All posts by Paul Gardiner

Webmaster, Writer, Editor and Podcast host for The United Stand. An avid Manchester United supporter since I can remember.

Man United 0-0 West Ham | Full match report

Goals evade Man United once again as their game at home to West Ham finishes goalless. Their fifth goalless draw in nine games.

Man United started the first half at a high tempo. Attacking the West Ham defence and pressing high when off the ball.

In the first ten minutes the reds had several shots at West Hams goal. The best chances involved Marouane Fellaini. In the 5th minute, Fellaini found himself running at the West Ham defence with Lingard in a very good position to his left. Instead, Fellaini decided to go it alone and have a shot. The shot was weak and drifted wide of Adrian’s post.

Four minutes later Paddy McNair curled in a cross from the right finding Fellaini at the back post, but the Belgian’s header went just over the bar.

There was a scare for Man United in the 12th minute when a Daley Blind pass fell to Noble. Noble played a through ball to Victor Moses who was one-on-one with David de Gea. The United keeper read the situation well and came out quick to save with his feet, deflecting the ball out for a corner. Zarate then headed the resulting corner wide.

Man United were next to come close to breaking the deadlock. In the 16th minute, Jesse Lingard whipped the ball in from the left toward Fellaini, who then chested the ball down to Anthony Martial. The 20 year old then hit a volley which looked to be going in but Winston Reid was there to rescue West Ham with a much appreciated block.

Winston Reid blocks Anthony Martial's close range volley (Source: Mirror)
Winston Reid blocks Anthony Martial’s close range volley (Source: Mirror)

Back down the other end West Ham hit the post twice in the space of a minute. At the midway point of the first half, Cresswell arrowed in a cross which bounced off the chest of David de Gea. Chris Smalling stretched out a leg in an attempt to clear the ball but he hit it into Zarate’s face and it ricocheted onto the post and out.

Seconds later West Ham’s Winston Reid headed a corner onto the post. Man United appeared to be hanging on by a thread.

The game settled slightly for the remainder of the second half with West Ham, on a break, managing a shot from Noble. But the veterans shot was never on target.

The start of the second half was similar to the first with Man United pushing forward looking for a scoring opportunity.

Only one came as a Jesse Lingard shot in the 50th minute went marginally over the West Ham goal.

Man United seemed to sit off a little as West Ham gained some momentum. In the 55th minute, Zarate made easy work of beating Varela down the left. The West Ham winger then cut in from the left and hit a shot from outside the box. The shot was on target but David de Gea got down and gathered the ball.

West Ham's Zarate rues missed chance against Man United (Source: Mirror)
West Ham’s Zarate rues missed chance against Man United (Source: Mirror)

A few seconds later Antonio beat Darmian with a cross into Andy Carrol. The West Ham striker touched the ball into Zarate who looked like he was clear through to slot past David de Gea, but instead miscued his shot and dragged it across the goal and out for a goal kick.

Man United’s fans became restless and boo’s were heard from the Stretford End with chants of “Attack! Attack! Attack!”.

The players reacted to the crowd and for the last half an hour really put pressure on West Ham.

During that spell United managed an approximate 10 attempts on goal. The best of these fell to Fellaini, Martial and Lingard.

On the hour mark Anthony Martial went on a winding run across the edge of the West Ham box. Reaching the byline he played a diagonal ball back to Fellaini who managed to get a foot on it. Many fans behind the goal thought it was going in but Adrian got down quickly to palm the ball off the line.

In the 81st minute, Memphis did what Memphis does by running at the defenders and cutting in. The Dutchman then played a pass into Martial who’s first time shot skimmed the outside of Adrian’s left hand post.

A minute later Jesse Lingard raced onto a loose ball and struck a shot fractionally wide.

At the full time whistle both fans and players alike were frustrated. The fans were very vocal with boo’s echoing around Old Trafford. Something which is slowly becoming commonplace.

One thing Man United can take from this match is that there was an increased amount of attacking football. Something fans have been crying out for. However, it means nothing if chances are not taken and games aren’t won.

United’s fourth draw in six Premier League games means they drop down to fourth in the table. The points United continue to drop could come back to haunt them later in the season.

Man United drop to fourth in the Premier League table after another goalless draw
Man United drop to fourth in the Premier League table after another goalless draw

What did you think of the game? Are you happy with the fact that they played with more attacking intent? Do you think Man United are heading in the right direction? We would love to know your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also watch the Man United V West Ham match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Man United Team Sheet

de Gea
McNair (Varela – 45′)
Smalling
Blind
Darmian
Schneiderlin (Carrick – 44′)
Schweinsteiger (Depay – 73′)
Mata
Fellaini
Lingard
Martial

Substitutes

Depay
Carrick
Young
Romero
Varela
Borthwick-Jackson
Pereira

West Ham Team Sheet

Adrián
Tomkins
Reid
Ogbonna
Cresswell
Song (Obiang – 78′)
Moses (Antonio – 37′)
Noble
Kouyaté
Zárate (Jenkinson – 88′)
Carroll

Substitutes

Randolph
Jenkinson
Obiang
Collins
Jelavic
Antonio
Oxford

United join race for Aubameyang

Man United have reportedly joined Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea in the race to sign Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The Borussia Dortmund striker has so far scored 22 goals in 18 games this season and is currently rated at £42m.

Louis van Gaal is keen to win the race for Aubameyang’s signature with Man United desperately needing a proven and prolific goal scorer in their ranks.

van Gaal has apparently had Aubameyang scouted several times this season and is ready to make his move.

Despite the strikers contract not due to expire until 2020, it is thought van Gaal is considering launching a bid in January.

As well as being a persistent goal scorer, Aubameyang also has bags of pace; something else Man United are lacking in their attack. He can also play as a winger and this will suit Louis van Gaal down to a tee as it is no secret he likes versatile players.

It is unlikely, though, that after the departure of Lewandowski to Bayern, Dortmund would be willing to allow Aubameyang to leave. However, should he continue to score goals at the rate he is, it would be hard for the Bundesliga giants to turn down a big money offer in the summer.

What do you think of Aubameyang? Would you like to see him in a United shirt? He has continued to improve over the last three seasons and only appears to be getting better. We would love to hear your thoughts. Please let us know in the comments below.

If you would like to read the full article please do so by visiting the Mirror website here.

Louis van Gaal is selfish and players are terrified

Louis van Gaal comes under fire again from another ex-Man United player.

In recent weeks Man United boss Louis van Gaal has come under fire from many critics including former Man United players. Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand have all voiced their concerns on the current state of affairs at the club they once played for.

The latest Louis van Gaal-bashing comes from former Man United and England player Paul Parker. He had this to say:

When Louis van Gaal arrived at United, I thought he too would be flexible. But we now have a situation where there are a lot of discontented players and we have to question why they are playing badly.

I look at Anthony Martial and worry for him. He looks like a boy who doesn’t smile anymore. He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying himself. The form Memphis Depay is showing hasn’t just happened because he’s playing in the Premier League. That boy probably feels like a scapegoat.

Ander Herrera is hugely popular with the fans because he makes things happen. Everyone loves to see players like that, but he’s barely playing and is probably unsettled. These players need freedom.

Van Gaal puts the fear of God into players. It has to be his way. He selfishly manages the team. And no one enjoys it. He may be a successful manager, but he must learn – even at his age – to become a good man manager.

At the moment we have to say he’s not man managing that team. All those players he’s got are not bad players, and they’ve not played negative football all their lives. He’s being incredibly stubborn.

Under Van Gaal, every player who has had one bad game has been left out – except for Wayne Rooney.

He’s got to learn not to bear grudges. A player knows when they mistake, what they need is arm around them, not exclusion. What message is that sending out to the rest, other than: ‘that could be me’?

Criticisms aimed at Louis van Gaal are gathering pace and that can be dangerous to the club. If you hear something so much you start to believe it. The last thing Louis van Gaal needs is to lose the faith of his players.

What do you think of Paul Parker’s comments? Do you agree? Do you think players are afraid to express themselves the way they did with their former clubs? The way they did that attracted Louis van Gaal to them in the first place? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

If you would like to read the full article, please visit the Telegraph website by clicking here.

Leicester City 1-1 Man United | Full match report

Man United miss out on going top of the Premier League after managing only a draw away at Leicester City.

For the majority of the first half Leicester moved the ball around quickly and looked the more likely team to score, despite Man United having the bigger share of possession.

The first attempt on goal came from the home team in the 13th minute when a misplaced pass from Michael Carrick fell to Jamie Vardy who laid the ball to Kante. Kante hit a shot but was quickly closed down and the shot deflected out for a corner.

In the 17th minute Wayne Rooney had a chance with a volley near the edge of the box but was unable to connect cleanly, leaving an easy save for Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester broke the deadlock mid way through the second half and it was Jamie Vardy who put the foxes ahead. Fuchs spotted Vardy making a run and played a perfectly timed, long range through ball into the strikers path. Making no mistake Vardy hit the ball across the face of the goal, beating David de Gea and finding the back of the net. This goal saw Jamie Vardy break Ruud van Nistlerooy’s record of scoring in ten consecutive Premier League games.

Jamie Vardy beats Man United's Darmian and de Gea to put Leicester city ahead (Source: Daily Mail)
Jamie Vardy beats Man United’s Darmian and de Gea to put Leicester city ahead (Source: Daily Mail)

Okazaki almost put Leicester two up just seven minutes later. He played a quick one-two with Mahrez, but saw his shot saved excellently by de Gea.

United had a couple of attempts on goal either side of the Okazaki chance with the first coming from Bastian Schweinsteiger, however the German dragged his long range shot wide. Ten minutes later it was Wayne Rooney who had a go with a header from a United corner, but it didn’t trouble the Leicester keeper.

On the stroke of half time Man United found an equaliser when Bastian Schweinsteiger won a man to man battle with Okazaki to head home from a corner.

Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates his equaliser for Man United (Source: Daily Mail)
Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates his equaliser for Man United (Source: Daily Mail)

Early in the second half it was Man United who had the first try at going ahead. Bastian Schweinsteiger again winning a header, this time from an Ashley Young free kick, but the header lacked direction and was easy for Schmeichel.

Mid way through the second half Leicester had a couple of chances. The first came from a counter attack. Mahrez made easy work of a long run down Leicester’s right wing and picked out Ulloa who hit a shot but David de Gea was out quick and saved with his feet.

Ulloa found himself with another shooting opportunity about seven minutes later but was unable to catch the ball properly, hitting it high and wide.

Man United started to dominate possession more as the game entered the later stages but they were only able to create a few chances. The best of these fell to Mata in the 79th minute. He brought down a cross from Memphis and turned to shoot but the shot cannoned off a defender and went out for a corner.

Five minutes later Memphis also had a good chance but slightly over hit his first touch and the shot that followed was blocked.

Man United had once more chance to snatch the three points in injury time when Darmian picked up a loose ball. Frustratingly, for him and the travelling fans, he couldn’t hit the target.

The draw means Man United drop to third in the Premier League, one point behind Manchester City and Leicester who sit first and second respectively.

Man United sit third after the draw at Leicester City (Source: BBC Football)
Man United sit third after the draw at Leicester City (Source: BBC Football)

What did you think of the game? Are you growing frustrated with the style of play and lack of goals? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also watch the Watford V Man United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Leicester City Team Sheet

Schmeichel
Simpson (de Laet – 80′)
Morgan
Huth
Fuchs
Mahrez
Kanté
Drinkwater
Albrighton (Schlupp – 70′)
Okazaki (Ulloa – 60′)
Vardy

Substitutes

de Laet
King
Schlupp
Ulloa
Dyer
Schwarzer
Inler

Man United Team Sheet

de Gea
McNair
Smalling
Blind
Darmian
Carrick
Schweinsteiger
Young
Mata
Martial
Rooney (Depay – 68′)

Substitutes

Depay
Romero
Fellaini
Schneiderlin
Rashford
Borthwick-Jackson
Pereira

Man United 0-0 PSV Eindhoven | Full Match Report

Fans make themselves heard with boos at the final whistle, as a limp Man United fail to win and secure last 16 qualification.

Before the game started it was expected that Man United, at home, would see off PSV Eindhoven and secure a place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Despite several attempts at goal in both halves, it just wasn’t to be.

United started the game with an attacking mentality. They moved the ball around quickly and got plenty of balls into the box.

Their first chance came in the 6th minute when Jesse Lingard squared the ball into Bastian Schweinsteiger. The German international shot with his left foot but it lacked any power and Zoet was able to gather the ball easily.

It was almost 1-0 to the home side in the 31st minute when Morgan Schneiderlin got on the end of a corner with a slight touch but the PSV keeper got down and saved on the line.

During the next 5 minutes PSV Eindhoven had a couple of attempts of their own. The first coming from Hendrix. He found a gap between Schweinsteiger and Schneiderlin and placed a curling shot to David de Gea’s far post but the United keeper got across quickly to save.

Man United's David de Gea at full stretch to prevent Hendrix from scoring (Source: Guardian)
David de Gea at full stretch to prevent Hendrix from scoring (Source: Guardian)

Shortly afterward Hector Moreno headed just over from a PSV corner.

In the 37th minute Man United had two quick chances with shots from Martial and Lingard both being saved, fairly easily, by Zoet.

Just before the half time whistle Anthony Martial almost gave United some breathing space. Memphis played a ball into Martial’s path on the left hand side of the box and the Frenchman hit a low left-footed drive down at the near post but Zoet, again, got down quickly to put the ball around the post.

At the start of the second half Man United seemed to be almost at full throttle. Three shots at goal in as many minutes left many fans feeling as though a goal was coming.

In the 46th minute Schneiderlin got his head on the end of a corner but couldn’t keep it on target.

A minute later Anthony Martial whipped in a cross from the right wing finding Lingard at the near post. Lingard’s header went narrowly wide of Zoet’s far post.

Man United's Lingard and Rooney rue missed chance (Source: Guardian)
Lingard and Rooney rue missed chance (Source: Guardian)

Then in the 49th minute Memphis cut in from the left and hit a right footed shot. The shot, however, lacked power and Zoet was able to get down and smother the ball.

It was at this point that Man United appeared to switch off and PSV Eindhoven took advantage of this and created several chances to score.

In the 53rd minute, de Jong beat Daley Blind just inside the United box but dragged his left-footed shot well wide.

Propper then tried in the 62nd minute with a long range half-volley after completing three kick-ups while running, but could only hit his shot directly at David de Gea.

PSV Eindhoven continued to create chances, despite United’s possession, with the best chance coming from a PSV break which saw Locadia come close to giving the visitors the lead. Unfortunately for him he couldn’t control his shot, pulling it wide.

Man United had one more good chance to seal a win and that was in the 73rd minute; Ashley Young pulled a right footed cross back into the path of Jesse Lingard, but he was leaning back and his first time shot sailed over the bar.

The full time whistle brought an end to yet another frustrating goalless draw. The United fans made their frustrations heard by booing as the players left the field.

The draw means Man United drop to second place in Group B. They play their final group stage match away at VfL Wolfsburg from which they will need a win to qualify for the last 16 as PSV are likely to beat CSKA who are already out.

Man United drop to second in Group B (Source: BBC Football)
Man United drop to second in Group B (Source: BBC Football)

What did you think of the game? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

You can also watch the Man United V PSV Eindhoven match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Man United Team Sheet

de Gea
Darmian (Mata – 85′)
Smalling
Blind
Rojo
Schneiderlin
Schweinsteiger (Fellaini – 58′)
Lingard
Rooney
Depay (Young – 59′)
Martial

Substitutes

Mata
Young
Wilson
Romero
Fellaini
McNair
Pereira

PSV Eindhoven Team Sheet

Zoet
Arias
Bruma
Moreno
Brenet
Guardado
Hendrix (Isimat-Mirin – 60′)
Pröpper
Narsingh (Pereiro – 18′)
de Jong
Locadia

Substitutes

Isimat-Mirin
Pereiro
Schaars
Maher
Poulsen
Pasveer
Bergwijn

Luke Shaw given time off

Luke Shaw is given time off due to PSV tie and the full back being ‘fed up’ with rehabilitation routine.

A horror tackle from PSV Eindhoven’s Hector Moreno two months ago left Luke Shaw with a broken leg. The United youngster is not expected to play again until at least March 2016.

Luke Shaw is due for a scan on Friday to assess how the recovery is going.

Boss Louis van Gaal has given Luke Shaw time off and had this to say:

I think he is dealing with his injury very good. But now he is a little bit fed up with the daily routine so I give him, and also because of PSV, four days off.

I thought, why is he fed up? Maybe it is because of the PSV match and every player has to watch the game from the stadium, to support their colleagues.

I don’t think he will be here, but I don’t know. Maybe he surprises me.

Louis van Gaal also stressed how much Luke Shaw was missed by the club:

The first match was very disappointing, not only because of the result, but also because of the loss of Luke Shaw.

For me and for us he is a very important player. I said in advance that he would be the revelation of the season, because last season it was his adaptation season.

He was on his way to do that, and because of that I did not have to buy a left full-back because I had, for example, Daley Blind and also Marcos Rojo who could play at that position, and also Ashley Young.

I think I can manage the situation but still it is a big loss because he is, in my opinion, the best left-back of Manchester United.

Responding to a question asking if Luke Shaw could return this season:

I cannot answer that.

You have to be very cautious. With an injury like that it can be going very well but, one week it can be going very bad, and then he is months behind schedule.

He has been given four days off. On Friday he has a scan and we will know more about how the injury is going.

To read the full article on the Sky Sports website, click here.

Are you looking forward to Luke Shaw’s return? Do you think he has been missed by the team? Or is that a stupid question?! We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comments.

Herrera and Jones to miss PSV game

Both Ander Herrera and Phil Jones picked up injuries in Saturday’s game at Watford.

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that both players will not be fit to play in the midweek Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven.

Ander Herrera left the field midway through the first half due to a hamstring injury and Phil Jones was substituted in the second half after twisting his ankle.

Better news for Man United is that both Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney could return for the game against PSV Eindhoven after missing the Watford game. Martial due to a foot injury and Rooney due to illness. A win against PSV would secure qualification for the knockout stages.

To read the full article on the Sky Sports website, please click here.

Watford 1-2 Man United | Match Report

Man United escape with all 3 points thanks to an injury time winner away at Watford.

Man United got off the mark early with a goal from out-of-form Memphis Depay in the 11th minute. Ander Herrera and Ashley Young played a quick one-two out on the right with Herrera curling in a first time cross into the near post. Memphis beat the defenders to the ball, leaping and placing a cushioned volley past Gomes and into the top corner.

In the 21st minute, Watford were gifted an opportunity to equalise when Ashley Young lost possession, allowing Watford to break. The ball was played through to Ighalo who passed Bastian Schweinsteiger but could only scuff his shot yards wide of David de Gea’s left hand post.

Morgan Schneiderlin had a chance to extend Man United’s lead in the 28th minute following a scramble in the Watford penalty area. The France international struck a volley, but was unable to keep it down.

Watford had another chance to pull level in the 36th minute when Capoue found space for a shot. But he too, could not hit his volley on target.

Shortly before half time Memphis found himself with possession on the left hand side. He dribbled the ball, cutting in from the left and hit a shot toward the bottom left of Watford’s goal. The shot lacked any real power and Gomes was able to get down and tip the ball round the post.

Despite the early goal from United, the first half can be described as scrappy, with neither team really taking control of the game. Man United slightly edged it having had the better chances at goal.

Memphis celebrates putting Man United ahead (Source: Mirror)
Memphis celebrates putting Man United ahead (Source: Mirror)

The second half was a little more entertaining. Man United started brightly with Jesse Lingard and Bastian Schweinsteiger both having chances to score.

In the 47th minute, Memphis played a diagonal pass to Lingard on the edge of the Watford box. Lingard took a touch then hit a left footed shot at goal, but it was no problem for Gomes who palmed the ball away.

Two minutes later Schweinsteiger found a shooting opportunity but hit his shot over the bar.

Around the hour mark Watford began to get into the game, putting a lot of pressure on Man United. They pressed United’s back line very well, creating a catalogue of chances. Approximately 7 shots were hit at the United goal with 5 of them being saved by David de Gea.

The best of the above chances fell to Abdi. The attacker hit a low volley inside the box which looked as though it was heading for the bottom left corner. But David de Gea reacted quickly to pull off an excellent save, turning the ball around the post.

In the 84th minute, it looked as though Watford were going to pay for not taking their chances, when a ball over the top fell to Lingard who was one-on-one with Gomes. It seemed so simple for Lingard who just had to lift the ball over the Watford keeper’s head. But his touch was tame and Gomes gathered it easily.

This scare did not deter Watford from coming forward and they were soon rewarded for their efforts in the 87th minute. An unnecessary tackle from Marcos Rojo in the United box resulted in referee Robert Madley pointing to the spot. Deeney stepped up and scored the penalty, bringing Watford level with just a few minutes left to play.

The last few minutes of the game were sure to have had the fans on the edge of their seats. Man United reacted positively and came at Watford looking for a late winner.

In the 90th minute, Chris Smalling got on the end of a corner, flicking the ball toward the top left corner of the goal. But Gomes, at full stretch, pulled off a good save tipping the ball wide.

Man United continued to press and in the 91st minute a saved shot fell to Bastian Schweinsteiger who hit the ball across the goal. Deeney, who scored Watford’s equaliser from the spot, came sliding in to attempt to clear the ball, but could only drag it into his own net, gifting United the goal and all three points.

Deeney turns Schweinsteiger's cross into his own net gifting Man United a goal (Source: mirror)
Deeney turns Schweinsteiger’s cross into his own net gifting Man United a goal (Source: mirror)

Watford will feel hard done by after that match as they deserved at least a point for their efforts. However, they had plenty of chances to score but failed to take them. United on the other hand will be relieved to take all three points after the late penalty and they can now look to build on that as they continue their push for a title challenge.

The win today puts Man United top of the Premier League with Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester all to play this afternoon.

Premier League table showing Man United top (Source: BBC Football)
Man United currently sit top of the league.

What did you think of the game? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or you can visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to join the post match discussion.

You can also watch the Watford V Man United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.

Watford Team Sheet

Gomes
Nyom
Cathcart
Britos
Anya
Capoue
Watson
Jurado
Deeney
Abdi
Ighalo

Substitutes

Oularé
Paredes
Aké
Guédioura
Ibarbo
Diamanti
Arlauskis

Man United Team Sheet

de Gea
Jones
Smalling
Blind
Young
Schweinsteiger
Schneiderlin
Mata
Herrera
Lingard
Depay

Substitutes

Rojo
Romero
McNair
Darmian
Rashford
Pereira
Goss

Gareth Bale transfer “edging closer”

A deal between Gareth Bale and Manchester United is edging closer, according to ESPN sources.

It’s no secret that Gareth Bale has been a top target for Manchester United, particularly with Cristiano Ronaldo unlikely to leave Real Madrid any time soon.

It is also stated that United have received ‘significant encouragement’ with Gareth Bale struggling to settle in Spain.

If a big Premier League club should approach with a big money offer it is thought both Bale and Real Madrid would be open to agreeing a deal.

However, should Cristiano Ronaldo leave Real Madrid in the summer, it is very unlikely the La Liga giants would allow Bale to leave.

To read the full report, please visit the Telegraph website here.

The Bale to United rumour is one we have seen many times. Do you think it is a transfer that could happen? Would you like to see Bale at United? Let us know your thoughts in the United Stand fan forum here, or in the comments section below.

Lewis Cook “New Paul Scholes” targeted by Manchester United

Manchester United are set to beat Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal in race to sign Leeds midfielder, Lewis Cook.

The England under-19 player has attracted interest from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.

ESPN have claimed that United lead the race for Lewis Cook, who has been dubbed as the new Paul Scholes.

Cook signed a new contract at Elland Road last season that will keep him at Leeds until 2017.

To read the full article please visit the Express website by clicking here.

Take a look at Lewis Cook in action by clicking here or by watching below: