When The Seagulls...

Following Manchester united, waiting for the sardines

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Match report: Manchester United 3-1 Chelsea - Much closer than the score suggests

Nani flips out in excitement after his thunderbolt strike

The life of a football fan is a maddening one. Even at 3-0 up I was bobbing around the house with ever increasing nervous energy. You simply can’t take a scoreline for granted in these huge games and United certainly kept the game close with some careless passing and flat-footed defending. But a win is a win, especially against Chelsea.

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Benfica 1 - 1 Manchester United: Changes slow forward momentum

So a fairly typically away performance in our opening Champions League game brings a result that, while nothing to celebrate, is fairly healthy in the context of the group. The most disappointing aspect of the night was how toothless we looked in the final third, although given the team selection – with many players making their first start of the season – that was hardly surprising.

Shuffled pack

With a big match to come at Chelsea it was no shock to see Fergie make sweeping changes to the side, and equally so when it came to the system employed. A 4-5-1/4-3-3 has been standard away practice in Europe for years now, and the philosophy of ‘win at home, don’t lose away’ has served us well, even if it doesn’t offer up the most scintillating of performances when not at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United 8 (yes, eight!) vs. Arsenal 2: Fergie keeps the faith as the goals fly in

Barely on the pitch two seconds and bags a goal. Good ol’ Ji-Sung


Wow. Just wow. These types of scores don’t come along often but when they do they give me a fizz in the groin area. Pundits, neutrals and Arsenal fans - when they’ve woke up from this nightmare - will argue that the Gunners team was full of young, untested players but take nothing away from United, they were simply a force of nature.

It’s the first time that Sir Alex has selected the same starting eleven for two games running and also - as Gary Neville pointed out in surprise - that we’ve gone with a 4-4-2 formation as we usually pack the midfield and play one up top. But we went for it today, and from the first minute we looked in complete control.

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West Brom 1-2 Manchester United: Stamina proves the key to victory, oh, and a deflection

From left to right, the ascending order of successfully settling into the squad

After what started out as an authoritative performance from United, the 2-1 scoreline at the end came as a massive relief by the end. We controlled the flow of the play so much that at one stage we had 90% of the possession, but we just couldn’t find that second goal. One of the reasons might have been down to the fact that we only had one shot on goal in 90 minutes, but let’s not bring facts into this, eh?

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2011/2012 Season Preview - Part 3

What with three being the magic – or at least the Evra’s – number and all, it’s time to draw our season previews to a close as, unless this weekend’s fixtures do get postponed, we’re only a couple of days from the big kick-off. So, with the rule comprehensively run over new signings and the defence already, we end with a look at our forward line and, first, the first Scholes-free midfield for over a decade and a half…

Midfield

If there is an area of concern within the squad, this is it. We’re comprehensively stocked in the wide areas, but the centre still looks – literally in Fletcher’s case – a little lightweight. Most of the summer’s speculation has centred on bringing in a creative hub to replace the departed Scholes (*sniff*), but a look at what we’ve got would suggest that any remaining transfer business should go the other way.

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