Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Paul Scholes - Hero of Old Trafford

Paul Scholes` goal in the 14th minute was enough to see Manchetser United through to the final of the Champions League in Moscow.

But last night, as Rio Ferdinand's sheer resolve kept Lionel Messi and Barcelona's beautiful but toothless football at bay, there could be no better hero to end Sir Alex Ferguson's wait for another joust with glory. Scholes knows time is catching up with him at 33 but true class remains timeless and as he thundered the ball into the top corner of the Barcelona net to score the most important goal of his long career, it brought true joy to every corner of Old Trafford.

When it mattered, time and again, Ferdinand was there, sticking out a foot to block, encouraging and exhorting. There was an escape 12 minutes from time, as Henry found himself unmarked six yards out from Xavi's corner only to head straight at van der Sar, before drifting into space again to curl a shot into the keeper's hands.

But this time there was to be no late horror show, no nightmare end.

For United, the final place they deserve. For Scholes, the perfect way to set the record straight.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Questions over Rooney & Vidic

Wayne Rooney and defender Nemanja Vidic sat out a training session due to injuries picked up at Stamford Bridge.

If neither play it puts United on the back foot tomorrow in their 2nd leg match against Barcelona.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Penalty Decision Leaves United Level on Points

Two goals from Michael Ballack, the second from the penalty spot, hauled Chelsea level on points with United at the top of the table, although the champions still have the edge due to their superior goal difference.

A blunder from defender Ricardo Carvalho looked to have gifted United a vital point when Wayne Rooney took full advantage of his stray pass to equalise in the 55th minute.

But the referee`s assistant gave a penalty to the home side when Carrick was deemed to have handled the ball in the dying minutes of the match.

The last two games of the season against West Ham and Wigan, are now vital to United`s hopes of clinching the title,

Thursday, April 24, 2008

United With Advantage After 0-0 Draw at Neu Camp

Cristiano Ronaldo`s missed penalty within the first 90 seconds of the game against Barcelona could prove to be costly.

A 0-0 result isn`t at all bad for United. When the return leg is played next Tuesday they will have a distinct advantage, but, they will have to come out and attack more. Hopefully, that won`t leave the Reds exposed allowing Barcelona to score.

Meanwhile, Vidic should be fit to face Chelsea on Saturday in the early afternoon kick off, having missed out on last night`s game with a virus.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tevez Gains a Draw For United

Manchester United's 10th title in 16 Premier League seasons was plunged into doubt for more than an hour last night until Carlos Tevez finally managed to beat the heroic Brad Friedel with a header two minutes from the end of normal time.

Impending defeat on a bitterly cold April evening had sent a chill through the visiting supporters and brought a breath of fresh air to the race, offering Chelsea the chance to become champions by winning their last three games – starting at home to United on Saturday. Instead Tevez's header means the reigning champions can now afford to lose at Stamford Bridge and stay on top because of a vastly superior goal difference. A victory would effectively seal the title, with games against Wigan and West Ham to spare.

Although United's performance failed to reach the standards they have set over the season – especially in the first half – the game slowly became a dramatic one, with countless hair's-breadth decisions. Four strong penalty appeals (three of them to United) were turned down.

Sir Alex Ferguson's front four, for all their interchanging, failed to threaten in the opening half an hour and Blackburn deserved the lead given to them by Roque Santa Cruz's 20th goal of the season. Ferguson replaced Ryan Giggs with Nani, and as Cristiano Ronaldo emerged from an unusual shell, United at last demonstrated the quality that ought now to win another crown.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Old Boy Bruce Helps United Out

I`m sure his first priority is for Wigan, but by drawing with Chelsea 1-1 last night Steve Bruce has certainly helped United out.

The dropped 2 points, caused by Heskey`s last minute goal, means that now Chelsea are 5 points behind the Red Devils.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

United Beat Arsenal 2-1

Manchester United went six points clear at the top of the Premier League after coming from behind to beat Arsenal at Old Trafford.

Arsenal were on top for long spells but striker Emmanuel Adebayor wasted some gilt-edged chances, before he appeared to use his arm to open the scoring.

United levelled through a Ronaldo penalty after William Gallas had handled in the Arsenal box.

Owen Hargreaves won it with 20 minutes to go with a superb 25-yard free-kick.

I must admit I was a bit worried by the end of the first half, but by the final whistle it all came right.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ferguson relishing Barcelona test

Some of United`s big guns weren`t in the starting line-up, no doubt with Sunday`s match against Arsenal in mind. But, the firepower was sufficient to ensure a win against Roma.

Carlos Tevez scored as United won the second-leg 1-0 to secure a 3-0 victory on aggregate over Roma - and set up a semi-final tie with the Catalan giants.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Ferguson. "I think that we have something special in our team.

"We cannot go to Spain and be negative, we must be positive."

United last met Barcelona in the Champions League in 1998 when their group encounter at the Nou Camp ended in a 3-3 draw.

But United won the Champions League final at the Nou Camp in 1999, with a spectacular 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich.

The first leg of this year's tie will also take place in Spain, on 23 April, with the return leg at Old Trafford a week later.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Middlesbrough 2 - Manchester United 2

United certainly missed the injured Vidic in this match. Ferdinand limped off injured, and a 2-2 result was probably fair in the end.

And yet when Cristiano Ronaldo clipped in United's opener with 80 long minutes remaining, it appeared this would be a routine Manchester United victory, not just in terms of the result but in who was responsible for it - this was Ronaldo's 37th goal of the season.

Dropping 2 points isn`t the end of the world, but it does give Chelsea a bit more hope than they had at the beginning of the weekend.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

United Beat Roma by 2 Clear Goals

And what a victory!! Ronaldo`s goal was fantastic, running over 30 yards to get up to a header from a cross by Scholes.

That takes the pressure off Manchester United on the return leg in Manchester next week. Pity about Vidic, a bad landing has put him on crutches.