Theatre of the Absurd as Moyes nicks top spot

Theatre of the Absurd as Moyes nicks top spot

Theatre of the Absurd as Moyes nicks top spot

It’s funny, probably bizarre. Lying 9th position on the Premiership grid, Man United are unbeaten in Europe’s crème de la crème competition, emerging group winners. Even last season’s Big Ears trophy holders, Bayern Munich, cannot boast about that, nor can the mighty men from Catalunya.

Phil Jones’ goal ensured that United earned 14 points. In real terms, that’s one shy of Man City’s, after the Citizens’ 3-2 win over the Bavarians in Germany. One shot shy of Arsenal’s, if the Gunners hammer the living daylights out of Napoli.

So what’s the reason for the Red Devils’ domestic demise? Having earned their biggest ever victory in the Champions League, their biggest European vitory in eons, surely, the Mancunian Scot manager has to stamp his authority. He inherited a bunch of mediocre players. Only a few need to stay, many, nearly 10, have to go, because United’s confidence this season has been catastrophic. And that’s still an understatement.

Ashley Young is a shadow of his two seasons’ past best.Though better in trickery than Antonio Valencia, having gotten United’s two best chances in a first half they should have been behind, had it not been for profligacy in the Shahktar, predominatnly Brazilian, forward line, he only ended up showing why he’s better off in a mid-table club, like his former Aston Villa, than a club of his current employers’ stature.

Only the likes of the rejuvenized Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Jones, Johnny Evans, Shinji Kagawa, Rafael da Silva, Michael Carrick, Adnan Januzaj, Patrice Evra, Emanja Vidic, and David de Gea, not forgetting, controversially yes, Luis Nani, have to remain. That should form the first team if January purchases won’t be made, aided by backup; Anders Lindegaard, Chris Smalling, Danny Welbeck, Wilfried Zaha, Alexander Buttner and, yes, Marouanne Fellaini.

The rest should go, if the record holding English champions will clinch a Champions League spot, let alone win the league. They should go, if the red behemoth is keen on restoring its pride.

Man City pepper spray Pep’s party

Over to the Allianz Arena. Manuel Pellegrini’s Sky Blues were in for a thumping. Having gone twice behind in 12 minutes, courtesy of Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze, the men floating in Arabian oil hit back with David da Silva, Alexander Kolarov’s penaltly and James Milner ensuring a victory three minutes later.

A fourth goal for City would have ensured top spot. And though it didn’t come, Pellegrini’s charges had made a statement intent in the UCL, courtesy of a stunning win over Pep Guardiola’s men, more so given their woeful away performances locally.

The current qualified teams are, in order of group alphabetical order; Man United, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Olympiakos, Bayern Munich, Man City, Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.

Collated Tuesday 10th December results

Man United 1-0 Shahktar Donetsk

Real Sociedad 0-1 Bayer Leverkusen

Copenhagen 0-2 Real Madrid

Galatasaray 0-0 Juventus (Match abandoned due to snow, to resume on Wednesday midday)

Benfica 2-1 PSG

Olympiakos 3-1 Anderlecht

Bayern Munich 2-3 Man City

Viktoria Plzen 1-1 CSKA Moscow

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