Posts Tagged ‘Liverpool’

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The result was fitting, if not entirely fair. City, to be honest, were the better team on the night and certainly looked the more likely winners. However theirs is a problem similar to that of Manchester United in that they don’t turn enough chances into goals.

It could be argued that Manchester United deserved the point if only for their stout defending, no mean achievement given that three of their four first choice centre backs are out injured. (more…)

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It is now Wednesday, 26th May. Manchester City are two points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and an inferior goal difference.

Manchester United are three points behind Liverpool with two games in hand and a vastly inferior goal difference.

The upshot of all this is the following: If Thursday’s derby game is a draw, both Manchester clubs gain a point on Liverpool and both will overtake Liverpool should they win their other game in hand.

If Manchester United win the game, they will be level with Liverpool and City will still be only two points behind but still with a game in hand. So either of these two scenarios would suit United and neither would be disastrous for City.

However, should City win then the outlook becomes a little bleaker for United. They would still be three points behind Liverpool, only have one game in hand and their inferior goal difference would be even more inferior. They would then have to rely on Liverpool slipping up at some stage which, in all fairness, is a probability rather than a possibility. So all would not be quite lost, but the outcome of the derby is certainly more poignant to United than it is to City.

Having won at Old Trafford earlier in the season at a time when City were playing their best football it wouldn’t be particularly surprising if they were favourites for this one. The fortunes of the two clubs have, however, differed slightly since then.

United have gone on to win the EFL Cup and are in the quarter finals of the Europa League. In fact they are now favourites to win it.

City, on the other hand, have been knocked out of the Champion’s League due to attacking a two-goal lead rather than defending it, and been knocked out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage. They will end the season trophyless, not something which was expected when Pep Guardiola took the reins.

It is difficult to see these events not having some psychological effect on the players. After all, they were the team who were going to win things with their new manager. This will not now be the case, not short term anyway.

All of this, in our very humble opinion, makes Manchester United slight favourites for the win but the draw still remains the safest bet.

It will certainly be an interesting derby game onThursday.

The FA Cup final will feature Chelsea and Arsenal. Two London teams playing the final in London. Quite fair really. The semi-finals featured three London teams and one from Manchester and were also played in London. Totally unfair really.

How three clubs can play a “home” game whilst another is totally disadvantaged by being the sole “away” team is beyond the comprehension of this fair-minded publication. What happened to playing the semi-finals on a neutral ground in a neutral city?

The result was quite predictable with this heavy bias towards London and now the final will be contested between two teams who, through no real fault of their own, generate no real interest outside of London particularly in a competition which has now become one which nobody really cares much about either.

When will the FA come to their senses, (a perpetually rhetorical question!), and return the old values to the tournament? Maybe then some of the old “magic” may reappear. Until that happens it will remain a bit of a damp squib.

FA Cup final weekend has finally become just another weekend.

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Maybe the manager’s expectations weren’t too high. Maybe the fan’s expectations WERE too high. Either way, for Pep Guardiola or José Mourinho, if the season was to end now, then it hasn’t been that bad.

City would qualify for the Champion’s League through their Premier League position and United would qualify for the Europa League because of their EFL Cup triumph and their position in the Premier League. This may not be exactly how the supporters envisaged it at the start of the campaign but it would still represent a decent season for the two. (more…)

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Just as the Premier League season nears it’s pulsating climax it happens. What happens, (we don’t hear you ask)?  What happens is one of those pesky international breaks.

It is called a break because the players, particularly the English ones, can have a rest. All of the ones not included in their national team squad can sit, feet up, and watch the dross churned out by their so-called “betters“.

All of the players selected by their national team manager can also have a rest as the pace of the games, at least those involving England, will border somewhere between snail and tortoise. (more…)

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Sir Alex Ferguson retired. David Moyes came in. Hailed as the “Chosen One” he rather quickly became the “Frozen One” as results started to go against him. He also managed to break some unwanted records in his time and the list is as follows:-

1United suffered their first defeat to Newcastle at Old Trafford in 41 years.

2Everton’s victory at Old Trafford confirmed their first league double over the Reds since 1970.

3As a result of that defeat, United had won just one of their 12 meetings with the Premier League’s top eight sides that season. (more…)

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As far as cup finals go it isn’t the most prestigious. It isn’t up there with the Champion’s League final or Europa League final. It isn’t even up there with the FA Cup final.

Through all it’s various guises which have included the Milk Cup, the Worthington Cup and the Capital One Cup it has been used as a vehicle for giving fringe players a run of games, certainly by the bigger clubs, who have the squads deep enough to render the exercise unnecessary.

The effect this has on the competition is to take away the giant-killing days. No longer is it a major surprise, or even much of an achievement, when a Championship club at full strength beats a Premier League club fielding it’s reserve team. At least it could be argued that the playing field is level for once. (more…)

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(Thanks to sportingintelligence for the graphic)

Whenever anything relating to Manchester United is published it is big news. Maybe not to everybody in the world but there are many who hang onto every word, written or spoken, about the reds.

There is talk of the stadium capacity being increased to around 80,000 in the near future and it will be full for almost every home game.

Do United do anything differently to the other top teams? They spend some of their close season touring far away places in order to give some of their fans the chance to see the players, (not to mention increasing the fanbase to make more money)! (more…)

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Rewind to a time not much more than twelve months ago. Stood on the touchline at the Kingpower Stadium was a manager whose team looked bereft of ideas, short of a leader and heading in one direction only, downwards.

José Mourinho, when interviewed after that 2-1 loss to Leicester City, unashamedly blamed his players for not following orders. This despite the fact that, as he well knows, the ultimate responsibility lies with the person who picks those players.

Roman Abramovich obviously concurred with the opinion that the manager was at fault and Mourinho was out of work. (more…)

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(Sir Bobby is horrified to see his goalscoring record broken by Wayne Rooney, of all people!)

So it’s finally gone. One of the longest standing records in football has been broken. At least it was a decent goal which did the dastardly deed.

Wayne Rooney, thanks to longevity rather than anything else, is now Manchester United’s record goalscorer. This fact will always divide opinion amongst genuine United fans never mind the hangers-on who only discovered the club after they became successful. (more…)

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According to reports in the popular press, (does that mean the Sun and the Star?), José Mourinho has been so impressed with whoever plays in defence that he no longer feels the need to splash the cash on a new defender.

José Fonte may have asked for a transfer from Southampton in the vain hope that it would result in a move to Old Trafford but it isn’t going to happen. He may still get to play for a club with more to offer than the Saints, but it won’t be United. (more…)