Last edited by melvin; 17th September 2007 at 11:13 AM.
Silvestre suffers cruciate blow
Mikael Silvestre is likely to miss the rest of the season after scans confirmed that he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury against Everton on Saturday.
The Reds left-back, who was playing his first match since the opening day of the season against Reading, got his studs caught in the Goodison Park turf and fell awkwardly, twisting his knee.
Silvestre is the third United player to suffer a serious knee injury this year, after similar fates befell Korean midfielder Ji-sung Park and goalkeeper Ben Foster.
The trio are joined on the Reds' injury list by Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea, who are expected to be out for a number of weeks at least.
Silvestre's enforced absence, coupled with the summer sale of Gabriel Heinze, means Patrice Evra is Sir Alex Ferguson's sole recognised left-back.
However, United's squad has been suitably reinforced over the summer by the return of burgeoning talents such as Gerard Pique, Jonny Evans, Danny Simpson and Phil Bardsley.
Boss salutes Reds' resolve
Sir Alex Ferguson saluted his side's resolve as Nemanja Vidic's late header gave United a battling victory over Everton at Goodison Park.
The Reds, who were far from fluent, showed great character to keep the hosts largely at arm's length throughout the match, and defended resolutely - with Vidic particularly outstanding.
"It was a great result," Sir Alex told MUTV. "A lot of teams will drop points here. It was a real battle. It looked to me like it was going to be a draw, but then we got a lifeline with Nemanja's goal.
"It wasn't a great performance, but it was a good, decent performance. The whole team worked very hard, and it's maybe difficult sometimes coming back off the international break.
"We all know that we've not got our strongest side out, but in that situation you all get together. It was a good strong team effort today, and we defended right.
"They had a chance at 1-0 when Edwin's made a terrific save, and Rio Ferdinand's made a fantastic block from the follow-up (from Victor Anichebe). That's determined defending, and that's the kind of defending you need to win the title.
"If we can do that, and once we've got all our top players back and got the consistency of our performance, we'll be alright."
Sir Alex was left exasperated at times by the performance of referee Alan Wiley, who irked the United Manager by dishing out questionable bookings to Paul Scholes and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Scholes - who subsequently avoided a second booking for a foul on Mikel Arteta - was booked for punching the ball away after Wylie had harshly penalised him for handball, while Ronaldo was punished for a perceived dive on the edge of the Everton area.
"When Scholesy got his booking, he didn't handle the ball. The referee's view is blocked, he's heard the crowd and given a yellow card, which is ridiculous," said Sir Alex.
"Carlos has seen the video and said Ronaldo was definitely tripped, but it was outside the box. To get a yellow card if you've been fouled is ridiculous. And of course you can't rescind a yellow card, only a red card, that's the unfortunate thing.
"The referee's really just satisfied the crowd. He thought it was going to be a penalty kick, and that's why he's booked him. It gets him out of jail, and it was a terrible decision."
Euro rivals: Sporting Lisbon
Stadium: Sporting play their home games at the Estádio José Alvalade, which was purpose-built for the 2004 European Football Championship. The venue has a capacity of 52,000 and was acoustically engineered as a venue for major concerts. Its official opening was on 6 August 2003 when Sporting played United. They beat the Reds 3-1.
Manager: Paulo Bento won 35 Portuguese caps before retiring at 34 to become youth team coach at Sporting, the last club he played for. After much success with the Sporting’s academy he was promoted to manage the senior team and steered them to second place in the domestic league in 2005/06 and 2006/07. He also won the Portuguese Cup. He is now considered one of the top coaches in the country, and has been likened in management style to compatriot Jose Mourinho.
Star player: Without doubt, Sporting Lisbon’s star player is front man Liédson. The 30-year-old Brazilian striker arrived from Corinthians in 2003 and is known for his pace. What he lacks in height - he’s 5ft 9in - he makes up for with commitment and he has no problem in finding the net if given the chance. To date he’s bagged 57 goals in 93 appearances for the club. This season he’ll be partnered up front by new £1.3 million signing Serbian Milan Purovic. The towering 6ft 3in forward comes from Red Star Belgrade.
Last season’s Champions League results: Sporting didn’t get past the group stages last term having been draw against European giants Internazionale, Bayern Munich and Spartak Moscow. Unsurprisingly, they finished bottom of the group with only five points. Perhaps the lowest point came when Spartak ended a record 22-match run without a victory in the Champions League by beating Sporting 3-1 in their final Group B match.
Last time we met: The last time these two sides clashed competitively was in the 1963/64 Cup Winners Cup quarter-final. Having been fairly spanked 4-1 at Old Trafford, the second leg was a stunning comeback, in which the home side ran out 5-0 victors, before going on to win the final against MTK Hungaria FC.
Giggs: We're better equipped
Ryan Giggs feels that United are capable of bettering last season's run to the Champions League semi finals because the Reds have a stronger squad this time around.
The Reds lost out to eventual winners AC Milan at the semi-final stage of the competition, despite recording a 3-2 victory over the Italians in the first leg at Old Trafford.
Giggs says the squad learnt a valuable lesson from that experience and are determined to go one step further this time round.
"We are better equipped for Europe than we were last year," said the 33-year-old.
"We have brought in players who have experience in Europe and hopefully, the younger lads can learn from their experience in Europe last year.
"I remember when I was a young lad, I learned something new from every game I played in Europe, especially away from home.
"Each game you play you get better and have more confidence. Hopefully that will be the case for the team this year."
The Reds kick-off this season's campaign on Wednesday evening in Portugal against Sporting Lisbon.
Clashes with Dynamo Kiev and Roma will follow in due course, with Giggs insisting the Reds are more than a match for anyone providing they hit top gear.
"If we play to our best ability, we should get out of the group quite comfortably," declared the midfielder.
"It is a tough group because they are all good teams and the away games will all be particularly hard.
"Hopefully we will get off to a good start. If we do that, we will be confident about going through."
Rooney fitness boost for Reds
The Reds will have Wayne Rooney back in action for United's trip to Lisbon on Wednesday.
United have been without Rooney since the opening day of the season when he suffered a metatarsal fracture in his left foot.
Rooney had been expected to play a part in Saturday's 1-0 win over Everton, but Reds boss Sir Alex opted to rest the 21-year-old striker, who instead trained over the weekend in preparation for Wednesday's visit to Portugal.
Sir Alex confirmed the forward will be fit to play on Wednesday before explaining his decision to leave Rooney out of the clash with his former club Everton.
"We took medical advice on Wayne and as he had only started training on Monday, we felt that five days' training was maybe a bit short.
"But he trained on Saturday morning, Sunday and he'll train right through until Wednesday. By that point he will definitely be available for the match against Sporting Lisbon."
Owen doubtful for Lisbon clash
Din know he injured for so long no wonder never see him in action!Owen Hargreaves is a doubt for United's opening Champions League game against Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old midfielder is struggling with a thigh strain and missed United's 1-0 win over Everton at the weekend.
It had been thought that Hargreaves would be fit for the trip to Portugal, but the Englishman didn't train on Monday morning and is now a doubt for the opening Group F clash in Lisbon.
"[The injury] is okay, I have never really had this injury before so this is new territory," he told the Press Association on Monday afternoon. "I can't say for certain but it looks as though I won't be ready for Wednesday because I have not trained."
He is, however, hopeful of making Sunday's crucial Premier League clash with Chelsea at Old Trafford. "I thought I would be fit to play for England in the Israel game, then the Russia game and then Everton, but I've still not done it. I have to take it day by day so hopefully I will be fit for the weekend."
Injury prevented Hargreaves from appearing in United's opening three matches of the campaign. But he proved exceptional in the three games he has played in so far this term. Outstanding despite defeat to Manchester City, he then helped the Reds to 1-0 victories over Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland, which makes it all the more maddening that he cannot have a clear run of games.
"It is frustrating," he said. "I missed pre-season then I had a run of games and I was really enjoying it. It is just disappointing to suffer something so niggly. But I think these injuries come from last season when I broke my leg."
10 more hours to our first European game! Hoopefully can collect all 3pts!
1-0 win for
Go Man U Hehe.
Yeah, must start our campaign for Europe with style this season. Cannot lose out again.
Quite sad though, all the injuries so early on in the EPL season.
Olympus Now and Forever
The team still look jaded. Tevez had a long season with Copa and no pre-season training. Hargreaves is kinda disappointing. Till now, still can't feature for Man Utd in CL competitions.
Last edited by afbug; 18th September 2007 at 11:39 PM.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/sports...56029820070920LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has left the club, according to media reports on Thursday. The Portuguese, who took over in 2004 and won consecutive Premier League titles, told senior players that he was leaving, Sky Sports News reported on Thursday.
Chelsea have made no comment on Mourinho's position, although Sky Sports News quoted a "senior player" as having said that Mourinho had been sacked.
A BBC report says Mourinho sent text messages to senior players, including skipper John Terry, telling them he was leaving the club.
Chelsea have never lost a Premier League match at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho but rumours surfaced last season that he had fallen out with billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
They lost their title to Manchester United last season and have started this season with some lacklustre displays.
Their last two Premier League games ended in a defeat at Aston Villa and a 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers, leaving them fifth in the table.
On Tuesday they drew 1-1 with Rosenborg Trondheim in the Champions League in front of just 25,000 fans.
New assistant manager?
Queiroz considers leaving Man Utd
Manchester United assistant manager Carlos Queiroz has hinted that he is considering leaving the club.
The 54-year-old is in his second spell as assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson, having rejoined the club in 2004.
But Queiroz told the Sun: "I need to reflect on what I want to do in this last part of my career.
"In December I'm going to stop and think about myself. My contract is perpetual and caters for various options but I have only one life."
Queiroz was Ferguson's number two from June 2002 until he left to become manager of Real Madrid in June 2003.
However, he was sacked as manager of the Spanish club in May 2004 and returned to Old Trafford in the summer of the same year.
"I am going to think about him and go for the route that makes me most happy," he added.
"I read Sir Alex said that one day he would like me to be United's main coach. That is one reason I am in this project but I'm not desperate about it.
"In your personal and professional life you always have more ambitions."
Ole takes Reds coaching role
Ole is back!!!Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took temporary charge of United’s Reserves side in Lisbon on Wednesday morning, and it marks the former Reds striker’s first steps into the coaching side of the game.
Solskjaer, who ended his playing career last month due to injury having scored 126 goals in 366 appearances for the Reds, won’t be taking up the Reserves role full-time, but Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that the Norwegian has joined the club’s coaching staff.
The 34-year-old has not yet been given an official job title, but he is to work closely with technical skills development coach Rene Meulensteen, with particular emphasis on coaching strikers throughout the club's ranks.
Sir Alex told ManUtd.com: “This is an ideal trip for Ole to come along and get involved with the coaching side of the game.”
Ole led the warm up and took charge of a reserves team including Tom Heaton, Dong Fangzhuo, Lee Martin, and Darron Gibson against a Sporting Lisbon team made up of first- and second-year Academy scholars.
Ronny hails 'perfect' evening
Cristiano Ronaldo hailed his return to his homeland as "the perfect night" after firing United to victory against his former club.
The Portuguese international headed home Wes Brown's cross just after the hour to give United a priceless victory and set them on their way in Group F.
Ronaldo was pleased with the result, but admitted that he felt a tad guilty about netting against the club he calls his second home.
"It's a perfect night for me. I scored and the team won. So it's been a great night for me and United," he told Sky Sports at the final whistle.
"It's always important to win away from home. Both teams played well, but I think the result is a fair one because we did better.
"Red is my colour and I want to win for United. I said before the game that Sporting Lisbon is my second home and I feel a little bit sad [that they lost], but the most important thing is United. They are my team and I'm very happy with the victory."
Some sections of the home fans rose to applaud Ronaldo's goal, before the whole stadium gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted in the final few minutes. It was a gesture which delighted the 22-year-old winger.
"The people here are very important to me," he insisted. "They helped me a lot when I played here.
"When I scored I didn't want to do too much because I don't think it's fair. But I'm very happy with the three points."
Mourinho sacked after Chelsea crisis meeting
Think this weekend we able to win by more then 1 goal maybe 2-0Chelsea have confirmed that manager Jose Mourinho has left the Stamford Bridge club by 'mutual consent' after three trophy-laden years at the helm.
A club statement claims that the decision was reached after the launch of a new Chelsea documentary - Blue Revolution - at the Vue cinema in Fulham on Wednesday night, where an emotional Mourinho refused to talk to the press.
However, the rumours of his departure began earlier in the day and claimed that billionaire owner Roman Abramovich called crisis talks following Tuesday night's disappointing 1-1 draw with Norwegian minnows Rosenborg in the Champions League, at which the fractious duo had a furious falling out.
Mourinho is believed to have informed senior players of his departure following training on Wednesday and one of those players insists that the manager has not resigned but has been sacked by the Blues.
Mourinho's rocky relationship with Abramovich was public knowledge and despite an apparent thaw in relations last season the duo were again at odds over the role of £30million striker Andrei Shevchenko and the Blues' dour style of football even before Tuesday's result brought events to a head.
The Portuguese manager, who has won the Champions League with Porto and two Premier League titles as Chelsea manager, was the subject of continual scrutiny last season and hinted at an exit last summer when he admitted he 'was a bit fed up with certain things' at the club.
After three-years at the London club the self-styled 'Special One' is expected to attend training for the final time on Thursday, when he will say good bye to his players.
Chelsea lost their title to Manchester United last season and have started this campaign with some lacklustre displays.
Their last two Premier League games ended in a defeat at Aston Villa and a 0-0 draw at home to Blackburn Rovers, leaving them fifth in the table.
Tuesday's draw with Rosenborg Trondheim in the Champions League was watched by just 25,000 fans.
Chelsea's next match is against Premier League champions Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Boss pleased by away boost
Sir Alex Ferguson believes United's slender victory over Sporting Lisbon will give his players just the boost they need for their upcoming Champions League away trips.
The 1-0 win in the Portugal capital, courtesy of Cristiano Ronaldo's second half diving header, was only United's third Champions League win in the last 15 on their travels.
The boss was pleased with his side's penetration after the break and is hopeful that this result will set things up nicely for United in Group F.
"It was good night for us," he told Sky Sports. "Winning your first match of the group away from home, just like we did last season, sets the tone. Getting a good start is always important.
"This victory will give the players a good confidence boost because we went a couple of years without winning away from home in Europe. Last season we changed that trend and it got us back to how we were eight or nine years ago when we were a constant threat away from home.
"Tactically things were, in the main, very good. Our penetration was better in the second half and there was more purpose to our game. They had some opportunities from the edge of the box, but they never really opened us up and that was our plan."
Ronaldo's 62nd minute goal was sportingly applauded by some sections of the home crowd in tribute to their former servant.
"It was interesting to see that - it's a rarity in the modern day game, but given that he's an ex-player for the club it's understandable in some ways," said Sir Alex. "I'm pleased that he's off the mark for the season. His suspension derailed him a little bit, but I'm sure he's back on track now."