saturday. As always, we look forward to hearing from everyone in the comments.

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Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Cleverleys (plural), Vidic and more

Posted on February 13, 2014  by El Rob  in Arsenal, El Rob, Man United, Players   1 Comment »
Van Persie early chance against Arsenal
Robin van Persie had a great early chance, but his finishing let him down badly.

Author: Rob
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Manchester United emerged from the Emirates last night with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal. United’s ever-chirpy Instagram account described it as a “promising point” while fans on Twitter, in contravention of basic mathematics and the fact that Arsenal away is quite a difficult game, determined it to be a “pointless point.” The buildup to the match was somewhat strange, with United miles away from the title race for the first time in decades, and the Gunners still in contention for the first time in at least six years.

Nevertheless, this fixture played out as it often has in recent years – tense, tight, United set up to defend deep and hit on the break, with Arsenal playing most of their football in front of the United backline. With both teams coming off massive disappointments – including Arsenal’s 5-1 shellacking at Anfield, and every aspect of Manchester United’s existence for the past eight months – there was a palpable hesitancy about the attacking play, and 0-0 in the end was an unsurprising result. As always, we look forward to hearing from both sets of fans (as well as resident comment troll Minimal, whose allegiance is yet to be determined).

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Chelsea 3-1 Manchester United: Talking Points

Posted on January 20, 2014  by El Rob  in Chelsea, El Rob, Man United, Premier League   6 Comments »
Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto’o scores a hattrick for Chelsea against Manchester United

Author: Rob
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As you may have heard, Manchester United went to Stamford Bridge and lost 3-1 to Chelsea in a slightly strange game. United played some very decent football, especially in the first fifteen minutes, yet they were fully deserving of the defeat. Moreover, they lost to a Chelsea side that didn’t play particularly well, and who only moved out of second gear three or four times in the entire match. Here are some thoughts on the game – as usual, we’d love to hear from both sets of fans in the comments*.

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Manchester United 0-1 Newcastle United: Problems mount

Posted on December 08, 2013  by El Rob  in El Rob, Man United, Match Reports, Newcastle United, Premier League   12 Comments »
Manchester United v. Newcastle United
United never looked like getting back into the game after conceding.

Author: Rob

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Another home game, another 1-0 defeat for Manchester United, this time at the hands of Newcastle United. Last Sunday at Spurs, the side entered the week full of confidence after thrashing Bayer Leverkusen and having recently taken down table-topping Arsenal at Old Trafford. It’s safe to say that, after a draw against Spurs and two deserved home beatings by Everton and Newcastle, Mr. Moyes, the players and United fans worldwide won’t be bursting with optimism as they trudge in to work on Monday.

Twelve games in, United’s start to the Premier League campaign was underwhelming but largely explicable – with a new manager, tough opening fixtures and injuries to key players all taken into account. Since then, however, things have worsened dramatically. It’s become a crisis, – a large, signposted crisis. We’ll look briefly at what went wrong on Saturday, as well as some of the issues that need fixing if United are to come back stronger, as we always know them to do.

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Bayer Leverkusen v. Manchester United: A collective excellence

Posted on November 27, 2013  by El Rob  in Champions League, El Rob, Man United   4 Comments »
Bayer Leverkusen v Manchester United - UEFA Champions LeagueValencia’s haka paid off, as nearly all of the starting XI performed superbly.

(Photo credit: The Graun)

Author: Rob

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In what came as a massive surprise to almost everyone, Manchester United went to the BayArena and savaged hosts Bayer Leverkusen by a score of 5-0. In doing so, United qualified for the next round of the Champions League, almost certainly as group winners. After conceding another late equaliser in the 2-2 draw at Cardiff on Sunday, the team needed a good performance and result to put our restless minds at ease.

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Fulham v. Manchester United: Match preview

Posted on November 01, 2013  by El Rob  in El Rob, Fulham, Man United, Match Previews   1 Comment »
Wayne Rooney scores the winner at Fulham

Rooney scored the winner in this fixture last season.

Author: Rob

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Hey there sports fans. Plucky little upstarts Manchester United take on Martin Jol’s entertaining Fulham side at Craven Cottage this Saturday, on the back of three consecutive wins in all competitions. Coming off their biggest win of the season – a 4-0 League Cup beating of Norwich – United will be hoping to build some momentum in their league campaign after a pretty rotten start. Mr. Moyes has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from; Danny Welbeck is absent after spilling a bucket of Gatorade on his knee. In this fixture last season, only two things happened: 1) the lights went out around halftime, and 2) United won thanks to an excellent Rooney goal. Fulham have a decent record against United in recent years, winning in March and December 2009 and drawing 2-2 in August 2010.

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