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Much like United’s season, the game was over before half-time.
I think I said all that needed to be said about the Everton defeat here. But for formality’s sake, here’s a brief summary of the game – a game which, sadly, was a pathetic microcosm of United’s entire season. Another game against a top-six team, another loss in what has become a depressingly predictable pattern for David Moyes’s Manchester United. With rumours of Moyes’s imminent sacking seemingly everywhere this evening, we reviewed some of the troubles that were evident against his former club.
David Moyes ends his first season in charge of Manchester United without a major trophy
“This is a trophy for Sir Alex, so if he is sitting at home and watching today, this is for you Sir Alex and for the way your team performed last season and won the Premier League. The only way you get to the Charity Shield is by winning the league or the FA Cup, so Sir Alex’s team did that last year and the ones from now on will be hopefully for me to win.”
- David Moyes August 2013
Yes indeed. The Community Shield, the season opener between the previous league champions and the FA cup winners. A perfect start for David Moyes to get a taster or what it is like to win a trophy. They have been more entertaining ties down the years, most noticeably an Eric Cantona hattrick pre-King status, Kenneth Wolstenholme’s famous line on Bobby Chalrton’s excellent second goal against Spurs in 1967 (or even Pat Jennings goal in the same game!) and the bare chested Kevin Keegan and Billy Bremner going at it hammer and tong having been sent off for getting a big chunky Johnny Giles elbow. Yes, those were Community, or Charity, shield memories from yesteryear – which you could argue were far more memorable than the 2-0 victory over Wigan some eight months ago.
In the time that has elapsed, we’ve seen a ‘Moyes Out’ plane banner fly over Old Trafford during the 4-1 win over Aston Villa, United humbled at home by Manchester City and Liverpool and a number of uninspiring flat press conferences, where the manager focuses on ‘trying’ to win. The debate on Moyes always brings me back to this question – can you ever see, regardless of time, a Manchester United side managed by David Moyes winning a major trophy?
Manchester United are nine point off Everton, who have played a game more.
Manchester United travel to Goodison Park to face Everton on Sunday, in what will be the 188th clash between the two clubs. Everton have four games remaining to try and beat Arsenal to fourth spot, whilst Manchester United’s season duly ended earlier in the month when the club went out 4-2 on aggregate to the reigning European Champions Bayern Munich.
David Moyes was ridiculed by the Everton supporters in the 1-0 defeat back in December, which obviously riled up the United boss as he has spoken recently about demanding more respect from the Goodison crowd. In the last five games at Everton, United have only won a single match back in the 2011/12 season, although United’s form on the road has been much better than at home this term.
David De Gea has been a revelation at Manchester United in what has been a difficult season.
Guest Author: Doron Salomon
It came as no surprise that the initial response to United announcing that fans could vote for their player of the year was hashtags (#VoteDave) and campaigns supporting David de Gea. In what’s been a remarkably poor season for the club, he is a rare beacon of light and one of the few players to have improved. For the second season running he should be recognised as the best goalkeeper in the league.
On Wednesday night, United face their biggest match of the season in Munich. After last week’s stirring 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, the Reds have to summon a performance for the ages to get past European champions Bayern, and reach the Champions League semifinals.
This past weekend, Bayern lost their first match of the Bundesliga season, 1-0 at Augsburg, with a starting XI featuring stars of the world game such as Mitchell Weiser, Pierre Emile Hojbjerg and Ylli Sallahi. United beat Newcastle 4-0, a really good performance that built upon their improving away form. Mr. Moyes was also able to rest key players such as Carrick, Ferdinand and Vidic, while Rafael may be fit to start on Wednesday. Unfortunately, man-of-the-match Juan Mata is cup-tied and therefore unavailable for the game. Robin van Persie is still injured and will be out for some time again, while Wayne Rooney is likely to start after suffering from a toe injury at the weekend. Patrice Evra will be available after a one-match suspension, though – amazingly – there is the possibility that Alex Büttner will get the nod at left back, after a disciplined and controlled defensive performance last week.
Chicharito might be miserable under Moyes, but looked happy to play with Kagawa, Mata and Januzaj.
Four straight away wins in the league. No goals conceded away from home in five. Juan Mata is looking confident and decisive while scoring and assisting from his preferred position, with Shinji Kagawa increasingly influential from wide areas and enjoying his partnership with Mata*. Antonio Valencia is recapturing some form, and Wayne Rooney (until his recent injury) has been scoring consistently from the #9 position. Away from Old Trafford, it’s beginning to look like Manchester United again.
Juan Mata scores twice to help Manchester United run riot at Newcastle
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A trip to St James’ Park is usually full of goals and this visit was no exception. With Wayne Rooney being a major doubt for the trip to Bayern next week and others being rested, it was a much changed team for United. The likes of Ferdinand, Vidic and Carrick were rested with Fletcher, Mata and Hernandez making starts.
The game itself was a dull affair with very little happening until Mata stepped up to bury a free kick shortly before halftime. Just to the right of the penalty ‘D’, Mata stepped up and curled a fabulous shot over the wall and into the top corner of the goal. After the break Uniteds tails were up and a second for Mata took the game away from Newcastle. Further goals from Hernandez and Januzaj made the score more reflective of Uniteds dominance in the box.
Here we pick out the talking points of the match and invite discussion from fans in the comments below.
Wayne Rooney is out of the clash between Manchester United and Newcastle United with a toe injury
Manchester United travel to Newcastle United hoping to avenge the 1-0 defeat at the start of December last year. United go into the match ahead of the 2nd leg clash with Bayern Munich on Wednesday and David Moyes will surely rest a number of players if the club has any chance to progress into the semi-finals of the Champions League.
Newcastle have only won one of the last four games since Alan Pardew’s infamous head butt incident in the 4-1 victory over Hull City. The Newcastle boss will again be in the stands for the visit of Manchester United today. United last lost to Newcastle at the ‘Sports Direct Arena’ at the start of 2012, when Demba Ba gave United a torrid time in the 3-0 defeat.
As mentioned, Wayne Rooney will miss the trip with a badly injured toe, whilst United are still missing Robin van Persie, who is still recovering from the knock he picked up in the 3-0 victory over Olympiakos. Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are back in training and are available for selection. Juan Mata, who is obviously ineligible on Wednesday, will surely start off of Danny Welbeck.
For the home side, Moussa Sissoko joins Tim Krul, Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy on the treatment table, having picked up a thigh strain.
Bayern Munich lift their fifth European Cup at Wembley last May.
Yep. Its finally here. Three times European Cup winners Manchester United take on reigning champions Bayern Munich, who are gunning for a sixth victory in this season’s competition. Having already wrapped up the the Bundesliga title with a laughable twenty-eight point gap over last year’s beaten finalists Borussia Dortmund, Pep Guardiola and his men will be fairly confident about progressing to the semi-finals of the tournament. With David Moyes under a severe amount of pressure, the European title is the only trophy left for United to win this season, although – in the way – are arguably the best team on the planet at present.