The Clean Sheet Champions

signs on a wall

So, I have recently bumped into a picture about Manchester United being in the lead among the big six regarding cleans sheets in 2017. I can’t find it now, but I know that I saw it in a ManUtd news app on my phone, a really not-that-good app that I will delete because of too many adverts for example.

Anyway that is a good achievement, isn’t it?

Well, not quite. Continue reading

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Two possible teams for the match vs Crystal Palace

So, I pick two set of players for tonight’s game. The first one is without baring in mind the FA Cup match at the Wembley in a couple of days. No resting, no rotation, the best set of players available.

team vs Palace
My team for the Palace match – without resting players

And the next one is with those important on Saturday rested with some players given playing time.

Team with most of the players rested
Team with most of the players rested

Still, it is a must win game, especially now that the neighbors lost two points at Newcastle!

One guy, one sentence – Liverpool at home, Europa League

The Result

Good bye Europe, we can concentrate on the Premier League and the FA Cup. Disappointing, though.

The Starting XI

DDG – Great saves in the first half but should have done better when Coutinho scored…

Varela – He was shaky and looked tired or rather exhausted.

Smalling – No mistakes, solid at what he was supposed to do.

Blind – Some really great moments but had a couple of bad choices.

Rojo – Should have scored to make it 2-0, that would have changed the game.

Carrick – A captain’s performance after his mistakes in the first game.

Fellaini – He was found by balls but could not really head them to the teammates.

Mata – Lost a bit but a couple of good moments.

Martial – Great penalty but mostly ineffective.

Lingaard – Lively as always but his shots…

Rashford – Good runs into the box and around – his teammates should have done better.

& the subs

Valencia – Decent after a long absence.

Darmian – Great clearance from Origi but nothing more.

Schweinsteiger – Too late to have a real impact & I am worried by his beer belly.

Team news for the Liverpool game

So it is that night tonight, away at Liverpool, after meeting four times in the Premier League, winning four times in the Premier League, now it’s for European glory. Only, it’s only the round of 16s and only the second European cup. No worries, a tie against Liverpool is always one of the best moments of my life – there was only one exception when we were led by Mr. Moyes. I can forget those results.

Anyway, I wouldn’t have expected the four wins out of four under LVG either, still we could do that. Hope we can repeat that but I will be satisfied with a draw away.

Players are coming back but not as many as we could do with, and there’s the question again – should he (LVG) stick to those young guys who had brought wins or should he put back the experienced first team players? Will it be a WBA where we were ineffective and dull again?

I would send out this team.

Varela seems like someone having been playing there for years while Darmian started well at the beginning but somehow lost composure a couple of months ago. Smalling and Blind obvious choices in the middle of defence, Rojo needs (match-)time and we are without Fosuh-Mensah, so no choices, really. And the Argentinian can support Memphis if the latter has a good day.

Schneiderlin & Carrick is not the best of the possible partnerships there, but we need two of the likes to hold back Liverpool’s midfield.

And with the next four we could win it if we have a bit of a luck and the midfield and the defence won’t make big mistakes.

Martial in the middle and if it doesn’t work, change with Rashford.

There it is, glory-glory!

team vs liverpool
The team vs Liverpool

WestBrom – another wasted chance

Once again, the “one step forward, two steps backwards” scenario kicked us in the face – we could have applied some pressure on the top four and even on Tottenham & Arsenal.

Bad decisions before the game (starting XI), some sort of insanity during the game (well, can’t explain Mata’s behavior…), bad in-game management, poor substitutions. I still thought United should win it even with ten men on the pitch, but it wasn’t to be. And everything that had been built in the four games prior to this, was forgotten in a second.

Next up Liverpool, Europa League.

ratings westbrom
Ratings vs West Brom

After the game verdict – Watford

After a couple of nice performances another bad one – we were lucky enough not to concede a couple of times.

Blind had a bad day, and particularly in the first half, Watford could have scored some goals. Still, a win is a win, and the most important thing is that this season we more often lost these kinds of games than won. And finally, we could capitalize on the others loss!

But I just don’t like watching us fighting defenders in the 87th minute at the corner flag only to waste time. The last time I enjoyed that was vs Everton a couple of years ago (2007, I guess) but then it was Rooney who made the defenders look like… errm, it doesn’t matter. And then we moved 5 points clear on the table to win the league…

watford ratings
Ratings vs Watford

And the subs. Poor Darmian really had a bad day.

subs
The subs vs Watford

Player ratings vs Arsenal

Hey, what a great game this was. Really, it was a throwback to better times in terms of performances, youth and even managerial skills. I really can’t remember seeing LVG in the technical zone.

Anyway, my ratings are here and hopefully you can follow them after every match – unless Manchester Evening News suspends posting the form after the matches. (Just like I can’t always find their form to post your planned XI for the games.)

(But then if they do then I can post my own without a picture of it. Never mind, I’ll sort that out later.)

ratings v arsenal
Here they go – ratings for the game vs Arsenal

So, what do you think of it?