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

SS

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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

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 (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