Man Utd shambles dwarfs Man City perfection, and would you look at Arsenal in the Premier League table! The Warm-Up


MONDAY’S BIG STORIES

Man Utd Fan TV

Main then dessert. Hot water then milk. The Simpsons then Fresh Prince (one for the millennials). Some things just fall in a natural order, the second complementing the first to the point of almost being a necessity, a craving, and in recent years that has become the way with shoddy Manchester United performances on television and the subsequent post-match analysis.

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Fans, United supporters aside, were already eagerly anticipating the views of one former Manchester United captain in the studio when another on commentary began his in the final 10 minutes of their old side’s derby demolition at the hands of Manchester City.

The “Ole’s” and Poznan were already being rolled out with City cruising at 3-1, and before the hosts made it 4-1 yesterday Gary Neville was probably not even half-joking when stating he wished he could join City’s backwards-facing fans and not pay attention either.

“Embarrassing,” he declared, as a graphic flashed up reading 92-8 in City’s favour for the past 15 minutes of possession. For a while it had been close, but then the gulf emerged.

ans of Manchester City do the Poznan during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on March 6, 2022

Image credit: Getty Images

And then along came Roy Keane, with Micah Richards gleefully sat next to him, unleashing his latest United tirade.

“They gave up,” Keane said on Sky Sports. “It’s unforgivable really. They threw the towel in. It is shameful. I will forgive mistakes, but there are five or six players who should not play for Manchester United again. They gave up, and shame on them.”

Those are mere snippets of a lengthy dissection of United’s shortcomings.

And yes, it should not simply be about United. The talk could be about this Manchester City side looking back to their dangerous best, about how a fourth title in five years could secure their status as the best of the Premier League era, but pointing out near perfection is not as watchable as picking apart faults of a struggling side with a £175m defence.

Monday’s back pages would tend to agree.

Arsenal – very good

Well that goes down as A Very Good Weekend For Arsenal. A very good weekend indeed.

Fourth! By a point!! With three games in hand!!!

North London rivals Tottenham could well be their closest rivals for fourth as things stand, but there’s no getting past the fact Arsenal are firmly in the driving seat to secure a Champions League place, particularly after their win in the Cojones Derby came after a defeat for West Ham and before United’s defeat at City.

Securing fourth of course does not get you a trophy, and that may well be the joke some may attempt if Arsenal do end up finishing there at the end of the season, but it will certainly earn Mikel Arteta a raft of apologies – present company included – for ignoring his critics, bouncing back from three defeats to start the league campaign, and creating an identity as Arsenal manager.

Not only are they winning – and not only is Arteta helping with pre-pre-pre-assists – but they are winning tight games, matches they’d perhaps have stumbled in earlier in the season. Now, four straight wins by a one-goal margin, proving they could just have the mettle to see this out and lay down the foundations for an even stronger, Champions League-filled, campaign next year.

That isn’t an attempted curse. This Arsenal are fun to watch, so long may it continue. Yeah, we said it.

IN OTHER NEWS

A baffling minute

The more you look back and think about it, the more baffling and inconceivable it gets. Perhaps the away-day culture and four-hour drive or five-hour public transport 240-mile slog from Chelsea to Turf Moor goes some way towards explaining why, but there can be no excuse for some of Chelsea’s supporters opting to chant Roman Abramovich’s name during a minute’s applause for Ukraine.

They were at least reprimanded by their head coach afterwards, with Thomas Tuchel admitting “It’s not the moment to do this” and adding: “If we show solidarity we show solidarity and we should do it together.

Tuchel proud of Chelsea players but unhappy with fans for singing Abramovich’s name

“It is not the moment to give other messages. It’s the moment to show respect. We do it for Ukraine and there is no second opinion about this situation. They have our thoughts and our support and we should stand together.”

There is unlikely to be action, but hopefully lessons can be learned. The head coach has spoken against it, the club were critical too. Let’s hope that’s the end of it.

IN THE CHANNELS

We could watch this again and again and again. The Wayne Rooney as a Manager appreciation group grows by the day, and so credit to his 22nd-placed-in-the-Championship Derby County players for a move that easily goes down as one of the goals of the weekend – finished, with aplomb as is often said, by Ravel Morrison. Delicious.

RETRO CORNER

It’s only Ray Parlour’s birthday. He’s 49 today, and somehow this glorious FA Cup final goal was 20 years ago – one half of perhaps the finest two cup finals goals in one game.

COMING UP

A meeting between two Premier League ever-presents tonight, and there’s plenty riding on this one as top-four chasing Tottenham host relegation-threatened Everton. There’s also Nottingham Forest v Huddersfield in the FA Cup – the winner will welcome Liverpool in the next round.

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