Posts Tagged ‘Manchester United F.C.’

It never disappoints,Super Sunday it was!Lots of action,high-profile matches,controversial decisions and few superb goals.Newcastle United,Manchester United and Tottenham won their respective matches while Manchester City and Arsenal played to a lone goal draw.

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

Rafael and Robin Van Persie celebrates during their 2-1 win over rivals Liverpool on Sunday at Anfield stadium.

Manchester United took on Liverpool at Anfield on a day when both teams paid tribute to the 96 fans killed at Hillsborough.Both teams were charged up to pick up three points from this one of the most fierce rivalry matches.The Reds dominated most of the first half without being rewarded with a goal.Instead before the first half came to an end, Shelvey was shown a straight red for a controversial two-footed lunge on Evans reducing them to 10 men.Despite one man down Liverpool broke the deadlock through skipper Steven Gerrard who rocketed past a nicely chested ball past United’s goalkeeper.Red Devils gave a fitting reply within five minutes when Rafael curled home a screamer in the 51st minute.Liverpool expecting a draw were handed another blow when referee Mark Halsey awarded a penalty in the 76th minute as Valencia was brought down in the penalty area.The penalty was a bit controversial as it wasn’t clear if there was enough contact to justify the call.Dutchman Van Persie stepped up to take the spot kick and scored the winner in the 81st minute.With this win Manchester united are one point behind European champions Chelsea while Liverpool need to turn around things in order to get out of relegation zone.

Manchester City 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal team celebrates after Koscielny scored the equalizer against Manchester City on Sunday at Ethiad stadium.

Arsenal continued their unbeaten run this season as they secured a draw at Ethiad stadium against league champions Manchester City.The north London club dominated most part of the game but went down in the 40th minute when Lescott went on to head the ball from a corner kick into the top right corner of the goal.City asserted their authority on the game in the second half creating some close chances via Ageuro.For the Gunners it was Gervinho who found the ball most of the time and took hits on target.In the 82nd minute Defender Laurent Koscielny managed to equalize for Gunners by smashing a failed corner kick clearance into the back of the net. With this draw both teams are unbeaten in the league.

Newcastle united 1-0 Norwich

Demba Ba scores the winner for The magpies against Norwich City on Sunday.

Newcastle united took the lead in the 19th minute when the man in form Demba Ba broke the offside trap to collect the ball slotted by Hatem Ben Arfa behind the Norwich back four and executed a calm finish.Cisse had an opportunity to double the lead just before the break but missed a penalty kick.Despite being behind Norwich remained composed creating chances but failed to score the equalizer.

Tottenham 2-1 Queens Park Rangers

Jermain Defoe’s celebrates after scoring the second-half winner against QPR at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham Hotspur came from behind to beat QPR 2-1 to deliver Manager Andre Vilas Boas him his first home win in charge.Hoping to Carry on from where they left last week after beating Reading 3-1 ,Spurs found themselves a goal down when Bobby Zamora lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net following a through ball from Alejandro Faurlin in the 32nd minute.But a own goal in the 59th minute from Damian Faurlin leveled the match.This made Spurs push for victory and were rightly awarded the lead in the 61st minute by Defoe who placed the  ball into net after a thunderous strike onto the crossbar from Welshman bale.Spurs move up to eighth position after the win while Queens Park Rangers remain second from bottom in the Premier League.

 

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Manchester United tasted first defeat in the season opener itself. Everton defeated Manchester United 1-0 at Goodison park.

Everton 1-0 Manchester United

It didn’t turn out to be a perfect start for last season’s runner up Manchester United travelling to Goodison Park to take on Everton.Recently the Toffees have became bane  for Manchester united as last season’s 4-4 draw at Old Trafford costed them the season.As expected Everton were solid at their home turf which ended in a 1-0 win with a header from Marouane Fellaini in the 58th minute.

Despite having 70% possession United performed below their capability with fewer shots on goal.First half was full of frustration for the visitors with Everton controlling play and finding themselves with numerous opportunities to score. It was De Gea’s remarkable reactions that prevented United giving up minimum of three goals.Star of the match and lone goal scorer six foot four Belgian-Fallaini- provided the breakthrough for the home side with a solid header and bit help from lackluster defense. Hotshot transfer of the season Van Persie was brought on in the 68th minute but did not have any shots on goal.Apart from De Gea’s efforts only other United player to impress was newly signed Japanese midfielder Kagawa with his great movement and great passes throughout the match.

The win is Everton’s fourth at Goodison Park against Manchester United in 21 matches.For Manchester United it was a disappointing season opener,one from which they can only hope to improve.

Upcoming Matches: Chelsea vs Reading (Thurs-12.15 AM),

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The 2011/2012 witnessed a breathtaking season in the top 5 leagues in Europe. Leading the race among all for its excitement,drama and suspense was English Premier League with Manchester City staving off competition from their red neighbours Manchester United to claim the English title for the first time after 44 years defining the season as (arguably) the best in the England’s top flight 20-year history. The 2011-12 English Premier League season was the greatest ever in terms of statistics and incidents on-off the field from calls for goal line technology, inter-squad brawls, racial abuse cases, and the most contested race for Champions League spots ever. And never has the title race gone down to the dying moments of the league.

Manchester United clearly had deficiencies at the back and in midfield and a champion team which they are need to get this cleaned off before the new season starts. Losing the league title on goal difference would make it more difficult to match Man City whose financial strength is now backed by a new wave of confidence. It will come down to Fergie’s genius, team grit and expected summer buy/transfers.

As far as the noisy neighbours are concerned it was the dream outcome at the Etihad, City winning the game and title. QPR lost but still made it to next season courtesy of Bolton’s failure to win at Stoke. Man City were deserved champions and QPR deserved staying up simply because of their excellent form at home and the fact that they remained resilient and in quest even after their mid-season manager sacking, takeovers etc. Coach Manchini deserves pat on the back for holding it all together when the title was all but lost, keeping rebels like Balotelli and Tevez from tearing apart his squad, and coming on top of Sir Alex in terms of mind games. Things are only going to get better for the champions assisting them in their next step conquering European championship.

For the other London clubs competing for the champion’s league spot Arsenal’s win over West Brom guaranteed their place in the top league whereas Tottenham despite winning against Fulham and finishing fourth were denied a champions league spot courtesy Chelsea becoming the European champion .Arsenal had a remarkable comeback after a disappointing start to season with a 8-2 thrashing in the hands of Manchester united. To lead the comeback was none other than ‘The Flying Dutchman’ Robin Van Persie and tactics of Arsene Wenger. Still Gunners need to sort out on front of new players and transfers to make in next season in quest to remain in top four and flourish in Europe.

Chelsea, The Blues are very much among the top disappointing teams of the season given the amount of money spent and form they were in at the end of the last season. Zooming off to great start scoring mammoth number of goals initially ,they lost the plot mid-season caught in various controversies on-off the pitch; Leading to sacking of Andre Vilas Boas once predicted to be one capable of continuing the legacy of Jose Mourinho. It was only after appointment of interim coach Di Matteo which lead to The Blues winning the FA cup and Champions League erasing some bad memories of premier league.Toping this section has to be Merseyside Liverpool who despite with some quality wins, a Carling Cup silverware, and finishing 8th in the table, the Reds never lived up to the preseason hype and the promise they showed at the end of last season.

Talking about the most surprising team of the season without a doubt was Newcastle who showed that Alan Pardew‘s controversial appointment was worth it. His dealings in the transfer market and man management skills helped boost the club. They were very close from playing in the Champions League next season but only a hard run at the death matches stopped them – they do have Europa League football though which is not a bad consolation prize for a club like Newcastle. Norwich and Swansea also came as a surprise package despite being newbie in the league.

For the best match of the season we had some close contenders from Manchester United vs. Blackburn, Manchester Derby to Chelsea vs. Arsenal. But it has to be the last game of the season between Manchester City vs.QPR which ultimately sent the title to the blue side of Manchester. A player that had the most impact it’s got to be Papiss Cisse. No January signing has ever had such a huge impact in the transfer window era as him, and his goals nearly took Newcastle into a shock Champions League spot. Not to forget his improbable goal against Chelsea undoubtedly the best of the season,a real thing of beauty.

Check out the EPL season 2012 in numbers:

Results

Goals

Games Home wins Away Wins Draws Home Away Difference Total
380 171 116 93 604 462 +142 1066
45% 31% 24% 1.59 1.22 +0.37 2.81

2011-12 Premier League Season: Greatest epic season ever.

 

Be it the tactically doctored Serie A, combinative ability and  shear nidus of the bundesliga and great possession of flamboyance by the La Liga, but it is the intense rage and furiousness characterized by the English Premier League that makes it the ‘Best league in the world’ .

EPL has a style of football where the stride is galvanic and the teams go at it like ‘ghost and hell dust’. Apart from illustrating a excellent example of football, it is also a mountain money producing beast attracting billion of viewers and companies around the four corners of the world. The revenue derived from the EPL is the highest in any football league only to be surpassed by the NFL, NBA, and MLB. Any team hence the league as a whole as three sources of revenue, merchandise, match day tickets. It has been a criticism that the more money the worse it will get. That simply is not true. In fact the reverse has been the case. There won’t be a single football spectator anywhere who hasn’t watched a minute of an EPL match.

It is pretty hard to call any league competitive where one or two teams can rake in excess of 90 points. The almost certainty of the score line, total points dropped, huge goal margins by some clubs and the outrageous score line between the top teams in the various leagues doesn’t indicate any form of competition.

And then we have EPL where every single goal changes the status of the match, which is a remarkable episode of action.

EPL often introduced as ‘the greatest show in the world’, it is broadcasted to over 600 million viewers worldwide across 211countries much more than any league. The media tending the premiership receives is unbelievable. The media have a bent for blowing things out of proportion, twist any issue and exaggerate its implication even though with a bad taste which has been a key ingredient in the success of the EPL.

A major factor in the success of a league has been in terms of European performance in last couple of decades. Taking into consideration UEFA club coefficient , according to which Manchester United ,Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in top 6 over the last decade. Association coefficient designed by Uefa serves the purpose of establishing which leagues representative to European competitions has been better on a collective level and also the club coefficient which aims to ascertain the best club side in European competitions. It is here where premier league wins in terms of intensity and rhythm.

There really isn’t any ultimate answer and neither should there be ‘The Best League’, but if there is one that comes close then it should without a doubt be the English Premier League.

With only 2 losses and leading by 7 points against their bitter rivals Barcelona ; 2011-12 is turning out Mourinho’s breakthrough season as Los Blancos manager.The Castilian lead is now commanding and, at the rate ‘those’ clubs drop points, almost unassailable.

But along this smooth sail ,an unsuspected question has risen

What does the future hold for Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho?
If it is to be believed, answer to this is :’Jose Mourinho is done At Real Madrid’!

The news floated during the same week Barcelona eliminated Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, the latest in the seemingly endless series of classicos.The cries of the fed up Real Madrid fans asking for a change from the negative tactics often deployed by Mourinho against Barcelona which most of time results in team losing to Catalans also have drastically risen ultimate pinnacle.

There is a real hypothesis that we will see Jose Mourinho pacing the touch-line and celebrating a goal by sliding on his knees in the technical area of a Premier League club next season and not the Bernabeu.So what all major options self-acclaimed ‘Special One’  Jose Mourinho have in the English premier league.

  A Chelsea return: Mourinho, It was him leading the Blues to back-to-back titles in the last decade and could be set for a second stint at Stamford Bridge.He still loves this club and is still loved by the fans.Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea boss is already under pressure at Chelsea, as the club are fourth in the Premier League ladder and 12 points behind Manchester City and United.

Rumours of Mourinho making a comeback to premier league has turned on the heat on AVB, fireball formation won’t take much time with Roman Abramovich on bridgehead.

Mourinho with Gunners : There are rumors in Madrid and London that Real Madrid want Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to replace Mourinho at the Bernabeu.That would leave an opening at the Emirates. Is this swap possible?

A Grand Old Trafford entrance :Mourinho has always shown a great desire to manage the worlds most famous club. But this is only possible if Sir Alex Ferguson chooses to step aside for the ‘Special One‘.

It would appear that the chances of Sir Alex Ferguson stepping down this summer are very limited, since the Scot announced last year that he could see himself remaining in his Old Trafford post for another three years.

On the other side of the pitch ,maybe Mourinho is the man to manage the club(Los Blancos) over an extended period and it would only make sense considering his track record and the amount of money that they invested in the current squad that he wanted tacked together.Time will tell regarding the fate of Real Madrid’s much malefic coach, yet one thing is for certain – Mourinho vs. the world is far from over. This “Special” experiment may show results this summer.

“1-6? Is that real? Is that veridical?”  Well that grin on Mancini’s face says it all : Hell yeahh !

“Devastated. Outraged. Confounded. Disconsolate”  read the faces of Man utd’s fans and Sir Alex Ferguson.Manchester United were outfought, out thought, out played in every single department by none other then their own “Noisy Neighbors” . Manchester United’s dominance in Manchester is coming to an end it seems,as the scoreline 1-6 scream out. No wonder Old Trafford was almost empty before the final whistle, while the City end were celebrating.

The Man United line-up boasted of Jonny Evans,at the start, with Phil Jones looking on from the bench. City started cautiously but with a balanced side with attacking players like Silva, Aguero and Balotelli starting.City players arrived at Old trafford relaxed and ready to win and put United 5 points adrift from the current leaders as stated by Mancini before the match. Balotelli and Dzeko netted twice, while Silva and Aguero netted one each to put the game to bed, and humiliate the Red Devils. The second half had barely started when Evans was shown a red card for fouling Balotelli, and with 10 men, the Red Devils could no longer hold on.Fletcher scored the consolation goal .

Apart from Evans red card ,the moment of the match came when Balotelli (Italian striker who had to flee from his house after someone set off a firecracker in his bathroom) scored the first goal of the match.Having found the net, the young Italian calmly lifted his jersey to reveal this ‘Why Always Me?’ t-shirt. Nobody knows why it’s always him, nobody even gives a damn.

The United squad needs a real fluff up if they want to keep up with City and other raging clubs  (Chelsea ,Newcastle), as it may seem that City’s uprising this season will jolt even the best clubs around, and do not be surprised to see them lift many silverware at the end of the season if they continue on their great form.For City, real statement of spirit, a win that will be played over and over again, something their fans will never forget.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcWe2fUoqfo

A manager’s or a Club’s worst nightmare  is the essential bi-annual drama, the transfer window which never goes away quietly and this summer was no exception like the seasons gone by. If a sound of ripping has been overheard near certain Premier League clubs in the last few days, it should be no surprise .Don’t get me wrong it’s not  Arsenal alone!!Plans have been hastily torn apart, new ones formulated in double-quick time, gambles taken and money diverted around the division at surreal speed. So  here is take on the summer transfers made by the Premier league teams-who did good business and who did not.

The Winners

So  what better place or team to begin with –It has to be the defending champions and the most popular football club on the planet Manchester United.

Manchester  United

When you think  that the United  team which won the Premier league last season were the so called worst United team to have won the title  in the Premier league era then surely the omens do not look good for the rest of the  league because the champions have taken their squad to a new level.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be extremely pleased with the signings of Ashley Young and Phil Jones who have fitted in well at Old Trafford. In goal, David de Gea made a shaky start but it’s still early days and he is already showing improvement.The jury remains out though.My personal opinion is that he has got it in him to be the United and Spain number 1 for the time to come.No more signings were needed as Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck have showed rapid improvement following their loan spells last season, but Ferguson will be slightly disappointed he couldn’t sign Dutch maestro Wesley Sneijder to replace the retired Paul Scholes-the best central midfielder United ever had!With just fringe players leaving, a trip to Old Trafford looks an even more daunting trip this season – just ask the north London neighbors.

Manchester City

They were the noisy neighbors till last season (then also they ended up winning the FA cup and making it into the Champions league),but not anymore now,now they are serious title contenders and by serious I really mean serious. City are always expected to be among the big winners in transfer windows these days, but to say they had a perfect summer would not be stretching the imagination.

Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri have already slotted in seamlessly while the defence has been strengthened with the arrivals of Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic. Owen Hargreaves will be a handy back-up player to cover injuries (providing he doesn’t get one himself!) and act as a replacement for Yaya Toure during the African Nations Cup.

The majority of the players who were surplus to requirement have left but one of the biggest stories was who didn’t leave.Unsettled Carlos Tevez looked set for an exit, but he will be at the Etihad Stadium until at least January after failing to find a new club. Overall the Citizens look in great shape to challenge for trophies on all fronts.

Liverpool

After the disappointment of finishing 6th last season which was decent considering where they were languishing when  Kenny Dalglish took charge again after 1989.He took it upon himself to reinforce every position including bringing in a cluster of new midfielders and overseeing the return of Craig Bellamy.Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing have all made positive starts, although it remains to be seen how the team will shape up once Stevie G returns from injury. Dalglish showed the exit doors  to Roy Hodgson flops Joe Cole and Paul Konchesky and was happy to let a certain Raul Meireles join Chelsea – a player who was  voted the Premier League Player of the season by the Anfield faithfuls.

It needed to be a busy summer if Liverpool were to have a chance of re-establishing themselves in the top four, but fans can be happy that King Kenny has them pointing in the right direction.

Stoke city

The Potters did some shrewd business this season .By bringing in  Jonathan Woodgate, Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios, they have signed three players who played in the Champions League  last season. Palacios who loves a fight  will thrive in the midfield battles, while the lanky Crouch will have no shortage of supply from wingers Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington ,not to forget  the non stop supply of throw ins from Rory Delap!With Cameron Jerome and Matthew Upson also arriving, the squad now has plenty of depth – crucial for juggling the team for the domestic and European campaigns.

An added bonus is no first-team players exited the club, pointing towards a side that has gone from prime relegation candidates three years ago, to one that can realistically aim for a strong top 10 finish.

Queens park rangers

If the Hoops go down this season it won’t be because of Neil Warnock being shy in the transfer market. On the final day of the window he approached just about everyone he could to join his side at Loftus Road.

Joey Barton, Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand were  some of the late deals and have added some crucial Premier League experience.Keeping hold of Adel Taarabt has been a huge boost and QPR now in look great shape to ensure their Premier League return after 15 years away isn’t just a one-season stay.