Monday, March 16, 2015

"Review on Manchester United performance V/S Tottenham Hotspurs, 3-0, 15 March 2015”

"Sports do not build character. They reveal it." Heywood Broun.

United XI: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Smalling, Blind, Carrick, Herrera, Mata, Fellaini, Young, Rooney. United subs: Lindegaard, Rafael, Blackett, A Pereira, Januzaj, Falcao, Wilson. 

Spurs XI: Lloris (c), Walker, Dier, Vertonghen, Rose; Bentaleb, Mason; Chadli, Eriksen, Townsend; Kane. Spurs subs: Vorm, Chiriches, Davies, Dembele, Lamela, Paulinho, Adebayor.

Bravo! What a privilege match to watch and to end my weekend with a smile! I was dreading a result of draw or losing by single goal but instead the match excellently exceeded my expectation by the half time. The spirit of the team was fantastic and it really looks like the old good days of Sir Alex but the credit goes to Van Gaal. The standout player from the match was Fellaini once again. He is enjoying his better form of his career and deservedly the man of the match for me. While Rooney, Mata, Carrick, Ashley Young were not that behind Fellaini performance in the match. De Gea as always is the best player from the backline. Besides his goalkeeping talents, his accurate passing and distribution of the ball from goal kicks are comparable to Scholes style of passing.

The defense is also gaining confidence day by day and it will be really beneficial if it keeps on improving with 9 games to go. Once Rojo returns, the defense should be fine with Valencia as right back. Valencia gave a committed performance running up and down the flank. He is growing better and better as an alternative right back who can also join attack with his pace and crossing ability. With the kind of performance he displayed in the match, Van Gaal will start him again in the upcoming match versus Liverpool without any doubt.

The importance of Michael Carrick to the team was instantly noticeable. He has that genius moment in creating assist with his accurate passing and distribution. His position as central midfielder gives a lot of protection to defense. The 9th minute assist from him leading to the Fellaini goal was simply beautiful. Fellaini left footed shot of on the ball was angled perfectly cruising into the corner of the net giving no chance to Lloris. Tottenham’s under Pochettino have been performing well since the end of 2014. Today, the Tottenham’s player in the field looks like one of the club from the bottom of the table fighting for relegation. But the credit should go to Manchester United players pressing high as soon as the match started.

Again Fellaini played a part with the second goal coming from Carrick header in 19th minutes after the corner kick was taken. Since the day I started reviewing Manchester United matches played, I have stated that Fellaini is always a threat in the box. His aerial ability in the center as well as in box gives advantage to the team in holding on the ball. Rooney, it is a simple fact, he is a natural goal scoring striker. He has the strength, pace and tenacity of British forward players but the only difference with the other strikers is he is a winner and an unselfish leader. Once he defeats the opponent defenders, Rooney rarely miss a shot on the goal. And that was it! The third goal came from him in the 34th minute after playing the ball through the two defenders.

Mata gave a performance deserving the standing ovation from the fans in Old Trafford. He played very well in the absence of Angel Di Maria. The upcoming match against Liverpool will be a litmus test for both the players Angel Di Maria and Mata on who will be on the starting eleven till the end of this season. Injured Persie have been a blessing for the team to change it strategy by building up attack from the backline and central midfielder to Young, Mata and Rooney. It has also benefitted by Herrera who is also playing well from midfield position. Herrera physical appearance may look small as a footballer but he is not afraid of going for the challenge and tackle. He is like a lemon rather a technically talented player.

In the second half, the team comfortably controlled the match. The substitute appearance from Pereira, Rafael and Falcao in the 2nd half has nothing to offer as the match was already won in the 1st half. In the final minutes of the match, Tottenham’s Harry Kane goal bound shot was beautifully saved by De Gea keeping another clean sheet to his name. This guy concentration throughout the match is very admirable. As a fan, I just hope a new super-duper contract is offered to him.

I’m rating 4 out of 5 for the solid performance from the team. The next upcoming match for Manchester United is on 22 March 2015 against Liverpool FC to be played in Anfield, Liverpool. The match will start at 7:00 PM (IST).

Thank you. And have a good night sleep!

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