As another Premier League campaign came to an end, United were involved in one of just two matches that meant something on the last day of the season. This was because Hull needed a win against Van Gaal’s side to have any chance of staying up.
In the end, it was another damp squib as Hull players huffed and puffed to no avail, and United players hardly huffed or puffed, but it didn’t matter as the season’s aim of finishing in the top four had already been achieved.
Before the game started we had already heard that the club weren’t going to take up the option of buying Falcao, and though we felt a bit sad about the decision, everyone thought it was the right one as the Colombian was hardly a success since he joined on loan from Monaco, and the money United needed to spend to make his move permanent can be better used on a younger player that can be useful in the league and in Europe.
The other main talking point was Victor Valdes making his debut for United in the absence of the injured De Gea. In between a couple of semi-clangers that could have resulted in goals, he made a couple of excellent saves that proved that he’d be an asset if he stays for next season. Not as our number one of course, that will still be David de Gea (yes, I still live in hope that my daughter’s favourite United player will still be at Old Trafford next season).
Apart from that, not much happened. Hull had two goals disallowed for offside, both right decisions, Hernandez’s contribution to their plight was a punch to Phil Jones’ stomach, for which he’s now been charged by the FA. The Uruguayan seems to be learning well from his compatriot who now plays up front for Barcelona.
Oh, and our own Bush Man Fellaini got sent off for a dirty challenge on Paul McShane less than twenty minutes after replacing Ashley Young. The surprise was not that he got his marching orders, but that this was only his second red card in the league (his first was while at Everton). One positive from this match was Daley Blind’s performance who kept things simple and ticking quite well from midfield.
So the game ended in a drab 0-0 draw, confirming that The Tigers had been relegated. Not a big loss as they’re hardly one of the established teams in the top division, though it would have been nice to see them stay up if only because of Steve Bruce.
As United fans, we are just relieved to finish in a position where we get a chance to be in the Champions League again, and it does seem like we have been to hell and back in the past two seasons (though we’re some way to go before being in heaven again).
In other games on this last day of the season, Newcastle won their first game in eleven to stay up, prompting their fans to forget about their post-match anti-Ashley protest. The same Ashley had given his first-ever interview before the game, promising he wouldn’t leave until the club wins a trophy. More bad news for the Geordies. Their opponents West Ham were nearly as ‘classy’ in announcing that Allardyce would be leaving the club even BEFORE the match had finished.
Champions Chelsea won 3-1 at home to Sunderland; last season’s Champions Manchester City beat Southampton 2-0; last season’s Easter Champions L’pool made sure their captain Steven Gerrard has an unforgettable last game for the club by being trounced 6-1 at Mark Hughes’ Stoke; and Tottenham won 1-0 at Everton to end their season in fifth place, pushing L’pool down to sixth. All in all, a happy last day for most of us.
Looking at other news, the new FIFA investigation has blown everything out of the water with headlines being made all over the world as the FBI seem to be doing the rest of the football world a favour by turning the screws on Sepp Blatter and his cronies. We’ve mentioned FIFA’s ‘dirty money’ more than once on here, though never thought that Mr.Blatter would ever be held to account properly. Seems like the FBI are taking their best shot, so we hope they hit their target hard and get rid of most of the corrupted heads at FIFA in one fell swoop.
Seville deservedly won the Europa League again, becoming the first team to win the UEFA Cup (Europa League) four times. If only English teams took this competition more seriously, they’d realise it is an important trophy with much more prestige than finishing third or fourth in the league (though thanks to Sky and UEFA they make much more money that way).
Congratulations must go to Delia Smith and Norwich City, who made an immediate return to the Premier League by beating Middlesboro 2-0 at Wembley. This means that Old Trafford will have even more green and gold scarves on show when the two sides meet next season (though most will be in the away stand).
Let’s be havin’ you…
News also coming out that Steven Gerrard will make his MLS debut for the LA Galaxy on the 11th of July, just six weeks after celebrating his birthday on FA Cup Final day.
Back to news about United, some of the club’s players will not be having a proper summer break as they’ll be involved in the Copa America being played in Chile in June and early July. These include Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria and Antonio Valencia (if he’s fit); and it’s come to light that the Chevrolet logo on the new shirts will be the same as they are now, rather than just the outline that adidas had preferred when they produced the first ‘draft’ of the shirts.
That’s all for now, and while we hope that everyone that still reads this post has a great summer, we look forward to writing ‘The Week That Was’ again next season. Meanwhile, and as always… COME ON UNITED!!!