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
Norwich City have re-established themselves as a respected Premier League side, after returning from their recent hiatus on the wave of two successive promotions. Indeed, last season they finished 12th, much to the surprise of many. Last season’s fixture saw United grab a 2-1 win, with Giggs scoring in the 90th minute on his 900th appearance. Despite the Canaries recent form, United fans will be expecting a 6th away win in a row, something the Red Devils have not achieved since February 2002.
Villa Park has been a favoured stomping ground for Manchester United over the years. Of the last 33 league encounters, Villa have only won one, and that away from home. After seeing his team score at least 2 goals in the last 9 games, Sir Alex will be looking to continue his Manager of the Month performances into November and will hope that Saturday’s evening match up follows the form-book. Continue reading
Sir Alex Ferguson is the most successful manager the Premier League has ever seen; he has broken countless records, won 12 titles and swept all before him. That is to say, all, except for one team. Sunday’s opponents, Chelsea, are the only team in Premier League history to boast a positive win/loss ratio against the great man. Despite a recent 5 match unbeaten record against the Blues, it has been over 10 years since United beat them at their own ground. To make this task even more daunting, Chelsea are yet to even draw at Stamford Bridge this season, winning 5 out of 5 home fixtures. However, this doesn’t mean the game is a foregone conclusion. United are looking more confident in recent times, recording 4 straight victories after the Tottenham mishap, and have scored the most goals out of any Premier League team. With Chelsea the second top scorers; on paper we have a classic in store.
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Life was very different ten years ago. Tony Blair was a popular man, Girls Aloud were just forming and Wayne Rooney was still an unknown. However, the Evertonian has since powered through the game, astounding and frustrating in equal measures. He will look to keep United’s season on track and strike back at his own detractors with Stoke’s visit to Old Trafford marking his tenth year since first announcing himself to English football. Continue reading
On the back of two consecutive 2-1 wins in the past week, Manchester United are starting to kick into gear this season; and according to the stats this progression should continue against Tottenham Hotspur. The visitors last recorded a win against United at Old Trafford in 1989, and since then have lost 22 times out of 26. This should be a banker for the Red Devils. However, with a decimated defence and facing an improving Tottenham side, this will be far from an easy fixture for Robin van Persie and co. Continue reading
Manchester United vs. Newcastle United has long produced classic matches and a fiery rivalry. However, this particular fixture was not about continuing that proud history. Both managers put out weakened teams and, as was to be expected, they didn’t elicit a memorable match. However, that won’t bother Manchester United fans, as they secured the all important win and witnessed some promising performances in addition.
Having negotiated the dreaded international break with no serious casualties, fans can breathe a sigh of relief. However, they cannot relax as the Red Devils must guard against a combination of complacency and tiredness when they welcome Wigan to Old Trafford. Last time these teams met, of course, the Latics dealt a stinging blow to United’s title aspirations, and Roberto Martinez will be looking to take advantage of a defence that has already leaked 5 goals in 3 games. Continue reading