During this episode of the Can They Score podcast, we look back on United’s deserved draw against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, Fellaini’s hair and the impending trip to the Etihad. We hope you enjoy this week’s podcast. Come on you Reds!
Sunday’s game was Van Gaal’s first big test as the master faced the student, in the form of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea. A late Robin Van Persie equaliser ensured United snatched a point right at the death, to ensure a 1-1 draw. Chelsea will say they kept Di Maria quiet, whilst Oscar and Fabregas were matched by United. With Falcao and Jones forced out through injury, Chris Smalling and Monday’s saviour Marouane Fellaini came into the side ahead of Ander Herrera. A bench of Pereira, Wilson and Blackett completed the youthful looking side. Read more…
After another debilitating defeat to Sunderland in the Capital One Cup, the team have picked themselves up and dusted themselves down to look over another turbulent week at the Theatre of Dreams. Unperturbed, this weeks’ podcast covers the team’s recent defeats in all aspects before looking ahead to the hopefully impending arrival of Juan Mata and returning legend Ole Gunnar Solksjear!
Condemning United to their 4th defeat in 5 games, Mourinho’s men came out on top at Stamford Bridge, despite United’s patches of dominance, and left David Moyes with another nul points display this year.
Clinical finishing once again proved the difference between the two teams as the continued absence of Van Persie and Rooney proved costly. Whilst the two talisman were dearly missed this afternoon, it was another 90 minute advert for the Glazers to dig into their pockets. Starting a central duo of Carrick and Jones raised a few eyebrows with Carrick struggling with his recent form and Jones far from full fitness.
Our first win of 2014, finally! During this week’s episode, the team look back on United’s 2-0 victory against Swansea before mulling over Anderson’s turbulent time at Old Trafford and Jose Mourinho’s desperate desire to get one over United after this summer’s snub. Be sure to listen to the podcast now!
During this week’s Can They Score podcast, we look back at the disappointing 2-2 draw in the FA Cup against Chelsea. We look at what went wrong after such a promising start, praising Benitez, questioning Sir Alex’s substitutions once again and looking at Wayne Rooney’s attitude. After that we talk Qatar, De Gea, Ferdinand’s immaturity and preview the weekend’s match against manager- less Reading. Joining me in the studio is Jonas and Frenchy. Read more…
During this week’s Can They Score podcast, we look over the two crazy fixtures against Chelsea, discuss our strengths and weaknesses and preview the exciting prospect of another 8-2 victory against Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal side. Joining us in the studio today is Tom Pattison and Nik Storey.
Tom Pattison reflects on why even in victory this United side is not yet ready to compete with the very best.
Controversy reigned at StamfordBridge. A shame for the neutral as before the chaos viewers had been treated to some exhilarating football from two teams unforgiving in attack yet bafflingly accommodating in defence. Miguel Delaney’s report hits the nail emphatically on the head.
In a rerun of St James’ Park, United opened on the front foot and were richly rewarded. Runners flooded to support Robin van Persie. The Sleepy Nik predicted plundering of the Chelsea left providing a rich supply of openings. David Luiz was left exposed by an overworked Cole and Mikel’s failure to cover in front of him. Both goals came from the same point of attack and with a two goal lead United looked home and dry.
Except that they didn’t. In the same way that once we halved the deficit against Braga it felt inevitable we would win, so it seemed expected that the home side would claw their way back into the game.
The Gandalf mantra (‘you shall not pass’) is alive and well in our back five but so long as our midfield continues to operate as a turnstile we are going to face long spells of pressure against sides of real quality. Worryingly our ability to care for the ball and relieve the tension was below par granting little respite to an overworked backline. A combination of De Gea’s reflexes and the type of rearguard action Ferdinand specialises in made it tough at times, but in spite of this Chelsea not only came back from a two goal deficit but looked primed to complete the job before officialdom intervened.
It is unhelpful but comfortable to muse on players gone by as wave after wave of Chelsea attacks sliced through our central midfield. Oh for a Keane, Butt, Ince, or Whiteside. Carrick, Cleverley and Rooney tried manfully to stem the tide but the lack of specialist was apparent for all to see; yet perhaps a specialist isn’t the answer. It is hard to believe when reflecting on theFergusonera the sheer variety of teams he has created. When watching a display like this it is difficult to believe that less than five years ago a Ferguson team nullified Barcelona to the extent that they failed to score over 180 minutes in a European semi-final. That feat was achieved with a team containing such grizzled, rugged midfield destroyers as Carlos Tevez and Paul Scholes. Interestingly the absence of Vidic and deployment of Rooney in midfield is pretty much the only thing to link these radically different sides. The victory overBarcelonawas all about the tactical plan of Carlos Queiroz; he might have won few fans but the current vintage might benefit from the wisdom of the Portuguese. Comparisons may have been drawn between our attacking options with the European conquerors of 1999 and 2008 but though possessing the adventure to merit the association; the absent ability to shut up shop when necessary poses a major barrier to emulating their achievements.
This United side is great fun. The thrill of the swashbuckling opening twenty bookended by the schadenfreude of the final twenty made for a hugely satisfying triumph over a genuine rival. The suspicion remains though that like the last roaring twenties, unless we take action a major crash could be waiting for us around the corner.
The Red Devils travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday for the biggest match of their season so far. With the Blues top of the Premier League table, Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen to take some points away from the likes of Hazard and Co. However, with our flurry of injuries and defensive uncertainty, it seems more than likely that United will have to go on the offensive rather than the defensive in this difficult away fixture.
Whilst United can take confidence from the fact that they scored three goals at Stamford Bridge last season and Robin van Persie scored a hat trick against them too, the Blues have been in fine form with their fluid front three of Hazard, Oscar and Mata and are firing on all cylinders. As discussed in our Pre Match Interview, it’s definitely an early season six pointer and is sure to be full of goals.
For further build up to the match, listen to the latest episode of the CTS Podcast where we preview the clash in detail with tactical talk, predicted line ups and player profiles here or via iTunes:
This video was created by @AntonAlfy and is from his YouTube page here.
During this week’s Can They Score podcast, we talk about our fixture against Braga, approaching games against Chelsea and Rio, De Gea, Downing and James Bond in between. Joining us in the studio today is Tom Pattison and Doron Salomon.