2nd goal : Diaby (OG)
Manchester United have won 72, Arsenal 66 and there have been 42 draws. So i'll be expecting another great encounter today..
Eduardo has been left on the bench by Arsene Wenger as Arsenal put their free-scoring start to the season on the line.
The United line-up misses both Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen as Sir Alex Ferguson plumps for a major reshuffle from the champions.
Ryan Giggs will support lone frontman Wayne Rooney with Antonio Valencia and Nani on the flanks. Michael Carrick is partnered by Darren Fletcher rather than Anderson in midfield. Gosh, was i glad to see Carrick!!!
Rooney has scored five Premier League goals against Arsenal, more against them than either of the other big four sides.
Sheasy Wesley Vida Evra
Valencia Carrick Fletcher Nani
SUBS: Kuszczak, Owen, Scholesy, Gaz, Berba, Park, Ando.
Eboue has the first shot of the match but his effort from 20 yards is screwed wide of the post.
Patrice Evra is making his 100th League appearance for United today.
Abou Diaby goes over Nemanja Vidic's outstretched leg and Arsenal have a chance to swing in a dangerous cross.
Andrei Arshavin's delivery is claimed by Ben Foster, albeit at the second attempt.
CHANCE! Arsenal fail to clear their lines and Rooney flights a ball into Fletcher but he puts his shot over the top from 12 yards.
John O'Shea finds Rooney with a superbly flighted pass in the penalty area but William Gallas is strong and fends off the danger.
Carrick catches Eboue on the knee. Not malicious but painful for the Ivorian.
Nice passing from Arsenal and Eboue forces Wes Brown to concede a corner.
Brown climbs high at the near post to clear the danger but it's another corner.
This time Foster claims Robin van Persie's delivery untroubled.
The game is being played at a frenetic pace.
Nani bursts into the penalty area but a great recovery tackle from Bacary Sagna means it is only a corner.
Gallas meets Giggs' corner firmly at the near post.
Van Persie plays a short free-kick to Denilson but he cannot pick out a team-mate in the penalty area.
A quiet 20 minutes in truth. No shots on target yet.
Arshavin tries his luck from distance but his effort is charged down.
Evra gets to the by-line but he cannot quite pick out Rooney. Gael Clichy dallies on the ball in the penalty area but gets away with it.
Arsenal's best chance as van Persie cuts inside Vidic and earns himself half a yard but Evra makes a crucial block.
Foster flaps at the resulting corner and the ball drops to Arshavin who opens his body but curls his shot just inches over the top corner.
Eboue gives the ball away cheaply and United have 3 on 2 but the pass is cut out on the edge of the penalty area.
Ryan Giggs and Nani on a different wavelength and the pass from the Welsh veteran rolls through to Manuel Almunia.
Rooney has hardly had a kick in the opening half-hour and his free-kick curls wide of the near post.
Van Persie controls Denilson's free-kick with aplomb and feeds Arshavin whose low drive is cut out by Vidic.
Evra is booked after a foul on Sagna, his third infringement in the opening 35 minutes.
Nani does well to dig out a cross but Gallas climbs well to head clear.
Carrick tries to pick out Giggs but Gallas has been immense so far and shields the ball through to Almunia.
Denilson loses out to Valencia who tries to pick out a cross but Almunia claims.
Van Persie beats Brown but cannot get the better of Evra and hits the deck to the derision of the home fans.
GOAL!!!!!!!!!!! What a hit from Arshavin. He unleashes a rifle from 25 yards and although Foster gets a hand to it, he cannot keep out a rasping shot from the Russian maestro which nestles in the top corner. UNITED might be a goal down, but i'm amazed by that strike.. gosh, he's good..
Only moments earlier Arshavin was claiming a penalty after Fletcher slid in on him. I am sure he does not care now. He celebrated in his usual finger to mouth manner.
Arshavin on the prowl again but Vidic intercepts the pass intended for van Persie.
Song fouls Nani but the quick free-kick from the left is headed away by Gallas for another corner.
Great chance for Vidic from the resulting corner but he scuffs his shot from no more than eight yards.
Van Persie booked for a foul on Giggs but yet again it is Gallas who blocks Rooney's shot.
HALF-TIME and the Gunners lead through an Arshavin wonderstrike. Arsenal are unbeaten in 68 games when they have led at half-time.
2nd half on the way.. No changes to either side..
Arshavin gets to the by-line and his cross from the left is met by Van Persie but Foster makes a superb save with his outstretched left foot to deny the Dutchman. A superb save.
If Foster was partly culpable for the goal, he has certainly made amends there.
Clichy's deep cross finds Eboue unmarked eight yards from the goal but the Ivorian fails to either shoot or control and the ball runs under his foot.
Valencia pulls the trigger from 25 yards but way over the crossbar.
Only eight goal attempts in the match. United have had just three and none have tested Almunia.
Clichy wins a foot race with Evra in the battle of French left-backs but is forced to concede a corner.
From the corner, the ball drops to Carrick on the edge of the penalty area but his shot is blocked by Sagna.
Diaby's probing pass into the penalty area is cut out by the sliding Evra.
PENALTY! A long pass down the left channel and Rooney goes down under a challenge from Almunia. Gracias Almunia!!!!!!GOAL!!!! And Rooney converts as he sends Almunia the wrong way. 1-1 GAME ON.
Rooney tries to catch Almunia out from the halfway line but the Spanish keeper gallops back to catch the audacious effort.
Brown is booked for a horrid lunge on Diaby. And Rooney also goes into the book for a swipe at the back of the Frenchman during his marauding run.
Van Persie smacks the middle of the crossbar with his swinging free-kick from the right. Not sure if the Dutch striker intended to catch the keeper off his line.
Park replaces the ineffective Valencia.
2-1 UNITED!!! Giggs swings in a free-kick from the left and inexplicably Diaby heads past his own keeper under no real pressure. A gift for United. Thanks DIABY!!!
Diaby almost makes instant amends but after creating an opening with his twinkle feet, he drags his shot wide of the far post from 14 yards.
Rooney has got his tail up now but his long-range effort is way off target.
Nani beats Gallas once but not a second time and the big defender clears.
A snap shot from Evra from 14 yards but Almunia gets down well to claim the shot, low to his left.
Sagna is the ninth player booked for waving his arm in protest at a Dean decision. As always.. UNITED v Arsenal will be feisty!!!Arsenal will be fined as they have received six cautions.
A long ball is pumped into the penalty area and Van Persie goes down under pressure from Evra but clearly nothing doing.
Arshavin cannot quite reach a Van Persie pass and is limping after overstretching.
Nani tracks back well but Arsenal win a corner. It looks like Nani is doing well defensively..
Thomas Vermaelen meets the corner at the near post but cannot direct his header on target.
Dimitar Berbatov replaces Giggs.
Diaby beats Evra with ease but cannot pick the right pass in the penalty area.
Berbatov earns a corner.
Five minutes added time to be played. That is quite a lengthy wait..
United will go third if the score remains the same.
Clichy's cross is cleared by Berbatov of all people in his own penalty area.
A great pass from Nani but Berbatov, who had raced from his own half, horribly shanks his shot way wide when clear on goal.
Arsenal piling people forward and on the break Berbatov picks out Nani who sees his first shot well saved by Almunia before blazing over the rebound.
Van Persie puts the ball in the back of the net but Gallas is offside and the flag goes up.
Wenger has been sent to the stand by the fourth official.
And time is up.. we prevail as winner.. huhu.. i should say.. this is a lucky win..
Sunday, 30th August 2009
1210am LIVE on ESPN!!!
Interesting encounter this weekend for UNITED.. I've always looking forward to this occasion.. why? because, it will be a cracker and of course feisty battle will be involved.. both are feeling high as both have been scoring goals for fun in midweek.. so will it be another goal feast for either side? or will it be a narrow win?
WHO's OUT for UNITED?
- Hargo : u guys know why he's missing..
- Rio : Thigh Muscle Strain (will be missing him for a while)
- VDS : thumb injury
- Obertan : will not feature til October
- Rafael : clueless of when he's available..
WHO's OUT for ARSENAL?
- Walcott : slight chance of returning to the squad.. but not a 100% sure..
- Djourou : Knee injury
- Rosicky : injured as usual suffering from hamstring
- Samir Nasri : Broken Leg
The advantage we have is that.. Arsenal will face Celtic in midweek to secure their UCL participation.. and i bet they might be a lil fatigue ..
We kinda sux during the 1st half against Wigan , so i hope i won't see another awful performance like that from UNITED.. 2nd half as we all knew was a joy to watch.. so many things to celebrate for during that half.. and i expect that sort of performance.. might not be the greatest performance ever.. but still.. UNITED are capable of showing more qualities.. and we got to remember it was just Wigan .. and this is Arsenal.. no matter how sux they're in a season.. they will surely stepped it up when they're going against us.. so we shouldn't be too overconfident..
Carrick was missing from the squad.. i wonder why.. but i do hope he regained his place this weekend.. Fletcher is a must.. and Foster is improving little by little which is a good sign he did well against Wigan.. so i'm expecting him to keep up that sort of performance..
The Back 4, eventho in a crisis.. is sound enuff .. but i don't think GAz is suitable for this one.. so i'm opting for Fabio or Sheasy.. Vida is back.. i hope he won't be having any sort of nightmare during the match.. The midfield is a concern.. so they should buck up this weekend..
Fabio/Sheasy Evans Vida Evra
Valencia/JS Park Carrick Fletcher Nani
Let's look forward to this weekend.. and let's hope it's a blast! Would love it if we end up as winner.. GOOD LUCK LADS!
2nd goal : Dimitar Berbatov
3rd goal : Wayne Rooney
4th goal : Michael Owen
5th goal : NANI
UNITED are looking to avoid losing back-to-back PL matches for the second time in 2009, and only the second time in the last eight years. Their only consecutive PL defeats since 2001 were 4-1 at home against Liverpool (March 14) and 2-0 at Fulham (March 21).
Wigan Athletic and Manchester United have met eight times in the league. Wigan Athletic have won none, Manchester United eight and there have been no draws.
Carrick is missing from the squad.. and i wonder why.. Rio will be out for quite a while.. it's good to have Vida back..i hope we're not rushing him.. Michael Owen returns to the bench for the visitors, who are still smarting after their defeat at Burnley on Wednesday.. Gary Neville plays his first game of the season for United at right-back, while Alex Ferguson opts for a midfield of Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes and Nani.
Gaz Evans Vida Evra
Valencia Fletcher Scholesy Nani
SUBS :Kuszczak, Owen, Giggs, Welbeck, Fabio Da Silva, O'Shea, Gibson
A combative start, with Mohamed Diame getting stuck in for Wigan in midfield.
A sloppy Scharner pass nearly lets Rooney in but Bramble just gets there first..
Rooney finds Berbatov who plays it to the overlapping Nani, then crossed to Fletcher whose GOALBOUND EFFORT IS BLOCKED BY BRAMBLE!!
A typically uncompromising clearance from the returning Nemanja Vidic, who will hope to bring some stability to the United defence.
SCHOLES!!! Berbatov backheels into the path of the onrushing Scholes, who has a free hit from the edge of the box but blazes it over!! Bad miss for a player of his quality.
Wigan work the ball nicely to Figueroa on the left but his cross booms out of play.
Neville concedes a free-kick on the Wigan left, 40 yards from the United goal... headed clear and the champions now break.
Good industry from Berbatov (no, really), who wins a throw on the United left. The move ends with Evra sending a cross into the side-netting.
United might be two up by now, but Wigan have ridden their luck and have finally settled. A much more even game now.
The visitors pass the round their own half in a pretty but inconsequential fashion.
Valencia has got a reasonable reception from the Wigan fans on his return to the DW Stadium. Hardly rapturous, but not overly hostile either.
ROONEY!! He turns Bramble and fires a low right-footed shot straight at Kirkland.
Yellow card Scholes for sliding through Jordi Gomez... at his age, it's probably fair to say he'll never learn.
A slight clash of heads between Rodallega and Evans, but the result is a Wigan corner.
Lightning counter-attack from United as Valencia clips a long ball over the top for Rooney, who strays just offside!
It's raining goals at the Emirates.. The gunners are two up.. ish ish..
Berbatov!! Gets his head on a left-sided cross, but directs it straight at Kirkland.
The ball comes in from the left to the United box, and is helped messily along to Rodallega, who cannot make proper contact with his header.
KOUMAS!!! Cuts inside from the left, burns past Vidic and fires a curling shot that Foster does well to tip behind for a corner!
United give it away cheaply in midfield and here come Wigan. We've got a real game no our hands here.
More defensive uncertainty from United as Hendry Thomas fires a low ball into the box... finally cleared.
Long ball over the top for Rooney, who traps it brilliantly and SHOOTS LOW!! SAVED BY KIRKLAND!
Valencia clips a cross from the right to Rooney at the far post... he heads back across the face of goal but Wigan clear.
Melchiot leaves his foot up after a challenge in midfield with Evra and catches the United left-back.
Wigan have a two-on-two here and the ball is with N'Zogbia... well tackled by Vidic!!
Berbatov lobs it to Scholes, helped on to Fletcher... cannot get his volley away.. what a goal that would have been! Another wasted opportunity..
Valencia crosses again from the right...cleared as far as Scholes who finds Fletcher, and the Scot turns his man and hits a left-foot volley that is deflected for a corner.
Bramble brings Evra down and United come forward for the free-kick... out to Valencia on the right but again his cross is blocked.
Goalless at the end of an entertaining first half... but United's drought in front of goal continues.
United kick the second half off and immediately get forward, with the cap-wearing Kirkland punching away a cross from the left.
Valencia heads down a cross from the left for ROONEY!! Miscues his volley and Berbatov's follow-up is blocked!
Now Wigan come away on the break as the ball is played through to Rodallega... Vidic nicks the ball away from him!
United want a penalty after Rooney goes down under Scharner's challenge... nothing doing, says Howard Webb!
Frustration is clearly setting in for the visitors... how long until Michael Owen gets a run?
GOAL!!!! WAYNE ROONEY BREAKS THE DEADLOCK FOR MANCHESTER UNITED!! He heads in a Valencia cross from the right and the goal drought is over! Finally, now i'm a bit relieved!!Anyway.. That is Wayne Rooney's 100th goal for Manchester United, and the relief is palpable!
RODALLEGA SO CLOSE TO THE EQUALISER!!! Koumas drives a diagonal cross and the Colombian hits a looping header that Foster just keeps out! GOOD JOB BEN!!!
GOAL!!! DIMITAR BERBATOV!! Yay..our lazy Berba scored!!!!It's two for United and it's a brilliant goal!! Rooney plays a one-touch pass for Scholes, who lofts the ball over the top, Berbatov lifts it over Kirkland, collects his own lob and finishes from six yards!
What a couple of minutes' action! But the upshot is that Manchester United are two goals to the good at the DW Stadium.
GOAL!!! Three for United, and here comes goal 101 from Wayne Rooney!! Antonio Valencia and Dimitar Berbatov combine to find Rooney on the left, and his shot goes in at the near post via a generous deflection from Mario Melchiot.
It is surely game over now. United have been devastating since half-time, and this might just kick-start their season.
Dimitar Berbatov has been superb today, and that may have put paid to any hopes Michael Owen had of breaking into the United first-team.
Wigan continue to come forward through Jordi Gomez and the ever-dangerous Rodallega, but you cannot imagine them conjuring any sort of comeback.
Well, this is Owen's chance. He comes on for Rooney, while Darron Gibson replaces Paul Scholes. AND John O'Shea comes on for Jonny Evans. A triple substitution.
Darron Gibson belts a curler from 25 yards, and Kirkland holds it.
There is an altercation there and referee Webb has to physically restrain Rodallega from attacking Vidic! Unbelievable!
Berbatov drills a low cross in front of goal from the left, but the supposedly predatory Owen is snoozing at the edge of the box.
GOAL!! Michael Owen!! Runs onto a cute through ball from Nani and clips a deft left-foot shot in off the far post! His first goal for Manchester United! HEY PEOPLE MICHAEL OWEN JUST SCORES, what did i tell ya?
Sinclair again!! He has looked lively since coming on, and brings another good save from Foster from a tight angle on the right.
Nani strikes a powerful free-kick, but sends it high over the bar.
GOAL!! NANI!!!! He finds the back of the net, curling a relatively weak effort past the statuesque Kirkland! As always a stunning goal from Nani
Started off quite miserably but end up on a high.. gosh.. it feels good.. Congrats Roo for his 101 goals, Owen for his 1st goal for UNITED..
Saturday, 22nd August 2009
955pm LIVE ON ESPN!!!
I won't say it's a do or die game.. but more to, the needs of bouncing back from that defeat in Turf Moor.. i should say, we didn't have any spark at all.. everything just went miserably wrong for UNITED earlier this morning.. Defensive matter is one thing.. but midfield is a big concern IMO.. they needs to toughen up.. i guess this is the impact of changing the dynamic in the squad.. Foster on the other hand is improving step by step and it's good to see that..Anyway.. i won't give much thought about it.. we played miserably so we lose.. FULLSTOP.
We're going to entertain Wigan this weekend.. So i expect the lads to take this defeat as a motivation to do better.. Evans seems fine in defence against Burnley.. so i expect him to start again this week.. Vidic although expected to join the squad for this match, will start on the bench IMO.. Still out are Rio & VDS plus the usual absentee..
Fabio Evans Wesley Evra
Valencia Fletcher Carrick/Ando Nani
It's just a blip against Burnley.. i hope the lads come back stronger this weekend at home.. so GOOD LUCK!!!!
Burnley know they are in for a tough game tonight - United have won their last 16 games against promoted sides and haven't lost to Burnley in 17 meetings - although the Lancashire side's home form last season was excellent.
United's defensive 'crisis' continues, with Edwin van der Sar, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Gary Neville, Rafael ,all deemed unfit to play tonight. In their place could be Ben Foster, Fabio, Wes Brown and John O'Shea with Patrice Evra the only member of Alex Ferguson's first-choice backline likely to feature.
So, the big news is that Michael Owen starts for United, alongside Wayne Rooney. Jonny Evans is fit to partner Wes Brown in the centre of the Reds' defence, while John O'Shea plays right-back. In midfield, it's all change as Michael Carrick, Anderson, Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung all start for the first time this season.
Sheasy Wesley Evans Evra
JS PARK Carrick Ando Giggsy
Subs: Kuszczak, Neville, Berbatov, Scholes, Valencia, Gibson, De Laet
Real chance for Owen after great work on the left by Evra... but the little striker can't connect with the ball as he stabs at it, totally unmarked, at the near post! He puts his head in his hands, and so he should!
Owen chests down for Rooney now... he takes a touch before letting fly from 25 yards! Well blocked by Bikey though and the ball pings away to safety.
Owen has the ball in the back of the net! He slots home at the second attempt after Rooney slips him through on goal! But the linesman's flag is up on the far side and it won't count!
Anderson centres, looking for Rooney, but the Brazilian's effort goes over his head and out for a throw.
But that's a poor ball from Rooney... straight to Blake, whose long ball forward is headed back to Foster by Brown.
Swift attacking play from United now as Carrick links up well with Rooney to force a corner!
Giggs takes it... Carrick gets on the end of it with a languid standing volley... the ball hits the turf before landing on the top of Jensen's net!
Rooney tries to skip his way through the entire Burnley defence, but is eventually stopped by Jordan and Bikey completes the clearance.
Oooh! McCann loses his marker in the United box, but he mistimes his run and the ball goes over his head when perhaps he should have connected. If he had, Foster would have had to be at his best to keep it out!
GOAL! WHAT A GOAL IT IS! ROBBIE BLAKE PUTS BURNLEY INTO THE LEAD WITH A SUPERB VOLLEY! Evra can only half head clear and Blake pounces with a stunning hit past Foster and into the top right hand corner!
This will be a real test of character for United now... have they got what it takes to win these kind of games?
More spectacular stuff from Burnley! This time it's Fletcher with an acrobatic scissor kick after another headed clearance by a United player only reaches a claret shirt... Fletcher's effort, by the way, doesn't trouble Foster at all.
United break for the first time for what seems like ages and Rooney fires a sidefooter well wide of the post... that's the first time they've ventured into the hosts' half since the goal went in.
On the other hand, United are beginning to look a bit ragged... a loose pass from Rooney is followed by one from Brown and the champions look rattled!
Oooh! Nearly an exquisite pass from Giggs to Park, who only just fails to get something on the Welshman's cross-field ball...
Super defending from McCann as he tracks back to foil Giggs's run forward... corner to United anyway...
But Burnley deal with it admirably... moments later Rooney fires well wide from 30 yards out...
OWEN! Oh dear! What a miss from the England wanabee! Brown delivers a great cross right onto his head, but Owen barely makes contact and the ball skims off the top of his head and away to safety!
Bikey slides in to put Rooney's cross behind and United have another corner... but again the champions can't make anything of their position.
Big penalty shout for United as Blake upends Evra in the box! And the ref gives it! PENALTY TO UNITED! JENSEN SAVES IT! Carrick hits it to the Dane's right, but he guesses the right way and gets a big hand to it! What a wasted chance!
Burnley on the attack again... but Mears's cross from the right hand side sails way over the bar and out for a goal kick.
Evra does well to recover a ball at the byline before turning back to Park! The Korean takes a touch, but his eventual shot is well blocked by Mears!
Brown upends McCann right on the edge of the United box and Burnley have a free-kick in a very dangerous position!
Oooh! Blake fires the free-kick low and hard past the wall, but just the wrong side of the post! Burnley are still a threat after the break! Berbatov warming up...
The game's a little flat at the moment and is struggling to come to light again after the fireworks of the first half.
Rooney advances with the ball at his feet... but he goes for goal and fires over the bar, with Jensen not forced to break a sweat.
United make a change now... off goes Anderson and comes Antonio Valencia... that's a positive change for the champions - they certainly need some spark from somewhere!
O'Shea bundles Paterson over by the corner flag... a sign of frustration if there ever was one. Foster does well to claim the resulting free-kick.
Chance for United! Valencia arrives at the far post to meet an awkwardly bouncing Evra cross but his header goes wide!
Time for another United switch as Owen is taken off - the watching Fabio Capello doesn't look impressed, but then again he never does, does he? - and Berbatov comes on in his place. COME ON BERBA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That's a dangerous ball across the face of goal by Paterson! But there's no one there to get on the end of it and the chance goes begging!
Berbatov! Ooh, that's not too far away from the substitute! His curler flies wide of the top corner, although Jensen looks to have it covered...
Park! Great save by Jensen who gets another big hand on the Korean's snap shot! Then the ball appears to hit Bikey's hand as Valencia crosses... but the referee waves play on!
Foster is brought into action again by a sharp drive by Elliott from 25 yards... the England keeper snaffles it at the second attempt!
Jensen again comes to Burnley's rescue, this time to deny Giggs after a lovely one-two with Rooney!
United make a third change... Brown off, Neville on.
Time running out for United to snatch an equaliser, let alone a winner... just 15 minutes remaining...
Berbatov and Rooney leave the ball to each other and the ball runs out for a goal kick, much to the delight of the home crowd! It's just not happening for the visitors tonight.
Giggs wins United's 12th corner of the night as the pressure mounts on the Burnley goal... but the United captain is then wrongfooted by Valencia's return on the short corner and the ball goes out!
Oh dear, that's a terrible challenge by Rooney on Mears! And he rightly goes into the book...
Rooney centres... it's a dangerous one, but there's no one there to capitalise! Still no joy for United!
Corner to United as the game moves into injury time....It's poor though and Burnley clear their lines.... surely that's it now?
There it is! All over at Turf Moor and Burnley register a famous win over the champions! Last weekend.. Scums were the laughing stock.. so will it be us this midweek?
It's the season opener at OT.. it has been quite an enjoyable summer IMO.. It has been 20 years since the defending top flight champions lost on the opening day of the season - Arsenal losing 4-1 against Manchester Utd at Old Trafford in Aug 1989.
Manchester Utd are unbeaten in their last 20 league matches against Birmingham, since losing 5-1 at St Andrew's in old Division One in Nov 1978.
Sir Alex Ferguson has never lost a home league match on the opening day of the season in charge of Manchester United. His sides have won nine and drawn four of their 13 opening matches of the season at Old Trafford under Ferguson.
FERDINAND OUT FOR UNITED! A shocker for Sir Alex Ferguson, who will go into the opening game of the season with John O'Shea as his captain, partnering Jonny Evans at centre-half. Ferdinand picked up a calf injury in training to add to his alread-sore back. Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and Rafael da Silva are all injured too meaning the latter's twin brother Fabio da Silva will play at right-back.
United then have Ben Foster return between the sticks after he missed England's 2-2 draw with Holland with a "minor injury". Fabio, normally a left-back, fills in for brother Rafael on the right and an all-Irish centre-half duo of Johns sees O'Shea skipper United alongside Evans, who missed Northern Ireland's draw with Israel with an ankle knock that Sir Alex is hoping has fully cleared up. It's not all doom and gloom for United - Wes Brown is deemed fit enough for a place on the bench.
Interesting bench for United - Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs have bags of experience and quality while Belgian Richie de Laet is only there because all their other defenders are crocked.
Fabio Sheasy Evans Evra
Valencia Fletcher Scholesy Nani
Subs : Kuszczak, Brown, Owen, Anderson, Giggs, Gibson, De Laet.
Berbatov is back on as United knock it around the midfield but, after a good turn and pass by Scholes, Evra over-runs it out for a throw to Birmingham.
Fabio gets forward down the right, back to Fletcher who feeds Scholes, Rooney gets it back to goal but Ferguson closes him down. Some hesitant defending from United but Evans gets it clear and the hosts build patiently.
Fabio gets forward again, Valencia on the overlap beats Vignal and hits the byline, he swings over an inviting cross but despite the red shirts lining up no-one can get a head on it and Blues clear.
Still United, Fletcher combines with Rooney who lays it off to Valencia on the edge of the D but he can't work a shot so looks wide but there are few options and Blues clear.
Birmingham counter down, Fahey down the left crosses but only Jerome is there and he watches is sail over his head. United can hit on the break now but Larsson is back covering to clear. Nani now gets it on the left, good cross searching for Rooney but Queudrue sticks out a leg to clear. Still United come forward and Evra swings it in high but Rooney and Valencia get in each other's way and the header spins easily into Hart's arms.
Good ball wide to Valencia from Berbatov, the Ecuador winger knocks it to the edge of the box where Fletcher has a pop but he scuffs the shot and Blues can clear.
Fletcher in the centre circle, he lofts it wide left to Evra on the overlap with Carr stuck marking Nani, he's in space and drills a low shot on goal but well-held by Hart.
Poor kick by Hart, low and straight to Valencia who quickly threads it in for Berbatov but Carr stuck with him and, as Berbatov falls to the ground the ref waves play on and Hart breathes again! That looked a last-man foul by Carr but Lee Mason thought not!
United break now, this is an end-to-end start, long ball knocked on by Rooney and Berbatov is in but Hart flies out to block the finish, it drops to Rooney but Johnson hurls himself at the England striker, it pops up for Nani on the right but Johnson again blocks and Birmingham survive!
United bombing forward now, a passing triangle with Fletcher knocking it to Rooney 25 yards out, he sends a dipping curling shot towards the top right and Hart flies across to tip it over one-handed for a corner! Great shot, great save!
Evra on the left to Nani who finds Valencia, who is now playing on the left as Nani switches right. Pretty fluid from United both on and off the ball. Carr clears from Rooney though.
Some nice one-touch play from Birmingham to use their whole midfield to take it right to left but it's out for a throw, United win it back and Berbatov has it on the left, Scholes on the ball but Fletcher gives it away.
Scholes tries a crossfield pass looking for Valencia but, even though he rises on the line to head it on, it was out of play.
Fahey wide to McFadden who has some space with Fabio behind the play, decent cross low towards the edge of the six-yard box with Jerome flying in but Foster dives down to claim well. O'Shea and Evans were hesitant with the ball sent between and across them.
Ferguson strolls forward and puts it wide to Vignal getting forward but his cross is too close to Foster.
Nani now jogs down the left but his cross is a tad casual and straight into Hart's arms.
Birmingham with a decent spell of possession, McFadden to Fahey who lofts it in high but too much on it for Ferguson on the left in the box but he somehow gets to it but the cross-shot is into the chest of Foster.
United with a swift counter, Valencia finds Rooney on the left and he can set up Berbatov but he goes it alone and sends a weak, low shot straight at Hart.
Valencia cuts in from the right and has a pop but straight at Hart. He is a different kind of player to Ronaldo, more inclined to hit a cross early than try step-overs and ambitious shots.
Valencia knocks it in from the left to Berbatov but he is a yard or two offside.
Fabio on the right does well to win a corner although an early cross would have been nice.
Good delivery from the corner with Evans and O'Shea attacking it but half-cleared and Berbatov has a pop, blocked, United think handball but play on!
Good United pressure as Nani gets it on the left, he has a bit of space so cuts inside and has a crack but it curls into the arms of Hart.
Wide to Valencia who knocks it around Vignal but the Frenchman with a superb slide tackle, Fabio's right on top of him though and it's with Valencia again but Vignal slides in to put it out for a corner.
Fabio latches on to the ball on the right, he skins Vignal and zips into the box and drills a wicked cross-shot that Hart can only tip away and Johnson hacks behind for a corner! Great wingplay from young Fabio, who is identical to his twin, unsurprisingly.
Birmingham are on the rack here, Nani cuts inside and plays a one-two with Fletcher, now Rooney and it squirms in for Berbatov but Johnson sticks out a leg and puts it behind for a corner.
Birmingham fail to clear the corner and Nani gets it on the edge of the box but he spanks it well over. Poor finish. United come forward again, a long ball nodded down casually by Berbatov to Nani on the left, he puts in a brilliant, dipping cross AND ROONEY WITH THE GLANCING HEADER IT BEATS HART BUT OFF THE INSIDE OF THE POST AND STRAIGHT BACK TO ROONEY WHO TAPS IT IN FOR 1-0! His 99th goal for United and Birmingham finally crack.
Corner to Birmingham on the left then. Great delivery from Larsson AND QUEUDRUE FLIES IN UNMARKED AND HE HEADS PAST FOSTER BUT OFF THE LINE BY THE HEAD OF EVRA! Evra and Fabio were guarding the posts with there lives and, in that case, to good effect. Poor marking from United though, again Evans and O'Shea not 100 per cent at the races.
Evra gets down the left again, United playing very wide, but his cross is cleared by Johnson.
More good stuff by United as Scholes and Fletcher interchange passes, Valencia now into Fletcher cutting into the box but he cant get a shot away and the chance goes.
The ball is sent to Berbatov on the edge of the box who spins Vignal with a quite outrageous flick but shockingly Mason decides it is a foul for high boot! Ridiculous, the ball was played in at ankle height and Vignal hurled his head at his feet! The touch sent him through too, it would have been a brilliant goal. What on earth was Mason thinking.
Valencia commits a foul on the Birmingham left, Carsley waits for Johnson and co to come up for that.
Evans wide to Nani who turns and slips a wonderful reverse pass in for Evra overlapping and he's in to cut it back TO FLETCHER WHO MUST SCORE BUT HE SOMEHOW PUTS IT WIDE!! Oh what a miss, after some brilliant play from United.
Lee Mason blows the half-time whistle, 1-0 to a free-flowing United, Birmingham have had their chances though.
Nani is taken off after feeling pain in his shoulder, which he popped out last weekend. Veteran winger Ryan Giggs comes on in his place
United immediately on the attack as it drops to Rooney who takes it on his chest, lets it bounce and hammers a wicked half-volley towards the top left which Hart flies across to palm away for a corner!
Fletcher to Scholes, Valencia on the right cuts inside and finds Evra who is in midfield, knocked around via Giggs, Scholes, back to Valencia, a one-two with Fabio but Valencia is tackled by McFadden.
Rooney cuts inside and clips a clever lofted pass wide for Valencia but just a touch too long for him and all he can do is knock it weakly back for Johnson to clear.
Lovely ball wide by Scholes and a good first touch from Giggs to let him take it on the move but the through-ball to Berbatov is poor and Queudrue clears. United get it back though, high to Giggs on the left, loads of space to fizz in a low cross which Berbatov takes on the turn but his touch is slightly heavy and sends it wide instead of into his languid path.
Scholes wide to Valencia who beats Vignal and digs out a hanging cross that Rooney flies in for but headed away by Johnson!
Rooney now has it on the left, he spots a diagonal run from Berbatov and floats over a delightful cross AND BERBATOV MUST SCORE BUT JUST AS HE PREPARES TO HEAD IT IN QUEDRUE APPEARS FROM NOWHERE TO FLICK THE BALL BEHIND! Great defending by the Frenchman
Composed defending by Evans after United give the ball away, playing it back to Foster who calmly passes to O'Shea who brings it forward. Birmingham are not getting a sniff at the moment.
Evra has it on the left but an aimless ball is headed clear by Johnson.
United have had 80 per cent of the ball in the first 10 minutes of this second half
United break, the ball comes into Rooney 25 yards out, he looks wide for Berbatov but as he prepares to play it Vignal flies in two-footed to take him out, advantage says Mason but the ball spins too wide for Berbatov to shoot so he pulls play back, free-kick on the edge of the D and a yellow for Vignal.
Giggs to take it left-footed and he swings it over the wall to the top left but Jerome in the wall gets a touch to send it just over!
Giggs to take the corner. He bypasses the area and it lands for SCHOLES WITH THE VOLLEY but into the ground and hacked clear. United still have it though, Valencia on the right with a good cross but blocked for a corner.
Giggs with the corner but headed clear, the second ball comes in deep from Fabio but Berbatov is pushing in the box and Blues have a free-kick.
Good flat delivery from McFadden but Foster parries and United clear, a quick break, Valencia on the left, headed away but Berbatov has it, now Scholes wide to Fabio but his cross is too deep for Rooney.
Berbatov gets it wide right and, confronted by Vignal, hustles to the byline and wins a corner.
Taken short to Fabio, one-two with Giggs, Fabio lofts it far post AND BERBATOV RISES WITH THE HEADER BUT OFF THE LINE BY CARSLEY! That was headed top right. The ball is still with Berbatov though but he is swarmed by blue shirts and Birmingham clear. He thinks he was fouled as Carr trod on his foot but Mason waves it away.
Michael Owen gets his Premier League debut for United, on for Berbatov. Wes Brown comes on for Evans, who was nursing an ankle knock.
Fletcher turns 30 yards out, he turns again looking for the pass, Scholes now but he sells Fletcher short and Birmingham break.
Carr bombs down the right but there is no support really and United clear. Wide left to Owen who knocks it in for Rooney, he lofts it wide to Benitez who is in but a heavy first touch is blocked and Blues clear! It's a dangerous counter too, Benitez is in on the left, the flag stays down and he knocks it inside past Brown AND HE MUST SCORE BUT A BRILLIANT STOP BY FOSTER!
United attack now, Giggs surges forward, Rooney now, one-touch to Owen who slides it wide to Valencia, he puts it to SCHOLES WITH THE DRIVE FORM THE EDGE OF THE BOX but diverted wide for a corner!
Giggs on the left in lots of space, he eyes the line of the six-yard box and places it for ROONEY FLYING IN WITH A FLICKED HEADER BUT IT BOUNCES INCHES WIDE OF THE FAR POST!
O'Shea on the right for Birmingham, inside to McSheffrey who flicks it wide to Carr but his cross is poor, straight down the throat of Foster.
United still bossing possession but they seem unable to fashion too many clear-cut opportunities.
The hosts bomb forward again, Valencia and Owen combine and Rooney has it but his pass into Owen is cleared.
Giggs to Valencia on halfway, he slides it through to Owen who is clean through, rounds Hart and slides it in but the flag was up, he was half a yard offside.
Rooney flicks the ball from halfway and Owen races clear of the Blues defence, he still has some pace it seems and is clean through and is this it but no, Hart flies out to block the finish which flies agonisingly wide for a corner! Almost a magical introduction for Owen..
UNITED v Birmingham City
Sunday 16th August 2009
825pm LIVE on ESPN!!!
It's the kick-off of the new season.. a new chapter with some new faces in our squad.. this season we are no longer with Cristiano Ronaldo.. and many are eager to know whether UNITED are capable of coming up with a good performance still.. it's quite exciting to me.. see how we are going to make it without one of our key player.. we're never a one man team.. but Cristiano Ronaldo nevertheless made us look perfect with his presence and he will be missed.. it's not about replacing Cristiano Ronaldo.. because he's simply irreplaceable.. player of his charisma is a dream of any teams.. a great player like that didn't popped up that often..so i'm glad he was part of ours for many many years.. now, back to the fact that ppl kept on mentioning this player is going to be the new Ronaldo or this player is going to replace Ronaldo.. that's BS.. right now we're focusing on who will carry on Ronaldo's duty .. and let's hope our new lads will be up to the task..
And now to the match.. as i was typing this post.. the international friendlies are yet to take place.. we are all informed that many of our players will be out on national duties today and let's hope they'll come back safe & sound.. Besides the already sidelined players, as for today we have no more addition of injured players.. Nani dislocated his shoulder on the weekend and i hope he'll be just fine.. Wesley is on his way to recovery.. and Foster who is said to have a minor injury should also be available for the squad..
We're entertaining Birmingham City at home.. we're still a strong squad and we should be able to overcome this team.. so a win shouldn't be a problem for us.. it's a question of whether we are make to work to get our win or the other way round..
Here's my probable line-up :
Sheasy Rio Evans Evra
Valencia Carrick Fletcher/Ando JS Park
Sunday, August 9 2009
955pm LIVE ON STARSPORTS
It's the curtain raiser event yet again.. huhu.. FINALLY, some competitive football.. and i'm of course looking forward to this match.. specially because we're seeing Chelsea.. Both have a good pre-season performance.. i should say both should start strongly for the new BPL season next week.. Chelsea with another new coach, Carlo Ancellotti.. one of my favorite manager.. i wanna see how he actually works at CHelsea.. will he do wonder or will he flop?
Anyway.. back to the game.. i saw UNITED v Valencia earlier.. and i could say we're pretty much ready for the new season.. great display from the key players plus the youngsters and i'm pretty much impressed.. Gibson, Kiko, Nani, Tosic, Evans, Fabio all did well to impress the fans.. let's hope they'll do wonders this season..
UNITED are missing VDS for 8 weeks.. so it's an opportunity for both Foster & Kuszczak to impress.. Brown who was injured earlier should be okay by now but he is no where to be seen just yet.. maybe SAF just won't risk him unnecessarily.. Vidic is still kept on the bench.. i don't know whether he'll start for this game or not.. but i do badly miss him and wish to see him soon.. Gaz was back early from the pre-season tour and i don't expect him to join the squad so soon.. Rafael is still out as far as i knew.. who else are out? i'm not so sure..
So, what to expect from this match? FEISTY encounter as always i assumed.. with Owen joining the squad in the summer.. i'm thrilled to see who will SAF choose to partner Rooney for this particular match.. As for Valencia.. he did exceptionally well during the pre-season.. he even scored a goal of his own.. plus plenty of assists.. seeing him providing so many assists from the wing.. just remind me of the Beckham's days where most of our attacking were made from the flanks.. Valencia if he kept doing the job right.. we'll do wonders on the wings.. and made the strikers' job easier..
I can't wait for this Sunday.. let's hope it will be a fun one.. a new beginning for us..
My first 11 selection :
Sheasy Rio Evans/Vida Evra
Valencia Fletcher Carrick Nani
Barcelona v Manchester UNITED
Thursday, 28th May 2009
245 am LIVE ON ESPN!!!
** PLEASE BE NOTED THAT THE BUILD-UP of THE MATCH WILL START FROM 2AM..
The Premier League is now over and we end it with a win without the recognizable UNITED.. It didn't really matter now as WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS of ENGLAND.. and the moment we have been waiting for is here.. it's the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL!!!
I've made a countdown topic for this particular matter.. and i feel that i don't have to elaborate more here.. This is a match that will be eagerly anticipated by every single football fan specially UNITED & Barca's fan.. AS KNOWN TO ALL, we will be wearing the white kit for this one.. and the last time we wore this white kit against Barcelona.. WE DID WIN THE COMPETITION.. so let's the luck remained with us..
Sir Alex Ferguson is yet to decide on his final team selection and i think we will get the news soon.. who will be sacrificed this time around? Fletcher won't be available for this match due to his dismissal against Arsenal.. it's unfortunate for him, but the team will win it for him.. Sheasy & Park are guaranteed a spot in that team.. and i bet Park will be overwhelmed to show his contribution in ROME..
Rio on the other hand is still questionable.. SAF did say, he needs to be declared fit for HULL's match but he is nowhere to be seen.. is his injury serious than expected.. but i hope that is not the case.. However, if he is indeed missing.. I think the young Jonny Evans would be up for the task alongside Vida.. apart from that, i think we have no other injury or suspension concern..
Barcelona on the other hand, are without Dani Alves, Eric Abidal.. and Marquez .. so basically their defence are quite vulnerable.. Iniesta & Henry both are racing time to be fit for this match.. so far, there's a big chance that both will be available for the Catalans..
I have nothing further to say.. ALL I CAN SAY, i'm praying for a good game & of course UNITED end up victoriously on that final day..
MY FINAL TEAM SELECTION:
Sheasy Rio/Evans Vida Evra
BEST OF LUCK TO MANCHESTER UNITED!!!!!
- IIUM_GOMBAK - K.TRG - JITRA, TRG - KEDAH, Malaysia
- Lelaki ini telah dilahirkan pd 9 SEPTEMBER 1987 d Hospital Besar Kuala Terengganu.Membesar d Kemaman,Trg sehingga darjah 3.Bersekolah d SK Pusat Kemaman(1994-1996),SK Seri Budiman(1996-1999),SM Sains Dungun(2000-2004).Melanjutkan pelajaran ke Pusat Matrikulasi UIAM dlm bidang Kejuruteraan.Sekarang sedang melanjutkan pelajaran di UIAM Gombak dlm IJAZAH KEHORMATAN dlm bidang KEJURUTERAAN MECHANICAL-AUTOMOTIVE.Merupakan pemegang biasisawa YAYASAN PROTON.