United score last gasp winner at Watford to go second

Posted on November 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Watford   No Comments »
Memphis Depay scores Manchester United’s opener against Watford

Author: Mitchell

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Fans of Wayne Rooney should take a second to breathe, as what I’m about to tell you might come as the shock you so eagerly were trying to avoid. Ready for it? Here it comes.

Manchester United put forth one of their best displays of the season and the captain was nowhere near the pitch. That’s right: no Rooney, no worry.

You’d think that a team missing Anthony Martial, Rooney, James Wilson and Marouane Fellaini would struggle against a home side with a reputation for low concession (an average of just over one goal per game) and on stats alone you’d probably chalk up a victory. Tell that to Memphis Depay though, given the forward spot and repaying within ten minutes of the open. A converted penalty from Troy Deeney nearly ruined a hard-fought effort with five minutes to spare, but Bastian Schweinsteiger forcing the ball from a tight angle onto the Watford scorer’s sliding body put the game to bed.

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Jesse Lingard gives van Gaal the goal Manchester United needed

Posted on November 08, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
Jesse Lingard scores the opener against WBA
Jesse Lingard opens the scoring for Manchester United against WBA in the 2-0 victory at Old Trafford

As we approach the next international break where there is the inevitable gap of watching domestic football, much has happened since the last break in early October. The 19th minute strike by Alexis Sanchez in the 3-0 defeat away at Arsenal is the last league goal Manchester United have conceded. Paul Scholes has spoken openly regarding the way Louis van Gaal has the side playing these days, whilst Middlesbrough have knocked United out of the League Cup, on penalties – at Old Trafford.

Despite the criticism regarding lack of attacking threat, United continue to push and challenge for some sort of title charge. Yesterday, the defensively minded WBA set up shop with eleven men behind the ball – which explains a lot as to why, before yesterday, they had conceded the fewest away goals in the Premier League. The first half was devoid of any real action, excluding the brilliant control, turn and shot from Anthony Martial. The second half was more open and United fans witnessed Jesse Lingard’s first goal for the club; a beautifully curled shot past the helpless Boaz Myhill in the 52nd minute.

United were lucky not to concede when Saido Berahino missed an absolute sitter from five yards. The unmarked forward, who was a second half substitute, headed high and wide from a Craig Dawson cross. With time running out, the visitors pushed men forward – but it was Anthony Martial who won a penalty for the home side after a through ball by Ander Herrera. The young French forward was brought down by Gareth McAuley, who was dismissed by Mike Dean, having showed great pace to get into a shooting position. Juan Mata slotted home the penalty for United to go 2-0 up and keep the pressure on Manchester City, Arsenal and high flying Leicester City.

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Will Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United score goals against WBA?

Posted on November 07, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, WBA   No Comments »
Manchester United lose 1-0 to WBA last season
Manchester United haven’t conceded a goal since the 1-1 draw with CSKA Moscow

The figures do not bode well for an open attacking game at Old Trafford this afternoon. Manchester United haven’t scored a goal in the Premier League since Wayne Rooney’s strike against Everton three weeks ago, whilst WBA have only conceded two goals away from The Hawthorns all season. Looking at the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace last week, United are struggling to capitalise on the amount of possession the side has during Premier League matches.

This generally applies to games away from Old Trafford – but with WBA’s stingy defence, the 5-5 goal fest in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final is highly unlikely. Louis van Gaal has pleaded for patience with United fans following boos during the CSKA Moscow game in the week – which United won 1-0. Can United pick up in front of goal and pick up three points and seek revenge following the 1-0 defeat to WBA last May?

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Manchester United fire blank in 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace

Posted on November 01, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Crystal Palace, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Louis van Gaal looks on as Wayne Rooney fails to find the back of the net
Louis van Gaal looks on as Wayne Rooney fails to find the back of the net against Palace

With Manchester United legend Paul Scholes openly criticising Louis van Gaal’s approach and “philosophy” – the best response would have been to play with an open attacking display against Crystal Palace and throw caution to the wind. Sadly, for van Gaal, the United fans and Paul Scholes – the legendary midfielder was proved right as United struggled to find any momentum that would suggest come May, the club will be challenging for the league title.

With the exception of the Arsenal game, United have become difficult to beat and breakdown, although Yannick Bolasie was unlucky not to open the scoring with a thundering shot parried on to the bar by David De Gea. Wayne Rooney, who is continuing to come under fire from United fans for his below par performances the season, should have opened the scoring following a superb through pass by Anthony Martial.

United will struggle to keep up with title chasing Manchester City and Arsenal – both of whom won yesterday – with performance that are laboured, sluggish and lack any real cutting edge. United are not creating chances, which is one of the main problems outlined by Paul Scholes. Will the philosophy come good or will United slowly see any title challenge slip away?

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Manchester United and Manchester City in 0-0 stalemate

Posted on October 25, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Premier League   No Comments »
Bastian Schweinsteiger gets stuck into Fernandinho in his first Manchester derby

It has been over ten years since we witnessed a 0-0 draw in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford. Back then a raw Cristiano Ronaldo was menacing down the wings, Liam Miller patrolled the midfield alongside a much more memorable Roy Keane – whilst Roy Carroll kept a clean sheet against an attacking outlet of Steve McMananman, Nicholas Anelka and Shaun Wright-Phillips. The personnel may have changed significantly alongside the objectives of both clubs but it was the defence who came out on top in a match that showcased flashes of excitement, albeit these were indeed limited to only flashes.

Substitute Jesse Lingard came closest to opening the scoring after hitting the bar following a brilliant through ball by Antony Martial who was operating down the left hand side for United. City were very strong defensively through the middle – with Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi excellent in central defence and Fernandinho closing down the space in front of back four. The result was a fair one as Manchester City return to the top of the table, with United remaining in fourth – just two points behind.

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Manchester United vs. Manchester City view from the oppo

Posted on October 25, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Manchester City, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
Juan Mata scores United’s third goal in the 4-2 rout at Old Trafford last season

When Manchester United and Manchester City take the field this afternoon, it will be 170th time both clubs have done battle. In fixtures gone by, fans of both sets of clubs have seen the likes of George Best, Franny Lee, Eric Cantona, Georgi Kinkladze, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero do battle – with United winning seventy of the matches and City forty-nine. If United are victorious in the derby, they will leapfrog City into second place and could even go top for a handsome win (United will need to win by four clear goals). If the away side are victorious, City will return to the top of the Premier League and put some distance between themselves and United.

Wayne Rooney will play his first game for the club at the age of 30 and if he is on the scoresheet will be the 2nd highest goal scorer in the Premier league outright. The United captain is currently joint second with former Manchester United striker, who had a brief spell at Manchester City, on 187 goals. Rooney will have to score a fair few more goals to catch Jimmy Greeves, the all time top goals scoring in English football’s top flight – with 357 goals (Rooney currently in 36th spot).

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Everton brushed aside by impressive Manchester United display

Posted on October 18, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Wayne Rooney scores his goal at Goodison since 2007 as United ran out 3-0 winners over Everton

Whenever one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s teams lost heavily the fixture before, you knew only too well that there would be a positive reaction in the next game. His successor Louis van Gaal was absolutely delighted with the way in which his Manchester United went about their business at Goodison Park against Everton.

Morgan Schneiderlin, who was dropped two weeks ago for the clash against Arsenal, opened the scoring before Ander Herrera headed home United’s second following a quite brilliant cross from Marcos Rojo on the lefthand side. Wayne Rooney, who first played against his hometown club ten years ago in the 2004/05 season – which United lost 1-0, finished off the scoring having latched onto a through ball by Herrera after Phil Jagielka gave the ball away; his first at Everton since 2007. United were different class and set down a marker ahead of the derby next Sunday at Old Trafford.

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Everton vs. Manchester United preview: Can United bounce back?

Posted on October 17, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Everton, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
John Stones beats David De Gea as Everton thrash United 3-0
Manchester United were thumped 3-0 away at Everton last season

The International break is over! The Premier League is back! Also, Manchester United are looking to bounce back from the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal two weeks ago. The club travel to Goodison Park today to take on Everton – who come into game following a 1-1 draw with Liverpool. The home side are in decent form following a 3-2 comeback against WBA at the end of September and will be boosted by the performance of Ross Barkley against Estonia and Lithuania.

United went down 3-0 last season in a deserved victory for the home side following a impressive performance from James McCarthy. The season before saw David Moyes take charge of his last game for the club, however – United went into the fixture last April in decent form having beaten Tottenham, Aston Villa and Liverpool before narrowly losing out to Chelsea. Time has flown in this fixture – with twenty years having past since United went down 1-0 in the 1995 FA Cup Final and thirty years since Norman Whiteside bent one past Neville Southall.

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United thumped 3-0 at Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez stars

Posted on October 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
Alexis Sanchez scores a brilliant first goal to give Arsenal the lead over United

Author: Mitchell

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It was going so well. Top of the league, looking down at the multitude of implosions that threatened to keep Louis van Gaal’s Red and White Army in title contention, scoring goals and conceding next to nothing. It was going so well that it had to end at some point but no one expected it to be within the first twenty minutes of Sunday’s game at the Emirates. It wasn’t going THAT well.

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Manchester United top of the league with 3-0 Sunderland win

Posted on September 27, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Premier League, Sunderland   1 Comment »
Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata all score in United’s 3-0 over Sunderland

Manchester United return to the top of the table for the first time in over two years following a 3-0 victory over lowly Sunderland. United were in rampant mood, following the news that Manchester City lost 4-1 away to Tottenham Hotspur.

Memphis Depay opened the scoring following a beautifully weighted ball from Daley Blind, which was perfectly cushioned into the path of United’s winger by Juan Mata. United’s second came just seconds into the second half when Anthony Matrial, who was again superb, fired in a low drive across the face of the goal – which was bulldozed in off of Wayne Rooney’s right knee.

Juan Mata rounded off the scoring in the final minute of the match after latched into Ashley Young’s left sided cross. The score reflected United’s dominance against a Sunderland side devoid of quality and confidence. David De Gea was called into action a few times, but made a number of routine saves with his feet.

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