Posts Tagged With 'Manchester United'

Manchester United sign off 2015/16 with FA Cup win at Wembley

Posted on May 22, 2016  by Stretford-end  in FA Cup, Man United   No Comments »
Manchester United sign off 2015/16 with FA Cup win at Wembley
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Wayne Rooney lifts the FA Cup for Manchester United after beating Crystal Palace 2-1

Manchester United ended the season with a trophy – the FA Cup – in a entertaining final that saw substitute Jesse Lingard net the winner in extra time. It was a quality strike, worthy of winning any football match. United’s opposition, Crystal Palace, put in a good performance and were only 12 minutes away from a famous 1-0 victory, before Juan Mata scored the equaliser. The Palace fans were quality throughout the game – from start to finish.

In what was a whirlwind of an afternoon and evening, with the news that Jose Mourinho would take over as United manager at some point next week, Louis van Gaal must be pleased that he has delivered a trophy – the first major one without Sir Alex Ferguson since May 1985, when Ron Atkinson lifted the same trophy on the same turf. For all his faults, ‘philosophy’ and stubbornness in refusal to change – van Gaal has been a great manager, but it didn’t quite work out at Old Trafford as we’d expected following the 2014 World Cup.

There were a number of boos when he lifted the trophy – which shouldn’t have happened, considering he’d just won a trophy. His joyous celebration highlighted the passion and desire he still has to win football matches (and a trophy), but the football he instilled, having spent a fortune, wasn’t anywhere near the standards set by Sir Alex Ferguson over more than twenty five years.

United are now joint record holders with Arsenal for the FA Cup wins and combined with a record twenty league titles, ensures the club continues to be the most successful football club in England! Here is to next season!

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Remembering the brilliance of the FA Cup..

Posted on May 21, 2016  by Stretford-end  in FA Cup, Man United   No Comments »
Remembering the brilliance of the FA Cup..
Eric Cantona scores in the FA Cup final
Eric Cantona helps Manchester United towards the double in 1994

“Que sera sera whatever will be will be, we’re going to Wembley – Que sera sera!”. Yes, the famous chant that has stood the test of time for clubs throughout the land and Manchester United are gearing up to do battle with Crystal Palace in what is a mirror fixture of the 1990 FA Cup final. When Louis van Gaal’s men take the field today, United will have featured in the FA Final more times than any other club (although Arsenal hold the record with 12 wins), taking the club’s tally to twenty. In those finals, the United faithful have witnessed a Billy Meredith inspired performance in 1909, despair at losing the 1958 final and the euphoria of Norman Whiteside bending one past Neville Southall.

1871 marks the first official FA Cup final. It is quintessential British occasion, an institution that reminds us all of a different time in football – a more innocent time. With the introduction of the Premier League in 1992 and the launch of the Champions League (also in 1992), football became more of a business, more about profit and ultimately – more about money. The FA Cup became a casualty in a football world that saw transfers and wages soar. The football bigwigs, and a small number of fans, would prefer a top four finish over an FA Cup victory – simply to qualify for the Champions League and face up against a Bayern Munich or Real Madrid. There is no doubting the importance of a Champions League place finish for a club and fan, both from a financial point of view (club) and from a mark of success point of view (fan) – but in order to achieve such a feat, perhaps United need to be victorious in a competition that has seen the likes of Eric Cantona, Jack Rowley and Denis Law leave the famous twin towers as winners.

The twin towers may be no more, the lingering memories of the Frenchman’s flair and swagger confined to a discussion over a few pints in the pub and the Champions League has accelerated past at Usain Bolt pace, leaving the FA Cup struggling for breath – but the 2016 FA Final provides an important reminder of what has come before and what lies ahead for the victor.

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Eric Cantona: Legends of Old Trafford

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Legends, Man United, Players   No Comments »
Eric Cantona: Legends of Old Trafford
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Eric Cantona won four league titles in five seasons at Old Trafford

It seems only like yesterday a certain Frenchman strutted his way through the Old Trafford doors, collar up and with a point to prove. A genius piece of business by Sir Alex Ferguson saw Eric Cantona join Manchester United in the November of 1992 from, then, Champions Leeds United. What happened over the course of the next four and half seasons, I don’t think any Red will ever forget for as long as they live.

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Manchester United vs. Leicester City view from oppo

Posted on May 01, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Man United News, Match Previews   No Comments »
Manchester United vs. Leicester City view from oppo
Bastian Schweinsteiger scores against Leicester City
Bastian Schweinsteiger scores against Leicester City in the 1-1 draw earlier in the season

Its eighteen years since Leicester City last won at Old Trafford, a 1-0 defeat that dented Manchester United’s title hopes. At the end of the 1997/98 season, United lost out on the title to Arsenal by a point, whilst Leicester City finished a respectable tenth in the Premier League. Today, is very different – with the visitors on the brink of the Premier League title, whilst Manchester United are desperately fighting to finish in the top four – which is looking increasingly unlikely as we enter the final few games of the season.

So what do Leicester City fans think of their remarkable season? How do they view the progress of United under Louis van Gaal? Read on to find out.

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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 »
Manchester City vs. Manchester United preview & view from opp
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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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Juan Mata ‘absolutely delighted’ with 3-2 win over Arsenal

Posted on February 29, 2016  by Stretford-end  in Arsenal, Man United, Man United News, Quotes   No Comments »
Juan Mata 'absolutely delighted' with 3-2 win over Arsenal
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Juan Mata looks on as Jesse Lingard challenges Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

Juan Mata and his team mates are “absolutely delighted” with the 3-2 victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday. Marcus Rashford netted a brace before Ander Herrera scored the winner midway through the second half. Mata, who is ten games away from a century of Manchester United appearances, played well through the middle flanked by fellow Spaniard Herrera and Morgan Schneiderlin.

The 27 year old spoke about progress in both the FA Cup and Europa League, but referred to “the top positions in the Premier League”, indicating that the club would settle for a Champions League spot, rather than a very late title surge. Mata, who has scored four goals in twenty seven games for United this season, was full of praise for youngster Marcus Rashford – describing the week as one he’ll never forget.

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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 »
Sunderland view from the oppo: Defo, Adam Johnson & relegation
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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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Josh King heaps more misery on van Gaal as United lose again

Posted on December 13, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Bournemouth, Man United, Premier League   1 Comment »
Josh King heaps more misery on van Gaal as United lose again
Manchester United lose 2-1 away at Bournemouth
Manchester United lose 2-1 away at Bournemouth with former Red Josh King netting the winner

Former Red Josh King, who made two substitute appearances for the club, came back to haunt his former employers with a winning goal for Bournemouth as Louis van Gaal witnessed a second defeat in a single week following the the 3-2 loss in the Champions League at the hands of Wolfsburg. King, who was a menace all evening, worked tirelessly throughout the match and was a constant threat, especially down United’s right hand side, with a powerful dribbling display and a few nutmegs on youngster Guillermo Varela thrown in.

Both United and Bournemouth were missing a number of players through injury, but it was indeed the newly promoted club that looked sharp and maintained their defensive shape. Louis van Gaal was missing Chris Smalling, who has been United’s best player so far this season, and his experience was sorely missed in a backline that had three players who haven’t made thirty appearances between one another. Bournemouth were well worth their victory and could have scored more, with Glenn Murray squandering two glorious opportunities in the second half.

Each weekend it seems United fans are discussing the same issues and Louis van Gaal’s so called “philosophy”. The United boss has hit back at the critics with the notion that United’s days of winning trophies are in the past due to the financial clout of other top European clubs – however, this is from a manager who has the backing to spend over £250million on new players. Van Gaal needs to finish what he has started at United and there isn’t any suggestion he should vacate his post early – but the football is dull and uninspiring whilst United are losing ground on Arsenal and Manchester City in the league.

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Jamie Vardy makes history as Wayne Rooney struggles again

Posted on November 29, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Leicester City, Man United, Match Reports   1 Comment »
Jamie Vardy makes history as Wayne Rooney struggles again
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Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea embraces Jamie Vardy at the final whistle

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record was official broken by Jamie Vardy, as Manchester United drew 1-1 with Leicester City at the King Power stadium. The Dutchman, who was the last player to score a winning goal at Leicester back in 2003, tweeted his respect of the record being broke as both clubs failed to find the winner, which would have sent either club to the top of the table ahead of Manchester City.

Vardy had scored the opener on 24 minutes, following a beautifully crafted left footed pass ball from Christian Fuchs. The home side counter attacked brilliantly from a United corner before Vardy smashed home his eleventh in a row – a unbelievable story for a player who was playing non-league football five years ago. United hit back just before half time with a header from Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German smashed home from a superb corner from Daley Blind, whilst outmuscling Shinji Okazaki in the process.

The tie took a familiar pattern, with Manchester United dominating possession without ever really threatening Kasper Schmeichel in the Leicester City goal. The home side were setup to counter United, and Louis van Gaal looked to nullify the any through balls from the full backs into the channels, by deploying Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial wide when not in possession – for Juan Mata to press the centre halves. When United in fact won the ball and started a counter, both Rooney and Martial were too far apart to capitalise.

Rooney was taken off due to a injury (according to the manager), to be replaced by Memphis Depay. But the United captain looks a shadow of his former self in all honesty. The result was fair as both sides continue their title challenge into the Christmas period.

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David De Gea missing again as United travel to Aston Villa

Posted on August 14, 2015  by Stretford-end  in Aston Villa, Man United, Premier League   1 Comment »
David De Gea missing again as United travel to Aston Villa
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Falcao scores in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa last season.

Manchester United look to continue their winning start to the season as they travel to Aston Villa. The home side are also buoyant after beating newly promoted Bournemouth on the opening day. All the talk before the game will be whether David De Gea will remain at Manchester United following the revelation from Louis van Gaal the goalkeeper is “not eager to play”. The Spaniard’s future is uncertain following interest from Real Madrid all summer and with his contract up next summer, United could look to cash in – if the price is right. Romero, who started last weekend against Tottenham, will replace De Gea tonight in goal. Marouane Fellaini is still serving a suspension following his sending off against Hull City at the end of last season whilst Phil Jones is still out injured.

United picked up four points against Aston Villa last season, drawing 1-1 at Villa Park and then beating Villa 3-1 at Old Trafford in the return fixture. Can United improve their performance from the opening fixture against Spurs OR will United’s slow start continue?

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