Author Archives: Edward Severn

Man Utd Lose In Bizarre Penalty Shootout 11-10 To Competitive Villarreal; Ending Season On A Low

Man Utd were defeated in penalties by Villarreal in a wild penalty shootout that ended in the hands of the goal keepers.

The game ended 1-1 after a first half goal from Gerard Moreno and an equalizer from Edison Cavani in the second half, no side could breakthrough in extra time and the game went to penalties.

Man Utd Line Up and Pre-Match Thoughts

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof were the choice center back pairing with Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe on the bench. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for a more attacking side with three forwards getting the start.

Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Edison Cavani all together with Bruno for only the sixth time ever. Injuries and the congested schedule has not allowed such an attacking side being picked often, maybe a nod to the future by Solskjaer.

Scott McTominay fills in with Pogba in the middle, an extremely attack minded side, with Fred, McTominay and Pogba it is a bit safer and more possession minded. One-on-ones for Rashford and Greenwood could be prevalent with Bruno and Cavani occupying the middle.

Man Utd could be susceptible on the break with out a true six and Gerard Moreno is great on the counter. Bacca is a good passing forward as well, one or two passes and they could get behind any defense.

It will be interesting how Man Utd linked defender Pau Torres does against a strong and experienced striker like Cavani. Albiol will likely mark Cavani in the area, if Bruno runs at Albiol it could create mismatches and opportunities for the forwards.

Capoue and Parejo will have to do well in deciding when to press Pogba and Bruno and when to lay off. Juan Foyth gets the nod at right back, but he is also a center back, so he adds a more defensive presence in their back line.

Man Utd Go Behind In The First Half

Scott McTominay got the first decent chance in the sixth minute, McTominay pulled his long range shot well wide, it came after Man Utd won possession in Villarreal’s half.

After the initial spar, Man Utd won possession in Villarreal’s half often, the high press by United worked well in the beginning of the game.

The match became a little feisty before the 20th minute, some decent challenges brought the energy up, and Luke Shaw fizzled a cross/shot that could not find anybody or the back post.

Villarreal looked threatening on a couple of corners, Man Utd had trouble clearing their lines, but Villarreal offered little on the ball and United dominated possession.

Villarreal settled and began to press Man Utd back and won a free kick. Moreno got behind the defense on the subsequent free kick, David de Gea could do nothing and Moreno got his 30th goal of the season.

Man Utd dominated possession after the goal and Villarreal were willing and soaked up the pressure. United just could not get that last pass to create a decent chance.

Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford turned it up at the end of the first half, but United go in the locker room down 1-0.

A Goal By Cavani Sends Man Utd To Extra Time

Set pieces and Man Utd not being able to clear their lines properly allowed Villarreal a golden opportunity early in the second half. United’s frantic defending bailed them out.

McTominay did well to bully his way in the box, his shots were blocked and one gave United a corner. Rashford’s shot from the cleared corner resulted in a scramble and Cavani pounced to level the game early in the second half.

Man Utd sprang to life after the goal and had another opportunity but Bruno’s shot/cross went wide.

Francis Coquelin replaced Bacca in the first change of tactics for either side, Coquelin a defensive minded midfielder signaled that Villarreal were worried about United’s rejuvenated attack.

Cavani had a decent opportunity after Shaw scuffed a right footed shot, Cavani’s header looked to be going in, but Pau Torres blocked it well.

United had a lot of good opportunities and looked really threatening in the middle of the second half. Aaron Wan-Bissaka found a lot of space on the right, but his crossing is not a strength.

Super sub Paco Alcacer entered the game for Yeremy and Moi Gomez replaced Trigueros, two like for like swaps positionally, and Ole continues to opt for the same XI, who have played well.

McTominay played well for United, he had a few driving runs at the Villarreal defense, on one of the runs his low driven cross was nearly flicked in by Cavani at the near post.

Neither side could find that goal and the game finished 1-1 at full time.

A Stale and Tired Extra Time Results In Penalties

Both sides looked tired in extra time and seemed to hope for a mistake by either side. The subs for Villarreal were paying off Alcacer and Alberto Moreno got some decent chances in.

It took 100 minutes for Solskjaer to replace someone, Fred came on for Greenwood who looked exhausted and had a decent game for United.

A scramble for United defensively in the second half of stoppage made things a bit nervy, especially after Fred got away with a handball in the area.

Tuanzebe entered the game for Bailly and Dan James came on for Pogba, a surprise given Pogba’s penalty prowess.

Three added minutes in the second half and Man Utd brought in two more prospective penalty kick tackers, Alex Telles and Juan Mata for McTominay and Wan-Bissaka.

The Bizarre Penalty Shootout!

It was the confident and experienced David de Gea versus the young cup keeper Rulli for Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno, the regular penalty kick tacker for Villarreal, easily beat de Gea on the first penalty sending him the wrong way.

On Mata’s only touch of the game he beat Rulli high, a good penalty for the veteran, but Villarreal again beat de Gea and regained the lead.

The next substitute Telles took the second Man Utd penalty and he beat Rulli easily as well, four lefties, four goals.

Paco Alcacer snuck it past de Gea, a slight touch from the keeper. Bruno, United’s penalty taker, had a repeat of Alcacer’s and snuck it past Rulli, 3-3.

Former Liverpool player Alberto Moreno stepped up and powered it past de Gea. Rashford answered smoothly with a stutter run up and never looked down, 4-4.

Parejo beat de Gea awkwardly to de Gea’s right. Cavani then stepped up and beat Rulli, 5-5 and now sudden death.

Moi Gomez beats de Gea down the middle, but Fred smashes it past Rulli’s left, 6-6. Veteran Albiol was cool as well and sent de Gea the wrong way.

Dan James forced the keeper the wrong way as well and the nerves got really high on the field and in the stadium, 7-7.

Ex Aresnal man Coquelin went top netting and easily beat de Gea. A nervy Luke Shaw then beat Rulli somehow, the keeper got a piece to it as well, 8-8.

Villarreal club captain Mario Gaspar beat de Gea as well. Tuanzebe looked cool and composed before his kick and he was, easily beating Rulli, 9-9.

Man Utd linked defender Pau Torres went high as well and beat de Gea. Lindelof got by Rulli as well, and now it was the keeper’s turn.

Rulli smashed it by de Gea and then saved the penalty by de Gea.

End Of The Season For United

A disappointing ending to the season for United, a lot of people in the media and fans dubbed this game as a building block for United, even Ole.

Losing does not mean that United can not go forward and have a strong next season and be more competitive in the more prestigious tournaments, but it is a blow, winning a trophy is better than losing a trophy.

Manchester United’s Europa League Final Preview: A Final With Possible Future Ramifications That Go Beyond the 20-21 Campaign

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and players Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw speak to the media.

Manchester United face Villarreal tomorrow in the Europa League Final and the final game of the 2020-2021 season, it might not be the final that United wants, but it is a final.

The true ambition of a club like United will always be the Champions League Final, every United supporter could agree, but the reality is, United is still a work in progress.

Too take that next step one can conclude that Manchester United must beat Villarreal in this final, if they do not, questions could arise about the capabilities of the players and coaching staff, could they compete for Champions League if they can not win the Europa League?

Manchester United’s Press Conference

Tomorrow’s final could be a catalyst for the future success of the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about that during United’s Europa League run and used his own career as an analogy for how important a team winning a trophy is for the overall chemistry of that team, Ole said this before the Roma game.

β€œIt will be a dream come true, the day I can lift a trophy for this club as a manager, of course. That’s what we’re building for. But for this team and for myself, our ambition this season is to finish it with lifting a trophy and being able to celebrate. I know how much that can mean to a group moving forward.”

“It gives you more of that feeling that you are hungrier for more, you want it all the time, you want that feeling again with your teammates,” said Ole in the press conference for the Europa League final.

Solskjaer also echoed that the final is not about him, and it is for the players.

β€œJust sit back and relax and, if you have to make decisions tomorrow, you have to do it. If it’s been 10 minutes and Luke’s sleeping on the other side, that’s a problem for him.”

Manchester United’s Squad Preview

It was announced last week that Harry Maguire will not feature in the final, a decent sized blow to the cohesion that the defense has created at times in the second half of the season.

Without Maguire, United have given up eight goals in their last four games, four of the goals came against Liverpool who cut United’s defense to shreds in the second half.

The center back pairing could be an interesting one, the pairing of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly looks the likeliest, but Axel Tuanzebe deserves a shout after the Fulham and Wolves games. His ability to mark quicker players was on display earlier in the season against PSG as well.

The center back pairing is of decent speculation, as well as who would be the first choice keeper, Dean Henderson and David de Gea have both been used in both European and domestic campaigns.

David de Gea has had some great saves lately and Henderson has benefitted have some great team performances. It is hard to say that the teams overall performances revolve around who the keeper is, but when Henderson is in goal the team seems more compact and tight.

When de Gea is in goal, there is almost like there is more trust that he can get a big save and bail out the team if the team plays more attacking.

At the weekend Wolves had only one solid chance, and they scored, Henderson had little to do all match, although it was a lot of youngsters there was emphasis tactical to stay compact.

The Milan games were like that as well, and those matches featured Henderson. When you compare the Milan matches to the Roma matches, it is night and day.

In the Roma matches, de Gea’s talents were on full display in both matches, and Manchester United played some extremely entertaining football because you have a shot stopper that allows your team to go for it.

The decision who starts has massive implications on the game, but also who is going to be the keeper in the future with the club. Tom Heaton looks set to sign and is a likely backup keeper for Manchester United, one of the two could be out the door this summer.

Manchester United’s Opponents

Villarreal finished the La Liga season in the seventh place, four points behind fifth placed Real Sociedad, United easily defeated Sociedad in the round of 32.

A final obviously has a different energy, so anything can happen, Villarreal has some solid players, players that United have been linked to in this upcoming transfer window. But, Villarreal is nothing special and Manchester United should be and are the favorites.

Villarreal defeated a few decent sides to get to the final: RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Dynamo Kyiv and Arsenal, no one amazing, but some decent competition with some highly rated players sprinkled in the squads.

Seventh place in La Liga is underachieving for this Villarreal squad on paper, a lot of solid players, Gerard Moreno is their top scorer with 29 goals in all competitions.

Francis Coquelin, Etienne Capoue, Ramiro Funes More and Alberto Moreno all have Premier League experience. Parejo, Trigueros and Albiol are experienced savvy veterans in Spain and Pau Torres has been linked to Manchester United recently.

Carlos Bacca and Paco Alcacer add extra experience in attacking positions as well. Alcacer always has a goal off the bench, at Dortmund he scored a hat-trick off the bench.

Unai Emery’s side underachieved this season in La Liga, but they have a decent side that handled themselves well in the Europa League this season and will offer stern competition to Manchester United in the final tomorrow.

Manchester United’s season hinges on this final, do you go into the summer on a high or a low? That is always the case for a final, the club, the players and the supporters all know that.

This game could be seen as a catalyst if Manchester United use it as a spring board and compete for more prestigious trophies.

Man Utd Youngsters Pivotal in 1-2 Win On the Final Day of The Premier League

A heavily rotated Man Utd defeat Wolves 1-2 at Molineaux in the final day of the Premier League with the two goals being scored in the first half.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for youth and rotational players for the final league game of the season. In three days Man Utd face Villarreal in the Europa League Final and with top 4 clinched a rotated squad was always likely.

Anthony Elanga had a golden opportunity in the 8th minute after Dan James cut inside and played a ball across the box and it fell nicely to the feet of Elanga, but he sent his shot in the stands.

It was Elanga who got the scoring started in the 13th minute, James found the 19-year-old forward again this time with a left footed cross. Elanga got in front of his defender and powered the header passed the Wolves keeper.

After some good Man Utd pressure and chances early, United sat back and soaked up some Wolves pressure with ease, not much for Dean Henderson to do in the first 38 minutes.

Still not much for Henderson to do when Wolves leveled. Fabio Silva found his Portuguese teammate Nelson Semedo. Silva’s pull back found an open Semedo in the box and he easily slotted the ball past Henderson.

Both sides became reinvigorated after the equalizer and Brandon Williams got behind the Wolves defense but his shot was straight at Rui Patricio and he easily saved the powerful shot.

Donny van de Beek won Man Utd a penalty during first half stoppage time and Juan Mata picked out the corner of the goal. Man Utd go into the locker room up 1-2 and probably deserve the lead after a solid performances from the rotated squad.

Man Utd Clamp Wolves in the Second Half

It was all Wolves to begin the second half, Man Utd took some of the pressure off with a couple of great attacks. Amad slipped James in with an extremely well weighted pass, but James was woeful and tried to be too cute with his finish.

Elanga and Amad were both really impressive on the day. Positionally and creatively, they both played like they were seasoned professionals compared to their youthful realities.

Brandon Williams also had a decent game, he got forward well, and kept the always over lapping left back at bay. Williams did well staying inside and pressing when the ball came out to the full back, but he also had a few misplaced passes.

Man Utd as a team played an assured second half, the possession that they conceded was defended really well as a team. United did well to not allow Wolves many moments inside, they forced Wolves wide and after Traore went down in the first half, Wolves lacked playmakers out wide.

The crosses that Wolves would create from the wide positions were easily snuffed out by Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe. Tuanzebe and Williams rescued Bailly after he let Fabio Silva behind him in the 76th minute, the pairing looked good and could get the start together in three days.

Ole opted not to use his substitutes until the 82nd minute, Shola Shoretire and Hannibal came on for Juan Mata and Amad. It was a debut for Hannibal in the first team, it was only a short cameo for Hannibal, but he looked decent on the ball a couple of times.

William Fish also got a debut, a whole two minutes, but he could be an interesting watch in the summer during pre-season engagements.

Wolves found some joy down the right late in the match, but could not really create any decent chances until Gibbs-White found some space, but his shot was dragged wide. Willy Boly also had a decent long ranged shot.

It was an extremely impressive win for a young Man Utd side against a decent Wolves side at home and on the final game for manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

With a final in three days this was a pretty satisfying win to end the campaign.

Man Utd Give Up Second Half Goal to Fulham; Game Ends 1-1 in Final Home Game of the Season

Man Utd and relegated Fulham draw 1-1 in the final game at Old Trafford this season. United opened the scoring, but a goal from Fulham in the second half cemented parity between the sides.

Old Trafford hosted fans for the first time in 14 months and the energy in the beginning of the game because of it was extremely apparent.

Axel Tuanzebe got the start along side Lindelof in defense, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is going to have a huge decision to make if Harry Maguire is not fit for the Europa League final.

Fulham, have already been relegated and looked to use that freedom that some already relegated teams have experienced in the past, but United struck first sensationally.

Edinson Cavani scored one of Manchester United’s best goals of the season after David de Gea played a long ball that was flicked on by Bruno Fernandes. The pass found Cavani who spotted Alphone Areola off his line and chipped the keeper around 40 meters out.

Man Utd kept everything in front of them during long stretches in the first half easily breaking up any danger offered by Fulham. It helped create chances for Man Utd and Bruno had a wonderful shot saved by Areola.

Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho almost put Fulham level after he was played in and got behind Victor Lindelof. The shot was tame and de Gea easily saved the one-on-one.

United probably should have put Fulham away in the first half, especially with all the possession that Fulham gave away in their own half.

Man Utd Let Fulham Back In The Game

As the second half wore on, the energy from the first half seemed to diminish and Fulham got back in the game and had some decent chances.

Ademola Lookman almost caught de Gea out at his near post, but de Gea saved well and followed it up with a double save after Carvalho tried a header off the deflection of the save.

In response United had some good half chances that brought the crowd back into the game, but could not capitalize after decent spells of possession.

It was a counter attack that almost put the game away for United. Cavani found Mason Greenwood well, but Areola made himself big and was able to save the shot from Greenwood in the 73rd minute.

Fulham leveled the game after Bobby Decordova-Reid found Joe Bryan at the back post. Bryan was completely unmarked and had plenty of time to pick his spot against de Gea.

Bruno was one of the only outlets offensively for Man Utd during the second half and had many long range shots easily kept by Areola. Including one in the 79th minute after he sat down his defender and did well to create a shot opportunity.

It was basically all Fulham after that and even ended the game looking to score on United. It was an extremely disappointing game for United, they could have clinched second.

United had a chance to put in one last attack against but played the ball side-to-side instead of putting in the box. One eye must be on the Europa League final.

Man Utd Fail to Rally Against Liverpool and Were Easily Defeated 2-4 at Old Trafford

Man Utd fall to Liverpool 2-4 after opening the game with an early goal from Bruno Fernandes, but it was not enough and Liverpool keep their Champions League aspirations alive.

United made obvious changes to the starting XI after the necessary rest against Leicester as they look to put one of their first league defeats in months.

Edinson Cavani almost got Man Utd off to a hot start after Alisson almost played him in after failing to connect with a teammate. Cavani’s shot went just wide and from the beginning the game was pretty open.

Man Utd found the breakthrough in the 9th minute after Bruno’s shot was deflected off of Nathan Phillips and in. It was a great team goal, Paul Pogba played a beautiful left footed switch to Marcus Rashford, who then found Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Wan-Bissaka held the ball up well and cut it back for Bruno Fernandes. The energy levels for both sides were extremely high in the opening minutes at Old Trafford and United were able to find the back of the net first.

The game settled a bit and Diogo Jota forced a decent save from Dean Henderson. Trent Alexander-Arnold found Jota after the Portuguese made a good run into the box, Henderson read it well and stood strong.

Liverpool gained a little momentum and won a corner after their pressure. Eric Bailly was initially judged to have fouled Nathan Phillips in the box after the ball could not be cleared. The decision would go to VAR and the decision was overturned.

Again, Manchester United could not clear their lines on a corner, the ball fell to Phillips, whose shot/cross found Jota and he cooly finished with his back-heel in the 34th minute.

After the goal Liverpool looked lively but Man Utd slightly regained some control of the game. A couple of half chances fell to United but it was Liverpool who found the goal.

Liverpool won an attacking free-kick in first half stoppage time, Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick found Roberto Firmino at the back post, 1-2 Liverpool at half time.

More sustained pressure from Liverpool after the second half whistle. United tried to dribble and pass their way out of their own half only to give up the ball in a dangerous area.

Roberto Firmino turned one of those turnovers into a goal after Henderson saved a shot but was not able to handle well, the ball fell to Firmino after the save and he finished to give Liverpool a 1-3 lead.

After giving up the third goal, United was more open and continuously gave up the ball in bad spots and allowed Liverpool to keep them trapped in their own half, it could have been 1-4 or 1-5, but Liverpool did not put the game away.

Man Utd found themselves back in the game after a counter attack Rashford was played in and he did well to finish with his left after Alisson came out to challenge him.

Mason Greenwood almost leveled the game after coming on as a sub for Fred a few minutes earlier. Greenwood’s shot was cleared off the line by Phillips and the rebound was also blocked, Greenwood looked motivated since coming on.

Salah finished off the game in the 89th minute after United gave the ball away again, the counter attack led to Salah being played in and the Egyptian easily beat Henderson and Man Utd were defeated 2-4.

Man Utd took 31 points from games where they were in losing position so far this season. United could not add to that tally as their rally fell short and were easily beaten by Liverpool.

It would have been a great opportunity to deny their biggest rival Champions League especially when the clubs have been linked with some of the same players going into the summer transfer window.

Liverpool are now only four points behind Chelsea with a game at hand. Man Utd will now face Fulham next Tuesday and finish off the season against Wolves on the 23rd of May. Liverpool finish off their season with some lesser competition as well and could still make Champions League.

Juan Mata Likely Started His Last Match For United Tonight, Ending 7 Plus Year United Career

Juan Mata got a rare start for Man Utd against Leicester, it was his first start since November, and likely signals the end of a great 7-year career with Man Utd.

It was a tough game for any playmaker, it would have been nice to see him with a heavier starting XI side, playing with an assured defense and hard workers like Fred and Scott McTominay.

With the next likely opportunity to start or feature against Fulham next week, Juan Mata likely started his last game against Leicester City on Tuesday evening.

Juan Mata‘s future is up in the air, it was reported in April that Mata might have a contract extension triggered by United, it was also speculated/reported that he was set to leave on a free in the summer.

Having Mata at the club would be useful for the younger players, acting as a mentor and playing cup games or in games where rotation of the squad is needed is what Mata has been assigned to this season. If he does stay it is likely that would be his role in the squad next year.

If he does go, United would clear up his wages and pay a younger player could take his squad spot, someone like Hannibal Mejbri could be that player, but he might still need some time.

Juan Mata’s Career At Man Utd

Juan Mata signed for Manchester United from Chelsea on a then record fee of €46 million on January 24th, 2014.

Mata was pivotal when United won the FA Cup in the 2015-2016 season, he leveled the game at 1-1 after Crystal Palace took a shock lead, United would win 2-1 on the day.

Mata also was an important player during the 2016-2017 campaign where United won the Europa League and League Cup, Mata started in the 2-0 victory over Ajax in the final.

Juan Mata scored 50 goals and 47 assists in 271 appearances across all competitions for United. The magician has 157 assists for Chelsea, Valencia and Manchester United combined.

The playmaker had an underrated career at United at time where United have not been as successful as some of their more historic sides. The ‘Post Sir Alex Ferguson’ era has not been kind to United but Mata has played well and deserves a sending off from the club if he is to leave.

A standing ovation from the fans would be fitting and might even lure him to stay. Edinson Cavani’s yearning to play for the United fans was part of the decision making for him staying, and a fat contract.

Whatever Mata decides to do is what he thinks is best for his future and we wish him well. It was great watching his career in England and for Manchester United.

Manchester United’s Back Ups Frustrated By Leicester 1-2, Handing City the Title

Manchester United were defeated by Leicester 1-2, the defeat means that Manchester City is the Champions of the Premier League and Leicester are now extremely likely to qualify for Champions League.

Because of the congested week, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had to rotate his squad heavily, with 10 changes being made compared to Sunday’s game against Aston Villa and a debut for Anthony Elanga.

Ole said he was going to rotate heavily when speaking to the press and this was the likeliest game. Manchester United face Liverpool on Thursday.

Leicester City come in to the game with a slight dip in league form, but still have a five point cushion on West Ham for the last Champions League spot, Leicester had a grasp on the Champions League last season but faltered at the end.

Manchester United 1, Leicester City 2

Leicester could smell blood against Man Utd’s heavily rotated squad and attacked early and often putting massive pressure on United.

Luke Thomas got the scoring going for Leicester early in the 11th minute after he smashed home a volley after sustained amount pressure from Leicester.

Despite the obvious chemistry problems between the team, the attackers looked lively. Amad, Anthony Elanga and Mason Greenwood were taking on defenders and looking good on the ball.

Mason Greenwood leveled the game in the 16th minute after he received the ball from Amad he wiggled in the box to find space. He expertly picked out the bottom left hand corner of the goal, squeaking it past Kasper Schmiechel.

The game appeared to settle after the Greenwood goal. Man Utd were able to hold onto possession a bit and take some pressure off their backline.

After the initial 20 minutes of the first half the game drastically settled down and both sides went into the half leveled.

A lot of the same in the beginning of the second half, both teams trying to stay compact and get possession. After a stable few minutes of possession Leicester City won a corner.

On the subsequent corner Cagar Soyuncu out jumped his marker and headed home in the 66th minute. This was his first goal of the season and a crucial one for Leicester’s Champions League hopes.

In the 73rd minute Youri Tielemans had an opportunity to finish the game after Jamie Vardy redirected a cross across the face of goal, Tielemans could not stretch enough to get a shot on goal.

Manchester United were hardly getting good possession in the second half and constantly gave up the ball in their own half by trying to dribble out or with poor clearances, this allowed Leicester to compound pressure.

Manchester United never really got close to equalizing, a couple of half chances after Bruno Fernandes came on is all United could muster at the end.

A decent game to give some younger players some minutes, but what if everyone was fit and had the energy to go? Tough game for Manchester United because of the current fixture overload to end the season.

Mason Greenwood was easily the man of the match, a good finish for the youngster who is in really good form, Greenwood has six goals in his last six league appearances.

A good shout to someone like Axel Tuanzebe or Nemanja Matic for defending nobly against a potent Leicester attack, you would have hoped for the defense to be lights out, but being realistic two goals allowed for a defense that never started together is not bad.

Manchester City were always going to win the title but United would like to be as competitive as they possibly could in every match.

Leicester looked destined to return to the Champions League after losing to Manchester United on the final day last season. Leicester can clinch the spot if West Ham drop points in any of their remaining matches.

Manchester United would look to bounce back after a frustrating second half against Leicester. United will host their biggest rivals Liverpool on Thursday.

Edinson Cavani Will Help United Fight For The Title in 21-22

Edinson Cavani has reportedly signed a one-year contract extension with Manchester United keeping him at Old Trafford for at least another season.

Edinson Cavani’s form will boost United’s title chances

The red hot striker has eight goals in the last month and has helped propel United to a Europa League final. Cavani has scored 16 goals in all competitions this season for United. A healthy goal return for a 34-year-old forward that has not played in the Premier League before.

If he impresses again and maintains the level he is playing at now, the striker could stay longer. Edinson Cavani was close to leaving United and for South America with Boca Juniors a couple of months ago.

After his run of form, the offer to stay was probably hard to pass up and the Uruguayan decided to stay.

Before the news today if Edinson Cavani were to leave the club, his replacement was already being speculated. Harry Kane might be available, Erling Haaland, Robert Lewandowski has been in the news lately and other classical number 9s are set to be available.

The details of the contract have not emerged but Man Utd do not have to pay a transfer fee because Edinson Cavani is obviously a United player, this allows United to focus more money on other positions of need in the summer.

It is clear that Cavani wants to be successful at Old Trafford and please the fans. Great first signing by the board to ensure a current fan favorite stays at the club.

He has also been great for young players at the club, his hold up play is insanely good and he is beginning to rub off on players like Mason Greenwood. It will be important during the pre-season to have youth players training with the first team be around and learning from players like Cavani.

Three Matches In 2021 That Man Utd Suddenly Wish They Could Have Back

Man Utd defeated Aston Villa 3-1 on Sunday again delaying Manchester City being crowned champion. City lost to Chelsea on Saturday and dropped points to Leeds a month ago as well.

Man Utd claimed all three points against Villa today.

If Man Utd defeat Leicester on Tuesday they would cut the gap to seven points with three games left. Seven points can be equated too dropped points in three games.

If they had these three matches back the title race going into these last couple of weeks would have been drastically different, obviously, but if you look back at this season and games that should have been wins, these really stand out as big what-ifs.

There are more than three matches that could have forced a better title race, but my top three are: Sheffield United at home, Everton at home and Crystal Palace away.

Man Utd Fall to Relegated Sheffield United in January

United hosted rock bottom Sheffield United on a Wednesday after knocking out rivals Liverpool in the FA Cup the weekend before. Sheffield United from the beginning of the season looked destined to go down after languishing at the bottom for months.

Even in January there was a consensus that Sheffield United are going to go down and Man Utd should go into these types of games and win, especially at home.

After poor clearing and sustained pressure from the Blades, Oliver Burke had his shot deflect off of Axel Tuanzebe and past David de Gea to steal the points in 74th minute. United were not able to get a late equalizer and Sheffield United came into Old Trafford and took 3 points.

A huge and obvious blow in the title race for Man Utd. Since that defeat at home to Sheffield United, Man Utd have not lost in the league since.

Man Utd Drop Two Points to Everton in Stoppage Time

United went into the game against Everton only three points behind City, but City had a game at hand. They could have been level on points before City destroyed Liverpool but instead ended up being five points behind City after the weekend.

After going up 2-0 at half time, United were pegged back quick in the first six minutes of the second half. A goal from Scott McTominay in the 70th minute put United back up.

A Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time meant that the points would be shared on the day at Old Trafford.

United would go on to draw against another soon to be relegated team, West Brom, and Man City made up their games and United were now down 10 points.

The West Brom game was a contender for one of the games, but the Crystal Palace game really cemented the title going to City.

A Stale 0-0 Draw in London

Man Utd headed to London on the 3rd of March to face a dreadful Crystal Palace side that could not score a goal to save their lives. BUT, no one could score on them either and they were fine playing like that.

All it was ever going to take was one goal for United and they would get the three points instead they left London frustrated by a Palace team that did not have their best player and former United player, Wilfred Zaha.

Man Utd could only muster one shot goal despite having 63% of the possession on the day. The weather was grim and foggy, typical English weather, you would have hoped for United to test the keeper from long range, get some shots off.

City would go on to take a 14 point lead after this result and it was becoming clear they would win the title.

Manchester United could not get it done on those days and if you look back on what could have been these results really stick out. The seven points dropped in these matches would have made things really exciting going in to the final few games.

11th Placed Aston Villa Should Be a Good Test for Man Utd

Man Utd face 11th placed Aston Villa in the Premier League later today. Man Utd will play Aston Villa, Leicester and Liverpool in the next few days.

Aston Villa are having a better season than last year where they were nearly relegated and finished just above the drop, but they have sputtered slightly in the second half season after a good beginning of the season.

They have had some famous victories this season and could finish as high as eighth. Aston Villa defeated Everton last time out at Goodison Park 2-1. Ollie Watkins was on the scoresheet that day and has been solid since joining from Brentford in the summer.

Watkins leads the team with 13 goals, followed by Anwar El Ghazi who has 8 goals and has been in form lately. Jack Grealish has 6 goals and 10 assists but he has been out with an injury, but is close to returning.

Aston Villa are a solid team defensively, they have given up the fifth least amount of goals in the league this season with 38. Cash, Targett, Mings, Konsa and Martinez in goal are a decent defensive group that Villa can grow with.

John McGinn and Douglas Luiz work hard in the middle and in January, Aston Villa added french midfielder Morgan Sanson from Marseille, an ambitious signing for a mid-table club.

Aston Villa are a decent side that will give Man Utd a good game, it will be interesting to see how Man Utd lineup given the amount of games that are going to be played in the next few days.

Man Utd’s Team News Against Aston Villa

Man Utd had a four goal cushion on Roma, so the 3-2 loss did not mean much against a Roma side that was always going to come out pressing and force the action.

David de Gea was remarkable in goal against Roma and could cause some decisions to be made. Edison Cavani was fabulous over the two legs as well.

There will be squad rotations, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said in his press conference. The squad must be rotated because of the match congestion, Ole even said he will likely start a whole other stating XI in one of those games.

“I’ve got to think about my players, but I know the other teams fighting for the Champions League place will not. They will not think β€˜oh, that’s not Man United’s best team, that’s not the best players’ and I can promise you that it is impossible to play 90 minutes four times at this intensity, at that level, in the Premier League, from Thursday to Thursday. That means I cannot play everyone in every minute, so we have got to prioritise.”

“I feel for my players, I feel for the team, I feel for them. Having had this fantastic season, got to a final, I’m sat here answering these questions and not about the run in. They’ve worked their socks off, they’ve been absolutely brilliant and I’m just very, very happy for them that we’ve got to this place.”

“We just have to do the best we can, it’s another challenge for us and please, you can see I’m not happy with it, I’m not sulking, it’s one of them things that I know my players will take head-on and we as a group will be stronger for it when we come out of it. I just keep my fingers crossed that no one will get injured.”

The Aston Villa game could be where they rotate heavy, the Leicester game could be viewed as more important than the Aston Villa game, but the Leicester game is sandwiched between the Liverpool fixture which is as equally important as the Leicester game.

Eric Bailly and Donny van de Beek played well in Rome and in other cameos lately, they should get in the rotation, Axel Tuanzebe, Alex Telles and even Juan Mata could get a look.

It will be interesting how Ole rotates the squad during in the upcoming week.

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