Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Benfica go down to United

Although United were outclassed at times by Benfica it has to be said that the 60th minute goal by Louis Saha was just about deserved on balance.

Unfortunately Scholes and Carrick picked up one yellow card apiece, both rather needlessly. Rooney didn`t look his usual self, but Heinze was solid at the back well supported by the other 3. Alan smith came on for the last few minutes after months out with a bad injury.

United now lead their table which is a nice position to be in after the opening two games.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Can`t afford to drop points like this

3 points lost to Arsenal, 2 points dropped yesterday to Reading, and United now 3rd in the table. Although a better start than last season experience suggests that if you give Chelsea too much of a head start then it`s nigh impossible to overtake them. Early days but not looking good for Ferguson`s men.

Yesterday`s team was almost at full strength, even though Saha only came on as substitute and Giggs is out injured. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came on as sub in the 2nd half but failed to dent the Reading defence. The finishing of United was poor and without the goals we all know that success only comes through scoring.

United grab equaliser against Reading

Cristiano Ronaldo's second-half equaliser enabled Manchester United to avoid suffering defeat in their first-ever league clash with Reading.

United dominated most of the proceedings but found themselves trailing to Kevin Doyle's 48th-minute penalty.

Chances came and went for Sir Alex Ferguson's side until Ronaldo took matters into his own hands in the 73rd minute, netting a memorable solo equaliser.

The Portugal winger was booed constantly by the home fans but was undeniably the game's most impressive performer.

However, the result meant United missed a chance to climb to the top of the Barclays Premiership, ahead of Chelsea.

United had begun with Wayne Rooney as their only recognised player up front following Louis Saha's hamstring injury and the England man tested home goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann within two minutes.

The American fumbled his low shot and it needed Royals captain Graeme Murty to hack clear before Kieran Richardson could pounce.

Hahnemann did better with a low drive from Ronaldo but fumbled a free-kick from the same player and was nowhere when a cross from the same man from the left flashed across goal, with Scholes failing to convert from unmissable range only by a matter of millimetres.

Reading chances had been harder to come by with Leroy Lita coming close early on.

The best of the first half fell to Doyle in the 18th minute when a deflection put him in on goal - but he could not beat Edwin van der Sar from five yards.

The Dutchman made a good save low down at his near post to deny Seol Ki-Hyeon, who was posing the fit-again Gabriel Heinze real problems down the right flank, with the Argentinian back in the United side for the first time in a year.

Reading were perhaps relieved to go in at the break on level terms but within three minutes of the restart they were ahead through Doyle's penalty.

Gary Neville was the man adjudged to have been at fault as a Murty cross bounced in the box and off the England defender's arm - the intent did not look that obvious but referee Peter Walton was quick to point to the spot.

Up stepped Doyle, who had seen a spot-kick saved in a Carling Cup shoot-out with lowly Darlington in midweek.

Van der Sar almost kept this one out, guessing correctly, but the ball squirmed in under a glove.

United responded to the setback by once again applying pressure but Kieran Richardson fluffed a great chance by miskicking with the goal in his sights after Ronaldo had laid the ball back.

Richardson was replaced by Saha before the hour mark and with 20 minutes remaining Ole Solskjaer and John O'Shea had joined him on the pitch, at the expense of Heinze and Darren Fletcher.

An equaliser was coming and Ronaldo provided it himself with a fine solo effort in the 73rd minute, cutting in from the left and evading the back-tracking Murty before firing across Hahnemann and into the net.

It was all United after that but Reading hung on gratefully for a point.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

United Lose 1-0 to The Gunners

Even with a virtual full-strength side United failed to beat an Arsenal team lacking their main striker Henry. In fact we lost by 1 goal to nil. Not a good day for the Reds after Chelsea clawed back 3 points when they earlier beat Liverpool by the same margin.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

United win 3-2 over Celtic in Champions League

Celtic players have slammed Manchester United's Ryan Giggs and referee Lubos Michel for winning and awarding a penalty when the Hoops were 1-0 up at Old Trafford last night.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink had given Celtic the lead after 21 minutes. Just nine-minutes later, Giggs and goalkeeper Artur Boruc appeared to collide accidentally just inside the box and - even though the ball was running out of play - Michel pointed to the spot.

Louis Saha slotted home the equaliser and United went on to win 3-2, despite Boruc performing wonders in the Celtic goal.

Captain Neil Lennon took a swipe at the referee - and claimed Lubos Michel could not wait to give a decision in United's favour.

He said: 'From our point of view he couldn't wait to give it. I went and had a word and said to give it you have to be 100% sure - but he said 'I am'. It is inconclusive from the TV.'

Although more goals were scored after the incident, the penalty was awarded at a time when a second goal for Celtic would have changed the tactics of both sides.

Giggs is out for around 3 weeks now with a hamstring injury.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

4th Straight Win For United

Goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar had to make three good saves to deny Spurs at Old Trafford, but the Red Devils remain two points clear of Portsmouth and Everton after their fourth straight victory.

Cristiano Ronaldo's powerful free kick swerved late and goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who also had the sun in his eyes, failed to hold it.
The ball bounced to Giggs, whose header went in off the underside of the crossbar. That was just after 8 minutes.

75,453 were in attendance to see this match, the biggest of all time in the Premiership. Unfortunately United failed to increase their goal tally, but at this stage a win is a win. That`s what matters.

Bring on Celtic On Wednesday in the Champions` League.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fergie Still Champions Winter Break

Alex Ferguson insists he has supported the possibility of a mid-season break in the domestic calendar for many years.

A number of managers, including former England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, have lobbied for a break but it has been vetoed as the number of clubs in the Premiership would be reduced and the FA Cup would also be affected.

Ferguson told the official Reds magazine, Inside United: "I've always been a supporter.

"It makes me laugh when managers come out and talk about winter breaks - I championed it when I was manager of Aberdeen in 1980 and I did again when I first came down here in 1986!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Moyes to sue Wayne Rooney over Book

Wayne Rooney, the England football player, will be sued by his former manager over claims that the he was "envious" of the attention lavished on the young star, it emerged today.

In his recently released book, My Story So Far, Rooney accuses his former manager of being controlling and overbearing and responsible for driving him away from Goodison.

Rossi on loan to Newcastle United

Guisepe Rossi has gone on loan to Newcastle United until the beginning of next year.

Rossi, 19, will compete with Obafemi Martins and Shola Ameobi for a place in Roeder's starting line-up following Michael Owen's long-term knee injury suffered at the World Cup.

Under the terms of the loan deal Rossi won`t be allowed to play for Newcastle against Manchester United