Hazard ahead for United

Eden+Hazard+Chelsea+v+Manchester+United+Premier+KyN0Q72MJ3BlTravelling to face a direct rival knowing that they’re the ones who have got all to lose from the context can only mean two things – either the gap is so disproportionally in favour of the hosts that everybody expects them to win, or the visiting team have already run away with the league, thus they can afford to take the game lightly.

Sadly, as far as tomorrow’s clash at Stamford Bridge is concerned, the former applies to United, who travel to South West London knowing full well that the pressure will be all on Chelsea to deliver, for almost nobody expects David Moyes to get a point at a Stamford Bridge, let alone a win.

Nine points behind the Blues, without the injured Wayne Rooney – who, according to the know-it-all reader of the future that is Jose Mourinho, will be sold abroad rather than to another Premier League club – Robin Van Persie, one could be forgiven for thinking that United won’t be the first team to inflict a first league defeat on home turf to Mourinho – who hasn’t lost to David Moyes in their last seven meetings between the two.

And yet, while the Chelsea manager’s record at home is nothing short of superb, United haven’t lost away from home in the league since the 4-1 drubbing at the Etihad in September and have won four of their last six matches away from Old Trafford

Nani and Ashley Young remain sidelined, while Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones have only resumed full training late this week and tomorrow’s game could come a little too soon for them, even though United could do with a physical presence in the middle to limit the danger poised by Eden Hazard.

The Belgian has been in scintillating form, scoring three and assisting one in the last four games and he will undoubtedly relish the prospect of taking on United’s midfield, which has been as watertight as a website attacked by the NSA.

Hazsrd is exactly the sort of player United have been crying out for, capable to score and provide the final pass in equal measure and it’ll be interesting to see how David Moyes plans to stifle out the Belgian’s influence, with Tom Cleverley, Darren Fletcher and Ryan Giggs all in contention for a starting spot.

Things could be rather more delicate up-front, where Moyes has admitted he could play without a dedicated striker. “We could. When you are a manager your job is to find ways to win the games and I think that is what José has done over the years. He has played in different ways to win games. Maybe it would have been reported differently if I had done it,” said the United manager.

Danny Welbeck, however, is expected to start which will give Captain Leader Legend the opportunity to express his political ideology yet again, while Rio Ferdinand will be spared the usual shower of boos from the classy West Londoners as he’s not expected to make the bench.

Of the six teams above them in the table, United have only beaten Arsenal and while their form throughout the season doesn’t bode well for tomorrow, it’s time to start spoiling a party or two. And we might well begin to do so on the Special One’s turf.




  1. This is football, a game in which anything can happen. So, why not be optimistic? My optimistic bit says 1-0 to Utd, however, my realistic bit says probably 3-1 to Chelsea. Even under Fergie I’d have been happy with a draw at Stamford Bridge but under Moyes, and with Utd’s injury list to key players, it’s hard to believe we’ll get anything from this.

    • @red astair: Just to say, if we are to get anything from this game I think Moyes must get his team selection and tactics spot on and Mourinho to get his wrong, past experience suggests this won’t happen.

  2. bout time to receive some love from the officials… we have had our share of shit from them.

    The team playing good attacking football is all i expect from the match. the ball is round so there is no reason we can not take points.

    raph vida evans evra
    carrick fletch
    valincia kagowa adnan

  3. how the hell is sturrige still on the pitch in this match. between fouling players off the ball, diving, and pushing down the keeper after he collected the ball…

    and suarez dive to get them level 🙄 refs are a disgrace in the prem this year… get them some help FA… tech now!!!

  4. This seems like the most impossible of all asks for this team. The game between these two teams has always seemed like a battle of wills and even when we have been soaring, it’s been close and often disappointing.
    If Rooney and RVP were fit I’d offer a bold prediction here, but this team is not the same without our two best players. Moyes will want to to be as big as possible in MF and so Welbeck will have to be at least 60% on his his goal ops – sorry, don’t see that happening.

    Best I can hope for is a boring stalemate. 😥 😥

  5. The battle for 4th place actually begins in this game, tomorrow. The difference between being 6 points behind your rivals and the 3 if we win is huge. It’s big, not just for the points value but actually it’s the confidence that being only 3 points back will give this motley squad going forward.
    If there ever was a game that could gauge the state-of-mind of this team, this would be it.
    I’ll take the loss if we show some assemblance of fight and organization. A desire to become better than 7th place and being not happy with it.
    United now needs to become united in it’s resolve to beat the odds, the teams above us and more importantly, the realization that they are shit. A good team will show us all that, … they are not shit!!

  6. “The battle for fourth place begins in the game tomorrow..”

    The most depressing statement I have heard in a long time. Sad but true. We are now battling for fourth place.

    • @Jay Wire: To me, if there are always two teams fighting for all the silverware of a country, this is depressing. The reason I watch EPL and not another league, is because there are more than one team competing for silverware, not just two giants (real-barcelona) or one (bayern).

      So, I’d like to watch how MU builds the new squad, I’d like to see what’s the new plan.
      What I don’t like till now, is how Moyes is tactically conservative. While he is good with Welbeck and Januzaj and made them better, he is hardly a top 6 manager when it comes to tactics.
      We are boring. We have to win but we also have to entertain.
      If it only was for wins and silverware, I would congratulate Mourinho’s tactics.
      If it only was for entertainment, I would only be happy with Wenger, Guardiola.

      But I like all of them. I like players being developed and not ruined (Real Madrid – Bayern – lately Barcelona) while winning and playing nice football.

      That’s why I fancy Dortmund and Arsenal (never underestimate Wenger) while I support Manchester United.

  7. That’s nice. I just don’t like to see my team fighting for a top four position instead. Especially if the issue is not because the opposition is way too strong but my team sucks so bad even League One teams have every right to believe they can get a win at Old Trafford. That’s not competitive,it’s being poor.

  8. Starting lineups

    01. Petr Cech (G)
    28. Cesar Azpilicueta
    26. John Terry
    24. Gary Cahill
    02. Branislav Ivanovic
    04. David Luiz
    22. Willian Borges
    07. Ramires Santos
    17. Eden Hazard
    11. Oskar dos Santos
    29. Samuel Eto o

    01. David de Gea (G)
    15. Nemanja Vidic
    03. Patrice Evra
    06. Jonny Evans
    02. Rafael da Silva
    04. Phil Jones
    16. Michael Carrick
    25. Antonio Valencia
    18. Ashley Young
    44. Adnan Januzaj
    19. Danny Welbeck

    Possible scores. 1-0. 2-0. 1-1.

    Possible scorers : Eto’o, David Luiz, Hazard, Vidic.

  9. While Referee Dowd is a moron and will likely give Chelsea a free goal, watching Jones completely mismanaging ball-control, passes, and marking is harrowing. This is not Jones’ fault that he is so lacking in match fitness, but Moyes’ … also giving up ball now after 10 mins is awfully dangerous.

    Doesn’t look good right now…

  10. Awful mistake by Jones. He is shit today 🙁

    We were unlucky and they have the champions quality this year. If you can score with just half of a chance in big games, that’s pretty championesque.

  11. Welbeck may have been clipped by Chelsea’s LB, but any world-class striker would put away such a chance in 38th minute… Welbeck just needs 3 chances per goal… that’s the difference a Rooney or RvP makes.

    • @Opti:

      That was sad. Cause we are better during these minutes, yet we re losing. I yelled “cout de pied you coward !!!”

  12. United’s defense are incapable of defending against technical players, why?

    Because no one at United can provide that kind of practice…

  13. I have this silly sence that if I hadn’t mentioned Eto’o as being the most possible scorer, then he wouldn’t have scored…

    unfair scoreline and sad

      • @Opti: Their goal was a deflected shot outside the area. They created nothing. Eto’o shot and that’s all.

        Their second goal was a chance created, yes. But not the first one. And they created no serious threat except the second goal. While I’m writing this we are three behind. That’s a joke.

        • @Warzycha: You create luck and Eto’o did just that by leaving Jones in the dust with a little step-over/trick.

          Pathetic defending on corners makes up the other two goals: unfocused defending from Rafael and Vally left Eto’o open to tap it in… twice.

          I didn’t expect a win, but we’re playing as if down by 2 men at least…

          The joke is on us.

  14. luiz smh thanks for keeping him on the pitch dowd… this guy is kicking our ass and killed our momentum from the first 20 min…

    ill say it again. if the refs of this league will not protect our players we need a player on the pitch who is worse than anyone. i want blood.

  15. Tis match is truly EMBARASING!!!
    Very un-inspired performance, but not really surprising

    We must surely have the most boring team in the league.

  16. I’d like to know why I still bother watching the game when the players have clearly given up on the match about 15 minutes ago

  17. Please remind me again how good David Moyes is and how he is going to lead us to glory?

    I’m sure if we had signed Ronaldo, he would have been benched to make way for the 2 current best, in-form wingers in the Premier League (Jones/Valencia). And yes, it is very wise to load all the responsibility to “create” on the shoulders of a youngster like Adnan. And I agree, we don’t need midfield reinforcements – I’ve gotten used to seeing Carrick & co being run over week in week out.

    • Arsenal fan here. Its kinda unfair criticism leveled at Moyes. Its more oflack of quality than MOyes

  18. What the hell is Vidic doing? Reckless, even if not a red-card tackle/challenge… still reckless and stupid. Poor leadership.

    Man Utd and Moyes: SOS = Same Old S**t!!!!

  19. Has anybody told Carrick that modern football rules won’t allow him shoot? Cause I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen him shooting more than 5-6 times in this season so far.

  20. This result is not surprising and what my Brain said would happen. But the manner in which we lose is so heart-wrenching:
    — starting Phil Jones when he is obviously not fit is dangerous: goal 1-0
    — poor defending and marking on corner shows lack of practice: goal 2-0 and 3-0
    — loss of motivation, desperation: red card to vidic
    — inability to threaten in front of goal: smalling and welbeck missing chances to cause problems
    — no midfield to create any chances for strikers: playing Young and Valencia on wing produces 0 (ZERO)!
    — Forcing Adnan Januzaj to be the only creative outlet is ridiculous
    — abandoning a tactic that was our best against Swansea last week (Kagawa in hole) is inane.
    there is a reason why Moyes hasn’t EVER won against Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool: he is a chicken.

    • @Opti: we already beat arsenal this year!

      but i agree on every thing else… sad. kagowa should have been on at the half for young who had the yellow. easy decision and jones was poor what were we saving fletch for?

      2/3 jan. is gone and we have been linked to the whole fifa world 11 but nothing coming in…

      gong to be a while till we get better. our capitans have deserted us or gotten too old or both.

  21. Guys, I’m sorry for same old same old. But, MOYES IS A FUCKIN USELESS, INCOMPETENT IDIOT!!!

    I never expected us to win. In fact I stated before the match that it will end up 3-1, but the way we lost??? Reminds me of the final against Barca.

    I wish DM could resign immediately so that our rebuild can begin.
    We are now in a crisis that we never should have been in to begin with.

    Oh how the mighty have fallen?

  22. luiz destroyed our momentum and then the goals killed our hope.

    only player that was standing up to the sideshow bully was wellbeck. i saw him get stuck in and make himself known a couple times in the first half good on him

  23. Let’s get one thing clear: Moyes is truly and utterly and completely not useful. In fact,it’s difficult to assume Ferguson could have done any worse. Let’s also get another thing clear: Ashley Young is truly and utterly and completely not useful. It is equally difficult to assume that Ferguson could have done any worse.

    Okay,so what next for Manchester United FC? Any non-Moyes suggestions are not only accepted but are accompanied with widespread adulation. Thank you

  24. A lack of quality once again is the difference really.
    We actually played ok in the first half with some good periods of possession, and we set up tactically pretty well.
    But it’s just a lack of any real quality, Januzaj aside, in the final third that’s cost us as well as some utterly shite defending too.
    Moyes doesn’t help when he makes some strange decisions to tinker with the team, rushing back a clearly unfit Jones rather than just sticking with Fletcher in MF.
    Evans back at CB too when Smalling and Vidic looked good together last week.
    Likewise leaving out Kagawa and then not even bringing him on at fucking all, even when we’re 3 goals down and may aswell go for broke.
    Reverting to the tried and trusted cross after cross after cross routine as our only apparent game plan, just compounds it really.

    It’s never going to happen, but really if Moyes had anything about him, he should be demanding a meet with the Glazers and £50m in cash ready to be wired over tomorrow morning to try and salvage this season or else he resigns.
    Keeping quiet, and trundling along until May, probably on the back of a 7th place finish isn’t worth taking the flak almost single handedly for.
    Moyes isn’t the right man as far as I’m concerned, and has made one too many fuck ups too many a time this season, but I’m not deluded enough to place the blame single handedly on that mans shoulders.
    It’s been a screw up from beginning to end from every one on the board, from Fergie and Gill, Moyes, and the players, and unfortunately it’s us fans who have to bear the brunt for that.
    £50m of investment could atleast give us some hope of half way salvaging this season, and giving us something to be a little bit more positive about.
    More chance of pigs flying than that happening though I know.

    • @tonymontanna4united: if we are not going to spend bring nick powell back and play jessie lindguard!!!! bench yong and maybe bench valincia too.

      i want to see the kids playing if we arent going to win with the shit so called first team.

      lingard was awesome with adnan in pre season. time to give him game time. powell is killing it a level below lets see what he can do in the middle of the table in the prem 🙄

      • @gator: Well said. Some of the young lads might atleast have a bit of fight, determination and passion aswell as pride of wearing the shirt, all of which has been sorely missing particularly in many of the senior members of the squad.
        I can’t see any of the likes of Zaha, Lingard or Powell playing as badly as the likes of Valencia, Young and Cleverley who have been given one too many chances as far as I’m concerned.
        This season is a write off as it is. May aswell start ringing the chances NOW, taking a few risks and give the kids their chance.
        Who knows, maybe one of them will take it, and have a Januzaj like impact? It’s certainly worth taking the risk as far as I’m concerned.

  25. Woeful defending again. Chelsea looked dangerous every time they put pressure on the back four, who in turn looked very similar to those who they really are, at their core, Championship players struggling to keep a Premiership club at mid-table.

    Without Rooney and RVP our attacking efforts are predictable and very poorly executed. Welbeck, clearly has no sense of positioning or what it takes to put it in the back of the net and Januzaj is still a season away from putting in quality performances, week in and week out. And is there anyone on this team that can put in a quality cross once in a while – absolutely shocking in this respect.

    Once again, whats the f***king hold up with bringing in some greatly needed help at full-back, center back and attacking midfielder. You cannot tell me that there are not better players than our motley crew, out there. Surely!!

    Seems this squad of players cant beat anyone who sits above them in the league, SOOOOOOOOOOOO replace them with ones that can – it’s not that complicated!!

  26. Cehcked the stats. It’s official. Carrick has only shot 5 times since the start of 2013-2014 season.

    We are a bunch of weirdos 🙂

  27. We need to fix our defence urgently. That is the area of the pitch where we can make the most difference. I have no hope of Moyes ever getting us to exhibit any creativity or attacking flair. But surely it is within his capacity to fix our defence.

    Anyway here is my prescription:

    TACTICS: Lets face it. Our priority should be to turn ourselves into a team that is difficult to beat and doesn’t easily concede. We score enough goals to place in the top four. The real problem is we concede too many. I believe that dictates a 4-5-1 against all the top ten teams. OK it is a bit negative but loading the midfield will make up for a lack of quality and take the pressure off our defence and with Januzaj Rooney and Kagawa we are worth a goal or two.

    RIGHT BACK: Rafael can’t stay fit and therefore suffers occasionally from a lack of consistency and Smalling simply isn’t a right back. I’d rather Valencia deputizes when Rafael is out.

    CENTRE BACKS: Vidic is finished. Evans as usual looks competent until he gets a real test. We need to give Smalling and Jones games but I’d feel more comfortable if we signed an experienced centre back to lessen the blow of Vidic and Rio’s sharp decline this season.

    LEFT BACK: Evra is a great servant of the club and never misses a game but now even if his body is succumbing to wear and tear and with no real backup a left back has to be the priority for January.

    MIDFIELD: Carrick is competent but for me he is only world class with Scholes by his side. So a creative midfielder who is good on the ball would be great. I believe that Fellaini or Fletcher would be able to do a job in a three man central midfield which in my view is absolutely essential against better teams (of which there is a long list). If we cannot bring in a new signing I think we should bring back Powell.

    WINGERS: Januzaj is a given. Valencia is a useful squad player but hasn’t been the same since his injury and offers nothing. I don’t know what Zaha has done to deserve the treatment he is getting. Kagawa is far better in the hole but he can do a job out wide especially if we get a creative midfielder and give him and Januzaj licence to drift and cut inside.

    ATTACK: In my view we are doing OK in this area.

    So in summary this would be my team:

    De Gea-Rafael/Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Evra/New Signing #1-Januzaj, Fellaini/Fletcher, Carrick, Powell/ New Signing #2, Kagawa-Rooney

    Against weaker teams we can hook Fellaini or Fletcher and play Rooney and Van Persie up top.

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