2012/2013 Season Review – December and January

Looking at December and January

10 matches were played, combined, on the last month of 2012 and the first month of 2013. Of the 10 matches, we played 5 matches away and 5 at home in total for the 2 months.

Looking at the table, we were sitting pretty at the top. The matches for december were very interesting with the first Manchester Derby. We played Reading, Manchester City, Sunderland, Swansea, Newcastle, WBA, Wigan, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton in that order for the whole of two months.

Reading 3-4 Manchester United

A solid thriller with all the goals coming in the first half. Reading started the proceedings with the first goal in the 8th minute by Kanu. Anderson, the guy we love to hate, scored the equalizer in the 13th minute before Rooney put us ahead in the 16th minute. It was made 2-2 promptly by Le Fondre in the 19th minute before Morrison made it 3-2 with his goal in the 23rd minute. The goal scoring was put to rest by van Persie when he scored the winning goal in the 34th minute.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United 

You don’t need the text to relive this. Have fun with the video!! I watched it couple of times with a smug smile of satisfaction.

Manchester United 3-1 Sunderland

The lack of clean sheets continued with 3 goals. Robin van Persie, Cleverley and Rooney were the scorers while the sole Sunderland goal was scored by Campbell.

Swansea City 1-1 Manchester United

A draw in a pretty long time. Again, we distinctly lacked the clean sheets with a rare goal from Evra in the 16th minute which was equalised by Michu in the 29th minute. The match ended in a boring draw.

Manchester United 4-3 Newcastle United

Another last-gasp victory for us with Hernandez bailing us to victory with a solid 90th minute goal. The match is series of equalizing goals with us not going into the lead until the 4th goal by which time we won. The goals were scored by Evans (a rare one), Evra, Robin van Persie and Hernandez.

Manchester United 2-0 West Brom

The first clean sheet in a long time for De Gea. The goals came thanks to an own goal from Mcauley in the 9th minute and a Robin van Persie strike in the 90th minute. The last match of 2012 saw us staying at the top spot for the end of 2012 looking ever so likely to be the champions after loaning the cup to the noisy neighbours for keeping it shiny.

January

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

A rival match which has lost steam after Liverpool degenerating into a mid-table club. Saw us getting the first two goals with Robin van Persie in the 19th minute and a great goal from Vidic in the 55th minute. Sturridge scored their only goal in the 57th minute.

Hint: Watch the video on mute.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United

Another draw in 5 games saw Dempsey equalising an early goal by van Persie in the 25th minute at the end of normal time. Losing the clean sheet was a little disappointing but it sure as hell beat losing to them.

Manchester United 2-1 Southampton

The final match of January saw us playing Southampton. Rooney was on target with goals in the 8th and 26th minute to cancel and put us in front after Southampton went 0-1 up in the first 2 minutes with a blunder of a goal Rodriguez. It was an important match as it saw us playing without wingers with Kagawa and Rooney in the starting eleven.

2012/2013 Season Review – October

After September

September was a decent month. Good wins at Liverpool and Wigan Athletic were really inspiring. The loss at Tottenham Spurs was extraordinarily irritating. Against spurs, losing in that way was demoralizing and focused the defensive frailties. On the opposite side, Kagawa’s movement and Rooney’s push in the second half was really good to see.

The following month, in October, we had 3 matches. 2 Away matches and 1 home match for us. The first match of October was against Newcastle United who were doing decent themselves followed by the match against Stoke City at Old Trafford. The last match in October was against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Newcastle United 0 – 3 Manchester United (Away)

Robin Van Persie chasing down the ball

It was a completely different match with goals scored by the defenders and a midfielder. Evans and Evra scored the first two goals in the first half of the match at the eighth and fifteenth minute of the match. Cleverley finished of the scoreline at 3-0 with a  sublime shot. Many thanks had to be given to David De Gea for making a superb save in the 50th minute from a Papis Cisse strike.

Manchester United 4-2 Stoke City (Home)

Another good match. This match saw the goals scored by the forwards while goals were also let in on our side. Stoke went ahead with Rooney’s own goal in the 11th minute. It was cancelled by a Rooney strike in the 27th minute. United quickly pulled ahead in the end of the first half with a goal from Robin van Persie in the 44th minute. Welbeck made it 3-1 in the 46th minute before Kightly pulled it back to 3-2 with a 58th minute goal. Rooney then came back to finish Stoke off at the 65th minute making the scoreline read 4-2 at the end of 90 minutes.

Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United (Away)

A nail-biting match with 2 red cards for the Chelsea team. It started with a Luiz own goal in the 4th minute from brilliant play Rooney, Young and Robin van Persie. The dutchman made it 2-0 with another good goal in the 15th minute. Chelsea found a way into the game quickly with blistering pace making it 2-2 with goals Mata and Ramires on the either side of the break. What followed were a straight red to Ivanovic for fouling Young and 2 yellows for Torres making the match 11 vs 9. Hernandez broke the deadlock, proving to be the devil (pun intended) against Hernandez with a 75th minute goal.

Start of November

Looking beyond October, November was a very important with 5 matches coming up and the 3 wins from October put us in the 2nd position in the table. Wins in the next month was surely going to put us into the top spot. The five matches arranged in November were Arsenal, Aston Villa, Norwich City, Queens Park Rangers and West Ham. 3 were home matches while the 2 were played away from Old Trafford.

2012/2013 Season Review – September

After August

August was a bad month that changed into a decent one for United. The first match against Everton went badly with a 1-0 loss at Everton followed by a good win against Fulham with Robin van Persie and Kagawa scoring their first goals at Old Trafford.

September saw four fixtures for United. The two home matches were against Wigan Athletic and Tottenham Hotspur while the away matches were against Southampton and Liverpool.

September

The first match of September was Southampton vs Manchester United.

Southampton vs. Manchester United (2-3)

The match was the second match to go 3-2 for us. It was also a historical day with RvP scoring his first hat trick for us. We let in two goals in the 18th and 55th minute while RvP scored in the 23rd, 87th and the 90th minute pulling us through to a 3-2 win against the Saints.

Manchester United vs. Wigan Athletic (4-0)

The first match to end up as a thrashing of the opposition. It started with a goal from Scholes in the 51st minute followed by Hernandez in the 63rd minute. Buttner scored his first goal in the 66th minute and our favorite midfielder Powell scored his first in the 82nd minute.

Powell's brilliant strike against Wigan. That guy is so good...

Powell’s brilliant strike against Wigan. That guy is so good…

The win pulled us to the 2nd position in the league.

Liverpool vs. Manchester United (1-2)

Liverpool. Ah, how important is that match. As always, Gerrard scored a goal for Liverpool in the 46th minute. Gerrard’s goal was cancelled out by a sensational volley from Rafael in the 51st minute followed by a van Persie penalty in the 81st minute. The penalty was given after Glen Johnson fouled Valencia in the box.

Rafael's stunning equaliser against Liverpool. Boy, that guy can shoot!

Rafael’s stunning equaliser against Liverpool. Boy, that guy can shoot!

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur (2-3)

The second loss of the season and the first home loss of the season was against the Spurs. It was a bad performance from United after failing to show up in the first half of the match. Vertonghen and Bale punished bad defensive positioning in the first half with goals in the 2nd and 32nd minute from the duo. United’s efforts to comeback was rewarded with a goal from Nani in the 51st minute. Dempsey then made things impossible in the 52nd minute. Kagawa tried to salvage the match at the 54th minute  with a well taken goal. In the end, Spurs stood gallant in their defence.

At the end of September

The end of September propelled us to the 3rd place in the league. The only guys ahead of us were Chelsea and Everton. The month of October looked tough with two away matches at Newcastle and Chelsea with one home match against Stoke.

10 places in the table after the month of September.

10 places in the table after the month of September.

Questions

  • What did you think about Chelsea’s strong run early in the first two seasons, 5 wins and 1 draws? Were they the team to beat after that run?
  • Statistically we scored 14 goals and let in 9 goals. What did you think about the leaky defence after the 2 months?
  • Rooney and Kagawa played an important role in Tottenham Spurs match, what was your ‘feeling’ about Kagawa?

Cheers, DirectionalVector.

2012/2013 Season Review – August

Hello to all!

I am Pal47 and this is my first post for the rredevils blog. A little info on me, I am turning 21 soon and I am from London, England. I have been a Manchester United fan for 16 years.

It has been an entertaining season, and it’s time for us to remember what happened during the season, what were the turning points for us to stride towards winning the league? Which players hit great form? Which players didn’t hit great form? What were the low points of the season where there is room for improvement?

We will release a monthly review of the 2012/2013 season, with this post starting with August, with the next post reviewing September, then October, etc.

August

August saw the month where the 2011/2012 PFA Player of the year and top goal scorer, Robin Van Persie, make a £24 million move from Arsenal to Man Utd. It was a deal welcomed with mixed feelings. Some said that paying £24 million for an injury prone 29 year old is bad business and highly risky, one journalist even said RVP wouldn’t manage more than 10 league goals for the season. Others said it was a sound purchase by Sir Alex Ferguson, outlining that Manchester United still has the financial muscle to compete with City, having beaten City to the signing of RVP. It was a mouth-watering prospect with Wayne Rooney and RVP up front, SAF was determined to ensure he has a squad capable of scoring goals galore. Alexander Buttner was also bought to provide Patrice Evra competition for the left-back slot. Angelo Henriquez was due to join as well.

Previous transfer activities include the purchase of Nick Powell from Crewe, a young attacking midfielder with high hopes, and Shinji Kagawa for £12 million plus potential add-ons from Bourssia Dortmund. The signing of Kagawa meant added incisiveness going forward, and a lethal potential trio of Rooney, RVP and Kagawa.

There were cries for a holding-midfielder to be purchased from the fans, however SAF resisted and felt his midfield options were adequate enough.

Our first game of the season was an tricky away fixture to Everton. RVP was benched for this game because he was lacking match fitness. It was a patchy line up, with Valencia at RB, Carrick at CB, but a neat looking attack with Kagawa, Rooney, and Welbeck.

Throughout the game, we struggled to put together clear cut chances, there were some signs of intricate passing between Kagawa and Rooney, however we barely threatened Tim Howard. RVP came on and didn’t do much, if my memory is correct we didn’t provide him with enough service. Fellaini scored the important goal on 57 mins and was man of the match, winning practically every header and physical encounter.

Fellaini gets the beating of Carrick to power his header home.

The match ended 1-0 to Everton, a bad start to the season for us. However we needn’t worry, we are usually slow starters, we have new signings and they need time to gel and find their rhythm. Our next game was at home to Fulham, a perfect opportunity for RVP to start.

A bad start to the Fulhum game, after just 3 mins on the clock Damien Duff scores. But after just 10 mins into his home debut, RVP scores a beauty! The delight was all there to see. Shinji Kagawa also scored on his home debut making it 2-1, with Rafael adding a third. A Vidic own goal made it a nervy finish to the game but we registered our first win of the season thanks to goals from the two home debutants RVP and Kagawa and a goal from Rafael.

Van Persie scores a beauty on his home debut.

Those were the two games in August and we finished August in 7th place but still plenty of the season to play. We are usually slow starters and we really kick into gear mid-season. It was evident we had defensive problems. Carrick had to fill in at centre-back for both games, and Everton and Fulham took advantage of that.

Chelsea topped the table after August, as we lied in 7th place.

Chelsea topped the table after August, as we lied in 7th place.

Questions:

  1. When we signed Robin Van Persie for £24 million, what was your reaction? Were you worried he may get injured and only manage a handful of games? Or did you predict he will be a hit and probably our best player of the season.
  2. Did you feel the when the transfer window closed on August 31st, that we had a squad capable of winning the league, plus another trophy e.g. Champions League, FA cup?

That’s it for the August Review, in the coming days we will have the September review. Thanks for reading!