Red Rants Archives for January 2016

Gerard Pique rules out ever joining Manchester City: “My love for United is too strong”

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Gerard Pique rules out ever joining Manchester City: "My love for United is too strong"

Barcelona's Gerard Pique has ruled out the possibility of following Pep Guardiola to Manchester City this summer due to his "love" for former club Manchester United.

Guardiola, currently in charge of Barcelona, will join City at the end of the campaign, leading to speculation as to who the Spaniard might want to sign at the Etihad stadium.

Rashford: “I can’t explain this feeling”

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Marcus Rashford expressed his delight after scoring twice in his first Premier League game as United beat Arsenal 3-2 at Old Trafford as the 18-year-old striker scored his second brace in three days, after netting two against Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.

The striker, deployed up-front to replace the injured Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, scored with his first shot on goal in the Premier League as he pounced on a loose ball to fire past Petr Cech with 29 minutes gone, before adding a second three minutes later as he headed Jesse Lingard's cross.

Van Gaal apologises for diving

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Louis Van Gaal has apologised fortheatrically throwing himself to the ground in front of fourth official Mike Dean midway through the second half of United's 3-2 win against Arsenal, as he mocked what he perceived to be persistent diving by players of the visiting side.

Throughout the season, Van Gaal has been criticised for never showing emotions and never leaving the dugout but on Sunday he stormed towards the touchline, folder firmly in his grasp before throwing himself to the ground, a move which was met with a roar of approval by the fans.

[CONFIRMED LINE-UP] United vs Arsenal

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De Gea; Varela, Carrick, Blind, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Herrera; Lingard, Mata, Memphis; Rashford.

Subs: Romero, McNair, Riley, Fosu-Mensah, Weir, Januzaj, A. Pereira.

Van Gaal hails United youngsters

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Louis Van Gaal praised the character of his young players after a largely inexperienced Manchester United side beatMidtjylland 5-1 on Thursday night to book themselves a place in the draw for the Europa League round of 16 after winning the tie 6-3 on aggregate.

Anthony Martial was the latest United player to suffer an injury, as he complained of a hamstring problem during the warm-up, but the Frenchman was brilliantly replaced byMarcus Rashford, who scored twice on debut to swing the tie his side's way.

[CONFIRMED LINE-UP] United vs Midtjylland

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Romero; Varela, Carrick, Blind, Riley; Schneiderlin, Ander Herrera; Lingard, Mata, Memphis; Martial.

Subs: J.Pereira, Rojo, Poole, McNair, Love, A.Pereira, Rashford.

Five things we’ve learnt from Shrewsbury vs United

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Manchester United put criticism andspeculations over Louis Van Gaal's future momentarily aside as they booked their ticket to the quarter finals of the FA Cup after beating Shrewsbury Town 3-0.

After a slow start, United eventually began to take control of proceedings in the first half and went ahead through a goal from Chris Smalling, before Juan Mata made it 2-0 with a wonderful free-kick just before halftime.

[VIDEO] United’s goals vs Shrewsbury

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Manchester United booked their spot in the quarter finals of the FA Cup after beating Shrewsbury Town 3-0 on Monday night.

Chris Smalling opened the scoring in the first half before Juan Mata made it 2-0 with a wonderfully struck free-kick, while Jesse Lingard clinched United's third after capping a wonderful counterattacking move.

[CONFIRMED LINE-UP] Shrewsbury vs Manchester United

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United's starting XI vs Shrewsbury Town: Romero, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Memphis, Mata, Lingard, Martial.

Subs:Henderson, McNair, Poole, Carrick, Pereira, Riley, Keane

Van Gaal: “Every match is a must win now”

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Louis Van Gaal has urged his Manchester United to pick themselves up after a dismal couple weeks and book themselves a place in the quarter finals of the FA Cup by beating Shrewsbury Town on Monday night.

The Dutchman, who remains on borrowed time at the club amid growing speculations he will be replaced by either Jose' Mourinho or Ryan Giggs, has told his players every game between now and the end of the season is a must win game, starting with tonight's trip to the League One outfit.

United have lost their fear factor

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Louis Van Gaal has admitted Manchester United have lost their fear factor and conceded the speculations over his future haven't helped his side during an extremely difficult season, which could take a turn for the worse over the next seven days.

United travel to Shrewsbury for the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night before welcoming Midtjylland in the return leg of the round of 32 of Europa League and then face Arsenal at home three days later in a match that could effectively end their already slim hopes of securing a top four finish.

United must start rewarding fans

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Chris Smalling has urged his teammates to start rewarding the supporters, after they spent £71 to see Manchester United beaten byFC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday.

It was a new low for United in what is turning out to be their worst ever season in the Premier League as distress on the pitch is exacerbated by the uncertainty surrounding Louis Van Gaal's future off it.

Five things we’ve learnt from Midtjylland vs United

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Manchester United's season took yet another embarrassing turn as Louis Van Gaal's side slumped to a pathetic defeat away againstMidtjylland in the first league of their Europa League.

Despite going ahead through a Memphis Depay's goal, United succeeded in delivering an even more abysmal performance than the one they had produced at Sunderland on Saturday and were eventually deservedly beaten by a hungrier and more organised side.

[CONFIRMED LINE-UP] Midtjylland vs United

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De Gea, Love, Smalling, McNair, Blind, Herrera, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Martial.

Subs: Romero, Poole, Riley, Pereira, Schneiderlin, Weir, Keane.

United v Midtjylland preview: Rooney blow hits Champions League hopes

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Wayne Rooney has been left out of the Manchester United squad for Thursday's Europa League last 32 first leg against Danish champions FC Midtjylland, with the striker out with a knee injury that, some media outlets are claiming, could see him miss two months of football.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Louis van Gaal revealed that the United captain was indeed injured, as it had been reported, but did not comment on how long he would be sidelined for:

"You can never say [how long he could be out for].

United suffer Rooney blow

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Manchester United will be without Wayne Rooney for the next six weeks, starting with tomorrow's trip to Denmark, after the England captain has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury.

After a dismal start to the season, Rooney's form improved considering since the turn of the year, as he scored seven goals in as many appearancesin the first seven matches of 2016, including the winners against Sheffield United and Liverpool.

United’s Academy must move forward, says Butt

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Nicky Butt revealed he's very proud to have been named the new Academy coach at Manchester United and that he was looking forward to get started.

Butt, whose appointment to replace Brian McClair was announced on Monday, was adamant the club had all it needed to bridge the gap with its rivals, whose youth sectors have overtaken United's in recent years.

Van Gaal wants Europa League success but United face struggle

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A season punctuated by too many lows and very few, if any, highs plunged to a new whole on Saturday.

Arrived on Wearside on the back of their three best performances of the season and facing a Sunderland side stuck in the relegation zone, Manchester United reverted to type and produced a performance of such ineptitude that any talk of a top four finish must now surely be taken as a practical joke and nothing more than that.

Five things we’ve learnt from Sunderland vs United

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Manchester United's already slim hopes of reaching a top four finish this season were dealt a fresh blow as they slumped to an embarrassing defeat away at Sunderland on Saturday.

Having gone behind after just three minutes, United equalised through a sumptuous Anthony Martial's finish and looked to have dragged themselves back into the game, only to serve up an utterly inept performance in the second half as Sunderland found a deserved late winner.

A stadium of fight

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There are very few gifts in life, but writing satire on Sunderland the week Adam Johnson faces up to being called Patricia by his new cellmate is definitely one of them.

With a risk of this entire article being centred around prison jokes it's probably best to get them out of the way now.

It's unlikely we'll see the Sunderland winger running around in his predator boots this weekend.

United forward explains goalscoring run

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Jesse Lingard has admitted he has spent the last couple of weeks putting in extra training sessions to improve his finishing, after being instructed by Louis Van Gaal to be more composed in front of goal.

The 23-year-old scored a brilliant, if ultimately not winning, goal against Chelsea on Sunday and has looked a lot sharper in the final third since his miss against Newcastle a few weeks ago arguably costed United the game.

Carrick confident United can upset rivals

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Manchester United have not given up the fight to clinch a top four finish this season, despite being six points adrift of fourth-placed Manchester City, said Michael Carrick.

United dropped two points away at Stamford Bridge on Sunday when they conceded a late equaliser, meaning they're now six points behind Manuel Pellegrini's men, which still have to welcome United at the Etihad, and with a largely inferior goal difference.

Smalling hails Van Gaal’s philosophy

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Louis Van Gaal's philosophy has found a surprising fan as Chris Smalling revealed he has been impressed with the Dutchman's approach and his capacity to listen to his players.

After a torrid couple of months, United appear to be slightly turning their fortunes around, as back-to-back wins against Derby County and Stoke City were followed by an impressive display away against Chelsea, where United were only minutes short of winning the game.

Clayton Blackmore interview part one: “Gomes could play for United tomorrow”

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Manchester United's academy is still producing talents who could break into the first team, according to former United defender Clayton Blackmore. United's youth system has come under scrutiny this season for a perceived lack of talent but Blackmore, who spoke to Stretty News' Dale O'Donnell at a Play With a Legend Event last week, added United fans should be get very excited about Angel Gomes, who could soon break into the first team.

Van Gaal explains Mata’s role at United

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Juan Mata was instrumental in Manchester United's 3-0 win against Stoke on Tuesday night, as the Spaniard pulled the strings superbly, as his side played with an attacking intent they had not shown at any other stage of the season.

Deployed in his favourite number 10 role, the former Chelsea man, who scored against Derby a few days earlier, was mightily impressive alongside Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial.

LVG refutes Rooney’s claims

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Louis Van Gaal has rubbished Wayne Rooney's suggestions that Manchester United have rediscovered their attacking instinct because they've been allowed to play with more freedom by their manager.

United have scored six goals in their last two games in all competitions and their performance against Stoke on Tuesday night, arguably the best attacking display they've produced under Van Gaal, prompted Rooney to claim a differentapproach was the reason behind United's new-found scoring form.

Clayton Blackmore interview part one: “United have lacked world class coaches at youth level”

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Manchester United's academy has lacked top class coaches in recent years, according to former United defender Clayton Blackmore. Despite the current concerns over United's youth system, Blackmore, who spoke to Stretty News' Dale O'Donnell at a Play With a Legend Event last week, added United fans should be get very excited about Angel Gomes, who could soon break into the first team.

Clayton Blackmore interview part two: “Rooney remains United main man”

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Wayne Rooney remains Manchester United's main man who would not have looked out of place in some of United's best sides of yesteryear, according to former Wales and United defender Clayton Blackmore. Speaking to Stretty News' Dale O'Donnell at a Play With a Legend Event last week,Blackmore lifted the lid on what it was like to play under Fergie and on what to make of the transfer rumours surrounding fellow Welshman Gareth Bale.

Five things we’ve learnt from United vs Stoke

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Attacking football made a rare appearance at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, as Manchester United swept aside Stoke City, scoring three goals at home for the second consecutive game but only for the first time at home since they beat Sunderland by the same scoreline in September.

United carried on where they had left off at Derby, starting the game on the front foot and never allowed Stoke to settle, inspired by some wonderful individual performances from Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, who both got on the scoresheet, and Juan Mata.

[VIDEO] Lingard’s goal vs Stoke

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Lingard's goal. pic.twitter.com/nxsb396z1f

- UnitedReview (@TheUtdReview) February 2, 2016

[VIDEO] Martial’s goal vs Stoke

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https://vine.co/v/iJh6zWptY7W

[VIDEO] Rooney’s goal vs Stoke

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https://vine.co/v/iJhQDb5pHYY

[Confirmed] United vs Stoke starting XI

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Manchester United: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Borthwick-Jackson, Fellaini, Carrick, Lingard, Mata, Martial, Rooney.

Subs: Romero, McNair, Varela, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Pereira, Memphis.

Stoke City:Butland; Johnson, Wollscheid, Muniesa, Pieters; Whelan, Afellay; Walters, Bojan, Arnautovic; Crouch

Midfielder explains United exit

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Nick Powell has explained his decision to leave Manchester United to join Hull City on loan until the end of the season was motivated by personal reasons.

The midfielder was a deadline day exit as he joined the Championship side, his third loan spell in as many seasons, and he's unlikely to return to Old Trafford, given his deal expires in the summer.

Martial inspired by teammates

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Anthony Martial has revealed he has learnt a lot from Wayne Rooney since joining Manchester United, adding he's happy to sacrifice himself for the team.

The Frenchman has been one of United's few bright lights this season, displaying a talent and maturity uncommon for a 19-year-old but, after hitting the ground running since joining from Monaco, his attacking potential has been limited by Louis Van Gaal's decision to deploy out on the left.

Van Gaal heaps praise on away fans

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Louis Van Gaal has praised Manchester United's "fantastic" support after the travelling supporters generated a fantastic atmosphere away at Derby County on Friday night.

Backed by over 5,000 reds, the largest away allocation of the season, United beat Derby 3-1 and booked their place in the fifth round of the FA Cup and the boisterous away support didn't go unnoticed with Van Gaal.

Mata targets winning run

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Juan Mata has set his sights to a winning run this month as Manchester United look to put a rather dismal January behind them.

Despite picking up wins against Swansea and Liverpool in the Premier League and beating Sheffield United and Derby County in the FA Cup, United have come under intense scrutiny last month, with Louis Van Gaal's future at the club increasingly under a cloud.

Lingard urges United to adopt new approach

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Jesse Lingard has urged Manchester United to maintain the same approach they adopted in their 3-1 win against Derby County in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Friday.

United, so often this season criticised for an overly cautious approach, took the game to the Championship outfit, looking to attack from kick off and producing some nice, slick attacking football throughout the game.