my prediction: milan 2, liverpool 1
my prediction: milan 2, liverpool 1
yeah... man-marking is definitely energy draining..... ..... but i think at that point of time they really had no choice.......
there really were alot of times when the ball could and would have been snatched easily on a better sunday..... but they just couldn't run for it anymore...
i think the whole mood was summed up with one particular shot from Scholes near the end...
he collected the ball, held it long (because the the ACM players didn't come up to pressure him)... he looked left, and right and ran abit with the ball until he say carrick/fletcher just about to start his run towards the center.... Scholes promptly tried a short thru pass, but instead, he passed straight to the ACM player infront of him.....
i think he was so dulan and pissed or even wondering aloud wth is wrong with his touch...that he coudln't be bothered to do a tackle on that fella who just breezed past him.......
if ACM off form Dida continues his so called "out of form" phase...
i forsee the goals will come from Gerrard
but given the way pool beat Chelski, i think they will not stand a chance agst milan.
From yesteryears pools been too dependent on their triangle formation of passing....and they definitely showed their expertise in that when they beat chelski....but if ACM players rise to their occasion..... i think theres more than meets the eye...... there will DEFINITELY be alot of guile and alot of fouls too i'm pretty sure from both teams....
DEFINITELY will be an exciting match.......
ACM 3, pool 1
Doom and gloom predictions for Liverpool from the Manu fans.
Sir Alex: Let's turn to the title
Sir Alex Ferguson will seek to lift his players after defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League semi final on Tuesday as the Reds turn their attentions back to the Premiership title race.
Victory against Manchester City on Saturday lunchtime would put United eight points clear at the top of the Premiership with only nine points available to Chelsea, who play Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
If United do beat City then anything other than a Chelsea win against the Gunners would hand the title to Old Trafford.
The Reds boss is both hopeful and confident that the rigours of European football and the disappointment of the team's exit at the San Siro will not affect his players at the City of Manchester stadium.
"You have to put the disappointment behind you," he insisted after the game in Milan. "That's always been a measure of this club for many years now.
"The players have handled it in the past and I'm sure they'll handle it on Saturday. They know it's a big game and that they can win the title this weekend. That's a big incentive."
With little over 50 hours separating the end of the match in Milan to the game against City, United had applied to the Premier League to have the fixture put back. It was refused, but Sir Alex says the Reds could benefit from the return of a number of key players.
"We are not helped by the 12:45pm kick-off but we will be there," he added. "I think Louis Saha will start on Saturday and Rio Ferdinand could be okay, too, so we have some glimmers of a stronger squad over the next few weeks."
Pearce eyes derby scalp
Stuart Pearce says his Manchester City side are determined to give their fans something to shout about when United pitch up at Eastlands on Saturday lunchtime.
The Blues' boss claims the derby fixture means more to City's supporters than United's and after a dismal run of form at home, Pearce says his side will be going all out for victory.
"Winning always gives you a lift, but obviously against this mob it’s special in our supporters eyes," Pearce told the official City website.
"I believe it means more to our supporters than theirs because of the fronts they fight on and the rivalries they have with the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. For our supporters, this game means the world and it always has done.
"You don’t have to concentrate the minds of the players, they will be aware what a big occasion this is. All the fans have been talking about it for weeks so the players will be aware of it. There will be more of a nervous energy around the training ground, but they know what a derby means.
"We know full well that United are a top-notch side who have been around the top of the league all season," added the former England international. "They’ve got so much cut and thrust up front that they can turn a game around at any given time."
United lodged an request with the Premier League to have the game moved back to Sunday to give them an extra 24 hours to recover from their exertions in Milan. But both the Premier League and City turned down United's request.
"We've not made this decision to spite United," insisted Pearce. "We made it because the game has been pencilled in on that date all season.
"The decision was made on the back of us moving our game with Everton last year. We had lots of letters from City and Everton fans who had already made their travel arrangements when the date and kick off were moved.
"It would be totally unfair to the supporters who have paid a lot of money for travelling and tickets. That's why the derby game hasn't been moved."
Richards out to stop United
Manchester City defender Micah Richards wants to hamper United's title ambitions with victory at Eastlands on Saturday.
United's neighbours, who will be without midfielder Joey Barton after he was suspended following a training ground bust-up, haven't scored in the Premiership at the City of Manchester Stadium since New Year's Day.
Richards wants to end that record against the Reds. He says: "If we can beat Manchester United, everyone will forget all the games where we have failed to score at home this season."
United are looking to move eight points clear at the Premiership's summit before Chelsea take on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. That would leave the Reds needing two draws or a win from the two following games against Jose Mourinho's side and West Ham to guarantee a ninth title.
Attempting to prevent that from happening is inspiration enough, acccording to Richards. "For City to get one over United is always good. But to be able to affect their bid for the title at the same time is obviously going to give us and the match an extra edge.
“It is going to be more important for them than ever to win this game. But we are fully aware of what it will mean to our fans if we win.”
Last edited by melvin; 4th May 2007 at 03:15 PM.
Derby Day Memories
Down the decades, United v City has conjured plenty of memories. Here, ManUtd.com speaks to five generations of Reds about their own Derby day experiences...
The 2000s - Gabriel Heinze
United’s record at the City of Manchester Stadium does not make pleasant reading for Reds: played 3, won 1, lost 2. The first visit there ended in a miserable 4-1 defeat and last season the Reds were on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline. But, sandwiched between those two is a 2-0 win, and it’s this match that United’s Argentine full-back rates his favourite derby moment. “There was a great atmosphere,” he says. “Wayne Rooney scored first and then Richard Dunne scored an own-goal. It was a good moment and gave our fans plenty of reason to sing.” The Reds' opener came from a slick move down the right. Roy Keane found the overlapping Gary Neville; he sent in a low cross and Rooney slotted past David James. And it was Rooney’s cross-shot that Dunne sliced into his own net. “What you really remember about these games is the total joy and happiness of winning,” recalls Heinze. “It’s a special feeling for players and fans.”
The 1990s - Clayton Blackmore
“I knew all about the rivalry from the minute I arrived,” says Clayton Blackmore. “I lived with another United apprentice Andy Hill, who went on to play for City. We shared digs with two young City lads in Stretford. How mad is that? We played in a five-a-side youth tournament between United, City and Bolton. Before we played, the veterans of those teams – like Bobby Charlton – had friendly five-a-side games. Then us young lads played City and it was like a war zone. We beat City and we beat them up too, it was fierce.” The derby which sticks out for Blackmore was the nervy 1-1 draw at OT in 1990, the first game after the (whisper it) 5-1. United were 17th, City 14th. “I put us ahead with a diving header,” he recalls, “but Ian Brightwell equalised. I’ve bumped into loads of City fans since and they’ve always had a great sense of humour.” Some might say they need one…
The 1980s - Frank Stapleton
“I’d had my first taste of Derby games in north London, but Manchester is smaller and the hype was more in your face,” says Frank Stapleton. “Supporters would approach you on the street and you knew the result really meant something. One derby sticks out for me – a 2-2 at Old Trafford in 1982. Both teams flew out of the traps like headless chickens. David Cross, a bargain signing for City, put them ahead with their first attack and though we completely outclassed them, we just couldn’t score. Then they went 2-0 up just before half-time. The crowd grew frustrated until I struck a good goal. ‘Good’ isn’t half the story. Stapleton trapped a pass from Arnold Muhren, lost Tommy Caton in one movement and drifted a 20-yard shot past Joe Corrigan. “City put everyone behind the ball,” recalls Stapleton. “Ten minutes from time a corner came in, and I stabbed the ball in from six yards out. We deserved more, but I was happy with my contribution.”
The 1970s - Sammy McIlroy
“There’s one derby game I’ll never forget, and that’s my United debut at Maine Road in November 1971,” says the Irishman. “I was
17 and found out I was playing at 11 o’clock on the morning of the game when manager Frank O’Farrell said Denis Law had failed a fitness test. At first I was excited as we went for our pre-match meal at Davyhulme golf course, then nervous when we got to Maine Road and I saw all the fans. That’s when it hit me and I thought: ‘I’m playing here. I’m making my debut in the Manchester derby!’ Bobby Charlton and George Best calmed me down, telling me to relax, and just to play my normal game. There were 63,000 inside Maine Road and it was a great game of
end-to-end football. City battered us for the first 20 minutes, yet I gave United the lead after George Best had gone on a great run and set me up. What a feeling! Brian Kidd added a second, then City scored twice. John Aston made it 3-2 for United but [Mike] Summerbee made it 3-3 in the last minute. Although we were above them in the league, City were a side with players like their goalscorers [Colin] Bell, [Francis] Lee and Summerbee. But it doesn’t matter where the teams are in the league because, as City have shown in recent seasons, anything can happen on derby day. That’s why, despite United’s success, the rivalry is still really fierce.”
The 1960s - Alex Stepney
“My United debut was in the derby – 17 September 1966,” recalls Alex Stepney. “I’d played my only game for Chelsea the week before, having been at Stamford Bridge four months. Two days later I was in the company of Tommy Docherty and Matt Busby, a deal was done, and my debut was scheduled for Saturday against City at Old Trafford. I couldn’t believe the atmosphere in Manchester. I was put in digs with Jim Ryan on Railway Road behind the Main Stand and people were saying: ‘You have to beat City.’ Paddy Crerand and George Best made me feel welcome and my aim was simply to keep a clean sheet. Fortunately the crowd took to me straight away – I’d never experienced anything like the noise. Fans hadn’t seen me play before and there were still three other goalkeepers at United, but they saw me come off my line to collect an early cross and applauded. That settled me and boosted my confidence. Denis Law scored the only goal after 21 minutes when he sidefooted past Harry Dowd -– and that made me even more determined to keep a clean sheet. The game went very quickly and both teams had a drink together in the players’ lounge afterwards. I kept my place, so I must have done something right.”
Ronaldo wins writers' award
Wow...... this boy have being winning awards like nothing like dat......Cristiano Ronaldo has been voted Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association - adding the award to his PFA Player and Young Player of the Year accolades last month.
The Reds winger topped the journalists' poll ahead of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, while Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes were third and fourth in the voting.
It has been an incredible season for the 22-year-old winger, and the award is even more remarkable considering the reaction from the some fans and the press following England's exit at the hands of Portugal in the World Cup last summer.
Chairman of the FWA, Paul Hetherington said: "After the events of last summer at the World Cup, the vote of the Football Writers' Association shows that what we are all interested in is honouring the best player in the country.
"There has been no agendas carried over from last summer.
"This was a heavy poll of our members. Cristiano has been a runaway winner, and deservedly so. We also know we have a player who is absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this accolade."
Ronaldo will receive the trophy at the FWA Footballer of the Year dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on May 17.
SAF buying 18 yr old Micah Richards of Man City as a long term replacement for Gary Neville?
well in that case,Micah Richards better know what to do
Reds freshen up for City
Sir Alex Ferguson has no new injury concerns ahead of Saturday's Manchester derby at Eastlands, but will attempt to freshen up his side for the lunchtime clash by recalling four players.
Rio Ferdinand, Louis Saha and Alan Smith, were all on the bench for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final defeat to Milan.
Ferdinand, who had been suffering from a groin strain, was not risked. But, having recovered from a troublesome hamstring injury, Saha played the final thirteen minutes of the match.
Patrice Evra is available again after the French defender missed the trip to Italy through suspension, while Alan Smith is fully fit and ready if called upon.
“There are no injuries from Wednesday night’s game,” confirmed the boss on Friday. “The first thing I have got to do is the freshness I can apply to the team on Saturday. European games take it out of you, and with the City match being a 12:45 kick-off, we certainly have considerations to make.
"But, for the first time in a few weeks we have got options. There are some players available for the game, like Rio Ferdinand, Louis Saha, Alan Smith and Patrice Evra, who was suspended on Wednesday.
“It’s difficult to assess how players react after the midweek game, but the fact that it’s a derby game means we have to work out what to do, because all the players will want to play. I’m sure that Giggsy, Scholesy and all the players who have played in derby games before will want to play in it.”
Sir Alex is confident his players will not suffer from a Champions League hangover following defeat to Milan in midweek.
“Some of them have experienced European defeats before,” he said. “That’s the nature of football, sometimes you have to recover from defeats. In my time here, we have done that very well.
“No-one likes to lose, especially in a semi final tie, but we’re face with a derby game where City will want to get one over on us and prevent us from winning the league. These are all things that make it a big incentive for us.”
Giggs has Double vision
When i first read the title i tot oh no nt another problem this time wif giggs eyes!Ryan Giggs insists United need to banish thoughts of Wednesday night's Champions League exit by focusing on a domestic Double.
Despite the Reds' emphatic defeat to AC Milan, they remain five points clear in the race for the Premiership title with just three games remaining.
There is also a tantalising FA Cup Final clash with Chelsea to come, and Giggs wants to set United on the way to the Double with victory in the Manchester derby this weekend.
Speaking after the defeat in Italy, the veteran winger said: “We are still in a good position and our season is not over.
“We still have a lot to play for and that’s what we have got to tell ourselves. We have got to look forward to Saturday. It is a big game and we have got to get ourselves up for it.
“If we can get a positive result it will put us closer to the league and we have the FA Cup Final to look forward to as well. We are greedy and wanted to win everything, but there are still two trophies to earmark."
Should United win at local rivals City on Saturday, they will be crowned champions on Sunday if Chelsea fail to beat Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
“Saturday was always going to be a big game," said Giggs. "But there’s even more riding on it now because we have got to go there and get the right result to put the pressure on Chelsea.
“There is still massive potential throughout this team. We have shown that this year. Now we want to finish off the season on a high by winning the League and the Cup."
Neville eyes final return
Gary Neville is targeting the FA Cup final against Chelsea later this month for a return from an ankle injury that has kept him out since March.
The United skipper went down under a challenge from Gary Speed during the 4-1 win over Bolton at Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old right-back was initially given the prognosis of a five weeks on the sidelines. But swelling in his ankle a fortnight ago meant that his comeback was delayed.
Sir Alex denied the suggestion that the defender had been sent for surgery, and says the FA Cup final at the new Wembley stadium on Saturday 19 May is a realistic target.
"I think he has got a chance of making the FA Cup final," said Sir Alex. "There is improvement [in his ankle]. He could possibly feature at some point against West Ham next Sunday. But I think he could make the final."
Pique set for OT return
Yeah... should go bring him back so that will most likely to have more defensive option for next season...together wif Micah Richards n the rest....should be enough rite?United defender Gerard Pique, who has excelled during a loan spell with Real Zaragaoza this season, will be back at Old Trafford next term.
The 20-year-old Catalan centre-half has enjoyed a year-long loan spell in La Liga but, despite interest in a permanent move from the Spanish club, Sir Alex Ferguson plans to bring the highly-rated former Barcelona defender back to Manchester.
The Reds boss will travel to Spain to see Zaragoza take on Racing Santander at La Romareda stadium before meeting with Pique to discuss his plans for next season.
It means Sir Alex is unlikely to be watching Chelsea’s match against Arsenal on Sunday at the Emirates Stadium. Should United win against Manchester City on Saturday, the Reds will be eight points clear and would leave Jose Mourinho’s side needing to beat the Gunners to stay in the title race.
“I don’t know if I’ll be watching the game,” said the boss. “I will probably be in Zaragoza on Sunday.
“I promised I would go and see [Gerard] Pique play. We are bringing him back next season so I want to sit down and have a chat with him.”