All posts by Paul Gardiner

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

Paul Scholes blasts LVG style

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes criticises Louis van Gaal’s playing style.

The midfield maestro, talking to BBC Radio Manchester, has said that he would not like playing in the system Louis van Gaal uses.

He also says that although the team are coached brilliantly defensively, they lack creativity and risk.

How do you feel about the LVG philosophy? Are you for or against? Let us know below in the comments or join the discussion in our fan forum here.

You can read the full article on the BBC website here.

Ronaldo to end career at United?

Sheffield Wednesday player and former Cristiano Ronaldo team mate, Jose Semedo, claims Ronaldo loves English Football and strongly believes the Real Madrid star will return to Old Trafford.

Semedo, who holidays with Ronaldo, spilled the beans during an interview with Talksport.

Do you think Ronaldo would return to United? Let us know in the comments below or discuss in our fan forum here.

To read the full article on the Telegraph website click here.

Manchester United 0-0 Middlesbrough (1-3 pens) | Match Report

It’s disaster for Manchester United as they are dumped out of the Capital One Cup by Championship side Middlesbrough on penalties.

Manchester united started the game with plenty of possession but again failed to create many goal scoring chances. The play at times was frustrating with lot’s of passes not finding their targets and runs down the wing coming to nothing.

United were forced to wait until the 34th minute for their first shot on target when James Wilson found himself with a scoring chance but his shot was straight at Mejias.

On the 40th minute United had another chance to score when Daley Blind played a diagonal cross to Fellaini who chested the ball down, allowed it to bounce and hit the volley but he was quickly closed down and the volley blocked. Fellaini also had another chance earlier in the half but he scuffed the shot dragging the ball wide.

A resilient Middlesbrough also had there chances.

Their first chance came on the 15th minute when a mis-timed overhead kick from Nsue fell into the path of Friend, who’s shot was saved by Sergio Romero.

Just before half time Middlesbrough came close again when Stuart Downing rifled a shot from outside the box but it was no problem for Romero who reacted quickly to tip it over the bar. A couple of minutes before that Kike also had a scoring chance after bringing down an Ayala cross. But he was unable to get any real purchase on his effort and it was a simple save for Romero.

The second half was a far more entertaining half with both sides having plenty of goal scoring opportunities.

Manchester United were the team who started the brightest. On 52 minutes, Memphis, cutting in from the left and hit a low driven shot but the Middlesbrough keeper got down quickly to stop it.

Pereira and Fellaini also had chances to put Manchester United ahead just a few minutes later but their shots were also lacking as they were both straight at Mejias.

On 57 minutes Middlesbrough thought they had taken the lead when Daley Blind turned a bizarre clearance, from a rebound off the post, into his own net. The goal, however, was disallowed as Kike was in an offside position when he hit his shot against the post.

Six minutes later Middlesbrough again, thought they were going to take the lead after Sergio Romero failed to control a back pass from Daley Blind. The ball rolled of the United keepers foot, hit the outside of the post and ran out for a corner.

The visitors had another chance on 67 minutes. Stuart Downing played a perfectly weighted through ball into the box finding Leadbitter. Leadbitter then fired in a shot from a tight angle but Sergio Romero got down quickly to turn the ball out for a corner.

Then it was Manchester United’s turn again.

Between the 80th and 90th minute, United a managed few attempts at the Middlesbrough goal. Fellaini and Smalling failed to hit the target with their efforts but Jesse Lingard came mighty close in the 90th minute with a fantastic volley that ricocheted off the post.

It looking as though United were going to snatch a winner. But Middlesbrough were not done yet.

Middlesbrough players celebrate win over Manchester United
Middlesbrough celebrate penalty shoot-out victory (Source: The Guardian)

In the space of a minute (90-91), Middlesbrough had three shots on goal, two of which were from Stuart Downing who forced two good saves from Sergio Romero.

Unfortunately neither team were able to find a winner in normal time so the game went to extra time in which both teams had great chances to snatch a winner.

The best chances for a winner came for United in the dying seconds of the second half (ET). The first fell to martial who watched his diving header bounce just in front of the goal line but the spin took it the wrong side of the back post.

A minute later, in time added on, Jesse Lingard played a cross into the box. Fellaini got his head to the ball with space around him and only the keeper to beat. Unfortunately he could only direct the ball over the bar.

The game then went to penalties and misses from Wayne Rooney, Michael Carrick and Ashley Young cost Manchester United the game with Middlesbrough winning the shoot-out 3-1.

As a neutral, this would have been a fantastic game to watch with so many late chances in normal time and extra time for both teams. For United fans however, it will be another frustrating experience. Once again Wayne Rooney failed to impress; big money signing Memphis also had another game he will want to forget quickly and again they failed to break down a solid defence.

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 Manchester United V Manchester City match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here or watching below.

Manchester United Team Sheet

Romero
Darmian
Smalling
Blind
Rojo
Carrick
Fellaini
Pereira
Lingard
Wilson
Memphis

Substitutes

De Gea
Young
Schweinsteiger
Herrera
Mata
Martial
Rooney

Middlesbrough Team Sheet

Mejias
Kalas
Ayala
Gibson
Friend
Leadbitter
Stephens
Nsue
Downing
De Pena
Kike

Substitutes

Dimi
Amorebieta
Clayton
Fabbrini
Jackson
Nugent
Zucolini

Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City | Match Report

A goalless draw was the result of a somewhat entertaining Manchester derby. The crowd was electric, strong challenges were aplenty but it lacked that killer finish.

The first half of the match was even in terms of ball possession but very few chances were created; none in fact for Manchester United.

Manchester City carved out a couple of chances with former Liverpool player Raheem sterling finding a shooting opportunity on 11 minutes but his shot was blocked. Yaya Toure also had a couple of chances late on in the half when he beat Morgan Schneiderlin in the air to head just wide from a corner and scuffing a shot over the bar from an early Kevin De Bruyne cross.

Antonio Valencia gave Alexander Kolarov a hard time down the right but failed to find a decent cross and Marcos Rojo kept De Bryune quiet with some great defending.

Both teams played good, quick football throughout the first half which kept the fans on both sides at full voice. You might say that the battle in the stands was at times more fierce than that on the pitch!

The second half was a different story. Manchester United came out and controlled the game. City struggled to gain any rhythm with United pressing very well.

Anthony Martial created lot’s of problems for City down the left with his winding runs leaving defenders wondering what just happened.

Manchester United, with all their possession, were able to create a few chances in the second half. But they were, frustratingly, not able to convert any of them.

The first came on 49 minutes when Juan Mata saw his shot blocked, then less than a minute later, Chris Smalling came close, heading a Juan Mata corner back across goal and narrowly wide.

United continued to be patient, keeping possession, but had to wait until the 83rd minute before their next big chance.

On 83 minutes, Anthony Martial, from outside the City box, scooped a ball over the top to Jesse Lingard who then jumped and flicked the looping ball up and over Joe Hart only to watch it bounce off the cross bar.

United’s last big chance came in the 87th minute when a lofted Ander Herrera free kick was headed down by Fellaini into the path of Chris Smalling. Smalling managed to get a shot off but a full stretch Joe Hart was able to tip the ball around the bottom left post.

Despite the lack of goals the match was an entertaining one. Gripping at times when it looked like United were on a break. The fans of both clubs created a fantastic atmosphere from start to finish.

Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo had great games at the back and Anthony Martial once again looked dangerous with the ball at his feet. It is definitely safe to say that at the final whistle, it was Manchester United who were the more disappointed of both clubs.

With all the top 6 having played 10 games, Mancester United now sit 4th; level on points with 3rd placed West Ham United and two points behind leaders Manchester City and second placed Arsenal.

League table showing Manchester United's current position
Premier League table (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 Manchester United V Manchester City match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Please also visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to join the post match discussion.

Manchester United Team Sheet

de Gea
A Valencia (Darmian – 81′)
Jones
Smalling
Rojo
Schneiderlin
Schweinsteiger (Fellaini – 75′)
Mata (Lingard – 67′)
Herrera
Martial
Rooney

Substitutes

Depay
Carrick
Blind
Romero
Fellaini
Lingard
Darmian

Manchester City Team Sheet

Hart
Sagna
Kompany
Otamendi
Kolarov
Fernando
Fernandinho
De Bruyne
Y Touré (Demichelis – 77′)
Sterling (Jesús Navas – 55′)
Bony (Iheanacho – 83′)

Substitutes

Zabaleta
Caballero
Jesús Navas
Mangala
Demichelis
Roberts
Iheanacho

Transfer Rumour: Harry Kane and Rafael Varane

It is rumoured that Manchester United will reignite their interest in signing Harry Kane next summer with Louis van Gaal insisting on it.

Harry Kane was strongly linked to United in the last transfer window but a move did not come to fruition as Tottenham did not feel United’s offer met their valuation of the England forward.

Also on the rumour-mill: with United failing to capture the signature of Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos in the summer, attentions have now been turned to one of Madrid’s other centre backs, Rafael Varane. Louis van Gaal believes he is the man to improve his teams defensive options.

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

Do you think Harry Kane and Rafael Varane would be a good signings for United? Who else would you like to see in a Manchester United shirt? Let us know in the comments below.

CSKA Moscow 1-1 Manchester United | Match Report

Manchester United make life difficult for themselves in the Champions League group stage after a lackluster performance results in a 1-1 draw at CSKA Moscow.

Despite dominating possession for the majority of the first half, United struggled to find a way through the CSKA stronghold in what was always expected to be a tough game,

It was CSKA Moscow who drew first blood when, against the run of play, a handball in the Manchester United box from Anthony Martial in the 15th minute, resulted in a penalty. The penalty, taken by Eremenko, was saved by David de Gea but Doumbia was quickest to react and converted the rebound to put the home side 1-0 ahead.

The second half brought a slight improvement with Manchester United continuing to control the game and creating a few chances.

On 59 minutes, a Herrera cross found Rooney who headed straight at the keeper and on 62 minutes the CSKA keeper made easy work of a weak, in-step, Lingard shot.

With these two chances coming within a couple of minutes of each other you sensed a goal was coming. And it did, with Anthony Martial making amends for his handball incident. On 64 minutes, Ander Herrera played a clever through ball into the path of Antonio Valencia who hit a first time cross into the box. The cross was fractionally too high for Rooney but Anthony Martial was behind and with a fantastic diving header arrowing the ball past the keeper and in off the far post.

The game continued with Manchester United trying without success to get a winner. CSKA Moscow seemed to persistently outnumber United by two or three to one with their constant pressing and plugging of any gaps.

If United are going to progress through the group stage they will need to find a way of breaking teams down and quick.

As it stands, Manchester United now sit 2nd, two points behind VfL Wolfsburg with the group still very much open after 3 games.

Champions League Group B showing Manchester United in 2nd place
Champions League 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 CSKA Moscow V Manchester United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here.

Please also visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to discuss the game or start your own discussion.

CSKA Moscow Team Sheet

Akinfeev
Figueira Fernandes
Berezutski (Berezutski – 42′)
Ignashevitch
Schennikov
Tosic
Wernbloom
Alekseevich Eremenko (Panchenko – 83′)
Musa
Dzagoev (Cauna – 87′)
Doumbia

Substitutes

Chepchugov
Berezutski
Panchenko
Nababkin
Cauna
Milanov
Golovin

Manchester United Team Sheet

de Gea
A Valencia
Jones
Smalling
Rojo (Blind – 63′)
Schweinsteiger (Fellaini – 45′)
Schneiderlin
Lingard (Depay – 80′)
Rooney
Herrera
Martial

Substitutes

Depay
Mata
Carrick
Blind
Romero
Fellaini
Darmian

Champions League: Manchester United pair return for CSKA trip

Manchester United’s Sergio Romero and Antonio Valencia return to the squad for match day three in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

The pair were rested for Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park following their return from World Cup qualifying duty for Argentina and Ecuador.

Jesse Lingard will also join the 20-man Champions League squad, while Ashley Young and James Wilson miss out.

Read the full article on the Sky Sports website here.

How do you think Manchester United will fare in Russia? Should key players be rested from Champions League duty in preperation for the Derby? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Memphis given warning

Under performing Memphis Depay receives warning from boss Louis van Gaal.

Following his arrival in the summer, Memphis had a bright start to his Manchester United career, scoring two against FC Bruges, one against former club PSV and one away at Sunderland.

However, in recent weeks the 21 year old has struggled to live up to his own and the fans’ expectations.

This has led to the former Eredivisie star receiving a warning from manager Louis van Gaal with the boss saying that Memphis could suffer the same fate as former United stars Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

Louis van Gaal had this to say:

Ryan has already given advice to him but the player is responsible for his own deeds,

You have to give respect to your team philosophy.

Read the full article on the Sky Sports website here.

Do you think Memphis will come good or do you think he will end up leaving Old Trafford next summer? Leave us a comment below.

Everton 0-3 Manchester United | Match Report

Before the game started, many thought it would be a close encounter considering Manchester United’s record at Goodison Park in recent years. But it was not the case as United made sure that they put the result of their last game, against Arsenal, behind them with a comfortable 3-0 victory. Their first victory at Goodison Park since October 29, 2011.

Apart from two Manchester United goals the first half was fairly quiet. United looked comfortable but the game was very open with both teams seeing plenty of the ball.

The first of United’s goals came from Morgan Schneiderlin on 18 minutes. Chris Smalling, on the penalty spot following a corner, chested the ball down into the path of Schneiderlin toward the left side of the box. Schneiderlin then hit the ball first time with some power across a full stretch Tim Howard and into the bottom right corner.

The corner kick that led to the goal was won by an Ander Herrera shot from the edge of the area, which was tipped over the bar by Tim Howard.

Just four minutes later, Herrera popped up again to head home an early Marcos Rojo cross, for Manchester United’s second.

After the second goal Manchester United were beginning to see more possession, keeping control of the game. They probably should have gone three up after Wayne Rooney selflessly played the ball back across the box into Martial, who could only shoot at Tim Howard. Rooney had a great chance to shoot and probably should have, instead of playing in Martial.

Everton had one great chance to pull a goal back just before the break when Ross Barkley shot from a tight angle but was unable to beat David de Gea who punched the ball clear.

The second half begun with Everton putting some pressure on United with Lukaku proving to be a nuisance with his ability to hold the ball. But Phil Jones and Chris Smalling made sure that was all he did.

Lukaku did manage to get a shot off in the 54th minute, but David de Gea once again showcased his lightning-quick reactions by blocking the shot with his outstretched left foot.

Everton’s period of pressure came to an abrupt end on 61 minutes when Ander Herrera found Wayne Rooney with a perfectly weighted through ball. Rooney, one-on-one with Tim Howard, calmly struck the ball in at the near post with Howard going the other way. This was a much needed goal for Wayne.

Wayne Rooney had a chance to get his second 7 minutes later when his run from just past the half way line saw him only manage a tame shot which was easily saved by Tim Howard. However, there were claims that he was being pulled back.

Midway through the second half Everton looked as though they had switched off with several passes going wayward. But United were not able to capitalise on the mistakes.

On the 80th minute Everton were again close to scoring with a Barkley free kick going narrowly over the bar. This would surely have been only a consolation goal.

Throughout the game Chris Smalling proved to be a rock at the back once again with Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo also putting in good shifts. Ander Herrera also showed why he should get more game time with his goal, assist and fantastic off the ball play, creating space for others.

As it stands, Manchester United now sit second with Arsenal playing their game in-hand this evening away at Watford.

Screenshot of current Premier League table showing Manchester United's position
Premier League Table (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 Everton V Manchester United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here or watching below.

Please also visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to discuss the game or start your own discussion.

Everton Team Sheet

Howard
Coleman
Stones
Jagielka
Galloway
McCarthy
Barry
Lennon (Deulofeu – 73′)
Barkley
Naismith (Koné – 45′)
Lukaku

Substitutes

Robles
Koné
Mirallas
Deulofeu
Osman
Funes Mori
Browning

Manchester United Team Sheet

de Gea
Darmian
Smalling
Jones
Rojo
Schneiderlin
Schweinsteiger (Carrick – 74′)
Mata (Lingard – 45′)
Herrera (Fellaini – 81′)
Rooney
Martial

Substitutes

Depay
Carrick
Blind
Fellaini
Lingard
Pereira
Johnstone

Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United | Match Report

It was a night to forget in North London for Manchester United, as they slump to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of a ruthless Arsenal.

Arsenal started the game by coming at United right from the outset and it paid dividends as all three of Arsenal’s goals came in the first 20 minutes.

The first came in the 6th minute when some mesmerizing one touch passing ended with Mesut Ozil, on the right-hand side of the United box. Ozil played the ball to the near post where Sanchez fired home past David de Gea with a cool Cruyff-like finish.

Less than a minute later Theo Walcott broke into the United box down the left. Cutting back, he played the ball into Mesut Ozil, who was unmarked on the penalty spot. Ozil, with all the time in the world, struck the ball first time, placing it into the bottom left corner, leaving David de Gea rooted to the ground.

It didn’t stop there. Arsenal’s attacking frenzy continued and Alexis Sanchez found the net in the 20th minute for his second in the game. From a central position, Theo Walcott played the ball out to the left finding Sanchez unmarked. Doing what he does best, Sanchez ran at the United defence, skipping past Matteo Darmian and Chris Smalling, then lacing the ball into the top right corner. David de Gea had no chance.

By this point United looked defeated and shocked. I think every player and fan on both sides were shocked by what they were seeing from both teams.

On 33 minutes Aaron Ramsey had a golden chance to put United out of their misery. After some more quick, clever passing from Arsenal, a ball over the top to the back post found Ramsay unmarked but his volley was mis-hit and sailed over the bar.

By now Arsenal had taken their foot off the pedal slightly and Manchester United enjoyed some possession.

In the 44th Minute, Anthony Martial found the ball at his feet on the edge of the 6-yard box. He turned his man brilliantly but Petr Cech read the situation very well and came out quickly to block Martial’s shot. Had Martial scored, the second half could have been very different.

The second half was completely different regardless. Arsenal were contempt with their 3-goal lead and so sat back and allowed Manchester United to play.

Although United dominated possession for the entire second half, they only managed a few half chances that never really threatened Petr Cech.

Arsenal again had a couple of chances toward the end of the game to score another with Ozil and Giroud both having shots straight at de Gea and Oxlade-Chamberlain came close in the 91st minute with a lobbed shot hitting the bar.

It has to be said, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal got it spot on today. They completely out-classed Manchester United early on scoring the goals they deserved. They played at a very high tempo and their passing was so quick and tight that it pulled United apart. The link up between the Arsenal forwards was admirable. They were all in tandem with each other and showed great awareness. Then in the second half, they showed their defensive qualities – which have been questioned many times in the past – by keeping Manchester United at bay.

United on the other hand were nowhere near as good. And the sooner they put this result behind them the better.

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

You can also watch the Arsenal V Manchester United match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here or watching below.

Please also visit The United Stand Fan Forum here to discuss the game or start your own discussion.

Arsenal Team Sheet

Cech
Bellerín
Mertesacker
Gabriel
Monreal
Cazorla
Coquelin
Ramsey
Özil (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75′)
Sánchez (Gibbs 81′)
Walcott (Giroud 75′)

Substitutes

Debuchy
Gibbs
Giroud
Ospina
Oxlade-Chamberlain
Chambers
Campbell

Manchester United Team Sheet

de Gea
Young
Smalling
Blind
Darmian (Valencia 45′)
Carrick
Schweinsteiger
Mata (Wilson 82′)
Rooney
Depay (Fellaini 45′)
Martial

Substitutes

Jones
Wilson
Romero
A Valencia
Fellaini
Schneiderlin
McNair