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Red Devils 2017-2018

red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
Once again parking the bus at Anfield. Worst performance so far. Lukaku is virtually absent save for that saved shot.

Herrera lacked understanding with the teammates with missed passes. Matic did much of the running playing like Pogba. Choice of Young as right midfield is shocking. He totally lack understanding with his teammates and not able to chase any balls.

He is better off at left back. Mourinho should have place mata or lingard there from start. Marshal was well marshaled and did not have a good game.

It’s a derby and the most hated rival. We want to overwhelm them not grind to a stalemate. It is a bitter feeling when Man C is walloping teams at 7-2. This is the Man U style mot what we see at Anfield.


It was anti football from Mou, absolute disgrace from the start. The FA should dock points from the Old Trafford outfit and fine the Manager. We have hit new lows from that performance alone. It says a lot about Mourinho, the glory seeking manager-credit to him if they win and save the brickbats for others.
If Mou is planning a PSG move,he should leave in January 2018. No need to wait till the end of the season.


You can't fault any of the players as they've played according to instructions from Mou. Lukaku had no support throughout the 90 mins. Sad day for the club as I dun think any manager could have done worse.

IMHO, what is truly worrying is the current form of Henrikh. I didn't know he was on the field until his number came up for sub. He doesn't look like the player who can play with any consistency.:mad:


Man Utd boss Mourinho hits back at critics: Is it a crime to be good defensively?
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has said he feels as if good defending has become a crime after he side ground out a 1-0 away win over Benfica on Wednesday night.

The Portuguese has been criticised all week for his defensive tactics in United's 0-0 draw with Liverpool last Saturday.

Although the tactics were not as blatant, the win over Benfica was a dour affair, but Mourinho believes his side should be applauded for putting on another solid defensive display.

Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/artic...-good-defensively-4204125#ByDsYfpfH7axGPwE.99


Mou got his tactics right against Pool and Benfica. He simply doesn't appreciate enough the bitter rivalry between Pool and United. Ask any United fan and they'll tell you they'd rather beat Pool and lose the Benfica match.

The back 4 correctly played deep with the 4 midfield men. It disrupted Pool's quick transition game and lock out the space they need. The problem was United's counter which left Lukaku isolated with no support whatsoever. IMO, Rashford should have played as the lone striker. With his pace, it would have easily pin Pool's back 4. It would have created the space for a quick counter and score. Sigh.....:(


Alfrescian (Inf)
Koyak, kudos to Huddersfield for whipping our red ass :rolleyes:

BBC Sport

Aaron Mooy has now scored two Premier League goals

Huddersfield Town beat Manchester United for the first time in 65 years to end their unbeaten start to the season and drop Jose Mourinho's side five points behind league leaders Manchester City at the John Smith's Stadium.

United had only conceded twice in their eight league games this season, but that tally was doubled in five first-half minutes following two sloppy mistakes that were clinically punished.

Juan Mata gave the ball away to Aaron Mooy in midfield and after he fed Tom Ince, whose shot was saved by David de Gea, the Australian was first to the rebound to sweep home from 10 yards.

Then Swedish defender Victor Lindelof - on as a substitute for the injured Phil Jones and making just his second Premier League appearance - misjudged a goal kick by Jonas Lossl and Laurent Depoitre raced onto the loose ball to round De Gea and double the Terriers' lead.

Mourinho made a double substitution at half-time, bringing on Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and the former gave United hope with 12 minutes remaining when he nodded in a terrific cross from the otherwise quiet Romelu Lukaku.

But despite a nervy finale and with United enjoying almost 80% of possession, the Terriers clung on to record their first league win against United since 1952 and end a run of six league games without a victory.

With City beating Burnley 3-0, second-placed United lost ground on their neighbours and title rivals.

United's defence breached
United went into the game with seven clean sheets from their eight league games, with only two goals conceded.

No side in top-flight history had ever kept eight clean sheets in their first nine games of a season, but their attempt to make history was dealt an early blow when Jones injured his left leg after a tackle with Mooy.

The England centre-back slammed the ground in frustration as he knew his afternoon was over and he duly hobbled off on 23 minutes.

It meant United were now without both first-choice centre-backs given Eric Bailly is also on the sidelines, and Jones' replacement Lindelof did not cover himself in glory.

Despite starting all three Champions League games this season, the Swede's only previous Premier League experience had come in the final few minutes against Liverpool in last week's 0-0 draw.

United suddenly looked nervy with the £31m summer signing alongside Chris Smalling in the heart of the defence, something Lindelof demonstrated with his misjudgement of a routine long ball for Huddersfield's second.

United lacked intensity all over the pitch in fact, and Mourinho attempted to change that in the second-half by altering his formation, with Ander Herrera moving to the right of a back three and Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia used as wing-backs.

United did improve, but even so they still managed just three shots on target in the whole match, while Lukaku had a mere two touches in the Huddersfield penalty area.

Manchester United enjoyed 78% of possession in the match, and while their touchmap (right) compared to Huddersfield's (left) illustrated their superiority on the ball, it also demonstrated they did not have enough possession in dangerous areas of the pitch

Terriers' desire proves the key
Mourinho said afterwards the "team that wanted it more won", praising the Terriers' "emotion, aggression, intensity and desire".

The contrast between the two teams in terms of those qualities was notable, and David Wagner's team did not resemble the side that conceded four goals against Tottenham in their last home game.

Huddersfield were well organised throughout and enjoyed success in pressing United in the first-half, forcing two errors that they punished clinically.

Their energy and discipline limited United to just one shot on target in the first-half, an effort from Lukaku in the sixth minute.

And while United drove at them more in the second-half, the Terriers excelled in defence, with Rashford's goal the only blip in an otherwise sound defensive performance.

A sliding block by centre-back Mathias Jorgensen to stop Chris Smalling's shot in the 94th minute epitomised their spirit and application.

"Can't quite believe it," said the stadium announcer at half-time with the score 2-0, in what was a reminder of the club's long wait to get back to the top flight - and why sitting 10th in the league is a significant achievement for Wagner and his side.

Man of the match - Aaron Mooy

Australia midfielder Aaron Mooy was his team's driving force in attack and leader in defence. He made the most passes and crosses of any Huddersfield player and he regained possession seven times in the match. The 27-year-old also ran a game-high 13.04km.

What they said?
Jose Mourinho told BBC Sport: "The best team won. It's simple. I have to give them credit. They had a different attitude, motivation and desire than we had.

"Everyone at the stadium could feel in the first couple of minutes that one team was ready to give everything and the other was not ready for it. Maybe only my players realised at half-time.

"It's a shock and I am surprised. I have to analyse. I have some ideas, but this is not the moment for that. We say congratulations to the winners because they wanted it more than us."

Beating Man Utd a very special moment - Wagner
David Wagner told BBC Sport: "The players have shown everything that you have to show when you play Manchester United - the right spirit, attitude and togetherness.

I said before I can't expect a result, but I hope and believe in one. We scored at the right moment. We were at our best, even if we did change the gameplan and gave them more of the ball.

"The first hour was nearly perfect for us. How we defended, how we kept them away from our goal. The longer it went on, they put more pressure on us.

"We had bodies behind the ball, everyone fought to keep it out of the net. It's not only beating Manchester United, which is big enough, but also 12 points on the table."

Stats - Mourinho is not a comeback king

    • Mourinho has failed to win all 19 Premier League games in which his side have been two goals behind (drawn one, lost 18) - that draw coming against Newcastle in September 2015 when managing Chelsea.
    • This was only Mourinho's third defeat to a newly-promoted side in the Premier League (won 33, drawn four) - losing against Crystal Palace in 2013-14, and Bournemouth in 2015-16 when at Chelsea.
    • Three of the last six clubs in their debut Premier League season have beaten Manchester United at home - Burnley in 2009-10, Bournemouth in 2015-16 and Huddersfield in 2017-18.
    • Only Wayne Rooney (15) has scored more Premier League goals as a teenager for United than Marcus Rashford (13).
    • Lukaku has either scored or assisted in eight of his last 10 Premier League games (eight goals, two assists).
    • Lukaku has however failed to score in 18 of his last 25 Premier League games against newly-promoted teams.
    • Mooy has had a hand in 10 league goals for Huddersfield in 2017 (four goals, six assists - including the play-offs); four more than any other player.
What's next?
United travel to Swansea for a League Cup tie on Tuesday, before hosting Tottenham in the Premier League on Saturday.

Huddersfield are at Liverpool in the league on Saturday.


red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
Lindelof is squarely to blame for gifting both goals. Shocking defence. Once again jones is injured for the upteemed time. God knows how many months will that be. We r back at last year’s problem injury to defence.

Bailey could actually have made it to the subs bench. Total lack of ideas in attacking, taking too fucking long to pass a ball. Matic is hesitating before passing a ball where is the crisp quick tempo passing to unlock the defence ?

We definitely lack a fast nippy winger, marshal is turning into Nani - good in patches.

We should have started with an attacking formation w rashford and marshal and miki in middle.

5 points behind city with fresh injury. And lindelof looking a liability and Lukaku not imposing himself.

I think we should settle for second this season. Man city is rolling over everyone.


If Lindelof defend the way he did against Huddersfield, I fear the worse is yet to come.Amateurish and poor decision making by the Swede. Blaming him solely for the first goal error would not be fair as Mata was the culprit who lost the ball in the middle which led to the goal. An experience defender would have immediately gone for the ball or player.
The confidence deficit is telling. The Swede isn't the same player he was with Benfica.


Lindelof is squarely to blame for gifting both goals. Shocking defence. Once again jones is injured for the upteemed time. God knows how many months will that be. We r back at last year’s problem injury to defence.

Bailey could actually have made it to the subs bench. Total lack of ideas in attacking, taking too fucking long to pass a ball. Matic is hesitating before passing a ball where is the crisp quick tempo passing to unlock the defence ?

We definitely lack a fast nippy winger, marshal is turning into Nani - good in patches.

We should have started with an attacking formation w rashford and marshal and miki in middle.

5 points behind city with fresh injury. And lindelof looking a liability and Lukaku not imposing himself.

I think we should settle for second this season. Man city is rolling over everyone.
Someone has to give a solid arse kick on Martial and Henrikh. They were supposed to provide the spark but failed. The former is constantly looking to nutmeg defenders and rarely explore alternatives. Taking the ball to the byline is a rare sight which he frequently did b4 Mou.
As for Henrikh, something is amiss with this player He couldn't even make par for the last 4 games.
Why the sudden disruption to the free flowing ways? Fatigue? Nope, methinks it's has to do with tactics. The disguised lunatic changed it-play to instruction and it was evident in the Pool game. Players are not moving to create space, opportunity and provide the support that is needed.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Home to Spurs tomorrow early match, how?

JM has perfect 5 home victories against Spurs boss

Tottenham forward Harry Kane will miss Saturday's game against Manchester United because of a hamstring strain.

Victor Wanyama is their only other absentee, while summer signing Fernando Llorente could make his full Premier League debut for the club.

Manchester United defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have returned to full fitness and may be involved.

Ander Herrera and Marcus Rashford have overcome minor injuries but Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini remain out.

Jonathan Pearce: "This a real test to find a major challenger to Manchester City. United have history on their side. They've lost just twice against Spurs in the last 31 home meetings.

"They've also won five at home on the spin without conceding. Phil Jones is England's best defender this season. He has helped organise 12 clean sheets and was badly missed in the shambles at Huddersfield. His fitness will be key.

"So, too, is the news that Harry Kane misses out.

"Tottenham have a 100% away record and were devastating at Wembley against Liverpool.

"This a much tougher test though, especially without Kane. I've a feeling a draw would leave Manchester City the only winners."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino on coping without Harry Kane: "We don't need to prove ourselves. I think last season, in the period he was injured, you can see the stats and the games we played - win and lose with Harry, win and lose without Harry.

"I'm disappointed because he is our main striker and I think he is one of the best strikers in Europe, in the world, and always you are going to miss your best striker.

"We always believe in collective, the squad. During the season, problems happen and you must trust all the players, all the squad."

Tottenham are level on points with United and this is a big week for them as they host Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.

A draw at Old Trafford would be a good result for them. For any of the top six teams, if they can go away to one of their direct rivals and get a point, I think they will be happy with that.

Prediction: 1-1
Lawro's full predictions v England cricketers Moeen Ali & James Anderson
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game


Manchester United have won their last three Premier League home games against Tottenham without conceding a goal.

    • Spurs have lost 20 of their 25 Premier League trips to Old Trafford (W2, D3) - their worst away record against any club in the division.
    • United have only lost four of their last 32 top-flight fixtures with Spurs (W20, D8).
    • However, those four wins for Tottenham have come in the last 10 meetings between the sides (D3, L3), including a 2-1 victory in May.
    • Spurs will be looking to record consecutive league victories over United for the first time since April 1990.
Manchester United

    • United have won their last five Premier League home games without conceding.
    • They haven't lost in 21 league fixtures at Old Trafford since a 2-1 defeat by Manchester City in September 2016 (W11, D10).
    • They could win eight consecutive home games in all competitions for the first time since 2012-13.
    • Jose Mourinho has won all five of his home matches against Mauricio Pochettino by an aggregate score of 15-1.
    • This will be Marcus Rashford's last game as a teenager. He has scored 13 Premier League goals as a teenager, second only to Wayne Rooney's 15.
    • Romelu Lukaku has scored 15 goals in 58 top-flight games against the 'big six' clubs, averaging a goal every 289 minutes.
Tottenham Hotspur
    • Tottenham's tally of 20 points after nine games is their best start to a top-flight season since 1963.
    • They have only lost twice in 22 league matches (W18, D2).
    • Spurs have won six successive Premier League away games, and nine of their last 10.
    • Harry Kane has 29 goals in 26 league appearances in 2017. He's seven shy of Alan Shearer's Premier League record of 36 goals in a calendar year, set in 1995.
    • Kane has scored in six club games this season and each time he has gone on to score at least twice.
    • Son Heung-min needs one more goal to reach 20 in the Premier League and overtake Park Ji-sung as the competition's highest-scoring South Korean player.
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SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 27%
Probability of home win: 45% Probability of away win: 28%
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)
JM vindicated?


Manchester United offer the most direct response to all the criticism of the last two league results, by winning a big-six game with the most direct goal possible. On 82 minutes of a largely scrappy match, David De Gea punted it up, Romelu Lukaku flicked it on, and Anthony Martial finished.

All so basic, and all so easy. A defence usually as resolute as Tottenham Hotspur’s should have dealt with it in a much better manner, but this time round they crumpled in their third big-six game of the season.

Mauricio Pochettino has still only won one of these matches from his time at the club, and it’s still difficult to get away from the fact they are so dependent on one player - the one who was absent here, Harry Kane.

That trend will now be the focus of this big-six clash, rather than Jose Mourinho’s capacity for killing off games – which his side just about did here, his tight game-plan ultimately paying off. The added vindication for the Portuguese was that it was one of his substitutes who won the game, in Martial.

He was brought on for Marcus Rashford, and the decision to take off the young star - who had been one of the few players energising this match - was booed. When the final whistle went, Mourinho so conspicuously put his fingers to his lips in a shushing gesture in that way he does, but that was more likely to all the criticism of the past two weeks.

Pochettino's men couldn't find the means to pull ahead in the Old Trafford encounter (Getty)

To call this a masterclass would still be something of a stretch, though, given that this was a match characterised by mistakes rather than any kind of mastery of anything.

Spurs themselves will rue Dele Alli’s dismal miss just minutes before Martial’s goal, that moment of poor quality coming just after the game’s one moment of actual attacking quality. Christian Eriksen had picked a supreme pass to completely open the United defence, only for Alli to flick it wide rather than more easily head it in the other direction.

Lukaku seconds later hit the post with a header, so Pochettino couldn’t exactly complain about the goal going against the run of play, and Eriksen’s fine pass was really out of character for the rest of the game. He was one of many Spurs players making bad mistakes that they usually wouldn’t make, and Eriksen himself misplaced his first six balls of the game. That reflected a lack of assurance and nerviness from the side, and it’s inevitable that the absence of Kane will be pointed to, just as it was inevitable that it further set the tone for this match.

Lukaku enjoyed two clear-cut chances on goal but couldn't find the back of the net (Getty)

United, despite the eventual win, weren’t faultless in this either. Having actually started brightly and looking like they wanted to react to all the criticism of the last two weeks with some proactive football, that lasted all of 10 minutes as they began to look to play on the counter again.

It led to the moment that was perhaps most symbolic of a scrappy match - and especially a scrappy first-half - when a poor Ben Davies cross saw Phil Jones clumsily barrel into David De Gea and the ball to spill, only for Moussa Sissoko to then blaze the ball over.

Mistakes all round, and the question was really about what mistake was going to settle the game.

For his part, and as he is now well versed in doing so, Mourinho did look to act on those mistakes - and was proactive here.

Tottenham's players react after the final whistle (Getty)

He drastically changed his line-up, bringing off Henrikh Mlhitaryan - who had again been poor but did temporarily flash for essentially the length of the 54th minute in forcing two chances - and Rashford, and bringing on Martial.

It did cap a spell when United were the better side, and had gained more of a foothold. Spurs then played into his hands, with Eric Dier making a costly error and the entire defence making a costly step-up, to leave Martial through on goal. He hit his shot into the ground, but crucially into the net.

Old Trafford erupted, but there was no Spurs eruption in response. They had endured yet another poor performance at this great old stadium - really, Pochettino’s third in a row - to go with another poor big-six away game. It is really at this point something they are going to have to address if they are to properly challenge for the title, as is the loss of Kane.

Anthony Martial celebrates scoring the winning goal (Getty)

Mourinho meanwhile addressed his main issue. A point was made, to win all three in a big game.

And, to be fair, it was about more than just one big punt.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Coasting to qualification tonight?



Manchester United have no new injury concerns as they look for the win that could see them qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League.

Midfielders Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba remain out through injury, as are Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo.

"Our aim is to qualify and finish top. A draw is not bad, but we want to win to get to the last 16," Mourinho said.

"If we can qualify on Tuesday it is better for us."

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford have rotated on the left wing this season but Mourinho believes they can play together, although would not give anything away on his team selection.

"Benfica are a better team than Basel and CSKA," said Mourinho, who described striker Romelu Lukaku as "untouchable in my team".

"Yes, they are in a difficult position and now they can really only expect to get enough points to go into the Europa League. So they are going to try to get at least a point from our match.

"But since we played in Lisbon they have won in both matches. I think they are more confident, they are more Benfica than two weeks ago, so I expect a difficult match."

Who can qualify from Group A on Tuesday?
Three-time winners Manchester United will qualify if they win and CSKA Moscow fail to beat Basel, or if United draw and CSKA lose.

Basel will be through with a win if United avoid defeat.


Sports data specialists Gracenote Sports have simulated the remainder of the Champions League group phase one million times based on their current ratings for the clubs involved and their results to date, and have come up with a probability percentage of each side progressing to the knockout stage.

Simon Gleave, head of analysis at Gracenote Sports, said: "Three straight wins and a six-point lead over third-placed CSKA Moscow means that Manchester United have a 99.9% chance of playing in the last 16 in February, according to Gracenote Sports.

"A win at Benfica last time out has virtually sealed their place in the knockout phase and a second win against the Portuguese club this week will make the Red Devils mathematically certain. Even a draw will be enough if FC Basel beat CSKA."



Alfrescian (Inf)
Nearly there...

By Shamoon Hafez
BBC Sport

Daley Blind scored his first Manchester United goal since Boxing Day 2016

Manchester United are on the verge of reaching the Champions League knockout stages for the first time in four years after beating Benfica.

The Red Devils, who earned their place by winning last season's Europa League, have claimed four victories from their four Group A games and need just a point from their remaining two games to progress.

"We have not qualified yet? Four victories and it is still not enough? We must get that point from the two remaining matches," said manager Jose Mourinho.

"I am more than happy. We changed a lot of players, we broke the natural dynamic and routines of the team and we played a kid (Scott McTominay) from the academy.

"We scored two goals, did not concede, gained three more points, more money for the club because every victory means money and did not have any significant injuries."

Anthony Martial, who provided a threat from the left with his trickery and pace, earned a penalty when he was tripped by Douglas, but the Frenchman had his spot-kick kept out by Mile Svilar.

Belgian goalkeeper Svilar also twice saved well from fellow countryman Romelu Lukaku, but a mistake on his debut in the competition in the previous game contributed to United's narrow victory and he gave the hosts a helping hand again.

Ex-Benfica midfielder Nemanja Matic's powerful shot struck the foot of the post, but ricocheted off the unfortunate Svilar - who had dived to save the shot - and into the net. Full-back Daley Blind added a second from the penalty spot.

The Portuguese champions were much improved from the reverse game and offered more of an attacking threat, forcing David de Gea into two excellent saves in each half.

The home goalkeeper denied forward Diogo Goncalves' curling effort towards the top corner and low shot across goal, while he also gathered Raul Jimenez's long-range drive.

Mexican Jimenez intercepted Eric Bailly's lazy cross-field pass deep inside his own half, but his shot cannoned off the post.

In the group's other game, CSKA Moscow came from behind to beat Basel, leaving United six points clear but waiting to go through.

The Premier League side face a trip to Basel next month, followed by their final group game at home against CSKA in December as they look to go through to the round of 16 where they last played in under David Moyes in 2014


Svilar is the youngest goalkeeper to save a penalty in the Champions League, but also the youngest player to score an own goal
The night was going quite well for Benfica and goalkeeper Svilar when he dived low to his right to palm away Martial's penalty after 15 minutes to become the youngest goalkeeper to save a spot-kick in a Champions League match.

He also thwarted Lukaku by stretching to his near post and standing tall when the striker closed in one-on-one - the former Everton man has now extended his goalless run to six games in all competitions after netting 11 in his first 10 for the club.

Lukaku could have broken his barren run when he placed the ball on the spot for the second penalty, only to be overruled by Ander Herrera - but manager Jose Mourinho then instructed Blind to take the kick and he scored.

The Portuguese manager said: "Anthony Martial was the player to take penalties. He took it and missed, he was not on the pitch for the second one.

"The players were happy to take the responsibility, Romelu Lukaku and Ander Herrera, but my choice was Daley Blind. That is my decision."

Svilar's unlucky moment on 45 minutes means he also became the youngest player to score an own goal in the competition.

At the other end, Benfica could not find a way past Spaniard De Gea, who has now kept 11 clean sheets in 15 games this season.

United's number one made a total of five saves in the match, the best of which came from Goncalves' rising strike in the first half, springing high to his left to tip the ball to safety.

Old Trafford

An eerie mist descended on Old Trafford midway through the first half on Halloween night. It came courtesy of a flare lit by the travelling Benfica supporters
3,883 games and counting

United have now named an academy product in the first-team squad for 3,883 consecutive games - a run that stretches back to October 1937.

Mourinho gave a first start in the competition to Lancaster-born midfielder Scott McTominay, while Warrington's Jesse Lingard also started and Manchester-born Marcus Rashford, on his 20th birthday, came off the bench to earn the second penalty.

McTominay, handed his opportunity following injuries to Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, impressed in the middle of the park alongside Matic.

The 20-year-old made three tackles and three interceptions, while winning the ball back nine times - more than any other player on the pitch.

McTominay said afterwards: "As a young boy growing up, you dream of playing in the Champions League for Manchester United.

"All those years growing up in the academy, watching the first-team players, I am made up."

Man of the match - Nemanja Matic (Manchester United)


Nemanja Matic
Cost £40m from Chelsea in the summer, but looks a steal, especially with the absence of Pogba. The Serbian patrolled the centre of the park once again and attempted more passes (84) than any other player.
Matic said: "It was good to keep winning and a very important three points for us. Benfica played well tonight but we showed character. I hope the supporters enjoyed it.

"Benfica did not surprise me, they are a talented team and I knew they would come here to play good football. I was there two-and-a-half years and they do not deserve not to have any points."

What next?

A big one. United travel to Mourinho's former club Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday (kick-off 16:30 GMT).

Fortress Old Trafford - the stats

Jose Mourinho has not lost in his 12 home games against sides he has previously managed, winning the last 11 in a row.

The Red Devils are now unbeaten in 37 home games in all competitions (won 26, drawn 11) - only once in the Premier League era have they had a longer such run (38 between December 1998 and April 2000).

The Red Devils have now kept 87 clean sheets in the Champions League - one more than Real Madrid and second only to Barcelona (91).

This is the ninth time an English club has won their opening four Champions League group stage games (including second group stages), with Manchester United responsible for six of those.

Daley Blind scored his first Champions League goal in his 24th appearance in the competition (14 with Ajax, 10 with Manchester United).


Alfrescian (Inf)
Luke Shaw didn't gel with the boss, so it's Jan exit (back to Saints we hear)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho to let exiled defender Luke Shaw go out on loan in January
The Special One will consider short-term move if desirable offers come in

By Daniel Cutts
2nd November 2017, 8:32 pm
Updated: 3rd November 2017, 12:39 am

MANCHESTER UNITED boss Jose Mourinho is open to letting Luke Shaw leave on loan in January.

The England full-back has fallen out with the United boss, and is not in his first-team plans for the rest of the season.

Jose Mourinho is open to letting Luke Shaw leave on loan in January
It is thought the pair are not on speaking terms, and Shaw wants to leave Old Trafford when the window opens.

The Red Devils are thought to be happy for him to go for the remainder of the campaign, before selling him permanently next summer.

The 22-year-old is wanted by a number of Premier League sides, while others across Europe are also keeping tabs on his situation.

An Old Trafford source said: “It looks like Luke will be allowed to leave in January on loan if the right offer comes in.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Super sunday prediction (by pundits)
And latest grapevine that Conte will be sacked:


Chelsea v Manchester United (16:30)

Chelsea's 3-0 defeat in the Champions League game at Roma was un-Chelsea-like under Antonio Conte.

Last year we thought they couldn't keep winning, regardless of how they were playing, but they did.

This year you're waiting for them to throw a wobbler every three or four games. After losing in Rome, Conte said his players are lacking hunger which you can't imagine he would tolerate. It is strange.

When United play against the other top teams away from home Jose Mourinho will always take a point - as you saw at Liverpool. That is the way he manages and that isn't going to change.

He will try to fight fire with fire when he can but at Stamford Bridge he will have everyone behind the ball.

Lawro's prediction: 1-1
Cesaro and Sheamus' prediction: 1-1


Luke Shaw is finished and likely to be off the payroll come summer. Can't see any club taking him with his current wage and attitude. Good luck to him.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Match preview for tomorrow's away to Chelskis

Chelsea could welcome back midfielder N'Golo Kante, who has returned to training following six games out with a hamstring injury.

Victor Moses remains sidelined but captain Gary Cahill should start after missing the win at Bournemouth.

Jesse Lingaard is out for Manchester United after being substituted during the victory over Benfica because of a back problem.

Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are set to return after being rested.

Guy Mowbray: "5 November. A date to commemorate plotting and scheming, and an appropriate one for Jose Mourinho to be trying to take down his old establishment in London.

"He seems to be at his plotting best at the moment too, with every word and action very deliberately calculated to further his aims for Manchester United.

"His beef right now is that United deserve more praise than they've been getting for their defensive strength. Merely a sign of the state of the game? Right around Europe, defending seems 'so last season'.

"After meltdown in Rome, Chelsea need to get back to their defending OF last season.

"Missing the shield of Nemanja Matic? We'll see."

Twitter: @Guymowbray

Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte: "Now there are big problems for all the teams that want to fight for the title. The big problem is Manchester City.

"If City continue in this way it will be difficult to fight for the title. We have to try to do our best."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho on playing former club Chelsea: "I have to admit it's a little bit different but in the end I want to win like I did with Inter. They want to win like they did last season and it's just one more day.

"In a couple of years it will be even more natural, and in four or five years probably no one will remember that I was Chelsea manager and it becomes absolutely normal.

"It isn't a big thing. One day you are in one club, the next day you're in another club."

When United play against the other top teams away from home Jose Mourinho will always take a point - as you saw at Liverpool. That is the way he manages and that isn't going to change.

Prediction: 1-1

Lawro's full predictions v WWE wrestlers Cesaro and Sheamus
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.



    • Chelsea have lost just one of their last 15 Premier League home games against Manchester United (W9, D5).
    • United's 2-0 league victory in April ended a run of 12 games without a win in all competitions.
    • The Red Devils have lost more Premier League games (17) and conceded more goals (66) against Chelsea than any other side.

    • Chelsea's two home defeats already equal their total losses at Stamford Bridge in last season's Premier League campaign.
    • They are looking for their first back-to-back home league wins of the season.
    • The Blues have kept five clean sheets in 18 fixtures in all competitions.
    • Antonio Conte has won 112 points in 48 Premier League games in charge, 11 points fewer than Jose Mourinho managed at the same stage of his Chelsea tenure.
    • Chelsea could lose a top-flight home match against Manchester City and Manchester United in the same season for the first time since 1978-79.
Manchester United

    • United have 23 points, their highest tally after 10 matches of a Premier League season since winning their last title in 2012-13.
    • If Manchester United avoid defeat they will become the first club to reach 900 Premier League away points.
    • They have scored 10 of their 23 league goals this season in the final 10 minutes of games (43%).
    • United's substitutes have scored an unrivalled seven Premier League goals and created a league-high four assists in 2017-18.
    • Jose Mourinho is winless in all six Premier League away matches against last season's top six as Manchester United manager.
    • However, Mourinho is unbeaten in all eight Premier League matches against the reigning champions (W3, D5).
    • David de Gea's 22 clean sheets since the start of 2016-17 is the best record of any goalkeeper in the top five European leagues.
SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 27%
Probability of home win: 43% Probability of away win: 30%
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.