Sunday, August 30, 2009

Man United ends Arsenal run

Manchester United ended Arsenal's perfect start to the season as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Old Trafford in the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney earned and converted a penalty after 59 minutes before Abou Diaby headed through his own net four minutes later.
Andrei Arshavin had given the Gunners a 40th minute lead with a thunderbolt shot but Arsenal have only themselves to blame after gifting the defending champions both goals.
Arshavin, who had not scored in the Premier League since his four goals at Liverpool last season, broke the deadlock with a 25-yard screamer.
Only moments earlier the Russian was claiming a penalty after Darren Fletcher had made a sliding tackle on him but he took out his frustration in the best way possible with a rasping shot than Ben Foster got a hand to but could not prevent from nestling in the roof of the net.
Goal attempts had been limited up to that point with Arshavin coming the closest after Foster flapped at a corner. The former Zenit St Petersburg man opened his body but curled his shot just inches over the top corner.
United had their moments with Fletcher putting an early effort over the top from 12 yards and Rooney, playing on his own up front, curling a free-kick narrowly wide of the post.
Nemanja Vidic had a great chance to level on the stroke of half-time but he scuffed his shot from no more than eight yards.
Arsenal started the second period brightly and Arshavin's cross from the left was met by Robin van Persie but Foster made a superb save with his outstretched left foot to deny the Dutchman.
If Foster was partly culpable for the goal, he certainly made amends with that save and 10 minutes later his side were on level terms.
A long pass down the left channel from Giggs was collected by Rooney who went down under a challenge from the outrushing Almunia. It was a clear penalty and the United striker picked himself up to send the Spanish custodian the wrong way with his spot kick.

Van Persie struck the middle of the crossbar with a swinging free-kick from the right before Diaby gifted the hosts the lead.
Giggs swung in a free-kick from the right and inexplicably the French midfielder headed past Almunia under no real pressure.
Diaby almost made instant amends but after creating an opening with a superb mazy run, he dragged his shot wide of the far post from 14 yards.
The game then became scrappy with nine yellow cards dished out by referee Mike Dean.
Almunia denied Evra before both Nani and substitute Dimitar Berbatov spurned golden chances in added time to seal the victory.
There was still time for van Persie to have a goal disallowed after William Gallas strayed offside.
A frustrated Arsene Wenger was sent to the stands for comments made to the fourth official in the aftermath and he was surrounded by United fans as the final whistle went moments later.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Manchester United v Arsenal preview

Manchester United host Arsenal in a mouthwatering match at Old Trafford.

These sides met in May when a 0-0 draw was enough for United to claim their third straight title.

Rio Ferdinand and Edwin van der Sar remain United's major absentees for the big showdown.

Sir Alex Ferguson feels Ferdinand may not quite be ready for the trip to Tottenham Hotspur on 12th September but his recovery from a thigh injury will not keep him out for much longer.

Ben Foster will continue in goal, while Michael Carrick and Anderson are hoping for recalls after missing the five-goal rout of Wigan Athletic.

Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has been ruled out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League match with Manchester United.

Fabregas has failed to recover from his hamstring injury in time for Old Trafford but the Gunners have no fresh injury concerns following Wednesday night's 3-1 victory over Celtic.

Theo Walcott (back), Lukasz Fabianski (knee), Samir Nasri (broken leg) and Johan Djourou (knee) all continue their rehabilitation.


Manchester United: Foster, Kuszczak, Neville, O'Shea, De Laet, Brown, Vidic, Evans, Evra, Fabio, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs, Park, Tosic, Valencia, Owen, Rooney, Berbatov, Macheda.

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Vermaelen, Gallas, Clichy, Song, Ramsey, Denilson, Diaby, Bendtner, Eduardo, Mannone, Van Persie, Eboue, Arshavin, Wilshere, Gibbs, Silvestre, Merida.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Man united sinks Wigan by Five

A second-half goal blitz saw Manchester United put their Premier League campaign back on track with a 5-0 win at Wigan Athletic.

Three goals in seven minutes; two from Wayne Rooney, either side of a strike from the excellent Dimitar Berbatov, helped the champions eased to victory at the DW Stadium.
Substitute Michael Owen added some gloss late on, converting his first goal for the club with a typically measured finish, and Nani curled in a stoppage-time free-kick.
Although Sir Alex Ferguson's side coasted to victory, nerves were starting to build after 56 goalless minutes, coming hot on the heels of a 1-0 defeat at Burnley in midweek.
The perpetrators of Wednesday's worst misses, Owen and Michael Carrick, were dropped from the first team - Carrick did not even appear on the bench.
Berbatov replaced Owen and displayed energy and imagination in an encouraging performance.
He backheeled to Paul Scholes in the seventh minute, but the normally deadly midfielder blazed a glorious chance over from the edge of the box.
Wigan had already had one lucky escape by that stage, with Nani's fifth-minute cross finding Darren Fletcher, whose low show was blocked superbly by Titus Bramble.
The visitors continued to make all the running, with Rooney turning his man before shooting at Chris Kirkland, and Berbatov also heading straight to the Wigan goalkeeper.
Jason Koumas responded by bursting past Nemanja Vidic and curling a right-foot shot that Ben Foster did well to claw away for a corner, but United remained on top.
However, they could not get over their impotence in front of goal, which was characterised when Rooney ran on to a sumptuous long through ball, but shot low at Kirkland's legs when clean through.
No sooner had the second half started than another chance went begging as Valencia headed down for Rooney, who miscued his volley.

Just as the familiar arguments were being rehearsed about the impossibility of replacing Cristiano Ronaldo's goals, Rooney struck.
On 56 minutes, Antonio Valencia clipped in a right-sided cross against his former club, and Rooney rose to direct a firm header into the top-left corner.
A minute later Wigan nearly levelled when Rodallega's looping header was saved well by Foster following a fine diagonal cross by Jason Koumas.
Undeterred, United marched down the other end and made it two in breathtaking fashion.
Rooney found Scholes with a first-time ball and Scholes clipped a lob over the top for Berbatov. The Bulgarian lifted the ball over the onrushing Kirkland, met the ball on its way down and finished from a few yards.
By 65 minutes, it was game over, as Berbatov found Rooney on the left, and the England striker found the left corner via Mario Melchiot's shin.
There was still time for substitute Owen to net his first goal for United, running on to a Nani through-ball and clipping a deft left-foot shot in off the far post.
Nani himself scored the fifth, curling a 25-yard free-kick past the statuesque Kirkland.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Burnley stuns Manchester United

Burnley scored their first points of the new Premier League season with a famous 1-0 victory over champions Manchester United at Turf Moor.

Robbie Blake's stunning first-half volley was enough to hand Burnley their first win in the top flight for 33 years.
United, missing a number of first-choice defenders including Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, were out of sorts but can have only themselves to blame for defeat after Michael Carrick squandered the chance to equalise with a missed penalty just before the break.
But for all United's shortcomings - nervy at the back, far from commanding in midfield and largely toothless up front - the result proved Burnley will be a force to be reckoned with on home turf.
That said, United enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges - although that was hardly a surprise given the different footballing worlds the two sides have occupied in recent times.
Michael Owen was handed his first start in a United shirt, Alex Ferguson asking the striker to play up front alongside Wayne Rooney in a traditional 4-4-2 with Dimitar Berbatov left on the bench.
And it was Owen who nearly broke the deadlock after just two minutes. But his stab at Patrice Evra's near post cross did little to add weight to the clammer for him to return to the England set-up.
Owen did have the ball in the back of the net two minutes later, but his effort at the second time of asking, was disallowed for off-side.
After weathering the early storm, Owen Coyle's side began to come into the game and Blake stunned the champions with a barn-storming 19th minute volley which arrowed into the top right hand corner, leaving Ben Foster no chance at all, after Evra had failed to get enough distance on a clearing header.
It could easily have been their second of the night, as Martin Paterson had gone close just moments earlier, rounding Foster only to see his effort blocked by Edwin van der Sar's stand-in.

United did fashion chances to draw level before the break.
Owen was again guilty of a bad miss, this time with a totally mistimed header from Wes Brown's well-delivered cross, before Carrick was given a great opportunity to draw level with a penalty kick after Evra was upended by Blake in the box.
But Brian Jensen saved Carrick's spot kick, a big hand reaching out to frustrate United, not for the last time on the night.
The Danish keeper, announced as man of the match by the stadium announcer as time ran out, came to Burnley's rescue on several more occasions after the break.
Park Ji-Sung saw a shot pawed away on 67 minutes before Ryan Giggs was denied by the big Dane three minutes later, following a neat one-two with Rooney.
Substitute Antonio Valencia had earlier made a mess of a far post header and the pressure on Burnley's goal increased as the full-time whistle approached, but United never really looked like getting a later leveller.
Instead, celebrations were left to the home faithful, who were able to enjoy a famous night.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wayne Rooney gives Man United win

first-half goal from Wayne Rooney gave Manchester United a 1-0 win over promoted Birmingham in their opening Premier League fixture of the season at Old Trafford.

The England striker finished from close range after his header rebounded off the post on 34 minutes.
United dominated possession but were unable to take their chances while, in the same passage of play with 19 minutes remaining, Dimitar Berbatov had a header cleared off the line by Lee Carsley and a cast-iron penalty turned down after Steven Carr trod on his foot.
But it was not all plain sailing for the hosts, as their makeshift defence looked shaky in the absence of injured duo Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand - the latter ruled out minutes before kick-off with a calf injury picked up in training.
After falling behind Birmingham had their chances to level, with Patrice Evra clearing Franck Queudrue's header off the line and Ben Foster saving well from substitute Cristian Benitez when the Ecuador striker raced clear of the United defence.
United could and should have extended their lead though as, in addition to a poor miss from Darren Fletcher and Berbatov's bad luck, Rooney flicked a header inches wide and had two long-range shots well-saved by Joe Hart while substitute Michael Owen should have marked his Premier League debut for United with an injury-time goal but he was denied by Hart.
Despite losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, United's teamwork and attacking intent was exceptional with Ronaldo's replacement Antonio Valencia a willing runner and ready to play the early ball when his pace freed him out wide.
Nani also impressed before coming off after suffering a reaction to the dislocated shoulder he picked up in the Community Shield defeat to Chelsea.
United had chance after chance as they bombarded Birmingham with free-flowing attacks from both flanks. Fletcher and Paul Scholes worked to contain a packed Blues midfield and slipped the ball wide as often as possible.
Carr was fortunate not to be dismissed on nine minutes when he brought Berbatov down on the edge of the box after Joe Hart's poor clearance was quickly threaded to the Bulgarian by Valencia.

From the subsequent counter-attack James McFadden put a curling effort wide after he cut inside from the left to leave the otherwise impressive Fabio stranded.
The young Brazilian covered admirably at right-back for his injured twin Rafael, bombing down the win in identical fashion to his brother and working well with Valencia.
Rooney, meanwhile, was relishing his central attacking role and forced an excellent save from Hart with a dipping, 25-yard shot on 12 minutes.
Fabio showed his Cafu-esque attacking ability just after the half hour with a bounding run down the right that culminated in a low drive that Hart did well to parry.
United took the lead soon afterwards with a clinical counter attack started by John O'Shea's long ball.
Rooney flicked it on to Berbatov, who casually nodded the ball down to Nani on the left whose cross was flicked off the far post by Rooney, who had continued his run and was perfectly placed to knock the loose ball past the helpless Hart.
Birmingham were on the rack but they were organised and bright on the counter. They could have levelled four minutes after United went ahead but Queudrue, unmarked, met Sebastian Larsson's excellent corner with a powerful header that Evra was well-positioned to clear.
Fletcher had his injury-time horror miss and United went into the break a goal to the good.
Nani was replaced by Ryan Giggs at half-time but United's stride was not broken in the slightest as they came out hungry for a second.
Rooney forced another good stop by on-loan Manchester City keeper Hart with a chest down and half-volley, while Berbatov was denied an obvious goal-scoring opportunity when Queudrue flew across to nick Rooney's perfectly-weighted centre away as the Bulgarian striker waited to complete a simple headed finish.
And so it continued. Camerone Jerome deflected a Giggs free-kick just over the bar, Berbatov thought he had scored when he headed Fabio's deep cross to the top right but Carsley was on hand to clear off the line, Paul Scholes had a low drive deflected just wide after good interplay between Rooney, Owen and Valencia while Rooney looked on in agony as his flicked header from Giggs's precision cross bounced just the wrong side of the far post.
Birmingham had two key chances to level, though, with their attacks rare but relatively incisive, showing boss Alex McLeish that they could have some impact this season.
Midfielder Keith Fahey drilled a low shot inches wide with Foster beaten while, with 12 minutes remaining, the pace of Benitez took him away from United's defence before Foster made a smart stop to deny him a dream start in England.
Owen, signed on a free from Newcastle, looked bright after he came on for the last quarter hour and showed a superb turn of pace to race clear of the Birmingham defence in the 92nd minute.
Unfortunately for the former Liverpool and Real Madrid star, his finish was too straight and Hart made himself big to block for a corner.
It was not to be a fairytale start for Owen but United sealed the win to start their title defence in solid fashion while Birmingham, despite defeat, will take heart after looking competitive against the champions.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Manchester United vs Birmingham City prewiew

Manchester United host Birmingham on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Birmingham City are yet to score a goal in five Premier League trips to Old Trafford, losing all five matches.
Overall, City have failed to score in eight of their 10 Premier League matches against the champions, gaining just two points.
The last two top-flight games between these sides have ended 1-0 to United.
This will be Birmingham's sixth season in the Premier League and the fifth time they have started the campaign away from home.
Manchester United have won only two of their last five opening weekend Premier League games.
In the 2007-08 Premier League season, Birmingham lost their last five away games in succession, conceding 15 goals in the process.
United have kept only three clean sheets in their last seven league games at Old Trafford.
United picked up 50 points at home last season, more than any other team.
Michael Owen has scored three goals in his last five Premier League games against Birmingham.
Dimitar Berbatov led the Premier League in open play assists last season, with nine.
United's win record with Wayne Rooney (pictured) and Cristiano Ronaldo was 71 per cent. It rises to 74 per cent in games with Rooney but without Ronaldo.
Birmingham are two short of 200 Premier League goals.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Manchester United new away kit

The current Premiership champions, Manchester United, are in the middle of their pre season tour with the Audi Cup being next on their list of tournaments and fixtures. They have taken some time out of the tour to release the new Manchester United away shirt for the 2009-10 season.
The new away kit will be manufactured by Nike with the logo on the right chest and the club badge on the left.

The new Man Utd away shirt is along the same template as the home shirt with the V on the front only with the main colour being black and the V this time being blue. The design is based on the shirt that Man Utd wore in 1909 when they won their first FA Cup.

EPL Preview: The Big Four are Ready

Now that the new English Premier League (EPL) season is about to begin, it's time to look at how the Big Four (Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United) did in the transfer market, and what that means in terms of their chances of winning the championship. But first, some thoughts on the overall tendencies of the market, and the resulting balance between the EPL and the Spanish Liga...

The major problem for the EPL is that in comparison with this huge flow of talent to Spain, the major English clubs have very little to show in terms of added talent to the competition. An overview of the new faces in the Premier League would tell that the most important newcomers were Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen (from Ajax), Birmingham's Christian Benitez (from Santos Laguna), and Chelsea's Yuri Zhirkov (From CSKA Moscow), clearly not the most famous players in the world.

Arsenal I would say this is a decisive year for Arsene Wenger. Developing young players and being competitive at the same time is always admirable in football, and supporters certainly love it, but there is a limit to that love when not accompanied by silverware, and it has been four years since the Gunners won a trophy (FA Cup against Man Utd). The off-season has been quite calm (once again); with the exception of the above-mentioned Vermaelen, there was no major new signing at the Emirates Stadium.A healty Eduardo could be Arsenal's best 'newcomer,' but it is clear neither how good the Croatian-Brazilian can be nor if it is sufficient to make fans forget about Adebayor departure to newly rich Man City. The club's striking power seems to be thin to cover all the major fronts in which Arsenal will be involved. Unless the midfield is able to cover that gap, the Gunners will end up having another season of good football but no trophies.

Chelsea Despite all the summer frenzy, and excluding the addition of the Russian international Zhirkov, Chelsea will begin the next season with basically the same squad that finished 2008/9. Leading the team will be a new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, that could well be the most important addition in 2009, not only to Chelsea, but to the whole EPL, if he manages to display the same kind of managerial skills he showed in Italy. After a succession of failed managers and temporary care-takers, the Blues might finally settle for the first time since the Special One left.Stability is thus the main goal of this year's Chelsea, and the fact that their squad is composed by a group of players that have been together for quite some time, can only help. The only problem with this team is its expiry date. Terry, Ballack, Carvalho, Deco, Lampard, Drogba, and Anelka are not getting any younger, and even though they are more than capable of defeating any side in Europe, this might be a team near the end of the line.A deep look at the squad will reveal a structure inherited from Mourinho, that is, a structure that is five years old: Cech, Terry, Carvalho, Cole, Essien and Drogba constitute the same back-bone that led Chelsea to seven domestic trophies since then. However, for a club that got used to winning, the fact that their last Premier League trophy was in 2006 is just not good enough. For a major reform (including Abramovich departure?) not to happen in Stamford Bridge, the Blues will have to do more this season, in England... and maybe in Europe.

Liverpool Istanbul's magical night has been guaranteeing Rafa Benitez job for some years now. The question is until when? With Glen Johnson as the only major signing so far, the Spanish manager will be dealing with the same squad that so clearly underachieved last season. Cristiano Ronaldo's departure means, not only that Man Utd is not as threatening as last season, but also that Liverpool was left with arguably the two best players in the country: Gerrard and Torres. This means that Benitez has largely run out of excuses not to bring the first league title to Merseyside since 1990.From the goalkeeper to the striker, Liverpool has a balanced and deep squad that should be able to win on a regular basis. The biggest obstacle to the team's success might actually be outside the pitch, with the battle over the club's ownership about to have new developments. Sorting out this long-lasting soap opera might actually be what determines whether Liverpool will be finally able to go all the way in the EPL.

Manchester United The reigning champion, the best manager in the country (world?), and a clear winning mentality. Another season of success? Unlikely. Even though Sir Alex Ferguson and Rio Ferdinand have already come out in public to defend the quality of the squad, without Ronaldo and Tevez, reality shows they have lost two hugely important players.Replacing Ronaldo will be impossible, but replacing his direct contribution to the team (in terms of goals and assists) is within the capacity of the current Man Utd squad, or at least it seems, judging by how these same players performed last season. The question that needs to be asked is how big was Ronaldo's indirect influence on the team? Discounting his last games for the club, where he showed less then full-commitment, Ronaldo always gave his teammates the feeling of security that comes when you are playing with arguably the best player on the planet.The importance of that feeling will most likely determine whether Man Utd will indeed be able to keep their winning record, or whether the squad needed more changes than the ones Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to make during the summer break.

Other teams might be able to interfere with the big four this season, with Manchester City at the top of the list. However, for as impressive as their signings might be, the huge number of new players will take time to adapt, not only to each other, but to the pressure of having to win. In that sense, I would say fifth place is probably the best City might be able to achieve.But who will be on top come next May? As things stand now, I would say this could be the most balanced Premier League ever, with all the big four being able to compete for the final trophy until the very end. And that might be just what the EPL needs to re-claim its throne as the best league in the world.

Man united trophies



















Man united history

Manchester United Football Club is an English football club, based at Old Trafford in Trafford, Greater Manchester, and is one of the most popular football clubs in the world. The club was a founding member of the Premier League in 1992, and has played in the top division of English football since 1938, with the exception of the 1974–75 season. Average attendances at the club have been higher than any other team in English football for all but six seasons since 1964–65.

Ferguson - Man Utd`s Most Successful Manager

Ferguson - Man Utd`s Most Successful Manager

Manchester United are the reigning English champions and Club World Cup holders, having won the 2008–09 Premier League and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. The club is one of the most successful in the history of English football and has won 22 major honours since Alex Ferguson became manager in November 1986. In 1968, they became the first English club to win the European Cup, beating Benfica 4–1. They won a second European Cup as part of a Treble in 1999, before winning their third in 2008. The club holds the joint record for the most English league titles with 18 and also holds the record for the most FA Cup wins with 11.
Since the late 1990s, the club has been one of the richest in the world with the highest revenue of any football club, and is currently ranked as the richest and most valuable club in any sport, with an estimated value of £897 million (€1.333 billion / $1.8 billion) as of September 2008. Manchester United was a founding member of the now defunct G-14 group of Europe’s leading football clubs, and its replacement, the European Club Association.
Alex Ferguson has been manager of the club since 6 November 1986, joining from Aberdeen after the departure of Ron Atkinson.