Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bayern Munich 2 - 1 United

Neville Rio Vidic Evra
Nani(Giggs) Carrick(Valencia) Scholes Fletcher Park(Berbatov)

United scored the goal inside the first 2 minutes. While Rooney was celebrating the goal with his team mates, I murmered "We are going to lose this one". And heck I was right. In big games, it seems, that whenever someone scores early he's likely to succumb to a defeat. We've seen Milan score early against us and lose, we've seen Liverpool score early against us and lose and now we've experienced this situation as well. This was our first away loss since the game we lost 3 years ago vs Milan.

United were doing reasonably well until the 75th minute. Mind you, Bayern were controlling the match, but they weren't that threatening up front. Fergie opted to take off Park and bring on Berbatov after the 70th minute. I don't think that was a wise decision. Anyway, Neville, who was having a good game, gave away a silly freekick, from which Ribery scored. The second goal could have been avoided as well. United could have scored a couple more, Rooney missed a sitter while Vidic rocked the crossbar, but overall Bayern were simply better than us.

The return leg is in 8 days time and I hope we can get a result that will get us through to the semis, meanwhile, a huge match vs Chelsea is looming large. This could make or break our season. Personally I'd rather see our players lift the Premier League trophy than the Champions League but then again I wish we can win them both! C'mon United!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bolton 0 - 4 United

Neville Evans Vidic Evra
Valencia Scholes(Carrick) Fletcher(Gibson) Nani
Giggs(Macheda) Berbatov

What a second half performance! After a dull first half, during which Bolton had some decent chances, United managed to outplay a spirited Bolton side and add three more goals to the crazy own goal by Samuel in the first half. Berbatov scored a couple and Gibson completed the icing on the cake with a fine finish.

Today's man of the match was Vidic. He was simply excellent throughout the whole match. I hope the rumours that he's on his way out of OT are unfounded. He won every header and tackled hard but cleanly. Today's game is a vivid reason why Fergie should hold on to the Serbian. VDS made a breathtaking stop during the first half and denied Bolton the equaliser. In the absence of Rooney, Berbatov managed to score two goals and played quite well while Nani made a couple of assists. The Portuguese totally out-foxed the Bolton defenders at times and that was a joy to watch. I'm glad Gibson was given a chance and I'm even more pleased he managed to score barely 90 seconds after his introduction. Well done Gibo lad!

Maybe this game ends the "if Rooney gets injured" argument!

We're on top of the league and I hope, come Saturday afternoon, we'll still be there. Meanwhile the game vs Bayern looms large...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

United 2 - 1 Liverpool

Neville Ferdinand Vidic Evra
Valencia Carrick Fletcher Nani(Giggs)

Finally! We managed to beat Liverpool and end their unbeaten run against us. It was a good performance especially during the second half. United were worthy of their win and Liverpool, who had just 2 shots on target, were lucky they didn't have Mascherano sent off. Rooney missed a penalty but scored from the rebound and Park headed superbly an inch perfect Fletcher cross.

I thought Carrick was poor today, he was slow in build ups and gave the ball away cheaply. On the other hand Fletcher was immense. He tackled hard for the United cause and asissted Park to head home the winner. Defenitely a man of the match performance. Nani had an on and off match. Our defence was great but to be honest the Liverpool strike-force didn't really threaten our rearguard except when they scored and deep in the second half when Torres should have scored easily. Rooney, although isolated up front, had a good game. He controlled the ball superbly and was a menace to the Liverpool back four.

All in all it was a good win today, a step in the right direction. I will now watch Chelsea take on Blackburn in hope, although, deep down inside, I know that Blackburn pulling a good result is highly unlikely...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

United 3 - 0 Fulham

Neville(Rafael) Rio Vida Evra
Valencia(Park) Carrick Fletcher Nani
Rooney Berbatov

The score suggests that this was an easy game, but it wasn't. United lacked quality up front during the first half. We should have been at least 2 goals up by the end of the first 45 minutes but Fletcher, who got himself into an ideal position, opted to brush off his responsibility on Rooney who was tightly marked and Berbatov managed to head high from an ideal position. However, when the 2nd half was less than a minute young, Rooney managed to score the first goal thanks to a good Nani pass. We had to wait 35 minutes until United put the game beyond Fulham's reach. Another Rooney goal followed some excellent work by Berbatov, who, missed some decent chances, but worked his socks off today. Berbatov capped a fine performance with a well headed goal, United's 100th goal of the season!

United did not kill the game off before putting their fans into a heart beat skipping moment. Bobby Zamora managed to get past Vidic and hesitated when facing VDS, giving Vidic enough time to recover and put in an excellent tackle. Had that chance been converted by Zamora we would be looking at a very different scoreline today. The England man could have scored another during the first half but once again, thank God, his finishing was awful.

I can't really complain about our strikers but our widemen had a stinker when delivering the ball. Nani lacked quality in his final pass, even though he managed an assist, and his decisions were horrendous at times. Meanwhile Valencia had an off game. In fact he had to be substituted, and his replacement, Park, was effective in the limited time he had on the pitch. He managed to assist Berbatov and put in some other fine passes. Carrick and Fletcher were a tad too slow to pose any attacking threat to the impressive Fulham defence, in fact Fletcher should have added his name to the scoresheet, however, defensively, they were spot on.

We will face Liverpool next week. I believe we should beat them easily. They have been really poor lately and only a win will do. In the coming three weeks we will face Liverpool and Chelsea It certainly is "squeaky bum time"!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

United 4 - 0 Milan

Neville(Rafael) Rio Vidic Evra
Valencia Park Scholes(Gibson) Fletcher Nani

What a performance by United!! Absolutely stunning! Wayne Rooney scored a brace, Park put the game beyond Milan's reach with a fine finish and Fletcher headed a superb cross by Rafael late in the game. United seem to have a habit of humiliating Italian clubs at Old Trafford. Remember Inter last year and the 7-1 win over Roma? I love it! :)

Milan did spurn a couple of chances today, but this Milan side is a far cry from the Milan side which trashed us 3 years ago. The Rossoneri are an ageing side and they couldn't keep up with United's determination. Every player gave his 100%, yes, even frustrating players like Nani. Nani's first half was quite poor but he was amazing during the second. He managed an assist and a couple of other fine crosses. Park and Fletcher where everywhere. I guess those two were the difference between United and Milan. Neville nearly scored a goal and produced an assist, he even won the battle vs Ronaldinho!

Our defence was rock solid although Evra was troubled a bit by Milan's long balls. Thankfully their strikers were wasteful in front of goal. Beckham, who was given a tremendous reception, had the most threatening shot from the Milan players. Speaking of Beckham, when leaving the pitch, he wore the Green and Gold scarf which shows that he, as a United supporter, wants Glazer out too!

Anyway we're through to the quarter finals and I'm quite pleased with that. Now, we must put the European scene aside and concentrate on our domestic battle. Our next match is vs Fulham and I expect a win.

"Wayne Rooney is one of the best in the world, if not the best." David Beckham

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wolves 0 - 1 United

Brown(Neville) Rio Vidic Evra
Valencia Gibson(Diouf) Scholes Carrick Nani(Park)

As expected this was a tough match. Without Rooney up front we do look like a side lacking ideas and Berbatov just didn't do enough. However, a goal from United's Legend Paul Scholes gave United the 3 points. I don't think United deserved the 3 points today. Wolves had the best of chances and they went agonisingly close to scoring the equaliser deep into the second half. Thankfully, with a whole goal at his mercy, the Wolverhampton striker managed to put the ball over the bar.

The goal scored by Scholes today was his 100th Premier League goal. He had a good game and capped it with a fine goal. Our other midfielders weren't that bad either. Carrick, Gibson & Valencia played quite well but Nani had a stinker. It is now evident that Nani is at his best when he plays on the right wing, but that side is owned by Valencia. He's been magic lately. Berbatov was slow and in fact the commentators pointed this out when Diouf sprinted towards goal and Berbatov was seen jogging slowly towards the area of play. Diouf could have sealed the 3 points but he headed wide from an ideal position.

Anyway with this win we are now on top of the Premier League since Chelsea will play in the FA Cup this weekend. I think that games like these determine where the crown goes at the end of the season and I guess we made another step in the right direction. Just 10 steps to go...