Manchester United closed the gap at the top of the table with a thumping win at Portsmouth full of landmarks, becoming the first team in English football to reach 2000 league wins with a headline grabbing hat-trick from Wayne Rooney, and a man of the match performance from Ryan Giggs that included 2 assists and a brilliant free kick for his 150th United goal, on the eve of his 36th birthday.
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The BBC Sports Personality award is apparently given to the person who has achieved the most in the preceding year, or, as the description on wiki goes, the sportsperson who has most captured the public’s imagination. Following his latest man of the match performance for Manchester United (match report to follow), Stretford-End.com asks, why not Ryan Giggs?
Twice consecutive finalists Manchester United suffered a humiliating defeat at Old Trafford to Turkish side Besiktas after conceding a deflected goal – throwing more than a slight comparison to their first ever defeat at home in European competition against opposition from the same country.
As straightforward as it could get – Manchester United bounced back from their defeat at Stamford Bridge with a routine win and comfortable performance against Everton.
When it comes to a “Big Four” in England historically speaking Everton are the club that join United, Arsenal and their city rivals Liverpool, with 9 league titles, 5 FA Cups and a European Cup Winners Cup to boot.
The Toffees visit Old Trafford this weekend in the second part of a clash between the city’s teams as Liverpool host City earlier in the day – and unlike the frostier relationship that exists with their neighbours, there always seems to be a healthy respect between the Merseyside blues and the Manchester reds, even if that cordial relationship suffered somewhat during the transfer of Wayne Rooney.
….apparently! I wanted to blog about this on Sunday night after the Chelsea game but I was far too depressed considering we hammered them for large parts of the game, but I read an article (if you can call it that) in the News Of The World (the wife buys it) regarding Rooney’s ‘potential transfer to Barcelona’. That garbage isn’t the important part – they profiled eight players who have left Old Trafford and assessed whether or not they were a ‘hit’ or a ‘miss’ at their new club. Please feel free to add your own!
Composed, disciplined and in control – in this clash between Champions and league leaders Manchester United did everything that was asked of them but for the second “Grand Slam” game in a row, were cruelly robbed of at least a probable draw after poor officiating.
United were humbled in Rome back in May and outfought at Anfield a fortnight ago – hopefully the old ‘third time lucky’ saying can apply tomorrow. United have been subjected to an element of stage fright in the big games since the superb 3-1 victory over Arsenal last May and is important that this stops tomorrow. United’s midfield has been put under the microscope on both occasions – with a lack of shape or urgency being cited as the problem.
Lots of build up and anticipating ahead of the match tomorrow between the top two. United and Chelsea have had a mix start to the season – but still occupy the top two. The Stretty Rant looks at some of the quotes ahead of the game, with Ancelotti doubting our defense, Fergie’s praise of Lampard and Dimitar Berbatov’s view of the game.
They may joke about sharing a glass of red win tomorrow as they always have done in previous encounters – but make no mistakes – tomorrow is an enormous game for both teams to make a claim for the strongest team in the land. Fergie and Chelsea’s manager Carlo Ancelotti have met before – when United played Juventus and AC Milan – with the Italian having a better record than the gaffer.