Wembley Stadium was the site of the EFL Cup Final on Sunday as Manchester United took on Southampton. José Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to win every trophy that the Red Devils are competing for so it came as no surprise that a strong, first choice lineup was named. David De Gea was back in net after Sergio Romero enjoyed a run of games, and he had a backline of Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo in front of him. Paul Pogba partnered Ander Herrera in the central midfield, while the attacking trio was comprised of Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard. Zlatan Ibrahimovic was leading the line, looking to continue his impressive goal scoring season. Southampton named a solid squad, and with the likes of Dusan Tadic, Nathan Redmond and newcomer Manolo Gabbiadini in attack, it promised to be a tough matchup for Utd.
It was Friday night, and it was a big game in the Coed Over 30 Division 1 with the top two teams meeting. First place was on the line as we hit the midpoint of the season as both teams were undefeated after 3 games. Let’s get straight to the recap since you are all on the edges of your seats in anticipation, I can tell.
Let me first say for simplicity Sorry For Partying will henceforth be known as SFP otherwise we may be here all day. TDA came out with an all out blitz of ball control and scoring chances but thanks to some solid goaltending SFP weathered the early storm and began to find their footing in the game. It was very competitive for the remainder of the first half but nobody could capitalize and get on the scoresheet as it was deadlocked 0-0 at the halftime interval. It was pretty evident that this game could be settled by a single goal, but who would go and get it?
Crown were looking for their first points of the season when they took to the field against D.A.D. FC on Wednesday evening. There was a little bit of added motivation as Captain Keller brought this up as an option if we continue our losing streak:
Interesting…but let’s get back to the pre-game. John was unable to shrug off an injured foot after kicking the boards in disgust last game, but he was the only absentee so no subs were necessary…until Simon got the late call as Jeremy bailed in the hours before kickoff, I wonder what was so pressing…:
Manchester Utd’s busy schedule continued on Wednesday as they travelled to France for the 2nd leg of their Europa League matchup with St.-Étienne holding a 3-0 lead from the reverse fixture last week. With the EFL Cup Final this weekend, it may have come as a surprise to see such a strong starting lineup named by José Mourinho, but he must have wanted to kill this game off early. The attack was particularly loaded as Zlatan Ibrahimovic led the line once again, with Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata in support. Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini were tasked with controlling the middle of the field in front of a back four consisting of Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Daley Blind. Sergio Romero got his third straight start in net.
My latest article is up on the Draft Fantasy Football blog. It is going to be an interesting and potentially crucial few weeks coming up for fantasy managers.
Manchester Utd travelled to take on Blackburn on Sunday with an FA Cup Quarter-Final spot on the line. José Mourinho gave a rest to a few big names with their Europa League 2nd leg looming on Wednesday. Sergio Romero got his second start in place of David De Gea. The backline consisted of Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Matteo Darmian. Michael Carrick was back paired with Ander Herrera as Paul Pogba was given a rare rest. Henrikh Mkhitaryan got over his recent illness to get the start with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard rounding out the rest of the midfield. Marcus Rashford led the line as Zlatan Ibrahimovic was also given a spot on the bench. Blackburn have struggled in the Championship but had a couple of strikers in Marvin Emnes and Danny Graham that PL fans, specifically Swansea ones, would remember.
The TDA Bulls (2-0) continued their season on Friday night against another new team, Barcelona #1 (1-1)…they must have named the team before the Champion’s League game this past week…😬. It was almost one of those rare occasions where the whole roster was in attendance, but Sol was missing at game time…so close. No guy sub was needed to be called, sorry B 😢. Barcelona had called out a couple of familiar faces so the Bulls knew this was not going to be easy. Here is how it all went down:
Manchester Utd hosted Saint-Étienne in the 1st leg of their Round of 32 Europa League matchup at Old Trafford on Thursday. There was a bit of added intrigue for this one as the Pogba brothers went head to head, with Paul for Utd and Florentin for St-Étienne. It was a predictably strong lineup for Utd as José Morinho looked to take a stranglehold at home. David De Gea was given a break in net so Sergio Romero got a start with a backline of Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Daley Blind protecting him. Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini were tasked with controlling the central midfield while Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Juan Mata took the advanced positions behind the ever present Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Crown have endured a tough start to the new session with back to back losses at the hands of last season’s finalists. And it did not get any easier as they took on the always tough Honey Badgers. Injuries have been mounting for Crown as already without their top two scorers Phil and Brian, Simon dropped to the sub list for the remainder of the season due to an ongoing knee problem or big babyitis, not sure. Newcomer Patrick took over the full time spot and another fresh face in the form of Travis made his first appearance in place of Brian. The midfield was a little short on this night with Mark and Patrick unable to make it so Simon dropped his ice pack/pacifier and was called into action.
Manchester Utd hosted Watford on Saturday looking to further keep the pressure on the 5 teams ahead of them in the standings. José Mourinho gave a start to Anthony Martial in a strong attack that included Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In a repeat of their previous game, Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera were tasked with controlling the centre mid. The central defensive partnership of Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly remained in tact, with Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind at right and left back respectively. As usual, David De Gea was in the net looking for another clean sheet.