Category Archives: Match Report

United’s Young Boys Knock Young Boys Out Of Europe With 1-1 Draw

Man United V Young Boys

United and Young Boys drew 1-1 in the Champions League Wednesday night to wrap up the group stage. Young Boys were knocked out of Europe.

It was a litany of changes by Ralf Rangnick and it was expected. Plenty of youth in the side and on the bench were combined with fringe starting XI and first team players.

Maybe so many youth players was a bit of a shock, but a welcome sight in a meaningless game, no need to risk too many players to injuries. Rest is needed for most.

With both sides missing regulars, the lack of familiarity showed in the opening few moments. Wayward passes were common, but it was United players who settled down a bit first.

Two players with familiarity combined well for the opening goal. Luke Shaw found space down his wing. Shaw took his time to pick out Mason Greenwood who finished superbly with an acrobatic volley. Nothing the Young Boys keeper could do.

The 10th minute goal settled the match down. Dean Henderson played sweeper-keeper well a couple of times early and it was United who got the next good couple of chances.

In the 30th minute Amad Diallo had a nice opportunity in the Young Boys box with the defender in front of him looking off balanced, but he played a pass instead that was poor. Juan Mata got the next opportunity in the box, but the Young Boys keeper saved well to deny the Spaniard.

Young Boys leveled in the 42nd minute with a brilliant goal by Fabian Rieder, his curled shot from outside the box had no chance of being saved by Henderson. The goal came after a bad pass by Donny van de Beek on the outside of his box.

Nemanja Matic did kind of put DVB in trouble with the pass and put United in trouble again a minute later with a bad giveaway. Young Boys almost capitalized, but Eric Bailly was there too clear a shot that might have found the corner.

Second Half

United got a chance in the first 30 seconds of the second half after Anthony Elanga, who had a quiet first half, stormed down the right wing but his deflected shot/cross was saved. Elanga got the next chance, a better one then first, when Jesse Lingard slipped him in, but again the Young Boys keeper was strong.

United got into a little bit of trouble, but Young Boys could not capitalize. Sivlan Hefti was great down his right and troubled United at times. Most chances came after Matic gave the ball away in his center back position.

Debuts plenty for the Red Devils, 35-year-old Tom Heaton got his debut, Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal got some minutes.

Other than that it was a tame second half. Young Boys had some good possession, it was them who needed to go after the win to keep themselves in Europe, but could not do it.

United’s Key Performances

It was an average match for most players involved. Even Greenwood who scored the goal, maybe only had one other bright moment when he stole the ball and created a chance for Mata. Greenwood would probably get MOTM.

It does not really seem like anybody deserved the MOTM. Henderson was good, most of the time this year, United goalies only give up worldies or get put under pressure by mistakes in the midfield or defense.

Shaw had a decent game at left-back, Bailly looked solid in defense and Mata had some good passes. DVB was meh, and was at fault for the goal. Amad was okay, but looks a little indecisive and weak on the ball after a long lay off. Elanga should have scored.

Wan-Bissaka looked shaky early, but settled down and Matic was poor in a position he does not play. Wan-Bissaka looked like he got banged up at the end of the game.

Fred helps kick off the Ralf Rangnick era with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United’s new manager, Ralf Rangnick, started his reign by welcoming Crystal Palace at home. The South London club have enjoyed coming to play at Old Trafford as of late, having won both of their previous two visits. Rangnick chose to keep the same 11 that had beaten Arsenal Thursday 3-2.

The German Tactician employed a 4-2-2-2 formation with Cristiano Ronaldo in attack along with Marcus Rashford. With Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes in support. Fred and Scott McTominay the defensive two in front of the backline of Alex Telles, Harry McGuire, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot.  

First Half

United started the match with tons of energy, pressing Palace high up into Palace’s own half. Players looked like they wanted to be there playing for United, getting on the ball as much as possible. Players were trying to make an impression on their boss, showing him why he should keep them in the starting 11. United were the better team by far in the first half, pressing Palace players anytime they had the ball.

United held most of the possession in the first 30 minutes of the match, but again did not make many clear cut chances for themselves. Ronaldo was only able to hit some scuffed shots wide and out for goal kicks. Nothing really troubling Vicente Guaita in goal. Towards the end of the first half it looked like United started to run out of steam a bit, allowing Palace some possession but United’s defense held firm again.  

Second Half

United started the second half just as they had done at the start of the first. They kept Palace in their own half with lot of high tempo pressing and the lion’s share of possession. In the 68th minuted Telles hit a free kick from Palace’s left side of goal, just outside the box. It was a good hit but didn’t dip enough in time and the ball glanced off the upper right corner of the goal.

Just a few minutes later, in the 75th minute, Palace created their best chance of the match. From a corner, Jordan Ayew hit a knockdown header from James Tomkins right across the face of David De Gea’s goal.  De Gea wasn’t able to get a hand to it and could only watch, gratefully, as it went right across an open goal and out for a goal kick.

Fred Gets a Late Winner

United’s break through came late in the 77th minute, when after some nice dribbling to get himself free of defenders, substitue Mason Greenwood passed the ball to Fred at the top left of Palace’s box.  Fred curled a wonderful shot over a helpless Guaita and into the top corner. The goal would settle a nervous Old Trafford and bring a celebration dance for the new manager.

United looked tired and out of steam towards the end of the match but the defense was able to keep Palaces late attacks at bay and keep a clean sheet as well as all three points for Rangnick’s first match in charge. Suprisingly, this would be United’s first clean sheet at home this season. Having only a week to try to implement his philosophy it looks like everyone is starting to buy into it and United played with an attacking threat fans haven’t seen since Sir Alex was in charge. With “Rangnick at the wheel” United will get back to their Attack, Attack, Attack ways and back to the pinnacle world football again.  

United Victorious 3-2 In A Fantastic Match Against Arsenal

Arsenal v Man United

Manchester United defeated Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday night to get back to winning ways in the Premier League thanks to a brace from Cristiano Ronaldo.

A couple of changes for United tonight. Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot and Cristiano Ronaldo replace Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly and Nemanja Matic.

United were put under pressure early after Jadon Sancho turned the ball over in his own box. Arsenal nearly scored on the first corner, but Marcus Rashford awkwardly cleared and United did well defensively against another couple of Arsenal corners.

Dalot got the first shot off for United after a spell of poor play from both sides. Bad passes and players getting the ball taken off was common early. Arsenal did a good job of pressing his early. Aubameyang also found space for a shot, but the Dalot and Aubameyang hit their left-footed shots straight at the keepers.

Thomas Partey dribbled into trouble in a bad spot, United took possession, but Ronaldo could not capitalize and his left-footed shot whimpered wide.

Arsenal looked to have taken the lead and maybe should have when Emile Smith Rowe’s left footed shot after a corner went in, but David de Gea was on the ground after being stepped on by Fred. It is not like Smith Rowe could see if de Gea was on the ground.

After consulting with VAR, Arsenal got the goal, weird situation. United down 1-0.

United were more aggressive in the first half then they have been in previous matches. After losing the ball they pressed Arsenal high and swarmed the player in possession with the ball to gain possession high up the pitch, but still lacked what to dow with it after winning the ball.

United dominated possession and the field after the Arsenal goal, but it was Arsenal who got the next best chance when Gabriel Martinelli found space in the box. His shot was weak and wide.

United got their deserved goal after a great sequence of passing. Maguire was his high up the pitch and found Jadon Sancho, he got space and found Fred who pulled it back for Bruno Fernandes. Bruno cooly beat Aaron Ramsdale to break his goal drought.

De Gea kept the score level when he pulled off a great reaction save from a corner. Ronaldo almost put the Red Devils in front after a nasty cut back opened up a left-footed shot, but it was saved by Ramsdale’s hip.

Ronaldo would get his goal. His 800th goal of all time for club and country. Rashford was found in space down the right side, he squared it for Ronaldo who could not miss the huge opening back post to give United the 2-1 lead.

Arsenal leveled immediately on their next possession. Martinelli found space on their right side, Alex Telles could not close down fast enough and he found Odegaard open just inside the box. Odegaard redirected the pass to far post with his weaker right foot, 2-2.

The match became really stretched after the hour mark. Both sides not keen to share the points.

Odegaard would turn from hero to zero in 10 minutes after he fouled Fred in the box. VAR awarded the penalty and Ronaldo smashed it down the middle to give Arsenal the 3-2 lead with 20 minutes remaining in the match.

United did well to see out the match and were not really threatened by Arsenal after going up. A couple of half chances is all the Gunners could muster down the stretch.

United’s Key Performers

Ronaldo got the brace and was great all match, probably the man of the match for most people. Bruno, Rashford and Sancho were all good on the night going forward.

Two of the best performers were at the back. Telles and Victor Lindelof were great most of the match. Telles should have closed down Martinelli for the second goal sooner, but was fantastic all night, especially when defending in one-v-one situations.

Lindelof was a rock at the back and has put it in some quietly good performances since the injury of Raphael Varane. Lindelof probably did not put a foot wrong at first glance and deserves a shout.

McFred was good in the middle. Fred had a really good match. De Gea probably should not have went down, but made up for it was a good save in the second half.

United take on Palace Sunday.

United’s Draw At Stamford Bridge

Chelsea Man United

Manchester United came to Stamford Bridge Sunday with a very defensive, counter-attacking starting 11, hoping to get all three points via a smash and grab. Interim to the interim coach, Michael Carrick, picked a strong, defensive minded side minus top goal scorer this season, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Carrick set the team up hoping to sneak in a counter-attacking goal then defend for a clean sheet for all 3 points. United deployed a 4-3-3 with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelof, Alex Telles at the back, Fred, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic in the middle and Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Jadon Sancho up top.  

First Half

The first half was a very cagey affair. Both teams pressed the other, with both teams choosing to play the ball out from the back. No one wanted to make a mistake and be responsible for giving a goal away. Chelsea dominated the first half but didn’t make much out of all the possession that they enjoyed. United’s defense held despite giving up 10 shots on goal. The best them fell to Callum Hudson-Odoi in just the 4th minute.

After a flicked header from Marcus Alonso, Hudson-Odoi nutmegs Lindleof to get through on goal.  David De Gea makes a lovely save low to his left. Having only one shot on goal in the first half, United didn’t offer much offense in the first half.  

Sancho Gets His First League Goal for United

United offered more an attacking threat in the second half resulting in Jadon Sancho getting his first Premier League goal for United in the 50th minute. Jorginho misjudges a clearance from Fernandes in his own half and sees the ball fall to a sprinting Sancho who is in on goal with Rashford along for the ride. The American winger gives Edouard Mendy a little shimmy of his hips and fakes a pass to Rashford and smoothly slots home the opening goal of the match.

Jorginho Gets His Redemption

After going up a goal United attacking play was full confidence.  They were able to keep hold of possession and looked capable of getting another goal despite Chelsea’s pressure. In the 68th minute Chelsea are taking one of their 15 corners of the match. The ball falls between Wan-Bissaka and Thiago Silva.

The United right back was unlucky because as he went to clear the ball his kick ended up hitting the back of Silva’s leg and the Chelsea defender fell down like a ton of bricks. The ref, Anthony Taylor, had a good look at it and awarded Chelsea the pen.

Wan-Bissaka was extremely unfortunate, with replays showing he had his eyes on the ball the whole time and Silva should have won an Academy Award. Jorginho steps up to take the penalty kick and despite De Gea’s impressive form, the Spanish keeper was sent the wrong way making it 1-1.

Ends With a Point a Piece

Both teams would end up getting one more shot to get all three points.  In the 88th minute Mendy gives the ball away to Fred near the top of his box. The Brazilian tried to chip the ball over the keeper but misjudges it horribly and the ball ends up back in Medy’s hands.  

In the 98th minute of the match Christian Pulisic crosses the ball to a wide open Antonio Rudiger. The German International hits the ball first time but blasts the shot high over De Gea’s net and that was that. United’s defense looked much, much better today. Lindleof and Bailly both made strong cases for themselves at the center of defense. Carrick showed he can employ some decent pressing with Fred and McTominay in the midfield at the base of it

With it looking like Ralf Rangnick will be our new interim coach and then stay on as some kind of director of football, the future looks very bright for United.      

Man Utd Bounce Back In CL, 2-0 Win Sinks Yellow Submarine

Man Utd defeated Villarreal in the Champions League Tuesday night 2-0, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho. The win will guarantee Man Utd’s involvement in the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Carrick managed the game well enough. It was a classic smash and grab, not an easy place to win. Carrick used his subs well. You can not complain that much with a win at this point. Sancho’s goal made the win a little sweeter, but Chelsea looms on the weekend.

Michael Carrick had his side come out in a 4-2-3-1 in his first match as caretaker manager. A couple of surprises in the lineup, Bruno was dropped for Donny van de Beek and Marcus Rashford made way for Anthony Martial.

On paper, Ronaldo was central, but when the match started he took up space on the left and at times the formation shifted to a 4-4-2. Ronaldo would join Martial in attack, eventually Ronaldo would shift back to the center.

First Half

David de Gea was forced into work early. A shot from outside the box was well saved. Scott McTominay turned the ball over when his pass was intercepted creating a chance early for Villarreal.

Villarreal were patient in attack and Man Utd sat back and let them have the ball. An awkward deflection fell nicely to Yermi Pino, he let the ball roll across his body to create space, but his shot was bad and even missed the side netting.

Alex Telles got caught sleeping on a long ball. Pino cut it back to Manu Trigueros, his cross/shot to the back-post was pushed aside by de Gea, Arnaut Danjuma was lurking at the back-post.

United looked dangerous when they got balls in the box. A Jadon Sancho cross in the 29th minute had to be dealt with well. Villarreal defended the corner well but the ball recycled back to Telles. His cross found Ronaldo, but it was straight at the keeper.

In the first half Villarreal had good spells of possession, but could not create many chances from their possession. Their best chances came from Man Utd mistakes or in transition. When they had the ball they were stagnant, not much running off the ball. They had a couple of nice passing sequences.

Martial took on his defender on the left. Telles made his run from the inside and was fouled on the edge of the box. The location was perfect for Ronaldo, but he could only hit the wall.

A couple of minor injuries slowed the game back down after a couple of flurries.

As the first half wore down, United looked like they were growing into the game. They got caught a bit when Villarreal broke their press. They caught United off balance on the counter and DVB was booked when he fouled an attacker outside the box.

Villarreal finished off the first half pressing really well. They ripped the ball off of a United player on multiple occasions. United continued to try and pass out of the back despite giving up the ball.

Man Utd were bailed out by the half time whistle, 0-0.

Second Half

More possession for Villarreal to begin the second half, and a couple of tense moments in defense for Man Utd, but they did well to not giving anything up quick.

Man Utd got things cooking a bit with some good passes. Sancho beat a man and the ball fell to Fred with a lot to do, his shot was straight at the keeper.

Villarreal got in between the lines on their next attack. Another deflected shot fell kindly to a Villarreal player. Trigueros’ shot was struck well and forced a brilliant save from David de Gea. De Gea bails out Man Utd again, but 30 minutes still remained in the match.

With all the possession that United gave up, eventually they would get tired from moving side to side and Villarreal almost caught them on a short passing switch. The final quick pass came to Danjuma, but he fired over.

Bruno and Rashford would replace the two that the replaced them in the starting lineup in the 65th minute.

Sancho almost got his first goal for United after he combined well with Bruno. They cut up the Villarreal defense, but Sancho could not finish on his left foot, it was a good save from the keeper.

The substitutes really gave Man Utd something different and they came in at the right time. Villarreal looked like they might steal the three points, but United grabbed a foothold in the game because of the fresh legs.

Villarreal began walking at times with the ball and got sloppy with some passes. United could smell blood and they pressed.

Ronaldo, again. The Villarreal keeper put Etienne Capoue in trouble with a bad pass. Capoue got his pocket picked and the ball fell perfectly in the air for Ronaldo who cooly finished.

Villarreal never looked like they could get back into the game and were eventually caught on the corner. Sancho got his first goal when he smashed it near post to sink the yellow submarine.

Man Utd Key Performers

Ronaldo and Sancho deserved their goals and Ronaldo won the game. Sancho had his best performance of his young United career, not just because of the goal, he looked good on the ball.

But, the man of the match had to David de Gea, the second save on Trigueros was massive.

A shout to the defense, they all looked solid especially when Villarreal got between the lines, they took care of business in the box.

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.

The Last Stop on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United Farewell Tour : Manchester City at Home

Manchester United

Wow. That was a tough watch as a United fan. City dismantled United to take all three points at Old Trafford. The 2-0 to City scoreline flattered United, because were it not for David de Gea’s heroics in goal it could have easily been 5, maybe even 6 nil. United played just as bad, if not worse, than Tottenham did against us last weekend. Everyone was giving balls away, no one was hustling, it looked, just like how Spurs did against us, like everyone, save De Gea, gave up. This was the first match at home since the 5-0 Liverpool demolition, and it looked like Ole learned nothing.  

First Half

Ole’s starting line-up must have looked like he was having a laugh at Pepe Guardiola.  The Norwegian stayed with 3 at the back and with Ralphe Varane out for about a month with a hamstring injury, Eric Bailly steps in. Harry Maguire played on the left side and Victor Lindelof, who passed a late fitness test before the match, was on the right.

Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka the two wing backs and the ever present mid-field pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay or as some fans like to call them : “McFred”. Bruno Fernandes played just in front of “McFred” along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Mason Greenwood the two strikers.  

Greenwood took the place of Edison Cavani who has an undisclosed injury and didn’t even make it to the bench. Looking at the starting eleven Guardiola knew his team really didn’t have to do much except stick their usual game plan and City would cruise to victory.  

7 Minutes in, Already Down a Goal

As soon as the match started the writing was already on the wall. “McFred” and company started giving the ball away in mid-field with almost every possesion they had. United was extremely slow with their passing, taking two or three touches then getting their head up to look for a teammate but by then City had already taken the ball off of them and attacking goal. The first goal comes after Joao Cancelo hits a lovely cross into the box from Uniteds right.

Bailly tries to makes a sliding block on it but the ball ends up coming off his shin and into the back of the net. De Gea couldn’t do anything about it.

Complete Domination Leads to City’s Second

United only had one shot on target the entire match. In the 26th minute Shaw puts a cross into the box for an open Ronaldo who volley’s a first time shot right at Ederson. This was United’s only shot on goal in the whole 90 minutes. De Gea saved more shots from United players than Ederson did in the entire match.

After Ronaldo’s shot City would bombard De Gea’s goal with shot after shot.  The Spaniard would end up making five world class saves in seven minutes alone in the first half. All of City’s possession would lead to their second in the 45th minute. Cancelo again, puts another dangerous ball into the box for Bernardo Silva who sneaks in behind Shaw and Maguire.

 Shaw and Maguire totally switch off, leaving the ball thinking it’s going out to touch. Instead, Silva hustles in behind the lazy defenders and gets his foot on the ball and taps it in past De Gea. De Gea should have done better with Silva’s tap in but Shaw and Maguire should be dealing with that cross. More soft, lazy defending from a team that has no idea what they are doing. Them not knowing what to do comes from the non-existent coaching staff. The difference in class between the two teams was massive, it was like Roy Keane said “Men against boys” today.  United go into half time down two.

Second Half

Luke Shaw came off with a head injury and Alex Telles would come on for him. United switched to a 4-3-3 formation after Shaw went off. Donnie Van der beak and Jordan Sancho would also make substitute appearances as Ole throws everything and the kitchen sink trying to get something from the match. City didn’t score any more goals but they didn’t have to. United would hardly get into City’s half of field with any meaningful possession. It was wholly embarrassing watching this match. United have to chance of challenging for titles with Ole in charge. It’s really hard to bring in great players like Sancho, Varane and one of the best ever Ronaldo to your team and actually end up worse but Ole seems to have done just that. This season is over for us, the best we can hope for is a top four finish at the most. With the Glazers in charge and all of their yes men making the meaningful decisions at United we are in trouble. They don’t have any ambition to win trophies, all they care about is squeezing as much money as they possibly can from this wonderful club and it breaks my heart. #GlazersOut    

Manchester United rescued by Ronaldo again

Manchester United

Manchester United and Atalanta battled to a draw in the Champions League. Two stoppage time goals in both the first and second half by Ronaldo helped Manchester United steal the point.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to stick with a similar formation that he used at the weekend against Spurs. Eric Bailly got the start over and injured Victor Lindelof and Marcus Rashford replaced Edinson Cavani.

First Half

Atalanta got the scoring underway quick like the last game. Manchester United were fine with allowing the Italians possession. Josip Ilicic made them pay, his left-footed shot should have probably been saved the reliable David de Gea. De Gea’s parry was bad and Gewiss Stadium celebrated.

United looked like they were going to go 2-0 down when a Paul Pogba mistake played in Duvan Zapata, but Eric Bailly heroically blocked the Colombians shot, bailing out Pogba and keeping the score at 1-0.

Ilicic and Zapata combined well much of the first half and looked a threat. Raphael Varane had some problems with Zapata and pulled up a little bit earlier in the first half when chasing a ball down the channel. Varane sat down in the 37th minute and had to be subbed.

The sub forced Ole to go back to the 4-2-3-1 by bringing on Mason Greenwood.

Manchester United would tie the match at the beginning of stoppage time, Bruno Fernandes was played in by Mason Greenwood, Bruno then splendidly back-heeled a pass to Ronaldo, who easily slotted it by Juan Musso.

Probably lucky to be level, but Atalanta should have been more clinical.

Second Half

A frantic beginning of the second half yielded shots for both sides. Tackles, half chances, good passing between teammates and some close offsides from both teams made it interesting early.

Zapata finally got his goal. Zapata was played in behind with a long ball, Maguire tried to play him offside and could not get over fast enough to cover and Zapata easily beat de Gea.

Zapata was called offside but VAR overturned it to give Atalanta a 2-1 lead with more than a half of a hour to hold onto the lead.

The game looked destined for the three points, but of course, Ronaldo. United could not getting anything going after the Zapata goal as Atalanta looked to close out the game.

Out of nothing Ronaldo struck a shot from outside the box that nestled in the corner beating Musso to steal a point for United.

Manchester United Standout Performers

Not many good performances all around from United players. A good moment here and there for some players, some bad moments for others.

One player who I thought performed well was Bailly. You could make an argument that Bailly and Maguire were culprits of the second goal. Where was Bailly on the long ball over the top? Maguire has a huge share of the blame too.

Without some great challenges by Bailly it could have been 3-1 or 4-1.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka had some good moments. Luke Shaw on the other flank too. Nothing good enough to stand out.

Ronaldo, of course. The man of the match again.

UCL Outlook

Manchester United and Villarreal are top of the group with seven points, Villarreal leads on goal differential. Atalanta stay at third with four points.

United and Villarreal will square off in Old Trafford later in the month.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Farwell Tour : Stop 1 Tottenham Away

Ole gets the win

Manchester United clashed with a limp Tottenham Saturday taking home all three points in a must win match for Ole. United switched things around for the match and went with a 3-4-1-2 system. Raphael Varane started in the center of a back three with Victor Lindelof and captain Harry Maguire on either side of him. This meant Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw were the two wing backs on either side of Fred and Scott McTominay in midfield. Bruno Fernandes played just in front of them as the link up man to the two strikers, Edison Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo.

First Half

United started the half with a lot of energy and determination. For the first couple of minutes the team looked like they were still working out the new system giving Spurs some decent possession. It looked as if United would be giving up too much possession with this system and end up tiring themselves out chasing the ball.

Both sides looked like teams with tons of pressure on them to get three points and played very passive. It wasn’t until Heung-min Song gets behind Uniteds defence bearing down on goal in the 35th minute that United seemed to play with more urgency. Wan-Bissakka makes up ground with his pace and times a perfect slide tackle taking the ball off of Song and out for a corner.

Ronaldo Gets his First in Four

In the 39th minute Fernandes chips a perfectly weighted ball over Ben Davies head for Ronaldo to hit a first time volley back across goal past Hugo Lloris.  This was Ronaldo’s first goal in four matches. He hasn’t gone that long without a goal since he played for Real Madrid.  United were able to cruise to half time with a one goal lead. Spurs fans made their displeasure with the teams ineffective, timid play known with lots of loud boo’s.  

Second Half

Second half started with neither team making any changes. Tottenham looked incapable of keeping hold of the ball at midfield and repeatedly gave the ball away. This meant United were able to hit them on the break almost at will.  In the 49th minuted Ronaldo has a wonderful goal taken away for off side.  From a David De Gea goal kick the ball falls to McTominay slides a through ball to Ronaldo and smashes the ball into the back of the net. Sadly the Portuguese Captain started the move offside and VAR take it away.

Cavani Gets his First of the Season

Cavani gets his first goal of the season in the 64th minute hitting Spurs on the counter once again.  Oliver Skipp gets the ball taken off of him by Fernandes and he is able to find Ronaldo on the right.  Ronaldo dribbles past Skipp and looks up to see Cavani timing a run perfectly behind Tottenham’s defence. With only an on rushing Lloris to beat he hits the ball around the Spurs keeper and into the back of the net. 2 – 0 to United.  

Marcus Rashford Makes it 3 – 0

With both teams looking like they are going to be taking the rest of the match off, Rashford has other ideas. After coming on for Ronaldo in the 71st minute, Rashford gets his goal playing off the shoulder of the last Tottenham defender and gets himself in on goal. The English striker hits shot around a helpless Lloris for 3 – 0. Tottenham look absolutely dreadful. Spurs looked to be completely toothless, especially Harry Kane up top. The England Captain had no impact whatsoever on the game and looks to be hungover still from his transfer drama this summer.

United Back to Winning Ways?

Even though Ole switched the system and United played really well today, it is still way past Ole’s time in charge. We need a new manager in pronto, whom ever they may be. This was a good win and we needed these three points to stay somewhat close to the top of the table but this doesn’t mean that Ole is all of a sudden a good manager. We still need to get a proven winner in at the helm. You will always be a legend Ole, just not the manager that can take the team back to the top spot of the Premier League.

Dreadful Manchester United Routed at Home by Liverpool

Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had what many would call a career defining moment on Sunday for Manchester United at Old Trafford.  After winning by the skin of their teeth mid-week to Atalanta in the Champions League, Ole decided to stick to the same starting eleven. The same eleven that saw themselves down two goals by halftime vs Atalanta. No offense to Atalanta, but they are a far inferior team to Liverpool. To keep the same eleven players who showed minimal effort mid-week was baffling.

In hindsight, it didn’t really seem to matter who was on the pitch for Manchester United Sunday, everyone was dreadful. It’s one thing to lose but still see players putting in work and trying to follow what the coach wanted them to do. It’s totally different though when players look like they have no idea how to play as a team. With United it looks like Ole just tells them to go out there and have fun. With no specific instructions on how to attack the team they are playing. Everyone just goes out there and does their own thing. Liverpool was probably watching the game midweek and licking their lips.

Naby Keita Gets the Visitors Off to a Flying Start

Keita put Liverpool on the score sheet in just the 5th minute after some nice build up play with Mohammad Salah sees Manchester United cut open at the back. Keita was able to time his run with Salah’s pass and gets in on goal with only David De Gea to beat. United getting undone by quick, one and two touch passes was the theme all day. Liverpool’s smothering press worked wonders on a disjointed, out of sorts United back line.

I don’t know what has happened to Harry Maguire but he looks as if he has never defended before in his life. Maybe Maguire was brought back to fast from injury by Ole and he just isnt fit but either way he looks like a real liability at the back.

Diego Jota Gets a Second for Liverpool

In the 13th minute Trent Alexander-Arnold comes tearing down Uniteds left and hits low cross that goes across the face of Uniteds goal. Jota comes sliding in to get LIverpool’s second goal. United’s defence was left ball watching with no one picking up Jota at the back post.

Salaha Gets Two in the First Half

Salah, who was by far the best player on the pitch today, was involved in just about every good attacking threat Liverpool had. In the 38th minute Salah gets his first goal to make it 3-0 in the first half.  Kieta, on United’s left again, hits a low ball across United’s goal. The Egyptian leaves United’s defence in the dust and flicks the ball in past De Gea.

In stoppage time of the first half Salah gets his brace.  Liverpool cut Uniteds defence open like butter with defenders left ball watching.  Jota hits a ball into the right side of United’s box where Salah is left open.  With only De Gea to beat again he cooly slides it under De Gea and Liverpool are in dreamland.

Second Half

This is the first time United have been behind by four goals in the Premier League, ever.  If that isn’t enough for a sacking I don’t know what is.  Ole makes a single change at half time putting Paul Pogba on for Mason Greenwood.  I guess he liked what he saw from the rest of the team because United picked up right where they left off in the second half.  

Salah Gets His Hat Trick

Pogba gets his pocket picked at mid field allowing Jordan Henderson to take the ball into Manchester United’s half.  The England international hits a lovely outside of the right foot pass that splits United’s defence. Salah is able to get behind Luke Shaw and takes the pass and scores past a helpless De Gea. 5-0 to Liverpool.

Pogba Gets his Marching Orders

In the 60th minute Pogba, who is already on a yellow, makes a terrible two footed challenge on Kieta.  The ref, Anthony Taylor, is called over to the monitor by VAR to have a look and subsequently sends the Frenchman off to have an early shower.  That just about summed up United’s day.  Liverpool took the rest of the match off and coasted to a 5-0 victory at Old Trafford.  

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