Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham were all left scrambling forforwards on what was a damp squib of a transfer deadline day as last-minute panic left United desperately trying to seal a deal for random target Odion Ighalo.
In a parallel universe Manchester United released their first financial figures of the post-David Moyes era this week, concluding six glorious years in which the club seamlessly moved on from the retirement of Alex Ferguson.
The return of the Premier League always provokes mixed feelings. On the down side, it heralds the onset of long winter nights with nothing to do but watch football; on the up side, it heralds the onset of long winter nights with nothing to do but watch football.
Ole Gunnar Solksjaer may well experience first-hand tonight the gulf in class that currently exists between his Manchester United side and their treble-chasing neighbours but, regardless of the result, the club’s new manager is already searingly honest in his appraisal of their standing in the English game.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s magical reign as Manchester United boss survived its biggest test to date at St James’ Park last night, his second- half substitute Romelu Lukaku scoring with his first touch of the game and helping to write his interim manager into the record books.
It’s never a good day for Manchester United when they lose to Liverpool but to offer such a toothless display and be beaten so comprehensively by their bitter rivals, as they were in the 3-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday, was clearly the final nail in the coffin for Jose Mourinho, writes
Antonio Conte left Wembley with another piece of silverware and the love of the Chelsea faithful ringing in his ears on Saturday, the self-proclaimed “serial winner” who wore the look of a man who knows he is about to move on.
If ever there was ever any confusion as to why Manchester United have not been able to challenge their noisy neighbours for the title this season it was cleared up and summed up in a tepid defeat against Chris Hughton’s excellent Brighton & Hove Albion.
For a fixture that has offered us the Battle of the Buffet, the sight of Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane snarling at each other like a pair of Rottweilers on steroids in the Old Trafford tunnel, this was a particularly low-key, some might say sad, way for Arsene Wenger to bid farewell to Manchester United.
Tonight’s Europa League semi-final first leg between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid brings together two teams and clubs who are mirror opposites in many ways — including the personalities and philosophies of managers Arsene Wenger and Diego Simeone.
Pep Guardiola has clearly won his private, and long-standing, feud with Jose Mourinho for this season at least but, to listen to beaten manager Carlos Carvalhal on Saturday, the all-conquering Catalan should make the most of his current dominance.
Antonio Conte may have seen his long-running feud with Jose Mourinho come to an end at Old Trafford but it may also have been the afternoon when the Chelsea manager saw his team’s hopes of a Champions League place similarly disappear into thin air.