Manchester United played out a 0-0 draw with Hull at the KC Stadium on the final day of the season. This was a game that Hull needed to win if they were to have any chance of staying in the Premier League, while United were already assured of a place in the top four and had nothing riding on this game. Hull were hoping to also get a favour from West Ham at St James Park where they played Newcastle. Sadly for them and their manager Steve Bruce, Hull were unable to get the win they needed and Newcastle won their game against West Ham.
This was a typical end of season game for Manchester United, they played the game without really straining themselves trying to win the game, you have to feel that if United had needed to win this game they would have. The game saw Victor Valdes making his first start for United, he pulled off some top draw saves whilst also looking very suspect when the ball was crossed into the United area. Hull managed to put the ball in the net twice within a couple of minutes in the early part of the first but both were correctly ruled out for offside, the first one coming when Valdes dropped the ball after coming out for a corner and the ball eventually fell to McShane who was in an offside position.
The result means United finish in 4th place in the Premier League table, they amassed a total of 70 points from their 38 league games. Winning 20 of these games, drawing 10 and losing 8, in their 38 games United managed to score 62 goals, that’s 1.6 goals every game. They conceded 37 goals giving them a goal difference of +25. They finished 5 points behind Arsenal in 3rd, 9 points behind Manchester City in 2nd and 17 points off Champions Chelsea.
Despite the improvement this season, which has seen them improve last season’s final position by three places, I’m sure many United fans like myself will be disappointed to see United finish with such gaps from their rivals. Louis Van Gaal has achieved his objective of getting United back into the Champions League but I’m sure he would have wanted to put up more of a challenge to finish higher than 4th. Finishing 4th means United will have to play an early qualifier to get into the Champions League group stages in the early weeks of next season.
Van Gaal can now start reshaping his squad for the 2015/16 season, he has already started that with the signing of Memphis Depay from PSV, who will join when the transfer window opens on 1st June. It’s being reported that Falcao will meet Van Gaal for talks on Monday but it’s already been decided not to extend his loan or sign him permanently, while surely Nani and Javier Hernandez will surely leave the club permanently having been on loan at Sporting Lisbon and Real Madrid this season. While Rafael must certainly be on his way, having failed to get into the team ahead of Antonio Valencia at right-back.
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