Manchester United dominated Chelsea in what was a tactical masterclass from Jose Mourinho. Antonio Conte tried to emulate Mourinhos tactical genius by taking off his shite hat, which was clearly nullifying his tactical thinking. However, taking off his hat didn’t actually make a positive difference as he was still seemingly making completely retarded decisions to a level only Arsene Wenger can match. It led him down a path which ended with him bringing on Reuben Loftus Cheek to try to get a goal back and bring Chelsea back into this game. You know, Loftus-fucking-Cheek. The guy that isn’t getting many Premier League minutes for Chelsea this season because Jose Mourinho doesn’t play youth players.
David De Gea: 7 – With rumours of Real Madrid sniffing around David De Gea’s shit like a stray dog desperately looking for anything nutritious coming back into the media, he would have done himself no harm in retaining such interest with todays game. That wouldn’t be because he was fantastic, though. If anything, I’m not actually sure he made a save, at least not one worth remembering. At most, he caught a few shit, over hit, aimless crosses. His chances were helped by the fact that another Real Madrid ‘target’ Thibaut Courtios didn’t play, probably because he was scared that David De Gea would put him to shame, and as such, he wouldn’t get a move to Real Madrid as their second choice target when David De Gea inevitably signs a contract for life with Manchester United(I’m probably forcing myself into a world of delusion at this point). Also, he’s shit and not even comparable to De Gea in the slightest. Bring it Chelsea fans. Bring it.
Antonio Valencia: 7 – Valencia has had a very interesting journey at Manchester United. He signed in the wake of Cristiano Ronaldo fucking off to a shitter City than Manchester(the increase in sun is not valid reasoning), in a worse country than England(enjoy your financial crisis Spain). He quickly become one of the best wingers at Manchester United and in the world for a period of time, before becoming the worst winger when he took on the number 7 shit. When he realised attacking wasn’t for him, he became Manchester United’s worst right back. That was until this season, when his form has been incredible and he is without doubt the best right back at Manchester United and arguably one of the best in the Premier League (Anyone who says Bellerin can suck my dick. Kyle Walker and David Meyler’s YouTube channel would be the only acceptable comparisons). He continued that great form tonight by putting in a good defensive display and his pace was helpful on United counter attacks.
Eric Bailly: 8 – This afternoons performance from Eric Bailly was probably one of my favourite from him as a Manchester United player, and believe me, there are many good ones. Usually he’s running around like a Rhino in a pen full of cute, adorable, innocent, harmless puppies, bashing the shit out of the little fuckers that get in his way. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fucking hilarious, but today he was far more composed and intelligent, and less rash, whilst still being completely dominant. Bailly and Rojo have formed an incredible partnership in defence of late, and together they man marked Diego Costa out of the match to the point that he started throwing tantrums and playing dirty because he wasn’t getting another attention to fill the ego of the bratty little 15 year old girl inside of him. Standard.
Marcos Rojo: 8 – I’ve been a longtime critic of Marcos Rojo. I thought he was rash and injury prone in his first season, and then in his second season he was a horrific left back. Like, he was awful at defending. He was an AIDS standard of awful, you could say. However, this season after being given a chance at Centerback he has flourished. Mainly because he has had to cover for the defensive ineptitude of Chris/Mike Smalling. He has also formed a good relationship with Bailly. The highlight of today was how he bullied the shit out of Diego Costa to the point where it is actually more surprising that Costa didn’t get sent off, than the fact Manchester United actually won a game, let alone the additional fact that they won that game by more than one goal WHILST keeping a clean shit. I think there’s a top player in Rojo, and if he can continue his current form whilst cutting some of the bullshit (in the form of some unbelievably stupid tackles) out of his game, he could be a very top defender for the club.
Matteo Darmian: 6 – I don’t really want to waste too much time talking about Matteo Darmian because I think he’s shit and I hate him. He’s far from the intelligent, fearless full back that he was when Manchester United first signed him from Torino, and to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was forced out the club in the summer. However, today, he put in a relatively solid performance. He didn’t really do anything incredible, but he didn’t do anything wrong either. Well, apart from his haircut and his shit sideburns. They’ll never be anything but wrong.
Ander Herrera: 9 – Ander Herrera, AKA the player Chelsea fans think Kante actually is was easily the man of the match today. He set up Rashfords goal with a beautiful pass before his shot cannoned into the Chelsea goal off Kante(There’s a certain irony in that). However, the real highlight of his performance today was the spectacular man-marking job he did on Eden Hazard, who is actually quite good again. Hazard was barely even in the game, other than when he threw the occasional fit because somebody touched him and he wasn’t strong enough to stay standing on his feet, the little fucking pussy. I don’t think I’ve seen a man-marking job as good as that since Ji-Sung Three Lunged Park man marked Pirlo back to the days he was a failing piece of shit that was on loan at Brescia. It was also a really nice touch for Herrera to whisper in Hazard’s ear at the end of the game, granting him freedom of his back pocket. Whilst it’s likely Hazard will try to stay in his pocket in hopes he never has to leave Manchester to play for a team that managed to get embarrassed like that, you still have to commend the act of good will from Ander Herrera. What a man. Furthermore, Herrera’s performance is even more satisfying purely because rival fans hate him. He is a bastard, but he’s our bastard, and we love him for it.
That’s for you @Michaelhall1234
Marouane Fellaini: 8 – I’m not usually a fan of Fellaini constantly acting like a useless fucking half arsed oak tree cunt, but credit where it’s due, he put in a dominating performance in the heart of midfield today, similar to that of the Ents away at Isengard a few years ago. He was the physicality in midfield and every time Chelsea got the ball back, it was Fellaini who was there to elbow the Chelsea player without the referee noticing until he gave the ball back to him, which you have to say is very impressive. I cannot remember that last time he got a yellow card.
Paul Pogba: 7 – A solid performance by the man who has changed his hair more times than he has goal and assists for Manchester United. He was a little less attacking today and a little more instrumental in helping Manchester United dominate Chelsea without Michael Carrick spraying the passes. He kept possession and played some smart passes to switch the play, as well as making some key tackles and interceptions to break up Chelsea attacks. This was a step in the right direction to Pogba being the dominating midfielder Manchester United want him to be. It’s just in this game, his performance is overshadowed by that of Fellaini and Herrera.
Jesse Lingard: 8 – If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know how much I HATE Jesse Lingard. Hate may be a strong word, but his performances anger me. However, today I cannot say I hated Jesse Lingard, and I’ll swallow my pride when I say I thought he was one of the better players on the pitch. He started next to Rashford in a front two and they had such a strong connection, only a blind, elderly, disabled person and her guide dog (which happens to be a Golden Retriever called Diego Costa is a cunt) could compete. His performance along with Rashfords is only indicative of a future Mnachester United could have without Zlatan.
Marcus Rashford: 8 – Rashford worked his little cock off today. Despite spannering a shot very early on well wide, he quickly redeemed himself by scoring the opening goal with a calm finish from Herrera’s pass. Rashford, along with Lingard tore Zouma, Cahill and David Luiz a new asshole. It was almost like we were attacking a makeshift defence made up from people from the Make a Wish Foundation, whose one wish was to get shafted by Marcus Rashford. The pace and energy injected into the attack showed us that things could get even better at Manchester Untied post Ibrahimovic, who keeps saying he’ll leave if Manchester United don’t qualify for the Champions League next season, despite the fact it’s probably his fault we’re not top, let alone in the top 4 due to some of his finishing. Whilst he is a quality player capable of creating something from nothing, with Ibrahimovic we’re much slower and unable to test defences as much as Rashford and Lingard could today.
Ashley Young: 7 – I don’t rate Ashley Youngs football ability at all, as evidenced by the fact he took out a few ISIS Snipers from halfway across the world with his shots that went flying well over the bar. However, his hard work and determination are to be admired. He’s happy to play anywhere and he did put in a good defensive display. Victor Moses did absolutely fuck all and then he gave Kurt Zouma one or two problems when he moved to Right Back after Fabregas came on. I still hate how he cannot grow hair anywhere on his head. This also annoyed me about Kante.
Michael Carrick: 7 – Helped shore up United’s midfield to see out the game.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: 6 – A few fancy tricks and flicks but he didn’t really have time to do anything. He looked more miserable that Rashford was the centre of attention and not him.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah: 10 – Didn’t put a foot wrong.
Substitutes Not Used:
Sergio Romero, Daley Blind, Samantha Martial, Mkhitaryan, Chelsea Legend Juan Mata, some other people.
Enjoy this photo of a sad, hat deprived content.
So tactical genius and top thumb impersonator Louis Van Gaal lost with a team consisting of Rooney, Van Persie and Di Maria, at home to a fat ginger who looks like the lovechild of Herman Goering, the Nazi who founded the Gestapo in 1933, and a bottle of fucking Fanta. In a game of only two shots on target, and neither of them being from Manchester United, we witnessed a team only good at defending, beat a team only good at attacking, by one actual meaningful fucking attack. As a result, Tadic somehow managed to get the ball after it rebounded of the post, UNFUCKINGCHALLENGED, and could pass the ball into the back of the net with NO FUCKING BLOCKS. What a time to be alive.
David De Gea: 100 – I seriously don’t think David De Gea made a save all match, but I’m giving him a rating of 100 for two reasons. The first would be out of sympathy of having to watch his defence act like a bunch of kids with Spina Bifida try to chase a fucking butterfly across a fucking motorway, and at times when I watch them defend I wish they would actually do that, furthermore I wish they’d get hit by a lorry too. The second reason I give David De Gea a rating out of 100 is because you never know, he might read these match ratings and believe I am the voice of reason and truth and that his defenders really are a bunch of fucking idiots. He might be touched by the rating of 100 and decide to stay at United, instead of leaving to win titles and Champions League’s at Real Madrid. Please David, SIGN THE NEW CONTRACT. DON’T LEAVE US WITH BEN FUCKING AMOS AGAIN.
Antonio Valencia: 5 – You know when Antonio Valencia is one of your best performing players that you’re seriously playing shit, like fucking contracting AIDS shit. As a matter of fact his crossing was particularly shit, but that’s hardly unsurprising, but his defending was as bad as everybody else and he put somewhat of a decent shift in, particularly going at Bertrand a few times. You have to think what could have been if he was as good at football as he was modelling in pictures which are the closest thing to depicting a rape without actually showing it, then he’d be fucking brilliant. (SEE THE ABOVE PHOTO)
Phil Jones: 5 – I give Phil Jones a slightly higher rating than Smalling and Blackenbauer as he was slightly less retarded than these two cunts. His defending wasn’t particularly bad and he wasn’t really at fault for the goal, and if anything I feel people have really given him a lot of unnecessary stick in recent weeks, but then again, you’re all Manchester United fans and the majority of you act like you’re a spoilt 16 year old slag who thinks she’s Daddys’ little princesss and therefore doesn’t have to do anything to earn happiness, which is quite ironic as you’re reading this on your stolen MacBook pro in your fucking bathtub full of cold fucking water in a council house you only have be because you scrounge of benefits. Yeah, I’m even willing to attack the reader in this so maybe you’ll stop asking me to do this shite. It’s worth noting that this may not strictly be true for most United fans(Like me), but it probably is.
Chris Smalling: 3 – Smalling was defending like a suicide bomber, thrown onto a pitch full of professional athletes and told to play well. As a matter of fact he didn’t and as a result it has severely disappointed me that he is not one of the gunman involved in the Charlie Hebdo attack, because then at least he would fuck off into a prison cell at he wouldn’t start another fucking game for us until he mans the fuck up and stops being a little bitch. Sort your shit out Chris, and trim that scraggly beard.
Daley Blind: 100,000,000 – You know one of the funniest things I’ve seen on Twitter is people posting their best Manchester United XI’s, and putting Carrick ahead of Blind. You know, Blind is smarter, better defensively and offensively and better look than Carrick. Picking between Blind and Carrick is like choosing which you’d prefer between a bar of chocolate and cancer. You’re going to go for the milky Daley Blind. If only we could clone Daley Blind and play him in all 10 outfield positions, we’d have already one the league because he’s so good. He started at CB, and was awesome, he played as a CDM for a matter of minutes and was awesome, and then he played at LWB and was also awesome. In fact, Blind is one of the smartest players in our team and when we play him at CDM, we look like a different team. He makes many interceptions to protect our Downs Syndrome ridden defence and as a result he takes the ball of them and plays good passes to players, instead of letting players like Tyler Blackett think that he’s Franz fucking Beckenbauer and instead players a 50 yard pass into a barrel of no hopes and fucking dreams, because when he’s playing, there’s no fucking hope, and we can’t even dream about winning. But we can dream about Daley Blind and his sheer beauty. Wet dreams for everyone.
Luke Shaw: 5 – If I had a pound coin for every time Luke Shaw got injured, I’d be able to hire Manchester United a decent fucking physio, and pay his transfer fee. As matter of fact he was quite good, he made an amazing tackle, clearance thing to stop Pelle and his neatly done hair having a shot at goal, although his attacking was a bit shite. However, it was promising as he’s just come back from a two month injury, only for him to go off injured again. However, we can only hope this is a precation and his little 18 year old ass with a good beard for his age is back on the pitch soon, mainly so we don’t have to see Tyler Blackett play a game off football again, and we can play Blind IN MIDFIELD.
Michael Carrick: 0 – Now, I like Carrick and he has been decent this season, but today he was about as useful as that stupid piece of plastic they put on your McFlurry at McDonalds, and by useful, I mean he was entirely fucking pointless and might as well not have been there. This is because he gave away the ball so many times, that someone who was watching football for the first time would think passing to the opposition is the aim of the fucking game. Furthermore, he was poor defensively and shouldn’t have even let the ball get to Tadic (Shit abs) for his goal. It’s even more ridiculous that despite such a terrible performance, he managed to play 90 minutes. Fucking hell Van Gaal.
Wayne Rooney: 3 – One good game in midfield and we play him there every game. Now, once day he might be able to do a Scholes and play in midfield, but right now he’s just too good to waste there and we should instead be playing him upfront in his best position and maybe play the player we’re playing upfront, in his best position which happens to be the POSITION ROONEY IS CURRENTLY PLAYING IN. However today Rooney was poor, he gave the ball away a lot and really didn’t do anything worth his £300k a week. He should give his weeks wages to Daley Blind. He deserves it for being so sexually attractive.
The 3-5-2 Formation: MINUS 352 – Shite, absolutely shite. Hopefully Van Gaal losing to Koeman means we never play this shit cunt formation ever again.
Juan Mata: 4 but -1 point for every good chance he missed, you can do the maths – If ever there was a bright spark, a nice piece of play or a chance created, it came from Juan Mata. Although he was still poor today, he was the closest we got to scoring as he had three really good opportunities which you’d usually expect Juan Mata to score, but he missed them all, the first almost being an open goal, the second being unmarked from 6 yards out and the first a decent effort from the edge of the area.
Angel Di Maria: 0 – I don’t want to rip Angel Di Maria too much for playing like a fucking sunflower because with all due respect he really doesn’t have the qualities to play upfront at all. Look at his time at Real Madrid, he had his best times in midfield, not on the wings or upfront because he’s not the best finisher of the ball in the world. However, Angel Di Maria is an exceptionally creative player and he’s excelled in the center of the park, where he gives up pace and drive we’ve lacked in midfield since Anderson was Europe’s golden boy, and a work rate we’ve lacked since Tom Cleverley and a creativity we’ve lacked since Kleberson. It’s even clear that he had an amazing start to his Manchester United career whilst playing in CENTRAL MIDFIELD with a CDM behind him in Blind to cover his ass defensively. So why change that now? When we put him on the wings he was ineffective and basically not in games at all, and then we put him upfront and he misses numerous opportunities.
Robin Van Persie: 3 – Van Persie was playing deeper than a females condom in a nuns vagina, and you could say his greying hair could symbolise the significant amount of dust you’d find up there too. He didn’t really do anything worthwhile though and went off injured, right at a time when we started creating chances and needed a proven goal scorer to miss all of them instead so we could throw a fucking tantrum. His best moment was when he was getting angry for not being given the ball back and we all in that moment had the slightest ounce of hope that he would punch Phil Dowd in the face, and although he would have been sent off, we’d have lost anyway but at least we could take someone good from today.
Victor Valdes and his stupid earring: He looks like a fucking Spanish conquistador who is about to start a mutiny on his ship and turn to a life of piracy.
Falcao, oh, wait he’s not in the fucking squad. GREAT.
Tyler Blackenbauer: -10 – One things for sure, you can bet your house that Tyler Blackett still sucks those rocket lollies in his paddling pool all summer the fucking useless go through puberty and grow a fucking brain bastard. If anything a man as lanky as him should have been getting to Tadic’s shot and at least blocking it on the line, that’s what Jagielka would have done. To further his embarrassment he tried a volley right as the whistle went and although he wouldn’t have counted, it was still terrible as it probably went out of the fucking stadium. And to think there were rumours we were going to give him a £50,000 a week contract.
Ander Herrera: +100 for not being as shit at passing as everyone else – However, you have wonder how he doesn’t start more matches? Is this the beginning of Wilfried Zaha and Lauren Moyes part two? But instead of Zaha it’s Ander Herrera and instead of David Moyes daughter, it’s the man who looks like a big thumbs little finger instead? DOES LVG HAVE A DAUGHTER AND DOES SHE ALSO LOOK LIKE A FINGER? Herrera has clearly been one of our best midfielders this year, he picks out the right passes and transitions the ball from defence to attack well, and he can fucking tackle too. So why don’t we play him? Probably nudes of Van Gaal or LVG still thinks he should be getting bullied in secondary school because he looks like a 14 year old embryo who gets picked on by all of the emo kids.
Paddy ‘If he comes on will probably have a’ McNair:
FELLAINI: 3 – Came on, didn’t do much as we launched shit long balls towards Rooney instead of him. Sense. So much of it was not used on this dark day.
Louis Van Gaal: 0 – WHY DOES THIS MAN PERSIST WITH THE 3-5-2? WHY DOES HE PUT DI MARIA UPFRONT AND ROONEY IN MIDFIELD? WHY DOES HE MAKE SHIT SUBSITUTIONS? I’LL BRING YOU THE ANSWERS WHEN THE ENTIRE FUCKING WORLD STARTS TO MAKE A LITTLE MORE SENSE.
First of all to those who maybe haven’t read these before, don’t take this too seriously. It’s all one big joke you fucking retard.
Now, being at University I don’t have the time or the motivation to do this on a regular basis, so I would apologise for not doing these match ratings anymore, but I really don’t give a shit. I have one or two end of the David Moyes Era and LVG’s pre-season player ratings I may finish and post in one way or another as it would be a shame to let them go to waste, and people seem to get enjoyment out of it.
Here’s a bonus picture for your enjoyment.
Manchester United ran out 4-1 winners away to Swansea, in what was a rather enthralling game. Two world class goals from Robin Van Persie, and a tap in and an absolute worldie from Welbeck gave United and David Moyes the win, with Bony stealing a consolation for Swansea. It was a good performance all around for United, particularly in the second half, they defended well, DDG was excellent and we took our chances, what’s more, is that it was at Swansea, a very tough place to go. Many teams will go there and come back empty handed.
David De Gea: 8 – DDG Was great today, made numerous saves and nearly died, but this is a man who has taken Nemanja Vidic’s head, to the face. If he can survive that, he can survive a nuclear holocaust, so he’ll be fine. He kept United from going several goals behind in the first half. He’s an exceptional keeper who keeps getting better and better, and was very unlucky to concede a goal.
Phil Jones: 6 – not the best performance from the makeshift Right Back, his passing was poor and he gave the ball away several times, but was decent defensively, won the ball a few times, but was generally more of a liability today. Didn’t help going forward either, our wingers don’t seem to be hugging the touchline anymore, allowing for the overlap, however Jones isn’t Rafael, and doesn’t offer the same effect the Brazilian would.
Rio Ferdinand: 7 – Was solid in defence with Vidic today, winning the ball on several occasions and even helping launch a few attacks, most notably with a brilliant pass to Valencia, who nearly put Welbeck in. He’s showed why he’s still the best English centerback in the world. The FA are stupid, but they’re very stupid to treat him like shit and overlook him and picking fucking Gary fucking Cahill instead.
Nemanja Vidic: 8 – The Big Bad Serb will fucking murder ya. Vidic is getting back to his best with ever game that goes by, even with that terribly injury, setbacks and fitness problems, he has got himself back to a level where we can still consider him one of the best centerbacks in the entire world, just like he used to be. He’s a beast in the air and rarely lost a duel. Fantastic, from the United captain.
Patrice Evra: 8 – Along with the rest of the defence he was very solid today, his cross that was deflected out to Valencia, who would run in and assist Welbeck’s first goal was nothing short of great. He also defended very well, winning several headers, making tackles and launching attacks, on what was quite a lonely left flank, with Giggs and Welbeck both fighting to play off Robin Van Persie. Evra was very unlucky not to get a goal or two for himself, having one great header cleared off the line.
Michael Carrick: 7 – Michael Carrick was great as usual, winning the ball, spreading the play and starting attacks. Went down in the second half after Michu harshly fouled him, and it caused a huge moment of worry amongst United fans. It’s a shame we still have to rely on Carrick so much, he is out midfield. If he’s out, it will fall apart. That’s worrying.
Tom Cleverley: 6 – Woefully average today, Cleverley worked hard and made a few decent tackles and one Paul Scholes esque tackle, but was really nothing more than an outlet to pass to when someone was under pressure, or had no better options. He didn’t really offer anything going forward at all and sat way to deep, but also didn’t help protect our defense much either and he was also at fault for the Swansea goal as he was fannying about on the ball with Welbeck prior to losing it. He’s going to need to seriously improve.
Antonio Valencia: 7 – We saw shades of Valencia’s old self today, he was far better in today’s match than he was in the whole of last season. Although he wasn’t hugging the touchline as much, he was still composed enough to rush in and get the ball across the goal for Welbeck to tap in his first, and did well to receive a Rio Ferdinand pass and play it to Welbeck who was in space a bit earlier, but sadly couldn’t finish. It’s a good sign for the Ecuadorian.
Ryan Giggs: 6 – Giggs had a decent game and provided a brilliant assist for Robin Van Persie’s sensational opener. However a lot of his passing was off target and he was quite frustrating overall. Giggs and Welbeck couldn’t seem to decide who should be playing on the wing, and who should be playing off the striker. Not his best game in a United shirt.
Danny Welbeck: – 9 – Welbeck looked a new man today infront of goal, he scored his first two goals with his feet in over 16 months, one was a simple tap in from Valencia’s pass, and the other was a world class chip after a great pass from Wayne Rooney. He has already doubled his league goal record from last season, and beat his record in all competitions, and he scored his 3rd goal in the last week, two today and one for England. The boy has a bright future.
Robin Van Persie: – 10 – Robin was nothing short of fantastic today, even though he only touched the ball 40 times, and David De Gea touched the ball 49 times, he was exceptional in his two goal performance. His first goal was from a brilliant pass from Giggs, in which he did very well to help set up, where he took the ball down and volleyed over the keeper, and his second was an unstoppable shot from a short run after receiving a pass from Wayne Rooney. He continued where he left off, scoring goals.
Anders Lindegard: N/A – Because he’s shit.
Fabio Da Silva: N/A
Chris Smalling: N/A
Anderson (I have no clue if he has a first name or a surname): -6
Shinji Kagawa: N/A L
Wilfried Zaha: N/A L
Wayne Rooney: 8 – Came on to a mixed reception, a few boos, but several more fans were chanting ‘Rooney, Rooney’. He looked a bit sluggish at the start, and it was to be expected, he’s had no pre-season and it has been marred by injuries, and his last two competitive games have both been for England, several months apart, and as we know, Rooney needs a run of games going. But in the match we could see just how much we missed him, Giggs was misfiring, and we needed that perfect support Striker for RVP, and Rooney delivered. He assisted Robin’s glorious second goal, and his delightful pass assisted Welbeck’s world class chip, in which he got absolutely nailed. A good 30 minutes for the MANCHESTER UNITED striker. Let’s hope there’s more where that came from, but in a red shirt.
During recent years there has been much animosity between Manchester United and Real Madrid mainly from fans of Manchester United. The sales of David Beckham, Ruud Van Nistelrooy after Ferguson had bust ups with them, effectively ending their United careers, Gabriel Heinze deciding to pack his bags and leave after we stuck by him whilst he was plagued by injuries and more notably, Cristiano Ronaldo, who Manchester United made into one of the best players in the world, leading him to win the Ballon D’Or in 2009 had his heart set on joining Real Madrid , has caused some United fans to develop a hate of Real Madrid and their habits of taking some of our best players, with our own Sir Alex Ferguson branding Real Madrid a ‘mob’ who he would not sell ‘a virus’ to. Despite this, the sale of some of our key players, which at first was mainly Beckham, and now Cristiano Ronaldo, has also caused some Manchester United ‘fans’ to get up and start supporting Real Madrid for the sole purpose of Madrid being the second home to some of our legendary players.
Manchester United’s next two quarter final legs against Real Madrid are the first time we have played Madrid in just under 10 years, where we beat Real Madrid 4-3 at Old Trafford in the Champions League Quarter Finals, consisting of a hat-trick by Ronaldo and a late brace by David Beckham which sadly was not enough to draw us level on aggregate, causing us to go out of the competition by losing 6-5 on aggregate, as Real Madrid won their home tie 3-1 with a Van Nistelrooy consolation after a goal from Figo and two goals from Raul. This game also marks the return to Old Trafford of Cristiano Ronaldo, must to the delight to some Manchester United fans, and the disgust and fear of others in what will be the first time he will have returned to Old Trafford since he left Manchester United in an record breaking £80million pound move to Real Madrid.
However I do not support or respect Real Madrid for having some of our former players, neither do I hate them for it, nor do I hate them for beating us 10 years ago. I respect them for their great acts of gratitude, support and community in the aftermath of the Munich Air Disaster, in which Real Madrid played a very important role in helping United get back on their feet.
There was a mutual friendship between former player and Chairman of Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabeu Yeste and Manchester United Manager Matt Busby. Their friendship was first developed after an exciting 5-3 aggregate win for Real Madrid who won 3-1 at home, but succumbed to a 2-2 draw at Old Trafford against a youthful Manchester United squad in the 1957 Champions League Semi Final. Bernabeu was impressed at the job Matt Busby had done with such young players at Manchester United that he offered him a job as Manager of Real Madrid by saying ‘Leave Manchester for Madrid and I will give you a paradise.” But the offer was declined by Matt Busby who said “Manchester is my heaven”. Busby was determined to take Manchester United to glory, both domestically and continentally, and nothing was going to stop him.
10 months after losing to Madrid, tragedy struck. The night after securing a 3-3 draw in which a Bobby Charlton brace and a goal from Dennis Viollet against Red Star Belgrade was enough to put United through to the Champions League Semi Final after a 5-4 aggregate win, Manchester United were in Munich and about to get back on their chartered plane headed for England after it had stopped to refuel. The weather was atrocious; there was heavy snow and slush on the runway, which ultimate meant some players would never get home. After two failed attempts to take off, United players were told to leave the plane and head to the lobby, although 15 minutes later they were all back on the plane and ready to take off, much to the dismay of some of the players, with Duncan Edwards, Frank Swift, Eddie Colman, Mark Jones and Tommy Taylor moving to the back of the plan which they believed was safer, and especially Manchester United’s Irish ‘inside forward’ and devout Catholic Liam ‘Billy’ Whelan, who was believed to have said ‘Well, if this is the time, then I’m ready’.
Captain Thain thought if the plane took a longer run up then they would be able to take off, so decided to start further back on their two kilometre long runway. They reached a velocity that wasn’t safe to take off, with Co-Pilot Captain Rayment screaming ‘Christ, we won’t make it!’. Unable to brake due to the slush, the plan skidded of the runway, through a fence surrounding the airport and down over a road, with the wing of the plane going through a nearby house and the left side of the cockpit hiding a shack which contained a truck full of fuel and tyres, which exploded upon impact before the plane hit a tree. Thain ordered the survivors to make their way back to the airport, although Harry Gregg famously ignored this in order to pull several people out of the plan, including Manager Matt Busby, Bobby Charlton, and a pregnant woman and her young child, whom were family to a Yugoslavian Diplomat, as well as several others.
The FA(You know, that thing Fergie controls using his puppet David Gill) consisting of Alan Hardaker and his narrow minded football league buddies had a big role in the Munich Air Crash. Manchester United had to battle to play in Europe to compete with the best, whereas the FA believed teams competing in Europe wasn’t best for English Football, and they previous denied Chelsea entry, and originally denied United entry, although let them in after. United previously appealed to the FA to delay their game against Sheffield Wednesday the weekend after their second leg against Red Star Belgrade in what was then known as Yugoslavia so they didn’t have to rush back from Eastern Europe. The FA denied this, claiming the Champions League isn’t a priority. So Manchester United were forced to rush back to England, leading them to attempt take off for the 3rd time on February the 6th instead of waiting for the next day to take off, which was ultimately the decision that cost them the lives of those who died and caused physical and mental injuries on the rest of the survivors, the club and English football. They only continued to try to hinder United in upcoming events. Looks like we didn’t own the FA back then…
It was the actions of Real Madrid in the aftermath of this disaster that made me respect them. Manchester United would play their Semi-Final game against AC Milan, managing to win the first leg 2-1 at Old Trafford, but losing the fixture at the San Siro 4-0, causing Manchester United to go out of the competition in the Semi Finals and AC Milan to go through to the Final to play Real Madrid who overcame then Hungarian giants Vasas SC 4-2 on aggregate. Real Madrid would then go on to beat AC Milan 3-2 and win their 3rd successive Champions League. Real Madrid Chairman Bernabeu dedicated this win to his ‘fallen friends’ from Manchester United and even offered to give the trophy to United, an offer that was backed up by Red Star Belgrade, the Quarter Final opponents of Manchester United that fateful season, although this this offer was declined by United, although you could argue that the FA had something to do with it.
After the Munich Air Crash Manchester United won just one of their remaining league games, which ended their title push and saw them fall to 9th in the league. As they did not manage to win the league, they did not qualify to play in Europe the following season. Although Real Madrid persuaded UEFA to invite Manchester United back to the Champions League for the 1959/1960 season, and UEFA eagerly proceeded to do so. But once again, the FA stepped in and refused to let Manchester United enter.
Real Madrid then offered to loan Manchester United Alfredo Di Stefano, who at the time was the greatest player in the world and is quite arguably one of the greatest players of all time and had won the second ever Ballon D’Or in 1957, and would go on to win it again in 1959. Stefano agreed to join Manchester United, who would pay half of his wages whilst Real Madrid play the other half, but the FA intervened and blocked the move as they felt Stefano took the place of a ‘Potential British Player’, much to the disgust of Manchester United, Real Madrid and fans of English Football. Surely such a big name signing, even if it’s only temporary would really improve the stature of the league? Really surprising they blocked it.
Real Madrid also created a memorial pennant with the names of those who died in the Munich Air Disaster on it, and then sold it in Spain in order to raise funds for Manchester United whilst they were at their lowest. Along with that they offered those effected by the Munich Air Crash a chance to use their state of the art facilities in Spain in order to recover from the trauma they experienced, both physically and mentally for free, for as long as they needed it.
That was not all Real Madrid offered to Manchester United. The clubs played a mini series of five friendlies over the course of the next 3 years. Real Madrid would usually charge £12,000 for games like these and then split the money made on the match days with the other club, but Real Madrid told Manchester United to simply “pay what you can afford”. Although Matt Busby didn’t just see this as a chance to make some money to put Manchester United back onto a stable financial standing, but he also saw it as a chance to give the fans some European football that they would be missing whilst the club was being rebuilt, and a chance to give the players a level to aim for by playing world class plays such as Stefano, Puskas and Raymond Kopa.
In total, five games were played. The first one took place at Old Trafford in October 1959, in which Real Madrid ran riot and finished the game 6-1, with key performances from top players such as Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas putting in top performances and attracting a crowd of 63,000. Manchester United challenged Madrid to a rematch the following month, and although the scores were closer, Real Madrid won again, running out 6-5 winners this time. Out of pure generosity, Real Madrid organised a banquet to raise money for the families of those involved in the Munich Air Crash.
The next game was nearly postponed as Di Stefano and Puskas had injury doubts and therefore they might not be able to attract a crowd as big as they previously had done, but Matt Busby insisted the game was played, so Di Stefano and Puskas pushed themselves to be fit and play, like it was a cup final. Manchester United would go on to lose 3-2 in the game played in October 1960. Manchester United and Real Madrid would next play again in December 1961, where Manchester United won their first friendly against Real Madrid, running out 3-1 winners. The following season Manchester United went to the Bernabeu and won 2-0. Later on that season they would go on to win the FA Cup against Leicester City, with Dennis Law scoring and David Herd getting a brace in a 3-1 win, and the first cup final since Manchester United lost 2-0 to Bolton with two goals from Nat Lofthouse in the 1958 FA Cup under Jimmy Murphy, the same year the club was nearly wrecked by the Munich Air Crash.
The Clubs would not meet again until the semi Finals of the European Champions Cup in 1968, almost 10 years after the Munich Air Crash, where Manchester United overcame Real Madrid 1-0 at Old Trafford thanks to a George Best goal, a play whom would go on to win the Ballon D’Or later that year, before drawing the return leg at the Bernabeu 3-3. Although obviously dishearted that his team had gone out in the Semi Final of a major Trophy, Santiago Bernabeu Yeste proudly said “If it had to be anyone, then I am glad it was them”, knowing he had played his part in their resurrection. Manchester United would go onto beat Eusebio’s Benfica 4-1 after extra time, with goals from Brian Kidd George Best, and a brace from Georgie’s fellow Ballon D’or winner Bobby Charlton, who was also one of two Munich Air Crash Survivors to feature in the game along with Center half William ‘Bill’ Foulkes.
You can just see the improvement in Manchester United over those few seasons, the first game at Old Trafford they lost 6-1, yet just over two years later they won 2-0 in Real Madrid’s own backyard. There’s no doubt this resurrection was helped by Real Madrid, they never left Manchester United to rot and crumble, they showed real charity in arranging five games for less than the price they’d usually take to help Manchester United into a financial standing, as well as selling a valuable pennant to raise money for Manchester United and offering them free services to their state of the art facilities. They even tried to help us by loaning players such as Alfredo Di Stefano and by trying to get us back into the European Champions Cup, although the evil FA did their best to put a stop to that.
Matt Busby would go on to brand Real Madrid as ‘family’, and he’s absolutely right. You may now always like your family, but they will always be there to help you when you are at your lowest and help restore you to your highest. Bernabeu replied to this by labelling Matt Busby as ‘the greatest man in football’, and he sure as hell wasn’t wrong. Bernabeu led a Real Madrid resurrection in his 65 year spell in the glorious game of football, and having known what it was like to facing the possibility of going out of existence; he helped and inspired Sir Matt Busby’s own resurrection of Manchester United.
So that is why I respect Real Madrid, because in our time of need, they gave us a shoulder to lean on. They picked us up off the ground where we were facing going out of existence and folding our club and helped give us the money and support we needed to survive, and the prosper to a level higher than they did come 1968. I’m not a Real Madrid fan, and I don’t hashtag ‘Viva Ronaldo’ and ‘Hala Madrid’ on Twitter at all, but I think it’s a story that not many people really know, but should as it’s a very key part of the history of both clubs. It might just give those who have lots of animosity towards Real Madrid a new found appreciation towards them.
Thank you all for reading if any of you have actually got this far! This is the first article I have ever written, so all feedback and constructive criticism is welcomed! I also plan on setting up a blog or something so I can share more articles, if there is anything anybody wants me to talk about, then I’m more than welcome to listen to suggestions, although I already have a few in mind.
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