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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.

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.

Ed WoodWard Resigns; European Super League Is Finished After Only 48 Hours

After only 48 hours Manchester United and the other English clubs involved in the European Super League have pulled out. The firestorm has also caused Ed Woodward to resign as executive vice-chairman, he will leave the club at the end of 2021.

The overall consensus amongst fans and media personalties were completely against the European Super League. It was one of those rare moments were everybody on the internet was completely together on a stance.

Even players got involved in the action. Harry Maguire, the club captain, allegedly confronted then vice-chairman Ed Woodward in a meeting with the players on Monday.

The players were unhappy about the time the news was released, they did not like the idea of not being informed before the game against Burnley. They were also upset about how manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was let out to dry and had to face the media with no knowledge according to the Daily Mail.

The whole situation is weird, why would the European Super League announce without a press conference or without even testing it out in the media? But instead they went all in with a deuce seven.

There has been recent calls to reform the Champions League and a format proposal has been floating around for some time now.

It has been a tumultuous beginning of the week for Man Utd fans, but good news only a mere 48 hours after the greedy owners initially decided to formally announce the league, the league is no more. The most controversial football league ever.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka Snub Could be a Positive for Manchester United

Aaron Wan-Bissaka was left out of the England squad, teammates Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Dean Henderson and Marcus Rashford were all selected for World Cup Qualifying matches beginning on the 25th of March.

England will play three games in six days, a tough ask for players already dealing with a congested schedule. 

Wan-Bissaka definitely deserves to be in the squad, he currently leads the league in tackles with 77, with most players around him being defensive midfielders and Luke Ayling. 

Wan-Bissaka also led the Premier League last season with 129 tackles and had the most tackles in the whole of 2020. Wan-Bissaka could be considered the best defensive full back in the premier league and probably the world. 

Kieran Trippier has missed much of 2021 at Atletico Madrid due to a betting ban and Kyle Walker plays the hybrid CB/RB position, a position that Aaron Wan-Bissaka deserves a look at in Southgate’s system.

Reece James is hardly playing under Thomas Tuchel, Tuchel prefers Callum Hudson-Odoi as a wing back instead of James. All were picked ahead of AWB on the roster.

BUT, this could be good for United, they get to have their starting right back get some much needed rest and focused training. All positives especially with the congested schedule.

A lot of players got injured during other international breaks, travel coupled with heavy match loads causes plenty of injuries. Most of the top teams have experienced that, Joe Gomez got hurt for England in late 2020. Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof picked up some knocks as well. Check out the injuries/covid problems from last international break.

If you were Manchester United, you would not really want to see anybody go in March to play somewhat meaningless games for England, the only meaningful game is against Poland on the 31st, San Marino and Albania are walks in the park. 

Get some rest Aaron Wan-Bissaka and finish off the season strong. 

Daryl Dike Should Be A Target This Summer For Man United

United States international and current Barnsley striker Daryl Dike reportedly had a €10 million bid rejected from a top 6 club by his parent club Orlando City SC according to the BBC.

The top 6 club is a dubious statement, it could extend to the top eight Everton and Leicester could be in for the striker as well.

Dike is a massive 188cm and 100kg striker who is impressing a lot of people in America and England with his recent performances for Barnsley.

Check out this banger from last weekend in the Championship.

Daryl Dike has 3 goals in 8 matches for Barnsley since arriving on loan. Dike likes to get on the ball and provide an outlet for his team, fighting for headers and could be considered a classical center forward.

His form has Barnsley pushing for promotion in the Championship, a year after narrowly dodging relegation to League One. Barnsley currently sit sixth place in the Championship and have won 7 of the 8 games Dike has participated in, the last game was a draw to Derby.

Below is Dike’s touches versus Stoke from a couple weeks back.

It is hard to discern which of the clubs could be the secret bidder, but signs do point to Man United.

It was reported that Edison Cavani will sign for Boca Juniors in the summer, those rumors were quelled by the gaffer, but Cavani’s father says otherwise.

Man United have a lot of quick forwards that sometimes do not do well playing in the number 9 role, especially holding the ball up.

Cavani and Dike play in the same position and could be a long term investment for United, Dike is only 20. It is going to be hard to root against Barnsley in the playoffs, but if they get promoted they would be desperate to keep hold of Daryl Dike in the Premier League.

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. 

Ed Woodward Backs Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar SOLSKJAER

On Twitter the hashtag #oleout was trending after a tough draw against Crystal Palace.

The bad results have let Manchester City run away with the title and the derby on Sunday is almost meaningless in regards to the title race.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward spoke with investors for a quarterly update recently. In his call he spoke about finances and the clubs progress.

“The progress made by Ole and the players this season is clear and our thriving academy and women’s team are also adding to the optimism we feel about the future on and off the pitch.”

If United were to continue this poor trend they might find themselves in a dog fight for the top four. United are currently five points clear of fifth place Everton, but Everton have a game at hand. That gap after this weekend could be down to a point or two if United fail to get a result against rivals City.

The year-to-year revenue is also down approximately €290 million and that could rise if United fail to qualify for Champions League.

Manchester United have five big games in the next two weeks. Man City, AC Milan two times, West Ham and Leicester City all could be pivotal in determining if Solskjaer is still in the clear.