Manchester United 3-1 Aston Villa: Rooney & Herrera sink Villa

Posted on April 06, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Premier League   No Comments »
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Ander Herrera opens the scoring with a nearly taken first half strike

Author: Karate Jesus
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What a difference a fortnight makes; the journey to Old Trafford for the previous home league match against Spurs had been filled with apprehension and anxiety that the season would end on a downward trajectory following the whimper against Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier that week. The subsequent victories against Spurs and Liverpool not only gave United a cushion in the ‘rat race’ for the top four but felt like Van Gaal’s side had suddenly gone from 2nd gear to 5th.

Gone was the hesitant, nervous football on evidence over the majority of the season to date, replaced by a United side playing with pace, confidence and aggression. For the first time in a long time, the walk to the ground was filled with the expectation, rather than hope, of a home win and good performance. The new found confidence proved well founded as United recorded a fifth straight league win with another encouraging performance.

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Ander Herrera continues to flourish in debut season

Posted on April 05, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Players, Premier League   No Comments »
Ander Herrera has recovered from a rib injury and he may be able to play in a corset.
Ander Herrara continues to flourish in Manchester United’s midfield

Ander Herrara has quite a tough task. When starting a new job, in whatever you do, you want to make sure you make an impact and show you can offer a little more than those who went before you. Herrara has the quite daunting task of treading in the footsteps of Paul Scholes at club level and Xavi Hernandez at International level – two of the finest European midfielders the world has ever seen.

Scholes was the heart of United for so many years, had a sublime range of passing and was excellent at scoring goals from midfield. Xavi, although his influence is waning in the autumn years, was inspirational in the heart of Barcelona’s and Spain’s midfield for over a decade. Both have set the standards for future players and fans will remember the special moments both players brought to the game.

Herrera, who is yet to win a full international cap, has excelled as the season has progressed in the centre of the park and his proving his worth at a club who are now closing in on a Champions League spot. A top performance against Liverpool and two goals against Aston Villa have highlighted his worth in United side growing in confidence.

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Manchester United vs. Aston Villa view from the opposition

Posted on April 03, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Match Previews, Premier League   No Comments »
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Juan Mata scores for Manchester United against Aston Villa last season

Following the international break, in form Manchester United welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford in what will be the 184th clash between the two sides. Villa are struggling at the wrong end of the table, but have recently picked up under new manager Tim Sherwood with an important win over fellow relegation battlers, Sunderland. Villa fans can also look forward to an FA Cup semi-final clash against Liverpool or Blackburn Rovers but the main focus will be on Premier League survival and three point at Old Trafford.

United are in good form, beating Tottenham and a superb 2-1 win against Liverpool over the past few weeks, which has opened a gap between United in fourth spot. Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are in fine form and both are expected to start against Villa,

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Smalling and Jones: a pairing for club and country

Posted on March 24, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Man United   No Comments »

Guest Author: Doron

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In the summer of 2011, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones were paired together at the European U21 Championships in Denmark. It was the start of a partnership that held much promise for both club and country and they were the major positive to come out of an otherwise disappointing tournament for England, with the pair particularly impressive in a 1-1 draw against Spain. To date, the potential of their partnership has been unfulfilled and in the coming week, Roy Hodgson has the chance to pair them together for England for what would only be the second time at senior level.

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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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Liverpool vs. Manchester United: View from the opposition

Posted on March 22, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Liverpool, Man United, Match Previews   No Comments »
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David De Gea thwarts Raheem Sterling in the 3-0 victory over Liverpool back in December

In what is the 192nd meeting between the two clubs, Manchester United travel to Anfield to take on a Liverpool side two points behind as the battle for a Champions League spot really heats up. Liverpool have looked a different side since the turn of the year and have won five of their last six matches. United’s general form is also good, although a disappointed 2-1 defeat away at Swansea City means United have only won two of the last six away games.

Louis van Gaal starts a run of of four matches that sees United’s take on Liverpool, relegation strugglers Aston Villa, Manchester City and Chelsea. The Dutchman will know that United have to pick up three points at Anfield to stay ahead of the pack and also send out a message. United last won at Liverpool in the autumn of 2012, when Robin van Persie slotted home the winning penalty. A repeat of that will be most welcome today.

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Manchester United vs. Spurs: view from the opposition

Posted on March 15, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Man United, Match Previews, Premier League, Spurs   1 Comment »
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Manchester United and Spurs battle it out in the 0-0 draw in December

Manchester United begin a run of five games that, once concluded, will give a much clearer picture as to where Louis van Gaal’s men will finish come the end of May. United welcome Tottenham Hotspur, who are also chasing a top four finish, to Old Trafford this afternoon and are in desperate need of a win to keep on the tails of Arsenal, who won handsomely against West Ham United yesterday.

Today’s fixture marks a tricky run that includes a trip away to Liverpool, Manchester City at home and a trip away to league leaders Chelsea. A resurgent Aston Villa are also travel to Old Trafford over Easter.

Spurs have picked up wins in the previous two trips to Old Trafford, beating United 3-2 with an electric performance from Gareth Bale and last season 2-1 on New Years Day. The last win for United against Spurs came back in 2011/12, with a 3-0 victory in August. How United fans would love to see a repeat of that victory today.

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United’s need for speed

Posted on March 10, 2015  by nameonthetrophy  in Man United   1 Comment »

James Wilson will add some much needed pace up front for Manchester United

Guest Author: Doron

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It’s long been a gripe of some gamers that the FIFA series gives too much importance to pace. The current Manchester United side are the experiment that proves the theory wrong though. Without pace the chances of success are greatly diminished.

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Ashley Young has laid down a marker

Posted on March 09, 2015  by Karate_Jesus  in Man United   4 Comments »

Author: Karate Jesus
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If David de Gea was taken out of the running, it’s strange to think that when United’s players and supporters vote for their player of the season, the much maligned and, in some quarters, vehemently despised, Ashley Young, would be a contender. Many would argue that this is a sign of United’s current mediocrity, but in a squad with players of the calibre of Rooney, Van Persie, Falcao, Di Maria and Mata, it’s also just praise for a player who’s energy and attitude have begun to win over many of the people who have criticised him since his arrival from Aston Villa in 2011.

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Manchester United and Arsenal do battle in the FA Cup

Posted on March 09, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United   No Comments »
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Robin van Persie scores the winner against Arsenal at home last season in the league

You may not have Brian McClair kicking lumps out of Nigel Winterburn. You may not have Eric Cantona and Dennis Bergkamp’s genius. You may not have a snarling Sir Alex Ferguson confronting the much taller Arsene Wenger – but you do have Manchester United vs. Arsenal, if the FA Cup quarter final for a place at Wembley. Arsenal, the current holders, haven’t beaten United at Old Trafford since the 2006/07 season when Emmanuel Adebayor scored in the last five minutes of the game.

Wenger will be looking to get one over van Gaal, following the 2-1 defeat at The Emirates last November, with David De Gea playing a blinder yet again. United are missing Jonny Evans (suspended) and Robin van Persie, who still has an ankle injury following the defeat to Swansea City.

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