United look to close gap on 4th spot with win over Everton

Posted on April 03, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   1 Comment »
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Wayne Rooney scores for United versus Everton in the 3-0 victory earlier in the season

Manchester United are looking to overtake West Ham, who drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace yesterday, and close the gap on Manchester City in fourth. Louis van Gaal will be in confident mood having beaten City in the derby 1-0 two weeks ago and will be looking for a repeat victory against Everton from earlier in the season.

United will be without Bastian Schweinsteiger, who picked up a knee injury with Germany over the international break – and will miss the rest of the season. Captain Wayne Rooney, is making good progress and although will not feature against his former club today – is likely to play for the U21s soon. The visitors will be missing midfielder Gareth Barry, who is serving the final match of his two game ban.

On a day that the South Stand is to be named after Sir Bobby Charlton, van Gaal will want to ensure Old Trafford witnesses a performance worthy of the legend himself.

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Marcus Rashford scores winner as United beat City 1-0 in derby

Posted on March 20, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Match Reports, Premier League   No Comments »
Marcus Rashford scores the winner in the derby as Manchester United beat City 1-0
Marcus Rashford scores the winner in the derby as Manchester United beat City 1-0

It is the stuff of dreams. Marcus Rashford, born and bred Mancunian settles the derby with a well taken finish. From Argentina to Spain to the Ivory Coast, there is a whole array of nationalities on display consisting of some of the best players in the land. Yet, it was a local eighteen year old that settled the tie to give Manchester United all three points in the race for fourth place. With West Ham dropping two points at Chelsea yesterday, United knew there was a massive opportunity to close the gap as we enter the final eight games of the season.

United were good, whilst City were wasteful in front of goal. However, Sergio Aguero was unlucky not to score in the second half – striking David De Gea’s left hand post. The little Argentine was quality throughout the match, however – Chris Smalling, despite an early booking, rarely put a foot wrong and marshalled Aguero away from goal. Rashford was lively too and showcased his quick feet as he took on Bacary Sagna and Martín Demichelis on a regular basis. His goal in the sixteenth minute was exceptionally taken as he picked up a Juan Mata pass, before blazing past Demichelis, who went to ground far easily, and slotted home.

It was United’s first win at City since the 3-2 victory in 2012, when Robin van Persie scored a last gasp winner , and although the significance of the win, in terms of title chasing, has diminished – Louis van Gaal will be over moon at the thought of Champions League football at Old Trafford once again next season. City’s record against top half teams in the Premier League is abysmal and are very much in free fall – coinciding with the news of the appointment of Pep Guardiola at the end of the season. It may not be a vintage season, but it doesn’t get better than a win over City with an academy player scoring the winner.

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Manchester City vs. Manchester United preview & view from opp

Posted on March 20, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
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Bastian Schweinsteiger puts in a tackle against Manchester City in the 0-0 draw earlier in the season

In what was once an epic clash for the league title, the Manchester derby has now been replaced with the battle for fourth spot and Champions League qualification. Manchester City, who head in to the derby fifteen points off league leaders Leicester City and comfortably in the quarter finals of the Champions League, have had a poor run of form against top half of the table teams and must pick up all three points today if indeed Manuel Pellegrini is to add to his one league winners medal in what is his season finale at The Etihad.

Louis van Gaal looks again to be on borrowed time, which we have discussed on so many occasions throughout the season, with reports suggesting that the club has signed a pre-contract agreement with Jose Mourinho – who is still jobless following his dismissal at Chelsea earlier in the season. United come into the game off the back of a limp exit to Liverpool in the Europa League – the club’s first defeat to English opposition in Europe. van Gaal hasn’t won an league away game since the 1-0 victory over United’s Europa League conquerors – with Wayne Rooney scoring a late undeserved winner.

The away side are missing Wayne Rooney, Luke Shaw and Phil Jones – whilst Ashley Young and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson are back in training, but are unlikely to start. Juan Mata is back in contention following his dismissal in the 1-0 defeat away at WBA two weeks ago. Manchester City will be without club captain Vincent Kompany – who picked up a calf injury against Dynamo Kiev, whilst Nicolas Otamendi will be assessed ahead of the game.

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Manchester United lose 1-0 to WBA as Juan Mata sees red

Posted on March 06, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
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Louis van Gaal can’t watch as Manchester United lose 1-0 to WBA

Guest Writer: Rob Bayly

With City and West Ham having both picked up maximum points on Saturday, as well as ten-man Liverpool snatching a late win against a poor Palace, the pressure was really on for United to ensure they took all 3 points at West Bromwich Albion. Having beaten Arsenal and Watford in the league as well as the cup games against Midtjylland and Shrewsbury united are in their best winning run of the season and have looked largely impressive in doing so. However, under Van Gaal these winning runs tend to dry up fairly quickly and the struggle for consistency has been a defining factor of the Dutchman’s time at Manchester United. This again proved to be the case and United succumbed to a drab one nil loss to an unambitious yet functional West Brom side.

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United chasing Champions League spot with a win over WBA

Posted on March 06, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
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Jesse Lingard bends one in against WBA earlier in the season when United ran out 2-0 winners

With both Manchester City and West Ham picking up three points yesterday, Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United must ensure they keep up with the chasing pack in order to qualify for the Champions League. This feat would be unthinkable a few weeks ago, when United lost at home 1-0 to Southampton – but have picked up crucial wins against Watford and the 3-2 victory over Arsenal last weekend. This of course coincided with all of the top four dropping points in the last two weeks – so United do have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League, outside of winning the Europa League.

Today’s opponents will look to their form against United last season, picking up four points in the 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns and the 1-0 victory over United at Old Trafford. However, United will look to the 2-0 victory over The Baggies earlier in the season, when Jesse Lingard scored a superb second. Although the football hasn’t been vintage, van Gaal has done a good job in brining youngster through to the first team – although there is of course a suggestion he was forced to play his hand with the amount of injuries United have suffered – and surely Marcus Rashford will continue up front to see if he can add to his two goals Premier League tally so far.

United last picked up all three points at WBA in March 2014 under David Moyes. The Scot was sacked just over a month later, but the 3-0 win was one of the highlights of his short lived managerial stint. The home side are undefeated in the Premier League since February 6th and will be looking to build on the victory over Crystal Palace and the 2-2 draw with league leaders Leicester City.

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Sunderland view from the oppo: Defo, Adam Johnson & relegation

Posted on February 13, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Sunderland   No Comments »
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Jack Rodwell scores in the 1-1 draw against Manchester United last season

Following the 1-1 draw with Chelsea, United fans will be looking for much of the same as the performance was much better against the league champions than in the abysmal display against Southampton.

United travel to second from bottom Sunderland today six points adrift of Manchester City in fourth place. All the talk for the home side will be around the sacking of Adam Johnson, who pleaded guilty on one count of sexual activity with a child and was subsequently sacked by Sunderland, and the relegation battle ahead. The away fans will be looking to see if Will Keane can make an impact following his brilliant goal on Monday against Norwich.

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United throw away three points in injury time against Chelsea

Posted on February 08, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Chelsea, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Jesse Lingard scores against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Jesse Lingard scores the opener against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge


Manchester United were minutes away from a well overdue victory at Stamford Bridge, however Diego Costa – playing his first game against United for Chelsea – scored in injury time to deny Louis van Gaal’s men victory. United had played well throughout the game and the visitors deserved to pick up all three points, despite Chelsea’s late surge. Jesse Lingard scored the opener with a stunning shot on the turn to beat Thibaut Courtois in the 61st minute. David De Gea was called into action on a number of occasions making a world class save from Branislav Ivanovic’s volley and keeping out fellow Spaniard Cesc Fabregas at the near post.

Louis van Gaal was disappointed with his United side for switching off in the last fifteen minutes but praised the overall performance of the team. Here we discuss the United youngsters making waves in the first Xi and a much more exciting game – despite the disappointing end to the game.

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Manchester United look to get back on track with win over Stoke City

Posted on February 02, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Stoke City   No Comments »
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Louis van Gaal looks on as his Manchester United side go down 2-0 to Stoke City

Manchester United fans saw much needed goals and a win over Derby County in the FA Cup last Friday, but it is the league where Louis van Gaal is losing ground and the visit of Stoke City will bring back bad memories. United went down 2-0 to Stoke City on Boxing Day, following a horrendous mistake from Memphis Depay and a generally poor performance all round. Can United score in the first half of a home game? We wanted to find out a little more from the opposition of what they think about tonight..

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More excuses from van Gaal as United lose 1-0 to Southampton

Posted on January 24, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Southampton   No Comments »
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Charlie Austin scores a late winner for Southampton to sink Manchester United

They say history never repeats itself. Well, watching Manchester United this season is like Groundhog day, although without the humour of Bill Murray smashing that bloke in the face. Southampton repeated their 1-0 victory over United from last season. Back in January 2015 it was substitute Dusan Tadic that nabbed the winner in what was a dire game – with the home team failing to muster up a single shot on Fraser Forster’s goal. Fast forward twelve months and not much has changed; a substitute scores, Southampton win 1-0 – but of course, this rime around – United did manage a shot on target.

Daley Blind’s drive from forty yards was as good as it got for United fans the whole afternoon. United have now failed to score in the first half of eleven home games this season, whilst the visitors picked up their first back to back wins at Old Trafford in nearly forty seven years.

It was Winston Churchill that once remarked “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it”. Indeed, if you are Louis van Gaal – you stick to your philosophy, regardless of how ineffective and mind numbingly boring history tells you it is. I feel that each performance warrants the same summary on here. “Slow”, “pedestrian”, “unadventurous”, “risk adverse” and “immobile” are all words that have been repeated time and time again when assessing United this season – rather than discussing contentious, thrilling or debatable moments as in years gone by. For all the suggestions that the 1-0 victory at Anfield could reignite something this season, Charlie Austin and Southampton reminded us that indeed, unfortunately, history does repeat itself some times.

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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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