Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Manchester United 0-0 Valencia: The pressure grows

Harry Kettle in Editorial, UEFA Champions League 2 Oct 2018

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Manchester United came into this game knowing that a big result was needed in order to ease the pressure on Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese boss has been hanging by a thread courtesy of the club’s recent results, with many feeling as if the Champions League would serve as a welcome distraction from the Premier League. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite pan out that way, with Valencia being able to hold the Red Devils to a goalless draw on a tense night at Old Trafford.

Positive start

The Old Trafford crowd were attempting to lift their team throughout the night, but it didn’t really pay off. United did start the game quite brightly with Alexis Sanchez and Marcus Rashford injecting that extra bit of quality into the starting XI, but they weren’t able to translate that into success in front of goal. They were a class above Valencia at times in terms of the way they were moving the ball around the pitch, but at times, they just came across as being a little bit lethargic.

Valencia grew into the game and had some solid chances to take the lead against the run of play, but also weren’t able to capitalise as the poor form of both teams carried through to this encounter. United seemed to have a bit of momentum heading into the end of the game, but when it rains it pours, and their fans were left to wonder what could’ve been if they’d have had an extra bit of luck up top.

Much to be desired

The hosts won’t have too much time to gather themselves, with a big game against Newcastle United at the weekend. They know that a loss against the Magpies could seal Mourinho’s fate, while a win could rejuvenate their entire season. Valencia, on the other hand, will experience something of a crash course in the fate of scheduling when they take on Spanish champions Barcelona.

So while many would’ve come into this game hoping for a change of pace from United and Valencia, it turns out that it was more of the ‘same old, same old’ that has plagued their respective campaigns.

Match Report

Manchester United: De Gea (6.5), Valencia (6), Bailly (6.5), Smalling (6.5), Shaw (6.5), Fellaini (6), Matic (7), Pogba (6), Sanchez (6.5), Lukaku (5.5), Rashford (7)

Valencia: Neto (5.5), Piccini (5.5), Garay (6), Gabriel (6.5), Gaya (6), Coquelin (5.5), Parejo (6), Kondogbia (6), Guedes (6.5), Rodrigo (5.5), Batshuayi (6)

Referee: Slavko Vincic

Goals: N/A

Yellow Cards: Lukaku, Piccini, Gaya, Coquelin, Parejo, Kondogbia, Rodrigo

Red Cards: N/A


Harry Kettle

Harry is a University of Worcester graduate who has been writing professionally for the last two years. He specialises in several sports such as MMA, pro wrestling and athletics, with football being his primary love. He continues to dream of a life in the Premier League as a Wolves fan.



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