Bruno Fernandes

Pogba, Fernandes lead Manchester United over Aston Villa

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Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are loving life.

Heck, all of Manchester United is feeling mighty good after the Red Devils won yet another game with ease, this one a 3-0 defeat of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Thursday.

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Fernandes had a goal and an assist, joining Mason Greenwood and Pogba on the score sheet in a cruise past the relegation-threatened Villans.

United moves six points ahead of sixth-place Wolves and within a point of fourth-place Leicester City. The two sides meet to finish the Premier League season, and the Red Devils will meet Southampton, Crystal Palace, and West Ham before that.

Villa is four points behind safety and still meets Palace, Everton, Arsenal, and West Ham.

ASTON VILLA – MANCHESTER UNITED FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Bruno and Pogba unfair: The are systems that will make Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba work a whole lot harder than what’s demanded by Aston Villa, of course, but don’t let that deter you from witnessing the special combination play between the Portuguese midfielder and his World Cup-winning French teammate. Fernandes had a goal and an assist, the latter a training ground routine that Pogba scored with class, and United looks a new team. No team has benefited more from the break than United.

2. He’s got the look: The stories out of the Manchester United training ground have been coming for years and we’re now getting an eyeful of what they’ve been promising about Mason Greenwood. The 18-year-old strikes a ball like it’s his job, or even better like he’s an artisan. Few players on earth possess a way about them that the ball’s path off their foot just looks different. His strike to beat Pepe Reina was absolutely marvelous and we can’t wait to see what he does in the future.

3. Villa through the ugly stretch (hopefully): Dean Smith’s men have tried to escape the drop zone by getting points against a rough stretch of opponents and it has not gone well. Draws against Sheffield United and Newcastle have been joined by losses to Chelsea, Wolves, Liverpool, and now Manchester United. Villa finds itself four points adrift with four opponents to play: Palace, Everton, Arsenal, and West Ham. There are points there. Will Villa take them?

Man of the Match:

Fernandes — The way he won his penalty was unsavory but that doesn’t change his status as the best player on the pitch.

Aston Villa – Manchester United recap

Jack Grealish missed a back-post chance to give the hosts an early lead, as United was a bit uneven over the opening 20 minutes.

VAR helped United to a penalty soon after that, won and converted by Fernandes off Ezri Konsa.

United had a chance to double the lead in the 36th minute when Mason Greenwood got past Douglas Luiz to pump a hard shot saved by Pepe Reina.

Fernandes missed with a bullet header in the 45th minute off a Luke Shaw cross, but United scored just before halftime when Greenwood took an Anthony Martial layoff and blasted a shot past Reina. He has such a sweet stroke.

Pogba made it 3-0 with a tremendous strike in the 58th minute, Fernandes spotting the Frenchman above the arc and Villa giving him ages to address the ball.

Martial smashed the ball off the bottom of the bar at the hour mark, United threatening to put a cartoonish figure on the scoreboard..

VIDEO: Greenwood, Fernandes score as Man United dazzle

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Stream Brighton – Manchester United: You will not regret watching this Man United attacking display.

Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes got on the scoresheet in the first half as Manchester United battered Brighton early on at the Amex Stadium.

STREAM BRIGHTON – MANCHESTER UNITED LIVE

Greenwood, 18, cut in from the right and after some fancy footwork he snuck home an effort at the near post for his 13th goal of the season in all competitions.

Paul Pogba then teed up Bruno Fernandes to sweep home a second, as the duo had combined earlier in the half in a near identical situation but Fernandes hit the post on that occasion.

What an attacking lineup this is, as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford haven’t got in on the act yet. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United continue their superb form as they are 14 games unbeaten in all competitions and full of confidence heading into the business end of the season.

Does a Champions League berth beckon as they close in on Chelsea and Leicester City above them in the Premier League table?

Click on the link above to watch the second half live, while above and below you can watch both goals.

Tottenham, Man United draw in London

Tottenham v. Manchester United
Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images
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Super sub Paul Pogba drew a point-winning penalty that Bruno Fernandes converted as Manchester United drew Spurs 1-1 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Friday.

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Steven Bergwijn had given Tottenham a halftime lead with a terrific goal but Jose Mourinho’s Spurs could not hang on for a win despite a fine day from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Spurs host West Ham on Tuesday, a day before Manchester United entertains Sheffield United.

[ MORE: JPW’s Three Things learned ]


Three stars

Star No. 3: Paul Pogba. He should’ve obviously been starting but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the 1000th United manager to think he can do better than one of the world’s best players just because the player has an attitude. Pogba changed the game in his half-hour on the pitch, winning the equalizing penalty while blocking two shots, completing 16-of-17 passes, and converting both of his dribbles.

Star No. 2: Hugo Lloris. The Spurs captain made six saves on the day and was only beaten by Fernandes’ penalty. His save on Martial in the 66th minute was a rare vintage of your favorite wine.

Man of the Match: Bruno Fernandes. Easily the best player on the pitch, Fernandes was rewarded with a penalty on a day he could’ve had two or three assists with better finishing from teammates. Can a player be Team of the Year if he only plays in half a season?

 

 


Game flow

There wasn’t a lot in the first 20 minutes as set back Spurs conceded the ball but managed the only shot of the match when Heung-min Son was saved by David De Gea.

Hugo Lloris made a great save when Marcus Rashford leapt onto a poor clearance, and then stopped Fred on a less challenging effort a few moments later.

Spurs went ahead through Bergwijn, who hit a rocket off De Gea and into the goal. The Spanish goalkeeper tried to punch the driven shot and it turned behind him.

Bergwijn nearly had Son cued up for a second within two minutes of restart, but De Gea made a redemptive and outstanding save to force a corner.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Bruno Fernandes started a charge in the 54th minute that ended with a low shot dragged wide of the far post from 20-plus yards.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plan had been inferior to Jose Mourinho’s for the better part of an hour, and the former pulled the chute and inserted Pogba just after the hour mark.

The Frenchman immediately changed the game, seeing a shot blocked before sending a clever cross into the mix that produced a United corner.

Pogba supplied Fernandes for a brilliant turn and set-up of Anthony Martial, who couldn’t find the goal. Martial had another big chance in the 66th, supplied by Luke Shaw, but Lloris made an outstanding save.

Eric Dier chopped down Pogba at the end line to send Fernandes to the spot for 1-1 in the 82nd minute.

Davinson Sanchez made a terrific intervention when Pogba spied Rashford with a tremendous 86th-minute pass.

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Manchester United season restart preview

Manchester United season restart
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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they stand ahead of the final nine matches of the season.

Manchester United is next.

[ MORE: Remaining PL schedule in full ]

Let’s take a closer look at all things Red Devils when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: Very, very good. While United supporters will feel aggrieved to know their club cannot. catch their two biggest rivals, you wouldn’t laugh off the idea of them finishing as high as third given a wildly straight-forward fixture list and the fact that we are about to see Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford together for the first time. Perhaps those players will have some growing pains, but the club has the depth to finish in the Premier League’s top four, challenge for the FA Cup, and win the Europa League.

[ MORE: Ranking every Man Utd player’s 2019-20 PL season ]


Tactical analysis: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s favorite formation this year has been a 4-2-3-1, though he turned to a 3-4-1-2 in memorable wins over Chelsea and Man City just before the coronavirus pause.

We don’t know his plans to produce an attack with Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Marcus Rashford together, but the best possible XI is going to leave out some very good players. Playing Scott McTominay and Fred, both revelations, leaves out either wide players or puts Pogba or Fernades out of position (unless he opts for a 4-4-2 which will ask a lot of Rashford and Anthony Martial).

Since making his Manchester United debut on February 1, Fernandes leads the club in all competitions in shots (33), shots on target (12), assists (4) and chances created (24), and ranks third in goals (3).


Possible XI (4-3-1-2) 

—– De Gea —–

— Wan-Bissaka — Lindelof — Maguire — B. Williams —

—– Fred — Pogba — McTominay —–

—– Fernandes —–

—– Rashford —– Martial —–

This lineup excludes Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Daniel James, Odion Ighalo, Marcus Greenwood, and Eric Bailly. That’s a very decent bench. Solskjaer could also put a lot of responsibility on Fred or McTominay by putting Fernandes and Pogba in the center of the pitch with him and using a three-man forward line of Rashford, Martial, and another.

[ MORE: The 2 Robbies assess Man Utd’s chances ]


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Remaining schedule
Home: Sheffield United, Bournemouth, Southampton, West Ham
Away: Spurs, Brighton, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Leicester City

Predicted finish: Depending on your faith in Leicester City, United will probably be favorites if not heavy favorites in seven or eight of their nine matches. Their home matches feature sides both surprising and desperate but it’ll be stunning if a side that found its groove to the tune of a five-match unbeaten run before the coronavirus pause and returns Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford fails to finish in the top four.

Premier League social media wrap: Brighton, teqball, remembering Tiote

Premier League social media
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Premier League sides are fully back in the flow of training with scheduled matches coming within a fortnight.

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So it’s no surprise that banter’s back, too.

That’s where we’ll start Friday, with Irish center back Shane Duffy making sure he’s keeping things light as Brighton and Hove Albion prepares to defend its Premier League place.

Duffy turned a sprinkler on his teammates at training, showing that, yes, your high school career has some things in common with Premier League footballers.

How about some skills as Manchester United gets ready for its return to the PL pitch?

Bruno Fernandes and Andreas Pereira tangled with Fred and Diogo Dalot in a match of Teqball.

You’ll have to watch to see who won.

There’s also a sad anniversary on this day.

It’s been three years since former Newcastle United wrecking ball Cheick Tiote passed away at age 30 after collapsing during a training session with Chinese side Beijing Enterprises, causing shock and grief around the Premier League.

His former teammates were remembering him on Friday, the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner was definitely beloved and will always be remembered for his incredible goal to cap off Newcastle’s 4-4 comeback draw with Arsenal.

We’ll start with Norwich City backstop Tim Krul, who spent time with Tiote at Newcastle.

Former Magpies wizard Yohan Cabaye pinned an old memorial to his Twitter wall.