Wayne Rooney bags Anfield goal in smash and grab win for United

Posted on January 17, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Liverpool, Man United, Match Reports, Premier League   No Comments »
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Wayne Rooney scores a late goal at Anfield to give Manchester United victory

Before the game, there was no distracting Manchester United fans from some epically glorious moments at Liverpool over the years. The memories of Roy Keane rampaging up and down the Anfield turf is quickly replaced by Diego Forlan’s brace against Jerzy Dudek and then concludes with John O’Shea scoring a last minute goal at the Kop as United march on to the 2006/07 title. Much has played out in the eighty-two league matches at Anfield prior to this afternoon’s kick off and although both sides aren’t now fighting for top spot, both managers were well aware of the fortunes that awaited the victor.

Mid week saw both managers speak about title droughts, with Louis van Gaal suggesting that United would not go on such a barren run as Liverpool, who have not won the Championship since May 1990. The charismatic Jurgen Klopp, who eulogised about Sir Alex Ferguson – described the former Manchester United manager as “The John Lennon of football” – spoke about the fact that he could have been in the United dugout, had the timings been right. Both men have crossed paths before in Germany, with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund doing battle, but it was the Dutchman who has continued his run against United’s biggest rivals with a 1-0 smash and grab.

Wayne Rooney converted United’s only shot on target, whilst David De Gea saved United once again with an array of saves to keep out Emre Can, Adam Lallana and Jordan Henderson. The home side will feel hard done by as United were second best for the majority of the game. Louis van Gaal kept with his usually 4-2-3-1 formation, with Ander Herrera pushed up just behind Wayne Rooney who was leading the line. Despite Liverpool’s dominance, it is United who picked up all three points and are now two points behind Tottenham in fourth spot.

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Newcastle United 3-3 Manchester United: United lose boring tag

Posted on January 13, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Reports, Newcastle United, Premier League   No Comments »
Newcastle United
Paul Dummett scores a dramatic late equaliser as Manchester United draw 3-3 with Newcastle United

Author: Mitchell

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Where were you? Where were you when the Berlin Wall fell down? Where were you when the very first iPhone was announced to an audience in California? And where were you, humble reader, when a football match broke out at the Sports Direct Arena on Tuesday night?

Do not adjust your screens: your eyes do not deceive you. For 90 minutes in the middle of the season, the Uniteds Newcastle and Manchester decided to wake up from their slumber and play an actual game of football. Fast paced, exciting, full of goals and drama and, most importantly, entertaining, the game may go down as one of the best of the season so far.

There may be some lingering disappointment that such a spectacle only brought home another lone point, but that’s not the story. For the first time in what feels like a lifetime, Manchester United felt like Manchester United again – for better and for worse.

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Anthony Martial shows United the way with goal against Swansea

Posted on January 03, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Reports, Premier League, Swansea City   No Comments »
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Anthony Martial was exceptional against Swansea City – scoring one and assisting Wayne Rooney

As New Year’s resolutions go; Manchester United fans will be hoping that Louis van Gaal can keep to his, as United beat Swansea City 2-1 at Old Trafford. The first fixture of 2016 saw United pick up three points, their first victory since the 2-1 win over Watford at the end of November – which marks the end of an eight game winless run.

The Dutchman will be have been pleased with his side’s performance in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea and although United didn’t start the game against Swansea City as quickly (i.e. hitting the woodwork twice within fifteen minutes) – the home side did look most likely to score early on, with Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney close but failing to hit the target. United shifted from a 4-3-3 that worked so well against Chelsea to a 3-5-1-1 – which quickly changed to a 3-3-1-3 formation when United were attacking, with both Ashley Young and Anthony Martial pushing up high and wide to deliver crosses. The United coach had started the game with a four man defence, however – reverted very early on to a three at the back formation once it was clear that the visitors were playing a diamond in midfield with two very wide forwards in Ayew and Routledge.

Anthony Martial opened the scoring for United early in the second half following a brilliant cross from Ashley Young. The Frenchman got on the end of the cross to head home United’s opener. United looked dangerous and much more animated in the second half than in the first forty-five – but the home side were left stunned when Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the equaliser with twenty minutes to go. A neat header past the helpless David De Gea following some great work from substitute Modou Barrow (who again forced van Gaal into a tactical change) on United’s left hand side. It didn’t take long for United to hit back, with a superb finish from Wayne Rooney – who has now overtaken Denis Law’s goal tally of 237 and is now second on his own, eleven goals behind Sir Bobby Charlton.

Although both wide men, Ashley Young and Anthony Martial, had excellent games – it is the Frenchman that really is a shining light in this United side. As he did against Branislav Ivanovic last Monday, he gave Angel Rangel a torrid time on the left hand side with his pace and tricky. His burst of acceleration to setup Rooney, for what was a stunning goal, is priceless and although many reds – including myself – have called to play him through the middle, with match winning performance like this one, it is hard to argue against his inclusion on the left hand side.

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United much better against Chelsea but still winless in eight

Posted on December 29, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Chelsea, Man United, Match Reports, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Manchester United’s Anthony Martial takes on the Chelsea defence in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford

Manchester United finally put in a performance under the troubled reign of Louis van Gaal, however could only muster a 0-0 draw at home to Chelsea. The home side started with a flourish and hit the woodwork following a great layoff from Wayne Rooney to Juan Mata, who smashed the ball onto Thibaut Courtois’ crossbar. United were a lot more mobile and quicker with their passing compared to the horrendous performance put in against Stoke City on Boxing Day. Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger bossed the middle of the park, with Chelsea playing deep and looking to counter through Eden Hazard, who was operating as a lone frontman.

Anthony Martial, United’s brightest spark all evening, gave Branislav Ivanovic a torrid time on the left hand side and also smashed the woodwork, this time the inside of the Courtois’ post – before bouncing away from danger. The second half saw an improved Chelsea performance, however – it was United who were most likely to score and Ander Herrera saw Courtois pull off an unbelievable stop to deny the Spaniard the opener. However, it was Nemanja Matic who had, arguably, the best chance of the match but blazed the ball high and wide of the outrushing David De Gea. Willian was also lucky not to concede a penalty, when he handled in the box midway through the second half.

Wayne Rooney, who was voted the man of the match, had a great chance to win the match after Cameron Borthwick-Jackson put in a superb cross from the left hand side. The United captain, who is level with Denis Law on 237 goals for United, smashed the ball high into the Stretford End. He was also lucky to stay on the pitch following a nasty tackle on Brazilian Oscar late on.

Chelsea, who were poor, will be delighted with a point away from home in a game that they were very much second best. United on the other hand will be pleased with a much improved performance, but it is the same result for Louis van Gaal.

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Louis van Gaal clings to United job following Norwich defeat

Posted on December 21, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Managers, Match Reports, Norwich City, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Alex Tettey boots home Norwich’s second goal as Manchester United lose for the first time at home

The pressure is piling on Louis van Gaal and his Manchester United side following a humiliating home defeat to Norwich, who were third from bottom at the start of play. The newly promoted side fully deserved their hard grafted win, with two simple goals on the counter attack. United looked limp, slow and uncreative in a game that was very reminiscent of previous fixtures.

Alex Tettey, who scored Norwich’s second goal, was immense in the middle of the park. The visitors were first to every ball, harried United’s players and were well worth their first win at Old Trafford since 1989/90. Van Gaal, who had been defiant in recent weeks following similarity poor performances and results, appeared to be in a more sombre mood – perhaps a man who realises that his job is on the line – following the 2-1 defeat. Ryan Giggs, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are all candidates that have been linked with the United hot seat and the next two games against Stoke City and Chelsea will be crucial in the fate of the Dutchman.

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Jamie Vardy makes history as Wayne Rooney struggles again

Posted on November 29, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Reports   1 Comment »
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Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea embraces Jamie Vardy at the final whistle

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record was official broken by Jamie Vardy, as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Leicester City at the King Power stadium. The Dutchman, who was the last player to score a winning goal at Leicester back in 2003, tweeted his respect of the record being broke as both clubs failed to find the winner, which would have sent either club to the top of the table ahead of Manchester City.

Vardy had scored the opener on 24 minutes, following a beautifully crafted left footed pass ball from Christian Fuchs. The home side counter attacked brilliantly from a United corner before Vardy smashed home his eleventh in a row – a unbelievable story for a player who was playing non-league football five years ago. United hit back just before half time with a header from Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German smashed home from a superb corner from Daley Blind, whilst outmuscling Shinji Okazaki in the process.

The tie took a familiar pattern, with Manchester United dominating possession without ever really threatening Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester City goal. The home side were setup to counter United, and Louis van Gaal looked to nullify the any through balls from the full backs into the channels, by deploying Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial wide when not in possession – for Juan Mata to press the centre halves. When United in fact won the ball and started a counter, both Rooney and Martial were too far apart to capitalise.

Rooney was taken off due to a injury (according to the manager), to be replaced by Memphis Depay. But the United captain looks a shadow of his former self in all honesty. The result was fair as both sides continue their title challenge into the Christmas period.

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Magical Juan Mata helps United to victory at Anfield

Posted on March 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Liverpool, Man United, Match Reports, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores a stunning second goal as Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-1

Manchester United picked up a valuable three points in the 192nd clash between the two north western giants, which saw Liverpool lose 2-1 at home. It was game full of talking points, but the stand out moment had to be Juan Mata’s sublime second goal.

There was controversy, with Liverpool club captain Steven Gerrard, who was playing in his final match against United, only lasting a mere forty-eight seconds before being sent off for a stamp on Spaniard Ander Herrera. There were other incidents, which saw Phil Jones smash into Jordan Henderson and in the final seconds of the match Martin Skrtel looked to leave a foot in on United’s goalkeeper David De Gea – however, in a game of this magnitude there are always going to be challenges of this nature.

Louis van Gaal, who was experiencing his first trip to Anfield as United boss, was delighted with the first half performance and has now seen his team pick up two wins on the bounce against two key rivals for a Champions League place. United are now only a point behind Arsenal and two points behind Manchester City – with both clubs having to travel to Old Trafford before the end of the season.

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Hugo Lloris denies van Persie & Falcao as United draw 0-0

Posted on December 29, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Reports, Premier League, Spurs   No Comments »
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Robin van Persie is denied by man of the match Hugo Lloris as both sides as the game ends 0-0

Author: Mitchell
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For the third season in a row, Manchester United can’t nick a win at White Hart Lane. The unbeaten run at Tottenham Hotspur’s home ground remains in tact but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have become somewhat of a bogie team for the reds. Entertaining though it was, either team could have conceivably won or lost so it was only fitting that neither did.

With United’s first unchanged Premier League line-up since late 2012, Louis van Gaal finally had the opportunity to let his squad stand on its own twenty-two legs with a consistent run of play. In typical fashion, Valencia had to go off with a mild injury, but this was a major stepping stone for the club. Finally, stability is just around the corner.

He says, awaiting tragedy…

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Manchester United 2-1 Stoke City: Marouane Fellaini scores

Posted on December 03, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Reports, Stoke City   No Comments »
Manchester United v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League
Marouane Fellaini scores as Manchester United beat Stoke City 2-1

Author: Mitchell
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Another match, another former Man Utd legend in the dugout and another victory for the reds. If I didn’t know any better, I’d suggest that perhaps Louis van Gaal knows what he is doing after all.

Three days removed from a dominant performance against a lacklustre Hull City, United were back at Old Trafford with Mark Hughes replacing Steve Bruce as the ex-player-turned-manager who this time brought Stoke City to compete. This wasn’t the roll over and play dead performance of Saturday as the Potters gave a decent showing of themselves, but goals from Marouane Fellaini and Juan ‘Marcos Rojo’ Mata sealed the three points.

With four wins from the last four games, United are heading into Christmas with a decent run of games and momentum in the face of an injury apocalypse. Here are the talking points from tonight’s game.

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Robin van Persie strike sinks sorry Hull City as United win 3-0

Posted on November 30, 2014  by Stretford-end  in Hull City, Man United, Match Reports, Premier League   1 Comment »
Wayne Rooney scores Manchester United's second goal in the Premier League match aginst Hull City.
Wayne Rooney helps Manchester United beat Hull City 3-0 with a sweet strike

Strolls in the park are common around this time of year. Kicking the leaves with a loved one as you walk through a cobbled footpath without a care in the world. “Walk in the parks” were commonplace under the Fergie regime, but haven’t been seen for sometime under the direction of David Moyes and now Louis van Gaal. To describe the 3-0 victory over Hull City as a ‘walk in the park’ would be extremely kind to the visitors who, if we’re still keeping with the park analogy, put up as much fight as limp squirrel.

David De Gea, so often United’s man of the match in recent months, could be described as the lonely park keeper – up the other end and in the distance – as he only had two saves to make in comparison to the onslaught he faced at The Emirates the week previous.

Robin van Persie demonstrated his sheer class and talents with a superb strike that topped off an extremely dominated performance. There were injury scares, with Angel Di Maria tweaking a hamstring, early substitutions, with Ben Arfa contributing less than the Argentine who had gone off twenty minutes earlier and of goal mouth scramble that was easily rectified with goal line technology. Here we welcome comments from both sets of fans as we discuss the Talking Points from the match.

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