Sep 19 2016

Manchester United 1-3 Watford: Red Devils’ player ratings


Nirvana churned out ‘Smells like Teen Spirit’, but the influx of world class superstars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan along with manager Jose Mourinho, which was supposed to give Manchester United ‘Nirvana’, has furnished something excruciatingly different over the course of last week.

Three defeats in a row in all competitions, a jeremiad Wayne Rooney with Capoue emitting the French perfume instead of Pogba and Anthony Martial becoming a silhouette of wannabe Angel Di Maria with personal life turmoil and faking confidence in United, capped with Watford’s win over the Red Devils after 30 years, was embarrassing.

Mourinho’s stars over system policy, non-existent United midfield, sloppiness, lack of intent, lack of pace, tendency to lose possession easily- were the harbingers of United’s downfall. Mourinho needs to sort his midfield to feed the ball to the likes of Ibrahimovic. After the first half strike of Capoue gave the yellow Hornets lead at the south of Vicarage road, United’s Marcus Rshford equalized at the 62nd, but the 83rd minute strike from Zuniga and 95th minute penalty from Deeney sealed the match in the home side’s favour.

Take a look at how each players fared

De Gea 6– Made a great save in the first half, followed by another regulation save. Conceded at both near and far posts. Almost morphed into his 2011 self as balls rifled past him.

Valencia 5– Average. Was subbed off. Took way too long to put a cross in. Atleast should beat the first man with his crosses.

Smalling 5– In his first league start, was all over the place. Had a terrible mix-up with De Gea in the first half to allow Ighalo to score a sitter, which the Watford striker inexplicably missed.

Bailly 4-Mess at the back. A culprit in conceding the penalty that Watford scored from. Not a Baresi or Nesta, which some touted the defender to be. Tried to volley from 40 yards.

Shaw 6– Only shining light of United defence. Drove the ball well and operated okay down the flank.

Pogba 5– Can you blame United if they take Juventus to court for allegedly selling a Chinese personation of Pogba? On a serious note, amidst all the hyped four hairstyle changes and dab dances, the man is not delivering. £89million doesn’t get you the insane pass Pogba delivered to the referee. Hit the bar from 40 yards and attempted another long-ranger from 35 yards which missed the net by 35 yards ironically. ‘Goals & Assists of Pogba for Manchester United’ Youtube compilation video is still at least how many years old? Tetralogy. Trying to emulate Henderson or Xhaka pile-drivers maybe. Made a good tackle though. Just a stat- Watford Squad & Stadium = £63million and  Paul Pogba = £89 million.

Fellaini 5.5– Excellent in the first half as won balls, made tackles,but was  poor in the second. First touch and composure were pathetic, conceded the penalty. Gave a decent cross to Ibrahimovic. The defensive holding midfielder was woefully out of position in Watford’s goal as he was nowhere to be seen near Capoue and Zuniga.

Rashford 7– Sensational awareness and ability to score United’s equalizer. With the goal, became United’s highest scorer in 2016 with ten goals. Rashford has now been involved in nine goals in 14 Premier League games for Man United. 

Rooney 3- Had a stinker. Rooney ruined United’s play and  Continuously broke up United game  and fed Watford players the ball all game, as he lost possession easily. Was booked, argued with the referee.

Martial 4– Lost the ball in the build up of Capoue’s goal but was foul. Was pathetic. Head injury cut short his game time.

Ibrahimovic 6.5 – Wasted chances. Not too many movements. At 41st, 43 rd minute and later in the second half, forced Watford keeper and defender on toes. But his run and assist for Rashford goal was top-notch. Cherry picker.

Substitutes: Young 5(on for Martial, at 38 mins), Mata 5 (on for Valencia, at 60 mins) 

Aug 20 2016

Player ratings: Manchester United 2-0 Southampton



Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 36th minute header and 52nd minute penalty saw Manchester United through, as they retained the top spot in the Premier League table. Southampton saw more of the ball though, as they dominated ball possession with 57% . 

United made four on target goal attempts, while the Saints had one. Also the Red Devils got four corners, whereas Southampton got none.

Let’s take a look at how the United players fared:

David de Gea 7: The Spanish player barely had to touch the ball as United’s defense was impressively organised. De Gea has hardly had to do anything , looks like he finally  isn’t carrying the Red Devils on his shoulders week in week out. His distribution was really good as usual.

Antonio Valencia 8: Valencia looks to be back into his old form , as the  fullback seemed rejuvenated with Mourinho’s arrival. The workhorse through the right flank made  32 accurate passes, three completed Take-ons, one Tackle , five Ball recoveries , two Interceptions and one Block.

Eric Bailly 8: Another commanding display, infused pace in the United back line.  93.3% pass accuracy, 9 clearances and 4 interceptions speak volumes. Old school clearance and proper forwarding centre back.

Daley Blind 7: Decent partnership is blossoming between Bailly and Blind. Game reading and vision was immense.

Luke Shaw 8: In the off day of Anthony Martial, Shaw looked more threatening through the left channel and earned the penalty. Brilliant performance, furnished directness in the left.

Marouane Fellaini 7: As Mourinho said his phone call to Fellaini has instilled confidence in the player, another decent performance as holding midfielder proved likewise. Made 40 accurate passes among attempted 46. Kept things simple, astute display. Composed, no rash challenges.

Paul Pogba 8.5: Took time to settle in, but soon showed why United paid a fortune for him.  Audacious passes, dynamism was at full display, as the provided the extra edge in the attack. Made most  touches (103), most key passes(2), most shots (4), most dribbles (8) and most interceptions (5) in the game. Impressive second debut.

Juan Mata 7: Offered pace but disrupted United’s attacking advances at times. He  beat players and laid off a nice pass at times. Was decent at defensive contributions though: 100% aerial duels won,100% tackles won, made 4 clearances,2 blocks and 1 interception.

Wayne Rooney 6: Made superb cross to assist Zlatan in his first goal, perfect out-swinger to latch onto. A  blooming Rooney-Ibrahimovic partnership is on the cards. Matured and composed display.

Anthony Martial 5: Looked poor, went into the Euros in excellent form but his confidence probably got knocked after being subbed off  in their 2nd match. Squandered a good chance in second half. Raced into the areas but failed to take them and lacked  sharpness in the box.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic 9: His header and United’s opener reminded Shearer in his prime. Scored another as he converted from the spot. Man of the Match. Made 48 touches, covered 9.33km, took 3 shots and scored 2 goals. Class.


Henrikh Mkhitaryan 6.5: Showed class and nice touches in last 20 minutes. Needs to start.

Ander Herrera 5: Average.



Mar 07 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from WBA vs United

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 8:03 am

2369Manchester United’s already slim chances of securing a top four finish were dealt a heavy blow on Sunday, as they deservedly lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion.

After a run of four wins in all competition that had somewhat eased the pressure on Louis Van Gaal, United delivered the sort of abysmal performance that has become a common theme of the Dutchman’s tenure.

Here’s five things we’ve learnt from Sunday

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Feb 23 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from Shrewsbury vs United

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 7:59 am

3899Manchester United put criticism and speculations over Louis Van Gaal’s future momentarily aside as they booked their ticket to the quarter finals of the FA Cup after beating Shrewsbury Town 3-0.

After a slow start, United eventually began to take control of proceedings in the first half and went ahead through a goal from Chris Smalling, before Juan Mata made it 2-0 with a wonderful free-kick just before halftime.

Jesse Lingard added a third in the second half and United could have, and in fact probably should have, added a couple of more.

Here’s five things we’ve learnt from last night.

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Feb 19 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from Midtjylland vs United

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 7:02 am

3484Manchester United’s season took yet another embarrassing turn as Louis Van Gaal’s side slumped to a pathetic defeat away against Midtjylland in the first league of their Europa League.

Despite going ahead through a Memphis Depay’s goal, United succeeded in delivering an even more abysmal performance than the one they had produced at Sunderland on Saturday and were eventually deservedly beaten by a hungrier and more organised side. 

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Feb 14 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from Sunderland vs United

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 12:16 pm

Sunderland-v-Man-United (1)Manchester United’s already slim hopes of reaching a top four finish this season were dealt a fresh blow as they slumped to an embarrassing defeat away at Sunderland on Saturday.

Having gone behind after just three minutes, United equalised through a sumptuous Anthony Martial’s finish and looked to have dragged themselves back into the game, only to serve up an utterly inept performance in the second half as Sunderland found a deserved late winner.

Here’s five things we have learnt form yesterday.

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Feb 03 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs Stoke

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 7:33 am

Manchester-United-v-Stoke-City (2)Attacking football made a rare appearance at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, as Manchester United swept aside Stoke City, scoring three goals at home for the second consecutive game but only for the first time at home since they beat Sunderland by the same scoreline in September.

United carried on where they had left off at Derby, starting the game on the front foot and never allowed Stoke to settle, inspired by some wonderful individual performances from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, who both got on the scoresheet, and Juan Mata.

Here’s five things we’ve learnt from last night.

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Jan 18 2016

Five things we’ve learnt from Liverpool vs United

Tag: Match Reports,Opinion Piece @ 7:03 am

Wayne-Rooney-celebrates-a-009Louis Van Gaal made it four wins in four attempts against Liverpool, after Manchester United delivered the perfect smash-and-grab performance at Anfield.

On the back foot for large spells of the game, United were fortunate not to go behind on a number of occasions before Wayne Rooney scored his fourth goals in three games to clinch United’s second win in a row at Anfield.

Here’s five talking points from yesterday.

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