Oh..well.. manchester united


I did not realize the game was on until half an hour before the match, thanks to stopping by on twitter to see the #TOTMUN trend.

The first ten minutes of the game was so fluid and good from United, it was a shocker to actually get opened up by a goal that came from a silly counter attack. Such was the dominance that it was ok to be caught out. But clearly De Gea should have saved it. An individual error has clearly cost us.

Had that not gone in, it was very likely that we would have gone on to score the first. I am still trying to come to terms with the water break – seriously weird. And of course the numerous substitutions available.

But having seen how Ole has so far handled changes off the bench, the additional subs are unlikely to do any impact considering he won’t make a any change before 60 minutes.

Pogba was clearly massive in his performance cameo. He can drop quality at will. Many of the other players did look good on desire, need to still reach out to top speed.

It’s good to be back watching premier league action again. Welcome back EPL!

Taming City


Fortunate to have had time to watch the double blockbuster Manchester City Spurs clash this week both in the Champions League and in the Premier League. I don’t think any team has given City a run for their money like Spurs did this week.

Edge of the seat blast of an entertainer in the Champions league as two teams went hammer and tong in an out and out attacking game. The intensity and quality of play was simply breathtaking, something unimaginable from the current outfit of Manchester United. In fact, the Manchester Derby on wednesday might just decide if City or Liverpool will win the league. That leaves United in quite a conundrum. Liverpool with already one leg close to European glory, and a breath away from Premier League. The stakes are awfully high.

I believe the derby will be a heartache for United fans like me, as we surely don’t have the fitness, or the form to deal with a wounded City. To imagine City were holding to the last thread in the dying minutes today to keep their lead on the pack intact, shows how much Poch has managed to get under Pep’s skin.

Spurs losing means, 3rd place viability is likely for Manchester United and we really need to get our sprint going in the last lap! Bring the Derby on! Can’t wait.

Tottenham Manchester United January 13 2019 Review


Team News

We have pulled up a proper attacking line up up front with clearly pace written all over it. With Ole’s intent to solidify defensively, it is highly likely we are going to play on the counter attack.

First half

Spurs look to play their natural game. We play absolutely solid with men behind. There is no crazy fever going up, but the press from midfield and above is massive.

Players demonstrate plenty of confidence moving forward and also on the ball. The series of good fixtures and solid wins has definitely confidence oozing with all players demonstrating good quality on the ball.

Whilst Spurs seem to demonstrate more energy going up front trying to create chances, the stoppers Matic and Herrera have been solid so far.

Ashley Young is yet again leading from the front, solid in defence. De Gea’s distribution though has been awful so far.

Just to culminate the half, an absolute peach of a spread from Pogba to send Rashford on the clear. His first touch is brilliant. One on one he has only one corner to attack and he does it brilliantly. What a beautiful strike.

One has to admit, Ole has literally unlocked Pogboom. The idea to play Jesse through the middle. If I were to say, out of Martial, Rashford and Jesse, Jesse has the best first touch. And with the pace and commitment they burn, oh boy these boys are absolutely loving it in Wembley!

Spurs really suffering with Winks and Sissoko in their lineup. Stark drop in quality in that team. Injuries always impact results.

Pogba unlocking defences, with Martial, Rashford and Jesse to choose from. Who is Lukaku?!

0-1 HT

Second half

Tottenham have started strong understandably. United needs to cope with the pressure. We need to score the next to put this to bed. Killing time is a good start.

De Gea twice called into duty. Kane had a Rashford moment, but with poor shot precision, doesn’t beat the Spanish keeper. I just love how powerful and a box to box player Pogba is. The complete midfield package.

Young delivers a peach and Pogba stays at 6 yards to head it straight to the keeper.

Passing under pressure at close quarters has been top notch from United. Absolutely killing the ball with the touches. United is beautifully dictating play now. Pogba is growing more and more dangerous in the second half.

The second half is fiercely competitive and the game is swaying with chances on both sides. Such an enthralling and captivating game. De Gea keeping united in it so far. Difference is the lack of incision of Spurs on goal today and the dogged perseverance of the United backline.

Nothing pleases me more than watching a keeper catch a free kick. De Gea on fire! United needs to stay dogged and play keep ball up front. The performance of De Gea today seems to be the turning over his abysmal world cup form which he carried over to club with a series of outstanding saves in the second half.

I am running out of space for the number of saves De Gea is pulling off!! I think second half will be remembered only for the doggedness and resilience United offered.

Ten minutes to go and Dalot is coming on. Looking forward to the tactics now. We need 3 points now. Nothing less.

With the changes both teams have made, looks like they both have run out of gas. Only an error is gonna lead to a goal now.

De Gea De Gea De Gea …. unbelievable. Spurs keep finding his feet.

And yes. We eventually pull it off. 6 wins in a row. Beaten a top 6 team. #GGMU

Manchester United 1-0 Tottenham Spurs 2015-16


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The first game of the season, the early kick off, the money has been thrown in, I was eager just for the ball to start kicking yet again.

 

Solid start to the game with the first quarter totally in Tottenham’s hands. They had the tempo, looked more slick in possession and united looked a bit dead for pace. Fortuitously Eriksen’s half volley off a wonderfully crafted over the top pass from Kane found its way just over the crossbar. However, an erroneous pass from Bentaleb in the midfield triggered a wonderful three pass break. Unfortunate for Walker who made an effort to clip the ball off the feet of  Wazza before he could pull the trigger, the ball painfully trickled past an outstretched arm of Vorm into the bottom corner.

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Using the momentum, United made few more searching forward surges, then the first half slowly petered out.  The stand out player in the first half was Darmian as he looked comfortable on both feet, confident one on one and with good pace to keep the players interested. Romero’s distrubution has been nervy but his shot stopping was unnerving. Schneiderlin’s tackles and strength has been impressive. Not a lot gets through him.

 

The second half resumed in the same tempo, with both teams playing compact football with short passes. Darmian yet again was live in the box as Spurs threaten off a break from their third of the pitch. Michael carrick made way for Bastian to pair up in midfield with Schneidelin.  Memphis and Wayne are yet to form a formidable link up, Romero has improved his movement and is early to the ball and decisive especially from crosses.

 

Memphis made way for Herrera. For his debut, playing behind Wayne, he didn’t really get his game going. Herrera added speed to the midfield while Bastian’s fiest earned him a yellow card. Rooney had the opportunity for an overhead spectacular as Darmian stormed down the right wing to cross, but he didn’t connect. The dead ball opportunity fell for Wayne again when Young got clipped outside the box but he flew it too high. Think he needs to be more prepared if he is to be aiming for a 25+ season.

 

Darmian got to leave ten minutes before the end of the game to a well deserved applause, the best player in the red shirt today. Valencia got caught out twice as he replaced Darmian and clearly it offered Romero to show his ball stopping ability. Smalling has impressed in his new role in the team and apart from a misunderstanding with Romero, which he himself recovered.

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Romero does really well in the end to scramble one out of the danger area and to stop a really powerful low strung shot. Manchester united looked nervy in the last few minutes of official time.

 

Overall, despite the quality of performance, more importantly its the three points.

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My overall verdict on the players performance today:

Romero 8.0

Shaw 7.0

Blind 7.0

Smalling 7.5

Damian 8.5

Young 7.5

Schneiderlin 7.5

Carrick 7.0

Mata 7.0

Memphis 6.5

Rooney 7.0

AC Milan 0 – 1 Tottenham Hotspurs


After a long break, trying to stay up for a late champions league match seemed more stressful than it used to be, but was worth it when I woke up ten min into the first half. I’d missed the pre match buildup, the formation and the injury lists. But it took me only 5 min to realize which team was calling the shots. Harry did not come up with a full strength team, and by ‘full strength’ I mean a team without BALE and Modric [bench], however a fit Van der Waart was always a key.

Spurs were beyond doubt calling the shots for the first 30min, making the home team look old and slow. Industrious quick passing, long balls targeting the infallible Peter Crouch, and VdV dictating most of the play in the absence of Modric, Milan were a shadow of what was expected of them. They lacked desire, the lanky Ibra straying offside once too often, the veteran midfielders were given no space or time on the ball by some clinical interceptions by the Palacios – Sandro – Pienaar triumvirate. More than two-thirds of Spurs attack was left winged through the Pienaar – Ekotto – Vdv – Crouch quartet which was surely a tactical approach, however every move which saw Lennon one on one with the Milan full back, resulted in a delivery to the box.

The remaining 15 min of the first half saw some scrappy passage of play with Milan able to contain the flow, and Spurs losing some of the rhythm and momentum going forward, however the defensive back four and Gomez were  hardly tested, and Harry would have been very satisfied with the team’s performance.

The Milan captain Gattuso was cutting a frustrated figure as he was literally swatted away in any aerial challenge against the 6’7’’ English forward.

The Milan coach was no doubt the one who had to do all the halftime work, and a positive move with injection of pace and strike came through Pato in place of an ineffective Seedorf. Spurs looked to start the second half just like the first, with a clever half turn chip over the keeper by VdV just going past the top corner.  Ten minutes later a blatant red card offence – a two footed driving tackle from Flamini took Corluka out of the game, however both were lucky, former to still be on the pitch and latter to not have broken a leg. The reluctance of the referee to not book the home player for an offence as clear as ever, is beyond me. But we have grown to become so accustomed to the fallacies of the UEFA, it was no surprise to see such an incorrect decision being made. A fiery Gattuso over the Corluka incident, shoved Spurs first team coach, Joe Jordan on the face [reminded me of CR7 recently pushing Pep for not giving the ball to him] and Jordan stood his ground.

The injury to Corluka added more spice to the game with Pienaar‘s retribution by tripping Thiago immediately, but not even one percent cynical. A lot more unnecessary tangles continued between Crouch and Gattuso and for all the latter’s frustration he got yellow carded for a clean tackle which saw him writhing on the carpet like a boy who has just been denied something he so badly wanted!

The yellow card meant he misses the return clash at White Hart Lane. But Milan continued to prod with more authority in the latter half of the game and came close twice but two brilliant saves by Gomez and a bit of luck meant this might just be their day.  With only ten min to go, a superb break started through Kranjcar releasing Lennon, saw Crouch slot in his 4th goal in 7 matches, a crucial AWAY goal in the context of the game and Harry couldn’t have been happier.

But bad scenes erupted towards the end of full time, with Gattuso head ‘nudging’ Jordan again and Bassong retaliating. Surely this incident has marred and probably snatched the limelight away from a tactically astute and perseverant performance by Harry’s  men and one can only imagine an Italian miracle will hinder this up and rising Spurs side from reaching the quarter finals.

FINAL VERDICT

  • Spurs were the underdogs coming into this game, but a surprisingly poor show by the Italian veterans could very much end their European dream.
  • Impossible to pick star performers in the Spurs team, they played as a wonderful unit right from back to front and are worthy of the WIN and returning with the precious Away goal.
  • Gattuso’s boiling over more so at his team’s hapless play, is still no reason to justify his indiscipline on and off the pitch. UEFA are always better making decisions off the pitch, so expect him to be treated to a lengthy vacation.
  • Harry’s request to review Flamini’s yellow to a red will surely fall on deaf ears.
  • Excellent start to the European campaign for England and lets hope Arsenal will ‘attempt’ to seek revenge 🙂

 

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