United Continue To Hang On To City’s Coat Tails While Spurs Appear To Pull Out Of The Race, (And Other Meaningless Trivia)

Posted: November 29, 2017 in Arsenal, Chelsea, European Football, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
Tags: , , , ,

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A good night was had by the Manchester United fan’s favourite boo-boys. Both Ashley Young, (man-of-the-match), and Jesse Lingard scored excellent goals in the 2-4 win at Watford.

Young grabbed himself a brace which included a controlled shot from just outside the area and a perfectly executed free-kick which gave Hilarious Gomes in the Watford goal no chance whatsoever. In fact, so good was it, that when a second opportunity from an almost identical position came along, Young could not resist attempting to do a “Leigh Griffiths” and score again. As is nearly always the case in these instances though, he actually hit it tamely into the wall.

Lingard scored after running with the ball from inside his own half and eluding four Watford “defenders” before firing a shot past Gomes and into the net.

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José Mourinho may not have appeared concerned about the two goals his team conceded when leading 0-3 but, inside, he will have been. Here’s what he said:

I prefer to forget the five minutes where we conceded the two goals. I prefer to focus on all the good things we did. To play away from home and score four goals, we could have scored seven, eight; this was very, very good.”

Victor Lindelof put in another competent performance and showed why he is considered to be the future of the back three/four.

Marcos Rojo, for most of the game, did what he does best. He is a no-frills defender who will continually lump the ball away from danger rather than look for a more subtle means of escape and, in fairness, what he does is what is required most of the time.

He can still be a liability in his own penalty area as he proved again when conceding a very obvious penalty which gave Watford their first lifeline.

Generally, the back three idea worked quite well but would surely benefit from the inclusion of Eric Bailly rather than the donkey that is Chris Smalling, we shall see.

The win takes United to within five points of City who play Southampton at The Etihad tonight.

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Tottenham Hotspur were beaten at Leicester despite having numerous chances to take something from the game and Pochettino was quick to criticise their sloppy start:

We talked a lot about starting in a better way than how we started against West Bromwich on Saturday and again we concede a goal. Then it’s true that it was difficult to play. First half they were more aggressive than us. We need to learn from this game, that we need to start every game with the first idea being fighting and competing. If you don’t compete and fight in the Premier League, the gap, or the quality, is even and you are sure that you are going to struggle. And of course the performance today was a very clear example of that.

Jamie Vardy and Riyadh Mahrez both scored first half goals before Harry Kane pulled one back for Spurs but it was a case of too little too late and Leicester City pocketed the points.

The loss leaves Tottenham thirteen points behind the leaders, having played a game more and means that they can now concentrate even more on their Champion’s League campaign which, on this evidence, will also not last much longer.

Tonight sees leaders Manchester City at home to Stoke City while Arsenal play Huddersfield Town at The Emirates, Chelsea play Swansea City at Stamford Bridge and Liverpool travel to Stoke City.

Expect Manchester City to return to their free-scoring ways, Arsenal to score a lucky winner in the 97th minute as usual, Chelsea to stroll to victory with ease and Liverpool to score and concede in their customary fashion.

So by the end of the evening’s entertainment three more of the top four should have picked up maximum points and Liverpool will have had to make do with a draw at The bet365 Stadium.

We may even discuss it tomorrow, who knows?

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In other news, congratulations are in order to Alan Pardew, who takes over at West Bromwich Albion with a very clear remit.

He normally does well for a while at his different clubs then things start to go a little pear-shaped after a couple of seasons. West Brom fans will be hoping for his early consistency to last a bit longer than usual!

Anyway, It was obviously an appointment with which Gary Megson totally agrees as he immediately left the club.

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Also, “nobody’s Sam Allardyce” is about to become “Everton’s Sam Allardyce”. This is a strange one considering he was, reportedly, miffed at not being one of the first approached and declared himself uninterested.

He has now been approached, (after Diego Simeone proved to be no more than a dream, Watford didn’t want to let Marco Silva leave, Paolo Fonseca was interviewed and discarded and Martin O’Neill was considered), and seems quite happy to take up the role.

He will be joined by Craig Shakespeare and Sammy Lee who, presumably, don’t get the option of thinking about it or being miffed!

Good luck to Pardew and Allardyce in their continued trek through the Premier League’s average clubs!

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