Fulham v Manchester United Premier League Wednesday 20th January 2021

This was a third successive away game for Manchester United, after a win at Burnley and a draw at Liverpool.

They started this match in 3rd place after Leicester won on Tuesday and Man City won earlier on Wednesday, so only a win would send United back top.

So could they win and make it a 3rd team to go top of the league in the space of 24 hours?

It was played at Craven Cottage

Ref for picture: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Craven_Cottage_stadium_view.jpg

After only three minutes Wan-Bissaka lost possession and Lookman drove at Maguire and his shot from 22 yards was straight at De Gea.

Just a couple of minutes later, Fulham sliced through United’s defence , as Anguissa was given far too much time, he clipped a wonderful ball over Bailly for Lookman, who was in so much space and he did look offside, but he sprinted through on goal and fired a clever finish into the bottom corner, and Fulham ahead early on.

Five minutes later, Fred got his body across Loftus-Cheek in the box and took a tumble but no penalty given.

After 21 minutes, moments after he hit the post , Fernandes whipped in a good cross which Areola fumbled and Cavani pounced to fire home.

A couple of minutes later, Fermandes’ right footed shot from outside the box was saved in the bottom left corner.

Just before the half hour mark, Maguire’s header from a corner went wide.

After 34 minutes, Fernandes’ right footed shot from a freekick went high and wide to the right.

Just before halftime, Tosin’s header from the centre of the box was saved in the centre of the goal. And Martial got in between 2 Fulham defenders to meet a cross but he couldn’t keep his header down and the ball looped onto the roof of the net.

Halftime score:  Fulham 1-1 Manchester United

So a first half where United started slowly, but gradually got themselves back into the game and got the equaliser, could United push on and step it up a gear in the 2nd half?

After 48 minutes, Reed rushed his shot on the edge of the area and smashed his effort well over.

Just three minutes later, Maguire got the run on his marker and met a corner cleanly from 10 yards out, but Aina just did enough to put him off.

A couple of minutes later, Loftus-Cheek beat Fred for pace then he crossed into Lookman who swept a first time effort straight at De Gea.

And then 2 minutes later, Fernandes tried his luck from 22 yards out but his shot was blocked, then a cross was cleared to Shaw on the angle who took on the volley but great defending by Tete.

Just before the hour mark, Pogba got into space down the right, delivered a wonderful ball that took Andersen out of the game, Fernandes charged in from 6 yards out but his header was blocked but Fernandes was offside anyway.

On the hour mark, Reed played a great ball to Cavaleiro who got it wide to Bryan who mishit his cross out of play.

With 25 minutes remaining, Pogba received the ball outside the box, he looked up and bent an unstoppable drive out of Areola’s reach and into the back of the net, a stunning goal by Pogba again just like last week, and United were heading top, could they see the game out or extend their lead?

A couple of minutes later, Fernandes sent another wicked cross in from the right and Cavani met with a firm header that Areola kept out brilliant to push to safety.

Heading into the final fifteen minutes, Kamara held the ball up and played a fantastic ball in behind Maguire for Loftus-Cheek who got in on goal, but De Gea made an important save with his legs.

With ten minutes remaining, Loftus-Cheek won a freekick about 35 yards out, Reed clipped a brilliant ball in that left United in trouble but there were no Fulham players there to attacking.

After 84 minutes, Fulham were still pushing for an equaliser and Lookman skipped away down the left and looked for Mitrovic at the back post, it then dropped to Loftus-Cheek about 15 yards out but he sliced a horrible effort into the stands.

In the 2nd minute of stoppage time Lookman brought it down and his shot was blocked by Wan-Bissaka.

Then a minute later Mitrovic angled a header at goal, it struck Bailly on the thigh and deflected towards his own goal, but it just trickled inches wide of the post, fortunately for United.

Fulltime score: Fulham 1-2 Manchester United

So a ground out win for Man United who didn’t play particularly well, but got the win which is all that matters.

It means Man United at the halfway stage of the season are top of the Premier League on 40 points, 2 points clear of both Man City and Leicester and at time of writing 6 clear of Liverpool.

Highlights of this game are on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FomruvKJLcw

Next for Man United is a home game in the FA Cup 4th round against Liverpool so a 2nd game in a week against Liverpool, who will progress to round 5? Its live on BBC One on Sunday 24th January 2021 with a 5pm kickoff

Liverpool v Manchester United Premier League Sunday 17th January 2021

This was as always an eagerly anticipated clash between the two most successful clubs in English football history as Liverpool took on Manchester United.

It was a year to the day when these 2 last met at Anfield, and that day Liverpool won 2-0 to go 30 points clear of Manchester United, however this time it was United who were top with a 3 point gap over Liverpool, and were looking to either extend that gap or keep it at 3 points, so what would happen, and would United be able to take advantage of a makeshift Liverpool defence?

It was played at Anfield.  It was also the first Liverpool home game since legendary Liverpool singer Gerry Marsden passed away, so there was a minute’s applause before kickoff.

Reference for picture: https://www.facebook.com/LiverpoolFC/photos

After 14 minutes, Firmino’s right footed shot from outside the box was blocked.  Robertson’s left footed shot from the left side of the box was high and wide to the left.

Just a couple of minutes later, good play by Liverpool ended with Mane laying off to Firmino who fired over the bar.

Just before the first quarter mark, Fred played a ball forward for United to Rashford, but Rashford was caught offside.

After 22 minutes Firmino’s right footed shot from the left side of the box was blocked. Then Salah’s left footed shot from outside the box was high and wide to the left.

With 25 minutes gone, another couple of Liverpool opportunities as Wijnaldum’s right footed shot from outside the box  was blocked then Shaqiri’s left footed shot from outside the box was blocked.

Liverpool had dominated the first 25 minutes or so, could United survive their period of domination?

After 33 minutes, Man United won a freekick in a dangerous area, Fernandes stepped up and curled it just wide, it was so close to the opening goal, and better from United. The last meaningful first half action was a shot from Firmino being saved by De Gea.

Halftime score: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

So a first half dominated by Liverpool but Man United did create one chance, surely a goal was coming in the 2nd half?

After 48 minutes, Mane’s header from the centre of the box was blocked.

Then just before the hour mark, another Liverpool chance as Robertson crossed and Firmino couldn’t get on the end of it.

Just after the hour, Salah’s left footed shot from the centre of the box was blocked.

With 25 minutes left, Fernandes’ shot was easily saved by Alisson.

A couple of minutes later, Rashford’s right footed shot from outside the box was blocked.

With fifteen minutes left, Shaw’s cross to Fernandes whose shot was saved by Alisson’s foot, what a chance for United, who may have sensed Liverpool were there for the taking.

Three minutes later, Thiago’s shot from outside the box was parried away to safety by De Gea.

With seven minutes remaining, another glorious United chance as Pogba’s shot was saved by Alisson for a corner and the corner nearly resulted in a United goal as Pogba’s header was blocked.

Fulltime score: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United

So a draw is never bad at Anfield , but United may feel they missed an opportunity to get all 3 points and go 6 points clear of Liverpool at the top as Liverpool are not in the best form at present , but it was Man United who ended the day on top on 37 points.

Highlights of the game are on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UTrkZfHsFQ

Next up for Man United is an away trip to West London to face Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday 20th January with an 8:15pm kickoff, and they could be kicking off 3rd in the table, depending on if Leicester win on Tuesday night and Man City win on Wednesday teatime.

Leeds United v Brighton Premier League Saturday 16th January 2021

This on paper looked like it would be a good game as both teams like to play football but in different ways.

 So could Leeds banish the memories of last weekend’s FA Cup humiliation, or would Brighton move away from the relegation zone?

It was played at Elland Road and the pitch was rather *heavy, after snowfall in Leeds earlier in the week, would that make it harder for Leeds’s style of play?  

*A heavy pitch means it was quite wet due to the snowfall and this makes the turf underneath it deteriorate quickly.

Reference for picture: https://www.facebook.com/LeedsUnited/photos/a.158277964323723/1883727991778703/?type=3&theater

After 6 minutes Raphinha played a good ball over the top for Alioski who  whipped in a brilliant cross and Rodrigo couldn’t quite get on the end of it, due to Dunk’s presence.

Just three minutes later Maupay went down in the Leeds penalty area, Ayling barely touched him and no penalty.

After a quarter of an hour, Trossard played a neat 1-2 with Mac Allister who squared to Maupay who had the freedom of Elland Road to easily tap in as the Leeds defence were nowhere to be seen.

With 24 minutes gone Maupay’s shot deflected off Ayling and onto the bar.

Just before the half hour mark, White robbed Raphinha of the ball and drove all the way into the Leeds box before the shot was blocked by Ayling.

From that point on, the first half was pretty non descriptive in terms of action.

Halftime score:  Leeds United 0-1 Brighton

So a poor first half performance from Leeds who were missing Phillips but Brighton played well and they could pass whereas Leeds couldn’t string 2 passes together on the heavy pitch, would the 2nd half be any better from Leeds?

After 50 minutes Harrison curled a left footed shot wide.

Just after the hour mark, Alioski gave the ball away to Maupay who passed to Trossard whose left footed shot missed.

Two minutes later, Cooper’s header from the centre of the box was saved.

With 25 minutes left, White’s right footed shot from outside the box was blocked.  Then Roberts right footed shot from the right side of the box was blocked.

With ten minutes remaining, Webster’s driving run and shot was saved by Casilla.

The rest of the last ten minutes drifted with not much action.

Fulltime score:  Leeds United 0-1 Brighton

So another poor performance from Leeds United who three games into 2021 haven’t scored a goal. Hopefully Bielsa will be able to work some magic and Leeds can get their freestyle *mojo* back.

Highlights of this game are below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrW2eA1B8jo

Leeds remain in 12th place in the Premier League table on 23 points, and 12 points above the bottom 3.

Leeds were due to play Southampton on Wednesday night, but that’s been rearranged due to Southampton’s FA Cup tie being rearranged, and Leeds don’t have a game next week as they’re no longer in the FA Cup, so that means Leeds’ next game will be away to Newcastle on 26th January.

*mojo- To regain confidence, coinciding with a resurgence in success.

Burnley v Manchester United Premier League Tuesday 12th January 2021

This was Manchester United’s game in hand on Liverpool and it was a game where with a victory or a draw they would go top of the Premier League for the first time since 2013.

It was going to be a test though as Burnley never make it easy for any of their opponents.

So could Manchester United get the win or draw required to go top of the league?

It was played at Turf Moor.

Ref for picture: https://www.facebook.com/burnleyofficial/photos/a.167069756646877/3816754181678398

After 1 minute a half chance for Burnley as Brady’s left footed shot from the left side of the box was too high and wide.

After 3 minutes, Gudmunsson’s left footed shot from outside box blocked.

Seven minutes later, Brady’s right footed shot outside the box blocked.

After 17 minutes, Fernandes’ right footed shot for United from centre of box saved in top centre of the goal.

Three minutes later, Martial’s right footed shot from centre of the box was blocked.

Just two minutes later, Wood’s left footed shot from centre of box blocked.

Midway through the first half, Martial’s left footed shot from centre of box was high and wide to the left.

Then 2 minutes later, controversy as Shaw got the ball before he followed through, play went on and Fernandes played a long pass to Cavani who was taken down by Brady.  VAR had a look at both the denial of a goalscoring opportunity, and the Shaw tackle, they then instructed the referee to go over to the Referee Review Area, and both ended up with a yellow card.

After 36 minutes, Shaw crossed into the area for Maguire to head into the net, but it was disallowed for an alleged foul by Maguire on Pieters.

Two minutes later, Pogba headed to Cavani whose right footed shot from centre of box blocked.

The last action from a controversial first half was Martial’s right footed shot from outside the box saved into the top right corner.

Halftime score: Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

So a first half that was packed with incidents but had no goals, but a draw would send United top, but surely they wanted to go top with a win, so would they get the goal in the 2nd half?

After 49 minutes Fernandes’ right footed shot from outside the box blocked.

Three minutes later, Barnes’ left footed shot from outside the box missed to the right.  Then Cavani’s left footed shot from centre of the box saved.

After 56 minutes, Fernandes’ left footed shot from outside the box was saved in the centre of the goal, but already this was better from United.

On the hour mark, Fernandes’ right footed shot from outside the box saved in right corner.

After 67 minutes, Cavani’s left footed shot from centre of the box was high and wide.

With 19 minutes remaining, a potentially big moment in the match as Rashford crossed to Pogba who hit a stunning right footed volley from centre of box into the centre of the goal, it took a slight deflection off a Burnley player, but Pogba and United didn’t care, were they heading top of the Premier League?

After 82 minutes, Martial’s right footed shot from centre of box blocked.

With five minutes remaining, Brownhill’s right footed shot from outside box was close but missed to the left.

Then a minute later, Tarkowski’s header from left side of box missed to the left.  Then a minute later, Vydra’s righted shot from centre of box blocked.

After 90+1 minutes, Tarkowski’s left footed shot from centre of box blocked.

After 90+3 minutes, Martial right footed shot from centre of goal saved.

In the final minute of stoppage time, Vydra’s right footed shot from left side of box high and wide.

Fulltime score:  Burnley 0-1 Manchester United

An impressive ground out 1-0 away win for Manchester United at Turf Moor which saw them go top of the Premier League after 17 games for the first time since 2013, and 3 points clear of Liverpool.

Highlights of this game are below:

Next up for Manchester United is one of the standout fixtures of any Premier League season as they go to Anfield to face Liverpool, knowing they go there 3 points clear of Liverpool, should be a cracker.

It will be played on Sunday 17th January 2021.

Crawley Town v Leeds United FA Cup 3rd Round Sunday 10th January 2021

This was FA Cup 3rd Round weekend, one of the best weekends on the football calendar as it provides shock results.

This was a clash between League 2 Crawley Town and Premier League Leeds United, and the fact it was on BBC TV meant they thought there was a chance of an upset. Marcelo Bielsa did put a strong team out, so would they show their Premier League quality and have a decent FA Cup run, or would it be another embarrassing exit?

It was played at the People’s Pension Stadium.

Reference for photo: https://www.facebook.com/LeedsUnited/photos

After 1 minute, Powell’s shot from 20 yards out was wide.

After 6 minutes Alioski put too much on a pass to Poveda who couldn’t keep the ball in.

Two minutes later Poveda cut inside onto his left foot, swung a cross in that Rodrigo tried to convert on the stretch but it just evaded him.

After 13 minutes Nichols tried his luck from distance, but a block took the sting out of it and Casilla comfortably collected.

A minute later, there was a nice sweeping attack from Leeds as Rodrigo was found in space on the edge of the box. His blocked effort fell to Hernandez who shifted inside onto his left foot to get a shot away, but it was high and wide.

Then Poveda escaped down the left and drilled an effort across goal from a tight angle and Morris did well to make a save with his foot at near post.

After 20 minutes, there was a four pass move by Leeds which released Alioski down the left, but his final ball was poor as his cross towards Rodrigo was intercepted.

Three minutes later, Hernandez’s ball threatened to find Shackleton through on goal at the end of a multi-pass move, but too much on the pass.

Just before the half hour , Leeds counter attacked and Hernandez floated a ball out to Costa at the back post and he sent a first time ball into the middle where Rodrigo looked to be tugged back by Craig. There were penalty appeals but nothing given.

Just after the half hour mark, Matthews scampered away on the counter, he looked to have slipped Tsaroulla through on goal with a perfectly-weighted pass inside the Leeds centre back and fullback, but the offside flag ended the move.

After 38 minutes, Rodrigo swivelled on receipt of the ball on edge of the box and got a left-footed drive away but it flashed wide.

Two minutes later, Nadesan bursted behind the Leeds defence but his shot was blocked.

Then the last meaningful first half action was Nichols rose highest from a corner, but Casilla saved off the line.

Halftime score:  Crawley Town 0-0 Leeds United

So it was a decent first half with both teams creating chances, but it was a level game which meant the possibility of a cup shock was still on the cards.

Before the 2nd half, Bielsa made 3 subs and took both of his defenders off so would this help or hinder Leeds?

After 50 minutes, Hernandez shot high and wide.  Then the first big moment as Tsaroulla picked up a knockdown 40 yards from goal, wriggled past 3 Leeds defenders and arrowed a left footed shot across Casilla to put Crawley Town ahead, was the upset on?

Three minutes later, things got even better for Crawley as Leeds tried to play out from the back, but Crawley broke it up and Nichols played in Nadesan , who pulled away from Casey before beating Casilla at the near post from a tight angle, and the upset was REALLY on now.

After 58 minutes Shackleton lobbed the ball across the 6 yard box but Costa couldn’t quite reach it.

On the hour mark, Dallison rifled a volley goalwards and he whacked it into Casey and out for a corner.

After 63 minutes, Costa drilled an effort at goal, but the shot was blocked.

With twenty minutes remaining Matthews whipped in the wide freekick, Nadesan fired the 2nd ball at goal, was saved by Casilla but Tunnicliffe slammed it home , and incredibly, unbelievably it was League 2 Crawley Town 3-0 Premier League Leeds United , surely no coming back from this for Leeds today, but Crawley deserved it.

With 12 minutes left, things could have got even worse for Leeds as Nichols hooked a hopeful pass forwards, Casey made a mess of it under pressure from Watters who skipped past Casilla who was miles out of his goal, took it too wide and Casey blocked it.

After 83 minutes, Raphinha did a left footed shot but was high and wide.

Fulltime score: Crawley Town 3-0 Leeds United

So a poor, poor afternoon for Leeds United as they suffered another humiliating FA Cup defeat to a lower league side.

Leeds fans who have supported them longer than me, have seen more humiliating cup exits than this for example Histon United 10 years ago, or more recently Sutton and Newport.

It means the end of any hopes of a cup run for Leeds which is annoying, as they’re going fairly well in the Premier League, but at the end of the day Crawley Town deserved it, and they’re in the hat for the 4th and 5th round draws on Monday 11th January 2021.

The Radio Leeds commentator for Leeds United said on his Twitter: “Humiliating cup exit again after an horrendous 2nd half when 3 subs were made with Leeds in control of game if not the scoreline. The starting XI were experienced enough to win that but terrible mistakes contribute to a dreadful performance”.

Highlights of this embarrassing cup exit for Leeds United are below:

Next up for Leeds United is a Premier League game at Elland Road against Brighton at 3pm on Saturday 16th January 2021, Leeds surely can do better than this?

Manchester United v Watford FA Cup 3rd Round Saturday 9th January 2021

This was the start of a big week for Manchester United and it started with an FA Cup 3rd round clash with Championship Watford.

Would United stroll through or would it be a scrappy night?

It was played at Old Trafford.

After 4 minutes, a driven run by James who ran at Watford defence , before testing Bachmann with a stinging drive, the keeper turned the ball over for a corner. From the corner, McTominay rose highest to bounce his header into ground and then into top right hand corner to give United an early lead.

Three minutes later, quick passing from United and Greenwood was released into the box but he got his shot from tight angle all wrong.

After 13 minutes, Mata’s shot was blocked by Masina on edge of box.

Two minutes later, more important blocks in Watford box to prevent a 2nd United goal from Greenwood.  Hughes flicked a freekick on into the box for Masina to latch onto, and Tuanzebe cleared it off the line.

After 19 minutes Mata’s curler deflected for a corner, from the corner it was guided goalwards by unmarked Bailly, but his header was inches past far post.

Just before the half hour, Sarr showed his pace to get free to the right byline, but he tried to find the net from an impossible angle.

Just after the half hour, a Watford corner was swung in from the left, United failed to clear their lines, the ball bounced up and struck Bailly on the hand, however VAR checked but no penalty.

3 minutes later, Chalobah drove a shot past the left hand post.

After 41 minutes, Telles’ low drive from the left edge of the box was saved by Watford keeper.

The last chance before halftime was Van de Beek  did a gorgeous backheel sent Mata through on goal, but Bachmann saved from close range.

Halftime score:  Manchester United 1-0 Watford

So it was a good start by United for first 15-20 minutes but allowed Watford back into it, so what would the 2nd half bring?

Two minutes into the second half, Pedro shot over from edge of the box.

Two minutes later, James’ shot was tame.

On the hour mark, Mata found Greenwood on the edge of the box and Greenwood shot straight at Bachmann.

With 15 minutes remaining, Gray’s near post header was just off target.

With 10 minutes left, Rashford bursted past Wilmot and he or his shot away, but Bachmann saved.

With five minutes left, Hungbo’s shot deflected wide of the far post.

In stoppage time, Mata struck a freekick , but the ball sailed high and wide.

Fulltime score: Manchester United 1-0 Watford

So not a great performance from United, but in the cup it’s about the result not the performance.

They’re into the 4th round draw which takes place on Monday 11th January 2021 so I’ll let you know who United get drawn against.

Man United got drawn against arch rivals Liverpool in the 4th round and in the 5th round, the winners will play Stockport/West Ham or Donny Rovers.

Highlights of this game are below:

Next up in this big week for Man United is an away trip to Burnley at Turf Moor on Tuesday night which is Man United’s game in hand and if they win that, they will go top of the Premier League.

Manchester United v Manchester City Carabao Cup Semi-final Wednesday 6th January 2021

This was the 2nd semi-final of this season’s Carabao Cup and it was a Manchester Derby.

When these two met in the league in mid-December it was a poor game, surely this one would be better with a place in a cup final at stake? Could United get past their semi-final hoodoo?

Before the game, there was a minute’s applause for former Man City midfielder Colin Bell who died aged 92 on Tuesday.

It was played at Old Trafford.

After 2 minutes, Martial flicked onto Rashford whose shot was saved, keeper clearance bounced to Stones and into the net, but Rashford was offside.

After 5 minutes, Gundogan scored for City but was offside.

4 minutes later, Fernandes’ right footed curled shot from outside the box was saved by Steffen for a corner which came to nothing.

After 12 minutes, De Bruyne’s shot for City hit the post.

After 25 minutes, Rashford’s right footed shot from right side of box  blocked by Dias. Foden scored but was miles offside.

Two minutes later, Pogba’s shot was blocked. From the corner, Maguire glanced a header just beyond Martial and Lindelof.

Just after the half hour mark, Fred’s through ball was very nearly latched onto by Rashford.

Three minutes later, Martial picked McTominay out who shot over the bar.

Two minutes later, Fernandinho played a great ball which De Bruyne left for Sterling , who cut inside but he ran into Shaw.

The last meaningful first half action was Pogba whipping  across in from the right which Stones stooped to chest, the ball bounced and might have hit his arm, there were half appeals for a penalty but nothing was given.

Halftime score: Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City

So there may not have been any goals in the first half, but it was a much better game than the league meeting was, would there be goals in the 2nd half or were we set for extra time?

Four minutes into the 2nd half, and we had a breakthrough as Foden’s freekick went all the way through to Stones who scored with his thigh, to give City the advantage in this semi-final, could United turn it round?

Three minutes later, Cancelo shot just over the bar.

After 57 minutes, Foden crossed to Sterling whose header was saved by Henderson, the corner came to nothing.  Cancelo then crossed to Foden who couldn’t quite stretch far enough.

Just before the hour mark, Martial had an attempt from right side of the 6 yard box was close, but missed to the right.

After 62 minutes, Mahrez’s shot was saved by Henderson, the corner came to nothing.

Two minutes later, Maguire’s header from centre of box too high. A minute later, Fernandes’ right footed shot from outside the box was saved.

After 72 minutes, Fernandes had a half volley attempt from the centre of box but it went high and wide, but was close.

With ten minutes remaining, Fernandes had another attempt from outside the box but was too high.

With seven minutes remaining, Fernadinho had a right footed shot from outside the box which was a good strike and it went into the net, Henderson didn’t even dive for it.

Fulltime score: Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City

So another disappointment in a semi-final for United, it’s the 4th semi-final they’ve got to under Solskjaer and the 4th they’ve lost, they can’t quite seem to get past the semi-final stage.

Highlights of this semi-final are below:

Next up for Man United is the start of a big week for them as on Saturday night they face Watford in the FA Cup 3rd round at Old Trafford with an 8pm kickoff.

Tottenham Hotspur v Leeds United Premier League Saturday 2nd January 2020

This was Leeds’ first game of 2021 and the last of a busy festive period for all teams, Leeds had won their last 2 games so could they make it 3 out of 3?

It would be a tough assignment against Tottenham, even though Tottenham had only won one of their last 5 games before this one.

It was played at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Reference for picture:  https://www.techradar.com/au/news/tottenham-hotspurs-new-stadium-is-the-most-tech-friendly-yet

After 4 minutes, Son got the ball just to the right of the box, but he was crowded out.   At the other end, Alioski got forward for Leeds and was played in by a flowing move, but he shot into the side netting.

Four minutes later, Harrison whipped a cross in towards the far post, which was only just over Raphinha’s head.

Two minutes later, Alioski slipped the ball through to Harrison but his cross was blocked, the ball fell to Klich but he shot over the bar.

After 17 minutes, Son’s heavy touch on the left teed Kane up, but he blasted over from a tight angle.

Five minutes later, Raphinha did a brilliant cross from the right, Bamford met it but it was a little bit high for him and he headed over the bar.

After 27 minutes, Meslier kicked straight to Winks who played Bergwijn on the edge of area which caught Alioski out who went into the back of him.  VAR checked it and agreed and the penalty was awarded. Kane converted the penalty down the middle, and he’s now scored against all 30 Premier League teams he’s faced.

Just after the half hour mark, Son’s freekick was kept alive by Hojbjerg who found Alderweireld whose shot was blocked, then Kane finessed the rebound wide from a tight angle.

After 36 minutes,  Dallas’ poor header gave Davies a chance to attack and his low cross found Bergwijn who turned Alioski but lashed over.

Two minutes later, Alioski’s low cross caught Dier on his heels behind Bamford but Dier did enough to block it.

After 42 minutes, a Leeds move ended with Harrison dinking a left footed curler over Lloris, but onto the top of the bar as well.

A minute later, Kane strode away from Phillips and into the right touchline , looked up and spotted Son’s run in between the  2 Leeds centre backs, Kane put a stunning low cross in from deep which was inch perfect to meet Son who slotted it past Mesier at the near post, to score his 100th Spurs goal.

The last action before halftime was another Spurs chance for Ndombele who rode three challenges inside the Leeds box before finding Davies who lashed wide.

Halftime score: Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Leeds United

So a first half with plenty of chances for both teams, Spurs more clinical than Leeds and could have added a third before halftime, what would the 2nd half bring?

After 49 minutes, Ndombele cannoned a rocket of a shot from edge of area, which nearly went right through Meslier, who juggled it wide for a corner.

From that corner, Alderweireld flicked header goalwards which went over the line to put Spurs in command.

After 53 minutes, Kane’s left footed shot went into the side netting.

After 58 minutes, Harrison almost got away twice, but Spurs defenders saw him off.

Just after the hour mark, Son found Bergwijn with a great pass and his first touch took the ball away from the defender, and Meslier made great save.

After 66 minutes, Leeds lost the ball again and Kane from a near impossible angle rattled a shot which Meslier saved.

With twenty minutes remaining, Dallas and Poveda got into a dangerous area, but the cross was cut out.

After 73 minutes, Kane tried an audacious effort as he shot from inside his own half , driving the ball beautifully but it ended up 2 yards over the bar.

The last meaningful action wasn’t really too meaningful as the game was won, but Doherty did a late tackle on Hernandez and he got sent off.

Fulltime score: Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Leeds United

So a disappointing afternoon for Leeds, but perhaps not too surprising given they were playing a top team.  They ended the weekend in 12th place after the other results on 23 points still 12 points above the bottom three.

Highlights of this game are below:

Next up for Leeds is an away trip to Crawley Town in the FA Cup 3rd Round on Sunday 10th January live on BBC One with a 1:30pm kickoff.

Manchester United v Aston Villa Premier League Friday 1st January 2021

This was the 2nd Premier League game of 2021, and Man United and Aston Villa’s first of 2021 on New Year’s Day.

The incentive for United was to make it three successive home wins and go level on points with Liverpool, the incentive for Villa was to go 3rd with a win.

How would this game go would it be exciting?   Before kickoff, there was a minutes silence to remember former United and Villa manager Tommy Docherty who died this week aged 92.

It was played at Old Trafford.

After two minutes, Fernandes shot saved by Martinez.

After 10 minutes, Martial cut onto his right foot on edge of penalty area and unleashed a powerful shot but Martinez tipped over the bar for a corner, and from the corner Maguire’s header saved.

After 14 minutes, McGinn’s volley was travelling towards the bottom corner, but De Gea saved.

Two minutes later, Wan-Bissaka pulled a cross towards Pogba on edge of penalty area, Pogba left it for Fred who sent it narrowly over the bar.

After 36 minutes, Fernandes whipped a shot towards top corner, but just too high.

The last meaningful first half action was  a great United move which started with Pogba backheeling to Rashford who sent Wan-Bissaka down the right, and his excellent cross found Martial who beat 2 Villa defenders to stoop his header past Martinez.

Halftime score: Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa

It was a good first half with both teams creating chances, but it was United who were ahead.  What would the 2nd half bring?

After 51 minutes, McGinn freed Cash down the right and Cash shot just over.

Two minutes later, Grealish crossed to Watkins whose close range header was tipped over by De Gea.

Just before the hour mark, Grealish found Traore superbly at the back post, and Traore slotted neatly past De Gea and Aston Villa deservedly level, given the way the 2nd half started.

Just after the hour mark, Pogba was brought down by Luiz in the penalty area and the penalty was awarded by the referee, VAR had a check and agreed with it.  Fernandes found the bottom left hand corner, and United were ahead again.

After 67 minutes, Wan-Bissaka did really well to prevent El Ghazi meeting a cross at the back post.

After 71 minutes, Martial unleashed a stinging shot which was parried by Martinez.

Three minutes, Pogba shot inches wide of the Villa goal, at the other end Watkins header was straight at De Gea.

 Two minutes later, Rashford shot from edge of box which brushed the crossbar. A minute later, Fernandes’ right footed shot from outside the box was tipped over superbly by Martinez.

After 82 minutes Grealish crossed from freekick and Mings headed just wide.

In stoppage time, Grealish teed Cash up for powerful strike which forced De Gea into a great save.

Fulltime score:  Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa

It was a good game of football, both teams could have scored more goals.

But Man United won and are second in the league but level on points with Liverpool on 33 points at the top of the Premier League. It’s also been announced that Man United’s game in hand on Liverpool is against Burnley and this will be played on Tuesday 12th January.

Highlights from this game are below:

Next up for United is the Carabao Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Wednesday 6th January 2021 for a place in the Carabao Cup final can United go one better than last season when they lost in 3 semi finals?

Manchester United v Wolves Premier League Tuesday 29th December 2020

This was Manchester United’s final game of 2020, and a win would take them 2nd behind Liverpool, so could United make it back to back home wins for the first time in a while?

It was played at Old Trafford.

After two minutes, Telles crossed but cleared by Saiss.

After six minutes, Fernandes and Rashford almost pulled off a neat 1-2 in the box, but a decent start by United.

Two minutes later, Vitinha saw Traore running in behind a high united line but he got the pass wrong.

After 10 minutes, Rashford lost the ball inside Wolves half, Traore slipped past a couple of defenders , fed Neto on the left, but he shot straight at De Gea.

Two minutes later, another Wolves effort from Vitinha but he shot straight at De Gea.

Another Wolves effort two minutes later, as Traore squared it and Neves shot from edge of area, and his fierce shot was batted away by De Gea.

Then a couple of minutes later, intricate build-up by United, Ferandes found Greenwood Fernandes got it back and played Cavani in, who attempted a flick to Greenwood but didn’t come off.

After 24 minutes, Moutinho’s deep freekick from the right was headed goalwards by Saiss with a lopping header and although De Gea probably had it covered the ball bounce doff top of the bar and out for a goalkick.

Three minutes later, Rashford got past Hoever on the left, turned on the by-line and tried to cut it back to Greenwood but it was cut out.

Mattic curled a beautiful ball for Vsacani in the box, but it went inches over his head nd just beyond Fernandes at far post.

After 35 minutes, Greenwood curled it in from the right and found Fernandes at back post, he flicked it goalwards and it was blocked by Patricio who put pressure on Cavani who tried to bundle in the rebound but skewed it.

After 39 minutes, Neto delivered a freekick low and Saiss got a flick on it at the near post, but De Gea saved and it went for a corner.

The last first half action  was Rashford was in behind on the left, he played Fernandes in on overlap and he got to the byline , but flashed a cross across the face of goal was Cavania  few yards behind it. At the other end, Neto looked for Traore who would have been through on goal, but Bailly intercepted.

Halftime score:  Manchester United 0-0 Wolves

So a first half short on chances and Wolves probably edged it, could United step it up in the 2nd half?

After  the hour mark, Podence got away on the left , he tried to pick Neto out but Bailly was in the way. Hoever drove into a gap before setting Traore up, and he lifted it towards the post but too high for Moutinho.

After 69 minutes a corner went into box, Bailly header towards Cavani who finished well but he was offside, there was a possible handball by Coady on its way to Cavani, VAR checked but no penalty.

After 71 minutes, Saiss header from a corner was tipped over by De Gea but Saiss was offside.

After 75 minutes Pogba’s effort saved easily.

Two minutes later, Pogba passed to Rashford who eventually passed to Martial who blasted miles over.

After 79 minutes, a brilliant long ball fot Rashford whose first touch was superb, he steadied himself and shot but blocked.

With five minutes remaining, Fernandes shot towards goal, but excellently blocked by Coady.

After 90+3 minutes, there was a late late winner for Manchester United as Fernandes played a ball over the top for Rashfoird to chase , he cut inside and he teased defenders before gaining a yard to shoot and he hit it cleanly but it took a huge deflection off Saiss which caught Patricio out at the enar psot. Harsh on Wolves, but delight for Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fulltime score:  Manchester United 1-0 Wolves

So not a great performance by United, but they dug in and kept going to the end which is in their DNA and found a way to win.

Manchester United end 2020 2nd in the Premier League on 30 points just 2 behind Liverpool.

Highlights of this game are below:

Next up for Man United is their first game of 2021 at Old Trafford against an in-form Aston Villa on New Year’s Day night with an 8pm kickoff, assuming that the Premier League doesn’t take a 2 week “circuit break” due to a rise in positive Covid cases in the Premier League on Tuesday.  The clubs are discussing it but the Premier League are determined that the show must go on.