Category Archives: Fixtures

Manchester United’s Rough Weekend

Watford V Man United

In the wake of a miserable 4-1 defeat to probable relegation battling Watford, Manchester United have sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Former United player and assistant to Solskjaer, Michael Carrick has been appointed caretaker manager until the club appoints a permanent manager. It was reported by ESPN that United were close to appointing Mike Phelan, but the club decided against because of possible backlash.

The Watford Match

Not going to spend much time on the Watford match. United got their ass whopped, Harry Maguire got sent off and Donny van de Beek ironically scored the last goal the Solskjaer era.

United had some chances early in the second half after the DVB goal and even after Maguire got sent off. Playing with 10 men is always rough and Watford would turn the knife in stoppage time.

U23s Draw Derby

Manchester United U23s were in action against Derby on Friday in a PL2 matchup. Derby is solid defensively and got their goal early in the second half in their smash and grab attempt.

Charlie McNeil would tie the match in the 70th minute. McNeil finished between the keepers legs after being played in by Hannibal.

The U23s will be in action next Saturday against Crystal Palace

United Marches On

Manchester United have to bounce back from the sacking of Ole. Unfortunately it was time for Ole to go, but in the stubbornness of the board to fire Ole, they cost themselves three points. If the board was as business savvy as they think they are, three points could cost millions depending on their final position.

If they would have fired Ole after the loss to City, even if they would have appointed Carrick then, they would have had the opportunity to work on something different for Watford.

Even if Ole was gone, Watford with not many players leaving for international duty, was always a tough ask. The international break sometimes do not favor these top clubs with a massive amount of players traveling and playing international matches.

United have no time to lick their wounds, a huge match in Spain looms. Manchester United must march on.

Man Utd’s Next 5 Games After The Break

Man Utd's Next 5 games

Man Utd just got done with their toughest run of games so far in this early season. A run of games that people looked at nervously when Man Utd went into the last international break.

Two wins, three losses and a draw, including two dismal performances against rivals is how United did and it has taken the air out of a room that was full of optimism after the good start of the season and the transfers that Man Utd brought in.

The next five are not that easy.

Man Utd’s Next 5

Man Utd return from the international break with a game against relegation threatened Watford. United will be traveling to Watford. The 17th place side has one good win this season against Everton away, they put five goals past the Toffees.

Man Utd should win, but Watford have nine players out on international duty, so they might not get that much of an advantage of being able to have that time to train with most of the first team.

Watford has good fans and could create a decent atmosphere. When they got relegated a couple of seasons ago they beat a Liverpool team at home, that Liverpool team won the league and were undefeated in 44 games in the league.

The next match is against a recent European foe in the Champions League. Villarreal, the team that beat Man Utd in the Europa League Final. Man Utd will continue their travels and head to Spain, both sides are top of their group in the Champions League.

A draw would not be a bad result for Man Utd, they finish the group stage with a home game against Young Boys.

United will have their toughest game after the international break against Chelsea. United will be away again when they face the European Champions and the current top team in the Premier League.

A really tough game for United, a slightly different opponent than the high flying extremely offensive minded sides like Manchester City and Liverpool. Chelsea are a bit more defensive minded under Thomas Tuchel, but have great attacking players.

United will then host two in-form London clubs, Arsenal and Crystal Palace. Arsenal have now jumped United in the standings and are now fifth.

Arsenal have not lost since August, they got smashed by City. They had a tough start, but they brought in some players at the window and they are looking like they are gelling.

Another team who brought in some players at the window is Palace. Patrick Viera, had some doubts and pundits thought he could be the first manager sacked, but they have been playing some really good football and are gelling too.

Palace beat City a couple of weeks ago, drew with Arsenal, but had them on the ropes most of the game. They beat Tottenham, but everyone is beating Spurs.

Man Utd’s next five are not easy, some really good teams, it will be interesting to see what happens if United do not get the results, especially with the current questions circling the coaching staff.

Questions Abound After United’s 1-1 Draw With Everton at Old Trafford

Die Another Day

Manchester United’s poor performance and amateurish rotation choices let Everton leave Old Trafford with a 1-1 draw on Saturday. The minute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s match day squad was announced an audible groan was heard throughout Old Trafford.

This time it was not just the defective pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred that left fans scratching their heads. Ole decides it’s best to leave in form Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba on the bench and gives Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani their first starts. 

Games are coming thick and fast this season and you need to carefully rotate your squad to ensure the least amount of player injuries and to keep from running players into the ground. Starting an out of form Martial and Cavani is just not the answer.

This is the last match before the international break, you need to start Ronaldo and Pogba and sub them once you go up two goals. Or at the very least, start an in form Jessie Lingard with Cavani. Martial has looked like a shadow of his former self in his one and only sub appearance earlier this season.

Martial Gives United The Lead

United started the match strong with Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw looking threatening down the left. Aaron Wan-Bissaka provided a great looking cross early in the 6th minute for Martial, who jumped early and missed a clear goal. Martial’s “ring rust” would take some time to wear off in the match.

Despite United starting strong, Everton would slowly start to catch United out at the back with sloppy passes and what is becoming a norm, giveaways in our own half.  

Just before the end of the first half United would get on the score sheet through Martial. Some lovely build up play from Wan-Bissaka and Greenwood with a deft touch from Fernandes allowed the Frenchman to open his body up for an angled shot past Jordan Pickford in goal.

Everton Level

United started the second half in control with Everton looking helpless. In the 56th minute Ole brings on Ronaldo and Sancho for Martial and Cavani. This was the Portuguese superstar’s 200th Premier League appearance and he played like he wanted to mark the milestone with a goal. Making runs behind and getting himself open whenever possible. Sancho looked lively on the right, dribbling past defenders and getting others involved in attack.

From a cleared United corner the ball makes its way to Demarai Gray who brushes Fred aside not once but twice. The Brazilian looked incredibly weak as Everton broke at pace down the middle. Abdoulaye Doucoure passes to an open Townsend who fires a shot low beating David De Gea. Everton looked to have some life breathed into them, counter attacking United at will. Ole decides to shore things up in midfield and puts Pogba on for Fred.

Everton thought they had scored the winning goal in the 85th minute after getting undone by another counter attack. Yerry Mina has his easy tap in taken back because he was offside. Ole and the rest of Old Trafford breathed a sigh of relief after that.

It was a tense final 15 minutes with United’s final opportunity being a weak shot from Sancho saved by Pickford. It was a weak effort all around by United and Ole set the team up to fail with his team selection. The International Break couldn’t have come at a better time for United with a tough run of fixtures to come. 

Man Utd will have a tough October and early November. This is their upcoming fixtures: Leicester City, Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham, Atalanta and Manchester City.

Man Utd Preseason Round UP: Everton Preview and First Team Players Return From Euros

It is always a late preseason for players returning from international duties, most Man Utd first team players have not participated in preseason matches yet because of the Euros.

Harry Maguire, Bruno, Luke Shaw, David de Gea and Paul Pogba have all returned to training this week. It is a huge boost for the final preseason game against Everton on Saturday.

Man Utd’s Tame Preseason on the Pitch

It has been a quiet preseason so far United, most first team players have been away, a lot of youngsters have been gaining experience and are being evaluated for the upcoming season.

Some stunning goals in their last preseason game was ultimately quelled by a covid outbreak that cancelled the preseason match against Preston last weekend. The cancelling is unfortunate for those players that would have likely got valuable minutes against Preston.

The Everton game should feature more first team players, so those youngsters that did partake will likely get their assignments soon or closer to deadline day.

Off the pitch it has been anything but tame for Man Utd. The signings of Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho has been immense and could likely see United primed to challenge Man City or a healthy Liverpool team for the Premier League title.

Everton v Man Utd

August 14th against Leeds is right around the corner and if Man Utd were to contend for a title starting off strong against a Leeds side that was impressive in the return to the top flight could be pivotal but not detrimental.

It will be interesting to see if Ole mixes youth with more experienced first XI players. Jesse Lingard could be part of the plans for the season. Lingard playing with Bruno and Greenwood could be starters on the 14th against Leeds, it will be interesting to see how they mesh.

Mason Greenwood is one of the only fit strikers currently and consistently training. Anthony Martial could feature against Everton he is back in training on recent videos and looks stronger. Greenwood could also line up with Jadon Sancho against Leeds.

Cavani has not featured in preseason matches but is also at training. The game versus Everton could be a huge tip into who starts versus Leeds.

Man Utd take on Everton this Saturday, 1245 GMT, the match will be available on MUTV.

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.

Manchester United could eventually catch Manchester City

Manchester United could catch City in the league but the table will not show it for a month. United have one league game until April 3rd, that game is Sunday against West Ham. 

City will play two, Southampton today and Fulham on Saturday. If City were to drop points in those games the table will not show it until United level City on games.

City could just blow by Southampton and Fulham opening up a 17 point lead before United play West Ham. But, these games might be tougher for City than perceived. 

In April, City face Leicester, Leeds, Villa and Spurs. A mixed set of games, two really good teams, a Villa side that could get into Europe and a Leeds team that drew with City in October.

Southampton

It is hard to convince United fans that Southampton, the team United smashed 9-0, could steal points from City, but I will try.

Pep Gaurdiola acknowledged that Southampton playing with 10 men for 89 minutes is hard on any team, after he jokingly said they would be the Saints 18-0. Southampton ended up going down to 9 men in that game as well, tough situation.

Back in December, City defeated Southampton 1-0, and it was not overly convincing from City. In the Summer, Southampton beat City 1-0 during Project Restart. 

Southampton have experienced a fall from grace in the table, at one point they were threatening for Europe, now they sit humbled at 14. 

Southampton are in weird spot in the table, the rise of Fulham in the relegation zone might be worrying for the Saints, they are only 7 points off the bottom with 33 points.

Any result against City would boost Southampton spirits for those next four games and the points will be instrumental in ensuring safety sooner rather than later.

After City, Southampton in the league, play Brighton, Burnley, West Brom and Crystal Palace, all teams around them in the table and all teams fighting for points to stay up. Palace will be cool with a 0-0 draw against Southampton though.

Southampton are 1-1-8 in their last 10 league games.

Fulham

United fans most have been gleefully smiling before the derby on Sunday when they saw Fulham beat rivals Liverpool at Anfield, it was a great Sunday for United fans.

Fulham closed the gap at the bottom and are now level with Brighton on 26 points, a single point behind Newcastle and four behind Burnley.

Fulham defensively have been superb lately only giving up 6 goals in their last 10 games and keeping 5 clean sheets during that span.

City defeated Fulham 2-0 in December and they will definitely get a better version of what they faced three months ago. 

Fulham will look to test their new found defensive prowess against City’s powerhouse offense and it would not be surprising with how Fulham has played against top clubs this season that they can pull off a result. 

Since a 3-2 defeat to Everton in November, Fulham have not given up more than two goals in a league game. During that span they have played all the top clubs.

The gap at the top could be in the single digits in April. 

Dean Henderson has an amazing opportunity to become the number one keeper at Manchester United

Dean Henderson had a decent clean sheet on Sunday, he was not really troubled much. He had some routine saves and was bailed out by poor finishing and the crossbar.

Due to fixtures being twice a week, Henderson has an opportunity to get a lot of games in during the next few weeks, pivotal ones too.

David de Gea and his partner’s child birth could see the Spaniard out for the next week at the minimum. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not commit to a timetable when speaking with the press before the Man City game. 

This could be a huge opportunity for Henderson in regards to his Manchester United future as well as his transfer value. Henderson has 9 clean sheets in 15 games.

Sunday was just his fifth Premier League game and he will likely start in this next league game because of de Gea’s quarantine. An inform West Ham comes to Old Trafford this Sunday. West Ham are currently six points behind United with a game at hand.

Henderson has been primarily used in cup games and will obviously continue that regardless of de Gea’s situation. After the AC Milan ties, United take on Leicester City in the FA Cup Quarter Finals.

We should be seeing plenty of Dean Henderson between the posts in the next couple of weeks.

Manchester United Draw AC Milan Setting Up SCINTILLATING Matchup

Manchester United have drawn AC Milan in the Europa League setting what will likely be the most anticipated matchup of the round of 16. United will host the first match on the 11th of March and the reverse fixture will be in Milan one week later on the 18th.

United opened up the day as the favorite to win the tournament across most of the sports books and would see a return of former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored 17 goals for the Red Devils.

Milan got past Serbian side Red Star on away goals following a 1-1 draw at home yesterday. During the weekend Milan lost a pivotal match against local rivals Inter Milan that carried massive title implications. Inter Milan opened up a four point advantage after a 3-0 win.

Milan are currently 2nd place in Serie A and are experiencing a resurgence of late with an unexpected title challenge this season. Manchester United loanee Diogo Dalot is currently on loan at Milan and could feature against his parent club depending on the loan agreement.