PREMIER LEAGUE – After a complicated start to the season, Manchester United stays out of 10 matches without defeat in all competitions when it receives Sunderland on Monday (16:00). The club, 6th of PL, is not yet in its place but is clearly in the ascending phase. Here’s why.
Everything is not perfect yet in Manchester United. The club is on the doorstep of the Top 5 of the Premier League, a position far from its standing. In 20 years, it is only the second time after 2013-2014 (8th) that MU is not in the top five at this time of year. But after a start of the season sawtooth, the Red Devils show in this end 2016 a renewal of undeniable shape. The Boxing Day, which traditionally succeeded (18 victories, more than any other team), could allow them to take off the era Jose Mourinho. Over the past few weeks they have found strong arguments on which to build.
A series of 10 matches without defeat
Defeated by Fenerbahçe in the Europa League in early November, the Mancunian club has since experienced an infernal rhythm and chained 10 matches in 41 days. Despite this busy schedule, José Mourinho’s men no longer suffered defeat. There were some unfortunate draws, such as the one conceded to Old Trafford against Arsenal (1-1 on November 19, goal of Giroud in added time) or Everton’s equalizer in the last moments (1-1 on 4 December).
Healing is not yet complete for the United patient, but this good pass – including a current series of four wins of all competitions – has everything to restore confidence to a team criticized early in the season. In the standings, Manchester is blocked in sixth place. Except that he made a part of his delay. At seven points from the 4th place (the first qualifier for the C1) after ten days, he is now four points and made the hole on those behind him. For the title, it seems much more complicated (13 points behind Chelsea).
Mourinho found a balance in the middle
Arrived at the start of the season on the bench of the Red Devils in place of Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho has groped a lot to find his eleven-ideal. Not sure that the Portuguese coach has found all the answers. But since several meetings, he now aligns a trio Carrick-Herrera-Pogba in the middle. Exit including Marouane Fellaini, aligned at the beginning of the season but whose inconstancy cost him his place. Wayne Ronney also made a few appearances in the heart of the game of ManU but his ease to this post remains to prove.
Carrick, Herrera and Pogba bring a stability that the team could not find. Sentinel, the 35-year-old Englishman reassured by his serenity and played his team thanks to his ability to revive. This configuration also allows Pogba to play higher and slightly eccentric on the left, his favorite position. Freer, the French international is always better. With a (rather unlikely) defense Rojo – Jones is in the process of finding himself and a Henrikh Mkhitaryan returning in shape before his injury, the set takes on the pace.
Ibrahimovic came out of his box
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the story of a 35-year-old striker who pushed his 31-year-old counterpart, Wayne Rooney. The Swede is inexhaustible and his complicated passage under his new jersey now seems forgotten. Mute between the end of September and the beginning of November in the Premier League, the former PSG had a period of six matches without scoring in the championship, a first since … 2007. Thus, a scarcity that inevitably questioned his And his ability to adapt to the English football games he discovered for the first time in his career.
But he has recovered rather well as witnessed his seven goals in his last eight shots framed in PL. In recent weeks, Manchester United has also surpassed the success of his advanced man, who is now 16 goals since the start of the season in all competitions. This is why he was right when he told the English media in December: “The longer I get older, the better I get, like red wine … You like red wine … I am a perfect example. Happy, I feel good.Even if I am 35 years old, in my head I have 20. ”
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