The Manchester United fans have been less than happy with their side’s defensive performances over the past few weeks and manager Louis van Gaal had been roundly booed for the Red Devils’ insipid performance in attack against CSKA Moscow in the midweek Champions League clash.
As a result, many were expecting United to go ‘Gung-Ho’ for the visit of West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League on Saturday.
However, scoring against a resolute backline such as West Brom was going to be anything but easy and United labored to another disappointing display in the first half where they managed only one shot on target.
With the Old Trafford faithful getting agitated by the minute, United found themselves under pressure to find the back of the net and much to the relief of van Gaal, it was Jesse Lingard who provided the surprise breakthrough with a stunning curling effort during the second period.
Apart from his goal, Lingard was arguably the best player on the pitch for United and the young man is providing that spark in attack for the Red Devils which they had been missing sorely this season.
Newcastle United finally managed to lift themselves up off the relegation zone for the first time in a while this season with a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday but it would be fair to state that the Magpies stole the three points from the game.
Bournemouth simply dominated Newcastle throughout the game and it was baffling as to how the away side were able to come away from the clash with the victory.
Arguably one of the main reasons behind Newcastle’s victory was goalkeeper Robert Elliot. There was a lot of concern ahead of the clash regarding Elliot’s participation due to injury but the Republic of Ireland international shook off the knock to feature on the day.
And much to the delight of the Newcastle faithful, Elliot produced a quite stunning performance between the sticks. Despite having his goal come under siege from the Bournemouth attack, Elliot produced save after save and he simply was determined not to concede on the day.
At the end, one could argue that Elliot deserved the clean sheet for his wonderful performance and the three points could prove vital for Newcastle in making their way up the Premier League table.
Remi Garde took over the reins as Aston Villa boss from the departed Tim Sherwood but his first ever match in England as manager was as tough as it got as the strugglers squared off against leaders Manchester City.
As a result, many believed that Garde’s first game as manager of Villa would be off to a losing start. Much to the surprise of many though, Villa produced a fine display and managed to hold the attacking might of City to a 0-0 draw.
It was a stunning rearguard action which helped Villa shut out the multimillion City attack and the man leading from the back was central defender Ciaran Clark.
Clark had been surprisingly handed a start ahead of Joleon Lescott during the game and he more than justified his selection with a stunning defensive display alongside Micah Richards.
Clark had an answer to everything City threw at Villa and the 26-year old’s resistance meant that Garde now has a great platform to build upon heading into the rest of the season.
Honourable Mentions – Scott Dann, Brad Guzan, Marko Arnautovic, Gerard Deulofeu, Jamie VardyMedia Credits: Wikimedia Commons Back to Top