The original title of this was ‘Oh My God, We Finally Won An Away Premier League Match By More Than One Goal’, but I thought it unnecessary to be (even more of) a smarty pants in this situation.
Regional proximity means that Manchester United-Wigan is technically considered a rivalry matchup, but when it comes to rivalries, you normally expect a little more parity in the results department.
However, for all of our veritable ownership of Wigan since they made the step up to the Premier League, we have had a number of testy trips to the DW Stadium, and given our track record away from home this season, nothing lsss should have been expected from Saturday’s visit.
And unsurprisingly, we found ourselves in a familiarly precarious position, trying to hang on to a lead in the second half away from home and dealing with a side which, while short on talent, was certainly not lacking in the confidence department.
But atypical of what we’ve seen on many an occasion this season, home or away, United shut the door and shut it emphatically, scoring three goals in the final 20 minutes to wrap up a fourth away win of the season.
Those pesky takeover rumors just won’t go away, will they?
The latest round of speculation over Manchester United’s present and future has the Qataris coming back with an offer of 1.5 billion after having an offer of 1 billion rejected by the Glazers earlier this month.
The twist in these tidbits is that the prospective bidders are considering partnering with the Red Knights, a step that would do more to endear themselves to the supporters than anything the Glazers have done in their tenure as owners. Of course, any and all of this tabloid talk should be taken with many a grain of salt, as it’s very much smoke, smoke, and more smoke for the time being, but it makes for interesting reading and debate nonetheless.
Meanwhile, the team has a title race to tend to, and while every single one of United’s remaining dozen matches is of great significance, the three trips that lie ahead in the next eight days are the most important of the season, without a doubt.
By the time we leave Anfield next Sunday, we could have reaffirmed our position as the team to beat and put paid to Chelsea and City’s flickering title hopes, and the race could be down to United and Arsenal, just as it has been on multiple occasions in the Premier League era.
First up is today’s short trek to the DW Stadium, and with two massive matches ahead, is there a chance we could overlook a relegation-threatened opponent that we’ve beaten 11 straight times since they made the jump to the top flight?
As much of an issue as we’ve had winning away from home in the Premier League in this very un-Manchester United-like season, by comparison, we would appear to be a veritable juggernaut continentally.
Okay, that would be a stretch of the truth if you’ve seen any of those matches, but the bare fact is that we had as many wins in three Champions League group stage away matches as we’ve had in four times as many away matches in the Premier League.
We may not have been able to win at Birmingham, Wolves, or Bolton, but in trips to Valencia, Bursaspor, and Rangers, we came away unbeaten, untied, and most of all, unscored upon.
We’ll have three chances on the trot to improve our away ledger in the league, but first things first, United visit Marseille looking to replicate the achievements of their three English counterparts in the Champions League and claim a first-leg win in their round of 16 tie.
After taking a day to digest the narrow F.A. Cup win over Crawley Town, the match showed some clear deficiencies in the Manchester United side. Wes Brown’s header was enough to put us through to the quarter-finals of the competition but the performance can be classed as nothing short of woeful.
Many of you here commented after the game about Bebe and Gabriel Obertan being the two worst performers on the Old Trafford pitch, and I’m afraid I have to agree. Both had absolutely terrible games and it casts a shadow over their respective United careers.
There is, dare I say it, a small part of me that feels a tinge of remorse that, if all goes as it should, Manchester United will be the team that puts an end to Crawley Town’s FA Cup run.
Everyone loves, as they say in American sports culture, the Cinderella story, the underdog, the team or player with destiny written on them. And part of the lure and the mystique that make the FA Cup a must-see event every season is seeing the little guy hit the big time for a day, a few weeks, orr in Crawley Town’s case, more than a month.
Alas, the sensible and less sensitive part of me is mindful of the fact that, with the run of matches that lies ahead for United (and that may or may not include the toughest one of ’em all, depending on what happens at Stamford Bridge this afternoon), this is the very kind of matchup United needed to have this weekend.
Reports have gathered pace over the last twenty-four hours that the Glazers are going to be bought out by the Qatar Royal family via Qatar Holdings.
A year since the Green and Gold campaign was at its height, it seems the Qataris are close to releasing the fund that will oust the current unpopular owners. Figures of £1.6 billion have been mooted and as such bonds of United have risen in value to record levels.
It is a move that has been rumoured for a while with United spending some time in the small oil rich state over the winter and Sir Alex Ferguson backing their World Cup bid, United may see new owners sooner rather than later. It must be added that both Qatar Holdings and United have denied any deal is or will take place.
Still digesting the derby and watching that brilliant Wayne Rooney goal… over and over and over, there has been a few snippets of news to come out of Old Trafford in the past few days.
First we can start with the injury news both good and bad. It seems Ji-Sung Park will be out of action for about a month thanks to a hamstring injury. The South Korean has only just returned from the Asian Cup, but looking on the bright side he will be back for the title run in and – if we get there – the Champions League quarter finals.
Another derby win as Manchester United cement their place as number one in Manchester – not that it was in any doubt of course. But the 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the Premier League on Saturday will quell the noisy neighbours for the moment at least, while also putting paid to any slim title ambitions they had.
It is one thing to beat City, but to beat them with such a magnificent goal makes the victory taste that bit sweeter.
Excellent execution and placement, especially from a player who has been criminally out of form for the best part of a year. Wayne Rooney later told The Guardian, “The Manchester United fans deserve that from me.” He is not wrong.
But lets not get too carried away with the goal. For long parts of the match City were on top, and Vincent Kompany had the better of Rooney for almost the full 90 minutes. It took a moment of magic from the forward to even get a sniff at goal.