Manchester United produced a trademark comeback to beat Braga 3-1 and secure their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Despite the result – which also ensures that United will go through as group winners regardless of the outcome of the next two games – this game will, in all likelihood, never feature in the same category as other inspired comebacks, for United produced the worst 70 minutes of football of their season to date (as anyone watching live football coverage of the match will agree).
A fairly dreary game that wasn’t much of a tactical battle, Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over an embarrassingly uninspired Arsenal team was still 3 important points for the Red Devils. Arsene Wenger’s squad was missing some key players, such as Abou Diaby and Kieran Gibbs, but that still doesn’t explain such a poor performance by a squad that most neutral observers would admit plays some entertaining football. In the past 3 weeks, Arsenal has lost 1-0 to Norwich City, 2-0 to Schalke, had to come back from 4-0 to defeat Reading 7-5, and claimed a 1-0 victory over a 10-man Queens Park Rangers. Arsenal brought this extremely poor run of form into Old Trafford to take on an extremely dangerous Manchester United squad, fresh from a 3-2 victory over league leaders Chelsea a week earlier. Continue reading
If English football was a company floating on the stock market, its shares would be at an-all time low these days, for so often scandals, controversies and racism have tarnished the reputation of the Premier League over the last 12 months or so.
Saturday added another chapter to the ever-growing book of shame, as Manchester United fans insulted Arsenal manager for ninety minutes at Old Trafford, while the supporters that had travelled all the way from London, despite witnessing yet another lacklustre performance, got behind their team throughout the match.
Robin Van Persie scored against his former club as Manchester United overcame Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman scored with the game barely two minutes old, before Patrice Evra added another in the second half, after Wayne Rooney had missed a penalty for United.
The Gunners travel to Manchester with memories of last years embarrassment in the back of their mind, last seasons match at Old Trafford was one to forget for Arsene Wenger whose team was outplayed at the Theatre of Dreams.
The result, 8-2 in United’s favour, was a shocker for both sets of fans. United fans were the happier of the pair after a convincing win over a highly rated opposition. The fixture was played early in the season which capped a promising start to Uniteds 2011/12 season. After winning their 19th league title the season before, confidence was in Uniteds favour.
This was a well fought game between the top 2 teams in the league this year. Much of the post-game conversation has focused on the calls, and some say mistakes, of Mark Clattenburg. This has been covered much better than I could ever hope to do by numerous other blogs, so I’m going to focus on the tactical battle instead. Dominating the early part of the game, the Red Devils were able to take a 2-0 lead before Chelsea led an impressive fight back to tie the game at 2-2. Chelsea looked like they could have been on their way to earning 1 point, if not all three, before Branislav Ivanovic got his red card. Once they were reduced to 9 men, it was only a matter of time before the Red Devils took the lead, and all three points. Continue reading
Home, they say, is where the heart is.
That might be true but, if Manchester United are to wrestle the title back from City’s grasp come May, they’ll need to find a second home away from Old Trafford.
For all the criticism they’ve so far received this year, United have clocked up wins at Anfield (their first in all competitions there since December 2007), St James’ Park (where United had failed to score in the last two league outings) and, albeit in controversial circumstances, Stamford Bridge (the first time United left the blue half of West London with a league win in the last 10 and a half years).
In the corresponding fixtures last season United had picked up only a point, courtesy of a famous comeback against Chelsea.
Lee Mason takes charge of a game that no matter what the outcome he will be either seen as afraid of Chelsea if he gives them too many decisions or getting revenge on Chelsea for his colleague if he gives us any decisions.
Before Sunday this game wouldn’t of been seen as a big game but since the Clattenburg incident on Sunday everyone has been looking forward to see what happens. Chelsea have lost 2 games in the past 5 days and will not want to make it 3 in a row.
Chelsea have taken the step of including a warning to their supporters in the matchday programme for tonight’s League Cup game following the controversial Premier League clash between the two sides.