Billed as the battle between two of football's super powers, Chelsea vs Manchester United, Mourinho vs Van Gaal, Smalling vs Luis and Costa vs Falcao, it is fair to say that it failed to live up to the billing on more than one of those counts. The match wasn't helped by illness and injury robbing the spectacle of each club's new high profile strikers, Costa for Chelsea and Falcao for United.
Chelsea reverted back to default mode, scoring first then defending in an organised fashion whilst looking to counter attack with pace and appeared to be pulling the plan off to perfection until Old Trafford saw the return of an old and trusted friend. Robin Van Persie’s injury time goal was the first time since December 2012 that United had scored in injury time in the Premier League to turn a defeat into a draw, or a draw into a win.
One of sport’s most endearing images is of an underdog beating a favourite. Most neutral fans will naturally side with the underdog, most Hollywood films will back the plucky underdog, but as West Ham surprisingly beat the current Premier League champions it's particularly hard to back a gloating Sam Allardyce. Credit where credit is due, ‘Big Sam’ has managed to change his long ball, rough and tough, bad-on-the-eye match day tactics for a more expansive, attack-oriented game plan and is reaping the rewards for it. But it is painful to listen to a post-match interview with 'Big Sam' as he takes full responsibility for the victory, scoring the winner and inventing the wheel.
City, who threw a two goal lead away in the Champions League in midweek, topped off a disappointing week by falling six points behind rivals Chelsea as they suffered their first away defeat since April.
City or United?
What a father passes on to his son can be varied: most of his future earnings, half his genetic make-up and which football club to support for the rest of his days. Not so much for Manchester resident, Ian Charters, who having moved here from Watford over a decade ago has decided it will be difficult to persuade his son, Eddie, to follow The Hornets.
The solution? Auction off his son's footballing allegiance on ebay. All monies raised will go to Bliss, a charity that supports sick and prematurely born babies... anything is better than supporting Stockport.
When the groups were announced for the inaugural European Champions Cup there were more than a few eyebrows raised at the hand Sale were dealt. Any cup draw needs to have one group labelled the 'group of death' and Sale Sharks got that honour as they were drawn against three of the previous year’s semi finalists.
Following the last minute defeat to Munster last weekend, Sale were handed the unenviable away trip to Clermont this week and talk of ‘eternal underdogs’ and ‘dark horses’ soon changed to the more derogative tags of ‘whipping boys’ and ‘making up the numbers’. Despite battling well in the first half too many missed tackles would take its toll on Sale as the star studded Auvergne backline moved through the gears allowing local favourite Rougerie to secure the bonus point with a fourth try late on in the 35-3 execution of Sale. A tough day at the office.
Manchester hosted the World Taekwondo Grand Prix event for the second year in a row which saw the return of some of the stars of the London 2012 Olympics. Manchester based golden girl Jade Jones had sauntered into the final on Sunday with a 12-0 destruction of world silver medallist Mayu Hamada in the semi-finals. Jones, who despite pulling the final back to 4-4 in the closing stages, ended up losing to world number 1 Eva Calvo Gomez for the third time in a row.
Last year GB were celebrating double gold success thanks to Lutalo Muhammad and Mahama Cho but this year it was double silver as Jones’ result followed Aaron Cooks second place finish in the Men’s -80kg final on Saturday
The Grand Prix event acts as a crucial opportunity for athletes to secure qualification points that lead to qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympics and sport's international governing body have just announced that the Grand Prix event will return to Manchester in 2015 for the third year in a row.
Great thanks for sharing this. www.freemahj.com/…/…Read more
I agree, Schofield compels me to visit places in Manchester that I didn't know I wanted to visit.Read more
A lovely little article, this.Read more
Jeni I was on that tour that day and agree there was no need for the nonsense at the start, you…Read more