Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City: United forced to change shape within ten minutes

March 26, 2014
Manchester United 0-3 Manchester City: United forced to change shape within ten minutes

Manchester City recorded a comfortable victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.

David Moyes named Marouane Fellaini, Michael Carrick and Tom Cleverley in the same team for the first time, with Danny Welbeck returning to the side. Rio Ferdinand was fit enough to return at the back.

Manuel Pellegrini went for Edin Dzeko ahead of Alvaro Negredo, and Gael Clichy ahead of Aleksandar Kolarov.

City started brilliantly, and probably should have won the game within the first 25 minutes. Read more »

Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal: Chelsea’s pressing wins the game within 20 minutes

March 25, 2014
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal: Chelsea’s pressing wins the game within 20 minutes

Jose Mourinho recorded his biggest league victory as Chelsea manager with a crushing win over Arsenal.

Mourinho continued with Samuel Eto’o upfront rather than Fernando Torres – Eto’o only lasted 10 minutes, but scored the opener. In midfield, Mourinho was without Ramires and Willian, both suspended – he left out Frank Lampard and played David Luiz in the centre of midfield alongside Nemanja Matic.

Arsene Wenger named the same side that defeated Tottenham the previous weekend.

This game was done and dusted within the first quarter – Chelsea were 3-0 up, Arsenal were one man down, and the rest of the game was simply a question how how many Chelsea would score. Read more »

Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona: intelligent players find space in a crazily open match

March 24, 2014
Real Madrid 3-4 Barcelona: intelligent players find space in a crazily open match

Barcelona came out on top in a brilliantly topsy-turvy Clasico.

Carlo Ancelotti named his expected starting XI.

Gerardo Martino selected Neymar rather than Pedro Rodriguez or Alexis Sanchez as his second forward, and continued with Andres Iniesta tucking inside from the left, as he’s often done in big games.

This was the most fast-paced game you’ll see all season, with neither side controlling the game but both attacking relentlessly. Read more »

Manchester United 3-0 Olympiakos: United exploit the space in the inside-right channel

March 19, 2014
Manchester United 3-0 Olympiakos: United exploit the space in the inside-right channel

Manchester United qualified for the European Cup quarter-finals, becoming only the second side to recover from a 2-0 first leg deficit.

David Moyes surprisingly brought Ryan Giggs into the centre of his midfield, used more direct options on the flanks than in the weekend defeat to Liverpool (Juan Mata was cup-tied) and Rio Ferdinand started alongside Phil Jones.

Michel was without Michael Olaitan – who is thankfully OK after collapsing in a recent league game – upfront and therefore played Joel Campbell as the lone striker and used Diego Fuster on the right. Otherwise the side was unchanged from the first leg.

The match itself wasn’t particularly interesting – tension came from the fact Manchester United had lost the first leg 2-0, and a late ‘consolation’ goal (on the night) would have sent Olympiakos through on away goals. But on the night, the reality is that Manchester United were comfortably the better side in a standard 3-0 win. Read more »