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Red Devils 2017-2018


He was a dead man walking when Mou came. The gaffer expects nothing less supreme fitness on the part of his players and Shaw was always going to struggle. I'm certain with a change of environment and attitude, he'll be a very good left back and he showed that when LVG was in charge.

Seriously, it doesn't matter who we buy as Mou will readily throw a player under the bus if he doesn't live up to the manager's expectation. I reckon Martial will likely ask to leave this summer.

I would go along with Mou where fitness is concerned but his tactics are stifling to say the least. Creativity is close to zero, tactics predictable and it's so bloody painful to watch 90 mins of anti football.:(


Alfrescian (Inf)
How tonight? Can hope for draw away to noisy neighbours? o_O

Victory would see Manchester City clinch the title but boss Pep Guardiola may be tempted to rest players ahead of Tuesday's game against Liverpool.

City will monitor Sergio Aguero's knee injury, and even if he is fit they may prefer to save him for the Champions League quarter-final second leg.

Manchester United's only absentee is injured goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

Fit-again defenders Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have trained all week and are in contention.

Daley Blind returned to full training on Friday following an ankle injury but is unlikely to be involved.

Nemanja Matic was the sole defensive midfielder to start last weekend's win against Swansea, and manager Jose Mourinho must decide whether to field a similarly attacking line-up at the Etihad Stadium.

Ander Herrera or Scott McTominay could be recalled if Mourinho opts for a more pragmatic approach against the runaway league leaders.

Guy Mowbray: "It could be a famous day for City, but their defeat at Anfield this week has flattened the build-up a little for me.

"How does Pep Guardiola play it now? Still set on a 'weakened team' before next week's second leg against Liverpool, or go all out to give the fans what they really desire by getting the job done in this of all games?

"I wonder if it has changed Jose Mourinho's usual mindset too? Liverpool have now twice beaten City with performances based on pressing, pace and attacking flair. Surely for this one he has to "let the horses run free"?

"For all the questions, there's one certainty. City will be champions."

Twitter: @Guymowbray

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: "We have three massive games, United, Liverpool and Tottenham. We have just a few days between each game.

"We have to see the condition of the players. We'll pick a team to win the game against United... we have one eye on Tuesday though.

"I'd rather be facing United with a better result than we had [in midweek]. We must adapt, though. The result against United will help emotionally to prepare for the game on Tuesday."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on potentially delaying Manchester City's title celebrations: "My motivation is to finish second. Mathematically [the] top four [is] not done. That is first objective. After that I don't hide.

"In practical terms second, third, fourth is the same because we don't win the title but we qualify for the Champions League group phase. But I prefer to finish second."

I don't see this game going to plan for Pep Guardiola. I am expecting United to be very awkward, and they are capable of nicking a goal as well as being rigid and hard to break down at the back.

Prediction: 1-1
Lawro's full predictions v comedian Russell Howard



  • United have lost eight of the last 13 league Manchester derbies, as many as in the previous 49 encounters.
  • However, the Red Devils are unbeaten in their last two league visits to the Etihad (W1, D1), keeping a clean sheet in both games.
  • Jose Mourinho has beaten Pep Guardiola just once in seven league meetings (D2, L4). His Real Madrid side were 2-1 winners at Guardiola's Barcelona in April 2012.
  • Guardiola has won nine of 20 games against Mourinho-managed sides (D7, L4) in all competitions.
Manchester City
  • Victory would see Pep Guardiola's side clinch the title with more games to spare than any other side in English top-flight history.
  • It would be the earliest in the calendar year a team has become top-flight champions since the same day in 1956, when Sir Matt Busby's Manchester United beat nearest challengers Blackpool 2-1 to clinch the title.
  • City are chasing a fifth top-flight title, and their third in seven seasons.
  • They could win 28 top-flight games in a single season for only the second time in their history - the previous occasion was the famous 3-2 victory against QPR on the final day of the 2011-12 campaign.
  • City are unbeaten in their last 27 home league games (W22, D5), winning the last 14 in a row.
  • Only twice before have teams recorded longer winning home runs in the Premier League - City themselves registered 20 victories in a row between March 2011 and March 2012 while Manchester United claimed 19 straight wins from October 2010 to October 2011.
  • Pep Guardiola's side could keep consecutive Premier League clean sheets at home for the first time since September (in 5-0 wins against both Liverpool and Crystal Palace).
  • Sergio Aguero, who has 199 goals for City, has scored six goals in his last six Premier League appearances against Manchester United.
Manchester United
  • United have won their last four league games, their best run since a six-game streak from December 2016 to January 2017.
  • The Red Devils have only won one of their last 10 away league games against fellow 'big six' sides (D3, L6), with that win coming at Arsenal in December. They have failed to score on eight occasions duing this run.
  • Romelu Lukaku has scored in each of his last three games for Manchester United in all competitions.
  • Lukaku has netted five goals in 33 Premier League away games against the 'big six', with two of those goals scored at Etihad Stadium (both for Everton).
SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 1-0 Probability of draw: 24%
Probability of home win: 56% Probability of away win: 20%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.


Alfrescian (Inf)
The mother of comebacks, and story of 2 halves! :cool::smile: MC was rampant, and we really looked pedestrian at HT. Cronies and I were disgusted, and tempted to throw in the towel for zzzzz. Thank goodness, Pogba brought in our cheers with 2 early goals in 3 mins after HT. Not only our red pride, but also not give title to MC on our watch :p

Good review by Phil McNulty/BBC here


Paul Pogba (right) and Chris Smalling scored the goals in an astonishing Manchester United fightback

Manchester City must wait to secure the Premier League title after Manchester United mounted a remarkable second-half derby fightback to come from two goals down to win at Etihad Stadium.

City needed victory to be confirmed as champions but Paul Pogba scored two goals in two minutes to overturn City's first-half lead before Chris Smalling's volley completed the dramatic turnaround.

Pep Guardiola's side had delivered a first-half masterclass with captain Vincent Kompany scoring with a thumping header after 25 minutes and Ilkay Gudogan adding a second five minutes later after a clever turn and finish.

Outclassed United remained in contention after Raheem Sterling skied two golden chances over the bar with the goal at his mercy and Gundogan headed straight at keeper David de Gea when unmarked eight yards out.

It gave United hope and how Jose Mourinho's team responded as Pogba - out of sorts at Old Trafford recently and at the centre of claims by Guardiola before the game that he had been offered to City in January - stole in to pull a goal back after 53 minutes and head the equaliser two minutes later.

The remarkable turnaround was complete when Smalling, badly at fault for Kompany's goal, arrived unmarked to steer Alexis Sanchez's free-kick past the exposed Ederson in the 69th minute.

In a furious finale, players from both sides clashed and Ashley Young was fortunate that his wild lunge on City substitute Sergio Aguero in the area was ignored by referee Martin Atkinson.

De Gea made a world-class one-handed save from Aguero as City attacked furiously - but United held out and Guardiola's title party must wait for another day.

City will win the title next weekend if they beat Tottenham at Wembley on the Saturday (19:45 BST kick-off) and United lose at home to bottom club West Brom on Sunday (16:00).

City collapse puts title party on hold
When Gundogan turned sweetly and poked a right-foot finish beyond De Gea after half an hour, the champagne was being placed on ice by Manchester City's supporters - and on the evidence up to that point no-one could blame them.

City were tearing United's fragile defence apart and Gundogan's goal was a fitting return for domination that had already brought them the lead through Kompany's header.

It was hard to see how the visitors, so passive and pedestrian, could do anything other than mount a damage-limitation exercise before City's title celebrations got under way.

And then came what proved to be the decisive passage of play when Sterling sent two easy chances wildly over the top and Gundogan provided a tame headed finish to another great opportunity.

It left the door ajar for United - and they burst through it once manager Jose Mourinho had delivered his half-time message.

When Pogba slipped through eight minutes after the interval to beat Ederson and give United hope, the defensive demons that put the skids under City in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at Liverpool on Wednesday surfaced once more.

Nicolas Otamendi, so solid and improved before that 3-0 loss, lost Pogba in the area as he headed home to restore parity in the space of two minutes, and City's defenders were once again caught off-guard when Smalling was left totally unmarked to turn in Alexis Sanchez's free-kick after 69 minutes.

City were stunned - flaws exposed. Pep Guardiola's side conceded three in 19 minutes at Anfield and three in 16 minutes here. Lightning had struck twice in the space of four days.

It was only the brilliance of De Gea, with a world-class save from substitute Aguero, that stopped City rescuing the respectability of a point - but there was a serious sense of anti-climax around the Etihad at the final whistle.

City felt they were on the wrong end of several decisions from referee Martin Atkinson, particularly when Young clearly followed through on Aguero in the area in the second half, but they only have themselves to blame after the failure to take those first half chances and that second-half defensive collapse.

Indeed, one City supporter - and not a child either - was in tears in his seat in the stand. He will cheer up when the title formalities are complete, but this was a bitter pill to swallow for Guardiola, his team and their fans.

Vincent Kompany scored his first Premier League goal since last May
Pogba raises game to lift United
Pogba's first-half performance aroused comment for two reasons - the manner in which he was outmanoeuvred in midfield and a hair colour that looked suspiciously like an unwitting title tribute to Manchester City with its flashes of blue.

The man Guardiola claimed was offered to Manchester Cityin January was as off the pace as his team-mates and social media would not have made pleasant reading for the France playmaker.

But how it all turned in the space of two minutes early in the second half as the tall, long-striding Pogba flipped the game on its head and opened up the possibility of a United victory that seemed light years away at half-time.

And what resolve Mourinho's side showed to dig their way out of the hole they found themselves in after 45 minutes, stirring themselves for a comeback that will at least give them pride that they did not allow City to have their title celebration at their expense.

True, they rode their luck as Young somehow escaped punishment for that reckless challenge on Aguero in the area, but they scrapped it out and relished the feisty later exchanges when City's discipline deserted them.

This will not stop City winning the title but it will give United a real sense of satisfaction in a season where they have been comprehensively overshadowed by their neighbours.

Can City pick themselves up for Champions League?
Liverpool, who come to the Etihad protecting that 3-0 lead in the Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday, will have watched events unfolding here with mixed emotions.

In the first half, City looked every inch a side with the capability to overturn that deficit as they dazzled in attack and left United chasing shadows in midfield.

In the second, they looked like a team who would be easy prey for Liverpool's goalscoring triumvirate of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and, if fit, Mohamed Salah.

City's performance was two-faced and Guardiola will know that just one piece of the frailty they have demonstrated in conceding six goals in their past two games will be fatal against the Reds' potent attack.

Guardiola will also know City must sustain the level of the first half for 90 minutes and eradicate the errors of the second or their Champions League campaign will be over.

Man of the match - Paul Pogba (Manchester United)


Paul Pogba spearheaded United's incredible second half fightback and in doing so scored his first goals since November

'Can we improve enough next season?'
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho speaking to Sky Sports:
"We moved the ball more than any team has against Manchester City. We pressed a bit higher and we kept the shape to get a good result.

"I think mathematically we need six points to stay in the top four and this win is part of that.

"Our challenge is to finish second but I want to congratulate City for the title - because they are going to win and deservedly. They gave no chance to the others because they had this season of not stopping winning.

"My objective here was to get points and not spoil any celebrations. The point is can we improve enough to catch them next season?"

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola speaking to BBC Sport: "To concede three goals against a very good team is tough.

"We were the team that conceded the least goals. United created four chances, which isn't too much. How many chances did we create? Much, much, more. But you have to put the ball in the net."

Guardiola hopes Man Utd defeat will not cause 'too much damage'

United's comeback kings - the best of the stats

  • City lost a Premier League game they were winning by a two-goal margin for the first time since October 2008.
  • United have won nine Premier League away games when trailing by at least two goals - four more than any other side in the competition.
  • This was the first time a side managed by Pep Guardiola has conceded at least three goals in consecutive games in all competitions, having lost 3-0 to Liverpool in the Champions League on Wednesday.
  • Guardiola lost a game in which his side was winning by a two-goal margin for the first time since December 2013, when his Bayern Munich side lost 3-2 to Manchester City.
  • Both Smalling and Pogba have won all nine Premier League games in which they have scored - only former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has a better 100% record in the competition (11/11).
  • There were just 97 seconds between Pogba's first and second goals.
  • United forward Alexis Sanchez has provided two assists in a Premier League game for only the second time, also doing so against Newcastle in December 2014.
  • Sanchez has had a hand in four goals in his past two Premier League games for Manchester United (one goal, three assists).
What's next?
Manchester City welcome Liverpool for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday (19:45 BST kick-off) before travelling to Wembley to take on Tottenham in the Premier league on Saturday (19:45).

Manchester United host bottom side West Brom to Old Trafford in the league next Sunday (16:00).

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We were very lucky at the Etihad but hey no complains here. All we need is a Seri and someone who can play on the right flank. A couple of replacements at the back and we're good to go.
Lindelof showed signs he could be turning the corner where his form is concern. Shaw is on his way out and dun be surprise to see big names leaving.
The players that have delivered this season are Lukaku, Matic and DG. The rest were a big letdown. They've been inconsistent throughout the season.:mad:


Guardiola and Mourinho have something in common. The latter loves to park a BOEING and the former plays only one way kamikaze style. Somewhere in between is the answer to the TREBLE.:smile:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Rest of April fixtures. Can makan WBA sun?!

Sunday 15th April 2018
Man Utd 16:00 West Brom

Wednesday 18th April 2018
Bournemouth 19:45 Man Utd

Saturday 21st April 2018

Man Utd 17:15 Tottenham

Sunday 29th April 2018

Man Utd 16:30 Arsenal


Mata tells Man Utd teammates: We must keep fighting

Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata denies the players are thinking about the summer break after defeat to West Brom.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat to West Brom at Old Trafford, the midfielder insisted the team will fight to progress past Tottenham Hotspur in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final next weekend...........

Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/artic...ust-keep-fighting-4227796#2RmBuW7VqryGcJkp.99

STFU Mata!!! You were one of the underwhelming players!!!


Mou is only marginally better than Moyes and he'll give LVG a run for his money for being the tactically clueless manager of all time in the Club's history.
PLEASE bring Phelan/Queiroz back next season!!!!!


LOL!!! A bunch of losers and they can't even beat a bottom dweller that has leaked bucket load of goals. I would have pelted them with rotten tomatoes. Sheesh!:mad:

red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
LOL!!! A bunch of losers and they can't even beat a bottom dweller that has leaked bucket load of goals. I would have pelted them with rotten tomatoes. Sheesh!:mad:
Nothing new. Even during Fergie times they lose to wolves who were occupying the cellar then. Reek of complacency.


WBA would have been happy with a draw. Just about every United fan knew they WBA was going to fortify the back line.The message Mou should have made from the start is to get an early goal. You need to get your wide players engaged,go to the by line and put in a decent cross into the six yard area or the perimeter for someone to shoot. None of this happened. Lingaard, probably the player with the best shooting technique was on the bench.

What United did was put in some high hopeful balls which the defenders cleared easily. It was deja vu ala Moyes style. To start Herrera who is essentially more defensive than attacking and Matic,a DM says alot about Mou's cautious approach. In short, the players do not have that desire to win, played without urgency (holiday football some might say) and the setup for attacking football just wasn't there.