Wednesday, April 29, 2009

United 1 - 0 Arsenal

O'Shea Rio(Evans) Vidic Evra
Ronaldo Carrick Fletcher Anderson(Giggs) Rooney

A goal from an unlikely source, JOHN O’SHEA, handed Manchester United a vital Champions League advantage over Arsenal. United dominated the game and if it wasn’t for Arsenal’s keeper Almunia who had an inspired night between the posts, United could have won today’s match by 3 goals. Ronaldo was also unlucky when he hit a dazzling shot which rattled the bar.

Arsenal were very poor up front but defended extremely well at times. A 1-0 result is not a safe one to take to the Emirates but at least we didn’t conceded that dreaded away goal. My man of the match goes to Fletcher who ran his socks off and never gave up on a ball. Tevez, Rooney and Ronaldo did their jobs well, although Tev and Ronny should have scored from ideal positions, and our defence was once again impermeable. Berbatov was brought on midway through the 2nd half and once again he performed quite well. I guess the stick he got after the Everton match made him up his game.

Ferdinand seems to have picked up an injury, I just hope he recovers in time for next Saturday’s match vs Boro. I think that if we win on Saturday the title race will be over since Liverpool will run out of games and I can’t see United missing out on 3 matches.

Keep the red flag flying high! This could be another memorable season!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

United 5 - 2 Tottenham

Rafael(O'Shea) Rio Vidic Evra
Ronaldo Carrick Fletcher(Scholes) Nani(Tevez)
Rooney Berbatov

Everyone who watched this game witnessed a comeback of epic proportions. United 2 nil down at half time scored 5 during the second half to cap off a brilliant 2nd half display of attacking football. A double from the irresistible Rooney and Ronaldo set United to the win while Berbatov, who played quite well, completed the icing on the cake.

Tottenham scored two goals during the first half when United were playing quite well. Evra was horrible during the first 45 minutes and Lennon gave him a torrid time down the right. Ronaldo looked disinterested while Vidic and Ferdinand were both at fault for the Spurs’ 2 goals.

Even though United were trailing, I still had a feeling United might nick something after the half time break. I expected a big fight back and keeping in mind United had overhauled a 3 goal deficit vs the Spurs in 2001, I believed United might win the game but I didn’t expect 5 goals.

The Scousers were probably still singing and buffing their hopes up for the title but United had other ideas. In comes Tevez for the showboater yet useless Nani and his influence pumped United up. Rooney and Ronaldo were majestic scoring 2 each, while they provided two assists each. Tevez was incisive after coming on at half-time and Berbatov ran for the ball, yes I know, unbelievable. The first goal, a penalty, might have been a bit harsh on Tottenham since Gomes touched the ball before bringing Carrick down. It was 50/50 and luckily the ref gave a penalty to United. Ronaldo’s second goal was an absolute beauty, excellent build up capped by an excellent header. Man of the match? Nah! MEN of the match is more appropriate! Rooney and Ronaldo.

Anyway I now truly believe United have a hand on the trophy. Today’s match was a major test and United have passed with flying colors. Were you watching Merseyside? I bet your were!
Here's what Fergie had to say about Tevez;
“In the first half we were playing far too slowly,” Sir Alex told MUTV. “But bringing on Carlos Tevez enthused everyone, the fans included. He won the game for us. He turned the game… although obviously everyone played their part."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

United 2 - 0 Portsmouth

Neville(O'Shea)(Rafael) Evans Vidic Evra
Ronaldo Scholes Anderson(Carrick) Fletcher
Rooney Giggs
A game which United could have easily won by a 5 goal margin but due to horrendous finishing it ended 2-0. Giggs who otherwise had one heck of a match, missed two sitters. Rooney opened the score as early as the 9th minute while Carrick sealed the issue 8 minutes from the final whistle.

United were quite good today but lacked that deadly finishing touch up front. We were too wasteful. Anderson showed his true colours today with a great performance while Rooney and Giggs showed glimpses of genius every now and then. Fletcher battled hard in midfield while Scholes, who was playing his 600th match for United, distributed some breath taking passes one of which saw its end at the back of the net. Vidic at the back was rock solid once again. His performance ensured VDS was virtually a spectator throughout the whole match.

Anyway, another huge step towards the finishing line has been made. There are 4 steps(United need to win 4 of their remaining 6 matches) left to be made to ensure the title stays at OT and that’s if Liverpool win all their remaining matches, which is something I truly doubt after their recent defensive performances. Chelsea has also slipped today so I think they are practically out of the title race. The title is ours to lose, we’re in the driving seat, I just hope we don’t take our foot off the pedal...

Tottenham next; I’ve got a gut feeling that we’ll drop some precious points in this encounter. I hope I’m wrong.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

United 0 - 0 Everton (2-4 on penalties)

Rafael Rio Vidic Fabio(Evra)
Park(Scholes) Anderson Gibson Welbeck
Tevez Macheda(Berbatov)

Finally United lost a penalty shoot out and I’m absolutely gutted. Berbatov is once again my main target. What on earth was he thinking when taking the penalty? Even I would have hit a more powerful penalty and I don't have a 30million price tag!

Anyway, just as I had predicted, Fergie rested most of the experienced players and the starting line up included 4 teenagers. I thought that Fergie was risking a tad too much though. I never expected this line up. But the youngsters played well and at the end of the match United were superior to Everton on possession and goal attempts but level on goals. The average age of our starting line up was 22.64, and then a Wenger brags about his youthful squad!

To be honest the match was tense but not really entertaining. The chance of completing a quintuple has now been washed away. In reality it was difficult to win 5 trophies but that didn’t stop me from dreaming of such a haul.

I’m still proud of the youngsters who played today though they put in a great effort! Well done!

Blue will be the colour on the 30th of May meanwhile we have some business to finish off starting next Wednesday vs Portsmouth. C’mon United!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Porto 0 - 1 United

O'Shea Rio Vidic Evra
Rooney Carrick Anderson(Scholes) Giggs
Ronaldo Berbatov(Nani)
An absolute scorcher by Ronaldo has sent United through to the semis for the second year running. Ronaldo responded to Fergie’s criticism with a man of the match performance. Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Rooney and O’Shea all had a great match while the return of Ferdinand vividly boosted our defence. We looked solid at the back once again after a couple of shaky displays. Berbatov was once again weak and Fergie’s patience seemed to have run out as he replaced the Bulgarian with Nani.

All in all I’m pretty pleased. United showed the same composure of last year. Remember the game vs Barca when we had to grind out a result? A beauty by Scholes and a stubborn defensive display did the trick. History repeated itself today with an impressive Ronaldo goal and an equally impressive defensive display.

Our next match is at Wembley vs Everton. Although the FA Cup is an important competition I believe Fergie won’t field the best XI. The likes of Rooney, Ronaldo, Edwin, Vidic, Carrick and Giggs should all be given a break so their energy is spared for the upcoming Premier League matches. Liverpool, who are out of the Champions League, will have their concentration set solely on the Premier League. They only have 6 matches left until the end of the season while United have at least 10!

Here are the remaining fixtures of United and Liverpool.
April 2009
19 Apr FA Cup Everton 17:00
22 Apr Barclays Premier League Portsmouth H 21:00
25 Apr Barclays Premier League Tottenham H 18:30
28 Apr UEFA Champions LeagueArsenal 20:45
May 2009
02 May Barclays Premier League Middlesbrough A 16:00
05 May UEFA Champions League Arsenal 20.45
09 May Barclays Premier League Man City H 16:00
13 May Barclays Premier League Wigan A 21:00
16 May Barclays Premier League Arsenal H 16:00
24 May Barclays Premier League Hull City A 17:00

21 Apr, Liverpool v Arsenal
25 Apr, Hull City v Liverpool

2 May,
Liverpool v Newcastle United
9 May, West Ham v Liverpool
16 May, West Bromwich v Liverpool
24 May, Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

Keep the faith!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunderland 1 - 2 United

Neville Vidic Evans O'Shea
Park(Ronaldo) Carrick Scholes Rooney
Tevez(Anderson) Berbatov(Macheda)

I guessed the score on my previous post, well done to me! Anyway I didn’t watch the match since I decided to go to the Gozo Stadium to watch 2 local teams battle it out for the local Championship. A beautiful chipped header by Scholes and another goal, though a tad lucky, by Macheda won us the match. Macheda's goal was also our 100th goal of the season.

Since United have been chopping years off my life with less than inspiring performances, I decided that I’d better go watch two local teams rather than experience another nail biting, life threatening United match. I told my sister to keep me informed via Txt messages. As I received a txt message that Scholes had scored I was quite pleased and relaxed as I watched Sannat FC( lead against Ghajnsielem FC( I received another txt message some time later and it read Utd 1 – 1. I was gutted and spent the rest of the match worrying about United instead of enjoying a rare breath taking match at the Gozo Stadium. Thankfully the 3rd and final message I received, which when received made my heart skip a beat, read ‘United 2-1, Kiko has scored after 43 seconds!’ I was relieved and the match ended, just as I had predicted, 2-1.

Now, I have watched the highlights and joined in the banter of some United fans. Everyone was uttering the same words, Berbatov is a waste of money! He was completely anonymous during the match and I hope that Fergie starts with Tevez and Rooney up front against Porto. The saying goes ‘never change a winning team’, we won the Premier League and the Champions League last season with these two up front so I don’t know why on earth Fergie rarely starts them both up front.

Bring on Porto

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

United 2 - 2 Porto

O'Shea Evans(Neville) Vidic Evra
Ronaldo Scholes(Tevez) Carrick Fletcher Park(Giggs)

This game started and ended on a very bad note. United, who conceded 4 minutes into the 1st half, managed to equalise thanks to Rooney. On the 85th minute Tevez finished off a lovely Ronaldo-Rooney move and I thought it was enough but Neville’s stupid decision cost United a goal in stoppage time, a goal which could prove fatal.

During the first half Porto outclassed United and to be fair I really don’t think United deserved to go into the break 1-1. United did up the tempo in the second half and played quite well. Park, Rooney and Ronaldo had decent shots saved by the Porto keeper while Van Der Sar was kept busy by several Porto counter attacks or dead ball situations.

All in all I’m pretty disappointed. A 2-2 draw at home is not a good result and unless we improve we’re not going to get through to the semi final. Our defence was once again shabby and the inclusion of an out-of-form Neville late in the second half didn’t help at all. We don’t have any decent centre backs other than Evans to cover for Rio and Vida. Selling Pique last Summer was not a wise decision! Anyway, improvement is imperative, if we continue playing like we have played since the game vs Inter we won’t win neither the League nor the Champions League. United must win in Portugal in 8 days time if we intend to keep our ' Champions of Europe 'crown. Whoever thought that by drawing Porto was an easy route to the final must have looked like a complete idiot as Porto bombarded the United defence! There's no easy tie in such competitions!

Meanwhile the Sunderland match looms large. I expect a win. 2-1? We’ll wait and see

Sunday, April 5, 2009

United 3 - 2 Aston Villa

O'Shea Neville Evans Evra
Ronaldo Carrick Fletcher Nani(Macheda)
Tevez(Welbeck) Giggs

Ladies and Gentleman, I have a new hero and he’s 17 years old. What’s even more surprising is the fact that this young lad comes from a country that I truly dislike, Italy. I guess this guy is the only living Italian that I can bear and unless he leaves Man Utd and turns into an ‘Inzaghi’, I will keep on liking him. He’s a hot prospect for the future and finally the reviews I have been reading about him have been supported with an excellent goal with the senior squad. His name is Federico Macheda.

Macheda and Ronaldo were our saviours but in reality today’s performance wasn’t good. Everyone played below par and I guess only Fletcher played to his full potential. The first 70 minutes were a nightmare, it was in the last quarter of the match when United upped the tempo and looked like threatening Villa. Ronaldo, whose theme song must be One Republic’s ‘Stop and Stare’, spent most of the match giving the ball away and just stopping and staring at the ref. Thankfully he showed his other side of the game too by scoring 2 fine goals. Macheda’s goal deep into stoppage time was brilliant and I hope he flourishes into the player we are anticipating. With Welbeck and Macheda we have got 2 rough diamonds which just need some polishing.

So, although until the 80 minute I was resigned to losing again, this win has buffed my belief that we can win the league. We just need to win 7 from the remaining 8 matches given that Liverpool win all their remaining 7 league matches.

Our next match is in 48 hours time vs Porto. A win without conceding is ideal but just as I have learned on several occasions including today, United never do it the easy way.