On Tuesday, Manchester United were scraped off the Champions League roster the same way a disgruntled toddler tosses away an old, broken toy: with no remorse. The toy, like the Red Devils, deserved it. The toddler, you wonder? Jose Mourinho.
Consider it karma for Jose Mourinho. The Special One used boring tactics to beat Liverpool on Saturday and tried similarly cynical tactics on Tuesday for Manchester United vs Sevilla. This time, the result was a stunning 2-1 defeat, the Red Devils going out in the Champions League Round of 16.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United rarely had the ball and rarely attacked. The Red Devils gave up an own goal that looked impossible to score. And yet the Manchester United vs Liverpool match never seemed in doubt for the home side at Old Trafford, with a Marcus Rashford brace powering a 2-1 victory on Saturday.
Liverpool dominated in all the stats that don’t matter: possession (68-32 percent), shots (14-5) and corner kicks (13-1). But a couple of unimaginative, Route 1 attacks in the opening half hour were all Manchester United needed to secure victory.
Back in 2003, NHL goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the Stanley Cup playoffs. He was unreal, but the following offseason, with Giguere’s infamously large gear the inspiration, the NHL implemented pad restrictions and a $25K fine for teams found guilty of ignoring the rule. In essence, Giguere could no longer resemble the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.
Watching David de Gea tend the net is like watching Giguere in the days of yore. He’s obviously cheating.
Alexis Sanchez made his Manchester United debut, starting against League 2 side Yeovil Town in the FA Cup. Manchester United won 4-0, which was to be expected. Marcus Rashford, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku scored the goals, and Alexis collected a debut assist. For that, it appears he was named man of the match.
#Alexis7 is announced as man of the match.
With Manchester City holding an unassailable 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League table, the managerial mind games in the race for second place began in earnest on Thursday with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho outlining how his work sets up future managers for success and how he refuses to “behave as a clown on the touchline,” both quips being viewed as digs at Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.