Not so BRIGHT against Brighton

There is not much history between Manchester United and Brighton. I say this because the Seagulls and the Red Devils rarely meet or don’t meet on a regular like say the Manchester Derby or the North-West Derby. Both sides have met 17 times in total with United winning 11, drawing 5 and losing just once. Before the Red Devils 1-0 triumph over the Chris Hughton led Brighton Hove and Albion in November 2017, both sides last met in a 1993 FA Cup match which United also won 1-0 with Ryan Giggs getting the goal. Both sides share similar form over the last 5 games with 1 loss, 3 wins and a draw (LWWWD). I did not expect anything short of victory for my beloved Manchester United but the Seagulls will want to prove that they were not in the quarter finals based on luck but merit.

Jose Mourinho put out a strong side with few changes dropping David De Gea, Ashley Young, Maroune Fellaini and Alexis Sanchez all whom starred in the Sevilla loss. This game was all shades of horrible to me personally. It was like all the lads were forced onto the pitch with a few stepping up to be counted. A goal was scored in the 37th minute when Nemanja Matic lofted a cross to the path of Romelu Lukaku who headed home to hand United the advantage.

 First half ended 1-0.

The restart saw Mourinho bring on Ashley Young for Luke Shaw. The more the game went on the more upset I was. The only thing that gave me joy as the game was going  on was the chilled ale I was guzzling and the banter session we were having in the Naija Pundits group.

Nemanja Matic who was clearly the best player on the night scored a second goal for United to seal victory that ensured we  progressed to the FA Cup semi final. 

Game ended 2-0. We await the semi final draws. 

I don’t care who’s ox is gored but this was a below average performance from my beloved Man Utd. As in I was gutted and miffed which is strange because we have had worse performances but something just gets me upset when I flash back to the game? Or was it the funds expended on the ale and ponmo that was getting me pissed? Lol

The international break kicks in with friendly matches in preparation for the Russia 2018 World Cup taking over the football calender. League games after this weekend resume end of the month.

Thanks as always for your time guys. Do have a fab week ahead. BLESS !!!

Twitter @dipoogun/@theswizzmemoirs


Things Fall Apart

In my last post I stated that I would have picked a win over Sevilla rather than victory over Liverpool. It was always possible to leap-frog Liverpool on the Premier League log but losing to Sevilla simply meant try again next season in the Champions League. I always avoid taking a piss at the coach because if he wins they call him a tactical genius, if he loses he’s tagged a loser but I will say Mourinho got his tactics wrong on Tuesday night and I won’t dwell much on this.

There was nothing wrong with starting the same side that played Liverpool on Sunday. Yeah maybe an Anthony Martial in place of Alexis Sanchez and before we make an argument that the latter should play to justify his wages I do not think it should be at the detriment of the team. Tactics and personnel (a few of them) deployed were absolutely horrible on the night.

I saw the Sevilla line-up and I was glad Wissam Ben Yedder was not in it. I still don’t get why Yedder barely gets game time in the La Liga and Champions League and it was also strange he did not play the first leg against Man Utd in February. Not when he is Sevilla’s top scorer in the Champions League with 6 goals before the round of 16 kicked off.

The game was looking like it was going into extra time after a goalless first half but all the advantage belonged to Sevilla because they had more efforts on goal despite the game being played at United’s home ground of Old Trafford. Then in the 72nd minute Yedder was brought on and 2 minutes later he scored which meant the Red Devils needed to score twice to have any chance of making it to the quarter finals. 

Ben Yedder whom I am seriously hoping would go to the World Cup with France was taking no prisoners as he got a 2nd goal in the 78th minute and at that point I knew there was no coming back for United.

 In form Man Utd striker Romelu Lukaku got a consolatory goal for the Mourinho led side in 84th minute and all efforts to get more goals was stifled by Sevilla players.

The game ended 1-2 in favour of Sevilla, which handed them a quarter final berth for the first time in about 60 years. I am sure a lot of people would pick Wissam Ben Yedder as the man of the match because he came off the bench to score a brace but Steven Nzonzi stole my heart on the night. Yedder is now the second top scorer of this season’s Champions League with 8 goals as Real Madrid’s Ronaldo lead the chart with 12 goals.

Should Mourinho have started Fellaini? Was Pogba’s introduction necessary or a Scott McTominay should have been the person brought on? All these are shoulda, woulda, coulda as we move on to the next one. We play Brighton in the Emirates FA Cup quarter final on Saturday and I expect a United victory.


Thanks for your time guys.

Twitter @dipoogun/@theswizzmemoirs

The North-West Derby

This is the kind of game where ordinarily all form books are thrown out of the window. A rivalry like no other, a rivalry which dates as far back as April 1894 when United were still called Newton Heath. My darling favourite football club Manchester United played host to Merseyside based Liverpool FC in what is also tagged the North-West derby. It was a tricky one for United because they were looking to go 5 points ahead of Liverpool on the Premier League log and remain on the verge of sealing 2nd place  but on the other hand we are also aiming to book a place in the quarter finals of the Champions League so the team selection had to be tactical.

The last 6 games between both sides witnessed 4 draws with the two teams winning one game a piece and I truly believed we were going to win the game. If I was however asked to pick between winning Liverpool and winning Sevilla on Tuesday I would definitely pick a win over Sevilla. 

I decided to catch the game with 2 of my very close friends and die-hard Man Utd fans at that. Manchester United have never lost a game before when I watch with these guys. This was our 7th  game together and my confidence knew no bounds. Well Marcus Rashford’s goals in the 14th and 24th minute escalated my confidence but I noticed the United lads kind of relaxed after Juan Mata’s close effort on goal in the 38th minute. First half ended 2-0 and the Red Devils looked like they had the desired 3 points in the bag.

The second half kicked off with Liverpool dominating possession and even limiting United to playing in their half. Liverpool got a goal in the 66th though an Eric Bailly own goal but it was a deserved goal for their efforts. The game wore on with a few chances for both sides with most of them falling for Liverpool.

The game ended 2-1 which took United 5 points above The Reds. That’s 7 straight wins watching the Red Devils with my peeps SO and Afo.

The man of the match was Rashford by popular demand but I always tilt towards the hardest worker and despite scoring an own goal Eric Bailly for me was the man of the day. Essentially Manchester United scored all the goals today.

Next up for Manchester United is the Champions League 2nd leg round of 16 tie against Sevilla of Spain and maybe I should just watch it with my guys.

Thanks as usual for your time guys.

The Selhurst Park Cracker

Every game at this stage of the Premier League season is very crucial and with 4 teams fighting for the last 3 slots of next season’s UEFA Champions League things just got more interesting in the most watched football league in the world. At the bottom of the League there’s also the battle for survival which Manchester United’s hosts, Crystal Palace are a part of. It was one of those dreaded games for me and what made it worse was due to circumstances beyond my control I could not watch the game.

The first name I expected in the starting line-up for United apart from David De Gea of course was Jesse Lingard and he made the cut. He was the only change I expected the manager to make after the victory over Chelsea. I did not even envisage the kind of start to the game we had. Yeah I had to follow the match via the Flashscore app’s live commentary section because my Mobdro app was acting up.

Andros Townsend drew first blood for Palace in the 11th minute and despite United dominating possession Crystal Palace seemed the more purposeful side with more shots on target. The first half ended 1-0 with the Red Devils chasing shadows.

United were in trouble and I was hoping the introduction of Marcus Rashford at the start of the second half was going to instantly tilt the game in our favour. I thought wrong and 3 minutes after the second half kicked off Van Aanholt added a 2nd goal for the Eagles.

The Red Devils were able to get a goal in the 55th minute when Chris Smalling latched on to Antonio Valencia’s cross. 

Hope was restored at this point though I was not watching but I was keenly following the game. The game wore on and in the 76th minute Romelu Lukaku levelled scores for United and the only thing that came to my mind was our position on the league table. 

I was being greedy at this point, we had come from 2 goals down but the spirit of it is not over till the final whistle is blown ignited in United fans during the  Sir Alex Ferguson era had taken over my mind. A win would take us back to 2nd position pushing our real rivals Liverpool back to 3rd.

The much desired goal came in the 91st minute from an unlikely source in Nemanja Matic. A well taken shot from outside the box ensured United left Selhurst Park with all 3 points leaving the Eagles rooted in the relegation zone. 

3-2 the game ended and United take on Liverpool next in an early kick off on Saturday.

Thanks for your time guys.
Twitter @dipoogun/theswizzmemoirs

The Blues Came, They Saw, United CONQUERED!!!

If I lacked confidence in the past few games my beloved Manchester United have been involved in then I didn’t have words for the visit of the defending champions of the Premier League, Chelsea to Old Trafford yesterday. I was just praying for a draw because Liverpool had leaped frog us on the log and 1 point at the worst was only acceptable from the lads. The rumour of the in-house issue between manager Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba also clouded my thoughts which made me lack the wherewithal to come up with a prediction when I was chatting with my darling aunt (she thinks I know how to analyse football well) and my friends.

The starting line-up calmed my nerves seeing Pogba playing on the left of a midfield 3 and Scott McTominay making the first XI. Scotty is a player I always likened to Darren Fletcher because he just likes to be all over the pitch nicking the ball off the opponents. I am guessing it was the 21 year old that forced Chelsea’s manager Antonio Conte to take Eden Hazard off in the 73rd minute. Seeing Alvaro Morata in Chelsea’s first eleven however gave me some sort of joy that I could not explain though he gave us a scare after his shot rattled the cross bar in the 4th minute. Willian was the player who gave me the chills though people kept saying Hazard was the danger man.Willian did not disappoint after he finished off a move he started from his half in 32nd minute. As a Man Utd fan I wash gushing about the goal like it was my team that scored. Beautiful link up play between Hazard and Willian gave Chelsea a deserved lead because they created better chances than the Red Devils.

United did not have to wait much before getting the equalizer through Romelu Lukaku in the 39th minute. Both teams were at par in terms of goals scored (1-1) at the break.

The second half was more exciting than the second half in my honest opinion but a goal for the Red Devils was all I needed to ensure I had a great weekend. Jesse Lingard who came on for Anthony Martial scored a second for United in 75th minute heading home a Romelu Lukaku cross to make the scores 2-1.

Alvaro Morata thought he had equalized in the 86th minute only for his effort to be ruled offside. United take the day 2-1 and return to second on the log. 2nd seems to be the new first in England as it looks like everyone have handed Manchester City the league title.

I honestly feel the yellow card issued to Ngolo Kante in the first half played a part in Manchester United’s win. The French man seemed calmer after he was shown the card. I also thought Alvaro Morata’s goal should have been counted, but hey happy it wasn’t.

Thanks for your time guys. Do have a wonderful week.

Twitter @dipoogun/theswizzmemoirs

No Seville Appeal

Our Champions League round of 16 game was played on Wednesday night and I was not impressed with the team’s performance. I mentioned in a post weeks past that Sir Alex Ferguson spoilt us United fans during his time well for me from the 90s. You could easily pick 2 solid different combinations to start a game for the Red Devils back then. Sir Alex made a player like John O’shea so confident with himself that we’d ignore a world Class Patrice Evra.

These days I am not hurt if I missed a Man Utd game but under Ferguson I could cry if I did. I am not saying Jose Mourinho is a bad manager but I expect more from the Portuguese. The game against Sevilla on Wednesday night was one of the most embarassing I have seen in terms of my beloved team’s display and if it was not for David De Gea we would probably have been eliminated in that first leg tie. It is not like the Red Devils are sure of going through in the return leg anyway. De Gea made 8 saves on the night with the most notable one a last minute headed attempt by Sevilla in the first half. 

The game ended 0-0 with the 2nd leg taking place in 3 weeks time. David De Gea was clearly man of the match with saves he had no business making.

Thanks for your time, I just had to rant this night. Do have a lovely weekend.

You can also check this link out. The Super Sunday story 

Twitter @dipoogun/theswizzmemoirs

The Terriers lacked BITE

The FA Cup is the most realistic shot the Red Devils have at winning a trophy this season. Losing to Huddersfield Town would mean kissing that chance good bye, but I knew Manchester United were not going to lose this game. It was impossible for the Terriers to knock out United and I know they would rather trade an FA Cup 5th round win for 3 points in the Premier League right now.

I actually did not watch the game live because I was on the road. By the way shout out to Lagos State Model College Igbonla, Epe my Alma Mater. The school hit the 30 year mark on Saturday and I am so proud to be associated with it. Thanks to the Old Students Association for a successful event.

Romelu Lukaku scored a goal in each half to hand Manchester United a quarter final berth.

Highlight of the game would however be Juan Mata’s disallowed goal late in the first half. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was called into play and it adjudged Mata to be offside. The Spanish is now the first ever United player to have a goal disallowed via the system.

Offside or Not?

Another highlight for me on game day was the return to action for Eric Bailly, we need that element of steel at the back and what better time to return than when the game against Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League is just around the corner (Wednesday night).

The Red Devils play Brighton next in the quarter finals of the Emirates FA Cup.

Have a great week ahead guys. BLESS !!!

Please follow @theswizzmemoirs/@dipoogun on twitter