As I’ve reached the March international break I thought this would be a good time to post an update. Back in December Man Utd were running away with the title but we were in the Champions League 1st knockout round, League Cup semi finals and an FA Cup 4th round tie to lower league opposition to look forward to. Here’s where we are at now.
Basically Man Utd have heavy shat it. Since that update their record reads:
P16 W8 D5 L3
It’s not shocking form but it’s not great either. In the same time we have played 14 games (United had games in hand due to the World Club Championship):
P14 W10 L0 D4
The result is we are now neck-and-neck in the title race with 7 games left. The toughest game in the run in is our away trip to Liverpool so both will be confident of taking it right to the wire and just look at the final fixture of the league season!
You may notice that Tottenham result. That was a pivotal day in the league season. In the early kick-off Man City thumped United 5-0 so we went into the North London Derby knowing a victory would put us top. A goal by top scorer Matthias Simoncelli after 1 and a half minutes put us in control but defensive midfielder Dariusz Bartosiewicz was sent off for a horror tackle after 8 minutes. Simoncelli doubled our lead after 14 before having to go off injured just before half time. Incredibly the Ox put us 3 up before the Spurs fight back began. Ried Zarabi netted a double to make the score 3-2 with 12 minutes remaining. Then the chaos really began. Youngster Andrew Smith restored our two advantage after 79 minutes before Zarabi got another double and heading into injury time we were locked at 4-4. Reiss Nelson scored in the 92nd minute to give us an astonishing 5-4 victory. Absolute scenes at the end. Zarabi got 4 goals and still ended up on the losing side, like a modern day Dariusz Dziekanowski.
You may also have noticed a 7-3 victory over Leicester. Basically those two results have taken the shine off our excellent defensive record. The two of them, and a 2-2 draw with Spurs earlier in the season, are the only games we have conceded more than 1 in the league. In fact our 3 games against Spurs this season (we also played them in the League Cup) have an aggregate score of 13-9 in our favour.
So with 7 left this is how the table looks, I’m hoping those draws don’t come back to haunt us:
We successfully defended the League Cup. Bournemouth were dismantled 6-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals before we destroyed Man City 4-0 in the final. The FA Cup was more disappointing. Drawn away to Championship side Aston Villa we were perhaps guilty of over-confidence, especially as the game came in the middle of our great run in the league. Unfortunately, Hector Bellerin was sent off in the first half and we never recovered, ultimately losing 3-1.
Anderlecht in the Champions League was as comfortable as you’d expect. We won 2-0 in Belgium before wrapping it up with a 5-0 home win to progress 7-0 on aggregate. The next round will not be so easy as we’ve been drawn with Paris Saint-Germain.
Pretty happy with how everyone is playing. Young RB Diego Filho made his recovery from ligament damage recently so we have no major injuries right now. 3 of our players were named in the World XI. Full backs Hector Bellerin and Lucas Digne were joined by goalkeeper John Van Heulen which I’m especially pleased about as he was one of my young signings.