Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Giggs retires from international football

Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs is set to announce his retirement from international football, 16 years after winning his first cap for Wales.

The 32-year-old, whose United contract expires next summer, is calling time on his Wales career to focus on what could be his final season at Old Trafford.

Today's anticipated decision means Giggs will win his 64th and final cap for the Dragons this Saturday against the Czech Republic in Cardiff.

He will join a host of Welsh stars over the last four decades who have failed to appear in a major international tournament, with the principality making their sole appearance at a World Cup or European Championship in Sweden in 1958.

Giggs was made skipper of the national team by John Toshack in 2004 as a host of senior players including Gary Speed announced their retirement from the international scene following a heartbreaking play-off defeat to Russia.

It is thought the midfielder was still holding out hope for next year's European Championship in Austria and Switzerland being his international swansong, but Wales are fifth in group D with six points from five games and have virtually no chance of qualifying.

The winger's decision will also have been influenced by club team-mate Paul Scholes, whose United career has flourished since announcing his England retirement after Euro 2004.

Giggs is 43 games short of Bobby Charlton's all-time Old Trafford record of 759 games, but may only have a season to match the United legend's total.

Last season he picked an unprecedented ninth Premiership winners medal as the Red Devils won their first league title for three years.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Hargreaves signs for United according to reports

Bayern Munich have agreed a fee with Manchester United for England international Owen Hargreaves.

According to media reports, the German giants will receive around £17m for the midfielder.

This would be a record fee for a Bundesliga player.

Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer told German TV: "Owen is leaving. That was the player's wish. It's a good match and it's also a good deal financially."

Hargreaves is expected to sign a four-year contract with the Premiership champions.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Dour FA Cup Final sees United lose 1-0

Ah well, Chelsea won the FA Cup Final at the new Wembley by 1-0, with Drogba scoring the only goal close to the end of the match in extra time.

Not a scintillating game by any means though. More a case of not wanting to give the first goal away, so it was all very cagey for much of the game.

Monday, May 14, 2007

United lift the Trophy!

This is what it`s all been about.

Crowned the previous weekend and treated to a guard of honour by deposed champions Chelsea in midweek, United could afford to lose 1-0 to West Ham United on Sunday and still had manager Alex Ferguson describe it "a fantastic occasion."

The result, which secured West Ham's survival, was only United's fifth defeat in a season which they ended with 89 points, six more than second-placed Chelsea.

As an added bonus, United were widely credited with having played the best football -- an accolade never given in the same measure to Chelsea last term.

United veterans Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs raised the trophy in front of more than 70,00 fans at Old Trafford as fireworks exploded behind them.

"There were times in last three years when we have been really low and inconsistent," said Neville, the United captain who has been injured for about two months. "But this year we deserved to be champions."

The team's jubilation wasn't diminished by a weakened side that lost to visiting West Ham 1-0 on the final day of the season. United manager Alex Ferguson started Sunday's match with Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Giggs on the bench.

"I'm very happy. It's a great day for me, my family and Manchester United," Ronaldo said, accompanied by his mother Maria Dolores dos Santos Aveiro. "This season has been a great season for me. I've won the title and a few individual trophies. I'm very happy and I want to go on like this next season."

"Hopefully we won't have to wait four years to win it again," United striker Wayne Rooney said.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Chelsea 0 Manchester United 0

Jose Mourinho was involved in a heated exchange with Graham Poll as the shadow squads of Chelsea and Manchester United fought out a draw.

If seven yellow cards in a meaningless game is anything to go by, the new Wembley can expect a fractious opening when England's big two do battle in the FA Cup final on May 19.

No longer manager of the Premiership's champion team, Mourinho will desperately hope for a win, and also to keep out of trouble following his pointed exchange with Poll towards the end of this goalless draw after Claude Makelele had fouled Wayne Rooney.

Not that it means much given the relative strength of the teams but Chelsea were the ones who looked most like breaking the deadlock in a keenly-contested affair, with unheralded United duo Kieran Richardson and Kieran Lee both booting off the line in the latter stages.

It may be minor consolation but the result - a 62nd unbeaten league game on home soil for Chelsea - leaves them just one away from equalling Liverpool's all-time top-flight record.

Both managers stuck by the pre-match promises, Mourinho to get his players to form a guard of honour and Ferguson to rest most of United's key players.

With their title battle at an end, a rough estimate suggested only seven Stamford Bridge starters would retain their places for the next meeting later this month.

Indeed, only six of the Red Devils John Terry applauded onto the pitch are eligible for championship medals.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

United officially Premiership Champs

Draw for Blues hands United title

Manchester United claimed their first Premiership title in four years after 10-man Chelsea were held to a 1-1 draw by Arsenal at the Emirates.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

City lose to United 0-1

Manchester City’s search for their first Premiership home goal since New Year’s Day goes on. They lost by the one goal today to Manchester United.

Ball put his studs into Ronaldo`s stomach as he lay on the floor. A cowardly, thugish act from the City player. Although the Ref didn`t see what happened it`s to be hoped the FA will review it on video and take the appropriate action against Ball.

Revenge, when it arrived, was very sweet indeed for Ronaldo as he goaded Ball into an ill-advised tackle. The City full-back wasn`t having a very good day all in all and as he made no contact with the ball and chopped at Ronaldo's legs, the penalty award was automatic.

Ronaldo's resolve remained strong and he calmly sent Andreas Isaksson the wrong way.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of possession but the draining effects of their Champions League defeat in Milan on Wednesday were obvious and it was City who actually carved out the clearer chances.

The big chance came near the end when Ball went down trying to force his way past Brown. It was given as a penalty, but in reality was very dubious.

Vassell struck his shot powerfully enough, only for Van der Sar's long legs to get in the way.

City fans will now have to wait until next season to witness another league home goal. If they play the same system as they`ve been playing at home for much of the season they can`t expect to get goals, they are so negative with just one striker for most of the time.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

United out of Europe

It wasn`t to be this year as Manchester United slumped out of Europe, losing in the semi final to AC Milan by 3 goals to 0. Aggregate score over both legs 5-3 to Milan.

To be honest the Reds were never really in it. Their passing was unusually sloppy, their performance lacklustre. Milan did manage to rest six players out of their starting line up last weekend, United were unable to enjoy that same luxury due to their injury situation. they looked a little jaded, and had very few shots at goal.

So, the Final in Athens on May 23rd is between the same two finalists of 2 years ago - AC Milan, and Liverpool. Milan are out for revenge after losing a solid lead in that confrontation, with Liverpool winning with just minutes to go.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Liverpool Through to Final.

After a penalty shoot out yesterday between Liverpoool and Chelsea, we now know that one of the finalists in the Champions League final will be Liverpool.

United have at least taken Ferdinand and Vidic to Milan, so hopefully they`ll be fit enough to play some part in the proceedings tonight as we take on AC Milan.