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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Result Report

There was little festive cheer for United fans at Fulham on Saturday afternoon as goals from Danny Murphy, Bobby Zamora and Damien Duff consigned the Reds to a fifth league defeat of the season.

Sir Alex’s men were under-strength yet again due to the club's ever-mounting injury crisis, but did themselves few favours on a ground that, before 2009, the Reds hadn’t lost at for 45 years.

Too often United were sloppy in possession and the makeshift backline struggled to find an answer to Bobby Zamora’s physical presence. Last weekend United lost to Aston Villa despite dominating much of the game. At Craven Cottage on Saturday, however, the opposition were good value for the three points.

The home side worked hard in midfield and restricted the Reds to optimistic pot-shots from long range. Meanwhile, Zamora and Zoltan Gera caused havoc against a makeshift Reds defence that included young Beligan Ritchie De Laet, making just his third league start at senior level.

Of course, this wasn't the first time Sir Alex has been forced to field a weakened side in recent weeks. For the most part, however, United have largely coped well with depleted resources. But at Fulham there was a feeling that this was one step too far, one game too many for players who have now been playing out of position for almost a month.

With seven defenders unavailable through injury, Michael Carrick was again utilised at the heart of the defence, alongside fellow midfielder Darren Fletcher and the young De Laet. And while Sir Alex’s men enjoyed plenty of the ball in the early stages, they failed to test Mark Schwarzer in the Fulham goal. Instead, it was Tomasz Kuszczak who was drawn into the first save of the game on 17 minutes, showing lightning-fast reflexes to push over Zoltan Gera’s close-range volley.

Unfortunately Paul Scholes wasn’t quite as sharp five minutes later. Receiving the ball 35 yards out and facing his own goal, Scholes dallied long enough to allow Danny Murphy to nip in and win possession. The former Liverpool midfielder advanced, picked his spot and fired low past Kuszczak from 20 yards to give the home side the lead.

And it almost got worse for United just after the half-hour mark. Gera and Zamora, who had combined so well to fashion Gera’s earlier chance, caused more havoc inside the Reds’ penalty area before Zamora headed wide at the back post.

Possession is key when playing 3-5-2 but, the opening 10 minutes aside, Sir Alex’s men struggled to assert themselves on the game in the first half. There was certainly little forward thrust from the Reds, as Fulham’s midfielders worked hard to press United and force early long balls.

The half-time break came as something of a relief to the Reds, but any instructions the manager issued at the interval required instant reassessment when Fulham went 2-0 up just 19 seconds after the restart. Damien Duff found space on the right and crossed to the back post where Clint Dempesy nodded the ball back across goal for Zamora to slam home on the half-volley. It was a cruel blow for United but no less than Zamora deserved on a day when he was head-and-shoulders above any other player on the pitch.

Fulham’s second goal prompted United to revert to 4-4-2 and make two substitutions. Ritchie De Laet made way for Fabio, who went to right back as Darren Fletcher moved into the centre of defence, while Dimitar Berbatov replaced Darron Gibson and Wayne Rooney drifted out to the left flank.

The change almost paid instant dividends, as Berbatov teed up Rooney inside the box to fire just wide of the far post. The Bulgarian injected some much-needed creativity to the United side and he was again responsible for creating another Reds chance a few minutes later. This time Scholes miscued his shot from the edge of the area and the ball rolled harmlessly wide for a goal kick.

Just as the Reds began to show glimpses of a fightback, Damien Duff put the game beyond doubt. Again Zamora did well, chesting down a long ball forward before finding time to lay the ball off to Duff, who rounded off the scoring by volleying home from just inside the penalty area.

It capped a day United fans will be keen to forget, as Sir Alex and his team now turn their attention to the Reds' trip to Hull City next weekend.

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clips

Fulham [3 - 0] Manchester United
22' [1 - 0] D. Murphy
46' [2 - 0] B. Zamora
75' [3 - 0] D. Duff


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Barcelona Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Barcelona [2 - 0] Manchester United
10' [1 - 0] S. Eto´o
70' [2 - 0] L. Messi

1-0 S.Eto'o  10' // Alternative | Download

2-0 L.Messi 70' // Alternative | Download


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Manchester United Individual Award Presentation 2009

Man Utd Stars Arrive, Backstage & On Stage At 2009 Awards

Cristiano Ronaldo Wins Goal of the Season 2009 Award

Cristiano Ronaldo Interview

Federico Macheda Wins Young Player Award 2009

Nemanja Vidic Wins Fans & Players Award 2009


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Two Interview of Christiano Ronaldo After Manchester United Won Premier League Title for 2008/2009 Season


Manchester United Vs. Arsenal Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [0 - 0] Arsenal


Manchester Vs. Arsenal Match Report

United are once again champions of England and inevitably, it was achieved the hard way, with a nail-biting goalless draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford.

A tense, nerve-wracking afternoon saw few chances at either at end, as a largely dour match dragged agonisingly to its conclusion. Hearts were in mouths for United fans throughout the afternoon, and never more than when Cesc Fabregas struck the post with six minutes remaining.

Victories over Manchester City and Wigan had the champions six points clear of second-placed Liverpool going into the match, meaning a point would secure a record-equalling 18th league title. Mindful of the dangers of playing for a draw, the Reds were quick out of the traps.

Barely 15 seconds had passed before Cristiano Ronaldo got the better of Kieran Gibbs, exposing the space behind the young full-back to race onto Darren Fletcher’s through-ball. The Portuguese declined to continue his sprint, however, and his cross was cleared before it could reach Ryan Giggs.

That early opening heralded a sustained spell of United pressure, which only served to heighten the expectant buzz which had hummed around Old Trafford long before kick-off.

However, Arsenal, still reeling from their Champions League exit at the hands of United, and the subsequent scrutiny of their silverware drought of recent years, were not at Old Trafford to simply roll over for the champions-elect.

Robin van Persie headed wastefully over from Andrey Arshavin’s pinpoint right-wing cross, despite having no United defenders in his immediate vicinity, while it took a last ditch challenge from Jonny Evans to halt an Arshavin run which had bypassed three of the Reds’ backline.

Slowly, United began to find gaps in the Gunners’ midfield and defence, and Wayne Rooney was agonisingly close to opening the scoring after 17 minutes, as he glanced Michael Carrick’s measured back-post cross narrowly past the upright.

From there, chances were few and far between for either side. United found Arsenal’s reshuffled backline hard to penetrate, while the visitors struggled to find the killer ball to crown their impressive approach play.

Giggs drilled over the bar from a difficult angle, but the half ended on a nervous note for United as Samir Nasri lashed a half-cleared corner goalwards. The Frenchman’s effort was heading off target, but could have deviated anywhere as it hit the unmarked van Persie. Fortunately for the Reds, the loose ball fell kindly and Nemanja Vidic was able to clear.

At the break, United had the required point to seal the title. However, the growing air of nervousness inside Old Trafford suggested a foreboding that Arsenal, with no great motivation of their own, could still gatecrash the party.

The Gunners were clearly in the mood to do so. The second half was barely underway when Cesc Fabregas was booked for following through on Evra. Moments later van Persie, already booked for hacking Ronaldo down, also caught the Frenchman. Referee Mike Dean lectured the Dutchman on his behaviour, before promptly booking Nasri for a cynical trip, again on the battered and bruised Evra.

As if to add a more dramatic backdrop to the now simmering atmosphere, proceedings were subjected to a brief, but torrential downpour which the the turf further zip. Both sides continued to pop passes around, regardless of the saturated conditions, and United's first clear chance of the game was quickly forthcoming.

Giggs' cross from the right wing found Tevez, who rolled Kolo Toure but was quickly pressurised by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski. The Argentine was unable to fire shot off, and Ronaldo blazed the rebound high into the Stretford End.

Arsenal were still retaining possession with more authority than their hosts, and Sir Alex Ferguson responded by throwing Ji-sung Park into the fray, at the expense of Tevez. The Korean soon had the ball in the Arsenal net, bursting through and swapping passes with Ronaldo before tapping in, only for the goal to be ruled offside. To the naked eye it was comfortably the right decision, only for television replays to reveal that Ronaldo had been played onside by Bacary Sagna.

A goal would have lifted all the growing tension on and around the field, but instead it was allowed to fester as United dropped deep, looking to counter as Arsenal pressed for a heartbreaking winner.

It meant the game was increasingly being watched between parted fingers for plenty of United fans, although hands were briefly transferred to heads when Ronaldo, felled after a lightning breakaway, drilled a free-kick fractionally past Fabianski's top left-hand corner.

Arsenal came even closer with six minutes remaining. Another fine build-up culminated in the ball reaching Fabregas, and the Spaniard's shot took the merest of flicks from Edwin van der Sar's fingertips before rattling against the outside of the post.

United were, by now, simply running down the clock. There was just about time for one last scare as Rooney was ruled to have fouled Sagna on the edge of the area, only for van Persie's free-kick to flick wide of the far post.

The final whistle prompted delirium among the fans who could finally exhale. Once again, success had been reached. Once again, United had straddled a knife-edge all the way there.

Manchester United Premier League Champion 2008/2009 Celebration

Man Utd - Premier League Champions 2009 - Commemorations


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wigan Athletic [Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United moved to the brink of the Barclays Premier League title with a pulsating second-half performance and two wonderful goals at Wigan.

Man of the moment Carlos Tevez came off the bench to equalise before midfield maestro Michael Carrick sealed a superb away win for the champions with five minutes remaining. This rally put Steve Bruce’s plucky Wigan side to the sword and no doubt destroyed the morale of a certain club on Merseyside, who’d no doubt been buoyed by Hugo Rodallega’s shock opener for the home team.

Sir Alex made five changes to his derby-winning side, the return of John O’Shea, Anderson, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney suggesting this eleven was picked with the Reds’ next midweek fixure in mind, the Champions League final.

United were given an early fright when Antonio Valencia’s searing pace enabled him to break between Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic close to the halfway line and carry the ball menacingly into the box. Fortunately, the Reds’ senior centre-back made a sufficiently quick recovery to put the Ecuadorian off his stride, Valencia chipping his shot off target from six yards instead of beating Edwin van der Sar.

The Reds crafted two better opportunities to take the lead in quick succession around the 10th minute, with Dimitar Berbatov involved in both. First the Bulgarian laid on a peach of a right-wing cross that Rooney, so often the scourge of Wigan, unfortunately headed wide. Then Berbatov fed Cristiano Ronaldo and his low centre, again from the right, was steered agonisingly over the top left corner by Michael Carrick.

Charles N’Zogbia succeeded where Valencia had failed by forcing a fine save from Van der Sar; the Dutchman diving to his right to flick away the former Newcastle midfielder’s curling free-kick. Van der Sar’s next stop was more straightforward, gathering a low shot into his midriff after Evans misjudged a header and Wigan’s lone striker Hugo Rodallega made a Valencia-style surge forward.

The Colombian wasn’t to be denied with his next effort, however; after leaping with Vidic to contest a long pass forward, he reacted quickest as the ball dropped and lashed a close-range shot past van der Sar to give Wigan a shock lead. Vidic was incensed – he felt Rodallega had unfairly impeded him in their duel and TV replays supported this claim. Match referee Rob Styles, however, had no such view and a few minutes later he summoned van der Sar, as captain, and Vidic for a lecture on dissent.

Styles remained a central figure as Wigan’s muscular approach rattled a few men in red shirts but no serious punishment was delivered, either from the referee’s pocket or from the right boot of Ronaldo in a dead-ball situation. If Lee Cattermole upset Michael Carrick with a rash challenge, he almost embossed his villain status with an accurate shot that was well held by van der Sar, then a back-heel which helped to tee up Rodallega for an effort that only just skidded wide in first-half injury time. There was still time for United to attempt an equaliser but when Vidic’s deflected shot flew over the bar and the whistle blew, his grimace was apt for a first half of frustration.

Neither manager made a personnel change at the break, instead sending out the same players to grapple on the greasy surface, at least for the next ten minutes. One muscular tussle in this spell drew cries of ‘penalty’ from the vocal away support, only for Styles to rightly permit Paul Scharner’s perfectly executed tackle on Rooney.

The next piece of precision in Wigan’s box brought United onto level terms – courtesy of ‘impact substitute’ Carlos Tevez just minutes after replacing Anderson. The Argentine’s introduction instantly put the Latics on red alert but they were left red-faced when, with his back to the target, Carlos diverted Carrick’s shot home with a sublime flick. It was his fifth league goal of the season and undoubtedly his finest, not to mention the most important bar his Boxing Day winner at Stoke City.

The Reds had a more legitimate shout for a penalty when Ronaldo, at full tilt, tumbled after a collision with Latics’ left-back Maynor Figueroa but referee Styles rejected the appeals of the aghast Portuguese.

Sir Alex swopped his veterans as the game entered its nail-biting final phase, taking off Scholes and sending on Giggs, a decisive scorer in last season’s glorious corresponding fixture.

United’s sumptuous second-half football deserved a second goal and it fittingly came from one of many sweeping team moves. The ball flowed from Vidic to Ronaldo and on to O’Shea, and when the Irishman cut back to the edge of the area, Carrick stepped up to fire a stunning left-foot shot into the top left-hand corner.

Ecstatic Reds rushed from every position to celebrate the goal; another positive result in a few days’ time and those same players will be celebrating the ultimate triumph.


Wigan Athletic Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Wigan Athletic [1 - 2] Manchester United
28' [1 - 0] H.R. Martinez
61' [1 - 1] C.A. Tevez
86' [1 - 2] M. Carrick

1-0 H.Rodallega 28'

1-1 C.Tevez 61'

1-2 M.Carrick 86'

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Manchester City Match Report

United now need just four points from three games to win a third successive league title after the Reds brushed aside Mark Hughes’ men in the Manchester derby on Sunday.

First-half goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez sealed the points on a day when United’s back four were rarely troubled. The Blues were no match for a United side determined to regain top spot after Liverpool’s win at West Ham on Saturday had sent the Scousers temporarily to the summit.

Now, however, three points clear and with a game in hand, the Reds are favourites to secure an 11th Premier League trophy and could do so at Old Trafford next Saturday should Sir Alex's men beat Wigan Athletic on Wednesday night.

For Sunday's derby battle, the United boss made five changes to the side that beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Tuesday night. Jonny Evans and Rafael came into the back four for Rio Ferdinand and John O’Shea, while Ryan Giggs slotted into the centre of midfield. Up front, Tevez and Dimitar Berbatov started together for the 11th time in the league this season.

It was Ji-sung Park, however, who had the first chance of the game. The South Korean, who’s scored in United’s last two matches, collected Ronaldo’s knock-down inside the box on three minutes but dragged his shot wide of Shay Given’s post.

The Reds enjoyed a lot of early possession and both Tevez and Ronaldo forced Given into routine saves in the opening 10 minutes. City looked dangerous on occasion too, Robinho proving a handful for young Rafael at right back.

But it was United who went in front and it was that man Ronaldo with yet another free-kick. Against Arsenal in midweek he’d scored from 41 yards; this time it was a mere 28. Slightly left of centre, Ronaldo struck the ball sweetly and it flew past the City wall, bouncing once before nestling in the back of Given’s net.

Carlos Tevez almost added a second just after the half-hour with a brilliant effort that cannoned off the frame of the goal from the corner of the penalty area. The Argentinean, subject to intense pre-match speculation surrounding his future at Old Trafford, worked hard all afternoon and was involved in many of the Reds’ best attacking forays.

Indeed, it was Tevez who provided the final flourish to round off a superb move on the stroke of half-time and send the Reds 2-0 up. Darren Fletcher pumped a long ball forward, which Dimitar Berbatov cushioned with the delicacy of a father cradling his newborn. The Bulgarian then rolled the ball across the edge of the box to Tevez, who took two touches before rifling into the net off the inside of Given’s left-hand post.

The second goal was thoroughly deserved after a half in which United had dominated possession and continually found space in the final third. At the back, too, the Reds had looked solid with Nemanja Vidic marshalling the defence in Rio Ferdinand’s absence. One full-bloodied yet perfectly-timed sliding challenge, in particular, exemplified why the Serbian centre-back is hotly tipped to win the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award next weekend.

Neither manager made substitutions at half-time – Sir Alex certainly had no reason to – although City emerged from the break determined to pull a goal back. Robinho was presented with a golden chance to do just that on 50 minutes, but fired over from 10 yards. At the other end, Rafael’s cross-come-shot had Given scrambling momentarily as the ball looped onto the roof of the net.

With an hour gone, Sir Alex withdrew Ji-sung Park and Cristiano Ronaldo, who despite scoring the Reds’ opener had struggled to assert himself on the game. Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney entered the fray, with Rooney taking Park’s place on the right and Giggs shifting onto the opposite wing to make way for Scholes in the centre. There he joined Darren Fletcher, who was superb all day and won countless tackles and loose balls.

City’s search for a goal continued but substitute Martin Petrov’s late strike from distance, which drew a stunning finger-tip save from Edwin van der Sar, was as close as the visitors came.

Manchester United Vs. Manchester City Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [2 - 0] Manchester City
18' [1 - 0] C. Ronaldo
45' [2 - 0] C.A. Tevez

1-0 C.Ronaldo 18'

2-0 C.Tevez 45'

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Arsenal Vs. Manchester United Match Report

Bring on Barça or the Blues. United will be in Rome on 27 May to defend the Champions League trophy.

The Champions League holders turned in a flawless away performance to completely dismantle Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, killing the tie through early goals from Ji-sung Park and Cristiano Ronaldo, before the Portuguese added gloss to the scoreline with a breakaway third.

The only sour note for United came through the late dismissal of Darren Fletcher. The Scot will miss the final after being incorrectly punished for bringing down Cesc Fabregas inside the United area, allowing Robin van Persie to hammer home a late penalty.

That made for a cruel end to the evening for Fletcher who, like each and every one of his colleagues, had been magnificent in overcoming the Gunners. It was in stark contrast to the manner in which the evening began, as United put the tie to bed inside 11 minutes.

Arsenal supporters had been encouraged to whip up a frenzied atmosphere to try and help their side overcome a single goal deficit brought about by John O'Shea's first leg strike at Old Trafford, but the Emirates' noise levels dipped irretrievably after seven minutes.

United's mantra had been obvious from the first whistle: counter attack. On the Reds' second such foray, Anderson slipped in Ronaldo, who had been detailed with the lone striker's role by virtue of his searing pace, and the Portuguese fizzed a low ball across the area. Teenage full-back Kieran Gibbs slipped at the crucial moment, allowing Park to pinch the ball and slip a shot over Manuel Almunia and into the goal.

The pocket of some 3,500 United fans behind the opposite goal burst into a frenzied celebration, one which was still ongoing when Ronaldo put the tie out of sight just four minutes later. Having won a free-kick 40 yards from goal, he sent a trademark rocket towards Almunia's left-hand corner, and the Spaniard was unable to read the ball's flight. Game over, tie over, start packing the bags for Rome.

Arsenal, understandably, were rocked. The half-hour mark had arrived before the hosts even tested Edwin van der Sar, and it was a tame header from Fabregas which called the Dutchman into action. Either side of the Spaniard's effort, Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo drew impressive saves from Almunia.

With the Reds' backline in imperious, unbreachable mood, it was left to the forwards to surge forward and exploit the inevitable gaps in Arsenal's foraging formation. Ronaldo had already seen one breakaway end with an Almunia save before he struck a superb third goal.

Nemanja Vidic headed an Arsenal corner as far as the Portuguese, who impishly backheeled a pass to Park before high-tailing it towards the Gunners' area. He reached his destination at the same time as Rooney's perfectly-weighted pass, and drilled a fine shot high into Almunia's goal. Cue delirium among the United supporters, and a mass exodus by their Arsenal counterparts.

With Patrice Evra and Rooney at risk of missing the final with another booking, they were quickly hooked for Rafael and Dimitar Berbatov, while Ryan Giggs replaced Anderson after another impressive outing from the young Brazilian.

There was more of a hint of irony, then, when Fletcher raced back to superbly touch the ball away from Fabregas deep inside the United area, only for referee Roberto Rosetti to award a penalty and brandish the red card at the heartbroken Scot.

Van Persie drilled home the resultant kick as Fletcher trudged down the tunnel, joining Roy Keane and Paul Scholes on the list of United players unfortunate enough to have been ruled out of European football's greatest showpiece by suspension.

While dismay was ultimately the order of the day for Fletch, the overall mood among the United camp must be one of elation after one of the most emphatic European away displays in memory. The Reds are off to Rome, where Barcelona or Chelsea - both vanquished last season - will await. Forza United!

Arsenal Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Arsenal [1 - 3] Manchester United
8' [0 - 1] J. Park
11' [0 - 2] C. Ronaldo
61' [0 - 3] C. Ronaldo
76' [1 - 3] R.v. Persie (pen.)

0-1 J.Park 8'

0-2 C.Ronaldo 11'

0-3 C.Ronaldo 61'

1-3 R.van Persie (P) 76'


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ryan Giggs PFA Award 2009


Middlesbrough Vs. Manchester United Match Report

A near-perfect afternoon's work at the Riverside Stadium allowed United to open up a six-point lead at the head of the Premier League table, and rest a number of key players ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Ryan Giggs and Ji-sung Park struck in either half to give the Reds three priceless domestic points, as the annually tricky trip to Middlesbrough evolved into a Saturday afternoon stroll on Teesside. United's defensive resolve and attacking incision bore the hallmark of champions, and barely gave the relegation-haunted hosts a sniff of encouragement.

As expected, Sir Alex Ferguson shuffled his pack with next week's clash with Arsenal at the core of his thinking. Edwin van der Sar, Michael Carrick, Darren Fletcher and the injured Rio Ferdinand were omitted from the squad entirely, while Anderson, Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez were held in reserve on the substitutes' bench.

That meant only John O'Shea, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney started after lining up against the Gunners last Wednesday, and Middlesbrough - desperate for points to stave off the very real threat of relegation - were keen to check for any signs that the Reds' collective attentions were already drifting to European matters.

There were certainly none apparent in a keenly-contested opening in which both sides harrassed the other for possession. John O'Shea had to be alert to head Jeremie Aliadiere's cross away from Stewart Downing, while Rooney drilled narrowly over from distance as the first 20 minutes carried little threat of either side opening the scoring.

Boro were the first to genuinely threaten as Marlon King fed Aliadiere deep inside the United area but, with Vidic hurtling across the box to apply vital pressure, the Frenchman could only muster a half-hit shot, which Foster saved well with his feet.

That scare sparked United into life, and within three minutes the champions had forged ahead. After Matthew Bates had brilliantly prevented Giggs from firing off a shot at the expense of a corner, the ball arrived at Vidic on the edge of the area. Bates and Kiko Macheda collided in going for the Serbian's pass and it fell to Giggs, who took a touch and sent an unstoppable low shot skidding into Brad Jones' bottom left-hand corner.

The goal took Giggs to 148 career goals for the Reds, but of more importance was that it largely extinguished the limited vim and vigour in Boro's display, and Paul Scholes might have doubled United's lead on two occasions in the dying stages of the half, but snatched both efforts wide from the edge of the area.

No matter. The Reds' dominance relented only for the interval and, after Macheda had fired Rooney's pull-back just wide, Park struck a sumptuous second goal with just five minutes of the second period gone. Crisp passing and undetectable movement characterised a delicious build-up, crowned by a superb reverse ball from Rooney which allowed Park to strike a clinical first-time effort just inside Jones' post.

The Korean had his first goal since September's strike at Chelsea, and had also secured three vital points in the ongoing title race. Boro were now devoid of any belief that they could mount a comeback, and Sir Alex gradually freshened up his team with the introduction of Carlos Tevez, Nani and Rafael for Macheda, Park and Evra.

Despite the absence of Ferdinand, United's defence was rarely troubled, and only a last-ditch challenge from David Wheater prevented Tevez from capping a winding run with a goal of his own. Similarly desperate defending allowed Robert Huth to deny O'Shea a second goal in a week, while Rooney curled a 20-yard free-kick just wide.

The earlier goals from Giggs and Park had already done enough, though, and United could canter to the finish line. Only seven points from four remaining domestic games will secure a third successive Premier League title, and attentions can switch to Tuesday's Champions League trip to the Emirates Stadium.

Middlesbrough Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Middlesbrough [0 - 2] Manchester United
25' [0 - 1] R. Giggs
51' [0 - 2] J. Park

0-1 R.Giggs 25'

0-2 J.Park 51'

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Arsenal Match Report

Fitter. Harder. Faster. Stronger. United outfought and outclassed Arsenal on a European night to remember at Old Trafford. Yet the Reds take only a one-goal advantage to the Emirates Stadium next Tuesday, and the road to Rome is not as straightforward as it perhaps could have been.

Sir Alex said before the game that he would happily take a 1-0 victory in this Champions League semi-final, first leg. And United can take heart from an outstanding display of vigour and verve. But after the mauling Arsenal received, the Reds boss can surely only conclude that the winning margin should have been greater.

Right from the off United’s players, backed by an absolutely incredible support, were revved up and right in the faces of the beleaguered Gunners. Carlos Tevez was rewarded for his match-changing second-half display against Tottenham at the weekend with a place in the starting line-up – and he played like he had a statement to make.

Sir Alex’s team selection suggested speed and energy were of the essence. And, spurred on by a fired-up Old Trafford crowd, the Reds made a blistering start, with Wayne Rooney forcing an excellent save from Manuel Almunia after just two minutes. Then Cristiano Ronaldo flashed a cross-shot across the face of goal. It was upbeat and high-tempo stuff, as expected. But Arsenal were nowhere to be seen early on against the hungry-looking Reds.

Tevez was snap-at-your ankles enthusiastic, Ronaldo and Rooney both looked lively and Darren Fletcher maintained his excellent recent form in the heart of midfield. For Arsenal, away from home and with Emmanuel Adebayor up front on his own, theirs was always bound to be a more patient approach. But even when their first spell of possession eventually arrived, they were booed and barracked into submission. United pressed on and after 16 minutes Almunia again came to Arsenal’s rescue. A brilliant interchange from Tevez and Ronaldo saw the ball worked out wide to John O’Shea, and the Irishman’s cross found Tevez’s run, but his shot was stopped at point-blank range by Almunia.

United were soon rewarded, however, in the form of the most unlikely hero: O'Shea. Carrick was lurking at the back post from the resulting corner, and his deflected pull-back found the Reds right-back six yards out and he thumped the ball home. As if the noise levels weren’t loud enough, the deafening celebrations carried far into the Manchester night. And there was barely an opportunity to catch your breath as the Reds went in search of a second.

Arsenal’s first attempt came just before the half-hour mark when Cesc Fabregas’ low shot was well held by van der Sar, but other than a five-minute spell of possession towards the end of the half, that was largely it.

Seconds after Fabregas’ effort, Almunia was called upon again; Tevez scampered down the right wing, skinned Kieran Gibbs and crossed for Ronaldo, whose powerful header was palmed away by Arsenal’s Spanish stopper. Moments later he denied Ronaldo again, this time a curled shot from the edge of the area. Were it not for Almunia, this tie could have been out of sight inside the first half.

United's frenetic tempo naturally dropped in the second half, Arsenal certainly had more of the ball than they had in the opening 45 minutes. The danger for United was that a quick Arsenal counter attack could yield that prized possession: an away goal. Adebayor went close just after the hour with a arcing volley from 30 yards out, but fortunately it went over. It was, if nothing else, a warning.

Sir Alex subsequently decided on a change with 20 minutes to go, replacing Tevez with Dimitar Berbatov, and Anderson with Ryan Giggs, remarkably making his 800th appearance. Tevez shook his head in disappointment at the decision – a gesture that may or may not be over analysed in the press, but in reality it was natural of any player withdrawn from such a high-profile and enthralling game.

Shortly after the swap, Ronaldo sent a rasping 30-yard shot crashing off the bar, then minutes later an effort from Carrick fizzed wide; Sir Alex must have been scratching his head with bemusement as to how his side were not more than a goal to the good.

The baying Old Trafford crowd sensed Arsenal's vulnerability and mercilessly shouted: 'attack, attack, attack'. United did just that, and Giggs had the ball in the back of the net on 78 minutes, but he was flagged offside. It was a tight call that won little home approval - largely because the officials gave very little United's way all night - but on this occasion they probably got it right.

Arsenal may see containing a rampant United as their main plus point – and they have much to thank Almunia for – but if the Reds play anything like this in North London next week, a trip to Rome surely awaits. This was a job well done, but only half done.

Manchester UnitedVs. Arsenal Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [1 - 0] Arsenal
17' [1 - 0] J. O´Shea

1-0 J.O'Shea 17'


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [5 - 2] Tottenham Hotspurs
29' [0 - 1] D. Bent
32' [0 - 2] L. Modric
57' [1 - 2] C. Ronaldo (pen.)
67' [2 - 2] W. Rooney
68' [3 - 2] C. Ronaldo
71' [4 - 2] W. Rooney
79' [5 - 2] D. Berbatov

0-1 D.Bent 29'

0-2  L.Modric 32'

1-2 C.Ronaldo (Pen) 57'

2-2 W.Rooney 67'

3-2 C.Ronaldo 68'

4-2 W.Rooney 71'

5-2 D.Berbatov 79'

Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Hotspurs Match Report

United returned to the top of the table and moved three points clear of Liverpool after a stunning comeback against Tottenham Hotspur which produced five second half goals.

The Reds were 2-0 down at half-time following strikes from Darren Bent and Luca Modric. But Sir Alex’s men stormed back after the break thanks to a brace apiece from the outstanding Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney and another from Dimitar Berbatov.

Sir Alex Ferguson made five changes to the side that had overcome Harry Redknapp’s former side, Portsmouth, three days earlier. In came Rafael da Silva following the spate of injuries at right-back, while Nani, Michael Carrick and Rio Ferdinand all returned to the starting line-up. There was also a place for ex-Tottenham striker Dimitar Berbatov, who partnered Wayne Rooney in attack. Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs watched on from the stands knowing he would have to wait for another day to make his 800th appearance in a red shirt.

United started the match in second following Liverpool’s 3-1 victory at Hull and immediately set about gaining top spot. Berbatov almost had the first sight of goal after just 30 seconds, but Darren Fletcher’s pass was just too long for the Bulgarian allowing Heurelho Gomes to collect.

Having already secured their top flight status, Spurs came to Old Trafford with little to play for other than pride. And they weren’t about to let that pride be easily dented and with a player of Aaron Lennon’s quality in your side there’s always a chance of opening up the opposition. And that’s exactly what the pacey winger almost did on eight minutes. Fortunately Darren Bent’s header from Lennon’s floated right-wing cross was pushed around the post by Edwin van der Sar.

At the other end, Gomes had to be alert to Cristiano Ronaldo’s speculative 40-yard free-kick which bounced awkwardly in front of the Spurs stopper who claimed it at the second time of asking. Four minutes later the Portuguese winger flashed a header wide after jumping to meet Nani’s left-wing cross.

United appeared to edging ever closer to an opener, but it was Spurs, somewhat against the run of play, who took the lead on 29 minutes. Vedran Corluka’s whipped cross was missed by both Vidic and Ferdinand allowing the ball to fall to Darren Bent who duly smashed home from six yards.

Three minutes later things got doubly worse for United who looked more than a little shaky once more at the back. Lennon’s cross from the right dropped to the unmarked Luca Modric who lashed the ball inside the near post to give the visitors a two-goal cushion.

A shell-shocked Old Trafford couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing. United were in need of a minor miracle, or two, and Ronaldo almost provided it seven minutes from the break. Having seen his free-kick strike the wall, the winger reacted quickest before flicking a dipping volley towards goal. Only a superb finger-tip save from Gomes prevented the Reds from clawing a goal back.

United’s comeback mission was given a further boost when Carlos Tevez replaced Nani at the break. And the Argentine was involved in the Reds’ first two chances of the second period. First he laid on a cross for Rooney who saw his curling effort deflected wide, before Tevez himself had a close-range repelled by Gomes after a lovely little pass from Ronaldo.

The Portuguese winger was handed the chance to give United a lifeline on 57 minutes when Gomes upended Carrick in the area after a defence-splitting pass from Rooney had put the England international through on goal.

From the spot, Ronaldo calmly steered the ball down the middle of the goal as Gomes dived to his left. Old Trafford erupted – the fightback had begun.

Ten minutes later the Reds were back on level terms. A great one-two between Berbatov and Tevez allowed the latter to slide a pass into Rooney whose low shot through the legs of Corluka crept in at the near post after Gomes failed to get a strong enough contact on it.

Victory was now in sight and, quite unbelievably, a mere 60 seconds later United were ahead. Evra laid the ball to Rooney who cut inside from the left and sent an inswinger towards the onrushing Ronaldo who met it with a diving header that bounced into the roof of the net. The relief and joy around Old Trafford was palpable.

Surely things couldn’t get any better? They could, two goals better in fact. Sublime control from Berbatov was followed a neat lay-off to Ronaldo who clipped a lovely cross to the back post where Rooney was waiting. The striker brought the ball down and took aim. Gomes got the slightest of touches on the ball which rolled towards the line, before eventually dropping over it despite Woodgate’s and King’s best efforts.

Darren Bent saw a curling shot whistle just past van der Sar’s left-hand post, before United headed upfield once more to bag a fifth. And it was another excellent move, started and finished by Berbatov, from the rampant Reds. The Bulgarian sent the ball out to Rooney who again cut inside and crossed for Berbatov. His header was parried by Gomes, but the Spurs stopper and midfielder Jermaine Jenas were unable to clear the danger allowing Berbatov to poke home from two yards.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Portsmouth Match Report

Another nervous evening's work at Old Trafford, but goals at either end of the 90 minutes from Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick gave United three points against Portsmouth, putting clear daylight between champions and challengers in the Premier League title race.

A procession of chances came and went in-between the two strikes, meaning much of the evening made uncomfortable viewing even though United - and in particular the front pairing of Rooney and Ryan Giggs - had Portsmouth chasing shadows.

After Sunday's FA Cup semi-final marathon against Everton, Sir Alex Ferguson made wholesale changes for the second successive game, with a string of big-name players returning. Two of them - Giggs and Rooney - combined sumptuously to put United ahead inside nine minutes.

Darren Fletcher, back from injury and on the lung-busting form of recent weeks, won the ball and it was quickly ferried forward to Anderson, whose excellent pass allowed Giggs to spring the visitors' offside trap. Waiting in the centre was Rooney, who finished with aplomb after a perfect rolled cross from his veteran colleague.

Amid the joy and release of any early tension, attentions switched to skipper Gary Neville, who sat stricken in his own half after sustaining a foot injury. After consultation with the club's medical staff, the club captain was promptly replaced by John O'Shea.

With the prospect of a three-point lead looming, United were clearly intent on also boosting a goal difference which had been overtaken by Liverpool in recent weeks, and the chances came thick and fast.

It was O'Shea who came closest to doubling the Reds' advantage, as he headed Giggs' left-wing corner past James, only for Nadir Belhadj to smuggle the ball off the line and away to safety.

Next, a mis-timed header from Sol Campbell allowed Ronaldo to break down the right and cross low across the area for Giggs. His delicate chip beat James, but also drifted just past the far post. The 35-year-old held his head in his hands, aware that a glorious chance had just gone begging.

It looked like Giggs had made amends a minute later by feeding Rooney to round James and score, but a linesman's flag belatedly - but correctly - chalked it off. Quite how half-time came and went with United only one goal ahead was a mystery.

The fact that so many chances had come and gone seemed to increasingly play on United's minds as the second half unfolded. The Reds' cause wasn't helped when O'Shea suffered an injury after a clash with Belhadj, who appeared to stand heavily on the Irishman's foot. With the injury count rising but the goals tally stuck on one, a nervous atmosphere brewed within Old Trafford.

The tension was never higher than around the 70th minute, when Pompey mustered two particularly threatening forays forward. Peter Crouch, who ploughed a lone furrow without much joy but with plenty of effort, first volleyed wide, then saw his header well saved by Edwin van der Sar.

Rooney saw another shot well saved by James after latching onto van der Sar's long punt, but a priceless second goal did finally arrive with eight minutes left. Carrick, thrown on at the expense of Anderson, came up with the goods and Scholes, fittingly on his 600th United appearance, was the architecht.

Just as he has done umpteen times in his 15-year senior career, the midfield magician exploited a gap before the Pompey defence were able to plug it by slipping an inch-perfect pass into the run of Carrick, who finished clinically into James' bottom-right hand corner.

With the three points assured, United began to press forward with more abandon, striving to make up further goal difference. Ronaldo had a goal chalked off and also fired over while Rafael was denied by James, leaving the Reds still three behind Rafael Benitez's men on that count.

More importantly, however, the telling gap between champions and chasing pack is now three points, with a game in hand still to make up.

Manchester United Vs. Portsmouth Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [2 - 0] Portsmouth
9' [1 - 0] W. Rooney
82' [2 - 0] M. Carrick


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Everton Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [0 - 0] Everton
penalty shoot-out : [2 - 4]


Manchester United Vs. Everton Match Report

United are out of the FA Cup after a brave semi-final showing from a very young Reds team, losing 4-2 on penalty kicks at Wembley.

Ironically, it was Phil Jagielka, the man whose foul should have given United a second-half penalty, who scored the winning spot-kick after the two teams could not be separated in 120 minutes of entertaining football. It's Sir Alex's first FA Cup semi-final defeat and ends the chance of an unprecedented quintuple. However, Sir Alex's team selection suggests he has his sights set on the league and Europe.

It had been something of a gamble and there were raised eyebrows when United’s team-sheet was submitted an hour before kick-off, with eight changes from the side that beat FC Porto four days previously. The absentees all stayed in Manchester, though reports that a broken metatarsal would rule Wayne Rooney out for the rest of the season proved woefully wide of the mark.

The average age of the starting team was just 22, the line-up including four teenagers, and seven players aged 25 or under. Sir Alex insisted he couldn’t ask many of his players involved in a taxing battle in Portugal to go again on a heavy Wembley pitch – only Anderson, Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic from the team that started at Estadio do Dragao survived. Few, however, could have predicted the boss’ team.

United’s fixture schedule is so hectic that Sir Alex had little choice than to shuffle the pack. Rafael and Fabio started for the first time together (in fact, the first time they’ve been on the pitch together in a competitive Reds match). There was also a first start for Federico Macheda – of recent Premier League match-winning fame. He started up front with Carlos Tevez. Danny Welbeck was deployed at left midfield, Ji-sung Park on the right, with impressive duo, Darron Gibson and Anderson, in the centre.

It would be difficult to argue that, individually, each of the starting eleven had not earned their Wembley opportunity through their performances this season; and it’s in keeping with the youth-first policy in the domestic cups this term. What the selection does suggest is that maximum importance is being placed on clinching the title.

The youthful Reds started very well in a very open game, with Macheda looking exceptionally lively up front. There were few signs of nerves in front of a record FA Cup semi-final crowd of 88,141, and United went closest to scoring first on 22 minutes, when Welbeck’s glancing touch from Rafael’s cross was deflected wide by Joleon Lescott. It coincided with a sustained period of pressure on Everton in the middle of the half.

Welbeck was again wide of the target five minutes before the break in one of United’s best moves of the half. After neat football down the left flank, Macheda slid a wonderful pass between Tony Hibbert and Phil Jagielka, but Welbeck’s shot was wayward. Although the critics will have been queuing up for a chance to criticise the manager’s team selection, the players did him proud in an encouraging 45 minutes, which, although lacking in goalmouth action, saw United control possession.

Everton started the second half with much greater intensity, Tim Cahill forcing a brilliant low save from a previously inactive Ben Foster shortly after the break. Everton were resurgent, and their fans urged them on. It was proving a test of character as much of talent for United’s youngsters. They responded well. With the game becoming stretched, the Reds countered and Park fired just wide of the post.

The Reds had regained control in what was becoming an engrossing game. Gibson was next to strike, fizzing a shot towards the top corner from 25 yards which Tim Howard tipped over. But the breakthrough should have arrived on 68 minutes when Welbeck was blatantly brought down by Jagielka in the box. Somehow Mike Riley adjudged the challenge to be fair. Sir Alex and the United players were understandably furious because that could, and should, have been the Reds’ chance to win it.

Anderson went close with a long-range effort as the game edged into the final fifteen minutes, while the increasingly involved Welbeck curled a shot just over the bar. Both teams patently wanted to end this tie inside 90 minutes. United made the best of the opportunities, but neither side could find the breakthrough as the match headed into extra time, with Dimitar Berbatov replacing Macheda.

Extra time offered few major incidents as both teams seemed settled on deciding this tie on penalties. Neither side could find the breakthrough, largely down to both team’s immovable defences. Jagielka and Lescott impressed, while Ferdinand was solid and Vidic was absolutely immense all afternoon.

It’s the fourth time United have been forced to spot-kicks in the last year (the Champions League final, Community Shield and Carling Cup final being the others), but this would be the first time the Reds tasted defeat. Cahill fluffed the first kick, blazing well over, but Berbatov also missed. Baines made it 1-0, an advantage upheld when Howard saved Ferdinand’s kick. Phil Neville converted, as did Vidic to make it 2-1. But Everton edged closer to the final when Foster could only get a finger tip to Vaughan’s kick. Anderson scored to level, but Jagielka grabbed the decisive goal to win the shoot-out 4-2.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Porto Vs. Manchester United Match Report

Cristiano Ronaldo's astounding early goal left Sir Alex Ferguson to go head-to-head with old rival Arsene Wenger for a place in the Champions League Final as they beat Porto 1-0 in the Dragao Stadium to win 3-2 on aggregate.
The emergence of Chelsea and Liverpool may have taken the edge off battles between Manchester United and Arsenal over the past few years.

But the renewal of hostilities promises to be almost as spectacular as the Ronaldo strike that created it.

The sixth-minute effort was his 20th goal of the season and only his second in the Champions League since completing that astonishing haul of 42 in last year's final in Moscow.

There was certainly no doubting it was worthy of winning any game, and earning United the accolade of becoming the first English team to beat Porto on their own ground.

As almost a side issue, it also keeps the Red Devils on track to win the quintuple in a season they have brought back to life at just the right time.

In calling for the spirit of Turin `99, Ferguson also knew if that momentous evening was to be repeated, he would have to go through the agony of being two goals down before a famous victory could be achieved.

Ronaldo however, has his own history book to fill.

A repeat of last season's 42-goal tally was never likely to be repeated in a campaign delayed because of ankle surgery.

But the 24-year-old has still make a significant contribution to United's attempt to land an unprecedented quintuple, even if, like so many of his team-mates, he has looked a little off the pace in recent weeks.

There could have been no better stage to signal his renewed intent.

Apart from his beloved Sporting Lisbon, Ronaldo is roundly jeered when he returns to one of the major clubs in his homeland, Porto being no exception.

They recognise his talent, though, even if no-one expected what followed when Ronaldo collected Anderson's short pass closer to the halfway line than the opposition goal.

Sensing a little trepidation in home ranks, Ronaldo let rip with a shot as brutally powerful as it was audacious in its intent.

Porto keeper Helton did not have a chance of keeping the ball out as it flashed past him to give United the start Ferguson could not have dreamed.

Had Nemanja Vidic been able to keep his close-range effort under the crossbar after John O'Shea had got the faintest of touches to a Ryan Giggs corner just before the interval, the Red Devils would surely have completed their task in half the time allotted.

Unfortunately, the Serbian missed, allowing Porto to nurse plenty of hope during a half-time team-talk delivered by Jose Gomes as banned coach Jesualdo Ferreira apparently watched on TV at a secret location outside the stadium.

After his major blunder last week, Bruno Alves was determined to make amends and threatened Edwin van der Sar's goal on three separate occasions during that opening period.

But this was United at their belligerent best. Their intent showed in the reaction of a normally phlegmatic Dimitar Berbatov to losing possession and, after a public rebuke from his manager last weekend for not doing enough for the team, an apologetic wave of regret from Ronaldo after a misplaced pass.

Just as Vidic spurred the chance of a second immediately before the break, so Berbatov did the same just afterwards when he wriggled his way into the Porto penalty area.

Porto took it as their cue to mount another offensive.

But with Rio Ferdinand back alongside Vidic after his recent groin strain there was an authority about United's defending that had not been in evidence since before they were dismantled by Liverpool five games ago.

There was experience too, with Ryan Giggs and Van der Sar taking just long enough over their set pieces not to incur the wrath of Swiss referee Massimo Busacca while eating up vital seconds.

The introduction of Nani for Berbatov midway through the second period hinted at a strategy of counter-attacking at pace.

It was certainly Porto carrying any threat that did exist and Rolando was too close for comfort with a far post header.

Yet this United were different to what has been almost the shadow side that has existed before now.

And while they did not exactly coast home, the visiting supporters were celebrating victory long before the final whistle confirmed it.


FC Porto Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

FC Porto [0 - 1] Manchester United
6' [0 - 1] C. Ronaldo


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sunderland Vs.Manchester United Match Report

A week ago, few outside of Old Trafford had heard of Kiko Macheda. After two vital winners in the space of six days, however, the 17-year-old Italian has been catapulted into a starring role in United's ongoing Premier League title defence.

While last Sunday's winner against Aston Villa was a piece of last-gasp artistry, this input at the Stadium of Light had more than a touch of fortune about it, but it was still enough to procure three priceless points after Kenwyne Jones had cancelled out Paul Scholes' opener.

Three points was all the Reds deserved, it has to be said, for a performance which was occasionally slapdash, but largely dominant against a Sunderland side severely lacking in confidence after a poor recent run of form.

Sir Alex Ferguson made a host of changes to the side which contested Tuesday's pulsating draw with Porto, with the return of Jonny Evans and Dimitar Berbatov from injury providing a welcome boost. Scholes was included alongside Michael Carrick in midfield, and the veteran schemer ensured United were ahead by the interval.

Only a heroic block from Callum Davenport stopped the midfielder's 20-yard blockbuster testing Craig Gordon after nine minutes. Shortly afterwards, Scholes again found space in the area but opted to find Rooney, whose cross sailed over.

Djibril Cisse saw his shot deflected over as the hosts briefly rallied, but United looked by far the more likely to make the breakthrough. A minute later, Nemanja Vidic powered Rooney's corner goalwards, only for Danny Collins to scuff the ball off the line. From the ensuing scramble, the Serb sent an acrobatic overhead kick a yard wide of Gordon's goal.

The Reds weren't to be denied for long, however, and Scholes opened the scoring after 19 minutes. Berbatov held the ball up superbly before feeding Rooney, and his left-wing cross was clinically helped into the top corner by the experienced head of the diminutive midfield magician.

That took Scholes' career haul to 98 Premier League goals, but of far greater importance was laying the foundations for United to chalk up another three points. Having surrendered leads against Liverpool, Aston Villa and Porto with varying degrees of consequence in recent weeks, the need for a second goal was immediately apparent.

Plenty of possession ensued for United, but with few chances to show for their dominance. Inevitably, one or two jittery moments would follow as Sunderland grew in confidence; Djibril Cisse saw a shot palmed over by Foster and Jones headed straight at the England international, but the greatest scare came from a man in a Red shirt.

Carlos Edwards shifted space away from Nemanja Vidic before drilling in a cross from the right wing, and Evans could only watch and hope as the ball deflected off his shin, against Foster's far post and out to safety. Ji-sung Park then flashed an effort fractionally over Gordon's top corner, but United's interval lead remained a precarious one.

Within moments of the restart, Rooney thundered a magnificent 25-yard effort just past the top corner. The Reds would shortly be ruingthat missed opportunity, and the concession of another sloppy goal. Tainio did well to fashion space down the left wing, and Foster failed to reach his teasing cross - giving Jones the chance to cushion and convert from close range.

The inevitable disappointment was scarcely tangible in United's approach, however. Scholes was within inches of restoring the champions' lead as his 20-yard snapshot arced agonisingly wide, while Tevez was thwarted by a combination of Gordon and his desperate defenders.

As time wore on, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to shuffle his pack with the introduction of Cristiano Ronaldo and, shortly afterwards, Macheda at the expense of Park and Berbatov. Within a minute, the Italian had made another stunning impact.

Carrick's errant shot was heading wide as it entered a muddled cluster of home and away players, but spun away from Gordon and into the corner of the goal via Macheda's left instep. Deliberate or not - and he, a striker by trade, will tell you that it was - United had re-assumed a vital lead.

The goal took the wind out of Sunderland's sails. United, in desperate need of the three points to again overhaul Liverpool at the top of the table, clung on for grim life, seeing out the final 15 minutes in relative comfort - albeit with breath held, peeping between fingers for those packed into the away end.

Another nerve-wracking 90 minutes down, another three points. Watching United just wouldn't be the same without going through the wringer.

Sunderland Vs.Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Sunderland [1 - 2] Manchester United
19' [0 - 1] P. Scholes
55' [1 - 1] K. Jones
76' [1 - 2] F. Macheda

0-1 P.Scholes 19'

1-1 K.Jones 55'

1-2 F.Macheda 76'

Saturday, March 28, 2009



Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United's rare abberation against Liverpool became a blip as Fulham fought their way to a shock victory at Craven Cottage.

The damage caused by Danny Murphy's first-half penalty and Zoltan Gera's late goal on the break was compounded by red cards for Paul Scholes, for deliberate handball, and substitute Wayne Rooney for two bookable offences. These dismissals, added to Nemanja Vidic's existing suspension, will leave the Reds three men light for the vital next league game against Aston Villa on Sunday 5 April.

Sir Alex Ferguson made five changes to the side that suffered a demoralising home defeat to Liverpool seven days previously. Nemanja Vidic's red card in that game forced one alteration, with Jonny Evans replacing the suspended Serb; the other four adjustments recalled Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes to the midfield and brought Dimitar Berbatov into attack alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fulham fielded the same team that impressively beat Bolton away last weekend but was crushed 4-0 at Craven Cottage in the FA Cup only a fortnight ago. Clint Dempsey had been the Cottagers’ main doubt with a bout of food poisoning but he was involved from the start and how, suffering the first foul from Scholes inside 20 seconds and then striking the first shot wide of the target moments later.

United returned fire with Berbatov heading over from an Evra cross but otherwise Fulham enjoyed most of the opening moments in the spring sunshine. Bobby Zamora and Simon Davies also flexed their shooting muscles, albeit inaccurately. shooting muscles, albeit inaccurately.

Craven Cottage has been a happy hunting ground for Ji-sung Park but a poor pass from the Korean led to Fulham’s first goal and a red card for Scholes.

Davies forced a corner after Park cheaply conceded possession; when Fulham giant Brede Hangeland nodded towards goal from the resulting set-piece, van der Sar made a superb legal save, only for Scholes to follow it by palming away Zamora’s point-blank header. Referee Phil Dowd had no option other than to give the United man his marching orders and point to the spot, from where Danny Murphy buried the ball.

The rattled Reds were indebted to another van der Sar parry when Zamora broke into the box and almost doubled the damage, although better control from Johnson or composure by Dempsey as the ball broke could still have sealed the deal for Fulham. Other Edwin saves denied Zamora twice again and Davies, all from long distance.

The extra man enabled Fulham to gain dangerous amounts of time and space in front of United’s back four; the champions’ resistance was also undermined by Evans walking a tight-rope on the game’s first yellow card, for a foul on Andy Johnson.

Fulham defender John Panstil was involved in three incidents as the half ended in heated scenes; booked for clattering Park, he was overlooked after clipping Ronaldo, and reprieved when Dowd decided Evra had simulated a foul against the Ghanian.

For the second time in seven days, the champions headed for the dressing room in arrears and in need of a rousing speech from Sir Alex. The boss kept it brief and presumably to the point; United were back on the field well before Fulham, with Wayne Rooney replacing Berbatov in the Reds’ ten for the restart.

The substitute almost immediately teed up Park for a shot; sadly it flew over the bar with the Korean seeking his third goal in three visits to Fulham’s manor. Ronaldo’s header from Fletcher’s fine cross met with the same fate, despite its promising power.

Less impressive was Ronaldo’s lunge of frustration at Fulham skipper and scorer Murphy; Dowd felt the same and brandished another yellow card.

Ronaldo responded well to this setback, tormenting Pantsil and delivering a cross that Hangeland had to head away; then directing a firm header of his own towards goal from Rooney’s teasing pull-back on the right-hand by-line.

Schwarzer claimed this effort plus a drive from Fletcher in another good passage of play for the improving Reds. But the Australian’s best was still to come, an incredible point-blank stop to thwart Park, doubled up with a save from Rooney on the rebound.

The same goal that was so brilliantly protected by van der Sar in the first half, Murphy’s penalty apart, was now being shielded to a similar level by Schwarzer.
Rooney’s introduction had significantly upped the ante, and Sir Alex cranked his attack to another level by sending Carlos Tevez on for O’Shea.

It left United light at the back but it barely seemed to matter with Fulham largely locked inside their own half. Some Cottagers began to crack under the pressure - Dempsey entered the book for a foul on Rooney.

Fulham tried to stem the flow by bringing on three pairs of fresh legs; one of the subs, Diomansy Kamara, was pulled down by Rooney for another yellow card.

With the minutes ticking by, United looked increasingly to late-goal specialist Tevez for an equaliser; unfortunately the Argentine’s decent header from Park’s cross landed the wrong side of the post.

Instead the second goal of an absorbing game came from a home side substitute, former West Brom midfielder Zoltan Gera. Fulham broke three on two in the 87th minute and when Johnson clipped the ball across the box, the Hungarian teed himself up for an acrobatic volley past van der Sar.

Game over – but not the drama. After Ronaldo had badgered Dowd to the point of a final warning, it was Rooney who finally snapped the referee’s patience – hurling the ball angrily in dissent, he found himself shown a second yellow, then the second red card of the match. United’s day had gone from bad, to encouraging, to abysmal. And as the nine men trudged off at the final whistle, the big lead over Liverpool at the top of the table was beginning

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Fulham [2 - 0] Manchester United
18' [1 - 0] D. Murphy (pen.)
87' [2 - 0] Z. Gera

Rooney Red Card

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Liverpool Match Report

It had all been looking so rosy for United when Cristiano Ronaldo converted a first-half penalty, but an uncharacteristically nervy display at the back allowed Liverpool back into this match; and the subsequent 4-1 defeat means the Reds’ lead at the top is chopped to four points, albeit still with a game in hand.

Ronaldo put United ahead but three defensive mistakes all led to Liverpool goals, and Nemanja Vidic’s second-half sending off, which preceded the visitor’s third goal, put paid to garnering any points from this match. In truth, this wasn’t a great at the office for United, it never quite clicked into place. But one thing you can be certain of is that this defeat could well propel the Reds’ forward in the title race. This team responds well to set-backs, and this is only minor stumble.

United made three changes from the team that beat Internazionale in midweek. Whereas Sir Alex chose the experience of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs against Jose Mourinho’s men, the Reds boss favoured the energy and youthful vigour of Anderson and Ji-sung Park, while Carlos Tevez partnered Wayne Rooney in place of Dimitar Berbatov.

It must have stuck in throats of Liverpool’s players and fans when United were welcomed onto the field as “the Champions of England, the Champions of Europe, and the Champions of the World”. Such is United’s dominance these days that the roles are reversed from when Liverpool dominated at home and abroad years ago.

The shouts of “United, United” were deafening as the teams kicked off, and the sheer gravity of how potentially decisive this match could be added extra spice, though it was hardly needed. Liverpool, who knew that they had to win to keep alive their ailing title hopes, were forced into a change when Alvaro Arbeloa was injured during the warm-up. He dropped to the bench in place of Sami Hyypia.

United made the early running in a tight game, with Rooney threatening down the left channel, and Park’s shot deflected over by a desperate Jamie Carragher challenge. Liverpool started with a game-plan of containment, a 4-5-1 formation aimed at constricting United’s free-flowing football, but the Reds were urged on by the fans, the coaching staff and Rooney screaming at his team-mates to press forward. The start typified both team’s styles; United brooding with attacking intent, Liverpool patient and poker-faced.

But the visitors blinked first. Tevez slotted a pass through the channel to Park on 23 minutes, and the midfielder was wiped out by Pepe Reina – referee Alan Wiley had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Ronaldo stood poised ready to strike from twelve yards and his perfectly-placed kick was followed with a collective roar of approval and rousing “We shall not be moved” as Old Trafford bounced and rocked.

The lead lasted only five minutes, however, after a rare error from Nemanja Vidic, who failed to deal with a high ball forward from Reina. Whether it was the intermittent spring sunshine or indecision, he let the ball bounce and Fernando Torres nipped the ball off his toes. The Serb stumbled and Torres was left to slip the ball past the onrushing Edwin van der Sar. It was a frustrating leveller, largely undeserved and just as the Reds had appeared to take control.
seconds later Liverpool took the lead. Gerrard latched onto Torres’ pass and Patrice Evra brought him down. The Liverpool skipper calmly despatched his spot-kick, though Edwin guessed the right way.

In the second half, no doubt with Sir Alex’s words still ringing in their ears, the United players pressed forward, roared on by the Old Trafford crowd. Reina was twice lucky to escape after spilling crosses, once allowing the ball to rebound off his post, another dropped on the goal line. But neither occasion gleaned an equaliser. Nor did Ronaldo’s flashed cross on 63 minutes, or the return ball from Rooney which Tevez couldn’t quite reach. But United were definitely in the ascendancy.

Tevez had an even better chance on 70 minutes when Carrick’s lofted pass found him free in the area. He chested the ball down but could apply the finish. Shortly afterwards, United made a triple substitution with Berbatov, Scholes and Giggs coming on for Carrick, Anderson and Park. But United’s hopes of turning this match around were all but curtailed when Vidic was given a straight red card for hauling down Gerrard who was through on goal, and to make matters worse Aurelio curled the resulting free-kick into the top corner of van der Sar’s goal.

It all but snuffed out even the slimmest hopes of a Reds recovery and Andrea Dossena's late lob compounded matters and made this a day to forget. Liverpool may claim the bragging rights and a double over United in the league this season, but Sir Alex and co's sights are set on bigger prizes.

Manchester United Vs. Liverpool Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [1 - 4] Liverpool
23' [1 - 0] C. Ronaldo (pen.)
28' [1 - 1] F. Torres
44' [1 - 2] S. Gerrard (pen.)
77' [1 - 3] F. Aurelio
90' [1 - 4] A. Dossena


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Manchester United Vs. Inter Milan Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United [2 - 0] Inter Milan
4' [1 - 0] N. Vidic
49' [2 - 0] C. Ronaldo

1-0 N.Vidic 2'

2-0 C.Ronaldo 49'

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United booked a return trip to Wembley after a sublime display at Craven Cottage earned them a 4-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory over Fulham.

After a slow start, the Reds soon clicked into gear with Carlos Tevez putting Sir Alex’s men 2-0 up in the first half with a close-range header and right-foot rasper. Wayne Rooney curled home a third after the break, before Ji-sung Park added a fourth nine minutes from time as the rampant Reds sealed an FA Cup semi-final spot in style.

With Internazionale and Liverpool both looming, Sir Alex was expected to make wholesale changes to the side that had earned a hard fought victory at Newcastle three days earlier. As it turned out, the United manager made just two, bringing in Anderson, in place of the rested Cristiano Ronaldo, and Tevez who took Dimitar Berbatov’s position up front with the Bulgarian dropping to the bench. It was the first time since Boxing Day that Tevez had started alongside Rooney and it didn’t take the duo long to create United’s first opening of the game after just three minutes.

Rooney pounced on a poor clearance from Brede Hangeland and lifted the ball into Tevez’s path. The Argentine set himself and as the ball dropped fired a powerful low drive goalwards. Only an excellent palmed clearance from Mark Schwarzer prevented the ball from nestling in the far corner, while the rebound just eluded Rooney as Fulham cleared their lines.

Nemanja Vidic, a tower of strength all afternoon, had to literally clear off his own line on 14 minutes when Simon Davies’ lofted pass was flicked towards goal by Andy Johnson as Edwin van der Sar rushed to meet him. The Dutchman got a slight touch on the ball, but he had Vidic to thank as the Serbian raced back to maintain parity.

A minute or so later Clint Dempsey rose above John O’Shea to meet Bobby Zamora’s right wing cross, but van der Sar was on hand to make a smart save.

United had begun the game in much the same vein as they did at St. James’ Park – second best. But whereas the Magpies had made their most of their early possession, Fulham failed to make theirs count and were made to pay on 20 minutes when the Reds took the lead.

A Michael Carrick corner was flicked on by Rooney towards the far post where Tevez was waiting to sneak a header past Paul Konchesky on the line from the tightest of angles.

The goal brought a reassurance and a confidence to United’s play which had been missing for the opening quarter of the match. The increasingly influential Rooney chanced his luck from the centre circle three minutes later, but his Beckham-esque effort dropped onto the roof of Schwarzer’s net. The striker then had a goal ruled out for offside, despite the 23-year-old looking level with the last defender.

A minute after Davies had thrashed a volley over van der Sar’s goal, Rooney should have netted United’s second when he connected with Park’s low centre from the right wing. Unfortunately, the ball rebounded off Schwarzer’s right-hand post and away from danger.

Carrick saw a finely struck 25-yarder clasped by Schwarzer, but the Australian keeper was powerless to prevent United doubling their lead in the 35th minute. Having collected a pass from Fletcher on the halfway line, Tevez jinked inside before firing a right-foot rasper into the top corner for a glorious second goal.

It was a bitter blow for the home side who had started so brightly, but they still posed a threat to United’s backline and almost struck an immediate reply when Andy Johnson found himself through on goal after a tangle with Rio Ferdinand. Thankfully, the Reds’ skipper recovered in time to make a vital last-ditch tackle as Johnson looked to pull the trigger. Soon after van der Sar dived at the feet of Zamora to win the ball after the Fulham striker had got in behind John O’Shea.

Just before the break, the United defender found himself in the thick of the action at the other end after being found by an exquisite pass from Michael Carrick following an excellent passage of play from the Reds. But O’Shea’s powerful shot was repelled by Schwarzer as the visitors threatened to put the game beyond Fulham.

Jonny Evans replaced Rio Ferdinand at the restart as a precaution after the captain went over on his ankle in the first half. The change did little to disturb United’s rhythm with Rooney and Tevez continuing to torment the Cottagers. And it was the former this time who got his name on the scoresheet five minutes in the second period, curling a brilliant effort round John Pantsil and past the outstretched arm of Schwarzer from just inside the area.

A three-goal cushion allowed Sir Alex the luxury of making some changes ahead of the crucial Champions League clash against Jose Mourinho’s men with Richard Eckersley and Danny Welbeck replacing John O’Shea, who was feeling his hamstring, and Rooney.

United weren’t about to sit back though and Ji-sung Park went close to grabbing a fourth, twice in quick succession. First, he saw a daisycutter well held by Schwarzer, before the Australian parried a low drive from the Korean soon after.

Park would not be deterred, however, and he finally found a way past Schwarzer on 81 minutes and calmly curled a right-foot effort into the net. Wembley here we come!

Fulham Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Fulham [0 - 3] Manchester United
20' [0 - 1] C.A. Tevez
35' [0 - 2] C.A. Tevez
50' [0 - 3] W. Rooney

0-1 C.Tevez 20'

0-2 C.Tevez 35'

0-3 W.Rooney 50'

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Newcastle United Vs. Manchester United Match Report

United re-established a seven point lead at the head of the Premier League table, but were pushed all the way by a pepped-up Newcastle United side at St James' Park.

Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov struck goals in either half to seal the points, but not before Peter Lovenkrands had fired the hosts into an unlikely early lead. With Chelsea and Liverpool both winning on Tuesday, this was a potentially massive win in United's bid for a third successive Premier League title.

The Magpies were at United from the very first whistle and, with Jonas Gutierrez and Obafemi Martins on song, set out with an open gameplan devised to catch the visitors cold, which they duly did.

For all the praise lavished upon Edwin van der Sar for his long run without conceding a goal – which stretched back to November – the Dutchman was guilty of a handling error as the hosts took an unexpected lead on nine minutes.

Gutierrez cut in from the left wing and aimed a speculative shot towards the far corner. The Argentine’s effort dipped in front of van der Sar, who could only palm it out to Lovenkrands for a simple finish.

United’s response was unflustered, with passes fizzing around the snow-kissed St James’ Park turf with accuracy and incision. Rooney tested Steve Harper with a left-footed curler, but a lightning-quick break from the hosts ended with Martins drilling a shot just past van der Sar’s upright. The Nigerian scored against United on the opening day of the season, and he was proving a real thorn in the Reds’ side. Nemanja Vidic picked up the game’s first yellow card for halting Martins’ surge into the area after 19 minutes.

A minute later, United were level. John O’Shea and Ji-sung Park swapped passes on the right wing before the former fed Rooney inside the Newcastle area. The England striker beautifully accepted the ball, rolling his body to lash a left-footed shot high past Harper, albeit via a tiny nick off defender Steven Taylor.

For all the cool, calculated nature of United’s rise to the Premier League summit, this was a game more in keeping with the see-saw United-Newcastle matches which have become a highlight in past seasons. The thin layer of snow quickly evaporated on a pitch scorched by two sides intent only on attacking at speed.

The Magpies continued to unsettle United’s usually unflappable backline, with Gutierrez just as eye-catching as he was in the season opener at Old Trafford. Corners and crosses were peppered into the United area, brazenly asking questions of a defence most opponents are too timid to even bother.

Five minutes before the interval, however, Nemanja Vidic somehow failed to send United into the interval in the lead. Criminal defending allowed Michael Carrick’s corner to curl across the six-yard box, but the Serb had to stoop to get any contact with the ball. He ended up in the netting, but the ball flew wide.

A game geared around nothing more than attacking intent took on a hint of needle around the interval as Steven Taylor cuffed Ronaldo around the ear as the pair chased a loose ball. The Newcastle defender then continued marauding into Michael Carrick, and was booked by referee Steve Bennett.

The official cautioned Rio Ferdinand for his venting his thoughts on the Taylor incident, and there was more feeling in the challenges all-round immediately after the break. Vidic came off worst after one, an errant elbow from Martins which left the Serbian nursing a swollen cheekbone.

Another Taylor, midfielder Ryan, was heavily involved as United took the lead on 56 minutes. The Newcastle new-boy sold Harper short with a chested back-pass which allowed Park to poke the loose ball across to Berbatov for a simple tap-in.

United continued to force the issue. A stunning break saw Rooney and Ronaldo break against five defenders, cut through them and then feed Berbatov, 25 yards out, but Harper was able to turn the Bulgarian's powerful shot over the bar.

Another opportunity came and went when Ronaldo picked up a raking pass from Carrick and Harper half-saved, sending the loose ball as far as Rooney. Having shifted the ball onto his right foot, just outside the area, he could only curl his shot just over.

As long as the lead remained at one goal, of course, there was always danger. It was a nervy, tense finish, but ultimately a successful one as United continue to swat aside all comers in the Premier League, having now posted 11 straight league wins.

Newcastle United Vs. Manchester United Highlights Video Clip

Newcastle United [1 - 2] Manchester United
9' [1 - 0] P. Løvenkrands
20' [1 - 1] W. Rooney
56' [1 - 2] D. Berbatov

1-0 P.Løvenkrands 9'

1-1 W.Rooney 20'

1-2 D.Berbatov 56'

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Carling Cup Celebration in Changing Room


Manchester United Vs. Tottenham Highlights Video Clip

Manchester United * [0 - 0] Tottenham Hotspurs
penalty shoot-out : [4 - 1]


Extended Highlights