Thursday, March 05, 2015

"Review on Manchester United performance V/S Newcastle, 1-0, 05 March, 2015"

"Slow and steady win the race". Right now, I can say Manchester United are almost back to it default settings. Although the road to win the EPL title is still way ahead but it seems to be on the right track. The match against Newcastle showed us the glimpse of old United style of football, attack, attack, attack and win the match at any cost. United may not be title contenders this season but the slow and steady progress of Van Gaal foundation on the team is starting to take it shape. I've been a critic of Van Gaal however the last two matches (including Newcastle) are worthy to be noted. The starting eleven for United were, David De Gea, Marcos Rojo, Johny Evans, Valencia, Blind, Herrera, Ashley Young, Angel Di Maria, Fellaini, and Rooney.

Tactical wise, the formation appears to be the conventional 4-2-3-1. Rooney was playing as lone striker supported by Fellaini as 2nd striker and occasionally as attacking midfielder. Young and Maria on the right and left flank respectively, and Marcos Rojos and Valencia joining the attack from behind. Herrera and Blind on central midfield, and of course, De Gea as goalkeeper..:) It is kind of lame from my side to mentioned De Gea as goalkeeper. Falcao was on the bench, with that kind of qualities he has as striker, I felt sorry for him. Anyway as it was an away game, I thought the decision was right to bench him.

In the first half, United enjoyed the majority of the ball possession and occasionally creating some good chances from the right and left flank. Kudos to Evans! he has improved a lot comparing with the recent match against Sunderland(in reference to back pass). He made fewer back pass to De Gea only when required. United were lucky to escape a clear penalty for Newcastle in the early first half. As referees are making mistake one after another, it is pointless to point out to the incompetence FA officials.

Rooney as a striker is always a threat because he is a real striker and I'm very happy that he is back to his original position. The few chances he got in the first half showed us why he should always be played as striker. I thought he should have scored one or two in the first half. It's OK as Rooney is still one of those players who have the ability the change the match anytime. It was because of his pace and strength which enable him to pressure the Newcastle defenders leading to the 89th minute goal. What a cool finish from Ashley Young! For me, Young has been very consistent this season alongside De Gea. As usual, De Gea produced a wonderful save of Cisse header in the dying minutes of the match. Statistically, De Gea won 2 points for the team once again. And also, the point blank save of Coloccini's header across goal was admirable and definitely proved he is one of the best goalkeepers. He is a rare gem and I hope he will sign the new contract soon.

Fellaini did OK with his role supporting in attack with Rooney including midfield and backtracking to win tackles. Herrera and Blind partnership is turning out to be 'hit' like a low budget movie. The centre back duo of Smalling and Evans was good although it still has a huge scope for improvement. Angel Di Maria did well in the first half and I believe he is working hard to regain his form. Although he was substituted in the 2nd half, I'm sure his first half performance will give him some confidence in the upcoming matches. I always believe 'form is temporary and class is permanent'. As a fan, I've never doubted his talent and ability.

Overall, it was good game for us as a fan and I believe we can still improve better. And as for the review on the match, I'm rating 3 out of 5. 

The upcoming Manchester United game is against Arsenal on 10 March, 2015 (01:15 AM IST), FA Cup 2014-15 Quarterfinal. 

Thank you.

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