There is no rest for the wicked. There is even less rest for the cardiovascular systems of those who support Manchester United, it seems. Having negotiated a deserved draw against Chelsea on Sunday, irking many an ABUs in the process after United fans took the liberty of celebrating a last minute equaliser, Louis Van Gaal’s troops make the short journey across town to face the defending champions.
The prospect of United traveling to the Etihad as underdogs would have seemed sheer lunacy until a few seasons ago but it’s now widely accepted, given City have won two of the last three titles and put eight goals past United in the last three meetings, winning every single one of them.
Luke Shaw believes Manchester United are slowly rediscovering their mojo and are on their way to become a “scary” team to face. even though the England international there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
The 19-year-old defender insisted that with Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick on their way back to full fitness and Wayne Rooney set to return from his three-match ban, United will be a team no-one will relish facing.
When Manchester United hosted Chelsea last season, on a balmy Monday night in August, David Moyes’ men arrived into the fixture on the back of an impressive 4-1 win away at Swansea and while the turgid stalemate that followed against the Blues was hardly exciting, it definitely did not provide any indications about the shamble that would unfold in the following months.
That United could find themselves happy with the same result on Sunday, speaks volume of how tough United have found things under Louis Van Gaal and of how well Chelsea have done so far this season.
Marouane Fellaini has admitted that Manchester United are struggling to find the right balance between attacking flair and protecting their incredibly shaky defence.
The Belgian international finally his United account in after coming off the bench against West Brom on Monday night, some 14 months after joining United and admitted he “had to wait a long time for this moment”. Despite Fellaini’s effort, however, United could only settle for a 2-2 draw, despite dominating possession and having more shots on target than West Brom and the Belgian feels the side lacks balance.
Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed suggestions that he is partly responsible for Manchester United’s decline, claiming it is absurd to think he left behind an ageing team and an “antiquated” club and insisting that he wasn’t the only person responsible for the appointment of David Moyes.
Ferguson described as “nonsense” the suggestion that Moyes had inherited a team in decline, saying the problem for his successor was that he had found it “a massive jump” to move to Old Trafford and “hadn’t realised just how big United is as a club.”
Ryan Giggs has urged Manchester United to show they can go head-to-head with title favourites Chelsea and Manchester City and show more consistency than they’ve done so far.
Despite a slow start, United entered the international the break in fourth spot, eight points behind league leaders Chelsea but only three points adrift of City, with the former due at Old Trafford on October 26, while the latter will host United the following week. Giggs insisted that while Chelsea have been impressive and City have looked solid, only a positive result against both clubs will give a valid indication of how far United have come under Louis Van Gaal.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that Angel Di Maria left the Bernabeu for Old Trafford purely because the European champions could not afford to meet his wage demands.
United broke the British transfer record in the summer when they shelled out £59.7m for the Argentine, whose £200,000-a-week deal makes him the third-highest paid player at the club behind Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao, but the Real Madrid manager said his club did not want to sell but had to cave in eventually.
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he still hates to see United losing to Liverpool and Manchester City, an event which, courtesy of David Moyes, Fergie got to experience more often that he’d have bargained for last season.
In an exclusive interview with MUTV in an interview broadcast on Monday evening entitled Sir Alex: Life After Management, the former United manager admitted emotions still run high in him when United face their two main rivals.