A year on from the abdication of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United remain in a limbo. The much planned succession led not to an expected summer of triumph but to a ten-month long winter of turgid football, impotent crosses and Marouane Fellaini. Less than a year after a sacking at Old Trafford seemed unthinkable, the fans were as desperate for one as an addict seeking a hit. To rub salt into the gaping wound, Manchester City, the noisy neighbours, smugly conducted their own succession with the proficiency and serenity of seasoned footballing operators. Continue reading
For both teams competing tonight, the season has petered out somewhat in recent weeks. West Ham are luxuriating in the comfort of mid table, neither worrying by relegation nor threatening a late assault on the European places. Whilst this winding down has been a massive positive for West Ham fans, it has been anti-climatic for Manchester United’s, after crashing out of two cup competitions and having sewn up the title weeks ago. Now the aim is to create a dazzling title procession, but will this be enough motivation to defeat a solid West Ham side?
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Pre-season, this derby was billed as the season defining game for both teams. The title race would be so close again that only a gnat’s breath would be able to separate them.
However, never have football ‘experts’ been so wrong. City have stumbled whilst United have stepped up and obliterated the rest. But, as with all derbies, this doesn’t mean the fans care less about this edition of the Manchester derby. Both sets of supporters are still desperate for the sweet elixir of victory.
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Manchester United and Chelsea will contest a replay at Stamford Bridge after the London side surged back from two goals to force a two-all draw at Old Trafford.
United raced into a two goal lead inside the first ten minutes through Hernandez and Rooney, and then created a plethora of chances in the remainder of the half as they attempted to close out the game. However, Chelsea weathered the first 45 minutes and came out strong in the second half, equalising through Hazard and Ramires, before themselves wasting ample opportunities to cap an arguably deserved comeback win.
Ever since Manchester United were drawn against Real Madrid in the first knockout round of the 2013 Champions’ League, the 5th of March has been on every United and Madrid fan’s mind. It is a match that sets the world alight and inspires a thousand clichés of the highest quality. But no cliché can do this gargantuan game justice (another cliché), as two iconic teams, rich in both history and talent compete in a finely poised tie to advance to the last 16.
“Form goes out the window in games like these.” Of course, this is true to an extent, and United fans will be hoping Real’s two Clasico wins aren’t replicated at Old Trafford.
The FA Cup returns to Old Trafford for the first time since March 2011, when an experimental United lineup including a midfield duo of John O’Shea and Darron Gibson overcame Arsenal in a 2-0 win. This time, Martin Jol will bring his Fulham side up, in search of cup success. Continue reading
After the last minute heroics of last week’s Manchester derby, united will be wary
of complacency on entering this weekend’s much less glamorous fixture against
Sunderland. With a seemingly straightforward winter schedule, Sir Alex will be
emphasising the importance of keeping their foot on the gas to put pressure on City
in this year’s two Club race for Premier League glory.
As the momentous month of December rolls upon us, signalled, as ever, by the many choruses of 12 Cantonas, Manchester United visit newly promoted Reading, seeking a win that would keep them top of the table before the monumental Manchester Derby next Sunday. Indeed, it is often in December that the title challengers are clarified and the weaker teams fall back in despair. United will take heart from the fact they have not lost an opening fixture in December for 10 years, and few would imagine that this run will end at the Madejski Stadium. Continue reading