Manchester’s Mixed Fortunes

Posted: November 21, 2015 in Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , ,

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Manchester United managed to beat Watford without ever really playing very well.

In fairness, there were good moments and, with no Rooney to get in the way, they kept possession reasonably well.

A lot of the game was played in a congested midfield so it was nice to see Memphis finish off a good move when the ball eventually went out wide. The wings were where the space was but, with Ashley Young playing totally out of position as usual at wing back, and Jesse Lingard drifting between the wing and linking up with Memphis to form an attacking twosome, the wings were underused.

The Watford equaliser came from the penalty spot when Rojo, on as a second half substitute, made a late, clumsy tackle well inside the area and Troy Deeney scored.

United’s winner was fortuitous to say the least. Schweinsteiger chasing a ball almost to the byline before squaring it back into the penalty area where Troy Deeney, (again), was on hand to turn it into his own net.

As per usual United suffered their quota of injuries and Phil Jones and Ander Herrera will now miss the Champions League return against PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.

They can consider themselves a little lucky to win this game because at 1-0 they had two or three excellent chances to score again but failed abysmally when it mattered.

As is often the case when chances are missed, the opposition scores a late goal and two points are thrown away. This was very nearly the case and, had it not been for the Schweinsteiger/Deeney combination United would be travelling home with one point instead of three.

Manchester City never looked like beating Liverpool and, yet again, Manuel Pellegrini’s selection will be questioned. Eliaquim Mangala doesn’t yet look like the finished article and is prone to the occasional mistake. Playing alongside Demichelis, who is no longer a regular, made this a weak spine to the team.

Add to that Alex Kolarov, who is a lazy player, and demonstrated this to it’s fullest today. By lazy player I don’t mean he doesn’t work or run. No, he does plenty of that. The problem is when he is on the ball. He seems to think he can play a lazy pass and the opposition player will move out of the way. In this game, most of Kolarov’s play was lazy in this way.

Jesus Navas ran around a lot as he always does, without really achieving anything and Fernando looked uncomfortable in midfield.

What must have been annoying to the City fans was that Nicolas Otamendi was an unused substitute. Fernandinho came on in the second half to replace an ineffective Yaya Toure. Zabaleta was on the bench, Ineanacho came on to replace Aguero, which basically ended any slim hopes of a comeback for City.

Why Aguero was taken off at 1-3 I am not sure. OK, City play Juventus in the Champions League in midweek but, as they have already qualified for the knockout stage, this is a game they could face without Aguero.

This was a game that Manuel Pellegrini and the team will want to forget. There can be no positives taken from it and to analyse the negatives would take too long so, just sweep it under the carpet and move on.

Both clubs will now concentrate on the Champions League and trying to finish top of their respective groups which is well within reach for the two of them. United are home to PSV Eindhoven, while City travel to Turin to take on Juventus.

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