Has Manchester United’s Victory Over Liverpool Actually Helped The Chasing Pack?

Posted: March 11, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Premier League, Sir Alex Ferguson, The FA Cup, Tottenham Hotspur
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Following on from our article of yesterday in which we suggested that a draw between Manchester United and Liverpool would be the favoured result for Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur Hotspur, as they would all be able to gain two points on both teams, providing they win, of course.

There is another train of thought which suggests that the actual result of 2-1 to United gives the three a better chance of fighting for the top four as they can now gain THREE points on Liverpool. Providing they win, of course.

After a tactical battle at Old Trafford in which Liverpool had, by far, the majority of possession it was, as we mentioned, Manchester United who came out on top.

We have often wondered how United fans of a nervous disposition or with heart problems manage to get through a game without incident! This one was on a knife-edge throughout but particularly for the final twenty minutes after Eric Bailly had pulled a goal back for Liverpool.

Mourinho’s team were, yet again, hopeless in possession and frequently gave the ball straight back to Liverpool and it quickly became obvious how a supporter only sees one side of a game because Jamie Carragher made exactly the same complaint about Liverpool although we didn’t notice their profligacy in possession.

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Jamie Carragher – Thought Liverpool gave the ball away too easily

What was quite amusing in the post-match discussions was the “experts” agreeing that United had been quite happy to let Liverpool have possession outside of their penalty area as they were incapable of doing anything constructive with it. There may have been some truth in this theory but, in actual fact, United didn’t have a lot of choice about where Liverpool had their possession simply because it was the home team who kept giving them the ball all over the pitch and very, very cheaply.

It is another constant source of amazement that Manchester United don’t appear to spend any time during their training sessions actually practising passing the ball to each other. It obviously isn’t seen as an important part of the game at Old Trafford because this has been the case for years.

Anyway, Marcus Rashford returned to the first team, scored two goals, was lucky not to get sent off and was substituted before the end because Mourinho decided to defend the lead when it was down to one goal, rather than try and stop Liverpool getting back into the game earlier when United were leading 2-0.

Football purists, such as ourselves, may not be ecstatic at the way United are playing at the moment but at least they are winning important games. Tuesday will see them take their winning form into Europe with the second leg of their Champion’s League match against Sevilla due to take place at Old Trafford. There will be few complaints if they can score another couple of goals in that one, providing they don’t concede more than one of course.

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Willian – Scores Chelsea’s first with the help of a post

Chelsea did manage to close the gap on Liverpool when they beat a very lack-lustre Crystal Palace 2-1 at Stamford Bridge with a display which had their fans wondering what may have happened at The Etihad had the same team with the same attitude turned up then!

Actually, they would still have lost but their fans would have been a little happier!

To be fair to Roy Hodgson’s team they did imrove in the second-half but, by then, the damage had been done.

Chelsea’s win against Palace moves them to within four points of Liverpool and two points of Tottenham Hotspur who play on Sunday.

And finally…..

With games beginning to run out it is time for the teams in third, fourth, fifth and sixth to target the one above them and not get too concerned with catching the top two. Now that the team finishing fourth no longer need play a qualifying game for the Champion’s League, there is considerably less pressure on the third and fourth placed teams as there is now no advantage, other than financially, in reaching the top three as opposed to the top four.

If, as forecast, Tottenham and Arsenal both win on Sunday then the only losers of the weekend will have been Liverpool. If, as expected, Tottenham and Arsenal both draw their games then Jürgen Klopp will consider he has “got away with one” if only Chelsea profit by three points from his loss.

For once we maintain an interest in the Sunday football when neither of the Manchester clubs are playing!

 

 

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