Liverpool 0:1 Manchester United

Wayne Rooney netted Manchester United’s 100th Reds goal against Liverpool at Anfield as Louis van Gaal’s men claimed a famous late victory over the Merseysiders.

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The United captain struck with 12 minutes left when he smashed home from close range after Marouane Fellaini’s header had come back off the bar. It’s fair to say the hosts dominated much of the 90 minutes, but the Reds grew into the game after half-time before Rooney struck the killer blow, although it must be said that David De Gea was once again outstanding.

Louis van Gaal kept faith with the starting XI that played out a 3-3 draw against Newcastle United four days earlier, with the only change to the matchday squad being Guillermo Varela replacing James Weir on the bench.

United had won two of the last three league meetings at Anfield, including last season’s Juan Mata-inspired victory, while van Gaal had enjoyed three league wins from three against the Merseysiders since his arrival. Both sides came into the match in mixed form and it seemed strange for a United/Liverpool game equating to a match between sixth and ninth in the table.

It was the hosts who had the first sight of goal on 10 minutes, following a cagey opening. A ball over the top from Lucas found Adam Lallana, who tried his luck with a header as De Gea sprinted from goal. The Spaniard got a strong hand to the effort and was relieved to see Roberto Firmino drag a follow-up shot wide with the goal gaping. James Milner blasted over soon after, while tensions were raised between the sides after Fellaini and Lucas clashed twice in quick succession.

The Reds were quiet as an attacking force with Liverpool enjoying the best of the few opportunities in the first period. Captain Jordan Henderson had one of those on the half-hour mark but his cross-shot, after being flicked in by Firmino, flew wide. Firmino found himself through on goal with half-time approaching as Liverpool broke from a United corner, but Anthony Martial got back brilliantly to take the ball off his toe.

Cameron Borthwick-Jackson replaced the injured Ashley Young just before the break as Liverpool finished the half on top.

The second period began as the first finished with Jurgen Klopp’s men dominating and five minutes in Emre Can almost broke the deadlock after powering past Chris Smalling but, thankfully, De Gea saved with his legs.

At the other end, Martial had United’s best chance of the game so far on 56 minutes after the Reds worked the ball well. Borthwick-Jackson’s cross eventually dropped to the French striker, who dragged a shot just wide of Simon Mignolet’s left-hand post. The chance sparked encouragement in the away end, which featured the watching Phil Jones, Michael Carrick and Marcos Rojo, as the Reds gradually worked their way into the match.

De Gea still needed to be alert at the other end and soon after last season’s Anfield hero Mata had replaced Jesse Lingard, the Spanish stopper pulled off a brilliant double save from Can and Firmino.

Memphis Depay’s arrival, in place of Ander Herrera, prompted a tactical reshuffle as Martial went up front with Rooney switching to the no.10 role, and Memphis and Mata flanking them down each side.

After playing such a key role in this fixture last season, Mata turned provider this time as the Reds looked to stage a smash and grab. His cross from a short corner landed on Fellaini’s head and after the ball smacked against the bar Rooney was there to blast home into the roof of the net. It was the striker’s fifth goal in four games and it also meant Rooney has now scored more goals in the Premier League for one club than anyone else, edging ahead of Thierry Henry to 176.

The Reds survived a couple of scares late on, but held out for another important victory with none sweeter than against our great rivals.

Nothing sweeter than a victory at Anfield!

Glory MUFC!

Cheers

Ss

Posted from my iMac

Manchester United 2:1 Swansea City

Wayne Rooney scored a second-half winner as Manchester United got 2016 off to the perfect start by defeating Swansea at Old Trafford.

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The Reds’ winless run had looked in danger of being extended to nine games after Gylfi Sigurdsson cancelled out Anthony Martial’s opener.

But with just over 10 minutes remaining, Rooney flicked home Martial’s cross to net his 238th goal for United, moving him above Denis Law into second place in the club’s all-time highest scorers list.

Though there was only one change to the side that drew with Chelsea on Monday – Phil Jones replacing Matteo Darmian – the Reds began the new year in a different system, with Jones joining Chris Smalling and Daley Blind in a three-man defence flanked by wing-backs Young and Martial.

United had lost three consecutive games to Swansea by a 2-1 scoreline but quickly set about trying to end that streak and, within a minute, Ander Herrera had a shot blocked inside the box after an incisive one-two with Juan Mata.

It was another bright and breezy start from Louis van Gaal’s men but the next real chance did not arrive until the 21st minute, when Young’s cross found Rooney on the far side of the box but the captain could only fire into the side-netting. At the other end, it was half-an-hour before David De Gea was tested as he comfortably clutched Wayne Routledge’s drive.

A sharp piece of thinking almost resulted in Mata putting United ahead as Herrera played a quick free-kick on the edge of the box forward to the Spaniard, whose initial shot was blocked by Neil Taylor before his second weaker effort was saved by Swans goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

Fabianski was called upon twice more before the break, firstly clinging onto a Mata shot after Young had beaten Leon Britton to reach the byline and pick out the United no.8, before saving a Rooney header from another Young cross.

Van Gaal brought on Darmian in place of Jones at the start of the second half and, almost instantly, Rooney had a left-footed shot blocked by Ashley Williams. But it wasn’t long before the Reds took the lead as Young crossed from the right to find Martial and the Frenchman headed emphatically past Fabianski.

Swansea looked for a swift reply and, after Gylfi Sigurdsson broke down the right channel, Darmian did well to recover and block his shot, with De Gea collecting the loose ball.

As the game began to open up, Young was a real threat down the right and twice came close to creating further chances with dangerous deliveries that were headed away by the visitors.

But Swansea had now come out of their shells and Andre Ayew came within a whisker of equalising when he headed against the post, with De Gea beaten. Angel Rangel picked up the loose ball and went down under Darmian’s challenge but was booked for diving.

That chance encouraged the visitors and, with 20 minutes left, they equalised through Sigurdsson, who sent a looping header from substitute Modou Barrow’s cross beyond De Gea’s despairing dive.

Old Trafford was stunned but United were not deterred and immediately pushed for a winner, which duly arrived in the 77th minute when Martial beat Federico Fernandez on the left and crossed for Rooney to flick home, cueing joyous celebrations in the Stretford End. The goal made Rooney the second-highest Premier League scorer of all time, ahead of ex-Reds striker Andy Cole but behind Newcastle legend Alan Shearer.

Back came Swansea and Barrow had a shot well saved by De Gea as the game entered the final 10 minutes. In stoppage-time, Michael Carrick replaced Herrera to make his 400th appearance but United then survived two huge scares at the death. Firstly, De Gea made a superb flying save from Williams’s shot, before Swansea sent Fabianski forward for a corner and the goalkeeper headed inches wide.

The Reds survived and claimed the points – let’s hope there will be plenty more this year.

Glory Glory Man United

Happy New Year!

Ss

Watford 1:2 Manchester United

Despite a raft of injuries, picked up before and during the visit to Watford, Manchester United earned a dramatic 2-1 victory at Vicarage Road with Memphis Depay scoring on his return to the side and Bastian Schweinsteiger playing his part in an injury-time winner.

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In a game dominated by Louis van Gaal’s men in the first half and controlled by the Hornets in the second, Memphis’s fine first-half goal and an own goal from Troy Deeney, who had equalised for Watford, secured a vital win and, at least temporarily, took United top of the table. David De Gea’s part in the win cannot be overlooked either after a string of top saves from the Spanish stopper.

Van Gaal made four changes to the side that started the Reds’ last match against West Brom, with Phil Jones, Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Memphis all coming in. They replaced the injured pairing of Michael Carrick and Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney, who is ill, and Marcos Rojo, who was named on the bench after a long journey back from South America for international duty. After recently including youngsters Axel Tuanzebe and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson in his matchday squad, van Gaal named two more prospects among the substitutes – striker Marcus Rashford and midfielder Sean Goss.

Another homegrown talent who has impressed so much in recent weeks, Jesse Lingard, got United on the attack from the off, and was inches away from connecting with Juan Mata’s right-wing cross with just a minute on the clock. And it wasn’t long before the Reds took the lead.

The danger came down the right once more as former Watford man Ashley Young found Ander Herrera and his first-time cross was brilliantly volleyed into the top corner by Memphis.

United were well in control of proceedings but breathed a sigh of relief on 21 minutes when Young had the ball taken off his toes by Etienne Capoue who sprinted forward. Watford found themselves with two against one as Capoue found Odion Ighalo, but the striker shot wide.

The Reds lost Herrera to what looked like a hamstring injury soon after, with Rojo coming on to join Chris Smalling, captain for the day with Rooney and Carrick both out, and Phil Jones in a makeshift back three. Not long after coming on, Rojo sent a ball into the box which bounced around before eventually dropping to Schneiderlin who smashed a volley just over the bar.

The French midfielder went close again just after the half-hour mark when Bastian Schweinsteiger flicked a corner across the box only for Troy Deeney to acrobatically flick it away to prevent Schneiderlin tapping home at the back post.

Memphis almost doubled his and United’s tally for the day six minutes before the break when he took aim from 25 yards, but Heurelho Gomes got down well to push it clear.

Gomes was called into action straight after the restart when Capoue presented Memphis with possession in midfield. The goalscorer powered forward and slipped a reverse pass in to Lingard whose shot was well saved by the Watford keeper.

Thereafter, Watford took control with De Gea needing to be on red alert on more than one occasion. Four minutes before the hour mark, Watford put together their best move of the game as Deeney caught the ball brilliantly on the edge of the box after being set up by Ighalo but De Gea pushed it clear. The United goalkeeper then had Schneiderlin to thank minutes later when he blocked Ighalo’s effort from five yards out.

Watford continued to turn the screw and De Gea made two superb stops in quick succession after the Reds had lost Jones to what appeared to be yet another injury. The Hornets got the ball into the box and after it had pinged about, Almen Abdi had a go but De Gea got down brilliantly to tip away after it had deflected off Smalling. He then palmed away the resulting corner from almost inside his goal.

Lingard had a chance to seal the victory seven minutes from time but wasn’t able to lob Gomes as he advanced from goal. It looked to be a crucial miss when Deeney levelled proceedings from penalty spot after Rojo tripped Ignalo three minutes from full-time. Referee Robert Madley took some time before making the decision and Deeney made no mistake by lashing past De Gea.

Yet, there was still more to drama to come in injury-time. United piled on the pressure and, after Gomes had saved spectacularly from Smalling, he could only palm Lingard’s shot into the path of Schweinsteiger who sent the ball back across goal for it to be turned home by Deeney, as he tried to scramble off the line. Cue wild celebrations from the Reds and another important three points.

GGMU MUFC

Ss

 

Manchester United 2:0 West Bromwich Albion

Manchester United got back to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League with a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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After long spells of fruitless first-half pressure from the Reds, the breakthrough finally came early in the second period when Jesse Lingard fired home a super finish, bagging his first goal for the club as his star continues to rise. Juan Mata then secured the victory from the spot in injury time as United stayed fourth in the league, notching a sixth clean sheet in seven in the process.

Louis van Gaal named an unchanged side from the XI that had overcome CSKA Moscow in midweek, although Cameron Borthwick-Jackson became the latest youngster to be included in the Dutchman’s 16, following Axel Tuanzebe’s appearance on the bench against Crystal Palace last week.

Keen to build on the aforementioned Champions League win, the Reds started brightly and dominated possession, though did little to trouble Boaz Myhill’s goal in the opening 10 minutes. The first chance of note came just after the 15-minute mark, when Bastian Schweinsteiger found Wayne Rooney, who turned well and was able to prod ball into the path of Mata. The Spaniard arced his body to curl a shot past the reaches of Myhill, but also narrowly past the post.

Meanwhile, West Brom, who fielded a side containing Old Trafford old boys Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans, continued to defend with the tirelessness and commitment that those players had come to embody during their time at United, frustrating the home side for long periods. With the Baggies happy to sit back and soak up the play, the onus was on United to break them down, yet, despite the relentless pressure and possession, few clear-cut chances were created.

Left-sided duo Marcos Rojo and Lingard did provide a bright spark for the Reds, keeping West Brom right-back Craig Dawson on his toes, and it was the latter of the United pair who was next to go close.

Mata collected the ball on the edge of the area before arrowing an expertly-weighted ball to the far post looking for the young winger, but just as it seemed destined to provide Jesse with the chance of the half, Dawson intervened with a perfectly-timed header to clear the danger. Lingard enjoyed another opportunity late in the half, having been put through on goal by Anthony Martial, but Evans stood firm, diverting the ball out of play.

Seemingly not content with creating chances, Martial then tested Myhill himself, but his stinging drive was thwarted by the stopper as the score remained goalless at the interval.

There were no changes to personnel from either side at the break and nor was there a change to the state of play, as United began to take the game to the visitors from the get-go.

Buoyed by chants of ‘Attack, Attack, Attack’, it wasn’t long before the Reds finally turned possession into a tangible advantage and, unsurprisingly, it was the excellent Lingard who broke the deadlock.

With just over 50 minutes on the clock, Martial sent a ball into the area looking for Rooney, only for Chris Brunt to clear the danger. Thankfully, the Ulsterman’s clearance only went as far as Lingard, who took a touch before bending a superb effort past the beaten Myhill. The Warrington-born winger’s first goal for the club was one that belied his young years and was greeted by a deafening roar from the Stretford End, stirred from its first-half slumber.

The goal gave everyone of United persuasion a real lift going into the start of an important second half, but chances were still at a minimum, despite the home side’s continued forays forward.

As the half drew on it was West Brom who began to show more ambition going forward and Evans might well have drawn the visitors level as he seized upon confusion in the United defensive ranks, possibly caused by a double substitution for the Baggies shortly before a free-kick. It was a let-off for van Gaal’s men, who then received another huge slice of luck two minutes later when substitute Saidy Berahino headed over from point-blank range.

Borthwick-Jackson and Ander Herrera were then brought on in quick succession in place of Rojo and Rooney, following the earlier introduction of Phil Jones at right-back. The changes seemed to take the sting out of the game, with United now back in control, and the home side earned the chance to seal the points in added-on time.

The ever-sprightly Martial seized upon the tired legs among the Baggies defence and looked set to fire home before being chopped down by Gareth McAuley. The West Brom man saw red for the late challenge, allowing  Mata to step up and coolly slot home from 12 yards – job done.

GGMU

Ss

Manchester United 1:0 CSKA Moscow

Manchester United’s goal drought ended in dramatic fashion as Wayne Rooney’s header in front of the Stretford End secured a 1-0 win over CSKA Moscow in the Champions League.

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The Reds had not found the net in consecutive matches against Manchester City, Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace, which was a cause for concern ahead of this crunch tie in Group B. Although it took 80 minutes to find a breakthrough at a rain-sodden Old Trafford, the captain eventually delivered the goods to achieve a result that places the Reds top of the pool following Wolfsburg’s 2-0 defeat at PSV Eindhoven.

Louis van Gaal made three changes to his starting XI by recalling Ashley Young, Michael Carrick and Jesse Lingard, while crucially sticking with the under-fire Rooney up front. The United and England skipper almost scored in the third minute when his left-footed shot flashed just wide of the post, prompting audible cheers of his name from the Old Trafford faithful who were so eager to celebrates goals from the no.10.

Lingard unsuccessfully appealed for a penalty moments later and quickly hit another effort wide of target, before a fine long ball from Daley Blind on the halfway line led to Juan Mata forcing a decent save from goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev on 15 minutes as the Reds pressed for a first goal since Anthony Martial’s header in the previous fixture against CSKA at Arena Khimki, some four matches ago.

United completely dominated the first half – both in terms of possession and shots at goal – but were guilty of missing genuine opportunities with Rooney’s free-kick bouncing wide, Lingard’s second shot flying over and Marcos Rojo’s back-post volley missing the target from close range. It was undoubtedly a much-improved performance from the Reds, with just the finishing touch lacking.

The second half began as the first left off, with the Reds missing further chances to score as Rojo nodded wide from just outside the six-yard box before the Argentinian – who used to play for CSKA’s rivals Spartak Moscow – supplied a cross from which Martial headed at the goalkeeper. The Frenchman might have done better, yet his pace and energy suggested more chances would come.

The visitors were defending with all 11 men behind the ball and they rarely ventured past the halfway line, except for the odd counter attack, which posed a conundrum for United. How do you break down a stubborn Russian defence? Van Gaal introduced Marouane Fellini for Martial on the hour mark and the deadlock was almost broken moments later, when Rooney received the ball from Mata inside the six-yard area but was unable to move his feet quickly enough to execute a shot, much to his frustration.

Memphis, who had scored Champions League goals against Club Brugge and former club PSV, entered the fray on 74 minutes and his cross soon led to Carrick firing wide from range. CSKA then went close to causing an upset when Seydou Doumbia forced an excellent save from De Gea before the scorer on matchday three hit a shot on the rebound that was sensationally cleared off the line by Chris Smalling.

The eventual breakthrough could not have been scripted better – Rooney popped up inside the area to head Lingard’s excellent cross past the goalkeeper in front of a jubilant Stretford End, where the captain celebrated by running to the corner flag and wildly punching the air. It was a moment of relief and ecstasy, but more importantly it was a goal that earned three invaluable points in Champions League Group B.

And the Reds go marching ON ON ON!

GGMU

Ss

Everton 0:3 Manchester United

Manchester United got back to winning ways and earned a first victory at Goodison Park since 2011 thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera and Wayne Rooney.

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It was the perfect way for the Reds to return to Barclays Premier League action following the international break and a chastening 3-0 defeat at Arsenal last time out. The result also maintained pressure on the leaders, Manchester City, who secured a comfortable 5-1 win over Bournemouth at the Etihad Stadium.

Saturday’s match was tinged with emotion with the news that Howard Kendall, the former Everton player and manager, had died at the age of 69 and the players wore black armbands as a mark of respect. A minute’s applause also preceded kick-off at Goodison Park, where Louis van Gaal made four changes to his starting XI by recalling Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Schneiderlin and Herrera.

A slow start in the previous game at Arsenal allowed the Gunners to score three times in the first 20 minutes and the manager demanded a much-improved opening on Merseyside. He got his wish, too, when Chris Smalling chested Rojo’s shot towards Schneiderlin for the Frenchman to bag his first competitive United goal with a cool finish on 18 minutes. Herrera doubled the lead four minutes later when the Spaniard stormed into the area to head Rojo’s fine cross past former Reds goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Jones briefly left the action on 30 minutes to stem the flow of blood pouring from his nose, which was the result of an increasingly physical first half that also saw David De Gea and Anthony Martial temporarily go down with knocks. Although Everton pressed for a goal before the break, the closest they came was a powerful effort from Ross Barkley that was clawed away by De Gea on 45 minutes.

The second half began with Jesse Lingard replacing Juan Mata to make his first appearance since his first-team debut on the opening day of 2014/15, when he suffered a serious knee injury, and the 22-year-old Academy graduate was quickly needed in defence as Everton piled on the pressure, going close to scoring when Romelu Lukaku’s shot was brilliantly saved by the left boot of De Gea.

United stood firm and scored again after the hour-mark when Phil Jagielka’s wayward pass fell to Schneiderlin on the halfway line, from where he fed Herrera on the right. The Spaniard slipped a neat ball forward to Rooney and the ex-Everton striker executed a fine finish past Howard. Wayne is now second in the Premier League goal charts and level with Andy Cole with 187 to his name, although he still has some way to go before catching Alan Shearer’s record of 260.

Barkley, the promising England international who was arguably Everton’s best player, hit a rasping free-kick onto the roof of De Gea’s goal on 80 minutes before Marouane Fellaini replaced Herrera to receive a respectful ovation from the home fans who used to cheer his name. The Belgian’s presence in midfield allowed United to consolidate an excellent win, another clean sheet and three more Premier League points.

GGMU

Ss

Manchester United 2:1 Wolfsburg

Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Champions League on Wednesday as goals from Juan Mata and Chris Smalling secured an invaluable 2-1 comeback victory over Wolfsburg.

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The Reds had lost the opening Group B match at PSV Eindhoven earlier this month and, as a result, needed a positive result on matchday two at Old Trafford ahead of a potentially difficult trip to CSKA Moscow, who bagged an impressive 3-2 triumph over the Dutch champions elsewhere in Russia.

Although the importance of this match was emphasised by Louis van Gaal ahead of kick-off, United made a disappointing start and fell behind to Daniel Caligiuri’s goal in the fourth minute after the German-born Italian dribbled down the right flank to exchange passes inside the penalty box before finishing past David De Gea with aplomb, much to the delight of the continuously vocal travelling fans in the away end.

United responded well and Bastian Schweinsteiger hit a speculative half-volley at an open goal just moments later following a dodgy clearance from goalkeeper Diego Benaglio, before Mata’s curling effort was headed over by the physically imposing former Bayern Munich defender Dante. Anthony Martial then went close with a mazy run from the right that led to the Frenchman firing just off target.

The visiting Germans appeared to be content with their early lead and understandably held a deep defensive line for much of the first half, essentially asking what United had got in attack. An answer was almost given in the 25th minute when Martial superbly got to the byline and found Wayne Rooney with a driven pass across the area, though the captain blazed his shot over the bar from around six yards. Memphis was then frustrated as his header from Mata’s superb pass was saved by the goalkeeper.

The Spaniard was quickly celebrating, however, after his cross was handled inside the area by Caligiuri and United were rightfully awarded a penalty in front of the East Stand, which our no.8 calmly stroked into the bottom corner to inspire scenes of great relief and ecstasy at Old Trafford. The mood was only dampened slightly by the sight of yellows cards for Morgan Schneiderlin and Schweinsteiger for separate fouls on Maximilian Arnold, just before the half-time break.

Van Gaal intervened during the interval by replacing right-back Antonio Valencia with Ashley Young, who had previously made a positive impact as a substitute this season, and United swiftly took the lead through an unlikely source when Smalling latched onto Mata’s superb backheel to prod home at the back post on 53 minutes, notching his 10th career goal for the Reds in the process.

Andreas Pereira excelled on his first competitive start against Ipswich Town a week earlier and the young Brazilian entered the fray just after the hour mark, taking the place of Memphis after the Dutchman was perhaps unfairly booked for apparently catching Christian Trasch with a flailing arm.

Wolfsburg made their own changes on 70 minutes by introducing Andre Schurrle and Nicolas Bendtner, two players who are both familiar to United fans as a result of their previous spells in the Premier League with Chelsea and Arsenal. The former almost scored with one of his first touches, too, after dragging a low shot from the right flank just wide of De Gea’s post.

Chances were ultimately few and far between in the closing stages as United looked to consolidate the advantage and a potentially crucial victory, basically by dropping deeper and soaking up all pressure that Wolfsburg tried to apply in the final third. This led to a nervous finale at Old Trafford and, in truth, the Germans looked like the team more likely to score as the clock ticked towards full-time.

Schneiderlin could and perhaps should have been sent off for a second bookable offence following a foul on Julian Draxler, which led to Ricardo Rodriguez curling a powerful free-kick inches wide on 85 minutes. That proved to be the final opportunity and United held on to claim three important Group B points.

Off to Emirates next!

Let’s get those 3 massive points!

GGMU

Cheers

Ss

Elusion!!

Possibly the biggest mistake you make in your life is to get great marks in your 10th standard board exams. In India, if you get great marks in 10th standard, you automatically study science. Mediocre marks means commerce, and terrible marks means arts. Never mind that you may be interested in Shakespeare. You got 90% in 10th. Study calculus.

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You foolishly listen to your parents and the rest of your family when they press you to study hard for that most “important” year. After this, everything is set, they say. Not really. A year later you have to study even harder for the “crucial” year 12th standard. Repeat your performance in 10th. Do it even better. Then you will have nothing to worry about. Then you will be happy!

So you slog it out. 12th standard – super grades. Crack the JEE and get into IIT. Here is where the happiness is supposed to start. The first thing that happens to you when you get into most IITs or Colleges is you get 15 pairs of dirty undies to wash. As you wash those undies, a smile lights up your face as you think, next year someone is gonna wash my undies. Next year everything will change. Next year I will be King. I will be the boss. I will be happy.

It’s next year now. The authorities have made it very clear that if a senior even breathes near a freshie, they will take drastic action, which could include expulsion, even worse than that, fines of more than Rs 50k! No more Ragging is the new motto of your College.

No one to wash your undies. Doesn’t matter. You decide, College sucks anyways. I will be happy when I get out of here. 3 more years to freedom. Freedom from dumb profs, idiotic assignments, petrifying exams and most importantly horrible, terrible, appalling, grisly, ghastly mess food and not to mention the terrifying crowd!

Fast forward 4 years. The last exam in Engineering. Come back to the home in utter euphoria which quickly turns into anxiety, coz you don’t have a job, a call to an IIM or an admission in that university in the US. I will be happy if I get any one. Please God, just anything. Even Infosys or TCS will do.

Prayer answered. You got a fabulous job. Great money. In a month, you realise college was infinitely better. Your boss definitely had past lives as a prof in college. Maybe, even the food was better. I will be happy when I get my dream job.

Dream job road sign

 

Got it. Bad dream. Nightmare actually.

I will be happy when I get a P.hD. So apply, get into a “prestigious” institute. Slog another 5 years or so. I will be so bloody happy when people call me Doctor. They do. And then they sneer… oh, you are not a medical doctor. Not even a dentist. Hmmmm…

Need a wife/husband now. I will be happy when I can legitimately have sex. (fun part right?) I will be happy when I get married. Ok, so get married. You are deliriously happy for about 4 hours. Good food finally!!!

Marriage-is

Then the fight happens. And another, and another, and another… There are tender moments of course, and love and all that… But the predominant question in your head is “Do mother in laws have past lives as college profs?!”

Everyday it’s the same thing. Happy for a few seconds if you are stars are behaving themselves, otherwise work, eat, sex (if you get lucky), sleep … Rinse and Repeat.

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I am sure we will be happy if we have children. 3 years later, 2 bags with cute faces, beautiful eyes and an amazing smile… whose sole purpose seems to be to leak. They leak from everywhere. I will be happy when these kids stop leaking. Or at least go leak in the right places.

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I will be happy when they start to walk and talk…

3 years later: Sit down. Sit DOWN!!! SIT in one place. Can’t you sit still??!!!

And keepyourmouthshutdontopenitshutshutshutshutshutshutshut.

OH GOD! I will be happy when these kids go to school and I have my life back. School is God’s gift to parents. When will they go to school?!!!

I will be happy when their homework is done.

I will be happy when they pass out of school.

I will be happy when they get into IIT or into a University in USA. I washed undies, they should wash undies.

No way young man, no way are you getting married to that girl. I will be happy when he chooses someone I like to get married to. What?? You want to get married to him? You are bisexual. Bisexual?!! Right…

I will be happy when… I retire and all this will be behind me. Woody Allen says Comedy is just tragedy + time. I want the + time NOW!

Time-Flies

I will be happy when I have grand children.

I will be happy when they are grown. What a fine young man he is!

I will be happy when.. when… when…. How come it’s all dark?

And now it’s sooooo bright…

We have always wondered if the expression on a dead person’s face is that of surprise (wha… it’s over??!!!) or that of peace…

Be happy now. Not later. Not tomorrow. Not when you get that promotion. Not when you go on a vacation. Not after this last exam. Not after your mother in law dies;) Not after retirement… Right Now. That’s all you really have. Happiness is never in the destination. It’s in the journey.

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Smile. Now! Right Now!

Let bygones be bygones:D

Cheers.

Love

Ss

Posted from my MacBook

Manchester United 3:0 Sunderland

Manchester United went top of the Barclays Premier League after dispatching a stubborn Sunderland outfit by three goals to nil with strikes from Memphis, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata.

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Memphis put United in front deep into first-half injury time following a tricky opening period, before captain Rooney doubled the Reds’ advantage shortly after the break. The hosts then enjoyed a comfortable second half, with Juan Mata wrapping up the result in the 90th minute, as United leapfrogged rivals City to take pole position for the first time under Louis van Gaal.

The boss made five changes to the team that started against Ipswich Town in midweek, with Matteo Darmian, Michael Carrick, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis and Anthony Martial all given the nod to start. It was a strong, attacking XI, and the Reds began the game very much on the front foot.

Two of the players reinstated to the line-up – Memphis and Martial – were heavily involved early on, linking up well with Rooney and Mata, the other half of United’s attacking quartet. The fine opening from the home side yielded its first opportunity on six minutes when a Matteo Darmian cross into the box skimmed the head of Anthony Martial, who was on the hunt for his fifth goal in five matches. A further half-chance followed only minutes later, but Memphis could not bring Carrick’s arrowed reverse ball under control.

Sunderland responded well to United’s bright start, as the Black Cats – wearing their bright green away strip – began to assert themselves on the match. Still, a John O’Shea header aside, chances remained at a minimum for the visitors as van Gaal’s men continued to probe for a break through.

The Reds were almost given an enormous helping hand midway through the opening period when a breakdown in communication between Black Cats stopper Costel Pantilimon and defender Younes Kaboul resulted in the giant keeper handling the ball outside of his area having hoofed the ball aloft and away from the prying Martial. A free-kick was awarded just outside the 18-yard box, but Juan Mata could only fire into the wall.

Frustration had begun to seep in around Old Trafford, just as Jermaine Lens caused a fright at the Stretford End as the forward forced David De Gea into a stop with his feet at the near post. A tepid free-kick from Memphis did little to ease the growing sense of tension in the stands, but the no. 7 went on to redeem himself with only seconds remaining of the first half.

United responded to a colossal roar from the Stretford End to launch one last assault on the Sunderland rearguard, as Blind picked out Mata with a pin-point ball into the box who – in turn – cushioned the ball to the Dutchman to tap home. The noise that greeted his first domestic strike highlighted the importance of the strike, with the Reds now sat in the box seat as they headed to the changing rooms for the interval.

Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat brought Steven Fletcher on for Adam Johnson at the start of the second half, seemingly with the hope of giving the visitors an improved goal threat. It was United, however, who were again much quicker out of the traps and were rewarded for such tenacity with a second goal only a minute after the restart.

The ever-threatening Martial received the ball from Mata on the right flank, before proceeding to outfox Younes Kaboul, allowing him to fire a pass across goal. The direct cross hit the on-rushing Wayne Rooney, directing the ball – via a slight deflection off Pantilimon – into the back of the net.

Unsurprisingly, the goal prompted a response from Sunderland who began to press United for the first time in the game. The Black Cats won a succession of corners which briefly caused the Reds some hassle, but thankfully were able to clear their lines after a Yann M’Vila free-kick landed dangerously at the far post. Another chance soon followed, but Patrick van Aanholt found De Gea in the way once again after fashioning an opportunity on the left side of United’s area.

Thereafter, it was the home side who were undisputedly in control and should have wrapped up the three points on 67 minutes. The excellent Martial evaded his marker to rush through on goal with only O’Shea and Pantilimon to beat as Memphis sprinted to join him in support. The Frenchman played in his team-mate, but the Dutchman could only aim his shot straight at the keeper.

As the game neared its conclusion, van Gaal replaced Carrick, Blind and Memphis with Schweinsteiger, Jones and Young over a ten-minute period, freshening up his side whilst also guarding against any late Sunderland threat.

That said, it was United that continued to push and Mata’s effort was expertly tipped round the post by Pantilimon. Undeterred, van Gaal’s men continued to throw men forward and Juan eventually got his name on the scoresheet in the 90th minute, firing into the roof of the net from an Ashley Young cross to set the seal on a fine day at the office for the new leaders of the Barclays Premier League.

GGMU!

Top of the Table!

Ss

Southampton 2:3 Manchester United

Anthony Martial enhanced his burgeoning reputation by scoring twice in a 3-2 win over Southampton that moves Manchester United up to second in the Barclays Premier League.

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The French summer signing executed two impressively composed finishes either side of the half-time break to overturn Graziano Pelle’s opener at St Mary’s. Juan Mata enhanced the lead and Italian striker Pelle bagged his second to set up a tense finale, though the Reds held on to claim an excellent result that closes the gap on leaders Manchester City to just two points following their home defeat to West Ham.

Luke Shaw was unavailable to play against his former club after breaking his leg at PSV Eindhoven and Louis van Gaal selected Marcos Rojo to fill in at left-back, allowing Daley Blind and Chris Smalling to maintain their promising partnership in the middle. Wayne Rooney and Morgan Schneiderlin were recalled to the starting XI, with Martial also making his first Premier League start.

The match began at an even pace with both teams enjoying separate spells of possession in midfield, although it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the 13th minute when Pelle pounced on David De Gea’s parried save from a Sadio Mane effort to shoot underneath the Spanish goalkeeper. The towering Italian, who scored in this fixture last season, then hit the outside of the post with a low shot just moments later that prompted a visibly angry De Gea to berate his defenders.

Memphis saw a looping header arc over Maarten Stekelenburg’s crossbar on 24 minutes as United – wearing the black adidas third kit – attempted to restore parity on the south coast. But it was far from easy against a home side that was defending with all 11 men behind the ball, while pressing high up the pitch with an intensity that has earned plenty of praise during Ronald Koeman’s reign as boss.

Thankfully, van Gaal’s men broke through the mass ranks to equalise in the 34th minute and it was our new no.9, Martial, who did the honours, receiving the ball on the edge of the six-yard area before showing impressive composure to execute a low finish past Stekelenburg.

United almost took an unexpected lead prior to the half-time break when Memphis intelligently played in Mata from a corner kick, with the Spaniard then slipping another pass inside for Blind to shoot wide from close-range, wrapping up an intriguing and entertaining opening 45 minutes at St Mary’s.

The second half began with both managers making tactical changes as Matt Targett replaced Cuco Martina and Antonio Valencia usurped Matteo Darmian, although Martial picked up exactly where he left off by scoring his second goal of the game on 50 minutes. This time, the 19-year-old livewire latched onto a sloppy backpass from Saints defender Maya Yoshida to execute another cool finish to inspire repeated chants of “Oh Anthony Martial” from United’s ecstatic travelling fans.

The away end was quickly singing the name of De Gea as well after the Player of the Year produced an astounding one-handed save to claw Jose Fonte’s off the line ahead of the hour mark, when van Gaal made his second substitution by introducing Bastian Schweinsteiger for Michael Carrick.

Southampton appeared to tire as the clock ticked on and United took full advantage as Memphis struck the post with a powerful effort that bounced back into the direction of Mata, who guided a neat finish into the bottom corner to bag his second goal of the season following his first at Swansea City.

Although United appeared in complete control in the final stages of Sunday’s match, as several Southampton players went down to ground with cramp, the hosts did manage to hit back and set up a tense finale as Pelle rose admirably to head Mane’s cross past a helpless De Gea.

The Spanish no.1 was then required to produce another acrobatic save to repel Victor Wanyama’s long-range effort, as van Gaal’s Reds kept their calm to secure an important victory that provides a welcomed confidence boost ahead of Tuesday’s Capital One Cup clash with Ipswich Town.

GGMU

Ss

Being Content … A Thought?

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How to be content?

If you are not content, it means you have some unfulfilled desires. Right?

Do you have the faith that these desires will be fulfilled? If you do, then there is no problem, your mind will become calm and contentment will dawn.

For many people this is not the case. They have so many unfulfilled desires and have absolutely no faith that these will be realised. In this case, you have to learn to drop these desires. You are going to die. What difference is it going to make, if a particular desire is fulfilled or not?! If you can take your mind to this place, you are done. The remembrance of your own “mortality” will calm your mind and you will instantly start to appreciate what you have in life and contentment comes to you.

If you can’t even do this – well then, Pray. A sincere prayer is definitely answered. It’s quite amazing to know that unfulfilled desires can lead you to prayer and surrender to the Divine Almighty!

Pray, work for whatever it is you desire, and wait, and know that your desires and you yourself will be taken care of.

If you see any of the Gods in the Hindu pantheon, you will see that they have many arms. One of these arms is usually held up, with palm facing outwards, another held down and blessings coming out of it. Ever wondered what it means?!

It means – Wait, Wait … It’s coming to you… Wait, Wait … I am giving!

Ask, Pray, Work, Wait.

Don’t forget to Smile!

 

Love

Ss

Posted from my MacBook

Manchester United 3:1 Club Brugge

Memphis Depay scored twice and notched an assist for Marouane Fellaini during a magnificent performance to help Manchester United secure an important 3-1 first-leg victory over Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League play-off.

Although Louis van Gaal will be disappointed to have conceded a potentially disruptive away goal, via an unfortunate deflection off Michael Carrick, this night belonged to Memphis and a summer signing who looks set to enjoy the adulation of Reds supporters following a mesmeric display.

United could have taken a lead in the very first minute after Juan Mata released Adnan Januzaj on the right with a carefully lofted pass, which allowed the Belgian to run at his marker before hitting a cross that almost found the lurking Wayne Rooney inside the Brugge penalty area. Memphis then hit a deflected shot at goal to round off a slightly frantic opening five minutes at Old Trafford.

Despite the Reds’ energetic start, the visitors took a shock lead in the 8th minute and in the cruellest of circumstances. Victor Vasquez, who was praised by van Gaal before kick-off, hit a 25-yard free-kick that cannoned off Januzaj in the wall before Carrick diverted the ball past a helpless Sergio Romero. Crucially, it gives Brugge an important away goal to take home to Belgium.

United responded brilliantly and almost instantly restored parity with a moment of individual brilliance from Memphis, who expertly controlled Carrick’s powerful pass, knocked the ball over his marker, dribbled at the defence and smashed home a low finish in front of a jubilant home crowd. It was the Dutchman’s first competitive goal for the club, and it could yet be of great significance.

The former PSV Eindhoven forward saw another deflected effort bounce wide on 25 minutes and, fresh from receiving a round of applause from the fans, his resulting corner led to Rooney hitting an acrobatic volley just off target. Januzaj was then played through on goal via a sumptuous pass from Mata, though the no.11 was shepherded away from a scoring opportunity by a Brugge defender.

The travelling fans in the away end were unrelenting but they were temporarily silenced on 42 minutes after Memphis cut inside from his position on the left wing to curl a sensational effort into the far corner, before celebrating in front of the United fans who undoubtedly have a new number 7 to worship.

The second half began with Bastian Schweinsteiger replacing Carrick in midfield, but United were not affected by the change as Mata almost instantly stung the palms of the goalkeeper with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area. Star man Memphis shot wide moments later, before unleashing yet another long-range effort as he continued to torment Brugge.

There was a moment of slight controversy on the hour mark, at least from a Belgian point of view, when substitute Obbi Oulare latched onto a weak back-pass from Matteo Darmian to force Romero into a poor clearance, which was then knocked into United’s goal by Brugge. However, German referee Deniz Aytekin had pulled play back for an apparent foul on United’s Argentinian goalkeeper.

Memphis could, and perhaps, should have sealed his hat-trick soon afterwards when he blazed over the bar from close range. Javier Hernandez later replaced Januzaj on 71 minutes to make his first appearance of the season and the Mexican’s arrival was greeted by an ovation from the fans.

Brugge were reduced to 10 men after Mechele received two yellow cards in quick succession, with the second coming after a badly-timed challenge on Chicharito, and the Belgians subsequently dropped deeper into their own half as United chased a third goal. After applying pressure, the Reds eventually found a breakthrough as substitute Marouane Fellaini rose to head Memphis’ cross home in added time, wrapping up an important 3-1 victory ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg.

Here we come UCL!

Ss

Aston Villa 0:1 Manchester United

Adnan Januzaj justified his recall to Louis van Gaal’s starting XI on Friday by scoring the only goal in Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League.

The Reds are now unbeaten in 20 top-flight matches at Villa Park in a run that stretches back to September 1996. The victory also means United have tallied six points from six available following two tricky opening fixtures, five points more than the total registered at this stage of the last campaign.

The match was notably moved to Friday night due to a heavily-policed event in Birmingham on Saturday and, although many fans were late to the stadium following traffic issues, most supporters at Villa Park appeared to enjoy the novelty of the change in schedule judging by the raucous atmosphere.

Van Gaal made just one change to his starting XI by selecting Januzaj in place of Ashley Young, with the Belgian forward playing in the hole behind Wayne Rooney, while new signing Memphis Depay performed out wide on the left, a position in which he excelled for PSV Eindhoven.

United created the first chance on 15 minutes as Memphis hit an inswinging free-kick that evaded all Villa defenders and bounced towards Morgan Schneiderlin at the back post, where the French midfielder shaped his body to glance an awkward header wide of Brad Guzan’s goal.

The Villa goalkeeper was called into action again moments later as he beat Memphis to an important 50/50 challenge. The Dutchman was active throughout the first half and created another opportunity for himself on 22 minutes when he drifted inside from the left wing to exchange passes with Rooney before hitting a deflected shot wide of goal.

United dominated possession in the opening half an hour and deservedly broke the deadlock from an excellent passing move. It began with Januzaj switching the ball to the left and ended with the recalled Belgian latching onto Juan Mata’s through-ball to calmly round Micah Richards and slot a deflected finish into the bottom corner, vindicating the manager’s decision to start him at Villa Park. It was Adnan’s first competitive goal since the 4-0 win over Newcastle on 5 April 2014.

Neither manager made half-time changes but Villa played with much more urgency after the break and could have levelled when Jordan Ayew pounced on an unusually wayward pass from Mata and wastefully blasted a shot high over Romero’s goal. The Argentinian goalkeeper was then forced into his first real save on 55 minutes as he impressively grasped both hands around Gabriel Agbonlahor’s powerful header.

With Villa in the ascendancy and the home fans in fine voice, Tim Sherwood intervened and sent Rudy Gestede onto the pitch in place of former Manchester City midfielder Scott Sinclair. Van Gaal also made two changes on the hour as Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger came on for Januzaj and Carrick, perhaps with a view to regaining control of an increasingly frantic match.

Memphis could, and perhaps should, have scored his first competitive goal for the club when he was put through by another delightfully accurate Mata pass, but the Dutch forward’s first-time shot flew just wide of Guzan’s left post before Ashley Young took his place on 82 minutes to the familiar sound of boos he receives at Villa Park, his old stomping ground.

In the end, despite Villa’s late push for an equaliser, United held on to another relatively straightforward win that will boost the players’ confidence ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off match against Club Brugge, an occasion that is of great importance to the club this season.

Ss

Manchester United 1:0 Tottenham Hotspur (Barclays Premier League 2015/16)

Manchester United kicked off the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League with a narrow 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a 22nd-minute own goal by Kyle Walker. The Reds were grateful to debutant goalkeeper Sergio Romero for preserving the slender advantage as the visitors showed few signs of tiredness after their midweek friendly exertions in Germany.

The heat seemed to play a part as the two sides produced a cagey affair featuring few clear-cut chances. Spurs made the better start with Christian Eriksen latching onto Harry Kane’s lofted through ball after Juan Mata was dispossessed. The Dane used his head to control the ball but scooped his lob onto the top of the net as the Stretford End held its breath behind the goal.

Kane saw a shot deflect wide and Romero was out smartly to block Walker but the Spurs full-back was to have a greater impact at the other end. Nabil Bentaleb’s stray pass launched a rapid counter-attack with Mata and Memphis Depay involved but, as Ashley Young’s centre rolled towards Wayne Rooney, Walker beat the Reds skipper to the ball and prodded it past the helpless Michel Vorm.

The opener sparked United into life with Mata hitting a free-kick into the wall and Memphis having a shot cleared following some wing magic by Young. Although Mata also fired off target when the ball bounced back to him on the edge of the area, Spurs had the final attempt of the half as Toby Alderweireld’s effort was well held by Romero.

It was United who carried the greater threat after the interval, albeit sporadically, with Chris Smalling keeping Kane in check whenever the visitors sprung forward. Memphis collected a Young pass but was too high with his shot while Vorm made a rare save to keep out Young’s attempt on the line when a Rooney cross came all the way to the back post.

A better move, instigated down the right, led to the impressive Matteo Darmian crossing for Rooney but the striker’s overhead kick lacked direction. Rooney also drifted a free-kick over the bar as the hosts struggled to kill the game off.

Smalling produced a marvellous tackle to thwart Nacer Chadli and Romero had to pull off a fine save to frustrate Eriksen as the Londoners mounted some late pressure. Romero stopped Kane’s header, almost in slow motion, and then beat out a powerful drive as Eriksen hammered goalwards. However, Louis van Gaal’s men held out to start the campaign with three welcome points.

GGMU!

Ss

The Right Path

Mom’s birthday month it is!! 😀

Hello “MAY 2015”

Since it’s her month I would like to share her wisdom in this post which comes to my mind when I miss her, considering there are few choices to be made in the near future.

It was on one of her birthdays that I once asked my Mom (since I was super f****d up then) that how do I know that the path I’ve chosen is the right path for me? This is what she said…

“You have to make it the Right path, no matter what!”

When do you need to make a choice? When you have two or more options, and all those options are equally good. If any option is even just a mite better than all the others, there is no confusion, simply choose that one and be done with it. Confusion arises when every option in front of you is equally enticing. Then you go into the infinite loop of “What iffing”, and spend too much time sitting on the fence, not willing to commit yourself anywhere. She advised, if you are faced with equally good options, don’t think too much, just choose one. Anyways they are all equally good, so how does it matter what you choose!

Actually, it’s not so difficult to choose. The difficulty is to stick to your choice. As soon as you choose one, all the others start to look light years better. This is a habit of your mind. Most of what it has, it doesn’t want. Most of what it doesn’t have, it craves for. Recognize this and stick with your choice.

Remember the last time you went a to good restaurant? Remember how you went over the menu 16 times before ordering? And after finally deciding what you wanted, placing the order and having your meal bought to your table, remember how the food on other tables looked so much more mouth wateringly good? Chances are most of the people on the other tables are probably looking at your meal and having the exact same thoughts you are having!

When faced with a choice, quickly decide. Then make the choice work for you! Believe that you have made the best choice possible. Close yourself to the other options, knowing that they are no longer available. This is what you have. This is what you have chosen. This is the best. Right away it may not seem so. Trust yourself and go ahead. In time, you will realize that the particular path you chose was really the perfect one.

And then she concluded it so it so beautifully… All ways don’t lead you (to the goal). Only one way does!

You’re the best Mom!

Love You

SS

Posted from my MacBook Air

Manchester United 4:2 Manchester City

United secured a 70th Manchester derby victory over rivals City with a superb 4-2 victory at a jubilant Old Trafford on Sunday that extends the Reds’ lead over the Blues to four points.

It was another fine performance from Louis van Gaal’s men, who responded brilliantly after going behind to an eighth-minute Sergio Aguero strike. Ashley Young levelled on 14 minutes before setting up Marouane Fellaini to head home. Juan Mata slotted home a third after the hour, before Chris Smalling completed United’s scoring with a fourth soon after. Aguero pulled a consolation back near the end, but the game was already effectively over by that point and the hosts were down to 10 men after Michael Carrick limped off.

Van Gaal made one change to the side that beat Aston Villa 3-1 in the previous game, with Smalling, sent off against City earlier in the campaign, replacing Marcos Rojo, who dropped to the bench, in the centre of the defence alongside Phil Jones.

City arrived at a rain-soaked Old Trafford on the back of three away defeats, while the Reds were going in search of a sixth straight Barclays Premier League victory. The Reds started on the front foot in the opening couple of minutes but it was the visitors who had the first opening of the game and struck the early blow after just eight minutes.

After David De Gea saved well with his legs from Jesus Navas, who found himself through on goal thanks to a long ball forward, the Reds survived a couple of scares from a couple of resulting corners. But in the same passage of play, Gael Clichy found James Milner down the left, who slipped a pass into the onrushing David Silva and he found Aguero who tapped into an empty net.

It was a sucker punch for the Reds but Louis van Gaal’s men ensured the best possible response with an equaliser six minutes later. De Gea, who had been the busier of the two goalkeepers to that point, scampered from his area to clear upfield after Navas looked to get on the end of Jones’ back-pass. Fellaini flicked the clearance on to Ander Herrera, out on the left wing, and his low cross was smashed home from close range by Young, after his initial attempt was blocked by Clichy.

Young turned provider on 27 minutes as United took the lead after some great possession play. The highlight of the move was a neat one-two between Daley Blind and Young around the box before the ball came back to the latter and his excellent cross to the back-post was headed home by Fellaini as the ground exploded.

Van Gaal’s men grew in stature as the half went on, but City still looked dangerous going forward. Yaya Toure almost put Aguero clear on 34 minutes, but De Gea was alert to the danger once more, while at the other end, a studs-up challenge from Vincent Kompany on Blind led to a yellow card rather than a red.

Kompany did not appear for the second half after being replaced by Eliaquim Mangala and City’s defenders had Joe Hart to thank on 53 minutes when he prevented the Reds from increasing the advantage. The City stopper dived to claw away a superb Wayne Rooney free-kick and he was also on hand to block a follow-up effort from Carrick.

Hart could do nothing stop United making it three on 67 minutes however, as Mata raced on to a pass from Rooney and calmly slotted home through Hart’s legs in front of a jubilant Stretford End.

Seven minutes later, things got even better for the home side as Young sent a free-kick in from the left wing for the unmarked Smalling to head home and spark thoughts of avenging the 6-1 loss to the noisy neighbours.

However, after the outstanding Carrick limped off, Aguero pulled a consolation back for City late on, despite De Gea’s best efforts to keep it out, but it was too little too late as United moved a point behind second-placed Arsenal and ensured derby bragging rights belong to the red half of Manchester.

Manchester is Red!

SS

Posted from my MacBook Air

What’s the Purpose of my Life?

I ask this question to myself on almost on all afternoons after lunch when I lie down (IDK why) and as usual it popped up again this afternoon and that’s when I decided to ask this question to my Mom.

Here is what she said:

Have you ever had a really good lunch on a Sunday afternoon? There was all this delicious food and you overate. And then after the meal is over, all you want is a nice comfy bed? When you get on that bed, what do you do? Because you have overeaten so much, sleep doesn’t come, but you manage to daydream sweet little things … Right?

Then she gave me a classic example of Lord Narayan…

Look at Lord Narayan here. He is surrounded by goodies, someone is pressing his feet and he is on a beautiful ocean … seems like He just had his lunch and by the looks of it, He has eaten a tad too much! 😀

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What do you think He is doing?

He is daydreaming of course! And you and me, we are in that dream. We are figments of God’s imagination after a superb Sunday meal!

So, do the characters in your daydreams have any purpose? No. Isn’t it?

Similarly, we the characters in His daydream, you think we have any purpose? Not really!

But now that we know we are His daydream, our purpose is… to make His dream interesting!! 🙂

Cheers

love

SS

PS: Don’t overdo it and wake Him up! LUL 😛

Manchester United 3:1 Leicester City

Manchester United saw off Leicester City 3-1 with all of the Reds’ strikes coming inside the first half through Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and an own goal by Wes Morgan.

Louis van Gaal’s side were less expansive after the break and Marcin Wasilewski pulled one back with 10 minutes remaining to raise hopes in the away end of another unbelievable comeback akin to the one that yielded a 5-3 victory at the King Power Stadium. However, there was never too much doubt about the outcome.

Angel Di Maria signalled the hosts’ intentions from the outset, almost charging down 42-year-old Foxes debutant Mark Schwarzer inside the first minute, and he was heavily involved as his team probed for an opening.

The Argentinian robbed Jeffrey Schlupp on the touchline but his cross was headed away and he then tried a speculative volley that flew over the bar. Van Persie sliced a Luke Shaw centre high and wide but the Dutchman was more accurate with his next attempt.

Daley Blind pounced on City’s hesitation in midfield and launched the loose ball into the path of his fellow countryman, who slid to execute a difficult half-volley that left Schwarzer with no chance. Four minutes later, van Persie was allowed to dribble and release Di Maria and, when the record buy’s shot across Schwarzer forced the keeper to parry, Falcao slid in ahead of Ritchie De Laet and Wasilewski to extend the lead.

United were totally dominant, passing the ball around in style, and added a third before the interval. Wayne Rooney’s corner was helped on by Blind and Morgan could only head the ball into his own net from inside the six-yard box.

Leicester introduced Esteban Cambiasso to the fold at half-time and stemmed the tide. Andrej Kramaric tried an ambitious bicycle kick and Leonardo Ulloa threw himself to the ground in a desperate bid to win a penalty after running into Marcos Rojo. Schwarzer was untroubled at the other end, seeing Rooney pass up a golden opportunity to shoot and Adnan Januzaj firing over.

A short back-pass by Phil Jones let in substitute David Nugent, only for David De Gea to stick out a left hand to block brilliantly but the warning to cut out any complacency was not heeded. With the game meandering along, Marc Albrighton collected a Cambiasso pass and crossed for Wasilewski to head past De Gea, who was unable to keep it out.

Albrighton blasted off target as Leicester sensed a remarkable finale was on the cards but Di Maria could have wrapped things up when neatly controlling Rooney’s lofted through ball, only to blaze wastefully wide. The closing stages passed without incident as the Reds move back up to third place in the table.

4-4-2 baby!

GGMU

SS

Yeovil Town 0:2 Manchester United

Goals from Ander Herrera and substitute Angel Di Maria gave Manchester United a hard-fought victory over Yeovil Town in the third round of the FA Cup. 

The Spanish midfielder’s brilliant volley in the 64th minute put the Reds ahead on a day when they rarely hit their best form, while Di Maria’s sublime chip over the Yeovil goalkeeper Jed Steer in the last minute of normal time sealed the win.

Herrera had one of the few other clear-cut chances with a shot wide before the break, while James Wilson, one of six changes to the side from the draw at Stoke City on New Year’s Day, had a shot saved in the first half.

United went ahead shortly after Kieffer Moore had missed a great opening to put Yeovil ahead from close range, and Di Maria, a second-half replacement for Radamel Falcao, made a vital goalline clearance within minutes of Herrera’s goal as United held off Yeovil’s concerted attempts at drawing level.

The hosts started strongly, bolstered by their vociferous support, but the Reds soaked up a spell of early pressure from the League One outfit until Wayne Rooney curled United’s first chance of note wide following a neat touch from Wilson.

Rooney’s chance seemed to provoke their opponents into action, Yeovil pressurising the Reds and winning a succession of corners until a lengthy delay following a clash of heads between Paddy McNair and Moore. Both players returned to action after being patched up with extensive bandages, but the match then became disjointed until Wilson, seizing upon a clever pass from Herrera, drove his shot straight at Yeovil’s Steer.

The hosts’ goalkeeper was rarely threatened for the rest of the first half as United struggled to impose themselves on Gary Johnson’s highly committed side. Passes went astray at the crucial moment and shots were charged down until Herrera found enough space with a smart turn before shooting wide. Darren Fletcher stopped a Yeovil attack with a perfectly timed tackle to stop Moore, while Radamel Falcao had claims for a foul by last defender Stephen Arthurworrey ignored by referee Craig Pawson.

Louis van Gaal changed the approach, due to injuries, replacing Luke Shaw and Rafael with Jonny Evans and Juan Mata at half-time to switch to 4-4-2 with Blackett and McNair at left and right-back respectively.

But while the change seemed to stir United when the game resumed, the hosts missed a golden opportunity to go ahead when Moore mis-hit a chance at close range. Evans could not cut out a Sam Foley cross, the ball skimming off the centre-back’s head to Moore but the Yeovil striker, free inside the area, stabbed at the ball and David De Gea saved easily.

Di Maria’s introduction just before the hour mark gave United some much-needed pace as well as width, and, within minutes, they were ahead. Fletcher’s pass was deflected towards Herrera, who was alert enough to latch onto the ball to lash an unstoppable volley past Steer into the top corner of the net.

But despite seeing a Rooney free-kick drift over shortly after, Yeovil did their best to hit back and it was Di Maria who ensured that United stayed ahead. Joe Edwards powered a diving header on target at a corner, but the Argentine stayed at his post on the line to nod the effort away.

De Gea had little to worry about despite the home side’s best efforts, and when Rooney eased the pressure with a fine pass out of defence that allowed Di Maria to close in on Steer before dinking the ball over the keeper, United’s place in the fourth round was assured.

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Air

Manchester United 3:1 Newcastle United

Wayne Rooney inspired Manchester United to a 3-1 win over Newcastle by scoring twice and setting up another for Robin van Persie, even if Papiss Cisse’s late penalty took some of the gloss off a fine day at Old Trafford.

The victory means the Reds are now unbeaten in eight Barclays Premier League matches and have recorded 11 straight wins on Boxing Day. Such a display also suggested Louis van Gaal was right to let his players spend Christmas at home.

The boss made just one change from the XI that started at Aston Villa, with Paddy McNair coming into his three-man defence so Michael Carrick could move back into midfield in place of the benched Darren Fletcher. Angel Di Maria was the only notable absentee from the matchday squad with an injury sustained during the Reds’ final training session.

United began at a lively pace and looked ambitious in the final third, although the first real chance of the game fell to Ayoze Perez, who took a fresh-air shot when presented with a clear view at goal in the 11th minute. Radamel Falcao, starting at Old Trafford for the first time since 5 October, then headed Ashley Young’s right-footed cross just wide of goal.

Moments later, in the 15th minute, Robin van Persie latched onto Wayne Rooney’s lofted pass and slid a low shot into the side-netting after rounding the advancing Magpies goalkeeper, Jak Alnwick. Daryl Janmaat then forced an excellent save from the in-form David De Gea midway through the first half with a rasping drive from around 25 yards, a minute before van Persie ghosted into the area once again to head Young’s in-swinging cross wide of the far post.

United eventually made a breakthrough in the 23rd minute with an excellent counter attack that left fans purring at Old Trafford. Rooney started it off inside his own half with a lovely pass out wide to Juan Mata, whose brilliantly chipped cross was astutely played back across the area by Falcao for Rooney to claim his seventh goal of the season.

The club captain was celebrating once again in the 36th minute when a superb sliding tackle from Falcao allowed Mata to regain possession outside Newcastle’s area, before the diminutive Spaniard slipped an inch-perfect pass through the Magpies defence for Rooney to clip another guided shot past Alnwick.

After the break, van Gaal’s men made a bright start to the second half and extended the lead in the 53rd minute through van Persie, who escaped his marker to nod Rooney’s deliciously lofted pass home in front of a jubilant Stretford End. Newcastle responded by moving up the pitch and almost got one back through 17-year-old Adam Armstrong as his shot flashed wide of De Gea’s far post.

With one eye undoubtedly on Sunday’s trip to Tottenham Hotspur, Carrick and Falcao were both withdrawn to standing ovations just after the hour mark with Fletcher and young James Wilson coming on. Rafael da Silva later made his return from injury – and a first appearance since the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on 26 October – in place of Antonio Valencia. Those changes affected the flow of the game and the tempo dropped significantly as the clock ticked on at Old Trafford, where heavy rain fell throughout the second half.

Newcastle pressed forward nonetheless and earned a late penalty with three minutes left when Jack Colback was tripped by Phil Jones, allowing substitute Papiss Cisse to calmly fire into the top-right corner from 12 yards. That riposte did not spark a dramatic comeback, however, and United held on to record another fine Boxing Day win.

GGMU

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Southampton 1:2 Manchester United

Robin van Persie’s double lifted Manchester United into third place in the Barclays Premier League with a 2-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s on Monday night.

The Dutchman’s sixth and seventh goals in five starts against the Saints extended the Reds’ winning run to five successive matches and ensured Graziano Pelle’s first goal since October was nothing more than a consolation as Louis van Gaal’s men leapfrogged the hosts and also West Ham in the table.

United were made to work hard for the win though, and could be thankful for a couple of second-half interventions made by David De Gea to prevent the hosts from increasing their goal tally on an evening when Southampton showed plenty of attacking intent.

Wayne Rooney returned to skipper the travelling Reds, but it was his strike partner who announced himself with greater impact in the early stages. The encounter began calmly and was starved of any threat from either side until van Persie latched onto Jose Fonte’s weak backpass and rolled the ball through the onrushing Fraser Forster’s legs to open the scoring.

Pelle looked for the goal-getting response two minutes later, but the towering frontman was too far ahead of the near post when meeting a corner with a header well wide.

A solid first quarter-hour for United was dampened by an early injury – a strain in Chris Smalling’s lower body – that forced the defender off and also prompted a comeback for substitute Jonny Evans.

The visitors’ mood was worsened in the 31st minute when Saints produced an equaliser after securing a foothold in the game. An initial shot from Dusan Tadic squeezed through Paddy McNair’s legs, allowing Pelle to follow up and drive in off De Gea from the six-yard line.

Shane Long, who provided the cross for Tadic ahead of the hosts’ first goal, was afforded a glimpse of De Gea’s net soon after. McNair looked to flick away Sadio Mane’s prod and inadvertently directed it to Long, who controlled and drove narrowly over from an acute angle.

As the shift in control of the game drifted towards Southampton, van Gaal looked to tweak his system – changing from a 3-4-1-2 formation to employing a flat back-four – with the introduction of midfielder Ander Herrera for defender McNair.

Despite the home side’s increase in confidence, van Persie caused brief concern in first-half added time when turning away from Nathaniel Clyne on the edge of Forster’s area and curling into the side-netting.

While Ronald Koeman’s side continued with the same momentum displayed towards the end of the opening 45 minutes, they lacked the cutting edge to establish a lead. Long was once again the recipient of an inviting opportunity when meeting a Tadic cross at the back post, but he could only aim his header at De Gea’s midriff.

Constantly at the heart of Southampton’s attacking play, Tadic was the architect of another threatening move shortly before the hour mark. The Serbian gently slid the ball through for Pelle, only to see the striker scoop well over the crossbar.

As many teams have been unfortunate to find over the years though, United have a knack of grinding out the upper hand under any circumstances – a quality that was evident with just under 20 minutes remaining.

Created and finished by the Reds’ frontline, Rooney swung a free-kick far for van Persie to meet – relatively unchallenged – and haunt Forster by once again nudging through the goalkeeper’s legs, but this time with the use of the outside of his left boot to volley in.

Pelle looked to double his and the Saints’ tally when played through by Mane, but the Italian’s shot from a fairly tight angle was expertly glanced off target by the palm of De Gea.

For all of Southampton’s movement and activity in United’s half later into the match, van Gaal’s team kept Koeman’s men largely outside the box as the Reds battled on to claim another three points.

There we go to Third!

GGMU

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Posted from my MacBook Air

Manchester United 3:0 Hull City

Manchester United made it three wins on the spin for the first time in 2014 with a convincing 3-0 defeat of Hull City at a misty Old Trafford.

Chris Smalling and Wayne Rooney handed Louis van Gaal’s men a commanding first-half lead and Robin van Persie answered some of his recent critics with an explosive third to clinch another welcome three points.

The Reds were exceptional and had already seen a penalty appeal for a Curtis Davies handball waved away and Rooney curl wide when Smalling made the breakthrough. Panic ensued at the back for the Tigers from the defender’s header and, when Allan McGregor spooned it straight back to the centre-back, he shot with accuracy. It looked over the line as McGregor carried it backwards and goalline technology swiftly proved this was the case – the first goal United have been awarded in this manner.

Smalling went close to a second when brushing the side-netting and van Persie shot straight at McGregor before the luxury of a second strike on 42 minutes. Ander Herrera, on for the injured Angel Di Maria, sprung forward to win a header that was misjudged by Davies. Van Persie capitalised to tee up Rooney and the skipper expertly bent his shot away from McGregor to double the lead.

Hull were more of an attacking force in the second half, Andrew Robertson forcing David De Gea into belated action after a positive run, and Nikica Jelavic heading over, but United still looked fully capable of inflicting further damage on Steve Bruce’s side.

Van Persie’s diving header from an exquisite pass by the outstanding Michael Carrick produced a brilliant save out of McGregor but the offside flag was raised in any case. The Dutchman was not to be denied though as he rapped a glorious left-foot finish high into the net, proving right to ignore Rooney’s shouts for a pass, after Robertson carelessly gifted possession back to Herrera.

Marouane Fellaini headed off target from an Ashley Young cross before van Persie departed to a huge ovation with Radamel Falcao making his return to action. Although De Gea was extended by a Jelavic header, Smalling threatened again when having an effort cleared off the line by Stephen Quinn.

The Stretford End prepared to greet a Falcao goal in the final minute when Juan Mata unselfishly played the ball back to the substitute but Dawson blocked on the line and made a brave tackle as the Colombian attempted to bundle it over.

Rooney sustained a painful knock in stoppage time on the back of Di Maria’s early injury, but overall Louis van Gaal will be delighted with both the performance and result ahead of another imminent league test, against Stoke City on Tuesday night.

Start of something new!

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Arsenal 1:2 Manchester United

Manchester United’s elusive search for a first away win in 2014/15 came to what had initially seemed like an unlikely end with a 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium. A Kieran Gibbs own goal in the second half, Wayne Rooney’s galloping breakaway effort in the 85th minute and, not for the first time, the heroics of David De Gea at the other end of the field earned the three points.

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Antonio Valencia’s low shot after 56 minutes was inadvertently deflected by Gibbs into his own net to give the Reds the lead, then Rooney finished off an incisive counter-attack to make it 2-0. Angel Di Maria could have made it 3-0 late on but missed a good chance and Olivier Giroud pulled a goal back to make it a nervy finish. But this was a commendable performance of persistence from United in testing circumstances.

With a host of ailments debilitating United’s squad, Louis van Gaal was again forced into personnel and formation changes – this time 3-4-1-2 – with Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling and Tyler Blackett forming a back three, with Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia occupying wide midfield positions. Even that lasted just 15 minutes as Shaw picked up a knock from a challenge by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Ashley Young replaced him as a left-back and United switched to 4-4-2.

Danny Welbeck, facing United for the first time since leaving Old Trafford in the summer, had a shot blocked in the fourth minute, before Per Mertesacker headed wide. Welbeck then missed the target with a header of his own and, with Arsenal cranking up the pressure, the former Reds forward teed up Jack Wilshere, who forced a brilliant point-blank range save from United’s outstanding no.1 De Gea.

United’s first opening came from a set-piece on 21 minutes as Rooney fired over the bar. It was rare relief from previous one-way traffic and United had De Gea to thank again when he forced Oxlade-Chamberlain wide in a one-on-one and saved the Arsenal man’s shot with an outstretched leg.

Wilshere was lucky to escape punishment after half-an-hour in an altercation with Marouane Fellaini, but referee Mike Dean chose instead to calm tempers by talking to both players. Although unconnected, that break in play signalled a change of pace for United. Di Maria produced the Reds’ best chance of the half when he cut inside from the right and steered a left-foot shot just wide of the post, while Rooney had a shot blocked and a series of United corners came and went to no avail.

Five minutes into the second half and De Gea once again denied the Gunners as he closed the angle on Welbeck’s shot and United were looking increasingly thankful to the Spaniard’s heroics between the posts, but little more than five minutes later the Reds were in front. Szczesny clashed with Gibbs when the Arsenal goalkeeper came to collect a cross and the loose ball fell to Valencia and his low shot deflected off Gibbs, who was lying prone on the floor, and diverted into the net. It was by no means pretty but United’s persistence in adversity paid off. The collision with Gibbs forced Szczesny off, to be replaced by Emiliano Martinez on his Barclays Premier League debut, but still Arsenal were intent on finding an equaliser.

The last half an hour was tense until Rooney seemed to put the game out of sight, sprinting away to dink the ball over Martinez. Di Maria’s missed chance for an almost identical finish to Rooney could have proved costly when Giroud beat De Gea to give the Gunners a fighting chance of a draw. But the Reds held on for a morale-boosting first triumph on the road.

Watch us go now!

GGMU

SS

Manchester United 1:0 Crystal Palace

Substitute Juan Mata came off the bench and to United’s rescue as he fired Manchester United to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.

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The Spanish midfielder had only been on the field for a few minutes when his deflected strike squeezed between the Palace goalkeeper and the post, but his appearance was the ideal impact substitution on a day when United could not make superior possession count in front of goal.

Luke Shaw went close with a shot saved by Julian Speroni, and Marouane Fellaini had a header scrambled off the line. Fraizer Campbell spurned a great chance in the first half for the Eagles, and Mata went close to a second goal when he struck the post late on.

Injuries and suspensions had forced Louis van Gaal to shuffle his pack at the back once again, with Daley Blind shifting into central defence alongside the recalled Paddy McNair. Replacing the Dutchman in midfield was Michael Carrick, starting for the first time in 2014/15.

United went onto the front foot from the start, with Adnan Januzaj whipping a rasping shot over the corner of post and bar after cutting in from the right flank in only the second minute. Angel Di Maria drove a weak effort straight at Speroni, but a succession of corners from the Reds’ record signing failed to truly test his fellow Argentine in the Eagles’ goal.

Carrick roamed forward from his holding position to try his luck from range with a shot deflected wide, and Wayne Rooney’s frustrated response to his own shot that soared over the goal summed up the first phase of the match. But it was the unlikely source of Shaw who stirred the match into life on 28 minutes. Moving upfield out of defence, the left-back unleashed a shot that skimmed the surface and forced Speroni to tip around the post.

The visitors were content to soak it up and hit on the break, with Campbell coming close to getting a touch to a Yannick Bolasie cross that had cut across the home backline. With five minutes to half-time, Campbell raced onto a long ball, but the Palace striker’s lob floated over David De Gea’s bar.

The frustration of the first 45 minutes spilled into the second half, typified by Rooney skewing a shot just wide following a long run from McNair. Fellaini, who had been imposing himself throughout, headed a corner right on target only to see James McArthur scramble the ball away off the line.

But Mata lifted spirits around Old Trafford with a sublime goal. The Spaniard, on for Januzaj, took aim from outside the box with his left foot and saw his shot fly into the net via a deflection. Only on the pitch for a few minutes, the midfielder had made the perfect impact to put Umited on course.

The goal deflated the visitors and gave the Reds confidence, and the game could have been made safe in the last 10 minutes. Mata was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet again, seeing another defected shot cannon off the post. Then Rooney opted for placement with a late chance but rolled the ball wide. However United looked comfortable with a one-goal lead that brought the recent winless run to an end ahead of the international break.

GGMU!

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Manchester United 1:1 Chelsea

Robin van Persie’s injury-time equaliser rescued a point for Manchester United after Chelsea had been reduced to 10 men late on in a gripping encounter at Old Trafford.

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The captain smashed the ball home in the 94th minute, just after Branislav Ivanovic had given away a free kick and been sent off for his second bookable offence. Angel Di Maria’s set-piece allowed Marouane Fellaini a shot which Thibaut Courtois saved, only for van Persie to drill the rebound emphatically home.

Van Persie had seen three earlier chances saved by Chelsea’s goalkeeper, and his heroics snatched a deserved point following Didier Drogba’s headed goal early in the second half.

Stirred by a raucous atmosphere, both sides had played at a high tempo for the opening minutes with a breakaway from Di Maria upping the ante after an early pair of Chelsea corners. The mercurial Argentine’s shooting was not as good as his on-the-ball skills, with two attempts flying high and wide before 10 minutes had gone by.

The visitors asserted themselves and forced a succession of corners, but David De Gea and his defence coped to quell the threat of Drogba in particular. But despite Chelsea’s pressure, it was van Persie who came closest to breaking the deadlock around the 20-minute mark. Breaching the Chelsea back four, the Dutchman saw an angled low effort blocked by Courtois’ right leg, and seconds later his clever back-header was clutched from under the bar by the highly-rated Belgian goalkeeper.

Ivanovic’s claims for a penalty at the Stretford End, for what he felt was a shove, were ignored by referee Phil Dowd, and as tempers began to fray, Di Maria then stung Courtois’ palms with a curling free kick from the right.

United’s defence was bailed out twice in quick succession, firstly when the recalled Chris Smalling raced across to tackle Willian after Rojo had been caught in possession. De Gea then spared the Reds when Drogba was gifted a shooting chance, but the keeper’s legs deflected his effort away.

Both sides exchanged chances early in the second half, Marouane Fellaini firing just wide and De Gea saving brilliantly to deny Eden Hazard. But slack defending at the resulting corner undid the Spaniard’s good work, with an unmarked Drogba rising to nod Chelsea ahead.

James Wilson replaced Juan Mata as United sought a more direct approach with two up front, but it was Ivanovic who went close to grabbing another, rolling a shot across goal from an acute angle. United eventually forced Courtois into action when Shaw wriggled through to feed van Persie. But once again the Reds’ skipper saw an attempt on goal blocked by the Chelsea stopper’s legs, but at least the chance spurred his side on, with Wilson looping a header just over the bar within a minute.

And just as it looked like United would be frustrated, Ivanovic went in crudely on Di Maria near the byline and was shown his second yellow card. The Argentine chipped the free kick into the area, Fellaini’s shot was blocked, but van Persie pounced and Old Trafford erupted.

#Believe

GGMU

SS

Manchester United 2:1 West Ham (Barclays Premier League)

Wayne Rooney scored and was sent off as Manchester United secured a hard-earned 2-1 triumph over West Ham at Old Trafford.

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Rooney and Robin van Persie gave the Reds a commanding early lead but Diafra Sakho’s effort, also before the break, made for a nervous second half, exacerbated by the decision to send off the home skipper with around half an hour still to go.

With teenagers Luke Shaw and Paddy McNair making their debuts in defence, the Reds made a confident start and were ahead after five minutes. Rafael escaped down the right and delivered an inviting centre that was met by Rooney’s clever first-time finish.

The Hammers could have been level within a matter of seconds as Daley Blind’s mistake let in Enner Valencia but the Ecuadorian produced a wild shot into the Stretford End. Relieved, the hosts increased the pressure with Radamel Falcao and Angel Di Maria off target and James Tomkins blocking a Rooney shot after more nice play by the raiding Rafael.

A second goal duly arrived on 22 minutes when the busy Ander Herrera tackled Alex Song cleanly and Falcao, ignoring calls to shoot from the crowd, slipped in van Persie. The Dutch striker eased his way past Winston Reid and buried a low drive inside Adrian’s right-hand post.

United were flying, as one glorious move involving van Persie and Herrera led to Di Maria failing to apply the finish, but the visitors gained a lifeline when Stewart Downing’s corner was sloppily dealt with. David De Gea failed to make a convincing punch and, after Enner Valencia hit the bar, Sakho was left with a simple header into an unprotected net.

The second half began at a slower pace until Falcao collected a Shaw pass and saw a deflected shot from outside the area pushed away spectacularly by Adrian. De Gea also had to make a save, at his near post to thwart Sakho, before United were reduced to 10 men just before the hour mark. Rooney halted Downing’s break inside his own half with a crude foul but there was incredulity as referee Lee Mason’s decision to show a red rather than a yellow card.

Sakho headed into the side netting as obvious gaps at the back started to appear so Louis van Gaal withdrew Falcao for Darren Fletcher. The Reds lost the influential Herrera to yet another injury as he departed the scene holding his back and it became clear the hosts were content to try to repel the Hammers, without worrying Adrian’s goal.

Enner Valencia cut inside to deliver a deflected shot wide and, after referee Mason failed to produce a second red card for Sakho’s foul on Rafael, McNair was forced into a brilliant headed clearance deep inside his own box with seven minutes remaining. There was an almighty let-off in the closing stages when Carl Jenkinson’s cross was converted by Kevin Nolan but the assistant referee’s offside flag rescued van Gaal’s men.

GGMU

Will Miss you Rooney until November 2!:(

SS

Manchester United 4:0 QPR (Barclays Premier League)

Manchester United sealed a first win of the 2014/15 season on Sunday – and in some style – as the Reds, inspired by new signing Angel Di Maria, romped to a 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers at Old Trafford.

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Di Maria, playing his first match for the Reds in front of the home crowd, was in sizzling form throughout and kicked off the scoring on 24 minutes with a curling free-kick. He played a part in United’s second goal from Ander Herrera, before Wayne Rooney added a third before half-time. Di Maria then set up Juan Mata for a fourth after almost an hour.

It was a day of debuts at Old Trafford as Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao, who began the game on the bench, all made their United bows. There were also welcome returns from injury for Rafael and Herrera, while there was a return of a different sort as Rio Ferdinand came back for his first match since his summer departure. In tribute to 12 years of service, the defender was presented with a memento of his time at United by Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off.

Despite having begun his tenure as United boss with three at the back, Louis van Gaal opted to switch to a tried-and-tested back four with Rafael, Jonny Evans, Tyler Blackett and Rojo the chosen ones. Blind sat just in front of them with Herrera, Di Maria and Mata ahead in a diamond midfield formation, while Rooney and Robin van Persie were up front.

It was Rooney who began the move to create the first real opening of the game on seven minutes with a lovely cross-field pass to Rafael on the right. He slipped the ball to Herrera who found Mata, but the Spaniard blasted over from just inside the box. But after a spell of good possession, the Reds took the lead on 24 minutes through Di Maria. The British record signing curled a free-kick from the right into the box and it evaded everyone, including QPR keeper Rob Green, as the ball sailed in at the far post.

Van Gaal’s men were determined to keep the pressure on and after Herrera had a penalty appeal turned down following a tackle from Clint Hill, van Persie headed over. United and David De Gea in particular breathed a sigh of relief at the other end when the stopper came rushing from goal to intercept Niko Krancjar’s pass over the top to Matt Phillips. De Gea was thankful to have Evans on hand to block Phillips’ effort on an empty goal.

Di Maria threatened every time he had possession and it was his bursting run forward that led to United’s second goal nine minutes from the break. As the Argentinian reached the box he slipped a pass to Rooney and after his initial shot was blocked, he teed up Herrera to drill low shot into the bottom corner for his first competitive goal for the Reds. And the game was all but over as a contest on the stroke of half-time as excellent link-up play between Mata and Herrera led to Rooney receiving a pass from the latter before powering home a low drive.

The Reds weren’t about to settle for three goals and after De Gea saved well with his feet from Krancjar early in the second period, Mata and Rooney both went close. The Spaniard made no mistake on 58 minutes though when, after being found by Di Maria, he smashed home from close range. It might have been five when Falcao entered the fray on 67 minutes and was denied a debut goal six minutes from time as he followed up on Blind’s 30-yard drive which had been parried clear by Green. The QPR keeper recovered well to block the chance and also kept out substitute Adnan Januzaj late on.

Overall, it was a job well done by the Reds with attacking play aplenty, goals, a clean sheet and, most importantly, a first win of the season.

Now watch us go!

GGMU

SS

Red Devils (3) @ Merseyside (1)

Manchester United ended the tour of the States on a high by beating rivals Liverpool to win the International Champions Cup in sultry Miami.

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Louis van Gaal’s men overturned an early Steven Gerrard penalty – the third spot-kick United have conceded on tour – to claim victory through second-half goals from Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, at the end of their own tour of the States, provided easily the biggest test of United’s pre-season so far as the two rivals from England’s north-west tried to outdo each other 4,000 miles from home.

United were perhaps not quite as sharp as in the previous tour games, not quite as commanding in defence, but found a way to win and head back to Manchester with five wins from five under van Gaal – and a first trophy under the Dutchman.

The 51,000 fans inside the Sun Life Stadium were treated to fireworks before kick-off and, while the game itself didn’t quite provide any, there was a competitive edge and feistiness and not normally seen at this time of year.

Javier Hernandez, starting in place of the injured Danny Welbeck, spurned an excellent chance to give United an early lead when he couldn’t convert Ashley Young’s whipped-in cross from close range.

Antonio Valencia then ended his birthday on a sour note, trudging off the field with an apparent injury. Luke Shaw replaced him, with Young moving over to the right wing.

Liverpool fired a warning shot moments later when Jordan Henderson headed over after Hernandez had failed to clear Gerrard’s free-kick.

But the Merseysiders were given the opportunity to take the lead in the 14th minute as Phil Jones was adjudged to have tripped Raheem Sterling in the box, though the defender was aghast at the decision.

Up stepped Gerrard to send David De Gea the wrong way from the spot as United fell behind for the first time under van Gaal.

From then onwards, Liverpool were content to sit back and soak up United’s attacks. Mata had a left-foot shot blocked but that was about as close as the Reds came for the rest of the first half.

At the other end, De Gea made an excellent low save from a powerful Phillipe Coutinho drive, before Sterling, Liverpool’s most dangerous player, had a penalty appeal turned down, with replays suggested he may have been upended by Ander Herrera.

Van Gaal made two changes at the break, bringing on Tyler Blackett for Jonny Evans and Tom Cleverley for Darren Fletcher.

Rickie Lambert missed a good chance to extend Liverpool’s lead when he shot tamely at De Gea in the box after receiving the ball from Gerrard, who had intercepted a Herrera pass.

Soon after, Coutinho played a superb through-ball to Sterling, whose shot deflected inches wide with De Gea stranded.

Liverpool were on top but, in the space of two minutes, United turned the game on its head. First captain Rooney, who had been relatively quiet in the first half, equalised when he met Hernandez’s arrowing cross with a neat left-foot volley across Simon Mignolet.

And Mata put the Reds ahead two minutes later when his shot deflected off Mamadou Sakho to wrong-foot Mignolet.

Just after the hour mark, there was an unusual moment of controversy when Young swung a high ball over from the left, which apparently bounced off the crossbar into the path of Rooney, who had the simplest task to tap home.

Referee Mark Geiger awarded the goal but Liverpool protested that the ball had actually bounced off the goal stanchion, which replays proved, and the decision was overturned.

Van Gaal continued to ring the changes, bringing on Nani, Shinji Kagawa and Lingard for Hernandez, Mata and Herrera.

Chris Smalling made a last-ditch clearance to deny Martin Kelly, before Lingard made the game safe when he controlled Young’s cross and fired a low half-volley from the edge of the box beyond Mignolet.

You shall always walk alone!:P

GGMU

Cheers

SS

Red Devils (3) @ Los Blancos (1)

Manchester United booked a spot in the International Champions Cup final thanks to a 3-1 win over Real Madrid in front of the biggest-ever crowd for a football match in the United States.

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There were 109,318 fans packed inside Michigan Stadium, commonly known as The Big House, to witness a meeting between two of the world’s most famous clubs. Fans certainly weren’t disappointed after a pulsating clash ended in United’s favour thanks to Ashley Young’s first-half double and a goal after the break from substitute Chicharito.

Louis van Gaal fielded a strong team to face the European champions, who started with Gareth Bale, but left former Reds star Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. Darren Fletcher skippered United once again and it was the Scot who had the game’s first sight of goal. Wayne Rooney’s corner on 14 minutes fell to Fletcher who took a touch before striking an effort past Iker Casillas’ left-hand post from just inside the box.

United’s bright start continued and it was Fletcher’s drive forward which led to the breakthrough on 21 minutes. After a one-two with Rooney on the edge of the box, the midfielder slipped a pass to Welbeck who found Young on the far left of the box and he steered a shot inside Casillas’ near post to complete a brilliant move for van Gaal’s men.

The lead lasted a matter of six minutes before Bale at his menacing best drew Real Madrid level. A ball over the top found the Welshman down the left and he powered on into the area before being felled by Michael Keane. Bale dusted himself down to send David De Gea the wrong way from the penalty spot.

Rooney sent a shot straight at Casillas soon after, before Bale went for a spectacular overhead kick from a left-wing cross, but De Gea was there to block it. There was little time to pause, however, with the Reds regaining the lead on 37 minutes. The impressive Young collected possession on the left and curled a cross towards Rooney. It was just too high for the striker but the ball crept in at the far post.

After the injured Danny Welbeck was replaced by Wilfried Zaha, Rooney teed up the excellent Juan Mata with a well-worked free-kick, dinking the ball over the wall to meet the Spaniard’s dummy run. But Mata couldn’t keep his right-foot shot on target.

Van Gaal brought on more fresh legs at the break with Luke Shaw, Tyler Blackett and Tom Cleverley replacing Young, Jonny Evans and Ander Herrera, but Real were quickest out of the blocks as Bale once again caused havoc down the left. He collected a long pass on the left wing before skipping past Keane and finding Isco unmarked in the box, but his deflected effort, off Phil Jones, was well claimed by De Gea. Bale did manage to beat De Gea on 55 minutes but the post denied his 30-yard free-kick.

Pepe then blasted wide after United failed to clear a corner before Bale crossed for substitute Raul De Tomas to head over from close range. At the other end United substitutes Shaw, Shinji Kagawa and Hernandez combined to set up the latter for an effort on goal, but his poked effort carried too little power to beat Casillas, who had to be alert to punch away Cleverley’s well-struck shot minutes later.

One of the biggest cheers of the day was reserved for Ronaldo’s introduction as a sub on 74 minutes, but it was United who ended the day celebrating after Chicharito sealed the Reds’ place in the ICC final with a fine header to meet Kagawa’s perfect cross. A meeting with arch rivals Liverpool awaits in Miami.

LFC NEXT!

GGMU

SS

Patterns of Mind

Have you ever noticed how things keep changing and still manage to remain the same?

You may be in a situation that you don’t like. And somehow you manage to escape it. You breathe a huge sigh of relief because thankfully, now you don’t need to deal with that set of people or circumstances any more… But that sigh of relief can quickly turn into a cry of anguish because you suddenly find yourself in almost the same mess just a little later, magnified many times.

Almost as if it’s the same story, with different people playing the same parts.

The truth is, that it actually is!

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You cannot really escape. There are certain things you need to deal with while you are on this planet and unless you do, and manage to diffuse the situation, it will simply keep coming back to you in ever more complicated incarnations.

You need to know that if there is a problem that you are facing right now, there is also a solution lurking around somewhere. You may need to work smart or hard or both to get to it. Once the solution is found and implemented, you will be confronted with a new challenge, quite different from the previous one. Life seems to work that way.

How do you know that you have resolved a pattern? You will feel a tremendous sense of peace and well being, a terrific sense of freedom dawns, a euphoric feeling that you have cleared a huge obstacle that will never bother you again. Very much like how the folks of the rebel alliance must have felt when the Death Star was destroyed (Star Wars)!

The next time you are in a sticky situation, stop struggling to get out. Be right there, accept it as it is, and with a calm, joyful mind seek resolution to it.

If you just cannot handle it, surrender and pray for movement. In fact maybe that’s what you do right at the start. Pray that correct intuition will come to you at the opportune time.

Have faith that you will know what to do and when to do it.

Have faith that any pattern that you may be stuck in will eventually unravel.

Have faith that you are being taken care of and dearly loved.

Have faith that this is just a game and if you wish, you can thoroughly enjoy it!

Praying, and most importantly doing what you love the most as usual are the keys to be able to forge through any tough time…

Love

SS

Red Devils (5) @ La Beneamata (3)

Manchester United’s successful Tour 2014, presented by Aon, continued with a penalty shoot-out victory after Louis van Gaal’s men were held to a goalless draw by Inter Milan.

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Ashley Young, Javier Hernandez, Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Darren Fletcher all converted from the spot to complete a full set of kicks for the Reds – playing in the new blue third kit for the first time – while Marco Andreolli’s miss for Inter proved pivotal at the FedEx Field, home of NFL legends Washington Redskins.

Van Gaal started with his three senior centre-backs all on the pitch, with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones switching to the middle and right respectively, while Jonny Evans retained the left-sided role in which he began the tour against LA Galaxy. Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia took up the wing-back positions, with Ander Herrera and again-captain Darren Fletcher allowing Juan Mata to support Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck.

The man who Evans, Jones and Smalling are all striving to replace, Inter’s new no.15 Nemanja Vidic, provided the biggest threat to United’s goal in the early exchanges, albeit not a significant one with both of his headers from corners comfortably clearing Anders Lindegaard’s crossbar. Jones fared better at the other end when his connection with a Mata set-piece forced a save from Samir Handanovic diving low to his left.

Wayne Rooney tried to reprise the goal which unlocked another Italian defence, Roma’s, when he opened up onto his right foot and sent a shot dipping just over the frame but then the game descended into something of a lull, with both sides going through typical pre-season motions.

The crowd were stirred a little when Valencia tracked back in the right wing-back role, all the way to the corner flag, where he dispossessed Dodo in robust but fair fashion. The opponent gesticulated in vain for a foul while the fans closest to the action jeered, whistled and briefly chorused “United, United” in response.

Mata began to impose himself on the proceedings as the half wore down, firstly interchanging well with Rooney and just missing out on the final return ball when an Inter defender intervened. Then the livewire Spaniard created his own space and raked a shot narrowly wide of the right-hand post, close enough to spur Handanovic into an insurance dive. At the other end, Jones flung himself in front of a snapshot from Mauro Icardi to preserve Lindegaard’s majority status as a spectator.

Van Gaal made the now-routine eight changes at the interval, most notably giving Wilfried Zaha his first run-out of the tour and bringing on Luke Shaw for a work-out at wing-back, after discussing his lack of fitness 24 hours previously. The others to come on were David De Gea in goal, Michael Keane, Tyler Blackett, Tom Cleverley, Nani and, in the Mata role, Shinji Kagawa. Only Evans, Fletcher and Young remained on the pitch in pursuit of a full 90 minutes.

Evans and Fletcher combined well on the left as United took the game to Inter in the second period but, with Vidic marshalling the Inter defence and reading the Reds’ ploys like a professor, Zaha in particular cut a frustrated figure. In one moment, the former Old Trafford stalwart watched as two of his team-mates threatened to be left behind by Zaha’s turn of pace and then stepped in with perfect timing to sweep the ball behind for a corner.

Vidic deserved the applause he received around the arena as he departed the field in the 72nd minute with Inter’s clean sheet intact, although there was a close shave when Tom Cleverley drilled a rising shot into the pack of mostly red shirts amassed behind the goal.

With the Serbian off, United sensed an opportunity and Nani was denied by Handanovic’s fine save, with Kagawa’s effort on the rebound blocked. Zaha appealed for a penalty moments later but, even though thousands of fans agreed with him, the referee Edvin Jurisevic took a different view and the deadlock remained. It was a similar story when Cleverley went down with the official stubbornly standing his ground.

The biggest cheer of the night so far came when Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, seemingly popular throughout the United States, entered the fray for the final quarter of an hour. Nani, a half-time substitute, was substituted.

De Gea, like Lindegaard, had little to do in his 45 minutes on the field, although he did provide one reminder of his athleticism when he thrust out his right hand to turn an Inter free-kick over the bar. Jurisevic was by now becoming the central character but the referee endeared himself to the United fans, having largely annoyed them, when he showed the first yellow card of the game to Marco Andreolli.

There was more angst for the dynamic Zaha when he flashed a shot into the side-netting in the final minute of normal time and so off to penalty kicks we went, with Inter already victorious by this method in their ICC opener against Real Madrid. This time the Italians would not prosper and United remained on course to reach the final in Miami after winning the shoot-out 5-3, much to the delight of the majority in the crowd of 61,238.

GGMU

Manchester is RED!

Love

S

Red Devils (3) @ La Maggica (2)

Manchester United made a winning start to the International Champions Cup with an entertaining victory over AS Roma in Denver.

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All three of the Reds’ goals at the Sports Authority Field came in the first half; Wayne Rooney netted twice to make it four goals in two games on tour, sandwiching a Juan Mata effort.

Roma substitute Miralem Pjanic pulled one back after the break with a spectacular strike from well inside his own half, and Francesco Totti added a late penalty, but United held out for a satisfactory three points in this pre-season tournament.

While the Italians posed a much stiffer challenge than LA Galaxy had three days earlier, United were still good value for the win, despite Roma’s second-half rally.

United again lined up in a 3-4-1-2, with Tyler Blackett, the only Red to play 90 minutes, and Reece James, who scored twice against the Galaxy, starting in defence and on the left wing respectively. Tom Cleverley was captain before being replaced with 20 minutes left.

Inside 80 seconds, Roma forward Mattia Destro lobbed Sam Johnstone after being played through on goal, but the ball landed inside the six-yard box and bounced inches over the bar. Soon after, Leandro Paredes sidefooted over when well placed just outside the box as Roma started stronger.

United’s first opening came in the 17th minute, when Danny Welbeck blocked goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis’ attempted clearance on the byline, but his subsequent cross to fellow striker Rooney was cut out.

In soaring early afternoon temperatures, which made for a slow-paced game, manager Louis van Gaal’s request for a two-minute drinks break was granted midway through the first half.

Rooney provided a moment of magic to put the Reds ahead nine minutes before the interval. Latching onto Mata’s pass on the edge of the ‘D’, the frontman arced a wonderful shot into the top-left corner.

And Rooney returned the favour three minutes later with a superb ball over the top from the halfway line, which Mata brought down expertly before lobbing De Sanctis.

Just before the break, Phil Jones motored forward and played the ball to Ander Herrera, whose first-time lay-off into Welbeck’s path resulted in the forward being felled by Urby Emanuelson inside the box. Rooney stepped up to send De Sanctis the wrong way.

Will Keane, one of nine United changes at the break, had a penalty appeal turned down five minutes into the second period after being seemingly brought down inside the box.

Alessandro Florenzi flashed a volley wide soon after as Roma sought to get back into the game, but the Reds had seemingly asserted control in energy-sapping conditions.

Van Gaal took advantage of a second water break to bring on Javier Hernandez – to a rapturous reception from the American crowd – for Cleverley, who handed the skipper’s armband to Chris Smalling.

Roma weren’t looking likely to get on the scoresheet before Pjanic spotted Ben Amos off his line and executed a brilliant, audacious lob from all of 60 yards. Amos then had to scramble to tip a Leandro Castan overhead kick onto his post.

Will Keane came within a whisker of scoring a fourth United goal when Ashley Young’s cross was nicked off the striker’s toes, before Totti converted from the spot after Michael Keane had handled the ball inside the box.

It resulted in a nervy final few minutes but United resisted further pressure to claim the spoils.

The Reds’ next game in the competition is against Inter Milan in Washington DC on Tuesday (29 July). The group also contains Real Madrid, who face the Reds in Michigan on 2 August.

GGMU

Cheers

s

Red Devils (7) @ Los Galácticos (0)

Manchester United kicked off the new era under Louis van Gaal with a 7-0 hammering of LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to claim victory in the Chevrolet Cup.

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The Reds were deserved winners on the night thanks to braces from Wayne Rooney, youngster Reece James and Ashley Young and a fine opening strike from Danny Welbeck.

Van Gaal picked a strong starting XI for his first match in charge, the opening game of Tour 2014 presented by Aon, and opted for a tried and tested formula from his time with the Netherlands of three centre-backs with Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones. Antonio Valencia and debutant Luke Shaw played the roles of wing-backs. Captain for the night Darren Fletcher sat in midfield alongside debutant Ander Herrera and a slightly advanced Juan Mata, with Rooney and Welbeck ahead of them up front to complete a 3-5-2 formation.

The Reds came flying out of the blocks with Herrera and Welbeck both testing goalkeeper Jaime Penedo inside eight minutes. Herrera saw his dipping shot well tipped over, before Penedo saved smartly from Welbeck.

At the other end, David De Gea thwarted Gyasi Zardes, before the Reds made the breakthrough on 13 minutes. Mata made his way forward but was up-ended. The referee waved play on allowing Welbeck to latch on to the ball and he fired an excellent 25-yard strike in off the post.

The Reds doubled the advantage on 42 minutes when AJ Delagarza was rightly punished for a deliberate handball which stopped Valencia’s right-wing cross and Rooney converted with aplomb from the spot.

The victory was all but sealed in first-half injury-time when Herrera found Welbeck on the right. His low centre was completely missed by Tommy Meyer allowing Rooney free licence to bundle the ball home from close range.

Wholesale changes followed at the break with nine substitutions for the Reds and four for the Galaxy. One of United’s changes included James, who made his mark on 62 minutes. Young, another second-half addition, received the ball down the right and his pin-point cross picked out James to slide home a lovely left-foot finish into the corner.

Even with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan in their ranks, Galaxy, currently in the middle of the MLS season, offered little in attack allowing the Reds to stay in cruise control for the majority of the second period.

The impressive Herrera had a chance to mark his first-team bow with a goal but his header from a Rafael cross was straight at Penedo. Shinji Kagawa flashed a curling effort just wide as we entered the final 10 minutes, before James made it five on 84 minutes with a superb finish. In the build-up Herrera had slotted a fine pass through to Young whose shot was saved by Penedo, but the ball dropped to James who coolly floated the ball into the empty net.

Young netted twice in quick succession in the final stages with two excellent finishes to complete a great night’s work for van Gaal and his men and the display and result offers plenty of positives. Next stop for United now is Denver where AS Roma lie in wait.

My first United game life and oh boy what a treat it was!

Glory Glory Man United!

Love

S

The Canaries (0) @ The Red Devils (4)

Manchester United got Ryan Giggs’ tenure as interim manager off to the perfect start with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Norwich at Old Trafford.

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A pair of Wayne Rooney goals, the first from the penalty spot, in the minutes immediately before and after half-time set the Reds on their way and another double, from substitute Juan Mata, ensured that the Giggs era began with the victory craved by a packed Old Trafford.

The new boss received a rapturous reception from the supporters more used to seeing him out on the pitch than in the dugout, but a determined Norwich side ensured that his side did not have it all their own way until Rooney broke the deadlock.

Danny Welbeck, partnering Rooney in a 4-4-2 formation, had United’s best chance when his powerful shot from a tight angle forced Canaries’ keeper John Ruddy into a vital save at his near post. But when Welbeck was dragged down in the area by Steven Whittaker, Rooney sent Ruddy the wrong way from 12 yards to open the floodgates.

Rooney doubled the lead just after half-time when he curled the ball in off Ruddy’s left-hand post from outside the area, having been allowed licence to cut across the Norwich defence from the left flank. Welbeck had forced Ruddy into action with a fierce volley and Nemanja Vidic had headed over when Mata put the game out of reach, converting Phil Jones’ cross with a snap-shot from close range.

United’s dominance was confirmed when Mata stooped to nod in a deflected Antonio Valencia effort from inside the six yard box, Rooney was not far from a hat-trick when he looped the ball onto the roof of the net and Javier Hernandez missed a great chance for 5-0 in the closing seconds.

IN GIGGSY WE TRUST!

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Stern des Südens (1) at The Red Devils (1)

Manchester United will travel to Germany with plenty of hope of reaching the Champions League semi-finals after a spirited 1-1 draw with holders Bayern Munich at Old Trafford.

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Nemanja Vidic broke the deadlock to set the stadium alight before Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was sent off for a second bookable offence late on, hit a superbly-taken leveller to reward the Germans for an authoritative display.

Danny Welbeck lashed the ball into the net from the Reds’ first attack, though his effort was ruled out, apparently for a high boot from the striker. Although Bayern dominated possession, David De Gea’s first save did not come until past the half-hour mark when he dived to claw away an Arjen Robben effort.

David Moyes’ men responded with Welbeck firing an ambitious shot at Manuel Neuer and Wayne Rooney having an effort blocked. After Alex Büttner escaped a handball shout, Welbeck spurned the first half’s clearest opening in a one-on-one with Neuer. A goal did arrive 13 minutes after the break. Rooney swung over a corner from the left and Vidic steered a cute header inside Neuer’s left-hand post after being afforded too much room in the crowded box.

The equaliser was largely unstoppable as Mario Mandzukic headed down to Schweinsteiger, who smacked a rising drive into the roof of the net. After Valencia had a nervous wait to see if a sliding challenge would produce a second yellow, Robben twice went close and Schweinsteiger saw red for a tackle on Rooney. In the end, it wasn’t pretty, but United matched the favourites for the competition with a whole-hearted performance.

We gonna kill it at the Allianz!

Glory MUFC

SS

~Posted from my MacBook Air

The Villans (1) at The Red Devils (4)

Manchester United roared back from conceding first to Aston Villa thanks to a brace by Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata’s first goal for the club since his record move from Chelsea and Javier Hernandez’s late effort.

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David Moyes’ men made a disappointing start and fell behind when David De Gea was unable to keep out Ashley Westwood’s powerful free-kick on 13 minutes. Yet Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa switched positions regularly to good effect and both were involved in the move that led to the equaliser as Rooney expertly headed past Brad Guzan.

Rooney was on the scoresheet again with an emphatically-taken penalty just before the interval, after Leandro Bacuna chopped down Mata as he dragged the ball back inside the area. Christian Benteke missed a sitter when miskicking and allowing substitute Michael Carrick, on at centre-back, to clear. The muscular striker also headed over a Marc Albrighton cross moments later.

However, Alex Büttner’s brave header led to Marouane Fellaini supplying a touch inside the area and the ball broke to Mata, who calmly found the net in front of the Stretford End for United’s third. Guzan thwarted substitute Adnan Januzaj and Rooney, with Benteke and Aleksandar Tonev unable to convert openings for the Midlanders.

With time running out, the lively Januzaj crossed for fellow sub Hernandez to poke home a fourth as the Reds warmed up nicely for Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

West Ham 0:2 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Wayne Rooney scored twice in the first half to help Manchester United to a comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham.

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The first was a spectacular long-range effort that evoked memories of David Beckham’s goal at Selhurst Park in 1996, and gave the Reds breathing space with only eight minutes on the clock. In fact David Moyes’ side had already looked comfortable before Rooney’s opener, despite several changes from the line-up that performed so well against Olympiacos in midweek.

Injuries, suspensions and possibly thoughts of next Tuesday’s Manchester derby led to a reshuffle that included Michael Carrick and Phil Jones playing together in central defence. Marouane Fellaini’s early header was cleared away from two yards out by Carroll, while Juan Mata forced Adrian into a save before Rooney’s spectacular effort. Collecting a pass from Ashley Young just inside the opposition half, the striker looked up quickly and caught the home goalkeeper off his line with a looping effort that dipped into the net to stun all those inside the Boleyn Ground – which included Beckham himself.

Mata and Shinji Kagawa both had efforts saved before United struck again with a characteristically potent counter-attack. The hosts were still claiming a penalty for Darren Fletcher’s challenge on Kevin Nolan when Rooney fed Ashley Young, who raced upfield before crossing. Mark Noble’s fluffed clearance went straight to Rooney, who will never score a simpler close-range goal.

The home side gave a spirited response after the break, but United kept their opponents at arm’s length and even though Fellaini had a late penalty claim ignored, the Reds comfortably brought the curtain came down on a clinical away win.

GGMU

Cheers

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Manchester United 3:0 Olympiacos (UEFA Champions League)

64FA56F3CD454A9C9C1BBA4F369A8747.ashxRobin van Persie netted a hat-trick to inspire Manchester United to a thrilling 3-0 victory (3-2 on aggregate) over Olympiacos and send the Reds through to the Champions League quarter-finals.

Not since 1984 – indeed, 30 years ago this week – had United turned around a two-goal first-leg deficit in Europe. But on Wednesday, in front of a raucous Old Trafford crowd, van Persie’s treble ensured David Moyes’ maiden European voyage remained on course for Lisbon and gave United fans a thrilling night to remember.

But while the Dutchman will deservedly dominate the column inches, David De Gea’s stunning double save on 40 minutes – first from David Fuster’s bullet header and then Dominguez’s follow-up at the near post – proved just as pivotal.

Nobody would have blamed the Spaniard had either effort found the net but he saved both brilliantly to preserve the 1-0 lead earned when van Persie had earlier opened the scoring from the penalty spot. Five minutes after De Gea’s double denial, in first-half injury time, RvP swept home Wayne Rooney’s cross from close range. United were 2-0 up, level on aggregate and, crucially, in possession of the momentum and confidence that would ultimately carry the Reds to victory.

Van Persie sealed his hat-trick just six minutes into the second period, curling home a free-kick from 25 yards that had Olympiacos goalkeeper Roberto fooled, rooted to the spot.

There were then nervy moments to endure, particularly when De Gea was called into action again at his near post to beat out Dominguez’s blast, but the Reds held on to claim a famous victory.

Comeback Kings!

GGMU

SS

Posted from my MacBook Pro

The Unbearable Brightness of Being

Every single day bursts with opportunity. So much to see, so much to learn, and so much to do! Sometimes I can barely contain my happiness — how fortunate am I to be born on this bountiful planet — that too at a time when mankind is witnessing its greatest technological advances as well as a resurgence of spiritual values.

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At times it seems futile even to try and learn a single discipline — music, art, engineering, photography — each worth several lifetimes of study.

How much could I possibly grasp in this infinitesimal interval which I have been given — to play, to live, to learn, to give?

Challenges, doubts, distractions and obstacles abound; yet they pale in comparison to the overwhelming good it has been my humble privilege to witness. Helping hands in an apparently selfish world; simple, innocent love in a place where trust is reported absent; abundance and generosity where lack would seem to loom large.

And running through it all like a leitmotif — wonderful, complex music coupled with moments of utter stillness, Samadhi (higher level of concentrated meditation). The Master’s grace wafts through this existence, a fragrance of rose and sandalwood, turning each breath into intense prayer.

It’s as though a giant hand obliterates the din, the traffic, the pollution, the crime and the grime in a fraction of a second; I stand renewed, recharged and refreshed — helplessly and hopelessly unable to express my bliss.

Cheers to my beautiful life, Los Angeles and the people who have made it worth living for!

Love

SS

PS: Its officially Shubham Singh now…so SS made more sense;)

Posted from my MacBook Air

West Brom 0:3 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Manchester United rediscovered the old confidence, style and swagger in an excellent 3-0 win at West Brom.

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Phil Jones headed only his second Barclays Premier League goal for the club, before Wayne Rooney and substitute Danny Welbeck finished off incisive moves to lift the team into sixth in the table. The Reds were on top in the first half, even if defensive pairing Jones and Chris Smalling both had to make important tackles, with a fourth corner inside the opening 16 minutes leading to Youssouf Mulumbu clearing off the line to prevent an own goal by Chris Brunt.

Ben Foster pulled off a reflex save to tip a Rafael header onto the bar from Adnan Januzaj’s fine cross but had no chance when Jones powered home a header from Robin van Persie’s inviting free-kick. Jones was relieved to see Victor Anichebe fire wide after showing his strength before real controversy when Foster handled outside his box when miscontrolling Juan Mata’s intended pass to van Persie. Referee Jon Moss deemed it unintentional, so it went completely unpunished.

Moss was in the spotlight again when van Persie fouled Steven Reid after already being cautioned but leniency was shown as the Dutchman did get a touch on the ball. Following van Persie’s substitution, Rooney added a crucial second. The striker latched onto Rafael’s centre after being involved earlier in a devastating move to head in. The third goal was also the result of splendid team play as a series of short passes led to Rooney finding Welbeck and the substitute made no mistake with a clinical finish.

Although David De Gea made a couple of saves to deny Zoltan Gera, the Reds were rarely troubled on the way to a third successive clean sheet in the league.

Crystal Palace 0:2 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney struck within six minutes of each other in the second half to hand Manchester United victory over Crystal Palace.

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The Dutchman’s penalty was quickly followed by an unstoppable volley from his strike partner to break down the resilient hosts, and the goals were a relief for the Reds after spells of persistent possession play had failed to reap rewards.

Palace soaked up waves of United pressure in the first half, with Rooney’s curling effort from the edge of the box headed away from under his crossbar by Damien Delaney, while Nemanja Vidic headed the rebound just over. David De Gea was largely untested but he was alert enough to parry away a deflection off Chris Smalling, while Marouane Fellaini wasted an opportunity just before the break when the Belgian, back in the side for the first time since 4 December, shot wide after a neat touch from Juan Mata.

Palace went on the attack early in the second half, but the game changed on 62 minutes when a clumsy challenge by Eagles striker Marouane Chamakh on Patrice Evra on the edge of the box resulted in a penalty that van Persie clinically despatched. A curling shot from Cameron Jerome drew a save from De Gea low to his left, and this proved to be vital shortly afterwards when Evra cut the ball back to Rooney, who lashed in a superb volley from just inside the area.

Van Persie struck the bar as United strived to kill the game off, and De Gea was in action again when he denied Yannick Bolasie, but United saw the game out comfortably to claim three points and move into sixth place.

Glory MUFC!

Love

S

13 Reasons Why A Dog Will Make Your Life So Much Better (I Miss You BRUNO)

So the other day my friend Adrienne and myself were talking about our dogs and it ultimately ended up making both of us nostalgic! That’s when she shared few things with me…would like to share with ya’ll:)

When alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn found out she would have to miss the Sochi Winter Olympics in order to get knee surgery, she was naturally super bummed out. So what did she do to make herself feel better? She adopted a dog:

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Leo seems like a very logical mood-booster. Anyone who owns and loves a dog knows it becomes hard to live without their consistent and utter devotion to you. And even though they may love you at least partially because they literally rely on you to do things like eat, it’s a two-way road when you own a dog. You may keep them alive by feeding and taking care of them, but they are also taking care of you.

Numerous studies have shown that owning a dog benefits a person’s physical and mental well-being. So read up, and then go thank your pup for making your life so much better.
1. You’re also getting a walk when you take your dog out.

Sometimes it may seem like such a nuisance (especially in these colder months), but walking your dog helps you stay more active than people who don’t have to walk the dog. A 2006 Canadian study found that dog owners were more likely to participate in moderate physical activity than those who didn’t own a dog. They walked an average of 300 minutes per week, compared with non-dog owners, who walked an average of 168 minutes per week.
2. Dogs can strengthen the bonds between humans.

recent study at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts Universityfound that people who have strong connections to their pets also have social and relationship benefits. The researchers surveyed 500 18- to 26-year-olds and found that those who had “strong attachment to pets reported feeling more connected to their communities and relationships.” They also found that the more attached a person was to an animal as a teenager and young adult, the more empathetic and confident he or she was.
3. Some dogs can detect if you have cancer or not.

A black lab named Marine could save your life. The specially-trained eight-year-old dog can detect when a person has colorectal cancer 91 percent of the time just by sniffing the person’s breath. And if she smells stool, she can detect whether the person has colorectal cancer with 97 percent accuracy. It’s estimated that a dog’s sense of smell is up to a million times better than a human’s.
4. Dogs can also help make sure you don’t eat things you are allergic to.

Pups trained at the Florida Canine Academy can smell even the slightest hint of peanut in a room. This comes especially handy for people who have intense peanut allergies. These dogs are so good that they can detect peanuts in a cookie or in a candy bar that is wrapped in a lunch bag.

In Texas, a place called “Southern Star Ranch” provides trained dogs to people who are suffering with severe peanut allergies. One grateful testimonial tells the story of a family with a son who was so severely allergic to peanuts that he had to be home-schooled and could only have highly-supervised playdates. When he was nine, the family took in Remy, a peanut-detecting dog, who the family swears has a “college-educated mind.” The dog detects peanuts before their son comes in contact with them, and now the family enjoys greater freedom.
5. Just looking at your dog will make you feel happier.

2009 study by Miho Nagasawa of Azabu University in Japan found that one’s level of oxytocin (the neurohormone that elicits feelings of happiness) raised intensely after interacting with their dogs. And the only interaction they needed was to stare into their dog’s eyes. Those who looked longer into their dog’s eyes had the bigger dose of oxytocin. Fun fact: A dog’s willingness to meet eyes with humans is one of the things that separates them from wolves.
6. A dog’s face could bring out the caretaker in you.

Homans writes that Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz, speculated that a dog’s face could possess an “infant schema” — meaning that its “high forehead, big eyes, short snout and floppy ears might have evolved to take advantage of human’s innate responses.” The features are known as “social releasers” and can elicit a human caregiver’s response.
7. Dogs seriously calm you down in high-stress situations.

Karen Walker, a psychology professor at the University of Buffalo, performed a series of tests that proved dogs help reduce people’s everyday stress. She wired volunteers to blood-pressure monitors and had them count rapidly backwards by threes from a four-digit number (a task that seems simple, but is actually pretty challenging. Just try it.) She found that the subject’s stress response was significantly lower if there was a dog in the room. In his book, Homans also cites a Japanese study that found elderly people who regularly walk a dog have enhanced heart rate variability, which is associated with stress reduction.
8. They help us recover psychologically from a crisis.

Dogs have been proven to help the recovery process of soldiers going through post-traumatic stress disorder. One army veteran, Robert Soliz, a former army specialist who served in Baghdad, found that engaging with dogs in a program called “Paws for Purple Hearts” helped him get his life back to the way it was before he left for war. When he returned, Soliz was so traumatized that he couldn’t show any affection and struggled to even hug his kids. After spending six weeks with a golden retriever, Soliz began to feel more comfortable with his family.
9. Your dog could help prevent your child from developing eczema.

In 2010, a study found that children who were allergic to dogs but lived with at least one of them during their first year of life had a lower risk of developing the chronic skin condition eczema by age four. Interestingly, the complete opposite is true for cat ownership. Researchers found that children with cat allergies were 13 times more likely to develop eczema if they lived with a cat within their first year.
10. Your pooch could be your cure for loneliness.

Loneliness is common among the elderly. Studies have shown that in people 60 years of age and older, owning a dog (or a cat) were four times less likely to be diagnosed as clinically depressed. “The Waltham Book of Human-Animal Interactions: Benefits and Responsibilities” cites a study on medical visits by elderly people. The study proved that, compared with non-owners, pet owners made fewer medical visits over the course of a year.
11. Your dog will force you to be social, for better or for worse.

When you own a dog, you are forced to interact with people because you have to walk that dog in public. People are more likely to stop and say hello to you because you have a cute pup bouncing alongside you. In some cases, these interactions could change the rest of your life. Take the case of 71-year-old Emma Cooper, who had been living alone for eight years after her husband died. She told Psychology Today:

“I was out walking Surrey, my cocker spaniel and this man stopped to give him a pat. He seemed like a nice man and told me that he used to have a blonde cocker spaniel just like Surrey. We started to talk about living with dogs and then stopped for a cup of coffee. Well one thing led to another and Bill and I are getting married next month–as soon as we can find a clergyman who is willing to let a dog stand in as the best man!”

12. One study found that owning a dog could make you more attractive to potential love matches.

According to a study conducted by Dog’s Trust, the United Kingdom’s largest dog welfare charity, when they surveyed 700 people, 60 percent said that owning a dog can make people more attractive, while 85 percent think people are more approachable when they are with a dog. Even more, it could matter what kind of dog you own. In a survey by mobile pet app Klooff, certain dog breeds are more likely to attract members of the opposite sex than others. Men noted that they judged women with Chihuahuas as dumb, hot and easy; while women said they viewed men with bulldogs as one-night-stands. However, women really like men who owned Labrador or golden retrievers.
13. A dog makes us appreciate the simple things in life.

Homans presents one of the best arguments for why a dog is a great asset to one’s life: The dog “takes us back to simpler modes of interaction.” Homans writes, “In a world of email and texting and videoconferencing, a relationship with a dog is unmediated by technology.” Couldn’t we all use a cuddly canine to tear us away from our smartphones?

Happy Birthday BRUNO!

My boy turns 5 this February 12.

May god bless you with loads of choo sticks, bones, chicken and good health!

Love you Boy!

S

A New Year’s Resolution and a bit of Gyan! (Never suck up to Jerks)

I will write at least 4 posts every month on this blog!

This is the last one for January

When you hear bad news, don’t be too quick to believe it. It will usually not be as bad as it is made out to be. And by having faith in that news, your own energy gets linked to it giving it even more momentum…

Instead simply say ok, alright. And take a few breaths and wait for a bit before acting on it.

Normally, we want to act immediately on it and do so out of a very perturbed state of mind. Most times those actions prove to be disastrous… So, wait a bit when you hear bad news, don’t believe it in it’s entirety and quite often you will see that it doesn’t turn out to be as bad as it was made out to be in the first place.

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Jan 31st, the last day of 2014 is already upon us. Time goes so fast… This year focus on the great and the good. Move from success to success. Say I love you to those you love. Don’t say oh they know, no point telling them. Tell them anyways! Smile more and make others smile too.

If you can say you are a better human being tonight than you were in the morning then you are leading a charmed life!

A very Happy January 31st and a happy new year!☺️😛

love

S

Manchester United 2:0 Cardiff City (Barclays Premier League)

Robin van Persie and Ashley Young grabbed the goals as Manchester United picked up a welcome three points with a 2-0 victory against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff City.

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Despite the boost of an early breakthrough, the Reds were unable to kill off the visitors in the first half. Van Persie netted at the second attempt, after David Marshall saved his initial effort superbly, when Antonio Valencia’s header came back off the bar. Debutant Juan Mata was close to finding Ashley Young with a deep cross and van Persie screwed agonisingly wide but the Welsh side had clear-cut chances of their own. Craig Noone fired over after a promising run and David De Gea had to keep out a Mark Hudson header with an outstretched boot. Cardiff also enjoyed a decent spell of possession after the interval but Young doubled the lead with a moment of individual brilliance, drifting inside onto his right foot and burying an unerring low drive into the bottom corner of Marshall’s net. It sparked more attacking play from David Moyes’ men with Mata’s first shot in a red shirt saved by Marshall and Jonny Evans bending wide after galloping forward with purpose. Wayne Rooney came on for van Persie and went close with a deflected drive. Marshall parried a Valencia drive onto the woodwork after the Ecuadorian delayed his shot and turned Declan John before Mata, his replacement Adnan Januzaj and Rooney all had decent efforts. However, the visitors were competitive until the final whistle on a night when respect was paid to their manager.

Game On!

GGMU

SS

Posted from iMac

Norwich City 0:1 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

A well-taken goal by substitute Danny Welbeck gave Manchester United an invaluable victory over Norwich City on a hard-fought afternoon at Carrow Road.

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The injury-hit Reds were rarely at their best during a largely dour affair, but improved markedly on a poor first half display after the break, and were rarely troubled after Welbeck had put David Moyes’ side into the lead shortly before the hour.

The manager’s preparations were dealt a blow by the absence of Wayne Rooney, who remained in Manchester with a minor groin injury, while Antonio Valencia was also absent through suspension. While Michael Carrick’s first start since early November provided a timely boost, United were disjointed for much of the first period.

The Reds’ two best chances of the first half were separated by 40 minutes. Between those openings – a Shinji Kagawa cross-shot beaten away by John Ruddy and a tame near-post Chicharito effort – Norwich overcame a timid opening to steadily take control of the game. David De Gea needed to thwart Russell Martin, Gary Hooper and Sebastian Bassong, while Jonny Evans bravely blocked a Wes Hoolahan shot and Robert Snodgrass repeatedly chanced his arm from distance without success.

The Canaries had blunted United’s attacking play by regrouping quickly in-between their own periods of dominance, but the Reds grasped control of the game with the half-time introduction of Welbeck. The substitute added much-needed pace and penetration to United’s approach, and he quickly made a telling difference by charging down Ryan Bennett’s clearance and racing onto the loose ball, via a Chicharito touch, before rounding Ruddy and sliding home a finish to settle the game in United’s favour and ensure a six-game winning streak to end 2013.

Hoping for a successful 2014 ahead!

GGMU

S

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Hull City 2:3 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Wayne Rooney scored his 150th Premier League goal for Manchester United as the champions came from two down to secure a vastly-entertaining Boxing Day triumph at the KC Stadium.

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Having arrived late to the venue due to traffic congestion, the Reds made a poor start and conceded after just four minutes when ex-United player James Chester latched onto Alex Bruce’s header to score Hull City’s opener from close-range – although replays showed the corner that led to the goal should not have been given. Things then went from bad to worse as Jonny Evans diverted David Meyler’s weak shot past a helpless David De Gea.

With backs against the wall, United reacted quickly as Adnan Januzaj (on for the injured Rafael) won a free kick on the right wing, teeing up Chris Smalling to score from an expertly delivered Rooney setpiece. The latter then restored parity himself with a brilliantly taken half-volley that comfortably beat goalkeeper Allan McGregor from around 25 yards.

Hull’s manager, the United legend Steve Bruce, made two enforced changes at the break – replacing goalkeeper McGregor with deputy Steve Harper and sending on Robert Koren in Meyler’s place. His side restarted brightly, almost taking the lead on 52 minutes when Yannick Sagbo’s powerful drive forced a decent save from De Gea. Bruce’s son Alex then struck the bar with a thumping header on the hour.

Thankfully, the Reds were relieved moments later when Ashley Young’s cross was headed into his own net by Chester. The latter’s 66th-minute error ultimately sealed a terrific win, although the Reds were also grateful to De Gea for denying Danny Graham with a crucial block in injury time. The victory lifted United up to sixth place in the Barclays Premier League before the other Boxing Day matches kicked off.

Merry Christmas lads!

GGMU

S

Posted from my Macbook Pro

Aston Villa 0:3 Manchester United (Barclays Premier League)

Manchester United made a welcome return to winning ways in the Barclays Premier League with a ruthless and comprehensive 3-0 win over Aston Villa.

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Danny Welbeck struck in the 15th and 18th minutes, while Tom Cleverley’s first goal for exactly a year effectively killed the game off early in the second half.

The three points efficiently earned at a cold and wet Villa Park moved the Reds up in the table, extending an unbeaten away run in the league to five games and giving a timely boost ahead of a festive fixture programme of four league outings.

With Robin van Persie injured for around a month, David Moyes’s decision to pick Welbeck up front was rewarded in perfect style with two clinical finishes from the 20-year-old. Adnan Januzaj was inches away from opening the scoring when his header to a pin-point cross from Rafael hit the base of the post, but Welbeck showed his predatory instincts to volley the rebound in past a helpless Brad Guzan in Villa’s goal.

The hosts, who had looked in a confident mood early on, were shaken by the opener and the Reds were quick to take advantage. Welbeck exchanged passes with Antonio Valencia before sprinting into the box to get to the return from the flank just ahead of Januzaj to slide the ball home.

United’s iron grip on the game tightened when Cleverley drilled the ball past Guzan five minutes into a second half which also saw the welcome return of Darren Fletcher, back as a substitute for his first appearance since Boxing Day 2012. David De Gea made a good save to his right to deny El Ahmadi’s free kick, while Welbeck’s cheeky chip just failed to give him a deserved hat-trick.

GGMU

S

Posted from my MacBook Pro

Manchester United 1:0 Shakhtar Donetsk (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United completed a satisfying Champions League group stage with a 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk that clinched top spot in the section.

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David Moyes’ men got back to winning ways after successive home league defeats thanks to Phil Jones’ 67th-minute effort and the hard-earned triumph should boost confidence ahead of the weekend trip to Aston Villa.

The Ukrainians were confident in possession and a frustrating first half unfolded with Ashley Young spurning the Reds’ best two openings. The left-winger did well to beat Darijo Srna to a Ryan Giggs chip but then lofted a lob inches off target before flashing off target when put clear by Wayne Rooney.

Adnan Januzaj turned to fire straight at Andriy Pyatov and Rooney went close with a free-kick that brushed the netting but Shakhtar had chances of their own and looked a real threat. Alex Teixeira clipped wide of the far post after being released by Taison and ran through again unchecked to work David De Gea. Teixeira also robbed Rio Ferdinand, only for the defender to block Fred’s effort from the cross.

There was a fright at the start of the second half when a corner was allowed to run to Yaroslav Rakitskiy and his shot deflected off Jones and clipped a post. United responded with a Shinji Kagawa effort and a measured chip over the bar by Rooney but the goal only arrived after the introduction of Robin van Persie and Tom Cleverley.

Van Persie’s corner fell to Jones and the midfielder executed a controlled volley past Pyatov to break the deadlock and earn the acclaim of the Old Trafford faithful. Srna fizzed in a left-footed strike that De Gea held confidently but it was one of very few late chances for the visitors, who lost out to Bayer Leverkusen for second place in the group.

Can’t wait for the draw of last 16!

GGMU

S

Posted from my iPad

Bayer Leverkusen 0:5 Manchester United (UEFA Champions League)

Manchester United cruised into the last 16 of the Champions League with a remarkable 5-0 triumph at Bayer Leverkusen’s BayArena fortress.

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The Bundesliga outfit were strongly tipped to cause the Reds a host of problems but were dismantled in front of their home fans, who had hoped to see their own side clinch qualification. Wayne Rooney was involved in four of the goals while Shinji Kagawa and Antonio Valencia also sparkled throughout. Valencia, an Emir Spahic own goal, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Nani registered on the scoresheet for an emphatic win – the biggest away success in European Cup since hammering Shamrock Rovers 6-0 in 1957.

It took 16 minutes for United to post a first real attempt on goal but the threat was ever-present once Nani curled over the bar from Ryan Giggs’ intelligent pass. When Bayer responded, Evans produced a marvellous goal-saving challenge after Stefan Kiessling dribbled past Rio Ferdinand and it proved vital with the opener coming seconds later when the visitors cleared the corner.

Shinji Kagawa dispossessed Stefan Reinartz and the ball was fed to Rooney via Giggs. The striker’s cross from the left was too high for Kagawa but Valencia arrived at the far post to sneak the ball home off the upright to follow up his strike in the first encounter between the two clubs back in September.

Rooney was again the provider from the left-hand side when his free-kick was back-headed into his own net by Spahic with the centre-back under pressure from Smalling and Evans. The Reds were rampant and Kagawa was unable to find a finish to match a penetrative run through the middle while Valencia worked Bernd Leno as the interval approached.

Kagawa received a clattering challenge from keeper Leno when bidding to extend the advantage in the second half before Nani fired wide after a swift interchange of passes with the alert Rooney. Reinartz headed against the woodwork with Rooney grounded and appealing for a foul from a corner but it proved a rare scare with Rooney unlucky to bend a drive wide after knocking the ball through Simon Rolfes’ legs.

The points were sealed on 65 minutes when Giggs’ corner was headed on by Evra for Rooney to force a sprawling save out of Leno. Evans reacted quickest to the rebound to smuggle the ball in for a third. There was no let-up from David Moyes’ side and lofted passes by Kagawa and Rooney led to Smalling getting in on the act by netting from close range.

It always looked like getting worse for Leverkusen but Leno dived to pull off a one-handed stop to thwart Jones and substitute Anderson was unable to finish off Nani’s inviting pass. A fifth goal did arrive two minutes from the end when Giggs’ through ball was chested past Leno by Nani and the Portuguese winger produced an exquisite finish with the outside of his right foot, jabbing the ball in from an acute angle.

David De Gea was given a chance to show his class when denying Eren Derdiyok. United need a point against Shakhtar Donetsk in the final Group A game to qualify in first place. Following this result, confidence will surely be sky-high for the Reds.

And the Reds go marching on on on!

GGMU

S

Posted from my MacBook

Manchester United 1:0 Arsenal (Barclays Premier League)

Robin van Persie’s superb header accounted for Barclays Premier League leaders Arsenal and catapulted Manchester United firmly into the title race on a tense afternoon at Old Trafford.

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In a game of few chances, the Dutchman’s first-half header from a Wayne Rooney corner made the tangible difference between champions and pace-setters, but the foundations for success were built on a magnificently dogged defensive display from David Moyes’ men.

The United manager opted to field Phil Jones in a withdrawn central midfield role alongside Michael Carrick, safeguarding against the Gunners’ advanced midfield threat, and the move almost totally stifled the visitors’ creativity in central areas.

A forward four of van Persie, Rooney, Antonio Valencia and Shinji Kagawa, meanwhile, offered United plenty of attacking menace. A cagey opening to the game yielded plenty of possession for United, but the clear mutual respect shared by the sides meant a dearth of chances.

When United forged ahead, it was with virtually the game’s first attempt of note. Moments after a dangerous Rooney cross had been headed behind, the England striker swung in an equally threatening corner which van Persie reached ahead of Olivier Giroud to help a fine header into Szczesny’s top corner.

Though Arsenal responded positively, their first attempt on goal didn’t arrive until Giroud’s 36th-minute header, which sailed comfortably off-target. Steadier was the flow of bookings. Bacary Sagna and Mathieu Flamini were cautioned, the latter for a lunge on Phil Jones, himself booked moments earlier for an apparently legitimate aerial challenge on Szczesny.

Arsenal’s fairy tail over? Maybe!

Glory Glory Man United!

S