Tuesday, 31 May 2016

November: Barren run ended as United strike late and injuries mount up

Rooney's late goal against CSKA at Old Trafford finally ends United's barren run in front of goal and sends us top of our Champions League group in the first game of the month.

We look set for a fourth consecutive 0-0 draw and ride our luck, with superb blocks from De Gea and Smalling deny Doumbia and pave the way for the skipper's intervention three minutes from time in our first goal for 404 minutes.

We again make hard work of things when West Brom visit on the 7th, but Lingard's caps a man of the match showing with his first senior goal and Juan Mata's injury time penalty seals it.

With injuries mounting, teenager Cameron Borthwick-Jackson is handed a first team debut against the Baggies and looks impressive as Van Gaal's men move third with a steady and comfortable win ahead of the international break.

Makeshift striker Memphis volleys the dominant and injury-hit Reds side ahead early at Watford, but the promoted hosts hit back and level through talisman Troy Deeney's late penalty in a match that marks Marcus Rashford's first appearance in the senior squad as an unused sub. 

Van Gaal's side have character, though, and in a creditable display of gutsy spirit and determination, snatch victory at the death when Deeney turns from hero to villain when he turns Bastian Schweinsteiger's cross into his own net in Fergie time to send the Reds back to the summit.

Then comes, in my opinion, the turning point of the entire campaign as United lose control of their Champions League destiny with another tepid performance at home to PSV.

The Reds press and dominate, but rue a lack of cutting edge to run out of ideas and steam as two precious points are dropped with a crunch clash to decide our fate in Wolfsburg on Matchday Six.

It's another draw for the Reds three days later as Basti's first United goal cancels out Jamie Vardy's record-breaking opener at the King Power as we end the month third. 

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