Manchester United internationals are now on a break from club duties, as they will be playing international friendlies as part of preparations for the upcoming World Cup. Several Manchester United players have a very good chance of playing at the greatest football tournament this summer, but now in March, there are friendlies first.
While there will be no Man United action, and some of the players are currently in Manchester training without the rest of the squad, the internationals will be all around the globe. Here are the top five friendly matches featuring Manchester United players that everyone should follow. Some big clashes are ahead!
Argentina v Italy
Let’s start off with something a bit easier. Sergio Romero will be in goal for Argentina as the 2014 World Cup runners-up are taking on Italy. The Azzuri have not made it to the finals tournament which was a great surprise, but Luigi Di Biagio is the caretaker manager until further notice.
So, two Man United players will be going head to head as Matteo Darmian is in Italy’s squad. However, it will be unexpected if he is to start the match. The Italian has not been in Jose Mourinho’s plans for a while now and will probably leave the club in the summer.
Nigeria v Serbia
This one is interesting not only because of a Man United player being part of it, but also because it will be played in London. All those Man United fans from London will have the opportunity to see Nemanja Matic in action, as he will lead Serbia against Nigeria at Barnet’s The Hive Stadium.
The Super Eagles (of Africa) will be facing The Eagles, as Serbia are nicknamed. The news from Belgrade this week are that Branislav Ivanovic is no longer the captain, as Aleksandar Kolarov will take the armband from now on, while Nemanja Matic will be his deputy.
England v Italy
Another Italy match, yet this time it is against England. The Three Lions will be hosting the 2006 world champions in their preparations for the tournament in Russia. Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford are part of Gareth Southgate’s squad and it will be interesting to see how will he use them.
Lingard had a very good part of the season following the last international the break and hopefully he will get a chance to prove himself in the England shirt.
Sweden v Chile
So, this was unexpected. Sweden are going to World Cup – as they were heavy underdogs against Italy – while the champions of the last two Copa Americas, Chile, are not going. Victor Lindelof will be playing against Alexis Sanchez in this match and that could be an interesting match-up.
Germany v Spain
And the best for the end. The reigning world champions against their predecessors! Germany will play Spain and David De Gea will be in goal for Julien Lopetegui’s side. These two sides are playing some of the best football we have seen in the past decade and that will be a great clash to see.
Manchester United tend to have lots of international players on their squad. This upcoming break won’t be the exception, as the majority of the side will participate in international matches all over the globe.
Here is a list of all the first-teamers that will be included in their respective country squads ahead of the international break.
The Three Lions’ manager Gareth Southgate has chosen three United players for the upcoming friendlies against Italy and the Netherlands. Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have all made the cut, but several other eligible players were not picked by the former defender.
The most surprising English snub is the one of Chris Smalling, who has been playing at a very decent level of late. Phil Jones was not chosen either, but that shouldn’t be surprising considering how poor he has looked at times. The same goes for Luke Shaw, who has barely seen the pitch of late and should be on his way out of Old Trafford next summer.
Things are not quiet in Italy, as the team failed to clinch a berth in the 2018 FIFA World Cup after losing against Sweden in the playoffs. As such, the team is expected to undergo a massive rebuilding process where Luigi Di Biagio will be the caretaker for the upcoming friendly matches against England and Argentina. And while his squad is filled with veterans and newcomers, United’s defender Matteo Darmian is there. He is expected to be the team’s starting right-back.
Contrary to most teams, Belgium will only play one game – against Saudi Arabia in March 28. Both Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini were included on Roberto Martinez’s squad. The Red Devils are looking to make the final cuts ahead of submitting the final 23-man list. Both United players are expected to make the cut, however.
This one is a bit surprising. Scott McTominay was eligible to represent England and Scotland at international level having never played for either nation’s youth sides. He met with both managers, but decided to play for this father’s country. As such, the 21-year-old is now expected to make his international debut for the Scots side on March 23 against Costa Rica. He will also have the chance to feature against Hungary next week.
Jorge Sampaoli will lead Argentina against two European heavyweights such as Italy and Spain. As such, the manager has decided to call-up most of his regulars. This means both Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo will be in the squad, but their involvements might differ. Romero will remain as the starting goalkeeper, that’s a given. However, it remains to be seen whether Rojo plays as a starting centre-back, as a left-back. In fact, he might not even starts and could wait for his opportunity on the bench.
Chile were one of the top teams that didn’t make it to the World Cup. However, that’s in the read view now, and they will undergo a new process with Reinaldo Rueda in charge. The Colombian tactician will make a few changes to the side, but one name that will remain in the squad is Alexis Sanchez. The talented winger will try to put behind some negative performances with The Red Devils, and will try to gain his confidence back playing with La Roja. Chile will play against Sweden and Denmark.
Victor Lindelof will likely play for Sweden in the upcoming friendly matches against Chile and Romania. The centre-back has not been at his best this season, but he remains the country’s best centre-back. As such, his poor form at the club level will not prevent him from representing the country in the upcoming tournament. If anything, these two games could allow him to gain his confidence back.
David De Gea will be in the squad for the upcoming friendly matches for Spain against Germany and Argentina. As it has been the case in most of the past few matches, expect the former Atletico Madrid star to remain as the starter going forward, a role that he will also likely fulfill in the upcoming World Cup. Juan Mata and Ander Herrera, however, were not chosen by manager Julen Lopetegui.
Les Bleus will have two pivotal matches during March. They will take on Colombia and Russia, perhaps in an effort trying to simulate what Peru and Denmark might do during the World Cup Group Stage. And knowing he still has to make several decisions, Didier Deschamps has chosen his best players available. Ergo, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial have been included on the squad. Pogba is likely to make the World Cup squad, though. Meanwhile, Martial will probably get his last chance to impress the coaching staff in these two games.
Serbia will take on two African opponents such as Serbia and Morocco. Nemanja Matic will be there since he’s the vice-captain of the side. He has his place in the World Cup squad all but assured.
Despite the fact The Elephants didn’t qualify for the World Cup, they will still play in the international break since they will take on Togo and Moldova. The manager Marc Wilmots picked a strong squad, and centre-back Eric Bailly is part of the team. As it has been the case in recent years, he’s once again expected to be one of the defensive leaders for a side that is looking for a bounce-back performance as soon as possible.
Manchester United are getting closer to the finish of the season. This one so far has not been successful, as the early exit from the Champions League has left a poor taste in United’s improvements built on last season. The league title was effectively lost in early December, after a 2-1 loss to Manchester City and never since has there been a real possibility of anyone challenging Pep Guardiola’s side.
There is still the FA Cup to play and Manchester United could go and win it. They will first half to beat Tottenham in semifinals and then repeat that against either Chelsea or Southampton. As Nemanja Matic pointed out, even if the Devils go on and win this trophy, the season will not be a success.
The Squad Was Improvement Last Summer, But Not Sufficiently
Matic said that winning just one trophy of the four possible is not good enough for a club of this stature and he has point. However, what made this season far worse than it could have been is the Champions League exit in the round of 16.
If Manchester United were able to reach at least the quarter-finals, or even the semis, this season would be a good one. Returning to the near-top of European football would be a great thing, especially after a Europa League win last term. This way, a loss to a poor Sevilla side is something that cannot be looked past.
Yet, this summer, Manchester United will need an overhaul. This squad is better than the one from the year before, but if United are to be anywhere near challenging for the Premier League title or Champions League, then many players need to be brought in.
How Many In, How Many Out?
ESPN have announced that Jose Mourinho is ready to offload at least nine players this summer and assemble a new squad tailored to his needs. We will not be talking about the exact number, as that is all just speculation at this point, but the truth is that Man United need to change many things.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave the club while Michael Carrick will join Mourinho’s staff. Luke Shaw is also set to leave this summer, after another public criticism of his displays from the manager. That is already three. Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind are also expected to leave as United will listen to offers, while Chris Smalling and Juan Mata could also be going somewhere else.
Marouane Fellaini could be gone if his contract situation is not resolved and Ander Herrera does not seem like a player that Mourinho could use properly for what he needs. That’s already nine names and none of these players will have a big role in this squad.
Maybe some of them could be useful squad players for when Mourinho needs to rotate, but the message is clear – too many players in this squad are not at the highest level that Manchster United require. The board and the manager will have to work hard in order to bring as many new players in. That is never an easy task, but United have to be brave in the market.
That is not going out and spending crazy sums of money for a couple of players, but getting those that could shine under Mourinho’s guidance.
Manchester United’s Champions League exit at the hands of Sevilla has sparked plenty of debate about the job manager Jose Mourinho is doing at Old Trafford.
Recent home victories in the Premier League against Chelsea and Liverpool should have sealed a top four finish this term, but United are still a long way adrift of local rivals Manchester City.
The measure of the task Mourinho inherited at Old Trafford shouldn’t be underestimated, although a serious challenge must be forthcoming next term if his time at the club is to be viewed as a success.
Read on to find out the three things United must do to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League titles next season.
Get the ‘superstars’ performing
It’s fair to say that neither Paul Pogba or Alexis Sanchez have produced the goods for United on a consistent basis.
Pogba has often looked a shadow of the player who was so impressive at Juventus, while Sanchez has done little to justify his massive salary since joining from Arsenal.
The French midfielder has yet to recognise the importance of getting behind the ball quickly when possession is lost and he would do well to spend some time watching videos of the likes of Paul Scholes and Roy Keane to improve this side of his game.
Sanchez’s arrival at the club was supposed to be the catalyst for United to close the gap on City, but the Chilean forward has been disappointing so far.
Lots of pundits have claimed that Pogba and Sanchez have upset United’s balance, but if Mourinho can resolve the problem it would be worth using thisBetchain bonus code to back United to win silverware next season.
Resolve their defensive issues
Eric Bailly and Phil Jones looked like they were forming a formidable centre-half pairing earlier in the season, but injuries have led to Mourinho regularly shuffling his defence.
Victor Lindelof has struggled to adapt to the Premier League and United desperately need to sign someone to slot in alongside Bailly.
Barcelona’s Samuel Umtiti and Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld have been touted for moves to Old Trafford. In an ideal world Mournho would sign both players, but adding one or the other to his squad would be an improvement on what he currently has at his disposal.
United’s full-back areas are also a cause for concern. Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young have played well this term, but both are heading to the latter stages of their careers.
Luke Shaw has struggled to convince Mourinho that he can nail down the left-back spot and United continue to be linked with other full-backs.
Celtic’s Kieran Tierney and Roma’s Alessandro Florenzi would be excellent additions to the squad and help to improve United’s defensive options.
Clear out the dead wood
United still have plenty of players on the books who simply haven’t delivered on a consistent enough basis.
The likes of Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Marouane Fellaini aren’t the types to build serious Premier League and Champions League challenges around.
Mourinho must move the vast majority of these players along and improve his squad with replacements who are capable of making their mark in a United shirt.
The Red Devils’ boss has given six academy graduates their debuts over the last 18 months, while others have had involvement with the first team in training.
Axel Tuanzebe and Timothy Fosu-Mensah look good bets to follow in the footsteps of youngsters like Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay and herald a return to the days when United had more than asprinkling of home-grown talent.
The jury is still out on whether Mourinho will be viewed as a success at Old Trafford and this summer could be one of the most important in the club’s recent history.
Manchester United might have won 2-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup quarterfinal match on Saturday night, but the post-match events have been far more interesting for everyone. The match itself was mostly dull and uneventful, as Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic scored to brush Brighton aside.
Yet, what happened afterwards was far more telling of the situation in the club. Jose Mourinho’s press conference consisted of some very strong words, targeting, in his own words, every single player except for Nemanja Matic. However, one name certainly had to be dropped and unsurprisingly, it was that of Luke Shaw.
Shaw Is The Scapegoat
The left-back has been Mourinho’s scapegoat ever since the Portuguese arrived at the club. Right from the start he was publicly very critical of the player, mentioning different problems. It would be Shaw’s diet, commitment or displays on the pitch.
Jose Mourinho might be right for some of the things. After all, we are not present at team’s practices and we do not know what happens behind closed doors. Yet, there is a strong sense amongst the public that Mourinho often goes too far with the left-back.
This was at least fourth time when Mourinho made a criticism of Shaw public, this time talking about the player being poor in every department.
“It’s my decision. My reason is that we work on the pitch on certain kinds of movement, with the two full-backs being aggressive to make space for Matic & McTominay. I couldn’t change them both, I decided Luke because Antonio was at least capable defensively”, Mourinho said post-match.
And this quote is quite telling. Mourinho implied that both Shaw and Valencia did not do well and from this point of view, it is logical for Shaw to be substituted as Valencia is more of a leader and an experienced player. However, the way he criticized the Englishman was exactly how he later on described Shaw and the rest of the team.
“Matic was an island of personality of desire, of control… Surrounded by lack of personality, lack of class.”
Exactly, Mourinho was the one lacking class in his criticism of Shaw. Even if Shaw did not do well and even if he was not even “at least capable defensively”, there was no real need for Mourinho to go this far.
Mourinho’s Nervousness Is Growing
This match was comfortably won, even if not with great performance, but it was far from the first time this season. There was no obvious reason for the manager being so aggressive in his assessment of Shaw’s display and it points more to his frustrations following the loss to Sevilla.
Mourinho wanted his team to show a great performance and prove to everyone that the loss in Champions League was just a terrible slip up. Yet, what he really proved was that he was nervous, trying to find culprits for the poor performances in individuals from his side, instead of looking at deeper problems.
Asked after the match if this public criticism could be a risk, Mourinho had an answer.
“Yes, but if they do not perform well, what can I lose?”
With time, he could lose the dressing room. After all, it already happened at Chelsea in his previous job when he grew unaware of his toxic public criticism.
Manchester United will be fighting for another trophy, as they enter the final phases of the FA Cup, beating Brighton & Hove Albion 2-0 at Old Trafford in the quarter-final of the world’s oldest footballing competition. Romelu Lukaku scored the opener, but it was Nemanja Matic who took the Man of the Match award with a goal and an assist to his name.
The match in itself was not an impressive one, as Manchester United once again failed to show a great performance. This win was the product of the pure quality of Jose Mourinho’s team, rather than the scintillating football on the pitch. Here is what we learned from this match.
Nemanja Matic Could Grow Into A Leader
This was a brilliant performance from the Serbian midfielder who controlled the game throughout. Mourinho himself pointed out he was the only player who impressed him on the night, insisting some other players need to step up.
Nemanja Matic managed at least 26 touches more than any other player on the pitch, adding 1 goal and 1 assist to his game in Man United's 2-0 win against Brighton. #MUFC#FACuppic.twitter.com/Nu6AJEYdmy
“I’m happy that we go to Wembley again. We need more personality. Matic was by far the best player on the team. I saw many players with fear on their shoulders. Some of our players need to grow up. I wanted more personality in the team because many many times I felt Matic was an island, he was surrounded by a lack of personality, a lack of class and a lack of desire.”
Those are some strong words from the manager.
Manchester United’s Cup Experience Will Be Important
Manchester United are far away from the title in Premier League and have finished their season in Champions League and League Cup. Now the FA Cup remains the only trophy they can play for and with only two more matches to go, this is a good opportunity for the Reds.
Their experience from the two cup runs they had last season, in League Cup and Europa League, will certainly be helpful. Manchester United will be expected to win both of those clashes, no matter the opponents and that experience can be vital. Tottenham will be in the semis as well, but that is where they exited the FA Cup last season, too. Can Man United go all the way?
Attacking Trio Offers Little
Man United played with a trio of Martial, Lingard and Mata behind Romelu Lukaku, but they have failed to make a big difference on the attacking display of the team. None of them really imposed themselves on the game, as Martial lost more possessions than any other player on the pitch – seven – while Mata’s constant cutting in did not bring a lot of width.
That is why the central attacking areas have often been congested, similarly to the match against Sevilla and United could not thrive against a deep block playing like that. The three of them combined four shots amongst themselves, but three of them were blocked and none went on target.
Brighton’s Campaign Has Been A Promising One
Brighton’s first season in the Premier League has been a good one so far. With eight games to go, they have 34 points and could be on course of staying in the top tier. Their tough schedule in the coming weeks should not come back to haunt them, as there are many sides still sitting below them.
All the credit goes to Chris Hughton and his players who also managed to reach the quarter-final of the FA Cup and now they will be able to focus solely on the league matches. If they continue playing bravely, we will most certainly see them in the Premier League next season.
Manchester United are currently in an awkward situation. The loss to Sevilla at Old Trafford has seen them go out of the Champions League before the real party even started and now things look far worse than a week ago. A win against the Spanish side would have seen them reach their only second quarterfinals since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and only their second win in knockout stages since.
Yet, it did not happen and now United must look forward. They have to look into ways of improving this team that has obviously lacked leaders in key moments of key matches. Jose Mourinho and Ed Woodward should be paying attention to these four full-backs until the next transfer window.
First on the list is Djibril Sidibe. The French right-back has been one of those players last summer that were linked with a move from Monaco after their stellar performances in Ligue 1 and Champions League. He was one of those few that stayed and has had another good season at Monaco.
Sidibe is 25 and is nearing his peak years. He has enough experience at a high level and is not too young. He would not need the patience of growing as a player, like a teenager or a player in early 20s. Sidibe made six assists in Ligue 1 this season and he is a good player on the ball. His passing is neat and his crossing is one of the things many like to point out about his game.
The Spanish left-back has really proved himself this season at Valencia. Under the guidance of Marcelino, this team has been playing some really good football this season and Jose Gaya has been among the three players with most minutes spent on the pitch.
Gaya has been very consistent, putting good performances almost every week and his talent is quite obvious. He is technical left-back and there is nothing that really makes him world class. However, for him right now, that is a good thing, as Gaya seems to be doing everything very good, rather than certain things amazingly and some other not so good. He is an all-around left-back and will turn only 23 this year.
This is a different proposition. Faouzi Ghoulam has been injured since 1 November 2017 and his season is finished. Yet, Manchester United should keep an eye on him. They will most certainly not buy him this summer, but at 27, he is someone that could be a good solution in some other transfer windows.
His injury will take time to get past it and Napoli know that. The Algerian left-back might be eager to change country and Manchester United would definitely be an upgrade for him. He is technically very gifted, as most Napoli players are, and his crossing is very good.
Manchester United might even be able to get him cheaper than some others, because of his injury. Yet, if things turn out well for Ghoulam, Manchester United should be looking at him. The full-back positions need upgrading and Ghoulam would definitely improve this side on the left flank.
Manchester United are coming off a disappointing exit in the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League after losing 1-2 to Sevilla in Old Trafford. However, they need to bounce back quickly because they have another huge game coming up in the Emirates FA Cup. The Red Devils will try to sneak into the tournament’s semifinals when they host Brighton Hove & Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Mourinho announced that he will have the same squad that lost against Sevilla this past Wednesday. Even though he might tweak the starting XI, this basically means the list of available and unavailable players won’t change. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera remain out, as well as Phil Jones, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo.
Meanwhile, Brighton won’t have Anthony Knockaert. The French will serve the first game of a three-match ban after being sent off at Everton last weekend. The list of absentees also includes Steve Sidwell, who has been dealing with a back problem for quite a while. Two other names could add themselves to it in Dale Stephens and Gaetan Bong. Chris Hughton confirmed that both players will be game-time decisions due to minor injury problems.
Manchester United’s form needs to be separated in two separate contexts. Even though they got eliminated from the UEFA Champions League after losing to Sevilla at Old Trafford earlier this week, Jose Mourinho’s men were riding a good run of results prior to that shocking defeat. The Red Devils were coming off a convincing 2-1 against Liverpool the last time out in the Premier League. Tthey have had four wins in the past five EPL games as well, settling themselves in second place in the standings. Their FA Cup form has been quite good as well, winning their prior three games while scoring eight times and conceding none.
On the other hand, Brighton have been better than expected in the Premier League. They are in 11th place and do not appear to be complicated with a potential relegation race. And to make things even better, they have reached the last eight of the competition for the first time since 1986 after a 3-1 home win over Coventry City. The Seagulls also defeated Crystal Palace (2-1) and Middlesbrough (1-0) in the previous rounds. United will be their toughest test to date, though.
These two sides have met once before this season. United won that game 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Lewis Dunk.
Considering the team will probably want to wash away the wounds of the CL elimination and with Brighton probably focusing on finishing the Premier League as strong as they can, United are massive favourites and they shouldn’t have problems to reach the FA Cup’s semifinals.
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Manchester United host Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup on Saturday aiming to bounce back from their disappointing exit from the Champions League.
Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Sevilla saw United exit the tournament at the last-16 stage and leaves them with just the FA Cup as the only trophy they can claim this season.
Brighton were unfortunate to leave Old Trafford empty-handed back in November in the Premier League, when a Lewis Dunk own goal was the difference in a 1-0 win for the home side.
United are 7/20 favourites with 1xbet to win the game, with Brighton priced at 21/2 and the draw on offer at 22/5.
Marco Rojo and Ander Herrera could come back into contention for selection for United, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Phil Jones and Daley Blind remain on the sidelines.
Manager Jose Mourinho will probably shuffle his pack after the Sevilla disappointment, although he will undoubtedly still pick a strong team.
Sergio Romero could give David De Gea a breather in goal, while Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof may return in defence. Scott McTominay is likely to return in the middle of the park.
Brighton’s Anthony Knockaert is suspended after receiving a straight red card in the 2-0 loss at Everton, but Jiri Skalak is expected to make the squad after being sidelined for some time with an ankle problem.
Steve Sidwell, Isaiah Brown and Dale Stephens have all been ruled out.
United boast an excellent record against the Seagulls having won 11 and drawn five of their previous 16 meetings.
That run includes their meeting in the 1983 Cup Final that United won 4–0 after a replay. The Red Devils can be backed at 13/1 to match that scoreline this weekend.
Romelu Lukaku has been United’s danger man during United’s run to the last eight, scoring four goals in three games. The Belgian is priced at 10/11 to get on the scoresheet again.
Brighton’s only previous victory over United was a 1-0 success back in 1982. A replay is likely to be their best hope of reaching the semi-finals, although they are on offer at 20/1 to repeat that result at Old Trafford.
Chris Hughton’s side had been in decent form prior to last week’s defeat at Everton, winning five and drawing two of their previous seven fixtures.
However, Mourinho will be desperate to see United put their Champions League exit behind them and they look banker material to progress to the last four.
United have generally been solid at Old Trafford this season and can be backed with confidence at 4/5 to win to nil on Saturday.
Manchester United are in an awkward situation ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club. Logically, everything that has been done post-2013 has been compared to those good old times when Manchester United were Premier League winners. This season has been a rocky one so far. It is Jose Mourinho’s second season at the club and for the first time in his career, he will not win the league title in his second season at a club.
Putting things into perspective, that is not that much of a surprise. Before the season started, there was a feel of positivity that Manchester United will be fighting for the 21st league title, but soon afterwards it appeared to be unrealistic. Simply, a Manchester City side arrived playing by far the best football of all English teams, putting performances that many think are good enough for them to attack the Champions League trophy.
Putting Things Into Perspective
Now that we know that, there is no great sadness that United will have to wait for at least another year. No team was anywhere near the Cityzens and everyone accepts that. Yet, when people talk about this Mourinho’s side, everyone is rightly so comparing it with the one from the previous season.
Manchester United finished sixth in the league with more matches they have not won than the ones they did. When you think about it, there has been some big, evident progress. Manchester United already have more goals scored and more matches won they did at the end of last season and they are on course to finish second, as the best team of the rest of the league. In this circumstances, that is not too bad.
However, is that good enough? When we talk about putting things into perspective, then we have to always put it in perspective. We cannot, therefore, only talk about the Premier League. We have to talk about other competitions as well.
Is This Progress Good Enough?
Manchester United lost in League Cup quarter final to Bristol City. It was a poor result in a season when the Devils were holders. Yet, this is not something that anyone should get too worried. In FA Cup, Man United are about to play Brighton and Hove Albion and should they win, they will reach the semifinal and play at Wembley once again. If they win the trophy in the end, it will salvage the season at least a little bit.
After winning Europa League, Manchester United came back to Champions League and they had a very good chance of making a good result. Defining a good result would be a bit tough, as everyone has different expectations, but quarterfinals would have been a good start.
After drawing CSKA, Basel and Benfica in group stages, United were once again part of a good draw, as they drew Sevilla. This was by no means peak Sevilla, by no means the team of the last season that even lost at the hands of Leicester and far from the side that won the Europa League against Liverpool.
Will the second place in the league, a win in the FA Cup and a loss in round of 16 in Champions League be good enough? It would be a progress, especially in the league. Yet, Manchester United have fallen far behind since Ferguson retired and they do not need slow progress. Things need to get better and faster. This is, after all, one of the biggest clubs in the world.