JAKUPOVIC KEEPS UNITED AT BAY
Wednesday, February 1st, 2017
It ended in a goal-less draw at Old Trafford
Thanks to a resolute performance by the Tigers, and a simply brilliant one by Eldin Jakupovic in the City goal. Once more, wholesale changes to the side saw Tymon in midfield, Meyler at right back, and a five man midfield, with Niasse leading the line in a selfless display. The game started at a high tempo, and it kept going throughout the game. City gave as good as they got, and should have taken the lead as early as the seventh minute, when Maguire headed wide from six yards. United were dangerous on the flanks, and Jakupovic made the first of several memorable saves on fourteen minutes,tipping a goalbound effort from Ibrahimovic just wide. The twenty third minute saw a typical rampaging run by Maguire and United were looking uncomfortable. As half time approached, Ibrahimovic set up Pogba,and the keeper made another excellent save. City were dangerous on the break, and Maguire had another header on forty three minutes, comfortably saved by the United keeper.
Half time had the crowd buzzing, and United brought on Rooney for the second half. Silva got his tactics spot on. City were solid through the middle, and always dangerous on the break. A terrible free kick on fifty five minutes showed the City faithful how valuable Snodgrass was, but the Tigers refused to buckle. We believed on seventy two minutes, as Jakupovic made a brilliant stop on the line from Mata. It was breathless stuff. One of the best nil nil games you’re likely to see. Five minutes from the end, Markovic hit the post, and United breathed again.Then, right on ninety minutes, Hernandez got clear, but never quite had the ball under control, and could only contrive a weak effort. Five minutes of Fergie time were added, and Jakupovic was simply brilliant, denying Rojo from a header, and saving from Pogba right at the death. What a game. City were unlucky not to win, and the spirit throughout the side was magnificent. Don’t rule out the Great Escape. Go on, whistle the tune. You know you want to. Superb stuff.
By David Osgerby