On Saturday Manchester United dominated West Bromwich Albion from start to finish at the Hawthorns, as their 3-0 victory could’ve been more comfortable.
Phil Jones’ first Premier League goal of the season put United ahead before the break, then strikes from Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck deservedly put some gloss on the scoreline.
Before this win United had just one victory in their last five games in all competitions, but it was more about the manner in which they won than
“It was more like it. We were more creative and played well,” Moyes said. “It’s never the easiest of places to come and we had lost to them earlier in the season so it was good to get a good result. We earned the right to be in front. When we did we sort of controlled chunks of the game.”
(MORE: West Brom 0-3 Man United: Baggies in real danger after loss)
Performances from Rooney, Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj caught the eye as United finally look to be gelling going forward. With 10 days to stew over their poor performance in the 2-0 defeat away to Olympiakos last time out, Moyes’ men looked fired up from the start and won the battle in midfield. With Michael Carrick and Fellaini snapping away at West Brom’s midfield and RVP, Rooney, Januzaj and Mata turning on the style it was certainly one of the best displays from United this season. Sumptuous link up play, clever runs and lovely tricks saw the Red Devils turn on the style.
Can they continue to replicate this form in the final nine games of the season? As thing stood after win on Saturday, they are just nine point behind fourth place but have played two more games than Manchester City.
Points and positions won’t really matter to Moyes for the rest of this season, as he’s likely accepted (privately) that a top four finish is out of the question. But as he continues to rebuild United’s roster, things are starting to slot into place rather nicely.
Especially going forward.
In the latest Men in Blazers podcast, Rog and Davo celebrate Leicester City’s improbable Premier League title with Leicester’s own Arlo White.
All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:
[ Subscribe to the podcast OR to update your iTunes subscriptions ]
[ Click here for the RSS feed ]
LISBON, Portugal (AP) Portuguese and European police say they have broken up a cell of an important Russian mafia group that allegedly laundered money through European football clubs.
Europol, the European Union’s law enforcement agency, said in a statement Wednesday the group identified EU football clubs in financial distress and infiltrated them with benefactors who brought much-needed cash.
[ MORE: Man City bounced from UCL ]
Once they were in control, the mobsters allegedly laundered millions of euros (dollars) through player transfers, TV rights deals and betting.
Portuguese and European police on Tuesday raided third-division Portuguese club Uniao de Leiria and arrested three key members of the Russian gang. Three other Portuguese clubs’ premises were searched.
Europol said the operation helped identify serious crimes in Austria, Germany, and the United Kingdom, though it gave no details.
Emre Can has recovered from an ankle injury and will be in Liverpool’s squad for their Europa League semifinal against Villarreal on Thursday night.
The German international has not played since April 14 when he was forced off in the Reds’ wild 4-3 win over Borussia Dortmund.
[ MORE: Liverpool prepping for Villarreal ]
Giving his team update on Wednesday, manager Jurgen Klopp said Can is back in the team, although captain Jordan Henderson is still out. The Reds enter the second leg trailing 1-0 on aggregate.
Another positive note out of Melwood was the return of Danny Ings to first-team training. The 23-year-old striker signed with Liverpool last summer, but managed just eight appearances before having his season end to a torn ACL in October. Ings is still far away from his full return, but it was a good sight to see him back on the pitch and making progress in his recovery.
Manchester City put in an uninspired performance against Real Madrid on Wednesday, losing the match 1-0 and falling out of the UEFA Champions League.
[ RECAP: Real Madrid 1-0 Man City ]
The match was decided by just one goal, but the scoreline was flattering to City as they failed to create any kind of real chances at the Bernabeu. Over the two legs, City managed just two shots on target.
While City were wildly disappointing in the second leg, manager Manuel Pellegrini did not think the match was that one-sided, saying both teams struggled on the attack.
I am disappointed because I think that was a very close game with two teams who did not create many chances. The two teams were working with no-one making a difference.
It is not the best thing changing a defender very early but I don’t think we had any problems in defence, we had problems creating, same as Real Madrid. They did not create many chances.
Real Madrid was not in top form, but they still could have scored three or four goals on Wednesday. Joe Hart had to come up with some big saves to keep things close, as the England goalkeeper was by far City’s most valuable player throughout the tie.
[ MORE: Liverpool preparing for Europa League match vs. Villarreal ]
The absence of David Silva through injury certainly hurt City’s attack, but there was very little service moving forward from the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Yaya Toure. The poor play in the midfield left Sergio Aguero stranded alone up top, nearly invisible in the second leg.
Without service, Aguero was forced to track back to try and find the ball himself, leaving City no options to hit on the counter. For a tie between two of the most expensive teams in the world, neither side was truly impressive, but City surely disappointing.