Coming off another
entirely predictable, soul-crushing, unfortunate defeat to local rivals Manchester City, Manchester United take on Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday. Villa Park was the site of one of United’s better team performances in 2013/14, as the Reds ran out 3-0 winners. Since that game, United have lurched from consistently bad performances to awful results, with lots of overlap between the two, of course. To preview the match, we’re got a view from the opposition with Jamie, a Villa fan and NFL blogger at Any Given Sunday Night. You can follow him on Twitter (@JamieCutteridge) here. As always, we welcome feedback in the comments from both sets of fans.
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Coming off another
Edin Dzeko scored early in both halves, to kill the game off as a contest.
Manchester United continued their wretched run against the top teams in the Premier League this season, capitulating to a 3-0 defeat at home to local rivals Manchester City. The Blues led after forty-three seconds and, despite United looking vaguely competitive for around thirty minutes before half-time, their lead was never in danger, and they coasted through the second half after Dzeko scored an easy second goal from a corner. Yaya Toure emphasised the visitors’ total superiority by angling a third past a helpless De Gea shortly before full-time. In today’s Talking Points, we break down the tactics employed by David Moyes that led to the club’s latest embarrassment.
Manchester United won 3-2 at Manchester City last season with a last minute Robin van Persie goal
Guest Author: Darren Richman
As we prepare for the visit of City this evening, I thought it was an apt moment to reflect on United’s last win against their cross-town rivals. I had not originally intended to write a piece about my trip to Eastlands that December but, given the way the day unfolded, it would have been remiss if I did not. In the week that saw the launch of a book in which I wrote a chapter about the best day of my life (26/5/99 of course, buy it at http://www.deepestredbook.com/), that trip to the Etihad was almost certainly the greatest away day I have experienced. Setting aside Moscow (since it wasn’t, strictly speaking, an away day) and the Cantona kung-fu kick (since it wasn’t, strictly speaking, great – we drew 1-1), there are only two other genuine contenders. Beckham from the halfway line at Wimbledon and the Spurs 5-3 were both obviously great moments but context is all and City are City. This was the zenith.
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.
Wayne Rooney scores wonder goal against West Ham United for Manchester United
Following the rediscovering of Manchester United’s attacking instincts in the Champions League, Moyes boys looked to continue the positive vibes against a struggling West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground.
With the news Robin van Persie is likely to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, it was an opportunity to get Juan Mata central and Wayne Rooney as the point of the attack. Neither dissappointed with Rooney producing a stunning 58 yard volley to open the scoring before Mata controlled the game with superb movement, vision and passing. Strong performances from Jones, Carrick, Fletcher and a resurgent Fellaini provided plenty of positives to be taken from the game.
Here we reflect on the talking points of the game and invite debate/opinion from both sets of fans.
Robin van Persie, who is injured for today’s fixture, scores in the draw against West Ham last season
Following on from Manchester United’s win in the Champions League over Olympiakos, the English Champions travel to East London to take on West Ham United at Upton Park. The home side, currently in twelfth position in the Premier League have always been a tough side for United to take on when under pressure. Two key title deciding games in 1992 and 1995, where Ludo Miklosko denied United time and time again, spring to mind – however, the stark reality is that any title chasing is over for at least another calendar year.
All red were delighted to have qualified for the quarter finals of the European Cup, however – the news that Robin van Persie is out for six weeks and the fact that the club have drawn the European Champions and arguably the best club in the world on current form highlights the monumental challenge David Moyes still has in the remaining two months of the season. With the Dutchman out, it gives a chance to Juan Mata to play through the middle off of Wayne Rooney.
Joey O’Brien and Marco Boriello are unavailable for the home side, whilst Nemanja Vidic is suspended following his dismissal against Liverpool last weekend.
Juan Mata is yet to score for Manchester United following his move from Chelsea
Guest Author: Doron Salomon
As the season continues to turn darker and become increasingly memorable for the wrong reasons, United are going to have to score, and score big if there’s to be anything left to salvage. Putting the ball in the net has been one of the fundamental problems and whilst fans are keen to point the finger at the manager or specific players, this is a shared concern that looks set to continue.
Steven Gerrard scores a second penalty as Liverpool humble Manchester United 3-0
Manchester United were humbled at home by a rampant Liverpool who won for the first time at Old Trafford in five years. Steve Gerrard scored two penalty kicks and Luis Suarez rounded off the home side’s misery when he latched on to a mis-hit Daniel Sturridge shot. United only really tested Simon Mignolet’s goal just before the break, when Wayne Rooney’s goal bound effort was saved.
United looked rigid and flat in comparison to their rivals, who stroked the ball around with ease for most of the match. The home side were chasing shadows for most of the game and found it difficult to defend against the counter attacking play of Liverpool. Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling would take turns to drop deep and help influence play, with the youngster often found at the tip of the diamond.
We discuss the talking points from the game and welcome comments from both sets of fans.
Robin van Persie will hope to be on the scoresheet when Manchester United take on Liverpool
Manchester United host Liverpool in the 190th match between the two clubs. United haven’t lost at home to the visitors since the 4-1 defeat back in 2009. At that time, United were in the hunt for a second successive European Cup, the Premier League title and the FA Cup. As we now know a Andres Iniesta inspired Barcelona, with a little help from Lionel Messi, stopped United from reclaiming the European title, whilst David Moyes’ Everton beat United on penalties in the semi-final of the cup – with Dimitar Berbatov taking a horrendous spot kick. United did go on to win the title, three on the trot.
Fast forward half a decade and United are looking up at their rivals who are now 11 points clear. It is highly unlikely United will qualify for the Champions League, even with thirty points left to play for. United will be hoping a win over Liverpool will help to raise confidence ahead of the return Champions League fixture on Wednesday, with the home side 2-0 down from the first leg.
Bryan Robson and Kenny Dalglish back in 1985 for Manchester United vs. Liverpool
Guest Author: Luzhniki2008
When the football fixtures are announced each Summer the first matches that I always look for on these lists are when we will play Liverpool at home and away. These, for me, have always been our biggest matches of the season, regardless of either side’s league position or form. As a child, in the mid 1980s, Liverpool were by far the most successful side of the time, winning numerous League titles, Domestic Cups, Charity Shields and European Cups, though not the Intercontinental Cup.