Sunday, December 31, 2006

Red Devils win over Reading and get a six point lead

Once again, Cristiano Ronaldo had a great performance. The Portuguese player netted his sixth goal in three games, and host Manchester United beat Reading 3-2 on Saturday to move six points ahead of Chelsea in the Premiership.

In the other game, Chelsea, the two-time defending champions, tied Fulham 2-2 in London. Now Mourinho's team have dropped four points in two home games in five days after Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Reading.

The game we are talking about took place at Old Trafford, where Ole Gunner Solskjaer also scored for the Red Devils' 17th league win this season, one day before manager Alex Ferguson's 65th birthday. Ibrahima Sonko and Leroy Lita scored for Reading.

"It's been a really good day for us," Ferguson admitted. "Some of our football was very good. The play was excellent at times."

"Despite that, I saw that we had our worst defending of the season. It was a slack goal for us to lose," he expressed of Reading's 89th-minute goal. "We resorted to playing safe football instead of playing the football we like to create."

Friday, December 22, 2006

Smith stays at Manchester

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has strongly denied that one of his strikers, Alan Smith, will leave the Manchester United in 2007.

Actually, Smith is undergoing an intensive fitness programme in his effort to return to peak condition after his double leg fracture in February this year.

We must consider that that Everton are plotting a £6million bid for the striker when the transfer window reopens. However, Ferguson with his statement today has certainly cleared the air over the 26-year-old England international’s future.

“The player remains part of United's plans for the second half of the season,” Ferguson said.

“Alan is doing very well at the moment and our speed programme has had an immediate effect. We have seen a tremendous improvement in him over the last month.”

“And he is certainly not far away now. I wanted to take him down to West Ham, but he didn't want to go. He just wanted to stay and train on his own. He deserves great credit for that because it is not simple.”

“He doesn't want to travel again tomorrow, so he will be training again.”

The manager who was favouring a loan stint for Smith at Cardiff City earlier in the season, felt that the striker had perhaps made the right decision in rejecting the transfer.

But Ferguson announced: "He did the right thing. He could have gone and played games, but not been 100 per cent to play in them, whether it is the Tournament or the Premier League. Instead we worked out a programme to improve his speed that he has really taken to.”

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Manchester United beat Benfica to advance in the Champions League

In a really important game, Manchester United stormed back from a goal down to assure thier presence in the Champions League knockout phase with a 3-1 triumph over Benfica on Wednesday.

Indeed, Ferguson's team, who were knocked out at this stage of last season's competition by the Portuguese side, were trailing to a superb 27th minute strike by Nelson before Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic headed an equaliser in first-half stoppage time.

The home squad came out fighting after the break and capitalised on some poor defending as Ryan Giggs headed them in front in the 61st minute and French forward Louis Saha sealed the win with their third goal in the 75th minute.

It's important to say that defeat for Benfica dumped a stylish team out of the competition, with United finishing top of Group F and joined in the next round by Scotish side Celtic.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Derby ended 1-1

It was a really tough game for both squads. But the most incredible part was when Ricardo Carvalho muscled in a second-half header to earn visiting Chelsea a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

In the most important derby of the week, Louis Saha gave United a first-half lead in the 29th minute with a wonderful piece of skill, bending the ball past Carlo Cudicini.

In fact, the encounter developed an intriguing ebb and flow in the second half as Saha twice went close, while Frank Lampard rained in a series of shots in reply.

That's when Carvalho earned Chelsea that point when he powered a header past Edwin van der Sar from a Lampard corner in the 69th minute.

We have to say that if Manchester United had the better of the first half, Chelsea were well worth the draw given their impressive second-half display.

What's more, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho brought on Arjen Robben for Geremi at the restart, a switch that entailed Michael Essien dropping to right-back.

That lineup provided Chelsea with greater attacking fluidity, with Essien superb in the way he surged forward from his defensive place on the pitch.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Saha is becoming a vital striker

French striker is becoming important for Manchester United. And this time it was against Blackburn Rovers, scoring the only goal to get a tough victory.

When United coach, sir Alex Ferguson, is willing to allow Alan Smith to leave Manchester United on loan, the vital role to be played by Louis Saha in this season's title race was underlined here when the French international forward scored a really good winning goal while his partner Wayne Rooney squandered three incredible chances.

Indeed, Saha struck his eighth goal of the season, with an accomplished 63rd-minute hooked shot from six yards - a superb, predatory finish after Rooney, who had been denied for a third time by Brad Friedel from close range just a minute earlier, played a wide ball to John O'Shea whose centre was brilliantly turned across goal by midfielder Ryan Giggs.

We must say that Ferguson thought the performance praiseworthy: "Louis is in good form. He's a threat with good pace and power and he's a great balance to the squad.

"It was a feisty match with a lot of challenges and tackles, and a good result and a great performance by us because in the past we have come here and played better and lost - last season we scored three times and lost 4-3."

Finally free of injury, French striker Saha looks a devastatingly effective finisher, in stark contrast to the efforts of Rooney yesterday, although Ferguson's decision to allow Smith to leave Manchester, at a time when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is out injured and Saha and Rooney both have a long history of their own injury troubles behind them, looks a calculated gamble.

However, as long as Saha is in such form, Ferguson's hopes of continuing his team's impressive start to the season and maintaining the pressure on defending champions Chelsea look fine.

"The important thing is Chelsea have done fantastic the last two years, winning the league early on and making it difficult for us all," Ferguson admitted. "But at least this good start must give us a chance"

"A lot of things come into consideration. You've got to get through December, which is always tough, and by January you have a great idea of who's going to contest and who's going to be involved in relegation. That's a pivotal time. Hopefully, if we can keep our good performance and keep the injury situation low, we will be there."

Monday, November 6, 2006

Powerfull attack in the Carling Cup

Manchester stars Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo could be unleashed on Southend on Tuesday as the team look to book a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.

Indeed, Manchester United needed a late extra-time goal to get past Crewe a fortnight ago, and Sir Alex Ferguson has vowed to field a much stronger side at Roots Hall, with only Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Edwin van der Sar missing the game.

It's important to consider that Ryan Shawcross, David Jones, David Gray and Crewe hero Kieran Lee will all be involved but apart from those youngsters, the remainder of United's line-up will be from his first-team squad. Even if Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo do make the trip, they seem certain to start on the bench.

In the other side, Southend will be without Matt Harrold when they host the holders.

The talented forward, who scored Southend's goal in the 3-1 defeat by Wolves at the weekend, is cup-tied having turned out for former club Yeovil in round one.

According to the club, with fellow forwards Lee Bradbury (hip) and Billy Paynter (hamstring) still on the injury list, Gary Hooper is likely to partner Freddy Eastwood in attack.

What's more, defender Adam Barrett is a doubt after missing the Wolves match with a stomach problem, with Spencer Prior ready to step in.

Friday, November 3, 2006

United lost a game and a player

One of the most beloved players in Manchester, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has been ruled out for a few weeks after injuring his hamstring in his team's Champions League defeat to FC Copenhagen.

In fact, the Norwegian striker only recently returned from serious knee problems that had sidelined him for two years.

That's why Sir Alex Ferguson expressed: "It's unfortunate for Ole but I am actually quite happy. Given his previous history of knee problems, I was a bit concerned but, fortunately, it is only a hamstring. He will be out for a few weeks."

It's important to mention that Solskjaer is currently United's leading scorer with six goals this season.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Rooney's hat trick help United beat Bolton

Talented striker Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick to end a 10-match drought to lead Manchester United to a 4-0 Premier League victory against Bolton.

It's great to know that Rooney’s goals were his first for club or country since he scored twice in United’s season-opening 5-1 win over Fulham on August 20.

“I think there has been a lot of talk by a lot of people over the last few weeks saying I couldn’t do it any more, stuff like that, so the feeling when the first goal went in was brilliant. To finish the hat-trick was nice. I am really happy just to be back among the goals again and to have secured the three points in what was a big match for us.”

Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo got the other goal as United stayed top of the league with 25 points, leading champion Chelsea on goal difference.

Now, Bolton is third with 20 points, followed by Portsmouth on 19 and Arsenal on 18.

“Chelsea FC have laid down a marker but we want to challenge them,” Manchester United bossman, Sir Alex Ferguson, said. “There is a growing confidence within the club, we are looking very strong and we will have a great go.”

Wayne Rooney opened the scoring in the 10th minute from a cross by Michael Carrick and made it 2-0 six minutes later when he curled the ball into the corner of the net beyond the reach of keeper Jaaskelainen.

And Cristiano Ronaldo scored before Rooney completed the scoring in the 89th from a cross by Darren Fletcher.

“Apart from the third goal, there was very little we could do to stop him,” Bolton coach Sam Allardyce claims. “The first two were magnificent goals made of outstanding quality.”

For the records, it was the second hat-trick in the 21-year-old Rooney’s career. His first was two years ago on his Champions League debut against Fenerbahce.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Manchester United and Liverpool will heath up the Premiership

The Old Trafford stadium will host the biggest game of the weekend in the English Premiership. Indeed, first place Manchester United face their first true test of the season against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon. Ferguson's team, top on goal difference from champions Chelsea, have enjoyed an excellent start to the season and made it three wins out of three in the Champions League in midweek.

We must consider that with Wayne Rooney looking more like his old self, United should be at full strength, with Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand likely to return after missing the win over FC Copenhagen.

But though their start has been impressive, they have played just two teams in the top half of the table. Liverpool, on the other hand, have made a faltering start with just 11 points from their first eight clashes, and their away record has been really bad.

But a 1-0 midweek win in Bordeaux will have lifted their confidence and defender Sami Hyypia is convinced that Liverpool have turned a corner.

"Sometimes you need to go back to basics and make it the main objective not to allow the opposition to score," the Finn admitted.

"This was an example of that, to make sure we get the defending right and then take whatever opportunity came our way.

"We know it is a big game and how important it is for the fans.

"I know we're a long way from the top, so it's even more important, but you never want to take extra pressure into a game like this. We're not going to go there thinking we must not lose. We go into every match thinking we want to win."

Monday, October 9, 2006

United is after Nani

Manchester United are eyeing a move for Sporting Lisbon new talent Nani - but have been warned he is not for sale in January's transfer window.

The British club swooped to take Cristiano Ronaldo from the same club for £12.25million in 2003.

And now boss Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant Carlos Queiroz has identified the 19-year-old Nani as another potential top star of the future.

The right-sided midfield footballer was a key figure in Sporting's second-place finish in the league last season and has already netted three times in six games this term.

He is contracted to the Lisbon outfit until 2008 and his club want to extend it by two or three years, while also eager to insert a clause stating that he cannot be sold for less than £17.5million during that period.

Sporting president Filipe Soares told The Manchester Evening News: "Nani is not for sale today - and neither in the winter market. At this moment we are not interested in any business."

Nani himself is fired up by the interest from United and wants to move at some point.

"If I leave at any time it would be to go to a great team. I am young and very ambitious," he expressed.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The Reds ready to beat Newcastle

Manchester United is fighting to get the title of the Premiership, and this time they will have a really tough rival to beat: Newcastle United.

Manchester United have started strongly and despite failing to pick up a win in their last two Premiership outings, they too achieved a hard fought victory in Europe in the week and will be looking to rediscover the impressive early season form that has ensured they remain within touching distance of championship favourites Chelsea. Defeat at home by Arsenal and a draw at Reading marred what had been a perfect start after four games, and they will be anxious to re-establish winning momentum against the Magpies.

So, is important to mention that Sir Alex Ferguson is without defender Mikael Silvestre for six weeks as he Frenchman recovers from a broken metatarsal, while midfielder Ryan Giggs – in such good form until he injured his hamstring - is expected to be out of contention for a further two weeks. The coach is likely to select the same eleven he started with against Benfica on Tuesday.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tough victory over Tottenham Hotspurs

This time, the victory was not so clear. Manchester United actually suffered to continue their perfect start to the Premiership season by beating Tottenham 1-0. They have a record of fourth straight victories.

In fact, it should have been a great game given the star players on both teams. But, in the end, the game went a bit stale after Ryan Giggs' goal in the ninth minute.

But there is no denying that Ferguson's team have made a superb start to the season. They deserved the 1-0 triumph over Tottenham. They showed pace and skill in their build-up play and they certainly have more ideas when it comes to attacking.

But if it's about admitting faults, they have to be more ruthless when it comes to converting their opportunities.

French striker Louis Saha was the biggest culprit and he wasted two great opportunities late on to wrap up the result. In the 83rd minute, Park Ji Sung picked him out on the edge of the box but he selfishly went for glory instead of passing to available team-mates.

And in the last minute, he beat the offside trap but in an one-on-one confrontation with Paul Robinson, he was unable to beat the goalkeeper. Perhaps Saha was trying too hard to prove to Sir Alex Ferguson that he can be the man to replace Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Obviously, Man U were caught napping towards the end and could have paid a heavy price for the lapses in concentration. Sir Alex Ferguson will have alot of work to do to remain in the winning path.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Ferguson admits Keane contact

Manchester United boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, assured Roy Keane has been in constant touch with him since taking charge at Sunderland Football Club, and he has been in touch with his former mentor at Manchester United several times already.

"In fact, Roy must have rung me up half a dozen times already in the first week at Sunderland," Ferguson told the media. "The first thing he said was 'I never thought it would be like this. I've never been off the telephone'.

“I repeated: 'I told you it's a difficult job'. I've spoken to him several times and I said the same thing to him that I said to my other former players like Steve Bruce.

“You've got to deal with and navigate the problems of today like player power, agents and the media. I wished him well and told him he will have to learn to tolerate some things in football that he just doesn't agree with.

"Don't forget that the most important thing he has to do is find a way of enjoying the job. Some players think they know what it's like to be a manager but they don't know, they can't do.

“I think you've got to be prepared to learn and you've got to find a way to enjoy it. If you can't deal with the pressure, and can't enjoy the job, then you're going to be in big trouble.

"It's true, in management, you've got to accept that challenge. You've got to try and enjoy the job because if you're not enjoying it, you're not going to do the job right any way."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rio Ferdinand's toe is not broken

It was a very scary moment for him. Rio Ferdinand pulled up in the final minute of the Reds 2-1 win at Watford on Saturday afternoon, with initial fears he was to spend a spell on the sidelines.

But it's good to know that a scan on Sunday suggested the injury may not be so bad, and further examinations has confirmed the damage is just superficial bruising.

Not only is this a boost for Manchester United, but it also means Ferdinand will link up with the England squad for their Euro 2008 qualifiers facing Andorra and Macedonia. He must be back in one week

Giggs scored in win over Watford

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand might have damaged a toe but his team rarely broke sweat as they continued their sanguine start with a matter-of-fact win against an innocent Watford who failed to produce the intensity of performance the occasion demanded.

It's fair to mention that fate and the fixture list have decreed that Sir Alex Ferguson's latest attempt to regain the title, which last went to Old Trafford three years ago, should begin amid the Premiership's foothills. Apart from home encounters with Arsenal and Liverpool United's early opponents are of the type more likely to seek survival than glory.

But lets talk about the match. Goals by Mikaƫl Silvestre and Ryan Giggs on either side of an equaliser by Damien Francis maintained United's 100 per cent record in a match they should have won more comfortably. Sitting on top of the Premiership for the first time in 32 months, they may appear to be missing neither the departed Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy nor the suspended Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes, but must be well aware that there are much tougher challenges to come than those provided so far by Fulham, Charlton or Watford. Indeed, Tottenham and Arsenal are next up after the international break as United attempt to continue their capital punishment.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Manchester United demolished Fulham in their first Premier League match

Manchester United players want to win everything this season and they proved it on Sunday. The "Red Devils" demolished Fulham 5-1 with two goals scored by Wayne Rooney.

French striker Louis Saha and Cristiano Ronaldo also found the net for Man United, which led 4-0 after 19 minutes. Fulham defender Ian Pearce deflected Saha's cross into his own net.

"It was a really good start for us," Rooney expressed. "Getting four goals in the first half an hour was good for us because we could afford to relax. But we know it's a long season and we have to continue like that."

Forward Brian McBride entered in the 64th minute for Fulham. He became the seventh American footballer to play in the Premier League on the opening weekend, joining Claudio Reyna (Manchester City), Tim Howard (Everton), Marcus Hahnemann and Bobby Convey (Reading), Brad Friedel (Blackburn) and Jay DeMerit (Watford).

Despite they lost Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ferguson's team showed it is still an attacking force. Saha gave the hosts the lead in the seventh minute when he headed in a cross from Ryan Giggs.

Rooney, who will miss United's next three encounters after getting a red card in a preseason game, scored his first goal in the 16th minute. Fulham keeper Antti Niemi blocked a shot from Saha but the ball ran to Rooney, who scored with the side of his foot.

The England player then set up the fourth in the 19th with a cross to Ronaldo, who half-volleyed the ball to score the goal.

Friday, August 4, 2006

Manchester United defeated Porto

Manchester United performed in a very good way as they beat beat Porto 3-1 in the opening game of the Amsterdam pre-season tournament on Friday, although they ended the game with nine men after Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes were sent off.

Indeed, Rooney was shown a straight red card four minutes before the break after he caught Pepe in the face with his forearm while jumping for a high ball.
Scholes followed midway through the second half after a clumsy tackle.

"I think it was a ridiculous decision," United coach Alex Ferguson said of Rooney's sending off when talking to Sky Sports.

wayne Rooney was also sent off during England's World Cup quarter-final defeat by Portugal in June for stamping on Chelsea FC defender Ricardo Carvalho.

Scholes had opened the scoring for United after 10 minutes when Ryan Giggs picked him out from a corner and he shot into the net from just outside the penalty area.

Rooney then doubled the lead eight minutes later with a fine chip over Porto's goalkeeper Helton.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who played just three league matches in the last three seasons because of injuries, added a third goal after 74 minutes.
Central defender Pepe scored Porto's consolation goal four minutes later with a potent shot form 20 metres.

We must mention that United's new signing Michael Carrick, who cost an initial 14 million pounds ($26.49 million) from Tottenham Hotspur earlier this week, played his first game with the red jersey.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Spanish Valencia is after Cristiano Ronaldo

Unofficial Spanish news assure that Valencia's president Soler will go for Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo. They want to sign the player because of his fantastis soccer skills.

He assured: "Until they tell us no several times we will not give up. At the moment it's a priority and we have until 31 August."

In fact, Ronaldo has been linked with a move to Real Madrid. But Manchester United have stressed the player is going nowhere.

Soler, who has already signed Fernando Morientes and Asier Del Horno from the Premiership, is not going to give up: "First we will negotiate with the English club and then the player."

Portuguese Ronaldo's future has been in doubt this summer after he was quoted as saying he wanted a move to Spain after his World Cup incident with Wayne Rooney.

And according to people of the club, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists the winger is going nowhere.

Indeed, last week Ferguson expressed: "Without any question, Ronaldo will be our player next season and for the rest of his contract.

"I admit that I haven't paid much attention to what Cristiano is supposed to have said about his future.

We must mention that Ronaldo, who joined Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon for £12.24m in August 2003, is under contract until 2010.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Manchester United will not sale Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal's World Cup greatest player Cristiano Ronaldo is not for sale, according to his English club Manchester United.

"The club confirms that there is no possibility of Cristiano being sold," United said in a statement. "Cristiano recently signed a new deal until 2010 and the club fully expects him to honour that contract," the statement posted on the club's official Web site said.

"The team board will not listen to any offers for Cristiano."

In fact, British newspapers have speculated that Ronaldo might want a move away after at least partially blaming the 21-year-old for the sending-off of his club team mate Wayne Rooney in Portugal's World Cup clash against England.

According to those newspapers, Ronaldo is linked with a move to Real Madrid, quoting the Spanish giants' new coach Fabio Capello as being interested in the 21-year-old.

"Manchester United has noted the increasing media speculation over the possible trade of Cristiano Ronaldo," the statement continued.

"We all know that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the brightest young stars in world football as demonstrated by his performances at the World Cup in Germany and Manchester United is not in the business of selling their best young players."

We must remember that Portugal beat England on penalties, then lost their semi-final 1-0 to France.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Cristiano Ronaldo wants to move away from Manchester

Portugal talented player Cristiano Ronaldo has said he sees no future for himself at Manchester United and wants to sign for a Spanish club as soon as possible.

"I'm not going to stay at Manchester United," Ronaldo was quoted as saying in a newspaper.

It's very important to mention that Ronaldo said the aftermath of the incident with club mate Wayne Rooney during Portugal's World Cup win over England made it impossible for him to remain at United.

"After what happened with Rooney I can't remain there. I will soon have my future sorted out and I want to go to Real," the player expressed.

Portuguese newspaper Record quoted Ronaldo as saying: "To be honest it has been difficult to think about continuing in England. They're making a storm in a teacup. It's really hard to return to a country where you're not welcome."

Another rumour says that wanted to quit the Premier League but leaving open the possibility of moving to Real's arch-rivals Barcelona.

In fact, Cristiano Ronaldo joined United from Sporting in 2003 for $20.63m. He signed a contract extension last November that tied him to the club until 2010.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ferguson wants Marcos Senna

The Villarreal midfielder Marcos Senna will turn 30 next month and with just one season remaining on his contract, will more likely change club.

In fact, his current employers are hoping he pens a new contract this summer, but if not, they may sell him now rather than lose him for nothing at the end of the current season.

Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson is wanting to completely reshape his midfield ahead of the new campaign, and reports in Spain suggest Senna has emerged as a possible target.

However, United are sure to face competition from Arsenal and Real Madrid to sign the player.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

More Glazer family members join the board

Mancheste United most powerful man, Malcolm Glazer has appointed three more members of his family to the board of his club.

Indeed, Sons Kevin, 44, Edward, 36, and daughter Darcie, who will be 38 on Thursday join as non-executive directors.

These three persons join Glazer's sons, Joel, Ave and Bryan, who have been on the Old Trafford board since the American businessman completed his Red Devils takeover last summer.

In fact, while United officials insist the move will have no affect on the day-to-day running of business at Old Trafford, the appointments could be interpreted as a sign of Glazer passing on responsibility for the team to his family.

As we know, the 78-year-old Tampa Bay Buccaneers owner is still recovering from the two strokes he suffered in April which left him with slurred speech and partial disability.

"The move reflects common practice," stated a United spokesman.

"It's true that all Glazer family members are involved in all the family's business interests."

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Ruud focused on World Cup

Dutch forward Ruud Van Nistelrooy has avoided talk on his future at the club, while he trains for the World Cup with his national team. The Dutchman has fallen out with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

"No, not really," he said when asked whether he wanted to elaborate on the situation at the club. "I think I left behind me what happened."

"What happened, happened. It's just great that I could go straight into a World Cup team to prepare for that and look ahead not back.

"For me, I never look back. It's great to be feeling part of this dream now and I'm working really hard to do well there."

"I'm here for my country now. It's why I'm in this tracksuit at the moment. My only thoughts are with Holland. What happens in the future, no one knows.

"Right now my only thoughts are with this team.You can ask me anything but you'll get the same answer anyway."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Van Nistelrooy for Cambiasso?

Sir Alex Ferguson feels that after Roy Keane left the team, there's a missing piece in the midfield. And he believes that Argentine midfielder Cambiasso can fit in that place.

In fact, Cambiasso is currently playing at Inter Milan, who have been linked with United's forward Ruud van Nistelrooy in the past week. Speculations say that Cambiasso could be part of a potential swap deal sending van Nistelrooy to the San Siro.

However, Inter owner Massimo Morati is reluctant to let Cambiasso go and was initially believed to have rejected the idea but if United insist that it is the only way a deal couild be brokered then the Italians may well relent.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Van Nistelrooy feelings about his situation

Manchester United's main striker Ruud van Nistelrooy feels he has been betrayed by Sir Alex Ferguson.

That is the opinion of the Dutch forward’s close friend Wim van Hanegem, who has told a local newspaper of the problems the player has been going through with his club manager this season.

"In fact, the departure of Roy Keane had a massive impact on Ruud," van Hanegem confess. "In the dressing room Ruud openly sided with Keane when Ferguson decided to separate the player from the club.

"Because of Ruud's passion and determination he would not keep his mouth shut. Ruud can go far, sometimes too far and that has worked against him at his club."

The fans supposed that Van Nistelrooy and Ferguson had a solid relationship after the Scot helped the player overcome injury when he was still at PSV Eindhoven, yet things have evidently changed.

"However, Ruud was completely overwhelmed by Sir Alex when he first got to know him. When Ruud got injured the first time he was going to move from PSV Eindhoven to United, Ferguson kept in touch with him all the time," added van Hanegem.

"But now Ruud has come to realise, I hope, that Ferguson's caring had nothing to do with a human touch. It was just because Ruud was a world-class striker and Ferguson was desperate to get his services.

"Well, now Ruud has found out the hard way. He has also realised that Ferguson has a funny way of ditching his biggest stars. He saw what happened to David Beckham, Jaap Stam and Roy Keane."

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Manchester lost the title

Chelsea FC retained the Premier League title when they defeated second-placed Manchester United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge yesterday.

Goals from William Gallas, Joe Cole and Ricardo Carvalho sealed a second successive title for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, and United's bad luck was complete when England striker Wayne Rooney was carried off on a stretcher with a foot injury.

It's important to say that Manchester United and Liverpool have 79 points to Chelsea's 91, although United is still favourite to finish second as it has an extra game.

Wayne Rooney's foot injury, which will be scanned today, cast a shadow over England's World Cup hopes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Rooney talks before game against Chelsea

Wayne Rooney doesn't want any sad moment in the next game against Chelsea. He wants to win so the Blues wont get the title infront of them.

"We must go to Stamford Bridge believing we can win," Rooney claims. "If they win or even get a draw, it will be really bad.

"I'm convinved that next season will be different. Over the last four or five months we have played really well, and if we can continue that and start next season better than we did this one, it could be very close."

Manchester coach Ferguson's comments about Rooney's heart are good. He is so much more than a centre-forward and says his assists give him almost as much pleasure as his goals. Statistically, Rooney's game is compelling. In fact, twelve per cent of his shots result in a goal; 48 per cent strike the target, while 77 per cent of his passes travel precisely where he intended to.

Rooney also talked about the World Cup and the English hopes.

"I am sure they will try to intimidate me. Well, I just have to deal with it and play my own game," Rooney said. "Early on in my career I had a lot of bad press about my temperament, but I was just a young lad over then. I am still young, but I've been playing professionally for four years now and I'm learning with every match.

"We are all confident, especially after the Argentina match. In the dressing room afterwards everybody was jumping. Riquelme was brilliant against us. At half-time some people came in and said, 'what's happening here?' We couldn't get near him. I don't know why, but even though it was a friendly I celebrated that victory more than many of the World Cup qualifying games. It gave us a lot of belief."

Preparing an African Tour

Manchester United will head to South Africa in July to play Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs, currently ranked the second and the third in that country's Premier Soccer League.

Irvin Khoza, chairperson of the 2010 Soccer World Cup bid committee, said the idea to take Manchester United to South Africa was "to pick up a few tips as the preparations (by South Africa) for 2010 (World Cup) begin in earnest."

"They must start changing the minds of the South African supporters now for the 2010 World Cup," Khoza said.

Manchester United's first match will be against Pirates in Durban. They will then meet the Chiefs on July 18. Two days later, Chiefs will play Pirates in Rustenburg and the winner will face United in the finals at Loftus Stadium in Pretoria on July 22.

Sunday, April 9, 2006

Still alive after beating Arsenal

A great performance of United and a young alternative team in the front side helped to get the 2-0 victory over Arsenal. Wayne Rooney and Ji-Sung Park scored for this important Manchester United win.

Young British star Rooney controlled Mikael Silvestre's brilliant cross before shooting past Jens Lehmann and later crossed for Park to score from close range.

In fact, Lehmann had superbly saved from Rooney twice before his goal, while Kolo Toure appeared to divert a strike from the forward on to the post in a great reaction.

It's important to mention that this result means Sir Alex Ferguson's team move back to within seven points of Chelsea, who defeated West Ham 4-1 earlier on Sunday.

Manchester United have five matches left to catch the reigning champions, including a match at Stamford Bridge against Jose Mourinho's side.

However, the victory over Arsenal means United are assured of finishing in the top four - and thus qualifying for next season's Champions League. Good news for Ferguson's team, eliminated form the current Champions League at an early stage.

Monday, April 3, 2006

A victory to get closer to Chelsea

Manchester United fought hard to get a 2-1 victory over Bolton Wanderers on Saturday. And thanks to Chelsea’s inability to beat Birmingham City earlier on the same day, the Reds have cut the lead at the top of the table down to just seven points.

In fact, with six matches to go including a clash between the two sides at Stamford Bridge later this month, French striker Saha is in confident mood about landing his first ever league title.

Saha noticed their situation: “We definitely believe it is on, we believe we can do it. Chelsea have got to make mistakes, we already know that. We have to keep playing the way that we are."

“We know that we can not make mistakes. However, I am in the best form of my life. We are in great form and must keep it going."

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Solskjaer signs new deal

Norwegian forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has signed a new two-year deal with Manchester United, and the manager Sir Alex Ferguson us happy about it.

Solksjaer is 33, and he's been out of competition for the most part of three seasons. He is currently recovering from a broken cheekbone.

However, a Manchester United statement said: "Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. "The deal will see Ole stay at the club until June 2008."

It's fair to say that Solskjaer is a hugely popular figure at the club following his goal that won the 1999 European Cup for United and has fought his way back from two serious knee injuries.

Indeed, Alex Ferguson said: "I am delighted that Ole has signed a new two-year deal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ferguson believes

The whole world say that Chelsea will get the title for this season in the English Premier League. Everybody thinks so except for ine person. Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced that his team can get the championship despite the blues.

Speaking in light of Chelsea’s shock defeat at Fulham on Sunday, the Manchester United coach believes his side can launch a late bid for glory – despite being a whopping twelve points behind the Blues.

"We are looking forward to be in a position to take advantage any slip of Chelsea," Ferguson told to a local newspaper. "There are signs that Chelsea have hit the wall but only time will tell how long it will last."

Manchester team has a match in hand over their rivals that would take them within nine points, and also have to travel to Stamford Bridge for the penultimate encounter of the season.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Manchester United beat Newcastle with Rooney's double

British young star Wayne Rooney scored two goals in the first 12 minutes yesterday, and Manchester United defeated Newcastle 2-0.

On a very nice move, Rooney picked up an errant pass in the eighth minute and lobbed the ball over Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given.

Four minutes later, Louis Saha and John O'Shea carved through the Newcastle defence with a series of passes, leaving Rooney to shoot past Given for the second goal.

"We could have scored more, we should have," Rooney said. "We should have taken a lot more of our chances and won by a bigger margin, but I'm happy to get the two goals."

Manchester United, which has won four consecutive league games and has 60 points, is 15 points behind leader Chelsea, which beat Tottenham 2-1 Saturday.

This result was Newcastle's first defeat since Graeme Souness was fired two months ago.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Manchester United is the Carling Cup Champion

Manchester United defeated Wigan Athletic with a blunt 4-0 to win the English League Cup final on Sunday.

The Manchester club, twice European champions, were hot favourites to beat the side from a neighbouring town.

Indeed, Sir Alex Ferguson's side created the first clear cut chance in the seventh minute when Wayne Rooney headed against the bar from a Gary Neville cross.

But Wigan, who were making their first ever appearance in a major final, were forced to change goalkeepers as Mike Pollitt was unable to continue with an injury. John Filan came on as his replacement.

The Reds took the lead in the 33rd minute when a long kick up field by Edwin van der Saar was headed on by Louis Saha.

Pascal Chimbonda and Arjan De Zeeuw crashed into each other and Rooney took full advantage to blast the ball past the substitute goalkeeper Filan.

Wigan saw their hopes of getting back into the game ruined by conceding three goals in six second half minutes.

As the reports say, Ryan Giggs picked out Cristiano Ronaldo, who found an overlapping Gary Neville and his cross was bundled home at the second attempt by Louis Saha in the 55th minute, despite a fine initial save by Filan.

The score was 2-0 to Manchester United.

In a very interesting move, four minutes later, atrocious defending by Stephane Henchoz saw his poor clearance fall to the feet of Louis Saha and he slipped the ball through for Cristiano Ronaldo to make it 3-0.

Two minutes later, the game was over as a contest when Man of the Match Rooney scored his second after Wigan failed to deal with a Giggs free-kick.

This victory was the biggest in the final since it was switched from two legs in 1967.

It guarantees United a place in next season's UEFA Cup if they should finish outside the Champions League qualifying places in the English Premier League this season.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Argentine Heinze to be back in March

Manchester United player Gabriel Heinze, who suffered a cruciate knee ligament damage in September, is convinced that he will be back in action within four weeks.

"I expect to play again in one month," the Argentine player says.

"The doctor of the Argentina national team, Donato Villani, has evaluated me and we are all optimistic. I have worked hard and the results have been very positive."

It's good to remember that the 27-year-old Heinze was injured in United's Champions League game at Villarreal on Sept. 14.

In fact, Sir Alex Ferguson had been sceptical about his chances of recovering in time for the World Cup.

"Every player would want to play in the World Cup, I'm not disputing that, but I can't see it myself," Ferguson told the press in December.

"I just made a bet with Sir Alex Ferguson about returning to the field this season and I am going to win it," Heinze said on Tuesday.

"I think about the World Cup in Germany as the big final target for my rehab."

Heinze is one of the Argentina players seen as a certainty in coach Jose Pekerman's World Cup squad if he is ready to make it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Manchester United beats Portsmouth 3-1

Manchester United FC made sure it was third time unlucky for rivals Portsmouth, who were looking for a hat-trick of home Premiership victories against the Reds, by giving them a master class in first-half finishing.

Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo scored two fine goals after Ruud van Nistelrooy headed in the rebound from Ryan Giggs' shot as memories of previous 1-0 and 2-0 defeats at Fratton Park were dismissed by the high-flyers.

Harry Redknapp may not yet be running of patience but Portsmouth squad is certainly beginning to run out of time with only 12 games left to somehow hang on to their Premiership status. Next up in a couple of weeks' time is the small matter of a visit to Chelsea.

Redknapp, nevertheless, tried as ever to put on a brave face after another soul-searching defeat, with comments such as "we must go on a run" and "it's all still to play for". Yet you get the distinct impression that he is starting to clutch at straws. Of all the worrying statistics surrounding Portsmouth, none is more telling than the fact that they have just once scored more than a single goal in any League game this season - and that was against Sunderland. They may have paid a record £4.1m for Benjani Mwaruwari but so far the Zimbabwe international striker is firing blanks.

Everything, as they say, goes in threes and Portsmouth were looking for a third successive home win over United, who had triumphed only once in the top flight at Fratton Park in 47 years. Bogey ground? Not any longer. Three certainly figured - for the number of times Dean Kiely had to pick the ball out of his net, all in the first half. Only in an opening burst and a pulsating last 15 minutes did Pompey spark into life, their late rally resulting in Matthew Taylor's goal.

On the positive side, the crowd never stopped giving them rousing support while Lomana LuaLua's pace and trickery were a constant threat. Of Portsmouth's new signings only Pedro Mendes, one of four former Tottenham players in their 16-man squad, looked the part and would have been a contender for man of the match but for a scintillating display from United's Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese scored two goals and kissed the top of the bar after Ruud van Nistelrooy had notched his 19th Premiership goal of the season, nodding the ball over the line after Ryan Giggs had struck the woodwork.

"When we stayed up last time we took 21 points from the last 10 games and we need to do something similar," Redknapp noticed. "Then, of course, we had Yakubu and we need someone like him to start scoring goals. I had to take some chances in January and brought seven players in. It's not easy to hit the ground running but if I'd sat back and done nothing we'd never have survived anyway."

Van Nistelrooy, United's captain for the day, was unhappy about his team's second-half performance but is just two goals away from joining a select band of United legends who have scored 150 for the club. In all probability United will not catch Chelsea, despite closing the gap to 12 points, but second place and at least one domestic cup now look a fair bet. Not a bad return.

Goals: Van Nistelrooy 18 (0-1); Ronaldo 38 (0-2); Ronaldo 45 (0-3); Taylor 87 (1-3).

Portsmouth (4-4-2): Kiely; Pamarot, O'Brien, Primus, Taylor; O'Neil, Davis (Griffin 55), Pedro Mendes, D'Alessandro (Routledge 45); Mwaruwari, LuaLua. Substitutes not used: Ashdown, Karadas, Hughes.

Manchester United (4-4-2): Van der Sar (Howard 45); Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Silvestre; Ronaldo, Fletcher, Giggs (Smith 45), Park; Rooney (Saha 82), Van Nistelrooy. Substitutes not used: Evra, Richardson.

Wednesday, February 8, 2006

Van der Sar talks about next crucial game

Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar is convinced that the next fortnight will make or break Manchester United's season.

The Reds will face Portsmouth in the Premiership on Saturday and they want to consolidate second spot in the table before embarking on a crucial cup double, starting with a visit to Liverpool in the FA Cup before tackling Wigan in the Carling Cup final on February 26.

Van der Sar is aware that three wins would leave United looking forward to the remainder of the season with some silverware already in the cabinet.

But in the other handm, three defeats would condemn Sir Alex Ferguson's men to back-to-back trophyless campaigns for the first time in 17 years, a thought Van der Sar is not prepared to contemplate.

"These next few matches are very important if we are going to get some silverware this season," said the giant Dutchman.

Is good to remember that Van der Sar has been widely regarded as a force for good at Old Trafford this term.

Monday, January 30, 2006

United to face Liverpool after beating Wolves in the FA Cup

Kieran Richardson scored twice as Manchester United won over Wolves 3-0 in the FA Cup. European champion Liverpool also advanced after a 2-1 victory at Portsmouth.

Striker Louis Saha also scored at Molineux as United, winner two seasons ago and runner-up to Arsenal last year, made it to the last 16.

In other game, Liverpool FC went ahead with a 36th-minute penalty shot at Fratton Park. Steven Gerrard's corner struck Portsmouth captain Dejan Stefanovic on the arm and the England midfielder got his 17th goal of the season from the spot.

Four minutes later, John Arne Riise recieved Fernando Morientes' pass, raced down the left and fired a low 25-yard shot that flew past goalkeeper Dean Kiely inside the far post.

Pompey hit back in the 54th when Sean Davis jumped to meet a left-wing free-kick from Gary O'Neil and strike with a glancing header.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Derby Preview: Manchester United vs. Liverpool

There are many exciting derbies in the English Premier League. Arsenal vs. Manchester United and Chelsea vs. Liverpool may be hot matches but they just cannot compete with the sheer passion and hatred that only a game between Manchester United and Liverpool can produce.

Both are steeped in history and have been rivals since a very long time and if you ask any Manchester United fanatic which squad they want to beat more in the league then Liverpool tops the list, and it’s vice-versa for Liverpool fans as well. There is no love loss between the two and the atmosphere at Old Trafford should prove to be electric as they battle it out for second place in the Premiership and the all-important bragging rights.

It's good to mention that the revelations about Sven’s desire to sell England down the river last weekend saved Fergie from a proper roasting after his four-letter rant at referee Steve Bennett following their defeat against City. It also saved him from a full investigation into the signing of Evra who if plays like that every week will be crowned the biggest turkey ever to have played in the Premiership. Ferguson will be demanding a vastly improved performance today as United entertain the European Champions knowing that defeat will see them fall to third in the Premiership, having played two games more than their rivals as well.

In the other hand, Liverpool were unfortunate not to have bagged a hatful against Tottenham last weekend. Only a sublime volley from the rejuvenated Harry Kewell managed to get past Paul Robinson. However, Liverpool are showing signs that they are getting back to their blistering form which conquered the game more than 15 years ago. Rafa Benitez has instaled a never say die attitude in the squad and they just never know when they’re beat. They proved it in their stunning Champions League victory back in May and again just a fortnight ago in the FA Cup against Luton Town. After a ropey start this season Liverpool are fast becoming the team to fear in the Premiership.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cristiano Ronaldo still Red-Card banned

Cristiano Ronaldo must accept a three-match ban after an appeal against the red card he got at Manchester City was rejected by a Football Association panel on Tuesday.

The Portuguese star was dismissed by referee Steve Bennett for a high lunge on forward Andy Cole during the 3-1 defeat. However, Manchester United appealed against the decision on the grounds that no contact was made between the two players.

The punishment will have Ronaldo miss United's matches against Burton Albion, Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

United drew with Burton Albion 0-0

In a surprising result, a semi-pro team called Burton Albion (that includes a physiotherapist, a sports shop assistant and a builder), held Manchester United to a 0-0 tie on Sunday in the third round of the FA Cup.

Despite Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo played for the last 30 minutes, Manchester United fielded a backup side at the 6,000-seat Pirelli Stadium against a Burton side ranked 105 places below the Reds.

England Forward Wayne Rooney had two strikes saved by Albion goalkeeper Saul Deeney, who also stooped a goalbound drive from Ritchie Jones in injury time.

''Old Trafford here we come,'' said Deeney, who has nine brothers, seven of them Manchester United fans.

Nigel Clough's Burton will go to 67,000-seat Old Trafford in a really lucrative replay.

''It was a staggering game,'' thinks Clough, whose father Brian led Nottingham Forest to back-to-back European Cup triumphs in 1979 and '80. ''Playing against Manchester United in a replay, it's absolutely superb for everyone.''

In other matches on Sunday, Leyton Orient from English soccer's fourth tier upset Fulham of the Premier League 2-1 while Toronto's Paul Stalteri scored for Tottenham in a 3-2 loss to Leicester. Sunderland shut out Northwich 3-0.

Manchester coach Sir Alex Ferguson said he was relieved his team didn't lose.

''It's a sudden-death cup. With a difficult pitch, committed opponents, I think these things can happen,'' Ferguson made his point. ''You can get shocks. It's good that we didn't get a severe shock.''

Last season, Manchester United drew 0-0 with non-league Exeter before winning the replay and going on to lose the final against Arsenal on penalties.