Tag Archives: premier league

2 things we learnt from Man Utd’s dramatic draw against Sheff Utd

Man Utd Rashford

Man Utd was held to a dramatic draw yesterday at Bramhall Lane, with Sheffield United dominating for long periods of time.

For 70 minutes against the Blades, the headlines were written. Man Utd in crisis once again. Pochettino in, Ole out, players that need selling etc. In a stunning eight-minute period, Man Utd rolled back the years.

A stunning strike from the ever impressing Brandon Williams on 72 minutes and another goal for Mason Greenwood five minutes later, seen the Red Devils draw level.

Two minutes after that James and Martial combined for Rashford to score, making it 3-2.

Solskjaer’s men started to pop it about like a team flowing in confidence, not one that had been battered for 70 minutes.

McBurnie equalised late on to cap off a great match. The result leaves United 9th on 17 points. A win would have seen them jump up to 5th, in a tight scrap for the Europa League place.

Three things were evident yesterday…

Man Utd’s inconsistency needs to be addressed

Man United’s average point tally so far is 1.30 per game. It leaves them with a projected 50 points come to the end of the season. This point tally would see them finish around 9th position going off the last 5 years Premier League tables.

Now some may make the argument that this team is in a rebuild and blooding young stars. It may take time to get back to even being a regular top-four team.

However, many fans are not as patient as they use to be. We live in a world of instant actions, fans want instant success. The years of giving a manager time have gone. Solskjaer has one window to improve the squad, a window that will possibly make or break Solskjaer’s Man Utd future.

Solskjaer’s substitutions changed the game

Three at the back was simply not working, Phil Jones was not working out, Fred and Pereira in midfield were not working out.

Solskjaer made the call at half time, Jones off, Lingard on. This changed the game. Lingard made 13 passes in 45 minutes in the final third compared to Pereira’s 9 in 72 minutes. He created 4 chances, the most by any Man United player in the match.

By playing in the hole, Lingard changed the flow of the game. Alongside Greenwood coming on and scoring within minutes. The substitute game was strong.

However, bringing off Martial for Tuanzebe when United was looking likely to claim a fourth and kill the game off, was a blunder in hindsight.

Many Man Utd fans seem to point at Solskjaer’s tactical naivety at times.

In conclusion, yesterday we saw the worst and best of Solskjaer men. Something that is a reoccurring theme under his leadership.

The key Man City v Chelsea midfield battle that will win the game

Man City's Rodrigo

Man City entertain Frank Lampard’s Chelsea tomorrow in a top-four clash many wouldn’t have expected with Chelsea above Man City.

Guardiola’s men find themselves in fourth, nine points adrift of Premier League leaders Liverpool and struggling for form in recent times.

3 wins and 2 losses to Liverpool and Wolves in the last 5 league games, see the Citizen’s with a bigger gap than last year’s 7 points to make up to Liverpool. If they want to complete a treble of domestic title’s, they have to refind their groove.

Chelsea comes into the game with only one loss since the middle of September across all competitions. They surely provide a stern test once again for Man City. Albeit, Guardiola is boosted by the news that Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson is available following his injury.

As former midfielders, Guardiola and Lampard know that these type’s of games are won and lost in the midfield area. Both Jorghino and Rodrigo are excelling in the DMC role this season and could be the key to who takes the three points…

Man City’s Rodrigo

The Spanish defensive midfielder is the younger of the two and is in his debut season in the Premier League. He rates higher on whoscored.com’s ratings with 7.47 compared to Jorghino’s 7.14.

Alongside a strong passing game with 91.6% completed passes and 2.9 aerial battles won per game – it seems Rodrigo will the main man come Saturday with his offensive stats stacking up against Jorghino, with more key passes and long ball distribution per game.

To compare, Jorghinos pass completion is 88.4% and the Italian has 0.5 aerial duels won per game.

Chelsea’s Jorghino

However, the role of a defensive midfielder is to stop the attacks. This is where Chelsea’s Jorghino starts to show his age and experience over Rodigo.

He wins the battle of tackles (2.5 – 2.4), interceptions (2.1 – 0.8), less fouls given away (1 – 1.3) and blocks (0.3 – 0.2) per game.

Some of the stats are marginal. Sometimes, marginal is what it takes to win a match in the top four.

Whatever the result between these two sides. it will be a fascinating watch in the centre fo the park.

Man Utd’s 2 key 2019 games to cut the gap on the top 4

Solskjaer at a Man Utd press conference

In today’s press conference, Solskjaer wanted to re-focus his Man Utd team into clawing back the 9 point distance to the top 4.

Solskjaer earlier today in his press conference was keen to mention that Man Utd now need to be consistent.

“Yeah, it’s a clear gap in the league between the top four,”

“There are, I don’t know, many teams, within a range of three or four points. So, for us, it’s about consistency now and getting as many points on the board as we can.

“We turned a corner we felt, performance-wise and results-wise after the last international break, but, then again, it’s so tight and I’m just looking forward to this game. We need to have a good performance and a result.”

Quotes taken from ManUtd.com

Man Utd currently has lost once in the past 7 games across all competitions. However, in the Premier League, it’s 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 draw in their 5 recent fixtures.

Here backs up Solskjaer’s claims of how the team needs to find that consistent groove if they are to motor up the league.

No doubt, with Spurs having Mourinho newly appointed. They will find the new manager bounce upturn in form, that will hopefully see them start to turn their season around, with them currently lying in 14th position.

If Man Utd wants to cut the gap, here are two fixtures that they must win…

Sheffield United v Man Utd

Man United travel to Sheffield United on Sunday in the late kick-off. The Blades are currently flying high in 5th position. However, they are only a point above the Red Devils.

To start to cut the gap, United need to come away from this game with the three points. It’ll be a great start for them in the run-in to Christmas.

United seem to have stumbled at so-called ‘easy wins’ this season. With losses to Crystal Palace, West Ham and Newcastle Utd frustrating the Old Trafford faithful this season.

Manchester City away

The Manchester derby comes 4 days after, what will be, a tasty encounter with Tottenham Hotspur.

Man City currently lay in 4th in the Premier League, nine points adrift from Liverpool.

City seems to have inconsistencies of their own, with only 3 wins out of the last five Premier League fixtures. It could be a good time to play Guardiola’s men if this is a theme for their season, as they look to clinch a third title in a row.

As with all derbies, the form book goes out of the window. Man Utd has taken 8 points away from the ‘top 7’ in thier four games. with Man City managing one point out of a possible 6.

A win against their rivals could really catapult Man Utd going forward under Solskjaer.

3 reasons why Aston Villa’s 25y/o would transform Man Utd’s midfield

In a surprise 50m rumour last window, Aston Villa’s John McGinn continues to be linked with Man Utd.

Following a recommendation from Sir Alex Ferguson, Man Utd was reported to be looking at John McGinn in the summer. Following an impressive season in the Championship, the Scottish international has continued to impress in the Premier League.

A January move looks unlikely, however, Aston Villa will surely be sounded out over a summer move. The figure remains at 50m according to the BirminghamMail.

Man United need to assess their midfield options, and there are many names being linked to Old Trafford. The Aston Villa man would transform their midfield, either in January or the summer with these 3 attributes…

Dribbling

John McGinn’s dribbling game is one of his strong points. Man United look like they are missing a dribbler in the centre of midfield, someone to take the ball and drive the team forward.

Out of his 40 dribbles this season, 28 have been successful, averaging 2.5 successful dribbles per match.

Goals

Sor far in 11 games in the Premier League, McGinn has 3 goals to his name. He also recently scored a hattrick for Scotland.

Again Man United are lacking goals, especially from midfield. Lingard is in a rut and only Scott McTominay pitching in – it’s definitely an area that Solskjaer needs to address sooner rather than later.

Assists

McGinn has 2 assists so far this season. However, his key passes are the main feature of his game.

With 15 key passes so far this season. 14 short, 1 long shows he has an eye for a pass. Coupled with his high work rate and tremendous tackling – it’s all signs that Sir Alex Ferguson still has a good eye for talent.

Rochdale’s 17y/o star being eyed up by Man Utd, Man City & Newcastle Utd for a January move

Rochdale defender Luke Matheson is being linked with a number of Premier League clubs with Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle all thought to be monitoring the 17-year-old, who has been tipped to have a big future.

Matheson made his senior debut for Rochdale at the age of just 15 when they faced Bury in the EFL Trophy, at the time becoming their youngest ever debutant. He was awarded the Man of Match award that night in what was an impressive display for his age.

Since his opening appearance, the youngster has gone to make 15 league appearances for Dale as he is now a regular in Brian Barry-Murphy’s team. The right-back enjoys driving forward, therefore, he is often involved in attacking plays his side produce.

The highlight of Matheson’s career so far came earlier this season in the Carabao Cup when he scored at Old Trafford against Manchester United to level the game at 1-1. Unfortunately for his side, they eventually lost on penalties to miss out on the giant-killing that night, however, all the headlines were about the ‘Rochdale wonderkid’ the next day.

Matheson recently signed his first professional contract with Rochdale in a three-year-deal. He is another product of the academy at the Greater Manchester club who have produced so many players who have gone on to play at a higher level. He has been at the club since the age of nine, so he is a real success story for their youth system.

Back in February, Matheson was called up into the England under-17 squad to face France where he started in the Three Lions’ 3-2 victory. He recently represented his country at an under-18 level too in games against Poland and Slovakia, the latter who they beat 1-0 on the road, so he is a player who is clearly rated by those who monitor young English players in this country.

Rochdale have made a mixed start to their League One campaign this season where they are 50/1 in the football betting to finish in the top six at the end of the 2018/19 campaign. Matheson is expected to continue to play lots of football as manager Barry-Murphy is not afraid to give the young players in his squad an opportunity to shine.

Higher hopes for Dale

Dale was in a relegation scrap last season but managed to survive with a late surge up the table at the end of the campaign. They are expected to finish much higher this season and still have hopes of finishing in the top six.

Newcastle has reportedly been scouting Matheson since January where they were initially impressed with his talent. Given his goal at Old Trafford though back in September, the two Manchester giants are also thought to now be interested in keeping him in the North West.

If a move for Matheson is made in either the January transfer window or next summer, he could be immediately loaned back to Rochdale in order to continue playing League One football which will help his progression at such a young age.

Forget Rice: 3 midfielders that Man Utd should be going for instead

Man United keep their transfer links going into another window with West Ham United’s Declan Rice according to goal.com.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted to bolster the defence in the summer window over a depleted midfield. In the winter window, it seems that the focus is now on the middle of the park area in a bid to save their season.

Many believe Solskajer needs three transfer windows to overhaul a very out of balance Man United squad. Another link to West Ham’s Declan Rice has arisen. Even though he’s another young British player, there is better out there that Man United could bring in.

The three below could certainly make United’s midfield stronger…

Wilfried Ndidi

Leicester City could soon become Man United’s feeder club if all the transfer links are to be believed. However, if they are to grab another player from the Foxes, Ndidi has to be the man.

This season he tops the tackles chart on whoscored.com with 53 total tackles from an attempted 71. Alongside an incredible 397 short passes completed.

Habib Maiga

The Metz 23-year-old plays in a similar position to Ndidi. With a slightly less 57 attempted tackles, he has been successful in 47 of them. Not bad going.

The Ivory Coast international thrives on tackling and intercepting the play. A pass success rate of 82% builds the picture of this midfield man. Stop them and pass it on.

Oriol Romeu

The Southampton 28-year-old has the Premier League experience that might give him the edge on the others. Romeu has made 11 appearances so far in the League and averaging 3.7 tackles per game with 1.4 interceptions.

The Spaniard isn’t goal-getter by any means. However, he can enforce the midfield and strengthen that core area Man United seem to be weak in at the moment.

Man Utd & Liverpool look to battle it out for red-hot German striker in January

Man Utd and Liverpool may not be direct rivals in the Premier League, however, there is a battle in January coming over RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner.

Man Utd has clearly been lacking firepower this season without a recognised striker. The Red Devils currently sit way off the top four and showing no signs of being able to launch a bid to get there anytime soon.

Solskjaer needs a man upfront to bear the burden of finding the back of the net on a regular basis. They think Werner is that man.

On the other hand, Klopp believes Werner is the perfect fit for his top three strike force to push Liverpool forward in the second half of the season. As they bid to end the long drought of title success.

The RB Leipzig striker is on fire in the Bundesliga this season. So far he has 9 goals in 10 games with 3 assists. 13 goals in 15 across all competitions.

Werner has shot Leipzig up to third in the table, above Bayern Munich – another supposed admirer of the German man. However, Sporting director Markus Krosche has rebuffed any chance of Europe’s elite coming in on a January deal, by stating he’s not for sale.

The 58.5m rated by Transfermarkt striker’s price is only going to increase if he keeps on this same trajectory. Wisely Leipzig would want to hold out to summer where the price could peak of any outgoing transfer.

If Man Utd or Liverpool is to be successful in a bid to bring the German to the Premier League. Then you can only imagine offers very much north of 90m would see Leipzig contemplate a move.

Forget Madrid, Sterling can achieve more with Man City, agreed?

A ridiculous transfer story broke yesterday on Sky Sports. Real Madrid is to offer 70m + Gareth Bale for Man City’s Raheem Sterling.

Madrid has been desperate to offload the Welshman for some time now. With interest waning for the wantaway winger, Los Blancos seem a cash plus player deal may be the option to get him out of the door.

However, even non-Man City fans scoffed at reading the latest supposed offer. An injury-prone, out of form 30-year-old, in exchange for the Premier League’s red hot Englishman can not be a serious thought process, surely?

Sterling, at 24, is still a few years off ‘prime’ age for a footballer. With Man City growing as a club year on year, alongside Pep Guardiola at the helm. The future for Sterling surely would be blue.

Real Madrid brought back Zidane in a bid to stop their slump. The club finds themselves second in La Liga and five points behind in the Champions League group table. Furthermore, they seem to be still reeling from the loss of Ronaldo to Juventus. They see Sterling as the ideal long term replacement, despite signing Eden Hazard in the summer.

Even though Real Madrid are the most decorated European club side. In the near future, many would place their bets on Man City winning the Champions League before Madrid next do.

Inevitably most elite players opt for La Liga’s Real Madrid or Barcelona. However, for now, Sterling would be best placed at the Etihad if he is to be successful.

Man City fans, do you agree. Is Sterling going to be more successful at Man City than Real Madrid?

‘Rashford can’t score a penalty or free kick until he plays us.’ Chelsea fans react to their Carabao Cup loss to Man Utd

Man Utd Rashford

Chelsea faced Man United last night in the Carabao Cup. Unfortunately, Frank Lampard’s side lost 2-1. Here are your reactions

Chelsea gave a penalty away to give Marcus Rashford his first goal of the night.

Luckily, Batshuayi managed to equalise. However, Marcus Rashford gave one of the best goals fans have seen in a long time.

He managed to score a free-kick from distance. Even Frank Lampard admitted that there was no stopping it.

Now Chelsea is out of the competition. However, at least it gives the young players time to focus on the Premier League.

Here are Chelsea fans reactions…

Man Utd looking at Brescia’s exciting 19y/o midfielder ‘Pirlo’

Man Utd is looking to steal a march on their competition by sending scouts to check out Brescia’s Italian 19-year-old Sandro Tonali – Dubbed the new ‘Pirlo’.

The highly-rated Tonali is only in his second season. Following his breakthrough campaign last term, as he helped Brescia promotion to Serie A.

With his style of play and style of haircut, many have labelled him the new Pirlo. This comparison holds some weight and puts a lot of pressure on the young man’s shoulders so early on in his career.

However, his fledging reputation has spiked a lot of interest from around the big European clubs. So much so, that Man United have sent their scouts out to monitor Tonali. As they bid to bring in the freshest and exciting talent to Old Trafford.

Having already made an appearance for the Italian international side, the hype continues to grow.

Brescia has already put a high 40m price on Tonali’s head, despite his 27m value (via Transfermarkt).

So far this season Tonali has one goal and 2 assists in his 10 appearances in all competitions. Tonali has six goals and 11 assists overall during his two seasons (63 apps) – which is not a bad return at all for 19-year-old.

With the big boys all sniffing around, Man United will have to act quickly if they are to make a move. Something United haven’t been the greatest at over the past few years.

A deep-lying playmaker with a Pirlo-esqe swagger is someone that would be welcomed at Old Trafford with open arms.

« Older Entries