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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Machester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspur (High Light)


Carlos Tevez’s slight, but crucial, touch on Nani’s powerful shot means he should be rewarded with the goal, according to Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Carlos Tevez’s slight, but crucial, touch on Nani’s powerful shot means he should be rewarded with the goal, according to Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Portuguese winger Nani rifled in a shot that swerved past Paul Robinson in the Tottenham goal, but television replays showed the ball had taken a slight deflection off the head of his Argentinian team-mate.

The detail didn’t matter much at the time, there was just sheer relief inside Old Trafford that the goal led to United’s first win of the season. But, former centre-forward Sir Alex says the goal should be credited to Tevez.

“Carlos Tevez’s touch on the ball decided,” he told Sky Sports. “It may have gone in anyway because it was such a ferocious hit. But, personally, I think it’s Tevez’s goal, being a centre-forward.”

The Reds manager also dismissed Tottenham’s claims for a second-half penalty when Wes Brown blocked Dimitar Berbatov’s shot from six yards out.

“At the time they protested so much that I thought it must have been a penalty,” he said. “But I’ve seen it, it’s clear, and Wes said himself that it hit him on the chest. As it hits him, his arm comes out so maybe that’s why they thought it hit his arm. But I’m sure of it, it hit his chest.”

Source: Manchester United Official Website

Rio's respect for new signings

Rio Ferdinand is full of admiration for United's new signings after their less than ideal introduction to life at Old Trafford.

The Reds defender says injuries and suspensions to established players have not provided the best platform for Nani and Carlos Tevez, when they would have preferred to slide into a more settled side.

"It isn’t easy for the new signings to slot in, especially when there are a lot of injuries and the side’s a bit fragmented," said Ferdinand.

"It’s been a difficult period for them, but they’ve done well. Carlos’ movement, his know-how and his nous around the pitch have been very, very good.

"Nani’s the young player with huge potential. It’s fantastic for Nani, having come to a big club like United, to hit the target like that.

"In that respect he’s similar to Ronaldo, he can hit the ball so hard that as long as he hits the target he’s got a chance of scoring like he did today.

"Hopefully we're going to see a lot more goals like that in the future."

Source: Manchester United Official Website.

Boss: Brighter times ahead

Sir Alex Ferguson has given United fans further good news on the back of the club's first Barclays Premier League win in 2007/08.

Speaking after Sunday's narrow 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur, the Reds boss revealed both Louis Saha and Anderson should be involved when Sunderland visit Old Trafford. The latter has yet to play for United competitively due to a hamstring problem.

"I think Louis Saha will be available for next Saturday's game, and Anderson will definitely be fit," said Sir Alex.

"We've got other players to come back, too. Gary Neville is a couple of weeks away, so we're getting there. There are also new players settling into the team, like Nani and Tevez.

"It's never easy coming to United when teams are so revved up to play against us. It is not going to be easy for them and they need time to settle. We have to be patient."

Sir Alex will hope the imminent additions of Anderson and Saha will address United's uncharacteristic problems in attack - prior to Nani's stunning winner against Spurs, the Reds had failed to score in 233 minutes of football.

"I thought we lacked a bit of confidence in the early part of the match," admitted Sir Alex. "I think the players were anxious, because the expectation is high here.

"But once the first ten minutes were over, it was a reasonable performance from us, not brilliant, not as good as in previous games.

"What was required during the second half and right through the game was to dig in, play with great commitment and show the right discipline to win a football match. 1-0 was a great scoreline today simply because it was going to be a difficult game anyway.

"I can look on today as the first time this season that we've had a little break. Hopefully it will give us the confidence to enjoy our football and we can now go on a long run." Read more...

What Sir Alex talked about Spur match

Ferguson said: 'At the time they protested so much I thought it was a penalty, but when I've seen it (it was not) and Wes has said it has hit him on the chest. It does hit him on the chest, I'm sure of that.'

Asked for his thoughts on the game, he added: 'Narrow margin, touch and go, nothing to choose between two sides.

'I knew it was going to be almost a war of attrition in the second half.

'They dug in and got forward a bit. There was really nothing in it in the second half.

'(With the goal) I think Carlos Tevez touching the ball decided it.'

Ferguson admitted his relief at finally claiming the first victory of the season.

'I thought we lacked a little bit of confidence. Players are anxious, there is a lot of expectation here, there are new players here,' he said.

'It was a reasonable performance from us. What was required was to dig in, show great commitment.

'Tottenham are in the wrong position just as ourselves. The expectation level for both sides is very high.' Read more...

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha (Nani)

Position: Winger
Joined United: 01 Jul 2007
Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
Previous Clubs: Sporting Lisbon
United Debut: Shenzhen
International Portugal


Sporting - Taça de Portugal: 2007
Manchester United - Community Shield: 2007

Machester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Report)

Nani (68)


This 1-0 victory, courtesy of a 68th-minute Nani strike which deflected off Carlos Tevez’s head, may not have had much of the attacking flair and verve that United’s performances at the start of last season were blessed with, but it is a victory nonetheless, and the Reds’ first of the season.

There were times when it appeared United’s winless start to 2007/08 would continue, and the final whistle was met with considerable relief from the home crowd.

Before the match, Sir Alex claimed not to have looked at the league table. Had he done so, he would have seen his team second bottom on just two points. And the Reds could have been propping up the rest of the division had Derby County claimed a point against Birmingham on Saturday.

Martin Jol’s side, who themselves have made a slower-than-expected start to the campaign, began with immediate purpose to their play. After just 20 seconds, Robbie Keane had Edwin van der Sar scrambling across his six-yard box with a curling shot that clipped the crossbar of the Dutchman’s goal.

Tottenham had clearly come with the specific intention of pressing United back in order to keep Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick deep, and blocking avenues through to Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Nani, who looked to break forward and support Carlos Tevez in attack.

The weight of expectation around Old Trafford and the necessity for a first win of the season was abundantly apparent. It was certainly a cagey start from the Reds, highlighted when Rio Ferdinand dallied on the ball in his own area expecting van der Sar to come and collect and Keane quickly stole in. It took a last-ditch block from Wes Brown to save his team-mate’s blushes.

But the United defender almost immediately redeemed himself, forcing a brilliant save from Paul Robinson in the Spurs goal with a powerful volley at the far post. That one incident inspired urgency among the supporters and the team.

With Hargreaves winning and retaining possession brilliantly in midfield, United piled forward midway through the half. Carrick went close with ferocious 30-yard shot, then Scholes, who actually knew little about it, saw a Tevez cross deflect off his shin and onto the roof of the net. However, Sir Alex’s men needed to contradict recent form and turn possession and chances into goals, and as half-time approached the breach had not been made.

Ten minutes into the second half and the impasse remained. So Sir Alex switched to a 4-4-2, replacing Carrick with Chris Eagles and pushing Giggs up front alongside Tevez, and it gave United an added attacking edge.

The game sprang into life after the hour when Gareth Bale broke away for Spurs and slipped a ball through to Berbatov, who although he stumbled managed to toe his shot through van der Sar’s legs. The ball trickled towards the goal and Ferdinand had to race back to clear off the line. Then the visitors claimed a penalty as Brown blocked Berbatov’s shot.

Seconds later, United attacked and Tevez had a shot from outside the area cleared off the line by Jermaine Jenas. It stirred the crowd, and the cacophonous support drove the Reds on. After 68 minutes Nani dispossessed Tom Huddlestone on the edge of the area and rifled a shot past Robinson via the slightest of deflections off Tevez’s head. The stadium erupted, as much a huge sigh of relief as sheer joy.

Tottenham weren’t about to surrender easily. Berbatov, largely quiet throughout the match, is capable of moments of true class, and after expertly controlling the ball on the edge of United’s penalty box, he arrowed a shot millimetres over the crossbar.

In the end, the Reds were prepared to see this match out and secure a much-needed first win of the team’s title defence. Victory at last, and for the Reds the season starts here.

Team Line-ups

Manchester United: Van der Sar; Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Nani, Scholes, Hargreaves, Carrick (Eagles, 57), Giggs (c);

Tevez (Fletcher, 78).
Subs not used: Dong, O’Shea, Kuszczak.

Tottenham Hostpur: Robinson; Chimbonda, Rocha (Zokora, 83), Gardner, Lee (Taarabt, 75); Malbranque, Huddlestone, Jenas, Bale; Berbatov, Keane (c) (Defoe, 75).
Subs not used: Stalteri, Cerny.