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City Flex Muscle, United Slip, Di Maria, Flintoff Goes Close

Week 2: City, United, Cycling, Cricket, FC United

Written by . Published on August 26th 2014.


City Flex Muscle, United Slip, Di Maria, Flintoff Goes Close
 

City Flex Muscles

Monday night’s routine victory over last season's runners-up is an ominous one. By sweeping aside Liverpool whilst not playing at full steam, City have delivered an early season statement that they'll be the team to beat this season.

The strength of City’s squad was scary. An injury to Dzeko? Bring on Aguero (who scores within 29 seconds). Need more width and looking to pin back Liverpool’s fullbacks? Bring on Navas. Closing the game out? Swap Jovetic for Fernandinho. This is not forgetting that £32m defender Mangala is yet to feature. Based on the impressive performance by Demichelis, there is no rush to bring him in.

Aguero: goal machineAguero: goal machine

£60m Is Not Good Business

“One point: that is not good enough for Manchester United,” came the frank assessment from top-dog Louis Van Gaal following a second under par performance in a week as United drew 1-1 with Sunderland.

This week sees the Old Trafford cheque book thrown open again. The obvious place to strengthen the team would be the defence, as the back three of Blackett, Keane and Jones that finished Saturday's game were lucky to not be further tested by a Sunderland who seemed happy with the point. Instead it is another creative midfielder, albeit a very good one in Argentinian international Angel Di Maria, being brought in. Though once again Chief Executive Edward Woodward’s negotiation skills seems to be called into question as United smash the British transfer record fee with an agreed £60m deal. Value for money this is not (Chelsea brought in both Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa for around the same price as Di Maria).

 

Flintoff nearly pulled it back for LancsFlintoff nearly pulled it back for Lancs

 

Flintoff Goes Close For Lancs

For fans of the shorter form of the game (and there were a record 23,500 crammed in at Edgbaston), the final day of the Natwest T20 Blast produced a thrilling finale. For fans of Lancashire the result was a painfully close four run defeat.

After securing passage to the final with a comfortable 41 run victory over Hampshire in a rain-blighted semi-final, Lancashire Lightning took on the Birmingham Bears in the final.

Five years to the day since Andrew Flintoff left the test cricket arena; it was the veteran all rounder’s late twenty runs off eight balls that took Lancashire to within touching distance of their first T20 crown.

Though when Flintoff lost the strike in the final over, with it went Lancashire’s hopes of ending a run of finals day losses at the fifth attempt. The wait goes on.

Altrincham Cyclists Going For Gold

Altrincham-based cyclist Lora Turnham and Corrine Hall are aiming to bring back double gold from the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, USA.

Aiming to go one better than the gold and silver they secured in 2013, the duo will compete in the 24.9km tandem time trial before taking on the 88km road race. The pair start as favourites to bring back the rainbow jerseys in both disciplines after strong performances in the World Cup events in Italy and Spain this year.

Turnham and HallTurnham and Hall

FC United

Intrinsically linked with Old Trafford in more ways than history, it appears that FC United are copying the Red Devils early-season form too. A fourth consecutive draw (1-1 vs Trafford) has seen the club - for the pessimists - stutter into mid-table and off the pace at the top of the Evo Stick Premier. Still, the team remain - for the optimists - unbeaten and hard to break down.

Burnley: made in BritainBurnley: made in Britain

Pub Stat Of The Week

At the end of the 2013/14 season Sergio Aguero has the highest goals per minute ratio in the history of the Premier League. That wasn't enough. 2014/15 has seen him score twice in 29 minutes, with his second only taking 23 seconds after his arrival on the pitch against Liverpool.

Other Pub Stat Of The Week:

All eighteen of Burnley’s opening weekend squad were British-born. Probably why they lost.

 

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