’twas the 24th minute. A dreaming Angel di Maria was gazing admiringly at Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the ball. He was dreaming of his new flat in town, he might even have been dreaming of getting a decent corned beef butty in his local shop on Quay Street. What di Maria wasn’t doing was watching Arsenal left back Nacho Monreal, who he was supposed to be marking. Monreal strolled through on the left flank to beat David de Gea on his near post. Five minutes later, di Maria partially redeemed himself when he whipped in his first decent cross since walking to the other side of the road in Prestbury last December. Wayne Rooney scored with a free header from six yards, after Arsenal’s defence somehow surpassed United’s abysmal defending a few minutes prior.
David de Gea watching a United attack in the first half (Photo courtesy of Neil Meehan)
This was the best game I’ve seen at Old Trafford this season and played in the best atmosphere. The first half, United played with some speed and attacking verve. It was far from perfect but Continue reading Dreaming – Manchester 9th March 2015
It’s been 362 days since United last played Tottenham Hotspur and both games were very similar in the way they worked out, with one crucial difference: United didn’t lose this match. On New Year’s Day, United played Spurs off the pitch until getting caught with a sucker punch from Emmanuel Adebayor and eventually losing the match 2-1. This time around, with good chances missed by Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie, United could and should have been 3-0 up by the half time whistle. In the 68th minute, when Juan Mata ballooned a good chance so far over the bar that the ball ended up on Paxton Road, I was beginning to fear a Tottenham smash’n’grab akin to last year.
View from the United section of White Hart Lane (photo courtesy of Toby Cecil)
Well, that’s what should have happened. Tottenham, who with Mauricio Pochettino as manager, are a noticeably fitter side and finished the match the much stronger team. We ended up relieved at the 0-0 draw when, due to wasteful finishing from United, particularly in the first half, Continue reading With A Stark Choice – Manchester 28th December 2014
We’re back to that time of year when the trees have come down, Father Christmas is back on the dole and everybody’s bills come through the letterbox. The time of year when people go off the beer and there’s slightly less cheer as the festivities disappear. That can only mean one thing; we’re back to the third round of the FA Cup. This is when players and supporters of smaller clubs get condescended by clueless commentators from ITV and BT Sports. Bemused players, who didn’t grow up in the UK are asked, “just what did the FA Cup mean to you as a boy growing up in Spain/Holland/Germany etc”? Before that though, we had the New Year’s Day fixtures. Continue reading The Answer My Friend Is Blowing In The Wind – Manchester 5th of January 2014