Manchester United vs. Newcastle United has long produced classic matches and a fiery rivalry. However, this particular fixture was not about continuing that proud history. Both managers put out weakened teams and, as was to be expected, they didn’t elicit a memorable match. However, that won’t bother Manchester United fans, as they secured the all important win and witnessed some promising performances in addition.
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After a tight 1-0 victory over Turkish club Galatasaray mid-week in the Champion’s League, Manchester United travelled to Anfield for one of the most looked forward to fixtures of the season in club football. While United were coming off an ugly 1-0 victory, Liverpool came into the game with only 2 points out of an available 12, so both teams were looking for points from a tense encounter.
The game was fairly open in the first 10 minutes, as neither team could take control. After the initial 10 minutes, however, the game settled down and Liverpool started to control possession with their 3v2 advantage in the central midfield. Liverpool was able to dominate possession and force United deep into their own zone, through their advantage in midfield and their high defensive line. Unfortunately, Liverpool couldn’t get on the score sheet before Jonjo Shelvey was given a red card late in the first half. The second half started with a goal by Steven Gerrard, but the lead lasted only 5 minutes until Rafael brought the visitors back. Down to 10 men, Liverpool was now the team struggling for possession after Paul Scholes was brought into the game to help United control the midfield. The Reds played well, and the game looked like it was going to end in a 1-1 draw until a controversial penalty decision in the 81st minute. Van Persie converted the penalty, and that ended up being the winning goal. Continue reading
Sir Alex Ferguson is expected to rest many key players and give some of Manchester United’s youngsters a chance to impress against Newcastle. Alexander Buttner and Nick Powell, scorers against Wigan in the recent Premier League meeting, are likely to start.
Nemanja Vidic (knee) missed United’s clash with Liverpool and faces 8 weeks out. Chris Smalling (metatarsal) and Phil Jones (knee) remain sidelined, so Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand should continue in central defence unless one of the young centre backs in the ranks like Scott Wooton or Michael Keane are given a chance.
It’s been 40yrs since Newcastle won at Old Trafford, Betfair make them 7’s (6/1) to beat United tomorrow in the Capital One Cup betting but considering Alan Pardew is quoted as saying ‘we’ve got to look to win it [the competition]’ and ‘we’ll be sending a strong team there [to Old Trafford]’ you have to think 7’s is generous given that United will be hugely understrength.
You know when something just doesn’t surprise you any more, but when you pause for a moment and take into account the facts, you realise you really should be surprised?
Well, the news that Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic will be out for a suspected 8 weeks (with an injury to the same knee that kept him out from December last year until recently) came as no surprise to me. But surely it’s time to begin worrying about the constant conveyor belt of injured players passing through the physio room, in particular, defensive players or more specifically, centre backs.
Did Owen Hargreaves have a point when he critisised the treatment he received during his rehabilitation?
Manchester United came from behind to defeat 10-man Liverpool in an emotional encounter at Anfield.
Much had been said before kick off about United fans’ response to Liverpool’s tribute to the victims of the Hillsborough tragedy, in the Merseyside club’s first home game since the release of the Hillsborough report.