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

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

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 (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