Manchester Utd traveled south to take on Yeovil Town in the 4th Round of the FA Cup on Friday. As usual this was a chance for José Mourinho to give some players a break, and others some valuable minutes. There was a return to action for the captain Michael Carrick, but the big news was the debut of Alexis Sánchez after his somewhat surprising transfer from rivals Arsenal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading the other way. Regulars David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial were not included in the match day squad, but the starting lineup had plenty of talent to combat their League Two opponents:
Crown finished off their season with a couple of games against tough oppositions as they took on the top two teams in the division, needing Ws in both to stand any chance of making the Championship. Sorry, no Top 5s this time around so straight into the recaps.
Crown v Fugitives FC:
This was not one for the defenses that was for sure as it was a wide open game full of odd man rushes for both teams but Fugitives were more clinical with their finishing in a game that ended 9-5 in their favor, but honestly it could have been double digits for both. Crown were led by Tim with a pair, and three singles by Brandon, Phil and PJ.
Coming off of a victory this past Monday over Stoke, Manchester Utd were looking to keep the wins rolling in as they travelled to Burnley on Saturday. José Mourinho had to wary of the threat that Sean Dyche’s stubborn team brought as they have enjoyed a very good Premier League campaign so far with a tough team defense and a knack for big, timely goals. During the buildup to this match the majority of the talk involved the seemingly impending arrival of Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal with Utd’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan going the other way, but the deals were not completed in time for either to be eligible for their new squads. But there was plenty of firepower in the Utd lineup when it was announced including in form players Martial, Lingard and Pogba:
Manchester Utd got a much needed break as the team took a trip to do some training in Dubai this past week. There has been quite a bit going on off the field during this time though including a much publicized war of words between José Mourinho and Antonio Conte, plus the rumors of a potential attempt to hijack Man City’s proposed move for Alexis Sánchez. But all that had to be put aside as struggling Stoke came to town to take on a refreshed Utd squad. The Red Devils last couple of results were 2-0 wins and Mourinho was fully expecting more of the same when he named this lineup led by returning captain Antonio Valencia and the red hot Jesse Lingard:
Manchester Utd hosted Derby County in a 3rd Round FA Cup matchup at Old Trafford on Friday. After getting dumped out of the Carabao Cup, José Mourinho was clearly looking to get another run going as he named a strong side. While David De Gea was given a rare rest, Sergio Romero has been a very reliable deputy in his time at Utd so there was little worry there. There was also a recall to the starting eleven for the much maligned Henrikh Mkhitaryan who would need a big performance to have any chance to get back in his manager’s good graces. Here was the starting lineup for Utd, led by captain Paul Pogba once again:
Happy New Year everyone! I think I would like to start off 2018 by calling this latest Double Edition of Crown Recaps “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly”, just in reverse order. So let’s start with “The Ugly” which is not necessarily soccer related…the arrival of actual Winter like temperatures to Texas. I have decided to share with you my personal Top 5 list of how I know Winter is officially here:
1. My wife says, “There’s a chill in the air” waaaaaay too much. #serialrepeater
Manchester Utd were a team desperate for a win to kick off the 2018 portion of their Premier League campaign as they visited Everton on New Year’s Day. Utd have been dropping points recently with multiple draws and needed a spark to get on the right track. And so José Mourinho opted to make a tweak in positioning for his captain Paul Pogba as he pushed him further forward in the midfield to hopefully see a return to the offensive form he displayed at Juventus in a similar role. There was also a certain ex-Utd player on the opposing team who was hoping for a big performance as Wayne Rooney returned to the starting lineup. Here were the starters for Utd, with no Romelu Lukaku for the first time in awhile due to injury: