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The Making of a Legend: The Mark Wilson Chronicles (Part Ten: Will Wilson enjoy a trip to the Theatre of Dreams)


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April 2036:

April 1st:

The start of the month sees J.Ashmeade winning the Premier Division Player of the Month after seven goals in four games and earning a rating of 8.65. It's also note worthy that the other two places were taken by my players.

I have also been awarded the Manager of the Month after winning all four of the league games

April 3rd:

I have been offered a new four year contract worth £59,000 per week. I have asked the club to give me till the end of the season to decide

April 8th:

Napoli (h) Champions Cup ¼ Final 1st Leg

Napoli controlled the opening exchanges and on the 17th minute we had J.Brennan to thank after a he denied Napoli with a world class save. Twelve minutes later though he was helpless to deny J.Carlos who lashed a ball in from an acute angle. With eight minutes remaining in the half Napoli had another chance to score with a great team move which saw U.Akilu sliding in to save the day.

The second half was a lot better for my side as we piled on the pressure and on the 55th minute J.Ashmeade levelled the scores with a brave header from a D.Leonardi cross. Ten minutes later D.Leonardi came close with a low shot which beat the keeper but not the upright. Soon after the same player stung the keepers fingers from outside the area. We were running the show and with two minutes remaining in the game S.Pino threaded the ball to the feet of C.Yildirim who slotted the ball just wide of the post.

Man Utd 1-1 Napoli J.Ashmeade 55 / J.Carlos 29

J.Brennan, B.King, J.Smith (K.Chui-Ho), L.King (A.De Russis), U.Akilu, M.Vandamme (C.Yildirim), A.Xhepa, D.Leonardi, A.Kone, S.Pino, J.Ashmeade

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April 12th:

Watford (a) (33/38)

The first half was a real none event with neither my side or the Watford side getting out of the middle third of the pitch. The only real chance of the half saw Watford stinging the fingers of J.Brennan. Deep into injury time though I was forced into a change as K.Jardine fell awkwardly and counted carry on.

The second half four minutes old when we broke the deadlock as A.Grossi ran through the defence with ease and fired a M.Vandamme through-ball into the back of the net. On the hour we had another chance to score as S.Pino curled the ball into the area but A.Grossi headed wide of the post. We were all over the Watford side however we couldn't get close to adding a second goal and on the stroke of full time we were punished as F.Jose fired in from close range after they counter attacked us

Watford 1-1 Man Utd F.Jose 90 / A.Grossi 49

J.Brennan, L.King, A.De Russis (M.Taramasco), T.Franco, U.Akilu, A.Xhepa, A.Kone, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (inj 45+3 S.Pino), J.Ashmeade (A.Grossi)

The injury news isn't great for K.Jardine sees K.Jardine out for around two months after picking up a hip injury during the game

 

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April 16th:

Napoli (a) Champions Cup ¼ Final 2nd Leg (agg 1-1)

A poor start saw us going a goal down on the 7th minute as E.Ramirez ran through the defence with ease and fired under J.Brennan. However seven minutes later we levelled the scores as M.Khumalo headed in from a M.Vandamme cross.. On the 16th minute though we slipped up as T.Franco's backpass was intercepted and S.Almirall fired past the diving J.Brennan. Napoli were looking the better side and on the 37th minute they had the chance to add a third goal but J.Brennan was on hand to block the effort.

The second half all Napoli as they came out and dominated. On the 57th minute Napoli had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for a foul on A.De Russis. Ten minutes later they had another chance with a curling effort which saw L.King heading off the line. On the 72nd minute though Napoli grabbed a third goal with E.Ramirez ran through the defence with far too much ease and fired under J.Brennan. We just weren't getting near the Napoli players and on the stroke of full time J.Zebala hit home to give Napoli a 5-2 aggregate win and we were out of Europe

Napoli 4-1 Man Utd E.Ramirez 7, 72, S.Almirall 16, J.Zebala 90 / M.Khumalo 14

J.Brennan, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco (M.Taramasco), U.Akilu, A.Xhepa, A.Kone, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (S.Pino), M.Khumalo, J.Ashmeade (C.Yildirim)

 

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April 19th:

Swansea (h) (34/38)

After the disappointment of Europe we bounced back to league action but it took till the 27th minute for us to get close to scoring against Swansea with J.Ashmeade heading just wide of the post from a D.Leonardi cross. Eight minutes later we finally broke the deadlock as A.Xhepa ran with the ball and fired with power under the Swansea keeper. After the goal my players upped the gears and on the 44th minute we added another goal with M.Khumalo heading in from a A.Xhepa cross.

The second half was dominated by my side and on the 53rd minute we had our next chance as S.Pino rattled the crossbar from outside the area. Twelve minutes later we came close to another goal as A.Xhepa threaded the ball to the feet of A.Grossi who lashed the ball wide of the post. We were all over the Swansea side and with three minutes remaining in the game they were reduced to ten men after Felipe grabbed a second yellow card of the game. On the 89th minute though Swansea pulled a goal back as L.Pereda beat the offside trap and rounded M.Gibson to fire into the empty net

Man Utd 2-1 Swansea A.Xhepa 35, M.Khumalo 44 / L.Pereda 89

M.Gibson, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco, U.Akilu, A.Xhepa, A.Kone (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, M.Khumalo (C.Yildirim), J.Ashmeade (A.Grossi)

 

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April 22nd:

Bournemouth (a) (35/38)

A cracking start saw us taking the lead on the 2nd minute as M.Vandamme ran through the defence and fired under the onrushing keeper. Thirteen minutes later it was two nil with A.Kone curling in a free-kick from twenty five yards after M.Khumalo was brought down outside the area. We were ll over a poor Bournemouth side and just after the half hour we made it three nil as A.Kone threaded the ball to the feet of J.Ashmeade who wasted no time in lashing past the keeper.

The second half was much the same and on the 54th minute we made it 4-0 as M.Khumalo hit a powerful strike into the top corner after spotting the keeper off his line. It was far too easy for my side. We did however ease up on the Bournemouth side and with three minutes remaining in the game A.Grossi grabbed our fifth goal as he ran onto an A.Kone through-ball and fired under the keeper. In truth though we should have scored double figures

Bournemouth 0-5 Man Utd M.Vandamme 2, A.Kone 15, J.Ashmeade 34, M.Khumalo 54, A.Grossi 87

M.Gibson, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco, U.Akilu, A.Xhepa (S.Pino), A.Kone, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, M.Khumalo (A.Grossi), J.Ashmeade (C.Yildirim)

With this result we have been crowned Premier Division Champions. However we still have three league games left to play so the celebrations can hold off for now

 

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Sorry for the lack of updates....

May 2036:

May 1st:

The start of the month sees M.Khumalo winning the Premier Division Young Player of the Month after scoring two goals in the two games he played and earning a rating of 7.60.

I have also been awarded the Manager of the Month award after winning two of the three games played this month

May 3rd:

Sunderland (h) (36/38)

After the way Sunderland embarrassed us last time I told my players I wanted more from them. However it didn't start that way as two minutes into the game we went a goal down as A.Lezar beat the offside trap and silenced the Old Trafford crowd. Not long after Sunderland had another chance with a curling effort which had M.Gibson at full stretch to save. I was furious and my players seemed to notice that as just after the half hour we grabbed an equaliser as A.Kone jinked through the defence and fired past the Sunderland keeper. Just before the break we had another chance with a long range effort which went just over.

During the half time talk I went barmy at the players and told them I wanted even more. They actually listened and on the 68th minute A.Grossi headed in a D.Leonardi cross to give us the lead. Seven minutes later we were reduced to ten men as M.Vandamme picked up and injury and I had already used all my subs, On the 78th minute though the numeral difference made no impact as we added another goal with A.Grossi slotting in from a D.Leonardi through-ball. We were controlling the game and with a minute remaining in the game we D.Leonardi hit home from outside the area to give us a 4-1 win. If only the first half was as good as the second half

Man Utd 4-1 Sunderland A.Kone 32, A.Grossi 68, 78, D.Leonardi 89 / A.Lezar 2

M.Gibson, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco, U.Akilu, L.Guglielmi, A.Kone (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (inj 75 No Replacement), M.Khumalo (A.Xhepa), C.Yildirim (A.Grossi)

The injury news isn't good for M.Vandamme as he will be out for around four months after damaging his Achilles tendon during the game

 

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May 10th:

Crystal Palace (a) (37/38)

Again a poor start saw us going a goal down in the 12th minute as A.Diallo headed in from a corner which M.Gibson should have dealt with better. Three minutes later I was forced into a change as P.Lane came on for the injured U.Akilu. On the 25th minute Palace had another chance to score with a thunderous effort which stung the fingers of M.Gibson. Twelve minutes later Palace came close to another goal with a low shot that went just wide of the upright.

The second half was a lot better for us and just before the hour mark we levelled the scores as S.Pino jinked in from the wing and fired with power into the top corner. On the 68th minute we had our next effort as A.Xhepa rose above the defence and headed wide of the post when it was easier to score. We were all over them but couldn't get through the stubborn defence. With seven minutes remaining in the game though Palace had the chance to win the game as L.Caruso failed to hit home a penalty after A.De Russis fouled in the area.

Crystal Palace 1-1 Man Utd A.Diallo 12 / S.Pino 59

M.Gibson, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco, U.Akilu (inj 15 P.Lane), L.Guglielmi (A.Xhepa), S.Pino, D.Leonardi, A.Kone, M.Khumalo (A.Grossi), C.Yildirim

More injury news sees U.Akilu out for around 2-3 months after breaking his ankle during the game

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May 18th:

Southampton (h) (38/38)

The final game of the season saw us actually turning up and playing. It took us till the 19th minute to have the first effort as S.Pino ran in from the wing and fired towards the top corner but the Saints keeper saved well to deny him. Ten minutes later we had another chance with A.Kone rattling the upright from close range when it was easier to score. On the 34th minute we finally broke the deadlock as B.Oppong rose above the defence and headed in a D.Leonardi cross.

The second half was more of a training match as we kept the ball away from Southampton with ease. On the 65th minute we grabbed the second and what turned out to be the final goal of the game as T.Franco screwed his cross into the top corner for a damn fluky goal. After the final whistle we got to lift the Trophy

Man Utd 2-0 Southampton B.Oppong 34, T.Franco 65

M.Gibson, L.King, A.De Russis, T.Franco, B.Oppong, L.Guglielmi, S.Pino, D.Leonardi, A.Kone, M.Khumalo, C.Yildirim

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May 19th:

The end of season awards sees D.Leonardi in the Premier Division Player of the Year after seven goals in twenty eight games with an average rating of 7.51

S.Pino has won the Players' Young Player of the Year after twelve goals in thirty two games and a rating of 7.21

I have been named the Premier Division Manager of the Year

T.Franco, U.Akilu and D.Leonardi have all been named in the Players' Premier Division Select Team of the Year

Final Premier Division Table:

1st: Man Utd (89pts) (Champions) (Champs Cup)

2nd: Man City (81) (Champs Cup)

3rd: Leicester (71) (Champs Cup)

4th: Crystal Palace (66) (Champs Cup)

5th: Tottenham (65) (EURO Cup)

6th: Chelsea (63) (EURO Cup)

7th: Southampton (63) (EURO Cup)

8th: Liverpool (62)

9th: Arsenal (54)

10th: Burnley (52)

11th: Sunderland (44)

12th: Brighton (44)

13th: Hull (41)

14th: Derby (41)

15th: Watford (41)

16th: Everton (39)

17th: Swansea (38)

18th: West Brom (37) (Relegated)

19th: West Ham (37) (Relegated)

20th: Bournemouth (31) (Relegated)

Man Utd End of Season Awards:

Fans Player of the Season: D.Leonardi (63%)

Young Player of the Season: T.Franco

Top Scorer: A.Kone (21)

Highest Average Rating: D.Leonardi (7.59)

Most Man of the Match Awards: D.Leonardi (8)

Most Yellow Cards: T.Franco (10)

Most Red Cards: A.Grossi (1)

May 26th:

I have today signed a new 3yr contract worth £47,500 per week

June 2036:

June 1st:

The start of the month saw T.Franco winning the Premier Division Young Player of the Month after earning a rating of 7.80 after 3 appearances

June 4th:

More awards have been handed out and D.Leonardi has won the Best Player in Europe award after scoring 12 goals in 40 games and earning a rating of 7.59

June 11th:

Transfer news sees 31yr old keeper J.Brennan moving to Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of £12,750,000, other transfer news sees 31yr old full back M.Taramasco joining Olympique Lyonnais for a fee of £9,250,000.

June 15th:

More transfer news sees 20yr old B.King joining Tottenham for a fee of £15,500,000

June 25th:

We have set a new average attendance record with an average of 91,175 fans flocking into Old Trafford

 

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Season Twenty One:

July 2036:

July 3rd:

Transfer news sees 33yr old C.Yildirim joining A.Madrid for a fee of £3,600,000.

July 6th:

More transfer news sees 34yr old A.Kone joining Barcelona for a fee of £6,250,000

July 13th:

Our first friendly of the preseason sees us facing Prestatyn and we duly thrashed them 7-0 with both A.Grossi and K.Jardine grabbing a brace, the other three goals were scored by A.Xhepa, K.Chui-Ho and J.Ashmeade.

Other news for the day sees Holland beating Wales 3-1 after extra time to win the European Football Championship 2036

July 14th:

Transfer news sees 30yr old K.Chui-Ho moving to Real Madrid for a fee of £9,000,000 which could rise to £12,750,000

July 18th:

Another friendly sees us facing FC Red Bull Salzburg, we played well and beat them 4-0 with goals from J.Ashmeade, L.Guglielmi, A.Xhepa and D.Leonardi

July 20th:

After the European Championships a couple of nations have approached me to take over their nations. The two offers are Spain and Italy. I have decided to reject both offers but damn I was tempted

July 24th:

Our next friendly sees us facing Llandudno and we thrashed them 11-1 with three players grabbing a hat-trick. The players were D.Leonardi, K.Jardine and A.Xhepa, the other two goals saw G.Bruni and L.Guglielmi both scoring.

July 26th:

The next friendly sees us facing Port Talbot and we thrashed them 7-0 with L.Guglielmi and J.Ashmeade grabbing a goal a piece, the other five goals were scored by G.Bruni. Port Talbot were reduced to ten men after twenty two minutes

July 28th:

We now faced Cardiff and made light work of them with a 4-0 win with J.Smith grabbing a single goal and the other three goals were scored by G.Bruni

July 30th:

The final friendly of the month saw us beating Wrexham 6-0 thanks to an own goal, a brace from K.Jardine and a goal a piece by A.Grossi, L.Guglielmi and D.Leonardi

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August 2036:

August 1st:

The odds for the forthcoming season sees us quoted at 7-2 second favourites to win the title with Man City 13-4 favourites

August 2nd:

Our next friendly sees us facing AJ Auxerre and we beat them 1-0 thanks to a goal from A.Grossi

August 6th:

The next friendly sees us visiting Italy to face Roma and in an entertaining match we beat the 3-2 thanks to a goal a piece from J.Smith, S.Pino and A.Grossi.

August 10th:

Man City (Wembley, London) Community Shield

A cracking starts saw us taking the lead on the 9th minute as A.Grossi jinked through the area and fired under B.Cvetkovic. Ten minutes later we had another chance as L.Guglielmi crossed into the area but A.Grossi headed just wide of the post. We were all over the City side and on the 28th minute we had another chance as S.Pino smashed the ball against the upright after beating the defence with ease. Just before the break we had our next chance to score with a low shot from D.Leonardi which was diverted wide by G.D'Angelo.

The second half was seven minutes old when we grabbed another goal as L.Guglielmi curled in from the corner of the area. However after the goal it went all tits up as City piled the pressure forward and on the 76th minute L.Edwards ran onto a B.Platt through-ball and fired under K.Swaby. It didn't get any better as five minutes later L.Edwards fried in from close range to make it 2-2. City had the chance to win the game on the stroke of full time as A.Santos fired from close range but K.Swaby saved brilliantly to deny him

The game went to penalties and it was City who had the first penalty with L.Edwards firing in past K.Swaby (1-0)

A.Grossi was up for my side and fired straight into B.Cvetkovic's arms (1-0)

I.Coda Zabetta was up next for City and he hit home with power (2-0)

L.Guglielmi was my sides next taker and he wasted no time firing in (2-1)

G.King was up next for City and fired low to the left but K.Swaby saved well (2-1)

D.Leonardi was our next taker and he fired high into the top corner to level the tie (2-2)

R.Luscher stepped up for City and hit his penalty straight down the middle past the diving K.Swaby (3-2)

L.King was next up for my side but his penalty was dire and was easily saved (3-2)

A.Santos was next for City and fired the penalty in off the upright to put the pressure on my side (4-2)

A.Xhepa had to score and he fired his penalty with power towards goal but B.Cvetkovic saved brilliantly to give City the win (4-2)

Man Utd 2-2 Man City A.Grossi 9, L.Guglielmi 52 / L.Edwards 76, 81

Man Utd: K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith (A.De Russis), U.Akilu (capt) (P.Lane), L.Guglielmi, A.Xhepa, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (J.Ashmeade), A.Grossi

Man City: B.Cvetkovic, E.Aldonate (G.King), G.D'Angelo, F.Tonz (capt), R.Luscher, M.Cortes, I.Coda Zabetta, B.Platt, M.Johansson (S.Poll), L.Edwards, A.Garrido (A.Santos)

 

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August 12th:

Transfer news sees 32yr old U.Akilu joining OM for a fee of £8,250,000

I have also been asked to name the Captain and Vice Captain for the season. K.Jardine will be my Captain with L.King being the Vice Captain

August 16th:

The board have set their expectations for the forthcoming season. They want my side to reach the Champions Cup Final, to win the Premier Division, reach the final of the FA Cup and aren't that bothered about the EFL Cup. I have been given a transfer budget of £380,000,000 for the season, which isn't too shabby

Derby (h) Premier Division (1/38)

The first game of the season and we dominated from the start and on the 12th minute we grabbed the lead as K.Jardine ran into the area unmarked and fired under the Derby keeper. Soon after we had another chance with a long range effort from A.Grossi which rattled off the crossbar. On the 29th minute we added goal number two as A.Grossi ran onto a D.Leonardi through-ball and wasted no time in firing under the keeper. We were all over the Derby side and with three minutes remaining in the half A.Grossi grabbed a second for himself with a curling effort into the top corner.

The second half was much the same as we piled on the pressure and just after the hour we made it 4-0 as D.Leonardi ran in from the wing and fired in at the near post. It was just too easy for my side and deep into injury time we grabbed the fifth goal with A.Grossi completing his hat-trick from the penalty spot after K.Jardine's initial effort was handled.

Man Utd 5-0 Derby K.Jardine 12, A.Grossi 29, 42, 90+1 pen, D.Leonardi 62

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco (.De Russis), J.Smith, P.Lane, L.Guglielmi, A.Xhepa, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (J.Ashmeade), K.Jardine, A.Grossi

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August 23rd:

Swansea (a) (2/38)

After the highs of the first match we hit the lows of a dire performance. Swansea grabbed the lead on the 15th minute as T.Franco slipped with the ball and D.Capek slotted in the opener. Ten minutes later they had another chance with a long range effort which had K.Swaby at full stretch to save. On the 36th minute it was two nil with D.Revuelta curling in from close range. We were being outplayed with ease.

The second half didn't start too well and just before the hour S.Malnar grabbed a third goal of the game. I was furious with my side and on the 67th minute they had another chance but K.Swaby was on hand to block the effort. With eleven minutes remaining in the game Swansea were reduced to ten men after A.Dupont received a second yellow card which was followed by a red. From the resulting free-kick we pulled a goal with S.Pino firing in from 25 yards, We piled on the pressure and with two minutes remaining in the game we added a second goal with J,Smith heading in from a K.Jardine corner. However it was too little too late and Swansea beat us... Not impressed at all

Swansea 3-2 Man Utd D.Capek 15, D.Revuelta 36, S.Malnar 58 / S.Pino 80, J.Smith 88

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco (A.De Russis), J.Smith, P.Lane, J.Smith, A.Xhepa, D.Leonardi (J.Ashmeade), S.Pino, K.Jardine, A.Grossi (G.Bruni)

August 28th:

The draw for the EFL Cup 3rd Rd has taken place and we have been drawn away from home to Premier Division side Southampton

The main draw that I'm bothered about is the draw for the Champions Cup Group Stage. The draw is as follows

Group A: Man Utd (ENG), Barcelona (ESP), SLB (POR), Dynamo Kyiv (UKR)

Group B: Dortmund (GER), Rangers (SCO), Red Star (SRB), KRC Genk (BEL)

Group C: A.Madrid (ESP), Leicester (ENG), Fenerbahce (TUR), AEK (GRE)

Group D: OM (FRA), Napoli (ITA), Shakhtar (UKR), FC Red Bull Salzburg (AUT)

Group E: Olympique Lyonnais (FRA), Bayern (GER), Dinamo (CRO), Zenit (RUS)

Group F: Man City (ENG), Celtic (SCO), FCP (POR), Basel (SUI)

Group G: R.Madrid (ESP), Roma (ITA), Feyernoord (NED), CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Group H: Paris Saint-Germain (FRA), Juventus (ITA), Sevilla (ESP), Crystal Palace (ENG)

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  • 2 weeks later...

August 30th:

Everton (h) (3/38)

Another good start to the game saw us taking the lead on the 10th minute as A.Grossi sprinted through the Everton defence with real ease and fired under the onrushing keeper. It didn't take long till we had another shot as S.Pino rattled off the crossbar. It was too easy and on the 27th minute we grabbed another goal with K.Jardine hit the ball in off the upright. Six minutes later we added goal number three as D.Leonardi dinked the ball over the keeper from outside the area.

The second half was a none event really as my players started to treat it more as a training match and on the 73rd minute we finally added a fourth goal as G.Bruni headed in a K.Jardine cross to end the scoring. I was less than impressed with the sides second half performance

Man Utd 4-0 Everton A.Grossi 10, K.Jardine 27, D.Leonardi 33, G.Bruni 73

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith (A.De Russis), P.Lane, L.Guglielmi, A.Xhepa, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (J.Ashmeade), K.Jardine, A.Grossi (G.Bruni)

After the game I was informed that J.Ashmeade will be out for around a fortnight after straining his calf muscle during the game

 

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September 2036:

September 1st:

Transfer deadline day sees me entering the transfer market. My first and only signing sees 23yr old Russian striker Oleg Scherbakov joining us from Shakhtar for a fee of £39,000,000 which could rise to £42,000,000

September 9th:

The odds for the forthcoming Champions Cup have been released and we are rated at 8-1 to win the tournament with OM 5-1 favourites

September 13th:

Reading (a) (4/38)

Two minutes into the game we grabbed the lead as M.Vandamme hit a thunderous effort into the top corner after the Reading defence kept on backing off him. On the 13th minute it was two nil with L.Guglielmi jinking into the area with ease and wasted no time in slotting in under the keeper. We were all over the Reading side and with five minutes remaining in the half it was three as A.Grossi headed in from close range. On the 42nd minute we added another goal with A.Grossi slotting home his second of the game.

The second half was five minutes old when we added our fifth goal as A.Grossi completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot after K.Jardine was hauled down in the area. As with the previous game though the second half died a death with my players dropping down the gears and we failed to add to our tally.

Reading 0-5 Man Utd M.Vandamme 2, L.Guglielmi 13, A.Grossi 40, 42, 50 pen

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco (A.De Russis), J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (S.Pino), K.Jardine, A.Grossi (O.Scherbakov)

 

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September 16th:

SLB (h) Champions Cup Grp A (1/6)

Five minutes into the game we took the lead thanks to a very dubious goal from A.Grossi as it seemed he fouled the SLB keeper when going for a K.Jardine cross. On the 25th minute we had another chance to score with a long range effort from A.Xhepa which stung the fingers of the keeper. Seven minuets later we grabbed goal number two and this time their was no doubt as M.Vandamme threaded the ball to the feet of A.Grossi who lashed it low past the keeper.

The second half was more of a tactical battle in the midfield as SLB and my side failed to get forward. In the end the second forty five minutes failed to produce a chance and the game ended 2-0

Man Utd 2-0 SLB A.Grossi 5, 32

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith (A.De Russis), P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (S.Pino), A.Grossi (O.Scherbakov)

 

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September 20th:

Ipswich (h) (5/38)

Our good start to the season sees us controlling the game against Ipswich and on the 15th minute we took the lead thanks to O.Scherbakov barging into the area and firing an A.Xhepa cross past the keeper and into the back of the net. It didn't take long till we had another chance with a thunderous effort from O.Scherbakov which stung the fingers of the keeper. We were in complete control but just couldn't finish the chances we had.

The second half was two minutes old when we finally grabbed our second goal with a powerful strike from D.Leonardi which gave the keeper no chance of saving. Ipswich weren't getting anything from the ball and with thirteen minutes remaining in the game they were reduced to ten men after T.Rocha earnt a second yellow card. On the 84th minute we added goal number three as A.Grossi ran onto an A.Xhepa through-ball and dinked the ball over the keeper.

Man Utd 3-0 Ipswich O.Scherbakov 15, D.Leonardi 47, A.Grossi 84

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco (A.De Russis inj 90- No Replacement), J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (S.Pino), O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

Injury news sees A.De Russis out for around three weeks after dislocating his jaw during the game

 

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September 24th:

Southampton (a) EFL Cup 3rd Rd

Another good start saw us taking the lead on the 8th minute as A.Xhepa headed in a K.Jardine cross at the near post. Soon after though Southampton had their first chance with a curling effort which stung the fingers of K.Swaby. On the 20th minute we added another goal with M.Vandamme jinked his way through the defence and slotted in under the keeper. The goal seemed to put the wind in Southampton's sails and on the 35th minute they pulled a goal back as B.Vranckx hit home from ten yards to give my keeper no chance of saving. With a minute remaining in the half Southampton were reduced to ten men after Y.Messaoudi was given his second yellow car followed by the red.

The second half was all my side though as we took advantage of our numeral difference and on the 58th minute O.Scherbakov fired in our third goal with a curling shot into the top corner. Twelve minutes later it was four nil with O.Scherbakov grabbing his second of the game with a well struck effort low into the goal. On the 79th minute we the chance of grabbing a fifth goal as A.Grossi failed to convert from the penalty spot after J.Ashmeade was brought down in the area

Southampton 1-4 Man Utd B.Vranckx 35 / A.Xhepa 8, M.Vandamme 20, O.Scherbakov 58, 70

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (A.Grossi), O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

 

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September 27th:

The draw for the EFL Cup 4th Rd has taken place and we have been drawn away from home to Premier Division side Leicester

Hull (a) (6/38)

We were the better side from the start but it took till the 24th minute to score as K.Jardine played a one two with O.Scherbakov and fired in under the keeper. Ten minutes later we had another chance to score with a low shot from O.Scherbakov but his effort clipped the outside of the upright. We were all over the Hull side and on the 43rd minute O.Scherbakov finally got the goal he deserved with a fine shot.

The second half was much the same as we dominated the play but seemed to struggle with the final efforts. It was Hull though who scored the first goal of the half as A.Pina curled in past the diving K.Swaby. However with four minutes remaining in the game we regained our two goal lead as A.Grossi headed in a M.Vandamme cross.

Hull 1-3 Man Utd A.Pina 80 / K.Jardine 24, O.Scherbakov 43, A.Grossi 86

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (S.Pino), M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (A.Grossi), O.Scherbakov (G.Bruni)

The end of the month sees us top of the table three points clear after six games. Man City are in 2nd place

 

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October 2036:

October 1st:

The start of the month sees A.Grossi picking up the Premier Division Player of the Month after scoring five goals in three games and getting an average rating of 8.30.

I have also been awarded the Manager of the Month award after winning all three games this month

Barcelona (a) Champions Cup Grp A (2/6)

We seem to love our starts and thirteen minutes into the game O.Scherbakov gave us the lead to silence the Camp Nou. It didn't take long till we came close to another goal with a great header from M.Vandamme but his goal was ruled out for a foul. With seven minutes remaining in the half we made it two nil with J.Smith doing the honours from twelve yards.

The second half was ten minutes old when a lack of concentration saw Barcelona pulling a goal back as M.Khumalo slotted in after P.Lane fell asleep. The goal though lifted my side and we started to play the better football and on the 69th minute J.Ashmeade came close with a thunderous effort which rattled the crossbar. With three minutes remaining in the game we scored our third and final goal as A.Xhepa jinked into the defence with ease and fired under the onrushing Barcelona keeper to give us a convincing win

Barcelona 1-3 Man Utd M.Khumalo 55 / O.Scherbakov 13, J.Smith 38, A.Xhepa 87

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (S.Pino), M.Vandamme (A.Grossi), K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

Other Grp A Result: SLB 2-0 Dynamo Kyiv

 

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October 5th:

Chelsea (a) (7/38)

The game in truth was pretty quiet with little in the way of action. The majority of the game was played in the middle third of the pitch. It took till the 33rd minute for the first real chance as A.Xhepa screwed a shot round the keeper and into the back of the net.

The second half wasn't much better with again some dire play. Like the first half their was only one real chance as on the 87th minute I.Bernardi headed in past K.Swaby to give Chelsea the equaliser. In truth it was a fair result as neither side deserved the full three points

Chelsea 1-1 Man Utd I.Bernardi 87 / A.Xhepa 33

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (J.Ashmeade), O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

 

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October 18th:

Burnley (h) (8/38)

This game was a lot better for the fans compared to the last game as on the 8th minute we grabbed the lead as K.Jardine slotted in from close range. Twelve minutes later we made it two nil with A.Xhepa heading in from a D.Leonardi cross. We were all over Burnley and a minute before the half time whistle we grabbed a third goal with K.Jardine curling in from the edge of the area.

The second half was much the same as we controlled the play and on the 68th minute we made it 4-0 with L.Guglielmi jinking through the defence and wasting no time in firing past the keeper. Five minutes later my side was reduced to ten men after K.Swaby picked up an injury and I had already used all my subs, T.Franco went in goal. On the 75th minute though T.Franco was left wanting as R.Gill pulled a goal back for Burnley. Two minutes later though we scored our fifth and final goal as L.Guglielmi ran onto an A.Grossi through-ball to fire under the keeper.

Man Utd 5-1 Burnley K.Jardine 8, 44, A.Xhepa 20, L.Guglielmi 68, 77 / R.Gill 75

K.Swaby (inj 73-No Replacement), L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (A.Grossi). M.Vandamme (S.Pino), K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (G.Bruni)

After the game I was informed that K.Swaby will be out for around 5-6 weeks with a broken collarbone

 

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October 22nd:

Dynamo Kyiv (h) Champions Cup Grp A (3/6)

The game started slowly with the midfield third being the busier part of the pitch. However on the 25th minute a long ball from defence saw L.Guglielmi firing the loose ball into the back of the net. This was the only chance of half.

The second half was alittle better as we started the up the gears and on the 54th minute we had another chance to score with L.Guglielmi coming close to grabbing his second of the game with a rasping effort from the edge of the area. With ten minutes remaining in the game we had our last chance with a powerful strike from J.Ashmeade which stung the fingers of the keeper

Man Utd 1-0 Dynamo Kyiv L.Guglielmi 25

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (G.Bruni), M.Vandamme, K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

Other Grp A Result: SLB 1-0 Barcelona

 

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October 26th:

Tottenham (a) (9/38)

Six minutes into the game Tottenham grabbed the lead with B.King heading in from a corner which M.Joosten flapped at. It took till the 29th minute for us to have our first effort with A.Xhepa rattling the upright from the corner of the area. With seven minutes remaining in the half D.Leonardi gave us the equaliser after running onto a K.Jardine through-ball.

The second half started well for us as just before the D.Leonardi headed in a K.Jardine cross to give us the lead. On the 74th minute we had yet another chance this time the Spurs keeper managed to block a K.Jardine effort. With a minute remaining in the game Spurs levelled the scores after a poor clearance by J.Smith saw A.Lombardo firing back in under M.Joosten. However the scoring didn't end their as on the stroke of full time Tottenham's C.Farmer diverted a low K.Jardine cross past the Spurs keeper to give us three points

Tottenham 2-3 Man Utd B.King 6, A.Lombardo 89 / D.Leonardi 38, 58, C.Farmer 90 og

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

 

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October 29th:

Leicester (a) EFL Cup 4th Rd

The first half was all my side and on the 12th minute we took the lead as L.Guglielmi jinked through the defence and fired with pace under the keeper. Six minutes later we added another goal with O.Scherbakov headed in a K.Jardine cross. Straight from kick off we intercepted the ball and D.Leonardi added a third goal with a wonderful strike from outside the area.. Leicester didn't learn from their error as we did exactly the same with K.Jardine doing the honours from close range. It was getting too easy and on the 23rd minute J.Manuel Fratini brought down O.Scherbakov to earn himself a straight red card. With ten minutes remaining in the half we added goal number five with K.Jardine grabbing his second of the game with a curling effort from outside the area.

The second half ended up being more of a training game with very little action in the attacking areas of the pitch, however on the 77th minute it was Leicester who scored the single goal in the half with S.Stepanovic slotting in from ten yards past M.Joosten

Leicester 1-5 Man Utd S.Stepanovic 77 / L.Guglielmi 12, O.Scherbakov 18, D.Leonardi 19, K.Jardine 20, 35

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (M.Khumalo), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (A.Grossi), K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

October 31st:

The draw for the EFL Cup ¼ Final sees us facing a home tie against Premier Division side Chelsea

The end of the month sees us top of the table after nine games on 22pts some 4pts clear of second placed Man City

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November 2036:

November 1st:

The start of the month sees L.Guglielmi earning the Young Player of the Month award for October after scoring two goals in three games and earning a rating of 7.80

I have also been awarded the Manager of the Month award after winning two of the three games played

Man City (h) (10/38)

Awe began the game the better and on the 18th minute we took the lead with a low shot from A.Xhepa which went in off the upright. Ten minutes later we had our next chance with a long range effort from L.Guglielmi which stung the fingers of the City keeper. With eight minutes remaining in the half City had their first chance with M.Joosten brilliantly denying them at his far post.

The second half started with City coming flying out and on the 53rd minute M.Joosten was called upon to deny the City attack. Twelve minutes later we had our first chance of the half as L.Guglielmi ran into the area with ease but the City keeper saved well at his feet. On the 77th minute we had our final chance as A.Xhepa fired just over from close range when it was easier to score. City had the last chance of the game with a powerful strike which L.King blocked well to deny them a share of the points

Man Utd 1-0 Man City A.Xhepa 18

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (S.Pino), O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

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November 4th:

Dynamo Kyiv (a) Champions Cup Grp A (4/6)

A terrible start saw us a goal down in the 3rd minute as A.Larin beat the offside trap with ease and fired under M.Joosten. Soon after they had another chance after some dire defending saw M.Joosten called upon to save the day. We were being completely outplayed and on the 35th minute they came close again with a long range effort which was headed over by A.De Russis. On the stroke of half time Dynamo grabbed another goal with A.Larin curling in from the corner of the area. Deep into injury time they grabbed a third with A.Larin completing his hat-trick.

The second half was a lot better for my side as they reacted to my half time team talk and started to play. Just before the we pulled a goal back as K.Jardine hit a thunderous effort into the top corner from outside the area. On the 68th minute we had another chance to score with a low shot from L.Guglielmi but the keeper denied him. We were by far the better side and with four minutes remaining in the game we pulled another goal back as J.Ashmeade headed in a K.Jardine cross. However this was too little too late and we lost the game. I was furious with my side and let them know what I thought after the game

Dynamo Kyiv 3-2 Man Utd A.Larin 3, 45, 45+2 / K.Jardine 59, J.Ashmeade 86

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (S.Pino), M.Vandamme (G.Bruni), K.Jardine, A.Grossi (J.Ashmeade)

Other Grp A Result: Barcelona 3-0 SLB

 

 

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November 8th:

Stoke (a) (11/38)

My 800th game in management and it was one of the more entertaining games. The game was thirteen minutes old when the first goal was scored as J.Serrano fired in from the edge of the area. Our reply didn't take too long as on the 29th minute A.Grossi barged through the defence and slotted in from close range. However with eight remaining in the half Stoke retook the lead as J.Serrano tapped in after M.Joosten fluffed a clearance.

The second half was four minutes old when M.Vandamme curled in a brilliant free-kick after D.Leonardi was fouled on the way to goal. Soon after we had another chance to score P.Lane crossed into the area but O.Scherbakov headed over the crossbar. We were controlling the game but with nine minutes remaining we again conceded a silly goal as S.Grant tapped the ball in after J.Smith failed to clear his area. However our reply was swift as on the 83rd minute we were awarded a penalty after O.Scherbakov was brought down in the area, D.Leonardi stepped up and fired in from the spot

Stoke 3-3 Man Utd J.Serrano 13, 37, S.Grant 81 / A.Grossi 29, M.Vandamme 49, D.Leonardi 83 pen

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (S.Pino), A.Grossi (O.Scherbakov)

Managerial Stats:

Played: 800

Won: 498

Drawn: 135

Lost: 167

For: 1736

Against: 922

Win %: 62%

Cups: 20

Leagues: 8

Promotions: 1

Relegations: 0

 

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November 22nd:

Arsenal (h) (12/38)

The first half was a pretty quiet affair as both my side and the Arsenal side battled it out in the middle third of the goal. Their was only the one real effort in the half as A.Grossi fired in from outside the area but the Arsenal keeper brilliantly saved to deny him.,

The second half was two minutes old when we broke the deadlock as K.Jardine hit home from just inside the area after running onto a loose ball. On the 58th minute we had another chance to score with a great team move which saw J.Ashmeade firing just wide of the keeper. Five minutes later though the keeper stood no chance as K.Jardine hit home from twenty yards. On the 77th minute Arsenal had the chance to pull a goal back from the penalty spot after A.De Russis fouled in the area, luckily for us M.Joosten saved the penalty well to deny them.

Man Utd 2-0 Arsenal K.Jardine 47, 63

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane (B.Oppong), A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (O.Scherbakov), K.Jardine, A.Grossi (J.Ashmeade)

 

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November 26th:

SLB (a) Champions Cup Grp A (5/6)

We didn't get started in the game as SLB came out the stronger and on the 13th minute they had the chance to score with a powerful strike which had M.Joosten saved brilliantly. Eleven minutes later though we went a goal down as Fabio ran through my defence with real ease and fired under M.Joosten. On the 38th minute they had another chance to score with a long range effort which saw L.King diverting it wide of the post.

The second half was thirteen minutes old when we levelled the scores as A.Grossi ran onto a D.Leonardi through-ball and fired under the onrushing SLB keeper. However on the 66th minute SLB retook the lead Clemer headed in from close range after M.Joosten fluffed a save. With seven minutes remaining in the game SLB grabbed another goal as Souza diverted a M.Vandamme cross past his own keeper to give us the equaliser. The scoring wasn't finished as deep into the injury time we grabbed the winner as D.Leonardi fired in a thunderous effort low past the SLB keeper to give us all three points

SLB 2-3 Man Utd Fabio 24, Clemer 66 / A.Grossi 58, Souza 83 og, D.Leonardi 90+5

M.Joosten, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (M.Khumalo), K.Jardine (M.Vandamme), A.Grossi (O.Scherbakov)

Other Grp A Result: Barcelona 4-1 Dynamo kyiv

After the game I was told that the result sees us qualifying for the First Knockout Rd.

This was also my 200th game in charge of United winning 141 of them

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November 29th:

Liverpool (a) (13/38)

We started the better and on the 11th minute we grabbed the lead as L.Guglielmi fired in from close range after running onto a M.Khumalo through-ball. Ten minutes later we had another chance as D.Leonardi stung the fingers of the keeper. We were in control of the half and on the 35th minute A.Grossi came close with a stinging effort which had the Liverpool keeper saving well.

The second half though wasn't up to scratch for my players as we never turned up and Liverpool dominated. On the 56th minute they came close with a long range effort which was diverted wide by P.Lane. Soon after A.Xhepa was on hand to block a long range effort. Liverpool were all over us and on the 72nd minute they finally got the equaliser they deserved as J.Grubisic ran through the defence with ease and slotted in past K.Swaby. With three minutes remaining in the game we came close to losing the game as Liverpool broke through the defence but K.Swaby produced a world class save to deny them

Liverpool 1-1 Man Utd J.Grubisic 72 / L.Guglielmi 11

K.Swaby, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, S.Pino (M.Vandamme), M.Khumalo (G.Bruni), A.Grossi (J.Ashmeade)

The end of the month sees us still top of the table after thirteen game and some 5pts clear of local rivals Man City

 

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December 2036:

December 3rd:

Chelsea (h) EFL Cup ¼ Final

Chelsea got off to a great start as within two minutes N.Tataje headed in past my keeper after some woeful defending. On the 18th minute they had another chance to score with a great team move which saw K.Swaby save brilliantly. Eight minutes later we came close to levelling as A.Grossi rattled the crossbar from ten yards when it was easier to score. On the half hour we were awarded a penalty after S.Pino was brought down on the edge of the area, M.Khumalo stepped up and fired past the keeper.

The second was a lot better for us as we started to up the gears and on the 58th minute we close with a thunderous effort from A.Xhepa which stung the fingers of the keeper. On the 66th minute we grabbed the lead as substitute was quickest to react and fired in the rebound from J.Ashmeade's shot. Five minutes later O.Scherbakov grabbed his second of the game and our third goal with a well struck volley. We were in control of the game and with three minutes remaining in the game we grabbed a fourth as J.Ashmeade ran onto a S.Pino through-ball and fired in low past the keeper

Man Utd 4-1 Chelsea M.Khumalo 30 pen, O.Scherbakov 66, 71, J.Ashmeade 87 / N.Tataje 2

K.Swaby, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (M.Vandamme), S.Pino, M.Khumalo (O.Scherbakov), A.Grossi (J.Ashmeade)

December 5th:

The draw for the EFL Cup Semi Finals sees us facing Premier Division side Swansea with the first leg being played away. The other tie sees Man City facing West Ham

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December 6th:

Watford (h) (14/38)

Two minutes into the game we grabbed the lead as O.Scherbakov ran through the defence and wasted no time in firing under the keeper. On the 13th minute we had our next effort with D.Leonardi trying his luck from outside the area but the Watford keeper managed to tip the ball over the crossbar. Watford then had their first chance on the 38th minute as they broke through my defence and fired towards goal but K.Swaby was on hand to block the effort.

The second half was ten minutes old when we had our next chance as M.Vandamme curled the ball towards the top corner but the ball didn't curl enough and went just wide. On the 71st minute the Watford keeper was on hand again to save the day with a brilliant block from J.Ashmeade. Five minutes later we finally got the second goal we deserved as M.Khumalo jinked into the area and wasted no time in dinking the ball over the onrushing keeper.

Man Utd 2-0 Watford O.Scherbakov 2, M.Khumalo 76

K.Swaby, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (M.Vandamme), D.Leonardi, S.Pino (G.Bruni), M.Khumalo, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

 

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December 8th:

The draw for the FA Cup 3rd Rd sees us being drawn away from home against Premier Division side Burnley

December 9th:

Barcelona (h) Champs Cup Grp A (6/6)

The first half saw us dominating and on the 12th minute we had our first chance to score with a rasping effort from S.Pino which the keeper saved well. Ten minutes later we had another chance as A.Xhepa headed in from close range after some woeful Barcelona defending. On the 37th minute O.Scherbakov came close to grabbing our first goal with a curling effort from D.Leonardi which yet again the Barcelona keeper saved. We were all over Barcelona.

The second half was three minutes old when we finally got the goal we deserved as L.Guglielmi played a one two with M.Vandamme and fired in from close range. On the 59th minute we came close to adding a goal but A.Grossi's long range effort was well saved. We were all over the Barcelona side but couldn't get past their stubborn keeper. Our lack of end product came back to haunt us as deep into injury time we conceded a silly equaliser as M.Khumalo (not sure if he's related to the one playing at my club) headed in a cross to give Barcelona an undeserved point

Man Utd 1-1 Barcelona L.Guglielmi 48 / Molefi Khumalo 90+1

K.Swaby, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane (B.Oppong), A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, S.Pino, M.Khumalo (M.Vandamme), O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

 

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December 13th:

Leicester (a) (15/38)

We never really turned up for this game as Leicester controlled the majority of the game. On the 19th minute they had the first chance to score with a long range effort which rattled our crossbar. Twelve minutes later Leicester grabbed the lead as J.Abel jinked through my defence with real ease and fired under K.Swaby. With three minutes remaining in the half Leicester scored again as M.Harris diverted a L.Guglielmi cross past his own keeper.

The second half wasn't any better and on the 56th minute R.Latapy fired in from close range after some woeful defending by my whole side. Eight minutes later they had another chance as they broke through the defence with ease again by K.Swaby saved well. On the 78th minute we came close with our first real effort as J.Ashmeade stung the fingers of the keeper but that was it for my sides performance..Dire

Leicester 2-1 Man Utd J.Abel 31, R.Latapy 56 / M.Harris 42 og

K.Swaby, L.King, A.De Russis, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (M.Vandamme), S.Pino (A.Grossi), M.Khumalo, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

December 15th:

The draw for the Champions Cup First Knockout Rd has taken place and we have been named as a seeded team. The draw sees us facing Italian side Napoli, the first leg will be away from home. This gives my players the chance to exact some revenge for the 5-2 aggregate loss inflicted by them in the ¼ finals last year.

 

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December 17th:

Crystal Palace (h) (16/38)

A brilliant start saw us taking the lead on the 3rd minute as D.Leonardi jinked through the defence and fired under the keeper. Eight minutes later we had another chance with a thunderous effort from the edge of the area which stung the fingers of the keeper. On the 34th minute we had another chance to score as D.Leonardi crossed into the area but K.Jardine headed wide of the post.

The second half was a minute old when we grabbed another goal with O.Scherbakov running through the defence and fired low past the keeper. We were in control but on the 69th minute a poor clearance was volleyed back past L.Caruco. Six minutes later though any chance of the comeback was thwarted as D.Ivanov was sent off for a second yellow card. On the 88tb minute we had our final chance of the game as D.Leonardi fired the ball towards the top corner but the Palace keeper saved well to deny him.

Man Utd 2-1 Crystal Palace D.Leonardi 3, O.Scherbakov 46 / L.Caruco 69

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

 

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December 20th:

Sunderland (a) (17/38)

Sunderland proved a thorn in our side again as they started the better and on the 20th minute they grabbed the lead with L.Davies heading in from close range. Three minutes later they added another goal with D.Lefevre running into the area with ease and wasted no time in firing under K.Swaby. Soon after the had another chance with a long range effort which stung the fingers of my keeper. We weren't doing much in truth but just before the break we rattled the upright after K.Jardine hit from the edge of the area.

The second half was alittle better as we actually managed to stop the Sunderland onslaught but we struggled to break down the Sunderland side. With three minutes remaining in the game we fluked a goal back as M.Vandamme sliced a cross past the keeper. However this was all we managed and on the stroke of full time D.Culum gave Sunderland the two goal lead back with a long range effort.

Sunderland 3-1 Man Utd L.Davies 20, D.Lefevre 23, D.Culum 90 / M.Vandamme 87

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (A.Grossi), K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

 

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December 26th:

Brighton (h) (18/38)

Five minutes into the game Brighton gifted us a goal as their keeper slipped with the ball at his feet and M.Vandamme slammed in the ball. Ten minutes later we had another chance with a powerful strike from O.Scherbakov which rattled the crossbar and went out. We were all over Brighton and on the 36th minute we grabbed a second goal with M.Vandamme lobbing the keeper from just outside the area. Deep into injury time we grabbed a third as L.Guglielmi curled the ball into the top corner from twenty yards.

The second half started a lot like the first half as we piled on the pressure and on the 54th minute we were awarded a penalty after A.Grossi was brought down in the area, M.Vandamme stepped up for the chance of his hat-trick but his penalty kick was easily saved by the Brighton keeper. On the 78th minute we had our final chance of the game as M.Khumalo crossed into the area but D.Leonardi failed to connect with the ball and it went out

Man Utd 3-0 Brighton M.Vandamme 5, 36, L.Guglielmi 45+1

K.Swaby, T.Jarvis, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (M.Khumalo), O.Scherbakov (A.Grossi)

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December 28th:

Southampton (a) (19/38)

The first half was pretty much dominated by Southampton as they piled on the pressure and on the 15th minute they had the chance to score with a long range effort which rattled the crossbar. Soon after they had another chance with a low shot which K.Swaby diverted wide of his post. On the 28th minute though Southampton were reduced to ten men after J.Camera was sent off for a two footed lunge on M.Vandamme. With six minutes remaining in the half ten man Southampton had yet another chance with a great effort which saw K.Swaby at full stretch to save.

The second half was again mainly Southampton and on the 69th minute they finally grabbed the lead with D.Murphy heading in from close range after some poor defending. Five minutes later we had our first chance of the game as J.Ashmeade ran through the defence but the final effort was dire and went wide of the post. With eight minutes remaining in the game Southampton grabbed another goal but this time R.Ramos scored an own goal and we earnt ourselves a very much undeserved point

Southampton 1-1 Man Utd D.Murphy 69 / R.Ramos 82 og

K.Swaby, T.Jarvis, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (A.Grossi), K.Jardine (S.Pino), O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

December 31st:

Awards news sees D.Leonardi being named as the World Golden Ball winner after scoring 26 goals in 50 games, he has also been named World Player of the Year. He was also named in the World Team of the Year.

Another player has won an award with J.Ashmeade being named as the North American Player of the Year after 17 goals in 35 games

The end of the month sees us top of the table some 4pts clear of second placed Sunderland after 19 games

 

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January 2037:

January 1st:

Derby (a) (20/38)

A great game for the fans with some great attacking play but it took till the 34th minute for the first goal to be scored as M.Vandamme hit a free-kick into the top corner from outside the area. Just before the break we had another chance but O.Scherbakov headed wide of the post from an A.Xhepa cross.

The second half was five minutes old when we grabbed a second goal with A.Xhepa jinking through the defence and wasting no time in firing under the onrushing keeper. On the 54th minute it was three nil as K.Jardine slotted in from ten yards. We were controlling the game but on the 73rd minute A.Grosz pulled a goal back for Derby with a fine strike. Five minutes later though we regained our goal three goal advantage as K.Jardine headed in an A.Xhepa cross. With four minutes remaining in the game Derby pulled another goal back with J.Santana beating my defence to a loose ball and wasted no time in tapping in past K.Swaby. Their was one more goal in the game as O.Scherbakov showed some silky skill to beat the Derby defence and fired past the keeper.

Derby 2-5 Man Utd A.Grosz 73, J.Santana 86 / M.Vandamme 34, A.Xhepa 50, K.Jardine 54, 78, O.Scherbakov 90

K.Swaby, T.Jarvis, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine, O.Scherbakov

January 3rd:

Transfer news sees G.Bruni joining AC Milan for a free of £9,470,000

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January 4th:

Burnley (a) FA Cup 3rd Rd

We started well and on the 13th minute we came close to scoring as J.Ashmeade beat the offside trap but his final effort was pretty dire and went wide of the post. Eight minutes later we had another chance with a curling effort from L.Guglielmi but his shot didn't curl enough and went wide. We were all over Burnley and on the 33rd minute J.Ashmeade came close again but the Burnley keeper saved well. Five minutes later though we made an error as T.Franco slipped with the ball and J.Abdulahi slotted in the loose ball.

The second half was much the same as we piled on the pressure and on the 59th minute we had another chance to score as A.Grossi rattled the crossbar from outside the area. Ten minutes later L.Guglielmi tested the Burnley keeper who was up to it and saved the effort. We were all over the Burnley side and with ten minutes remaining in the game S.Pino came close with a low shot which stung the fingers of the Burnley keeper. How the hell did we lose this game

Burnley 1-0 Man Utd J.Abdulahi 38

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Khumalo (S.Pino), K.Jardine (M.Vandamme), J.Ashmeade (A.Grossi)

 

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January 7th:

Swansea (h) (21/38)

Six minutes into the game we had the first chance as J.Ashmeade hit the crossbar from inside the area. Soon after we had another chance to score with a thunderous effort from A.Xhepa which stung the fingers of the keeper. However on the 25th minute Swansea took the lead as L.Pereda ran into the area unmarked and fired in from ten yards. Twelve minutes later we had our next chance as L.Guglielmi curled into the area but K.Jardine headed wide of the post.

The second half was all us again and on the 53rd minute we had our next chance as O.Scherbakov played a one two with L.Guglielmi and fired just wide of the post. Six minutes later we had our next chance with a long range effort from S.Pino which stung the fingers of the Swansea keeper. On the 65th minute we finally equalised as A.Xhepa dinked the ball over the keeper after running onto a loose ball. Twelve minutes later we had our chance to win the game with O.Scherbakov rattling the crossbar from just outside the area. On the stroke of full time Swansea were reduced to ten men after D.Capek was given a second yellow card. In truth I was surprised their wasn't more red cards with both my side and the Swansea side sharing eleven yellow cards

Man Utd 1-1 Swansea A.Xhepa 65 / L.Pereda 25

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (S.Pino), M.Khumalo, K.Jardine (M.Vandamme), J.Ashmeade (O.Scherbakov)

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January 10th:

Everton (a) (22/38)

A poor start saw us going a goal down in the 6th minute as A.Nieblas headed in past K.Swaby from a corner. Ten minutes later they had another chance with a low shot which was diverted wide by J.Smith. On the 23rd minute Everton took a two goal lead as A.Nieblas again scored this time with a powerful effort from twelve yards which gave K.Swaby no chance of saving. On the half hour mark we had our first chance of the game as M.Vandamme forced the keeper into a save from close range. With eight minutes remaining in the half we pulled a goal back as A.Grossi jinked through the defence with ease and fired under the onrushing keeper.

The second half was alittle better as my players started to actually play. However it was Everton who had the first chance to score with a great move which ripped my defence apart but K.Swaby was on hand to block the effort. On the 65th minute we had our next chance as S.Pino crossed into the area but A.Grossi headed wide of the post. Eleven minutes later though we got an equaliser as A.Grossi finished a well worked team move to fire in past the keeper. With a minute remaining in the game Everton had the chance to get the three points they deserved as they broke through the defence but K.Swaby saved brilliantly to deny them.

Everton 2-2 Man Utd A.Nieblas 6, 23 / A.Grossi 37, 76

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith (M.Khumalo), P.Lane (A.De Russis), A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (S.Pino), A.Grossi

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January 14th:

Swansea (a) EFL Cup Semi Final 1st Leg

We started slowly as we struggled to string anything more than a couple of passes together. It was Swansea who had the first chance as they ran through the defence with ease but the final effort was as poor as the defending. On the 23rd minute they had another chance as they again ran into the area with ease but J.Smith blocked on the line. However eight minutes later we grabbed an undeserved lead as A.Grossi finished a great counter attack to silence the Swansea crowd. Just before the break though Swansea had the ball in the back of the net but luckily for us the goal was ruled out for a foul on K.Swaby.

The second half was in truth pretty damn dire and neither my side or the Swansea side managed a single effort on goal. Hopefully the second leg will be alittle more exciting.

Swansea 0-1 Man Utd A.Grossi 31

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (J.Ashmeade), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine, A.Grossi

 

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January 17th:

Reading (h) (23/38)

We came out the blocks quickly and on the 7th minute we grabbed the lead as A.Grossi headed in from a M.Vandamme cross. Two minutes later we made it two nil with D.Leonardi spotting the keeper off his line to dink the ball into the back of the net from the edge of the area. We were controlling the game with ease and on the 34th minute we had another chance to score as A.Grossi threaded the ball to the feet of K.Jardine who lashed it wide of the post. With four minutes remaining in the half we added a third goal as L.Guglielmi curled the ball into the top corner from twenty yards.

The second half had barely started as on the 53rd minute K.Jardine hit home from close range after running onto a L.Guglielmi through-ball. After the goal the game became more of training match as we controlled the play and without really testing the keeper but with two minutes remaining in the game we grabbed the fifth and final goal with D.Leonardi earning his second of the game

Man Utd 5-0 Reading A.Grossi 7, D.Leonardi 9, 88, L.Guglielmi 41, K.Jardine 53

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (J.Ashmeade), A.Grossi (O.Scherbakov)

 

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January 20th:

Ipswich (a) (24/38)

Ipswich began the better and it wasn't long till they tested the reflexes of K.Swaby who was up to the task. On the 19th minute they had another chance with a great team move which was stopped by a great block from T.Franco. Ten minutes later we had our first chance of the game as M.Vandamme threaded the ball to A.Grossi who lashed it wide of the post With eight minutes remaining in the half Ipswich had another chance with a curling effort which saw K.Swaby at full stretch to save. On the stroke of half time we took an undeserved lead as A.Xhepa jinked through the Ipswich defence to slot home under the keeper.

The second half was fifteen minutes old when Ipswich had another chance to score as they broke through my defence with ease but T.Franco got back to block the effort. On the 73rd minute we had our next chance as J.Ashmeade ran through the defence with real ease and fired with hard against the post. The final chance of the game came to Ipswich who again made a mockery of the defence but luckily for us the crossbar was on hand to block there effort. A fully undeserved three points.

Ipswich 0-1 Man Utd A.Xhepa 45

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith (A.De Russis), P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi (S.Pino), M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (J.Ashmeade), A.Grossi

 

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January 24th:

Hull (h) (25/38)

We started the better and on the 10th minute we grabbed the lead as A.Xhepa crossed into the area and J.Ashmeade headed in past the keeper. Soon after we had another chance as J.Ashmeade sprinted onto a through-ball but his final effort went just wide of the post. We were all over Hull and on the 33rd minute we made it two nil as J.Ashmeade ran in from the wing and unleashed a thunderbolt into the top corner of the net. We had one final chance at the end of the half as M.Vandamme hit the crossbar from six yards when it was easier to score.

The second half was two minutes old when we grabbed a third goal as A.Xhepa again whipped the ball into the area for L.Guglielmi to volley with power past the keeper. We carried on the forward pressure and on the 64th minute we made it four nil as O.Scherbakov played a cheeky dink over the keeper after beating the defence to a loose ball. Nine minutes later we completed the rout as A.Xhepa grabbed the goal his performance deserved as he fired in from the penalty spot after he was brought down in the area

Man Utd 5-0 Hull J.Ashmeade 10, 33, L.Guglielmi 47, O.Scherbakov 64, A.Xhepa 73 pen

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi (S.Pino), D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme, K.Jardine (M.Khumalo), J.Ashmeade (O.Scherbakov)

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January 28th:

Swansea (h) EFL Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg (agg 1-0)

With the chance of a trip to Wembley I told the players to go out and get the early goal. They did just that as on the 4th minute J.Ashmeade ran through the Swansea defence and fired in under the keeper. Soon after we had another chance with a long range effort from K.Jardine which stung the fingers of the keeper. We were all over them and on the 32nd minute we grabbed another goal with K.Jardine dinking the ball over the keeper from the edge of the area.

The second half was much the same as we battered the Swansea side and on the 57th minute we had our next chance with a long range effort from D.Leonardi which went just over the crossbar, Seven minutes later I was forced into a change as M.Vandamme picked up and injury and he was replaced by S.Pino. On the 67th minute we had our next clear cut chance as L.Guglielmi was brought down in the area for a penalty, D.Leonardi stepped up and fired the penalty wide of the post. This didn't stop us as on the 83rd minute we had the final chance of the game as J.Ashmeade beat the defence to a long ball and fired hard towards goal but the keeper saved well to deny him

Man Utd 2-0 Swansea J.Ashmeade 4, K.Jardine 32 D.LEONARDI MPEN 67 M.VANDAMME INJ 64

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, P.Lane, A.Xhepa, L.Guglielmi, D.Leonardi, M.Vandamme (inj 64-S.Pino), K.Jardine, J.Ashmeade

Injury news sees M.Vandamme out for around a month after spraining his ankle in the Swansea match, A.Xhepa will also be missing for around a fortnight after straining his calf muscle and finally J.Ashmeade will miss between 3-5 days with a gashed leg.

The final of the EFL Cup sees us facing Manchester City on the 1st of March. The match will be played at Wembley

The end of the month sees us still top of the table after twenty five days some six points clear of Manchester City

 

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February 2037:

February 1st:

Award news at the start of the month sees A.Xhepa winning the Player of the Month for January after scoring four goals in six games and earning an average rating of 8.32.

L.Guglielmi also won the Young Player of the Month after two goals in six games and and average rating of 7.52

To complete the clean sweep I won the Manager of the Month after winning four of the six games played

February 7th:

Chelsea (h) (26/38)

A poor start saw us conceding the lead on the 7th minute as I.Bernardi jinked through my sides defence with ease and fired under K.Swaby who was slow to react. Eight minutes later they had another chance with a thunderous effort from twenty yards which clipped the crossbar. On the half hour we finally had our first chance to score as L.King whipped a cross into the area but O.Scherbakov headed wide of the post.

The second half was alittle better for us as we began to press forward more and on the 54th minute K.Jardine fed the ball to A.Grossi who lashed it wide of the post. Ten minutes later we had another chance as D.Leonardi crossed into the area but J.Ashmeade failed to connect with the ball. With thirteen minutes remaining in the game we grabbed the equaliser as D.Leonardi ran in from the wing to fire high into the net. Soon after though we nearly gave the point away as P.Lane mishit a clearance but K.Swaby saved well to deny Chelsea the full points

Man Utd 1-1 Chelsea D.Leonardi 77 / I.Bernardi 7

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, B.Oppong (P.Lane), D.Leonardi, K.Jardine, L.Guglielmi, A.Grossi, S.Pino (M.Khumalo), O.Scherbakov (J.Ashmeade)

 

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February 14th:

Burnley (a) (27/38)

Burnley began the better and on the 8th minute they came close with a great long range effort which was well saved by K.Swaby. Ten minutes later L.King came to the rescue with a great block from close range. On the 25th minute we grabbed an undeserved lead as D.Leonardi curled into the area for K.Jardine to head in past the keeper. With five minutes remaining in the half Burnley had another chance to score with a low shot which was diverted wide past the post from L.King.

The second half was alittle better for my side as we started to play and on the 58th minute we had the chance to score with a powerful strike from J.Ashmeade which stung the keepers fingers. Seven minutes later O.Scherbakov had the chance to score with a curling effort which the keeper tipped onto the crossbar. On the 73rd minute we had another clear cut chance as M.Khumalo was brought down in the area, D.Leonardi stepped up and fired towards goal but his penalty went wide of the post. With three minutes remaining in the game we had our final chance with a thunderous effort from K.Jardine which again went just wide of the post.

Burnley 0-1 Man Utd K.Jardine 25

K.Swaby, L.King, T.Franco, J.Smith, B.Oppong (P.Lane), D.Leonardi, K.Jardine, L.Guglielmi, A.Grossi (M.Khumalo), S.Pino (J.Ashmeade), O.Scherbakov

 

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