Crystal Palace v Manchester United Premier League Wednesday 3rd March 2021

This was the second of three big games this week for Man United.

It was 13th placed Crystal Palace playing in red and blue against 2nd placed Manchester United playing in a white zebra shirt.

Crystal Palace had beaten  United earlier in the season, but they’d never beaten them at home or done the double over them for years. So the question was: Could United reduce the gap to 12 points going into the Manchester derby at the weekend or at least put it a performance that makes United fans thin they could win at the weekend?

Keep reading to find out the final result.

It was played at Selhurst Park on a foggy night.

After seven minutes, a poor clearance from Maguire and Townsend crossed for Benteke who volleyed over.

After 13 minutes, the first real United attack as there was good buildup  which ended with Matic shooting from outside the area, it was deflected for a corner which came no nothing, although Maguire’s header was blocked by Rashford then Cavani shot over.

Three minutes later, there was a brilliant United move as there was a 1-2 between Fernandes and Shaw,  Fernandes then passed  to Rashford who took a good first touch but shot just wide, better from United.

At the midway point of the first half  United were patient in their buildup again which ended with Greenwood’s left footed shot from outside the area deflecting for a corner which came to nothing.

After 27 minutes, Cavani’s header from the centre of the box was high and wide. The last meaningful first half action was after 43 minutes as Wan-Bissaka crossed brilliantly towards Cavani but it was cleared by Ward.

Halftime score: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United

A really poor first half from both teams really, neither keeper were worked enough, could either team step it up in the 2nd half?

After 50 minutes, Ayew’s powerful right footed sot from outside the area saved by Henderson

Just before the hour mark, there was a dangerous freekick for Palace just outside the United area, Milivojevic hit the top of the wall and the ball fell to Townsend whose left footed shot went wide

With 12 minutes remaining, James had a header for United but it went deflected for a corner which came to nothing.

Three minutes later, this was the closest United came to scoring all night as Greenwood  had a left footed shot outside the box but it was just too high.

After 88 minutes, Shaw a shot but was nowhere near the net.

In the last minute of normal time, Palace could have won it as Van Aanholt was in on goal, but his shot was saved by Henderson.

Fulltime score: Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester United

A really, really poor performance all round from United, they couldn’t string  two passes together ,  they had no urgency, no desire to go and win the game.

Two more dropped points for United who remain in 2nd but only just on 51 points and 14 points behind Man City.

I do genuinely fear for United that they could get absolutely battered on Sunday against Manchester City unless they work hard on the training pitch, just based on the last couple of performances.

Gary Neville at the end of the game said to Sky Sports “United were well off it , boring to watch.  They let games drift too often. They could be in a battle for a top four place if they’re not careful.

Here’s a clip of exactly what he said: https://www.skysports.com/watch/video/sports/12235229/neville-utd-were-boring-to-watch

Highlights or lowlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beoAa-3sDRo

Next up for Man United is the Manchester Derby against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 7th March 2021 with a 4:30pm kickoff.  

I could be in a very very  angry or sad mood  and it could be a painful report to write or  United could surprise me who knows?

Chelsea v Manchester United Premier League Sunday 28th February 2021

Yet another clash between two  big teams in the Premier League, and matches when the big teams clash have been disappointing this season, would this be the same or would we get some excitement or controversy?

It was also the start of a big week for Man United with 3 away games:  Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Manchester City, the question is how big would the gap between City and United be going into the derby next weekend?

It was a big game for both teams as it was Chelsea in 5th against United in 2nd.  Chelsea needed a win to close the gap on the top 4, United needed the win to try put some pressure on City.

Keep reading to the end to find out the final result.

It was played at Stamford Bridge

Controversial moment

After 14 minutes, United had a dangerous free-kick outside the Chelsea area, Rashford struck it powerfully but Mendy parried it away. There was then a battle between Greenwood and Hudson-Odoi, there was an appeal from Chelsea players for handball against Greenwood.

The game went on for a couple of minutes, then at the other end Ziyech’s left footed shot was saved in the centre of the goal. Then the VAR advised the referee to go over to the monitor to have a look at the handball incident for himself.  He had a couple of looks with Chelsea players surrounding him and the decision was no penalty.

After 22 minutes, Mount switched the ball to Hudson-Odoi on the right , he laid it off to Azpilicueta, his block was blocked and it fell to Hudson-Odoi who thumped a shot dangerously wide of the far post.

A couple of minutes later, Fred laid the ball off to Rashford who played a 1-2 with Fernandes on the edge of the box and carried his run on into the area. Fernandes tried to chip it over but overcooked the pass.

Just after the half hour,  there was a poor clearance from De Gea which went straight to Giroud, who rushed his shot from range when he had time and space but it went miles over.

After 37 minutes, Rudiger got away from Dan James, picked out Hudson-Odoi with a lovely diagonal pass, he crossed it in early and Giroud was inches away with a diving header, he crashed into the post.

There were a couple more United chances before halftime, but they were both blocked.

Halftime score:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United

So a poor first half which only really had one talking point, the no penalty.  Would the 2nd half improve?

After 48 minutes, good run by Chilwell, he crossed to Ziyech who’s shot was saved well by De Gea, then Reece James’ shot was blocked.

On the hour mark, United won the ball back deep in Chelsea half, nice passing and Greenwood’s left footed shot just went wide.  In the same minute,  McTominay then had a shot for United which was well saved by Mendy as he had players in his eyeline.

After 67 minutes, good buildup by United which ended with Fred shooting from just outside the box and it only just went agonisingly wide, that would have been a rare goal for Fred.

With six minute of normal time remaining, Werner’s shot straight at De Gea.

In stoppage time at the end of the game, there were a couple more Chelsea chances and a chance for United as Fred shot from range, but his shot was parried away to safety by Mendy.

Fulltime score:  Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United

So a game of few chances ended in stalemate, another game between the traditional “Big six” this season ended goalless. The only talking point really was the one I mentioned at halftime about the no penalty given to United.

Here’s some snippets of quotes from the pundits at the end of the game, and also from Shaw and Solskjaer at the United end:

Souness: “I think they’re both worried about coming together , their arms have come up and I don’t see it as a penalty”

Keane:  “People complain United get too many penalties”,  but they get into the opposition penalty area more than their opponents, so they probably are going to get more penalties”

Shaw:  “ I don’t know why they stopped it if it wasn’t  a pen”.  He also said he heard the ref say to Maguire “ If I say it’s a pen, then it’s going to cause a lot of talk afterwards”

You can watch what Solskjaer said in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9Y-_x_Wgn4

So, the result meant United stayed in 2nd on 50 points, but a massive 12 points behind Man City with only 12 games to go, for Chelsea they stayed in 5th on 44 points, just outside the top 4.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87k1g1yVUkw

Next up for Man United they have another game in London as they go to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park with an 8:15pm kickoff on Wednesday 3rd March 2021. United could be kicking off 13 or 15 points behind Man City.

Leeds United v Aston Villa Premier League Saturday 27th February 2021

This was another home game for Leeds United against Aston Villa, four days after Leeds comfortably beat Southampton.

Leeds were playing in white against Aston Villa who were playing in black.

Leeds started in 10th and Aston Villa started in 8th, so who would win this game and cement their top half place? Could Leeds do the double over Villa?

Keep reading to find out the result and any controversial moments.

It was played at Elland Road and the 4th game with Leeds’ new surface and the previous three have resulted in players slipping and sliding all over the place, would the same happen here?

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

Inside the opening 25 seconds, Leeds were straight on the attack as  Bamford got into the Villa box and shot but as he shot he slipped and it inadvertently turned into a cross with Raphinha nearly getting on the end of it.

1st goal of the game

After 5 minutes, Watkins crossed for El Ghazi but Watkins slipped while crossing as well, and El Ghazi was there to slot in calmly after a good first touch.  There was a VAR check for a possible offside, but El Ghazi wasn’t. 

Five minutes later, Raphinha’s right footed shot from outside the box was blocked, the ball broke to Roberts whose shot was saved by Martinez.

After 13 minutes El Ghazi shot from outside the box with his left foot, but his shot was tipped over by Meslier for a corner. The first corner was headed away by Bamford, the 2nd corner came to nothing.

Six minutes later, there was nice interplay in the box by Leeds which saw Raphinha picked out and he laid the ball off to Dallas who shot wide.

At the midway point of the first half, Raphinha turned McGinn inside and out with a wonderful, waltzing run into the box, Villa scrambled it behind for a corner, from the corner Llorente headed straight at Martinez.

Three minutes later, another chance for El Ghazi as he was found on the edge of the box and his shot just went past the post. Then at the other end, Roberts was found really well by Llorente  near  the Villa box, but he snatched his effort well over.

With 34 minutes gone, Raphinha played a nice ball into Ayling’s feet, but Ayling lost his footing while shooting and his shot went harmlessly wide.

In the same minute, Raphinha received the ball on the edge of the box with his back to goal, he dug out a brilliant pass towards the near post, which would have been a tap-in for Bamford, but Bamford just started his run too late.

After 38 minutes, Leeds corner was pulled back to Costa whose left footed shot was blocked.

Flashpoint

After 44 minutes, Watkins caught Llorente late, the defender made a meal of it, Watkins tried to help Llorente up and Llorente squared up to Watkins.

Halftime score:  Leeds United 0-1 Aston Villa

So a flat first half by Leeds, whether it was down to the pitch or missing Phillips I don’t know, but they’ve been missing Phillips for a few games now.   Could Leeds turn it round in the 2nd half?

After 47 minutes, Traore’s freekick was whipped in from the left towards Konsa, but Leeds got there before him.

Eight minutes later, Raphinha looked to drift inside ElMohamady to reach Cooper’s  long ball but Elmohamady positioned himself perfectly to cover the run.

After 66 minutes, El Ghazi’s freekick was crossed in and Mings headed towards goal,  it came off a Leeds head for a corner which came to nothing.

Two minutes later, El Ghazi exploited space behind Ayling, he was through 1 on 1 with Llorente, but instead of curling his shot to the far corner, he smashed his shot off target.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Hernandez’s shot was deflected behind for a corner, but from the corner, Klich blazed woefully over.

After 85 minutes, Bamford’s header from the centre of the box was blocked

The last meaningful action of the game came after 89 minutes as Harrison did well to power forward towards the edge of the box, he chipped an inviting ball to the back post, Raphinha got his close-range header all wrong.

Fulltime score:  Leeds United 0-1 Aston Villa

So a flat, uninspiring performance from Leeds as they failed to score for the 6th time in the Premier League this season.

As for Villa, they defended well.

It means Leeds stayed in 10th place on 35 points, and Aston Villa stayed 8th on 39 points, however after the other results across the weekend, Leeds dropped a place to 11th on 35 points and Villa also dropped a place to 9th on 39 points, but Leeds are doing OK in their 1st season back in the Premier League.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2JplCg_Zhk

Also if you want to read the link about the reverse fixture which was  a happier occasion for Leeds, here’s that link: https://danssportsblogweb.wordpress.com/2020/10/28/aston-villa-v-leeds-united-premier-league-friday-23rd-october-2020/

Next up for Leeds is another trip to the capital this time to face West Ham at the London Stadium. They have a bit of time to prepare for that one and may get a couple of players back as it’s not until Monday 8th March at 8pm.

Will Leeds’ hoodoo of not winning in London continue or will it finally end at West Ham?

Manchester United v Real Sociedad Europa League Thursday 25th February 2021

This game was in Manchester and it was Manchester United in red v Real Sociedad in black.

This was the 2nd leg of a 2 legged tie, and the first leg went in favour of United by 4 goals to 0.

So would we see United take their foot off the pedal slightly or could Sociedad put up a fight.

Keep reading to find out.

It was played at Old Trafford.

After only two minutes, good move through midfield by United, Martial was found on the left of the box and curled onto his right foot but his shot was blocked.

After 11 minutes, Lindelof look for Martial in the box, but Zubeldia covered superbly.

Just a couple of minutes later, Bailly lofted a great ball into the box for Fernandes, who timed his run perfectly. With the ball coming over his shoulder, it was a difficult technique and his weak effort straight into the keeper’s hand.

Penalty to Real Sociedad

Two minutes later, James got the wrong side of Oyarzabal just inside the box, and tripped him, the penalty was awarded to Sociedad.  Oyarzabal stepped up and sent his penalty high and wide of the goal.

After 17 minutes, Oyarzabal crossed the ball across the face of goal, but a great touch from Lindelof diverted it wide with Isak lurking.

On the twenty minute mark, Fernandes’ shot deflected wide off what looked like Martial, he ref gave a corner as he thought it came off a Sociedad man.  Fernandes took a short corner, Telles gave it back to him, Fernandes crossed from deep, Lindelof got a head up but Munoz cleared.

At the midway point of the half, the first real effort from United as Martial had a go from the left of the box at a slight angle with his right foot on the turn, but Remiro was behind it and parried it away.

A couple of minutes later, Fred made a run into the box, was found by Greenwood, Fred went round Remiro at an angle, gave the ball to Fernandes just inside the box, he looked to curl the ball back into the far corner, from 18 yards out with the keeper stranded and defenders back on the line and it came off the bar. United and Fernandes unlucky there.

Just before the half hour Oyarzabal ran at Wan-Bissaka , who only cleared as far as Merino, but his effort was blocked by Matic and Telles got this body between Henderson and Januzaj to allow Henderson to gather.

After 34 minutes, Januzaj slipped Isak in down the left of the box, and his cross/shot easily saved by Henderson.

The last meaningful first half action came after 38 minutes as James got up really well between 2 Sociedad defenders to head towards goal , but Remiro pushed it away well.

Halftime score: Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad

A first half with chances for both teams, a missed penalty and a cracking effort off the bar, what would the 2nd half bring?

After 49 minutes, from a free-kick Rashford completely wrong-footed Remiro but the ball dropped just inches wide of the right hand post. A minute later, Sociedad hit the bar as Sagnan got a header towards goal, 6 yards out but it came off the bar.

Four minutes later, Greenwood’s snapshot from 20 yards, keeper was behind it well. Then, as Tuanzebe freed Greenwood in the box, he shot into side netting of the near-post from an angle.

1st goal for United (5-0 on aggregate) or was it?

With 27 minutes remaining, United took the lead as Tuanzebe scored his 1st seniuor Man United goal. He hammered a header home from  a Telles corner, ahead of Merino  but there was a VAR check. Lindelof jumped before Tuanzebe actually jumped so high that he caught the head of Jon with his knee, the ref went over to the screen and overturned the decision.No goal for United, Tuanzebe was gutted.

After 68 minutes, Martial received the ball 30 yards out, took a few touches onto his right, struck it fiercely and Remiro tipped it over.

With twenty minutes remaining, Rashford turned on his right foot and curled a beautiful ball for Williams at the far post, but just bounced over his head.

After 76 minutes, 17 year old Shola Shoretire replaced Greenwood to become Manchester United’s youngest ever player to come on in a European game.

With five minutes remaining, Merquelanz latched onto a ball over the top, cut inside on his left and got a shot away which Henderson gathered at the 2nd attempt.

The last meaningful action came after 87 minutes as an intricate attack down the left by United ended with Matic driving into the box, he drilled a low ball into Martial, he was beaten to it by Zubeldia.

Fulltime score: Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad

So a goalless night but the job was already done for United after the first leg.

They were in the draw for the last 16 on Friday 26th February and they got drawn against AC Milan.

Highlights of the game at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clmHNDcQi88

Next for Man United is a trip to the capital to face an improving Chelsea under new boss Thomas Tuchel with a 4 :30pm kickoff on Sunday 28th February 2021

Leeds United v Southampton Premier League Tuesday 23rd February 2021

This was a rearranged  game as on the date it was originally due to be played on January 20th, Southampton themselves had a rearranged FA Cup tie.

So who would win this one, it was 12th placed Leeds v 14th placed Southampton. Leeds suffered back to back defeats,  Southampton one point from their last 8 games.

Keep reading to find out the result and any controversial moments.

It was played at Elland Road.

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

After three minutes, there was a give and go between Bamford and Roberts, Bamford tried to pass back to Roberts in the area but too much pace on the ball from Bamford.

Two minutes later, first chance for Southampton as Ward-Prowse’s freekick was on the money and Vestergaard mistimed his header.

Three minutes later, brilliant solo run from Tella, he left Cooper in his wake and had plenty of space on the edge of the area, but curled his effort straight at Meslier.

Just after the midway point of the first half, Ayling passed to Raphinha who got to the byline, slowed himself down, pulled the ball back to Roberts who blasted ove.

Three minutes later, Raphinha’s freekick was clipped to Llorente who headed down to Cooper whose volley was tipped over by McCarthy and the corner came to nothing.

Just before the half hour mark, Vestergaard’s ball over the top and Bertrand got in behind Leeds, and he was through on goal, his shot saved by Meslier but Bertrand handled it on hso way through.

Southampton penalty or was it?

The first big moment of the game came just after the half hour, as Tella ran into the box, Llorente fouled him and Tella went over, the referee awarded the penalty for Southampton. VAR looked at it, and asked the referee to go over to the monitor to look for himself, he decided to overturn his decision so no penalty awarded to Southampton.

After 39 minutes, a brilliant forward pass from Dallas to Raphinha who was through on goal, but Romeu got back and made a brilliant tackle.

Another big moment and controversial moment

On the stroke of halftime, a controversial moment as Southampton thought they’d caught Leeds cold. Ward-Prowse took  a quick freekick, passed to Adams who scored, but the referee disallowed it as he said the players didn’t wait until he blew his whistle to take the freekick. You may have to watch the highlights on the highlights link to make your minds up about this one.

Halftime score: Leeds United 0-0 Southampton

 So it was an action packed first half which included a penalty claim and a goal ruled out for quick play.

Who would get the upper hand in the 2nd half and win this game?

1st goal for Leeds

After 47 minutes, Leeds took the lead with a good goal. Roberts from just past the halfway line passed a inch perfect ball to Bamford who timed his run to latch ontot he ball, took a touch to get into the box, and rolled a precise finish past McCarthy for his 13th league goal of the season.

Andy Hinchcliffe on commentary said “He kept himself onside and it’s a composed finish

After 49 minutes, Southampton went straight down the other end and almost equalised, Armstrong looked to catch Meslier out at the near post, but Meslier made a superb one handed save low down. Then a minute later, Raphinha found Roberts on the edge of the box , he opened his body up but sidefooted his first time finish the wrong side of the post.

After 53 minutes, another Leeds chance as Dallas went on a weaving run, then found Bamford inside the area but h shot straight at McCarthy this time

After 60 minutes, good play by Leeds as Raphinha got to the byline, pulled it back for Llorente whose shot was saved by MCCarthy’s legs.

Five minutes later, Vestergaard met Ward-prowse’s corner, headed it down goalwards but Bamford was there to hack it off the line, then Salisu had a go from range but couldn’t keep the shot down.

After 72 minutes, Ward-Prowse shot straight at Meslier who then gave the ball away and eventually Ings’ shot went over.

2nd Leeds goal

With just over 10 minutes remaining, Leeds scored their 2nd goal as Costa broke forward on the counter-attack, he ignored Rpahinha’s run but space opend up for a pass to Dallas on the edge of the box , Dallas stretched and toe-poked it in.

After 82 minutes, Adams tried to convert a cross off his chest, but Meslier gathered on the line.

3rd Leeds goal

With six minutes remaining, Leeds counter-attacked again, but Costa was tripped by Djenepo for a Leeds free-kick. Raphinha stepped up and curled the freekick past the wall and into the corner, McCarthy got a slight hand on it bt couldn’t keep it out,, a awesome goal to wrap the points up for Leeds.

After 87 minutes, Raphinha who had run Southampton ragged got in behind again and found the run of Costa on the edge of the box but his shot blazed over.

In the 1st minute of stoppage time, there still time for one more Leeds attack but Hernandez laced his volley wide.

Fulltime score: Leeds United 3-0 Southampton

First half was poor for Leeds, second half they were awesome and all three goals were good in different ways. It’s a confidence boosting win for Leeds.

They went into the top half of the table again with this win and are 10th on 35 points

Highlights of this game at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP-8E9Vqd5g

Next up for Leeds is another home game against Aston Villa on Saturday 27th February at 5:30pm.

Manchester United v Newcastle United Premier League Sunday 21st February 2021

This was a big game at both ends of the Premier League table. It was Manchester United who were 3rd after wins for Leicester and Man City earlier in the day on Sunday against Newcastle United who were 17th only three points above the relegation zone.

So who would get the crucial 3 points in this one on this Sunday evening, would Man United go back 2nd or would Newcastle move clear of the bottom 3?

Keep reading to find out.

It was played at Old Trafford.

After three minutes, nice interplay from Rashford and Martial with Martial racing into the box, but Krafth and Lascelles got the ball behind for a goalkick.

Two minutes later, Almiron laid the ball off for Joelinton but Maguire stood his ground to squeeze the space out, as Joelinton lost his footing. Moments later, a long throw led to Maguire nudging the ball behind for a corner. From the corner, Willock laid it short to Shelvey who skied his cross to force a punch over from De Gea, then Joelinton forced a really good save by De Gea.

After 10 minutes, sloppy again from Man United as De Gea’s poor clearance under pressure from Almiron led to Joelinton setting Shelvey up for a first time right footed shot from outside the box, but  he couldn’t get his effort to dip down on target.  Sloppy start from Man United, could they wake up?

After a quarter of an hour, another Newcastle chance as Lascelles launched a freekick towards Saint-Maximim but Man United cleared their lines.  Newcastle came again as Almiron got in behind, but De Gea was there to cut out the cross.

Just a few minutes later, Saint-Maximin cut inside and spotted the run of Shelvey but he couldn’t pick him out with the cross.

A couple of minutes later, Man United played on the counter attack as James was sent on his way down the left, looked up but there wasn’t enough red shirts in the box and his cross was gathered at the 2nd attempt by Darlow.

Just before the half hour mark, Almiron collected the ball from distance and fancied his chances as he shot from 25 yards out but De Gea gathered.

1st goal for Man United

After half an hour, Manchester United against the run of play went ahead as Maguire passed to Rashford who nutmegged Krafth to get away down the left. He came back inside Krafth and then reversed his right footed shot low and with venom into the near post.

After 34 minutes, Saint-Maximin rifled a drive from 20 odd yards out and De Gea made a fine save.

Newcastle  equaliser

Just a couple of minutes later,  Newcastle were deservedly level after a poor clearance by Maguire and Saint-Maximin met it on the bounce and sidefooted it high and hard into the roof of the net on the angle.

After 41 minutes, Fred shot with his left  foot from outside the box but it was straight at Darlow.

Halftime score:  Manchester United 1-1 Newcastle United

So a sloppy first half from Man United who may have been tired from European exertions on Thursday, but that’s no excuse for putting in a poor 1st half against a team who’s near the bottom, could Man United step it up in the 2nd half and push for the win?

After 47 minutes,  Almiron scrapped away and won the ball twice,  Shelvey shot with his right foot from a mile out and he only whipped it halfway up the Stretford End.

A couple of minutes later, Saint-Maximin danced away from James and took on Wan-Bissaka but Wan-Bissaka did a better job of defending and saw him out.

Then, Saint-Maximin collected a half cleared ball again and whacked it hard and low, but De Gea saved it.

2nd Man United goal

After 57 minutes, Manchester United went back in front against the run of play again, as Matic found himself on the edge of the area, he squared it to Fernandes who couldn’t get there but on the stretch he managed to touch it on to James, Darlow flew out at him, but James cracked a shot in at the near post, would this finally spark Man United into life?.

A minute later, Martial beat his man sharply to get into the box and hit a swerving, stinging shot that Darlow turned away.

After 64 minutes, Rashford’s curled shot from range was straight at Darlow.

After 72 minutes, Fernandes fluck on a corner and it very nearly drifted in at the far post.

Penalty and 3rd goal  for Man  United

With 15 remaining remaining, Matic found Rashford who dummied to shoot and was tripped by Willock who lost his footing as he made the challenge, penalty awarded to Man United. On the highlights it looked like Rashford did dive.

Fernandes stepped up and steered the penalty into the net in routine fashion, surely this would wrap the points up for Man United.

A minute later, Greenwood curled an effort narrowly wide, then Fred charged through a gap and shanked his effort off target.

With 8 minutes remaining, James had another run into the area, and his shot was deflected narrowly over.  Shaw’s corner picked Maguire out at the far post and his header was pushed over by Darlow.

The last meaningful action of the game was after 86 minutes as Shaw galloped up on the overlap and cut back another good cross that Greenwood couldn’t steer on target.

Fulltime score:  Manchester United 3-1 Newcastle United

So not the best performance from Man United, but they won which is the important thing, but Newcastle were good for an hour.

It means Man United go back upto 2nd in the Premier League on 49 points ten behind Man City who they play in a couple of weeks, they need to try and stay at least 10 or 7 points behind before the derby on 7th March.

Highlights of this game at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=636qVsBXyb0

Next up for Manchester United is their 2nd leg of the Europa League last 32 against Real Sociedad where they already have a 4-0 advantage from the 1st leg.  It’s on Thursday night at 8pm and it’s at Old Trafford I think.

Wolves v Leeds United Premier League Friday 19th February 2021

This was back to back away games for Leeds and this one was 12th placed Wolves v 11th placed Leeds. Wolves were just starting to get momentum back after their weekend win last week,  and Leeds have yet to be doubled against a team who beat them in the reverse fixture, would that continue on this Friday night against Wolves? Another game without Phillips for Leeds, so would they struggle again?

It was played at Molineux.

Read to the end to find out the final score.

After four minutes, there was a driving run by Roberts, who passed to Bamford whose shot was blocked for a corner which came to nothing.

Seven minutes later, there was a curled shot by Neto from outside the box which was saved superbly by Meslier, from the corner nothing came.

After 19 minutes,  Neto had  a left footed shot from outside the box which was saved in the centre of the goal.

Two minutes later,  Leeds   had a chance from a  freekick as Raphinha crossed it in which was met by Cooper but it was a tame effort straight at Patricio.

Just before the half hour, another Leeds chance as Klich’s cross skewed off his foot and nearly caught Patricio out at the near post, the ball cannoned off the post, and from the rebound Struijk’s half volley was cleared off the line.

Just after the half hour mark, Moutinho’s shot went way over the bar from way out.

After 35 minutes, Meslier rushed out to narrow what was an already tight angle to stop Semedo.

The last meaningful action of the first half, was a loose header by Neves and Raphinha’s shot was deflected and dribbled agonisingly beyond Roberts who was sliding in at the far post.

Halftime score:  Wolves 0-0 Leeds United

So it was a end to end first half, with a couple of close efforts, who would take the game by the scruff of the neck and get in front in the 2nd half to perhaps win it?

After 51 minutes, Neves had a pop from range for Wolves but it was way over.

A couple of minutes later, another Wolves chance as Neto drove forward down the right, Jose was free in the middle but Neto couldn’t find him, he dithered before shooting off target.

Then at the other end, Leeds had a chance as Ayling  crossed  deliciously which Coady headed behind with Bamford lurking.

Just before the hour mark, Raphinha’s corner found Roberts who volleyed at goal but it was blocked by his team mate Bamford.

After 63 minutes, Raphinha’s wide freekick crossed in and Cooper again headed straight at Patricio.

1st goal

In the same minute, Wolves went in front and it was a fortunate goal to say the least as Traore drove forward before unleashing a thunderous strike from range, the ball flew off the crossbar, and it bounced off Meslier’s back and rolled in. Meslier was unlucky, but Leeds were behind but they didn’t deserve to be.

After 68 minutes, Raphinha’s freekick was crossed in and Cooper was first to the ball and his volleyed effort at the back post was saved by Patricio.

Disallowed goal

With 13 minutes to go, Leeds thought they’d equalised but Bamford was offside, VAR had a quick look and confirmed Bamford was offside.

After 85 minutes, Moutinho’s shot went over from range.

After 90 minutes, Silva fired a shot just wide on the counter for Wolves.

In the last minute of stoppage time, Costa was through on goal for Leeds, but Patricio made a stunning save, then another great save as Patricio tipped behind a Raphinha header.

Fulltime score:  Wolves 1-0 Leeds United

So a frustrating night for Leeds as they didn’t deserve to be on the end of a defeat, and it was a fortunate goal for Wolves. Wolves also become the 1st team to do the double over Leeds this season.

It means Leeds drop to 12th  place on 32 points, but theyre still doing OK this season.

Highlights of this game at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Sx9tb1-g1Y

Next up for Leeds is a home game against Southampton which was rearranged from the original date as Southampton were in FA Cup action, so it’s being played on Tuesday evening at Elland Road at 6pm.

Real Sociedad v Manchester United Europa League Last 32 first leg Thursday 18th February 2021

This was a return to European action for Man  United, but not the competition they wanted to be in, but the Europa League presents a decent opportunity of silverware this season for United.

They were up against a team who were fifth in La Liga in Real Sociedad who had a couple of familiar players to United.

Would United get a decent first leg lead to bring back to Old Trafford with them?

Keep reading to find out.

It was the first leg of a two legged tie, and it was played at the Juventus Stadium in Turin.

After two minutes, Bailly was disposed by Isak who shifted the ball to Januzaj who opened his body and his shot whistled inches wide.

A minute later, United had their 1st chance as Rashford as through on goal, he brought the ball under control to fire past Remiro, but Remiro stuck out a leg to deny Rashford.  Then Bailly gifted the ball to Isak whose quick feet opened up a shot at goal, he tried to catch Henderson out at the near post, but Henderson was alert and tipped it behind for a corner which came to nothing.

After a quarter of a hour, Fernandes fluck the ball into the path of McTominay who drove into the box in search of a goal, he got his shot away under pressure from Silva, which Remiro saved with his feet, but McTominay wanted a penalty, but the ref said no.

Three minutes later, a wonderful counter attack from United saw Fernandes dart down the left, he selflessly squared to Rashford , who only had  the keeper to beat, but his shot was straight at the keepers legs, before Fernandes’ rebounded header was hacked off the line.

At the midway point of the first half, Isak bulldozed his way intot he Utd half before taking on Maguire and Bailly. He drove into a gap and looked like he’d beaten them for Pace, but a poor touch gave Maguire the chance to ease it back to Henderson.

1st goal for United

Three minutes later, United took the lead as Zubeldia, Le Normand and Remiro all attacked Rashford’s  brilliant lofted ball to Fernandes, they all collided with each other in the area, which gifted the ball to Fernandes who had the simple task of stroking the ball into the net for a crucial away goal for United.

After 33 minutes, Lovely play by Oyarzabal who picked the ball up on the right, drifted across the edge of the box and he found Januzaj who made a hash of his cross and it went harmlessly out of play.

The last meaningful first half action came after 38 minutes as Isak bundles his way intot he United area and sent a teasing ball across the face of goal, Monreal was lurking ready to tap it in, but Greenwood had tracked back to clear.

Halftime score:  Real Sociedad 0-1 Manchester United

So a first half that was entertaining, chances for both teams, but it was United ahead crucially with the away goal, what would the 2nd half bring?

After 47 minutes the ball fell loose to Le Normand in midfield. And he went for the spectacular with a long range strike, he struck it so sweetly but Henderson watched it all the way.

Two minutes later, Oyarzabal sent a beauty of a ball in from the left, Isak stretched to poke it in from 6 yards, but he was beaten by Maguire on the stretch.

2nd United goal

After 56 minutes, Fernandes had the ball in the net for a 2nd time.  VAR looked at and the goal stood. Rashford  fired a ball upto Fernandes which he dummied into Jmaes’ path, before latching onto the the return pass. The ball looked to be behind Fernandes but he dug out a beautiful curled finish into the bottom corner, there was a massive shout for offside but VAR ruled in Fernandes’ favour.

3rd United goal

9 minutes later, it was 3 for United as one of their trademark counter attacks was started from the back as Henderson picked out Fred who slotted Rashford into acres of space down the left wing. Rashford opened his body up and stroked the ball into bottom corner, surely it was tie over in the first leg?

After 68 minutes, Greenwood squared to James who fired it in off the post, but VAR confirmed Greenwood was offside.

With twenty minutes to go,  Telles’ corner crossed from the right, Maguire met it sending a forceful header on target, but he’d fouled a Sociedad player so wouldn’t have counted anyway.

After 73 minutes, Greenwood did a brilliant stepover to skip past Illarramedi in the Sociedad area, before drawing Remiro into a save low down at his near post.

With ten minutes remaining, Maguire’s great ball from the back found Greenwood whose 1st time ball released Fernandes.  Fernandes didn’t have the legs to race through on goal, but James was there in support , Fernandes found James who had the keeper to beat, but he saved his shot with his legs.

Two minutes later, United committed players forward as James, Martial and Greenwood all had touches on edge of the box. The ball worked its way to Greenwood who showed more nice footwork, but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

4th United goal

After 90 minutes, United made it 4-0 as James darted down the right wing, and  with no passing options he went for goal from the tightest of angles, Jmaes’ shot nutmegged Remiro in the Sociedad goal before nestling into the far corner.

In the 5th and final minute of stoppage time, Mata had a pop from the edge of the area, but Remiro was alert to save sharply at his near post.

Fulltime score:  Real Sociedad 0-4 Manchester United

So a comfortable and comprehensive win for United away from home, and they scored some goals as well which helps.

The 2nd leg of this tie is next Thursday 25th February at Old Trafford, but United are virtually thrugh anyway.

Highlights of the game at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ob1U6X8v8w

Next for Man United is a home game in the Premier League against Newcastle United with a 7pm kickoff on Sunday 21st February.  United could be 13 points behind Man City when they kickoff. Personally I think the title is gone, and United need to focus on finishing in the top 4

Arsenal v Leeds United Premier League Sunday 14th January 2021

This game was another game in the capital for Leeds, and their record in the capital isn’t great they’ve not won a game in London under Bielsa,  would that change against an improving Arsenal team?   It was 11th place Arsenal against 10th place Leeds.

Both had the chance to go into the top half with victory, so who would come out on top and how would Leeds do without Phillips?

It was played at the Emirates Stadium.

Read to the end to find out the final score.

Ref for picture: https://www.google.com/search?q=emirates+stadium+night

In the first few minutes Arsenal had a couple of chances but they were either blocked or wide of the goal.

The first Leeds chance came after 12 minutes as Harrison crossed towards Bamford whose header was straight at Leno.

1st  goal

Then a minute later, Arsenal took the lead as Aubameyang did a couple of stepovers and squeezed a shot into the bottom corner.

After 25 minutes, Raphinha passed to Harrison whose shot was straight at Leno.

Three minutes later, another Arsenal chance as Luiz got to the byline , he passed to Aubameyang but Ayling blocked his shot superbly for a corner, which came to nothing.

Just after the half hour mark, Saka did a run, Cooper fouled him and the referee awarded a Arsenal penalty, but the referee got told by the VAR to go over to the monitor and he decided to overturn his penalty decision, a letoff for Leeds.

Penalty to Arsenal and 2nd goal

Six minutes later, Meslier made a howler as he tried to do some fancy stuff with his feet, Saka chased him down and Meslier fouled him, this time the penalty was awarded and not overturned and Aubameyang scored confidently into the left corner. Could Leeds get to halftime only 2 down?

3rd Arsenal goal

The answer was No as with a minute of the first half to go, Arsenal were toying with Leeds and Bellerin’s shot went past Meslier at the near post.

Halftime score:  Arsenal 3-0 Leeds United

So the Leeds defence and keeper had a nightmare first half, what could they do 2nd half? All of Arsenal’s goals were too easy.

4th Arsenal goal

After 47 minutes, another Arsenal goal as Smith Rowe crossed for Aubameyang to head in for his hat-trick, and Arsenal were 4-0 up, could Leeds avoid a thrashing?

1st Leeds goal

57 minutes in and Leeds had a corner, the corner was met by Struijk who headed into the net, just a consolation or the start of an amazing comeback?

2nd Leeds goal

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Leeds scored their 2nd of the game as Roberts crossed to Costa who finished calmly, the comeback couldn’t happen could it?

After  75 minutes, Aubameyang crashed an effort against the bar.

With seven minutes remaining, another Arsenal chance as good buildup from Arsenal ended with Saka hitting the post.

Two minutes later, good play by Leeds and Ayling got to the byline and crossed towards Bamford whose shot was blocked.

Fulltime score: Arsenal 4-2 Leeds United

So another disappointing visit to the capital for Leeds but they left themselves too much to do, going in at halftime 3-0 down.

It means Leeds remain in 11th in the Premier League.

Highlights of this game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jk0LbCdebIM

Next up for Leeds United is another away trip this time to the Midlands to face Wolves on Friday 19th February with a 8pm kickoff.

West Brom v Manchester United Premier League Sunday 14th February 2021

This was a clash between 2nd bottom West Brom and 3rd place Manchester United, so would it be a tricky afternoon again for United? Gary Neville in the commentary box for Sky Sports said “This has all the ingredients of a tricky afternoon for Manchester United”

It was a big game for United after wins for both Leicester and Man City on Saturday, so could United go 2nd and try a put a bit of pressure on City?

Keep reading to the end to find out the final result.

It was played at The Hawthorns

1st goal

After only 90 seconds it was the perfect start for West Brom as Gallagher crossed and Diagne bullied Lindelof and sent his header past De Gea and into the net, would this shake United into action?

After seven minutes, good buildup from United ended with a tame shot from Fred.

Just past the midway point of the first half Rashford did a brilliant cross which just went over Cavani’s head and Martial shot wide.

Four minutes later, Townsend cross and Snodgrass’s header was tipped over by De Gea for a corner which came to nothing.

United equaliser

United levelled with a great goal after 44 minutes. Maguire burst forward, passed to Shaw who went to the byline and his cross was met majestically by Fernandes who turned and hooked the ball into the net.  Another brilliant goal by United’s talisman.

In the 2nd minute of first half stoppage time, West Brom had three corners in a row, then Maitland-Niles’ cross straight to a United man who started a counter attack but unfortunately the ref blew for halftime.

Halftime score: West Brom 1-1 Manchester United

So it was a half which United started poorly , but they gradually grew into the game.

Could United press on in the 2nd half and get a winner, which would be crucial?

After 54 minutes after a better start to the 2nd half from United, West Brom attacked and Pereira shot just wide of De Gea’s net.

Four minutes later, Fernandes’ shot deflected off McTominay and into Johnstone’s hands.

United penalty overturned

Just past the hour mark, Fernandes freekick was crossed in, Maguire went down, the referee gave a penalty. The referee was told to go to the monitor and have another look and he decided to overturn the penalty.

With twenty minutes left, 2 United chances as Greenwood’s shot was saved by Jphnstone, which was followed by a shot by McTominay which was cleared off the line by Furlong.

With fifteen minutes to go, a mistake by Maguire allowed Diagne the chance to shoot, but his shot was saved by De Gea who then punched the ball away.

After 85 minutes, United freekick in a dangerous area, but instead of shooting Fernandes crossed but Maguire fouled the West Brom defender.

With three minutes remaining, another West Brom chance as Diagne slipped  but he was leaning back and he shot over the bar

In the final minute of stoppage time, Maguire’s header was saved onto the post by Johnstone, big chance for United to win it.

Fulltime score:  West Brom 1-1 Manchester United

So a frustrating afternoon for Man United again as they dropped yet more points.

If they had aspirations of challenging for the title or at least making the title race more exciting , they had to beat West Brom, it just means less pressure on Man City.  But after the game, Solskjaer said United won’t give the title race away this early, but we’ll see.

United did go upto 2nd on goal difference but are now 7 points adrift with City who have  a game in hand as well.

Highlights of the game are at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm-bJVlVR4c

Next up for Man United is Thursday night Europa League football against Real Sociedad in the last 32 with a 5:55pm in Turin.