Thursday, December 29, 2005

Birmingham 2 - Manchester United 2

Manchester United’s deadly attack line succed in the victory over Birmingham. Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney both scored at St Andrew’s on Wednesday evening. However, that wasn’t enough because Jamie Clapham and Walter Pandiani, of the local team, also saw their names listed on the scoresheet.

It was a amazing performance from Steve Bruce’s side who pushed Manchester United all the way in what was a richly entertaining ninety-minutes of football.

Dutch striker Van Nistelrooy scored the lead only to see Clapham equalise for Birmingham before half-time. Rooney restored United’s lead but uruguayan Pandiani levelled again with thirteen minutes remaining.

The final score meant that the gap between Chelsea FC and United at the top of the table had been stretched to eleven points because Chelsea had beaten Manchester City 1-0 at Eastlands.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer returned after more than 18 months on the sidelines with a knee injury. He made a sixteen-minute appearance after replacing Ronaldo.

Manchester United’s line-up showed three new players from the side which put three goals past West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Boxing Day. Wes Brown, Ryan Giggs and Ji-sung Park were the players missing from that victory. Kieran Richardson, Alan Smith and Cristiano Ronaldo were named as the replacements for this Premiership fixture against Steve Bruce’s relegation-haunted side.

United fought hard in order to get a victory, but Birmingham had displayed some of their manager’s fighting spirit to snatch what could prove to be a valuable point.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Heinze may not fit for World Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson thinks that Argentine defender Gabriel Heinze may not be fit for next summer's World Cup finals in Germany.

The player has been out of action since September after rupturing cruciate ligaments and is not expected to be back before the end of the current season.

Ferguson said: "I would have thought it's really unlikely he'll play before the end of this season. I can't see that happening. I know he wants to play in the World Cup, as any player would, but I don't think he'll be available until next season."

Meanwhile, Quinton Fortune is down because of a knee injury and is no nearer to a first team comeback.

The South African has not played for Manchester United this season after damaging his knee during pre-season and he looks set to be more time on the sidelines.

"He's exactly the same as he was," revealed Fergie. "It's not cleared up at all and it doesn't look as if it's going to be an early one either - it's going to be lengthy."

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Manchester United hits Wigan hard

The young English star Wayne Rooney scored twice and Rio Ferdinand made his first goal for Manchester United in a 4-0 rout of Wigan Athletic which pushed the Old Trafford club to second in the English Premier League yesterday.

In another match, West Ham United beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park.

Man. United's win, which took its tally to 34 points from 16 matches, helped Sir Alex Ferguson's men leapfrog Liverpool into second place, nine points under leader Chelsea. Wigan, with 25 points, dropped one place to eighth.

At the same time, former United captain Roy Keane is set to sign for Celtic, according to media reports. "Keano" ended a 12-year spell at Old Trafford when he left United last month.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

United out of Champions League

Benfica celebrates a historical result with a 2-1 win over Manchester United, which eliminated the english team out of the competition.

"Our defensive line was always solid, we didn't give up any room to manoeuvre," midfielder Armando Petit was quoted.

Benfica's victory at the Stadium of Light on Wednesday lifted them from bottom of Group D to second behind Villarreal, who won 1-0 at home to Lille 1-0.

Manchester United, who beat Benfica for the first of their two European Cups in 1968, finished last in the group.

"History is made at Light" ran the headline in Thursday's Publico daily. A Bola sports newspaper crowed "Glorious!"

Paul Scholes gave the English team a sixth-minute lead but Benfica replied with a header from striker Geovanni and Beto fired home a deflected winner before halftime.

"We spoke at the break and we told ourselves that no goal could go in. We would play all night and keep the ball out of our goal," Benfica defender Leo said.

Cristiano Ronaldo, who Red Devils bought from Benfica's arch rivals Sporting Lisbon, struggled to cope with the tension and the loud whistles every time he got the ball. The winger was substituted in the second half and gestured to the crowd.

Man. Utd. had clocked up a record nine consecutive appearances in the knockout stages of the competition. They piled on the pressure late in the game but failed to create any clear-cut chances.

"This is a huge frustration for everyone. Everybody feels really bad but we have to start over and look to the next game," dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar said. "There's going to be a lot of media pressure, I think that's obvious."

Benfica goalkeeper Quim Silva played down the significance of the win, saying, "Making history? In a month nobody will remember this. Right now we're thinking about our next game with Boavista."

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Manchester United defeats Portsmouth 3 - 0

Manchester United recovered their best performance and got a 3-0 victory over Portsmouth at Old Trafford on Saturday.Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney scored the winning goals .With this result, Man. United remained in second place of the Premiership, but still sits 10 points leader Chelsea, which edged out Middlesbrough, 1-0, earlier in the day.

Paul Scholes opened up the scoring in the 20th minute breaking free in the penalty area and head in a corner shot sent by Giggs. Then in the 80th minute, Rooney made it a 2-0 affair after he took advantage of a Portsmouth turnover inside the box.

Just four minutes later, Van Nistelrooy put the nail in the coffin with a chip shot to cap off the scoring.

Gary Neville made his debut as skipper of Manchester United in the match. The 30-year-old defender replaced Roy Keane, who left the team two weeks ago. Neville has been with United for 12 years and is approaching 500 appearances with the club.

Another results on Saturday: Liverpool posted its sixth straight victory with a 3-0 win over Wigan; Everton blanked Blackburn, 2-0; Bolton knocked off Arsenal, 2-0; Aston Villa and Newcastle battled to a 1-1 draw; The Spurs edged out Sunderland, 3-2; Fulham and West Brom shared the points in a scoreless draw.