FA Cup Game of the Week: Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool

With the Premier League taking a break at the weekend for the FA Cup, we instead picked out an all Premier League fixture and it doesn’t get bigger than Liverpool and Manchester United.

The two teams recently played each other in the Premier League which made our game of the weekend. It was a tense nail biting affair which ended 0-0 and the points were shared. This cup game though lived up to the traditional English cup games, end to end football and plenty of chances. In the end there was 5 goals and it was exciting knowing that one of these huge teams who could win the FA Cup were about to go out. This is because the replay has been scratched out of the competition now. This match didn’t need one though.

Liverpool who had been under criticism for their lack of goals lately took the lead through Mohamed Salah would have been relived to have got back to scoring goals again. He took a good pass and scored as early as the 18th minute.

However just 8 minutes later Manchester United were on level terms as Mason Greenwood equalised. Marcus Rashford set him up with a pass that opened up a make shift Liverpool defence and it was 1-1. Game on.

The half ended all square but within 3 minutes of the restart Manchester United were 2-1 up through Rashford and it was a great goal. Greenwood who had scored their first returned the favour to set up Rashford who smashed the goal home with a low shot, if only the fans had been allowed to witness it in the stadium they would have been rather happy. Coming back from a goal down against your bitter enemy would have been sweet indeed.

Just past the hour mark in a very exciting game it was that man Salah again who made it 2-2 with a low shooting effort that went past all of the defenders. Even though Liverpool would go on to lose the game for Salah’s confidence to score 2 goals against the current Premier League leaders shouldn’t go unnoticed and he will be a shoe in one would think to score in Liverpool’s next league game.

The game would be won though by one of the best foreign transfers in the past decade. Bruno Fernandes was the hero and not for the first time since he’s arrived at Manchester United and scored a brilliant free kick in a game that, at times, felt Hollywood scripted.

Manchester United to go with their brilliant league form march on. As for Liverpool though they have no wins in their last five competitive games and this is worrying times for Jurgen Klopp and his team, who look like they could blow the league title too. Is it possible that after dominating so many competitions in the past 18 months that Liverpool win no silverware this season?

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Who have been the best players from Manchester United and Manchester City this season?

With just 1 Premier League game this past weekend because of the FA Cup in England we will take a look at the top two teams as the Premier League stands. What a season it has been so far as both Manchester teams occupy 1st and 2nd place. It is like the beginning of the 2010s again when City became a genuine rival to United.

In truth whilst Manchester City were expected to challenge for Liverpool’s title this season Manchester United were not. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was actually under pressure to keep his job in October when United lost 6-1 at home to Tottenham but that’s history now as United lead the table with 40 points. City are in 2nd on 38 but have a game extra to play. United have pulled out a six point gap to Liverpool with the same games played.

We take a look then at the top 3 performing players for each side, the ones who have made the ultimate difference this season. You can check out the players stats on the links provided and see if you have any of the players below in your team.

Manchester United: Top 3 performing fantasy football players

1. Bruno Fernandes 64pts

What a player Bruno Fernandes has been. Surely he is Manchester United’s best signing since Cristiano Ronaldo? Fernandes has scored important goals for the club and really stood up when it has mattered. Already this season he has bagged 11 goals and assisted in a further seven. And he has been a steal at just 8.5m. If United win the league this season make no mistake most of it will be down to this Portuguese superstar.

2. Marcus Rashford 35pts

Marcus Rashford has big boots to fill being one of the strikers at Manchester United. This season he has earned 35 points so far and has scored seven goals and assisted in another five. Rashford always seems to pop up at the right moments. It’s true that he needs more consistency to his game but he is so young and will get even better as the seasons go on.

3. Scott McTominay 22pts

Manchester United’s 3rd best player so far might be a surprise in Scott McTominay. Former manager Jose Mourinho heaped praise on him and the midfielder seems in his element this season which is arguably his best in a United shirt. He’s scored 2 goals and helped back track and keep six clean sheets so far. He could be doing with more assists and as we reach the half way stage of the season he only has 1 to his name. But he’s another youngster who will gain even more experience and become more complete.

Manchester City: Top 3 performing fantasy football players

1. Ederson Moraes  59pts

For Manchester City this season it is all about defence rather than attack. Haven’t you noticed that the club are not scoring many goals for their standard? Thus it is no surprise to see Ederson as the clubs best player in goal this season. No goalkeeper in the Premier League has kept more clean sheets so far this season as City’s keeper who has 10 so far. His value is 9m which is a great return considering he has 59 points already.

2. John Stones 48pts

Could this be John Stones most complete season of his career? He can defend, set up goals and score them and has really taken advantage of the situation at City with injuries and departures building up to state his case with manager Pep Guardiola. Stones has helped to keep 8 clean sheets and scored twice in the league so far. But it is his overall command of the game which has impressed this season and he looks utterly confident in the back four set up.

3. Ruben Dias 47pts

Ruben Dias has been of Manchester City’s best signings under Pep Guardiola, how they needed a player like him to come in and play like he has been at the club for several seasons. Dias has 47 points already and has helped to keep 10 clean sheets for the club. He has partnered up well with Stones at the back to underline that City whilst being a danger up front have had to adapt and focus on defence this season if they want to recapture back their league title.

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Premier League Game of the Week: Leicester 2-2 Manchester United

For entertainment you can go to Las Vegas but at the weekend the King Power Stadium would run the city of sin very close. Leicester and Manchester United shared the points and the goals in a game blessed by attacking football which eventually ended 2-2.

For Manchester United their incredible away start to the season ended where they had won their previous six games in a row. United had taken the lead twice in the game only to be pegged back. But on the face of it getting a draw away to Leicester shouldn’t be seen as a bad result but United would have left the game thinking that they had just lose 2 points and gained one.

It was a game borne out of brilliant skill and a swashbuckling never say die attitude and it felt like a very English game of football. There were only 10 goal attempts overall, 5 for each side, so we have seen better games in that respect this season but this was still an intriguing duel that you couldn’t keep your eyes off of.

A cross into the area started the scoring, and a quite brilliant assist from Bruno Fernandes getting his toe to the ball which caught out Leicester’s defenders and pinged it to an unmarked Marcus Rashford set the striker up for an easy opportunity that he wasn’t going to miss and United led the game.

Manchester United’s lead would only last eight minutes though as Harvey Barnes expose De Gea in goal and lashed a beautiful shot thundering into the net from the edge of the area.

In the second half Antony Martial’s goal was ruled offside by VAR and then everything changed once Edinson Cavani was introduced in the 75th minute. It took the attacker just four minutes to set up United’s 2nd goal after his assist to Fernandes who scored his 10th goal of the season. But soon after it was 2-2 as Jamie Vardy came to the rescue and scored a rather simple goal that De Gea and United’s defence must have been concerned about.

In the end whilst United held the technical skill cards Leicester had the back bone not to give up and a draw seemed like a fair result.

These two teams, for some will be the pretenders to Liverpool’s title this season but both have shown they have a lot of quality and are able to put points and wins together. It would be no surprise this season if both clubs finished in the top 4.

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Man Utd: Three things we learnt from the Red Devils win over struggling Sheffield United

With both Chelsea and Manchester City dropping points in their respective games early in the week, it was crucial for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to take the advantage of the moment by beating struggling Sheffield United, who have only picked up one point so far this season and are embarrassingly yet to win a league game.

Looking at the match as a whole, the visitors had dominated possession and created more chances and had more shots than the hosts, who caused a number of problems to Manchester United in the first half but were unable to make the moments count in the final third of the pitch. Though, they made the key moment count in the 5th minute of the match, where Dean Henderson thought he had enough time on the ball and was aggressively pressed by Oliver Burke, leading to David McGoldrick slotting the ball into an empty goal.

However, once again, Manchester United kicked on from being a goal behind and managed to take the lead by the half-time break, with both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford scoring the much needed goals leaving the Sheffield United manager and players in absolute shock. The Red Devils sealed the three points in the second half of the game with Rashford scoring his second goal of the night early in the second half.

Despite McGoldrick scoring a late consolation in the 87th minute of the game, the Blades did not show enough creativity, intensity and urgency to push on for a huge equaliser in the final seconds of the match. Overall, with Manchester United wining 3-2 over Sheffield United, it allows the team to move into sixth-place with a game in hand, whilst Chris Wilder’s men remain in 20th place, picking up only one point out of a potential 39.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Victor Lindelof is proving to be the best centre-back at the club  

He’s had his ups and downs since moving to Old Trafford in 2017, however, Victor Lindelof is finally proving to be the best centre-back at the club, especially over the last couple of months. For sure, he may not be recognised as one of the best defenders in the Premier League let alone in Europe, but he is doing more than enough to help the side on both sides of the pitch, through his intelligent defending and ability on the ball.

The Swedish international played an inch-perfect ball over the top of Sheffield United’s defence, into the feet of Marcus Rashford, who smashed the ball into the net to give his team the much needed equaliser. Unfortunately, the only issue that remains for Lindelof alongside his lack of aerial ability, is that he is not complimented well by captain Harry Maguire, who is not expected to be dropped by Solskjaer anytime soon.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford return onto the scoresheet

It’s been a slow season so far for the attacking duo in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who are typically expected to hit 15-20 Premier League goals a season, given the experience they have in the league and how much they are individually capable of. Though, with both players scoring the goals for Manchester United on Thursday evening, they will be hoping to get going with their campaign and aim to help the team with their qualities on and off the ball, as it will be the difference of the team finishing in the top four this season or not.

Not only that, but with Edinson Cavani making a huge impact whenever he is playing and Mason Greenwood being constantly hungry for game time, both Martial and Rashford have to ensure they perform consistently and at a high level in order to keep their place in the starting line-up. Looking more into the performance of the pair, the former showed really good movement off the ball and was tracking back time and time again whilst the latter’s burst of pace and dribbling ability was top notch, leaving Solskjaer totally satisfied.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a few important issues he has to iron out

Majority of the Old Trafford faithful will be content with the successful comeback that the team completed at Bramall Lane. On the other hand, the ongoing weaknesses within the manager, the team and the system are still quite clear. The Red Devils constant and key problems at this moment of time, happens to be the side’s lack of control against the teams weaker than them, and the amount of cheap goals that are being conceded.

Furthermore, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to solve another issue of balancing the team whilst having Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba in the starting line-up, a problem he had at the end of last season and also at the start of the current campaign. Given that the team’s performances and results are inconsistent, the coach has to iron out a few important matters, especially if he wants to continue to manage Manchester United football club.

Edinson Cavani: From pure brilliance with Manchester United to FA enquiry in 3 hours

The irony cannot be lost on anyone at Manchester United that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has, up until now, refused to start new signing Edinson Cavani in any of Manchester United’s league games so far.

Solskjaer himself known as the baby assassin for his uncanny brilliance to be in the right place at the right time equalled by his boyish looks which at 47 he still retains, is there to make the decisions. But Solskjaer was also known as the super sub. There were countless times Sir Alex Ferguson called on him from the bench to save the day, the most famous of course in the 1999 Champions League final when the Norwegian came on with 9 minutes remaining and scored the winning goal.

This season Solskjaer, gone from super sub to manager at Manchester United is channelling the great Ferguson. Cavani at 33 has been involved in 5 of United’s nine games so far and has been involved in four goals already, scoring three times and assisting in another. While Cavani scored his debut goal against Everton at Goodison Park for the Red Devils at the beginning of November the Uruguayan ‘arrived’ in the Premier League for good and bad this weekend. First let’s concentrate on the good.

Cavani replaced Mason Greenwood on the 46th minute. It wasn’t that Greenwood was having a terrible game, but Solskjaer made the decision at 2-0 down to replace inexperience, (Greenwood being 19) with Cavani. Though Greenwood may have been livid with the timing, he would have to accept that Solskjaer made the right choice at the final whistle. And Cavani’s impact was almost immediate.

It took Cavani 13 minutes to get into the game and set up Bruno Fernandes for his seventh goal of the season. The Portuguese wonder is far and away United’s best player this season in the fantasy rankings and has earned 34 points overall, 19 more than second placed Marcus Rashford. Cavani on the wing on the right hand side and with all the time in the world passed the ball into the centre right to Fernandes feet and the midfielder had no chance.

But it was the way in how Cavani took the ball. He didn’t seem urgent with his club 2-0 down, he was just professional. Solskjaer’s faith was being paid off. If Solskajer produced a wry smile at that he may want to have adopted the Uruguayan when his header equalised the game with a quarter of an hour to go.

A cross came in and Fred struck the ball, which deflected from a Southampton player and it was the pure super quick reaction of Cavani, the menacing of all strikers, throwing back the years, unravelling the swashbuckling comebacks which are in fact deeply ingrained in the side that he is playing for. Southampton looked mentally finished, in a game they were cruising, 1,800 seconds from victory and now it was being snatched away from them. It may have been 2-2 with fifteen minutes to go but one could sense that United were going to go on to win it.

And yet the time ticked by with chances for both clubs, United could smell blood and most importantly three points, Southampton once in a state of victors were simply happy to get a point at this stage. But it would be a stage set up for Cavani. At the death Rashford swung a ball in and Cavani channelling another player of yesteryear in Jurgen Klinsmann sliced the ball in with his head with all the professional pomp you would expect of a player who has worked so tirelessly playing for some of the biggest teams in Europe over the years. It was 3-2, he slid on his knees and the game was over. Manchester United have won their third game in a row and moved up to 9th place.

With two goals and an assist it had been a perfect day for Cavani, even some fans who may have doubted him signing for United in what is supposed to be his twilight years could hardly deny the sheer quality that he brought to the team in this match. He won United a duel destined for defeat and Cavani could feel happy about himself. That was until a Twitter post and a few hours later.

A follower on twitter who is now believed to know Cavani congratulated the striker on his performance. Cavani replied with “gracias negrito”! And that is when the FA launched their enquiry. The translation is tricky because we are talking about different meanings for different cultures but it roughly would translate to thanks black. One can only presume the original post came from a black person.

To their credit the FA have a zero tolerance attitude to racism unlike some countries and crack down heavy on it. At the same time no one can suggest that Cavani is a racist, far from it in fact. This doesn’t feel like racial slurring but more about not being educated in English culture as to phrases which simply cannot be accepted in England anymore. For that it is hard to accuse Cavani, who has only been in the country for a few months, he is adapting and the last thing on his mind would have been this. For foreign footballers making the switch to England it is football, football and language probably in that order.

However it is good that the FA have made an enquiry and Cavani has apologised. He may well not fully understand why, but he has made the right decision. Now it is time for the FA to act accordingly. Normally something of this nature can invoke a two to three game ban. However maybe the FA need to think outside the box for this case.

Wouldn’t it be better if they set up an education type of program for foreign players coming to play in the Premier League? Again this isn’t about accusing anyone of racism and hate but more about educating players in the different culture in which they are now playing. It would be refreshing to see the FA act on this and make it count, rather than to see Cavani handed a 3 game ban, hamper his own team and have no lessons learned for the future.

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Man Utd: Three key battles to look out for ahead of the West Brom fixture

As the international break finally comes to an end, normal services in domestic football, with Manchester United taking on West Brom in the Saturday evening fixture at Old Trafford.

Given that the side are yet to win a league game so far this season at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men will have to be at their very best, on and off the ball, in order to turn their unexplainable form at home around. On the other hand, the Baggies will be aiming to make improvement on both sides of the pitch, as they have not claimed a single victory this term.

On paper, the host have too much quality in midfield and attack for the visitors to handle, though, with the number of surprises that have risen in recent months, anything is possible within Premier League football. If Slaven Bilic’s West Brom are able to keep United’s attack limited and prove to be ruthless on the counter, then there is a chance of them walking away with at least a point.

With no further ado, here are the three key battles to look out for at Old Trafford this evening…

Marcus Rashford vs Darnell Furlong

With two goals and three assists to his name in seven league appearances, Marcus Rashford will be aiming to improve on his consistency and efficiency in the final third as the pundits and the Manchester United supporters are expecting him to reach 20 league goals by the end of the campaign. When looking at his burst of pace, movement with and without the ball as well as his confidence in front of goal, the target of scoring 20 league goals is definitely achievable for Rashford.

Rashford will be in for a close and tight encounter with Darnell Furlong, who is West Brom’s regular option at right-back and is more than capable of being a crucial player on both sides of the pitch. When comparing Furlong to the other full-backs in the league, only Andrew Roberton and Tariq Lamptey have had more touches than the right-back in the opposition’s box. However, his key duty is to nullify the threat that Rashford provides before he can proceed to being a threat himself.

Callum Robinson vs Harry Maguire

Scoring only 6 goals in eight league fixtures, West Brom do not possess many talented attacking players, but they will be highly depending on Callum Robinson, who will be looking to get in between the lines of the central defence. As his two league goals so far, this season have come at home to Chelsea, the 25-year-old Irish international certainly has the confidence to score against big teams.

Although the Red Devils are expected to dominate majority of the possession at Old Trafford, if the Baggies are still able to create a few chances on the counter or through the set-piece method into the feet of Callum Robinson, then it is more than possible for the attacker to walk away with a goal or two. He will be up against captain Harry Maguire, who will be looking to get back to his best and to his normal self, especially after the personal experience he has had on and off the football pitch.

Bruno Fernandes vs Jake Livermore

Given the huge number of midfield options that Solskjaer has available, as well as Donny Van de Beek and Paul Pogba being a choice from the bench, it will be Bruno Fernandes who will be leading the midfield and will be connecting the dots from midfield to attack. Considered as Manchester United’s best and important player in the starting line-up, the side’s attack and creativity runs through the Portuguese international, who will be looking to continue to provide the goods.

Meanwhile for West Brom, Jake Livermore is expected to play the lone defensive-midfield role, where he will be sitting in front of the defence, providing the balance and stability to the midfield. The 31-year-old will be hoping to keep Fernandes as quiet as possible, and will be aiming to help the team through his leadership, range of passing and most importantly, his Premier League experience.

Why Manchester United could have a nightmare start to the Premier League in 2020/21

There has been a clear pattern with Manchester United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over the club in December 2018, the Red Devils are either brilliant or poor. There’s been no in between and maybe that has cost the club a trophy or an extra league position.

The Norwegian manager and United great currently has a 54% win rate with the club, which is very decent. Jose Mourinho who Solskjaer replaced had a 58% win rate. So there is certainly room for improvement. However the way United finished last season left everyone slack jawed. It was a fantastic run that saw the club not only qualify for the Champions League but leap frog Chelsea and finish 3rd.

However new season and perhaps a new United. The club at home in their first game lost against Crystal Palace 3-1. The score felt like a big loss for the club, this was a game that was supposed to be made simple, they have the players and yet all that goal scoring talent in Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could not pull them back into the game. True they did have 17 attempts on goal but only 4 shots on target at home is not good enough. Palace finished with more shots on target and the first surprise result of the season had been sealed.

United fans will be hoping that it is a one off and that the club will win their next few games and be able to move on. But that isn’t how Solskjaer teams have worked up until now. A blip quickly turns into a few games. Now when we look at the clubs upcoming fixture list it isn’t going to be an easy ride for them.

This weekend United will play Brighton who, like last season have started brightly. Even when they lost against Chelsea many observers said that they were the better team. Graham Potter’s side made amends with the defeat against the Blues by beating Newcastle away from home 3-0. That was a statement win and the club will be up for producing another upset.

After that game United will face the likes of Tottenham, Newcastle, Chelsea, Arsenal and Everton. Many tricky ties in there plus the beginning of the Champions League will kick off in October adding further games and travel for the club.

Could it be that United will start the campaign off poorly and lose touch to the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City so early on that they will have no touching distance and chance of a league challenge?

Of course it is still early days but their fixtures do not look to have piled up well for the club. History says they will come good, but only after they have gone through the ‘Ole’ struggle once again.

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Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester United: The Red Devils pick up the victory in an unconvincing manner

Following the side’s 2-2 stalemate on Monday night at Old Trafford against Southampton, Manchester United had to ensure they picked up the much needed victory away at Crystal Palace, to keep their top four hopes alive after Chelsea and Leicester City had won their respective games.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men went on to exactly do that, despite the unconvincing and sloppy performances from many of the individuals. At the end of the day, at this late stage of the season, all that counts is the results that the team achieve as a whole rather than any inconsistent displays.

Overall, the visitors dominated the game for majority of the match and were the ones who were the most effective on the attacking side of the game, as they went on to achieve 60% possession of the ball and 121 passes in the attacking third compared to Crystal Palace’s 93 successful passes in the final third. However, the host enjoyed a small period of possession from time to time, but were lacking the required creativity and end product to go on to causing further problems for United.

In the end, United’s pure quality and individual class from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were able to guide the team to a victory, allow them to remain in fifth position, and most importantly on the same amount of points as Leicester and one point behind Chelsea. On the other hand, for the Eagles, they stay in 14th place and with enough comfort above the relegation zone.

Here are the three things we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Solskjaer’s front three continue to produce the goods

Ahead of the match, the questions and opinions were circulating around social media and between the pundits, on whether United’s attackers are able to sustain their quality and threat for the remainder of the season or not. Both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford went on to show their intelligence and sheer brilliance in front of goal, as they have each contributed to more than 20 Premier League goals this season through goals and assists, showing how much, they have improved.

The duo have been more than incredible this campaign, proving they a lot to offer to the team more than their end product, as the pair have shown enough movement, creativity and work rate on to keep the critics silence. If Martial and Rashford are able to show this consistency for another season or two, then they can settle themselves to be seen as one of the best players in the Premier League.

The Red Devils away form has improved in huge numbers

For sure, the fixtures at home and the games away to another team may not seem as a big difference to one another at the moment, given the current situation of the Corona Virus and the fact that football supporters are not able to attend the stadium to encourage and inspire their beloved club. However, it does not change the fact that United’s away form has had a massive turnaround, where they’ve been able to pick up 11 points out of 15 in their last five away games.

And just before the side’s last five away games, United were only able to pick up 15 points from 13 away games of this season, which is simply not good enough for a team that wants to finish in the top four let alone for a side that wants to challenge for the league title in the near future. The team now have the sixth best away form in the league, just behind the likes of Southampton and Wolves.

Top four still remains in the hands of Manchester United

After Chelsea and Leicester City had confidently beaten Norwich and Sheffield United, the pressure and tension had simply risen on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United, as nothing less than the three points against Crystal Palace would be acceptable. The Red Devils then went on to produce the goods and pick up the vital victory, even if the performance was too difficult for a neutral to see.

Now, moving forward to the current situation, United have to achieve two important wins in their final two games of the season, which is against West Ham at home and then to Leicester City away. Should the Foxes fail to beat Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, United can confidently finish in the top four by beating West Ham and picking up a point away at King Power stadium. Before then, Ole’s men face a trip to Wembley Stadium to meet Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals.

Best 11 Players in the Premier League: Matchday 22

It was another very interesting weekend of action in the Premier League which saw Liverpool win again and Manchester City finally move into 2nd place after Leicester were beaten. City striker Sergio Aguero made history, what did he do? Read below. And 4th place could be a battle between Chelsea and Manchester United.

Here are the best performing players, did you have any of them?

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Alisson -Liverpool 

A few goalkeepers got 7 pts which is usually the maximum for matchdays for goalkeepers but our nod goes to Alisson. The reason being is that Liverpool were away to Tottenham- a repeat of last year’s Champions League final and Jose Mourinho was determined to set up his team to beat the Reds. But yet again Liverpool won and kept a clean sheet. Alisson’s 6th of the season and he is in 2nd place in the rankings with 40 points.

Defender: Lucas Digne- Everton

Lucas Digne picked up 7 points as he helped Everton keep a clean sheet as they beat Brighton 1-0 and assisted in Everton’s goal scored by Richarlison for an all round performance. Digne costs 5.5m and has acquired an impressive 20 points so far this season.

Defender: Craig Dawson- Watford

Watford won again, this time beating Bournemouth 3-0. Craig Dawson held his nerve and was part of a defence that kept another clean sheet. He is valued at just 2m and scored some rare points this past weekend.

Defender: Trent Alexander-Arnold- Liverpool

It was another 5 points for the brilliant player. Liverpool’s back four all got the same with 5, but Alexander-Arnold ran more and just seemed to make crunch tackles at the right time, he must be worth a small fortune. In fantasy rankings terms he could be yours for just 7m. He is currently the best defender in the rankings.

Defender: Enda Stevens- Sheffield United

Sheffield United got a 1-0 victory over West Ham, so Enda Stevens kept a clean sheet his 8th of the season as the Blades kept in the top half, looking for a European finish. It was an assured performance from Stevens. He is valued at just 1m and has 37 points already and is one of the best bargains to be had.

Midfielder: Riyad Mahrez- Manchester City

Riyad Mahrez got a massive 10 points at the weekend as he scored a brace for Manchester City and then assisted Sergio Aguero for his hat trick. It was a fantastic performance from the City man. He currently has 52 pts and is valued at 9.5m.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool

If Liverpool do indeed win the title a lot of it will come down to this wonderful Brazilian- Roberto Firmino. He is in the right place at the right time, scores goals and is just deadly. He earned 6pts as he scored the winner v Tottenham in a very tight game.

Midfielder: Jorginho Frello- Chelsea

Jorginho earned 6pts as Chelsea cruised to a much needed 3-0 win over Burnley at home. Jorginho opened the scoring through a penalty and that set the way for the Blues onto victory. He has earned 16pts and can be yours for 7.5m.

Midfielder: Roberto Pereyra- Watford

As Watford continue to shine and move out of the relegation zone, some of their players are leading that cause and one of them is Roberto Pereyra. The player only came on with 8 minutes of the match to go and scored Watford’s 3rd goal. He earned 6 pts.

Striker: Marcus Rashford- Manchester United

Rashford scored his 13th and 14th goals of the season as Manchester United made light work of Norwich to beat them 4-0. The player has amassed 58 pts in total this season and would cost 7m. He earned 8 pts this week alone.

Striker: Sergio Aguero- Manchester City

So both Manchester teams take up the strikers rankings but there was something very special about Manchester City’s. Sergio Aguero scored a hat trick as Manchester City slaughtered Aston Villa 6-1. The player the broke Alan Shearer’s hat trick record, he now has 12. And in the process he became the best foreign goalscorer ever in the Premier League with 176 goals, surpassing Thierry Henry. Aguero has 13 goals and and earned a whopping 16 pts. He is valued at 14m.

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Man Utd 4-0 Norwich: The Red Devils pick up their first win of 2020 as the Canaries continue to struggle

With Leicester City dropping points in their respective game whilst Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool go head-to-head with one another on Saturday evening in gameweek 22, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United had the perfect opportunity to get back to winning ways as they faced a Norwich side that currently sit at the bottom of the league and have not win a league game since November.

Going into the afternoon game at Old Trafford, Solskjaer would have anticipated a couple of goals as well as a simple win, despite the side facing a number of problems when it comes to breaking down the mid-table teams. On the other hand, for Daniel Farke, even taking a point away from Old Trafford would have been more than enough, as the Canaries sit rock bottom in the Premier League.

Overall, looking at the game from the first second till the final whistle, the hosts had full control and dominated on and off the ball, going onto creating four big chances, completing six shots on target and most importantly, scoring four goals in a single league match after a long time. Meanwhile, the visitors did not have much good moments at all and would have preferred the match to be over as soon as possible, as they did not have the quality in each department to pick up a result today.

United struggled for small period in the beginning to get to the final third of the pitch and to get past the opposition’s defence. However, they managed to get their first goal of the game just before the 30 minute mark, as Juan Mata came into the middle from the right flank before crossing the ball into the far corner of the post, which was connected by a composed volley from Marcus Rashford.

The side continued to control the game, with some good passage of play through the middle as well as out on the flanks, but did not show the ideal urgency to look for the crucial second goal, in order to put the game to bed before half-time. With just a few moments till the end of the first half, the away side managed to complete their first shot on target through Todd Cantwell, who attempted to pass the ball into the far corner of the net, but his shot was well pushed away by David De Gea.

Following the half-time break, United were on the front foot once again and it did not take them long to get another goal, as they were awarded a penalty, with Rashford stepping up to take it and scoring his second goal of the game and his 14th league goal of the season. The side went on to get to get the third goal in quick succession, as a short corner from the right side was then crossed perfectly by Mata, which was met by the head of Anthony Martial and into the corner of the net.

United’s youngsters continued to show their quality and are become quite the fans favourite, as Brandon Williams had a really great performance in the left-back role and should have ended the match with a goal, whilst Mason Greenwood came on from the bench in the 71st minute and went onto scoring a couple of minutes later with a fine finish to send it past Tim Krul and into the goal.

In the end, the result helps Manchester United to go back to fifth-place on 34 points, being just five points away from fourth-place Chelsea. Meanwhile, Daniel Farke’s Norwich City sit uncomfortably at the bottom of the league on 14 points, as they have only won three league games in 22 matches.

Here are the four valuable factors we learnt from United’s latest league game…

Marcus Rashford continues to show his world class quality

It was an amazing day for Marcus Rashford to remember, as he reached his 200 appearance for Manchester United and capped his day off at Old Trafford with a brace and an impressive showing on and off the ball. Given that he is still only 22-years-old, the best is yet to come from him and he is a few years away from his actual peak, making his ongoing development to be seen as a beautiful sight, as the critics and his doubters are starting to look silly as he is proving them all wrong.

It’s only early January at the moment, but he is currently on 14 league goals and is already past his best league tally in a single season, and he could continue to go on to scoring 25 league goals and 40-45 goals in all competitions as long as he stays fit and remains in good condition. With both Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku leaving the club in the summer, Rashford has stepped up massively and is more or less showing that he is the clinical forward that the club and manager desperately needs.

Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic produced a fine performance from their good old days

Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic are two experienced individuals who are clearly past their best and do not have the legs to complete consistent displays on a regular basis. However, the duo put up quite the performance against Norwich, with Matic providing the much needed security ahead of the backline and helping the team to recycle the ball effectively in the opposition’s half of the pitch.

And on the attacking side of the match, Mata was able to complete two assists, 82 touches on the ball and a successful pass completion rate of 90.1%, as the Spaniard produced the perfect performance from the number ten role, despite his movement out onto the flanks. As a whole, it was delightful to see Mata and Matic complete a throwback of a display from their good old days.

The Old Trafford faithful have had enough, as they called out on The Glazers and Ed Woodward

As the fixture was game, set and match by the hour mark or so, the home supporters around Old Trafford were united and stood up together to sing out their thoughts and feelings towards the Glazers and Ed Woodward. With the club failing to implement a title challenge in the Premier League or in the Champions League over the last five to six years, the United fans have simply had enough.

Most importantly, they did not show any anger or negativity towards Solskjaer, as in recent years, the United supporters would have preferred to blame the likes of David Moyes, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho, who had failed to live up to the club’s expectations and standards. It may not make much difference that the chants were sang out loud for one game, but if it starts to happen on a more daily basis, it will surely be seen as sending a powerful message to the main people in charge.