Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunderland 0 - 1 United

De Gea,
Jones, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra (C),
Valencia, Young, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs,

I headed to the place where I watch United with no expectations whatsoever. All I wanted was to watch a good game before the summer break. City weren't going to lose vs QPR, I was sure of that and, well, I was right. But I couldn't have imagined the drama that I was going to get through throughout those 95 exhausting minutes. United played very well today and, bar one missed opportunity, Sunderland were never given a shout. Rooney scored early on and we also managed to hit the woodwork three times. At the Etihad, City scored first and I thought that was the first of many.

I didn't really care what was happening in Manchester, I just sat and enjoyed our game. But 5 minutes into the second half, QPR managed to equalise and that was when I started hoping. As the clocked ticked towards the 90th minute, United were still ahead while 10-man QPR managed to get themselves ahead. That was when I really started believing that we were going to win the title. However I was wrong. During the 5 minutes of added time, City managed to do a 'United' and turn the scoreline back into their favour. City gave us hope and now missing out on the league hurts even more! 

The headlines will obviously state that the Blue moon has risen. Journalists will start foreseeing our demise. It will be a long long summer, during which we'll probably read about how there's a power shift in Manchester. BUT in reality, we were only 2 minutes away from winning the league. We were only 2 minutes away from overcoming the challenge of City and for "such a mediocre team" it is a great feat in itself. It's useless bringing up excuses but how can people keep blabbering about us being poor when we've only lost the title to a billion pound football team who happened to score 8 goals more than us. How come nothing is even mentioned about the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham who are 19 points or more away from us. 

It's been a strange season, the title was City's in March, it was ours in April, it was City's after they beat Newcastle, it was ours on the stroke of time but in the end City managed a remarkable comeback and have had the last laugh. As I always say, the table never lies so I guess City fully deserve this Premier League title. However, it's not all gloom for us. With a few tweaks here and there we'll come back stronger. We'll never die... no team with unlimited financial resources will ever kill us. 

Well done to Sir Alex who dragged a limited team up to this point. Well done to our players who all played part in a pretty crazy season. Thanks to all the readers of this blog.  I'll be back as soon as United are active in the transfer market. Till then, we'll keep the red flag flying high coz MAN UTD WILL NEVER DIE! So proud I'm a red.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

United 2 - 0 Swansea

De Gea
Jones Smalling Rio (Rafael) Evra
Valencia Scholes(Cleverley) Carrick Young
Chicharito Rooney(Berbatov)

Our penultimate game against "England's Barca" yielded two goals and three easy points. Scholes flicked the ball to the back of the net for the first and Young scored a well placed shot. Overall it was a very good performance by our players, especially during the first half. 

Our goalie had a very good game today. He made a couple of decent saves and didn't hesitate when Swansea crossed the ball in the area. Young was my man of the match. He was excellent when going forward and put in some good crosses. His goal was well taken as well. All players did well with the exception of our two strikers who could have scored a brace each.

Scholes has been brilliant, but we cannot rely on him anymore
Before our game, City emerged victorious in their tussle with Newcastle. I really expected City to stutter at St James Park but they managed to win and that is what champions are made of. Winning at that Stadium, in front of all those fans, against a team in form and vying for a Champions League spot is really what Champions do. So well done to them, they deserve winning the league unless they produce a 'fuck up' of epic proportions vs a modest QPR side in their final game. But, realistically, that is something that just won't happen. So the dreams and hopes of winning something this season are over. 

What went wrong? Those games vs Blackburn and vs Everton. That's what has gone wrong. We should have won both of them but failed to do so, especially the one vs Everton....that was a killer blow. To be honest I think Fergie has done an excellent job in dragging our team up to this point. When looking at City and then at our squad, you just know that player for player, they are better than us. What kept me believing we can trump them was our experience of winning it before. We've got a couple of player who would walk in City's side but non of our midfielders, bar Carrick, would make it into City's centre. Scholes would have walked into their midfield on one foot.....10 years ago. He's still brilliant but we cannot keep relying on him. We need to move forward.

I'm obviously resigned to losing the title. The players looked resigned to losing the title. The fans at OT looked resigned to losing the title. It's over but I'm dead sure we'll be back stronger next year. A few tweaks here and there and we'll become Champions again, even though it will take some character to beat the new Champions, brimming with confidence and of course sporting a new marquee signing or two. We'll never die.  

“Hopefully next week will be the biggest celebration of our lives”..... some wishful thinking by Fergie :) 


it is over.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Title Deciding Weekend Preview

I just woke up after a loooong night spent with books and notes. The exams are looming but there are plenty of diverging thoughts playing at the back of my head. Thoughts about the Premier League, of course.

Just under a month ago we were in the driving seat. Well, actually I thought that the title was ours. We had the momentum while City were dropping points for fun. Since then we threw away 8 points while City won against WBA, Wolves, Norwich and, of course, us.  Since that post I posted in March titled Man Utd run in vs Man City run in, I have to say I’ve been bang on with my predictions on City’s games. With the exception of their mauling of Norwich, I guessed that they would drop points vs Arsenal, Stoke and Swansea. I never really believed we were going to win at the Etihad. A draw, maybe, but definitely not a win. They’ve been too strong there.

On the other hand I’ve been pretty poor in predicting my own team’s results. I never ever thought that we’d lose vs Wigan and then squander further points vs Everton.  Football is a funny old game that often springs out that odd surprise and, unluckily, we’ve been the victims of football’s old tricks.

It all falls down to the final two games of the season now. We’ve got the task of beating a free-flowing-football-playing Swansea side and then we’ll have to face the daunting challenge of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. On the other hand City will have to face QPR who, I think, will get a battering. That game could crown them champions of England but only if they win vs Newcastle United in this weekend’s top game.

Let's hope these two show up on Sunday
In Newcastle lie our only hopes of retaining the premier league crown. I’ve been saying all along that I expected City to drop points vs this Newcastle side. The Barcodes will have 50,000 fans spurring them on. At home Newcastle have been formidable. They’ve last been defeated at the Arena, or whatever it’s called now, in December during a very bad patch they had. Mind you that loss came vs WBA and that shows Newcastle’s unpredictability. They’ve lost 3-0 to Chelsea, 5-0 to Tottenham and 4-0 vs Wigan during this season so I’m not sure whether it’s smart to hope they’d be able to bring down City.

However, they have plenty to play for. Just like City. Their striker is in a rich vein of form and I’d expect him to trouble City’s defence who aren’t exactly what the media portrays them to be. It’s Kompany who makes their defence look good and, of course, their outstanding keeper. Lescott, Clichy and Zabaleta could be made to look ordinary, they’re no world beaters.

Anyhow I’d like to think that Newcastle can win or draw this game but my mind says that this game is too big a match for City to bottle. If they bottle it on Sunday then they’re not really made of Champions…yet. If they win, they’d earned the title. 

From the point of not having any guts whatsoever of watching the derby game, I hope I will be able to amass enough ‘courage’ and look on during this weekend’s big games.

So here’s to a game were City drop points. Here’s to Cisse bettering his goal tally. Here’s to Newcastle doing us a great big favour. From the usual BELIEVE bullshit most of us post during this stage of the season, we’ll have to resort to the word HOPE ……and despair. 

In 2005 this happened. Since then we have matched and overpowered Chelsea's Challenge
We’ll 'meet' again in 2 days’ time, when we’ll have a clear picture of where the title is going. To conclude, if City win on Sunday then the FA might as well start decorating the PL trophy with blue ribbons. If this happens I believe that it could take a year or two before Fergie could break City’s hold on the title. It’s our fight with Chelsea since their rise all over again.  

Numquam Moribimur