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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Manchester City Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Manchester City [0 - 1] Manchester United
42' [0 - 1] W. Rooney


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Villarreal Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United are safely through to the last 16 of the Champions League - but the battle for top spot with fellow qualifiers Villarreal will continue into December after a fourth successive stalemate between the sides.

The Reds seemed more intent on winning than their cautious Spanish counterparts and will now hope to secure the more favourable draw they deserve by beating Celtic's conquerors Aalborg at Old Trafford on 10 December.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s line-up at El Madrigal showed five changes from the side that started Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Aston Villa. Nani and Darren Fletcher replaced Ji-sung Park and Ryan Giggs in midfield, and Anderson also came in at the expense of a striker, Carlos Tevez. At the back, Tomasz Kuszczak deputised for Edwin van der Sar and Jonny Evans was given another chance to impress alongside Rio Ferdinand, with Nemanja Vidic rested.

Eager to mark his recall, Anderson was instrumental in two early attacks that saw United utilise the left flank. First, he fired in a cross-cum-shot which Diego Lopez had to palm away from the Villarreal goal; next he played in Patrice Evra for a low cross that Wayne Rooney tapped home, only to see an official’s flag raised for offside.

Ex-Reds striker Giuseppe Rossi gave Kuszczak his first save, a simple one low to his right. The keeper's next act was to parry a swerving drive from Santi Cazorla.

Cristiano Ronaldo's resolve, having shrugged off a knock to start, was twice tested under the referee's nose in the first half. Italian official Roberto Rossetti had a word with the United winger and the defender who seemed to claw at his neck - later he showed Javi Venta the yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo, whose resulting free-kick was saved comfortably by Lopez. The next booking was for United's Patrice Evra, after he brought down Ariel Ibagaza.

Lopez had to make three more saves as the game approached half-time - one straightforward from Fletcher after Rooney chested down Nani's cross, and two athletic efforts to deny Ronaldo. The first of these was a stunning finger-tip save to push an equally excellent shot onto the crossbar; the final stop demonstrated good reactions as he saw Ronaldo's free-kick late but still managed to smuggle it wide. Sebastian Eguren saw yellow for the foul leading to the setpiece.

Villarreal were forced into a change at the break, bringing Bruno on for Marcos Senna. The substitute's first telling contribution, a left-wing cross aimed for Rossi, was decisively headed away by Evra.

Ronaldo resumed his duel with Diego Lopez when he drove in a menacing shot that bounced just before the keeper saved it. When Rooney went for the rebound and fell in the area, there were appeals from both sides – from Ronaldo for a penalty and from Villarreal’s defenders for a booking to punish what they saw as a dive. The referee made neither call but did produce a card for Ronaldo moments later, apparently for dissent after a separate incident. Fuentes joined Ronaldo in the book for a foul on Rooney; play was waved on to allow Fletcher a shot that he dragged wide.

With the game opening up around the hour mark, Anderson twice hit low shots straight at the keeper and Rooney chipped one wide – both players benefiting from Fletcher’s neat approach play. Another Rooney shot, on the turn following Carrick's penetrative pass, found a familiar fate - well saved by Lopez.

The Reds enjoyed some luck when Santi Cazorla bent a glorious cross in behind the defence and only just failed to get a connection from Rossi and his cohorts. Villarreal were then fortunate when Rooney's centre from the left, deflected off a defender, was headed out from under his own crossbar by the quick-thinking Capdevila. Villarreal's hero became the villain moments later, however, when he lunged at Ronaldo and was shown the red card to the chagrin of a cacophonic home faithful.

Despite the assault, Ronaldo remained on the field while Fletcher, Nani and Carrick were replaced during the last ten by Gibson, Park and Tevez as United secured safe progress.

Villarreal: Lopez; Venta, Rodriguez, Fuentes, Capdevila; Santi Cazorla, Senna (Bruno, 46), Eguren, Pires (Fernandez, 65); Ibagaza, Rossi (Franco, 79). Subs not used: Viera, Edmilson, Cygan, Lopez. Booked: Venta, Eguren, Fuentes. Sent off: Capdevila.

United: Kuszczak; O'Shea, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Ronaldo, Fletcher (Gibson, 80), Anderson, Carrick (Tevez, 86), Nani (Park, 84); Rooney. Subs not used: Foster, Giggs, Vidic, Rafael. Booked: Evra, Ronaldo.

Villarreal Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Villarreal [0 - 0] Manchester United


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sir Alex stays upbeat

Sir Alex Ferguson was far from despondent after United were held to a goalless draw at Aston Villa.

After watching Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal all drop points on Saturday, the Reds were held to a battling stalemate by Martin O'Neill's side, but Sir Alex did not see the draw as a missed opportunity.

The manager told MUTV: "Obviously we haven't taken advantage (of other results), but in context of the difficulties of the three teams we're talking about - Liverpool, Chelsea and ourselves - I think we're the team that's had the best result today.

"At the end of the day I'm satisfied in the effort the players made. It was a very determined and aggressive Aston Villa team. They really set out to make it difficult for us, but we handled that well. Today has proved that Aston Villa are a much-improved side with a lot of consistency about them, and I really think they could be in the top four."

The United boss felt that his side had done enough to warrant all three points, but reserved praise for the way Villa defended resolutely to keep United at bay.

"It was a great effort against a very determined Aston Villa team who defended for their lives, and you saw towards the end of the match that they were just hanging on," he said.

"We created the chances in the game, Villa didn't really have any. Wayne and Ji-sung Park both had good chances. Our possession was good and we had so much pressure, but in fairness to them they hung in."

Aston Villa Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United failed to close the gap at the top of the Barclays Premier League after being held to a frustrating goalless draw at Aston Villa.

The Reds dictated play for long spells but were unable to make the decisive breakthrough, with Wayne Rooney spurning the best chance midway through the second half.

While a point may not be the worst result away at a top-four side, it meant the champions were unable fully to take advantage of slips-up by Liverpool and Chelsea earlier in the day.

United had arrived for the early evening clash having won on their 11 previous visits to Villa Park in all competitions. The Reds’ line-up showed three changes as Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs all returned from injury or illness.

Villa created the first opening as Gabriel Agbonlahor ran onto Martin Laursen’s flicked header but couldn’t divert the ball past Edwin van der Sar.

United’s only chance of note in the opening quarter of an hour came when Cristiano Ronaldo cut inside and unleashed a half-volley that Brad Friedel did well to palm wide.

Nigel Reo-Coker, a midfielder by trade but playing at right-back, ventured forward and found himself with space and time to shoot, but van der Sar clung on well low to his left.

On a lush playing surface United were playing some coherent football, with Giggs, Rooney and Carlos Tevez in particular looking lively, but were finding high-flying Villa a little more difficult to break down than Stoke the previous week.

On the half-hour James Milner whipped in a dangerous cross from the right which Ferdinand hacked away at second attempt with Agbonlahor ready to pounce.

Seven minutes before the break Ji-sung Park had an excellent chance to break the deadlock after running onto Rooney’s pass in the box, but the Korean took too much time on the ball and was dispossessed by Ashley Young.

The same duo were involved in another opportunity a minute later but Park was inches away from converting Rooney’s low right-wing cross. Nemanja Vidic then headed a Giggs free-kick narrowly wide as United finished the half in the ascendency.

Villa came out with more intent to cause United problems and van der Sar was called into action again to tip over Ashley Young’s left-foot curler. Laursen headed over a resultant corner when well placed in the centre of the box.

There was a flashpoint just before the hour when the pacy Agbonhalor got in behind Vidic and was brought down just inside the box, but referee Chris Foy ruled Vidic had won the ball cleanly.

Villa were gaining a foothold but you sensed that a goal for United would deflate them. Rooney had a glorious chance to make that breakthrough but blasted high and wide from seven yards after running onto Michael Carrick’s clever pass over his head.

With 20 minutes to go Sir Alex Ferguson brought on Nani in place of Tevez, who had worked his socks off without creating any clear-cut openings for himself.

Ronaldo followed 10 minutes later and was walking gingerly as he was replaced by Anderson, having signalled to the bench that he was feeling discomfort in his knee.

It was hearts-in-mouths time for United soon after as James Milner outfoxed his two markers inside the box, only to see his cross from the byline cut out by the Reds’ defence.

United failed to carve out any more openings as the game drew to a close and the shares were spoiled, ending Villa’s 14-match losing run against Sir Alex’s men.

ASTON VILLA: Friedel, Reo-Coker, Laursen, Davies, L. Young, Barry, Sidwell (Carew 81), Petrov, Milner, Agbonlahor, A.Young.
Subs not used: Guzan, Knight, Harewood, Gardner, Salifou, Shorey.
Bookings: Davies.

MANCHESTER UNITED: Van der Sar, O’Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Ronaldo (Anderson 82), Carrick, Giggs, Park, Rooney, Tevez (Nani 71).
Subs not used: Welbeck, Rafael, Evans, Gibson, Kuszczak.

Attendance: 42,585

Aston Villa Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Aston Villa 0 - 0 Manchester United


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Danny Welbeck Goals Video Clip


Fraizer Campbell Goals


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Danny has what it takes

Michael Carrick says Danny Welbeck has the star quality required to make the grade at Old Trafford.

The 17-year-old Reds striker marked his Premier League debut by smashing a shot into the top corner in front of the Stretford End during United's 5-0 win over Stoke. But Carrick insists Welbeck won’t get carried away.

“He’s so talented,” Michael told MUTV. “We see it every day in training. It’s nice for him to produce it on the big stage. His temperament is spot on, though, so he won’t get carried away. He’s got a good chance of achieving big things here.”

Welbeck’s incredible strike late in the game was as much an indication of his unshakeable confidence as his ability to utilise the talent he possesses. Now Carrick wants to see the Longsight-born forward excel in the first-team arena.

“What a goal,” said Carrick, who was also among the scorers on an incredible afternoon. “To come on and score a goal like that must be beyond his wildest dreams. I’m sure he’ll build on that.

“He’s got bags of ability and good temperament, so he suits playing for us. I’m not sure about the celebration, but he can work on that!”

Carrick also took time to praise Ronaldo for reaching the incredible landmark of 101 goals for United in his 253rd Reds appearance.

“His scoring record is unbelievable, especially for a winger,” he said. “Even for a goal-poaching centre-forward it’d be a good record. It’s incredible that he scores as many as he does, but his game is about so much more than that. It’s a fantastic achievement and a credit to him.”

Carrick passed a goals landmark of his own on Saturday, albeit on a smaller scale to Ronaldo, with his first-half strike against the Potters. It was his tenth goal for the Reds and, after grabbing his second goal of the season, admits that he’d like to contribute more.

“It was a nice strike,” he added. “I managed to turn and get half a yard and just hit through the back of the ball and it went in. It’s something I’d like to do more of, I’d like to get a few goals. Hopefully there’s more to come.”

Sir Alex: Ronaldo's on fire

Sir Alex Ferguson says Cristiano Ronaldo has reached top form after watching the Reds winger strike two unstoppable free-kicks in the 5-0 win over Stoke.

The United boss was pleased to see Ronaldo score his 100th and 101st goals for the Reds with two wonderfully struck set-pieces.

It indicates that the Portuguese winger is now back to his very best following a start to the season disrupted by an ankle operation in the summer.

"You saw his celebration, he was very pleased and the crowd were delighted," said Sir Alex.

"He's on fire now, he's back. He's overcome his operation and he is getting quicker with every game. His fitness levels are fantastic. The boy is back."

United's five-star performance against Stoke wasn't all about Ronaldo. Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Premier League debutant Danny Welbeck also chipped in. And Sir Alex was pleased with the way the Reds defended against Stoke's physical and aerial threats.

"We did some work on it during the week. We handled the throw-ins very well - I think the crowd helped us there!" he said refferring to United's fans jeering whenever their was a throw-in that didn't fluster the Reds rearguard.

Welbeck playing it cool

Danny Welbeck announced his arrival on the Premier League stage with a wonder goal in the 5-0 win over Stoke City, but the level-headed striker has promised to keep his feet firmly on the ground.

Welbeck doesn’t turn 18 until the end of this month, but he has already caused a stir among those in the know with some exciting displays in the Carling Cup this season. But to score on his Premier League debut is the biggest indication yet of the talent he possesses.

“It feels amazing,” he told MUTV after the game. “Scoring in front of the Stretford End is what every young boy from Manchester dreams of. I loved it. I wouldn’t say I’ve dreamt about it, but I’ve thought about it every day of my life ever since I started playing football. There’s nothing better.”

The goal, a shot from 30 yards which flew into the top corner, also shows his limitless confidence in his own ability. “I got the ball on the edge of the centre-circle and I knew Ryan Shawcross was behind me. I played a one-two with Manucho, took a touch and just thought, ‘I’m going to hit it’.

“I was just relieved to see it hit the back of the net. I’m not going to lie, I’ve seen replays of it a few times already!”

But he’s not getting too carried away. “I’m sure the manager will help me keep my feet on the ground but I’m quite level-headed anyway, so I’ll just take it all in my stride. I just want more opportunities. It’s made me hungry for more. Playing with these players in the first team – there’s no better experience. I’m willing to learn and improve as much as I can as a player.”

Manchester United Vs. Stoke City Match Report

United’s class shone through with a masterclass of a performance that yielded five goals in the Reds’ biggest win of the season.

Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice from free-kicks, while Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Danny Welbeck chipped in with the other goals. Stoke were well and truly beaten: outplayed and outclassed.

United were without Wayne Rooney, who has been suffering with a chest infection all week, and Rio Ferdinand – a major loss when you consider the aerial threat Stoke pose. No doubt with that in mind, Sir Alex selected height in his team. John O’Shea lined up at right-back alongside Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Darren Fletcher and Michael Carrick in midfield all over 6ft.

It was a good job as Stoke’s play favours the aerially adept. The first five minutes was more like a game of head tennis. But while much of the pre-match talk was devoted to the main weapon in Rory Delap’s armoury, people seemed to have forgotten all about Cristiano Ronaldo’s speciality – the dipping, swerving free-kick.

Five minutes in, Abdoulaye Faye’s foul on Carlos Tevez gave Ronaldo the chance to showcase his talents. The foul was 30 yards from goal in line with the edge of the penalty area, and Ronaldo’s trademark run-up and unique style of striking the ball yielded the desired result: a shot that shifted so wickedly that Thomas Sorensen lost track of its flight and the ball crashed into the roof of the net. It was the Portuguese winger’s 100th United goal, and one to savour.

It took until the 12th minute for Stoke to get a throw-in deep in United’s half. A delay in taking the throw added an almost pantomime feel; Stoke cheering in fevered anticipation and United fans in the Stretford End booing. The embanked touchlines at Old Trafford don’t favour the throw-in expert, but the delivery was still dangerous, flicked on at the front post with Edwin van der Sar clawing it away from goal.

Stoke’s fans were certainly giddy – “stand up if you beat Arsenal” they sang, before endlessly taunting Ronald. But their supporters are enjoying their time in the top flight as much as the team, so it’s difficult to begrudge them –annoying though United fans may have found them – particularly as they’re one of the more vocal away followings to have visited Old Trafford recently.

Ji-sung Park went close for the Reds two minutes before the break. A nice passing move across the edge of the area led to Carrick slipping a ball through to Park. The Korean controlled the ball and turned sharply in one movement, but his shot was too high and went over the bar.

United’s first half performance was steady, if not always penetrative. But just as it looked like the Reds would not add to the scoreline before the break, Carrick spliced open the Stoke defence again, this time with an unstoppable shot past Sorensen. Ronaldo did well out wide and slipped a pass to Carrick, whose powerful left-footed drive found a route through a crowd of yellow shirts into the top corner.

The Reds began the second half with renewed intent. Tevez’s lofted pass played Berbatov almost immediately after the restart. But the Bulgarian front man was eventually crowded out. Minutes later the same combination led to United’s third goal. Berbatov controlled Tevez’s cross before turning and drilling the ball past Sorensen.

The United fans in the old scoreboard end should be credited with one of the chants of the season: “You’ve only come to see your throw-in”, such was the excitement in the away end whenever the ball went out of play.

The constant banter with the Stoke fans created a buzz inside Old Trafford which added to the game as a spectacle. And United continued to plough forward. Ronaldo left Sorensen completed befuddled with another thundering free kick, while Tevez hungrily chased a goal.

Such was United’s comfort that Sir Alex brought on Danny Welbeck and Darron Gibson in place of Park and the outstanding Darren Fletcher. Welbeck’s late cameo brought another flourish in a game of goals to savour. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, the 17-year-old striker pressed forward before unleashing a screamer of a shot into the top corner – talk about making your mark, it was arguably the pick of the bunch.

Stoke may have learned many lessons on the biggest Premier League stage, one their fans may like to remember, mocking Ronaldo usually only leads to one outcome, and he delivered it with a second free-kick, this time from 20 yards and arrowed into the bottom corner.

Stoke are clearly an effective team – their results against Aston Villa, Arsenal and Liverpool this season illustrate that point – but as long as United matched their endeavour, the Reds’ sheer quality was bound to win through, which it did in all its glory.

Team Line-ups

United: Van der Sar; O'Shea, Vidic, Evans, Evra; Ronaldo, Fletcher (Gibson 63), Carrick, Park (Welbeck 63); Tevez (Manucho 75), Berbatov.
Subs not used: Foster, Anderson, Nani, Rafael.
Booked: Evra

Stoke City: Sorensen; Griffin (Wilkinson 78), Shawcross Ab.Faye, Higgingbothom; Olofinjana (Cresswell 32), Diao, Am.Faye, Delap; Sidibe, Fuller (Kitson 69).
Subs not used: Simonsen, Cort, Whelan, Tonge.
Booked: Fuller, Delap

Manchester United Vs. Stoke City Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [5 - 0] Stoke City
4' [1 - 0] C. Ronaldo
45' [2 - 0] M. Carrick
49' [3 - 0] D. Berbatov
84' [4 - 0] D. Welbeck
89' [5 - 0] C. Ronaldo


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Evans rated by Rio

Rio Ferdinand has tipped fellow United centre-back Jonny Evans as a future international captain.

Evans' appearances for Northern Ireland are already in double figures, even though he's played just seven times for the Reds at senior level - including Tuesday's Carling Cup win over Queens Park Rangers.

However, his club statistics are bolstered by his time on loan at Sunderland, whose manager Roy Keane attempted to lure Evans to the north east on a permanent deal in the summer. The reason it didn't happen was Sir Alex Ferguson's determination not to lose a player whose career he believes is “absolutely guaranteed”.

Now Ferdinand, a veteran of almost 300 United appearances, has echoed his manager’s sentiments.

“Jonny is a top, top player,” said Rio. “A few managers wanted to buy him in the summer, so that tells you what a good prospect he is.

“At Sunderland last season he was probably one of their better players. He’s good with both feet, he’s playing for Northern Ireland and he’ll probably be their captain in the near future.

“You can see why the manager fought so hard to keep him, and to make sure Jonny realises his future is here at Old Trafford. He’ll have a major part to play in the coming years.”

A decade ago, Rio was a promising defender coming through the ranks at West Ham United. He knows all too well the frustrations young players can face when breaking into the first team.

“You’re impatient and you just want to play football,” he said.

“When I was a kid I was behind the likes of Slaven Bilic, Alvin Martin and Marc Rieper, but I wanted to play every game. Jonny will be thinking the same.

“No matter who’s in front of you, no matter how good they are, you just want to play football.

“The manager will just make sure Jonny trains hard and takes the best bits from all the players he works with and brings it to his own game.

“He’s looked assured each time he’s been called upon this season and I’m sure that will continue.”

Scholes makes City return bid

Paul Scholes could make a sensational return in the Manchester derby. The midfield ace has surprised everyone with his fast recovery from the knee ligament injury he picked up last month. Yesterday, he was on the training ground and is expected to resume full training in 10 days, leaving him with a week to prepare for the away clash with City on November 30. A United insider said: “Paul was spraying 40 yard passes around as if he had never been away. You would not believe he suffered an injury just six weeks ago. He could play in the derby — it’s just a question of what the boss wants to do.”
Staff writer, The Sun

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Focus on .. Rafael

The arrival of identical twins, both full-backs and Under-18 internationals for Brazil, slipped under the radar of most Reds. For those in the know, whispers abounded about the former Fluminense pair who were dubbed, unimaginatively, the ‘Samba Nevilles’.

Rafael impressed in pre-season at Peterborough and during his competitive debut against Newcastle, and has tasted more first-team action since, notably scoring against Arsenal at the weekend. Former Red Clayton Blackmore has watched with interest as Rafael has slotted into Sir Alex’s side, whether in the Premier League, Carling Cup or Champions League.

“Rafael’s been fantastic,” says Blackmore. “He’s like a breath of fresh air. He’s got so much energy, he’s lightning fast and he loves to get stuck in and make a tackle, which is perfect for the English game. He’s very similar to Patrice Evra in the way that he likes to charge forward. I think he’ll be well suited to a wing-back role, which is how we like to play these days.”

Sir Alex recently admitted that he’d been so impressed by his new no.21 that he now considers three players when selecting his right-back. Rafael got the nod when the Reds faced Aalborg on Champions League Matchday 2, and the youngster seized the opportunity.

“He wasn’t fazed by playing at the highest level and he was probably one of our best players that night,” Blackmore says. “He was cutting inside, shooting; he was playing in a similar way to Ronaldo. Obviously he doesn’t have quite as many tricks as Ronny, but he does look very comfortable with the ball at his feet.”

Blackmore, who often played at full-back during his 245-game United career, is quick to point out, however, that Rafael is far from the finished article. Experience will help him become that, insists the Welshman.

“He’ll be learning every day on the training ground from Gary, Wes and Patrice,” he says. “And don’t forget he’ll be up against the likes of Ronaldo, Nani and Park, too, so he’ll soon learn how to stop the best wingers in the world.”

Can we expect to see more of the tireless young Brazilian this season? Blackmore thinks so… “Wes and Gary are ahead of Rafael in the pecking order, but the manager won’t hesitate to give him games, especially when we find ourselves regularly playing twice a week.”

Park praises youthful Reds

Ji-sung Park was impressed by the display of United's youngsters in the 1-0 Carling Cup win over Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday night.

The Korean winger lined up alongside the likes of Darron Gibson, Jonny Evans and Rafael in a fourth-round tie which was settled by Carlos Tevez's penalty 15 minutes from time.

Park told "Many young players played and, although we only scored one goal, we controlled the match so it was not bad.

"The younger players have been training with the first team so we have no problem playing together, and they did very well."

Park improved as the game unfolded against the Championship side and almost capped his second successive 90-minute run-out with a goal, only to see his rising shot hit the post.

"I thought it was in!" he said. "I felt good when I struck the ball, but sadly it did not go in. I played against Arsenal and am now getting some consistent action, so I was able to keep up my pace throughout the game."

United return to league action against Stoke on Saturday and Park knows there is plenty of time for the champions to overhaul leaders Chelsea.

"We lost against Arsenal, which was obviously not good," Park added. "But we’re still in the season and there are many matches ahead, so I'm not worried."

United join race to sign Witsel

Manchester United have joined the chase for Axel Witsel after Sir Alex Ferguson sent one of his top scouts to watch the teenage midfielder in UEFA Cup action last week. The United manager has been alerted to growing interest in Witsel and may now join the bidding for him after studying a report on another impressive performance in Standard Liege's 1-0 win over Sevilla last Thursday.
Sportsmail can reveal that United and Inter Milan were both represented at the game but that Bolton's hopes of landing the 19-year old for £6million have been dashed after they were told it would take at least twice as much to prise him away.
John Edwards, Daily Mail

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Manchester United Vs. Queens Park Rangers Match Report

United’s mixture of youth and experience reached the quarter-finals of the Carling Cup after overcoming a dogged Queens Park Rangers at a bitterly cold Old Trafford.

The Reds were much-changed after the weekend defeat by Arsenal but had enough to see off the Championship side in a scrappy game which only spluttered into life late in the second half.

Carlos Tevez broke the visitors' resistance from the penalty spot with 15 minutes left and United saw out the rest of the game without great alarm to reach the last eight for the first time since lifting the trophy three seasons ago.

As expected, Sir Alex Ferguson opted to rest several of his senior players and hand starts to youngsters Jonny Evans, Darron Gibson and Rodrigo Possebon – the latter for the first time since suffering a leg injury in the last round against Middlesbrough.

And the Brazilian midfielder almost got on the end of Anderson’s sixth-minute corner, only to see the ball nicked from the top of his head.

Tevez started as the only out-and-out striker and was determined to impress, twice testing Radek Cerny from the edge of the box early on and then shaving the near post with a flick-on from John O’Shea’s cross.

Rangers, playing in a 4-5-1 formation, were largely effective in restricting United to long-range strikes in the first period. Anderson stung Cerny’s palms from the edge of the box, while Saturday’s goalscorer Rafael tried his luck again but his left-foot shot sailed over.

That said, the visitors offered nothing going forward, with Tomasz Kuszczak given little to do other than endure the freezing Manchester night air.

United began the second half with greater intent and Nani sent a flashing drive past Cerny’s right-hand post.

Ji-sung Park then went even closer with a rising shot that smacked the post after Rafael had superbly outfoxed two Rangers defenders on the byline.

Tevez was denied again minutes later as Cerny tipped over his powerful drive from an acute angle, before the Rangers keeper parried another drive from Anderson, still seeking his first Reds goal.

Danny Welbeck, whose only previous first-team appearance this season came in the last round of this competition, replaced Possebon with 20 minutes to go and had an immediate impact as he won the decisive penalty.

The pacy young striker ran onto Nani’s pass on the left-hand side of the box, poked the ball past Peter Ramage and was upended by the former Newcastle defender, leaving referee Phil Dowd with little choice but to point to the spot.Tevez stepped up to send Cerny the wrong way and all but end any hopes Rangers had of forcing extra-time.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side were, however, forced to come out of their shell and Dexter Blackstock saw a shot blocked before substitute Samuel Di Carmine was flagged offside as he diverted the ball home.

Nani twice could have sealed it but Cerny was again on hand to deny him, before Emmanuel Ledesma curled QPR’s best chance of the game wide at the death.

No matter, United held on and are in the hat for the next round, just reward for another sound performance from Ferguson’s youngsters.

Manchester United: Kuszczak; Rafael, Evans, Neville (Vidic 90), O'Shea; Gibson, Anderson, Possebon (Welbeck 72); Nani, Park, Tevez.
Subs not used: Foster, Carrick, Manucho, Cleverley, Gray.

Queens Park Rangers: Cerny; Stewart, Connolly, Hall, Ramage Mahon; Parejo (Ledesma 46), Buzsaky (Agyemang 33), Rowlands, Cook (Di Carmine 78); Blackstock.
Subs not used: Delaney, Gorkss, Ephraim, Cole.

Attendance: 62,539.

Manchester United Vs. Queens Park Rangers Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [1 - 0] Queens Park Rangers
76' [1 - 0] C.A. Tevez (pen.)


Monday, November 10, 2008

2008/2009 English Premiership on November 10, 2008

2008/2009 English Premiership
Overall Home Away
1 Chelsea 12 9 2 1 29 4 3 2 1 13 3 6 0 0 16 1 25 29
2 Liverpool 12 9 2 1 19 8 5 1 0 11 4 4 1 1 8 4 11 29
3 Arsenal 12 7 2 3 25 13 4 1 1 14 8 3 1 2 11 5 12 23
4 Man Utd 11 6 3 2 20 10 4 1 0 13 4 2 2 2 7 6 10 21
5 Aston Villa 12 6 2 4 20 16 3 2 1 10 7 3 0 3 10 9 4 20
6 Hull 12 6 2 4 17 19 2 1 3 5 12 4 1 1 12 7 -2 20
7 Everton 12 5 3 4 18 20 1 2 3 6 11 4 1 1 12 9 -2 18
8 Middlesbrough 12 5 2 5 13 17 3 1 2 7 9 2 1 3 6 8 -4 17
9 Portsmouth 12 5 2 5 13 18 3 1 2 8 6 2 1 3 5 12 -5 17
10 Fulham 11 4 2 5 10 10 4 1 1 8 4 0 1 4 2 6 0 14
11 Bolton 12 4 2 6 11 13 2 2 2 6 5 2 0 4 5 8 -2 14
12 Stoke 12 4 2 6 13 19 4 0 2 10 9 0 2 4 3 10 -6 14
13 Man City 12 4 1 7 24 20 3 0 3 16 8 1 1 4 8 12 4 13
14 West Ham 12 4 1 7 16 22 3 0 3 11 11 1 1 4 5 11 -6 13
15 Blackburn 12 3 4 5 13 22 1 2 3 3 10 2 2 2 10 12 -9 13
16 Tottenham 12 3 3 6 15 18 2 1 3 6 6 1 2 3 9 12 -3 12
17 Wigan 12 3 3 6 13 16 1 2 3 3 8 2 1 3 10 8 -3 12
18 Newcastle 12 3 3 6 15 20 3 1 2 9 7 0 2 4 6 13 -5 12
19 Sunderland 12 3 3 6 10 18 2 1 3 6 8 1 2 3 4 10 -8 12
20 West Brom 12 3 2 7 10 21 2 1 3 8 11 1 1 4 2 10 -11 11

Welbeck is raring to go

Welbeck did everything but score on his United debut in the 3-1 Carling Cup third round win over Middlesbrough. Now, he’s looking to build on that display against Queens Park Rangers.

Sir Alex intends to start the 17-year-old striker against Rangers on Tuesday at OT. Danny is keen to avenge a missed chance against Boro, when goalkeeper Brad Jones denied him at the start of the second half.

“I’ve seen the replay and I could maybe have done better," he tells United Review. "It was a good save, but scoring on my debut would have been perfect.

“I’m just looking forward to the next chance I get - hopefully against QPR. We’re wary of the threat they pose. It’ll be tough because they’ll be at us from the first whistle. I’ve watched a few of QPR’s games this season and they look decent, but we’re ready to go – whoever plays.”

Sir Alex set to ring changes

Sir Alex Ferguson will continue his policy of youth alongside older, more experienced heads when the Reds take on Queens Park Rangers in the Carling Cup fourth round at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

After handing out four first United starts and three debuts outright in the 3-1 third round win over Middlesbrough, the Reds boss is set for a similar approach as he rings the changes after Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat to Arsenal.

Sir Alex says: “The younger ones who will play will be Jonny Evans, Rodrigo Possebon, Rafael, Darron Gibson, Danny Welbeck – who is back playing now in the Reserves after overcoming injury – and possibly Manucho. The rest of the team will be filled by the first team squad.”

It’s a comeback to first-team action for Brazilian midfielder Possebon, who suffered a nasty injury in the last round after a crunching tackle from Emanuel Pogatetz. Initial fears of a broken leg or damaged knee ligaments thankfully did not materialise, and it will be a welcome return to the Old Trafford stage for the creative 19-year-old midfielder.

“There’s absolutely no problem with the boy now,” added the boss. “We did worry at the time, but fortunately he was OK.”

However, there’s still not a chance for United fans to Fabio, twin brother of Rafael, who hit a wonderful volley against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium at the weekend. Fabio, who plays on the left side of defence had an operation on his shoulder recently and won’t recover in time to play.

Sir Alex fumes at United away days

Sir Alex Ferguson has complained that Manchester United’s bid for a third consecutive Barclays Premier League title is being undermined by an unbalanced fixture list. United have taken a solitary point from their meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, their main challengers for the title, but Ferguson believes that his team have been “handicapped” by an unforgiving programme. All six of United’s six Champions League group matches have been or will be followed by tough away assignments – against Chelsea, Blackburn Rovers, Everton, Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur – and Ferguson believes that the situation is unfair, even though he said that fatigue did not appear to be a contributing factor on Saturday. “They say the league is not handicapped, but I’m not so sure,” Ferguson said. “Having every game away from home following a European tie is not easy. Going from Celtic on Wednesday to play at Arsenal the following Saturday lunchtime is hard, although, funnily enough, I didn’t think it was a problem on this occasion.”
Oliver Kay, The Times

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boss rues missed chances

Sir Alex Ferguson was rueful, but not disheartened after watching his side edged out in a thrilling game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Samir Nasri's double gave the Gunners all three points, while United passed up a string of decent chances - including one gilt-edged opportunity for Cristiano Ronaldo shortly after Nasri's second - before Rafael's late consolation strike.

"The chances we had in the game were incredible," Sir Alex told Sky Sports. "It was the area in which we let ourselves down. I think if we'd got one when Ronaldo got his great chance, then we'd have got something out of the game.

"It was fantasy football, it was like playground stuff - you attack, we attack - and they got the goals that mattered. In fairness to my own team, after the second goal their determination and drive to try and rescue the game was fantastic, and we probably deserved something from the game, I think."

After watching his side play a huge part in a pulsating game, the United manager felt the whole affair was a tremendous advert for attacking football.

"Some of the football out there today from both teams was magnificent," he said. "I don't think you'll see a game as good as that anywhere else in the country.

"Sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and say 'if you're going to get beaten, just make sure it's someone who's going to play football', and Arsenal played good football at times. Not as dangerous as us in attacking play, but they got the goals that mattered."

Arsenal Vs. Manchester United Match Report

A double from French forward Samir Nasri condemned United to a second defeat of the season, and moved Arsenal ahead of the champions in the Premier League table.

The Gunners' summer signing from Marseille struck with 20-yard efforts in either half, while United had only Rafael's late consolation to show after passing up a string of chances. Wayne Rooney, Anderson, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ji-sung Park were all unable to find a way past Manuel Almunia, while Gael Clichy was a touch fortunate to survive a first-half penalty claim for handball.

The entire first half was a captivating affair, with chances cropping up from the get-go. In the first minute, Manuel Almunia was punished for picking up an errant back-pass from former Reds defender Mikael Silvestre. From the resultant free-kick, Anderson’s effort was inadvertently blocked by Park, and Carrick sent the rebound just wide.

After eight minutes, the Reds went one better and found a route past Almunia, only for Berbatov to see his goal chalked off. Great build-up play between Neville, Ronaldo and Park ended with Rooney’s curling effort being parried out by Almunia, before Berbatov converted the loose ball, having been lurking in an offside position.

In response, Gael Clichy fizzed in a superb left-wing cross which found Bendtner in-between Ferdinand and Vidic, but the Dane could only guide his free header over the bar. Two minutes later, he was again guilty of a glaring miss, failing to apply any kind of touch to Nasri’s in-swinging cross.

That move was exceptional, but bettered by a piece of United teamwork in the 18th minute. Anderson skipped away from Fabregas and found Berbatov’s run inside the area. The Bulgarian fed Ronaldo, who slid a ball back for Rooney, but the England striker fired over when well-placed, 15 yards out.

For a game of such speed and incision, it was far from fitting that the opening goal came from a set-piece and a deflection. A right-wing free kick from Fabregas was headed clear by Berbatov, as far as Nasri on the edge of the area. The Frenchman’s left-footed strike took a telling deflection off Neville en route, leaving van der Sar helpless as the ball sped past him.

United’s response was to dominate possession immediately afterwards. After Gallas had prevented Evra bursting into the Arsenal area, Ronaldo's perfectly drilled in-swinging free-kick clipped Clichy’s head, but somehow inched past the far post.

The game continued at a breathless pace, with Walcott firing a volley off-target for the Gunners and Park having a fine left-footed effort powerfully parried away by Almunia. The Reds had a reasonable shout for a penalty turned down when Rooney's cross struck the arm of Clichy inside the area, before Anderson wormed himself through a cluster of Gunners defenders, but saw his close-range effort clutched gratefully by Almunia.

Somehow, just the one goal was the collective end product of some superb attacking play from both sides. Within two minutes of the restart, however, Arsenal struck again. Fabregas turned Neville and slid a pass to Nasri, who took advantage of space created by Walcott's run to drill a fine shot high past van der Sar.

Little more than a minute had passed when United had a glorious chance to pull a goal back. Park again worked well down the left and curled in a delightful back-post cross, but Ronaldo sidefooted fractionally past the far post.

Had that opening been converted, Arsenal's nerve would have been tested. As it was, the hosts were able to regroup, and proceeded to defend as if their lives depended on it. Time and again a home defender applied a telling touch or block to curtail a United forward foray, ensuring an afternoon of frustration for the Reds.

Sir Alex Ferguson introduced Rafael, Ryan Giggs and Carlos Tevez as the second period wore on, with a view to injecting more attacking incision, and it was the young Brazilian who belatedly gave his side hope.

In the final minute of normal time, Silvestre headed Giggs' cross clear as far as the edge of his own area, where Rafael took a touch on his chest and lashed a stunning left-footed volley past substitute goalkeeper Fabianski, who had earlier replaced the injured Almunia.

Team line-ups

ARSENAL: Almunia (Fabianski 78); Sagna, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy; Walcott (Song 78), Denilson, Diaby (Toure 86), Fabregas, Nasri; Bendtner.
Substitutes: Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Djourou.
Booked: Gallas, Sagna, Clichy

MANCHESTER UNITED: Van der Sar; Neville (Rafael 63), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Ronaldo, Carrick, Anderson (Giggs 72), Park; Berbatov, Rooney (Tevez 77).
Subs not used: Kuszczak, Nani, O’Shea, J Evans.
Booked: Evra, Carrick

Arsenal Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Arsenal [2 - 1] Manchester United
22' [1 - 0] S. Nasri
48' [2 - 0] S. Nasri
90' [2 - 1] R.d. Silva


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Christiano Ronaldo Interview After Celtic Game Video Clip


UEFA Champion League Group Standing November 6, 2008

2008 First Phase - Group A
Overall Home Away
1 Chelsea 4 2 1 1 6 3 2 0 0 5 0 0 1 1 1 3 3 7
2 Roma 4 2 0 2 7 5 1 0 1 4 3 1 0 1 3 2 2 6
3 Bordeaux 4 2 0 2 4 8 1 0 1 2 3 1 0 1 2 5 -4 6
4 CFR Cluj-Napoca 4 1 1 2 3 4 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 1 2 2 -1 4

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group B
Overall Home Away
1 Inter Milan 4 2 2 0 7 4 1 1 0 2 1 1 1 0 5 3 3 8
2 Anorthosis Famagusta 4 1 2 1 6 5 1 1 0 6 4 0 1 1 0 1 1 5
3 Panathinaikos 4 1 1 2 6 7 0 1 1 2 4 1 0 1 4 3 -1 4
4 Werder Bremen 4 0 3 1 3 6 0 1 1 0 3 0 2 0 3 3 -3 3

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group C
Overall Home Away
1 Barcelona 4 3 1 0 11 3 1 1 0 4 2 2 0 0 7 1 8 10
2 Sporting Lisbon 4 3 0 1 5 3 2 0 0 3 0 1 0 1 2 3 2 9
3 Shakhtar Donetsk 4 1 0 3 3 5 0 0 2 1 3 1 0 1 2 2 -2 3
4 FC Basel 4 0 1 3 2 10 0 0 2 1 7 0 1 1 1 3 -8 1

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group D
Overall Home Away
1 Atl├ętico Madrid 4 2 2 0 7 3 1 1 0 3 2 1 1 0 4 1 4 8
2 Liverpool 4 2 2 0 7 4 1 1 0 4 2 1 1 0 3 2 3 8
3 Marseille 4 1 0 3 5 6 1 0 1 4 2 0 0 2 1 4 -1 3
4 PSV Eindhoven 4 1 0 3 3 9 1 0 1 2 3 0 0 2 1 6 -6 3

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group E
Overall Home Away
1 Man Utd 4 2 2 0 7 1 1 1 0 3 0 1 1 0 4 1 6 8
2 Villarreal 4 2 2 0 9 5 2 0 0 7 3 0 2 0 2 2 4 8
3 Celtic 4 0 2 2 1 5 0 2 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 4 -4 2
4 AaB 4 0 2 2 5 11 0 1 1 2 5 0 1 1 3 6 -6 2

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group F
Overall Home Away
1 Lyon 4 2 2 0 10 6 1 1 0 4 2 1 1 0 6 4 4 8
2 Bayern Munich 4 2 2 0 6 2 1 1 0 4 1 1 1 0 2 1 4 8
3 Fiorentina 4 0 3 1 3 6 0 2 0 1 1 0 1 1 2 5 -3 3
4 Steaua Bucuresti 4 0 1 3 3 8 0 0 2 3 6 0 1 1 0 2 -5 1

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group G
Overall Home Away
1 Arsenal 4 2 2 0 10 3 1 1 0 4 0 1 1 0 6 3 7 8
2 FC Porto 4 2 0 2 5 7 1 0 1 3 2 1 0 1 2 5 -2 6
3 Dynamo Kiev 4 1 2 1 3 3 0 1 1 2 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 5
4 Fenerbahce 4 0 2 2 3 8 0 1 1 2 5 0 1 1 1 3 -5 2

November 6, 20082008 First Phase - Group H
Overall Home Away
1 Juventus 4 3 1 0 7 3 2 0 0 3 1 1 1 0 4 2 4 10
2 Real Madrid 4 2 0 2 5 5 1 0 1 2 2 1 0 1 3 3 0 6
3 Zenit St Petersburg 4 1 1 2 4 4 0 1 1 2 3 1 0 1 2 1 0 4
4 BATE Borisov 4 0 2 2 3 7 0 1 1 2 4 0 1 1 1 3 -4 2