PL X Rashford

PL X Rashford

The weekend saw the return of the English Premier League, and it started as I am sure it will go on.

Not only that but the return of the Premier League sees the introduction of the new feature here at DF HQ, the PL X series.

One of THE biggest talking points of the opening weekend was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United side beating Frank Lampard’s Chelsea in what was the Englishmans first competitive game in charge.

During the 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea at Old Trafford, United’s front two of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford performed at close to their full potential. They alternated perfectly between each other and covered each others position.

Marcus Rashford is the player that impressed us most here at Dawson Football. The young English talent showed his scoring touch once again, grabbing two of the four goals. The first from the penalty spot following a clumsy challenge from Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma.

The penalty was cool, calm and collected as you’d expect from the forward but it’s his second goal that really got the critics purring.

After Martial had put United two in front, it took just two minutes for Rashford to put United out of reach and give them a great start to the season.

Paul Pogba played an outstanding pass from his own half that bypassed both Chelsea’s midfield and defence that Rashford latched on to, with an almost perfect touch putting the ball in the perfect place for him to despatch it past Kepa in the Blues goal.

Even with the experienced Chelsea skipper, Cesar Azpilicueta, on his back Rashford looked like a veteran in the striking game as the ball was slotted underneath Kepa.

Fans View

In a new feature for the season, I spoke to Manchester United fan and friend of DF, Alex Dawson, to get his views on just how good Rashford was.

“I thought Marcus played well, as always he was quick and sharp and always looking to get into space beyond the defence.

This season the team will rely on his output much more with the departure of Romelu Lukaku and this new system that Ole is implementing plays to his strengths and should hopefully help him to have his most productive campaign to date.”

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DF Previews…

Alex previews his teams upcoming season.

Manchester United

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Last season: 6th   

key player 

Assuming that Pogba stays at the club for another season (which I personally think he will), he will undoubtedly be our key player for the coming campaign. You can see the difference in our play with him in the team as clear as night and day. He is the main creative force in our side and last season was our top scorer. Hopefully with a few more of the right additions around the rest of the team, we can begin to see greater consistency in his performances across the season and he can re-find the form he showed at the beginning of Ole’s reign. Pogba aside, this is a big season for both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, both of whom are entering their fifth campaign with the first team and it’s likely time we begin to see more big performances from the young forwards. Ole’s playing philosophy and emphasis and quick, young players means that everything seems set for these two, amongst others, to have their best campaigns yet.

SIGNINGS SO FAR

So far this summer we have seen the arrivals of Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Swansea and Crystal Palace respectively. It also looks increasingly likely that a deal for Harry Maguire should be tied up before long reportedly for a record fee for a central defender. My personal favourite so far would have to be Wan-Bissaka, statistically the best full back in the league last season he is a clear upgrade on the veteran Ashley Young and fills a gap in our time which has been there for numerous seasons; a specialist right back ready to go straight into the XI and with bags of potential, I think we’ve got a great deal which will benefit us for years to come.

Who TO SIGN

Given that Maguire looks set to arrive at the club, my personal choice for the next signing would be Ruben Neves from Wolves. It baffles me that no top clubs have been reported to have interest in the Portuguese midfielder, he’d be a first class addition to the side who lack depth and quality in the midfield area and could help to free up Paul Pogba. Further up the pitch, I would love to see Jadon Sancho arrive to take up the spot on the right flank. Signing Wan-Bissaka has solved half of our problem don’t the right side of the team, and Sancho would be perfect to fill the long standing void on the right hand side of our attack. He’s young, quick, incredibly technically gifted and would light up Old Trafford whilst also taking some of the creative burden from Paul Pogba.

EXPECTED FINISH

Assuming we make the right additions to the team, I’d say we can hopefully expect a fourth place finish in the league. As United fans we need to be realistic and accept that for the next few seasons we may not be challenging for the top honours, but a return to the Champions League is essential if we are to continue to attract the top talents and keep the talent which we already have.

EXCITING GAME

I’m looking forward to the opening game of the season, despite the form we should at the end of the last campaign, I’m excited and intrigued to see our new players in action and see exactly what Ole and his team have been working on over the summer.

TROPHY?

I don’t expect us to win a trophy this season, although I wouldn’t be surprised to see us get to the latter stages of either of the domestic cups.

@daaawsonn on Twitter.

United&Spurs x UCL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United travel to Paris after they lost 0-2 to the French champions at Old Trafford three weeks ago.

It’s a mountain which even the club renowned for it’s comebacks won’t be expected to climb. United have 10 first team squad members missing with enigmatic Frenchman Paul Pogba, who was sent off in the loss in the first leg of the last 16 tie, among them.

Goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe were enough to stun United, who themselves expected to beat the Parisians due the absence of Neymar, Edinson Cavani, Thomas Meunier and Adrien Rabiot, but the impressive defence and silky attackers did the job for the French champions.

United have been doing superbly under Solskjaer, no one can deny that and impressive wins against Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea prove that the man known for United’s most famous comeback in the Champions League final of 1999 is no stranger to a big win and could possibly pull off the unlikely in Paris. But it will take a lot of effort from his very thin squad.

Dawson Football predicts: PSG 2-1 Manchester United.

Borussia Dortmund however have an even bigger mountain to climb, with Spurs leading the German side by three goals with no reply after an impressive display at Wembley.

A flurry of second half goals from Tottenham stunned BVB, and Spurs with their desire to win and hunger to get further in this competition out-played a Dortmund side that lack the attacking prowess to expose the back line of the English team.

Borussia’s star man Marco Reus is back on a more positive note for BVB, but the Bundesliga leaders did lose away to Augsburg on Saturday, and will need to improve massively in just a few days if they are to overturn a three goal deficit in the space of 90 minutes at the Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday night.

Dawson Football predicts: Borussia Dortmund 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur.