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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