Ex-United Captain previews United’s chances v Madrid

20130213-101103.jpgEx-United captain, Gary Neville, gives his verdict on what to expect from tonights Champions League 1st leg tie between United & Real Madrid.

Watch as Gary Assesses our chances and highlights what and who United need to concentrate to achieve a positive result to bring back to Old Trafford for the 2nd leg in 3 weeks.

I fancy United for a positive result tonight, I see goals for both teams in the game. I think we’ll finish up the happier with a 2-2 draw to set us ip for a monumental tie in the 2nd leg.

Look out for a HUGE number of Reds in The Bernabau tonight. Thousands have made the trip, Madrid won’t know what’s hit it.

Come on United, this is what it’s all about! Time to pull your socks up, graft and show Mr Ronaldo what he’s missing!


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  1. 5.5 hours to go and I can barely concentrate on work… what’s happening to me 😈 😈 😈


  2. Holy sh*t-bricks! No Vidic!?!? Welbeck and Jones starting… this is going to get interesting.

    I don’t fear Madrid’s defense, only their attack. This could get messy: what’s the odds for 3-3???

  3. Man Utd:
    De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Welbeck, Carrick, Jones, Kagawa, Rooney, van Persie.

    Subs: Lindegaard, Valencia, Anderson, Giggs, Smalling, Hernandez, Cleverley.

  4. feking divers. ramos is a ladyboy and ref will wait till the last 10 min to give yellows to real so he looks fair. #FIXitfifa 🙄

  5. how did madrid end the match without any yellows

    and the straight red that should have been when evra was threw and the ref is 5 ft behind and treats him like a diver but he hands out two yellows for ramos who was touched by the ball once and by a finger on the chin 🙄

    madrid are liverpools level of a team without the ref helping them. we should have had the round sealed but no call 👿

    oh well were still siting on an away goal rule lead ill take it. 8)


  6. Wayne Rooney looked like a mouse among cats . Massively overrated . Carrick pure World Class . Rio still one of the best defenders in Europe. Kagawa no comments . He is not for United .

    • @Owen: WTF don’t you say something interesting once in a while instead of snarky sound bites. Go away Owentroll. 😈 😈 😈

  7. What. A. Game. This felt like a CHampions League final… my nerves were all over the place and I was constantly trying to find superstitions in seating, chanting, and location to improve United on the pitch. I even dressed my 2 year old in her old United pajamas even though it was only 3PM 😀 Great game!

    Quick ratings (out of 10):
    De Gea: 9 — Top dollar. The first save inside 15 minutes low to his left was in line with the Chelsea 3-3 freekick save: World Class. A couple other saves (e.g. Coentrao shot) were also impressive…

    Evans/Rio 7.5 — did well after 20 minutes. A couple times they opened up too much in the center but shut out most attempts. With Vidic back for the next game I suppose, we should be in top shape.

    Rafael: 5 — probably our second worst player today. Got taken apart by Ronaldo and Ozil was second best most of the game. He had a better 2nd half but the early yellow card was silly.

    Evra: 7 — slipped on Madrid’s goal and had 0 chance against that Ronaldo leap. Is amazing going forwards and did well defensively. One of his best performances in recent time. Still worries me on defense when he sits too deep center and allows opponents to come out wide.

    Carrick/Jones: 9/8 — Carrick was amazing today. End of. Jones is only good as a very defensive-minded midfielder. On attack he offers zero. It is very frustrating to watch him perform so well defensively (marking Ronaldo out so often) only to be useless coming forward. He makes up a lot in his lack of intelligence (as I see it) with hard work. He doesn’t see passes or runs, but he stops anyone that comes towards him and Jones fulfilled his role with class today. He just needs to removes his rashness a bit. He gave up a couple dangerous freekicks.

    Kagawa: 7 — a mixed bag. His control of the ball in tight areas is masterful to watch but he dithers on the ball and often doesn’t take the simple pass, leaving him and team under pressure. The one time he lost the ball and had to chase it back to his box was such an example. If he could swap with Evra in attack it would improve United a lot…

    Rooney: 4.5 — Worst player on pitch. He asked for United to invest in World Class players… did he consider himself in that class? Today, he was awful. Not sure he was in his favorite position, but he was just so poor: passing, positioning, defensively he was under-performing. This game should motivate him to greater heights… or I am certain Chicharito will replace him.

    RvP 8 — wasn’t at his best, but he was still outstanding. Every chance he had he almost scored. Hit the bar, cleared shot off the line (should’ve scored!) and forced an outstanding save as final shot of game. Such a top class player… Cantona II?

    Welbeck 9 — best game in so long and finally scored (3 goals this season?). It is really amazing what you can make up with hard work. This kid can run his socks off for the team and really was a thorn in their side today. Well-taken goal and it lifted his confidence taking on the entire Madrid defense during one attack. Great to see him score.. but I still prefer the hustling and finishing of Chicharito.

    Couple comments on Madrid:

    Madrid GK: Looks like Casillas may not be starting many more games (going to Chelsea? PSG?)

    Ramos/Coentrao: Disgusting footballers… diving cheats. They alone make me hate Madrid.

    Ozil: WOWZERS! What a player. He reminds me of Paul Scholes/David Silva. Masterful world class players who almost tore us to shreds!!!

    Ronaldo: He is looking his age now (almost 28), but he is such an amazing footballer… he came from right, left, center. He shoots with his left and right. He scores with his head. If Messi wasn’t around, this guy would be football-equivalent of Pele. How I wish we still had him… imagine instead of Welbeck, we had Ronaldo…

    Madrid in General: the way they play seems much more intelligent. Premier League players can survive by hustling and bustling (Jones, Welbeck, Keane, Rooney), but in La Liga, they use their heads far more frequently to such a high degree.

    Referee: the yellow cards were so weak from RvP and Valencia. Elbows??? What was their offense? Playing not for Madrid?? On the average he was fair (i.e. he did not gift Madrid the Di Maria penalty). Dangerous to be Phil Jones with this Refereee 😉


    • @Opti: I forgot:

      Varane: This young fella (19 or 20, right) is such a talent. Looks like a superstar to come… still had some trouble with Welbeck!!

    • @Opti: Another forgetsie:

      Passing percentage: How come both teams has less than 70% pass completion rate?? Carrick had a measly 67%… too many long balls?

  8. De Gea genuinely came of age tonight, absolutely brilliant, I never doubted him. I have to say that although in the second half we were very deep and they had a lot of possession, they didn’t really look as though they could break through. The defensive line was watertight in the second 45, I would say in particular Evans (although Rio was also quality). Evans leadership skills have become one of his best assets. I think defensively Jones was close to perfect, but it was a shame Cleverley didn’t play to give him some rest bite from distribution. Carrick was ABSOLUTELY masterful. Perfect, the ultimate lynchpin. RVP’s hold up play was great Kagawa played further forward than usual in the first half which he wasn’t used to but he was tidy. And Welbeck. It was like watching a new player, he matured before our very eyes. Only real disappointment was Rooney, his first touch was dire (as per) and he tired far too quickly. Overall it really is a good result, because I’m sure we will create a lot against them as they will really have to open up. But jesus christ will it be tense. COYR!

  9. nice to see people bashing rooney 🙄 forgetting the act he was playing out wide and his replacement in the centre kagawa was fucking brutal, and all of a sudden welbeck is good, for fuck sake get some perspective, ROONEY IS WORLD CLASS, but he needs to be played CENTRAL

    • @ash is the man: So Rooney can only pass when he is in center. His passing was awful today. His effort was awful today. Class is permanent, but he sucked today… regardless of where he was. If you cannot see that then you need perspective 🙂

    • @ash is the man: Rooney rides his reputation but never adds to it. The best thing he ever did was his overhead in the derby game – pretty good, not bad at all, a highlight for the ages and a wicked misrepresentation of his game-to-game form.
      If you want to talk about “Rooney” tell me something new.

      • @Redrich: Rooney is a great player and he is playing a vital role in the title run-in.

        I would much rather have him in the side than not at this time of year.

        Some of his quality goes unnoticed.

        Yes he isn’t always sharp and clinical every game.

        But gives a lot of energy much in the same way welbeck does every game.

        I wouldn’t play Rooney in every single game like Ferguson does but he certainly is handy to have around.

        In my opinion he is good enough to play in any team in the world and he is a vital member of our squad.

  10. Just a few thoughts on the game.

    We were a little lost in the moment last night. I think we were too much in awe of Madrid. Van Persie snatching at the ball when he was in front of goal with just himself and Lopez says to me that he was not composed. This was just after beating the offsides trap with Carrick’s briliant pass(again). Why was he so tense?

    Giggs also had a great chance to pull the trigger but he didn’t instead he dribbled himself into a corner instead of taking a first time shot. Again no composure.

    So my first point is; We were psychologically not superior to Real Madrid. We were a little bit too scared of losing.

    You know Real were actually not that difficult to score against. We can beat them. Comfortably. But we just don’t believe it. Thats what concerns me. If van Persie was a little more casual with that shot it would have been a goal. 2-1 to United

    Giggs comes on and scores the opportunity that presented itself to him. 3-1 United (ok that chance was 50-50. But still you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take)

    Giggs was being too elaborate. Because of nerves.

    Secondly I would have prefered Chicharito come on instead of Valencia for Welbeck. Chicha is a walking talking living breathing goal threat.

    Why not not role the dice with him against Real?

    Anderson for Rooney was a good substitution. Unfortunately Anderson didn’t really get a chance to get on the ball.

    David De Gea is starting to impress. I am very happy for him. I always thought he had it in him. I think we should stick with him all the way now. Stop this talk of a new keeper in the summer.

    I was very please with Ferguson last night. They way he set out his formation.

    Its so nice to have a manager who can go toe to toe with anyone. The great tactician of Madrid met his match last night in the form of the master tactician Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Jones was lucky not get penalised for the shoulder push on Di Maria. But I also honestly think that it was a 50-50 ball and Di Maria was trying to do the same thing to Jones. You can’t penalise Jones for being bigger and stronger.

    I think this whole away goal hype is also over done. Just because we got an away goal doesn’t really mean anything. We still have to beat Real Madrid. Scoring an away goal doesn’t knock them out.

    When they come to Manchester we still have to actualy beat them. Away goal or no away goal. Its over-rated in my books.

    • @The_Philosopher: a 0-0 draw would still put us thru so yes, the away goal counts.

      Real have to score at OT to have a chance. So they will attack. I think SAF will play for the counter. We can do it.

      2-0 to United at OT. Fuck crap Madrid and their ballerinas…

      • @jos: And just what are the chances of us shutting Madrid out at Old Trafford?

        Its way too risky. 0-0 in the 93rd minute and Madrid nick it.

        The 0-0 draw is not a target we can realistically aim for. We have to beat them.

        So yes technically we can go through with a 0-0 draw. But I don’t see Madrid NOT scoring at Old Trafford.

  11. I thought with our shit midfield when we play the likes of Real we would be “annihilated?”
    Great efforts ffrom the much maligned, De Gea, Jones (Who was meant to be our WORST player) and Welbeck.
    Carrick and Rio were also excellent.
    Certainly not there yet, but great efforts so far.

    • @Stephen: Our midfield is decent.

      Jones was superb. Problem with Jones is that he doesn’t want to play there permanently. His heart is at centre back..

      We still need to sign a replacement for Jones.

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