Sunderland 0 Manchester United 1

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at The Stadium of Light.

United did what they had to do, win. Missed a shed load of chances but alas Fortune, being the fickle mistress she is, deserted Sir Alex Ferguson after many years of being bedfellows. Contrary to all the accumulated footballing knowledge of the good and the wise Queens Park Rangers were 1-2 up with the clock at 90 minutes played but like that muggy evening on the 26th May 1999 at the Nou Camp in Barcelona its not over until its over. City scored two more goals, Aguero’s a belter to pip United to the title on goal difference. What ever deal was struck with the Dark Powers on the 26th May 1999 was called in today. In all honesty United should have had this wrapped up by last weekend. Defeat against Wigan, letting two two goal leads slip at Old Trafford against Everton. Allowing Blackburn Rovers to win on the 31st December and allowing Newcastle to draw a game in which they should have tonked all have contributed to this seasons lack of title. Yet one should not lose sight that this squad is perhaps the weakest in many years. It lacks leadership and has suffered through injury. Players have come to the end of their useful top shelf use and should be sold or retired. The Glazers leeching the club for interest payments need to invest and Sir Alex, graceful in defeat, needs to make sure he signs the right players. No more footy now until August, except the Champions League final next week and England’s usual cock up in the Euro’s. Premier League is back in August and hopefully the Reds will have a new left back and two centre mids to add to the squad.

Manchester United Team


1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

4   Phil Jones

18 Ashley Young

16 Micheal Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

25 Antonia Valencia

11 Ryan Giggs

10 Wayne Rooney (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES

Nani on for Ashley Young

Manchester United 2 Swansea City 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

Manchester City’s result at St James’s Park earlier in the day had pretty much taken the sting out of this one. United did what they had to, win. yet City should be champions by this time next week. It wasn’t lost last Monday at the Etihad rather on New Year’s Eve against Blackburn, losing at the DW Stadium, letting a two goal lead slip twice against Everton. The list is endless of idiotic results that have meant that after 16 point swing United handed City the initiative. Once can clutch at straws in that QPR are still very much alive but a team that has won at home with regularity in the past weeks has also lost with the same regularity away. Nothing is yet decided but as Sir Alex said before kick off, they have two hands on the trophy. The match was a bit anti climatic for the reasons given. Scholes and Young got the goals and De Gea prevented City’s goal difference advantage getting larger. The curtain comes down on Old Trafford for a season that could have seen the trophy being presented on that hallowed turf today but alas there are many problems with this squad and something Fergie will have to be done. Heres to a last day miracle!

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

12 Chris Smalling

4   Phil Jones

18 Ashley Young (Goal)

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes (Goal)

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney

14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

SUBSTITIUTES

Tom Cleverley on for Paul Scholes

Dimitar Berbatov on for Wayne Rooeny

Rafael Da Silva on for Rio Ferdinand

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at the Etihad Stadium

Disastrous result. Gutted. United weakest in all areas with Smalling looking like the non league level he came from in City’s goal. If SAF said he wasn’t playing for draw in his post match interview he was kidding us all. Surely this his to be Park’s last ever game for United. City now in the driving seat and deservedly so. The old codger even had a spat with Mancini on the sideline telling the idiot with the scarf to fuck and piss off. Pity his players didn’t show the same character on the pitch. Gutted. City ow have a difficult game away at Newcastle, United at home to Swansea City. City top on goal difference. What I don’t get is the Sky wankfest over City and they vilify Ambramovich at Chelsea for doing essentially the same thing.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

12 Chris Smalling

5   Rio Ferdinand

4   Phil Jones

13 Ji Sung Park

11 Ryan Giggs

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

17 Nani

10 Wayne Rooney

SUBSTITUTES

Danny Welbeck on for Ji Sung Park

Antonio Valencia on for Paul Scholes

Ashley Young on for Nani

Manchester United 4 Everton 4

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

What a crazy match. United are guilty of very sloppy and very careless defending. A match during which they led by two goals twice and a match that now gives Manchester City the necessary motivation to go and beat Wolves and then United at the Etihad to be in the best position to win the title. United started very cagily, maybe believing in their record at Old Trafford versus Everton. The only keeper to touch the ball in the first 10 minutes was De Gea, the only team to have shots on goal in the first ten minutes were Everton. As such it was with no surprise that Nikola Jelovic scored an almost impossible header to give Everton the lead. A high cross eluded defence and keeper and from the most acute of angles Jelavic, who was later to get Everton’s third, looped the ball over De Gea into the net. This seemed to spark United into life and the football began to flow and roll. Valencia and Nani took over the wings and it was a cross from the left that saw Rooney head in the equaliser. At half time United were ascendant and Danny Welbeck’s sublime finish early in the second seemed to signal the beginning of the end. He sold Hiteinga a dummy and sweetly curved in a shot past the diving Howard. Top class finish that was accentuated by Nani’s close range lob making it 3-1. It seemed job done and City’s hopes dashed. Yet credit to Everton for plugging away without cease. Rafael and both central defenders however then entered brain fart mode. Fellaini was allowed a clear, though a very high quality, volley amidst four United defenders surrounding him. De Gea stood no chance. Everton hope sprang eternal, only to be dashed by a great one-two in the Everton area that left Rooney to blast the ball into the back of the net. 4-2 order restored. But this Everton side does not give up. Another defensive error let them in again and Jelavic pounced to make it 4-3. Everton’s fourth was product of good play down United’s right and a well worked move allowed Pienaar to worm his way between Ferdinand and Rafael to leave De Gea unable to make a save from a close range shot. United surged forward again realising the importance of the win today. Evra his the post with a header and Tim Howard pulled off a last ditch save against a Rio Ferdinand shot. Yet to no avail. 4-4, unthinkable before kick off or even during the match. What price Wolves getting something out of their game this afternoon?

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

21 Rafael Da Silva

17 Nani (Goal)

22 Paul Scholes

16 Michael Carrick

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney (2 Goals)

19 Danny Welbeck (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES

Phil Jones on for Paul Scholes

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez on for Antonio Valencia

 

Manchester United 4 Aston Villa 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

With City smashing Norwich yesterday with a Tevez hat trich, oh the irony, United needed to respond and respond well after the loss at Wigan. Villa are a shadow of their former selves and to be honest did little to bother De Gea in goal. United seemed eager to eradicate the memory of the DW Stadium. The ball was moving swiftly and Valencia seemed well up for it. Villa’s 5 man midfield had no effect either defensively or offensively and a United goal seemed inevitable, even though De Gea made the first save 40 seconds in. Controversy once again surrounded United’s first as Ashley Young took a tumble in the box. Though the defender made contact, the subsequent dive was frankly embarrassing. No worries for Rooney who finished with style. A second goal later in the match means he is closing on 25 goals for the season. Welbeck scored United’s second while Nani scored a fourth well into stoppage time. 5 points ahead again and it is all pointing to high noon at the Etihad.

Manchester United Team
1   David De Gea
3   Patrice Evra
5   Rio Ferdinand
6   Johnny Evans
21 Rafael
18 Ashley Young
22 Paul Scholes
16 Michael Carrick
25 Antonio Valencia
10 Wayne Rooney (2 goals/1 penalty)
19 Danny Welbeck (Goal)

SUBSTITUTES
Nani (Goal) on for Ashley Young
Dimitar Berbatov on for Wayne Rooney
Tom Cleverley on for Paul Scholes

Wigan Athletic 1 Manchester United 0

Match played at the DW Stadium and corresponding to the Premier League.

Poor United performance that saw Wigan have upto 67% of the possession at one point in the first half. The controversy, that seems to follow United around, came midway into the first half when Moses appeared to have scored a legitimate goal. The linesman however spotted an obstruction on De Gea which impeded the keeper getting to the ball. Despite Trevor Francis’s disbelief Caldwell is clearly obstructing the keeper. Yet United’s midfield was constantly overrun and the closest United came was a Rooney shot blasted well wide. Half time saw Young come off and Tom Cleverley replace him to try and wrest some control. There was little initial impact and, indeed Shaun Maloney scored a wondrous goal, curling a shot past a diving De Gea. The goal came from a corner that should have never been as the last touch came from a Wigan player. Rooney, having an awful games, was taken off and replaced by Nani and for the first time United carried threat and promise but bore no fruit. United piled on the pressure but it was the 78th minute before Al Habsi in the Wigan goal was called to make any save of note. United very poor as City romped to a win against West Brom. 8 points were becoming 5! Great and well deserved 3 points for Wigan and life breathes into the title race again.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea
3   Patrice Evra
5   Rio Ferdinand
6   Johnny Evans
4   Phil Jones
18 Ashley Young
16 Michael Carrick
11 Ryan Giggs
25 Antonio Valencia
10 Wayne Rooney
14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

SUBSTITUTES
Tom Cleverley on for Ashley Young
Danny Welbeck on for Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez
Nani on for Wayne Rooney

Blackburn Rovers 0 Manchester United 2

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Ewood Park.

A lacklustre United was able to wrap up three extremely valuable points thanks to two stunning strikes by Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia once the 80th minute had gone. Blackburn had proved resolute in defence and clinical in attack. Their few forays often resulted in some timely and high class interventions by David De Gea. The Spaniard, early and mid season cock ups aside, has become one of the key men in this average United side that allows far too many chances as a result of its poor possession retention. At least 5 times David kept Blackburn out with high class and instinctive saves. A sure sign of this boy’s improvement is that when one watches United and shots rain on goal, confidence is there that the keeper will react. He even dispelled the spectre of that last minute Old Trafford corner that gave Rovers their unexpected, win with a solid punch out followed by a superb save from the shot in. As for United, well the usual sloppy play and sluggard approach play led to few chances. Antonio Valencia once again proved he is the leagues form player. Fast, powerful and incisive he was a thorn in Rovers’ side since the off. Hernandez was guilty of missing several chances, though he was unlucky not to get a goal in the opening seconds of the game. He was off after an hour replaced by Welbeck. With Rooney having an awful game the new striker did little to improve our finishing. It was thus left up to the Man of the Match to finish with a sublime shot with the outside of his right foot that cut through a crowded area like a hot knife through butter. A well deserved individual goal for United’s best player on the pitch. Ashley Young, who had come on for Scholes scored our second a few minutes later with a well worked goal from the edge of the area that slotted perfectly in the gap between the post and the flying Robinson’s hand. 5 points ahead now City so what you going to do? The next two matched could be crucial, United can even have the luxury of losing at the Etihad and still be crowned champions, over to the crumbling Blues and see how they cope!

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

21 Rafael

4   Phil Jones

22 Paul Scholes

16 Michael Carrick

25 Antonio Valencia (Goal)

10 Wayne Rooney

14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

SUBSTITITUES

Danny Welbeck on for Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

Ryan Giggs on for Phil Jones

Ashley Young (Goal) on for Paul Scholes

Manchester United 1 Fulham 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

Fuf! What a nervy performance by United, is squeaky bum time affecting the players? United were lethargic, nervy and very pedestrian. Old Trafford sounded more like a morgue than a football stadium and 25 minutes in David De Gea had already made two saves while Schwartzer in the Fulham goal still had cold palms! We lacked punch and are passing was sloppy to say the least. Considering Sir Alex Ferguson had already mentioned that goal difference was bound to be a factor on reckoning day our attack was feeble to say the list. Welbeck had something of a mare while Rooney, largely anonymous until his goal, seemed to be late to all passes. Antonio Valencia once again proved he is United’s, and probably the League’s form player but tonight his final ball let him down. Credit to Fulham, however, who maintained form and shape through out and moved the ball around elegantly kept themselves in the game until the final whistle and were denied a very plausible penalty by the referee. United’s slow tempo and lack of quality in the pass meant the match was dour and boring for many stretches of play. United’s goal game from a long Young cross which Evans bravely won and nodded back across the area to find Rooney with his gun cocked and loaded. A sharp pull of the trigger and United were one up. Rio Ferdinand limped off in the second half but with one whole week to go before our next game he should be fit for our trip to Ewood Park next Monday. Most important thing were the three valuable points that take us back to the top of the league. Long has it been said that the mark of champions is to win games like these in which you play like crap but still remain victorious.

Manchester United Team

1   David De Gea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

21 Rafael

18 Ashley Young

16 Michael Carrick

11 Ryan Giggs

25 Antonio Valencia

10 Wayne Rooney (Goal)

19 Danny Welbeck

SUBSTITUTES

Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez for Danny Welback

Chris Smalling on for Rio Ferdinand

Paul Scholes on for Wayne Rooney

Manchester United 2 West Bromwich Albion 0

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at Old Trafford.

Apart from the opening 10 minutes this was pretty much a stroll in the park, unlike the catastrophe on Thursday. United had the measure of West Brom quite quickly and rapid wing play by Ashley Young had their full backs going  in the opposite direction. All three of United’s forward players looked very sharp and it was the Hernandez/Rooney combination that struck to get United’s firsts. Chcicharito curled one in with his left and the ever wily Rooney anticipated West Brom’s keeper and defenders to hammer in from close range. West Brom had the wind well and truly taken out of their sails. They also had a fair penalty appeal when Patrice Evra appeared to trip Peter   Odemwingie inside the corner of the United area. None of the officials seemed think it was cause for a penalty and the game continued. David DeGea has kept his habit of game saving saves pulling off two great saves, one in either half. Certainly a new man! The second half saw a small 5 minute West Bromwich revival that was cut short by United’s incisive attacking play. Javier Hernandez hit the post while Danny Welbeck saw it fit to push the ball wide of an open goal. Ashley Young then provoked a penalty as he was tripped over by Keith Andrews. West Brom was by now with 10 men as Ollson had been sent off for two yellows, both justified. Rooney stepped up to score his second penalty in as many games to put the game beyond any reasonable doubt. What made the points even sweeter was the result filtering in from the Liberty Stadium where Swansea had beaten City 1-0 despite having a penalty saved by Joe Hart. All in all a much excellent end to a horrible week. Squeaky bum time Mr Mancini, can you cope with it?

Manchester United Team

1   David DeGea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

4   Phil Jones

18 Ashley Young

16 Michael Carrick

22 Paul Scholes

19 Danny Welbeck

10 Wayne Rooney (2 Goals/1 Penalty)

14 Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez

SUBSTITUTES

Paul Pogba on for Paul Scholes

Tom Cleverley on for Danny Welbeck

Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester United 3

Match corresponding to the Premier League and played at White Hart Lane.

Well if United do win the league and retain their title this match will be one of those that are often described by pundits as characteristic of the one champion teams win. We play badly, dominated in the first half in fact, but end up winning. Undeservedly so but such is football. Spurs played very well in the first half dominating possession and midfield. Though they lacked bite up front David DeGea had one save to make from Adebayor. The controversial moment came when the referee disallowed an Adebayor goal for handball. The irony is that the Spurs forward was on the line and he blocked a goal bound shot after a cross from out wide from Lennon. As the ball hit him, Adebayor used his left hand to help position the ball to allow him to flick into the back of the net. The ref got this one right in my opinion as without the touch with his hand Adebayor would not have been able to position the ball to be able to tap it in. Wayne Rooney that added salt to the wound as he headed in on the 44th minute. A clearly undeserved lead. The second half started pretty much the same way. Spurs dominant and any rocket SAF delivered at half time seemed to have hit the mark. Yet it was United again that took the bull by the horns. Nani floated in past Modric on the right and drove in a cross that was expertly volleyed in by Ashley Young. His second goal was reminiscent of his one against Arsenal earlier in the season. Drop of the shoulder, cut into to midfield and curl one away from the keeper with his right foot. Jermaine Defoe got a late consolation for Tottenham but United game Spurs a lesson in clinical finishing and shooting. A 100% ratio of shots/shots on target with three goals to boot. Back to two points difference with City and everything points to a title decider at the Etihad in late April!

Manchester United Team

1   David DeGea

3   Patrice Evra

5   Rio Ferdinand

6   Johnny Evans

4   Phil Jones

17 Nani

22 Paul Scholes

16 Michael Carrick

18 Ashley Young (2 Goals)

10 Wayne Rooney (Goal)

19 Danny Welbeck

SUBSTITUTES

Ryan Giggs on for Paul Scholes

Ji Sung Park on for Nani