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Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Manchester United Vs. Dynamo Kiev Highlight

Pique 1 - 0

Tevez 2- 0

Rooney 3 - 0

C Ronaldo 4 - 0

Manchester United Vs. Dynamo Kiev Match Result

United saw off Dynamo Kyiv and secured a spot in the Champions League Last 16 relatively unchallenged at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

Gerard Pique, Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo found the net in a comfortable and comprehensive 4-0 victory that could have been even more convincing, but for several spurned chances. AS Roma's last-minute equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Lisbon ensured United go through.

While the game in Kyiv witnessed almost care-free attacking football from both sides, this tie was laced with an air of inevitability; Dynamo’s expectations seemed dimmed by their lack of success so far in Group F, while United’s sole aim of reaching the knockout stages was sought efficiently. In that sense, it was a job very well done, and young players like Danny Simpson, Gerard Pique and Jonny Evans earned valuable experience.

Sir Alex made five changes to the team that faced Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, but there was no place in the starting line-up for Louis Saha, who took up a place on the bench, while Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves were left out entirely.

Despite maximum points from the first three games in Group F, however, this wasn’t a midway breather for United. Sir Alex has designs on lifting the trophy this season and expects qualification to be achieved at its earliest available point. “We’re in a strong position and I have the feeling this team is ready to do well in Europe,” he wrote in his programme notes. “We’ve had disappointments in the Champions League, but I really believe we can go all the way.”

An imposing thought for Dynamo, who arrived at Old Trafford without a point in Group F or indeed a victory in their last ten Champions League games. And with assistant coach, and former Arsenal defender, Oleg Luzhny taking the reins due to head coach Jozsef Szabo’s illness, their preparations were hardly ideal.

The visitors set out solely to strike on the break, and it garnered one or two early chances. Brazilian midfielder Carlos Correa tried his luck from distance in the opening seconds, before turning provider for Tiberiu Ghioane, who broke from the left and tested Edwin van der Sar with a low shot.

For United, it was an almost relaxed start. Ronaldo had the Reds’ first shot on goal when he flung a leg at Nani’s corner and sent his volley narrowly over the bar. But it was still an uncharacteristically slow start.

Rooney attempted to raise the pace. After failing to get a penalty for an apparent elbow by Vladyslav Vaschuk on 19 minutes, he nearly played in Nani for the opener. Controlling Darren Fletcher’s lofted pass, he slid the ball across the face of goal, but Nani’s shot was blocked by Serhiy Fedorov. Clearly still incensed by earlier foul, Rooney raced back into United’s half in search of possession, but a late challenge on Artem Milevskiy earned him a booking.

United were in command of the ball and gradually began to get going. Fletcher, impressive alongside Michael Carrick in the middle, was next to test Olexandr Shovkovskiy in the Dynamo goal. Pape Diakhate closed him down quickly on the edge of the area and his shot ran straight through to the Kyiv keeper.

Rio Ferdinand may be United’s top-scoring defender this season, but his replacement for the night, Gerard Pique, showed he is equally as dangerous in front of goal as the breakthrough finally arrived after 31 minutes. From Ronaldo’s free-kick, Carrick’s glancing header deflected of Tevez, but 20-year-old Catalan centre-back Pique rose highest to neatly nod in his first goal in a Reds shirt.

Nemanja Vidic, his central defensive partner, almost doubled the lead moments later when his header looped just wide from Nani’s corner. But United didn’t have to wait long for goal number two. The effervescent Carlos Tevez harangued Correa for the ball just inside the Reds’ half, then charged up field and after a one-two with Rooney he smashed the ball high into the net.

At the break Tomasz Kuszczak replaced van der Sar and was immediately called into action in the second half when Dynamo substitute Rincon fizzed in a shot from the edge of the area. The Polish goalkeeper had to be alert and he saved superbly.

Tevez should have scored a second just before the hour after a great attacking move from the Reds. Ronaldo’s pass scythed through the Dynamo defence and Rooney’s square pass left the Argentinian with time and space to shoot, but he elected to turn onto his left, and the opportunity passed.

Dynamo looked far more dangerous with Rincon on the field, and he was just a fraction away from latching onto Marjan Markovic’s cross on 61 minutes.

United seemed capable of turning up the pressure whenever required and Tevez again went close to his second of the night. Evra turned adroitly in the box and cut the ball back for the 23-year-old forward, but his shot was blocked and Danny Simpson’s follow-up was saved by Shovkovskiy.

Rooney put the tie well and truly out of reach 15 minutes from time. The Reds front man calmly side-footed in his eighth goal of the season from Nani’s perfect cross. But the pick of the bunch was left to Ronaldo with a minute left on the clock.

Latching onto Nani’s pass, Ronaldo turned inside to beat Diakhate and then unleashed a powerful drive into the far corner to complete a comprehensive 4-0 win.

Team Line-ups

Manchester United: Van der Sar (Kuszczak, 46); Simpson, Pique (Evans, 73), Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick, Fletcher, Nani; Rooney, Tevez (Saha, 67).
Subs not used: Brown, Anderson, O’Shea, Eagles.

Dynamo Kyiv: Shovkovskiy; Markovic, Diakhate, Fedorov, El Kaddouri; Ghioane, Vaschuk, Correa; Gusev (Rebrov, 46), Milevskiy (Bangoura, 76), Rotan (Rincon, 46).
Subs not used: Rybka, Gavrancic, Ninkovic, Dopilka.

Rooney: I didn't enjoy it

Wayne Rooney didn’t enjoy the 4-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv because he felt the Ukrainians came to Old Trafford without any intention of attempting to achieve a result.

The 21-year-old Reds striker got on the scoresheet, but he described the match as “like a training match”.

“We are delighted that we’re through and maybe we can rest a few players in the next two games and make sure we’re right for the knockout stages,” he said.

“It was difficult though because they didn’t want to play. It spoilt the game and I didn’t really enjoy playing in it. It was one of those night’s but we did a good job and got the win.

“It was like a training session, they came and showed no enthusiasm to play the game. At times we played some good football, but it was a slow game. The main thing, though, was that we won the game.”

Rooney was pleased with the contribution of young defenders Danny Simpson, Gerard Pique and Jonny Evans, who were all given a chance to shine.

“A few lads came in and did really well – Simmo, Gerard Pique and Jonny Evans got good experience. That will help them in years to come and I’m sure they’ll thrive on that.”

And for the rest of the squad it’s a continuation of the good form the team has been producing in recent weeks. “We’re really confident at the moment anyway,” he added. “We’re playing some good football and we just want to keep that up.” Read more...

Manchester United Vs. Dynamo Kiev Match Preview

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson, celebrating his 21st anniversary at the club, has challenged his Manchester United players to avoid becoming the Red Devils' nearly men. On the eve of his side's Champions League encounter with Dynamo Kiev, Ferguson refused to rule out extending his stay to an incredible 25 years. No matter how long the fiercely-competitive Scot remains, he wants his final seasons at United to be winning ones.

And, in accepting the Red Devils' Champions League record should be far better than it is, Ferguson has laid down the gauntlet to his young team to bring a third European Cup back to Old Trafford. ``If you are one of the best you naturally look to spell it out with cups and medals, otherwise you are in danger of ending your career as a nearly man - and I don't think a single Manchester United player wants that,'' said Ferguson, who won the Champions League in 1999.

``Talk comes cheap but I think we have built a platform that, with just a little bit of luck, will launch us on our way to capture this most elusive of trophies. ``We have had our disappointments on the Champions League trail but, while you can never take anything for granted at this level because the competition is needle sharp, I really believe we are capable of going all the way.''

Ferguson is responsible for 50% of United's European triumphs but despite that never-to-be-forgotten night in Barcelona, an unhappy succession of quarter-final and semi-final defeats - culminating in last season's loss to AC Milan in the last four - have undermined his monumental achievements on the domestic front. Still, with nine Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and a Cup-Winners' Cup triumph on his United CV.

Ferguson knows he could stand down immediately and still be hailed as one of the finest managers of all time. Such a move is not on the 65-year-old's agenda though. And, with bookmakers now offering odds on him reaching a magical 25 years at the helm, the gambler in Ferguson does not dismiss the wisdom of having a punt. ``I am proud to have been at the right club,'' he said.

``I thought 20 years was the landmark last year and now there is an extra year to add to that. It does mean something to me and now I see that are taking odds on me getting to 25 years. It will be interesting to see if I last that long.'' Although he is anxious to stress he is not in competition with illustrious predecessor Sir Matt Busby, whose first stint as manager lasted 24 years, Ferguson does believe his fellow Scot left a European legacy he must live up to.

Not only was Busby responsible for their first European trophy in 1968, he also defied the English football authorities 12 years earlier in entering United into the new competition, a season after Chelsea had declined the opportunity. ``I don't think of Sir Matt in terms of him lasting so long but there was an impact from his reign, which leaves us with a big incentive,'' said Ferguson.

``I think back to what he started after the war, when he had the vision to take Manchester United into Europe in 1956. That was before his time and beyond everyone's thinking. ``Chelsea won the league the previous year but didn't fancy Europe. The FA didn't fancy it and the Football League didn't fancy it either. ``But Sir Matt Busby did. That is the real link I have got with Sir Matt.

The years I have spent here have been about achieving and entertaining and about meeting the demands of the modern game.'' Barring a mathematical improbability, victory for United tomorrow would sweep them into the knock-out phase with two matches to spare. Having dismantled Kiev in the Ukraine a fortnight ago, there is no reason to believe Ferguson's side will struggle at Old Trafford.

Especially given United now have an almost fully-fit squad available. ``At this moment in time I am very positive about meeting the demands of this competition this season,'' said Ferguson. ``This team can go far. Certain things have to fall into place, namely to have a good, strong squad by the time you get to March. ``I can't dictate that. It is something you have to accept. You either have injuries and important times or you don't.'' Read more...

Man Utd vs Dynamo Kiev: Ferguson targets Champions League success

MANCHESTER, England, (AFP) - Alex Ferguson is convinced his Manchester United squad is now strong enough to deliver the second Champions League triumph of the Scot's 21-year reign at Old Trafford.

Ferguson hopes to mark the anniversary of his appointment as United manager with victory over Dynamo Kiev which will secure United's place in the knock-out stages of the competition with two qualifying group games still remaining.

While progression into the later rounds has rarely been a problem for Ferguson's sides in recent years, they have repeatedly failed to add to their 1999 final appearance, reaching the quarter-final three times and twice going out in the last four.

Last season United again stumbled, falling to eventual winners AC Milan at the semi-final stage

But Ferguson believes that having added Carlos Tevez, Nani, Owen Hargreaves and Anderson to last year's pool of players, his side can go one step further this year and repeat the success of eight years ago.

"We have had our disappointments on the Champions League trail but this season I really believe we are capable of going all the way," he said.

"I'm very positive we can win the competition. I think this team can go far but there are certain things that have to fall in place, namely having a good strong squad by the time you get to March and of course I can't dictate that. You either have injuries at important times or you don't.

"The players clearly want to do well in the Champions League and if you are one of the best you naturally look to spell it out with cups and medals, otherwise you are in danger of ending your career as a nearly man. And I don't think a single Manchester United player wants that.

"So am I just whistling in the dark? Talk comes cheap, I know, but I think we have built a platform that, with just a little bit of luck, will launch us on our way to capture this most elusive of trophies.

"We came close last season but fell at the penultimate hurdle when we ran out of steam.

"But this year we are stronger and more experienced. There has always been great ability in our teams but this one is maturing fast and I am convinced the players are ready to deliver.

"But I think it's a good team this, I think there are some fantastic signs about this side."

Ferguson has been forced to shelve plans to bring Gary Neville back into the first team squad for the first time since the United captain damaged ankle ligaments last March.

The England full-back's return has been hampered by a succession of niggling injuries and has now been ruled out by a calf strain picked up in training last weekend.

"It's a real dampener for the boy and for us," Ferguson added.

"He's not back to square one but it's certainly something we could have done without. I don't think it's a long one but there's no doubt he's struggling to get his season on the road and this is a set-back."

Michael Carrick is likely to make his first start since breaking his elbow in the visit of AS Roma on October 2nd while Louis Saha could also return after his substitute appearance at Arsenal that ended a five-week absence with a knee problem. Read more...

Only a victory will suffice

Assistant manager Carlos Queiroz says it is United's duty to beat Dynamo Kyiv in Wednesday evening's Champions League clash at Old Trafford.

Victory over the Ukrainian champions, coupled with anything other than a Sporting Lisbon victory against Roma, will see United into the knockout stages with two games to spare.

"We have only one thing in mind and that's to finish this qualification at home," Carlos told United Radio. "We're at home, we want to win, it's our responsibility to win at home.

"In doing that, we can help the players and it will be possible to make a couple of rotations and rest a few players between important league matches. Last season we had to win our last game and we want to avoid that this time."

The Portuguese reserved special praise for Louis Saha, who caught the eye with a fine display as a substitute at Arsenal, and he may well start against Kyiv as a result.

"It was fantastic and very special for Louis because he's been in and out for a while," said Carlos. "His touch was good, his movement was great and in the end he had a major contribution in our second goal.

"But his mental approach to the game was very positive – we can't say it was a perfect exhibition but he did everything right when he was on the pitch." Read more...

Anderson aims to prove point

After the relatively unsuccessful United careers of Kleberson, Diego Forlan and Juan Veron, Brazilian midfielder Anderson is intent on proving that South Americans can flourish at Old Trafford.

The 19-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a highly promising start to life in Manchester, and he is keen to buck the trend of previous South American imports who struggled to settle into United's style of play.

“I know the stories about the problems of the South Americans at Manchester United, but I believe that this season Carlos Tevez and I will break those,” Anderson is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.

“A Brazilian should be able to triumph in any club in the world, including this one, so I won’t make any excuses.

“I just want the chance to show my quality. I am Anderson, not Veron or Kleberson – this is the difference. Perhaps I have arrived with more ambition than those two did.

“I am happy with the way my stay in England has gone so far. The advice I have had from the manager has just been to work hard and wait for my chance.”

Anderson was one of United's outstanding performers in last weekend's draw at Arsenal, during which Gunners midfielder Cesc Fabregas accused the Brazilian of feigning injury.

"I am young but I am very pure on the field," Anderson protested. "I do not try to trick people with my actions or practice any theatre.

“The theatre is for actors, I am a footballer and I just want to play. I saw the comments of the manager and I would rather concentrate on those.

“That makes me very happy because those words are coming from one of the best coaches in the world.” Read more...

Galaxy Eye Top Bosses

David Beckham could be in line for a Premier League reunion with Jose Mourinho or Carlos Queiroz if his LA Galaxy side get their way. The MLS outfit began their search for a new boss yesterday with Jurgen Klinsmann the other big name in the frame to replace Frank Yallop, who quit Galaxy this week after a disappointing season. Klinsmann lives in California, while Manchester United assistant Queiroz has previously managed in MLS, and Galaxy president Alexi Lalas said: “We are prepared to push out the envelope on this to bring in somebody who is going to have an impact on the Galaxy and also on the league and sport in many of the same ways that David Beckham did.”
Nigel Clarke, Daily Express