Manchester United sign off 2015/16 with FA Cup win at Wembley

Posted on May 22, 2016  by Stretford-end  in FA Cup, Man United   No Comments »
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Wayne Rooney lifts the FA Cup for Manchester United after beating Crystal Palace 2-1

Manchester United ended the season with a trophy – the FA Cup – in a entertaining final that saw substitute Jesse Lingard net the winner in extra time. It was a quality strike, worthy of winning any football match. United’s opposition, Crystal Palace, put in a good performance and were only 12 minutes away from a famous 1-0 victory, before Juan Mata scored the equaliser. The Palace fans were quality throughout the game – from start to finish.

In what was a whirlwind of an afternoon and evening, with the news that Jose Mourinho would take over as United manager at some point next week, Louis van Gaal must be pleased that he has delivered a trophy – the first major one without Sir Alex Ferguson since May 1985, when Ron Atkinson lifted the same trophy on the same turf. For all his faults, ‘philosophy’ and stubbornness in refusal to change – van Gaal has been a great manager, but it didn’t quite work out at Old Trafford as we’d expected following the 2014 World Cup.

There were a number of boos when he lifted the trophy – which shouldn’t have happened, considering he’d just won a trophy. His joyous celebration highlighted the passion and desire he still has to win football matches (and a trophy), but the football he instilled, having spent a fortune, wasn’t anywhere near the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson over more than twenty five years.

United are now joint record holders with Arsenal for the FA Cup wins and combined with a record twenty league titles, ensures the club continues to be the most successful football club in England! Here is to next season!

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Remembering the brilliance of the FA Cup..

Posted on May 21, 2016  by Stretford-end  in FA Cup, Man United   No Comments »
Eric Cantona scores in the FA Cup final
Eric Cantona helps Manchester United towards the double in 1994

“Que sera sera whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wembley – Que sera sera!”. Yes, the famous chant that has stood the test of time for clubs throughout the land and Manchester United are gearing up to do battle with Crystal Palace in what is a mirror fixture of the 1990 FA Cup final. When Louis van Gaal’s men take the field today, United will have featured in the FA Final more times than any other club (although Arsenal hold the record with 12 wins), taking the club’s tally to twenty. In those finals, the United faithful have witnessed a Billy Meredith inspired performance in 1909, despair at losing the 1958 final and the euphoria of Norman Whiteside bending one past Neville Southall.

1871 marks the first official FA Cup final. It is quintessential British occasion, an institution that reminds us all of a different time in football – a more innocent time. With the introduction of the Premier League in 1992 and the launch of the Champions League (also in 1992), football became more of a business, more about profit and ultimately – more about money. The FA Cup became a casualty in a football world that saw transfers and wages soar. The football bigwigs, and a small number of fans, would prefer a top four finish over an FA Cup victory – simply to qualify for the Champions League and face up against a Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. There is no doubting the importance of a Champions League place finish for a club and fan, both from a financial point of view (club) and from a mark of success point of view (fan) – but in order to achieve such a feat, perhaps United need to be victorious in a competition that has seen the likes of Eric Cantona, Jack Rowley and Denis Law leave the famous twin towers as winners.

The twin towers may be no more, the lingering memories of the Frenchman’s flair and swagger confined to a discussion over a few pints in the pub and the Champions League has accelerated past at Usain Bolt pace, leaving the FA Cup struggling for breath – but the 2016 FA Final provides an important reminder of what has come before and what lies ahead for the victor.

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Leicester’s title party on hold as United fail to take advantage

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
Anthony Martial challenges Danny Drinkwater in the 1-1 draw between Manchester United and Leicester City
Anthony Martial scored the opening goal for Manchester United in the 1-1 draw with Leicester City

The media had billed it as the day of the coronation. The new champions elect were to show the old masters what they are now missing and crave so much. It didn’t quite work out that way as both Manchester United and Leicester City gained a point from the tie. United had started the better and capitalised on the early pressure when Anthony Martial latched on to a Antonio Valencia cross in the 8th minute to strike past Kasper Schmeichel. Martial has been United’s best player all season and is continuing to develop into a a top class forward – next season will be a big test for the Frenchman as he will be expected to add to his goal tally of 15 goals for this campaign.

Leicester City were on the back foot for the opening twenty minutes, however – Wes Morgan got the league leaders back in the game with a strong header from a Danny Drinkwater freekick. The Leicester captain got ahead of Marcos Rojo, not the only time, to head past David De Gea to equalise for the visitors.

There were moments when either side could have scored a second goal, with Jesse Lingard and Riyad Mahrez going close, only to be denied by Schmeichel and De Gea respectively. There was controversy involving Marouane Fellaini, who was lucky to stay on the pitch having elbowed Robert Huth, whilst Danny Drinkwater was sent off for pulling back Memphis Depay late in the second half. Depay should have been granted a penalty following the foul by Drinkwater, but Michael Oliver decided the penalty was outside of the box.

Here we discussed the talking points of the game and welcome comments from both sets of fans.

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Manchester United vs. Leicester City team news

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Man United News, Match Previews   No Comments »
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Team news is in from Old Trafford as Manchester United look to dent Leicester’s title party

The team news from Old Trafford is in, as Manchester United look to dent Leicester City’s title charge and postpone celebrations for another day.

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Renato Sanches linked with transfer to Manchester United

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Transfer Targets   No Comments »
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Renato Sanches has been linked with a big money transfer to Manchester United

Reports over the last few days have suggested that Renato Sanches will make a big summer move from Benfica to Manchester United following an impressive season in the Primeira Liga. Sanches, still only 18 years old, is one of Europe’s hottest properties and will be a welcomed addition to an ageing Manchester United midfield. Benfica’s young prodigy has a superb engine to get about the pitch, both from a counter attacking perspective and from intercepting the ball when the opposition are on the attack. He is also not afraid to have a shot from outside the box, scoring a wonder goal against Academica – his first professional goal.

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Louis van Gaal says he will be United manager next seasaon

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Man United News, Managers   2 Comments »
Louis van Gaal press conference with Manchester United
Louis van Gaal has revealed he will be in charge of United come August

Louis van Gaal has had a turbulent season, however – in a recent interview has stated that Manchester United fans will see him in the dugout come August, whether or not the club qualify for the Champions League. The Dutchman, who will take charge of United one shy of a century against Leicester City today, has told the national press that he intends to see out the three year deal that he signed in the summer of 2014 and sensationally revealed that he had only intentionally wanted to sign a two year contract.

United are in the FA Cup final, a tournament the club has not won since 2004, but many fans have become disgruntled by the pedestrian pace that the club now go about their business on the field. There are suggestions that Jose Mourinho has signed pre-contract agreement with United – with the Portuguese manager keen to get back into football following his sacking last year.

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Why Manchester United will spoil Leicester’s title party…

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Previews   2 Comments »
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Jamie Vardy is missing for Leicester as the visitors look to win the title at Old Trafford

Guest Blogger: Aaron Goldstein

Well here we are, the most unexpected scenario in Premier League history. Leicester City travel to England’s most successful club on Sunday, knowing a win would grant them their first ever Premier League title.

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Eric Cantona: Legends of Old Trafford

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players   No Comments »
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Eric Cantona won four league titles in five seasons at Old Trafford

It seems only like yesterday a certain Frenchman strutted his way through the Old Trafford doors, collar up and with a point to prove. A genius piece of business by Sir Alex Ferguson saw Eric Cantona join Manchester United in the November of 1992 from, then, Champions Leeds United. What happened over the course of the next four and half seasons, I don’t think any Red will ever forget for as long as they live.

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Manchester United vs. Leicester City view from oppo

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Man United News, Match Previews   No Comments »
Bastian Schweinsteiger scores against Leicester City
Bastian Schweinsteiger scores against Leicester City in the 1-1 draw earlier in the season

Its eighteen years since Leicester City last won at Old Trafford, a 1-0 defeat that dented Manchester United’s title hopes. At the end of the 1997/98 season, United lost out on the title to Arsenal by a point, whilst Leicester City finished a respectable tenth in the Premier League. Today, is very different – with the visitors on the brink of the Premier League title, whilst Manchester United are desperately fighting to finish in the top four – which is looking increasingly unlikely as we enter the final few games of the season.

So what do Leicester City fans think of their remarkable season? How do they view the progress of United under Louis van Gaal? Read on to find out.

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Marcus Rashford continues to knock on Euro 2016 door

Posted on April 19, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Match Reports   No Comments »
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Marcus Rashford scored yet again for Manchester United

Author: Mitchell

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It’s rare on a website dedicated to one team that the initial paragraph is dedicated to the sheer ineptitude of another, though one can forgive me for indulging in some light-hearted mockery of Aston Villa’s plight. Relegated for the first time in the Premier League’s history, the cavalcade of misery amongst West Midlands clubs has been amplified to the degree that some aren’t even sure that Birmingham’s best (sorry, Blues) are out for a temporary period only.

The point? It’s nice to finally talk about a team worse than Manchester United this season.

Don’t get me wrong – Villa deserved their fate, carrying their own coffins to the grave and diving in on their own accord. But this was no gleaming performance from United. The old problems still remain and those who pray every night for a Louis van Gaal-free summer will have ramped up their pleas. Anyone still for a glass of Mourinho?

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