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Boxing Day Association Football review; Manchester United 3, Newcastle 1

Thoughts arising:

  • Louis Van Gaal is beginning to get what he wants; most (if not all) of the 90 minutes either controlled or dominated by his team.
  • Wayne Rooney looks great in his new position, 5 to 10 metres behind the front line. Two goals today and he'll take home the MotM award by rote and modern expectations. Her played well and linked smartly with Falcao.
  • On that subject, Radamel Falcao is finally showing good form for Man Utd. He's had injury problems and has otherwise spluttered, but his play today was excellent. A few more like today and he'll start winning the fans over (about time too).
  • Jones in defence was the second best player on the pitch. High quality defending his line and dangerous surging forward, he gives Man Utd an extra option that bypasses midfield and gets the ball to the forward line
  • But the best was Juan Mata. Not a doubt. He bossed the game from start to finish and if he is 100% back in favour this evening from your preferred footy pundit after a painful time under moyes and then LVG stage one, change your preferences.
  • As for those not playing, Di Maria will fit right into this newly flowing team once he's back from injury. Fellaini was not and will not be missed. Januzaj should be talking to his agent as soon as possible. 

Bottom line: There are three teams in the title race this year. Chelsea must be favourite and ManC (who i didn't watch today) second faves due to the points accrued already, but Manchester United are back and have an outside chance from here. The best I've seen them play since SAF retired, they made a good and in-form Newcastle team look ordinary. Mata is one helluva player on his day.