Written By: Bhavdeep Singh
I do believe I said that I would review the Stoke game independently, but as a result of disappointment, that did not happen, also, posting two match reviews of the same team in the same week (actually a difference of just two days) makes no sense. So here is a cumulative review of the entire week.
Now, the reason I would have combined the two reviews was that I thought that the team would play a similar game in both of the matches, and to quote Thorin Oakenshield, “I have never been so wrong in my life.” Though Manchester United did not score much less win against Chelsea, there was a confidence about the team that was quite encouraging.
Let’s go to the Britannia stadium first, Memphis Depay decided to show his ‘skills’ by heading the ball to De Gea outside his box, he failed at it because it lacked power, Glen Johnson, who was tailing him took the opportunity to give the ball to Bojan Krkic who tucked it in the bottom corner to score the first goal for the hosts. United tried again, but Butland was stubborn, and they were caught again on the counter but Ashley Young stopped the ball outside the box and received a yellow card for it. The ball came off the wall after the free kick but straight to the in form Marko Arnautovic who scored an impeccable goal, which not even the best goalie on the planet could save.
The second half was miserable, United had lost all confidence, very few balls were played up front, there were constant errors and the players looked frustrated in general. Another interesting part of the game was that Wayne Rooney did not play the first half, which was quite surprising for the fans as it was for himself. The match ended on that miserable note and the stadium, yet again, was filled with boos, Louis Van Gaal had only one match to save his job.
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But then came his saving grace, the match against Chelsea, we saw Sir Alex Ferguson go into the tunnel to perhaps give a pep talk to the squad before the game, whatever it was, it worked. Manchester United did not play like, well, Manchester United, they looked confident and were constantly passing up front and trying their luck from a distance. Mata almost scored in the second minute but the post did not allow him to, it was indeed a real sitter, at least for the first half.
A while later, Terry headed the ball form the corner but De Gea was there and we all know that he is a wall at home, he also helped later when Pedro came running on the counter and made a second save against Azpillicueta the same instant, he was indeed in form that day and perhaps the man of the match, for me at least.
But Manchester united as a whole were the highlight of the night, Martial dribbled brilliantly to tuck the ball behind the near post but the post rejected him again. After the first 3o minutes however, things just got boring, a real sitter became el boringo. The only highlight of the second half was when the ball came into Herrera and Courtois made an absolutely magnificent save at point blank range, but that was it, there was unnecessary backward and sideways passing which wasted time, if they could have avoided that, Manchester United could have won it.
It was certainly a better game than what we have been seeing for the past few months, a few more games like this, minus the time wasting and they could go all the way up to the top of the table again. Overall good good, but they need to learn from their errors, so we wait to see what happens against Swansea, a team that they haven’t won against in 3 matches.
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Image Source(s): Several, including Sky Sports, ESPN FC etc.