Match Report: Real Madrid 2-1 Manchester United

Originally published for on 8/8/2017.

Manchester United were unable to kick off the competitive season with a trophy, suffering a narrow defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup.

On a humid night in Skopje, a second-half strike from Romelu Lukaku proved only to be a consolation for United, as goals from Casemiro and Isco were enough to seal a 2-1 victory for the European champions.

Real Madrid enjoyed the majority of possession and chances in the first half, with Welsh forward Gareth Bale firing wide from close range and Casemiro rattling the crossbar with a header early on.

The Champions League holders took the lead after 24 minutes when Casemiro found the net, latching onto a Dani Carvajal through ball. Despite looking marginally offside, the flag stayed down and the Brazilian was able to finish past David De Gea.

Real continued to press, with both Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos forcing good saves from De Gea either side of the half-time break, before Isco doubled the lead for Zinedine Zidane’s side, coolly finishing off a well-worked one-two with Bale.

Lukaku, Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic were all making their official debuts for United, and the Reds went close to pulling one back when Paul Pogba’s header was parried by Madrid keeper Keylor Navas, but Lukaku was unable to convert the rebound from close range.

Bale almost made it 3-0 when his effort thundered against De Gea’s crossbar, but it was game on less than a minute later when Lukaku pulled one back for United. A low effort from Matic was parried by Navas, with the Belgian striker showing a killer instinct to pounce on the loose ball and halve the deficit.

United continued to push for an equaliser, with substitute Marcus Rashford looking lively. The England international came close to sending the tie into extra-time when he went through one-on-one against Navas, only to have his effort tipped around the post by the Real keeper.

Fellow substitute Marouane Fellaini also nearly found a way through late on with a header, but was again denied by the impressive Navas as Real Madrid held on to claim victory in the first ever Super Cup meeting between the two sides.


United: De Gea; Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Darmian; Matic, Herrera (Fellaini 56), Pogba, Mkhitaryan, Lingard (Rashford 46); Lukaku. Substitutes not used: Romero, Blind, Carrick, Mata, Martial.

Booked: Lingard, Rashford.

Real Madrid: Navas, Carvajal, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Isco (Lucas Vazquez 74), Benzema (Ronaldo 82), Bale (Asensio 74). Substitutes not used: Casilla, Nacho, Theo, Kovacic.

Booked: Carvajal, Ramos.


Although the result in Skopje was disappointing, Jose Mourinho will be happy that all three of his new signings got 90 minutes under their belts in tough conditions. After missing a good chance earlier in the game, Lukaku will take confidence from a well-taken goal on his competitive debut, while Lindelof and Matic – making only his second appearance since May – will be one step closer to full fitness ahead of this weekend’s Premier League kick-off.


United emerged from the showpiece event with no fresh injury concerns, with plenty of players looking like they’re ready to hit the ground running for the new season. David De Gea was in fine form once again, making a string of top-drawer saves to prevent Real from further extending their lead, while Marcus Rashford proved to be a real handful for the Madrid defence when he came off the bench. The Reds showed tremendous determination to get back into the game from being 2-0 down, creating good chances and fighting valiantly against the Champions League holders, which will give Jose – who praised the team for their spirit after the match – plenty of encouragement for the season ahead.


Our attention now turns to the return of the domestic season, with United starting the campaign with a home game against West Ham United on Sunday 13 August. We’ll be welcoming a familiar face back to Old Trafford, with former Reds striker Javier Hernandez set to make his debut for the Hammers.



Chelsea break United hearts in U21 Premier League Final

Originally published for Quays News on 14/5/2014

CHELSEA’S youngsters came from behind to win 2-1 against Manchester United and claim the Barclays Under 21 Premier League title, spoiling the Reds’ party in front of over 13,000 spectators at Old Trafford.

A first-half strike from Tom Lawrence put United in front, but a goal in each half from Charly Musonda and Lewis Baker sealed victory for the Blues, ending the home sides’ hopes of retaining their U21 Premier League crown.

Both sides fielded players with first team experience in a thrilling game which sees Chelsea complete the double after their FA Youth Cup triumph over Fulham.

After a combative opening ten minutes, which saw referee Paul Tierney produce three yellow cards, it was United who dealt the first blow early on.

Saidy Janko’s cross allowed James Wilson to tee up Lawrence, who showed great composure to work room for a shot and coolly finish past Chelsea keeper Jamal Blackman.

United’s lead was shortlived when Musonda beat three men and fired past Ben Amos to score a magnificent solo effort just ten minutes later.

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United’s U21s hammer Aston Villa

Originally published for Pride of All Europe on 8/4/2014. Below is the original unsubbed copy. Please see link for subbed version.

Jonny Evans returned to action as Manchester United’s under 21 side ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

The centre back, who has been out of action for over two months with a calf injury, played for over an hour as the young Reds side recorded their first win in four games to keep their end of season play-off hopes alive.

First half goals from James Wilson and Joe Rothwell put the hosts in front, before Saidy Janko sealed the three points early in the second half.

United enjoyed most of the possession in the first half, and were nearly ahead after just three minutes when a mistake from Villa keeper Bradley Watkins gave Janko a chance to score, but the angle was too tight for the Swiss youngster to capitalise.

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First World War exhibition to launch in Salford

Originally published for Quays News on 2/4/2014. See link for examples of relevant online treatment.

A FREE exhibition exploring the experiences of people from the North West during the First World War will be launched in Salford this weekend.

Imperial War Museum North, in Salford Quays, will run ‘From Street to Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region’ from 5 April to 31 May.

It is the largest ever exhibition of its kind and marks 100 years on from the start of the war.


Imperial War Museum North will host a new WW1 exhibition

Rare manuscripts offering an insight into famous war poet Wilfred Owen’s time with the Manchester Regiment are on display, as well as a letter from the South Lancashire Regiment’s Clement Attlee, who would later go on to become Labour Prime Minister.

Director of Imperial War Museum North, Graham Boxer, said: “The objects we display highlight the poignancy and courage of people who shaped and were shaped by this first global conflict.

“Even a century later there are stories untold, experiences undiscovered and tales that will surprise.”

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Psychedelic music festival set to sell out in Manchester

Originally published for Quays News on 26/03/2014.

PSYCHEDELIC rock bands from across Britain are heading to Manchester for a new music festival.

Tickets are selling out fast for the first ever “Manchester Psych Fest” at the Northern Quarter’s live venue Night and Day Café on May 31.


HEADLINERS: Five-piece band Toy will headline the festival

Local and established psychedelic rock bands  will play throughout the evening and organiser James Elvin believes there is a gap in the market for the event.

“The reason it started up was a selfish one, I guess,” he said.

“I’m heavily into music that comes under the psychedelia umbrella, so I wanted to put an event on with either the bands I know, want to see or want to be brought together under one roof.

“There are loads of cool events going on in the UK, Europe and beyond, so there must be a market for it. As long as the music is good and people are having fun, that’s the most important thing.”
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