Manchester United crashed out of the FA Cup following a 2-1 home loss to rivals Arsenal. The defeat not only epitomizes yet another painful defeat for the Red Devils, but also symbolizes a torrid season for Manchester United’s Dutch manager Louis van Gaal.
Also, we take a look at the most competitive and exciting leagues all over Europe, and as always, the new kid on the block in this week’s scouting report. All that and more on this edition of Football Weekly.
Louis van Gaal On The Brink?
Although the league position depicts another story, it does not require a pundit or an expert to take notice of the poor showing of the Red Devils. A spending spree in the summer resulted in the club signing perhaps the biggest flop to don the number 7 jersey thus far- Angel di Maria.
A few weeks back, reputed pundit Andy Townsend was quoted on television, ” It is high time that Louis van Gaal changed his philosophy and his system.” In accordance with all Manchester United faithful around the globe, I endorse the statement made by Mr. Townsend.
However, the general rumour doing the rounds is that the Manchester United management has given the egoistic Dutchman an ultimatum. The Red Devils will face the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool in the coming month; a rather tough run of fixtures given their current form. Should Manchester United falter in these supremely upcoming fixtures, it will be LVG who gets the boot. Despite a massive question mark over the legitimacy of that ultimatum, but a decent run will certainly put van Gaal back on good terms with the management.
Manchester United Edge Newcastle; Aston Villa Pick Up Crucial Win
Manchester United retained their fourth position in the Barclays Premier League with a 1-0 win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park. Injuries to Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao saw the England skipper take his position at the apex of the attack. Ashley Young slotted in a crucial goal towards the end as the Red Devils kept their fourth position.
A late goal from Christian Benteke ensured that Aston Villa picked up a crucial win over a resolute West Bromwich Albion. Saido Berahino scored on the hour mark to cancel Gabriel Agbonlahor’s 22nd minute goal. However, Benteke had the last laugh as the Villans snatched all three points, as manager Tim Sherwood plans for a great escape from the drop.
The other matches went according to the script as the points table remains intact.
La Liga: Aritz Arduiz Pegs Back Real Madrid; Barcelona Trash Valladolid
A calm strike from 34 year old Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Arduiz ensured that his side shocked Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid 1-0. Despite the best efforts of Marcelo, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, the glalcticos failed to break the resolute defensive unit of their Spanish counterparts.
Elsewhere, Barcelona ripped through a hapless Real Valladolid 6-1 as they kept pace with league leaders Real Madrid. Diego Simeone conceded that the title hopes of defending champions Athletico Madrid were well and truly over as his side were held to a 1-1 draw at the Vincent Calderon.
Schalke Shock Real Madrid; Chelsea Out Of Champions League
Schalke’s 4-3 win over Real Madrid was one of the biggest highlights of this week’s UEFA Champions League action.
Chelsea succumbed to a bitter defeat against Paris Saint Germain. Despite a red card shown to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a late penalty converted by Eden Hazard, a 2-2 draw was not enough as the tie concluded 3-3. PSG secured qualification through away goals.
Bayern Munich ran riot as they thumped Ukrainian side Shaktar Donetsk 7-1 at the Allianz Arena.
Weekly Scouting Report: Andy Kellet
On transfer deadline day, Manchester United fought off extremely tough competition from Plymouth Argyle to sign 21 year old Bolton Wanderers defender Andy Kellett.
The Independent, one of the most prominent British magazine has rated Kellett as the worst defender in all tiers of English football. With big names such as Mats Hummels linked to the club, Kellet is a disappointing signing. Despite the defensive woes, it has been reported that Kellett will feature in Warren Joyce’s under 21 outfit for the remainder of the season.