Weekend Analysis: Part II

Cardiff City 1-5 Manchester United

 

NOW THEN, onto the game that I REALLY want to talk about from yesterday, a.k.a. the rebirth of the Manchester United Glory Days, you heard it hear first people!!! Of course, I am most certainly joking, but it was nice to see a cool attacking display from and organised, together United team. It was really the breath of fresh air that needed to come through the club, after the black cloud that seemed to be hanging over us. I’m not going to badmouth Jose, as since he has left he has been very respectful towards the club and never badmouthed the fans, plus I don’t think it was totally his fault. One thing the players demonstrated to me is that it wasn’t just the approach that needed changing, it was their work rate too.

Don’t get me wrong, the tactics definitely freed up our boys to play, Paul Pogba was one in particular who really had a turnaround, as we had Herrera and Matic there to do the defensive work which left him free to do what he does best. It’s something that United fans far and wide have been crying out for all season, that’s where he plays best and he proved that last night, if he is stuck doing defensive duties then it sort of castrates his attacking threat. Rashford leading the line from Martial and Lingard was also a genius move, it meant our attack had speed, power and a deadly touch at the end, the third goal from Martial being the focal point. It was a slick, quick passing move that cut through the defence, hot knives and butter also come to mind, but the serious point is that, although it was only Cardiff, scoring 5 is something that all 3 of Solskjaer’s predecessors failed to do (not counting the 5-2 against FC Midtjylland and the 5-0 against Leverkusen of course, who could forget that?!). All in all, it was a debut for the new gaffer that is sure to fill every United fan full of hope for a light at the end of the post-Fergie era tunnel.

Everton 2-6 Tottenham Hotspur

 

In all honesty, I wasn’t actually going to comment on this game, but if there’s a 6-2 and it’s nor commented on, well that’s just criminal! I said earlier today that Everton vs. Tottenham had the potential to be a good game but I never suspected something like that! This weekend has seen some incredible goals fly in, but this game had 3 of them in it! Tottenham started really strongly and Harry Kane, although eventually getting two goals, missed many clear chances early on and Everton made them pay, taking the lead completely against the run of play. Still, didn’t seem to bother Spurs much, they equalised from Son Heung-Min who let go a beautiful finish, fair enough into an open goal but from the angle it was from it was anything but easy. From there, they never seemed to take their foot off the gas and played Everton off the pitch to go 3-1 up by half time.

Going into the second half, Everton had a lot to do and they didn’t start out well as Kurt Zouma’s header out was caught almost as beautifully as Townsend’s (seriously, can anyone stop watching that goal? Unbelievable!). Eriksen’s flew into the bottom corner, but Everton were not to be outdone as Gylfi Sigurdsson turned 4 Spurs defenders inside out and put it into the opposite corner, outstanding! It was the last spark for Everton though as Tottenham bowled them over from there and this win has to feel great for Pochettino. His team shrugged off the tiredness they showed against Burnley and looked like they were having fun out there, which is key to a team to keep up their momentum. They’re now 2 points off City and only six off top, they need to keep this pressure up on the top two because, if one of them cracks, Tottenham need to be there to take advantage of it. Spurs get a beating from opposition fans as all they’ve ever done is pressured their rivals without any gold to show for it, I am going to go out on a limb and say I fully believe they are going to change that this season, there I’ve said it! Everton, conversely, are in the bottom half and need to focus on their game against Burnley next week to avoid accidentally dropping themselves a bit further down. I don’t think their fans have cause for concern, they have a quality team and a quality manager to boot and I reckon they’ll be back on track before long! Right, that’s your lot, next up – BOXING DAY FOOTBALL LADS, THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

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