Friday, August 29, 2008

United 1 - 2 Zenit St Petersburg

Manchester United's bid for European Super Cup glory ended in failure as Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny goals earned Zenit St Petersburg a deserved win.

Fresher and more incisive throughout, Zenit took the lead when Pogrebnyak forced home a header from close range.

Playmaker Danny made it 2-0 with a fine solo goal on the hour, before Nemanja Vidic pulled one back from six yards.

It was too little too late, though, with Paul Scholes sent off late on in a lacklustre showing from United. Scholes saw the red card when he punched the ball into the net with only seconds left on the clock. He could not play against Villarreal in the start of the Champions League. 

It was a sorry end to the match for United, who had looked off the pace throughout.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson:

"I think we played our best football at 2-0, unfortunately. It was a warm night and so I think my players did OK under the circuntances."

"I thought Tevez was outstanding - probably the best player on the park - and I thought we had the chances to do something in the game." 

"But Zenit are a very good team and they have exceptional movement. They'll be a force in the Champions League playing like that."

Team Line-up:

Van der Sar, Neville (Brown 76), Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Anderson (O'Shea 60), Nani, Scholes, Fletcher (Park 60), Rooney, Tevez. 

Ref: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark)

Man of the Match: Zenit's Pavel Pogrebnyak

Source: BBC Sports

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The UCL's Rivals are ready!

United will face the Scottish Champions Celtic, Villarreal and Danish side Aalborg in Group E.

United star Cristiano Ronaldo was named Uefa's European Club Footballer of the Year in Monaco. Ronaldo, who scored 8 goals in the UCL last competition, had also won the award for the forward of the year.

The other awards went to rivals Chelsea, with Petr Cech(goalkeeper), John Terry(defender) and Frank Lampard(midfielder) all voted the best at their position.

The first set of matches will be played on 16/17 September.

Full Champions league draw:

Group A:

Chelsea, Roma, Bordeaux, CFR Cluj

Group B:

Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, Panathinaikos, Anorthosis Famagusta

Group C:

Barcelona, Sporting lisbon, Basel, Shakhtar Donetsk

Group D:

Liverpool, PSV Eindhoven, Marseille, Atletico Madrid

Group E:

Man Utd, Celtic, Villarreal, Aalborg

Group F: 

Lyon, Bayern Munich, Steaua Bucharest, Fiorentina

Group G:

Arsenal, Porto, Fenerbahce, Dynamo Kiev

Group H:

Real Madrid, Juventus, Zenit St Petersburg, Bate Borisov

Games will be played on the following dates:

16/17 September, 30 September - 1 October, 21/22 October, 4/5 November, 25/26 November, 9/10 December.

Source: BBC Sports

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Ferguson cools Berbatov rumours

The United boss said that he was less optimistic about new signings. 

Alex Ferguson, who had a 20.5m pound bid for the striker rejected, was uncertain whether he would boost his squad before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

"I've no idea what's going on. It's very hard to get communication with some people in life." said Sir Alex Ferguson

Berbatov has made no secret of his desire to leave White Hart Lane but Tottenham are determined that their 30m pound price-tag will be met.

United are unlikely to be pushed into paying over the odds and Ferguson may be prepared to miss out on Berbatov.

With just four days until the transfer deadline expires, Berbatov's future at Tottenham remains uncertain.

Source: BBC Sports

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Preview: United v Zenit St Petersburg

This friday, these two teams will face in Monaco. The game could be a tough match. But The Red Devils is in their best fit.

Owen Hargreaves is set to make his first appareance of the season in the Uefa Super Cup after a tendinitis problem.

Gary Neville could also play his first competitive match, while Ryan Giggs is fit after a hamstring injury.

Also, Luis Nani will be available after a three-match ban.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is competing in his fourth Super Cup - and his third as Red Devils boss - The competition which pits the UCL winners against the Uefa Cup Holders.

"We'll view the Super Cup as a one-off and we want to win it but we are expecting a very tough game." said United boss

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Portsmouth 0 - 1 United

A goal from Darren Fletcher in the first-half was enough to give United a victory against Portsmouth.

United got their first win of the new season at Fratton Park.

Darren Fletcher scored his second goal in two games, building the ball home from Patrice Evra's cross after 32 minutes.

Pompey's best efforts came after the break but Jerome Thomas and Papa Bouba Diop saw their shots saved comfortably.

Fortunately, United has restoring striker Carlos Tevez and Anderson to their line-up, Pompey were always likely to be streched. Man Utd dictate the play and pull off Portsmouth out of position.

The result leaves Portsmouth rooted to the foot of the table, while United move up to third.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said:

"We played some excellent football tonight. This is difficult place to come, so it is a bonus to come here and win."

"We tried to play a system where the players would be comfortable. We wanted to have Anderson playing centrally, close to Carlos Tevez."

"We let Paul Scholes control the game, and used Darren Fletcher's energy."

United line-up:

Van der Sar, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, O'Shea, Fletcher, Anderson (Possebon 76), Scholes, Evra, Rooney, Tevez.
Subs not used: Kuszczak, Neville, Fabio Da Silva, Rafael Da Silva, Gibson, Campbell.

Booked: Brown, Fletcher.
Goal: Fletcher 32.
Attendance: 20,540
Referee: Chris Foy

Man of the Match: Darren Fletcher.

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ronaldo won't hurry on his surgery's recovery

Sir Alex Ferguson decided not to hurry up to Cristiano Ronaldo on his recovery of one of his ankle.

The United boss has suggested that Ronaldo will be out of action until October, but the speed of Ronaldo's recovery will be much more quicker.

"If a player is out of a certain period there is no point rushing it. You may as well wait the extra week or two to make sure they don't suffer any setbacks. Sometimes the age of a player helps with their recovery." said Ferguson

Finally, Alex Ferguson made clear that Ronaldo is making a good progress. He said that him may get back quicker that the likely.

Source: Manchester evening News

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Striker Search continues...

Sir Alex Ferguson has until the end of the month to sign a new striker. One of the possible reinforcements may be Tottenham's Dimitar berbatov.

"I am less optimistic than I was," said the United boss

"We've 11 days left before the transfer deadline and we're working at something, you never know in football." added Ferguson

The Premier League and European Champions have also been linked with David Silva, Thierry Henry, Klaas Has-Jan Huntelar and Roque Santa Cruz, who signed a four-year contract with Blackburn Rovers. 

Cristiano Ronaldo continues to back up from ankle injury leaving only Rooney and Tevez for attacking's options.

Ronaldo may get back quicker, but United boss does not want to putting him under any pressure.

"We want to let the physios do a good job," added Alex Ferguson

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Preview: Portsmouth v United

Date: Monday, 25 August
Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Venue: Fratton Park

This monday, The winner of the last premier league and champions league will be face to Portsmouth in Fratton Park. United will be seeking for their first win in the tournament.

United's last stats:
  1. Last season in the first place, with two points clear from Chelsea. At this season, United started with a draw 1 - 1 with Newcastle and in tenth place with only 1 point.
  2. It was the seventh time in 17 Premier League seasons, they had failed to win their initial fixture.
  3. In the last 25 League matches, they had scored at least one goal, since the 1 - 0 loss with Bolton, on 24 November 2007.
Brief News:

If Wes Brown plays this match, he will be making his 200th Premier League appaerence - All matches with the United's shirt.

Gary Neville will be making his 350th Premier League start for Manchester United.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ryan Giggs warning over title defence

Ryan Giggs has warned his Manchester United team-mates they must match Chelsea's hunger if they are going to complete a Barclays Premier League title hat-trick.

United's championship defence did not get off to the greatest of starts on Sunday as they were held by Newcastle in their opening game at Old Trafford.

Giggsy, a veteran of all 10 league successes under Sir Alex Ferguson, feels United have to show the same desire as Chelsea to gain the success they want.

"Chelsea did not win the Premier League last year. I have been in that position. You are hungry and determined, and you want to win it, simple as that. We have got to match their determination, their hunger and their desire." said Giggs

"But we have players at the club who have tasted success over the last couple of years and want more." added Ryan Giggs

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Arsenal sign Mikael Silvestre

Arsenal have signed Manchester United's France international defender Mikael Silvestre for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old joined United in September 1999 and had one year left on his contract at Old Trafford, but has now signed a two-year deal at Arsenal.

He made 249 Premier League appearances in nearly nine years with United.

Silvestre, also linked with Manchester City and Bordeaux, missed most of last season with a knee ligament injury, but returned to action in April.

"I've spent a large part of my career at United and I'll remember that time fondly but feel I'm ready for a new challenge." said Silvestre

"I'm really excited about this next stage of my career, hopefully playing my part in helping the club to new challenge." added Mikael Silvestre

He has become the first player to be sold to the Gunners by United since Brian Kidd in 1974.

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Hargreaves promises United more

Manchester United and England midfielder Owen Hargreaves has promised the club's fans is more to come from him this season.

The 27-year-old told BBC Radio Manchester he has not reached full fitness since arriving at Old Trafford from Bayern Munich over a year ago.

"I don't think I played a game healthy last season. I was probably at 50 or 60% so there's more to come," he said.

He missed Sunday's 1 - 1 draw against Newcastle because of a knee injury.

Hargreaves also believes he will continue to develop as a player at United. 

"I'd like to be fit as soon as possible with the Manchester United games coming up and obviously the England qualifiers are big games for us. I'm working on my fitness every day doing as much as I can, training hard, and hopefully I'll be fit very, very soon." he added

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United 1 - 1 Newcastle

Manchester United made an unconvincing start to the defence of their Premier League title as they were held al Old Trafford by an impressive Newcastle.

The hosts were denied a penalty when James Milner appeared to handle, but Newcastle took a first-half lead when Obafemi Martins powered home a header.

United levelled only two minutes later when Darren Fletcher converted Ryan Giggs' left-wing cross.

Nemanja Vidic headed against the bar, but Newcastle fully deserved a point.

His side's preparations were hit by the absence of striker Carlos Tevez, who flew home to Argentina following a family bereavement.

"We played well in the first half, and their goalkeeper made several good saves to keep them in the match. We had possession of the ball but didn't make it count at times - but in light of the people we had missing, it was a creditable result for us." Said Sir Alex Ferguson after the match

Line-ups: Van der Sar, Brown, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Fletcher, Carrick (O'Shea 25), Scholes, Giggs (Possebon 63), Campbell (Rafael Da Silva 80), Rooney.

Booked: Campbell, Brown, Rooney.

Goals: Fletcher 24.

Attendance: 75,512

Ref: Mike Riley.

Man of the Match: Shay Given. 

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Preview: United v Newcastle

Wayne Rooney spearhead their attack as they begin to defence of their title.

He has recovered from a virus, but Nani is suspended and Cristiano Ronaldo injured, so Michael Carrick may start.

Newcastle have included New Argentine defender Fabricio Coloccini, but Joey Barton has not been considered.

Skipper Michael Owen, Mark Viduca and Andy Carroll are all injured and Shoia Ameobi is talking to Ipswich, but Obafemi Martins is set to feauture. 

Man Utd (from):  Van der Sar, Kuszsak, Neville, Brown, R Da Silva, Ferdinan, Vidic, O'Shea, Evans, Evra, Silvestre, F Da Silva, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Gibson, Possebon, Giggs, Tevez, Martin, Rooney, Campbell.

Sir Alex Ferguson is poised to sign Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov.

"I cannot give you an answer because there isn't one. We have been trying to add to the squad but nothing has changed. I have nothing else to say.You might we surprised at What is going to happen over the next two days.The challenge is for us to improve." said Alex Ferguson.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Silva opts to stay with Valencia

David Silva has agreed an improved five-year contract with Valencia FC, quashing speculation striker will move to the English Giant Manchester United.

The Spanish club rejected a bid from Manchester United on Tuesday for Silva, according to his agent, while Tottenham and Liverpool had also been linked.

Valencia have agreed new terms on the 22-year-old's contract.

"It's very satisfying to see the player's willingness to stay," said Valencia Vice-president Fernando Gomez.

He added: "The club will not do anything crazy or break our financial and sporting guidelines so we have gone as far as we have been able to."

"There is complete agreement between the club and the player David Silva that he will remain with us for the next five season."

"We have always expressed the hope that he will stay with us."

Valencia had negotatied a new contract with a salary increased with David Silva following a meeting with club official on Wednesday."

"This is a new contract with Valencia with different conditions," he said

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Rooney may be fit to start season

Wayne Rooney could return in time for the start of United's premier league campaign on 17 August after recovering from a virus.

Rooney contracted a mysterious virus on United's tour on Nigeria and returned on training on Friday.

"We've got a big job to do to get Rooney ready," said Sir Alex Ferguson.

On one week on training, He could be fit to start of season. He's doing much better, the medical reports are good and we feel that he's clear of the virus.

The England international will miss Sunday's Community Shield match against Portsmouth.
Michael Carrick, who was suffering from the same unnamed illness, is set to feature in the Wembley fixture.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rooney could miss season opener

Wayne Rooney could miss the opening match of the premier
league campaign on 17 August after picking up a virus.

The 22-year-old contracted a virus on United's pre-season in Nigeria and has not trained since.

"I doubt Wayne will be fit for the start of the season" said United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

"It's a virus he picked up in Nigeria and it's not a nice one. He's not been back in training yet."

Ferguson revealed Rooney's illness was diagnosed by the club's own laboratory.

Sir Alex will have a dilemma in the opening match of the season at home to Newcastle, because of Rooney's illness and Ronaldo's injury. 

Portuguese midfielder Nani is suspended while Anderson is on Olympic duty with Brazil. 

As it stands, Ferguson has only Carlos Tevez, untested youngster Fraizer Campbell and Louis Saha to choose from up front. 

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Ronaldo will stay at Man Utd

Cristiano Ronaldo has confirmed that he will remain a Manchester United player for "at least one more year".

The 23 year-old Portugal winger had frequently expressed his desire to leave for Spanish champions Real Madrid this summer.

"I can confirm that, next season, I will play for United" he said.

Ronaldo, under contract with United until 2012, is currently recovering from surgery on an an ankle injury and is likely to be sidelined until the end of September.

"I will play for United with all my heart and soul. I will fight and honour that shirt with the same commitment and dedication as always."

Ronaldo also admitted he played his part in fuelling the speculation and that he was guilty of fracturing United's relationship with Real Madrid.

"I will responsible for all this controversy" he added.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Ryan can't wait for Juve

Ryan Giggs is looking forward to another classic encounter against The Old Lady when Juventus come to town on Wednesday night.

The Reds meet Claudio Ranieri's side at Old Trafford (kick-off 20:00 BST) in a pre-season friendly and the United winger can't wait to get out on the turf. 

"We've had some superb battles with Juventus over the years." Giggs told MUTV. "There's some great history there. When we first played in the Champions League they were the top team, they were who we were aspiring to be like."


Ferguson to give Campbell chance

Sir. Alex Ferguson is set to give a chance to Fraizer Campbell in the Premier League because he is short of strikers.

Campbell, 20, scored the winner against Espanyol in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's testimonial at Old Trafford. 

"We do not have any strikers apart from Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez and Fraizer plays in that area. He is quick and determined and he can do very well in the game. Fraizer's future is here," said Ferguson.

"Campbell has taken his goal very well and it won't do him any harm. He's an aggresive young player," the United boss said. 

Source: BBC Sports.